The Travels of Persiles and Sigismunda: A Northern History
Miguel de Cervantes, eds. T.L. Darby and B.W. Ife

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Document Contents
The first book of the travels of Persiles and Sigismunda.
The second book of the travels of Persiles and Sigismunda.
The third book of the travels of Persiles and Sigismunda.
The fourth book of the travels of Persiles and Sigismunda. A northern history.
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The Travels of Persiles and Sigismunda. A Northern History. Wherein, amongst the variable fortunes of the Prince of Thule and this Princess of Friesland, are interlaced many witty discourses, moral, political, and delightful. The first copy, being written in Spanish; translated afterward into French; and now, last, into English.

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To the Right Honourable, and my singular good Lord, Philip, Lord Stanhope, Baron of Shelford.

Right Honourable:

This translation falling into my hands by chance, not knowing whose labour hath brought it to light: as I thought it fit for the press, so I did not think anyone more worthy under the patronage ofwhose name it might pass securely than your Honour's: unto whom my humble and dutiful love obligeth me, not alone to offer this unto your Honour's favourable acceptance, but also all the endeavours of your humble servant


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To the Reader.

Thou hast here, Reader, the effects of importunity and idleness. For, I must confess, importunity could not prevail alone, although I was much pressed. But, considering that Præstat nugas agere, quam nihil agere, I have given it birth in this language, not doubting but the variety thereof may rob some hours from thy untimely sleep; and the seriousness of it, divert idleness from bringing forth worse effects. Neither is it altogether so light, but that thou mayest sometimes play the bee.

The author is a Spaniard, whose style becomes him well in his own mouth; and his works of this kind have raised his name, and approved his spirit, not alone in his own country, but in others. If it anyway please thee, thou hast it; but know, rather by a kind of enforcement, than willingly.


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The first book of the travels of Persiles and Sigismunda.

Chapter I

How Corcicurbo the barbarian draws, out of a deep dungeon, a young man endued with extreme beauty, and after suffers shipwreck.

At the mouth of a deep dungeon, more aptly resembling a grave where many bodies had been buried alive than a prison, Corcicurbo the barbarian called aloud: and although the terrible sound of his fearful voice was heard far and near, yet none could understand his words but the unhappy Clelia, whom her misfortunes had caused to be shut up in this deep cave. "Clelia,"said the barbarian, "cause the young man which we delivered unto thee about two days ago to come up hither in bonds as he is, by the rope which I will immediately let down; and look if amongst the women last taken, there be any one worthy of our company." Upon these speeches he let fall a great hempen rope, and shortly after four barbarians drew up a young man tied by the same under his arms, who showed to be about nineteen or twenty years of age, apparelled in coarse cloth like a mariner, but more beautiful than could be well expressed. The first act of these savages was to look upon the manacles and cords which he had on his hands; and then, shaking his hair that covered his head like small rings of fine gold, they made clean his face, which likewise was full of dust; whereupon they discovered such an admirable beauty, that it mollified the hearts even of the executioners themselves that led him unto death. As for the young man, he expressed no feeling of any affliction whatsoever: but contrarily, with face lifted up, looking upon heaven, and with eyes in outward appearance full of cheerfulness, he thus spake with a clear voice: "I give you thanks, oh pitiful heavens, for bringing me hither to die, in such a place where your brightness may behold my death, and not in such black dungeons where it shall be concealed by dark shadows. At the least because I am a Christian, I would not die desperately, albeit it my misfortunes are so great that they provoke, and in a manner constrain me to desire it." These barbarians understood not a word hereof, because he spake in a language differing from theirs; but laying a great stone on the mouth of the cave, they took the young man without unbinding him, and brought him to the seashore, where they had a raft made of divers beams of timber fastened together, serving them in stead of a boat for to pass unto another isle, which one might descry to be about two or three miles from thence. They presentlyleaped upon these timbers; and having caused the prisoner to sit down in the midst, one of them took a bow lying upon the raft, which he quickly bent, and therein set an arrow whose head was of flint, placing himself over against the young man, at whom he aimed as his white, and was ready to pierce his heart. The other barbarians took three staves fashioned like oars and one of them became the pilot; the other two forced forth the raft towards the isle. The fair young man, who every minute expected death, shrunk up his shoulders, shut his mouth, bent his brows, and in heart with profound silence entreated heaven not to be delivered from such cruel and imminent danger, but to be endued with courage to suffer it. Which the barbarous archer perceiving, whose stony heart the young man's beauty had already inclined to pity, he would not give him a lingering death by holding his arrow drawn to the head, and ready to be let fly against his breast; but throwing down the bow, he came unto him, and by signs in the best manner he could, gave him to understand that he would not kill him. Being upon these terms, the raft came into the midst of the strait enclosing the two isles, when such a flaw unlooked-for arose that, whatsoever help these trim sailors could afford, the beams of their raft were untied and severed into parts, upon one whereof, consisting of six timbers or thereabouts, he sat, who a little before feared nothing less than drowning. The storms made a grown sea, the winds and billows wrestled together, the barbarians were drowned, the timbers whereon the prisoner sat bound were carried into the main sea; the waves raked over him, whereby he was not only impeached to behold heaven, but was likewise deprived of means to pray that it would have compassion of his mishaps. Nevertheless, the continued fury of the waters which covered him every moment beat him not off from the beams that they drovewith them, although that by reason his hands were bound at his back he could not catch or lay hold upon anything. In this manner floating upon the sea, that by this time was somewhat appeased, he doubled the point of a certain isle, whither the timbers approached, miraculously keeping him from wreck. There this poor young man, tired with two so different and perilous fortunes which he had undergone, looked round about and descried a ship not far from him, which had there put in for shelter against the sea and anchored in this road as in an haven of safety. They of the ship also discovered the raft, with the charge appearing thereon: wherein, to be the better assured what it might be, they let out their skiff, wherewith they came to the timbers, and finding the young man no less fair than disfigured, they with diligence and compassion conveyed him unto the ship, filling all that were there with admiration for the novelty of this encounter. He was helped aboard: but, being unable to stand through feebleness, in that he had remained three days without sustenance and been so beaten with the waves, he fell with great noise upon the hatches. The captain, with a noble and pitiful affection, commanded that he should be succoured; whereupon one went readily to unbind his hands, others to bring conserves and wines; by which remedies, the man fallen into a swoon came again to himself, as it were from death to life. And looking upon the captain, whose courtesy and rich attire drew his sight that way, he spoke unto him in this manner. "The merciful heavens requite you for the good which it hath pleased you, pitiful Sir, to afford me; for hardly can any man remove the mind's heaviness without repairing the decays of the body. My misfortunes have taken sure hold upon me, that I am not able to recompense this your goodness but by thanks only: but if a poor, afflicted man may be suffered to give himself any praise, I knowthat in grateful remembrance, not any man living shall ever go beyond me." In saying this he would have risen to kiss his feet, but his weakness would not permit it; for thrice he assayed, and thrice was constrained to fall down again. Which the captain perceiving, commanded him to be carried under the half-deck, his wet garments to be taken off, and drier, and handsomer to be put on his back, and then that he should rest a while. His commandments were accomplished, the young man obeyed with silence, and the captain's admiration increased when he saw him on his feet with so brave and cheerful disposition appearing in his person. Straightway he began to have an earnest and longing affection to know of him what he was, his name, and from what causes proceeded the effects of so great extremity, whereunto he was reduced. Yet because the captain's courtesy surmounted his curiosity, he was willing rather to relieve the stranger's weakness than he would give satisfaction to his own desire.

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Chapter II

Taurisa, Auristela's gentlewoman, relateth her misfortune to the fair Periander.

The officers of the ship performed their captain's command, leaving the young man to take his rest. But because a multitude of sad thoughts oppressed him, sleep could never get possession of his senses, and much less would permit the grievous sighs and pitiful moans which he heard, and seemed to him to issue from betwixt the boards of a cabin adjoining unto his; wherefore disposing himself to hearken attentively, he heard these words. "Alas that my parents engendered me under an evil sign, and that my mother cast me headlong into the world's light, under an unhappy influence! I say,cast me headlong: for a birth like mine may rather be called precipitation than a birth. I thought to have enjoyed the sun's brightness in freedom, but my thoughts have beguiled me; for I see myself upon the point to be sold as a slave, by such a misfortune as exceedeth any other whatsoever". "Oh then, whosoever thou be," said the young man, "if the common speech be true, that mishaps and troubles are wont to be mitigated by imparting them, declare unto me for what cause thou sighest thus within these boards, and assure thyself, if I cannot ease them, at the least I will afford them compassion." "Hear me then," said one, "and I will relate unto thee what injury I have received by Fortune, as briefly as I can. But first I would know to whom I shall declare the same. Tell me if perhaps thou be that young man late found half dead upon the rafters, which they said serve instead of barks for the barbarians of this isle, whither we have arrived under covert from the tempest." "I am the very same," said the young man. "Tell me then who thou art," said the person that spake." "I would show thee," answered the other, "but that I desire thou shouldest oblige me first in recounting thy fortune; for I judge by the words which thou spakest but now, that it is not so good as thou wouldest." Answer was made unto him, "Give ear then, and I will open mine evils unto thee in two words.

"The captain and lord of this ship is called Arnaldo, the King of Denmark his son and heir: into whose power by strange accidents and revolutions came a gentlewoman which was my mistress, of such exquisite beauty, that in my judgement she not only surpassed all others living in the world, but likewise whatsoever the most subtle wit could describe in the strongest imagination of man. Her discretion matched her beauty, and her misfortunes her discretion. Her name is Auristela, her parents were very rich, and of royal blood. This same, for whose perfections all praises aretoo little, saw herself sold, and was bought by Arnaldo, who hath loved her so sincerely, and as yet so passionately loves her, that albeit she be his slave, yet he would a thousand times make her his mistress, and take her to wife in lawful matrimony; whereunto his father consented, who judged that the rare virtues and perfections of Auristela deserved a greater matter than to be a queen. But she hath said always, that she cannot break the vow which she made, to continue a virgin all her lifetime, use what promises or threatenings they could. Yet Arnaldo amongst his doubtful imaginations entertained hope; sometimes relying on the alteration of time, sometimes on the mutable conditions of women; until it happened that Auristela, one day walking by the seaside, not like a slave, but as a queen, certain barks of pirates took and carried her away, no man knows whither. The Prince Arnaldo thought that these were the same pirates which had formerly sold her unto him, and who range all these seas, islands and shores, buying or taking by force the fairest maids they can find, to bring them into this isle where we are, which is inhabited by savage and cruel barbarians who, through the persuasion of the devil, or some old sorcerer, do believe that a king shall issue from amongst them who shall conquer the greatest part of the world. They be ignorant who the king shall be which they expect; but more assuredly to know it, this sorcerer hath appointed them to sacrifice all the men that shall arrive in their isle, whose hearts they must reduce into powder, giving the same to drink to their chiefest personages, with this charge: that he who shall swallow it down without altering his countenance, or showing any token of the least fear shall be chosen king; although it be not he that shall conquer the world, but a son of his. He further commanded them to bring into this isle all the maids whom they could buy or steal, whereof the fairest should be given immediatelyunto their king. These maids are well used, wherein only they show that they are not barbarous. And those whom they buy at a very high rate, they pay for them in pieces of uncoined gold, and in precious pearls, which are plentiful on the shores of this isle. Hereupon it cometh to pass that many amongst them have made themselves pirates or merchants for the great gain which they reap in this traffic. Arnaldo then, who as before I told you, imagining that Auristela may be in this isle, hath resolved to sell me to these barbarians, that he may be cleared of this suspicion, to this end: that abiding amongst them, I may serve him as a spy to know what he desireth. And his delay is nothing else but that the seas may be calm, to take land and conclude my sale. Consider now if I complain for good cause or not, seeing the fortune I look for is, to continue all my life amongst these barbarians. For I cannot presume so much of my beauty that I shall be queen, especially if any hard chance hath brought hither the incomparable Auristela. These are the grounds of the sighs which you have heard, and from this fear proceed the complaints wherewith I am tormented."

Having thus said, she held her peace, and the young man remained silent for a time, holding his mouth close to these boards, which he moistened with great plenty of tears, feeling as it were a noose overthwart his throat. In the end after a while, he asked her if she had any inkling that Arnaldo had obtained his pleasure of Auristela, or if Auristela, being elsewhere in love, disdained Arnaldo, refusing so great a gift as a kingdom; for that he thought the laws of pleasure had greater power than those of religion. Whereunto she answered, that haply in her conceit, the times past might have given some cause to Auristela to love one Periander, a noble knight, whose good parts made him highly esteemed of all that knew him, and this was he that had drawn her from her

country. Yet she had never heard him named amidst the continual plaints which she made of her misfortunes, nor in any other sort whatsoever. Then he demanded if she knew this Periander of whom she spake. "I know him not," said she, "only I have heard that this was he who carried away my mistress, into whose service I came shortly after Periander had left her by a strange accident."

They were in this discourse when they heard Taurisa called, for so was her name, who now had concluded the discourse of her mishaps. Who hearing herself asked for: "Without doubt," said she, "the seas are quiet, and the tempest appeased, because they call me that I may be so unluckily delivered to these barbarians. Farewell, whosoever thou be, and heaven keep thee from falling into their hands, that the powder of thine heart may not witness the vanity of their foolish prophecy." They departed, Taurisa went unto the deck, the young man remained pensive, and asked for clothes to rise. They brought him a suit of green damask, cut after the fashion of that which he wore of cloth. He came up, Arnaldo received him with a merry countenance, and made him sit by him. They richly attired Taurisa like nymphs of the sea, or of the woods. Whilst this was adoing, to the great admiration of the young man, Arnaldo told him his love and his intentions, asking his counsel of that which he was purposed to do, praying him to declare if he liked well of the means which he would use to learn news of Auristela. The young man, which as well by the speeches of Taurisa as of Arnaldo himself had his soul filled with a thousand suspicious imaginations, discoursing in his mind what might happen if by adventure Auristela were found amongst these barbarians, made him this answer.

"My lord, I am not of so ripe years to be capable of giving you counsel, but I am carried with an extremedesire to serve you. For the life which you have given me, the entertainment and favours which you have afforded me, oblige me to employ all that I can possible for you. My name is Periander, I was born of worthy parents, and my nobility is equal to my misfortunes, which here cannot be declared unto you. This Auristela, whom you search, is my sister, whom also I seek; and we lost her by divers strange accidents about a year ago. By her name and beauty which you commend so much, I am assured that it is she; and I would willingly give the life which I possess for the contentment I should receive in finding her. Wherefore, as having interest in this business, I have chosen this mean which amongst others I have desired in my fantasy, which although it be more perilous, yet it shall be more certain, and more short. You, my lord, are determined to sell this gentlewoman to the barbarians, to the end that being in their power, she may see if Auristela be also there. Whereof you may be informed, in making a second sale of another maid unto the same barbarians; and in the meanwhile that the bargain is a-making, Taurisa shall have means to tell you, or at the least give you a token, if Auristela be with the residue whom they buy and keep with so great care." "It is true," said Arnaldo, "and I have chosen Taurisa before any other of the four which are in this ship for the like effect, for that she hath been her maid and knows her better than any of them." "All this hath been well devised," said Periander, "yet I am of the mind that none can perform this better than myself, in regard that my age, my countenance, my particular interest, together with the knowledge which I have of Auristela, move and persuade me to take this enterprise upon me. Consider, my lord, if this advice like you, and do not defer it: for in things difficult, counsel and execution must go together."

The reasons of Periander fitted so well Arnaldo's humourthat, without staying upon any inconveniences which presented themselves before him, he effected it, and attired young Periander with many rich clothes whereof he had made good provision for Auristela, if by adventure he should find her, who seemed to be the fairest woman that ever Arnaldo had set eye upon, except the beauty of Auristela, for none other could match him. Those of the ship wondered, Taurisa was astonished, and the Prince confounded: who if he had not thought this had been Auristela's brother, the consideration of his sex had pierced his heart with a thousand pricks of jealousy. Finally, when Periander was thus disguised, they launched a little further into the sea, to the end the barbarians might descry them. The haste which Arnaldo made to know news of Auristela permitted him not first of all to inform himself of Periander's and of his sister's estate, although in reason this curiosity ought to go before the confidence which he reposed in him. But because it is a peculiar quality of lovers rather to employ their thoughts to seek means how to effect their desires, than about any other thing, he had no leisure to inquire of him that which had been profitable for him to know, and which afterward he knew when it was for him altogether unbehoveful.

Being then a little further from the isle, they adorned their ship with flags and streamers which, shaking the air and kissing the waters, made a gallant sight. The calm sea, the clear sky, the noise of hautboyes and other instruments of peace and war put their hearts in suspense, especially the barbarians who, seeing them somewhat nigh, came to the seaside armed with their bows and arrows. The ship was somewhat less than a mile from the shore when they shot off all their ordnance, which were in great number, and great pieces; and letting down and launching their cockboat, into which only entered Arnaldo, Taurisa, and Periander, withsix mariners, they put a white cloth in the top of a lance in sign of peace, which custom is observed almost by all nations of the world. That which ensued shall be told you in another chapter.

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Chapter III

Periander is sold to the barbarians, for a maid, and why.

As the boat approached to the haven, the barbarians also came together, each one desiring to be first that should see what was within. And for a token that they received them in peace, they erected divers white cloths, making them wave in the air, and shot an infinite company of arrows in the wind; and some of them leaped hither and thither with an incredible agility. The boat could not come fully to land because it was low water; for the sea ebbs and flows in those quarters, as it doth with us. But the barbarians entered the sands on foot, to the number of twenty, coming so nigh that they might almost touch them with their hands. They carried on their shoulders a barbarian woman, but yet of great beauty, who before any other spake unto them in the Polonian tongue: "Our Governor demands who you are, wherefore you come, and what you seek. If perhaps you have any maid to sell, you shall be well paid for her; but if it be any other merchandise, we know not what to do therewith, for that thanks be to God we have in this isle whatsoever is necessary for man's life; neither have we any need to go from hence and seek it elsewhere." Arnaldo understood her very well and asked her if she were a barbarian by birth, or one of those who had been bought in that island; unto whom she said: "Answer first to what I ask, for my masters take no pleasure that I should enter into other discourse than thatwhich directly concerneth our affairs." Which Arnaldo hearing, he answered:

"We are by birth of the kingdom Denmark, executing the office of merchants and pirates, changing what we can, and selling what we can buy or steal. Now, amongst other prizes which we have taken, this maid is one," said he, in showing Periander, "who, because she is one of the fairest, or to speak more truly, the beautifulest of the world, we bring her hither to be sold, we knowing already the cause wherefore they are bought in this isle. And if it be so that your wise men's presages be true, you may well imagine how fair and valiant children this incomparable beauty will bear you." Having heard thus much, one of the barbarians demanded of the woman what Arnaldo said; which having expounded unto them, four of them departed immediately to certify the Governor. In the meanwhile, Arnaldo informed himself of this woman if amongst those of that isle there were any of so great beauty as she whom he would sell. "No," said she, "and although here be many, not one of them is equal unto me: for I am one of those accursed, ready to undergo the fortune to be queen of those barbarians, which should be the greatest misfortune that could possibly befall me." Those which were gone to land returned back, and with them the Governor himself, who might well be known by his rich apparel. Periander had covered his face with a transparent and fine veil, thereby to cast unawares, as it were, a flash of lightning from the brightness of her eyes in the sight of these barbarians, who beheld her attentively. The Governor spake to this barbarous woman, who thereupon said to Arnaldo that her master prayed him to take off his gentlewoman's veil. This was done, Periander arose, discovered his face, lifted his eyes to heaven, showed sorrow for his hard fortune, and darted the beams of his two suns here and there;which meeting with those of the barbarous captain, bore him to the earth: at the least he gave him to conceive so much, by adoring upon his knees this fair image whom he believed to be a woman; and speaking with his barbarous interpreter, the price was agreed upon in five words, and without loaving and bidding he gave whatsoever Arnaldo demanded. All the barbarians went into the isle, and instantly returned with an infinite number of gold pieces and long strings of fine pearls, which they gave by heaps without tally unto Arnaldo; who, taking Periander by the hand, delivered her unto the barbarian, willing the interpreter to certify him that within a few days he would return and sell him another maid, if not so fair, yet at least such a one as should be worthy of buying. Periander embraced all those in the bark, with his eyes full of tears, not proceeding from an effeminate courage, but upon consideration of the distresses which he had endured. Arnaldo made a sign to those of the ship that they should discharge their artillery, and the Governor to those of the isle to sound their instruments. And in one instant the cannons thundered on the one side, the music of the barbarians filled the air with many confused and different sounds on the other. With this rejoicing, Periander was brought to land on the shoulders on these barbarians. Arnaldo and his company returned to the ship, first having agreed with Periander that unless the wind enforced him, he should not go far from the isle, but as necessity should require to avoid discovery, and that he should return to sell Taurisa if need should require, because that by signs which Periander would give him, he should know whether Auristela were found or not; and if she were not in the isle, he would not fail to find means to recover Periander, in making open wars against them with all his forces and those of his friends.

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Chapter IV

The meeting of Periander and Auristela, and of the strife that fell among the barbarians.

Amongst those that accompanied the Governor in bargaining for the gentlewoman, there was a barbarian whose name was Bradamire, one of the most valiant and chiefest of the isle: a contemner of all law, proud even above pride, and as hardy as himself, for none could be found unto whom he might be compared. This man, then, as soon as he saw Periander, believing like the rest that he was a woman, cast in his mind to choose her for his own, without staying till the conditions of the prophecy were tried or accomplished. Now when Periander was come into the isle, many barbarians took him upon their shoulders in emulation one of another and, with demonstration of much mirth, carried her to a great tent erected in a pleasant and delightful meadow, situate in the midst of many others of less bigness, all covered with the skins of wild and tame beasts. The barbarous woman who had served for an interpreter at the bargain and sale went not from his company, but comforted him with words and reasons which he understood not. Shortly after this, the Governor appointed some to pass into the isle of the prison, and to bring from thence a young man, if there were any, to make a trial of his deceitful hope. They readily obeyed, and withal spread upon the ground certain skins of beasts, made in leather, and shapen to serve as tablecloths, upon which they cast, without rank and order, divers kinds of dry fruit; and certain of their principals being set, they began to eat, inviting Periander by signs to do the like. Bradamire alone stood on his feet, leaning on his bow, with his eyes fastened on him whohe took to be a woman. The Governor prayed him to sit down, which he would not, but contrariwise turning his back, went out of the tent, giving a great sigh. Then came a barbarian which said to the Governor that, when he and 3 others went to the prison, there was a raft already upon the sea, bringing with them a prisoner and the woman that kept the prison. Upon these news they made an end of dinner, and the Governor and all the rest went down over against the raft to see it come, and Periander would bear him company, wherewith he was well pleased. When they came to the seashore, the prisoner and his keeper were already on the land. Periander looked earnestly to see if perhaps he might know that unlucky person, who by destiny was reduced to the same extremity wherein himself had been before; yet he could not discern his face, for that he held down his head; and this it seemed was of set purpose, that no man might see his countenance. But he took notice of the prisoner's keeper, whose sight and knowledge brought his mind into a quandary and troubled his senses, perceiving plainly that this was Clelia, the nurse of his dear mistress. Oh, how gladly would he have spoken unto her, but he durst not: wherefore, smothering his desires within his lips, he kept silence, waiting what might be the final end of this chance. The Governor, with an extreme, importunate desire to hasten his hopes and enjoy the happy company of Periander, commanded the young man immediately to be sacrificed and his heart brought to powder, to serve in this deceitful and ridiculous experiment. Instantly, many barbarians laid hold upon him, and without further ceremony, except to tie a cloth before his eyes and his hands at his back, they made him kneel down where, like a lamb, without speaking a word, he attended the stroke of death. Which the ancient Clelia seeing, she lifted up her voice and, with more courage than could be hoped for in one of that age,she began to say: "Take heed, O Governor, what thou dost; for this party whom thou art about to sacrifice is no man, and consequently cannot serve thy turn, because she is a woman, and the fairest that can be imagined. Speak, beauteous Auristela, permit them not to take away thy life, neither be so borne down with the stream of thy misfortunes as to distrust the providence of heaven, which is able to preserve thee, and give thee a joyful and happy estate." Upon these words the barbarians refrained the blow, even when the knife's shadow had already marked the throat of the patient. The Governor commanded her to be unbound and that, her hands loosed, they should also restore light to her eyes.

Then, looking upon her attentively, he thought he saw the fairest face of a woman that ever his eye beheld, judging that, except Periander, none in the world was able to match her. What tongue might express, or pen set down, the motions which Periander felt when he knew that she who was judged to die, and after freed, was Auristela? His sight and breath failed which, as soon as he had recovered, with a weak and staggering pace he ran to embrace that fair one, whom he held in his arms, and said unto her, "O dear half of my soul, pillar of my hopes, and a pledge which I cannot say I have found by my good or bad fortune; albeit it cannot but be for my good, because no evil can proceed from thy sight: see here thy brother Periander." This last word was softly uttered, lest any might hear. Then he continued, saying, "Live, my sister, and rejoice, for in this isle death is not appointed for women. Be not more cruel to thyself than the islanders; put thy trust in heaven which, having delivered thee until this present from so many perils which thou shouldest have undergone, will defend thee also from those which may be feared hereafter." "O brother, brother," answered Auristela, "alas, I dread much that this distress wherein we find ourselves, shall not bethe last which we ought to fear. Happy hath been my fortune to find you, but unhappy to find you in such a place, and in such a manner." In speaking these words they both wept, which the barbarous Bradamire perceived and, believing that Periander shed tears of grief because such a one should die whom he had loved or known, resolved, whatsoever it should cost him, to deliver her. So coming to them twain, with one hand he held Auristela, and the other Periander; and with a threatening and proud countenance, he spake aloud in this manner. "Let none be so hardy to touch so much as one hair of these two, if he make never so little account of his life. This maid is for myself, because I love her: and this man ought to be free, because she will have it so." Scarcely had he ended these words when the Governor, moved by disdain and wrathful impatience, put a great shaft in his bow and, going back so far as he might hold out his left arm, he drew the string with the other to his right ear, and then let fly with so direct a violence that the arrow hit Bradamire in the mouth, taking from him the motion of his tongue, together with his life, which filled all them that stood by with astonishment and marvel. Nevertheless, this bold and certain stroke fell not out so well for the Governor's profit, but that he did as readily receive payment for his hardiness: for a son of the same Corcicurbo, who was drowned when he would have transported Periander, trusting more in the agility of his feet than his assured shooting, at two leaps was upon the Governor and, lifting up his arm, sheathed a poniard in his breast which, being of stone, was yet more strong and cutting than if it had been forged of steel. The unhappy Governor closing his eyes with an endless night, by his own death revenged the death of Bradamire; and in a moment, fury troubling the minds of their kinsfolk, and urging them to vengeance, put weapons into their hands, whereupon the arrows began to fly on either part, which inthe end were all spent, but not their hands and poniards, wherewith they stoutly rushed one against another in such sort that the son had no respect of his father, nor the brother his brother, but as though they had ever been mortal enemies for wrongs that were past amends they rent with their nails and killed each other with stabs of poniards, there being none who could endeavour to set them at peace. Amongst the arrows, wounds, and dead men, the old Clelia, the damsel interpreter, Periander and Auristela were close together in very much fear and confusion. But in the heat of this fury, certain barbarians who should have been partakers with Bradamire departed from the fight, going to set on fire a forest belonging to the Governor. The trees began to burn, the wind favoured their anger, and it seemed that all of them could not choose but be either blinded with smoke or burnt with flame. The obscurity of the night, the sighs of such as lay a-dying, the clamours of them that threatened, nor the noise of the fire, could not any whit terrify the hearts of these barbarians, because they were wholly set upon wrath and vengeance. Only the minds of these unhappy persons were feared who, thronging close one to another, knew not what to do, nor what might become of them. Yet heaven forgot not to succour them in so troublesome a time, and that by such a new and strange means that, for just cause, they esteemed it as a miracle.

The night was close, obscure and dreadful, none other light being to be discerned but only that of the burning forest, when a young barbarian came to Periander and spake to him in the Castilian tongue, which he well understood. "Follow me, fair maid, you and your company: for by God's assistance, I will put you in a place of surety." Periander hereto replied not a word, but took order that Auristela, Clelia, the interpreter, himself, marchedforward. And so passing over the weapons and the dead bodies, they followed the young barbarian conducting them, having the flames of the burning forest at their backs, which was instead of a wind to drive them from thence with greater speed. But neither the old age of Clelia nor the tender years of Auristela would permit them to keep pace with their guide; which, when the strong barbarian perceived, he took up Clelia on his shoulders. Periander did the like with Auristela. The interpreter, least delicate and of better heart, followed with a manly courage. In this manner, after many falls they came to the sea and, having gone about a mile on the North side, the barbarian entered into a large cave, where went out and in the waters of the sea ebbing and flowing; where turning sometimes on one side, sometimes on the other, now creeping on the earth, then standing on their feet, they seemed at length to come out into a smooth field, in which their guide told them they might march without danger of stumbling, for the darkness of the night hindered them to see their way and the light of the wood on fire, which burned more forcibly than before, could not extend thither. "God be praised," said the barbarian in the Spanish tongue, "who hath brought us into this place, where, though some peril may be feared, at the least it shall not be death." In speaking these words, they saw a light like a comet, which came towards them, much like the moving of an exhalation, which had put them in fear if the barbarian had not said unto them: "This is my father who comes to receive me." Periander, although he could not well speak Spanish, said unto him, "The heavens reward thee, thou angel in man's likeness, for the good thou hast done us: for although it be nothing but to delay our death, we hold it as a singular benefit." In the mean time the light approached, which a barbarian man in appearance did carry, seeming to be somewhat above the age of fifty years. Coming to them, hepitched his light on the ground, which was a great staff of burning pine. He ran to embrace his son, asking him in the same Castilian tongue what chance had befallen him, that he came with such company? "Father," answered the young man, "let us go to our quarter, for I have many things to say, and more to think upon. The isle is on fire, almost all the inhabitants are burnt to ashes; that little remainder which you see, by heaven's inspiration I have caught from the flames, the sharp poniards and piercing arrows of the barbarians. Let us go, sir, as I have said, into our quarter, to the end the charity of my mother and sister may be employed in welcoming these poor weary guests." The father was their conductor, they all followed, Clelia took courage and walked afoot. Periander would not leave the fair burden which he bore, for he could not be troubled possibly by this only good which he had in the world. Short time after, they came to an high rock, at the foot whereof they discovered a large cave, whereunto the same rock served for walls and roof, out of which came two women with lighted torches in their hands, attired after the barbarian fashion. One was young, aged about 15 years, and the other thirty. This last was of comely proportion, but the former exceeding fair. One of them said, "O Father, O Brother!" the other, nothing but, "Son, thou art welcome." The interpreter marvelled much to hear them speak in another language than was used in that isle unto the women who seemed to be barbarians. And being about to demand the cause, the father willed them to dress the cave round about with skins, which hindered the mother and daughter to resolve her doubt. Then, leaning their torches against the walls, they brought the skins of goats, sheep and other beasts out of another cave, wherewith instantly they covered the ground and abated the cold which began to molest them.

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Chapter V

Wherein the Spanish barbarian declareth the story of himself to his new guests.

The supper was quick and short; yet the unwonted rest, and the pleasure to take repast without disquiet, seemed delicate unto them. They lighted new staves, and although their chamber were a little smoky, yet at least it was warm. The vessel wherein they were served was neither silver nor pewter, but the hands of the barbarians were the platters; and the barks of trees, a little handsomer than cork, served for cups. Candy and his wines were far from thence, in stead whereof they drank the clear and fresh water as in winter. Clelia fell asleep, whose weariness and old age were more friends to sleep than company. The hostess brought her into another chamber, and made her a bed of skins, and as many mattresses as might cover her, and so returned and sat down with the rest; unto whom the Spaniard began to speak in this manner:

"Although it were agreeable to reason I should first know the success of your affairs before I make relation of mine, yet that shall not hinder me to make declaration, thereby to oblige you not to be silent as concerning yours. I was born in Spain, as my destinies would have it; my parents were meanly noble, and brought me up as those that were wealthy. I arrived at the gates of grammar, whereby an entrance is made into other sciences. My star gave me a strong inclination to learning, but more violent unto arms: following the course whereof, I left my country, and was at the War with Charles the Fifth made against certain Princes of Aleman. I was favoured of Mars, honoured of the Emperor and, besides many friends, got the reputation of a brave soldier.

Above all things I learned to be liberal and of good behaviour; for these two virtues more than the rest might be learned in this Prince's school. I returned into my country, well furnished with riches and honour, with an intent there to remain certain days to see my parents yet living, and my friends which there expected my coming. But she that is called Fortune, envying my tranquillity, by turning her wheel threw me down from the height wherein I thought to be, unto the centre of that misery wherein I am, choosing for the instrument of her despite the second son of a Marquis whose house was next neighbour unto mine.

"This man then came one day unto the parish in the country where I dwelt, to see a race which should there be run by divers knights, whereof I was one; and turning towards me, with a gesture full of scoffing and arrogance, he said thus. 'I see well, brave Lord Anthony, thou hast handled thy matters gallantly in Flanders and Italy.' I answered him (being that Anthony of whom I speak unto you), 'I kiss your lordship's hands a thousand times for the honour you do me; which is as you ought in honouring your countrymen and servants. But I would willingly give you to understand that I carried this bravery out of my country into Flanders, and that good education hath always followed my birth. And herewithal, such as I am, your lordship may command, beseeching you to love me, as the desire which I have to do you service shall merit.' A gentleman, my friend, standing next me, spake in mine ear, but not so softly but the other might hear him: 'Take heed how you speak, Sir Anthony, for we do not here call this Knight "lord"'. To whom the other answered, before I had taken the word:

"'The Lord Anthony speaks well, for he useth me according to the fashion of Italy, where they say "lordship" instead of "worship"'. 'I know well,' said I, 'the customs andceremonies which these two nations observe, and I have not given you the title of lordship after the Italian manner, but because I believe that he which presumeth to tutor me in Spain ought to be a great lord. Yet I also believe that, being of noble parentage, and such as I am, I deserve that any great lord, whatsoever he be, should call me worshipful. And who dares say the contrary?' And with these words, I set hand to my sword, and gave him two great cuts on the head, which so troubled him that he knew not how this chance had befallen him, neither did anything which could repair the injury. But after this amazement was past, he drew his sword, endeavouring to revenge himself with much courage and hardiness. But the blood running down his eyes, and myself abiding him with my drawn sword in my hand, would not permit him to effect his honourable resolution. The standers-by were all stirred against me: I withdrew myself to my parents, declaring to them the accident befallen me. They, having notice of my danger, provided me means, and counselled me to look to my safety, for that I had procured unto myself many great and powerful enemies. I did so,and two days after travelled to the borders of Aragon, where I began to have some time of breathing after so urgent haste of my journey.

"Finally, with more leisure, I went into Aleman and entered again into the Emperor's service. There I was warned that mine enemy, with divers other in his company, sought for me with an intent to kill me. I apprehended the danger, as reason was I should, and returned into Spain, because there is no better sanctuary than hard by the house of a man's enemy. I visited my parents in the night, who gave me more money and jewels wherewith I conveyed myself to Lisbon. There I went aboard a ship which had set sail for England, wherein were English knights who for curiosity's sakehad come to see Spain, and having so done, were now returning into their country. There it chanced that I fell a scuffling upon a matter of small importance with an English mariner, who provoked me to give him a cuff.

"This blow moved all the mariners to choler against me. All the sailors were upon my jack, and threw at me whatsoever came next to hand. I withdrew me to the castle a[bove], where I found an English knight whom I made my buckler, and stood at his back; which thing only saved my life. The other knights appeased the tumult, yet with this condition: either that I should be thrown into the sea, or that they would give me their ship-boat to return into Spain or whither it should please God. This was effected: they gave me the skiff, furnished with two barrels of water, one of butter and some quantity of biscuit. I gave thanks to my defenders for the favour which they had afforded me, entering into the boat only with two oars. The ship went far off, the night came; I found myself alone in the midst of this bottomless gulf of waters, taking none other course than the winds and waves would permit me. I lifted up mine eyes to heaven with good heart, committing myself to God with the greatest devotion possible. I looked on the north, whereby I discerned which way I went, yet could I not know where I was nor what course I kept.

"In this manner I drove six days and six nights, reposing more confidence in the goodness of heaven than in the strength of mine arms which, being now tired and without vigour by means of the incessant labour, I laid by the oars in the boat, to serve my turn when the sea and my forces would permit. I stretched myself all my length upon my back, shut mine eyes against the peril, and there was not a saint in heaven whose help I did not implore from the bottom of myheart. In the height of this extreme distress an heavy sleep locked up my senses, which is scarce to be believed. But in this sleep my fantasy presented unto me a thousand kinds of terrible deaths, and all in the water. In some, me thought I was eaten with wolves and torn in pieces with other wild beasts, so that whether sleeping or waking, my life was nothing else but a lingering death.

"From this unquiet sleep, upon a sudden, a furious wave awaked me, which broke over the boat and filled it with water. I knew well the danger, and cast the sea into the sea the best I could, returning to use help of mine oars when else nothing availed me. I saw the sea more and more enraged, because it was tossed and beaten with a south-west wind which bloweth with greater violence thereabouts than in other seas. I saw it was folly to oppose my weak boat against the fury thereof, and my feeble and decayed forces to withstand such violence. Wherefore, again I forsook mine oars, and let the skiff run whither the winds and waves would carry it. I renewed my prayers, adjoined promises, and increased the waters of the sea by those I shed from mine eyes, not for fear of death which showed itself so nigh, but of the punishment which my sins deserved.

"Finally, I know not how many days and nights I passed floating on the sea, which always grew more unquiet and troubled, until at last I came to a desert isle, void of people but full of wolves, which walked together in troops. I put myself in covert under a great rock, not daring to leap on land for fear of the beasts which I saw. I did eat biscuit soaked in water, for necessity and hunger have not respect of anything. Night came, but not so dark as before: it seemed the seas were appeased, and promised more safety the day following. I looked on the heaven and saw the stars, whose aspect declared repose of the air and smoothness of the water. Then methought, by the uncertain brightness of the night, that the rock which served me instead of a haven was all covered with wolves, as indeed the truth was, and that one of them spake unto me with an human and intelligible voice: yea more, in mine own language. 'Spaniard, forsake this shore, and seek thy fortune elsewhere, if thou wilt not be rent and torn in pieces with our teeth: and do not ask who it is that gives thee warning, but thank God who hath made thee find pity amongst savage beasts.' I leave you to imagine whether I were astonished or not: yet this amazement hindered me not to execute the counsel given me. I took the oars, enforced mine arms, and went again into the main sea. But because misfortune and afflictions trouble the memory of those that suffer them, I know not how many days I drove upon these seas, drawing after me a thousand deaths, till at length, my bark driven with an horrible tempest, I lighted on this isle, at that place where the cave's mouth is whereby you entered. The boat passed into the cave but the ebb made it as soon come out again; which when I saw, I leaped into the water, and taking hold of the sand with my nails, I impeached the best I could that the ebb might not carry me back again into the open sea with my boat. And although in losing it I lost all hope of life, yet I rejoiced to change my kind of death and abide on the land."

Hitherto the Spanish barbarian had contrived his discourse (for his attire so entitled him), when they heard sobbings and sighs in the chamber where they had left Clelia. Instantly Auristela, Periander and all the other hastened to see what the matter was, and found that this was she herself, who sat upon the skins wherewith her bed was made, leaning her back against the rock, her eyes lifted towards heaven, which were almost out of her head. Auristela came to her, and with a complaining and sorrowful voice spake in this manner.

"What mean you, nurse? Is it possible that you will leave me in this discomfort, and at such a time when I have most need of your counsel?" At this word, Clelia lifted up herself a little, and taking Auristela by the hand, said thus unto her. "You see, daughter, how your case standeth. I would willingly have desired the prolonging of my life till yours had obtained such rest as your worth deserveth; but heaven will not permit it, and for mine own part, I conform my will thereunto, offering unto you the best heart I have. That which I request you, my dear mistress, is that when it shall please God you recover your estate, you certify my parents, if they be yet living, that I die in the faith of Jesus Christ, and of his Church, which is none other but Roman." Having so said, she died in pronouncing the name of Jesus. At the sight hereof Auristela fell in a swoon. Periander and all the rest wept, yet ran to succour Auristela who, coming out of her trance, augmented her tears, renewed her sighs, and spake such pitiful words that it would have moved the very stones, if they could have understood what she said. Finally, they took order for her burial the next morning. The Spaniard's daughter, with her brother, watched the corpse; the residue went to repose themselves during the little part of the night remaining.

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Chapter VI

Wherein the Spanish barbarian pursueth his history.

It seemed this day the sun showed himself to the world later than of custom, because the remainders of so great a fire yet smoking hindered his beams to enlighten the earth. The barbarian commanded his son to go out of his cave and learn all that which had passed in the isle. The others ended their sleep with no lesstrouble than when they lay down; for the grief of Clelia's death would not suffer Auristela to rest, and Auristela's waking held Periander in continual disquiet. He went out with her into the plain to behold the situation of this place, and saw that it was made by nature as if it had been composed by art and industry. It was of a round form, environed with very high rocks of grey colour, containing somewhat more than a league in compass and replenished with wild trees bearing fruit, if not excellent, yet at the least tolerable and nourishing. The grass was long, because the great waters issuing out of these rocks kept it always green, all which things caused admiration in Auristela and Periander; when the Spaniard called them to bury Clelia. All of them went thither and buried the dead body in a hollow rock, covering the same with earth and other small rubbish: and to testify that a Christian was there laid, Auristela prayed that a cross might be there erected. The barbarian said he had one which he would place there. All of them gave her the last farewell, Auristela renewed her plaints, whose tears drew others from the eyes of Periander; and till the young barbarian should return, they all withdrew themselves into the rock where they had slept, to defend themselves from the extremity of the cold which began to threaten them; where sitting down on soft skins, the Spaniard craved silence, pursuing his story after this manner.

"When I had left the boat which brought me into the sand, and that the waves of the sea had carried the same away, with good reason I affirm that therewithal was fled all hope of my liberty, which is not in my power to recover until this present. I entered thereinto, perceiving the site of this place, which me thought nature had formed as a theatre to represent thereon the tragedy of my misfortunes. I much marvelled I could see no people there, but only wild goats and other small beasts ofdivers kinds. I searched everywhere, and found this hollow cave, appointing the same for mine abode. Finally, after I had gone round about, I returned to the entrance whereby I came, to see if I could hear any man's voice or could descry anyone who might tell me where I was. And my good hap and the pitiful heavens, not having altogether forgotten me, brought before me a young barbarian maid, about fifteen years of age, who sought small cockles along the shore amongst the rocks and craggy places of the sea. She was amazed at the sight of me: her feet stuck fast in the sand, and the cockles which she had gotten fell down, scattered here and there. I took her into mine arms without speaking to her a word, or she to me, entered into the cave, and brought her to the place where now we are. Having set her on the ground, I kissed her face and her hands, making all the signs and demonstration I could to qualify her fear and to make her to understand I loved her. She, after this first astonishment was past, looked earnestly upon me, touched my body with her hands, and having put away her former fear, she began to laugh divers times in embracing me. Then taking out of her bosom a kind of bread which was used in that country, yet not made of wheat, she put it to my mouth, speaking to me in her language and, as I afterward learned, entreated me to eat: which I did, as having great need thereof. Then she took me by the hand and brought me to the river, there where by signs she prayed me to drink. I could not sufficiently satisfy myself in beholding her, thinking I saw rather an angel from heaven than a mortal creature and barbarous. I brought her back to the entry of the cave, and with signs and words which she understood not, I besought her to visit me again as though she had known my meaning, and again took her in mine arms. She, in pitiful and plain meaning, kissed my forehead and certified me by clear and evidentdemonstrations that she would come again to see me. This done, I returned into this place, tasted the fruit wherewith certain trees were laden, and gave thanks to God that I found them, encouraging my decayed hopes with this remedy. I passed that night in the same place, waiting for the day, and therewith the return of my fair barbarian, whom by this time I began to mistrust, fearing she would bewray me and deliver me to the barbarians whereof I imagined the isle was full. Yet I was discharged of this fear, seeing her to return in the morning fair as the sun, not accompanied with barbarians to take me, but with victuals to sustain me."

Hitherto the Spaniard had proceeded in his history when his son returned from the isle, whose estate he went to know, and who brought news that it was almost all on fire; and all, or the greatest part of the barbarians dead: some by weapon, some by fire; and if any were yet living, they were those who had saved themselves in the sea upon rafts in the water, to eschew the flames; that now they might well get from thence and escape that cursed land, the rather because there were hard by certain isles whose inhabitants were less barbarous, and it might be, in changing their place, they should change their fortune. "Well, take your rest," saith the father, "I will declare to this company the residue of my affairs, and I have not much to say ere I have done, although my misfortunes are infinite." "Trouble not you yourself," saith the woman, "to recite them so largely: leave me to speak the rest." "I am contented," saith the Spaniard, "and I shall take much pleasure to hear you relate them."

"So it followed," said the woman, "that, by my often repair to this place, my husband begat this boy and girl of me. I call him husband, for that before he knew my body he gave me his word so to be, after such manner as he saith is used amongst true Christians. He taught mehis language, and I mine unto him. He learned me his Catholic religion, and baptised me in this river, though not with such ceremonies as he saith are observed in the Church, instructing me in his faith, as he knew well how to do, which I have fixed in my soul and graven in my heart. I, ignorant and worthy of compassion, gave him a rude mind which, praised be God, he hath returned back discreet and Christian. I gave him my person, thinking I have not offended herein, and from hence have ensued these two children, which at this present augment the number of those that glorify the true God. At divers times I brought him a certain quantity of gold, which is plentiful in this isle, and some pearls, which I keep, waiting for the happy day which may deliver us from this prison and bring us into a place where, with all liberty and assurance, we may be of the flock of Christ, whom I adore in this cross that here you see."

Thus ended the barbarian Ricla (which name the Spaniard had given her in baptism) the variable history of her husband and herself, causing all the company to marvel, especially Auristela, who from thenceforth most affectionately loved this woman, and much more her daughter. The young barbarian, called Anthony as his father, then said that it were an ill course taken to remain there any longer time idle without taking order how to escape out of this pound, for if the fire of the isle, which every day augmented, once passed the high mountains, or if by enforcement of the wind it came unto them, they should be all burnt. "I am of opinion," said Ricla, "that we were best to stay here yet these two days, for that we may discern an isle, in a bright sunshine and calm sea, from whence the inhabitants are wont to pass hither to sell or exchange their commodities for ours. And seeing here is none to hear or hinder me, I will condition with them to sell me a boat at their own price, telling them that I have need thereof to save me from thefury of these flames, together with my husband and children who are shut up in a cave. Now these boats are made of rafts covered with leather, and strong enough to keep out the water from coming in at the sides; but as far as I can perceive, they never put forth but in smooth sea, neither carry they any such sails as I have seen others to have that were accustomed to anchor on our shores, to sell maids or boys. This maketh me to believe that they are not good in the main sea, where they say that storms and tempests are very common."

Periander thereunto replied: "Hath not Sir Anthony assayed this remedy during so many years that he hath here remained?" "No," said Ricla, "for that whatsoever vigilant care I used in this behalf, I could never find means to agree for the price of one boat, neither could I know what colour I should pretend to cheapen any." "This is true," said Anthony; "besides, I could hardly assure my safety in so weak vessels. But now that the heavens have given me this counsel, I purpose to make use thereof." All the rest were of the same opinion and, issuing out from that place, they were amazed to see the havoc which the fire and sword had made within the isle. They saw a thousand different sorts of deaths, and how of the barbarians yet living, some were upon rafts, beholding afar off the miserable burning of their country; others were gotten into the isle which served as a prison to the poor captives. Auristela would have gone thither to see if any were yet remaining in the dungeon, but that was needless, because immediately they saw a raft come, and about twenty persons thereon, whom by their apparel they knew to be of the number of those unhappy people. These then came to the seashore, kissing the ground, and in a manner worshipped the fire; for they had understood by a barbarian who drew them out of the dark hole that the isle was all burning, and no cause was left why they should fear. They were friendly received andcomforted by Auristela with the rest. Some of them recounted their miseries: others concealed their mishaps, as not finding words enough to express them. Ricla marvelled that any barbarian was found to have so much compassion as to set them at liberty, and that a part of those who were gotten on the rafts did not pass into the isle of the prison. Whereto one of the prisoners answered that the barbarian who had enlarged them had told them, in the Italian tongue, all the success of the fired isle, counselling them to go thither and reward themselves for their troubles past with such gold and pearls as they should there find; and that he would come upon another raft to be of their fellowship and take order for their liberty.

The accidents which they related were so different, so strange and unlucky, that some wept, others laughed with open mouth. In the mean time, they saw coming towards the isle six of those boats whereof Ricla had spoken, which arrived on the shore without unlading any merchandise, in regard they saw no barbarian who might buy the same. Ricla cheapened all the boats with their wares, yet without intent to carry away all. Howbeit, they would sell but four, that the others might serve them to return back again.

The price once concluded upon, Ricla hastened to the cave and paid them their demands in pieces of uncoined gold. They gave two barks to those who came last out of prison and took sea in two others, in the one whereof they put so much provision of victuals as they could get, with four persons of them who had newly been set at liberty; and into the other entered Auristela, Periander, the two Anthonys father and son, Ricla, her daughter Constance and the wise Transilla.

Before their departure, Auristela would take leave of the ashes of her dear Clelia. All accompanied her; she wept on the grave which, having moistened with tears,they went back to the shore. There, first kneeling on the earth and entreating heaven with humble and devout prayers to send them a good voyage, and direct them what course they ought to take, they went aboard their boats. That of Periander was Admiral; the others followed after; and as they were beginning to row (for they had no sails) there came to the seaside a barbarian who called to them in the Tuscan language, "If haply you that are in these boats be Christians, receive him here aboard who also is one, and which entreateth you in the name of the true God." Then one of the other boats told them of the foremost that this was the Barbarian who had drawn them out of the dungeon; which Periander hearing, commanded a boat to return towards the shore and take in victuals; which done, with shouts and cheerful cries, they joyfully began their navigation.

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Chapter VII

Periander and his company escaped from the burning of the island.

These four boats had not rowed above four miles before they descried a tall ship, with all sails bearing and the wind in the poop, which seemed to come to board them. "Without doubt," said Periander (after he had well regarded her), "this ship must of necessity pertain to Arnaldo, which now comes back to know how mine adventure hath succeeded."

Periander had already informed Auristela all that past betwixt Arnaldo and him, and Auristela acquainted Periander whatsoever chance had befallen her during a year which she had passed in Arnaldo's company, which caused much disquiet unto them both because of this meeting: either of them desiring nothing less than toreturn into his power. For albeit the dissembled fraternity of Periander with Auristela ought to free Arnaldo from all suspicion, yet so it is that their fear to be discovered and known to be otherwise than brother and sister much disturbed Auristela's mind. Besides, who could impeach Periander from being jealous, beholding before his eyes, and being in the hands of so mighty a rival as this Prince? For there is no discretion of any worth, or any fidelity, able to warrant an amorous heart from the suspicions of jealousy. But the wind which blew at the poop, turning contrary, they saw them immediately strike sail and hoist them again in a moment to the ship's top. The ship, driven with the wind, began to run back the way it came and went far from the boats with incredible swiftness.

Auristela and Periander recovered their spirits and began to take breath. But the rest which were with them in the boats would willingly have forsaken them, to enter into that vessel whose tallness promised them better assurance of their lives; and fain they would have followed it, but they lost the sight there of it in less than two hours, and their only help left was to make towards an isle whose high mountains, covered with snow, made it seem hard by, albeit the same was above six leagues off. The night in the shutting of the evening was dark; they had a fore wind, thereby easing their arms, when betaking themselves to their oars, they endeavoured to recover the isle. It was about midnight, as far as the barbarian Anthony could judge by the north guards, when they came to land and, both because the waters did beat easily on the shore, and that the ebb was little, they came on ground with their boats and drew them out of the water by strength of hand.

The night was so cold that they were compelled to seek remedies against the ice, yet could they find none. Periander appointed all the women to enter into thechief boat and sit as close one to another as they could, that being clustered in an heap, their cold might be the less, and one of them heat another.

The men made a corps of guard and, placing sentinels, expected the day to discover where they were; for as yet they knew not whether the isle were inhabited or desert. And like as it is a thing natural, that cares keep any one waking, there was not one that could sleep in all the company. This the Spanish barbarian perceiving, he spake to the Italian savage, that to beguile the time, and remove the displeasure of a bad night, it might please him to relate unto them the adventures of his life, which could be none other but strange and rare, having brought him to such a state and place. "I will do it with all my heart," answered the Italian, "albeit I fear that my misfortunes having been so many, so extraordinary and unheard of, my report will not find any belief amongst you." To this replied Periander, "By those that have chanced unto us, we are taught and made apt to believe whatsoever anyone can tell us, though it incline rather to impossibility than any likelihood of truth." "Let us go then," answered the barbarian, "to the boat's side where these gentlewomen are. It may be some of them will fall asleep in hearing my tale, and peradventure some will shake off drowsiness and make declaration of pity; for it is some ease to him that relates his mishaps to see or hear anyone which hath a feeling thereof with compassion." So they stood round about the boat, and all of them gave attentive ear to him that seemed a barbarian, who began his history in this sort.

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Chapter VIII

Wherein Rutilio giveth an account of his life.

"My name is Rutilio, my country Siena, one of the most famous cities of Italy. I am by calling a professor on the viol, the only, and unmatchable in dancing, and such a one as might have been happy if I would. There was a rich knight at Siena on whom the heavens had bestowed a daughter, more fair than wise. This damsel, her father was in hand to marry unto a knight of Florence; and the better to supply with art where the gifts of nature failed, he would have me teach her to dance; for an active and gentle behaviour is better discerned in dancing than any way else. I began to teach her how to move her body, but made her forget the measures of the mind, which she easily yielded unto me; and fortune, which threw down the stream of my mishaps, induced me to take her from her father's house and carry her to Rome. But as it usually happens that love giveth us deceitful pleasures and vices bear their chastisement on their shoulders, we were both taken on the way by the diligence which her father made to follow us. Her confession and mine being that I carried away my wife, and that she went with her husband, availed nothing with the judges, but they condemned me to death. A woman came to visit me in the hole who, they said, was taken for witchcraft, and the Gaoler's wife had taken her from the prison to heal a daughter of hers, by herbs and words, of such a disease whereof the physicians were altogether ignorant.

"To be short: this witch promised to save my life if I would espouse her and I, seeing myself bound hand and foot the evening before I should be brought to execution and, as it were, the halter about my neck withoutmeans or hope of remedy, I promised the marriage which she required, upon condition she would free me from this distress. She told me that I should be without care, and that the night following, she would break the stocks and chains and, in despite of any impeachment, would set me at liberty in such a place where mine enemies, were they never so great or mighty, should do me no harm. I esteemed her, not as a sorceress, but an angel sent from heaven to deliver me. The night came, and she also in the darkness thereof approached to me, offering unto me a wand's end, willing me to take hold thereof and follow her. I was something troubled at the first meeting but, the matter concerning my life, I stood on my feet, finding myself without fetters, all the prison doors open, and as well the prisoners as the keepers buried in a dead sleep. Coming into the street, my guide spread a mantle on the ground, placed me thereon, willing me to be of good courage and give over my devotion for a time. I knew then that this was an evil sign and that she would carry me in the air. And though like a Christian I mocked at these sorceries, yet the apparent hazard of death made me nevertheless to obey her. I stood in the midst of the mantle; and she beginning to whisper words which I understood not, the mantle began to rise in the air, and I to tremble with so great fear that there was not a saint in all the litany whom I did not implore for help. She knew my fear and, perceiving my prayers, commanded me to let them alone. 'Unhappy man,' said I to myself, 'what good can I hope for, if I be forbidden to ask of God from whom all good things proceed!' I shut mine eyes and suffered myself to be transported by the devils, because witches have none other carriers. And having so flown about four hours by mine account, upon the break of the day I found myself in an unknown country. The mantle fell to the ground, and my guide saidthus unto me: 'Thou art now in a place, friend Rutilio, where no mortal creature can hurt thee.' With which words she embraced me after a lascivious manner. I thrust her back with mine arms: and by the brightness of the morning which then began to show light, I perceived that she who embraced me was in the shape of a wolf.

"This vision troubled my wits and turned my heart topsy turvy. But as it falleth out in great perils oftentimes that small hope to prevail draws courage from such whose forces are desperate; the little which I had, made me to lay hold on a knife which by chance I had about me and, with enraged fear, I furiously thrust it into her body whom I believed to have been a wolf: who, falling to the earth, lost this horrible figure, instead whereof I found dead and bleeding this unhappy sorceress.

"Consider a little, I pray you, in what case I was then: in a strange land, and without any person to conduct me. Long time I waited for the day, but it came not, neither did any token of sun-rising appear in the horizon. I went away from the corpse which had so feared and terrified me, oftentimes lifting my eyes to heaven; and considering the motion of the stars, it seemed unto me, respecting the course they had made, it should have been day a good while since. Being in this confusion, I heard certain people who came talking to the place where I was. I went against them, beseeching them in the Tuscan language to tell me the name of this country. 'This land is Norway,' said one in the same tongue. 'But who art thou which in these quarters, and in a speech which so few do understand, makest this demand?' In few words I gave him an account of my voyage, and withal the death of the sorceress. He which spake to me showed a compassionate feeling of my mishaps, and said thus:

"'Thou mayest thank God, good man, for havingdelivered thee from the hands of these sorcerers, whereof there are very many in these northern countries. Men say they transform themselves into wolves, as well men as women, for there are such of both sexes. How they do this I know not: but being a Christian and a Catholic, I believe not any such thing, and yet experience hath made me see so much. That which I can herein conceive, is, that these transformations are nothing else but the devil's illusions permitted by God for man's correction.' I asked him what time of the day it might be: he told me that in these countries, far towards the north, the year was distinguished into four seasons, and that there were three months continually night wherein the sun could not be seen above the earth in any sort; three months twilight of the day, not being absolutely day or night; three months of bright day, wherein the sun never went down; and other three months of the night's twilight: that the season wherein they now were, was twilight of the day, and that it were a vain hope to expect as yet the sun's brightness or think upon return into my country till the season of the day, wherein ships went from those coasts to carry merchandise into England, France and Spain. He demanded of me if I knew any trade whereby to get my living till the time of the year came wherein I might return. I told him I was a master to teach dancing, a great caperer, and a good player on the viol. Hereat he began to laugh, and said that these exercises were never used in that country.

"In conclusion, he asked me if I had any skill in goldsmith's craft and I answered, I could learn whatsoever he would teach me. 'Come with me then,' said he: 'yet first of all, our best course is to commit to the earth this wretched woman.' Having then buried her, he brought me into a town where all those that walked in the streets carried light staves of pine tree in theirhands and so traded in their affairs. As we walked together, I enquired of him when and how he came into that country, and if he were indeed an Italian. His answer hereunto was that, one of his grandfathers coming as a merchant from Italy to Norway, was there married; and having taught his children his language, it extended itself to all their lineage, unto him who was one of the old man's nephews; who, overswayed by the love of his wife and children, was made a free denizen of this country, not having any mind of Italy or any friends or kindred which he had there.

"If I should now discourse of the house I entered into, the wife, children, servants and riches which I there found, the welcome and good entertainment they made me, I should never make an end. So it fell out, that in a small time I learned his occupation, and made myself able to get my living. In the mean season the great day came, and my master would carry part of his merchandise to certain isles hard by, and to others a great way off. I also bore him company, partly for curiosity's sake, and partly to sell certain commodities which I had, for I had already gotten me a stock; in which voyage I saw things worthy of admiration and astonishment, others to give contentment of laughter, observing the customs and ceremonies not viewed or practised by other nations. In the end, two months after, we underwent a storm of forty days' continuance, and at last fell amongst the rocks on the isle from whence we came, where our ship broke in pieces and, of those that were therein, I only was left alive.

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Chapter IX

Wherein Rutilio prosecuteth his story.

"The first thing which I saw was a barbarian hanged on a tree, whereby I knew that I was in the land of the savages; whereupon fear instantly presented before mine eyes a thousand kinds of death. And not knowing what to do, I feared and expected them all at once. In the end, necessity being, as men say, the mother of arts, an extraordinary conceit came into my mind which caused me to take down the barbarian from the tree and, having put off my clothes and buried them in the sand, I put on his attire, which could not choose but fit me well, being none other but skins unsewn and never cut out by measure, but bound only on the body as you have seen. The better to dissemble their language and not be known for a stranger, I fained myself dumb and deaf and, with this industry, I passed further into the isle, skipping and capering in the air. I had not gone far before I descried a troop of barbarians, who came round about me, demanding in their tongue (as I knew afterward) who I was, how I was called, whither I went, and from whence I came. My answer to them was silence: and making all the signs and demonstrations I could of one that was dumb, I withdrew myself from them, iterating my leaps and capers. The children followed me and forsook me not whithersoever I went, and with this policy I passed for a barbarian and dumb; and the children, to see me leap, fed me with such victuals as they had.

"In this manner I continued three years amongst them, and might there have spent my whole life without being known. I observed their language with such diligence and curiosity that I learned a great part thereof and knewthe prophecy which an old barbarian, on whom they marvellously depended, had made as touching their kingdom. For accomplishment whereof, I have seen many men sacrificed, and divers maids bought for this effect, until the burning happened which you know. I saved myself from the fire, I gave advertisement to the prisoners in the dungeon, where I believe you have been. Afterwards espying these boats, I ran down to the seaside, my prayers found place in your generous minds, you received me aboard: for which I give you infinite thanks, hoping through heaven's favour, which hath drawn us out of so great misery, that there is kept in store for us an happy end of our voyage."

Thus Rutilio finished his relation, which made all such as heard him to marvel with contentment. The day came, which was cloudy, boisterous, and with great likelihood of snow. Auristela then gave to Periander that which she had received of Clelia, namely, two boxes of wax, in one whereof was a rich cross of diamonds, and in the other two round pearls of inestimable value. By these jewels it was known that they were persons of quality, although it better appeared in the gentleness of their spirits and in the sweetness of their behaviour, than which nothing could be more pleasing.

The barbarian Anthony, seeing that it was day, entered a little further into the isle; but having descried nothing but mountains covered with snow, he returned back to the boats, and brought them news that this country was desert; for which cause they must speedily depart, and go and seek elsewhere to defend themselves from the cold and prevent other necessities which at that present threatened them. This was the cause that they put to sea with as much haste as possibly they could, shaping their course to another isle which they kenned not far from thence. As they rowed, each boat having only two oars apiece, they heard a voice issuing from oneof the two other barks, the sweetness whereof induced them to hearken diligently. They observed, but especially the barbarian Anthony, that the words which were sung were in the language of Portugal, which he well understood. But as they were more attentive to give ear, the voice was silent, and then began again to sing in Spanish, according to none other instrument but that of the oars, which easily drove forth the boats in the calm sea. "This fellow," said Ricla, "must needs be void of business, that singeth out in such a season." But Periander and Auristela were of another opinion, for contrary-wise they judged him more amorous than idle: for loves conjoin easily in friendship with such as know or feel their own evils. They took such a course that he which sung came into their boat, as well to delight themselves with his voice hard by, as to know what adventure had befallen him; because they thought that he who could sing in such a time either must suffer much distress of mind, or none at all. The boats came close together; the musician entered into that wherein was Periander; and being courteously received of all those that were there, he spake unto them half in Spanish, and the other half in the Portugal tongue.

"I first give thanks to God, then to you gentlemen, and lastly to my voice, for this exchange; yet I think very shortly to ease you of the burden of my body, for the torments of my soul make me to judge sufficiently of the shortness of my life." "You shall have better success than you imagine," said Periander, "and believe not that any griefs in the world can kill anyone, seeing mine have yet left me alive." "Hope," said Auristela, "overswayed by misfortunes, is no more hope: which, as the light best shineth in darkness, ought to be strongest in the midst of afflictions. It is an act of a base mind, and there is no greater cowardice, than to yield to despair, to free himself from troubles." "All this is true," answered themusician, "and I believe it in despite and scorn of all the experiments which I have made during my whole life."

This discourse nothing hindered their rowing so that, before night, they came to another isle which also was void of inhabitants, but not of trees, whereof many were laden with fruit which might serve for food, though they were dry and out of season. All of them skipped to land, whither they drew the boats, applying themselves to break down boughs from the trees and make a great cabin to defend themselves that night from the cold. They also kindled a fire by rubbing two dry staves one against the other. And because all of them set their hands to work, the poor frame was quickly set up, whither they all withdrew themselves, supplying the discommodity of the place by the greatness of the fire which they kindled. This miserable cabin seemed to them a royal palace: they assuaged their extreme hunger, and had quickly fallen asleep, but were letted by the desire which Periander had to know the success of this musician, praying him, if it were possible, to tell the story of his hard fortunes, for they could not possibly be good in these places. The courteous musician, without further entreaty, said thus unto him.

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Chapter X

Of that which the amorous Portugal recounted.

"I will finish my story with as few words as I can possible, and therewith end my life, if I may credit a certain dream which hath troubled my mind the last night. I am by nation a Portugal, of noble blood, and rich in the goods of nature and fortune. My name is Manuel de Sosa; my country, Lisbon, and my profession a soldier. Next unto my father's house, and but a wall betwixt,another knight dwelt, of the ancient stock of the Peregras, who had one only daughter, heir of his goods, the staff and hope of her parents' welfare, who for her birth, wealth and beauty was desired in marriage by the best of the realm. And I who, being next neighbour to her house had best means to see her, I viewed her, got knowledge of her, and adored her with more doubtful than certain hope to espouse her. And to gain time, knowing she could not be won with prayers, promises, nor gifts, I brought to pass that one of my parents demanded her friends that I might have her to wife, because that in birth, revenues or age there was no difference betwixt us. Answer was made that their daughter Leonor was not yet old enough to be married and that I should stay yet two years, assuring me on their words, that in all that time they would not dispose of their daughter without giving me notice.

"This first blow I endured with patience, but left not to serve her openly by colour of mine honest intent, which was immediately known over all the city. She, with her parents' licence, received my services, witnessing that, if she were not delighted therewith, at the least she did not despise them.

"It fell so about this time that the king sent me for General of part of his forces which held in Barbary. The day came when I should depart and, forasmuch as it was not also the day of my death, there is no absence which killeth, nor pain which consumeth. I spake unto her father, praying him that he would again give me his word to stay for me these two years; which he granted me, and permitted me to take my leave of his wife and daughter, which came forth with her mother into the hall; and with her came honesty, bravery and modesty. I fell in a trance when I saw so many perfections of beauty hard by me. I would have spoken, but my heart and voice failed me, my tongue cleaved to the roof of mymouth, and I neither knew nor was able to do anything else than hold my peace, and by my silence give a forcible token in what astonishment I was. This, her father perceiving, who was both wise and courteous, he embraced me with these words: 'Ever, Sir Manuel, the days of departure inhibit the freedom of the tongue, and it may be this silence doth speak better in your favour than eloquence itself would do. Go and execute your charge, and return as soon as you can, for I will not fail in one point of that which concerneth my word, or your service. My daughter Leonor is obedient; my wife hath care to please me; and I have the desire which I have spoken: with which three things you may look for an happy event of your purpose.'

"These words were in such sort imprinted in my memory that I have never forgotten them, nor shall do as long as I live. The fair Leonor or her mother spake no more than I. Thence I departed to go into Barbary: two years I followed my charge, and then returned to Lisbon, and found that the renown of Leonor's beauty had not only passed the walls of the city, but the frontiers of the realm, and was extended into all Spain and divers other parts, whereupon embassies were sent from princes and lords whose purpose was to marry her.

"In the end, seeing the term of two years expired, I again beseeched her father to give her unto me. Oh, wretched man that I am! It is not possible for me to stand any longer upon these circumstances; for I perceive death calleth for my life, and I fear will not give me liberty to declare my mishaps which, if it might fall out, I would not hold them for such. To be brief, upon a certain day, they advertised me that the Sunday following they would give me my desired Leonor. At which news, my contentment was so much that it had well-nigh cost me my life. I invited my parents, called my friends, providedapparel, and sent presents, and did whatsoever might make declaration that I should be married unto Leonor.

"The day being come, I was accompanied with the best in the city to a monastery of religious nuns called the Mother of God, where they said my mistress waited for me the day before, because she would have her marriage solemnised in this monastery with the licence of the Archbishop of that city."

Here the sorrowful knight paused a little, as it were to take breath, and then went forward with his discourse after this manner. "I came to the monastery, which was richly garnished. Almost all the chief personages of the realm came forth before me, which stood there waiting with an infinite number of the greatest ladies of the town. It seemed as though the church would have fallen down, by reason of the music of voices and instruments. At the sound whereof, the incomparable Leonor came forth, accompanied with the Prioress and many other religious women, attired in a gown of white satin without veil, cut after the Spanish fashion upon green cloth of gold, and the cuts tied with great rich pearl. Her hair was spread in length upon her shoulders, which were so yellow that they defaced the sun's brightness and so long that they kissed the ground. The girdle, chain, and jewels which she wore could hardly be valued. Once more I affirm that she came forth so fair, so brave, and so perfect, that she caused the women to envy, and the men to admire her. For myself, I confess, in seeing her I thought myself unworthy to deserve her. There was in the church, as it were, a scaffold in the midst of the choir where our marriage should be joyfully solemnised, upon which Leonor ascended first, where she more evidently discovered the excellency of her beauty. She appeared to all those that beheld her like the morning at break of day or, as the fables report, as Diana appearing in the woods;but the discreeter sort would compare her to none but herself.

"I came up next on the same scaffold, thinking that I should mount to heaven; and kneeling down before her, I did seem in a manner to worship her. All the temple resounded with the voices of an infinite number of persons, who said, 'Live you happy, lovers! Many years may you live in the world: let your children stand round about your table: and your love be extended to your children's children: let not your hearts ever be touched with jealousy: let envy lie prostrate at your feet; and good fortune never forsake your house.'

"All these blessings filled my soul with contentment, seeing the common pleasure which the people had of my fortune. Then the fair Leonor took me by the hand and, speaking somewhat louder, she said thus. 'You know well, Sir Manuel, how my father gave you his word that he would not dispose of my person in two years, accounting from the time that you demanded me in marriage. And I also said unto you, as I remember, when I saw myself urged by your suit, being thereunto bound by infinite services which I owe rather to your courtesy than my desert, that I would never have any other husband upon earth but you. My father, as you have seen, hath performed his word; and I will hold mine unto you as you shall perceive. And because I know that deceits, although they be honourable or profitable, cannot be void of some treason when they are prolonged, I will in a word bring you out of that error wherein you suppose I have brought you. I am married, sir, and my husband is living, and by no means in the world can I be married unto any other. I leave you not for any one in earth, but for one which is in heaven. Jesus Christ, very God and Man, is my true husband: I have given to him my word rather than to you; to him without any deceit, and with my whole will:to you with dissimulation, and without any assurance. I confess, if I should have chosen a spouse in earth, there is none equal unto you: but if, because I have chosen GOD in heaven, you think this to be deceitful or ill dealing, inflict on me what pain you will, or call me by what name you please: for there is no promise, threatening or death which shall separate me from my spouse which was crucified.'

"Here she ended her speech; and at the same time the Prioress and the other nuns began to take off her clothes, and to cut the precious tresses of her hair. I stood like one dumb without reply and, kneeling before her, yet without tears, half by force I kissed her hand. She, with christian pity, cast her arm about my neck. I rose up, and speaking aloud that all might understand me, I uttered this saying: 'She hath chosen the best part'. Having so said, I descended from the scaffold, returning to mine own house in the company of my friends: where so strange a success passing to and fro in my fantasy, in a manner I lost my wits, and for the same cause am now presently to lose my life." With that he gave a great sigh, and falling to the ground he yielded up the ghost.

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Chapter XI

The death of the Spanish gentleman, and how Periander and his company landed in another island.

Periander hastily ran unto him, and found that he was dead, leaving them all in confusion and marvel at such a strange accident. "This sleep," then said Auristela, "hath excused this poor knight from telling us his last night's dream, the prison of the barbarians, and the distresses which have brought him unto such a lamentableend." Hereunto the barbarous Anthony replied, "Misfortunes are always no less to be feared, than at what hour they end their lives that suffer them."

They provided for his burial in the best manner they could. His proper clothes did serve for his winding sheet: the snow, for the earth: and for the cross, they took that which they found on his breast under a waistcoat, being a crucifix, because he was a knight wearing Christ's cognisance. Neither was it needful to have found for him this honourable token of nobility, for his grave countenance and wise discourse had before very sufficiently assured them thereof. Compassion did her wonted office, drawing tears from all the company.

Shortly after the day appeared, they brought down the boats into the water, and it seemed to them that a smooth and calm sea expected their coming: and they betwixt fear and hope, not too sad, nor yet overjoyed, went on their course, not knowing whither they should be brought. These seas are all full of small islands, desert for the most part. If any be peopled, they are inhabited by rustics and half barbarians, of small courtesy and much pride. Yet herewithal they desired in some one of them to receive entertainment, because they could not believe that their inhabitants could be so cruel, but that the mountains of snow and steep rocks, which they left behind hard by, did far surmount them. They floated on the waters ten days, without taking any port, land or covert, leaving as well on the right hand as on the left many small isles, which none could perceive to be inhabited. At last, casting their eyes on a great mountain which they then descried, they strove with all their forces to come thither, because their boats were leaky, and their provision of victuals now failed. And being there arrived, more by the favour of heaven than strength of their arms, they saw two men on the shore, to whom Transilla called, asking of what countrythey were, and what religion they professed. They answered in a language which she understood, that this isle was called Holland, and by religion they were Christians, although the place were in a manner desert, because the inhabitants were so few that all of them had but one house, which served for lodging to a number of people that came to a harbour; which they pointed with their hand to be on the other side of a small rock. "And if you desire to provide yourselves of anything, follow us by direction of the eye, and we will bring you to the haven."

Those in the boats gave God thanks, and by sea followed their guides that went by land. And having doubled the rock which was showed them, they saw a covert that might be called a haven, wherein were ten or twelve bottoms, some small, some mean, some great. Their joy was much to see them, hoping to change their vessels, having assurance with less hazard to conclude their voyage.

As they came ashore, other people came forth to receive them, as well from the lodging, as from the ships.

Auristela got to land in the arms of Periander, having on that apparel which he was attired with when Arnaldo sold him to the barbarians. With her came forth the fair Transilla; the excellent barbarian Constance, and her mother Ricla, followed with all the other that came in the boats.

The view of this admirable troop did bring such astonishment to them of sea and land that little failed that they had not fallen down on their faces to worship Auristela. They beheld her in silence with such respect that they durst not speak a word, for fear that they should be otherwise employed than to look upon her. The fair Transilla, who as before we have said, had found by trial that they understood her speech, was the first that broke this silence, and spake thus unto them.

"Our evil fortune, continued until this day, hath brought us now upon your coast. You may know by our furniture and mild demeanour that we rather seek peace than war, for neither women nor men in distress have any desire to fight. Receive us, my masters, into your lodging, or your ships; for the boats which brought us hither can no longer carry us without wreck at the first commotion of the waters. And if you will give unto us things necessary in exchange, either for gold or silver, you shall be recompensed abundantly with ease at the highest rate you sell, which we will as cheerfully receive, as if it were freely given us." Hereunto a man seeming to belong to one of the ships, answered in Spanish:

"He should be of small judgement, fair gentlewoman, that would anything doubt of your speech; for although leasing do dissemble, and hurt disguiseth itself under the mask of truth and honesty, it is not possible to find place to lodge with so great beauty as yours. The Master of this lodging is courteous, so likewise are those of the ships: choose whether you like best, to come hither, or go to them aboard; for you shall be received of the one, or the other, as your worthiness doth deserve." "Since the heaven," said the barbarian Anthony, hearing him speak in his own language, "hath brought us into a place where the sweet tongue of my nation resoundeth in mine ears, I already am certainly assured that my misfortunes are at an end. Let us to the lodging, my masters; and when we have rested a while, we will take order to proceed on our journey with greater safety than we have had hitherto."

Then a mariner which was in the top of one of the ships, cried out in the English tongue, "I spy a ship going directly before the wind and sea, which cometh with full sail into this road." They all prepared themselves to stand on their guard, and in the same place attended the ship, which appeared to be very nigh untothem. When they joined, they saw red crosses overthwart the sails, and knew that in a flag hanging on the main top-mast were painted the arms of England. The ship discharged two pieces of ordnance and about twenty musket-shot. Upon the land they made a sign of peace with their voices, because they had no artillery to answer them.

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Chapter XII

Where is told whence they were that came in the ship.

After the salutations on both parts, as well by those on land as them at sea, were finished as we have said, those of the ship let fall their anchors, and presently hoisted a skiff into the water, which four mariners hanged about with tapestry. And taking them to their oars, there entered an old man, seeming to be three score years old, attired in a gown of black velvet reaching down to his feet, lined with furs and girt with a silken cord. On his head he wore a hat high and sharp-pointed, which seemed to be of rich furs. After him came into the boat a lusty and brave young man, four or five and twenty years old, attired likewise in black velvet, with a gilt sword in his hand and a poniard at his girdle. Soon after they threw from the ship into the boat, a man laden with irons, and a woman also fastened like him to the same irons: he was about forty years of age, and she more than fifty. The mariners forced forward their skiff and immediately came to land.

Transilla, who no less than the other was earnest in beholding those that came in this skiff, turning to Auristela, she said thus unto her. "I pray you, fair gentlewoman, cover my face a little with your scarf, for that either my knowledge is small, or those which come in thisboat are such persons as I know, and which know me also." Auristela gave her her scarf, and straightway those of the boat came ashore, who were received amongst them with all manner of courtesy. Then the old man in the furred hat, approaching to Transilla said thus unto her. "If my skill deceive me not, fortune hath not contradicted me in this meeting." And in speaking these words, he lifted up the veil which covered the face of Transilla, and fell in a swoon in her arms. Doubtless, we may believe that a novelty so little expected could not but plunge the standers-by in a deep admiration, and so much the more when they heard Transilla say, "O Father, what manner of coming hither is this? Who brought your white hairs and reverend years into lands so far from your native soil?" The young man then answered, "Who should bring him, but only a desire to find you? Both he and I come to find the North Pole, which might conduct us to the haven of rest. But seeing, praised be God, we have found it, bring again to himself Sir Maurice, and grant that I may have some part of his mirth in receiving him as your father, and me as your spouse." Maurice recovered, and Transilla succeeded him immediately in the like swooning. Auristela hastened to succour her. Ladislas, who was the young man, came not to her, that he might observe a greater respect on her behalf. But, as these trances proceeding of joy either quickly stop the passages of life or pass away instantly, that of Transilla was of small continuance.

The Master of the lodging entreated them to come in, that he might entertain them with more commodity and less feeling of the cold. They followed his advice and entering into the lodging, they found it great, and sufficient to lodge a navy. The two prisoners were also brought thither by the arquebusiers, who had them in custody. Some ran to the ships to fetch victuals: others lighted candles, and furnished the tables: where, withoutentering into any discourse, they all satisfied their hunger, rather with divers kinds of fish which they were served with, than any other kind of food, for there was none other flesh but certain fowls, which they breed up in these parts after so strange a manner, that I cannot but relate it.

They thrust down staves on the seashore among the rocks, half within the water, and half above. Within a small time after, that which is covered is converted into stone, and that which remaineth above, corrupteth: and of that corruption is engendered a little bird which, flying to land, waxeth greater, and is so good meat that these are the best victuals they have. These fowls are called Barnacles, and do chiefly abound in Ireland. The desire, which all of them had to know the adventures of them which last arrived, made them think their supper continued over long; which being finished, the old Maurice laying his hand on the table, made a sign that all should give him audience. Everyone held their peace: and as their lips were closed up in silence, curiosity at the same time opened their ears: which when Maurice perceived, he spake in this manner.

"I was born in one of the seven isles neighbouring about Ireland, and am issued from so ancient a family, that it sufficeth to say, I am lineally descended from the Maurices, for hereunto more cannot be added. I am a christian Catholic, and none of those which seek for the truth in their opinions. My parents brought me up to study as well the war as my book, if I may say there be any study in warfare. Above all sciences, I have had most delight in judicial astrology, wherein I have gotten a renown sufficiently famous. I married a fair gentlewoman, one of the chiefest of my city, of whom I had this daughter which is here present. I followed such customs of my country which were conformable to reason and the others only in outward show; for manytimes dissimulation is profitable. I have had the care of bringing up this maid, for her mother died two years after her birth: and I lost the staff of mine age, and the care of this child's education increased. For ease whereof, it being too heavy a burden for weak and weary shoulders, perceiving her old enough to be married I gave her this young man sitting by my side, having first obtained my daughter's consent; for I hold it reasonable that fathers should marry their daughters with their good wills. For it is not for a day that they must keep company together, but all the time of their life. Which, many fathers contemning, have been the occasion of infinite inconveniences which have followed thereupon, and will hereafter always ensue. Now, you must know that in our country there is a custom, the worst of all those that are wickedly observed, which is that, the marriage agreed upon, and the wedding day come, those that are espoused, and their brothers if they have any, together with the nearest kindred on both parts, meet in a house: some to be witnesses, others to be executioners, for I may well term them such. The bride is put into a rich chamber, there staying till her husband's brothers, or (in default of such) the nearest kinsfolk come to gather flowers in that garden where her husband only should have entrance. A custom brutish and barbarous: for what richer dowry can a maid bring to her husband than her virginity? Because honesty should always walk with shamefastness, and shamefastness with honesty: for where either of these is lost, all beauty of the world is to be despised.

"I have many times gone about to persuade my citizens to relinquish so prodigious a custom, but I could no sooner propound it but that which I counselled them unto was pursued with many threatenings whereby I find it is true, that custom is another nature, and change is as grievous as death.

"Finally, my daughter shut up herself in the chamber, staying till this custom might take effect. And when a brother of her husband's would have entered to begin this bad action, behold: forth came Transilla into the hall where we all abode, with a dart in her hand: fair as the sun, but furious like a lioness."

Hitherto Maurice had continued his history, and everyone hearkened unto him with all attention possible, when Transilla, taking again the same courage that she had at that time when she was seen in the occasion related by her father, she rose up, her speech troubled with anger, her face with blushing, and her eyes on fire, with a gesture that might have made her less fair than she was, if great beauties could be abated by accident; and taking the word from her father's mouth, she spake that which shall be told you in another chapter.

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Chapter XIII

Wherein Transilla prosecuteth the story begun by her Father.

"I came forth," said Transilla, "into the great hall, as my father was about to tell you, and looking round about, threatening these barbarous people with my dart's point, who, under colour of compliments would till another man's field, I passed through the midst of them, and came into the street, having no company but my displeasure; and from thence with one race to the seaside where, after a thousand discourses which I made in my fantasy, I entered into a boat which there I found by chance; and taking hold of a pair of oars, I rowed from the land as far as I could. But seeing they followed me in greater boats which were forced forward with more strength than mine, and that it was impossible to save myselfby flight, I left the oars which I had taken and took again the dart which I had left, with an intent to abide them, and rather to lose my life than yield myself again into their power: first, revenging the wrong which they were about to offer me. The heaven, pitying my misfortune, raised such a wind that my boat was carried into the main sea without help of oars, until it came to a current which drove it with violence a great deal more forward, depriving my pursuers of all hope to overtake me; who durst not hazard themselves to pass any further." "It is very true," said Ladislas, "that I had not left off to follow you, as she that carried my soul with her: but the night came, we lost your sight; and besides, lost all hope ever to find you alive, but only in the tongues of renown, which will never suffer an action to die so worthy to be made famous." "It fell out," said Transilla, "that the same wind drove me on a certain shore where I found fishermen, who gently received me, provided my lodging, and besides offered me an husband if I had none, and I believe without any such conditions as I fled from. But like as covetousness reigneth everywhere, and stretcheth her empire even unto the rocks and gulfs of the sea, yea, into the most hard and wild hearts: she entered this night into these clownish minds, which agreed among themselves to sell me to the pirates whom they had descried nigh unto that place; for that the booty which they had made of me all together could not be divided. I could well have offered them a greater price than they demanded of the pirates, but I rather chose to fall into their hands than return into those of my citizens.

As the rovers passed by, the next morning, they sold me unto them, I know not at what rate; but first they spoiled me of all the bride's jewels which I wore. I may say that the thieves used me better than my kinsfolk, willing me not to torment myself, because they hadnot bought me to be made a slave but to be a queen, yea, queen of the whole universe, if the prophecies of this barbarous isle, whereof there was so much talk in the world, were not false and lying.

"How I came thither, after what sort the barbarians received me, and how I learned their tongue, their manners, ceremonies and customs, the vain accomplishment of their prophecy, the meeting of these gentlemen, the burning of the isle, and finally, the obtaining of our liberty, I may tell you another time at more leisure, and to better purpose. In the mean time I will resign the place to my father, to the end he may declare unto us what fortune hath brought him to make mine so good, whereas least of all I expected it."

Thus Transilla finished her discourse, holding all the company enchained to her sweet tongue and in admiration of her beauty. And then Maurice her father spake thus unto her. "Thou knowest, my girl, that among my studies and most pleasing exercises I was chiefly addicted to those of judicial astrology, because when they are met withal they better content men's desires than any other, not only in things past and present, but likewise in such as are yet to come. I then seeing thee to be lost, noted the hour and minute, observed the stars, considered the aspects of the planets, their places, and houses necessary, to the end my pains might answer my desire. For no science is so apt to beguile as this art. The deceit lieth only in want of true knowledge, which chiefly happeneth by the swiftness of the heavens, bearing all the stars with them: whose influence cometh to us in one place and not in another. And if the astrologer sometimes hit right in his judgements, this is because he leaneth to that which is most likely to be true and oftenest experimented. And the best astrologer in the world is the devil, who is many times deceived, although he judge not of future events by this science alone, but alsoby conjectures; which we that are but learners in this science cannot do but by divers assays and little assurance. Notwithstanding all this, I found that thy loss should continue two years, and that I should find thee again this very day, and in this very place, to make my white hairs young, and to give God thanks for the recovery of my riches, rejoicing my mind with thy presence, although I know that this shall be with the expense and cost of some tears. For good successes are ordinarily balanced by mishaps, which have, as it were, a lordship and possession amidst our fortunes to teach us that there is no eternal good thing in this life, nor evil which is infinite." "God will afford us this favour," then said Auristela, who had been silent a long time, "to send us an happy voyage, because that so good a meeting promiseth us no less."

The woman prisoner, who had heard Transilla most attentively, rose up, though she were in irons and, in despite of him to whom she was chained, who would have hindered her, spake that which followeth in another chapter.

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Chapter XIV

Wherein is declared who were the prisoners enchained.

"If such as are afflicted may have liberty to speak before them that are in happy case, I beseech all this company here to grant me so much for this once. I will be nothing troublesome, for the shortness of my speech shall moderate the displeasure which might arise by hearkening thereunto. Thou complainest," said she, turning towards Transilla, "of the barbarous custom of the city, as though it were a savage action to walk a horse in a race, before he run the career. But know that in all things,experience is the mistress of arts; and it had been better to fall in thine husband's company after thou hast been tried, than not to fall in any sort whatsoever." At this last word, the man that was in chains with her struck her on the face with his fist, and with threats thus said unto her:

"O Rosamond, it is no marvel that thou, having spent thy whole life in wantonness, dost now condemn as evil the honesty of gentlewomen. Know ye gentlemen," said he, looking on all them that were by, "that this woman whom ye see bound, like one out of her wits, is that famous Rosamond heretofore so much beloved by the King of England that she commanded the king and the realm, made and dissolved the laws, advanced the vicious which were put down, and overthrew the virtuous which were promoted. She was so boundless in her pleasures that, breaking the chains of adamant wherewith she had fastened the king's heart, her outrageous and unruly appetites constrained him to leave her, with as much contempt as he had honoured her before. As touching myself, I lived full of despite, with desire to make known to the world how the favours of my prince were ill bestowed in his affection which he bore to this wanton. For I have a certain envious mind, a satirical pen and a railing tongue, delighting in despiteful jests: and to utter one, I would not only lose a friend, but an hundred thousand lives. Neither prisons nor banishments could stop my mouth, no threats terrify me, no correction amend me. To be brief, the day of our last payment came to us both at once. The king proclaimed throughout his realm that none should give her either in alms, or for money, anything else but bread to eat and water to drink, and that they should conduct me with her, into one of these desolate isles which are here: which punishment is more cruel unto me than if they had taken away my life, for thetime I pass in her company." "Consider Clodio," said Rosamond, "how much I dislike thy fellowship; for a thousand times I was in mind to cast myself into the sea, and the cause why I did not effect it, was, lest I should drag thee after me. For if I could be in hell without thee, my torments would be mitigated. I confess my faults have been great, but they have lighted on a weak subject; whereas thine lay on the shoulders of a man of great strength, which nevertheless have produced none other benefit but a vain delight, and lighter than the chaff which is carried away in a whirlwind. Thou hast shamed the reputation of a thousand honest women, and blasted the honour of as many worthy men; defamed as many families as thou hast known; and discovered as many secrets as thou hast had notice of. In the end, thou hast been so hardy to reprove thy king, thy citizens, thy friends, thine own kindred, and discredit all the world. I would the king had been pleased that I might have ended my life by any other kind of death than by the wounds I receive continually from thy tongue, from which neither heaven nor the saints can be sometime secured." "And herewithal," said Clodio, "my conscience doth not accuse me ever to have told a lie." "It hath enough to accuse thee," said Rosamond, "were it but for the verities thou hast spoken: for all truths must not be blazed abroad to the view of everyone."

"She hath reason then," spake Maurice, "in saying that the truth of faults committed in secret ought not to be made public, especially those of kings: for it belongeth not to a private man to reprove his sovereign, nor blaze the princes' faults in their subjects' hearing. Neither should this be a means to amend their errors, but to make small reckoning thereof; for that sometimes, open correction hardeneth his nature that receiveth it, and rather maketh him wilful than able to be reformed. And if correction amongst all should be with brotherlyaffection, why should not the prince enjoy this privilege? Moreover, the honour which is lost by writing can never be restored; without which, the offences are never pardoned. Hereupon, by good right, writers of invectives are banished, and drawn from their houses: not only without honour, but besides with infamy." "I know all this," answered Clodio; "but if I may not be suffered to speak nor write, though they cut off my tongue and mine arms, yet I would put my mouth to the ground and cry as loud as I could, until that reeds should spring there, as it happened to Midas." "Let us make peace between Rosamond and Clodio," said Ladislas, "and let us marry them together. It may be, through the sacramental blessing and both their discretions, they will alter their course of life, in changing their estate." "I will sooner," said Rosamond, "thrust a knife into my body to let out my soul, which is already at my teeth, having only heard speech of such an unhappy marriage." "I will not kill myself," said Clodio; "for though I have a bad tongue, yet the pleasure I take in speaking evil when I speak well, maketh me have a desire to live. It is true that I am purposed to shun the face of princes; for they have long arms, and can reach wheresoever, and whomsoever they list, as experience hath made me perceive. And also charity teacheth us to pray for the life and health of the prince, though he be wicked." "He that knoweth all this," said the barbarian Anthony, "is at the point of amendment. There is no sin so great but repentance will blot it out: yet words are like stones, which let go from the hand, return not to the place from whence they came but after they have given the stroke; and so, seldom it happeneth that to repent of that which is spoken, can lessen the offence: yet this is the best physic for diseases of the soul."

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Chapter XV

Of Prince Arnaldo's arrival at the island where Periander and his company were.

They were in this discourse when a mariner came into the lodging to tell them that a great ship was coming to the haven, which he had no knowledge of. He had scarcely said so much but they heard the great guns of the same ship, which had saluted those in the haven, and those of Maurice which answered them. All those in the lodging came immediately to the haven and Periander, seeing the ship newly arrived, knew it pertained to the Prince of Denmark, whereat he was nothing contented but, contrarily, it turned his heart upside-down. The like alarms his Auristela received, as she that knew by long experience the love which Arnaldo bore her; neither could she imagine how the wills of him and Periander should agree together but that the arrows of jealousy must go through their souls. Arnaldo was now come to the haven and Periander came foremost to receive him; but Auristela stirred not from her place, but rather would have desired that her feet might be planted in the ground and converted into roots, as happened to the daughter of Penæas when she fled before Apollo.

When Arnaldo saw Periander, he knew him, and skipping from the boat's stern to land, said thus in embracing him. "If I, Periander, were so happy as to find with thee thy sister Auristela, I could fear no evil, nor hope for so great a good." "She is with me, valorous prince," said Periander, "for the heavens being careful to favour thine honest and virtuous intents have preserved her for thee." Already they all were informed that this was the Prince of Denmark, and yet Auristela remained immovable and dumb like an image. With her was the fair Transilla, and the two that seemed barbarians,Ricla and Constance. Arnaldo came near and, kneeling before Auristela: "Thou art well found, O North Pole which my thoughts do follow, and the fixed star that guidest me to the haven of my desires." To all this Auristela answered nothing but tears, which began to wash the roses of her cheeks. Arnaldo, confounded at such an accident, could not judge whether it proceeded from sadness or joy, but Periander, who observed all the motions of Auristela, put him out of doubt, saying: "My lord, the silence of my sister proceedeth from admiration to see you in a place where you were so little expected, and her tears from the pleasure which she hath to see you, in remembrance of the debts she owes you for the good and honest entertainment which she hath received at your hands." Herewithal they returned to the lodging, the tables were covered again, their hearts were filled with joy and the glasses with excellent wines, for they become so good by carriage on the sea that there is no nectar comparable thereunto.

This second dinner was made for Arnaldo's sake, to whom Periander related what had befallen him in the barbarous isle, with the liberty of Auristela and all other accidents whereof we have made mention, which caused Arnaldo to marvel and, withal, astonished and rejoiced all the whole company.

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Chapter XVI

The discourse that passed between Arnaldo and Periander touching Auristela.

Then spake the Master of the inn: "I know not if I ought to say that I am sorry for the fair weather which the signs of heaven promise unto the sea. The sun is pure and bright, there is not a cloud to be seeneither nigh or far off. The waves gently beat the shore, the birds walk nigh the sea, which are all tokens of a certain and continued calm which will induce these so many honourable guests to leave me alone." "It is true," said Maurice, "for albeit we dearly esteem and like your company, yet the desire we have to return to our own homes will not permit us to enjoy the same any long time. As for myself, I purpose this night at the first watch to set sail, if my pilot be of that mind." Whereunto Arnaldo replied: "The loss of time can never be recovered, and that which is vainly spent in navigation cannot be repaired." In effect, all those which were in the haven agreed that night to shape their course for England. Arnaldo took Periander by the hand, and went with him out of the inn; and seeing themselves alone, that none could hear what was spoken, he said thus unto him. "It is not possible, Periander, but thy sister Auristela hath told thee the purpose which within these two years after she came into the power of the king my father, I have testified unto her, so conformable to her honest desires, that never any word issued out of my mouth which might trouble her chaste intentions. I never would know her affairs any further than she was willing to tell me, representing her to mine imagination, not as an ordinary personage, but as a queen: for her honesty and surpassing discretion would not suffer me to conceive any other than honest and discreet thoughts.

"A thousand times I have offered myself to be her husband, with my father's consent, and yet me thought mine offer was but small. Always she made me answer, that until she had been at Rome, whither she was going to accomplish a vow, she could not dispose of her person. She never would declare unto me the quality of her own or her parents' birth, nor have I been importunate with her to tell me, because without depending upon other nobility than her own virtue, the same alone ofitself sufficiently deserveth not only the Crown of Denmark but moreover the monarchy of the world.

"I have spoken unto thee thus much, Periander, to the intent that, as a man of understanding and wit, thou shouldest consider what fortune knocketh at the gate of thine and thy sister's profit: to whom I presently offer myself to be her husband, promising to accomplish this offer when she will, and where she will, be it under this poor roof, or within the guilded palace of the famous city of Rome."

Here Arnaldo ended his discourse and attentively hearkened unto Periander's answer, which was in this manner.

"Worthy Prince, I know well the obligations wherein my sister and I stand bound unto you for the favours you have done us hitherto, and for that which you now do in offering to make me your brother and her your wife. But howsoever it may seem folly that two miserable strangers, banished from their country, do not straightway accept of the good which you offer them, yet I will say this unto you, that it is not possible for us to receive this favour, but only to acknowledge it with thankfulness. My sister and I, carried by destiny and our own desire, are going to the holy city of Rome and, till we be there, it seems we are not ourselves, nor at liberty to enjoy our free will. If heaven afford us the favour to tread upon that land, and adore the holy relics that are there, we may dispose of our wills, which are hindered at this present; and mine shall thenceforth be wholly employed in your service. Thus much I may well say unto you, that if you attain the accomplishment of your desire, you shall espouse a woman of noble birth, and besides shall have a servant of me, that shall affect you more like a brother than a brother-in-law. One favour I request amongst so many others which you have afforded me: which is, that you would inquire no further ofour affairs, nor of our life, to the end you compel me not to lie by inventing things false and untrue, because I cannot tell you such as are veritable." "Dispose of me, brother," said Arnaldo, "and make account that I am the wax and you the seal, and that you may make any impression in me that you please. And if you think good, let us depart hence this night and go for England. For from thence we may easily pass into France and Italy, in which voyage I mean to bear you company in any fashion you please."

Albeit Periander were troubled at this last offer, yet he could not excuse himself from receiving it, trusting upon time and delay, which many times alter such unlucky accidents, to a better event. And so these two, being brothers-in-law in hope, embraced each other and, returning to the inn, took order for their departure.

Auristela had seen how Arnaldo and Periander went forth together, and was in much pain to know the resolution of their discourse. And although she knew the modesty of the Prince and the discretion of Periander, yet a thousand several fears disquieted her, thinking that like as Arnaldo's love was equal to his power, he might turn his entreaties into force. For Patience is many times changed into rage in the hearts of disdained lovers, and courtesy into incivility. But she was discharged of this fear and recovered her lost spirits, when she saw them to return so peaceably.

The foul-mouthed Clodio, who already had known who Arnaldo was, threw himself at his feet, beseeching him to take him from the chain and deliver him from the company of Rosamond. Maurice told him the conditions, faults and punishment of Clodio, and also of Rosamond; and the Prince, moved with compassion, undertook to obtain their pardon from the King of England; and by this means brought to pass that the captain who had them in custody took off their ironsand set them at liberty. Whereby Clodio was moved to say thus: "If all lords would give their minds to do well, there would none busy themselves to speak evil of them. But how can we hope that he which doth evil can be well reported of by any? And if virtuous deeds and good works be slandered by men's malicious humours, why should not such as are wicked be evil spoken of? Why should we hope for any good fruit of his crop, who hath sowed nothing but cockle and villainy? Take me away with thee, O Prince, and thou shalt see that I know how to advance thy praises above the circles of the moon." "Not so," answered Arnaldo, "I will not be praised for such works as are in me by nature. And further, I say that the praise is good but so far forth as he that speaketh it is good: and likewise it is wicked, if he that praiseth be wicked. For it is a praise when he that praiseth is virtuous, but a reproach when it proceedeth from a vicious person."

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Chapter XVII

Wherein Arnaldo declareth what success befell Taurisa.

Auristela had a great desire to know what was passed betwixt Arnaldo and Periander in the conference which they had out of the inn, and impatiently waited for opportunity to inquire of Periander, as also fit occasion to learn of Arnaldo what was become of her damsel Taurisa. And even as if Arnaldo had known her thoughts by divination, he said unto her, "The misfortunes which have befallen you, fair Auristela, have made you forget those things which you are obliged always to keep in remembrance. Amongst which I would myself had been defaced: for the only imagination that you have sometimes been mindful of me, might makeme live contentedly, because none can forget that which he never remembered. Nevertheless, whether you remember me or not remember me at all, I am well contented with all that pleaseth you. The heaven, which hath ordained me to be yours, hath not left me any other will but that which shall obey you. Your brother Periander hath told me many things that have befallen you since you were carried out of my realm, which have caused unto me both admiration and astonishment at once: which have made me see that misfortunes blot out the memory of such obligations as appear to have been constrained. You have here heard no news of my father, nor of your damsel Taurisa. I left him in good health, through a desire that I might be so happy as to find you. As touching her, I brought her with me with an intent to sell her to the barbarians, that she might serve me as a spy amongst them, and learn if fortune had brought you into their power, as she put your brother into mine. I believe he hath already told you so much, and what our drift was. And although I oftentimes assayed to return unto the barbarian isle, yet I was always hindered by contrary winds. I returned thither again with the same purpose and the same desire which the heavens have caused me to finish with so great advantage as to have you in my presence, even you that are the absolute ease of all my cares. As for Taurisa, because she was sick, I delivered her within these two days to two knights whom I met in these seas in a stout ship wherein they sailed unto Ireland; and because the ship wherein I am is more like a pirate's than a prince's ship, not having wherewithal to succour her, I have sent her into Ireland, where she shall be carefully looked unto with all things necessary till I shall go thither myself and fetch her. This day your brother and I agreed to depart thence tomorrow in the morning, and go into England, France or Spain: for to whichsoever of these we come, weshall have means sufficient to effect the good determination which he told me you have. Consider, I beseech you, if our advice be agreeable unto yours; for if there be never so small difference, we will not put it in execution." "I am none otherwise minded," said Auristela, "than as liketh my brother: and also I cannot believe that he will digress from your will in any respect." This is that which passed betwixt Arnaldo and Auristela, who told all to Periander. And the same night Arnaldo, Periander, Maurice, Ladislas, the two captains, those of the English ship, and all the others who came from the barbarian isle, entered into counsel, and appointed their departure in such manner as followeth.

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Chapter XVIII

How Maurice knew by astrology what evil adventure should befall them at sea.

All those which came from prison in the barbarian isle went aboard the ship wherein Maurice, Ladislas and the captains that brought Rosamond and Clodio came to land. And in the ship of Arnaldo were conveniently placed Auristela and Periander, Maurice, Ladislas, Transilla, Ricla and Constance, the two Anthonys, the father and son, and Rutilio: neither would Arnaldo forsake Clodio nor Rosamond. This night they filled their casks with water and bought all the victuals they could procure of their host. And Maurice, having observed the precise time of their departure, said that if their good fortune would make them shun an evil chance threatening them very shortly, they should have an happy voyage; and that this danger, although it should be by water, yet it should not come by any tempest on sea or land, but by treason intermeddled with wanton and unchastedesires. Periander, who was always disquieted in Arnaldo's presence, began to fear that this treason should be contrived by this prince. But opposing the nobleness of his courage against this conceit, he would not believe that which he feared, because he thought that treason could not have any place in the hearts of princes. Nevertheless, he prayed Maurice to consider who should be cause of the damage which threatened them. Maurice answered that he could not tell, but he held the matter assured: yet, said he, it shall not prevail against life, but only trouble their quiet, break off their enterprises, and procure loss of their fairest hopes. Periander hereunto replied that they were best to defer their voyage for a few days and it might be, by prolonging the time, this rigorous influence of the stars might be changed or mitigated. "Not so," said Maurice; "it is better to adventure ourselves in this danger that toucheth not life than take another course whereby we might be cast away." "Go forward then in God's name," said Periander; "the dice are thrown: let us go hence in time, and let heaven do what it shall please, seeing our diligence will nothing prevail." Arnaldo paid royally all the charges which they had been at in the inn and, getting into their ships, they left the haven, and so set sail.

The ship of Arnaldo, adorned with waving streamers and flags, went first out of the harbour; the great and small ordnance were discharged, the trumpets sounded, and the voices, often reiterated, of those that took their farewells and wished them a good voyage, filled the air. But all this could not make Auristela lift up her head, which she sadly declined to her stomach, as a forewarning of the evil that should befall her. Arnaldo and Periander beheld her, either of them esteeming her the white whereon to direct his sight, the end of his desires and the chiefest of his joy.

A sweet wind cleared the air from all clouds thereengendered. Maurice again considered the heavens and observed anew the tokens of the peril hanging over their heads, but he could not foresee from what part it should happen. In this confusion he slept on the ship's deck, and shortly after awaked in great fear, crying aloud, "Treason, treason! You, Prince of Denmark, awake! Your men kill us." At this voice Arnaldo arose, who slept not but was on the same deck with Periander, and demanded, "What is that? What is that which endamageth us? Who kills us? Are we not here all friends? And the rest, are they not my subjects or servants? The sea is calm and quiet, the ship strikes not upon any rock or shelf, no remora stays us: why then shouldest thou fear and disquiet us in this manner?" "I know not," said Maurice, "but let the pump be searched; for unless I be asleep, me thinks we perish."

He had no sooner ended these words but four or five mariners went down into the hold and, having looked everywhere about, and not finding any seam at which the water could come in, they came up again on the deck, saying that the ship sailed well, and the water of the pump was thick and stinking, which was a token that no new seawater was entered. "This is the cause," then said Maurice, "that because I am old and quick of apprehension, everything, though it were but dreams, doth terrify me. But God grant it be a dream; for I would rejoice much more to be old and fearful than a true astrologian."

"Take your rest, Sir Maurice," said the Prince, "for your dreams will not suffer these gentlewomen to sleep in quiet." "I will do so, my lord," answered Maurice, "if I can." And then lying down again on the deck, there was a profound silence in the ship. In the mean time Rutilio, which sat at the mast foot, invited by the clearness of the night, or fitness of the time, or because he had a very sweet voice, began to sing to the whistling of thewind, which gently struck upon the sails, I know not what verses, which himself had composed. The first who heard him was old Anthony, who said, "Gentlemen, give ear to Rutilio; he sings very well; and if the verses which he singeth be of his own making, he is no bad poet, if an artificer can be one: which I believe may happen, for I call to mind that I have seen poets in Spain of all sorts of occupations." Arnaldo, Periander and Maurice were not asleep: and Maurice said, "It is not impossible that an artisan should be a poet, for that poesy is in the understanding and not in the hands and the soul of a cutler hath as great capacity as a camp-master's; because all souls are equally created and formed in their first beginnings of the same substance. And according to the body's temperature which encloseth them, they show more or less discreet, and are affectioned to the knowledge of such arts and sciences as they are inclined unto by the stars. But principally poets are naturally such from their birth, and so it is no marvel though Rutilio be one, though he have been a master of dancing." "Yea, verily," said Anthony, "so great a master that he fetcheth his capers in the air, above the clouds." "It is true," answered Rutilio that heard him, "that I capered very nigh the heaven when that sorceress whom I slew in the likeness of a wolf carried me in her cloak from Tuscany unto Norway." "This conversion," said Maurice, "of people into wolves, male and female, is a great error among those of the northern climates, although many believe it." "But how happeneth it then," said Arnaldo, "that in England are commonly seen whole troops of wolves in the fields which are nothing else but men and women transformed into wolves." "This cannot be", said Maurice, "in England; for in this temperate and fruitful island, there are no wolves bred. And as touching Ireland, which is an isle adjoining, though there be some wolves, yet there are no venomous beasts as serpents, vipers, toads,scorpions, nor so much as spiders; and if any venomous living creature be brought thither from other places, it dieth when it cometh to the shore there. And if they carry of the earth of this isle into other countries, and therewith environ any viper, she will not adventure, neither shall ever be able to get out of the circle wherein she is enclosed, but will therein continue imprisoned till death. That which ought to be conceived as touching these transmutations, is this. There is a disease which the physicians call wolfish madness, whose quality is such that whosoever suffers it, thinks he is changed into a wolf. He howls like a wolf, and accompanieth others that are stricken with the same sickness, and altogether go in troops through the fields, barking like dogs, or howling like wolves, tearing the trees in pieces, and kill such as they meet, eating all raw, the flesh of dead bodies. And I know that in Sicily, which is the greatest island in the Mediterranean Sea, there are at this day certain people whom the Sicilians call werewolves, who feel their evil before it seize upon them, bidding such as come near them to be gone: who either run from them, or take hold of them and shut them up. For unless they look well to themselves, they pull them in pieces and tear them with teeth and nails as they can, and bark in a most fearful and terrible manner. And this is so true that, when couples are married, they bring certificates to verify that neither of them is tainted with this malady; and if afterward in process of time, experience approve the contrary, the marriage may be dissolved.

"This is also an opinion of Plato, that amongst the Arcadians there are a kind of people which in passing a lake do hang their apparel on an oak and, entering naked into a land which is there, they join in shape of wolves with others whom they know to be of their stock, and continue with them nine years: which being ended, passing back through the lake, they recovertheir former figure. Nevertheless, all this is to be esteemed a fable, and if there be any such thing, it is only in the imagination." "I know not how this is done," said Rutilio, "but well I know at the least I killed a wolf and found the sorceress dead." "All this may be," replied Maurice, "because the strength of witchcraft beguileth our senses, making us to see one thing for another; not that there are any kind of people who can change their nature." "I am very glad I understand this matter," said Arnaldo, "for I was one of those which suffer themselves to be carried unto belief of this error. And so it must be which the fables report of King Arthur his conversion into a raven, which this discreet nation doth so generally believe that they abstain from killing any ravens throughout the island." "I know not," answered Maurice, "from whence might come the original of a fable so ill devised."

In such like discourses they spent well-nigh the whole night: and at the break of the day Clodio, that had hearkened unto them without speaking till that present, said: "I am a man that care not much for the proof of these things. What can it avail me to know whether men may be turned into wolves, or not? Or if kings go under the shape of ravens or eagles? Although if they must needs be changed into birds, I had rather have them stock-doves than puttocks." "Good words, Clodio, talk not of kings," said Arnaldo, "for me thinks I see thee whet thy tongue to cut them." "No, no," answered Clodio, "my chastisement hath put a sharp snaffle in my mouth which will not suffer me to open it for this subject. And I had rather burst in holding my peace than make myself merry with speaking. Ill words sometimes do cheer those that understand them but very often they plague those that speak them; whereas there is no law nor penalty against silence. I will continue the rest of my life in peace under the shadow of thy protection, though by fits certain impressions of malice make my tongue dance in mymouth, and stifle between my teeth more than four verities which I would gladly put into the world. But God be praised for all."

Then said Auristela: "The sacrifice of your silence which you make to heaven cannot but be very acceptable unto him." Rosamond answered her: "That day wherein Clodio shall relinquish his evil speaking, I will cease to make love; for evil speech is as natural in him as love in me, albeit there is more hope of amendment in me than him, because beauty becometh aged with years, and with beauty amorous desires grow old. But time hath no jurisdiction at all over the tongues of evil speakers; for the older they are, the more they speak evil, because they have seen more. And besides, all the delights of the other senses are abridged and gathered in one unto the tongue." "Both are naught," said Transilla, "and incur the same loss, though the way do differ." "The voyage we take now," said Ladislas, "cannot but be fortunate, considering the wind shows itself favourable and the sea quiet." "It was apparently so the last night," said Constance, "and yet Sir Maurice his dream hath brought us into such a confusion that I believe we all are already swallowed up of the sea." "Truly," said Maurice, "if I were not instructed in the laws of Christianity, and if I remembered not what God said in Leviticus, 'Be not soothsayers, believe no dreams,' which few have the gift to understand, I durst interpret the dream which so greatly disturbed me: which in my judgement proceeded not from any of the causes whence dreams are wont to come. For when they are neither divine revelations nor diabolical illusions, they arise from vapours of the stomach which, ascending to the brain, do trouble the common sense; or from that which a man firmly printeth in his fantasy in the day time. But whencesoever it may come, me thought I saw within a great palace of timberwork, wherein we were, there fell so great quantity of lightnings that they openedthe heaven on every side; and that by the rifts which were made in the clouds, they poured down water upon us in such abundance that I thought I was already drowned. But let us give over this conference: for if night come without any alarm, I will require of you, and likewise bestow upon you, some rewards for our good success."

At this hour the sun was going into Thetis' arms, the sea was of like smoothness as before, the wind favourable, and not a cloud could be seen in any part to trouble the mariners. Briefly, the heaven, seas, and wind, all together and each of them severally, promised an happy navigation when, upon a sudden, Maurice cried as loud as he could: "Without doubt we cast away ourselves! We cast ourselves away without doubt!"

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Chapter XIX

Wherein is related that which two soldiers did, and how Periander and Auristela were separated.

"How is it possible," answered Arnaldo, "that the waters should drown us?" For answer, he saw a man come out from under the deck altogether terrified, casting water from his mouth and eyes, who said with a troubled voice and ill-pronounced: "All this ship is open in divers places, and the sea is come in after such a manner that you shall quickly see it above the deck. Let every one take care of his life. O prince, withdraw yourself to the skiff with that which you most dearly esteem, before the waters get full possession of the vessel." In saying thus, the ship was at a stay by reason of the heaviness of the waters wherewithal it was filled. The pilot suddenly struck sail: and all of them forlorn, through fear, had recourse to such remedies as they had. Arnaldo and Periander leapt into the skiff, and there put Auristela,Transilla, Ricla and Constance, amongst whom Rosamond threw herself, and Maurice came after. At this time two soldiers went to unhang the boat which was fastened to the ship's side: and one of them seeing that the other would enter before him, he drew a poniard from his girdle, which he thrust through his body, saying aloud, "Seeing our fault hath been contrived with so little profit, this pain shall serve to chastise thee, and be to me an example during the small time I have to live. Thou, Prince, hear the truth which this traitor shall tell thee.

"The soldier whom thou hast seen me stab into the body with my poniard, and myself, have opened the ship, with an intent to take our pleasures of Auristela and Transilla, by receiving them into the skiff. But having seen my design to fall out otherwise than I thought, I have slain my companion, and will now procure mine own death." And with this last word, he suffered himself to sink to the bottom of the waters, which stopped his breath and buried him in perpetual silence.

And although all were amazed and busy to remedy their common danger, yet Arnaldo would needs hear the words of the desperate soldier. Then both he and Periander hastened to the ship's boat: and having caused the young Anthony to enter into the skiff, not remembering to take in any victuals, Ladislas, Anthony the father, Arnaldo, Periander and Clodio entered into the boat, and endeavoured to get aboard the skiff, being a pretty way off from the ship, which by this time was covered with waters, that no part thereof could be seen but the mast, as a token of her burial.

In the mean time the night came, and the boat could not come at the skiff, from which Auristela called her brother Periander: who answered by manytimes repetitions of her name. Ladislas and Transilla did the like, and the sweet voices of wife and husband met in the midst of the air: but it was impossible for them to join together, by reason the night was all covered with darkness and the winds began to blow from divers places. At the last, the boat went a great way from the skiff; and being lighter and less laden, was carried by sea at the pleasure of the winds.

The skiff, more by reason of its own heaviness than the burden that was therein, abode as if it had been stayed of purpose. But when it was dark night, they began afresh to feel what misfortune was come upon them, seeing themselves in an unknown sea, threatened with all the severities of heaven, and deprived of such commodities as the land might afford them: the skiff without oars, and without victuals, and themselves weakened with hunger and grief.

Maurice, who remained master and mariner of the skiff, had not wherewith to guide it: and so far forth as he could perceive by the plaints, mournings and sighs of those whom he conducted, he had reason to fear lest they would cast themselves away. He considered the stars: though all appeared not, yet some few, which he saw through the dark clouds, gave a little token of better fortune. Yet they showed not unto him whereabouts they were. The sense of their distress would not suffer them to mitigate their sadness by sleep. They watched all the night, and when the day came their pain was augmented through displeasure, because they saw not the boat either near or far off, which was gone from them with their souls, nor yet any other vessel from whence they might look for succour in this necessity.

In the end, they discovered an isle on the left hand, which rejoiced and grieved them both at once. Their joy was to see the land so nigh them: and theirgrief, because they could not get ashore unless the wind should carry them thither. Maurice was he that most assured himself that they all should be safe: and being a judicial astrologer, he had found in the figure which he had drawn that this peril threatened not death unto them.

Finally, the favour of heaven, together with the wind, by little and little carried them into the isle, where they took land within a large bay all covered with snow. Miserable and full of terror are the fortunes of the sea, seeing such as suffer them are glad to make exchange with greater discommodities of the land. The coast was desert, and the snow seemed to them as a pleasant sand, and solitariness to be company. They all forsook the boat, one under another's arms. The young Anthony was the Atlas of Auristela and Transilla; upon whose shoulders also Rosamond and Maurice were brought to shore: and they all together went under covert of a rock which they saw not far from the seaside, having first drawn their skiff to land, wherein only, next under God, their last hope remained. Anthony, considering that famine alone was able to kill them, he made ready his bow, which hanged always at this back, saying he would go and discover the land, to see if he might find any kind of men or beasts to relieve them in this necessity. All were of his mind, and so he quickly passed into the isle, treading on the frozen snow, which was so hard as if he had walked on stones. Rosamond followed him, he not perceiving her, nor any of the rest did impeach her, as thinking that some natural necessity had forced her to leave their company.

Anthony looking back, and seeing Rosamond hard by him, in time and place where none could see them, he said thus unto her: "Company is a thing which I have least need of in so great necessity as we endure. What would you have, Rosamond? Go back again: for youhave no weapons to kill any beast or fowl, neither can I moderate my pace to stay for you. What is the cause you follow me?" "O ignorant youth," answered the honest woman, "how badly dost thou acknowledge the intention wherewith I follow thee, and the bonds which you owe me." And therewith overtaking him, she thus proceeded, saying: "Behold here, O new hunter, fairer than Apollo, another new Daphne, which runs not from thee, but pursueth thee. Look not upon the cruelty of ever-fleeing age, which hath withered my beauty, but consider in me, what was Rosamond, that could subdue kings and the liberty of the proudest spirits. I adore thee which was adored: and amidst these snows and ice, the fire of thy love reduceth me to ashes. Let us cheer one another, and receive me for thine own: I promise thee, if we come into England, to bring thee to such a place where thou mayest fill thy hands with more treasure than ever had Crassus or Midas."

Here she stayed her speech, but not the motion of her hands, wherewith she strove to hold fast those of Anthony that thrust her back. And during this honest protestation, Anthony said unto her, "Stand still, thou harpy, or I will stay thee! Get thee gone, thou barbarous Egyptian, and tempt not here the chastity of a man which is not thy slave. Bewray not by thy words that which thou hidest in thy desires: consider the small time that we have to live, from this instant until the point of death, which threateneth us by famine, and by the uncertain means we have to get out of this isle. Get thee out of my sight, if thou wilt not urge me to chastise thy boldness, and publish thy folly. If thou return, I will bury thy shame in silence; but if thou wilt not leave me, I will make thee leave thy life." Rosamond, hearing this, returned back, champing on her bridle.

Anthony went forward on his journey but without meeting anything, for the snows were great, the wayrough, and without any track of men or beasts: wherefore fearing to be out of knowledge how to come back to the place whence he came if he went down any further, he returned to the company. All held up their hands to heaven, looking on the ground as if they were out of all hope, and said to Maurice that they would return to sea in their skiff, in regard it was impossible to find remedy in such a desolate island.

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Chapter XX

Of a notable accident that happened in the frozen sea.

Shortly after they descried a ship coming afar off, which put them again in some hope. The same struck sail, cast anchors, and let fall a skiff into the sea, with very great diligence: which came alone towards the shore where our company full of tears had before entered into theirs. Auristela gave counsel to stay their coming. The ship's skiff came to shore, arriving on the cold snow, whereon two young men leaped, hardy to see to, and no less strong than lusty; carrying a maid exceedingly fair, but so weak and out of remembrance that it seemed she should die before she came to land. They called to those which were aboard the other skiff, requesting them to go ashore, to be witnesses of an accident which was necessary for them to know. Maurice answered that they had no oars to bring their skiff, unless they lent them theirs. The mariners guided them with their oars, and set them again upon the snow. Straightway the two young men covered their bodies with two China-bucklers and, with two sharp-cutting swords in their hands, leaped again to land. Auristela, full of amazement and fearing some new mishap, ran to see this fair maid who was in a trance, and so did the rest.

"Abide, sirs," said one of the young men, "and mark well what we will say unto you. This knight and I have agreed to fight for the possession of this sick damsel, whom there you see, and death only can give sentence in favour of one or the other, neither is any other way to compound our quarrel, unless of her own will she choose one of us two whom she likes best to be her husband. By this means she may sheath our swords, and quiet our minds.

"That which we require at your hands, is, not to hinder our combat, which we could accomplish without impeachment of any person if we desired not some to look on to witness our proceedings. If it be possible in this desolate place to find any help to prolong the life of this damsel, who hath such power to conclude ours, we pray you to succour her. The haste constraining us to determine our difference permitteth us not at this present to enquire who you are, nor how you came hither with so small means to get hence from so solitary an island, where not so much as any living creature doth inhabit." Instantly they laid hand on their swords, not staying till the gentlewoman for whom they fought had declared her will as touching the choice she would make, referring their quarrel rather to the arbitrement of arms than the desire of their mistress. They encountered one another with rage and violence, without observing art or measure: and with the two first blows, one of them had his heart thrust through and through and the other, his head cloven in the midst. To this last the heaven afforded so much life as to come to his lady, and to say, in joining his face to hers, "I have prevailed, my fair, you are mine: and although the good of possessing you shall abide with me but a very small time: yet, to think only that you have been mine but a moment, maketh me the most happy man that ever was. Receive, Madame, this soul, and these last sighs whichI send unto you: give them some place in your heart neither ask leave of your honesty, for the name of a wife affordeth you no less."

The blood of his wound bathed the gentlewoman's face, who was so far without sense that she answered not a word. The two mariners that had guided the ship's skiff took the dead man, and him that was hurt, who had closed his mouth to his spouse's, bought at so dear a rate; and therewithal sent his soul into the air, and his body fell dead to the earth. Auristela, that had contemplated all these actions before she had attentively beheld this gentlewoman's face, came nearer: and making it clean from the blood of the dead lover, she found that it was her damsel Taurisa, whom Arnaldo said he had delivered to two knights to be conducted into Ireland. Auristela became astonished, forlorn, and sadder than sadness itself, and much more when she knew that the fair Taurisa was dead. "Alas," said she then, "with what prodigious tokens the heavens will make me know my misfortune! which I might call happy if it might be concluded with my life. But seeing to complain will here nothing avail, let us bestow the time which we owe them in pity: and that we may no longer afflict the living, let us bury the dead."

With that she entreated Maurice to take order with the mariners, to return to ship and fetch tools for their burial: which they did, and Maurice himself went with them to agree with the pilot for the means to take them out of the isle, into some other part whither he was purposed to go. In the mean time Auristela and Transilla had leisure to fit Taurisa for her grave. Maurice returned with necessary instruments: Taurisa was buried, but the mariners would not do so much for those which were slain in this combat.

Rosamond, who since she had declared to the barbarian Anthony her amorous thoughts durst not lift up hereyes from the ground where shame had fixed them, then said, lifting up her head whilst Taurisa was a-burying:

"If you make such estimation of charity, and that your hearts be equally possessed of justice and mercy, employ, good people, these two virtues on my behalf. Since the first time I had any use of reason, I have always been unreasonable and wicked, that in the flower of mine age, and in my prime of beauty, vices have gained such possession in me that they are as it were inseparable accidents. You know already that I have set my foot on the necks of kings and, as it were, led by the hand the wills of all men whithersoever I pleased. But time, the thief of women's frail beauties, hath robbed mine so unawares that I have seen myself deformed before I was reformed. But because vices are seated in the soul that never groweth old, they would not forsake me. And like as I gave over myself to follow the stream of my pleasures without resisting them, so I have entirely yielded myself to that delight which the view of this young barbarian afforded me, whose frozen affection answereth not mine that is all on fire. I see I am despised and hated instead of being beloved and cherished: which blows none can suffer with little patience, and much desire. Death already walketh on my gown skirts, and stretcheth forth his hand to take away my life. I beseech you, out of your good and courteous nature, to cover my fire with this snow, and enclose me in this tomb: for albeit you intermeddle my wanton ashes with the chaste bones of this virgin, they shall not be polluted thereby, because good relics are always good in what place so ever they be. And thou that art so arrogant," said she, turning towards the young Anthony, "which now touchest the brink of thy delights, pray heaven to guide thee in such sort, that a beauty withered by long age may never tempt thee. And if my words have offended thine ears, forgive me: for such as ask pardon in this distress, deserve, if not to be pardoned,yet at least to be heard." And with these last words, giving a great sigh, she fell in a trance.

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Chapter XXI

The burial of Taurisa, Auristela's damsel.

"I know not then," said Maurice, "what he that is called Love hath to do in these deserts and cliffs covered with ice and snow, forsaking the fields of Cyprus, Paphos and Gnidus, from whence famine flieth away, and where no discommodity ever cometh, considering he hath no delightful abiding-place in afflictions and tears, but in a quiet and contented mind."

Auristela, Transilla, Ricla and Constance were astonished at this new accident, and having brought Rosamond out of her trance, all of them went into the ship's skiff, where they were well used and supplied with all things necessary to satisfy their extreme hunger, Rosamond only excepted, who every moment longed after death. They hoisted sail and some of them lamented for the two dead captains, and chose only one in their place, proceeding on their way not knowing whither they went, because they were pirates, and not Irishmen as they had informed the Prince of Denmark.

Maurice, disliking the company of these pirates, always feared some unhappy blow to arise from their wicked custom and course of life. And as he that was old, and experimented in worldly affairs, he perceived that the beauty of Auristela, the bravery of Transilla and the new head-attire of Constance would awake in them some wicked and wanton thoughts, wherefore he served to them as an Argus, and young Anthony was employed in their behalf as the shepherd of Amphrisius.

Rosamond, continuing as one weary of life, came to beweakened in such sort that one night they found her in a chamber buried in perpetual silence. They had wept enough before, but yet had a feeling of her death with christian compassion. The sea was her sepulchre, where she found not water sufficient to quench the fire which young Anthony had kindled in her heart.

All of them oftentimes entreated the pirates to carry them into Ireland or Scotland, if they would not go for England. But they answered that, until they had taken a good and rich prize, they would not anchor upon any coast, but only to water and take in victuals. The barbarian Ricla would gladly have bought her contentment to be in England with fair pieces of gold, but she durst not bewray them, lest they should take them away without asking.

The captain gave them a chamber apart, and made such convenable provision for them that he assured them from the outrage of the soldiers, which they might stand in fear of. In this manner they sailed on the sea three months, striking sail sometimes at one isle, sometimes at another, after the manner of pirates: during which time the new captain of the ship went oftentimes into his passengers' chamber, to entertain them with honest and friendly conference, especially Maurice. For Auristela, Transilla, Ricla and Constance were more busy in thinking on their friends' absence than to give the captain or Maurice any time of hearing. Yet one day they gave attentive ear to a story which the captain told them, which you shall see in another chapter.

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Chapter XXII

Where the captain told the festival which King Policarpus was accustomed to make in his realm.

"The heaven allotted for my country one of those isles that adjoin on Ireland, being so great that it beareth the name of a realm, and is not possessed by succession from the father to the son, or by inheritance, but by election of the inhabitants, who always choose the best and most virtuous of the isle. By which means, they which are not kings strive to be virtuous that they may attain that honour; and those that reign endeavour to surmount others in virtue, that they may be worthy to rule over them.

"Herewithal they cut the wings of ambition, punish covetousness, unmask hypocrisy, the people live in peace, Justice thundereth, Mercy lighteneth, poor people have not their suits prolonged because they are poor; nor those of the rich the sooner dispatched because they are wealthy. Gifts, nor favours, can bend the straight wand of Justice. Finally, this is a kingdom where all men live, all men enjoy their own, without fear of oppressors and such as would insult over them.

"This custom, so holy and just in mine opinion, put the sceptre into the hands of Policarpus, a man famous and notable both for arms and learning. Before he was made king he had two daughters of surpassing beauty, the elder called Policarpa, and the younger, Synforosa. These kings, thinking that melancholy awaketh evil thoughts in their subjects' minds, are curious to make them merry by public feasts, and sometimes by comedies; but above all things they solemnise the day of their coronation, by renewing the Olympian games in the best manner they can. They give a reward to himthat is the best at running: honour the most valiant and active at his weapon: crown the best archer: and by their praises advance to heaven him that in wrestling throws others to the earth.

These pastimes are performed on the seashore in a large bay, where an infinite number of boughs are set which take away the sunbeams and make a shadow. They erect a sumptuous theatre, in the midst whereof the king and his royal family behold the sports. When one of these days came, Policarpus resolved to solemnise the same with greater magnificence than any of his predecessors. And even then when his person was placed on the theatre, in company of the greatest peers of the realm, when the instruments of war and peace had given the token to begin, and four nimble runners were now loosed, holding their left foot foremost and the right in the air to begin the race, they saw a pinnace come by sea, which had the sides white because it was newly caulked, and was assisted by six oars on a side to divide the water, which were managed by twelve brave men, having broad shoulders and their arms well-sinewed. They were all clothed in white, except he which guided the helm, whose apparel was carnation. The pinnace came violently to the shore: and to see the same strike the ground, and all those that were therein to leap a-land, was but one and the same thing.

"Policarpus commanded that they should not attempt anything in the career before he had known what people they were, and the end of their coming; albeit he imagined they came to the feast, to prove themselves in his pastimes. The first which came forward to speak to the king was he which governed the helm: a young man of small age, whose smooth cheeks without hair seemed to be of snow and scarlet; the locks of his head like jewels of gold; and each part of his face so perfect, and all of them together so fair, that they made anadmirable composition. His personage immediately struck the eyes and pierced the hearts of as many as beheld him, and procured them to love him with most hearty affection. He said to the king: 'My lord, my companions and I having heard your pastimes proclaimed, are come hither to serve you in the same, not from far countries, but from a ship hard by, which we left in the isle of Scynta. We are all gentlemen desirous of honour, and beseech you, by the favour which as a king you afford unto strangers, to permit us that we may here show our strengths and valour, to increase our renown and your delight.' 'Certainly,' answered Policarpus, 'you propound your requests in such a brave and comely manner that it should be injustice to deny you. Honour my feast according to your own desire, and myself will undertake the charge to acknowledge and reward your deserts: for according to your countenance you leave small hope to any person to win the first prizes.' He bent his knee, and bowed his head in sign of reverence and thanks: and at two leaps he came to the rope which served as a barrier to the four prepared to run, as was before mentioned. His companions withdrew themselves aside, to behold the race.

"The trumpets sounded, the rope was lifted up, and all five began their course with great swiftness. But they had not run twenty paces, but he that came last had gotten before them above six; and at thirty, more than fifteen.

"Finally, at a little less than half the way, he left them as images without motion, to the great admiration of everyone, chiefly of the young Synforosa, whose eyes were bent after, as well when he ran as when he stood still: for the agility and beauty of this young runner were such that they drew after them both the eyes and liking of all the lookers-on. I marked this, for that I was intentive to behold Policarpa, the sweet object of my desires: and inpassing I beheld the motions of Synforosa. Envy presently began to possess the hearts of those that should prove themselves in these games, perceiving with how great facility the stranger had gained the prize of running.

"The second combat was at fencing. He which had won the former, took a back sword to debate the second: on which he warded an infinite number of blows, and gave as many hurts on the head, arms and the whole body of six that proved themselves against him one after the other, without being touched by any of them, so much as on one hair of his apparel. The people shouted and with common consent gave him the chief prize.

Six others immediately prepared themselves to wrestle: wherein the young conqueror was more gallant than before, showing his broad shoulders, his high breast and his sinewed arms, whereby with an incredible force and nimbleness he made six men of great strength take measure of their bodies in the sand.

"And because the fourth combat next was to throw the bar, he took a great and heavy one that was pitched in the ground, and holding it by one end he threw it with such violence that, passing the sea brink, it flew and fell a good way into the sea, and there sunk to the bottom. This prodigious force astonished the courage of his opposites, who durst not adventure, having seen so much, to try themselves what they could do.

"Then they brought crossbows and arrows: there was a tall and straight tree on whose top was placed an half pike, and thereupon a dove tied with a string, which served for their mark to aim at. Each man that should try his cunning must shoot but once: and one of them thinking to prevent the rest, shot first, and hit the very end of the lance, which made the dove for fear to flicker in the air. Presently another, no less presumptuous, shot the second arrow with so great dexterity that hecut asunder the thread wherewith the dove was tied: which, perceiving herself at liberty, divided the air, shaking her wings with incredible swiftness. Then he which had won the other prizes shot his arrow: and as though he had commanded the same what to do, and as if it had understanding to obey him, it passed through the dove's heart, making her at the same time to lose both flying and life.

"Herewith the people reiterated their exclamation and praises of this stranger who, in running, fencing, wrestling, casting the bar, and shooting in the crossbow, and divers other trials whereof I speak not, had carried away the prize with wonderful advantage above the others.

"These pastimes were finished with the day, and when King Policarpus would arise from his seat with the judges who assisted him, to reward the conqueror, he was before him on his knees, and spake in this manner.

"'My gracious lord, our ship is left alone, the night begins to grow dark; the reward which I expect at your hands ought to be esteemed above all other things: but I beseech you defer it unto another time, wherein I hope with more leisure and means to return and yield you service.' The king embraced him, asking his name: he told him he was called Periander. The fair Synforosa, taking from her head a fair garland of flowers, put it on the conqueror's and in placing it, spake thus unto him with an admirable good grace. 'When the king my father shall be so happy as to see you again, you shall find that you shall not return to serve, but to be served.'"

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Chapter XXIII

Of that which happened to the jealous Auristela when she knew that Periander was he that gained the prizes in the combats of Policarpus.

O powerful force of jealousy! which art an infirmity so united to the soul that it is impossible to put it away but with losing of the life. Fair Auristela, cast not down thy self, harbouring in thy soul such a mad rage. But who can retain the thoughts which are so light and subtle, that they not only pass over walls, but through the hearts, and see whatsoever is concealed in our souls?

I have spoken thus much, because Auristela no sooner heard mention of Periander's name and the praises of Synforosa, with the favour done unto him in giving him her garland, but that she made herself a prey to jealousy, and with a great sigh, said thus in embracing Transilla: "Would to God, my dear friend, that, thy husband saved, Periander had been cast away. Seest thou not by the words of this captain how he is honoured as a valorous conqueror, and that he hath more mind unto a gentlewoman's favour than to take such care as the turmoils and banishments of his sister should move him unto? Must he search after crowns and trophies of victory in strange countries, and forsake amidst the steep mountains and rocks of the angry sea, this his sister? who, by his counsel and for his pleasure, hath refused no mortal danger, whereunto she hath not exposed herself?" The captain of the ship attentively gave ear to these words, and knew not what meaning to collect thereof, when such a sudden and stiff wind arose that he suddenly left Auristela and her company, calling to the mariners to strike sail. Everyone ran to his charge. Maurice andhis associates returned into their private rooms, leaving the mariners to execute their office. Transilla then demanded what disturbance she could have in hearing Periander's name? For she could not conceive how any grief or trouble could ensue from the praises and happy adventures of her brother. "O my friend," answered Auristela, "I am so much obliged to conceal the pilgrimage which I make that constraint enforceth me to be silent until it come to an end, though my life's date should sooner happen. Knowing who I am, which you shall know, if God please, you shall see the just occasion of my tears; and in understanding their original, you will pardon me for being touched at the heart. You perceive the bond of a brother's parentage; but I assure you that there is a greater betwixt Periander and me: and because it is the property of lovers to be jealous, no marvel if I be so on my brother's behalf."

"Consider," answered Transilla, "that whatsoever the captain hath related was brought to pass before his imprisonment in the barbarian island and that, since you saw each other, and conferred together, you might have found that he is not in love with any other person, neither takes care about anything else but to please you: albeit I cannot conceive how the forces of jealousy can predominate over the affections of brothers and sisters." "Observe this, daughter," said Maurice, "that the conditions of love, together with his variable and divers laws, are no less unjust than disagreeing; and I would have thee strive to be so discreet, that thou dive not into another's thoughts, nor seek to know any more than they are willing to tell thee. One may have piercing and sharp curiosity in his own, but not in another man's affairs." These words of Maurice were an occasion that Auristela stayed her speech, which the words of Transilla had brought in the way to utter her whole history. The wind grew calm, without having much disturbed them: thecaptain returned to make an end of his discourse, because he was in some care for the trouble befallen Auristela in hearing Periander named. Auristela was desirous to bring the captain forward in the relation formerly intermitted, and to know if the favours of Synforosa done to Periander had proceeded any further than to crown him: which she in faint manner required of him, that she might not bewray what was in her thought. Whereunto he answered that she had no means to perform anything else; but that since his departure, whensoever she spake of the graces of Periander, she exalted them to heaven, and that she had given in charge a ship should be rigged to find him out, and bring him back unto the king her father's Court.

"How is it possible," said Auristela, "that great ladies, and kings' daughters, advanced on the throne of Fortune, should humble themselves to place their thoughts in such base subjects? And if it be true that greatness and majesty be repugnant unto Love, it followeth that Synforosa should not suffer herself to be led captive upon the view of an unknown youth, whose estate cannot be great, seeing himself did but guide the helm of a pinnace, and had only twelve naked men in his company, as ordinarily those are that row." "Marvel you not hereat," said Maurice, "for in all other actions of nature, so great and continual miracles are not seen, as in those of love: which because they are so many, are nothing spoken of, nor ought anything astonish you, be they never so great. Love joineth sceptres with sheephooks, greatness with abasement; equalizeth different estates, and maketh possible that which seemeth impossible. You know, daughter, the honesty, valour and merit of Periander: which parts form a composition of singular beauty. And this privilege beauty hath: to rob the wills and draw the hearts of all such as know it. And the more beauty is great and known, the more it is loved and esteemed.

Wherefore, no marvel if Synforosa love your brother, though she be a great and excellent princess: because she loveth him not as Periander, but as fair, as valiant, as expert, and as a subject wherein all virtues are contained and collected in one." "What," said the captain, "is Periander this lady's brother?" "Yea," answered Transilla, "for whose absence she liveth in perpetual sadness, and we all, which love and know her brother, in plaints and bitterness of anguish." Then they declared unto him the wrack of Arnaldo's ship, the separation of the skiff from the pinnace, even unto the estate wherein they were. And herewith the author of this history endeth the first book, and passeth to the second; wherein shall be told such things, which although they exceed not the truth, yet they surmount the imagination, in that the greatest and subtlest conceit cannot comprehend their accidents.

The end of the first book of the travels of Persiles and Sigismunda.

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The second book of the travels of Persiles and Sigismunda.

Chapter I

Wherein is told how the ship was overthrown, and all that was therein.

It seemeth that the author of this history was a more expert lover than good historiographer, because he bestoweth well-nigh the first chapter in the beginning of his second book to define the jealousy which Auristela had conceived by the discourse which the captain of the ship had made as touching Periander. But in this translation we will omit those definitions, as being over-long and elsewhere handled, and come to the truth of the matter, which was this: that the wind altering, and thick clouds arising therewith, dark night came upon them and lightnings foregoing thunder, as messengers of their coming, began to trouble the mariners and dazzle the sight of all those in the ship. The tempest increased with so great fury that no art or diligence of the mariners could prevent it. Yet all of them did their best, each one in executing his charge, though not to avoid death, yet at least to prolong his life; for the most hardy lengthened the same as much as they could, even to put their hope in a raft which the storm had broken from the ship, which they took fast hold of, and yet thought this hard embracing for a great good comfort.

Maurice clasped his daughter Transilla; Anthony, with his mother Ricla and sister Constance, did the like; only the unfortunate Auristela was without anything to stay upon but that which grief afforded her, which was only death, whereunto she would with a good heart have exposed herself, but only because her religion inhibited it. So, clustering together like a ball, they permitted themselves to fall down to the ship's bottom to avoid the lightnings and dreadful thunder-cracks, with the confused and horrible noise of the sailors.

In this resemblance and likeness of hell they exempted themselves from beholding, at times that heaven might be touched with the hand when the ship rose above the clouds, and at other times to dash with the mast upon the sand of the deep sea. They shut their eyes waiting for death or, to speak more aptly, they feared, without seeing it; for the shape of death in what fashion so ever it come is terrible, and that which surpriseth us in health is yet more to be feared.

The tempest increased in such sort that it surmounted the skill of the mariners, the captain's carefulness and hope of safety in them all. Then could not be heard any more the voice which commanded this or that to be done; by cries, prayers and vows which they sent to heaven, and the extremity came to this issue, that Transilla no more thought upon Ladislas, nor Auristela, Periander. For one of the powerful effects of death is to blot out of the memory the things of this life. They had no hourglass to distinguish the times, nor compass to show the wind, nor direction to judge where they were. All was in confusion, in cries, in sighs, in prayers. The captain was in a trance, the mariners gave all over, all strength of man yielded, and silence possessed the voices of all these wretched people that lamented. The bold and grown sea proudly walked on the ship's deck, yea, above the highest top-masts, which kissed the deepest sands.

At the break of day, if that may be called day which is without light, the ship stuck fast without moving one way or other, which is the greatest and nearest peril of shipwreck that can be feared. Finally, being beaten with a most violent wind, as if it had been turned by some art, the main mast was put into the deep water and the keel towards heaven, so remaining as a grave to all them that were therein.

Farewell, chaste thoughts of Auristela! farewell, you well-grounded attempts, take your quiet rest with as much honour as holiness. Expect not other Mausolean monuments, other Pyramids or spires, than such as the bad-caulked boards afford you.

And you Transilla, the clear mirror of honesty, you may solemnise your marriage in your old father's arms, if not with your husband, yet at least with hope to lie in a better bride bed than his.

And thou Ricla, whose desires carried thee to seek rest, take into thine arms Anthony and Constance, thy children, and offer them to Him who now takes away thy life to give thee a better in heaven.

These are the words which the over-throw of the ship, and certainty of death, caused the author of this pitiful history to write, as also that which followeth in another chapter.

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Chapter II

Wherein is related a strange event.

It seemeth that the ship's turning in the sea turned, or rather troubled, his judgement that was the author of this history because, in this second chapter, he hath four or five beginnings, as doubting what end to make. In conclusion, he resolveth the matter, saying that good and bad haps go so hand in hand together that nothing is between to dissever them, and that grief and pleasure are so coupled that he which in sorrow despaireth of good fortune, is a fool; and he that in mirth holdeth himself assured, is out of his wits; as this strange success shall easily cause to be understood. The ship was drowned in the water as hath been said, and the dead were buried without earth. Yet the compassionate heavens, which redress our evils when they wholly seem to be past recure, ordained that the waters, now appeased, by little and little bore up the ship, and brought the same into a bay nigh the seashore, where it stayed. Hard by there was a haven, capable to harbour many ships, in whose waters, as in bright looking-glasses, a city well peopled might be seen, having lofty buildings upon an high and pleasant hill.

The inhabitants of the city saw the ship and at first believed it to be a whale, or other great fish, which had been driven ashore by the late tempest. An infinite number of people came forth to see what it was and, finding it to be a ship, they certified the king Policarpus, who was lord of this city. He, in the company of divers courtiers and the two fair princesses his daughters, among others, issued forth also to behold it and appointed that, with many cables, capstans and boats environing the ship, it should be drawn into the haven. Some leapt upon it, informing the king that they heard knocking within it, and the voices of some people that were yet living.

An ancient knight who was nigh the king said then unto him, "I remember, my lord, that in the Mediterranean sea, in the river of Genes, I have seen a Spanish galley which was turned upside down, as this ship is now, the mast remaining in the sand and the keel in the air; and before they sought for remedy, they heard a noise like unto this. They cut the vessel at the keel, and made so wide a breach that they might see what was within. The light was no sooner entered, but the captain of the same galley came forth, and four of his company. I have seen this: and it may be that the persons which had a second birth from the womb of this galley, be yet living. If the like happen here, it should not be a miracle, but a mystery, for miracles exceed the order of nature, and mysteries are such as seem miracles, but are only accidents which seldom happen."

"But wherefore stay we?" said the king. "Let the ship be quickly cut; for if her belly cast out such as are alive, I will hold it for a miracle." Great was the haste they made to cut the vessel, and as great the desire of every one to see it opened. In the end, having made a great hole, they saw therein many persons, half dead, and half alive. One took a damsel by the arm whose heart, yet panting, showed some sign of life. Others did the like and some, thinking to take hold of the living, drew out such as were dead; for fishermen have not always good luck. Finally, giving air and light unto those that were yet alive, they recovered breath, wiping their face, rubbing their eyes, and stretching out their arms like one that is awaked from a dead sleep; and then looking round about, Auristela found herself in the arms of Arnaldo, Transilla in those of Clodio, Ricla and Constance in Rutilio's and old Anthony's. The young Anthony was held by none, for he came out of himself with Maurice. Arnaldo was more astonished than those which rose from their grave; Auristela beheld him, but not knowing who he was, broke silence wherein admiration had plunged them, and the first word she spoke unto him was of Synforosa, asking if, haply, she were amongst the company. "Immortal God," said Arnaldo to himself, "what a remembrance is this, when she should be mindful of nothing else but to give thanks to heaven after so great a peril." Yet he answered her that Synforosa was present, demanding how she knew her, without notice of the discourse told her by the captain of Periander's triumphs. For had he understood so much, he might have seen that the forces of jealousy link themselves with those of death, and haunt an amorous mind even in the most extremities of life.

After fear of some, and admiration of others was a little overpassed, and that their troubled fantasies had given place to reason, in a confused manner they enquired each of other, how those on the land came thither, and how they of the sea happened on that coast.

In the meantime Policarpus, perceiving that the ship was filled with water by the hole therein made, commanded that it should be weighed towards the haven and then drawn to land; all which was done with great expedition. All those which were within the ship's keel were received by king Policarpus and his daughters, as also the chief citizens, with no less pleasure than admiration. But that which most contented them, and specially Synforosa, was to see the incomparable beauties of Auristela, the graces of Transilla and perfections of Constance, which nothing blemished the beauty of Ricla her mother.

They went on foot into the city, which was not far off; and in the meantime, Periander entertained Auristela, Ladislas, Transilla; and the old Anthony his wife and daughter, relating their adventures one to another. Auristela was only silent, being intentive to behold Synforosa; but in the end, she demanded of Periander if that fair princess which walked foremost were not the youngest daughter of king Policarpus?

"She is the very same," answered Periander, "and a subject where beauties and courtesy make their ordinary residence."

"She should then be courteous," said Auristela, "for she is fair."

"If she were less beautiful," answered Periander, "the obligations wherein I stand bound unto her would move me for my part to account it greater."

"If it go by obligation," said Auristela, "and that this be the cause which maketh her beauty so rare, you ought to think mine the greatest in the world, according to the obligations you owe me."

"No comparison," replied Periander, "ought to be made betwixt things human and divine; and the hyperbolical and excessive praises which surpass the merits of others, cannot attain unto yours. If my travels and afflictions have not impaired my beauty, I should receive a part of these praises; but I hope that the pitiful heaven will bring my travels and torments unto tranquillity. In the meantime, I conjure you, as earnestly as I can, that other obligations or other beauties may not wipe mine out of your memory; for therewith you may fulfil your desire, and content your will. And if with the beauty of my body, such as it is, you behold withal the beauty of my soul, you shall find a composition of beauty which may satisfy you."

Periander was much troubled at Auristela's discourse, which was a very new thing for him, and so much the more strange in regard he had found, by long experience, the discretion of Auristela to be such that she never spoke word unto him, either publicly or privately, which might not be spoken to a brother. During this time, Arnaldo conferred with Policarpus, yet not without envying Periander.

Ladislas walked very joyfully with his spouse Transilla; the good Maurice, with his daughter and son in law; and the old Anthony, with his wife and children. They came to the city, where Policarpus caused his guests to be lodged magnificently in his royal palace, preferring Arnaldo above the rest, knowing already that this was the Prince of Denmark whom Auristela's beauties and perfections had made to forsake his realm. Almost at the same side, Auristela was lodged, from whose eyes Synforosa could not withdraw hers, thanking heaven for making her the sister and not the mistress of Periander, as well for her extreme beauty as for the nighness of blood betwixt her and him. Synforosa loved her in passionate manner, and could not abide out of her company. She particularly observed her actions, noted her words, marked her graces, and found pleasure in all, even to the accent of her speech. Auristela considered her in like sort, and with like effects, though with different intention: for this beheld with the eyes of jealousy, and the other with those of good will.

They abode in the city certain days to refresh themselves after their passed travails. Arnaldo in the meantime gave order to return into Denmark, or to such place as Auristela and Periander were minded to go, showing, as he had always done, that he had none other will but such as was conformable to theirs.

Clodio, who with his idleness had curiously marked the passions of Arnaldo, and known how much his neck was abased under his love's yoke, one day when they were alone, he spoke unto him after this manner. "Having always publicly reproved the vices of princes, without observing such respect as is due to their greatness, I will now speak in secret, and without leave, that which I beseech you to hear with patience. But that which is uttered by way of advice is to be excused for the intent, although it be displeasing." Arnaldo was troubled, not knowing what conclusion might ensue from the preamble of Clodio's discourse, which to know, he resolved to give him the hearing, and commanded him to say what he would; and upon this safe-conduct, Clodio proceeded in this manner.

"O Prince, thou lovest, nay, rather adorest, Auristela, yet knowest no more of her affairs or estate than she hath been willing to utter, which is nothing. Thou hast had her in thy power more than two years, during which thou hast used all possible diligence to assuage her cruelty, and subdue her will to thine, by the honourable and lawful way of marriage. And in the meanwhile she is now in the same integrity wherein she was the first day thou sawest her. Whereby one may easily discern that, the more patient thou art, the less she doth acknowledge it. Thou oughtest to consider that a woman contemneth not a realm, nor a prince that meriteth to be beloved, unless she concealed in her heart some great mystery. This is besides another mystery, to see a wandering maid so careful to hide her birth, accompanied with a young man, who may be none of her brother; to stray from isle to isle, and from country to country, amidst the unmercifulness of heaven and the perils of the land, which many times are greater than those upon the sea. Of all good things which heaven imparteth to mankind, those that concern honour are most to be esteemed; and such as have reference to the life, are to come behind. Wise men ought to measure their pleasures by reason, and not by pleasures themselves."

Hitherto Clodio had proceeded, showing that he would have gone further with a philosophical and grave discourse when Periander, entering into the chamber, made him be silent at his coming, to the great displeasure of Arnaldo, who would gladly have heard more, but especially of Clodio himself, who as yet had not ended all his speech. Maurice, Ladislas and Transilla came in with him, and with them fair Auristela, sick, and leaning on Synforosa's shoulder, so that they were fain to have her to bed, which moved such troubles and gripings in the hearts of Periander and Arnaldo that they had no less need to be succoured by physicians than Auristela.

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Chapter III

The jealousy of Auristela, the love of Synforosa, and other things worthy to be recounted.

As soon as Policarpus knew the sickness of Auristela he sent her his physicians and, because the pulse bewrayeth the patient's disease, they found by Auristela's that her grief was of the mind, and not the body. But Periander knew it before them: Arnaldo understood it in part, but Clodio better than they all. The physicians appointed that she should not be left alone, but that they should endeavour to turn it away, either by music, or by some other merry conference. Synforosa undertook the charge of her recovery, offering always to bear her company, which offer Auristela took no great pleasure in, because she would not willingly see so often the cause of her malady, whereof she thought to have no redress, because she was resolved never to discover it.

Finally, all of them voided the chamber where she was except Synforosa, who seeing herself alone with Auristela, put her mouth to hers, and clasping her fast in her arms with burning sighs, she seemed as though she would breathe out her soul into Auristela's body.

These affections troubled her anew, and caused her to say: "Madam, it seemeth by these appearances that you are sicker than I, and your soul more afflicted than mine. Consider wherein I may serve you; for though my body be sick, my will is in perfect health."

"My friend," answered Synforosa, "I give you all thanks that possibly I can for your offer; and I answer with the same will wherein you oblige me in this behalf, that I love: shall I say, I adore? no, for shame forbids me. But shall I die in holding my peace? Will mine evil be holpen miraculously? Is silence capable of discourse? And have two shamefast and restrained eyes, force sufficient to declare the infinite thoughts of an amorous mind?" Synforosa spoke this with so many sighs and tears that Auristela was fain to wipe her eyes, and say thus in embracing her.

"Let not your words die in your mouth, fair princess; dismiss for a small time the confusion which troubles you, and make me faithful secretary of your thoughts. For if evils be not remedied by communicating them to others, yet at least they are thereby mitigated. If your passion be amorous, as I imagine, without doubt I know well that you are of flesh, though you seem to be of alabaster; and also I well know that our souls are in continual motion, and cannot always restrain themselves from wishing well unto some subject whereto their stars incline them. Tell me, Madam, the party whom you love; for like as you cannot fall into the extravagant courses of those women that have loved a bull or a tree, in case he be a man you shall not cause in me any astonishment or marvel. I am a maid as you are, and have my desires like another, which till this present my mouth never uttered; but in the end, they must necessarily be discovered, whatsoever inconvenience may happen; and howsoever it fall out, at the least I will make known, by my last Will, the cause of my death."

Synforosa beheld her with admiration, and every word she spoke, she recorded as a sentence proceeding from the mouth of an oracle.

"O sister," said the princess, "I think the heaven, pitying my grief, hath brought you into this country miraculously by so strange a circuit, and brought you out of the ship's dark hold into the world's brightness, to the end my night may turn to day, and my desires find some issue out of the confusion wherein they are. So that I may hold you no longer in suspense, you shall know that your brother Periander came into this isle."

And then she declared the manner of his arrival, the opposites he had vanquished, and the prizes he had won, as hath been recited. She further told her how the excellencies of Periander had awaked in her a kind of desire that extended, not so far as love, but only to good will. But yet afterward, through solitariness and ease, her thoughts passing to and fro in contemplation of his worthy parts, had painted in her a perfect love, not of a private person, but of a prince, at least in merit. "This painting was engraved in my mind and I, not well advised, willingly suffered it there to be graven, without making resistance; and so by degrees I came to love and adore him as I have said."

Synforosa had further continued her speech, if her sister Policarpa had not entered, who sung to the harp which she bore in her hands. Synforosa said not a word, Auristela was as one lost; yet their astonishment hindered them not to give ear to the incomparable harmony of Policarpa, who sung these words in her own language, which afterward the barbarian Anthony translated into Spanish.

If Cynthia know, suffer and fear thy pain,
But yet cannot thy liberty restore:
Give free course to thy grief, stay it no more,
For it's not honour not to dare complain.
This noble fire which thou canst not put out,
Kindling thy love, thy beauty doth consume:
In forcing evils that never force do doubt,
Thou diest, that wouldst ever to live presume.
But when thy soul goes hence, discharge at least
That poison strong which yet thou hast suppressed.
To ease the heart the tongue was made to speak.
When thou shalt sigh thy loving ague fit,
The world shall see how burning hot was it,
If signs thereof out at thy lips shall break.

None but Synforosa understood the song of her sister, who knew all her desires; and although she had resolved to bury them in the darkness of silence, yet she changed her determination, applying her sister's counsel to that which her passion persuaded her; and bewraying all her mind to Auristela, like as she had already begun, she was ever in her company, covering the pleasure she received by conversing with her under pretence of courtesy. In the end, one day returning to her discourse, she said: "Sister, once more give ear unto me, and take no distaste at my words. For the thoughts which scald my soul will not suffer my tongue to be at rest. If I refrain to utter them, I am but dead; yet you shall know at least it is for your brother's sake, whose virtues, by me too-well known, have drawn after them my amorous desires; and without informing myself of his parents, country, riches or state of his fortune, having only respect to the hand wherewith Nature hath so bountifully enriched him, I love him only for love of himself. And I pray you by your own worth, and by that which you are, not to find fault with rash deliberations, but do for me in this behalf the best good you can. My mother at her death left me riches without number, unknown to my father. I am a king's daughter, who though he came to the crown by election, is nevertheless a matter of great consequence. Mine age you see, my beauty is not hidden from you, and the same, such as it is, though it deserve not to be esteemed, it meriteth not to be hated. Give me, sweet heart, your brother for my husband, and I will give myself to you to be your sister. We will part my riches, and I will procure you such a spouse as after my father's death shall be chosen king of this realm."

And in saying this, Synforosa held Auristela's hands, bathing them all over with tears, which Auristela accompanied with hers, judging by her own case how great are the distresses of an amorous heart. And though in the person of Synforosa she discerned an enemy, yet she was moved to pity her, for noble minds will not work revenge when they may: how much less those that are guiltless, and never did them injury? The fault of Synforosa and Auristela were alike, their thoughts the same, and both of them were unadvisedly carried with the same intentions.

Finally, she could not blame her unless first she rest convinced of the same offence; but she would, if at some times she had favoured Periander, though it were but in matters of small moment, or if by speech or look she had discovered her affection unto him. Synforosa made her answer, that she never durst lift up her eyes to look upon him, but with consideration of what was due to her estate, and that she had refrained her tongue no less than her eyes. "This I believe," said Auristela; "but did he never show unto you any apparent token of his love towards you? for I cannot believe him to be so void of sense that he should not be touched with feeling of a beauty like unto yours. Wherefore I am of this mind, that first or I intermeddle herein, yourself endeavour to speak unto him, or give him, by some honest favour, occasion to speak to you; for sometimes, courtesies unexpected in flame the minds that are least warm, and if he but once answer according to your desire, it shall be afterward easy for me to bring to pass that he shall content your mind. It is uneasy, fair lady, to begin anything, but in love most difficult. Nevertheless, I would advise you not to be overforward in your affections, for the favours which ladies bestow upon their lovers, though in never so chaste a fashion, appear not always to be such, and honour ought not to be lost for pleasure. Yet herein discretion may do much: and love, who is a witty master to direct the thoughts, findeth occasions of time and place to bring them to light without loss of renown."

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Chapter IV

Wherein is prosecuted the amorous history of Synforosa.

Synforosa gave attentive ear to the discreet words of Auristela, and without answering thereunto she said thus unto her in continuation of her former discourse:

"Consider, my friend, unto what issue hath proceeded the love which your brother's valour hath engendered in my heart. I brought to pass that a captain of my father's guard should go seek him out, and bring him back before me, either by love or by force. The ship wherein he embarked is the same that brought you hither: for he was there found dead amongst the other dead bodies."

"It must need be so," answered Auristela, "for he told me a good part of that which you have related, whereby I had before some little confused knowledge of your thoughts, which I desire you to moderate, if it be possible, until you have discovered unto me that which hath befallen you both. For neither you nor I shall want occasion to speak unto him." Again Synforosa thanked Auristela for her offer, and she again was moved to have compassion of Synforosa.

Whilst these things passed between them, Arnaldo was in another kind of conference with Clodio, who was ready to burst with the desire he had either to disturb or abolish the amorous thoughts of this Prince whom, having found alone, if such a one may be said to be alone who is accompanied with so many desires, he once more debated with him in this manner.

"I told thee, great Prince, the other day, what small assurance is to be expected from the fickle nature of women, and that Auristela in effect is but a woman, though she seem to be an angel; and Periander a man, albeit he be her brother. I will not say that your mind should have a suspicious and evil conceit; but I desire that you should examine and consider by reason what you are, the leaving your father alone, the danger wherein you hazard yourself to lose your kingdom, and the fault you commit against your subjects, who are in condition like a ship and mariners having lost their pilot that should conduct them. Consider: that kings are obliged to choose their wives not for beauty, but worthiness of birth; nor with riches, but virtues; because of the bond which they have to leave good successors unto their kingdoms. Nothing so diminisheth the respect which is due unto kings as to see them degenerate from their blood; neither is it enough to say that a king's greatness of itself is of sufficient power to advance the woman from base estate whom he will take to wife; for horses and other beasts known to be of generous breeding promise a more admirable race than those that are unknown and basely degenerated.

Amongst the vulgar sort, pleasure sometimes hath the pre-eminence, but it is not so amongst princes. Wherefore, O Prince, either return to your realm, or suffer not yourself here to be abused. And pardon this my boldness: for if I be reputed an evil speaker, I would not be esteemed to have a wicked affection in your behalf. You have received me under your protection, my life resteth on the support of your worthiness, under the shadow whereof I fear not the tempests of heaven, which already with more favourable stars do seem to make mine estate more fortunate."

"I thank thee, Clodio," answered Arnaldo, "for the good counsel thou hast given me; but I pray God I may not follow it. Auristela is good, Periander is her brother, and I will know or believe no more than she hath told me: for whatsoever she saith is true. I credit and adore her without question, for her infinite beauty carrieth after it all my desires, which can have no resting place but in her, and for her alone I have lived, live, and shall live all my lifetime. Wherefore Clodio, advise me no more, because thy words pass away with the wind: and thou shalt see by mine actions that thy counsels shall be always vain as touching me."

Clodio shrunk up his shoulders, held down his head, and departed from his presence with a firm purpose never to serve him as a counsellor, having learned that whosoever will be such, ought to have three qualities: whereof the first is authority; the second, prudence; and the third is, that he should be called.

Such revolutions and amorous inventions walked up and down in the palace of Policarpus and in the hearts of those confused lovers: Auristela being jealous; Synforosa, amorous; Periander, troubled; Arnaldo, wilful; Maurice resolving to return against Transilla's will who, lest she should fall again into the hands of her citizens, would not abide the speech thereof; Ladislas her husband neither durst nor would contradict her; old Anthony was nigh dead with desire to see himself, his wife and children in Spain; Rutilio was for Italy. All had endless desires, but accomplished nothing: such is the condition of man's nature which, though God had created absolute and perfect, we maim always through our own default.

Now, Synforosa had brought to pass that Auristela was alone with Periander, through her desire to begin the debating of a cause upon whose judgement her life or death depended: and the first words which Auristela said to Periander were these.

"Our pilgrimage, my brother, so full of labour and unrest, makes me fear every moment those that may procure our death and to desire that our lives in some place of stay may be secured, finding none so good as where now we are. Here is offered unto you wealth in great plenty, not by promise but in very deed: a noble wife, exceedingly fair, and worthy, not to pray you as she doth but that you should entreat, serve, make the best friends you can to obtain her."

Whilst Auristela spoke these words, Periander looked on her so attentively that his eye-lids never moved, revolving a thousand thoughts in his mind upon a sudden to know whither the speeches of Auristela tended. But she freed him from this confusion, saying:

"I tell you brother, Synforosa adoreth you, and would have you to be her husband. She saith she hath riches incredible, and I affirm that she is adorned with beauty, as any man may discern, which we may believe to be such as neither can be advanced by exaggerations, nor increased by hyperbolical speeches. And so far forth as I can perceive, she is of high estate, sharp wit, and a no less discreet than pleasant humour. Yet for all this, I acknowledge what you deserve in being such as you are. But in such fortune as is now befallen you, such a companion should not be unfitting you. We are out of our country: you are pursued by your brother, and I by my destiny. Our way to Rome, the more we desire, the farther we are from it. My purpose is nothing altered, though it stagger: and I would not death should take me away amongst the fears of so many hazards. Wherefore I mean to end my life in some religious profession, and I wish you may continue yours in good fortune."

Here Auristela ended her speech and began to weep, disavowing thereby whatsoever she had before spoken. She drew her arms out of the bed, laying them on the coverlet, and turned her head on the other side opposite to Periander's who, having seen this action, and heard this discourse, lost both voice and sight and, falling on his knees to the earth, leaned his head against the bed. Auristela turning hers, and seeing him in a trance, put her hand to his face: and he not feeling anything, she wiped away the tears that ran down along his cheeks.

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Chapter V

Of that which passed betwixt Policarpus and his daughter.

We see divers effects in nature, but are ignorant of the causes. There are some whose teeth are set on edge if they see cloth cut with a knife; others are troubled at the sight of a rat. I have seen some quake to see one cut a radish, and others rise from the table when olives are served in. If any should demand the cause, not one can declare it; and those that think they have best hit the mark, affirm that the stars have a certain antipathy with the complexions of men, which incline them to such fears and astonishments when they behold the things above-said. One definition of a man is, that he is a living creature apt to laugh; because amongst all animals, man only laugheth: and by the same reason he may be described by weeping. For like as immoderate laughter is an argument of man's little understanding, so by too great plenty of tears he showeth his want of judgement.

A wise man is permitted to weep for his sins; all other tears are unworthy of a grave countenance.

Let us now behold Periander, who though he weep not as a penitent but as amorous, shall not want some persons to excuse his tears, and other besides that will wipe them away as Auristela did, who with more cunning than verity had brought him to this estate. In the end he came to himself and, hearing some walk in the chamber, he turned his head, and saw Ricla and Constance at his back, who came to see Auristela, which served him to good purpose who knew not what to say. Wherefore he left the place, and went to bethink himself of that she had spoken, and how he should answer her. In the meantime Synforosa was possessed with an extreme desire to know the success of the conference betwixt Periander and Auristela. And doubtless Ricla and Constance had not prevented her in going to see Auristela, if her father had not sent to speak with her at that present. She obediently went to see him, and found him alone in his privy chamber where, having been silent for a time, he spoke such like words with a low voice.

"Daughter, though thy young years oblige thee not to feel that which is called love, yet Nature sometimes passeth her bounds, enflaming children of green years, as it also consumeth such as by old age are dried up."

When Synforosa heard these words, she suddenly imagined that her father knew all her desires, yet she said nothing, as unwilling to interrupt his farther declaration; feeling in the meanwhile such beating of her heart as if it had searched some passage to go out of her breast. "Daughter," continued Policarpus, "since thy mother's death, I have withdrawn myself under the shadow of thy delights, defending myself by thy protection, and governed by thy counsels. I have religiously observed the laws of my widower's estate, as well to preserve my reputation as that I might not endanger the loss of my soul. Yet since these new guests came into our city, the dial of mine understanding is overthrown and the course of my virtuous life troubled, in such sort that I am fallen from the highest pinnacle of my discretion into the lowest gulfs of I know not what desires, the concealing whereof will be my death, and the bewraying, my dishonour. I die for Auristela, and the heat of her young beauty is entered into the bones of my frozen old age. From the stars of her eyes, my dark sight hath received a new brightness, and the gallantness of her person giveth strength unto my feeble body. I would, if I could possible, give thee and thy sister a mother-in-law, whose great perfections might excuse me for giving her. If thou consent hereunto, I care not what others can say. And suppose for this folly, if it seem such, I should be deprived of my kingdom, I would be less careful; for may I reign in the arms of Auristela, there shall be no monarch in the world equal to me. My purpose, daughter, is that thou give her notice hereof, and obtain at her hands the consent which I desire which, in mine opinion, shall not be hard to compass, if to my years she discreetly oppose the greatness of my riches and authority. It is good to be a queen, and good to command. Honour gives delight, and all recreations are not comprised in equal marriages. A man should chiefly desire these four things: a good wife, a good house, a good horse and good armour: and the two first ought to be as much desired by women as men, or rather more, because the husband is not advanced in degree of nobleness by his wife; but contrarily, the husband's dignity advanceth his wife's estate which, were it never so small and base, is equal to the greatness and majesty of him that espouseth her. And so whatsoever Auristela be at this present, in being my wife she shall be a queen, and her brother Periander my brother-in-law whom, honouring with this title, and making him thy husband, thou shalt be no less esteemed in being his wife than because thou art my daughter."

"But how know you, my lord," answered Synforosa, "that Periander is unmarried? and if he be not, that he is willing to accept of me?"

"That he is yet a bachelor," answered the king, "I judge, because I see him wander into strange countries, which is not permitted to those that are married. And that he is willing to be yours, I assure myself by his discretion, which is great, and will make him see what good shall befall him by this alliance. And because his sister's beauty hath made her a queen, it is no marvel if yours make him your husband."

With these last words and large promise, the king cherished Synforosa's hopes and seasoned the taste of her desires. And so, being well pleased with her father's wishes, she promised to work the means of this marriage with Auristela, receiving the reward of good news, at least by promise, before she had as yet anything negotiated in the business. Only she told him, that his care was good as touching the marriage which he purposed to conclude betwixt her and Periander; and albeit his worth and valour were sufficiently known, yet nothing should be rashly done, before experience and conversing together certain days had first given them assurance.

This she spoke far otherwise than she thought, for she would have given all the goods which ever since she was born she most desired in this world, to have him to her husband. But in maid's affairs, the tongue speaks one thing and the heart thinks another.

These things passed between Policarpus and his daughter, whilst a discourse was made in another chamber, between Rutilio and Clodio. Clodio (as in speaking of his customs and life we have already written) was a man crafty and malicious who, together with ill speaking, was of gentleman-like behaviour, and discreet; for fools know not how to speak evil, men are delighted with points and subtleties of a wise railer, who serves in company as salt amongst meat. To be brief, this is the comfort of biting satirists, that if they be condemned as pernicious and hurtful, they are acquitted as discreet and praised as witty. Our evil speaker, then, whose malicious tongue had made him to be banished from his country with the vicious Rosamond, finding himself alone with Rutilio, said thus unto him.

"Seest thou not, Rutilio, that he which discloseth a secret unto another, praying him to say nothing because it imports his life, is a fool? I now demand of thee that discoverest thy thoughts, and openest thy fears: if it might put thy life in hazard, that another should know so much, and yet thyself bewrayest them, how wouldst thou have another be silent therein whom it nothing concerneth? What greater assurance canst thou have, that what thou knowest shall never be disclosed, than in thine own silence? I say this unto thee, Rutilio, to make thee perceive that I know these things, and that herewithal certain thoughts come to my mouth and tongue which are mad till they come into discourse, and go abroad in the market place before they corrupt my stomach, or make me burst. Come hither unto me Rutilio: what makes Arnaldo here? following the body of Auristela, like as if he were her shadow; leaving his realm at the discretion of his old and decrepit father, losing himself here, drowning himself there, weeping on the one side, sighing on the other, and bitterly lamenting every where the miserable fortune of his own framing?

What shall we say of this Auristela and her brother, two young vagabonds that conceal their parents? It may be to put us in doubt that they are issued from a great house; for those that are far from their country may make themselves to have what fathers they list, and by discretion and cunning, appear in their behaviour to be children of the Sun and of the Moon. I will not deny but it is a virtue deserving praise for a man to make himself better than he is, but yet it must be without prejudice to any. Honour and praise are the reward of virtue, that is to say, such as is firm and solid: but they belong not to hypocrisy nor dissimulation. Who may this wrestler be, this fencer, this runner, and this leaper? this fair Ganymede, sold here, bought there: this Argus of the delicate Auristela, whom he always looks upon as on a mariner's compass, that we were never able to know this pair of such incomparable beauty, whence they came, or whither they go? But that which most troubleth me in their behalf is this; that I swear unto thee, Rutilio, by the eleven heavens which men say there are, that I could never persuade myself that they are brother and sister; and admit they be, I cannot well conceive how this fraternity can go so united by lands, and by seas; by deserts, and by fields; by inns and by taverns. Their expenses come out of the budget of the barbarians Ricla and Constance, which is full of golden pieces. I see well, that this cross of diamonds, and these two pearls which Auristela carrieth, are of great value. But these are not pledges which are exchanged or given for a small matter: and we need say nothing else, but think they find always kings and princes to lodge and favour them. But now, Rutilio, what shall we say of Transilla's fantasy, and her father's astrology, she that is so valiant, and he that esteems himself the best judiciary of the world? for Ladislas, I dare venture anything, that he would now willingly be at rest in his own country, and in his house, though Transilla should yet once more undergo the ordinances of her city, rather than see himself here in a strange country, and at their discretion who would supply such things as they need. And our Spanish barbarian, into whose pride it seemeth all the world's valiance is reduced: I will lay a wager, that if ever the heaven suffer him to return into his country, he will assemble all the world to show them his wife and children wrapped all in skins, and make the barbarian island to be painted in a cloth, and show unto them with a wand the place where he was fifteen years enclosed, the cave of the prisoners, the ridiculous trial of the barbarians' prophecy, and the unexpected burning of their isle: or like those which have been freed from slavery of the Turks, who having those chains on their neck which before they had on their feet, relate their misfortunes among the Christians, with a sorrowful voice full of pitiful entreaties. Nevertheless, this is yet tolerable: for though it seems they tell us things impossible, yet man's estate is subject to greater perils, and those that befall banished persons, are credible, be they never so great."

"What conclude you, Clodio, hereupon?" said Rutilio.

"I conclude to tell thee," answered Clodio, "that thou canst hardly live by thy profession in this country, where the inhabitants neither dance nor leap, nor take any other pleasure but in drinking. I also conclude with myself, that having escaped death by the favour of heaven, and courtesy of Arnaldo, I give thanks neither to the one, nor the other, wishing rather to amend my fortune, though it should redound to his detriment. Friendship may continue betwixt such as are poor, because the quality of their fortune is a chain to hold their hearts together: but between the rich and the poor there can be no amity of long continuance, by reason of the inequality betwixt riches and poverty."

"Thou, Clodio, art a philosopher," replied Rutilio; "but I cannot imagine what means we should use to make our fortunes good, as you say, if it be otherwise, from our birth. I am not so learned as thou, but this I know, that such as are born of base parentage, unless the heavens favour them exceedingly, cannot alone and of themselves arise to such greatness as to be showed with the finger, except virtue reach them the hand. And how should virtue aid thee, if the greatest virtue thou hast be to speak evil of virtue itself? And as touching me, by whom should I be advanced? who though I strive never so much can mount no higher than the skip of a caper. I a dancer, thou an evil speaker: I condemned in mine own country to be hanged, and thou banished out of thine: consider what reason we have to hope that any shall make us great."

Clodio was as one in a quandary at the speech of Rutilio, and in this suspense the author of this history concludeth this chapter.

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Chapter V[I]

Periander's lamentation, and the continuance of the love of Synforosa, speaking to Auristela.

All had to whom they might impart their thoughts: Policarpus to his daughter, and Clodio to Rutilio; only the astonished Periander communicated his to none but himself, which were bred in him by Auristela's words, in such kind that he knew not whither to have recourse for mitigation of his pensiveness. "O my God," said he to himself, "what a thing is this? hath Auristela lost her judgement? will she be a mediator of my marriage? how is it possible that she hath forgotten our agreements? what have I to do with Synforosa? what realms, or what riches can constrain me to forsake my Sigismunda, as long as I am Persiles?" In speaking this word, he bit his tongue, looking round about to see if any gave ear to him; and being assured that none heard what he said, he thus continued.

"Without doubt, Auristela is jealous, for jealousy amongst lovers is engendered by the winds blowing, the sun shining on them, and the earth that bears them. O mistress, take heed what you do; wrong not your worth nor beauty; and take not from me the glory of my constant thoughts, whose fidelity is in working for me an inestimable crown of a true lover. Synforosa is fair, rich and of good birth; but in comparison of you, she is hard favoured, poor, and of base lineage. Consider, Madam, that love is bred and borne in our hearts, either by election, or by destiny. That which is by destiny, continueth always in the same estate; that which cometh from election, may increase or diminish, or augment the causes that bind us to mutual affection. And this being true as it is, I find that my love hath no bounds to limit it, nor words to express it. I may, in a manner, affirm that I loved you from mine infancy, ever since I was swaddled and rocked, and hereupon I ground the argument of destiny. With age, and use of reason, in me increased the acknowledgement, and in you the parts which make you amiable. I see, contemplate, and know them: I grave them in my soul: and of yours and mine I make such an united and simple composition, that death shall have much to do to dissever them. O Synforosa, leave me the good that is mine, offer me not any strange beauties, and allure me not with monarchies and empires to love you. And you, Auristela, relinquish not to resound in mine ears the sweet name of a brother, wherewith you call me. All that I now say to myself, I would willingly utter in the same terms that I have devised in my fantasy; but it will not be possible; for that the splendour of your eyes, especially if they wrathfully behold me, will trouble my sight and make dumb my tongue. It will be better for me to write unto you, for the reasons shall be always one: you may look on them oftentimes, and therein always behold one and the same truth, a firm faith, a commendable drift, and worthy to be credited."

Herewithal he rested for a time, resolving to write unto her, thinking that he should express his mind better, and discourse with more judgement, by his pen than by his tongue.

Let us leave Periander to his writing, and hearken a little unto Synforosa who, being desirous to know what answer Periander had made to Auristela, sought means to be alone with Auristela, and by the way to give her some knowledge of her father's intent believing, upon the first declaration thereof, to obtain Auristela's consent, grounding the same on this imagination: that greatness and wealth are seldom contemned, especially by women, who by nature are most covetous, as also most proud and ambitious.

When Auristela saw Synforosa she had small pleasure in her coming, because in having resolved with Periander upon nothing, she could not make her any answer. But Synforosa, before she spoke of her own business, she would touch those of her father, imagining that with such joyful news as she brought to Auristela, she should win her to take her part: wherein consisted, as she thought, the gaining of her suit. Wherefore she said unto her:

"Fair Auristela, the heavens do greatly cherish thee; for it seems they will rain down upon thy head all manner of good fortunes. The king my father adoreth thee, who sent me to tell thee that he will be thy husband and, in recompense of the consent which I shall carry unto him on your behalf, he hath promised me that I shall be wedded to Periander. And so, sister, you are already a queen, Periander is mine, you have riches already beyond that which you can hope for, or desire; and if your pleasures be not so great in my father's old age, they shall be requited in rule and command, which you shall have over all his subjects, who shall always be diligent to serve you.

"I have told thee great matters, my fair love, which should bind thee to do much for me; for from so great perfection as thine, we can hope for no less than great thankfulness. And now the world begins to see a mother and daughter-in-law, loving well each other without dissimulation, as it must fall out if your discretion forget not itself. But now, tell me what answer made your brother to that which you told him of me. I assure myself that he gave thee a good answer, for he should be of simple judgement which would not receive your counsels as an oracle." To this, Auristela answered:

"My brother is not unthankful in any respect, and is very discreet, as being a knight who hath much travelled, and seen many things; for nothing makes men to have quicker wits than to read and see much; and mine and my brother's travels have therein made us read and see how highly we ought to esteem of rest. And because we shall obtain the same by means of your offer, I doubtless imagine we shall take it. Yet hitherto my brother hath made me no answer, neither do I know anything of his will which may favour or contradict your hopes. Give some time, fair Synforosa, to time, and let us consider the benefit of your promises, to the end we may know how to esteem them when they shall be effected. If a man fail in those things which can be but once done, they cannot be amended the second time which they want, and marriage is one of these things; wherefore it ought carefully to be deliberated upon before the accomplishment. And yet all considerations set apart, I believe that you shall obtain your desires, and I receive your promises and counsels. And therefore sister, go and cause Periander to come and speak with me; for I long to know some joyful news to tell you, and to consult with him what will best be fitting for me, as being mine elder brother, to whom I owe all respective obedience."

Synforosa embraced her, and departed to fetch Periander who, having locked himself alone in a chamber, took his pen, and after many beginnings which he erased out of the paper, in the end he finished this letter.

The letter of Periander to Auristela

"I durst not trust my tongue with that I commit to my pen, and yet I think to have no better success in writing than in speaking; for he can never write well, who every moment expecteth nothing but death. I now well perceive that all wise men know not how to give good counsel in every matter, but only such as have had experience in those things whereof they are asked advice. Pardon me if I commend not yours: because I think either you know not, or have utterly forgotten yourself. Return to the way Madam, that a vain and jealous presumption make you not pass the limits of your admirable judgement. Consider what you are, and remember who I am, and you shall find in you the highest top of all perfections that may be spoken, and in me all the love and constancy that can be imagined. And I assure you in the consideration hereof, that you need not fear lest any strange beauties should enflame me, or that I have anything in the world ever to prefer before your incomparable virtue. Let us follow our voyage, accomplish our vow, and leave these fruitless and hurtful suspicions. I will provide for our departure from this country with all diligence and speed I possibly can, for methinks, in getting from hence I shall come out of my hellish torment that I may enjoy the glory to see you without jealousy."

This was the letter which Periander wrote, and which he wrote out fair after he had made five or six blots; and therewith went to see Auristela, now that one was already come to fetch him, in her name.

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Chapter VII

The audaciousness of Rutilio and of Clodio, who writ love-letters to Policarpa and to Auristela.

These two gallants, Rutilio and Clodio, who would advance their base fortunes, one trusting in his wit, the other in his impudence, imagined they were of sufficient worth, one to be beloved of Policarpa, and the other of Auristela. The voice and good grace of Policarpa contented Rutilio, and the incomparable beauty of Auristela had wounded the eyes of Clodio. Both of them sought occasion to manifest their thoughts, not thinking what harm could ensue by declaring them; for a man of small account, which adventureth to speak that which he should not so much as think upon to a woman of quality, should apprehend the danger of future evil. Nevertheless, it sometimes falleth out that the free actions of a great lady give occasion of boldness to people of little esteem to look upon her, and declare unto her such things as otherwise they durst not to have harboured in their thoughts. Modesty and gravity ought to be united unto an honest woman; but it must be a modesty without carelessness and a gravity without pride, for the greater a lady is, the more humble she ought to be. But in these two new lovers, their desires took not their first original from the overmuch liberty or too small gravity of their ladies. But from whencesoever it proceeded, Rutilio in the end wrote a letter to Policarpa, the tenor whereof ensueth.

Rutilio to Policarpa

"Madam: I am a stranger, and whatsoever I tell you of the greatness of my lineage, it may be, because I have no witnesses to confirm the same, your heart will give no credit thereunto. Although, to testify the nobility of my birth, it sufficeth that I have been so bold as to say, 'I adore you'. Consider what proofs you will have me bring to assure this verity: for it belongeth to you to demand, and to me to perform. And because I desire you for my spouse, imagine you that I desire as I am, and merit according to my desire, in regard it belongeth to high minds to aspire to high matters. Give me, if it please you, an answer of this paper, at the least with your eyes: for in the sweetness or cruelty of their look I shall see the sentence of my death or of my life."

Rutilio having folded up this letter, with purpose to give the same to Policarpa, first showed it to Clodio who, in requital, showed him another which he had made for Auristela, the words whereof were these:

Clodio to Auristela

"Some enter into the traps of love with the baits of beauty; others, with those of pleasant behaviour and courtesy; and others, by those of worth which they consider in the person whom they mean to serve. But I have put my neck under his yoke, my feet into his fetters, and my will to his laws, by a fashion much different; namely, those of grief. For what stony heart is there, Madam, that can be void of a compassionate feeling of sorrow, in seeing you sold, bought and reduced to such extremities that every step, every moment, you saw yourself at the last date of your life? The merciless iron hath threatened your threat, the fire hath burnt to the gown you wear, the snow hath frozen you, famine decayed and withered the red roses of your cheeks: finally, the water hath drowned you and cast you up. I know not with what strength you bear these travails, considering that you cannot receive any great comfort in those of a wandering king who followeth you for the sole interest of enjoying you which he pretendeth; and much less those of your brother, if he be so indeed, are so great that they can assuage your misery.

"Trust not, Madam, in promises far off, but rely rather on hopes at hand, and choose a means to live which may assure that which the heaven will give you. I am young, and a man of sufficient ability to live in the remotest places of the earth. I will find ways to convey you hence, and free you from the importunities of Arnaldo. And upon your coming out of this Egypt, I will conduct you into the land of promise, which is France, Italy or Spain, seeing I cannot live in England, my sweet and well-beloved country. Above all things, I offer myself to be your husband, and from this time forth accept you for my wife."

Rutilio, having heard the letter of Clodio, said thus unto him:

"Of a truth, we are void of sense in seeking to persuade ourselves that we can fly to heaven without wings, and that our pretences will be like those of the ant. Hearest thou, Clodio? my counsel is, that we tear asunder these papers, because no force of love hath urged us to write, but an idle and faint affection. For love hath no birth nor increase unless it be supported by hope, which if it fail, the other must utterly decay. But wherefore shall we hazard to overthrow ourselves in an enterprise where is nothing to be gotten? For to manifest this attempt, and to see the halter or knife at our weasands, is but all one thing; and more than that, to show ourselves amorous, we shall appear unthankful and traitors. Seest thou not the distance betwixt a master of dancing, who amended his occupation by being a goldsmith, and a king's daughter? and the state of a banished railer, and her which refuseth and condemns realms? Let us bite our tongues, that our repentance may be as forward as our folly. At least, this letter of mine shall sooner be burnt or scattered in the wind, than given to Policarpa."

"Do as thou wilt with thine," answered Clodio, "for though I give not mine to Auristela, I will keep it for the honour of my mind, albeit I fear if I deliver it not, I shall feel a repentance all my life for not doing it, because that the trial is not always hurtful."

With these discourses, our lovers in show, but fools in effect and verity, entertained each other, during which time the hour was come wherein Periander should talk alone with Auristela, and he was gone to see her, with purpose to give her the letter which he had written. But so soon as he saw her, forgetting all the discourses and excuses which he had premeditated, he said unto her:

"Madam, behold me well if I be Periander, and he that was Persiles, whom you now will have to be Periander. Nothing but death can dissolve the knot which hath tied our affections which, if it be so, to what purpose can it serve to give me counsel so much repugnant to this verity? By all the heavens, I beseech you, and by yourself which are fairer than they, that you speak not unto me any more of Synforosa, neither imagine that her beauty or treasures can make me forget the rich mines of your virtues, nor the incomparable beauty as well of your body as of your mind. I breathe only for your sake, offering anew myself unto you, not with any greater advantage than I made this offer unto you at the first; because there is no article which can add anything to the obligation wherein I remain your servant from the first day that I received into my knowledge any impression of your virtue. Endeavour, Madam, to recover health, and I will strive to get out of this country, and contrive our voyage in the best manner I can. For though Rome be the heaven of the earth, yet it is not in heaven: and there shall be no travels or dangers to hinder us from coming thither, though there may be some to disturb and lengthen our way. Hold you fast by the body and branches of your constancy, and do not imagine that anything in the world is able to withstand you."

Whilst Periander thus spoke, Auristela beheld him with eyes full of tears engendered by her jealous passion. But in the end, the amorous reasons of Periander wrought their effect in her soul, and made room for truth issuing therewith from the same heart, which drew from Auristela this answer.

"I believe you, my lord, without enforcing me, and in this confidence I pray you that we may very speedily depart from this country. For it may be I shall be whole of the jealousy, which here maketh me sick, better in another country."

"Madam," answered Periander, "if I had given any motion unto your evil, I would take your complaints in patience, and you should find in mine excuses the remedy of your grief. But not knowing wherein I could have offended you, I know not in like manner how to excuse myself. I beseech you by that which you are, to cheer up their hearts that know you, as soon as is possible; and with like readiness I will put in effect the desire you have to depart from hence."

"Know you," said Auristela, "how much it concerneth you? They would here flatter me with promises, and constrain me by gifts to receive the offers they make me of this realm. King Policarpus would be my husband, and so sent me word by Synforosa his daughter; and by such favour as she thinks to find at my hands in being her stepmother, she will have you to her husband. Whether this may be effected or not, you know: and if we be in peril, you may see. Wherefore, consulting with your wisdom, seek out such remedy as our necessity requireth. Pardon me if the force of a jealous mistrust hath constrained me to offend you, for love easily excuseth this fault."

"He affirms of himself," replied Periander, "that he can not be without jealousy which is bred upon weak and light occasions, and from a small beginning increaseth to such greatness, that it cooleth the most ardent affections. I beseech you, by that which you owe unto your understanding and wit, that henceforth you behold me with better eyes, for fairer cannot be found in the world than yours; and for the residue, entertain Policarpus and his daughter as in your good discretion you think best; for you shall nothing offend in feigning words which have relation to a good design. And so farewell, lest our long discourse breed some bad suspicion in some bad mind."

Herewith Periander left her, and in coming out of the chamber, he met Clodio and Rutilio, Rutilio making an end of tearing his letter and Clodio folding his to put it into his pocket: Rutilio repenting his foolish thought, and Clodio pleasing himself in his own wit, and rejoicing in his rashness. But the time will come, wherein he would he had never written it, though it had cost him half his life, if lives might possibly be parted.

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Chapter VII

The device of Synforosa, and of Auristela, touching the marriages of Policarpus and of Periander, and the reasons which Auristela alleged for delay thereof.

King Policarpus was replenished with joy in his amorous thoughts and overcome with desire to know the resolution of Auristela, being nevertheless in such sort assured of her conformity to his will that he plotted in himself the wedding, contrived the feast, invented sports for solemnising thereof, and bestowed favours besides in hope of his future marriage. But amongst all his enterprises, he never felt the pulses of his age, neither wisely brought to an equal balance the difference between seventeen years and threescore and ten. Thus desires and wanton affections flatter themselves; thus imagined pleasures beguile the greatest wits, and sweet imaginations do thus oversway those that make no resistance against amorous encounters. The thoughts of Synforosa were far different, for she held not her fortune assured, it being a natural thing to such as desire much, to fear much; and that which giveth wings to hope, as virtue, greatness and beauty, doth also clip them, because lovers have this property: always to think that they have not sufficient good parts that may merit to be beloved of those whom they love. Love and fear walk so equally that, which way so ever a man turn his eyes, he shall ever see them together. Neither is love proud as some say, but contrariwise, he is humble, pleasing, and so sweet, that oftentimes he loseth his right that he may not disquiet that which he loveth; and so much the rather because, as every lover valueth at an inestimable rate the thing which he loveth, he would choose rather to die than stir up any occasion on his part, whereby it might be lost.

Synforosa considered all this with better judgement than her father and, betwixt hope and fear, she went to see Auristela, to learn that which she hoped and feared both at once. Synforosa then saw herself, according to her chiefest desire, alone with Auristela. And so great was her longing to know news of her good or bad fortune that, before she would speak a word unto her, upon her first entrance, she disposed herself steadfastly to behold her, to see if by the alterations of her countenance she would afford her any token of her life or death. Auristela well understood her meaning, though she spoke not, and with a cheerful and smiling face she said thus unto her.

"Come near, Madam, there is nothing to be feared in your hope. But true it is that your good hopes and mine shall be a little deferred, but in the end they shall take effect; for although some inconveniences may hinder these just desires, yet so it is that despair ought not to be the death of hope. My brother saith that the knowledge he hath of your beauties and virtues, not only obligeth, but also constraineth him to love you; and that he holds your grace and favour in desiring him to be the greatest good, and the greatest honour that ever happened unto him. But before you come to this happy possession, it is necessary to beguile the hopes of the Prince of Denmark, who would fain have me to wife: as I should be doubtless, if your marriage with my brother be not an impeachment thereunto. For sister, you must know that I can live as little without Periander, as a body can live without a soul. I am resolved to live where he shall determine to live, for he is the spirit that moveth me and the soul that animateth me. This being presupposed, if he marry with you in this country, how shall I live with Arnaldo in the absence of my brother? Nevertheless, to entertain him with hope, we are now going with him into his realm, where we will crave licence to go and accomplish our vow at Rome: the desire of performing which, hath drawn us from our country. And it is certain, as experience hath taught me, that he will not be against my will in anything. Then, being restored to our liberty, it shall be very easy for us to return into this isle, where we will delude his hopes, we shall see a good end of ours, I in being married with the king your father, and my brother with you."

Hereunto Synforosa answered: "I know not, sister, with what words I may express the favour you have done me by your speeches, whereof I will leave the same as it is, for that I am not able to declare it. That which I will now say unto you, receive rather for advertisement, than as counsel given. You are now in this kingdom, and in my father's power, who can and will defend you against all the world. Neither is it reason to put to arbitrement an assured possession. It is not possible for the Prince of Denmark to bear you hence by force: but of necessity he must desire, or at least consent unto my father's will, who now hath him in his realm, and in his house. Assure me that you are in this mind to be my mistress, by espousing the king my father, and that your brother will not disdain to be my lord and husband, and I will warrant you against all inconveniences and difficulties that may come on Arnaldo's behalf."

To this Auristela replied: "Wise men judge of things to come by those that are past and present. By detaining us, your father may kindle Arnaldo's wrath, who to speak truth is a mighty king, and in every respect more than he; and when kings are mocked and beguiled, they engage themselves easily to work revenge. And so, instead of contentment in our alliance, you shall receive hurt by the wars which for our sake shall be brought to your doors. And if you say unto me that this fear shall always continue, whether we tarry here or return again, considering the heavens do not always hasten mishaps but that they leave us some light to find out remedies: I am of advice that we go with Arnaldo, and that yourself by your wonted discretion solicit our departure. For by this means, you shall urge and shorten our coming back. And here, though not in kingdoms of so large extent as Arnaldo's, at the least in greater peace and more assurance we shall take the fruition, I of your father's wisdom, and you of the gentleness and bounty of my brother, without any division or separation of our souls."

Synforosa was so transported with contentment by hearing these words that she took fast hold of Auristela and, casting her arms about her neck, with her fair and red lips she measured her mouth and eyes. Then they saw coming in, the two Anthonys, father and son, with Ricla and Constance, and shortly after entered Maurice, Ladislas and Transilla, who were all desirous to see and speak with Auristela and to know to what estate her infirmity was reduced, whereby all of them were participating of her sickness. Synforosa departed from the company with more joy, and more deceived than when she came in; for lovers believe with incredible facility the very shadows of promises that concern their pleasure.

Old Maurice, after the ordinary demands and answers accustomed in such visitations, said thus:

"If poor people, though beggars, cannot bear with patience to see themselves absent and banished from their country, where they have left nothing but seats of turfs to rest upon; what grief should others feel which have left in their houses all the wealth which they could promise unto themselves by fortune? I say this, Madam, because mine age, which with urgent and hasty steps approacheth to the end of my course, makes me desire to see myself again in my country, where my friends, kinsfolk and children may close mine eyelids, and give me their last farewell. We shall attain to this grace if it please God, because we are all strangers and far off, and all of us (I believe) have in our lands that which we shall not find in strange countries. If you, Madam, will urge our departure, or at least shall think good that we do procure it, you shall make us all infinitely beholding to you, although it be impossible for us to forsake you: for your noble condition, your exquisite beauty, and your admirable discretion is the lodestone of our wills."

" Yea verily," said old Anthony, "at the least, of mine, my wife and children; so that I would sooner leave my life than her company, if she think no scorn of ours."

"I thank you, gentlemen," said Auristela, "for your good will you testify towards me. And though it be not in my power to answer, as I ought, yet I will bring to pass that the Prince Arnaldo and my brother Periander shall endeavour to effect it without that my debility, which God be praised is now past, shall hinder or delay our departure. But in expectation of this happy hour, cheer up your hearts, let not melancholy bear sway, nor think upon any future dangers: for the heaven which hath delivered us from those we have passed will stop others from coming upon us. And by restoring us in safety to our houses will make us know that mishaps, which have not strength to end our lives, have not power to finish our patience."

All of them wondered at Auristela's answer, for that therein she made manifest her pitiful heart and admirable wisdom.

At that instant king Policarpus entered, who was exceedingly joyful, because he had known by Synforosa the promises made as touching the accomplishment of his desires. Whether they were lascivious or chaste, I know not: for old folks cover their amorous lusts under the cloak of hypocrisy, and their hypocrisy under the veil of marriage. With the king, Arnaldo and Periander came in; and the king, being merry with Auristela for her health recovered, commanded that this night, in thankfulness for the favour heaven had bestowed upon them in the making of Auristela whole, they should light torches throughout the city, and that a public feast and rejoicing should be made of eight days' continuance. Thanks were given him by Periander, as the brother of Auristela; and by Arnaldo, as a lover that intended to marry her. Policarpus inwardly rejoiced, in consideration how pleasantly Arnaldo was deceived who, marvelling at the speedy recovery of Auristela, but ignorant what Policarpus went about, sought means to depart from his dominions, because the more he deferred his going thence, the more in his judgement he prolonged his desire.

Maurice, willing to return into his country, had recourse to his art and found that great difficulties hindered their departure. He conferred with Arnaldo and Periander, who before knew the intentions of Synforosa and Policarpus, which put them into great care because they knew, when amorous desires get full possession of great personages, there is no difficulty that can hinder them to satisfy the same, without being stayed by any respect, promises, or obligations. They three agreed upon this resolution: that Maurice, amongst many ships that were in the haven, should find out one which might secretly carry them into England. For they wanted nothing to get aboard and, in the meantime, they would not make any show as though they understood anything of Policarpus his drifts. All this was imparted to Auristela, who approved their device, entering into new cares: to look well to her own safety, and the preservation of them all.

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Chapter VIII

Clodio giveth his letter to Auristela; the barbarian Anthony killeth him by mischance.

The history saith that the pride, or rather the impudence of Clodio came to this issue, that he had the boldness to deliver the paper which he had written into Auristela's hands, making her believe that it was verses of devotion worthy to be read and esteemed. Auristela opened the paper, and her curiosity so much prevailed over her that, notwithstanding despite and wrath, she read it to the end; and folding it up again, her eyes fixed on Clodio, all on fire, not with an amorous brightness as they were wont to be, but with a violent choler, she thus spoke unto him. "Be gone, shameless fellow, get thee out of my sight: and if I knew that thy rashness proceeded from want of consideration in me, which incited thee to this boldness, I would chastise, in myself, thy folly." If any were much astonished, it was Clodio, who would willingly never have had knowledge how to write. A thousand fears did so quickly beset his mind that they gave him no longer time to live than during the time that Arnaldo or Periander should be unacquainted with this fault and, without replying a word, he held down his eyes, turned his back, and left Auristela alone, whose fantasy was possessed, not with a vain fear, but grounded upon reason, lest Clodio through despair might devise against her some treason, making use of Policarpus his inventions, if perhaps he had any knowledge thereof. Wherefore she resolved to give notice hereof to Periander and Arnaldo.

At this time it happened that, the young Anthony being alone in his chamber, there came in a woman about the age of forty years, but concealed ten thereof by her gallant and comely behaviour. Her attire was not after the manner of this country, but of the Spanish fashion. And though Anthony was unacquainted with fashions but such as he had seen in the barbarian Island where he was born, yet he knew she was not of this isle. He courteously rose up to receive her, not being so barbarous as he was well brought up; and then, both of them sitting down one by another, after for a time she had earnestly looked on Anthony's face, she said thus unto him:

"This my coming, young man, will seem unto you a novelty, for that you have not been accustomed to be visited by women, having been bred, as I have understood, in the Barbarian Isle: not only among barbarous people, but besides among the steep down-falls and rocks; from whence, if as you have drawn your comeliness and beauty, you have also received hardness in your heart, I greatly fear that the mildness of mine shall not much profit me. Give ear unto me; be not troubled, neither turn thyself away; for it is no monster that speaketh unto thee, neither is here any person which will speak or advise thee anything beyond the limits of humanity and nature.

"Consider, I speak unto thee in Spanish, which language thou knowest. And this conformity is wont to beget affection amongst those that know not one another. My name is Zenocia, a Spanish woman by birth, for I was born and brought up in Alhama, a city of the realm of Granada. My name is known throughout all Spain, and in many other places besides, for my knowledge permitteth not my name to be hidden. Making then myself famous by mine actions, I went out of my country about four years ago, flying those mastiffs that keep the Catholic flock of this kingdom. My ancestors were Agarenes, my studies those of Zoroaster's, wherein I am excellent. Behold this sun which now shines upon us: if in trial of my cunning you will have me take away his beams and cover him with clouds, do but command me, and I will make the dark night immediately follow this brightness. Or if you desire to see the earth to shake, the sea to be altered, the winds fight, and mountains meet, or other more dreadful signs which may represent unto us the confusion of the first chaos, no more but speak the word, and you shall be satisfied, and I believed. You shall also understand that, in the city of Alhama, there is always a woman of my name who is inheritor of this science which teacheth us, not to be sorcerers, as some call us, but enchantresses, or magicians, which names more aptly agree unto us. Those who are sorcerers never perform any act whereby another may be profited. They practise their mockeries by things appearing ridiculous, as bitten beans, pointless needles, headless pins, hair cut off in the new or wane of the moon, using characters which they understand not. And if they sometimes attain their purposes, it is not by virtue of their plain meaning, but because God suffereth the devil to deceive them, to their greater condemnation. But we which carry the name of enchantresses and magicians are of an higher flight. We deal with the stars, contemplate the motions of the heavens, know the virtue of herbs, plants, stones, metals, and words and, joining things active with passive, it seems we work miracles, which brings the world into admiration: from whence ariseth our good or bad renown, which is good, if by our knowledge we do well; and bad, if therewith we do wickedly. But because it seems that nature inclineth us rather to evil than good, we cannot so well govern our desires, but they will go astray and give over themselves unto evil. For who can take away the desire of revenge from the heart of a man who is wronged and inflamed with choler? Who can hinder a despised lover to make himself beloved of her that scorneth him, if he can? Albeit to change the wills, and draw them from the things, as it should be to go against freewill, so there is no science or virtue of herbs able to effect it."

At all these words uttered by the Spaniard Zenocia, Anthony beheld her with admiration, with a great desire to know what should be the issue of such a long discourse, which Zenocia prosecuted in this manner;

"I tell you in conclusion, discreet barbarian, that the persecution of those whom in Spain they call Inquisitors, haled me from my country; for when one goeth out by force, is rather a plucking thence, than a going out. I came into this isle by strange windings and infinite perils, looking always if any followed me, thinking those dogs bit me by the gown, whom I fear even until this present. I made myself known to the king that was predecessor to Policarpus. I wrought certain marvels wherewith I astonished the people: I endeavoured to make sale of my science; and therein I have so well profited, that I have gotten together above thirty thousand crowns of gold.

I, being wholly bent unto this gain, have lived chastely without seeking after any delights, which I never would have desired if my good or evil fortune had not made you come into this country, for it is in your hands to give me what destiny you please. If I seem unto you to be hard favoured, I will bring to pass that you shall judge me fair. If thirty thousand crowns which I offer seem unto you but a trifle, augment your desire, enlarge your covetousness, and begin to reckon at this present how much wealth may content you. For your service I will draw out the pearls that are enclosed in the shellfishes of the sea, I will bring to your hands the birds which part the air: I will make the plants of the earth to offer you their fruits: and I will pull out by force all the most precious things that are shore up in the bottoms of the gulfs. I will make thee always invincible, mild in peace, and feared in war. To conclude, I will amend thy fortune in such sort that thou shalt be always envied, and never be envious. And in recompense of so many good things as I have told thee, I require not that thou shouldest be my husband, but only to receive me for thy slave; for in being thy slave, there is no need thou shouldest bear towards me the like affection as thou wouldest if I were thy wife: and so I be thine, in what fashion so ever it be, I shall live contented.

"Begin then, brave Anthony, to show thyself wise in not showing thyself unthankful. Thou shalt manifest thyself prudent if, before thou satisfy my desires, thou wouldest see some experiment of mine actions. And in token thou wilt so do, rejoice my soul by some demonstration of thine affection, in permitting me to touch thy valiant hand."

And with these words she rose up to embrace him which, Anthony perceiving, as though he had been the coyest maid in the world, and more savage than the very barbarians amongst whom he was nourished, he set tled himself to defence against this amorous woman as against an enemy. And running to his bow, which was always near him, if it hung not at his back, he put therein an arrow, and shot against the magician about the distance of twenty paces. The amorous Zenocia, fearing the threatening demeanour of this young barbarian, turned her body, and let the shaft pass by: whereunto the unhappy Clodio, coming into the chamber at the same instant, served as a mark. It pierced his mouth and tongue, and made him leave his railing and life in a perpetual silence; a worthy punishment of his faults.

Zenocia turned her head, saw the deadly blow which the arrow had made, feared the second and, without making use of the wonders of her art, full of confusion and shame, stumbling here, and falling there, at last she went out of the chamber with an intention to be revenged of this uncivil and cruel barbarian.

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Chapter IX

Old Anthony's reproof to his son, and of the Enchantment which Zenocia practised to make young Anthony sick.

Anthony was not well pleased at the blow which he had given and, though he had shot better than he was aware of, yet because he knew not the faults of Clodio, and having seen that of Zenocia, he would gladly have been a better archer. He came to Clodio to see if any life remained in him, and finding him stark dead, he perceived his error, and knew that he was in very deed a barbarian. With that his father entered into the chamber who, seeing the blood and dead body of Clodio, knew by the arrow that the blow had been his son's handiwork.

He demanded of him if he had done it: the other answered yea: and being desirous to know the cause it was immediately related unto him. "O thou barbarous fellow," said his father, being full of astonishment and anger both at once; "If thou killest those that love thee, what wilt thou do to thine enemies? If thou presume to be so chaste, defend thy chastity by sufferance, or by flight; for these perils are not repulsed by arms nor combats. It well appeareth that thou knowest not what happened to the Hebrew young man, who left his garment in the hands of his lecherous mistress. Wilt thou not, thou unskilful youth, leave off this evil-shaped skin which covers thee; nor this bow wherewithal thou presumest to vanquish even valour itself? Thou shouldest not arm thyself against the kindness of a woman already yielded, who in that estate will go through all inconveniences which may cross her desires. If thou go further in thy life's course in this kind of demeanour, before thou die, thou wilt for just cause be esteemed barbarous of all those that know thee. I will not say that thou shouldest in any respect offend God, but that thou shouldest reprove and not punish those that would disturb thy chaste thoughts. And prepare thyself to receive more than one battle: for thy youthful years and thy strong liveliness threaten thee many. Think not always to be sought unto; for thou shalt sometimes be a suitor, and perhaps die with thy designs, before thou shalt ever attain thereunto."

Anthony heard his father's words, with eyes looking downward. And after by his silence he had made evident how he repented, and was ashamed of his barbarism, he thus answered him.

"Sir, take no thought for that which I have done. My repentance is sufficient, and from henceforth I will strive to amend in such sort that I will never show myself barbarously cruel, nor pleasantly lascivious. Let us take order to bury Clodio, and make him the most convenient satisfaction that we may afford him."

The report of Clodio his death by this time was noised throughout the palace, but not the cause: for the amorous Zenocia, which had published the one, concealed the other, only saying that this young barbarian had killed him, without knowing a cause why. This news came to Auristela's hearing, who had as yet in her hands the letter of Clodio, with purpose to show the same to Periander, or the Prince of Denmark, to the end they might punish his rashness. But seeing that the heavens had already prevented her, she tore the paper and, by a consideration both wise and Christianlike, would not bring to light the faults of the dead. And although Policarpus was troubled at this accident, holding himself injured that any should avenge their wrongs in his house, yet he would not enter into examination of the fact, but referred the same to the Prince of Denmark who, at the entreaty of Auristela and Transilla, pardoned the young Anthony and, without taking notice that Clodio was murdered, caused him to be buried, believing that he had been slain by Anthony against his will, as he told him, who made no mention of Zenocia's thoughts, for fear lest he should be thought an absolute barbarian.

The rumour once over-passed, they buried Clodio. Auristela was revenged, if in her noble mind any desire of revenge remained, as well as in the heart of Zenocia who, as the saying is, drunk up the winds in studying how she might cry quittance with the young barbarian; who two days after felt himself sick, and fell on his bed with so great weakness that the physicians, before they could know his disease, despaired of his life. His mother melted into tears, whom the father could not comfort not Auristela recreate. Maurice, Ladislas and Transilla felt the like grief. Upon sight whereof, Policarpus had recourse to Zenocia his counsellor, praying her to find out some remedy for Anthony's infirmity, which the physicians could not discover, by reason they were ignorant of the cause. She put him in good hope, assuring him that he should not die, but his recovery must be deferred for a while, which was received by Policarpus as an oracle.

Synforosa took no great care for these events, perceiving that by means thereof the departure of Periander was delayed, in whose sight consisted the mitigation of all her pains. For although she desired to see him depart, because he could not return before he went thence, yet her contentment in seeing him was so great that by her good will he should never have gone from that country.

Now it fell out one day that Policarpus with his two daughters, Arnaldo, Periander, Auristela, Maurice, Ladislas, Transilla and Rutilio (who since he had hatched the chicken which he should have sent unto Policarpa, though it were defaced, was wholly pensive, as guilty persons think all them that behold them, know their faults): all these, I say, came together into sick Anthony's chamber, visiting him at the entreaty of Auristela, who esteemed and loved also both him and his parents, being thereunto obliged by the good office which the young barbarian had done when he drew them out of the fire of the Isle, conducting them to his father's cave; besides which, as hearts and amities are combined through common adventures, those which she had passed in the company of Ricla and Constance and the two Anthonys were so great, that not only she loved them by election, but also by bond and destiny.

Being then all together, as hath been said, Synforosa entreated Periander to declare unto them some adventures of his life and, principally, from whence he came the first time that he arrived in this isle, where he won the prizes of the games that were made on that day when the memory of the king her father's election was solemnised.

Whereunto Periander, answering that he was contented, to the great pleasure of them all, who desired to know the history of his fortune, and particularly of Arnaldo, who by this means thought to discover somewhat of the birth and estate of Auristela, began in this manner.

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Chapter X

Periander declareth the success of his voyage.

"The beginning of my story, seeing you will needs have me to declare it unto you, shall then be: when my sister and I, with her nurse, embarked in a ship whose master was a notable pirate, (though he seemed a merchant) we sailed by the shore of a certain isle, to which we were so nigh that we knew not only the trees, but the difference betwixt them. My sister, weary of her travels by sea, desirous to refresh herself a little upon the land, prayed the captain to suffer her to go ashore. And as her prayers have the force of a commandment, the captain gave consent, and caused us to be landed in the small ship's boat, with one mariner, my sister, Clelia her nurse and myself. Approaching to the shore, the mariner saw a small river, which by a narrow mouth gave tribute to the sea. A great quantity of green trees, thick-covered with leaves, whereto the transparent waters served as looking-glasses, gave a shade on every side. We prayed the mariner to enter into this river, in regard the pleasantness thereof thereunto allured us, which he also did, carrying us up against the stream. But having lost sight of the ship, he left his oars and, staying the boat, spoke to us in this manner.

'Bethink yourselves of the means to finish your voyage, and make account that this little boat which now carrieth you is your ship; for you can no more return to that which stays for you at the sea, if this gentlewoman will not lose her honour, and you that call yourself her brother, your life.'

In the end, he told me that the captain of the ship would dishonour my sister and kill me, that we should provide for our remedy, and that he would follow us into all places, and accompany us in all accidents. If we were troubled at these news, let him judge who is accustomed to receive mishaps from the good which he hopeth. I gave him thanks for his advice, offering to recompense him when we should be in better estate. 'Yea,' said Clelia, 'very well; for I bear with me the jewels of my mistress.' And we four consulting what we were best to do, I advised the mariner that we should enter farther up the river, and we should find some place of security, if haply those of the ship should come to seek us out. 'They will never come,' said he, 'for there are no people in all these isles, but think all those that anchor in these roads are pirates; and seeing the ships, they are all in arms to defend themselves, whereby unless they set upon them in the night, the pirates gain little at their hands.' I thought his counsel good. He took one oar, and I another to ease his pains, and we rowed against the stream of the river. Having in this sort rowed about two miles, we heard a sound made by divers instruments, and even as soon, we discerned as it were a forest of moving trees, which crossed the river from one side to the other. But coming near, we knew that that which seemed a forest of trees was boats covered with boughs; and that the sound which we had heard, proceeded from the instruments therein played upon. Hardly had we descried them, but they came unto us, environing our boats on all parts. My sister, rising up on her feet, beheld them and, unlooked for, showed them such a divine resemblance that, as we understood afterward, they took her for a goddess, and cried out a mongst themselves (as our mariner, which understood them, informed us) 'Who is this here? what deity is now come to visit us, and to rejoice with Carino the fisherman, and the unmatchable Selviana for their happy marriage?' In saying this, they took our boat and set us a-land not far from the place where we met them. We had no sooner set foot on the bank, but a troop of fishermen came about us; and one of them after another, full of reverence and admiration, came near to kiss the skirt of Auristela's gown: who, notwithstanding the fear afflicting her upon the news given unto us by the mariner, showed so fair, that I excuse their error, who at that time received her as a thing divine. By the river's side a little apart we saw a marriage-bed upholden with great posts of fir, covered with green herbs, and intermeddled with many kinds of sweet flowers, which served for tapestry to the earth. We saw also two young men, and two young women rise from a certain seat, one of them extremely fair, and the other very hard favoured: as also the two young men, one was far more courteous and pleasing than the other, and all four were on their knees before Auristela. He, whom we said to be the most gentle, spoke unto her in this sort.

'O thou, whosoever thou art (which canst be none other than celestial), my brother and I thank thee as much as we can possible for the favour which thou doest us in honouring our poor, but hereafter rich, weddings. Come, fair nymph; and if instead of the crystal palace which thou leavest in the deep sea, thou findest in our habitations the walls of osiers, and the roofs of shells, at the least thou shalt find for thy service desires of gold, and good wills of pearls. And I make this comparison which seemeth improper, because I find nothing better than gold, nor fairer than pearls.'

Auristela bowed herself to embrace them, confirming by her grave courtesy and by her beauty, the reverent opinion they had conceived of her.

The fisherman less gallantly disposed, went aside to give order that the rest of the company with their voices should exalt the praises of this new stranger, and that all the instruments should play in token of rejoicing. The two women, as well the fair as the hard-favoured, kissed the hands of Auristela, who lovingly embraced them with her wonted courtesy. The mariner, very well pleased with this good success, gave notice to the fishermen of the ship which remained at the sea, saying, that those that were aboard the same were pirates, whose coming into that place he much feared for the love of this gentlewoman, who was of a great house and a king's daughter. For the better to incline their courages to her defence, he thought it necessary to give this testimony of my sister. They scarcely had heard this but they left their instruments of rejoicing and betook themselves to such as are for warfare, sounding the alarm everywhere along all the coasts thereabouts. In the meanwhile, night came; we withdrew ourselves into the bridegroom's lodging. They placed sentinels even to the river's mouth; the engines for taking fish were baited; the nets laid and the hooks fitted; all with an intention to welcome and make good cheer to their new guests. And the more to honour them, the two bridegrooms lay not this night with their wives, leaving their lodging for Auristela and Clelia; and I remained abroad with them, their friends and the mariner, to keep watch and ward. And because the sky was clear, in that the moon increased, and the earth was warm by fires of brakes kindled upon this new time of rejoicing, it was thought good we should sup abroad in the open field, and the women under covert. This was effected, with such abundance of viands that it seemed the sea and land strove which should have the pre-eminence above other: one, in offering divers kinds of meats; and the other, sundry sorts of fishes. When sup per was ended, Carino took me by the hand, and walking with me by the river's side, after he had made me know by outward appearances that some great passion oppressed his soul, with sighs he spoke unto me these like words.

'Because I account miraculous your coming hither in such a time, and upon such an occasion, that thereby you have deferred my marriage, I judge assuredly that my evil may be redressed by your counsel. Wherefore, though you might hold me a fool of bad judgement and worse taste, yet I would have you know that, of these two women whom you have seen, the one foul, the other fair, destiny would so appoint that the fair, called Selviana, was my spouse. Nevertheless, I know not what to say, nor what excuse to make in mine error: I adore Leoncia, which is she that is hard-favoured, neither is it in my power to do otherwise. Herewithal I will tell you a truth, which beguiles me not in believing it: and this is, that to the eyes of my soul, for the virtues which I discern in Leoncia, she is the fairest woman in the world. Herein also is a further matter, that Solercio, which is the name of the other bridegroom, dieth for love of Selviana. So that the wills of us four are bartered because we would obey our parents, who have contrived these marriages between them. Neither can I conceive in what respect reason can agree, that a man for another's pleasure, and not his own, should cast on his shoulders a burden that must endure all his life time. This evening we should have consented to the thraldom of our wills, if your coming, not of purpose, but by the ordinance of heaven, as I believe, had not hindered it, so that yet there remaineth some time for us to amend our fortune. And for this cause I demand your advice, because as a stranger, having neither interest nor faction with any, you may better give it than any other. And if I can discover no path which may lead me to my remedy, I am resolved to depart from these coasts, and never be seen here as long as I live, though all my kindred, and all my friends should die."

"I gave an attentive ear to this fisherman, and all on the sudden his redress came to my memory, and these words to my tongue. 'My friend, there is no just ground why you should absent yourself: at the least, you ought not to attempt it before I have conferred with my sister, who is the gentlewoman that you have seen. She is so wise, that it seemeth her understanding is no less divine than her beauty.'

"Herewith we returned to the lodging. I declared to my sister what the fisherman had told me, and she found means by her discretion to verify my words, and give contentment unto them all in this manner. She withdrew Leoncia and Selviana aside, using these speeches unto them.

"'Know, my friends (for I verily esteem you such), that with the judgement which God hath given me, he hath accompanied the same with so clear an understanding of the mind that, seeing one's face, I can read in his soul, and divine his thoughts. And to approve this truth by the witness of yourselves: thou, Leoncia, diest for Carino, and thou, Selviana, for Solercio. Shamefastness maketh you speechless: but your silence shall be broken by my tongue, and your wills shall be made equal by my counsel. Let me contrive the business, for either I shall want discretion, or you shall have an happy end in your desires.' They, without answering one word, save only by kissing her hands a thousand times, and straightly embracing her, confirmed that what she had spoken of their affections was the truth.

"The night passed, and the day came whose morning was full of joy: for the fishermen's boats appeared in view, covered with new boughs, the instruments played their good morrow, the joyful shouts were heard everywhere. At the noise whereof, those that should be wedded went to take their places on the marriage-bed where they were the day precedent. Selviana and Leoncia apparelled themselves with new gowns. My sister, as before, had a cross of diamonds at her neck and two pearls at her ears, of so great price that, until that present, no person could be found which could value them according to the worth. She held Selviana and Leoncia by their hands and, placing herself on the theatre where the marriage-bed was, she made Carino and Solercio to be called, and come up after her. Carino came near with trembling and amazedness, as not knowing what she had contrived; and the priest was now ready to join their hands that should be wedded, and to accomplish the ceremonies used in the church. My sister made a sign that she might be heard speak. Immediately they were all silent, and she gave the company to understand that, by the will of heaven and the proper agreement of those that were now to be married, as she saw by the cheerfulness of their faces, Leoncia should be married with Carino, and Selviana with Solercio. Which she had no sooner spoken, but all four began to embrace her in confirmation of her words, which were approved by all their kinsfolk, the parties espoused in such manner as she had spoken, and their wedding solemnised to the contentment of every one.

"After dinner, came forth from amongst the rest which were on the river four barges, fair and pleasant to see for their paintings with sundry colours and the flags and streamers wherewith they were decked, having each of them six oars of a side, whose twelve rowers were attired in fine white linen, of the same fashion that I came when I first entered into this island. I knew that these barges would run for a prize, which might be seen on the mast of another barge, distant from these four about three horse-races. The prize was a green taffeta spangled with gold, so large that it kissed the waters. The noise of the people and sound of the instruments was so great, that none could understand the sea-captain's commandment who came in another barge. The boats covered with boughs drew aside to the river's banks, leaving a void space in the midst for the four barges to run without hindering the sight of an infinite number of people who, as well from the theatre where the nuptial bed was as from the two banks of the river, were diligent to behold them.

"The rowers had already taken hold of their oars, having their arms bare, on which might be seen great sinews and large veins, waiting for the token of parting, impatient of delay, and as fierce as an Irish dog when his master will not let slip the leash that he may take the game which he seeth before him. The sign in the end made, all the four barges departed at the self-same time, with such swiftness, that it seemed not they rowed by water, but that they flew in the air.

"One of them, that in the flag bore a Cupid blindfolded, got before the other, as it were about thrice the length of the same barge. Which advantage made those that looked on to hope that she would first win the prize: but the ends and events of things do not succeed according to men's imagination. For though it be a law amongst combatants that none of the standers-by should favour the parties, either by vows or by any sign which may give them the least advice: yet it is so, that those which were on the brink of the river, seeing the notable barge of Cupid to get before the others, believing the same assured of the victory, cried out without care or respect of any law, 'Love is the conqueror: Love is invincible.' With which voice it seemed that those which rowed under his banner something fainted, whereas they should then have rather enforced their courages.

"The second barge, bearing Interest for her device, took hold of this occasion, and rowed with such strength that she joined with the barge of Love; and with the vi olence wherewith it was driven passed against it, breaking in pieces all her oars on the right side, and so got before, beguiling all their hopes who before had sung Love's victory, who now began to cry, 'Interest hath vanquished; Interest surpasseth Love.'

"The third barge, whose ensign was Diligence, in figure of a naked woman, seeing the happy success of the Interest, encouraged the rowers, who enforced their strengths with such violence that they were equally as forward as that of Interest. But by the bad government of the steersman, they fell foul with the two former, that the oars of the one and the other became unprofitable.

"The fourth, which for her ensign bore Good Fortune, seeing the encumbrance of the others, when she was nigh ready to faint and give over the enterprise, turned something awry for fear to fall into the same accident and, gliding by one side, got before the rest. The cries of such as beheld them were altered: 'The Fortune carries away the prize before Love, Interest and Diligence; and not by her speed, but by her good luck.'

"I pray you, gentlemen, think it not amiss that I leave her to her pleasure without disturbance, for fear she should trouble our rest if I should go forward in my tale; and suffer me here to leave the matter for this evening, which I will finish if I can."

Periander spoke this at such time as the sick man fell into a terrible swooning which, when his father saw, and shortly after guessing from whence it might proceed, left them all, and went as appeared afterward to seek out the magician Zenocia: with whom what success he had, you shall see in another chapter.

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Chapter XI

The recovery of young Anthony that was enchanted, and the practises of the witch Zenocia to hinder the departure of Auristela.

I suppose that, if patience had not been sustained by the pleasure which Arnaldo and Policarpus had in seeing Auristela, and by that which Synforosa took in beholding Periander, they had lost it by this time in hearing his discourse, which Maurice and Ladislas thought somewhat too long and not much to the purpose; because to relate his own misfortunes, he had nothing to do to recite other men's recreations. Nevertheless, herewithal they took pleasure in the comely manner of his relation. But the old Anthony who searched all about for Zenocia, having found her in the king's chamber, came directly unto her and, taking hold of her with his left hand, with the right he drew out a poniard, which he set to her throat, saying unto her with a Spanish choler and speech blinded with rashness, "Witch, restore me my son alive, and in health, and that presently: if not, make your account that you are but dead. Look if you hold his life in a pack of needles without eyes, or of pins without heads, or if you have hid it within the hinges of a door, or anywhere else; for none knows but you." Zenocia fell in a trance upon this word, seeing herself threatened with a naked poniard in the hands of an angry Spaniard, unto whom with trembling she promised to render unto his young son Anthony both life and health, and besides had promised to give unto him the safety of all the world if he had required it, so much her soul was possessed by fear. Wherefore she said unto him: "Let me alone, Spaniard, and put up thy blade, for that which thy son keeps in his heart hath brought him to the estate wherein he is. For thou knowest that women bear minds of revenge, especially when they are carried unto vengeance by being contemned. Marvel not if the hardness of his heart hath hardened mine: counsel him henceforth to be more courteous towards those that yield themselves unto him, and go in peace: for this next morning thy son shall be in good disposition." "If he be not," said Anthony, "I will not fail to find thee wheresoever thou hidest thyself, nor to be avenged of thee, whosoever be thy protector." Herewith he left her, and she remained so much engaged with fear that, forgetting the passed injury, she drew out of the hinge of a door the enchantments which she had prepared by little and little to consume the young barbarian's life, having bewitched herself by the charms of his noble courage and beauty. The health of young Anthony re-entered into his body as soon as the enchantments of Zenocia were out of the door; his face recovered the former colour; his eyes, almost sunk into his head, their cheerful quickness; and his decayed strength, the full and perfect vigour, to the general contentment of all those which knew him. And one day his father and he being alone, he said thus unto him:

"My son, above all things which I ever commanded thee, I desire that thou be careful not to offend God at any time; as thou mightest have been able to learn by the Christian law which my fathers have taught me, and wherein I have laboured to instruct thee these fifteen years past. This only is true and sound, whereby those that enter into the kingdom of heaven are saved until this day, and so shall be in time to come. This holy law forbids us to punish those that offend us, but commands us to exhort them, that they may amend. For to punish appertains to the judge: and liberty of reprehension, to all; but yet with such conditions as I shall by and by tell thee. If any would allure thee to commit such offences as might withdraw thee from the service of God, there is no need thou shouldest bend thy bow, and pull forth thine arrows, and much less to wound any by injurious words: for in rejecting this counsel, and eschewing the occasion, thou shalt escape victorious from the skirmish, and assured not to fall again into the like distress wherein thou hast seen thyself. Zenocia had bewitched thee: and if God and my good diligence had not crossed it, in a few days thou shouldest have lost thy life. Follow me, to the end we may rejoice our friends in seeing thee, and that we may know the adventures of Periander, the story whereof shall be finished this night."

Anthony promised his father by God's grace to put his precepts and counsels in practice, in despite of whatsoever persuasions anyone should use unto him to the contrary.

During this time Zenocia, full of shame and sorrow for the disdainful pride of the son, and the choleric rashness of the father, endeavoured to be avenged of the wrong which she thought either of them had done unto her; and that by another's hands, not her own, without losing the presence of the young barbarian. Being then resolved upon this cogitation, she went to find the king Policarpus, unto whom she framed her speech in this manner:

"My lord, you know that since I came first into your service, and into your house, I have always with an incredible diligence procured not to be separated from you. Also you know that, in confidence of the truth which you have known in me, you have made me as a treasurer of your secrets. Moreover, as a wise man you further know that, in our particular affairs that concern us, the discourses which seem to be the best are oftentimes the worst, especially if Love be intermeddled therewithal. For this cause I would humbly pray you to pardon me if I tell you that, in suffering Arnaldo freely to depart with his company out of your haven, you seem to be void of your judgement and accustomed foresight. Tell me, if you cannot have the fruition of Auristela now she is present, how shall you enjoy her when she shall be absent? And how will she accomplish her promise in repassing so many seas, and so many dangers, to return hither, and be married to an old man? - for so you are in very deed, neither can we be deceived in the truth of those things which we know in ourselves - she having Periander, who it may well be is not her brother, and the young Prince of Denmark, who loves her no less than to make her his wife. Suffer not, my lord, that occasion, who now presents herself unto you, turn the hinder part of her head unto you, which is bald, instead of the forepart which is hairy. You may find cause both to stay them, and execute justice all at once, in punishing the insolence and rashness of this young barbarian, one of their company, who was so bold as to kill in your house him whom they called Clodio; and in so doing you shall get the renown of a just Prince, in whose heart not favour, but justice, hath her abiding."

Policarpus attentively gave ear to the malicious Zenocia who, by every word she spoke, drove so many nails into his heart; and he thought already that he saw Auristela in Periander's arms, not as her brother, but as her lover. Already he imagined he saw the crown of the realm of Denmark on her head, and Arnaldo taking the fruit of his amorous designs. In the end, the rage of jealousy so possessed his soul that he was upon the point to call for vengeance against those which had not any way offended him. But Zenocia, seeing how well she had disposed him to execute her counsels, she willed him to defer it until Periander had finished his history, from whence, peradventure, they might gather some knowledge of his estate: and that afterward at more leisure, and with more convenience, they would think upon that which might be most fitting. Policarpus thanked her and she, cruelly amorous, studied with herself how to accomplish her own and the king's desire. In the meanwhile the night approached, they once more assembled together, and Periander did repeat certain words before spoken, to fasten the thread of his discourse, which he had left at the contention of the barges.

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Chapter XII

Where Periander pursueth his history, and the ravishment of Auristela.

She that harkened to Periander with most pleasure was the fair Synforosa, who hung on his words as those that were fastened to the chains of gold issuing from the tongue of Hercules, with such a grace did Periander recount his adventures, which he rejoined, as we have said, in following the same after this manner.

"The good Fortune left Love, Interest, and Diligence, making small use of Diligence, nothing of Interest, and less than nothing of Love, if there may anything be called less than nothing. The feast of the fishermen in their poverty exceeded in merriments the triumphs of the ancient Romans, for sometimes the most contenting pleasures are found in homeliness. But, as the fortunes incident to men are tied and hanging upon fine threads which are easily broken, so those of our fishermen were broken only to renew my mishaps. We spent this night in a small island situate in the midst of the river, being allured thereunto by the situation of a green pleasant meadow; the married men and their wives, making merry with their friends, and using all care possible to delight those who had so much benefited them by their uniting in so happy and wished marriage. Wherefore, they ordained that the feast should be renewed and solemnised three days more in the same isle.

"It was now spring-time at our being there. The beauty of the place, the brightness of the moon, the still noise of the waters, the fruits of the trees, and the sweet smell of flowers: each of these apart and all together enticed us to resolve upon our abode in this isle so long as the feast should continue. But we had scarcely gone round about the isle when, from a small wood there being, there issued out near fifty light-armed soldiers, as those that would rob and run away at once: who, like hunger-starved wolves rushing on the flocks of simple sheep, carried away, if not in their mouths, yet at least in their arms, my sister Auristela, Clelia her nurse, Selviana and Leoncia, as if their only intent had been to come for them, for they left behind many other women whom nature had endued with singular beauty. And like as those that are surprised are ordinarily vanquished by the suddenness of their surprisal, we were so troubled with this alarm so little expected, that we were more busy to behold these thieves then to assail them. I, who was more moved by wrath than astonishment at this strange cross, hastened after them, following with voice and looks, reviling them in speech, though not able by my hands to do them any outrage, which I did to anger them, to the end they might be moved to revenge themselves upon me. But they, only mindful of their enterprise, or not understanding my words, or having no care of revenge, were quickly out of sight. The bridegrooms and I, with some of the principal fishermen, assembled ourselves together, immediately consulting what we were best to do to repair our loss and recover our pledges. One of them said:

"'It is not possible but some pirate's ship is at sea, and in such a place where they might land men, because it may be they knew of our assembly and festival. If it be so as I think, the best remedy that we have is to send after them one of our boats, and offer them whatsoever ransom they will have for their booty.' 'I will be he,' then said I, 'that shall undertake this charge, for my sister is more dear to me than all things of the world.' Carino and Solercio said as much, they weeping openly, and I dying in secret.

"When we took this resolution, the night began: yet we entered into a boat, the bridegrooms and I with six rowers. But when we came into the main sea, it was dark night; and not being able to discover any ship by reason of the darkness, we resolved to stay till the next day, to see if we could descry any one by the light. Fortune would that we discovered two, whereof one came from a road of the land, and the other was making thitherwards. I knew that that which left the land was the very same from whence we issued, as well by the flags as because the sails were marked overthwart with a red cross; and those which came towards the land bore green, and either of them were rovers. Thinking, then, that the same which came from the isle was it which we sought for, I caused a white flag to be put on a pole's end, coming to the ship's side to compound for the ransom. The captain came on the hatches and, as I was about to lift up my voice to speak unto him, I was interrupted by thundering of a cannon from the other ship which defied that of the land. Answer was made thereunto at the same time, and after that the two ships began to play each at other with great ordinance, as if they had been known to be mortal enemies. We turned our boat aside from the fury of the cannon, beholding the fight afar off, and after the artillery had thundered well-nigh an hour, the ships grappled. Those which came from sea, either more happy or more valiant, leapt into this ship which came from land and, in less while than could be thought, threw open all the hatches, and killed their enemies, not taking one of them to mercy.

"They, seeing themselves masters of the ship, began to make pillage of all that was anything worth, which could be no great matter, because from pirates is not much to be gotten, although in my judgement they won the richest booty of the world in finding there my sister, Selviana, Leoncia and Clelia, with whom they enriched their ship, thinking that in the beauty of Auristela they carried away an inestimable ransom. I was willing to come near with my boat to speak to the captain who had got the victory but, as my fortune always passeth with the winds, a strong gale came from the land which carried the ship a great way off in such sort that it was impossible for me to come nigh, or to offer him any ransom for his prize.

"Thus we were enforced to return without any hope to recover our losses, for the ship held none other course than the wind permitted. We could not mark the way they made, nor see any token whereby to know the thieves and, by knowledge of what country they were, to judge what hope we had of our remedy. In the end the ship sailed by sea and we, sad and forlorn, entered again into the river, where all the boats of the other fishermen abode our coming. I know not if I shall declare that which of necessity I must say unto you: a certain courage then entered into my heart, which without change of my essence made me deem myself somewhat more than a man. So standing up on the boat, I made all the others to come about me, and spoke to the fishermen these or the like words:

"'Evil fortune is never amended by sloth or idleness, and happy success is never found in faint hearts. Everyone is the craftsman of his own fortune, and there is no person but is capable to advance the same to such seat as he listeth. Cowards, though they be born rich, are always poor, and the rest are beggars. I say this, my friends, to move you to better your estates, and make you give over these poor nets and narrow boats that you have, to seek rich treasures, which are enclosed in a noble travail. I call his travail noble who is employed in haughty enterprises. If the poor ditcher break the earth with the sweat of his face, and yet gains not so much as will maintain him a day, why should he not handle the sword instead of the mattock, and strive, together with riches, to win a renown which shall make him greater than others? As the war is a stepmother of cowards, she is also mother of such as are valiant, and the rewards thereby gotten are the greatest and most glorious that the world can afford. Up, then, my friends and valiant youths, look upon the ship which carries away the dear pledges of your parents, and betake yourselves to the other which by the ordinance of heaven they have left upon the shore. Let us follow them and make ourselves pirates: not thieves and covetous like them, but honest and upright men as indeed we are. We all understand the art of sea-faring, we shall find in the ship victual enough, and whatsoever is expedient for navigation, because the conquerors did spoil them of nothing but the women. And if the wrong they have done us be great, the occasion offering itself to be revenged is yet greater. Let him, then, who hath a willing mind follow me. I entreat you, and Carino and Solercio conjure you: for I well know they will never forsake me in this worthy enterprise.'

"As soon as I had ended these words, a murmuring noise was heard throughout all the boats, proceeding from advice taken among themselves what they had to do which, being passed, one of them answered: 'Go a shipboard, noble guest, be our captain and our guide, we will all follow thee.'

"This resolution, so ready and unhoped for, was to me a happy presage, and for fear that in prolonging to execute mine enterprise I might minister unto them occasion to abate their courages, I went forward with my boat, which was followed immediately by forty others. I came to the ship to know it, I entered thereinto, looked and searched everywhere what it had, what it wanted, and found whatsoever our desires could wish as necessary for the voyage. I commanded that none should return to land, for fear lest the lamentations of their wives and children should interrupt the course of so brave a resolution. They all obeyed me, and without any other leave-taking than in conceit, they departed from their parents, wives and children, without visiting them, which was a strange case: and that which needeth much courtesy of the hearers for belief, not one went ashore, nor provided any other clothes than those they wore when they came into the ship where, without appointing each man to his several office, they all served for pilots and mariners except myself, who by consent of them all was nominated their captain. I caused the ship to be made clean from the blood and dead bodies which had been slain in the fight past. I ordained all the armour, as well defensive as offensive, to be sought out, which I divided amongst them all, giving unto every one such as I thought would fit them best. I reviewed my provision and, agreeable to the number of my men, I cast more or less how long time they might last us. This done, with a fervent prayer to God, beseeching Him well to direct our voyage and favour such an honourable attempt, I commanded them to hoist the sails which were tied to the yards. And with no less joy than courage, we began to go forward with full sails by the same course which we thought the other ship kept.

"Behold, my lords, how I was first a fisherman and, with my sister, a broker of marriages, afterward robbed by the pirates, and then chosen captain against them. For the windings of my fortune have no point where to stay, nor any bounds to limit them."

"This is enough, my friend Periander," said Arnaldo, "for albeit you should not be weary to tell your mishaps, we are tired in the hearing, to see them in such a number." "I am," answered Periander, "the only rendezvous where misfortunes have their abode, and I believe they find no place but in myself. Yet I esteem them happy, for that I have found again my sister; for the evil which endeth without loss of life, ought not to be called evil." "For my part," then said Transilla, "this reason passeth mine intelligence, but I conceive you should do much amiss if you content not our desires, which we have to know the adventures of your navigation; which, I suppose, are such as may afford to many tongues to relate them, and many pens to write them." "At night, madam, answered Periander," I will conclude my history if I can, which is but as yet begun." And being all agreed to meet there the night following, Periander broke off his discourse.

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Chapter XIII

Periander telleth of a notable accident happening unto him upon the sea.

The health of young Anthony returned unto its former strength, and therewithal the desires of Zenocia were revived, and with those desires the fear of his absence; for amorous persons, despairing of remedy, never can persuade themselves that hope is past, as long as they see present the cause of their passion. Wherefore, procuring by all the inventions her mind could imagine that none of these strangers might depart from the city, she again counselled Policarpus not to leave unpunished the murder of the young and audacious barbarian, saying that although he inflicted not upon him such pains as were answerable to his offence, but rather gave place to that which favour opposed against Justice, yet the least thing he could do was to attach and chastise him, though it were but by threatenings. But Policarpus would not credit her in this point, replying that he should wrong the authority of the Prince of Denmark, and anger his dear Auristela, who loved Anthony as her brother. Besides, the blow was given by accident and constraint, proceeding rather by misfortune than any malice pretended. Finally, there was none that complained, and that all those which knew Clodio affirmed him to be the greatest railer and slanderer in the world. "How comes this to pass," replied Zenocia, "that, having the other day resolved and agreed to take him, and stay Auristela by his occasion, you are now so altered? They will be gone, she will never come back again. Then you will bewail your perplexity, when tears shall nothing avail but to increase your evil, with longing and repentance that you have not believed me. The faults which lovers commit in accomplishing their desires merit not such a name, for it is not they, but Love, commanding their wills, that commiteth them. You are a king, my lord, and the injustices and cruelties of kings are christened by the title of severity. If you imprison this young man, you shall give place to Justice and, in delivering him, to mercy; and in the one and the other, confirm the renown you have gotten to be a good Prince."

In this manner Zenocia counselled Policarpus who, whether he were alone or with company, went and came always in this thought, without ability to resolve in what manner he might stay Auristela, without offending Arnaldo, whose power for good reason he feared. In the midst of these considerations and those of Synforosa (who, not being so subtle nor cruel as Zenocia, desired Periander's depart that she might begin to hope for his return), the time came when the same Periander should declare his history, which he prosecuted in this manner.

"My ship sailed swiftly on the water, as the winds pleased to carry her. None of us hindered her way, but left it to fortune's arbitrement to direct our voyage when, from the top of the main mast, we saw a mariner fall who, before he lighted on the hatches, was hanged by a rope which was fastened about his throat. I ran with all the haste possible, cut the rope, and saved him from strangling; but he abode as one dead, and was in a trance about two hours, at the end whereof he came to himself, and I asked him the cause of his despair, whereunto he said thus:

"'I have two children, the one three years old, and the other four, whose poor mother is not past two and twenty, and their necessities are supplied by labour of these hands. Being now at this mast's top, I turned mine eyes towards the place where I left them, and have seen them kneeling on the earth, holding up their hands to heaven, praying for their father, and calling me with mournful and lamentable words. I have seen also their mother weep, calling me the most cruel man living. This imagination hath so strongly possessed me, that I am constrained to say, I have seen so much; and now that I find I am carried away in this ship, and separated from them, not knowing whither we go, together with small or no necessity that I had to come aboard, all these things have so troubled my wits that despair put the rope in my hand, and I about my neck, to finish at once a world of so many pains.'

"This accident moved unto pity all those that heard him and, having comforted him with an undoubted hope that all should return well-contented and rich, we appointed some to look to him, lest he should fordo himself. And to the end others should not have their conceits awakened hereby with a desire to imitate him, I told them that for any man to kill himself was the greatest baseness in the world: for a murderer of himself witnesseth that he hath no courage to suffer nor expect the evils which he feareth. 'And what greater evil can befall a man than death? Whilst we are living, the hardest fortunes may be bettered; but by despair they are renewed, and become worse and worse. I speak this, my companions, to the end that the accident of this desperate fellow astonish us not in the beginning of our navigation; for my heart telleth me that a thousand happy and favourable adventures are prepared for us.' The whole company by common voice appointed one to speak for them all, who said thus:

"'Valiant Captain, things of much deliberation are found to have many difficulties; and exploits attempted, partly must have reference to reason, and partly unto fortune. Ours cannot fall out amiss, you being our chief: and hereupon we ground our good hopes and the favourable events which you promise us. Let our wives abide with our children, let our fathers weep, and let poverty come upon them all. Heaven, which feedeth the least worms in the water, will have care to nourish men upon the land. Command what you please, appoint sentinels on the tops to see if they can descry any occasion whereby we may show that we are not rash, but courageous.'

" I thanked them for their good wills and, having sailed all that day, the next morning the sentinel cried from the main top, 'A sail, a sail!' They asked him what course it kept, and of what greatness it was. He answered, as big as ours, and that we had it in the prow. 'Courage then, my friends,' said I, 'betake you to your weapons. And if they be pirates, show your valour which hath made you leave your nets.' I made them presently to put out as much sail as we might bear and, two hours after, we came up to the ship, which we boarded suddenly without hailing them, and more than forty of my soldiers leaped thereinto, which found not any defence nor any person on whom they might make their swords bloody; for that none were aboard save mariners and servitors. And searching all about, they found in a cabin, in two stocks of iron, one turned a little from the other, a handsome young man, and a woman more than meanly fair. And in another chamber, they saw a venerable old man laid upon a rich bed, of such gravity that his very looks made us all to reverence him. He stirred not from his bed, as being unable so to do but, raising himself a little, and lifting up his head, he said thus unto us:

"'Put up your swords, gentlemen, for you shall not find here against whom to employ them. And if necessity constrain you to seek your good fortune by another man's cost, you are come to a place where you may be happy, not because you shall find any riches in this ship, but because myself am here, who am Leopoldus, king of Danea.'

" This name of a king bred in me an extreme desire to know what adventure had brought him to these extremities, to be so alone, and without any defence. I drew near unto him, asking if what he spoke were true: for though his grave countenance promised no less, yet the small preparations wherewith he sailed made me call it into question. 'Command your people,' answered the old man, 'to be quiet, and give ear a little while unto me, for in few words I will tell you great matters.' My companions refrained, and they and I harkened attentively what he would say, and then he began in this sort:

"'The heavens made me king of Danea by inheritance from my fathers, like as they inherited it from their predecessors, and were never brought into the kingdom by tyranny, or any corruption of money. In my youth I married a woman answerable to mine estate, who died and left me no succession. The time passed away, and I contained myself many years within the limits of an honest widower but, in the end, through my fault (for none ought to accuse another of those faults which a man commiteth himself), I fell in love with a Lady of Honour that served my deceased wife, who at this day should have been queen, if she had been as she ought, and should not have been made fast in the stocks, as you now have seen. She, then. thinking it reasonable to value the young tresses of my servant above my white hairs, became amorous of him; taking pleasure, not only to rob me of mine honour, but likewise to contrive means that I might lose my life, conspiring against my person with so strange and mischievous inventions that, unless I had been warned thereof in good time, my head had been struck from my shoulders and hanged on a spirket in the wind, and they been crowned king and queen of my realm. But God gave me grace to discover their drift, sufficiently afore-hand to prevent it. And when they knew that I was advertised, they embarked one night in a small vessel which was ready for them, to avoid the punishment of their crimes and the fury of my wrath. I knew it, and flying along the sea shore upon the wings of my choler, I perceived that they had hoisted their sails to the wind. I, blinded with passion, and troubled with desire of revenge, without making any wise discourse or reflecting into myself, went aboard this ship and followed them, not with provision and authority of a king, but with the hate of a particular enemy. At the end of ten days, I found them in an isle called the Fiery Island and, having apprehended them and put them in the stocks, as you have seen, I am carrying them into my kingdom, to make them serve for an example of Justice.

"'This is the very truth: the guilty persons are there, who shall witness as much in spite of their hearts. I am the king of Danea, and promise you an hundred thousand pieces of gold, not because I have them now here, but I will give you my word to send them unto you where you please. And for the greater assurance, take me among you into your ship, and let the other go with some of my men to fetch the ransom, which shall be brought to such place as you will require.'

"My companions beheld one another, praying me to answer for them all, though it were needless, because I might have performed the same as their captain. Yet withal I would have the advice of Carino and Solercio, with some others of the chiefest, lest it should seem I would abuse the authority which they had given me; and I made the king this answer. 'My lord, neither necessity, nor desire of pillage hath moved us to take weapon in hand, but contrarily we seek out the pirates to punish them. And seeing you are so far estranged from this kind of people, not only your life is assured amidst our armour, but if need require, nothing shall hinder us from employing them in your service, albeit we give you hearty thanks for the rich ransom which you promise. For being no prisoner, you are not bound to pay it. But in recompense that you get out of our hands more happily than you thought, we beseech you to pardon these wretches that have offended you; for the greatness of kings shineth more in their mercy than their justice.' Leopoldus would have thrown himself at my feet, if his weakness and my courtesy had not withstood it. I prayed him to give me some powder and shot if he had any, and to give us part of his victuals, which was presently effected. I counselled him also that, if he would not pardon his two enemies, he should leave them in my ship, and I would put them in such a place where they should never hurt him: which also he granted, saying, that the presence of him which hath done the offence, reneweth the injury unto him that hath received it. I commanded my servants also to return with me into our ship, with the powder and victuals the king had given us. And being about to take in the two prisoners already freed from the heavy stocks, a sudden boisterous wind arose which separated both the ships, in such sort that they could no more come to each other. I took leave of the king at my ship's side, and he bade me farewell from his bed: and so we departed asunder, and I will now depart from you, for that a second exploit constraineth me at this present to take my rest."

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Chapter XIV

Periander relateth how he found, amongst his mariners, the king of Bituania's niece, with other memorable things.

Periander did relate his peregrination in such a fashion that all of them generally were delighted therewith, except Maurice who, whispering at his daughter's ear, said thus unto her: "In mine opinion, Transilla, Periander might have made a discourse of his life in fewer words than he hath done, for that he should not have dwelt so long in relating unto us each particular of the triumph of the barges, nor of the marriage of these fishermen. For the epilogues which are made for adorning histories, ought not to be so large as the histories themselves. But I verily believe that Periander had a will to show us the excellency of his wit by the eloquence of his words." "It should be so, "answered Transilla; "but whether he be copious or succinct, me thinks he performs all very well, and giveth pleasure to us all."

The thoughts of Policarpus would not suffer him to be much attentive to Periander his discourse, but Synforosa was greatly delighted therein, having such an earnest desire to know the end that she entreated the company to meet together the next day, at which time Periander continued in this manner:

"Consider, gentlemen, my soldiers richer of renown than of gold, and myself in some suspicion that my liberality was not much to their contentment. For as men's qualities are not alike, so I had sufficient cause to fear that they would not be well pleased at the liberty of Leopoldus, thinking it a matter of great difficulty to recompense a hundred thousand pieces of gold which he had promised for his ransom. This consideration moved me to say unto them: 'Let none of you, my friends, be heavy for having lost the occasion to be made rich by the treasure which Leopoldus had offered us. For I assure you that one ounce of good renown is more worth than a pound of pearls: which none can know but he that hath begun to taste the glory which he hath of a good reputation. The poor man who is enriched with virtue, attaineth unto this famous renown: but contrarily the rich who is vicious cannot avoid infamy. And liberality is one of the most excellent virtues we can exercise, whereby to get and deserve a glorious renown.'

"I had further continued if a ship, which I discovered northward not far from us, had not made me alter my discourse by sounding the alarm. I had her in chase with all sails bearing, and in short time came up to her within cannon shot, causing a piece to be charged without bullet, as a sign to strike sail; as she did. I boarded her, and saw one of the strangest sights that could be seen, and that was more than forty men hanged upon the yards and tackling of the ship. My soldiers leaped in without any impediment, and found all the hatches full of blood, and bodies half dead, half alive, some having their heads parted in the midst, others their hands cut off; one spewing blood, another his soul; this fellow painfully sighing, and another crying. And this butchery seemed to have been done at dinner time, for that the meats did swim in the blood, and their bleeding wounds as yet retained the savour of the wine. They passed through all this, treading on the wounded and dead persons, till they came to the castle at the poop where they found twelve fair women, and before them all, one which seemed to be their commandress, armed with a white corselet so bright and polished that it might have served for a looking glass. She had no vambraces nor tails, but only a gorget under a head-piece, made of a serpent's scales covered with precious stones, yielding divers colours. She had a javelin in her hand studded with gold nails from the upper to the nether end, and a short sword of bright steel hanging at her side in a scarf, in so comely a manner, and with so brave a show, that she alone was sufficient to stay the fury of my soldiers, who began to behold her with admiration. I, who looked upon her from my ship, went into hers to view her the better, finding her making an oration in this manner.

"'I well believe that we minister unto you a cause of marvel: for this small number of women whom you see, is unable to put you in fear. As for ourselves, we are less in dread of you, having revenged the wrong which some were about to do us. But if you be bloody minded, shed ours, take away our lives, and we will account them well bestowed, always provided that you save our honours. But to the end you may know whom you shall kill, understand at once my name, and misfortunes. I am Sulpicia, niece of Cratilus king of Bituania. I, being married with the great Lampidio, no less renowned for his birth than rich in such goods as nature and fortune had bestowed upon him, we both went to see the king mine uncle, with such assurance as one might take in the company of his servants and subjects who, both by benefits and birth, were obliged to serve us. But wine and beauty, which are wont to make drunk the soberest minds, defaced these obligations from their memory, imprinting instead thereof such lascivious desires that they conspired against our honour. And after they had tippled all the night, began to execute their damnable intent by [the] death of my husband. But as nothing is more natural than to defend the life: we armed ourselves with their weapons, making our benefit of their drunkenness and small judgement, wherewith they assaulted us and, being succoured by four servants who abide in their faithful duties, we were not only protected, but revenged in like manner, as well of those whom you see stretched along upon the deck, as of them whom you view hanged on the yards. I have riches which I can give you, or to say better, you may take, not only by force, but with our consent also, provided that you do not dishonour us; whereby you should lose your own, and get greater infamy than wealth.'

"The words of Sulpicia had qualified me, though I had been the greatest pirate in the world. And then spoke one of my soldiers: 'Let me be killed if we have not here once again such a meeting as that of Leopoldus, with whom our general showed a pattern of his courtesy. Sir, let Sulpicia go free, for we desire none other thing but the glory to have vanquished our desires.' I answered, that she should do so: and causing the dead bodies to be taken away from the deck and yards, Sulpicia drew near, full of admiration and astonishment, causing to be brought after her four chests, wherein were her jewels and money which, when she had opened before me, my fishermen's eyes were stricken with such a shaft that it blinded in some of them their first purpose which they had, to let her go with her treasures. For there is great difference between giving that which we have in possession, and that which we hope to possess. Sulpicia drew forth a rich collar of precious stones, and offered the same unto me, saying: 'Take this chain, valiant Captain, which I give you, not for any other thing, but as a pledge of the good will wherewith I offer it. This is a poor widow's present, who yesterday was in the height of her good fortune, because she was in the power of her husband, and today seeth herself subject to the discretion of the soldiers who are about you, amongst whom you may divide all this riches' To whom I thus answered:

"'The gifts of so great a lady ought to be esteemed as favours.' And taking the collar, I said to my soldiers: 'This collar, my companions, is for me, and nothing hinders me to dispose thereof as mine own. Yet I think it unreasonable that so rich a booty should remain to one alone. Let him keep it that will, until such time as we have found one that will buy it, and then we will divide it amongst us all. In the meantime, let not any one touch that which this princess offereth us, and this noble act shall exalt your renown unto the skies.' 'We would have wished,' said one of them, 'that by your counsel you had not prevented us, to the end you might have seen how gladly we conform our wills unto yours. Restore yourself the collar to Sulpicia, to the intent she may know that the renown which you promise us cannot be compassed with a collar, nor limited by any bounds.' I remained well content with the answer of my soldiers, and Sulpicia in much marvel that they had so little covetousness. Finally, she prayed me to leave her 12 to serve her as her guard and mariners, until she came to Bituania, which I did; and in recompense she furnished us with good wines, and other victuals, whereof already we stood in want. The wind blew favourably, as well for her voyage as for ours, which had no determinate place. We parted each from other, but first she would know my name, which I told her, as also the names of Carino and Solercio. And she taking us three by the hand, embraced the rest with her eyes, and shed tears, partly for joy to see herself at liberty from those whom she accounted pirates, and partly for sorrow because she had lost her husband. I had forgotten to tell you, that I rendered back the collar to Sulpicia, which she, enforced by my importunities, received; being in a manner ashamed that I did value the same so little as to restore it.

"I asked counsel what course we should keep, and it was concluded that we should follow the wind, because other ships on the sea sailed in that sort. At this time it was a clear night without clouds, and sitting on the ship's castle abaft, I called a mariner who served us as pilot, and began to fix mine eyes upon the heaven." "I will lay a wager," then said Maurice to Transilla, "that Periander will at this present make a description unto us of all the celestial spheres, as though it appertained to the purpose in these matters which he is to relate, to declare unto us the motions of heaven. And as touching myself, I would gladly he should make an end. For the desire I have to be gone from hence, will not permit me to hold him in talk, nor busy myself in search of the planets, or fixed stars, in regard that I know more myself than he can tell me." Whilst Maurice spoke this, Periander had a breathing time, and after began in this sort.

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Chapter XV

Periander's pleasant dream, which he relateth as if it had been true.

"Silence and sleep began to seize upon my company, and I informed myself at his hands that was with me, in many matters necessary for the art of navigation; when it began to rain in such sort that it seemed whole clouds of water were poured into the ship. Hereat we were all troubled and, looking towards every quarter, we saw the heaven clear, without token or appearance of any storm; which redoubled our astonishment and fear. Then he that was with me said: 'Without que stion, this rain proceedeth from certain monstrous fishes called Wreckers or Philetors, which cast out this great plenty of water by certain windows which they have above their eyes. And if it be so, we are in great danger to be cast away. We must shoot off all the great ordnance that they may be amazed at the noise.'

"At that instant I saw as it were the neck of an horrible serpent lift itself up into the ship, and snatch away a mariner hard by me, which he swallowed into his belly without chewing. The pilot commanded they should shoot off, either with bullet or without, because the noise, not the stroke, should warrant us from this danger. Fear held the mariners clustered together with such confusion that they durst not stand on their feet for fear of being haled away by these apparitions; yet some ran to the artillery, others to the pump to return the water into the water. We spread all our sails and, as though we had fled from an army, we got far from this near danger, which was the greatest that hitherto had befallen us.

"Towards the end of the day following we found ourselves hard by the shore of a certain island unknown to any of us where, being desirous to refresh ourselves, we resolved to stay till the next morning; and without going far from the land, we furled up our sails, let slip our anchors, and laid to rest our tired and weary bodies, whereof sleep took a sweet and pleasant possession. In the end we all forsook the ship and marched on the delightful shore, the sand whereof (without any surmounting speech) was made of small grains of gold and fine pearls. And going further in, we found meadows whose grass was not green like grass, but as emeralds; whose verdure was not maintained by fresh waters, but streams of liquid diamonds; which, crossing the meadows by many windings, resembled serpents of crystal. Shortly after, we descried a forest of many different kinds of trees, of such beauty that it astonished and rejoiced our hearts. On one hung clusters of rubies that seemed to be cherries, or cherries most like unto rubies; on others hung apples, whereof some were of a rose colour, others like a topaz. Here might pears be seen, smelling like amber, and coloured like that which is in the heaven at sun-setting. Briefly, all the fruits whereof we had knowledge, were in their prime, without being hindered through the different seasons of the year, and whatsoever we beheld pleased our five senses: the eyes with their beauty, the ears with the sweet noise of springs and rivers intermeddled with infinite notes of birds leaping from tree to tree, and from bough to bough, seeming to have their freedom enthralled in this narrow room, without any desire to recover it: our smell, by the sweet scent of herbs, flowers and fruits: the taste, by trial we made of their pleasantness: and our touching by handling them, for we imagined them pearls of Sur, and diamonds of India."

"I am very sorry," said Ladislas to Maurice, "that Clodio is dead. For Periander, in these things which he hath spoken at this present, had given him whereupon to set his wits a-work."

"Be silent," said Transilla, "for you also know not how to stop him, for he will make an end though you say what you can."

"This which I have spoken," continued Periander, "until now, is a matter of nothing. But that which yet resteth untold, the wit of man is insufficient to understand it, and courtesy will be wanting to believe it. Now turn your eyes, and suppose you see issuing from the midst of a rock (as we saw, neither did our sight deceive us) a chariot. I cannot tell you of what stuff it was made: the form I can well describe, which was a great vessel broken by shipwreck, drawn by 12 great apes. Upon the chariot was a fair lady crowned with bays beset with roses, and attired in a sumptuous gown glistering with divers colours. She leaned on a black staff, whereto was fastened a table, whereon was written this word, 'Sensuality'. Many fair women came after her, holding sundry instruments in their hands, wherewith they made a delectable music. My companions and I were astonished and immovable, as if we had been images of stone. Sensuality came unto me and said, 'My enmity, young man, shall cost thee, if not thy life, yet at least thy pleasure.' Her company, as they passed by, plucked away seven or eight of my mariners and, returning back, entered with their mistress into the open place of the rock. I was turning myself towards those that were next me, to demand what they thought of this marvel: but I was interrupted by another, namely, an harmony beyond comparison more sweet than the former, made by a choir of damsels, in the midst of whom was Auristela, leading Chastity with one hand, and Continence with the other. These maidens told me that they perpetually accompanied Chastity, who was there disguised under the figure of Auristela. The desire I had to cry out at the novelty of so strange a marvel awaked me from sleep: this fair vision vanished, and I found myself in my ship with my companions, and not one of them wanting." "You slept then, sir, "said Constance. "It is true, gentlewoman," answered Periander, "for all my good haps are in dreams." "He hath related it," said Auristela, "in such a fashion, that he made me doubt whether the matter were true or feigned."

Arnaldo to all this did not speak a word and, considering the demonstrations wherewith Periander made his discourse, he was unable to clear those mistrusts which the deceased Clodio had infused into his soul. Policarpus also held his peace, employing his thoughts and looks on the person of Auristela, without any care at all whether Periander in his discourse were long or short, albeit in very deed the author, who derideth others, is very impertinent in this history, and showeth himself ridiculous. And so he endeth this troublesome discourse, in saying that Periander was given to understand that some were weary of his long narration, who therefore purposed to abridge the same and not, through default of judgement that could not be excused, abuse the patience of such as hearkened unto him, and for that cause began again as compendiously as he could in these terms.

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Chapter XVI

Periander prosecuteth his history.

"I then took advice with my companions what course we should hold, and it was resolved that, in regard we went after the pirates, who never sail against the wind, it was necessary to follow them. And my simplicity was so great, that I demanded of Carino and Solercio if they had seen their mistresses in my sister's company. They began to laugh at my demand, which constrained me to tell them my dream.

"We were two months at sea, and nothing befell us of any great moment, but only that during the same time we emptied more than threescore ships of pirates, enriching our ship with their spoils, wherewith my companions were well contented, and nothing sorry that they had changed their trade of fishermen to become rovers, although they were not thieves but against thieves, neither did rob any but robbers.

"Now upon a night it so happened that the wind surprised us, whereby we were driven more than a month continually by the same point of the compass till our pilot, observing the height of the pole, and reckoning the leagues we had sailed every day, found that we had run four hundred leagues, and were now far north in the climate of Norway. Whereupon he said, 'We are all unfortunate. If the wind suffer us not to return back, or take some other way, we are but lost, for we are in the icy sea where we shall be congealed amidst these waters.'

"He had scarcely ended these words when we felt as it were moving rocks to dash against the sides and keel of our ship, whereby we knew that the sea began to freeze, and that the mountains of ice which were made therein hindered our ship's way. We quickly struck all our sails, for fear lest in meeting them our ship should split; and this night the waters did congeal in such sort that they enclosed our ship like a stone in a ring.

"At the same instant, the cold began to seize on our bodies, and sadness to afflict our minds. Fear also performing his office, we made account to live no longer than the victuals which we had would last to sustain us; which immediately were rated and shared by order, so scantingly, that from thenceforth we began to die for hunger. We looked everywhere about us, and perceived nothing that might put us in hope except a black thing, I know not what, seeming be about seven or eight miles off, which we judged to be a vessel which a common misfortune had imprisoned as well as ourselves. This danger exceeded and surpassed the infinite number of those wherein I saw my life ready to be lost, because a long fear more vexed us than a speedy death. And that which threatened us no less by pinching hunger than by length of time, caused us to undertake a resolution, if not desperate, at the least rash, which was: to go out of our ship as soon as our victuals were spent, and walk upon the ice, to see if, in the other which we had descried, anything might be found to supply our necessities, and make benefit thereof either by good will, or by force. This we put in execution, and in an instant the waters might see marching dry-foot upon them a little squadron, yet good soldiers, in the head of whom I marched: and sliding, falling, and rising again, we came to the other ship, which was nigh as great as ours. There were some folk aboard, who, guessing at the intent of our coming, cried out unto us in this manner:

"'What make you here, you desperate people? what seek ye for? come you hither to seek your death, or rather is it to hasten ours? return to your ship, and if you want victuals, gnaw your tackling, and eat the pitched boards if you can possible: for to think that we shall deliver you from hence were a vain imagination, and against the rules of charity, which ought to begin with ourselves. They say that this ice must here continue two months, and we have victuals but for fifteen days: I leave you then to judge whether there be any likelihood that we should give you any part with us.'

"To whom I answered: 'Where the perils are extreme, all reason is trodden under foot, neither is there any respect or consideration kept. Receive us aboard with your good wills, and let us eat friendly together that which you have left unspent, before necessity constrain us to win it by force.' I made them this answer, believing they spoke untruly as concerning the quantity of such victuals as they showed us. But they, seeing themselves to be more in number and to have the advantage of the place, made no reckoning of our threats nor entreaties, but running to their weapons, did their best to defend themselves. My soldiers who, as they were valiant and courageous, were now made rash through despair, adjoining a new bravery to this temerity, assailed the ship with such violence that they won it, almost without receiving any wound; and in this first fury would have slain all those they found there, to spare so much victuals, if I had not stopped them.

"We were afterward succoured by heaven, as I will tell you by and by. But first you shall know that this was the same pirates' ship that had carried away my sister, and the two married wives Selviana and Leoncia. I had scarcely understood so much but I cried out unto them: 'Where do you keep our souls, you rovers? What have you done with my sister, and the two halves of these my friends? Then one of them answered unto me that their captain, who was now dead, had sold them to the Prince of Denmark." "It is true," said Arnaldo, "that I bought Auristela, her nurse and the two others of pirates, but not for such price as they were worth." "Now in the name of God," said Rutilio, "by what windings and chains is this rare history knit together?" "By that which you owe to the desire which all of us have to serve you," added Synforosa, "somewhat abbreviate your narration, and let us hear the end." "I will do so," answered Periander, "for great matters may be comprehended in a few words."

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Chapter XVII

Of Policarpus his traitorous plot, and of the flight of Arnaldo, of Periander, and of his company.

All this delay of Periander's discourse was so much contrary to the pleasure of Policarpus that he could neither hearken attentively, nor advisedly bethink himself what he should do for the restraint of Auristela without prejudice of the reputation which he had to be noble and veritable. He weighed the quality of his guests, amongst whom he preferred Arnaldo above the rest, as Prince of Denmark, not by election, but inheritance. In Periander's carriage he discovered a personage above the common rank and in Auristela's, a great lady. He would willingly have gained his desires by a plain way, without inventions or windings, covering all difficulties by the veil of marriage. For though his age seemed to contradict the same, yet is it always better to marry than to burn, at what time so ever it be. Wherefore, he resolved with Zenocia to execute his design, ere he gave any further hearing unto Periander. His drift was the second night after to sound a false alarm, and set fire in three or four places of the palace, to the end he might oblige those that should be found there to use their best endeavour to quench it, and that in the midst of the noise and confusion, ordinarily falling out in such accidents, he would appoint men to carry away Auristela, and the young Anthony. In like sort, he ordained that at the same time his daughter Policarpa, like one moved with compassion, should give warning to the Prince of Denmark and Periander of the danger hanging over their heads, and without speaking a word of the intended ravishment, she should teach them the way to save themselves in hastening to the sea, where they should find a fly-boat at the haven to take them aboard.

The night came, and three hours after the alarm began, which amazed the whole city; and at the same instant the fire took hold of the palace, the flames whereof gave augmentation unto those which Policarpus had in his soul. His daughter came with speed unto Prince Arnaldo and Periander, to inform them of her father's resolution, which was principally to get possession of Auristela. They called her, with Maurice, Transilla, Ladislas, the two Anthonys, Ricla, Constance and Rutilio, giving thanks to Policarpa for her advertisement. They went all to the Haven, following her counsel, where they embarked as she had told them, in a fly-boat, whose pilot and mariners were suborned by the king, who had given them commandment that, as soon as these fugitives should be shipped, they should launch out into the sea, but yet not go for England, nor otherwise be far from the isle.

But they performed all things in a contrary manner for, betraying the traitorous designs of their master, they informed the Prince of Denmark and Periander all that which was intended against them, and carried them a great way from the shore. Which when Policarpus knew, who had greater care of those that saved themselves amidst the waters than of his own palace now ready to be consumed with fire, he caused all the ordinance in the other ships to be discharged against that which fled, and by this means increased the alarm within the city, where the inhabitants knew not by what means or accidents they might be surprised. Amongst whom the amorous Synforosa, being yet more ignorant, reposed her hope in her innocency and her safety in her feet, mounting with fearful and staggering paces upon a high tower of the palace where, in her judgement, she might be secure from the fire that consumed the king's house. With her, Policarpa her sister was there enclosed, who related the flight of their guests: the news whereof killed the senses of her sister, and bred in herself a repentance to have spoken so much. In the meantime, the smiling Aurora declared to everyone the approaching of the day, except in the soul of king Policarpus, to whom she foretold a night of the greatest sadness that ever he had. Zenocia bit her hands, banning her deceitful science and the false promises of her accursed masters.

Synforosa was yet in a swoon, whose sister bewailed her mishaps; yet not forgetting such remedies as might recover her, wherewith in the end she came to herself and, beholding the sea, she saw the fly-boat under sail which carried the half, or better part, of her soul. And like a new Dido that complained of her fugitive Aeneas, sending sighs to heaven, tears to the earth, and her voice to the air, she uttered such like words.

"O fair guest, which to my harm arrivedst on this coast! Certainly thou art the deceiver, for hitherto I was never so fortunate that thou wouldst speak unto me any amorous words, whereby I might be deceived. Strike thy sails, or somewhat abate them at the least, that mine eyes may the longer behold this ship, whose view only comforteth me because thou art therein. Consider that thou fliest her which followeth thee, goest far from her that seeks thee, and showest hatred to her that adoreth thee. I am a king's daughter, yet am content to become thy slave. Respect not the burning of this city, for if thou comest back, it hath served for lights of mirth because of thy return. I have riches which I have laid up in such a place where the fire shall not come, for the heavens preserve them for thee alone."

Then she began to speak to her sister and said: "Think you not, my sister, that the sails are somewhat abated? See you not that he maketh not way so speedily as before? O God, hath he repented himself? Or hath my will any power in it like a remora to stay his ship?" "Alas, sister," said Policarpa, "beguile not yourself; for desires and deceits commonly go together. The ship goeth hence, and there is no remora of your wills that stays it, nor wind of your sighs that drives it forward."

The king their father came unto them in this discourse, which would see from the same tower as well as his daughter how, not the half, but his whole soul, absented itself.

Those whose charge was to quench the fire of the palace had besides a further care to comfort him. But the citizens having understood the cause of this disorder, the bad desires of their king, and the worse counsels of the magician Zenocia, the same day deposed him from his kingdom, and hanged Zenocia upon a ship's yard. Synforosa and Policarpa were respected as princesses, and their fortune was answerable to their deserts, yet not so that Synforosa came to an happy end of her desires, because the destiny of Periander did reserve him to greater matters. In the meantime, those of the ship went away free and united at once, not ceasing to give thanks to heaven that had delivered them from the wicked designs of Policarpus. The skies were clear, though there were a stout gale of wind.

The first object of their voyage was England, where they thought to contrive such matters before intended as should best befit them, and they sailed with so much quiet and so small fear that they doubted not any storm. This fair weather endured three days, and this wind blew favourably until the fourth, which then began about sun-setting to be tempestuous, and grow angry with the sea. From thenceforth, a suspicion of some flaw began to trouble the mariners, for the inconstancy of the sea, as also of our life, cannot promise us any assurance for a long time. Yet, good fortune would, that whilst they were distressed with this fear, they discovered an isle hard by them, which the mariners knew immediately, and told them that this was the Hermits' Isle, whither a French knight named Renatus, and also a lady of France, named Eusebia, had retired themselves, whose history is the rarest that ever was heard. The desire they had to know it, and to assure themselves from the tempest threatening them so near at hand, caused them to turn their ship's prow towards a road, where they anchored without any impeachment. And Arnaldo being informed that in all the isle there was none other person but the two hermits, and having a desire that Auristela and Transilla might a little refresh themselves, commanded the skiff to be cast into the water, and that all should go ashore to pass the night with better quiet out of the shaking and tottering of the sea. But the two Anthonys, Ladislas and Rutilio remained behind to keep the ship, not yet resting assured of their mariners' fidelity, and having more pleasure to lie on the ship's hatches than on the land; especially the two barbarians, who loved better the smell of pitch and resin than others do the roses and gillyflowers of their gardens. Those which had gotten to land covered themselves from the wind by shelter of a rock: and the heat and brightness of the fire which they made of many boughs they had cut down from divers trees, defended them from the cold; so passing the night without molestation, as well because heretofore they were made and accustomed to like fortunes, as also for the pleasure which Periander gave them in prosecuting his history at Transilla's request, albeit calling to mind how at other times he had wearied them with the length of his discourse, he refused then to finish it: Nevertheless, the entreaty of them all, the occasion and time, were an inducement for him to begin again in this manner.

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Chapter XVIII

Periander prosecuteth his history, wherewith he recounteth how he tamed the untamed horse of king Cratilus: and of their arrival at the Isle of hermits.

"If it be true that it much delighteth to speak of tempests in a calm, of hazards of war in time of peace and of sickness in perfect health, it shall be now very sweet unto me to recount my travels in this repose. For albeit I am not hitherto exempted from the same, I am somewhat eased at the least. And because this is one quality of our fortunes: when good things in any sort begin to increase, it seems one calleth another, not finding an end whereon to rest. So it is in mishaps. And I think that those which I have suffered until this present, now they are come to the last end of extreme misery, must necessarily be enforced to alteration, for when death, which is last of all, followeth not extreme distresses, a change ought to ensue and that, not from evil to evil, but from evil to good, and from good to better. And that which I enjoy at this present in my sister's company, who is the only true cause of all my good fortunes and all my miseries, promiseth and assureth me that I shall come to the height of the most happy estate that I can desire. But to return to my history: I say unto you that I abode in the ship of those pirates who had sold my sister, the two spouses and Clelia, unto the Prince of Denmark. And whilst my men searched for the ship's victuals, we discovered from towards the land a troop of more than four thousand armed men marching on the ice. This sight congealed us more than the sea whereon we were: yet we quickly betook us to our weapons, rather to testify that we were men than for any hope whereupon to employ them. They walked only upon one foot, striking with the right on the left heel, whereon they did slide a great way, and then reiterating a like blow on the other, they slid as before; so that they were at us, and environed us on every side. Then one of them who (as afterward I knew) was their Captain, drew so nigh our ship that he might be heard, having a white cloth waving on his arm in sign of peace, and spoke unto us in the Polack language in this manner:

"'Cratilus, king of Bituania and lord of these seas, hath a custom to draw out the ships which the ice hath here stayed, or at least the people and merchandise which are therein: and in recompense for having saved the persons from so great a peril, he retaineth only the merchandise. If you will accept this condition without defending yourselves, you shall enjoy both your life and liberty together, without any danger of imprisonment or death. If not, prepare well to defend yourselves.'

"Content with this resolution, and the short discourse of him that spoke, I answered, that he should permit me to take advice with my company, who showed me that the end of all evils, and the greatest of them all, was the end of life, which a man ought to preserve by all means possible provided that they be without infamy. And in regard there was no infamy in the conditions which they offered, and that we were so certain to lose our lives, and had so weak means of defence, the best course were to yield and give place to evil fortune, as yet pursuing us, peradventure to reserve us to some better occasion. I made almost this very answer unto the captain and, at that instant, they boarded our ship with more appearance of war than of peace: and taking down all, they carried it away, not leaving the artillery and cordage, upon ox skins which they spread on the ice, and then bound the goods thereon to draw them with ropes. And after they had robbed all our ship, they put us on other skins and, shouting all at once, they carried us to land, which might be about twenty miles from the ship. In the end, we came to the shore that night, not going forth till the morning; but then we saw the land covered with an infinite number of people who came to see this booty. King Cratilus came amongst them on a fair horse, whom we knew by the royal ensigns and attire which he wore. By his side also came, on horse-back, a fair woman armed with white armour under a black veil which covered them. Her fair appearance drew mine eyes after her, whom I beheld with such earnestness that I knew her to be the fair Sulpicia, to whom a few days before we had given the liberty which she now enjoyed. The king drew near to see us and the captain, holding me by the hand, said unto him: 'In this young man alone, most valorous king, it seems to me that I present the richest prize that ever any mortal eye hath viewed, until this present.' 'Immortal God,' then said Sulpicia, casting herself to the ground from her horse, 'either I have no eyes, or this here is Periander my deliverer.' And the uttering of these words, and casting her arms about my neck, was all one. These welcomes obliged Cratilus to alight likewise from his horse, and receive me with the same tokens and demonstrations of mirth. Now hope, well-nigh extinguished for expecting any good success, was departed far from the courage of my fishermen: but recovering breath in beholding this apparent joy wherewith they saw me to be received, they gave thanks to God for this favour unlooked for.

"Sulpicia said unto Cratilus, 'This young man is a subject whither courtesy in the highest degree makes her retire and liberality, a continual abode. And although I have made experience hereof, I will have his only presence make you to believe it. This is he which gave me liberty after my husband's death: he which despised not my treasures, yet would not take anything; and which having received my presents, restored yet better unto me by his desire to give me greater. To conclude: this is he who, fitting himself or, to say better, fitting to his pleasure that of his soldiers, and giving me twelve of them to keep me company, is the cause that I am now in your presence.'

"I, then, blushing by reason of the excessive praises which she gave me, knew not what else to do but kneel down before Cratilus, craving his hand, which he gave me, not to kiss, but to lift me up from the ground. In the meantime the twelve fishermen which were of Sulpicia's guard went searching out their companions amongst the rest; and embracing each other as they met, they related their good or evil fortune. Those of the sea amplified their peril on the ice; and they of the land, their riches.

"'To me,' said one, 'Sulpicia hath given this chain of gold.' 'To me,' said another, 'this jewel, which is more worth than two such chains of gold.' 'To me,' said his fellow, 'she hath given so much money.' 'She hath given me more,' replied another, 'in this only jewel of diamonds, than to all of you together.'

"This discourse was silenced by a great noise arising amongst the people, and occasioned by a strong horse which two footmen held by the bridle, but were not able to stay him. His hair was black and spotted with white spots like flies, which made him exceedingly fair. He came without furniture on his back, because he would not suffer any except the king to sit on the saddle; but after he was mounted, this respect was no longer observed, for a thousand stops laid before him could not stay his running: whereby the king was so much displeased that he would have given a city to him that should rid him of this bad capering quality. He related all this unto me in few words, and I resolved with more readiness to do that which I shall tell you."

Hitherto Periander had proceeded when, at one side of the rock whither they had retired themselves, Arnaldo heard a noise of some person walking towards them. He rose up, and taking hold of his sword, courageously attended the event. Periander held his peace, the women in fear, the men with boldness expected what might fall out. And by the weak light of the moon, which was so covered with clouds that she could not be seen, they might perceive two persons coming unto them whom they could hardly discern what they were, if one of them had not said thus:

"Gentlemen, whosoever you be, trouble not yourselves at our sudden arrival; because our coming hither is for none other intent but to serve you. This desert and solitary retract which you have chosen, you may make somewhat better in ours, being at the mountain's top. There you shall find light and victuals which, though they be not delicate and of great value, yet at least they are necessary, and of good taste."

Arnaldo answered them: "Are you haply that Renatus, and the same Eusebia, those two perfect lovers whose praises renown hath at this day so loudly resounded?"

"You had guessed better," quoth they, "had you said, 'the two unhappy': but howsoever, happy or unhappy, we are those whom you name and such as in all kinds of goodwill offer you whatsoever our poverty permitteth us." Arnaldo thought good to accept their offer as being constrained thereto by the rigour of the time. All of them then arose; and following Eusebia and Renatus, who served them as guides, they came to the top of a final mountain, where they found two hermitages, fitter to lead a poor life therein, than to rejoice with any superfluity. They entered into that which seemed unto them the best, where they found two lamps burning, that they might discern what he had there, which was an altar and three images: one, of the Author of life once dead and crucified; and the other of the queen of heaven placed before Him who sets His feet upon the whole world; the third, of the well beloved disciple, who saw more whilst he slept than all other men's eyes being awake. They knelt down and after they had reverently and devoutly prayed, Renatus brought them into a chamber joining to the same hermitage, whose entry was over against the altar.

Finally, in that small particulars do not suffer long narrations, we will lightly pass over their light supper and the good cheer they made, which was not great, but in the hearty affection of the hermits; touching whom, they marked their poor apparel, their years already touching the brink of old age, the beauty of Eusebia which, amidst the ruins of age and poverty, yet retained an appearance that it had been of rare perfection. Auristela, Transilla and Constance remained in this chamber, whose bed was the dry rock and many sweet smelling herbs. The men fitted themselves in divers places of the other hermitage, no less cold than hard. The night passed away in this manner, and the fair and clear day approached. The sea also showed itself so calm that it invited them by the smoothness to take shipping, as indeed they had done if the pilot had not told them that they should not trust the outward appearance of this fair weather which, though it promised tranquillity, would soon after afford them contrary effects. All of them followed his counsel, knowing well that the simplest mariner doth understand better the art of navigation than the greatest clerk of the world. The ladies forsook their grassy beds, and the men their hard stones, and altogether came from their cells to behold from the mountain's top the sweet prospect and fruitfulness of this isle, which might contain about twelve miles but, so full of trees bearing fruit, so fresh by reason of the waters wherewith it was everywhere moistened, so delightful for the verdure of the grass and so sweet and fair with diversity of flowers, that at one time in the same degree it was able to content the five senses.

Shortly after, the venerable hermits called their guests and, spreading herbs in the hermitage, they made a carpet on the ground: peradventure, no less pleasing than such as are spread in kings' palaces. Immediately they brought forth green and dry fruits, and bread which was not so tender but it much resembled biscuit, crowning the table with vessels made of cork, full of fresh water. The ornament, the fruits, the pure and clear waters which, in despite of the colour of the cork showed their clearness, and above all, necessity, obliged, or rather constrained them to seat themselves round about the table.

After this sober but savoury repast, Arnaldo prayed Renatus to tell them the cause which had reduced him to so poor a life. He, being a knight unto whom courtesy is annexed inseparably, not suffering himself to be twice entreated, began to make the discourse of his true history in this sort:

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Chapter XIX

Renatus declareth the occasion why he became an hermit.

"When adversities past are related in prosperity, it seems the pleasure one hath in speaking thereof is greater than the displeasure he had in suffering them. I cannot say this of mine, because I declare them not in repose, but in the midst of my torments. I was born in France, of noble, rich and virtuous parents, who brought me up in such exercises as appertain unto knights. I measured my thoughts according to mine estate which, withal, nevertheless I adventured to settle on Eusebia, the queen's maid of honour, and with my eyes alone made her understand that I adored her. But whether it were that she marked it not, or that she had no care of any such matters, I could never by looks or words from her perceive that she understood me. And though disgraces and disdains are wont to procure love's death in the birth, wanting the staff of hope whereby it augmenteth: it was far otherwise with me, for from the silence of Eusebia I made wings to my hope, which lifted me up in presumption to merit her. But the envy, or over-great curiosity of another French knight named Lipsemirus, no less famous for his wealth than for the nobility of his house, attained even to the knowledge of my thought, and without any due consideration thereof conceive I more despite than pity; which ought to have been otherwise. For there are two evils in love, and they both come to extremity: one is to love, and not be beloved; the other to love, and yet be hated. And this last evil is greater than absence or jealousy. Lipsemirus, upon a resolution against me that never offended him, one day went to find the king and told him, that contrary to the duty which I should observe toward his Majesty, and against the law which I ought to keep as a knight, I abused unlawfully the honour and beauty of Eusebia, which he would prove by the sword that he might not by his pen defame her whom he accused to be unchaste. The king sent for me upon this accusation, and told me what he had understood by Lipsemirus. I excused mine innocency and, for the honour of Eusebia, gave mine enemy the lie in as civil terms as possible I could. The proof was referred to arms. The king would not appoint the field in any part of his kingdom, lest he should contradict the laws of the Church, forbidding it: but we ourselves made choice of one of the free cities of Almain.

"When the day of combat was come we both appeared at the appointed place, with such arms as we had agreed upon, which were sword and dagger, without other tricks of art. The judges and seconds having parted the sun, and performed all other ceremonies in such case accustomed, left us to do our devoir. I entered into the field full of courage and confidence, infallibly knowing that I had reason and truth on my side. As for my adversary, I knew well that he entered the lists with more pride and arrogance than assurance of conscience. O heaven! O the unsearchable judgements of GOD! I did what I could, reposing my confidence in God, and in the sincerity of my designs. Fear had no power over me, my arms were no less strong than they were wont, nor my motions less nimble; yet herewithal I found myself laid along on the earth I know not how, and the point of mine enemy's sword on mine eyes, which threatened me with a speedy and inevitable death. 'Thrust,' said I to this more happy than brave conqueror, 'the point of thy sword, and pluck away my soul, which hath had so little skill to defend my body. Look not that I will yield, or confess an offence which I never did. I have committed other faults which deserve much greater chastisements: but I will not adjoin this unto them, to bear false witness against myself; and I had rather die honourably than live dishonoured.' 'If thou yield not thyself,' answered mine enemy, 'this point shall pierce thee unto the brain, and make thee ratify with thy blood the truth of my accusation, and thine offence.' With that came the judges, who accounted me as dead, adjudging the garland of victory to mine enemy. He was carried out of the field on his friends' shoulders, and I was left alone in the power of torment and confusion, with more sadness than wounds but not with so much grief as I supposed, in that it made me not lose that life which mine adversary had left me. In the end, my servants drew me thence, I returned to mine own house, not daring to lift up mine eyes to heaven, thinking mine eyelids were loaded with weights by displeasure of mine infamy. I was offended at my dear friends that spoke to me; the heaven, which was clear to others, was for me alone covered with clouds of darkness. I saw not three men together but I thought two of them spoke of me. Finally, I found myself so pressed with my melancholy thoughts and confused imaginations that, to free or ease myself, or to end them with my life, I resolved to forsake my country, and resigning my goods to my younger brother, to banish myself into these northern coasts; whither I came in a ship with some of my servants, to find in these quarters a place retired from the world where the shame of mine infamy might not find me. I was casually brought into this isle. The situation pleased me, and by the assistance of my servants I built this hermitage, where I shut up myself after I had dismissed them, with a charge to come and see me every year, that they might bury my bones after I were dead. The love they bore me, the promises I made them, confirmed with gifts I gave, obliged them to perform my commandments. They left me in this solitariness, where I found such company amidst these trees, these clear fountains and fresh rivers that I was grieved in mind that I was vanquished no sooner, in that so great contentment should ensue after this displeasure. O solitariness! The joyful fellowship of the sad. O silence! A pleasing voice to them whose ears thou touchest, without being associated with lying or flattery. What shall I say to advance your praise! But I must first tell you that my servants returned a year after, bringing with them my adored Eusebia, which is the gentlewoman here present, and reduced with me into this hermitage, my servants having informed her in what estate they had left me, and she re-acknowledging my desires, with a compassionate feeling of my mishap would bear me company in my pain; and so embarking with them, left her country, her parents, her wealth, and more than that, her own honour, to the vain discourse of the common people (who almost every day are abused) because in following me, she confirmed in the world's opinion, an error which was never effected. I entertained her in such sort as she hoped for; and solitariness and beauty, which should have inflamed our former desires, wrought a contrary effect, thanks be to God, and her honesty. We gave our faith one to another in lawful marriage, and we live in this isle in peace and love like two moving images, ever since these ten years. During all this time, not one hath passed wherein my servants have not come to see me with necessary provision, which otherwise would often fail us in this island. They sometimes brought with them religious persons to confess us: we have here ornaments to celebrate the divine service: we sleep apart, and eat together: we speak of heaven, and despise the earth: we trust in God's mercy, and hope to have eternal life."

Here did Renatus finish his discourse and Rutilio, which with deep silence had given ear to his history, began to cry out in this manner: "O solitary life, holy, free, and assured, which the heaven infuseth in the most delicate imaginations: who will love thee? Who will embrace thee? Who will enjoy thee?" "Thou speakest well, Rutilio," then said Maurice; "but these considerations should fall upon great subjects. For it is no marvel if a shepherd frame himself to solitariness, or if a poor man that is hunger-starved in the city retireth to the fields where he findeth better means to support his life. But if I should see an Hannibal of Carthage shut up in a cell, as I saw Charles the Fifth in a monastery: then I should have a subject to marvel at; but not that a common or poor person withdraws himself from the world; for this in my judgement affordeth no cause of admiration. In like manner, Renatus is none of that sort: whom not poverty, but force of his melancholic imaginations hath brought to these coasts unfrequented where he finds abundance in dearth, company in solitariness and where, having nothing to lose, he hath nothing to be afraid of." Periander hereunto adjoined, "If I were old as I am young, my fortune hath put me into such occasions and distresses that I would account it a great felicity to have solitariness my companion, and silence my tomb. Nevertheless, my desires cannot permit me to resolve hereupon; and the straining of Cratilus his horse, with whom I left mine history, giveth me no leisure to change my life." All of them rejoiced when they heard this, because Periander would return to his narration, so often begun and not finished, which in this manner he did pursue.

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Chapter XX

Wherein is declared what happened to Periander with the horse of Cratilus.

"The beauty, stature and fierceness of the horse which I have described unto you, made Cratilus so far in love with him, and stirred up in him as many desires to see him gentler, as I had to serve him, thinking that heaven offered this occasion unto me that I might be acceptable unto him, whom already I held as my master, and to deserve some part of the praises which Sulpicia had given me. Wherefore I went directly to the horse and got on his back, without setting foot in the stirrup because there was none; and I put him forward with such violence that the bits could never stay him. He carried me to the point of a rock hanging over the sea: I reined him harder: and being unable to hold him, both whether he or I would or not, I made him take his leap in the air, into the depth of the waters. And remembering in the midst of the leap that, in regard the water was frozen, I should be broken in pieces with the fall, I held my own and the horse's death assured. But it came not so to pass. For heaven reserving me to other matters which He knoweth, permitted the legs of this puissant horse to withstand the blow: neither received I any other damage but a fearful shock, and no less danger in sliding. There was not one on the shore but thought I was dead, but when they saw me come back, they reported this accident for a miracle and my boldness as a rash folly."

This terrible skip of the horse seemed to Maurice a very hard matter, who would gladly at the least he had broken three or four legs to give the more probability to the discourse of such an unmeasurable and outrageous leap. But the reputation of Periander made his tale to be believed. For like as it is a punishment incident to liars, that no man credits them when they speak the very truth, so it is also the glory of such as are veritable, that they are believed even when they tell a lie. Now the thoughts of Maurice being unable to hinder Periander's discourse, he thus continued the same:

"I came back with the horse to the shore and, by the same pace which he had gone, I presented unto him the same leap, and put him forward to skip again: but it was not possible. But contrariwise, being at the point of the rock, he strove so much to go back that, breaking the reins and sitting on his buttocks, he remained as if he were nailed to the earth. Immediately he was all on a sweat from the feet to the head and, trembling for fear being before a lion, he became a lamb; and of an untamed beast, such a generous and peaceable horse that children would adventure to govern him; and the king's grooms having saddled him, got on his back, and did what they would, finding in him swiftness and goodness not known to be in any horse. Wherein the king was much contented, and Sulpicia joyful to see mine actions answerable to her words.

"The ice continued three months in melting, which were employed in finishing a ship which the king had begun to scour the seas and, in freeing them of pirates, to enrich himself with their stolen goods. During which time I performed certain services in hunting, and showed myself diligent, painful and experienced. For no exercise is liker to the wars than hunting: on which, hunger, thirst and weariness are inseparable dependants. Briefly, the courtesy of Cratilus, and the liberality of the fair Sulpicia were admirable, not only to me, but likewise to all my company. In the end, when the ship was made, the king commanded the same to be plentifully furnished with all things necessary, and made me Captain General, not binding me to depend on anyone's pleasure but mine own. And after I had kissed his hands for so great a benefit I besought him to give me leave to go in search of my sister Auristela, whom I had understood to be in the power of the King of Denmark. Cratilus permitted me to do what I would, saying that I had obliged him to pleasure me in greater matters. Sulpicia would not suffer us to depart without renewing her liberalities and so, rich and contented, I and my company embarked, not forgetting any behind.

"The first course we took was for Denmark, where I hoped to find my sister and heard news how she was taken by rovers as she walked by the seaside. There my travails renewed and my sorrows began afresh, which were accompanied with those of Carino and Solercio, who believed that their wives were partakers of the misfortunes and imprisonment of my sister."

"Their suspicion," said Arnaldo, "was not amiss." And Periander proceeding, "We ran over," said he, "all the seas, compassed all the isles thereabouts, every day enquiring news of my sister; thinking that the bright beams of her face could not be covered in whatsoever obscurity she should be hidden. We took pirates, delivered prisoners, restored evil-gotten goods to the right owners, and filling our ship with a thousand different kinds of riches, my fishermen would return to their nets and to their own houses, because Carino and Solercio imagined they should find their wives in their country whom they were unable to find in so many strange lands as we had discovered. But first of all we came to the isle which, I believe, men call Scinta, where we understood of the feast of king Policarpus, which moved in us all an earnest desire to be there. But we could not arrive thither with our ship, by reason of a contrary wind; wherefore I and twelve only entered into a long boat, all attired like mariners, as you have already known. There I won the prize, and was crowned victorious of all, and here upon Synforosa took occasion to inform herself who I was.

"After I was repaired to my ship, and my men being resolved to forsake me, I prayed them to leave me the long boat in recompense of all the travails which I had suffered in their company. They did so, and would have left me the ship if I would, saying, that if they left me alone, it was for none other cause, but for that they judged my design to be particular and so impossible to execute, as experience had taught by the diligence we had used.

"In this resolution, after I had embraced my friends, I embarked only with six fishermen, who were thereunto drawn by the recompense which I promised them, and landed in the Barbarian Island, understanding the custom and false prophecy of the inhabitants, which you all do likewise know. I crossed the Isle; was taken and thrust into the cave where men are buried alive. Certain days after they drew me forth to be sacrificed, but the tempest having spoiled their raft, which they use instead of boats, I was carried into the deep sea upon a piece of wood, with chains on my neck and manacles on my hands. I fell into the power of Prince Arnaldo here present, by whose appointment I entered again into the Isle in woman's apparel, to learn some news of Auristela, who the next morning was brought forth in man's apparel to be sacrificed. I there knew her: and grief to see her in that estate made me prevent her death, in saying that she was a maid, as her nurse Clelia who kept her company had before assured. How they came thither, herself shall tell you if she please: that which befell us in the Isle, you know. So, with this which I have spoken, and that which resteth for my sister to manifest, you shall remain satisfied of all that you can desire touching the certainty of our fortunes."

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Chapter XXI

How the brother of Renatus arrived in the Isle of Hermits and brought him passing good news: and how the Prince of Denmark resolved to return unto his realm.

I know not if I can assure whether Maurice and some others of the company were glad that Periander had ended his discourse: for the longest are oftentimes the most irksome, be they of never so great importance. And this cogitation perhaps hindered Auristela at that time to begin the story of her accidents, which she would not relate till a better occasion; being also diverted by a ship which they saw coming towards them, with all sails bearing, in such sort that shortly after being arrived in a certain road of the isle, it was presently known by Renatus, who said unto them: "This is the ship, Gentlemen, wherein my friends and servants are accustomed to come and see me." The ship having saluted them of the isle, and let down their skiff into the water, the shore was full of people, where [they] were all ready to receive them. Those who were unshipped might be some 20, amongst whom there was one whose demeanour witnessed that he was master of the rest, who had no sooner perceived Renatus but he ran to him with his arms abroad saying unto him: "Embrace me, brother, at the least in favour of the good news I bring you." Renatus embraced him, knowing that this was his brother Synibaldo, unto whom he said, "No news, brother, can be more welcome unto me than to see you. For although in my present estate no mirth can glad me, nevertheless that of your presence is excepted from this rule." Synibaldo after saluted Eusebia, saying: "Embrace me also, Madam, for you likewise have your part in the news I bring you; which I will not shall make you languish any further, to prolong your pain. Know then, that your enemy is dead by sickness and that, having remained speechless for six days' space, heaven gave him liberty to speak again six hours before he died: within which time he confessed the malice and despite which had constrained him to accuse you falsely, with demonstrations of great repentance; acknowledging also that his malice had triumphed over your virtue by God's secret judgement: which he was content, not only to speak, but would have the truth hereof remain written in public record. Which after it came to the king's notice, he restored your honour, and declared also by a public Act that you, my brother, have the victory of your conqueror, and Eusebia exempt not only from the crime but also from suspicion which any one might fasten upon her renown. Moreover, he commanded me to seek you out and bring you into his presence that he might, by his magnanimity, recompense the poverties and miseries of your absence. I leave it to your consideration if these news ought to be pleasing to you." "They are such," said Arnaldo, "that no prolonging of life can surpass them, nor greatness of riches be matchable unto them: for honour lost, and recovered in greater measure than before the loss, hath nothing in the world comparable thereunto. And Seigneur Renatus, would God you might enjoy it many years, and with you your matchless companion, who is an example and mirror of all thankfulness." All the other[s] jointly rejoiced with him like Arnaldo and, inquiring news of such things as had passed in Europe and other parts of the world, whereof being always on the sea they could have no notice, Synibaldo answered that of late there was no other talk but of the wars of Transylvania, the stirs of the Turk, the death of Charles the Fifth, Emperor of Rome and King of Spain, who was a terror to the enemies of the Church; and the sadness of Leopoldus King of Denmark, who for the absence of the Prince his son was at the point of death: which Prince had left his realm and his father to follow the wanderings of a slave of his, who was so little known that none could so much as tell who were her parents.

He told also divers other news of small importance, whereof some did make glad, others astonished such as heard him: but all together gave them pleasure, except only pensive Arnaldo who, understanding the sadness of his father, looked down on the earth and set his hand to his neck; and having so continued for a time, he lifted up his head and eyes to heaven, and began to cry out that all might hear him: "O Love! O Honour! O fatherly compassion, how fast do you gripe my soul! Pardon me, Love: I forsake thee, not with purpose to separate myself from thee. Honour, tarry for me; for to be amorous I will not leave to follow thee. Father, comfort yourself, for I will quickly return unto you. Subjects, attend me; for love never made any one a coward, much less shall I be in your defence: for I am the best and perfectest Lover in the world. I will go and win that which pertaineth unto me, for the incomparable Auristela; and merit, in being a king, that which I cannot merit in being a lover: for it is impossible for a lover ever to attain a happy end of his desires unless fortune favour him. I will claim her as a king, I will serve her as a king, and will adore her as a lover. And if with all this I cannot merit her, I will sooner accuse my fortune than her judgement."

All the assistants were amazed at these words but Synibaldo more than the rest, to whom Maurice had told that this was the Prince of Denmark, and she there (showing Auristela) the prisoner that had taken him. Synibaldo, opening his eyes and looking upon her more nearly than as yet he had done, judged that that which in Arnaldo was esteemed folly, was great wisdom: for the beauty of Auristela was so perfect that insensibly she captivated the hearts of all them that saw her, and all the faults committed for her sake found in her their sufficient excuses. The same day it was resolved that Renatus and Eusebia should return into France, and take Arnaldo into their ship, to set him a-land in his kingdom; who would carry with him Maurice, Ladislas and Transilla; and that Periander, the two Anthonys, Auristela, Ricla and Constance should prosecute their voyage in the ship which they had taken in the isle of Policarpus. Rutilio, seeing this departure, abode awhile, waiting which company would take him aboard. At length, kneeling to Renatus, he besought him to make him heir of his moveables and appoint him to supply his place in his hermitage, where he desired to amend and finish his wicked life. Renatus, no less liberal than Christian, granted all his demands and said that he wished he had left with him things of greater value, albeit he left him all necessaries to dress the ground and pass his human life. Arnaldo further added that, if he might see himself peaceably possessed of his kingdom, he promised to send him every year a ship with commodities to succour him. Rutilio thanked them all, everyone embraced him, and the most of them wept to see the holy resolution of this new hermit: for though we amend not our lives, we cannot choose but receive contentment when we see another man's life to be reformed, unless it fall out that we have attained to such desperate villainy that we are become as gulls, whereof one calleth another. They continued there two days in fitting themselves, each of them to follow their voyage; and upon the point of their departure they had great complements, chiefly between Arnaldo and Auristela which, though they were intermeddled with amorous words, yet they were so replete with considerate respect that they nothing troubled the mind of Periander. Transilla wept, so did Maurice and Ladislas his son in law: Ricla sighed, Constance mourned, and the two barbarians were feelingly affected. Rutilio having clo thed himself in hermit's apparel which Renatus wore, went from one to another; and taking leave of them all, mingled sighs and tears together. Finally, the calmness of the season, and a wind which might serve for divers voyages, invited them to go on shipboard. They hoisted their sails, and Rutilio blessed them a thousand times from the highest part of his hermitage, whence he beheld their departure. And here the author of this rare history finisheth his second book.

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The third book of the travels of Persiles and Sigismunda.

Chapter I

The arrival of our pilgrims at Lisbon, and of other worthy and memorable things.

Like as our souls are ever in continual motion, and cannot stay nor rest but in their centre, which is God for whom they were created: so also it is no marvel if our thoughts change, and that this man taketh, that man leaveth; one followeth, and another forgetteth. This is said, to excuse the inconstancy witnessed by Arnaldo in leaving Auristela upon a sudden, whom he had so long time served and with such violence desired. Nevertheless, it cannot be said that he forsook her, but that the desire of honour, which surmounteth all the passions of the mind, made his love to sleep at that instant.

Arnaldo, speaking privately unto Periander in the Isle of the Hermits the night before their departure, had acquainted him with his purpose, and there had prayed him to reserve his sister Auristela one day to be Queen of Denmark; and that if fortune should be so contrary to deprive him of his kingdom, and that he lost his life in so just a demand, Auristela should value her self as a Prince's widow, and such a one as should know how to choose a husband which were worthy of her. That he knew already, and so he had told him often, that for her own person, without dependence of other greatness, she deserved not only the kingdom of Denmark but the Empire of all the world. Periander gave him many thanks in the best manner he could, promising to have as much care of his sister as lay in his power, as that which so nearly concerned a person who was so nigh of blood, and had so much reference to himself. In the meantime, he made not Auristela privy to any of these speeches, because the praises which are given to the party beloved ought to be spoken as proceeding from ourselves, and not as coming from another. A lover shall never make himself beloved by another man's perfections, and those which he showeth to his mistress ought to be his own. If he sing not well, he must never keep company with him that hath a pleasing voice; nor with a fair and comely man, if he be not the like himself. These counsels nothing concern Periander, who in the goods of Nature was richer than all men and in those of Fortune gave place but to a few. In the meantime the ships went in different courses by one and the same wind (which is a mystery in the art of navigation), breaking not the clear, but blue, crystal of the waters. The sea was laid smooth in outward appearance, for the winds handled the same respectively, not daring to touch but the superficie, whose lips the ship sweetly kissing, glided so swiftly thereon that it seemed scarce to touch it. In this quietness they sailed 17 days without altering their sails higher or lower, which is a felicity to them that frequent the sea: who being exempted from all care of storms, there is no pleasure equal thereunto.

At the end of this time a mariner, who was on the maintop, one morning discovering the land began to cry, "Land, land, we are at the country of Lisbon." These news made them all shed tears for joy, especially Ricla, Constance and the two Anthonys, for it seemed unto them they were come to the Land of Promise which they had so much desired. "Thou shalt now know, my sweet Barbarian," said old Anthony to his wife Ricla, embracing her, "the manner how to serve God, by a larger instruction, though not different from that which I have showed thee. Thou shalt now see the rich temples in which He is adored, the ceremonies of the Church and the charity of the Christians. Thou shalt see in this city many hospitals where the sick find health, and those which die do get eternity. There, love and honesty shake hands, and walk together. There, courtesy suffereth not arrogance to arrive, nor valour will give consent that cowardice should approach. All the inhabitants are pleasing, courteous, liberal, amorous, and discreet. The city is one of the greatest, and best frequented for traffic, of any that is in Europe. Therein are unshipped the riches of the East, and from thence dispersed throughout the world. The haven is able to receive, not only so many ships as may be reckoned, but moving forests of innumerable trees. The women's beauty procureth love, and the men's valour, fear. Finally, this is the land which giveth to heaven a holy and rich tribute."

"This is enough, Anthony," said Periander; "tell us no more, leave the remainder for our eyes, that some-way rest for us to behold which we have not heard." Auristela was very well pleased to see that she drew near to the firm land, without going from port to port, and from isle to isle, subject to the sea's inconstancy and the mutable pleasure of the winds; the rather, when she knew she might go on dry land to Rome and not betake herself to sea unless she would.

It was noon when they came to Saint John's, where the ship was registered and where the captain of the castle, and such as came aboard with him, wondered at the perfection of Auristela, the gallantness of Periander, the barbarous apparel of the two Anthonys, the sweet looks of Ricla, and the pleasing beauty of Constance. They knew that they were strangers, and were going in pilgrimage to Rome. Periander bountifully paid the mariners which had brought them thither, with the gold which Ricla had taken from the barbarian isle and reduced into coin in the island of Policarpus. The captain of Saint John's certified the governor of Lisbon, who at that time was Archbishop of Braga, what strangers were newly arrived, not forgetting the incomparable beauty of Auristela, nor of Constance, whose barbarous attire was so far from covering, that it rather augmented it. He wrote also touching the brave disposition of Periander and the discretion of them all together, who appeared not to be barbarians, but courtiers. The ship arrived at the city's quay and they went ashore at Belen, because Auristela was amorous of the renown of this holy monastery which before all other things she desired to visit, there freely to worship the true God without the crooked ceremonies of her country. An infinite number of people were come forth to the haven's side to see the strangers landed at Belen. All of them ran thither to behold that novelty, which drew the eyes and desires of all men continually after it. Now this new troop of strangers came to Belen: Ricla meanly fair, but in barbarous attire; Constance yet more fair, in the same apparel; Anthony the father with naked arms and legs, and the rest of his body covered with a wolf's skin; his son Anthony in the like, but having his bow in his hand and a quiver full of arrows at his shoulders; Periander in a cassock and hose of green velvet, and a small cap on his head, which could not hide the jewels of gold appearing in his hair; Auristela carried all the riches of the north upon her apparel, all comeliness in her body, and all the beauty of the world in her face. In effect, all together, and each of them apart, caused astonishment and marvel in such as beheld them: but above all, the incomparable Auristela and invincible Periander dazzled their eyes.

They came to Lisbon by land, all sorts of people environing them. They were brought to the Governor who, having a long time admired them, could not but demand who they were, whence they came, and whither they would.Periander made him answer, who had studied before hand what he should say to such demands as having done it often, and who upon due occasions related his story, always concealing his parents, and satisfying them that asked him any questions in that whereof they inquired. The Viceroy caused them to be lodged in one of the best houses of the city, pertaining to a noble knight of Portugal, where the throng of the people was so great that Periander gave counsel that the barbarians should change their clothing into the habit of Pilgrims, for that their novelty was the principal cause why they were followed of the multitude; moreover, to accomplish their voyage to Rome, no other vesture could better become them; wherefore, within two days after, they apparelled themselves as pilgrims.

Now it happened upon a day, as they came out of the house, a Portugal cast himself at Periander's feet and, embracing his legs, said thus unto him:

"What fortune is this, Señor Periander, that you honour this land with your presence? Marvel not to see that I call you by your name, for I am one of those twenty which recovered liberty in the barbarian isle, when it was on fire and destroyed by your occasion. I was at the death of the Portugal Knight, Manuel de Sosa, and departed from you in the inn where Maurice and Ladislas arrived in search of Transilla, the wife of the one, and daughter of the other. Good fortune brought me into my country: I certified his death to his kinsfolk, they believed it and, though I had not assured them that myself had seen it, they would nevertheless have given credit thereunto, because it is commonly incident to Portugals to die for love. A brother of his, who inheriteth his goods, made his funerals, putting a stone of white marble in a chapel of his house as if he had been entombed underneath: upon the which is engraven an epitaph which I desire you all to see, because I believe it will please you well." Periander by these words knew that the man spake truth, but he remembered not by his face, that he had ever seen him; but they went to the temple which he spake of, and saw the chapel and tomb, upon the which was this epitaph in the Portugal tongue:

Here lieth alive the memory of dead Manuel de Sosa, a Portugal knight: who, had he not been a Portugal, should yet have lived. He died not by the hands of any Castilian, but by those of Love which can do all. Thou that passest by, seek to know his life, and his death will grieve thee.

Periander saw that the Portugal had reason to commend unto him this epitaph, in which kind the Portugal nation account themselves excellent. Auristela demanded of the Portugal, what feeling the deceased man's religious mistress had of the death [of] her lover: who answered, that within few days after she knew it, she passed from this life unto a better, either through the austerities which she always endured, or for the grief she had of this accident.

From thence they went to the house of a famous painter, whom Periander caused to trace with his pencil in a great table the principal matters of his history. At one side was painted the barbarian island burning amidst the flames and, over against it, the prison. A little further off, were the rafts where he was found by Arnaldo when he took him into his ship; on another part was the frozen isle where the Portugal died; the ship, which the soldiers of Arnaldo bored through; the separation of the skiff and the long boat; there, might be seen the combat of Taurisa's lovers, and her death; here, the ship was cut at the keel, which had served as a tomb to the fair Auristela, and all her company: there was the delightful isle, where Periander saw in a dream the two troops of virtues and vices: and hard by, the ship where the phisiters swallowed up the two mariners. He forgot not, to paint how they were shut fast in the frozen sea, the assault they gave to the pirates' ship which had carried away Auristela, nor their yielding unto Cratilus. He painted also the fearful skip of the furious horse, whom of a lion he had made a lamb. The feast of Policarpus was portrayed in a little corner, and the crowning of Periander being victorious.

Finally, there was no action or memorable accident in this history which was not represented in this table, even to their arrival at Lisbon, in the same fashion as they entered: neither omitted he the death of Clodio by Anthony's arrow, the palace of Policarpus burnt, Zenocia hanged on the ship's mast, and the hermitage of Renatus now supplied by Rutilio.

This table served as an abridgement of their fortunes, which excused them from relating the same to such as were importunate, and the young Anthony interpreted the paintings to such as were most curious. But where the painter showed the excellency of his art was in the portrait of Auristela, in which those that understand the science of painting observed an industrious and perfect work, though therein she had wrong done unto her; for there was no pencil's point among mankind which was able to attain unto the representation of her beauty, unless it were guided by a divine judgment.

They sojourned at Lisbon ten days, all which time they spent in visiting the churches and preparing their souls to salvation. After which, having taken their leave of the Viceroy, they departed from the Portugal knight their host, and from the brother of amorous Manuel, with many kind and loving speeches, and took their way to Castile. This departure was in the night, for fear lest the people that followed them should put them to some hindrance, although the changing of the barbarians' apparel had somewhat abated their admiration.

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Chapter II

The voyage of the pilgrims into Spain, and the new accidents which there befell them.

The tender years of Auristela, and the more tender of Constance, required coaches and greater furniture than they had for so long a journey as they had undertaken; but the devotion of Auristela which had caused her to promise that she would go afoot to Rome from the place where she found firm land, conformed the devotion of the rest agreeable unto hers, and was the cause that all of them together, with one consent, as well men as women, made the same vow to go on foot: adding also this condition, that they would ask alms from port to port, if necessity should so require.

Herewithal Ricla put up her gold, and Auristela her cross of diamonds, and her pearls for a better occasion, buying only wherewith to carry their provision, which their shoulders were unable to bear. They fitted themselves with palmers' staves, which served to stay them and for their defence, and for scabbards to the swords that were therein. And going out of Lisbon in this humble and Christian apparel, they left it desolate by absence of their beauties, and poor by loss of their presence, as was witnessed by the ditties and songs which the inhabitants composed upon their departure.

In this manner accustoming themselves to endure the travel of two or three leagues a day, they came to Badajóz, where the Castilian Governor had already received letters from Lisbon concerning the news of their coming. Being entered into the city, they met in the inn a company of famous comedians, who should play the same night in the Governor's house; who scarcely had seen the faces of Auristela and Constance but the astonishment and admiration which was wont to surprise others, did surprise them also. But none permitted his mind to be so far transported as a poet, who followed this company as well to revive old comedies as to make new: an exercise more divine than honourable, and of greater pains than profit, notwithstanding the excellency of poesie is as pure as clear water, or the sun which passeth by all unclean things without being polluted. This is a flash of lightning, issuing from the places where it is enclosed, and shineth but burneth not; an art which is worth as much as men will make it worth; an instrument well tuned to accord, which sweetly rejoiceth the senses, and joineth wealth and honour to his delights. I say then, this poet, whom hard necessity had caused to make exchange of the mountains of Parnassus and the clear living springs of the wells of Aganippe and Castalia for the good wines of the taverns, was he which most admired the beauty of Auristela, observing her in his imagination, and finding in his opinion that she might make an excellent comedian, without staying to consider if she knew, or not knew, the Spanish tongue. He contented himself in her stature, was pleased in the strength and elegancy appearing in her beauty. Now, in his fantasy, he apparelled her like a man; and presently despoiling her of that habit, he gave her another of a nymph; which he took away also, to attire her with the ornaments and majesty of a queen; not leaving any raiment but he gave it unto her, either to make her wise or to make her a vaunting fool; and generally he imagined her to be grave, merry, discreet, subtle and virtuous, which parts are ill-befitting a fair comedian. Oh God, with what facility can a poet's wit discourse and transport itself to things impossible! And upon how many weak foundations do they erect the frames of their chimeras! He finds every thing ready, plain and easy, in such sort, that the more Fortune disappoints him, so much the more hope he hath remaining; as appeared in our modern poet who, seeing the table opened wherein the travels of Periander were described, the sight hereof was as great a felicity unto him as anything he ever beheld, through a desire then coming to his imagination to contrive them all into one comedy. But he was much troubled what name to give it: if he should call it a comedy, tragedy, or tragicomedy. For although he knew the beginning, he was ignorant of the middest and the end, because Auristela and Periander were yet alive, whose death should impose a name to that which should be represented concerning them. But that which most of all turmoiled him, was in thinking how he should include a counsellor and a groom all together, amongst so many seas, and so many isles of snow and fire. Yet, for all this, he nothing despaired to make his comedy, and to bring in such a companion in despite of all rules of poetry and the art comical.

During the time that he went and came by the inn in this cogitation, he had means to speak with Auristela, to whom he propounded his intention, showing how comely and profitable it should be for her to be a comedian. He told her that, in twice coming forth upon the stage, the mines of gold would rain upon her from above, because the chief personages, all the youth, were like alchemy which, if it be put to gold, is gold; if to copper, it is copper; and that the most part yielded their affections to the nymphs and goddesses of the theatres. He represented unto her the pleasure of travel, with three or four knights disguised who should serve her as lovers and as pages. Above all he advanced, beyond the clouds, the excellence and honour they would bestow upon her, in giving her the chiefest parts, and fairest personages to represent. Finally, he told her that, if the truth of the ancient Castilian proverb were justified, it was in fair comedians: amongst whom, profit and honour is found in the same sack.

Auristela made him answer that she understood nothing of that he spake. He might well perceive she was unskillful in the Spanish tongue, and that when she should know it, her thoughts aimed at other exercises, if not so pleasing, at the least more decent. The poet became like a man in despair at the resolute answer of Auristela and, looking on the feet of his ignorance, he defaced the wheel of his vanity. They were to play this night in the Governor's house who, having understood that our pilgrims were in the city, sent to entreat them to come to his lodging to see the comedy, and receive testimony of the desire he had to serve them, for that he had been written unto from Lisbon as touching their worthiness. Periander accepted hereof, with the consent of Auristela and the advice of old Anthony, whom they obeyed as the most ancient. The ladies of the city were with the Governor's wife when Auristela, Ricla and Constance at their entrance blinded the eyes, and suspended the hearts, of all the assistants; for the different good parts of the strangers made them to feel these effects. Their humility also augmented the good will of those that gave them entertainment, who thereby were obliged to afford them the most honourable places in the comedy, which was the representation of Cephalus and Procrus, when she, more jealous than became her, and he more inconsiderate than she, darted at her such a blow that he took away her life, thereby depriving himself of all pleasure of his own. The comedy being ended, the ladies began to speak of each particular touching the beauty of Auristela, and of all parts they made one total, which they called perfection without default; and the men said as much of the good grace of Periander. They praised also, by reflection, the beauty of Constance and comely proportion of her brother Anthony. They sojourned three days in the city, where the Governor showed himself liberal, and his wife magnificent, by the presents which they gave to our pilgrims, who promised to inform them of their adventures, in what country soever they were. Being departed from Badajóz, they took their journey towards our Lady of Guadaloupe, and having travelled five leagues in three days, they were benighted in a wood full of infinite numbers of oaks and other wild trees. The heaven suspended the course and season of the time in the equal balance of the equinoxes, so that neither heat nor cold molested them and, for a need, they might as well pass the night in the fields as the city.

For this reason, and because they were far from the village, Auristela would have them stay in the cabins of the shepherds which were in their view. Thither they went; and scarcely had gone two hundred paces, but the evening was shut in, so dark, that to guide themselves they were constrained to direct their eye to a light shining in the shepherds' house, to the end that the brightness thereof might serve as their north.

The obscurity of the night, and a noise which they heard, made them all to stay. The young barbarian took his bow, which was his faithful and perpetual companion, and incontinent a man came thither on horseback, whose face they saw not, who demanded if they were of this country. "No, truly," answered Periander, "we dwell a great way hence. We are pilgrim strangers who are going to Rome, and first to our Lady of Guadaloupe." "I doubt not," said he on horseback, "but there is much courtesy and charity in your minds, because you have such devotion." "Why not," said Anthony; "consider, sir, wherein we may pleasure you, and you shall find that your imagination hath not deceived you." "Take then," said the Knight, "this chain of gold, which is worth two hundred crowns, and take also this pledge which is invaluable, which you shall carry if it please you into the city of Truxilla, to Francis Pisarro, or to Don Juan d'Oreillana, who both are young and rich, and both known, not only in that city, but throughout the world." In saying this, he put into the arms of Ricla a creature which, by this time, began to cry, and wrapped up in swaddling clothes, the riches or poverty whereof they could not then discern. "And you shall say to one of these two, it is no matter which of them, that they keep it until they know whose it is, which shall be very shortly. And pardon me, for mine enemies follow me: to whom also you shall say, that you have not seen me, or else that you saw four men, which as they passed by, spake of Portugal. Farewell: I can stay no longer, for though fear give a man spurs, yet honour giveth the sharpest." And putting his horse forward, he went far from them like lightning. But he returned immediately and said, "he is not yet baptised," and then went on his way as fast as his horse could run.

Consider now the estate of our pilgrims. Ricla hath an infant in her arms: Periander the chain on his neck: the young Anthony his bow in his hand: and the old, a purpose to unsheath his sword which he carried in his staff. Auristela was in a confusion, and all of them wondered at this accident.

In conclusion, they resolved to take their way to the shepherds' lodging, who, it might be, would afford them some means to succour this infant, which by his little body and weak voice declared that it was but a very little time since he was born. And following this determination, though it cost them many a fall and knock, they at last arrived at the pastoral houses of these shepherds where, not yet having asked lodging, a woman came thither on the other side, all full of tears and half naked, but striving to hide and restrain her weeping the most she could; and in her only petticoat which was left, it was apparent that she was rich and of quality. The light of the brakes afforded means to the pilgrims to see her face, which she endeavoured also to hide, whereby they perceived that she was no less young than fair, though Ricla (who knew her to be elder) judged that she was about sixteen or seventeen years old. The shepherds asked if any followed her, or if she stood in any distress that required a present remedy.

To whom she answered: "The first thing that you have to do is to put me under the ground: I mean, to hide me in such sort that I may not be found of any that shall search after me. The second, that you give me somewhat to eat: for I feel I am ready to die through faintness."

"Our diligent care," said an old shepherd, "shall show we are charitable"; and quickly putting certain skins of goats and sheep in the hollow part of a great oak, he made them in fashion of a bed, whereon he put this woman and shut her therein, giving her such as he could, which was sops in milk, and had given her wine if she would have had it. Afterward, he hanged other skins about the hollow places of the tree, as though it had been to dry them.

When Ricla had seen these things, and guessing that this woman should be the mother of the infant which she had in her arms, she approached to the shepherd, and prayed him to extend the charity which he had showed towards the woman upon this little infant before he should die for hunger; telling him, in few words, in what manner one had given the same unto her. The shepherd answered to her meaning and not to her words, calling one of his companions, whom he commanded to take the infant and to carry him to the goats' fold, and cause him to suck one of them. This was no sooner done but horsemen came to the same lodgings, enquiring for the woman and the knight that carried the infant, whose last cry little wanted, but they might have heard. But because no person told them any news of that which they sought for, they passed further with very great haste, leaving the shepherds well eased of their care, with whom our pilgrims passed the night, being better accommodated than they looked for; and the other had more joy than they hoped, in seeing themselves so well accompanied.

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Chapter III

Who the gentlewoman was whom they had enclosed in the tree.

The pitiful shepherd who was chiefest commander of the flocks provided all things necessary for entertainment of his guests, without any impeachment. The infant sucked the goat's teats; the pilgrims, and the woman shut up, took such things as were given them. All desired to know the causes which had brought this fugitive and desolate beauty into this place, at such an hour, and in such an estate, but Auristela gave counsel not to enquire anything of her until the morning, for if sudden alarms will not suffer one to relate his joyful fortunes, much less will they permit any man to speak of those that be sorrowful. And the ancient shepherd, though he often went to the oak where she was enclosed, yet he enquired nothing of her affairs, but only of her health.

To whom she answered that, albeit she had many occasions to be ill at ease, yet she should be very well, might she see herself delivered from those that sought her, who were her father and her brethren. As for our pilgrims, they concluded with the shepherds before they slept that he which had carried the infant to the goats' fold should bear it and the chain, and put it to nurse with a sister of the ancient shepherd, whose abode was in a village about two leagues from thence.

In conferring about this matter, in supping, and in the small time wherein sleep got possession of their eyes, and silence of their tongues, the night passed and the day came: which was welcome to them all except unto her who was enclosed in the oak, who scarcely durst behold the light of the sun. Herewithal, having first placed sentinels near and far from the company to discover if any came, they took her out of the tree that she might take air, and they kn[o]w of her that which they desired. And by the brightness of the day, they saw that of her face to be admirable: so that they doubted whether to her or Constance they should give the second place of beauty (for wheresoever Auristela was, she ever got the preeminence). They made many entreaties to dispose her to declare her fortune, whom she satisfied in this manner.

"Although I cannot inform you of my life without discovering unto you my fault, yet I had rather confess the same in obeying your curiosity, than leave you any subject to complain of my silence. My name is Feliciana of the Voice: my country, a city not far hence: my parents are more noble than rich: and my beauty, when it was not withered as at this present it is, was of some estimation in the world. Over against the city where I was born lived a rich gentleman whose virtues were equal to his riches. This man had a son, who at this present showeth himself no less an heir of his father's virtues than of his goods. At the same village there was also another knight with his son: both which live in so honourable a mediocrity that, though they be not advanced by riches, yet they are not abased by poverty. My father and brethren would marry me to this second young gentleman, condemning the entreaties which the first and richest made to have me to wife. But I, whom the heaven reserved to this misfortune wherein I am, gave myself to the rich man, unknown to my father or my brethren, for mother I have none, to my greater mishap. We met alone diverse times, for in like cases occasion is never wanting but, contrariwise, maketh things impossible to be easy for such an effect.

"By these interviews and thefts of love, my gown grew little, and my belly great; neither was mine infamy less, if it may be termed infamy that two married lovers converse together. In the meanwhile my father and brethren agreed to marry me with the other, not speaking to me a word thereof, and that in such post-haste, that they brought him the last night to their house in company of two of his near kinsmen, with purpose to betroth us. I was exceedingly troubled when I saw Lewis Anthony come in, who is the man they would have to be my husband; and my vexation was the more when my father willed me to enter into my chamber and dress me, because immediately I should be married to Lewis Anthony. It was not above 2 days ere I expected the hour to be brought abed, and with the suddenness of this news unhoped for, I was like one dead. I went into my chamber, saying that I went to make me ready, and cast myself in the arms of my maid, to whom I communicated my secrets and, weeping, said: 'Alas Leonor, this is the last day of my life! Lewis Anthony is in the hall, waiting when I shall come forth to espouse him. Consider if this be not a rigorous distress, and the most cruel that ever was seen to befall an unhappy woman. Alas my sweet heart, I die; I feel my days are at an end.' And with these words, I cast a creature on the earth, which brought the maid into such a quandary, and blinded my judgment in such manner, that I abode without knowing what to do, looking that my father or my brethren should come in; and that instead of marrying me, they should send me to my burial." Hitherto Feliciana had continued her story when the sentinels whom they appointed to watch gave a signal that people came. Wherefore, the old shepherd would have put Feliciana again into the oak but, the sentinels telling them the company took another way, they were all assured, and Feliciana thus prosecuted her discourse.

"Consider, sirs, in what peril I was that night. The bridegroom stayed for me in the hall, the adulterer (if he may be so termed) in a garden adjoining to the house, with none other intent but to speak with me, for he knew not in what extremity I was, nor of the coming of Lewis Anthony. I was without feeling, my damsel troubled with the infant in her arms, and my father and brethren urging me to come forth for this unhappy marriage. Such a shock as this might overthrow a stouter heart than mine, and a better discourse than I was able to make. In the middest whereof, my father came into the chamber before I was well come to myself, saying unto me:

"'Come forth, daughter, as thou art, for thy beauty will recompense thy want of ornaments.' I believe that the infant's crying, which my chambermaid was gone to carry to Rosanio (so was he called which begot it) came to my father's hearing, which much troubled him; and taking a candle in his hand, he looked upon my face. Again he heard the infant cry; and taking hold of his sword, followed the voice which he had heard. The brightness of the sword dazzled my sight and put fear into the middest of my soul and, as the desire to preserve life is natural, fear to lose it gave me courage to provide a remedy. My father had scarcely turned his back, but in the same case that I was, I went down by a small pair of stairs into a lower chamber, from whence I easily got into the street, and from the street into the fields, not knowing what way to keep, nor whither to take my journey. Finally, pricked on with fear, I went as if I had gotten wings on my feet, more than my weakness would have promised. A thousand times I thought to have thrown myself down from a steep place, to end my misfortunes with my life, and as often to sit down or lie along upon the earth, and suffer myself to be found of those that sought after me. But perceiving the light in these cabins, I endeavoured to seek out, if not a redress, yet at least some ease of my misfortunes; which thanks be to God, and your charitable courtesy, I have found."

Here the sorrowful Feliciana ended her discourse, leaving the company no less sad than in admiration of her hard fortune. Periander then told how he had found the knight, who had given them the infant and chain of gold, as before you have heard.

"Alas," said Feliciana, "is it not peradventure mine? And he Rosanio that gave it unto you? If I should see him, it may be I should know him: not by the face, which I never saw, but perhaps by the swaddling clothes; for in what blankets could my chambermaid wrap it up, which could be unknown unto me? Besides, it may be the blood will do his office, and by a secret feeling make me know that which so nearly concerneth me." Hereunto the shepherd answered: "The child is now in my farm house, in the custody of my sister, and my niece. I will cause them this day to bring it hither, where you may make the trials which you desire. In the meanwhile, mistress, take your rest: for my shepherds and this tree shall be as clouds opposed against their eyes that seek to find you out."

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Chapter IV

How our pilgrims, together with Felicia de la Voix, take their way to Guadaloupe, and of a lamentable memorable adventure.

"I perceive, brother," said Auristela to Periander, "that misfortunes and perils have not only jurisdiction upon the sea but likewise on the land, and that ill chances as well are incident to those that are hidden in the valleys as on them that are exalted above the mountains. She whom they call Fortune, of whom I have heard men speak so often, and who they say taketh away and giveth good things as she pleaseth, and to whom she pleaseth; I say doubtless she cannot but be blind and fantastical, seeing she delighteth to lift up those that are thrown to the earth, and cast down them that are exalted above the mountains of the moon. I contemplate this poor gentlewoman, who within these few hours was in her house, accompanied with her father, brethren and servitures, hoping to give some remedy to her poignant desires: and now I see her hidden in a hollow tree, fearing the flies of the air, and the least worms of the earth.

"I confess that this is not the fall of a prince: but it is always an accident which may serve for example to those who will serve such maids as are inhibited them. All this, brother, moveth me to beseech you to have due respect to mine honour, which I have committed into your hands ever since I came out of the power of my father and your mother. And though I know your virtue by experience, as well in the solitary deserts as in peopled cities, yet I fear lest the alteration of time should change your thoughts, which of themselves are mutable. Your interest in this matter is as much as mine: my honour is yours, the same desire governeth us, the same hope sustaineth us. The journey we have undertaken is long, but not so but it may be ended, so that sloth or idleness do not hinder it. Now the heavens, to whom I render a thousand thanks, have brought us into Spain out of the dangerous company of Arnaldo. Now we may pass in security from all shipwrecks, tempests, and pirates for, according to the renown which Spain hath gotten to be more peaceable than any other kingdom, we may promise unto ourselves an happy voyage."

"I see well, sister," answered Periander, "that you fear as a woman, but encourage yourself as prudent. I would I were able, in assuaging your just suspicions, to give you new proofs of my will, although those that are past may well suffice. As for Feliciana, we cannot but lament with her for her misfortune and carry the infant unto Truxilla, as he that gave us both it and the chain entreated us. For as touching the residue, I think we have nothing else to do in these villages." Whilst they were in these terms, the old shepherd and his sister brought the child which they had gone to fetch at the farmhouse, to see if Feliciana could know it. Twice or thrice she beheld it, and took off the bands wherein it was tied, and could not in anything perceive that she had borne this child, nor find any motion of natural affection towards it. "No," said she, "these are not the clothes which my chambermaid had provided to wrap up that which should be born of me, neither did I ever see this chain in the custody of Rosanio. This pledge belongs to some other: for I should never be so happy to find it again after I had lost it. Yet I have often heard say that Rosanio hath friends at Truxilla: but I remember not any of their names."

Hereupon the shepherd said that, seeing he that had given them the infant had also charged them to carry it to Truxilla, he suspected that it was Rosanio: wherefore he thought good that his sister, with two of his shepherds, should bear it to Truxilla, to see if it should be received by any one of these knights to whom it was directed.

To this, Feliciana answered with sighs, casting herself at the shepherd's feet in sign that she approved his advice. All the pilgrims were likewise of this opinion and, giving the chain to the woman, they furnished her for the journey. She was set upon one of the shepherd's beasts, and they concluded that she should go before to Truxilla, and that the pilgrims should follow after they had been at our Lady of Guadaloupe. All this was executed as they had devised, and that with expedition, for necessity cannot endure any delay. Feliciana showed herself much obliged to those which so sincerely had wedded themselves to undertake the charge of her affairs and, having understood that the pilgrims went to Rome, through an affection she had to the beauty and discretion of Auristela, the courtesy of Periander, the amorous conversation of Constance and Ricla her mother, and the pleasing society of both Anthonys, the father and son; and principally willing to turn her back to that land where her honour was buried; she besought them to be admitted into their company, saying, that in as much as she had been a pilgrim in committing a fault, she would be so in grace, if it pleased God to give her leave.

She had no sooner made her thought known but Auristela satisfied her desire, as willing to exempt her from the assaults and fears that pursued her; only, she made some difficulty how she could take this journey so soon after her child-birth. But the shepherd told them that there was no difference betwixt the lying-in of a woman and the yeaning of an ewe; and that like as the sheep, immediately after lambing, goes forth with her fellows as she did before: so women may resume their wonted exercises after their delivery, but that use had brought in these delicacies amongst women, to play the nice wantons in their beds for certain days after they had childed. "For your shall not find," said he, "that Eve upon her first child did keep her bed, or was afraid of the air, or used any of these preventions which are observed in these days. And therefore, mistress, take a good heart, follow your intention: for it cannot but be holy, seeing it is so christianlike."

To this, Auristela replied that she should not stay behind for want of a pilgrim's habit: "For I caused two to be made with this which I have on, whereof I will give her one, upon condition that she shall tell me for what cause they call her Feliciana of the Voice, if this be not the surname of her house."

"This name," answered Feliciana, "neither my house nor kindred gave me, but the common consent of all those that heard me, for singing in such sort, that they have left unto me this name, Feliciana of the Voice. We are now come to such a time wherein I ought rather to mourn than sing, but if I ever dry up my tears, you shall hear, if not joyful songs, yet at least sad complaints which, while I sigh, shall make you rejoice."

Upon this which Feliciana spake of her voice, every one of them had an extreme desire to hear her sing, but they durst not entreat her, calling to remembrance how she had said, the time rather invited her to weep. The day following she put off her apparel and put on those of a pilgrim which Auristela had promised her. She took from her neck a collar of pearls, and two jewels which might make her to be esteemed rich and of a good house if any one's quality may be judged of by such ornaments. Ricla took them, as general treasurer of all their goods; and Feliciana was the second pilgrim; Auristela the first; and Constance the third; although in some men's opinions, Constance deserved the second: for as touching the first, no beauty of this age could contend with Auristela.

Feliciana had scarcely put on the habit of a pilgrim but this new estate produced in her new thoughts, fortifying the desire which before she had to see herself in the way to Rome. Which, when Auristela knew, with one consent they departed from the shepherds and all together with easy pace went to Cáceres; and if at times any of them were weary, they put them with their stuff, or they rested awhile on the bank of some river or fountain, or in some green meadow which thereto assured them. Thus repose and travel, with sloth and diligence kept them company: sloth, in walking little; diligence, in journeying every day. But as good desires have not always an happy end, at least for the most part, without some obstacle impeaching the same: the heavens permitted that this little troop which, distinguished into diverse kinds of beauties, had yet one only intention, was hindered by this occasion which you shall now hear. The soft grass of a delicate meadow had enticed them there to sit down, and the clear waters of a small stream refreshed their faces. A quick-set of divers high bushes round about them enclosed all parts like a wall, which was a fit and necessary place for them to rest in; when a young man, attired after the fashion of the country, broke the hedge, and came and fell down at their feet on his face, having a sword thrust in at his back, whose point came out at his breast: and in saying, "My God be my comfort," these words were ended with his life. And though all of them, astonished at this strange spectacle arose up together to succour him, yet the first that was with him was Periander who, finding that he was dead, drew the sword out of his body. The two Anthonys leapt over the hedge to see if they could espy this cruel and treacherous murderer, for the stroke being given behind sufficiently declared that he had been slain cowardly, and by treason. But not seeing any one, they came back to their company, where the dead man's youth, stature and gallant personage moved them to pity. They searched him throughout and found under his cassock of grey velvet, which he wore over his doublet, a chain four times double, of small gold links, whereon hung also a crucifix of gold. And between his doublet and shirt they found in like sort, within a box of ebony richly wrought, an excellent picture of a woman, about which were written these four verses:

This living portrait of eternal beauty

Sees, speaks and burns, and makes me cold like ice:

Which here declareth by great novelty

So small a place such great force can comprise.

By these verses Periander guessed that his death proceeded from some amorous cause. They ransacked his pockets and searched him again all over, but found not anything to give them notice of his estate. And as they were a-searching, four men came with cross-bows bent, by which tokens old Anthony knew that they were Archers of the holy Fraternity, whereof one cried out: "Stay, you robbers and murderers, make not an end to spoil him! The time is come wherein you shall be chastised for your crime." "There is no such matter," answered young Anthony; "here is not any thief, for to them that are such, we are all enemies." "It so appears," replied the Archer, "by this dead man, of whom you have yet your hands all bloody and his spoils in your power, witnessing the murder. No, no, you are thieves and murderers, and as such you shall be punished: neither shall the cloak of Christian virtue which you wear to hide your robberies avail you to any purpose." Young Anthony answered hereunto by setting an arrow in his bow, and piercing him quite through the arm, though he aimed to have shot him through the body. The other Archers, being either taught wisdom by the folly or temerity of their companion, or minding to apprehend them with greater security, turned their backs, calling for aid: at which cry, as it were by miracle, more than twenty Archers of the same Fraternity were together who, in playing with their cross-bows on those people that defended not themselves, took them easily, and carried them all to prison without having respect to the beauty of Auristela and the other pilgrims, and conducted them with the dead body to Cáceres; where a knight of the order of St. James was Governor: who, seeing the dead body and the Archer wounded, the information of the other Archers, and the tokens of blood which were found on Periander would, by his Lieutenant's advice, examine them by torture, although Periander alleged veritable matters in his defence, showing the papers which he had to assure his journey and the permission he had obtained at Lisbon. He showed also the table wherein their fortunes were painted, which was expounded by young Anthony. These proofs suspended the opinion of the Judges in favour of their innocence. Their treasurer, Ricla, who little knew the conditions of these cormorants, offering to one of them I know not how much money, thereby had like to have marred all, for the pen-masters, perceiving that these pilgrims had wool on their backs, would shear them to the bones, according to their good custom; and had so done indeed, if heaven had suffered that the forces of their innocence had not surmounted the power of their malice. But it happened that an host or inn-keeper of the place, having seen the dead body, and knowing it, went to speak with the Governor and said unto him: "Sir, this man whom the Archers brought dead, parted yesterday in the morning from my house, in company of another, seeming to be a knight. A little before his departure, he locked himself with me in my chamber, saying unto me in secret, 'Mine host, I conjure you by the faith which you have that, if I come not again in six days, you open this paper which I give you, before the Justice.' And in so saying he gave this which I put into your hands, wherein I imagine you shall find somewhat concerning this strange accident." The Governor took the paper and opened it, finding therein these very words:

"I came from his Majesty's Court such a day, and after went in the company of Don Sebastian of Sorence, my kinsman, who prayed me to accompany him in a certain voyage that touched his honour and life. I, to the intent I might not verify certain false suspicions which he had against me, and assuring myself in mine innocence, gave way to his malice, and bore him company, believing that he would bring me in some place to kill me. If this fall out, and my body be found, let him know that I am slain by treason, and dead without fail."

And the superscription was,

"Don Diego de Parraces."

The Governor sent this paper with diligence to Madrid, where the Justice immediately made search for the murderer in his house who, coming home the same night that he was sought for, and hearing the noise, turned his horse-reins without alighting: since which time no man can tell what is become of him.

The crime remained unpunished, the dead man was dead, and the prisoners were set at liberty. The chain of Ricla was broken for costs of Justice; the portrait was left there to please the Governor's eyes; the Archer's wound was recompensed; young Anthony took the table again: and leaving the people full of admiration, Feliciana having kept her bed during the continuance of the process, feigning sickness for fear lest she should be known. They took their journey towards Guadaloupe, talking by the way of that which had befallen them and desiring some occasion to hear Feliciana sing, who had sung, in regard there is no grief which time will not abate or end with the life, but only because she would observe that which was due to her misfortunes, her songs were no other than tears and mournings. But they were somewhat mitigated by meeting upon the way with the pitiful shepherd's sister, who told them that she had left the child in custody of Francis Pisarro and Don Juan d'Oreillana, who conjectured that it could pertain to none else but to their friend Rosanio, according to the place where the pilgrims found it, not knowing any other thereabouts who reposed such confidence in them. In conclusion, "whose ever it be," said the country woman, "they told me, that he that so boldly trusted them, should not be deceived in his opinion of their liberality. If anything yet remain wherein I may serve you, here I am with the chain; for I have not yet made it away, because that of my conscience obligeth me more than this of gold." To whom Feliciana made answer that she should keep it, wishing that she might many years enjoy it, without being driven to such necessity as to forego it; because rich pledges of poor people tarry not long in their houses. The country woman departed from them, by whom they sent a thousand commendations to her brother and the rest of the shepherds; and our pilgrims by little and little came to the holy land of Guadaloupe.

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Chapter V

The description of our Lady Church at Guadaloupe, and of that which befell to Feliciana as she sung.

Our pilgrims had scarcely set their feet in one of the two entries of the valley environing the high mountains of Guadaloupe, but at every step they made new subjects of admiration arose in their minds, which then came to their height when they saw the great and sumptuous monastery whose walls enclosed the holy image of the empress of heaven: the holy image which is the enlargement of prisoners, the file of their irons and ease of their passions; the health of the sick, the counsel of the afflicted and the mother of orphans. They entered into her temple and, instead of Tyrian purple, Syrian damask or satin embroidered with gold of Milan, which they thought to find hanging on her walls, they found crutches, which such as halted had left there; eyes and arms of wax, which the blind and lame had hung up; and napkins taken from dead men, all afterward living, whole, free and contented after extreme distress, through the mercy of the mother of mercies. Our devout pilgrims were so possessed with an apprehension of these miraculous ornaments that, turning their eyes to every side of the temple, they thought they saw captives come flying in the air, wrapped in their chains to hang them upon the holy walls; the diseased there to hang their stilts, and the dead their winding-sheets, seeking new places where to put them because there was no more room left in the temple.

This novelty, which neither Periander not Auristela had as yet seen, and much less Ricla and her children, held them all amazed; they could not have their fill in beholding what they saw, nor in admiring what they admired. In this marvel kneeling down, they worshipped God, beseeching His holy mother that, in honour of this image, He would be pleased to turn His eyes upon them. But the most wonderful of all this was that Feliciana, kneeling with the other, her eyes full of tears, her hands on her stomach, her lips closed, and the rest of her body without motion or token that she was a living creature, gave passage to her voice and began to sing verses which she had perfectly by heart, whereby she suspended the minds of all that gave ear unto her, satisfied the desire which they had to hear her, and made the praises which she had given herself to be believed.

She had sung already four stanzas when certain strangers entered into the temple who, for devotion or by custom, kneeled down, harkening with admiration unto Feliciana, who continued her singing. And one of them which appeared to be most in years, turning to another who was by his side, said thus unto him: "Either this is the voice of an angel confirmed in grace, or of my daughter Feliciana." "We need make no question," answered the other, "but it is very she; but she shall not long so continue if mine arm fail me not at this blow." And with these words he took hold of his dagger and, with disordered paces, a pale colour, and troubled senses, ran directly to Feliciana. The venerable old man made haste after him and staying him by the shoulders, he said thus: "Here is not, my son, a theatre of miseries, nor a place of chastisement. Let time have his course, because this traitoress cannot escape us. Be not so rash; and thinking to correct the fault of another, cast not on thyself the punishment of thine own offence." These words, and the noise thereupon made, sealed up Feliciana's mouth and troubled the pilgrims, with all those in the temple, who could not withstand the father and brother of Feliciana from dragging her out of the church into the street, where instantly all the inhabitants of the place were assembled together with the Justice; who took her out of their hands, that seemed rather to be her executioners than of her parentage. Being in this confusion, the father exclaiming against his daughter, and the brother against his sister, and the Justice defending her till he might have perfect knowledge of the fact, six horsemen came into the same place; whereof two were known immediately, one to be Francis Pisarro, the other Don Juan d'Oreillana; who, arriving in this tumult with another knight whose face was covered with a scarf of black taffeta, enquired the cause. Answer was made that the Justice would protect this pilgrim from two men that were purposed to kill her, whereof one said he was her father, the other her brother. Pisarro and Don Juan gave attention hereunto, whilst the other masked knight, alighting from his horse, drew his sword and, discovering his face, placed himself on Feliciana's part and cried out in this manner: "To me, my masters, it is to me that you should address yourselves to take revenge for the fault of Feliciana, if to marry herself against the will of her parents deserveth death. Feliciana is my wife, and I am Rosanio as you see; who am not of so mean estate as not to deserve that you should grant that unto me which I have gotten already by mine own industry. I am nobly born and rich, neither is it reasonable that Lewis Anthony should take away for your pleasure, that which I have gained by my fortune.

And if you think I have offended you, that I am come to this issue without your privity, pardon me, for the forces of love are accustomed to trouble sounder judgments. And because I saw you so much over-swayed in favour of Lewis Anthony, this made me not to observe towards you that respect which I ought: for which once more I pray you to pardon me."

Whilst Rosanio spoke these words, Feliciana was as it were glued fast unto him, holding him by the girdle with her hand, wholly trembling, wholly fearful, wholly sad, and herewithal wholly beautiful. But before her father or her brother answered a word, Francis de Pisarro embraced her father and Don Juan d'Oreillana, her brother, who were great friends. Pisarro said to the father, "Where is your discretion, señor Don Pedro? How is it possible that you should contrive your own harm? See you not that these faults carry with them rather their excuses than their punishments? What is there in Rosanio which can hinder him from deserving your daughter? And what will become of your daughter henceforward, if she lose Rosanio?"

These, or like words, Don Juan spoke to Feliciana's brother, and moreover said thus:

"Señor Don Sancho, choler never promised an happy end of her impetuosities. This is a passion of the soul: and seldom can the mind passionately affected perform anything well that it undertaketh. Your sister hath had skill to choose a good husband, and for you to take revenge for this, that they have not observed such respect as they ought you, it were to put in hazard to overthrow the foundation of your quiet. Mark you, sir, I have a nephew of yours in my house whom you cannot disclaim without disclaiming yourself, he doth so much resemble you." The answer which the father made to Pisarro was to go to his son and take the dagger out of his hand, and immediately ran to embrace Rosanio; who, falling at his feet whom he knew to he his father in law, again asked him forgiveness. Feliciana knelt down before her father, weeping, mourning, and then falling into a trance. All the standers-by were full of joy. The father and son got the reputation to be prudent, and their friends discreet. The Governor brought them all to his house; the Prior of the monastery feasted them; the pilgrims visited the holy relics, confessed their sins, and received the Sacrament. During this time, being of three days' continuance, Pisarro sent for the child which the shepherd's sister had brought unto him, and was the same which Rosanio had delivered to the pilgrims with the chain the night that he met them: who was so fair that his grandfather, forgetting all injuries, a thousand times blessed the father and mother that had engendered him; and taking him in his arms, bathed his face with tears for tender affection, which he dried with kisses and wiped with his white hairs.

In the end peace was made betwixt all those that were at variance: Feliciana with her husband, her father and her brother returned to their village with the little infant, which Feliciana would bear with her, leaving with their friends no less joy than they carried away.

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Chapter VI

The continuation of our pilgrims' journey, and the memorable history of a Polonian.

The pilgrims remained four days at Guadaloupe, during which time they began to see the marvels of this holy monastery: I say began, for to finish it is impossible. From thence they went to Truxilla, where they were feasted by the two knights, Francis de Pisarro, and Don Juan d'Oreillana, not without speaking of Feliciana her success; whose discretion equal to her voice they much praised, and the good proceedings of her father and brother, Auristela highly exalting the offers which Feliciana had made her upon her departure. From Truxilla they went to Talavera, where they found preparation was made to solemnize that feast in honour of the Virgin of virgins which of old time was kept for the Goddess Venus.

About six leagues from Talavera, they saw before them a pilgrim all alone, who sat upon the green grass of a small meadow, invited thereunto either by delectableness of the place or travel of her journey. They came where she was, and found her of such a gallant feature that she obligeth us to describe her. Her age seemed to pass the limits of youth and approach to the brink of old years. Her face was of such a form that the eye of a lynx could not see her nostrils, for she had none, but them that were so flat that no man could lay hold thereof with pincers. Her eyes stuck so far out of her head that they gave a shadow. Her habit was a torn cloak reaching to her heels, on which she bore a scrip half covered with leather, and so full of patches that one could hardly know whether it were of Moroccan or curried goats' skins. Her girdle was a rope of bullrushes, which was more like the cable of a galley than the girdle of a pilgrim. She had an old hat on her head without band or scallop shell, and seam-rent shoes on her feet. In her hand was a pilgrim's staff much resembling a sheephook, with an iron pike at the end. At her left side hung a very mean calebace, and a pair of beads on her neck, whereof the balls were as big as bowls. In effect, she was wholly tattered, wholly penitent, and (as afterward was perceived) of wicked disposition.

Our pilgrims at their coming saluted her, and she returned their salutations with such a voice as might be hoped from her nose. They demanded whither she went in pilgrimage, and moved through the beauty of the place, they sat round about her, letting the beasts feed that carried their baggage which served for their wardrobe, expenses and amberey; and satisfying their hunger, they cheerfully invited her to such as they had. Since, answering to the question which they had moved unto her, said thus:

"My pilgrimage is such as certain pilgrims put in use, and is always to the places nearest at hand to excuse their idleness. I am now going to the city of Toledo, to visit the sanctuary; from thence I will go to the holy Veronica of Geanes, and there stay till the last Sunday in April: at which day shall be celebrated, about three leagues from the town of Andújar, the feast of our Lady of the Head, which is one of the greatest feasts that ever were made in former times, or are now at this present. I would if I could possible withdraw mine imagination from the place where it is settled, and set it forth by my words, to the intent you might know the reason which I have to commend it; but I will leave it to a better wit than mine. This feast is painted in a gallery of the Palace at Madrid where our kings reside, with all the particularities that can possibly be uttered. There is a rock, upon whose top is a monastery where this holy image is enshrined called the Image of the Head, because it taketh the name of the same rock anciently termed the Head, because it is situated in the midst of an open and solitary plain, without any other rock or mountain thereabouts. The height thereof is a quarter of a league, and the circuit is twice as much. It is placed in this large and delightful seat, which is always green through the moisture of the river Chandula, which continually (as in reverence) kisses the banks thereof. The place, the rock, the image, the miracles, the infinite number of people which have recourse thither far and near, and the solemn holy-day that I speak of, make it famous in the world, but principally renowned in Spain above all other places. The pilgrims were all in suspense at the relation of this new, though aged pilgrim woman, and began to have an earnest desire in their minds to go with her and see all these marvels. But their former longing to end their intended journey would not suffer the same to be hindered by other desires. "After that I have been there," said the pilgrim, "I know not whither I shall journey next, but I doubt not to find means how to employ mine idle time amongst the pilgrims." "It seemeth," said old Anthony, "that you do not much allow of pilgrimages." "But I do," said she, "and know well that many of them are just, commendable and holy, as they have been in times past, and shall be hereafter. But I am bad with bad pilgrims which make a base profit of holiness and an infamous gain of virtue, robbing them of their alms who are poor indeed."

During this discourse, they saw a man on horseback in the highway who, coming near, as he would have veiled his bonnet to salute them, his beast, putting his foot in a hole, fell down upon the earth with his master. They all presently ran to succour him and the young Anthony stopped his beast, which was a strong mule; the others gave him water to drink and found that his harm was not so great as they thought, saying, that he might get up again and proceed on his journey.

To whom he answered, "It may be, God hath suffered me to fall in this plain to lift me out of those downfalls whither mine imagination hath carried my soul; and though mine affairs do not so concern you that you should desire to know them, yet I will have you understand that I am a stranger, a Polonian by nation. I departed from my country being a child and came into Spain, as to the centre of strangers and common mother of other nations. I served the Spaniards, learned the Castilian tongue, which I speak as you see; and moved by a general desire to see foreign countries, I went to Portugal unto the city of Lisbon. And the same evening I entered, an accident happened, which if you believe you shall do much, and if you believe it not, the matter is not great: for truth will be truth although no man credit it."

Periander, admiring the compendious narration of this passenger, and hearing him with pleasure, willed him to proceed in that he had to say: for they all believed him, because they were all courteous, and experimented in worldly things.

Herewithal the passenger, having recovered his spirits, went forward in this manner. "I say, the first night I entered into Lisbon, as I walked through one of the chief streets to change mine inn (because that where I had alighted disliked me) a disguised Portugal, whom I met at a narrow passage and not very clean, thrust me so rudely that he overthrew me to the earth.

"The wrong he did me stirred up my choler; I referred the revenge to my sword, which I took into my hand, and the Portugal did the like very stoutly: and the blind night and blinder fortune directed my sword's point on mine enemy's face who, falling backward, yielded up his soul where it pleased God. Immediately fear presented before mine eyes that which I had done. I committed my safety to my legs, but knew not whither to go. Yet the noise of the people, which seemed to run after me, gave wings to my feet, and with unreasonable steps I turned down the street, searching where to hide me or some place where to make clean my sword, to the end it might not accuse me if by adventure the Justice should apprehend me. Being then well-nigh dead for fear, I perceived light in a house of quality, into which I went, not knowing to what purpose. I found open an hall well furnished, from whence I passd into a chamber better adorned, and following the light appearing in another chamber I found in a rich bed a lady who, sitting up as one wholly in amazement, asked who I was, what I sought, whither I went, and who had given me leave with so little reverence to come unto her chamber. I answered her, 'Madam, I cannot satisfy you in so many demands but in saying that I am a stranger who, as I think, have left a man dead in this street, rather through his misfortune and pride than by any fault of mine. I beseech you, for God's sake and by that which you are, to save me from the Justice, which I suppose followeth after me.' 'Are you a Castilian?' said she in her Portugal speech. I answered, 'No Madam; I am a stranger, and a great way hence from this country.' 'Though you were a Castilian a thousand times,' said she again, 'I would save you if I might, and will save you if I can. Get you up on this bed, lift up the hangings, and enter into a hollow place which you shall there find, and stir not from thence; for if the Justice come, he will use me with respect and believe what I shall tell him.' I presently did as she commanded me, lifted up the tapestry, and found the hollow place, and hid me therein, holding my breath and recommending myself to God the best that I could. And being in this confused affliction, a servant of the house entered into the chamber crying, 'Madam, one comes from the slaughter of don Duarte and saw him overthrown, having his head pierced with a thrust in his right eye; but he knoweth not the murderer, nor the occasion of the quarrel, wherein the clashing of the swords could be scarcely heard: only, a child said that he saw a man come running into this house.' 'This must needs, without doubt, be the murderer,' answered the lady, 'neither is it possible that he can escape. Alas, unhappy that I am, how often have I feared that my son should be brought home unto me dead! For from his pride nothing could be hoped, but such like misfortunes.' In the meantime, they brought the dead body on three or four men's shoulders, and laid it along on the ground before the eyes of the sorrowful mother, who with a lamentable voice began to say, 'O vengeance, how thou knockest at the gate of my soul! But my word given will not suffer me to satisfy thy desire. O grief, that in all this dost strain and wring me cruelly!' Consider, sirs, in what estate I might be, hearing the sorrowful words of this mother into whose hands I thought the presence of her dead son put a thousand kindness of punishments for her revenge! For it was very apparent that she could not be ignorant how I was he that had murdered her son. But what could I then do but hold my peace, and hope in my despair? And principally when the ministers of justice came into the chamber: who, speaking with reverend respect, said unto this lady:

"'Madam, we have been so bold as to come into your house induced by a child's words, who said that the murderer of this knight did here come in.' Then I gave ear most attentively, to hear what answer the mother would give them who, having a mind full of noble courage and christian piety, answered in this manner. 'If this man be come into this house, at the least he is not in this chamber. Any where else you may search; but I pray God he may not be found, for one death can ill be repaired by another, specially when the injuries proceed not of malice.'

"The officers returned to search for me throughout the house, and my spirits which had left me returned into me. The lady commanded her son's body to be taken from before her, and put into his winding sheet and buried. She commanded also that they should leave her alone, because she was incapable of comfort, and in no fit estate to entertain her friends and kinsfolk who came to lament with her for the death of her son. Having so done, she called one of her maids, in whom (as it appeared) she reposed most confidence and, having spoken unto her in her ear, commanded her to be gone and lock the door after her, which she did; and the lady sitting up in her bed, lifted up the tapestry and (as I thought) put her hand on my heart; which, panting in my breast, made her know the fear wherewith I was environed. 'Man,' said she with a soft and sorrowful voice, 'whosoever you be, you see that you have taken from me the light of mine eyes, the respiration of my heart, and finally the life which sustained me. But forasmuch as I understand, it hath so fallen without any evil intent, I will oppose my word against my vengeance. Wherefore, in accomplishment of the promise I made at your coming in, to save you: be gone from hence. Put your hands before your face, that I may not be enforced to know you again, and follow my damsel, who will come presently hither and put you in the street, and give you a hundred crowns to defray the charges of your journey. You are not known, you have no mark about you whereby you should be bewrayed. Put away the fear that troubles you, for that might discover you.' By this time the maid came, I came from behind the tapestry, covering my face with my hand; and in sign of thankfulness, often upon my knees kissed her bed's foot; and immediately followed the damsel, who by a back door of a garden put me into the street.

"The first thing I did was to make clean my sword, and with a quiet pace came into the street, where I knew my inn, and went in as though nothing had befallen me. The host declared unto me the misfortune of the dead knight, setting out with many words the greatness of his house, and his arrogance: for which men believed he had procured to himself some particular enemy who had brought him to such an end. I passed this night, giving thanks to God for the favours He had afforded me, considering the noble mind of my Lady Guiomar of Sosa (for, as I knew afterward, that was her name) who had done me so much good. The next day in the morning I went to the river where I found a boat full of men, who went to embark in a great ship of Saint John's, ready to depart for the East Indies. I returned to my lodging, sold my mule to mine host, returned to the river and to the boat; and the next morning came to the great ship out of the haven, which with full sails followed the way which I desired. I remained fifteen years in India, during all which time I served as a soldier with the valiant Portugals, and divers things befell me that might make a true and pleasant history; chiefly, of the prowess of the Portugal nation, which in that country are invincible and worthy of everlasting praise. There I got some gold, some pearls, and other things of greater value than bigness; and taking occasion upon my General's return to Lisbon, I came back with him. From thence I put myself in my journey to return into my country, determining first of all to see all the best towns of Spain. I converted all my riches into money, taking Letters of Exchange for my travel which I began at Madrid, where afterward Philip the Third kept his court. But destiny, being weary of carrying the ship of my fortunes with a prosperous wind through the sea of this life, made me strike upon a shelf which broke all in pieces.

"Thus coming one evening to Talavera, in a place not far hence, I alighted at an inn which hath served as the sepulchre of mine honour. O powerful force of love! Love, I say, unadvised and lascivious! How easily dost thou turn aside a man's good determinations? I say then, being in this inn, a maid (being, as I thought between sixteen and seventeen years of age, though afterwards I knew she was two and twenty) came in: who passing before me, it seemed I smelt a meadow full of flowers in the month of May; whose odour made me condemn the best drugs of Arabia. She coming to a young man in the inn, spake to him in his ear, and then with a great laughter, turned her back, and entered into a house over against the inn. The young man ran after her, yet was not able to overtake her, but with a blow of his foot upon her back, which made her fall on her hand in the entry of her house. A young woman of the inn saw this, who full of choler said to the young man that it was ill done of him, and that Louise deserved not to be used after such a manner. 'I will use her no otherwise if she be mine,' answered Alonso; 'hold thy peace, my friend Martina, for upon such sturdy young wenches we must not only lay our hands, but also our feet.' And upon this he left Martina and me by ourselves, whom I asked if Louise were married. 'No,' answered Martina, 'but she shall be shortly with this young man, and by reason of the contract of marriage which their parents have made, Alonso takes liberty to sport with her somewhat too rudely, though he seldom beats her; but she well deserves it; for to speak truly, Louise is a little too bold, and too much gadding. I have told her enough, but all serves to no purpose, she will not leave to follow her pleasure if it come into her mind. But the best dowry which a woman can bring is honesty. And God be with my mother that bare me, she would never permit me to look into the street, no, not so much as through a cranny, much less would she suffer me to come to the threshold of the street door. She well knew, she said, that a woman and a hen, etc.' 'Tell me, Mistress Martina,' said I, 'how, from a novice kept so strictly, you come to make your profession in so large an inn?' 'There are many things to be spoken concerning this matter,' answered Martina; 'but I have many other things to say without studying on these trifling particularities, if time did require or that the grief of my soul would permit me.'

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Chapter VII

The Polonian continues his history: and of the counsel that Periander gave him.

The pilgrims gave attentive ear to the Polonian and now desired to know the grief that afflicted his mind, as they knew that which he had in his body. To whom Periander said, "Declare, sir, what you will, and with such particularities as you please, for sometimes the recital thereof augmenteth the grace of a story, as a salad of herbs is not amiss after the eating of a pheasant. The sauce of any story is to observe the propriety of the language in all that which a man speaketh. Follow then your discourse, tell us of Alonso or Martina, beat Louise as you list, marry them or not marry them, we will take all in good worth." "I say then, sirs," answered the Polonian, "that all that night I did nothing else but meditate on the graces and beauties of this Louise, in my judgment incomparable. I made a thousand enterprises, built a thousand castles in the air in mine imagination: I married, had children, and finally resolved to give over my first resolution, and to stay in Talavera, when I should be wedded with the goddess Venus; for this maid seemed to me no less fair, though beaten and ill used by the young man. After this night was past I felt the pulses of my delight, finding that if I married her not, I should lose therewith my life, which I laid up in the eyes of Louise; in such sort that rejecting all kind of inconveniences, I determined to speak unto her father and demand her to wife. I showed him my pearls and my riches, praised my wit and industry, not only to keep but also to increase them; and with these words, and the show that I made unto him of my goods, I made him more supple than a glove. And that which made him most willingly to agree to my desires was to see that I asked nothing of him but his daughter's beauty, wherethrough I was more than well pleased and satisfied with this marriage. See, then, Alonso his nose out of joint, and Louise my wife, to my great misfortune and her shame, as the event which followed within fifteen days after evidently declared, which was that my wife having gotten my money and jewels, by the counsel of the same Alonso ran away with him from Talavera, leaving me confounded and mocked as being a subject of the talk and laughter of all the people. This cousinage made me have recourse to vengeance but I knew not on whom to take it, but on myself; and therefore a thousand times was in mind to hang myself. But Fortune, who peradventure hath kept me, to make me amends for the wrongs she hath done me, hath permitted that mine enemies are arrested and kept prisoners at Madrid: from whence I have received letters to come thither and prosecute the justice which I hope for; and thither I am now going, to wash away with their blood the spots of mine honour, and remove with their lives from my shoulders the burden of their offence. I swear by God, they shall die, I will be revenged, and the world shall know that I cannot dissemble such hurtful outrages which pierce even to the marrow of the soul. I now find myself better than I was upon my fall; I must get on horseback; and let none speak unto me of the entreaties of the religious, nor complaints of the poor, nor promises of the rich, nor commandments of great men, nor gifts of any; for I make less account of all these things than of mine honour." And in saying this, he rose up to take horse again and follow his journey. But Periander took hold of his arm and spake thus unto him: "You, that are blinded with your passion, see not how you are going to enlarge your infamy. Until this present you have been dishonoured only amongst those whom you are acquainted with at Talavera: and now you will be so amongst your friends and acquaintance at Madrid. You will imitate the labourer, who all the winter cherished a venomous serpent in his bosom and, missing him at the spring, would go and seek for him, instead of giving God thanks, not considering that it is great wisdom never to search for that which a man hath no desire to find. It is a common saying that for an enemy that flieth we should make a bridge of silver; and the greatest evil that can befall a man is to have a naughty wife. What do you think will befall you when the Justice hath delivered your enemies into the executioner's hands? That they shall be bound on the scaffold for an infinite number of people to behold, the sword shaking over their necks, and cutting off their heads, as if their blood could wash clean your honour? What else can happen unto you but to make your wrongs more public? For revenge may well punish offences, but never take them away; and they that attempt such actions, live and remain in men's memories, at the least as long as his life endureth who hath received them. Wherefore be your own man, and giving place to mercy, run not after justice. I counsel you not to forgive your wife, so as to take her again into your house; for there is no law which binds you so to do. But I counsel you to leave her, which is that greatest correction that you can give her. Live a great way from her and you shall live, which you cannot do being together; for you shall die continually. The law of divorce was much practised by the Romans. And though it were greater charity to pardon them, keep them in, suffer and counsel them, yet first a man should feel and assay the pulses of his patience and wisdom, whereof few man can assure themselves in this life, and principally in such like inconveniences. Finally, I would have you to consider that you go about to commit a deadly sin in taking away their lives, which ought not to be committed for all the profit nor honour in the world." The angry Polonian was very attentive to the words of Periander, and beholding him with like heedfulness, thus answered. "Sir, you have spoken above your years. Your wisdom and ripeness of wit surmount the greenness of your age. An angel hath guided your tongue, whereby you have subdued my will: which is now none other than to return into my country, and there give thanks to heaven for the favour you have done me. Help me, if it please you, to get up: for I have less force in my patience than in my choler." "This we will do with all our hearts," answered old Anthony, who helped him on his mule, after he had embraced them all, telling them that he would return to Talavera to settle his affairs, that he might after go from Lisbon by sea into his country. He told them also that his name was Martin Banedre, and offering to them again his service, he rode towards Talavera, leaving them all in a marvel at such matters as he had told them. The pilgrims passed that night in the same place, and two days after arrived in company of the old pilgrim at the sanctuary of Toledo, and to sight of Tagus, renowned for clear waters, and famous for sands of gold.

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Chapter VIII

The description of the territory of Toledo, and of the River of Tagus, with other memorable things.

The renown of Tagus is not such that it may be enclosed by any bounds, neither that any nations unknown or retired to the farthest end of the world can be ignorant thereof, because it extendeth everywhere and is manifest unto all, breeding in them a desire to know it. And as it is the use of northern people, almost all of them, or at least men of quality, to be exercised in the Latin tongue and in knowledge of ancient poets: Periander was so likewise, as being one of the chiefest of his nation. And as well for this cause, as also in that he had seen the works of the famous and never sufficiently commended poet, Garcilaso de la Vega, which in this time came to light: as soon as he saw the clear river, he said: "We will not say, 'there Salicio ended his song', but 'there Salicio began to sing'; there he surpassed himself in his Eclogues; there sounded his viol, at the tunes whereof the waters of this river stayed their course, the leaves of the trees were without motion, the winds calmed gave place for the admiration of his song, to pass from language to language, and from nation to nation throughout the world. Oh then, thrice happy crystalline waters, and golden sands, receive this poor pilgrim, who hath always honoured you far off, and comes now so near to salute you." And beholding the city of Toledo, "Oh glory of Spain," said he, "the light of her cities in whose bosom, during infinite ages, have been kept the relics of the valiant Goths! Long mayest thou live in prosperity, and therein conserve those that come to visit thee."

Thus much Periander spake before Anthony, who would have said the same as well as he, if he had known it: for the reading of books affordeth a more certain experience of things than the sight itself, because those who read attentively, consider what they read, and those which behold, settle their minds upon nothing: for which cause, reading surpasses the view. At that instant they heard the sound of infinite musical instruments which extended by the valleys that environed the city, with a troop, not of soldiers, but of maids coming towards them, fairer than the sun, attired after the country fashion, their bosoms covered with metals and laces, whereon silver and coral had their place, with greater beauty than gold or pearls. Their hair was yellow as gold which, though it waved on their shoulders, yet part thereof was folded in garlands of flowers. The coarse cloth of Cuenca glistered there upon them this day, above the damask of Milan and satin of Florence. Finally, their rustical habits excelled the richest ornaments of the Court, because that if honest mediocrity appeared in them, extreme neatness might be seen there likewise. All were flowers, all roses, all gracious, and all together composed a sweet motion, agreeable to the sound of diverse galliards which proceeded from the instruments whereof we have spoken. About the dance marched sundry shepherds who were neighbours or kinsmen of those that danced, and were apparelled in white linen, one playing on a drum, another on a flute, and other country instruments. As they passed before the pilgrims in this equipage, a man who (as afterward appeared) was Constable of the town took one of the maids by the arm, to whom he said with an angry voice: "Ha, Tosuelo, I see you are little alarmed! Are these dances to be profaned? These are not feasts to pry upon maids; I know not how heaven can consent unto this malice. If this be with my daughter's privity, believe me those that are deaf shall not hear you."

He had scarce ended these words but another Constable came thither, who said unto him: "Peter Convenio, if the deaf hear us it should be a miracle. Let it suffice you that we hear ourselves, and let us know wherein my son Tosuelo hath offended you; for it he hath done you any wrong, I am a man of Justice, who am able and can tell how to punish him." Whereto Convenio answered, "The wrong is already manifest in that, being a male, he is attired like a woman: and not only so, but as a maid of the King's in his Majesty's feast, amongst whom I fear my daughter is, because that these clothes which your son weareth seem unto to me to be hers. And I would not that the devil should make them both his own, nor that they should come together without the blessings of the Church, for you know well that these close marriages are for the most part unfortunate and maintain the kitchens of such as belong to the spiritual Court."

Hereunto a country maid, amongst many that there stayed to hear this discourse, answered for Tosuelo in this manner: "If one may speak truth, my masters, Mary Convenio and Tosuelo are as truly man and wife, as my father and mother are. She is with child, and not fit to dance: marry them, and let the Devil do with his own what he will." "In faith, maid," answered Tosuelo, "you speak well; they are both equal, one of them is not an older Christian than the other, and their wealth may be measured by one and the same ell." "Well then," replied Convenio, "somebody call my daughter, she will decide all this, for she is not speechless." His daughter came, who was not far off: and the first thing she spake was, "I have not been the first, nor shall be the last who hath done as much. Tosuelo is my husband, and I am his wife. God forgive us both if our parents will not." "You have reason," said her father; "but shamefastness will sooner be in the mountains of Ubeda than in your face. Nevertheless, in regard that this deed is already done, and that the Constable Tosuelo is of the same mind, I am content the business shall go forward which you had no will to leave behind." "By my faith," said the first maid, "Master Constable Convenio hath spoken like a wise old man. Let these young couple give hands one to another and strike up the bargain, if it be not already done, and let us go and finish our dance at the elm; for it need not to be disturbed for so small a matter."

Tosuelo yielded to the maid's speeches. The two lovers were married, and the process ended: and if all others would be concluded in like sort, the pens of the advocates would be dry enough.

Auristela and Periander were well pleased in hearing the arguing about these two lovers, and no less admired the beauty of these country maids. Periander would not have them enter into Toledo, because old Anthony would shorten his way, urged by desire to see his country and his parents, who were not far off, saying that it required longer time to see the rarities of this city, which their haste would not permit.

This very reason was the cause why they went not to Madrid where the Court then remained, fearing some by-matters to call them away and hinder their journey.

The old pilgrim woman confirmed them also in this resolution, saying, there were mean men at the Court who had the reputation of great men's sons, though indeed they were but costrels, stooping to the lure of the first beauty they saw, of what quality soever it were: for voluntary love seeketh not after worthiness of birth, but of beauty.

To this inferred old Anthony that they should help themselves by the industry of cranes when, changing the climate, they pass by the mountain Libanus, where knowing they are watched for by certain birds of prey, they pass in the night, every one having a stone in his mouth to hinder their crying. "Though," said he, "the best industry we can use is to follow the river of Tagus: and leaving the city on the right hand until some other occasion, we will travel to Ocagua, and from thence to Quintanar of the Order, which is my country." The old pilgrim, hearing the determination of the voyage which Anthony would make, said that she would proceed in her own journey. Ricla by way of alms gave her two pieces of gold, with which she departed.

Our pilgrims passed by Aranjuez, the sight whereof, because it was the spring time, gave them admiration and joy. They saw great streets of equal bigness, backed by an infinite number of green trees, the meeting and embracing of the two rivers, Henares and Tagus, the beauty of the gardens, the goodness of the fruits and variety of flowers, the ponds where there are more fishes than sands. Finally, Periander found true the renown of this fair place extended over the whole world. From thence they went to Ocagua, where Anthony understood that his parents were yet living, and was informed of other things which rejoiced him, as we shall presently tell you.

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Chapter IX

How Anthony, together with his company, arrived at his village, and of the lamentable misfortune that befell to a Count.

The air of the country cheered the spirits of Anthony, and of all the others as well as his, in visiting our Lady of Hope. Ricla and her two children were full of joy, thinking that they were now ready, one to see her father- and mother-in-law, and the others their grandfather and grandmother, touching whom Anthony, as we have said, had heard news that they were yet living. He knew also that his enemy had inherited his father's estate, and that since that, he died in amity with his friends, leaving his inheritance to a brother of his, who continued in the same affection.

With this good news and greater contentment than he dared promise to himself, the next day morning he and his companions went forward on their way, unto whom he declared all that he had learned concerning his affairs. His purpose was to make himself known to his father, not upon the sudden, but by some means to prolong his contentment, knowing well that a sudden joy sometimes doth more easily kill than a sudden grief.

Three days after, towards the evening, they came to his father's house, who with his mother sat before the gate to take the fresh air, in the hottest time of the spring. They all came together and Anthony, speaking to his father, enquired of him, if in this place they had any hospital where pilgrims might have lodging. "According to the devotion of those that here inhabit," answered his father, "all the houses are pilgrims' hospitals. And if there were no other, mine, according to the capacity, shall serve for all. I have pledges abroad in the world, who I know not if at this present they seek who will give them house-room." "Sir," said Anthony, "we have been told that this place is called Quintanar. Are there not gentlemen here named Villeseigneurs? I ask you this because I have been acquainted with a knight of this name, a great way from this country, who, if he were here, I know well that neither I nor my companions should want lodging." "And what," said his mother, "is the name of this Villeseigneur?" "He called himself Anthony," replied Anthony, "and his father (as he told me) was called Diego de Villeseigneur." "Oh my God," said she, rising from the place where she was, "this Anthony is my son who, through a certain misfortune, hath remained more than sixteen years out of this country, which I have bought with the price of my tears, sighs and prayers. God grant I may see him before I die. But tell me, my friend, is it long since you saw him? How far hence did you leave him? Is he in good health? Thinks he to return hither again? Doth he remember his parents? He may now come and see them, for he hath no enemies to hinder him, and those which made him forsake his country, at this present are our friends."

All these words the old father of Anthony heard who, calling his servants, commanded them to light torches and bring these honourable pilgrims into the house; and coming to his son, straightly embraced him, saying, "For you, sir, I had offered my house, as to the rest of your company, following the custom which I have to feast all the pilgrims which come this way. But for the joyful news which you have brought me, I will further augment my goodwill and surmount my proper forces by my services." By this time the servants had brought lights, and leading the pilgrims into the house, they found in the midst of a base court two fair damsels, the sisters of Anthony and born in his absence who, seeing the beauty of Auristela, the comely feature of Constance, and the fair countenance of Ricla their sister-in-law, could not have their fill in kissing them. And whilst they stayed till their father and mother should come in after their new guests, they saw them enter with a confused troop of men carrying on their shoulder a man sitting in a chair as dead, whom they knew immediately to be the Earl who was heir to their uncle's enemy. The noise of the people, the trouble of their parents, the care to receive these new guests, disturbed them in such sort that they knew not what to do, nor of whom to enquire the cause of this rumour. The parents of Anthony ran to the Earl, who was wounded through his shoulders with a bullet which he had received in a skirmish of two companies of soldiers lodged in the town, against the inhabitants; who, seeing himself hurt, had commanded his servants to carry him to the house of Diego de Villeseigneur, his friend; and his arrival was at the instant when he began to lodge his son, his daughter-in-law and his two nephews, with Periander and Auristela who, taking by the hands the two sisters of Anthony, prayed them to carry them out of this hurlyburly, and bring them into a chamber where no person might see them. They did so, admiring afresh the beauty of Auristela and Constance, in whom blood by parentage began to fashion such an affection that she could not part from her aunts, who were both of the same age and almost of equal beauty.

The like happened to young Anthony who, forgetting respect and bond of hospitality, ran to embrace one of his aunts; which being seen by one of the servants of the house, he said unto him, "Sir pilgrim, leave off these doings, for your profit: for my master is not a man that can endure this. If not, I promise you that he will restrain your boldness."

"In faith, my friend," answered Anthony, "that which I have done is a small matter in comparison of that which I think to do, if heaven favour my desires; being none other than to serve these gentlewomen, and all those of the house."

In the meantime, they had laid the Earl in a good bed and sent for two surgeons, who staunched the blood and searched the wound, which they declared to be mortal, and past any man's help. All the town was in arms against the soldiers, who were gotten out into the fields and ranged in battle, waiting if those of the town would assault them. The prudence and care of the captains was to small purpose to induce them to peace, and the diligence of the priests less prevailed with the inhabitants, which are troubled ordinarily upon light occasions. Till the next day morning the captains made their soldiers march elsewhere, and those of the town kept within their bounds, notwithstanding the anger and desire of revenge which they had conceived against the soldiers.

In conclusion, shortly after, by divers pauses and sweet attempts, Anthony discovered himself to his parents and brought before them his wife and children, the sight of whom drew tears from the eyes of the old couple. This pleasure, so great and so little expected: this coming of their children so far from their hoped expectation, gave them such height of admiration and joy that they almost forgot the misfortune of the Earl, who always grew worse and worse. To whom herewithal the old man showed his children, offering him again his house and that he had, because it was not possible to bear him to his own, so little hope they had of his life. Auristela and Constance, as their estate obliged them, stirred not from the Earl's bed's-head, though it were contrary to the advice of the surgeons, who ordained that he should be left alone, or at the least have other than women's company. But the ordinance of heaven, which by causes to us unknown ruleth the things of the earth, decreed that the Earl came to the last point of his life and that, one day before he died, being already assured of his death, he called Diego de Villeseigneur: to whom (they two being alone) he used such like words:

"I came from my house, with purpose this year to go to Rome, where the Sovereign Bishop hath opened the chests of the churches' treasure and imparted infinite favours which are wont to be gained there. I was going thither in mean fashion, rather like a poor pilgrim than a rich knight. I came into this town, and found the skirmish between the soldiers there lodged, and the inhabitants. I would needs intermeddle myself; and to save the lives of others, am come to lose mine own; which this blow traitorously given me will deprive me of. I know not whose act it was, for the brawls of a multitude carry with them the same confusion. I am not sorry for my death, but only to consider what it may cost if anyone would use chastisement therefore, either by revenge or by justice. Herewithal, to do as I ought, and that which I possibly can on my behalf; as a knight and a Christian, I forgive my murderer, and all those that are entangled in his fault. My will is also to make thankful acknowledgement of the good offices and services I have received in your house. And the manifestation of this grateful acknowledgement shall not be done as I would, but as I can. In the two trunks which are there, wherein I carry my wardrobe, are twenty thousand ducats in gold or in jewels, which require not a great room. And if, as well as this little, there were included the abundance which the bowels of the mountain Potosí contain within them, I would do with that abundance, which I will do with this little. Take it, Señor Diego, or cause your niece Constance to take it; which I give her for her marriage dowry. Moreover, I will give her a husband of my choosing; and such a one, that though she shall be very shortly a widow, yet she shall remain honourable. Cause her to be called with a priest, to marry me unto her: for her worth and her beauty deserve that she should be Lady of the Universe. Marvel not at this which you hear: believe that which I say: neither think that it is too strange a novelty, to see a lord of my quality married to a damsel in whom all virtuous parts that may make a woman amiable, do meet together. Heaven will have it so, mine inclination induceth me, and I conjure you by all that I can, that your affection impeach it not."

Villeseigneur was even ready to die at these words, and believed that the Earl had lost his judgement, and that the hour of his death was come: because in this estate, the most part of men speak either notable sentences or notable follies. Wherefore he made him this answer: "My Lord, I hope in God to see you recover your health; and then, that with clearer eyes and without any pain to trouble your senses, you may see the riches which you give, and the wife whom you choose. My niece is not your equal, nor of ability, which makes her far from deserving to be your wife. Neither am I so covetous as to purchase the good you would do me at the price of the people's talk, who are for the most part always ready to think the worst: whom me thinks I hear say, that I keep you in my house, where I have troubled your wits, to oblige you hereunto by devices of covetousness."

"Let them say what they will," replied the Earl: "let them ever deceive themselves. Then they shall remain deceived in this which they will say of you."

"Well then," said Villeseigneur, "I will not be so ignorant as not to open to good fortune knocking at the door of my house."

Herewith he went out of the chamber, and imparted all that the Earl had told him to his wife and children, Periander and Auristela, who advised him that without losing any time, he should take occasion by the hair, and go and fetch a notary and a priest, who should come to dispatch this business. In less than two hours Constance was married with the Earl, and the money and jewels in her possession, with all circumstances and assurances which were possible to be made. There was no other music at this wedding but mourning and lamentation, for that the Earl's life hastened to the gate of death.

Finally, the next morning after the espousals the Earl, having received all the sacraments, died in the arms of the Countess Constance his wife who, covering her head with a black veil, kneeling down on the earth, her eyes towards heaven, began to say, "I make a vow." She scarcely had ended this word ere Auristela said unto her, "What vow will you make, Madam?" "To enter into religion," answered Constance. "Stay there, do it not," replied Auristela, "for such works as are done touching the service of God ought not to be unadvised or precipitate, nor accomplished in such sort that it should seem some accident have moved them. And this of your husband's death will make you promise matters which, it may be, you neither can, nor would afterwards perform. Leave this to God's will and your own, which shall direct you with the counsel of your parents and your own wisdom to that which shall be meetest for you. In the meantime, let order presently be given for your husband's burial, and put your trust in God: Who having made you a Countess so lately, when you little thought upon it, knoweth well to give other advancements, and other husbands of longer continuance, than he who hath now left you; whom before your marriage you knew that he could not longer keep you company." The Countess yielded to this reason and, as they appointed the Earl's funerals, his younger brother came, who had understood the news of his hurt at Salamanca, where he was a student. He wept for his elder brother's death, but the contentment he received by the inheritance and estate left unto him quickly dried up his tears. He knew of his marriage with Constance, embraced his sister-in-law, not contradicting in any thing the dead man's will. But leaving money behind for his carriage, to be laid in the tomb of his ancestors, he departed thence to go to the Court and ask justice against the murderers.

Upon sight of the process, the captains were beheaded and many of the inhabitants of the borough were punished. Constance retained the dowry, and the title of a Countess.

Periander intended to go on in his voyage; whom neither Anthony the father nor his wife Ricla would accompany, because they were weary of so many peregrinations. But it was not possible that the young Anthony or the new Countess could quit the society of Auristela. Anthony had not yet showed to his grandfather the table of their fortunes, but upon a day when he opened the same, he told him that the means and adventures whereby Auristela came into the barbarian island, when she there met with Periander (he in the attire of a woman, and she of a man) was there wanting; which Auristela declared unto them in few words, saying, that when the pirates had carried away her and Clelia, with Selviana and Leoncia, from the coast of Denmark, they parted the booty amongst them in a desert idland; and not being able to make their partition equal, "one," said she, "of the principal amongst them contented himself with my person, and gave money over and above to the other. I was alone in his power without any companion of my misfortune to ease my misery. He attired me like a man, fearing that the winds would be in love with me if I were clothed as a woman. I followed him many days in divers places, without impeachment of my honesty. Finally, we came to the barbarous isle, where we were taken by the inhabitants. He died in the fight, and I was carried into the prisoners' dungeon, where I found my dear Clelia, who by other accidents no less unfortunate had been brought thither; who told me the conditions of the barbarians, and the vain superstition of their prophecy. She further informed me, how she had an opinion that my brother Periander had been prisoner in the same dungeon, to whom she could not speak for haste which the barbarians made to draw him out, and lead him to be sacrificed.

"To assure myself of the truth, seeing I was in man's apparel, and preferring to accompany him in death, as well as in life: I willingly exposed myself to the same sacrifice, persuading myself that it were better to die once for all than to begin so often; contrary to the persuasions of Clelia, who would have hindered me.

"What afterward befell us, you have already so well understood that I can inform you no more of these matters."

The good old man, Villeseigneur, would gladly have had this put into the Table, but they were of opinion not only to add nothing, but besides to deface that which was already painted, because that so strange and unheard-of matters ought not to be painted in Tables of weak cloth, but graven in plates of brass, or written in men's memory. Yet for all this, Villeseigneur would have the Table to remain in his custody, that he might there behold the pictures of his nephews, the incomparable beauty of Auristela, and the comely feature of Periander. They spent certain days in taking order for their journey to Rome, with desire there to perform the vows which they had promised. When the time came that they should depart, not without tears of kindness, strait embracements and sad sighs, especially of Ricla, who seeing her children go hence, thought she was dissevered from her soul. Their grandfather blessed them all for, it seems, the benedictions of ancient persons have this prerogative, to make events have the better success. They took with them a household servant, who might show them the way: in prosecuting whereof, they left the house and their solitary parents, intermeddling the grief to forsake them with the contentation they had to accomplish their voyage.

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Chapter X

Of that which befell to Periander, Auristela, young Anthony and to his sister, continuing their journey to Rome.

Long journeys always bring with them diverse accidents and, as diversities are compounded of different causes, their effects of necessity also must be different. This appeareth in our history, the events whereof cut our thread asunder, and put us in doubt how to fasten it again: for all things are not good to be spoken, and may be passed over in silence without wronging the history. There are some actions which for their great weight are to be concealed, and others which ought to be delivered because they are of small importance: albeit the excellency of an history is such that whatsoever shall be therein written, it may pass in favour of the truth which it carrieth.

This cannot be done in a fable, which must order the actions with so much pleasure and likelihood of truth that in despite of lying, which maketh a discord in the understanding, it may make a true and delightful harmony. Making then a profitable use of this verity, I say that our pilgrims, following their journey, came into a place neither too big, nor too little, whose name I remember not. And in the midst of the way where they were enforced to pass, they saw a world of people who harkened to the discourse of two young men apparelled like slaves that had been ransomed, who expounded the pictures of a painted cloth which they had spread upon the ground. It seemed they had taken from their necks, two heavy chains, lying hard by them, as speaking tokens of their misfortune. And one of them, appearing to be four and twenty years of age, shaking a bull's pizzle which he had in his hand, yarked it with such dexterity that the claps resembled those which a coachman maketh with his whip, when he threateneth his horses.

Amongst those that heard their story were two bailiffs of the place, both well stricken in years though one less than the other, before whom one of the slaves began his oration in this manner:

"Gentlemen, this city whose portrait you see, is the town of Algiers, the fear and terror of all the coasts of the Mediterranean sea, the general haven of pirates and the common refuge of thieves, who from this little port, which there you see painted, issue with their ships to rob all nations, adventuring to pass beyond Hercules' pillars and assail the islands far off which, because they are environed with the deep ditches of the great ocean, think to be in safety from the Turks' ships. This vessel which you see shortened, because the painting so required, is a galleon of twenty banks of oars, whose captain is this Turk whom you see on the deck with an arm in his hand, which he struck off at one blow from a Christian, that it might serve as a bastinado to strike others who are tied to the banks, fearing to be surprised by these four galleys who have him in chase, as you see. This first rower of the first bank, whose face is disfigured with blood, which the blows of the dead arm hath made all bloody, is myself who was swabber of the galleon: the other who is next me, less bloody, as being less beaten, is my companion whom here you see. Harken my masters, and give attentive ear: it may be this lamentable story will, from your ears, convey to your souls the apprehension of this dog Dragut (so is the Captain of the galleon called), a pirate no less famous than cruel, and no less cruel than Phalaris or Busiris, tyrants of Sicily. Methinks, I hear the outrages which he belched out against the Christians, calling them Jews of base minds, of small worth and of less faith: and for the more horror and dreadful fear he beateth living bodies with dead arms."

One of the two bailiffs, who had been captive a long time in Algiers, said then softly to his companion: "It seems that this slave hitherto hath spoken the truth as touching things in general; but I will examine him more particularly, and we shall see if he deceive us. For you must know that I was in the same galleon, and remember not that I there saw any other swabber than one Alonso Moclín, born at old Málaga;" and turning to the captive, he said unto him, "Tell me my friend, whose were the galleys that had him in chase? Was it by their means that you recovered your liberty?" "The galleys," answered the captive, appertained to Don Sancho of Leyna. We got not our liberty at that time, for they could not catch him, but we obtained it afterward; for we saved ourselves by carrying away a galleon which came from Sargell to Algiers laden with corn. We came therewith to Oran, and from thence to Málaga, where my companion and I took the way for Italy, with purpose there to serve our king in following the wars." "Tell me, my friend," replied the bailiff, "were you both taken together? Did they first carry you to Algiers, or to some other town in Barbary?" "We were not captives together," said the other slave, "for I was taken hard by Alicante in a ship laden with wool, which was in her voyage for Genes; and my companion at the suburbs of Málaga, where he was a fisherman. We knew one another in Tetuán, in a prison where we became friends; and a long time after have run one and the same fortune. But Master Bailiff examineth us for seven or eight shillings that have been given us, and would know what money we have." "Not so, sir Gallant," replied the bailiff, "all the turns of the rope are not yet given. Harken to me, and tell me how many gates are there in Algiers? How many springs? And how many wells of fresh water?" "It is a foolish question," answered the first slave; "there are as many gates as houses; and so many springs, that I know not the number; and so many wells that I cannot remember them any more. The troubles I have undergone have made me forget myself; and if Master Bailiff will be against Christian charity, farewell; there is as good bread made here, as in France."

Then the bailiff called a man of the company who seemed to serve instead of a Crier, and sometimes as the hangman when occasion was offered, and said unto him: "Berrueco, go into the town, and bring hither presently two asses, the first you find; for by the King's life, I swear I will make these two gallants walk along the streets, who so boldly would usurp the alms of those that are poor indeed, telling us lies, themselves being as sound as an apple and more strong than sound, if they would take pains to get their living. I have been five years a slave in Algiers, and find not that they give me any true tokens in anything they have spoken." "Upon my soul," answered the slave, "is it possible that Master Bailiff would have us rich in memory, that are so poor in money? And that for one trick of knavery, not importing the value of three halfpence, he would dishonour two such notable scholars as we are? And by the same means, deprive his Majesty of two such brave soldiers, who go to adventure our lives in Italy or in Flanders for the Catholic religion? Wherefore, if I must needs utter the truth (which is God's daughter) you shall understand, Master Bailiff, that we are not slaves but scholars of Salamanca who, in the midst of our studies, have suffered ourselves to be overswayed with a desire to see the world and learn warlike affairs, as we are acquainted with those of peace. For easy contriving whereof, and to put our intents in execution, we bought this painted cloth of certain captives, perhaps as much counterfeits as we; informing ourselves of certain particularities of Algiers, which we thought sufficient and necessary to make our deceit to be the better believed. We sold our books and furniture at easy rates, and being laden with this merchandise, we are come to this place. We are purposed to go further, if Master Bailiff command us not anything else." "That which I will command," replied the bailiff, "is that you shall have an hundred blows with a whip, and that instead of the pike which you go to advance in Flanders, you shall be made to handle an oar, wherewith, peradventure, you shall do the King better service than with the pike." "Master Bailiff," replied the young man, "would at this present show himself as a law-giver of Athens, to the end that the rigour of his integrity may come to the hearing of the Lords of the Council, which may procure him credit amongst them, that so they may commit unto him affairs of weight, where he may show his severity and his justice. But know, Master Bailiff, that summum ius summa iniuria." "Take heed, my friend, what you say," quoth the second bailiff; "here are no luxurious Justices. The bailiffs of this place have been, are, and shall be always chaste. Speak less, and you shall speed the better." Then the Crier returned, who said, "Master Bailiff, I have not found any asses in the town, save only the two Attorneys, Berrueco and Crispo, who are walking together." "I sent thee, thou block-head," answered the bailiff, "to bring asses, and not Attorneys. But go back and fetch them hither, both for the one, and the other; for I will have them present at the pronouncing of this sentence, which shall be without fail, and not left unexecuted for want of asses: for thanks be to God, we have enough in this place." "By that God of whom you speak, Master Bailiff," said the young man, "we pray you that your severity may pass no further. Consider that we have not stolen so much that we can put our money to usury or buy any inheritance; we hardly get so much as can sustain our wretched life by this our invention, which nevertheless is as painful as that of an arts-man, or day-labourer. Our fathers never brought us up to any art: wherefore, of necessity we must refer to our industry that which we would commit to our hands, if we had any occupation. Punish those that harbour thieves, robbers by the highways, false witnesses, idle persons and such as are good for nothing; all which serve to no other end, but to increase the number of castaways in the commonwealth: and dismiss these wretches who are going to serve his Majesty by the strength of their arms and vigour of their spirits, for there are no better soldiers than those that pass from their books to the wars. Never any scholar became a soldier, but was a brave fellow; because the powers of mind, and strength of body joined together, make an admirable composition, whereby Mars is made merry, peace upholden, and the weal-public augmented."

Periander and all the standers-by much marvelled, not only at the young man's reasons, but also at his readiness and facility wherewith he spake: who thus proceeded:

"Master Bailiff, strip us, ransack us, behold us and search well to the very seams of our apparel; and if you find in our possession six reals of plate, give us not only a hundred jerks with a whip, but also six hundred. See now if the purchase of so small a gain ought to be punished by the gallies or whipping. Wherefore once again I beseech you not to be passionately rash, in doing that for which afterward perhaps you should be sorry. Wise Judges do chastise offences, and not revenge them: such as are discreet and pitiful make their clear judgement apparent betwixt rigour and clemency."

"On my faith," said the second bailiff, "this young man hath well spoken, though he hath spoken much; and so far am I from consenting that they should be whipped, that I will have them to my house, and help them to pass in their journey, upon condition that they go directly forward, without going to and fro like a plough, from one side of the land to another. For if they so do, they are hereto carried by vice, and not by necessity." To whom the first bailiff (now qualified and full of compassion and pity) thus answered: "I will not have them go to your house but to mine, where I will teach them a lesson as touching the particularities of Algiers, to the end that hereafter no man may trip them in their feigned history." The two young men thanked him: he was praised by all the company: and the pilgrims had their part of contentment for dispatch of this business. The first bailiff, turning towards Periander, said unto him, "You, master pilgrim, do you not carry a cloth wherein you will show us another history, and make us believe it is true, though it be contrived by the same falsehood?" "No," said Periander, who saw Anthony take out of his bosom at that instant the Patents which they had for their voyage, which he delivered into the bailiff's hand, saying unto him, "by these papers you may see who we are, and whither we go; though we need not show you, because we ask no alms, nor have any necessity to crave any: and so as free passngers they may freely suffer us to pass."

The bailiff took the papers and, because he could not read, he delivered them to his companion, who had as little skill as he, so that they came to the Town Clerk's hands, who perusing them, gave them again to Anthony, saying, "Master Bailiffs, there is as much worth in the bounty of these pilgrims, as greatness in their beauty. If they will spend this night in my house, it shall serve to lodge them; and my willing heart, for their good cheer." Periander thanked him for them all; there they stayed this evening, because it was somewhat late; where they were feasted with neatness, abundance and welcome.

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Chapter XI

Of the great peril that encountered our pilgrims at the realm of Valencia, and how they were delivered from it.

The day came, and thanks therewithal for the lodging and good cheer which the Town Clerk had made to our pilgrims: who proceeding on their way, as they came out of the town, they met with the counterfeit slaves whom they had seen the day before, who told them that they were so well instructed by the bailiff touching matters of Algiers that from henceforth they could not be taken in a lie. They all came together to a way divided into two. The slaves took that of Cartagena, and the pilgrims that of Valencia, to which they came the day following when the morning came forth, which showed herself above the horizon, driving away the stars and preparing a path whereby the sun should make his accustomed race.

Their guide, who was called Bartholomew, seeing so joyful a sun arise, embroidering the clouds of heaven with divers colours, that the eye could not behold a fairer light, began to say: "The Preacher, who some days past made a sermon in our village, spake very truly when he said that the heavens and the earth showed forth and declared our Lord's greatness. I promise you, if I knew not God (as my parents and the priests have taught me) I should come to know Him in beholding the greatness of the heavens, and of the sun that enlighteneth us; which, appearing no greater than a buckler, is by many degrees bigger than the whole earth. And which is more, being so great, they say it is so light that in four and twenty hours it moveth above three hundred thousand leagues. I know not what to believe in this matter, whether it be true or false: but so many honest men speak it, that, though it seem to offer violence to the understanding, I believe it. But that which makes me wonder most, is, that there are people under us called Antipodes, upon whose heads we walk: a thing seeming to me impossible. For, to bear so heavy a weight as ours, it were requisite they should have heads of brass."

Periander fell a-laughing at the rustical astrology of their guide, and said unto him, "Bartholomew, I would gladly find out reasons to make thee understand in what error thou art, and the true position of the world, for which it were needful to fetch the principles a great way off. But applying myself to thy capacity, I will refresh my mind, and will tell thee one point, which thou must hold as infallible, and this it is: that the earth is the centre of the heavens. I call the centre a point that cannot be divided, where all the lines from the circumference do meet. But it seems to me that thou yet understandest not the matter: wherefore, leaving these terms, let it suffice thee to know that all the earth hath the heaven aloft over it, and wheresoever men be, they are covered with heaven as we are, as well at the Antipodes as elsewhere." Bartholomew was well pleased at the speech of Periander, which no less contented Auristela, the Countess and her brother.

With these and other like things, Periander beguiled their way, when he heard a waggon at his back, accompanied with six Arquebusiers and a man on horse back, who had a dagger hanging at his saddle-bow, who over-taking Periander said:

"Gentlemen, if you carry with you any conserve (for I learn by your countenances that you are knights, rather than poor pilgrims) give it me, I pray you, to succour a boy in a trance, here in the wagon, who is condemned to the Galleys for two years, with other twelve soldiers who a few days past were found agents in the death of an Earl." Constance could not forbear weeping in calling to mind the death of her husband, almost as soon dead as married. Nevertheless, her charity having more power over her than the desire to be revenged, she ran to the baggage, from whence she drew forth a box of conserves; and coming to the waggon, asked, "Who is he that is in a trance?" To whom one of the soldiers answered: "There at this corner, having his face anointed with such grease as the waggon's axle-tree is dressed with: because he will not that death shall seem fair in him when he shall die; which will be very shortly, according as he is obstinately resolved to eat nothing." At these words the young man lifted up his face, and taking from his face a broken hat which covered the same wholly, he seemed to the eyes of Constance hard favoured, and greasy, of whom he took the box and said, God reward you Madam; and putting on his hat, came again to his melancholy, returning to the same corner, where he expected death. The pilgrims had certain other speeches besides with the keepers of the wagon, which were ended upon their parting diverse ways.

From thence in some few days they came to a place inhabited by Moors in the Kingdom of Valencia, which was about a league from the sea; where not only they found lodging, but all the houses in the place contended amongst themselves who should give them entertainment. Which occasioned Anthony to say, "I know not who speaks evil of those people who seem to me to be all saints."

"Those very same persons," quoth Periander, "who received our Lord in Jerusalem with palms, within few days after nailed him on a cross. But let us take the entertainment which this good old man offereth us, speaking of an ancient Moor who in a manner drew them into his house by force, and made demonstration to welcome them, not like a Moor, but as a Christian. A daughter of his came to serve them, who was apparelled Morisco fashion and was so fair, that the fairest Christians esteemed it a great good fortune to resemble her. For nature distributeth her graces as well to the barbarians of Scythia as to the citizens of Toledo. Now this fair Moor, taking Auristela and Constance by the hands, locked herself with them in a low hall and, being alone, looked round about without letting go their hands, fearing she should be heard. After, being assured from the scare which she showed to have possessed her, she said unto them:

"Oh my friends, and how are you come hither like simple sheep to the slaughter? See you this old man whom to my shame I must call my father? Mark how merry he is, and full of such good welcomes. Know, that he pretends no other thing than to be your executioner. This night five or six pirates' ships shall carry away all the persons and riches of this place, not leaving anything which may induce them to return back to fetch it. These unhappy people think that in Barbary is the pleasure of their bodies and salvation of their souls, not remembering that of many whole towns well-nigh, that have passed thither, none of them hath given them any other news but repentance and complaints of their losses. The Moors of Barbary resound the glory of their Lord: to have a taste whereof, the Moriscos of this country run thither, and fall into the traps of their misfortune. And if you desire to eschew yours, go forth speedily from this house, and retire yourselves to the church. You shall find there the Curate who will defend you, for he only, and the Notary of the place, are old Christians. You shall find also there Charife who is mine uncle, a Moor only in name but a Christian in his works. Declare unto them all that is past, and tell them that Rafala gave you this information, for thereupon you shall be believed and protected: and turn not my words to mockery, unless you will in good earnest persist in being abused to your cost, for there is no greater abuse than to be unwilling to be freed from abuse, or to free himself from being abused when it is too late."

The astonishment and action wherewith Rafala spake these words sunk into the minds of Auristela and Constance in such sort that they believed her, and gave her no other answer but thanks: and quickly calling Periander and Anthony, they told them what was passed, and went out of the house with all that they had, without any apparent occasion. Bartholomew, who had better desire to rest than to change his lodging, was much discontented at this change, but he obeyed his masters. They came to the church where they were received by the Curate and Charife, unto whom they related all that Rafala had told them. The Curate answered them, "Many days are past since the alarm came to us of the coming of these pirates: and though it be their custom to make these assaults in the evening, yet I was far from thinking upon any such matter. Come in children, for we have a strong tower, and the church gates are so well fortified with iron that they cannot burn them, nor throw them down without a very great strength." "Alas," then said Charife, "and when shall it come to pass that mine eyes may behold this land freed from these thorns and bushes which oppress it? When will that time come, wherein according to the prediction of a great astrologian my grandfather, Spain shall be wholly Christian, it being the only corner of the world where the Catholic Religion (at least in outward appearance) is best observed? I, gentleman, am a Moor, which I would to God I could deny: but yet I relinquish not therefore to be a Christian: for God giveth his graces to whom he pleaseth, and maketh the sun (as you know far better) to shine on the good, and on the evil, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust. And my trust is in Him, that my grandfather's prophecy shall not be in vain. He foretold, as I said, that about this time should reign in Spain a Prince of the house of Austria, whose valiant courage should resolve upon the difficulty to drive away the Moors, like him that plucks the serpent out of his bosom before he gnaw his entrails; which separateth the darnel from the corn, and plucketh up the weeds from the good seeds. Come, young Prince, and wise King, put in execution the brave decree of this banishment, and let none object against thee the fear of seeing this country desert and without men to till it. For though it be a thing to be considered of, the effect of so great a work will make it vain, showing by experience of a few years that the land shall be peopled with new Christians, under whom it shall recover her fruitfulness, and be brought in better estate than it is at this present. If the Lords thereof have not so many subjects, those whom they shall have shall at the least be Catholic, under whose support the ways shall be assured, Peace may carry her wealth in her hands, and no thieves shall take it from her."

This being spoken, they made fast the gates, got up in to the tower, and hoisted up the drawbridge. The Curate took the holy sacrament with him, in a relic of silk; they furnished themselves with stones and guns and Bartholomew, leaving their beasts well rubbed and unsaddled at the Church door, he locked up himself with his masters; and with quick eyes, ready hands and resolute courages, expected the assault, whereof they had been advertised by the Moor's daughter.

Midnight passed, which the Curate measured by the course of the stars; and viewing all the sea, which might be seen from that place, he saw not so much as a cloud but he thought it was the Turks' ships; for which cause, hastening to the bells, they rung them so loud that all the shores and valleys echoed again. At the sound whereof, the garrisons appointed to defend these coasts all assembled together, and ran all about. But their diligence could not impeach the ships from coming to shore and landing their men. Those of the place which looked for them, being laden with their best and richest moveables, were received by the Turks with great shouts and with the sound of many drums, and other warlike instruments. They set fire on the town, and on the Church gates: not for any hope to get in there, but that they might leave no evil unexecuted which their power was able to effect.

They left Bartholomew to become a footman, for they cut asunder his horse's legs, overthrew a cross of stone which was at the town's end, and with a loud voice calling upon the name of Mohammed, yielded themselves to the Turks, without perceiving their poor exchange nor the dishonour whereunto they exposed their wives and children. Anthony and Periander discharged at them divers shots of muskets, which were not all in vain. Bartholomew threw down many stones all about the place where he had left his horse, and Charife let fly many arrows. But Auristela and Constance let fall more tears, praying God whom they had there present that He would free them from so evident peril, and save His holy temple from the fire, which indeed escaped burning, not as if it had been preserved miraculously, but because the gates were of iron, and that the fire was not great enough. It wanted but little ere the day approached, when the ships hastily betook themselves to sea: at which time they saw two persons running towards the church, one from the sea coast, the other from the land who, coming near, Charife knew one of them to be his niece Rafala, who came with a cross in her hand, crying that through God's merciful goodness she was free, and a Christian: the other was the Notary of the town, who by chance had lain that night abroad, and retired himself upon sounding of the alarm. He wept, not for loss of his wife and children, for they were in another place; but for his house which he found robbed and burned.

They stayed till it was far forth day, that the ships were far from the shore and that the watchmen had assured the coast. Then they came down from the tower and opened the church, where entered the fair Rafala, bathing her face with tears of joy, increasing her beauty by her sudden fear. Her prayers ended, she embraced her uncle and kissed the Curate's hands. The Notary neither kissed anybody's hands, nor saluted any person, because the grief for loss of his goods had wholly possessed his mind.

The alarm once passed, their spirits returned to their natural place, and Charife recovering new breath, and returning to his grandfather's prophecy, in a manner with a divine inspiration, began to say:

"Oh, generous Prince, invincible King! Purge this kingdom of Spain and root out from thence this accursed generation! Prudent Counsellors, no less noble than wise, the new Atlas upholding the weight of this monarchy, make easy by your sage advice this necessary transmigration, that these seas may be full of galleys laden with the unnecessary burden of this Agarene offspring, and that these wicked herbs, which hinder the plenty and increase of Christian fruitfulness, may be thrown upon contrary shores. And if the small number of Hebrews which went down into Egypt, multiplied in such sort that six hundred thousand families were numbered at their going forth, what may be feared as touching these, who are more in number and live at more ease? The Religious, the Indies or the wars have not the tenth of them: they all marry, they all multiply; whereupon it followeth, that their number in short time will become innumerable."

The pilgrims sojourned yet two days in this place, providing themselves of whatsoever was wanting, specially Bartholomew, who had lost his beast for carriage; and having thanked the Curate, and praised the good desires of Charife, but particularly embracing Rafala, with most hearty thanks they departed from them all, and prosecuted their journey.

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Chapter XII

Of the arrival of our pilgrims at Barcelona, and other memorable things.

The pilgrims, proceeding on their way, conferred between themselves of the danger past, speaking of the courage of Charife, the valiancy of the Curate and the zeal of Rafala, of whom they forgot to ask how she had escaped the Turks' hands who assaulted the town; but they considered that because she knew before-hand of their coming, she had hid herself in some place, afterward to accomplish her intent, which was to live and die a Christian.

They came hard by Valencia, where they would not enter, to avoid occasions of staying there; but they wanted not some that knew how to inform them of the large situation thereof, the excellency of the inhabitants, the pleasant places round about it, and finally all that which made the same fair and rich above all the cities in Spain; especially they praised the beauty of the women, their manner of attire and the sweet pronunciation of their speech. From thence they resolved with longer journeys, though it cost them the abatement of their ease, to go to Barcelona, where they made account to take shipping in the galleys which were bound for Genes. At their coming out of Town-Royal, a fair and pleasant city, a shepherdess of Valencia, fair as the sun, came before them: who without other speeches, compliments or ceremony, yea without saluting them, but yet with a comely grace answerable to her beauty, said unto them: "My masters, either I ask, or give you." To whom Periander answered, "Fair shepherdess, if it be jealousy, neither demand it nor give it: for in demanding you shall lose your credit, and in giving it, your merit. And if he which loveth you have any judgment, knowing your worthiness, he will love you: and if he have none, why would you have him love you?" "You have truly spoken," answered the shepherdess, and bidding them farewell, turned her back, and was quickly out of sight amongst the trees from whence she came, leaving the pilgrims in a marvel at her demand, readiness of wit and beauty. Many other things befell them in the way to Barcelona which are not worth the writing: save only that, in their passage, they saw the holy mountains of Montserrat, which they adored afar off, but would not ascend them, lest they should there stay too long. They came afterwards to Barcelona at such time as four Spanish galleys came upon the coast, which saluted the city with great ordnance and cast four skiffs into the water, whereof one was garnished with tapestry of Levant and scarlet cushions wherein came, as afterward appeared, a fair woman, of small age and richly attired, with an old lady and two waiting maids. An infinite number of people came out of Barcelona, according to their custom, as well to see the galleys as those that were aboard them; and the curiosity of our pilgrims made them come so near the skiffs that they might almost have taken the lady that came ashore by the hand; who, beholding them all and Constance especially, after she was come on land said unto her:

"Come hither, fair pilgrim, that I may carry you with me into the town; for I purpose to pay you a debt, whereof I believe you have small remembrance. And let your Camerados come also, for there cannot fall out here any occasion which should move you to leave so good company." "Yours," answered Constance, "as far as I perceive, is of such worth that it should be default of judgement not to accept thereof. Let us go whither you please, my companions will follow us, for they are not wont to leave me."

This lady took Constance by the hand, and having the company of divers knights that came forth to receive her and the principal men of the galleys, they walked to the city. All the way long Constance could not forbear looking upon this lady, and yet could not call to mind that ever she had seen her. She, and those that landed with her, were lodged in one of the chief houses of Barcelona, and it was not possible that she would suffer the pilgrims to go elsewhere: to whom upon the first occasion offered, she spake such like words:

"I will deliver you, my friends, from the admiration wherein you are, by reason of the special care you see me have to serve you, and tell you that my name is Ambroise Augustina. I was born in a city of Aragón, my brother is don Bernard Augustin, General of these galleys who are here arrived. Contarin of Arbolánchez, a knight of Alcantara, fell in love with me, unknown to my parents, and I, guided by the influence of my stars or, to say better, by my flexible condition, seeing I should lose nothing in loving him as my husband, I made him lord of my person and my thoughts. And the same day that I was espoused to him, he received a letter from his Majesty which commanded him to go immediately into the isle of Malta, where he believed that the Turk should land, and carry thither a regiment of Spanish footmen who might pass from Lombardy to Genes. Contarin executed this commandment with so great obedience that he would not gather the fruits of marriage before he put it in effect: and without making any reckoning of my tears, departed at the same instant wherein he received the letter. I thought the skies were fallen upon me and that my heart was between them and the earth, as between two presses. A few days passed, that adjoining imagination to imagination, and desire upon desire, I put one of them in practice: the accomplishment whereof, as it took away my honour for the time, it might as well have deprived me of my life. I absented myself from my house unknowing to everybody and, being apparelled like a servant, I got entertainment with a drummer of a company which then was in a village about eight leagues from mine. In few days I could strike a march as well as my master, and learned to be a drummer like him. Another company joined with ours, both which marched to Cartagena, to embark in these four galleys of my brother, with whom my purpose was to pass into Italy and seek my husband, whose good nature I hoped would not take my desire in evil part, nor find fault with my bold attempt: being so blinded with my passion that I perceived not the peril of being known, whereunto I exposed myself, in case I should take ship in my brother's galleys. But as there is no difficulty which amorous hearts find not easy, nor fear which they do not condemn, I passed over all things that withstood mine enterprise, vanquishing all sorts of inconveniences, and hoping even in my despair. But as the events of things make an alteration of the first intentions, mine, being as ill-devised as executed, brought me to such terms as you shall now hear.

"The soldiers of the companies, whereof I spake, had a cruel skirmish against the inhabitants of a place where they used husbandry, about their lodging; from whence a knight came forth, of whom the report went that he was an Earl, and was wounded to death. There came an Inquisitor from the Court who took the captains, the soldiers dispersed themselves, of whom he caught some, and me amongst the rest, who was no cause of the mischief. They were condemned to the galleys for two years, and I was wrapped up in the same condemnation with them. In vain I lamented my misfortune, seeing how contrary to my intent the designs which I had contrived had fallen out. I would have killed myself: but the fear of a worse life made the knife to fall out of my hand, and took the rope from my neck. I besmeared my face, and made myself as hard-favoured as I possibly could, shutting up myself in the waggon where they put us, intending to weep so much and eat so little that tears and hunger might effect that which the knife and rope were unable to do.

"We came to Cartagena, where the galleys were not yet arrived. They put us into the King's house, where we stayed with our keepers, expecting every hour the time of our misfortune. I know not, sirs, if you remember a chariot which you met right against a tavern, where this fair pilgrim (showing Constance) succoured a prisoner that was in a trance with a box of conserves."

"I remember it well," said Constance.

"Know then," said the lady, "that it was myself whom you succoured. From under the covering of the waggon I beheld you all, and admired you all: for your perfection cannot be looked upon without admiration. In the end the galleys arrived with a brigantine of Moors which they had taken by the way. The same day all the soldiers were put in chains and attired like Rovers, after they had first taken from them such apparel as they wore; a sad and grievous metamorphosis, but supportable, for the pain which endeth not the life, by custom is made easy to be suffered. When they came to take off my clothes, the master of the galley commanded my face to be washed, for I had not so much strength as to lift mine arms to my head. The barber who dressed all the slaves looked upon me, and said, 'I shall mar but a few razors with this beard. I know not wherefore they have sent this child hither, as if our galleys were of sugar and our oars of honey. What fault hast thou committed, thou thief, that deserveth this punishment? Without doubt I believe thy concealing of another's faults hath brought thee to this misery.' And converting his speech to the galley-master, he said unto him, 'Sir, I think you were best to leave this boy at the poop with a chain at his foot, to serve our General: for he is altogether unprofitable at the oar.'

"These words, the consideration of my hard chance, and grief to see myself brought into this extremity, so oppressed my heart that I fell in a swoon, and became as dead about four hours, during which time they applied unto me divers remedies to bring me again, and found (which I had felt with greater anguish, had I not lost my feeling) that they had gotten a woman instead of a man. I came again out of my trance: and the first object represented to mine eyes, were the faces of my brother and my husband, who held me in their arms. I know not at that hour why the shadow of death covered not mine eyes. I know not why my tongue cleaved not to the roof of my mouth: but I well know, that I knew not what I said, when my brother on the one side asked me, 'Oh sister, what apparel is this?' and that my husband on the other, demanded, 'Oh wife, what a change is here?' 'My sister, and your wife,' then said my brother to my husband. This news was no less strange unto me than the beholding of them in this estate. It is true, that so being, it should be a contentment which might recompense the displeasure which I had to see them in such a manner. Then, having recovered some part of my strength, I said unto him: 'Brother, I am Ambroise Augustina your sister, and I am also the wife of Señor Contarin of Arbolanchez. His worth, my good brother, and your absence gave him unto me for a husband, who yet left me without consummation of our marriage: and I being too unadvised and hardy, adventured to seek him out in this attire.' And then I told them all the history which you have understood: and my fortune, which now began to show herself more favourable, made me obtain at their hands both belief and pity. They told me how my spouse had been taken by the Moors with two shallops wherein he was embarked to sail to Genes, and that he had not recovered his liberty but the evening before, and that he had not seen my brother, but at the very time when they found me in a swoon. In these galleys was the lady which cometh with me, and her two nieces, for Italy, where her son hath the charge of the King's demesnes of Sicily. They attired me with those clothes which are hers: and they have this day set us a-land to refresh ourselves, and to the end their friends which they have in this city may be merry with them. If you go to Rome, I will cause my brother to carry you to the haven that is nearest unto the walls thereof. I will pay you for the box of conserves, in conducting you with me to my house, or to such other place whither you would go. And though I pass not into Italy, my brother will not fail to conduct you thither at my request.

Behold, my friends, the discourse which I had to make unto you: and if you think it hard to be believed, marvel not at all; though indeed the truth may be sick, yet it cannot die."

Here the fair Augustina concluded her speech: and there our pilgrims began to particularize the circumstances of her history, augmenting their admiration with the embracements which Constance and Auristela gave unto the fair Ambroise who, by her husband's consent, departed to her own house; because a woman how fair soever she be, serveth for nothing, but to be an impeachment of the wars.

This night the seas altered in such sort that the galleys were constrained to go far from the shore, which in those quarters is not safe to anchor in. The courteous Catalans, a terrible nation to such as molest them but kind unto such as are peaceable, who easily exchange their lives for honour, and to defend both life and honour surmount themselves, visited and feasted the Lady Augustina, and were thanked afterward by her brother and her husband.

Auristela, warned by so many experiences as she had made of the tempests of the sea, chose rather to pass by France than to embark in the galleys. Ambroise returned to Aragón, the galleys followed their voyage, and the pilgrims their journey, entering into France by Perpignan.

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Chapter XIII

Of the arrival of our pilgrims in France, and how they met with three fair ladies.

From Perpignan our pilgrims entered through Languedoc in Provence where, in an inn, they found three French ladies, of such surpassing beauty that they had borne away the garland, if Auristela had not been there. According to their apparel and attendants they seemed to be gentlewomen of quality, who seeing the pilgrims, no less admired the comely feature of Periander and Anthony than the beauty of Auristela and Constance. Approaching one to the other, and having saluted with French courtesy and Spanish ceremony, the French ladies in the Castilian language, asked who they were: for this tongue is common enough among the French that are most curious, and ordinarily make more account of strange things than of their own. And whilst they conferred together, Periander inquired of one of their followers, who they were, and whither they went; who answered in this manner:

"The Duke of Nemours, a brave and wise prince but friend to his pleasures, being newly come to his inheritance, is determined not to marry by another man's will but his own, though he have been offered great matches with increase of estate and wealth, and that herein he contradicteth the King's mind, saying that kings may well give wives to their subjects, but not an affection to receive them. In this fantasy, he hath sent divers of his servants into several places of France, to seek him out a wife, who should be no less famous in beauty than in birth, to the end he may espouse her without respecting her goods: for the dower of her nobility and beauty will content him. He hath understood the beauty of these ladies, whose names are Belarmina, Feliflore, and Deleasire; and sent me unto them, to the end I might see them and cause their pictures to be drawn by a famous painter who cometh in my company. They have also learned the Duke's intent and, as far forth as I can perceive, each of them wisheth the happiness to espouse him. Nevertheless, because you are here, I have determined to give a present unto my master which shall deface out of his thought all the beauties that any man can paint, in offering unto him the portrait of your pilgrim, the universal and only Lady of all human beauty. And if she be by birth as noble as she is fair, the servants of my master shall have in this respect no more to do, nor he ought else to desire. Tell me upon your faith whether she be married, how she is called, and the name of her parents."

Periander, trembling hereat, thus answered. "Her name is Auristela, her voyage is to Rome, she would never discover her parents. I can assure you she is of a free condition, but in such manner free, and such a mistress of her own affections, that she will not subject the same to any prince of the earth, for that she hath already vowed herself to the King of Heaven. And thus much I can well justify: for I am her brother, and know her most hidden and secret thoughts. Wherefore it would nothing avail you to paint her, unless to trouble your master's mind, if perhaps he should have a fantasy to desire her without respecting the baseness of our parents."

"Yet for all this," answered the other, "I will carry with me her portrait, though it were only for curiosity's sake, and to cause this new miracle of beauty to be spread over all France."

Hereupon they parted, Periander being desirous quickly to be gone out of that place lest he should give the painter any leisure to draw Auristela's picture.

Bartholomew hastily went to make ready his horse, grumbling against Periander because he was so urgent upon him. The Duke's man, seeing Periander preparing himself to go from thence, went to speak with him, and said: "Sir, I would willingly have entreated you to stay at the least one night in this place, to the end my painter had time to draw out your sister's face. But go in your good time, for he hath told me that, by seeing her once only, he hath so apprehended her in his imagination that he will draw her as well alone as if he should behold her every day." Periander in his mind cursed the capacity of the painter, yet gave not over his journey, taking leave of the three beautiful French ladies, who closely embraced Auristela and Constance, offering to bear them company to Rome, whither they also would go to purchase the benefit of the Jubilee, and if it so pleased them they might walk together.

Auristela gave them thanks in as courteous a manner as she possibly could, saying, that her will depended upon her brother's, and that neither she nor Constance could tarry with them, because their brothers were going. In this sort the pilgrims departed from the French women; and six days after they came to a place in Provence where that befell them which you shall see in another chapter.

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Chapter XIV

Of the misfortune that befell Periander and Anthony, who were near to have lost their lives in a memorable adventure.

Our pilgrims travelled six days through France, which is so well peopled, so thoroughly furnished with things necessary, and so delightful, that houses of pleasure are everywhere to be found, where the gentlemen reside commonly almost all the year, without having any care to dwell in the towns or cities. At the end whereof they came to one of these houses not far distant from the highway. It was about noon: the sun-beams fell upon the earth almost perpendicularly, and the shadow of a high tower allured them to stay under it during the heat of the day. Bartholomew unloaded his beast, and spreading a carpet on the ground, they sat round about it, satisfying their great hunger with such provision as they had been careful to bear with them. But they had scarcely eaten the first morsel when Bartholomew, casting his eyes aloft, presently ran away, crying that every one of them should withdraw themselves. They looked up towards heaven, and saw a shape fall, which was upon the ground hard by Periander's feet before they could discern what it might be. It was a very fair woman thrown down from the top of the tower, which fell to the ground upon her feet without any harm, being upholden by her clothes in the air, as it were by miracle. The leap nevertheless made her wholly astonished and terrified, as also those were who had done nothing else but only see her fall. And at the same time they heard another woman, who cried, "Help, help! This mad man will throw me down!" And they saw her having fast hold of a man, who strove to make her take such a skip as she had done that was below with the pilgrims: who, being a little come to herself, said unto them:

"Sirs, if there be any one of you that dares to go up aloft by the gate which is at the tower's foot, he shall save my children's lives, and other weak folks that are within."

Periander, urged by the nobleness of his courage, entered at the gate, and shortly after he was seen at the top of the tower, fast grappled with this man who appeared to be out of his wits, from whom he strove to clear himself, having taken a knife out of his hands. But fortune, which would finish this tragedy with a bloody and deadly act, ordained that they both should come to the earth, falling at the tower's foot, the mad man having his heart pierced with the knife which Periander had in his hand, and Periander shedding at his eyes and nose great abundance of blood; for having no large garments to uphold him, the blow took the effect, and left him for dead.

Auristela, seeing him in that case, believing undoubtedly that he was slain, cast herself upon him with her mouth close joined to his, to gather into herself some remainder of his soul, if any were yet left. Constance, yielding to passion, yielded not to motion in running to succour him, but abode fastened to the same place wherein she was when they fell, her feet sticking to the ground like roots or as if she had been an image of marble. Anthony her brother hastened to lift them up, and to separate the living from the dead. Bartholomew alone was he which testified his grief by tears.

They all being in this bitter affliction, and as yet not any tongue having published the inward grief, they saw a company of people that came unto them who, passing by the highway, had seen in the air those that fell, and came to see the end. These were the fair ladies of France, of whom we have before spoken: Deleasire, Belarmina and Feliflore. Immediately, they knew Auristela and Periander, whose beauties remained eternally imprinted in the imagination of all those which had once beheld them. And they had scarcely set foot on the ground to succour those whom they saw in this extremity, but that all of them together were assailed by seven or eight armed men, who caught hold of them at their backs. This assault made Anthony take in hand his bow and arrows, which he had always ready either for offence or defence. One of those that were armed, having taken Feliflore by the arm, and put her on his saddle-pommel before him, said to his companions: "This matter is dispatched. This woman here sufficeth me: let us return back again." Anthony, who never accepted of discourtesy for payment, laying all fear aside, set an arrow in his bow and, holding out his left arm as straight as he could, he drew the string with his fingers unto his ear, in such sort that both ends of the bow came almost together: and taking the ravisher of Feliflore for his white, he shot so right, that without touching the gentlewoman, save only a piece of the veil that covered her head, he pierced the body of him that carried her away, through and through. One of his companions ran to revenge him, and before Anthony had leisure to help himself once more with his bow, he gave him such a blow with a sword upon his head that he laid him along upon the earth, more like one dead than living. Which Constance seeing, she gave over to be an image, and ran to her brother. For parentage heateth the blood, which is wont to freeze in the greatest amity: and both the one and the other are tokens of unmeasurable affection.

By this time the armed men were come out of the house, and the servants of the three ladies, joining with them, put themselves in defence of their mistresses. The ravishers, perceiving their captain to be dead; considering that in respect of the number of those that were in rank against them, they could get nothing in this enterprise, and that it were folly to adventure their lives for him which had lost his own; they turned their backs, and forsook the field. Hitherto we have heard but few blows of the sword in this combat, and little noise of warlike instruments: the grief which the living are wont to suffer for the dead have not troubled the air, the tongues have laid up their complaints with silence. Only certain sighs and mournings issued from the hearts of Auristela and Constance, either of which held her brother in her arms, without ability to ease her grief with one only 'plaint. But in the end, heaven having unbound their tongues, Auristela began to complain in this sort.

"Alas, my brother! What a fall is this? Who hath cast so many hopes upon the earth? How cometh it to pass, that the greatness of your lineage hath not opposed itself against your misfortune? The lightnings fall on the highest mountains, and make the greatest overthrows where they find most resistance. You are a mountain, but a mountain of humility; which, under the shadows of your discretion, hide yourself from the world. You go searching your fortune in mine: but death hath stopped your pace, and is leading mine to the burial. How assured will the Queen your mother be hereof, when she shall hear news of your death! Alas! Unhappy that I am, above all those which have deserved this name, that am left alone in a strange country, like the ivy, which hath lost that which should uphold it."

These words, of queen, mountains and greatness, made all the standers-by attentive which heard her, and the admiration increased by the complaint of Constance, who had her wounded brother in her lap, labouring with Feliflore to staunch the blood of his hurt. "Alas," said she, "my brother! At how dear a rate doth fortune sell me the pleasures she did me these days past, by the loss of your life! Come again to yourself, my brother, if you will have me live! If not, grant, oh pitiful heavens, that one and the same destiny may shut up our eyes, and one and the same grave, our bodies."

With this last word she fell down in a trance, and no more nor less did Auristela, so that they seemed to be as much dead, or rather more than those that were hurt. The lady which fell from the tower, who was the principal occasion of Periander's fall, commanded her servants (who by this time were come out of the house) to carry him to the bed of the Earl Domicio her husband, commanding also that some of them should carry the same Domicio to his burial. Bartholomew took Anthony, his master, in his arms: Feliflore gave aid unto Constance: Belarmina and Deleasire, to Auristela; and so sorrowfully entered into the house.

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Chapter XV

Of the wounding of Anthony and Periander, and of their recovery, with other things worthy of note.

The reasons which the three French ladies gave to the two afflicted pilgrims, Auristela and Constance, were to small purpose, because fresh griefs cannot afford any room for comfort, and sorrows that come upon us unaware, admit no persuasion, though it be never so reasonable. Let us therefore leave them awhile to their weeping, whilst that the fair Claricia may relate unto us the cause of her husbands' folly, which, as she told the French ladies, came by this means: that before Domicio married her, he was in love with a kinswoman of his, who also loved him with an intent to be his wife: who, dissembling the injury she had received by his marriage, sent him from time to time a number of several presents, though fairer in show than of any great value. Among the which, she sent him shirts, as Deianira did to Hercules, whereof he had no sooner put on one but he lost his senses, and remained as a dead man above two days, though it were taken off from him immediately; upon an opinion that a slave of Lorena (so was this kinswoman called) was an enchantress, and that she had bewitched it. Indeed, he recovered life as soon as the shirt was taken from him: but with his wits so troubled, that he performed no action but like a fool, yea, as a cruel, furious and enraged fool, so that it was necessary to chain him up. And that this day he, having broken his chains and come up into this tower where she was, had cast her down out of the windows where, but for the favour of heaven which succoured her by means of her large garments, she had broke her neck. She told them also, how this pilgrim was gotten up into the same tower to deliver a damsel, which the fool would also have enforced to leap down: but the success was so unfortunate that the Earl and the pilgrim dashed themselves on the earth, the Earl being wounded with a deadly blow, and the pilgrim having a knife in his hand which it seemed he had taken away from the Earl.

In the meantime, Periander was in his bed without knowing anybody. The physicians had recourse to due remedies: they set, in their due place, the bones that were out of joint: they appointed him drinks fit for his evil: and feeling his pulses, they found he had some remembrance, principally of Auristela, to whom with a weak voice he only said, that he died in the Catholic faith, and in that which he had confirmed unto her by an oath, to love her unto death.

They staunched also Anthony's blood, and the surgeons having searched the wound, assured his sister that it was not mortal, and that by God's help he should be quickly healed, not forgetting after the Spanish custom to demand rewards for this good news: which Feliflore gave them, preventing Constance, who for all this forgot not also to give them gifts, nor they to receive them, because they would not be anything scrupulous.

The wounded persons were a month or more in the healing, without being forsaken by our French ladies. The amity was so great which they had contracted together, and the sweet content which they had found in the conversation of Auristela and Constance, and their two brothers, especially Feliflore, who could not depart from Anthony's bed's head, loving him, but yet with such an honest love that it extended no further than good will, and the obligation of a friendly office which she had received of him when his arrow delivered her from the hands of Robertin, who, as she told them, was a knight her neighbour, who had a long time sought to marry her. But having known him to be of a cruel, inconstant and fantastical disposition, as well by the report she heard bruited abroad as by the experience which herself had made, she would not consent to his demand. And she thought that, pricked forward by her disdains, he had followed her in the way, to carry her with him, and to do that with her by force which he could not obtain with good will; but that Anthony's shaft had stayed his wicked designs, which moved her to witness her thankfulness in this manner.

When those that were hurt were recovered, and that their strength was renewed, they revived their desires, at the least in this, to prosecute their journey; which also they put in effect, providing themselves of all necessaries. Neither would the French women relinquish the pilgrims, whom now they observed with admiration and respect, because by the words of Auristela's complaint they conceived that they must needs be great estates: for sometimes majesty covereth itself with lynsey-woolsey, and greatness is attired with humility.

In effect, they beheld them in perplexity. Their poor company made them to be esteemed, at their hands, but of mean birth: the lively and comely feature of their persons, and the beauty of their faces, advanced their quality to heaven; and so they went floating in the uncertainty of their belief. The French ladies would have them to go on horseback, because the fall of Periander would not as yet permit him firmly to walk afoot. Feliflore, obliged by the stroke Anthony had received for her sake, always walked by his side, speaking of Robertin's attempt, whom they left dead and buried; of the strange history of the Earl Domicio, whom his cousin's presents had bereaved of judgement and after of his life; and of the miraculous leap of his wife, more worthy to be admired than believed. They came to a river, difficult to pass over. Periander would have had them seek out the bridge, but his counsel was not followed. And as in a flock of sheep, that which goes before is followed by all the rest immediately; Belarmina no sooner entered into the water, but all the other went after her, Periander being always by Auristela's side, and Anthony by Feliflore and Constance. Fortune would, that the swift stream of the water dizzied the head of Feliflore in such sort, that she fell from her horse into the midst of the river; after whom Anthony cast himself immediately, with incredible nimbleness, and set her like another Europa on the sand at the further side of the river. Feliflore thanked him for this second service, and said unto him that he was very courteous for a Spaniard. Whereunto Anthony made answer, that if these courtesies did proceed from such dangers, he would somewhat esteem them: but the cause that bred them, killed in him the contentment which he should receive, and made them less pleasing than if they had proceeded from some other fountain.

Finally, having all passed the river, they went to lie that night in a house of the country used as an inn. That which happened to them whilst they were there, requireth a new style, and a new chapter.

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Chapter XVI

How our pilgrims met with Louise, the Polonian's wife, and of other accidents worthy of this history.

The first person that Constance met withal was a young woman of good countenance, who might be about the age of two and twenty years, attired very handsomely after the Spanish fashion who, approaching unto Constance, said unto her in the Castilian tongue:

"Praised be God, Who maketh me see people of my country! At the least I shall hear spoken Vuestra merced."

"By these words, then, you are a Spaniard," answered Constance.

"And what if I be?" said she again; "indeed I am so, and of the best land in Castile."

"And of what?" replied Constance.

"Of Talavera de la Reyna," answered she.

She had scarcely spoken this word, but it fell into the mind of Constance that this must be the wife of Banedre the Polonian, who had been prisoner at Madrid, where her husband had left her at the persuasions of Periander; and discoursing in her imagination in a moment an infinite number of things which succeeded according to her thought, she took her by the hand, and brought her into the room where Auristela was; whom taking aside with Periander, she said unto them:

"You doubt whether my science of divination be true or false, which cannot be confirmed in speaking of things to come, which God only knoweth; and if any other light upon them, it is either by haphazard, or by experience in other like cases. But if I tell you matters past, which never came, nor could come to my knowledge: what will you say? Will you see the trial? This fair woman here in your presence is of Talavera, who was married to a Polonian, whose name (if I be not deceived) is Ortil Banedre, whom she offended by some light behaviour with a young man, keeping at an inn, right over-against her house; and induced by youth and her inconstant mind ran away with him to Madrid, where they were both prisoners, and where I believe she hath undergone many troubles, before her coming hither, which I desire that she herself should relate unto us. For though I divine thereof also, she will tell them with more particularities, and in better fashion."

"Oh good God," said the young woman, "who is this pilgrim that hath read my thoughts so well? Who is this divineress, that so perfectly knoweth the infamous history of my life? It is true that I am this adulteress, this prisoner of whom you speak, condemned only to be banished for ten years, because there was none to follow the matter against me. I am at this present with a Spanish soldier, eating my bread with sorrow, and leading such a life that every minute I wish for death. My first love died in prison: this man, whose name I know not, succoured me whilst I was in hold, got me from thence, and now leads me about in the world at his pleasure and to my grief: for I am not so ignorant but I well understand what danger my soul incurreth by living thus like a vagabond. For God's sake, sirs, I pray you, because you are Spaniards, because you are Christians and honest people of good calling, as I learn by your outward appearance: deliver me from this soldier's hands, and I shall be as much bound unto you as if you had freed me from a lion's paws."

Auristela and Periander much marvelled at the prudent discretion of Constance, which they seconded with their own, as being moved to favour this young woman with all their power. She told them that the Spanish soldier did not always keep her company but went a day's journey before or behind, that the officers of Justice might not discover them. "All this falls out well," said Periander, "we will find means to content your desire; and she that was so well able to divine of your life past, well knoweth how to fit your turn in things to come. Go not from us: for courage and beauty are the greatest enemies you can have in a strange country."

The young woman wept; Auristela and Constance, mollified with her tears, wept for company, which obliged Periander quickly to find some means to get her thence.

Whilst they were in these terms, Bartholomew came and said unto them:

"My masters, come and see the strangest sight that ever you saw."

He spake this as one put in a fear, that they all followed him, thinking to go and see some great marvel: and in a place apart, not far from that where they were, they saw a chamber all covered with black, the darkness whereof would not suffer them particularly to discern what was there. And as they viewed it, there came forth an old man attired in mourning apparel, who said unto them:

"Gentlemen, if you desire to see my Lady Ruperta, I will help you to a sight of her within these two hours, and she shall not see you: which will give you cause to admire her perfection."

"Sir," answered Periander, "this servant whom we have here, brought us hither to see a marvel, and hitherto we have seen nothing but a chamber hanged with black in token of sorrow, whereat we nothing marvel."

"If you come again at the hour I have told you," answered the old man, "you shall find whereat to marvel: for you must know that, in this chamber, is lodged the Lady whom I have named, which not a year since was married with the Earl Lambert, a Scotsman: a marriage that cost her husband's life, and hath brought the woman to such terms, that every step she goeth, she is in danger to lose her own. The cause whereof is that Claudius Rubicon of Scotland, of an amorous behaviour but proud by reason of his wealth, was in love with my Lady whilst she was a maid: who though she hated him not, yet at the least she despised him, as was proved by her marrying of the Earl my master. Rubicon judged the speedy resolution of my mistress an undermining of his honour, as though Ruperta had no parents to command her, nor express obligations, which had in a manner constrained her. Besides, her age was more answerable to the Earl's than that of Rubicon, who was now old, and had a son about twenty years old: a brave gentleman, and better conditioned than his father. It then so happened that my Lady Ruperta, being gone one day to walk with her husband to their house in the country, we met, at a time, Rubicon well accompanied, when we least thought upon it. He saw my Lady; and her looks awaked in him the remembrance of such wrong as he supposed she had done him, so that wrath was engendered where love had been, with a desire to work her some displeasure. And as the revengements of those that have loved well surmount the offences which they have received, Rubicon, full of despite, impatience and hardiness, set his hand to his sword and ran at the innocent Earl who, knowing nothing of his anger, had no leisure to prevent the damage which he feared not; and thrusting his sword through his body, said unto him: 'Thou shalt pay that thou owest me! And if this be a cruelty, that which thy wife useth towards me is greater; for her disdains have made me die, not once alone, but a hundred thousand times'.

"I was present when this was done, I heard the words, saw the blow with mine eyes, touched the wound with my hands, and gave ear to the complaints of my mistress, which pierced the very heavens. We went to bury the Earl: and before he was laid in his tomb, my Lady appointed his head to be cut off. And when nothing was left but the bones, she caused it to be put in a little chest of silver, whereon laying her hand, she took this oath. But I had forgotten to tell you that Rubicon, either through negligence or cruelty or, it may be, troubled with horror of this bloody murder, had left his sword in my master's body, whereon the blood yet to this day showeth very fresh. I say then that she spake these words: 'I, unhappy Ruperta, to whom the heavens have given the name of fair, make a vow to the same heavens, laying my hands on these sorrowful relics, to revenge my husband's death with all my power and industry, though I should thereby a thousand times hazard this wretched life, without being astonished by any pains, or that any prayers shall be wanting unto those who are able to favour me. And until I have executed my desire of this, if not Christian, yet just vengeance, I swear that my apparel shall be always black, my chambers mournful, my linen sad and solitariness itself my company. These relics shall be present at my table, to the end they may torment me; that this head without a tongue may bid me revenge his death; and that the blood upon this sword may trouble mine, and not let me rest until I be revenged.' Having so said, it seemed that her continual tears were somewhat moderated and some intermission given to her sighings. She is now in the way to Rome, to crave succours of the princes of Italy against the murderer of her husband, who threateneth, and yet is afraid of her, knowing well that a gnat may hurt more than an eagle can benefit. You may see her within these two hours, as I have already told you; and if she do not make you marvel, either I know not myself to be here, or your heart must be of marble."

Thus the old Esquire ended his discourse and the pilgrims, without seeing Ruperta, began to wonder at her resolution.

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Chapter XVII

The marriage of the fair Ruperta and Crorianus, which is accomplished by a rare and strange adventure.

Anger, as some have said, is a turning about of the blood next the heart, which is troubled by sight of the object that hath offended a man; and reviving the same in the memory, aimeth at revenge for the last end, contenting him that taketh it, whether it be agreeable or contrary to reason. Hereof the fair Ruperta is an evident instance, who was so outrageously injured, and so furiously passionated with desire to be avenged of her enemy, that albeit she knew he was already dead, yet she extended her choler upon all his progeny; neither would she leave so much as one of them alive, if her power had been answerable to her will: for the wrath of a woman is not limited by any bounds.

All of them were there when the hour came wherein they should see her, and without being by her perceived they found her exceedingly fair, attired with large mourning habits, and sitting at a table wherein was her husband's head in a silver charger, the sword which killed him, and a shirt yet bloody. All these sorrowful tokens awaked her anger, which had no need to be waked, because it never slept. She rose up on her feet, and laying her right hand on her husband's head, she began to reiterate the vow which the Squire had told them of, adjoining her accustomed oath with words more aggravating the same. Tears and fire issued from her eyes, and sighs and smoke from her mouth: sometimes she brandished the murdering sword, and sometimes kissed the bloody shirt. Her sobs interrupted her words, and her passions estranged her from herself. She was in the midst of the pity of grief, and as it were at the gates of her pleasure (for those which threaten, content themselves in threatening) when one of her servants came unto her, like a black shadow, so much he was laden with mourning apparel, who said unto her:

"Madam, your enemy's son is come hither with certain of his men. Consider, if it please you, whether we shall tell him that you are here, or that you are not here at all."

"Neither the one nor the other," answered Ruperta, "but give my men sufficient instructions, that they name me not unawares, nor discover me upon set purpose." And saying this, she took away the tokens of remembrance, commanding the chamber to be shut, and that none should speak with her.

The pilgrims returned; she remained pensive alone, muttering such like words:

"See, Ruperta, how the pitiful heavens have brought into thy hands, like a simple beast to the sacrifice, the soul of thine enemy; for sons, especially having no more but one, are parts of their father's soul. Up, Ruperta! Forget thyself to be a woman, or at the least remember that thou art a woman injured. Thy husband's blood cryeth after thee; his head cometh unto thee, saying, 'Vengeance, my dear wife! For they have slain me that never offended them.' The pride of Holofernes astonished not the humility of Judith. It is true, her cause and mine were different: she punished God's enemy, and I will punish a man whom I know not if he be mine or not. The love of her country put the sword into her hands, and I take it for love of my spouse. But wherefore make I these extravagant comparisons? What should I do else, but shut mine eyes, and thrust the weapon of the murdering father into his son's body? Whether he be guiltless or not, my vengeance shall be the greater by how much his fault is the less. I shall purchase the name of being revenged, whatsoever can happen. The desires which one would accomplish are not stayed upon inconveniences, though mortal: let me bring mine to effect, though the issue do cost me my life."

Having said this, she found means to shut herself in the chamber of Crorianus, who was the son of Rubicon; whereinto one of his servants, corrupted by gifts, gave her easy entrance, believing nevertheless to do his master good service in bringing to his bed so fair a woman as Ruperta who, being placed where she could not be seen, and commending herself to the guidance of heaven, with wonderful silence, attended her contentment which she placed in the death of Crorianus. She carried a sharp-pointed knife for the instrument of her cruel sacrifice, which she thought fitter for her design than any other kind of weapons. She bare also a dark lantern, wherein burned a wax candle: and waiting for the time of execution, she so held her wind that she scarcely durst breathe into the air. What will not an angry woman effect? What mountains of difficulties will not her designs make level? And what extraordinary cruelties seem not sweet unto her?

In the end the hour came, Crorianus went to bed, and by travail of his journey fell asleep, yielding himself to rest without any suspicion of death. Ruperta gave attentive ear if she could understand that he slept, and as well by the time that he had been laid since he went to bed until then, as also by some sighs which none make but in sleeping, she was assured that he was asleep. In this assurance she opened the lantern, whereby the chamber was light, and she looked where to set her feet, that she might go to the bed without stumbling. Fair and pleasing murderess, execute your anger, satisfy your vengeance, extinguish and take from the world the enemy whom you have before you, seeing you are able to do it. But beware, oh fair, that you look not upon this fair Cupid whom you go to discover: for in a moment he will defeat all the frame and building of your thoughts. She came near; and with a trembling hand uncovered the face of Crorianus, who slept soundly; and found in him the property of Medusa, which converteth into marble. She found so much beauty, as was able to make the knife fall out of her hand, and enforced her to give place unto the consideration what a horrible crime she was about to commit. She saw that the beauty of Crorianus put to flight the shadows of death which she would give him, as the sun chaseth away the mists before his beams: and instead of the bloody sacrifice which she purposed to make of his heart, she made unto him a burnt offering of her own. "Alas!" said she, "generous knight! How much better shouldst thou be my husband than the object of my vengeance? Wherein art thou culpable of thy father's deed? And what punishment may be given to him that is not faulty? Cheer up thy self and be merry, noble knight; let vengeance and cruelty remain shut up in my heart: for when it shall be known, I shall get a better name in being pitiful, than in being thirsty of revenge."

And in saying this, wholly repenting, wholly troubled, the lantern fell out of her hand upon Crorianus his breast; who awaked, feeling the heat of the wax candle which was then put out. Ruperta, finding herself in this darkness in the chamber, would have got forth, but knew not how to find the door. Crorianus called his men, took hold of his sword, leaped out of his bed and, walking up and down the chamber, jostled against Ruperta: who, trembling, said unto him;

"Kill me not, Crorianus, albeit I am a woman who not an hour ago would have slain thee, and could have done it. Yet now thou seest me in terms to pray thee, that thou wouldst not take away my life."

With that, his servants came in and brought lights, and Crorianus saw and knew this fair widow, as one should behold the bright moon environed with white clouds. "What meaneth this, Madam?" said he unto her. "Are these the paths of vengeance which have brought you hither? Will you have me to make amends for the outrages which my father hath done you? What shall I say of the knife which I see? What sign is this, but that you came hither to have my life? My father is dead: and the dead cannot give satisfaction for the wrongs they have done. Those that are alive may make a recompense: and I, that now represent the person of my father, will recompense you for the offence he hath done you, in the best sort that I can. But first of all let me touch you: for I will see if you be a ghost that are come hither to kill me, or deceive me, or better mine estate."

"Let mine be worse, if heaven find any means to impair it, if I came not the last day into this inn without any remembrance of thee. Thou camest hither afterward; I saw not thy coming in but I heard thy name, which awaked my choler and stirred me up to revenge. I agreed with one of thy servants, that he should shut me this night in this chamber; and stopping his mouth with some gift, have brought to pass that he spake not a word. I came in with this knife, augmented the desire I had to kill thee, issued from the place where I was; and by the brightness of the lantern which I bore, I uncovered thy face: which so changed my affections, that goodwill sprung up there where hatred was: the knife turned again in my hand: my desire of revenge vanished: I let fall the lantern, the fire thereof awaked thee: thou didst cry out: I was in a confusion; from whence came that which thou hast seen. I will have no more mind of vengeance, nor ever think upon the wrong done unto me. Live in peace: for I will be the first that shall render good deeds for injuries, if it be well done to forgive thee that which thou hast not committed."

"Madam," answered Crorianus, "my father would have married you, but you would not. Despite made him kill your husband: they are both dead, and I am left for your service if you please. In stead of my death which you have desired, I offer you my life; and beseech you to receive me for your husband, if peradventure you be not some spirit that beguile me: for great fortunes which come unlooked for, bring always with them some suspicion."

"Give me this hand," answered Ruperta, "and you shall see, sir, that this body is not fantastical, and that the soul which I give you is pure, simple, and veritable."

The servants of Crorianus were witnesses of these embracements and hands interchangeably given in marriage. Sweet peace this night triumphed over this cruel war, the field of battle was turned into a marriage-bed, peace was bred of anger, life of death and contentment of displeasure. The day came, and found the married couple one in another's arms. The pilgrims rose, with desire to know what the sorrowful Ruperta had effected upon the coming of her enemies, in part whereof they were already informed. The report of this new marriage came to their hearing, and they went to the chamber of this late-married couple, to wish them prosperity of their marriage. As they entered into the chamber, they saw issuing out of Ruperta's the ancient Squire who had related her story unto them, bearing the charger wherein was her first husband's head, with the shirt and sword which so oft times had renewed Ruperta's tears. He told them, that he carried them into some place where they might not trouble the present rejoicing by remembrance of misfortunes passed. He murmured at the facility of Ruperta, and of all women in general: and the least imputation he laid upon them, was, to call them variable and fantastical. The married persons arose before the pilgrims came in: the servants both of Ruperta and Crorianus made merry together: and this inn was converted into a royal palace worthy of so high a wedding.

In the end, Periander and Auristela, Constance and Anthony, discoursed with the bridegroom and his wife, and told them part of their lives, at the least so much thereof as ought to be spoken.

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Chapter XVIII

Of the coming of the Hermit Soldin, and how those in the inn welcomed him.

They were in these terms when, at the gate of the inn, there entered a man who by his long and white beard appeared to be more than fourscore years of age. He was not attired like a pilgrim, nor as a religious person, though he resembled both the one and the other. He had his head uncovered, shaven and bald in the midst, and on either side hung down his long white hairs. He sustained his crooked body upon a writhen sheep-hook which served him for a staff. In effect, he showed in all respects to be a reverend old man, at whose feet the mistress of the inn kneeling, as soon as she saw him, said thus unto him:

"Father, I will account this day amongst the happiest of my life, since I have deserved to see you in my house; for you never come hither but for my profit." And turning towards the standers-by, she proceeded, saying: "Gentlemen, this mountain of snow, and this image of white marble which here you see moving, is the famous Soldin; whose renown is extended not only through France, but through all parts of the earth."

"Soft and fair, mistress," answered the old man; "praise me not so much, for good renown is many times engendered by lying. It is not the coming in, but the going out, which makes men happy: and virtue which hath vice for her end, is rather vice than virtue. Nevertheless, I will confirm the good opinion which you have of me, by an advice I will now give you: which is, to look to your house, because that from this marriage and rejoicing, a fire shall be kindled which will consume it almost every whit."

Whereupon Crorianus said to his wife, "Without doubt this man should be a magician or diviner, seeing he foretelleth things to come."

The old man overheard this word, and answered: "I am neither magician nor diviner, but have knowledge in the judicials: which science, well understood, teacheth as it were to divine. And, my masters, believe me for this once: if you please, leave this house, and come into mine in the wood hard by where, though you be not so commodiously lodged, you shall be at the least in better assurance."

He had not yet ended his speech ere Bartholomew entered into the chamber, crying, "Sirs, the kitchen is on a flame, because the fire hath taken hold of the provision of wood which was there next adjoining; in such sort that all the water in the sea will not quench it." This voice was followed by the like of other servants in the inn, and confirmed by noise and cracking of the fire which they heard even at the place where they were. This so evident a truth making Soldin's words to be credited, Periander said unto him (in taking Auristela in his arms, before he tried if the fire might be quenched or not): "Sir, lead us into your house: for the danger of this here, is too manifest." Anthony did the like with his sister Constance and Feliflore, whom Deleasire and Belarmina followed. The young woman of Talavera took hold of Bartholomew's girdle, and he of his mule's halter: and all together with the married couple and the hostess, who knew the prophecies of Soldin were not false, went with him. The other which remained at the inn, endeavoured to quench the fire; but the rage thereof made them quickly see that they laboured in vain. The house burnt all that day: and if the fire had surprised them in the night, it had been a miracle if any one of them had escaped.

They came at last to the wood, where they found an hermitage; and within the same, a door, which seemed to be the entrance of a cave. Before they came into the hermitage, Soldin said to all those which followed him: "Sirs, these trees which you see, with their delightful shades shall serve you instead of covering, and the sweet grass of this meadow for your bedding. I'll lead these gentlemen into my cave, because it is necessary so to do, and not because they shall be better lodged." And immediately he called Periander, Auristela, Constance, the three French ladies, Ruperta, Anthony, and Crorianus, and (leaving the other without) shut himself with them in his cave. Bartholomew, and Louise of Talavera, seeing that they were not of the number of those whom Soldin had called, either for despite, or moved by their flitting humour, agreed both together, one to forsake his masters; and the other, the ladies unto whom she had testified so much repentance; wherefore they lightened the pack of two pilgrims' habits; and Louise a-horseback and the gallant a-foot, made their escape as they had laid their plot.

It hath been said before that all actions, whether they be probable or not, ought to be related in an history, because the history must not be found but to speak the truth, whether it appear to be such or otherwise. Upon this ground the author hereof saith, that Soldin went down with all these ladies and knights by the stairs of this dark cave, and that in less than four-score paces the heaven appeared clear and bright, and they entered into a pleasant meadow, which contented the eyes and rejoiced the most afflicted minds. And Soldin placing himself in the midst of the company, said unto them:

"Sirs, this is no enchantment, and this cave serveth only for a way to come up afterward unto this valley which, a league from this place, hath another more easy and pleasant entrance. I have built this hermitage, and with mine arms and continual travail have made this cave and gotten this valley to mine own behove, the fruits whereof nourish me abundantly. Here, eschewing war, I have found peace, far from great men and the world whom I served. Here I see no Master to command me, nor Lady to disdain me, nor servant to displease me: here I am servant and master of myself: and employing my soul in contemplation for which she was created, I bend my desires and thoughts directly unto heaven. Here I have gotten perfection in study of the mathematics, observed the course of the stars and the motion of the sun and moon. To conclude, here I have found things to make me glad, and others to afflict me which, although they be yet to come, are nevertheless certain and veritable. And by only experience, which I have gotten only by time and solitariness, I say unto thee Crorianus (and seeing I know thy name before I ever saw thee, thou oughtest to believe that I understand well what I speak unto thee) that thou shalt enjoy thy Ruperta many years. And thou, Periander, I promise unto thee a good success of thy pilgrimage, assuring thee that Auristela shall not long continue thy sister; not that she shall soon die upon this occasion. Thou, Constance, shalt arise from the title of Countess to the estate of a Duchess, and thy brother Anthony shall be advanced to such a degree as his valour doth deserve. These French ladies, albeit they attain not to the end of their desires at this present, shall compass others, whereby at one and the same time they shall be honoured and contented. The experience which you have made of my words, having foretold you the firing of your inn, and knowing your names before I had seen you, or any other given me information, should oblige you to believe me: and the rather when you shall find that Bartholomew your servant, and the young Castilian of Talavera, are gone away with the baggage and left you afoot.

Follow them not, for you shall not overtake them; Louise is more appertaining to earth than heaven, and will sooner follow her own inclination than your counsel. I am a Spaniard, which obligeth me to be courteous and veritable. In courtesy I offer unto you all that these meadows afford me; and with truth, the experience of all such things as I have told you. And if you marvel to see a Spaniard in a strange land, know this, that there are places in the world more healthful for one than another; and this here fitteth my turn above all others in the earth. The houses, granges and villages round about are all Catholic; I receive the sacraments with them, and seek what the fields yield for sustenance of my life, whereby I think to go to the immortal bliss of him that is eternal. Let us return aloft to refresh our bodies, as below we have contented our souls."

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Chapter XIX

How the pilgrims took their leave of Soldin; and of the return of Bartholomew, which had fled away with the baggage.

The dinner was made ready with small expenses, which was no great novelty for the pilgrims, who then called to mind the barbarous isle, and that of the hermits where Rutilio abode; at which places they did eat the like fruits, and almost had the like diet. They also remembered the false prophecy of the islanders, the predictions of Maurice and Charife the Moor which, joined with those of Soldin, they thought they were compassed round with divinations, and drenched to their very souls in judicial astrology.

The dinner was short and sober, after which Soldin accompanied them to the gate, where they found that Bartholomew and the young Castilian were gone with their provision of necessaries, the want whereof put them all in great care: for with their furniture, they had also carried away their money. Anthony was vexed more than they all, and would have followed them; but Soldin told him that he should not put himself to that pains, for that Bartholomew, repenting his theft, would return the next morning and bring back that which he had carried away. Moreover, Feliflore offered to lend him whatsoever he should need for expenses, both for himself and his company, till they came to Rome.

Whilst they were in these terms, they saw pass before them eight men on horseback, amongst whom was a woman sitting on a mule, attired in clothes of field green, even to her hat, upon which waved a plume of divers rich feathers, having also a scarf of green taffeta before her face. They passed before the pilgrims and saluted them only with bowing the head, and spake not a word, and were saluted with the like. But one of their company, being behind, asked of the same pilgrims, as he passed by, a little water; which they gave him, and demanded of him who those were that went before, and the gentlewoman whom they carried with them. Hereunto the passenger answered:

"He which goes before is the Lord Alexander Castrucio, a gentlemen of Capua, and one of the richest men of Italy. She whom he conducteth is Isabel Castrucio his niece, who was born in Spain, where her father lately died. Her uncle now is conveying her to Capua to be married, whereof in mine opinion she is not well content."

"It is not then because she goeth to be married," said the squire of Ruperta, "but because the journey is long; for I believe there is no woman but is well content with such a matter."

"I refer myself herein," said the passenger, "to her that is so affected: but I know well that this woman goes in great sadness, and the cause thereof, she ought best to know. But farewell, because they are already a good way off." And pricking after, he left the pilgrims with Soldin, from whom being departed, they resolved to go out of France by Dauphiné; and in going through Piedmont, and the estate of Milan, to come to Florence and from thence to Rome. Following then this way, with purpose to make somewhat longer journeys, the next day betimes in the morning, they saw the fugitive Bartholomew coming towards them, bringing with him his beast charged with the stuff, and he himself apparelled like a pilgrim. All of them shouted out when they saw him, asking the cause of his running away, his habit, and of his return. Whereunto, kneeling before Constance, and weeping, he answered thus:

"I know not how I came to run from you. My habit, you see, is a pilgrim's, and my return is to restore that which I bore away. The stuff is all whole, except two pilgrims' habits, whereof I bear one, and the other hath made the wench of Talavera to be a pilgrim. And the devil take love and the villain which taught it me: and that which is worse, I detest and shun her; for I have not any forces which do not oppose themselves against those of her pleasure. Dismiss me if you please, and suffer me to return, for Louise stays for me. And know that I return without a penny in my purse, trusting in the good grace of my mistress more than in the nimbleness of my hands, which were never addicted to thievery."

Periander gave him many reasons to hinder his wicked purpose: Auristela used many, so also did Constance and Anthony: but this was to preach to the wilderness and to waste their speech to the wind. Bartholomew wiped the tears from his eyes, left the provision and, showing them his back, left them all in marvel at his love and simplicity. Anthony, seeing him depart as fast as he could run, put an arrow in his bow, which he never drew in vain, with purpose to stop him, and with one blow to heal him of his love and of his folly. But Feliflore impeached him, saying that he had punishment enough, to follow a foolish woman. "You say true, Madam," answered Anthony, "and seeing you give him his life, who shall he be that can take it from him?" Finally, they travelled many days without any adventure worthy to be recited.

They entered into Milan, admired the greatness of the city, her wealth and her tradesmen, the abundance of her fruits, the greatness of her temples and industry of her inhabitants. They heard one tell their host that there was a disputation in the University that day, to know whether love might be without jealousy. "It may," said Periander, "and to prove this verity, we need spend no great time."

"I know not what this love is," said Auristela, "but yet I know what it is to love well."

"I understand not this manner of speech," said Belarmina, "nor the difference you make between love, and loving well."

"To love well," answered Auristela, "may be without a vehement cause, which moveth the will: as a servant may be loved which serveth well; an image or painting which liketh you, which will never cause you to be jealous. But love is a vehement passion of the mind, as I have heard say, which may minister, if not jealousy, yet at the least, fear, yea such as may procure death; from which I think that love cannot be exempted."

"Sister," said Periander, "you have spoken much, and yet very well, because there is no lover in possession of that which he loveth, who feareth not to lose it. There is no prosperity so great, which is not subject to some overthrow, nor any nail so strong which can stay the wheel of Fortune. And if the desire which urgeth us to conclude our voyage were not a let unto me, it may be I would make you see this day, in the Academy, that love may be without jealousy but not without fear."

They abode four days at Milan: which being past, they went to Lucca, a small town but fair which, under the protection of the Empire and Spain, conserveth her liberty. There the Spaniards are better entertained than in any place of the world: the cause whereof is this, that they command not there, but entreat; and because they tarry not there above a day, they give no leisure to the inhabitants to know their natural disposition, which everywhere is esteemed arrogant. There one of the strangest adventures happened unto our passngers, of all that have been declared in the process of this book.

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Chapter XX

The history of Isabell Castrucio, who fained herself to be possessed.

The inns of Lucca are able to lodge a company of soldiers, in one of which our passengers lodged, being conducted by the warders of the gate, who delivered them to the host by tale, to the end he might deliver them again unto them in like manner in the morning when they should depart. At the gate, Ruperta saw a physician who talked to the mistress of the inn, saying unto her:

"I am not yet certain whether this maid be out of her wits, or possessed with an evil spirit; and lest I should fail, I believe she is both. But yet I have hope she shall recover her health, so that her uncle do not hasten to depart from this place."

"Jesus," then said Ruperta, "are we come hither to alight at the lodging of demoniacs?" Unto whom the hostess answered, "You may come in without scrupulosity, Madam: and if you knew what is within, you would come hither a hundred leagues." Then they all alighted, and Auristela and Constance, which had heard the words of the hostess, asked her what it was that might be seen in this house, to induce them to come so far? "Come with me," answered the hostess, "and you shall see as much as I tell you." And in so saying, she brought them into a chamber where they saw, on a bed, a very fair maid, seeming to be sixteen or seventeen years of age. She had her arms tied to the posts at the bed's head, and two women looked for her legs to fasten them in like manner, to whom the sick woman said that it was sufficient to tie her arms. And turning to the pilgrims, "Figures of heaven!" said she, "Angels of flesh! Without doubt, I believe you are come to restore me to health, for other thing cannot be hoped for from so fair a company and so Christian a visitation. I conjure you, by your beauty, cause me to be loosed; for with four or five bites which I will give myself on my arm, I shall be satisfied: because I am not so mad as I seem to be; and he that tormenteth me, is not so cruel but he will suffer me to bite myself."

"My poor niece," said an old man who was come into the chamber, "and who is he that tormenteth thee, and whom thou sayest will permit thee to bite thy self? Commend thyself to God, Isabel: and strive to eat, not thy own flesh, but that which thy uncle will give thee, who loves thee so dearly that, that which liveth in the air, that which is maintained in the water, and that which is nourished in the earth, I will give thee; for I have both means and will." Whereto the maid answered: "Leave me alone with these angels. It may be the enemy the devil will fly from me, because he will not be with them." And making a sign with her head that Auristela, Constance, Feliflore and Ruperta should remain, all the others withdrew themselves at the old man's request, of whom they knew that this maid was the damsel clothed in green whom they found at their coming forth of the cave of the wise Soldin, whom the servant that had stayed behind had told them her name to be Isabell Castrucio; and had said that they went to marry her at Naples.

When she saw herself shut in, she prayed them to look if there were any one besides the four which she had chosen; and after they had assured her that there was no person else, she sat up in her bed and, making a sign that she would speak, her voice was interrupted with so great a sigh that it seemed her soul should therewith have been plucked away: the end whereof was, to lie down again in her bed, and continue in a sound with so many signs of death that the ladies whom she kept with her were constrained to call for water, to bathe Isabell's face who was ready to give up the ghost. The miserable uncle came again into the chamber, carrying in one hand a cross and in the other, a bunch of hissop dipped in holy-water. With him came in two priests who, believing that the devil possessed her, did go from her but seldom. The hostess also came in with water, which they threw upon her face. She came again to herself, and said unto them:

"These preparations are now altogether unprofitable. I will quickly come forth, not when you please, but when I will; which shall be at the coming of Andrew Marullus, the son of Baptist Marullus, who is now a student at Salamanca."

Upon these words, all of them were fully confirmed in the opinion which they had, that Isabell was possessed of a devil: for they could not imagine how she knew who was John Baptist, nor his son Andrew; and some went to tell him what the fair demoniac spake of his son. Again she prayed them to leave her alone with the four above-said. The priests, having said the Gospels, went forth with all the rest and Feliflore, having searched the chamber again, and shut the door, said unto her that she should tell what she would have. "That which I would have," said she, "is that you take away these bonds from me, which hinder and put me to pain." Which done, she sat up in her bed: and taking Auristela with one hand, and Ruperta with the other, she made Constance and Feliflore to sit down on the same bed next unto them; and with a low voice, and her eyes full of tears, spake unto them in this manner:

"Ladies, I am the unhappy Isabell Castrucio, to whom my parents gave nobility; fortune, riches; and heaven, beauty, though it be but little. My parents were born in Capua but they got me in Spain, where I was born and brought up in the house of this mine uncle here being, who then abode at the Emperor's Court. Oh God! wherefore do I fetch so far off the stream of my adventures? Being then in mine uncle's house, and left an orphan by my parents under this man's tuition, there came to the Court a young man, whom I saw in a church; and I marked him in such sort that I could not be at home in the house but I beheld him: for his favour and comely proportion were so well engraven in my soul, that I could not put them out of my remembrance.

"Finally, I wanted not means to know his name, his birth, his business at the court and the cause of his coming. And that which I had learned, was, that his name was Andrew Marullus, the son of Baptiste Marullus, a knight of this city, more noble than rich; and that he went to study at Salamanca. Now, in six days that he stayed there, I gave him to understand who I was, what riches I had; and as concerning my beauty, he might see it at the church. I wrote also, that my uncle would marry me with my cousin; to the end my goods might remain in our family (a man, as indeed the truth is, unfitting to my birth and humour) telling him that occasion in me offered unto him her hairy forehead; whereof he should lay hold without giving place to repentance, and that my facility should not give him any subject to despise me. After he had seen me I know not how often in the Church, he answered me, that for my only person, without the ornaments of nobility and riches, he would make me Lady of the world if he could: and he besought me to continue firm in this resolution, until he had brought to Salamanca a friend of his, of this town; with whom he was going to follow his studies. I promised him so to do: for that my love is none of these violent affections, which are soon engendered, and quickly die. He left me for that time, because he would not disappoint his friend: and with tears, which I saw him shed in passing by the street the day that he went thence, he departed without leaving me, and I followed him without parting from my house.

"The next morning - who can believe this, that misfortunes have snares so quickly to entangle such as are unhappy? - the next morning, I say, my uncle concluded upon his return into Italy; neither did it avail me to any purpose to fain myself sick, because my pulses and colour declared that I was in health and my uncle would not believe my fained infirmity but rather, in truth, that my being discontented at the marriage, made me seek devices that I might not depart.

"In this time I had means to write to Andrew what was befallen me and the necessity of my parting; nevertheless, that I would labour to pass by this city, where I meant to fain that I was possessed with a devil and, by this invention, give him means to leave Salamanca and come back to Lucca where, in despite of my uncle and all the world, he may espouse me, because his fortune and mine rely upon his diligence, if he will show himself mindful of the same. If the letters be come to his hands (as I believe they are, because the post bid me make no doubt), he may be here within these three days. For my part, I have done what I can. I have a legion of devils in my body, having an ounce of love in my soul: for they are both all one when hope is far away.

Behold, ladies, the history of my folly, and the cause which makes me sick: my amorous thoughts are the devils which torment me. I suffer hunger in hope to be satisfied, but my mistrust pursueth me: for as they say in Castile, 'To them that are unhappy, the crumbs freeze betwixt the mouth and the hand.' Order the matter so, my dear friends, that my lie may be believed: fortify my discourse, and deal so with my uncle that he may not carry me hence, certain days. It may be heaven will permit that with Andrew's coming my contentment shall accompany him."

You need not ask if the company were astonished at this discourse, which of itself carried with it admiration and astonishment, to put into their minds which heard them. Auristela, Ruperta, Constance and Feliflore offered to fortify her designs, and not to part from this place before they had seen the end, because that in reason it could not be long delayed.

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Chapter XXI

The marriage of Isabell Castrucio to Andrew Marullus.

The fair Isabell very strongly restrained herself to counterfeit the demoniac, and her four new friends did no less to fortify the opinion of her disease, assuring by all the reasons they could that, in truth, the devil spake in her: to the end that so it may appear what love is, which makes the amorous seem to be possessed with devils. Being in these terms, the Physician returned in the evening to make his second visitation, and by chance brought with him John Baptist Marullus, the father of Andrew the amorous, unto whom he said in entering into the chamber: "Mark, señor Marullus, the pain of this poor maid, if she deserve that in her angel-like body the devil should have his walking place. Nevertheless, one hope comforteth us, which is, that he hath told us he will quickly depart thence; and that the token of his going out should be the coming of señor Andrew, your son, whom he looketh for every hour."

"I have been so informed," answered Sir Baptist, "and I would be glad that my son were the bringer of so good news."

"Thanks be to God and my diligence," said Isabell, "for without me, he should be at Salamanca, doing God knows what. And let señor Baptist, who is there present, believe that he hath a son who is more fair than holy, and not so good a student as a gallant. And ill may fare the braveries of young people which do so much wrong to the commonwealth: cursed be the spurs which have no points; and the mules let to hire, which go not in post."

With these words she intermeddled others equivocal, of double sense,; which her secretaries understood one way and the rest of the standers-by, another. Those interpreted them aright; and these, as extravagant follies. "Gentlewoman," then said Marullus, "where saw you my son Andrew? Was it in Madrid or in Salamanca?" "This was in Illescas," said Isabell, "in gathering cherries on Saint John's day in the morning, at break of the day. But to speak the truth, which is a miracle when I speak it, I see him always, and carry him always in my soul." "Yet better it was," replied Marullus, "that my son was found in gathering of cherries than in seeking for lice, which is sometimes proper to scholars." "Scholars that are gentlemen," answered Isabell, "seldom spend their time about such a search, but they scratch and rub themselves often, for these creatures do not spare any; and they are so bold that they as soon enter into a prince's breeches as into the bedding of the hospitals." "Thou knowest all, wicked spirit! It well appears that thou art old," said the Physician, speaking to the devil which he supposed to be in the body of Isabell.

Upon this discourse, as if the same devil had appointed it, came in the old Castrucio, her uncle, who with a merry countenance said unto her: "Niece, you shall give me a reward for the good news I bring you, and shall accomplish the hope you have given us to be free at the sight of señor Andrew Marullus, the son of señor Baptist who is here present; and now see that he is ready to alight." "Let him come, let him come," answered Isabell, "this presumptuous Ganymede, and give me his hand in the name of marriage, for I have stayed here more firmly than a rock amongst the waves, which beat thereupon without removing it." Then entered the young Marullus, who in his house had been told of the sickness of Isabell and how she expected his coming as a token of the devil's departure. The young man, who had been instructed by letters from Isabell what he should do if he found her at Lucca, ran to her lodging and, entering hastily into her chamber, began to cry out like a mad man, "Out, out, place for valorous Andrew, Sergeant Major of all hell, if a squadron be not sufficient!" At this noise, even those were astonished which knew the truth of the matter. But the Physician and his own father said that he was as much possessed with a devil as Isabell, and they were not deceived. "We hoped," said the old Castrucio, "this young man's coming should be for our good, and I believe that it will prove to our hurt." "It shall not be so if he see me," answered Isabell. "Am not I the centre where his thoughts rest? Am not I the white whereat his desires do aim?" "It is true, my fair," answered Andrew, "you are the mistress of my will, the repose of my travel and the life of my soul. Give me your hand as my spouse, and draw me from the bondage wherein I am into the liberty to be under your subjection. Give me your hand once again, oh my bliss, and advance me from the baseness of Andrew Marullus to the greatness to be the husband of Isabell Castrucio, and let the devils which would alter so sweet a bond, be packing from this place; nor let men attempt to separate that which God hath joined together." "You say true, señor Andrew," replied Isabell, "and without interposition of any invention or deceit, give me your hand as my spouse, and receive me for your own." The uncle of Isabell being past himself, and almost in a swoon with astonishment, took Andrew's hands, and began to say: "What means this, my Masters? Is this the custom of this country, for one devil to marry another?" "No," said the Physician, "it must be in jest, to the intent the devil may go hence; for it is not possible that this action could have been premeditated by any wit of man." "But withal," said her uncle, "I will know from both their mouths what name we shall give this marriage, whether of truth or leasing?" "Of truth," answered Isabell, "for that neither Andrew Marullus is mad, nor I possessed with a devil: I will, and choose him for my husband, so that he accept and choose me for his wife, not as being frantic or possessed, but with all the judgement which it hath pleased God to give me." And saying this, she took the hand of Andrew and gave him hers in the name of marriage. "What means this?" Castrucio said again. "Is there anything here done in God's name? How is it possible that my old white hairs should be here dishonoured?" "Nothing that is belonging to me can dishonour you," said Andrew's father. "I am noble, and though not exceeding rich, yet, withal, I am not so poor that I stand in need of any. I neither began nor made an end of this business. These two young folks are married without my counsel, yet let us see if that which is here done may proceed any further, for if it may be defeated, the riches of Isabell shall not be a cause that I would procure my son's benefit."

Two priests were present, who said that marriage was good, presupposing that if they had begun it as fools, they had confirmed it as wise. "And we confirm it again," said Andrew, and the like said Isabell, which her uncle hearing, he let his head fall on his breast, and turning up the white of his eyes, with a great sigh, fell into a deadly swoon. His servants carried him to his bed, Isabell rose from hers, Andrew brought her to his father's house as his wife, and two days after to the church to solemnise the marriage, baptize his young brother, and bury his wife's uncle, to the end we may see how strange are the events of this life: one baptized, others married, and another buried at one and the same time. Isabell nevertheless put on mourning apparel, for death intermeddleth the marriage beds with graves, and funerals with weddings.

Our pilgrims abode four days at Lucca with the other passengers, during which time they were feasted by the married couple and by Baptist Marullus their father. And here our author endeth the third book of this history.

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The fourth book of the travels of Persiles and Sigismunda. A northern history.

Chapter I

The continuation of the voyage of our pilgrims to Rome, and the discourse between Periander and Auristela.

It was often disputed among our pilgrims if the marriage of Isabell Castrucio, contrived by so many devices, could be firm; wherein Periander maintained the affirmative, and said further that this needed no further verification. But that which had discontented him was the putting together of baptism, marriage and burial; and the Physician's ignorance, which considered not Isabell's invention, nor her uncle's danger.

Sometimes they discoursed hereof, and sometimes they recited the perils that they had escaped. Crorianus and Ruperta were very curious to know the estates of Periander and Auristela, Anthony and Constance, which they were not for the three French ladies, whom they knew the first day they saw them.

In this curiosity, with more than indifferent journeys, they came to Aquapendent, a place nigh Rome: at the entry whereof, Periander and Auristela going a little before, without fear to be heard by any person, Periander spoke unto her in this manner:

"You know, Madam, that the causes which moved us to forsake our country and leave our delights, were as well just as necessary. Now the winds of Rome blow in our faces; now the hopes which sustain us, boil in our souls; and now I make account that I see myself in the possession which I have so long hoped for. Consider, Madam, if you yet retain the will which you had, and if you will so do after you have paid your vow: which I doubt not but you do, because your blood royal was never engendered between lying promises, nor betwixt double designs. For myself I can say unto you, O fair Sigismunda, that this Periander whom you see, is the same Persiles whom you saw in the King my father's house: the very same, I say, who in the palace of his father gave you his word to be your husband, which I will accomplish in the deserts of Africa if contrary fortune should bear us thither."

Whilst Periander thus spoke, Auristela earnestly beheld him, and marvelled to see that he doubted of her faith; wherefore she said unto him, "If I have had never but one will, O Persiles, and that I have confirmed the same unto you since these two years, willingly, and not by constraint; assure yourself that at this day it is as entire and firm as the first day wherein I made you Lord thereof, and that if the perfection thereof may be augmented, it is increased by the travails we have passed together. Assure yourself also, I will thankfully acknowledge, in such manner, the constancy which you declare in yours that, in accomplishing my vow, I will bring to pass in such manner, that your hopes shall be converted into possession. But tell me, what shall we do after that one and the same bond hath tied us under the same yoke? We are far from our countries, unknown to strangers, without support or wall to uphold the ivy of our discommodities. I speak not this through any defect of love or of courage, for I will suffer all those of the world, provided I may be with you. I say this, because the first necessity that befalls you will take away my life. Hitherto my soul hath suffered alone in itself: but hereafter I shall suffer in yours, and in mine, although I speak ill in separating two souls which are but one."

"Consider, Madam, like as it is not possible for any one to make his fortune of himself, though some say that every one is an artisan after the same is begun, till the end; so I cannot now answer what we shall do, after that good fortune shall have joined us together.

"Let us first clear the inconvenience of our division; for after we shall be united, there are sufficient fields in the land to nourish us, cabins to retire unto and houses to cover us: for there are no palaces adorned with gold that can equalize the contentment which two souls have enjoying one another, which as you have said are but one.

"Moreover, we will not want means to make the Queen my mother know where we are, and she also much less to succour us. In the meantime, this cross of diamonds which you have, and your two inestimable pearls, shall support us, but only that I fear in pawning them, they will betray us: for how can any believe that pawns of so great value can be covered under a pilgrim's cloak?"

The approaching of the company broke off their discourse, which was the first they had together of their loves, because Auristela never gave occasion to Periander to speak unto her in secret, living otherwise as his sister and he as her brother in the opinion of all those which had ever known them: except Clodio, whose malice had entered so far into their souls, that it pierced so, even to doubt of the truth. This night they came within a day's journey of Rome: and in an inn, where always happeneth some marvel, this fell out which I shall tell you, if it may have such a name.

Being all set down at a table, which the Host's care and diligence of his servants had abundantly furnished, a pilgrim bearing a pen and inkhorn on his left arm, and a book of white paper in his hand, came out of a chamber of the inn; who having saluted them as he ought, said unto them in the Spanish tongue:

"This pilgrim's habit which I have taken, obliging those that wear it to crave alms, urgeth me to ask of you that which is so gainful and new that, without giving money or ware, you shall make me rich. I am, Gentlemen, a curious man: Mars predominateth over one half of my soul, and over the other half, Apollo and Mercury. I have spent some years in the exercise of arms, and others more mature in learning. I have gotten some renown in the wars, and some estimation amongst the skillful. I have printed some books, which the learned have found good and the ignorant have not judged evil; and as necessity sharpeneth the wit, mine (which I know not what part it hath of fantasticalness and variety) is fallen into a new and strange imagination, which is: to make a book at the cost and labour of another, whereof the honour and profit shall be mine. The book shall be entitled, The Flower of Pilgrims' Aphorisms, and shall be full of sentences derived from one and the same truth: which I collect in this manner.

"When I find any upon the way, or at the inns, whom I think to be a man of wit and quality, I pray him to write in this book some notable saying if he know any, or some sentence of worth; and by this means I have gotten together more than three hundred aphorisms, all worthy to be known and printed: not in mine, but in the authors' names, which have set to their hand, when they gave them unto me. This is the alms which I demand of you, and that which I will esteem above all the gold in the world."

"Give us," answered Periander, "some example of that which you require, whereby we may direct ourselves; for as touching the residue, you shall be satisfied according to the ability of our wits."

"A man and woman, pilgrims, passed hereby this morning," answered the pilgrim, "who are gone a great way; to whom, because they were Spaniards, I opened my desire. The pilgrimess said unto me that she had no skill to write and made me put down, with my hand, this sentence: 'I love better to be evil, with hope to be good, than to be good, with purpose to be evil,' and willed me to subscribe, 'The pilgrimess of Talavera.'

"The pilgrim had no more knowledge in writing, and willed me to write these words: 'There is no heavier burden than a light woman.' And I subscribed for him, 'Bartholomew Manchego.'

"After this sort are the aphorisms which I demand, and those which I hope for of this fair company shall be such, that they will surmount the others, and be unto them instead of ornament and enamelling."

"We understand you," said Crorianus, taking the pilgrim's book and pen, "and for my part I will come out of this debt;" with which words he wrote, "The soldier dead in the battle hath a fairer look than he that is whole by running away." And he subscribed, "Crorianus."

Periander immediately took the pen and wrote, "Happy is the soldier who knows that his prince beholdeth him when he fighteth." And he set down his name.

Anthony wrote after him, "The honour that is gotten by the wars is firmer than all other honour, though it were written in plates of brass with steeled gravers." And he wrote under, "Anthony the Barbarian".

The pilgrim also craved the like alms of the ladies, the first of whom was Ruperta, who wrote, "Beauty that is accompanied with honesty is true beauty; that which is not so accompanied, is nothing but counterfeit".

Ruperta having signed, Auristela took the pen, and set in, "The best dower which a woman can bring is honesty; because beauty may be lost by time, and riches by fortune."

Constance followed Auristela, writing, "A woman should choose her husband, not by her own, but another's advice."

Feliflore next Constance wrote thus: "The laws of constrained obedience bind much, but those of pleasure much more."

Feliflore, having signed, gave the pen to Bellarminia, who inserted this: "A woman ought to be as the ermine, which will rather suffer her self to be taken than defiled."

The faire Deleasire was the last, who wrote thus: "The empire of Fortune stretcheth over all the actions of the life, but principally upon marriages."

You see that which our ladies and pilgrims wrote in the Spaniard's book, who remained very well content; and Periander asked him if he knew by heart any aphorism amongst those he had written, and prayed him to show it. The Spaniard answered that he would only tell them one, which had much pleased him, for love of him that had subscribed it. The aphorism said thus: "Desire not, and thou shalt be the richest man of the world." And the subscription said, "Diego de Ratos, the old Cobbler of Tordesilla; a place of ancient Castile against Valladolid."

"The subscription," said Anthony, "is longer than the aphorism, which seems to me to be true and good; for it is certain that a man desires nothing but that which is wanting: and he which desires nothing, wanteth nothing, and by consequence is rich."

The Spaniard told them, besides, other aphorisms, wherewith they supped merrily all together, the Spanish pilgrim being set at the table with them; who whilst they were at supper, said unto them: "I will not give the privilege of my book unto any Stationer of Madrid under the price of two thousand ducats, and there is not one of them but would have it for nothing; or at the least, at so easy a rate that the author should have nothing for himself. It is true, that sometimes they buy privileges and print their books, whereupon instead of being enriched, they ruinate themselves, losing their labour and cost: but this, here, bears the profit and goodness on the forehead."

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Chapter II

How our pilgrims found Arnaldo Prince of Denmark and the Duke of Nemours.

The Spanish pilgrim might well entitle his book, The Pilgrim History of Divers Authors according to the diversity of persons that composed it, amongst whom the subscription of Diego de Ratos the Cobbler afforded them no small occasion of laughter. But they had no less subject to think upon by the sentence of Bartholomew Manchego, saying that there was no heavier burden than a light woman: which was a token that that which he carried in Louise de Talavera must by this time be of a grievous weight. They spent all this evening in such conference and in the morning, leaving the Spaniard a modern and late author of such a new book, they had sight of the city of Rome. The hearts of Periander and Auristela leapt for joy, seeing themselves so nigh the end of their desires. Those of Crorianus, Ruperta and the three ladies of France, felt almost the like motion for the good success which they promised to themselves of their voyage. And the like pleasure Antony and Constance received, because they were in sight of so great and miraculous a city whereof they had heard so many wonders reported.

The sun struck the earth perpendicularly, being then in his zenith, by reason whereof, though he be further in appearance from the earth than in any other hour of the day, he darteth his beams with more heat and violence. And being invited by the shadow of a wood near by which appeared on the right hand, they determined to go thither and pass the heat of the day, and peradventure the night, because they had time enough to enter into Rome the day following. They effected their purpose and, as they entered into the wood, the pleasantness of the situation, the springs issuing amidst the flowers and the rivers which watered them, confirmed their intent there to spend the night. They went thereinto so far that, turning their eyes towards the highway, they saw that they could not be descried by travellers; and the diversity of places making divers elections, to choose, among a thousand delightful shadows, that which liked them best. Auristela by chance looked up and saw hanging upon a shallow bough a portrait in a small volume of an exceeding fair face which, beholding nigher thereunto, she knew to be her picture; which, full of admiration and astonishment, she also quickly showed to Periander. At the same time Crorianus told them that all the grass was bloody, and showed his feet spotted with blood as yet all warm. The picture, which Periander immediately took down, and the blood which Crorianus showed them, put them all into a confusion and a desire also to search out the cause of the one and the other. Auristela could not devise who could have drawn her face, neither did Periander call to remembrance what the man, which he had found with the three Frenchwomen, had told him: how the painter which drew them would also draw Auristela by heart, though he had seen her but only once. The track of blood which they followed brought Crorianus and Anthony amongst the thick trees which were hard by them, where they found a pilgrim that sat on the grass, leaning his head against atree, with his hands on his breast, from whence issued a great stream of blood: a sight which much troubled them and chiefly when Crorianus, coming unto him and wiping his face which was also bloody, knew that this was the Duke of Nemours. For the different habit wherein he found him was no hindrance unto Crorianus to know him, the Duke's image was so fresh in his memory and so great was the amity which he bore him: who, without opening his eyes which the blood had closed, sorrowfully pronounced these words:

"Thou oughtest, whosoever thou art, O mortal enemy of my rest, lift up thy hand again and thrust through the midst of my heart: for there thou hadst found the same portrait, more lively and true, than that which thou madest me take from my neck and hang on this tree, that it might not serve me as a relic and buckler in this combat."

Constance was present at this meeting and, being naturally pitiful, she ran to him to staunch the blood which issued from his wound, without regarding the words he spoke.

Periander and Auristela, following the track of blood on the other side to see the fountain from whence it proceeded, found stretched along amongst the rushes another pilgrim all covered with blood, except his face which was clean; which, without taking pains to wash the same, they knew to be the shape of the Prince of Denmark. The first sign of life which he gave was to remove as if he would rise up, saying, "Thou shalt not carry it away, for the picture is mine, because it is that which was in my soul! Thou hast stolen it from me; and without ever offending thee, wilt take away my life."

The sight of Arnaldo, unlooked for, made Auristela tremble as a leaf: and though the obligations which she owed him urged her to approach unto him, yet the presence of Periander hindered her who, no less thankful than obliged, took his own self the hands of Arnaldo and with a low voice, that he might not discover that which, it may be, the Prince would have hidden, said unto him:

"Return to yourself, my Lord, and you shall see that you are in the hands of your best and greatest friends; and that heaven hath not so much forsaken you, but that you may promise to yourself a better condition of your fortune. Open your eyes, O Prince, and you shall see your friend Periander and your dear Auristela, no less desirous than obliged to serve you. Tell us your misfortune, and assure yourself from us, whatsoever our force and industry can perform for your service. Tell us if you be hurt, who hath hurt you, and in what part of your body it is, to the intent some speedy remedy may be applied thereunto."

Arnaldo opened his eyes: and knowing those that were before him, he steadfastly looked on Auristela, to whom he said, "It is not possible, Madam, but that you are the true Auristela, and not some image of hers: for there is no other soul but yours which can hide itself under so fair a form. You are Auristela without doubt, and doubtless I am also that Arnaldo who have always desired to serve you. I come hither to seek you out: for unless it be in you that are my centre, my soul shall never have any rest."

Whilst these matters passed in this sort, Crorianus was informed that Periander had found another who was also hurt, which Constance hearing, after she had staunched the Duke's blood she ran to the second wounded man; and seeing that it was Arnaldo, she became so confused and astonished that she dared not believe what she saw: nevertheless, her discretion overcame her astonishment, and she said unto him, without entering into other discourse, that he should show his hurts. Whereto Arnaldo answered by showing his left arm with his right hand, and making a sign that there he was wounded, Constance stripped his arm, and found it thrust through and through hard by his shoulder. She stayed the blood which yet ran, and told Periander how the other wounded man was the Duke of Nemours, and that it was requisite to carry them to the next village, to be looked unto, because the greatest peril imminent upon them was loss of their blood. Arnaldo, hearing the Duke's name, began to quake and, through his warm veins by this time emptied of blood, he permitted cold jealousy to have passage to his very soul, which made him say, without taking heed what he spoke:

"There is some difference betwixt a Duke and a King: but neither the estate of the one or of the other, nor of all the monarchs in the world, are capable of the merit of Auristela." And then he added: "Let me not be carried to the place whither they bear the Duke, for the presence of enemies cannot heal their harms whom they have injured." Arnaldo brought with him two servants and the Duke, two others, who by the commandment of their masters had left them alone, and were gone before to a place hard by to provide them lodging. "Let somebody also," said Arnaldo, "look if upon one of the trees here there hangeth not the picture of Auristela, being the occasion of combat between the Duke and me. Let it be taken away, and given unto me: for it is mine by right, and hath cost me a great deal of blood."

The like words the Duke spoke at the same time to Crorianus and Ruperta, and to the others which were with them. But Periander satisfied them both, saying that he had it in his power as in trust, and that he would restore it upon a better occasion to him to whom it should belong. "Is it possible," said Arnaldo, "that any doubt can be made that this portrait is not mine? Doth not heaven know that the first time I saw the original, I engraved her in my soul? Notwithstanding, let my brother Periander keep it: for I well know that the jealousy, pride or wrath of him that pretends to have it, shall not prevail against him. And let some carry me away from hence; for I faint."

Presently they made hand-litters to carry the two hurt persons whose loss of blood, rather than the deepness of their wounds, by little and little was taking away their lives. So they carried them to the place where their men had caused the best lodging to be made ready that they could find, the Duke not having as yet any knowledge that his enemy was the Prince of Denmark.

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Chapter III

A recital of the combat between Arnaldo, Prince of Denmark and the Duke of Nemours.

The three French ladies were not without envy to see that the portrait of Auristela was more esteemed in the Duke's opinion than any of theirs, when the servant who was sent to get them painted told them that he carried with them their pictures, with many jewels of great value, but yet he adored that of Auristela. These words much grieved their minds, for such as are fair never take any pleasure in hearing report that other beauties excel theirs. And especially they would not have them compared, because all comparisons are odious, but principally in beauties above all other things, unless that amities, kindred, qualities or greatness can withstand the envy that inflameth them when any would make such comparison. What, then, shall we say of those which saw themselves put back? He told them also that the Duke his master, coming from Paris in search of the pilgrim Auristela, sat this morning at the root of a tree, having her portrait in his hands and speaking thereunto as if it had been herself; and that whilst he so remained, another pilgrim was come so easily behind him that he might hear what he spoke to the picture; neither could he or his fellow hinder it, because they were a little gone aside from the place.

"In conclusion," said he, "we ran to warn the Duke that this man heard him. He turned his head and saw this pilgrim hard by him, who, without speaking a word, came suddenly to the portrait and strove to snatch it out of the Duke's hands: who being surprised, and having no leisure to defend it as he would, said unto him (as I understood) these words: 'Thou robber of a celestial pledge, profane not thy sacrilegious hands with that which thou holdest! Relinquish this table wherein the beauty of heaven is portrayed: as well because thou deservest it not, as also in regard it is mine.' 'There is no such matter,' answered the other pilgrim, 'and if I cannot give thee other witnesses of this verity, I will refer it to the trial of my rapier which I carry within this staff. I am the true possessor of this incomparable beauty, because that in a country far from this where we are, I bought it with my treasures, adored it with my soul and served it with so much care and travail.' The Duke then, turning himself unto us, imperiously commanded us to leave them alone, and that we should come and stay for them in this place, without being so hardy as once look back to behold them. The like commandment the other pilgrim gave to two men which followed him who, as it seems, are also his servants. Yet for all this, I somewhat disobeyed his commandment and, curiosity causing me to turn my head, I saw that the other pilgrim hung the picture on a tree; and that immediately drawing a rapier which he had in his staff, he marched against my master, who received him with like courage, with the same or the like rapier that he carried in his staff. We would have returned to them to part them, but in the end I was of a contrary mind, saying, that in regard they were alone and armed alike, without suspicion that any should aid them, it were better to leave them and proceed on our way in obeying them, than to anger them further in going about to part them. I know not if good counsel or cowardice stayed our feet and bound our hands, or if the brightness of their swords not yet bloody blinded our eyes. It so fell out that, instead of going to separate them, we took our way to this place where, having taken up the best inn with haste, and somewhat recovered our spirits, we returned with more judgement and courage to see how destiny had disposed of our masters, whom we have found in such estate that, without your coming, ours had been altogether unprofitable for them."

Consider what the Duke's man said unto the French ladies, and that which they felt as if they had been his true mistresses, each one blotting out of her imagination the hope she had conceived to marry the Duke: for nothing so soon defaceth love out of the memory as disdain, which hath the same power over us that sleep or famine hath: valour yieldeth to the force of sleep and famine, and love, to that of disdain. It is true, that this must be at his first birth: for after he hath taken a long and full possession of the souls, disdains serve him to no other purpose but for spurs, that he may run more speedily to the execution of his thoughts.

The hurt persons were cured and within eight days were ready to go on in their journey to Rome, from whence the surgeons came that had healed them. In this time the Duke knew that his adversary was the Prince of Denmark, and knew also his intention to be married to Auristela, which confirmed his designs, which were the same of Arnaldo's, thinking that she who was sought for to be made a queen might well be a duchess.

In the end the day of their departure came, and the Duke at one side, and the Prince of Denmark at another, entered into Rome without being seen one of the other. The rest of our pilgrims having gotten up on a small hillock, from whence at their ease they might behold the holy city, they saluted the same, kneeling on the ground; and came down by the side of the hill, passed through Our Lady's meadows, and came into Rome by Del Popole gate, first kissing the threshold of the entry, before which two men saluted one of Crorianus his men and asked him if all this company had a lodging prepared where they were expected; and if peradventure they had none, they would lodge them as princes: "for you shall know," said they, "that we are Jews. I am called Zabulon, and my companion Abjud: our profession is to furnish houses with all moveables which are needful for the quality of those that inhabit them, and according to the price which they will bestow, so rich are the moveables which we give them." To whom the servant answered: "One of my fellows hath been since yesterday in this town, with charge to prepare a lodging for my master answerable to his estate." "Let me be killed, said Abjud, "if this be not the Frenchman, which yesterday so well liked the house of our companion Manasses, which is furnished as a king's palace." "Let us then go forward," said the servant of Crorianus, for my fellow should stay for us hereby to conduct us; and if the house which he hath chosen be unfitting, we will make use of that which you offer us." Upon this they went further and in entering the city, the Jews saw their companion Manasses with the other servant of Crorianus, whereby they knew that the house which they had furnished belonged to Manasses, and was over against the Portugal Arch: wherefore they guided our pilgrims thither, full of contentment and joy.

As soon as the French ladies entered Rome they drew all the peoples' eyes upon them: for in regard it was one of the days of Station, this street of Our Lady del Popolo was replenished with multitudes. But the admiration which by little and little began to enter into those that beheld these ladies, infinitely increased in the minds of all those which saw the incomparable Auristela and the fair Constance which walked by her side, as two shining stars, which by two parallel lines make an equal course through the midst of heaven. But the perfection of Auristela appeared with such an advantage that it obliged a Roman, who in my judgement should be a poet, to utter these words:

"I will wager that the goddess Venus now returneth hither as in times past, to see the relics of her dear Aeneas. Truly the Governor hath done ill in not commanding the face of this moving image to be covered; or per adventure he will have the wise to admire her, and others to worship her." With these praises they went forth unto the house of Manasses, which was able to lodge the train of a great prince.

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Chapter IV

Of the conference between the Prince of Denmark and Periander touching Auristela.

The coming of the French ladies and all the company of pilgrims was noised this day through all the city, and above all was published the extreme beauty of Auristela, everyone exalting and describing her, if not as she was, yet at the least as the tongues of the most excellent wits were able to praise her. In a moment their lodging was environed with an infinite multitude of people whom curiosity had gathered in a heap, to see so many beauties together: and this desire brought them to that extremity that they cried out in the streets that the ladies and pilgrims should come to the windows, who then reposed themselves and would not suffer themselves to be seen. Amongst the rest were the Princes of Nemours and Denmark in their pilgrims' habits, who no sooner saw each other but their hearts began to beat, and their knees to tremble. Periander, having known them from the window, informed Crorianus, and they both together went down into the street, to hinder as much as they could such misfortune as might be feared of two so jealous lovers. Crorianus passed at one side with the Duke, and Periander at the other with Arnaldo, who said unto him:

"One of the greatest obligations of courtesy which Auristela oweth me, is, that I suffer this French knight * whom they call the Duke of Nemours * to be as it were in possession of her picture: for though it be in thy keeping, it seems she likes well thereof, seeing I have it not in mine. Observe Periander, this evil, which lovers call jealousy but ought rather name a desperate rage, hath envy and contempt always marching with her: and when she once getteth possession of a soul that is amorous, there is no consideration that can bring it to quiet nor remedy that can profit it. And though the causes engendering the same be small, yet the effects are so great that they at least take away the judgement, but most commonly the life: and it were better for the jealous lover to die in despair than to live in jealousy. I counsel thee, Periander * if he can give counsel that hath none for himself * that thou consider how I am a king, that I love perfectly, and that by a thousand experiences thou art satisfied and assured that I will perform by deeds the words which I have promised thee: to marry thy sister Auristela, without any other dower but her virtues and beauty; and that I will not seek proof of the nobleness of her stock, because it is clear that Nature ought not to have denied the goods of Fortune to those on whom she hath bestowed so much of her own. Seldom, or never, great virtues shine in base subjects, and the beauty of the body is ordinarily a token of the beauty of the mind. And to speak one word, which at other times I have spoken unto thee: so it is, I adore Auristela, be she descended from heaven or produced of earth. And because she is now at Rome, where she assigned my hopes: bring to pass, my brother, that she may perform them unto me. I will divide with thee my crown and kingdom, and suffer me not to die both mocked of the Duke, and derided of her whom I adore."

To all these words, offers, and promises, Periander thus answered:

"If my sister were partaker in the occasions of grief which the Duke hath given you, if I did not chastise her at the least I would chide her, which should be to her a great punishment. But being assured that she is guiltless, I cannot tell what answer to make you. As touching that which you say, that she hath assigned your hopes in this city, not knowing also how far those hopes which she hath given you may extend, I am also ignorant how to answer you. For the offers which you made me heretofore, and now make, I give you as many thanks as I can possible, and take them at your hands as kindly as your estate and mine doth oblige me. For, be it spoken with humility, valorous Arnaldo, it may be that this poor pilgrim's cloak, such as you see, is a cloud which covereth a sun. And content your mind for this present: yesterday we came to Rome: and 'tis not possible that in so short time so many discourses can be concluded, nor so many means found, which may reduce our actions to such happy end as we desire. In recompense of the counsel which you have given me, I will give you another, namely, that you shun as much as you can possible to meet with the Duke; because a disdained lover, having weak hopes, taketh occasion to build them upon despite, though it be to the prejudice of that which he loveth."

Arnaldo promised him so to do, offering him money and monies worth to sustain the expense both of himself and his company. The discourse which the Duke had with Crorianus was different, who resolved upon this point, either to recover the portrait of Auristela or to make the Prince of Denmark to confess that he pretended nothing in that respect. He also prayed Crorianus to do so much with Auristela, that she would receive him for her husband, seeing his estate was as great and his blood as noble as Arnaldo's, showing himself no less passioned with love, than with jealousy.

Crorianus offered to be an intercessor for him and to make appear to Auristela the fortune offered unto her in this behalf, whereof he promised to return him a speedy answer.

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Chapter V

Of the misfortune happening to Bartholomew and Louise, and how our pilgrims delivered them from the gibbet.

In this manner the two jealous rivals, whose hopes were founded in the air, departed, one from Periander and the other from Crorianus, resolving before all other things to repress their impetuosities and dissemble their injuries, at the least until Auristela had manifested her affection in favour of the one or the other: who was very far from this care, all her thoughts being as then intentive to be instructed in such truth as was necessary for the salvation of her soul; for being born in a country so far off, and in such a land where the verity of the Catholic religion is not in such perfection as is requisite, she had need to be refined in her shop of truth.

Upon the departure of Periander from Arnaldo, a Spaniard came unto him, who said: "According to the tokens which have been given me, this letter is directed to you, at the least if you be a Spaniard." And in so saying, he put a letter into his hands, the superscription whereof was this:

"To the most worthy Knight, Seigneur Anthony de Villeseigneur, otherwise named the Barbarian."

Periander asked him who had given him this letter? The carrier answered that it was a Spaniard, who was prisoner in the Tower of Nonna and condemned at the least to be hanged for murder, he and a fair woman, his love, whom they call the Talaveran.

Periander quickly knew their names, and guessed very nigh at their crimes. "This letter," said he to the carrier, "is not for me, but for this pilgrim who cometh to us," seeing Anthony approaching, unto whom he gave it: and withdrawing themselves apart, after they had opened it they found the contents thereof to be these:

The letter of Bartholomew Manchego to the Illustrious Lord Anthony de Villeseigneur

He standeth ill that goeth ill. Of two feet though one be sound, a man cannot choose but halt, if the other be lame. Evil companies know not how to teach good customs: that of the Talaveran hath brought me hither, that we both might be condemned to be hanged. The man which brought her out of Spain, found her in this city in my company. He was angry to see her and would beat her in my presence; and I that understood not how to jest, and knew myself unapt to receive injuries, but to revenge them, avenged my Louise and with sound strokes of a staff, killed him that would beat her. Being in the heat of this quarrel, another pilgrim came, who began to measure my back with the same ell wherewith I had measured the other. Louise said that she knew that he which did strike me was a Polonian who had married her in Talavera, and fearing that in making an end with me he would begin with her for the wrongs she had done him, she did no more but take her knife in hand and struck it in his reins, giving him such wounds that he had no need of a surgeon. In effect, her lover with blows of a staff, and her husband with strokes of a knife, ended at the same time the course of their mortal life. We were apprehended upon the fact and brought into this prison, to our great sorrow. We have confessed our crime, because we could not deny it, and by that means have avoided the torture. The process is adjudged with more haste than we desire, and we are condemned to be banished into another world. I say, sir, that we are condemned to death: whereat the Talaveran is so troubled that she cannot bear it patiently. She kisseth the hands of my Lady Constance, of señor Periander, and of my Lady Auristela, and saith she would be at liberty to go and kiss them in their houses. She saith also, that if the fair Auristela will undertake our liberty, she shall easily obtain it; for what can her perfection demand which she shall not have granted, though she had business with Rigor itself? Further, she saith, that if you cannot procure our pardon, you may at the least obtain this favour, to change the place of our execution; and that instead of suffering death in Rome, we may go and suffer in Spain. For she is informed that here they carry not criminal persons to the gibbet with convenient authority, because they make them go on foot, whereby scarce any can see them, and scarcely will any person say for them one Ave Maria; principally, if they be Spaniards whom they lead to hanging. She would it were possible die among her friends in her own country, where it may be, some of her kindred would not fail to close her eyes. I also say the same, because I am a friend to reason; and in regard I am so vexed in this prison, that instead of the trouble which the flies give, I would account it a good turn if I might be led to hanging tomorrow morning. I further advertise you, sir, that the judges of this country deny nothing to the Spaniards: all are courteous and friends in giving and receiving things just; and that when there is no party to demand justice, they fail not to show mercy, which now hath a fit subject in us to manifest itself, if it reign in your generous minds so, as much as we are in a strange country, put in prison and eaten up with divers unclean animals, which are the greater number because they are little and are no less importunate than if they were great; and beyond all, the solicitors, attorneys and notaries have stripped us naked already and left us in the quintessence of necessity: from which, God deliver us of his goodness, Amen.

Attending an answer we remain with as much desire to receive a good one, as the stork's chickens of the tower, in waiting for meat from their dams. And he subscribed;

The unhappy Bartholomew Manchego.

They took as much delight at the style of the letter as the subject thereof gave them displeasure: and requiring the messenger to tell the prisoner that he should be of good comfort, and hope well of redress, because that Auristela, and they all together with her, would further it with all that gifts and promises were able to do; they immediately sought out the means: whereof the first was to cause Crorianus to speak unto the Ambassador of France, who was his kinsman and friend, that by his favour they might obtain that the sentence might not be executed so soon, and that time might give place to solicitations and prayers of their friends. Anthony determined also to write a letter to Bartholomew for answer, and renew the pleasure which he had received by his writing. But making Auristela and Constance privy to his intent, they advised him not to write, lest he should further afflict these poor afflicted persons, who peradventure would interpret his letter at the word and believe undoubtedly that he might write unto them in jest. Wherefore, laying the burden of this business upon Crorianus and Ruperta, they laboured with so much diligence and care that in six days Bartholomew and the Talaveran were found in the open street: for where either favour or gifts are intermeddled, steep-down places become plain, and the greatest difficulties are made easy.

During this time, Auristela found means to clear her understanding in all the points of religion which were obscurely practised in her country; and making a perfect, general and true confession, rested satisfied and instructed in whatsoever she did desire. The great Penitentiary briefly declared unto her the chief mysteries of our faith, beginning at the envy and pride of Lucifer and at his fall, with the third part of the angels which were thrown down with him into the bottomless pit, which fall made the seats in heaven to be empty. He told her what means God had used to supply those rooms in creating man, and giving him a reasonable soul, such as was capable of the glory which the wicked angels had lost.

Having discoursed of the creation of the world and the mystery of the Holy Incarnation, he touched by the way the profound mystery of the Holy Trinity: how the second of the three persons made Himself man, that He might pay for man as man, and satisfy God as God, the infinite sins which man had committed for which God required an infinite satisfaction, which He could not have of man that was finite, nor of Himself, being incapable of suffering, but only by means of this hypostatical union. He showed unto her the death of the Saviour of the world and His troubles, from the manger to the cross; he expressed to her the force and efficacy of the sacraments, and made her touch with her finger the second plank to save us from shipwreck, which is repentance; without which, the way of heaven, closed by sin, cannot be opened. He made her also know the same Jesus Christ the living God, sitting at the right hand of His Father and also living in His saints, though He be above in His glory; Whose spirit dwelleth in them, and He hath promised His holy presence to be with them to the end of the world. He told her also of the second coming of the same son of God in His majesty and glory; of the universality of the Church and of the power of His ministers in retaining and forgiving of sins.

Finally, he left nothing unspoken serving to confirm Auristela and Periander in their belief whose souls, rejoicing at this lesson, forsook themselves; mounting up to heaven where all their thoughts were placed.

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Chapter VI

The quarrel that fell between the Prince of Denmark and the Duke of Nemours at Rome, about the buying of Auristela's picture.

From thenceforth, Auristela and Periander beheld themselves interchangeably with other eyes than they were accustomed, at the least Periander: to whom it seemed that Auristela had accomplished the vow which brought her to Rome and that she might freely marry. But if Auristela being half a pagan had loved chastity, now she adored it since she was catechised, not as thinking she should offend in marrying but lest she should give token of any effeminate thought, looking also if heaven would impart unto her any light, how to behave herself after she was married. For, to think to return into her country, she believed to be rashness, because Periander's older brother, to whom she had been destined, seeing his hope beguiled, peradventure would revenge upon her and upon his brother the offence which he thought he had received. These terrors and imaginations made her somewhat weak and pensive.

The French ladies visited the temples and went throughout all the stations in pomp and majesty; for besides their own means which they had, Crorianus (who, as is said, was kinsman to the Ambassador of France) found means that they failed of nothing to appear according to the noble greatness of their birth, leading always Auristela and Constance with them, and never going abroad but half the people of Rome followed them. One day, going along the street called Bancos, they saw against a wall a portrait entire from the head to the feet, of a woman who had half a crown on her head and a world under her feet, serving for the groundwork or base. And they had scarcely looked thereupon but they knew that it was the face of Auristela, represented so lively that there was no difference from the natural.

Auristela demanded whose the picture was, and if peradventure it were to be sold.

The master, who was an excellent painter, answered that the portrait was to be sold, and that he knew not for whom it was made but only that another painter, who was a friend of his, had caused it to be copied out in France; who told him it was drawn upon a strange damsel, who under the habit of a pilgrim was going to Rome.

"What means this," replied Auristela, "that she hath half a crown on her head and a world under her feet?"

"These are fantasies of painters," said the master, "or capriccios as they call them. It may be they meant hereby that she deserves to bear away the crown of beauty above all fair women, whom she goeth treading upon in this world. But I say that you are the original of this extract, and that you deserve in effect the whole crown, which this hath but half and painted." "Will you sell this picture?" said Constance, to whom the master answered, "There are here two pilgrims, whereof one hath offered me a thousand crowns of gold, and the other told me that he will have it at any rate whatsoever. I have not yet set down the price, because I think they do but mock; for the excess of their offers maketh me suspect their words." "Make no more doubt," said Constance; "for if it be those pilgrims which I suppose, they can double the price over and above, and give you whatsoever they shall promise."

The two French ladies, Ruperta, Crorianus and Periander were all astonished to see the true figure of Auristela's face in this portrait. It was noised immediately amongst the people that the original of this painted table was in the coach which stayed there to behold it, which made such a company gather together in a throng that the horses could neither go forward nor backward by reason of the press which was made to see Auristela, who was constrained to cover her face, that being without hope to see her they might suffer them to have free passage.

The coach was hardly gone but Arnaldo came into the painter's shop in his pilgrim's habit, and coming to the master, said unto him: "I am he that offered unto you a thousand crowns for this portrait. If you will sell it, come away with me, I will satisfy you presently." To whom another pilgrim replied, who was the Duke of Nemours: "Master, do not bargain with me but resolve with yourself what you will have, and I will give it you all in ready money."

"Gentlemen," answered the painter, "agree between you two who shall carry it away. For mine own part, I am very well content with the price, though I believe you will pay me rather in good will than effect."

All the street was full of people, who looked to see the end of this bargain: for it seemed unto them a mockery, to see two poor pilgrims offer a thousand ducts for a painted table, in the presence of whom, the painter said unto them: "He which will have it, let him come forth and give me earnest, and I will go and take it down to carry to his lodging." Which Arnaldo hearing, he drew from his bosom a chain of gold with a jewel of diamonds hanging at the end, and said unto him:

"Take this chain, which is more worth than two thou sand ducts, and bring me the picture."

"See, here is one which is worth ten thousand," said the Duke, in giving him a chain of diamonds, "and come to my lodging with the table." "Good God," said one of the standers-by, "what portrait, what men, and what jewels may these be that are here? It seems that it is enchantment. Wherefore, Master, I counsel you, let the chain be seen and tried for the fineness of the stones before you deliver your merchandise, for it may be, both the one and the other are false."

The princes in the end were weary to stand so long a-cheapening, but lest they should make their thoughts apparent, they consented that the painter should assure himself of the value of their pledges.

Whilst the people busied themselves * some to behold the picture; others, the chains; and others, the pilgrims; everyone vainly enquiring after their names and estate * the Governor of Rome, as he passed through the street, understood news of this popular assembly, demanded the cause, beheld the portrait and the chains, and thought that these were other pledges than belonged to pilgrims; wherefore he committed them to the safe custody of a third person, carried the table to his own house, and committed the pilgrims to ward. The painter was bored through the nose, seeing his hopes vanished, the chains in another man's hands than his own and his portrait in the justice's power, where nothing comes in that goes forth with the same beauty that it entered.

In the end his recourse was to Periander, to whom he related all the success of his bargain and the fear he had lest the Governor would retain his picture, which he had bought in France of a painter that had drawn it upon the natural in Portugal: which seemed likely to Periander, because he had procured Auristela to be drawn during the time he remained at Lisbon. Herewith he offered the painter a hundred crowns for his portrait, whether he could get it back again, or not; whereupon he rested very well content, though the price were far short of that which the other pilgrims offered.

This evening, coming in company with other Spanish pilgrims, they visited the churches, where they met the poet whom they had found at Badejoz in coming out of Lisbon, who of a comedian was become a pilgrim. They knew him, saluted him, and enquired of his adventures. All the answer he made them was, that the day before, he had been to visit a Priest of the Chamber, a curious and rich man, who had a cabinet of tables, the most extraordinary in the world: for therein was no shape of any person drawn who heretofore or at this present lived, but only the tables were prepared for those that hereafter should excel in poesy. Amongst which tables he had seen two, which had written above them in one, "Torquato Tasso"; and a little lower, "Jerusalem Delivered". In the other was written, "Duart"; and lower, "The Cross and Constantine". "I asked," said he, "of him that showed them unto me, what these names imported? Who answered, that very shortly the light of a poet should be discovered on the earth whose name should be Torquato Tasso, who should sing the deliverance of Jerusalem in the most heroical and pleasing song of any other that ever had sung the same unto this present. And that shortly after him should succeed a Spaniard called Francis Duart, whose voice should fill the four quarters of the world and suspend people's hearts by his harmony, relating to them the finding out of the Cross, with the wars of the Emperor Constantine: a poem truly heroical, religious and worthy the name of a poem."

Periander hereunto replied, "I can scarcely believe that any would take upon him the care, so soon to prepare tables to paint these personages. But hath he not other besides these two, for other poets that are yet to come?" "Yea, truly," answered the poet, "but I would not stay to read the titles, but contented myself with the two first. But I saw them so confusedly that I know thereby that we are in the eve of a great troop of poets." "God turn it to the best," answered Periander; "But the year that abounds in poets is ordinarily scarce in victuals; for give me any poet, and I will warrant him poor, if Nature go not about to work miracles. And upon this proposition, that there are many poets, it necessarily followeth many are poor: and likewise from this, that there are many poor, it is a good consequence: it is a dear year."

Whilst the poet and Periander thus conferred, Zabulon the Jew came unto them, who told Periander that this evening he would cause him to see, there, Hypolita of Ferara, which was one of the finest women of Italy. Periander promised him to go thither: which he never would have done if, like as Zabulon had informed him of the party's beauty, he had also told him of her conditions. For Periander's great honesty would not suffer him to go to base things, were they never so fair, it seeming that herein, as in all other qualities, Nature had made her equal with Auristela: from whom he stole to go and see Hypolita, whither the Jew brought him, rather by deceit than for any affection that Periander had thereunto.

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Chapter VII

Of the danger Periander fell into in the house of the courtesan Hypolita of Ferara.

Many faults are covered by good education, pompous apparel of the person and richornaments of the house, because it is not possible that good bringing-up should offend, or brave apparel displease, or that rich ornaments of the house should not give contentment. Hypolita enjoyed all these: a courtesan lady, who in wealth was another Flora and not inferior unto her in beauty or courtesy, being well-beloved of all that knew her because she enchanted with her beauty, made her self esteemed for her riches and adored for her courtesy. When Love apparelleth himself with these three qualities, he breaketh hearts of brass, openeth purses of iron and warmeth affections of marble, chiefly if flattery be intermeddled: a fit attribute for those who with deceitful glances will expose their good parts to the view of the world. Nevertheless, not any of these things availed with Periander in coming into Hypolita's house: But as Love is wont to build his engines on the hearts that have least care, he erected one that was marvellous, not upon the affection of Periander but of Hypolita, which had before seen him in the street and so graven his comely shape in her soul upon the first sight that to view him the better at her ease, and to have entire possession of him whom she had only seen, she had entreated Zabulon to bring him to her house: which she had so well furnished, hanged with tapestry and adorned, that it rather seemed a marriage-bed than a receptacle for pilgrims. Hypolita had with her a friend named Pirrhus, a Calabrian, a hackster, impatient and wicked, all whose wealth consisted in the point of his sword, in the agility of his hands and in the craft of Hypolita, who oftentimes obtained of her lovers that which she desired without imparting her favours unto them. But that which most augmented the benefit of Pirrhus, was the nimbleness of his feet which he more esteemed than that of his hands.

This fellow, then, being in Hypolita's house at such time as Periander and Zabulon came in, Hypolita took him aside, and said unto him: "My friend, get thee hence, and take with thee this chain which this pilgrim sent me this morning by Zabulon." "Take heed what thou dost," answered Pirrhus, "for this pilgrim, as far forth as I can understand, is a Spaniard; and to take this chain at his hands, which at least is worth a hundred crowns, before he hath touched anything of thine, I think it a great novelty." "Take the chain to thyself," said Hypolita, "and leave the care to me to govern this Spaniard, and never make restitution."

Pirrhus took the chain, which Hypolita had caused to be bought that morning to give him; and having this bone in his throat, he replied not a word, but departed from the lodging with more than an ordinary pace. Hypolita, being rid of this man, came to Periander and with a marvellous good grace, cast her arms about his neck, saying: "Of a certain I will now see if the Spaniards be as valiant as they make themselves to be."

When Periander saw this boldness, he thought all the house fell upon him, and gently putting her back with his arm, thus spoke unto her:

"Pilgrims, though they be Spaniards, are not bound to be more valiant than others! But advise yourself wherein you have need of my valour, without prejudice of either of us, and you shall be obeyed without reply to the contrary."

"Seeing you promise me," answered Hypolita, "to do what I shall tell you without prejudice of any, enter with me into this chamber, for I will show you a cabinet in particular."

"Although I be a Spaniard," answered Periander, "I am yet partly a coward, as are many others, and fear you more alone than an array of enemies. Cause that somebody may conduct us, and lead me where you please."

Hypolita called two of her maids, and with Zabulon who was present at all these things, commanded them to be their guides into the hall which, as afterward Periander affirmed, was the best furnished that ever he saw. There Parrhasius, Apelles, Zeuxis and Thimantus had their perfectest works bought with the treasures of Hypolita, accompanied with those of the devout Raphael of Urbino and of the divine Michelangelo; in which riches, the wealth of a great prince ought to appear: for kingly buildings, proud palaces, magnificent temples and excellent paintings are the proper and true ensigns of princes' magnanimity and proofs in effect which, in despite of time, show forth the magnificence of passed ages. O Hypolita! I wish that among so many portraits thou hadst only one that might have represented chastity unto thee, and moved thee not to tempt that of Periander, who in confusion and marvel went about looking what would be the issue why she showed him these things; it seeming unto him, that whatsoever he had heard of the Gardens of Hesperides or of the magician Falerina were nothing near the pomp wherewith this hall was beautified. But in regard his heart was disquieted, and as it were between two presses, these things appeared not so fair as they were: but contrariwise, vexed to see so many delights oppose themselves against his pleasure, putting apart all courtesy, he strove to get out at the hall door and steal away. Hypolita, perceiving it, laid hold of his leather cloak which he wore and as she endeavoured to stay him, and he again to escape, she descried under his cassock the cross of diamonds, which till that time had been saved from so many dangers; the brightness whereof no less blinded her eyes than love had blinded her judgement. And seeing that he went away clear in despite of the sweet force wherewith she would stay him, she fell upon an imagination which, if she had a little better fortified, it had not been well for Periander: who having left his cloak in the hands of this new Egyptian, and coming into the street without cloak, without hat and without staff, to triumph over an enemy who could not be vanquished but by [s]light; she went to the window, and with great cries began to call to the people, saying:

"Stop, my friends! Stop this thief, who coming into my house as a pilgrim, hath robbed me of a jewel that is worth a city." By fortune, there were two of the Pope's guard in the street who had power to apprehend malefactors upon the deed, who at the bare speech of "thief", abusing their authority, took Periander prisoner; and having found the cross of diamonds at his bosom, took it away and marked his clothes with the sign of the cross, to show that he had stolen that which they had taken from him. Periander, seeing himself crossed without a cross, said to the guard which had apprehended him, in their own language, that he was not a thief but an honest man, and of quality; that this cross was his own, that Hypolita was unable to make any so rich, praying them to bring him to the Governor, before whom he hoped briefly to justify the truth of the fact. With these words uttered in their own tongue, which is wont to reconcile those that know not one another, and some money which he offered them: the guard let Hypolita cry while she list, and brought Periander before the Governor. Which when Hypolita saw, she went from the window and scratching her face, said to her servants, "Alas, my friends! What have I done? I have afflicted him whom I thought to welcome, offended him whom I would serve, and made him to be taken prisoner as a thief, who hath stolen away my soul. See, what kind of welcoming is this, to make a free-man to be imprisoned and to defame his honour!" And telling them how the Pope's guard led the pilgrim to prison, commanded her coach to be made ready, for she would go and declare his innocence, and charge her self with that which she had spoken contrary to truth: for her heart would not suffer to see the apples of her eyes to be beaten, and she had rather to appear a false accuser than cruel, because nothing could excuse her cruelty, but Love would excuse her accusation, who manifesteth and betrayeth his desires by a thousand follies and doth ill unto those very same persons whom he wisheth well unto.

When she came to the Governors house, she found him with the cross in his hands, examining Periander upon the fact; who seeing Hypolita, said unto the Governor: "Sir, this lady which cometh here saith that I have robbed her of this cross which you hold. I will confess that it is true if she can tell me what materials the cross is of, what it is worth and of how many diamonds it is made; for if the angels have not informed her, or some other spirit that knoweth it, she cannot come to know so much, because she never saw it but once upon my breast."

"What answer makes the Lady Hypolita hereunto?" said the Governor, covering the cross that she might not take the marks thereof. Hypolita answered: "In saying that I am amorous, blind and foolish, this pilgrim shall be discharged, and I abide the punishment which my Lord Governor will impose upon me." And thereupon she told from point to point all that which had happened betwixt her and Periander. The Governor marvelled not at this love, for amorous and wanton follies are peculiar to such kind of subjects: but he wondered at the boldness of this woman, whom he sharply rebuked; and entreating Periander to forgive her, he restored to him his cross and set him at liberty, without any letter written concerning this cause, which was no small good hap. The Governor would know who the pilgrims were who had given so fair chains in earnest for the portrait of Auristela, and who this Auristela and himself were. Whereunto Periander answered: "This Auristela is my sister, this portrait is her resemblance. The pilgrims which have given these pledges can give others besides of far greater value; this cross is mine, and when time and place shall serve, and that necessity shall compel me to declare my name, I will tell it; for to manifest the same at this present is not at my will, but of my sister. I have bought this same portrait of the painter who had it in possession, without enhancing the price in the buying, which is grounded rather in fantasy and willfulness than upon reason." The Governor said that he would have the picture at such price as it cost, that by his means might be added to the marvels of Rome one thing that should advantage it above the most excellent tables which made it famous. "I will bestow it upon you," answered Periander, "because I think in giving it to such a master, I do thereunto all the honour that is possible to be done." The Governor thanked him, and at the same time enlarged the pilgrim princes, re-delivered their chains and reserved the portrait for himself, because it was reasonable that somewhat should fall to his share.

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Chapter VIII

How Hypolita the Courtesan enchanteth Auristela through the means of Zabulon's wife the Jew.

Hypolita returned to her house with greater confusion than repentance and no less pensive than amorous: for, though at love's beginning disdains may extinguish it, yet those of Periander did more strongly kindle hers and more lively inflamed her desires. It seemed unto her that a pilgrim should not be of such hard brass, but that he should be mollified by the good entertainment which she purposed to make him. And reasoning in her self, she said, "If this pilgrim were poor, he would not wear so rich a cross, whereof the diamonds evidently declare the value. For which cause this strong rock is not possible to be taken by famine, but there are other stratagems and policies to be put in practice. Might it not be possible that this young man hath his mind placed elsewhere, and that this Auristela is not his sister? O my God, it seems that in this point I have lighted upon the means of my redress! Go to, then, let Auristela die: let us discover this enchantment: let us see the sorrow and feeling which this heart of rocks will have: let us put this design in practice: let us take this sun from Periander's eyes and see if upon failing of her beauty, this first cause of his love, his love may fail: for it may be, in giving unto him that which I shall take from him, in depriving him of Auristela, it may come to pass that he will change his humour, and become as pleasant and amorous as he is now cruel and savage. At the least I will make a trial, holding myself to the common saying, that it is no hurt to assay such things as discover some track of profit."

Being something comforted in this imagination she came to her house, and there found Zabulon, whom she made acquainted with her purpose, knowing that he had a wife who in reputation and effect was the greatest sorceress in Rome; and first having made way by gifts and promises, prayed and conjured him to do so much with his bedfellow, not that she should alter Periander's mind (for she knew well that it was impossible) but that she should make Auristela sick, and within a certain term kill her, if need should require (which Zabulon said was easy to the power and science of his wife). He received I know not how much for the first payment, and promised that the next morning Auristela's health should begin to impair. Hypolita not only filled Zabulon with gifts and promises, but adjoined threatenings in case he put not his word in execution, for presents and threats induce a Jew to promise and execute all things impossible.

Periander made relation to Crorianus, Ruperta, Auristela and Constance, of his imprisonment, the love of Hypolita and the present which he had made unto the Governor of Auristela's picture; who was not well content with the courtesan's loves, because she had heard say that this was one of the fairest women of Rome, the most liberal, the richest and discreetest. And jealous lovers make a mountain of a mouse, though it be no bigger than a fly's foot; and when discretion taketh hold of the tongue that it dares not complain, it fettereth and tormenteth the soul in the straight bonds of silence, making it every moment to seek some issue to relinquish the body. It hath been said before that the best remedy of jealousy is to hear the excuses and justifications of those that cause it: which when they are not received, let them no further make reckoning of life; which Auristela would sooner have lost a thousand times, than frame one only complaint of Periander's fidelity.

This night was the first that Bartholomew and the Talaveran woman went to visit their masters and, though they were out of prison, yet they were not free but tied in harder chains than before, namely, marriage, which they had contracted together: for the death of the Polonian had set Louise at liberty, and his destiny had brought him to Rome in pilgrimage, where he found that which he sought not, instead of returning to Polonia as Periander had advised him, being in Spain.

This same night, Arnaldo came to see all these ladies and told them what things had befallen him in coming back to seek them, after he had appeased the troubles of his kingdom. Amongst other things, he told them that he came back by the Hermit's Island where he found, not Rutilio, but another Hermit in his place, who informed him that Rutilio was at Rome. He said also that he had been at the Fishers' Isle, and had there found Selviana and Leoncia at liberty with their husbands, being in health and merry; as also all those who had embarked with Periander. He also related how he heard say that Policarpus was dead, and that Synforosa would not marry; that the barbarian isle was re-peopled, and how the inhabitants confirmed themselves in belief of their false prophecy. Also that Maurice, his daughter Transilla, and Ladislas, his son-in-law, had left their country and retired into England. He said also that he had seen Leopoldus who, to leave a successor in his kingdom, was married, and had pardoned the two traitors whom he led prisoners when Periander and the fishermen met him: to whose courtesy he acknowledged himself to be greatly obliged. And amongst the names which he was constrained to mention in his discourse, he sometimes touched those of Periander's parents, and sometimes those of Auristela, which moved their hearts and reduced to memory, as well their high estate as their misfortunes. He told them that in Portugal, and principally in Lisbon, their portraits were much esteemed; that they had left France full of their reputation, and that Crorianus had gotten a renown to be generous and prudent in the choice he had made of his wife; that in Lucca they talked of nothing else but the strange policy of Isabell Castruccio with Andrew Marullus whereby, in counterfeiting a devil, she now led the life of an angel. He declared how the fall of Periander was held for a miracle, and said also that he had found a young pilgrim who was a poet, who would not come forth with him, for that he would go at his ease, and was composing a comedy of the adventures of Periander and Auristela: which he knew by heart, by means of a table which he had seen in Portugal where they were painted, and that he had a firm purpose to marry Auristela if she would.

Auristela thanked him for his good will, and thereupon offered to give him a suit of apparel if his were torn, because the desire of a good poet deserved a good payment.

He also said that he had been in the house of Constance and Anthony, and that his parents and grandsires were in good health and only troubled for the absence of their children, and because they heard no news of them, desiring their return, at least of Constance, to marry her with the Earl who herein would follow the wise election of his brother: whereat all the company were exceeding glad, especially Auristela and Periander, who loved her as their sister.

Arnaldo related also unto them how in France he had found Renatus the French Knight, vanquished in combating for a good cause and afterward victorious by the conscience of his enemy. Few matters remained in effect of those we have recounted in the process of this history wherein he had been present, but he brought them to memory, not forgetting the portrait of Auristela which Periander kept back against the Duke's will and his, and which he much desired to recover out of his hands, although, lest he should anger Periander, he said he would dissemble the wrong which was done him in this behalf. "I would have rendered the same unto you before now," said Periander, "if I knew that it were yours. Fortune and the Duke's diligence gave it unto him: you took it from him by force, or at the least by surprise: wherefore you have no occasion to complain. Lovers are bound not to judge their causes by the measure of their desires, neither should they satisfy them to reason's prejudice. Nevertheless, I will take a course that, you resting contented, the Duke shall be satisfied, by giving the portrait unto my sister Auristela, to whom it belongs rather than to any other." Arnaldo paid himself with this reason, and Auristela herself was herewith pleased. Hereupon his discourse ended: and the next day morning began the enchantments and witchcrafts of the malicious Julia, the wife of Zabulon, to work on the body of Auristela.

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Chapter IX

Of the dangerous sickness of Auristela, and how the Duke of Nemours took his leave of her.

Sickness assailed not the health of Auristela face to face, for fear lest so many beauties should terrify her deformity; but she took her by the back, shaking her so often that morning that she was constrained to keep her bed all that day. Immediately, she lost her appetite, the liveliness of her eyes began to die, and weakness and decay (which in continuance of time are accustomed to happen unto sick persons) extended themselves in a moment over all the senses of Auristela, working the like effects upon Periander's, who was troubled by reason of this accident more than the rest, fearing with others all mischiefs possible, and especially such as unhappy persons have cause to fear.

It was not above two hours after she fell sick but the natural roses of her cheeks were of a leaden colour; the carnation of her lips, wan; and the pearls of her teeth, black. It seemed that her very hair had altered the colour, and the natural position of her face was turned. Yet for all this, Periander found her nothing the less fair, because he beheld her not on the bed where she lay, but in his soul where he had imprinted her.

The astonishment passed unto the French ladies: and the care which all of them together had of Auristela's health was so great, that themselves had need of some to take no less care of them. They called the physicians, made choice of the best, at the least those which had the best renown: for a good opinion makes the physic work the better, and there are physicians as well as soldiers who are fortunate. But neither their sufficiency nor good fortune availed to any purpose, which made Anthony and Constance to despair; and comfortless Periander, more than they all.

The Duke, then, whose love was engendered from the beauty of Auristela, as soon as beauty began to fail in her, love began to die in him: for it was necessary that it should have taken deep root, to be extended unto the grave's brink. There is nothing so fair which in dying is not loathsome, and that which cometh nearest thereunto is pain: wherefore, to love things which are ill-favoured and in pain, seemeth to be supernatural and miraculous.

Auristela in the end grew every hour weaker and weaker, depriving those that knew her of all hope of her recovery. Only Periander abode firm, only amorous, and alone with bold courage opposed himself to contrary fortune, and to death itself, threatening him in the person of Auristela. The Duke of Nemours waited fifteen days to see if Auristela should amend, and in all that time not one day escaped wherein he asked not counsel as concerning her health, yet was unable to get any assurance of the physicians, because they knew not precisely the cause of her grief. Which when the Duke perceived, and that the angelical brightness of Auristela was converted into darkness, one day going to see her in her bed where she lay sick, he thus spoke in the presence of Periander:

"For as much as fortune, Madam, hath been so contrary unto me as to cut off my hope which I had to espouse you; before that despair bring me to terms of losing my soul, as it hath reduced me to the point to lose my life, I am resolved to provide for my fortune by some other means. My mother hath recalled me, and hath already provided for me a wife. I will obey her and, with sorrow for your evil, bear away the memorial of your beauty." And in saying this, some tears appeared in his eyes. Auristela either could not, or would not answer, because she would not fail in her words before Periander; but putting her hand under her pillow, she drew forth the picture which Periander had delivered unto her, and rendered the same unto the Duke who, in thankfulness for so great a favour, kissed her hands. But Periander, reaching forth his, took the same, and said unto the Duke: "If it please you, my Lord, I most humbly beseech you to lend it unto me, to accomplish my word which I have given; which is no way hurtful unto you, but much to my prejudice if I do not accomplish it."

The Duke, full of courtesy, gave it him, making great offers to employ for him his goods, his honour and his life, and more if it were possible. And thereupon he departed from them, thinking to see them no more at Rome: a discreet lover, and it may be the first which made good use of the occasion offered unto him.

All these things might have wakened Arnaldo, and made him consider on how weak a foundation his hopes were built, and that his voyages were badly enterprised, seeing already that death walked upon Auristela's gown: also, he was in a great wavering whether he should follow the Duke, if not in his journey, at the least in his intent, and return into his kingdom of Denmark. But Love in his generous mind would not suffer him to leave Periander without any comfort, and his sister Auristela at the point of death: whom he visited, renewing his first offers with resolution to attend the time that should better his fortunes, in despite of all defiances that might befall him.

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Chapter X

Auristela is delivered from the charm of Julia, and of the discourse which she held with Periander.

Hypolita received very great contentment when she saw the enchantments of the cruel Julia were so apparent in prejudice of Auristela's health, for in less than eight days they had brought her to an estate so much different from that she was wont to have that now she could no more be known but by the organ of her voice, which held all the physicians in suspense and made them all marvel that saw her. The French ladies also were diligent about her health, whereof they had no less care than if they had been her sisters, especially Feliflore, who loved her with a particular affection.

To be brief, Auristela's infirmity came to this extremity: passing the limits of the own jurisdiction, it entered into the bounds of the next neighbour's; and as Periander was nearer than any, so he was the first that it encountered, not because the poison or witchcrafts wrought in him directly as in Auristela, for whom they were made, but by reason that the pain which he felt for her sickness was so great that it caused in him the same effects that she had, and brought him to such weakness that all began to d