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HEPTAMERON, OR THE HISTORY OF THE FORTUNATE LOVERS;

Written by the moſt Ex­cellent and moſt Virtuous Prin­ceſs, Margaret de Valoys, Queen of NAVARRE;

Publiſhed in French by the Privi­lege and immediate Appro­bation of the KING;

Now made Engliſh by Robert Codrington, Maſter of Arts.

LONDON, Printed by F. L. for Nath: Ekins, and are to be ſold at his Shop at the Gun, by the Weſt-End of St. Pauls. 1654.

To the truly Honourable, the true Lover of all good Lear­ning, Thomas Stanley Eſquire, &c.

SIR,

SInce I knew the World, I have conſtantly profeſſed my ſelf to be a ſtranger to it, yet there is no place ſo remote from obſer­vation, that is not acquain­ted with your Vertues, which, like the bright Beams of the Sun, do enter in­to, and enlighten the obſcureſt angles.

The light of this knowledge is a happineſs which is moſt ſuitable to retired Spirits; for although the gaudy World doth cry up Virtue, and Nobleneſs, and doth make pretences out­wardly to follow them, yet they will not pay ho­mage to them on their Account, or on the for­mality of their praiſes, but diſtinguiſhing the noiſe from the effect, will make it their great buſineſs to trace them through all Adventures, and having in their Contemplation enjoyed a full ſight, and ſenſe of their perfections, will in their practiſe thankfully endeavour to be wor­thy of them.

Sir, Theſe Arts did lead me to the know­ledge of you, and my thankfulneſſe ſhall lead you to the knowledge of my ſelf, which preſents unto your hand this delightfull Hiſtory, writ­ten in the Original by an Incomparable Prin­ceſs, and acceptable to the greateſt Potentates in Chriſtendom, who with great applauſe have entertained the Work.

If the Foundation doth ſeem but light, and ſandy, the height, the ſoundneſs, and the Mag­nificence of the ſuperſtructure wil be the more admired which hath already laſted ſo many A­ges, and which (Tranſlated now into the Eng­liſh air) will undoubtedly continue longer, if the Honor of your Name, may be ſeen on the portal thereof, to give life unto the Endeavours of him, who is,

Sir,
Your moſt humble, and moſt devoted Servant, Robert Codrington.

The Tranſlator to the Reader.

THoſe who undertake to render in another Tongue the Concep­tions of great Princeſſes, ought to be indued with the like Spirit. I will not be too vain to commend, nor too vile to undervalue my ſelf. For the Di­vinity by this great Lady in many places here inſerted, it is left to your Candor to interpret of it; But for the Philoſo­phy, you ſhall undoubtedly find, that moſt wiſely ſhe hath ſorted her diſ­courſe, in fit perſons, to the four Com­plexions of the Natural Body. Beſides, you ſhall every where read moſt excel­lent Precepts of Moral Philoſophy: The Canoniſts alſo, and the Caſuiſts, will here have enough, in many paſſages, on which with admiration to reflect. I am informed that the Queen had fully fini­ſhed the Tenth days work; but the Fri­ers and Religious Men, who have depri­ved us of the two laſt Journals, and of the greateſt part of the eighth, would have deprived us alſo of all the Reſt, if poſſibly they could have prevented it: And this is that of which Gruget doth implicitely complain, in his Epiſtle to the ſucceeding Queen of Navarre, which for your further ſatisfaction I have here inſerted. If any thing in the whole Work ſhall appear too light, you muſt ballance it with that which ſhall be found more ſolid, and impute it to the ſimplicity of thoſe times, and to the Condition of that Court, where Mars and Venus were for a long time the two culminating Planets.

To the moſt Illuſtri­ous and moſt Virtuous Princeſſe, Madam Jane De Foix Queen of NAVARR.

Madam,

I Had not preſumed to preſent unto you this Book of the Novels of the late Queen your Mother, if the firſt Edition had not omitted or concealed her Name, and ſo changed the whole form of it, that many did not know it; wherefore, to make it worthy of its Au­thor, whenever it was divulged, I gathered together all the original and beſt written Copies that poſſibly I could procure, and justifying them by my own, I have reduced the Book to the true order in which ſhe had dreſſed it. Since by the permiſſion of the King, and your own conſent, it hath been committed to the Preſſe to be publiſhed in that primitive integrity in which it ought to be, which doth prompt me to call into my me­mory what Count Balthazar, in the Preface of his Cour­tier doth affirm of Boccace, that his work of Recreati­on, meaning his Decameron, did bring him more honour than all thoſe more ſerious pieces which he did compoſe in the Latin or the Italian tongue. In this ſame manner the Queen of Navarr, the true Ornament of our Age (from whom you nothing do degenerate in the love and knowledge of good Letters) exerciſing her witty mirth, and playing on the various Acts of human life, hath left ſuch excellent inſtructions, that there is no Man but may be taught therby to improv his lif& underſtanding, and according to the judgement of all, ſhe hath ſurpaſ­ſed Boccace in theleg••••diſcourſes which ſhe hath made on every one of her Accounts, for which ſhe deſer­veth to be praiſed not only above all excellent Ladies, but alſo amongſt the moſt learned Men: For of the three ſtiles of speaking deſcribed by Cicero, ſhe hath made choice of the plain one, like unto that of Terence in La­tin, which appeareth to every one to be eaſie to imitate, but he who undertaketh it, ſhall find nothing more difficult. True it is, that this preſent will not be new, and you will acknowledge it as deſcended to you by Inheri­tance; Nevertheleſſe I aſſure my ſelf, you will with a glad eye obſerve it in this ſecond impreſſion to be reſtored to its first condition, for I underſtand that the firſt was diſtaſtful to you, not that he was an unletterd Man Who took pains in it, and we may eaſily believe that he would not diſguiſe it without ſome occaſion, but his travel is not found to be acceptable. I therefore Madam do pre­ſent it to you, not for any pretences of my own in it, but having only unmasked it, and rendord it in its Na­tive luſtre. It belongs to your Royal Greatneſſe to favour it, being derived from your Illuſtrious Family. It car­ryeth alſo that Mark in the Forehead of it, which will be as a ſafe conduct to it through all the World, and render it acceptable to all good Companies. For my ſelf, ac­knowledging the Honour you ſhall do me to receive from my hand this work digeſted into its firſt order, I ſhall be perpetually obliged to do you most humble ſervice.

Claudius Gruget.

The true and lively Pour­traicture of the moſt Illuſtrious and moſt Excellent Princeſs Margaret of Valois, Daughter to Henry the II. Siſter to Henry the III. and Wife to Henry the IV. of France. Excellently ſet forth by the inimitable pen of Peter du Ronſard, and by him ſhadowed in the Perſon of Paſithea one of the Graces at­tending on the Deity of Venus. The Poem is call'd by the Author La Cha­rite, and in his Works it is commonly placed next to thoſe Poems which he calleth Les Maſcarades.

THe little God and wild one, a Commander,
Who through the Earth, and through the Heavens doth wander,
Viewing the Ladies of the Court one day,
Return'd to Heaven, to whom did Venus ſay,
Tell me (my Son) as thou abroad doſt fly,
Without regard to Faith or Loyalty,
If thou on earth haſt any beauty known,
(Thy Eye ſees all) which doth ſurpaſſe mine own.
Love made reply, Forſooth, be ſure there are
On Earth no beauties can with yours compare,
Unleſſe one Ladie's, on whoſe cradle all
Indulgent Graces down from Heaven did fall.
She ſtraight did bluſh (as Ladies bluſh for ſhame,
To have in Beauties an inferiour name)
And to find out the truth of what he ſaid,
'Mongſt all her Graces choyce of one ſhe made.
My Heart, my Love, my Soul, my Eyes, my Thought,
Of thee if ever I deſerv'd have ought,
Goe down to France, and let me truly know,
If any Beauty mine exceeds or no.
The young, and all divine Paſithea,
The Skies abandon'd her commands t'obey;
The Air gave place unto her, and the Wind
Through the waſt Regions buoy'd her up as kind;
She Stoop'd deſcending in a ſudden flight,
Cleaving the Clowds, as in the ſilent night
Far off there in a ſhining track is ſpi'd
A falling Star between two Airs to glide.
Beauty and Vigour, Youth and Curteſie,
Attraction, Sport, Delight and Love did fly
Like Birds about her round, and for her ſake,
Did there their choſen habitation make.
Natures Chief wonder her diviner head,
With waving treaſures thick was covered
Of curl'd, ring'd, criſped, and of braided hair,
But of complexion rather brown than fair.
A table fair her Forehead ſeem'd to be
Of Marble white, the ſeat of Majeſtie,
Smooth as the Sea, when we behold it may
Lye all becalm'd in a fair Summers day.
The Ebon Arches of her Brow did prove
The Portaict of the Bow o'th' God of Love,
Or Heavens bright Creſcent, it reſembled, when,
She, three dayes old, begins her month again.
Two ſeveral forces in her Eyes there were,
The one was ſmiling, th'other ſeem'd ſevere,
Two Eyes, nay rather two twin-ſtars o'th' Skies,
That could both Love attract, and Love chaſtiſe;
In thoſe black Eyes all Delicacies, Trains,
Hooks, Arrows, Priſons, Services, and Chains,
Whoſe Arguments even Reaſon ſelf obey'd
Serv'd as a Convoy for that Heavenly Maid.
In thoſe black Eyes all beauties did abound,
Without them Love no other lodging found,
Near which in an exact aſcent her Noſe,
A little Hillock 'twixt two Valleys roſe.
On her white tender, delicater Ear
A Pretious Ruby hung, and ſparkling there,
Playd on her Cheek, and of her Face, before
Which ſhone a wonder, made the wonder more.
A pure Vermilion on her Cheeks did grow,
Which like a bed of bluſhing Pinks did ſhow:
Or like the laughing Strawberries, when they
Strow'd on the top of all the Cream do play.
Not all the Flow'rs deriv'd from Princes blood,
Narciſſus, Ajax, ſuch complexion ſhew'd,
As her Vermilion mix'd with Brown, which ſtrook
Mens Souls tranſported with ſo ſweet a look.
Such is the beauty of the Evenings Air,
With ſome few blacks imbelliſhing her fair:
When the firſt Clouds but thin appear, and Day
Doth by degrees begin to waſt away.
Her Mouth a thouſand roſes did encloſe,
As many Pinks, and Lillies, where two rowes
Of Pearl for Teeth did ſtand, from whence did fly
A rich perfume that did imbalm the skie.
From thence flowd laughter & ſuch ſweet diſcourſe,
That Men to Stones ſhe with her words could force
But hearing of her ſpeak, and could agen
Make Stones as gentle and as ſoft as Men.
All the fair features of this Face were ſeen
Cloſ'd in a round, a thick, and dimpled Chin,
Whoſe ſoft and dainty ſwelling did bettay
Another plumpneſs that beneath it lay.
Her Neck a pillar was of Potphyrie
Streak'd with long azure vains, where you might ſee,
The Roſe, the Lilly, and the Pink conjoyn'd,
Stirr'd with a ſoft and pleaſant Weſtern wind.
Two hills of milk which one wind preſſ'd and repeſſ'd
Without removing quiver'd on her Breaſt,
Whoſe ſwelling Rounds, on which two pinks did grow,
Th' approaching flouriſh of her youth did ſhow.
The reſt I dare not; for how can the reſt
Hid from my eyes be by my art expreſt?
A ſacred ſequeſtration 'tis where Honour,
And Chaſtneſs waits as watchfull Guards upon her.
White were her Hands, and ſlender, ſoft and long,
Which forth in veins and ſeveral branches ſprung,
And into five-born twins themſelves dividing,
Shew'd on their tops where were five pearls reſiding.
Of mable pure with art moſt exquiſite
Her comlyeſt Legg was fram'd, ſmall were her Feet,
Such as they ſay hath Nereus lovely Dame,
Two ſure ſupporters of ſo brave a frame.
Swift as the darting of the lightnings flame,
This beauteous Nymph to Charls his Palace came,
And ſuddenly advanc'd her ſelf unſeen
Into the Hall where did the mask begin.
Dark was the night, whoſe danker curtain ſpread
Had round about the air enveloped,
When the bright Ladies came to dance, and did
Shine all like Stars, when all the Stars were hid.
Robes there with Gold and Silver richly wrought,
Their gliſtring flames in emulation ſhot,
Lights in the Air their riſing fires threw high,
Which ſparkling from the pretious ſtones did fly.
There my brave King, there you my Lords might ſee
His Brothers come hung round with Majeſtie,
Fenc'd with the Laws which their Companions were,
Laws that were far more gentle than ſevere.
Our ages mirrour, Margaret the fair,
There in her double value did appear,
And now a Pearl, and now a Flow'r did ſhow,
A braver beauty than the Spring could know.
About the Hall a pretious cloud did throw
Its Musk and Amber odours, and did ſhow,
By that ſweet wonder, that from Heav'n, to dance,
Came down a Goddeſſe into th' Court of France.
Into the Chamber as the Sun doth paſſe
Waving and pointed, yet ne'r cracks the glaſſe,
But breaks through th'envious object that would ſtay
The piercing force of his diviner ray;
So this fair lovely Nymph into the Room,
Where danc'd theſe Princes, unperceiv'd did come,
And drawing neer, ſhot, like Heav'ns ſudden fire,
Her ſelf into our Margaret intire.
So well her Soul was in her Soul inclos'd,
So well her life was in her life repos'd,
So well her blood into her blood was grown,
That of two bodies they were now but one.
Which my King ſeeing, though to Heav'n he be
As near in judgement as in pedigree,
Was firſt of all himſelf deceiv'd, becauſe
He thought that only ſhe his Siſter was.
Locking his hand in hers, the King did lead
The Dance, and her who did not ſeem to tread,
But as ſhe had no feet, ſhe in her pace
Swimm'd as ſhe mov'd with a coeleſtial Grace.
Man heavy treads, and by his gate doth ſhow
The dull alliance he to earth doth owe:
But Gods do flie, and unconfin'd to pace
Prove their eternal and Spiritual race.
When the Lavolto was of Provence danc'd,
The King with this his Siſter Grace advanc'd
In a grave Sweetneſſe nimbly following ſhe
With Ayrie motion 'bout the Hall did flee.
So oft in Autumns foggy nights we may
See a ſwift Meteor on the waters play,
Which now wheels here, and now whirls there his flame,
And no Repoſe doth grant unto the ſame.
She in a thouſand ſhapes did change anew
The hearts of all who but her face did veiw,
Flaſhes of fire from her bright eyes did flow,
And whereſoere ſhe trod did Roſes grow.
Virtue and Honour her chief Uſhers were,
And joyn'd to them did Majeſtie appear,
Which kept her beauty ſafe, as Fame doth bruit
The Dragon ſometimes did th' Heſperian fruit
Soon as the noiſe of Viols did forbear
Their ſweet Inchantments on the raviſh'd air,
This Nymph return'd unto her Heav'n agen,
Abandoning the Company of Men.
So the thick eye-lid of the night being clos'd,
In ſlumbers ſweet is oftentimes ſuppos'd
Some Angel ſeen, who ſudden doth diſplay
Himſelf, and ſudden fleets like ſmoke away.
Adieu fair Grace, Nymph heav'nly born, adieu,
Or mount to Heav'n, or fly where't pleaſeth you,
Soon to this Court you ſhall again return,
And Hymens torches all for you ſhall burn.
Then a more high, and a devouter fire
My re-inforced Courage ſhall inſpire,
To ſound your happy Mariage Joyes, as far
As are the fields of flouriſhing Navarre.

On the two Margarets.

A Sonnet.
THe famous Phoenix whom the Eaſt admires,
One in her kind, rare in her brave attires,
The brighteſt Ray the new-born Sun diſplays,
To whom ſhe onely her Devotion pays.
Soon as the Morn from Tihons bed doth riſe,
Her warbling layes ſhe ecchoes round the skies,
And when that envious Age doth life deprive,
Burning her ſelf, ſhe doth her ſelf revive.
How juſtly France maiſt thou hereafter vant,
T' have had a Phoenix did ſo ſweetly chant?
That none comes neer her, all the world doth grant,
Unleſs another Phoenix, who doth own,
As well her Name, as glory, and renown,
Left by her Death, our Margaret alone.
Johan. Paſſeratus.
Another Sonnet.
TH' Athenian Timon, Mans great Enemy,
Too ſtrict a Judge of our Infirmity,
In horror great againſt thoſe ſins inveigh'd
To melt in tears Heraclitus which made,
His fleering mirth; Democritus did raiſe,
And, Jeſter-like, laught at the vain aſſays
Of Men, whom pleaſures and vile luſts controul,
The poiſon of the Body and the Soul.
His laughter lowd, the Seconds tears as rife
'Gainſt human frailty, the Thirds Hate and Strife,
Singly invite us to a vertuous life.
But in this Book, this peerleſs Queen to us,
Doth, loathing vice, in tears, and ſmiles diſcuſs,
Timon, Heraclitus, and Democritus
J. Troyen.

The PREFACE

ON the firſt day of September, in which the Baths of the Pyrenaean moun­tains doe begin to enter into their greateſt virtues, there were lodged in the Houſes of thoſe that kept the Baths ſeveral perſons, as well of France & Spain as of other places, Some of them to drink the water, others of them to bath themſelves in it, and ſome again to make uſe of the very mud thereof, which are ſo won­derfull in the effects, that the ſick who have come thither, being forſaken by their Phyſicians, have returned all ſound & in good health. It is not my intention to declare unto you the ſituation or virtue of theſe Baths, but to give you an account of that only which ſhall concern the ſub­ject of what I write. In theſe Baths the ſick do conti­nue three months and more, untill by their amendment they do find that they are in a good condition to return from whence they came. But at that very time there fell ſuch great & wonderfull ſhowrs, that it ſeemed God had forgot his promiſe which he made to Noah, to deſtroy the world no more by water; for all the Cubans and Lodgings of the Hoſts, that were toward the Baths, were ſo fill'd with water, that it was impoſſible to continue in them. Thoſe who came from the Coaſt of Spain retur­ned by the Mountains, making what ſhift they could, and thoſe who knew which were the neareſt and moſt compen­dious ways, were thoſe who eſcaped beſt of all: But the Lords and Ladies of France thinking to return as plea­ſantly as they came forth, did find the ſmall Brooks ſo greatly encreaſed, that they could not ford them, and when they came to paſſe over the River Gane in Bearn, which was not two foot in depth when they ſet forth, they found it on their return ſwolln ſo impetuous, that they turned another way to find the bridge, which being made of wood only, was carried away by the violence of the waters; and ſome of them thinking that by the aſſem­bling together of many men, they ſhould in their paſſage break the courſe of the raging ſtream, they were ſuddenly born down before it, ſo that thoſe who were to follow, did loſe both the power and the deſire to go after them, wherfore as well to find out a new way, as for that they were of ſeveral opinions, they did ſeparate themſelves; Some of them travelled over the hight of the hills, and paſſing by Arragon they came into the County of Rouſillon, & frō thence to Narbon; Others repaired directly to Bar­celona, where ſome took ſhipping, & paſſed by Sea to Mar­ſeilles, & others to Aiguemore: But an antient Gentlewo­man, and of great experience, called Oyſilla, did determin with her ſelf to forget all the danger of the bad ways to reach unto our Ladies at Serrance, being aſſured that if ſhe could find means to eſcape the danger, that the Monks there would give her courteous entertainment, and ſo much ſhe laboured, that at laſt ſhe arrived to that place, paſſing by ſtrange ways, up hill and down hill, ſo diffi­cult, that for all her age and the weight of her body, ſhe was enforced to goe on foot the greateſt part of the way, but the thing moſt to be pittied was that the greateſt part of her Servants and Horſes dyed on the unpaſſable places, ſo that ſhe arrived at Serrance, attended only with one Man and one Woman, where ſhe was charitably recei­ved by the Abbot. There was alſo at thoſe Baths amongſt the French two Gentlemen, who travelled thither ra­ther to accompany the Ladies whoſe ſervants they were, than for any indiſpoſition of their bodies. Theſe Gentle­men obſerving the company to depart, and that the huſ­hands of the Ladies did take them along with them, did reſolve with themſelves to follow them at ſome diſtance, that they might not be diſcovered by any. One Evening the two married Gentlemen and their Ladies taking up their lodging at the houſe of one who was rather a Nigh­way-man than a Peaſant, the two young Gentlemen were contented to take their repoſe for that night in a Cottage not far from them: About midnight they heard a great noiſe, at the ſound whereof they did ariſe and their Grooms with them, and demanded of the Hoſt of the Houſe what was the occaſion of the Tumult, The poor man who did partake with them in the fear, told them that they were naughty boys who came to a Highway-man who kept an Inn cloſe by him to take a part with him in the booty; Whereupon the two Gentlemen with their Grooms did immediatly arm themſelves, and made hast to the ſuc­cour of the Ladies, for whom they eſteemed Death to be more happy, than to live after them; And as ſoon as they came unto the houſe, they found the firſt Gate broken open, and the two married Gentlemen gallantly defending them­ſelves with their ſervants; but becauſe the Robbers were too numerous, and that they were ſorely wounded, they be­gan to retire themſelves, having loſt a great number of their ſervants; the two young Gentlemen looking up to the win­dow, beheld the two Ladies weeping and crying out ſo lowdly, that being tranſported with love and pity (like two inraged Bears deſcending from the Mountains) they fell upon the Robbers with ſo much ſury, that having kil­led a great number of them, thoſe that were leſt not deſi­ring to come under ſuch violent blowes, did fly unto a place of retreat. The young Gentlemen having thus defea­ted thoſe Aſſaſſinates, of whom the Hoſt himſelf was one, did underſtand that the Hoſteſs was worſe than her Huſ­hand, and therefore they did ſend her after him by a thruſt of a Rapier, and entring into one of the lower Chambers, they found one of the married Gentlemen giving up the Ghoſt, the other had received no hurt at all, but onely his cloaths were much ſlaſhed, and run through with ſwords, and his ſword was broken, and being very ſenſible of the re­lief which theſe two Gentlemen brought unto him, having embraced them, and thanked them, he deſired that they would not forſake him, which was a requeſt very eaſie unto them to grant, wherefore having interred the Gentle­man that was dead, and comforted his Lady in the beſt manner that they could, they took their way as God did direct them, without knowing on what hand to go. If you pleaſe to underſtand the names of the three Gentlemen and the Ladies, he that was maried was called Hircan, and his wife Parlament; the other Lady who ſo lately became a Widdow was called Longeren, the two Gentlemen who ſo happily came in to their ſuccour, the one of them was named Dagoucin, and the other Saffredant. After they had been all day on horsback, on the Evening they heard a Bell, to which place, but not without pain and travail, they did their utmoſt endeavour to arrive, and were courteouſly entertained by the Abbot and the Monks; It was the Abbey of Saint Savin. The Abbot who was of a noble family (having brought them to their Lodgings, which were magnificent) did demand them of their for­tunes; And having underſtood the truth thereof, he told them, That they were not alone who ſuffered in that Ruin, for in another Chamber there were two young Ladies who had eſcaped the like danger, and ſo much the greater, by how much there is more compaſſion in Man than in a Beaſt; for the poor Ladies, half a mile on this ſide of Pyrchita, had diſcovered a great Bear comming down the Hill up­on them, from whom they ſled with ſo much ſpeed, that at their entrance into his Gates their horſes fell down dead under them, and two of their women who came a long time after them, did inform them, That the Bear had deſtroyed all their ſervants; whereupon the two Ladies, and three Gentlemen, did enter into the Chamber where they were, and found them weeping, and knew that one of them was Nomerfide, and the other Emarſuite, who imbracing each other did recount what had happened, and began to comfort themſelves, being more incited thereunto by the conſolations of the good Abbot, that thus they met together. On the morning they heard Maſs with great de­votion, prayſing God for their deliverance from their dan­gers. When they were all at Maſs, Behold a Man who had nothing on him but his ſhirt only, did run into the Church, flying as ſome body had purſued him, and crying aloud for Help. Immediatly Hircan and the other Gen­tlemen made up to him to ſee what the buſineſs was, and they found two men following him at the heels with their ſwords drawn, who obſerving ſo great a company, would have betaken themſelves to flight, but Hircan and thoſe with him did follow them ſo cloſe that they left their lives on the place. When Hircan had well obſerved the party that was relieved, and who was in his ſhirt only, he per­ceived that it was Guebron, who was one of their Com­panions, who did impart unto them, That lodging in a Cottage near unto Pyrchita, there came three men to aſ­ſault him being in bed, who although he was in his ſhirt, he did wound one of them with his ſword in ſuch manner, that immediatly he died, and whiles the other were buſie and in debate where to beſtow him, he obſerving that he was naked, and they armed, did conceive that there was no other way to be too hard for them, but by flight only, which he might the better do being not charged with habi­liments; and he thanked God and them, who thus had ex­ecuted vengeance for him on his Enemies. After that they had ſaid Maſs and dined, they ſent to ſee if it were poſſi­ble to paſſe the River of Gane, and underſtanding the impoſſibility of it, they were in a great diſtreſſe, although the Abbot had often offered them to continue there, untill ſuch time as the waters were decreaſed, to which they only accorded for that day. As they were going to bed at night, there arived an old Monk, who every year never failed in September to have recourſe unto our Lady at Serrance, who being demanded of the occurrences of his Journey, made anſwer, That by reaſon of the high waters he came all along the mountains, and the worſt ways that were ever travelled, where he beheld one ſpectacle of great pity, which was, That he met with a Gentleman cal­led Simontault, who being impatient at the long continu­ance of the over-flowing River, did reſolve to force it, truſting in the goodneſs of his Horſe; to effect which, he did place his ſervants on each ſide of him, to break the furious eddy of the ſtream, but when they were in the middle of it, thoſe who were worſt of all mounted were carried away by the violence of the River, and never did return again. The Gentleman ſeeing himſelf alone, tur­ned back his horſe from whence he came; but his horſe for all his force and promptneſſe did ſink under him: But it pleaſed God that he was ſo near the Bank, that being but four foot from it, and having drank much water, he waded forth, and ſat down upon two flints, ſo weak and feeble that he was not able to ſupport himſelf. It ſo fell out, that a Shepherd driving homeward his flocks in the Evening, did find him almoſt covered with mud upon the ſtones, and no leſſe ſorrowfull for his people, whom he ſaw to be carried away by the River, and deſtroyed before him, than for himſelf: The Shepherd who underſtood his ne­ceſſity, as well by hearing as by ſeeing him, did take him by the hand, and brought him into his poor Houſe, where with ſmall buſhes he dried him as well as the poverty of his Chimney would permit. On that Evening God brought thither this old Monk, who did direct him in the way to our Ladies at Serrance, aſſuring him, that he ſhould find better Lodging there than in any other place, and ſhould meet with an antient Woman, called Oyſilla, who would be his Companion in his Travels. When all the Company heard him ſpeak of the good Lady Oyſilla, and the gentle Cavalier Simontault, they were transported with an exi­lience of Joy, praiſing the Creator, who in contenting him­ſelf with the Servants, had preſerved their Maſters and their Miſtreſſes, and above all Parlament was the de­vouteſt in her praiſes; for a time there was in which ſhe eſteemed him for her moſt affectionat ſervant. And ha­ving diligently enquired concerning the way to Serrance, although the good old Man did report it to be very diffi­cult, yet they could not forbear to put it to the adventure, and the next morning they did ſet forth in ſo good order and equipage, that they wanted for no accommodation: For the Abbot did furniſh them with the beſt horſes that were in Lovedoon, and with good riding ſuits, and great ſtore of proviſion, and with honeſt Gentlemen to be their Companions and guides over the Mountains, having tra­velled which, in great labour and ſweat, and more on foot than on horsback, they arrived at our Ladies of Serrance. The Abbot, although he was a man churliſh enough, did not dare to refuſe to give them intertainment, by reaſon of the fear he had of Seigneur du Bear, by whom he knew that they were well beloved; he therefore looked upon them with the beſt Countenance he could, and took them with him to ſee the good Lady Oyſilla, and the Gentleman Simontault. So great was the joy of all this Company, be­ing ſo miraculouſly aſſembled, that the night ſeemed but ſhort unto them to praiſe God for the mercy beſtowed on them; & on the morning having taken a little reſt, they did reſort to hear Maſſe, and to receive the holy Sacrament of Communion, by which all Chriſtians are united into one, beſeeching him who had brought them together by his bounty, to put a good end to their travells to his glory. After dinner they ſent to know if the waters were any thing diminiſhed, and on the return of the Meſſenger hearing that they were rather encreaſed, and that it would be a long time before they could travell with any aſſurance, they determined with themſelves to make a bridge between two Rocks which did ſtand very near to one another, where yet the planks are to be ſeen, and are of uſe to thoſe that travel by foot, and coming from Cleron will not paſs by the Gane. The Abbot who was glad that they were at that coſt, becauſe the number of Pilgrims, and Country, Travellers did encreaſe, did provide them with workmen, But his avarice would not permit him to pay one penny towards the work it ſelf, and becauſe the workmen did all affirm that they could not finiſh the bridge in 10 or 12 days, the whole Company, as well both of the Gentlemen as of the Ladies, began to be much perplexed. But Parlament the wife of Hircan, who was never ſeen either heavy or melancholy, having asked leave of her husband to ſpeak, did ſay to the antient Lady Oyſilla, Madam, I do much wonder that you who have ſo great experience, and are in the re­putation of a Mother amongſt Women, do not find out ſome paſtime to mitigate the ſorrows which we doe bear a­bout us during our long aboad in this place; for if we have no exerciſe pleaſant and virtuous, we ſhall be in danger to fall ſick; The young widdow Longeren did add unto her words and ſaid, Nay which is worſe, we ſhall grow burthenſom to one another, which is a ſick­neſſe uncurable, for there is not one of us, if he looks upon his loſs, who hath not an occaſion of exceſſive ſad­neſſe. Emarſuite replyed in ſmiles unto her, Every one hath not loſt her husband as you have, and for the loſſe of our Servants we ought not to deſpair, for we may recover them time enough; Howſoever I do joyn in o­pinion with you to have ſome pleaſant exerciſe to paſſe away the time as delighfull as we can. The Company (ſaith Nomerfide) hath adviſed very well; for ſhe ſaid, That if ſhe were but one day without ſome Paſtime, ſhe ſhould be dead on the next. All the Gentlemen did accord to the counſell, and beſought Ma­dam Oyſilla that ſhe would be pleaſed to order that which they had to do; who made anſwer, My Children, you de­mand a task of me which I find very difficult for me to do, which is to ſhew unto you that Recreation which can divert you from your ſorrows, for having through all the travails of my life ſought out a Remedy for it, I never could find but one, which is the reading of the Holy Bible, in which is found the true and perfect joy of the Mind, from whence the Repoſe alſo and the health of the Body doth proceed; And if you ſhall demand of me what Re­ceit it is that keeps me ſo ſound and unperplexed in my old age, It is, That as ſoon as ever I am up, I take into my hands the holy Scripture, and read it, beholding, and with my ſelf contemplating the will of God, who hath ſent his Son into the world for us, to declare the good News, by which he doth promiſe Remiſſion of ſins, and ſatisfaction for all offences, by the gift which he hath given us by his Love, Paſſion, and his Martyrdom. This Conſideration doth adminiſter ſo much joy unto me, that I take my Pſal­ter, and as humbly as poſſibly I can, I ſing with my heart, and pronounce with my voice the bleſſed Pſalms and Hymns, which the Holy Ghoſt compoſed in the heart of David, and of other Authors: The Contentment which I re­ceive frō hence, doth do me ſo much good, that all the ſor­rows which the day can bring unto me, do ſeem to me to be ſo many Benedictions, ſeeing that I have him in my heart by faith who hath born them for me. In the like manner after Supper I retire my ſelf to give ſome food to my Soul by reading ſome godly Book, and in the Evening having recollected with my ſelf whatſoever I have done in the time of the day, I demand pardon of God for my faults, and giving him thanks for his mercies, I take my reſt in his love, fear, and peace, being amed and aſſured againſt all Dangers that can approach me. Behold (my Chil­dren) the Recreation to which for a long time I have de­voted my ſelf, having ſearched all things, and found no other coutentment for my ſpirit. I am confident that if e­very morning you would lay forth one hour in reading, and afterwards in the moſt humble manner exerciſe your De­votions at the Maſs, that even in this wilderneſs you would find that beauty which it may be you cannot in the greateſt Cities: For he who knoweth God beholde hall things that are beautifull, in him, and without him all things are deformed; Wherefore I beſeech you to receive my counſeif you will live well, and with Comfort. Hircan took the word from her, and ſaid, Madam, Thoſe who have read the holy Bible (as I believe that all of us have) will confeſs that you speak the truth; but you muſt regard that we are not yet ſo mortifyed as to deprive our ſelves of all Paſtime and Corporal Recreation: For if we are in our own houſes, we have Dogs to hunt, and Hawks for the flight; which make us to paſs over and to forget a thouſand fooliſh thoughts. And the Ladies have their works of Houſe­wifry, and ſometimes their dancings, in which they honeſt­ly do delight themſelves, which cauſeth me (ſpeaking on­ly on the behalf of the men) to deſire that you who are the moſt antient amongſt us, would every Morning read the life unto us which our Saviour Jeſus Chriſt did lead, and the great and admirable works which he hath done for us; And after dinner untill Veſpers, that you will make choice of ſome Paſtime which may not be prejudiciall to the Soul, and be pleaſant to the Body, and ſo with comfort we ſhall paſs over the ten days. Madam Oyſilla made anſwer to him; That ſhe had ſo much laboured with her ſelf to forget all the vanities of the world, that ſhe was afraid, they had made a bad choice of her for ſuch paſtimes; how­ſoever ſhe would ſubmit to the plurality of voices, deſiring Hircan to underſtand what was his opinion firſt of all. For my part (ſaid he) If I thought the paſtime I would chooſe were as agreeable to any of the Company as to my ſelf, my o­piniö ſhould quickly be known; wherfore for this time I will hold my peace, and will believe that which others ſhall ſpeak. Parlament began to bluſh, thinking thate ſpoke of her, and half in choler, and half in laughter ſaid, Hir­can, It may be that ſhe whom you ſpeak of can find enough to recompenſe her ſelf if ſhe hath a mind thereunto; but let us leave off this paſtime wherein two of us only can bear part, and let us ſpeak of that which ought to be com­mon to us all; whereupon Hircan ſaid to all the Ladies, Since my Wife hath ſo well underſtood and expounded, and gloſſed upon my ſenſe, and allegeth that a particular pa­ſtime doth not pleaſe her, I believe that ſhe will be able better than any other to ſpeak of that in which every one will take pleaſure, and from this time I ſhall be of her opi­nion, as being he who hath no other opinion but her own. To this all the Company did agree. Parlament perceiving that the Lot was fallen upon her, did ſpeak in this man­ner, If I knew my ſelf as ſufficient as the Antients who found out the Arts, I would invent ſome play or paſtime to ſatisfy the charge which you have impoſed on me, but be­ing conſcious to my ſelf of my knowledge and faculties, which with much trouble can hardly remember things well clone, I ſhall eſteem my ſelf happy to follow cloſe unto thoſe who have already ſatisfied your demand. Amongſt others I do believe that there is not any of you who hath not read over the hundred Novels of John Boccace, newly tran­ſlated out of Italian into French, which the moſt Chriſti­an King Francis the firſt of that Name, Monſeigneur the Daulphin, Madam the Daulphineſſe, Madam Margaret have and do ſo highly eſteem, that if Boccace could but hear them in the place where he is, he would be revived at the prayſes of ſuch perſons. I have heard that the two Ladies above-named, with many others of the Court, have determined with themſelves to make the like work, and on­ly different from Boccace in one particular, which is, not to make mention of any Novell which is not a perfect Hi­ſtory. And firſt of all the ſaid Ladies and Monſeigneur the Daulphin did conclude amongſt themſelves to make every one of them Ten, and to have a Liſt of Ten perſons whom they conceived to be moſt worthy to give an account of them, thoſe being to be excepted out of that number who were given to their ſtudy, and were lettered men; for Monſteur the Daulphin would not that their art ſhould be mingled in theſe Novells, and was alſo afraid that the beauty of their Rhetorick ſhould in ſome part be prejudici­all to the truth of this Hiſtory. But the great affairs which ſince have taken up the King, and the Peace betwixt him and the King of England, and the lying down of Madam the Daulphineſſe, and many other things worthy to divert the whole Court, have made all that enterpriſe to be forgot­ten, which now by reaſon of our long leiſure may be brought unto a period, attending till the Bridge be made. And if you pleaſe that every day preſently after twelve of the clock we ſhall meet, and continue untill four in yonder Meadow by the River of the Gauve, where the Trees are ſo leavie, that the Sun can neither prejudice the ſhade, nor grow ſo hot as to vex the freſhneſſe of the air, being there ſat at eaſe, every one marepeat a ſtory which he hath ſeen or heard from ſome Man of Reputation; at the end of ten days we ſhall have finiſhed the Century. And if God ſhall pleaſe that our labour ſhall be found worthy of the eyes of the Princes and Ladies above-named, we will give it them at our Return, and I dare aſsure you that it will be a pre­ſent very acceptable to them. Nevertheleſſe (whatſoever I have ſaid) if any amongſt us ſhall find out a ſubject that ſhall be more pleaſant, I will accord in opinion with them. All the Company made anſwer, That it was im­poſſible to have adviſed better, and that the time ſeemed tedious to them, that the next day was not already come to begin the Aſſembly. In this manner they with delight paſſed away the travell of that day, rehearſing to one ano­ther that which they had ſeen in their own times. As ſoon as the Morning was come, they reſorted to the Chumber of Madam Oyſilla, whom they found already at her Devoti­ons, and when for the ſpace of a full hour they had heard her Lecture, and afterward the Maſſe, about ten of the clock they went to Dinner, and afterwards every one of them did retire into his own Chamber to do that which was to be done, and failed not at twelve of the clock to be in the Meadow, according as it was appointed, which was ſo pleaſant a place that they had need of a Boccace in ear­neſt to ſet it forth to the life, but you may content your ſelves that the like unto it was never ſeen. When the Aſ­ſembly were all ſat down upon the green graſs, ſo ſoft and delicate, that they needed not either Cuſhion or Cloath of Arras, Simontault began to ſpeak, Who ſhall be that Perſon amongſt us that ſhall have Command over the reſt? Hircan made anſwer, Becauſe you have firſt made the mo­tion, it is reaſon you command, for at Game we are all e­qual. I would to God, ſaid Simontault, that I had the power to command all this Company, I would deſire no o­ther happineſſe in this world. Parlament did well un­derſtand what he intended by thoſe words, who began to look red upon it; but Hircan perceived not the colour which mounted into her cheeks, but ſaid unto Simontault, Begin to ſpeak on ſome good Subject, and we are ready to hear you, who being likewiſe invited to it by all the Com­pany, did ſpeak in this manner, Ladies, I have been ſo ill requited for my long ſervices, that to revenge my ſelf on Love, and on her who hath been ſo cruell to me, I will en­deavour to make a repetition of all the ill offices & the in­juries under which Women do make poor men to ſuffer, and I will ſpeak nothing but what ſhall be perfect Truth.

The End of the Preface.
1

THE NOVELLS Of Queen MARGARET.

A Gentlewoman of Alençon had two friends, the one for her pleaſure, and the other for her profit. Of the two, ſhe procured him to be murdered who firſt detected her, for which ſhe obtained pardon for her ſelf, and her fu­gitive husband, who afterwards to ſave a little money did reſort unto a Negromancer, and their Enterpriſe was diſcovered, and puniſhed.The Firſt Novell.

IN the City of Alençon, in the time of Duke Charles the laſt, there was a Proctor called St. Aignan who had married a Gentlewoman of that Country more fair than virtuous, who for her beau­ty and delightfullneſs was much covered by a Prelat of the2 Church, whoſe name in reverence to his profeſſion I ſhall conceal; He, the better to arrive unto his own ends, did ſo cunningly entertain her husband, that he not only perceivd not any thing of the vice of his wife and of this Prelat, but he had made him alſo to forget the duty which he always carried to the ſervice of his Maſters and Miſtreſs, Inſomuch that of a Loyal Ser­vant he became ſo contrary, that in the end he be­took himſelf to ſorceries to procure the Death of the Dutcheſſe. Long time did this Prelate live thus with this unhappy womam who was obedient to him more for avarice than for affection; her husband alſo did ſollicit her to entertain him. But there was a young man in the ſaid City of Alençon, the Son of the Lieute­nant General, whom ſhe affected with ſo much paſſion that ſhe was almoſt tranſported with the violence of it, and often times ſhe would make uſe of the Prelat to imploy her husband in ſome Commiſſion abroad, that more opportunely ſhe might be enabled to be with the Son of the Lieutenant of the City. This con­verſation of life did continue a long time; ſhe had for her profit the Prelat, and for her pleaſure the Son of the Lieutenant, to whom ſhe did ſwear that all the indearments of affection ſhe profeſſed to the Pre­lat were but only more freely to continue their own, and whatſoever the thing was, the ſaid Prelat had but only a fair word, and he might be aſſured, that no man in the world ſhould have an intereſt in any other thing but himſelf only. One day when her Husband was going to the Prelat, ſhe demanded leave of him to take the air of the fields, alleging that the cloſeneſſe of the City was obnoxious to her health. She no ſooner arrived at her Country houſe, but immediatly ſhe did write to the Son of the Lieute­nant, deſiring him that he would not fail to come to her about 10 of the clock in that Evening, which the poor young Man did, and being come into the en­trance at the Door, he found there the Chamber­maid who was accuſtomed to let him in, who ſaid3 unto him, Sir, You may go ſome where elſe, for your place is taken up. The Young man conceiving that her Husband was come home, demanded what was the Buſineſs? The Maid taking pity of him, ſee­ing him ſo young, ſo lovely, ſo ingenious, and with­all to love ſo well, and ſo little to be beloved again, declared to him the folly of her Miſtreſſe, conceiving with her ſelf, that when he underſtood what ſhe was, he would reprove himſelf for the exceſſe of his affecti­on. She therefore did inform him, that the Prelat did make his daily viſitations to her, and was now in bed with her. This was, howſoever, a meeting which her Miſtreſſe expected not; for the Prelat was not to come untill the next Morning, who having detained her Husband at his own houſe, did ſteal away pri­vately by Night to come unto her. Who was almoſt ſunk now into the bottom of Deſpair? It was the Son of the Lieutenant, who nevertheleſs could hardly give credit to it, but did hide himſelf in a houſe hard by, where he watched untill three of the clock in the Morning, at what hour he ſaw the Prelat come forth, not ſo well diſguiſed, but that he knew him better than he deſired. In this Diſcontent he returned to Alençon, whither not long afterwards his unfaithfull Miſtreſſe did arrive, and thinking to abuſe him (as ſhe had been accuſtomed heretofore) ſhe did ſend to communicate with him: But he made anſwer, That ſhe was too great a Saint, having been touch­ed with holy things, to confer with ſuch a Sinner as himſelf, whoſe repentance howſoever was ſo great, that he hop'd his offence ſhould ſuddenly be pardon'd. When ſhe apprehended that her Caſe was diſcover'd, and that neither Excuſe, Oath, nor Promiſe could induce him to return unto her, but were all of no ef­fect, ſhe made her complaint unto her Prelat, and ha­ving conſulted with him about it, ſhe came unto her Husband and told him, That ſhe durſt no longer con­tinue in the City of Alençon, by reaſon that the Son of the Lieutenant, whom ſhe had placed in the firſt4 rank of all her friends, did of late inceſſantly impor­tune her to the violation of her Honour. She deſired him to make his aboad at Argentan to take away all ſuſpition; Her Husband, who in all things ſuffer'd himſelf to be govern'd by her, did accord unto it, where they were not long, but this miſchievous woman did write unto the Son of the Lieutenant, That he was the moſt wicked man in the world, and that ſhe ſufficiently underſtood that publickly he had ſpoken diſgracefully of her ſelf, and of the Prelat, for which ſhe would make him to do pennance. This young Man who had never made the leaſt mention of it to any but to her ſelf, and who fear'd to ſuffer in the bad opinion of the Prelat, did repair to Argen­lan with two of his ſervants, where he found his Lady at her Evening Devotions in the Jacobins, and having kneeled down cloſe unto her, he ſaid, Lady, I am come hither to proteſt unto you before God, that I have not ſpoken to any in the world concerning you, but to your ſelf onely; You have done me ſo ill an office, that I cannot reckon up unto you one moiety of the Injuries which you deſerve: For if there be any Man or Woman who dares affirm that I have ever ſpoken any thing in the diſhonour of you, I am come to prove them lyars before you. She obſerving that there were many people in the Church, and that he was atten­ded with two ſervants well appointed, did conſtrain herſelf to ſpeak as gently to him as poſſibly ſhe could, ſaying, That ſhe made no doubt but that he ſpake the truth, and that ſhe conceived him to be ſo much a Gentleman, as not to ſpeak in the prejudice of any Woman in the world, much leſſe of her ſelf who had born ſuch reſpects of friendſhip to him. But becauſe her Husband had underſtood that ſome words had paſſed, ſhe deſir'd him that he would declare himſelf before him, to give him ſatisfaction that he had not ſpoken any thing in this nature, and to take away from him the belief of it. To this moſt willingly he agreed, and having his hand under her arm to conduct her to5 her own Lodging, ſhe told him that it would not ap­pear ſo well if he ſhould go along with her; for her Husband might believe, that of her accord ſhe had brought him to ſpeak theſe words unto him: She took hold therefore of one of his ſervants by the ſleeve of his garment, and ſaid, Let this man go along with me, and on the firſt opportunity I will ſend for you, in the mean time, go take your repoſe in your own Lodging. He not having the leaſt thought of any de­ſign upon him, did return unto his Lodging. She be­ſtowed a Supper on that ſervant whom ſhe had detei­ned with her, who oftentimes would ask, when the hour would come that he ſhould go for his Maſter, ſhe alwayes did make anſwer, that it would come ſoon e­nough. When it was Midnight, ſhe privatly ſent one of her own ſervants to the Young-man, who not thinking of the treachery that was prepared, went with confidence to the houſe of St. Aignan, in which the Gentlewoman deteined one of his ſervants, ſo that he had then but one of them with him. When he was at the entrance into the Houſe, the ſervant that was ſent for him told him, that his Miſtreſſe would willingly ſpeak with him alone, before he ſhould come to his Maſter, for which purpoſe ſhe did attend him in a private room, where there was none with her but his own ſervant, and that he ſhould therefore doe well to ſend back his other ſervant which was with him, which was done accordingly, and coming up a little pair of ſtairs which were very dark, Aignan who had placed an Ambuſcado below in the Wardrobe, did begin to hear the noiſe, and demanded, who was there? It was anſwered, A man who privately would enter into his houſe. Immediately, one named Tho­mas Guerin, who made it his trade to be a Murcherer, and who to execute this Murder was well rewarded by the Proctor, did give, with other of the Aſſaſſinates, this Young-man ſo many cuts with their ſwords, that what defence ſoever he could make, it could not ſave him from falling down dead upon the ſtairs. His ſer­vant6 who was in diſcourſe with the Lady, ſaid, I hear my Maſter talking on the ſtairs, I will go to him. The Lady with-held him, and ſaid unto him, Take no care, he will come time enough; And not long aſ­ter hearing that his Maſter cried out I am a dead Man, I commend my Spirit unto God, he would have made haſt to his aſſiſtance; but ſhe again reſtrai­ned him, and ſaid, Let him alone, My Husband doth onely chaſtiſe him for ſome youthfull tricks of his; We will go ſee how it is; And leaning over the head of the Stair-caſe, ſhe ſpake unto her Husband, What! is it done? He made anſwer, Come and ſee; I have now revenged you on him who hath procured ſo much ſhame unto you: And ſpeaking theſe words, he with his Poynado gave him ten or twelve thruſts into his Belly being dead, whom living he durſt never have aſſaulted. After this homicide was committed, and the two ſervants of this murdered Young man were fled to tell this ſad News to his poor Father, the ſaid Aignan conceiving that this Murder could not be kept ſecret, did take care that the ſervants of the young Gentleman that was ſlain might not be believed as Witneſſes, and finding, beſides, that there were none in his houſe conſcious to the fact, but the Murtherers themſelves, and an antient Chambermaid, and a young Girl of about fifteen yeers of Age, he would privately have made ſure of the old Woman; but ſhe contrived a way to eſcape out of his hands, and lived in ſafety in the Jacobins, and was the ſureſt Witneſſe that could be of this Murder. The young Chamber­maid continued ſome days afterwards in the houſe, but he found a means to ſuborn her by one of the Murde­rers, and brought her unto Paris, to the publick place there, that her teſtimony might not be received. And the more to conceal the Murder, he cauſed the body of the poor dead Man to be burned, and the bones which were not conſumed with the fire, he did throw into a Morter, where ſome new buildings were raiſing in his houſe. In great diligence he ſent to the Court7 to obtain his pardon, alleging, That he had often­times forbidden a yong man to come into his houſe, of whom he had a great ſuſpition to have attempted the diſhonor of his Wife, who for all his prohibition, came by night thither into a ſuſpected place to communicat with her, whereupon finding him at the entrance in­to the Chamber, being filled more with Choler, than with reaſon, he did kill him. But he could not ſo ſoon diſpatch his Letter to the Chancery, but the Duke and the Dutcheſſe were by the poor Father of the Dead advertiſed of the Caſe, who had ſent to the Chancellor to hinder the comming forth of the Par­don. The wretched Proctor (ſeeing he could not obtain it) did flie into England, and his Wife with him, and ſome others of his Kinred; But before his departure he told the Murderer (who at his requeſt had given this fatal blow) That he had ſeen an Ex­preſſe from the King to apprehend him, and have him put to Death; but becauſe of the ſervice he had done him, he ſaid He would preſerve his Life, whereupon he gave him ten Crowns to go out of the Kingdom, which accordingly he did, and was never heard of af­terwards. This Murder was ſo throughly proved, as well by the ſervants of the dead Young-man, as by the Chamber-maid retired into the Jacobins, as alſo by the Bones found in the Mortar, that the Proceſſe was made & perfected in the abſence of the ſaid Aignan & his wife, who were both judged for their contumacy, & condemn'd to loſe their lives, & to have their goods confiſcated to the King, & 1500 Crowns to be awarded to the Father for the charges of the Proceſſe. The ſaid Aignan reſiding in England, & ſeeing that by Juſtice he was but a dead man in France, did ſo prevail there by his ſervice to many of the Nobility, and by the ſavour of the Kindred of his Wife, that the K. of England did make a requeſt to the King of France to vouchſafe him a Pardon, and to repoſſeſſe him in his Goods and Ho­nors; but the King having underſtood the villanous and horrid Act, did ſend the Proceſſe to the King of8 England, and deſired him to conſider if ſuch a caſe deſerved pardon or not, adding beſides, that the Duke of Alençon had in his Kingdome the only privi­lege to grant pardons for offences committed in his own Dutchy. But for all theſe excuſes the King of England deſiſted not, but purſued his requeſt with ſuch importunity, that in the end the Proctor obtai­ned a pardon, and teturned to his own houſe, where to compleat his iniquity he acquainted himſelf with a Sorcerer whoſe name was Gallery, hoping by his Art that he ſhould be exempted from paying the fifteen hundred Crowns to the Fa­ther of the young Man that was murthered. To this end he came to Paris, and his wife with him, being both diſguiſed; His Wife obſerving that every day he locked himſelf up in a Chamber with the ſaid Gallery, & that he not acquainted her with the reaſon of it, one morning ſhe watched him, and obſerved that the ſaid Gallery did ſhew him five Images of wood, three of them had their hands banging down, and two of them had their hands lifted up, and ſpeaking to the Proctor he ſaid, we are to make in wax ſuch Images as theſe are, thoſe who have their Arms hanging down ſhall be thoſe that ſhall die, and thoſe who do lift up their hands ſhall be thoſe whoſe favour and countenance we deſire. The Proctor ſaid unto him, This ſhall be then for the King by whom I deſire to be favoured, and this ſhall be for Monſeiur Brinon the Chancellor of Alençon. Gallery ſaid unto him, we muſt put theſe Images under the Altar at what time they are hearing Maſſe, and you ſhall utter ſome words which at that inſtant I will teach you to ſpeak, And proceeding their diſcourſe concerning thoſe Images which held down their hands, the Proctor told him that one of them was for Monſeiur Giller du Meſtrill the father of the young Man that was killed, for he ſufficiently underſtood, that ſo long as he lived he would not ceaſe to purſue him; And one of the women who had their hands9 hanging down was for Madam the Dutcheſſe of Alen­çon, Siſter to the King, becauſe ſhe ſtood ſo well affe­cted to her old Servant Du Meſtrill; and in many o­ther things had ſo perfect a knowledge of the wicked­neſſe of the Proctor, that if ſhe died not, he could not live. The ſecond woman that had her Arms han­ging down was for his own wife, who was the cauſe of all his troubles, and who (he was ſure enough) would never amend her wicked life. When his wife ſaw all this through the Crevis of the Door, and un­derſtood that he had ranked her amongſt the number of the dead, ſhe reſolvd with her ſelf that ſhe would be before hand with him, & under pretence of borrowing ſome moneys of her Uncle who was maſter of requeſts to the Duke of Alençon, ſhe repaired to him to give him an account of what ſhe had ſeen and heard from her Husband. Her Uncle (as became a good old Servant) did addreſſe himſelf to the Chancellor of Alençon, and repeated the whole ſtory to him, and be­cauſe the Duke and the Dutcheſſe of Alençon were not that day at the Court, the ſaid Chancellor repaired to Madam the Queen Regent the Mother of the King, and to the Dutcheſſe, to give them an account of it, who immediately ſent for the Provoſt of Paris called Battre, who uſed ſuch diligence that he appre­hended the Proctor and Gallery the Conjurer, who without rack or conſtraint did freely confeſſe the fact, and their Proceſſe was made and brought unto the King. Some of the Court being willing to have their lives ſaved, pleaded for them, and told the King that in their inchantments they deſired only to have his fa­vour. But the King who eſteemed his Siſters life as dear unto him as his own, did command that the Sen­tence of Death ſhould be given, as if they had made an attainder upon his own Perſon. Nevertheleſſe his Siſter the Dutcheſſe of Alençon did ſo ſupplicate to have the life of the Proctor ſaved, and the ſentence of his death to be turned into ſome other grievous and corporal puniſhment, that it was at laſt condiſcended10 to, and he and Gallery were both condemned and ſent to Marſeilles to ſerve in the Galleys of Saint Blan­quart, where they finiſhed their days in great captivi­ty, and had the leiſure to acknowledge the grievouſ­neſſe of their offences. The wicked woman in the ab­ſence of her Husband did continue her tranſgreſſions more than ever before, and died lamentably.

Lades, I do beſecsh you to obſerve what evill doth pro­ceed from wicked women; How many ſorrows did this one produce? You ſhall find, that ever ſince Eve cauſed Adam to ſin, all Women have made it their profeſſion, to torment, to kill, and to damn Men. As for my ſelf, I have ſuch experience of their cruelty, that I think to die no otherwiſe, but only by the Deſpair into which one of them has thrown me, and yet I am ſo fooliſh, that I muſt confeſſe that this Hell is more pleaſing to me comming from her hand, than Paradiſe could be comming from the hand of another. Parlament ſeeming not to underſtand that ſhe was the Subject on whom thoſe words reflected, did reply unto him, If Hell be ſo pleaſant as you expreſs it, you need not to fear the Devil who hath put you there. He made an­ſwer to her in Choler, If my Devil had been as black as ſcornfull, he would put this Company into as great a fear, as I take pleaſure to behold it; But the Fire of Love doth make me to forget that of this Hell; And to ſpeak no more of it, I do give my voice to Madam Oyſilla, being aſſu­red, that if ſhe would but ſpeak of Women what ſhe know­eth, ſhe would favour my opinion. Immediatly the whole Company turned towards her, intreating her that ſhe would be pleaſed to begin, which ſhe accepted of, and ſmiling be­gan thus to ſpeak; Ladies, It doth appear to me that he who hath given me his voice hath ſpoken ſo much ill of Women, though in the true ſtory of a moſt wicked one, that I ought to run back over all my old years to find out one whoſe virtue might give a check to this bad opinion; And becauſe already I have thought of one not worthy to be for­gotten, I will give you an account of her.

11

The Lamentable and Chaſt Death of the Wife of one of the Keepers of the Mules of the Queen of Navarre. The ſecond Novell.

IN the City of Ambois there dwelled a Keeper of Mules who ſerved the Queen of Navarre, Siſter to King Francis the Firſt of that Name, who was brought to Bed of a Son at Blois, to which place the Keeper of the Mules repaired to be payed for his Quarters ſer­vice. His Wife continued ſtill at Ambois, and lod­ged not far from the Bridge. Her Husband had a ſer­vant who for a long time did love her ſo deſperately, that one day he could not contain frō ſpeaking to her, but ſhe who was a moſt virtuous Woman did reprove him ſo ſeverely, threatning that her Husband ſhould beat him, and put him away, that after that time he durſt not ſpeak to her any more, nor make any coun­tenance of Love, but kept that fire concealed in his heart; Untill that on a time his Maſter was gon out of Town, and his Miſtreſſe was at the Veſpers at St. Florentines, a Church belonging to the Caſtle of the City, and a great way from her own houſe. Being alone, it came into his head, to enjoy that by force which by no prayer or ſervice he could obtain; where­upon he did break down a board which was the parti­tion betwixt his Miſtreſſe Chamber and that wherein he lay, but becauſe there was a hanging cloath neer to the Bed of his Maſter and Miſtreſſe, which did co­ver the walls ſo well, that the rupture which he made could not be perceived, his malice and treachery was not diſcovered untill that his Miſtreſſe was in bed with a Girl ſhe kept of about twelve years of age. As the poor woman was in her firſt ſleep, her ſervant came in his ſhirt only, into her bed, through the whole made in the wall, and had a ſword drawn in his hand; But as ſoon as ſhe perceived him to draw near unto her, ſhe leaped out of the Bed, and uſed all tho reaſons and12 perſwaſions to him as it was poſſible for a good Wo­man to deliver; but he who was tranſported with a Beſtial deſire, and did underſtand better the lan­guage of Mules, than her honeſt Remonſtrances, did ſhew himſelf more brutiſh than the Beaſts with whom ſo long time he converſed; for obſerving that ſhe did run round the Table, and that he could not take hold of her, and withall that ſhe was ſo ſtrong, that twice together ſhe got off from him, growing into a deſpair ever to enjoy her alive, he gave her with his ſword a great blow upon the back, conceiving to himſelf, if neither fear nor force could make her to yeeld, that pain ſhould effect it. But it proved contrary to his expectation: for as a gallant Soldier ſeeing his blood is more inflamed to revenge himſelf on his Enemies, and to purchaſe honour; ſo her chaſt heart did doub­ly inforce her to run, and to flie from the hands of this wicked villain, and oftentimes, at ſome diſtance, ſhe would hold him in the beſt diſcourſe ſhe could, to ſee if by any means ſhe could reduce him to the acknow­ledgement of his offence; but he was inflam'd with ſuch a furie that there was no place in him to receive good counſell, inſomuch that he gave the poor Wo­man many wounds more, which to avoyd, ſhe al­ways ran from him, as long as her leggs were able to carry her, and when by the great effuſion of her blood ſhe found that Death approached, joyning her hands together, and lifting her eyes to Heaven ſhe gave thanks unto God, the God of Power, Virtue, Pati­ence, and Chaſtity, and beſought him to accept of her blood, which by his appointment was ſhed in re­verence and obedience to that of his Sons, in whom ſhe moſt aſſuredly did beleeve that all her ſins were waſhed and wiped away from the Memory of his An­ger; And ſpeaking, Lord receive my Soul, which by thy mercy hath been redeemed, ſhee fell on her face upon the Earth, where the bloody Miſcreant did ſtill print more wounds on her body, and when ſhe had loſt both her ſpeech and the ſtrength of her body, the13 Villain ſeiſed upon her by force who no longer could defend her ſelf, and having ſatisfied his reprobate concupiſcence, he fled away ſo haſtily, that for all the Hue and Cryes that did follow him, he could never be heard of more. The young Girle who lay with this poor woman, being overcome with fear, did hide her ſelf under the bed, but when ſhe ſaw that the Man was gone, ſhe came unto her Miſtreſſe, and found her without ſpeech or motion, whereupon ſhe cryed to the neighbors out of the window to come to her aſſiſtance. They who did love and as much reſpect her as any woman in the City did immediatly come to her, and brought with them two Chirurgions, who found that ſhe had on her body five and twenty mortal wounds; they did what they could to keep that little life that was left in her, but it was impoſſible, Yet ſhe continued languiſhing away for the Space of a whole hour with­out ſpeaking any word, making ſigns with her eyes and hands, by which ſhe ſhewed that ſhe had not loſt her underſtanding. Being asked by a Church-man of the Faith in which ſhe dyed, and of her Salvation, ſhe made anſwer by ſigns ſo evident that her words could not more manifeſtly declare that her confidence was in the Death of Jeſus Chriſt, whom ſhe hoped to be­hold in his coeleſtial City; and thus with a joyfull countenance, lifting up her eyes to heaven, ſhe ſurren­dred her chaſt Body to the Earth, and her Soul to her Cretor. Being taken up and a ſhrowd caſt on her, her Body was no ſooner brought down to the Door of her houſe attending the coming of the Com­pany to her burial, but behold her poor Husband did arrive, who firſt ſaw the dead Body of his wife at the Door of his houſe, before he had heard the melancho­ly news of her death; And having underſtood the occaſion of it, he had double reaſon to lament, which he did in ſuch a manner that he almoſt had loſt his life. Thus this Martyr of Chaſtity was carried to her burial into the Church of Saint Florencin, where all the good women of the City did not fail in their14 endeavours to accompany her, and did honour her as much as poſſibly they could, eſteeming themſelves moſt happy to be of that City in which ſo virtuous a woman lived. The fooliſh and light Huswives beholding the honour that was done unto her, did reſolve with them ſelves to change their wan­ton lives.

You have heard, Ladies, a true Hiſtory, which ought to make our hearts more circumspest to guard this honorable Virtue of Chaſtity. And we that are deſcended of noble Families ought even to die for ſhame to find in our hearts that ſenſuality, to avoid which, a poor Mule-Kee­pers wife did not fear ſo cruell a Death. Alas! How many are there who esteem themſelves good women, and yet never underſtood what it is to reſeſt unto Bloud? Wherefore we ought to exerciſe our ſelves with repentance and humility; for the Graces of God are not given unto us for our nobleneſs or our riches, but according to the plea­ſure of his Bounty, who is no accepter of perſons, and who chooſeth whom he pleaſeth. For thoſe whom he chooſeth he doth honour with his virtues, and doth crown them with his glory; and oftentimes he maketh choice of baſe things, to confound thoſe which the world eſteems to be high and honourable. Therefore (as he himſelf ſaith) let us not rejoice in our greatneſs, but in this, that our Names are written in the Book of Life. There was not a Lady in the Company that had not tears in her eyes in com­paſſion of the lamentable and glorious Death of that poor Woman. Every one reſolved with themſelves that if the like fortune ſhould befall them, they would imitate the ſame Martyr. Madam Oyſilla obſerving that the Time did paſſe away in the many praiſes of this dead Woman, did ſay to Saffredant, If you ſpeak not ſomething to make the Company laugh, I do not ſee any amongſt you, who can forget the fault I have committed, which is, to make you weep. Wherefore I give you my voice. Saffredant had a deſire to ſpeak ſome good thing which might be agreeable to the Company, and above all to one of them, how ſoe­ver ſome wrong was done, in regard that there were ſome15 more antient and more experienced than himſelf, who ſhould have spoke before him. Nevertheleſs his lot being ſuch, he had rather diſpatch it now, for there were more to come of good speakers, and the longer he ſtayed, the more his Account would appear leſſe pleaſing.

A King of Naples abuſing the Wife of a Gentleman, did in the end carry the Horn himſelf.The Third Novell.

LAdies, ſaid Saſſredant, Becauſe I have oftentimes wiſhed my ſelf to be a companion of his Fortune of whom I am now giving you an account, I ſhall tell you, That in the City of Naples, in the time of King Alphonſus, whoſe Luſt was the Scepter of his Realm, there was a Gentleman ſo gallant, goodly, and at­tractive, that for his perfections an antient Gentle­man gave him his Daughter in Marriage, which in Beauty and ſweetneſſe of Diſpoſition was nothing in­feriour to her Husband. The Love between theſe two was great, untill that wanton time when the King in a Maſque did go amongſt the Houſes of the Great Ones of his Kingdom, where every one did ſtrive to give him the greateſt entertainment that they could, and when he came into the houſe of this Gentleman, he was more magnificently received than in any other place, as well by Collations, as by Songs and Mu­ſick, and by the moſt beautifull Lady that ever he beheld, who at the end of the Feaſt did bear a part in a Song with her Husband, which ſhe did with ſo much grace, that it did encreaſe her beauty. The King beholding two perfections in one body, took not ſo much pleaſure at the mutuall according of the Hus­band16 and the Wife, as he took care how to diſſolve it. He found the difficulty to perform it was in the united affection which he obſerv'd betwixt them; Therefore he carried in his heart his paſſion as cloſe­ly as poſſibly he could, but to comfort it in part he made many Feaſts to all the Lords and Ladies of Na­ples, at which this Gentleman and his Wife were ne­ver forgotten. And becauſe that we do willingly be­lieve that which we ſee, it ſeemed to him that the fair eyes of this Lady did promiſe him ſome Good to come, if the Preſence of her Husband did give no hin­derance to it; and to make tryall if this conjecture of his were true or not, he gave her Husband a Com­miſſion to go to Rome for fifteen dayes, or three weeks, and as ſoon as he was gon, his Wife who never before was deprived of the ſight of him, made many great la­ments, for which ſhe was comforted by the King as of­ten as he could, by his perſwaſions, and by his pre­ſents, Inſomuch that at laſt ſhe was not only comfor­red, but contented alſo with the abſence of her Hus­band, and before the three weeks were expired that her Husband ſhould return, ſhe was ſo amorous of the King, that ſhe was as much grieved at the return of her Husband as ſhe was at his going from her; And that ſhe might not loſe the preſence of the King ſhe did conclude with him, that when her Husband did goe unto his Houſes in the Country, ſhe would ac­quaint him with it, who then with aſſurance might come unto her, and ſo ſecretly, that no man (whom ſhe feared more than her own Conſcience) could have any notice of it. In this hope the Lady remained ve­ry joyfull, and when her Husband was come home ſhe gave him ſuch good entertainment, that although he underſtood that in his abſence the King made very much of her, yet he could not receive it into his be­lief. But in the proceſſe of time, the fire ſo hard to be concealed did by degrees begin to ſhew it ſelf, inſo­much that her Husband began to have a ſtrong ſuſpi­tion of her, and did keep over her ſo ſtrict a watch,17 that he was almoſt aſſured of the Truth. But by rea­ſon of the fear that did invade him, that he who had done him this injury, would do him a greater, if he ſhould make it known, he teſolved with himſelf to diſſemble it, for he believed it to be ſafer to live, though with ſome diſcontent, than to hazard his life for a Woman that had forfeited her love. Neverthe­leſſe in this deſpite he reſolved to render the like un­to the King, if it were poſſible; And knowing that Love doth aſſail thoſe moſt of all who have a heart great and honourable, he aſſumed the boldneſſe one day talking with the Queen, to tell her, That he did extremely pity her that ſhe was no better beloved of the King her Husband. The Queen, who had un­derſtood of the familiarity of the King and his Wife, made anſwer, I cannot enjoy Honour and Pleaſure together; I know very well that I have the Ho­nour of which another receives the Pleaſure, and ſhe that hath the Pleaſure cannot enjoy the Honor which I have. He who underſtood ſufficiently upon what account thoſe words were ſpokē, replied to her, Madam, Honour is born with you, for you are of ſo high-born an extract, that to be Queen or an Empreſs doth not augment your nobility, but your beauty, grace, and ſweetneſs doth deſerve ſo much pleaſure, as ſhe who hath taken that from you which belongs unto you doth doe more wrong to her ſelf than you; ſhe for a little glory which turns into her ſhame, doth loſe as much pleaſure as you or any Lady in the Land can enjoy, and I can tell you Madam, that if the King would but put the Crown from off his head I am con­fident he had no advantage above me in giving con­tent unto a Lady, being ſure that to ſatisfie ſo gal­lant a perſonage as your ſelf he ought to change his complexion into mine. The Queen in laughter made anſwer to him, Although the King be not of ſo deli­cate a complexion as your ſelf, ſo it is that the love which he bears to me doth ſo much content me, that I prefer it above any other thing. The Gentleman18 ſaid unto her, Madam, If it were ſo, you ſhould not pitty me, for I know well that the honeſt love of your heart would give all contentment, if it ſound the like love in the heart of the King, but God hath ſo appointed it, that (not finding in him that which you expected) you ſhould not make to your ſelf any God on earth. I doe confeſſe unto you ſaid the Queen, that the love I bear him is ſo great, that the like cannot be found in any other heart but my own. Pardon me Madam, ſaid the Gentleman, you have not yet ſoun­ded the love of all hearts, for I dare profeſſe unto you, that ſuch a one doth love you, whoſe affection is ſo great an inſupportable, that yours in compari­ſon of his would appear nothing at all: And becauſe he finds the love of the King to decreaſe towards you, and his own moſt infinitely augmented, if it be agre­able to you, you ſhall be recompenſed for all your ſufferings. The Queen as well by his countenance as by his words did begin to underſtand that what he ſpake did proceed from the bottom of his heart, and did conſider with her ſelf it was long ſince that he firſt profeſſed ſervice to her with ſuch affection that he became melancholy therewith, which at firſt ſhe con­ceived to be occaſioned by his wife, but now ſhe firm­ly believed that it was for the love of her. And thus the virtue of Love which can make it ſelf to be per­ceived when it is not counterfit, doth alſo make it ſelf certain of that which is hid from all the world. And looking on the Gentleman who was more lovely than her own Husband, finding that he was forſaken by his wife, as ſhe was by the King, being poſſeſſed with deſpite and Jealouſie of her Husband, and inci­ted by the love of the Gentleman, ſhe began to ſpeak with tears and ſighes, O my God! And can venge­ance then force that from me which no Love could ever do? The Gentleman who well underſtood the ſenſe of her words, made anſwer, Madam, Sweet is his Vengeance who inſtead of killing an Enemy, doth give life to a perfect friend. It appears to me, that19 it is now high time, that Truth, and a juſt and rea­ſonable love, ſhould take from you that ſottiſh love which you bear to him who loves not you. Chaſe from you that ſordid fear which cannot have a Manſi­on in a heart great and noble. Let us lay aſide, Ma­dam, the greatneſſe of your Eſtate, and regard that you and my ſelf are the moſt laugh'd at Man and Wo­man in the world, betrayed by thoſe whom moſt per­fectly we have loved. Let us revenge our ſelves, Ma­dam, not ſo much to render them their deſerts, as to ſatisfie Love, which on my part cannot any longer be ſuſtained without Death: And I beleeve, if you have not a heart more hard than a flint, or diamond, that it is impoſſible for you not to feel ſome ſparks of that fire, which ſo much the more increaſeth in me, as I endeavour to conceal it; And if that pity on me who die for the love of you, cannot incite you to love me, at leaſt let the pity which you ought to have on your ſelf conſtrain you to it, who being ſo abſolutely per­fect, do deſerve to be the Miſtreſſe of the hearts of all the gallant Men in the world, and are undervalued and forſaken by him for whom you have diſdained all others. The Queen hearing theſe words was ſo tranſ­ported, that ſhe was afraid to ſhew by her countenance the trouble of her ſpirit, & leaning on therm of the Gentleman, did go with him into a garden neer unto her Chamber, where a long time ſhe walked without ſpeaking one word to him. The Gentleman ſeeing her half vanquiſhed, when they were come to the end of an Alley where none could deſcry them, did by ef­fect declare that love unto her which ſo long a time he concealed, and thus with delight they both fulfill'd their vengeance, the paſſion whereof before was ſo unſupportable to them. They determined there be­tween them both, that as often as he repaired to his Country houſe, and the King ſhould come from his Palace into the Town to her, that immediately he ſhould come about, and return to the Palace to the Queen: And thus deceiving the deceivers, they were20 all four partakers in that pleaſure which two of them thought to have had alone by themſelves. The agree­ment being made, they returned, the Queen to her Chamber in the Palace, and the Gentleman to his houſe, both of them with ſuch content, that they had forgot all their former diſtractions. And the fear which before poſſeſſed them that the King was with this Gentlemans wife, was now turn'd into a deſire to have it ſo, which was the cauſe that the Gentleman more often than he was accuſtomed did repair unto his Village, which was but half a mile from the City, and as ſoon as the King underſtood of it, he did not fail to give a viſitation to his Wife, and when ever night drew on, the Gentleman did conſtantly come into the Palace to the Queen to perform the Office of the Kings Lieutenant, but ſo privatly, that never any did perceive it. This courſe of life continued a long time, but the King being a publick perſon could not ſo well diſſemble his love, and many honeſt men took great pity on the Gentleman; for the naughty boyes would make horns at him behind his back in ſign of Mocke­ry, which he underſtood well enough, but this moc­kery was ſo pleaſing to him, that he as highly eſtee­med of his Horns, as of the Crown of the King, who one day his Wife being with him, could hardly con­tain themſelves from laughing out-right, they both be­holding the head of a Stagg which was nailed up in the Houſe of the Gentleman, the King ſaid the head was very ſuitable in that place. The Gentleman who had as good a heart as himſelf, preſently after the Kings departure did write upon the head, To porto le corna, chi aſcundo vede ma talle porta chi nolo crede. The King not long afterwards returning to his houſe, did obſerve the writing on the head of the Stagg, and demanded of the Gentleman the reaſon of it, who made anſwer unto him, If the ſecret of the King be concealed to the Stagg, I ſee no reaſon that the ſe­cret of the Stagg ſhould be declared to the King; But you may content your ſelf he ſaid, that thoſe who car­ry21 horns do not all ſhow thē beaming forth from their head, for ſome of thē are ſo pleaſant that they will not unbonnet any Man, and he doth bear them lighteſt, who thinketh that he hath none at all. The King un­derſtood by theſe words well enough that he knew ſomething of his own affairs, but never ſuſpected the love between the Queen and himſelf; for the Queen ſeemed to be the more contented with the life of her Husband; wherefore they lived a long time in fami­liarity both on the one ſide, and on the other, untill that old age did put a period to it.

Ladies, Behold here a Hiſtory which I willingly re­preſent unto you for Examples ſake, that when your Huſ­bands do give you the Horns of a Goat, you may preſent them with the Horns of a Stagg. Emarſuite laughing began to speak, I am well aſſured Saffredant, that if you doe love as much now, as heretofore you have done, you would endure to wear Horns as great as any Oak, to give one where you do fancy, but now ſince your hairs grow white it is high time to give a reſpite to your deſires. Ma­dam, ſaid Saffredant, Although that all Hope is taken from me by her whom I did love, and the Heat of Love by Age, yet my good will continues ſtill; but becauſe you have reproved me for ſo unblamable a deſire, I give you my voice to speak the fourth Novell, that we may ſee if you can disprove me by any Example. True it is, that du­ring this diſcourſe one of the Ladies in the Company began to laugh out-right, knowing that ſhe who took up Saffre­dant for theſe words, was not ſo well beloved by him, as that for her ſake he would ſuffer either horns, or ſhame, or damage. And when Saffredant perceived, that ſhe who did ſo laugh did underſtand him, he did contain himſelf, being very well contented, and gave Emarſuite leave to speak, who began in this manner. Ladies, To the end that Saffredant and this fair Company may underſtand that all Ladies are not like to this Queen of whom he hath ſpoken, and that the raſh and unadviſed do not always ar­rive at their own ends, as alſo to conceal the opinion of a Lady, who judged the Despite to fail in the Enterpriſe to22 be worſe than Death. I will give you the account of an History, in which I will not name the perſons, becauſe it is ſo freſh in Memory, that I am afraid I ſhall diſpleaſe ſome of her Kinred who are not far from me.

The raſh Enterpriſe of a Gentleman to incounter a Princeſs of Flanders, and the hurt and ſhame which he ſuſtained.The fourth Novell.

IN Flanders there was a Lady of ſo good a Houſe that the could not be of a better; ſhe was a Widdow, and had had two Husbands, but no children by them li­ving. During her widdo whood ſhe lived privately in her Brothers Houſe, by whom ſhe was very well be­loved, who was a great Lord, and Husband to one of the Daughters of the King. This young Prince was much addicted to his pleaſures, hunting, hawking, and other paſtimes, and to the Company of Ladies, and ſuch ſports as youth is prone unto: He had a very perverſe Lady to his Wife, to whom the Paſtimes of her Husband were no way pleaſing; whereupon he took his Siſter to live with him, who was of a merry heart, and the beſt Company that could be, neverthe­leſſe very wiſe and provident. There was in the houſe of this Lord a Gentleman, whoſe Greatneſs, Bounty, and ſweetneſſe of Diſpoſition, did ſurpaſſe all his Companions. This Gentleman ſeeing the Siſter of his Maſter to be alwayes merry, and of a lively diſpo­ſition, did reſolve with himſelf that he would try whe­thor the propoſitions of an honeſt Friend would be diſpleaſing to her, or no, which he did accordingly, but received from her an anſwer quite contrary to her countenance; and although her anſwer was ſuch as became a Princeſſe, and a Lady of unqueſtionable ho­nour, yet ſeeing him ſo lovely, and in other things ſo23 noble, ſhe eaſily pardoned his boldneſſe, and told him, that ſhe would not be diſpleaſed as often as he ſhould ſpeak unto her, but deſired him to make no more words concerning ſuch a purpoſe, which he promiſed to doe, being afraid to loſe the happineſſe and the honour to converſe with her. Nevertheleſſe at laſt, his affection did ſo encreaſe, that he forgot the promiſe which he had made unto her, not that he in­tended to court her any more with words, for he had too often to his experience found the wiſe and grave anſwers which ſhe gave him, but he conceived with himſelf, that if he could get her at a place of ad­vantage, that ſhe who was a Widdow, young, luſty, and of an excellent complexion, might poſſibly take ſome pity on him, and on her ſelf alſo. To arrive to this end, he told his Maſter that he had neer to his own houſe a very fair Chace, and if he pleaſed to re­pair thither to kill three or four Bucks in the month of May, he could not ſee better ſport. The Lord as well for the love he did bear unto the Gentle­man, as for the pleaſure of the Chace, did grant him his requeſt, and did go along with him to his houſe, which was a very fair one, and in good order, he being the richeſt Gentle­man that was in that Country. He lodged the Lord and his Lady in one body of the houſe, and, over a­gainſt them, her whom he loved better than himſelf. The Chamber was ſo well hung with Arras, and ſo well matted, that it was impoſſible to perceive the trap-door which he had made betwixt the Bed and the Wall, which deſcended into that Room where his Mother lay, who was an antient Lady, and troubled with a weakneſſe in her eyes, and becauſe ſhe had the cough being afraid to diſturb the Lady who lay above her, ſhe changed her chamber for that of her Sons, and every evening that old woma did carry Confects to the Lady for her Collation, in which ſervice this Gent did aſſiſt her, who (being much beloved by her Brother, and of his moſt privat counſels) was not refuſed to be24 preſent every morning at the Princeſſes and at her riſing up, and every night at their lying down, where he ſaw daily an occaſion to augment his affection. In­ſomuch that one Evening having kept this Lady up ſo late, that ſleep ſeizing on her eys did force him from her Chamber, he retired to his own, and when he had taken the moſt gorgeous and perfumed ſhirt that he had, and a night cap ſo well accoutred that nothing could be wanting to it, looking in his glaſs he thought unto himſelf that there was no Lady in the world who could refuſe ſo lovely, gallant, and ſo proper a perſo­nage. Wherefore promiſing to himſelf a happy iſſue of his Enterpriſe, he repaired to his bed, where he in­tended to make but a ſhort ſtay, for the deſire and the hope he entertained to poſſeſſe a place in one more honourable and pleaſant; As ſoon as he had ſent forth all his people, he did ariſe to ſhut the door after them, and a long time did liſten if in the Chamber of the Lady, which was directly above his own, he could hear any noiſe, and when he could aſſure himſelf that all was quiet, he began his ſweet travels, and by de­grees opening the trap-door, which was ſo fitly made and covered with cloath, that it made not the leaſt crack, he went up into the Ladies Chamber between the bed and the wall, and without any regard to the obligation which he made her, nor to the illuſtrious family of which ſhe was deſcended, and without de­manding any leave, or making reverence to her, he lay down cloſe unto her, who ſooner found her ſelf in his arms, then perceived his comming. But ſhe being a luſty woman did wreſt her ſelf out of his arms, and asking him who he was, began to ſtrike, and bite, and ſcratch him, inſomuch that he was conſtrai­ned for fear ſhe ſhould cry out, to ſtop her mouth with the coverlet, which was impoſſible for him to doe; for when ſhe ſaw that he ſpared nothing of all his ſtrength to procure her ſhame, ſhe ſpared nothing of her own to defend her ſelf, and as lowd as ſhe could ſhe cal­led for her Lady of Honour, an antient and wiſe25 Woman who lay in her Chamber, who preſently in her Smock made haſt unto her Miſtreſſe; when the Gen­tleman found that he was diſcovered, he had ſo great a fear to be known who he was, that as faſt as he could he went down the ſame way he came up, and as great as his hope was before, and deſire to be entertained, ſo great a grief and deſpair poſſeſſed him to find him­ſelf return'd in that ſad condition. He found his Glaſſe and the Candle upon the table, and looking on his face bleeding with the ſcratches which ſhe had gi­ven him, and the blood dropping on his ſhort, which had diſcoloured the gold, he began to ſay, O beau­ty, thou haſt now well rewarded me according to my merit, for through thy vain promiſes I have attemp­ted a thing which is impoſſible, and which it may be inſtead of augmenting my contentments may be the doubling of all my ſorrows, being aſſured, that if ſhe ſhould know that againſt the promiſe I have made her I have enterpriſed this folly, I ſhould loſe all the re­ſpect and familiar frequentation, which no man hath with her more than my ſelf. To gain the love of her heart, I ſhould not by force have attempted to have ſurprized her fair body, but by my ſervice and hum­ble patience have attended, untill that Love became victorious; for without it all the virtue and force of Man have no power at all. In this manner he paſſed away the night in complaints, tears, and ſighs, which cannot be number'd. In the Morning, beholding his face ſo torn, he counterfeited that he was ſick, and not able to endure the light, untill the Princes were gone from his Houſe. The Lady who remained vi­ctorious, being confident that there was not a man in her Brothers Court who durſt have attempted ſo lewd an enterpriſe, but he only who aſſumed the boldneſſe to declare his love unto her, did aſſure her ſelf that it was he who endeavoured ſo much to work her ſhame, and with her Lady of Honor ſought every place and corner of the Chamber to find which way it could be, and when ſhe could not diſcover any26 thing ſhe ſpoke unto her in a great choler; Aſſure your ſelf, that it can be no other but the Maſter of the houſe, and in the morning I will make ſuch a com­plaint to my Brother of him, that his head ſhall be the witneſſe of my Chaſtity. Her Lady of Honour ſeeing her in this reſolution, ſpake unto her, Madam, I am very ſenſible of the Love which you have unto your Honor, to increaſe which you will not ſpare the life of one who hath too much hazarded it through the force of that love he bears you, but oftentimes we think to increaſe that which we diminiſh; Wherefore I beſeech you, Madam, that you would vouchſafe to repreſent unto me the truth of the fact; and when the Lady had given her an account of it all along, her La­dy of Honor ſaid unto her, You aſſure me then that he received nothing but blows and ſcratches from you. The Lady made anſwer, Nothing elſe I dare aſſure you; and if he meet not with a good Chirurgion, I do beleeve that on to morrow the marks will be ap­parent. Madam, ſince it islo, ſaid her Lady of Ho­nour, it ſeems to me that you have more occaſion to praiſe God, than to reſolve with you ſelf to be reven­ged of him; for you ought to beleeve, ſince he hath ſo great a heart to make ſuch an enterpriſe, the deſpite he hath to have failed in it, is more grievous to him than any Death that you can give him. If you deſire to be revenged on him, let him alone to Love, and Shame, which know better how to torment him than you, or any Inſtigations of your Honor. Take heed, Madam, to fall into an Inconvenience, ſuch as is his own; for inſtead of enjoying the greateſt pleaſure that poſſibly he could deſire, he hath received the greateſt ſhame that poſſibly a Gentleman can indure. So you, Madam, thinking to increaſe your Honour, do go the next way to diminiſh it. For if you will make a complaint, you will make that publick, which now no Man knows, for you may be ſure that for his part he will not reveal it unto any. And whe Monſieur your Brother ſhall perform that Juſtice which you demand,27 and the poor Gentleman ſhall come to ſuffer death, the Report will run, that he would have to doe with you according to his pleaſure, and the greateſt part will ſay, That it is a ſtrange thing for a Gentleman to make ſuch an enterpriſe, if the Lady had not gi­ven him ſome great occaſion her ſelf. You are fair and young, and merry in all Company, there is not any in this Court who doth not obſerve the daily re­ſpects of Love which you vouchſafe this Gentleman you ſuſpect; who will not judge, that if he hath made ſuch an attempt, it is not without ſome fault on your ſide? And your Honour, which untill now hath al­ways gone with an advanced head, ſhall be diſputed of in every place where this ſtory ſhall be repeated. The Lady underſtanding the good reaſons of her La­dy of Honour, did apprehend that ſhe ſpake the truth, and that juſtly ſhe ſhould be blamed, eſpecially by reaſon of the familiar love that ſhe was pleaſed to ſhew unto him: She therefore demanded of her La­dy of Honour, what ſhe ſhould do? who ſaid unto her, Madam, ſince you are pleaſed to receive my counſell, and do obſerve the affection from whence it comes, it ſeems to me, that you ought to entertain a perfect joy in your heart, that the moſt handſom and moſt accompliſhed Gentleman that I have ſeen, knew neither by love nor force to diſpoſſeſſe you of your Chaſtity. And for this, Madam, you ought to humble your ſelf before God, and to acknowledge that this is not by your virtue; for many great Ladies who have led a life more auſtere than your ſelf, have been humbled by Men leſſe worthy to be loved than himſelf. And moreover, you ought to take heed to entertain no more diſcourſes of love with him, be­cauſe there are too many who the ſecond time have fallen into dangers, which they bad avoided the firſt. Madam, remember that love is blind, and blinds us in ſuch a manner, that when we think the path moſt ſure, it is oftentimes moſt ſlippery.

And, Madam, it ſeems to me, that you ought not28 to make the leaſt ſhow of what in this caſe hath hap­pened to you, either to himſelf or to any other; and if he ſhall yet ſpeak any thing to you concerning it, do you pretend that you know nothing at all, to avoyd two dangers, the one of the vain glory of the victory you have obtained, the other in taking pleaſure in re­membering things ſo pleaſant to the fleſh; ſome the moſt chaſte have enough to do to keep themſelves from feeling ſome heats thereof, although they fly from the temptations as faſt as poſſibly they can. And to the end Madam that he might not think by this hazard, that he hath done ſomething which may be a­greeable to you, I ſhall adviſe you, that by degrees you will remove your ſelf and your accuſtomed familiari­tyes from him, to the end he might underſtand how much you deſpiſe his follies, and how great your goodneſſe is, which is contented with the victory which God hath given you, without demanding any venge­ance on him: And, Madam, God give you the grace to continue the honeſty which he hath put in your heart, and underſtanding that all bleſſings come from him, to love and ſerve him better than you have been accuſtomed to do. The Lady intended to put in practice the counſell of her Lady of Honour, and ſlept with as much comfort, as the Gentleman did keep himſelf awake with ſadneſs. The next mor­ning the Lord prepared to be gone, and asked for the Gentleman, it was told him, that he was ſtruck with ſo ſudden a ſickneſſe that he could not endure to ſee the light, nor any Man to ſpeak to him, where­at the Prince was very ſorry, and would have gone to ſee him, but being informed that he was aſleep, he was unwilling to awake him, and without ſaying A­dieu unto him he departed from his houſe, taking his Wife and Siſter with him, who underſtanding the excuſes of the Gentleman not to ſee the Prince nor the Company at his departure, did hold her ſelf aſſu­red, that it was ſhe who had brought this dangerous Indiſpoſition on him; becauſe he duiſt not ſhew the29 marks which ſhe had given him. And although his Maſter the Prince ſent often to him to come to Court, yet he would not return untill he were well healed of all his hurts, but only that which Love & Deſpite had printed in his heart. When he was returned to Court, and found himſelf before his victorious Enemy, it was not without bluſhing on her part, and he who was ac­cuſtomed to be the moſt ſpiritfull in all the Court, was ſo amazed, that oftentimes before her he held down his head; wherefore ſhe was fully aſſured that her former ſuſpition was true, and by little and little ſhe eſtranged her ſelf from him, though not ſo cloſe­ly, but he perceived it well enough; but he durſt take no notice of it, for fear of ſuffering worſe, and kept afterwards that love of his concealed in his heart with that patience of Reſtraint as he deſerved.

Ladies, Here you may behold what ought to give a great fear to thoſe who preſume on that which pertains not to them, and it ought to be an example of incouragement to Ladies to behold the virtue of this young Lady, and the good Counſel of her Lady of honour. If any one of you ſhall chance to be in the like condition, the remedy is already given. It ſeems to me, ſaid Hircan, that the Gentleman of whom you have ſpoken had ſo faint a heart that he was not worthy of that Lady, for having ſuch an opportunity, he ought not either for young or old to let fall his enter­priſe; And I might well ſay that his Heart was not full of Love, ſince the fear of death and ſhame found ſo much room therein. Nomerfide replyed unto him, what would you have the poor Gentleman do, ſeeing he had two women againſt him? Do? ſaid Hircan, why he ought to have killed the old one, and when the young one was with him alone, ſhe had been half overcome.

Kill him? ſaid Nomerfide, would you make a murde­rer of a Lover? If you are of that opinion, one might well fear how he falls into your hands. If I had you ſo far, ſaid Hircan, I ſhould account my ſelf diſhonour'd if I came not to the end of my intentions. Whereupon Gue­bron ſaid, Do you think it ſuch a ſtrange thing that a Prin­ceſſe30rought up in all the ways of Honour ſhould be ſo difficult to be ſurpriſed by one man? you ought then much more to marvel at one poor woman who eſcaped from the hands of two men. Guebron (ſaid Emarſuite) I give you my voice to ſpeak the fifth Novel. Since you have choſen me ſaid Guebron to be that party, I will tell you a Hiſtory which I know to be true, for I have made inquiſition of it at the place where it was done, and by that you ſhall underſtand, that all the wit and virtue of woman is not altogether in the heads and hearts of La­dies, nor all love and artifice in thoſe of whom we do of­tentimes eſteem more highly than they are.

A Beat-mans wiſe eſcaped from two Friers, who would have forced her, and play'd her part ſo well that their ſin was diſcovered to all the world.T