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Title: The Decameron (Day 1 to Day 5) - Containing an hundred pleasant Novels
Author: Boccaccio, Giovanni
Language: English
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An hundred pleasant Novels.

_Wittily discoursed, betweene seaven Honourable Ladies, and three Noble

London, printed by
Isaac Jaggard,

The Epistle Dedicatory.

Coronation of our Soveraigne Lord King James, Lord Baron of Sherland,
Earle of Montgomery, and Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter,

_The Philosopher Zeno (Right Honourable, and my most worthily esteemed
Lord) being demaunded on a time by what meanes a man might attaine
to happinesse; made answere:_ By resorting to the dead, and having
familiar conversation with them. _Intimating thereby:_ The reading of
ancient and moderne Histories, and endeavouring to learne such good
instructions, as have bene observed in our Predecessors. _A Question
also was mooved by great King_ Ptolomy, _to one of the learned wise
Interpreters. In what occasions a King should exercise himselfe,
whereto thus hee replyed:_ To know those things which formerly have bin
done: And to read Bookes of those matters which offer themselves dayly,
or are fittest for our instant affaires. And lastly, in seeking those
things whatsoever, that make for a Kingdomes preservation, and the
correction of evill manners or examples.

_Upon these good and warrantable grounds (most Noble Lord) beside many
more of the same Nature, which I omit, to avoide prolixity, I dare
boldly affirme, that such as are exercised in the reading of Histories,
although they seeme to be but yong in yeares, and slenderly instructed
in worldly matters: yet gravity and gray-headed age speaketh maturely
in them, to the no meane admiration of common and vulgar judgement.
As contrariwise, such as are ignorant of things done and past, before
themselves had any being: continue still in the estate of children,
able to speake or behave themselves no otherwise; and, even within the
bounds of their Native Countries (in respect of knowledge or manly
capacity) they are no more then well-seeming dumbe Images.

In due consideration of the precedent allegations, and uppon the
command, as also most Noble encouragement of your Honour from time to
time; this Volume of singular and exquisite Histories, varied into
so many and exact natures, appeareth in the worlds view, under your
Noble patronage and defence, to be safely sheelded from foule-mouthed
slander and detraction, which is too easily throwne upon the very best
deserving labours.

I know (most worthy Lord) that many of them have (long since) bene
published before, as stolne from the first originall Author, and yet
not beautified with his sweete stile and elocution of phrases, neither
favouring of his singular morall applications. For, as it was his full
scope and ayme, by discovering all Vices in their ugly deformities, to
make their mortall enemies (the sacred Vertues) to shine the clearer,
being set downe by them, and compared with them: so every true and
upright judgement, in observing the course of these well-carried
Novels, shall plainly perceive, that there is no spare made of reproofe
in any degree whatsoever, where sin is embraced, and grace neglected;
but the just deserving shame and punishment thereon inflicted, that
others may be warned by their example. In imitation of witty_ Æsope;
_who reciteth not a Fable, but graceth it with a judicious morall
application; as many other worthy Writers have done the like.

For instance, let me heere insert one. A poore man, having a pike
staffe on his shoulder, and travailing thorow a Countrey Village, a
great Mastive Curre ran mainly at him, so that hardly he could defend
himselfe from him. At the length, it was his chance to kill the Dogge:
for which, the Owner immediately apprehending him, and bringing him
before the Judge, alledged, that he had slaine his servant, which
defended his life, house, and goods, and therefore challenged
satisfaction. The Judge leaning more in favour to the Plaintiffe, as
being his friend, neighbour, and familiar, then to the justice and
equity of the cause; reprooved the poore fellow somewhat sharpely, and
peremptorily commanded him, to make satisfaction, or else he would
commit him to prison. That were injustice replyed the poore man,
because I kilde the dogge in defence of mine owne life, which deserveth
much better respect then a million of such Curres. Sirra, sirra, saide
the Judge, then you should have turned the other end of your staffe,
and not the pike, so the dogges life had beene saved, and your owne in
no danger. True Sir (quoth the fellow) if the dog would have turn'd
his taile, and bit mee with that, and not his teeth, then we both had
parted quietly.

I know your honour to be so truly judicious, that your selfe can make
the moral allusion, both in defence of my poore paines, and acceptation
of the same into your protection: with most humble submission of my
selfe, and all my uttermost endeavours, to bee alwayes ready at your

_The Authors Prologue, to the Lords, Ladies, and Gentlewomen._

It is a matter of humanity, to take compassion on the afflicted, and
although it be fitting towards all in generall, yet to such as are most
tied by bond of duty, who having already stood in neede of comfort,
do therefore most needfully deserve to enjoy it. Among whom, if ever
any were in necessity, found it most precious, and thereby received no
small contentment, I am one of them; because from my verie yongest
yeeres, even untill this instant: mine affections became extraordinarily
enflamed, in a place high and Noble, more (perhaps) then beseemed
my humble condition, albeit no way distasted in the judgement of
such as were discreete, when it came truly to their knowledge and
understanding. Yet (indeed) it was very painfull for me to endure,
not in regard of her cruelty, whom I so deerely loved; as for want of
better government in mine owne carriage; being altogether swayed by
rash and peevish passions, which made my afflictions more offensive to
mee, then either wisedome allowed, or suited with my private particular.

But, as counsell in misery is no meane comfort, so the good advice of a
worthy friend, by many sound and singular perswasions, wrought such a
deliberate alteration; as not onely preserved my life (which was before
in extreame perill) but also gave conclusion to my inconsiderate love,
which in my precedent refractarie carriage, no deliberation, counsell,
evident shame, or whatsoever perill should ensue thereon, could in any
manner contradict; beganne to asswage of it selfe in time, bestowing
not onely on me my former freedome; but delivering me likewise from
infinite perplexities.

And because the acknowledgement of good turnes or courtesies received
(in my poore opinion) is a vertue among all other highly to bee
commended, and the contrary also to be condemned: to shewe my selfe
not ingratefull, I determined (so soone as I saw my selfe in absolute
liberty) in exchange of so great a benefit bestowne on mee, to minister
some mitigation, I will not say to such as releeved me, because their
owne better understanding, or blessednesse in Fortune, may defend
them from any such necessity; but rather to them which truly stand in
need. And although that my comfort, may some way or other availe the
common needie, yet (methinkes) where greefe is greatest, and calamity
most insulteth; there ought to be our paines soundly imployed, and our
gravest instructions and advise wholly administred.

And who can deny, but that it is much more convenient, to commisserate
the distresse of Ladies and Gentlewomen, then the more able condition
of men? They, as being naturally bashfull and timorous, have their soft
and gentle soules, often enflamed with amorous afflictions, which lie
there closely concealed, as they can best relate the power of them,
that have bin subject to the greatest proofe. Moreover, they being
restrained from their wils and desires, by the severity of Fathers,
Mothers, Bretheren, and Husbands, are shut up (most part of their time)
in their Chambers, where constrainedly sitting idle, diversity of
straunge cogitations wheele up and downe their braines, forging as many
severall imaginations, which cannot be alwayes pleasant and contenting.
If melancholly, incited by some amorous or lovely apprehension,
oppresse their weake and unresisting hearts: they must be glad to beare
it patiently (til by better Fortune) such occasions happen, as may
overcome so proud an usurpation.

Moreover, we cannot but confesse, that they are lesse able, then men,
to support such oppressions: for if men grow affectionate, wee plainely
perceive, when any melancholly troublesome thoughts, or what greefes
else can any way concerne them, their soules are not subject to the
like sufferings. But admit they should fall into such necessity,
they can come and go whither they will, heare and see many singular
sights, hawk, hunt, fish, fowle, ride, or saile on the Seas, all which
exercises have a particular power in themselves, to withdraw amorous
passions, and appropriate the will to the pleasing appetite, either by
alteration of ayre, distance of place, or protraction of time, to kill
sorrow, and quicken delight.

Wherefore, somewhat to amend this error in humane condition, and where
least strength is, as we see to bee in you most gracious Ladies and
Gentlewomen, further off (then men) from all fraile felicities: for
such as feele the weighty insultations of proud and imprious love, and
thereby are most in neede of comfort (and not they that can handle the
Needle, Wheele, and Distaffe) I have provided an hundred Novelles,
Tales, Fables, or Histories, with judicious moralles belonging to them,
for your more delight, and queinter exercise. In a faire and worthy
assembly, of seven Honourable Ladies, and three Noble Gentlemen, they
were recounted within the compasse of ten dayes, during the wofull time
of our so late dangerous sicknesse, with apt Sonnets or Canzons, for
the conclusion of each severall day.

In which pleasing Novels, may be observed many strange accidents of
Love, and other notable adventures, happening as well in our times, as
those of graver antiquity: by reading whereof, you may receyve both
pleasure and profitable counsell, because in them you shal perceive,
both the sin to be shunned, and the vertue to be embraced; which
as I wholly hate the one, so I do (and ever will) honour the others

_The Table._

The Epistle Dedicatory.

The Authors Prologue, to the Lords, Ladies, and Gentlewomen.

The First Day, Governed by Madam Pampinea.

1. Novell.

_Messire Chappelet du Prat, by making a
false confession, beguiled an holy religious
man, and after dyed. And having during
his life time, bene a very bad man, at his death
was reputed to be a Saint, and called S. Chappelet._

2. Novell.

_Abraham a Jew, beeing admonished or advised
by a friend of his, named Jehannot de Chevigny,
travailed from Paris unto Rome: And beholding
there, the wicked behaviour of men in the
Church, returned to Paris againe, where (neverthelesse)
he became a Christian._

3. Novell.

_Melchisedech a Jewe, by recounting a tale of
three Rings, to the great Soldan, named Saladine,
prevented a great danger which was prepared
for him._

4. Novell.

_A monke having committed an offence, deserving
to be very greevously punished; freed himselfe
from the paine to be inflicted on him, by wittily reprehending
his Abbot, with the very same fault._

5. Novell.

_Lady Marquesse of Montferrat, with a Banket
of Hens, and divers other gracious speeches beside,
repressed the fond love of the King of France._

6. Novell.

_An honest plaine meaning man (simply & conscionably)
reprehended the malignity, hypocrisie,
and misdemeanour of many religious persons._

7. Novell.

_Bergamino, by telling a Tale of a skilfull man,
named Primasso, and of an Abbot of Clugni;
honestly checked a new kinde of covetousnesse, in
Master Can de la Scala._

8. Novell.

_Guillaume Boursieur, with a few quaint & familiar
words, checkt the miserable covetousness
of Signior Herminio de Grimaldi._

9. Novell.

_How the King of Cyprus was wittily reprehended,
by the words of a Gentlewoman of Gascoignie,
and became vertuously altered from his
vicious disposition._

10. Novell.

_Master Albert of Bullen, honestly made a Lady
to blush, that thought to have done as much
to him, because she perceived him to be amorously
affected towardes her._

The second Day, governed by
Madam Philomena.

1. Novell.

_Martellino counterfetting to bee lame of his
members, caused himselfe to bee set on the
body of Saint Arriguo, where hee made
shew of his sodaine recovery: but when his dissimulation
was discovered, he was well beaten, being
afterward taken prisoner, and in great danger
of being hanged and strangled by the necke, and
yet escaped in the end._

2. Novell.

_Rinaldo de Este, after he was robbed by theeves
arrived at Chasteau Guillaume, where he was
friendly lodged by a faire Widow, and recompenced
likewise for all his losses; returning afterward
safe and well home unto his owne house._

3. Novell.

_Of three yong Gentlemen, being Brethren, and
having spent all their Landes and possessions
vainly, became poore. A Nephew of theirs (falling
almost into as desperate a condition) became
acquainted with an Abbot, whom hee afterward
found to be the King of Englands Daughter, and
made him her Husband in marriage, recompencing
all his Unckles losses, and seating them again
in good estate._

4. Novell.

_Landolpho Ruffolo, falling into poverty, became
a Pirate on the Seas, and beeing taken by the
Genewayes, hardly escaped drowning: Which yet
(neverthelesse) he did, upon a little chest or coffer
full of very rich Jewels, beeing carried thereon to
Corfu, where he was well entertained by a good
woman: and afterward, returned richly home to
his owne house._

5. Novell.

_Andrea de Piero, travelling from Perouse unto
Naples to buy Horses, was (in the space of one
night) surprized by three admirable accidents,
out of all which he fortunately escaped, and with
a rich Ring, returned home to his owne house._

6. Novell.

_Madame Beritola Caracalla, was found in an
Island with two Goates, having lost her two
sons, and thence travailed into Lunigiana: where
one of her Sonnes became servant to the Lord thereof,
and was found some-what over-familiar with
his Maisters daughter, who therefore caused him
to be imprisoned. Afterward, when the Country of
Sicily rebelled against King Charles, the aforesaid
Sonne chanced to be known by his Mother, & was
married to his Masters daughter. And his brother
being found likewise, they both returned to great
estate and credite._

7. Novell.

_The Soldane of Babylon sent one of his Daughters,
to be joyned in marriage with the King of
Cholcos; who by divers accidents (in the space of
foure yeares) happened into the custodie of nine
men, and in sundry places. At length, being restored
back to her Father, she went to the said king
of Cholcos, as a Maide, and as at first she was intended
to be his Wife._

8. Novell.

_Count D'Angiers being falsely accused, was banished
out of France, and left his two children
in England in divers places. Returning afterward
(unknowne) thorough Scotland, hee found them
advanced unto great dignity: Then, repairing in
the habit of a Servitor, into the King of Fraunce
his army, and his innocency made publikely knowen,
he was reseated in his former honourable degree._

9. Novell.

_Bernardo, a Merchant of Geneway, being deceived
by another Merchant, named Ambrosio,
lost a great part of his goods: and commanding his
innocent wife to be murthered, she escaped, and in
the habit of a man, became servant to the Soldan.
The deceiver being found at last, she compassed such
means, that her husband Bernardo came into Alexandria,
and there after due punishment inflicted
on the false deceiver, she resumed the garments
againe of a woman, and returned home with her
Husband to Geneway._

10. Novell.

_Pagamino da Monaco, a roving Pyrate on the
seas, caried away the faire Wife of Signieur
Ricciardo di Chinzica, who understanding where
shee was, went thither; and falling into friendship
with Pagamino, demanded his wife of him; whereto
he yeelded, provided, that she would willingly go
away with him: shee denied to part thence with
her husband, and Signior Ricciardo dying, shee became
the wife of Pagamino._

The third day, governed by Madame

1. Novell.

_Massetto di Lamporechio, by counterfetting
himselfe dumbe, became a Gardiner in a
Monastery of Nuns, where he had familiar
conversation with them all._

2. Novell.

_A querry of the stable belonging to Agilulffo, K.
of the Lombards, found the meanes of accesse
to the Queenes bedde, without any knowledge or
consent in her. This beeing secretly discovered by
the King, and the party knowne, hee gave him a
marke, by shearing the hair of his head. Whereuppon,
hee that was so shorne sheared likewise the
heads of all his fellowes in the lodging and so escaped
the punishment intended towards him._

3. Novell.

_Under colour of confession and of a most pure conscience,
a faire yong Gentlewoman, being amorously
affected to an honest man; induced a devout
and solemne religious Friar, to advise her in the
meanes (without his suspition or perceiving) how to
enjoy the benefit of her friend, and bring her desires
to their full effect._

4. Novell.

_A yong scholler named Felice, enstructed Puccio
di Rinieri, how to become rich in a very short
time. While Puccio made experience of the instructions
taught him; Felice obtained the favour of
his daughter._

5. Novell.

_Ricciardo, surnamed the Magnifico, gave a horse
to signior Francesco Vergellisi, upon condition;
that by his leave and license, he might speak to his
wife in his presence, which he did, and she not returning
him any answer, made answer to himself
on her behalfe, and according to his answer, so the
effect followed._

6. Novell.

_Ricciardo Minutolo fel in love with the Wife of
Philippello Fighinolfi, and knowing her to bee
very jealous of her husband, gave her to understand,
that he was greatly enamored of his Wife,
and had appointed to meete her privatly in a bathing
house, on the next day following: where shee
hoping to take him tardy with his close compacted
Mistresse, found her selfe to be deceived by the said

7. Novell.

_Thebaldo Elisei, having received an unkinde repulse
by his beloved, departed from Florence, &
returning thither againe (a long while after) in
the habit of a pilgrime, hee spake with her, and
made his wrongs knowne unto her. Hee delivered
her husband from the danger of death, because it
was proved that he had slaine Thebaldo, he made
peace with his brethren, and in the end, wisely enjoyed
his hearts desire._

8. Novell.

_Ferando, by drinking a certaine kind of pouder,
was buried for dead & by the Abbot who was
enamored of his wife, was taken out of his grave,
and put into a darke prison, where they made him
beleeve that he was in purgatory: afterward when
time came that he should be raised to life againe,
he was made to keepe a childe, which the Abbot
had got by his wife._

9. Novell.

_Juliet of Narbona, cured the King of France of a
dangerous Fistula: in recompence whereof, she requested
to enjoy as her husband in mariage, Bertrand
the Count of Roussillion. He having maried
her against his wil, as utterly despising her, went
to Florence, where he made love to a yong Gentlewoman.
Juliet, by a queint and cunning policy,
compassed the meanes (insted of his chosen friend)
to lye with her owne husband, by whom shee had
two sonnes; which being afterward made knowne
unto the Count, hee accepted her into his favour againe,
and loved her as his loyall and honourable

10. Novell.

_The wonderfull and chaste resolved continencie
of faire Serictha, daughter to Siwalde King of
Denmarke, who beeing sought and sued unto by
many worthy persons, that did affect her dearely,
would not looke any man in the face, untill such
time as she was maried._

The Fourth Day, governed by

1. Novell.

_Tancrede, Prince of Salerne, caused the amorous
friend of his daughter to be slaine, and
sent her his heart in a cup of Golde: which
afterward she steeped in an impoysoned water, &
then drinking it, so dyed._

2. Novell.

_Friar Albert made a yong Venetian Gentlewoman
beleeve, that God Cupid was falne in love
with her, and he resorted oftentimes unto her, in
disguise of the same God: afterward, being frighted
by the Gentlewomans kindred and friends hee
cast himselfe out of her chamber window, and was
hidden in a poore mans house. On the day following,
in the shape of a wilde or savage man, he was
brought upon the Rialto of S. Mark, & being there
publikely knowne by the Brethren of his Order, he
was committed to prison._

3. Novell.

_Three yong Gentlemen affecting three Sisters,
fled with them into Canaie. The eldest of them
(through jealousie) becommeth the death of her
Lover. The second, by consenting to the Duke of
Canaies request, is the meanes of saving her life.
Afterward, her owne friend killeth her, & thence
flyeth away with the elder sister. The third couple,
both man and woman are charged with her
death, and being committed to prison, they confesse
the fact: and fearing death, by corruption of money
they prevaile with their keepers, escaping from
thence to Rhodes, where they died in great poverty._

4. Novell.

_Gerbino, contrarie to the former plighted faith
of his Grandfather King Gulielmo, soughte
with a ship at sea belonging to the King of Thunis
to take away his daughter, who was then in the
same ship. She being slaine by them that had the
possession of her, he likewise slew them; and afterward
had his owne head smitten off._

5. Novell.

_The three Brethren to Isabella, slew a Gentleman
that secretly loved her. His ghost appeared
to her in her sleepe, and shewed her in what
place they had buried his body. She (in silent manner)
brought away his head, and putting it into a
pot of earth, such as Flowers, Basile, or other sweet
herbes are usually set in, she watered it (a long
while) with her teares: whereof her Brethren having
intelligence; soone after she died, with meere
conceite of sorrow._

6. Novell.

_A beautifull yong Virgin, named Andreana, became
enamored of a young Gentleman, called
Gabriello. In conference together, shee declared a
dreame of hers to him, and he another of his unto
her; whereupon Gabriello fell down sodainly dead.
She, and her Chamber-maid were apprehended by
the Officers belonging unto the Seigneury, as they
were carrying Gabriello, to lay them before his
owne doore. The Potestate offering violence to the
virgin, and she resisting him vertuously: it came
to the understanding of her Father, who approved
the innocence of his daughter, and compassed her
deliverance. But she afterward, being wearie of
all worldly felicities, entred into Religion, & became
a Nun._

7. Novell.

_Faire Simonida affecting Pasquino, and walking
with him in a pleasant garden, it fortuned
that Pasquino rubbed his teeth with a leaf of
Sage, and immediately fell downe dead. Simonida
being brought before the bench of Justice, and
charged with the death of Pasquino: she rubbed
her teeth likewise, with one of the leaves of the
same Sage, as declaring what she saw him do, &
thereon she dyed also in the same manner._

8. Novell.

_Jeronimo affecting a yong Mayden named Silvestra
was constrained by the earnest importunity
of his Mother, to take a journey to Paris. At
his returne home from thence againe, he found his
love Silvestra maried. By secret meanes he got entrance
into her house and dyed upon the bed lying
by her. Afterward, his body being caried unto the
Church to receive buriall, shee likewise died there
instantly upon his coarse._

9. Novell.

_Messer Guiglielmo of Rossiglione having slaine
Messer Guiglielmo Guardastagno, whom he imagined
to love his wife, gave her his hart to eat.
Which she knowing afterward; threw her self out
of an high window to the ground: and being dead,
was then buried with her friend._

10. Novell.

_A Physitians wife laid a Lover of her maids, supposing
him to be dead, in a chest, by reason that
he had drunke water which usually was given to
procure a sleepy entrancing. Two Lombard Usurers,
stealing the chest, in hope of a rich booty, caried
it into their owne house, where afterwardes the
man awaking, was apprehended for a Theefe. The
Chamber-maid to the Physitians wife, going before
the bench of Justice, accuseth her self for putting
the imagined dead body into the chest, whereby
he escaped hanging: and the Theeves which
stole away the chest, were condemned to pay a very
great summe of money._

The Fift day, Governed by Madame

1. Novell.

_Chynon, by falling in love, became wise, and
by force of Armes, winning his faire Ladye
Iphigenia on the seas, was afterward imprisoned
at Rhodes. Being delivered by one name Lysimachus
with him he recovered his Iphigenia againe,
and faire Cassandra even in the middest of
their mariage. They fled with them into Candye,
where after they had maried them, they wer called
home to their owne dwelling._

2. Novell.

_Faire Constance of Liparis, fell in Love with
Martuccio Gomito: and hearing that hee was
dead, desperately she entred into a Barke which
being transported by the winds to Susa in Barbary,
from thence she went to Thunis, where she found
him to be living. There she made her selfe knowne
to him, and he being in great authority, as a privy
Counsellor to the King: he maried the saide Constance,
and returned richly home to her, to the Island
of Liparis._

3. Novell.

_Pedro Bocamazzo, escaping away with a yong
Damosel which he loved, named Angelina, met
with Theeves in his journey. The Damosel flying
fearfully into a Forest, by chaunce commeth to a
Castle. Pedro being taken by the theeves, & hapning
afterward to escape from them, accidentally
came to the same Castle where Angelina was: &
marying her, they then returned home to Rome._

4. Novell.

_Ricciardo Manardy, was found by Messer Lizio
da Valbonna, as he sat fast asleep at his daughters
chamber window, having his hand fast in hirs
and sleeping in the same manner. Whereupon they
were joyned together in mariage, and their long
loyall love mutually recompenced._

5. Novell.

_Guidotto of Cremona, departing out of this mortall
life, left a daughter of his with Jacomino
of Pavia. Giovanni di Severino, and Menghino da
Minghole, fel both in love with the yong Maiden,
and fought for her; who being afterward knowne
to be the sister to Giovanni, shee was given in mariage
to Menghino._

6. Novell.

_Guion di Procida, being found familiarly conversing
with a yong Damosel which he loved,
and had bene given formerly to Frederigo King of
Sicily: was bound to a stake to bee consumed with
fire. From which danger (neverthelesse) hee escaped;
being knowne by Don Rogiero de Oria, Lorde
Admirall of Sicily, and afterward marryed the

7. Novell.

_Theodoro falling in love with Violenta, the
daughter to his Master, named Amarigo, and
she conceyving with childe by him, was condemned
to be hanged. As they were leading him unto the
gallowes, beating and misusing him all the way:
hee happened to bee knowne by his owne Father,
whereupon he was released, and afterward injoyed
Violenta in mariage._

8. Novell.

_Anastasio, a Gentleman of the Family of the
Honesti by loving the daughter to Signior Paulo
Traversario, lavishly wasted a great part of
his substance, without receiving any love from her
againe. By perswasion of some of his kindred and
friends, he went to a countrey dwelling of his called
Chiasso, where hee saw a Knight desperately
pursue a yong Damosell, whom he slew, & afterward
gave her to be devoured by his hounds. Anastasio
invited his friends, and hers also whom he so
dearly loved, to take part of a dinner with him,
who likewise sawe the same Damosell so torne in
peeces: which his unkind love perceiving, & fearing
least the like ill fortune should happen to her,
she accepted Anastasio to bee her husband._

9. Novell.

_Frederigo, of the Alberighi Family, loved a
Gentlewoman, and was not requited with like
love againe. By bountifull expences, and over liberal
invitations, hee wasted and consumed all his
lands and goods, having nothing lefte him, but a
Hawke or Faulcon. His unkinde Mistresse, happeneth
to come visit him, and he not having any
other food for her dinner, made a dainty dish of
his Faulcon for her to feed on. Being conquered by
this his exceeding kinde courtesie, she changed her
former hatred towards him, accepting him as her
husband in marriage, and made him a man of
wealthy possessions._

10. Novell.

_Pedro di Vinciolo, went to sup at a friends house
in the City. His wife (in the meane while) had
a yong man whom she loved, at supper with her.
Pedro returning home upon a sodaine, the young
man was hidden under a Coope for Hens. Pedro,
in excuse of his so soone coming home, declareth;
how in the house of Herculano (with whome hee
should have supt) a friend of his wives was found,
which was the reason of the suppers breaking off.
Pedroes wife reproving the error of Herculanoes
wife: an Asse (by chance) treades on the young
mans fingers that lay hidden under the Henne-Coope.
Upon his crying out, Pedro steppeth thither,
sees him, knowes him, and findeth the fallacie of
his wife: with whom (neverthelesse) he groweth
to agreement, in regard of some imperfections in

The End of the Table.

THE DECAMERON, Containing, an Hundred pleasant NOVELLES.

_Wherein, after demonstration made by the Author, upon what occasion it
hapned, that the persons (of whom we shall speake heereafter) should
thus meete together, to make so queint a Narration of Novels: Hee
declareth unto you, that they first begin to devise and conferre, under
the government of Madam Pampinea, and of such matters as may be most
pleasing to them all._

The Induction of the Author, to the following Discourses.

Gracious Ladies, so often as I consider with my selfe, and observe
respectively, how naturally you are enclined to compassion; as many
times do I acknowledge, that this present worke of mine, will (in your
judgement) appeare to have but a harsh and offensive beginning, in
regard of the mournfull remembrance it beareth at the verie entrance
of the last Pestilentiall mortality, universally hurtfull to all that
beheld it, or otherwise came to knowledge of it. But for all that,
I desire it may not be so dreadfull to you, to hinder your further
proceeding in reading, as if none were to looke thereon, but with
sighes and teares. For, I could rather wish, that so fearefull a
beginning, should seeme but as an high and steepy hill appeares to them,
that attempt to travell farre on foote, and ascending the same with
some difficulty, come afterward to walk upon a goodly even plaine,
which causeth the more contentment in them, because the attaining
thereto was hard and painfull. For, even as pleasures are cut off by
griefe and anguish; so sorrowes cease by joyes most sweete and happie

After this breefe molestation, briefe I say, because it is contained
within small compasse of Writing; immediately followeth the most sweete
and pleasant taste of pleasure, whereof (before) I made promise to you.
Which (peradventure) could not bee expected by such a beginning, if
promise stoode not thereunto engaged. And indeed, if I could wel have
conveyed you to the center of my desire, by any other way, then so
rude and rocky a passage as this is, I would gladly have done it. But
because without this Narration, we could not demonstrate the occasion
how and wherefore the matters hapned, which you shall reade in the
ensuing Discourses: I must set them downe (even as constrained thereto
by meere necessity) in writing after this manner.

The yeare of our blessed Saviours incarnation, 1348. that memorable
mortality happened in the excellent City, farre beyond all the rest in
_Italy_; which plague, by operation of the superiour bodies, or rather
for our enormous iniquities, by the just anger of God was sent upon us
mortals. Some few yeeres before, it tooke beginning in the Easterne
partes, sweeping thence an innumerable quantity of living soules:
extending it selfe afterward from place to place Westward, untill it
seized on the said City. Where neither humane skill or providence,
could use any prevention, notwithstanding it was cleansed of many
annoyances, by diligent Officers thereto deputed: besides prohibition
of all sickly persons enterance, and all possible provision dayly used
for conservation of such as were in health, with incessant prayers and
supplications of devoute people, for the asswaging of so dangerous a

About the beginning of the yeare, it also began in very strange manner,
as appeared by divers admirable effects; yet not as it had done in the
East Countries, where Lord or Lady being touched therewith, manifest
signes of inevitable death followed thereon, by bleeding at the nose.
But here it began with yong children, male and female, either under
the armpits, or in the groine by certaine swellings, in some to the
bignesse of an Apple, in others like an Egge, and so in divers greater
or lesser, which (in their vulgar Language) they termed to be a Botch
or Byle. In very short time after, those two infected parts were grown
mortiferous, and would disperse abroad indifferently, to all parts of
the body; whereupon, such was the qualitie of the disease, to shew it
selfe by blacke or blew spottes, which would appeare on the armes of
many, others on their thighes, and everie part else of the body: in
some great and few, in others small and thicke.

Now as the Byle (at the beginning) was an assured signe of neere
approaching death; so prooved the spots likewise to such as had them:
for the curing of which sicknesse it seemed, that the Physitians
counsell, the vertue of Medicines, or any application else, could
not yeeld any remedy: but rather it plainely appeared, that either
the nature of the disease would not endure it, or ignorance in the
Physitians could not comprehend, from whence the cause proceeded, and
so by consequent, no resolution was to be determined. Moreover, beside
the number of such as were skilfull in Art, many more both women and
men, without ever having any knowledge in Physicke, became Physitians:
so that not onely few were healed, but (well-neere) all dyed, within
three dayes after the saide signes were seene; some sooner, and others
later, commonly without either Feaver, or any other accident.

And this pestilence was yet of farre greater power or violence; for,
not onely healthfull persons speaking to the sicke, comming to see
them, or ayring cloathes in kindnesse to comfort them, was an occasion
of ensuing death: but touching their garments, or any foode whereon
the sicke person fed, or any thing else used in his service, seemed to
transferre the disease from the sicke to the sound, in very rare and
miraculous manner. Among which matter of marvell, let me tell you one
thing, which if the eyes of many (as well as mine owne) had not seene,
hardly could I be perswaded to write it, much lesse to beleeve it,
albeit a man of good credit should report it. I say, that the quality
of this contagious pestilence was not onely of such efficacy, in taking
and catching it one of another, either men or women: but it extended
further, even in the apparant view of many, that the cloathes, or any
thing else, wherein one died of that disease, being toucht, or lyen
on by any beast, farre from the kind or quality of man, they did not
onely contaminate and infect the said beast, were it Dogge, Cat, or any
other; but also it died very soone after.

Mine owne eyes (as formerly I have said) among divers other, one day
had evident experience hereof, for some poore ragged cloathes of linnen
and wollen, torne from a wretched body dead of that disease, and hurled
in the open streete; two Swine going by, and (according to their
naturall inclination) seeking for foode on every dung-hill, tossed and
tumbled the cloathes with their snouts, rubbing their heads likewise
uppon them; and immediately, each turning twice or thrice about, they
both fell downe dead on the saide cloathes, as being fully infected
with the contagion of them: which accident, and other the like, if not
far greater, begat divers feares and imaginations in them that beheld
them, all tending to a most inhumane and uncharitable end; namely, to
flie thence from the sicke, and touching any thing of theirs, by which
meanes they thought their health should be safely warranted.

Some there were, who considered with themselves, that living soberly,
with abstinence from all superfluity; it would be a sufficient
resistance against all hurtfull accidents. So combining themselves in
a sociable manner, they lived as separatists from all other company,
being shut up in such houses, where no sicke body should be neere them.
And there, for their more security, they used delicate viands and
excellent wines, avoiding luxurie, and refusing speech to one another,
not looking forth at the windowes, to heare no cries of dying people,
or see any coarses carried to buriall; but having musicall instruments,
lived there in all possible pleasure. Others were of a contrary
opinion, who avouched, that there was no other physicke more certaine,
for a disease so desperate, then to drinke hard, be merry among
themselves, singing continually, walking every where, and satisfying
their appetites with whatsoever they desired, laughing, and mocking at
every mournefull accident, and so they vowed to spend day and night:
for now they would goe to one Taverne, then to another, living without
any rule or measure; which they might very easilie doe, because every
one of them, (as if he were to live no longer in this World) had even
forsaken all things that he had. By meanes whereof the most part of
the houses were become common, and all strangers, might doe the like
(if they pleased to adventure it) even as boldly as the Lord or owner,
without any let or contradiction.

Yet in all this their beastly behaviour, they were wise enough, to
shun (so much as they might) the weake and sickly: In which misery and
affliction of our City, the venerable authority of the Lawes, as well
divine as humane, was even destroyed, as it were, through want of the
awefull Ministers of them. For they being all dead, or lying sicke
with the rest, or else lived so solitary, in such great necessity of
servants and attendants, as they could not execute any office, whereby
it was lawfull for every one to doe as he listed.

Betweene these two rehearsed extremities of life, there were other of
a more moderate temper, not being so daintily dieted as the first, nor
drinking so dissolutely as the second; but used all things sufficient
for their appetites, and without shutting up themselves, walked
abroade, some carrying sweete nose-gayes of flowers in their hands;
others odoriferous herbes, and others divers kinds of spiceries,
holding them to their noses, and thinking them most comfortable for the
braine, because the ayre seemed to be much infected, by the noysome
smell of dead carkases, and other hurtfull savours. Some other there
were also of more inhumane minde (howbeit peradventure it might be
the surest) saying, that there was no better physicke against the
pestilence, nor yet so good; as to flie away from it, which argument
mainely moving them, and caring for no body but themselves, very
many, both men and women, forsooke the City, their owne houses, their
Parents, kindred, friends, and goods, flying to other mens dwellings
else-where. As if the wrath of God, in punishing the sinnes of men with
this plague, would fall heavily upon none, but such as were enclosed
within the City wals; or else perswading themselves, that not any one
should there be left alive, but that the finall ending of all things
was come.

Now albeit these persons in their diversity of opinions died not all,
so undoubtedly they did not all escape; but many among them becomming
sicke, and making a generall example of their flight and folly, among
them that could not stirre out of their beds, they languished more
perplexedly then the other did. Let us omit, that one Citizen fled
after another, and one neighbour had not any care of another, Parents
nor kinred never visiting them, but utterly they were forsaken on all
sides: this tribulation pierced into the hearts of men, and with such
a dreadfull terror, that one Brother forsooke another; the Unkle the
Nephew, the Sister the Brother, and the Wife her Husband: nay, a matter
much greater, and almost incredible; Fathers and Mothers fled away from
their owne Children, even as if they had no way appertained to them.
In regard whereof, it could be no otherwise, but that a countlesse
multitude of men and women fell sicke; finding no charity among their
friends, except a very few, and subjected to the avarice of servants,
who attended them constrainedly, for great and unreasonable wages, yet
few of those attendants to be found any where too. And they were men
or women but of base condition, as also of groser understanding, who
never before had served in any such necessities, nor indeed were any
way else to be imployed, but to give the sicke person such things as he
called for, or to awaite the houre of his death; in the performance of
which services, oftentimes for gaine, they lost their owne lives.

In this extreame calamity, the sicke being thus forsaken of neighbours,
kinred, and friends, standing also in such need of servants; a custome
came up among them, never heard of before, that there was not any
woman, how noble, young, or faire soever shee was, but falling sicke,
shee must of necessity have a man to attend her, were he young or
otherwise, respect of shame or modesty no way prevailing, but all parts
of her body must be discovered to him, which (in the like urgency)
was not to be seene by any but women: whereon ensued afterward, that
upon the parties healing and recovery, it was the occasion of further
dishonesty, which many being more modestly curious of, refused such
disgracefull attending, chusing rather to die, then by such helpe to
be healed. In regard whereof, as well through the want of convenient
remedies, (which the sicke by no meanes could attain unto) as also the
violence of the contagion, the multitude of them that died night and
day, was so great, that it was a dreadfull sight to behold, and as much
to heare spoken of. So that meere necesssity (among them that remained
living) begat new behaviours, quite contrary to all which had beene in
former times, and frequently used among the City Inhabitants.

The custome of precedent dayes (as now againe it is) was, that women,
kinred, neighbours, and friends, would meete together at the deceased
parties house, and there, with them that were of neerest alliance,
expresse their hearts sorrow for their friends losse. If not thus,
they would assemble before the doore, with many of the best Cittizens
and kindred, and (according to the quality of the deceased) the Clergy
met there likewise, and the dead body was carried (in comely manner)
on mens shoulders, with funerall pompe of Torch-light, and singing,
to the Church appointed by the deceased. But these seemely orders,
after that the fury of the pestilence began to encrease, they in like
manner altogether ceased, and other new customes came in their place;
because not onely people died, without having any women about them, but
infinites also past out of this life, not having any witnesse, how,
when, or in what manner they departed. So that few or none there were,
to deliver outward shew of sorrow and grieving: but insteed thereof,
divers declared idle joy and rejoycing, a use soone learned of immodest
women, having put off al feminine compassion, yea, or regard of their
owne welfare.

Very few also would accompany the body to the grave, and they not
any of the Neighbours, although it had beene an honourable Cittizen,
but onely the meanest kinde of people, such as were grave-makers,
coffin-bearers, or the like, that did these services onely for money,
and the beere being mounted on their shoulders, in all haste they would
runne away with it, not perhaps to the Church appointed by the dead,
but to the neerest at hand, having some foure or sixe poore Priests
following, with lights or no lights, and those of the silliest; short
service being said at the buriall, and the body unreverently throwne
into the first open grave they found. Such was the pittifull misery of
poore people, and divers, who were of better condition, as it was most
lamentable to behold; because the greater number of them, under hope of
healing, or compelled by poverty, kept still within their houses weake
and faint, thousands falling sick daily, and having no helpe, or being
succoured any way with foode or physicke, all of them died, few or none

Great store there were, that died in the streetes by day or night,
and many more beside, although they died in their houses; yet first
they made it knowne to their neighbours, that their lives perished,
rather by the noysome smell of dead and putrified bodies, then by any
violence of the disease in themselves. So that of these and the rest,
dying in this manner every where, the neighbours observed one course
of behaviour, (moved thereto no lesse by feare, that the smell and
corruption of dead bodies should harme them, then charitable respect of
the dead) that themselves when they could, or being assisted by some
bearers of coarses, when they were able to procure them, wold hale the
bodies (alreadie dead) out of their houses, laying them before their
doores, where such as passed by, especially in the mornings, might see
them lying in no meane numbers. Afterward, Bieres were brought thither,
and such as might not have the helpe of Bieres, were glad to lay them
on tables, and Bieres have bin observed, not onely to be charged with
two or three dead bodies at once, but many times it was seene also,
that the wife with the husband, two or three Brethren together; yea,
the Father and the mother, have thus beene carried along to the grave
upon one Biere.

Moreover, oftentimes it hath bene seene, that when two Priests went
with one Crosse to fetch the body; there would follow (behind) three
or foure bearers with their Bieres, and when the Priests intended
the buriall but of one bodie, sixe or eight more have made up the
advantage, and yet none of them being attended by any seemly company,
lights, teares, or the very least decencie, but it plainly appeared,
that the verie like account was then made of men or Women, as if they
had bene Dogges or Swine. Wherein might manifestly bee noted, that that
which the naturall course of things could not shewe to the wise, with
rare and little losse, to wit, the patient support of miseries and
misfortunes, even in their greatest height: not onely the wise might
now learne, but also the verie simplest people; & in such sort, that
they should alwaies be prepared against all infelicities whatsoever.

Hallowed ground could not now suffice, for the great multitude of dead
bodies, which were daily brought to every Church in the City, and
every houre in the day; neither could the bodies have proper place of
buriall, according to our ancient custome: wherefore, after that the
churches and Church-yards were filled, they were constrained to make
use of great deepe ditches, wherein they were buried by hundreds at
once, ranking dead bodies along in graves, as Merchandizes are laide
along in ships, covering each after other with a small quantity of
earth, & so they filled at last up the whole ditch to the brim.

Now, because I would wander no further in everie particularity,
concerning the miseries happening in our Citie: I tell you, that
extremities running on in such manner as you have heard; little lesse
spare was made in the Villages round about; wherein (setting aside
enclosed Castles, which were now filled like to small Cities) poore
Labourers and Husband-men, with their whole Families, dyed most
miserably in out-houses, yea, and in the open fieldes also; without
any assistance of physicke, or helpe of servants; & likewise in the
high-wayes, or their ploughed landes, by day or night indifferently,
yet not as men, but like brute beasts.

By meanes whereof, they became lazie and slothfull in their daily
endeavours, even like to our Citizens; not minding or medling with their
wonted affaires: but, as awaiting for death every houre, imployed all
their paines, not in caring any way for themselves, their cattle, or
gathering the fruits of the earth, or any of their accustomed labours;
but rather wasted and consumed, even such as were for their instant
sustenance. Whereupon, it fell so out, that their Oxen, Asses, Sheepe,
and Goates, their Swine, Pullen, yea their verie Dogges, the truest
and faithfullest servants to men, being beaten and banished from their
houses, went wildly wandring abroad in the fields, where the Corne grew
still on the ground without gathering, or being so much as reapt or
cut. Many of the fore-said beasts (as endued with reason) after they
had pastured themselves in the day time, would returne full fed at
night home to their houses, without any government of Heardsmen, or any

How many faire Palaces! How many goodly Houses! How many noble
habitations, filled before with families of Lords and Ladies, were
then to be seene emptie, without any one there dwelling, except some
silly servant? How many Kindreds, worthy of memory! How many great
inheritances! And what plenty of riches, were left without any true
successours? How many good men! How many woorthy Women! How many
valiant and comely yong men, whom none but _Galen, Hippocrates,_
and _Æsculapius_ (if they were living) could have reputed any way
unhealthfull; were seene to dine at morning, with their Parents,
Friends, and familiar confederates, and went to sup in another world
with their Predecessors?

It is no meane breach to my braine, to make repetition of so many
miseries; wherefore, being willing to part with them as easily as I
may: I say that our Citie being in this case, voide of inhabitants, it
came to passe (as afterward I understoode by some of good credite) that
in the venerable Church of S. _Marie la Neufue_, on a Tuesday morning,
there being then no other person, after the hearing of divine Service,
in mourning habits (as the season required) returned thence seven
discreet yong Gentlewomen, all allyed together, either by friendship,
neighbour-hood, or parentage. She among them that was most entred into
yeares, exceeded not eight and twenty, and the yongest was no lesse
then eighteene; being of Noble descent, faire forme, adorned with
exquisite behaviour, and gracious modesty.

Their names I could report, if just occasion did not forbid it, in
regard of the occasions following by them related, and because times
heereafter shall not taxe them with reproofe; the lawes of pleasure
being more straited now adayes (for the matters before revealed)
then at that time they were, not onely to their yeares, but to many
much riper. Neither will I likewise minister matter to rash heades
(over-readie in censuring commendable life) any way to impaire the
honestie of Ladies, by their idle detracting speeches. And therefore,
to the end that what each of them saith, may be comprehended without
confusion; I purpose to stile them by names, wholly agreeing, or (in
part) conformable to their qualities. The first and most aged, we will
name _Pampinea_; the second _Fiammetta_; the third _Philomena_; the
fourth _Æmilia_; the fift _Lauretta_; the sixt _Neiphila_; and the last
we terme (not without occasion) _Elissa_, or _Eliza_. All of them being
assembled at a corner of the Church, not by any deliberation formerly
appointed, but meerely by accident, and sitting as it were in a round
ring: after divers sighs severally delivered, they conferred on sundry
matters answerable to the sad qualitie of the time, and within a while
after, Madam _Pampinea_ began in this manner.

Faire Ladies, you may (no doubt as well as I) have often heard, that
no injury is offered to any one, by such as make use but of their owne
right. It is a thing naturall for everie one which is borne in this
World, to aide, conserve, and defend her life so long as shee can; and
this right hath bene so powerfully permitted, that although it hath
sometimes happened, that (to defend themselves) men have beene slaine
without any offence: yet Lawes have allowed it to be so, in whose
solicitude lieth the best living of all mortals. How much more honest
and just is it then for us, and for every other well-disposed person,
to seeke for (without wronging any) and to practise all remedies that
wee can, for the conservation of our lives? When I well consider,
what we have heere done this morning, and many other already past;
remembring (withall) what likewise is proper and convenient for us:
I conceive (as all you may do the like) that everie one of us hath a
due respect of her selfe, and then I mervaile not, but rather am much
amazed (knowing none of us to be deprived of a Womans best judgement)
that wee seeke not after some remedies for our selves, against that,
which every one among us, ought (in reason) to feare.

Heere we meete and remaine (as it seemeth to mee) in no other manner,
then as if we would or should be witnesses, to all the dead bodies at
rest in their graves; or else to listen, when the religious Sisters
here dwelling (whose number now are well-neere come to be none at all)
sing Service at such houres as they ought to do; or else to acquaint
all commers hither (by our mourning habites) with the quality and
quantitie of our hearts miseries. And when we part hence, we meete
with none but dead bodies; or sicke persons transported from one place
to another; or else we see running thorow the City (in most offensive
fury) such as (by authoritie of publike Lawes) were banished hence,
onely for their bad and brutish behaviour in contempt of those Lawes,
because now they know, that the executors of them are dead and sicke.
And if not these, more lamentable spectacles present themselves to us,
by the base rascality of the Citie; who being fatted with our blood,
tearme themselves Grave-makers, and in meere contemptible mockerie of
us, are mounted on horse-backe, gallopping everie where, reproaching
us with our losses and misfortunes, with lewd and dishonest songs: so
that we can hear nothing else but such and such are dead, and such and
such lie a dying; heere hands wringing, and everie where most pittifull

If we returne home to our houses (I know not whether your case bee
answerable to mine) when I can finde none of all my Family, but onely
my poore waiting Chamber-maide; so great are my feares, that the verie
haire on my head declareth my amazement, and wheresoever I go or sit
downe, me thinkes I see the ghostes and shadowes of deceased friends,
not with such lovely lookes as I was wont to behold them, but with most
horrid and dreadfull regards, newly stolne upon them I know not how.
In these respects, both heere, else-where, and at home in my house,
methinkes I am alwaies ill, and much more (in mine owne opinion) then
any other bodie, not having meanes or place of retirement, as all we
have, and none to remaine heere but onely we.

Moreover, I have often heard it said, that in tarrying or departing, no
distinction is made in things honest or dishonest; onely appetite will
be served; and be they alone or in company, by day or night, they do
whatsoever their appetite desireth: not secular persons onely, but such
as are recluses, and shut up within Monasteries, breaking the Lawes of
obedience, and being addicted to pleasures of the flesh, are become
lascivious and dissolute, making the world beleeve, that whatsoever is
convenient for other women, is no way unbeseeming them, as thinking in
that manner to escape.

If it be so, as manifestlie it maketh shew of it selfe; What do we
here? What stay we for? And whereon do we dreame? Why are we more
respectlesse of our health, then all the rest of the Citizens? Repute
we our selves lesse precious then all the other? Or do we beleeve, that
life is linked to our bodies with stronger chaines, then to others, and
that therefore we should not feare any thing that hath power to offend
us? Wee erre therein, and are deceived. What brutishnesse were it in
us, if wee should urge any such beleefe? So often as wee call to minde,
what, and how many gallant yong men and women, have beene devoured by
this cruell pestilence; wee may evidently observe a contrary argument.

Wherefore, to the end, that by being over-scrupulous and carelesse, we
fall not into such danger, whence when we would (perhaps) we cannot
recover our selves by any meanes: I thinke it meete (if your judgement
therein shall jumpe with mine) that all of us as we are (at least, if
we will doe as divers before us have done, and yet daily endeavour
to doe) shunning death by the honest example of other, make our
retreate to our Countrey houses, wherewith all of us are sufficiently
furnished, and thereto delight our selves as best we may, yet without
transgressing (in any act) the limits of reason. There shall we heare
the pretty birds sweetly singing, see the hilles and plaines verdantly
flourishing; the Corne waving in the field like the billowes of the
Sea; infinite store of goodly trees, and the Heavens more fairely open
to us, then here we can behold them: And although they are justly
displeased, yet will they not there denie us better beauties to gaze
on, then the walles in our City (emptied of Inhabitants) can affoord us.

Moreover, the Ayre is much fresh and cleere, and generally, there is
farre greater abundance of all things whatsoever, needefull at this
time for preservation of our health, and lesse offence or molestation
then wee find here.

And although Countrey people die, as well as heere our Citizens doe,
the griefe notwithstanding is so much the lesse, as the houses and
dwellers there are rare, in comparison of them in our City. And beside,
if we well observe it, here wee forsake no particular person, but
rather wee may tearme our selves forsaken; in regard that our Husbands,
Kinred, and Friends, either dying, or flying from the dead, have left
us alone in this great affliction, even as if we were no way belonging
unto them. And therefore, by following this counsell, wee cannot fall
into any reprehension; whereas if we neglect and refuse it, danger,
distresse, and death, (perhaps) may ensue thereon.

Wherefore, if you thinke good, I would allow it for well done, to take
our waiting women, with all such things as are needfull for us, and (as
this day) betake our selves to one place, to morrow to another, taking
there such pleasure and recreation, as so sweete a season liberally
bestoweth on us. In which manner we may remaine, till we see (if death
otherwise prevent us not) what ende the gracious Heavens have reserved
for us. I would have you also to consider, that it is no lesse seemely
for us to part hence honestly, then a great number of other Women to
remaine here immodestly.

The other Ladies and Gentlewomen, having heard Madam _Pampinea_, not
onely commended her counsell, but desiring also to put it in execution;
had already particularly consulted with themselves, by what means they
might instantly depart from thence. Neverthelesse, Madam _Philomena_,
who was very wise, spake thus.

Albeit faire Ladies, the case propounded by Madam _Pampinea_ hath
beene very wel delivered; yet (for all that) it is against reason for
us to rush on, as we are over-ready to doe. Remember that we are all
women, and no one among us is so childish, but may consider, that when
wee shall be so assembled together, without providence or conduct of
some man, we can hardly governe our selves. We are fraile, offensive,
suspicious, weake spirited, and fearefull: in regard of which
imperfections, I greatly doubt (if we have no better direction then our
owne) this society will sooner dissolve it selfe, and (perchance) with
lesse honour to us, then if we never had begunne it. And therefore it
shall be expedient for us, to provide before wee proceede any further.
Madam _Elissa_ hereon thus replied.

Most true it is, that men are the chiefe or head of women, and
without their order, sildome times doe any matters of ours sort to
commendable ende. But what meanes shal we make for men? we all know
well enough, that the most part of our friends are dead, and such as
are living, some be dispearsed here, others there, into divers places
and companies, where we have no knowledge of their being. And to accept
of strangers, would seeme very inconvenient; wherefore as we have
such care of our health, so should wee be as respective (withall) in
ordering our intention: that wheresoever wee aime at our pleasure and
contentment, reproofe and scandall may by no meanes pursue us.

While this discourse thus held among the Ladies, three young Gentlemen
came forth of the Church (yet not so young, but the youngest had
attained to five and twenty yeeres) in whom, neither malice of
the time, loss of friends or kinred, nor any fearefull conceit in
themselves, had the power to quench affection; but (perhaps) might
a little coole it, in regard of the queazy season. One of them
called himselfe _Pamphilus_, the second _Philostratus_, and the
last _Dioneus_. Each of them was very affable and well conditioned,
and walked abroade (for their greater comfort in such a time of
tribulation) to trie if they could meete with their faire friends, who
(happily) might all three be among these seaven, and the rest kinne
unto them in one degree or other. No sooner were these Ladies espyed
by them, but they met with them also in the same advantage; whereupon
Madam _Pampinea_ (amiably smiling) saide.

See how graciously Fortune is favourable to our beginning, by
presenting our eyes with three so wise and worthy young Gentlemen, who
will gladly be our guides and servants, if we doe not disdaine them
the office. Madam _Neiphila_ beganne immediatly to blush, because one
of them had a love in the company, and saide; Good Madam _Pampinea_
take heed what you say, because (of mine owne knowledge) nothing can
be spoken but good of them all; and I thinke them all to be absolutely
sufficient, for a farre greater employment then is here intended: as
being well worthy to keepe company, not onely with us, but them of
more faire and precious esteeme then we are. But because it appeareth
plainely enough, that they beare affection to some here among us: I
feare, if wee should make the motion, that some dishonour or reproofe
may ensue thereby, and yet without blame either in us or them. That is
nothing at all, answered Madam _Philomena_, let mee live honestly, and
my conscience not checke me with any crime; speake then who can to the
contrary, God and truth shal enter armes for me. I wish that they were
as willing to come, as all wee are to bid them welcome: for truly (as
Madam _Pampinea_ saide) wee may very well hope that Fortune will bee
furtherous to our purposed journey.

The other Ladies hearing them speake in such manner, not onely were
silent to themselves, but all with one accord and consent saide,
that it were well done to call them, and to acquaint them with their
intention, entreating their company in so pleasant a voyage. Whereupon,
without any more words, Madam _Pampinea_ mounting on her feete (because
one of the three was her Kinsman) went towards them, as they stood
respectively observing them; and (with a pleasing countenance) giving
them a gracious salutation, declared to them their deliberation,
desiring (in behalfe of all the rest) that with a brotherly and modest
minde, they would vouchsafe to beare them company.

The Gentlemen imagined at the first apprehension, that this was
spoken in mockage of them, but when they better perceived, that her
words tended to solemne earnest; they made answer, that they were
all heartily ready to doe them any service. And without any further
delaying, before they parted thence, tooke order for their aptest
furnishing with all convenient necessaries, and sent word to the
place of their first appointment. On the morrow, being Wednesday,
about breake of day, the Ladies, with certaine of their attending
Gentlewomen, and the three Gentlemen, having three servants to waite
on them; left the City to beginne their journey, and having travelled
about a leagues distance, arrived at the place of their first purpose
of stay; which was seated on a little hill, distant (on all sides) from
any high way, plentifully stored with faire spreading Trees, affoording
no meane delight to the eye. On the top of all stood a stately Pallace,
having a large and spacious Court in the middest, round engirt with
galleries, hals and chambers, every one separate alone by themselves,
and beautified with pictures of admirable cunning. Nor was there any
want of Gardens, Meadowes, and other pleasant walkes, with welles
and springs of faire running waters, all encompassed with branching
vines, fitter for curious and quaffing bibbers, then women sober and
singularly modest.

This Pallace the company found fully fitted and prepared, the beddes in
the Chambers made and daintily ordered, thickly strewed with variety
of flowers, which could not but give them the greater contentment.
_Dioneus_, who (above the other) was a pleasant young gallant, and
full of infinite witty conceits, saide; Your wit (faire Ladies) hath
better guided us hither, then our providence. I know not how you have
determined to dispose of your cares; as for mine owne, I left them at
the City gate, when I came thence with you: and therefore let your
resolution be, to spend the time here in smiles and singing (I meane,
as may fittest agree with your dignity) or else give me leave to
goe seeke my sorrowes againe, and so to remaine discontented in our
desolate City. Madam _Pampinea_ having in like manner shaken off her
sorrowes, delivering a modest and bashfull smile, replied in this

_Dioneus_, well have you spoken, it is fit to live merrily, and no
other occasion made us forsake the sicke and sad Citie. But, because
such things as are without meane or measure, are subject to no long
continuance. I, who began the motion, whereby this society is thus
assembled, and ayme at the long lasting thereof: doe hold it very
convenient, that wee should all agree, to have one chiefe commaunder
among us, in whom the care and providence should consist, for direction
of our merriment, performing honour and obedience to the party, as
to our Patrone and sole Governour. And because every one may feele
the burthen of sollicitude, as also the pleasure of commaunding, and
consequently have a sensible taste of both, whereby no envie may arise
on any side: I could wish, that each one of us (for a day onely) should
feele both the burthen and honour, and the person so to be advanced,
shall receive it from the election of us all. As for such as are to
succeede, after him or her that hath had the dayes of dominion: the
party thought fit for succession, must be named so soone as night
approacheth. And being in this eminencie (according as he or she shall
please) hee may order and dispose, how long the time of his rule shall
last, as also of the place and manner, where best we may continue our

These words were highly pleasing to them all, and, by generall voyce,
Madame _Pampinea_ was chosen Queene for the first day. Whereupon,
Madame _Philomena_ ranne presently to a Bay-tree, because she had often
heard, what honour belonged to those branches, and how worthy of honour
they were, that rightfully were crowned with them, plucking off divers
branches, she made of them an apparant and honourable Chaplet, placing
it (by generall consent) upon her head, and this, so long as their
company continued, manifested to all the rest, the signall of dominion
and Royall greatnesse.

After that Madame _Pampinea_ was thus made Queene, she commanded
publique silence, and causing the Gentlemens three servants, and the
waiting women also (being foure in number) to be brought before her,
thus shee began. Because I am to give the first example to you all,
whereby (proceeding on from good to better) our company may live in
order and pleasure, acceptable to all, and without shame to any: I
create _Parmeno_ (servant to _Dioneus_) Maister of the Houshold, hee
taking the care and charge of all our trayne, and for whatsoever
appertaineth to our Hall service. I appoint also that _Silisco_
(servant to _Pamphilus_) shall be our Dispencer and Treasurer,
performing that which _Parmeno_ shall commaund him. And that _Tindaro_
serve as Groome of the Chamber, to _Philostratus_ his Maister, and the
other two, when his fellowes (impeached by their offices) cannot be
present. _Misia_ my Chambermaid, and _Licisca_ (belonging to Philomena)
shall serve continually in the Kitchin, and diligently make ready such
vyands, as shall be delivered them by _Parmeno. Chimera_, wayting-woman
to _Lauretta_, and _Stratilia_ (appertaining to _Fiammetta_) shall have
the charge and governement of the Ladies Chambers, and preparing all
places where we shall be present. Moreover, we will and commaund every
one of them (as they desire to deserve our grace) that wheresoever they
goe or come, or whatsoever they heare or see: they especially respect
to bring us tydings of them. After shee had summarily delivered them
these orders, very much commended of every one; shee arose fairely,
saying. Heere wee have Gardens, Orchards, Meadowes, and other places of
sufficient pleasure, where every one may sport & recreate themselves:
but so soone as the ninth houre striketh, then all to meete here
againe, to dine in the coole shade.

This jocund company having received licence from their Queene to
disport themselves, the Gentlemen walked with the Ladies into a goodly
Garden, making Chaplets and Nosegayes of divers flowers, and singing
silently to themselves. When they had spent the time limitted by the
Queene, they returned into the house, where they found that _Parmeno_
had effectually executed his office. For, when they entred into the
Hall, they saw the Tables covered with delicate white naperie, and the
Glasses looking like silver, they were so transparantly cleare, all the
roome beside streawed with floures of Juniper. When the Queene and all
the rest had washed; according as _Parmeno_ gave order, so every one
was seated at the Table: the vyands (delicately drest) were served in,
and excellent wines plentifully delivered, none attending but the three
servants, and little or no loud table-talke passing among them.

Dinner being ended, and the tables withdrawne (all the Ladies, and the
Gentlemen likewise, being skilfull both in singing and dauncing, and
playing on instruments artificially) the Queene commaunded, that divers
instruments should be brought, and (as she gave charge) _Dioneus_
tooke a Lute, and _Fiammetta_ a Violl _de gamba_, and began to play an
excellent daunce. Whereupon the Queene, with the rest of the Ladies,
and the other two young Gentlemen (having sent their attending servants
to dinner) paced foorth a daunce very majestically. And when the daunce
was ended, they sung sundry excellent Canzonets, out-wearing so the
time, untill the Queene commaunded them all to rest, because the houre
did necessarily require it. The Gentlemen having their Chambers farre
severed from the Ladies, curiously strewed with flowers, and their
beds adorned in exquisite manner, as those of the Ladies were not a
jote inferiour to them: the silence of the night bestowed sweet rest
on them all. In the morning, the Queene and all the rest being risen,
accounting overmuch sleepe to be very hurtfull: they walked abroade
into a goodly Meadowe, where the grasse grew verdantly, and the beames
of the Sunne heated not over-violently, because the shades of faire
spreading trees gave a temperate calmenesse, coole and gentle winds
fanning their sweet breath pleasingly among them. All of them being
there set downe in a round ring, and the Queene in the middest, as
being the appointed place of eminencie, she spake in this manner.

You see (faire company) that the Sunne is highly mounted, the heate
(else-where) too extreme for us, and therefore here is our fittest
refuge, the aire being so coole, delicate, and acceptable, and our
folly well worthie reprehension, if we should walke further, and speede
worse. Heere are Tables, Cards, and Chesse, as your dispositions may
be addicted. But if mine advice might passe for currant, I would admit
none of those exercises, because they are too troublesome both to them
that play, and such as looke on. I could rather wish, that some quaint
discourse might passe among us, a tale or fable related by some one,
to urge the attention of all the rest. And so wearing out the warmth
of the day, one prety Novell will draw on another, until the Sun be
lower declined, and the heates extremity more diminished, to solace
our selves in some other place, as to our minds shal seeme convenient.
If therefore what I have sayde be acceptable to you (I purposing to
follow in the same course of pleasure) let it appeare by your immediate
answer; for, til the Evening, I think we can devise no exercise more
commodious for us.

The Ladies & Gentlemen allowed of the motion, to spend the time in
telling pleasant tales; whereupon the Queene saide: Seeing you have
approoved mine advice, I grant free permission for this first day,
that every one shall relate, what to him or her is best pleasing. And
turning her selfe to _Pamphilus_ (who was seated on her right hand)
gave him favour, with one of his Novels, to begin the recreation: which
he not daring to deny, and perceiving generall attention prepared for
him, thus he began.

_Messire Chappelet du Prat, by making a false confession, beguyled an
holy Religious man, and after dyed. And having (during his life time)
bene a verie bad man, at his death was reputed to be a Saint, and
called S. Chappelet._

The first Novell.

_Wherein is contained, how hard a thing it is, to distinguish goodnesse
from hypocrisie; and how (under the shadow of holinesse) the wickednes
of one man, may deceive many._

It is a matter most convenient (deare Ladies) that a man ought to
begin whatsoever he doth, in the great and glorious name of him, who
was the Creator of all thinges. Wherefore, seeing that I am the man
appointed, to begin this your invention of discoursing Novelties: I
intend to begin also with one of his wonderfull workes. To the end,
that this beeing heard, our hope may remaine on him, as the thing
onely permanent, and his name for ever to be praised by us. Now, as
there is nothing more certaine, but that even as temporall things are
mortall and transitory, so are they both in and out of themselves,
full of sorrow, paine, and anguish, and subjected to infinite dangers:
So in the same manner, we live mingled among them, seeming as part of
them, and cannot (without some error) continue or defend ourselves,
if God by his especiall grace and favour, give us not strength and
good understanding. Which power we may not beleeve, that either it
descendeth to us, or liveth in us, by any merites of our owne; but of
his onely most gracious benignity. Mooved neverthelesse, and entreated
by the intercessions of them, who were (as we are) mortals; and having
diligently observed his commandements, are now with him in eternall
blessednes. To whom (as to advocates and procurators, informed by the
experience of our frailty) wee are not to present our prayers in the
presence of so great a Judge; but only to himselfe, for the obtaining
of all such things as his wisedome knoweth to be most expedient for
us. And well may we credit, that his goodnesse is more fully enclined
towards us, in his continuall bounty and liberality; then the subtilty
of any mortal eye, can reach into the secret of so divine a thought:
and sometimes therefore we may be beguiled in opinion, by electing such
and such as our intercessors before his high Majesty, who perhaps are
farre off from him, or driven into perpetuall exile, as unworthy to
appeare in so glorious a presence. For he, from whom nothing can be
hidden, more regardeth the sincerity of him that prayeth, then ignorant
devotion, committed to the trust of a heedlesse intercessor; and such
prayers have alwaies gracious acceptation in his sight. As manifestly
will appeare, by the Novell which I intend to relate; manifestly (I
say) not as in the judgement of God, but according to the apprehension
of men.

There was one named, _Musciatto Francesi_, who from beeing a most rich
and great merchant in _France_, was become a Knight, and preparing to
go into _Tuscany_, with Monsieur _Charles without Land_, Brother to
the King of _France_ (who was desired and incited to come thither by
Pope _Boniface_) found his affaires greatly intricated here and there
(as oftentimes the matters of Merchants fall out to bee) and that very
hardly hee should sodainly unintangle them, without referring the
charge of them to divers persons. And for all he tooke indifferent
good order, onely he remained doubtfull, whom he might sufficiently
leave, to recover his debts among many _Burgundians_. And the rather
was his care the more herein, because he knew the _Burgundians_ to be
people of badde nature, rioters, brablers, full of calumny, and without
any faithfulnesse; so that he could not bethinke himselfe of any man
(how wicked soever he was) in whom he might repose trust to meete
with their lewdnesse. Having a long while examined his thoughts upon
this point, at last hee remembred one master _Chappelet du Prat_, who
ofttimes had resorted to his house in _Paris_. And because he was a
man of little stature, yet handsome enough, the French not knowing what
this word _Chappelet_ might mean, esteeming he should be called rather
(in their tongue) _Chappell_; imagined, that in regard of his small
stature, they termed him _Chappelet_, and not _Chappell_, and so by
the name of _Chappelet_ he was every where known, and by few or none
acknowledged for _Chappel_.

This master _Chappelet_, was of so good and commendable life;
that, being a Notarie, he held it in high disdaine, that any of
his Contractes (although he made but few) should be found without
falshoode. And looke how many soever hee dealt withall, he would be
urged and required thereto, offering them his paines and travaile for
nothing, but to be requited otherwise then by money; which prooved to
bee his much larger recompencing, and returned to him the farre greater
benefit. Hee tooke the onely pleasure of the world, to beare false
witnesse, if hee were thereto entreated, and (oftentimes) when hee was
not requested at all. Likewise, because in those times, great trust
and beleefe was given to an oath, he making no care or conscience to
be perjured: greatly advantaged himselfe by Law suites, in regard that
many matters relyed upon his oath, and delivering the truth according
to his knowledge.

He delighted (beyond measure) and addicted his best studies, to cause
enmities & scandals between kindred and friends, or any other persons,
agreeing well together; and the more mischiefe he could procure in
this kind, so much the more pleasure and delight tooke he therein. If
he were called to kil any one, or to do any other villanous deede,
he never would make deniall, but go to it very willingly; and divers
times it was wel knowen, that many were cruelly beaten, ye slaine by
his hands. Hee was a most horrible blasphemer of God and his Saints,
upon the very least occasion, as being more addicted to choller,
then any other man could be. Never would he frequent the Church, but
basely contemned it, with the Sacraments and religious rites therein
administred, accounting them for vile and unprofitable things: but
very voluntarily would visit Tavernes, and other places of dishonest
accesse, which were continually pleasing unto him, to satisfie his
lust and inordinate lubricitie. Hee would steale both in publike and
private, even with such a conscience, as if it were given to him by
nature so to do. He was a great glutton and a drunkarde, even till he
was not able to take any more: being also a continuall gamester, and
carrier of false Dice, to cheate with them the verie best Friendes he

But why do I waste time in such extent of words? When it may suffice to
say, that never was there a worse man borne; whose wickednesse was for
long time supported, by the favour, power, and Authoritie of Monsieur
_Musciatto_, for whose sake many wrongs and injuries were patiently
endured, as well by private persons (whom hee would abuse notoriously)
as others of the Court, betweene whom he made no difference at all in
his vile dealing. This Master _Chappelet_, being thus remembred by
_Musciatto_ (who very well knew his life and behaviour) he perfectly
perswaded himselfe, that this was a man apt in all respects, to meete
with the treachery of the Burgundians: whereupon, having sent for him,
thus he beganne.

_Chappelet_, thou knowest how I am wholly to retreate my selfe from
hence, and having some affaires among the Burgundians, men full of
wickednesse and deceite; I can bethinke my selfe of no meeter a man
then _Chappelet_, to recover such debts as are due to me among them.
And because it falleth out so well, that thou art not now hindered
by any other businesse; if thou wilt undergoe this office for me, I
will procure thee favourable Letters from the Court, and give thee a
reasonable portion in all thou recoverest. Master _Chappelet_, seeing
himselfe idle, and greedy after worldly goods, considering _Mounsieur
Musciatto_ (who had beene alwayes his best buckler) was now to depart
from thence, without any dreaming on the matter, and constrained
thereto (as it were) by necessity, set downe his resolution, and
answered that hee would gladly doe it.

Having made their agreement together, and received from _Musciatto_ his
expresse procuration, as also the Kings gracious Letters; after that
_Musciatto_ was gone on his journey, Master _Chappelet_ went to _Dijon_
[Sidenote: To Borgogna saith the Italian.], where he was unknowne
(well neere) of any. And there (quite from his naturall disposition)
he beganne benignely and graciously, in recovering the debts due;
which course he tooke the rather, because they should have a further
feeling of him in the ende. Being lodged in the house of two Florentine
brethren, that lived on their monies usance; and (for _Mounsieur
Musciattoes_ sake) using him with honour and respect: It fortuned that
he fell sicke, and the two brethren sent for Physicions to attend him,
allowing their servants to be diligent about him, making no spare of
any thing, which gave the best likelyhood of restoring his health. But
all their paines proved to no purpose, because he (honest man) being
now growne aged, and having lived all his life time very disordredly,
fell day by day (according to the Physicions judgement) from bad to
worse, as no other way appeared but death, whereat the brethren greatly

Upon a day, neere to the Chamber where the sicke man lay, they entred
into this communication. What shall we doe (quoth the one to the other)
with this man? We are much hindered by him, for to send him away
(sicke as he is) we shall be greatly blamed thereby, and it will be a
manifest note of our weake wisedome: the people knowing that first of
all we gave him entertainement, and have allowed him honest physical
attendance, and he not having any way injuried or offended us, to let
him be suddenly expulsed our house (sicke to death as he is) it can be
no way for our credit.

On the other side, we are to consider also, that he hath bin so badde
a man, as he will not now make any confession thereof, neither receive
the blessed Sacrament of the Church, and dying so without confession;
there is no Church that will accept his body, but it must be buried
in prophane ground, like to a Dogge. And yet if he would confesse
himselfe, his sinnes are so many and monstrous; as the like case also
may happen, because there is not any Priest or Religious person, that
can or will absolve him. And being not absolved, he must be cast into
some ditch or pit, and then the people of the Towne, as well in regard
of the account we carry heere, (which to them appeareth so little
pleasing, as we are daily pursued with their worst words) as also
coveting our spoile and overthrow; upon this accident will cry out and
mutiny against us; _Beholde these Lombard dogs, which are not to be
received into the Church, why should we suffer them to live heere among
us?_ In furious madnesse will they come upon us, and our house, where
(peradventure) not contented with robbing us of our goods, our lives
will remaine in their mercy and danger; so that, in what sort soever it
happen, this mans dying heere, must needs be banefull to us.

Master _Chappelet_, who (as we have formerly saide) was lodged neere
to the place where they thus conferred, having a subtle attention (as
oftentimes we see sicke persons to bee possessed withall) heard all
these speeches spoken of him, and causing them to be called unto him,
thus hee spake.

I would not have you to be any way doubtfull of me; neither that you
shold receive the least damage by me: I have heard what you have
said, and am certaine, that it will happen according to your words,
if matters should fall out as you conceite; but I am minded to deale
otherwise. I have committed so many offences against our Lord God, in
the whole current of my life; that now I intend one action at the hour
of my death, which I trust will make amends for all. Procure therefore,
I pray you, that the most holy and religious man that is to be found
(if there bee any one at all) may come unto me, and referre the case
then to me, for I will deale in such sort for you and my selfe, that
all shall be well, and you no way discontented.

The two Brethren, although they had no great hope in his speeches, went
yet to a Monastery of Gray-Friars, and requested; that some one holy
and learned man, might come to heare the confession of a _Lombard_,
that lay verie weake and sicke in their house. And one was granted unto
them, beeing an aged religious Frier, a great read master in the sacred
Scriptures, a very venerable person, who beeing of good and sanctified
life, all the Citizens held him in great respect & esteem, and on he
went with them to their house. When he was come up into the Chamber
where Master _Chappelet_ lay, and being there seated downe by him; he
beganne first to comfort him very lovingly, demanding also of him, howe
many times he had bin at confession? Whereto master _Chappelet_ (who
never had bin shriven in all his life time) thus replied.

Holy Father, I alwayes used (as a common custome) to bee confessed once
(at the least) every weeke, albeit sometimes much more often, but true
it is, that being faln into this sicknesse, now eight dayes since;
I have not bene confest, so violent hath bene the extremity of my
weakenesse. My sonne (answered the good old man) thou hast done well,
and so keep thee still hereafter in that minde: but I plainly perceive,
seeing thou hast so often confessed thy selfe, that I shall take the
lesse labour in urging questions to thee.

Master _Chappelet_ replied: Say not so good Father, for albeit I have
bene so oftentimes confessed, yet am I willing now to make a generall
confession, even of all sinnes comming to my remembrance, from the very
day of my birth, until this instant houre of my shrift. And therefore I
intreate you (holy Father) to make a particular demand of every thing,
even as if I had never bene confessed at al, and to make no respect of
my sicknesse: for I had rather be offensive to mine owne flesh, then
by favouring or allowing it ease, to hazard the perdition of my soule,
which my Redeemer bought with so precious a price.

These words were highly pleasing to the holy Frier, and seemed to him
as an argument of a good conscience: Wherefore, after hee had much
commended this forwardnesse in him, he began to demand of him if he had
never offended with any Woman? Whereunto master _Chappelet_ (breathing
foorth a great sigh) answered.

Holy Father, I am halfe ashamed to tell you the truth in this case,
as fearing least I should sinne in vaine-glory. Whereto the Confessor
replyed: Speake boldly Sonne, and feare not; for in telling the truth,
be it in confession or otherwise, a man can never sinne. Then sayde
Maister _Chappelet_, Father, seeing you give me so good an assurance,
I will resolve you faithfully heerein. I am so true a Virgin-man in
this matter, even as when I issued forth of my Mothers wombe. O Sonne
(quoth the Frier) how happie and blessed of God art thou? Well hast
thou lived, and therein hast not meanly merited: having hadde so much
libertie to doo the contrary if thou wouldst, wherein very few of us
can so answer for our selves.

Afterward, he demanded of him, how much displeasing to God hee had
beene in the sinne of Gluttony? When (sighing againe greatly) he
answered: Too much, and too often, good Father. For, over and beside
the Fasts of our Lent season, which everie yeare ought to bee dulie
observed by devout people, I brought my selfe to such a customarie use,
that I could fast three dayes in every Weeke, with Bread and Water. But
indeede (holy Father) I confesse, that I have drunke water with such
a pleasing appetite and delight (especially in praying, or walking on
pilgrimages) even as greedy drunkards do, in drinking good Wine. And
many times I have desired such Sallades of small hearbes, as Women
gather abroad in the open fields, and feeding onely upon them, without
coveting after any other kinde of sustenance; hath seemed much more
pleasing to me, then I thought to agree with the nature of Fasting,
especially, when as it swerveth from devotion, or is not done as it
ought to bee.

Sonne, Sonne, replied the Confessour, these sinnes are naturall,
and very light, and therefore I would not have thee to charge thy
conscience with them, more then is needfull. It happeneth to every man
(how holy soever he be) that after he hath fasted over-long, feeding
will be welcome to him, and drinking good drinke after his travaile. O
Sir (said Maister _Chappelet_) never tell me this to comfort me, for
well you know, and I am not ignorant therein, that such things as are
done for the service of God, ought all to be performed purely, and
without any blemish of the minde; what otherwise is done, savoureth of
sinne. The Friar being well contented with his words, said: It is not
amisse that thou understandest it in this manner, and thy conscience
thus purely cleared, is no little comfort to me. But tell me now
concerning Avarice, hast thou sinned therein? by desiring more then was
reasonable, or withholding from others, such things as thou oughtst not
to detaine? whereto Maister _Chappelet_ answered. Good Father, I would
not have you to imagine, because you see me lodged here in the house
of two usurers, that therefore I am of any such disposition. No truly
Sir, I came hither to no other end, but onely to chastise and admonish
them in friendly manner, to cleanse their mindes from such abhominable
profit: And assuredly, I should have prevailed therein, had not this
violently sicknesse hindered mine intention. But understand (holy
Father) that my parents left me a rich man, and immediatly after my
fathers death, the greater part of his goods I gave away for Gods sake,
and then, to sustaine mine owne life, and to helpe the poore members
of Jesus Christ, I betooke my selfe to a meane estate of Merchandise,
desiring none other then honest gaine thereby, and evermore whatsoever
benefit came to me; I imparted halfe thereof to the poore, converting
mine owne small portion about my necessary affaires, which that other
part would scarcely serve to supply: yet alwayes God gave thereto such
a mercifull blessing, that my businesse dayly thrived more and more,
arising still from good to better.

Well hast thou done therein good Sonne, said the Confessour: but how
often times hast thou beene angry? Oh Sir (said Maister _Chappelet_)
therein I assure yee, I have often transgressed. And what man is able
to forbeare it, beholding the dayly actions of men to be so dishonest?
No care of keeping Gods commaundements, nor any feare of his dreadfull
judgements. Many times in a day, I have rather wished my selfe dead
then living, beholding youth pursuing idle vanities, to sweare and
forsweare themselves, tipling in Tavernes, and never haunting Churches;
but rather affecting the worlds follies, then any such duties as they
owe to God. Alas Sonne (quoth the Friar) this is a good and holy anger,
and I can impose no penance on thee for it. But tell me, hath not
rage or furie at any time so over-ruled thee, as to commit murther or
manslaughter, or to speake evill of any man, or to doe any other such
kinde of injurie? Oh Father (answered Maister _Chappelet_) you that
seeme to be a man of God, how dare you use any such vile words? If I
had had the very least thought, to doe any such act as you speake, doe
you thinke that God would have suffered me to live? These are deedes
of darknesse, fit for villaines and wicked livers; of which hellish
crue, when at any time I have happened to meete with some one of them;
I have said, Goe, God convert thee.

Worthy, and charitable words, replied the Friar; but tell me Sonne,
Didst thou ever beare false witnesse against any man, or hast spoken
falsly, or taken ought from any one, contrary to the will of the owner?
Yes indeede Father, said Maister _Chappelet_, I have spoken ill of
another, because I have sometime seene one of my neighbours, who with
no meane shame of the world, would doe nothing else but beate his wife:
and of him once I complained to the poore mans parents, saying, that
he never did it, but when he was overcome with drinke. Those were no
ill words, quoth the Friar; but I remember, you said that you were a
Merchant: Did you ever deceive any, as some Merchants use to doe? Truly
Father, answered Maister _Chappelet_, I thinke not any, except one man,
who one day brought me money which he owed me, for a certaine piece of
cloath I solde him, and I put it into a purse without accounting it:
about a moneth afterward, I found that there were foure small pence
more then was due to me. And never happening to meete with the man
againe, after I had kept them the space of a whole yeare, I then gave
them away to foure poore people for Gods sake.

A small matter, said the Friar, & truly payed back again to the owner,
in bestowing them upon the poore. Many other questions hee demaunded
of him, whereto still he answered in the same manner: but before he
proceeded to absolution, Maister _Chappelet_ spake thus. I have yet
one sinne more, which I have not revealed to you: when being urged by
the Friar to confesse it, he said. I remember, that I should afford
one day in the weeke, to cleanse the house of my soule, for better
entertainement to my Lord and Saviour, and yet I have done no such
reverence to the Sunday or Sabaoth, as I ought to have done. A small
fault Sonne, replied the Friar. O no (quoth Maister _Chappelet_) doe
not terme it a small fault, because Sunday being a holy day, is highly
to be reverenced: for, as on that day, our blessed Lord arose from
death to life. But (quoth the Confessour) hast thou done nothing else
on that day? Yes, said he, being forgetfull of my selfe, once I did
spet in Gods Church. The Friar smiling, said: Alas Sonne, that is
a matter of no moment, for wee that are Religious persons, doe use
to spet there every day. The more is your shame, answered Maister
_Chappelet_, for no place ought to be kept more pure and cleane then
the sacred Temple, wherein our dayly sacrifices are offered up to God.

In this manner he held on an houre and more, uttering the like
transgressions as these; and at last began to sigh very passionately,
and to shed a few teares, as one that was skilfull enough in such
dissembling prankes; whereat the Confessour being much mooved, said:
Alas Sonne, what aylest thou? Oh Father (quoth _Chappelet_) there
remaineth yet one sinne more upon my conscience, whereof I never at
any time made confession, so shamefull it appeareth to me to disclose
it; and I am partly perswaded, that God will never pardon me for that
sinne. How now Sonne? said the Friar, never say so; for if all the
sinnes that ever were committed by men, or shall be committed so long
as the World endureth, were onely in one man, and he repenting them,
and being so contrite for them, as I see thou art; the grace and mercy
of God is so great, that upon penitent confession, he will freely
pardon him, and therefore spare not to speak it boldly. Alas Father
(said _Chappelet_, still in pretended weeping) this sinne of mine is
so great, that I can hardly beleeve (if your earnest prayers doe not
assist me) that ever I shall obtaine remission for it. Speake it Sonne,
said the Friar, and feare not, I promise that I will pray to God for

Master _Chappelet_ still wept and sighed, and continued silent,
notwithstanding all the Confessors comfortable perswasions; but after
hee had helde him a long while in suspence, breathing forth a sighe,
even as if his very heart would have broken, he saide; Holy Father,
seeing you promise to pray to God for me, I will reveale it to you:
Know then, that when I was a little boy, I did once curse my Mother;
which he had no sooner spoken, but he wrung his hands, and greeved
extraordinarily. Oh good Son, saide the Friar, doth that seeme so great
a sinne to thee? Why, men doe daily blaspheme our Lord God, and yet
neverthelesse, upon their hearty repentance, he is alwayes ready to
forgive them; and wilt not thou beleeve to obtaine remission, for a
sinne so ignorantly committed? Weepe no more deare Sonne, but comfort
thy selfe, and rest resolved, that if thou wert one of them, who nayled
our blessed Saviour to his Crosse; yet being so truly repentant, as I
see thou art, he would freely forgive thee. Say you so Father? quoth
_Chappelet_. What? mine owne deare Mother? that bare me in her wombe
nine moneths, day and night, and afterwards fed me with her breasts a
thousand times, can I be pardoned for cursing her? Oh no, it is too
haynous a sinne, and except you pray to God very instantly for me, he
will not forgive me.

When the religious man perceived, that nothing more was to be confessed
by Master _Chappelet_; he gave him absolution, and his owne benediction
beside, reputing him to be a most holy man, as verily beleeving all
that he had said. And who would not have done the like, hearing a man
to speake in that manner, and being upon the very point of death?
Afterward, he saide unto him; Master _Chappelet_, by Gods grace you may
be soone restored to health, but if it so come to passe, that God doe
take your blessed and well disposed soule to his mercy, will it please
you to have your body buried in our Convent? Whereto Master _Chappelet_
answered; I thanke you Father for your good motion, and sorry should
I be, if my friends did bury me any where else, because you have
promised, to pray to God for me; and beside, I have alwayes carried a
religious devotion to your Order. Wherefore, I beseech you, so soone
as you are come home to your Convent, prevaile so much by your good
meanes, that the holy Eucharist, consecrated this morning on your high
Altar, may be brought unto me: for although I confesse my selfe utterly
unworthy, yet I purpose (by your reverend permission) to receive it,
as also your holy and latest unction; to this ende, that having lived a
greevous sinner, I may yet (at the last) die a Christian. These words
were pleasing to the good olde man, and he caused every thing to be
performed, according as Master _Chappelet_ had requested.

The two Brethren, who much doubted the dissembling of _Chappelet_,
being both in a small partition, which sundered the sicke mans Chamber
from theirs, heard and understood the passage of all, betweene him
and the ghostly Father, being many times scarcely able to refrain
from laughter, at the fraudulent course of his confession. And
often they said within themselves; what manner of man is this, whom
neither age, sicknesse, nor terror of death so neere approaching, and
sensible to his owne soule, nor that which is much more, God, before
whose judgement he knowes not how soone he shall appeare, or else be
sent to a more fearefull place; none of these can alter his wicked
disposition, but that he will needes die according as he hath lived?
Notwithstanding, seeing he had so ordered the matter, that he had
buriall freely allowed him, they cared for no more.

After that _Chappelet_ had received the Communion, and the other
ceremonies appointed for him; weakenesse encreasing on him more and
more, the very same day of his goodly confession, he died (not long
after) towards the evening. Whereupon the two Brethren tooke order,
that all needefull things should be in a readinesse, to have him buried
honourably; sending to acquaint the Fathers of the Convent therewith,
that they might come to say their _Vigilles_, according to precedent
custome, and then on the morrow to fetch the body. The honest Friar
that had confessed him, hearing he was dead, went to the Prior of the
Convent, and by sound of the house Bell, caused all the Brethren to
assemble together, giving them credibly to understand, that Master
_Chappelet_ was a very holy man, as appeared by all the parts of his
confession, and made no doubt, but that many miracles would be wrought
by his sanctified body, perswading them to fetch it thither with
all devoute solemnity and reverence; whereto the Prior, and all the
credulous Brethren presently condiscended very gladly.

When night was come, they went all to visit the dead body of Master
_Chappelet_, where they used an especiall and solemne _Vigill_; and on
the morrow, apparrelled in their richest Coapes and Vestiments, with
books in their hands, and the Crosse borne before them, singing in the
forme of a very devoute procession, they brought the body pompeously
into their Church, accompanied with all the people of the Towne, both
men and women. The Father Confessor, ascending up into the Pulpit,
preached wonderfull things of him, and the rare holinesse of his life;
his fastes, his virginity, simplicity, innocency, and true sanctity,
recounting also (among other especiall observations) what _Chappelet_
had confessed, as this most great and greevous sinne, and how hardly
he could be perswaded, that God would grant him pardon for it. Whereby
he tooke occasion to reprove the people then present, saying; And you
(accursed of God) for the verie least and trifling matter hapning,
will not spare to blaspheme God, his blessed Mother, and the whole
Court of heavenly Paradise: Oh, take example by this singular man, this
Saint-like man, nay, a verie Saint indeede.

Many additions more he made, concerning his faithfulnesse, truth, &
integrity; so that, by the vehement asseveration of his words (whereto
all the people there present gave credible beleefe) he provoked them
unto such zeale and earnest devotion; that the Sermon was no sooner
ended, but (in mighty crowds and throngs) they pressed about the Biere,
kissing his hands and feete, and all the garments about him were torne
in peeces, as precious Reliques of so holy a person, and happy they
thought themselves, that could get the smallest peece or shred or anie
thing that came neere to his body, and thus they continued all the day,
the body lying still open, to be visited in this manner.

When night was come, they buried him in a goodly Marble tombe, erected
in a faire Chappell purposely; and for many dayes after following, it
was most strange to see, how the people of the country came thither
on heapes, with holy Candles and other offerings, with Images of waxe
fastened to the Tombe, in signe of Sacred and solemne Vowes, to this
new created Saint. And so farre was spread the fame and renowne of his
sanctity, devotion, and integrity of life, maintained constantly by the
Fathers of the Convent; that if any one fell sicke in neede, distresse,
or adversity, they would make their Vowes to no other Saint but him:
naming him (as yet to this day they do) Saint _Chappelet_, affirming
upon their Oathes, that infinite miracles were there daily performed by
him, and especially on such, as came in devotion to visit his shrine.

In this manner lived and died Master _Chappelet du Prat_, who before
he became a Saint, was as you have heard: and I will not deny it to be
impossible, but that he may be at rest among other blessed bodies. For,
although he lived lewdly and wickedly, yet such might be his contrition
in the latest extreamity, that (questionlesse) he might finde mercie.
But, because such things remaine unknowne to us, and speaking by
outwarde appearance, vulgar judgement will censure otherwise of him,
and thinke him to be rather in perdition, then in so blessed a place
as Paradice. But referring that to the Omnipotent appointment, whose
clemencie hath alwayes beene so great to us, that he regards not our
errors, but the integrity of our Faith, making (by meanes of our
continuall Mediator) of an open enemy, a converted sonne and servant.
And as I began in his name, so will I conclude, desiring that it may
evermore be had in due reverence, and referre we our selves thereto in
all our necessities, with this setled assurance, that he is alwayes
readie to heare us. And so he ceased.

_Abraham a Jew, being admonished or advised by a friend of his, named
Jehannot de Chevigny, travailed from Paris unto Rome: And beholding
there the wicked behaviour of men in the Church, returned backe to
Paris again, where yet (neverthelesse) he became a Christian._

The Second Novell.

_Wherein is contained and expressed, the liberality and goodnesse of
God, extended to the Christian Faith._

The Novell recited by _Pamphilus_ was highly pleasing to the company,
and much commended by the Ladies: and after it had beene diligently
observed among them, the Queen commanded Madam _Neiphila_ (who was
seated neerest to _Pamphilus_) that, in relating another of hers, she
should follow on in the pastime thus begun. She being no lesse gracious
in countenance, then merrily disposed; made answer, that shee would
obey her charge, and began in this manner.

_Pamphilus_ hath declared to us by his Tale, how the goodnesse of
God regardeth not our errors, when they proceede from things which
wee cannot discerne. And I intend to approove by mine, what argument
of infallible truth, the same benignity delivereth of it selfe, by
enduring patiently the faults of them, that (both in word and worke)
should declare unfaigned testimony of such gracious goodnesse, and not
to live so dissolutely as they doe. To the end, that others illumined
by their light of life, may beleeve with the stronger constancy of

As I have heeretofore heard (Gracious Ladies) there lived a wealthy
Marchant in _Paris_, being a Mercer, or seller of Silkes, named
_Jehannot de Chevigny_, a man of faithful, honest, and upright
dealing; who held great affection and friendship with a very rich Jew,
named _Abraham_, that was a Merchant also, and a man of very direct
conversation. _Jehannot_ well noting the honesty and loyall dealing of
this Jew, began to have a Religious kind of compassion in his soule,
much pittying, that a man so good in behaviour, so wise and discreete
in all his actions, should be in danger of perdition thorow want of
Faith. In which regard, lovingly he began to entreate him, that he
would leave the errors of his Jewish beleefe, and follow the truth of
Christianity, which he evidently saw (as being good and holy) daily to
prosper and enlarge it selfe, whereas (on the contrary) his profession
decreased, and grew to nothing.

The Jew made answer, that he beleeved nothing to be so good & holy, as
the Jewish Religion, and having beene borne therein, therein also he
purposed to live and dye, no matter whatsoever, being able to remove
him from that resolution. For all this stiffe deniall, _Jehannot_ would
not so give him over; but pursued him still day by day, reitterating
continually his former speeches to him: delivering infinite excellent
and pregnant reasons, that Merchants themselves were not ignorant, how
farre the Christian faith excelled the Jewish falshoods. And albeit the
Jew was a very learned man in his owne law, yet notwithstanding, the
intire amity hee bare to _Jehannot_, or (perhaps) his words fortified
by the blessed Spirit, were so prevalent with him: that the Jew felt
a pleasing apprehension in them, though his obstinacie stood (as yet)
farre off from conversion. But as hee thus continued strong in opinion,
so _Jehannot_ left not hourely to labour him: in so much that the Jew,
being conquered by such earnest and continuall importunity, one day
spake to _Jehannot_ thus.

My worthy friend _Jehannot_, thou art extremely desirous, that I should
convert to Christianity, and I am well contended to doe it, onely upon
this condition. That first I will journey to Rome, to see him (whom
thou sayest) is Gods generall vicar here on earth, and to consider on
the course of his life and manners, and likewise of his Colledge of
Cardinals. If he and they doe appeare such men to me, as thy speeches
affirmes them to be, and thereby I may comprehend, that thy faith
and Religion is better then mine, as (with no meane paines) thou
endeavourest to perswade me: I will become a Christian as thou art, but
if I finde it otherwise, I will continue a Jew as I am.

When _Jehannot_ heard these words, he became exceeding sorrowfull,
saide within himselfe. I have lost all the paines, which I did thinke
to be well imployed, as hoping to have this man converted here: For,
if he goe to the Court of Rome, and behold there the wickednes of the
Priests lives; farewell all hope in me, of ever seeing him to become
a Christian. But rather, were he already a Christian, without all
question, he would turne Jew: And so (going neerer to _Abraham_) he
said. Alas my loving friend, why shouldst thou undertake such a tedious
travell, and so great a charge, as thy journey from hence to Rome will
cost thee? Consider, that to a rich man (as thou art) travaile by
land or sea is full of infinite dangers. Doest thou not thinke, that
here are Religious men enow, who will gladly bestowe Baptisme upon
thee. To me therefore it plainely appeareth, that such a voyage is to
no purpose. If thou standest upon any doubt or scruple, concerning the
faith whereto I wish thee; where canst thou desire conference with
greater Doctours, or men more learned in all respects, then this famous
Citie doth affoord thee, to resolve thee in any questionable case? Thou
must thinke, that the Prelates are such there, as here thou seest them
to be, and yet they must needes be in much better condition at Rome,
because they are neere to the principall Pastour. And therefore, if
thou wilt credit my counsell, reserve this journey to some time more
convenient, when the Jubilee of generall pardon happeneth, and then
(perchance) I will beare thee company, and goe along with thee as in
vowed pilgrimage.

Whereto the Jew replied. I beleeve _Jehannot_, that all which thou hast
said may be so. But, to make short with thee, I am fully determined
(if thou wouldst have me a Christian, as thou instantly urgest me to
be) to goe thither, for otherwise, I will continue as I am. _Jehannot_
perceiving his setled purpose, said: Goe then in Gods name. But
perswaded himselfe, that hee would never become a Christian, after hee
had once seene the Court of Rome: neverthelesse, he counted his labour
not altogether lost, in regard he bestowed it to a good end, and honest
intentions are to be commended.

The Jew mounted on horse-backe, and made no lingering in his journey
to Rome, where being arrived, he was very honourably entertained by
other Jewes dwelling in Rome. And during the time of his abiding there
(without revealing to any one, the reason of his comming thither) very
heedfully he observed, the manner of the Popes life, of the Cardinals,
Prelates, and all the Courtiers. And being a man very discreete and
judicious, he apparantly perceived, both by his owne eye, and further
information of friends; that from the highest to the lowest (without
any restraint, remorse of conscience, shame, or feare of punishment)
all sinned in abhominable luxurie, and not naturally onely, but in
foule Sodomie, so that the credit of Strumpets and Boyes was not small,
and yet might be too easily obtained. Moreover, drunkards, belly-Gods,
and servants of the paunch, more then of any thing else (even like
brutish beasts after their luxurie) were every where to be met withall.
And, upon further observation, hee saw all men so covetous and greedy
of coyne, that every thing was bought and solde for ready money, not
onely the blood of men, but (in plaine termes) the faith of Christians,
yea, and matters of divinest qualities, how, or to whomsoever
appertaining, were it for sacrifices or benefices, whereof was made no
meane Merchandize, and more Brokers were there to be found (then in
_Paris_ attending upon all Trades) of manifest Symonie, under the nice
name of Negotiation, and for gluttony, not sustentation: even as if God
had not knowne the signification of vocables, nor the intentions of
wicked hearts, but would suffer himselfe to be deceived by the outward
names of things, as wretched men commonly use to doe.

These things, and many more (fitter for silence, then publication)
were so deepely displeasing to the Jew, being a most sober and modest
man; that he had soone seene enough, resolving on his returne to
_Paris_, which very speedily he performed. And when _Jehannot_ heard
of his arrivall, crediting much rather other newes from him, then ever
to see him a converted Christian; he went to welcome him, and kindly
they feasted one another. After some fewe dayes of resting, _Jehannot_
demaunded of him; what he thought of our holy father the Pope and his
Cardinals, and generally of all the other Courtiers? Whereto the Jew
readily answered; It is strange _Jehannot_, that God should give them
so much as he doth. For I will truly tell thee, that if I had beene
able to consider all those things, which there I have both heard and
seene: I could then have resolved my selfe, never to have found in
any Priest, either sanctity, devotion, good worke, example of honest
life, or any good thing else beside. But if a man desire to see luxury,
avarice, gluttony, and such wicked things, yea, worse, if worse may be,
and held in generall estimation of all men; let him but goe to _Rome_,
which I thinke rather to be the forge of damnable actions, then any
way leaning to grace or goodnesse. And, for ought I could perceive,
me thinkes your chiefe Pastour, and (consequently) all the rest of
his dependants, doe strive so much as they may (with all their engine
arte and endeavour) to bring to nothing, or else to banish quite out of
the world, Christian Religion, whereof they should be the support and

But because I perceive, that their wicked intent will never come to
passe, but contrariwise, that your faith enlargeth itselfe, shining
every day much more cleare and splendant: I gather thereby evidently,
that the blessed Spirit is the true ground and defence thereof, as
being more true and holy then any other. In which respect, whereas I
stood stiffe and obstinate against the good admonitions, and never
minded to become a Christian: now I freely open my heart unto thee,
that nothing in the world can or shall hinder me, but I will be a
Christian, as thou art. Let us therefore presently goe to the Church,
and there (according to the true custome of your holy faith) helpe me
to be baptized.

_Jehannot_, who expected a farre contrary conclusion, then this,
hearing him speake it with such constancy; was the very gladdest man in
the world, and went with him to the Church of _Nostre Dame_ in _Paris_,
where he requested the Priests there abiding, to bestow baptisme on
_Abraham_, which they joyfully did, hearing him so earnestly to desire
it. _Jehannot_ was his Godfather, and named him _John_, and afterward,
by learned Divines he was more fully instructed in the grounds of
our faith; wherein he grew of greatly understanding, and led a very
vertuous life.

_Melchisedech a Jew, by recounting a Tale of three Rings, to the great
Soldan, named Saladine, prevented a great danger which was prepared for

The third Novell.

_Whereby the Author, approving the Christian Faith, sheweth, how
beneficiall a sodaine and ingenious answer may fall out to bee,
especially when a man finds himselfe in some evident danger._

Madame _Neiphila_ having ended her Discourse, which was well allowed
of by all the company; it pleased the Queene, that Madam _Philomena_
should next succeede in order, who thus began.

The Tale delivered by _Neiphila_, maketh mee remember a doubtfull
case, which sometime hapned to another Jew. And because that God, and
the truth of his holy Faith, hath bene already very wel discoursed
on: it shall not seeme unfitting (in my poore opinion) to descend now
into the accidents of men. Wherefore, I will relate a matter unto
you, which being attentively heard and considered; may make you much
more circumspect, in answering to divers questions and demands, then
(perhaps) otherwise you would be. Consider then (most woorthy assembly)
that like as folly or dulnesse, many times hath overthrowne some men
from place of eminencie, into most great and greevous miseries: even
so, discreet sense and good understanding, hath delivered many out
of irksome perils, and seated them in safest security. And to prove
it true, that folly hath made many fall from high authority, into
poore and despised calamity; may be avouched by infinite examples,
which now were needeless to remember: But, that good sense and able
understanding, may proove to be the occasion of great desolation,
without happy prevention, I will declare unto you in very few words,
and make it good according to my promise.

_Saladine_, was a man so powerfull and valiant, as not onely his very
valour made him Soldan of Babylon, but also gave him many signall
victories, over Kings of the Sarrazens, and of Christians likewise.
Having in divers Warres, and other magnificent employments of his
owne, wasted all his treasure, and (by reason of some sodaine accident
happening to him) standing in neede to use some great summe of money,
yet not readily knowing where, or how to procure it; he remembred a
rich Jew named _Melchisedech_, that lent out money to use or interest
in the City of _Alexandria_. This man he imagined best able to furnish
him, if he could be won to do it willingly: but he was knowne to be so
gripple and miserable, that hardly any meanes would drawe him to it.
In the end, constrained by necessity, and labouring his wits for some
apt device whereby he might have it: he concluded, though hee might not
compell him to do it, yet by a practise shadowed with good reason to
ensnare him. And having sent for him entertained him very familiarly in
his Court, and sitting downe by him, thus began.

Honest man, I have often heard it reported by many, that thou art very
skilfull, and in cases concerning God, thou goest beyond all other
of these times: wherefore, I would gladly be informed by thee, which
of those three Lawes or Religions, thou takest to be truest; that of
the Jew, the other of the Sarazen, or that of the Christian? The Jew,
being a very wise man, plainly perceived, that _Saladine_ sought to
entrap him in his answer, and so to raise some quarrell against him.
For, if he commended any one of those Lawes above the other, he knew
that _Saladine_ had what he aymed at. Wherefore, bethinking himselfe
to shape such an answer, as might no way trouble or entangle him:
summoning all his sences together, and considering, that dallying with
the Soldane might redound to his no meane danger, thus he replied.

My Lord, the question propounded by you, is faire and worthy, & to
answer mine opinion truly thereof, doth necessarily require some time
of consideration, if it might stand with your liking to allow it: but
if not, let me first make entrance to my reply, with a pretty tale,
and well worth the hearing. I have oftentimes heard it reported, that
(long since) there was a very wealthy man, who (among other precious
Jewels of his owne) had a goodly Ring of great valew; the beauty and
estimation whereof, made him earnestly desirous to leave it as a
perpetuall memory and honour to his successors. Whereupon, he willed
and ordained, that he among his male children, with whom this Ring
(being left by the Father) should be found in custody after his death;
hee and none other was to bee reputed his heire, and to be honoured and
reverenced by all the rest, as being the prime and worthiest person.
That Sonne, to whom this Ring was left by him, kept the same course to
his posterity, dealing (in all respects) as his predecessor had done;
so that (in short time) the Ring (from hand to hand) had many owners by

At length, it came to the hand of one, who had three sonnes, all of
them goodly and vertuous persons, and verie obedient to their Father:
in which regard, he affected them all equally, without any difference
or partiall respect. The custome of this ring being knowne to them,
each one of them (coveting to beare esteeme above the other) desired
(as hee could best make his meanes) his father, that in regard he
was now grown very old, he would leave that Ring to him, whereby he
should bee acknowledged for his heire. The good man, who loved no one
of them more then the other, knew not how to make his choise, nor to
which of them he should leave the Ring: yet having past his promise
to them severally, he studied by what meanes to satisfie them all
three. Wherefore, secretly having conferred with a curious and excellent
Goldsmith, hee caused two other Rings to bee made, so really resembling
the first made Ring, that himself (when he had them in his hand) could
not distinguish which was the right one.

Lying upon his death-bed, and his Sonnes then plying him by their best
opportunities, he gave to each of them a Ring. And they (after his
death) presuming severally upon their right to the inheritance & honour,
grew to great contradiction and square: each man producing then his
Ring, which were so truly all alike in resemblance, as no one could
know the right Ring from the other. And therefore, suite in Law, to
distinguish the true heire to his Father; continued long time, and so
it dooth yet to this very day. In like manner my good Lord, concerning
those three Lawes given by God the Father, to three such people as you
have propounded: each of them do imagine that they have the heritage of
God, and his true Law, and also duely to performe his Commandements;
but which of them do so indeede, the question (as of the three Ringes)
is yet remaining.

_Saladine_ well perceyving, that the Jew was too cunning to be caught
in his snare, and had answered so well, that to doe him further
violence, would redound unto his perpetuall dishonour; resolved to
reveale his neede and extremity, and try if he would therein friendly
sted him. Having disclosed the matter, and how he purposed to have
dealt with him, if he had not returned so wise an answer; the Jew lent
him so great a sum of money as hee demanded, and _Saladine_ repayed it
againe to him justly, giving him other great gifts beside: respecting
him as his especiall friend, and maintaining him in very honourable
condition, neere unto his owne person.

_A Monke, having committed an offence, deserving to be very grievously
punished; freede himselfe from the paine to be inflicted on him, by
wittily reprehending his Abbot, with the very same fault._

The fourth Novell.

_Wherein may be noted, that such men as will reprove those errors in
others, which remaine in themselves, commonly are the Authors of their
owne reprehension._

So ceased Madam _Philomena_, after the conclusion of her Tale, when
_Dioneus_ sitting next unto her, (without tarrying for any other
command from the Queene, knowing by the order formerly begunne, that he
was to follow in the same course) spake in this manner.

Gracious Ladies, if I faile not in understanding your generall
intention; we are purposely assembled here to tell Tales, and
especially such as may please our selves. In which respect, because
nothing should be done disorderly, I hold it lawfull for every one
(as our Queene decreed before her dignity) to relate such a novelty,
as (in their owne judgement) may cause most contentment. Wherefore
having heard, that by the good admonitions of _Jehannot de Chevigny_,
_Abraham_ the Jew was advised to the salvation of his soule, and
_Melchisedech_ (by his witty understanding) defended his riches from
the traines of _Saladine_: I now purpose to tell you in a few plaine
words, (without feare of receiving any reprehension) how cunningly a
Monke compassed his deliverance, from a punishment intended towards him.

There was in the Country of _Lunigiana_ (which is not farre distant
from our owne) a Monastery, which sometime was better furnished with
holinesse and Religion, then nowadayes they are; wherein lived (among
divers other) a young novice Monke, whose hot and lusty disposition
(being in the vigour of his yeeres) was such, as neither fastes nor
prayers had any great power over him. It chanced on a fasting day about
high noone, when all the other Monkes were asleepe in their Dormitaries
or Dorters, this frolicke Friar was walking alone in their Church,
which stood in a very solitary place, where ruminating on many matters
by himselfe, hee espied a pretty hansome wench (some Husbandmans
daughter in the Countrey, that had beene gathering rootes and hearbes
in the field) uppon her knees before an Altar, whom he had no sooner
seene, but immediately hee felt effeminate temptations, and such as ill
fitted with his profession.

Lascivious desire, and no religious devotion, made him draw neere
her, and whether under shrift (the onely cloake to compasse carnall
affections) or some other as close conference, to as pernicious
and vile a purpose, I know not: but so farre he prevailed upon her
frailety, and such a bargaine passed betweene them, that (from the
Church) he wonne her to his Chamber, before any person could perceive
it. Now, while this yong lusty Monke (transported with over-fond
affection) was more carelesse of his dalliance, then he should have
beene; the Lord Abbot, being newly arisen from sleepe, and walking
softly about the Cloyster, came to the Monkes Dorter doore, where
hearing what noyse was made between them, and a feminine voyce,
more strange then hee was wont to heare; he layed his eare close to
the Chamber doore, and plainly perceived, that a woman was within.
Wherewith being much moved, he intended suddenly to make him open the
doore; but (upon better consideration) hee conceived it farre more
fitting for him, to returne backe to his owne chamber, and tary untill
the Monke should come forth.

The Monke, though his delight with the Damosel was extraordinary, yet
feare and suspition followed upon it: for, in the very height of all
his wantonnesse, he heard a soft treading about the doore. And prying
thorow a small crevice in the same doore, perceived apparantly, that
the Abbot himselfe stood listening there, and could not be ignorant,
but that the Maide was with him in the Chamber. As after pleasure
ensueth paine, so the veneriall Monke knew well enough (though wanton
heate would not let him heede it before) that most greevous punishment
must be inflicted on him; which made him sad beyond all measure.
Neverthelesse, without disclosing his dismay to the young Maiden, he
began to consider with himselfe on many meanes, whereby to find out one
that might best fit his turne. And suddenly conceited an apt stratagem,
which sorted to such effect as he would have it: whereupon seeming
satisfied for that season, hee tolde the Damosell, that (being carefull
of her credit) as he had brought her in unseen of any, so he would free
her from thence again, desiring her to tarrie there (without making any
noyse at all) until such time as he returned to her.

Going forth of the Chamber, and locking it fast with the key, he went
directly to the Lord Abbots lodging, and delivering him the saide key
(as every Monke used to doe the like, when he went abroade out of the
Convent) setting a good countenance on the matter, boldly saide; My
Lord, I have not yet brought in all my part of the wood, which lieth
ready cut downe in the Forrest; and having now convenient time to doe
it, if you please to give me leave, I will goe and fetch it. The Abbot
perswading himselfe, that he had not beene discovered by the Monke, and
to be resolved more assuredly in the offence committed; being not a
little jocund of so happy an accident, gladly tooke the key, and gave
him leave to fetch the wood.

No sooner was he gone, but the Abbot beganne to consider with himselfe,
what he were best to doe in this case, either (in the presence of all
the other Monkes) to open the Chamber doore, that so the offence being
knowne to them all, they might have no occasion of murmuring against
him, when he proceeded in the Monkes punishment; or rather should first
understand of the Damosell her selfe, how, and in what manner shee was
brought thither. Furthermore, he considered, that shee might be a woman
of respect, or some such mans daughter, as would not take it well, to
have her disgraced before all the Monkes. Wherefore he concluded, first
to see (himselfe) what shee was, and then (afterward) to resolve upon
the rest. So going very softly to the Chamber, and entring in, locked
the doore fast with the key, when the poore Damosell thinking it had
beene the gallant young Monke; but finding it to be the Lord Abbot,
shee fell on her knees weeping, as fearing now to receive publike
shame, by being betrayed in this unkinde manner.

My Lord Abbot looking demurely on the Maide, and perceiving her to be
faire, feate, and lovely; felt immediately (although he was olde) no
lesse spurring on to fleshly desires, then the young Monke before had
done; whereupon he beganne to conferre thus privately with himselfe.
Why should I not take pleasure, when I may freely have it? Cares
and molestations I endure every day, but sildome find such delights
prepared for me. This is a delicate sweete young Damosell, and here is
no eye that can discover me. If I can enduce her to doe as I would have
her, I know no reason why I should gaine-say it. No man can know it, or
any tongue blaze it abroade; and sinne so concealed, is halfe pardoned.
Such a faire fortune as this is, perhaps hereafter will never befall
me; and therefore I hold it wisedome, to take such a benefit when a man
may enjoy it.

Upon this immodest meditation, and his purpose quite altered which
he came for; he went neerer to her, and very kindly began to comfort
her, desiring her to forbeare weeping, and (by further insinuating
speeches) acquainted her with his amorous intention. The Maide, who
was made neither of yron nor diamond, and seeking to prevent one shame
by another, was easily wonne to the Abbots will, which caused him to
embrace and kisse her often.

Our lusty young novice Monke, whom the Abbot imagined to be gone for
wood, had hid himselfe aloft upon the roofe of the Dorter, where, when
he saw the Abbot enter alone into the Chamber, hee lost a great part
of his former feare, promising to himselfe a kinde of perswasion, that
somewhat would ensue to his better comfort; but when he beheld him
lockt into the Chamber, then his hope grew to undoubted certainty. A
little chincke or crevice favoured him, whereat he could both heare and
see, whatsoever was done or spoken by them: so, when the Abbot thought
hee had staide long enough with the Damosell, leaving her still there,
and locking the doore fast againe, hee returned thence to his owne

Within some short while after, the Abbot knowing the Monke to be in
the Convent, and supposing him to be lately returned with the wood,
determined to reprove him sharpely, and to have him closely imprisoned,
that the Damosell might remaine solie to himselfe. And causing him
to be called presently before him, with a very stearne and angry
countenance giving him many harsh and bitter speeches, commanded, that
he should be clapt in prison.

The Monke very readily answered, saying. My good Lord, I have not yet
beene so long in the order of Saint _Benedict_, as to learne all the
particularities thereto belonging. And beside Sir, you never shewed
mee or any of my brethren, in what manner we young Monkes ought to
use women, as you have otherwise done for our custome of prayer and
fasting. But seeing you have so lately therein instructed mee, and by
your owne example how to doe it: I heere solemnely promise you, if you
please to pardon me but this one error, I will never faile therein
againe, but dayly follow what I have seene you doe.

The Abbot, being a man of quicke apprehension, perceived instantly by
this answere; that the Monke not onely knew as much as he did, but
also had seene (what was intended) that hee should not. Wherefore,
finding himselfe to be as faulty as the Monke, and that hee could
not shame him, but worthily had deserved as much himselfe; pardoning
him, and imposing silence on eithers offence: they convayed the poore
abused Damosell forth of their doores, she purposing (never after) to
transgresse in the like manner.

_The Lady Marquesse of_ Montferrat, _with a Banquet of Hennes, and
divers other gracious speeches beside, repressed the fond love of the
King of_ France.

The fift Novell.

_Declaring, that wise and vertuous Ladies, ought to hold their
chastitie in more esteeme, then the greatnesse and treasures of
Princes: and that a discreete Lord should not offer modestie violence._

The tale reported by _Dioneus_, at the first hearing of the Ladies,
began to rellish of some immodestie, as the bashfull blood mounting
up into their faces, delivered by apparant testimonie. And beholding
one another with scarse-pleasing lookes, during all the time it was
in discoursing, no sooner had hee concluded: but with a fewe milde
and gentle speeches, they gave him a modest reprehension, and meaning
to let him know, that such tales ought not to be tolde among women.
Afterward, the Queene commaunded Madame _Fiammetta_, (sitting on a
banke of flowers before her) to take her turne as next in order: and
she, smiling with such a virgin-blush, as very beautifully became her,
began in this manner.

It is no little joy to me, that wee understand so well (by the
discourses already past) what power consisteth in the delivery of
wise and ready answeres; And because it is a great part offence and
judgement in men, to affect women of great birth and quality, then
themselves, as also an admirable fore-sight in women, to keepe off from
being surprized in love, by Lords going beyond them in degree: a matter
offereth it selfe to my memory, well deserving my speech and your
attention, how a Gentlewoman (both in word and deede) should defend her
honour in that kind, when importunity laboureth to betray it.

The Marquesse of _Montferrat_ was a worthy and valiant Knight, who
being Captaine Generall for the Church, the necessary service required
his company on the Seas, in a goodly Army of the Christians against
the Turkes. Upon a day, in the Court of King _Philip_, sirnamed the
one eyed King (who likewise made preparation in _France_, for a royall
assistance to that expedition) as many speeches were delivered,
concerning the valour and manhood of this Marquesse: it fortuned, that
a Knight was then present, who knew him very familiarly, and hee gave
an addition to the former commendation, that the whole world contained
not a more equall couple in mariage, then the Marquesse & his Lady.
For, as among all Knights, the Marquesse could hardly be paraleld for
Armes and honour; even so his wife, in comparison of all other Ladies,
was scarcely matchable for beauty and vertue. Which words were so
waighty in the apprehension of King _Philip_, that suddainly (having as
yet never seene her) he began to affect her very earnestly, concluding
to embarque himselfe at _Gennes_ or _Genoua_, there to set forward on
the intended voyage, and journeying thither by land: hee would shape
some honest excuse to see the Lady Marquesse, whose Lord being then
from home, opinion perswaded him over-fondly, that he should easily
obtaine the issue of his amorous desire.

When hee was come within a dayes journey, where the Lady Marquesse
then lay; he sent her word, that she should expect his company on
the morrow at dinner. The Lady, being singularly wise and judicious;
answered the Messenger, that she reputed the Kings comming to her, as
an extraordinary grace and favour, and that hee should be most heartily
welcome. Afterward, entring into further consideration with her selfe,
what the King might meane by this private visitation, knowing her
husband to be from home, and it to be no meane barre to his apter
entertainement: at last she discreetly conceited (and therein was not
deceived) that babling report of her beauty and perfections, might
thus occasion the Kings comming thither, his journy lying else a quite
contrary way. Notwithstanding, being a Princely Lady, and so loyall a
wife as ever lived, shee intended to give him her best entertainement:
summoning the chiefest Gentlemen in the Country together, to take due
order (by their advise) for giving the King a gracious welcome. But
concerning the dinner, and diet for service to his table; that remained
onely at her owne disposing.

Sending presently abroade, and buying all the Hennes that the Country
afforded; shee commaunded her Cookes, that onely of them (without any
other provision beside) they should prepare all the services that they
could devise. On the morrow, the King came according to his promise,
and was most honourable welcommed by the Lady, who seemed in his eye
(farre beyond the Knights speeches of her) the fairest creature that
ever he had seene before; whereat he mervailed not a little, extolling
her perfections to be peerelesse, which much the more enflamed his
affections, and (almost) made his desires impatient. The King being
withdrawne into such Chambers, as orderly were prepared for him, and as
beseemed so great a Prince: the houre of dinner drawing on, the King
and the Lady Marquesse were seated at one Table, and his attendants
placed at other tables, answerable to their degrees of honour.

Plenty of dishes being served in, and the rarest wines that the
Countrey yeelded, the King had more minde to the faire Lady Marquesse,
then any meate that stood on the Table. Neverthelesse, observing each
service after other, and that all the Viands (though variously cooked,
and in divers kindes) were nothing else but Hennes onely; he began to
wonder, and so much the rather, because he knew the Countrey to be of
such quality, that it affoorded all plenty both of Fowles and Venyson:
beside, after the time of his comming was heard, they had respite
enough, both for hawking and hunting; and therefore it encreased his
marvell the more, that nothing was provided for him, but Hennes onely:
wherein to be the better resolved, turning a merry countenance to the
Lady, thus he spake. Madam, are Hennes onely bred in this Countrey,
and no Cockes? The Lady Marquesse, very well understanding his demand,
which fitted her with an apt opportunity, to thwart his idle hope, and
defend her owne honour; boldly returned the King this answere. Not so
my Lord, but women and wives, howsoever they differ in garments and
graces one from another; yet notwithstanding, they are all heere as
they be in other places.

When the King heard this reply, he knew well enough the occasion of
his Henne dinner, as also, what vertue lay couched under her answer;
perceiving apparantly, that wanton words would prove but in vaine,
and such a woman was not easily to be seduced; wherefore, as hee grew
enamored on her inconsiderately, so he found it best fitting for his
honour, to quench this heate with wisedome discreetely. And so, without
any more words, or further hope of speeding in so unkingly a purpose,
dinner being ended, by a sudden departing, he smoothly shadowed the
cause of his comming, and thanking her for the honour shee had done
him, commended her to her chaste disposition, and posted away with
speede to _Gennes_.

_An honest plaine meaning man, (simply and conscionably) reprehended
the malignity, hypocrisie, and misdemeanour of many Religious persons._

The sixt Novell.

_Declaring, that in few, discreete, and well placed words, the covered
craft of Church-men may be justly reproved, and their hypocrisie
honestly discovered._

Madam _Æmilia_ sitting next to the gentle Lady _Fiammetta_, perceiving
the modest chastisement, which the vertuous Lady Marquesse had given to
the King of _France_, was generally graced by the whole Assembly; began
(after the Queene had thereto appointed her) in these words. Nor will
I conceale the deserved reprehension, which an honest simple lay-man,
gave to a covetous holy Father, in very few words; yet more to be
commended, then derided.

Not long since (worthy Ladies) there dwelt in our owne native City, a
Friar Minor, an Inquisitor after matters of Faith, who, although he
laboured greatly to seeme a sanctified man, and an earnest affecter of
Christian Religion, (as all of them appeare to be in outward shew;)
yet he was a much better Inquisitor after them, that had their purses
plenteously stored with money, then of such as were slenderly grounded
in Faith. By which diligent continued care in him, he found out a
man, more rich in purse, then understanding; and yet not so defective
in matters of faith, as misguided by his owne simple speaking, and
(perhaps) when his braine was well warmed with wine, words fell more
foolishly from him, then in better judgement they could have done.

Being on a day in company, (very little differing in quality from
himselfe) he chanced to say; that he had beene at such good wine, as
God himselfe did never drinke better. Which words (by some Sicophant
then in presence) being carried to this curious Inquisitor, and he well
knowing, that the mans faculties were great, and his bagges swolne up
full with no meane abundance: _cum gladiis & fustibus_; With Booke,
Bell, and Candle, he raysed an hoast of execrations against him,
and the Sumner cited him with a solemne Processe to appeare before
him, understanding sufficiently, that this course would sooner fetch
money from him, then amend any misbeliefe in the man; for no further
reformation did he seeke after.

The man comming before him, he demanded, if the accusation intimated
against him, was true or no? Whereto the honest man answered, that he
could not denie the speaking of such words, and declared in what manner
they were uttered. Presently the Inquisitor, most devoutly addicted
to Saint _John_ with the golden beard, saide; What? Doest thou make
our Lord a drinker, and a curious quaffer of wines, as if he were a
glutton, belly-god, or a Taverne haunter, as thou, and other drunkards
are. Being an hypocrite, as thou art, thou thinkest this to be but
a light matter, because it may seeme so in thine owne opinion: but
I tell thee plainly, that it deserveth fire and faggot, if I should
proceede in Justice to inflict it on thee: with these, and other such
like threatning words, as also a very stearn and angry countenance, he
made the man believe himselfe to be an Epicure, and that hee denied
the eternity of the soule; whereby he fell into such a trembling
feare, as doubting indeed, least he should be burned, that, to be more
mercifully dealt withall, he rounded him in the eare, and (by secret
means) so annointed his hands with Saint _Johns_ golden grease, (a very
singular remedy against the disease pestilentiall in covetous Priests,
especially Friars Minors, that dare touch no money) as the case became
very quickly altered.

This soveraigne unction was of such vertue (though _Galen_ speakes
not a word thereof among all his chiefest medicines) and so farre
prevailed; that the terrible threatening words of fire and fagot,
became meerely frozen up, and gracious language blew a more gentle
and calmer ayre; the Inquisitor delivering him an hallowed Crucifixe,
creating him a Souldier of the Crosse (because he had payed Crosses
good store for it) and even as if he were to travell under that
Standard to the holy Land; so did hee appoint him a home-paying
pennance, namely, to visit him thrice every weeke in his Chamber, and
to annoint his hands with the selfe-same yellow unguent, and afterward,
to heare a Masse of the holy Crosse, visiting him also at dinner
time, which being ended, to doe nothing all the rest of the day, but
according as he directed him.

The simple man, yet not so simple, but seeing that this weekely
greasing the Inquisitors hands, would (in time) graspe away all his
gold; grew weary of this annointing, and beganne to consider with
himselfe, how to stay the course of this chargeable penance: And
comming one morning, (according to his injunction) to heare Masse, in
the Gospell he observed these wordes; _You shall receive an hundred for
one, and so possesse eternall life_; which saying he kept perfectly
in his memory, and, as hee was commanded, at dinner time, he came to
the Inquisitor, finding him (among his fellowes) seated at the Table.
The Inquisitor presently demanded of him, whether he had heard Masse
that morning, or no? Yes Sir, replied the man very readily. Hast
thou heard any thing therein (quoth the Inquisitor) whereof thou art
doubtfull, or desirest to be further informed? Surely Sir, answered
the plaine meaning man, I make no doubt of any thing I have heard, but
doe beleeve all constantly; onely one thing troubleth me much, and
maketh me very compassionate of you, and of all these holy Fathers your
brethren, perceiving in what wofull and wretched estate you will be,
when you shall come into another World. What words are these, quoth
the Inquisitor? And why art thou moved to such compassion of us? O
good Sir, saide the man, doe you remember the words in the Gospell
this morning? you shall receive an hundred for one. That is very true,
replied the Inquisitor, but what moveth thee to urge those words?

I will tell you Sir, answered the plaine fellow, so it might please you
to be not offended. Since the time of my resorting hither, I have daily
seene many poore people at your doore, and (out of your abundance)
when you and your brethren have fed sufficiently, every one hath had a
good messe of pottage: now Sir, if for every dishfull given, you are
sure to receive an hundred againe, you will all be meerely drowned in
pottage. Although the rest (sitting at the Table with the Inquisitor)
laughed heartily at this jest; yet he found himselfe toucht in another
nature, having (hypocritically) received for one poore offence, above
three hundred peeces of gold, and not a mite to be restored againe.
But fearing to be further disclosed, yet threatning him with another
Processe in Law, for abusing the words of the Gospell; he was content
to dismisse him for altogether, without any more golden greasing in the

_Bergamino, by telling a Tale of a skilfull man, named_ Primasso, _and
of an Abbot of Clugni; honestly checked a new kinde of covetousnesse,
in Master_ Can de la Scala.

The seaventh Novell.

_Approving, that it is much unfitting for a Prince, or great person, to
be covetous; but rather to be liberall to all men._

The curteous demeanour of Madam _Æmilia_, and the quaintnesse of her
discourse, caused both the Queene, and the rest of the company, to
commend the invention of carrying the Crosse, and the golden oyntment
appointed for pennance. Afterward, _Philostratus_, who was in order to
speake next, began in this manner.

It is a commendable thing (faire Ladies) to hit a But that never
stirreth out of his place: but it is a matter much more admirable,
to see a thing (suddenly appearing, and sildome or never frequented
before) to be as suddenly hit by an ordinary Archer. The vicious and
polluted lives of Priests, yeeldeth matter of it selfe in many things,
deserving speech and reprehension, as a true But of wickednesse, and
well worthy to be sharply shot at. And therefore, though that honest
meaning man did wisely, in touching Master Inquisitor to the quicke,
with the hypocriticall charity of Monkes and Friars, in giving such
things to the poore, as were more meete for swine, or to be worse
throwne away; yet I hold him more to be commended, who (by occasion
of a former tale, and which I purpose to relate) pleasantly reproved
Master _Can de la Scala_, a Magnifico and mightie Lord, for a sudden
and unaccustomed covetousnesse appearing in him, figuring by other men,
that which he intended to say of him, in manner following.

Master _Can de la Scala_, as fame ranne abroade of him in all places,
was (beyond the infinite favours of Fortune towards him) one of the
most notable and magnificent Lords that ever lived in _Italy_, since
the dayes of _Fredericke_ the second Emperour. He determining to
procure a very solemne assembly at _Verona_, and many people being met
there from divers places, especially Gentlemen of all degrees; suddenly
(upon what occasion I know not) his minde altered, and hee would not
goe forward with his intention. Most of them hee partly recompenced
which were come thither, and they dismissed to depart at their
pleasure, one onely man remained unrespected, or in any kinde sort sent
away, whose name was _Bergamino_, a man very pleasantly disposed, and
so wittily ready in speaking and answering, as none could easily credit
it, but such as heard him; and although his recompence seemed over long
delayed, yet hee made no doubt of a beneficiall ending.

By some enemies of his, Master _Can de la Scala_ was incensed, that
whatsoever he gave or bestowed on him; was as ill imployed and
utterly lost, as if it were throwne into the fire, and therefore he
neither did or spake any thing to him. Some fewe dayes being passed
over, and _Bergamino_ perceiving, that hee was neither called, nor
any account made of, notwithstanding many manly good parts in him;
observing beside, that hee found a shrewd consumption in his purse, his
Inne, horses, and servants being chargeable to him: he began to grow
extremely melancholly, and yet hee attended in expectation day by day,
as thinking it farre unfitting for him, to depart before he was bidden

Having brought with him thither three goodly rich garments, which
had beene given him by sundry Lords, for his more sightly appearance
at this great meeting: the importunate Host being greedy of payment,
first he delivered him one of them, and yet not halfe the score being
wiped off, the second must needes follow, and beside, except he meant
to leave his lodging, hee must live upon the third so long as it would
last, till hee saw what end his hopes would sort to. It fortuned,
during the time of living thus upon his latest refuge, that he met
with Maister _Can_ one day at dinner, where he presented himselfe
before him, with a discontented countenance: which Master _Can_ well
observing, more to distaste him, then take delight in any thing that
could come from him, he said. _Bergamino_, how chearest thou? Thou
art very melancholly, I pray thee tell us why? _Bergamino_ suddenly,
without any premeditation, yet seeming as if he had long considered
thereon, reported this Tale.

Sir, I have heard of a certaine man, named _Primasso_, one skilfully
learned in the Grammar, and (beyond all other) a very witty and ready
versifier: in regard whereof, he was so much admired, and farre
renowned, that such as never saw him, but onely heard of him, could
easily say, this is _Primasso_. It came to passe, that being once at
_Paris_, in poore estate, as commonly hee could light on no better
fortune (because vertue is slenderly rewarded, by such as have the
greatest possessions) he heard much fame of the Abbot of _Clugni_, a
man reputed (next to the Pope) to be the richest Prelate of the Church.
Of him he heard wonderfull and magnificent matters, that he alwayes
kept an open and hospitable Court, and never made refusall of any
(from whence so ever hee came or went) but they did eate and drinke
freely there; provided, that they came when the Abbot was set at the
Table. _Primasso_ hearing this, and being an earnest desirer, to see
magnificent and vertuous men; he resolved to goe see this rare bounty
of the Abbot, demaunding how far he dwelt from _Paris_. Being answered,
about some three leagues thence; _Primasso_ made account, that if he
went on betimes in the morning, he should easily reach thither before
the houre for dinner.

Being instructed in the way, and not finding any to walke along with
him; fearing, if he went without some furnishment, and should stay
long there for his dinner, he might (perhaps) complaine of hunger: he
therefore caried three loaves of bread with him, knowing that he could
meete with water every where, albeit he used to drinke but little.
Having aptly convayed his bread about him, he went on his journey, and
arrived at the Lord Abbots Court, an indifferent while before dinner
time: wherefore, entring into the great Hall, and so from place to
place, beholding the great multitude of Tables, bountifull preparation
in the Kitchin, and what admirable provision there was for dinner; he
said to himselfe, Truly this man is more magnificent, then Fame hath
made him, because shee speakes too sparingly of him.

While thus he went about, considering on all these things, he saw
the Maister of the Abbots houshold (because then it was the houre of
dinner) commaund water to be brought for washing hands, and every one
sitting downe at the Table: it fell to the lot of _Primasso_, to sit
directly against the doore, whereat the Abbot must enter into the
Hall. The custome in this Court was such, that no foode should be
served to any, of the Tables, untill the Lord Abbot was himselfe first
sette: whereupon, every thing being fitte and readie, the Maister of
the houshold, went to tell his Lord, that nothing now wanted but his
presence onely.

The Abbot comming from his Chamber to enter the Hall, looking about
him, as hee was wont to doe; the first man hee saw was _Primasso_, who
being but in homely habite, and he having not seene him before to his
remembrance; a present bad conceite possessed his braine, that he never
saw an unworthier person, saying within himselfe: See how I give my
goods away to be devoured. So returning backe to his Chamber againe,
commaunded the doore to be made fast, demaunding of every man neere
about him, if they knew the base Knave that sate before his entrance
into the Hall, and all his servants answered no. _Primasso_ being
extreamely hungry, with travailing on foote so farre, and never used to
fast so long; expecting still when meate would be served in, and that
the Abbot came not at all: drew out one of his loaves which hee brought
with him, and very heartily fell to feeding.

My Lord Abbot, after he had stayed within an indifferent while, sent
forth one of his men, to see if the poore fellow was gone, or no. The
servant told him, that he still stayed there, and fed upon dry bread,
which it seemed he had brought thither with him. Let him feede on his
owne (replyed the Abbot) for he shall taste of none of mine this day.
Gladly wold the Abbot, that _Primasso_ should have gone thence of
himselfe, and yet held it scarsely honest in his Lordship, to dismisse
him by his owne command. _Primasso_ having eaten one of his Loaves, and
yet the Abbot was not come; began to feede upon the second: the Abbot
still sending to expect his absence, and answered as he was before.
At length, the Abbot not comming, and _Primasso_ having eaten up his
second loafe, hunger compeld him to begin with the third.

When these newes were carried to the Abbot, sodainly he brake forth and
saide. What new kinde of needy tricke hath my braine begotte this day?
Why do I grow disdainfull against any man whatsoever? I have long time
allowed my meate to be eaten by all commers that did please to visit
me, without exception against any person, Gentleman, Yeoman, poore or
rich, Marchant or Minstrill, honest man or knave, never refraining my
presence in the Hall, by basely contemning one poore man. Beleeve me,
covetousnesse of one mans meate, doth ill agree with mine estate and
calling. What though he appeareth a wretched fellow to mee? He may be
of greater merit then I can imagine, and deserve more honour then I am
able to give him.

Having thus discoursed with himselfe, he would needs understande of
whence and what he was, and finding him to be _Primasso_, come onely to
see the magnificence which he had reported of him, knowing also (by the
generall fame noysed every where of him) that he was reputed to bee a
learned, honest, and ingenious man: he grew greatly ashamed of his own
folly, and being desirous to make him an amends, strove many waies how
to do him honour. When dinner was ended, the Abbot bestowed honourable
garments on him, such as beseemed his degree and merit, and putting
good store of money in his purse, as also giving him a good horsse to
ride on, left it at his owne free election, whether hee would stay
there still with him, or depart at his pleasure. Wherewith _Primasso_
being highly contented, yeelding him the heartiest thankes he could
devise to doe, returned to _Paris_ on horse-back, albeit he came poorly
thether on foot.

Master _Can de la Scala_, who was a man of good understanding,
perceyved immediately (without any further interpretation) what
_Bergamino_ meant by this morall, and smiling on him, saide:
_Bergamino_, thou hast honestly expressed thy vertue and necessities,
and justly reprooved mine avarice, niggardnesse, and base folly. And
trust me _Bergamino_, I never felt such a fit of covetousness come upon
me, as this which I have dishonestly declared to thee: and which I will
now banish from me, with the same correction as thou hast taught mee.
So, having payed the Host all his charges, redeeming also his robes or
garments, mounting him on a good Gelding, and putting plenty of Crownes
in his purse, hee referd it to his owne choise to depart, or dwell
there still with him.

_Guillaume Boursier, with a few quaint and familiar words, checkt the
miserable covetousnesse of Signior_ Herminio de Grimaldi.

The eight Novell.

_Which plainly declareth, that a covetous Gentleman, is not worthy of
any honour or respect._

Madam _Lauretta_, sitting next to _Philostratus_, when she had heard
the witty conceite of _Bergamino_; knowing, that shee was to say
somewhat, without injunction or command, pleasantly thus began.

This last discourse (faire and vertuous company) induceth mee to tell
you, how an honest Courtier reprehended in like manner (and nothing
unprofitably) base covetousnesse in a Merchant of extraordinary wealth.
Which Tale, although (in effect) it may seeme to resemble the former;
yet perhaps, it will prove no lesse pleasing to you, in regard it
sorted to as good an end.

It is no long time since, that there lived in _Genes_ or _Geneway_, a
Gentleman named Signior _Herminio de Grimaldi_, who (as every one wel
knew) was more rich in inheritances, and ready summes of currant mony,
then any other knowne Citizen in _Italy_. And as hee surpassed other
men in wealth, so did he likewise excell them in wretched Avarice,
being so miserably greedy and covetous, as no man in the world could
be more wicked that way; because, not onely he kept his purse lockt up
from pleasuring any, but denied needful things to himself, enduring
many miseries & distresses, onely to avoide expences, contrary to the
_Genewayes_ generall custome, who alwayes delighted to be decently
cloathed, and to have their dyet of the best. By reason of which most
miserable basenesse, they tooke from him the sir-name of _Grimaldi_,
whereof hee was in right descended: and called him master _Herminio_
the covetous Mizer, a nickname very notably agreeing with his gripple

It came to passe, that in this time of his spending nothing, but
multiplying daily by infinite meanes, that a civill honest Gentleman
(a Courtier, of ready wit, and discoursive in Languages) came to
_Geneway_, being named _Guillaume Boursier_. A man very farre differing
from divers Courtiers in these dayes, who for soothing shamefull and
gracelesse manners, in such as allow them maintenance, are called and
reputed to bee Gentlemen, yea especiall favourites: whereas much more
worthily, they should be accounted as knaves and villaines, being
borne and bred in all filthinesse, and skilfull in every kinde of
basest behaviour, not fit to come in Princes Courts. For, whereas in
passed times, they spent their dayes and paines in making peace, when
Gentlemen were at warre or dissention, or treating on honest marriages,
betweene friends and familiars, & (with loving speeches) would recreate
disturbed mindes, desiring none but commendable exercises in Court,
and sharpely reprooving (like fathers) disordred life, or ill actions
in any, albeit with recompence little, or none at all: these upstarts
now adayes, employ all their paines in detractions, sowing questions
and quarrels betweene one another, making no spare of lyes & falshoods.
Nay which is worse, they will do this in the presence of any man,
upbraiding him with injuries, shames, and scandals (true or not true)
upon the very least occasion. And by false and deceitfull flatteries
and villanies of their own inventing, they make Gentlemen to become as
vile as themselves. For which detestable qualities, they are better
beloved and respected of theyr misdemeanour'd Lords, and recompenced in
more bountifull manner, then men of vertuous carriage and desert. Which
is an argument sufficient, that goodnesse is gone up to heaven, and
hath quite forsaken these loathed lower Regions, where men are drowned
in the mud of all abhominable vices.

But returning where I left (being led out of my way by a just and
religious anger against such deformity) this Gentleman, Master
_Guillaume Boursier_, was willingly seene, and gladly welcommed by all
the best men in _Geneway_. Having remayned some few dayes in the City,
& (among other matters) heard much talke of the miserable covetousness
of master _Herminio_, he grew verie desirous to have a sight of him.
Master _Herminio_ had already understood, that this Gentleman, Master
_Guillaume Boursier_, was vertuously disposed, and (how covetously
soever he was inclined) having in him some sparkes of noble nature;
gave him very good words, and gracious entertainement, discoursing with
him on divers occasions.

In company of other _Genewayes_ with him, he brought him to a new
erected house of his, a building of great cost and beauty, where, after
he had shewen him all the variable rarities, he beganne thus. Master
_Guillaume_, no doubt but you have heard and seene many things, and
you can instruct me in some quaint conceit or devise, to be fairely
figured in painting, at the entrance into the great Hall of my House.
Master _Guillaume_ hearing him speake so simply, returned him this
answere; Sir, I cannot advise you in any thing, so rare or unseen as
you talke of: but how to sneeze (after a new manner) upon a full and
overcloyed stomacke, to avoide base humours that stupifie the braine,
or other matters of the like quality. But if you would be taught a good
one indeede, and had a disposition to see it fairely effected; I could
instruct you in an excellent Embleme, wherewith (as yet) you never came

Master _Herminio_ hearing him say so, and expecting no such answere
as he had saide; Good Master _Guillaume_, tell me what it is, and on
my faith I will have it fairely painted. Whereto Master _Guillaume_
suddenly replied: Doe nothing but this Sir; Paint over the Portall
at your Halles entrance, the lively picture of Liberality, to bid
all your friends better welcome, then hitherto they have beene. When
Master _Herminio_ heard these words, he became possessed with such a
sudden shame, that his complexion changed from the former palenesse,
and answered thus. Master _Guillaume_, I will have your advice so
truly figured over my gate, and shee shall give so good welcome to all
my guests, that both you, and all these Gentlemen shall say; I have
both seene her, and am become reasonably acquainted with her. From
that time forward, the words of Master _Guillaume_ were so effectuall
with Signior _Herminio_, that he became the most bountifull and best
house-keeper, which lived in his time in _Geneway_; no man more
honouring and friendly welcoming both strangers and Citizens, then he
continually used to doe.

_The King of Cyprus was wittily reprehended, by the words of a
Gentlewoman of Gascoignie, and became vertuously altered from his
vicious disposition._

The ninth Novell.

_Giving all men to understand, that Justice is necessary in a King,
above all things else whatsoever._

The last command of the Queene, remained upon Madam _Elissa_, or
_Eliza_, who without any delaying, thus beganne. Young Ladies, it
hath often beene seene, that much paine hath beene bestowed, and many
reprehensions spent in vaine, till a word happening at adventure, and
perhaps not purposely determined, hath effectually done the deede: as
appeareth by the Tale of Madam _Lauretta_, and another of mine owne,
wherewith I intend briefly to acquaint you, approving, that when good
words are discreetly observed, they are of soveraigne power and vertue.

In the dayes of the first King of _Cyprus_, after the Conquest made
in the holy Land by _Godfrey_ of _Bullen_, it fortuned, that a
Gentlewoman of _Gascoignie_, travelling in pilgrimage, to visit the
sacred Sepulcher in _Jerusalem_, returning home againe, arrived at
_Cyprus_, where shee was villanously abused by certaine base wretches.
Complaining thereof, without any comfort or redresse, shee intended
to make her moane to the King of the Countrey. Whereupon it was tolde
her, that therein shee should but loose her labour, because hee was so
womanish, and faint-hearted; that not onely he refused to punish with
justice the offences of others, but also suffered shamefull injuries
done to himselfe. And therefore, such as were displeased by his
negligence, might easily discharge their spleene against him, and doe
him what dishonour they would.

When the Gentlewoman heard this, despairing of any consolation, or
revenge for her wrongs, shee resolved to checke the Kings deniall of
justice, and comming before him weeping, spake in this manner. Sir, I
presume not into your presence, as hoping to have redresse by you, for
divers dishonourable injuries done unto me; but, as a full satisfaction
for them, doe but teach me how you suffer such vile abuses, as daily
are offered to your selfe. To the ende, that being therein instructed
by you, I may the more patiently beare mine owne; which (as God
knoweth) I would bestow on you very gladly, because you know so well
how to endure them.

The King, who (till then) had beene very bad, dull, and slothfull, even
as sleeping out his time of governement; beganne to revenge the wrongs
done to this Gentlewoman very severely, and (thenceforward) became a
most sharpe Justicer, for the least offence offered against the honour
of his Crowne, or to any of his subjects beside.

_Master_ Albert _of Bullen, honestly made a Lady to blush, that
thought to have done as much to him, because shee perceived him, to be
amorously affected towards her._

The tenth Novell.

_Wherein is declared, that honest love agreeth with people of all ages._

After that Madam _Eliza_ sate silent, the last charge and labour of
the like employment, remained to the Queene her selfe; whereupon shee
beganne thus to speake: Honest and vertuous young Ladies, like as
the Starres (when the Ayre is faire and cleere) are the adorning and
beauty of Heaven, and flowers (while the Spring time lasteth) doe
graciously embellish the Meadowes; even so sweete speeches and pleasing
conferences, to passe the time with commendable discourses, are the
best habit of the minde, and an outward beauty to the body: which
ornament of words, when they appeare to be short and sweete, are much
more seemely in women, then in men; because long and tedious talking
(when it may be done in lesser time) is a greater blemish in women,
then in men.

Among us women, this day, I thinke few or none have therein offended,
but as readily have understood short and pithy speeches, as they have
beene quicke and quaintly delivered. But when answering suteth not with
understanding, it is generally a shame in us, and all such as live;
because our moderne times have converted that vertue, which was within
them who lived before us, into garments of the bodie, and shew whose
habites were noted to bee most gaudie, fullest of imbroyderies, and
fantastick fashions: she was reputed to have most matter in her, and
therefore to be more honoured and esteemed. Never considering, that
whosoever loadeth the backe of an Asse, or puts upon him the richest
braverie; he becommeth not thereby a jote the wiser, or merriteth
any more honour then an Asse should have. I am ashamed to speake it,
because in detecting other, I may (perhaps) as justly taxe my selfe.

Such imbroydered bodies, tricked and trimmed in such boasting bravery,
are they any thing else but as Marble Statues, dumbe, dull, and utterly
insensible? Or if (perchaunce) they make an answere, when some question
is demaunded of them; it were much better for them to be silent. For
defence of honest devise and conference among men and women, they would
have the world to thinke, that it proceedeth but from simplicity and
precise opinion, covering their owne folly with the name of honesty:
as if there were no other honest woman, but shee that conferres onely
with her Chamber-maide, Laundresse, or Kitchin-woman, as if nature had
allowed them (in their owne idle conceite) no other kinde of talking.

Most true it is, that as there is a respect to be used in the action
of other things; so, time and place are necessarily to be considered,
and also whom we converse withall; because sometimes it happeneth,
that a man or woman, intending (by a word of jest and merriment) to
make another body blush or be ashamed: not knowing what strength of
wit remaineth in the opposite, doe convert the same disgrace upon
themselves. Therefore, that we may the more advisedly stand upon out
owne guard, and to prevent the common proverbe, _That Women (in all
things) make choyse of the woorst:_ I desire that this dayes last tale,
which is to come from my selfe, may make us all wise. To the end, that
as in gentlenesse of minde we conferre with other; so by excellency in
good manners, we may shew our selves not inferiour to them.

It is not many yeares since (worthy assembly) that in _Bulloigne_
there dwelt a learned Physitian, a man famous for skill, and farre
renowned, whose name was Master _Albert_, and being growne aged, to the
estimate of threescore and tenne yeares: hee had yet such a sprightly
disposition, that though naturall heate and vigour had quite shaken
hands with him, yet amorous flames and desires had not wholly forsaken
him. Having seene (at a Banquet) a very beautifull woman, being then
in the estate of widdowhood, named (as some say) Madame _Margaret de
Chisolieri_, shee appeared so pleasing in his eye; that his sences
became no lesse disturbed, then as if he had beene of farre younger
temper, and no night could any quietnesse possesse his soule, except
(the day before) he had seene the sweet countenance of this lovely
widdow. In regard whereof, his dayly passage was by her doore, one
while on horsebacke, and then againe on foote; as best might declare
his plaine purpose to see her.

Both shee and other Gentlewomen, perceiving the occasion of his
passing and repassing; would privately jest thereat together, to see
a man of such yeares and discretion, to be amorously addicted, or
over-swayed by effeminate passions. For they were partly perswaded,
that such wanton Ague fits of Love, were fit for none but youthfull
apprehensions, as best agreeing with their chearefull complexion.
Master _Albert_ continuing his dayly walkes by the widdowes lodging,
it chaunced upon a Feastivall day, that shee (accompanied with divers
other women of great account) being sitting at her doore; espied Master
_Albert_ (farre off) comming thitherward, and a resolved determination
among themselves was set downe, to allow him favourable entertainement,
and to jest (in some merry manner) at his loving folly, as afterward
they did indeede.

No sooner was he come neere, but they all arose, and courteously
invited him to enter with them, conducting him into a goodly Garden,
where readily was prepared choyse of delicate wines and banquetting. At
length, among other pleasant and delightfull discourses, they demanded
of him: how it was possible for him, to be amorously affected towards
so beautifull a woman, both knowing and seeing, how earnestly she was
sollicited by many gracious, gallant, and youthfull spirits, aptly
suting with her yeares and desires? Master _Albert_ perceiving, that
they had drawne him in among them, onely to scoffe and make a mockery
of him; set a merry countenance on the matter, and honestly thus

Beleeve mee Gentlewoman (speaking to the widdowe her selfe) it should
not appeare strange to any of wisedome and discretion, that I am
amorously enclined, and especially to you, because you are well worthy
of it. And although those powers, which naturally appertaine to the
exercises of Love, are bereft and gone from aged people; yet goodwill
thereto cannot be taken from them, neither judgement to know such
as deserve to be affected: for, by how much they exceede youth in
knowledge and experience, by so much the more hath nature made them
meet for respect and reverence. The hope which incited me (being aged)
to love you, that are affected of so many youthfull Gallants, grew
thus. I have often chaunced into divers places, where I have seene
Ladies and Gentlewomen, being disposed to a Collation or rere-banquet
after dinner, to feede on Lupines, and young Onions or Leekes, and
although it may be so, that there is little or no goodnesse at all
in them; yet the heads of them are least hurtfull, and most pleasing
in the mouth. And you Gentlewomen generally (guided by unreasonable
appetite) will hold the heads of them in your hands, and feede upon the
blades or stalkes; which not onely are not good for any thing, but also
are of very bad savour. And what know I (Lady) whether among the choise
of friends, it may fit your fancy to doe the like? For, if you did so,
it were no fault of mine to be chosen of you, but thereby were all the
rest of your suters the sooner answered.

The widdowed Gentlewoman, and all the rest in her company, being
bashfully ashamed of her owne and their folly, presently said. Master
_Albert_, you have both well and worthily chastised our over-bold
presumption, and beleeve mee Sir, I repute your love and kindnesse of
no meane merit, comming from a man so wise and vertuous: And therefore
(mine honour reserved) commaund my uttermost, as alwayes ready to
do you any honest service. Master _Albert_, arising from his seat,
thanking the faire widdow for her gentle offer; tooke leave of her and
all the company, and she blushing, as all the rest were therein not
much behinde her, thinking to checke him, became chidden her selfe,
whereby (if wee be wise) let us all take warning.

The Sunne was now somewhat farre declined, and the heates extremity
well worne away, when the Tales of the seaven Ladies and three
Gentlemen were thus finished, whereupon their Queene pleasantly said.
For this day (faire company) there remaineth nothing more to be done
under my regiment, but onely to bestow a new Queene upon you, who
(according to her judgement) must take her turne, and dispose what next
is to be done, for continuing our time in honest pleasure. And although
the day should endure till darke night, in regard, that when some time
is taken before, the better preparation may be made for occasions to
follow, to the end also, that whatsoever the new Queene shall please to
appoint, may be the better fitted for the morrow: I am of opinion, that
at the same houre as we now cease, the following dayes shall severally
begin. And therefore, in reverence to him that giveth life to all
things, and in hope of comfort by our second day; Madame _Philomena_, a
most wise young Lady, shall governe as Queene this our Kingdome.

So soone as she had thus spoken, arising from her seate of dignity,
and taking the Lawrell Crowne from off her owne head; she reverently
placed it upon Madame _Philomenaes_, she first of all humbly saluting
her, and then all the rest, openly confessing her to be their Queene,
made gracious offer to obey whatsoever she commaunded. _Philomena_, her
cheekes delivering a scarlet tincture, to see her selfe thus honoured
as their Queene, and well remembring the words, so lately uttered by
Madame _Pampinea_; that dulnesse or neglect might not be noted in her,
tooke cheerefull courage to her, and first of all, she confirmed the
officers, which _Pampinea_ had appointed the day before, then shee
ordained for the morrowes provision, as also for the supper so neere
approaching, before they departed away from thence, and then thus began.

Lovely Companions, although that Madam _Pampinea_, more in her owne
courtesie, then any matter of merit remaining in mee, hath made me your
Queene: I am not determined, to alter the forme of our intended life,
nor to be guided by mine owne judgement, but to associate the same with
your assistance. And because you may know what I intend to do, and so
(consequently) adde or diminish at your pleasure; in verie few words,
you shall plainly understand my meaning. If you have well considered
on the course, which this day hath bene kept by Madam _Pampinea_, me
thinkes it hath bene very pleasing and commendable; in which regard,
untill by over-tedious continuation, or other occasions of irkesome
offence, it shall seeme injurious, I am of the minde, not to alter
it. Holding on the order then as we have begun to do, we will depart
from hence to recreate our selves awhile, and when the Sun groweth
towards setting, we will sup in the fresh and open ayre: afterward,
with Canzonets and other pastimes, we will out-weare the houres till
bed time. To morrow morning, in the fresh and gentle breath thereof,
we will rise & walke to such places, as every one shall finde fittest
for them, even as already this day we have done; untill due time shall
summon us hither againe, to continue our discoursive Tales, wherein (me
thinkes) consisteth both pleasure and profit, especially by discreete

Very true it is, that some things which Madam _Pampinea_ coulde not
accomplish, by reason of her so small time of authority, I will
beginne to undergo, to wit, in restraining some matters whereon we are
to speake, that better premeditation may passe upon them. For, when
respite and a little leysure goeth before them, each discourse will
savour of the more formality; and if it might so please you, thus would
I direct the order. As since the beginning of the world, all men have
bene guided (by Fortune) thorow divers accidents and occasions: so
beyond all hope & expectation, the issue and successe hath bin good and
succesfull, and accordingly should every one of our arguments be chosen.

The Ladies, and the yong Gentlemen likewise, commended her advice,
and promised to imitate it; onely _Dioneus_ excepted, who when every
one was silent, spake thus. Madam, I say as all the rest have done,
that the order by you appointed, is most pleasing and worthy to bee
allowed. But I intreate one speciall favour for my selfe, and to have
it confirmed to me, so long as our company continueth; namely, that I
may not be constrained to this Law of direction, but to tell my Tale
at liberty, after mine owne minde, and according to the freedome first
instituted. And because no one shall imagine, that I urge this grace
of you, as being unfurnished of discourses in this kinde, I am well
contented to be the last in every dayes exercise.

The Queene, knowing him to be a man full of mirth and matter, began
to consider very advisedly, that he would not have mooved this
request, but onely to the end, that if the company grew wearied by
any of the Tales re-counted, hee would shut uppe the dayes disport
with some mirthfull accident. Wherefore willingly, and with consent
of al the rest he had his suite granted. So, arising all, they walked
to a Christall river, descending downe a little hill into a vally,
graciously shaded with goodly Trees; where washing both their hands
and feete, much pretty pleasure passed among them; till supper time
drawing nere, made them returne home to the Palace. When supper was
ended, and bookes and instruments being laide before them, the Queene
commanded a dance, & that Madam _Æmilia_, assisted by Madam _Lauretta_
and _Dioneus_, shold sing a sweet ditty. At which command, _Lauretta_
undertooke the dance, and led it, _Æmilia_ singing this song ensuing.

    _The Song.

    So much delight my beauty yeelds to mee,
                 That any other Love,
                 To wish or prove;
    Can never sute it selfe with my desire.

    Therein I see, upon good observation,
    What sweete content due understanding lends:
    Olde or new thoughts cannot in any fashion
    Rob me of that, which mine owne soule commends.
                 What object then,
                   (mongst infinites of men)
                 Can I ever finde
                   to dispossesse my minde,
    And plant therein another new desire?
          So much delight, &c.

    But were it so, the blisse that I would chuse,
    Is, by continuall sight to comfort me:
    So rare a presence never to refuse,
    Which mortall tongue or thought, what ere it be;
                 Must still conceale,
                   not able to reveale,
                 Such a sacred sweete,
                   for none other meete,
    But hearts enflamed with the same desire.
          So much delight, &c._

The Song being ended, the Chorus whereof was aunswered by them all,
it passed with generall applause: and after a few other daunces, the
night being well run on, the Queene gave ending to this first dayes
Recreation. So, lights being brought, they departed to their severall
Lodgings, to take their rest till the next morning.

_The End of the first Day._

The Second Day.

_Wherein, all the Discourses are under the government of Madam
Philomena: Concerning such men or women, as (in divers accidents) have
beene much molested by Fortune, and yet afterward, contrary to their
hope and expectation, have had a happy and successefull deliverance._

Already had the bright Sunne renewed the day every where with his
splendant beames, and the Birds sate merrily singing on the blooming
branches, yeelding testimony thereof to the eares of all hearers; when
the seven Ladies, and the three Gentlemen (after they were risen)
entered the Gardens, and there spent some time in walking, as also
making of Nose-gayes and Chaplets of Flowers. And even as they had done
the day before, so did they now follow the same course; for, after they
had dined, in a coole and pleasing aire they fell to dancing, and then
went to sleepe awhile, from which being awaked, they tooke their places
(according as it pleased the Queene to appoint) in the same faire
Meadow about her. And she, being a goodly creature, and highly pleasing
to beholde, having put on her Crowne of Laurell, and giving a gracious
countenance to the whole company; commanded Madam _Neiphila_ that her
Tale should begin this daies delight. Whereupon she, without returning
any excuse or deniall, began in this manner.

Martellino _counterfetting to be lame of his members, caused himselfe
to be set on the body of Saint_ Arriguo, _where he made shew of his
sudden recovery; but when his dissimulation was discovered, he was well
beaten, being afterward taken prisoner, and in great danger of being
hanged and strangled by the necke, and yet he escaped in the ende._

The first Novell.

_Wherein is signified, how easie a thing it is, for wicked men to
deceive the world, under the shadow and colour of miracles: and that
such trechery (oftentimes) redoundeth to the harme of the deviser._

Faire Ladies, it hath happened many times, that hee who striveth to
scorne and floute other men, and especially in occasions deserving to
be respected, proveth to mocke himselfe with the selfe-same matter,
yea, and to his no meane danger beside. As you shall perceive by a
Tale, which I intend to tell you, obeying therein the command of
our Queene, and according to the subject by her enjoyned. In which
discourse, you may first observe, what great mischance happened to one
of our Citizens; and yet afterward, how (beyond all hope) he happily

Not long since there lived in the City of _Trevers_, an _Almaine_ or
_Germaine_, named _Arriguo_, [Sidenote: Or Arrigo.] who being a poore
man, served as a Porter, or burden-bearer for money, when any man
pleased to employ him. And yet, notwithstanding his poore and meane
condition, he was generally reputed, to be of good and sanctified life.
In which regard (whether it were true or no, I know not) it happened,
that when he died (at least as the men of _Trevers_ themselves
affirmed) in the very instant houre of his departing, all the Belles in
the great Church of _Trevers_, (not being pulled by the helpe of any
hand) beganne to ring: which being accounted for a miracle, every one
saide; that this _Arriguo_ had been, and was a Saint. And presently all
the people of the City ran to the house where the dead body lay, and
carried it (as a sanctified body) into the great Church, where people,
halt, lame, and blinde, or troubled with any other diseases, were
brought about it, even as if every one should forth-with be holpen,
onely by their touching the bodie.

It came to passe, that in so great a concourse of people, as resorted
thither from all parts; three of our Cittizens went to _Trevers_, one
of them being named _Stechio_, the second _Martellino_, and the third
_Marquiso_, all being men of such condition, as frequented Princes
Courts, to give them delight by pleasant & counterfeited qualities.
None of these men having ever beene at _Trevers_ before, seeing how
the people crowded thorow the streetes, wondred greatly thereat: but
when they knew the reason, why the throngs ranne on heapes in such
sort together, they grew as desirous to see the Shrine, as any of the
rest. Having ordered all affaires at their lodging, _Marquiso_ saide;
It is fit for us to see this Saint, but I know not how we shall attaine
thereto, because (as I have heard) the place is guarded by Germane
Souldiers, and other warlike men, commanded thither by the Governours
of this City, least any outrage should be there committed: And beside,
the Church is so full of people, as wee shall never compasse to
get neere. _Martellino_ being also as forward in desire to see it,
presently replied: All this difficulty cannot dismay me, but I will goe
to the very body of the Saint it selfe. But how? quoth _Marquiso_. I
will tell thee, answered _Martellino_. I purpose to goe in the disguise
of an impotent lame person, supported on the one side by thy selfe, and
on the other by _Stechio_, as if I were not able to walke of my selfe:
And you two thus sustaining me, desiring to come neere the Saint to
cure me; every one will make way, and freely give you leave to goe on.

This devise was very pleasing to _Marquiso_ and _Stechio_, so that
(without any further delaying) they all three left their lodging, and
resorting into a secret corner aside, _Martellino_ so writhed and
mishaped his hands, fingers, and armes, his legges, mouth, eyes, and
whole countenance, that it was a dreadfull sight to looke upon him, and
whosoever beheld him, would verily have imagined, that hee was utterly
lame of his limbes, and greatly deformed in his body. _Marquiso_ and
_Stechio_, seeing all sorted so well as they could wish, tooke and led
him towards the Church, making very pitious moane, and humbly desiring
(for Gods sake) of every one that they met, to grant them free passage,
whereto they charitably condiscended.

Thus leading him on, crying still; Beware there before, and give way
for Gods sake, they arrived at the body of Saint _Arriguo_, that (by
his helpe) he might be healed. And while all eyes were diligently
observing, what miracle would be wrought on _Martellino_, hee having
sitten a small space upon the Saints bodie, and being sufficiently
skilfull in counterfeiting; beganne first to extend forth one of his
fingers, next his hand, then his arme, and so (by degrees) the rest of
his body. Which when the people saw, they made such a wonderfull noyse
in praise of Saint _Arriguo_, even as if it had thundered in the Church.

Now it chanced by ill fortune, that there stood a _Florentine_ neere
to the body, who knew _Martellino_ very perfectly; but appearing so
monstrously misshapen, when he was brought into the Church, hee could
take no knowledge of him. But when he saw him stand up and walke, hee
knew him then to be the man indeede; whereupon he saide. How commeth
it to passe, that this fellow should be so miraculously cured, that
never truly was any way impotent? Certaine men of the City hearing
these words, entred into further questioning with him, demanding, how
he knew that the man had no such imperfection? Well enough (answered
the _Florentine_) I know him to be as direct in his limbes and body,
as you; I, or any of us all are: but indeede, he knowes better how to
dissemble counterfeit trickes, then any man else that ever I saw.

When they heard this, they discoursed no further with the _Florentine_,
but pressed on mainely to the place where _Martellino_ stood, crying
out aloude. Lay holde on this Traytor, a mocker of God, and his holy
Saints, that had no lamenesse in his limbes; but to make a mocke of our
Saint and us, came hither in false and counterfeit manner. So laying
hands uppon him, they threw him against the ground, haling him by the
haire on his head, and tearing the garments from his backe, spurning
him with their feete, and beating him with their fists, that many were
much ashamed to see it.

Poore _Martellino_ was in a pittifull case, crying out for mercy, but
no man would heare him; for, the more he cried, the more still they
did beat him, as meaning to leave no life in him, which _Stechio_ and
_Marquiso_ seeing, considered with themselves, that they were likewise
in a desperate case; and therefore, fearing to be as much misused, they
cryed out among the rest; Kill the counterfeit knave, lay on loade, and
spare him not; neverthelesse, they tooke care how to get him out of
the peoples handes, as doubting, least they would kill him indeede, by
their extreame violence.

Sodainly, _Marquiso_ bethought him how to do it, and proceeded thus.
All the Sergeants for Justice standing at the Church doore, hee ran
with all possible speede to the _Potestates_ Lieutenant, and said
unto him. Good my Lord Justice, helpe me in an hard case; yonder is a
villaine that hath cut my purse, I desire he may bee brought before
you, that I may have my money againe. He hearing this, sent for a
dozen of the Sergeants, who went to apprehend unhappy _Martellino_,
and recover him from the peoples fury, leading him on with them to the
Palace, no meane crowds thronging after him, when they heard that he
was accused to bee a Cut-purse. Now durst they meddle no more with him,
but assisted the Officers; some of them charging him in like manner,
that he had cut theyr purses also.

Upon these clamours and complaints, the _Potestates_ Lieutenant (being
a man of rude quality) tooke him sodainly aside, and examined him of
the crimes wherewith he was charged. But _Martellino_, as making no
account of these accusations, laughed, and returned scoffing answeres.
Whereat the Judge, waxing much displeased, delivered him over to the
Strappado, and stood by himselfe, to have him confesse the crimes
imposed on him, and then to hang him afterward. Beeing let downe to
the ground, the Judge still demaunded of him, whether the accusations
against him were true, or no? Affirming, that it nothing avayled him
to deny it: whereupon hee thus spake to the Judge. My Lord, I am heere
ready before you, to confesse the truth; but I pray you, demaund of all
them that accuse me, when and where I did cut their purses, & then I
will tell you that, which (as yet) I have not done, otherwise I purpose
to make you no more answers.

Well (quoth the Judge) thou requirest but reason; & calling divers of
the accusers, one of them saide, that he lost his purse eight dayes
before; another saide six, another foure, and some saide the very same
day. Which _Martellino_ hearing, replyed. My Lord, they al lie in
their throats, as I will plainly prove before you. I would to God I
had never set foote within this City, as it is not many houres since
my first entrance, and presently after mine arrivall, I went (in an
evill houre I may say for me) to see the Saints body, where I was thus
beaten as you may beholde. That all this is true which I say unto you,
the Seigneuries Officer that keeps your Booke of presentations, will
testifie for me, as also the Host where I am lodged. Wherefore good
my Lord, if you finde all no otherwise, then as I have said, I humbly
entreate you, that upon these bad mens reportes and false informations,
I may not be thus tormented, and put in perill of my life.

While matters proceeded in this manner, _Marquiso_ and _Stechio_,
understanding how roughly the _Potestates_ Lieutenant dealt with
_Martellino_ and that he had already given him the Strappado; were in
heavy perplexity, saying to themselves; we have carried this businesse
very badly, redeeming him out of the Frying-pan, and flinging him into
the Fire. Whereupon, trudging about from place to place, & meeting
at length with their Host, they told him truly how all had happened,
whereat hee could not refraine from laughing. Afterward, he went with
them to one Master _Alexander Agolante_, who dwelt in _Trevers_, and
was in great credite with the Cities cheefe Magistrate, to whom hee
related the whole Discourse; all three earnestly entreating him, to
commisserate the case of poore _Martellino_.

Master _Alexander_, after he had laughed heartily at this hotte peece
of service, went with him to the Lord of _Trevers_; prevailing so well
with him, that he sent to have _Martellino_ brought before him. The
Messengers that went for him, found him standing in his shirt before
the Judge, very shrewdly shaken with the Strappado, trembling and
quaking pittifully. For the Judge would not heare any thing in his
excuse; but hating him (perhaps) because hee was a Florentine: flatly
determined to have him hangde by the necke, and would not deliver him
to the Lorde, untill in meere despight he was compeld to do it.

The Lord of _Trevers_, when _Martellino_ came before him, and had
acquainted him truly with every particular: Master _Alexander_
requested, that he might be dispatched thence for _Florence_, because
he thought the halter to be about his necke, and that there was
no other helpe but hanging. The Lord, smiling (a long while) at
the accident, & causing _Martellino_ to be handsomely apparrelled,
delivering them also his Passe, they escaped out of further danger, and
tarried no where, till they came unto _Florence_.

_Rinaldo de Este, after he was robbed by Theeves, arrived at Chasteau
Guillaume, where he was friendly lodged by a faire widdow, and
recompenced likewise for all his losses; returning afterward safe and
well home into his owne house._

The second Novell.

_Whereby wee may learne, that such things as sometime seeme hurtfull to
us, may turne to our benefit and commodity._

Much merriment was among the Ladies, hearing this Tale of _Martellinos_
misfortunes, so familiarly reported by Madam _Neiphila_, and of the
men, it was best respected by _Philostratus_, who sitting neerest
unto _Neiphila_, the Queene commanded his Tale to be the next, when
presently he began to speake thus.

Gracious Ladies, I am to speake of universall occasions, mingled with
some misfortunes in part, and partly with matters leaning to love: as
many times may happen to such people, that trace the dangerous pathes
of amorous desires, or have not learned perfectly, to say S. _Julians
pater noster_, having good beds of their owne, yet (casually) meete
with worser lodging.

In the time of _Azzo_, Marquesse of _Ferrara_, there was a Marchant
named _Rinaldo de Este_, who being one day at _Bologna_, about some
especiall businesse of his owne; his occasions there ended, and riding
from thence towards _Verona_, he fell in company with other Horsemen,
seeming to be Merchants like himselfe; but indeede were Theeves, men
of most badde life and conversation; yet he having no such mistrust of
them, rode on, conferring with them very familiarly. They perceiving
him to be a Merchant, and likely to have some store of money about
him, concluded betweene themselves to rob him, so soone as they found
apt place and opportunity. But because he should conceive no such
suspition, they rode on like modest men, talking honestly & friendly
with him, of good parts and disposition appearing in him, offering him
all humble and gracious service, accounting themselves happy by his
companie, as hee returned the same courtesie to them, because he was
alone, and but one servant with him.

Falling from one discourse to another, they began to talke of such
prayers, as men (in journey) use to salute God withall; and one of the
Theeves (they being three in number), spake thus to _Rinaldo_. Sir, let
it be no offence to you, that I desire to know, what prayer you most
use when thus you travell on the way? Whereto _Rinaldo_ replyed in this
manner. To tell you true Sir, I am a man grosse enough in such Divine
matters, as medling more with Marchandize, then I do with Bookes.
Neverthelesse, at all times when I am thus in journey, in the morning
before I depart my Chamber, I say a _Pater noster_ and an _Ave Maria_,
for the souls of the father and mother of Saint _Julian_, and after
that, I pray God and S. _Julian_ to send me a good lodging at night.
And let me tell you Sir, that very oftentimes heeretofore, I have met
with many great dangers upon the way, from all which I still escaped,
and evermore (when night drewe on) I came to an exceeding good Lodging.
Which makes mee firmely beleeve, that Saint _Julian_ (in honour of whom
I speake it) hath begd of God such great grace for me; and mee thinkes,
that if any day I should faile of this prayer in the morning: I cannot
travaile securely, nor come to a good lodging. No doubt then Sir (quoth
the other) but you have saide that prayer this morning? I would be sorry
else, saide _Rinaldo_, such an especiall matter is not to be neglected.

He and the rest, who had already determined how to handle him before
they parted, saide within themselves: Looke thou hast said thy praier,
for when we have thy money, Saint _Julian_ and thou shift for thy
lodging. Afterward, the same man thus againe conferd with him. As you
Sir, so I have ridden many journies, and yet I never used any such
praier, although I have heard it very much commended, and my lodging
hath prooved never the worser. Perhaps this verie night will therein
resolve us both, whether of us two shall be the best lodged; you that
have sayde the prayer, or I that never used it at all. But I must
not deny, that in sted thereof, I have made use of some verses, as
_Dirupisti_, or the _Jutemerata_, or _Deprofundis_, which are (as my
Grandmother hath often told mee) of very great vertue and efficacy.

Continuing thus in talke of divers things, winning way, and beguiling
the time, still waiting when their purpose should sort to effect: it
fortuned, that the Theeves seeing they were come neere to a Towne,
called _Casteau Guillaume_, by the foord of a River, the houre somewhat
late, the place solitarie, and thickely shaded with trees, they made
their assault; and having robd him, left him there on foote, stript
into his shirt, saying to him. Goe now and see, whether thy Saint
_Julian_ will allow thee this night a good lodging, or no, for our
owne we are sufficiently provided; so passing the River, away they
rode. _Rinaldoes_ servant, seeing his Master so sharply assayled, like
a wicked villaine, would not assist him in any sort: but giving his
horse the spurres, never left gallowping, untill hee came to _Chasteau
Guillaume_, where hee entred upon the point of night, providing
himselfe of a lodging, but not caring what became of his Master.

_Rinaldo_ remaining there in his shirt, bare-foote and bare-legged,
the weather extremely colde, and snowing incessantly, not knowing what
to doe, darke night drawing on, and looking round about him, for some
place where to abide that night, to the end he might not dye with
colde: he found no helpe at all there for him, in regard that (no long
while before) the late warre had burnt and wasted all, and not so much
as the least Cottage left. Compelled by the coldes violence, his teeth
quaking, and all his body trembling, hee trotted on towards _Chasteau
Guillaume_, not knowing, whether his man was gone thither or no, or to
what place else: but perswaded himselfe, that if he could get entrance,
there was no feare of finding succour. But before he came within halfe
a mile of the Towne, the night grew extreamely darke, and arriving
there so late, hee found the gates fast lockt, and the Bridges drawne
up, so that no entrance might be admitted.

Grieving greatly hereat, and being much discomforted, rufully hee went
spying about the walls, for some place wherein to shrowd himselfe, at
least, to keepe the snow from falling upon him. By good hap, hee espied
an house upon the wall of the Towne, which had a terrace jutting out as
a penthouse, under which he purposed to stand all the night, and then
to get him gone in the morning. At length, hee found a doore in the
wall, but very fast shut, and some small store of strawe lying by it,
which he gathered together, and sitting downe thereon very pensively;
made many sad complaints to Saint _Julian_, saying: This was not
according to the trust he reposed in her. But Saint _Julian_, taking
compassion upon him, without any over-long tarying; provided him of a
good lodging, as you shall heare how.

In this towne of _Chasteau Guillaume_, lived a young Lady, who was a
widdow, so beautifull and comely of her person, as sildome was seene a
more lovely creature. The Marquesse _Azzo_ most dearely affected her,
and (as his choysest Jewell of delight) gave her that house to live in,
under the terrace whereof poore _Rinaldo_ made his shelter. It chaunced
the day before, that the Marquesse was come thither, according to his
frequent custome, to weare away that night in her company, she having
secretly prepared a Bath for him, and a costly supper beside. All
things being ready, and nothing wanting but the Marquesse his presence:
suddenly a Post brought him such Letters, which commanded him instantly
to horsebacke, and word hee sent to the Lady, to spare him for that
night, because urgent occasions called him thence, and hee rode away

Much discontented was the Lady at this unexpected accident, and not
knowing now how to spend the time, resolved to use the Bath which hee
had made for the Marquesse, and (after supper) betake her selfe to
rest, and so she entred into the Bath. Close to the doore where poore
_Rinaldo_ sate, stoode the Bath, by which meanes, shee being therein,
heard all his quivering moanes, and complaints, seeming to be such,
as the Swanne singing before her death: whereupon, shee called her
Chamber-maide, saying to her. Goe up above, and looke over the terrace
on the wall downe to this doore, and see who is there, and what hee
doth. The Chamber-maide went up aloft, and by a little glimmering in
the ayre, she saw a man sitting in his shirt, bare on feete and legges,
trembling in manner before rehearsed. Shee demaunding, of whence, and
what hee was; _Rinaldoes_ teeth so trembled in his head, as very hardly
could hee forme any words, but (so well as he could) tolde her what hee
was, and how hee came thither: most pittifully entreating her, that if
shee could affoord him any helpe, not to suffer him starve there to
death with colde.

The Chamber-maide, being much moved to compassion, returned to her
Lady, and tolde her all; she likewise pittying his distresse, and
remembring shee had the key of that doore, whereby the Marquesse both
entred and returned, when he intended not to be seene of any, said
to her Maide. Goe, and open the doore softly for him; we have a good
supper, and none to helpe to eate it, and if he be a man likely, we can
allow him one nights lodging too. The Chamber-maide, commending her
Lady for this charitable kindnesse, opened the doore, and seeing hee
appeared as halfe frozen, shee said unto him. Make hast good man, get
thee into this Bath, which yet is good and warme, for my Lady her selfe
came but newly out of it. Whereto very gladly he condiscended, as not
tarrying to be bidden twise; finding himselfe so singularly comforted
with the heate thereof, even as if hee had beene restored from death to
life. Then the Lady sent him garments, which lately were her deceased
husbands, and fitted him so aptly in all respects, as if purposely they
had beene made for him.

Attending in further expectation, to know what else the Lady would
commaund him; hee began to remember God and Saint _Julian_, hartily
thanking her, for delivering him from so bad a night as was threatned
towards him, and bringing him to so good entertainement. After all
this, the Lady causing a faire fire to be made in the neerest Chamber
beneath, went and sate by it her selfe, demaunding how the honest man
fared. Madame, answered the Chamber-maide, now that he is in your
deceased Lords garments, he appeareth to be a very goodly Gentleman,
and (questionlesse) is of respective birth and breeding, well deserving
this gracious favour which you have afforded him. Goe then (quoth the
Lady) and conduct him hither, to sit by this fire, and sup here with
mee, for I feare he hath had but a sorrie supper. When _Rinaldo_ was
entred into the Chamber, and beheld her to be such a beautifull Lady,
accounting his fortune to exceede all comparison, hee did her most
humble reverence, expressing so much thankefulnesse as possibly hee
could, for this her extraordinary grace and favour.

The Lady fixing a stedfast eye upon him, well liking his gentle
language and behaviour, perceiving also, how fitly her deceased
husbands apparell was formed to his person, and resembling him in all
familiar respects, he appeared (in her judgement) farre beyond the
Chambermaides commendations of him; so praying him to sit downe by her
before the fire, shee questioned with him, concerning this unhappy
nights accident befalne him, wherein he fully resolved her, and shee
was the more perswaded, by reason of his servants comming into the
Towne before night, assuring him, that he should be found for him early
in the morning.

Supper being served in to the Table, and hee seated according as the
Lady commanded, shee began to observe him very considerately; for he
was a goodly man, compleate in all perfections of person, a delicate
pleasing countenance, a quicke alluring eye, fixed and constant, not
wantonly gadding, in the joviall youthfulnesse of his time, and truest
temper for amorous apprehension; all these were as battering engines
against a Bulwarke of no strong resistance, and wrought strangely upon
her flexible affections. And though hee fed heartily, as occasion
constrained, yet her thoughts had entertained a new kinde of diet,
digested onely by the eye; yet so cunningly concealed, that no motive
to immodesty could be discerned. Her mercy thus extended to him in
misery, drew on (by Table discourse) his birth, education, parents,
friends, and alies; his wealthy possessions by Merchandize, and a sound
stability in his estate, but above all (and best of all) the single and
sole condition of a batcheler; an apt and easie steele to strike fire,
especially upon such quicke taking tinder, and in a time favoured by

No imbarment remained, but remembrance of the Marquesse, and that being
summond to her more advised consideration, her youth and beauty stood
up as conscious accusers, for blemishing her honour and faire repute,
with lewd and luxurious life; farre unfit for a Lady of her degree, and
well worthy of generall condemnation. What should I further say? upon a
short conference with her Chambermaide, repentance for sinne past, and
solemne promise of a constant conversion, thus shee delivered her minde
to _Rinaldo_.

Sir, as you have related your fortunes to me, by this your casuall
happening hither, if you can like the motion so well as shee that makes
it, my deceased Lord and husband living so perfectly in your person;
this house, and all mine, is yours; and of a widow I will become your
wife, except (unmanly) you denie me. _Rinaldo_ hearing these words,
and proceeding from a Lady of such absolute perfections, presuming
upon so proud an offer, and condemning himselfe of folly if he should
refuse it, thus replied. Madam, considering that I stand bound for ever
hereafter, to confesse that you are the gracious preserver of my life,
and I no way able to returne requitall; if you please so to shadow
mine insufficiency, and to accept me and my fairest fortunes to doe you
service: let me die before a thought of deniall, or any way to yeeld
you the least discontentment.

Here wanted but a Priest to joyne their hands, as mutuall affection
already had done their hearts, which being sealed with infinite kisses;
the Chamber-maide called up Friar _Roger_ her Confessor, and wedding
and bedding were both effected before the bright morning. In briefe,
the Marquesse having heard of the marriage, did not mislike it, but
confirmed it by great and honourable gifts; and having sent for his
dishonest servant, he dispatched him (after sound reprehension) to
_Ferrara_, with Letters to _Rinaldoes_ Father and friends, of all the
accidents that had befalne him. Moreover, the very same morning, the
three theeves, that had robbed, and so ill entreated _Rinaldo_, for
another facte by them the same night committed; were taken, and brought
to the Towne of _Chasteau Guillaume_, where they were hanged for their
offences, and _Rinaldo_ with his wife rode to _Ferrara_.

_Three young Gentlemen, being brethren, and having spent all their
Lands and possessions vainely, became poore. A Nephew of theirs
(falling almost into as desperate a condition) became acquainted
with an Abbot, whom he afterward found to be the King of_ Englands
_Daughter, and made him her Husband in marriage, recompencing all his
Uncles losses, and seating them againe in good estate._

The third Novell.

_Wherein is declared the dangers of Prodigalitie, and the manifold
mutabilities of Fortune._

The fortunes of _Rinaldo de Este_, being heard by the Ladies and
Gentlemen, they admired his happinesse, and commended his devotion
to Saint _Julian_, who (in such extreame necessity) sent him so good
succour. Nor was the Lady to be blamed, for leaving base liberty, and
converting to the chaste embraces of the marriage bed, the dignity
of womens honour, and eternall disgrace living otherwise. While thus
they descanted on the happy night betweene her and _Rinaldo_, Madam
_Pampinea_ sitting next to _Philostratus_, considering, that her
discourse must follow in order, and thinking on what shee was to say;
the Queene had no sooner sent out her command, but shee being no lesse
faire then forward, beganne in this manner.

Ladies of great respect, the more we conferre on the accidents of
Fortune, so much the more remaineth to consider on her mutabilities,
wherein there is no need of wonder, if discreetly we observe, that
all such things as we fondly tearme to be our owne, are in her power,
and so (consequently) change from one to another, without any stay
or arrest (according to her concealed judgement) or setled order (at
least) that can bee knowne to us. Now, although these things appeare
thus daily to us, even apparantly in all occasions, and as hath beene
discerned by some of our precedent discourses; yet notwithstanding,
seeing it pleaseth the Queene, that our arguments should ayme at these
ends, I will adde to the former tales another of my owne, perhaps not
unprofitable for the hearers, nor unpleasing in observation.

Sometime heeretofore, there dwelt in our Citie, a Knight named Signior
_Thebaldo_, who (according as some report) issued from the Family of
_Lamberti_, but others derive him of the _Agolanti_; guiding (perhaps)
their opinion heerein, more from the traine of children, belonging
to the saide _Thebaldo_ (evermore equall to that of the _Agolanti_)
then any other matter else. But setting aside, from which of these
two houses he came, I say, that in his time he was a very welthy
Knight, & had three Sonnes; the first being named _Lamberto_, the
second _Thebaldo_, & the third _Agolanto_, all goodly and gracefull
youths: howbeit, the eldest had not compleated eighteene yeares, when
Signior _Thebaldo_ the father deceased, who left them all his goods
and inheritances. And they, seeing them selves rich in readie monies
and revennewes, without any other government then their owne voluntary
disposition, kept no restraint upon their expences, but maintained many
servants, and store of unvalewable horses, beside Hawkes and Hounds,
with open house for all commers; and not onely all delights else fit
for Gentlemen, but what vanities beside best agreed with their wanton
and youthfull appetites.

Not long had they run on this race, but the treasures lefte them by
their Father, began greatly to diminish; and their revennewes suffised
not, to support such lavish expences as they had begun: but they fell
to engaging and pawning their inheritances, selling one to day, and
another to morrow, so that they saw themselves quickly come to nothing,
and then poverty opened their eyes, which prodigality had before
closed up. Heereupon, _Lamberto_ (on a day) calling his Brethren to
him, shewed them what the honours of their Father had beene, to what
height his wealth amounted, and now to what an ebbe of poverty it was
falne, onely thorow their inordinate expences. Wherefore hee counselled
them, (as best he could) before further misery insulted over them; to
make sale of the small remainder that was left, and then to betake
themselves unto some other abiding, where fairer Fortune might chance
to shine uppon them.

This advice prevailed with them; and so, without taking leave of any
body, or other solemnity then closest secrecy, they departed from
_Florence_, not tarrying in any place untill they were arrived in
_England_. Comming to the City of London, and taking there a small
house upon yearly rent, living on so little charge as possible might
be, they began to lend out money at use: wherein Fortune was so
favourable to them, that (in few yeares) they had gathered a great
summe of mony: by means whereof it came to passe, that one while one
of them, and afterward another, returned backe againe to _Florence_:
where, with those summes, a great part of their inheritances were
redeemed, and many other bought beside. Linking themselves in marriage,
and yet continuing their usances in England; they sent a Nephew of
theirs thither, named _Alessandro_, a yong man, and of faire demeanour,
to maintaine their stocke in employment: while they three remained
still at _Florence_, and growing forgetful of their former misery, fell
againe into as unreasonable expences as ever, never respecting their
houshold charges, because they had good credite among the Merchants,
and the monies still sent from _Alessandro_, supported their expences
divers yeares.

The dealings of _Alessandro_ in England grew very great, for hee lent
out much money to many Gentlemen, Lords, and Barons of the Land, upon
engagement of their Manours, Castles, and other revennues: from whence
he derived immeasurable benefite. While the three Brethren held on
in their lavish expences, borrowing moneys when they wanted untill
their supplyes came from England, whereon (indeede) was their onely
dependance: it fortuned, that (contrary to the opinion of al men)
warre happened betweene the King of England, and one of his sonnes,
which occasioned much trouble in the whole Countrey, by taking part
on either side, some with the Sonne, and other with the Father. In
regard whereof, those Castles and places pawned to _Alessandro_, were
sodainely seized from him, nothing then remaining that returned him any
profit. But living in hope day by day, that peace would be concluded
betweene the Father and the Sonne, he never doubted, but all things
then should be restored to him, both the principall and interest, &
therefore he would not depart out of the Country.

The three Brethren at _Florence_, bounding within no limites their
disordered spending, borrowed daily more and more. And after some few
yeares, the Creditors seeing no effect of their hopes to come from them,
all credit being lost with them, and no repayment of promised dues;
they were imprisoned, their landes and all they had, not suffising to
pay the moity of debts, but their bodies remained in prison for the
rest, theyr Wives and yong children being sent thence, some to one
village, some to another, so that nothing now was to be expected, but
poverty & misery of life forever.

As for honest _Alessandro_, who had awaited long time for peace in
England, perceyving there was no likelyhood of it; and considering
also, that (beside his tarrying there in vaine to recover his dues)
he was in danger of his life; without any further deferring, hee
set away for _Italy_. It came to passe, that as he issued foorth of
_Bruges_, hee saw a yong Abbot also journeying thence, being cloathed
in white, accompanied with divers Monkes, and a great traine before,
conducting the needefull carriage. Two ancient Knights, Kinsmen to the
King, followed after, with whom _Alessandro_ acquainted himselfe, as
having formerly known them, and was kindly accepted into their company.
_Alessandro_ riding along with them, courteously requested to know,
what those Monks were that rode before, and such a traine attending on
them? Whereto one of the Knights thus answered.

He that rideth before, is a yong Gentleman, and our Kinsman, who is
newly elected Abbot of one of the best Abbeyes in England; & because he
is more yong in yeares, then the decrees for such a dignity doe allow,
we travaile with him to _Rome_, to entreat our Holy Father, that his
youth may be dispensed withall, and he confirmed in the sayd dignity;
but hee is not to speake a word to any person. On rode this new Abbot,
sometimes before his traine, and other whiles after, as we see great
Lords use to do, when they ride upon the High-wayes.

It chanced on a day, that _Alessandro_ rode somewhat neere to the
Abbot, who stedfastly beholding him, perceived that he was a verie
comely young man, so affable, lovely, and gracious, that even in
this first encounter, he hadde never seene any man before, that
better pleased him. Calling him a little closer, he began to conferre
familiarly with him, demanding what he was, whence he came, and whether
he travelled. _Alessandro_ imparted freely to him all his affaires, in
every thing satisfying his demands, and offering (although his power
was small) to doe him all the service he could.

When the Abbot had heard his gentle answers, so wisely & discreetly
delivered, considering also (more particularly) his commendable
cariage; he tooke him to be (at the least) a well-borne Gentleman, and
far differing from his owne logger-headed traine. Wherefore, taking
compassion on his great misfortunes, he comforted him very kindly,
wishing him to live alwayes in good hope. For, if hee were vertuous and
honest, he should surely attaine to the seate from whence Fortune had
throwne him, or rather much higher. Entreating him also, that seeing he
journied towards _Tuscany_, as he himselfe did the like, to continue
still (if he pleased) in his company. _Alessandro_ most humbly thanked
him for such gracious comfort; protesting, that he would be alwaies
ready, to doe whatsoever he commanded.

The Abbot riding on, with newer crochets in his braine, then hee had
before the sight of _Alessandro_; it fortuned, that after divers dayes
of travaile, they came to a small countrey Village, which affoorded
little store of lodging, and yet the Abbot would needs lye there.
_Alessandro_, being well acquainted with the Host of the house, willed
him, to provide for the Abbot and his people, and then to lodge him
where hee thought meetest. Now, before the Abbots comming thither,
the Harbinger that marshalled all such matters, had provided for his
traine in the Village, some in one place, and others elsewhere, in the
best manner that the Towne could yeelde. But when the Abbot had supt, a
great part of the night being spent, and every one else at his rest;
_Alessandro_ demaunded of the Host, what provision he had made for him;
and how hee should be lodged that night?

In good sadnesse Sir (quoth the Host) you see that my house is full of
Guests, so that I and my people, must gladly sleepe on the tables &
benches: Neverthelesse, next adjoining to my Lord Abbots Chamber, there
are certaine Corn-lofts, whether I can closely bring you, and making
shift there with a slender Pallet-bed, it may serve for one night,
insted of a better. But mine Host (quoth _Alessandro_) how can I passe
thorow my Lords Chamber, which is so little, as it would not allowe
Lodging for any of his Monkes? If I had remembred so much (said the
Host) before the Curtaines were drawne, I could have lodgd his Monkes
in those Corn-lofts, and then both you and I might have slept where now
they do. But feare you not, my Lords Curtaines are close drawne, hee
sleepeth (no doubt) soundly, and I can conveigh you thither quietly
enough, without the least disturbance to him, and a Pallet-bed shal
be fitted there for you. _Alessandro_ perceyving, that all this might
bee easilie done, and no disease offered to the Abbot, accepted it
willingly, & went thither without any noyse at all.

My Lord Abbot, whose thoughtes were so busied about amorous desires,
that no sleepe at all could enter his eyes; heard all this talke
betweene the Host and _Alessandro_, and also where hee was appointed
to lodge, wherefore he sayd to himselfe. Seeing Fortune hath fitted me
with a propitious time, to compasse the happines of my hearts desire;
I know no reason why I should refuse it. Perhaps, I shall never have
the like offer againe, or ever be enabled with such an opportunity.
So, being fully determined to prosecute his intention, and perswading
himselfe also, that the silence of night had bestowed sleepe on all the
rest; with a lowe and trembling voyce, he called _Alessandro_, advising
him to come and lye downe by him, which (after some few faint excuses)
he did, and putting off his cloaths, lay downe by the Abbot, being not
a little prowde of so gracious a favour.

The Abbot, laying his arme over the others body, began to imbrace and
hugge him; even as amorous friends (provoked by earnest affection)
use to do. Whereat _Alessandro_ very much marvayling, and being an
_Italian_ himselfe, fearing least this folly in the Abbot, would
convert to foule and dishonest action, shrunk modestly from him. Which
the Abbot perceiving, and doubting, least _Alessandro_ would depart
and leave him, pleasantly smiling, and with bashfull behaviour, baring
his stomack, he tooke _Alessandroes_ hand, and laying it thereon,
saide; _Alessandro_, let all bad thoughts of bestiall abuse be farre
off from thee, and feele here, to resolve thee from all such feare.
_Alessandro_ feeling the Abbots brest, found there two pretty little
mountainets, round, plumpe, and smooth, appearing as if they had beene
of polished Ivory; whereby he perceived, that the Abbot was a woman:
which, setting an edge on his youthfull desires, made him fall to
embracing, and immediately he offered to kisse her; but shee somewhat
rudely repulsing him, as halfe offended, saide.

_Alessandro_, forbeare such boldnesse, upon thy lives perill, and
before thou further presume to touch me, understand what I shall tell
thee. I am (as thou perceivest) no man, but a woman; and departing
a Virgin from my Fathers House, am travelling towards the Popes
holinesse, to the end that he should bestow me in mariage. But the
other day, when first I beheld thee, whether it proceeded from thy
happinesse in fortune, or the fatall houre of my owne infelicity for
ever, I know not; I conceived such an effectuall kinde of liking
towards thee, as never did woman love a man more truly, then I doe
thee, having sworne within my soule to make thee my Husband before any
other; and if thou wilt not accept mee as thy wife, set a locke upon
thy lippes concerning what thou hast heard, and depart hence to thine
owne bed againe.

No doubt, but that these were strange newes to _Alessandro_, and seemed
meerely as a miracle to him. What shee was, he knew not, but in regard
of her traine and company, hee reputed her to be both noble and rich,
as also shee was wonderfull faire and beautifull. His owne fortunes
stood out of future expectation by his kinsmens overthrow, and his
great losses in _England_; wherefore, upon an opportunity so fairely
offered, hee held it no wisedome to returne refusall, but accepted her
gracious motion, and referred all to her disposing. Shee arising out of
her bed, called him to a little Table standing by, where hung a faire
Crucifix upon the wall; before which, and calling him to witnesse, that
suffered such bitter and cruell torments on his Crosse, putting a Ring
upon his finger, there she faithfully espoused him, refusing all the
World, to be onely his: which being on either side confirmed solemnely,
by an holy vow, and chaste kisses; shee commanded him backe to his
Chamber, and shee returned to her bed againe, sufficiently satisfied
with her Loves acceptation, and so they journied on till they came to

When they had rested themselves there for some few dayes, the supposed
Abbot, with the two Knights, and none else in company but _Alessandro_,
went before the Pope, and having done him such reverence as beseemed,
the Abbot began to speake in this manner.

Holy Father (as you know much better then any other) every one that
desireth to live well and vertuously, ought to shunne (so farre as
in them lieth) all occasions that may induce to the contrary. To the
ende therefore, that I (who desire nothing more) then to live within
the compasse of a vertuous conversation, may perfect my hopes in this
behalfe: I have fled from my Fathers Court, and am come hither in this
habite as you see, to crave therein your holy and fatherly furtherance.
I am daughter to the King of _England_, and have sufficiently furnished
my selfe with some of his treasures, that your holinesse may bestow
me in marriage; because mine unkind Father, never regarding my youth
and beauty (inferior to few in my native Country) would marry me to
the King of _North-wales_, an aged, impotent, and sickly man. Yet let
me tell your sanctity, that his age and weakenesse hath not so much
occasioned my flight, as feare of mine owne youth and frailety; when
being married to him, instead of loyall and unstained life, lewd and
dishonest desires might make me to wander, by breaking the divine Lawes
of wedlocke, and abusing the royall blood of my Father.

As I travailed hither with this vertuous intention, our Lord, who
onely knoweth perfectly, what is best fitting for all his creatures;
presented mine eyes (no doubt in his meere mercy and goodnesse) with
a man meete to be my husband, which (pointing to _Alessandro_) is
this young Gentleman standing by me, whose honest, vertuous, and
civill demeanour, deserveth a Lady of farre greater worth, although
(perhaps) nobility in blood be denied him, and may make him seeme not
so excellent, as one derived from Royall discent. Holy and religious
vowes have past betweene us both, and the Ring on his finger, is the
firme pledge of my faith and constancie; never to accept any other man
in marriage, but him onely, although my Father, or any else doe dislike
it. Wherefore (holy Father) the principall cause of my comming hither,
being already effectually concluded on, I desire to compleat the rest
of my pilgrimage, by visiting the sanctified places in this City,
whereof there are great plenty; And also, that sacred marriage, being
contracted in the presence of God onely, betweene _Alessandro_ and my
selfe, may by you be publiquely confirmed, and in an open congregation.
For, seeing God hath so appointed it, and our soules have so solemnely
vowed it, that no disaster whatsoever can alter it: you being Gods
vicar here on earth, I hope will not gaine-say, but confirme it with
your fatherly benediction, that wee may live in Gods feare, and dye in
his favour.

Perswade your selves (faire Ladies) that _Alessandro_ was in no meane
admiration, when hee heard, that his wife was daughter to the King of
_England_; unspeakeable joy (questionlesse) wholly overcame him: but
the two Knights were not a little troubled and offended, at such a
strange and unexpected accident, yea, so violent were their passions,
that had they beene any where else, then in the Popes presence,
_Alessandro_ had felt their fury, and (perhaps) the Princesse her selfe
too. On the other side, the Pope was much amazed, at the habite she
went disguised in, and likewise at the election of her husband; but,
perceiving there was no resistance to be made against it, hee yeelded
the more willingly to satisfie her desire. And therefore, having first
comforted the two Knights, and made peace betweene them, the Princesse
and _Alessandro_; he gave order for the rest that was to be done.

When the appointed day for the solemnity was come, hee caused the
Princesse (cloathed in most rich and royall garments) to appeare before
all the Cardinals, and many other great persons then in presence, who
were come to this worthy Feast, which hee had caused purposely to be
prepared, where she seemed so faire & goodly a Lady, that every eye was
highly delighted to behold her, commending her with no mean admiration.
In like manner was _Alessandro_ greatly honoured by the two Knights,
being most sumptuous in appearance, and not like a man that had lent
money to usury, but rather of very royall quality; the Pope himselfe
celebrating the marriage betweene them, which being finished, with
the most magnificent pompe that could be devised, hee gave them his
benediction, and licenced their departure thence.

_Alessandro_, his Princesse and her traine thus leaving _Rome_, they
would needes visite _Florence_, where the newes of this accident was
(long before) noysed, and they received by the Citizens in royall
manner. There did shee deliver the three brethren out of prison,
having first payed all their debts, and reseated them againe (with
their wives) in their former inheritances and possessions. Afterward,
departing from _Florence_, and _Agolanto_, one of the Uncles travailing
with them to _Paris_; they were there also most honourably entertained
by the King of _France_. From whence the two Knights went before
for _England_, and prevailed so succesfully with the King; that hee
received his daughter into grace and favour, as also his Sonne in law
her husband, to whom hee gave the order of Knighthoode, and (for his
greater dignitie) created him Earle of _Cornewall_.

And such was the noble Spirit of _Alessandro_, that he pacified the
troubles betweene the King and his sonne, whereon ensued great comfort
to the Kingdome, winning the love and favour of all the people; and
_Agolanto_ (by the meanes of _Alessandro_) recovered all that was
due to him and his brethren in _England_, returning richly home to
_Florence_, Counte _Alessandro_ (his kinsman) having first dubd him
Knight. Longtime hee lived in peace and tranquility, with the faire
Princesse his wife, proving to be so absolute in wisedome, and so
famous a Souldier; that (as some report) by assistance of his Father
in law, hee conquered the Realme of _Ireland_, and was crowned King

Landolpho Ruffolo, _falling into poverty, became a Pirate on the Seas,
and being taken by the Genewayes, hardly escaped drowning: Which
yet (neverthelesse) he did, upon a little Chest or Coffer, full of
very rich Jewels, being caried thereon to_ Corfu, _where he was well
entertained by a good woman; And afterward, returned richly home to his
owne house._

The fourth Novell.

_Whereby may be discerned, into how many dangers a man may fall,
through a covetous desire to enrich himselfe._

Madame _Lauretta_, sitting next to Madame _Pampinea_, and seeing how
triumphantly shee had finished her discourse; without attending any
thing else, spake thus. Gracious Ladies, wee shall never behold (in
mine opinion) a greater act of Fortune, then to see a man so suddainly
exalted, even from the lowest depth of poverty, to a Royall estate of
dignity; as the discourse of Madame _Pampinea_ hath made good, by the
happy advancement of _Alessandro_. And because it appeareth necessary,
that whosoever discourseth on the subject proposed, should no way varie
from the very same termes; I shall not shame to tell a tale, which,
though it containe farre greater mishaps then the former, may sort
to as happy an issue, albeit not so noble and magnificent. In which
respect, it may (perhaps) merit the lesse attention; but howsoever that
fault shall be found in you, I meane to discharge mine owne duty.

Opinion hath made it famous for long time, that the Sea-coast of
_Rhegium_ to _Gaieta_, is the onely delectable part of all _Italy_,
wherein, somewhat neere to _Salerno_, is a shore looking upon the Sea,
which the inhabitants there dwelling, doe call the coast of _Malfy_,
full of small Townes, Gardens, Springs and wealthy men, trading in
as many kindes of Merchandizes, as any other people that I know.
Among which Townes, there is one, named _Ravello_, wherein (as yet
to this day there are rich people) there was (not long since) a very
wealthy man, named _Landolpho Ruffolo_, who being not contented with
his riches, but coveting to multiply them double and trebble, fell in
danger, to loose both himselfe and wealth together.

This man (as other Merchants are wont to doe) after hee had considered
on his affaires, bought him a very goodly Ship, lading it with divers
sorts of Merchandizes, all belonging to himselfe onely, and making his
voyage to the Isle of _Cyprus_. Where he found, over and beside the
Merchandizes he had brought thither, many Ships more there arrived,
and all laden with the selfe same commodities, in regard whereof, it
was needefull for him, not onely to make a good Mart of his goods; but
also was further constrained (if hee meant to vent his commodities) to
sell them away (almost) for nothing, endangering his utter destruction
and overthrow. Whereupon, grieving exceedingly at so great a losse,
not knowing what to doe, and seeing, that from very aboundant wealth,
hee was likely to fall into as low poverty: hee resolved to dye, or to
recompence his losses upon others, because he would not returne home
poore, having departed thence so rich.

Meeting with a Merchant, that bought his great Ship of him; with the
money made thereof, and also of his other Merchandizes, hee purchased
another, being a lighter vessell, apt and proper for the use of a
Pirate, arming and furnishing it in ample manner, for roving and
robbing upon the Seas. Thus hee began to make other mens goods his
owne, especially from the Turkes he tooke much wealth, Fortune being
alwayes therein so favourable to him, that hee could never compasse the
like by trading. So that, within the space of one yeare, hee had robd
and taken so many Gallies from the Turke; that he found himselfe well
recovered, not onely of all his losses by Merchandize, but likewise his
wealth was wholly redoubled. Finding his losses to be very liberally
requited, and having now sufficient, it were folly to hazard a second
fall; wherefore, conferring with his owne thoughts, and finding that he
had enough, and needed not to covet after more: he fully concluded, now
to returne home to his owne house againe, and live upon his goods thus

Continuing still in feare, of the losses he had sustained by traffique,
& minding, never more to imploy his mony that way, but to keep this
light vessel, which had holpen him to all his wealth: he commanded
his men to put forth their Oares, and shape their course for his owne
dwelling. Being aloft in the higher Seas, darke night over-taking
them, and a mighty winde suddainly comming upon them: it not onely was
contrary to their course, but held on with such impetuous violence;
that the small vessell, being unable to endure it, made to land-ward
speedily, and in expectation of a more friendly wind, entred a little
port of the Sea, directing up into a small Island, and there safely
sheltred it selfe. Into the same port which _Landolpho_ had thus taken
for his refuge, entred (soone after) two great Carrackes of _Genewayes_
lately come from _Constantinople_. When the men in them had espied
the small Barke, and lockt uppe her passage from getting foorth;
understanding the Owners name, and that report had famed him to be very
rich, they determined (as men evermore addicted naturally, to covet
after money and spoile) to make it their owne as a prize at Sea.

Landing some store of their men, well armed with Crosse-bowes and
other weapons, they tooke possession of such a place, where none
durst issue forth of the small Barke, but endangered his life with
their Darts & Arrowes. Entering aboord the Barke, and making it their
owne by full possession, all the men they threw over-boord, without
sparing any but _Landolpho_ himselfe, whom they mounted into one of
the Carrackes, leaving him nothing but a poore shirt of Maile on his
backe, and having rifled the Barke of all her riches, sunke it into the
bottome of the sea. The day following, the rough windes being calmed,
the Carrackes set saile againe, having a prosperous passage all the
day long; but uppon the entrance of darke night, the windes blew more
tempestuously then before, and sweld the Sea in such rude stormes, that
the two Carracks were sundered each from other, and by violence of the
tempest it came to passe, that the Carracke wherein lay poore miserable
_Landolpho_ (beneath the Isle of _Cephalonia_) ran against a rocke, and
even as a glasse against a wall, so split the Carracke in peeces, the
goods and merchandizes floating on the Sea, Chests, Coffers, Beds, and
such like other things, as often hapneth in such lamentable accidents.

Now, notwithstanding the nights obscurity, and impetuous violence of
the billowes; such as could swimme, made shift to save their lives by
swimming. Others caught hold on such things, as by Fortunes favour
floated neerest to them, among whom, distressed _Landolpho_, desirous
to save his life, if possibly it might be, espied a Chest or Coffer
before him, ordained (no doubt) to be the meanes of his safety from
drowning. Now although the day before, he had wished for death infinite
times, rather then to returne home in such wretched poverty; yet,
seeing how other men strove for safety of their lives by any helpe,
were it never so little, he tooke advantage of this favour offred him,
and the rather in a necessitie so urgent. Keeping fast upon the Coffer
so well as he could, and being driven by the winds & waves, one while
this way, and anon quite contrarie, he made shift for himselfe till day
appeared; when looking every way about him, seeing nothing but clouds,
the seas and the Coffer, which one while shrunke from under him, and
another while supported him, according as the windes and billowes
carried it: all that day and night thus he floated up and downe,
drinking more then willingly hee would, but almost hunger-starved
thorow want of foode. The next morning, either by the appointment
of heaven, or power of the Windes, _Landolpho_ who was (well-neere)
become a Spundge, holding his armes strongly about the Chest, as wee
have seene some doe, who (dreading drowning) take hold on any the very
smallest helpe; drew neere unto the shore of the Iland _Corfu_, where
(by good fortune) a poore woman was scowring dishes with the salt water
and sand, to make them (house-wife like) neate and cleane.

When shee saw the Chest drawing neere her, and not discerning the
shape of any man, shee grew fearefull, and retyring from it, cried out
aloude. He had no power of speaking to her, neither did his sight doe
him the smallest service; but even as the waves and windes pleased, the
Chest was driven still neerer to the Land, and then the woman perceived
that it had the forme of a Coffer, and looking more advisedly, beheld
two armes extended over it, and afterward, shee espied the face of a
man, not being able to judge, whether he were alive, or no. Moved by
charitable and womanly compassion, shee stept in among the billowes,
and getting fast holde on the haire of his head, drew both the Chest
and him to the Land, and calling forth her Daughter to helpe her, with
much adoe shee unfolded his armes from the Chest, setting it up on
her Daughters head, and then betweene them, _Landolpho_ was led into
the Towne, and there conveyed into a warme Stove, where quickly he
recovered (by her pains) his strength benummed with extreame cold.

Good wines and comfortable broathes shee cherished him withall, that
his sences being indifferently restored, hee knew the place where he
was; but not in what manner he was brought thither, till the good woman
shewed him the Cofer that had kept him floating upon the waves, and
(next under God) had saved his life. The Chest seemed of such slender
weight, that nothing of any value could be expected in it, either to
recompence the womans great paines and kindnesse bestowne on him, or
any matter of his owne benefit. Neverthelesse, the woman being absent,
he opened the Chest, and found innumerable precious stones therein,
some costly and curiously set in gold, and others not fixed in any
mettall. Having knowledge of their great worth and value (being a
Merchant, and skild in such matters) he became much comforted, praysing
God for this good successe, and such an admirable meanes of deliverance
from danger.

Then considering with himselfe, that (in a short time) hee had beene
twice well buffeted and beaten by Fortune, and fearing, least a third
mishap might follow in like manner; hee consulted with his thoughts,
how he might safest order the businesse, and bring so rich a booty
(without perill) to his owne home. Wherefore, wrapping up the Jewels in
very unsightly cloutes, that no suspition at all should be conceived
of them, hee saide to the good woman, that the Chest would not doe him
any further service; but if shee pleased to lende him a small sacke or
bagge, shee might keepe the Cofer, for in her house it would divers
way stead her. The woman gladly did as he desired, and _Landolpho_
returning her infinite thankes, for the loving kindnesse shee had
affoorded him, throwing the sacke on his necke, passed by a Barke to
_Brundusiam_, and from thence to _Tranium_, where Merchants in the
City bestowed good garments on him, hee acquainting them with his
disasterous fortunes, but not a word concerning his last good successe.

Being come home in safety to _Ravello_, hee fell on his knees, and
thanked God for all his mercies towards him. Then opening the sacke,
and viewing the Jewels at more leysure then formerly he had done, he
found them to be of so great estimation, that selling them but at
ordinary and reasonable rates, he was three times richer, then when hee
departed first from his house. And having vented them all, he sent a
great sum of money to the good woman at _Corfu_, that had rescued him
out of the Sea, and saved his life in a danger so dreadfull: The like
hee did to _Tranium_, to the Merchants that had newly cloathed him;
living richly upon the remainder, and never adventuring more to the
Sea, but ended his dayes in wealth and honour.

Andrea de Piero, _travelling from_ Perouse _to_ Naples _to buy Horses,
was (in the space of one night) surprised by three admirable accidents,
out of all which hee fortunately escaped, and, with a rich Ring,
returned home to his owne house._

The fift Novell.

_Comprehending, how needfull a thing it is, for a man that travelleth
in affaires of the World, to be provident and well advised, and
carefully to keepe himselfe from the crafty and deceitfull allurements
of Strumpets._

The precious Stones and Jewels found by _Landolpho_, maketh mee
to remember (said Madam _Fiammetta_, who was next to deliver her
discourse) a Tale, containing no lesse perils, then that reported by
Madam _Lauretta_: but somewhat different from it, because the one
happened in sundry yeeres, and this other had no longer time, then the
compasse of one poore night, as instantly I will relate unto you.

As I have heard reported by many, there sometime lived in _Perouse_
or _Perugia_, a young man, named _Andrea de Piero_, whose profession
was to trade about Horses, in the nature of a Horse-courser, or
Horse-master, who hearing of a good Faire or Market (for his purpose)
at _Naples_, did put five hundred Crownes of gold in his purse, and
journeyed thither in the company of other Horse-coursers, arriving
there on a Sunday in the evening. According to instructions given him
by his Host, he went the next day into the Horse-market, where he saw
very many Horses that he liked, cheapening their prices as he went up
and downe, but could fall to no agreement; yet to manifest that he came
purposely to buy, and not as a cheapener onely, often times (like a
shalow-brainde trader in the world) he shewed his purse of gold before
all passengers, never respecting who, or what they were that observed
his follie.

It came to passe, that a young _Sicillian_ wench (very beautifull, but
at commaund of whosoever would, and for small hire) passing then by,
and (without his perceiving) seeing such store of gold in his purse;
presently she said to her selfe: why should not all those crownes be
mine, when the foole that owes them, can keepe them no closer? And so
she went on. With this young wanton there was (at the same time) an
olde woman (as commonly such stuffe is alwayes so attended) seeming
to be _Sicillian_ also, who so soone as shee saw _Andrea_, knew him,
and, leaving her youthfull commodity, ranne to him, and embraced him
very kindly. Which when the younger Lasse perceived, without proceeding
any further, she stayed, to see what would ensue thereon. _Andrea_
conferring with the olde Bawde, and knowing her (but not for any
such creature) declared himselfe very affable to her; she making him
promise, that shee would come and drinke with him at his lodging. So,
breaking off further Speeches for that time, shee returned to her young
_Cammerado_; and _Andrea_ went about buying his horses, still cheapning
good store, but did not buy any all that morning.

The Punke that had taken notice of _Andreaes_ purse, upon the olde
womans comming backe to her (having formerly studied, how shee might
get all the gold, or the greater part thereof) cunningly questioned
with her, what the man was, whence hee came, and the occasion of his
businesse there? wherein she fully informed her particularly, and
in as ample manner as himselfe could have done: That shee had long
time dwelt in _Sicily_ with his Father, and afterward at _Perouse_;
recounting also, at what time she came thence, and the cause which now
had drawne him to _Naples_. The witty young housewife, being thorowly
instructed, concerning the Parents and kindred of _Andrea_, their
names, quality, and all other circumstances thereto leading; began to
frame the foundation of her purpose thereupon, setting her resolution
downe constantly, that the purse and gold was (already) more then halfe
her owne.

Being come home to her owne house, away shee sent the olde Pandresse
about other businesse, which might hold her time long enough of
employment, and hinder her returning to _Andrea_ according to promise,
purposing, not to trust her in this serious piece of service. Calling
a young crafty Girle to her, whom she had well tutoured in the like
ambassages, when evening drew on, she sent her to _Andreas_ lodging,
where (by good fortune) she found him sitting alone at the dore, and
demanding of him, if he knew an honest Gentleman lodging there, whose
name was _Signior Andrea de Piero_; he made her answere, that himselfe
was the man. Then taking him aside, shee said. Sir, there is a worthy
Gentlewoman of this Citie, that would gladly speake with you, if you
pleased to vouchsafe her so much favour.

_Andrea_, hearing such a kinde of salutation, and from a Gentlewoman,
named of worth; began to grow proud in his owne imaginations, and to
make no meane estimation of himselfe: As (undoubtedly) that he was
an hansome proper man, and of such cariage and perfections, as had
attracted the amorous eye of this Gentlewoman, and induced her to like
and love him beyond all other, _Naples_ not contayning a man of better
merit. Whereupon he answered the Mayde, that he was ready to attend
her Mistresse, desiring to know, when it should be, and where the
Gentlewoman would speake with him? So soone as you please Sir, replied
the Damosell, for she tarieth your comming in her owne house.

Instantly _Andrea_ (without leaving any direction of his departure
in his lodging, or when he intended to returne againe) said to the
Girle: Goe before, and I will follow. This little Chamber-commodity,
conducted him to her Mistresses dwelling, which was in a streete
named _Malpertuis_, a title manifesting sufficiently the streetes
honesty: but hee, having no such knowledge thereof, neither suspecting
any harme at all, but that he went to a most honest house, and to a
Gentlewoman of good respect; entred boldly, the Mayde going in before,
and guiding him up a faire payre of stayres, which he having more then
halfe ascended, the cunning young Queane gave a call to her Mistresse,
saying; _Signior Andrea_ is come already, whereupon, she appeared at
the stayres-head, as if she had stayed there purposely to entertaine
him. She was young, very beautifull, comely of person, and rich in
adornements, which _Andrea_ well observing, & seeing her descend two
or three steps, with open armes to embrace him, catching fast hold
about his neck; he stood as a man confounded with admiration, and she
contained a cunning kinde of silence, even as if she were unable to
utter one word, seeming hindered by extremity of joy at his presence,
and to make him effectually admire her extraordinary kindnesse, having
teares plenteously at commaund, intermixed with sighes and broken
speeches, at last, thus she spake.

_Signior Andrea_, you are the most welcom friend to me in all the
world; sealing this salutation with infinite sweet kisses and embraces:
whereat (in wonderfull amazement) he being strangely transported,
replied; Madame, you honour me beyond all compasse of merit. Then,
taking him by the hand, shee guided him thorow a goodly Hall, into her
owne Chamber, which was delicately embalmed with Roses, Orenge-flowres,
and all other pleasing smelles, and a costly bed in the middest,
curtained round about, very artificiall Pictures beautifying the
walles, with many other embellishments, such as those Countries are
liberally stored withall. He being meerely a novice in these kinds of
wanton carriages of the World, and free from any base or degenerate
conceit; firmely perswaded himselfe, that (questionlesse) shee was a
Lady of no meane esteeme, and he more then happy, to be thus respected
and honoured by her. They both being seated on a curious Chest at the
Beds feete, teares cunningly trickling downe her cheekes, and sighes
intermedled with inward sobbings, breathed forth in sad, but very
seemely manner; thus shee beganne.

I am sure _Andrea_, that you greatly marvell at me, in gracing you
with this solemne and kinde entertainment, and why I should so melt
my selfe in sighes and teares, at a man that hath no knowledge of me,
or (perhaps) sildome or never heard any Speeches of me: but you shall
instantly receive from mee matter to augment your greater marvell,
meeting heere with your owne sister, beyond all hope or expectation in
either of us both. But seeing that Heaven hath beene so gracious to me,
to let mee see one of my brethren before I die (though gladly I would
have seene them all) which is some addition of comfort to me, and that
which (happily) thou hast never heard before, in plaine and truest
manner, I will reveale unto thee.

_Piero_, my Father and thine, dwelt long time (as thou canst not chuse
but to have understood) in _Palermo_, where, through the bounty, and
other gracious good parts remaining in him, he was much renowned; and
(to this day) is no doubt remembred, by many of his loving friends
and well-willers. Among them that most intimately affected _Piero_,
my mother (who was a Gentlewoman, and at that time a widow) did
dearest of all other love him; so that forgetting the feare of her
Father, brethren, yea, and her owne honour, they became so privately
acquainted, that I was begotten, and am here now such as thou seest me.
Afterward, occasions so befalling our Father, to abandon _Palermo_, and
returne to _Perouse_, he left my mother and me his little daughter,
never after (for ought that I could learne) once remembring either
her or me: so that (if he had not beene my Father) I could have much
condemned him, in regard of his ingratitude to my Mother, and love
which hee ought to have shewne me as his childe, being borne of no
Chamber-maide, neither of a City sinner; albeit I must needes say, that
shee was blame-worthy, without any further knowledge of him (moved
onely thereto by most loyal affection) to commit both her selfe, and
all the wealth shee had, into his hands: but things ill done, and so
long time since, are more easily controled, then amended.

Being left so young at _Palermo_, and growing (well neere) to the
stature as now you see me; my mother, being wealthy, gave mee in
marriage to one of the _Gergentes_ Family, a Gentleman, and of great
revenewes, who in his love to me and my mother, went and dwelt at
_Palermo_: where falling into the _Guelphes_ faction, and making one
in the enterprize with _Charles_ our King; it came to passe, that they
were discovered to _Fredericke_ King of _Arragon_, before their intent
could be put in execution, whereupon, we were enforced to flie from
_Sicilie_, even when my hope stood fairely to have beene the greatest
Lady in all the Iland. Packing up then such few things as wee could
take with us, few I may well call them, in regard of our wealthy
possessions, both in Pallaces, Houses, and Lands, all which we were
constrained to forgoe: we made our recourse to this City, where wee
found King _Charles_ so benigne and gracious to us, that recompencing
the greater part of our losses, he bestowed Lands and Houses on us
here, beside a continuall large pension to my husband your brother in
Law, as hereafter himselfe shall better acquaint you withall. Thus came
I hither, and thus remaine here, where I am able to welcome my brother
_Andrea_, thankes more to Fortune, then any friendlinesse in him: with
which words she embraced and kissed him many times, sighing and weeping
as shee did before.

_Andrea_ hearing this fable so artificially delivered, composed from
point to point, with such likely protestations, without faltring or
failing in any one words utterance; and remembring perfectly for truth,
that his Father had formerly dwelt at _Palermo_; knowing also (by some
sensible feeling in himselfe) the custome of young people, who are
easily conquered by affection in their youthfull heate; seeing beside
the teares, trembling speeches, and earnest embracings of this cunning
commodity: he tooke all to be faithfully true by her thus spoken, and
upon her silence, thus he replied. Lady, let it not seeme strange to
you, that your words have raised marvell in me, because (indeede) I
had no knowledge of you, even no more then as if I had never seene
you, never also having heard my Father to speake either of you or your
Mother (for some considerations best knowne to himselfe) or if at any
time he used such language, either my youth then, or defective memory
since, hath utterly lost it. But truly, it is no little joy and comfort
to me, to finde a sister here, where I had no such hope or expectation,
and where also my selfe am a meere stranger. For to speake my mind
freely of you, and the perfections gracefully appearing in you, I know
not any man, of how great repute or quality soever, but you may well
beseeme his acceptance, much rather then mine, that am but a meane
Merchant. But faire sister, I desire to be resolved in one thing, to
wit, by what meanes you had understanding of my being in this City?
whereto readily shee returned him this answer.

Brother, a poore woman of this City, whom I employ sometimes in
houshold occasions, came to me this morning, and (having seene you)
tolde me, that shee dwelt a long while with our Father, both at
_Palermo_, and _Perouse_. And because I held it much better beseeming
my condition, to have you visit me in mine owne dwelling, then I to
come see you at a common Inne; I made the bolder to send for you
hither. After which words, in very orderly manner, shee enquired
of his chiefest kindred and friends, calling them readily by their
proper names, according to her former instructions. Whereto _Andrea_
still made her answer, confirming thereby his beliefe of her the more
strongly, and crediting whatsoever shee saide, farre better then before.

Their conference having long time continued, and the heate of the
day being somewhat extraordinary, shee called for _Greeke_ wine, and
banquetting stuffe, drinking to _Andrea_; and he pledging her very
contentedly. After which, he would have returned to his lodging,
because it drew neere supper time; which by no meanes shee would
permit, but seeming more then halfe displeased, shee saide. Now
I plainely perceive brother, how little account you make of me,
considering, you are with your owne Sister, who (you say) you never saw
before, and in her owne House, whether you should alwayes resort when
you come to this City; and would you now refuse her, to goe and sup at
a common Inne. Beleeve me brother, you shall sup with me, for although
my Husband is now from home, to my no little discontentment: yet you
shall find brother, that his wife can bid you welcome, and make you
good cheere beside.

Now was _Andrea_ so confounded with this extremity of courtesie, that
he knew not what to say, but onely thus replied. I love you as a Sister
ought to be loved, and accept of your exceeding kindnesse: but if I
returne not to my lodging, I shall wrong mine Host and his guests too
much, because they will not sup untill I come. For that (quoth shee) we
have a present remedy, one of my servants shal goe and give warning,
whereby they shall not tarry your comming. Albeit, you might doe me a
great kindnesse, to send for your friends to sup with us here, where I
assure ye they shall finde that your Sister (for your sake) will bid
them welcome, and after supper, you may all walke together to your
Inne. _Andrea_ answered, that he had no such friends there, as should
be so burthenous to her: but seeing shee urged him so farre, he would
stay to sup with her, and referred himselfe solely to her disposition.

Ceremonious shew was made, of sending a servant to the Inne, for not
expecting _Andreas_ presence at Supper, though no such matter was
performed; but, after divers other discoursings, the table being
covered, and variety of costly viands placed thereon, downe they sate
to feeding, with plenty of curious Wines liberally walking about, so
that it was darke night before they arose from the table. _Andrea_
then offring to take his leave, she would (by no meanes) suffer it,
but tolde him that _Naples_ was a Citie of such strict Lawes and
Ordinances, as admitted no night-walkers, although they were Natives,
much lesse strangers, but punished them with great severity. And
therefore, as she had formerly sent word to his Inne, that they should
not expect his comming to supper, the like had she done concerning his
bed, intending to give her Brother _Andrea_ one nights lodging, which
as easily she could affoord him, as she hadde done a Supper. All which
this new-caught Woodcocke verily crediting, and that he was in company
of his owne Sister _Fiordeliza_ (for so did she cunningly stile her
selfe, and in which beleefe hee was meerely deluded) he accepted the
more gladly her gentle offer, and concluded to stay there all that

After supper, their conference lasted very long, purposely dilated out
in length, that a great part of the night might therein be wasted:
when, leaving _Andrea_ to his Chamber, and a Lad to attend, that he
shold lacke nothing; she with her women went to their lodgings, and
thus our brother and supposed Sister were parted. The season then being
somewhat hot and soultry, _Andrea_ put off his hose and doublet, and
beeing in his shirt alone, layed them underneath the beds boulster, as
seeming carefull of his money. But finding a provocation to the house
of Office, he demanded of the Lad, where hee might find it; who shewed
him a little doore in a corner of the Chamber, appointing him to enter
there. Safely enough he went in, but chanced to tread upon a board,
which was fastened at neither ende to the joynts whereon it lay, being
a pit-fall made of purpose, to entrap any such coxecombe, as would be
trained to so base a place of lodging, so that both he and the board
fell downe together into the draught; yet such being his good fortune,
to receive no harme in the fall (although it was of extraordinary
height) onely the filth of the place, (it being over full) had fowly
myred him.

Now for your better understanding the quality of the place, and what
ensued thereupon, it is not unnecessary to describe it, according to
a common use observed in those parts. There was a narrow passage or
entrie, as often we see reserved betweene two houses, for eithers
benefit to such a needfull place; and boards loosely lay upon the
joynts, which such as were acquainted withall, could easily avoide any
perill, in passing to or from the stoole. But our so newly created
brother, not dreaming to find a queane to his Sister, receiving so
foule a fall into the vaulte, and knowing not how to helpe himselfe,
being sorrowfull beyond measure; cryed out to the boy for light and
aide, who intended not to give him any. For the crafty wag, (a meete
attendant for so honest a Mistresse) no sooner heard him to be fallen,
but presently he ranne to enforme her thereof, and shee as speedily
returned to the Chamber, where finding his cloathes under the beds
head, shee needed no instruction for search in his pockets. But having
found the gold, which _Andrea_ indiscreetely carried alwayes about him,
as thinking it could no where else be so safe: This was all shee aymed
at, and for which shee had ensnared him, faigning her selfe to be of
_Palermo_, and Daughter to _Piero_ of _Perouse_, so that not regarding
him any longer, but making fast the house of Office doore, there shee
left him in that miserable taking.

Poore _Andrea_ perceiving, that his calles could get no answer from the
Lad; cryed out louder, but all to no purpose: when seeing into his owne
simplicity, and understanding his error, though somewhat too late, hee
made such meanes constrainedly, that he got over a wall, which severed
that foule sinke from the Worlds eye; and being in the open streete,
went to the doore of the House, which then he knew too well to his
cost, making loude exclaimes with rapping and knocking, but all as
fruitlesse as before. Sorrowing exceedingly, and manifestly beholding
his misfortune; Alas (quoth he) how soone have I lost a Sister, and
five hundred Crownes besides? with many other words, loude calles, and
beatings upon the doore without intermission, the neighbours finding
themselves diseased, and unable to endure such ceaselesse vexation,
rose from their beds, and called to him, desiring him to be gone and
let them rest. A maide also of the same House, looking forth at the
window, and seeming as newly raised from sleepe, called to him, saying;
What noyse is that beneath? Why Virgin (answered _Andrea_) know you not
me? I am _Andrea de Piero_, Brother to your Mistresse _Fiordeliza_.
Thou art a drunken knave, replied the Maide, more full of drinke then
wit, goe sleepe, goe sleepe, and come againe to morrow: for I know no
_Andrea de Piero_, neither hath my Mistresse any such Brother, get thee
gone good man, and suffer us to sleepe I pray thee. How now (quoth
_Andrea_) doest thou not understand what I say? Thou knowest that I
supt with thy Mistresse this night; but if our _Sicilian_ kindred be
so soone forgot, I pray thee give me my cloathes which I left in my
Chamber, and then very gladly will I get mee gone. Hereat the Maide
laughing out aloude, saide; Surely the man is mad, or walketh the
streetes in a dreame; and so clasping fast the window, away shee went
and left him.

Now could _Andrea_ assure himselfe, that his gold and cloathes were
past recovery, which moving him to the more impatience, his former
intercessions became converted into fury, and what hee could not
compasse by faire entreats, he entended to winne by outrage and
violence, so that taking up a great stone in his hand, hee layed
upon the doore very powerfull strokes. The neighbours hearing this
molestation still, admitting them not the least respite of rest,
reputing him for a troublesome fellow, and that he used those
counterfeit words, onely to disturbe the Mistresse of the House, and all
that dwelled neere about her; looking againe out at their windowes,
they altogether began to rate and reprove him, even like so many
bawling Curres, barking at a strange dog passing thorow the streete.
This is shamefull villany (quoth one) and not to be suffered, that
honest women should be thus molested in their houses, with foolish idle
words, and at such an unseasonable time of the night. For Gods sake
(good man) be gone, and let us sleepe; if thou have any thing to say to
the Gentlewoman of the House, come to morrow in the day time, and no
doubt but shee will make thee sufficient answer.

_Andrea_ being somewhat pacified with these speeches, a shag-hairde
swash-buckler, a grim-visagde Ruffian (as sildome bawdy houses are
without such swaggering Champions) not seene or heard by _Andrea_,
all the while of his being in the house rapping out two or three
terrible oathes, opened a casement, and with a stearne dreadfull voyce,
demaunded who durst keepe that noyse beneath? _Andrea_ fearefully
looking up, and (by a little glimmering of the Moone) seeing such a
rough fellow, with a blacke beard, strowting like the quilles of a
Porcupine, and patches on his face, for hurts received in no honest
quarels, yawning also and stretching, as angry to have his sleepe
disturbed: trembling and quaking, answered; I am the Gentlewomans
brother of the house. The Ruffian interrupting him, and speaking more
fiercely then before; sealing his words with horrible oathes, said.
Sirra, Rascall, I know not of whence or what thou art, but if I come
downe to thee, I will so bombast thy prating coxcombe, as thou was
never better beaten in all thy life, like a drunken slave and beast as
thou art, that all this night wilt not let us sleepe; and so hee clapt
to the window againe.

The neighbours, well acquainted with this Ruffians rude conditions,
speaking in gentle manner to _Andrea_, said. Shift for thy selfe (good
man) in time, and tarrie not for his comming downe to thee; except thou
art wearie of thy life, be gone therefore, and say thou hast a friendly
warning. These words dismaying _Andrea_, but much more the stearne
oathes and ugly sight of the Ruffian, incited also by the neighbours
counsell, whom he imagined to advise him in charitable manner: it
caused him to depart thence, taking the way homeward to his Inne, in no
meane affliction and torment of minde, for the monstrous abuse offered
him, and losse of his money. Well he remembred the passages, whereby
(the day before) the young Girle had guided him, but the loathsome
smell about him, was so extreamely offensive to himselfe: that,
desiring to wash him at the Sea side, he strayed too farre wide on the
contrary hand, wandring up the streete called _Ruga Gatellana_.

Proceeding on still, even to the highest part of the Citie, hee espied
a Lanthorne and light, as also a man carrying it, and another man with
him in company, both of them comming towards him. Now, because he
suspected them two of the watch, or some persons that would apprehend
him: he stept aside to shunne them, and entred into an olde house hard
by at hand. The other mens intention was to the very same place, and
going in, without any knowledge of _Andreaes_ being there, one of them
layd downe divers instruments of yron, which he had brought thither on
his backe, and had much talke with his fellow concerning those engines.
At last one of them said, I smell the most abhominable stinke, that
ever I felt in all my life. So, lifting up his Lanthorne, he espied
poore pittifull _Andrea_, closely couched behinde the wall. Which sight
somewhat affrighting him, he yet boldly demaunded, what and who hee
was: whereto _Andrea_ aunswered nothing, but lay still and held his
peace. Neerer they drew towards him with their light, demaunding how
hee came thither, and in that filthy manner.

Constraint having now no other evasion, but that (of necessity) all
must out: hee related to them the whole adventure, in the same sort as
it had befalne him. They greatly pittying his misfortune, one of them
said to the other. Questionlesse, this villanie was done in the house
of _Scarabone Buttafuoco_; And then turning to _Andrea_, proceeded
thus. In good faith poore man, albeit thou hast lost thy money, yet
art thou highly beholding to Fortune, for falling (though in a foule
place) yet in succesfull manner, and entring no more backe into the
house. For, beleeve mee friend, if thou hadst not falne, but quietly
gone to sleepe in the house; that sleepe had beene thy last in this
world, and with thy money, thou hadst lost thy life likewise. But
teares and lamentations are now helplesse, because, as easily mayest
thou plucke the Starres from the firmament, as get againe the least
doyt of thy losse. And for that shag-haird Slave in the house, he will
be thy deaths-man, if he but understand, that thou makest any enquiry
after thy money. When he had thus admonished him, he began also in this
manner to comfort him. Honest fellow, we cannot but pitty thy present
condition, wherefore, if thou wilt friendly associate us, in a businesse
which wee are instantly going to effect: thy losse hath not beene so
great, but on our words wee will warrant thee, that thine immediate
gaine shall farre exceede it. What will not a man (in desperate
extremity) both well like and allow of, especially, when it carrieth
apparance of present comfort? So fared it with _Andrea_, hee perswaded
himselfe, worse then had already happened, could not befall him; and
therefore he would gladly adventure with them.

The selfe same day preceding this disastrous night to _Andrea_, in
the chiefe Church of the Citie, had beene buried the Archbishop of
_Naples_, named _Signior Philippo Minutolo_, in his richest pontificall
roabes and ornaments, and a Ruby on his finger, valued to be worth five
hundred duckets of gold: this dead body they purposed to rob and rifle,
acquainting _Andrea_ with their whole intent, whose necessity (coupled
with a covetous desire) made him more forward then well advised, to
joyne with them in this sacriligious enterprise. On they went towards
the great Church, _Andreaes_ unsavourie perfume much displeasing them,
whereupon the one said to his fellow. Can we devise no ease for this
foule and noysome inconvenience? the very smell of him will be a meanes
to betray us. There is a Well-pit hard by, answered the other, with a
pulley and bucket descending downe into it, and there we may wash him
from this filthinesse. To the Well-pit they came, where they found the
rope and pulley hanging ready, but the bucket (for safety) was taken
away: whereon they concluded, to fasten the rope about him, and so
let him downe into the Well-pit, and when he had washed himselfe, hee
should wagge the rope, and then they would draw him up againe, which
accordingly they forth-with performed.

Now it came to passe, that while hee was thus washing himselfe in the
Well-pit, the watch of the Citie walking the round, and finding it to
be a very hote and sweltring night; they grew dry and thirsty, and
therefore went to the Well to drinke. The other two men, perceiving
the Watch so neere upon them: left _Andrea_ in the Pit to shift for
himselfe, running away to shelter themselves. Their flight was not
discovered by the Watch, but they comming to the Well-pit, _Andrea_
remained still in the bottome, and having cleansed himselfe so well as
hee could, sate wagging the rope, expecting when hee should be haled
up. This dumbe signe the Watch discerned not, but sitting downe by the
Wells side, they layde downe their Billes and other weapons, tugging
to draw up the rope, thinking the Bucket was fastened thereto, and
full of water. _Andrea_ being haled up to the Pits brim, left holding
the rope any longer, catching fast hold with his hands for his better
safety: and the Watch at the sight heereof being greatly affrighted,
as thinking that they had dragd up a Spirit; not daring to speake one
word, ranne away with all the hast they could make.

_Andrea_ hereat was not a little amazed, so that if he had not taken
very good hold on the brim: he might have falne to the bottome, and
doubtlesse there his life had perished. Being come forth of the Well,
and treading on Billes and Halbards, which he well knew that his
companions had not brought thither with them; his mervaile so much the
more encreased, ignorance and feare still seizing on him, with silent
bemoaning his many misfortunes, away thence he wandred, but hee wist
not whither. As he went on, he met his two fellowes, who purposely
returned to drag him out of the Well, and seeing their intent already
performed, desired to know who had done it: wherein _Andrea_ could not
resolve them, rehearsing what hee could, and what weapons hee found
lying about the Well. Whereat they smiled, as knowing, that the Watch
had haled him up, for feare of whom they left him, and so declared to
him the reason of their returne.

Leaving off all further talke, because now it was about midnight, they
went to the great Church, where finding their entrance to be easie:
they approached neere the Tombe, which was very great, being all of
Marble, and the cover-stone weighty, yet with crowes of yron and other
helps, they raised it so high, that a man might without perill passe
into it. Now began they to question one another, which of the three
should enter into the Tombe. Not I, said the first; so said the second:
No, nor I, answered _Andrea_. Which when the other two heard, they
caught fast hold of him, saying. Wilt not thou goe into the Tombe? Be
advised what thou sayest, for, if thou wilt not goe in: we will so beat
thee with one of these yron crowes, that thou shalt never goe out of
this Church alive.

Thus poore _Andrea_ is still made a property, and Fortune (this fatall
night) will have no other foole but he, as delighting in his hourly
disasters. Feare of their fury makes him obedient, into the grave he
goes, and being within, thus consults with himselfe. These cunning
companions suppose me to be simple, & make me enter the Tombe, having
an absolute intention to deceive me. For, when I have given them all
the riches that I finde here, and am ready to come forth for mine
equall portion: away will they runne for their owne safety, and leaving
me here, not onely shall I loose my right among them, but must remaine
to what danger may follow after. Having thus meditated, he resolved
to make sure of his owne share first, and remembring the rich Ring,
whereof they had tolde him: forthwith hee tooke it from the Archbishops
finger, finding it indifferently fitte for his owne. Afterward, hee
tooke the Crosse, Miter, rich garments, Gloves and all, leaving him
nothing but his shirt, giving them all these severall parcels;
protesting, that there was nothing else. Still they pressed upon him,
affirming that there was a Ring beside, urging him to search diligently
for it; yet still he answered, that hee could not finde it, and for
their longer tarying with him, seemed as if he serched very carefully,
but all appeared to no purpose.

The other two fellowes, as cunning in craft as the third could be,
still willed him to search, and watching their aptest opportunity:
tooke away the props that supported the Tombe-stone, and running thence
with their got booty, left poore _Andrea_ mewed up in the grave. Which
when he perceived, and saw this misery to exceede all the rest, it is
farre easier for you to guesse at his greefe, then I am any way able
to expresse it. His head, shoulders, yea all his utmost strength he
employeth, to remove that over-heavy hinderer of his liberty: but all
his labour beeing spent in vaine, sorrow threw him in a swoond upon
the Byshoppes dead body, where if both of them might at that instant
have bene observed, the Arch-byshops dead body, and _Andrea_ in greefe
dying, very hardly had bene distinguished. But his senses regaining
their former offices, among his silent complaints, consideration
presented him with choyse of these two unavoydable extremities. Dye
starving must he in the tombe, with putrifaction of the dead body; or
if any man came to open the Grave, then must he be apprehended as a
sacrilegious Theefe, and so be hanged, according to the lawes in that
case provided.

As he continued in these strange afflictions of minde, sodainely hee
heard a noise in the Church of divers men, who (as he imagined) came
about the like businesse, as hee and his fellowes had undertaken
before; wherein he was not a jot deceived, albeit his feare the more
augmented. Having opened the Tombe, and supported the stone, they
varied also among themselves for entrance, and an indiffrent while
contended about it. At length, a Priest being one in the company,
boldly said. Why how now you white-liver'd Rascals? What are you
affraid of? Do you thinke he will eate you? Dead men cannot bite,
and therefore I my selfe will go in. Having thus spoken, he prepared
his entrance to the Tombe in such order, that he thrust in his feete
before, for his easier descending downe into it.

_Andrea_ sitting upright in the Tombe, and desiring to make use of this
happy opportunity, caught the Priest fast by one of his legges, making
shew as if he meant to dragge him downe. Which when the Priest felt, he
cryed out aloud, getting out with all the hast he could make, and all
his companions, being well neere frighted out of their wits, ranne away
amaine, as if they had bene followed by a thousand divels. _Andrea_
little dreaming on such fortunate successe, made meanes to get out of
the grave, and afterward forth of the Church, at the very same place
where he entred.

Now began day-light to appeare, when hee, having the rich Ring on his
finger, wandred on hee knew not whether: till comming to the Sea-side,
he found the way directing to his Inne, where all his company were
with his Host, who had bene very carefull for him. Having related his
manifold mischances, his Hoste friendly advised him with speede to get
him out of _Naples_. As instantly he did, returning home to _Perouse_,
having adventured his five hundred Crownes on a Ring, where-with hee
purposed to have bought Horses, according to the intent of his journey

_Madame Beritola Caracalla, was found in an Island with two Goates,
having lost her two Sonnes, and thence travailed into Lunigiana: where
one of her Sonnes became servant to the Lord thereof, and was found
somewhat over-familiar with his Masters daughter, who therefore caused
him to bee imprisoned. Afterward, when the Country of Sicily rebelled
against K. Charles, the aforesaid Sonne chanced to be knowne by his
Mother, and was married to his Masters daughter. And his Brother being
found likewise; they both returned to great estate and credit._

The sixt Novell.

_Heerein all men are admonished, never to distrust the powerfull hand
of Heaven, when Fortune seemeth to be most adverse against them._

The Ladies and Gentlemen also, having smiled sufficiently at the
severall accidents which did befall the poore Traveller _Andrea_,
reported at large by Madame _Fiammetta_, the Lady _Æmillia_, seeing her
tale to be fully concluded, began (by commandement of the Queene) to
speake in this manner.

The diversitie of changes and alterations in Fortune as they are great,
so must they needs be greevous; and as often as we take occasion to
talk of them, as often do they awake and quicken our understandings,
avouching, that it is no easie matter to depend upon her flatteries.
And I am of opinion, that to heare them recounted, ought not any way
to offend us, be it of men wretched or fortunate; because, as they
enstruct the one with good advise, so they animate the other with
comfort. And therefore, although great occasions have beene already
related, yet I purpose to tell a Tale, no lesse true then lamentable;
which albeit it sorted to a successefull ending, yet notwithstanding,
such and so many were the bitter thwartings, as hardly can I beleeve,
that ever any sorrow was more joyfully sweetened.

You must understand then (most gracious Ladies) that after the death
of _Fredericke_ the second Emperour, one named _Manfred_, was crowned
King of _Sicilie_, about whom lived in great account and authority, a
_Neapolitane_ Gentleman, called _Henriet Capece_, who had to Wife a
beautifull Gentlewoman, and a _Neapolitane_ also, named Madam _Beritola
Caracalla_. This _Henriet_ held the government of the Kingdome of
_Sicilie_, and understanding, that King _Charles_ the first, had wonne
the battle of _Beneventum_, and slaine King _Manfred_; the whole
Kingdome revolting also to his devotion, and little trust to be reposed
in the _Sicillians_, or he willing to subject himselfe to his Lords
enemy; provided for his secret flight from thence. But this being
discovered to the _Sicillians_, he and many more, who had beene loyall
servants to King _Manfred_, were suddenly taken and imprisoned by King
_Charles_, and the sole possession of the Iland confirmed to him.

Madam _Beritola_ not knowing (in so sudden and strange an alteration of
State affaires) what was become of her Husband, fearing also greatly
before, those inconveniences which afterward followed; being overcome
with many passionate considerations, having left and forsaken all her
goods, going aboard a small Barke with a Sonne of hers, aged about
some eight yeeres, named _Geoffrey_, and growne great with childe with
another; shee fled thence to _Lipary_, where shee was brought to bed
of another Sonne, whom shee named (answerable both to his and her hard
fortune) _The poore expelled_.

Having provided her selfe of a Nurse, they altogether went aboard
againe, setting sayle for _Naples_ to visit her Parents; but it chanced
quite contrary to her expectation, because by stormie windes and
weather, the vessell being bound for _Naples_, was hurried to the Ile
of _Ponzo_, where entring into a small Port of the Sea, they concluded
to make their aboade, till a time more furtherous should favour their

As the rest, so did Madam _Beritola_ goe on shore in the Iland, where
having found a separate and solitary place, fit for her silent and sad
meditations, secretly by her selfe, shee sorrowed for the absence of
her husband. Resorting daily to this her sad exercise, and continuing
there her complaints, unseene by any of the Marriners, or whosoever
else: there arrived suddenly a Galley of Pyrates, who seazing on the
small Barke, carried it and all the rest in it away with them. When
_Beritola_ had finished her wofull complaints, as daily shee was
accustomed to doe, shee returned backe to her children againe; but
finding no person there remaining, whereat she wondered not a little:
immediately (suspecting what had happened indeede) she lent her lookes
on the Sea, and saw the Galley, which as yet had not gone farre,
drawing the smaller vessell after her. Heereby plainly she perceyved,
that now she had lost her children, as formerly shee had done her
husband; being left there poore, forsaken, and miserable, not knowing
when, where, or how to finde any of them againe, and calling for her
husband and children, shee fell downe in a swound uppon the shore.

Now was not any body neere, with coole water or any other remedy, to
helpe the recovery of her lost powers; wherefore her spirites might the
more freely wander at their own pleasure: but after they were returned
backe againe, and had won their wonted offices in her body, drowned
in teares, and wringing her hands, shee did nothing but call for her
children and husband, straying all about, in hope to finde them,
seeking in Caves, Dennes, and every where else, that presented the
verie least glimpse of comfort. But when she saw all her paines sort to
no purpose, and darke night drawing swiftly on, hope and dismay raising
infinit perturbations, made her yet to be somewhat respective of her
selfe, & therefore departing from the sea-shore, she returned to the
solitary place, where she used to sigh and mourne alone by her selfe.

The night being over-past with infinite feares and affrights, & bright
day saluting the world againe, with the expence of nine hours and more,
she fell to her former fruitlesse travailes. Being somewhat sharply
bitten with hunger, because the former day and night shee hadde not
tasted any food: she made therefore a benefit of necessity, and fed
on the green hearbes so well as she could, not without many piercing
afflictions, what should become of her in this extraordinary misery. As
shee walked in these pensive meditations, she saw a Goate enter into
a Cave, and (within a while after) come forth againe, wandering along
thorow the woods. Whereupon she stayed, and entred where she saw the
beast issue forth, where she found two yong Kids, yeaned (as it seemed)
the selfesame day, which sight was very pleasing to her, and nothing
(in that distresse) could more content her.

As yet she had milke freshly running in both her brests, by reason of
her so late delivery in child-bed; wherefore shee lay downe unto the
two yong Kids, and taking them tenderly in her armes, suffered each of
them to sucke a teate, whereof they made not any refusall, but tooke
them as lovingly as their dammes, and from that time forward, they made
no distinguishing betweene their damme and her. Thus this unfortunate
Lady, having found some company in this solitary desert, fed on hearbes
& roots, drinking faire running water, and weeping silently to her
selfe, so often as she remembred her husband, children, and former
dayes past in much better manner. Here shee resolved now to live and
dye, being at last deprived both of the damme and yonger Kids also, by
theyr wandering further into the neere adjoining Woods, according to
their Naturall inclinations; whereby the poore distressed Lady became
more savage and wilde in her daily conditions, then otherwise shee
would have bene.

After many monthes were over-passed, at the very same place where
she tooke landing; by chance, there arrived another small vessell of
certaine _Pisans_, which remained there divers dayes. In this Bark
was a Gentleman, named _Conrado de Marchesi Malespini_, with his
holy and vertuous wife, who were returned backe from a Pilgrimage,
having visited all the sanctified places, that then were in the
Kingdome of _Apulia_, & now were bound homeward to their owne abiding.
This Gentleman, for the expelling of melancholy perturbations, one
especiall day amongst other, with his wife, servants, and waiting
hounds, wandered up into the Iland, not far from the place of Madam
_Beritolaes_ desert dwelling. The hounds questing after game, at last
happened on the two Kiddes where they were feeding, and (by this time)
had attained to indifferent growth: and finding themselves thus pursued
by the hounds, fled to no other part of the wood, then to the Cave
where _Beritola_ remained, and seeming as if they sought to be rescued
only by her, she sodainly caught up a staffe, and forced the hounds
thence to flight.

By this time, _Conrado_ and his wife, who had followed closely after
the hounds, was come thither, and seeing what had hapned, looking on
the Lady, who was become blacke, swarthy, meager, and hairy, they
wondered not a little at her, and she a great deale more at them. When
(upon her request) _Conrado_ had checkt back his hounds, they prevailed
so much by earnest intreaties, to know what she was, and the reason of
her living there; that she intirely related her quality, unfortunate
accidents, and strange determination for living there. Which when the
Gentleman had heard, who very well knew her husband, compassion forced
teares from his eyes, and earnestly he laboured by kinde perswasions,
to alter so cruel a deliberation; making an honourable offer, for
conducting her home to his owne dwelling, where shee should remaine
with him in noble respect, as if she were his owne sister, without
parting from him, till Fortune should smile as fairely on her, as ever
she had done before.

When these gentle offers could not prevaile with her, the Gentleman
left his wife in her company, saying, that he would go fetch some foode
for her; and because her garments were all rent and torne, hee woulde
bring her other of his wives, not doubting but to winne her thence
with them. His wife abode there with _Beritola_, very much bemoaning
her great disasters, and when both viands and garments were brought:
by extremity of intercession, they caused her to put them on, and also
to feede with them, albeit she protested, that shee would not part
thence into any place, where any knowledge should be taken of her. In
the end, they perswaded her, to go with them into _Lunigiana_, carrying
also with her the two yong Goats and their damme, which were then in
the Cave altogether, prettily playing before _Beritola_, to the great
admiration of _Conrado_ and his wife, as also the servants attending on

When the windes and weather grew favourable for them, Madam _Beritola_
went aboard with _Conrado_ and his wife, being followed by the two
young Goates and their Damme; and because her name should bee knowne
to none but _Conrado_, and his wife onely, shee would be stiled no
otherwise, but the Goatherdesse. Merrily, yet gently blew the gale,
which brought them to enter the River of _Macra_, where going on shore,
and into their owne Castell, _Beritola_ kept company with the wife
of _Conrado_, but in a mourning habite, and a wayting Gentlewoman of
hers, honest, humble, and very dutifull, the Goates alwayes familiarly
keeping them company.

Returne wee now to the Pyrates, which at _Ponzo_ seized on the small
Barke, wherein Madam _Beritola_ was brought thither, and carried thence
away, without any sight or knowledge of her. With such other spoiles
as they had taken, they shaped their course for _Geneway_, and there
(by consent of the Patrones of the Galley) made a division of their
booties. It came to passe, that (among other things) the Nurse that
attended on _Beritola_, and the two Children with her, fell to the
share of one _Messer Gasparino d'Oria_, who sent them together to his
owne House, there to be employed in service as servants. The Nurse
weeping beyond measure for the losse of her Lady, and bemoaning her
owne miserable fortune, whereinto shee was now fallen with the two
young Laddes; after long lamenting, which shee found utterly fruitlesse
and to none effect, though she was used as a servant with them, and
being but a very poore woman, yet was shee wise and discreetly advised.
Wherefore, comforting both her selfe, and them so well as she could,
and considering the depth of their disaster; shee conceited thus, that
if the Children should be knowne, it might redounde to their greater
danger, and shee be no way advantaged thereby.

Hereupon, hoping that Fortune (early or late) would alter her stearne
malice, and that they might (if they lived) regaine once more their
former condition: shee would not disclose them to any one whatsoever,
till shee should see the time aptly disposed for it. Being thus
determined, to all such as questioned her concerning them, she answered
that they were her owne Children, naming the eldest not _Geoffrey_,
but _Jehannot de Procida_. [Sidenote: Or Grannotto da Prochyta.] As
for the youngest, shee cared not greatly for changing his name, and
therefore wisely enformed _Geoffrey_, upon what reason shee had altered
his name, and what danger he might fall into, if he should otherwise
be discovered; being not satisfied with thus telling him once, but
remembring him thereof very often, which the gentle youth (being so
well instructed by the wise and carefull Nurse) did very warily observe.

The two young Laddes, very poorely garmented, but much worse hosed
and shodde, continued thus in the house of _Gasparino_, where both
they and the Nurse were long time imployed, about very base and
drudging Offices, which yet they endured with admirable patience.
But _Jehannot_, aged already about sixteene yeeres, having a loftier
spirit, then belonged to a slavish servant, despising the basenesse
of his servile condition; departed from the drudgery of _Messer
Gasparino_, and going aboard the Gallies, which were bound for
_Alexandria_, fortuned into many places, yet none of them affoording
him any advancement. In the ende, about three or foure yeares after
his departure from _Gasparino_, being now a brave young man, and of
very goodly forme: he understood, that his Father (whom he supposed
to be dead) was as yet living; but in captivity, and prisoner to King
_Charles_. Wherefore, despairing of any successefull fortune, hee
wandred here and there, till he came to _Lunigiana_, and there (by
strange accident) he became servant to _Messer Conrado Malespina_,
where the service proved well liking to them both.

Very sildome times hee had a sight of his Mother, because shee alwayes
kept company with _Conradoes_ wife; and yet when they came within
view of each other, shee knew not him, nor he her, so much yeeres
had altered them both, from what they were wont to be, and when they
saw each other last. _Jehannot_ being thus in the service of _Messer
Conrado_, it fortuned that a daughter of his, named _Spina_, being the
Widdow of one _Messer Nicolas Grignan_, returned home to her Fathers
House. Very beautifull and amiable shee was, young likewise, aged but
little above sixteene; growing wonderously amorous of _Jehannot_, and
he of her, in extraordinary and most fervent manner; which love was not
long without full effect, continuing many moneths before any person
could perceive it: which making them to build on the more assurance,
they began to carrie their meanes with lesse discretion, then is
required in such nice cases, and which cannot be too providently

Upon a day, he and shee walking to a goodly wood, plentifully furnished
with spreading Trees, having out-gone the rest of their company; they
made choise of a pleasant place, very daintily shaded, and beautified
with all sorts of floures. There they spent sometime in amorous
discourse, beside some other sweete embraces, which though it seemed
over-short to them, yet was it so unadvisedly prolonged; that they
were on a sudden surprized, first by the Mother, and next by _Messer
Conrado_ himselfe: who greeving beyond measure, to be thus trecherously
dealt withall, caused them to be apprehended by three of his servants,
and (without telling them any reason why) ledde bound to another Castle
of his, and fretting with extremity of rage, concluded in his minde,
that they should both shamefully be put to death.

The Mother to this regardlesse Daughter, having heard the angry words
of her Husband, and how hee would be revenged on the faultie; could
not endure that he should be so severe: wherefore, although shee was
likewise much afflicted in minde, and reputed her Daughter worthy (for
so great an offence) of all cruell punishment: yet shee hasted to her
displeased husband, and began to entreate, that he would not runne on
in such a furious spleene, now in his aged yeares, to be the murtherer
of his owne childe, and soile his hands in the blood of his servant.
Rather he might finde out some milde course for the satisfaction of
his Anger, by committing them to close imprisonment, there to remaine
& mourne for their follie committed. The vertuous and religious
Lady alledged so many commendable examples, and used such plenty of
mooving perswasions; that she quite altred his minde, from putting
them to death, and he commanded onely, that they should separately bee
imprisoned, with little store of foode, and lodging of the uneasiest,
untill hee should otherwise determine of them, and so it was done. What
their life now was in captivity and continuall teares, with stricter
abstinence then was needefull for them; all this I must commit to your

_Jehannot_ and _Spina_ remaining in this comfortlesse condition, and an
whole yeere being now out-worne, yet _Conrado_ keeping them thus still
imprisoned: it came to passe, that _Don Pedro_ King of _Arragon_, by
the meanes of _Messer John de Procida_, caused the Isle of _Sicily_ to
revolt, and tooke it away from King _Charles_, whereat _Conrado_ (he
being of the _Ghibbiline_ faction) not a little rejoyced. _Jehannot_
having intelligence thereof, by some of them that had him in custody,
breathing foorth a vehement sigh, spake in this manner. Alas poore
miserable wretch as I am! that have already gone begging through the
world above fourteene yeares, in expectation of nothing else but this
opportunity; and now it is come, must I be in prison, to the end, that
I should never more hope for any future happinesse? And how can I get
forth of this prison, except it be by death onely? How now, replied the
Officer of the Guard? What doth this businesse of great Kings concerne
thee? What affaires hast thou in _Sicily_?

Once more _Jehannot_ sighed extreamly, and returned him this answer.
Me thinkes my heart (quoth hee) doth cleave in sunder, when I call to
minde the charge which my Father had there, for although I was but a
little boy when I fled thence: yet I can well remember, that I sawe
him Governour there, at such time as King _Manfred_ lived. The Guard,
pursuing on still his purpose, demanded of him, what, and who his
Father was? My Father (replyed _Jehannot_) I may now securely speake of
him, being out of the perill which neerely concerned me if I had beene
discovered. He was the named (and so still if he be living) _Henriet
Capece_, and my name is _Geoffrey_, not _Jehannot_; and I make no
doubt, but if I were free from hence, and might be returned home to
_Sicily_, I should (for his sake) be placed in some authority.

The honest man of the Guard, without seeking after any further
information; so soone as he could compasse the leysure, reported all to
_Messer Conrado_, who having heard these newes (albeit he made no shew
thereof to the revealer) went to Madam _Beritola_, graciously demaunding
of her, if she had any sonne by her husband, who was called _Geoffrey_.
The Lady replyed in teares, that if her eldest sonne were as yet
living, hee was so named, and now aged about two and twenty yeares.
_Conrado_ hearing this, imagined this same to be the man, considering
further withall, that if it fell out to prove so: he might have the
better meanes of mercie, and closely concealing his daughters shame,
joyfully joyne them in marriage together.

Hereupon he secretly caused _Jehannot_ to be brought before him,
examining him particularly of all his passed life, and finding (by
most manifest arguments) that his name was truly _Geoffrey_, & he the
eldest son of _Henriet Capece_, he spake to him alone in this manner.
_Jehannot_, thou knowest how great the injuries are which thou hast
done me, & my deare daughter, gently entreating thee (as became a good
& honest servant) that thou shouldest alwayes have bin respective of
mine honour, and all that do appertain unto me. There are many noble
Gentlemen, who sustaining the wrong which thou hast offred me, they
would have procured thy shameful death, which pitty & compassion will
not suffer in me. Wherefore seeing (as thou informest me) that thou art
honourably derived both by father & mother; I will give end to all thine
anguishes, even when thy self art so pleased, releasing thee from the
misery & captivity, wherein I have so long time kept thee, and in one
instant, reduce thine honour & mine into compleat perfection. As thou
knowest, my Daughter _Spina_, whom thou hast embraced in kindnesse as
a friend (although farre unfitting for thee or her) is a widow, and
her mariage is both great and good; what her manners and conditions
are, thou indifferently knowest, and art not ignorant of her Father and
Mother: concerning thine owne estate, as now I purpose not to speake
any thing. Therefore, when thou wilt, I am so determined, that whereas
thou hast immodestly affected her, she shall become thy honest wife,
and accepting thee as my Son, to remain with me so long as you both

Imprisonment had somewhat misshapen _Jehannot_ in his outward forme,
but not impaired a jot of that noble spirit, really derived from his
famous progenitors, much lesse the true love he bare to his faire
friend. And although most earnestly he desired that, which _Conrado_
now so franckly offered him, and was in his power onely to bestow on
him; yet could he not cloude any part of his greatnesse, but with a
resolved judgement, thus replied. My Lord, affectation of rule, desire
of wealthy possessions, or any other matter whatsoever, could never
make me a traytor to you or yours; but that I have loved, do love & for
ever shal love your beautious daughter; if that be treason, I freely
confesse it, & will die a thousand deaths, before you or any else shal
enforce me to denie it; for I hold her highly worthy of my love. If I
have bin more unmannerly with her, then became me, according to the
opinion of vulgar judgment, I have committed but that error, which
evermore is so attendant upon youth; that to denie it, is to denie
youth also. And if reverend age would but remember, that once he was
young, & measure others offences by his own; they would not be thought
so great or greevous, as you (& many more) account them to be, mine
being committed as a friend, & not as an enemy: what you make offer
of so willingly to do, I have alwayes desired, & if I had thought it
would have bin granted, long since I had most humbly requested it; and
so much the more acceptable would it have bin to me, by how much the
further off it stood from my hopes. But if you be so forward as your
words doe witnesse, then feede mee not with any further fruitlesse
expectation: but rather send me backe to prison, and lay as many
afflictions on mee as you please: for my endeared love to your Daughter
_Spina_, maketh mee to love you the more for her sake; how hardly
soever you entreate me, & bindeth me in the greater reverence to you,
as being the father of my fairest friend.

_Messer Conrado_ hearing these words, stood as one confounded with
admiration, reputing him to be a man of lofty spirit, and his affection
most fervent to his Daughter, which was not a little to his liking.
Wherefore, embracing him, and kissing his cheeke, without any longer
dallying, hee sent in like manner for his Daughter. Her restraint in
prison had made her lookes meager, pale and wanne, and very weake was
shee also of her person, farre differing from the woman shee was wont
to be, before her affection to _Jehannot_; there in presence of her
Father, and with free consent of either, they were contracted as man
and wife, and the espousals agreed on according to custome. Some few
dayes after, (without any ones knowledge of that which was done) having
furnished them with all things fit for the purpose, and time aptly
serving, that the Mothers should be partakers in this joy; he called
his wife, and Madam _Beritola_, to whom first he spake in this manner.

What will you say Madam, if I cause you to see your eldest Son, not
long since married to one of my Daughters? whereunto _Beritola_ thus
replied. My Lord, I can say nothing else unto you, but that I shall be
much more obliged to you, then already I am, and so much the rather,
because you will let me see the thing which is dearer to me then mine
owne life; and rendring it unto mee in such manner as you speake of,
you will recall backe some part of my former lost hopes: and with these
words the teares streamed aboundantly from her eyes. Then turning to
his wife, he saide; And you deare Love, if I shew you such a Sonne in
Law, what will you thinke of it? Sir (quoth shee) what pleaseth you,
must and shall satisfie me, be he Gentleman, or a beggar. Well said
Madam, answered _Messer Conrado_, I hope (within few dayes) to make you
both joyfull. So when the amorous couple had recovered their former
feature, and honourable garments were prepared for them, privately thus
he said to _Geoffrey_; Beyond the joy which already thou art inriched
withall, how would it please thee to meet with thine owne Mother here?
I cannot beleeve Sir, replied _Geoffrey_, that her greevous misfortunes
have suffered her to live so long: yet notwithstanding, if Heaven
hath beene so merciful to her, my joyes were incomparable, for by her
gracious counsell, I might well hope to recover no meane happinesse in
_Sicilie_. Within a while after, both the Mothers were sent for, who
were transported with unspeakable joyes, when they beheld the so lately
maried couple; being also much amazed, when they could not guesse what
inspiration had guided _Conrado_ to this extraordinary benignity,
joyning _Jehannot_ in mariage with _Spina_. Hereupon Madam _Beritola_,
remembring the speeches between her and _Conrado_, began to observe
him very advisedly, and by a hidden vertue, which long had silently
slept in her, and now with joy of spirit awaked, calling to minde
the lineatures of her Sonnes Infancy, without awaiting for any other
demonstrations, shee folded him in her armes with earnest affection.
Motherly joy and pitty now contended so violently together, that shee
was not able to utter one word, the sensitive vertues being so closely
combined, that (even as dead) shee fell downe in the armes of her
Sonne. And he wondering greatly thereat, making a better recollection
of his thoughts, did well remember, that he had often before seene her
in the Castell, without any other knowledge of her. Neverthelesse,
by meere instinct of Nature, whose power (in such actions) declares
it selfe to be highly predominant; his very soule assured him, that
shee was his Mother, and blaming his understanding, that he had not
before beene better advised, he threw his armes about her, and wept

Afterward, by the loving paines of _Conradoes_ wife, as also her
daughter _Spina_, Madam _Beritola_ (being recovered from her passionate
trance, and her vitall spirits executing their Offices againe;) fell
once more to the embracing of her Sonne, kissing him infinite times,
with teares and speeches of motherly kindnesse, he likewise expressing
the same dutifull humanity to her. Which ceremonious courtesies being
passed over and over, to no little joy in all the beholders, beside
repetition of their severall misfortunes. _Messer Conrado_ made all
knowne to his friends, who were very glad of this new alliance made
by him, which was honoured with many solemn & magnificent feastings.
Which being all concluded, _Geoffrey_ having found out fit place and
opportunity, for conference with his new created Father, without any
sinister opposition; began as followeth.

Honourable Father, you have raised my contentment to the highest
degree, and have heaped also many gracious favours on my noble Mother;
but now in the finall conclusion, that nothing may remaine uneffected,
which consisteth in your power to performe: I would humbly entreate
you, to honour my Mother with your company, at a Feast of my making,
where I would gladly also have my Brother present. _Messer Gasparino
d'Oria_ (as I have once heretofore told you) questing as a common
Pyrate on the Seas, tooke us, and sent us home to his house as slaves,
where (as yet he detaineth him.) I would have you likewise send one
into _Sicilie_, who informing himselfe more amply in the state of
the Country; may understand what is become of _Henriet_ my Father,
and whether he be living or no. If he remaine alive, to know in what
condition he is; and being secretly instructed in all things, then to
returne backe againe to you.

This motion made by _Geoffrey_, was so pleasing to _Conrado_, that
without any reference to further leysure, hee dispatched thence two
discreete persons, the one to _Genewaye_, and the other to _Sicilie_:
he which went for _Geneway_, having met with _Gasparino_, earnestly
entreated him, (on the behalfe of _Conrado_) to send him the _Poore
expelled_; and his Nurse recounting every thing in order, which
_Conrado_ had tolde him, concerning _Geoffrey_ and his Mother: when
_Gasparino_ had heard the whole discourse, he marvelled greatly
thereat, and saide; True it is, that I will doe any thing for _Messer
Conrado_, which may be to his love and liking, provided, that it lie
in my power to performe; and (about some foureteene yeeres since) I
brought such a Lad as you seeke for, with his Mother home to my house;
whom I will gladly send unto him. But you may tell him from me, that I
advise him from over-rash crediting the fables of _Jehannot_, that now
tearms himselfe by the name of _Geoffrey_, because hee is a more wicked
boy, then he taketh him to be, and so did I find him.

Having thus spoken, and giving kinde welcome to the Messenger,
secretly he called the Nurse unto him, whom he heedfully examined
concerning this case. Shee having heard the rebellion in the Kingdome
of _Sicilie_, and understanding withall, that _Henriet_ was yet living;
joyfully threw off all her former feare, relating every thing to him
orderly, and the reasons moving her, to conceale the whole businesse
in such manner as shee had done. _Gasparino_ well perceiving, that the
report of the Nurse, and the message received from _Conrado_, varied
not in any one circumstance, beganne the better to credit her wordes.
And being a man most ingenious, making further inquisition into the
businesse, by all the possible meanes he could devise, and finding
every thing to yeeld undoubted assurance; ashamed of the vile and base
usage, wherein hee had so long time kept the Ladde, and desiring (by
his best meanes) to make him amends; he had a faire Daughter, aged
about thirteene yeeres, and knowing what manner of man he was, his
father _Henriet_ also yet living, he gave her to him in marriage, with
a very bountifull and honourable dowry.

The joviall dayes of feasting being past, he went aboard a Galley,
with the _Poore expelled_; his Daughter, the Ambassadour, and the
Nurse, departing thence to _Lericy_, where they were nobly welcommed
by _Messer Conrado_, and his Castle being not farre from thence, with
an honourable traine they were conducted thither, and entertained with
all possible kindnesse. Now concerning the comfort of the Mother,
meeting so happily with both her Sonnes, the joy of the Brethren and
Mother together, having also found the faithfull Nurse, _Gasparino_
and his Daughter, in company now with _Conrado_ and his Wife, friends,
familiars, and all generally in a Jubilee of rejoycing: it exceedeth
capacity in me to expresse it, and therefore I referre it to your more
able imagination.

In the time of this mutuall contentment, to the ende that nothing might
be wanting, to compleat and perfect this universall joy; our Lord, a
most aboundant bestower where he beginneth, added long wished tydings,
concerning the life and good estate of _Henriet Capece_. For, even as
they were feasting, and the concourse great of worthy guests, both of
Lords and Ladies: the first service was scarcely set on the Tables, but
the Ambassador which was sent to _Sicilie_, arrived there before them.
Among many other important matters, he spake of _Henriet_, who being so
long a time detained in prison by King _Charles_, when the commotion
arose in the City against the King; the people (grudging at _Henriets_
long imprisonment) slew the Guards, and let him at liberty. Then as
capitall enemy to King _Charles_, he was created Captaine generall,
following the chase, and killing the French.

By meanes whereof, he grew great in the grace of King _Pedro_, who
replanted him in all the goods and honours which he had before, with
very high and eminent authority. Hereunto the Ambassadour added, that
he was entertained with extraordinary grace, and delivery of publike
joy and exaltation, when his Wife and Sonne were knowne to be living,
of whom no tydings had at any time beene heard, since the houre of his
surprizall. Moreover, that a swift winged Barke was now sent thither
(upon the happy hearing of this newes) well furnished with noble
Gentlemen, to attend till their returning backe. We neede to make no
doubt concerning the tydings brought by this Ambassadour, nor of the
Gentlemens welcome, thus sent to Madam _Beritola_ and _Geoffrey_; who
before they would sit downe at the Table, saluted _Messer Conrado_ and
his kinde Lady (on the behalfe of _Henriet_) for all the great graces
extended to her and her Sonne, with promise of any thing, lying in the
power of _Henriet_, to rest continually at their command. The like they
did to _Signior Gasparino_, (whose liberall favours came unlooked for)
with certaine assurance, that when _Henriet_ should understand what hee
had done for his other Sonne, the _Poore expelled_; there would be no
defailance of riciprocall courtesies.

As the longest joyes have no perpetuity of lasting, so all these
gracefull ceremonies had their conclusion, with as many sighes and
teares at parting, as joyes abounded at their first encountring.
Imagine then, that you see such aboard, as were to have here no longer
abiding, Madam _Beritola_ and _Geoffrey_, with the rest, as the _Poore
expelled_, the so late married Wives, and the faithfull Nurse bearing
them company. With prosperous windes they arrived in _Sicilie_, where
the Wife, Sonnes, and Daughters, were joyfully met by _Henriet_ at
_Palermo_, and with such honourable pompe, as a case so important
equally deserved. The Histories make further mention, that there they
lived (a long while after) in much felicity, with thankfull hearts (no
doubt) to Heaven, in acknowledgement of so many great mercies received.

_The Soldan of Babylon sent one of his Daughters, to be joyned in
marriage with the King of_ Cholcos; _who by divers accidents (in the
space of foure yeeres) happened into the custody of nine men, and in
sundry places. At length being restored backe to her Father, shee went
to the saide King of_ Cholcos, _as a Maide, and as at first shee was
intended to be his wife._

The seaventh Novell.

_A lively demonstration, that the beauty of a Woman, (oftentimes) is
very hurtfull to her selfe, and the occasion of many evils, yea, and of
death, to divers men._

Peradventure the Novell related by Madam _Æmilia_, did not extend it
selfe so farre in length, as it moved compassion in the Ladies mindes,
hearing the hard fortunes of _Beritola_ and her Children, which had
incited them to weeping: but that it pleased the Queene (upon the Tales
conclusion) to command _Pamphilus_, to follow (next in order) with his
discourse, and hee being thereto very obedient, beganne in this manner.

It is a matter of no meane difficulty (vertuous Ladies) for us to take
intire knowledge of every thing we doe, because (as oftentimes hath
beene observed) many men, imagining if they were rich, they should
live securely, and without any cares. And therefore, not onely have
their prayers and intercessions aimed at that end, but also their
studies and daily endeavours, without refusall of any paines or perils
have not meanely expressed their hourely solicitude. And although it
hath happened accordingly to them, and their covetous desires fully
accomplished; yet at length they have met with such kinde of people,
who likewise thirsting after their wealthy possessions, have bereft
them of life, being their kinde and intimate friends, before they
attained to such riches. Some other, being of low and base condition,
by adventuring in many skirmishes and foughten battels, trampling in
the bloud of their brethren and friends, have beene mounted to the
soveraigne dignity of Kingdomes, (beleeving that therein consisted the
truest happinesse) but bought with the dearest price of their lives.
For, beside their infinite cares and feares, wherewith such greatnesse
is continually attended, at their royall Tables, they have drunke
poyson in a golden pot. Many other in like manner (with most earnest
appetite) have coveted beauty and bodily strength, not foreseeing with
any judgement, that these wishes were not without perill; when being
endued with them, they either have beene the occasion of their death,
or such a lingering lamentable estate of life, as death were a thousand
times more welcome to them.

But because I would not speake particularly of all our fraile and
humane affections, I dare assure ye, that there is not any one of these
desires, to be elected among us mortals, with entire foresight or
providence, warrantable against their ominous issue. Wherefore, if we
would walke directly, wee should dispose our willes and affections, to
be ordered and guided onely by him, who best knoweth what is needfull
for us, and will bestow them at his good pleasure. Nor let me lay this
blamefull imputation upon men onely, for offending in many things
through over lavish desires: because you your selves (gracious Ladies)
sinne highly in one, as namely, in coveting to be beautifull. So that
it is not sufficient for you, to enjoy those beauties bestowne on you
by Nature: but you practise to encrease them, by the rarities of Art.
Wherefore, let it not offend you, that I tell you the hard fortune of
a faire Sarrazines, to whom it happened (by strange adventures) within
the compasse of foure yeares, nine severall times to be maried, and
onely for her beauty.

It is now a long time since, that there lived a Soldane in _Babylon_,
named _Beminidab_, to whom (while he lived) many things happened,
answerable to his owne desires. Among divers other children both male
and female, he had a daughter, called _Alathiella_, and shee (according
to the common voyce of every one that saw her) was the fayrest Lady
then living in all the world. And because the King of _Cholcos_ had
wonderfully assisted him, in a valiant foughten battaile, against a
mighty Armie of _Arabes_, who on a suddaine had assailed him: hee
demaunded his faire daughter in marriage, which likewise was kindly
granted to him. A goodly and well armed Ship was prepared for her,
with full furnishment of all necessary provision, and accompanied with
an honourable traine, both Lords and Ladies, as also most costly and
sumptuous accoustrements; commending her to the mercy of heaven, in
this manner was shee sent away.

The time being propitious for their parting thence, the Mariners
hoised their sayles, leaving the part of _Alexandria_, and sayling
prosperously many dayes together. When they had past the Country of
_Sardignia_, and (as they imagined) were well neere to their journeyes
end: suddainly arose boisterous and contrary windes, which were so
impetuous beyond all measure, and so tormented the Ship wherein the
Lady was; that the Mariners, seeing no signe of comfort, gave over
all hope of escaping with life. Neverthelesse, as men most expert
in implacable dangers, they laboured to their uttermost power, and
contended with infinite blustring tempests, for the space of two dayes
and nights together, hoping the third day would prove more favourable.
But therein they saw themselves deceived, for the violence continued
still, encreasing in the night time more and more, being no way able to
comprehend, either where they were, or what course they tooke, neither
by marivall judgement, or any apprehension else whatsoever, the heavens
were so clouded, and the nights darknesse so extreame.

Being (unknowne to them) neere the Isle of _Majorica_, they felt the
Ship to split in the bottome, by meanes whereof, perceiving now no hope
of escaping (every one caring for himselfe, and not any other) they
threw forth a Squiffe on the troubled waves, reposing more confidence
of safety that way, then abiding any longer in the broken Ship.
Howbeit, such as were first descended downe, made stout resistance
against all other followers, with their drawne weapons: but safety of
life so farre prevailed, that what with the tempests violence, and
over-lading of the Squiffe, it sunke to the bottome, and all perished
that were therein. The Ship being thus split, and more then halfe full
of water, tossed and tormented by the blustring windes, first one
way, and then another: was at last driven into a strand of the Isle
_Majorica_, no other persons remaining therein; but onely the Lady
and her women, all of them (through the rude tempest, and their owne
conceived feare) lying still, as if they were more then halfe dead. And
there, within a stones cast of the neighbouring shore, the Ship (by the
rough surging billowes) was fixed fast in the sands, and so continued
all the rest of the night, without any further molestation of the

When day appeared, and the violent stormes were more mildly appeased,
the Lady, who seemed well-neere dead, lifted up her head, and began
(weake as she was) to call first one, and then another: but she called
in vaine, for such as she named were farre enough from her. Wherefore,
hearing no answere, nor seeing any one, she wondered greatly, her
feares encreasing then more and more. Raysing her selfe so well as
shee could, she beheld the Ladies that were of her company, and some
other of her women, lying still without any stirring: whereupon,
first jogging one, and then another, and calling them severally by
their names; shee found them bereft of understanding, and even as
if they were dead, their hearts were so quailed, and their feare so
over-ruling, which was no meane dismay to the poore Lady her selfe.
Neverthelesse, necessity now being her best counsallour, seeing her
selfe thus all alone, and not knowing in what place she was, she used
such meanes to them that were living, that (at the last) they came
better to knowledge of themselves. And being unable to guesse, what
was become of the men and Mariners, seeing the Ship also driven on the
sands, and filled with water: she began (with them) to lament most
grievously, and now it was about the houre of mid-day, before they
could descry any person on the shore, or any else to pitty them in so
urgent a necessity.

At length, noone being past, a Gentleman, named _Bajazeth_, attended
by divers of his followers on horseback, and returning from a Country
house belonging to him, chanced to ride by on the sands. Upon sight
of the Ship lying in that case, he imagined truely what had happened,
and commanded one of his men to enter aboord it, which (with some
difficulty) hee did, to resolve his Lord what remayned therein. There
hee found the faire young Lady, with such small store of company as
was left her, fearefully hidden under the prow of the Ship. So soone
as they saw him, they held up their hands, wofully desiring mercy
of him: but he perceiving their lamentable condition, and that hee
understoode not what they said to them; their affliction grew the
greater, labouring by signes and gestures, to give him knowledge of
their misfortune.

The servant, gathering what he could by their outward behaviour,
declared to his Lord, what hee had seene in the Ship: who caused the
women to be brought on shore, and all the precious things remaining
with them, conducting them with him to a place not farre off, where,
with foode and warmth he gave them comfort. By the rich garments which
the Lady was cloathed withall, hee reputed her to be a Gentlewoman
well derived, as the great reverence done to her by the rest, gave him
good reason to conceive. And although her lookes were pale and wan, as
also her person mightily altered, by the tempestuous violence of the
Sea: yet notwithstanding, she appeared faire and lovely in the eye of
_Bajazeth_, whereupon forthwith he determined, that if she were not
maried, he would enjoy her as his owne in mariage, or if he could not
winne her to be his wife, yet (at the least) shee should be his friend,
because shee remained now in his power.

_Bajazeth_ was a man of sterne lookes, rough and harsh both in speech
and behaviour: yet causing the Lady to be honourably used divers dayes
together, she became thereby well comforted and recovered. And seeing
her beauty to exceede all comparison, he was afflicted beyond measure,
that he could not understand her, nor she him, whereby hee could not
know, of whence or what she was. His amorous flames encreasing more
and more; by kinde, courteous, and affable actions, hee laboured to
compasse what he aymed at. But all his endeavour proved to no purpose,
for shee refused all familiar privacie with him, which so much the
more kindled the fury of his desire. This being well observed by the
Lady, having now remayned there a moneth & more, and collecting by the
customes of the Countrey, that she was among Turkes, and in such a
place, where although she were knowne, yet it would little advantage
her, beside, that long protraction of time would provoke _Bajazeth_, by
faire meanes or force to obtaine his will: she propounded to her selfe
(with magnanimity of spirit) to tread all misfortunes under her feete,
commaunding her women (whereof she had but three now remaining alive)
that they should not disclose what she was; except it were in some
such place, where manifest signes might yeeld hope of regaining their
liberty. Moreover, shee admonished them, stoutly to defend their honour
and chastity, affirming, that shee had absolutely resolved with her
selfe, that never any other should enjoy her, but her intended husband;
wherein her women did much commend her, promising to preserve their
reputation, according as she had commanded.

Day by day were the torments of _Bajazeth_ wonderfully augmented, yet
still his kinde offers scornefully refused, and he as farre off from
compassing his desires, as when hee first began to moove the matter:
wherefore, perceiving that all faire courses served to no effect, hee
resolved to compasse his purpose by craft and subtilty, reserving
rigorous extremity for his finall conclusion. And having once observed,
that wine was very pleasing to the Lady, she being never used to drinke
any at all, because (by her Countries law) it was forbidden her, and no
meane store having beene lately brought to _Bajazeth_ in a Barke of
_Geneway_: hee resolved to surprize her by meanes thereof, as a chiefe
Minister of _Venus_, to heate the coolest blood. And seeming now in his
outward behaviour, as if he had given over his amorous pursuite, and
which she strove by all her best endeavours to withstand: one night,
after a very majestick and solemne manner, he prepared a delicate and
sumptuous supper, whereto the Lady was invited: and hee had given
order, that hee who attended on her Cup, should serve her with many
wines compounded and mingled together, which hee accordingly performed,
as being cunning enough in such occasions.

_Alathiella_, mistrusting no such trecherie intended against her, and
liking the wines pleasing taste extraordinarily; dranke more then
stoode with with her precedent modest resolution, and forgetting all
her passed adversities, became very frollick and merry: so that seeing
some women daunce after the manner observed therein _Majorica_, she
also fell to dauncing, according to the _Alexandrian_ custome. Which
when _Bajazeth_ beheld, he imagined the victory to be more then halfe
wone, and his hearts desire very neere the obtaining: plying her still
with wine upon wine, and continuing this revelling the most part of
the night. At the length, the invited guests being all gone, the
Lady retired then to her chamber, attended on by none but _Bajazeth_
himselfe, and as familiarly, as if hee had beene one of her women, shee
no way contradicting his bold intrusion, so faire had wine over-gone
her sences, and prevailed against all modest bashfulnesse. These
wanton embracings, strange to her that had never tasted them before,
yet pleasing beyond measure, by reason of his trecherous advantage:
afterward drew on many more of the like carowsing meetings, without so
much as a thought of her passed miseries, or those more honourable and
chaste respects, that ever ought to attend on Ladies.

Now, Fortune envying these their stolne pleasures, and that she,
being the purposed wife of a potent King, should thus become the
wanton friend of a much meaner man, whose onely glory was her shame:
altered the course of their too common pastimes, by preparing a
farre greater infelicity for them. This _Bajazeth_ had a Brother,
aged about five and twenty yeares, of most compleate person, in the
very beauty of his time, and fresh as the sweetest smelling Rose, he
being named _Amurath_. After he had once seene this Lady (whose faire
feature pleased him beyond all womens else) she seemed in his suddaine
apprehension, both by her outward behaviour and civill apparancie,
highly to deserve his very best opinion, for she was not meanely entred
into his favour. Now he found nothing to his hinderance, in obtayning
the height of his hearts desire, but onely the strict custody and
guard, wherein his brother _Bajazeth_ kept her: which raised a cruell
conceit in his minde, whereon followed (not long after) as cruell an

It came to passe, that at the same time, in the Port of the Citie,
called _Caffa_, there lay then a Ship laden with Merchandize, being
bound thence for _Smirna_, of which Ship two _Geneway_ Merchants
(being brethren) were the Patrones and owners, who had given direction
for hoysing the sayles, to depart thence when the winde should serve.
With these two _Genewayes Amurath_ had covenanted, for himselfe to goe
abord the Ship the night ensuing, and the Lady in his company. When
night was come, having resolved with himselfe what was to be done:
in a disguised habite hee went to the house of _Bajazeth_, who stood
not any way doubtfull of him, and with certaine of his most faithfull
confederates (whom he had sworne to the intended action) they hid
themselves closely in the house. After some part of the night was
over-past, hee knowing the severall lodgings both of _Bajazeth_ and
_Alathiella_: slew his brother soundly sleeping, and seizing on the
Lady, whom hee found awake and weeping, threatned to kill her also,
if shee made any noyse. So, being well furnished, with the greater
part of costly Jewels belonging to _Bajazeth_, unheard or undescried
by anybody, they went presently to the Port, and there, without any
further delay, _Amurath_ and the Lady were received into the Ship, but
his companions returned backe againe; when the Mariners, having their
sayles ready set, and the winde aptly fitting for them, launched forth
merrily into the maine.

You may well imagine, that the Lady was extraordinarily afflicted
with griefe for her first misfortune, and now this second chancing so
suddainly, must needes offend her in greater manner: but _Amurath_
did so kindly comfort her, with milde, modest, and manly perswasions;
that all remembrance of _Bajazeth_ was quickly forgotten, and shee
became converted to lovely demeanour, even when Fortune prepared a
fresh misery for her, as not satisfied with those whereof shee had
tasted already. The Lady being enriched with unequalled beauty (as wee
have often related before) her behaviour also in such exquisite and
commendable kinde expressed: the two brethren, owners of the Ship,
became so deepely enamoured of her, that forgetting all their more
serious affaires, they studied by all possible meanes, to be pleasing
and gracious in her eye, yet with such a carefull cariage, that
_Amurath_ should neither see or suspect it.

When the brethren had imparted their loves extremity each to the
other, and plainely perceived, that though they were equally in their
fiery torments, yet their desires were utterly contrary: they began
severally to consider, that gaine gotten by Merchandize, admitted
an equall and honest division, but this purchase was of a different
quality, pleading the title of a sole possession, without any partner
or intruder. Fearefull and jealous were they both, least either should
ayme at the others intention, yet willing enough to shake hands, in
ridding _Amurath_ out of the way, who onely was the hinderer of their
hopes. Whereupon they concluded together, that on a day, when the
Ship sayled on very swiftly, and _Amurath_ was sitting upon the deck,
studiously observing, how the billowes combatted each with other, and
not suspecting any such treason in them towards him: stealing softly
behinde him, suddainly they threw him into the Sea, the Ship fleeting
on above halfe a leagues distance, before any perceived his fall into
the Sea.

When the Lady heard thereof, and saw no likely meanes of recovering
him againe, she fell to her wonted teares and lamentations: but the
two Lovers came quickly to comfort her, using kinde words and pithie
perswasions (albeit shee understood them not, or at the most very
little) to appease the violence of her passions; and, to speake
uprightly, shee did not so much bemoane the loss of _Amurath_, as
the multiplying of her owne misfortunes, still one succeeding in the
necke of another. After divers long and well delivered Orations,
as also very faire and courteous behaviour, they had indifferently
pacified her complaynings: they began to discourse and commune with
themselves, which of them had most right and title to _Alathiella_, and
(consequently) ought to enjoy her. Now that _Amurath_ was gone, each
pleaded his priviledge to be as good as the others, both in the Ship,
goods, and all advantages else whatsoever happening: which the elder
brother absolutely denied, alleadging first his propriety of birth,
a reason sufficient, whereby his younger ought to give him place;
likewise his right and interest both in ship and goods, to be more then
the others, as being heire to his Father, and therefore in justice
to be highest preferred. Last of all, that his strength onely threw
_Amurath_ into the Sea, and therefore gave him the full possession of
his prize, no right at all remaining to his brother.

From temperate and calme speeches, they fell to frownes and ruder
language, which heated their blood in such violent manner, that
forgetting brotherly affection, and all respect of Parents or friends,
they drew forth their Poniards, stabbing each other so often and
desperately, that before any in the shippe had the power or meanes to
part them, both of them being very dangerously wounded, the younger
brother fell downe dead, the elder being in little better case, by
receiving so many perilous hurts, remained (neverthelesse) living. This
unhappy accident displeased the Lady very highly, seeing her selfe
thus left alone, without the help or counsell of any body, and fearing
greatly, least the anger of the two Brethrens Parents and Friends,
should now be laide to her charge, and thereon follow severity of
punishment. But the earnest entreaties of the wounded surviver, and
their arrivall at _Smirna_ soone after, delivered him from the danger
of death, gave some ease to her sorrow, and there with him shee went on

Remaining there with him in a common Inne, while he continued in the
Chirurgians cure, the fame of her singular and much admired beauty was
soone spread abroade throughout all the City; and amongst the rest, to
the hearing of the Prince of _Ionia_, who lately before (on very urgent
occasions) was come to _Smirna_. This rare rumour, made him desirous
to see her, and after he had seene her, shee seemed farre fairer in
his eye, then common report had noysed her to be, and suddenly grew
so enamored of her, that shee was the onely Idea of his best desires.
Afterward, understanding in what manner shee was brought thither, he
devised how to make her his owne; practising all possible meanes to
accomplish it: which when the wounded brothers Parents heard of,
they not onely made tender of their willingnesse therein, but also
immediately sent her to him: a matter most highly pleasing to the
Prince, and likewise to the Lady her selfe; because shee thought now to
be freed from no meane perill, which (otherwise) the wounded Merchants
friends might have inflicted on her.

The Prince perceiving, that beside her matchlesse beauty, shee had
the true character of royall behaviour; greeved the more, that he
could not be further informed of what Countrey shee was. His opinion
being so stedfastly grounded, that (lesse then Noble) shee could not
be, was a motive to set a keener edge on his affection towards her,
yet not to enjoy her as in honourable and loving complement onely,
but as his espoused Lady and Wife. Which appearing to her by apparant
demonstrations, though entercourse of speech wanted to confirme it;
remembrance of her so many sad disasters, and being now in a most noble
and respected condition, her comfort enlarged it selfe with a setled
hope, her feares grew free from any more molestations, and her beauties
became the onely theame and argument of private and publike conference
in all _Natolia_, that (welneere) there was no other discourse, in any
Assembly whatsoever.

Hereupon the Duke of _Athens_, being young, goodly, and valiant of
person, as also a neere Kinsman to the Prince, had a desire to see
her; and under colour of visiting his noble Kinsman, (as oftentimes
before he had done) attended with an honourable traine, to _Smirna_
he came, being there most royally welcommed, and bounteously feasted.
Within some few dayes of his there being, conference passed betweene
them, concerning the rare beauty of the Lady; the Duke questioning the
Prince, whether shee was of such wonder, as fame had acquainted the
World withall? Whereto the Prince replied; Much more (noble Kinsman)
then can be spoken of, as your owne eyes shall witnesse, without
crediting any words of mine. The Prince solliciting the Duke thereto
very earnestly, they both went together to see her; and shee having
before heard of their comming, adorned her selfe the more majestically,
entertaining them with ceremonious demeanour (after her Countries
custome) which gave most gracious and unspeakable acceptation.

At the Princes affable motion, shee sate downe betweene them, their
delight being beyond expression, to behold her, but abridged of much
more felicity, because they understood not any part of her language:
so that they could have no other conference, but by lookes and outward
signes onely; and the more they beheld her, the more they marvelled at
her rare perfections, especially the Duke, who hardly credited that
shee was a mortall creature. Thus not perceiving, what deepe carowses
of amorous poyson, his eyes dranke downe by the meere sight of her, yet
thinking thereby onely to be satisfied; he lost both himselfe and his
best sences, growing in love (beyond all measure) with her. When the
Prince and he were parted from her, and hee was at his owne private
amorous meditations in his Chamber; he reputed the Prince far happier
then any man else whatsoever, by the enjoying of such a peerelesse

After many intricate and distracted cogitations, which molested his
braines incessantly, regarding more his loves wanton heate, then
reason, kindred, and honourable hospitality; he resolutely determined
(whatsoever ensued thereupon) to bereave the Prince of his faire
felicity, that none but himselfe might possesse such a treasure,
which he esteemed to be the height of all happinesse. His courage
being conformable to his bad intent, with all hast it must be put in
execution; so that equity, justice, and honesty, being quite abandoned,
nothing but subtill stratagems were now his meditations. On a day,
according to a fore compacted treachery, which he had ordered with a
Gentleman of the Princes Chamber, who was named _Churiacy_; he prepared
his horses to be in readinesse, and dispatched all his affaires else
for a sudden departure. The night following, he was secretly conveyed
by the said _Churiacy_, and a friend of his with him (being both
armed) into the Princes Chamber, where he (while the Lady was soundly
sleeping) stood at a gazing window towards the Sea, naked in his shirt,
to take the coole ayre, because the season was exceeding hot. Having
formerly enstructed his friend what was to be done, verie softly they
stept to the Prince, and running their weapons quite thorow his body,
immediately they threw him forth of the window.

Here you are to observe, that the Pallace was seated on the Sea shore,
and very high, and the window whereat the Prince then stood looking
foorth, was directly over divers houses, which the long continuance
of time, and incessant beating on by the surges of the Sea, had so
defaced and ruined them, as sildome they were visited by any person;
whereof the Duke having knowledge before, was the easier perswaded,
that the falling of the Princes body in so vaste a place, could neither
be heard, or descried by any. The Duke and his companion having thus
executed what they came for, proceeded yet in their cunning a little
further; casting a strangling coard about the necke of _Churiacy_,
seeming as if they hugged and embraced him: but drew it with so maine
strength, that he never spake one word after, and so threw him downe
after the Prince.

This done, and plainely perceiving that they were not heard or seene,
either by the Lady, or any other: the Duke tooke a light in his hand,
going on to the bed, where the Lady lay most sweetely sleeping; whom
the more he beheld, the more he admired and commended: but if in her
garments shee appeared so pleasing, what did shee now in a bed of
such state and Majesty? Being no way daunted by his so late committed
sinne, but swimming rather in surfet of joy, his hands all bloody,
and his soule much more uglie; he laide him downe on the bed by her,
bestowing infinite kisses and embraces on her, she supposing him to
be the Prince all this while, nor opening her eyes to be otherwise
resolved. But this was not the delight he aimed at, neither did he
thinke it safe for him, to delay time with any longer tarying there:
wherefore having his agents at hand fit and convenient for the purpose,
they surprized her in such sort, that she could not make any noise
or outcry, and carrying her thorough the same false posterne, whereat
themselves had entred, laying her in a Princely litter; away they went
with all possible speede, not tarrying in any place, untill they were
arrived neere _Athens_. But thither hee would not bring her, because
himselfe was a married man, but rather to a goodly Castle of his owne,
not distant farre off from the City; where he caused her to be kept
very secretly (to her no little greefe and sorrow) yet attended on and
served in most honourable manner.

The Gentlemen usually attending on the Prince, having waited all the
next morning till noone, in expectation of his rising, and hearing no
stirring in the Chamber: did thrust at the doore, which was but onely
closed together, & finding no body there, they presently imagined,
that he was privately gone to some other place, where (with the Lady,
whom he so deerely affected) hee might remaine some few dayes for
his more contentment, and so they relied verily perswaded. Within
some fewe dayes following, while no other doubt came in question, the
Princes Foole, entering by chance among the ruined houses, where lay
the dead bodies of the Prince and _Churiacy_: tooke hold of the corde
about _Churiacyes_ necke, and so went along dragging it after him. The
bodye being knowne to many, with no meane mervaile, how hee should bee
murthered in so vile manner: by giftes and faire perswasions they wonne
him, to bring them to the place where hee found it. And there (to the
no little greefe of all the Cittie) they found the Princes body also,
which they caused to bee interred with all the most majesticke pomp
that might bee.

Upon further inquisition, who should commit so horrid a deed,
perceyving likewise, that the Duke of _Athens_ was not to be found, but
was closely gone: they judged (according to the truth) that he had his
hand in this bloody businesse, and had carried away the Lady with him.
Immediately, they elected the Princes brother to bee their Lord and
Soveraigne, inciting him to revenge so horrid a wrong, and promising to
assist him with their utmost power. The new chosen Prince being assured
afterward, by other more apparant and remarkeable proofes, that his
people informed him with nothing but truth: sodainly, and according as
they had concluded, with the helpe of neighbours, kindred, and friends,
collected from divers places; he mustred a goodly and powerful army,
marching on towards _Athens_, to make war against the Duke.

No sooner heard he of this warlike preparation made against him, but he
likewise levied forces for his owne defence, and to his succour came
many great States: among whom, the Emperor of _Constantinople_ sent his
Sonne _Constantine_, attended on by his Nephew _Emanuell_, with troopes
of faire and towardly force, who were most honourably welcommed and
entertained by the Duke, but much more by the Dutchesse, because she
was their sister in law.

Military provision thus proceeding on daily more and more, the Dutches
making choise of a fit and convenient houre, took these two Princes
with her to a with-drawing Chamber; and there in flouds of teares
flowing from her eyes, wringing her hands, and sighing incessantly,
shee recounted the whole History, occasion of the warre, and how
dishonourably the Duke had dealt with her about this strange woman,
whom he purposed to keepe in despight of her, as thinking that she knew
nothing thereof, and complaining very earnestly unto them, entreated
that for the Dukes honour, and her comfort, they would give their best
assistance in this case.

The two young Lords knew all this matter, before shee thus reported
it to them; and therefore, without staying to listen her any longer,
but comforting her so wel as they could, with promise of their best
employed paines: being informed by her, in what place the Lady was
so closely kept, they tooke their leave, and parted from her. Often
they had heard the Lady much commended, and her incomparable beauty
highly extolled, yea, even by the Duke himselfe; which made them the
more desirous to see her: wherefore earnestly they solicited him, to
let them have a sight of her, and he (forgetting what happened to the
Prince, by shewing her so unadvisedly to him) made them promise to
grant their request. Causing a magnificent dinner to be prepared, & in
a goodly garden, at the Castle where the Lady was kept: on the morrow
morning, attended on by a small train, away they rode to dine with her.

_Constantine_ being seated at the Table, he began (as one confounded
with admiration) to observe her judiciously, affirming secretly to his
soule that he had never seene so compleat a woman before; and allowing
it for justice, that the Duke, or any other whosoever, if (to enjoy
so rare a beauty) they had committed treason, or any mischiefe else
beside, yet in reason they ought to be held excused. Nor did he bestow
so many lookes upon her, but his prayses infinitely surpassed them,
as thinking that he could not sufficiently commend her, following the
Duke step by step in affection: for being now growne amorous of her,
and remembrance of the intended warre utterly abandoned; no other
thoughts could come neerer him, but how to bereave the Duke of her, yet
concealing his love, and not imparting it to any one.

While his fancies were thus amorously set on fire, the time came, that
they must make head against the Prince, who already was marching within
the Dukes Dominions: wherefore the Duke _Constantine_ and all the rest,
according to a counsell held among them, went to defend certaine of the
frontiers, to the end that the Prince might passe no further. Remaining
there divers dayes together, _Constantine_, who could thinke on nothing
else, but the beautifull Lady, considered with himselfe, that while the
Duke was now so far off from her, it was an easie matter to compasse
his intent: hereupon, the better to colour his present returne to
_Athens_, he seemed to be surprized with a sudden extreame sicknesse,
in regard whereof (by the Dukes free lisence, and leaving all his power
to his Cousen _Emanuel_) forthwith he journeyed backe to _Athens_.
After some conference had with his sister, concerning her dishonourable
wrongs endured at his hands only by the Lady: he solemnly protested,
that if shee were so pleased, he would aide her powerfully in the
matter, by taking her from the place where she was, and never more
afterward, to be seene in that Countrey any more.

The Dutchesse being faithfully perswaded, that he would doe this
onely for her sake, and not in any affection he bare to the Lady,
made answer that it highly pleased her; alwayes provided, that it
might be performed in such sort, as the Duke her Husband should
never understand, that ever shee gave any consent thereto, which
_Constantine_ sware unto her by many deep oathes, whereby she referred
all to his owne disposition. _Constantine_ hereupon secretly prepared
in readinesse a subtill Barke, sending it (in an evening) neere to the
garden where the Lady resorted; having first informed the people which
were in it, fully in the businesse that was to be done. Afterward,
accompanied with some other of his attendants, hee went to the Palace
to the Lady, where he was gladly entertained, not only by such as
waited on her, but also by the Lady her selfe.

Leading her along by the arme towards the Garden, attended on by two of
her servants, and two of his owne, seeming as if he was sent from the
Duke, to conferre with her: they walked alone to a Port opening on the
Sea, which standing ready open, upon a signe given by him to one of his
complices, the Barke was brought close to the shore, and the Lady being
suddenly seized on, was immediately conveyed into it; and he returning
backe to her people, with his sword drawne in his hand, saide: Let no
man stirre, or speake a word, except he be willing to loose his life:
for I intend not to rob the Duke of his faire friend, but to expel the
shame and dishonour which he hath offered to my Sister, no one being
so hardy as to returne him any answer. Aboard went _Constantine_ with
his consorts, and sitting neer to the Lady, who wrung her hands, and
wept bitterly; he commanded the Marriners to launch forth, flying away
on the wings of the wind, till about the breake of day following, they
arrived at _Melasso_. There they tooke landing, and reposed on shore
for some few dayes, _Constantine_ labouring to comfort the Lady, even
as if shee had been his owne Sister, shee having good cause to curse
her infortunate beauty.

Going aboard the Barke againe, within few dayes they came to _Setalia_,
and there fearing the reprehension of his Father, and least the Ladie
should be taken from him; it pleased _Constantine_ to make his stay,
as in a place of no meane security. And (as before) after much kinde
behaviour used towards the Lady, without any meanes in her selfe to
redresse the least of all these great extremities: shee became more
milde and affable, for discontentment did not a jot quaile her.

While occurrences passed on in this manner, it fortuned, that _Osbech_
the King of _Turky_ (who was in continuall war with the Emperour)
came by accident to _Laiazzo_: and hearing there how lasciviously
_Constantine_ spent his time in _Setalia_, with a Lady which he
had stolne, being but weake and slenderly guarded; in the night
with certaine well provided ships, his men & he entred the Towne, &
surprized many people in their beds, before they knew of their enemies
comming, killing such as stood upon their defence against them, (among
whom was _Constantine_) and burning the whole Towne, brought their
booty and prisoners aboard their ships, wherewith they returned backe
to _Laiazzo_. Being thus come to _Laiazzo, Osbech_, who was a brave and
gallant young man, upon a review of the pillage; found the faire Lady,
whom hee knew to be the beloved of _Constantine_, because shee was
found lying on his bed. Without any further delay, he made choyse of
her to be his Wife; causing his nuptials to be honourably sollemnized,
and many moneths hee lived there in great joy with her.

But before occasions grew to this effect, the Emperour made a
confederacy with _Bassano_, King of _Cappadocia_, that hee should
descend with his forces; one way upon _Osbech_, and hee would assault
him with his power on the other. But he could not so conveniently bring
this to passe, because the Emperour would not yeeld to _Bassano_, in
any unreasonable matter he demanded. Neverthelesse, when he understood
what had happened to his Son (for whom his griefe was beyond all
measure) he granted the King of _Cappadociaes_ request, solliciting
him with all instancy, to be the more speedy in assailing _Osbech_.
It was not long, before hee heard of this conjuration made against
him; and therefore speedily mustered up all his forces, ere he would
be encompassed by two such potent Kings, and marched on to meete the
King of _Cappadocia_, leaving his Lady and Wife, (for her safety) at
_Laiazzo_, in the custodie of a true and loyall servant of his.

Within a short while after, he drew neere the Campe belonging to the
King of _Cappadocia_, where boldly he gave him battell; chancing
therein to be slaine, his Army broken and discomfited, by meanes
whereof the King of _Cappadocia_ remaining Conquerour, marched on
towards _Laiazzo_, every one yeelding him obeysance all the way as
he went. In the meane space, the servant to _Osbech_, who was named
_Antiochus_, and with whom the faire Lady was left in guard; although
hee was aged, yet seeing shee was so extraordinarily beautifull, he
fell in love with her, forgetting the sollemne vowes he had made to
his Master. One happinesse hee had in this case to helpe him, namely,
that he understood and could speake her language, a matter of no meane
comfort to her; who constrainedly had lived divers yeeres together,
in the state of a deafe or dumbe woman, because every where else they
understood her not, nor shee them, but by shewes and signes.

This benefit of familiar conference, beganne to embolden his hopes,
elevate his courage, and make him seeme more youthfull in his owne
opinion, then any ability of body could speake unto him, or promise him
in the possession of her, who was so farre beyond him, and so unequall
to be enjoyed by him; yet to advance his hopes a great deale higher,
newes came, that _Osbech_ was vanquished and slaine, and that _Bassano_
made everie where havocke of all: whereon they concluded together, not
to tarrie there any longer, but storing themselves with the goods of
_Osbech_, secretly they departed thence to _Rhodes_. Being seated there
in some indifferent abiding, it came to passe, that _Antiochus_ fell
into a deadly sicknesse, to whom came a _Cyprian_ Merchant, one much
esteemed by him, as being an intimate friend and kinde acquaintance,
and in whom hee reposed no small confidence. Feeling his sicknesse
to encrease more and more upon him dayly, hee determined, not onely
to leave such wealth as hee had to this Merchant, but the faire Lady
likewise; and calling them both to his beds side, he brake his minde
unto them in this manner.

Deare Love, and my most worthily respected friend, I perceive plainly
and infallibly, that I am drawing neere unto my end, which much
discontenteth me; because my hope was, to have lived longer in this
world, for the enjoying of your kinde and most esteemed company. Yet
one thing maketh my death very pleasing and welcome to me, namely,
that lying thus in my bed of latest comfort in this life: I shall
expire and finish my course, in the armes of those two persons, whom
I most affected in all this world, as you my ever dearest friend, and
you faire Lady, whom (since the very first sight of you) I loved and
honoured in my soule. Irksome and very grievous it is to me, that (if I
dye) I shall leave you here a stranger, without the counsaile and helpe
of any body: and yet much more offensive would it become, if I had not
such a friend as you here present, who I am faithfully perswaded, will
have the like care and respect of her (even for my sake) as of myselfe,
if time had allotted my longer tarying here. And therefore (worthy
friend) most earnestly I desire you, that if I dye, all mine affaires
and she may remaine to your trusty care, as being (by my selfe)
absolutely commended to your providence, and so to dispose both of the
one and other, as may best agree with the comfort of my soule. As for
you (choise beauty) I humbly entreate, that after my death you would
not forget mee, to the end, I may make my vaunt in another world, that
I was affected here, by the onely fairest Lady that ever Nature framed.
If of these two things you will give me assurance; I shall depart from
you with no meane comfort.

The friendly Merchant, and likewise the Lady, hearing these words,
wept both bitterly, and after hee had given over speaking: kindly
they comforted him, with promise and solemne vowes, that if hee dyed,
all should be performed which he had requested. Within a short while
after, he departed out of this life, and they gave him very honourable
buriall, according to that Country custome. Which being done, the
Merchant dispatching all his affaires at _Rhodes_, was desirous to
returne home to _Cyprus_, in a Carrack of the Catelans then there
being: moving the Lady in the matter, to understand how shee stood
enclined, because urgent occasions called him thence to _Cyprus_. The
Lady made answere, that she was willing to passe thither with him,
hoping for the love hee bare to deceased _Antiochus_, that he would
respect her as his Sister. The Merchant was willing to give her any
contentment, but yet resolved her, that under the title of being his
Sister, it would be no warrant of security to them both; wherefore
hee rather advised her, to stile him as her husband, and hee would
terme her his wife, and so hee should be sure to defend her from all
injuries whatsoever.

Being abord the Carrack, they had a Cabine and small bed conveniently
allowed them, where they slept together, that they might the better
be reputed as man and wife; for, to passe otherwise, would have beene
very dangerous to them both. And questionlesse, their faithfull promise
made at _Rhodes_ to _Antiochus_, sicknesse on the Sea, and mutuall
respect they had of each others credit, was a constant restraint to all
wanton desires, and a motive rather to incite chastity, then otherwise,
and so (I hope) you are perswaded of them. But howsoever, the windes
blewe merrily, the Carrack sayled lustily, and (by this time) they are
arrived at _Baffa_, where the _Cyprian_ Merchant dwelt, and where shee
continued a long while with him, no one knowing otherwise, but that
shee was his wife indeede.

Now it fortuned, that there arrived also at the same _Baffa_ (about
some especiall occasions of his) a Gentleman, whose name was
_Antigonus_, well stept into yeares, and better stored with wisedome
then wealth: because by medling in many matters, while hee followed the
service of the King of _Cyprus_, Fortune had beene very adverse to him.
This ancient Gentleman, passing (on a day) by the house where the Lady
lay, and the Merchant being gone about his businesse into _Armenia_:
hee chanced to see the Lady at a window of the house, and because shee
was very beautifull, he observed her the more advisedly, recollecting
his sences together, that doubtlesse he had seene her before, but in
what place hee could not remember. The Lady her selfe likewise, who
had so long time beene Fortunes tennis ball, and the terme of her
many miseries drawing now neere ending: began to conceive (upon the
very first sight of _Antigonus_) that she had formerly seene him in
_Alexandria_, serving her Father in place of great degree. Hereupon,
a suddaine hope perswaded her, that by the advice and furtherance of
this Gentleman, she should recover her wonted Royall condition: and
opportunity now aptly fitting her, by the absence of her pretended
Merchant husband, she sent for him, requesting to have a few words with

When he was come into the house, she bashfully demanded of him, if he
was not named _Antigonus_ of _Famagosta_, because shee knew one (like
him) so called? Hee answered, that he was so named, saying moreover:
Madame, me thinkes that I should know you, but I cannot remember
where I have seene you, wherefore I would entreate (if it might stand
with your good liking) that my memory might be quickned with better
knowledge of you. The Lady perceiving him to be the man indeede,
weeping incessantly, she threw her armes about his necke, and soone
after asked _Antigonus_ (who stood as one confounded with mervaile) if
hee had never seene her in _Alexandria_? Upon these words, _Antigonus_
knew her immediatly to be _Alathiella_, daughter to the great Soldane,
who was supposed (long since) to be drowned in the Sea: and offering
to doe her such reverence as became him, she would not permit him, but
desired, that he would be assistant to her, and willed him also to sit
downe a while by her.

A goodly Chaire being brought him, in very humble manner he demanded of
her, what had become of her in so long a time: because it was verily
beleeved throughout all Egypt, that shee was drowned in the Sea. I
would it had bin so, answered the Lady, rather then to leade such a
life as I have done; and I thinke my Father himselfe would wish it so,
if ever he should come to the knowledge thereof. With these words the
teares rained downe her faire cheekes: wherefore _Antigonus_ thus spake
unto her. Madame, discomfort not your selfe before you have occasion,
but (if you be so pleased) relate your passed accidents to mee, and
what the course of your life hath bene: perhaps, I shall give you such
friendly advice as may stand you in sted, and no way be injurious to

Fetching a sigh, even as if her heart would have split in sunder,
thus she replyed. Ah _Antigonus_, me thinkes when I looke on thee, I
seeme to behold my royall Father, and therefore mooved with the like
religious zeale and charitable love, as (in duty) I owe unto him: I
will make knowne to thee, what I rather ought to conceale, and hide
from any person living. I know thee to bee honourable, discreete, and
truely wise, though I am a fraile, simple, and weake woman, therefore
I dare discover to thee, rather then any other that I know, by what
straunge and unexpected misfortunes, I have lived so long obscurely in
the world. And if in thy great and grave judgement (after the hearing
of my many miseries) thou canst any way restore me to my former estate,
I pray thee do it: but if thou perceive it impossible to bee done, as
earnestly likewise I entreate thee, never to reveale to any living
person, that either thou hast seene me, or heard any speech of me.
After these words, the teares still streaming from her faire eyes,
shee recounted the whole passage of her rare mishaps, even from her
shipwracke in the Sea of _Majorica_, until that very instant houre;
speaking them in such harsh manner as they hapned, and not sparing any
jot of them.

_Antigonus_ being mooved to much compassion, declared how hee pitied
her by his teares, and having bene silent an indifferent while, as
considering in this case, what was best to be done, thus he began.
Madam, seeing you have past through such a multitude of misfortunes,
yet undiscovered, what and who you are: I will render you as blamelesse
to your Father, and estate you as fairely in his love, as at the hour
when you parted from him, and afterward make you wife to the King of
_Cholcos_. She demanding of him, by what meanes possibly this could
be accomplished: breefely he made it knowne to her, how, and in what
manner hee would performe it.

To cut off further tedious circumstances, forthwith he returned to
_Famagosta_, and going before the King of the country, thus he spake
to him. Sir, you may (if so you will be pleased) in an instant, do me
an exceeding honour, who have bene impoverished by your service, and
also a deed of great renowne to your selfe, without any much matter of
expence and cost. The King demanding how? _Antigonus_ thus answered.
The fayre daughter of the Soldane, so generally reported to be drowned,
is arrived at _Baffa_, and to preserve her honour from blemishing,
hath suffered many crosses and calamities: being at this instant in
very poore estate, yet desirous to re-visite her father. If you please
to send her home under my conduct, it will be great honour to you, and
no meane benefite to mee; which kindnesse will for ever be thankfully
remembred by the Soldan.

The King in royall magnificence, replied sodainly, that he was highly
pleased with these good tydings; & having sent honourably for her from
_Baffa_, with great pompe she was conducted to _Famagosta_, and there
most graciously welcommed both by the King and Queene, with solemne
triumphes, bankets, and revelling, performed in most Majesticke manner.
Being questioned by the King and Queene, concerning so large a time of
strange misfortunes: according as _Antigonus_ had formerly enstructed
her, so did she shape the forme of her answers, and satisfied (with
honour) all their demands. So, within few dayes after, upon her earnest
& instant request, with an honourable traine of Lords and Ladies, shee
was sent thence, and conducted all the way by _Antigonus_, untill she
came unto the Soldans Court.

After some few dayes of her reposing there, the Soldan was desirous
to understand, how she could possibly live so long, in any Kingdome
or Province whatsoever, and yet no knowledge to bee taken of her? The
Lady, who perfectly retained by heart, and had all her lessons at her
fingers ends, by the warie instructions which _Antigonus_ had given
her, answered her father in this manner. Sir, about the twentith day
after my departure from you, a verie terrible and dreadfull tempest
over-tooke us, so that in dead time of the night, our ship being split
in sunder upon the sands, neere to a place called _Varna_; what became
of all the men that were aboord, I neither know, or ever heard of.
Onely I remember, then when death appeared, and I being recovered from
death to life, certaine pezants of the countrey, comming to get what
they could finde in the ship so wrackt, I was first (with two of my
women) brought and set safely on the shore.

No sooner were we there, but certaine rude shagge-haird villaines set
upon us, carrying away from me both my women, then haling me along by
the haire of my head, neither teares or intercessions could draw any
pitty from them. As thus they dragd me into a spacious Woodd, foure
horsemen on a sodaine came riding by, who seeing how dishonourably the
villaines used me, rescued me from them, and forced them to flight. But
the foure horsemen, seeming (in my judgement) to bee persons of power
and authority, letting them go, came to mee, urging sundry questions
to me, which neither I understood, or they mine answers. After many
deliberations held among themselves, setting me upon one of their
horses, they brought me to a Monastery of religious women, according
to the custome of their law: and there, whatsoever they did or sayde,
I know not, but I was most benignely welcommed thither, and honoured
of them extraordinarily, where (with them in devotion) I dedicated
my selfe to the Goddesse of chastity, who is highly reverenced and
regarded among the women of that Countrey, and to her religious
service, they are wholly addicted.

After I had continued some time among them, and learned a little of
their language; they asked me, of whence, and what I was. Reason gave
me so much understanding, to be fearfull of telling them the trueth,
for feare of expulsion from among them, as an enemy to their Law and
Religion: wherefore I answered (according as necessity urged) that I
was daughter to a Gentleman of _Cyprus_, who sent me to bee married in
_Candie_; but our fortunes (meaning such as had the charge of mee) fell
out quite contrary to our expectation, by losses, Shipwracke, and other
mischances; adding many matters more beside, onely in regard of feare,
& yeelding obediently to observe their customes.

At length, she that was in cheefest preheminence among these Women
(whom they termed by the name of their Lady Abbesse) demaunded of
me, whither I was willing to abide in that condition of life, or to
returne home againe into _Cyprus_. I answerd, that I desired nothing
more. But she, being very carefull of mine honour, would never repose
confidence in any that came for _Cyprus_; till two honest Gentlemen
of _France_, who hapned thither about two moneths since, accompanied
with their wives, one of them being a neere kinswoman to the Lady
Abbesse. And she well knowing, that they travelled in pilgrimage to
_Jerusalem_, to visit the holy Sepulcher, where (as they beleeve) that
he whom they held for their God was buried, after the Jewes had put him
to death: recommended me to their loving trust, with especial charge,
for delivering me to my Father in _Cyprus_. What honourable love and
respect I found in the company of those Gentlemen and their wives,
during our voyage backe to _Cyprus_: the history would be over-tedious
in reporting, neither is it much material to our purpose, because your
demand is to another end.

Sayling on prosperously in our Ship, it was not long, before wee
arrived at _Baffa_, where being landed, and not knowing any person,
neither what I should say to the Gentlemen, who onely were carefull
for delivering me to my Father, according as they were charged by the
reverend Abbesse: it was the will of heaven doubtlesse (in pitty and
compassion of my passed disasters) that I was no sooner come on shore
at _Baffa_: but I should there haply meete with _Antigonus_, whome I
called unto in our countrey Language, because I would not be understood
by the Gentlemen nor their wives, requesting him to acknowledge me as
his Daughter. Quickly he apprehended mine intention, accomplishing
what I requested, and (according to his poore power) most bounteously
feasted the Gentlemen and their wives, conducting me to the K. of
_Cyprus_, who received me royally, and sent me home to you with so
much honour, as I am no way able to relate. What else remaineth to be
said, _Antigonus_ who hath oft heard the whole story of my fortunes, at
better leisure will report.

_Antigonus_ then turning to the Soldan, said: My Lord, as shee hath
often told me, and by relation both of the Gentlemen and their wives,
she hath delivered nothing but trueth. Onely shee hath forgotten
somewhat worth the speaking, as thinking it not fit for her to utter,
because (indeede) it is not so convenient for her. Namely, how much
the Gentlemen and their wives (with whom she came) commended the rare
honesty and integrity of life, as also the unspotted vertue, wherein
she lived, among those chaste Religious women, as they constantly (both
with teares and solemne protestations) avouched to me, when kindly
they resigned their charge to mee. Of all which matters, and many more
beside, if I should make discourse to your Excellencie; this whole
day, the night ensuing, and the next dayes full extendure, are not
sufficient to acquaint you withall. Let it suffice then, that I have
said so much, as (both by the reports, and mine owne understanding) may
give you faithfull assurance, to make your Royall vaunt; of having the
fayrest, most vertuous, and honest Lady to your Daughter, of any King
or Prince whatsoever.

The Soldane was joyfull beyond all measure, welcomming both him and
the rest in most stately manner, oftentimes entreating the Gods very
heartily, that he might live to requite them with equall recompence,
who had so graciously honoured his daughter: but (above all the rest)
the King of _Cyprus_, who sent her home so majestically. And having
bestowne great gifts on _Antigonus_, within a few dayes after, hee gave
him leave to returne to _Cyprus_: with thankfull favours to the King
as well by Letters, as also by Ambassadours espresly sent, both from
himselfe and his daughter.

When as this businesse was fully finished, the Soldane, desiring to
accomplish what formerly was intended and begun, namely, that shee
might be wife to the King of _Cholcos_: he gave him intelligence of
all that had happened, writing moreover to him, that (if he were so
pleased) hee would yet send her in Royall manner to him. The King of
_Cholcos_ was exceeding joyfull of these glad tydings, and dispatching
a worthy trayne to fetch her, she was convayed thither very pompously,
and she who had beene embraced by so many, was received by him as
an honest virgine, living long time after with him in much joy and
felicity. And therefore, it hath beene said as a common Proverbe: The
mouth well kist comes not short of good fortune, but is still renewed
like the Moone.

_The Count_ D'Angiers _being falsly accused, was banished out of_
France, _& left his two children in_ England _in divers places.
Returning afterward (unknowne) thorow_ Scotland, _hee found them
advanced unto great dignity. Then, repayring in the habite of a
Servitour, into the King of_ France _his Armie, and his innocencie made
publiquely knowne; hee was reseated in his former honourable degree._

The eight Novell.

_Whereby all men may plainely understand, that loyalty faithfully kept
to the Prince (what perils so ever doe ensue) doth yet neverthelesse
renowne a man, and bring him to farre greater honour._

The Ladies sighed very often, hearing the variety of wofull miseries
happening to _Alathiella_: but who knoweth, what occasion moved them
to those sighes? Perhaps there were some among them, who rather
sighed they could not be so often married as she was, rather then for
any other compassion they had of her disasters. But leaving that to
their owne construction, they smiled merrily at the last speeches of
_Pamphilus_, and the Queene perceiving the Novell to be ended: shee
fixed her eye upon Madame _Eliza_, as signifying thereby, that she
was next to succeede in order, which shee joyfully embracing, spake
as followeth. The field is very large and spacious, wherein all this
day we have walked, and there is not any one here, so wearied with
running the former races, but nimbly would adventure on as many more,
so copious are the alterations of Fortune, in sad repetition of her
wonderfull changes; and among the infinity of her various courses, I
must make addition of another, which I trust will no way discontent

When the Romaine Empire was translated from the French to the Germains,
mighty dissentions grew between both the nations, insomuch that it
drew a dismall and a lingring warre. In which respect, as well for the
safety of his owne Kingdome, as to annoy and disturbe his enemies; the
King of _France_ and one of his sonnes, having congregated the forces
of their owne dominions, as also of their friends and confederates,
they resolved manfully to encounter their enemies. But before they
would adventure on any rash proceeding; they held it as the chiefest
part of pollicie and Royall providence, not to leave the State
without a chiefe or Governour. And having had good experience of
_Gualtier_, Counte _D'Angiers_, to be a wise, worthy, and most trusty
Lord, singularly expert in militarie discipline, and faithfull in
all affaires of the Kingdome (yet fitter for ease and pleasure, then
laborious toyle and travaile:) hee was elected Lieutenant Governour in
their sted, over the whole Kingdome of _France_, and then they went on
in their enterprize.

Now began the Counte to execute the office committed to his trust, by
orderly proceeding, and with great discretion, yet not entring into
any businesse, without consent of the Queene and her faire daughter
in law: who although they were left under his care and custodie, yet
(notwithstanding) he honoured them as his superiours, and as the
dignity of their quality required. Heere you are to observe, concerning
Counte _Gualtier_ himselfe, that he was a most compleat person, aged
little above forty yeares; as affable and singularly conditioned,
as any Noble man possibly could be, nor did those times afford a
Gentleman, that equalled him in all respects. It fortuned, that the
King and his sonne being busie in the afore-named warre, the wife and
Lady of Counte _Gualtier_ died in the meane while, leaving him onely
a sonne and a daughter, very young and of tender yeares, which made
his owne home the lesse welcome to him, having lost his deare Love and
second selfe.

Hereupon, hee resorted to the Court of the said Ladies the more
frequently, often conferring with them, about the waighty affaires of
the Kingdome: in which time of so serious interparlance, the Kings
Sonnes wife, threw many affectionate regards upon him, convaying such
conspiring passions to her heart (in regard of his person and vertues)
that her love exceeded all capacity of governement. Her desires
out-stepping all compasse of modesty, or the dignity of her Princely
condition; throwes off all regard of civill and sober thoughts, and
guides her into a Labyrinth of wanton imaginations. For, she regards
not now the eminencie of his high authority, his gravity of yeares, and
those parts that are the true conducts to honour: but lookes upon her
owne loose and lascivious appetite, her young, gallant, and over-ready
yeelding nature, comparing them with his want of a wife, and likely
hope (thereby) of her sooner prevailing; supposing, that nothing
could be her hinderance, but onely bashfull shame-facednesse, which
she rather chose utterly to forsake and set aside, then to faile of
her hote enflamed affection, and therefore, shee would needes be the
discoverer of her owne disgrace.

Upon a day, being alone by her selfe, and the time seeming suteable to
her intention: shee sent for the Counte, under colour of some other
important conference with him. The Counte _D'Angiers_, whose thoughts
were quite contrary to hers: immediately went to her, where they both
sitting downe together on a beds side in her Chamber, according as
formerly shee had plotted her purpose; twice hee demaunded of her,
upon what occasion she had thus sent for him. She sitting a long while
silent, as if she had no answere to make him: pressed by the violence
of her amorous passions, a vermillion tincture leaping up into her
face, yet shame enforcing teares from her eyes, with words broken and
halfe confused, at last she began to deliver her minde in this manner.

Honourable Lord, and my dearely respected friend, being so wise a man
as you are, it is no difficult matter for you to know, what a fraile
condition is imposed both on men and women; yet (for divers occasions)
much more upon the one, then the other. Wherefore desertfully, in the
censure of a just and upright Judge, a fault of divers conditions
(in respect of the person) ought not to be censured with one and the
same punishment. Beside, who will not say, that a man or woman of
poore and meane estate, having no other helpe for maintainance, but
laborious travaile of their bodies should worthily receive more sharpe
reprehension, in yeelding to amorous desires, or such passions as
are incited by love; then a wealthy Lady whose living relieth not on
her paines or cares, neither wanteth any thing that she can wish to
have: I dare presume, that you your selfe will allow this to be equall
and just. In which respect, I am of the minde, that the fore-named
allegations, ought to serve as a sufficient excuse, yea, and to the
advantage of her who is so possessed, if the passions of love should
over-reach her: alwayes provided, that shee can pleade (in her owne
defence) the choise of a wise and vertuous friend, answerable to her
owne condition and quality, and no way to be taxed with a servile or
vile election.

These two especiall observations, allowable in my judgement, and living
now in me, seazing on my youthfull blood and yeares: have found no
mean inducement to love, in regard of my husbands far distance from
me, medling in the rude uncivill actions of warre, when he should
rather be at home in more sweet imployment. You see Sir, that these
Orators advance themselves here in your presence, to acquaint you
with the extremity of my over-commanding agony: and if the same power
hath dominion in you, which your discretion (questionlesse) cannot be
voide of; then let me entreate such advise from you, as may rather
helpe, then hinder my hopes. Beleeve it then for trueth Sir, that the
long absence of my husband from me, the solitary condition wherein I
am left, ill agreeing with the hot blood running in my veines, & the
temper of my earnest desires: have so prevailed against my strongest
resistances, that not onely so weake a woman as I am, but any man of
much more potent might (living in ease and idlenesse as I doe) cannot
withstand such continuall assaults, having no other helpe then flesh
and blood.

Nor am I so ignorant, but publique knowledge of such an error in me,
would be reputed a shrewd taxation of honesty: whereas (on the other
side) secret carriage, and heedfull managing such amorous affaires,
may passe for currant without any reproach. And let me tell you Noble
Counte, that I repute Love highly favourable to mee, by guiding my
judgement with such moderation, to make election of a wise, worthy, and
honourable friend, fit to enjoy the grace of a farre greater Lady then
I am, and the first letter of his name, is the Count _D'Angiers_. For
if error have not misled mine eye, as in Love no Lady can be easily
deceived: for person, perfections, and all parts most to be commended
in a man, the whole Realme of _France_ containeth not your equall.
Observe beside, how forward Fortune sheweth her selfe to us both in
this case, you to be destitute of a wife, as I am of an husband; for I
count him as dead to me, when he denies me the duties belonging to a
wife. Wherefore, in regard of the unfaigned affection I beare you, and
compassion, which you ought to have of Royall Princesse, even almost
sicke to death for your sake: I earnestly entreate you, not to denie me
your loving society, but pittying my youth and fiery afflictions (never
to be quenched but by your kindnesse) I may enjoy my hearts desire.

As shee uttered these words, the teares streamed aboundantly downe
her faire cheekes, preventing her of any further speech: so that
dejecting her head into her bosome, overcome with the predominance of
her passions; shee fell upon the Countes knee, whereas else shee had
falne upon the ground. When hee, like a loyall and most honourable
man, sharply reprehended her fonde and idle love, and when shee would
have embraced him about the necke; hee repulsed her roughly from him,
protesting upon his honourable reputation, that rather then hee would
so wrong his Lord and Maister, he would endure a thousand deathes.

The Lady seeing her desire disappointed, and her fond expectation
utterly frustrated: grewe instantly forgetfull of her intemperate
love, and falling into extremity of rage, converted her former gentle
speeches, into this harsh and ruder language. Villaine (quoth shee)
shall the longing comforts of my life, be abridged by thy base and
scornefull deniall? Shall my destruction bee wrought by thy currish
unkindnesse, and all my hoped joyes be defeated in a moment? Know
slave, that I did not so earnestly desire thy sweet embracements
before, but now as deadly I hate and despise them, which either thy
death or banishment shall dearely pay for. No sooner had shee thus
spoken, but tearing her haire, and renting her garments in pieces, shee
ranne about like a distracted woman, crying out aloude: Helpe, helpe,
the Count _D'Angiers_ will forcibly dishonour mee, the lustfull Count
will violence mine honour.

_D'Angiers_ seeing this, and fearing more the malice of the
over-credulous Court, then either his owne conscience, or any
dishonourable act by him committed, beleeving likewise, that her
slanderous accusation would bee credited, above his true and spotlesse
innocency: closely he conveyed himselfe out of the Court, making what
hast hee could, home to his owne house, which being too weake for
warranting his safety upon such pursuite as would be used against him,
without any further advice or counsell, he seated his two children on
horsebacke, himselfe also being but meanly mounted, thus away thence
hee went to _Calice_.

Upon the clamour and noise of the Lady, the Courtiers quickly flocked
thither; and, as lies soone winne beleefe in hasty opinions, upon any
silly or shallow surmise: so did her accusation passe for currant, and
the Counts advancement being envied by many, made his honest carriage
(in this case) the more suspected. In hast and madding fury, they ran
to the Counts houses, to arrest his person, and carry him to prison:
but when they could not finde him, they raced his goodly buildings
downe to the ground, and used all shamefull violence to them. Now, as
il newes sildome wants a speedy Messenger; so, in lesse space then you
will imagine, the King and Dolphin heard thereof in the Camp, and were
therewith so highly offended, that the Count had a sodaine and severe
condemnation, all his progeny being sentenced with perpetuall exile,
and promises of great and bountifull rewards, to such as could bring
his body alive or dead.

Thus the innocent Count, by his over-hasty and sodaine flight, made
himselfe guilty of this foule imputation: and arriving at _Callice_
with his children, their poore and homely habites, hid them from being
knowne, and thence they crossed over into England, staying no where
untill hee came to London. Before he would enter into the City, he
gave divers good advertisements to his children, but especially two
precepts above all the rest. First, with patient soules to support the
poore condition, whereto Fortune (without any offence in him or them)
had thus dejected them. Next, that they should have most heedfull care,
at no time to disclose from whence they came, or whose children they
were, because it extended to the perill of their lives. His Sonne,
being named _Lewes_, and now about nine yeares old, his daughter called
_Violenta_, and aged seaven yeares, did both observe their fathers
direction, as afterward it did sufficiently appeare. And because
they might live in the safer securitie, hee thought it for the best
to change their names, calling his sonne _Perotto_, and his daughter
_Gianetta_, for thus they might best escape unknowne.

Being entred into the City, and in the poore estate of beggers, they
craved every bodies mercy and almes. It came to passe, that standing
one morning at the Cathedral Church-doore, a great Lady of England,
being then wife to the Lord high Marshall, comming forth of the Church,
espied the Count and his children there begging. Of him she demanded
what Countrey-man he was? and whether those children were his owne,
or no? The Count replyed, that he was borne in _Picardy_, and for
an unhappy fact committed by his eldest sonne (a stripling of more
hopefull expectation, then proved) hee was enforced, with those his
two other children to forsake his country. The Lady being by nature
very pittiful, looking advisedly on the yong Girle, beganne to grow
in good liking of her; because (indeede) she was amiable, gentle, and
beautifull, whereupon shee saide. Honest man, thy daughter hath a
pleasing countenance, and (perhaps) her inward disposition may proove
answerable to hir outward goods parts: if therefore thou canst bee
content to leave her with me, I will give her entertainment, and upon
her dutifull carriage and behaviour, if she live to such yeares as may
require it, I will have her honestly bestowne in marriage. This motion
was verie pleasing to the Count, who readily declared his willing
consent thereto, and with the teares trickling downe his cheekes, in
thankfull manner he delivered his prettie daughter to the Lady.

Shee being thus happily bestowne, hee minded to tarry no longer in
_London_; but, in his wonted begging manner, travailing thorough the
Country with his sonne _Perotto_, at length hee came into _Wales_: but
not without much weary paine and travell, being never used before,
to journey so far on foote. There dwelt another Lord, in office of
Marshalship to the King of _England_, whose power extended over
those partes; a man of very great authority, keeping a most noble
and bountifull house, which they termed the _President of Wales his
Court_; whereto the Count and his son oftentimes resorted, as finding
there good releefe and comfort. On a day, one of the Presidents sons,
accompanied with divers other Gentlemens children, were performing
certaine youthfull sports & pastimes, as running, leaping, and such
like, wherein _Perotto_ presumed to make one among them, excelling all
the rest in such commendable manner, as none of them came any thing
nere him. Divers times the President had taken notice thereof, and was
so well pleased with the Lads behaviour, that he enquired, of whence
he was? Answer was made, that hee was a poore mans son, that every day
came for an almes to his gate.

The President being desirous to make the boy his, the Count (whose
dayly prayers were to the same purpose) frankly gave his son to
the Nobleman: albeit naturall and fatherly affection, urged some
unwillingnesse to part so with him; yet necessity and discretion, found
it to bee for the benefit of them both. Being thus eased of care for
his son and daughter, and they (though in different places) yet under
good and woorthie government: the Count would continue no longer in
_England_: but, as best he could procure the meanes, passed over into
_Ireland_, and being arrived at a place called _Stanford_, became
servant to an Earle of that Country, a Gentleman professing Armes, on
whom he attended as a serving man, & lived a long while in that estate
very painfully.

His daughter _Violenta_, clouded under the borrowed name of _Gianetta_,
dwelling with the Lady at _London_, grew so in yeares, beauty,
comelinesse of person, and was so gracefull in the favour of her Lord
and Lady, yea, of every one in the house beside, that it was wonderfull
to behold. Such as but observed her usuall carriage, and what modesty
shined clearely in her eyes, reputed her well worthy of honourable
preferment; in which regard, the Lady that had received her of her
Father, not knowing of whence, or what shee was; but as himselfe had
made report, intended to match her in honourable mariage, according
as her vertues worthily deserved. But God, the just rewarder of all
good endeavours, knowing her to be noble by birth, and (causelesse) to
suffer for the sinnes of another; disposed otherwise of her, and that
so worthy a Virgin might be no mate for a man of ill conditions, no
doubt ordained what was to be done, according to his owne good pleasure.

The noble Lady, with whom poore _Gianetta_ dwelt, had but one onely
Sonne by her Husband, and he most deerely affected of them both, as
well in regard hee was to be their heire, as also for his vertues
and commendable qualities, wherein he excelled many young Gentlemen.
Endued he was with heroycal valour, compleate in all perfections of
person, and his mind every way answerable to his outward behaviour,
exceeding _Gianetta_ about sixe yeeres in age. Hee perceiving her to
be a faire and comely Maiden, grew to affect her so entirely, that all
things else he held contemptible, and nothing pleasing in his eye but
shee. Now, in regard her parentage was reputed poore, hee kept his
love concealed from his Parents, not daring to desire her in marriage:
for loth hee was to loose their favour, by disclosing the vehemency of
his afflictions, which proved a greater torment to him, then if it had
beene openly knowne.

It came to passe, that love over-awed him in such sort, as he fell into
a violent sicknesse, and score of Physicions were sent for, to save him
from death, if possibly it might be. Their judgements observing the
course of his sicknesse, yet not reaching to the cause of the disease,
made a doubtfull question of his recovery; which was so displeasing to
his parents, that their griefe and sorrow grew beyond measure. Many
earnest entreaties they moved to him, to know the occasion of his
sicknesse, whereto he returned no other answer, but heart-breaking
sighes, and incessant teares, which drew him more and more into
weakenesse of body.

It chanced on a day, a Physicion was brought unto him, being young in
yeeres, but well experienced in his practise, and as hee made triall
of his pulse, _Gianetta_ (who by his Mothers command, attended on him
very diligently) upon some especial occasion entred into the Chamber,
which when the young Gentleman perceived, and that shee neither spake
word, nor so much as looked towards him, his heart grew great in
amorous desire, and his pulse did beate beyond the compasse of ordinary
custome; whereof the Physicion made good observation, to note how long
that fit would continue. No sooner was _Gianetta_ gone forth of the
Chamber, but the pulse immediately gave over beating, which perswaded
the Physicion, that some part of the disease had now discovered it
selfe apparantly.

Within a while after, pretending to have some speech with _Gianetta_,
and holding the Gentleman still by the arme, the Physicion caused her
to be sent for, and immediately shee came. Upon her very entrance into
the Chamber, the pulse began to beate againe extreamely, and when shee
departed, it presently ceased. Now was he thorowly perswaded, that hee
had found the true effect of his sicknesse; when taking the Father and
mother aside, thus he spake to them. If you be desirous of your Sons
health, it consisteth not either in Physicion or physicke, but in the
mercy of your faire Maide _Gianetta_; for manifest signes have made it
knowne to me, and he loveth the Damosell very dearely: yet (for ought
I can perceive, the Maide doth not know it) now if you have respect
of his life, you know (in this case) what is to be done. The Nobleman
and his Wife hearing this, became somewhat satisfied, because there
remained a remedy to preserve his life: but yet it was no meane griefe
to them, if it should so succeede, as they feared, namely, the marriage
betweene their Sonne and _Gianetta_.

The Physicion being gone, and they repairing to their sicke Sonne, the
Mother began with him in this manner. Sonne, I was alwayes perswaded,
that thou wouldest not conceale any secret from me, or the least part
of thy desires; especially, when without enjoying them, thou must
remaine in the danger of death. Full well art thou assured, or in
reason oughtest to be, that there is not any thing for thy contentment,
be it of what quality soever, but it should have beene provided for
thee, and in as ample manner as for mine owne selfe. But though thou
hast wandred so farre from duty, and hazarded both thy life and ours,
it commeth so to passe, that Heaven hath been more mercifull to thee,
then thou wouldest be to thy selfe or us. And to prevent thy dying
of this disease, a dreame this night hath acquainted me with the
principall occasion of thy sickenesse, to wit, extraordinary affection
to a young Maiden, in some such place as thou hast seene her. I tell
thee Sonne, it is a matter of no disgrace to love, and why shouldst
thou shame to manifest as much, it being so apt and convenient for
thy youth? For if I were perswaded, that thou couldst not love, I
should make the lesse esteeme of thee. Therefore deare Sonne, be not
dismayed, but freely discover thine affections. Expel those disastrous
drouping thoughts, that have indangered thy life by this long lingering
sicknesse. And let thy soule be faithfully assured, that thou canst
not require any thing to be done, remaining within the compasse of
my power, but I will performe it; for I love thee as dearely as mine
owne life. Set therefore aside this nice conceit of shame and feare,
revealing the truth boldly to me, if I may stead thee in thy love;
resolving thy selfe unfaignedly, that if my care stretch not to
compasse thy content, account me for the most cruell Mother living, and
utterly unworthy of such a Sonne.

The young Gentleman having heard these protestations made by his
Mother, was not a little ashamed of his owne follie; but recollecting
his better thoughts together, and knowing in his soule, that no one
could better further his hopes, then shee; forgetting all his former
feare, he returned her this answere; Madam, and my dearely affected
Mother, nothing hath more occasioned my loves so strict concealement,
but an especiall error, which I finde by daily proofe in many, who
being growne to yeeres of grave discretion, doe never remember, that
they themselves have bin yong. But because heerein I find you to be
both discreet and wise, I will not onely affirme, what you have seen in
me to be true, but also will confesse, to whom it is: upon condition,
that the effect of your promise may follow it, according to the power
remaining in you, whereby you onely may secure my life.

His Mother, desirous to bee resolved, whether his confession would
agree with the Physitians words, or no, and reserving another intention
to her selfe: bad him feare nothing, but freely discover his whole
desire, and forthwith she doubted not to effect it. Then Madame (quoth
hee) the matchlesse beauty, and commendable qualities of your maid
_Gianetta_, to whom (as yet) I have made no motion, to commisserate
this my languishing extremity, nor acquainted any living creature with
my love: the concealing of these afflictions to my selfe, hath brought
mee to this desperate condition: and if some meane bee not wrought,
according to your constant promise, for the full enjoying of my longing
desires, assure your selfe (most noble Mother) that the date of my life
is very short.

The Lady well knowing, that the time now rather required kindest
comfort, then any severe or sharpe reprehension; smiling on him, saide.
Alas deere sonne, wast thou sicke for this? Be of good cheare, and when
thy strength is better restored, then referre the matter to me. The
young Gentleman, being put in good hope by his mothers promise, began
(in short time) to shew apparant signes of well-forwarded amendment: to
the Mothers great joy and comfort, disposing her selfe daily to proove,
how in honour she might keepe promise with her Son.

Within a short while after, calling _Gianetta_ privately to her, in
gentle manner, and by the way of pleasant discourse, she demanded of
her, whither she was provided of a Lover, or no. _Gianetta_, being
never acquainted with any such questions, a scarlet Dye covering all
her modest countenance, thus replied. Madam, I have no neede of any
Lover, and very unseemly were it, for so poore a Damosell as I am, to
have so much as a thought of Lovers: being banished from my friends and
kinsfolke, and remaining in service as I do.

If you have none (answered the Lady) wee will bestowe one on you,
which shall content your minde, and bring you to a more pleasing
kinde of life; because it is farre unfit, that so faire a Maid as you
are, should remaine destitute of a lover. Madam, sayde _Gianetta_,
considering with my selfe, that since you received me of my poore
Father, you have used me rather like your daughter, then a servant; it
becommeth mee to doe as pleaseth you. Notwithstanding, I trust (in the
regard of mine own good and honour) never to use any complaint in such
a case: but if you please to bestow a husband on me, I purpose to love
and honour him onely, & not any other. For, of all the inheritance left
me by my progenitors, nothing remaineth to me but honourable honesty,
and that shall bee my legacie so long as I live.

These words were of a quite contrary complexion, to those which
the Lady expected from her, and for effecting the promise made
unto hir Sonne: howbeit (like a wise and noble Lady) much shee
inwardly commended the maids answers, and saide unto her. But tell
me _Gianetta_, what if my Lord the King (who is a gallant youthfull
Prince, and you so bright a beauty as you are) should take pleasure
in your love, would ye denie him? Sodainly the Maide returned this
answer; Madam, the King (perhaps) might enforce me; but with my free
consent, hee shall never have any thing of me that is not honest. Nor
did the Lady mislike her Maides courage and resolution, but breaking
off all her further conference, intended shortly to put her project in
proofe, saying to her son, that when he was fully recovered, he should
have private accesse to _Gianetta_, whom shee doubted not but would
be tractable enough to him; for she held it no meane blemish to her
honour, to moove the Maide any more in the matter, but let him compasse
it as he could.

Farre from the yong Gentlemans humour was this answer of his Mother,
because he aimed not at any dishonourable end: true, faithfull, &
honest love was the sole scope of his intention, foule and loathsome
lust he utterly defied; whereupon, he fell into sickenesse againe,
rather more violently then before. Which the Lady perceiving, revealed
her whole intent to _Gianetta_, and finding her constancie beyond
common comparison, acquainted her Lord with all she had done, and both
consented (though much against their mindes) to let him enjoy her in
honourable marriage: accounting it better, for preservation of their
onely sons life, to match him farre inferiour to his degree, then (by
denying his desire) to let him pine away, and die for her love.

After great consultation with kindred and friendes, the match was
agreed upon, to the no little joy of _Gianetta_, who devoutly returned
infinite thankes to heaven, for so mercifully respecting her dejected
poore estate, after the bitter passage of so many miseries, and
never tearming her selfe any otherwise, but the daughter of a poore
_Piccard_. Soone was the yong Gentleman recovered and married, no
man alive so well contented as he, and setting downe an absolute
determination, to lead a loving life with his _Gianetta_.

Let us now convert our lookes to _Wales_, to _Perotto_; being lefte
there with the other Lord Marshall, who was the President of that
Countrey. On he grew in yeares, choisely respected by his Lord, because
hee was most comely of person, and addicted to all valiant attempts:
so that in Tourneyes, Justes, and other actions of Armes, his like was
not to bee found in all the Island, being named onely _Perotto_ the
valiant _Piccard_, and so was he famed farre and neere. As God had not
forgotten his Sister, so in mercy he became as mindefull of him; for, a
contagious mortalitie hapning in the Country, the greater part of the
people perished thereby, the rest flying thence into other partes of
the Land, whereby the whole Province became dispeopled and desolate.

In the time of this plague and dreadfull visitation, the Lord President,
his Lady, Sonnes, Daughters, Brothers, Nephewes, and Kindred dyed, none
remaining alive, but one onely Daughter marriageable, a few of the
houshold servants, beside _Perotto_, whom (after the sicknesse was more
mildly asswaged) with counsaile and consent of the Country people, the
young Lady accepted to be her husband, because hee was a man so worthy
and valiant, and of all the inheritance left by her deceased Father,
she made him Lord and sole commaunder. Within no long while after, the
King of _England_, understanding that his President of _Wales_ was
dead, and fame liberally relating, the vertues, valour, and good parts
of _Perotto_ the Piccard: hee created him to be his President there,
and to supply the place of his deceased Lord. These faire fortunes,
within the compasse of so short a time, fell to the two innocent
children of the Count _D'Angiers_, after they were left by him as lost
and forlorne.

Eighteene yeares were now fully over-past, since the Count _D'Angiers_
fled from _Paris_, having suffered (in miserable sort) many hard and
lamentable adversities, and seeing himselfe now to be growne aged, hee
was desirous to leave Ireland, and to know (if hee might) what was
become of both his children. Hereupon, perceiving his wonted forme to
be so altered, that such as formerly had conversed most with him, could
now not take any knowledge of him, & feeling his body (through long
labour and exercise endured in service) more lusty, then in his idle
youthfull yeares, especially when he left the Court of _France_, hee
purposed to proceede in his determination. Being very poore and simple
in apparell, hee departed from the Irish Earle his Maister, with whom
hee had continued long in service, to no advantage or advancement, and
crossing over into _England_, travailed to the place in _Wales_, where
he left _Perotto_: and where hee found him to be Lord Marshall and
President of the Country, lusty and in good health, a man of goodly
feature, and most honourably respected and reverenced of the people.

Well may you imagine, that this was no small comfort to the poore
aged Countes heart, yet would he not make himselfe knowne to him or
any other about him? but referred his joy to a further enlarging or
diminishing, by sight of the other limme of his life, his dearely
affected daughter _Gianetta_, denying rest to his body in any
place, untill such time as he came to _London_. Making there secret
enquiry, concerning the Lady with whom he had left his daughter: hee
understoode, that a young Gentlewoman, named _Gianetta_, was married
to that Ladies onely Son; which made a second addition of joy to his
soule, accounting all his passed adversities of no value, both his
children being living, and in so high honour.

Having found her dwelling, and (like a kinde Father) being earnestly
desirous to see her; he dayly resorted neere to the house, where Sir
_Roger Mandavill_ (for so was _Gianettaes_ husband named) chauncing to
see him, being moved to compassion because he was both poore and aged:
commaunded one of his men, to take him into the house, and to give him
some foode for Gods sake, which (accordingly) the servant performed.
_Gianetta_ had divers children by her husband, the eldest of them being
but eight yeares olde, yet all of them so faire and comely as could
be. As the olde Count sate eating his meate in the Hall, the children
came all about him, embracing, hugging, and making much of him, even as
if Nature had truly instructed them, that this was their aged, though
poore Grandfather, and hee as lovingly receiving these kinde relations
from them, wisely and silently kept all to himselfe, with sighes,
teares, and joyes entermixed together. So that the children would not
part from him, though their Tutour and Maister called them often, which
being tolde to their Mother, shee came foorth of the neere adjoining
Parlour, and threatned to beate them, if they would not doe what their
Maister commanded them.

Then the children began to cry, saying, that they would tarie still by
the good olde man, because he loved them better then their Maister did;
whereat both the Lady and the Count began to smile. The Count, like
a poore beggar, and not as father to so great a Lady, arose, and did
her humble reverence, because shee was now a Noble woman, conceiving
wonderfull joy in his soule, to see her so faire and goodly a creature:
yet could she take no knowledge of him, age, want and misery had
so mightily altred him, his head all white, his beard without any
comely forme, his garments so poore, and his face so wrinkled, leane
and meager, that hee seemed rather some Carter, then a Count. And
_Gianetta_ perceiving, that when her children were fetcht away, they
returned againe to the olde man, and would not leave him; desired their
Maister to let them alone.

While thus the children continued making much of the good olde man,
Lord _Andrew Mandevile_, Father to Sir _Roger_, came into the Hall,
as being so willed to doe by the Childrens Schoolemaister. He being a
hastie minded man, and one that ever despised _Gianetta_ before, but
much more since her mariage to his sonne, angerly said. Let them alone
with a mischiefe, and so befall them, their best company ought to be
with beggers, for so are they bred and borne by the Mothers side: and
therefore it is no mervaile, if like will to like, a beggers brats to
keepe company with beggers. The Count hearing these contemptible words,
was not a little greeved thereat, and although his courage was greater,
then his poore condition would permit him to expresse; yet, clouding
all injuries with noble patience, hanging downe his head, and shedding
many a salt teare, endured this reproach, as hee had done many, both
before and after.

But honourable Sir _Roger_, perceiving what delight his children tooke
in the poore mans company; albeit he was offended at his Fathers harsh
words, by holding his wife in such base respect; yet favoured the poore
Count so much the more, and seeing him weepe, did greatly compassionate
his case, saying to the poore man, that if hee would accept of his
service, he willingly would entertaine him. Whereto the Count replied,
that very gladly he would embrace his kinde offer: but hee was capable
of no other service, save onely to be an horse-keeper, wherein he had
imployed the most part of his time. Heereupon, more for pleasure and
pitty, then any necessity of his service, he was appointed to the
keeping of one Horse, which was onely for his Daughters saddle, and
daily after he had done his diligence about the Horse, he did nothing
elsee but play with the children. While Fortune pleased thus to dally
with the poore Count _D'Angiers_, & his children, it came to passe,
that the King of _France_ (after divers leagues of truces passed
between him & the _Germaines_) died, and next after him, his Son the
dolphin was crowned King, and it was his wife that wrongfully caused
the Counts banishment. After expiration of the last league with the
_Germains_, the warres began to grow much more fierce and sharpe, and
the King of _England_, (upon request made to him by his new brother of
_France_) sent him very honourable supplies of his people, under the
conduct of _Perotto_, his lately elected President of _Wales_, and Sir
_Roger Mandevile_, Son to his other Lord high Marshall; with whom also
the poore Count went, and continued a long while in the Campe as a
common Souldier, where yet like a valiant Gentleman (as indeed he was
no lesse) both in advice and actions; he accomplished many more notable
matters, then was expected to come from him.

It so fell out, that in the continuance of this warre, the Queen of
_France_ fell into a grievous sicknes, and perceiving her selfe to be
at the point of death, shee became very penitently sorrowfull for all
her sinnes, earnestly desiring that shee might be confessed by the
Archbishop of _Roane_, who was reputed to be an holy and vertuous man.
In the repetition of her other offences, she revealed what great wrong
she had done to the Count _D'Angiers_, resting not so satisfied, with
disclosing the whole matter to him alone; but also confessed the same
before many other worthy persons, and of great honour, entreating them
to worke so with the King; that (if the Count were yet living, or any
of his Children) they might be restored to their former honour againe.

It was not long after, but the Queene left this life, and was most
royally enterred, when her confession being disclosed to the King,
after much sorrow for so injuriously wronging a man of so great valour
and honour: Proclamation was made throughout the Camp, and in many
other parts of _France_ beside, that whosoever could produce the Count
_D'Angiers_, or any of his Children, should richly be rewarded for each
one of them; in regard he was innocent of the foule imputation, by the
Queenes owne confession, and for his wrongfull exile so long, he should
be exalted to his former honour with farre greater favours, which the
King franckely would bestow upon him. When the Count (who walked up
and downe in the habite of a common servitor) heard this Proclamation,
forth-with he went to his Master Sir _Roger Mandevile_, requesting his
speedy repaire to Lord _Perotto_, that being both assembled together,
he would acquaint them with a serious matter, concerning the late
Proclamation published by the King. Being by themselves alone in the
Tent, the Count spake in this manner to _Perotto_. Sir, S. _Roger
Mandevile_ here, your equal competitor in this military service, is the
husband to your naturall sister, having as yet never received any dowry
with her, but her inherent unblemishable vertue & honour. Now because
she may not still remain destitute of a competent Dowry: I desire that
Sir _Roger_, and none other, may enjoy the royall reward promised by
the King. You Lord _Perotto_, whose true name is _Lewes_, manifest
your selfe to be nobly borne, and sonne to the wrongfull banished
Count _D'Angiers_: avouch moreover, that _Violenta_, shadowed under
the borrowed name of _Gianetta_, is your owne Sister; and deliver me
up as your Father, the long exiled Count _D'Angiers. Perotto_ hearing
this, beheld him more advisedly, and began to know him: then, the tears
flowing abundantly from his eyes, he fell at his feete, and often
embracing him, saide: My deere and noble Father! a thousand times more
deerely welcome to your Sonne _Lewes_.

Sir _Roger Mandevile_, hearing first what the Count had said, and
seeing what _Perotto_ afterward performed; became surprized with
such extraordinary joy and admiration, that he knew not how to carry
himselfe in this case. Neverthelesse, giving credite to his words,
and being somewhat ashamed, that he had not used the Count in more
respective manner, & remembring beside, the unkinde language of his
furious Father to him: he kneeled downe, humbly craving pardon, both
for his fathers rudenes and his owne, which was courteously granted by
the Count, embracing him lovingly in his armes.

When they had a while discoursed their severall fortunes, sometime
in teares, and then againe in joy, _Perotto_ and Sir _Roger_, would
have the Count to be garmented in better manner, but in no wise he
would suffer it; for it was his onely desire, that Sir _Roger_ should
be assured of the promised reward, by presenting him in the Kings
presence, and in the homely habit which he did then weare, to touch
him with the more sensible shame, for his rash beleefe, and injurious
proceeding. Then Sir _Roger Mandevile_, guiding the Count by the
hand, and _Perotto_ following after, came before the King, offering
to present the Count and his children, if the reward promised in the
Proclamation might be performed. The king immediately commanded,
that a reward of inestimable valew should be produced; desiring Sir
_Roger_ uppon the sight thereof, to make good his offer, for forthwith
presenting the Count and his children. Which hee made no longer delay
of, but turning himselfe about, delivered the aged Count, by the title
of his servant, and presenting _Perotto_ next, said. Sir, heere I
deliver you the Father and his Son, his daughter who is my wife, cannot
so conveniently be heere now, but shortly, by the permission of heaven,
your Majesty shall have a sight of her.

When the King heard this, stedfastly he looked on the Count; and,
notwithstanding his wonderfull alteration, both from his wonted feature
and forme: yet, after he had very seriously viewed him, he knew him
perfectly; and the teares trickling downe his cheekes, partly with
remorsefull shame, and joy also for his so happy recovery, he tooke
up the Count from kneeling, kissing, and embracing him very kindely,
welcomming _Perotto_ in the selfesame manner. Immediately also he gave
commaund, that the Count should be restored to his honours, apparrell,
servants, horses, and furniture, answerable to his high estate and
calling, which was as speedily performed. Moreover, the King greatly
honoured Sir _Roger Mandevile_, desiring to be made acquainted with all
their passed fortunes.

When Sir _Roger_ had received the royall reward, for thus surrendring
the Count and his Sonne, the Count calling him to him, saide. Take that
Princely remuneration of my soveraigne Lord the King, and commending
me to your unkinde Father, tell him that your Children are no beggars
brats, neither basely borne by their Mothers side. Sir _Roger_
returning home with his bountifull reward, soone after brought his Wife
and Mother to _Paris_, and so did _Perotto_ his Wife, where in great
joy and triumph, they continued a long while with the noble Count; who
had all his goods and honours restored to him, in farre greater measure
then ever they were before: his Sonnes in Law returning home with their
Wives into _England_, left the Count with the King at _Paris_, where he
spent the rest of his dayes in great honour and felicity.

Bernardo, _a Merchant of_ Geneway, _being deceived by another Merchant,
named_ Ambroginolo, _lost a great part of his goods. And commanding his
innocent Wife to be murthered, shee escaped, and (in the habite of a
man) became servant to the Soldane. The deceiver being found at last,
shee compassed such meanes, that her Husband_ Bernardo _came into_
Alexandria, _and there, after due punishment inflicted on the false
deceiver, shee resumed the garments againe of a woman, and returned
home with her Husband to_ Geneway.

The ninth Novell.

_Wherein is declared, that by over-liberall commending the chastity of
Women, it falleth out (oftentimes) to be very dangerous, especially by
the meanes of treacherers, who yet (in the ende) are justly punished
for their treachery._

Madam _Eliza_ having ended her compassionate discourse, which indeede
had moved all the rest to sighing; the Queene, who was faire, comely
of stature, and carrying a very majesticall countenance, smiling more
familiarly then the other, spake to them thus. It is very necessary,
that the promise made to _Dioneus_, should carefully be kept, and
because now there remaineth none, to report any more Novelse, but onely
he and my selfe: I must first deliver mine, and he (who takes it for an
honour) to be the last in relating his owne, last let him be for his
owne deliverance. Then pausing a little while, thus shee began againe.
Many times among vulgar people, it hath passed as a common Proverbe:
That the deceiver is often trampled on, by such as he hath deceived.
And this cannot shew it selfe (by any reason) to be true, except such
accidents as awaite on treachery, doe really make a just discovery
thereof. And therefore according to the course of this day observed, I
am the woman, that must make good what I have saide for the approbation
of that Proverbe; no way (I hope) distastfull to you in the hearing,
but advantageable to preserve you from any such beguiling.

There was a faire and good Inne in _Paris_, much frequented by many
great _Italian_ Merchants, according to such variety of occasions and
businesse, as urged their often resorting thither. One night among many
other, having had a merry Supper together, they began to discourse on
divers matters, and falling from one relation to another; they communed
in very friendly manner, concerning their wives, lefte at home in
their houses. Quoth the first, I cannot well imagine what my wife is
now doing, but I am able to say for my selfe, that if a pretty female
should fall into my company: I could easily forget my love to my wife,
and make use of such an advantage offered.

A second replyed; And trust me, I should do no lesse, because I am
perswaded, that if my wife be willing to wander, the law is in her owne
hand, and I am farre enough from home: dumbe walles blab no tales, &
offences unknowne are sildome or never called in question. A thirde man
jumpt in censure, with his former fellowes of the Jury; and it plainly
appeared, that al the rest were of the same opinion, condemning their
wives over-rashly, and alledging, that when husbands strayed so far
from home, their wives had wit enough to make use of their time.

Onely one man among them all, named _Bernardo Lomellino_, & dwelling
in _Geneway_, maintained the contrary; boldly avouching, that by the
especiall favour of Fortune, he had a wife so perfectly compleat in
al graces and vertues, as any Lady in the world possibly could be,
and that _Italy_ scarsely contained her equall. For, she was goodly
of person, and yet very young, quicke, quaint, milde, and courteous,
and not any thing appertaining to the office of a wife, either for
domesticke affayres, or any other imployment whatsoever, but in
woman-hoode shee went beyond all other. No Lord, Knight, Esquire, or
Gentleman, could bee better served at his table, then himselfe dayly
was, with more wisedome, modesty and discretion. After all this, hee
praised her for riding, hawking, hunting, fishing, fowling, reading,
writing, enditing, and most absolute keeping his Bookes of accounts,
that neither himselfe, or any other Merchant could therein excell her.
After infinite other commendations, he came to the former point of
their argument, concerning the easie falling of women into wantonnesse,
maintaining (with a solemne oath) that no woman possibly could be more
chaste and honest then she: in which respect, he was verily perswaded,
that if he stayed from her ten yeares space, yea (all his life time)
out of his house; yet never would shee falsifie her faith to him, or be
lewdly allured by any other man.

Among these Merchants thus communing together, there was a young proper
man, named _Ambroginolo_ of _Placentia_, who began to laugh at the
last praises, which _Bernardo_ had used of his wife, and seeming to
make a mockerie thereat, demaunded, if the Emperour had given him this
priviledge, above all other married men? _Bernardo_ being somewhat
offended, answered: No Emperour hath done it, but the especiall
blessing of heaven, exceeding all the Emperours on the earth in grace,
and thereby have received this favour; whereto _Ambroginolo_ presently
thus replied. _Bernardo_, without all question to the contrary, I
beleeve that what thou hast said, is true, but, for ought I can
perceive, thou hast slender judgement in the nature of things: because,
if thou didst observe them well, thou couldst not be of so grosse
understanding; for, by comprehending matters in their true kinde and
nature, thou wouldst speake of them more correctly then thou doest. And
to the end, thou mayest not imagine, that wee who have spoken of our
wives, doe thinke any otherwise of them, then as well and honestly as
thou canst of thine, nor that any thing elsee did urge these speeches of
them, or falling into this kinde of discourse, but onely by a naturall
instinct and admonition; I will proceede familiarly a little further
with thee, upon the matter already propounded.

I have ever more understood, that man was the most noble creature,
formed by God to live in this world, and woman in the next degree
to him: but man, as generally is beleeved, and as is discerned by
apparant effects, is the most perfect of both. Having then the most
perfection in him, without all doubt, he must be so much the more firme
and constant. So in like manner, it hath beene, and is universally
graunted, that woman is more various and mutable, and the reason
thereof may be approved, by many naturall circumstances, which were
needlesse now to make any mention of. If a man then be possessed of the
greater stability, and yet cannot containe himselfe from condiscending,
I say not to one that entreates him, but to desire any other that may
please him, and beside, to covet the enjoying of his owne pleasing
contentment (a thing not chancing to him once in a moneth, but infinite
times in a dayes space.) What can you then conceive of a fraile woman,
subject (by nature) to entreaties, flatteries, gifts, perswasions,
and a thousand other enticing meanes, which a man (that is affected
to her) can use? Doest thou think then that shee hath any power to
containe? Assuredly, though thou shouldst rest so resolved, yet cannot
I be of the same opinion. For I am sure thou beleevest, and must needes
confesse it, that thy wife is a woman, made of flesh and blood, as
other women are: if it be so, shee cannot be without the same desires,
and the weakenesse or strength as other women have, to resist such
naturall appetites as her owne are. In regard whereof, it is meerely
impossible (although shee be most honest) but she must needs do that
which other women do; for there is nothing elsee possible, either to be
denied or affirmed to the contrary, as thou most unadvisedly hast done.

_Bernardo_ answered in this manner. I am a Merchant, and no
Philosopher, and like a Merchant I meane to answere thee. I am not to
learne, that these accidents by thee related, may happen to fooles, who
are void of understanding or shame: but such as are wise, and endued
with vertue, have alwayes such a precious esteeme of their honour,
that they will containe those principles of constancie, which men are
meerely carelesse of, and I justifie my wife to be one of them. Beleeve
me _Bernardo_ (replied _Ambroginolo_) if so often as thy wives minde
is addicted to wanton folly, a badge of scorne should arise on thy
forehead, to render testimonie of her female frailty; I beleeve the
number of them would be more, then willingly you would wish them to be.
And among all married men, in every degree, the notes are so secret
of their wives imperfections, that the sharpest sight is not able
to discerne them; and the wiser sort of men are willing not to know
them; because shame and losse of honour is never imposed, but in cases
evident and apparant.

Perswade thy selfe then _Bernardo_, that, what women may accomplish
in secret, they will rarely faile to doe: or if they abstaine, it
is through feare and folly. Wherefore, hold it for a certaine rule,
that that woman is onely chaste, that never was solicited personally,
or if she endured any such sute, either shee answered yea, or no.
And albeit I know this to be true, by many infallible and naturall
reasons, yet could I not speake so exactly as I doe; if I had not tried
experimentally, the humours and affections of divers women. Yea, and
let me tell thee more _Bernardo_, were I in private company with thy
wife, howsoever pure and precise thou presumest her to be: I should
account it a matter of no impossibility, to finde in her the selfe same

_Bernardoes_ blood began now to boile, and patience being a little
put downe by choller, thus hee replied. A combat of words requires
over-long continuance, for I maintaine the matter, which thou deniest,
and all this sorts to nothing in the end. But seeing thou presumest,
that all women are so apt and tractable, and thy selfe so confident
of thine owne power: I willingly yeeld (for the better assurance of
my wifes constant loyalty) to have my head smitten off, if thou canst
winne her to any such dishonest act, by any meanes whatsoever thou
canst use unto her; which if thou canst not doe, thou shalt onely loose
a thousand duckets of gold. Now began _Ambroginolo_ to be heated with
these words, answering thus. _Bernardo_, if I had won the wager, I know
not what I should doe with thy head; but if thou be willing to stand
upon the proofe, pawne downe five thousand Duckets of gold, (a matter
of much lesse value then thy head) against a thousand Duckets of mine,
granting me a lawfull limitted time, which I require to be no more then
the space of three moneths, after the day of my departing hence. I will
stand bound to goe for _Geneway_, and there winne such kinde consent
of thy Wife, as shall be to mine owne consent. In witnesse whereof, I
will bring backe with me such private and especiall tokens, as thou
thy selfe shalt confesse that I have not failed. Provided, that thou
doe first promise upon thy faith, to absent thy selfe thence during my
limitted time, and be no hinderance to me by thy Letters, concerning
the attempt by me undertaken.

_Bernardo_ saide, be it a bargaine, I am the man that will make good
my five thousand Duckets; and albeit the other Merchants then present,
earnestly laboured to breake the wager, knowing great harme must needs
ensue thereon: yet both the parties were so hot and fiery, as all the
other men spake to no effect, but writings were made, sealed, and
delivered under either of their hands, _Bernardo_ remaining at _Paris_,
and _Ambroginolo_ departing for _Geneway_. There he remained some few
dayes, to learne the streetes name where _Bernardo_ dwelt, as also the
conditions and qualities of his Wife, which scarcely pleased him when
he heard them; because they were farre beyond her Husbands relation,
and shee reputed to be the onely wonder of women; whereby he plainely
perceived, that he had undertaken a very idle enterprise, yet would he
not give it over so, but proceeded therein a little further.

He wrought such meanes, that he came acquainted with a poore woman, who
often frequented _Bernardoes_ house, and was greatly in favour with
his wife; upon whose poverty he so prevailed, by earnest perswasions,
but much more by large gifts of money, that he won her to further him
in this manner following. A faire and artificiall Chest he caused to
be purposely made, wherein himselfe might be aptly contained, and
so conveyed into the House of _Bernardoes_ Wife, under colour of a
formall excuse; that the poore woman should be absent from the City
two or three dayes, and shee must keepe it safe till he returne. The
Gentlewoman suspecting no guile, but that the Chest was the receptacle
of all the womans wealth; would trust it in no other roome, then her
owne Bed-chamber, which was the place where _Ambroginolo_ most desired
to bee.

Being thus conveyed into the Chamber, the night going on apace, and the
Gentlewoman fast asleepe in her bed, a lighted Taper stood burning on
the Table by her, as in her Husbands absence shee ever used to have:
_Ambroginolo_ softly opened the Chest, according as cunningly hee had
contrived it; and stepping forth in his sockes made of cloath, observed
the scituation of the Chamber, the paintings, pictures, and beautifull
hangings, with all things elsee that were remarkable, which perfectly
he committed to his memory. Going neere to the bed, he saw her lie
there sweetly sleeping, and her young Daughter in like manner by her,
shee seeming then as compleate and pleasing a creature, as when shee
was attired in her best bravery. No especiall note or marke could hee
descrie, whereof he might make credible report, but onely a small wart
upon her left pappe, with some few haires growing thereon, appearing to
be as yellow as gold.

Sufficient had he seene, and durst presume no further; but taking one
of her Rings, which lay upon the Table, a purse of hers, hanging by on
the wall, a light wearing Robe of silke, and her girdle, all which he
put into the Chest; and being in himselfe, closed it fast as it was
before, so continuing there in the Chamber two severall nights, the
Gentlewoman neither mistrusting or missing any thing. The third day
being come, the poore woman, according as formerly was concluded, came
to have home her Chest againe, and brought it safely into her owne
house; where _Ambroginolo_ comming forth of it, satisfied the poore
woman to her own liking, returning (with all the forenamed things) so
fast as conveniently he could to _Paris_.

Being arrived there long before his limitted time, he called the
Merchants together, who were present at the passed words and wager;
avouching before _Bernardo_, that he had won his five thousand Duckets,
and performed the taske he undertooke. To make good his protestation,
first he described the forme of the Chamber, the curious pictures
hanging about it, in what manner the bed stood, and every circumstance
elsee beside. Next he shewed the severall things, which he brought away
thence with him, affirming that he had received them of her selfe.
_Bernardo_ confessed, that his description of the Chamber was true,
and acknowledged moreover, that these other things did belong to his
Wife: But (quoth he) this may be gotten, by corrupting some servant
of mine, both for intelligence of the Chamber, as also of the Ring,
Purse, and what elsee is beside; all which suffice not to win the wager,
without some other more apparant and pregnant token. In troth, answered
_Ambroginolo_, me thinks these should serve for sufficient proofes; but
seeing thou art so desirous to know more: I plainely tell thee, that
faire _Genevra_ thy Wife, hath a small round wart upon her left pappe,
and some few little golden haires growing thereon.

When Bernardo heard these words, they were as so many stabs to his
heart, yea, beyond all compasse of patient sufferance, and by the
changing of his colour, it was noted manifestly, (being unable to utter
one word) that _Ambroginolo_ had spoken nothing but the truth. Within a
while after, he saide; Gentlemen, that which _Ambroginolo_ hath saide,
is very true, wherefore let him come when he will, and he shall be
paide; which accordingly he performed on the very next day, even to the
utmost penny, departing then from _Paris_ towards _Geneway_, with a
most malicious intention to his Wife: Being come neere to the City, he
would not enter it, but rode to a Countrey house of his, standing about
tenne miles distant thence. Being there arrived, he called a servant,
in whom hee reposed especiall trust, sending him to _Geneway_ with two
Horses, writing to his Wife, that he was returned, and shee should come
thither to see him. But secretly he charged his servant, that so soone
as he had brought her to a convenient place, he should there kill her,
without any pitty or compassion, and then returne to him againe.

When the servant was come to _Geneway_, and had delivered his Letter
and message, _Genevra_ gave him most joyful welcome, and on the morrow
morning mounting on Horse-backe with the servant, rode merrily towards
the Countrey house; divers things shee discoursed on by the way, til
they descended into a deepe solitary valey, very thickly beset with
high and huge spreading Trees, which the servant supposed to be a meete
place, for the execution of his Masters command. Suddenly drawing forth
his Sword, and holding _Genevra_ fast by the arme, he saide; Mistresse,
quickly commend your soule to God, for you must die, before you passe
any further. _Genevra_ seeing the naked Sword, and hearing the words
so peremptorily delivered, fearefully answered; Alas deare friend,
mercy for Gods sake; and before thou kill me, tell me wherein I have
offended thee, and why thou must kill me? Alas good Mistresse replied
the servant, you have not any way offended me, but in what occasion you
have displeased your Husband, it is utterly unknowne to me: for he hath
strictly commanded me, without respect of pitty or compassion, to kill
you by the way as I bring you, and if I doe it not, he hath sworne to
hang me by the necke. You know good Mistresse, how much I stand obliged
to him; and how impossible it is for me, to contradict any thing that
he commandedeth. God is my witnesse, that I am truly compassionate of
you, and yet (by no meanes) may I let you live.

_Genevra_ kneeling before him weeping, wringing her hands, thus
replied. Wilt thou turne Monster, and be a murtherer of her that never
wronged thee, to please another man, and on a bare command? God, who
truly knoweth all things, is my faithfull witnesse, that I never
committed any offence, whereby to deserve the dislike of my Husband,
much lesse so harsh a recompence as this is. But flying from mine owne
justification, and appealing to thy manly mercy, thou mayest (wert thou
but so well pleased) in a moment satisfie both thy Master and me, in
such manner as I will make plaine and apparant to thee. Take thou my
garments, spare me onely thy doublet, and such a Bonnet as is fitting
for a man, so returne with my habite to thy Master, assuring him,
that the deede is done. And here I sweare to thee, by that life which
I enjoy but by thy mercy, I will so strangely disguise my selfe, and
wander so farre off from these Countries, as neither he or thou, nor
any person belonging to these parts, shall ever heare any tydings of me.

The servant, who had no great good will to kill her, very easily grew
pittifull, tooke off her upper garments, and gave her a poore ragged
doublet, a sillie Chapperone, and such small store of money as he had,
desiring her to forsake that Countrey, and so left her to walke on
foote out of the vally. When he came to his Maister, and had delivered
him her garments, he assured him, that he had not onely accomplished
his commaund, but also was most secure from any discovery: because he
had no sooner done the deede, but foure or five very ravenous Wolfes,
came presently running to the dead body, and gave it buriall in their
bellies. _Bernardo_ soone after returning to _Geneway_, was much blamed
for such unkinde cruelty to his wife; but his constant avouching of her
treason to him (according then to the Countries custome) did cleare him
from all pursuite of law.

Poore _Genevra_, was left thus alone and disconsolate, and night
stealing fast upon her, shee went to a silly village neere adjoining,
where (by the meanes of a good olde woman) she got such provision as
the place afforded, making the doublet fit to her body, and converting
her petticote to a paire of breeches, according to the Mariners
fashion: then cutting her haire, and queintly disguised like to a
Sayler, shee went to the Sea coast. By good fortune, she met there with
a Gentleman of _Cathalogna_, whose name was _Signior Enchararcho_, who
came on land from his Ship, which lay hulling there about _Albagia_, to
refresh himselfe at a pleasant Spring. _Enchararcho_ taking her to be a
man, as shee appeared no otherwise by her habite; upon some conference
passing betweene them, shee was entertained into his service, and
being brought aboord the Ship, she went under the name of _Sicurano
da Finale_. There shee had better apparell bestowne on her by the
Gentleman, and her service proved so pleasing and acceptable to him,
that hee liked her care and diligence beyond all comparison.

It came to passe within a short while after, that this Gentleman of
_Cathalogna_ sayled (with some charge of his) into _Alexandria_,
carying thither certaine peregrine Faulcons, which hee presented to the
Soldane: who oftentimes welcommed this Gentleman to his table, where
hee observed the behaviour of _Sicurano_, attending on his Maisters
trencher, and therewith was so highly pleased; that he requested to
have him from the Gentleman, who (for his more advancement) willingly
parted with his so lately entertained servant. _Sicurano_ was so ready
and discreete in his dayly services; that he grew in as great grace
with the Soldane, as before he had done with _Enchararcho_.

At a certaine season in the yeare, as customarie order (there
observed) had formerly beene, in the Citie of _Acres_, which was
under the Soldanes subjection: there yearely met a great assembly of
Merchants, as Christians, Moores, Jewes, Sarrazines, and many other
Nations beside, as at a common Mart or Fayre. And to the end, that the
Merchants (for the better sale of their goods) might be there in the
safer assurance; the Soldane used to send thither some of his ordinarie
Officers, and a strong guard of Souldiers beside, to defend them from
all injuries and molestation, because he reaped thereby no meane
benefit. And who should be now sent about this businesse, but his new
elected favourite _Sicurano_; because she was skilfull and perfect in
the languages.

_Sicurano_ being come to _Acres_, as Lord and Captaine of the Guard for
the Merchants, and for the safety of their Merchandizes: she discharged
her office most commendably, walking with her traine through every
part of the Fayre, where shee observed a worthy company of Merchants,
Sicilians, Pisanes, Genewayes, Venetians, and other Italians, whom
the more willingly shee noted, in remembrance of her native Countrey.
At one especiall time, among other, chancing into a Shop or Boothe
belonging to the Venetians; she espied (hanging up with other costly
wares) a Purse and a Girdle, which suddainly shee remembred to be
sometime her owne, whereat she was not a little abashed in her mind.
But, without making any such outward shew, courteously she requested to
know, whose they were, and whether they should be sold, or no.

_Ambroginolo_ of _Placentia_, was likewise come thither, and great
store of Merchandizes hee had brought with him, in a Carrack
appertaining to the Venetians, and hee, hearing the Captaine of
the Guard demaund, whose they were; stepped foorth before him, and
smiling, answered: That they were his, but not to be solde, yet if
hee liked them gladly, hee would bestowe them on him. _Sicurano_
seeing him smile, suspected, least himselfe had (by some unfitting
behaviour) beene the occasion thereof: and therefore, with a more
setled countenance, hee said. Perhaps thou smilest, because I that am
a man, professing Armes, should question after such womanish toyes.
_Ambroginolo_ replied. My Lord, pardon me, I smile not at you, or your
demaund; but at the manner how I came by these things.

_Sicurano_, upon this answere, was ten times more desirous then before,
and said. If Fortune favoured thee in friendly manner, by the obtaining
of these things: if it may be spoken, tell me how thou hadst them. My
Lord (answered _Ambroginolo_) these things (with many more beside) were
given me by a Gentlewoman of _Geneway_, named Madame _Genevra_, the
wife to one _Bernardo Lomellino_, in recompence of one nights lodging
with her, and she desired me to keepe them for her sake. Now, the maine
reason of my smiling, was the remembrance of her husbands folly, in
waging five thousand Duckets of golde, against one thousand of mine,
that I should not obtaine my will of his wife, which I did, and thereby
wone the wager. But hee, who better deserved to be punished for his
folly, then shee, who was but sicke of all womens disease: returning
from _Paris_ to _Geneway_, caused her to be slaine, as afterward it was
reported by himselfe.

When _Sicurano_ heard this horrible lye, immediatly shee conceived,
that this was the occasion of her husbands hatred to her, and all the
hard haps which she had since suffered: whereupon, shee reputed it for
more then a mortall sinne, if such a villaine should passe without due
punishment. _Sicurano_ seemed to like well this report, and grew into
such familiarity with _Ambroginolo_, that (by her perswasions) when the
Fayre was ended, she tooke him higher with her into _Alexandria_, and
all his Wares along with him, furnishing him with a fit and convenient
Shop, where he made great benefit of his Merchandizes, trusting all
his monies in the Captaines custody, because it was the safest course
for him; and so he continued there with no meane contentment.

Much did shee pitty her Husbands perplexity, devising by what good
and warrantable meanes, she might make knowne her innocency to him;
wherein her place and authority did greatly sted her, and shee wrought
with divers gallant Merchants of _Geneway_, that then remained in
_Alexandria_, and by vertue of the _Soldans_ friendly Letters, beside
to bring him thither upon an especiall occasion. Come he did, albeit
in poore and meane order, which soone was better altered by her
appointment, and he very honourably (though in private) entertained by
divers of her worthy friends, till time did favour what shee further

In the expectation of _Bernardoes_ arrivall, shee had so prevailed
with _Ambroginolo_, that the same tale which he formerly tolde to her,
he delivered againe in presence of the _Soldane_, who seemed to be
well pleased with it: But after shee had once seene her Husband, shee
thought upon her more serious businesse; providing her selfe of an apt
opportunity, when shee entreated such favour of the _Soldane_, that
both the men might be brought before him, where if _Ambroginolo_ would
not confesse (without constraint) that which he had made his vaunt of
concerning _Bernardoes_ Wife, he might be compelled thereto perforce.

_Sicuranoes_ word was a Law with the _Soldane_, so that _Ambroginolo_
and _Bernardo_ being brought face to face, the _Soldane_, with a sterne
and angry countenance, in the presence of a most Princely Assembly;
commanded _Ambroginolo_ to declare the truth, yea, upon peril of his
life, by what means he won the wager, of the five thousand golden
Duckets he received of _Bernardo. Ambroginolo_ seeing _Sicurano_ there
present, upon whose favour he wholly relied, yet perceiving her lookes
likewise to be as dreadfull as the _Soldanes_, and hearing her threaten
him with most greevous torments, except he revealed the truth indeede:
you may easily guesse (faire company) in what condition he stood at
that instant.

Frownes and fury he beheld on either side, and _Bernardo_ standing
before him, with a world of famous witnesses, to heare his lie
confounded by his owne confession, and his tongue to denie what it
had before so constantly avouched. Yet dreaming on no other paine
or penalty, but restoring backe the five thousand Duckets of gold,
and the other things by him purloyned, truly he revealed the whole
forme of his falshood. Then _Sicurano_ according as the _Soldane_ had
formerly commanded him, turning to _Bernardo_, saide. And thou, upon
the suggestion of this foule lie, what didst thou to thy Wife? Being
(quoth _Bernardo_) overcome with rage, for the losse of my money, and
the dishonour I supposed to receive by my Wife; I caused a servant of
mine to kill her, and as he credibly avouched, her body was devoured by
ravenous Wolves in a moment after.

These things being thus spoken and heard, in the presence of the
_Soldane_, and no reason (as yet) made knowne, why the case was so
seriously urged, and to what end it would succeede: _Sicurano_ spake
in this manner to the Soldane. My gracious Lord, you may plainely
perceive, in what degree that poore Gentlewoman might make her vaunt,
being so well provided, both of a loving friend, and a husband. Such
was the friends love, that in an instant, and by a wicked lye, hee
robbed her both of her renowne and honour, and bereft her also of her
husband. And her husband, rather crediting anothers falshood, then
the invincible trueth, whereof he had faithfull knowledge, by long
and very honourable experience; caused her to be slaine, and made
foode for devouring Wolves. Beside all this, such was the good will
and affection, borne to that woman both by friend and husband, that
the longest continuer of them in her company, makes them alike in
knowledge of her. But because your great wisedome knoweth perfectly,
what each of them have worthily deserved: if you please (in your ever
knowne gracious benignity) to permit the punishment of the deceiver,
and pardon the party so deceived; I will procure such meanes, that she
shall appeare here in your presence, and theirs.

The Soldane, being desirous to give _Sicurano_ all manner of
satisfaction, having followed the course so industriously: bad him
to produce the woman, and hee was well contented. Whereat _Bernardo_
stoode much amazed, because he verily beleeved that she was dead. And
_Ambroginolo_ foreseeing already a preparation for punishment, feared,
that the repayment of the money would not now serve his turne: not
knowing also what he should further hope or suspect, if the woman her
selfe did personally appeare, which hee imagined would be a miracle.
_Sicurano_ having thus obtayned the Soldanes permission, in teares,
humbling her selfe at his feete, in a moment shee lost her manly voyce
and demeanour, as knowing, that she was now no longer to use them, but
must truely witnesse what she was indeede, and therefore thus spake.

Great Soldane, I am the miserable and unfortunate _Genevra_, that, for
the space of sixe whole yeares, have wandered through the world, in
the habite of a man, falsly and most maliciously slaundered, by this
villainous traytour _Ambroginolo_, and by this unkinde cruell husband,
betrayed to his servant to be slaine, and left to be devoured by savage
beasts. Afterward, desiring such garments as better fitted for her, and
shewing her brests; she made it apparant, before the Soldane and his
assistants, that she was the very same woman indeede. Then turning her
selfe to _Ambroginolo_, with more then manly courage, she demaunded of
him, when, and where it was, that he lay with her, as (villainously)
he was not ashamed to make his vaunt. But hee, having alreadie
acknowledged the contrarie, being stricken dumbe with shamefull
disgrace, was not able to utter one word.

The Soldane, who had alwayes reputed _Sicurano_ to be a man, having
heard and seene so admirable an accident: was so amazed in his minde,
that many times he was very doubtfull, whether this was a dreame, or
an absolute relation of trueth. But, after hee had more seriously
considered thereon, and found it to be reall and infallible: with
extraordinary gracious praises, he commended the life, constancie,
conditions and vertues of _Genevra_, whom (till that time) he had
alwayes called _Sicurano_. So committing her to the company of
honourable Ladies, to be changed from her manly habite: he pardoned
_Bernardo_ her husband (according to her request formerly made)
although hee had more justly deserved death; which likewise himselfe
confessed, and falling at the feete of _Genevra_, desired her (in
teares) to forgive his rash transgression, which most lovingly she did,
kissing and embracing him a thousand times.

Then the Soldane strictly commaunded, that on some high and eminent
place of the Citie, _Ambroginolo_ should be bound and impaled on a
Stake, having his naked body annointed all over with honey, and never to
be taken off, untill (of it selfe) it fell in pieces, which, according
to the sentence, was presently performed. Next, he gave expresse
charge, that all his mony and goods should be given to _Genevra_,
which valued above ten thousand double Duckets. Forth-with a solemne
feast was prepared, wherein, much honour was done to _Bernardo_, being
the husband of _Genevra_: and to her, as to a most worthy woman, and
matchlesse wife, he gave in costly Jewelse, as also vesselse of gold and
silver plate, so much as amounted to above ten thousand double Duckets

When the feasting was finished, he caused a Ship to be furnished for
them, graunting them licence to depart for _Geneway_ when they pleased:
whither they returned most rich and joyfully, being welcommed home with
great honour, especially Madame _Genevra_, whom every one supposed
to be dead, and alwayes after, so long as shee lived, shee was most
famous for her manifold vertues. But as for _Ambroginolo_, the very
same day that he was impaled on the Stake, annointed with honey, and
fixed in the place appointed, to his no meane torment: he not onely
died, but likewise was devoured to the bare bones, by Flyes, Waspes and
Hornets, whereof the Countrey notoriously aboundeth. And his bones,
in full forme and fashion, remained strangely blacke for a long while
after, knit together by the sinewes; as a witnesse to many thousands of
people, which afterward beheld his carkasse of his wickednesse against
so good and vertuous a woman, that had not so much as a thought of any
evill towards him. And thus was the Proverbe truly verified, that shame
succeedeth after ugly sinne, and the deceiver is trampled and trod, by
such as himselfe hath deceived.

Pagamino da Monaco, _a roving Pirate on the Seas, caried away the
faire Wife of_ Signior Ricciardo di Chinzica, _who understanding where
shee was, went thither; and falling into friendship with_ Pagamino,
_demaunded his Wife of him; whereto he yeelded, provided, that shee
would willingly goe away with him. She denied to part thence with
her Husband, and_ Signior Ricciardo _dying; she became the Wife of_

The tenth Novell.

_Wherein olde men are wittily reprehended, that will match themselves
with younger women, then is fit for their yeares and insufficiencie;
never considering, what afterward may happen to them._

Every one in this honest and gracious assembly, most highly commended
the Novell recounted by the Queene: but especially _Dioneus_, who
remained, to finish that dayes pleasure with his owne discourse;
and after many praises of the former tale were past, thus he began.
Faire Ladies, part of the Queenes Novell, hath made an alteration
of my minde, from that which I intended to proceede next withall,
and therefore I will report another. I cannot forget the unmanly
indiscretion of _Bernardo_, but much more the base arrogancie of
_Ambroginolo_, how justly deserved shame fell upon him; as well it
may happen to all other, that are so vile in their owne opinions, as
he apparantly approved himselfe to be. For, as men wander abroade in
the world, according to their occasions in diversity of Countries, and
observation of the peoples behaviour: so are their humours as variously
transported. And if they finde women wantonly disposed abroade, the
like judgement they give of their wives at home; as if they had never
knowne their birth and breeding, or made proofe of their loyall
carriage towards them. Wherefore, the Tale that I purpose to relate,
will likewise condemne all the like kinde of men; but more especially
such, as suppose themselves to be endued with more strength, then
Nature ever meant to bestow upon them, foolishly beleeving, that they
can cover and satisfie their owne defects, by fabulous demonstrations;
and thinking to fashion other of their owne complexions, that are
meerely strangers to such grosse follies.

Let me tell you then, that there lived in _Pisa_ (about some hundred
yeeres before _Tuscanie_ & _Liguria_ came to embrace the Christian
Faith) a Judge better stored with wisdome and ingenuity, then corporall
abilities of the body, he being named _Signior Ricciardo di Cinzica_.
He being more then halfe perswaded, that he could content a woman
with such satisfaction as he daily bestowed on his studies, being a
widdower, and extraordinarily wealthy; laboured (with no meane paines
and endeavour) to enjoy a faire and youthfull wife in marriage: both
which qualities he should much rather have avoyded, if he could have
ministred as good counsell to himselfe, as he did to others, resorting
to him for advice.

Upon this his amorous and diligent inquisition, it came so to passe,
that a worthy Gentlewoman, called _Bertolomea_, one of the very fairest
and choysest young Maides in _Pisa_, whose youth did hardly agree with
his age; but mucke was the motive of this mariage, and no expectation
of mutuall contentment. The Judge being maried, and the Bride brought
solemnly home to his house, we need make no question of brave cheare
& banqueting, wel furnished by their friends on either side: other
matters were now hammering in the Judges head, for though he could
please all his Clyents with counsell; yet now such a sute was commenced
against himself, and in Beauties Court of continuall requests, that the
Judge failing in plea for his owne defence, was often non-suited by
lacke of answer; yet he wanted neither good wines, drugges, and all
restauratives, to comfort the heart, and encrease good blood; but all
avayled not in this case.

But well fare a good courage, where performance faileth, he could
liberally commend his passed joviall dayes, and make a promise of
as faire felicities yet to come; because his youth would renew it
selfe, like to the Eagle, and his vigour in as full force as before.
But beside all these idle allegations, he would needs instruct his
wife in an Almanack or Calender, which (long before) he had bought at
_Ravenna_, and wherein he plainely shewed her, that there was not any
one day in the yeere, but it was dedicated to some Saint or other. In
reverence of whom, and for their sakes, he approved by divers arguments
& reasons, that a man & his wife ought to abstaine from bedding
together. Hereto he added, that those Saints dayes had their fasts
& feasts, beside the foure seasons of the yeere, the vigils of the
Apostles, and a thousand other holy dayes, with Fridayes, Saturdayes,
& Sundayes, in honour of our Lords rest, and all the sacred time of
Lent; as also certaine observations of the Moone, & infinite other
exceptions beside; thinking perhaps, that it was as convenient for men
to refraine from their wives conversation, as he did often times from
sitting in the Court. These were his daily documents to his young wife,
wherewith (poore soule) she became so tired, as nothing could be more
irksome to her; and very carefull he was, lest any other shold teach her
what belonged to working daies, because he wold have her know none but

Afterward it came to passe, that the season waxing extremely hot,
_Signior Ricciardo_ would goe recreate himselfe at his house in the
Countrey, neere unto the black Mountaine, where for his faire wives
more contentment, he continued divers dayes together. And for her
further recreation, he gave order, to have a day of fishing; he going
aboard a small Pinnace among the Fishers, and shee was in another,
consorted with divers other Gentlewomen, in whose company shee shewed
her selfe very well pleased. Delight made them launch further into
the Sea, then either the Judge was willing they should have done,
or agreed with respect of their owne safety. For suddenly a Galliot
came upon them, wherein was one _Pagamino_, a Pyrate very famous in
those dayes, who espying the two Pinnaces, made out presently to them,
and seized on that wherein the women were. When he beheld there so
faire a young woman, he coveted after no other purchase; but mounting
her into his Galliot, in the sight of _Signior Ricciardo_, who (by
this time) was fearefully landed, he caried her away with him. When
_Signior_ Judge had seene this theft (he being so jealous of his wife,
as scarcely he would let the ayre breathe on her) it were a needlesse
demand, to know whether he was offended, or no. He made complaint at
_Pisa_, and in many other places beside, what injury he had sustained
by those Pyrates, in carying his wife thus away from him: but all was
in vaine, he neither (as yet) knew the man, nor whether he had conveyed
her from him. _Pagamino_ perceiving what a beautifull woman she was,
made the more precious esteeme of his purchase, and being himselfe a
bachelar, intended to keepe her as his owne; comforting her with kind
and pleasing speeches, not using any harsh or uncivill demeanour to her,
because shee wept and lamented grievously. But when night came, her
husbands Calendar falling from her girdle, and all the fasts & feasts
quite out of her remembrance; she received such curteous consolations
from _Pagamino_, that before they could arrive at _Monaco_, the Judge
& his Law cases, were almost out of her memory, such was his affable
behaviour to her, and she began to converse with him in more friendly
manner, and he entreating her as honourably, as if shee had beene his
espoused wife.

Within a short while after, report had acquainted _Ricciardo_
the Judge, where, & how his wife was kept from him; whereupon he
determined, not to send any one, but rather to go himselfe in person,
& to redeem her from the Pyrate, with what sums of mony he should
demand. By Sea he passed to _Monaco_, where he saw his wife, and shee
him, as (soone after) shee made known to _Pagamino_. On the morrow
following, _Signior Ricciardo_ meeting with _Pagamino_, made means
to be acquainted with him, & within lesse then an houres space, they
grew into familiar & private conference: _Pagamino_ yet pretending not
to know him, but expected what issue this talke would sort to. When
time served, the Judge discoursed the occasion of his comming thither,
desiring him to demand what ransome he pleased, & that he might have
his wife home with him; whereto _Pagamino_ thus answered.

My Lord Judge, you are welcome hither, and to answer you breefely
very true it is, that I have a yong Gentlewoman in my house, whome I
neither know to be your wife, of any other mans elsee whatsoever: for I
am ignorant both of you and her, albeit she hath remained a while here
with me. If you bee her husband, as you seeme to avouch, I will bring
her to you, for you appeare to be a worthy Gentleman, and (questionles)
she cannot chuse but know you perfectly. If she do confirme that which
you have said, and be willing to depart hence with you: I shall rest
well satisfied, and will have no other recompence for her ransome (in
regard of your grave and reverent yeares) but what your selfe shall
please to give me. But if it fall out otherwise, and prove not to be
as you have affirmed: you shall offer me great wrong, in seeking to
get her from me; because I am a young man, and can as well maintaine
so faire a wife, as you, or any man elsee that I know. Beleeve it
certainly, replied the Judge, that she is my wife, and if you please
to bring me where she is, you shall soone perceive it: for, she will
presently cast her armes about my neck, and I durst adventure the utter
losse of her, if shee denie to doe it in your presence. Come on then,
said _Pagamino_, and let us delay the time no longer.

When they were entred into _Pagaminoes_ house, and sate downe in the
Hall, he caused her to be called, and shee, being readily prepared for
the purpose, came forth of her Chamber before them both, where friendly
they sate conversing together; never uttering any one word to _Signior
Ricciardo_, or knowing him from any other stranger, that _Pagamino_
might bring in to the house with him. Which when my Lord the Judge
beheld, (who expected to finde a farre more gracious welcome) he stoode
as a man amazed, saying to himselfe. Perhaps the extraordinary griefe
and melancholly, suffered by me since the time of her losse; hath so
altred my wonted complexion, that shee is not able to take knowledge
of me. Wherefore, going neerer to her, hee said. Faire Love, dearely
have I bought your going on fishing, because never man felt the like
afflictions, as I have done since the day when I lost you: but by this
your uncivill silence, you seeme as if you did not know me. Why dearest
Love, seest thou not that I am thy husband _Ricciardo_, who am come to
pay what ransome this Gentleman shall demaund, even in the house where
now we are: so to convay thee home againe, upon his kinde promise of
thy deliverance, after the payment of thy ransome?

_Bertolomea_ turning towards him, and seeming as if shee smiled to her
selfe, thus answered. Sir, speake you to me? Advise your selfe well,
least you mistake me for some other, because, concerning my selfe,
I doe not remember, that ever I did see you till now. How now quoth
_Ricciardo_? consider better what you say, looke more circumspectly
on me, and then you will remember, that I am your loving husband, and
my name is _Ricciardo di Cinzica_. You must pardon me Sir, replied
_Bertolomea_, I know it not so fitting for a modest woman (though you
(perhaps) are so perswaded) to stand gazing in the faces of men: and
let mee looke upon you never so often, certaine I am, that (till this
instant) I have not seene you.

My Lord Judge conceived in his mind, that thus she denied all
knowledge of him, as standing in feare of _Pagamino_, and would not
confesse him in his presence. Wherefore hee entreated of _Pagamino_,
to affoord him so much favour, that he might speake alone with her in
her Chamber. _Pagamino_ answered, that he was well contented therewith,
provided, that he should not kisse her against her will. Then he
requested _Bertolomea_, to goe with him alone into her Chamber, there
to heare what he could say, and to answere him as shee found occasion.
When they were come into the Chamber, and none there present but he
and shee, _Signior Ricciardo_ began in this manner. Heart of my heart,
life of my life, the sweetest hope that I have in this world; wilt
thou not know thine owne _Ricciardo_, who loveth thee more then he
doth himselfe? Why art thou so strange? Am I so disfigured, that thou
knowest me not? Behold me with a more pleasing eye, I pray thee.

_Bertolomea_ smiled to her selfe, and without suffering him to proceed
any further in speech, returned him this answere. I would have you to
understand Sir, that my memory is not so oblivious, but I know you to
be _Signior Ricciardo di Cinzica_, and my husband by name or title;
but during the time that I was with you, it very ill appeared that you
had any knowledge of me. For if you had been so wise and considerate,
as (in your own judgement) the world reputed you to be, you could not
be voide of so much apprehension, but did apparantly perceive, that I
was young, fresh, and cheerefully disposed; and so (by consequent) meet
to know matters requisite for such young women, beside allowance of
food & garments, though bashfulnesse & modesty forbid to utter it. But
if studying the Lawes were more welcome to you then a wife, you ought
not to have maried, & you loose the worthy reputation of a Judge, when
you fall from that venerable profession, and make your selfe a common
proclaimer of feasts and fasting dayes, lenten seasons, vigils, &
solemnities due to Saints, which prohibite the houshold conversation of
husbands and wives.

Here am I now with a worthy Gentleman, that entertained mee with very
honourable respect, and here I live in this chamber, not so much
as hearing of any feasts or fasting daies; for, neither Fridaies,
Saturdaies, vigils of Saints, or any lingering Lents, enter at this
doore: but here is honest and civill conversation, better agreeing
with a youthfull disposition, then those harsh documents wherewith
you tutord me. Wherefore my purpose is to continue here with him, as
being a place sutable to my mind & youth, referring feasts, vigils, &
fasting dayes, to a more mature & stayed time of age, when the body is
better able to endure them, & the mind may be prepared for such ghostly
meditations: depart therefore at your owne pleasure, and make much of
your Calender, without enjoying any company of mine, for you heare my
resolved determination.

The Judge hearing these words, was overcome with exceeding griefe, &
when she was silent, thus he began. Alas deare Love, what an answer is
this? Hast thou no regard of thine owne honour, thy Parents, & friends?
Canst thou rather affect to abide here, for the pleasures of this man,
and so sin capitally, then to live at _Pisa_ in the state of my wife?
Consider deare heart, when this man shall waxe weary of thee, to thy
shame & his owne disgrace, he will reject thee. I must and shall love
thee for ever, and when I dye, I leave thee Lady and commandresse
of all that is mine. Can an inordinate appetite, cause thee to be
carelesse of thine honour, and of him that loves thee as his owne
life? Alas, my fairest hope, say no more so, but returne home with me,
and now that I am acquainted with thy inclination; I will endeavour
heereafter to give thee better contentment. Wherefore (deare heart) doe
not denie me, but change thy minde, and goe with me, for I never saw
merry day since I lost thee.

Sir (quoth she) I desire no body to have care of mine honour, beside
my selfe, because it cannot be here abused. And as for my parents,
what respect had they of me, when they made me your wife: if then they
could be so carelesse of mee, what reason have I to regard them now?
And whereas you taxe me, that I cannot live here without capitall
sin; farre is the thought thereof from me, for, here I am regarded as
the wife of _Pagamino_, but at _Pisa_, you reputed me not worthy your
society: because, by the point of the Moone, and the quadratures of
Geomatrie; the Planets held conjunction betweene you and me, whereas
here I am subject to no such constellations. You say beside, that
hereafter you will strive to give me better contentment then you have
done: surely, in mine opinion it is no way possible, because our
complexions are so farre different, as Ice is from fire, or gold from
drosse. As for your allegation, of this Gentlemans rejecting me, when
his humour is satisfied; should if it prove to be so (as it is the
least part of my feare) what fortune soever shall betide me, never will
I make any meanes to you, what miseries or misadventures may happen
to me; but the world will affoord me one resting place or other, and
more to my contentment, then if I were with you. Therefore I tell you
once againe, to live secured from all offence to holy Saints, and not
to injury their feasts, fasts, vigills, and other ceremonious seasons:
here is my demourance, and from hence I purpose not to part.

Our Judge was now in a wofull perplexity, and confessing his folly, in
marying a wife so yong, and far unfit for his age and abilitie: being
halfe desperate, sad and displeased, he came forth of the Chamber,
using divers speeches to _Pagamino_, whereof he made little or no
account at all, and in the end, without any other successe, left his
wife there, & returned home to _Pisa_. There, further afflictions fell
upon him, because the people began to scorne him, demanding dayly of
him, what was become of his gallant young wife, making hornes, with
ridiculous pointings at him: whereby his sences became distracted,
so that he ran raving about the streetes, and afterward died in very
miserable manner. Which newes came no sooner to the eare of _Pagamino_,
but, in the honourable affection hee bare to _Bertolomea_, he maried
her, with great solemnity; banishing all Fasts, Vigils, and Lents
from his house, and living with her in much felicity. Wherefore
(faire Ladies) I am of opinion, that _Bernardo_ of _Geneway_, in his
disputation with _Ambroginolo_, might have shewne himselfe a great
deale wiser, and spared his rash proceeding with his wife.

This tale was so merrily entertained among the whole company, that
each one smiling upon another, with one consent commended _Dioneus_,
maintaining that he spake nothing but the truth, & condemning
_Bernardo_ for his cruelty. Upon a generall silence commanded, the
Queene perceiving that the time was now very farre spent, and every
one had delivered their severall Novelse, which likewise gave a period
to her Royalty: shee gave the Crowne to Madam _Neiphila_, pleasantly
speaking to her in this order. Heereafter, the government of these few
people is committed to your trust and care, for with the day concludeth
my dominion. Madam _Neiphila_, blushing at the honour done unto her, her
cheekes appeared of a vermillion tincture, her eyes glittering with
gracefull desires, and sparkling like the morning Starre. And after
the modest murmure of the Assistants was ceased, and her courage in
chearfull manner setled, seating her selfe higher then she did before,
thus she spake.

Seeing it is so, that you have elected me your Queene, to varie
somewhat from the course observed by them that went before me, whose
government you have all so much commended: by approbation of your
counsell, I am desirous to speake my mind, concerning what I wold have
to be next followed. It is not unknown to you all, that to morrow
shal be Friday, and Saturday the next day following, which are daies
somewhat molestuous to the most part of men, for preparation of their
weekly food & sustenance. Moreover, Friday ought to be reverendly
respected, in remembrance of him, who died to give us life, and endured
his bitter passion, as on that day; which makes me to hold it fit and
expedient, that wee should mind more weighty matters, and rather attend
our prayers & devotions, then the repetition of tales or Novelse. Now
concerning Saturday, it hath bin a custom observed among women, to bath
& wash themselves from such immundicities as the former weekes toile
hath imposed on them. Beside, it is a day of fasting, in honour of the
ensuing Sabath, whereon no labour may be done, but the observation of
holy exercises.

By that which hath bin saide, you may easily conceive, that the course
which we have hitherto continued, cannot bee prosecuted, in one and
the same manner: wherefore, I would advice and do hold it an action wel
performed by us, to cease for these few dayes, from recounting any
other Novelse. And because we have remained here foure daies already,
except we would allow the enlarging of our company, with some other
friends that may resort unto us: I think it necessary to remove from
hence, & take our pleasure in another place, which is already by me
determined. When we shal be there assembled, and have slept on the
discourses formerly delivered, let our next argument be still the
mutabilities of Fortune, but especially to concerne such persons, as
by their wit and ingenuity, industriously have attained to some matter
earnestly desired, or elsee recovered againe, after the losse. Heereon
let us severally study and premeditate, that the hearers may receive
benefit thereby, with the comfortable maintenance of our harmlesse
recreations; the priviledge of _Dioneus_ alwayes reserved to himselfe.

Every one commended the Queens deliberation, concluding that it shold
be accordingly prosecuted: and thereupon, the master of the houshold
was called, to give him order for that evenings Table service, and
what elsee concerned the time of the Queenes Royalty, wherein he was
sufficiently instructed: which being done, the company arose, licensing
every one to doe what they listed. The Ladies and Gentlemen walked to
the Garden, and having sported themselves there a while; when the houre
of supper came, they sate downe, and fared very daintily. Being risen
from the Table, according to the Queenes command, Madam _Æmilia_ led
the dance, and the ditty following, was sung by Madam _Pampinea_, being
answered by all the rest, as a Chorus.

    _The Song.

    And if not I, what Lady elsee can sing,
    Of those delights, which kind contentment bring?
    Come, come, sweet Love, the cause of my chiefe good,
    Of all my hopes, the firme and full effect;
    Sing we together, but in no sad moode,
    Of sighes or teares, which joy doth counterchecke:
    Stolne pleasures are delightfull in the taste,
    But yet Loves fire is often times too fierce;
    Consuming comfort with ore-speedy haste,
    Which into gentle hearts too far doth pierce.
      And if not I, &c.

    The first day that I felt this fiery heate,
    So sweete a passion did possesse my soule,
    That though I found the torment sharpe, and great;
    Yet still me thought t'was but a sweete controule.
    Nor could I count it rude, or rigorous,
    Taking my wound from such a piercing eye:
    As made the paine most pleasing, gracious,
    That I desire in such assaults to die.
      And if not I, &c.

    Grant then great God of Love, that I may still
    Enjoy the benefit of my desire;
    And honour her with all my deepest skill,
    That first enflamde my heart with holy fire.
    To her my bondage is free liberty,
    My sicknesse health, my tortures sweet repose;
    Say shee the word, in full felicity,
    All my extreames joyne in an happy close.
      Then if not I, what Lover elsee can sing,
      Of those delights which kind contentment bring._

After this Song was ended, they sung divers other beside, and having
great variety of instruments, they played to them as many pleasing
dances. But the Queene considering that the meete houre for rest was
come, with their lighted Torches before them they all repaired to their
Chambers; sparing the other dayes next succeeding, for those reasons by
the Queene alleaged, and spending the Sunday in solemne devotion.

_The ende of the second Day._

The Third Day.

_Upon which Day, all matters to be discoursed on, doe passe under the
regiment of Madam_ Neiphila: _concerning such persons as (by their wit
and industry) have attained to their long wished desires, or recovered
something, supposed to be lost.

The Induction to the ensuing Discourses._

The morning put on a vermillion countenance, and made the Sunne to rise
blushing red, when the Queene (and all the faire company) were come
abroade forth of their Chambers; the Seneshall or great Master of the
Houshold, having (long before) sent all things necessary to the place
of their next intended meeting. And the people which prepared there
every needfull matter, suddainely when they saw the Queen was setting
forward, charged all the rest of their followers, as if it had been
preparation for a Campe; to make hast away with the carriages, the
rest of the Familie remaining behind, to attend upon the Ladies and

With a milde, majesticke, and gentle peace, the Queen rode on, being
followed by the other Ladies, and the three young Gentlemen, taking
their way towards the West; conducted by the musicall notes of sweete
singing Nightingales, and infinite other pretty Birds beside, riding in
a tract not much frequented, but richly abounding with faire hearbes
and floures, which by reason of the Sunnes high mounting, beganne to
open their bosome, and fill the fresh Ayre with their odorifferous
perfumes. Before they had travelled two small miles distance, all of
them pleasantly conversing together; they arrived at another goodly
Palace, which being somewhat mounted above the plaine, was seated on
the side of a little rising hill.

When they were entred there into, and had seene the great Hall, the
Parlours, and beautifull Chambers, every one stupendiously furnished,
with all convenient commodities to them belonging, and nothing wanting,
that could be desired; they highly commended it, reputing the Lord
thereof for a most worthy man, that had adorned it in such Princely
manner. Afterward, being descended lower, and noting the most spacious
and pleasant Court, the Sellars stored with the choysest Wines, and
delicate Springs of water every where running, their prayses then
exceeded more and more. And being weary with beholding such variety
of pleasures, they sate downe in a faire Gallery, which took the view
of the whole Court, it being round engirt with trees and floures,
whereof the season then yeelded great plenty. And then came the
discreete Master of the Houshold, with divers servants attending on
him, presenting them with Comfits, and other Banquetting, as also very
singular Wines, to serve in sted of a breakefast.

Having thus reposed themselves a while, a Garden gate was set open to
them, coasting on one side of the Pallace, and round inclosed with
high mounted walles. Whereinto when they were entred, they found it to
be a most beautifull Garden, stored with all varieties that possibly
could be devised; and therefore they observed it the more respectively.
The walkes and allyes were long and spacious, yet directly straite as
an arrow, environed with spreading vines, whereon the grapes hung in
copious clusters; which being come to their full ripenesse, gave so rare
a smell throughout the Garden, with other sweete savours intermixed
among, that they supposed to feele the fresh spiceries of the East.

It would require large length of time, to describe all the rarities of
this place, deserving much more to be commended, then my best faculties
will affoord me. In the middest of the Garden, was a square plot, after
the resemblance of a Meadow, flourishing with high grasse, hearbes, and
plants, beside a thousand diversities of floures, even as if by the art
of painting they had beene there deputed. Round was it circkled with
very verdant Orenge and Cedar Trees, their branches plentiously stored
with fruite both old and new, as also the floures growing freshly among
them, yeelding not onely a rare aspect to the eye, but also a delicate
savour to the smell.

In the middest of this Meadow, stood a Fountaine of white Marble,
whereon was engraven most admirable workemanship, and within it (I
know not whether it were by a naturall veine, or artificiall) flowing
from a figure, standing on a Collomne in the midst of the Fountaine,
such aboundance of water, and so mounting up towards the Skies, that
it was a wonder to behold. For after the high ascent, it fell downe
againe into the wombe of the Fountaine, with such a noyse and pleasing
murmur, as the streame that glideth from a mill. When the receptacle of
the Fountaine did overflow the bounds, it streamed along the Meadow,
by secret passages and chanelse, very faire and artificially made,
returning againe into every part of the Meadow, by the like wayes of
cunning conveighance, which allowed it full course into the Garden,
running swiftly thence down towards the plaine; but before it came
thether, the very swift current of the streame, did drive two goodly
Milles, which brought in great benefit to the Lord of the soile.

The sight of this Garden, the goodly grafts, plants, trees, hearbes,
frutages, and flowers, the Springs, Fountaines, and prety rivolets
streaming from it, so highly pleased the Ladies and Gentlemen, that
among other infinite commendations, they spared not to say: if any
Paradise remayned on the earth to be seene, it could not possibly
bee in any other place, but onely was contained within the compasse
of this Garden. With no meane pleasure and delight they walked round
about it, making Chaplets of flowers, and other faire branches of the
trees, continually hearing the Birds in mellodious notes, ecchoing and
warbling one to another, even as if they envied each others felicities.

But yet another beauty (which before had not presented it selfe unto
them) on a sodaine they perceyved; namely divers prety creatures in
many parts of the Gardens. In one place Conies tripping about; in
another place Hares: in a third part Goats browsing on the hearbes, &
little yong Hindes feeding every where: yet without strife or warring
together, but rather living in such a Domesticke and pleasing kinde of
company, even as if they were appoynted to enstruct the most noble of
all creatures, to imitate their sociable conversation.

When their senses had sufficiently banquetted on these several
beauties, the tables were sodainly prepared about the Fountaine,
where first they sung sixe Canzonets; and having paced two or three
dances, they sate downe to dinner, according as the Queene ordained,
being served in very sumptuous manner, with all kinde of costly and
delicate viands, yet not any babling noise among them. The Tables being
withdrawne, they played againe upon their instruments, singing and
dancing gracefully together: till, in regard of the extreame heate, the
_Queene_ commanded to give over, and permitted such as were so pleased,
to take their ease and rest. But some, as not satisfied with the places
pleasures, gave themselves to walking: others fell to reading the lives
of the Romanes; some to the Chesse, and the rest to other recreations.

But, after the dayes warmth was more mildely qualified, and everie one
had made benefit of their best content: they went (by order sent from
the _Queene_) into the Meadow where the Fountaine stood, and being
set about it, as they used to do in telling their Tales (the argument
appointed by the _Queene_ being propounded) the first that had the
charge imposed, was _Philostratus_, who began in this manner.

Massetto di Lamporechio, _by counterfetting himselfe to be dumbe,
became a Gardiner in a Monastery of Nunnes, where he had familiar
conversation with them all._

The first Novell.

_Wherein is declared, that virginity is very hardly to be kept, in all

Most woorthy Ladies, there wantes no store of men and women, that are
so simple, as to credit for a certainty, that so soon as a yong virgin
hath the veile put on hir head (after it is once shorn and filletted) &
the blacke Cowle given to cover her withall: shee is no longer a woman,
nor more sensible of feminine affections, then as if in turning Nun,
shee became converted to a stone. And if (perchance) they heard some
matters, contrary to their former setled perswasion; then they growe so
furiously offended, as if one had committed a most foul and enormous
sinne, directly against the course of nature. And the torrent of this
opinion hurries them on so violently, that they will not admit the
least leisure to consider, how (in such a full scope of liberty) they
have power to do what they list, yea beyonde all meanes of sufficient
satisfying; never remembring withall, how potent the priviledge of
idlenesse is, especially when it is backt by solitude.

In like manner, there are other people now, who do verily believe,
that the Spade and Pickaxe, grosse feeding and labour, do quench
all sensuall and fleshly concupiscences, yea, in such as till and
husband the grounds, by making them dull, blockish, and (almost) meere
senslesse of understanding. But I will approve (according as the Queene
hath commanded me, and within the compasse of her direction) and make
it apparant to you al, by a short and pleasant Tale; how greatly they
are abused by error, that build upon so weake a foundation.

Not far from _Alexandria_, there was (and yet is) a great & goodly
Monastery, belonging to the Lord of those parts, who is termed the
Admirall. And therein, under the care and trust of one woman, divers
virgins were kept as recluses or Nunnes, vowed to chastity of life;
out of whose number, the Soldan of _Babylon_ (under whom they lived
in subjection) at every three yeares end, had usually three of these
virgins sent him. At the time whereof I am now to speak, there remained
in the Monastery, no more but eight religious Sisters only, beside
the Governesse or Lady Abbesse, and an honest poore man, who was a
Gardiner, and kept the garden in commendable order.

His wages being small, and he not well contented therewith, would serve
there no longer: but making his accounts even, with the _Factotum_
or Bayliffe belonging to the house, returned thence to the village
of _Lamporechio_, being a native of the place. Among many other that
gave him welcom home, was a yong Hebrew pezant of the country, sturdy,
strong, and yet comely of person, being named _Masset_. But because he
was born not farre off from _Lamporechio_, and had there bin brought up
all his yonger dayes, his name of _Masset_ (according to their vulgar
speech) was turned to _Massetto_, and therefore he was usually called
and knowne, by the name of _Massetto_ of _Lamporechio_.

_Massetto_, falling in talke with the honest poore man, whose name was
_Lurco_, demanded of him what services hee had done in the Monasterie,
having continued there so long a time? Quoth _Lurco_ I laboured in the
Garden, which is very faire and great; then I went to the Forest to
fetch home wood, and cleft it for their Chamber fuell, drawing uppe
all their water beside, with many other toilesome services elsee: but
the allowance of my wages was so little, as it would not pay for the
shooes I wore. And that which was worst of all, they being all yong
women, I thinke the devill dwelse among them, for a man cannot doe any
thing to please them. When I have bene busie at my worke in the Garden,
one would come & say, Put this heere, put that there; and others would
take the dibble out of my hand, telling me, that I did not performe
any thing well, making me so weary of their continuall trifling, as
I have lefte all businesse, gave over the Garden, and what for one
molestation, as also many other; I intended to tarry no longer there,
but came away, as thou seest. And yet the _Factotum_ desired me at my
departing, that if I knew any one, who would undertake the aforesaid
labours, I should send him thither, as (indeed) I promised to do; but
let mee fall sicke and dye, before I helpe to send them any.

When _Massetto_ had heard the Words of _Lurco_, hee was so desirous to
dwell among the Nunnes, that nothing elsee now hammered in his head: for
he meant more subtilly, then poore _Lurco_ did, and made no doubt, to
please them sufficiently. Then considering with himselfe, how best he
might bring his intent to effect; which appeared not easily to be done,
he could question no further therein with _Lurco_, but onely demanded
other matters of him, and among them said. Introth thou didst well
_Lurco_, to come away from so tedious a dwelling; had he not need to be
more then a man that is to live with such women? It were better for him
to dwell among so many divelse, because they understand not the tenth
part that womens wily wits can dive into.

After their conference was ended, _Massetto_ began to beat his braines,
how he might compasse to dwell among them, & knowing that he could well
enough performe all the labours, whereof _Lurco_ had made mention: he
cared not for any losse he should sustaine thereby: but onely stoode
in doubt of his entertainment, because he was too yong and sprightly.
Having pondered on many imaginations, he saide to himselfe. The place
is farre enough distant hence, and none there can take knowledge of
mee; if I have wit sufficient, cleanely to make them beleeve that I
am dumbe, then (questionlesse) I shall be received. And resolving to
prosecute this determination, he tooke a Spade on his shoulder, and
without revealing to any body, whether he went, in the disguise of a
poore labouring countryman, he travelled to the Monastery.

When he was there arrived, he found the great gate open, and entering
in boldly, it was his good hap to espy the _Fac-totum_ in the court,
according as _Lurco_ had given description of him. Making signes
before him, as if he were both dumbe and deafe; he manifested, that
he craved an Almes for Gods sake, making shewes beside, that if need
required, he could cleave wood, or do any reasonable kinde of service.
The _Fac-totum_ gladly gave him food, and afterward shewed him divers
knotty logs of wood, which the weake strength of _Lurco_ had left
uncloven; but this fellow being more active and lusty, quickly rent
them all to pieces. Now it so fell out, that the _Fac-totum_ must needs
go to the Forrest, and tooke _Massetto_ along with him thither: where
causing him to fell divers Trees, by signes he bad him to lade the two
Asses therewith, which commonly carried home all the wood, and so drive
them to the Monasterie before him, which _Massetto_ knew well enough
how to do, and performed it very effectually.

Many other servile offices were there to bee done, which caused the
_Fac-totum_ to make use of his paines divers other dayes beside: in
which time, the Lady Abbesse chancing to see him, demanded of the
_Fac-totum_ what he was? Madam (quoth hee) a poore labouring man, who
is both deafe and dumbe: hither he came to crave an almes the other
day, which in charity I could do no lesse but give him; for which hee
hath done many honest services about the house. It seemes beside, that
hee hath some pretty skill in Gardening, so that if I can perswade him
to continue here, I make no question of his able services: for the old
silly man is gone, and we have neede of such a stout fellow, to do the
businesse belonging unto the Monastery, and one fitter for the turne,
comes sildome hither. Moreover, in regard of his double imperfections,
the Sisters can sustaine no impeachment by him. Whereto the Abbesse
answered, saying; By the faith of my body, you speake but the truth:
understand then, if hee have any knowledge in Gardening, and whether
hee will dwell heere, or no: which compasse so kindly as you can. Let
him have a new paire of shoes, fill his belly daily full of meate,
flatter, and make much of him, for wee shall finde him worke enough to
do. All which, the _Fac-totum_ promised to fulfill sufficiently.

_Massetto_, who was not farre off from them all this while, but seemed
seriously busied, about sweeping and making cleane the Court, hearde
all these speeches; and being not a little joyfull of them, saide to
himselfe. If once I come to worke in your Garden, let the proofe yeelde
praise of my skill and knowledge. When the _Fac-totum_ perceived, that
he knew perfectly how to undergo his businesse, and had questioned
him by signes, concerning his willingnesse to serve there still, and
received the like answer also, of his dutifull readinesse thereto;
he gave him order, to worke in the Garden, because the season did
now require it; and to leave all other affayres for the Monastery,
attending now onely the Gardens preparation.

As _Massetto_ was thus about his Garden emploiment, the Nunnes began to
resort thither, and thinking the man to bee dumbe and deafe indeede,
were the more lavish of their language, mocking and flowting him very
immodestly, as being perswaded, that he heard them not. And the Lady
Abbesse, thinking he might as well be an Eunuch, as deprived both
of hearing and speaking, stood the lesse in feare of the Sisters
walks, but referred them to their owne care and providence. On a day,
_Massetto_ having laboured somewhat extraordinarily, lay downe to rest
him selfe awhile under the trees, and two delicate yong Nunnes, walking
there to take the aire, drew neere to the place where he dissembled
sleeping; and both of them observing his comelinesse of person, began
to pity the poverty of his condition, but much more the misery of his
great defectes. Then one of them, who had a little livelier spirit then
the other, thinking _Massetto_ to be fast asleepe, began in this manner.

Sister (quoth she) if I were faithfully assured of thy secrecie, I
would tell thee a thing which I have often thought on, and it may
(perhaps) redound to thy profit. [Sidenote: Example, at least excuses
formed to that intent prevaileth much with such kind of religious
women.] Sister, replyed the other Nun, speake your minde boldly, and
beleeve it (on my Maiden-head) that I will never reveale it to any
creature living. Encouraged by this solemne answer, the first Nun thus
prosecuted her former purpose, saying. I know not Sister, whether
it hath entred into thine understanding or no, how strictly we are
here kept and attended, never any man daring to adventure among us,
except our good and honest _Fac-totum_, who is very aged; and this
dumbe fellow, maimed, and made imperfect by nature, and therefore not
woorthy the title of a man. Ah Sister, it hath oftentimes bin told me,
by Gentle-women comming hither to visite us, that all other sweetes in
the world, are meere mockeries, to the incomparable pleasures of man
and woman, of which we are barred by our unkind parents, binding us to
perpetuall chastity, which they were never able to observe themselves.

A Sister of this house once told me, that before her turne came to be
sent to the Soldane, she fell in frailty, with a man that was both
lame and blinde, and discovering the same to her Ghostly Father in
confession; he absolved her of that sinne; affirming, that she had
not transgressed with a man, because he wanted his rationall and
understanding parts. Behold Sister, heere lyes a creature, almost
formed in the selfe-same mold, dumb and deafe, which are two the
most rational and understanding parts that do belong to any man, and
therefore no Man, wanting them. If folly & frailty should be committed
with him (as many times since hee came hither it hath run in my minde)
hee is by Nature, sworne to such secrecie, that he cannot (if he
would) be a blabbe thereof. Beside, the Lawes and constitutions of our
Religion doth teach us, that a sinne so assuredly concealed, is more
then halfe absolved.

_Ave Maria_ Sister (said the other Nunne) what kinde of words are these
you utter? Doe not you know, that wee have promised our virginity to
God? Oh Sister (answered the other) how many things are promised to
him every day, and not one of a thousand kept or performed? If wee
have made him such a promise, and some of our weaker witted Sisters do
performe it for us, no doubt but he will accept it in part of payment.
Yea but Sister, replied the second Nunne againe, there is another
danger lying in our way: If wee prove to be with childe, how shall
we doe then? Sister (quoth our couragious Wench) thou art afraid of
a harme, before it happen, if it come so to passe, let us consider
on it then: thou art but a Novice in matters of such moment, and wee
are provided of a thousand meanes, whereby to prevent conception. Or,
if they should faile, wee are so surely fitted, that the world shall
never know it: let it suffice, our lives must not be (by any) so
much as suspected, our Monasterie questioned, or our Religion rashly
scandalized. Thus shee schooled her younger Sister in wit, albeit as
forward as she in will, and longed as desirously, to know what kinde a
creature a man was.

After some other questions, how this intention of theirs might be
safely brought to full effect: the sprightly Nunne, that had wit at
will, thus answered. You see Sister (quoth she) it is now the houre
of midday, when all the rest of our Sisterhood are quiet in their
Chambers, because we are then allowed to sleepe, for our earlier rising
to morning Mattins. Here are none in the Garden now but our selves,
and, while I awake him, be you the watch, and afterward follow me in my
fortune, for I will valiantly leade you the way. _Massetto_ imitating
a dogges sleepe, heard all this conspiracie intended against him, and
longed as earnestly, till shee came to awake him. Which being done,
he seeming very simply sottish, and she chearing him with flattering
behaviour: into the close Arbour they went, which the Sunnes bright
eye could not pierce into, and there I leave it to the Nunnes owne
approbation, whether _Massetto_ was a man rationall, or no. Ill deedes
require longer time to contrive, then act, and both the Nunnes, having
beene with _Massetto_ at this new forme of confession, were enjoyned
(by him) such an easie and silent penance, as brought them the oftner
to shrift, and made him to proove a perfect Confessour.

Desires obtained, but not fully satisfied, doe commonly urge more
frequent accesse, then wisdome thinkes expedient, or can continue
without discoverie. Our two Joviall Nunnes, not a little proud of
their private stolne pleasures, so long resorted to the close Arbour;
till an other Sister, who had often observed their haunt thither, by
meanes of a little hole in her window; that shee began to suspect them
with _Massetto_, and imparted the same to two other Sisters, all three
concluding, to accuse them before the Lady Abbesse. But upon a further
conference had with the offenders, they changed opinion, tooke the same
oath as the forewoman had done, and because they would be free from any
taxation at all: they revealed their adventures to the other three
ignorants, and so fell all eight into one formall confederacie, but by
good and warie observation, least the Abbesse her selfe should descry
them; finding poore _Massetto_ such plenty of Garden-worke, as made him
very doubtfull in pleasing them all.

It came to passe in the end, that the Lady Abbesse, who all this while
imagined no such matter, walking all alone in the Garden on a day,
found _Massetto_ sleeping under an Almond tree, having then very little
businesse to doe, because he had wrought hard all the night before.
Shee observed him to be an hansome man, young, lusty, well limbde, and
proportioned, having a mercifull commisseration of his dumbnesse and
deafenesse, being perswaded also in like manner, that if he were an
Eunuch too, he deserved a thousand times the more to be pittied. The
season was exceeding hot, and he lay downe so carelesly to sleepe,
that something was noted, wherein shee intended to be better resolved,
almost falling sicke of the other Nunnes disease. Having awaked him,
she commanded him (by signes) that he should follow her to her chamber,
where he was kept close so long, that the Nunnes grew offended, because
the Gardener came not to his dayly labour.

Well may you imagine that _Massetto_ was no misse-proud man now, to be
thus advanced from the Garden to the Chamber, and by no worse woman,
then the Lady Abbesse her selfe, what signes, shewes, or what language
he speaks there, I am not able to expresse; onely it appeard that his
behaviour pleased her so well, as it procured his daily repairing
thither; and acquainted her with such familiar conversation, as shee
would have condemned in the Nuns her daughters, but that they were wise
enough to keepe it from her. Now began _Massetto_ to consider with
himselfe, that he had undertaken a taske belonging to great _Hercules_,
in giving contentment to so many, and by continuing dumbe in this
manner, it would redound to his no meane detriment. Whereupon, as hee
was one night sitting by the Abbesse, the string that restrained his
tongue from speech, brake on a sodaine, and thus he spake.

Madam, I have often heard it said, that one Cocke may doe service
to ten severall Hennes, but ten men can (very hardly) even with all
their best endeavour, give full satisfaction every way to one woman;
and yet I am tied to content nine, which is farre beyond the compasse
of my power to doe. Already have I performed so much Garden and
Chamber-worke, that I confesse my selfe starke tired, and can travaile
no further; and therefore let me entreate you to lysence my departure
hence, or finde some meanes for my better ease. The Abbesse hearing
him speake, who had so long served there dumbe; being stricken into
admiration, and accounting it almost a miracle, saide. How commeth this
to passe? I verily beleeved thee to be dumbe. Madam (quoth _Massetto_)
so I was indeed, but not by Nature; onely I had a long lingering
sicknesse, which bereft me of speech, and which I have not onely
recovered againe this night, but shall ever remaine thankfull to you
for it.

The Abbesse verily credited his answer, demanding what he meant,
in saying, that he did service to nine? Madam, quoth he, this were
a dangerous question, and not easily answered before all the eight
Sisters. Upon this reply, the Abbesse plainly perceived, that not onely
shee had fallen into folly, but all the Nunnes likewise cried guilty
too: wherefore being a woman of sound discretion, she would not grant
that _Massetto_ should depart, but to keepe him still about the Nunnes
businesse, because the Monastery should not be scandalized by him. And
the _Fac-totum_ being dead a little before, his strange recovery of
speech revealed, and some things elsee more neerely concerning them: by
generall consent, & with the good liking of _Massetto_, he was created
the _Fac-totum_ of the Monasterie.

All the neighbouring people dwelling thereabout, who knew _Massetto_
to be dumbe, by fetching home wood daily from the Forrest, and divers
employments in other places; were made to beleeve that by the Nunnes
devoute prayers and discipline, as also the merits of the Saint, in
whose honour the Monastery was built and erected, _Massetto_ had
his long restrained speech restored, and was now become their sole
_Fac-totum_, having power now to employ others in drudgeries, and ease
himselfe of all such labours. And albeit he make the Nunnes to be
fruitfull, by encreasing some store of yonger Sisters; yet all matters
were so close & cleanly carried, as it was never talkt of, till after
the death of the Ladie Abbesse, when _Massetto_ beganne to grow in
good yeares, and desired, to returne home to his Native abiding, which
(within a while after) was granted him.

Thus _Massetto_, being rich and old, returned home like a wealthy
Father, taking no care for the nursing of his children, but bequeathed
them to the place where they were bred and born, having (by his wit and
ingenious apprehension) made such a benefit of his youthfull years,
that now he merrily tooke ease in his age.

_A Querry of the Stable, belonging to_ Agilulffo; _King of the
Lombards, found the meanes of accesse to the Queenes bed, without any
knowledge or consent in her. This being secretly discovered by the
King, and the party knowne, he gave him a marke, by shearing the haire
of his head. Whereupon, he that was so shorne, sheared likewise the
heads of all his fellowes in the lodging, and so escaped the punishment
intended towards him._

The second Novell.

_Wherein is signified, the providence of a wise man, when he shall
have reason to use revenge. And the cunning craft of another, when hee
compasseth meanes to defend himselfe from perill._

When the Novell of _Philostratus_ was concluded, which made some of
the Ladies blush, and the rest to smile: it pleased the Queene, that
Madam _Pampinea_ should follow next, to second the other gone before;
when she, smiling on the whole assembly, began thus. There are some
men so shallow of capacity, that they will (neverthelesse) make shew
of knowing and understanding such things, as neither they are able to
doe, nor appertaine to them: whereby they will sometimes reprehend
other mens errors, and such faults as they have unwillingly committed,
thinking thereby to hide their owne shame, when they make it much more
apparant and manifest. For proofe whereof, faire company, in a contrary
kinde I will shew you the subtill cunning of one, who (perhaps) might
be reputed of lesse reckoning then _Massetto_; and yet hee went beyond
a King, that thought himselfe to be a much wiser man.

_Agilulffo_, King of _Lombardie_, according as his Predecessours
had done before him, made the principall seate of his Kingdome, in
the Citie of _Pavia_, having embraced in mariage, _Tendelinga_, the
late left widdow of _Vetario_, who likewise had beene King of the
_Lombards_; a most beautifull, wise and vertuous Lady, but made
unfortunate by a mischance. The occurrences and estate of the whole
Realme, being in an honourable, quiet and well setled condition, by
the discreete care and providence of the King; a Querrie appertaining
to the Queenes Stable of Horse, being a man but of meane and lowe
quality, though comely of person, and of equall stature to the King;
became immeasurably amorous of the Queene. And because his base and
servile condition, had endued him with so much understanding, as to
know infallibly, that his affection was mounted, beyond the compasse of
conveniencie; wisely hee concealed it to himselfe, not acquainting any
one therewith, or daring so much, as to discover it either by lookes,
or any other affectionate behaviour.

And although hee lived utterly hopelesse, of ever attaining to his
hearts desires; yet notwithstanding, hee proudly gloried, that his love
had soared so high a pitch, as to be enamoured of a Queene. And dayly,
as the fury of his flame encreased; so his cariage was farre above his
fellowes and companions, in the performing of all such serviceable
duties, as any way he imagined might content the Queene. Whereon
ensued, that whensoever shee roade abroad to take the ayre, shee used
oftner to mount on the Horse, which this Querrie brought when shee
made her choise, then any of the other that were led by his fellowes.
And this did he esteeme as no meane happinesse to him, to order the
stirrope for her mounting, and therefore gave dayly his due attendance:
so that, to touch the Stirrope, but (much more) to put her foote into
it, or touch any part of her garments, he thought it the onely heaven
on earth.

But, as we see it oftentimes come to passe, that by how much the lower
hope declineth, so much the higher love ascendeth; even so fel it out
with this poore Querry; for, most irkesome was it to him, to endure the
heavy waight of his continuall oppressions, not having any hope at all
of the very least mitigation. And being utterly unable to relinquish
his love divers times he resolved on some desperate conclusion, which
might yet give the world an evident testimony, that he dyed for the
love he bare to the Queene. And upon this determination, hee grounded
the successe of his future fortune, to dye in compassing some part
of his desire, without either speaking to the Queene, or sending any
missive of his love; for to speake or write, were meerely in vaine,
and drew on a worser consequence then death, which he could bestow on
himselfe more easily, and when he listed.

No other course now beleagers his braines, but onely for secret accesse
to the Queenes bed, and how he might get entrance into her Chamber,
under colour of the King, who (as he knew very well) slept manie nights
together from the Queene. Wherefore, to see in what manner, & what the
usuall habit was of the King, when he came to keepe companie with his
Queene: he hid himselfe divers nights in a Gallery, which was betweene
both their lodging Chambers. At length, he saw the King come forth of
his Chamber, himselfe all alone, with a faire night-mantle wrapt about
him, carrying a lighted Taper in the one hand, and a small white Wand
in the other, so went he on to the Queenes lodging; and knocking at the
doore once or twice with the wand, and not using any word, the doore
opened, the light was left without, and he entered the Chamber, where
he stayed not long, before his returning backe againe, which likewise
very diligently he observed.

So familiar was he in the Wardrobe, by often fetching and returning
the King and Queenes furnitures; that the fellowe to the same Mantle,
which the King wore when he went to the Queene, very secretly he
conveighed away thence with him, being provided of a Light, and the
verie like Wand. Now bestowes he costly bathings on his body, that the
least sent of the Stable might not be felt about him; and finding a
time sutable to his desire, when he knew the King to be at rest in his
owne Lodging, and all elsee sleeping in their beds; closely he steals
into the Gallery, where alighting his Taper, with Tinder purposely
brought thither, the Mantle folded about him, and the Wand in his hand,
valiantly he adventures upon his lives perill. Twice hee knockt softly
at the doore, which a wayting woman immediately opened, and receyving
the Light, went forth into the Gallery, while the supposed King, was
conversing with the Queene.

Alas good Queene, heere is sinne committed, without any guiltie thought
in thee, as (within a while after) it plainely appeared. For, the
Querry having compassed what he most coveted, and fearing to forfeite
his life by delay, when his amorous desire was indifferently satisfied:
returned backe as he came, the sleepy waiting woman not so much as
looking on him, but rather glad, that she might get her to rest againe.
Scarcely was the Querrie stept into his bed, unheard or discerned by
any of his fellowes, divers of them lodging both in that and the next
Chamber: but it pleased the King to visite the Queene, according to his
wonted manner, to the no little mervaile of the drowsie wayting woman,
who was never twice troubled in a night before. The King being in bed,
whereas alwayes till then, his resort to the Queene, was altogether in
sadnesse and melancholly, both comming and departing without speaking
one word: now his Majestie was become more pleasantly disposed, whereat
the Queene began not a little to mervaile. Now trust mee Sir, quoth
shee, this hath been a long wished, and now most welcome alteration,
vouchsafing twice in a night to visite me, and both within the compasse
of one houre; for it cannot be much more, since your being here, and
now comming againe.

The King hearing these words, sodainly presumed, that by some
counterfeit person or other, the Queene had been this night beguiled:
wherefore (very advisedly) hee considered, that in regard the party
was unknowne to her, and all the women about her; to make no outward
appearance of knowing it, but rather concealed it to himselfe. Farre
from the indiscretion of some hare-braind men, who presently would
have answered and sworne; I came not hither this night, till now.
Whereupon many dangers might ensue, to the dishonour and prejudice of
the Queene; beside, hir error being discovered to hir, might afterward
be an occasion, to urge a wandring in her appetite, and to covet after
change againe. But by this silence, no shame redounded to him or her,
whereas prating, must needes be the publisher of open infamie: yet was
hee much vexed in his minde, which neither by lookes or words hee would
discover, but pleasantly said to the Queene. Why Madame, although I was
once heere before to night, I hope you mislike not my second seeing
you, nor if I should please to come againe. No truely Sir, quoth she,
I only desire you to have care of your health. Well, said the King,
I will follow your counsaile, and now returne to mine owne lodging
againe, committing my Queene to her good rest.

His blood boyling with rage and distemper, by such a monstrous injurie
offered him; he wrapt his night-mantle about him, and leaving his
Chamber, imagining, that whatsoever he was, needes he must be one of
his owne house: he tooke a light in his hand, and convayed it into
a little Lanthorne, purposing to be resolved in his suspition. No
guests or strangers were now in his Court, but onely such as belonged
to his houshold, who lodged altogether about the Escurie and Stables,
being there appointed to divers beds. Now, this was his conceite, that
whosoever had beene so lately familiar with the Queene, his heart and
pulse could (as yet) be hardly at rest, but rather would be troubled
with apparant agitation, as discovering the guilt of so great an
offender. Many Chambers had hee passed thorow, where all were soundly
sleeping, and yet he felt both their brests and pulses.

At last he came to the lodging of the man indeede, that had so
impudently usurped his place, who could not as yet sleepe, for joy of
his atchieved adventure. When he espied the King come in, knowing well
the occasion of his search, he began to waxe very doubtfull, so that
his heart and pulse beating extremely, he felt a further addition of
feare, as being confidently perswaded, that there was now no other way
but death, especially if the King discovered his agony. And although
many considerations were in his braine, yet because he saw that the
King was unarmed, his best refuge was, to make shew of sleepe, in
expectation what the King intended to doe. Among them all he had
sought, yet could not find any likelihood, whereby to gather a grounded
probability; untill he came to this Querry, whose heart and pulses
laboured so sternely, that he said to himselfe; yea mary, this is the
man that did the deede.

Neverthelesse, purposing to make no apparance of his further intention,
he did nothing elsee to him, but drawing foorth a paire of sheares,
which purposely he brought thither with him, he clipped away a part of
his lockes, which (in those times) they used to weare very long, to the
end that he might the better know him the next morning, and so returned
backe to his lodging againe. The Querry, who partly saw, but felt what
was done to him; perceived plainely (being a subtill ingenious fellow)
for what intent he was thus marked. Wherefore, without any longer
dallying, up he rose, and taking a paire of sheares, wherewith they
used to trim their Horses; softly he went from bed to bed, where they
all lay yet soundly sleeping, and clipt away each mans locke from his
right eare, in the selfe same manner as the King had done his, and
being not perceived by any one of them, quietly he laide him downe

In the morning, when the King was risen, he gave command that before
the Pallace gates were opened, all his whole Family should come before
him, as instantly his will was fulfilled. Standing all uncovered in
his presence, he began to consider with himselfe, which of them was
the man that he had marked. And seeing the most part of them to have
their lockes cut, all after one and the selfe same manner; marvailing
greatly, he saide to himselfe. The man whom I seeke for, though he be
but of meane and base condition, yet it plainely appeareth, that he is
of no deject or common understanding. And seeing, that without further
clamour and noyse, he could not find out the party he looked for; he
concluded, not to win eternall shame, by compassing a poore revenge:
but rather (by way of admonition) to let the offender know in a word,
that he was both noted and observed. So turning to them all, he saide;
He that hath done it, let him be silent, and doe so no more, and now
depart about your businesse.

Some other turbulent spirited man, no imprisonments, tortures,
examinations, and interrogatories, could have served his turne;
by which course of proceeding, he makes the shame to be publikely
knowne, which reason requireth to keepe concealed. But admit that
condigne vengeance were taken, it diminisheth not one title of the
shame, neither qualifieth the peoples bad affections, who will lash
out as liberally in scandall, and upon the very least babling rumor.
Such therefore as heard the Kings words, few though they were, yet
truly wise; marvelled much at them, and by long examinations among
themselves, questioned, but came far short of his meaning; the man
onely excepted, whom indeede they concerned, and by whom they were
never discovered, so long as the King lived, neither did he dare at any
time after, to hazard his life in the like action, under the frownes or
favour of Fortune.

_Under colour of Confession, and of a most pure conscience, a faire
young Gentlewoman, being amourously affected to an honest man; induced
a devoute and solemne religious Friar, to advise her in the meanes
(without his suspition or perceiving) how to enjoy the benefit of her
friend, and bring her desires to their full effect._

The third Novell.

_Declaring, that the leude and naughty qualities of some persons, doe
oftentimes misguide good people, into very great and greevous errors._

When Madam _Pampinea_ sate silent, and the Querries boldnesse equalled
with his crafty cunning, and great wisedome in the King had passed
among them with generall applause; the Queene, turning her selfe to
Madam _Philomena_, appointed her to follow next in order, and to hold
rancke with her discourse, as the rest had done before her: whereupon
_Philomena_ graciously began in this manner.

It is my purpose, to acquaint you with a notable mockery, which was
performed (not in jest, but earnest) by a faire Gentlewoman, to a
grave and devoute religious Friar, which will yeelde so much the
more pleasure and recreation, to every secular understander, if but
diligently he or shee doe observe; how commonly those religious persons
(at least the most part of them) like notorious fooles, are the
inventers of new courses and customes, as thinking themselves more wise
and skilful in all things then any other; yet prove to be of no worth
or validity, addicting the very best of all their devises, to expresse
their owne vilenesse of minde, and fatten themselves in their sties,
like to pampered Swine. And assure your selves worthy Ladies, that
I doe not tell this Tale onely to follow the order enjoyned me; but
also to informe you that such Saint-like holy Sirs, of whom we are too
opinative and credulous, may be, yea, and are (divers times) cunningly
met withall, in their craftinesse, not onely by men, but likewise some
of our owne sexe, as I shall make it apparant to you.

In our owne City (more full of craft and deceit, then love or
faithfull dealing) there lived not many yeeres since a Gentlewoman,
of good spirit, highly minded, endued with beauty and all commendable
qualities, as any other woman (by nature) could be. Her name, or
any others, concerned in this Novell, I meane not to make manifest,
albeit I know them, because some are yet living, and thereby may be
scandalized; and therefore it shall suffice to passe them over with
a smile. This Gentlewoman, seeing her selfe to be descended of very
great parentage, and (by chance) married to an Artezen, a Clothier or
Drapier, that lived by the making and selling of Cloth: shee could
not (because he was a Trades-man) take downe the height of her minde;
conceiving, that no man of meane condition (how rich soever) was worthy
to enjoy a Gentlewoman in marriage. Observing moreover, that with all
his wealth and treasure, he understood nothing better, then to open
skeines of yarne, fill shuttles, lay webbes in Loomes, or dispute with
his Spinsters, about their businesse.

Being thus over-swayed with her proud opinion, shee would no longer
be embraced, or regarded by him in any manner, saving onely because
she could not refuse him; but would find some other for her better
satisfaction, who might seeme more worthy of her respect, then the
Drapier her Husband did. Hereupon shee fell so deepe in love, with a
very honest man of our City also, and of indifferent yeeres; as what
day shee saw him not, shee could take no rest the night ensuing. The
man himselfe knew nothing hereof, and therefore was the more neglect
and carelesse, and she being curious, nice, yet wisely considerate;
durst not let him understand it, neither by any womans close conveyed
message, nor yet by Letters, as fearing the perils which happen in such
cases. But her eye observing his daily walkes and resorts, gave her
notice of his often conversing with a religious Friar, who albeit he
was a fat and corpulent man, yet notwithstanding, because he seemed to
leade a sanctimonious life, and was reported to be a most honest man;
she perswaded her selfe, that he might be the best meanes, betweene her
and her friend.

Having considered with her selfe, what course was best to be observed
in this case; upon a day, apt and convenient, shee went to the Convent,
where he kept, and having caused him to be called, shee told him, that
if his leysure so served, very gladly shee would be confessed, and
onely had made her choyce of him. The holy man seeing her, and reputing
her to be a Gentlewoman, as indeede shee was no lesse; willingly heard
her, and when shee had confessed what shee could, shee had yet another
matter to acquaint him withall, and thereupon thus she began.

Holy Father, it is no more then convenient, that I should have recourse
to you, to be assisted by your help and councell, in a matter which I
will impart unto you. I know, that you are not ignorant of my parents
and husband, of whom I am affected as dearely as his life, for proofe
whereof, there is not any thing that I can desire, but immediatly I
have it of him, he being a most rich man, and may very sufficiently
affoord it. In regard whereof, I love him equally as my selfe, and,
setting aside my best endeavours for him; I must tell you one thing,
if I should do anything contrary to his liking and honour, no woman
can more worthily deserve death, then my selfe. Understand then, good
Father, that there is a man, whose name I know not, but hee seemeth
to be honest, and of good worth; moreover (if I am not deceived) hee
resorteth oftentimes to you, being faire and comely of person, going
alwayes in blacke garments of good price and value. This man, imagining
(perhaps) no such minde in me, as truely there is; hath often attempted
mee, and never can I be at my doore, or window, but hee is alwayes
present in my sight, which is not a little displeasing to me; he
watcheth my walkes, and much I mervaile, that he is not now here.

Let me tell you holy Sir, that such behaviours, doe many times lay bad
imputations upon very honest women, yet without any offence in them.
It hath often run in my minde, to let him have knowledge thereof by my
brethren: but afterward I considered, that men (many times) deliver
messages in such sort, as draw on very ungentle answeres, whereon grow
words, and words beget actions. In which respect, because no harme or
scandall should ensue, I thought it best to be silent; determining,
to acquaint you rather therewith, then any other, as well because
you seeme to be his friend, as also in regard of your office, which
priviledgeth you, to correct such abuses, not onely in friends, but
also in strangers. Enowe other women there are, (more is the pitty) who
(perhaps) are better disposed to such suites, then I am, and can both
like and allowe of such courting, otherwise then I can doe; as being
willing to embrace such offers, and (happily) loath to yeeld deniall.
Wherefore, most humbly I entreat you, good Father (even for our blessed
Ladies sake) that you would give him a friendly reprehension, and
advise him, to use such unmanly meanes no more hereafter. With which
words, shee hung downe her head in her bosome, cunningly dissembling,
as if shee wept, wiping her eyes with her Handkerchife, when not a
teare fell from them, but indeed were dry enough.

The holy Religious man, so soone as he heard her description of
the man, presently knew whom shee meant, and highly commending the
Gentlewoman, for her good and vertuous seeming disposition, beleeved
faithfully all that shee had said: promising her, to order the matter
so well and discreetly, as shee should not be any more offended. And
knowing her to be a woman of great wealth (after all their usuall
manner, when they cast forth their fishing nets for gaine:) liberally
he commended Almes-deedes, and dayly workes of charity, recounting to
her (beside) his owne perticular necessities. Then, giving him two
pieces of gold, she said. I pray you (good Father) to be mindfull of
me, and if he chance to make any deniall: tell him boldly, that I spake
it my selfe to you, and by the way of a sad complaint her confession
being ended, and penance easie enough enjoyned her, shee promised to
make her parents bountifull benefactours to the Convent, and put more
money into his hand, desiring him in his Masses, to remember the soules
of her deceased friends, and so returned home to her house.

Within a short while after her departure, the Gentleman, of whom
she had made this counterfeit complaint, came thither, as was his
usuall manner, and having done his duty to the holy Father; they sate
downe together privately, falling out of one discourse into another.
At the length, the Frier (in very loving and friendly sort) mildly
reproved him, for such amorous glaunces, and other pursuites, which
(as he thought) hee dayly used to the Gentlewoman, according to
her owne speeches. The Gentleman mervailed greatly thereat, as one
that had never seene her, and very sildome passed by the way where
she dwelt, which made him the bolder in his answeres; wherein the
Confessour interrupting him, said. Never make such admiration at the
matter, neither waste more words in these stout denials, because they
cannot serve thy turne: I tell thee plainely, I heard it not from any
neighbours, but even of her owne selfe, in a very sorrowfull and sad
complaint. And though (perhaps) hereafter, thou canst very hardly
refraine such follies; yet let mee tell thee so much of her (and under
the seale of absolute assurance) that she is the onely woman of the
world, who (in my true judgement) doth hate and abhorre all such base
behaviour. Wherefore, in regard of thine owne honour, as also not to
vexe & prejudice so vertuous a Gentlewoman: I pray thee refrain such
idlenes henceforward, & suffer hir to live in peace.

The Gentleman, being a little wiser then his ghostly Father, perceived
immediatly (without any further meditating on the matter) the notable
pollicie of the woman: whereupon, making somewhat bashfull appearance
of any error already committed; hee said, hee would afterward be better
advised. So, departing from the Frier, he went on directly, to passe
by the house where the Gentlewoman dwelt, and she stood alwayes ready
on her watch, at a little window, to observe, when hee should walke
that way: And seeing him comming, she shewed her selfe so joyfull,
and gracious to him, as he easily understood, whereto the substance
of the holy Fathers chiding tended. And, from that time forward, hee
used dayly, though in covert manner (to the no little liking of the
Gentlewoman and himselfe) to make his passage through that streete,
under colour of some important occasions there, concerning him.

Soone after, it being plainely discerned on either side, that the
one was as well contented with these walkes, as the other could be:
shee desired to enflame him a little further, by a more liberall
illustration of her affection towards him, when time and place
affoorded convenient opportunity. To the holy Father againe shee
went, (for shee had been too long from shrift) and kneeling downe
at his feete, intended to begin her confession in teares; which the
Friar perceiving, sorrowfully demanded of her, what new accident had
happened? Holy Father (quoth shee) no novell accident, but onely your
wicked and ungracious friend, by whom (since I was here with you, yea,
no longer agoe then yesterday) I have beene so wronged, as I verily
beleeve that hee was borne to be my mortall enemie, and to make me doe
something to my utter disgrace for ever; and whereby I shall not dare
to be seene any more of you, my deare Father. How is this? answered the
Friar, hath he not refrained from afflicting you so abusively?

Pausing a while, and breathing foorth many a dissembled sigh, thus
shee replyed. No truly, holy Father, there is no likelyhood of his
abstaining; for since I made my complaint to you, he belike taking it
in evill part, to be contraried in his wanton humours, hath (meerely in
despight) walked seaven times in a day by my doore, whereas formerly,
he never used it above once or twice. And well were it (good Father)
if he could be contented with those walkes, and gazing glaunces which
hee dartes at me: but growne he is so bolde and shamelesse, that
even yesterday, (as I tolde you) he sent a woman to me, one of his
_Pandoraes_, as it appeared, and as if I had wanted either Purses or
Girdles, he sent me (by her) a Purse and a Girdle. Whereat I grew so
grievously offended, as had it not beene for my due respect and feare
of God, and next the sacred reverence I beare to you my ghostly Father;
doubtlesse, I had done some wicked deede. Neverthelesse, happily I
withstood it, and will neither say or doe any thing in this case, till
first I have made it knowne to you.

Then I called to minde, that having redelivered the Purse and Girdle
to his shee messenger, (which brought them) with lookes sufficient to
declare my discontentment: I called her backe againe, fearing least
shee would keepe them to her selfe, and make him beleeve, that I had
received them (as I have heard such kind of women use to doe sometimes)
and in anger I snatcht them from her, and have brought them hither to
you, to the end that you may give him them againe; and tell him, I have
no neede of any such things, thankes be to Heaven and my husband, as no
woman can be better stored then I am. Wherefore good Father, purposely
am I now come to you, and I beseech you accept my just excuse, that if
he will not abstaine from thus molesting me, I will disclose it to my
Husband, Father, and Brethren, whatsoever shall ensue thereon: for I
had rather he should receive the injury (if needs it must come) then I
to be causelesly blamed for him; wherein good Father tell me, if I doe
not well. With many counterfeit sobbes, sighes, and teares, these wordes
were delivered; and drawing foorth from under her gowne, a very faire
and rich purse, as also a Girdle of great worth, shee threw them into
the Friers lap.

He verily beleeving all this false report, being troubled in his minde
thereat beyond measure, tooke the Gentlewoman by the hand, saying:
Daughter, if thou be offended at these impudent follies, assuredly
I cannot blame thee, not will any wise man reproove thee for it;
and I commend thee for following my counsell. But let me alone for
schooling of my Gentleman: ill hath he kept his promise made to mee;
wherefore, in regard of his former offence, as also this other so
lately committed, I hope to set him in such a heate, as shall make him
leave off from further injurying thee. And in Gods name, suffer not thy
selfe to be conquered by choler, in disclosing this to thy kindred or
husband, because too much harme may ensue thereon. But feare not any
wrong to thy selfe; for, both before God and men, I am a true witnesse
of thine honesty and vertue.

Now began she to appeare somewhat better comforted; & forbearing to
play on this string any longer, as wel knowing the covetousness of
him and his equals, she said. Holy Father, some few nights past, me
thought in my sleepe, that divers spirits of my kindred appeared to me
in a vision, who (me thought) were in very great paines, and desired
nothing else but Almes; especially my God-mother, who seemed to bee
afflicted with such extreme poverty, that it was most pittifull to
behold. And I am half perswaded, that her torments are the greater,
seeing mee troubled with such an enemy to goodnesse. Wherefore (good
Father) to deliver her soule and the others, out of those fearfull
flames; among your infinite other devout prayers, I would have you to
say the fortie Masses of S. _Gregory_, as a meanes for their happy
deliverance, and so she put ten ducates into his hand. Which the holy
man accepted thankfully, and with good words, as also many singular
examples, confirmed her bountifull devotion: and when he had given her
his benediction, home she departed.

After that the Gentlewoman was gone, hee sent for his friend, whom
she so much seemed to be troubled withall; and when he was come, hee
beholding his Holy Father to looke discontentedly: thought, that now
he should heare some newes from his Mistresse, and therefore expected
what he would say. The Frier, falling into the course of his former
reprehensions, but yet in more rough and impatient manner, sharpely
checkt him for his immodest behaviour towards the Gentlewoman, in
sending her the Purse and Girdle. The Gentleman, who as yet could not
guesse whereto his speeches tended; somewhat coldly and temperately,
denied the sending of such tokens to her, to the end that he would not
be utterly discredited with the good man, if so bee the Gentlewoman had
shewne him any such things. But then the Frier, waxing much more angry,
sternly said. Bad man as thou art, how canst thou deny a manifest
trueth? See sir, these are none of your amorous tokens? No, I am sure
you doe not know them, nor ever saw them till now.

The Gentleman, seeming as if he were much ashamed, saide. Truely
Father I do know them, and confesse that I have done ill, and very
greatly offended: but now I will sweare unto you, seeing I understande
how firmely she is affected, that you shall never heare any more
complaints of me. Such were his vowes and protestations, as in the end
the ghostly Father gave him both the Purse and Girdle: then after he
had preached, & severely conjured him, never more to vexe her with any
gifts at all, and he binding himselfe thereto by a solemne promise,
he gave him license to depart. Now grew the Gentleman very jocond,
being so surely certified of his Mistresses love, and by tokens of
such worthy esteeme; wherefore no sooner was hee gone from the Frier,
but hee went into such a secret place, where he could let her behold
at her Window, what precious tokens he had receyved from her, whereof
she was extraordinarily joyfull, because her devices grew still better
and better; nothing now wanting, but her husbands absence, upon some
journey from the City, for the full effecting of her desire.

Within a few dayes after, such an occasion hapned, as her husband of
necessity must journey to _Geneway_; and no sooner was hee mounted on
horsebacke, taking leave of her and all his friends: but she, being
sure hee was gone, went in all hast to her Ghostly Father; and, after
a few faigned outward shewes, thus she spake. I must now plainly tell
you, holy father, that I can no longer endure this wicked friend of
yours; but because I promised you the other day, that I would not do
any thing, before I had your counsell therein, I am now come to tell
you, the just reason of my anger, and full purpose to avoid all further

Your friend I cannot terme him, but (questionles) a very divel of hell.
This morning, before the breake of day, having heard (but how, I know
not) that my husband was ridden to _Geneway_: got over the wall into my
Garden, and climbing up a tree which standeth close before my chamber
window, when I was fast asleepe, opened the Casement, and would have
entred in at the window. But, by great good fortune, I awaked, and made
shew of an open out-cry: but that he entreated mee, both for Gods sake
and yours, to pardon him this error, and never after he would presume
any more to offend me. When he saw, that (for your sake) I was silent,
he closed fast the window againe, departed as he came, and since I
never saw him, or heard any tidings of him. Now judge you, holy Father,
whether these be honest courses, or no, and to be endured by any civil
Gentlewoman; neither would I so patiently have suffered this, but onely
in my dutifull reverence to you.

The Ghostly Father hearing this, became the sorrowfullest man in the
world, not knowing how to make her any answer, but only demanded of
her divers times, whether she knew him so perfectly, that she did not
mistake him for some other? Quoth she, I would I did not know him from
any other. Alas deere daughter (replied the Frier) what can more be
sayd in this case, but that it was over-much boldnesse, and very il
done; & thou shewedst thy selfe a worthy wise woman, in sending him
away so mercifully, as thou didst. Once more I would entreat thee
(deare and vertuous daughter) seeing grace hath hitherto kept thee
from dishonour, and twice already thou hast credited my counsell, let
me now advise thee this last time. Spare speech, or complaining to any
other of thy friends, and leave it to me, to try if I can overcome
this unchained divel, whom I tooke to be a much more holy man. If I
can recall him from this sensuall appetite, I shall account my labour
well employed; but if I cannot do it, henceforward (with my blessed
benediction) I give thee leave to do, even what thy heart will best
tutor thee to. You see Sir (said shee) what manner of man he is, yet
would I not have you troubled or disobeyed, only I desire to live
without disturbance, which work (I beseech you) as best you may: for
I promise you, good Father, never to solicite you more uppon this
occasion: And so, in a pretended rage, shee returned backe from the
ghostly Father.

Scarsely was she gone forth of the Church, but in commeth the man
that had (supposedly) so much transgressed; and the Fryer taking him
aside, gave him the most injurious words that could be used to a man,
calling him disloyall, perjured, and a traitor. Hee who had formerly
twice perceived, how high the holy mans anger mounted, did nothing but
expect what he wold say; and, like a man extreamly perplexed, strove
how to get it from him, saying; Holy Father, how come you to be so
heinously offended? What have I done to incense you so strangely? Heare
mee dishonest wretch answered the Frier, listen what I shall say unto
thee. Thou answerest me, as if it were a yeare or two past, since so
foule abuses were by thee committed, & they almost quite out of thy
remembrance. But tell me wicked man, where wast thou this morning,
before breake of the day? Wheresoever I was, replyed the Gentleman,
mee thinkes the tidings come very quickly to you. It is true, said the
Frier, they are speedily come to me indeed, and upon urgent necessity.

After a little curbing in of his wrath, somewhat in a milder strain,
thus he proceeded. Because the Gentlewomans husband is journeyed to
_Geneway_, proves this a ladder to your hope, that to embrace her in
your armes, you must climbe over the Garden wall, like a treacherous
robber in the night season, mount up a tree before her Chamber window,
open the Casement, as hoping to compasse that by importunity, which her
spotlesse chastity will never permit. There is nothing in the world,
that possibly she can hate more then you, and yet you will love her
whether she will or no. Many demonstrations her selfe hath made to
you, how retrograde you are to any good conceit of her, & my loving
admonishments might have had better successe in you, then as yet they
shewe by outward apparance. But one thing I must tell you, her silent
sufferance of your injuries all this while, hath not bin in any respect
of you, but at my earnest entreaties, and for my sake. But now shee
will be patient no longer, and I have given her free license, if ever
heereafter you offer to attempt her any more, to make her complaint
before her Brethren, which will redound to your no meane danger.

The Gentleman, having wisely collected his Love-lesson out of the Holy
Fathers angry words, pacified the good old man so wel as he could with
very solemne promises and protestations, that he should heare (no
more) any misbehaviour of his. And being gone from him, followed the
instructions given in her complaint, by climbing over the Garden Wall,
ascending the Tree, and entering at the Casement, standing ready open
to welcome him. Thus the Friers simplicity, wrought on by her most
ingenuous subtiltie, made way to obtaine both their longing desires.

_A yong Scholler, named_ Felice, _enstructed_ Puccio di Rinieri, _how
to become rich in a very short time. While_ Puccio _made experience
of the instructions taught him;_ Felice _obtained the favour of his

The fourth Novell.

_Wherein is declared, what craft and subtilty some wily wits can
devise, to deceive the simple, and compasse their owne desires._

After that _Philomena_ had finished her Tale, she sate still; and
_Dioneus_ with faire and pleasing Language, commended the Gentlewomans
quaint cunning, but smiled at the Confessors witlesse simplicity.
Then the _Queen_, turning with chearefull looks towards _Pamphilus_,
commaunded him to continue on their delight; who gladly yeelded, and
thus began. Madame, many men there are, who while they strive to
climbe from a good estate, to a seeming better; doe become in much
worse condition then they were before. As happened to a neighbour of
ours, and no long time since, as the accident will better acquaint you

According as I have heard it reported, neere to Saint _Brancazio_,
there dwelt an honest man, and some-what rich, who was called _Puccio
di Rinieri_, and who addicted all his paines and endeavours to Alchimy:
wherefore, he kept no other family, but onely a widdowed daughter, and
a servant; and because he had no other Art or exercise, hee used often
to frequent the market place. And in regard he was but a weake witted
man, and a gourmand or grosse feeder; his language was the more harsh
and rude, like to our common Porters or loutish men, and his carriage
also absurd, boore-like, and clownish. His daughter, being named _Monna
Isabetta_, aged not above eight and twenty, or thirty yeers; was a
fresh indifferent faire, plumpe, round woman, cherry cheekt, like a
Queene-Apple; and, to please her Father, fed not so sparingly, as
otherwise she wold have done, but when she communed or jested with any
body, she would talke of nothing, but onely concerning the great vertue
in Alchimy, extolling it above all other Arts.

Much about this season of the yeare, there returned a young Scholler
from _Paris_, named _Felice_, faire of complexion, comely of person,
ingeniously witted, and skilfully learned, who (soone after) grew
into familiarity with _Puccio_: now because he could resolve him in
many doubts, depending on his profession of Alchimy, (himselfe having
onely practise, but no great learning) he used many questions to him,
shewed him very especiall matters of secrecy, entertaining him often to
dinners and suppers, whensoever he pleased to come and converse with
him; and his daughter likewise, perceiving with what favour her Father
respected him, became the more familiar with him, allowing him good
regard and reverence.

The young man continuing his resort to the House of _Puccio_, and
observing the widow to be faire, fresh, and prettily formall; he began
to consider with himselfe, what those things might be, wherein shee
was most wanting; and (if he could) to save anothers labour, supply
them by his best endeavours. Thus not alwayes carrying his eyes before
him, but using many backe and circumspect regards, he proceeded so
farre in his wylie apprehensions, that (by a few sparkes close kept
together) he kindled part of the same fire in her, which began to flame
apparantly in him. And he very wittily observing the same, as occasion
first smiled on him, and allowed him favourable opportunity, so did hee
impart his intention to her.

Now albeit he found her plyant enough, to gaine physick for her owne
griefe, as soone as his; yet the meanes and manner were (as yet) quite
out of all apprehension. For shee in no other part of the World, would
trust her selfe in the young mans company, but onely in her Fathers
house; and that was a place out of all possibility, because _Puccio_
(by a long continued custome) used to watch well neere all the night,
as commonly he did, each night after other, never stirring foorth of
the roomes, which much abated the edge of the young mans appetite.
After infinite intricate revolvings, wheeling about his busied braine,
he thought it not altogether an _Herculian_ taske, to enjoy his
happinesse in the house, and without any suspition, albeit _Puccio_
kept still within doores, and watched as hee was wont to doe.

Upon a day as he sate in familiar conference with _Puccio_, he began
to speake unto him in this manner; I have many times noted, kinde
friend _Puccio_, that all thy desire and endeavour is, by what meanes
thou mayest become very rich, wherein (me thinkes) thou takest too
wide a course, when there is a much neere and shorter way, which
_Mighell, Scotus,_ and other his associates, very diligently observed
and followed, yet were never willing to instruct other men therein;
whereby the misterie might be drowned in oblivion, and prosecuted by
none but onely great Lords, that are able to undergoe it. But because
thou art mine especiall friend, and I have received from thee infinite
kind favours; whereas I never intended, that any man (by me) should
be acquainted with so rare a secret; if thou wilt imitate the course
as I shall shew thee, I purpose to teach it thee in full perfection.
_Puccio_ being very earnestly desirous to understand the speediest way
to so singular a mysterie, first began to entreat him (with no meane
instance) to acquaint him with the rules of so rich a Science; and
afterward sware unto him, never to disclose it to any person, except
hee gave his consent thereto; affirming beside, that it was a rarity,
not easie to be comprehended by very apprehensive judgements. Well
(quoth _Felice_) seeing thou hast made me such a sound and solemne
promise, I will make it knowne unto thee.

Know then friend _Puccio_, the Philosophers do hold, that such as covet
to become rich indeed, must understand how to make the Stone: as I will
tell thee how, but marke the manner very heedfully. I do not say, that
after the Stone is obtained, thou shalt be even as rich as now thou
art; but thou shalt plainly perceive, that the very grosest substance,
which hitherto thou hast seene, all of them shal be made pure golde,
and such as afterward thou makest, shall be more certaine, then to
go or come with _Aqua fortis_, as now they do. Most expedient is it
therefore, that when a man will go diligently about this businesse,
and purposeth to prosecute such a singular labour, which will and
must continue for the space of 40 nights, he must give very carefull
attendance, wholly abstaining from sleepe, slumbering, or so much as
nodding all that while.

Moreover, in some apt and convenient place of thy house, there must
be a forge or furnace erected, framed in decent and formall fashion,
and neere it a large table placed, ordered in such sort, as standing
upright on thy feete, and leaning the reines of thy backe against it;
thou must stande stedfastly in that manner every night, without the
least motion or stirring, untill the breake of day appeareth, and
thine eyes still uppon the Furnace fixed, to keepe ever in memory, the
true order which I have prescribed. So soone as the morning is seene,
thou mayst (if thou wilt) walke, or rest a little upon thy bed, and
afterward go about thy businesse, if thou have any. Then go to dinner,
attending readily till the evenings approch, preparing such things
as I will readily set thee downe in writing, without which there is
not any thing to bee done; and then returne to the same taske againe,
not varying a jot from the course directed. Before the time be fully
expired, thou shalt perceive many apparant signes, that the stone is
still in absolute forwardnesse, but it will bee utterly lost if thou
fayle in the least of all the observances. And when the experience hath
crowned thy labour, thou art sure to have the Philosophers stone, and
thereby shalt be able to enrich all, and worke wonders beside.

_Puccio_ instantly replied. Now trust me Sir, there is no great
difficultie in this labour; neither doth it require any extraordinary
length of time: but it may very easily be followed and performed, and
(by your friendly favour, in helping to direct the Furnace and Table,
according as you imagine most convenient) on Sunday at night next, I
will begin my task. The Scholler being gone, he went to his daughter,
and tolde her all the matter, and what he had determined to do: which
shee immediately understood sufficiently, and what would ensue on his
nightly watching in that manner, returning him answer, that whatsoever
he liked and allowed of, it became not her any way to mislike. Thus
they continued in this kinde concordance, till Sunday night came. When
_Puccio_ was to begin his experience, and _Felice_ to set forward upon
his adventure. Concluded it was, that every night the Scholler must
come to Supper, partly to bee a witnesse of his constant performance,
but more especially for his owne advantage.

The place which _Puccio_ had chosen, for his hopefull attaining to the
Philosophers Stone, was close to the Chamber where his daughter lay,
having no other separation or division, but an old ruinous tottring
wall. So that, when the Scholler was playing his prize, _Puccio_ heard
an unwonted noise in the house, which he had never observed before,
neither knew the wall to have any such motion: wherefore, not daring
to stirre from his standing, least all should be marrd in the very
beginning, he called to his daughter, demanding, what busie labour she
was about? The widdow, being much addicted to frumping, according as
questions were demanded of her, and (perhaps) forgetting who spake to
her, pleasantly replied: Whoop Sir, where are we now? Are the Spirits
of Alchimy walking in the house, that we cannot lye quietly in our beds?

_Puccio_ mervailing at this answer, knowing she never gave him the like
before; demanded againe, what she did? The subtle wench, remembring
that she had not answered as became her, said: Pardon mee Father, my
wits were not mine owne, when you demanded such a sodaine question; and
I have heard you say an hundred times, that when folke go supperles
to bed, either they walke in their sleepe, or being awake, talke very
idely, as (no doubt) you have discernde by me. Nay daughter (quoth he)
it may be, that I was in a waking dreame, and thought I heard the olde
wall totter: but I see I was deceived, for now it is quiet and still
enough. Talke no more good Father, saide she, least you stirre from
your place, and hinder your labour: take no care for mee, I am able
enough to have care of my selfe.

To prevent any more of these nightly disturbances, they went to lodge
in another part of the house, where they continued out the time of
_Puccioes_ paines, with equall contentment to them both, which made
her divers times say to _Felice_: You teach my father the cheefe
grounds of Alchimy, while we helpe to waste away his treasure. Thus the
Scholler being but poore, yet well forwarded in Learning, made use of
_Puccioes_ folly, and found benefit thereby, to keepe him out of wants,
which is the bane and overthrow of numberlesse good wits. And _Puccio_
dying, before the date of his limitted time, because hee failed of the
Philosophers Stone, _Isabetta_ joyned in marriage with _Felice_, to
make him amends for enstructing her father, by which meanes he came to
be her husband.

Ricciardo, _surnamed the Magnifico, gave a Horse to_ Signior Francesco
Vergellisi, _upon condition, that (by his leave and lisence) he
might speake to his Wife in his presence; which he did, and shee not
returning him any answere, made answer to himselfe on her behalfe, and
according to his answer, so the effect followed._

The fifth Novell.

_Wherein is described the frailety of some Women, and folly of such
Husbands, as leave them alone to their owne disposition._

_Pamphilus_ having ended the Novell of _Puccio_ the Alchimist, the
Queene fixing her eye on Madam _Eliza_, gave order, that shee should
succeede with hers next. When shee looking somewhat more austerely,
then any of the rest, not in any spleen, but as it was her usuall
manner, thus began. The World containeth some particular people who doe
beleeve (because themselves know something) that others are ignorant in
all things; who for the most part, while they intend to make a scorne
of other men, upon the proofe, doe finde themselves to carry away the
scorne. And therefore I account it no meane follie in them, who (upon
no occasion) will tempt the power of another mans wit or experience.
But because all men and women (perhaps) are not of mine opinion; I
meane that you shall perceive it more apparantly, by an accident
happening to a Knight of _Pistoia_, as you shall heare by me related.

In the Towne of _Pistoia_, bordering upon _Florence_, there lived not
long since, a Knight named Signior _Francesco_; descended of the linage
or family of the _Vergellisi_, a man very rich, wise, and in many
things provident, but gripple, covetous, and too close handed, without
respect to his worth and reputation. He being called to the Office of
_Podesta_ in the City of _Millaine_, furnished himselfe with all things
(in honourable manner) beseeming such a charge; only, a comely horse
(for his owne saddle) excepted, which he knew not by any meanes how
to compasse, so loath he was to lay out money, albeit his credit much
depended thereon.

At the same time, there lived in _Pistoya_ likewise, a young man, named
_Ricciardo_, derived of meane birth, but very wealthy, quicke witted,
and of commendable person, alwayes going so neate, fine, and formall
in his apparrell, that he was generally tearmed the _Magnifico_, who
had long time affected, yea, and closely courted, (though without any
advantage or successe) the Lady and Wife of _Signior Francesco_, who
was very beautifull, vertuous, and chaste. It so chanced, that this
_Magnifico_ had the very choysest and goodliest ambling Gelding in all
_Tuscanie_, which he loved dearely, for his faire forme, and other good
parts. Upon a flying rumor throughout _Pistoria_, that he daily made
love to the fore-said Lady: some busie body, put it into the head of
_Signior Francesco_, that if he pleased to request the Gelding, the
_Magnifico_ would frankly give it him, in regard of the love he bare to
his Wife.

The base minded Knight, coveting to have the Horse, and yet not to
part with any money, sent for the _Magnifico_, desiring to buy his
faire Gelding of him, because he hoped to have him of free gift. The
_Magnifico_ hearing his request, was not a little joyfull hereof, and
thus answered; Sir, if you would give me all the wealth which you
possesse in this World, I will not sell you my Horse, rather I will
bestow him on you as a Gentlemanly gift; but yet upon this condition,
that before you have him delivered, I may with your lisence, and in
your presence speake a few words to your vertuous Ladie, and so farre
off in distance from you, as I may not be heard by any, but onely her
selfe. _Signior Francesco_, wholly conducted by his base avaricious
desire, and meaning to make a scorne at the _Magnifico_, made answere;
that he was well contented, to let him speake with her when he would,
and leaving him in the great Hall of the house, he went to his Wives
Chamber, and told her, how easily he might enjoy the Horse; commanding
her forth-with, to come and heare what he could say to her, onely shee
should abstaine, and not returne him any answer. The Lady with a modest
blush, much condemned this folly in him, that his covetousnesse should
serve as a cloake, to cover any unfitting speeches, which her chaste
eares could never endure to heare: neverthelesse, being to obey her
Husbands will, shee promised to doe it, and followed him downe into
the House, to heare what the _Magnifico_ would say. Againe, he there
confirmed the bargaine made with her Husband, and sitting downe by her
in a corner of the Hall, farre enough off from any ones hearing, taking
her curteously by the hand, thus he spake.

Worthy Lady, it appeareth to me for a certainty, that you are so
truly wise, as you have (no doubt) a long while since perceived, what
unfained affection your beauty (farre excelling all other womens
that I know) hath compelled me to beare you. Setting aside those
commendable qualities, and singular vertues, gloriously shining in
you, and powerfull enough to make a conquest of the very stoutest
courage: I held it utterly needlesse, to let you understand by words,
how faithfull the love is I beare you, were it not much more fervent
and constant, then ever any other man can expresse to a woman. In
which condition it shall still continue, without the least blemish or
impaire, so long as I enjoy life or motion; yea, and I dare assure
you, that if in the future World, affection may containe the same
powerfull dominion, as it doth in this; I am the man, borne to love you
perpetually. Whereby you may rest confidently perswaded, that you enjoy
not any thing, how poore or precious soever it be, which you can so
solemnely account to be your owne, and in the truest title of right, as
you may my selfe, in all that I have, or for ever shall be mine.

To confirme your opinion in this case, by any argument of greater
power, let me tell you, that I should repute it as my fairest and
most gracious fortune, if you would command me some such service, as
consisteth in mine ability to performe, and in your courteous favour
to accept, yea, if it were to travaile thorow the whole world, right
willing am I, and obedient. In which regard, faire Madame, if I be so
much yours, as you heare I am, I may boldly adventure (and not without
good reason) to acquaint your chaste eares with my earnest desires, for
on you onely dependeth my happinesse, life and absolute comfort, and as
your most humble servant, I beseech you (my dearest good, and sole hope
of my soule) that rigour may dwell no longer in your gentle brest, but
Lady-like pitty and compassion: whereby I shal say, that as your divine
beauty enflamed mine affections, even so it extended such a mercifull
qualification, as exceeded all my hope, but not the halfe part of your

Admit (miracle of Ladies) that I should die in this distresse: Alas,
my death would be but your dishonour; I cannot be termed mine owne
murtherer, when the Dart came from your eye that did it, and must
remaine a witnesse of your rigour. You cannot then chuse but call
to minde, and say within your owne soule: Alas! what a sinne have I
committed, in being so unmercifull to my _Magnifico_. Repentance then
serves to no purpose, but you must answere for such unkinde cruelty.
Wherefore, to prevent so blacke a scandall to your bright beauty,
beside the ceaselesse acclamations, which will dogge your walkes in
the day time, and breake your quiet sleepes in the night season, with
fearefull sights and gastly apparitions, hovering and haunting about
your bed; let all these move you to milde mercy, and spill not life,
when you may save it.

So the _Magnifico_ ceasing, with teares streaming from his eyes, and
sighes breaking from his heart, he sate still in exspectation of
the Ladies answere, who made neither long or short of the matter,
neither Tilts not Tourneying, nor many lost mornings and evenings,
nor infinite other such like offices, which the _Magnifico_ (for her
sake) from time to time had spent in vaine, without the least shew of
acceptation, or any hope at all to winne her love: Moved now in this
very houre, by these solemne protestations, or rather most prevailing
asseverations; she began to finde that in her, which (before) she
never felt, namely Love. And although (to keepe her promise made to
her husband) shee spake not a word: yet her heart heaving, her soule
throbbing, sighes intermixing, and complexion altering, could not
hide her intended answere to the _Magnifico_, if promise had beene no
hinderance to her will. All this while the _Magnifico_ sate as mute as
she, and seeing she would not give him any answere at all; he could not
chuse but wonder thereat, yet at length perceived, that it was thus
cunningly contrived by her husband. Notwithstanding, observing well her
countenance, that it was in a quite contrary temper, another kinde of
fire sparkling in her eye, other humours flowing, her pulses strongly
beating, her stomack rising, and sighes swelling; all these were
arguments of a change, and motives to advance his hope. Taking courage
by this tickling perswasion, and instructing his minde with a new kinde
of counsell: he would needes answere himselfe on her behalfe, and as if
she had uttered the words, he spake in this manner.

_Magnifico_, and my friend, surely it is a long time since, when I
first noted thine affection towards me, to be very great and most
perfect: but now I am much more certaine thereof, by thine owne
honest and gentle speeches, which content me as they ought to doe.
Neverthelesse, if heretofore I have seemed cruell and unkinde to thee,
I would not have thee thinke, that my heart was any way guilty of my
outward severity; but did evermore love thee, and held thee dearer then
any man living. But yet it became me to doe so, as well in feare of
others, as for the renowne of mine owne reputation. But now the time is
at hand, to let thee know more clearely, whether I doe affect thee or
no: as a just guerdon of thy constant love, which long thou hast, and
still doest beare to me. Wherefore comfort thy selfe, and dwell upon
this undoubted hope, because _Signior Francesco_ my husband, is to be
absent hence for many dayes, being chosen _Podesta_ at _Millaine_, as
thou canst not chuse but heare, for it is common through the Country.

I know (for my sake) thou hast given him thy goodly ambling Gelding,
and so soone as hee is gone, I promise thee upon my word, and by the
faithfull love I beare thee: that I will have further conference with
thee, and let thee understand somewhat more of my minde. And because
this is neither fitting time nor place, to discourse on matters of such
serious moment; observe heereafter, as a signall, when thou seest my
crimson skarfe hanging in the window of my Chamber, which is upon the
Garden side; that evening (so soone as it is night) come to the Garden
gate, with wary respect, that no eye doe discover thee, and there thou
shalt finde me walking, and ready to acquaint thee with other matters,
according as I shall finde occasion.

When the _Magnifico_, in the person of the Lady, had spoken thus, then
hee returned her this answere. Most vertuous Lady, my spirits are so
transported with extraordinary joy, for this your gracious and welcome
answere; that my sences so fayle mee, and all my faculties quite
forsake me, as I cannot give you such thankes as I would. And if I
could speake equally to my desire, yet the season sutes not therewith,
neither were it convenient that I should be so troublesome to you. Let
me therefore humbly beseech you, that the desire I have to accomplish
your will (which words availe not to expresse) may remaine in your
kinde consideration. And, as you have commaunded me, so will I not
faile to performe it accordingly, and in more thankfull manner, then
as yet I am able to let you know. Now there resteth nothing elsee to
doe, but, under the protection of your gracious pardon, I to give over
speech, and you to attend your worthy husband.

Notwithstanding all that hee had spoken, yet shee replied not one word,
wherefore the _Magnifico_ arose, and returned to the Knight, who went
to meete him, saying in a loude laughter. How now man? have I not
kept my promise with thee? No Sir, answered the _Magnifico_, for you
promised I should speake with your wife, and you have made mee talke
to a marble Statue. This answere was greatly pleasing to the Knight,
who, although hee had an undoubted opinion of his wife; yet this did
much more strengthen his beliefe, and hee said. Now thou confessest
thy Gelding to bee mine? I doe, replied the _Magnifico_, but if I had
thought, that no better successe would have ensued on the bargaine;
without your motion for the horse, I would have given him you: and I
am sorie that I did not, because now you have bought my horse, and yet
I have not sold him. The Knight laughed heartily at this answere, and
being thus provided of so faire a beast, he rode on his journey to
_Millaine_, and there entred into his authority of _Podesta_.

The Lady remained now in liberty at home, considering on the
_Magnificoes_ words, and likewise the Gelding, which (for her sake)
was given to her husband. Oftentimes shee saw him passe to and fro
before her windowe, still looking when the Flagge of defiance should
be hanged forth, that hee might fight valiantly under her Colours. The
Story saith, that among many of her much better meditations, she was
heard to talke thus idely to herselfe. What doe I meane? Wherefore is
my youth? The olde miserable man is gone to _Millaine_, and God knoweth
when hee comes backe againe, ever, or never. Is dignity preferred
before wedlockes holy duty, and pleasures abroade, more then comforts
at home? Ill can age pay youths arrerages, when time is spent, and no
hope sparde. Actions omitted, are often times repented, but done in due
season, they are sildome sorrowed for. Upon these un-Lady-like private
consultations, whether the window shewed the signall or no; it is no
matter belonging to my charge: I say, husbands are unwise, to graunt
such ill advantages, and wives much worse, if they take hold of them,
onely judge you the best, and so the Tale is ended.

Ricciardo Minutolo _fell in love with the Wife of_ Philippello
Fighinolfi, _and knowing her to be very jealous of her Husband, gave
her to understand, that he was greatly enamoured of his wife, and had
appointed to meete her privately in a Bathing house, on the next day
following: Where she hoping to take him tardie with his close compacted
Mistresse, found herselfe to be deceived by the said_ Ricciardo.

The sixth Novell.

_Declaring, how much perseverance, and a couragious spirit is
availeable in love._

No more remained to be spoken by Madame _Eliza_, but the cunning of
the _Magnifico_, being much commended by all the company: the Queene
commanded Madame _Fiammetta_, to succeede next in order with one of her
Novelse, who (smilingly) made answere that she would, and began thus.
Gracious Ladies, me thinkes wee have spoken enough already, concerning
our owne Citie, which as it aboundeth copiously in all commodities,
so is it an example also to every convenient purpose. And as Madam
_Eliza_ hath done, by recounting occasions happening in another World,
so must we now leape a little further off, even so farre as _Naples_,
to see how one of those Saint-like Dames, that nicely seemes to shun
Loves allurings, was guided by the good spirit to a friend of hers,
and tasted of the fruite, before shee knew the flowers. A sufficient
warning for you, to apprehend before hand, what may follow after; and
to let you see beside, that when an error is committed, how to be
discreete in keeping it from publike knowledge.

In the City of _Naples_, it being of great antiquity, and (perhaps)
as pleasantly scituated, as any other City in all _Italie_, there
dwelt sometime a young Gentleman, of noble parentage, and well
knowne to be wealthy, named _Ricciardo Minutolo_, who, although hee
had a Gentlewoman (of excellent beauty, and worthy the very kindest
affecting) to his wife; yet his gadding eye gazed elsee-where, and he
became enamoured of another, which (in generall opinion) surpassed all
the _Neapolitane_ women elsee, in feature, favour, and the choysest
perfections, shee being named Madam _Catulla_, wife to as gallant a
young Gentleman, called _Philippello Fighinolfi_, who most dearely he
loved beyond all other, for her vertue and admired chastity.

_Ricciardo_ loving this Madam _Catulla_, and using all such meanes,
whereby the grace and liking of a Lady might be obtained; found it yet
a matter beyond possibility, to compasse the height of his desire: so
that many desperate and dangerous resolutions beleagred his braine,
seeming so intricate, and unlikely to affoord any hopefull issue, as he
wished for nothing more then death. And death (as yet) being deafe to
all his earnest imprecations, delayed him on in lingering afflictions,
and continuing still in such an extreame condition, he was advised by
some of his best friends, utterly to abstaine from this fond pursuite,
because his hopes were meerely in vaine, and Madam _Catulla_ prized
nothing more precious to her in the World, then unstayned loyaltie to
her Husband; and yet shee lived in such extreme jealousie of him, as
fearing least some bird flying in the Ayre, should snatch him from her.

_Ricciardo_ not unacquainted with this her jealous humour, as well
by credible hearing thereof, as also by daily observation; began to
consider with himselfe, that it were best for him, to dissemble amorous
affection in some other place, and (hence-forward) to set aside all
hope, of ever enjoying the love of Madam _Catulla_, because he was
now become the servant to another Gentlewoman, pretending (in her
honour) to performe many worthy actions of Armes, Jousts, Tournaments,
and all such like noble exercises, as he was wont to doe for Madam
_Catulla_. So that almost all the people of _Naples_, but especially
Madam _Catulla_, became verily perswaded, that his former fruitlesse
love to her was quite changed, and the new elected Lady had all the
glory of his best endeavours, persevering so long in this opinion, as
now it passed absolutely for currant. Thus seemed he now as a meere
Stranger to her, whose house before he familiarly frequented; yet (as a
neighbour) gave her the dayes salutations, according as he chanced to
see her, or meete her.

It came to passe, that it being now the delightfull Summer season,
when all Gentlemen and Gentlewomen used to meete together (according
to a custome long observed in that Countrey) sporting along on the
Sea Coast, dining and supping there very often. _Ricciardo Minutolo_
happened to heare, that Madam _Catulla_ (with a company of her friends)
intended also to be present there among them, at which time, consorted
with a seemely traine of his confederates, he resorted thither, and
was graciously welcommed by Madam _Catulla_, where he pretended no
willing long time of tarrying; but that _Catulla_ and the other Ladies
were faine to entreate him, discoursing of his love to his new elected
Mistresse: which _Minutolo_ graced with so solemne a countenance, as
it ministred much more matter of conference, all coveting to know what
shee was.

So farre they walked, and held on this kinde of discoursing, as every
Lady and Gentlewoman, waxing weary of too long a continued argument,
began to separate her selfe with such an associate as shee best liked,
and as in such walking women are wont to doe; so that Madam _Catulla_
having few females left with her, stayed behind with _Minutolo_, who
suddenly shot foorth a word, concerning her husband _Philippello_, &
of his loving another woman beside her selfe. She that was overmuch
jealous before, became so suddenly set on fire, to know what shee was
of whom _Minutolo_ spake; as shee sate silent a long while, till being
able to containe no longer, shee entreated _Ricciardo_, even for the
Ladies sake, whose love he had so devoutly embraced, to resolve her
certainely, in this strange alteration of her Husband; whereunto thus
he answered.

Madam, you have so straitly conjured me, by urging the remembrance of
her; for whose sake I am not able to denie any thing you can demand, as
I am ready therein to pleasure you. But first you must promise me, that
neither you, or any other person for you, shall at any time disclose
it to your Husband, untill you have seene by effect, that which I have
tolde you proveth to be true: and when you please, I will instruct you
how your selfe shall see it. The Lady was not a little joyfull, to be
thus satisfied in her Husbands follie, and constantly crediting his
words to be true, shee sware a solemne oath, that no one alive should
ever know it. So stepping a little further aside, because no listening
eare should heare him, thus he beganne.

Lady, if I did love you now so effectually, as heretofore I have done,
I should be very circumspect, in uttering any thing which I imagined
might distaste you. I know not whether your Husband _Philippello_,
were at any time offended; because I affected you, or beleeved, that I
received any kindnesse from you: but whether it were so or no, I could
never discerne it by any outward apparance. But now awaiting for the
opportunity of time, which he conceived should affoord me the least
suspition; he seekes to compasse that, which (I doubt) he feares I
would have done to him, in plaine termes Madam, to have his pleasure
of my wife. And as by some carriages I have observed, within few dayes
past, he hath solicited and pursued his purpose very secretly, by many
Ambassages, and other meanes, as (indeede) I have learned from her
selfe, and alwayes shee hath returned in such answers, as shee received
by my direction.

And no longer agoe Madam, then this very morning, before my comming
hither, I found a woman messenger in my House, in very close conference
with my Wife, when growing doubtfull of that which was true indeede,
I called my Wife, enquiring, what the woman would have with her; and
shee tolde me it was another pursuite of _Philippello Fighinolfi_,
who (quoth shee) upon such answers as you have caused me to send him
from time to time, perhaps doth gather some hope of prevailing in the
ende, which maketh him still to importune me as he doth. And now he
adventureth so farre, as to understand my finall intention, having thus
ordered his complot, that when I please, I must meete him secretly in
an house of this City, where he hath prepared a Bath ready for me,
and hopeth to enjoy the ende of his desire, as very earnestly he hath
solicited me thereto. But if you had not commanded me, to hold him in
suspence with so many frivolous answers; I would (long ere this) have
sent him such a message, as should have beene little to his liking.

With patience (Madam) I endured all before, but now (me thinkes)
he proceedeth too farre, which is not any way to be suffered; and
therefore I intended to let you know it, whereby you may perceive, how
well you are rewarded, for the faithfull and loyall love you beare him,
and for which I was even at the doore of death. Now, because you may be
the surer of my speeches, not to be any lies or fables, and that you
may (if you be so pleased) approve the trueth by your owne experience:
I caused my Wife to send him word, that shee would meete him to morrow,
at the Bathing-house appointed, about the houre of noone-day, when
people repose themselves, in regard of the heates violence; with which
answere the woman returned very jocondly. Let me now tell you Lady, I
hope you have better opinion of my wit, then any meaning in me, to send
my wife thither; I rather did it to this ende, that having acquainted
you with his treacherous intent, you should supply my wives place, by
saving both his reputation and your owne, and frustrating his unkind
purpose to me. Moreover, upon the view of his owne delusion, wrought by
my wife in meere love to you, he shall see his foule shame, and your
most noble care, to keepe the rites of marriage betweene you still

Madame _Catulla_, having heard this long and unpleasing report; without
any consideration, either what he was that tolde the tale, or what a
treason he intended against her: immediatly (as jealous persons use to
doe) she gave faith to his forgerie, and began to discourse many things
to him, which imagination had often misguided her in, against her
honest minded husband, and enflamed with rage, suddenly replied; that
shee would doe according as he had advised her, as being a matter of no
difficulty. But if he came, she would so shame and dishonour him, as no
woman whatsoever should better schoole him. _Ricciardo_ highly pleased
herewith; & being perswaded, that his purpose would take the full
effect: confirmed the Lady in her determination with many words more;
yet putting her in memory, to keepe her faithfull promise made, without
revealing the matter to any living person, as shee had sworne upon her

On the morrow morning, _Ricciardo_ went to an auncient woman of his
acquaintance, who was the Mistresse of a Bathing-house, and there where
he had appointed Madame _Catulla_, that the Bath should be prepared for
her, giving her to understand the whole businesse, and desiring her to
be favourable therein to him. The woman, who had beene much beholding
to him in other matters, promised very willingly to fulfill his
request, concluding with him, both what should be done and said. She
had in her house a very darke Chamber, without any window to affoord
it the least light, which Chamber shee had made ready, according to
_Ricciardoes_ direction, with a rich Bed therein, so soft and delicate
as possible could be, wherein he entred so soone as he had dined, to
attend the arrivall of Madame _Catulla_. On the same day, as she had
heard the speeches of _Ricciardo_, and gave more credit to them then
became her; shee returned home to her house in wonderfull impatience.
And _Philippello_ her husband came home discontentedly too, whose head
being busied about some worldly affaires, perhaps he looked not so
pleasantly, neither used her so kindly, as he was wont to doe. Which
_Catulla_ perceiving, shee was ten times more suspicious then before,
saying to herselfe. Now apparant trueth doth disclose it selfe, my
husbands head is troubled now with nothing elsee, but _Ricciardoes_
wife, with whom (to morrow) he purposeth his meeting; wherein he shall
be disappointed, if I live; taking no rest at all the whole night, for
thinking how to handle her husband.

What shall I say more? On the morrow, at the houre of mid-day,
accompanied onely with her Chamber-mayde, and without any other
alteration in opinion; shee went to the house where the Bath was
promised; and meeting there with the olde woman, demaunded of her, if
_Philippello_ were come thither as yet or no? The woman, being well
instructed by _Ricciardo_, answered: Are you shee that should meete him
heere. Yes, replied _Catulla_. Goe in then to him (quoth the woman) for
he is not farre off before you.

Madame _Catulla_, who went to seeke that which she would not finde,
being brought vailed into the darke Chamber where _Ricciardo_ was,
entred into the Bath, hoping to finde none other there but her
husband, and the custome of the Countrey, never disallowed such
meetings of men with their wives, but held them to be good and
commendable. In a counterfeit voyce he bad her welcome, and she, not
seeming to be any other then she was indeed, entertained his embracings
in as loving manner; yet not daring to speake, least he should know
her, but suffered him to proceede in his owne error.

Let passe the wanton follies passing betweene them, and come to Madame
_Catulla_, who finding it a fit and convenient time, to vent forth the
tempest of her spleene, began in this manner. Alas! how mighty are
the misfortunes of women, and how ill requited is the loyall love,
of many wives to their husbands? I, a poore miserable Lady, who, for
the space of eight yeares now fully compleated, have loved thee more
dearely then mine owne life, finde now (to my hearts endlesse griefe)
how thou wastest and consumest thy desires, to delight them with a
strange woman, like a most vile and wicked man as thou art. With whom
doest thou now imagine thy selfe to be? Thou art with her, whom thou
hast long time deluded by false blandishments, feigning to affect
her, when thou doatest in thy desires elsee-where. I am thine owne
_Catulla_, and not the wife of _Ricciardo_, trayterous and unfaithfull
man, as thou art. I am sure thou knowest my voyce, and I thinke it a
thousand yeares, untill wee may see each other in the light, to doe
thee such dishonour as thou justly deserveth, dogged, disdainefull,
and villainous wretch. By conceiving to have another woman in thy
wanton embraces, thou hast declared more joviall disposition, and
demonstrations of farre greater kindnesse, then domesticke familiarity.
At home thou lookest sower, sullen or surly, often froward, and sildome
well pleased. But the best is, whereas thou intendest this husbandrie
for another mans ground, thou hast (against thy will) bestowed it on
thine owne, and the water hath runne a contrary course, quite from the
current where thou meantst it.

What answere canst thou make, devill, and no man? What, have my words
smitten thee dumbe? Thou mayest (with shame enough) hold thy peace, for
with the face of a man, and love of an husband to his wife, thou art
not able to make any answere.

_Ricciardo_ durst not speake one word, but still expressed his affable
behaviour towards her, bestowing infinite embraces and kisses on her:
which so much the more augmented her rage and anger, continuing on her
chiding thus. If by these flatteries and idle follies, thou hopest to
comfort or pacifie me, thou runnest quite byas from thy reckoning: for
I shall never imagine my selfe halfe satisfied, untill in the presence
of my parents, friends, and neighbours, I have revealed thy base
behaviour. Tell mee, treacherous man, am not I as faire, as the wife
of _Ricciardo_? Am I not as good a Gentlewoman borne, as shee is? What
canst thou more respect in her, then is in mee? Villaine, monster, why
doest thou not answere mee? I will send to _Ricciardo_, who loveth mee
beyond all other women in _Naples_, and yet could never vaunt, that I
gave him so much as a friendly looke: he shall know, what a dishonour
thou hadst intended towards him; which both he and his friends will
revenge soundly upon thee.

The exclamations of the Lady were so tedious and irksome, that
_Ricciardo_ perceiving, if she continued longer in these complaints,
worse would ensue thereon, then could be easily remedied: resolved
to make himselfe knowne to her, to reclaime her out of this violent
extasie, and holding her somewhat strictly, to prevent her escaping
from him, he said. Madam, afflict your selfe no further, for, what I
could not obtaine by simply loving you, subtilty hath better taught me,
and I am your _Ricciardo_, which she hearing, and perfectly knowing him
by his voyce; shee would have leapt out of the Bath, but shee could
not, and to avoyde her crying out, he layde his hand on her mouth,
saying. Lady, what is done, cannot now be undone, albeit you cried
out all your lifetime. If you exclaime, or make this knowne openly by
any meanes; two unavoydable dangers must needes ensue thereon. The
one (which you ought more carefully to respect) is the wounding of
your good renowne and honour, because, when you shall say, that by
treacherie I drew you hither: I will boldly maintaine the contrary,
avouching, that having corrupted you with gold, and not giving you
so much as covetously you desired; you grew offended, and thereon
made the out-cry, and you are not to learne, that the world is more
easily induced to beleeve the worst, then any goodnesse, be it never
so manifest. Next unto this, mortall hatred must arise betweene your
husband and me, and (perhaps) I shall as soone kill him, as he mee;
whereby you can hardly live in any true contentment after. Wherefore,
joy of my life, doe not in one moment, both shame your selfe, and cause
such perill betweene your husband and me: for you are not the first,
neither can be the last, that shall be deceived. I have not beguiled
you, to take any honour from you, but onely declared, the faithfull
affection I beare you, and so shall doe for ever, as being your bounden
and most obedient servant; and as it is a long time agoe, since I
dedicated my selfe and all mine to your service, so hence-forth must
I remaine for ever. You are wise enough (I know) in all other things;
then shew your selfe not to be silly or simple in this.

_Ricciardo_ uttered these words, teares streaming aboundantly downe his
cheekes, and Madame _Catulla_ (all the while) likewise showred forth
her sorrowes equally to his, now, although she was exceedingly troubled
in minde, and saw what her owne jealous folly had now brought her to,
a shame beyond all other whatsoever: in the midst of her tormenting
passions, she considered on the words of _Ricciardo_, found good reason
in them, in regard of the unavoydable evils, whereupon shee thus
spake. _Ricciardo_, I know not how to beare the horrible injurie, and
notorious treason used by thee against me, grace and goodnesse having
so forsaken me, to let me fall in so foule a manner. Nor becommeth it
me, to make any noyse or out-cry heere, whereto simplicity, or rather
devillish jealousie, did conduct me. But certaine I am of one thing,
that I shall never see any one joyfull day, till (by one meanes or
other) I be revenged on thee. Thou hast glutted thy desire with my
disgrace, let me therefore goe from thee, never more to looke upon my
wronged husband, or let any honest woman ever see my face.

_Ricciardo_ perceiving the extremity of her perplexed minde, used
all manly and milde perswasions, which possibly he could devise to
doe, to turne the torrent of this high tide, to a calmer course; as
by outward shew shee made apparance of, untill (in frightfull feares
shunning every one shee met withall, as arguments of her guiltinesse)
shee recovered her owne house, where remorse so tortured her distressed
soule, that shee fell into so fierce a melancholy, as never left her
till shee died. Upon the report whereof, _Ricciardo_ becomming likewise
a widdower, and grieving extraordinarily for his haynous transgression,
penitently betooke himselfe to live in a wildernesse, where (not long
after) he ended his dayes.

Thebaldo Elisei, _having received an unkinde repulse by his beloved,
departed from Florence, and returning thither againe (a long while
after) in the habite of a Pilgrime; he spake with her, and made his
wrongs knowne unto her. He delivered her Father from the danger of
death, because it was proved, that he had slaine_ Thebaldo: _he made
peace with his brethren, and in the ende, wisely enjoyed his hearts

The seaventh Novell.

_Wherein is signified the power of Love, and the diversity of dangers,
whereinto men may daily fall._

So ceased _Fiammetta_ her discourse, being generally commended, when
the Queene, to prevent the losse of time, commanded _Æmillia_ to
follow next, who thus began. It liketh me best (gracious Ladies) to
returne home againe to our owne City, which it pleased the former two
discoursers to part from: And there I will shew you, how a Citizen of
ours, recovered the kindnesse of his Love, after he had lost it.

Sometime there dwelt in _Florence_ a young gentleman, named _Thebaldo
Elisei_, descended of a noble House, who became earnestly enamored of a
Widdow, called _Hermelina_, the daughter to _Aldobrandino Palermini_:
well deserving, for his vertues and commendable qualities, to enjoy of
her whatsoever he could desire. Secretly they were espoused together,
but Fortune, the enemy to Lovers felicities, opposed her malice
against them, in depriving _Thebaldo_ of those deare delights, which
sometime he held in free possession, and making him as a stranger to
her gracious favours. Now grew shee contemptibly to despise him, not
onely denying to heare any message sent from him, but scorning also to
vouchsafe so much as a sight of him, causing in him extreme griefe and
melancholy, yet concealing all her unkindnesse so wisely to himselfe,
as no one could understand the reason of his sadnesse.

After he had laboured by all hopefull courses, to obtaine that favour
of her, which he had formerly lost, without any offence in him, as his
innocent soule truly witnessed with him, and saw that all his further
endeavours were fruitlesse and in vaine; he concluded to retreate
himselfe from the World, and not to be any longer irkesome in her eye,
that was the onely occasion of his unhappinesse. Hereupon, storing
himselfe with such summes of money, as suddenly he could collect
together, secretly he departed from _Florence_, without speaking any
word to his friends or kindred; except one kind companion of his, whom
he acquainted with most of his secrets, and so travelled to _Ancona_,
where he termed himselfe by the name of _Sandolescio_. Repairing to a
wealthy Merchant there, he placed himselfe as his servant, and went in
a Ship of his with him to _Cyprus_; his actions and behaviour proved so
pleasing to the Merchant, as not onely he allowed him very sufficient
wages, but also grew into such association with him; as he gave the
most of his affaires into his hands, which he guided with such honest
and discreete care, that he himselfe (in few yeeres compasse) proved to
be a rich Merchant, and of famous report.

While matters went on in this successefull manner, although he could
not chuse, but still he remembred his cruell Mistresse, and was very
desperately transported for her love, as coveting (above all things
elsee) to see her once more; yet was he of such powerfull constancy, as
7 whole yeers together, he vanquished all those fierce conflicts. But
on a day it chanced he heard a song sung in _Cyprus_, which he himselfe
had formerly made, in honour of the love he bare to his Mistresse, and
what delight he conceived, by being daily in her presence; whereby he
gathered, that it was impossible for him to forget her, and proceeded
on so desirously, as he could not live, except he had a sight of her
once more, and therefore determined on his returne to _Florence_.
Having set all his affaires in due order, accompanied with a servant of
his onely, he passed to _Ancona_, where when he was arrived, he sent
his Merchandises to _Florence_, in name of the Merchant of _Ancona_,
who was his especiall friend and partner; travayling himselfe alone
with his servant, in the habite of a Pilgrime, as if he had beene newly
returned from _Jerusalem_.

Being come to _Florence_, he went to an Inne kept by two bretheren,
neere neighbours to the dwelling of his Mistresse, and the first
thing he did, was passing by her doore, to get a sight of her if he
were so happie. But he found the windowes, doores, and all parts of
the house fast shut up, whereby he suspected her to be dead, or elsee
to be changed from her dwelling: wherefore (much perplexed in minde)
he went on to the two brothers Inne, finding foure persons standing
at the gate, attired in mourning, whereat he marvelled not a little;
knowing himselfe to be so transfigured, both in body and habite, farre
from the manner of common use at his parting thence, as it was a
difficult matter to know him: he stept boldly to a Shooe-makers shop
neere adjoining, and demanded the reason of their wearing mourning.
The Shoo-maker made answer thus; Sir, those men are clad in mourning,
because a brother of theirs, being named _Thebaldo_ (who hath beene
absent hence a long while) about some fifteene dayes since was slaine.
And they having heard, by proofe made in the Court of Justice, that one
_Aldobrandino Palermini_ (who is kept close prisoner) was the murtherer
of him, as he came in a disguised habite to his daughter, of whom he
was most affectionately enamoured; cannot chuse, but let the World know
by their outward habites, the inward affliction of their hearts, for a
deede so dishonourably committed.

_Thebaldo_ wondered greatly hereat, imagining, that some man belike
resembling him in shape, might be slaine in this manner, and by
_Aldobrandino_, for whose misfortune he grieved marvellously. As
concerning his Mistresse, he understood that shee was living, and
in good health; and night drawing on apace, he went to his lodging,
with infinite molestations in his minde, where after supper, he was
lodged in a Corne-loft with his man. Now by reason of many disturbing
imaginations, which incessantly wheeled about his braine, his bed
also being none of the best, and his supper (perhaps) somewhat of the
coursest; a great part of the night was spent, yet could he not close
his eyes together. But lying still broade awake, about the dead time
of night, he heard the treading of divers persons over his head, who
discended downe a paire of stayres by his Chamber, into the lower
parts of the house, carrying a light with them, which he discerned
by the chinkes and crannies in the wall. Stepping softly out of his
bed, to see what the meaning hereof might be, he espied a faire young
woman, who carried the light in her hand, and three men in her company,
descending downe the stayres together, one of them speaking thus to
the young woman. Now we may boldly warrant our safety, because we
have heard it assuredly, that the death of _Thebaldo Elisei_, hath
beene sufficiently approved by the Brethren, against _Aldobrandino
Palermini_, and he hath confessed the fact; whereupon the sentence is
already set downe in writing. But yet it behoveth us notwithstanding,
to conceale it very secretly, because if ever hereafter it should be
knowne, that we are they who murthered him, we shall be in the same
danger, as now _Aldobrandino_ is.

When _Thebaldo_ had heard these words, hee began to consider with
himselfe, how many and great the dangers are, wherewith mens minds may
daily be molested. First, he thought on his owne brethren in their
sorrow, and buried a stranger in steed of him, accusing afterward (by
false opinion, and upon the testimony of as false witnesses) a man most
innocent, making him ready for the stroke of death. Next, he made a
strict observation in his soule, concerning the blinded severity of
Law, and the Ministers thereto belonging, who pretending a diligent
and carefull inquisition for trueth, doe oftentimes (by their tortures
and torments) heare lies avouched (onely for ease of paine) in the
place of a true confession, yet thinking themselves (by doing so) to be
the Ministers of God and Justice, whereas indeede they are the Divelse
executioners of his wickednesse. Lastly, converting his thoughts to
_Aldobrandino_, the imagined murtherer of a man yet living, infinite
cares beleagured his soule, in devising what might best be done for his

So soone as he was risen in the morning, leaving his servant behinde
him in his lodging, he went (when he thought it fit time) all alone
toward the house of his Mistresse, where finding by good fortune the
gate open, he entred into a small Parlour beneath, and where he saw
his Mistresse sitting on the ground, wringing her hands, and wofully
weeping, which (in meere compassion) moved him to weepe likewise; and
going somewhat neere her, he saide. Madam, torment your selfe no more,
for your peace is not farre off from you. The Gentlewoman hearing him
say so, lifted up her head, and in teares spake thus. Good man, thou
seemest to me to be a Pilgrim stranger; what doest thou know, either
concerning my peace, or mine affliction? Madam (replied the Pilgrime)
I am of _Constantinople_, and (doubtlesse) am conducted hither by the
hand of Heaven, to convert your teares into rejoycing, and to deliver
your Father from death. How is this? answered shee: If thou be of
_Constantinople_, and art but now arrived here; doest thou know who we
are, either I, or my Father?

The Pilgrime discoursed to her, even from one end to the other, the
history of her Husbands sad disasters, telling her, how many yeeres
since shee was espoused to him, and many other important matters,
which wel shee knew, and was greatly amazed thereat, thinking him
verily to be a Prophet, and kneeling at his feete, entreated him very
earnestly, that if hee were come to deliver her Father _Aldobrandino_
from death, to doe it speedily, because the time was very short. The
Pilgrime appearing to be a man of great holinesse, saide. Rise up
Madam, refraine from weeping, and observe attentively what I shall
say; yet with this caution, that you never reveale it to any person
whatsoever. This tribulation whereinto you are falne, (as by revelation
I am faithfully informed) is for a grievous sinne by you heretofore
committed, whereof divine mercy is willing to purge you, and to make
a perfect amends by a sensible feeling of this affliction; as seeking
your sound and absolute recovery, least you fall into farre greater
danger then before. Good man (quoth shee) I am burthened with many
sinnes, and doe not know for which any amends should be made by me, any
one sooner then another: wherefore if you have intelligence thereof,
for charities sake tell it me, and I will doe so much as lieth in me,
to make a full satisfaction for it. Madam, answered the Pilgrime;
I know well enough what it is, and will demand it no more of you,
to winne any further knowledge thereof, then I have already: but
because in revealing it yourselfe, it may touch you with the more true
compunction of soule; let us goe to the point indeede, and tell me, doe
you remember, that at any time you were married to an Husband, or no?

At the hearing of these words, shee breathed foorth a very vehement
sigh, and was stricken with admiration at this question, beleeving
that not any one had knowledge thereof. Howbeit, since the day of the
supposed _Thebaldoes_ buriall, such a rumour ran abroade, by meanes
of some speeches, rashly dispersed by a friend of _Thebaldoes_, who
(indeede) knew it; whereupon shee returned him this answere. It
appeareth to me (good man) that divine ordinativation hath revealed
unto you all the secrets of men; and therefore I am determined, not to
conceale any of mine from you. True it is, that in my younger yeeres,
being left a widow, I entirely affected an unfortunate young Gentleman,
who (in secret) was my Husband, and whose death is imposed on my
Father. The death of him I have the more bemoaned, because (in reason)
it did neerely concerne me, by shewing my selfe so savage and rigorous
to him before his departure: neverthelesse, let me assure you Sir, that
neither his parting, long absence from me, or his untimely death, never
had the power to bereave my heart of his remembrance.

Madame, saide the Pilgrime, the unfortunate young Gentleman that is
slaine, did never love you; but sure I am, that _Thebaldo Elisei_ loved
you dearely. But tell me, what was the occasion whereby you conceived
such hatred against him? Did he at any time offend you? No trulie Sir,
quoth shee; but the reason of my anger towards him, was by the wordes
and threatnings of a religious Father, to whom once I revealed (under
confession) how faithfully I affected him, and what private familiarity
had passed betweene us. When instantly he used such dreadfull
threatnings to me, and which (even yet) doe afflict my soule, that if
I did not abstaine, and utterly refuse him, the Divell would fetch me
quicke to Hell, and cast me into the bottome of his quenchlesse and
everlasting fire.

These menaces were so prevailing with me, as I refused all further
conversation with _Thebaldo_, in which regard, I would receive neither
letters or messages from him. Howbeit, I am perswaded, that if he had
continued here still, and not departed hence in such desperate manner
as he did, seeing him melt and consume daily away, even as Snowe by
power of the Sunne-beames: my austere deliberation had beene long agoe
quite altered, because not at any time (since then) life hath allowed
me one merry day, neither did I, or ever can love any man like unto him.

At these wordes the Pilgrime sighed, and then proceeded on againe thus.
Surely Madam, this one onely sin, may justly torment you, because I
know for a certainty, that _Thebaldo_ never offered you any injury,
since the day he first became enamoured of you; and what grace or
favour you affoorded him, was your owne voluntary gift, and (as he
tooke it) no more then in modesty might well become you; for he loving
you first, you had beene most cruell and unkinde, if you should not
have requited him with the like affection. If then he continued so
just and loyall to you, as (of mine owne knowledge) I am able to say
he did; what should move you to repulse him so rudely? Such matters
ought well to be considered on before hand; for if you did imagine,
that you should repente it as an action ill done, yet you could not doe
it, because as he became yours, so were you likewise onely his; and
he being yours, you might dispose of him at your pleasure, as being
truely obliged to none but you. How could you then with-draw your selfe
from him, being onely his, and not commit most manifest theft, a farre
unfitting thing for you to doe, except you had gone with his consent?

Now Madam, let me further give you to understand, that I am a religious
person, and a pilgrime, and therefore am well acquainted with all the
courses of their dealing; if therefore I speake somewhat more amply
of them, and for your good, it cannot be so unseeming for me to doe
it, as it would appeare ugly in another. In which respect, I will
speake the more freely to you, to the ende, that you may take better
knowledge of them, then (as it seemeth) hitherto you have done. In
former passed times such as professed Religion, were learned and most
holy persons; but our religious professours now adayes, and such as
covet to be so esteemed; have no matter at all of Religion in them,
but onely the outward shew & habite. Which yet is no true badge of
Religion neither, because it was ordained by religious institutions,
that their garments should be made of narrow, plaine, and coursest spun
cloth, to make a publike manifestation to the world, that (in meere
devotion, and religious disposition) by wrapping their bodies in such
base clothing, they condemned and despised all temporall occasions. But
now adayes they make them large, deepe, glistering, and of the finest
cloth or stuffes to be gotten, reducing those habites to so proude
and pontificall a forme, that they walke Peacock-like rustling, and
strouting with them in the Churches; yea, and in open publike places,
as if they were ordinary secular persons, to have their pride more
notoriously observed. And as the Angler bestoweth his best cunning,
with one line and baite to catch many fishes at one strike; even so
do these counterfeited habite-mongers, by their dissembling and crafty
dealing, beguile many credulous widowes, simple women, yea, and men of
weake capacity, to credit whatsoever they doe or say, and herein they
doe most of all excercise themselves.

And to the end, that my speeches may not savour of any untruth against
them; these men which I speake of, have not any habite at all of
religious men, but onely the colour of their garments, and whereas
they in times past, desired nothing more then the salvation of mens
soules; these fresher witted fellowes, covet after women & wealth, and
employ all their paines by their whispering confessions, and figures
of painted feareful examples, to affright and terrifie unsetled and
weake consciences, by horrible and blasphemous speeches; yet adding
a perswasion withall, that their sinnes may be purged by Almes-deedes
and Masses. To the end, that such as credit them in these their dayly
courses, being guided more by apparance of devotion, then any true
compunction of heart, to escape severe penances by them enjoyned: may
some of them bring bread, others wine, others coyne, all of them matter
of commoditie and benefit, and simply say, these gifts are for the
soules of their good friends deceased.

I make not any doubt, but Almes-deedes and prayers, are very mighty,
and prevailing meanes, to appease heavens anger for some sinnes
committed; but if such as bestow them, did either see or know, to whom
they give them: they would more warily keepe them, or elsee cast them
before Swine, in regard they are altogether so unworthy of them. But
come we now to the case of your ghostly father, crying out in your
eare, that secret mariage was a most greevous sinne: Is not the breach
thereof farre greater. Familiar conversation betweene man and woman,
is a concession meerely naturall: but to rob, kill, or banish anyone,
proceedeth from the mindes malignity. That you did rob _Thebaldo_, your
selfe hath already sufficiently witnessed, by taking that from him,
which with free consent in mariage you gave him. Next I must say, that
by all the power remaining in you, you kild him, because you would
not permit him to remaine with you, declaring your selfe in the very
height of cruelty, that hee might destroy his life by his owne hands.
In which case the Law requireth, that whosoever is the occasion of an
ill act committed, hee or she is as deepe in the fault, as the party
that did it. Now concerning his banishment, and wandring seaven yeares
in exile thorow the world; you cannot denie, but that you were the
onely occasion thereof. In all which three severall actions, farre more
capitally have you offended; then by contracting of mariage in such
clandestine manner.

But let us see, whether _Thebaldo_ deserved all these severall
castigations, or not. In trueth he did not, your selfe have confessed
(beside that which I know) that hee loved you more dearely then
himselfe, and nothing could be more honoured, magnified and exalted,
then dayly you were by him, above all other women whatsoever. When
hee came in any place, where honestly, and without suspition hee
might speake to you: all his honour, and all his liberty, lay wholly
committed into your power. Was he not a noble young Gentleman? Was
hee (among all those parts that most adorne a man, and appertaine to
the very choycest respect) inferiour to any one of best merit in your
Citie? I know that you cannot make deniall to any of these demands.
How could you then by the perswasion of a beast, a foole, a villaine,
yea, a vagabond, envying both his happinesse and yours, enter into so
cruell a minde against him? I know not what error misguideth women, in
scorning and despising their husbands: but if they entred into a better
consideration, understanding truly what they are, and what nobility of
nature God hath endued man withall, farre above all other creatures; it
would bee their highest title of glory, when they are are so preciously
esteemed of them, so dearely affected by them, and so gladly embraced
in all their best abilities.

This is so great a sinne, as the divine Justice (which in an equal
ballance bringeth all operations to their full effect) did purpose not
to leave unpunished; but, as you enforced against all reason, to take
away _Thebaldo_ from your selfe: even so your Father _Aldobrandino_,
without any occasion given by _Thebaldo_, is in perill of his life,
and you a partaker of his tribulation. Out of which if you desire to
be delivered, it is very convenient that you promise one thing which I
shall tell you, and may much better be by you performed. Namely, that
if _Thebaldo_ doe at any time returne from his long banishment, you
shall restore him to your love, grace, and good acceptation; accounting
him in the selfe same degree of favour and private entertainement, as
he was at the first, before your wicked ghostly father so hellishly
incensed you against him.

When the Pilgrime had finished his speeches, the Gentlewoman, who had
listened to them very attentively (because all the alleaged reasons
appeared to be plainely true) became verily perswaded, that all these
afflictions had falne on her and her Father, for the ingratefull
offence by her committed, and therefore thus replied. Worthy man, and
the friend to goodnesse, I know undoubtedly, that the words which you
have spoken are true, and also I understand by your demonstration, what
manner of people some of those religious persons are, whom heretofore I
have reputed to be Saints, but find them now to be far otherwise. And
to speake truly, I perceive the fault to be great and grievous, wherein
I have offended against _Thebaldo_, and would (if I could) willingly
make amends, even in such manner as you have advised. But how is it
possible to be done? _Thebaldo_ being dead, can be no more recalled to
this life; and therefore, I know not what promise I should make, in a
matter which is not to be performed. Whereto, the Pilgrime without any
longer pausing, thus answered.

Madam, by such revelations as have beene shewne to me, I know for a
certainety, that _Thebaldo_ is not dead, but living, in health, and
in good estate; if he had the fruition of your grace and favour. Take
heede what you say Sir (quoth the Gentlewoman) for I saw him lie
slaine before my doore, his body having received many wounds, which
I folded in mine armes, and washed his face with my brinish teares;
whereby (perhaps) the scandall arose, that flew abroade to my disgrace.
Beleeve me Madam, (replied the Pilgrime) say what you will, I dare
assure you that _Thebaldo_ is living, and if you dare make promise,
concerning what hath beene formerly requested, and keepe it inviolably;
I make no doubt, but you your selfe shall shortly see him. I promise
it (quoth shee) and binde my selfe thereto by a sacred oath, to keepe
it faithfully: for never could any thing happen, to yeeld me the like
contentment, as to see my Father free from danger, and _Thebaldo_

At this instant _Thebaldo_ thought it to be a very apt and convenient
time to disclose himselfe, and to comfort the Lady, with an assured
signall of hope, for the deliverance of her Father, wherefore he
saide. Lady, to the ende that I may comfort you infallibly, in this
dangerous perill of your Fathers life; I am to make knowne an especiall
secret to you, which you are to keepe carefully (as you tender your
owne life) from ever being revealed to the world. They were then in
a place of sufficient privacy, and alone by themselves, because shee
reposed great confidence in the Pilgrimes sanctity of life, as thinking
him none other, then as he seemed to be. _Thebaldo_ tooke out of his
Purse a Ring, which shee gave him, the last night of their conversing
together, and he had kept with no meane care, and shewing it to her,
he saide. Doe you know this Ring Madam? So soone as shee saw it,
immediately shee knew it, and answered. Yes Sir, I know the Ring, and
confesse that heretofore I gave it unto _Thebaldo_.

Hereupon the Pilgrime stood up, and suddenly putting off his poore
linnen Frocke, as also the Hood from his head; using then his
_Florentine_ tongue, he saide. Then tell me Madam, doe you not know
me? When shee had advisedly beheld him, and knew him indeede to be
_Thebaldo_; she was stricken into a wonderfull astonishment, being as
fearefull of him, as shee was of the dead body, which shee saw lying in
the streete. And I dare assure you, that shee durst not goe neere him,
to respect him, as _Thebaldo_ so lately come from _Cyprus_: but (in
terror) fled away from him; as if _Thebaldo_ had beene newly risen out
of his grave, and came thither purposely to affright her; wherefore he
saide. Be not afraide Madam, I am your _Thebaldo_, in health, alive,
and never as yet died, neither have I received any wounds to kill mee,
as you and my bretheren have formerly imagined.

Some better assurance getting possession of her soule, as knowing him
perfectly by his voyce, and looking more stedfastly on his face, which
constantly avouched him to be _Thebaldo_; the teares trickling amaine
downe her faire cheekes, shee ran to embrace him, casting her armes
about his necke, and kissing him a thousand times, saying; _Thebaldo_,
my true and faithfull Husband, nothing in the World can be so welcome
to me. _Thebaldo_ having most kindly kissed and embraced her, said;
Sweete wife, time will not now allow us those ceremonious curtesies,
which (indeede) so long a separation doe justly challenge; but I must
about a more weightie businesse, to have your Father safe and soundly
delivered, which I hope to doe before to morrow at night, when you
shall heare tydings to your better contentment. And questionlesse, if I
speede no worse then my good hope perswadeth me, I will see you againe
to night, and acquaint you at better leysure, in such things as I
cannot doe now at this present.

So putting on his Pilgrimes habite againe, kissing her once more, and
comforting her with future good successe, he departed from her, going
to the prison where _Aldobrandino_ lay, whom he found more pensive,
as being in hourely expectation of death, then any hope he had to be
freed from it. Being brought neerer to him by the prisoners favour,
as seeming to be a man, come onely to comfort him; sitting downe by
him, thus he began. _Aldobrandino_, I am a friend of thine, whom Heaven
hath sent to doe thee good, in meere pitty and compassion of thine
innocency. And therefore, if thou wilt grant me one small request,
which I am earnestly to crave at thy hands; thou shalt heare (without
any failing) before to morrow at night, the sentence of thy free
absolution, whereas now thou expectest nothing but death; whereunto
_Aldobrandino_ thus answered. Friendly man, seeing thou art so carefull
of my safety (although I know thee not, neither doe remember that
ever I saw thee till now) thou must needs (as it appeareth no lesse)
be some especiall kind friend of mine. And to tell thee the trueth, I
never committed the sinfull deede, for which I am condemned to death.
Most true it is, I have other heynous and grievous sinnes, which
(undoubtedly) have throwne this heavy judgement upon me, and therefore
I am the more willing to undergoe it. Neverthelesse, let me thus farre
assure thee, that I would gladly, not onely promise something, which
might to the glory of God, if he were pleased in this case to take
mercy on me; but also would as willingly performe and accomplish it.
Wherefore, demand whatsoever thou pleasest of me, for unfainedly (if I
escape with life) I will truly keepe promise with thee.

Sir, replied the Pilgrime, I desire nor demand any thing of you, but
that you wold pardon the foure brethren of _Thebaldo_, who have brought
you to this hard extremity, as thinking you to be guilty of their
brothers death, and that you would also accept them as your brethren
and friends, upon their craving pardon for what they have done. Sir,
answered _Aldobrandino_, no man knoweth how sweete revenge is, nor
with what heate it is to be desired, but onely the man who hath been
wronged. Notwithstanding, not to hinder my hope, which onely aymeth at
Heaven; I freelie forgive them, and henceforth pardon them for ever;
intending moreover, that if mercy give me life, and cleere me from this
bloody imputation, to love and respect them so long as I shall live.
This answer was most pleasing to the Pilgrime, and without any further
multiplication of speeches, he entreated him to be of good comfort, for
he feared not but before the time prefixed, he should heare certaine
tydings of his deliverance.

At his departing from him, he went directly to the _Signoria_, and
prevailed so farre, that he spake privately with a Knight, who was then
one of the States chiefest Lords, to whom he saide. Sir, a man ought to
bestow his best paines and diligence, that the truth of things should
be apparantly knowne; especially, such men as hold the place and office
as you doe: to the ende, that those persons which have committed no
foule offence, should not be punished, but onely the guilty and haynous
transgressors. And because it will be no meane honour to you, to lay
the blame where it worthily deserveth; I am come hither purposely, to
informe you in a case of most weighty importance. It is not unknowne to
you, with what rigour the State hath proceeded against _Aldobrandino
Palermini_, and you thinke verily he is the man that hath slaine
_Thebaldo Elisei_, whereupon your law hath condemned him to dye. I
dare assure you Sir, that a very unjust course hath beene taken in this
case, because _Aldobrandino_ is falsly accused, as you your selfe will
confesse before midnight, when they are delivered into your power, that
were the murderers of the man.

The honest Knight, who was very sorrowfull for _Aldobrandino_, gladly
gave attention to the Pilgrime, and having conferred on many matters,
appertaining to the fact committed: the two brethren, who were
_Thebaldoes_ Hostes, and their Chamber-mayd, upon good advise given,
were apprehended in their first sleepe, without any resistance made
in their defence. But when the tortures were sent for, to understand
truely how the case went; they would not endure any paine at all, but
each aside by himselfe, and then altogether, confessed openly, that
they did the deede, yet not knowing him to bee _Thebaldo Elisei_. And
when it was demanded of them, upon what occasion they did so foule an
act. They answered, that they were so hatefull against the mans life,
because he would luxuriously have abused one of their wives, when they
both were absent from their owne home.

When the Pilgrime had heard this their voluntary confession, hee tooke
his leave of the Knight, returning secretly to the house of Madame
_Hermelina_, and there, because all her people were in their beds, she
carefull awaited his returne, to heare some glad tydings of her father,
and to make a further reconciliation betweene her and _Thebaldo_,
when, sitting downe by her, hee said. Deare Love, be of good cheare,
for (upon my word) to morrow you shall have your father home safe,
well, and delivered from all further danger: and to confirme her the
more confidently in his words, hee declared at large the whole cariage
of the businesse. _Hermelina_ being wondrously joyfull, for two such
suddaine and succesfull accidents to enjoy her husband alive and in
health, and also to have her father freed from so great a danger;
kissed and embraced him most affectionately, welcomming him lovingly
into her bed, whereto so long time he had beene a stranger.

No sooner did bright day appeare, but _Thebaldo_ arose, having
acquainted her with such matters as were to be done, and once more
earnestly desiring her, to conceale (as yet) these occurrences to her
selfe. So, in his Pilgrimes habite, he departed from her house, to
awaite convenient opportunity, for attending on the businesse belonging
to _Aldobrandino_. At the usuall houre appointed, the Lords were all
set in the _Signioria_, and had received full information, concerning
the offence imputed to _Aldobrandino_: setting him at liberty by
publique consent, and sentencing the other malefactors with death,
who (within a fewe dayes after) were beheaded in the place where the
murther was committed. Thus _Aldobrandino_ being released, to his
exceeding comfort, and no small joy of his daughters, kindred and
friends, all knowing perfectly, that this had happened by the Pilgrimes
meanes: they conducted him home to _Aldobrandinoes_ house, where they
desired him to continue so long as himselfe pleased, using him with
most honourable and gracious respect; but especially _Hermelina_, who
knew (better then the rest) on whom shee bestowed her liberall favours,
yet concealing all closely to her selfe.

After two or three dayes were over-past, in these complementall
entercoursings of kindnesse, _Thebaldo_ began to consider, that it
was high time for reconciliation, to be solemnely past betweene his
brethren and _Aldobrandino_. For, they were not a little amazed at his
strange deliverance, and went likewise continually armed, as standing
in feare of _Aldobrandino_ and his friends; which made him the more
earnest, for accomplishment of the promise formerly made unto him.
_Aldobrandino_ lovingly replied, that he was ready to make good his
word. Whereupon, the Pilgrime provided a goodly Banquet, whereat he
purposed to have present, _Aldobrandino_, his daughter, kindred, and
their wives. But first, himselfe would goe in person, to invite them
in peace to his Banquet, to performe this desired pacification, and
conferred with his brethren, using many pregnant and forcible arguments
to them, such as are requisite in the like discordant cases. In the
end, his reasons were so wise, and prevailing with them, that they
willingly condiscended, and thought it no disparagement to them, for
the recoverie of _Aldobrandinoes_ kindnesse againe, to crave pardon for
their great error committed.

On the morrow following, about the houre of dinner time, the foure
brethren of _Thebaldo_, attired in their mourning garments, with their
wives and friends, came first to the house of _Aldobrandino_, who
purposely attended for them, and having layd downe their weapons on
the ground: in the presence of all such, as _Aldobrandino_ had invited
as his witnesses, they offered themselves to his mercy, and humbly
required pardon of him, for the matter wherein they had offended him.
_Aldobrandino_, shedding teares, most lovingly embraced them, and (to
bee briefe) pardon whatsoever injuries he had received. After this,
the sisters and wives, all clad in mourning, courteously submitted
themselves, and were graciously welcommed by Madame _Hermelina_, as
also divers other Gentlewomen there present with her. Being all seated
at the Tables, which were furnished with such rarities as could be
wished for; all things elsee deserved their due commendation, but onely
sad silence, occasioned by the fresh remembrance of sorrow, appearing
in the habites of _Thebaldoes_ friends and kindred, which the Pilgrime
himselfe plainely perceived, to be the onely disgrace to him and his
feast. Wherefore, as before hee had resolved, when time served to purge
away this melancholly; hee arose from the Table, when some (as yet) had
scarce begun to eate, and thus spake.

Gracious company, there is no defect in this Banquet, or more debarres
it of the honour it might elsee have, but onely the presence of
_Thebaldo_, who having beene continually in your company, it seemes
you are not willing to take knowledge of him, and therefore I meane my
selfe to shew him. So, uncasing himselfe out of his Pilgrimes clothes,
and standing in his Hose and Doublet: to their no little admiration,
they all knew him, yet doubted (a good while) whether it were he
or no. Which hee perceiving, hee repeated his bretherens and absent
kindreds names, and what occurrences had happened betweene them from
time to time, beside the relation of his owne passed fortunes, inciting
teares in the eyes of his brethren, and all elsee there present, every
one hugging and embracing him, yea, many beside, who were no kin at
all to him, _Hermelina_ onely excepted, which when _Aldobrandino_ saw,
he said unto her. How now _Hermelina_? Why doest thou not welcome home
_Thebaldo_, so kindely as all here elsee have done?

She making a modest courtesie to her Father, and answering so loude as
every one might heare her, said. There is not any in this assembly,
that more willingly would give him all expression of a joyfull welcom
home, and thankfull gratitude for such especiall favours received, then
in my heart I could afford to do: but only in regard of those infamous
speeches, noysed out against me, on the day when wee wept for him, who
was supposed to be _Thebaldo_, which slander was to my great discredit.
Goe on boldly, replied _Aldobrandino_, doest thou thinke that I regard
any such praters? In the procuring of my deliverance, hee hath approved
them to be manifest liers, albeit I my selfe did never credit them. Goe
then I command thee, and let me see thee both kisse and embrace him.
She who desired nothing more, shewed her selfe not slothfull in obeying
her Father, to do but her duty to her husband. Wherefore, being risen;
as all the rest had done, but yet in farre more effectual manner, she
declared her unfeigned love to _Thebaldo_. These bountifull favours
of _Aldobrandino_, were joyfully accepted by _Thebaldoes_ brethren,
as also every one elsee there present in company; so that all former
rancour and hatred, which had caused heavy variances betweene them, was
now converted to mutuall kindnesse, and solemne friendship on every

When the feasting dayes were finished, the garments of sad mourning
were quite layde aside, and those, becomming so generall a joy, put
on, to make their hearts and habites suteable. Now, concerning the
man slaine, and supposed to be _Thebaldo_, hee was one, that in all
parts of body, and truenesse of complexion so neerely resembled him,
as _Thebaldoes_ owne brethren could not distinguish the one from
the other: but hee was of _Lunigiana_, named _Fatinolo_, and not
_Thebaldo_, whom the two brethren Inne-keepers maliced, about some
idle suspition conceived, and having slaine him, layde his body at the
doore of _Aldobrandino_, where, by the reason of _Thebaldoes_ absence,
it was generally reputed to be he, and _Aldobrandino_ charged to doe
the deede, by vehement perswasion of the brethren, knowing what love
had passed betweene him and his daughter _Hermelina_. But happy was
the Pilgrimes returne, first to heare those words in the Inne, the
meanes to bring the murther to light; and then the discreete cariage
of the Pilgrime, untill hee plainely approved himselfe, to be truly

Ferando, _by drinking a certaine kinde of Powder, was buried for dead.
And by the Abbot, who was enamoured of his wife, was taken out of his
Grave, and put into a darke prison, where they made him beleeve, that
hee was in Purgatorie. Afterward, when time came that hee should bee
raised to life againe; hee was made to keepe a childe, which the Abbot
had got by his Wife._

The eight Novell.

_Wherein is displayed, the apparant folly of jealousie: And the
subtilty of some religious carnall minded men, to beguile silly and
simple maried men._

When the long discourse of Madame _Æmilia_ was ended, not displeasing
to any, in regard of the length, but rather held too short, because
no exceptions could be taken against it, comparing the raritie of
the accidents, and changes together: the Queene turned to Madame
_Lauretta_, giving her such a manifest signe, as she knew, that it
was her turne to follow next, and therefore shee tooke occasion to
begin thus. Faire Ladies, I intend to tell you a Tale of trueth, which
(perhaps) in your opinions, will seeme to sound like a lye: and yet I
heard by the very last relation, that a dead man was wept and mournd
for, in sted of another being then alive. In which respect, I am now to
let you know, how a living man was buried for dead, and being raised
againe, yet not as living, himselfe, and divers more beside, did
beleeve that he came forth of his grave, and adored him as a Saint, who
was the occasion thereof, and who (as a bad man) deserved justly to be

In _Tuscanie_ there was sometime an Abby, seated, as now we see
commonly they are, in a place not much frequented with people, and
thereof a Monke was Abbot, very holy and curious in all things elsee,
save onely a wanton appetite to women: which yet hee kept so cleanly to
himselfe, that though some did suspect it, yet it was knowne to very
few. It came to passe, that a rich Country Franklin, named _Ferando_,
dwelt as a neere neighbour to the said Abby, hee being a man materiall,
of simple and grosse understanding, yet he fell into great familiarity
with the Abbot; who made use of this friendly conversation to no other
end, but for divers times of recreation; when he delighted to smile at
his silly and sottish behaviour.

Upon this his private frequentation with the Abbot, at last he
observed, that _Ferando_ had a very beautifull woman to his wife,
with whom he grew so deepely in love, as hee had no other meditations
either by day or night, but how to become acceptable in her favour.
Neverthelesse, he concealed his amorous passions privately to himselfe,
and could plainely perceive, that although Ferando (in all things
elsee) was meerely a simple fellow, and more like an Idiot, then of
any sensible apprehension: yet was he wise enough in loving his wife,
keeping her carefully out of all company, as one (indeede) very
jealous, least any should kisse her, but onely himselfe, which drove
the Abbot into despaire, for ever attaining the issue of his desire.
Yet being subtill, crafty, and cautelous, he wrought so on the flexible
nature of _Ferando_, that hee brought his wife with him divers dayes
to the Monasterie; where they walked in the goodly Garden, discoursing
on the beatitudes of eternall life, as also the most holy deedes of
men and women, long since departed out of this life, in mervailous
civill and modest manner. Yet all these were but traines to a further
intention, for the Abbot must needes bee her ghostly Father, and shee
come to be confessed by him; which the foole _Ferando_ tooke as an
especiall favour, and therefore he gave his consent the sooner.

At the appointed time, when the woman came to confession to the Abbot,
and was on her knees before him, to his no small contentment, before
she would say any thing elsee, thus she began: Sacred Father, if God
had not given me such an husband as I have, or elsee had bestowed on me
none at all; I might have beene so happy, by the meanes of your holy
doctrine, very easily to have entred into the way, whereof you spake the
other day, which leadeth to eternall life. But when I consider with
my selfe, what manner of man _Ferando_ is, and thinke upon his folly
withall; I may well terme my selfe to be a widdow, although I am a
maried wife, because while he liveth, I cannot have any other husband.
And yet (as sottish as you see him) he is (without any occasion given
him) so extreamely jealous of me; as I am not able to live with him,
but onely in continuall tribulation & hearts griefe. In which respect,
before I enter into confession, I most humbly beseech you, that you
would vouchsafe (in this distresse) to assist me with your fatherly
advise and counsell, because, if thereby I cannot attaine to a more
pleasing kinde of happinesse; neither confession, or any thing elsee, is
able to doe me any good at all.

These words were not a little welcome to my Lord Abbot, because
(thereby) he halfe assured himselfe, that Fortune had laid open the
path to his hoped pleasures, whereupon he said. Deare daughter, I
make no question to the contrary, but it must needes be an exceeding
infelicity, to so faire and goodly a young woman as you are, to be
plagued with so sottish an husband, brain-sick, and without the use
of common understanding; but yet subject to a more hellish affliction
then all these, namely jealousie, and therefore you being in this wofull
manner tormented, your tribulations are not only so much the more
credited, but also as amply grieved for, & pittied. In which heavy and
irksome perturbations, I see not any meanes of remedy, but onely one,
being a kinde of physicke (beyond all other) to cure him of his foolish
jealousie; which medicine is very familiar to me, because I know best
how to compound it, alwayes provided, that you can be of so strong a
capacity, as to be secret in what I shall say unto you.

Good Father (answered the Woman) never make you any doubt thereof, for
I would rather endure death it selfe, then disclose any thing which
you enjoyne me to keepe secret: wherefore, I beseech you Sir to tell
me, how, and by what meanes it may be done. If (quoth the Abbot) you
desire to have him perfectly cured, of a disease so dangerous and
offensive, of necessity he must be sent into Purgatory. How may that be
done, saide the woman, he being alive? He must needs die, answered the
Abbot, for his more speedy passage thither; and when he hath endured so
much punishment, as may expiate the quality of his jealousie, we have
certaine devoute and zealous prayers, whereby to bring him backe againe
to life, in as able manner as ever he was. Why then, replyed the woman,
I must remaine in the state of a Widdow? Very true, saide the Abbot,
for a certaine time, in all which space, you may not (by any meanes)
marrie againe, because the heavens will therewith be highly offended:
but _Ferando_ being returned to life againe, you must repossesse him
as your Husband, but never to be jealous any more. Alas Sir (quoth the
woman) so that he may be cured of his wicked jealousie, and I no longer
live in such an hellish imprisonment, doe as you please.

Now was the Abbot (well neere) on the highest step of his hope, making
her constant promise, to accomplish it: But (quoth he) what shall be
my recompence when I have done it? Father, saide shee, whatsoever you
please to aske, if it remaine within the compasse of my power: but you
being such a vertuous and sanctified man, and I a woman of so meane
worth or merit; what sufficient recompence can I be able to make you?
Whereunto the Abbot thus replyed. Faire Woman, you are able to doe as
much for me, as I am for you, because as I doe dispose my selfe, to
performe a matter for your comfort and consolation, even so ought you
to be as mindfull of me, in any action concerning my life and welfare.
In any such matter Sir (quoth shee) depending on your benefit so
strictly, you may safely presume to command me. You must then (saide
the Abbot) grant me your love, and the kinde embracing of your person;
because so violent are mine affections, as I pine and consume away
daily, till I enjoy the fruition of my desires, and none can help me
therein but you.

When the woman heard these words, as one confounded with much
amazement, this shee replied. Alas, holy Father! what a strange motion
have you made to me? I beleeved very faithfully, that you were no
lesse then a Saint, and is it convenient, that when silly women come
to aske counsell of such sanctified men, they should returne them such
unfitting answeres? Be not amazed good woman, saide the Abbot, at the
motion which I have made unto you, because holinesse is not thereby
impaired a jot in me; for it is the inhabitant of the soule, the other
is an imperfection attending on the body: but be it whatsoever, your
beauty hath so powerfully prevailed on me, that entire love hath
compelled me to let you know it. And more may you boast of your beauty,
then any that ever I beheld before, considering, it is so pleasing to
a sanctified man, that it can draw him from divine contemplations, to
regard a matter of so humble an equalitie.

Let me tell you moreover, woorthy Woman, that you see me reverenced
here as Lord Abbot, yet am I but as other men are, and in regard I am
neither aged, nor misshapen, me thinkes the motion I have made, should
be the lesse offensive to you, and therefore the sooner granted.
For, all the while as _Ferando_ remaineth in Purgatory, doe you but
imagine him to be present with you, and your perswasion will the more
absolutely be confirmed. No man can, or shall be privy to our close
meetings, for I carrie the same holy opinion among all men, as you
your selfe conceived of me, and none dare be so saucie, as to call
in question whatsoever I doe or say, because my wordes are Oracles,
and mine actions more then halfe miracles; doe you not then refuse so
gracious an offer. Enow there are, who would gladly enjoy that, which
is francke and freely presented to you, and which (if you be a wise
Woman) is meerely impossible for you to refuse. Richly am I possessed
of Gold and Jewelse, which shall be all yours, if you please in favour
to be mine; wherein I will not be gaine-saide, except your selfe doe
denie me.

The Woman having her eyes fixed on the ground, knew not wel how shee
should denie him; and yet in plaine words, to say shee consented, shee
held it to be over-base and immodest, and ill agreeing with her former
reputation: when the Abbot had well noted this attention in her, and
how silent shee stood without returning any answer; he accounted the
conquest to be more then halfe his owne: so that continuing on his
formall perswasions, hee never ceased, but allured her still to beleeve
whatsoever he saide. And shee much ashamed of his importunity, but more
of her owne flexible yeelding weakenesse, made answer, that shee would
willingly accomplish his request; which yet shee did not absolutelie
grant, untill _Ferando_ were first sent into Purgatory. And till then
(quoth the Abbot) I will not urge any more, because I purpose his
speedy sending thither: but yet, so farre lend me your assistance, that
either to morrow, or elsee the next day, he may come hither once more
to converse with me. So putting a faire gold Ring on her finger, they
parted till their next meeting.

Not a little joyfull was the Woman of so rich a gift, hoping to enjoy
a great many more of them, and returning home to her neighbours,
acquainted them with wonderfull matters, all concerning the
sanctimonious life of the Abbot, a meere miracle of men, and worthy to
be truely termed a Saint. Within two dayes after, _Ferando_ went to
the Abbye againe, and so soone as the Abbot espyed him, hee presently
prepared for his sending of him into Purgatorie. He never was without
a certaine kinde of drugge, which being beaten into powder, would worke
so powerfully upon the braine, and all the other vitall sences, as to
entrance them with a deadly sleepe, and deprive them of all motion,
either in the pulses, or any other part elsee, even as if the body
were dead indeede; in which operation it would so hold and continue,
according to the quantity given and drunke, as it pleased the Abbot
to order the matter. This powder or drugge, was sent him by a great
Prince of the East, and therewith he wrought wonders upon his Novices,
sending them into Purgatory when he pleased, and by such punishments as
he inflicted on them there, made them (like credulous asses) beleeve
whatsoever himselfe listed.

So much of this powder had the Abbot provided, as should suffice for
three dayes entrauncing, and having compounded it with a very pleasant
Wine, calling _Ferando_ into his Chamber, there gave it him to drinke,
and afterward walked with him about the Cloyster, in very friendly
conference together, the silly sot never dreaming on the treachery
intended against him. Many Monkes beside were recreating themselves
in the Cloyster, most of them delighting to behold the follies of
_Ferando_, on whom the potion beganne so to worke, that he slept in
walking, nodding and reeling as hee went, till at the last hee fell
downe, as if he had beene dead.

The Abbot pretending great admiration at this accident, called his
Monkes about him, all labouring by rubbing his temples, throwing
cold water and vinegar in his face, to revive him againe; alleaging
that some fume or vapour in the stomacke, had thus over-awed his
understanding faculties, and quite deprived him of life indeede. At
length, when by tasting the pulse, and all their best employed paines,
they saw that their labour was spent in vaine; the Abbot used such
perswasions to the Monkes, that they all beleeved him to be dead:
whereupon they sent for his Wife and friends, who crediting as much as
the rest did, were very sad and sorrowfull for him.

The Abbot (cloathed as he was) laide him in a hollow vault under a
Tombe, such as there are used in stead of Graves; his Wife returning
home againe to her House, with a young Sonne which shee had by her
Husband, protesting to keepe still within her House, and never more to
be seene in any company, but onely to attend her young Sonne, and be
very carefull of such wealth as her Husband had left unto her.

From the City of _Bologna_, that very instant day, a well staide and
governed Monke there arrived, who was a neere kinsman to the Abbot,
and one whom he might securely trust. In the dead time of the night,
the Abbot and this Monke arose, and taking _Ferando_ out of the vault,
carried him into a darke dungeon or prison, which he termed by the
name of Purgatory, and where hee used to discipline his Monkes, when
they had committed any notorious offence, deserving to be punished
in Purgatory. There they tooke off his usuall wearing garments, and
cloathed him in the habite of a Monke, even as if he had beene one of
the house; and laying him on a bundle of straw, so left him untill
his sences should be restored againe. On the day following, late in
the evening, the Abbot, accompanied with his trusty Monke, (by way
of visitation) went to see and comfort the supposed widow; finding
her attired in blacke, very sad and pensive, which by his wonted
perswasions, indifferently he appeased; challenging the benefit of her
promise. Shee being thus alone, not hindered by her Husbands jealousie,
and espying another goodly gold Ring on his finger, how frailety
and folly over-ruled her, I know not, shee was a weake woman, he a
divelish deluding man; and the strongest holdes by over-long battery
and besieging, must needes yeeld at the last, as I feare shee did: for
very often afterward, the Abbot used in this manner to visit her, and
the simple ignorant Countrey people, carrying no such ill opinion of
the holy Abbot, and having seene _Ferando_ lying for dead in the vault,
and also in the habite of a Monke; were verily perswaded, that when
they saw the Abbot passe by to and fro, but most commonly in the night
season, it was the ghost of _Ferando_, who walked in this manner after
his death, as a just pennance for his jealousie.

When _Ferandoes_ sences were recovered againe, and he found himselfe to
be in such a darkesome place; not knowing where he was, he beganne to
crie and make a noyse. When presently the Monke of _Bologna_ (according
as the Abbot had tutured him) stept into the dungeon, carrying a little
waxe candle in the one hand, and a smarting whip in the other, going
to _Ferando_, he stript off his cloathes, and began to lash him very
soundly. _Ferando_ roaring and crying, could say nothing elsee, but,
where am I? The Monke (with a dreadfull voyce) replyed: Thou art in
Purgatory. How? saide _Ferando_; what? Am I dead? Thou art dead (quoth
the Monke) and began to lash him lustily againe. Poore _Ferando_,
crying out for his Wife and little Sonne, demanded a number of idle
questions, whereto the Monke still fitted him with as fantasticke
answers. Within a while after, he set both foode and wine before him,
which when _Ferando_ sawe, he saide; How is this? Doe dead men eate and
drinke? Yes, replyed the Monke, and this foode which here thou seest,
thy Wife brought hither to their Church this morning, to have Masses
devoutly sung for thy soule; and as to other, so must it be set before
thee, for such is the command of the Patrone of this place.

_Ferando_ having lyen entranced three dayes and three nights, felt
his stomacke well prepared to eate, and feeding very heartily, still
saide; O my good Wife, O my loving Wife, long mayest thou live for
this extraordinary kindnesse. I promise thee (sweete heart) while I
was alive, I cannot remember, that ever any foode and wine was halfe
so pleasing to me. O my deare Wife; O my hony Wife. Canst thou (quoth
the Monke) prayse and commend her now, using her so villainously
in thy life time? Then did he whip him more fiercely then before,
when _Ferando_ holding up his hands, as craving for mercy, demanded
wherefore he was so severely punished? I am so commanded (quoth
the Monke) by supreme power, and twice every day must thou be thus
disciplinde. Upon what occasion? replyed _Ferando_. Because (quoth the
Monke) thou wast most notoriously jealous of thy Wife, shee being the
very kindest woman to thee, as all the Countrey containeth not her
equall. It is too true, answered _Ferando_, I was over-much jealous of
her indeede: but had I knowne, that jealousie was such a hatefull sinne
against Heaven, I never would have offended therein.

Now (quoth the Monke) thou canst confesse thine owne wilfull follie,
but this should have beene thought on before, and whilest thou wast
living in the World. But if the Fates vouchsafe to favour thee so
much, as hereafter to send thee to the World once more; remember thy
punishment here in Purgatory, and sinne no more in that foule sinne of
jealousie. I pray you Sir tell me, replyed _Ferando_, after men are
dead, and put into Purgatory, is there any hope of their ever visiting
the World any more? Yes, saide the Monke, if the fury of the Fates be
once appeased. O that I knew (quoth _Ferando_) by what meanes they
would be appeased, and let me visite the World once againe: I would
be the best Husband that ever lived, and never more be jealous, never
wrong so good a Wife, nor ever use one unkind word against her. In the
meane while, and till their anger may be qualified; when next my Wife
doth send me foode, I pray you worke so much, that some Candles may be
sent me also, because I live here in uncomfortable darknesse; and what
should I doe with foode, if I have no light. Shee sends Lights enow,
answered the Monke, but they are burnt out on the Altar in Masse-time,
and thou canst have none other here, but such as I must bring my selfe;
neither are they allowed, but onely for the time of thy feeding and

_Ferando_ breathing foorth a vehement sigh, desired to know what he
was, being thus appointed to punish him in Purgatory? I am (quoth the
Monke) a dead man, as thou art, borne in _Sardignia_, where I served
a very jealous Master; and because I soothed him in his jealousie,
I had this pennance imposed on me, to serve thee here in Purgatory
with meate and drinke, and (twice every day) to discipline thy body,
untill the Fates have otherwise determined both for thee and me. Why?
saide _Ferando_, are any other persons here, beside you and I? Many
thousands, replyed the Monke, whom thou canst neither heare nor see,
no more then they are able to doe the like by us. But how farre, saide
_Ferando_, is Purgatory distant from our native Countries? About some
fifty thousand leagues, answered the Monke; but yet passable in a
moment, whensoever the offended Fates are pleased: and many Masses are
daily saide for thy soule, at the earnest entreaty of thy Wife, in hope
of thy conversion; and becomming a new man, hating to be jealous any
more hereafter.

In these and such like speeches, as thus they beguiled the time, so did
they observe it for a dayly course, sometime discipling, other whiles
eating and drinking, for the space of ten whole moneths together: in
the which time, the Abbot sildome failed to visite _Ferandoes_ wife,
without the least suspition in any of the neighbours, by reason of
their setled opinion, concerning the nightly walking of _Ferandoes_
ghost. But, as all pleasures cannot bee exempted from some following
paine or other, so it came to passe, that _Ferandoes_ wife proved
to be conceived with childe, and the time was drawing on for her
deliverance. Now began the Abbot to consider, that _Ferandoes_ folly
was sufficiently chastised, and hee had beene long enough in Purgatory:
wherefore, the better to countenance all passed inconveniences, it
was now thought high time, that _Ferando_ should be sent to the world
againe, and set free from the paines of Purgatory, as having payed for
his jealousie dearely, to teach him better wisedome hereafter.

Late in the dead time of the night the Abbot himselfe entred into
the darke dungeon, and in an hollow counterfeited voyce, called to
_Ferando_, saying. Comfort thy selfe _Ferando_, for the Fates are now
pleased, that thou shalt bee released out of Purgatory, and sent to
live in the world againe. Thou didst leave thy wife newly conceived
with childe, and this very morning she is delivered of a goodly Sonne,
whom thou shalt cause to be named _Bennet_: because, by the incessant
prayers of the holy Abbot, thine owne loving wife, and for sweet Saint
_Bennets_ sake, this grace and favour is afforded thee. _Ferando_
hearing this, was exceeding joyfull, and returned this answere:
For ever honoured be the Fates, the holy Lord Abbot, blessed Saint
_Bennet_, and my most dearely beloved wife, whom I will faithfully love
for ever, and never more offend her by any jealousie in me.

When the next foode was sent to _Ferando_, so much of the powder
was mingled with the wine, as would serve onely for foure houres
entrauncing, in which time, they clothed him in his owne wearing
apparell againe, the Abbot himselfe in person, and his honest trusty
Monke of _Bologna_, conveying and laying him in the same vault under
the Tombe, where at the first they gave him buriall. The next morning
following, about the breake of day, _Ferando_ recovered his sences, and
thorow divers chinkes and crannies of the Tombe, descried day-light,
which hee had not seene in tenne moneths space before. Perceiving then
plainely, that he was alive, he cried out aloude, saying: Open, open,
and let mee forth of Purgatory, for I have beene heere long enough in
conscience. Thrusting up his head against the cover of the Tombe, which
was not of any great strength, neither well closed together; hee put it
quite off the Tombe, and so got forth upon his feete: at which instant
time, the Monks having ended their morning Mattins, and hearing the
noyse, ran in hast thither, and knowing the voyce of _Ferando_, saw
that he was come forth of the Monument.

Some of them were ancient Signiors of the house, and yet but meere
Novices (as all the rest were) in these cunning and politique
stratagems of the Lord Abbot, when hee intended to punish any one in
Purgatory, and therefore, being affrighted, and amazed at this rare
accident; they fled away from him running to the Abbot, who making a
shew to them, as if he were but new come forth of his Oratory, in a
kinde of pacifying speeches, saide; Peace my deare Sonnes, bee not
affraide, but fetch the Crosse and Holy-water hither; then follow me,
and I will shew you, what miracle the Fates have pleased to shew in our
Convent, therefore be silent, and make no more noise; all which was
performed according to his command.

_Ferando_ looking leane and pale, as one, that in so long time hadde
not seene the light of heaven, and endured such strict discipline
twice everie day: stood in a gastly amazement by the Tombes side, as
not daring to adventure any further, or knowing perfectly, whether
he was (as yet) truly alive, or no. But when he saw the Monkes and
Abbot comming, with their lighted Torches, and singing in a solemne
manner of Procession, he humbled himselfe at the Abbots feete, saying.
Holy Father, by your zealous prayers (as hath bin miraculously
revealed to me) and the prayers of blessed S. _Bennet_; as also of my
honest, deare, and loving Wife, I have bin delivered from the paines
of Purgatory, and brought againe to live in this world; for which
unspeakable grace and favour, most humbly I thank the well-pleased
Fates, S. _Bennet_, your Father-hood, and my kinde Wife, and will
remember all your loves to me for ever. Blessed be the Fates, answered
the Abbot, for working so great a wonder heere in our Monastery. Go
then my good Son, seeing the Fates have bin so gracious to thee; Go
(I say) home to thine owne house, and comfort thy kind wife, who ever
since thy departure out of this life, hath lived in continuall mourning,
love, cherish, and make much of her, never afflicting her henceforth
with causlesse jealousie. No I warrant you good Father, replyed
_Ferando_; I have bin well whipt in Purgatory for such folly, and
therefore I might be called a starke foole, if I should that way offend
any more, either my loving wife, or any other.

The Abbot causing _Miserere_ to be devoutly sung, sprinkling _Ferando_
well with Holy-water, and placing a lighted Taper in his hand, sent him
home so to his owne dwelling Village: where when the Neighbours beheld
him, as people halfe frighted out of their wits, they fledde away from
him, so scared and terrified, as if they had seene some dreadfull
sight, or gastly apparition; his wife being as fearfull of him, as any
of the rest. He called to them kindly by their severall names, telling
them, that hee was newly risen out of his grave, and was a man as he
had bin before. Then they began to touch and feele him, growing into
more certaine assurance of him, perceiving him to be a living man
indeede: whereupon, they demanded many questions of him; and he, as
if he were become farre wiser then before, tolde them tydings, from
their long deceased Kindred and Friends, as if he had met with them
all in Purgatory, reporting a thousand lyes and fables to them, which
(neverthelesse) they beleeved.

Then he told them what the miraculous voice had said unto him,
concerning the birth of another young Sonne, whom (according as he was
commanded) he caused to be named _Bennet Ferando_. Thus his returne
to life againe, and the daily wonders reported by him, caused no
meane admiration in the people, with much commendation of the Abbots
Holynesse, and _Ferandoes_ happy curing of his jealousie.

Juliet of Narbona, _cured the King of France of a daungerous Fistula,
in recompence whereof, she requested to enjoy as her husband in
marriage,_ Bertrand _the Count of_ Roussillion. _Hee having married her
against his will, as utterly despising her, went to Florence, where he
made love to a young Gentlewoman._ Juliet, _by a queint and cunning
policy, compassed the meanes (insted of his chosen new friend) to lye
with her owne husband, by whom shee conceived, and had two Sonnes;
which being afterward made knowne unto Count_ Bertrand, _he accepted
her into his favour again, and loved her as his loyall and honourable

The Ninth Novell.

_Commending the good judgement and understanding in Ladies or
Gentlewomen, that are of a quicke and apprehensive spirit._

Now there remained no more (to preserve the priviledge granted to
_Dioneus_ uninfringed) but the Queene onely, to declare her Novell.
Wherefore, when the discourse of Madam _Lauretta_ was ended, without
attending any motion to bee made for her next succeeding, with a
gracious and pleasing disposition, thus she began to speake. Who shall
tell any Tale heereafter, to carry any hope or expectation of liking,
having heard the rare and wittie discourse of Madame _Lauretta_?
Beleeve me, it was verie advantageable to us all, that she was not this
dayes first beginner, because few or none would have had any courage to
follow after her, & therefore the rest yet remaining, are the more to
be feared and suspected. Neverthelesse, to avoid the breach of order,
and to claime no priviledge by my place, of not performing what I ought
to do: prove as it may, a Tale you must have, and thus I proceed.

There lived sometime in the kingdom of _France_, a Gentleman named
_Isnarde_, being the Count of _Roussillion_, who because hee was
continually weake, crazie and sickly, kept a Physitian daily in his
house, who was called Master _Gerard_ of _Narbona_. Count _Isnarde_ had
one onely Sonne, very young in yeares, yet of towardly hope, faire,
comely, and of pleasing person, named _Bertrand_; with whom, many other
children of his age, had their education: and among them, a daughter of
the fore-named Physitian, called _Juliet_; who, even in these tender
yeares, fixed her affection upon yong _Bertrand_, with such an earnest
and intimate resolution, as was most admirable in so yong a maiden,
and more then many times is noted in yeares of greater discretion. Old
Count _Isnard_ dying, yong _Bertrand_ fell as a Ward to the King, and
being sent to _Paris_, remained there under his royall custodie and
protection, to the no little discomfort of yong _Juliet_, who became
greevously afflicted in minde, because shee had lost the company of

Within some few yeeres after, the Physitian her Father also dyed, and
then her desires grew wholly addicted, to visite _Paris_ her selfe in
person, onely because she would see the yong Count, awaiting but time
& opportunitie, to fit her stolne journey thither. But her kindred
and friends, to whose care and trust she was committed, in regard
of her rich dowrie, and being left as a fatherlesse Orphane: were
so circumspect of her walks and daily behaviour, as she could not
compasse any meanes of escaping. Her yeeres made her now almost fit for
marriage, which so much more encreased her love to the Count, making
refusall of many woorthie husbands, and laboured by the motions of her
friends and kindred, yet all denyed, they not knowing any reason for
her refusalles. By this time the Count was become a gallant goodly
Gentleman, and able to make election of a wife, whereby her affections
were the more violently enflamed, as fearing least some other should be
preferred before her, & so her hopes be utterly disappointed.

It was noysed abroad by common report, that the King of _France_ was
in a very dangerous condition, by reason of a strange swelling on
his stomacke, which failing of apt and convenient curing, became a
Fistula, afflicting him daily with extraordinary paine and anguish, no
Chirurgeon or Physitian being found, that could minister any hope of
healing, but rather encreased the greefe, and drove it to more vehement
extreamitie, compelling the King, as dispairing utterly of all helpe,
to give over any further counsell or advice. Heereof faire _Juliet_ was
wondrously joyful, as hoping that this accident would prove the meanes,
not only of hir journey to _Paris_, but if the disease were no more
then shee imagined; shee could easily cure it, and thereby compasse
Count _Bertrand_ to be her husband. Heereupon, quickning up her wits,
with remembrance of those rules of Art, which (by long practise and
experience) she had learned of her skilfull Father, shee compounded
certaine hearbes together, such as she knew fitting for that kinde of
infirmity, and having reduced hir compound into a powder, away she rode
forthwith to Paris.

Being there arrived, all other serious matters set aside, first shee
must needs have a sight of Count _Bertrand_, as being the onely Saint
that caused her pilgrimage. Next she made meanes for her accesse
to the King, humbly entreating his Majesty, to vouchsafe her the
sight of his Fistula. When the King saw her, her modest lookes did
plainly deliver, that she was a faire, comely, and discreete young
Gentlewoman; wherefore, hee would no longer hide it, but layed it
open to her view. When shee had seene and felt it, presently she
put the King in comfort; affirming, that she knew her selfe able to
cure his Fistula, saying: Sir, if your Highnesse will referre the
matter to me, without any perill of life, or any the least paine to
your person, I hope (by the helpe of heaven) to make you whole and
sound within eight dayes space. The King hearing her words, beganne
merrily to smile at her, saying: How is it possible for thee, being
a yong Maiden, to do that which the best Physitians in Europe, are
not able to performe? I commend thy kindnesse, and will not remaine
unthankefull for thy forward willingnesse: but I am fully determined,
to use no more counsell, or to make any further triall of Physicke or
Chirurgery. Whereto faire _Juliet_ thus replied: Great King, let not my
skill and experience be despised, because I am young, and a Maiden; for
my profession is not Physicke, neither do I undertake the ministering
thereof, as depending on mine owne knowledge; but by the gracious
assistance of heaven, & some rules of skilfull observation, which I
learned of reverend _Gerard_ of _Narbona_, who was my worthy Father,
and a Physitian of no meane fame, all the while he lived.

At the hearing of these words, the King began somewhat to admire at
her gracious carriage, and saide within himselfe. What know I, whether
this virgin is sent to me by the direction of heaven, or no? Why should
I disdaine to make proofe of her skill? Her promise is, to cure mee
in a small times compasse, and without any paine or affliction to me:
she shall not come so farre, to returne againe with the losse of her
labour, I am resolved to try her cunning, and thereon saide. Faire
Virgin, if you cause me to breake my setled determination, and faile
of curing mee, what can you expect to follow thereon? Whatsoever great
King (quoth she) shall please you. Let me bee strongly guarded, yet not
hindred, when I am to prosecute the businesse: and then if I doe not
perfectly heale you within eight daies, let a good fire be made, and
therein consume my bodie unto ashes. But if I accomplish the cure, and
set your Highnesse free from all further greevance, what recompence
then shall remaine to me?

Much did the King commend the confident perswasion which she had of her
owne power, and presently replyed. Faire beauty (quoth he) in regard
that thou art a Maide and unmarried, if thou keepe promise, and I finde
my selfe to be fully cured: I will match thee with some such Gentleman
in marriage, as shal be of honourable and worthy reputation, with a
sufficient dowry beside. My gracious Soveraigne saide she, willing am
I, and most heartily thankful withall, that your Highnesse shal bestow
me in marriage: but I desire then, to have such a husband, as I shal
desire or demand by your gracious favour, without presuming to crave
any of your Sonnes, Kindred, or Alliance, or appertaining unto your
Royall blood. Whereto the King gladly granted. Young _Juliet_ began to
minister her Physicke, and within fewer dayes then her limited time,
the King was sound and perfectly cured; which when he perceyved, hee
sayd unto her. Trust me vertuous Mayde, most woorthily hast thou wonne
a Husband, name him, and thou shalt have him. Royall King (quoth she)
then have I won the Count _Bertrand_ of _Roussillion_, whom I have
most entirely loved from mine Infancy, and cannot (in my soule) affect
any other. Very loath was the King to grant her the young Count, but in
regard of his solemne passed promise, and his royal word engaged, which
he would not by any meanes breake; he commanded, that the Count should
be sent for, and spake thus to him.

Noble Count, it is not unknowne to us, that you are a Gentleman
of great honour, and it is our royall pleasure, to discharge your
wardship, that you may repaire home to your owne House, there to settle
your affaires in such order, as you may be the readier to enjoy a Wife,
which we intend to bestow upon you. The Count returned his Highnesse
most humble thankes, desiring to know of whence, and what shee was? It
is this Gentlewoman, answered the King, who (by the helpe of Heaven)
hath beene the meanes to save my life. Well did the Count know her, as
having very often before seene her; and although shee was very faire
and amiable, yet in regard of her meane birth, which he held as a
disparagement to his Nobility in bloud; he made a scorne of her, and
spake thus to the King. Would your Highnesse give me a Quacksalver to
my Wife, one that deales in drugges and Physicarie? I hope I am able to
bestow my selfe much better then so. Why? quoth the King, wouldst thou
have us breake our faith; which for the recovery of our health, wee
have given to this vertuous virgin, and shee will have no other reward,
but onely Count _Bertrand_ to be her husband? Sir, replied the Count,
you may dispossesse me of all that is mine, because I am your Ward and
Subject, and any where elsee you may bestow me: but pardon me to tell
you, that this marriage cannot be made with any liking or allowance of
mine, neither will I ever give consent thereto.

Sir, saide the King, it is our will that it shall be so, vertuous she
is, faire and wise; she loveth thee most affectionately, and with
her mayest thou leade a more Noble life, then with the greatest Lady
in our Kingdome. Silent, and discontented stoode the Count, but the
King commaunded preparation for the marriage; and when the appointed
time was come, the Count (albeit against his will) received his wife
at the Kings hand; she loving him deerely as her owne life. When all
was done, the Count requested of the King, that what elsee remained
for further solemnization of the marriage, it might be performed in
his owne Countrey, reserving to himselfe what elsee he intended. Being
mounted on horseback, and humbly taking their leave of the King, the
Count would not ride home to his owne dwelling, but into _Tuscany_,
where he heard of a warre betweene the _Florentines_ and the _Senesi_,
purposing to take part with the _Florentines_, to whom he was willingly
and honourably welcommed, being created Captain of a worthy Company,
and continuing there a long while in service.

The poore forsaken new married Countesse, could scarsely be pleased
with such dishonourable unkindnes, yet governing her impatience with
no meane discretion, and hoping by her vertuous carriage, to compasse
the meanes of his recall: home she rode to _Roussillion_, where all the
people received her very lovingly. Now, by reason of the Counts so long
absence, all things were there farre out of order; mutinies, quarrelse,
and civill dissentions, having procured many dissolute irruptions,
to the expence of much blood in many places. But shee, like a jolly
stirring Lady, very wise and provident in such disturbances, reduced
all occasions to such civility againe, that the people admired her rare
behaviour, and condemned the Count for his unkindnesse towards her.

After that the whole countrey of _Roussillion_ (by the policy and
wisedome of this worthy Lady was fully re-established) in their ancient
liberties; she made choise of two discreet knights, whom she sent to
the Count her husband, to let him understand, that if in displeasure
to her, hee was thus become a stranger to his owne countrey: upon
the return of his answer, to give him contentment, shee would depart
thence, and by no meanes disturbe him. Roughly and churlishly he
replied; Let her doe as she list, for I have no determination to dwel
with her, or neere where she is. Tell her from me, when she shall have
this Ring, which you behold heere on my finger, and a sonne in her
armes begotten by me; then will I come live with her, and be her love.
The Ring he made most precious and deere account of, and never tooke
it off from his finger, in regard of an especial vertue and property,
which he well knew to be remaining in it. And these two Knights,
hearing the impossibility of these two strict conditions, with no other
favour elsee to be derived from him; sorrowfully returned backe to
their Ladie, and acquainted her with this unkinde answer, as also his
unalterable determination, which wel you may conceive, must needs be
verie unwelcome to her.

After she had an indifferent while considered with her selfe, her
resolution became so undauntable; that she would adventure to practise
such meanes, whereby to compasse those two apparant impossibilities,
and so to enjoy the love of her husband. Having absolutely concluded
what was to be done, she assembled all the cheefest men of the country,
revealing unto them (in mournfull manner) what an attempt she had made
already, in hope of recovering her husbands favour, and what a rude
answer was thereon returned. In the end, she told them, that it did
not sute with her unworthinesse, to make the Count live as an exile
from his owne inheritance, upon no other inducement, but only in regard
of her: wherefore, she had determined betweene heaven and her soule,
to spend the remainder of her dayes in Pilgrimages and prayers, for
preservation of the Counts soule and her owne; earnestly desiring them,
to undertake the charge and government of the Countrey, and signifying
unto the Count, how she had forsaken his house, and purposed to wander
so far thence, that never would she visite _Roussillion_ any more. In
the deliverie of these words, the Lords and gentlemen wept and sighed
extraordinarily, using many earnest imprecations to alter this resolve
in her, but all was in vaine.

Having taken her sad and sorrowfull farewell of them all, accompanied
onely with her Maide, and one of her Kinsmen, away she went, attired in
a Pilgrims habite, yet well furnished with money and precious Jewelse,
to avoide all wants which might befall her in travaile; not acquainting
any one whether she went. In no place stayed she, untill she was
arrived at Florence, where happening into a poore Widdowes house, like
a poore Pilgrim, she seemed well contented therewith. And desiring to
heare some tydings of the Count, the next day she saw him passe by
the house on horse-backe, with his company. Now, albeit shee knew him
well enough, yet she demanded of the good old Widdow, what Gentleman
he was? She made answer, that he was a stranger there, yet a Nobleman,
called Count _Bertrand_ of _Roussillion_, a verie courteous Knight,
beloved and much respected in the City. Moreover, that he was farre in
love with a neighbour of hers, a yong Gentlewoman, but verie poore and
meane in substance, yet of honest life, vertuous, and never taxed with
any evill report: onely her povertie was the maine imbarment of her
marriage, dwelling in house with her mother, who was a wise, honest,
and worthy Lady.

The Countesse having wel observed her words, and considered thereon
from point to point; debated soberly with her owne thoughts, in such a
doubtfull case what was best to be done. When she had understood which
was the house, the ancient Ladies name, and likewise her daughters, to
whom her husband was now so affectionately devoted; she made choise
of a fit and convenient time, when (in her Pilgrims habit), secretly
she went to the house. There she found the mother and daughter in
poore condition, and with as poore a family: whom after she had
ceremoniously saluted, she told the old Lady, that shee requested but a
little conference with her. The Ladie arose, and giving her courteous
entertainment, they went together into a withdrawing chamber, where
being both set downe, the Countesse began in this manner.

Madame, in my poore opinion, you are not free from the frownes of
Fortune, no more then I my selfe am: but if you were so well pleased,
there is no one that can comfort both our calamities in such manner,
as you are able to do. And beleeve me answered the Lady, there is
nothing in the world that can bee so welcome to mee, as honest
comfort. The Countesse proceeding on in her former speeches said: I
have now need (good Madame) both of your trust and fidelity, whereon
if I should rely, and you faile me, it will be your owne undooing as
well as mine. Speake then boldly, replied the olde Ladie, and remaine
constantly assured, that you shall no way be deceived by me. Heereupon,
the Countesse declared the whole course of her love, from the verie
originall to the instant, revealing also what she was, and the occasion
of her comming thither, relating every thing so perfectly, that the
Ladie verily beleeved her, by some reports which she had formerly
heard, and which mooved her the more to compassion. Now, when all
circumstances were at full discovered, thus spake the Countesse.

Among my other miseries and misfortunes, which hath halfe broken
my heart in the meere repetition, beside the sad and afflicting
sufferance; two things there are, which if I cannot compasse to have,
all hope is quite frustrate for ever, of gaining the grace of my Lord
and Husband. Yet those two things may I obtaine by your helpe, if all
be true which I have heard, and you can therein best resolve mee.
Since my comming to this City, it hath credibly bene told me, that the
Count my husband, is deeply in love with your daughter. If the Count
(quoth the Ladie) love my daughter, and have a wife of his owne, he
must thinke, and so shall surely finde it, that his greatnesse is no
priviledge for him, whereby to worke dishonour upon her poverty. But
indeed, some apparances there are, and such a matter as you speake of,
may be so presumed; yet so farre from a very thought of entertaining in
her or me; as whatsoever I am able to do, to yeeld you any comfort and
content, you shall find me therein both willing and ready: for I prize
my daughters spotles poverty as at high a rate, as he can do the pride
of his honour.

Madam, quoth the Countesse, most heartily I thanke you. But before I
presume any further on your kindnesse, let me first tell you, what
faithfully I intend to do for you, if I can bring my purpose to effect.
I see that your daughter is beautifull, and of sufficient yeares for
mariage; and is debarred thereof (as I have heard) onely by lack of a
competent dowry. Wherefore Madame, in recompence of the favour I expect
from you, I will enrich her with so much ready money as you shall
thinke sufficient to match her in the degree of honour. Poverty made the
poore Lady, very well to like of such a bountifull offer, and having
a noble heart she said: Great Countesse say, wherein am I able to do
you any service, as can deserve such a gracious offer? If the action
bee honest, without blame or scandall to my poore, yet undejected
reputation, gladly I will do it; and it being accomplished, let the
requitall rest in your owne noble nature.

Observe me then Madam, replyed the Countesse. It is most convenient for
my purpose, that by some trusty and faithfull messenger, you should
advertise the Count my husband, that your daughter is, and shall be at
his command: but because she may remain absolutely assured, that his
love is constant to her, and above all other: shee must entreate him,
to send her (as a testimony thereof) the Ring which he weareth upon
his little finger, albeit she hath heard, that he loveth it dearly.
If he send the Ring, you shal give it me, & afterward send him word,
that your daughter is readie to accomplish his pleasure; but, for the
more safety and secrecie, he must repaire hither to your house, where
I being in bed insted of your daughter, faire Fortune may so favour
mee, that (unknowne to him) I may conceive with childe. Uppon which
good successe, when time shall serve, having the Ring on my finger,
and a child in my armes begotten by him, his love and liking may bee
recovered, and (by your meanes) I continue with my Husband, as everie
vertuous Wife ought to doe.

The good old Ladie imagined, that this was a matter somewhat
difficult, and might lay a blamefull imputation on her daughter:
Neverthelesse, considering, what an honest office it was in her, to bee
the meanes, whereby so worthy a Countesse should recover an unkinde
husband, led altogether by lust, and not a jot of cordiall love; she
knew the intent to be honest, the Countesse vertuous, and her promise
religious, and therefore undertooke to effect it. Within few dayes
after, verie ingeniously, and according to the instructed order,
the Ring was obtained, albeit much against the Counts will; and the
Countesse, in sted of the Ladies vertuous daughter, was embraced by him
in bed: the houre proving so auspicious, and _Juno_ being Lady of the
ascendent, conjoyned with the witty _Mercury_, she conceived of two
goodly Sonnes, and her deliverance agreed correspondently with the just

Thus the old Lady, not at this time only, but at many other meetings
beside; gave the Countesse free possession of her husbands pleasures,
yet alwayes in such darke and concealed secrecie, as it was never
suspected, nor knowne by any but themselves, the Count lying with his
owne wife, and disappointed of her whom he more deerely loved. Alwayes
at his uprising in the mornings (which usually was before the breake
of day, for preventing the least scruple of suspition) many familiar
conferences passed betweene them, with the gifts of divers faire and
costly Jewelse; all which the Countesse carefully kept, and perceiving
assuredly, that shee was conceived with childe, she would no longer
bee troublesome to the good old Lady; but calling her aside, spake
thus to her. Madam, I must needs give thankes to heaven and you,
because my desires are amply accomplished, and both time and your
deserts doe justly challenge, that I should accordingly quite you
before my departure. It remaineth nowe in your owne power, to make
what demand you please of me, which yet I will not give you by way of
reward, because that would seeme to bee base and mercenary: but onely
whatsoever you shall receive of me, is in honourable recompence of
faire & vertuous deservings, such as any honest and well-minded Lady in
the like distresse, may with good credit allow, and yet no prejudice to
her reputation.

Although poverty might well have tutored the Ladies tongue, to demand
a liberall recompence for her paines; yet she requested but an 100
pounds, as a friendly helpe towards her daughters marriage, and that
with a bashfull blushing was uttered too; yet the Countesse gave hir
five hundred pounds, beside so many rich and costly Jewelse, as amounted
to a farre greater summe. So she returned to her wonted lodging, at the
aged widdowes house, where first she was entertained at her comming
to _Florence_; and the good old Lady, to avoide the Counts repairing
to her house any more, departed thence sodainly with her daughter, to
divers friends of hers that dwelt in the Country, whereat the Count
was much discontented; albeit afterward, he did never heare any more
tidings of hir or her daughter, who was worthily married, to her
Mothers great comfort.

Not long after, Count _Bertrand_ was re-called home by his people: and
he having heard of his wives absence, went to _Roussillion_ so much the
more willingly. And the Countesse knowing her husbands departure from
_Florence_, as also his safe arrivall at his owne dwelling, remained
still in _Florence_, untill the time of her deliverance, which was
of two goodly Sonnes, lively resembling the lookes of their Father,
and all the perfect lineaments of his body. Perswade your selves, she
was not a little carefull of their nursing; and when she saw the time
answerable to her determination, she tooke her journey (unknowne to
any) and arrived with them at _Montpellier_, where shee rested her
selfe for divers dayes, after so long and wearisome a journey.

Upon the day of all Saints, the Count kept a solemne Festivall, for the
assembly of his Lords, Knights, Ladies, and Gentlewomen: uppon which
Joviall day of generall rejoycing, the Countesse attired in her wonted
Pilgrimes weed, repaired thither, entering into the great Hall, where
the Tables were readily covered for dinner. Preassing thorough the
throng of people, with her two children in her armes, she presumed unto
the place where the Count sate, & falling on her knees before him, the
teares trickling abundantly downe her cheekes, thus she spake. Worthy
Lord, I am thy poor, despised, and unfortunate wife; who, that thou
mightst returne home, and not bee an exile from thine owne abiding,
have thus long gone begging through the world. Yet now at length, I
hope thou wilt be so honourably-minded, as to performe thine own too
strict imposed conditions, made to the two Knights which I sent unto
thee, and which (by thy command) I was enjoyned to do. Behold here in
mine armes, not onely one Sonne by thee begotten, but two Twins, and
thy Ring beside. High time is it now, if men of honour respect their
promises, that after so long and tedious travell, I should at last bee
welcommed as thy true wife.

The Counte hearing this, stoode as confounded with admiration; for full
well he knew the Ring: and both the children were so perfectly like
him, as he was confirmed to be their Father by generall judgement.
Upon his urging by what possible meanes this could be broght to
passe: the Countesse in presence of the whole assembly, and unto her
eternall commendation, related the whole history, even in such manner
as you have formerly heard it. Moreover, she reported the private
speeches in bed, uttered betweene himselfe and her, being witnessed
more apparantly, by the costly Jewelse there openly shewn. All which
infallible proofes, proclaiming his shame, and her most noble carriage
to her husband; hee confessed, that she had told nothing but the truth
in every point which she had reported.

Commending her admirable constancy, excellency of wit, & sprightly
courage, in making such a bold adventure; hee kissed the two sweete
boyes, and to keepe his promise, whereto he was earnestly importuned,
by all his best esteemed friends there present, especially the
honourable Ladies, who would have no deniall, but by forgetting his
former harsh and uncivill carriage towardes her, to accept her for
ever as his lawfull wife: folding her in his armes, and sweetly
kissing her divers times together, he bad her welcome to him, as his
vertuous, loyall, & most loving wife, and so (for ever after) he would
acknowledge her. Well knew he that she had store of better beseeming
garments in the house, and therefore requested the Ladies to walke with
her to her Chamber, to uncase her of those pilgrimes weeds, and cloath
her in her owne more sumptuous garments, even those which she wore on
her wedding day, because that was not the day of his contentment, but
onely this: for now he confessed her to be his wife indeede, and now he
would give the King thanks for her, and now was Count _Bertrand_ truly
married to the faire _Juliet_ of _Narbona_.

_The wonderfull and chaste resolved continency of faire Serictha,
daughter to Siwalde King of Denmark, who being sought and sued unto by
many worthy persons, that did affect her dearly, would not looke any
man in the face, untill such time as she was married._

The tenth Novell.

_A very singular and worthy president, for all yong Ladies and
Gentlewomen: not rashly to bestow themselves in mariage, without the
knowledge and consent of their Parents and Friends._

_Dioneus_ having diligently listened to the Queens singular discourse,
so soone as she had concluded, and none now remaining but himselfe, to
give a full period unto that dayes pleasure: without longer trifling
the time, or expecting any command from the Queene, thus he began.
Gracious Ladies, I know that you do now expect from me, some such
queint Tale, as shall be suteable to my merry disposition; rather
savouring of wantonnesse, then any discreet and sober wisedom; and such
a purpose indeed, I once had entertained. But having well observed
all your severall relations, grounded on grave & worthy examples,
especially the last, so notably delivered by the Queene: I cannot but
commend faire _Juliet_ of _Narbona_, in perfourming two such strange
impossibilities, and conquering the unkindnesse of so cruel a husband.
If my Tale come short of the precedent excellency, or give not such
content as you (perhaps) expect; accept my good will, and let me stand
engaged for a better heereafter.

The Annales of _Denmarke_ do make mention, that the King of the said
country, who was first set downe as Prince, contrary to the ancient
custom and lawes observed among the _Danes_, namely _Hunguinus_; had a
son called _Siwalde_, who succeeded him in the estates and kingdome,
belonging to his famous predecessors. That age, and the Court of that
Royall Prince, was verie highly renowned, by the honour of faire
_Serictha_, Daughter to the sayde _Siwalde_; who beside her generall
repute, of being a myracle of Nature, in perfection of beautie, and
most compleate in all that the heart of man could desire to note, in
a body full of grace, gentlenesse, and whatsoever elsee, to attract
the eyes of everie one to beholde her: was also so chaste, modest,
and bashfull, as it was meerely impossible, to prevaile so farre with
her, that any man should come to speake with her. For, in those dayes,
marriages were pursued and sought by valour, and by the onely opinion,
which stoute Warriours conceived, of the vertuous qualities of a Ladie.
Notwithstanding, never could any man make his vaunt, that she had
given him so much as a looke, or ever any one attained to the favour,
to whisper a word in her eare. Because both the custome and will of
Parents then (very respectively kept in those Northerne parts of the
world) of hearing such speak, as desired their daughters in marriage;
grew from offering them some worthy services; and thereby compassed
meanes, to yeeld their contentation, by some gracious and kinde answers.

But she, who was farre off from the desire of any such follies,
referring her selfe wholly to the will and disposition of the King her
Lord and Father; was so contrary, to give any living man an answer,
that her eye never looked on any one speaking to her, appearing as
sparing in vouchsafing a glance, as her heart was free from a thought
of affection. For, she had no other imagination, but that Maides, both
in their choise & will, ought to have any other disposition, but such
as should bee pleasing to their parents, either to graunt, or denie,
according as they were guided by their grave judgement. In like manner,
so well had shee brideled her sensuall appetites, with the curbe of
Reason, Wisedome, and Providence; setting such a severe and constant
restraint, on the twinkling or motions of her eyes, in absolute
obedience to her Father; as never was she seene to turne her head
aside, to lend one looke on any man of her age.

A worthy sight it was, to behold Knights errant, passing, repassing to
_Denmarke_, and backe againe, labouring to conquer those setled eyes,
to win the least signe of grace and favour, from her whom they so
dutiously pursued, to steale but a silly glimpse or glance, and would
have thought it a kind of honourable theft. But this immovable rock of
beauty, although she knew the disseignes of them which thus frequented
the Court of the King her Father, and could not pretend ignorance of
their endeavour, ayming onely at obtaining her in mariage: yet did she
not lend any look of her eye, yeelding the least signall of the hearts
motion, in affecting any thing whatsoever, but what it pleased her
Father she should do.

_Serictha_ living in this strange and unusuall manner, it mooved manie
Princes and great Lords, to come and court her, contending both by
signes and words, to change her from this severe constancie, and make
knowne (if possible it might be) whether a woman would or could be so
resolute, as to use no respect at all towards them, coming from so
manie strange countries, to honour her in the Courts of the King her
father. But in these dayes of ours, if such a number of gallant spirits
should come, to aske but one looke of some of our beauties; I am
halfe affraide, that they should finde the eyes of many of our dainty
darlings, not so sparing of their glances, as those of _Serictha_ were.
Considering, that our Courtiers of these times, are this way emulous
one of another, and women are so forward in offering themselves, that
they performe the office of suters, as fearing lest they should not be
solicited, yea, though it bee in honest manner.

The King, who knew well enough, that a daughter was a treasure of some
danger to keepe, and growing doubtfull withall least (in the end)
this so obstinate severity would be shaken, if once it came to passe,
that his daughter should feele the piercing apprehensions of love, &
whereof (as yet) she never had any experience; he determined to use
some remedy for this great concourse of lovers, and strange kinde of
carriage in the Princesse his daughter. For, hee apparantly perceived,
that such excelling beauty as was in _Serictha_, with those good and
commendable customes, and other ornaments of his daughters mind, could
never attaine to such an height of perfection; but yet there would be
found some men, so wittily accute and ingenious, as to convert and
humour a maid, according to their will, and make a mockery of them, who
were (before) of most high esteeme. Beside, among so great a troope of
Lords, as daily made tender of their amorous service, some one or other
would prove so happy, as (at the last) she should be his Mistresse.
And therefore forbearing what otherwhise he had intended, as a finall
conclusion of all such follies: calling his daughter alone to himselfe
in his Chamber, and standing cleere from all other attention, hee used
to her this, or the like Language.

I know not faire daughter, what reason may move you to shew your
selfe so disdainfull towards so many Noble and worthy men, as come to
visite you, and honour my Court with their presence, offering me their
love and loyall service, under this onely pretence (as I perceive)
of obtaining you, and compassing the happinesse (as it appeareth
in plaine strife among them) one day to winne the prize, you being
the maine issue of all their hope. If it be bashfull modesty, which
(indeede) ought to attend on all virgins of your yeares, and so veyles
your eyes, as (with honour) you cannot looke on any thing, but what
is your owne, or may not justly vouchsafe to see; I commend your
maidenly continencie, which yet neverthelesse, I would not have to bee
so severe; as (at length) your youth falling into mislike thereof, it
maybe the occasion of some great misfortune, either to you, or me,
or elsee to us both together: considering what rapes are ordinarily
committed in these quarters, and of Ladies equall every way to your
selfe; which happening, would presently be the cause of my death.

If it be in regard of some vow which you have consecrated to virginity,
and to some one of our Gods: I seeke not therein to hinder your
disseignes, neither will bereave the celestiall powers, of whatsoever
appertaineth to them. Albeit I could wish, that it should bee kept in
a place more straited, and separate from the resort of men; to the
end, that so bright a beauty as yours is, should cause no discords
among amorous suters, neither my Court prove a Campe destinied unto
the conclusion of such quarrelse, or you be the occasion of ruining so
many, whose service would beseeme a much more needfull place, then to
dye heere by fond and foolish opinion of enjoying a vaine pleasure,
yet remaining in the power of another bodie to grant. If therefore I
shall perceive, that these behaviours in you do proceede from pride, or
contempt of them, who endeavour to do you both honour and service, and in
sted of granting them a gracious looke, in arrogancie you keepe from
them, making them enemies to your folly and my sufferance: I sweare to
you by our greatest God, that I will take such due order, as shall make
you feele the hand of an offended Father, and teach you (hencefoorth)
to bee much more affable.

Wherefore deere daughter, you shall do me a singular pleasure, freely
to acquaint me with your minde, and the reasons of your so stricte
severity: promising you, upon the word and faith of a King, nay more,
of a loving and kinde Father, that if I finde the cause to bee just
and reasonable, I will desist so farre from hindering your intent,
as you shal rather perceive my fatherly furtherance, and rest truly
resolved of my help and favour. Wherefore faire daughter, neither blush
or dismay, or feare to let me understand your will; for evidently I
see, that meere virgin shame hath made a rapture of your soule, beeing
nothing elsee but those true splendours of vertue derived from your
Auncestors, and shining in you most gloriously, gracing you with a much
richer embellishing, then those beauties bestowed on you by Nature.
Speake therefore boldly to your Father, because there is no law to
prohibit your speech to him: for when he commandeth, he ought to bee
obeyed: promising uppon mine oath once againe, that if your reasons are
such as they ought to be, I will not faile to accommodate your fancy.

The wise and vertuous Princesse, hearing the King to alledge such
gracious reasons, and to lay so kinde a command on her; making him most
lowe and humble reverence, in signe of dutifull accepting such favour,
thus she answered. Royall Lord and Father, seeing that in your Princely
Court, I have gathered whatsoever may be termed vertuous in me, & you
being the principall instructer of my life, from whom I have learned
those lessons, how maides (of my age) ought to governe and maintaine
themselves: you shall apparently perceive, that neither gazing lookes,
which I ought not to yeelde without your consent, nor pride or
arrogancie, never taught me by you, or the Queene my most honourable
Lady and Mother, are any occasion of my cariage towards them, which
come to make ostentation of their folly in your Court, as if a meere
look of _Serictha_, were sufficient to yeeld assurance effectually of
their desires victory.

Nothing (my most Royall Lord and Father) induceth mee to this kinde
of behaviour, but onely due respect of your honour & mine owne: and
to the end it may not be thought, that I belye my selfe, in not eying
the affectionate offers of amorous pursuers, or have any other private
reserved meaning, then what may best please King _Siwalde_ my Father:
let it suffice Sir, that it remaineth in your power onely, to make an
apt election and choice for me; for I neither ought, nor will allowe
the acceptance of any suters kindnesse, so much as by a looke (much
lesse then by words) untill your Highnesse shall nominate the man, to
be a meete husband for _Serictha_. It is onely you then (my Lord) that
beares the true life-blood of our Ancestors. It is the untainted life
of the Queene my Mother, that sets a chaste and strict restraint on
mine eyes, from estranging my heart, to the idle amorous enticements
of young giddy-headed Gentlemen, and have sealed up my soule with an
absolute determination, rather to make choise of death, then any way to
alter this my warrantable severity.

You being a wise King, and the worthie Father of _Serictha_, it is
in you to mediate, counsell, and effect, what best shall beseeme the
desseignes of your daughter: because it is the vertue of children,
yea, and their eternall glory and renowne, to illustrate the lives
and memories of their parents. It consisteth in you, either to grant
honest license to such Lords as desire me, or to oppose them with such
discreete conditions, as both your selfe may sit free from any further
afflicting, and they rest defeated of dangerous dissentions, according
as you foresee what may ensue. Which yet (neverthelesse) I hold as a
matter impossible, if their discord should be grounded on the sole
apprehension of their soules: and the onely prevention thereof, is, not
to yeeld any signe, glance of the eie, or so much as a word more to one
man then another: for, such is the setled disposition of your daughters
soule, and which shee humbly entreateth, may so be still suffered.

Many meanes there are, whereby to winne the grace of the greatest
King, by employing their paines in worthy occasions, answerable unto
their yeeres and vertue, if any such sparkes of honour doe shine in
their soules; rather then by gaining heere any matter of so meane
moment, by endeavouring to shake the simplicity of a bashfull maide:
Let them cleare the Kings high-wayes of Theeves, who make the passages
difficult: or let them expell Pirates from off the Seas, which make our
_Danish_ coasts every way inaccessible. These are such Noble meanes
to merit, as may throw deserved recompence uppon them, and much more
worthily, then making Idols of Ladies lookes, or gazing for babies
in their wanton eyes. So may you bestowe on them what is your owne,
granting _Serictha_ to behold none, but him who you shall please to
give her: for otherwise, you know her absolute resolve, never to looke
any living man in the face, but onely you my gracious Lord and Father.

The King hearing this wise and modest answer of his daughter, could
not choose but commend her in his heart; and smiling at the counsell
which she gave him, returned her this answer. Understand me wel, faire
daughter; neither am I minded to breake your determination wholly, nor
yet to governe my selfe according to your fancie. I stand indifferently
contented, that untill I have otherwise purposed, you shall continue
the nature of your ancient custome: yet conditionally, that when I
command an alteration of your carriage, you faile not therein to declare
your obedience. What elsee remaineth beside, for so silly a thing as a
Woman is, and for the private pleasing of so many great Princes and
Lords, I will not endanger any of their lives; because their parents
and friends (being sensible of such losses) may seeke revenge, perhaps
to their owne ruine, and some following scourge to my indiscretion.
For I consider (daughter) that I have neighbours who scarsely love me,
and of whom (in time) I may right my selfe, having received (by their
meanes) great wrongs & injuries. Also I make no doubt, but to manage
your love-sute with discretion, and set such a pleasing proceeding
betweene them, as neyther shall beget any hatred in them towards me,
nor yet offend them in their affections pursuite, till fortune may
smile so favourably upon some one man, to reach the height of both our
wished desires.

_Siwalde_ was thus determinately resolved, to let his daughter live at
her owne discretion, without any alteration of her continued severitie,
perceiving day by day, that many came still to request her in mariage;
& he could not give her to them all, nor make his choise of any one,
least all the rest should become his enemies, and fall in quarrell one
with another. Onely this therefore was his ordination, that among such
a number of amorous suters, he onely should weare the Lawrell wreath of
victory, who could obtaine such favour of _Serictha_, as but to looke
him in the face. This condition seemed to bee of no meane difficulty,
yea, and so impossible, that many gave over their amorous enterprize:
whereof _Serictha_ was wondrouslie joyfull, seeing her selfe eased
of such tedious importunitie, dulling her eares with their proffered
services, and foppish allegations of fantasticke servitude: such as
ydle-headed Lovers do use to protest before their Mistresses, wherein
they may beleeve them, if they list.

Among all them that were thus forward in their heate of affection,
there was a young _Danish_ Lord, named _Ocharus_, the sonne of a
Pirate, called _Hebonius_, the same man, who having stolne the Sister
unto King _Hunguinus_, and Sister to _Siwalde_, & affiancing himselfe
to her, was slaine by King _Haldune_, and by thus killing him,
enjoyed both the Lady, and the kingdome of the _Gothes_ also, as her
inheritance. This _Ocharus_, relying much on his comelinesse of person,
wealth, power, and valour, but (above all the rest) on his excellent
and eloquent speaking; bestowed his best endeavour to obtaine
_Serictha_, notwithstanding the contemptible carriage of the rest
towards him; whereupon prevailing for his accesse to the Princesse, and
admitted to speake, as all the other did, he reasoned with her in this

Whence may it proceede, Madam, that you being the fairest and wisest
Princesse living at this day in all the Northerne parts, should make so
small account of your selfe, as to denie that, which with honour you may
yeeld to them, as seeke to doe you most humble service; and forgetting
the rank you hold, doe refuse to deigne them recompence in any manner
whatsoever, seeking onely to enjoy you in honourable marriage? Perhaps
you are of opinion, that the gods should become slaves to your
beauty, in which respect, men are utterly unworthy to crave any such
acquaintance of you. If it be so, I confesse my selfe conquered: But if
the gods seeke no such association with women, and since they forsooke
the World, they left this legacy to us men; I thinke you covet after
none, but such as are extracted of their blood, or may make vaunt of
their neere kindred and alliance to them. I know that many have wished,
and doe desire you: I know also, that as many have requested you of
the King your Father, but the choyce remaineth in your power, and you
being ordained the Judge, to distinguish the merit of all your Sutors;
me thinkes you doe wrong to the office of a Judge; in not regarding
the parties which are in suite, to sentence the desert of the best and
bravest, and so to delay them with no more lingering.

I cannot thinke Madam, that you are so farre out of your selfe, and
so chill cold in your affection, but desire of occasions, equall to
your vertue and singular beauty, doe sometime touch you feelingly,
and make you to wish for such a man, answerable to the greatnesse of
your excellency. And if it should be otherwise (as I imagine it to be
impossible) yet you ought to breake such an obstinate designe, onely
to satisfie the King your Father, who can desire nothing more, then to
have a Sonne in Law, to revenge him on the Tyrant of _Swetia_; who,
as you well know, was sometime the murtherer of your Grand-father
_Hunguinus_, and also of his Father. If you please to vouchsafe me
so much grace and favour, as to make me the man, whom your heart
hath chosen to be your Husband; I sweare unto you by the honour of
a Souldier, that I will undergoe such service, as the King shall be
revenged, you royally satisfied, and my selfe advanced to no meane
happinesse, by being the onely fortunate man of the World. Gentle
Princesse, the most beautifull daughter to a King, open that indurate
heart, and so soften it, that the sweete impressions of love may be
engraven therein; see there the loyall pursuite of your _Ocharus_, who,
to save his life, cannot so much as winne one looke from his divine

This nicenesse is almost meerely barbarous, that I, wishing to
adventure my life prodigally in your service, you are so cruell, as
not to deigne recompence to this duty of mine, with the least signe of
kindnesse that can be imagined. Faire _Serictha_, if you desire the
death of your friendly servant _Ocharus_, there are many other meanes
whereby to performe it, without consuming him in so small a fire,
and suffering him there to languish without any answere. If you will
not looke upon me; if my face be so unworthy, that one beame of your
bright Sunnes may not shine upon it: If a word of your mouth be too
precious for me; make a signe with your hand, either of my happinesse
or disaster. If your hand be envious of mine ease, let one of your
women be shee, to pronounce the sentence of life or death; because, if
my life be hatefull to you, this hand of mine may satisfie your will,
and sacrifice it to the rigour of your disdaine. But if (as I am rather
perswaded) the ruine of your servants be against your more mercifull
wishes; deale so that I may perceive it, and expresse what compassion
you have of your _Ocharus_, who coveteth nothing more, then your daily
hearts ease and contentment, with a priviledge of honour above other
Ladies. All this discourse was heard by _Serictha_, but so little was
shee moved therewith, as shee was farre enough off from returning him
any answer, neither did any of the Gentlewomen attending on her, ever
heare her use the very least word to any of her amorous sollicitors,
nor did shee know any one of them, but by speech onely, which drove
them all into an utter despaire, perceiving no possible meanes whereby
to conquer her.

The Histories of the Northerne Countries doe declare, that in those
times, the rapes of women were not much respected; and such as pursued
any Lady or Gentlewoman with love, were verily perswaded, that they
never made sufficient proofe of their amourous passions, if they
undertooke not all cunning stratagems, with adventure of their lives
to all perils whatsoever, for the rape or stealth of them, whom they
purposed to enjoy in marriage. As we reade in the _Gothes_ History
of _Gramo_, Sonne to the King of _Denmarke_, who being impatiently
amourous of the daughter to the King of the _Gothes_, and winning the
love of the Lady, stole her away, before her Parents or friends had any
notice thereof; by meanes of which rape, there followed a most bloody
warre betweene the _Gothes_ and the _Danes_. In recompence of which
injury, _Sibdagerus_, King of _Norway_, being chosen chiefe Commander
of the _Swetians_ & _Gothes_, entred powerfully into _Denmarke_,
where first he violated the Sister to King _Gramo_, and led away her
Daughter, whom in the like manner he made his Spouse, as the _Dane_ had
done the Daughter of _Sigtruge_, Prince of the _Gothes_.

I induce these briefe narrations, onely to shew, that while _Ocharus_
made honest and affable meanes, to win respect from _Serictha_, and
used all honourable services to her, as the Daughter of so great a
Prince worthily deserved: some there were, not halfe so conscientious
as he, especially one of the amourous sutors, who being weary of
the strange carriages of _Serictha_, dissembling to prosecute his
purpose no further; prevailed so farre, that he corrupted one of her
Governesses, for secretly training her to such a place, where the
ravisher should lie in ambush to carry her away, so to enjoy her by
pollicy, seeing all other meanes failed for to compasse his desire.

Behold to what a kind of foolish rage, which giddy headed dullards
doe terme a naturall passion, they are led, who, being guided more by
sensuality, then reason or discretion, follow the braine-sicke motions
of their rash apprehensions. He which pursueth, and protesteth to love
a Lady for her gentillity and vertue; knoweth not how to measure what
love is, neither seeth or conceiveth, how farre the permission of his
owne endeavour extendeth. Moreover, you may observe, that never any age
was so grosse, or men so simple, but even almost from the beginning,
avarice did hood-winke the hearts of men, and that (with gold) the very
strongest Fortification in the World hath beene broken, yea, and the
best bard gates laide wide open. _Serictha_, who shunned the light of
all men, and never distrusted them which kept about her; shee who never
knew (except some naturall sparke gave light to her understanding)
what belonged to the embracements of men, must now (without dreaming
thereon) fall as foode to the insatiable appetite of a wretch, who
compassed this surprisall of her, to glory in his owne lewdnesse, and
make a mocke of the Princesses setled constancy.

Shee, good Lady, following the councell of her trayterous guide, went
abroade on walking, but weakely accompanied, as one that admitted no
men to attend her, which shee might have repented very dearely, if
Heaven had not succoured her innocency, by the helpe of him, who wished
her as well as the ravisher, though their desires were quite contrary;
the one to enjoy her by violence, but the other affecting rather to
die, then doe the least act which might displease her. No sooner was
_Serictha_ arrived at the destined place, where her false Governesse
was to deliver her; but behold a second _Paris_ came, and seized on
her, hurrying her in haste away, before any helpe could possibly rescue
her; the place being farre off from any dwelling.

Now the ravisher durst not convey her to his owne abiding, to enjoy
the benefit of his purchase; but haled her into a small thicket of
trees, where, although shee knew the evident perill, whereinto her
severe continency had now throwne her: yet notwithstanding, shee would
not lift up her eyes, to see what he was that had thus stolne her,
so firmely shee dwelt upon grounded deliberation, and such was the
vigor of her chaste resolve. And albeit shee knew a wickednesse (worse
then death) preparing for her, who had no other glory then in her
vertue, and desire to live contentedly; yet was shee no more astouned
thereat, then if hee had led her to the Palace of the King her Father:
perswading herselfe, that violence done to the body, is no prejudice to
honour, when the mind is free and cleere from consent.

As thus this robber of beauty was preparing to massacre the modesty of
the faire Princesse, shee resisted him with all her power, yea, and
defended her selfe so worthily, that he could not get one looke of her
eye, one kisse of her cheeke, nor any advantage whatsoever, crying out
shrilly, and strugling against him strongly: her outcryes were heard
by one, who little imagined that shee was so neere, whom he loved
more dearely then his owne life, namely, _Ocharus_; who was walking
accidentally alone in this wood, devising by what meanes hee might
winne grace from his sterne Mistresse. No sooner tooke he knowledge
of her, and saw her (in the armes of another) to be ravished; but he
cryed out to the thiefe, saying; Hand off villaine, let not such a
slave as thou, prophane with an unreverend touch the sacred honour of
so chaste a Princesse, who deserveth to be more royally respected, then
thus rudely hurried: Hand off I say, or elsee I sweare by her divine
perfections, whom I esteeme above all creatures in this World, to make
thee die more miserably, then ever any man as yet did.

Whosoever had seene a Lyon or an Ounce rouse himselfe, chafing when
any one adventureth to rob him of his prey; and then with fierce eyes,
mounted creasts, writhed tayles, and sharpened pawes, make against him
that durst to molest him. In the like manner did the ravisher shew
himselfe, and one while snarling, another while bristling the darted
disdainefull lookes at _Ocharus_, and spake to him in this manner. Vile
and base Sea-thiefe, as thou art, welcome to thy deserved wages, and
just repayment for thy proud presuming. It glads my heart not a little,
to meete thee here, where thou shalt soone perceive what good will I
beare thee, and whether thou be worthy or no to enjoy the honour of
this Lady, now in mine owne absolute possession. It will also encrease
her more ample perswasion of my worth, and pleade my merit more
effectually in her favour; when shee shall see what a powerfull arme I
have, to punish this proud insolence of a Pirate.

This harsh language was so distastfull to _Ocharus_, that like a
Bull, made angry by the teeth of some Mastive Dogge, or pricked by
the point of a weapon, he ran upon his enemy, and was so roughly
welcommed by him, as it could not easilly be judged which of them had
the better advantage. But in the end Fortune favoured most the honest
man, and _Ocharus_ having overthrowne the robber, hee smote the head
of him quite from his shoulders, which he presented to her, whom he
had delivered out of so great a peril, and thus he spake. You may
now behold Madam, whether _Ocharus_ be a true lover of _Sericthaes_
vertues, or no, and your knowledge fully resolved, at what end his
affection aimeth; as also, how farre his honest desert extendeth,
for you both to love him, and to recompence the loyall respect he
hath used towards you. Never looke on the villaines face, who strove
to shame the King your Fathers Court, by violation of theevery, the
chastest Princesse on the Earth; but regard _Ocharus_, who is readie to
sacrifice himselfe, if you take as much pleasure in his ruine, as (he
thinketh) hee hath given you contentment, by delivering you from this

Doth it not appeare unto you Madam, that I have as yet done enough,
whereby to be thought a worthy Husband, for the royall Daughter
of _Denmarke_? Have I not satisfied the Kings owne Ordinance, by
delivering his Daughter, as already I have done? Will _Serictha_ be
so constant in her cruelty, as not to turne her eye towards him,
who exposed his life, to no meane perill and daunger, onely in the
defence of her Chastity? Then I plainely perceive, that the wages of
my devoire, is ranked amongest those precedent services, which I have
performed for so hurtfull a beautie. Yet gentle Princesse, let me tell
you, my carriage hath bin of more importance, then all the others
can be, and my merit no way to be compared with theirs; at least,
if you pleased to make account of him, who is an unfeigned lover of
your modesty, and devoutly honoureth your vertuous behaviour. And yet
Madame, shall I have none other answere from you, but your perpetuall
silence? Can you continue so obstinate in your opinion, in making your
selfe still as strange to your _Ocharus_, as to the rest, who have no
other affection, but onely to the bare outside of beauty? Why then,
Royall Ladie, seeing (at this instant time) all my labour is but lost,
and your heart seemeth much more hardned, in acknowledging any of my
honest services: at least yet let me bee so happy, as to conduct you
backe to the Palace, and restore you to that sacred safetie, which will
be my soules best comfort to behold.

No outward signe of kinde acceptation, did any way expresse itselfe in
her, but rather as fearing, lest the commodiousnesse of the place shold
incite this young Lord, to forget all honest respect, and imitate the
other in like basenesse. But he, who rather wished a thousand deathes,
then any way to displease his Mistresse, as if hee were halfe doubtfull
of her suspition, made offer of guiding her backe to the place, from
whence shee had before bene stolne, where she found her company still
staying, as not daring to stirre thence, to let the King know his
daughters ill fortune; but when they saw her returne, and in the
company of so worthie a Knight, they grew resolved, that no violence
had bene done unto her.

The Princesse, sharpely rebuking her women, for leaving her so basely
as they had done, gave charge to one of them (because she would not
seeme altogether negligent & discourteous) that she being gone thence,
she should not faile to thanke _Ocharus_, for the honest and faithfull
service he had done unto her, which she would continually remember,
and recompence as it lay in her power. Neverthelesse, shee advised him
withall, not to hope of any more advantage thereby, then reason should
require. For, if it were the will of the Gods, that she should be his
wife, neither she or any other could let or hinder it: but if her
destiny reserved her for another, all his services would availe to no
purpose, but rather to make her the more rigorous towards him.

This gracious answer, thus given him by her Gentlewoman, although it
gave some small contentment to the poore languishing lover: yet hee
saw no assured signe whereon to settle his resolve, but his hopes
vanished away in smoake, as fast as opinion bred them in his braine.
And gladly he would have given over all further amorous solicitings,
but by some private perswasions of her message sent him, which in time
might so advance his services done for her sake, as would derive far
greater favours from her. Whereupon, he omitted no time or place, but
as occasion gave him any gracious permission, still plied her memorie,
with his manly rescuing her from the ravisher, sufficient to pleade
his merite to her Father, and that (in equity) she ought to bee his
wife, by right both of Honour and Armes; no man being able to deserve
her, as he had done.

So long he pursued her in this manner, that his speeches seemed hatefull
to her, and devising how to be free from his daily importunities, at
length, in the habite of a poore Chamber-maide, she secretly departed
out of the Court, wandering into the solitary parts of the country;
where she entered into service, and had the charge of keeping Sheepe.
It may seeme strange, that a Kings onely daughter should stray in
such sort, and despising Courtly life, betake herselfe to paines and
servility: but such was her resolution, and women delighting altogether
in extremes, spare no attempts to compasse their owne wils. All the
Court was in an uprore for the Ladies losse, the Father in no meane
affliction, the Lovers well-nere beside their wits, and every one elsee
most greevously tormented, that a Lady of such worth should so sodainly
be gone, and all pursuit made after her, gaine no knowledge of her.

In this high tide of sorrow and disaster, what shall we say of the
gentle Lord _Ocharus_? What judgement can sound the depth of his wofull
extreamity? Fearing least some other theefe had now made a second
stealth of his divine Goddesse; he must needs follow her againe,
seeking quite throughout the world, never more returning backe to the
Court, nor to the place of his owne abiding, untill hee heard tidings
of his Mistresse, or ended his dayes in the search of her. No Village,
Town, Cottage, Castle, or any place elsee of note or name, did hee
leave unsought, but diligently he searched for _Serictha_; striving
to get knowledge, under what habit she lived thus concealed, but all
his labour was to no effect: which made him leave the places so much
frequented, and visite the solitary desert shades, entering into all
Caves and rusticke habitations, whereon hee could fasten his eye, to
seeke for the lost Treasure of his soule.

On a day, as hee wandred along in a spacious valley, seated betweene
two pleasant hilles, taking delight to heare the gentle murmure of the
rivers, running by the sides of two neighbouring rockes, planted with
all kinde of trees, and very thickely spred with mosse: hee espied a
flocke of Sheepe feeding on the grasse, and not farre off from them
sate a Maide spinning on her Distaffe; who having got a sight of him,
presently covered her face with a veile. Love, who sate as Sentinell
both in the heart and eye of the gentle _Norwegian_ Lord, as quickly
discovered the subtilty of the faire Shephearddesse, enstructing the
soule of _Ocharus_, that thus she hid her face, as coveting not to
be knowne: whereupon he gathered, that doubtlesse this was shee, for
whom he hadde sought with such tedious travaile, and therefore going
directly unto her, thus hee spake.

Gentle Princesse; wherefore do you thus hide your selfe from mee?
Why do you haunt these retreats and desolate abodes, having power to
command over infinite men, that cannot live but by your presence?
What hath moved you Madame, to flye from company, to dwel among desert
Rockes, and serve as a slave, to such as are no way worthy of your
service? Why do you forsake a potent King, whose onely daughter and
hope you are; leaving your countrey and royall traine of Ladies,
and so farre abasing your selfe, to live in the dejected state of a
servant, and to some rusticke clowne or peazant? What reason have you,
to despise so many worthy Lords, that dearely love and honour you, but
(above them all) your poore slave _Ocharus_, who hath made no spare of
his owne life, for the safety of yours, and also for the defence of
your honour? Royal maid, I am the same man that delivered you from the
villaine, who would have violated your faire chastity; and since then,
have not spared any payne or travell in your search: for whose losse,
King _Siwalde_ is in extreme anguish, the _Danes_ in mourning habites,
and _Ocharus_ even at the doore of death, being no way able to endure
your absence.

Are you of the minde, worthy Madame, that I have not hitherto deserved
so much as one good looke or glance of your eye, in recompence of
so many good & loyall services? If Alas! I am neither ravisher, nor
demander of any unjust requests, or elsee incivill in my motions:
I may merit one regard of my Mistresse. I require onely so silly
a favour, that her eyes may pay me the wages for all which I have
hitherto done in her service. What would you do Madam, if I were an
importunate solicitor, and requested farre greater matters of you, in
just recompence of my labours? I do not desire, that you should embrace
me. I am not so bold, as to request a kisse of _Sericthaes_, more then
immortall lips. Nor doe I covet, that she should any otherwise entreate
mee, then with such severity as beseemeth so great a Princesse. I aske
no more, but onely to elevate your chaste eyes, and grace me with
one little looke, as being the man, who for his vertue and loyall
affection, hath deserved more then that favour, yea, a much greater
and excellent recompence. Can you then be so cruell, as to denie me so
small a thing, without regarde of the maine debt, wherein you stand
engaged to your _Ocharus_?

The Princesse perceiving that it availed nothing to conceale hir
selfe, being by him so apparantly discovered; began now to speake
(which she had never done before, either to him, or any other of her
amorous suters) answering him in this manner. Lord _Ocharus_, it might
suffice you, that your importunity made me forsake my Fathers Court,
and causeth me to live in this abased condition, which I purpose to
prosecute all my life time; or so long (at the least) as you, and such
as you are, pursue me so fondly as you have presumed to do. For I am
resolved, never to favour you any otherwise, then hitherto I have done;
desiring you therefore, that _Serictha_ wanting an Interpreter to tell
you her will, you would now receive it from her owne mouth, determining
sooner to dye, then alter a jot of her intended purpose.

_Ocharus_ hearing this unwelcome answer, was even upon the point to
have slaine himselfe: but yet, not to lose the name of a valiant man,
or to be thought of an effeminate or cowardly spirite, that a Woman
should force him to an acte, so farre unfitting for a man of his
ranke; hee tooke his leave of her, solemnly promising, not to forget
her further pursuite, but at all times to obey her so long as he
lived, although her commaund was very hard for him to endure. So hee
departed thence, not unto the Court, she being not there, that had
the power to enjoyne his presence: but home to his owne house, where
he was no sooner arrived, but he began to waxe wearie of his former
folly; accusing himselfe of great indiscretion, for spending so much
time in vaine, and in her service, who utterly despised him, and all
his endeavours which he undertooke. He began to accuse her of great
ingratitude, laying over-much respect uppon her vertue, to have no
feeling at all of his loyall sufferings; but meerely made a mockery
of his martyrdome. Heereupon, he concluded to give over all further
affection, to languish no longer for her sake, that hated him and all
his actions.

While he continued in these melancholly passions, the Princesse, who
all this while had persisted in such strict severity, as astonished
the courages of her stoutest servants; considering (more deliberately)
on the sincere affection of _Ocharus_, and that vertue onely made him
the friend to her modesty, and not wanton or lascivious appetite; she
felt a willing readinesse in her soule, to gratifie him in some worthy
manner, and to recompence some part of his travailes. Which to effect,
she resolved to follow him (in some counterfeite habite) even to the
place of his own abiding, to try, if easily he could take knowledge of
her, whom so lately he saw in the garments of a Shephearddesse. Being
thus minded, shee went to her Mistresse whom she served, and who had
likewise seen Lord _Ocharus_ (of whom she had perfect knowledge) when
hee conferred with the Shephearddesse, and enquiring the cause, why hee
resorted in that manner to her; _Serictha_ returned her this answer.

Mistresse, I make no doubt, but you will be somewhat amazed, and
(perhaps) can hardly credit when you heare, that she who now serveth
you in the poore degree of Shephearddesse, is the onely daughter to
_Siwalde_ King of the _Danes_: for whose love, so many great Lords have
continually laboured; and that I onely attracted hither _Ocharus_,
the Noble Sonne of valiant _Hebonius_, to wander in these solitary
deserts, to finde out her that fled from him, and helde him in as high
disdaine, as I did all the rest of his fellow rivals. But if my words
may not heerein sufficiently assure you, I would advise you, to send
where _Ocharus_ dwelleth, & there make further enquiry of him, to the
end that you may not imagine me a lyar. If my speeches do otherwise
prevaile with you, and you remain assured, that I am she, whom your
Noble neighbour so deerely affecteth, albeit I never made any account
at all of him: then I do earnestly intreat you, so much to stand my
friend, as to provide some convenient means for me, whereby I may passe
unknowne to the Castle of _Ocharus_, to revenge my selfe on his civill
honesty, & smile at him hereafter, if he prove not so cleerely sighted,
as to know her being neere him, whom he vaunteth to love above all
women elsee.

The good Countrey-woman hearing these wordes, and perceyving that she
had the Princesse in her house, of whose speeches she made not any
doubt, in regard of her stout countenance, gravity, and faire demeanour,
began to rellish something in her minde, farre differing from matter
of common understanding, and therefore roundly replied in this kind of

Madam (for servant I may no longer call you) I make no question to
the contrary, but that you are derived of high birth; having observed
your behaviour, and womanly carriage. And so much the more I remaine
assured thereof, having seene such great honour done unto you, by the
Noble Lord, and worthy Warriour _Ocharus_: wherefore, it lieth not
in my power, to impeach your desseignes, much lesse to talke of your
longer service, because you are the Princesse _Serictha_, whom I am to
performe all humble dutie unto, as being one of your meanest subjects.
And although you were not shee, yet would I not presume any way to
offend you, in regarde of the true and vertuous love, which that good
Knight _Ocharus_ seemeth to beare you. If my company bee needefull
for you, I beseech you to accept it: if not, take whatsoever is mine,
which may any way sted you; for, to make you passe unknowne, I can and
will provide sufficiently, even to your own contentment, and in such
strange manner, as _Ocharus_ (were he never so cleerely sighted) shal
be deceived, you being attired in those fashion garments, which heere
in these parts are usually worne.

_Serictha_ being wonderously joyfull at her answer, suffred hir to
paint, or rather soile her faire face, with the juice of divers hearbes
and rootes, and cloathed her in such an habite as those women use to
weare that live in the mountaines of _Norway_, upon the sea-coast
fronting _Great-Britain_. Being thus disguised, confidently she
went, to beguile the eie of her dearest friend, and so to returne
backe againe from him, having affoorded him such a secret favour, in
requitall of his honourable services; delivering her out of so great
a danger, and comming to visite her in so solitarie a life. Nor would
she have the womans company any further, then till she came within the
sight of _Ocharus_ his Castle; where when she was arrived (he being
then absent) the mother unto the Noble Gentleman, gave her courteous
welcom; and, notwithstanding her grosse & homely outward appearance,
yet she collected by her countenance, that there was a matter of much
more worth in her, then to bee a woman of base breeding.

When _Ocharus_ was returned home, he received advertisement by his
mother, concerning the arrivall of this stranger, when as sodainely his
soule halfe perswaded him, of some kinde courtesie to proceede from his
sweet rebell, pretending now some feigned excuse, in recompence of all
his travailes, and passed honest offices. Observing all her actions and
gestures, her wonted rigour never bending one jot, or gave way to her
eye to looke upon any man; he grew the better assured, that she was the
daughter to King _Siwalde_. Yet feigning to take no knowledge thereof,
he bethought himselfe of a queint policy, whereby to make triall,
whether secret kindnesse had conducted this Lady thither, or no, to
conclude his torments, and give a final end to his greevous afflictions.

Upon a watch-word given to his Mother, he pretended, and so caused it
to be noised through the house, that he was to marry a very honourable
Lady; which the constant and chaste maide verily beleeved; and
therefore gave the more diligent attendance (as a new-come servant) to
see all things in due decency, as no one could expresse herselfe more
ready, because she esteemed him above all other men. Yet such was the
obstinate opinion she concerned of her owne precisenesse, as she would
rather suffer all the flames of love, then expresse the least shew of
desire to any man living. Neverthelesse, she was inwardly offended,
that any other should have the honour, to make her vaunt of enjoying
_Ocharus_; whom (indeed) she coveted, and thought him only worthy in
her heart, to be Son in law to the King of _Denmarke_.

Now, as the Mother was very seriously busied in preparing the Castle,
for receiving the pretended Bride; shee employed her new Mayde
(_Serictha_ I meane) as busily as any of the rest. In the meane
while, _Ocharus_ was laid upon a bed, well noting all her carriage
and behaviour, shee having a lighted Candle in her hand, without any
Candlesticke to hold it in. As all the servants (both men and maids)
were running hastily from place to place, to cary such occasions as
they were commanded, the candle was consumed so neere to _Sericthaes_
fingers, that it burned hir hand. She, not to faile a jote in her
height of mind, and to declare that her corage was invincible; was
so farre off from casting away the small snuffe which offended her,
that she rather graspt it the more strongly, even to the enflaming of
her owne flesh, which gave light to the rest about their businesse. A
matter (almost) as marvellous, as the acte of the noble _Romane_, who
gave his hand to be burned, in presence of the _Tuscane_ King, that had
besiedged _Rome_. Thus this Lady would needs make it apparantly knowne,
by this generous acte of hers, that her heart could not be enflamed or
conquered, by all the fires of concupiscence, in suffering so stoutly
and couragiously, the burning of this materiall fire.

_Ocharus_, who (as we have already saide) observed every thing that
_Serictha_ did; perceiving that she spake not one worde, albeit her
hand burned in such fierce manner, was much astonished at her sprightly
mind. And as he was about to advise her, to hurle away the fire so much
offending her; Curiositie (meerely naturall unto Women) made the Ladie
lift uppe her eyes, to see (by stealth) whether her friend had noted
her invincible constancy, or no. Heereby _Ocharus_ won the honour of
his long expected victory; and leaping from off the bed, hee ranne to
embrace her, not with any such feare as he had formerly used, in not
daring so much as to touch her: but boldly now clasping his armes about
her, he said. At this instant Madam, the King your Fathers decree is
fully accomplished, for I am the first man that ever you lookt in the
face, & you are onely mine, without making any longer resistance. You
are the Princely Lady and wife, by me so constantly loved and desired,
whom I have followed with such painefull travelse, exposing my life
to infinite perils in your service: you have seene and lookt on him,
who never craved any thing of you, but onely this favour, whereof you
cannot bereave me againe, because the Gods themselves, at such time as
I least expected it, have bestowne it on me, as my deserved recompence,
and worthy reward.

In the delivery of these words, he kissed and embraced her a thousand
times, shee not using any great resistance against him, but onely
as somewhat offended with her selfe, either for being so rash in
looking on him, or elsee for delaying his due merit so long; or rather,
because with her good will shee had falne into the transgression. Shee
declared no violent or contending motion, as loath to continue so
long in his armes; but rather, evident signes of hearty contentment,
yet in very bashfull and modest manner, willing enough to accept his
loving kindnesse, yet not wandring from her wonted chaste carriage. He
being favourably excused, for the outward expression of his amourous
behaviour to her, and certified withall, that since the time of freeing
her from the wretch, who sought the violating of her chastity, shee had
entirely respected him, (albeit, to shun suspition of lightnesse, and
to win more assurance, of what shee credited sufficiently already, shee
continued her stiffe opinion against him) yet alwayes this resolution
was set downe in her soule, never (with her will) to have any other
Husband but _Ocharus_, who (above all other) had best deserved her, by
his generosity, vertue, manly courage, and valiancy; whereof he might
the better assure himselfe, because (of her owne voluntary disposition)
shee followed to find him out, not for any other occasion, but to
revenge her selfe (by this honest Office) for all that he had done or
undertaken, to winne the grace and love of the King of _Denmarkes_
Daughter, to whom he presented such dutifull service.

_Ocharus_, who would not loose this happinesse, to be made King of
all the Northerne Ilands, with more then a thankfull heart, accepted
all her gracious excuses. And being desirous to waste no longer time
in vaine, lest Fortune should raise some new stratagem against him,
to dispossesse him of so faire a felicity; left off his counterfeit
intended marriage, and effected this in good earnest, and was wedded
to his most esteemed _Serictha_. Not long had these lovers lived in
the lawfull and sacred rites of marriage, but King _Siwalde_ was
advertised, that his Daughter had given her consent to _Ocharus_, and
received him as her noble Husband. The party was not a jot displeasing
to him, hee thought him to be a worthy Son in Law, and the condition
did sufficiently excuse the match; onely herein lay the error and
offence, that the marriage was sollemnized without his knowledge and
consent, he being not called thereto, or so much as acquainting him
therewith, which made him condemne _Ocharus_ of overbold arrogancy, he
being such a great and powerfull King, to be so lightly respected by
his Subject, and especially in the marriage of his Daughter.

But _Serictha_, who was now metamorphosed from a maide to a wife,
and had lyen a few nights by the side of a Soldiour, was become much
more valiant and adventurous then she was before. She took the matter
in hand, went to her Father, who welcommed her most lovingly, and
so pleasing were her speeches, carried with such wit and womanly
discretion, that nothing wanted to approve what she had done. Matters
which he had never knowne, or so much as heard of, were now openly
revealed, how _Ocharus_ had delivered her from the ravisher, what
worthie respect he then used towards her, and what honour he extended
to her in the deserts, where she tended her flocke as a Shephearddesse,
with manie other honourable actions beside: that the Kings anger became
mildely qualified, and so farre he entred into affection, that he would
not do any thing thence-forward, without the counsell and advise of his
Sonne in Law, whom so highly he esteemed, and liked so respectively of
him, and his race; that his Queene dying, hee married with the Sister
to _Ocharus_, going hand in band with the gentle and modest Princesse

This Novell of _Dioneus_, was commended by all the company, and so much
the rather, because it was free from all folly and obscennesse. And the
Queene perceiving, that as the Tale was ended, so her dignitie must
now be expired: she tooke the Crowne of Laurell from off her head, &
graciously placed it on the head of _Philostratus_, saying; The worthy
Discourse of _Dioneus_, being out of his wonted wanton element, causeth
mee (at the resignation of mine Authority) to make choise of him as our
next Commander, who is best able to order and enstruct us all; and so I
yeeld both my place and honour to _Philostratus_, I hope with the good
liking of all our assistants: as plainly appeareth by their instant
carriage towards him, with all their heartiest love and sufferages.

Whereupon _Philostratus_, beginning to consider on the charge committed
to his care, called the Maister of the houshold, to knowe in what
estate all matters were, because where any defect appeared, everie
thing might be the sooner remedied, for the better satisfaction of
the company, during the time of his authority. Then returning backe
to the assembly, thus he began. Lovely Ladies, I would have you to
knowe, that since the time of ability in me, to distinguish betweene
good and evill, I have alwayes bene subject (perhaps by the meanes of
some beautie heere among us) to the proud and imperious dominion of
love, with expression of all duty, humility, and most intimate desire
to please: yet all hath prooved to no purpose, but still I have bin
rejected for some other, whereby my condition hath falne from ill to
worse, and so still it is likely, even to the houre of my death. In
which respect, it best pleaseth me, that our conferences to morrow,
shal extend to no other argument, but only such cases as are most
conformable to my calamity, namely of such, whose love hath had unhappy
ending, because I await no other issue of mine; nor willingly would I
be called by any other name, but onely, the miserable and unfortunate

Having thus spoken, he arose againe; granting leave to the rest, to
recreate themselves till supper time. The Garden was very faire and
spacious, affoording large limits for their severall walkes; the
Sun being already so low descended, that it could not be offensive
to anyone, the Connies, Kids, and young Hindes skipping every where
about them, to their no meane pleasure and contentment. _Dioneus_ &
_Fiammetta_, sate singing together, of _Messire Guiglielmo_ and the
Lady of _Vertue. Philomena_ and _Pamphilus_ playing at the Chesse, all
sporting themselves as best they pleased. But the houre of Supper being
come, and the Tables covered about the faire fountaine, they sate downe
and supt in most loving manner. Then _Philostratus_, not to swerve from
the course which had beene observed by the Queenes before him, so soone
as the Tables were taken away, gave command, that Madam _Lauretta_
should beginne the dance, and likewise to sing a Song. My gracious
Lord (quoth shee) I can skill of no other Songs, but onely a peece of
mine owne, which I have already learned by heart, & may well beseeme
this faire assembly: if you please to allow of that, I am ready to
performe it with all obedience. Lady, replyed the King, you your selfe
being so faire and lovely, so needs must be whatsoever commeth from
you, therefore let us heare such as you have. Madam _Lauretta_, giving
enstruction to the Chorus, prepared, and began in this manner.

    _The Song.

    No soule so comfortlesse,
         Hath more cause to expresse,
    Like woe and heavinesse,
         As I poore amorous Maide.

    He that did forme the Heavens and every Starre,
            Made me as best him pleased,
    Lovely and gracious, no Element at jarre,
    Or elsee in gentle breasts to moove sterne Warre,
            But to have strifes appeased
    Where Beauties eye should make the deepest scarre.
            And yet when all things are confest,
            Never was any soule distrest,
            Like mine poore amorous Maide.
               No soule so comfortlesse, &c.

    There was a time, when once I was helde deare,
            Blest were those happy dayes:
    Numberlesse Love-suites whispred in mine eare,
    All of faire hope, but none of desperate feare;
            And all sung Beauties praise.
    Why should blacke clowdes obscure so bright a cleare?
            And why should others swimme in joy,
            And no heart drowned in annoy,
            Like mine poore amorous Maide?
               No soule so comfortlesse, &c.

    Well may I curse that sad and dismall day,
            When in unkinde exchange;
    Another Beauty did my hopes betray,
    And stole my dearest Love from me away:
            Which I thought very strange,
    Considering vowes were past, and what elsee may
            Assure a loyall Maidens trust,
            Never was Lover so unjust,
            Like mine poore amorous Maide.
               No soule so comfortlesse, &c.

    Come then kinde Death, and finish all my woes,
            Thy helpe is now the best.
    Come lovely Nymphes, lend hands mine eyes to close,
    And let him wander wheresoere he goes,
            Vaunting of mine unrest;
    Beguiling others by his treacherous showes,
            Grave on my Monument,
            No true love was worse spent,
            Then mine poore amorous Maide.
               No soule so comfortlesse, &c._

So did Madam _Lauretta_ finish her Song, which beeing well observed of
them all, was understood by some in divers kinds: some alluding it one
way, & others according to their own apprehensions, but all consenting,
that both it was an excellent Ditty, well devised, and most sweetly
sung. Afterward, lighted Torches being brought, because the Stars had
already richly spangled all the heavens, and the fit houre of rest
approaching: the King commanded them all to their Chambers, where wee
meane to leave them untill the next morning.

_The End of the Third Day._

The Fourth Day.

_Wherein all the severall Discourses, are under the Government of
Honourable_ Philostratus: _And concerning such persons, whose Loves
have had successelesse ending._

The Induction unto the ensuing Novelles.

Most worthy Ladies, I have alwayes heard, as well by the sayings of
the judicious, as also by mine owne observation and reading, that the
impetuous and violent windes of envy, do sildome blow turbulently; but
on the highest Towers and tops of the trees most eminently advanced.
Yet (in mine opinion) I have found my selfe much deceived; because, by
striving with my very uttermost endeavour, to shunne the outrage of
those implacable winds; I have laboured to go, not onely by plaine and
even pathes, but likewise through the deepest vallies. As very easily
may be seene and observed in the reading of these few small Novelse,
which I have written not only in our vulgar _Florentine_ prose, without
any ambitious title: but also in a most humble stile, so low and gentle
as possibly I could. And although I have bene rudely shaken, yea,
almost halfe unrooted, by the extreame agitation of those blustering
winds, and torne in peeces by that base back-biter, envy: yet have I
not (for all that) discontinued, or broken any part of mine intended
enterprize. Wherefore, I can sufficiently witnesse (by mine owne
comprehension) the saying so much observed by the wise, to bee most
true; That nothing is without envy in this world, but misery onely.

Among variety of opinions, faire Ladies; some, seeing these Novelties,
spared not to say; That I have bene over-pleasing to you, and wandered
too farre from mine owne respect, imbasing my credit and repute, by
delighting my selfe too curiously, for the fitting of your humours,
and have extolled your worth too much, with addition of worse speeches
then I meane to utter. Others, seeming to expresse more maturity
of judgment, have likewise said, That it was very unsuteable for
my yeares, to meddle with womens wanton pleasures, or contend to
delight you by the verie least of my labours. Many more, making shew of
affecting my good fame and esteeme, say; I had done much more wisely,
to have kept mee with the Muses at _Parnassus_, then to confound my
studies with such effeminate follies. Some other beside, speaking more
despightfully then discreetly, saide; I had declared more humanity, in
seeking means for mine owne maintenance, and wherewith to support my
continuall necessities, then to glut the worlde with gulleries, and
feede my hopes with nothing but winde. And others, to calumniate my
travailes, would make you beleeve, that such matters as I have spoken
of, are meerly disguised by me, and figured in a quite contrary nature,
quite from the course as they are related. Whereby you may perceive
(vertuous Ladies) how while I labour in your service, I am agitated and
molested with these blusterings, and bitten even to the bare bones,
by the sharpe and venomous teeth of envy; all which (as heaven best
knoweth) I gladly endure, and with good courage.

Now, albeit it belongeth onely to you, to defend me in this desperate
extremity; yet, notwithstanding all their utmost malice, I will make no
spare of my best abilities, and, without answering them any otherwise
then is fitting, will quietly keepe their slanders from mine eares,
with some sleight reply, yet not deserving to be dreamt on. For I
apparantly perceive, that (having not already attained to the third
part of my pains) they are growne to so great a number, and presume
very farre uppon my patience: they may encrease, except they be
repulsed in the beginning, to such an infinitie before I can reach to
the end, as with their verie least paines taking, they will sinke me to
the bottomlesse depth, if your sacred forces (which are great indeede)
may not serve for me in their resistance. But before I come to answer
any one of them, I will relate a Tale in mine owne favour; yet not a
whole Tale, because it shall not appeare, that I purpose to mingle
mine, among those which are to proceed from a company so commendable.
Onely I will report a parcell thereof, to the end, that what remaineth
untold, may sufficiently expresse, it is not to be numbred among the
rest to come.

By way then of familiar discourse, and speaking to my malicious
detractors, I say, that a long while since, there lived in our City,
a Citizen who was named _Philippo Balduccio_, a man but of meane
condition, yet verie wealthy, well qualified, and expert in many
things appertaining unto his calling. He had a wife whom he loved most
intirely, as she did him, leading together a sweet and peaceable life,
studying on nothing more, then how to please each other mutually.
It came to passe, that as all flesh must, the good woman left this
wretched life for a better, leaving one onely sonne to her husband,
about the age of two yeares. The husband remained so disconsolate
for the losse of his kinde Wife, as no man possibly could be more
sorrowfull, because he had lost the onely jewell of his joy. And being
thus divided from the company which he most esteemed: he determined
also to separate himselfe from the world, addicting al his endeavours
to the service of God; and applying his yong sonne likewise, to the
same holy exercises. Having given away all his goods for Gods sake, he
departed to the Mountaine _Asinaio_, where he made him a small Cell,
and lived there with his little sonne, onely upon charitable almes, in
abstinence and prayer, forbearing to speak of any worldly occasions,
or letting the Lad see any vaine sight: but conferred with him
continually, on the glories of eternall life, of God and his Saints,
and teaching him nothing elsee but devout prayers, leading this kinde
of life for many yeares together, not permitting him ever to goe forth
of the Cell, or shewing him any other but himselfe.

The good old man used divers times to go to _Florence_, where having
received (according to his opportunities) the almes of divers well
disposed people, he returned backe againe to his hermitage. It
fortuned, that the boy being now about eighteene yeeres olde, and his
Father growne very aged; he demanded of him one day, whether hee went?
Wherein the old man truly resolved him: whereuppon, the youth thus
spake unto him. Father, you are now growne very aged, and hardly can
endure such painfull travell: why do you not let me go to _Florence_,
that by making me knowne to your well disposed friends, such as are
devoutly addicted both to God, and you; I, who am young, and better
able to endure travaile then you are, may go thither to supply our
necessities, and you take your ease in the mean while? The aged man,
perceiving the great growth of his Sonne, and thinking him to be so
well instructed in Gods service, as no wordly vanities could easily
allure him from it; did not dislike the Lads honest motion, but when he
went next to _Florence_, tooke him thither along with him.

When he was there, and had seene the goodly Palaces, Houses, and
Churches, with all other sights to be seene in so populous a Cittie:
hee began greatly to wonder at them, as one that had never seene them
before, at least within the compasse of his remembrance; demanding many
things of his Father, both what they were, and how they were named:
wherein the old man still resolved him. The answers seemed to content
him highly, and caused him to proceede on in further questionings,
according still as they found fresh occasions: till at the last, they
met with a troope of very beautifull women, going on in seemely manner
together, as returning backe from a Wedding. No sooner did the youth
behold them, but he demanded of his Father, what things they were;
whereto the olde man replyed thus. Sonne, cast downe thy lookes unto
the ground, and do not seeme to see them at all, because they are bad
things to behold. Bad things Father? answered the Lad: How do you call
them? The good olde man, not to quicken any concupiscible appetite in
the young boy, or any inclinable desire to ought but goodnesse; would
not terme them by their proper name of Women, but tolde him that they
were called young Gozlings.

Heere grew a matter of no meane mervaile, that hee who had never seene
any women before now; appeared not to respect the faire Churches,
Palaces, goodly horses, Golde, Silver, or any thing elsee which he had
seene; but, as fixing his affection onely upon this sight, sodainly
said to the old man. Good Father, do so much for me, as to let me
have one of these Gozlings. Alas Sonne (replyed the Father) holde thy
peace I pray thee, and do not desire any such naughty things. Then by
way of demand, he thus proceeded, saying. Father, are these naughty
things made of themselves? Yes Sonne, answered the old man. I know not
Father (quoth the Lad) what you meane by naughtinesse, nor why these
goodly things should be so badly termed; but in my judgement, I have
not seene any thing so faire and pleasing in mine eye, as these are,
who excell those painted Angelse, which heere in the Churches you have
shewn me. And therefore Father, if either you love me, or have any care
of me, let mee have one of these Gozlings home to our Cell, where we
can make means sufficient for her feeding. I will not (said the Father)
be so much thine enemy, because neither thou, or I, can rightly skill
of their feeding. Perceiving presently, that Nature had farre greater
power then his Sonnes capacity and understanding; which made him
repent, for fondly bringing his sonne to _Florence_.

Having gone so farre in this fragment of a Tale, I am content to
pause heere, and will returne againe to them of whom I spake before;
I meane my envious depravers: such as have saide (faire Ladies) that
I am double blame-worthy, in seeking to please you, and that you are
also over-pleasing to me; which freely I confesse before all the
world, that you are singularly pleasing to me, and I have stroven
how to please you effectually. I would demand of them (if they seeme
so much amazed heereat,) considering, I never knew what belonged to
true love kisses, amorous embraces, and their delectable fruition,
so often received from your graces; but onely that I have seene, and
do yet daily behold, your commendable conditions, admired beauties,
noble adornments by nature, and (above all the rest) your womenly and
honest conversation. If hee that was nourished, bred, and educated, on
a savage solitary Mountain, within the confines of a poore small Cell,
having no other company then his Father: If such a one, I say, uppon
the very first sight of your sexe, could so constantly confesse, that
women were onely worthy of affection, and the object which (above all
things elsee) he most desired; why should these contumelious spirits so
murmure against me, teare my credite with their teeth, and wound my
reputation to the death, because your vertues are pleasing to mee, and
I endeavour likewise to please you with my utmost paines? Never had the
auspitious heavens allowed me life, but onely to love you; and from my
very infancie, mine intentions have alwaies bene that way bent: feeling
what vertue flowed from your faire eies, understanding the mellifluous
accents of your speech, whereto the enkindled flames of your sighes
gave no meane grace. But remembring especially, that nothing could
so please an Hermite, as your divine perfections, an unnurtured Lad,
without understanding, and little differing from a meere brutish beast:
undoubtedly, whosoever loveth not women, and desireth to be affected of
them againe; may well be ranked among these women-haters, speaking out
of cankred spleene, and utterly ignorant of the sacred power (as also
the vertue) of naturall affection, whereof they seeming so carelesse,
the like am I of their depraving.

Concerning them that touch me with mine age; Do not they know, that
although Leeks have white heads, yet the blades of them are alwaies
greene? But referring them to their flouts and taunts, I answer, that
I shal never hold it any disparagement to mee, so long as my life
endureth, to delight my selfe with those exercises, which _Guido
Cavalconti_, and _Dante Alighieri_, already aged, as also _Messer
Cino de Pistoia_, older then either of them both, held to be their
chiefest honour. And were it not a wandering too farre from our present
argument, I would alledge Histories to approove my words, full of very
ancient and famous men, who in the ripest maturity of all their time,
were carefully studious for the contenting of women, albeit these
cock-braines neither know the way how to do it, nor are so wise as to
learne it.

Now, for my dwelling at _Parnassus_ with the Muses, I confesse their
counsell to be very good: but wee cannot alwayes continue with them,
nor they with us. And yet neverthelesse, when any man departeth from
them, they delighting themselves, to see such things as may bee
thought like them, do not therein deserve to be blamed. Wee finde it
recorded, that the Muses were women, and albeit women cannot equall the
performance of the Muses; yet in their very prime aspect, they have a
lively resemblance with the Muses: so that, if women were pleasing for
nothing elsee, yet they ought to be generally pleasing in that respect.
Beside all this, women have bin the occasion of my composing a thousand
Verses, whereas the Muses never caused me to make so much as one. Verie
true it is, that they gave me good assistance, and taught me how I
shold compose them, yea, and directed me in writing of these Novelse.
And how basely soever they judge of my studies, yet have the Muses
never scorned to dwell with me, perhaps for the respective service, and
honourable resemblance of those Ladies with themselves, whose vertues
I have not spared to commend by them. Wherefore, in the composition of
these varieties, I have not strayed so farre from _Parnassus_, nor the
Muses; as in their silly conjectures they imagine.

But what shall I say to them, who take so great compassion on my
povertie, as they advise me to get something, whereon to make my
living? Assuredly, I know not what to say in this case, except by
due consideration made with my selfe, how they would answer mee, if
necessitie should drive me to crave kindnesse of them; questionles,
they would then say: Goe, seeke comfort among thy fables and follies.
Yet I would have them know, that poore Poets have alwayes found more
among their fables & fictions; then many rich men ever could do, by
ransacking all their bags of treasure. Beside, many other might be
spoken of, who made their age and times to flourish, meerely by their
inventions and fables: whereas on the contrary, a great number of
other busier braines, seeking to gaine more then would serve them to
live on; have utterly runne uppon their owne ruine, and overthrowne
themselves for ever. What should I say more? To such men, as are either
so suspitious of their owne charitie, or of my necessity, whensoever
it shall happen: I can answere (I thanke my God for it) with the
Apostle; I know how to abounde, & how to abate, yea, how to endure both
prosperity and want; and therefore, let no man be more carefull of me,
then I am of my selfe.

For them that are so inquisitive into my discourses, to have a further
construction of them, then agrees with my meaning, or their own good
manners, taxing me with writing one thing, but intending another; I
could wish, that their wisedom would extend so farre, as but to compare
them with their originals, to finde them a jot discordant from my
writing; and then I would freely confesse, that they had some reason
to reprehend me, and I should endeavour to make them amends. But untill
they can touch me with any thing elsee, but words onely; I must let them
wander in their owne giddy opinions, and followe the course projected
to my selfe, saying of them, as they do of me.

Thus holding them all sufficiently answered for this time, I say (most
worthy Ladies) that by heavens assistance and yours, whereto I onely
leane: I will proceede on, armed with patience; and turning my backe
against these impetuous windes, let them breath till they burst,
because I see nothing can happen to harme me, but onely the venting
of their malice. For the roughest blastes, do but raise the smallest
dust from off the ground, driving it from one place to another; or,
carrying it up to the aire, many times it falleth downe againe on mens
heads, yea, upon the Crownes of Emperors and Kings, and sometimes on
the highest Palaces and tops of Towers; from whence, if it chance to
descend again by contrarie blasts, it can light no lower, then whence
it came at the first. And therefore, if ever I strove to please you
with my uttermost abilities in any thing, surely I must now contend to
expresse it more then ever. For, I know right well, that no man can
say with reason, except some such as my selfe, who love and honour
you, that we do any otherwise then as nature hath commanded us; and to
resist her lawes, requires a greater and more powerfull strength then
ours: and the contenders against her supreame priviledges, have either
laboured meerely in vaine, or elsee incurred their owne bane. Which
strength, I freely confesse my selfe not to have, neither covet to be
possessed of it in this case: but if I had it, I wold rather lend it
to some other, then any way to use it on mine own behalfe. Wherefore,
I would advise them that thus checke and controule mee, to give over,
and be silent; and if their cold humours cannot learne to love, let them
live still in their frostie complexion, delighting themselves in their
corrupted appetites: suffering me to enjoy mine owne, for the little
while I have to live; and this is all the kindnesse I require of them.

But now it is time (bright beauties) to returne whence we parted, and
to follow our former order begun, because it may seeme we have wandered
too farre. By this time the Sun had chased the Starre-light from the
heavens, and the shadie moisture from the ground, when _Philostratus_
the King being risen, all the company arose likewise. When being come
into the goodly Garden, they spent the time in varietie of sports,
dining where they had supt the night before. And after that the Sun
was at his highest, and they had refreshed their spirits with a little
slumbering, they sate downe (according to custome) about the faire
Fountaine. And then the King commanded Madam _Fiammetta_, that she
should give beginning to the dayes Novelse: when she, without any
longer delaying, began in this gracious manner.

Tancrede, _Prince of_ Salerne, _caused the amorous friend of his
daughter to be slaine, and sent her his heart in a cup of Gold: which
afterward she steeped in an impoysoned water, and then drinking it so

The first Novell.

_Wherein is declared the power of Love, and their cruelty justly
reprehended, who imagine to make the vigour thereof cease, by abusing
or killing one of the Lovers._

Our King (most Noble and vertuous Ladies) hath this day given us a
subject, very rough and stearne to discourse on, and so much the
rather, if we consider, that we are come hither to be merry & pleasant,
where sad Tragicall reports are no way suteable, especially, by
reviving the teares of others, to bedew our owne cheekes withall. Nor
can any such argument be spoken of, without moving compassion both
in the reporters, and hearers. But (perhaps) it was his highnesse
pleasure, to moderate the delights which we have already had. Or
whatsoever elsee hath provoked him thereto, seeing it is not lawfull for
mee, to alter or contradict his appointment; I will recount an accident
very pittiful, or rather most unfortunate, and well worthy to bee
graced with our teares.

_Tancrede_, Prince of _Salerne_ (which City, before the Consulles of
_Rome_ held dominion in that part of _Italy_, stoode free, and thence
(perchance) tooke the moderne title of a Principality) was a very
humane Lord, and of ingenious nature; if, in his elder yeares, he had
not soiled his hands in the blood of Lovers, especially one of them,
being both neere and deere unto him. So it fortuned, that during the
whole life time of this Prince, he had but one onely daughter (albeit
it had bene much better, if he had had none at all) whom he so choisely
loved and esteemed, as never was any childe more deerely affected of a
Father: and so farre extended his over-curious respect of her, as he
would sildome admit her to be foorth of his sight; neither would he
suffer her to marry, although she had outstept (by divers yeares) the
age meete for marriage. Neverthelesse, at length, he matched her with
the Sonne to the Duke of _Capua_, who lived no long while with her;
but left her in a widdowed estate, and then shee returned home to her
father againe.

This Lady, had all the most absolute perfections, both of favour and
feature, as could be wished in any woman, yong, queintly disposed, and
of admirable understanding, more (perhappes) then was requisite in
so weake a bodie. Continuing thus in Court with the King her Father,
who loved her beyond all his future hopes; like a Lady of great and
glorious magnificence, she lived in all delights & pleasure. She well
perceiving, that her Father thus exceeding in his affection to her,
had no mind at all of re-marrying her, and holding it most immodest
in her, to solicite him with any such suite: concluded in her mindes
private consultations, to make choise of some one especiall friend or
favourite (if Fortune would prove so furtherous to her) whom she might
acquaint secretly, with her sober, honest, and familiar purposes. Her
Fathers Court beeing much frequented, with plentifull accesse of brave
Gentlemen, and others of inferiour quality, as commonly the Courts of
Kings & Princes are, whose carriage and demeanour she very heedfully
observed. There was a yong Gentleman among all the rest, a servant to
her Father, and named _Guiscardo_, a man not derived from any great
descent by bloode, yet much more Noble by vertue and commendable
behaviour, then appeared in any of the other, none pleased her opinion,
like as he did; so that by often noting his parts and perfections, her
affection being but a glowing sparke at the first, grewe like a Bavin
to take flame, yet kept so closely as possibly she could; as Ladies are
warie enough in their love.

The yong Gentleman, though poore, being neither blocke nor dullard,
perceived what he made no outward shew of, and understood himselfe so
sufficiently, that holding it no meane happinesse to bee affected by
her, he thought it very base and cowardly in him, if he should not
expresse the like to her againe. So loving mutually (yet secretly)
in this manner, and shee coveting nothing more, then to have private
conference with him, yet not daring to trust anyone with so important a
matter; at length she devised a new cunning stratageme, to compasse her
longing desire, and acquaint him with her private purpose, which proved
to bee in this manner. Shee wrote a Letter, concerning what was the
next day to be done, for their secret meeting together; and conveying
it within the joynt of an hollow Cane, in jesting manner threw it to
_Guiscardo_, saying; Let your man make use of this, insted of a paire
of bellowes, when he meaneth to make fire in your chamber. _Guiscardo_
taking up the Cane, and considering with himselfe, that neither was
it given, or the wordes thus spoken, but doubtlesse on some important
occasion: went unto his lodging with the Cane, where viewing it
respectively, he found it to be cleft, and opening it with his knife,
found there the written Letter enclosed.

After he had reade it, and well considered on the service therein
concerned; he was the most joyfull man of the world, and began to
contrive his aptest meanes, for meeting with his gracious Mistresse,
and according as she had given him direction. In a corner of the Kings
Palace, it being seated on a rising hill, a cave had long beene made
in the body of the same hill, which received no light into it, but by
a small spiracle or vent-loope, made out ingeniously on the hills side.
And because it hadde not in long time bene frequented, by the accesse
of any body, that vent-light was over-growne with briars and bushes,
which almost engirt it round about. No one could descend into this
cave or vault, but only by a secret paire of staires, answering to a
lower Chamber of the Palace, and very neere to the Princesses lodging,
as beeing altogether at her command, by meanes of a strong barred and
defensible doore, whereby to mount or descend at her pleasure. And both
the cave it selfe, as also the degrees conducting downe into it, were
now so quite worne out of memory (in regard it had not bene visited by
any one in long time before) as no man remembred that there was any
such thing.

But Love, from whose bright discerning eies, nothing can be so closely
concealed, but at the length it commeth to light: had made this amorous
Lady mindefull thereof, and because she would not bee discovered in
her intention, many dayes together, her soule became perplexed; by
what meanes that strong doore might best be opened, before shee could
compasse to performe it. But after that she had found out the way, and
gone downe her selfe alone into the cave; observing the loope-light,
& had made it commodious for her purpose, shee gave knowledge thereof
to _Guiscardo_, to have him devise an apt course for his descent,
acquainting him truly with the height, and how farre it was distant
from the ground within. After he had found the souspirall in the
hills side, and given it a larger entrance for his safer passage; he
provided a Ladder of cords, with steppes sufficient for his descending
and ascending, as also a wearing sute made of leather, to keepe his
skinne unscratched of the thornes, and to avoide all suspition of his
resorting thither. In this manner went he to the saide loope-hole the
night following, and having fastened the one end of his corded ladder,
to the strong stumpe of a tree being closely by it; by meanes of the
saide ladder, he descended downe into the cave, and there attended the
comming of his Lady.

She, on the morrow morning, pretending to her waiting woman, that she
was scarsly well, and therefore would not be diseased the most part
of that day; commanded them to leave her alone in her Chamber, and
not to returne untill she called for them, locking the doore her selfe
for better security. Then opened she the doore of the cave, and going
downe the staires, found there her amorous friend _Guiscardo_, whom she
saluting with a chaste and modest kisse; caused him to ascend up the
stayres with her into her chamber. This long desired, and now obtained
meeting, caused the two deerely affecting Lovers, in kinde discourse
of amorous argument (without incivill or rude demeanour) to spend there
the most part of that day, to their hearts joy and mutuall contentment.
And having concluded on their often meeting there, in this cunning
& concealed sort; _Guiscardo_ went downe into the cave againe, the
Princesse making the doore fast after him, and then went forth among
her Women. So in the night season, _Guiscardo_ ascended uppe againe
by his Ladder of cords, and covering the loope-hole with brambles and
bushes, returned (unseene of any) to his owne lodging: the cave being
afterward guilty of their often meeting there in this manner.

But Fortune, who hath alwayes bin a fatall enemy to lovers stolne
felicities, became envious of their thus secret meeting, and overthrew
(in an instant) all their poore happinesse, by an accident most
spightfull and malicious. The King had used divers dayes before, after
dinner time, to resort all alone to his daughters Chamber, there
conversing with her in most loving manner. One unhappy day amongst the
rest, when the Princesse, being named _Ghismonda_, was sporting in her
privat Garden among her Ladies, the King (at his wonted time) went to
his daughters Chamber, being neither heard or seene by any. Nor would
he have his daughter called from her pleasure, but finding the windowes
fast shut, and the Curtaines close drawne about the bed; he sate downe
in a chaire behind it, and leaning his head upon the bed; his body
being covered with the curtaine, as if he hid himselfe purposely; hee
mused on so many matters, untill at last he fell fast asleepe.

It hath bin observed as an ancient Adage, that when disasters are
ordained to any one, commonly they prove to be inevitable, as poore
_Ghismonda_ could witnesse too well. For, while the King thus slept,
shee having (unluckily) appointed another meeting with _Guiscardo_,
left hir Gentlewomen in the Garden, and stealing softly into her
Chamber, having made all fast and sure, for being descried by any
person: opened the doore to _Guiscardo_, who stood there ready on
the staire-head, awaiting his entrance; and they sitting downe on
the bed side (according as they were wont to do) began their usuall
kinde conference againe, with sighes and loving kisses mingled among
them. It chanced that the King awaked, & both hearing and seeing this
familiarity of _Guiscardo_ with his Daughter, he became extreamly
confounded with greefe thereat. Once he intended, to cry out for helpe,
to have them both there apprehended; but he helde it a part of greater
wisedome, to sit silent still, and (if hee could) to keepe himselfe
so closely concealed: to the end, that he might the more secretly,
and with far less disgrace to himselfe, performe what hee had rashly
intended to do.

The poore discovered Lovers, having ended their amorous interparlance,
without suspition of the Kings being so neer in person, or any else,
to betray their over-confident trust; _Guiscardo_ descended againe
into the Cave, and she leaving the Chamber, returned to her women in
the Garden; all which _Tancrede_ too well observed, and in a rapture
of fury, departed (unseene) into his owne lodging. The same night,
about the houre of mens first sleepe, and according as he had given
order; _Guiscardo_ was apprehended, even as he was comming forth of the
loope-hole, & in his homely leather habite. Very closely was he brought
before the King, whose heart was swolne so great with greefe, as hardly
was hee able to speake: notwithstanding, at the last he began thus.
_Guiscardo_, the love & respect I have used towards thee, hath not
deserved the shameful wrong which thou hast requited me withall, and as
I have seene with mine owne eyes this day. Whereto _Guiscardo_ could
answer nothing elsee, but onely this: Alas my Lord! Love is able to do
much more, then either you, or I. Whereupon, _Tancrede_ commanded, that
he should bee secretly well guarded, in a neere adjoining Chamber, and
on the next day, _Ghismonda_ having (as yet) heard nothing heereof, the
Kings braine being infinitely busied and troubled, after dinner, and
as he often had used to do: he went to his daughters chamber, where
calling for her, and shutting the doores closely to them, the teares
trickling downe his aged white beard, thus he spake to her.

_Ghismonda_, I was once grounded in a setled perswasion, that I truely
knew thy vertue, and honest integrity of life; and this beleefe could
never have bene altred in mee, by any sinister reports whatsoever,
had not mine eyes seene, and mine eares heard the contrary. Nor did I
so much as conceive a thought either of thine affection, or private
conversing with any man, but onely he that was to be thy husband.
But now, I my selfe being able to avouch thy folly, imagine what an
heart-breake this will be to me, so long as life remaineth in this
poore, weak, and aged body. Yet, if needs thou must have yeelded to
this wanton weakenesse, I would thou hadst made choise of a man,
answerable to thy birth & Nobility: whereas on the contrary, among
so many worthy spirits as resort to my Court, thou likest best to
converse with that silly yong man _Guiscardo_, one of very meane and
base descent, and by mee (even for Gods sake) from his very youngest
yeares, brought uppe to this instant in my Court; wherein thou hast
given me much affliction of minde, and so overthrowne my senses, as I
cannot wel imagine how I should deale with thee. For him, whom I have
this night caused to be surprized, even as he came forth of your close
contrived conveyance, and detaine as my prisoner, I have resolved how
to proceed with him: but concerning thy selfe, mine oppressions are
so many and violent, as I know not what to say of thee. One way, thou
hast meerly murthered the unfeigned affection I bare thee, as never any
father could expresse more to his child: and then againe, thou hast
kindled a most just indignation in me, by thine immodest and wilfull
folly, and whereas Nature pleadeth pardon for the one, yet justice
standeth up against the other, and urgeth cruell severity against thee:
neverthelesse, before I will determine upon any resolution, I come
purposely first to heare thee speake, and what thou canst say for thy
selfe, in a bad case, so desperate and dangerous.

Having thus spoken, he hung downe the head in his bosome, weeping
as abundantly, as if it had beene a childe severely disciplinde. On
the other side, _Ghismonda_ hearing the speeches of her Father, and
perceiving withall, that not onely her secret love was discovered, but
also _Guiscardo_ was in close prison, the matter which most of all did
torment her; shee fell into a very strange kinde of extasie, scorning
teares, and entreating tearmes, such as feminine frailety are alwayes
aptest unto: but rather, with height of courage, controling feare or
servile basenesse, and declaring invincible fortitude in her very
lookes, shee concluded with her selfe, rather then to urge any humble
perswasions, shee would lay her life downe at the stake. For plainely
shee perceived, that _Guiscardo_ already was a dead man in Law, and
death was likewise as welcome to her, rather then the deprivation of
her Love; and therefore, not like a weeping woman, or as checkt by the
offence committed, but carelesse of any harme happening to her: stoutly
and couragiously, not a teare appearing in her eye, or her soule any
way to be perturbed, thus shee spake to her Father.

_Tancrede_, to denie what I have done, or to entreate any favour from
you, is now no part of my disposition: for as the one can little availe
me, so shall not the other any way advantage me. Moreover, I covet
not, that you should extend any clemency or kindnesse to me, but by
my voluntary confession of the truth; doe intend (first of all) to
defend mine honour, with reasons sound, good, and substantiall, and
then vertuously pursue to full effect, the greatnesse of my minde and
constant resolution. True it is, that I have loved, and still doe,
honourable _Guiscardo_, purposing the like so long as I shall live,
which will be but a small while: but if it bee possible to continue
the same affection after death, it is for ever vowed to him onely. Nor
did mine owne womanish weaknesse so much thereto induce me, as the
matchlesse vertues shining cleerely in _Guiscardo_, and the little
respect you had of marrying me againe. Why royall Father, you cannot be
ignorant, that you being composed of flesh and blood, have begotten a
Daughter of the selfe same composition, and not made of stone or yron.
Moreover, you ought to remember (although now you are farre stept in
yeeres) what the Lawes of youth are, and with what difficulty they are
to be contradicted. Considering withall, that albeit (during the vigour
of your best time) you evermore were exercised in Armes; yet you should
likewise understand, that negligence and idle delights, have mighty
power, not onely in yong people, but also in them of greatest yeeres.

I being then made of flesh and blood, and so derived from your selfe;
having had also so little benefit of life, that I am yet in the spring,
and blooming time of my blood: by either of these reasons, I must needs
be subject to naturall desires, wherein such knowledge as I have once
already had, in the estate of my marriage, perhaps might move a further
intelligence of the like delights, according to the better ability of
strength, which exceeding all capacity of resistance, induced a second
motive to affection, answerable to my time and youthful desires, and
so (like a yong woman) I became amorous againe; yet did I strive,
even with all my utmost might, and best vertuous faculties abiding in
me, no way to disgrace either you or my selfe, as (in equall censure)
yet I have not done. But Nature is above all humane power, and Love,
commanded by Nature, hath prevailed for Love, joyning with Fortune: in
meere pity and commiseration of my extreme wrong, I found them both
most benigne and gracious, teaching me a way secret enough, whereby I
might reach the height of my desires, howsoever you became instructed,
or (perhaps) found it out by accident; so it was, and I denie it not.

Nor did I make election of _Guiscardo_ by chance, or rashly, as many
women doe, but by deliberate counsell in my soule, and most mature
advise; I chose him above all other, and having his honest harmelesse
conversation, mutually we enjoyed our hearts contentment. Now it
appeareth, that I having not offended but by love; in imitation of
vulgar opinion, rather then truth: you seeke to reprove me bitterly,
alleaging no other maine argument for your anger, but onely my not
choosing a gentleman, or one more worthy. Wherein it is most evident,
that you doe not so much checke my fault, as the ordination of Fortune;
who many times advanceth men of meanest esteeme, and abaseth them
of greater merit. But leaving this discourse, let us looke into the
originall of things, wherein wee are first to observe, that from one
masse or lumpe of flesh, both we, and all other received our flesh, and
one Creator hath created all things; yea, all creatures, equally in
their forces and faculties, and equall likewise in their vertue: which
vertue was the first that made distinction of our birth and equality,
in regard, that such as had the most liberall portion thereof, and
performed actions thereto answerable, were thereby termed noble, all
the rest remaining unnoble: now although contrary use did afterward hide
and conceale this Law, yet was it not therefore banished from Nature or
good manners. In which respect, whosoever did execute all his actions
by vertue, declared himselfe openly to be noble; and he that tearmed
him otherwise, it was an error in the miscaller, and not in the person
so wrongfully called; as the very same priviledge is yet in full force
among us at this day.

Cast an heedfull eye then (good Father) upon all your Gentlemen, and
advisedly examine their vertues, conditions and manner of behaviour. On
the other side, observe those parts remaining in _Guiscardo_: and then,
if you will judge truly, and without affection, you will confesse him
to be most noble, and that all your Gentlemen (in respect of him) are
but base Groomes and villaines. His vertues and excelling perfections,
I never credited from the report or judgement of any person; but onely
by your speeches, and mine owne eyes as true witnesses. Who did ever
more commend _Guiscardo_, extolling all those singularities in him,
most requisite to be in an honest vertuous man; then you your selfe
have done? Nor neede you to be sorry, or ashamed of your good opinion
concerning him; for, if mine eyes have not deceived my judgement, you
never gave him the least part of praise, but I have knowne much more
in him, then ever your words were able to expresse: wherefore, if I
have beene any way deceived, truly the deceit proceeded onely from
you. How will you then maintaine, that I have throwne my liking on a
man of base condition? In troth (Sir) you cannot. Perhaps you will
alleadge, that he is meane and poore; I confesse it, and surely it is
to your shame, that you have not bestowne place of more preferment, on
a man so honest and well deserving, and having beene so long a time
your servant. Neverthelesse, poverty impaireth not any part of noble
Nature, but wealth hurries it into horrible confusions. Many Kings and
great Princes have heretofore beene poore, when divers of them that
have delved into the Earth, and kept Flockes in the Feld, have beene
advanced to riches, and exceeded the other in wealth.

Now, as concerning your last doubt, which most of all afflicteth you,
namely, how you shall deale with me; boldly rid your braine of any such
disturbance, for if you have resolved now in your extremity of yeeres,
to doe that which your younger dayes evermore despised, I meane, to
become cruell; use your utmost cruelty against me, for I will never
entreate you to the contrary, because I am the sole occasion of this
offence, if it doe deserve the name of an offence. And this I dare
assure you, that if you deale not with me, as you have done already, or
intend to _Guiscardo_, mine owne hands shall act as much: and therefore
give over your teares to women, and if you purpose to be cruel, let him
and me in death drinke both of one cup, at least, if you imagine that
we have deserved it.

The King knew well enough the high spirit of his Daughter, but yet
(neverthelesse) he did not beleeve, that her words would prove actions,
or shee doe as shee saide. And therefore parting from her, and without
intent of using any cruelty to her; concluded, by quenching the heate
of another, to coole the fiery rage of her distemper, commanding two
of his followers (who had the custody of _Guiscardo_) that without any
rumour or noyse at all, they should strangle him the night ensuing,
and taking the heart forth of his body, to bring it to him, which
they performed according to their charge. On the next day, the King
called for a goodly standing Cup of Gold, wherein he put the heart of
_Guiscardo_, sending it by one of his most familiar servants to his
Daughter, with command also to use these words to her. Thy Father hath
sent thee this present, to comfort thee with that thing which most of
all thou affectest, even as thou hast comforted him with that which he
most hated.

_Ghismonda_, nothing altered from her cruell deliberation, after her
Father was departed from her, caused certaine poysonous rootes & hearbs
to be brought her, which shee (by distillation) made a water of, to
drinke suddenly, whensoever any crosse accident should come from her
Father; whereupon, when the messenger from her Father had delivered her
the present, and uttered the words as he was commanded: shee tooke the
Cup, and looking into it with a setled countenance, by sight of the
heart, and effect of the message, shee knew certainely, that it was the
heart of _Guiscardo_; then looking stearnely on the servant, thus she
spake unto him. My honest friend, it is no more then right and justice,
that so worthy a heart as this is, should have any worser grave then
gold, wherein my Father hath dealt most wisely. So, lifting the heart
up to her mouth; and sweetly kissing it, shee proceeded thus. In all
things, even till this instant, (being the utmost period of my life)
I have evermore found my Fathers love most effectuall to me; but now
it appeareth farre greater, then at any time heretofore: and therefore
from my mouth, thou must deliver him the latest thankes that ever I
shall give him, for sending me such an honourable present.

These words being ended, holding the Cup fast in her hand, and looking
seriously upon the heart, shee began againe in this manner. Thou sweete
entertainer of all my dearest delights, accursed be his cruelty, that
causeth me thus to see thee with my corporall eyes, it being sufficient
enough for me, alwayes to behold thee with the sight of my soule.
Thou hast runne thy race, and as Fortune ordained, so are thy dayes
finished: for as all flesh hath an ending; so hast thou concluded,
albeit too soone, and before thy due time. The travailes and miseries
of this World, have now no more to meddle with thee, and thy very
heaviest enemy, hath bestowed such a grave on thee, as thy greatnesse
in vertue worthily deserveth; now nothing elsee is wanting, wherewith
to beautifie thy Funerall, but onely her sighes & teares, that was so
deare unto thee in thy life time. And because thou mightest the more
freely enjoy them, see how my mercilesse Father (on his owne meere
motion) hath sent thee to me; and truly I will bestow them frankly
on thee, though once I had resolved, to die with drie eyes, and not
shedding one teare, dreadlesse of their utmost malice towards me.

And when I have given thee the due oblation of my teares, my soule,
which sometime thou hast kept most carefully, shall come to make a
sweete conjunction with thine: for in what company elsee can I travaile
more contentedly, and to those unfrequented silent shades, but onely in
thine? As yet I am sure it is present here, in this Cup sent me by my
Father, as having a provident respect to the place, for possession of
our equall and mutuall pleasures; because thy soule affecting mine so
truely, cannot walke alone, without his deare companion.

Having thus finished her complaint, even as if her head had been
converted into a well-spring of water, so did teares abundantly flow
from her faire eyes, kissing the heart of _Guiscardo_ infinite times.
All which while, her women standing by her, neither knew what heart
it was, nor to what effect her speeches tended: but being moved to
compassionate teares, they often demanded (albeit in vaine) the
occasion of her sad complaining, comforting her to their utmost power.
When shee was not able to weepe any longer, wiping her eyes, and
lifting up her head, without any signe of the least dismay, thus shee
spake to the heart. Deare heart, all my duty is performed to thee, and
nothing now remaineth uneffected; but onely breathing my last, to let
my ghost accompany thine.

Then calling for the glasse of water, which shee had readily prepared
the day before, and powring it upon the heart lying in the Cup,
couragiously advancing it to her mouth, shee dranke it up every drop;
which being done, shee lay downe upon her bed, holding her Lovers heart
fast in her hand, and laying it so neere to her owne as she could. Now
although her women knew not what water it was, yet when they had seene
her to quaffe it off in that manner, they sent word to the King, who
much suspecting what had happened, went in all haste to his Daughters
chamber, entring at the very instant, when shee was laide upon her bed;
beholding her in such passionate pangs, with teares streaming downe his
reverend beard, he used many kinde words to comfort her, when boldly
thus shee spake unto him. Father (quoth she) well may you spare these
teares, because they are unfitting for you, and not any way desired
by me; who but your selfe, hath seene any man to mourne for his owne
wilfull offence. Neverthelesse, if but the least jot of that love doe
yet abide in you, whereof you have made such liberall profession to me;
let me obtaine this my very last request, to wit, that seeing I might
not privately enjoy the benefit of _Guiscardoes_ love, and while he
lived; let yet (in death) one publike grave containe both our bodies,
that death may affoord us, what you so cruelly in life denied us.

Extremity of griefe and sorrow, with-held his tongue from returning
any answer, and shee perceiving her end approaching, held the heart
still closed to her owne bare brest, saying; Here Fortune, receive
two true hearts latest oblation, for, in this manner are we comming
to thee. So closing her eyes, all sense forsooke her, life leaving
her body breathlesse. Thus ended the haplesse love of _Guiscardo_,
and _Ghismonda_, for whose sad disaster, when the King had mourned
sufficiently, and repented fruitlessly; he caused both their bodies
to be honourably embalmed, and buried in a most royall Monument, not
without generall sorrow of the subjects of _Salerne_.

_Fryar_ Albert _made a young Venetian Gentlewoman beleeve, that God_
Cupid _was falne in love with her, and he resorted oftentimes unto
her, in the disguise of the same God. Afterward, being frighted by the
Gentlewomans kindred and friends, he cast himselfe out of her Chamber
window, and was hidden in a poore mans House; on the day following, in
the shape of a wilde or savage man, he was brought upon the Rialto of
Saint_ Marke, _and being there publikely knowne by the Brethren of his
Order; he was committed to Prison._

The second Novell.

_Reprehending the lewd lives of dissembling hypocrites; and checking
the arrogant pride of vaine-headed women._

The Novell recounted by Madam _Fiammetta_, caused teares many times in
the eyes of all the company; but it being finished, the King shewing a
stearne countenance, saide; I should much have commended the kindnesse
of fortune, if in the whole course of my life, I had tasted the least
moity of that delight, which _Guiscardo_ received by conversing with
faire _Ghismonda_. Nor neede any of you to wonder thereat, or how it
can be otherwise, because hourely I feele a thousand dying torments,
without enjoying any hope of ease or pleasure: but referring my
fortunes to their owne poore condition, it is my will, that Madam
_Pampinea_ proceed next in the argument of successelesse love,
according as Madam _Fiammetta_ hath already begun, to let fall more
dew-drops on the fire of mine afflictions. Madam _Pampinea_ perceiving
what a taske was imposed on her, knew well (by her owne disposition)
the inclination of the company, whereof shee was more respective, then
of the Kings command: wherefore, chusing rather to recreate their
spirits, then to satisfie the Kings melancholy humour; shee determined
to relate a Tale of mirthfull matter, and yet to keepe within compasse
of the purposed Argument.

It hath been continually used as a common Proverbe; that a bad man,
taken and reputed to be honest and good, may commit many evils, yet
neither credited, or suspected: which proverbe giveth mee very ample
matter to speake of, and yet not varying from our intention, concerning
the hypocrisie of some religious persons, who having their garments
long and large, their faces made artificially pale, their language
meeke and humble, to get mens goods from them; yet sower, harsh, and
stearne enough, in checking and controuling other mens errors, as also
in urging others to give, and themselves to take, without any other
hope or meanes of salvation. Nor doe they endeavour like other men, to
worke out their soules health with feare and trembling; but, even as if
they were sole owners, Lords, and possessors of Paradice, will appoint
to every dying person, places (there) of greater or lesser excellency,
according as they thinke good, or as the legacies left by them are
in quantity, whereby they not onely deceive themselves, but all such
as give credit to their subtile perswasions. And were it lawfull for
me, to make knowne no more then is meerely necessary; I could quickly
disclose to simple credulous people, what craft lieth concealed under
their holy habites: and I would wish, that their lies and deluding
should speed with them, as they did with a _Franciscane_ Friar, none
of the younger Novices, but one of them of greatest reputation, and
belonging to one of the best Monasteries in _Venice_. Which I am the
rather desirous to report, to recreate your spirits, after your teares
for the death of faire _Ghismonda_.

Sometime (Honourable Ladies) there lived in the City of _Imola_, a
man of most lewd and wicked life; named, _Bertho de la massa_, whose
shamelesse deedes were so well knowne to all the Citizens, and won such
respect among them; as all his lies could not compasse any beleefe, no,
not when he delivered a matter of sound truth. Wherefore, perceiving
that his lewdnesse allowed him no longer dwelling there; like a
desperate adventurer, he transported himselfe thence to _Venice_, the
receptacle of all foule sinne and abhomination, intending there to
exercise his wonted bad behaviour, and live as wickedly as ever he
had done before. It came to passe, that some remorse of conscience
tooke hold of him, for the former passages of his dissolute life, and
he pretended to be surprized with very great devotion, becomming much
more Catholike then any other man, taking on him the profession of a
_Franciscane Cordelier_, and calling himselfe Fryar _Albert_ of _Imola_.

In this habite and outward appearance, hee seemed to leade an austere
and sanctimonious life, highly commending penance & abstinence, never
eating flesh, or drinking wine, but when hee was provided of both in
a close corner. And before any person could take notice thereof, hee
became (of a theefe) Ruffian, forswearer and murtherer, as formerly he
had beene a great Preacher; yet not abandoning the forenamed vices,
when secretly he could put any of them in execution. Moreover, being
made Priest, when he was celebrating Masse at the Altar, if he saw
himselfe to be observed by any; he would most mournefully reade the
passion of our Saviour, as one whose teares cost him little, whensoever
hee pleased to use them: so that, in a short while, by his preaching
and teares, he fed the humours of the _Venetians_ so pleasingly; that
they made him executour (well neere) of all their Testaments, yea, many
chose him as depositary or Guardion of their monies; because he was
both Confessour and Councellor, almost to all the men and women.

By this well seeming out-side of sanctity, the Wolfe became a
Shepheard, and his renown for holinesse was so famous in those parts,
as Saint _Frances_ himselfe had hardly any more. It fortuned, that a
young Gentlewoman, being somewhat foolish, wanton and proud minded,
named Madam _Lisetta de Caquirino_, wife to a wealthy Merchant, who
went with certaine Gallies into _Flanders_, and there lay as Lieger
long time, in company of other Gentlewomen, went to be confessed by
this ghostly Father; kneeling at his feete, although her heart was high
enough, like a proud minded woman, (for _Venetians_ are presumptuous,
vaine-glorious, and witted much like to their skittish Gondoloes) she
made a very short rehearsall of her sinnes. At length Fryar _Albert_
demanded of her, whether shee had any amorous friend or lover? Her
patience being exceedingly provoked, stearne anger appeared in her
lookes, which caused her to returne him this answer. How now Sir
_Domine_? what? have you no eyes in your head? Can you not distinguish
between mine, and these other common beauties? I could have Lovers
enow, if I were so pleased; but those perfections remaining in me, are
not to be affected by this man, or that. How many beauties have you
beheld, any way answerable to mine, and are more fit for Gods, then

Many other idle speeches shee uttered, in proud opinion of her beauty,
whereby Friar _Albert_ presently perceived, that this Gentlewoman had
but a hollow braine, and was fit game for folly to flye at; which
made him instantly enamoured of her, and that beyond all capacity of
resisting, which yet he referred to a further, and more commodious
time. Neverthelesse, to shew himselfe an holy and religious man
now, he began to reprehend her, and told her plainely, that she was
vain-glorious, and overcome with infinite follies. Hereupon, she called
him a logger headed beast, and he knew not the difference between an
ordinary complexion, and beauty of the highest merit. In which respect,
Friar _Albert_, being loth to offend her any further; after confession
was fully ended, let her passe away among the other Gentlewomen, she
giving him divers disdainfull lookes.

Within some few dayes after, taking one of his trusty brethren in his
company, he went to the House of Madam _Lisetta_, where requiring
to have some conference alone with her selfe; shee tooke him into a
private Parlour, and being there, not to be seene by any body, he fell
on his knees before her, speaking in this manner. Madam, for charities
sake, and in regard of your own most gracious nature, I beseech you
to pardon those harsh speeches, which I used to you the other day,
when you were with me at confession: because, the very night ensuing
thereon, I was chastised in such cruell manner, as I was never able
to stirre forth of my bed, untill this very instant morning; whereto
the weake witted Gentlewoman thus replyed. And who I pray you (quoth
she) did chastise you so severely? I will tell you Madam, said Friar
_Albert_, but it is a matter of admirable secrecie.

Being alone by my selfe the same night in my Dorter, and in very
serious devotion, according to my usuall manner: suddenly I saw a
bright splendour about me, and I could no sooner arise to discerne what
it might be, and whence it came, but I espied a very goodly young Lad
standing by me, holding a golden Bow in his hand, and a rich Quiver of
Arrowes hanging at his back. Catching fast hold on my Hood, against the
ground he threw me rudely, trampling on me with his feete, and beating
me with so many cruell blowes, that I thought my body to be broken in
peeces. Then I desired to know, why he was so rigorous to me in his
correction? Because (quoth he) thou didst so saucily presume this day,
to reprove the celestiall beauty of Madam _Lisetta_, who (next to my
Mother _Venus_) I love most dearely. Whereupon I perceived, he was
the great commanding God _Cupid_, and therefore I craved most humbly
pardon of him. I will pardon thee (quoth he) but upon this condition,
that thou goe to her so soone as conveniently thou canst, and (by lowly
humility) prevaile to obtaine her free pardon: which if she will not
vouchsafe to grant thee, then shall I in stearne anger returne againe,
and lay so many torturing afflictions on thee, that all thy whole life
time shall be most hateful to thee. And what the displeased God saide
elsee beside, I dare not disclose, except you please first to pardon me.

Mistresse shallow braine, being swolne big with this wind, like an
empty bladder; conceived no small pride in hearing these words,
constantly crediting them to be true, and therefore thus answered.
Did I not tel you Father _Albert_, that my beauty was celestiall? But
I sweare by my beauty, notwithstanding your idle passed arrogancy, I
am heartily sorry for your so severe correction; which that it may
no more be inflicted on you, I doe freely pardon you; yet with this
_proviso_, that you tell me, what the God elsee saide unto you; whereto
Fryar _Albert_ thus replyed. Madam, seeing you have so graciously
vouchsafed to pardon me, I will thankfully tell you all: but you must
be very carefull and respective, that whatsoever I shall reveale unto
you, must so closely be concealed, as no living creature in the World
may know it; for you are the onely happy Lady now living, and that
happinesse relieth on your silence and secrecie: with solemne vowes and
protestations shee sealed up her many promises, and then the Fryar thus

Madam, the further charge imposed on me by God _Cupid_, was to tell
you, that himselfe is so extremely enamoured of your beauty, and you
are become so gracious in his affection; as, many nights he hath come
to see you in your Chamber, sitting on your pillow, while you slept
sweetly, and desiring very often to awake you, but onely fearing to
affright you. Wherefore, now he sends you word by me, that one night he
intendeth to come visite you, and to spend some time in conversing with
you. But in regard he is a God, and meerely a spirit in forme, whereby
neither you or any elsee have capacity of beholding him, much lesse to
touch or feele him: he saith, that (for your sake) he will come in the
shape of a man, giving me charge also to know of you, when you shall
please to have him come, and in whose similitude you would have him
to come, whereof he will not faile; in which respect, you may justly
thinke your selfe to be the onely happy woman living, and farre beyond
all other in your good fortune.

Mistris want-wit presently answered, shee was well contented, that God
_Cupid_ should love her, and she would returne the like love againe
to him; protesting withall, that wheresoever shee should see his
majesticall picture, she would set a hallowed burning Taper before it.
Moreover, at all times he should be most welcome to her, whensoever
hee would vouchsafe to visite her; for, he should alwayes finde her
alone in her private Chamber: on this condition, that his olde Love
_Psyches_, and all other beauties elsee whatsoever, must be set aside,
and none but her selfe only to be his best Mistresse, referring his
personall forme of appearance, to what shape himselfe best pleased to
assume, so that it might not be frightfull, or offensive to her.

Madam (quoth Friar _Albert_) most wisely have you answered, & leave
the matter to me; for I will take order sufficiently, and to your
contentment. But you may do me a great grace, and without any prejudice
to your selfe, in granting me one poore request; namely, to vouchsafe
the Gods appearance to you, in my bodily shape and person, and in the
perfect forme of a man as now you behold me, so may you safely give him
entertainment, without any taxation of the world, or ill apprehension
of the most curious inquisition. Beside, a greater happinesse can never
befall me: for, while he assumeth the soule out of my body, and walketh
on the earth in my humane figure: I shall be wandering in the joyes
of Lovers Paradise, feeling the fruition of their felicities; which
are such, as no mortality can be capeable of, no, not so much as in

The wise Gentlewoman replied, that she was well contented, in regard
of the severe punishment inflicted on him by God _Cupid_, for the
reproachfull speeches he had given her; to allow him so poore a kinde
of consolation, as he had requested her to grant him. Whereuppon Fryar
_Albert_ saide: Be ready then Madam to give him welcome to morrow in
the evening, at the entering into your house, for comming in an humane
body, he cannot but enter at your doore, whereas, if (in powerfull
manner) he made use of his wings, he then would flye in at your window,
and then you could not be able to see him.

Upon this conclusion, _Albert_ departed, leaving _Lisetta_ in no meane
pride of imagination, that God _Cupid_ should bee enamored of her
beauty; and therefore she thought each houre a yeare, till she might
see him in the mortall shape of Friar _Albert_. And now was his braine
wonderfully busied, to visite her in more then common or humane manner;
and therefore he made him a sute (close to his body) of white Taffata,
all poudred over with Starres, and spangles of Gold, a Bow and Quiver
of Arrowes, with wings also fastened to his backe behinde him, and all
cunningly covered with his Friars habit, which must be the sole meanes
for his safe passage.

Having obtained licence of his Superiour, and being accompanyed with
an holy Brother of the Convent, yet ignorant of the businesse by him
intended; he went to the house of a friend of his, which was his usuall
receptacle, whensoever he went about such deeds of darkness. There
did he put on his dissembled habit of God _Cupid_, with his winges,
Bowe, and Quiver, in formall fashion; and then (clouded over with his
Monkes Cowle) leaves his companion to awaite his returning backe, while
he visited foolish _Lisetta_, according to her expectation, readily
attending for the Gods arrivall.

_Albert_ being come to the house, knocked at the doore, and the Maid
admitting him entrance, according as her Mistresse had appointed, shee
conducted him to her Mistresses Chamber, where laying aside his Friars
habite, and she seeing him shine with such glorious splendour, adding
action also to his assumed dissimulation, with majesticke motion of his
body, wings, and bow, as if he had bene God _Cupid_, indeede converted
into a body much bigger of stature, then Painters commonly do describe
him, her wisedome was so overcome with feare and admiration, that she
fell on her knees before him, expressing all humble reverence unto him.
And he spreading his wings over her, as with wiers and strings hee had
made them pliant; shewed how graciously he accepted her humiliation;
folding her in his armes, and sweetly kissing her many times together,
with repetition of his entire love and affection towards her. So
delicately was he perfumed with odorifferous favours, and so compleate
of person in his spangled garments, that she could do nothing elsee,
but wonder at his rare behaviour, reputing her felicity beyond all
Womens in the world, and utterly impossible to bee equalled, such was
the pride of her presuming. For he told her divers tales and fables,
of his awefull power among the other Gods, and stolne pleasures of his
upon the earth; yet gracing her praises above all his other Loves, and
vowes made now, to affect none but her onely, as his often visitations
should more constantly assure her, that shee verily credited all his
protestations, and thought his kisses and embraces, farre to exceed any
mortall comparison.

After they had spent so much time in amorous discoursing, as might best
fit with this their first meeting, and stand cleare from suspition
on either side: our _Albert-Cupid_, or _Cupid-Albert_, which of them
you best please to terme him, closing his spangled winges together
againe behinde his backe, fastening also on his Bow and Quiver of
Arrowes, over-clouds all with his religious Monkes Cowle, and then with
a parting kisse or two, returned to the place where he had left his
fellow and companion, perhaps imployed in as devout an exercise, as
he had bin in his absence from him; whence both repayring home to the
Monastery, all this nightes wandering was allowed as tollerable, by
them who made no spare of doing the like.

On the morrow following, Madam _Lisetta_ immediately after dinner,
being attended by her Chamber-maid, went to see Friar _Albert_,
finding him in his wonted forme and fashion, and telling him what
had hapned betweene her and God _Cupid_, with all the other lies and
tales which hee had told her. Truly Madam (answered _Albert_) what
your successe with him hath beene, I am no way able to comprehend;
but this I can assure you, that so soone as I had acquainted him with
your answer, I felt a sodaine rapture made of my soule, and visibly
(to my apprehension) saw it carried by Elves and Fairies, into the
floury fields about _Elisium_, where Lovers departed out of this life,
walk among the beds of Lillies and Roses, such as are not in this
world to be seene, neither to be imagined by any humane capacity. So
super-abounding was the pleasure of this joy and solace, that, how
long I continued there, or by what meanes I was transported hither
againe this morning, it is beyond all ability in mee to expresse,
or how I assumed my body againe after that great God hadde made use
thereof to your service. Well Friar _Albert_ (quoth shee) you may see
what an happinesse hath befalne you, by so grosse an opinion of my
perfections, and what a felicity you enjoy, and still are like to do,
by my pardoning your error, and granting the Gods accesse to me in your
shape: which as I envy not, so I wish you heereafter to be wiser, in
taking upon you to judge of beautie. Much other idle folly proceeded
from hir, which still he soothed to her contentment, and (as occasion
served) many meetings they had in the former manner.

It fortuned within a few dayes after, that Madam _Lisetta_ being in
company with one of her Gossips, and their conference (as commonly it
falleth out to be) concerning other women of the City; their beautie,
behaviour, amorous suters and servants, and generall opinion conceived
of their worth and merit; wherein _Lisetta_ was over-much conceyted
of her selfe, not admitting any other to be her equall. Among other
speeches, favouring of an unseasoned braine: Gossip (quoth she) if
you knew what account is made of my beauty, and who holdes it in no
meane estimation, you would then freely confesse, that I deserve to
bee preferred before any other. As women are ambitious in their owne
opinions, so commonly are they covetous of one anothers secrets,
especially in matter of emulation, whereupon the Gossip thus replyed.
Beleeve me Madam, I make no doubt but your speeches may bee true, in
regard of your admired beauty, and many other perfections beside: yet
let me tell you, priviledges, how great and singular soever they be,
without they are knowen to others, beside such as do particularly enjoy
them; they carrie no more account, then things of ordinary estimation.
Whereas on the contrary, when any Lady or Gentlewoman hath some eminent
and peculiar favour, which few or none other can reach unto, and it is
made famous by generall notion: then do all women elsee admire and honour
her, as the glory of their kinde, and a miracle of Nature.

I perceive Gossip said _Lisetta_ whereat you ayme, & such is my love
to you, as you should not lose your longing in this case, were I but
constantly secured of your secrecy, which as hitherto I have bene no
way able to tax, so would I be loth now to be more suspitious of then
needs. But yet this matter is of such maine moment, that if you will
protest as you are truely vertuous, never to reveale it to any living
body, I will disclose to you almost a miracle. The vertuous oath being
past, with many other solemne protestations beside, _Lisetta_ then
proceeded in this manner.

I know Gossip, that it is a matter of common & ordinary custome, for
Ladies and Gentlewomen to be graced with favourites, men of fraile &
mortall conditions, whose natures are as subject to inconstancy, as
their very best endeavours dedicated to folly, as I could name no mean
number of our Ladies heere in _Venice_. But when Soveraigne deities
shal feele the impression of our humane desires, and behold subjects
of such prevailing efficacy, as to subdue their greatest power, yea,
and make them enamored of mortall creatures: you may well imagine
Gossip, such a beauty is superiour to any other. And such is the
happy fortune of your friend _Lisetta_, of whose perfections, great
_Cupid_ the awefull commanding God of Love himselfe, conceived such
an extraordinary liking: as he hath abandoned his seate of supreme
Majesty, and appeared to me in the shape of a mortall man, with lively
expression of his amorous passions, and what extremities of anguish
he hath endured, onely for my love. May this be possible? replyed the
Gossip. Can the Gods be toucht with the apprehension of our fraile
passions? True it is Gossip, answered _Lisetta_, and so certainly true,
that his sacred kisses, sweet embraces, and most pleasing speeches,
with proffer of his continuall devotion towards me, hath given me good
cause to confirme what I say, and to thinke my felicity farre beyond
all other womens, being honoured with his often nightly visitations.

The Gossip inwardly smiling at her idle speeches, which (nevertheles)
she avouched with very vehement asseverations; fell instantly sicke of
womens naturall disease, thinking every minute a tedious month, till
she were in company with some other Gossips, to breake the obligation
of her vertuous promise, and that others (as well as her selfe)
might laugh at the folly of this shallow-witted woman. The next day
following, it was her hap to be at a wedding, among a great number of
other women, whom quickly she acquainted with this so strange a wonder;
as they did the like to their husbands: and passing so from hand to
hand, in lesse space then two daies, all _Venice_ was fully possessed
with it.

Among the rest, the brethren to this foolish woman, heard this
admirable newes concerning their Sister; and they discreetly concealing
it to themselves, closely concluded to watch the walks of this
pretended god: and if he soared not too lofty a flight, they would clip
his wings, to come the better acquainted with him. It fortuned, that
the Friar hearing his Cupidicall visitations over-publikely discovered,
purposed to check and reprove _Lisetta_ for her indiscretion. And being
habited according to his former manner, his Friarly Cowle covering
al his former bravery, he left his companion where he used to stay,
and closely walked along unto the house. No sooner was he entred, but
the Brethren being ambushed neer to the doore, went in after him,
and ascending the staires, by such time as he had uncased himselfe,
and appeared like God _Cupid_, with his spangled wings displayed:
they rushed into the Chamber, and he having no other refuge, opened a
large Casement, standing directly over the great gulfe or River, and
presently leapt into the water; which being deepe, and hee skilfull in
swimming, he had no other harme by his fall, albeit the sodain affright
did much perplex him.

Recovering the further side of the River, he espied a light, & the
doore of an house open, wherein dwelt a poore man, whom he earnestly
intreated, to save both his life and reputation, telling him many
lies and tales by what meanes he was thus disguised, and throwne by
night-walking Villaines into the water. The poore man, being moved
to compassionate his distressed estate, laid him in his owne bed,
ministring such other comforts to him, as the time and his poverty
did permit; and day drawing on, he went about his businesse, advising
him to take his rest, and it should not be long till he returned. So,
locking the doore, and leaving the counterfeit God in bed, away goes the
poore man to his daily labour. The Brethren to _Lisetta_, perceiving
God _Cupid_ to bee fled and gone, and shee in melancholly sadnesse
sitting by them: they tooke up the Reliques he had left behind him, I
meane the Friars hood and Cowle, which shewing to their sister, and
sharply reproving her unwomanly behaviour: they lefte her in no meane
discomfort, returning home to their owne houses, with their conquered
spoiles of the forlorne Friar.

During the time of these occurrences, broad day speeding on, & the
poore man returning homeward by the _Rialto_, to visit his guest so
lefte in bed: he beheld divers crouds of people, and a generall rumor
noysed among them, that God _Cupid_ had beene that night with Madame
_Lisetta_, where being over-closely pursued by her Brethren, for fear
of being surprized, he leapt out of her window into the gulfe, and no
one could tell what was become of him. Heereupon, the poore man beganne
to imagine, that the guest entertained by him in the night time, must
needs bee the same supposed God Cupid, as by his wings and other
embellishments appeared: wherefore being come home, and sitting downe
on the beds side by him, after some few speeches passing between them,
he knew him to be Friar Albert, who promised to give him fifty ducates,
if hee would not betray him to _Lisettaes_ brethren.

Upon the acceptation of this offer, the money being sent for, and paied
downe; there wanted nothing now, but some apt and convenient meanes,
whereby _Albert_ might safely be conveyed into the Monasterie, which
being wholly referred to the poore mans care and trust, thus hee spake.
Sir, I see no likely-hoode of your cleare escaping home, except in this
manner as I advise you. We observe this day as a merry Festivall, &
it is lawfull for any one, to disguise a man in the skin of a Beare,
or in the shape of a savage man, or any other forme of better device.
Which being so done, he is brought upon S. _Marks_ market place, where
being hunted a while with dogs, upon the huntings conclusion, the Feast
is ended; and then each man leades his monster whether him pleaseth.
If you can accept any of these shapes, before you bee seene heere in
my poore abiding, then can I safely (afterward) bring you where you
would bee. Otherwise, I see no possible meanes, how you may escape
hence unknown; for it is without all question to the contrary, that the
Gentlewomans brethren, knowing your concealment in some one place or
other, will set such spies and watches for you throughout the City, as
you must needs be taken by them.

Now, although it seemed a most severe imposition, for _Albert_ to passe
in any of these disguises: yet his exceeding feare of _Lisettaes_
brethren and friends, made him gladly yeelde, and to undergo what shape
the poore man pleased, which thus he ordered. Annointing his naked
body with Hony, he then covered it over with downy small Feathers,
and fastning a chaine about his necke, and a strange ugly vizard on
his face; hee gave him a great staffe in the one hand, and two huge
Mastive dogs chained together in the other, which he had borrowed in
the Butchery. Afterward, he sent a man to the _Rialto_, who there
proclaimed by the sound of Trumpet: That all such as desired to see God
_Cupid_, which the last night had descended downe from the skies, and
fell (by ill hap) into the _Venetian_ gulfe, let them repaire to the
publike Market place of S. _Marke_, and there he would appeare in his
owne likenesse.

This being done, soone after he left his house, and leading him thus
disguised along by his chaine, hee was followed by great crowds of
people, every one questioning of whence, and what he was. In which
manner, he brought him to the Market place, where an infinite number
of people were gathered together, as well of the followers, as of them
that before heard the proclamation. There he made choise of a pillar,
which stood in a place somewhat highly exalted, whereto he chained his
savage man, making shew, as if he meant to awaite there, till the
hunting shold begin: in which time, the Flies, Waspes, and Hornets, did
so terribly sting his naked body, being annointed with Hony, that he
endured thereby unspeakable anguish. When the poore man saw, that there
needed no more concourse of people; pretending, as if he purposed to
let loose his Salvage man; he tooke the maske or vizard from _Alberts_
face, and then he spake aloud in this manner.

Gentlemen and others, seeing the wilde Boare commeth not to our
hunting, because I imagine that he cannot easily be found: I meane
(to the end you may not lose your labour in comming hither) to shew
you the great God of Love called _Cupid_, whom Poets feigned long
since to be a little boy, but now growne to manly stature. You see in
what manner he hath left his high dwelling, onely for the comfort of
our _Venetian_ beauties: but belike, the night-fogs over-flagging his
wings, he fell into our gulfe, and comes now to present his service to
you. No sooner had he taken off his vizard, but every one knew him to
be Friar _Albert_; and sodainly arose such shoutes and out-cries, with
most bitter words breathed forth against him, hurling also stones, durt
and filth in his face, that his best acquaintance then could take no
knowledge of him, and not any one pittying his abusing.

So long continued the offended people in their fury, that newes thereof
was carried to the Convent, and six of his Religious brethren came, who
casting an habite about him, and releasing him from his chain, they
led him to the Monastery, not without much molestation and trouble of
the people; where imprisoning him in their house, severitie of some
inflicted punishment, or rather conceite for his open shame, shortned
his dayes, and so he dyed. Thus you see faire Ladies, when licentious
life must be clouded with a cloake of sanctity, and evill actions dayly
committed, yet escaping uncredited: there will come a time at length,
for just discovering of all, that the good may shine in their true
luster of glory, and the bad sinke in their owne deserved shame.

_Three yong Gentlemen affecting three Sisters, fledde with them into_
Candie. _The eldest of them (through jealousie) becommeth the death of
her Lover: The second, by consenting to the Duke of_ Candies _request,
is the meanes of saving her life. Afterward, her owne Friend killeth
her, and thence flyeth away with the elder Sister. The third couple,
both man & woman, are charged with her death, and being committed
prisoners, they confesse the facte: And fearing death, by corruption
of money they prevaile with their keepers, escaping from thence to_
Rhodes, _where they died in great poverty._

The third Novell.

_Heerein is declared, how dangerous the occasion is, ensuing by anger
and despight, in such as entirely love, especially, being injuried and
offended by them that they love._

When the King perceived, that Madame _Pampinea_ had ended her
discourse; he sat sadly a prety while, without uttering one word, but
afterward spake thus. Little goodnesse appeared in the beginning of
this Novell, because it ministred occasion of mirth; yet the ending
proved better, and I could wish, that worse inflictions had falne on
the venerious Friar. Then turning towards Madam _Lauretta_, he said;
Lady, do you tell us a better tale, if possible it may be. She smiling,
thus answered the King: Sir, you are over-cruelly bent against poore
Lovers, in desiring, that their amourous processions should have harsh
and sinister concludings. Neverthelesse, in obedience to your severe
command, among three persons amourously perplexed, I will relate an
unhappy ending; whereas all may be saide to speede as unfortunately,
being equally alike, in enjoying the issue of their desires, and thus I
purpose for to proceede.

Every vice (choise Ladies) as very well you know, redoundeth to the
great disgrace and prejudice, of him or her by whom it is practised,
and oftentimes to others. Now, among those common hurtfull enemies, the
sinne or vice which most carrieth us with full carrere, and draweth
us into unavoidable perils and dangers; in mine opinion, seemeth to
be that of choller or anger, which is nothing elsee, but a sudden and
inconsiderate moving, provoked by some received injury, which having
excluded all respect of reason, and dimde (with darke vapours) the
bright discerning sight of the understanding, enflameth the minde with
most violent furie. And albeit this inconvenience happeneth most to
men, and more to some few, then others; yet notwithstanding, it hath
been noted, that women have felt the selfe same infirmity, and in more
extreme manner, because it much sooner is kindled in them, and burneth
with the brighter flame, in regard they have the lesser consideration,
and therefore not to be wondred at. For if we will advisedly observe,
we shall plainely perceive, that fire (even of his owne nature) taketh
hold on such things as are light and tender, much sooner then it can
on hard and weighty substances; and some of us women (let men take no
offence at my words) are farre more soft and delicate then they be,
and therefore more fraile. In which regard, seeing we are naturally
enclined hereto, and considering also, how much our affability and
gentlenesse, doe shew themselves pleasing and full of content, to
those men with whom we are to live; and likewise, how anger and fury
are compacted of extraordinary perils; I purpose (because we may be
the more valiant in our courage, to outstand the fierce assaults of
wrath and rage) to shew you by mine ensuing Novel, how the loves of
three young Gentlemen, and of as many Gentlewomen, came to fatall and
unfortunate successe, by the tempestuous anger of one among them,
according as I have formerly related unto you.

_Marseilles_ (as you are not now to learne) is in _Provence_, seated
on the Sea, and is also a very ancient and most noble City, which
hath beene (heretofore) inhabited with farre richer and more wealthy
Merchants, then at this instant time it is. Among whom there was one,
named _Narnaldo Civada_, a man but of meane condition, yet cleare
in faith and reputation, and in lands, goods, and ready monies,
immeasurably rich. Many children he had by his Wife, among whom were
three Daughters, which exceeded his Sonnes in yeeres. Two of them being
twinnes, and borne of one body, were counted to be fifteene yeares
old; the third was foureteene, and nothing hindered marriage in their
Parents owne expectation, but the returne home of _Narnaldo_, who was
then abroade in _Spaine_ with his Merchandises. The eldest of these
Sisters was named _Ninetta_, the second _Magdalena_, and the third
_Bertella_. A Gentleman (albeit but poore in fortunes) and called
_Restagnone_, was so extraordinarily enamoured of _Ninetta_, as no
man possibly could be more, and shee likewise as earnest in affection
towards him; yet both carrying their loves proceeding with such
secresie, as long time they enjoyed their hearts sweete contentment,
yet undiscovered by any eye.

It came to passe, that two other young Gallants, the one named _Folco_,
and the other _Hugnetto_, (who had attained to incredible wealth, by
the decease of their Father) were also as farre in love, the one with
_Magdalena_, and the other with _Bertella_. When _Restagnone_ had
intelligence thereof, by the meanes of his faire friend _Ninetta_; he
purposed to releeve his poverty, by friendly furthering both their
love, and his owne: and growing into familiarity with them, one while
he would walke abroade with _Folco_, and then againe with _Hugnetto_,
but oftner with them both together, to visite their Mistresses, and
continue worthy friendship. On a day, when hee saw the time sutable
to his intent, and that hee had invited the two Gentlemen home to his
House, hee fell into this like conference with them.

Kind friends (quoth he) the honest familiarity which hath past betweene
us, may render you some certaine assurance, of the constant love I
beare to you both, being as willing to worke any meanes that may tend
to your good, as I desire to compasse mine owne. And because the truth
of mine affection cannot conceale it selfe to you, I meane to acquaint
you with an intention, wherewith my braine hath a long while travelled,
and now may soone be delivered of, if it may passe with your liking and
approbation. Let me then tell you, that except your speeches savour
of untruth, and your actions carry a double understanding, in common
behaviour both by night and day, you appeare to pine and consume away,
in the cordiall love you beare to two of the Sisters, as I suffer the
same afflictions for the third, with reciprocall requitall of their
dearest affection to us. Now, to qualifie the heate of our tormenting
flames, if you will condescend to such a course as I shall advise you,
the remedy will yeeld them equall ease to ours, and we may safely
enjoy the benefit of contentment. As wealth aboundeth with you both,
so doth want most extremely tyrannize over me: but if one banke might
be made of both your rich substances, I embraced therein as a third
partaker, and some quarter of the World dissigned out by us, where to
live at hearts ease upon your possessions; I durst engage my credite,
that all the Sisters, (not meanly stored with their Fathers treasure)
shall beare us company to what place soever we please. There each man
freely enjoying his owne dearest love, we may live like three brethren,
without any hinderance to our mutuall contentment; it remaineth now in
you Gentlemen, to accept this comfortable offer, or to refuse it.

The two Brothers, whose passions exceeded their best meanes for
support, perceiving some hope how to enjoy their loves; desired no
long time of deliberation, or greatly disputed with their thoughts
what was best to be done: but readily replyed, that let happen any
danger whatsoever, they would joyne with him in this determination,
and he should partake with them in their wealthiest fortunes. After
_Restagnone_ had heard their answer, within some few dayes following,
he went to conferre with _Ninetta_, which was no easie matter for him
to compasse. Neverthelesse, opportunity proved so favourable to him,
that meeting with her at a private place appointed, he discoursed at
large, what had passed betweene him and the other two young Gentlemen,
maintaining the same with many good reasons, to have her like and allow
of the enterprize. Which although (for a while) he could very hardly
doe; yet, in regard shee had more desire then power, without suspition
to be daily in his company, she franckly thus answered. My hearts
chosen friend, I cannot any way mislike your advise, and will take such
order with my Sisters, that they shall agree to our resolution: let it
therefore be your charge, that you and the rest make every thing ready,
to depart from hence so soone, as with best convenient meanes we may be

_Restagnone_ being returned to _Folco_ and _Hugnetto_, who thought
every houre a yeere, to heare what would succeed upon the promise past
betweene them; he told them in plaine termes, that their Ladies were as
free in consent as they, and nothing wanted now, but furnishment for
their sudden departing. Having concluded, that Candye should be their
harbour for entertainment, they made sale of some few inheritances,
which lay the readiest for their purpose, as also the goods in their
Houses, and then, under colour of venting Merchandises abroade; they
bought a nimble Pinnace, fortified with good strength and preparation,
and waited but for a convenient wind. On the other side, _Ninetta_,
who was sufficiently acquainted with the forwardnesse of her Sisters
desires and her owne; had so substantially prevailed with them, that
a good voyage now was the sole expectation. Whereupon, the same night
when they should set away, they opened a strong barred Chest of their
Fathers, whence they tooke great store of gold and costly Jewelse,
wherewith escaping secretly out of the House; they came to the place
where their Lovers attended for them, and going all aboard the Pinnace,
the windes were so furtherous to them; that without touching any where,
the night following they arrived at _Geneway_.

There being out of peril or pursuite, they all knit the knot of holy
wedlocke, and then freely enjoyed their long wished desires, from
whence setting sayle againe, and being well furnished with all things
wanting; passing on from Port to Port, at the end of eight dayes they
landed in _Candie_, not meeting with any impeachment by the way.
Determining there to spend their dayes, first they provided themselves
of faire and goodly Lands in the Countrey, and then of beautifull
dwelling Houses in the City, with all due furnishments belonging to
them, and Families well beseeming such worthy Gentlemen, and all
delights elsee for their daily recreations, inviting their Neighbours,
and they them againe in loving manner; so that no Lovers could wish to
live in more ample contentment.

Passing on their time in this height of felicity, and not crossed by
any sinister accidents, it came to passe (as often wee may observe in
the like occasions, that although delights doe most especially please
us, yet they breed surfet, when they swell too over-great in abundance)
that _Restagnone_, who most deerely affected his faire _Ninetta_, and
had her now in his free possession, without any perill of loosing her:
grew now also to bee wearie of her, and consequently, to faile in
those familiar performances, which formerly had passed betweene them.
For, being one day invited to a Banket, hee saw there a beautifull
Gentle-woman of that Countrey, whose perfections pleasing him beyond
all comparison: hee laboured (by painfull pursuite) to win his purpose;
and meeting with her in divers private places, grew prodigall in his
expences upon her. This could not be so closely carried, but beeing
seene and observed by _Ninetta_, she became possessed with such
extreame jelousie, that hee could not doe any thing whatsoever, but
immediately he had knowledge of it: which fire, growing to a flame in
her, her patience became extreamely provoked, urging rough and rude
speeches from her to him, and daily tormenting him beyond power of

As the enjoying of anything in too much plenty, makes it appeare
irkesome and loathing to us, and the deniall of our desires, do more
and more whet on the appetite: even so did the angry spleene of
_Ninetta_ proceede on in violence, against this newe commenced love
of _Restagnone_. For in succession of time, whether hee enjoyed the
embracements of his new Mistresse, or no: yet _Ninetta_ (by sinister
reports, but much more through her owne jealous imaginations) held it
for infallible, and to be most certaine. Heereupon, she fell into an
extreame melancholly, which melancholly begat implacable fury, and
(consequently) such contemptible disdaine: as converted her former
kindly love to _Restagnone_, into most cruell and bloudie hatred; yea,
and so strangely was reason or respect confounded in her, as no revenge
elsee but speedy death, might satisfie the wrongs shee imagined to
receive by _Restagnone_ and his Minion.

Upon enquiry, by what meanes shee might best compasse her bloody
intention, she grew acquainted with a _Græcian_ woman, and wonderfully
expert in the compounding of poysons, whom shee so perswaded, by gifts
and bounteous promises, that at the length shee prevailed with her. A
deadly water was distilled by her, which (without any other counsell
to the contrary) on a day when _Restagnone_ had his blood some-what
over-heated, and little dreamed on any such Treason conspired against
him by his Wife, she caused him to drinke a great draught thereof,
under pretence, that it was a most soveraigne and cordiall water:
but such was the powerfull operation thereof, that the very next
morning, _Restagnone_ was found to be dead in his bed. When his death
was understood by _Folco, Hugnetto_ and their Wives, and not knowing
how hee came to bee thus empoysoned (because their sister seemed to
bemoane his sodaine death, with as apparant shewes of mourning as they
could possibly expresse) they buried him very honourably, and so all
suspition ceased.

But as Fortune is infinite in her fagaries, never acting disaster so
closely, but as cunningly discovereth it againe: so it came to passe,
that within a few dayes following, the _Græcian_ woman, that had
delivered the poyson to _Ninetta_, for such another deede of damnation,
was apprehended even in the action. And being put upon the tortures,
among many other horrid villanies by her committed, she confessed the
empoysoning of _Restagnone_, and every particle thereto appertaining.
Whereupon, the Duke of _Candie_, without any noyse or publication,
setting a strong guard (in the night time) about the house of _Folco_,
where _Ninetta_ then was lodged; there sodainly they seized on her, &
upon examination, in maintainance of her desperate revenge; voluntarily
confessed the fact, and what elsee concerned the occasion of his death,
by the wrongs which hee had offered her.

_Folco_ and _Hugnetto_ understanding secretly, both from the Duke,
& other intimate friends, what was the reason of _Ninettaes_
apprehension, which was not a little displeasing to them, laboured by
all their best pains and endeavour, to worke such meanes with the Duke,
that her life might not perish by fire, although she had most justly
deserved it; but all their attempts prooved to no effect, because the
Duke had concluded to execute justice.

Heere you are to observe, that _Magdalena_ (beeing a very beautifull
Woman, yong, and in the choisest flower of her time:) had often before
bin solicited by the Duke, to entertaine his love and kindnesse,
whereto by no meanes she would listen or give consent. And being now
most earnestly importuned by her, for the safety of her Sisters life,
shee tooke hold on this her daily suite to him, and in private told
her, that if she was so desirous of _Ninettaes_ life: it lay in her
power to obtaine it, by granting him the fruition of her love. She
apparantly perceiving, that _Ninetta_ was not likely to live, but by
the prostitution of her chaste honour, which she preferred before
the losse of her owne life, or her Sisters; concluded, to let her
dye, rather then run into any such disgrace. But having an excellent
ingenious wit, quicke, and apprehensive in perillous occasions, shee
intended now to make a trial of over-reaching the lascivious Duke in
his wanton purpose, and yet to be assured of her Sisters life, without
any blemish to her reputation.

Soliciting him still as she was wont to doe, this promise passed from
her to him, that when _Ninetta_ was delivered out of prison, and in
safety at home in her house: hee should resort thither in some queint
disguise, and enjoy his long expected desire; but untill then she would
not yeeld. So violent was the Duke in the prosecution of his purpose,
that under colour of altering the manner of _Ninettaes_ death, not
suffering her to bee consumed by fire, but to be drowned, according
to a custome observed there long time, and at the importunity of her
Sister _Magdalena_, in the still silence of the night, _Ninetta_
was conveyed into a sacke, and sent in that manner to the House of
_Folco_, the Duke following soone after, to challenge her promise.

_Magdalena_, having acquainted her Husband with her vertuous intention,
for preserving her Sisters life, and disappointing the Duke in his
wicked desire; was as contrary to her true meaning in this case, as
_Ninetta_ had formerly beene adverse to _Restagnone_, onely being
over-ruled likewise by jealousie, and perswaded in his rash opinion,
that the Duke had already dishonoured _Magdalena_, otherwise, he would
not have delivered _Ninetta_ out of prison. Mad fury gave further fire
to this unmanly perswasion, and nothing will now quench this violent
flame, but the life of poore _Magdalena_, suddenly sacrificed in the
rescue of her Sisters, such a divell is anger, when the understandings
bright eye is thereby abused. No credit might be given to her womanly
protestations, nor any thing seeme to alter his bloody purpose; but,
having slaine _Magdalena_ with his Poniard, (notwithstanding her teares
and humble entreaties) hee ran in haste to _Ninettaes_ Chamber, shee
not dreaming on any such desperate accident, and to her he used these
dissembling speeches.

Sister (quoth he) my wife hath advised, that I should speedily convey
you hence, as fearing the renewing of the Dukes fury, and your falling
againe into the hands of Justice: I have a Barke readily prepared for
you, and your life being secured, it is all that she and I doe most
desire. _Ninetta_ being fearefull, and no way distrusting what he had
saide; in thankfull allowance of her Sisters care, and curteous tender
of his so ready service; departed thence presently with him, not taking
any farewell of her other Sister and her Husband. To the Sea-shore they
came, very weakely provided of monies to defray their charges, and
getting aboard the Barke, directed their course themselves knew not

The amourous Duke in his disguise, having long daunced attendance at
_Folcoes_ doore, and no admittance of his entrance; angerly returned
backe to his Court, protesting severe revenge on _Magdalena_, if
she gave him not the better satisfaction, to cleare her from thus
basely abusing him. On the morrow morning, when _Magdalena_ was found
murthered in her Chamber, and tidings thereof carried to the Duke;
present search was made for the bloody offendor, but _Folco_ being fled
and gone with _Ninetta_; some there were, who bearing deadly hatred to
_Hugnetto_, incensed the Duke against him and his wife, as supposing
them to be guilty of _Magdalenaes_ death. He being thereto very easily
perswaded, in regard of his immoderate love to the slaine Gentlewoman;
went himselfe in person (attended on by his Guard) to _Hugnettoes_
House, where both he and his wife were seized as prisoners.

These newes were very strange to them, and their imprisonment as
unwelcome; and although they were truly innocent, either in knowledge
of the horrid fact, or the departure of _Folco_ with _Ninetta_: yet
being unable to endure the tortures extremity, they made themselves
culpable by confession, and that they had hand with _Folco_ in the
murder of _Magdalena_. Upon this their forced confession, and sentence
of death pronounced on them by the Duke himselfe; before the day
appointed for their publike execution, by great summes of money,
which they had closely hid in their House, to serve when any urgent
extremitie should happen to them; they corrupted their keepers, and
before any intelligence could be had of their flight, they escaped
by Sea to _Rhodes_, where they lived afterward in great distresse
and misery. The just vengeance of Heaven followed after _Folco_ and
_Ninetta_, he for murthering his honest wife, and she for poysoning
her offending Husband: for being beaten a long while on the Seas, by
tempestuous stormes and weather, and not admitted landing in any Port
or creeke; they were driven backe on the Coast of _Candie_ againe,
where being apprehended, and brought to the City before the Duke, they
confessed their severall notorious offences, and ended their loathed
lives in one fire together.

Thus the idle and loose love of _Restagnone_, with the franticke rage
and jealousie of _Ninetta_ and _Folco_, overturned all their long
continued happinesse, and threw a disastrous ending on them all.

Gerbino, _contrary to the former plighted faith of his Grand-father,
King_ Gulielmo, _fought with a Ship at Sea, belonging to the King of_
Thunis, _to take away his Daughter, who was then in the same Ship. Shee
being slaine by them that had the possession of her, he likewise slew
them; and afterward had his owne head smitten off._

The fourth Novell.

_In commendation of Justice betweene Princes; and declaring withal,
that neither feare, dangers, nor death it selfe; can any way daunt a
true and loyall Lover._

Madam _Lauretta_ having concluded her Novel, and the company
complaining on Lovers misfortunes, some blaming the angry and jealous
fury of _Ninetta_, and every one delivering their severall opinions;
the King, as awaking out of a passionate perplexity, exalted his
lookes, giving a signe to Madam _Elisa_, that shee should follow next
in order, whereto she obeying, began in this manner. I have heard
(Gracious Ladies, quoth she) of many people, who are verily perswaded,
that Loves arrowes, never wound any body, but onely by the eyes lookes
and gazes, mocking and scorning such as maintaine that men may fall in
love by hearing onely. Wherein (beleeve me) they are greatly deceived,
as will appeare by a Novell which I must now relate unto you, and
wherein you shall plainely perceive, that not onely fame or report is
as prevailing as sight; but also hath conducted divers, to a wretched
and miserable ending of their lives.

_Gulielmo_ the second, King of _Sicilie_, according as the _Sicilian_
Chronicles record, had two children, the one a sonne, named _Don
Rogero_, and the other a daughter, called Madam _Constance_. The
saide _Rogero_ died before his Father, leaving a sonne behind him,
named _Gerbino_, who, with much care and cost, was brought up by his
Grand-father, proving to be a very goodly Prince, and wondrously
esteemed for his great valour and humanity. His fame could not
containe it selfe, within the bounds or limits of _Sicilie_ onely, but
being published very prodigally, in many parts of the world beside,
flourished with no meane commendations throughout all _Barbarie_,
which in those dayes was tributary to the King of _Sicilie_. Among
other persons, deserving most to be respected, the renowned vertues,
and affability of this gallant Prince _Gerbino_, was understood by
the beautious Daughter to the King of _Thunis_, who by such as had
seene her, was reputed to be one of the rarest creatures, the best
conditioned, and of the truest noble spirit, that ever Nature framed in
her very choycest pride of art.

Of famous, vertuous, and worthy men, it was continually her cheefest
delight to heare, and the admired actions of valiant _Gerbino_,
reported to her by many singular discoursers, such as could best
describe him, with language answerable to his due deservings, won such
honourable entertainment in her understanding soule, that they were
most affectionately pleasing to her, and in capitulating (over and over
againe) his manifold and heroycall perfections; meere speech made her
extreamely amorous of him, nor willingly would she lend an eare to any
other discourse, but that which tended to his honour and advancement.

On the other side, the fame of her incomparable beauty, with addition
of her other infinite singularities beside; as the World had given
eare to in numberlesse places, so _Sicilie_ came at length acquainted
therewith, in such flowing manner, as was truly answerable to her
merit. Nor seemed this as a bare babling rumour, in the Princely
hearing of royall _Gerbino_; but was embraced with such a reall
apprehension, and the entire probation of a true understanding: that
he was no lesse enflamed with noble affection towards her, then she
expressed the like in vertuous opinion of him. Wherefore, awaiting
such convenient opportunity, when he might entreate license of his
Grandfather, for his owne going to _Thunis_, under colour of some
honourable occasion, for the earnest desire hee had to see her: he
gave charge to some of his especiall friends (whose affaires required
their presence in those parts) to let the Princesse understand, in such
secret manner as best they could devise, what noble affection he bare
unto her, devoting himselfe onely to her service.

One of his chosen friends thus put in trust, being a Jeweller, a man
of singular discretion, and often resorting to Ladies for sight of his
Jewelles, winning like admittance to the Princesse: related at large
unto her, the honourable affection of _Gerbino_, with full tender of
his person to her service, and that she onely was to dispose of him.
Both the message and the messenger, were most graciously welcome to
her, and flaming in the selfsame affection towards him; as a testimony
thereof, one of the very choisest Jewelse which she bought of him, shee
sent by him to the Prince _Gerbino_, it being received by him with such
joy and contentment, as nothing in the world could be more pleasing to
him. So that afterward, by the trusty carriage of this Jeweller, many
Letters and Love-tokens passed betweene them, each being as highly
pleased with this poore, yet happy kinde of entercourse, as if they had
seene & conversed with one another.

Matters proceeding on in this manner, and continuing longer then their
love-sicke passions easily could permit, yet neither being able to find
out any other meanes of helpe; it fortuned, that the King of _Thunis_
promised his daughter in marriage to the King of _Granada_, whereat
she grew exceeding sorrowfull, perceyving, that not onely she should
be sent further off, by a large distance of way from her friend, but
also bee deprived utterly, of all hope ever to enjoy him. And if she
could have devised any meanes, either by secret flight from her Father,
or any way else to further her intention, she would have adventured it
for the Princes sake. _Gerbino_ in like manner hearing of this purposed
mariage, lived in a hell of torments, consulting oftentimes with his
soule, how he might bee possessed of her by power, when she should
be sent by Sea to her husband, or private stealing her away from her
Fathers Court before: with these and infinite other thoughts, was he
incessantly afflicted, both day and night.

By some unhappy accident or other, the King of _Thunis_ heard of this
their secret love, as also of _Gerbinoes_ purposed policy to surprize
her, and how likely he was to effect it, in regard of his manly valour,
and store of stout friends to assist him. Hereupon, when the time was
come, that hee would convey his daughter thence to her marriage, and
fearing to be prevented by _Gerbino_: he sent to the King of _Sicily_,
to let him understand his determination, craving safe conduct from
him, without impeachment of _Gerbino_, or any one elsee, untill such
time as his intent was accomplished. King _Gulielmo_ being aged, and
never acquainted with the affectionat proceedings of _Gerbino_, nor any
doubtfull reason to urge this securitie from him, in a case convenient
to be granted: yeelded the sooner thereto right willingly, and as a
signale of his honourable meaning, he sent him his royall Glove, with a
full confirmation for his safe conduct.

No sooner were these Princely assurances received, but a goodly ship
was prepared in the Port of _Carthagena_, well furnished with all
thinges thereto belonging, for the sending his daughter to the King of
_Granada_, waiting for nothing elsee but best favouring windes. The yong
Princesse, who understood and saw all this great preparation; secretly
sent a servant of hers to _Palermo_, giving him especiall charge, on
her behalfe, to salute the Prince _Gerbino_, and to tell him withall,
that (within few dayes) shee must be transported to _Granada_. And now
opportunity gave fayre and free meane, to let the world know, whether
hee were a man of that magnanimous spirit, or no, as generall opinion
had formerly conceyved of him, and whether he affected her so firmely,
as by many close messages he had assured her. He who had the charge of
this embassie, effectually performed it, and then returned backe to

The Prince _Gerbino_, having heard this message from his divine
Mistresse, and knowing also, that the King his Grandfather, had past
his safe conduct to the King of _Thunis_, for peaceable passage
thorough his Seas: was at his wits end, in this urgent necessitie, what
might best bee done. Notwithstanding, moved by the setled constancie of
his plighted Love, and the speeches delivered to him by the messenger
from the Princesse: to shew himselfe a man endued with courage, he
departed thence unto _Messina_, where he made readie two speedie
gallies, and fitting them with men of valiant disposition, set away to
_Sardignia_, as making full account, that the Ship which carried the
Princesse, must come along that Coast. Nor was his expectation therein
deceived: for, within few dayes after, the Ship (not over-swiftly
winded) came sailing neere to the place where they attended for her
arrivall; whereof _Gerbino_ had no sooner gotten a sight, but to
animate the resolutes which were in his company, thus he spake.

Gentlemen, if you be those men of valour, as heeretofore you have beene
reputed, I am perswaded, that there are some among you, who either
formerly have, or now instantly do feele, the all-commanding power of
Love, without which (as I thinke) there is not any mortall man, that
can have any goodnesse or vertue dwelling in him. Wherefore, if ever
you have bene amorously affected, or presently have any apprehension
thereof, you shall the more easily judge of what I now aime at. True
it is, that I do love, and love hath guided me to be comforted, and
manfully assisted by you, because in yonder Ship, which you see commeth
on so gently under saile (even as if she offered her selfe to be our
prize) not onely is the Jewell which I most esteeme, but also mighty
and unvalewable treasure, to be wonne without any difficult labour, or
hazard of a dangerous fight, you being men of such undauntable courage.
In the honour of which victory, I covet not any part or parcell, but
onely a Ladie, for whose sake I have undertaken these Armes, and freely
give you all the rest contained in the shippe. Let us set on them,
Gentlemen, and my dearest friends; couragiously let us assaile the
ship, you see how the wind favours us, and (questionlesse) in so good an
action, Fortune will not faile us.

_Gerbino_ needed not to have spoken so much, in perswading them to
seize so rich a booty; because the men of _Messina_ were naturally
addicted to spoile and rapine: and before the Prince began his Oration,
they had concluded to make the ship their purchase. Wherefore, giving
a lowde shout, according to their Countrey manner, and commaunding
their Trumpets to sound chearefully, they rowed on amain with their
Oares, and (in meere despight) set upon the ship. But before the
Gallies could come neere her, they that had the charge and managing of
her, perceyving with what speede they made towards them, and no likely
meanes of escaping from them, resolvedly they stood uppon their best
defence, for now it was no time to be slothfull.

The Prince being come neere to the Ship, commanded that the Patrones
should come to him, except they would adventure the fight. When
the Sarazines were thereof advertised, and understood also what he
demanded, they returned answer: That their motion and proceeding
in this manner, was both against Law and plighted faith, which was
promised by the King of _Sicily_, for their safe passage thorow his
Sea, by no meanes to be molested or assailed. In testimony whereof,
they shewed his Glove, avouching moreover, that neyther by force (or
otherwise) they would yeelde, or deliver him any thing which they had
aboorde their Ship.

_Gerbino_ espying his gracious Mistresse on the Ships decke, and she
appearing to be farre more beautifull, then Fame had made relation of
her: being much more enflamed now, then formerly he had bin, replyed
thus when they shewed the Glove. Wee have (quoth he) no Faulcon heere
now, to be humbled at the sight of your Glove: and therefore, if you
will not deliver the Lady, prepare your selves for fight, for we must
have her whether you will or no. Hereupon, they began to let flie (on
both sides) their Darts and arrowes, with stones sent in violent sort
from their slings, thus continuing the fight a long while, to very
great harme on either side. At the length, _Gerbino_ perceyving, that
small benefite would redound to him, if he did not undertake some
other kinde of course: he tooke a small Pinnace, which purposely he
brought with him from _Sardignia_, and setting it on a flaming fire,
conveyd it (by the Gallies help) close to the ship. The Sarazines much
amazed thereat, and evidently perceiving, that eyther they must yeeld
or dy; brought their Kings daughter upon the prow of the ship, most
greevously weeping and wringing her hands. Then calling _Gerbino_, to
let him behold their resolution, there they slew hir before his face;
and afterward, throwing her body into the Sea, said: Take her, there
we give her to thee, according to our bounden duty, and as thy perjury
hath justly deserved.

This sight was not a little greevous to the Prince _Gerbino_, who
madded now with this their monstrous cruelty, and not caring what
became of his owne life, having lost her for whom hee onely desired
to live: not dreading their Darts, Arrowes, slinged stones, or what
violence else they could use against him; he leapt aboord their ship, in
despight of all that durst resist him, behaving himself there like a
hunger-starved Lyon, when he enters among a heard of beastes, tearing
their carkasses in pieces both with his teeth and pawes. Such was the
extreme fury of the poor Prince, not sparing the life of any one, that
durst appeare in his presence; so that what with the bloody slaughter,
and violence of the fires encreasing in the Ship; the Mariners got such
wealth as possibly they could save, and suffering the Sea to swallow
the rest, _Gerbino_ returned unto his Gallies againe, nothing proud of
this so ill-gotten victory.

Afterward, having recovered the Princesses dead body out of the Sea,
and enbalmed it with sighes and teares: hee returned backe into
_Sicilie_, where he caused it to be most honourably buried, in a little
Island, named _Ustica_, face to face confronting _Trapanum_. The King
of _Thunis_ hearing these disastrous Newes, sent his Ambassadors
(habited in sad mourning) to the aged King of _Sicily_, complaining
of his faith broken with him, and how the accident had falne out. Age
being sodainly incited to anger, and the King extreamly offended at
this injury, seeing no way whereby to deny him justice, it being urged
so instantly by the Ambassadours: caused _Gerbino_ to be apprehended,
and hee himselfe (in regard that none of his Lords and Barons would
therein assist him, but laboured to divert him by their earnest
importunity) pronounced the sentence of death on the Prince, and
commanded to have him beheaded in his presence; affecting rather, to
dye without an heire, then to be thought a King void of justice. So
these two unfortunate Lovers, never enjoying the very least benefite of
their long wished desires: ended both their lives in violent manner.

_The three Brethren to_ Isabella, _slew a Gentleman that secretly loved
her. His ghost appeared to her in her sleepe, and shewed her in what
place they had buried his body. She (in silent manner) brought away his
head, and putting it into a pot of earth, such as Flowers, Basile, or
other sweet hearbes are usually set in; she watered it (a long while)
with her teares. Whereof her Brethren having intelligence; soone after
she dyed, with meere conceite of sorrow._

The fift Novell.

_Wherein is plainly proved, that Love cannot be rooted uppe, by any
humane power or providence; especially in such a soule, where it hath
bene really apprehended._

The Novell of Madame _Eliza_ being finished, and some-what commended
by the King, in regard of the Tragicall conclusion; _Philomena_ was
enjoyned to proceede next with her discourse. She beeing overcome
with much compassion, for the hard Fortunes of Noble _Gerbino_, and
his beautifull Princesse, after an extreame and vehement sighe, thus
she spake. My tale (worthy Ladies) extendeth not to persons of so
high birth or quality, as they were of whom Madame _Eliza_ gave you
relation: yet (peradventure) it may proove to be no lesse pitifull.
And now I remember my selfe, _Messina_ so lately spoken of, is the
place where this accident also happened.

In _Messina_ there dwelt three yong men, Brethren, and Merchants
by their common profession, who becoming very rich by the death of
theyr Father, lived in very good fame and repute. Their Father was
of _San Gemignano_, and they had a Sister named _Isabella_, young,
beautifull, and well conditioned; who, upon some occasion, as yet
remained unmaried. A proper youth, being a Gentleman borne in _Pisa_,
and named _Lorenzo_, as a trusty factor or servant, had the managing of
the Brethrens businesse and affaires. This _Lorenzo_ being of comely
personage, affable, and excellent in his behaviour, grew so gracious in
the eyes of _Isabella_, that shee affoorded him many very respective
lookes, yea, kindnesses of no common quality. Which _Lorenzo_ taking
notice of, and observing by degrees from time to time, gave over all
other beauties in the Citie, which might allure any affection from him,
and only fixed his heart on her, so that their love grew to a mutuall
embracing, both equally respecting one another, and entertaining
kindnesses, as occasion gave leave.

Long time continued this amorous league of love, yet not so cunningly
concealed, but at the length, the secret meeting of _Lorenzo_ and
_Isabella_, to ease their poore soules of Loves oppressions, was
discovered by the eldest of the Brethren, unknowne to them who were
thus betrayed. He being a man of great discretion, although this sight
was highly displeasing to him: yet notwithstanding, he kept it to
himselfe till the next morning, labouring his braine what might best be
done in so urgent a case. When day was come, he resorted to his other
brethren, and told them what he had seene in the time past, betweene
their sister and _Lorenzo_.

Many deliberations passed on in this case; but after all, thus they
concluded together, to let it proceede on with patient supportance,
that no scandall might ensue to them, or their Sister, no evill acte
being (as yet) committed. And seeming, as if they knew not of their
love, had a wary eye still upon her secret walkes, awaiting for some
convenient time, when without their owne prejudice, or _Isabellaes_
knowledge, they might safely breake off this their stolne love, which
was altogether against their liking. So, shewing no worse countenance
to _Lorenzo_, then formerly they had done, but imploying and conversing
with him in kinde manner; it fortuned, that riding (all three) to
recreate themselves out of the Cittie, they tooke _Lorenzo_ in their
company, and when they were come to a solitarie place, such as best
suited with their vile purpose: they ran sodainly upon _Lorenzo_, slew
him, & afterward enterred his body, where hardly it could be discovered
by any one. Then they returned backe to _Messina_, & gave it forth (as
a credible report) that they had sent him abroad about their affaires,
as formerly they were wont to do: which every one verily beleeved,
because they knew no reason why they should conceite any otherwise.

_Isabella_, living in expectation of his returne, and perceiving his
stay to her was so offensively long: made many demands to her Brethren,
into what parts they had sent him, that his tarrying was so quite from
all wonted course. Such was her importunate speeches to them, that they
taking it very discontentedly, one of them returned her this frowning
answer. What is your meaning Sister, by so many questionings after
_Lorenzo_? What urgent affaires have you with him, that makes you so
impatient upon his absence? If heereafter you make any more demands for
him, we shall shape you such a reply, as will bee but little to your
liking. At these harsh words, _Isabella_ fell into abundance of teares,
where-among she mingled many sighes and groanes, such as were able to
overthrow a far stronger constitution: so that, being full of feare and
dismay, yet no way distrusting her brethrens cruell deede; shee durst
not question any more after him.

In the silence of darke night, as she lay afflicted in her bed,
oftentimes would she call for _Lorenzo_, entreating his speedy
returning to her: And then againe, as if he had bene present with
her, shee checkt and reproved him for his so long absence. One night
amongst the rest, she being growen almost hopelesse, of ever seeing him
againe, having a long while wept and greevously lamented; her senses
and faculties utterly spent and tired, that she could not utter any
more complaints, she fell into a trance or sleepe; and dreamed, that
the ghost of _Lorenzo_ appeared unto her, in torne and unbefitting
garments, his lookes pale, meager, and staring: and (as she thought)
thus spake to her. My deare love _Isabella_, thou doest nothing but
torment thy selfe, with calling on me, accusing me for overlong
tarrying from thee: I am come therefore to let thee know, that thou
canst not enjoy my company any more, because the very same day when
last thou sawest me, thy brethren most bloodily murthered me. And
acquainting her with the place where they had buried his mangled body:
hee strictly charged her, not to call him at any time afterward, and so
vanished away.

The yong Damosell awaking, and giving some credite to her Vision,
sighed and wept exceedingly; and after she was risen in the morning,
not daring to say any thing to her brethren, she resolutely determined,
to go see the place formerly appointed her, onely to make triall,
if that which she seemed to see in her sleepe, should carry any
likely-hood of truth. Having obtained favour of her brethren, to ride a
dayes journey from the City, in company of her trusty Nurse, who long
time had attended on her in the house, and knew the secret passages
of her love: they rode directly to the designed place, which being
covered with some store of dried leaves, and more deeply sunke then any
other part of the ground thereabout, they digged not farre, but they
found the body of murthered _Lorenzo_, as yet very little corrupted or
impaired, and then perceived the truth of her vision.

Wisedome and government so much prevailed with her, as to instruct her
soule, that her teares spent there, were meerely fruitlesse and in
vaine, neither did the time require any long tarrying there. Gladly
would shee have carried the whole body with her, secretly to bestow
honourable enterment on it, but it exceeded the compasse of her
ability. Wherefore, in regard she could not have all, yet she would be
possessed of a part, & having brought a keene razor with her, by helpe
of the Nurse, shee divided the head from the body, and wrapped it up
in a Napkin, which the nurse conveyed into her lap, and then laide the
body in the ground again. Thus being undiscovered by any, they departed
thence, and arrived at home in convenient time, where being alone by
themselves in the Chamber: she washed the head over and over with her
teares, and bestowed infinite kisses thereon.

Not long after, the Nurse having brought her a large earthen potte,
such as wee use to set Basile, Marjerom, Flowers, or other sweet
hearbes in, and shrouding the head in a silken Scarfe, put it into the
pot, covering it with earth, and planting divers rootes of excellent
Basile therein, which she never watered, but either with her teares,
Rose water, or water distilled from the Flowers of Oranges. This pot
she used continually to sitte by, either in her chamber, or any where
elsee: for she caried it alwaies with her, sighing and breathing foorth
sad complaints thereto, even as if they had beene uttered to her
_Lorenzo_, and day by day this was her continuall exercise, to the no
meane admiration of her bretheren, and many other friends that beheld

So long she held on in this mourning manner, that, what by the
continuall watering of the Basile, and putrifaction of the head,
so buried in the pot of earth; it grew very flourishing, and most
odorifferous to such as scented it, so that as no other Basile could
possibly yeeld so sweet a savour. The neighbours noting this behaviour
in her, observing the long continuance thereof, how much her bright
beauty was defaced, and the eyes sunke into her head by incessant
weeping, made many kinde and friendly motions, to understand the reason
of her so violent oppressions; but could not by any meanes prevaile
with her, or win any discovery by her Nurse, so faithfull was she in
secrecie to her. Her brethren also waxed wearie of this carriage in
her; and having very often reproved her for it, without any other
alteration in her: at length, they closely stole away the potte of
Basile from her, for which she made infinite wofull lamentations,
earnestly entreating to have it restored againe, avouching that shee
could not live without it.

Perceiving that she could not have the pot againe, she fell into an
extreame sicknesse, occasioned onely by her ceaselesse weeping: and
never urged she to have any thing, but the restoring of her Basile pot.
Her brethren grew greatly amazed thereat, because shee never called for
ought elsee beside; and thereupon were very desirous to ransacke the pot
to the very bottome. Having emptied out all the earth, they found the
Scarfe of silke, wherein the head of Lorenzo was wrapped; which was (as
yet) not so much consumed, but by the lockes of haire, they knew it to
be _Lorenzoes_ head, whereat they became confounded with amazement.

Fearing least their offence might come to open publication, they
buried it very secretly; and, before any could take notice thereof,
they departed from _Messina_, and went to dwell in _Naples. Isabella_
crying & calling still for her pot of Basile, being unable to give over
mourning, dyed within a few dayes after. Thus have you heard the hard
fate of poore _Lorenzo_ and his _Isabella_. Within no long while after,
when this accident came to be publikely knowne, an excellent ditty was
composed thereof, beginning thus:

    _Cruell and unkinde was the Christian,
    That robd me of my Basiles blisse, &c._

_A beautifull yong Virgin, named_ Andreana, _became enamored of a
yong Gentleman, called_ Gabriello. _In conference together, she
declared a dreame of hers to him, and he another of his to her;
whereupon_ Gabriello _fell downe sodainly dead in her armes. Shee,
and her Chamber-maide were apprehended, by the Officers belonging to
the Seigneury, as they were carrying_ Gabriello, _to lay him before
his owne doore. The Potestate offering violence to the Virgin, and
she resisting him vertuously: it came to the understanding of her
Father, who approved the innocence of his daughter, and compassed her
deliverance. But she afterward, being weary of all worldly felicities,
entred into Religion, and became a Nun._

The sixth Novell.

_Describing the admirable accidents of Fortune; and the mighty
prevailing power of Love._

The Novell which Madam _Philomena_ had so graciously related, was
highly pleasing unto the other Ladies; because they had oftentimes
heard the Song, without knowing who made it, or uppon what occasion
it was composed. But when the King saw that the Tale was ended: hee
commanded _Pamphilus_, that hee should follow in his due course:
whereupon he spake thus.

The dreame already recounted in the last Novell, doth minister matter
to me, to make report of another Tale, wherein mention is made of two
severall dreames; which divined as well what was to ensue, as the other
did what had hapned before. And no sooner were they finished in the
relation, by both the parties which had formerly dreampt them, but the
effects of both as sodainly followed.

Worthy Ladies, I am sure it is not unknowne to you, that it is, &
hath bene a generall passion, to all men and women living, to see
divers and sundry things while they are sleeping. And although (to
the sleeper) they seeme most certaine, so that when he awaketh, hee
judgeth the trueth of some, the likelyhood of others, and some beyond
all possibility of truth: yet notwithstanding, many dreames have bene
observed to happen, and very strangely have come to passe. And this
hath bene a grounded reason for some men, to give as great credit to
such things as they see sleeping, as they do to others usually waking.
So that, according unto their dreames, and as they make construction of
them, that are sadly distasted, or merrily pleased, even as (by them)
they either feare or hope. On the contrary, there are some, who will not
credit any dreame whatsoever, untill they be falne into the very same
danger which formerly they saw, and most evidently in their sleepe.

I meane not to commend either the one or other, because they do not
alwayes fall out to be true; neither are they at all times lyars.
Now, that they prove not all to be true, we can best testifie
to our selves. And that they are not alwayes lyars, hath already
sufficiently bene manifested, by the discourse of Madame _Philomena_,
and as you shall perceive by mine owne, which next commeth in order
to salute you. Wherefore, I am of this opinion, that in matters of
good life, and performing honest actions; no dreame is to be feared
presaging the contrary, neither are good works any way to be hindred
by them. Likewise, in matters of bad and wicked quality, although our
dreames may appeare favourable to us, and our visions flatter us with
prosperous successe: yet let us give no credence unto the best, nor
addicte our minds to them of contrary Nature. And now we will proceed
to our Novell.

In the Citie of _Brescia_, there lived sometime a Gentleman, named
_Messer Negro da Ponte Cararo_, who (among many other children)
had a daughter called _Andreana_, yong and beautifull, but as yet
unmarried. It fortuned, that shee fell in love with a neighbour, named
_Gabriello_, a comely yong Gentleman, of affable complexion, and
graciously conditioned. Which love was (with like kindnesse) welcommed
and entertained by him, and by the furtherance of her Chamber-maide, it
was so cunningly carried, that in the Garden belonging to _Andreanaes_
Father, she had many meetings with her _Gabriello_. And solemne vowes
being mutually passed betweene them, that nothing but death could alter
their affection: by such ceremonious words as are used in marriage,
they maried themselves secretly together, and continued their stolne
chaste pleasures, with equall contentment to them both.

It came to passe, that _Andreana_ sleeping in her bed, dreamed, that
she met with _Gabriello_ in the Garden, where they both embracing
lovingly together, she seemed to see a thing blacke and terrible, which
sodainely issued forth of his body, but the shape thereof she could
not comprehend. It rudely seized upon _Gabriello_, & in despight of
her utmost strength (with incredible force) snatched him out of her
armes, and sinking with him into the earth, they never after did see
one another; whereuppon, overcome with extremity of greefe and sorrow,
presently shee awaked, being then not a little joyfull, that she found
no such matter as shee feared, yet continued very doubtfull of her
dreame. In regard whereof, _Gabriello_ being desirous to visite her the
night following: she laboured very diligently to hinder his comming to
her; yet knowing his loyall affection toward her, and fearing least he
should grow suspitious of some other matter: she welcommed him into the
Garden, where gathering both white and Damaske Roses (according to the
nature of the season) at length, they sate downe by a goodly Fountaine,
which stoode in the middst of the Garden.

After some small familiar discourse passing betweene them, _Gabriello_
demanded of her upon what occasion shee denied his comming thither the
night before, and by such a sodaine unexpected admonition? _Andreana_
told him, that it was in regard of a troublesome dreame, wherewith hir
soule was perplexed the precedent night, and doubt what might ensue
thereon. _Gabriello_ hearing this, began to smile, affirming to her,
that it was an especiall note of folly, to give any credit to idle
dreames: because (oftentimes) they are caused by excesse of feeding,
and continually are observed to be meere lies. For (quoth hee) if I
had any superstitious beleefe of dreames, I should not then have come
hither nowe: yet not so much as being dismayed by your dreame, but
for another of mine owne, which I am the more willing to acquaint you

Me thought, I was in a goodly delightfull Forrest, in the Noble
exercise of sportfull hunting, and became there possessed of a yong
Hinde, the verie loveliest and most pleasing beast that was ever
seene. It seemed to be as white as snow, and grew (in a short while)
so familiar with mee, that by no meanes it would forsake me. I could
not but accept this rare kindnesse in the beast, and fearing least (by
some ill hap) I might loose it, I put a coller of Gold about the necke
thereof, and fastned it into a chain of Gold also, which then I held
strictly in my hand. The Hind afterward couched downe by mee, laying
his head mildely in my lap; and on a sudden, a blacke Grey-hound bitch
came rushing on us (but whence, or how I could not imagine) seeming
halfe hunger-starved, and very ugly to look upon. At me she made her
full carriere, without any power in me of resistance: and putting her
mouth into the lefte side of my bosome, griped it so mainly with her
teeth, that (me thought) I felt my heart quite bitten through, and she
tugged on still, to take it wholly away from me; by which imagined
paine and anguish I felt, instantly I awaked: Laying then my hand upon
my side, to know whether any such harme had befaln me, or no, and
finding none at all, I smiled at mine owne folly, in making such a
frivolous and idle search. What can be said then in these or the like
cases? Divers times I have had as ill seeming dreames, yea, and much
more to be feared: yet never any thing hurtfull to me followed thereon;
and therefore I have alwaies made the lesse account of them.

The yong Maiden, who was still dismayed by her owne dreame, became much
more afflicted in her minde, when shee had heard this other reported by
_Gabriello_: but yet to give him no occasion of distast, she bare it
out in the best manner she could devise to doe. And albeit they spent
the time in much pleasing discourse, maintained with infinite sweete
kisses on either side: yet was she still suspitious, but knew not
whereof; fixing her eies oftentimes upon his face, and throwing strange
lookes to all parts of the Garden, to catch hold on any such blacke
ugly sight, whereof he had formerly made description to her. As thus
she continued in these afflicting feares, it fortuned, that _Gabriello_
sodainly breathing forth a very vehement sighe, and throwing his armes
fast about her, said: O helpe me deare Love, or elsee I dye; and,
in speaking the words, fell downe uppon the ground. Which the yong
Damosell perceiving, and drawing him into her lappe, weeping saide:
Alas sweete Friend, What paine dost thou feele?

_Gabriello_ answered not one word, but being in an exceeding sweate,
without any ability of drawing breath, very soone after gave up the
ghost. How greevous this strange accident was to poore _Andreana_,
who loved him as deerely as her owne life: you that have felt loves
tormenting afflictions, can more easily conceive, then I relate.
Wringing her hands, & weeping incessantly, calling him, rubbing his
temples, and using all likely meanes to reduce life: she found all
her labour to be spent in vain, because he was starke dead indeed,
and every part of his body as cold as ice: whereupon, she was in such
wofull extremity, that she knew not what to do or say. All about the
Garden she went weeping, in infinite feares and distraction of soule,
calling for her Chamber-maid, the only secret friend to their stolne
meetings, and told her the occasion of this sudden sorrow. After they
had sighed and mourned awhile, over the dead body of _Gabriello,
Andreana_ in this manner spake to her maid.

Seeing Fortune hath thus bereft me of my Love, mine owne life must
needs be hatefull to me: but before I offer any violence to my selfe,
let us devise some convenient meanes, as may both preserve mine honour
from any touch or scandall, and conceale the secret love passing
betweene us: but yet in such honest sort, that this body (whose blessed
soule hath too soone forsaken it) may be honourably enterred. Whereto
her Mayde thus answered: Mistresse, never talke of doing any violence
to your self, because by such a blacke and dismall deed, as you have
lost his kind company here in this life, so shall you never more see
him in the other world: for immediately you sinke downe to hell,
which foule place cannot bee a receptacle for his faire soule, that
was endued with so many singular vertues. Wherefore, I holde it farre
better for you, to comfort your selfe by all good meanes, and with
the power of fervent prayer, to fight against all desperate intruding
passions, as a truly vertuous minde ought to doe. Now, as concerning
his enterrement, the meanes is readily prepared for you heere in this
Garden, where never he hath bene seene by any, or his resorting hither
knowne, but onely to our selves. If you will not consent to have it so,
let you and I convey his bodye hence, and leave it in such apt place,
where it may be found to morrow morning: and being then carried to his
owne house, his friends and kindred will give it honest buriall.

_Andreana_, although her soule was extraordinarily sorrowfull, & teares
flowed abundantly from her eyes; yet she listned attentively to hir
maids counsell; allowing her first advice against desperation, to be
truly good; but to the rest thus she replied. God forbid (quoth she)
that I shold suffer so deare a loving friend, as he hath alwayes shewed
himselfe to mee; nay, which is much more, my husband; by sacred and
solemn vowes passed betweene us, to be put into the ground basely, and
like a dog, or elsee to be left in the open streete. He hath had the
sacrifice of my virgin teares, and if I can prevaile, he shall have
some of his kindred, as I have instantly devised, what (in this hard
case) is best to be done. Forthwith she sent the maid to her Chamber,
for divers elles of white Damaske lying in her Chest, which when she
had brought, they spread it abroad on the grasse, even in the manner of
a winding sheete, and therein wrapped the bodie of _Gabriello_, with
a faire wrought pillow lying under his head, having first (with their
teares) closed his mouth and eyes, and placed a Chaplet of Flowers on
his head, covering the whole shrowd over in the same manner, which
being done, thus she spake to her maide.

The doore of his owne house is not farre hence, and thither (between
us two) he may be easily carried, even in this manner as we have
adorned him; where leaving him in his owne Porch, we may returne back
before it be day; and although it will be a sad sight to his friends;
yet, because he dyed in mine armes, and we being so well discharged
of the bodie, it will be a little comfort to me. When she had ended
these words, which were not uttered without infinite teares, the Maid
entreated her to make hast, because the night passed swiftly on. At
last, she remembred the Ring on her finger, wherewith _Gabriello_ had
solemnly espoused her, and opening the shroud againe, she put it on
his finger, saying, My deare and loving husband, if thy soule can see
my teares, or any understanding do remaine in thy body, being thus
untimely taken from me: receive the latest guifte thou gavest me, as a
pledge of our solemne and spotlesse marriage. So, making up the shroud
againe as it should be, and conveighing it closely out of the Garden,
they went on along with it, towardes his dwelling house.

As thus they passed along, it fortuned, that they were met and taken
by the Guard or Watch belonging to the Potestate, who had bin so
late abroad, about very earnest and important businesse. _Andreana_,
desiring more the dead mans company, then theirs whom she had thus
met withall, boldly spake thus to them. I know who and what you are,
and can tel my selfe, that to offer flight will nothing availe me:
wherefore, I am ready to go along with you before the Seigneurie, and
there will tel the truth concerning this accident. But let not any man
among you, be so bold as to lay hand on me, or to touch me, because
I yeeld so obediently to you: neither to take any thing from this
body, except he intend that I shal accuse him. In which respect, not
any one daring to displease her, shee went with the dead bodye to the
Seigneurie, there to answere all Objections.

When notice heereof was given to the Potestate, he arose; and shee
being brought foorth into the Hall before him, he questioned with
her, how and by what meanes this accident happened. Beside, he sent
for divers Physitians, to be informed by them, whether the Gentleman
were poysoned, or otherwise murthered: but al of them affirmed the
contrary, avouching rather, that some impostumation had engendred neere
his heart, which sodainly breaking, occasioned his as sodaine death.
The Potestate hearing this, and perceiving that _Andreana_ was little
or nothing at all faulty in the matter: her beauty and good carriage,
kindled a villanous and lustfull desire in him towards her, provoking
him to the immodest motion, that upon granting his request, he would
release her. But when he saw, that all his perswasions were to no
purpose, hee sought to compasse his will by violence; which, like a
vertuous and valiant _Virago_, shee worthily withstood, defending her
honour Nobly, and reprooving him with many injurious speeches, such as
a lustfull Letcher justlie deserved.

On the morrow morning, these newes being brought to her Father, _Messer
Negro da Ponte Cararo_; greeving thereat exceedingly, and accompanied
with many of his friends, he went to the Palace. Being there arrived,
and informed of the matter by the Potestate: hee demaunded (in teares)
of his daughter, how, and by what meanes shee was brought thither? The
Potestate would needs accuse her first, of outrage and wrong offered to
him by her, rather then to tarry her accusing of him: yet, commending
the yong Maiden, and her constancie, proceeded to say, that onely to
prove her, he had made such a motion to her, but finding her so firmly
vertuous, his love and liking was now so addicted to her, that if hir
Father were so pleased, to forget the remembrance of her former secret
husband, he willingly would accept her in marriage.

While thus they continued talking, _Andreana_ comming before her
Father, the teares trickling mainly downe her cheekes, and falling at
his feete, she began in this manner. Deare Father, I shall not neede
to make an historicall relation, either of my youthfull boldnesse or
misfortunes, because you have both seene and knowne them: rather most
humblie, I crave your pardon, for another error by me committed, in
that, both without your leave and liking, I accepted the man as my
troth-plighted husband, whom (above all other in the world) I most
intirely affected. If my offence heerein do challenge the forfeite of
my life, then (good Father) I free you from any such pardon: because my
onely desire is to die your daughter, and in your gracious favour; with
which words, in signe of her humility, she kissed his feete. _Messer
Negro da Ponte_, being a man well stept into yeares, and of a milde
and gentle nature, observing what his daughter had saide: could not
refraine from teares, and in his weeping, lovingly tooke her from the
ground, speaking thus to her.

Daughter, I could have wished, that thou hadst taken such an husband,
as (in my judgement) had bene best fitting for thee, and yet if thou
didst make election of one, answerable to thine owne good opinion &
liking: I have no just reason to be therewith offended. My greatest
cause of complaint, is, thy too severe concealing it from me, and the
slender trust thou didst repose in me, because thou hast lost him,
before I knew him. Neverthelesse, seeing these occasions are thus
come to passe, and accidents alreadie ended, cannot by any meanes be
re-called: it is my will, that as I would gladly have contented thee,
by making him my Sonne in Law, if he had lived; so I will expresse
the like love to him now he is dead. And so turning himself to his
kindred and friends, lovingly requested of them, that they would grace
_Gabriello_ with most honourable obsequies.

By this time, the kindred and friends to the dead man (uppon noise of
his death bruited abroad) were likewise come to the Pallace, yea, most
of the men and women dwelling in the City, the bodie of _Gabriello_
beeing laide in the midst of the Court, upon the white Damaske shrowde
given by _Andreana_, with infinite Roses and other sweet Flowers
lying thereon: and such was the peoples love to him, that never was
any mans death, more to be bemoaned and lamented. Being delivered
out of the Court, it was carried to buriall, not like a Burgesse or
ordinary Citizen, but with such pompe as beseemed a Lord Baron, and on
the shoulders of very noble Gentlemen, with very especiall honour and

Within some few dayes after, the Potestate pursuing his former motion
of marriage, and the Father moving it to his daughter; she wold not
by any meanes listen thereto. And he being desirous to give her
contentment, delivered her and her Chamber-maid into a Religious Abbey,
very famous for devotion and sanctity, where afterwardes they ended
their lives.

_Faire_ Simonida _affecting_ Pasquino, _and walking with him in a
pleasant garden, it fortuned, that_ Pasquino _rubbed his teeth with
a leafe of Sage, and immediately fell downe dead._ Simonida _being
brought before the bench of Justice, and charged with the death of_
Pasquino: _she rubbed her teeth likewise with one of the leaves of the
same Sage, as declaring what shee saw him do: and thereon she dyed also
in the same manner._

The seaventh Novell.

_Whereby is given to understand, that Love & Death do use their power
equally alike, as well upon poore and meane persons, as on them that
are rich and Noble._

_Pamphilus_ having ended his Tale, the King declaring an outward shew
of compassion, in regard of _Andreanaes_ disastrous Fortune: fixed
his eye on Madam _Emillia_, and gave her such an apparant signe, as
expressed his pleasure, for her next succeeding in discourse; which
being sufficient for her understanding, thus she began: Faire assembly,
the Novel so lately delivered by _Pamphilus_, maketh me willing to
report another to you, varying from it, in any kinde of resemblance;
onely this excepted: that as _Andreana_, lost her lover in a Garden,
even so did shee of whome I am now to speake. And being brought before
the seate of Justice, according as _Andreana_ was, freed her selfe from
the power of the Law; yet neither by force, or her owne vertue, but by
her sodaine and inopinate death. And although the nature of Love is
such (according as wee have oftentimes heeretofore maintained) to make
his abiding in the houses of the Noblest persons; yet men and women of
poore and farre inferiour quality, do not alwayes sit out of his reach,
though enclosed in their meanest Cottages; declaring himselfe sometimes
as powerfull a commaunder in those humble places, as he doth in the
richest and most imperious Palaces. As will plainly appeare unto you,
either in all, or a great part of my Novell, whereto our Citie pleadeth
some title; though, by the diversity of our discourses, talking of so
many severall accidents; we have wandred into many other parts of the
world, to make all answerable to our owne liking.

It is not any long time since, when there lived in our City of
_Florence_, a young and beautifull Damosell, yet according to the
nature of hir condition; because she was the Daughter of a poore
Father, and called by the name of _Simonida_. Now, albeit shee was
not supplied by any better meanes, then to maintaine her selfe by her
owne painfull travell, & earne her bread before shee could eate it, by
carding and spinning to such as employed her; yet was she not of so
base or dejected a spirit, but had both courage and sufficient vertue,
to understand the secret solicitings of love, and to distinguish
the parts of well deserving, both by private behaviour and outward
ceremony. As naturall instinct was her first tutor thereto, so wanted
she not a second maine and urging motion; a chip hewed out of the
like Timber, one no better in birth then her selfe, a proper young
springall, named _Pasquino_, whose generous behaviour, and gracefull
actions (in bringing her daily wooll to spin, by reason his master was
a Clothier) prevailed upon her liking and affection.

Nor was he negligent in the observation of her amorous regards, but the
Tinder tooke, and his soule flamed with the selfe-same fire; making him
as desirous of her loving acceptance, as possibly she could bee of his:
so that the commanding power of love, could not easily be distinguished
in which of them it had the greater predominance. For, everie day as
he brought her fresh supply of woolles, and found her seriously busied
at hir wheele: her soule would vent forth many deepe sighes, and those
sighes fetch floods of teares from her eyes, thorough the singular good
opinion she had conceyved of him, and earnest desire to enjoy him.
_Pasquino_ on the other side, as leysure gave him leave for the least
conversing with her: his disease was every way answerable to her, for
teares stood in his eyes, sighes flew abroad, to ease the poore hearts
afflicting oppressions, which though he was unable to conceale; yet
would hee seeme to clowd them cleanly, by entreating her that his
masters worke might be neatly performed, and with such speed as time
would permit her, intermixing infinite praises of her artificiall
spinning; and affirming withall, that the Quilles of Yearne received
from her, were the choisest beauty of the whole peece; so that when
other worke-women played, _Simonida_ was sure to want no employment.

Heereupon, the one soliciting, and the other taking delight in beeing
solicited; it came to passe, that often accesse bred the bolder
courage, & over-much bashfulnesse became abandoned, yet no immodestie
passing betweene them: but affection grew the better setled in them
both, by interchangeable vowes of constant perseverance, so that death
onely, but no disaster elsee had power to divide them. Their mutuall
delight continuing on in this manner, with more forcible encreasing
of their Loves equall flame; it fortuned, that _Pasquino_ sitting by
_Simonida_, tolde her of a goodly Garden, whereto hee was desirous
to bring her, to the end, that they might the more safely converse
together, without the suspition of envious eyes. _Simonida_ gave answer
of her well-liking the motion, and acquainting her Father therewith, he
gave her leave, on the Sunday following after dinner, to go serch the
pardon of S. _Gallo_, and afterwards to visit the Garden.

A modest yong maiden named _Lagina_, following the same profession,
and being an intimate familiar friend, _Simonida_ tooke along in her
company, and came to the Garden appointed by _Pasquino_; where shee
found him readily expecting her comming, and another friend also with
him, called _Puccino_ (albeit more usually tearmed _Strambo_) a secret
well-willer to _Lagina_, whose love became the more furthered by this
friendly meeting. Each Lover delighting in his hearts chosen Mistresse,
caused them to walke alone by themselves, as the spaciousnesse of the
Garden gave them ample liberty: _Puccino_ with his _Lagina_ in one
part, & _Pasquino_ with his _Simonida_ in another. The walke which they
had made choise of, was by a long and goodly bed of Sage, turning and
returning by the same bed as their conference ministred occasion, and
as they pleased to recreate themselves; affecting rather to continue
still there, then in any part of the Garden.

One while they would sit downe by the Sage bed, and afterward rise
to walke againe, as ease or wearinesse seemed to invite them. At
length, _Pasquino_ chanced to crop a leafe of the Sage, wherewith
he both rubbed his teeth and gummes, and champing it betweene them
also, saying; that there was no better thing in the world to cleanse
the teeth withall, after feeding. Not long had he thus champed the
Sage in his teeth, returning to his former kinde of discoursing, but
his countenance began to change very pale, his sight failed, and
speech forsooke him; so that (in briefe) he fell downe dead. Which
when _Simonida_ beheld, wringing her hands, she cryed out for helpe
to _Strambo_ and _Lagina_, who immediately came running to her. They
finding _Pasquino_ not onely to be dead, but his bodie swolne; and
strangely over-spred with foule black spots, both on his face, handes,
and all parts elsee beside: _Strambo_ cried out, saying; Ah wicked
maide, what hast thou poisoned him?

These words and their shrill out-cries also, were heard by Neighbours
dwelling neere to the Garden, who comming in sodainly uppon them, and
seeing _Pasquino_ lying dead, and hugely swoln, _Strambo_ likewise
complaining, and accusing _Simonida_ to have poysoned him; shee making
no answer, but standing in a gastly amazement, all her senses meerely
confounded, at such a strange and uncouth accident, in loosing him
whome she so dearely loved: knew not how to excuse her selfe, and
therefore every one verily beleeved, that _Strambo_ had not unjustly
accused her. Poore woful maide, thus was shee instantly apprehended,
and drowned in her teares, they led her along to the Potestates Palace,
where her accusation was justified by _Strambo, Lagina,_ and two men
more; the one named _Atticciato_, and the other _Malagevole_, fellowes
and companions with _Pasquino_, who came into the Garden also upon the

The Judge, without any delay at all, gave eare to the busines, and
examined the case very strictly: but could by no meanes comprehend,
that any malice should appeare in her towards him, nor that she was
guiltie of the mans death. Wherefore, in the presence of _Simonida_,
hee desired to see the dead body, and the place where he fell downe
dead, because there he intended to have her relate, how she saw the
accident to happen, that her owne speeches might the sooner condemne
her, whereas the case yet remained doubtfull, and farre beyond his
comprehension. So, without any further publication, and to avoid the
following of the turbulent multitude: they departed from the bench of
Justice, and came to the place, where _Pasquinoes_ body lay swolne like
a Tunne. Demanding there questions, concerning his behaviour, when they
walked there in conference together, and, not a little admiring the
manner of his death, while hee stood advisedly considering thereon.

She going to the bed of Sage, reporting the whole precedent history,
even from the original to the ending: the better to make the case
understood, without the least colour of ill carriage towardes
_Pasquino_; according as she had seene him do, even so did she plucke
another leafe of the Sage, rubbing her teeth therewith, and champing
it as he formerly did. _Strambo_, and the other intimate friends of
_Pasquino_, having noted in what manner she used the Sage, and this
appearing as her utmost refuge, either to acquit or condemne her:
in presence of the Judge they smiled thereat, mocking and deriding
whatsoever shee saide, or did, and desiring (the more earnestly) the
sentence of death against her, that her body might be consumed with
fire, as a just punishment for her abhominable transgression.

Poore _Simonida_, sighing and sorrowing for her deere loves losse, and
(perhappes) not meanly terrified, with the strict infliction of torment
so severely urged and followed by _Strambo_ and the rest: standing
dumb still, without answering so much as one word; by tasting of the
same Sage, fell downe dead by the bed, even by the like accident as
_Pasquino_ formerly did, to the admirable astonishment of all there

Oh poore infortunate Lovers, whose Starres were so inauspicious to
you, as to finish both your mortall lives, and fervent love, in lesse
limitation then a dayes space. How to censure of your deaths, and
happines to ensue thereon, by an accident so straunge and inevitable:
it is not within the compasse of my power, but to hope the best, and
so I leave you. But yet concerning _Simonida_ her selfe, in the common
opinion of us that remaine living: her true vertue and innocency
(though Fortune was other wise most cruell to her) would not suffer
her to sinke under the testimony of _Strambo, Lagina, Atticciato_
and _Malagevole_, being but carders of wool, or perhaps of meaner
condition; a happier course was ordained for her, to passe clearly from
their infamous imputation, and follow her _Pasquino_, in the verie same
manner of death, and with such a speedie expedition.

The Judge standing amazed, and all there present in his companie, were
silent for a long while together: but, uppon better re-collection of
his spirits, thus he spake. This inconvenience which thus hath hapned,
and confounded our senses with no common admiration; in mine opinion
concerneth the bed of Sage, avouching it either to bee venomous, or
dangerously infected; which (neverthelesse) is seldom found in Sage.
But to the end, that it may not be offensive to any more heereafter, I
will have it wholly digd up by the rootes, and then to bee burnt in the
open Market place.

Hereupon, the Gardiner was presently sent for, and before the Judge
would depart thence, he saw the bed of Sage digged up by the roots,
and found the true occasion, whereby these two poore Lovers lost their
lives. For, just in the middest of the bed, and at the maine roote,
which directed all the Sage in growth; lay an huge mighty Toad, even
weltring (as it were) in a hole full of poyson; by meanes whereof, in
conjecture of the Judge, and all the rest, the whole bed of Sage became
envenomed, occasioning every leafe thereof to be deadly in taste. None
being so hardie, as to approach neere the Toade, they made a pile
of wood directly over it, and setting it on a flaming fire, threw
all the Sage thereinto, and so they were consumed together. So ended
all further suite in Lawe, concerning the deaths of _Pasquino_ and
_Simonida_: whose bodies being carried to the Church of Saint _Paul_,
by their sad and sorrowfull accusers, _Strambo, Lagina, Atticciato_
and _Malagevole_, were buried together in one goodlie Monument, for a
future memory of their hard Fortune.

Jeronimo _affecting a yong Maiden, named_ Silvestra: _was constrained
(by the earnest importunity of his Mother) to take a journey to_ Paris.
_At his return home from thence againe, hee found his love_ Silvestra
_married. By secret meanes, he got entrance into her house, and dyed
upon the bed lying by her. Afterward, his body being carried to Church,
to receive buriall, she likewise died there instantly upon his coarse._

The eight Novell.

_Wherein is againe declared, the great indiscretion and folly of them,
that think to constraine love, according to their will, after it is
constantly setled before: With other instructions, concerning the
unspeakeable power of Love._

Madam _Emillia_ had no sooner concluded her Novell, but Madame
_Neiphila_ (by the Kings command) began to speake in this manner. It
seemeth to mee (Gracious Ladies) that there are some such people to
be found, who imagine themselves to know more, then all other elsee in
the world beside, and yet indeede doe know nothing at all: presuming
(thorough this arrogant opinion of theirs) to imploy and oppose their
senselesse understanding, against infallible grounded reason, yea, and
to attempt courses, not only contrary to the counsell and judgment of
men, but also to crosse the nature of divine ordination. Out of which
fancy & ambitious presumption, many mighty harmes have already had
beginning, and more are like to ensue uppon such boldnesse, because it
is the ground of all evils.

Now, in regard that among all other naturall things, no one is lesse
subject to take counsell, or can bee wrought to contrariety, then
Love, whose nature is such, as rather to run upon his owne rash
consumption, then to be ruled by admonitions of the very wisest: my
memory hath inspired itself, with matter incident to this purpose,
effectually to approve, what I have already said. For I am now to
speake of a woman, who would appeare to have more wit, then either
she had indeed, or appertained to her by any title. The matter also,
wherein she would needs shew hir studious judgement and capacity, was
of much more consequence then she could deserve to meddle withall. Yet
such was the issue of her fond presuming; that (in one instant) she
expelled both love, and the soule of her owne sonne out of his body,
where (doubtlesse) it was planted by divine favour and appointment.

In our owne City (according to true & ancient testimony) there dwelt
sometime a very worthy and wealthy Merchant, named _Leonardo Sighiero_,
who by his wife had one onely Sonne, called _Jeronimo_, and within a
short while after his birth, _Leonardo_ being very sicke, and having
setled al his affaires in good order; departed out of this wretched
life to a better. The Tutors and Governours of the Childe, thought
it fittest to let him live with his Mother, where he had his whole
education, though schooled among many other worthy neighbours children,
according as in most Cities they use to do. Yong _Jeronimo_ growing on
in yeares, and frequenting dayly the company of his Schoole-fellowes
and others: hee would often sport (as the rest did) with the neighbours
children, and much prety pastime they found together.

In the harmlesse recreations of youth, graver judgements have often
observed, that some especiall matter received then such original,
as greater effect hath followed thereon. And many times, parents
and kindred have bene the occasion (although perhaps beyond their
expectation) of very strange and extraordinary accidents, by names of
familiarity passing betweene Boyes and Girles, as King and Queene,
sweet heart and sweet heart, friend and friend, husband and wife, and
divers other such like kind tearmes, prooving afterwards to be true
indeede. It fell out so with our yong _Jeronimo_; for, among a number
of pretty Damoselse, daughters to men of especiall respect, and others
of farre inferiour qualitie: a Taylors daughter, excelling the rest
in favour and feature (albeit her Father was but poore) _Jeronimo_
most delighted to sport withall; and no other titles passed betweene
them, even in the hearing of their parents and friendes, but wife and
husband: such was the beginning of their young affection, presaging (no
doubt) effectually to follow.

Nor grew this familiarity (as yet) any way distasted, till by their
dayly conversing together, and enterchange of infinite pretty speeches:
_Jeronimo_ felt a strange alteration in his soule, with such enforcing
and powerfull afflictions; as he was never well but in her company, nor
she enjoyed any rest if _Jeronimo_ were absent. At the length, this
being noted by his Mother, she beganne to rebuke him, yea, many times
gave him both threatnings and blowes, which proving to no purpose, nor
hindering his accesse to her; she complained to his Tutors, and like
one that in regard of her riches, thought to plant an Orange upon a
blacke thorne, spake as followeth.

This Sonne of mine _Jeronimo_, being as yet but fourteene years of age,
is so deeply enamored of a yong Girle, named _Silvestra_, daughter unto
a poore Tailor, our neere dwelling neighbour: that if we do not send
him out of her company, one day (perhaps) he may make her his wife,
and yet without any knowledge of ours, which questionlesse would be my
death. Otherwise, he may pine and consume himselfe away, if he see us
procure her marriage to some other. Wherefore, I hold it good, that
to avoid so great an inconvenience, we shold send _Jeronimo_ some far
distance hence, to remaine where some of our Factors are employed:
because, when he shall be out of her sight, and their often meetings
utterly disappointed; his affection to her will the sooner ceasse, by
frustrating his hope for ever enjoying her, and so we shall have the
better meanes, to match him with one of greater quality. The Tutors
did like well of her advice, not doubting but it would take answerable
effect: and therefore, calling _Jeronimo_ into a private Parlour, one of
them began in this manner.

_Jeronimo_, you are now growne to an indifferent stature, and (almost)
able to take government of your selfe. It cannot then seeme any way
inconvenient, to acquaint you with your deceased Fathers affaires, and
by what good courses he came to such wealth. You are his onely sonne
and heire, to whom hee hath bequeathed his rich possessions (your
Mothers moity evermore remembred) and travaile would now seeme fitting
for you, as well to gaine experience in Traffick and Merchandize, as
also to let you see the worlds occurrences. Your Mother therefore (and
we) have thought it expedient, that you should journey from hence to
_Paris_, there to continue for some such fitting time, as may grant
you full and free opportunity, to survey what stocke of wealth is
there employed for you, and to make you understand, how your Factors
are furtherous to your affayres. Beside, this is the way to make you
a man of more solid apprehension, & perfect instruction in civill
courses of life; rather then by continuing here to see none but Lords,
Barons, and Gentlemen, whereof wee have too great a number. When you
are sufficiently qualified there, and have learned what belongeth to a
worthy Marchant, such as was _Leonardo Sighiero_ your famous Father;
you may returne home againe at your owne pleasure.

The youth gave them attentive hearing, and (in few words) returned
them answer: That he would not give way to any such travaile, because
hee knew how to dispose of himselfe in _Florence_, as well as in any
other place he should be sent too. Which when his Tutors heard, they
reproved him with many severe speeches: and seeing they could win no
other answer from him, they made returne thereof to his Mother. Shee
storming extreamly thereat, yet not so much for denying the journey
to _Paris_, as in regard of his violent affection to the Maide; gave
him very bitter and harsh language. All which availing nothing, she
began to speake in a more milde and gentle straine, entreating him
with flattering and affable words, to be governed in this case by
his Tutors good advise. And so farre (in the end) she prevailed with
him, that he yeelded to live at _Paris_ for the space of a yeare; but
further time he would not graunt, and so all was ended.

_Jeronimo_ being gone to remain at _Paris_, his love daily increasing
more and more, by reason of his absence from _Silvestra_, under faire
and friendly promises, of this moneth and the next moneth sending
for him home; there they detained him two whole yeares together.
Whereuppon, his love was growne to such an extremity, that he neither
would, or could abide any longer there, but home hee returned, before
hee was expected. His love _Silvestra_, by the cunning compacting of
his Mother and Tutors, he found married to a Tent-makers Sonne; whereat
hee vexed and greeved beyond all measure. Neverthelesse, seeing the
case was now no way to bee holpen; hee strove to beare it with so much
patience, as so great a wrong, and his hearts tormenting greefe, would
give him leave to doe.

Having found out the place where she dwelt, hee began (as it is the
custome of yong Lovers) to use divers daily walkes by her door: as
thinking in his minde, that her remembrance of him was constantly
continued, as his was most intirely fixed on her. But the case was
verie strangely altred, because she was now growne no more mindfull
of him, then if she had never seene him before. Or if she did any
way remember him, it appeared to be so little, that manifest signes
declared the contrary. Which _Jeronimo_ very quickely perceived,
albeit not without many melanchollie perturbations. Notwithstanding,
he laboured by all possible meanes, to recover her former kindnesse
againe: but finding all his paines frivouslie employed; he resolved to
dye, and yet to compasse some speech with her before.

By meanes of a neere dwelling neighbour (that was his verie deare &
intimate friend) he came acquainted with every part of the house, &
prevailed so far, that one evening, when she and her husband supt at
a neighbours house; he compassed accesse into the same bed chamber,
where _Silvestra_ used most to lodge. Finding the Curtaines ready
drawne, he hid himselfe behinde them on the further side of the bed,
and so tarried there untill _Silvestra_ and her husband were returned
home, and laide downe in bedde to take their rest. The husbands sences
were soone overcome with sleepe, by reason of his painefull toyling
all the day, and bodies that are exercised with much labour, are the
more desirous to have ease. She staying up last, to put out the light,
and hearing her husband sleepe so soundly, that his snoring gave good
evidence thereof: layed her selfe down the more respectively, as being
very loath any way to disease him, but sweetly to let him enjoy his

_Silvestra_ lay on the same side of the bed, where _Jeronimo_ had hid
himselfe behinde the Curtaines; who stepping softly to her in the
darke, and laying his hand gently on her brest, saide: Deare Love,
forbeare a little while to sleepe, for heere is thy loyall friend
_Jeronimo_. The yong woman starting with amazement, would have cried
out, but that hee entreated her to the contrary; protesting, that he
came for no ill intent to her, but onely to take his latest leave of
her. Alas _Jeronimo_ (quoth she) those idle dayes are past and gone,
when it was no way unseemly for our youth, to entertaine equality of
those desires, which then well agreed with our young blood. Since when,
you have lived in forraine Countries, which appeared to me to alter
your former disposition: for, in the space of two whole yeares, either
you grew forgetfull of me (as change of ayre, may change affection)
or (at the best) made such account of mee, as I never heard the
least salutation from you. Now you know me to be a married wife, in
regard whereof, my thoughts have embraced that chaste and honourable
resolution, not to minde any man but my husband; and therefore, as
you are come hither without my love or license, so in like manner I
do desire you to be gone. Let this priviledge of my Husbandes sound
sleeping, be no colour to your longer continuing heere, or encourage
you to finde any further favour at mine hand: for if mine husband shold
awake, beside the danger that thereon may follow to you, I cannot but
loose the sweet happinesse of peacefull life, which hitherto we have
both mutually embraced.

The yong man, hearing these wordes, and remembring what loving
kindnesse he had formerly found, what secret love Letters hee had sent
from _Paris_, with other private intelligences and tokens, which never
came to her receite and knowledge, so cunningly his Mother and Tutors
had carried the matter: immediately he felt his heart strings to break;
and lying downe upon the beds side by her, uttered these his very
last words. _Silvestra_ farewell, thou hast kilde the kindest heart
that ever loved a woman: and speaking no more, gave up the ghost. She
hearing these words delivered with an entire sighe, and deepe-fetcht
groane: did not imagine the strange consequence following thereon;
yet was mooved to much compassion, in regard of her former affection
to him. Silent shee lay an indifferent while, as being unable to
returne him any answer; and looking when he would be gone, according
as before she had earnestly entreated him. But when she perceyved him
to lye so still, as neither word or motion came from him, she saide:
Kinde _Jeronimo_, why doest thou not depart and get thee gone? So
putting forth her hand, it hapned to light upon his face, which she
felt to be as cold as yce: whereat marvelling not a little, as also
at his continued silence: shee jogged him, and felt his hands in like
manner, which were stiffely extended forth, and all his body cold,
as not having any life remaining in him, which greatly amazing her,
and confounding her with sorrow beyond all measure, shee was in such
perplexity, that the could not devise what to do or say.

In the end, she resolved to try how her husband would take it, that so
strange an accident should thus happen in his house, and putting the
case as if it did not concerne them, but any other of the neighbours;
awaking him first, demaunded of him what was best to bee done, if a man
should steale into a neighbours house, unknowne to him, or any of his
family; & in his bed chamber to be found dead. He presently replyed
(as not thinking the case concerned himselfe) that, the onely helpe in
such an unexpected extremity, was, to take the dead body, and convey
it to his owne house, if he had any; whereby no scandall or reproach
would followe to them, in whose house he had so unfortunately dyed.
Heereupon, shee immediately arose, and lighting a candle, shewed him
the dead bodie of _Jeronimo_, with protestation of every particular,
both of her innocencie, either of knowledge of his comming thither,
or any other blame that could concerne her. Which hee both constantly
knowing and beleeving, made no more ceremonie, but putting on his
Garments, tooke the dead bodie upon his shoulders, and carried it to
the Mothers doore, where he left it, and afterward returned to his owne
house againe.

When day light was come, and the dead body found lying in the Porch,
it moved very much greefe and amazement, considering, he had bin seene
the day before, in perfect health to outward appearance. Nor neede we
to urge any question of his Mothers sorrow upon this straunge accident,
who, causing his body to bee carefully searched, without any blow,
bruise, wound, or hurt uppon it, the Physitians could not give any
other opinion, but that some inward conceyte of greefe had caused his
death, as it did indeed, and no way otherwise. To the cheefe Church
was the dead body carried, to be generally seene of all the people,
his mother and friends weeping heavily by it, as many more did the
like beside, because he was beloved of every one. In which time of
universall mourning, the honest man (in whose house he dyed) spake
thus to his wife: disguise thyselfe in some decent manner, and go to
the Church, where (as I heare) they have laide the body of _Jeronimo_.
Crowde in amongest the Women, as I will doe the like amongst the men,
to heare what opinion passeth of his death, and whether wee shall bee
scandalized thereby, or no.

_Silvestra_, who was now become full of pitty too late, quickely
condiscended, as desiring to see him dead, whom sometime she dearly
affected in life. And being come to the Church, it is a matter to bee
admired, if advisedly we consider on the powerfull working of love; for
the heart of this woman, which the prosperous fortune of _Jeronimo_
could not pierce, now in his wofull death did split in sunder; and the
ancient sparks of love so long concealed in the embers, brake foorth
into a furious flame; and being violently surprized with extraordinary
compassion, no sooner did she come neere to the dead body, where many
stoode weeping round about it; but strangely shrieking out aloud, she
fell downe upon it: & even as extremity of greefe finished his life, so
did it hers in the same manner. For she moved neither hand not foot,
because her vitall powers had quite forsaken her. The women labouring
to comfort her by al the best means they could devise; did not take any
knowledge of her, by reason of her disguised garments: but finding her
dead indeede, and knowing her also to be _Silvestra_, being overcome
with unspeakable compassion, & danted with no meane admiration, they
stood strangely gazing each upon other.

Wonderfull crowds of people were then in the Church; and this accident
being now noysed among the men, at length it came to her Husbands
understanding, whose greefe was so great, as it exceeded all capacitie
of expression. Afterward, he declared what had hapned in his house the
precedent night, according as his wife had truly related to him, with
all the speeches, which past between _Silvestra_ and _Jeronimo_; by
which discourse, they generally conceived, the certaine occasion of
both their sodaine deaths, which moved them to great compassion. Then
taking the yong womans body, and ordering it as a coarse ought to bee:
they layed it on the same Biere by the yong man, and when they had
sufficiently sorrowed for their disastrous fortunes, they gave them
honourable buriall both in one grave. So, this poore couple, whome love
(in life) could not joyne together, death did unite in an inseparable

_Messer_ Guiglielmo _of_ Rossiglione _having slaine Messer_ Guiglielmo
Guardastagno, _whom hee imagined to love his wife, gave her his heart
to eate. Which she knowing afterward, threw her selfe out of an high
window to the ground; and being dead, was then buried with her friend._

The ninth Novell.

_Whereby appeareth, what ill successe attendeth on them, that love
contrarie to reason: in offering injurie both to friendship and
marriage together._

When the Novell of Madam _Neiphila_ was ended, which occasioned much
compassion in the whole assembly; the King who wold not infringe the
priviledge graunted to _Dioneus_, no more remaining to speake but
they two, began thus. I call to minde (gentle Ladies) a Novell, which
(seeing we are so farre entred into the lamentable accidents of
successelesse love) will urge you unto as much commisseration, as that
so lately reported to you. And so much the rather; because the persons
of whom we are to speake, were of respective quality; which approveth
the accident to bee more cruell, then those whereof wee have formerly

According as the people of _Provence_ do report, there dwelt sometime
in that jurisdiction, two noble Knights, each well possessed of Castles
& followers; the one beeing named _Messer Guiglielmo de Rossiglione_,
and the other _Messer Guiglielmo Guardastagno_. Now, in regard that
they were both valiant Gentlemen, and singularly expert in actions of
Armes; they loved together the more mutually, and held it as a kinde
of custom, to be seene in all Tiltes and Tournaments, or any other
exercises of Armes, going commonly alike in their wearing garments.
And although their Castles stood about five miles distant each from
other, yet were they dayly conversant together, as very loving and
intimate friends. The one of them, I meane _Messer Guiglielmo de
Rossiglione_, had to wife a very gallant beautifull Lady, of whom
_Messer Guardastagno_ (forgetting the lawes of respect and loyall
friendshippe) became over-fondly enamoured, expressing the same by such
outward meanes, that the Lady her selfe tooke knowledge thereof, and
not with any dislike, as it seemed, but rather lovingly entertained;
yet she grew not so forgetfull of her honour and estimation, as the
other did of faith to his friend.

With such indiscretion was this idle love carried, that whether it
sorted to effect, or no, I know not: but the husband perceived some
such manner of behaviour, as hee could not easily digest, nor thought
it fitting to endure. Whereuppon, the league of friendly amity so long
continued, began to faile in very strange fashion, and became converted
into deadly hatred: which yet hee very cunningly concealed, bearing
an outwarde shew of constant friendshippe still, but (in his heart)
hee had vowed the death of _Guardastagno_. Nothing wanted, but by
what meanes it might best be effected, which fell out to bee in this
manner. A publicke Just or Tourney, was proclaimed by sound of Trumpet
throughout all France, wherewith immediately, _Messer Guiglielmo
Rossiglione_ acquainted _Messer Guardastagno_, entreating him that
they might further conferre thereon together, and for that purpose to
come and visit him, if he intended to have any hand in the businesse.
_Guardastagno_ being exceeding gladde of this accident, which gave him
liberty to see his Mistresse; sent answer backe by the messenger, that
on the morrow at night, he would come and sup with _Rossiglione_; who
upon this reply, projected to himselfe in what manner to kill him.

On the morrow, after dinner, arming himselfe, and two more of his
servants with him, such as he had solemnly sworne to secrecy, hee
mounted on horseback, and rode on about a mile from his owne Castle,
where he lay closely ambushed in a Wood, through which _Guardastagno_
must needs passe. After he had stayed there some two houres space and
more, he espyed him come riding with two of his attendants, all of
them being unarmed, as no way distrusting any such intended treason.
So soone as he was come to the place, where he had resolved to do the
deed; hee rushed forth of the ambush, and having a sharpe Lance readily
charged in his rest, ran mainly at him, saying: False villain, thou art
dead. _Guardastagno_, having nothing wherewith to defend himselfe, nor
his servants able to give him any succour; being pierced quite through
the body with the Lance, downe hee fell dead to the ground, and his men
(fearing the like misfortune to befall them) gallopped mainely backe
againe to their Lords Castle, not knowing them who had thus murthered
their Master, by reason of their armed disguises, which in those
martiall times were usually worne.

_Messer Guiglielmo Rossiglione_, alighting from his horse, and having
a keene knife ready drawne in his hand; opened therewith the brest of
dead _Guardastagno_, and taking foorth his heart with his owne hands,
wrapped it in the Banderole belonging to his Lance, commanding one of
his men to the charge thereof, and never to disclose the deed. So,
mounting on horse-backe againe, and darke night drawing on apace,
he returned home to his Castle. The Lady, who had heard before of
_Guardastagnoes_ intent, to suppe there that night, and (perhaps) being
earnestly desirous to see him; mervailing at his so long tarrying,
saide to her husband. Beleeve me Sir (quoth she) me thinkes it is
somewhat strange, that _Messer Guiglielmo Guardastagno_ delayes his
comming so long, he never used to do so til now. I received tidings
from him wife (said he) that he cannot be heere till to morrow. Whereat
the Lady appearing to bee displeased, concealed it to her selfe, and
used no more words.

_Rossiglione_ leaving his Lady, went into the Kitchin, where calling
for the Cooke, he delivered him the heart, saying: Take this heart of
a wilde Boare, which it was my good happe to kill this day, and dresse
it in the daintiest manner thou canst devise to doe; which being so
done, when I am set at the Table, send it to me in a silver dish,
with sauce beseeming so dainty a morsell. The Cooke tooke the heart,
beleeving it to be no otherwise, then as his Lord had saide: and using
his utmost skill in dressing it, did divide it into artificiall small
slices, and made it most pleasing to be tasted. When supper time was
come, _Rossiglione_ sate downe at the table with his Lady: but hee had
little or no appetite at all to eate, the wicked deed which he had done
so perplexed his soule, and made him to sit very strangely musing. At
length, the Cook brought in the dainty dish, which he himselfe setting
before his wife, began to finde fault with his own lack of stomack, yet
provoked her with many faire speeches, to tast the Cooks cunning in so
rare a dish.

The Lady having a good appetite indeede, when she had first tasted it,
fed afterward so heartily thereon, that shee left very little, or none
at all remaining. When he perceyved that all was eaten, he said unto
her: Tel me Madam, how you do like this delicate kinde of meat? In good
faith Sir (quoth she) in all my life I was never better pleased. Now
trust mee Madam, answered the Knight, I doe verily beleeve you, nor
do I greatly wonder thereat, if you like that dead, which you loved
so dearly being alive. When she heard these words, a long while she
sate silent, but afterward saide. I pray you tell mee Sir, what meate
was this which you have made me to eate? Muse no longer (said he) for
therein I will quickly resolve thee. Thou hast eaten the heart of
_Messer Guiglielmo Guardastagno_, whose love was so deare and precious
to thee, thou false, perfidious, and disloyall Lady: I pluckt it out of
his vile body with mine owne hands, and made my Cooke to dresse it for
thy diet.

Poor Lady, how strangely was her soule afflicted, hearing these harsh
and unpleasing speeches? Teares flowed aboundantly from her faire eies,
and like tempestuous windes embowelled in the earth, so did vehement
sighes breake mainly from her heart, and after a tedious time of
silence, she spake in this manner. My Lord and husband, you have done
a most disloyall and damnable deede, misguided by your owne wicked
jealous opinion, and not by any just cause given you, to murther so
worthie and Noble a Gentleman. I protest unto you uppon my soule, which
I wish to bee confounded in eternall perdition, if ever I were unchaste
to your bedde, or allowed him any other favour, but what might well
become so honourable a friend. And seeing my bodie hath bene made the
receptacle for so precious a kinde of foode, as the heart of so valiant
and courteous a Knight, such as was the Noble _Guardastagno_; never
shall any other foode heereafter, have entertainment there, or my selfe
live the Wife to so bloody a husband.

So starting uppe from the Table, and stepping unto a great gazing
Windowe, the Casement whereof standing wide open behinde her: violently
shee leaped out thereat, which beeing an huge heighth in distance from
the ground, the fall did not onely kill her, but also shivered her
bodie into many peeces. Which _Rossiglione_ perceyving, hee stoode like
a bodie without a soule, confounded with the killing of so deare a
friend, losse of a chaste and honourable wife, and all through his owne
over-credulous conceit.

Uppon further conference with his private thoughtes, and remorsefull
acknowledgement of his heinous offence, which repentance (too late)
gave him eyes now to see, though rashnesse before would not permit him
to consider; these two extreamities inlarged his dulled understanding.
First, he grew fearfull of the friends and followers to murdered
_Guardastagno_, as also the whole Countrey of _Provence_, in regarde of
the peoples generall love unto him; which being two maine and important
motives, both to the detestation of so horrid an acte, and immediate
severe revenge to succeed thereon: hee made such provision as best hee
could, and as so sodaine a warning would give leave, hee fled away
secretly in the night season.

These unpleasing newes were soone spread abroad the next morning, not
only of the unfortunate accidents, but also of _Rossigliones_ flight;
in regard whereof, the dead bodyes being found, and brought together, as
well by the people belonging to _Guardastagno_, as them that attended
on the Lady: they were layed in the Chappell of _Rossigliones_ Castell;
where, after so much lamentation for so great a misfortune to befall
them, they were honourably enterred in one faire Tombe, with excellent
Verses engraven thereon, expressing both their noble degree, and by
what unhappy meanes, they chanced to have buriall there.

_A Physitians wife laide a Lover of her Maids (supposing him to bee
dead) in a Chest, by reason that he had drunke water, which usually was
given to procure a sleepy entrancing. Two Lombard Usurers, stealing
the Chest, in hope of a rich booty, carried it into their owne house,
where afterward the man awaking, was apprehended for a Theefe. The
Chamber-maide to the Physitians wife, going before the bench of
Justice, accuseth her selfe for putting the imagined dead body into the
Chest, by which meanes he escapeth hanging. And the theeves which stole
away the Chest, were condemned to pay a great summe of money._

The tenth Novell.

_Wherein is declared, that sometime by adventurous accident, rather
then anie reasonable comprehension, a man may escape out of manifold
perilles, but especially in occurrences of Love._

After that the King had concluded his Novell, there remained none now
but _Dioneus_ to tell the last; which himselfe confessing, and the
King commaunding him to proceede, he beganne in this manner. So many
miseries of unfortunate Love, as all of you have alreadie related,
hath not onely swolne your eyes with weeping, but also made sicke our
hearts with sighing: yea (Gracious Ladies) I my selfe finde my spirits
not meanly afflicted thereby. Wherefore the whole day hath bene very
irkesome to me, and I am not a little glad, that it is so neere ending.
Now, for the better shutting it up altogether, I would be very loath to
make an addition, of any more such sad and mournfull matter, good for
nothing but onely to feede melancholly humour, and from which (I hope)
my faire Starres will defend me. Tragical discourse, thou art no fit
companion for me, I will therefore report a Novell which may minister a
more joviall kinde of argument, unto those tales that must bee told to
morrow, and with the expiration of our present Kings reigne, to rid us
of all heart-greeving heereafter.

Know then (most gracious assembly) that it is not many yeares since,
when there lived in _Salerne_, a verie famous Physitian, named Signieur
_Mazzeo della Montagna_, who being already well entred into years,
would (neverthelesse) marrie with a beautifull young Mayden of the
Cittie, bestowing rich garments, gaudie attyres, Ringes, and Jewelles
on her, such as few Women elsee could any way equall, because hee
loved her most deerely. Yet being an aged man, and never remembering,
how vaine and idle a thing it is, for age to make such an unfitting
Election, injurious to both; and therefore endangering that domesticke
agreement, which ought to bee the sole and maine comfort of Marriage:
it maketh mee therefore to misdoubt, that as in our former Tale of
Signiour _Ricciardo de Cinzica_, some dayes of the Calender did heere
seeme as distastefull, as those that occasioned the other Womans
discontentment. In such unequall choyses, Parents commonly are more
blame-woorthie, then any imputation, to bee layde on the young Women,
who gladdely would enjoy such as in heart they have elected: but
that their Parents, looking thorough the glasses of greedie lucre,
doe overthrow both their owne hopes, and the faire fortunes of their
children together.

Yet to speake uprightly of this young married Wife, she declared her
selfe to be of a wise and chearefull spirit, not discoraged with her
inequalitie of marriage: but bearing all with a contented browe, for
feare of urging the very least mislike in her Husband. And hee, on the
other side, when occasions did not call him to visite his pacients, or
to be present at the Colledge among his fellow-Doctours, would alwayes
bee chearing and comforting his Wife, as one that could hardly affoord
to bee out of her company. There is one especiall fatall misfortune,
which commonly awaiteth on olde mens marriages; when freezing December
will match with flouring May, and greene desires appeare in age, beyond
all possibility of performance. Nor are there wanting good store of
wanton Gallants, who hating to see Beauty in this manner betrayed,
and to the embraces of a loathed bed, will make their folly seene in
publike appearance, and by their dayly proffers of amorous services
(seeming compassionate of the womans disaster) are usually the cause of
jealous suspitions, & very heinous houshold discontentments.

Among divers other, that faine would bee nibling at this bayte of
beautie, there was one, named _Ruggiero de Jeroly_, of honourable
parentage, but yet of such a deboshed and disordered life, as neither
Kindred or Friends, were willing to take any knowledge of him, but
utterly gave him over to his dissolute courses: so that, thoroughout
all _Salerne_, his conditions caused his generall contempt, and hee
accounted no better, but even as a theeving and lewde companion.
The Doctours Wife, had a Chamber-maide attending on her; who,
notwithstanding all the ugly deformities in _Ruggiero_, regarding more
his person then his imperfections (because hee was a compleate and
well-featured youth) bestowed her affection most entirely on him, and
oftentimes did supplie his wants, with her owne best meanes.

_Ruggiero_ having this benefite of the Maides kinde love to him, made
it an hopefull mounting Ladder, whereby to derive some good liking from
the Mistresse, presuming rather on his outward comely parts, then anie
other honest quality that might commend him. The Mistresse knowing what
choyse her Maide had made, and unable by any perswasions to remoove
her, tooke knowledge of _Ruggieroes_ privat resorting to hir house,
and in meere love to her Maide (who had very many especiall deservings
in her) oftentimes she would (in kinde manner) rebuke him, and advise
him to a more setled course of life; which counsell, that it might
take the better effect; she graced with liberall gifts: one while with
Gold, others with Silver, and often with garments, for his comelier
accesse thether: which bounty, he (like a lewde mistaker) interpreted
as assurances of her affection to him, and that he was more graceful in
her eye, then any man elsee could be.

In the continuance of these proceedings, it came to passe, that
master Doctor _Mazzeo_ (being not onely a most expert Physitian, but
likewise as skilfull in Chirurgerie beside) hadde a Pacient in cure,
who by great misfortune, had one of his legges broken all in pieces;
which some weaker judgement having formerly dealt withall, the bones
and sinewes were become so fowly putrified, as he tolde the parties
friends, that the legge must bee quite cut off, or elsee the Pacient
must needes dye: yet he intended so to order the matter, that the
perrill should proceede no further, to prejudice any other part of
the bodie. The case beeing thus resolved on with the Pacient and
his Friends, the day and time was appointed when the deede should
be done: and the Doctor conceyving, that except the Patient were
sleepily entranced, hee could not by anie meanes endure the paine,
but must needes hinder what he meant to do: by distillation hee made
such an artificiall Water, as (after the Pacient hath receyved it) it
will procure a kinde of dead sleepe, and endure so long a space, as
necessity requireth the use thereof, in full performance of the worke.

After he had made this sleepy water, he put it into a glasse, wherewith
it was filled (almost) up to the brimme; and till the time came when
hee should use it; hee set it in his owne Chamber-Windowe, never
acquainting any one, to what purpose he had provided the water, nor
what was his reason of setting it there; when it drew towards the
evening, and he was returned home from his pacients, a Messenger
brought him Letters from _Malfy_, concerning a great conflict hapning
there between two Noble Families, wherein divers were very dangerously
wounded on either side, and without his speedy repairing thither, it
would prove to the losse of many lives. Heereupon, the cure of the mans
leg must needs bee prolonged, untill he was returned backe againe, in
regard that manie of the wounded persons were his worthy friends, and
liberall bountie was there to be expected, which made him presently go
aboord a small Barke, and forthwith set away towards _Malfy_.

This absence of Master Doctor _Mazzeo_, gave opportunity to adventurous
_Ruggiero_, to visite his house (he being gone) in hope to get more
Crownes, and courtesie from the Mistresse, under formall colour of
courting the Maide. And being closely admitted into the house, when
divers Neighbours were in conference with her Mistresse, and helde
her with such pleasing Discourse, as required longer time then was
expected: the Maide, had no other roome to conceale _Ruggiero_ in, but
onely the bed chamber of her Master, where she lockt him in; because
none of the houshold people should descry him, and stayed attending
on her Mistris, till all the Guests tooke their leave, and were gone.
_Ruggiero_ thus remayning alone in the Chamber, for the space of three
long houres and more, was visited neither by Maide nor Mistris, but
awaited when he should bee set at liberty.

Now, whether feeding on salt meats before his coming thither, or
customary use of drinking, which maketh men unable any long while to
abstain, as being never satisfied with excesse; which of these two
extreams they were, I know not: but drink needs hee must. And, having
no other meanes for quenching his thirst, espied the glasse of water
standing in the Window, and thinking it to be some soveraigne kinde
of water, reserved by the Doctor for his owne drinking, to make him
lusty in his old years, he tooke the glasse; and finding the Water
pleasing to his pallate, dranke it off every drop; then sitting downe
on a Coffer by the beds side, soone after hee fell into a sound sleepe,
according to the powerfull working of the water.

No sooner were all the Neighbours gone, and the Maide at libertie from
her Mistresse, but unlocking the doore, into the chamber she went; and
finding _Ruggiero_ sitting fast asleepe, she began to hunch and punche
him, entreating him (softly) to awake: but all was to no purpose, for
hee neither mooved, or answered one word, whereat her patience being
some what provoked, she punched him more rudely, and angerly said: Awake
for shame thou drowsie dullard, and if thou be so desirous of sleeping,
get thee home to thine owne lodging, because thou art not allowed to
sleep heere. _Ruggiero_ being thus rudely punched, fell from off the
Coffer flat on the ground, appearing no other in all respects, then
as if hee were a dead body. Whereat the Maide being fearfully amazed,
plucking him by the nose and yong beard, and what elsee she could
devise to do, yet all her labour proving still in vaine: she was almost
beside her wits, stamping and raving all about the roome, as if sence
and reason had forsaken her; so violent was her extreame distraction.

Upon the hearing of this noise, her Mistris came sodainely into
the Chamber, where being affrighted at so strange an accident, and
suspecting that _Ruggiero_ was dead indeed: she pinched him strongly,
and burnt his fingers with a candle, yet all was as fruitlesse as
before. Then sitting downe, she began to consider advisedly with her
selfe, how much her honour and reputation would be endangered heereby,
both with her Husband, and in vulgar opinion when this should come
to publique notice. For (quoth she to her Maide) it is not thy fond
love to this unruly fellow that can sway the censure of the monster
multitude, in beleeving his accesse hither onely to thee: but my good
name, and honest repute, as yet untoucht with the very least taxation,
will be rackt on the tenter of infamous judgement, and (though never so
cleare) branded with generall condemnation. It is wisedome therefore,
that we should make no noise but (in silence) consider with our selves,
how to cleare the house of this dead body, by some such helpfull and
witty device, as when it shall bee found in the morning, his being
heere may passe without suspition, and the worlds rash opinion no way
touch us.

Weeping and lamenting is now laid aside, and all hope in them of his
lives restoring: onely to rid his body out of the house, that now
requires their care and cunning, whereupon the Maide thus beganne.
Mistresse (quoth she) this evening, although it was very late, at our
next Neighbours doore (who you know is a Joyner by his trade) I saw
a great Chest stand; and, as it seemeth, for a publike sale, because
two or three nightes together, it hath not bene thence remooved: and
if the owner have not lockt it, all invention elsee cannot furnish us
with the like help. For therein will we lay his body, whereon I will
bestow two or three wounds with my Knife, and leaving him so, our house
can be no more suspected concerning his being heere, then any other in
the streete beside; nay rather farre lesse, in regard of your husbands
credit and authority. Moreover, heereof I am certaine, that he being of
such bad and disordered qualities: it will the more likely be imagined,
that he was slaine by some of his own loose companions, being with them
about some pilfering busines, and afterward hid his body in the chest,
it standing so fitly for the purpose, and darke night also favouring
the deed.

The Maids counsell past under the seale of allowance, only her Mistris
thought it not convenient, that (having affected him so deerely)
shee should mangle his body with any wounds; but rather to let it be
gathered by more likely-hood, that villaines had strangled him, and
then conveied his body into the Chest. Away she sends the Maide, to
see whether the Chest stood there still, or no; as indeede it did, and
unlockt, whereof they were not a little joyfull. By the helpe of her
Mistresse, the Maide tooke _Ruggiero_ upon her shoulders, and bringing
him to the doore, with diligent respect that no one could discover
them; in the Chest they laide him, and so there left him, closing downe
the lidde according as they found it.

In the same street, and not farre from the Joyner, dwelt two yong men
who were Lombards, living uppon the interest of their moneyes, coveting
to get much, and spend little. They having observed where the chest
stood, and wanting a necessary mooveable to houshold, yet loath to lay
out mony for buying it: complotted together this very night, to steale
it thence, and carry it home to their house, as accordingly they did;
finding it somewhat heavy, and therefore imagining, that matter of
woorth was contained therein. In the chamber where their wives lay,
they left it; and so without any further search till the next morning,
they laid them down to rest likewise.

_Ruggiero_, who had now slept a long while, the drinke being digested,
& the vertue thereof fully consummated; began to awake before day. And
although his naturall sleep was broken, and his sences had recoverd
their former power, yet notwithstanding, there remained such an
astonishment in his braine, as not onely did afflict him all the day
following, but also divers dayes and nights afterward. Having his
eies wide open, & yet not discerning any thing, he stretched forth
his armes every where about him, and finding himselfe to be enclosed
in the chest, he grew more broad awake, and said to himselfe. What is
this? Where am I? Do I wake or sleepe? Full well I remember, that not
long since I was in my sweet-hearts Chamber, and now (me thinkes) I
am mewed up in a chest. What shold I thinke heereof? Is master Doctor
returned home, or hath some other inconvenience hapned, whereby finding
me asleepe, she was enforced to hide me thus? Surely it is so, and
otherwise it cannot bee: wherefore, it is best for mee to lye still,
and listen when I can heare any talking in the Chamber.

Continuing thus a longer while then otherwise hee would have done,
because his lying in the bare Chest was somewhat uneasie and painfull
to him; turning divers times on the one side, and then as often again
on the other, coveting still for ease, yet could not find any: at
length, he thrust his backe so strongly against the Chests side, that
(it standing on an un-even ground) it began to totter, and after fell
downe. In which fall, it made so loud a noise, as the women (lying
in the beds standing by) awaked, and were so overcome with feare,
that they had not the power to speake one word. _Ruggiero_ also being
affrighted with the Chests fall, and perceiving how by that meanes
it was become open: he thought it better, least some other sinister
fortune should befall him, to be at open liberty, then inclosed up so
strictly. And because he knew not where he was, as also hoping to meet
with his Mistresse; he went all about groping in the dark, to finde
either some staires or doore, whereby to get forth.

When the Women (being then awake) heard his trampling, as also his
justling against the doores and Windowes; they demaunded, Who was
there? _Ruggiero_, not knowing their voyces, made them no answer,
wherefore they called to their husbands, who lay verie soundly sleeping
by them, by reason of their so late walking abroad, and therefore
heard not this noise in the house. This made the Women much more
timorous, and therefore rising out of their beddes, they opened the
Casements towards the streete, crying out aloude, Theeves, Theeves.
The neighbours arose upon this outcry, running up and downe from place
to place, some engirting the house, and others entering into it: by
means of which troublesome noise, the two Lombards awaked, and seizing
there uppon poore _Ruggiero_, (who was well-neere affrighted out of
his wittes, at so strange an accident, and his owne ignorance, how he
happened thither, and how to escape from them) he stood gazing on them
without any answer.

By this time, the Sergeants and other Officers of the City, ordinarily
attending on the Magistrate, beeing raised by the tumult of this
uproare, were come into the house, and had poore _Ruggiero_ committed
unto their charge: who bringing him before the Governor, was forthwith
called in question, and known to be of a most wicked life, a shame to
al his friends and kindred. He could say little for himselfe, never
denying his taking in the house, and therefore desiring to finish all
his fortunes together, desperately confessed, that he came with a
fellonious intent to rob them, and the Governor gave him sentence to be

Soone were the newes spread throughout _Salerne_, that _Ruggiero_ was
apprehended, about robbing the house of the two usuring Lombardes:
which when Mistresse Doctor and her Chamber-maide heard, they were
confounded with most straunge admiration, and scarsely credited
what they themselves had done the night before, but rather imagined
all matters past, to be no more then meerely a dreame, concerning
_Ruggieroes_ dying in the house, and their putting him into the Chest,
so that by no likely or possible meanes, hee could bee the man in this
perillous extreamitie.

In a short while after, Master Doctor _Mazzeo_ was returned from
_Malfy_, to proceede in his cure of the poore mans legge; and calling
for his glasse of Water, which he left standing in his owne Chamber
window, it was found quite empty, and not a drop in it: whereat hee
raged so extreamly, as never had the like impatience beene noted in
him. His wife, and her Maide, who had another kinde of businesse in
their braine, about a dead man so strangely come to life againe, knewe
not well what to say; but at the last, his Wife thus replyed somewhat
angerly. Sir (quoth she) what a coyle is heere about a paltry glasse
of Water, which perhaps hath bene spilt, yet neyther of us faulty
therein? Is there no more such water to be had in the world? Alas deere
Wife (saide hee) you might repute it to be a common kinde of Water,
but indeede it was not so; for I did purposely compound it, onely to
procure a dead-seeming sleepe: And so related the whole matter at
large, of the Pacients legge, and his Waters losse.

When she had heard these words of her husband, presently she
conceived, that the water was drunke off by _Ruggiero_, which had so
sleepily entranced his sences, as they verily thought him to bee dead,
wherefore she saide. Beleeve me Sir, you never acquainted us with any
such matter, which would have procured more carefull respect of it: but
seeing it is gone, your skill extendeth to make more, for now there is
no other remedy. While thus Master Doctor and his Wife were conferring
together, the Maide went speedily into the Citie, to understand truly,
whither the condemned man was _Ruggiero_, and what would now become of
him. Beeing returned home againe, and alone with her Mistresse in the
Chamber, thus she spake. Now trust me Mistresse, not one in the Citie
speaketh well of _Ruggiero_, who is the man condemned to dye; and,
for ought I can perceive, he hath neither Kinsman nor Friend that will
doe any thing for him; but he is left with the Provost, and must be
executed to morrow morning. Moreover Mistresse, by such instructions as
I have received, I can well-neere informe you, by what meanes hee came
to the two Lombards house, if all be true that I have heard.

You know the Joyner before whose doore the Chest stoode, wherein we
did put _Ruggiero_; there is now a contention betweene him and another
man, to whom (it seemeth) the Chest doth belong; in regard whereof, they
are readie to quarrell extremly each with other. For the one owning
the Chest, and trusting the Joyner to sell it for him, would have
him to pay him for the Chest. The Joyner denieth any sale thereof,
avouching, that the last night it was stolne from his doore. Which the
other man contrarying, maintaineth that he solde the Chest to the two
Lombard usurers, as himself is able to affirme, because he found it in
the house, when he (being present at the apprehension of _Ruggiero_)
sawe it there in the same house. Heereupon, the Joyner gave him the
lye, because he never sold it to any man; but if it were there, they
had robd him of it, as hee would make it manifest to their faces.
Then falling into calmer speeches they went together to the Lombardes
house, even as I returned home. Wherefore Mistresse, as you may easily
perceive, _Ruggiero_ was (questionlesse) carried thither in the chest,
and so there found; but how he revived againe, I cannot comprehend.

The Mistresse understanding now apparantly, the full effect of the
whole businesse, and in what manner it had bene carried, revealed to
the maide her husbands speeches, concerning the glasse of sleepie
Water, which was the onely engine of all this trouble, clearly
acquitting _Ruggiero_ of the robbery, howsoever (in desperate fury, and
to make an end of a life so contemptible) he had wrongfully accused
himselfe. And notwithstanding this his hard fortune, which hath made
him much more infamous then before, in all the dissolute behaviour of
his life: yet it coulde not quaile her affection towards him; but being
loath he should dye for some other mans offence, and hoping his future
reformation; she fell on her knees before her mistresse, and (drowned
in her teares) most earnestly entreated her, to advise her with some
such happy course, as might bee the safety of poore _Ruggieroes_
life. Mistresse Doctor, affecting her maide dearely, and plainly
perceiving, that no disastrous fortune whatsoever, could alter her love
to condemned _Ruggiero_; hoping the best heereafter, as the Maide her
selfe did, and willing to save life rather then suffer it to be lost
without just cause, she directed her in such discreet manner, as you
will better conceyve by the successe.

According as she was instructed by hir Mistris, shee fell at the
feete of Master Doctor, desiring him to pardon a great error, whereby
shee had over-much offended him. As how? said Master Doctor. In this
manner (quoth the Maid) and thus proceeded. You are not ignorant
Sir, what a leud liver _Ruggiero de Jeroly_ is, and notwithstanding
all his imperfections, how dearely I love him, as hee protesteth the
like to me, and thus hath our love continued a yeare, and more. You
beeing gone to _Malfy_, and your absence granting me apt opportunity,
for conference with so kinde a friend; I made the bolder, and gave
him entrance into your house, yea even into mine owne Chamber, yet
free from any abuse, neyther did hee (bad though he be) offer any.
Thirsty he was before his coming thether, either by salt meats, or
distempered diet, and I being unable to fetch him wine or water, by
reason my Mistresse sate in the Hall, seriouslie talking with her
Sisters; remembred, that I saw a viall of Water standing in your
Chamber Windowe, which hee drinking quite off, I set it emptie in the
place againe. I have heard your discontentment for the said Water,
and confesse my fault to you therein: but who liveth so justly,
without offending at one time or other? And I am heartily sorry for
my transgression; yet not so much for the water, as the hard fortune
that hath followd thereon; because thereby _Ruggiero_ is in danger
to lose his life, and all my hopes are utterly lost. Let me entreat
you therefore (gentle Master) first to pardon me, and then to grant
me permission, to succour my poore condemned friend, by all the best
meanes I can devise.

When the Doctor had heard all her discourse, angry though he were, yet
thus he answered with a smile. Much better had it bin, if thy follies
punishment had falne on thy selfe, that it might have paide thee with
deserved repentance, upon thy Mistresses finding thee sleeping. But
go and get his deliverance if thou canst, with this caution, that if
ever heereafter he be seene in my house, the peril thereof shall light
on thy selfe. Receyving this answer, for her first entrance into the
attempt, and as her Mistris had advised her, in all hast shee went to
the prison, where shee prevailed so well with the Jaylor, that hee
granted her private conference with _Ruggiero_. She having instructed
him what he should say to the Provost, if he had any purpose to escape
with life; went thither before him to the Provost, who admitting her
into his presence, and knowing that shee was Master Doctors maid, a man
especially respected of all the Citie, he was the more willing to heare
her message, he imagining that shee was sent by her Master.

Sir (quoth shee) you have apprehended _Ruggiero de Jeroly_, as a
theefe, and judgement of death is (as I heare) pronounced against
him: but hee is wrongfully accused, and is clearly innocent of such a
heinous detection. So entering into the History, she declared every
circumstance, from the originall to the end: relating truly, that being
her Lover, shee brought him into her Masters house, where he dranke the
compounded sleepy water, and reputed for dead, she laide him in the
Chest. Afterward, she rehearsed the speeches betweene the Joyner, and
him that laide claime to the Chest, giving him to understand thereby,
how _Ruggiero_ was taken in the Lombards house.

The Provost presently gathering, that the truth in this case was easy
to be knowne; sent first for Master Doctor _Mazzeo_, to know, whether
hee compounded any such water, or no: which he affirmed to bee true,
and upon what occasion he prepared it. Then the Joyner, the owner of
the Chest, and the two Lombards, being severally questioned withall:
it appeared evidently, that the Lombards did steale the chest in the
night season, and carried it home to their owne house. In the end,
_Ruggiero_ being brought from the prison, and demanded, where hee was
lodged the night before, made answer, that he knew not where. Only he
well remembred, that bearing affection to the Chamber-maide of Master
Doctor _Mazzeo della Montagna_, she brought him into a Chamber, where
a violl of water stoode in the Window, and he being extreamly thirsty,
dranke it off all. But what became of him afterward (till being awake,
hee found himselfe enclosed in a Chest, and in the house of the two
Lombards) he could not say any thing.

When the Provost had heard all their answers, which he caused them to
repeate over divers times, in regard they were very pleasing to him:
he cleared _Ruggiero_ from the crime imposed on him, and condemned the
Lombards in three hundred Ducates, to bee given to _Ruggiero_ in way
of an amends, and to enable his marriage with the Doctors Mayde, whose
constancie was much commended, and wrought such a miracle on penitent
_Ruggiero_; that, after his marriage, which was graced with great and
honourable pompe, he regained the intimate love of all his kindred,
and lived in most Noble condition, even as if he had never beene the
disordered man.

If the former Novelse had made all the Ladies sad and sighe, this last
of _Dioneus_ as much delighted them, as restoring them to their former
jocond humour, and banishing Tragicall discourse for ever. The King
perceyving that the Sun was neere setting, and his government as neere
ending, with many kinde and courteous speeches, excused himselfe to
the Ladies, for being the motive of such an argument, as expressed
the infelicity of poore Lovers. And having finished his excuse, up he
arose, taking the Crowne of Lawrell from off his owne head, the Ladies
awaiting on whose head he pleased next to set it, which proved to be
the gracious Lady _Fiammetta_, and thus hee spake. Heere I place this
Crowne on her head, that knoweth better then any other, how to comfort
this fayre assembly to morrow, for the sorrow which they have this day

Madame _Fiammetta_, whose lockes of haire were curled, long, and
like golden wiers, hanging somewhat downe over her white & delicate
shoulders, her visage round, wherein the Damaske Rose and Lilly
contended for priority, the eyes in her head, resembling those of the
Faulcon messenger, and a dainty mouth; her lippes looking like two
little Rubyes with a commendable smile thus she replyed.

_Philostratus_, gladly I do accept your gift; and to the end that ye
may the better remember your selfe, concerning what you have done
hitherto: I will and commaund, that generall preparation bee made
against to morrow, for faire and happy fortunes hapning to Lovers,
after former cruell and unkinde accidents. Which proposition was very
pleasing to them all.

Then calling for the Master of the Housholde, and taking order with
him, what was most needfull to be done; shee gave leave unto the
whole company (who were all risen) to go recreate themselves until
supper time. Some of them walked about the Garden, the beauty whereof
banished the least thought of wearinesse. Others walked by the River
to the Mill, which was not farre off, and the rest fel to exercises,
fitting their own fancies, untill they heard the summons for Supper.
Hard by the goodly Fountaine (according to their wonted manner) they
supped altogether, and were served to their no mean contentment: but
being risen from the Table, they fell to their delight of singing and
dancing. While _Philomena_ led the dance, the Queene spake in this

_Philostratus_, I intend not to varie from those courses heeretofore
observed by my predecessors, but even as they have already done, so
it is my authority, to command a Song. And because I am well assured,
that you are not unfurnished of Songs answerable to the quality of
the passed Novelse: my desire is, in regard we would not be troubled
heereafter, with any more discourses of unfortunate Love, that you
shall sing a Song agreeing with your owne disposition. _Philostratus_
made answer, that he was readie to accomplish her command, and without
all further ceremony, thus he began.

    _The Song._

    Chorus. _My teares do plainly prove,
    How justly that poore heart hath cause to greeve,
    Which (under trust) findes Treason in his love.

    When first I saw her, that now makes me sigh,
    Distrust did never enter in my thoughts.
    So many vertues clearly shin'd in her,
    That I esteem'd all martyrdome was light
    Which Love could lay on me. Nor did I greeve,
    Although I found my liberty was lost.
    But now mine error I do plainly see:
    Not without sorrow, thus betray'd to bee.
         My teares do, &c.

    For, being left by basest treachery
    Of her in whom I most reposed trust:
    I then could see apparant flatterie
    In all the fairest shewes that she did make.
    But when I strove to get forth of the snare,
    I found myselfe the further plunged in.
    For I beheld another in my place,
    And I cast off, with manifest disgrace.
         My teares do, &c.

    Then felt my heart such helse of heavy woes,
    Not utterable. I curst the day and houre
    When first I saw her lovely countenance,
    Enricht with beautie, farre beyond all other,
    Which set my soule on fire, enflamde each part,
    Making a martyrdome of my poore hart.
    My faith and hope being basely thus betrayde;
    I durst not moove, to speake I was affrayde.
         My teares do, &c.

    Thou canst (thou powerfull God of Love) perceive,
    My ceasselesse sorrow, voide of any comfort,
    I make my moane to thee, and do not fable,
    Desiring, that to end my misery,
    Death may come speedily, and with his Dart
    With one fierce stroke, quite passing through my hart:
    To cut off future fell contending strife,
    An happy end be made of Love and Life.
         My teares do, &c.

    No other meanes of comfort doth remaine,
    To ease me of such sharpe afflictions,
    But only death. Grant then that I may die,
    To finish greefe and life in one blest houre.
    For, being bereft of any future joyes,
    Come, take me quickly from so false a friend.
    Yet in my death, let thy great power approve,
    That I died true, and constant in my Love.
         My teares, &c.

    Happy shall I account this sighing Song,
    If some (beside my selfe) doe learne to sing it,
    And so consider of my miseries,
    As may incite them to lament my wrongs.
    And to be warned by my wretched fate;
    Least (like my selfe) themselves do sigh too late.
    Learne Lovers learne, what tis to be unjust,
    And be betrayed where you repose best trust._


The words contained in this Song, did manifestly declare, what
torturing afflictions poore _Philostratus_ felt, and more (perhaps)
had beene perceived by the lookes of the Lady whom he spake of, being
then present in the dance; if the sodaine ensuing darknesse had not hid
the crimson blush, which mounted up into her face. But the Song being
ended, & divers other beside, lasting till the houre of rest drew on;
by command of the Queene, they all repaired to their Chambers.

_The End of the Fourth Day._


_Whereon, all the Discourses do passe under the Governement of the
most Noble Lady_ Fiammetta: _Concerning such persons, as have bene
successefull in their Love, after many hard and perillous misfortunes._

The Induction.

Now began the Sunne to dart foorth his golden beames, when Madam
_Fiammetta_ (incited by the sweete singing Birdes, which since the
breake of day, sat merrily chanting on the trees) arose from her bed:
as all the other Ladies likewise did, and the three young Gentlemen
descending downe into the fields, where they walked in a gentle pace on
the greene grasse, until the Sunne were risen a little higher. On many
pleasant matters they conferred together, as they walked in severall
companies, til at the length the Queene, finding the heate to enlarge
it selfe strongly, returned backe to the Castle; where when they were
all arrived, shee commanded, that after this mornings walking, their
stomackes should bee refreshed with wholsome Wines, as also divers
sorts of banquetting stuffe. Afterward, they all repaired into the
Garden, not departing thence, untill the houre of dinner was come: at
which time, the Master of the houshold, having prepared every thing
in decent readinesse, after a solemn song was sung, by order from the
Queene, they were seated at the Table.

When they had dined, to their owne liking and contentment, they began
(in continuation of their former order) to exercise divers dances, and
afterward voyces to their instruments, with many pretty Madrigals and
Roundelayes. Uppon the finishing of these delights, the Queene gave
them leave to take their rest, when such as were so minded, went to
sleep, others solaced themselves in the Garden. But after midday was
overpast, they met (according to their wonted manner) and as the Queene
had commanded, at the faire Fountaine; where she being placed in her
seate royall, and casting her eye upon _Pamphilus_, shee bad him begin
the dayes discourses, of happy successe in love, after disastrous and
troublesome accidents; who yeelding thereto with humble reverence, thus

Many Novelse (gracious Ladies) do offer themselves to my memory,
wherewith to beginne so pleasant a day, as it is her Highnesse desire
that this should be, among which plenty, I esteeme one above all the
rest: because you may comprehend thereby, not onely the fortunate
conclusion, wherewith we intend to begin our day; but also, how mighty
the forces of Love are, deserving to bee both admired and reverenced.
Albeit there are many, who scarsely knowing what they say, do condemne
them with infinite grosse imputations: which I purpose to disprove, &
(I hope) to your no little pleasing.

Chynon, _by falling in love, became wise, and by force of Armes,
winning his faire Lady_ Iphigenia _on the Seas, was afterward
imprisoned at_ Rhodes. _Being delivered by one named_ Lysimachus, _with
him he recovered his_ Iphigenia _againe, and faire_ Cassandra, _even
in the middest of their mariage. They fled with them into_ Candye,
_where after they had married them, they were called home to their owne

The first Novell.

_Wherein is approved, that Love (oftentimes) maketh a man both wise and

According to the ancient Annales of the _Cypriots_, there sometime
lived in _Cyprus_, a Noble Gentleman, who was commonly called
_Aristippus_, and exceeded all other of the Countrey in the goods
of Fortune. Divers children he had, but (amongst the rest) a
Sonne, in whose birth he was more infortunate then any of the rest;
and continually greeved, in regard, that having all the compleate
perfections of beauty, good forme, and manly parts, surpassing all
other youths of his age or stature, yet hee wanted the reall ornament
of the soule, reason and judgement; being (indeed) a meere Ideot
or Foole, and no better hope to be expected of him. His true name,
according as he receyved it by Baptisme, was _Galesus_, but because
neyther by the laborious paines of his Tutors, indulgence, and faire
endeavour of his parents, or ingenuity of any other, he could bee
brought to civility of life, understanding of Letters, or common
cariage of a reasonable creature: by his grosse and deformed kinde of
speech, his qualities also savouring rather of brutish breeding, then
any way derived from manly education; as an epithite of scorne and
derision, generally, they gave him the name of _Chynon_, which in their
native Countrey language, and divers other beside, signifieth a very
Sot or Foole, and so was he termed by every one.

This lost kinde of life in him, was no meane burthen of greefe unto his
Noble Father, and all hope being already spent, of any future happy
recovery, he gave command (because he would not alwayes have such a
sorrow in his sight) that he should live at a Farme of his owne in
a Country Village, among his Peazants and Plough-Swaines. Which was
not any way distastefull to _Chynon_, but well agreed with his owne
naturall disposition; for their rurall qualities, and grosse behaviour
pleased him beyond the Cities civility. _Chynon_ living thus at his
Fathers Countrey Village, exercising nothing elsee but rurall demeanour,
such as then delighted him above all other: it chanced upon a day about
the houre of noone, as hee was walking over the fields, with a long
Staffe on his necke, which commonly he used to carry; he entred into
a small thicket, reputed the goodliest in all those quarters, and by
reason it was then the month of May, the Trees had their leaves fairely
shot forth.

When he had walked thorow the thicket, it came to passe, that (even as
if good Fortune guided him) he came into a faire Meadow, on everie side
engirt with Trees, and in one corner thereof stoode a goodly Fountaine,
whose current was both coole and cleare. Harde by it, uppon the greene
grasse, he espied a very beautifull yong Damosell, seeming to bee fast
asleepe, attired in such fine loose garments, as hidde verie little of
her white body: onely from the girdle downward, shee ware a kirtle made
close unto her, of interwoven delicate silke, and at her feete lay two
other Damoselse sleeping, and a servant in the same manner. No sooner
hadde _Chynon_ fixed his eie upon her, but he stood leaning uppon his
staffe, and viewed her very advisedly, without speaking a word, and
in no mean admiration, as if he had never seene the forme of a woman
before. He began then to feele in his harsh rurall understanding (where
into never till now, either by painfull instruction, or all other good
meanes used to him, any honest civility had power of impression) a
strange kinde of humour to awake, which informed his grosse and dull
spirite, that this Damosell was the very fairest, which ever any
living man beheld.

Then he began to distinguish her parts, commending the tresses of hir
haire, which he imagined to be of gold; her forehead, nose, mouth,
neck, armes, but (above all) her brests, appearing (as yet) but onely
to shewe themselves, like two little mountainets. So that, of a fielden
clownish lout, he would needs now become a judge of beauty, coveting
earnestly in his soule, to see her eyes, which were veiled over with
sound sleepe, that kept them fast enclosed together, and onely to looke
on them, hee wished a thousand times, that she would awake. For, in
his judgement, she excelled all the women that ever he had seene, and
doubted, whether she were some Goddesse or no; so strangely was he
metamorphosed from folly, to a sensible apprehension, more then common.
And so far did this sodaine knowledge in him extend; that he could
conceive of divine and celestiall things, and that they were more to be
admired & reverenced, then those of humane or terrene consideration;
wherefore the more gladly he contented himselfe, to tarry til she
awaked of her owne accord. And although the time of stay seemed tedious
to him, yet notwithstanding, he was overcome with such extraordinary
contentment, as hee had no power to depart thence, but stood as if he
had bin glued fast to the ground.

After some indifferent respite of time, it chanced that the young
Damosel (who was named _Iphigenia_) awaked before any of the other
with her, and lifting up her head, with her eyes wide open, shee saw
_Chynon_ standing before her, leaning still on his staffe; whereat
mervailing not a little, she saide unto him: _Chynon_, whither
wanderest thou, or what dost thou seeke for in this wood? _Chynon_,
who not onely by his countenance, but likewise his folly, Nobility of
birth, and wealthy possessions of his father, was generally knowne
throughout the Countrey, made no answere at all to the demand of
_Iphigenia_: but so soone as he beheld her eies open, he began to
observe them with a constant regard, as being perswaded in his soule,
that from them flowed such an unutterable singularity, as he had never
felt til then. Which the yong Gentlewoman well noting, she began to
wax fearfull, least these stedfast lookes of his, should incite his
rusticity to some attempt, which might redound to her dishonour:
wherefore awaking her women and servant, and they all being risen, she
saide. Farewell _Chynon_, I leave thee to thine owne good Fortune;
whereto hee presently replyed, saying: I will go with you. Now,
although the Gentlewoman refused his company, as dreading some acte
of incivility from him: yet could she not devise any way to be rid of
him, til he had brought her to her owne dwelling, where taking leave
mannerly of her, hee went directly home to his Fathers house, saying;
Nothing should compel him to live any longer in the muddy Countrey. And
albeit his Father was much offended heereat, and all the rest of his
kindred and friends: (yet not knowing how to helpe it) they suffered him
to continue there still, expecting the cause of this his so sodaine
alteration, from the course of life, which contented him so highly

_Chynon_ being now wounded to the heart (where never any civil
instruction could before get entrance) with loves piercing dart, by
the bright beauty of _Iphigenia_, mooved much admiration (falling from
one change to another) in his Father, Kindred, and all elsee that knew
him. For first, he requested of his Father, that he might be habited
and respected like to his other Brethren, whereto right gladly he
condiscended. And frequenting the company of civill youths, observing
also the cariage of Gentlemen, especially such as were amorously
enclined: he grew to a beginning in short time (to the wonder of every
one) not onely to understande the first instruction of letters, but
also became most skilfull, even amongest them that were best exercised
in Philosophie. And afterward, love to _Iphigenia_ being the sole
occasion of this happy alteration, not only did his harsh and clownish
voyce convert it selfe more mildely, but also hee became a singular
Musitian, & could perfectly play on any Instrument. Beside, he tooke
delight in the riding and managing of great horses, and finding
himselfe of a strong and able body, he exercised all kinds of Military
Disciplines, as wel by sea, as on the land. And, to be breefe, because
I would not seeme tedious in the repetition of al his vertues, scarsly
had he attained to the fourth yeare, after he was thus falne in love,
but hee became generally knowne, to bee the most civil, wise, and
worthy Gentleman, as well for all vertues enriching the minde, as any
whatsoever to beautifie the body, that very hardly he could be equalled
throughout the whole kingdome of _Cyprus_.

What shall we say then, (vertuous Ladies) concerning this _Chynon_?
Surely nothing elsee, but that those high and divine vertues, infused
into his gentle soule, were by envious Fortune bound and shut uppe
in some small angle of his intellect, which being shaken and set at
liberty by love, (as having a farre more potent power then Fortune,
in quickning and reviving the dull drowsie spirits); declared his
mighty and soveraigne Authority, in setting free so many faire and
precious vertues unjustly detayned, to let the worlds eye behold them
truly, by manifest testimony, from whence he can deliver those spirits
subjected to his power, & guide them (afterward) to the highest degrees
of honour. And although _Chynon_ by affecting _Iphigenia_, failed in
some particular things; yet notwithstanding, his Father _Aristippus_
duely considering, that love had made him a man, whereas (before) he
was no better then a beast: not only endured all patiently, but also
advised him therein, to take such courses as best liked himselfe.
Neverthelesse, _Chynon_ (who refused to be called _Galesus_, which was
his naturall name indeede) remembring that _Iphigenia_ tearmed him
_Chynon_, and coveting (under that title) to accomplish the issue of
his honest amorous desire: made many motions to _Ciphæus_ the Father of
_Iphigenia_, that he would be pleased to let him enjoy her in marriage.
But _Ciphæus_ told him, that he had already passed his promise for
her, to a Gentleman of _Rhodes_, named _Pasimondo_, which promise he
religiously intended to performe.

The time being come, which was concluded on for _Iphigeniaes_ marriage,
in regard that the affianced husband had sent for her: _Chynon_ thus
communed with his owne thoughts. Now is the time (quoth he) to let
my divine Mistresse see, how truly and honourably I doe affect her,
because (by her) I am become a man. But if I could bee possessed of
her, I should growe more glorious, then the common condition of a
mortall man, and have her I will, or loose my life in the adventure.
Beeing thus resolved, he prevailed with divers young Gentlemen his
friends, making them of his faction, and secretly prepared a Shippe,
furnished with all things for a Navall fight, setting sodainly forth
to sea, and hulling abroad in those parts by which the vessell should
passe, that must convey _Iphigenia_ to _Rhodes_ to her husband.
After many honours done to them, who were to transport her thence unto
_Rhodes_, being imbarked, they set saile uppon their _Bon viaggio_.

_Chynon_, who slept not in a businesse so earnestly importing him, set
on them (the day following) with his Ship, and standing aloft on the
decke, cried out to them that had the charge of _Iphigenia_, saying.
Strike your sayles, or elsee determine to be sunke in the Sea. The
enemies to _Chynon_, being nothing danted with his words, prepared to
stand upon their own defence; which made _Chynon_, after the former
speeches delivered, and no answer returned, to commaund the grapling
Irons to bee cast forth, which tooke such fast hold on the Rhodians
shippe, that (whether they would or no) both the vesselse joyned close
together. And hee shewing himselfe fierce like a Lyon, not tarrying to
be seconded by any, stepped aboord the Rhodians ship, as if he made no
respect at all of them, and having his sword ready drawne in his hand
(incited by the vertue of unfaigned love) layed about him on all sides
very manfully. Which when the men of _Rhodes_ perceyved, calling downe
their weapons, and all of them (as it were) with one voice, yeelded
themselves his prisoners: whereupon he said.

Honest Friends, neither desire of booty, or hatred to you, did occasion
my departure from _Cyprus_, thus to assaile you with drawne weapons:
but that which heereto hath most mooved me, is a matter highly
importing to me, and very easie for you to graunt, and so enjoy your
present peace. I desire to have faire _Iphigenia_ from you, whom I love
above all other Ladies living, because I could not obtain her of her
Father, to make her my lawfull wife in marriage. Love is the ground of
my instant Conquest, and I must use you as my mortall enemies, if you
stand uppon any further tearmes with me, and do not deliver her as mine
owne: for your _Pasimondo_, must not enjoy what is my right, first by
vertue of my love, & now by conquest: Deliver her therefore, and depart
hence at your pleasure.

The men of _Rhodes_, being rather constrained thereto, then of any
free disposition in themselves; with teares in their eyes, delivered
_Iphigenia_ to _Chynon_; who beholding her in like manner to weepe,
thus spake unto her. Noble Lady, do not any way discomfort your selfe,
for I am your _Chynon_, who have more right and true title to you, and
much better doe deserve to enjoy you, by my long continued affection
to you, then _Pasimondo_ can any way pleade; because you belong to
him but only by promise. So, bringing her aboord his owne ship, where
the Gentlemen his companions gave her kinde welcome, without touching
any thing elsee belonging to the Rhodians, he gave them free liberty to

_Chynon_ being more joyfull, by the obtaining of his hearts desire,
then any other conquest elsee in the world could make him, after
hee had spent some time in comforting _Iphigenia_, who as yet sate
sadly sighing; he consulted with his companions, who joyned with him
in opinion, that their safest course was, by no meanes to returne
to _Cyprus_; and therefore all (with one consent) resolved to set
saile for _Candye_, where every one made account, but especially
_Chynon_, in regard of ancient and newe combined Kindred, as also
very intimate friends, to finde very worthy entertainement, and so
to continue there safely with _Iphigenia_. But Fortune, who was so
favourable to _Chynon_, in granting him so pleasing a Conquest, to
shew her inconstancy, as sodainly changed the inestimable joy of our
jocond Lover, into as heavy sorrow and disaster. For, foure houres
were not fully compleated, since his departure from the Rhodians, but
darke night came upon them, and he sitting conversing with his fayre
Mistris, in the sweetest solace of his soule; the winds began to blow
roughly, the Seas swelled angerly, & a tempest arose impetuously, that
no man could see what his duty was to do, in such a great unexpected
distresse, nor how to warrant themselves from perishing.

If this accident were displeasing to poore _Chynon_, I thinke the
question were in vaine demanded: for now it seemed to him, that the
Godds had granted his cheefe desire, to the end hee should dye with the
greater anguish, in losing both his love and life together. His friends
likewise, felte the selfesame affliction, but especially _Iphigenia_,
who wept and greeved beyond all measure, to see the ship beaten,
with such stormy billowes, as threatned her sinking every minute.
Impatiently she cursed the love of _Chynon_, greatly blaming his
desperate boldnesse, and maintaining, that so violent a tempest could
never happen, but onely by the Gods displeasure, who would not permit
him to have a wife against their will; and therefore thus punished his
proud presumption, not only in his unavoidable death, but also that her
life must perish for company.

She continuing in these wofull lamentations, and the Mariners labouring
all in vaine, because the violence of the tempest encreased more and
more, so that every moment they expected wracking: they were carried
(contrary to their owne knowledge) very neere unto the Isle of
_Rhodes_, which they being no way able to avoid, and utterly ignorant
of the coast; for safety of their lives, they laboured to land there if
possibly they might. Wherein Fortune was somewhat furtherous to them,
driving them into a small gulfe of the Sea, whereinto (but a little
while before) the Rhodians, from whom _Chynon_ had taken Iphigenia,
were newly entred with their ship. Nor had they any knowledge each
of other, till the breake of day (which made the heavens to looke
more clearly) gave them discoverie, of being within a flight shoote
together. _Chynon_ looking forth, and espying the same ship which
he had left the day before, hee grew exceeding sorrowfull, as fearing
that which after followed, and therefore hee willed the Mariners, to
get away from her by all their best endeavour, & let fortune afterward
dispose of them as she pleased; for into a worse place they could not
come, nor fall into the like danger.

The Mariners employed their very utmost paines, and all prooved but
losse of time: for the winde was so stern, and the waves so turbulent,
that still they drove them the contrary way: so that striving to get
foorth of the gulfe, whether they would or no, they were driven on
land, and instantly knowne to the Rhodians, whereof they were not a
little joyful. The men of _Rhodes_ being landed, ran presently to
a neere neighbouring Village, where dwelt divers worthy Gentlemen,
to whom they reported the arrivall of _Chynon_, what fortune befell
them at Sea, and that _Iphigenia_ might now be recovered againe, with
chastisement to _Chynon_ for his bold insolence. They being very
joyfull of these good newes, tooke so many men as they could of the
same Village, and ran immediately to the Sea side, where _Chynon_ being
newly Landed and his people, intending flight into a neere adjoining
Forrest, for defence of himselfe and _Iphigenia_, they were all taken,
led thence to the Village, and afterwards to the chiefe City of

No sooner were they arrived, but _Pasimondo_, the intended Husband for
_Iphigenia_ (who had already heard the tydings) went and complayned to
the Senate, who appointed a Gentleman of _Rhodes_, named _Lysimachus_,
and being that yeare soveraigne Magistrate over the Rhodians, to go
well provided for the apprehension of _Chinon_ and all his company,
committing them to prison, which accordingly was done. In this manner,
the poore unfortunate lover _Chynon_, lost his faire _Iphigenia_,
having won her in so short a while before, and scarsely requited with
so much as a kisse. But as for _Iphigenia_, she was royally welcommed
by many Lords and Ladies of _Rhodes_, who so kindely comforted her,
that she soone forgotte all her greefe and trouble on the Sea,
remaining in company of those Ladies and Gentlewomen, untill the day
determined for her mariage.

At the earnest entreaty of divers Rhodian Gentlemen, who were in
the Ship with _Iphigenia_, and had their lives courteously saved by
_Chynon_: both he and his friends had their lives likewise spared,
although _Pasimondo_ laboured importunately, to have them all put to
death; onely they were condemned to perpetuall imprisonment, which (you
must thinke) was most greevous to them, as being now hopelesse of any
deliverance. But in the meane time, while _Pasimondo_ was ordering his
nuptiall preparation, Fortune seeming to repent the wrongs shee had
done to _Chynon_, prepared a new accident, whereby to comfort him in
this deep distresse, and in such manner as I will relate unto you.

_Pasimondo_ had a Brother, yonger then he in yeares, but not a jot
inferiour to him in vertue, whose name was _Hormisda_, and long
time the case had bene in question, for his taking to wife a faire
yong Gentlewoman of _Rhodes_, called _Cassandra_; whom _Lysimachus_
the Governour loved verie dearly, and hindred her marriage with
_Hormisda_, by divers strange accidents. Now _Pasimondo_ perceiving,
that his owne Nuptials required much cost and solemnity, hee thought
it very convenient, that one day might serve for both the Weddinges,
which elsee would lanch into more lavish expences, and therefore
concluded, that his brother _Hormisda_ should marry _Cassandra_, at
the same time as he wedded _Iphigenia_. Heereuppon, he consulted with
the Gentlewomans parents, who liking the motion as well as he, the
determination was set downe, and one day to effect the duties of both.

When this came to the hearing of _Lysimachus_, it was very greatly
displeasing to him, because now he saw himselfe utterly deprived of
al hope to attaine the issue of his desire, if _Hormisda_ receyved
_Cassandra_ in marriage. Yet being a very wise and worthy man, hee
dissembled his distaste, and began to consider on some apt meanes,
whereby to disappoint the marriage once more, which he found impossible
to bee done, except it were by way of rape or stealth. And that did
not appear to him any difficult matter, in regard of his Office and
Authority: onely it wold seeme dishonest in him, by giving such an
unfitting example. Neverthelesse, after long deliberation, honour gave
way to love, and resolutely he concluded to steale her away, whatsoever
became of it.

Nothing wanted now, but a convenient company to assist him, & the order
how to have it done. Then he remembred _Chynon_ and his friends, whom
he detained as his prisoners, and perswaded himself, that he could not
have a more faithfull friend in such a busines, then _Chynon_ was.
Hereupon, the night following, he sent for him into his Chamber, and
being alone by themselves, thus he began. _Chynon_ (quoth hee) as the
Gods are very bountifull, in bestowing their blessings on men, so doe
they therein most wisely make proofe of their vertues, and such as they
finde firme and constant, in all occurrences which may happen, them
they make worthy (as valiant spirits) of the very best and highest
merites. Now, they being willing to have more certain experience of
thy vertues, then those which heeretofore thou hast shewne, within
the bounds and limits of thy fathers possessions, which I know to be
superabounding: perhaps do intend to present thee other occasions, of
more important weight and consequence.

For first of all (as I have heard) by the piercing solicitudes of love,
of a senselesse creature, they made thee to become a man endued with
reason. Afterward, by adverse fortune, and now againe by wearisome
imprisonment, it seemeth that they are desirous to make triall, whether
thy manly courage be changed, or no, from that which heretofore it
was, when thou enjoyedst a matchlesse beautie, and lost her againe in
so short a while. Wherefore, if thy vertue be such as it hath bin,
the Gods can never give thee any blessing more worthy of acceptance,
then she whom they are now minded to bestow on thee: in which respect,
to the end that thou mayst re-assume thy wonted heroicke spirit, and
become more couragious then ever heretofore, I will acquaint thee
withall more at large.

Understand then Noble _Chynon_, that _Pasimondo_, the onely glad man
of thy misfortune, and diligent sutor after thy death, maketh all hast
hee can possibly devise to do, to celebrate his marriage with thy faire
mistris: because he would pleade possession of the prey, which Fortune
(when she smiled) did first bestow, and (afterward frowning) took from
thee again. Now, that it must needs be very irkesome to thee (at least
if thy love bee such, as I am perswaded it is) I partly can collect
from my selfe, being intended to be wronged by his brother _Hormisda_,
even in the selfsame manner, and on his marriage day, by taking faire
_Cassandra_ from me, the onely Jewell of my love and life. For the
prevention of two such notorious injuries, I see that Fortune hath left
us no other meanes, but only the vertue of our courages, and the helpe
of our right hands, by preparing our selves to Armes, opening a way to
thee, by a second rape or stealth; and to me the first, for absolute
possession of our divine Mistresses. Wherefore, if thou art desirous to
recover thy losse, I will not onely pronounce liberty to thee (which I
thinke thou dost little care for without her) but dare also assure thee
to enjoy _Iphigenia_, so thou wilt assist mee in mine enterprize, and
follow me in my fortune, if the Gods do let them fall into our power.

You may well imagine, that _Chynons_ dismayed soule was not a little
cheared at these speeches; and therefore, without craving any long
respit of time for answer, thus he replyed. Lord _Lysimachus_, in such
a busines as this is, you cannot have a faster friend then my self,
at least, if such good hap may betide me, as you have more then halfe
promised: & therefore do no more but command what you would have to
be effected by mee, and make no doubt of my courage in the execution:
whereon _Lysimachus_ made this answer. Know then _Chynon_ (quoth hee)
that three dayes hence, these marriages are to bee celebrated in
the houses of _Pasimondo_ and _Hormisda_, upon which day, thou, thy
friends, and my self (with some others, in whom I repose especiall
trust) by the friendly favour of night, will enter into their houses,
while they are in the middest of theyr Joviall feasting; and (seizing
on the two Brides) beare them thence to a Shippe, which I will have lye
in secret, waiting for our comming, and kil all such as shall presume
to impeach us. This direction gave great contentment to _Chynon_, who
remained still in prison, without revealing a word to his owne friends,
until the limited time was come.

Upon the Wedding day, performed with great and magnificent Triumph,
there was not a corner in the Brethrens houses, but it sung joy in the
highest key. _Lysimachus_, after he had ordered all things as they
ought to be, and the houre for dispatch approached neere; he made a
division in three parts, of _Chynon_, his followers, and his owne
friendes, being all well armed under their outward habites. Having
first used some encouraging speeches, for more resolute prosecution
of the enterprize, he sent one troope secretly to the Port, that
they might not be hindred of going aboord the ship, when the urgent
necessity should require it. Passing with the other two traines of
_Pasimondo_, he left the one at the doore, that such as were in the
house might not shut them up fast, and so impeach their passage forth.
Then with _Chynon_, and the third band of Confederates, he ascended
the staires up into the Hall, where he found the Brides with store of
Ladies and Gentlewomen, all sitting in comely order at Supper. Rushing
in roughly among the attendants, downe they threw the Tables, and each
of them laying hold of his Mistris, delivered them into the hands of
their followers, commanding that they should be carried aboord the
ship, for avoiding of further inconveniences.

This hurrie and amazement beeing in the house, the Brides weeping, the
Ladies lamenting, and all the servants confusedly wondering; _Chynon_
and _Lysimachus_ (with their Friends) having their weapons drawn in
their hands, made all opposers to give them way, and so gayned the
stair head for their owne descending. There stoode _Pasimondo_, with
an huge long Staffe in his hand, to hinder their passage downe the
stayres; but _Chynon_ saluted him so soundly on the head, that it being
cleft in twaine, hee fell dead before his feete. His Brother _Hormisda_
came to his rescue, and sped in the selfe-same manner as he had done;
so did divers other beside, whom the companions to _Lysimachus_ and
_Chynon_, either slew out-right, or wounded.

So they left the house, filled with bloode, teares, and out-cries,
going on together, without any hinderance, and so brought both the
Brides aboord the shippe, which they rowed away instantly with theyr
Oares. For, now the shore was full of armed people, who came in
rescue of the stolne Ladies: but all in vaine, because they were
lanched into the main, and sayled on merrily towardes _Candye_. Where
beeing arrived, they were worthily entertained by honourable Friendes
and Kinsmen, who pacified all unkindnesses betweene them and their
Mistresses: And, having accepted them in lawfull marriage, there
they lived in no meane joy and contentment: albeit there was a long
and troublesome difference (about these rapes) betweene _Rhodes_ and

But yet in the end, by the meanes of Noble Friends and Kindred
on either side, labouring to have such discontentment appeased,
endangering warre betweene the Kingdomes: after a limited time of
banishment, _Chynon_ returned joyfully with his _Iphigenia_ home to
_Cyprus_, and _Lysimachus_ with his beloved _Cassandra_ unto _Rhodes_,
each living in their severall Countries, with much felicity.

_Faire_ Constance _of_ Liparis, _fell in love with_ Martuccio Gomito:
_and hearing that he was dead, desperately she entred into a Barke,
which being transported by the windes to_ Susa _in_ Barbary, _from
thence she went to_ Thunis, _where she found him to be living. There
she made her selfe knowne to him, and he being in great authority, as
a privy Counsellor to the King: he married the saide_ Constance, _and
returned richly home with her, to the Island of_ Liparis.

The second Novell.

_Wherein is declared the firme loyaltie of a true Lover: And how
Fortune doth sometime humble men, to raise them afterward to a farre
higher degree._

When the Queene perceyved, that the Novell recited by _Pamphilus_ was
concluded, which she graced with especial commendations: she commaunded
Madame _Æmillia_, to take her turne as next in order; whereupon, thus
she began. Me thinkes it is a matter of equity, that every one should
take delight in those things, whereby the recompence may be noted,
answerable to their owne affection. And because I rather desire to
walke along by the paths of pleasure, then dwell on any ceremonious or
scrupulous affectation, I shall the more gladly obey our Queen to day,
then yesterday I did our melancholly King.

Understand then (Noble Ladies) that neere to _Sicily_, there is a small
Island, commonly called _Liparis_, wherein (not long since) lived a
yong Damosell, named _Constance_, born of very sufficient parentage
in the same Island. There dwelt also a young man, called _Martuccio
Gomito_, of comely feature, well conditioned, and not unexpert in many
vertuous qualities; affecting _Constance_ in hearty manner: and she so
answerable to him in the same kinde, that to be in his company, was
her onely felicity. _Martuccio_ coveting to enjoy her in marriage, made
his intent knowne to her Father: who upbraiding him with poverty, tolde
him plainly that hee should not have her. _Martuccio_ greeving to see
himselfe thus despised, because he was poore: made such good meanes,
that he was provided of a small Barke; and calling such friends (as he
thought fit) to his association, made a solemne vow, that hee would
never returne backe to _Liparis_, untill he was rich, and in better

In the nature and course of a Rover or Pirate, so put he thence to sea,
coasting all about _Barbarie_, robbing and spoyling such as hee met
with; who were of no greater strength then himselfe: wherein Fortune
was so favourable to him, that he became wealthy in a very short while.
But as felicities are not alwayes permanent, so hee and his followers,
not contenting themselves with sufficient riches: by greedy seeking
to get more, happened to be taken by certaine ships of the Sarazins,
and so were robbed themselves of all that they had gotten, yet they
resisted them stoutly a long while together, though it proved to
the losse of many lives among them. When the Sarazens had sunke his
shippe in the Sea, they tooke him with them to _Thunis_, where he was
imprisoned, and lived in extreamest misery.

Newes came to _Liparis_, not onely by one, but many more beside, that
all those which departed thence in the small Barke with _Martuccio_
were drowned in the Sea, and not a man escaped. When _Constance_ heard
these unwelcome tydings (who was exceeding full of greefe, for his so
desperate departure) she wept and lamented extraordinarily, desiring
now rather to dye, then live any longer. Yet shee had not the heart,
to lay any violent hand on her selfe, but rather to end her dayes by
some new kinde of necessity. And departing privately from her Fathers
house, shee went to the port or haven, where (by chance) she found a
small Fisher-boate, lying distant from the other vesselse, the owners
whereof being all gone on shore, and it well furnished with Masts,
Sailes, and Oares, she entred into it; and putting forth the Oares,
beeing some-what skilfull in sayling, (as generally all the Women of
that Island are) shee so well guyded the Sailes, Rudder, and Oares,
that she was quickly farre off from the Land, and soly remained at the
mercy of the windes. For thus she had resolved with her selfe, that the
Boat being uncharged, and without a guide, wold either be over-whelmed
by the windes, or split in peeces against some Rocke; by which meanes
she could not escape although shee would, but (as it was her desire)
must needs be drowned.

In this determination, wrapping a mantle about her head, and lying
downe weeping in the boats bottome, she hourely expected her finall
expiration: but it fell out otherwise, and contrary to her desperate
intention, because the winde turning to the North, and blowing very
gently, without disturbing the Seas a jot, they conducted the small
Boat in such sort, that after the night of her entering into it, and
the morowes sailing untill the evening, it came within an hundred
leagues of _Thunis_, and to a strond neere a Towne called _Susa_.
The young Damosell knew not whether she were on the sea or land; as
one, who not by any accident hapning, lifted up her head to look about
her, neither intended ever to doe. Now it came to passe, that as the
boate was driven to the shore, a poore woman stood at the Sea side,
washing certaine Fishermens Nets; and seeing the boate comming towards
her under saile, without any person appearing in it, she wondred
thereat not a little. It being close at the shore, and she thinking
the Fishermen to be asleepe therein: stept boldly, and looked into
the boate, where she saw not any body, but onely the poore distressed
Damosell, whose sorrowes having broght her now into a sound sleepe, the
woman gave many cals before she could awake her, which at the length
she did, and looked very strangely about her.

The poore woman perceyving by her habite that she was a Christian,
demanded of her (in speaking Latine) how it was possible for her,
beeing all alone in the boate, to arrive there in this manner? When
_Constance_ heard her speake the Latine tongue, she began to doubt,
least some contrary winde had turned her backe to _Liparis_ againe, and
starting up sodainly, to looke with better advice about her, shee saw
her selfe at Land: and not knowing the Countrey, demanded of the poore
woman where she was? Daughter (quoth she) you are heere hard by _Susa_
in _Barbarie_. Which _Constance_ hearing, and plainly perceyving, that
death had denied to end her miseries, fearing least she should receive
some dishonour, in such a barbarous unkinde Country, and not knowing
what shold now become of her, she sate downe by the boates side,
wringing her hands, & weeping bitterly.

The good Woman did greatly compassionate her case, and prevailed so
well by gentle speeches, that shee conducted her into her owne poore
habitation; where at length she understoode, by what meanes shee hapned
thither so strangely. And perceyving her to be fasting, shee set such
homely bread as she had before her, a few small Fishes, and a Crewse
of Water, praying her for to accept of that poore entertainement,
which meere necessity compelled her to do, and shewed her selfe very
thankefull for it.

_Constance_ hearing that she spake the Latine language so well; desired
to know what she was. Whereto the olde woman thus answered: Gentlewoman
(quoth she) I am of _Trapanum_, named _Carapresa_, and am a servant
in this Countrey to certaine Christian Fishermen. The yong Maiden
(albeit she was very full of sorrow) hearing her name to be _Carapresa_,
conceived it as a good augury to her selfe, & that she had heard the
name before, although shee knew not what occasion should move her thus
to do. Now began her hopes to quicken againe, and yet shee could not
tell upon what ground; nor was she so desirous of death as before, but
made more precious estimation of her life, and without any further
declaration of her selfe or countrey, she entreated the good woman
(even for charities sake) to take pitty on her youth, and help her with
such good advice, to prevent all injuries which might happen to her, in
such a solitary wofull condition.

_Carapresa_ having heard her request, like a good woman as shee was,
left _Constance_ in her poore Cottage, and went hastily to leave her
nets in safety: which being done, she returned backe againe, and
covering _Constance_ with her Mantle, led her on to _Susa_ with her,
where being arrived, the good woman began in this manner. _Constance_,
I will bring thee to the house of a very worthy Sarazin Lady, to whome
I have done manie honest services, according as she pleased to command
me. She is an ancient woman, full of charity, and to her I will commend
thee as best I may, for I am well assured, that shee will gladly
entertaine thee, and use thee as if thou wert her owne daughter. Now,
let it be thy part, during thy time of remaining with her, to employ
thy utmost diligence in pleasing her, by deserving and gaining her
grace, till heaven shall blesse thee with better fortune: And as she
promised, so she performed.

The Sarazine Lady, being well stept into yeares, upon the commendable
speeches delivered by _Carapresa_, did the more seriously fasten her
eye on _Constance_, and compassion provoking her to teares, she tooke
her by the hand, and (in loving manner) kissed her fore-head. So she
led her further into her house, where dwelt divers other women (but not
one man) all exercising themselves in severall labours, as working in
all sorts of silke, with Imbroideries of Gold and Silver, and sundry
other excellent Arts beside, which in short time were verie familiar to
_Constance_, and so pleasing grew her behaviour to the old Lady, and
all the rest beside; that they loved and delighted in her wonderfully,
and (by little and little) she attained to the speaking of their
language, although it were verie harsh and difficult.

_Constance_ continuing thus in the old Ladies service at _Susa_, &
thought to be dead or lost in her owne Fathers house; it fortuned, that
one reigning then as King of _Thunis_, who named himselfe _Mariabdela_:
there was a young Lord of great birth, and very powerfull, who lived as
then in _Granada_, and pleaded that the Kingdome of _Thunis_ belonged
to him. In which respect, he mustred together a mighty Army, and came
to assault the King, as hoping to expell him. These newes comming
to the eare of _Martuccio Gomito_, who spake the Barbarian Language
perfectly; and hearing it reported, that the King of _Thunis_ made
no meane preparation for his owne defence: he conferred with one of
his keepers, who had the custody of him, and the rest taken with him,
saying: If (quoth hee) I could have meanes to speake with the King, and
he were pleased to allow of my counsell, I can enstruct him in such a
course, as shall assure him to win the honour of the field. The Guard
reported these speeches to his master, who presently acquainted the
King therewith, and _Martuccio_ being sent for; he was commanded to
speake his minde: Whereupon he began in this manner.

My gracious Lord, during the time that I have frequented your countrey,
I have heedfully observed, that the Militarie Discipline used in your
fights and battailes, dependeth more upon your Archers, then any other
men imployed in your warre. And therefore, if it could bee so ordered,
that this kinde of Artillery might fayle in your Enemies Campe, & yours
be sufficiently furnished therewith, you neede make no doubt of winning
the battaile: whereto the King thus replyed. Doubtlesse, if such an
acte were possible to be done, it would give great hope of successefull
prevailing. Sir, said _Martuccio_, if you please it may bee done, and
I can quickly resolve you how. Let the strings of your Archers Bowes
bee made more soft and gentle, then those which heretofore they have
formerly used; and next, let the nockes of the Arrowes be so provided,
as not to receive any other, then those pliant gentle strings. But
this must be done so secretly, that your enemies may have no knowledge
thereof, least they should provide themselves in the same manner. Now
the reason (Gracious Lord) why thus I counsell you, is to this end.
When the Archers on the Enemies side have shot their Arrowes at your
men, and yours in the like manner at them: it followeth, that (upon
meere constraint) they must gather up your Arrowes, to shoote them
backe againe at you, for so long while as the battell endureth, as no
doubt but your men will do the like to them. But your enemies will finde
themselves much deceived, because they can make no use of your peoples
Arrowes, in regard that the nockes are too narrow to receive their
boysterous strings. Which will fall out contrary with your followers,
for the pliant strings belonging to your Bowes, are as apt for their
enemies great nockt Arrowes, as their owne, and so they shall have free
use of both, reserving them in plentifull store, when your adversaries
must stand unfurnished of any, but them that they cannot any way use.

This counsell pleased the King very highly, and hee being a Prince of
great understanding, gave order to have it accordingly followed, and
thereby valiantly vanquished his enemies. Heereupon, _Martuccio_ came
to be great in his grace, as also consequently rich, and seated in no
meane place of authority. Now, as worthy and commendable actions are
soone spread abroad, in honour of the man by whome they hapned: even so
the fame of this rare got victory, was quickly noysed throughout the
Countrey, and came to the hearing of poore _Constance_, that _Martuccio
Gomito_ (whom she supposed so long since to be dead) was living, and in
honourable condition. The love which formerly she bare unto him, being
not altogether extinct in her heart; of a small sparke, brake foorth
into a sodaine flame, and so encreased day by day, that her hope (being
before almost quite dead) revived againe in chearfull manner.

Having imparted all her fortunes to the good olde Lady with whome she
dwelt; she told her beside, that she had an earnest desire to see
_Thunis_, to satisfie her eyes as well as her eares, concerning the
rumor blazed abroad. The good olde Lady commended her desire, and (even
as if she had bene her mother) tooke her with her aboord a Barke, and
so sayled thence to _Thunis_, where both she and _Constance_ found
honourable welcome, in the house of a kinsman to the Sarazin Lady.
_Carapresa_ also went along with them thither, and her they sent abroad
into the Citie, to understand the newes of _Martuccio Gomito_. After
they knew for a certaintie that hee was living, and in great authority
about the King, according as the former report went of him. Then the
good old Lady, being desirous to let _Martuccio_ know, that his faire
friend _Constance_ was come thither to see him; went her selfe to
the place of his abiding, and spake unto him in this manner. Noble
_Martuccio_, there is a servant of thine in my house, which came from
_Liparis_, and requireth to have a little private conference with thee:
but because I durst not trust any other with the message, my selfe (at
her entreaty) am come to acquaint thee therewith. _Martuccio_ gave her
kinde and hearty thankes, and then went along with her to the house.

No sooner did _Constance_ behold him, but shee was ready to dye with
conceite of joy, and being unable to containe her passion: sodainely
she threw her armes about his necke, and in meere compassion of her
many misfortunes, as also the instant solace of her soule (not being
able to utter one word) the teares trickled abundantly downe her
cheekes. _Martuccio_ also seeing his faire friend, was overcome with
exceeding admiration, & stood awhile, as not knowing what to say;
till venting forth a vehement sighe, thus he spake. My deerest love
_Constance_! art thou yet living? It is a tedious long while since I
heard thou wast lost, and never any tydinges knowne of thee in thine
owne Fathers house. With which wordes, the teares standing his eyes,
most lovingly he embraced her. _Constance_ recounted to him all her
fortunes, and what kindnesse she hadde receyved from the Sarazine Lady,
since her first houre of comming to her. And after much other discourse
passing betweene them, _Martuccio_ departed from her, and returning to
the King his master, tolde him all the historie of his fortunes, and
those beside of his Love _Constance_, beeing purposely minded (with his
gracious liking) to marry her according to the Christian Law.

The King was much amazed at so many strange accidents, and sending for
_Constance_ to come before him; from her own mouth he heard the whole
relation of her continued affection to _Martuccio_, whereuppon hee
saide. Now trust me faire Damosell, thou hast dearly deserved him to be
thy husband. Then sending for very costly Jewelse, and rich presents,
the one halfe of them he gave to her, and the other to _Martuccio_,
graunting them license withall, to marry according to their owne mindes.

_Martuccio_ did many honours, and gave great giftes to the aged Sarazine
Lady, with whom _Constance_ had lived so kindly respected: which
although she had no neede of, neither ever expected any such rewarding;
yet (conquered by their urgent importunity, especially _Constance_, who
could not be thankfull enough to her) she was enforced to receive them,
and taking her leave of them weeping, sayled backe againe to _Susa_.

Within a short while after, the King licensing their departure thence,
they entred into a small Barke, and _Carapresa_ with them, sailing
on with prosperous gales of winde, untill they arrived at _Liparis_,
where they were entertained with generall rejoycing. And because their
marriage was not sufficiently performed at _Thunis_, in regard of
divers Christian ceremonies there wanting, their Nuptials were againe
most honourably solemnized, and they lived (many yeares after) in
health and much happinesse.

Pedro Bocamazzo, _escaping away with a yong Damosell which he loved,
named_ Angelina, _met with Theeves in his journey. The Damosell flying
fearfully into a Forrest, by chance arriveth at a Castle._ Pedro _being
taken by the Theeves, and happening afterward to escape from them;
commeth (accidentally) to the same Castle where_ Angelina _was. And
marrying her, they then returned home to Rome._

The third Novell.

_Wherein, the severall powers both of Love and Fortune, is more at
large approved._

There was not any one in the whole company, but much commended the
Novell reported by Madam _Emillia_, and when the Queene perceived it
was ended, she turned towards Madam _Eliza_, commanding her to continue
on their delightfull exercise: whereto shee declaring her willing
obedience, began to speak thus. Courteous Ladies, I remember one
unfortunate night, which happened to two Lovers, that were not indued
with the greatest discretion. But because they had very many faire and
happy dayes afterwardes, I am the more willing for to let you heare it.

In the Citie of _Rome_, which (in times past) was called the Ladie and
Mistresse of the world, though now scarsely so good as the waiting
maid: there dwelt sometime a yong Gentleman, named _Pedro Bocamazzo_,
descended from one of the most honourable families in _Rome_, who
was much enamoured of a beautifull Gentlewoman, called _Angelina_,
daughter to one named _Giglivozzo Saullo_, whose fortunes were none
of the fairest, yet he greatly esteemed among the Romaines. The
entercourse of love between these twaine, had so equally enstructed
their hearts and souls, that it could hardly be judged which of them
was the more fervent in affection. But he, not being inured to such
oppressing passions, and therefore the lesse able to support them,
except he were sure to compasse his desire, plainly made the motion,
that he might enjoy her in honourable mariage. Which his parents and
friends hearing, they went to conferre with him, blaming him with
over-much basenesse, so farre to disgrace himselfe and his stocke.
Beside, they advised the Father to the Maid, neither to credit what
_Pedro_ saide in this case, or to live in hope of any such match,
because they all did wholly despise it.

_Pedro_ perceiving, that the way was shut up, whereby (and none other)
he was to mount the Ladder of his hopes; began to waxe weary of longer
living: and if he could have won her fathers consent, he would have
maried her in the despight of all his friends. Neverthelesse, he had a
conceit hammering in his head, which if the maid would bee as forward
as himselfe, should bring the matter to full effect. Letters and secret
intelligences passing still betweene, at length he understood her ready
resolution, to adventure with him thorough all fortunes whatsoever,
concluding on their sodaine and secret flight from Rome. For which
_Pedro_ did so well provide, that very early in a morning, and well
mounted on horsebacke, they tooke the way leading unto _Alagna_, where
_Pedro_ had some honest friends, in whom he reposed especiall trust.
Riding on thus thorow the countrey, having no leysure to accomplish
their marriage, because they stoode in feare of pursuite: they were
ridden above foure leagues from Rome, still shortning the way with
their amorous discoursing.

It fortuned, that _Pedro_ having no certaine knowledge of the way,
but following a trackt guiding too farre on the left hand; rode quite
out of course, and came at last within sight of a small Castle, out
of which (before they were aware) yssued twelve Villaines, whom
_Angelina_ sooner espyed, then _Pedro_ could do, which made her cry
out to him, saying: Help deere Love to save us, or elsee we shall be
assayled. _Pedro_ then turning his horse so expeditiously as he could,
and giving him the spurres as neede required; mainly he gallopped into
a neere adjoining Forrest, more minding the following of _Angelina_,
then any direction of his way, or then that endeavoured to be his
hinderance. So that by often winding & turning about, as the passage
appeared troublesome to him, when he thought him selfe free and furthest
from them, he was round engirt, and seized on by them. When they had
made him to dismount from his horse, questioning him of whence and
what he was, and he resolving them therein, they fell into a secret