Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Thomas Lodge
Editor: David Bevington
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Rosalind: Euphues' Golden Legacy


Rosalind

1

Euphues's Golden Legacy,

found after his death in his Cell at Silexedra.

Bequeathed to Philautus's sons
nursed up with their
father in England.

Fetched from the Canaries

By T[homas] L[odge], Gent[leman].

LONDON,

Imprinted by Thomas Orwin for T.G. and John Busbie.

1590.

[Dedication]

2

To the Right Honorable and his most esteemed Lord the Lord of Hunsdon, Lord Chamberlain to Her Majesty's Household, and Governor of her town of Berwick, T[homas] Lodge,] Gentleman, wisheth increase of all honorable virtues.

3Such Romans, Right Honorable, as delighted in martial exploits attempted their actions in the honor of Augustus, because he was a patron of soldiers, and Virgil dignified him with his poems as a Maecenas of scholars--both jointly advancing his royalty as a prince warlike and learned. Such as sacrifice to Pallas present her with bays as she is wise and with armor as she is valiant, observing herein that excellent το πρεπον which dedicateth honors according to the perfection of the person. When I entered, Right Honorable, with a deep insight into the consideration of these premises, seeing Your Lordship to be a patron of all martial men and a Maecenas of such as apply themselves to study, wearing with Pallas both the lance and the bay, and aiming with Augustus at the favor of all by the honorable virtues of your mind, being myself first a student and, after falling from books to arms, even vowed in all my thoughts dutifully to affect Your Lordship. Having with Captain Clarke made a voyage to the island of Terceras and the Canaries, to beguile the time with labor I writ this book--rough as hatched in the storms of the ocean and feathered in the surges of many perilous seas. But as it is the work of a soldier and a scholar, I presumed to shroud it under Your Honor's patronage, as one that is the fautor and favorer of all virtuous actions, and whose honorable loves, grown from the general applause of the whole commonwealth for your higher deserts, may keep it from the malice of every bitter tongue. Other reasons more particular, Right Honorable, challenge in me a special affection to Your Lordship, as being a scholar with your two noble sons, Master Edmund Carew and Master Robert Carew, two scions worthy of so honorable a tree, and a tree glorious in such honorable fruit, as also being scholar in the university under that learned and virtuous knight Sir Edward Hoby, when he was Bachelor in Arts, a man as well lettered as well born, and, after the etymology of his name, soaring as high as the wings of knowledge can mount him, happy every way, and the more fortunate as blessed in the honor of so virtuous a lady. Thus, Right Honorable, the duty that I owe to the sons chargeth me that all my affection be placed on the father; for where the branches are so precious, the tree of force must be most excellent. Commanded and emboldened thus with the consideration of these forepast reasons to present my book to Your Lordship, I humbly entreat Your Honor will vouch of my labors, and favor a soldier's and a scholar's pen with your gracious acceptance, who answers in affection what he wants in eloquence--so devoted to your honor as his only desire is to end his life under the favor of so martial and learned a patron.

4Resting thus in hope of Your Lordship's courtesy in deigning the patronage of my work, I cease, wishing you as many honorable fortunes as Your Lordship can desire or I imagine.

Your Honor's soldier,
humbly affectionate,
Thomas Lodge

TO THE GENTLEMEN READERS

5Gentlemen, look not here to find any sprigs of Pallas' bay tree, nor to hear the humor of any amorous laureate, nor the pleasing vein of any eloquent orator. Nolo altum sapere, they be matters above my capacity; the cobbler's check shall never light on my headNe sutor ultra crepidam, I will go no further than the latchet, and then all is well. Here you may perhaps find some leaves of Venus's myrtle, but hewn down by a soldier with his curtal-ax, not bought with the allurement of a filed tongue. To be brief, gentlemen, room for a soldier and a sailor, that gives you the fruits of his labors that he wrote in the ocean, when every line was wet with a surge, and every humorous passion counterchecked with a storm. If you like it, so; and yet I will be yours in duty if you be mine in favor. But if Momus or any squint-eyed ass that hath mighty ears to conceive with Midas and yet little reason to judge--if he come aboard our bark to find fault with the tackling when he knows not the shrouds, I'll down into the hold and fetch out a rusty pole-ax that saw no sun this seven year, and either well baste him or heave the coxcomb overboard to feed cods. But, courteous gentlemen, that favor most, backbite none, and pardon what is overslipped, let such come and welcome; I'll into the steward's room and fetch them a can of our best beverage. Well, gentlemen, you have Euphues' Legacy. I fetched it as far as the island of Terceras, and therefore read it; censure with favor, and farewell.

Yours, T[homas]L[odge].

ROSALIND

6There dwelled adjoining to the city of Bordeaux a knight of most honorable parentage, whom fortune had graced with many favors and nature honored with sundry exquisite qualities, so beautified with the excellence of both as it was a question whether fortune or nature were more prodigal in deciphering the riches of their bounties. Wise he was, as holding in his head a supreme conceit of policy, reaching with Nestor into the depth of all civil government; and, to make his wisdom more gracious, he had that salem ingenii and pleasant eloquence that was so highly commended in Ulysses. His valor was no less than his wit, nor the stroke of his lance no less forcible than the sweetness of his tongue was persuasive, for he was, for his courage, chosen the principal of all the Knights of Malta. This hardy knight, thus enriched with virtue and honor, surnamed Sir John of Bordeaux, having passed the prime of his youth in sundry battles against the Turks, at last, as the date of time hath his course, grew aged. His hairs were silver-hued, and the map of age was figured on his forehead; honor sat in the furrows of his face, and many years were portrayed in his wrinkled lineaments, that all men might perceive his glass was run, and that nature of necessity challenged her due. Sir John, that with the Phoenix knew the term of his life was now expired, and could, with the swan, discover his end by her songs, having three sons by his wife Lynida, the very pride of all his forepast years, thought now, seeing death by constraint would compel him to leave them, to bestow upon them such a legacy as might bewray his love and increase their ensuing amity. Calling, therefore, these young gentlemen before him, in the presence of all his fellow Knights of Malta, he resolved to leave them a memorial of all his fatherly care in setting down a method of their brotherly duties. Having therefore death in his looks to move them to pity and tears in his eyes to paint out the depth of his passions, taking his eldest son by the hand, he began thus:

SIR JOHN OF BORDEAUX' LEGACY HE GAVE TO HIS SONS

7"O my sons, you see that fate hath set a period of my years, and destinies have determined the final end of my days. The palm tree waxeth away-ward, for he stoopeth in his height, and my plumes are full of sick feathers touched with age. I must to my grave that dischargeth all cares, and leave you to the world that increaseth many sorrows. My silver hairs containeth great experience, and in the number of my years are penned down the subtleties of fortune. Therefore, as I leave you some fading pelf to countercheck poverty, so I will bequeath you infallible precepts that shall lead you unto virtue. First, therefore, unto thee, Saladin, the eldest, and therefore the chiefest pillar of my house, wherein should be engraven as well the excellence of thy father's qualities as the essential form of his proportion, to thee I give fourteen ploughlands, with all my manor houses and richest plate. Next, unto Fernandin I bequeath twelve ploughlands. But unto Rosader, the youngest, I give my horse, my armor, and my lance, with sixteen ploughlands; for if the inward thoughts be discovered by outward shadows, Rosader will exceed you all in bounty and honor. Thus, my sons, have I parted in your portions the substance of my wealth, wherein, if you be as prodigal to spend as I have been careful to get, your friends will grieve to see you more wasteful than I was bountiful, and your foes smile that my fall did begin in your excess. Let mine honor be the glass of your actions and the fame of my virtues the lodestar to direct the course of your pilgrimage. Aim your deeds by my honorable endeavors and show yourselves scions worthy of so flourishing a tree, lest, as the birds halcyons, which exceed in whiteness, I hatch young ones that surpass in blackness. Climb not, my sons. Aspiring pride is a vapor that ascendeth high, but soon turneth to smoke; they which stare at the stars stumble upon stones, and such as gaze at the sun, unless they be eagle-eyed, fall blind. Soar not with the hobby lest you fall with the lark, nor attempt not with Phaethon lest you drown with Icarus. Fortune, when she wills you to fly, tempers your plumes with wax; and therefore either sit still and make no wing, or else beware the sun, and hold Daedalus' axiom authentical, medium tenere tutissimum. Low shrubs have deep roots, and poor cottages great patience. Fortune looks ever upward, and envy aspireth to nestle with dignity. Take heed, my sons: the mean is sweetest melody, where strings high stretched either soon crack or quickly grow out of tune. Let your country's care be your heart's content, and think that you are not born for yourselves, but to level your thoughts to be loyal to your prince, careful for the common weal, and faithful to your friends; so shall France say, 'These men are as excellent in virtues as they be exquisite in features.' O my sons, a friend is a precious jewel, within whose bosom you may unload your sorrows and unfold your secrets, and he either will relieve with counsel or persuade with reason. But take heed in the choice. The outward show makes not the inward man, nor are the dimples in the face the calendars of truth. When the liquorice leaf looketh most dry, then it is most wet; when the shores of Lepanthus are most quiet, then they forepoint a storm. The baaran leaf, the more fair it looks, the more infectious it is, and in the sweetest words is oft hid the most treachery. Therefore, my sons, choose a friend as the Hyperborei do the metals: sever them from the ore with fire, and let them not bide the stamp before they be current. So, try and then trust; let time be touchstone of friendship, and then, friends faithful, lay them up for jewels. Be valiant, my sons, for cowardice is the enemy to honor; but not too rash, for that is an extreme. Fortitude is the mean, and that is limited within bonds and prescribed with circumstance. But above all," and with that he fetched a deep sigh, "beware of love, for it is far more perilous than pleasant, and yet, I tell you, it allureth as ill as the Sirens. O my sons, fancy is a fickle thing, and beauty's paintings are tricked up with time's colors, which, being set to dry in the sun, perish with the same. Venus is a wanton, and, though her laws pretend liberty, yet there is nothing but loss and glistering misery. Cupid's wings are plumed with the feathers of vanity, and his arrows, where they pierce, enforce nothing but deadly desires. A woman's eye, as it is precious to behold, so is it prejudicial to gaze upon; for as it affordeth delight, so it snareth unto death. Trust not their fawning favors, for their loves are like the breath of a man upon steel, which no sooner lighteth on but it leapeth off, and their passions are as momentary as the colors of a polyp, which changeth at the sight of every object. My breath waxeth short, and mine eyes dim; the hour is come, and I must away. Therefore let this suffice: women are wantons, and yet men cannot want one. And therefore, if you love, choose her that hath eyes of adamant, that will turn only to one point; her heart of a diamond, that will receive but one form; her tongue of a sethin leaf, that never wags but with a southeast wind. And yet, my sons, if she have all these qualities, to be chaste, obedient, and silent, yet for that she is a woman shalt thou find in her sufficient vanities to countervail her virtues. Oh, now, my sons, even now take these my last words as my latest legacy, for my thread is spun and my foot is in the grave. Keep my precepts as memorials of your father's counsels, and let them be lodged in the secret of your hearts; for wisdom is better than wealth, and a golden sentence worth a world of treasure. In my fall see and mark, my sons, the folly of man, that, being dust, climbeth with Biares to reach at the heavens, and ready every minute to die, yet hopeth for an age of pleasures. Oh, man's life is like lightning that is but a flash, and the longest date of his years but as a bavin's blaze. Seeing then man is so mortal, be careful that thy life be virtuous, that thy death may be full of admirable honors: so shalt thou challenge fame to be thy fautor and put oblivion to exile with thine honorable actions. But, my sons, lest you should forget your father's axioms, take this scroll, wherein read what your father dying wills you to execute living."

8At this he shrunk down in his bed and gave up the ghost.

9John of Bordeaux being thus dead was greatly lamented of his sons and bewailed of his friends, especially of his fellow Knights of Malta, who attended on his funerals, which were performed with great solemnity. His obsequies done, Saladin caused, next his epitaph, the contents of the scroll to be portrayed out, which were to this effect:

THE CONTENTS OF THE SCHEDULE WHICH SIR JOHN OF BORDEAUX GAVE TO HIS SONS

10My sons, behold what portion I do give. I leave you goods, but they are quickly lost;
I leave advice, to school you how to live;
I leave you wit, but won with little cost.
But keep it well, for counsel still is one
When father, friends, and worldly goods are gone.

11In choice of thrift, let honor be thy gain.
Win it by virtue and by manly might.
In doing good, esteem thy toil no pain;
Protect the fatherless and widow's right.
Fight for thy faith, thy country, and thy king,
For why? This thrift will prove a blessèd thing.

12In choice of wife, prefer the modest-chaste;
Lilies are fair in show but foul in smell.
The sweetest looks by age are soon defaced;
Then choose thy wife by wit and living well.
Who brings thee wealth and many faults withal
Presents thee honey mixed with bitter gall.

13In choice of friends, beware of light belief;
A painted tongue may shroud a subtle heart.
The Siren's tears do threaten mickle grief;
Foresee, my son, for fear of sudden smart.
Choose in thy wants, and he that friends thee then,
When richer grown, befriend thou him agen.

14Learn with the ant in summer to provide;
Drive with the bee the drone from out thy hive.
Build like the swallow in the summer tide;
Spare not too much, my son, but sparing thrive.
Be poor in folly, rich in all but sin.
So by thy death thy glory shall begin.

15Saladin having thus set up the schedule, and hanged about his father's hearse many passionate poems, that France might suppose him to be passing sorrowful, he clad himself and his brothers all in black, and in such sable suits discoursed his grief. But, as the hyena when she mourns is then most guileful, so Saladin under this show of grief shadowed a heart full of contented thoughts. The tiger, though he hide his claws, will at last discover his rapine; the lion's looks are not the maps of his meaning, nor a man's physnomy is not the display of his secrets. Fire cannot be hid in the straw, nor the nature of man so concealed but at last it will have his course. Nurture and art may do much, but that natura naturans which by propagation is ingrafted in the heart will be at last perforce predominant according to the old verse:

16

Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret,

17So fared it with Saladin, for, after a month's mourning was passed, he fell to consideration of his father's testament: how he had bequeathed more to his younger brothers than himself; that Rosader was his father's darling but now under his tuition; that as yet they were not come to years, and he being their guardian might, if not defraud them of their due, yet make such havoc of their legacies and lands as they should be a great deal the lighter. Whereupon he began thus to meditate with himself:

SALADIN'S MEDITATION WITH HIMSELF

18"Saladin, how art thou disquieted in thy thoughts and perplexed with a world of restless passions, having thy mind troubled with the tenor of thy father's testament and thy heart fired with the hope of present preferment! By the one thou art counseled to content thee with thy fortunes, by the other persuaded to aspire to higher wealth. Riches, Saladin, is a great royalty, and there is no sweeter physic than store. Avicen, like a fool, forgot in his Aphorisms to say that gold was the most precious restorative and that treasure was the most excellent medicine of the mind. O Saladin, what, were thy father's precepts breathed into the wind? Hast thou so soon forgotten his principles? Did he not warn thee from coveting without honor and climbing without virtue? Did he not forbid thee to aim at any action that should not be honorable? And what will be more prejudicial to thy credit than the careless ruin of thy brothers' welfare? Why, shouldst not thou be the pillar of thy brothers' prosperity? And wilt thou become the subversion of their fortunes? Is there any sweeter thing than concord, or a more precious jewel than amity? Are you not sons of one father, scions of one tree, birds of one nest, and wilt thou become so unnatural as to rob them, whom thou shouldst relieve? No, Saladin, entreat them with favors and entertain them with love; so shalt thou have thy conscience clear and thy renown excellent. Tush, what words are these, base fool, far unfit (if thou be wise) for thy humor? What though thy father at his death talked of many frivolous matters, as one that doted for age and raved in his sickness. Shall his words be axioms, and his talk be so authentical, that thou wilt, to observe them, prejudice thyself? No, no, Saladin, sick men's wills, that are parole and have neither hand nor seal, are like the laws of a city written in dust, which are broken with the blast of every wind. What, man, thy father is dead, and he can neither help thy fortunes nor measure thy actions. Therefore, bury his words with his carcass and be wise for thyself. What, 'tis not so old as true,

19

Non sapit, qui sibi non sapit.

20Thy brother is young. Keep him now in awe; make him not checkmate with thyself, for

21

Nimia familiaritas contemptum parit.

22Let him know little; so shall he not be able to execute much. Suppress his wits with a base estate, and, though he be a gentleman by nature, yet form him anew and make him a peasant by nurture. So shalt thou keep him as a slave and reign thyself sole lord over all thy father's possessions. As for Fernandin, thy middle brother, he is a scholar and hath no mind but on Aristotle. Let him read on Galen while thou riflest with gold, and pore on his book till thou dost purchase lands. Wit is great wealth; if he have learning, it is enough. And so let all rest."

23In this humor was Saladin, making his brother Rosader his footboy for the space of two or three years, keeping him in such servile subjection as if he had been the son of any country vassal. The young gentleman bare all with patience, till on a day, walking in the garden by himself, he began to consider how he was the son of John of Bordeaux, a knight renowned for many victories and a gentleman famoused for his virtues; how, contrary to the testament of his father, he was not only kept from his land and entreated as a servant, but smothered in such secret slavery as he might not attain to any honorable actions.

24"Ah," quoth he to himself, nature working these effectual passions, "why should I, that am a gentleman born, pass my time in such unnatural drudgery? Were it not better either in Paris to become a scholar, or in the court a courtier, or in the field a soldier, than to live a footboy to my own brother? Nature hath lent me wit to conceive, but my brother denied me art to contemplate. I have strength to perform any honorable exploit, but no liberty to accomplish my virtuous endeavors. Those good parts that God hath bestowed upon me, the envy of my brother doth smother in obscurity; the harder is my fortune, and the more his frowardness."

25With that, casting up his hand, he felt hair on his face, and, perceiving his beard to bud, for choler he began to blush, and swore to himself he would be no more subject to such slavery. As thus he was ruminating of his melancholy passions, in came Saladin with his men, and, seeing his brother in a brown study and to forget his wonted reverence, thought to shake him out of his dumps thus:

26"Sirrah," quoth he, "what, is your heart on your halfpenny, or are you saying a dirge for your father's soul? What, is my dinner ready?"

27At this question, Rosader, turning his head askance and bending his brows as if anger there had ploughed the furrows of her wrath, with his eyes full of fire, he made this reply:

28"Dost thou ask me, Saladin, for thy cates? Ask some of thy churls, who are fit for such an office. I am thine equal by nature, though not by birth, and, though thou hast more cards in the bunch, I have as many trumps in my hands as thyself. Let me question with thee why thou hast felled my woods, spoiled my manor houses, and made havoc of such utensils as my father bequeathed unto me? I tell thee, Saladin, either answer me as a brother, or I will trouble thee as an enemy."

29At this reply of Rosader's Saladin smiled as laughing at his presumption, and frowned, as checking his folly. He therefore took him up thus shortly:

30"What, sirrah! Well, I see early pricks the tree that will prove a thorn. Hath my familiar conversing with you made you coy, or my good looks drawn you to be thus contemptuous? I can quickly remedy such a fault, and I will bend the tree while it is a wand. In faith, sir boy, I have a snaffle for such a headstrong colt.--You, sirs, lay hold on him and bind him, and then I will give him a cooling card for his choler."

31This made Rosader half mad, that, stepping to a great rake that stood in the garden, he laid such load upon his brother's men that he hurt some of them and made the rest of them run away. Saladin, seeing Rosader so resolute and with his resolution so valiant, thought his heels his best safety, and took him to a loft adjoining to the garden, whither Rosader pursued him hotly. Saladin, afraid of his brother's fury, cried out to him thus:

32"Rosader, be not so rash. I am thy brother and thine elder, and if I have done thee wrong I'll make thee amends. Revenge not anger in blood, for so shalt thou stain the virtue of old Sir John of Bordeaux. Say wherein thou art discontent, and thou shalt be satisfied. Brothers' frowns ought not to be periods of wrath. What, man, look not so sourly. I know we shall be friends, and better friends than we have been, for, Amantium ira amoris redintegratio est."

33These words appeased the choler of Rosader, for he was of a mild and courteous nature, so that he laid down his weapons, and, upon the faith of a gentleman, assured his brother he would offer him no prejudice, whereupon Saladin came down, and after a little parley they embraced each other and became friends, and Saladin promising Rosader the restitution of all his lands, "and what favor else," quoth he, "any ways my ability or the nature of a brother may perform." Upon these sugared reconciliations they went into the house arm in arm together, to the great content of all the old servants of Sir John of Bordeaux.

34Thus continued the pad hidden in the straw, till it chanced that Torismond, King of France, had appointed for his pleasure a day of wrestling and of tournament to busy his commons' heads, lest, being idle, their thoughts should run upon more serious matters and call to remembrance their old banished king. A champion there was to stand against all comers, a Norman, a man of tall stature and of great strength, so valiant that in many such conflicts he always bare away the victory, not only overthrowing them which he encountered, but often with the weight of his body killing them outright. Saladin hearing of this, thinking now not to let the ball fall to the ground but to take opportunity by the forehead, first by secret means convented with the Norman, and procured him with rich rewards to swear that if Rosader came within his claws he should never more return to quarrel with Saladin for his possessions. The Norman, desirous of pelf--as Quis nisi mentis inops oblatum respuit aurum?--taking great gifts for little gods, took the crowns of Saladin to perform the stratagem.

35Having thus the champion tied to his villainous determination by oath, he prosecuted the intent of his purpose thus. He went to young Rosader, who in all his thoughts reached at honor and gazed no lower than virtue commanded him, and began to tell him of this tournament and wrestling, how the King should be there and all the chief peers of France, with all the beautiful damosels of the country.

36"Now, brother," quoth he, "for the honor of Sir John of Bordeaux, our renowmed father, to famous that house that never hath been found without men approved in chivalry, show thy resolution to be peremptory. For myself, thou knowest, though I am eldest by birth, yet never having attempted any deeds of arms, I am youngest to perform any martial exploits, knowing better how to survey my lands than to charge my lance. My brother Fernandin he is at Paris poring on a few papers, having more insight into sophistry and principles of philosophy than any warlike endeavors; but thou, Rosader, the youngest in years but the eldest in valor, art a man of strength and darest do what honor allows thee. Take thou my father's lance, his sword, and his horse, and hie thee to the tournament, and either there valiantly crack a spear or try with the Norman for the palm of activity."

37The words of Saladin were but spurs to a free horse, for he had scarce uttered them ere Rosader took him in his arms, taking his proffer so kindly that he promised in what he might to requite his courtesy. The next morrow was the day of the tournament, and Rosader was so desirous to show his heroical thoughts that he passed the night with little sleep; but as soon as Phoebus had vailed the curtain of the night and made Aurora blush with giving her the bezo les labres in her silver couch, he gat him up and, taking his leave of his brother, mounted himself towards the place appointed, thinking every mile ten leagues till he came there.

38But, leaving him so desirous of the journey, to Torismond, the King of France, who, having by force banished Gerismond, their lawful king, that lived as an outlaw in the forest of Arden, sought now by all means to keep the French busied with all sports that might breed their content. Amongst the rest he had appointed this solemn tournament, whereunto he in most solemn manner resorted, accompanied with the twelve peers of France, who, rather for fear than love, graced him with the show of their dutiful favors. To feed their eyes, and to make the beholders pleased with the sight of most rare and glistering objects, he had appointed his own daughter Alinda to be there, and the fair Rosalind, daughter unto Gerismond, with all the beautiful damosels that were famous for their features in all France. Thus in that place did love and war triumph in a sympathy; for such as were martial might use their lance to be renowmed for the excellence of their chivalry, and such as were amorous might glut themselves with gazing on the beauties of most heavenly creatures. As every man's eye had his several survey, and fancy was partial in their looks, yet all in general applauded the admirable riches that nature bestowed on the face of Rosalind; for upon her cheeks there seemed a battle between the Graces, who should bestow most favors to make her excellent. The blush that gloried Luna, when she kissed the shepherd on the hills of Latmos, was not tainted with such a pleasant dye as the vermilion flourished on the silver hue of Rosalind's countenance. Her eyes were like those lamps that make the wealthy covert of the heavens more gorgeous, sparkling favor and disdain, courteous and yet coy, as if in them Venus had placed all her amorets, and Diana all her chastity. The trammels of her hair, folded in a caul of gold, so far surpassed the burnished glister of the metal as the sun doth the meanest star in brightness; the tresses that folds in the brows of Apollo were not half so rich to the sight, for in her hairs it seemed Love had laid herself in ambush to entrap the proudest eye that durst gaze upon their excellence. What should I need to decipher her particular beauties, when by the censure of all she was the paragon of all earthly perfection? This Rosalind sat, I say, with Alinda as a beholder of these sports, and made the cavaliers crack their lances with more courage. Many deeds of knighthood that day were performed, and many prizes were given according to their several deserts.

39At last, when the tournament ceased, the wrestling began, and the Norman presented himself as a challenger against all comers, but he looked like Hercules when he advanced himself against Achelous, so that the fury of his countenance amazed all that durst attempt to encounter with him in any deed of activity; till at last a lusty franklin of the country came with two tall men that were his sons, of good lineaments and comely personage. The eldest of these, doing his obeisance to the King, entered the list and presented himself to the Norman, who straight coped with him, and, as a man that would triumph in the glory of his strength, roused himself with such fury that not only he gave him the fall, but killed him with the weight of his corpulent personage. Which the younger brother seeing, leaped presently into the place, and, thirsty after the revenge, assailed the Norman with such valor that at the first encounter he brought him to his knees, which repulsed so the Norman that, recovering himself, fear of disgrace doubling his strength, he stepped so sternly to the young franklin that, taking him up in his arms, he threw him against the ground so violently that he broke his neck and so ended his days with his brother. At this unlooked-for massacre the people murmured, and were all in a deep passion of pity; but the franklin, father unto these, never changed his countenance, but as a man of a courageous resolution took up the bodies of his sons without show of outward discontent.

40All this while stood Rosader and saw this tragedy; who, noting the undoubted virtue of the franklin's mind, alighted off from his horse and presently sat down on the grass and commanded his boy to pull off his boots, making him ready to try the strength of this champion. Being furnished as he would, he clapped the franklin on the shoulder and said thus:

41"Bold yeoman, whose sons have ended the term of their years with honor, for that I see thou scornest fortune with patience and thwartest the injury of fate with content in brooking the death of thy sons, stand awhile, and either see me make a third in their tragedy or else revenge their fall with an honorable triumph."

42The franklin, seeing so goodly a gentleman to give him such courteous comfort, gave him hearty thanks, with promise to pray for his happy success. With that Rosader vailed bonnet to the King and lightly leaped within the lists, where, noting more the company than the combatant, he cast his eye upon the troop of ladies that glistered there like the stars of heaven; but at last, Love, willing to make him as amorous as he was valiant, presented him with the sight of Rosalind, whose admirable beauty so inveigled the eye of Rosader that, forgetting himself, he stood and fed his looks on the favor of Rosalind's face; which she perceiving blushed, which was such a doubling of her beauteous excellence that the bashful red of Auroraat the sight of unacquainted Phaethon was not half so glorious.

43The Norman, seeing this young gentleman fettered in the looks of the ladies, drave him out of his memento with a shake by the shoulder. Rosader, looking back with an angry frown, as if he had been wakened from some pleasant dream, discovered to all by the fury of his countenance that he was a man of some high thoughts; but when they all noted his youth and the sweetness of his visage, with a general applause of favors they grieved that so goodly a young man should venture in so base an action; but seeing it were to his dishonor to hinder him from his enterprise, they wished him to be graced with the palm of victory. After Rosader was thus called out of his memento by the Norman, he roughly clapped to him with so fierce an encounter that they both fell to the ground and with the violence of the fall were forced to breathe, in which space the Norman called to mind by all tokens that this was he whom Saladin had appointed him to kill, which conjecture made him stretch every limb and try every sinew that, working his death, he might recover the gold which so bountifully was promised him. On the contrary part, Rosader, while he breathed, was not idle, but still cast his eye upon Rosalind, who, to encourage him with a favor, lent him such an amorous look as might have made the most coward desperate, which glance of Rosalind so fired the passionate desires of Rosader that, turning to the Norman, he ran upon him and braved him with a strong encounter. The Norman received him as valiantly that there was a sore combat, hard to judge on whose side Fortune would be prodigal. At last Rosader, calling to mind the beauty of his new mistress, the fame of his father's honors, and the disgrace that should fall to his house by his misfortune, roused himself and threw the Norman against the ground, falling upon his chest with so willing a weight that the Norman yielded nature her due and Rosader the victory.

44The death of this champion, as it highly contented the franklin as a man satisfied with revenge, so it drew the King and all the peers into a great admiration that so young years and so beautiful a personage should contain such martial excellence. But when they knew him to be the youngest son of Sir John of Bordeaux, the King rose from his seat and embraced him, and the peers entreated him with all favorable courtesy, commending both his valor and his virtues, wishing him to go forward in such haughty deeds that he might attain to the glory of his father's honorable fortunes.

45As the King and lords graced him with embracing, so the ladies favored him with their looks, especially Rosalind, whom the beauty and valor of Rosader had already touched. But she accounted love a toy and fancy a momentary passion that, as it was taken in with a gaze, might be shaken off with a wink, and therefore feared not to dally in the flame; and to make Rosader know she affected him, took from her neck a jewel and sent it by a page to the young gentleman. The prize that Venus gave to Paris was not half so pleasing to the Trojan as this gem was to Rosader; for if Fortune had sworn to make him sole monarch of the world, he would rather have refused such dignity than have lost the jewel sent him by Rosalind. To return her with the like he was unfurnished, and yet, that he might more than in his looks discover his affection, he stepped into a tent, and taking pen and paper writ this fancy:

46

Two suns at once from one fair heaven there shined, Ten branches from two boughs, tipped all with roses, Pure locks more golden than is gold refined, Two pearlèd rows that nature's pride encloses; Two mounts fair marble-white, down-soft and dainty, A snow-dyed orb, where love increased by pleasure Full woeful makes my heart and body fainty: Her fair (my woe) exceeds all thought and measure. In lines confused my luckless harm appeareth, Whom sorrow clouds, whom pleasant smiling cleareth.

47This sonnet he sent to Rosalind, which, when she read she blushed, but with a sweet content in that she perceived love had allotted her so amorous a servant.

48Leaving her to her new entertained fancies, again to Rosader, who, triumphing in the glory of this conquest, accompanied with a troop of young gentlemen that were desirous to be his familiars, went home to his brother Saladin's, who was walking before the gates to hear what success his brother Rosader should have, assuring himself of his death and devising how with dissimuled sorrow to celebrate his funerals. As he was in his thought, he cast up his eye and saw where Rosader returned with the garland on his head, as having won the prize, accompanied with a crew of boon companions. Grieved at this, he stepped in and shut the gate. Rosader seeing this, and not looking for such unkind entertainment, blushed at the disgrace, and yet, smothering his grief with a smile, he turned to the gentlemen and desired them to hold his brother excused, for he did not this upon any malicious intent or niggardize, but, being brought up in the country, he absented himself as not finding his nature fit for such youthful company. Thus he sought to shadow abuses proffered him by his brother, but in vain, for he could by no means be suffered to enter; whereupon he ran his foot against the door and broke it open, drawing his sword and entering boldly into the hall, where he found none, for all were fled but one Adam Spencer, an Englishman, who had been an old and trusty servant to Sir John of Bordeaux. He, for the love he bare to his deceased master, favored the part of Rosader, and gave him and his such entertainment as he could. Rosader gave him thanks, and, looking about, seeing the hall empty, said:

49"Gentlemen, you are welcome. Frolic and be merry. You shall be sure to have wine enough, whatsoever your fare be. I tell you, cavaliers, my brother hath in his house five tun of wine, and as long as that lasteth I beshrew him that spares his liquor."

50With that he burst open the buttery door, and, with the help of Adam Spencer, covered the tables and set down whatsoever he could find in the house; but what they wanted in meat Rosader supplied with drink. Yet had they royal cheer, and withal such hearty welcome as would have made the coarsest meats seem delicates. After they had feasted and frolicked it twice or thrice with an upsee freeze, they all took their leaves of Rosader and departed. As soon as they were gone, Rosader, growing impatient of the abuse, drew his sword and swore to be revenged on the discourteous Saladin; yet by the means of Adam Spencer, who sought to continue friendship and amity betwixt the brethren, and through the flattering submission of Saladin, they were once again reconciled, and put up all forepast injuries with a peaceable agreement, living together for a good space in such brotherly love as did not only rejoice the servants but made all the gentlemen and bordering neighbors glad of such friendly concord. Saladin, hiding fire in the straw and concealing a poisoned hate in a peaceable countenance, yet deferring the intent of his wrath till fitter opportunity, he showed himself a great favorer of his brother's virtuous endeavors--where, leaving them in this happy league, let us return to Rosalind.

51Rosalind returning home from the triumph, after she waxed solitary, Love presented her with the idea of Rosader's perfection, and, taking her at discovert, struck her so deep as she felt herself grow passing passionate. She began to call to mind the comeliness of his person, the honor of his parents, and the virtues that, excelling both, made him so gracious in the eyes of everyone. Sucking in thus the honey of love by imprinting in her thoughts his rare qualities, she began to surfeit with the contemplation of his virtuous conditions; but when she called to remembrance her present estate and the hardness of her fortunes, desire began to shrink and fancy to vail bonnet, that between a chaos of confused thoughts she began to debate with herself in this manner:

ROSALIND'S PASSION

52"Infortunate Rosalind, whose misfortunes are more than thy years and whose passions are greater than thy patience! The blossoms of thy youth are mixed with the frosts of envy, and the hope of thy ensuing fruits perish in the bud. Thy father is by Torismond banished from the crown, and thou, the unhappy daughter of a king, detained captive, living as disquieted in thy thoughts as thy father discontented in his exile. Ah, Rosalind, what cares wait upon a crown! What griefs are incident to dignity! What sorrows haunt royal palaces! The greatest seas have the sorest storms, the highest birth subject to the most bale, and of all trees the cedars soonest shake with the wind. Small currents are ever calm, low valleys not scorched in any lightnings, nor base men tied to any baleful prejudice. Fortune flies, and if she touch poverty it is with her heel, rather disdaining their want with a frown than envying their wealth with disparagement. O Rosalind, hadst thou been born low, thou hadst not fallen so high, and yet, being great of blood, thine honor is more if thou brookest misfortune with patience. Suppose I contrary Fortune with content, yet fates, unwilling to have me any way happy, have forced Love to set my thoughts on fire with fancy. Love, Rosalind? Becometh it women in distress to think of love? Tush, desire hath no respect of persons: Cupid is blind and shooteth at random, as soon hitting a rag as a robe, and piercing as soon the bosom of a captive as the breast of a libertine. Thou speakest it, poor Rosalind, by experience; for, being every way distressed, surcharged with cares, and overgrown with sorrows, yet amidst the heap of all these mishaps, Love hath lodged in thy heart the perfection of young Rosader-- a man every way absolute as well for his inward life as for his outward lineaments, able to content the eye with beauty and the ear with the report of his virtue. But consider, Rosalind, his fortunes and thy present estate: thou art poor and without patrimony and yet the daughter of a prince; he a younger brother and void of such possessions as either might maintain thy dignities or revenge thy father's injuries. And hast thou not learned this of other ladies: that lovers cannot live by looks, that women's ears are sooner content with a dram of give me than a pound of hear me, that gold is sweeter than eloquence, that love is a fire and wealth is the fuel, that Venus's coffers should be ever full? Then, Rosalind, seeing Rosader is poor, think him less beautiful because he is in want, and account his virtues but qualities of course for that he is not endued with wealth. Doth not Horace tell thee what method is to be used in love?

53

Quaerenda pecunia primum, post nummos virtus.

54Tush, Rosalind, be not over-rash. Leap not before thou look. Either love such a one as may with his lands purchase thy liberty, or else love not at all. Choose not a fair face with an empty purse, but say as most women use to say:

55

Si nihil attuleris, ibis Homere foras.

56Why, Rosalind! Can such base thoughts harbor in such high beauties? Can the degree of a princess, the daughter of Gerismond, harbor such servile conceits as to prize gold more than honor or to measure a gentleman by his wealth, not by his virtues? No, Rosalind, blush at thy base resolution, and say, if thou lovest, 'Either Rosader or none!' And why? Because Rosader is both beautiful and virtuous."

57Smiling to herself to think of her new-entertained passions, taking up her lute that lay by her, she warbled out this ditty:

ROSALIND'S MADRIGAL

58Love in my bosom like a bee
Doth suck his sweet.
Now with his wings he plays with me,
Now with his feet.
Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
His bed amidst my tender breast;
My kisses are his daily feast,
And yet he robs me of my rest.
Ah, wanton, will ye?

59And if I sleep, then percheth he
With pretty flight,
And makes his pillow of my knee
The livelong night.
Strike I my lute, he tunes the string;
He music plays if so I sing;
He lends me every lovely thing,
Yet cruel he my heart doth sting.
Whist, wanton, still ye!

60Else I with roses every day
Will whip you hence,
And bind you, when you long to play,
For your offense.
I'll shut mine eyes to keep you in;
I'll make you fast it for your sin;
I'll count your power not worth a pin.
Alas, what hereby shall I win,
If he gainsay me?

61What if I beat the wanton boy
With many a rod?
He will repay me with annoy,
Because a god.
Then sit thou safely on my knee,
And let thy bower my bosom be.
Lurk in mine eyes; I like of thee.
O Cupid, so thou pity me,
Spare not, but play thee!

62Scarce had Rosalind ended her madrigal before Torismond came in with his daughter Alinda and many of the peers of France, who were enamored of her beauty; which Torismond perceiving, fearing lest her perfection might be the beginning of his prejudice, and the hope of his fruit end in the beginning of her blossoms, he thought to banish her from the court. "For," quoth he to himself, "her face is so full of favor that it pleads pity in the eye of every man; her beauty is so heavenly and divine that she will prove to me as Helen did to Priam: some one of the peers will aim at her love, end the marriage, and then in his wife's right attempt the kingdom. To prevent therefore 'had I wist' in all these actions, she tarries not about the court, but shall as an exile either wander to her father or else seek other fortunes." In this humor, with a stern countenance full of wrath, he breathed out this censure unto her before the peers, that charged her that that night she were not seen about the court. "For," quoth he, "I have heard of thy aspiring speeches and intended treasons." This doom was strange unto Rosalind, and presently, covered with the shield of her innocence, she boldly brake out in reverent terms to have cleared herself; but Torismond would admit of no reason, nor durst his lords plead for Rosalind (although her beauty had made some of them passionate), seeing the figure of wrath portrayed in his brow. Standing thus all mute, and Rosalind amazed, Alinda, who loved her more than herself, with grief in her heart and tears in her eyes, falling down on her knees, began to entreat her father thus:

ALINDA'S ORATION TO HER FATHER IN DEFENSE OF FAIR ROSALIND

63"If, mighty Torismond, I offend in pleading for my friend, let the law of amity crave pardon for my boldness, for where there is depth of affection, there friendship alloweth a privilege. Rosalind and I have been fostered up from our infancies and nursed under the harbor of our conversing together with such private familiarities that custom had wrought an union of our nature, and the sympathy of our affections such a secret love that we have two bodies and one soul. Then marvel not, great Torismond, if, seeing my friend distressed, I find myself perplexed with a thousand sorrows; for her virtuous and honorable thoughts, which are the glories that maketh women excellent, they be such as may challenge love and rase out suspicion. Her obedience to Your Majesty I refer to the censure of your own eye, that since her father's exile hath smothered all griefs with patience, and in the absence of nature hath honored you with all duty as her own father by nouriture, not in word uttering any discontent, nor in thought, as far as conjecture may reach, hammering on revenge; only in all her actions seeking to please you and to win my favor. Her wisdom, silence, chastity, and other such rich qualities I need not decipher; only it rests for me to conclude in one word, that she is innocent. If, then, Fortune, who triumphs in a variety of miseries, hath presented some envious person as minister of her intended stratagem to taint Rosalind with any surmise of treason, let him be brought to her face and confirm his accusation by witnesses; which proved, let her die, and Alinda will execute the massacre. If none can avouch any confirmed relation of her intent, use justice, my lord--it is the glory of a king--and let her live in your wonted favor; for if you banish her, myself, as copartner of her hard fortunes, will participate in exile some part of her extremities."

64Torismond, at this speech of Alinda, covered his face with such a frown as tyranny seemed to sit triumphant in his forehead, and checked her up with such taunts as made the lords, that only were hearers, to tremble.

65"Proud girl," quoth he, "hath my looks made thee so light of tongue, or my favors encouraged thee to be so forward, that thou darest presume to preach after thy father? Hath not my years more experience than thy youth, and the winter of mine age deeper insight into civil policy, than the prime of thy flourishing days? The old lion avoids the toils where the young one leaps into the net; the care of age is provident and foresees much; suspicion is a virtue where a man holds his enemy in his bosom. Thou, fond girl, measurest all by present affection, and, as thy heart loves, thy thoughts censure; but if thou knewest that in liking Rosalind thou hatchest up a bird to peck out thine own eyes, thou wouldst entreat as much for her absence as now thou delightest in her presence. But why do I allege policy to thee? Sit you down, huswife, and fall to your needle. If idleness make you so wanton, or liberty so malapert, I can quickly tie you to a sharper task.--And you, maid,, this night be packing, either into Arden to your father or whither best it shall content your humor, but in the court you shall not abide."

66This rigorous reply of Torismond nothing amazed Alinda, for still she prosecuted her plea in the defense of Rosalind, wishing her father, if his censure might not be reversed, that he would appoint her partner of her exile; which if he refused to do, either she would by some secret means steal out and follow her, or else end her days with some desperate kind of death. When Torismond heard his daughter so resolute, his heart was so hardened against her that he set down a definite and peremptory sentence that they should both be banished, which presently was done, the tyrant rather choosing to hazard the loss of his only child than anyways to put in question the state of his kingdom, so suspicious and fearful is the conscience of an usurper. Well, although his lords persuaded him to retain his own daughter, yet his resolution might not be reversed, but both of them must away from the court without either more company or delay. In he went with great melancholy, and left these two ladies alone. Rosalind waxed very sad, and sat down and wept. Alinda she smiled, and sitting by her friend began thus to comfort her:

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ALINDA'S COMFORT TO PERPLEXED ROSALIND

67"Why, how now, Rosalind, dismayed with a frown of contrary fortune? Have I not oft heard thee say that high minds were discovered in Fortune's contempt and heroical scene in the depth of extremities? Thou wert wont to tell others that complained of distress that the sweetest salve for misery was patience and the only medicine for want that precious emplaster of content. Being such a good physician to others, wilt thou not minister receipts to thyself? But perchance thou wilt say:

68

Consulenti nunquam caput doluit.

69Why, then, if the patients that are sick of this disease can find in themselves neither reason to persuade nor art to cure, yet, Rosalind, admit of the counsel of a friend, and apply the salves that may appease thy passions. If thou grievest that being the daughter of a prince, and envy thwarteth thee with such hard exigents, think that royalty is a fair mark: that crowns have crosses when mirth is in cottages; that the fairer the rose is, the sooner it is bitten with caterpillars; the more orient the pearl is, the more apt to take a blemish; and the greatest birth, as it hath most honor, so it hath much envy. If then fortune aimeth at the fairest, be patient, Rosalind, for, first, by thine exile thou goest to thy father; nature is higher prized than wealth, and the love of one's parents ought to be more precious than all dignities. Why then doth my Rosalind grieve at the frown of Torismond, who, by offering her a prejudice, proffers her a greater pleasure? And more, mad lass, to be melancholy, when thou hast with thee Alinda, a friend who will be a faithful copartner of all thy misfortunes, who hath left her father to follow thee, and chooseth rather to brook all extremities than to forsake thy presence? What, Rosalind,

70

Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.

71Cheerly, woman! As we have been bed-fellows in royalty, we will be fellow-mates in poverty. I will ever be thy Alinda, and thou shalt ever rest to me Rosalind; so shall the world canonize our friendship, and speak of Rosalind and Alinda as they did of Pylades and Orestes. And if ever fortune smile and we return to our former honor, then, folding ourselves in the sweet of our friendship, we shall merrily say, calling to mind our forepast miseries:

72

Olim haec meminisse juvabit.

73At this Rosalind began to comfort her, and, after she had wept a few kind tears in the bosom of her Alinda, she gave her hearty thanks, and then they sat them down to consult how they should travel. Alinda grieved at nothing but that they might have no man in their company, saying it would be their greatest prejudice in that two women went wandering without either guide or attendant.

74"Tush," quoth Rosalind, "art thou a woman, and hast not a sudden shift to prevent a misfortune? I, thou see'st, am of a tall stature, and would very well become the person and apparel of a page; thou shalt be my mistress, and I will play the man so properly that, trust me, in what company soever I come I will not be discovered. I will buy me a suit, and have my rapier very handsomely at my side, and if any knave offer wrong, your page will show him the point of his weapon."

75At this Alinda smiled, and upon this they agreed, and presently gathered up all their jewels, which they trussed up in a casket, and Rosalind in all haste provided her of robes, and Alinda, from her royal weeds put herself in more homelike attire. Thus fitted to the purpose, away go these two friends, having now changed their names, Alinda being called Aliena, and Rosalind Ganymede. They traveled along the vineyards, and by many by-ways at last got to the forest side, where they traveled by the space of two or three days without seeing any creature, being often in danger of wild beasts and pained with many passionate sorrows. Now the black ox began to tread on their feet, and Alinda thought of her wonted royalty; but when she cast her eyes on her Rosalind, she thought every danger a step to honor. Passing thus on along, about midday they came to a fountain, compassed with a grove of cypress trees, so cunningly and curiously planted as if some goddess had entreated nature in that place to make her an arbor. By this fountain sat Aliena and her Ganymede, and forth they pulled such victuals as they had, and fed as merrily as if they had been in Paris with all the King's delicates, Aliena only grieving that they could not so much as meet with a shepherd to discourse them the way to some place where they might make their abode. At last Ganymede, casting up his eye, espied where on a tree was engraven certain verses, which, as soon as he espied, he cried out:

76"Be of good cheer, mistress, I spy the figures of men; for here in these trees be engraven certain verses of shepherds or some other swains that inhabit hereabout."

77With that Aliena start up joyful to hear these news, and looked, where they found carved in the bark of a pine tree this passion:

MONTANUS' PASSION

78

Hadst thou been born whereas perpetual cold
Makes Tanais hard and mountains silver old;
Had I complained unto a marble stone,
Or to the floods bewrayed my bitter moan,
I then could bear the burden of my grief.
But even the pride of countries at thy birth,
Whilst heavens did smile, did new array the earth
With flowers chief.
Yet thou, the flower of beauty blessèd born,
Hast pretty looks, but all attired in scorn.
Had I the power to weep sweet Myrrha's tears,
Or by my plaints to pierce repining ears;
Hadst thou the heart to smile at my complaint,
To scorn the woes that doth my heart attaint,
I then could bear the burden of my grief:
But not my tears, but truth with thee prevails,
And, seeming sour, my sorrows thee assails.
Yet small relief;
For, if thou wilt, thou art of marble hard,
And, if thou please, my suit shall soon be heard.

79"No doubt," quoth Aliena, "this poesy is the passion of some perplexed shepherd that, being enamored of some fair and beautiful shepherdess, suffered some sharp repulse, and therefore complained of the cruelty of his mistress."

80"You may see," quoth Ganymede, "what mad cattle you women be, whose hearts sometimes are made of adamant that will touch with no impression, and sometime of wax that is fit for every form; they delight to be courted, and then they glory to seem coy, and when they are most desired then they freeze with disdain. And this fault is so common to the sex that you see it painted out in the shepherd's passions, who found his mistress as froward as he was enamored."

81"And I pray you," quoth Aliena, "if your robes were off, what mettle are you made of that you are so satirical against women? Is it not a foul bird defiles the own nest? Beware, Ganymede, that Rosader hear you not. If he do, perchance you will make him leap so far from love that he will anger every vein in your heart."

82"Thus," quoth Ganymede, "I keep decorum: I speak now as I am Aliena's page, not as I am Gerismond's daughter. For, put me but into a petticoat and I will stand in defiance to the uttermost, that women are courteous, constant, virtuous, and whatnot."

83"Stay there," quoth Aliena, "and no more words, for yonder be characters graven upon the bark of the tall beech tree."

84"Let us see," quoth Ganymede; and with that they read a fancy written to this effect:

86First shall the heavens want starry light,
The seas be robbèd of their waves,
The day want sun, and sun want bright,
The night want shade, the dead men graves,
The April flowers and leaf and tree,
Before I false my faith to thee.

87First shall the tops of highest hills
By humble plains be overpried,
And poets scorn the Muses' quills,
And fish forsake the water glide,
And Iris lose her colored weed
Before I fail thee at thy need.

88First direful hate shall turn to peace,
And love relent in deep disdain,
And death his fatal stroke shall cease,
And envy pity every pain,
And pleasure mourn and sorrow smile,
Before I talk of any guile.

89First Time shall stay his stayless race,
And winter bless his brows with corn,
And snow bemoisten July's face,
And winter spring, and summer mourn,
Before my pen, by help of fame,
Cease to recite thy sacred name.

MONTANUS

90"No doubt," quoth Ganymede, "this protestation grew from one full of passions."

91"I am of that mind too," quoth Aliena, "but see, I pray, when poor women seek to keep themselves chaste, how men woo them with many feigned promises, alluring with sweet words as the Sirens and after proving as trothless as Aeneas. Thus promised Demophoon to his Phyllis; but who at last grew more false?"

92"The reason was," quoth Ganymede, "that they were women's sons, and took that fault of their mother, for if man had grown from man, as Adam did from the earth, men had never been troubled with inconstancy."

93"Leave off," quoth Aliena, "to taunt thus bitterly, or else I'll pull off your page's apparel, and whip you, as Venus doth her wantons, with nettles."

94"So you will," quoth Ganymede, "persuade me to flattery, and that needs not. But come, seeing we have found here by this fount the tract of shepherds by their madrigals and roundelays, let us forward; for either we shall find some folds, sheepcotes , or else some cottages wherein for a day or two to rest."

95"Content," quoth Aliena, and with that they rose up and marched forward till towards the even, and then, coming into a fair valley, compassed with mountains, whereon grew many pleasant shrubs, they might descry where two flocks of sheep did feed. Then, looking about, they might perceive where an old shepherd sat, and with him a young swain, under a covert most pleasantly situated. The ground where they sat was diapered with Flora's riches, as if she meant to wrap Tellus in the glory of her vestments. Round about in the form of an amphitheater were most curiously planted pine trees, interseamed with limons and citrons, which with the thickness of their boughs so shadowed the place that Phoebus could not pry into the secret of that arbor; so united were the tops with so thick a closure that Venus might there in her jollity have dallied unseen with her dearest paramour. Fast by, to make the place more gorgeous, was there a fount so crystalline and clear that it seemed Diana with her Dryades and Hamadryades had that spring as the secret of all their bathings. In this glorious arbor sat these two shepherds, seeing their sheep feed, playing on their pipes many pleasant tunes, and from music and melody falling into much amorous chat. Drawing more nigh, we might descry the countenance of the one to be full of sorrow, his face to be the very portraiture of discontent, and his eyes full of woes, that living he seemed to die. We, to hear what these were, stole privily behind the thicket, where we overheard this discourse:

A PLEASANT ECLOGUE BETWEEN MONTANUS AND CORYDON

96CORYDON

97Say, shepherd's boy, what makes thee greet so sore?
Why leaves thy pipe his pleasure and delight?
Young are thy years, thy cheeks with roses dight.
Then sing for joy, sweet swain, and sigh no more.

98This milk-white poppy and this climbing pine
Both promise shade; then sit thee down and sing,
And make these woods with pleasant notes to ring,
Till Phoebus deign all westward to decline.

99MONTANUS

100Ah, Corydon, unmeet is melody
To him whom proud contempt hath overborne.
Slain are my joys by Phoebe's bitter scorn;
Far hence my weal, and near my jeopardy.

101Love's burning brand is couchèd in my breast,
Making a phoenix of my faintful heart;
And though his fury do enforce my smart,
Aye blithe am I to honor his behest.

102Prepared to woes, since so my Phoebe wills,
My looks dismayed, since Phoebe will disdain,
I banish bliss and welcome home my pain.
So stream my tears as showers from Alpine hills.

103In error's mask I blindfold judgment's eye;
I fetter reason in the snares of lust;
I seem secure, yet know not how to trust.
I live by that which makes me living die.

104Devoid of rest, companion of distress,
Plague to myself, consumèd by my thought,
How may my voice or pipe in tune be brought,
Since I am reft of solace and delight?

105CORYDON

106Ah, lorel lad, what makes thee hery love?
A sugared harm, a poison full of pleasure,
A painted shrine full filled with rotten treasure;
A heaven in show, a hell to them that prove.

107A gain in seeming, shadowed still with want,
A broken staff which folly doth uphold,
A flower that fades with every frosty cold,
An orient rose sprung from a withered plant.

108A minute's joy to gain a world of grief,
A subtle net to snare the idle mind,
A seeing scorpion, yet in seeming blind,
A poor rejoice, a plague without relief.

109Forthy, Montanus, follow mine arede,
Whom age hath taught the trains that fancy useth:
Leave foolish love, for beauty wit abuseth,
And drowns, by folly, virtue's springing seed.

110MONTANUS

111So blames the child the flame because it burns,
And bird the snare because it doth entrap,
And fools true love because of sorry hap,
And sailors curse the ship that overturns.

112But would the child forbear to play with flame,
And birds beware to trust the fowler's gin,
And fools foresee before they fall and sin,
And masters guide their ships in better frame,

113The child would praise the fire because it warms,
And birds rejoice to see the fowler fail,
And fools prevent before their plagues prevail,
And sailors bless the bark that saves from harms.

114Ah, Corydon, though many be thy years,
And crooked elde hath some experience left,
Yet is thy mind of judgment quite bereft,
In view of Love, whose power in me appears.

115The ploughman little wots to turn the pen,
Or bookman skills to guide the ploughman's cart;
Nor can the cobbler count the terms of art,
Nor base men judge the thoughts of mighty men;

116Nor withered age, unmeet for beauty's guide,
Uncapable of love's impression,
Discourse of that whose choice possession
May never to so base a man be tied.

117But I, whom nature makes of tender mold,
And youth most pliant yields to fancy's fire,
Do build my haven and heaven on sweet desire,
On sweet desire, more dear to me than gold.

118Think I of love, oh, how my lines aspire!
How haste the Muses to embrace my brows,
And hem my temples in with laurel boughs,
And fill my brains with chaste and holy fire!

119Then leave my lines their homely equipage,
Mounted beyond the circle of the sun.
Amazed I read the style when I have done,
And hery love that sent that heavenly rage.

120Of Phoebe then, of Phoebe then I sing,
Drawing the purity of all the spheres,
The pride of earth, or what in heaven appears,
Her honored face and fame to light to bring.

121In fluent numbers and in pleasant veins
I rob both sea and earth of all their state
To praise her parts; I charm both time and fate
To bless the nymph that yields me lovesick pains.

122My sheep are turned to thoughts, whom froward will
Guides in the restless labyrinth of love;
Fear lends them pasture wheresoe'er they move,
And by their death their life reneweth still.

123My sheephook is my pen, mine oaten reed
My paper, where my many woes are written.
Thus, silly swain, with love and fancy bitten,
I trace the plains of pain in woeful weed.

124Yet are my cares, my broken sleeps, my tears,
My dreams, my doubts, for Phoebe sweet to me.
Who waiteth heaven, in sorrow's vale must be,
And glory shines where danger most appears.

125Then, Corydon, although I blithe me not,
Blame me not, man, since sorrow is my sweet;
So willeth love, and Phoebe thinks it meet,
And kind Montanus liketh well his lot.

126CORYDON

127O stayless youth, by error so misguided,
Where will proscribeth laws to perfect wits,
Where reason mourns, and blame in triumph sits,
And folly poisoneth all that time provided!

128With willful blindness bleared, prepared to shame,
Prone to neglect Occasion when she smiles:
Alas, that love, by fond and froward guiles,
Should make thee tract the path to endless blame!

129Ah, my Montanus, cursèd is the charm
That hath bewitchèd so thy youthful eyes.
Leave off in time to like these vanities!
Be forward to thy good, and fly thy harm.

130As many bees as Hybla daily shields,
As many fry as fleet on ocean's face,
As many herds as on the earth do trace,
As many flowers as deck the fragrant fields,

131As many stars as glorious heaven contains,
As many storms as wayward winter weeps,
As many plagues as hell enclosèd keeps,
So many griefs in love, so many pains.

132Suspicions, thoughts, desires, opinions, prayers,
Mislikes, misdeeds, fond joys, and feignèd peace,
Illusions, dreams, great pains, and small increase,
Vows, hopes, acceptance, scorns, and deep despairs,

133Truce, war, and woe do wait at beauty's gate;
Time lost, laments, reports, and privy grudge,
And last, fierce love is but a partial judge,
Who yields for service shame, for friendship hate.

134MONTANUS

135All adder-like I stop mine ears, fond swain.
So charm no more, for I will never change.
Call home thy flocks in time that straggling range,
For lo, the sun declineth hence amain.

TERENTIUS

136

In amore haec omnia insunt vitia: induciae, inimicitiae, bellum, pax rursum: incerta haec si tu postules ratione certa fieri, nihilo plus agas, quam si des operam, ut cum ratione insanias.

137The shepherds having thus ended their eclogue, Aliena stepped with Ganymede from behind the thicket; at whose sudden sight the shepherds arose, and Aliena saluted them thus:

138"Shepherds, all hail, for such we deem you by your flocks; and lovers, good luck, for such you seem by your passions, our eyes being witness of the one and our ears of the other. Although not by love, yet by fortune I am a distressed gentlewoman, as sorrowful as you are passionate and as full of woes as you of perplexed thoughts. Wandering this way in a forest unknown, only I and my page, wearied with travel, would fain have some place of rest. May you appoint us any place of quiet harbor, be it never so mean, I shall be thankful to you, contented in myself, and grateful to whosoever shall be mine host."

139Corydon, hearing the gentlewoman speak so courteously, returned her mildly and reverently this answer:

140"Fair mistress, we return you as hearty a welcome as you gave us a courteous salute. A shepherd I am, and this a lover, as watchful to please his wench as to feed his sheep: full of fancies, and therefore, say I, full of follies. Exhort him I may, but persuade him I cannot, for love admits neither of counsel nor reason. But leaving him to his passions, if you be distressed, I am sorrowful such a fair creature is crossed with calamity; pray for you I may, but relieve you I cannot. Marry, if you want lodging, if you vouch to shroud yourselves in a shepherd's cottage, my house for this night shall be your harbor."

141Aliena thanked Corydon greatly, and presently sat her down and Ganymede by her. Corydon looking earnestly upon her, and, with a curious survey viewing all her perfections, applauded in his thought her excellence, and, pitying her distress, was desirous to hear the cause of her misfortunes, began to question her thus:

142"If I should not, fair damosel, occasion offense or renew your griefs by rubbing the scar, I would fain crave so much favor as to know the cause of your misfortunes, and why and whither you wander with your page in so dangerous a forest?"

143Aliena, that was as courteous as she was fair, made this reply:

144"Shepherd, a friendly demand ought never to be offensive, and questions of courtesy carry privileged pardons in their foreheads. Know, therefore, to discover my fortunes were to renew my sorrows, and I should, by discoursing my mishaps, but rake fire out of the cinders. Therefore let this suffice, gentle shepherd: my distress is as great as my travel is dangerous, and I wander in this forest to light on some cottage where I and my page may dwell; for I mean to buy some farm and a flock of sheep, and so become a shepherdess, meaning to live low and content me with a country life; for I have heard the swains say that they drunk without suspicion and slept without care."

145"Marry, mistress," quoth Corydon, "if you mean so, you came in good time, for my landslord intends to sell both the farm I till and the flock I keep, and cheap you may have them for ready money; and for a shepherd's life, O mistress, did you but live awhile in their content, you would say the court were rather a place of sorrow than of solace. Here, mistress, shall not fortune thwart you but in mean misfortunes, as the loss of a few sheep, which, as it breeds no beggary, so it can be no extreme prejudice; the next year may mend all with a fresh increase. Envy stirs not us; we covet not to climb; our desires mount not above our degrees, nor our thoughts above our fortunes. Care cannot harbor in our cottages, nor do our homely couches know broken slumbers. As we exceed not in diet, so we have enough to satisfy; and, mistress, I have so much Latin: Satis est quod sufficit."

146"By my troth, shepherd," quoth Aliena, "thou makest me in love with your country life, and therefore send for thy landslord, and I will buy thy farm and thy flocks, and thou shalt still under me be overseer of them both. Only for pleasure sake I and my page will serve you, lead the flocks to the field, and fold them. Thus will I live quiet, unknown, and contented."

147This news so gladded the heart of Corydon, that he should not be put out of his farm, that, putting off his shepherd's bonnet, he did her all the reverence that he might. But all this while sat Montanus in a muse, thinking of the cruelty of his Phoebe, whom he wooed long but was in no hope to win. Ganymede, who still had the remembrance of Rosader in his thoughts, took delight to see the poor shepherd passionate, laughing at Love, that in all his actions was so imperious. At last, when she had noted his tears that stole down his cheeks and his sighs that broke from the center of his heart, pitying his lament, she demanded of Corydon why the young shepherd looked so sorrowful.

148"Oh, sir," quoth he, "the boy is in love."

149"Why," quoth Ganymede, "can shepherds love?"

150"Ay," quoth Montanus, "and overlove, else shouldst not thou see me so pensive. Love, I tell thee, is as precious in a shepherd's eye as in the looks of a king, and we country swains entertain fancy with as great delight as the proudest courtier doth affection. Opportunity, that is the sweetest friend to Venus, harboreth in our cottages, and loyalty, the chiefest fealty that Cupid requires, is found more among shepherds than higher degrees. Then ask not if such silly swains can love."

151"What is the cause,then," quoth Ganymede, "that love being so sweet to thee, thou lookest so sorrowful?"

152"Because," quoth Montanus, "the party beloved is froward, and, having courtesy in her looks, holdeth disdain in her tongue's end."

153"What hath she, then," quoth Aliena, "in her heart?"

154"Desire, I hope, madam," quoth he, "or else, my hope lost, despair in love were death."

155As thus they chatted, the sun being ready to set, and they not having folded their sheep, Corydon requested she would sit there with her page till Montanus and he lodged their sheep for that night.

156"You shall go," quoth Aliena, "but first I will entreat Montanus to sing some amorous sonnet that he made when he hath been deeply passionate."

157"That I will," quoth Montanus, and with that he began thus:

MONTANUS' SONNET

158Phoebe sat,
Sweet she sat,
Sweet sat Phoebe when I saw her;
White her brow,
Coy her eye.
Brow and eye how much you please me!
Words I spent,
Sighs I sent;
Sighs and words could never draw her.
O my love,
Thou art lost,
Since no sight could ever ease thee.

159Phoebe sat
By a fount;
Sitting by a fount I spied her.
Sweet her touch,
Rare her voice.
Touch and voice what may distain you?
As she sung
I did sigh,
And by sighs whilst that I tried her,
O mine eyes!
You did lose
Her first sight whose want did pain you.

160Phoebe's flocks,
White as wool,
Yet were Phoebe's locks more whiter.
Phoebe's eyes
Dovelike mild;
Dovelike eyes, both mild and cruel.
Montan swears
In your lamps
He will die for to delight her.
Phoebe, yield,
Or I die.
Shall true hearts be fancy's fuel?

161Montanus had no sooner ended his sonnet but Corydon, with a low courtesy, rose up and went with his fellow, and shut their sheep in the folds, and, after returning to Aliena and Ganymede, conducted them home weary to his poor cottage. By the way there was much good chat with Montanus about his loves, he resolving Aliena that Phoebe was the fairest shepherdess in all France, and that in his eye her beauty was equal with the nymphs.

162"But," quoth he, "as of all stones the diamond is most clearest and yet most hard for the lapidary to cut; as of all flowers the rose is the fairest and yet guarded with the sharpest prickles: so of all our country lasses Phoebe is the brightest, but the most coy of all to stoop unto desire. But let her take heed," quoth he, "I have heard of Narcissus, who for his high disdain against Love perished in the folly of his own love."

163With this they were at Corydon's cottage, where Montanus parted from them, and they went in to rest. Aliena and Ganymede, glad of so contented a shelter, made merry with the poor swain; and though they had but country fare and coarse lodging, yet their welcome was so great, and their cares so little, that they counted their diet delicate, and slept as soundly as if they had been in the court of Torismond. The next morn they lay long in bed, as wearied with the toil of unaccustomed travel; but as soon as they got up, Aliena resolved there to set up her rest, and by the help of Corydon swept a bargain with his landslord, and so became mistress of the farm and the flock, herself putting on the attire of a shepherdess, and Ganymede of a young swain, every day leading forth her flocks with such delight that she held her exile happy and thought no content to the bliss of a country cottage. Leaving her thus famous amongst the shepherds of Arden, again to Saladin.

164When Saladin had a long while concealed a secret resolution of revenge, and could no longer hide fire in the flax nor oil in the flame--for envy is like lightning, that will appear in the darkest fog--it chanced on a morning very early he called up certain of his servants and went with them to the chamber of Rosader, which being open, he entered with his crew and surprised his brother being asleep, and bound him in fetters, and in the midst of his hall chained him to a post. Rosader, amazed at this strange chance, began to reason with his brother about the cause of this sudden extremity, wherein he had wronged, and what fault he had committed worthy so sharp a penance. Saladin answered him only with a look of disdain, and went his way, leaving poor Rosader in a deep perplexity, who, thus abused, fell into sundry passions, but no means of relief could be had, whereupon for anger he grew into a discontented melancholy. In which humor he continued two or three days without meat, insomuch that, seeing his brother would give him no food, he fell into despair of his life. Which Adam Spencer, the old servant of Sir John of Bordeaux, seeing, touched with the duty and love he ought to his old master, felt a remorse in his conscience of his son's mishap; and therefore, although Saladin had given a general charge to his servants that none of them upon pain of death should give either meat or drink to Rosader, yet Adam Spencer in the night rose secretly, and brought him such victuals as he could provide, and unlocked him, and set him at liberty. After Rosader had well feasted himself, and felt he was loose, straight his thoughts aimed at revenge; and now, all being asleep, he would have quit Saladin with the method of his own mischief. But Adam Spencer did persuade him to the contrary with these reasons:

165"Sir," quoth he, "be content. For this night go again into your old fetters; so shall you try the faith of friends and save the life of an old servant. Tomorrow hath your brother invited all your kindred and allies to a solemn breakfast, only to see you, telling them all that you are mad, and fain to be tied to a post. As soon as they come, complain to them of the abuse proffered you by Saladin. If they redress you, why so: but if they pass over your plaints sicco pede and hold with the violence of your brother before your innocence, then thus: I will leave you unlocked that you may break out at your pleasure, and at the end of the hall shall you see stand a couple of good poleaxes, one for you and another for me. When I give you a wink, shake off your chains, and let us play the men and make havoc amongst them, drive them out of the house and maintain possession by force of arms till the King hath made a redress of your abuses."

166These words of Adam Spencer so persuaded Rosader that he went to the place of his punishment and stood there while the next morning. About the time appointed came all the guests bidden by Saladin, whom he entreated with courteous and curious entertainment, as they all perceived their welcome to be great. The tables in the hall where Rosader was tied were covered, and Saladin, bringing in his guests together, showed them where his brother was bound and was enchained as a man lunatic. Rosader made reply, and with some invectives made complaints of the wrongs proffered him by Saladin, desiring they would in pity seek some means for his relief. But in vain; they had stopped their ears with Ulysses, that, were his words never so forceable, he breathed only his passions into the wind. They, careless, sat down with Saladin to dinner, being very frolic and pleasant, washing their heads well with wine. At last, when the fume of the grape had entered pell-mell into their brains, they began in satirical speeches to rail against Rosader, which Adam Spencer, no longer brooking, gave the sign, and Rosader, shaking off his chains, got a poleax in his hand and flew amongst them with such violence and fury that he hurt many, slew some, and drave his brother and the rest quite out of the house. Seeing the coast clear he shut the doors, and, being sore anhungered and seeing such good victuals, he sat him down with Adam Spencer and such good fellows as he knew were honest men, and there feasted themselves with such provision as Saladin had prepared for his friends. After they had taken their repast, Rosader rampired up the house, lest upon a sudden his brother should raise some crew of his tenants and surprise them unawares. But Saladin took a contrary course, and went to the sheriff of the shire and made complaint of Rosader, who, giving credit to Saladin, in a determined resolution to revenge the gentleman's wrongs, took with him five-and-twenty tall men, and made a vow either to break into the house and take Rosader or else to coop him in till he made him yield by famine. In this determination, gathering a crew together, he went forward to set Saladin in his former estate. News of this was brought unto Rosader, who, smiling at the cowardice of his brother, brooked all the injuries of fortune with patience, expecting the coming of the sheriff. As he walked upon the battlements of the house, he descried where Saladin and he drew near, with a troop of lusty gallants. At this he smiled, and called Adam Spencer, and showed him the envious treachery of his brother and the folly of the sheriff to be so credulous.

167"Now, Adam," quoth he, "what shall I do? It rests for me either to yield up the house to my brother and seek a reconcilement or else issue out and break through the company with courage, for cooped in like a coward I will not be. If I submit (ah, Adam!) I dishonor myself, and that is worse than death, for by such open disgraces the fame of men grows odious. If I issue out amongst them, fortune may favor me, and I may escape with life. But suppose the worst: if I be slain, then my death shall be honorable to me, and so inequal a revenge infamous to Saladin."

168"Why then, master, forward and fear not! Out amongst them; they be but faint-hearted losels, and, for Adam Spencer, if he die not at your foot, say he is a dastard."

169These words cheered up so the heart of young Rosader that he thought himself sufficient for them all, and therefore prepared weapons for him and Adam Spencer, and were ready to entertain the sheriff; for no sooner came Saladin and he to the gates, but Rosader, unlooked for, leaped out and assailed them, wounded many of them, and caused the rest to give back, so that Adam and he broke through the press in despite of them all and took their way towards the forest of Arden. This repulse so set the sheriff's heart on fire to revenge that he straight raised all the country and made hue and cry after them. But Rosader and Adam, knowing full well the secret ways that led through the vineyards, stole away privily through the province of Bordeaux and escaped safe to the Forest of Arden. Being come thither, they were glad they had so good a harbor. But Fortune, who is like the chameleon, variable with every object and constant in nothing but inconstancy, thought to make them mirrors of her mutability, and therefore still crossed them thus contrarily. Thinking still to pass on by the by-ways to get to Lyons, they chanced on a path that led into the thick of the forest, where they wandered five or six days without meat, that they were almost famished, finding neither shepherd nor cottage to relieve them; and hunger growing on so extreme, Adam Spencer, being old, began first to faint, and, sitting him down on a hill and looking about him, espied where Rosader lay as feeble and as ill perplexed, which sight made him shed tears, and to fall into these bitter terms:

ADAM SPENCER'S SPEECH

170"Oh, how the life of man may well be compared to the state of the ocean seas, that for every calm hath a thousand storms, resembling the rose tree, that for a few fair flowers hath a multitude of sharp prickles! All our pleasures end in pain, and our highest delights are crossed with deepest discontents. The joys of man, as they are few, so are they momentary, scarce ripe before they are rotten, and withering in the blossom, either parched with the heat of envy or fortune. Fortune, O inconstant friend, that in all thy deeds art froward and fickle, delighting in the poverty of the lowest and the overthrow of the highest, to decipher thy inconstancy! Thou standest upon a globe, and thy wings are plumed with Time's feathers, that thou mayest ever be restless: thou art double-faced like Janus, carrying frowns in the one to threaten, and smiles in the other to betray. Thou profferest an eel and performest a scorpion, and where thy greatest favors be, there is the fear of the extremest misfortunes, so variable are all thy actions. But why, Adam, dost thou exclaim against Fortune? She laughs at the plaints of the distressed, and there is nothing more pleasing unto her than to hear fools boast in her fading allurements, or sorrowful men to discover the sore of their passions. Glut her not, Adam, then with content, but thwart her with brooking all mishaps with patience. For there is no greater check to the pride of Fortune than with a resolute courage to pass over her crosses without care. Thou art old, Adam, and thy hairs wax white; the palm tree is already full of blooms, and in the furrows of thy face appears the calendars of death. Wert thou blessed by Fortune, thy years could not be many nor the date of thy life long. Then sith Nature must have her due, what is it for thee to resign her debt a little before the day? Ah, it is not this which grieveth me, nor do I care what mishaps Fortune can wage against me, but the sight of Rosader that galleth unto the quick. When I remember the worships of his house, the honor of his fathers, and the virtues of himself, then do I say that Fortune and the Fates are most injurious to censure so hard extremes against a youth of so great hope. O Rosader, thou art in the flower of thine age, and, in the pride of thy years, buxom and full of May. Nature hath prodigally enriched thee with her favors, and virtue made thee the mirror of her excellence. And now, through the decree of the unjust stars, to have all these good parts nipped in the blade and blemished by the inconstancy of fortune! Ah, Rosader, could I help thee, my grief were the less, and happy should my death be, if it might be the beginning of thy relief; but seeing we perish both in one extreme, it is a double sorrow. What shall I do? Prevent the sight of his further misfortune with a present dispatch of mine own life? Ah, despair is a merciless sin!"

171As he was ready to go forward in his passion, he looked earnestly on Rosader, and, seeing him change color, he rise up and went to him, and holding his temples, said:

172"What cheer, master? though all fail, let not the heart faint. The courage of a man is showed in the resolution of his death."

173At these words Rosader lifted up his eye, and, looking on Adam Spencer, began to weep.

174"Ah, Adam," quoth he, "I sorrow not to die, but I grieve at the manner of my death. Might I with my lance encounter the enemy and so die in the field, it were honor and content; might I, Adam, combat with some wild beast and perish as his prey, I were satisfied. But to die with hunger, O Adam, it is the extremest of all extremes!"

175"Master," quoth he, "you see we are both in one predicament, and long I cannot live without meat; seeing therefore we can find no food, let the death of the one preserve the life of the other. I am old and overworn with age; you are young and are the hope of many honors. Let me then die; I will presently cut my veins, and, master, with the warm blood relieve your fainting spirits; suck on that till I end, and you be comforted."

176With that Adam Spencer was ready to pull out his knife, when Rosader, full of courage though very faint, rose up, and wished Adam Spencer to sit there till his return. "For my mind gives me," quoth he, "I shall bring thee meat." With that, like a madman, he rose up, and ranged up and down the woods, seeking to encounter some wild beast with his rapier, that either he might carry his friend Adam food or else pledge his life in pawn for his loyalty.

177It chanced that day that Gerismond, the lawful King of France banished by Torismond, who with a lusty crew of outlaws lived in that forest, that day in honor of his birth made a feast to all his bold yeomen and frolicked it with store of wine and venison, sitting all at a long table under the shadow of limon trees. To that place by chance Fortune conducted Rosader, who, seeing such a crew of brave men having store of that for want of which he and Adam perished, he stepped boldly to the board's end and saluted the company thus:

178"Whatsoever thou be that art master of these lusty squires, I salute thee as graciously as a man in extreme distress may. Know that I and a fellow-friend of mine are here famished in the forest for want of food; perish we must, unless relieved by thy favors. Therefore, if thou be a gentleman, give meat to men, and to such men as are every way worthy of life. Let the proudest squire that sits at thy table rise and encounter with me in any honorable point of activity whatsoever, and if he and thou prove me not a man, send me away comfortless. If thou refuse this, as a niggard of thy cates, I will have amongst you with my sword; for rather will I die valiantly than perish with so cowardly an extreme."

179Gerismond, looking him earnestly in the face, and seeing so proper a gentleman in so bitter a passion, was moved with so great pity that, rising from the table, he took him by the hand and bad him welcome, willing him to sit down in his place, and in his room not only to eat his fill but be lord of the feast.

180"Gramercy, sir," quoth Rosader, "but I have a feeble friend that lies hereby famished almost for food, aged and therefore less able to abide the extremity of hunger than myself, and dishonor it were for me to taste one crumb before I made him partner of my fortunes. Therefore I will run and fetch him, and then I will gratefully accept of your proffer."

181Away hies Rosader to Adam Spencer and tells him the news, who was glad of so happy fortune, but so feeble he was that he could not go; whereupon Rosader got him up on his back and brought him to the place. Which when Gerismond and his men saw, they greatly applauded their league of friendship; and Rosader, having Gerismond's place assigned him, would not sit there himself, but set down Adam Spencer. Well, to be short, those hungry squires fell to their victuals and feasted themselves with good delicates and great store of wine. As soon as they had taken their repast, Gerismond, desirous to hear what hard fortune drave them into those bitter extremes, requested Rosader to discourse, if it were not any way prejudicial unto him, the cause of his travel. Rosader, desirous any way to satisfy the courtesy of his favorable host, first beginning his exordium with a volley of sighs and a few lukewarm tears, prosecuted his discourse, and told him from point to point all his fortunes: how he was the youngest son of Sir John of Bordeaux, his name Rosader, how his brother sundry times had wronged him, and lastly how, for beating the sheriff and hurting his men, he fled.

182"And this old man," quoth he, "whom I so much love and honor, is surnamed Adam Spencer, an old servant of my father's, and one, that for his love, never failed me in all my misfortunes."

183When Gerismond heard this, he fell on the neck of Rosader, and next discoursing unto him how he was Gerismond their lawful king exiled by Torismond, what familiarity had ever been betwixt his father, Sir John of Bordeaux, and him, how faithful a subject he lived, and how honorable he died, promising, for his sake, to give both him and his friend such courteous entertainment as his present estate could minister, and upon this made him one of his foresters. Rosader, seeing it was the King, craved pardon for his boldness in that he did not do him due reverence, and humbly gave him thanks for his favorable courtesy. Gerismond, not satisfied yet with news, began to inquire if he had been lately in the court of Torismond, and whether he had seen his daughter Rosalind or no? At this Rosader fetched a deep sigh, and, shedding many tears, could not answer: yet at last, gathering his spirits together, he revealed unto the King how Rosalind was banished, and how there was such a sympathy of affections between Alinda and her that she chose rather to be partaker of her exile, than to part fellowship; whereupon the unnatural king banished them both. "And now they are wandered none knows whither, neither could any learn since their departure, the place of their abode." This news drave the King into a great melancholy, that presently he arose from all the company and went into his privy chamber, so secret as the harbor of the woods would allow him. The company was all dashed at these tidings, and Rosader and Adam Spencer, having such opportunity, went to take their rest. Where we leave them, and return again to Torismond.

184The flight of Rosader came to the ears of Torismond, who, hearing that Saladin was sole heir of the lands of Sir John of Bordeaux, desirous to possess such fair revenues, found just occasion to quarrel with Saladin about the wrongs he proffered to his brother. And therefore, dispatching a herehault, he sent for Saladin in all post-haste. Who, marveling what the matter should be, began to examine his own conscience wherein he had offended His Highness; but, emboldened with his innocence, he boldly went with the herehault unto the court; where, as soon as he came, he was not admitted into the presence of the King, but presently sent to prison. This greatly amazed Saladin, chiefly in that the jailer had a straight charge over him to see that he should be close prisoner. Many passionate thoughts came in his head, till at last he began to fall into consideration of his former follies and to meditate with himself. Leaning his head on his hand and his elbow on his knee, full of sorrow, grief, and disquieted passions, he resolved into these terms:

SALADIN'S COMPLAINT

185"Unhappy Saladin, whom folly hath led to these misfortunes and wanton desires wrapped within the labyrinth of these calamities! Are not the heavens doomers of men's deeds? And holds not God a balance in his fist, to reward with favor and revenge with justice? O Saladin, the faults of thy youth, as they were fond, so were they foul, and not only discovering little nurture but blemishing the excellence of nature. Whelps of one litter are ever most loving, and brothers that are sons of one father should live in friendship without jar. O Saladin, so it should be! But thou hast with the deer fed against the wind, with the crab strove against the stream, and sought to pervert nature by unkindness. Rosader's wrongs, the wrongs of Rosader, Saladin, cries for revenge; his youth pleads to God to inflict some penance upon thee; his virtues are pleas that enforce writs of displeasure to cross thee. Thou hast highly abused thy kind and natural brother, and the heavens cannot spare to quite thee with punishment. There is no sting to the worm of conscience, no hell to a mind touched with guilt. Every wrong I offered him, called now to remembrance, wringeth a drop of blood from my heart. Every bad look, every frown pincheth me at the quick, and says, 'Saladin thou hast sinned against Rosader.' Be penitent, and assign thyself some penance to discover thy sorrow, and pacify his wrath."

186In the depth of his passion, he was sent for to the King, who, with a look that threatened death, entertained him, and demanded of him where his brother was. Saladin made answer that, upon some riot made against the sheriff of the shire, he was fled from Bordeaux, but he knew not whither.

187"Nay, villain," quoth he, "I have heard of the wrongs thou hast proffered thy brother since the death of thy father, and by thy means have I lost a most brave and resolute chevalier. Therefore, in justice to punish thee, I spare thy life for thy father's sake, but banish thee forever from the court and country of France; and see thy departure be within ten days, else, trust me, thou shalt lose thy head."

188And with that the King flew away in a rage and left poor Saladin greatly perplexed, who, grieving at his exile yet determined to bear it with patience, and in penance of his former follies, to travel abroad in every coast till he had found out his brother Rosader. With whom now I begin.

189Rosader, being thus preferred to the place of a forester by Gerismond, rooted out the remembrance of his brother's unkindness by continual exercise, traversing the groves and wild forests, partly to hear the melody of the sweet birds which recorded, and partly to show his diligent endeavor in his master's behalf. Yet whatsoever he did, or howsoever he walked, the lively image of Rosalind remained in memory; on her sweet perfections he fed his thoughts, proving himself like the eagle a true-born bird, since as the one is known by beholding the sun, so was he by regarding excellent beauty. One day among the rest, finding a fit opportunity and place convenient, desirous to discover his woes to the woods, he engraved with his knife on the bark of a myrtle tree this pretty estimate of his mistress' perfection:

SONNETTO

190Of all chaste birds the phoenix doth excel;
Of all strong beasts the lion bears the bell;
Of all sweet flowers the rose doth sweetest smell;
Of all fair maids my Rosalind is fairest.

191Of all pure metals gold is only purest;
Of all high trees the pine hath highest crest;
Of all soft sweets I like my mistress' breast;
Of all chaste thoughts my mistress' thoughts are rarest.

192Of all proud birds the eagle pleaseth Jove;
Of pretty fowls kind Venus likes the dove;
Of trees Minerva doth the olive love;
Of all sweet nymphs I honor Rosalind.

193Of all her gifts her wisdom pleaseth most;
Of all her graces virtue she doth boast.
For all these gifts my life and joy is lost
If Rosalind prove cruel and unkind.

194In these and such like passions Rosader did every day eternize the name of his Rosalind, and this day especially when Aliena and Ganymede, enforced by the heat of the sun to seek for shelter, by good fortune arrived in that place where this amorous forester registered his melancholy passions. They saw the sudden change of his looks, his folded arms, his passionate sighs; they heard him often abruptly call on Rosalind, who, poor soul, was as hotly burned as himself, but that she shrouded her pains in the cinders of honorable modesty. Whereupon, guessing him to be in love, and according to the nature of their sex being pitiful in that behalf, they suddenly brake off his melancholy by their approach, and Ganymede shook him out of his dumps thus:

195"What news, forester? Hast thou wounded some deer and lost him in the fall? Care not, man, for so small a loss; thy fees was but the skin, the shoulder, and the horns. 'Tis hunter's luck to aim fair and miss, and a woodman's fortune to strike and yet go without the game."

196"Thou art beyond the mark, Ganymede," quoth Aliena. "His passions are greater and sighs discovers more loss. Perhaps in traversing these thickets he hath seen some beautiful nymph and is grown amorous."

197"It may be so," quoth Ganymede, "for here he hath newly engraven some sonnet. Come and see the discourse of the forester's poems."

198Reading the sonnet over and hearing him name Rosalind, Aliena looked on Ganymede and laughed, and Ganymede, looking back on the forester and seeing it was Rosader, blushed. Yet, thinking to shroud all under her page's apparel, she boldly returned to Rosader, and began thus:

199"I pray thee tell me, forester, what is this Rosalind for whom thou pinest away in such passions? Is she some nymph that waits upon Diana's train whose chastity thou hast deciphered in such epithets? Or is she some shepherdess that haunts these plains whose beauty hath so bewitched thy fancy, whose name thou shadowest in covert under the figure of Rosalind, as Ovid did Julia under the name of Corinna? Or say me, forsooth, is it that Rosalind of whom we shepherds have heard talk--she, forester, that is the daughter of Gerismond, that once was king and now an outlaw in the forest of Arden?"

200At this Rosader fetched a deep sigh, and said:

201"It is she, O gentle swain, it is she; that saint it is whom I serve, that goddess at whose shrine I do bend all my devotions--the most fairest of all fairs, the phoenix of all that sex, and the purity of all earthly perfection."

202"And why, gentle forester, if she be so beautiful and thou so amorous, is there such a disagreement in thy thoughts? Haply she resembleth the rose, that is sweet but full of prickles? Or the serpent regius that hath scales as glorious as the sun and a breath as infectious as the aconitum is deadly? So thy Rosalind may be most amiable and yet unkind; full of favor and yet froward, coy without wit and disdainful without reason."

203"O shepherd," quoth Rosader, "knewest thou her personage, graced with the excellence of all perfection, being a harbor wherein the Graces shroud their virtues, thou wouldest not breathe out such blasphemy against the beauteous Rosalind. She is a diamond, bright but not hard, yet of most chaste operation, a pearl so orient that it can be stained with no blemish; a rose without prickles, and a princess absolute as well in beauty as in virtue. But I, unhappy I, have let mine eye soar with the eagle against so bright a sun that I am quite blind; I have with Apollo enamored myself of a Daphne, not, as she, disdainful, but far more chaste than Daphne. I have with Ixion laid my love on Juno, and shall, I fear, embrace naught but a cloud. Ah, shepherd, I have reached at a star! My desires have mounted above my degree and my thoughts above my fortunes. I, being a peasant, have ventured to gaze on a princess whose honors are too high to vouchsafe such base loves."

204"Why, forester," quoth Ganymede, "comfort thyself. Be blithe and frolic, man. Love souseth as low as she soareth high; Cupid shoots at a rag as soon as at a robe; and Venus's eye, that was so curious, sparkled favor on polt-footed Vulcan. Fear not, man, women's looks are not tied to dignity's feathers, nor make they curious esteem where the stone is found but what is the virtue. Fear not, forester. Faint heart never won fair lady. But where lives Rosalind now? At the court?"

205"Oh, no," quoth Rosader, "she lives I know not where, and that is my sorrow; banished by Torismond, and that is my hell. For, might I but find her sacred personage and plead before the bar of her pity the plaint of my passions, hope tells me she would grace me with some favor, and that would suffice as a recompense of all my former miseries."

206"Much have I heard of thy mistress' excellence, and I know, forester, thou canst describe her at the full, as one that hast surveyed all her parts with a curious eye. Then do me that favor to tell me what her perfections be."

207"That I will," quoth Rosader, "for I glory to make all ears wonder at my mistress' excellence."

208And with that he pulled a paper forth his bosom, wherein he read this:

ROSALIND'S DESCRIPTION

209Like to the clear in highest sphere
Where all imperial glory shines,
Of selfsame color is her hair,
Whether unfolded or in twines.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!
Her eyes are sapphires set in snow,
Refining heaven by every wink.
The gods do fear whenas they glow,
And I do tremble when I think.
Heigh ho! Would she were mine.

210Her cheeks are like the blushing cloud
That beautifies Aurora's face,
Or like the silver crimson shroud
That Phoebus' smiling looks doth grace.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!

211Her lips are like two budded roses,
Whom ranks of lilies neighbor nigh,
Within which bounds she balm encloses,
Apt to entice a deity.
Heigh-ho! Would she were mine.

212Her neck, like to a stately tower
Where Love himself imprisoned lies,
To watch for glances every hour
From her divine and sacred eyes.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!
Her paps are centers of delight,
Her paps are orbs of heavenly frame,
Where nature molds the dew of light,
To feed perfection with the same.
Heigh-ho! Would she were mine.

213With orient pearl, with ruby red,
With marble white, with sapphire blue,
Her body every way is fed,
Yet soft in touch, and sweet in view.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!
Nature herself her shape admires;
The gods are wounded in her sight,
And Love forsakes his heavenly fires
And at her eyes his brand doth light.
Heigh-ho! Would she were mine.

214Then muse not, nymphs, though I bemoan
The absence of fair Rosalind,
Since for her fair there is fairer none,
Nor for her virtues so divine.
Heigh-ho, fair Rosalind!
Heigh-ho, my heart, would God that she were mine!

215 Periit, quia deperibat.

216"Believe me," quoth Ganymede, "either the forester is an exquisite painter, or Rosalind far above wonder; so it makes me blush to hear how women should be so excellent, and pages so unperfect."

217Rosader, beholding her earnestly, answered thus:

218"Truly, gentle page, thou hast cause to complain thee, wert thou the substance, but, resembling the shadow, content thyself; for it is excellence enough to be like the excellence of nature."

219"He hath answered you, Ganymede," quoth Aliena, "it is enough for pages to wait on beautiful ladies and not to be beautiful themselves."

220"O mistress," quoth Ganymede, "hold you your peace, for you are partial. Who knows not but that all women have desire to tie sovereignty to their petticoats and ascribe beauty to themselves? Where if boys might put on their garments, perhaps they would prove as comely; if not as comely, it may be, more courteous. But tell me, forester," and with that she turned to Rosader, "under whom maintainest thou thy walk?"

221"Gentle swain, under the king of outlaws," said he, "the unfortunate Gerismond, who, having lost his kingdom, crowneth his thoughts with content, accounting it better to govern among poor men in peace than great men in danger."

222"But hast thou not," said she, "having so melancholy opportunities as this forest affordeth thee, written more sonnets in commendations of thy mistress?"

223"I have, gentle swain," quoth he, "but they be not about me. Tomorrow by dawn of day, if your flocks feed in these pastures, I will bring them you, wherein you shall read my passions whilst I feel them. Judge my patience when you read it. Till when I bid farewell." So, giving both Ganymede and Aliena a gentle gooD night, he resorted to his lodge, leaving Aliena and Ganymede to their prittle-prattle.

224"So, Ganymede," said Aliena, the forester being gone, "you are mightily beloved! Men make ditties in your praise, spend sighs for your sake, make an idol of your beauty. Believe me, it grieves me not a little to see the poor man so pensive and you so pitiless."

225"Ah, Aliena," quoth she, "be not peremptory in your judgments. I hear Rosalind praised as I am Ganymede, but, were I Rosalind, I could answer the forester. If he mourn for love, there are medicines for love. Rosalind cannot be fair and unkind. And so, madam, you see it is time to fold our flocks, or else Corydon will frown and say you will never prove good housewife."

226With that they put their sheep into the cotes and went home to her friend Corydon's cottage, Aliena as merry as might be that she was thus in the company of her Rosalind. But she, poor soul, that had love her lodestar and her thoughts set on fire with the flame of fancy, could take no rest, but being alone began to consider what passionate penance poor Rosader was enjoined to by love and fortune, that at last she fell into this humor with herself:

ROSALIND PASSIONATE ALONE

227"Ah, Rosalind, how the Fates have set down in their synod to make thee unhappy! For when Fortune hath done her worst, then Love comes in to begin a new tragedy: she seeks to lodge her son in thine eyes and to kindle her fires in thy bosom. Beware, fond girl, he is an unruly guest to harbor; for, cutting in by entreats, he will not be thrust out by force, and her fires are fed with such fuel as no water is able to quench. See'st thou not how Venus seeks to wrap thee in her labyrinth, wherein is pleasure at the entrance, but within, sorrows, cares, and discontent? She is a Siren; stop thine ears to her melody. She is a basilisk; shut thy eyes and gaze not at her lest thou perish. Thou art now placed in the country content, where are heavenly thoughts and mean desires; in those lawns where thy flocks feed, Diana haunts; be as her nymphs, chaste and enemy to love, for there is no greater honor to a maid than to account of fancy as a mortal foe to their sex. Daphne, that bonny wench, was not turned into a bay tree, as the poets feign; but for her chastity her fame was immortal, resembling the laurel that is ever green. Follow thou her steps, Rosalind, and the rather for that thou art an exile and banished from the court; whose distress, as it is appeased with patience, so it would be renewed with amorous passions. Have mind on thy forepast fortunes; fear the worst, and entangle not thyself with present fancies, lest, loving in haste, thou repent thee at leisure. Ah, but yet, Rosalind, it is Rosader that courts thee; one who, as he is beautiful, so he is virtuous, and harboreth in his mind as many good qualities as his face is shadowed with gracious favors; and therefore, Rosalind, stoop to love, lest, being either too coy or too cruel, Venus wax wroth and plague thee with the reward of disdain."

228Rosalind, thus passionate, was wakened from her dumps by Aliena, who said it was time to go to bed. Corydon swore that was true, for Charles' Wain was risen in the north. Whereupon each taking leave of other went to their rest--all but the poor Rosalind, who was so full of passions that she could not possess any content. Well, leaving her to her broken slumbers, expect what was performed by them the next morning.

229The sun was no sooner stepped from the bed of Aurora but Aliena was wakened by Ganymede, who, restless all night, had tossed in her passions, saying it was then time to go to the field to unfold their sheep. Aliena, that spied where the hare was by the hounds and could see day at a little hole, thought to be pleasant with her Ganymede, and therefore replied thus:

230"What, wanton? The sun is but new up, and as yet Iris' riches lie folded in the bosom of Flora; Phoebus hath not dried up the pearled dew, and so long Corydon hath taught me, it is not fit to lead the sheep abroad, lest, the dew being unwholesome, they get the rot. But now see I the old proverb true: he is in haste whom the devil drives, and, where love pricks forward, there is no worse death than delay. Ah, my good page, is there fancy in thine eye and passions in thy heart? What, hast thou wrapped love in thy looks and set all thy thoughts on fire by affection? I tell thee, it is a flame as hard to be quenched as that of Aetna. But nature must have her course: women's eyes have faculty attractive like the jet and retentive like the diamond; they dally in the delight of fair objects, till, gazing on the panther's beautiful skin, repenting experience tell them he hath a devouring paunch."

231"Come on," quoth Ganymede, "this sermon of yours is but a subtlety to lie still a-bed, because either you think the morning cold, or else, I being gone, you would steal a nap. This shift carries no palm, and therefore up and away. And for Love, let me alone; I'll whip him away with nettles and set Disdain as a charm to withstand his forces. And therefore look you to yourself. Be not too bold, for Venus can make you bend; nor too coy, for Cupid hath a piercing dart that will make you cry Peccavi."

232"And that is it," quoth Aliena, "that hath raised you so early this morning." And with that she slipped on her petticoat, and start up; and as soon as she had made her ready and taken her breakfast, away go these two with their bag and bottles to the field, in more pleasant content of mind than ever they were in the court of Torismond.

233They came no sooner nigh the folds but they might see where their discontented forester was walking in his melancholy. As soon as Aliena saw him, she smiled and said to Ganymede:

234"Wipe your eyes, sweeting, for yonder is your sweetheart this morning in deep prayers, no doubt, to Venus, that she may make you as pitiful as he is passionate. Come on, Ganymede, I pray thee, let's have a little sport with him."

235"Content," quoth Ganymede, and with that, to waken him out of his deep memento he began thus:

236"Forester, good fortune to thy thoughts, and ease to thy passions! What makes you so early abroad this morn? In contemplation, no doubt, of your Rosalind. Take heed, forester; step not too far. The ford may be deep and you slip over the shoes. I tell thee, flies have their spleen, the ants choler, the least hairs shadows, and the smallest loves great desires. 'Tis good, forester, to love, but not to overlove, lest, in loving her that likes not thee, thou fold thyself in an endless labyrinth."

237Rosader, seeing the fair shepherdess and her pretty swain in whose company he felt the greatest ease of his care, he returned them a salute on this manner:

238"Gentle shepherds, all hail, and as healthful be your flocks as you happy in content! Love is restless, and my bed is but the cell of my bane, in that there I find busy thoughts and broken slumbers. Here, although everywhere passionate, yet I brook love with more patience, in that every object feeds mine eye with variety of fancies. When I look on Flora's beauteous tapestry, checked with the pride of all her treasure, I call to mind the fair face of Rosalind, whose heavenly hue exceeds the rose and the lily in their highest excellence. The brightness of Phoebus' shine puts me in mind to think of the sparkling flames that flew from her eyes and set my heart first on fire. The sweet harmony of the birds puts me in remembrance of the rare melody of her voice, which, like the Siren, enchanteth the ears of the hearer. Thus in contemplation I salve my sorrows with applying the perfection of every object to the excellence of her qualities."

239"She is much beholding unto you," quoth Aliena, "and so much that I have oft wished with myself that if I should ever prove as amorous as Oenone, I might find as faithful a Paris as yourself."

240"How say you by this item, forester?" quoth Ganymede. "The fair shepherdess favors you, who is mistress of so many flocks. Leave off, man, the supposition of Rosalind's love, whenas watching at her you rove beyond the moon, and cast your looks upon my mistress, who no doubt is as fair, though not so royal. One bird in the hand is worth two in the wood. Better possess the love of Aliena than catch furiously at the shadow of Rosalind."

241"I'll tell thee, boy," quoth Rosader, "so is my fancy fixed on my Rosalind that, were thy mistress as fair as Leda or Danae, whom Jove courted in transformed shapes, mine eyes would not vouch to entertain their beauties; and so hath love locked me in her perfections that I had rather only contemplate in her beauties than absolutely possess the excellence of any other."

242"Venus is to blame, forester, if, having so true a servant of you, she reward you not with Rosalind, if Rosalind were more fairer than herself. But leaving this prattle, now I'll put you in mind of your promise about those sonnets, which you said were at home in your lodge."

243"I have them about me," quoth Rosader. "Let us sit down, and then you shall hear what a poetical fury love will infuse into a man." With that they sat down upon a green bank, shadowed with fig trees, and Rosader, fetching a deep sigh, read them this sonnet:

ROSADER'S SONNET

244In sorrow's cell I laid me down to sleep,
But waking woes were jealous of mine eyes.
They made them watch, and bend themselves to weep,
But weeping tears their want could not suffice.
Yet since for her they wept who guides my heart,
They weeping smile, and triumph in their smart.

245Of these my tears a fountain fiercely springs,
Where Venus bains herself, incensed with love,
Where Cupid bowseth his fair feathered wings;
But I behold what pains I must approve.
Care drinks it dry; but when on her I think,
Love makes me weep it full unto the brink.

246Meanwhile my sighs yield truce unto my tears;
By them the winds increased and fiercely blow.
Yet when I sigh the flame more plain appears,
And by their force with greater power doth glow.
Amid these pains, all phoenix-like I thrive,
Since love, that yields me death, may life revive.

247 Rosader en esperance.

248"Now, surely, forester," quoth Aliena, "when thou madest this sonnet, thou wert in some amorous quandary, neither too fearful as despairing of thy mistress' favors, nor too gleesome as hoping in thy fortunes."

249"I can smile," quoth Ganymede, "at the sonnettos, canzones, madrigals, rounds, and roundelays that these pensive patients pour out when their eyes are more full of wantonness than their hearts of passions. Then, as the fishers put the sweetest bait to the fairest fish, so these Ovidians, holding amo in their tongues when their thoughts come at haphazard, write that they be rapt in an endless labyrinth of sorrow, when, walking in the large lease of liberty, they only have their humors in their inkpot. If they find women so fond that they will with such painted lures come to their lust, then they triumph till they be full-gorged with pleasures, and then fly they away, like ramage kites, to their own content, leaving the tame fool, their mistress, full of fancy, yet without even a feather. If they miss, as dealing with some wary wanton that wants not such a one as themselves, but spies their subtlety, they end their amours with a few feigned sighs; and so their excuse is, their mistress is cruel, and they smother passions with patience. Such, gentle forester, we may deem you to be, that rather pass away the time here in these woods with writing amorets than to be deeply enamored (as you say) of your Rosalind. If you be such a one, then I pray God, when you think your fortunes at the highest and your desires to be most excellent, then that you may with Ixion embrace Juno in a cloud and have nothing but a marble mistress to release your martyrdom. But if you be true and trusty, eye-pained and heart-sick, then accursed be Rosalind if she prove cruel; for, forester (I flatter not) thou art worthy of as fair as she."

250Aliena, spying the storm by the wind, smiled to see how Ganymede flew to the fist without any call; but Rosader, who took him flat for a shepherd's swain, made him this answer:

251"Trust me, swain," quoth Rosader, "but my canzon was written in no such humor; for mine eye and my heart are relatives, the one drawing fancy by sight, the other entertaining her by sorrow. If thou sawest my Rosalind, with what beauties nature hath favored her, with what perfection the heavens hath graced her, with what qualities the gods have endued her, then wouldst thou say there is none so fickle that could be fleeting unto her. If she had been Aeneas' Dido, had Venus and Juno both scolded him from Carthage, yet her excellence, despite of them, would have detained him at Tyre. If Phyllis had been as beauteous, or Ariadne as virtuous, or both as honorable and excellent as she, neither had the filbert tree sorrowed in the death of despairing Phyllis, nor the stars been graced with Ariadne, but Demophoon and Theseus had been trusty to their paragons. I will tell thee, swain, if with a deep insight thou couldst pierce into the secret of my loves, and see what deep impressions of her idea affection hath made in my heart, then wouldst thou confess I were passing passionate, and no less endued with admirable patience."

252"Why," quoth Aliena, "needs there patience in love?"

253"Or else in nothing," quoth Rosader; "for it is a restless sore that hath no ease, a canker that still frets, a disease that taketh away all hope of sleep. If then so many sorrows, sudden joys, momentary pleasures, continual fears, daily griefs, and nightly woes be found in love, then is not he to be accounted patient that smothers all these passions with silence?"

254"Thou speakest by experience," quoth Ganymede, "and therefore we hold all thy words for axioms. But is love such a lingering malady?"

255"It is," quoth he, "either extreme or mean, according to the mind of the party that entertains it; for, as the weeds grow longer untouched than the pretty flowers, and the flint lies safe in the quarry when the emerald is suffering the lapidary's tool, so mean men are freed from Venus's injuries when kings are environed with a labyrinth of her cares. The whiter the lawn is, the deeper is the mole; the more purer the chrysolite, the sooner stained; and such as have their hearts full of honor have their loves full of the greatest sorrows. But in whomsoever," quoth Rosader, "he fixeth his dart, he never leaveth to assault him till either he hath won him to folly or fancy; for, as the moon never goes without the star Lunisequa, so a lover never goeth without the unrest of his thoughts. For proof you shall hear another fancy of my making."

256"Now, do, gentle forester," quoth Ganymede; and with that he read over this sonnetto:

ROSADER'S SECOND SONNETTO

257

Turn I my looks unto the skies,
Love with his arrows wounds mine eyes;
If so I gaze upon the ground,
Love then in every flower is found.
Search I the shade to fly my pain,
He meets me in the shade again;
Wend I to walk in secret grove,
Even there I meet with sacred Love.
If so I bain me in the spring,
Even on the brink I hear him sing:
If so I meditate alone,
He will be partner of my moan.
If so I mourn, he weeps with me,
And where I am there will he be.
Whenas I talk of Rosalind
The god from coyness waxeth kind,
And seems in selfsame flames to fry
Because he loves as well as I.
Sweet Rosalind, for pity rue,
Forwhy than Love I am more true.
He, if he speed, will quickly fly,
But in thy love I live and die.

258"How like you this sonnet?" quoth Rosader.

259"Marry," quoth Ganymede, "for the pen well, for the passion ill; for as I praise the one, I pity the other, in that thou shouldst hunt after a cloud, and love either without reward or regard."

260"'Tis not her frowardness," quoth Rosader, "but my hard fortunes, whose destinies have crossed me with her absence; for, did she feel my loves, she would not let me linger in these sorrows. Women, as they are fair, so they respect faith, and estimate more (if they be honorable) the will than the wealth, having loyalty the object whereat they aim their fancies. But leaving off these interparleys, you shall hear my last sonnetto, and then you have heard all my poetry." And with that he sighed out this:

ROSADER'S THIRD SONNET

261Of virtuous love myself may boast alone,
Since no suspect my service may attaint;
For perfect fair she is the only one,
Whom I esteem for my belovèd saint.
Thus, for my faith I only bear the bell,
And for her fair she only doth excel.

262Then let fond Petrarch shroud his Laura's praise,
And Tasso cease to publish his affect,
Since mine the faith confirmed at all assays,
And hers the fair, which all men do respect.
My lines her fair, her fair my faith assures;
Thus I by love, and love by me endures.

263"Thus," quoth Rosader, "here is an end of my poems, but for all this no release of my passions, so that I resemble him that in the depth of his distress hath none but the echo to answer him."

264Ganymede, pitying her Rosader, thinking to drive him out of this amorous melancholy, said that now the sun was in his meridional heat and that it was high noon, "therefore we shepherds say, 'tis time to go to dinner; for the sun and our stomachs are shepherds' dials. Therefore, forester, if thou wilt take such fare as comes out of our homely scrips, welcome shall answer whatsoever thou wantest in delicates."

265Aliena took the entertainment by the end, and told Rosader he should be her guest. He thanked them heartily, and sat with them down to dinner, where they had such cates as country state did allow them, sauced with such content, and such sweet prattle, as it seemed far more sweet than all their courtly junkets.

266As soon as they had taken their repast, Rosader, giving them thanks for his good cheer, would have been gone; but Ganymede, that was loath to let him pass out of her presence, began thus:

267"Nay, forester," quoth he, "if thy business be not the greater, seeing thou sayest thou art so deeply in love, let me see how thou canst woo. I will represent Rosalind, and thou shalt be as thou art, Rosader. See in some amorous eclogue how, if Rosalind were present, how thou couldst court her; and while we sing of love, Aliena shall tune her pipe and play us melody."

268"Content," quoth Rosader, and Aliena, she, to show her willingness, drew forth a recorder, and began to wind it. Then the loving forester began thus:

THE WOOING ECLOGUE BETWIXT ROSALIND AND ROSADER

269ROSADER

270I pray thee, nymph, by all the working words,
By all the tears and sighs that lovers know,
Or what or thoughts or faltering tongue affords,
I crave for mine in ripping up my woe.
Sweet Rosalind, my love (would God, my love),
My life (would God, my life), ay, pity me!
Thy lips are kind, and humble like the dove,
And, but with beauty, pity will not be.
Look on mine eyes, made red with rueful tears,
From whence the rain of true remorse descendeth;
All pale in looks am I though young in years,
And naught but love or death my days befriendeth.
Oh, let no stormy rigor knit thy brows,
Which love appointed for his mercy seat.
The tallest tree by Boreas' breath it bows;
The iron yields with hammer and to heat.
O Rosalind, then be thou pitiful,
For Rosalind is only beautiful.

271ROSALIND

272Love's wantons arm their trait'rous suits with tears,
With vows, with oaths, with looks, with showers of gold;
But when the fruit of their affects appears,
The simple heart by subtle sleights is sold.
Thus sucks the yielding ear the poisoned bait,
Thus feeds the heart upon his endless harms,
Thus glut the thoughts themselves on self-deceit,
Thus blind the eyes their sight by subtle charms.
The lovely looks, the sighs that storm so sore,
The dew of deep-dissembled doubleness,
These may attempt, but are of power no more
Where beauty leans to wit and soothfastness.
O Rosader, then be thou wittiful,
For Rosalind scorns foolish pitiful.

273ROSADER

274I pray thee, Rosalind, by those sweet eyes
That stain the sun in shine, the morn in clear,
By those sweet cheeks where Love encampèd lies
To kiss the roses of the springing year;
I tempt thee, Rosalind, by ruthful plaints,
Not seasoned with deceit or fraudful guile,
But firm in pain, far more than tongue depaints:
Sweet nymph, be kind, and grace me with a smile!
So may the heavens preserve from hurtful food
Thy harmless flocks; so may the summer yield
The pride of all her riches and her good,
To fat thy sheep, the citizens of field.
Oh, leave to arm thy lovely brows with scorn!
The birds their beak, the lion hath his tail,
And lovers naught but sighs and bitter mourn,
The spotless fort of fancy to assail.
O Rosalind, then be thou pitiful,
For Rosalind is only beautiful.

275ROSALIND

276The hardened steel by fire is brought in frame.

277ROSADER

278And Rosalind, my love, than any wool more softer;
And shall not sighs her tender heart inflame?

279ROSALIND

280Were lovers true, maids would believe them ofter.

281ROSADER

282Truth and regard and honor guide my love.

283ROSALIND

284Fain would I trust, but yet I dare not try.

285ROSADER

286Oh, pity me, sweet nymph, and do but prove!

287ROSALIND

288I would resist, but yet I know not why.

289ROSADER

290O Rosalind, be kind, for times will change.
Thy looks ay nill be fair as now they be;
Thine age from beauty may thy looks estrange:
Ah, yield in time, sweet nymph, and pity me.

291ROSALIND

292O Rosalind, thou must be pitiful,
For Rosader is young and beautiful.

293ROSADER

294Oh, gain more great than kingdoms or a crown!

295ROSALIND

296Oh, trust betrayed if Rosader abuse me!

297ROSADER

298First let the heavens conspire to pull me down
And heaven and earth as abject quite refuse me;
Let sorrows stream about my hateful bower,
And restless horror hatch within my breast!
Let beauty's eye afflict me with a lour,
Let deep despair pursue me without rest,
Ere Rosalind my loyalty disprove,
Ere Rosalind accuse me for unkind.

299ROSALIND

300Then Rosalind will grace thee with her love;
Then Rosalind will have thee still in mind.

301ROSADER

302Then let me triumph more than Tithon's dear,
Since Rosalind will Rosader respect.
Then let my face exile his sorry cheer,
And frolic in the comfort of affect;
And say that Rosalind is only pitiful,
Since Rosalind is only beautiful.

303When thus they had finished their courting eclogue in such a familiar clause, Ganymede, as augur of some good fortunes to light upon their affections, began to be thus pleasant:

304"How now, forester, have I not fitted your turn? Have I not played the woman handsomely, and showed myself as coy in grants as courteous in desires, and been as full of suspicion as men of flattery? And yet to salve all, jumped I not all up with the sweet union of love? Did not Rosalind content her Rosader?"

305The forester at this smiling, shook his head, and, folding his arms, made this merry reply:

306"Truth, gentle swain, Rosader hath his Rosalind; but as Ixion had Juno, who, thinking to possess a goddess, only embraced a cloud, in these imaginary fruitions of fancy I resemble the birds that fed themselves with Zeuxis' painted grapes; but they grew so lean with pecking at shadows that they were glad, with Aesop's cock, to scrape for a barley cornel. So fareth it with me, who, to feed myself with the hope of my mistress's favors, soothe myself in thy suits and only in conceit reap a wished-for content; but if my food be no better than such amorous dreams, Venus at the year's end shall find me but a lean lover. Yet do I take these follies for high fortunes, and hope these feigned affections do divine some unfeigned end of ensuing fancies."

307"And thereupon," quoth Aliena, "I'll play the priest: from this day forth Ganymede shall call thee husband, and thou shall call Ganymede wife, and so we'll have a marriage."

308"Content," quoth Rosader, and laughed.

309"Content," quoth Ganymede, and changed as red as a rose. And so with a smile and a blush they made up this jesting match, that after proved to a marriage in earnest, Rosader full little thinking he had wooed and won his Rosalind.

310But all was well. Hope is a sweet string to harp on, and therefore let the forester awhile shape himself to his shadow and tarry fortune's leisure till she may make a metamorphosis fit for his purpose. I digress; and therefore to Aliena, who said the wedding was not worth a pin unless there were some cheer, nor that bargain well made that was not stricken up with a cup of wine; and therefore she willed Ganymede to set out such cates as they had and to draw out her bottle, charging the forester, as he had imagined his loves, so to conceit these cates to be a most sumptuous banquet, and to take a mazer of wine and to drink to his Rosalind; which Rosader did, and so they passed away the day in many pleasant devices. Till at last Aliena perceived Time would tarry no man, and that the sun waxed very low, ready to set, which made her shorten their amorous prattle and end the banquet with a fresh carouse, which done, they all three arose, and Aliena broke off thus:

311"Now, forester, Phoebus, that all this while hath been partaker of our sports, seeing every woodman more fortunate in his loves than he in his fancies, seeing thou hast won Rosalind when he could not woo Daphne, hides his head for shame and bids us adieu in a cloud. Our sheep, they poor wantons, wander towards their folds, as taught by nature their due times of rest, which tells us, forester, we must depart. Marry, though there were a marriage, yet I must carry this night the bride with me, and tomorrow morning, if you meet us here, I'll promise to deliver you her as good a maid as I find her."

312"Content," quoth Rosader, "'tis enough for me in the night to dream on love, that in the day am so fond to doat on love; and so till tomorrow you to your folds, and I will to my lodge." And thus the forester and they parted.

313He was no sooner gone but Aliena and Ganymede went and folded their flocks, and, taking up their hooks, their bags, and their bottles, hied homeward. By the way Aliena, to make the time seem short, began to prattle with Ganymede thus:

314"I have heard them say that what the Fates forepoint, that Fortune pricketh down with a period; that the stars are sticklers in Venus's court, and desire hangs at the heel of destiny. If it be so, then by all probable conjectures this match will be a marriage; for if augurism be authentical, or the divines' dooms principles, it cannot be but such a shadow portends the issue of a substance, for to that end did the gods force the conceit of this eclogue, that they might discover the ensuing consent of your affections; so that ere it be long, I hope, in earnest, to dance at your wedding."

315"Tush," quoth Ganymede, "all is not malt that is cast on the kiln. There goes more words to a bargain than one. Love feels no footing in the air, and fancy holds it slippery harbor to nestle in the tongue; the match is not yet so surely made but he may miss of his market. But if Fortune be his friend, I will not be his foe. And so I pray you, gentle mistress Aliena, take it."

316"I take all things well," quoth she, "that is your content, and am glad Rosader is yours; for now I hope your thoughts will be at quiet. Your eye, that ever looked at love, will now lend a glance on your lambs, and then they will prove more buxom and you more blithe, for the eyes of the master feeds the cattle."

317As thus they were in chat, they spied old Corydon where he came plodding to meet them, who told them supper was ready, which news made them speed them home. Where we will leave them to the next morrow, and return to Saladin.

318All this while did poor Saladin, banished from Bordeaux and the court of France by Torismond, wander up and down in the forest of Arden, thinking to get to Lyons and so travel through Germany into Italy; but the forest being full of bypaths, and he unskillful of the country coast, slipped out of the way and chanced up into the desert, not far from the place where Gerismond was and his brother Rosader. Saladin, weary with wandering up and down and hungry with long fasting, finding a little cave by the side of a thicket, eating such fruit as the forest did afford and contenting himself with such drink as nature had provided and thirst made delicate, after his repast he fell in a dead sleep. As thus he lay, a hungry lion came hunting down the edge of the grove for prey, and espying Saladin began to seize upon him. But seeing he lay still without any motion, he left to touch him, for that lions hate to prey on dead carcasses; and yet, desirous to have some food, the lion lay down and watched to see if he would stir. While thus Saladin slept secure, Fortune, that was careful of her champion, began to smile, and brought it so to pass that Rosader, having stricken a deer that but lightly hurt fled through the thicket, came pacing down by the grove with a boar-spear in his hand in great haste. He spied where a man lay asleep, and a lion fast by him. Amazed at this sight, as he stood gazing his nose on the sudden bled, which made him conjecture it was some friend of his. Whereupon drawing more nigh he might easily discern his visage, perceived by his physnomy that it was his brother Saladin, which drave Rosader into a deep passion, as a man perplexed at the sight of so unexpected a chance, marveling what should drive his brother to traverse those secret deserts, without any company, in such distress and forlorn sort. But the present time craved no such doubting ambages, for either he must resolve to hazard his life for his relief or else steal away and leave him to the cruelty of the lion. In which doubt he thus briefly debated with himself:

ROSADER'S MEDITATION

319"Now, Rosader, Fortune, that long hath whipped thee with nettles, means to salve thee with roses, and, having crossed thee with many frowns, now she presents thee with the brightness of her favors. Thou that didst count thyself the most distressed of all men mayest account thyself the most fortunate amongst men, if Fortune can make men happy or sweet Revenge be wrapped in a pleasing content. Thou see'st Saladin, thine enemy, the worker of thy misfortunes and the efficient cause of thine exile, subject to the cruelty of a merciless lion, brought into this misery by the gods that they might seem just in revenging his rigor and thy injuries. See'st thou not how the stars are in a favorable aspect, the planets in some pleasing conjunction, the Fates agreeable to thy thoughts, and the Destinies performers of thy desires, in that Saladin shall die and thou be free of his blood, he receive meed for his amiss and thou erect his tomb with innocent hands? Now, Rosader, shalt thou return unto Bordeaux and enjoy thy possessions by birth and his revenues by inheritance. Now mayest thou triumph in love and hang Fortune's altars with garlands. For when Rosalind hears of thy wealth, it will make her love thee the more willingly; for women's eyes are made of chrysocoll, that is ever unperfect unless tempered with gold, and Jupiter soonest enjoyed Danae, because he came to her in so rich a shower. Thus shall this lion, Rosader, end the life of a miserable man, and from distress raise thee to be most fortunate." And with that, casting his boar-spear on his neck, away he began to trudge.

320But he had not stepped back two or three paces but a new motion stroke him to the very heart, that, resting his boar-spear against his breast, he fell into this passionate humor:

321"Ah, Rosader, wert thou the son of Sir John of Bordeaux, whose virtues exceeded his valor, and yet the most hardiest knight in all Europe? Should the honor of the father shine in the actions of the son, and wilt thou dishonor thy parentage, in forgetting the nature of a gentleman? Did not thy father at his last gasp breathe out this golden principle, 'Brothers' amity is like the drops of balsamum, that salveth the most dangerous sores?' Did he make a large exhort unto concord, and wilt thou show thyself careless? O Rosader, what though Saladin hath wronged thee and made thee live an exile in the forest, shall thy nature be so cruel, or thy nurture so crooked, or thy thoughts so savage, as to suffer so dismal a revenge? What, to let him be devoured by wild beasts? Non sapit qui non sibi sapitis fondly spoken in such bitter extremes. Lose not his life, Rosader, to win a world of treasure, for in having him thou hast a brother, and by hazarding for his life thou gettest a friend and reconcilest an enemy; and more honor shalt thou purchase by pleasuring a foe than revenging a thousand injuries."

322With that his brother began to stir, and the lion to rouse himself, whereupon Rosader suddenly charged him with the boar-spear and wounded the lion very sore at the first stroke. The beast, feeling himself to have a mortal hurt, leapt at Rosader and with his paws gave him a sore pinch on the breast that he had almost fallen; yet as a man most valiant, in whom the sparks of Sir John of Bordeaux remained, he recovered himself, and in short combat slew the lion, who at his death roared so loud that Saladin awaked, and, starting up, was amazed at the sudden sight of so monstrous a beast lying slain by him, and so sweet a gentleman wounded. He presently, as he was of a ripe conceit, began to conjecture that the gentleman had slain him in his defense. Whereupon, as a man in a trance, he stood staring on them both a good while, not knowing his brother, being in that disguise. At last he burst into these terms:

323"Sir, whatsoever thou be, as, full of honor thou must needs be by the view of thy present valor, I perceive thou hast redressed my fortunes by thy courage and saved my life with thine own loss, which ties me to be thine in all humble service. Thanks thou shalt have as thy due, and more thou canst not have, for my ability denies me to perform a deeper debt. But if anyways it please thee to command me, use me as far as the power of a poor gentleman may stretch."

324Rosader, seeing he was unknown to his brother, wondered to hear such courteous words come from his crabbed nature; but glad of such reformed nurture, he made this answer:

325"I am, sir, whatsoever thou art, a forester and ranger of these walks, who, following my deer to the fall, was conducted hither by some assenting fate that I might save thee and disparage myself. For, coming into this place, I saw thee asleep and the lion watching thy awake, that at thy rising he might prey upon thy carcass. At the first sight I conjectured thee a gentleman, for all men's thoughts ought to be favorable in imagination, and I counted it the part of a resolute man to purchase a stranger's relief, though with the loss of his own blood; which I have performed, thou see'st, to mine own prejudice. If, therefore, thou be a man of such worth as I value thee by thy exterior lineaments, make discourse unto me what is the cause of thy present fortunes. For by the furrows in thy face thou seemest to be crossed with her frowns: but whatsoever, or howsoever, let me crave that favor to hear the tragic cause of thy estate."

326Saladin sitting down, and fetching a deep sigh, began thus:

SALADIN'S DISCOURSE TO ROSADER UNKNOWN

327"Although the discourse of my fortunes be the renewing of my sorrows, and the rubbing of the scar will open a fresh wound, yet, that I may not prove ingrateful to so courteous a gentleman, I will rather sit down and sigh out my estate than give any offense by smothering my grief with silence. Know therefore, sir, that I am of Bordeaux, and the son and heir of Sir John of Bordeaux, a man for his virtues and valor so famous that I cannot think but the fame of his honors hath reached farther than the knowledge of his personage. The infortunate son of so fortunate a knight am I; my name, Saladin, who, succeeding my father in possessions but not in qualities, having two brethren committed by my father at his death to my charge, with such golden principles of brotherly concord as might have pierced like the Sirens' melody into any human ear. But I, with Ulysses, became deaf against his philosophical harmony, and made more value of profit than of virtue, esteeming gold sufficient honor and wealth the fittest title for a gentleman's dignity. I set my middle brother to the university to be a scholar, counting it enough if he might pore on a book while I fed upon his revenues; and for the youngest, which was my father's joy, young Rosader"--And with that naming of Rosader, Saladin sat him down and wept.

328"Nay, forward, man," quoth the forester, "tears are the unfittest salve that any man can apply for to cure sorrows, and therefore cease from such feminine follies as should drop out of a woman's eye to deceive, not out of a gentleman's look to discover his thoughts; and forward with thy discourse."

329"Oh, sir," quoth Saladin, "this Rosader, that wrings tears from mine eyes and blood from my heart, was like my father in exterior personage and in inward qualities; for in the prime of his years he aimed all his acts at honor, and coveted rather to die than to brook any injury unworthy a gentleman's credit. I, whom envy had made blind and covetousness masked with the veil of self-love, seeing the palm tree grow straight, thought to suppress it, being a twig; but nature will have her course, the cedar will be tall, the diamond bright, the carbuncle glistering, and virtue will shine though it be never so much obscured. For I kept Rosader as a slave, and used him as one of my servile hinds, until age grew on and a secret insight of my abuse entered into his mind, insomuch that he could not brook it, but coveted to have what his father left him and to live of himself. To be short, sir, I repined at his fortunes, and he counterchecked me, not with ability but valor, until at last, by my friends and aid of such as followed gold more than right or virtue, I banished him from Bordeaux; and he, poor gentleman, lives no man knows where, in some distressed discontent. The gods, not able to suffer such impiety unrevenged, so wrought that the King picked a causeless quarrel against me in hope to have my lands, and so hath exiled me out of France forever. Thus, thus, sir, am I the most miserable of all men, as having a blemish in my thoughts for the wrongs I proffered Rosader and a touch in my state to be thrown from my proper possessions by injustice. Passionate thus with many griefs, in penance of my former follies I go thus pilgrim-like to seek out my brother, that I may reconcile myself to him in all submission, and afterward wend to the Holy Land, to end my years in as many virtues as I have spent my youth in wicked vanities."

330Rosader, hearing the resolution of his brother Saladin, began to compassionate his sorrows, and, not able to smother the sparks of nature with feigned secrecy, he burst into these loving speeches:

331"Then know, Saladin," quoth he, "that thou hast met with Rosader, who grieves as much to see thy distress as thyself to feel the burden of thy misery."

332Saladin, casting up his eye and noting well the physnomy of the forester, knew that it was his brother Rosader, which made him so bash and blush at the first meeting that Rosader was fain to recomfort him, which he did in such sort that he showed how highly he held revenge in scorn. Much ado there was between these two brethren, Saladin in craving pardon and Rosader in forgiving and forgetting all former injuries--the one submiss, the other courteous, Saladin penitent and passionate, Rosader kind and loving--that at length, nature working an union of their thoughts, they earnestly embraced, and fell from matters of unkindness to talk of the country life, which Rosader so highly commended that his brother began to have a desire to taste of that homely content. In this humor Rosader conducted him to Gerismond's lodge and presented his brother to the King, discoursing the whole matter how all had happened betwixt them. The King, looking upon Saladin, found him a man of a most beautiful personage, and saw in his face sufficient sparks of ensuing honors, gave him great entertainment, and, glad of their friendly reconcilement, promised such favor as the poverty of his estate might afford, which Saladin gratefully accepted. And so Gerismond fell to question of Torismond's life. Saladin briefly discoursed unto him his injustice and tyrannies, with such modesty, although he had wronged him, that Gerismond greatly praised the sparing speech of the young gentleman.

333Many questions passed, but at last Gerismond began with a deep sigh to inquire if there were any news of the welfare of Alinda, or his daughter Rosalind?

334"None, sir," quoth Saladin, "for since their departure they were never heard of."

335"Injurious fortune," quoth the King, "that to double the father's misery, wrongest the daughter with misfortunes!"

336And with that, surcharged with sorrows, he went into his cell and left Saladin and Rosader, whom Rosader straight conducted to the sight of Adam Spencer, who, seeing Saladin in that estate, was in a brown study. But when he heard the whole matter, although he grieved for the exile of his master, yet he joyed that banishment had so reformed him that from a lascivious youth he was proved a virtuous gentleman. Looking a longer while, and seeing what familiarity passed between them, and what favors were interchanged with brotherly affection, he said thus:

337"Ay, marry, thus should it be; this was the concord that old Sir John of Bordeaux wished betwixt you. Now fulfill you those precepts he breathed out at his death, and, in observing them, look to live fortunate and die honorable."

338"Well said, Adam Spencer," quoth Rosader. "But hast any victuals in store for us?"

339"A piece of a red deer," quoth he, "and a bottle of wine."

340"'Tis foresters' fare, brother," quoth Rosader; and so they sat down and fell to their cates.

341As soon as they had taken their repast and had well dined, Rosader took his brother Saladin by the hand and showed him the pleasures of the forest, and what content they enjoyed in that mean estate. Thus for two or three days he walked up and down with his brother to show him all the commodities that belonged to his walk.

342In which time he was missed of his Ganymede, who mused greatly, with Aliena, what should become of their forester. Somewhile they thought he had taken some word unkindly and had taken the pet; then they imagined some new love had withdrawn his fancy, or haply that he was sick, or detained by some great business of Gerismond's, or that he had made a reconcilement with his brother and so returned to Bordeaux.

343These conjectures did they cast in their heads, but specially Ganymede, who, having love in her heart, proved restless and half without patience that Rosader wronged her with so long absence; for Love measures every minute, and thinks hours to be days, and days to be months, till they feed their eyes with the sight of their desired object. Thus perplexed lived poor Ganymede, while on a day, sitting with Aliena in a great dump, she cast up her eye and saw where Rosader came pacing towards them with his forest bill on his neck. At that sight her color changed, and she said to Aliena:

344"See, mistress, where our jolly forester comes."

345"And you are not a little glad thereof," quoth Aliena. "Your nose bewrays what porridge you love. The wind cannot be tied within his quarter, the sun shadowed with a veil, oil hidden in water, nor love kept out of a woman's looks. But no more of that. Lupus est in fabula.

346As soon as Rosader was come within the reach of her tongue's end, Aliena began thus:

347"Why, how now, gentle forester, what wind hath kept you from hence, that being so newly married you have no more care of your Rosalind but to absent yourself so many days? Are these the passions you painted out so in your sonnets and roundelays? I see well hot love is soon cold, and that the fancy of men is like to a loose feather that wandereth in the air with the blast of every wind."

348"You are deceived, mistress," quoth Rosader. "'Twas a copy of unkindness that kept me hence, in that, I being married, you carried away the bride; but if I have given any occasion of offense by absenting myself these three days, I humbly sue for pardon, which you must grant of course, in that the fault is so friendly confessed with penance. But to tell you the truth, fair mistress and my good Rosalind, my eldest brother by the injury of Torismond is banished from Bordeaux, and by chance he and I met in the forest."

349And here Rosader discoursed unto them what had happened betwixt them, which reconcilement made them glad, especially Ganymede. But Aliena, hearing of the tyranny of her father, grieved inwardly, and yet smothered all things with such secrecy that the concealing was more sorrow than the conceit; yet that her estate might be hid still, she made fair weather of it, and so let all pass.

350Fortune, that saw how these parties valued not her deity but held her power in scorn, thought to have a bout with them, and brought the matter to pass thus. Certain rascals that lived by prowling in the forest, who for fear of the provost marshal had caves in the groves and thickets to shroud themselves from his trains, hearing of the beauty of this fair shepherdess, Aliena, thought to steal her away and to give her to the King for a present--hoping, because the King was a great lecher, by such a gift to purchase all their pardons; and therefore came to take her and her page away. Thus resolved, while Aliena and Ganymede were in this sad talk, they came rushing in and laid violent hands upon Aliena and her page, which made them cry out to Rosader, who, having the valor of his father stamped in his heart, thought rather to die in defense of his friends than any way be touched with the least blemish of dishonor, and therefore dealt such blows amongst them with his weapon as he did witness well upon their carcasses that he was no coward. But as Ne Hercules quidem contra duos, so Rosader could not resist a multitude, having none to back him, so that he was not only rebated but sore wounded, and Aliena and Ganymede had been quite carried away by these rascals, had not Fortune (that meant to turn her frown into a favor) brought Saladin that way by chance, who, wandering to find out his brother's walk, encountered this crew; and seeing not only a shepherdess and her boy forced but his brother wounded, he heaved up a forest bill he had on his neck, and the first he stroke had never after more need of the physician, redoubling his blows with such courage that the slaves were amazed at his valor. Rosader, espying his brother so fortunately arrived and seeing how valiantly he behaved himself, though sore wounded rushed amongst them, and laid on such load that some of the crew were slain and the rest fled, leaving Aliena and Ganymede in the possession of Rosader and Saladin.

351Aliena, after she had breathed awhile and was come to herself from this fear, looked about her and saw where Ganymede was busy dressing up the wounds of the forester; but she cast her eye upon this courteous champion that had made so hot a rescue, and that with such affection that she began to measure every part of him with favor, and in herself to commend his personage and his virtue, holding him for a resolute man, that durst assail such a troop of unbridled villains. At last, gathering her spirits together, she returned him these thanks:

352"Gentle sir, whatsoever you be that have adventured your flesh to relieve our fortunes, as we hold you valiant so we esteem you courteous, and to have as many hidden virtues as you have manifest resolutions. We poor shepherds have no wealth but our flocks, and therefore can we not make requital with any great treasures; but our recompense is thanks and our rewards to her friends without feigning. For ransom, therefore, of this our rescue, you must content yourself to take such a kind gramercy as a poor shepherdess and her page may give, with promise, in what we may, never to prove ingrateful. For this gentleman that is hurt, young Rosader, he is our good neighbor and familiar acquaintance; we'll pay him with smiles and feed him with love-looks, and, though he be never the fatter at the year's end, yet we'll so hamper him that he shall hold himself satisfied."

353Saladin, hearing this shepherdess speak so wisely, began more narrowly to pry into her perfection and to survey all her lineaments with a curious insight, so long dallying in the flame of her beauty that, to his cost, he found her to be most excellent; for Love, that lurked in all these broils to have a blow or two, seeing the parties at the gaze, encountered them both with such a veny that the stroke pierced to the heart so deep as it could never after be rased out. At last, after he had looked so long till Aliena waxed red, he returned her this answer:

354"Fair shepherdess, if Fortune graced me with such good hap as to do you any favor, I hold myself as contented as if I had gotten a great conquest, for the relief of distressed women is the special point that gentlemen are tied unto by honor. Seeing then my hazard to rescue your harms was rather duty than courtesy, thanks is more than belongs to the requital of such a favor. But, lest I might seem either too coy or too careless of a gentlewoman's proffer, I will take your kind gramercy for a recompense."

355All this while that he spake, Ganymede looked earnestly upon him, and said:

356"Truly, Rosader, this gentleman favors you much in the feature of your face."

357"No marvel," quoth he, "gentle swain, for 'tis my eldest brother Saladin."

358"Your brother?" quoth Aliena, and with that she blushed. "He is the more welcome, and I hold myself the more his debtor; and for that he hath in my behalf done such a piece of service, if it please him to do me that honor, I will call him servant, and he shall call me mistress."

359"Content, sweet mistress," quoth Saladin, "and when I forget to call you so, I will be unmindful of mine own self."

360"Away with these quirks and quiddities of love," quoth Rosader, "and give me some drink, for I am passing thirsty, and then will I home, for my wounds bleed sore, and I will have them dressed."

361Ganymede had tears in her eyes and passions in her heart to see her Rosader so pained, and therefore stepped hastily to the bottle, and, filling out some wine in a mazer, she spiced it with such comfortable drugs as she had about her and gave it him, which did comfort Rosader, that rising, with the help of his brother, he took his leave of them and went to his lodge. Ganymede, as soon as they were out of sight, led his flocks down to a vale, and there under the shadow of a beech tree sat down and began to mourn the misfortunes of her sweet heart.

362And Aliena, as a woman passing discontent, severing herself from her Ganymede, sitting under a limon tree, began to sigh out the passions of her new love and to meditate with herself in this manner:

ALIENA'S MEDITATION

363"Ay me! now I see, and, sorrowing, sigh to see, that Diana's laurels are harbors for Venus's doves; that there trace as well through the lawns wantons as chaste ones; that Callisto, be she never so chary, will cast one amorous eye at courting Jove; that Diana herself will change her shape, but she will honor Love in a shadow; that maidens' eyes, be they as hard as diamonds, yet Cupid hath drugs to make them more pliable than wax. See, Alinda, how Fortune and Love have interleagued themselves to be thy foes, and, to make thee their subject or else an abject, have inveigled thy sight with a most beautiful object! Alate thou didst hold Venus for a giglot, not a goddess, and now thou shalt be forced to sue suppliant to her deity. Cupid was a boy and blind, but, alas, his eye had aim enough to pierce thee to the heart. While I lived in the court I held love in contempt, and in high seats I had small desires. I knew not affection while I lived in dignity, nor could Venus countercheck me as long as my fortune was majesty and my thoughts honor; and shall I now be high in desires when I am made low by destiny? I have heard them say that Love looks not at low cottages, that Venus jets in robes not in rags, that Cupid flies so high that he scorns to touch poverty with his heel. Tush, Alinda, these are but old wives' tales, and neither authentical precepts nor infallible principles; for experience tells thee that peasants have their passions as well as princes, that swains, as they have their labors, so they have their amours, and Love lurks as soon about a sheepcote as a palace.

364"Ah, Alinda, this day, in avoiding a prejudice, thou art fallen into a deeper mischief; being rescued from the robbers, thou art become captive to Saladin. And what then? Women must love, or they must cease to live; and therefore did nature frame them fair, that they might be subjects to fancy. But perhaps Saladin's eye is leveled upon a more seemlier saint. If it be so, bear thy passions with patience; say Love hath wronged thee, that hath not wrung him; and if he be proud in contempt, be thou rich in content, and rather die than discover any desire; for there is nothing more precious in a woman than to conceal love and to die modest. He is the son and heir of Sir John of Bordeaux, a youth comely enough. O Alinda, too comely, else hadst not thou been thus discontent; valiant, and that fettered thine eye; wise, else hadst thou not been now won; but, for all these virtues, banished by thy father, and therefore if he know thy parentage he will hate the fruit for the tree and condemn the young scion for the old stock. Well, howsoever, I must love, and whomsoever, I will; and, whatsoever betide, Aliena will think well of Saladin, suppose he of me as he please."

365And with that, fetching a deep sigh, she rise up and went to Ganymede, who all this while sat in a great dump, fearing the imminent danger of her friend Rosader. But now Aliena began to comfort her, herself being overgrown with sorrows, and to recall her from her melancholy with many pleasant persuasions. Ganymede took all in the best part, and so they went home together after they had folded their flocks, supping with old Corydon, who had provided their cates. He, after supper, to pass away the night while bedtime, began a long discourse how Montanus, the young shepherd that was in love with Phoebe, could by no means obtain any favor at her hands, but, still pained in restless passions, remained a hopeless and perplexed lover.

366"I would I might," quoth Aliena, "once see that Phoebe. Is she so fair that she thinks no shepherd worthy of her beauty? Or so froward that no love nor loyalty will content her? Or so coy that she requires a long time to be wooed? Or so foolish that she forgets that, like a fop she must have a large harvest for a little corn?"

367"I cannot distinguish," quoth Corydon, "of these nice qualities; but one of these days I'll bring Montanus and her down, that you may both see their persons and note their passions; and then where the blame is, there let it rest. But this I am sure," quoth Corydon, "if all maidens were of her mind, the world would grow to a mad pass; for there would be great store of wooing and little wedding, many words and little worship, much folly and no faith."

368At this sad sentence of Corydon, so solemnly brought forth, Aliena smiled, and because, it waxed late, she and her page went to bed, both of them having fleas in their ears to keep them awake--Ganymede for the hurt of her Rosader, and Aliena for the affection she bore to Saladin. In this discontented humor they passed away the time till, falling on sleep, their senses at rest, Love left them to their quiet slumbers, which were not long. For as soon as Phoebus rose from his Aurora and began to mount him in the sky, summoning plough-swains to their handy labor, Aliena arose, and, going to the couch where Ganymede lay, awakened her page and said the morning was far spent, the dew small, and time called them away to their folds.

369"Ah, ah!" quoth Ganymede, "is the wind in that door? Then in faith I perceive that there is no diamond so hard but will yield to the file, no cedar so strong but the wind will shake, nor any mind so chaste but love will change. Well, Aliena, must Saladin be the man, and will it be a match? Trust me, he is fair and valiant, the son of a worthy knight whom, if he imitate in perfection as he represents him in proportion, he is worthy of no less than Aliena. But he is an exile: what then? I hope my mistress respects the virtues, not the wealth, and measures the qualities, not the substance. Those dames that are like Danae, that like love in no shape but in a shower of gold, I wish them husbands with much wealth and little wit, that the want of the one may blemish the abundance of the other. It should, my Aliena, stain the honor of a shepherd's life to set the end of passions upon pelf. Love's eyes looks not so low as gold; there is no fees to be paid in Cupid's courts; and in elder time, as Corydon hath told me, the shepherds' love-gifts were apples and chestnuts, and then their desires were loyal and their thoughts constant. But now

370

Quaerenda pecunia primum, post nummos virtus.

371And the time is grown to that which Horace in his Satires wrote on:

372 omnis enim res
Virtus fama decus divina humanaque pulchris
Divitiis parent: quas qui construxerit ille
Clarus erit, fortis, justus. Sapiensne? Etiam et rex
Et quicquid volet--

373But, Aliena, let it not be so with thee in thy fancies, but respect his faith, and there an end."

374Aliena, hearing Ganymede thus forward to further Saladin in his affections, thought she kissed the child for the nurse's sake and wooed for him that she might please Rosader, made this reply:

375"Why, Ganymede, whereof grows this persuasion? Hast thou seen love in my looks, or are mine eyes grown so amorous, that they discover some new-entertained fancies? If thou measurest my thoughts by my countenance, thou mayest prove as ill a physiognomer as the lapidary that aims at the secret virtues of the topaz by the exterior shadow of the stone. The operation of the agate is not known by the strakes, nor the diamond prized by his brightness, but by his hardness. The carbuncle that shineth most is not ever the most precious, and the apothecaries choose not flowers for their colors, but for their virtues. Women's faces are not always calendars of fancy, nor do their thoughts and their looks ever agree; for when their eyes are fullest of favors, then are they oft most empty of desire, and when they seem to frown at disdain, then are they most forward to affection. If I be melancholy, then, Ganymede, 'tis not a consequence that I am entangled with the perfection of Saladin. But seeing fire cannot be hid in the straw, nor love kept so covert but it will be spied, what should friends conceal fancies? Know, my Ganymede, the beauty and valor, the wit and prowess of Saladin hath fettered Aliena so far as there is no object pleasing to her eyes but the sight of Saladin; and if Love have done me justice to wrap his thoughts in the folds of my face, and that he be as deeply enamored as I am passionate, I tell thee, Ganymede, there shall not be much wooing, for she is already won, and what needs a longer battery?"

376"I am glad," quoth Ganymede, "that it shall be thus proportioned, you to match with Saladin and I with Rosader. Thus have the Destinies favored us with some pleasing aspect, that have made us as private in our loves as familiar in our fortunes."

377With this Ganymede start up, made her ready, and went into the fields with Aliena, where, unfolding their flocks, they sat them down under an olive tree, both of them amorous, and yet diversely affected--Aliena joying in the excellence of Saladin, and Ganymede sorrowing for the wounds of her Rosader, not quiet in thought till she might hear of his health. As thus both of them sat in their dumps, they might espy where Corydon came running towards them, almost out of breath with his haste.

378"What news with you," quoth Aliena, "that you come in such post?"

379"Oh, mistress," quoth Corydon, "you have a long time desired to see Phoebe, the fair shepherdess whom Montanus loves; so now, if you please, you and Ganymede, but to walk with me to yonder thicket, there shall you see Montanus and her sitting by a fountain, he courting with his country ditties, and she as coy as if she held love in disdain."

380The news were so welcome to the two lovers that up they rose and went with Corydon. As soon as they drew nigh the thicket, they might espy where Phoebe sat, the fairest shepherdess in all Arden, and he the frolickest swain in the whole forest--she in a petticoat of scarlet covered with a green mantle, and, to shroud her from the sun, a chaplet of roses, from under which appeared a face full of nature's excellence, and two such eyes as might have amated a greater man than Montanus. At gaze upon the gorgeous nymph sat the shepherd, feeding his eyes with her favors, wooing with such piteous looks and courting with such deep-strained sighs as would have made Diana herself to have been compassionate. At last, fixing his looks on the riches of her face, his head on his hand and his elbow on his knee, he sung this mournful ditty:

MONTANUS' SONNET

381A turtle sat upon a leafless tree,
Mourning her absent fere
With sad and sorry cheer.
About her wondering stood
The citizens of wood,
And, whilst her plumes she rents
And for her love laments,
The stately trees complain them,
The birds with sorrow pain them.
Each one that doth her view
Her pain and sorrows rue;
But were the sorrows known
That me hath overthrown,
Oh, how would Phoebe sigh if she did look on me!

382The lovesick Polypheme, that could not see,
Who on the barren shore
His fortunes doth deplore,
And melteth all in moan
For Galatea gone,
And with his piteous cries
Afflicts both earth and skies,
And to his woe betook
Doth break both pipe and hook,
For whom complains the morn,
For whom the sea-nymphs mourn,
Alas, his pain is naught;
For were my woe but thought,
Oh, how would Phoebe sigh if she did look on me!

383Beyond compare, my pain;
Yet glad am I
If gentle Phoebe deign
To see her Montan die.

384After this, Montanus felt his passions so extreme that he fell into this exclamation against the injustice of Love:

385
Helas, tyran, plein de rigueur,
Modere un peu ta violence.
Que te sert si grande depense?
C'est trop de flammes pour un coeur.
Epargnez en une etincelle,
Puis fais ton effort d'emouvoir,
La fiere qui ne veut point voir,
En quel feu je brule pour elle.
Execute, Amour, ce dessein,
Et rabaisse un peu son audace.
Son coeur ne doit etre de glace,
Bien qu'elle ait de neige le sein.

386Montanus ended his sonnet with such a volley of sighs and such a stream of tears as might have moved any but Phoebe to have granted him favor. But she, measuring all his passions with a coy disdain and triumphing in the poor shepherd's pathetical humors, smiling at his martyrdom as though love had been no malady, scornfully warbled out this sonnet:

PHOEBE'S REPLY TO MONTANUS' PASSION

387Down a down,
Thus Phyllis sung,
By fancy once distressed;
Whoso by foolish love are stung
Are worthily oppressed.
And so sing I. With a down, down, &c.

388When Love was first begot,
And by the mover's will
Did fall to human lot
His solace to fulfill,
Devoid of all deceit,
A chaste and holy fire
Did quicken man's conceit
And women's breast inspire.
The gods that saw the good
That mortals did approve,
With kind and holy mood
Began to talk of Love.

389Down a down,
Thus Phyllis sung
By fancy once distressed, &c.

390But during this accord,
A wonder strange to hear:
Whilst Love in deed and word
Most faithful did appear,
False-semblance came in place,
By Jealousy attended,
And with a double face
Both love and fancy blended;
Which made the gods forsake,
And men from fancy fly,
And maidens scorn a make,
Forsooth, and so will I.

391Down a down,
Thus Phyllis sung,
By fancy once distressed;
Who so by foolish love are stung
Are worthily oppressed.
And so sing I.
With down a down, a down down, a down a.

392Montanus, hearing the cruel resolution of Phoebe, was so overgrown with passions that from amorous ditties he fell flat into these terms:

393"Ah, Phoebe," quoth he, "whereof art thou made, that thou regardest not my malady? Am I so hateful an object that thine eyes condemn me for an abject? Or so base that thy desires cannot stoop so low as to lend me a gracious look? My passions are many, my loves more, my thoughts loyalty, and my fancy faith-- all devoted in humble devoir to the service of Phoebe; and shall I reap no reward for such fealties? The swain's daily labors is quit with the evening's hire; the ploughman's toil is eased with the hope of corn; what the ox sweats out at the plough he fatteneth at the crib; but infortunate Montanus hath no salve for his sorrows, nor any hope of recompense for the hazard of his perplexed passions. If, Phoebe, time may plead the proof of my truth, twice seven winters have I loved fair Phoebe; if constancy be a cause to further my suit, Montanus' thoughts have been sealed in the sweet of Phoebe's excellence as far from change as she from love; if outward passions may discover inward affections, the furrows in my face may decipher the sorrows of my heart and the map of my looks the griefs of my mind. Thou see'st, Phoebe, the tears of despair have made my cheeks full of wrinkles, and my scalding sighs have made the air echo her pity conceived in my plaints. Philomel, hearing my passions, hath left her mournful tunes to listen to the discourse of my miseries. I have portrayed in every tree the beauty of my mistress and the despair of my loves. What is it in the woods cannot witness my woes? And who is it would not pity my plaints? Only Phoebe. And why? Because I am Montanus, and she Phoebe: I a worthless swain, and she the most excellent of all fairies. Beautiful Phoebe! Oh, might I say pitiful, then happy were I, though I tasted but one minute of that good hap. Measure Montanus not by his fortunes but by his loves, and balance not his wealth but his desires, and lend but one gracious look to cure a heap of disquieted cares. If not, ah! if Phoebe cannot love, let a storm of frowns end the discontent of my thoughts, and so let me perish in my desires because they are above my deserts. Only at my death this favor cannot be denied me, that all shall say Montanus died for love of hard-hearted Phoebe."

394At these words she filled her face full of frowns and made him this short and sharp reply:

395"Importunate shepherd, whose loves are lawless because restless, are thy passions so extreme that thou canst not conceal them with patience? Or art thou so folly-sick that thou must needs be fancy-sick, and in thy affection tied to such an exigent as none serves but Phoebe? Well, sir, if your market may be made nowhere else, home again, for your mart is at the fairest. Phoebe is no lettuce for your lips, and her grapes hangs so high that, gaze at them you may, but touch them you cannot. Yet, Montanus, I speak not this in pride, but in disdain; not that I scorn thee, but that I hate love; for I count it as great honor to triumph over fancy as over fortune. Rest thee content, therefore, Montanus. Cease from thy loves and bridle thy looks; quench the sparkles before they grow to a further flame. For in loving me thou shalt live by loss, and what thou utterest in words are all written in the wind. Wert thou, Montanus, as fair as Paris, as hardy as Hector, as constant as Troilus, as loving as Leander, Phoebe could not love, because she cannot love at all. And therefore if thou pursue me with Phoebus, I must fly with Daphne."

396Ganymede, overhearing all these passions of Montanus, could not brook the cruelty of Phoebe, but, starting from behind the bush, said:

397"And if, damsel, you fled from me, I would transform you as Daphne to a bay, and then in contempt trample your branches under my feet."

398Phoebe at this sudden reply was amazed, especially when she saw so fair a swain as Ganymede; blushing therefore, she would have been gone, but that he held her by the hand, and prosecuted his reply thus:

399"What, shepherdess, so fair and so cruel? Disdain beseems not cottages, nor coyness maids; for either they be condemned to be too proud, or too froward. Take heed, fair nymph, that in despising love you be not overreached with love, and, in shaking off all, shape yourself to your own shadow, and so with Narcissus prove passionate and yet unpitied. Oft have I heard, and sometimes have I seen, high disdain turned to hot desires. Because thou art beautiful, be not so coy. As there is nothing more fair, so there is nothing more fading; as momentary as the shadows which grows from a cloudy sun. Such, my fair shepherdess, as disdain in youth desire in age, and then are they hated in the winter that might have been loved in the prime. A wrinkled maid is like to a parched rose, that is cast up in coffers to please the smell, not worn in the hand to content the eye. There is no folly in love to 'had I wist', and therefore be ruled by me. Love while thou art young, lest thou be disdained when thou art old. Beauty nor time cannot be recalled, and, if thou love, like of Montanus; for if his desires are many, so his deserts are great."

400Phoebe all this while gazed on the perfection of Ganymede, as deeply enamored on his perfection as Montanus inveigled with hers; for her eye made survey of his excellent feature, which she found so rare that she thought the ghost of Adonis had been leaped from Elysium in the shape of a swain. When she blushed at her own folly to look so long on a stranger, she mildly made answer to Ganymede thus:

401"I cannot deny, sir, but I have heard of Love, though I never felt love; and have read of such a goddess as Venus, though I never saw any but her picture; and perhaps"--and with that she waxed red and bashful, and withal silent; which Ganymede perceiving, commended in herself the bashfulness of the maid, and desired her to go forward.

402"And perhaps, sir," quoth she, "mine eye hath been more prodigal today than ever before"--and with that she stayed again, as one greatly passionate and perplexed.

403Aliena, seeing the hare through the maze, bade her forward with her prattle, but in vain; for at this abrupt period she broke off, and, with her eyes full of tears and her face covered with a vermilion dye, she sat down and sighed. Whereupon Aliena and Ganymede, seeing the shepherdess in such a strange plight, left Phoebe with her Montanus, wishing her friendly that she would be more pliant to Love, lest in penance Venus joined her to some sharp repentance. Phoebe made no reply, but fetched such a sigh that Echo made relation of her plaint, giving Ganymede such an adieu with a piercing glance that the amorous girl-boy perceived Phoebe was pinched by the heel.

404But leaving Phoebe to the follies of her new fancy, and Montanus to attend upon her, to Saladin, who all this last night could not rest for the remembrance of Aliena, insomuch that he framed a sweet conceited sonnet to content his humor, which he put in his bosom, being requested by his brother Rosader to go to Aliena and Ganymede to signify unto them that his wounds were not dangerous. A more happy message could not happen to Saladin, that, taking his forest bill on his neck, he trudgeth in all haste towards the plains where Aliena's flocks did feed, coming just to the place when they returned from Montanus and Phoebe. Fortune so conducted this jolly forester that he encountered them and Corydon, whom he presently saluted in this manner:

405"Fair shepherdess, and too fair, unless your beauty be tempered with courtesy and the lineaments of the face graced with the lowliness of mind, as many good fortunes to you and your page as yourselves can desire or I imagine. My brother Rosader, in the grief of his green wounds still mindful of his friends, hath sent me to you with a kind salute, to show that he brooks his pains with the more patience, in that he holds the parties precious in whose defense he received the prejudice. The report of your welfare will be a great comfort to his distempered body and distressed thoughts, and therefore he sent me with a strict charge to visit you."

406"And you," quoth Aliena, "are the more welcome in that you are messenger from so kind a gentleman, whose pains we compassionate with as great sorrow as he brooks them with grief; and his wounds breeds in us as many passions as in him extremities, so that what disquiet he feels in body we partake in heart, wishing, if we might, that our mishap might salve his malady. But seeing our wills yields him little ease, our orisons are never idle to the gods for his recovery."

407"I pray, youth," quoth Ganymede with tears in his eyes, "when the surgeon searched him, held he his wounds dangerous?"

408"Dangerous," quoth Saladin, "but, not mortal; and the sooner to be cured, in that his patient is not impatient of any pains; whereupon my brother hopes within these ten days to walk abroad and visit you himself."

409"In the meantime," quoth Ganymede, "say his Rosalind commends her to him and bids him be of good cheer."

410"I know not," quoth Saladin, "who that Rosalind is, but whatsoever she is, her name is never out of his mouth, but amidst the deepest of his passions he useth Rosalind as a charm to appease all sorrows with patience. Insomuch that I conjecture my brother is in love and she some paragon that holds his heart perplexed, whose name he oft records with sighs, sometimes with tears, straight with joy, then with smiles, as if in one person Love had lodged a chaos of confused passions. Wherein I have noted the variable disposition of fancy, that, like the polyp in colors, so it changeth into sundry humors, being, as it should seem, a combat mixed with disquiet and a bitter pleasure wrapped in a sweet prejudice, like to the sinople tree, whose blossoms delight the smell and whose fruit infects the taste."

411"By my faith," quoth Aliena, "sir, you are deep read in love, or grows your insight into affection by experience? Howsoever, you are a great philosopher in Venus's principles, else could you not discover her secret aphorisms. But, sir, our country amours are not like your courtly fancies, nor is our wooing like your suing. For poor shepherds never plain them till love pain them, where the courtier's eyes is full of passions when his heart is most free from affection. They court to discover their eloquence; we woo to ease our sorrows. Every fair face with them must have a new fancy sealed with a forefinger kiss and a far-fetched sigh; we here love one and live to that one so long as life can maintain love, using few ceremonies because we know few subtleties and little eloquence for that we lightly account of flattery. Only faith and troth: that's shepherd's wooing. And, sir, how like you of this?"

412"So," quoth Saladin, "as I could tie myself to such love."

413"What, and look so low as a shepherdess, being the son of Sir John of Bordeaux? Such desires were a disgrace to your honors." And with that, surveying exquisitely every part of him, as uttering all these words in a deep passion, she espied the paper in his bosom; whereupon, growing jealous that it was some amorous sonnet, she suddenly snatched it out of his bosom and asked if it were any secret. She was bashful, and Saladin blushed, which she perceiving, said:

414"Nay, then, sir, if you wax red, my life for yours 'tis some love-matter. I will see your mistress' name, her praises, and your passions." And with that she looked on it, which was written to this effect:

SALADIN'S SONNET

415If it be true that heaven's eternal course
With restless sway and ceaseless turning glides;
If air inconstant be, and swelling source
Turn and returns with many fluent tides;
If earth in winter summer's pride estrange,
And nature seemeth only fair in change;

416If it be true that our immortal spright,
Derived from heavenly pure, in wand'ring still,
In novelty and strangeness doth delight,
And by discoverent power discerneth ill;
And if the body for to work his best
Doth with the seasons change his place of rest:

417Whence comes it that, enforced by furious skies,
I change both place and soil, but not my heart,
Yet salve not in this change my maladies?
Whence grows it that each object works my smart?
Alas, I see my faith procures my miss,
And change in love against my nature is.

418 Et florida pungunt.

419Aliena, having read over his sonnet, began thus pleasantly to descant upon it:

420"I see, Saladin," quoth she, "that as the sun is no sun without his brightness, nor the diamond accounted for precious unless it be hard, so men are not men unless they be in love; and their honors are measured by their amours, not their labors, counting it more commendable for a gentleman to be full of fancy than full of virtue. I had thought

421

Otia si tollas, periere Cupidinis arcus, Contemptaeque jacent et sine luce faces.

422But I see Ovid's axiom is not authentical, for even labor hath her loves, and extremity is no pumice-stone to rase out fancy. Yourself exiled from your wealth, friends, and country by Torismond, sorrows enough to suppress affections, yet amidst the depth of these extremities Love will be lord and show his power to be more predominant than Fortune. But I pray you, sir, if without offense I may crave it, are they some new thoughts or some old desires?"

423Saladin, that now saw opportunity pleasant, thought to strike while the iron was hot, and therefore, taking Aliena by the hand, sat down by her; and Ganymede, to give them leave to their loves, found herself busy about the folds, whilst Saladin fell into this prattle with Aliena:

424"Fair mistress, if I be blunt in discovering my affections, and use little eloquence in leveling out my loves, I appeal for pardon to your own principles that say shepherds use few ceremonies, for that they acquaint themselves with few subtleties. To frame myself, therefore, to your country fashion with much faith and little flattery, know, beautiful shepherdess, that whilst I lived in the court I knew not love's cumber, but I held affection as a toy, not as a malady, using fancy as the Hyperborei do their flowers, which they wear in their bosom all day and cast them in the fire for fuel at night. I liked all because I loved none, and who was most fair on her I fed mine eye--but as charily as the bee, that, as soon as she hath sucked honey from the rose, flies straight to the next marigold. Living thus at mine own list, I wondered at such as were in love, and, when I read their passions, I took them only for poems that flowed from the quickness of the wit, not the sorrows of the heart. But now, fair nymph, since I became a forester, Love hath taught me such a lesson that I must confess his deity and dignity, and say, as there is nothing so precious as beauty, so there is nothing more piercing than fancy. For since first I arrived at this place and mine eye took a curious survey of your excellence, I have been so fettered with your beauty and virtue as, sweet Aliena, Saladin without further circumstance loves Aliena. I could paint out my desires with long ambages; but seeing in many words lies mistrust, and that truth is ever naked, let this suffice for a country wooing: Saladin loves Aliena, and none but Aliena."

425Although these words were most heavenly harmony in the ears of the shepherdess, yet to seem coy at the first courting, and to disdain love howsoever she desired love, she made this reply:

426"Ah, Saladin, though I seem simple, yet I am more subtle than to swallow the hook because it hath a painted bait. As men are wily, so women are wary, especially if they have that wit by others' harms to beware. Do we not know, Saladin, men's tongues are like Mercury's pipe, that can enchant Argus with an hundred eyes, and their words as prejudicial as the charms of Circes, that transform men into monsters. If such Sirens sing, we poor women had need stop our ears, lest in hearing we prove so foolish hardy as to believe them, and so perish in trusting much and suspecting little. Saladin, piscator ictus sapit; he that hath been once poisoned and afterwards fears not to bowse of every potion is worthy to suffer double penance. Give me leave then to mistrust, though I do not condemn. Saladin is now in love with Aliena, he a gentleman of great parentage, she a shepherdess of mean parents; he honorable and she poor? Can love consist of contrarieties? Will the falcon perch with the kestrel, the lion harbor with the wolf? Will Venus join robes and rags together, or can there be a sympathy between a king and a beggar? Then, Saladin, how can I believe thee that Love should unite our thoughts when Fortune hath set such a difference between our degrees? But suppose thou likest Aliena's beauty. Men in their fancy resemble the wasp, which scorns that flower from which she hath fetched her wax; playing like the inhabitants of the island Tenerifa, who, when they have gathered the sweet spices, use the trees for fuel. So men, when they have glutted themselves with the fair of women's faces, hold them for necessary evils, and, wearied with that which they seemed so much to love, cast away fancy as children do their rattles, and, loathing that which so deeply before they liked--especially such as take love in a minute, and have their eyes attractive, like jet, apt to entertain any object--are as ready to let it slip again."

427Saladin, hearing how Aliena harped still upon one string, which was the doubt of men's constancy, he broke off her sharp invective thus:

428"I grant, Aliena," quoth he, "many men have done amiss in proving soon ripe and soon rotten; but particular instances infer no general conclusions, and therefore I hope what others have faulted in shall not prejudice my favors. I will not use sophistry to confirm my love, for that is subtlety, nor long discourses, lest my words might be thought more than my faith; but if this will suffice, that by the honor of a gentleman I love Aliena and woo Aliena not to crop the blossoms and reject the tree but to consummate my faithful desires in the honorable end of marriage."

429At the word "marriage" Aliena stood in a maze what to answer, fearing that if she were too coy, to drive him away with her disdain, and if she were too courteous, to discover the heat of her desires. In a dilemma thus what to do, at last this she said:

430"Saladin, ever since I saw thee, I favored thee. I cannot dissemble my desires, because I see thou dost faithfully manifest thy thoughts, and in liking thee I love thee so far as mine honor holds fancy still in suspense; but if I knew thee as virtuous as thy father, or as well qualified as thy brother Rosader, the doubt should be quickly decided. But for this time to give thee an answer, assure thyself this: I will either marry with Saladin or still live a virgin."

431And with this they strained one another's hand; which Ganymede espying, thinking he had had his mistress long enough at shrift, said:

432"What, a match or no?"

433"A match," quoth Aliena, "or else it were an ill market."

434"I am glad," quoth Ganymede. "I would Rosader were well here to make up a mess."

435"Well remembered," quoth Saladin. "I forgot I left my brother Rosader alone, and therefore, lest being solitary he should increase his sorrows, I will haste me to him. May it please you, then, to command me any service to him, I am ready to be a dutiful messenger."

436"Only at this time commend me to him," quoth Aliena, "and tell him, though we cannot pleasure him, we pray for him."

437"And forget not," quoth Ganymede, "my commendations; but say to him that Rosalind sheds as many tears from her heart as he drops of blood from his wounds for the sorrow of his misfortunes, feathering all her thoughts with disquiet till his welfare procure her content. Say thus, good Saladin, and so farewell."

438He, having his message, gave a courteous adieu to them both, especially to Aliena, and so playing loath to depart, went to his brother. But Aliena, she perplexed and yet joyful, passed away the day pleasantly, still praising the perfection of Saladin, not ceasing to chat of her new love till evening drew on; and then they, folding their sheep, went home to bed. Where we leave them and return to Phoebe.

439Phoebe, fired with the uncouth flame of love, returned to her father's house, so galled with restless passions as now she began to acknowledge that, as there was no flower so fresh but might be parched with the sun, no tree so strong but might be shaken with a storm, so there was no thought so chaste but time, armed with love, could make amorous; for she that held Diana for the goddess of her devotion was now fain to fly to the altar of Venus, as suppliant now with prayers as she was forward before with disdain. As she lay in her bed, she called to mind the several beauties of young Ganymede. First his locks, which, being amber-hued, passeth the wreath that Phoebus puts on to make his front glorious. His brow of ivory was like the seat where love and majesty sits enthroned to enchain fancy; his eyes as bright as the burnishing of the heaven, darting forth frowns with disdain and smiles with favor, lightening such looks as would inflame desire were she wrapped in the circle of the frozen zone. In his cheeks the vermilion teinture of the rose flourished upon natural alabaster; the blush of the morn and Luna's silver show were so lively portrayed that the Trojan that fills out wine to Jupiter was not half so beautiful. His face was full of pleasance, and all the rest of his lineaments proportioned with such excellence as Phoebe was fettered in the sweetness of his feature. The idea of these perfections tumbling in her mind made the poor shepherdess so perplexed as, feeling a pleasure tempered with intolerable pains and yet a disquiet mixed with a content, she rather wished to die than to live in this amorous anguish. But wishing is little worth in such extremes, and therefore was she forced to pine in her malady without any salve for her sorrows. Reveal it she durst not, as daring in such matters to make none her secretary; and to conceal it, why, it doubled her grief; for, as fire suppressed grows to the greater flame and the current stopped to the more violent stream, so love smothered wrings the heart with the deeper passions.

440Perplexed thus with sundry agonies, her food began to fail, and the disquiet of her mind began to work a distemperature of her body, that, to be short, Phoebe fell extreme sick, and so sick as there was almost left no recovery of health. Her father, seeing his fair Phoebe thus distressed, sent for his friends, who sought by medicine to cure and by counsel to pacify, but all in vain; for although her body was feeble through long fasting, yet she did magis aegrotare animo quam corpore, which her friends perceived and sorrowed at, but salve it they could not.

441The news of her sickness was bruited abroad through all the forest, which no sooner came to Montanus' ear but he, like a madman, came to visit Phoebe. Where, sitting by her bedside, he began his exordium with so many tears and sighs that she, perceiving the extremity of his sorrows, began now as a lover to pity them, although Ganymede held her from redressing them. Montanus craved to know the cause of her sickness, tempered with secret plaints, but she answered him, as the rest, with silence, having still the form of Ganymede in her mind, and conjecturing how she might reveal her loves. To utter it in words she found herself too bashful; to discourse by any friend she would not trust any in her amours; to remain thus perplexed still and conceal all, it was a double death. Whereupon, for her last refuge, she resolved to write unto Ganymede, and therefore desired Montanus to absent himself a while, but not to depart, for she would see if she could steal a nap. He was no sooner gone out of the chamber but, reaching to her standish, she took pen and paper and wrote a letter to this effect:

PHOEBE TO GANYMEDE WISHETH WHAT SHE WANTS HERSELF

442"Fair shepherd--and therefore is Phoebe infortunate, because thou art so fair--although hitherto mine eyes were adamants to resist love, yet I no sooner saw thy face but they became amorous to entertain love; more devoted to fancy than before they were repugnant to affection, addicted to the one by nature and drawn to the other by beauty; which, being rare and made the more excellent by many virtues, hath so snared the freedom of Phoebe as she rests at thy mercy, either to be made the most fortunate of all maidens or the most miserable of all women. Measure not, Ganymede, my loves by my wealth nor my desires by my degrees, but think my thoughts as full of faith as thy face of amiable favors. Then, as thou knowest thyself most beautiful, suppose me most constant. If thou deemest me hardhearted because I hated Montanus, think I was forced to it by fate; if thou sayest I am kindhearted because so lightly I love thee at the first look, think I was driven to it by destiny, whose influence, as it is mighty, so is it not to be resisted. If my fortunes were anything but infortunate love, I would strive with fortune: but he that wrests against the will of Venus seeks to quench fire with oil and to thrust out one thorn by putting in another. If then, Ganymede, love enters at the eye, harbors in the heart, and will neither be driven out with physic nor reason, pity me, as one whose malady hath no salve but from thy sweet self, whose grief hath no ease but through thy grant; and think I am a virgin who is deeply wronged when I am forced to woo, and conjecture love to be strong, that is more forcible than nature. Thus distressed unless by thee eased, I expect either to live fortunate by thy favor or die miserable by thy denial. Living in hope. Farewell.

She that must be thine,
or not be at all.
Phoebe."

443To this letter she annexed this sonnet:

SONNETTO

444My boat doth pass the straits
of seas incensed with fire,
Filled with forgetfulness;
amidst the winter's night
A blind and careless boy,
brought up by fond desire,
Doth guide me in the sea
of sorrow and despite.

445For every oar he sets
a rank of foolish thoughts,
And cuts, instead of wave,
a hope without distress.
The winds of my deep sighs,
that thunder still for naughts,
Have split my sails with fear,
with care and heaviness.

446A mighty storm of tears,
a black and hideous cloud,
A thousand fierce disdains
do slack the halyards oft;
Till ignorance do pull,
and error hale the shrouds,
No star for safety shines,
no Phoebe from aloft.

447Time hath subduèd art,
and joy is slave to woe.
Alas, Love's guide, be kind!
what, shall I perish so?

448This letter and the sonnet being ended, she could find no fit messenger to send it by, and therefore she called in Montanus and entreated him to carry it to Ganymede. Although poor Montanus saw day at a little hole, and did perceive what passion pinched her, yet, that he might seem dutiful to his mistress in all service, he dissembled the matter and became a willing messenger of his own martyrdom. And so, taking the letter, went the next morn very early to the plains where Aliena fed her flocks, and there he found Ganymede, sitting under a pomegranate tree, sorrowing for the hard fortunes of her Rosader. Montanus saluted him, and, according to his charge, delivered Ganymede the letters, which, he said, came from Phoebe. At this the wanton blushed, as being abashed to think what news should come from an unknown shepherdess; but, taking the letters, unripped the seals and read over the discourse of Phoebe's fancies. When she had read and over-read them, Ganymede began to smile, and, looking on Montanus, fell into a great laughter, and with that called Aliena, to whom she showed the writings. Who, having perused them, conceited them very pleasantly, and smiled to see how Love had yoked her who before would not stoop to the lure--Aliena whispering Ganymede in the ear and saying, "Knew Phoebe what want there were in thee to perform her will, and how unfit thy kind is to be kind to her, she would be more wise and less enamored; but, leaving that, I pray thee let us sport with this swain." At that word Ganymede, turning to Montanus, began to glance at him thus:

449"I pray thee, tell me, shepherd, by those sweet thoughts and pleasing sighs that grow from my mistress' favors, art thou in love with Phoebe?"

450"Oh, my youth," quoth Montanus, "were Phoebe so far in love with me, my flocks would be more fat and their master more quiet; for through the sorrows of my discontent grows the leanness of my sheep."

451"Alas, poor swain," quoth Ganymede, "are thy passions so extreme or thy fancy so resolute that no reason will blemish the pride of thy affection and rase out that which thou strivest for without hope?"

452"Nothing can make me forget Phoebe, while Montanus forget himself; for those characters which true love hath stamped, neither the envy of time nor fortune can wipe away."

453"Why, but Montanus," quoth Ganymede, "enter with a deep insight into the despair of thy fancies, and thou shalt see the depth of thine own follies; for, poor man, thy progress in love is a regress to loss, swimming against the stream with the crab and flying with Apis Indica against wind and weather. Thou seekest with Phoebus to win Daphne, and she flies faster than thou canst follow; thy desires soar with the hobby, but her disdain reacheth higher than thou canst make wing. I tell thee, Montanus, in courting Phoebe thou barkest with the wolves of Syria against the moon and rovest at such a mark, with thy thoughts, as is beyond the pitch of thy bow, praying to Love when Love is pitiless and thy malady remediless. For proof, Montanus, read these letters, wherein thou shalt see thy great follies and little hope."

454With that Montanus took them and perused them, but with such sorrow in his looks as they betrayed a source of confused passions in his heart. At every line his color changed, and every sentence was ended with a period of sighs.

455At last, noting Phoebe's extreme desire toward Ganymede and her disdain towards him, giving Ganymede the letter, the shepherd stood as though he had neither won nor lost. Which Ganymede perceiving wakened him out of his dream thus:

456"Now, Montanus, dost thou see thou vowest great service and obtainest but little reward; but in lieu of thy loyalty, she maketh thee, as Bellerophon, carry thine own bane. Then drink not willingly of that potion wherein thou knowest is poison; creep not to her that cares not for thee. What, Montanus, there are many as fair as Phoebe, but most of all more courteous than Phoebe. I tell thee, shepherd, favor is love's fuel; then since thou canst not get that, let the flame vanish into smoke, and rather sorrow for a while than repent thee for ever."

457"I tell thee, Ganymede," quoth Montanus, "as they which are stung with the scorpion cannot be recovered but by the scorpion, nor he that was wounded with Achilles' lance be cured but with the same truncheon, so Apollo was fain to cry out that love was only eased with love, and fancy healed by no medicine but favor. Phoebus had herbs to heal all hurts but this passion; Circes had charms for all chances but for affection, and Mercury subtle reasons to refel all griefs but love. Persuasions are bootless, reason lends no remedy, counsel no comfort, to such whom fancy hath made resolute; and therefore, though Phoebe loves Ganymede, yet Montanus must honor none but Phoebe."

458"Then," quoth Ganymede, "may I rightly term thee a despairing lover, that livest without joy and lovest without hope. But what shall I do, Montanus, to pleasure thee? Shall I despise Phoebe, as she disdains thee?"

459"Oh," quoth Montanus, "that were to renew my griefs and double my sorrows, for the sight of her discontent were the censure of my death. Alas, Ganymede! Though I perish in my thoughts, let not her die in her desires. Of all passions, love is most impatient. Then let not so fair a creature as Phoebe sink under the burden of so deep a distress. Being lovesick, she is proved heartsick, and all for the beauty of Ganymede. Thy proportion hath entangled her affection, and she is snared in the beauty of thy excellence. Then, sith she loves thee so dear, mislike not her deadly. Be thou paramour to such a paragon. She hath beauty to content thine eye, and flocks to enrich thy store. Thou canst not wish for more than thou shalt win by her, for she is beautiful, virtuous, and wealthy, three deep persuasions to make love frolic."

460Aliena, seeing Montanus cut it against the hair and plead that Ganymede ought to love Phoebe when his only life was the love of Phoebe, answered him thus:

461"Why, Montanus, dost thou further this motion, seeing if Ganymede marry Phoebe thy market is clean marred?"

462"Ah, mistress," quoth he, "so hath love taught me to honor Phoebe that I would prejudice my life to pleasure her and die in despair rather than she should perish for want. It shall suffice me to see her contented and to feed mine eye on her favor. If she marry, though it be my martyrdom, yet if she be pleased I will brook it with patience and triumph in mine own stars to see her desires satisfied. Therefore, if Ganymede be as courteous as he is beautiful, let him show his virtues in redressing Phoebe's miseries."

463And this Montanus pronounced with such an assured countenance that it amazed both Aliena and Ganymede to see the resolution of his loves, so that they pitied his passions and commended his patience, devising how they might by any subtlety get Montanus the favor of Phoebe. Straight (as women's heads are full of wiles) Ganymede had a fetch to force Phoebe to fancy the shepherd, malgrado the resolution of her mind. He prosecuted his policy thus:

464"Montanus," quoth he, "seeing Phoebe is so forlorn, lest I might be counted unkind in not salving so fair a creature, I will go with thee to Phoebe, and there hear herself in word utter that which she hath discoursed with her pen; and then, as Love wills me, I will set down my censure. I will home by our house and send Corydon to accompany Aliena."

465Montanus seemed glad of this determination, and away they go towards the house of Phoebe.

466When they drew nigh to the cottage, Montanus ran before and went in and told Phoebe that Ganymede was at the door. This word "Ganymede," sounding in the ears of Phoebe, drave her into such an ecstasy for joy that, rising up in her bed, she was half revived, and her wan color began to wax red. And with that came Ganymede in, who saluted Phoebe with such a courteous look that it was half a salve to her sorrows. Sitting him down by her bedside, he questioned about her disease, and where the pain chiefly held her? Phoebe looking as lovely as Venus in her night-gear, tainting her face with as ruddy a blush as Clytia did when she bewrayed her loves to Phoebus, taking Ganymede by the hand began thus:

467"Fair shepherd, if Love were not more strong than Nature, or fancy the sharpest extreme, my immodesty were the more and my virtues the less; for Nature hath framed women's eyes bashful, their hearts full of fear, and their tongues full of silence. But Love, that imperious Love, where his power is predominant then he perverts all and wresteth the wealth of Nature to his own will. An instance in myself, fair Ganymede, for such a fire hath he kindled in my thoughts that, to find ease for the flame, I was forced to pass the bounds of modesty and seek a salve at thy hands for my harms. Blame me not if I be overbold, for it is thy beauty, and if I be too forward it is fancy and the deep insight into thy virtues that makes me thus fond. For let me say in a word what may be contained in a volume: Phoebe loves Ganymede."

468At this she held down her head and wept, and Ganymede rose as one that would suffer no fish to hang on his fingers, made this reply:

469"Water not thy plants, Phoebe, for I do pity thy plaints, nor seek not to discover thy loves in tears, for I conjecture thy truth by thy passions. Sorrow is no salve for loves, nor sighs no remedy for affection. Therefore frolic, Phoebe; for if Ganymede can cure thee, doubt not of recovery. Yet this let me say without offense, that it grieves me to thwart Montanus in his fancies, seeing his desires have been so resolute and his thoughts so loyal. But thou allegest that thou art forced from him by fate. So I tell thee, Phoebe, either some star or else some destiny fits my mind rather with Adonis to die in chase than be counted a wanton in Venus's knee. Although I pity thy martyrdom, yet I can grant no marriage; for though I held thee fair, yet mine eye is not fettered. Love grows not like the herb spattana to his perfection in one night, but creeps with the snail, and yet at last attains to the top. Festina lente, especially in love, for momentary fancies are ofttimes the fruits of follies. If, Phoebe, I should like thee as the Hyperborei do their dates, which banquet with them in the morning and throw them away at night, my folly should be great and thy repentance more. Therefore I will have time to turn my thoughts, and my loves shall grow up as the watercresses, slowly but with a deep root. Thus, Phoebe, thou mayest see I disdain not, though I desire not, remaining indifferent till time and love makes me resolute. Therefore, Phoebe, seek not to suppress affection, and with the love of Montanus quench the remembrance of Ganymede; strive thou to hate me as I seek to like of thee, and ever have the duties of Montanus in thy mind, for I promise thee thou mayest have one more wealthy but not more loyal."

470These words were corrosives to the perplexed Phoebe, but, sobbing out sighs and straining out tears, she blubbered out these words:

471"And shall I then have no salve of Ganymede but suspense, no hope but a doubtful hazard, no comfort but be posted off to the will of time? Justly have the gods balanced my fortunes, who, being cruel to Montanus, found Ganymede as unkind to myself; so in forcing him perish for love, I shall die myself with overmuch love."

472"I am glad," quoth Ganymede, "you look into your own faults and see where your shoe wrings you, measuring now the pains of Montanus by your own passions."

473"Truth," quoth Phoebe, "and so deeply I repent me of my frowardness toward the shepherd that, could I cease to love Ganymede, I would resolve to like Montanus."

474"What, if I can with reason persuade Phoebe to mislike of Ganymede, will she then favor Montanus?"

475"When reason," quoth she, "doth quench that love I owe to thee, then will I fancy him--conditionally, that if my love can be suppressed with no reason, as being without reason Ganymede will only wed himself to Phoebe."

476"I grant it, fair shepherdess," quoth he; "and to feed thee with the sweetness of hope, this resolve on: I will never marry myself to woman but unto thyself."

477And with that Ganymede gave Phoebe a fruitless kiss and such words of comfort that, before Ganymede departed, she arose out of her bed and made him and Montanus such cheer as could be found in such a country cottage--Ganymede in the midst of their banquet rehearsing the promises of either in Montanus' favor, which highly pleased the shepherd. Thus, all three content and soothed up in hope, Ganymede took his leave of his Phoebe and departed, leaving her a contented woman and Montanus highly pleased. But poor Ganymede, who had her thoughts on her Rosader, when she called to remembrance his wounds, filled her eyes full of tears and her heart full of sorrows, plodded to find Aliena at the folds, thinking with her presence to drive away her passions. As she came on the plains she might espy where Rosader and Saladin sat with Aliena under the shade, which sight was a salve to her grief and such a cordial unto her heart that she tripped alongst the lawns full of joy.

478At last Corydon, who was with them, spied Ganymede, and with that the clown rose, and, running to meet him, cried:

479"O sirrah, a match, a match! Our mistress shall be married on Sunday."

480Thus the poor peasant frolicked it before Ganymede, who, coming to the crew, saluted them all, and especially Rosader, saying that he was glad to see him so well recovered of his wounds.

481"I had not gone abroad so soon," quoth Rosader, "but that I am bidden to a marriage, which, on Sunday next, must be solemnized between my brother and Aliena. I see well where love leads delay is loathsome, and that small wooing serves where both the parties are willing."

482"Truth," quoth Ganymede; "but a happy day should it be if Rosader that day might be married to Rosalind."

483"Ah, good Ganymede," quoth he, "by naming Rosalind, renew not my sorrows, for the thought of her perfections is the thrall of my miseries."

484"Tush, be of good cheer, man," quoth Ganymede. "I have a friend that is deeply experienced in negromancy and magic. What art can do shall be acted for thine advantage. I will cause him to bring in Rosalind, if either France or any bordering nation harbor her; and upon that take the faith of a young shepherd."

485Aliena smiled to see how Rosader frowned, thinking that Ganymede had jested with him. But breaking off from those matters, the page, somewhat pleasant, began to discourse unto them what had passed between him and Phoebe, which, as they laughed, so they wondered at, all confessing that there is none so chaste but love will change. Thus they passed away the day in chat, and when the sun began to set they took their leaves and departed; Aliena providing for their marriage day such solemn cheer and handsome robes as fitted their country estate, and yet somewhat the better in that Rosader had promised to bring Gerismond thither as a guest. Ganymede, who then meant to discover herself before her father, had made her a gown of green and a kirtle of the finest sendal in such sort that she seemed some heavenly nymph harbored in country attire.

486Saladin was not behind in care to set out the nuptials, nor Rosader unmindful to bid guests, who invited Gerismond and all his followers to the feast, who willingly granted, so that there was nothing but the day wanting to this marriage.

487In the meanwhile, Phoebe, being a bidden guest, made herself as gorgeous as might be to please the eye of Ganymede; and Montanus suited himself with the cost of many of his flocks to be gallant against the day, for then was Ganymede to give Phoebe an answer of her loves and Montanus either to hear the doom of his misery or the censure of his happiness. But while this gear was a-brewing, Phoebe passed not one day without visiting her Ganymede, so far was she wrapped in the beauties of this lovely swain. Much prattle they had, and the discourse of many passions, Phoebe wishing for the day, as she thought, of her welfare, and Ganymede smiling to think what unexpected events would fall out at the wedding. In these humors the week went away, that at last Sunday came.

488No sooner did Phoebus' henchman appear in the sky to give warning that his master's horses should be trapped in his glorious coach, but Corydon, in his holiday suit, marvelous seemly in a russet jacket welted with the same and faced covered. with red worsted, having a pair of blue camlet sleeves, bound at the wrists with four yellow laces, closed afore very richly with a dozen of pewter buttons; his hose was of grey kersey, with a large slop barred overthwart the pocket-holes with three fair guards, stitched of either side with red thread; his stock was of the own, sewed close to his breech, and for to beautify his hose he had trussed himself round with a dozen of new-threaden points of medley color. His bonnet was green, whereon stood a copper brooch with the picture of Saint Denis; and to want nothing that might make him amorous in his old days, he had a fair shirt-band of fine lockram, whipped over with Coventry blue of no small cost. Thus attired, Corydon bestirred himself as chief stickler in these actions, and had strowed all the house with flowers, that it seemed rather some of Flora's choice bowers than any country cottage.

489Thither repaired Phoebe with all the maids of the forest, to set out the bride in the most seemliest sort that might be; but howsoever she helped to prank out Aliena, yet her eye was still on Ganymede, who was so neat in a suit of grey that he seemed Endymion when he won Luna with his looks, or Paris when he played the swain to get the beauty of the nymph Oenone. Ganymede, like a pretty page, waited on his mistress Aliena, and overlooked that all was in a readiness against the bridegroom should come; who, attired in a forester's suit, came accompanied with Gerismond and his brother Rosader early in the morning; where arrived, they were solemnly entertained by Aliena and the rest of the country swains, Gerismond very highly commending the fortunate choice of Saladin in that he had chosen a shepherdess whose virtues appeared in her outward beauties, being no less fair than seeming modest.

490Ganymede, coming in and seeing her father, began to blush, nature working affects by her secret effects. Scarce could she abstain from tears to see her father in so low fortunes--he that was wont to sit in his royal palace, attended on by twelve noble peers, now to be contented with a simple cottage and a troop of reveling woodmen for his train. The consideration of his fall made Ganymede full of sorrows; yet that she might triumph over fortune with patience and not any way dash that merry day with her dumps, she smothered her melancholy with a shadow of mirth and very reverently welcomed the King, not according to his former degree but to his present estate, with such diligence as Gerismond began to commend the page for his exquisite person and excellent qualities.

491As thus the King with his foresters frolicked it among the shepherds, Corydon came in with a fair mazer full of cider and presented it to Gerismond with such a clownish salute that he began to smile and took it of the old shepherd very kindly, drinking to Aliena and the rest of her fair maids, amongst whom Phoebe was the foremost. Aliena pledged the King and drunk to Rosader; so the carouse went round from him to Phoebe, etc. As they were thus drinking and ready to go to church, came in Montanus, appareled all in tawny, to signify that he was forsaken; on his head he wore a garland of willow, his bottle hanged by his side, whereon was painted despair, and on his sheephook hung two sonnets as labels of his loves and fortunes.

492Thus attired came Montanus in, with his face as full of grief as his heart was of sorrows, showing in his countenance the map of extremities. As soon as the shepherds saw him, they did him all the honor they could, as being the flower of all the swains in Arden; for a bonnier boy was there not seen since that wanton wag of Troy that kept sheep in Ida. He, seeing the King and guessing it to be Gerismond, did him all the reverence his country courtesy could afford, insomuch that the King, wondering at his attire, began to question what he was. Montanus, overhearing him, made this reply:

493"I am, sir," quoth he, "Love's swain, as full of inward discontents as I seem fraught with outward follies. Mine eyes like bees delight in sweet flowers, but, sucking their full on the fair of beauty, they carry home to the hive of my heart far more gall than honey, and for one drop of pure dew a ton full of deadly aconitum. I hunt with the fly to pursue the eagle, that, flying too nigh the sun, I perish with the sun; my thoughts are above my reach and my desires more than my fortunes, yet neither greater than my loves. But, daring with Phaethon, I fall with Icarus, and, seeking to pass the mean, I die for being so mean. My night-sleeps are waking slumbers, as full of sorrows as they be far from rest, and my days' labors are fruitless amours, staring at a star and stumbling at a straw, leaving reason to follow after repentance. Yet every passion is a pleasure though it pinch, because love hides his wormseed in figs, his poisons in sweet potions, and shadows prejudice with the mask of pleasure. The wisest counselors are my deep discontents, and I hate that which should salve my harm, like the patient which, stung with the Tarantula, loathes music, and yet the disease incurable but by melody. Thus, sir, restless I hold myself remediless, as loving without either reward or regard, and yet loving because there is none worthy to be loved but the mistress of my thoughts. And that I am as full of passions as I have discoursed in my plaints, sir, if you please, see my sonnets, and by them censure of my sorrows."

494These words of Montanus brought the King into a great wonder, amazed as much at his wit as his attire, insomuch that he took the papers off his hook and read them to this effect:

MONTANUS' FIRST SONNET

495Alas! How wander I amidst these woods
Whereas no day-bright shine doth find access,
But where the melancholy fleeting floods,
Dark as the night, my night of woes express.
Disarmed of reason, spoiled of nature's goods,
Without redress to salve my heaviness
I walk, whilst thought, too cruel to my harms,
With endless grief my heedless judgment charms.

496My silent tongue assailed by secret fear,
My traitorous eyes imprisoned in their joy,
My fatal peace devoured in feignèd cheer,
My heart enforced to harbor in annoy,
My reason robbed of power by yielding ear,
My fond opinions slave to every toy--
O Love! thou guide in my uncertain way,
Woe to thy bow, thy fire, the cause of my decay!

497 Et florida pungunt.

498When the King had read this sonnet, he highly commended the device of the shepherd, that could so wittily wrap his passions in a shadow and so covertly conceal that which bred his chiefest discontent, affirming that as the least shrubs have their tops, the smallest hairs their shadows, so the meanest swains had their fancies and in their kind were as chary of love as a King. Whetted on with this device, he took the second and read it. The effects were these:

MONTANUS' SECOND SONNET

499When the Dog,
Full of rage,
With his ireful eyes
Frowns amidst the skies,
The shepherd, to assuage
The fury of the heat,
Himself doth safely seat
By a fount
Full of fair,
Where a gentle breath,
Mounting from beneath,
Tempereth the air.
There his flocks
Drink their fill,
And with ease repose,
Whilst sweet sleep doth close
Eyes from toilsome ill.

500But I burn
Without rest.
No defensive power
Shields from Phoebe's lour;
Sorrow is my best.

501Gentle Love,
Lour no more!
If thou wilt invade
In the secret shade,
Labor not so sore.

502I myself
And my flocks,
They their love to please,
I myself to ease,
Both leave the shady oaks,
Content to burn in fire,
Sith Love doth so desire.

503 Et florida pungunt.

504Gerismond, seeing the pithy vein of those sonnets, began to make further inquiry what he was. Whereupon Rosader discoursed unto him the love of Montanus to Phoebe, his great loyalty and her deep cruelty, and how in revenge the gods had made the curious nymph amorous of young Ganymede. Upon this discourse the King was desirous to see Phoebe, who, being brought before Gerismond by Rosader, shadowed the beauty of her face with such a vermilion teinture, that the King's eyes began to dazzle at the purity of her excellence. After Gerismond had fed his looks awhile upon her fair, he questioned with her why she rewarded Montanus' love with so little regard, seeing his deserts were many and his passions extreme. Phoebe, to make reply to the King's demand, answered thus:

505"Love, sir, is chary in his laws, and whatsoever he sets down for justice, be it never so unjust, the sentence cannot be reversed. Women's fancies lend favors not ever by desert, but as they are enforced by their desires; for fancy is tied to the wings of fate, and what the stars decree stands for an infallible doom. I know Montanus is wise, and women's ears are greatly delighted with wit, as hardly escaping the charm of a pleasant tongue, as Ulysses the melody of the Sirens. Montanus is beautiful, and women's eyes are snared in the excellence of objects, as desirous to feed their looks with a fair face as the bee to suck on a sweet flower. Montanus is wealthy, and an ounce of give me persuades a woman more than a pound of hear me. Danae was won with a golden shower, when she could not be gotten with all the entreaties of Jupiter. I tell you, sir, the string of a woman's heart reacheth to the pulse of her hand, and let a man rub that with gold, and 't is hard but she will prove his heart's gold. Montanus is young, a great clause in fancy's court; Montanus is virtuous, the richest argument that love yields; and yet, knowing all these perfections, I praise them and wonder at them, loving the qualities but not affecting the person, because the destinies have set down a contrary censure. Yet Venus, to add revenge, hath given me wine of the same grape, a sip of the same sauce, and, firing me with the like passion, hath crossed me with as ill a penance; for I am in love with a shepherd's swain, as coy to me as I am cruel to Montanus, as peremptory in disdain as I was perverse in desire; and that is," quoth she, "Aliena's page, young Ganymede."

506Gerismond, desirous to prosecute the end of these passions, called in Ganymede, who, knowing the case, came in graced with such a blush as beautified the crystal of his face with a ruddy brightness. The King, noting well the physnomy of Ganymede, began by his favors to call to mind the face of his Rosalind, and with that fetched a deep sigh. Rosader, that was passing familiar with Gerismond, demanded of him why he sighed so sore.

507"Because, Rosader," quoth he, "the favor of Ganymede puts me in mind of Rosalind."

508At this word Rosader sighed so deeply as though his heart would have burst.

509"And what's the matter," quoth Gerismond, "that you quite me with such a sigh?"

510"Pardon me, sir," quoth Rosader, "because I love none but Rosalind."

511"And upon that condition," quoth Gerismond, "that Rosalind were here, I would this day make up a marriage betwixt her and thee."

512At this Aliena turned her head and smiled upon Ganymede, and she could scarce keep countenance. Yet she salved all with secrecy; and Gerismond, to drive away his dumps, questioned with Ganymede, what the reason was he regarded not Phoebe's love, seeing she was as fair as the wanton that brought Troy to ruin. Ganymede mildly answered:

513"If I should affect the fair Phoebe, I should offer poor Montanus great wrong to win that from him in a moment that he hath labored for so many months. Yet have I promised to the beautiful shepherdess to wed myself never to woman except unto her; but with this promise, that if I can by reason suppress Phoebe's love towards me, she shall like of none but of Montanus."

514"To that," quoth Phoebe, "I stand; for my love is so far beyond reason as will admit no persuasion of reason."

515"For justice," quoth he, "I appeal to Gerismond."

516"And to his censure will I stand," quoth Phoebe.

517"And in your victory," quoth Montanus, "stands the hazard of my fortunes; for if Ganymede go away with conquest, Montanus is in conceit love's monarch; if Phoebe win, then am I in effect most miserable."

518"We will see this controversy," quoth Gerismond, "and then we will to church. Therefore, Ganymede, let us hear your argument."

519"Nay, pardon my absence a while," quoth she, "and you shall see one in store."

520In went Ganymede and dressed herself in woman's attire, having on a gown of green, with kirtle of rich sendal so quaint that she seemed Diana triumphing in the forest; upon her head she wore a chaplet of roses, which gave her such a grace that she looked like Flora perked in the pride of all her flowers. Thus attired came Rosalind in and presented herself at her father's feet, with her eyes full of tears, craving his blessing and discoursing unto him all her fortunes, how she was banished by Torismond, and how ever since she lived in that country disguised.

521Gerismond, seeing his daughter, rose from his seat and fell upon her neck, uttering the passions of his joy in watery plaints, driven into such an ecstasy of content that he could not utter one word. At this sight, if Rosader was both amazed and joyful, I refer myself to the judgment of such as have experience in love, seeing his Rosalind before his face whom so long and deeply he had affected. At last Gerismond recovered his spirits, and in most fatherly terms entertained his daughter Rosalind, after many questions demanding of her what had passed between her and Rosader?

522"So much, sir," quoth she, "as there wants nothing but your grace to make up the marriage."

523"Why, then," quoth Gerismond, "Rosader, take her. She is thine, and let this day solemnize both thy brother's and thy nuptials." Rosader, beyond measure content, humbly thanked the King and embraced his Rosalind, who, turning to Phoebe, demanded if she had shown sufficient reason to suppress the force of her loves.

524"Yea," quoth Phoebe, "and so great a persuasive that, please it you, madam, and Aliena to give us leave, Montanus and I will make this day the third couple in marriage."

525She had no sooner spake this word but Montanus threw away his garland of willow, his bottle, where was painted despair, and cast his sonnets in the fire, showing himself as frolic as Paris when he handseled his love with Helena. At this Gerismond and the rest smiled and concluded that Montanus and Phoebe should keep their wedding with the two brethren. Aliena, seeing Saladin stand in a dump, to wake him from his dream began thus:

526"Why, how now, my Saladin, all amort? What, melancholy, man, at the day of marriage? Perchance thou art sorrowful to think on thy brother's high fortunes and thine own base desires to choose so mean a shepherdess. Cheer up thy heart, man, for this day thou shalt be married to the daughter of a king. For know, Saladin, I am not Aliena, but Alinda, the daughter of thy mortal enemy Torismond."

527At this all the company was amazed, especially Gerismond, who, rising up, took Alinda in his arms, and said to Rosalind: "Is this that fair Alinda, famous for so many virtues, that forsook her father's court to live with thee exiled in the country?"

528"The same," quoth Rosalind.

529"Then," quoth Gerismond, turning to Saladin, "jolly forester, be frolic, for thy fortunes are great and thy desires excellent. Thou hast got a princess as famous for her perfection as exceeding in proportion."

530"And she hath with her beauty won," quoth Saladin, "an humble servant, as full of faith as she of amiable favor."

531While everyone was amazed with these comical events, Corydon came skipping in and told them that the priest was at church and tarried for their coming. With that, Gerismond led the way and the rest followed, where, to the admiration of all the country swains in Arden, their marriages were solemnly solemnized. As soon as the priest had finished, home they went with Alinda, where Corydon had made all things in readiness. Dinner was provided, and, the tables being spread and the brides set down by Gerismond, Rosader, Saladin, and Montanus that day were servitors. Homely cheer they had, such as their country could afford, but, to mend their fare, they had mickle good chat and many discourses of their loves and fortunes. About mid-dinner, to make them merry, Corydon came in with an old crowd and played them a fit of mirth, to which he sung this pleasant song:

CORYDON'S SONG

532A blithe and bonny country lass,
heigh ho, the bonny lass!
Sat sighing on the tender grass
and weeping said, will none come woo her?

533A smicker boy, a lither swain,
heigh ho, a smicker swain!
That in his love was wanton fain,
with smiling looks straight came unto her.

534Whenas the wanton wench espied,
heigh ho, when she espied!
The means to make herself a bride,
she simpered smooth like bonnibell.
The swain, that saw her squint-eyed kind,
heigh ho, squint-eyed kind!
His arms about her body twined,
and: "Fair lass, how fare ye, well?"

535The country Kit said: "Well, forsooth,
heigh ho, well forsooth!
But that I have a longing tooth,
a longing tooth that makes me cry."
"Alas!" said he, "what gars thy grief?
heigh ho, what gars thy grief?"
"A wound," quoth she, "without relief;
I fear a maid that I shall die."
"If that be all," the shepherd said,
heigh ho, the shepherd said!
"I'll make thee wive it, gentle maid,
and so recure thy malady."

536Hereon they kissed with many an oath,
heigh ho, with many an oath!
And 'fore God Pan did plight their troth,
and to the church they hied them fast.
And God send every pretty peat,
heigh ho, the pretty peat!
That fears to die of this conceit,
so kind a friend to help at last.

537Corydon having thus made them merry, as they were in the midst of their jollity, word was brought in to Saladin and Rosader that a brother of theirs, one Fernandin, was arrived and desired to speak with them. Gerismond, overhearing this news, demanded who it was.

538"It is, sir," quoth Rosader, "our middle brother, that lives a scholar in Paris; but what fortune hath driven him to seek us out I know not."

539With that Saladin went and met his brother, whom he welcomed with all courtesy, and Rosader gave him no less friendly entertainment. Brought he was by his two brothers into the parlor where they all sat at dinner. Fernandin, as one that knew as many manners as he could points of sophistry, and was as well brought up as well lettered, saluted them all. But when he espied Gerismond, kneeling on his knee he did him what reverence belonged to his estate, and with that burst forth into these speeches:

540"Although, right mighty prince, this day of my brother's marriage be a day of mirth, yet time craves another course; and therefore from dainty cates rise to sharp weapons. And you, the sons of Sir John of Bordeaux, leave off your amours and fall to arms; change your loves into lances, and now this day show yourselves as valiant as hitherto you have been passionate. For know, Gerismond, that hard by at the edge of this forest the twelve peers of France are up in arms to recover thy right; and Torismond, trooped with a crew of desperate runagates, is ready to bid them battle. The armies are ready to join; therefore show thyself in the field to encourage thy subjects. And you, Saladin and Rosader, mount you and show yourselves as hardy soldiers as you have been hearty lovers; so shall you, for the benefit of your country, discover the idea of your father's virtues to be stamped in your thoughts, and prove children worthy of so honorable a parent."

541At this alarm, given him by Fernandin, Gerismond leaped from the board, and Saladin and Rosader betook themselves to their weapons.

542"Nay," quoth Gerismond, "go with me. I have horse and armor for us all, and then, being well mounted, let us show that we carry revenge and honor at our falchions' points."

543Thus they leave the brides full of sorrow, especially Alinda, who desired Gerismond to be good to her father. He, not returning a word because his haste was great, hied him home to his lodge, where he delivered Saladin and Rosader horse and armor, and, himself armed royally, led the way, not having ridden two leagues before they discovered where in a valley both the battles were joined. Gerismond, seeing the wing wherein the peers fought, thrust in there, and cried "Saint Denis!", Gerismond laying on such load upon his enemies that he showed how highly he did estimate of a crown. When the peers perceived that their lawful king was there, they grew more eager; and Saladin and Rosader so behaved themselves that none durst stand in their way nor abide the fury of their weapons. To be short, the peers were conquerors, Torismond's army put to flight, and himself slain in battle. The peers then gathered themselves together and, saluting their king, conducted him royally into Paris, where he was received with great joy of all the citizens. As soon as all was quiet and he had received again the crown, he sent for Alinda and Rosalind to the court, Alinda being very passionate for the death of her father, yet brooking it with the more patience in that she was contented with the welfare of her Saladin.

544Well, as soon as they were come to Paris, Gerismond made a royal feast for the peers and lords of his land, which continued thirty days, in which time, summoning a parliament, by the consent of his nobles he created Rosader heir apparent to the kingdom; he restored Saladin to all his father's land and gave him the Dukedom of Nameurs; he made Fernandin principal secretary to himself; and, that Fortune might every way seem frolic, he made Montanus lord over all the forest of Arden, Adam Spencer Captain of the King's Guard, and Corydon master of Alinda's flocks.

* * * * *

545Here, gentlemen, may you see, in Euphues' Golden Legacy, that such as neglect their fathers' precepts incur much prejudice; that division in nature, as it is a blemish in nurture, so 'tis a breach of good fortunes; that virtue is not measured by birth but by action; that younger brethren, though inferior in years, yet may be superior to honors; that concord is the sweetest conclusion, and amity betwixt brothers more forceable than fortune. If you gather any fruits by this legacy, speak well of Euphues for writing it and me for fetching it. If you grace me with that favor, you encourage me to be more forward; and, as soon as I have overlooked my labors, expect the Sailor's Calendar.

T[homas] LODGE.

FINIS