A1r

An
Epitome
of the
History
of Faire
Argenis
and
Polyarchus,

Extracted out of the Latin, and put
in French, by that Great and
Famous Writer,
M. N. Coeffeteau
Bishop of Marseilles.

And translated out of the French into
English by a yong Gentlewoman.

Dedicated
To the Lady Anne Wentworth.

London,
Printed by E. G. for Henry Seile at the Tygers
head
in Fleetstreet. 16401640.

A1v
A coat of arms with three lions’ heads, surmounted by a crown.
A2r

To the
Most Vertuous
My most
Honored Lady,
the Lady
Anne Wentworth,
Eldest Daughter
To the Right Honorable
the Earle of Strafford, Lord
Lieutenant of Ireland
.

Madam,

It is not needfull, I
should use many
words, to let You
know, that this Booke belongs A2 to A2v
to Your Ladiship, It sufficing
that You know, I am
Yours, (since You gave me
the liberty, to call my selfe so,
when I had the Honour to bee
admitted into the House of my
Lord Your Father, where
my Parents did introduce me,
and where I have profited neere
You and my Lady Arabella
Your Sister
, as in a
Schoole of Vertue) whence it
followes, that I onely give You
that which is Yours, being
found in me: and though it
should be otherwise, I could not present A3r
present it to any one, that deserved
it better then Your selfe.

The reading of this Epitome,
Madam, which I dedicate
unto You, as being Yours,
and which I put to light under
Your protection, will represent
Argenis unto You, as the
Fairest, most Vertuous, and
Constant Princesse of Her
time. And I have thought, reading
this History, that I have
seene Your true portraiture in
the person of this Faire Lady.
For, making a Parallell of
this Princesse with Your A3 Ho- A3v
Honour I finds You very
suteable; yea I can witnesse
with truth, that You surpasse
Her: since that besides the
Beauty of the Body wherewith
Nature hath endowed
You; You are also inrich’d
with that of the Soule beyond
measure; and as touching Vertue
whereof You are a Patterne,
You excell Her, being
Vertue it selfe. You have
besides the knowledge of the
True God, which is the
Ground and Basis thereof, and
whereof our Argenis was ignorant; A4r
ignorant; and as for Constancy,
You have not (I dare
say,) Your equall, seeing You
are resolved, to be conformable
unto the Will of God, and of
my Lord Your Father. To
which may bee added Your
Birth (as well as unto our Argenis)
which makes You
truely worthy to beare the
Pearled Crowne, wherewith
my Lord Your Father
hath beene Honoured,
without asking or intercession;
but by the Kings onely Will,
who gave it Him for His eminentminent A4v
Vertue and good Services;
being of the number of
those of whom the French Proverbe
makes mention; saying,
Tel demande assez, qui bien
sert
.

And to conclude Madam,
I say, that-even as it hath
pleased God, to fill our Argenis
with Joy and Content,
giving Her, Her Poliarchus,
as the most Compleat
Prince of the Earth, He may
send You for Your, and
Your most Honourable
Parents
Comfort, a Husbandband A5r
worthy of You, And
I am confident, Hee will bee
farre Compleater then Poliarchus.
These are the
Wishes

Madam,

Of your most humble,
most affectionate,
most obedient, and
most obliged servant,

Judith Man.

A5v A6r

To the Courteous Reader.

Gentle Reader, my humor
inclining to Melancholy,
induces me
sometimes, to seeke in
my Closet for some diversion, in
the reading of Bookes, suteable
to a Gentlewoman of my quality,
and of eighteene yeeres of age;
That is it wherein I have most perticularly
applied my selfe this
Christmas, and amongst the rest,
in the reading of this Booke,
which hath pleased me; not only
for the subject whereof it treats,
but also, comming from the
hands of an Author, whose memorymory A6v
I honor, though of a contrary
Beliefe to mine, because that
being in France, in my Parents
company, I have heard a great
esteeme to be made of him, as of
the most learned Prelate of his
time. So as I might make my selfe,
so much the more perfect, in the
French tongue, I resolved to translate
it, for my owne particular
satisfaction, having no other designe,
then to warme my selfe
therewith; as I have done with
some others: But I could not
make this Worke so secretly, but
that those who watch over my
actions, and endeavour my diversion,
had notice thereof, by whom
I have beene in a manner forc’d
(least I should trangresse against the A7r
the Law of God): to expose it to
the publike view; And all the
favour which I could obtaine,
hath beene to suffer mee to make
choice of a second Argenis,
under whose Protection I send it.
And I intreat thee, Gentle Reader,
to oblige me so farre, as not
to presume that I doe it, out of
vanity; because it is not without
example, and could produce thee
many of my sexe, who have traced
me the way, witnesse the translation
into French of Sir Philip
Sidneys
Arcadia, the New Amarantha,
and the Urania, with many
others; neither have I done it to
be spoken of, knowing very well,
that those of, my sexe, who are
least spoken of, are the more to be A7v
bee esteemed: But onely have I
done it by meere obedience and
duty, therefore I pray thee to excuse
the faults, if there be any, and
remember, that women (for the
most part) are unacquainted with
the studie of Sciences; and by
that meanes, may sooner erre; Also,
I esteeme that thou art Courteous
enough, to use mee according to
the courtesie and custome, due to
the Ladies of this Countrie, where
I was borne; And of whose Priviledge
I make use, giving Argenis
the precedency, rather then
unto Poliarchus in the Frontispice
of this Booke; And in so
doing, I shall not be a little obliged
to thee.

J. M.

A8r

The Stationer to
the Reader.

Gentlemen, I should not
hold my selfe satisfied
with my Impression, if I
did not tell you, that I
hold it for a favour, in the beginning
of this yeare, to see my Shop adorned
with this little Volume, which comes
from the hands of one of the most Vertuous,
and Comeliest Gentlewomen
of this Countrey, and which belies not
her birth, which is truely Noble.
And but that shee is full of respect
and humility towards Argenis, and A8v
and the Faire Lady, unto
whom she hath Dedicated this Worke,
they could make the most agreeable
concordance, that could be seene; Also
viewing them together (though with
the eyes of the minde) I imagine I see
the Graces, or those three Faire Goddesses,
which puzzled so much, that
Judge of Beauty. And therefore I
desire You Gentlemen, to esteeme it,
as this reputation merits, that you
may not but applaud her, to the end that
hereafter, she may make you partakers
of her lucubrations; and in case you
finde any faults, attribute them unto
the Printer, for they are his, as proceeding
from the Impression. God
preserve you.

The B1r 1

The
History
of Faire
Argenis
and
Poliarchus
Epitomiz’d.

Fortune proud and
insolent, beyond all imaginationd,,
demands a sumptuous
Theater, to cause
the might of Her Empire,
to appeare. It is in the Court of Great
Kings, where She elevates the Trophies
of Her tyranny, & where She brandishes
Her vanity. It is there that She takes delight,
to breake a Scepter asunder, to overthrow
a Crowne, and to tread under B foot B1v 2
foot, all this pride of the earth, to the
end She might render Her victories, so
much the more glorious by such magnificent
ruines, and Her Trophies the more
illustrious, by such noble spoiles. But if
amongst those Tragick accidents, She
doth afford some cause of contentment,
She doth temper it with so much bitternesse,
that ordinarily, there is more
prickles then Roses found in Royalty.
This History is a lively portraiture therof,
and causes us to see remarkable examples
in it.

Meleander King of Sicily, possessing a
rich State, and seeing himselfe adored
by His subjects, who tasted with an extraordinary
delight, the mildnesse of
His government, thought to be arrived
at the height of His glory. And that He
might say he was happy on all sides, He
was Father of a Daughter so accomplished
in all kinds of perfections, that
those who saw Her, imagined that Heaven
had assembled all the treasures of
beauty, and gathered all the riches of
comlinesse, to forme this lofty Masterpeecepeece B2r 3
of nature. He imagined that this
yong Sunne, should be the ornament of
his Crowne, the prop of his State, the delight
of his Life, and the consolation of
his Old age. But men are ignorant of their
destinies, and know not what may befall
them. The event then, made Him
know, that as the greatest lights are
subject unto the greatest shadows so the
greatest prosperities are exposed unto
the greatest accidents, therefore one
must not so much trust unto the favours
of Fortune, but that one must dread Her
inconstancy.

Argenis then was the name of the
Heire of Sicily, which ought to be as a
living spring of all goodnesse to Her Father
and Her State, sees Her selfe to be
the subject of a furious and bloody
warre, raised by a Prince, one of Meleander’s
subjects, who having had the temerity,
to aske Her in marriage, received
the refusall which his presumption
merited. The image of this contempt,
made such a furious impression upon
this wilde and ambitious spirit, that to B2 take B2v 4
take revenge, hee resolved to put the
Father out of the world, and to steale
away the Daughter to crowne his parricide.
This execrable designe had come
to passe, if the Divinity, which hath a
speciall care of Crownes, and which loves
Kings, had not miraculously put by, the
misfortune whereof the Sicilian Scepter
was threatned. All Europe, and Affrick
also were filled with the rumor of Argenis’s
beauty, which was placed amongst
the wonders of the world and nature.
A thousand yong couragious spirits,
taken with Her love, had resolved to
serve Her, and to imploy all their industry
and valour, to insinuate themselves
in Her favour. Amongst the rest Poliarchus
Prince of France
, and Heire of one of
the fairest Crownes in the world, suffering
Himselfe to bee transported with
this passion, sought out for this glory
with more successe then wisedome.
(But ought one to looke for any in
love?) Imagining in Himselfe that an
extraordinary beauty merited no common
pursuits; Hee left his Kingdome, and B3r 5
and taking a Gentlewomans habit, crossed
the sea, and went to Sicily, where He informed
Himselfe diligently of the place
where the Princesse was, to whom He
desired, with so much passion to offer
His service. Meleander fearing least despaire
should cause Lycogenes to procure
some shame unto Her, had placed Her in
a strong Hold, where She passed the
time with Her maids, being visited of
none but Her Father, who sometime
going from Syracuse (which was not
farre from thence,) came to see Her, and
stayed with Her to divert Himselfe in
Her company. Poliarchus following His
designe, goes that way, and spying the
meanes, to enter in this agreeable solitarinesse,
takes His journey towards Syracuse,
where being arrived He finds
by good fortune Solenissa Argenis’ses
Governesse within the Temple of Juno,
where She was at Her devotions. He
had learn’d in what ranke she was with
the Princesse. He cals her aside, and having
cast Himselfe at her feet, beseeches
her to take pitty on the most unfortunateB3 nate B3v 6
Lady which the Sunne shined on,
on earth, and to give Her the meanes to
tell Her some thing, which could not be
knowne to any but she, unto whom She
brought letters from a great Princesse.
The Strangers comely behaviour, the
novelty of Her habit, and Her language,
which shewed She was not of the Court
of Sicily
, caused in Selenissa a desire to
learne what She would say. Then going
out of the throng, She leads Her, to her
sisters house, and entred alone in a
Closet fit to receive Her most secret
thoughts. Then Poliarchus kissing the
letters gives them unto Her, and at last
leads so happily this enterprize, that He
causes himselfe to be taken for a French
Princesse,
, which the rage of Her Uncle
had driven into Sicily to looke out for
the refuge and surety, which She could
not finde in Her Realme amongst Her
friends. My name, said he, is Theocrine
the Kings daughter, and Sister unto the
Heire of the Crowne of France
, whom this
parricide (who hath procured all my
mis-fortunes,) hath caused to be poisonedned B4r 7
that hee might usurpe his Diadem.
That which made her to give more
faith unto his words, was, that calling
a Freed slave who gave Her a Cabinet,
which She had committed to his charge,
She drew forth the most exquisite riches,
and the fairest precious stones, that
were ever seene in Europe; then with a
magnificence which truely resembled
a great Princesse, gave such a great number
unto Selenissa, that at the instant
(suffering her selfe to bee dazled with
their sparkling and radiation) She
bound her selfe with a strong tye of
affection unto Poliarchus, which she took
for Theocrine. Whereupon Theocrine
conjured her to embrace Her affaires,
and to procure that favour towards Argenis,
that She might receive Her into
Her company, where She pretended not
to hold the ranke of a Princesse, but
would esteeme her selfe happy to hold
the quality of a Waiting-woman.

Selenissa being touch’d with Her complaints,
offers Her all manner of assistance,
neverthelesse, said she unto Her, B4 to B4v 8
to give you accesse in the Princesses
house, is a thing which is not in my
power, by reason of the strict defence,
which the King hath made, not to suffer
any strangers of either sexe to see Her.
But Theocrine, who desired noting more,
then to enjoy this glory, conjures her
to breake this obstacle, and to mediate
this favour towards the King, with
whom She doubted not, but shee was
powerfull, since He had committed to
her trust that which He held most deare
in the world, the Princesse his daughter.
Being overcome by such charming intreaties,
shee undertakes to enforme
Meleander of this, whom She soone after
caused to yeeld, telling Him al the good
which shee could invent of this faire
Stranger. At her returne, she declares
unto Argenis, the occasion of her journey,
& makes Her so favorable a report
of the beauty, comlinesse, and magnificence
of Theocrine, that She offers not
onely to receive Her as a great Princesse,
but also to love Her as Her Sister. Being
then inflamed, with a desire to see Her, she B5r 9
She commands that without any further
delay, She should be brought in, that
She might see if Her presence would
equall the glorious praises which were
given Her. She is then where She desires.
At this first enterview, She forgets nothing
of Her good behaviour, allurements,
and attractive lookes, to charme
the Princesses heart, who begins to bee
but one Soule with Hers. She can so
artificially accommodate Her humour
unto that of Argenis, that in a short
time She doth purchase a full power
over Her mind, though not in the same
quality which She wished. They then,
passed away the time so sweetly together,
that they thought they were in
Heavens glory. But Licogenes, unto whoōom
the remembrance of the injury, which
he thought to have received, gave him
cruell torments, raised a tempest which
troubled the calme of their delights.
For, having plotted with his
friends, the meanes to revenge himselfe,
the resolution of this infamous
counsell was, that the Fort ought to be surprised B5v 10
surprised, to make away the King, and
take perforce from thence the Heire of
the Kingdome
, and so put himselfe in
quiet possession of the Crowne; that, to
differre any longer, it would be the way
to ruinate their affaires, considering the
accidents which might happen. Therefore
that hee should shew himselfe a
man, and that hee should finde in them
the succour and assistance, which hee
could hope for, of those who had a
whole interest in his trouble. There
needed not, to make use of stronger
reasons, to perswade a spirit already
imbrued with this crime.

It was long, since Licogenes saw with
griefe the Scepter of Sicily in the hands
of Meleander. But to bring this furious
counsell to passe, hee thought it fit to
corrupt certaine Souldiers, who should
know the entrances of this Fortresse.
He finds out one, who being conquered
by his promises, offers to fulfill his desire,
so that hee procure him confederates
whose courages may bee like his,
and declares unto him, that hee knew the B6r 11
the meanes to enter, by the Sea side
where there was no guard. Licogenes
glad to have found such a fit instrument
for his perfidiousnesse, gives him
consorts as desperate as he, and as resolute
to commit a parricide. Upon a
night then, that Meleander was arrived
there, to disburden (according to His
wonted use) some part of his sorrowes
in His daughters bosome; these traitors
knew how to follow their enterprise so
well, that they entred into the Fort, and
having separated themselves in two
bands, went the one to the Kings lodgings,
and the other to the Princesses.
Argenis thought on nothing else, but
sweetly to passe away the time, amongst
Her Ladies, and caused Selenissa and
Theocrine (whose beds were in her
chamber) to entertayne Her with a
thousand pleasant discourses: Meleander
whose age tooke away the sweetnesse
of this entertainment, had retired himselfe
to take rest. Argenis understanding
a noise, which She was not us’d to
heare, holds up Her eyes, and seeing so many B6v 12
many armed men to enter thronging in
one after another, is frighted, and begins
to cry out with feare. Her other
Ladies surprized with the like astonishment,
shew no more assurance, and
for all their defence, have recourse to
their teares. But the gentle Theocrine
perceiving one, (who had advanced
himselfe first) to lay hands on the Princesse,
lets the reines loose to Her rage,
and with an extraordinary courage,
layes hold on that traytors sword,
wreathes it from him, and presently
employes it, against him from whom
She had taken it, and layes him dead in
the place. Then taking up his buckler,
She runnes upon the rest of these rascals,
whereof She cuts some part in pieces,
and causes the rest to looke out for the
doore. Another band of the conjurors,
had rush’d in Meleander’s chamber,
whom having found asleepe in His bed,
there needed no great strength to seaze
on Him.

Theocrine, who had none left to fight
with, hearing the noise, which those wicked B7r 13
wicked rogues made about the King,
went that way, and entring in the chamber,
perceived a spectacle which would
have drawne teares from a Tyger.
Those infamous Hang-men had bound
this great King with cords, and loaded
Him with chaines, who amongst so
much insolence and brutality, perceiv’d
before His eyes nought else, but the
images of despaire and horrour. The
sorrow to see the Father of Her Argenis
so unworthily abused, swells Her courage
in such sort, that without any feare
of danger where She was going to precipitate
Her selfe, She enters upon these
desperate fellowes, and having made a
cruell slaughter, amongst them, addresses
Her selfe unto Meleander, and taking
away the cords and chaines, said these
few words unto Him. “Sir, Those who
have committed this outrage against you,
have not kept the respect due unto Scepters,
and your vertue. But the Gods have given
me the grace to put you againe in case, to
make an exemplary punishment, of the authors
of this barbarous attempt. Arme your B7v 14
your selfe, I am going to take order about
the rest of your affaires; for it is to
be feared, least those who have had the audacity,
to plot so infamous a treason should
make a last attempt, to asswage their rage,
which will not be thus ended.”
At the instant
Theocrine gives a generall allarum,
and gives notice to the Guard, of their
fault, and of the danger wherein the
King had lately beene. And as She saw
Meleander’s safety to be made sure, She
came unto her Argenis, and kneeling on
the ground, us’d this language. “Faire
Princesse
, it is bootlesse now to dissemble,
any longer; the miracles of your beauty, have
given strength to my arme, to take revenge
for the cruell injury, which hath beene done
to the Sicilian Scepter. I am not a Lady,
as hitherto you have believed. I also esteeme,
that, what you have seene mee performe, hath
already dis-abused you. At least, it is impossible,
that henceforth, Meleander should
take me to be, what hee thought I was. For
feare then, least I should ruinate my designes,
instead of advancing of them, I take my
leave of you: But before I goe from the presencesence B8r 15
of your faire eyes, I most humbly desire
you, by all the graces, whereof Heaven hath
so richly endowed you, to pardon mee this
offence, which is an effect of the power of
Love, unto which the Gods themselves cannot
resist. You have prostrate at your feet,
the Heire of the Crowne of France, who
begs pardon of you. My name is Poliarchus,
and not Theocrine. I have borrowed
this, that I might enter where Poliarchus
could not have had accesse: I part from you
with the same sorrow, that I should part
with my life: but I hope that by my services
I shall open the way to more liberty. Pronounce
my sentence, and I will take it from
you, even as the conquered, receives it from
the Conquerour.”

Argenis being, as it were, thunderstruck,
by the freedome of these words,
finds Herselfe surprised, and at the same
instant, hath an inward combat by two
severall passions, of Love and Feare,
which held Her soule in agitation, in
such sort that being astonied at Theocrines
language, She knowes not what
answere to make Him. Feare, that this action B8v 16
action should make a spot, in Her Glory,
causes Her at first, to breath forth some
sparkles of Choler. She complaines of
this audacity, and shewes She doth not
approve those fictions, whereby She
might receive more blame, then the
Author could expect contentment. Neverthelesse,
at last Love, that (so many
present victories went fortifying) banishes
all those Feares, and causes Her to
finde Theocrines excuses good, to whom
at that time She doth in a few words disclose
Her thoughts, and testifies unto
Him, that those proceedings are not displeasing
to Her, but enjoynes Him to
publish His sexe, and to make himselfe
knowne, to be the valiant Poliarchus.

This generous Prince, who onely
sought triumphs to insinuate Himselfe
by His valour, into Argenis’s favour, reassumes
the name of Poliarchus, and at
the same time, kissing His Mistresses faire
hands, goes out of the Fortresse and
steales away from Meleander, and His
Guard, busied in the seeking out of the factious, C1r 17
factious, whereof they made a horrible
slaughter. In the meane time the King is
troubled to finde out the Author of His
liberty, and as His Daughter tels Him
that He is obliged of His life, unto Theocrine,
He
desires to see Her, that He
might give Her the praises, and recompence
due to so eminent, and prodigious
a vertue. But being inform’d that
She is vanish’d, as a lightning, and that
She is not to bee found, He presently
imagines, that doubtlesse, She was no
mortall creature, but the Goddesse Pallas,
who foreseeing his misfortune, had taken
the forme of this Lady, to put by
the ruines of Sicily, which was in Her
keeping. Thereupon, even as superstition
is fertile in new devotions, He revolves
with himselfe, with what new
tribute of piety, He may repay, this remarkable
good deed, which seemed to
be beyond all manner of retribution:
and wandring in His thoughts, He caused
the Chiefest of His Counsell to be assembled,
unto whom speaking of this
adventure, He testified to owe His life C and C1v 18
and safety, to a particular assistance of
the Divinity, rather then to any mans
succour, letting them know thereby,
that He had a designe to erect new honours
and worship, unto the Goddesse
unto whom He imagined to be indebted,
for His miraculous preservation.
Such a Religious design having beene
greatly applauded and approved by
the common voices of all the Counsell;
Meleander whose soule was already full
of these religious thoughts, and who
feared, that shewing Himselfe ungratefull
towards the Gods, He should oblige
them, to draw backe their blessings
from His Crowne, was easily led away
with this advice, and calling His Daughter,
opens His deliberation unto Her,
and perswades Her, so artificially, that
She freely accepted, the quality of Minervas
High Priest
, in acknowledgement
of the favour which She had
shewed, to Her Father and State. There
She is then wholly tyed, to the Goddesses
service, by vertue of Her new Office, now
She thinks on nothing else then the orderingdering C2r 19
of the sacrifices, and ruling of the
holy ceremonies.

In the meane time Lycogenes, who
knowes his crime to be unpardonable,
assembles his friends, represents unto
them, that their safety consists in hoping
none, and that they must come to
an open force, since craft and artificiall
cunning have not succeeded. And
whereas the horror of this offence,
should have caused the armes to have
fallen from his hands, hee prepares to
give battayle unto his King. His felony
gives meanes unto the French Prince, to
cause His great courage to appeare, aswell
under the name of Poliarchus, as it
had done, under that of Theocrine. He
had gone and presented Him selfe unto
Meleander as being newly arrived in His
Court
, not making Himselfe knowne to
be Him, who had newly saved His Life
and State. He had beene received there
as a stranger, and in few dayes, had left
both to the King, and all the Court, a
great opinion of His valour. During
that time, He found the meanes oftentimes,C2 times C2v 20
to see, His Argenis, amongst the
sacrifices, which were rendred unto
Minerva, for Theocrines victory. Neither
His, nor Argenis’s devotion, was not so
much fixt, on the contemplation of the
ceremonies nor on the admiration of
all the pompe, as to enterchange amorous
lookes, wherein lay all their felicity.

The envious army, which was already
in the field, troubled all this solemnity,
and oblig’d the King to take up
Armes, to oppose the fury of the rebels.
He had a singular confidence in Poliarchus
His
valour, which belyed not this
hope, nor the good opinion which the
world had conceived of the greatnesse
of His courage. The two Armies being
in sight, He began the fight, and as a
mighty war-like thunder, unto which
nothing can resist, did so much by the
wonders of His sword, that Meleander
won a glorious victory, and put the rebels
out of hopes, to attempt any more,
the hazzard of Combats. Dispaire made
them seeke after peace; they have permission,mission, C3r 21
to send their Deputies in Court,
to make the overture of some treaty.
Poliarchus, who could not live in rest, at
the first newes of this peace, which He
did not approve, not believing, that
the King ought to trust to Traytors; resolved
to goe elsewhere, to finde out
new occasions of Glory. Having then
left the Court, and traversing a great
forest, having no other thoughts then
on His Argenis, which filled all His spirits;
Hee meets those whom Licogenes
sent unto Meleander, rather ecquipped
like Cavaleers, or to speake the truth
like Robbers, then Ambassadours. They
immediately knew Him for the Author
of their misfortune, and enraged, with
fury, resolve to revenge on Him the
affront, which His valour caused them
to receive. At the same time, they set
on Him, and make it appeare, that they
would bereave Him of His life. But He,
who could feare nothing, not being
astonied, at their threates, makes them
feele the effects of His courage, overthrowes
two, dead upon the place, C3 scatters C3v 22
scatters the others, and puts them to
flight. Those that could escape, goe and
fill the Court with their complaints, and
aggravate this outrage, done unto Ambassadors,
whose persons are held for sacred,
yea amongst the Barbarous. They
demand Justice which cannot be denied
them, because the Court hath no knowledge
of their crime, nor of the innocence,
of Him, whom they accused. It
is true, that Meleander could not imagine,
that so notorious a villany, could
have entred, in so noble a courage, and
besides all that, that which came
from Licogenes’es party was to bee
suspected, also the Souldiers wholly
affected to Poliarchus, who in their
sight, had done so many wonders
in the Field, did openly jeere at this accusation,
which, in what kind soever, it
could be interpreted; could not, but
turne, to the shame of those, who made
it, since they accused, one man alone, to
have beaten five, well armed, and in
case to defend themselves. But, the
conjurors faction, was so puissant, in Court; C4r 23
Court; that, at last, it obtained that Poliarchus,
should be condemned, and to be
destined, to serve for a sacrifice, unto
the Kings enemyes fury, who in defending
of Him, might have caused a suspition,
amongst those diffident spirits,
that He had done nothing, but by His
authority. Order is then given every
where to take Him, and also, the Commons
are armed, to the end, that all
meanes of escaping, might bee taken
away.

In the meane time, it hapned during
the fight, that, Archombrotus Prince of
Mauritania
, who was also searching out
adventures, under a disguised habit,
was by chance, neere the place, where
the combat was given. He was newly
landed, (having beene beaten with sundry
tempests at sea) neere unto that
great and thicke Forest, where He was
gone, thinking to take some rest under
the shade of some trees, being wearied
of the sea. But the vertuouus Timoclea,
who had seen the furious outrage, done
to the Prince of France, came unto Him C4 weeping, C4v 24
weeping and waking Him, conjured
Him, that if He would doe an action,
worthy the generosity which appeared
in His visage, that without any further
delay, He should goe and succour the
most valiant man in the world, that
Robbers endeavoured to murther. Opening
His eyes, He searches for His Armour
confusedly, and preparing Himselfe,
at all adventures, endeavours to
put Himselfe in case to fight. Timoclea
fearing, least the number, might oppresse
valour, urges Him to advance,
and represents unto Him the necessity,
and danger, wherein Poliarchus finds
Himselfe. He who was enflamed with
desire, to have His courage to appeare,
in so faire an occasion, without further
delay, spurres His Horse towards the
place of the combat. But He sees, with
some kind of sorrow, that He arrives too
late, and that He, whom He is desirous
to succour, hath needed no other assistance,
then that, of His sword. Ravish’d
with this wonder, He doth accost Him,
and having courteously saluted Him, informes C5r 25
informes Himselfe of the particulars of
this encounter, offers to assist Him, in
case there remaines any enemy, to fight
with, and conjures Him, to honour Him
so much, as to imploy Him in this quarrell.
Poliarchus resting extreamely satisfied
of the Prince of Mauritania’s good
behaviour, and courtesy, thanks Him for
this freedome, and assures Him of the
esteeme Hee makes of His courage, not
refusing to make use of it, in case, His
affaires oblige Him thereunto. But,
“Gentle Cavaleere,” said He, “I know neither
those, who have so cowardly assaulted
me, nor the reason of the furious hatred,
which they beare me.”
Timoclea arriving
thereupon with some of Poliarchus His
servants, breakes off the two Princes
discourse, and taking the word, conjures
them, to goe out of this Forest, and follow
her, to a house which shee hath,
neere unto that place, where they might
learne the true causes of this encounter.
They went then al together with
Timoclea, where they are hardly arrived,
when the Shepheards of the Country, come C5v 26
come to give them notice, that all the
champion, is full of kindled fires, every
where, and that doubtlesse, there is
some accident fallen out at Court; seeing
that was never done, but upon great
and important occasions. And that He
might take no rest, news were brought,
that Poliarchus was the subject of all
this emotion, to which they adde that
upon the Ambassadours complaint, He
hath beene condemned in Court. Poliarchus
seeing that ’tis He, whom this
tempest threatens, breathes forth all
manner of outrages against Meleander,
doth reproach His services, complaines
of His ungratitude, accuses also the innocent
Starres, as if they were the cause
of His mis-fortune. Timoclea fearing
least He (unto whom all Sicily owed their
safety) should fall in the hands of those
Traitors, that they should advance His
ruine, by their artificiall deceits opens
Him the way, how to shade Himselfe,
against this tempest, shewes Him at the
going out of a closet, of Her house, a
long Vault, which went under ground, whereof C6r 27
whereof the avenewes, were knowne to
few, and conjures Him to make use of
this opportunity, not onely to steale
away, from the eyes of those, who
sought Him, but also to goe out of Sicily
under the favour of a borrowed visage,
wherewith she could so artificially disguise
Him, that His most intimate
friends, would hardly take Him to bee
Poliarchus. At last, He is overcome
with her perswasions, makes use of the
opportunity, which she presents unto
Him, and though unwilling, confines
Himselfe within this Vault, (untill he can
give some order for His retreate) where
Timoclea, and the Prince of Mauritania,
would needs conduct Him, daring not
to trust those of the houshold, whose
faith they suspected; having left Him in
this cave, and being come backe to the
house, Timoclea began to entertaine her
guesse, with the best and most civill discourses
which she could invent. In the
meane time Timoclea and Archombrotus,
thinking to assure Poliarchus His life, did
almost ruinate His affaires. To take away C6v 28
away all suspition, they bethought thēemselves,
to cause a rumor of His death, to
be spread abroad, and that none might
doubt of it, caused His servants to be
seene, weeping the losse of their Master,
& they also shewed sad testimonies
of their sorrow. This rumor did fly as
farre as Argenis’s eares, who would not
survive Him, having as She thought, lost
Him, who made Her take all the delight
She had in the world. Selenissa brake this
designe, by her wisedome, shewing unto
Her that She ought not so slightly to
give faith to a rumor, who had no
assured Authour. That asswaged something
Her griefe, but did not altogether
heale the sore. Her thoughts were then
tossed, with irksome cares, which altred
by little and little the beauty of Her
face. Also Meleander being come to entertaine
Her, with His affaires, though
She had resolved, to oppose Her constancy,
to Her mis-fortunes, and to suppresse
Her sorrowes, for feare, that Her
Love should be knowne, neverthelesse
when He began the discourse, of Poliarchuschus C7r 29
His
accident, and to tell Her how He
had bin constrained, to abandon Him, to
His enemies rage, She could be no longer
mistris of Her senses, but fell downe
in a trance, at the recitall of this adventure.
Selenissa smothered this accident,
in the best wise she could, and assured
the King, that She had had sundry such
fits lately, but that she believed, there
was nothing to be feared, and that they
were but little faintings, caused with
the displeasure, which She had suffered
during Licogenes his warre; Her Father
left Her, amongst Her Women, who,
with the severall remedies they gave
Her, made Her come to Her selfe againe.
But She received a full cure, by the
newes which were brought unto Her,
few daies after of Her Poliarchus, by an
intimate friend of His, named Arsidas.
This trusty confident had learn’d by
Gelanore, a domesticke servant unto Poliarchus,
the truth of His History, thereupon
he came to finde Him out in Timocleas
house, where having had conference
(of all His affaires) with Him, Poliarchusliarchus C7v 30
conjured him, to see His Faire
Argenis
, in His name, and to know of
Her, as of His Oracle, what He should
doe, in this extremity; He knew to what
end the rumor of His death had beene
spread; He had also had notice, with
what violence the Commons (to shew
themselves passionate for the Kings service,)
pursued Poliarchus, seeing, that
being perswaded, He was in Timocleas
house, had runne thither, and without
any respect, had violently entred in’t,
to take and make Him prisoner. In
which, having had no successe, because
Poliarchus was in a place of safety. They
neverthelesse, discharged their choller,
upon His Fellow the Prince of Mauritania,
who was, at last, constrained, to suffer
Himselfe to be led captive, unto Meleander,
as if it had beene He whom they
sought after. Arsidas then, who had
seene all these violences, came to give
Argenis notice of the state of Her Poliarchus
His
affaires. At these pleasing news
She was as much troubled to keepe
backe Her soule, and to hinder it, from leaving C8r 31
leaving the body, as She had beene, in
the excesse of Her griefe. But Joy setled
Her minde againe; insomuch that the
rayes of this Sunne of the Court, began
to appeare againe. During which time,
newes were brought unto Her, that Poliarchus
was led as a prisoner unto the
Court: But the intelligence, which She
had received, by Arsidas of Archombrotus
accident, hindred this ill rumor, from
making an impression, upon Her spirit.
So that this cloud was soone over. As
the Commons, which had taken him,
were arrived at Court, one of the Captaines
of the Guard
, seeing so faire a prisoner,
in the hands of rusticall men,
ask’d of him who conducted Him,
what that Cavalleere had done, whom
they us’d so rigorously. This Head of
the common people, having replyed,
that it was Poliarchus, whom the King
had commanded, should be taken, that
He might be punish’d, according to justice;
He began to smile, and said unto
this people, that to speake the truth,
they had shewed their fidelity, for the Kings C8v 32
Kings service, but that they had not
sped, in this occasion, seeing their prisoner,
was not Poliarchus which was sought
for. Neverthelesse, He was led before
Meleander, who, after He had praised
His subjects zeale, address’d Himselfe
unto Arcombrotus, and made Him a
thousand excuses, for this offence happened
not by His command, but by the
ignorance, of this people, who had mistaken
themselves, in His person. The
Prince of Mauritania, though full of rage,
to see Himselfe so unworthily abused,
neverthelesse dissembled His choler, &
making His complement, with a very
comely behaviour, most humbly desired
Him to believe, that in what manner
soever, He could bee brought before
Him, He held it alwaies for a singular
glory, that He had the meanes, to offer
Him His service. In fine, neverthelesse,
shewing Himselfe more sensible of
the injury done to His friend, then
to Himselfe, He could not hinder Himselfe
from representing his complaint,
and said with a haughty courage unto Meleander. D1r 33
Meleander. “But, concerning Poliarchus
His
disgrace, which hath beene the subject
of my mis-fortune; Your Majesty, will give
me leave to tell Him, that if accusations
make crimes, there will bee no innocence,
assured in the world, since, that the most
just, will by this meanes be exposed, unto
the rage of slander, which is perpetually,
about Princes eares, to surprise and give
them all manner of ill impressions, against
those which they would put out of favour.
Your Majesty may be pleased to remember
Licogenes his brazen face, and the insolency,
of all his confederates? Doe not You
imagine also, that those who have made such
an outrage, against the Crowne, will spare
Your best Servants? Those who conspire
against Kings, and that will have their
Empires, to grow desolate, doe first endeavour,
to corrupt and seduce those whom
they know to bee most passionate for their
service, and when they cannot doe it, make
use of other crafts, to cause their Masters
to suspect their fidelity, to the end that daring
not to trust them any more, they should
remaine wholly unusefull unto them, I have D learn’d D1v 34
learn’d of a Lady of this Court (who by
chance was in company with that Cavalleer,
when I first saw Him,) the great assistance
which He hath given You, in the Warre,
that those seditious have most unhappily
kindled in the middest of Your Kingdome,
and the hurt which He hath done to Your
enemies. The griefe which they have conceived
thereat hath caused them, to seeke
out the meanes to make Him away, by open
violence, that they might rob You of that
powerfull prop, of Your State. But this
designe having fayled, by the great valour
that was in Him whom these cowards assaulted;
They now have had recourse unto
vayled artificiall deceits. And to circumvent
Your goodnesse, doe father upon an
innocent, the odiousnesse of an action, where
there’s no crime, but that which proceeds
from their perfidiousnesse. Your Majesty
who hath purchas’d so much glory, by the
true execution of Justice, not onely amongst
His subjects, but also amongst strangers,
will reserve, if He pleases, an eare for Poliarchus,
to learne by His owne mouth, the
particulars of this encounter, which troublesbles D2r 35
all Your Court, and may be pleased to
remember, that though He were guilty, it
would alwaies bee a kinde of injustice, to
condemne Him, and not heare His reasons.
And if Your Majesty will grant, that I
may finde out the truth of this businesse by
those meanes, which are used amongst Cavalleers,
I offer my selfe to enter in combate
against the authors of this slaunder. I
am sure that having the Gods, (whom they
have offended,) for their enemies, and that
having a continuall remorse, in their consciences,
their armes will fall from their hands,
and that their cowardise will bee a visible
proofe, of the infamous treason, whereof they
have beene the inventors.”
The King, who
was a generous Prince, was not offended
at Archombrotus His freedome, but
by the mildnesse of His face and speeches,
testified altogether the beliefe He
had of Poliarchus His innocence, and
the esteeme He made of His friends
great courage, who offered Himselfe so
freely to fight, in the behalf of His cause.
All the Court made acclamations of joy,
at this lofty testimony, which the Prince D2 of D2v 36
of Mauritania
rendred unto Poliarchus.
Argenis who tooke the best part therein,
thank’d him, with much curtesie, and
by this civility, did put Herselfe in danger
to spoile all, seeing that Archombrotus
who had nothing of the Moore but
the name, being kept backe, in Her Fathers
service, and having gotten the reputation
of the most valiant Cavalleere
in the world, after Poliarchus, was surprised
with vanity, which made Him so
farre to forget, all His promises, that He
became His friends Rivall, and endeavoured
to rob Him of the Princesse. In the
meane time Argenis, sends a dispatch
by Arsidas to Poliarchus, conjures Him
by Her letters, to believe that all these
crosses of fortune, were usefull onely, to
encrease Her love, rather then to diminish
it, that Argenis will never be to any,
but to Poliarchus, that She passionatly
desired She might assure Him thereof,
with Her owne mouth but that She
feares, least comming to Court He
should be knowen; therefore let him
take the surest party, and if He thinkes it D3r 37
it fit, He should returne in His Kingdome:
But that He should not forget, to cause
His greatnesse to appeare, by bringing
so faire an army, from His Countrey, that
among’st the obstacles, which might
oppose themselves to their designe, He
should be able to free Her from those
cares and troubles, which Their separation
causes, that in the meane time, Shee
will indeavor, to change Her Fathers anger
and bring Him againe, in His favour.
Which She imagines will not be very
difficult, considering the esteeme which
He makes, of His vertue. Poliarchus having
read this letter, could not tell
what to resolve. The imagination, of
the perill and feare to be discovered,
caus’d Him to apprehend the journey to
Court, where he doubted not, but His enemies,
were watching to surprise Him.
Arsidas and Timoclea fearing, least He
should miscarry, represented Him the
danger, yet greater then it was. But the
desire He had to see Argenis, made Him
despise all the hazzards, which they represented.
He then calls aside, His deare D3 friend D3v 38
friend, and declares unto Him that He
had rather expose Himselfe to His enemies
rage, then to goe out of Sicily, and
not see the Princesse. Arsidas seeing the
ardour of His passion, in lieu of opposing,
fortifies it, by the assurance which
he gives Him, to runne the same hazard.
They take leave of Timoclea, unto whōom
Poliarchus protested, to be so much obliged,
that it is out of His power, to acknowledge
the innumerable courtesies,
which she hath heap’d upon Him; conjures
her to believe, that at least, she hath
a Crowne and a King at her devotion;
assures her, that Hee will returne into
Sicily, so well accompanied, that the
greatnesse of His birth, shall not bee
doubted, and that then, He shall have
some manner of meanes, to acknowledge
the good offices, which His trusty
friends have done him; and then addes,
that He is going to make use, of the perriwigge,
and beard (whereof she had
made Him a present) to disguise Himselfe.
Thus with an extreame sorrow He
takes His leave of this vertuous Lady, which D4r 39
which did shed, an Ocean of teares at
His departure He soone after arrived
at Court, with Arsidas His Conduct,
where immediately after, He gives notice
unto Argenis of His coming, the joy
which She received thereat, cannot be
exprest; but seeing Him, with a forme,
so different, from that of Poliarchus, She
did shed some teares, seeing in what
danger, He did precipitate Himselfe for
Her sake: on the other side, the contentment
which She received, to see before
Her eyes, that which She held most
deare in the world, caused Her, presently
to leave off Her teares. It was in
the Temple, in the middest of the devotions
and sacrifices, where they saw each
other, but it was impossible to continue
this practice, full of danger, any longer;
Argenis sent Him word by Arsidas that
Hee should with expedition saile into
France, to raise there, with promptitude,
an army able, not onely, to overcome
the Kings enemies, but also all Sicily.
Arsidas undertooke to fraight a ship, for
that voyage, under colour that he had D4 another D4v 40
another to make in Italy. They imbarque
themselves, intending to hold
their course towards France, but the fates
disposed otherwise of it.

In the meane time, the Warre is kindled
afresh, and the Confederates, having
reunited their forces, caused all the
State, to rebell against the King, who
had but foure Holds remayning, in one
of which (being scituat in an Island) He
retired Himselfe with Argenis, and the
choyce of his trustiest Servants. In this
distresse, Fortune brought forth new
causes of trouble, unto Poliarchus and
the Princesse. The yong King of Sardany
and Corse
, taken with Argenis’s beauty,
whereof the glory as well as the pictures
had flowen, throughout all the
Universe, makes a puissant Army, takes
His course towards Sicily, and arrives
with His Navy, neere unto the Towne
where Meleander had retired Himselfe.
The sight of so many Sayles, frights all
the Kings party, as if they had beene
new enemies, arrived to dissipate the
relickes of His fortune. But the King of D5r 41
of Sardany
, sends to Meleander, gives Him
assurance of His Army, and declares
Him, that taking that interest which He
ought, in the common case of Kings, He
was come to assist Him, and to helpe
Him to chastise His subjects rebellion.
This new joy, causes Him to open His
Gates, and the King Himselfe prepares to
goe, and receive Him, in His owne shipping.
But being desirous to take away
all suspition unto Meleander, and His;
He commands His Navy to remaine in
the roade, till they had newes of Him,
and with a small traine, goes to meete
with Meleander, who with a great freedome
leapes into His Ship, to honour
Him so much the more. After the complements,
the King of Sardany, to witnesse,
that He had no lesse confidence,
then that of Sicily, goes in His Gally, and
went in company together towards the
Towne, where Meleander receives Him,
with as much magnificence, as the state
of His affaires would permit. Having
courted a while, He hastens the warre,
and being enflamed with the love of Argenis, D5v 42
Argenis, whom He had found much fairer,
then Her picture, wishes for nought
else, but Combats, desiring to make
Himselfe remarkeable in them, to shew
Himselfe worthy of the love of so faire a
Princesse. Archombrotus is jealous of this
new Rivall, doth protest in His heart,
He will never yeeld Him this glory,
which He could not suffer that it should
be enjoyed by another, which was better
then He, who was Poliarchus. These
yong Cavalleers, edg’d on by their passions,
doe wonders against the enemies.
But the Moore, was so happy, that having
saved Meleanders life, He, with His owne
hand, slew the chiefe of the factious;
Neverthelesse, the forces which the
King of Sardany had brought, which
doubtlesse had opened the way unto
the Victory, seemed exceeding considerable
unto the King and Court of Sicily.
Being all returned in the place where
Faire Argenis was, the onely subject of
so many heroicall actions, jealousie inflames
itselfe; the Moore, (though covertly)
imployes all his industry, to purchase D6r 43
purchase the Princesses favour, who hath
His sollicitations in disdaine, and detests
in Her heart, so visible an infidelity,
which tends onely, to make a shamefull
wound in Her constancy. The King of
Sardany
asketh Her in marriage openly
unto Her Father, who dares not refuse
Her, after so powerfull a succour wherewith
He hath newly oblig’d Him. Neverthelesse
knowing that His Daughter,
had no inclination, for that Prince, He
makes use of all manner of artificiall
delayes, to feede Him with vaine hopes,
without breaking with Him, fearing
least being moved with His refusall, He
should turne His armes against Sicily.
But where art thou Poliarchus?

Some few months before, He had
shipp’d himselfe in that Vessell, which,
Arsidas had caused, to be prepar’d, to
sayle towards the Gaules: but He was
beaten, with such contrary winds, and
His Ship was so much persecuted, with
tempestuous stormes, that He was constrain’d,
to abandon it, and put Himselfe,
under the mercy of the waves in a little Cock- D6v 44
Cock-boat, which went and split it self,
neere unto a rock, where, with much
trouble He saved Himselfe, with His
trusty Gelanore: But it was not the end
of His adventures. Perceaving from the
top of this clift, a Brigantine which sayled
upon the sea, He began to call out,
and to conjure, those which were within
it, that they should take pitty at His
misfortune: They were Pyrates, who
had no feeling of humanity: Neverthelesse
imagining that those who call’d
them, had saved some great riches,
among’st the relickes of their Shipwrack,
they came neere the Rock, and
tooke them in their Brigantine. Poliarchus
His
port, and the sumptuous
cloathes, wherewith He and Gelanore
were clad, was like to be their undoing:
The Captaine with his consorts,
would have put them to the Chayne.
Poliarchus, astonied at this barbarousnesse,
retires a step backwards, and putting
His hand upon His sword, askes
Him whence came this change, having
newly saved His life? Desires him, not to D7r 45
to blot so great an obligation, by so
bloody an outrage. But He speakes to a
barbarous man, to whom intreaties envenom
and swell the courage. Poliarchus
who would dispute His liberty, takes
hold on a peece of an oare, whereof
He makes use in lieu of a buckler, and
drawing His sword, shewes that He is
not a man, to suffer that affront; Gelanore
seconds Him: They fight, but the
match was so unequall, that the Prince
had infallibly bin lost, if some prisoners
(unto whom He had the dexterity to
cut their bonds wherewith they were
tyed, arming themselves, with the Pyrates
owne armes, which they had
slayne) had not succor’d them. At last
this assistance made Him victorious, and
master of the Brigantine, and fortune of
those which were within it. He learn’t
by the Galli-slaves, and prisoners, that
those Pyrates, had newly taken a great
prey, in Mauritania, and that they had
carried away, all the Queenes Treasure,
who had an uncomfortable sorrow
thereof. One of them, to whom Poliarchuschus D7v 46
had saved the life, told Him all the
particulars thereof, and also shewed
Him, the place where the Boxes were
hidden. Poliarchus having caused them
all to be opened; was astonied, at the
sight of so much riches, together, and
then thought it fit, that being so neere
unto the Queenes Territories, He was, (in
Honor) obliged, to seeke Her out, and
to restore unto Her Her Treasure, to free
Her from the affliction wherein this
losse had plunged Her. But as they were
throwing the dead over-boord, He perceaved,
that His folkes were searching
one, upon the sands, of whom having
pulled off one of his buskins; they
found a packet of letters very carefully
bound up upon his legge. Curiosity,
made Him desire to see what it was; He
perceaves presently, that the letters
were directed unto Him, and having
opened them, sees the name of Licogenes,
which was he who writ unto Him.
The little love they bare one to another
made Him admire this novelty: But having
read them exactly, He was strucke with D8r 47
with an incomparable astonishment,
greater then the first, wherein He had
found Himselfe.

Licogenes having had notice that Argenis
had made Poliarchus His peace
with Meleander; and that Meleander, to
assure Him of His good will, did not
onely write unto Him, but also sent Him
a rich Bracelet, in token of His affection;
had found the meanes, to cause
this present, to be poison’d, by the artificiall
cunning of one of his confidents;
and to cause the horror of his crime to
fall on Meleander, had sent him who was
found amongst the dead in this ship, to
the end he might give notice unto Poliarchus,
of the treason, which was intended
towards Him.

Poliarchus having seene by Licogenes
His letters, the advice which He gave
Him, could never imagine that He had
so much care of His life, nor that a great
King would have procured Him such an
infamous death. He puts off the deliberation
of the businesse; till Hee was
arrived in Mauritania, where at the instantstant D8v 48
he caused the Brigantine to saile;
He sent His Gelanore before, to advertise
the Queene of His arrivall, and to assure
Her that He brought backe Her
Treasure which He had taken from the
hands of the Pyrates. These newes rejoyc’d
the Affricans, but the Queene could
not imagine that Her Treasure was yet
whole; and there was something in it,
when it was taken, which troubled Her
more then all the rest. She takes what
was next to Her, and goes to the Seashore,
to welcome Poliarchus. At their
meeting, He salutes Her, and declares
unto Her that He believes that Heaven
had conducted Him by this tempest
about this coast, to quench Her teares,
since He brought Her backe all Her riches,
which She had so much deplor’d.
The Queene impatient to know the
truth, leaps aboard, where He followes
and shewes Her immediately the Boxes,
well lock’d up. She opens them, and
found therein all what She sought for,
and particularly the Cabinet, which
serv’d afterwards to reconciliate Her Sonne E1r 49
Sonne
with Poliarchus. Then She cryed
out with great joy, and imbracing the
Prince, called Him, the God Saviour of
Mauritania
, thence She led him to Her
Palace
, and forgot no kinde of magnificence
and good entertainement, to testifie
how welcome He was. Amongst
all this mirth and gladnesse Poliarchus
His
soule was all troubled with Licogenes
His
letters, & though He could not
suspect Meleander of this perfidiousnesse,
He was not fully satisfied of Him; To
pull out all these thorns from His soule,
He resolves to send Gelanore into Sicily,
and to give him letters to His Argenis,
but not unto Meleander, to whom He was
contented to send Licogenes His letters,
to the end Gelanore might judge by His
countenance what He had in His soule,
and if one might believe of Him so unworthy
a wickednesse. It was in a good
time that Gelanore arrived in Sicily, because
Arsidas accompanied with Timonides,
which was he unto whom Meleander
had given the Bracelet to carry,
was going to spread abroad the rumour E of E1v 50
of Poliarchus His death throughout
all the Court. The Pilote of the ship in
which He had made shipwracke, having
by good fortune saved himselfe, had
brought word unto Arsidas of the misfortune
which was happened unto Him,
and had described unto him the manner
of His losse. Arsidas having at the
same time met with Timonides, and
learn’d of him the subject of his journey,
had stayed it, and had made him
partaker of these bad newes. They
had then gone together very sad unto
the Court, knowing not how to publish
this accident, which was enough to
cause Argenis’s death with sorrow. The
first whom they encountred at their
landing was Gelanore which came from
Affricke from the Prince of France: At
the sight of him they thought they had
beene in another world, because they
had bin assured he had perish’t with his
Master: it was then as a sunne of good
hope which began to shine upon them.
But said they unto him; “Gelanore, where
is Poliarchus? the ill newes which wee haveE2r51
have heard puts us in such trouble, that
wee cannot beginne our complement,
but with this question.”
“Poliarchus is very
well,”
replied Gelanore; “I have left Him
in Affrick, and am come to see the Princesse
on His behalfe.”
“You revive us,” replied
the Princes two friends, “without
any further delay Argenis must have notice
of it, for feare least this ill rumor
which wee have heard should have bin
spread in the Court,”
Arsidas undertakes
this commission, and assoone receaves
a command to fetch Gelanore. When he
comes before the Princesse, he kisses the
letters, and presents them unto Her together
with his Masters commendations:
She tooke a singular content at the reading
of the letters: But when She, had
opened Licogenes His letter, She was
seized with horror, and resolv’d that
Her Father should see them, as also Gelanore
had order to present them unto
Him. Meleander having seene them conceav’d
an extraordinary spite, not only
against Licogenes, but also against Poliarchus,
that without writing, had sent unto E2 Him, E2v 52
Him, such infamous letters, of a traitor;
and testified not unto Him the little
faith which He gave to them. Insomuch
that as Gelanore who had all the Princesses
dispatches, went to take leave of
Him, and ask’t Him if he would not do
the honor unto His Master to write to
Him. “Go your wayes,” said he, “and tell your
Master, that I am a King, and not a Poisoner:”
Neverthelesse that caused two of
Licogenes’s friends, who had lately bin
arrested, to be tortur’d, as having plotted
something against the Kings honor,
and against the quiet of His State, Gelanore
went backe, towards Mauritania,
where he found Poliarchus yet sicke of
His fever. Having delivered Him the
Princesses letters; he told Him all the
particulars of the Court of Sicily, and amongst
other things, complained, of Archombrotus
His great pride who would
not daigne to looke upon him, insinuating
thereby, openly enough, that he
beleeved he aspir’d to marry the Princesse;
there needed no more to put Poliarchus
in the field. Then, notwithstanding Gelanores E3r 53
Gelanore’s remonstrances who charg’d
Him on the behalfe of Argenis, to go in
His Kingdome and bring succours, to put
Sicily in liberty, He resolv’d to returne,
disguis’d as before, in Meleanders Court;
And to that end, seekes out the cure of
His ague, in a strange remedy, having
better succeeded therein, then the Physitians
had judged; he went presently to
take His leave of the Queene, who
would by all meanes stay him: but He
alleag’d Her so many reasons, that She
was forc’t to let Him go, for feare She
should be a hindrance in the effecting of
the great affaires which (as He said) He
had in hand. She would have given Him
magnificent presents, but He who
would not take any thing, of all Her
treasures, but one only ring, which perforce
She caused Him to accept, remained
satisfied with the honor of Her favour,
and having ship’t Himselfe, hastned
so much the Pilote and Mariners, that in
a short time He arriv’d at the Court of Sicily.
Gelanore
had charge to advertise
Arsidas, to the end he should beare the E3 newes E3v 54
newes unto the Princesse; he did it with
such dexterity, that there is Poliarchus
amongst the King of Sardany’s and Archombrotus
His
practises, neere unto His
Argenis
, under favour of His borrowed
face. The joy which They received at
the sight of each other, is beyond expression:
The conclusion of Their enterview
was, that at this present He
should breake all obstacles, and should
goe directly in His Kingdome, to leavie
a puissant Army, that He might free Her
out of the hands of so many Suters, who
were so importunate unto Her. He then
leaves Sicily, and happily arrives in His
Realme, where He raises
a Royall Army,
which He presently ships, for the effecting
of this great voyage, and to shew
unto the eyes of Sicily, as a sparkling of
the glory of His birth. But it happened,
that being at Sea, the Navy was beaten
with a furious storme, that intending
to hold their course towards Sicily,
He
was cast upon the Coast of Mauritania,
where He found wherewith to
cause His valour to appeare, and to give
that successe to His affaires, which He damaged1 word E4r 55
did not imagine, should be there. Neverthelesse
His absence, a hundred times
blam’d by Argenis, which could not tell
what Starre to accuse, of this mis-fortune,
was the cause that the Moore and
the King of Sardany continued their pursuits;
The Sardiot imagining He was
abus’d, resolved to steale away Argenis,
and to ship Her in His owne Navy, and
so returne with so rich a Prey into His
Kingdomes
. The Moore, who had an
eye on all sides, discovers this designe,
advertises the King, and gives Him such
true tokens thereof, that Meleander gives
notice unto Radiroboranes that He ignored
not His practices, which gave Him
cause to breake wholly with Him. To
be reveng’d on Meleander, He writ Him
a letter, full of contempt and outrages
against Argenis, whose Governesse He
had suborned, which had discovered
unto Him, Poliarchus His secrets and
Their loves, Meleander afflicted beyond
measure of this affront, is angry with
Argenis, which justifies Her innocence, by
she her selfe who had betrayed Her. This E4 mise- E4v 56
miserable wretch seeing her selfe discovered
did seeke (by the meanes of
poison) the expiation of her crime, and
procur’d her owne death, before the
eyes of the Court. Meleander to shun a
greater mis-fortune, and to fortifie
Himselfe with friends, went to His Daughter,
& speakes to Her to marry the Prince
of Mauritania
, of whose merit and valour
He spake advantagiously to enduce Her
to consent. She demands some time to
resolve Herselfe, and represents unto
Him, that it would bee a shame for a
Kings Daughter, to give Her faith so
slightly unto a man who had not so
much as demanded it, with the solemnities
accustomed in like occurrences.
Her Father grants Her two months time,
and Fortune lengthned this terme:
The King of Sardany full of rage and despight,
for so bloody an affront, puts
under sayle, leaves Sicily, and having a
favourable wind, within a short time,
arrives in His Kingdome. His soule being
wounded, causes Him to undertake revenge
(of the injury which He had receivedceived E5r 57
in the Court of Sicily) upon Mauritania;
He
imagined that He could
easily conquer that Great Kingdome,
where there was but a Queene, which
held the reines of the Empire; but the
storme, which was like to cast away Poliarchus,
saved the Moores and their
Crowne. The tempest having cast Him
upon that coast, He offers His Army,
unto their Queene, who knew the obligation
which She had unto Him in the
former voyage: She accepted those advantageous
offers, and recommended
unto Him, the safety of Her State. After
many encounters, sometimes the victory
was seene to leane on the Sardinians
side, and sometimes on the Affricans,
assisted with the Gaulois. At last they
came to a set battell, which having been
bloody amongst the souldiers, was no
lesse cruell betwixt the Generals. These
two generous Princes edg’d on, by a
secret hatred which they bare one to
another, sorted themselves during the
horror of the fight, and filled with a
furious animosity, caused their souldiersdiers E5v 58
to retire, that they might end the
Combat, and end their differences by
the death of the one or the other; After
a great conflict they were separated
twice: But both aspiring to the victory,
and being impatient at this succour, out
of rage and despite threatned their
souldiers to fall on them, if they had
the audacity to hinder them any more.
They beginne their conflict the third
time, but they appeared so wearied and
weakned by reason of the losse of their
blood, that it was thought the Conquerour
should have no great cause to glorifie
himselfe of his victory, at the end
of the Combat. In the end neverthelesse
Poliarchus who had some advantage
upon the Sardiot, for the last blow,
finding out a place through the defect
of His Armour, thrusts His sword
through His throat, and sacrifices Him
to the Princesse of Sicily’s wrath; Radirobranes
whose soule was already upon His
lips thrust Himselfe on Poliarchus, and
fell downe upon Him: but being bereaved
of life, Poliarchus disingag’d Him- E6r 59
Himselfe by little and little, from under
this body, and appeared victorious in
the Head of His Troopes: The Moores
know not what Trophies to erect, to
the French Princes vertue; their Queene
avouches, that Her Sonne and She owe
unto His courage, all the remainder of
the good fortune which they have in
the world. Going to visit Him, when
He was sicke, of the wounds which He
had received in the Combat, after many
praises said to the Conquerours glory,
She speaks unto Him of the happy purchase,
which Her Sonne had made in
Sicily, and in few words gives Him to
understand that Meleander, holding
Himselfe extreamely obliged unto His
valour, had offered Him His Daughter
in marriage. At this word all Poliarchus
His
wounds did bleed afresh, and
seemes by the palenesse of His face, that
His soule is going to abandon His body,
as being weary to dwell in it: But this
is not all, here’s a mightier wave, which
comes to encounter Him, to banish out
all patience from His soule. The Queene had E6v 60
had conjur’d Her Sonne by Her letters,
that He should make a journey into His
Kingdome
, before He married the Princesse
of Sicily
, and to induce Him to make
this voyage, had represented unto Him
the mis-fortunes whereof His State was
threatned by the K. of Sardany’s Army.
There He is come, and led to Poliarchus
His
chamber, whōom He had cruelly offended:
Poliarchus feared not this encounter
at all, because the Moore bore another
name in Sicily, then in His Kingdome, but
knowing His Rival, remēembers what the
Queene had told Him, touching Her Sons
marriage with Argenis. Griefe so overmastered
His senses, that at this sight, all
full of rage, he turn’d His head on the
other side, shews tokens of His spight,
and receaves no better countenance of
the Moore; who resolves to avenge Himselfe
of the obstacle, which He gives to
His Nuptials, imagining, that the delay,
wchwhich Argenis had ask’t, was for His sake:
They come to words which testifie the
great adversion which they have against
each other. The Queene much astonied, brings E7r 61
brings forth Her Son out of the sick mans
chamber, chides Him for His incivility,
represents unto Him the obligation wchwhich
He hath to the French Prince, and by way
of reproach, gives Him to understand,
that He shall be for ever blamed, to have
so unworthily used an outlandish Prince,
unto whōom His Crown is so strictly oblig’d.
In the meane time examining exactly
the cause of so cruell a hatred, who had
made Poliarchus, to resolve to take Sea,
thus sicke and ill as He was, She finds
out, that it was Jealousie, which they
had each of the other concerning Argenis,
which had stirred up this storme:
That comforts Her, beleeving She had
found the meanes to agree them without
much trouble. She speakes to both
the Princes; Imperiously, to Her Sonne;
Courteously, unto that of France: She
conjure Them, to referre the decision
of their differences, unto Meleander; “And
I will cause, (said She unto Poliarchus)
that you shall have the Faire Argenis, and
that my Son shall not loose Her.”
This promise,
as an Oracle, with two faces, doth astonish E7v 62
astonish the Princes, but the respect
which they bare to the Queene, obliges
them to beleeve Her, and to give a true
Faith, unto Her words, and stay with
patience, what the event will be, whereof
both the one and the other seemed
to hope well. Thus, Poliarchus is conjured
to remaine in the Court of Mauritania
to cause His wounds to be healed,
and in the meane time the Moore lands
His Navy in Sardany full of factions by
the death of their King. He conquers it
with little trouble; He comes backe
Victorious to meet the Queene his Mother,
which at Poliarchus His intreaty,
dispatches them both with Her letters,
to goe, and decide their difference,
before Meleander unto whom they had
referred it by Her Counsell. She gives
a Cabinet, unto Her sonne, to carry unto
Meleander; the pretious stones which
were in it, were of an inestimable value,
but that was not the secret. Having
taken leave of the Queene, the two Rivall
Princes
, hoise up saile, shewing no
signs of anger, against each other: They arrived E8r 63
arrived much about one time in Meleanders
Court. Argenis
hath notice that Poliarchus
is so neere unto her: This joy
had transported Her, if rage had not
cross’t it, when She heard, that He had
made Her Father Umpire of Her marriage.
“Is it then,” said She, “all the esteeme He
makes of me, to put Himselfe thus in hazard,
to lose Me? And if my Father who hath an
inclination for the Moore, gives Me unto
Him, doth he thinke, that I will ever consent
thereunto? Before that shall happen,
steele, or poison shall put Me out of the world:
I shall have more courage then He: my death
shall blot out all the Trophies that this
Moore goes fancying in his minde, and
Poliarchus shall know that I can love, more
constantly, and truly then He. At least if My
sexe takes away the meanes, to dispute
against Him, the glory of Armes, nothing
shall hinder Me, to take from Him that of
Constancy. This list is open to all the couragious
spirits, without distinction of sexe,
and I shall not be the first Virgin, who hath
surpassed men, in fidelity.”

In the meane time the two Lovers are favourably E8v 64
favourably receaved at Court, where
Poliarchus began to reassume His luster,
and as it were, to darken a little the
Prince of Mauritanias glory, they go to
salute the King, who at first sight, makes
them the best welcome which they can
desire. Poliarchus was the first which
made His complement in few words.
But the Moore having presented those
letters with the Cabinet whereof His
Mother
had charged Him to give unto
Meleander, saw Himselfe ingaged in a
longer discourse.

At the opening of the letters, the
King changed colour, having read them
very exactly, and with an extraordinary
attention, He tooke a little Golden Key,
which the Queene of Mauritania had inclosed
in them, and opened the Cabinet,
where He found things, which did ballance
His Spirits in such sort, that
among’st the tokens, which He gave of
His contentment, the teares were seene
to trickle downe His cheekes, in such
abundance, that all the company was
astonied thereat. At the instant forgettingting F1r 65
Himselfe a little in point of civility,
He left the Prince of France alone, and
drew the Moore aside as to entertaine
Him more privatly and with more
liberty; this negligence was nothing
to what followed: holding of
Him aside, takes Him about the necke,
imbraces and kisses Him, and gives Him,
the most sensible testimonies which He
could wish, of His affection. Not contented
with that, He sent in all hast for
His Daughter, to whom as She arrived,
He said softly, some few words accompanied
with an action which seemed to
be an image of joy, in His heart. The
Princesse taking no heed to what was so
neere unto Her, advances to salute the
Moore with visible signes of Love, Poliarchus
remaines astonied at this spectacle,
and knowes not how to behave
Himselfe, but judging by the good entertainment,
which Argenis gave unto
Archombrotus, that all his hopes were
ruinated, and that His rivall was going
to triumph, with His pursuits; yielded
unto despaire, and in the bitternes of His F thoughts, F1v 66
thoughts, began to say within His soule;
“Is this then the fruit of so many paines
which I have taken, and so many hazards
which I have runn’d, to assure My selfe of
the love, of this prodigious inconstancy, She
to whom the most violent rigors of a Father,
with a thousand Martyrdomes ought
not to have chang’d, nor altered, suffers
Herselfe to be surpris’d by some flatteries,
which this Old man rounds Her in the
eare: What mountaines of gold? What perpetuall
springs of felicity, have beene promissed
Her, thus to change Her affection,
and alter Her minde? unfortunate Queene
of Mauritania
, a scion of the old stock, what
characters and inchantments hast thou
made, upon those letters, to print upon them,
that force, and give them that power, to
cause so monstruous a change, and to ruinate
in so small a time, that which I had built
with so long a patience? How am I punished
of the folly which I have committed, trusting
in the words of a Woman and unto the
promisses of a Damzell, whereof the cunning
and lightnesse, (qualities unseparable to that
sexe) ought to have made me to suspect them F2r 67
them more then the Winds which have
brought and driven me on this infamous
Shore: But however, If Poliarchus hath
beene deceaved, He can take such a cruel
vengeance, that neither the Authors, nor
confederates of this perfidiousnesse shall have
no great cause to build triumphs, nor erect
trophies to their vanity. This wretched Old
man
, who by the artificiall deceits whereof
He is full, hath alwayes opposed my contentments,
and these two insolent Lovers, who
sport at the ship-wracke of my fortune, shall
be the sacrifices of My fury: But it is not all,
I will also dye, to the end my Ghost may
pursue and persecute the ungratefull Argenis,
unto the Throne of the immortall Gods:
Before whom I will reproach Her prodigious
infidelity, that a thousand oathes taken in
their name, ought to have stayed, if She had
had the feeling and beliefe which She should
have had of their power and justice”
; It is
apparent, that it was Poliarchus His good
Genius, or the Tutelary Angell of Sicily,
which busied His Spirit, in these Tragick
thoughts, to stay His designe, and
to divert Him during as much space as needed, F2v 68
needed, to give Meleander and Argenis,
time to remember themselves, and to
come and make their excuses. As He was
then, upon the point to goe and execute
so furious a designe, and to put Meleander,
Argenis
, and His Rivall out of
the world, and after this bloody execution,
to run His sword through His
body, and by that meanes to leave Tragick
tokens of His jealousie and despite:
Those who seemed, to have too much
neglected Him, came to themselves
againe, and perceaving their fault, went
towards Him to make their excuses,
and discover the cause of this joy, which
having ravish’t them, out of themselves,
had made them, to forget all civility:
Poliarchus finds the charmes of His fury
and frensie in their discourses and reasons:
The Moore is acknowledged to be
Argenis’s Brother; the Queene of Mauritania,
had discovered the History by
Her letters, and had given such good
tokens unto Meleander, that He could
not doubt, but that He was His Sonne,
and the true Heire of the two Crowns, insomuchsomuch F3r 69
that Archombrotus receiving the
succession of His Estates, left freely the
possession of the Princesse His sister, unto
Poliarchus, who would not have changed
it with a thousand Scepters.

Meleander, seing that the most part of
the assistants, understood nothing in
these wonders, and that every one desired,
a more particular enlightning,
tooke the word, and making a short
discourse of the voyage which He had
made in Affricke during the heat of His
youth, avowed that He had beene enamoured
of a Beauty, whose favour
having purchas’t, He had at last married
Her secretly, and that His affaires,
having called Him backe into Sicily,
He
had left Her with child, of a Sonne,
which was Archombrotus, whom, since
Hyanisbe, seeing Herselfe without children,
by the King Her husband, had supposed;
fayning to have beene brought
a bed of Him, that She had beene induc’t
thereunto, because Her Sister,
(which was She, whom He had loved,)
seing Herselfe ready to dye, in childebed,bed, F3v 70
had discovered the Secret, unto
Her. Therefore it was not to be doubted
but that Archombrotus was Argenis’s
Brother
, to whose marriage for that
cause He could not aspire, but left the
free possession of her, unto Poliarchus,
an Incomparable Prince, and worthy
the Alliance of the greatest Princesse of
the earth; and accordingly, if ever
Sicily had seene Herselfe at the height of
good Fortune, it was now where the
destinies had brought it unto, by unknowne
meanes unto men, that therefore
all the World should give signes
of a publike gladnesse, and that every
one should runne unto the Temples of
their Gods, to give them a thousand
thankes, for so many blessings showred
downe upon His Crowne. At these
words the people was seene transported
with a secret ravishment, by giving
such testimonies of joy, amongst
their Feasts and Sacrifices: Meleander
with Archombrotus consent, offers the
Kingdome of Sardany, unto Poliarchus for
Argenis’s Marriage; Poliarchus being marvellous F4r 71
marvellous well contented, makes ouverture
of an Alliance, for Archombrotus
with a Sister of His, Daughter of
France
, which doth accept this glorious
party with a thousand thankes, so that
the two Crownes of France and Sicily remained
united with such strong Bonds,
that it seemed, the destinies would
make this Alliance, perpetuall.

On the other side, Poliarchus sees
Himselfe at the height of His desires, seeing
that He was in possession of Her,
whom He loved more dearely, then His
owne life. Truely even as the rigours
of a long Winter, causes the Spring to
be found more pleasing, so all the crosses
which He had suffered in this pursuit,
caused Him to finde the enjoying
of it, so much the sweeter.

Finis.