Extracted out of the Latin, and put
in French, by that Great and
And tranſlated out of the French into
English by a yong Gentlewoman.
To the Lady Anne Wentworth.
Printed by E. G. for Henry Seile at the Tygers
head in Fleetſtreet. 16401640.
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.
It is not needfull, I ſhould uſe many words, to let You know, that this Booke belongs A2 to iv 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 v 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- vi 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; vii 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 viii A4v minent 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 ix A5r band worthy of You, And I am confident, Hee will bee farre Compleater then Poliarchus. Theſe are the Wiſhes
Of your moſt humble, moſt affectionate, moſt obedient, and moſt obliged ſervant,
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 xii A6v mory 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 xiii 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 xiv 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.
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 xvi 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 History of Faire Argenis and Poliarchus Epitomiz’d.
Fortune proud and inſolent, beyond all imagination d,, 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 2 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 ofSicily, 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 3 B2r 3 peece 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 4 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 5 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 6 B3v 6 nate 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 7 B4r 7 ned 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 B8r 15 ſence 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 16 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, 17 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 18 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 19 C2r 19 dering 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 20 C2v 20 times, 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, 21 C3r 21 miſſion, 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 22 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; 23 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, 24 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 25 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 26 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 27 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 28 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 29 C7r 29 chus 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 30 C7v 30 liarchus 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 31 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 32 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. 33 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 34 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 35 D2r 35 bles 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 36 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 37 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 38 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 39 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 40 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 41 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, 42 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 43 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- 44 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 45 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 46 D7v 46 chus 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 47 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 48 D8v 48 ſtant 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 49 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 50 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 have51E2r51 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, 52 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 53 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 54 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 55 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- 56 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 57 E5r 57 ceived 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 58 E5v 58 diers 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- 59 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 60 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 61 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 62 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 63 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 64 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 65 F1r 65 ting 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, 66 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 67 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, 68 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 69 F3r 69 ſomuch 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, 70 F3v 70 bed, 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 71 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.