3.3.4 Munday, Zelauto, 1580

 

Munday’s second book- Zelauto/The Fountain of Fame is also dedicated to the Earl of Oxford who, for the twenty year old author, was both employer and role model and to whom he had given the name of honour: “Alexis” in The Mirrour of Mutabilitie (1579). The Earl is indeed omnipresent in Zelauto: The title is based on the title of Oxford’s poetic anthology from 1573 [1], the foreword is addressed “To the Right Honourable, his singular good Lord and Master”, and the author lavishes praise upon Oxford in an admiring  poem (“the praise of a certain Noble Lord in the English Court”). Munday is particularly enthusiastic about the performance of a masque from Oxford on 3rd March 1579: (“I remember one thing more, which was a brave and comely Ship, brought in before her Majesty, wherein were certain of her noble Lords”), and many pages make some sort of reference to Oxford. The reader is left with the impression that the symbolic bouquet of flowers which Munday presents to “The Emperor” (Oxford) was plucked, to no inconsiderable extent, from the master’s own garden. - See 10.1.1 The Merchant of Venice (by Martin Peake).

However our curiosity is awakened by the fact that while Munday was stealing from Oxford, he was also stealing from Shakespeare. (Should one choose to describe the subservience of the  “servitore” as stealing.) Far from being the inspiration for Shake-speare’s famous play about the vengeful Jew (as will be demonstrated in 3.3.4.1), Zelauto was in fact an echo of The Merchant of Venice.

We can find a useful summary of Zelauto, the Fountain of Fame in a work written by Janet Spens which bears the rather amusing title: Essay on Shakespeareʼs Relation to Tradition (1916).  

“The book appeared in 1580, and seems never to have been reprinted. Collier, who did some interesting work on Munday, apparently had not seen the book, for he notes it in his list of Munday s work on the authority of Ritson. There is a single copy in the Bodleian Library, in the Douce Collection presumably Douceʼs own and it appears to have been very little read, so clean are its pages.

It is in three short books, or chapters, the first two of which are profusely illustrated though the illustrations do not always fit the text. The story is unfinished, and does not explain its sub-title of " The Fountain of Fame." It is said to be written to welcome Euphues into England, and appeared between the dates of issue of the first and second parts of Lylyʼs book. The style has clearly been affected by Euphuism, both by its antithesis and by its use of trite sayings; but Munday s dialogue has a certain coarse vigour, and the apothegms, being mostly familiar proverbs or Biblical phrases, give an impression of real conversation such as is very rare in the other novels of the time. ‘If you set not a point by us, we care not a pin for you, if we may have your good will, so it is ; if not, keep your wind to cool your pottage.’ Such is the speech of an unamiable old man to another equally unamiable whom the speaker and his family have overreached.

Zelauto is a young gentleman of Italy who goes on his travels to improve his mind, as Munday himself professes to have done in the Romayne Life, After many adventures he arrives alone and in a feeble state at the cave of a solitary who rushes out and attacks him. He is defeated and begs for mercy, which with some difficulty he obtains. He then proceeds to relate the story of his earlier adventures to the Hermit Astraepho, whom, we are told incidentally, is a fugitive from justice.” 

Let us look at the story as told in Munday’s words.

 

Zelauto.

The Fountain of Fame, erected in an orchard of amorous adventures. 

Containing a delicate disputation, gallantly discoursed between two noble gentlemen of Italy. Given for a friendly entertainment to Euphues, at his late arrival into England. By A. M. servant to the Right Honourable the Earl of Oxenford. Honos alit artes.

To the Right Honourable, his singular good Lord and Master, Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxenford, Viscount Bulbeck, Lord Sandford, and of Badlesmere, and Lord high Chamberlain of England. Anthony Munday, wisheth all happiness in this Honourable estate, and after death eternal life.

After that the English Prince (Right Honourable and my very good Lord) had taken view of the seemly Portraiture of Gridonia, her tender Infant lying by her, and leading two Lions in her hand: he presently left the Court, and  took himself to travail. When the princely Primaleon, heard pronounced before his famous father the Emperor of Constantinople, the sorrowful Letters sent by the Lady of the Lake, how his best beloved brother was lost in the unfortunate Forest of England: he abandoned all his Courtly delights, and never ceased wandering, till he became prisoner in the same place. So my simple self (Right Honourable) having sufficiently seen the rare virtues of your noble mind, the heroical qualities of your prudent person: thought, though ability were inferior to gratify with some gift, yet good will was ample to bestow with the best. When all the brave Gallants and worthy Gentlemen in Rome presented unto the Emperor Jewels and gifts of great value and estimation: a poor Citizen amongst them all brought a handful of Flowers[2], and offered them to the Emperor, the which he received graciously and with great affection, and gave him a great reward. Why (quoth one of the Gentlemen) how durst thou presume to give so poor a present to so puissant a person? Why (quoth the Citizen) how durst they be so bold to give such great gifts? Quoth the Gentleman, they are of great credit, and beside, their gifts worthy the receiving. And I am poor (quoth the Citizen) and therefore I give such a mean gift, yet hath it been gratefully accepted: And although they descend of such noble Linages: yet do they owe dutiful allegiance unto the Emperor, and as poor as I am, I bear him as true a heart as the best: Even so my poor gift hath been  as faithfully Jewel that was by them presented.delivered: as the richest

And lo, Right Honourable, among such expert heads, such pregnant inventions, and such commendable writers, as prefer to your seemly self, works worthy of eternal memory: A simple Soul, (more emboldened on your clemency, than any action whatsoever he is able to make manifest) presumeth to present you with such unpolished practices: as his simple skill is able to comprehend. Yet thus much I am to assure your Honour, that among all them which owe you dutiful service, and among all the brave Books which have been bestowed: these my little labours contain so much faithful zeal to your welfare as others whatsoever[3], I speak without any exception. But least that your Honour should  deem I forge my tale on flattery, and that I utter with my mouth, my heart thinketh not: I wish for the trial of my trustiness, what reasonable affairs your Honour can best devise, so shall your mind be delivered from doubt: and myself rid of any such reproach. But as the puissantest Prince is not void of enemies, the gallantest Champion free from foes, and the most honest liver without some backbiters: even so the bravest Books hath many malicious judgments, and the wisest writers not without rash reports. If then (Right Honourable) the most famous are found fault withal, the cunningest controlled, and the promptest wits reproached by spiteful speeches: how dare so rude a writer as I, seem to set forth so mean a matter, so weak a work, and so skilless a stile? When the learned are deluded: I must needs be mocked, and when the skilfullest are scorned: I must needs be derided: But yet I remember, the wise will not reprehend rashly, the learned condemn so lightly, nor the courteous misconstrue the good intent of the writer: But only such as Aesop’s Dog, that brags but dares not bite, hid in a hole and dare not show their heads, against all such, the countenance of your Honour is sufficient to contend, which makes me not fear the force of their envy. The Chirurgeon more doubteth the hidden Fistula: than the wide wound, the worthiest warrior more feareth the secret assault: than the boldest battail, A little hook taketh a great Fish, a little wind falleth down big fruit, a small spark kindleth to a great fire, a little stone may make a tall man stumble,  and a small wound kill a puissant person: Even so the hidden enemy may sooner harm a man: than when he trieth his quarrel face to face, and the least report of a slanderous tongue (being lightly believed) may discredit him to his utter undoing. But for my part I fear not, let them prate at their pleasure, and talk till their tongues ache, your Honour to please, is the chief of my choice, your good will to gain is my wished reward: which shall be more welcome than Cressus’ abundance, and more heartily accepted than any worldly wealth. The last part of this work remaineth unfinished, the which for brevity of time, and speediness in the Imprinting: I was constrained to permit till more limited leisure. Desiring your Honour to accept this in mean time, as a sign and token of my dutiful goodwill.  Not long it will be before the rest be finished and the renowned Palmerin of England with all speed shall be sent you. Thus praying for your prosperity, and the increase of your Honourable dignity: I commend your worthy state to the heavenly eternity.

A delicate Disputation gallantly dis­coursed between two noble Gen­tlemen of Italy.

The Argument.

Not long since over the famous and stupendous City of Venice, governed Gon­zalo Guicciardo, elected Duke by the most worthy Orlando Fiorentino[4]. This aforesaid Gonzalo, (renowned for his princely government, obeyed for his singular wisdom, praised for his politic suppres­sing of proud usurping enemies, and honored for his humility to his subjects in general) was not only ac­counted as a second Mutio among his friends and fami­liars, but even among his very enemies was also estee­med as a prince worthy of eternal memory. And na­ture the more to aggravate [intensify] his joys in his hoary [grey] hairs: gave him a Son called Zelauto, whose singular hu­manity, whose puissance in feats of arms, whose dex­terity in wit, and whose comely shape in personage, caused him through all Venice to be greatly accounted of.

This gallant youth Zelauto (more desirous to ad­vance his fame by traveling strange countries: than to lead his lingering life still in the court of his famous father) one day by chance took courage to open the hidden thoughts which long encumbered his careful breast, and having espied his father at such convenient leisure, as served best for his avail, yielding his obeisance as duty beseemed, entered into this discourse.

If (Right worthy and renowned Father) nature had adorned me with such rare and excellent qualities, as might procure an heart’s ease and joy unto your prince­ly estate: then would duty cause me to keep my mind in silence, and fear (of displeasing your aged heart) bid me restrain my vowed attempt. But sith I am desti­tute of that which my heart desireth, and willing to gain the same by painful industry: I hope I shall purchase no ill will of your person, nor displease the minds of your subjects in general. First weigh and consider by your gracious advisement, that a youthful mind more desireth the fragrant fields: than the hidden house, Cu­stom confesseth, yea, and law of Nature alloweth, that it is more permanent to a princely courage, to seek the renowned mansion of the most illustrious and sacred Lady Fame: than to drown his youthful days in gulfs of gaping grief, in silent sorrows, in vain thoughts and cogitations, and also in trifling and idle exercises, which maketh him more prone unto vice than virtue, more apt unto lewdness: than contented living, yea, ma­keth him so frivolous and fantastical, that nothing but libidinous thoughts, beastly behaviour is his whole exercise. For then every blazing beam, and every sugared countenance of a woman allureth him, that floating on the Seas of foolish fancy, and having abid [abode] one lusty gale of wind, wherewith the Bark of his body is beaten a­gainst the Rocks of his Lady’s looks, then the poor patient falleth into so extreme an ecstasy, that one word will kill him, and another revive him. Thus is he enclosed amid these subtle snares, while in the warlike field he might enjoy his liberty, and there win fame which should last eternally. These and such like crabbed con­ceits (dear Father) urgeth me to crave your leave and licence, that I may a while visit strange Countries, in which time I doubt not but to achieve such exploits, that at my return it will be treble joy to your Princely ears to hear them recounted.

Son Zelauto (answered the Duke) this your dis­course is both commendable, and allowable, for I like well of your intent, and with all my heart give consent that for a limited time you shall seek adventures, which time shall amount unto vi. years, and on my blessing I charge thee, not to break that appointed time. In the meanwhile, if God call me (as my life is uncertain) I frankly and freely give thee all is mine. Wherefore look well to thyself, that good report may be heard of thee, which unto me will be great contentation. But now as touching what aid and assistance thou wilt have with thee: speak, and it shall be granted. Good Father (answered Zelauto) none but only one to bear me com­pany, which I know will be sufficient. Well (quoth the Duke) receive here my blessing, this portion of money, and this knight to bear thee company. And I pray God in all thy ways to guide and protect thee, and so you may depart when you please.

Zelauto accompanied with his knight, departed from the Court of his famous Father, and took shipping to go unto Naples, from thence, he travailed unto Valen­tia in Spain, and chancing into the company of cer­tain English Merchants, who in the Latin tongue told him the happy estate of England, and how a worthy Princess governed their common weal, and all such things as could not be more praised than they deser­ved. The which Zelauto hearing, craved of them that he might sail with them into England, and he would liberally reward them. They being contented, and having laden their Ships with such necessaries as they best desired: within few days hoisted sails, and away they went.

This young youth Zelauto being come into Eng­land, and seen the rare and virtuous usage of the illu­strious and thrice renowned Princess, with the great ho­nour and favour which he obtained among her wor­thy Lords: purposed to stay still there. But yet remembering, that although he saw one place: many others were as yet unseen, after a year expired, he took shipping into Persia, and so departed. In process of time he had visited many strange Countries, sustained many and wonderful injuries among the Turks, which after shall be declared. And returning home­ward, happened on the borders of Sicily, where For­tune was favourable unto him: that unawares he hap­pened on the cave of a valiant Knight, who was a Christian, and having committed an heinous offence: fled out of his own Country, and inhabited there in a silent Cell, among the woods.[5] This Knight being na­med Astraepho, and hearing the trampling of one a­bout his den: took his weapons, and came forth. He being greatly abashed at the sight of Zelauto, for that in ten years space he neither saw man nor woman: but had lived there a savage life: forgetting all points of humanity said. What varlet art thou come to seek my death? thou art welcome, and therewith all stroke at Zelauto, who alas through tediousness of travel, and long being without any suste­nance: was constrained to yield, and falling on his knees submitted himself to his mercy, which Astraepho see­ing, said as hereafter followeth.

Astraepho, having conquered Zelauto, saieth.

What so sudden and strange Metamorphosis is this? Art thou a Knight, that professeth thy self a Soldier under God Mars his Ensign: and so soon conquered? What dost thou think that this thy submission shall hinder me of my pretended purpose? Thy death it is I seek, and more honour shall I obtain by the slaughter of such a wretch: then to let thee live any longer time.

Zelauto.

Most worthy sir, if ever any iota of clemency consisted in your valiant breast: then respect I crave, the distressed case of your poor vassal. And marvel not though in force I am not able to resist against you, for that the great miseries which I have sustained in these my tedious travails, hath quite bereaved me of my manly might.

“Zelauto, like his creator, had begun his adventures by falling into the hands of banditti, who robbed him of all he carried, wounded him, and killed the knight who attended on him. He managed to reach an inn, where the hostess received him with great kindness, gave him her best room, had a large fire lit, prepared a rich repast, and generally showed the interest with which she regarded him.” (Janet Spens)

Astraepho.

Why then you stayed but a while in Spain?

Zelauto.

No sure, for after I and my Companion had heard of the fame of England: we could not settle our minds to stay there, but thought every day a year until we might come into England.

Astraepho.

And is England so famous? I pray you declare into me what you have seen there that deserved so great commendations.

Zelauto.

That I shall, wherefore I desire you to give ear unto this discourse, for it is both strange and excellent.

After as we were departed from the coast of Spain, in a three weeks space we arrived upon the coast of England, and landed at a certain haven that in their language they call Dover. The maister and his mate, with two or three other of the ship bare us company into the town, where we came to an Inn (as they call them) and being set down, one of them called for drink, which was such as I did never see the like before, for they call it Beer, and such a language they speak, as is both strange and wonderful, for I know not to what I should best liken it. Well said I to my companion, now we are here, what shall we do? We know not what they say, nor they can not understand us, I think it were best to hire some of these that are in the ship which speak the Latin tongue to conduct us until we come to some of our Countrymen, whereof they told us was a great many there. He was very well contented, and so I desired the maister that we might have one of his men to guide us, who indeed very courteously consented.

And then he sent to his Ship for one Roberto, a very merry and pleasant fellow, and he spake our language very well, he gave him very great charge, that he should use us well, until we came to their chief City, which they call London, and then as soon as we came thither: to bring us to some of our countrymen. So we contented the Maister, got up on Horseback, and so rode to London.

Zelauto and his companion being come to London, through the means of Roberto their guide, they are brought to the house of one Signor Giulio di Pescara, who entertained them very courteously.

Our merry Companion, having brought us to London: showed us many fair and comely sights, as first he had us into their Burse [bourse], where above were so many fine Shops full of brave devices, and every body said, a mad term that they had, What lack ye, What lack ye. I marvelled what they meant by it, then I asked Roberto what they said. So he told me, that they asked me what I would buy, if I would have any of their fine wares. And surely in that place were many very proper and comely Women: Then he had us, and showed us a very fine Vault under the same, where there was a great many Shops likewise. So then it began to wax something toward the evening, and then he conducted us to the house of one Signor Giulio, a Gentleman of Pescara, where we had very gallant entertainment, and so well esteemed of, as if we had been in our own Country. This Giulio had married an English Woman, who indeed was so gentle of nature, so comely in qualities, and so proper in personage, that sure me thought she excelled. Of her likewise we were very gently welcomed, and a very gallant Chamber prepared, with all things so necessary, and servants to attend on us so diligently, that sure it was not in vain that England had such excellent commendation. My Companion said, he was never so quiet, and so well at his heart’s ease: as he was there, being but so little time there. For indeed (to say the truth) I wanted nothing, but every thing was ready at half a word’s speaking, and with great reverence also.

To the house of this aforesaid Signor Giulio, resorted divers Gentlemen, which were of the Court of England, who showed us such courtesy, as it is unspeakable. But all this while I would not be known what I was, but told them that I was a Gentleman of Naples, and my name was Zelauto, and that I came for my pleasure to see the Country. These Gentlemen, some of them did pertain to men of great Honour, in the said Court, whom I likewise came acquainted with all. But to recount the rare and excellent modesty, the virtuous life adorned with civility, the haughty courage and Martial magnanimity, and their singular qualities in general, though I had the gallantest memory in the world, the pregnantest wit, and the rarest eloquence to depaint them: I know myself were unable to do it.

It was my chance within a while after I was acquainted with those worthy Lords of Honour: to come in presence where their virtuous Maiden Queen was. But credit me, her heavenly hew, her Princely personage, her rare Sobriety, her singular Wisdom: made me stand as one bereft of his senses. For why, before mine eyes I saw one that excelled all the worthy Dames that ever I have read of.

Astraepho.

But stay Zelauto, did you see that peerless Paragon? and is she so rare and excellent as you make her to be?

Zelauto.

Oh Sir, never can my tongue give half a quarter of the praise, that is due to that rare Arabian Phoenix. Were Mars himself alive: he would stand aghast at her Heavenly behaviour. And as Timantes, when he drew the mournful portrait of King Agamemnon, for the loss of his Daughter, could not set forth his face correspondent to the sorrow that is contained: left the same covered with a veil to the judgment of others.[6] So I, because I am unable to paint forth her passing praise, according as desert deserveth: I remit her under the veil of Eternal memory, to the grave judgment of others.

Astraepho.

What now Zelauto? why, the Goddesses and the Graces themselves, could but deserve this commendation, and I am sure she is none.

Zelauto.

Were it possible for a Goddess to remain on the earth at this day: credit me, it were she. For thus much I will tell ye. It is not to all Countries unknown, how well her Grace doth understand and speak the languages, that of herself without any interpreter: she is able to answer any Ambassador, that cometh to her Majesty. Also, it is not unknown, how her Princely Majesty made the mind of the valiant Marques Vitelli (Ambassador sent from the King of Spain) to be marvellously moved. This Vitelli hath been known a excellent warrior, and yet the rare excellency of this Queen had almost put him clean out of conceit. That as he said himself: he was never so out of countenance before any Prince in all his life.

It is in vain of the Grecians to vaunt of their Sappho, Corinna, Eriune, Praxilla, Telesilla, Cleobulina, nor yet the Pithagoreans brag of their Diotima, and Aspasia, for their lives, this is she that excelleth them all: and therefore will I say.

O decus Anglorum virgo clarissima vivas:

Donec terrigenis Praebebit lumina Titan.

O Virgin Queen, the rarest gem,
Iove grant thy happy race:
That while Dan Titan gives his light,
Thou mayst enjoy thy place.
Let all true English hearts, pronounce while they have breath:
God save and prosper in renown, our Queen Elizabeth.
Vivat, vincat, regnat, Elizabetha.

Astraepho.

Zelauto, these your words doth aggravate an exceeding joy in my mind, and causeth me to thirst with Tantalus, until it be my Fortune to see that happy Land, that thrice happy Princess, whom (if she be) as you make report, would cause both men and monsters to adore. But I pray you Sir proceed, and let me hear what happened unto you in that Country?

Zelauto.

Sir, after I had stayed there a while (to show this gallant Princess pastime) certain of her worthy and famous Lords assembled in a Tournament, the bravest sight that ever I saw, and with this gallant troop, there came a Pageant as they call them, wherein were men that spake all Languages. O sir, I am not able to speak sufficient in praise thereof.

At another time, there was a brave and excellent device which went on wheels without the help of any man. Therein sate Apollo, with his heavenly crew of Music. Beside a number of strange devices, which are out of my remembrance. But yet I remember one thing more, which was a brave and comely Ship, brought in before her Majesty, wherein were certain of her noble Lords, and this Ship was made with a gallant device, that in her presence it ran upon a Rock, and was despoiled.[7] This credit was the very bravest device that ever I saw, and worthy of innumerable commendations.

Astraepho.

Oh admirable Princess, whose singular virtues, moves the minds of such noble Personages, by daily deeds to demonstrate, and by usual actions to acquaint her Princely estate with such miraculous motions, as you Zelauto make report of.

Zelauto.

If I were able to rehearse all that I have seen: then I know you could not choose but say yourself, that she is well worthy of far greater, if possible there might be such: as for example these things I have told you, which are yet in my remembrance may make the matter manifest, both the Pageants, and also this seemly Ship whereof I have spoken.

In Country’s cause, I mount upon the Seas,
with shivering shot to daunt my furious foe:
It doth me good all strife for to appease,
to keep my Land free from all foreign woe.
God save my Prince, that keeps a Navy huge:
In time of need to stand for her refuge.

Astraepho.

Why? is there any Prince that can wish or desire to live in more worldly pleasure than that famous and illustrious Queen? Or can there be more virtues resident in an earthly Creature than her noble life maketh so ample mention of? Surely in my opinion it were impossible: for credit me, the rare rule of her virtuous life: maketh her Land and People in such happy estate. Wherefore good Zelauto, conceal not any of this matter from me, for surely I think myself happy to come to the hearing thereof.

Zelauto.

Since sir, you seem so importune on me, and that my homely Tales do so much delight you: give ear, and I will read you here one of the rarest devices that ever you heard of. Which was a comely sort of Courtiers, prepared in a Tournament to recreate the mind of their Princess and Sovereign.

Astraepho.

Where want of sufficiency remaineth, to countervail your ever approved courtesy: accept in token thereof always at your commandment my dutiful service and loyalty, and attendance shall not want, till I have heard these discourses.

Janet Spens says: “Zelauto’s sojourn in England is the occasion for lavish compliments to Elizabeth, conveyed chiefly by means of the description of a masque or entertainment which Zelauto says was performed before her, and of which there is an illustration. It consists simply in a long argument and then a duel between a knight and a lady champion. The lady upholds the virtues and beauties of Elizabeth against all other claimants, and the knight upholds his own virtues. He is, of course, defeated.” 

However, before the end of the first book, Anthony Munday alias Zelauto had to acknowledge a certain English lord.

Astraepho.

But did you ever come in acquaintance with any of those noble Gentlemen?

Zelauto.

Yea Sir, and am much bound to one of them in especial, who sure in magnanimity of mind, and valour of courage, representeth in that famous Land a second Caesar to the view of all that know him. And a little before I departed out of that worthy Country, I wrote a few verses in the commendation of that virtuous Maiden Queen: and also I wrote a few other in praise of that noble Lord, to whom I am bound for his singular bounty.

Astraepho.

I pray you Sir, if those verses be not out of your remembrance: let me hear some part of them?

 

Here Zelauto rehearseth the verses that he wrote in the praise of a certain Noble Lord in the English Court.[8]

If ever Caesar had such gallant Fame,
or Hannibal, whose martial life we read:
Then in your Honour, I esteem the same,
as perfect proof in virtue and indeed.
My pen unable is your praise to paint:
With Virtues rare, that doth your mind acquaint.
What I have found, I need not to express,
what you have done, I far unworthy was:
But Nature yet doth cause me think no less,
but that with love you did respect my case.
And such great love did in your heart abound:
That strange it is the friendship I have found.
Wherefore for aye I Honour your estate,
and wish to you, to live Argantus life: [9]
And all your deeds may prove so fortunate,
that never you do taste one íota of strife.
But so to live, as one free from annoy:
In health and wealth, unto your lasting joy.
FINIS.


Astraepho.

Surely, belike Zelauto you have found great friendship at that noble Gentleman’s hands. But referring all other matters aside, tell me what became of your Companion, that went with you into England?

Zelauto.

Truly he was so far in love with the Country, that I could not get him from thence when I departed. And indeed so would I likewise have stayed, if my Fatherʼs commandment had not been such, which caused me to hasten away, because I would see other Countries. 

Astraepho.

Then you did depart shortly after, and left your Companion there? 

Zelauto.

Yea Sir. And from thence I took shipping to go into Persia. But many were the miseries that I poor soul abode among the tyrannous Turks.

Astraepho.

But durst you seem to wander so far as to put yourself, in hazard of life among those cruel and bloody Turks. You remembered not belike your Fatherʼs commandment, who willed you to guide yourself so well: that your return might be to his eternal joy, but rather as desperate, having a youthful head and a running wit would venture on your own destruction.

Zelauto.

Indeed Sir, who mindeth not the after misery: wadeth often so far that he is clean over shoes, so I more upon pleasure then any other cause: put myself to God and good Fortune on that behalf, yet was I not unmindful of my Father’s precepts, for that I purposed nothing, but found it to my profit.

Astraepho.

Well Zelauto, it draweth now toward night, and we have well spent this time in talk. Let us now go in, and provide something for our Supper. And tomorrow we will discourse of your other adventures at large.

Zelauto.

I am well contented Sir, and a thousand thanks I yield you for your courtesy.

 

The second part of the Fountain of Fame.

The second part of the delicate Dispu­tation between two noble Gentlemen of Italy.

Astraepho.

Now Sir Zelauto, you have seen, the whole courtesy, that I your poor friend can show you, to feast you with Fortunes fare (I call it so) because as to day I have it, and to morrow it is uncertain, therefore it commeth by sudden chance, and also to lodge you in my careful couch, hard and un­pleasant, the furniture thereto belonging all of moss and leaves, yet well doth it content me, because I have used my self there­to, to you I know it is strange, and no marvel, because the Princely pleasures that is in your famous fathers Man­sion, as yet stick upon your stomach. Myself, having remained here full fourteen years and more, have clean forgot, my preter [past] delights, my wanton conceits, and my lays of Love. Now to the sprouting sprays I commend my suit, the Hills, the Dales, the Rocks, the Cliffs, the Crags, yea, and the gallant Echoes resound of this solitary Wildness, they and none but they can witness of my woe.[10] In Court I served, to my small avails, I sued to a self willed Saint, I complained, and it was not regarded. But here I life as Prince within myself, not foe to any, nor none to me. I a­dore my God. I feast myself as well as I can, as for my gar­ments, though they be homely, yet are they healthful, for Silken suits, are not to wander among the briary brakes withal. What care I for money, I have Nobody to bate withal, my Host asketh me no money when I rise from breakfast, dinner or supper, then what should I do with it? If in your careful Cities, you as little regarded, your coin as I: you should not have so much extortion, so much bribing to Officers, so much wrangling and jarring among the common sort, so much encroaching one upon another, and to conclude, you should not have so many devilish devises frequented, there­fore I do not aspect for my private commodity, I life not here by pride or by usury, but I take all contentedly, so to no man am I enemy. This homely discourse, for a morning’s good morrow I trust will suffice, now must I desire you to proceed in your promised affairs, touching the rest of your mishaps.

Zelauto.

Courteous Sir, if my slender ability, were of such and so great a puissance, as might but seem to countervail the large and inestimable courtesy, that I have found at your hands undeservedly: I might then then the bolder behave myself in your company. But as where nothing is to be had, the King looseth his right: even so I having nothing▪ yield myself to your courteous consideration (always remembered) that if it shall please God to send such success, as of long I have looked for: I doubt not (though not able to satisfy the whole, wherein I am indebted) yet to recompense the greatest part as near as I can. And this by the way to assure yourself, though loath to spend so much lip-labour in promising you preferment, doubt not but in heart I will remember you, and that to your contentment.

Astraepho.

Sir Zelauto, here needeth no such thanks, if I could bestow so much of you, as my poor heart would willingly afford: I doubt not but then you would thank me. In the meanwhile, take as you find, welcome yourself though you be not bidden, shut up the sack when it is but half full, and give God thanks for all. But proceed I pray you as touching your promise, for I greatly desire to hear what after happe­ned you.

Zelauto.

I shall satisfy your expectation willingly, but give ear I pray you, and mark it attentively, for you shall hear the tenor of a strange and tragical Comedy.

“The second book claims to be and really is much more entertaining. Zelauto travels to Turkey, and, as usual, at once wins the favour of the mistress of the house where he lodges. She is a Christian, and her husband is converted to that faith by the teaching of Zelauto, but secretly, for fear of the Turks. However, Zelauto is forced into a public confession, for a certain lady of the city, having become a Christian, is condemned to be burned to death. Zelauto undertakes to fight as her champion, and it is remarkable that Munday makes his hero extremely unwilling to risk his life. But, all efforts to achieve his purpose by other means failing, he fights the duel, slays his antagonist, and the lady is released. Zelauto himself, however, and his unfortunate host are both imprisoned and condemned to death. The host is executed immediately, but Zelauto is granted a few days grace, and the brother of the rescued damsel, together with a new female admirer, the wife of the gaoler, contrive his escape in a thoroughly comfortable manner, stealing a large sum of money for him. At this point the Hermit goes to prepare dinner, and leaves Zelauto with a manuscript which forms the third book.” (Janet Spens, 1916.)

Astraepho.

A Delicate Device by him delivered to Zelauto,
wherein is gallantly discoursed, the Amorous life of a Scholar,
and the brave behaviour of a martial Gentleman,
the one at last by love as well convinced: as the other, who always
professed himself a Subject to the same: neither frivolous
nor fantastical, but delightful, and to no man prejudicial.

 

The third part of the Fountain of Fame.

Written by the said Author Anthony Munday,
Servant to the right Honourable,
the Earle of Oxenforde.
Honos alit Artes.

 

The Author.

Courteous Gentlemen, in the meantime as Astraepho is providing his Dinner, and hath left Zelauto at home to peruse at his pleasure on an Amorous discourse: I will seem so saucy as to molest his studies, and desire him to let you be partakers of this Delicate dis­course.[11] I hope I shall not need to be all day in craving: nor he so uncourteous to deny my request, if he should, I must confess he offereth me great injury, in taking so much pains for him: I deserve to crave a mightier mat­ter. Well, I will assure myself to speed in my pur­pose, and you shall have the hearing of the Dainty Device. If after you have read it, you find it worth his hire, and that it hath pleased you, which is my whole wish: I shall then provide a Peach for all prating Parasites: and keep a sweet Fig to gratify my friend with all.

Honos alit Artes.

A. Munday.

 

“The scene of the Hermitʼs tale is Verona. Strabino, the son of a wealthy citizen of Pescara, has come to the University of Verona to pursue his studies. He there forms a close friendship with a young man called Rodolfo, and is in due course introduced to Rodolfo s father and his sister Cornelia. With Cornelia he falls in love, but she has a considerable amount of character, and he is in doubt as to her feeling. The conversations are far less dull than those in Euphues because of a real independence in Cornelia.” (Janet Spens, 1916)

“Strabino, son of a wealthy gentleman, travels to Verona to study. He falls in love with Cornelia, sister of his close friend and fellow student Rodolfo. - A wealthy and miserly old usurer Truculento also woos Cornelia. On the condition that she accept him, Cornelia’s father promises her in marriage to Truculento after receiving gifts from him. But Cornelia rejects Truculento and agrees to marry Strabino. On Cornelia’s advice, Rodolfo and Strabino borrow 4000 ducats from Truculento on another pretext. They pledge their lands and their right eyes as security for the loan. Strabino uses the money to buy Cornelia’s father a jewel, and obtains his consent to marry Cornelia. Rodolfo courts and wins Truculento’s daughter Brisana. - Strabino and Rodolfo celebrate a double wedding to Cornelia and Brisana. Strabino and Rodolfo fail to pay the debt on time, and Truculento, angry that he has been rejected by Cornelia, refuses even double payment. He sues Strabino and Rodolfo in court, demanding that they forfeit their lands and their right eyes. Cornelia and Brisana, disguised as lawyers, appear in court to defend their husbands. The Judge appeals to Truculento to have mercy on his fellow Christians, but he refuses. The Judge reluctantly rules in favor of Truculento, but Cornelia insists that no drop of blood may be shed in removing their eyes. His demand frustrated, Truculento decides to accept repayment, but the Judge rules that Strabino and Rodolfo need not repay the 4000 ducats.” (Ramon Jiménez, 2011.)


The Amorous life of Strabino a Scholar, the brave behaviour of Rodolfo a martial Gentleman, and the right reward of Signor Truculento a Usurer. Cap. 1.

The Records of ancient antiquity, unfoldeth in apart, and lively manner the happy and prosperous estate of the flourishing and famous City Vero­na, whose Academies so worthily governed, and the Scholars so ef­fectually instructed: that it caused Sir Vincentio of Pescara, to send his son Strabino, there to be trained up in such virtuous educations: as was meet for one of his tender time. This Strabino, a gallant and lusty youth, of form well featured, of au­dacity expert, in manners well nurtured, but from Martial affairs wholly inclined, and to love one severely enthralled: fell at length in acquaintance with one Rodolfo, a Gentleman’s son of the City, who more used the School for his plea­sure, than any profit, more for a pastime to talk and confer with his friends: than for any mind he bare to his book. And this Rodolfo was one that greatly gave himself to Mar­tial exercises, a disdainer of love, and a rejecter of the company of Women. Between these twain were ionized [converted into an ion] such a league of Amity: that neither bitter blasts should pro­cure the breach thereof, nor any accident whatsoever, move them to mislike one of the other, but even brotherlike were united, till term of life were utterly expired. Strabino usu­ally frequenting the house of his friend and brother Rodolfo, who had a Sister in all points so well proportioned: that the looks of her Amorous countenance, infected in the heart of Strabino, such a restless rage, a torting torment, a Fever so fantastical: that none but only she must be the curer there­of. Now are his books rejected, and his fancy followed: his study banished, and the Gentlewoman dutifully served Who (alas) although he were her superior: of her was regarded, as her far inferior. He likes, he loves, he sues, he serves, he runs, he waits: she lowers, she frowns, she disdains, and utterly rejecteth his company. Which when he saw, that his proffered pains were esteemed as trifles, his conti­nual courtesy regarded as light as a feather, and his affec­tioned service clean cast out of memory: walked into the fields, and thus discoursed with himself.

Alas Strabino, ill hap hadst thou to light on this luckless lot, to love where thou art disliked, to serve, where thou art nothing regarded, and to fancy where love is extinguished. What moved thee to make her thy Goddess that regardeth thy pains as light as a May game? What moved thee to make her thy Mistress: who scorneth the good will of so tru­sty a servant? What, is there no more Women in the world but one? Is there none can please thee so much as she? Art thou framed of such ill favoured metal, that all will mislike thee? In Pescara thou barest the chiefest praise: in Verona thou art nothing esteemed of. In Pescara thou waste loved, in Verona thou art rejected: but alas I remember, who trusteth to a Woman’s will, were as good lean on a broken staff, for when she pleaseth, then she loveth: and when she is displeased, she hateth like a Toad, therefore well mayst thou remove thy fancy: and set as light by her, as she doth by thee. But alas Stra­bino, if thy deeds might answer to thy words, then there were some hope of health: but thou art so surely tied, that impossible were it for thee to get loose when thou pleasest, thou sayst thou wilt do this and that, but alas, if thou couldest, thou wouldest, therefore never speak against thy conscience, for there were no credit. I love her so entirely, that I can not refrain me: I fancy so forcibly, that I cannot remove me. She is the Saint whom I serve, she is the Goddess whom I adore, and she it is must ease my pain, else shall I never be holpen. Thou hast not yet tried her: therefore never speak the worst of her, though thou hast shown thyself by sundry signs: yet canst thou not say she refuseth thee, because thou hast not ope­ned the state wherein thy welfare standeth. Thou art to blame to use these words against her that never offended thee, and thou deservest small courtesy, for thy so rash judgment. She is sister to thy friend: he is gentle of nature, so may she be: he is courteous in conference, so may she be: he loves thee well, so may she do, therefore never construe things at the worst, before thou have occasion. Thinkest thou she knoweth the se­crets of thy heart, that never talked with her? How were it possible she should love thee, when she knoweth not whether thou lovest her or no? Persuade thyself to speed of thy pur­pose, faint heart never won fair Lady, and a half hearted Soldier is terrified at the first all arum: first prove her, then praise her, when thou hast tried, then thou mayst trust: hie thee [speed yourself] home in hope, and finding her at convenient leisure, show her thy suit. Thus the poor oppressed Strabino returned to the Mansion of his Mistress, and finding her sitting at her Sampler in the garden: he took heart a fresh, and went and sate down by her, framing such devices, as she might have occasion to speak unto him, who when she saw how merrily disposed he was, said. Surely sir Strabino, I have wanted your compa­ny all this day, for I have sitten here very solitary, and lacked such company as might procure some pleasure, and now you are come: I hope we shall pass the time more merrier, than hither­to I have done, and therefore you are welcome heartily.

Strabino hearing the courteous words of his Lady Cornelia: was surprised with such inward joy, that he neither minded his former fear, nor yet the present peril that might happen to him, but wholly depending upon his dutiful allegiance, and embracing in mind and thought her supposed liking: ha­zardeth his heart to stand unto the hap, and yieldeth him con­quered wholly to her clemency. Wherefore, he neither distra­cting his senses with any several motion, nor occupying his brain upon manifold matters: desireth pardon for that which his lips shall yield unto liberty, and her good construction in his actions whatsoever.

Sir (quoth she) if we talk of familiarity, perforce I must use you friendly: if upon novels, I will handle you as nice­ly: if upon present proof, I will use you pleasantly: if upon all, I will account you as a merry companion, so that look what is spoken in decent or honest wise: doubt you not but it shall be as honestly entertained, therefore say as pleaseth you.

Strabino, and Cornelia, courteously conferreth together. Cap. 2.

Lady (quoth Strabino) I muse why the Gods, framing you first to be as a comfortable companion unto man: you should so much digress as to be the only instrument of our sorrowful sadness, rather a worker of our woe: than one that wisheth our welfare. For this is perfectly known (I speak not upon had I wist) that you Women, for the most part, are so coy of your conditions, and so curious in your conceits: that you neither esteem the quantity nor quality of affection: nor yet the only perfect ground of our prosperity. For admit that a while you bear us in hand with many an Amorous countenance, many a gallant gloze [comment] of firm faith and fidelity, yea, many a subtle surmise of pure love and af­fection, have you once gotten that which you would have, to fleece our purses to prank you in pride, that you may sweat in your Silks, while we go threadbare, you on your Pan­tofles, when we have scant a good shoe to our foot, you at your delicate junkets, when we are glad to rise with emp­ty bellies, and you so much in your bravery, that you bring us to utter beggary: In faith, then farewell frost, more such have we lost.[12]

Nay now, since he can hold out no longer: farewell he, in faith he was a good fellow while he had it, but now since he hath no more ink in his pen: let him go shake his ears, a new customer, a new. So long time was he fed with fancies: that after he curseth his folly. So long loved in looks: that at length he lamenteth his loss. So long held up with wan­ton and wily words: that in the end he curseth such pal­try fables. A cold suit, and a hard pennyworth have all they that traffic for such merchandise. On the other side, let a man hold up you at rack staves, defer you of with doubt­ful delays, allege unto you many defects of ability, and besides that, keep that from you which most willingly you would have: In faith, then he is a counterfeit crank, a shame­less sheep biter, a worldly miser, he is no good fellow, that will not lay his penny by theirs, a craking Companion, an eve dropper: with such and so many flouts they have, that it is wonderful to hear.

What great reproach is this to such wanton Women, that regard more an ell of pleasure, than an inch of profit? more desirous of loathsome liberty, than they care for con­tented living? What maketh so many young Gentlemen crack their credit, loose their good name, mortgage their livings, barter away all they have: but such careless compa­ny? When before, they were in good and honest commen­dation among all men: now are they glad to hide their heads for shame.

I speak not this (dear Lady) to the reproach of all Wo­men: for that were mere impudence: but I speak in the contempt of all such as daily frequent it, as these Courtesans which abide in the brothel house here in Verona, and besides them, many a one that bears a gallant grace through the City: taketh a snatch now and then, which by right deserve a greater reproach, than they that so daily use it. For by such means is vice intruded among the virtuous, making many that (God knows) are well disposed livers, to be lightly ac­counted of, only by using the company of such careless cre­atures.

Sir Strabino (quoth Cornelia) your discourse hath been de­lightful, yet savoureth it sharp somewhere, belike you have been bitten, or stung by some of these Wasps: and that maketh you so expert in bewraying their qualities, for the mother would never have sought her daughter in the Oven, but that she had been there herself, and he that is galded [galled], hath good occasion to kick. You have been bartering, and found all so dear in the market: that no butter will stick on your bread, or belike you have sauced somebody: and paid sweet­ly for it.

But what maketh you to exclaim against women in this order? have you loved, and not been loved again? have you sought for honey, and caught the Bee by the tail: or have you never loved, and wholly given yourself there against? if so you have, the harder is your hap, for far unable are you to stand against the decree of the gods, and have you not read of divers that have repugned against love: which have been enforced to fancy their inferiors? Take heed Strabino, least in your denying to love some gallant Lady: you be not pro­cured to fancy some poor Fascine here in Verona. If you have loved, and not been loved again: you are to move your suit, and if it be to such a one who is free from all other, and may well be your match: there is no doubt but after many sharp showers, a gallant gale of wind will blow in the Sky, that will send your joys on heaps to you. I give you the best counsel that I can, and I would my proffered pains anyway might pleasure you. If either my word, counsel, cre­dit, or ought else may prevail you to her whom you like: credit me, you shall not find me so ready in promising, as I will be in the performance thereof.

Now Gentlemen, judge you what sundry and several quan­daries assailed the assaulted mind of poor Strabino, to hear such courteous talk pronounced by the person whom he most honored and obeyed. Yet doubted he, that if she knew the very original and only help for his heaviness: she would be as slow to perform, as she was ready to promise, but yet building still on good hope of her bounty: he proceeded into farther talk.

My hope is (quoth he) my good Lady and Mistress, that what hath passed in my presumptuous talk, you will construe it at the best: but sure as yet I am free from that which you have supposed, only this I am to confess, that I love and like, where I am neither refused nor yet entertained, wherefore I can not condemn upon no occasion: nor I can not praise before it be deserved. So that I am neither to vaunt as victor: nor yet to yield as altogether conquered. And why I have annoyed against these sort of Women, I can yield you some sufficient reason: I have known divers of my friends, that have wasted out their web of youthful time in frequenting com­pany with such wilful Women. As for example, one dear friend of mine, who was tossed, turmoiled, and utterly made havoc of: among those whom he thought had loved him dearest, yea some that were of good name and credit, that sucked him dry: and then matched themselves with other. Therefore I say, it is hard to know who a man may trust now-a-days: for you Women are so crafty, that a man cannot tell how to deal with you.

Indeed Sir (quoth she) though we be crafty, you men are more deceitful. It behoveth us to stand upon our reputa­tion, and to make the matter nice and coy to some, for when they have once caught us: they will use us as they list. What sorrow and care is it to be a married Wife? that which God hath ordained to be a comfort and solace between man and woman, is made now a thing of most contempt: for when we be married, then cometh our cares all at once: how many frowning looks? how many crabbed countenances? how ma­ny sharp words? beside, how many continual griefs and sorrows of the mind? If our Husbands be a little displea­sed: all the house must be out of quiet. If he frown, then what is next hand, flies at the face of his Wife. If he see her but merrily disposed in any company, then is he jealous: if she look on any man, then she lusteth after him. Then is she watched and spied, in every place where she goeth, to catch her in a trip, the which urgeth her sooner to do it, when before she never thought it. What terror, and what devilish minds are these of men: who when they come to wooing, then plead they simplicity: then yea forsooth, and no forsooth, this shall be and that shall be, when God knows, when it comes to per­fection: it is neither so, nor so.

Can you blame Women, if they be so loath to grant to your requests? and can you think them so hard, when you yourselves are harder than the Adamant? Can you say Women are ordained as a plague unto men: when as you yourselves plague them so cruelly? O deep dissemblers, O prating Parasites! What subtle Sophisters? What fair mouthed fellows are these? What painted sheathes, fair without and foul within? Who would think that you could bear such a double heart about with you. I hope you shall be fain to say at length, Ars deluditur arte. Henceforth there­fore never ennui at Women: when you are worse yoursel­ves, nor never play the Cravens, as Cocks of your own dunghill: the shame will redound where it is worthy, and you shall be forced to cry Peccavi. Ah Sirra, though you have all the learning, God hath leant us some wit, that we should not be to much deceived. Therefore never upbraid us with such Rhetorical glozes, nor never fall out with those who are your best friends: If you like us, love us: if not, let us alone.

Strabino, half driven in fear of incurring his Ladies dis­pleasure, and doubting least his talk had bred some cause of melancholy: calls up his wits together, to make amends for his former fault. For thought he, if now I coming to speak for mine own avail, and to gain the good will of my best beloved, should seem to apprehend or reprehend in such causes as willingly she would not: it might mar all my matter, and throw all my good Fortune into the fire. Wherefore, even as the child when he hath made a fault, co­meth creeping on his knees with bitter tears, willing to kiss the rod and so to pacify the ire of his Parents whom he displeased, or as the Ape when he hath nipped one to the quick, and seeth the whip holden up in sign of correction: cometh with chattering the teeth, holding up the ten bones, so to content his maisterʼs displeasure conceived: Even so meekly and mildly cometh Strabino to the loving lap of his La­dy, and in sign and token of humility, uttereth these words. Dear Lady and Mistress, not so well satisfied and contented with your reasonable reply: as sorrowful for suffering my tongue so rashly to offend you. Rather impute it therefore to ob­liviousness of myself: than to any willingness so incur your anger. More honour truly shall it be to you, quietly to put up the choleric words of an impudent Scholar: than to menace your anger, where as sorrow sufficient is retained. It is a good Horse that never stumbleth, he is very circumspect that speaketh always without a fault, and he is very upright that never committeth crime. I must confess my tongue ran before my wit, and my mouth uttered that which my heart never thought. But the best is, my boasting bravery can blemish none of your bounty: nor my fran­tic foolishness impair any of your virtuous credit. But all is well that is well taken, little said is soon amen­ded, and so I pray you pardon your penitent, and sorrowful offender.

Sir Strabino (quoth she) for this fault, you have already obtained pardon, it was not so grievously taken as you thought for: nor it was not so fault worthy as now you grant it. I am not to exact the uttermost of any man: nor I am not to conceive an anger before just cause be offered, for you know, that what talk so ever we use, that doth not stretch beyond the bounds of honest and allowable reason: by promise is to be esteemed of no effect, therefore I discharge that Obligation of his full strength and virtue, and stick to the promise passed. Marry, yet am I on the other side to think well of you, that stood in such awe of displeasing her: who was far more afraid of incurring your anger. We women are not to be too captious nor to quarrelous, neither to hasty, nor to slow, for it were no point of civility to handle our friends churlishly, and it were mere folly to quip them upon no greater occasion. First, we are to under­stand the efficient cause that urgeth them to speak, and to weigh it thoroughly in the weights of modesty: and so to give an­swer, that we be neither found to scrupulous in the one, nor to coy in the other. I know you are my friend, and so I esteem you, and as my friend I make account of you, then never think that I your friend will seem to construe your meaning at the worst: nor yet to condemn you upon no greater occasion. I can not deny but that some are very apt to anger, to receive a matter ill, be it never so well spoken, that doth demonstrate a great error in her that useth it, what­soever: and condemneth her of impudence, for her so light belief. Soft fire (they say) maketh sweet malt, a wise Woman will way all with discretion: but a fool will be hasty, and to troublesome to deal with all. Wise Cato saieth, Bridle thine anger with modesty, and judge not of a matter too rashly, for as there is great commendation in the one: so is there great shame followeth the other. It is a seemly thing for every one to use their anger with discretion: be­cause (perchance) it may redound [swell] to their discredit. Thus Strabino suffice yourself, that the coals of my anger were soon kindled and soon quenched. For if I should be angry with you: you might account it but the rashness of a Wo­man, and her want of foresight, and so I pray you take it.

Strabino, perceiving the courteous excuse of Cornelia, and that his passed talk was taken in such gentle gree: thought it now good time to prefer his suit, and so desiring her pati­ence, proceeded as followeth.

 

Strabino now offereth his love and service to his Lady, requiring the courteous accep­tion thereof. Cap. 3.

Then dear Lady, since neither my rude behaviour hath offended you, nor my passed presumption purchased any ill will: I hope I may un­der authority of your licence proceed to the very ground and effect of all which I have to unfold. For since your wisdom hath weighed each cause so discreetly, and construed the meaning thereof with such good demeanour: I will make you partner of my passed perils, and of the distress that may ensue (always provided) that you accept and conceive no worse than I think it. Since it hath been my hap (dear Lady) here in Verona, to pass my time in studious exercise, according to the long desired wish of my Parents: I have one way profited, and another way procured my peril, for casting mine eyes among the renow­ned troop of gallant Dames, (as here are many) the boun­tiful beauty of one among all the rest hath so searched the secrets of my hidden heart, and bewitched my wits in such wonderful wise: that neither medicines may serve to mit­igate, herbs, or any Physical potion adjuvant to amend­ment: but only that sovereign salve which most doth de­light me, her little finger would lift me to life, a word of her mouth would cease all my sorrows, and one question absol­ved: would make me a sufficient Scholar. I presume in place, where I behold this seemly she: and the more I come in her company: the greater increaseth my care, the more I look: the more I like, but liking brings such restless woe: that were it not I had a soul to save, and that I stand in awe of the anger of God: I should finish this Tragedy, with such a merciless massacring of my poor self, that neither should she vaunt of the loss of my life: nor I be thought to demerit so direful a death. But what needeth all these words? to what end do I make this tedious protestation my help is never the more furthered, but by talking of her I am the more endamaged.

Ah Sir (quoth Cornelia) is the wind in the door now? are you Sea sick so soon, and not half a mile over? well, well, this little spark will flame to so fierce a fire: that perhaps all the wit you have is not able to quench it. Why Lady (quoth he) I am not so far over shoes: but I may return yet dry, nor I am not so far in, but I may easily escape out, there is more ways to the wood than one, and passages wherein are no peril. I shall use myself in extremity as I see occasion: and doubt you not my wit shall stand for a warrant. Sir (quoth she) the crafty Fox would eat no grapes, no though they fell in his mouth, the Cat will eat no sweet milked, for fear of marring her teeth: so you would not be in love, no though you might, and when you are in, you will love as you list.

O Sir, soft fire makes sweet Malt, it is ill to halt before a Cripple[13], and it were shame to belie the Devil. Your own words doth condemn you in that you have spoken: or else you are very impudent, that you speak you know not what. Medicines you say, can make no amendment, the force of Physic to help you doth fail, and yet you say, there is one sovereign salve can minister a remedy. O crafty head, your teeth will not let your tongue lie, in faith it is almost time to bid you good night. Yet to see how you will maintain your matter with wresting of words, you would make me believe the Moon is made of green cheese: In faith Sir no, you must rise somewhat more early, if you go beyond me: and you must deal more subtly, if you seek to deceive me. But truly if you were as mighty a man of your deed, as you are of your word: Verona would be little enough to hold you, and never a Woman of them all durst abide your stern countenance. You do well, you will hold with the Hare, and run with the Hound, and you would play Ambo Dexter [double-dealing], if you could tell how, but in faith Sir I have you at my fingers end, even as perfect without book as you are within.

Strabino with this passed tale was so nipped in the head, that he had scant anything to say, and when he saw she was so crafty, that his subtle Sophistry did deceive him: he would with all his heart have been far enough from her presence: or that his talk were to begin again. For albeit he was a man stout of his person: yet they that had seen him now, would have thought he had neither life nor soul left in him. Which when Cornelia beheld how sadly he sate, and would speak never a word, how his colour went and came, as though he had lain a dying: thought it no courtesy to let him languish so: but to give him a fresh encouragement to revive up his spirits. Why Sir Strabino (quoth she) is your heart in you hose? Is your courageous countenance so soon changed to pale and wanny cheeks? Your face makes appearance of your grievous disease, and your looks bewray you, that you are in love. But what of that? never dismay yourself with any doubting dread, nor let not my talk so seem to trouble you, if I have made a fault: I ask you forgive­ness, and if I have displeased you: I will do so no more. You know, promise was made, that all should be well accep­ted, that pertained to no harm, and that which should pass between us: should not be offensive to either. I for my part am not offended with anything spoken: and if you are, truly you be to blame. I will leave your company, if you be not more merry, and will forsake hereafter any more to frequent it. Shake hands and be friends again, and tell me who she is that you so faithfully love: I will stand your friend perhaps in the matter, and if of myself I am not able to do it: I will inform those of it, who (doubt you not) shall bring it to effect.

With that Strabino revived himself out of his brown study, and began smugly to hold up the head, right willing he left his so sudden quandary: and began to look up with a sensorial countenance. His heart that before lay in a hole: was now ready for joy to leap out at his mouth, his mind that erst was pinched with passions: was now so jocund, that it danced with joy, and his colour that before was as pale as ashes: began now as fresh as the redolent Rose, eve­ry member which before seemed maimed: he could now stretch out to the ninth degree. And if his present service might have won him a Wife: he was able to discharge it, and that to the uttermost, besides, his conceits began to come so nimbly together: that he now rolled in his Rhetoric, like a Flea in a blanket.

Ah courteous Cornelia (quoth Strabino) how much am I bound in duty to your seemly self? How much am I indebted to your prudent personage? that with such sweet persuasions, such maidenly and modest motions, such heroical and singular actions: hath loosed to liberty a discouraged prisoner, and hath revived him to life, who was almost past all hope of recovery.

Excellent was the opinion of Valerius Maximus, who com­mended the friendly deeds, done in adversity, as for prospe­rity will succour itself. My self may be witness, in ad­vancing your friendliness, whose adversity was incurable: had I not obtained counsel of so prudent a Physician. I thank you for your friendly offer, wishing I were able to countervail it as I would, and that my might were correspondent to my well meaning intent: then should you see the depth of my desire, and have occasion to think you should not pass unrewarded. The Lady whom I love will be won to your will, the Saint whom I serve: will fulfil your request, and the least word of your mouth will bind up the bargain. So that do you but speak: I speed, do you say yea, and I shall have no nay, so much dare I crake of her credit, and boast of her bounty: that you can not so soon say the word: but she will willingly do the deed.

Cornelia smiling at this gallant gloze, and having half a conjecture at what mark he aimed to shoot at: framed such an answer as she thought best herself, and to make Strabinoʼs suit never the near. The foolish Fly (quoth she) so long je­steth with the Candle, that at last she singeth herself, the silly Mouse wandreth oft so far abroad: that she is taken tardy before she come home[14], and the Nightingale singeth so sweetly, till she fall in a sleep, and so oftentimes is caught at unawares. Likewise, I have held you here so long with a pleasant tale, that you make me half mistrust myself. If your Lady be so wilful to be won to my will, and so courteous that she will come at my call, yea, if I say the word, you ask no better bargain: either I must conjecture, that her affection is greater to me than to you: or that she would claim assurance of me for your good behaviour. Now credit me Strabino, you are wily in your words: yet not so crafty, but I conceive your meaning.

Qui simulat verbis, nec corde est fidus Amicus:
tu quoque fac simile: sic Ars deluditur arte.

[If anyone feigns with you in speaking and is not a sincere friend, do the same with him,
and thus let art be foiled by art (Dionysius Cato)]

But yet Strabino, let these matters pass, and to come to the point, whereupon we have stood so long, name me your La­dy, what she is, and where she dwelleth: then shall you hear farther what I will do for you. If so be (quoth Strabino) you will promise me no good will shall want on your part, to the fulfilling my request, and that you will not hinder the mat­ter I have in hand: I will show you the sweet she, whose captive I am, and to whose love I am thus entirely entang­led. Sir (quoth she) Qui ante non cavit, post dolebit [15], A man may love his house well, though he ride not on the roof, and a man may make a good Mart, yet be no great gainer. There goeth more words to a bargain than one, and other pray­ers to be used beside the Pater noster, when you have told me your tale: you shall see what I will say, and though I make you no promise: doubt not but I will please you.

Then took Strabino up her glass that hung at her Girdle, and therein he framed many an Amorous countenance. At last (quoth Cornelia) what fancies find you there, that makes you so pleasant? or have you a delight in beholding your own face? Nay (quoth he) not for the fancy I find in mine own face: but for the comely countenance that consi­steth in my Lady and Mistress. And have you found her face there (quoth she) I pray you let me see her, to judge if I know her. After Cornelia had looked a while, she said. Why Strabino, you promised I should see that seemly she, to whom you owe such delightful love and loyalty. And what I promi­sed (quoth he) hath been here performed. As how (quoth she) Whose face (quoth he) did you behold when I showed you? why yours and mine own (quoth she) I thought it would come to such a pass, well I will speak to her, and if she chance to give her consent: doubt you not but you shall hear of it. But one thing I can tell ye, and that you shall perfectly prove, how she is wedded to her will, and married to her own mind: that she had rather live a maiden still, than be bidden to so bad a breakfast.

That were against reason (quoth he) that she should be so married to her mind: as not to respect one so good as herself, or that in disdaining so good a breakfast be forced to come to a coarser dinner. A little pittance in the morning: is better than to be fasting all day, and perhaps, a good strong stake stroke in the hedge in Summer: will stand for a good defence in the Winter.

Albeit Sir (quoth she) you are her better: yet she thinks it not against reason to like before she love, and though it be not expedient to give the children’s bread to dogs: yet will they lick the crumbs that falls from their maisterʼs table. And besides she thinks, that if she keep her stomach for a good supper: she shall not take surfeit of her fasting all day. Likewise, though the strong stake do well fortify the hedge for Winter: yet if the stake be without other defence: the Beasts will easily get over and spoil the pasture, and so in time utterly undo the owner.

Strabino having well and sufficiently pondered her talk: thought now he would not discourage himself with the diversity of her devices, but even as his heart served him he would make her an answer. Why Lady (quoth he) do you misdoubt of my bountiful behaviour? or it I am such a one as regardeth not my honesty? Think you if I would make my choice, I could not have as good as you, or if my mind had been so addicted, ere this I could not have been sped? think you all Women are of your mind? or that they will dislike upon no occasion? No credit me, Cornelia (I speak Bonafide) if my stomach had served: I could have been soon sufficed, and if all Women were of your mind: I should have but a cold suit with my wooing. But belike you are betrothed al­ready: and that makes you so dainty, if you be tell me, that I may loose no more labour.

Truly Sir Strabino (quoth she) if as yet I am betrothed: it is more than I know, what my Parents have done, I know not, but as yet I can assure you, there is no such matter meant by me. But what of that, you are never the nearer your purpose, nor yet the likelier to gain my good will, you are a gallant Gentleman, well known in Verona, wherefore you may chance to light on a better booty, and doubt you not but there are those, who with all their hearts would have you. Wherefore good Sir, never feed your humours on such a homely piece: since there be more delicate Demoiselles that will not deny you. But now it draws toward sup­per time, and occasion is so offered: that perforce I must leave you, desiring you not to deem any discourtesy, that I leave your company so soon.

Nay (quoth Strabino) I am not to conceive the worst of your departure: but rather to thank you, that vouchsafed my company so long, no anger I trust is conceived for my superfluous speech: but rather pardoned for that no disho­nesty was meant. Thus thanking you a thousand times for your courtesy offered: till Fortune so frame our next meeting together, I commend you to God, whom I pray grant me my wish, and you the depth of your desire.

Thus Gentlemen is Cornelia and Strabino parted, he ta­king the way home to his Chamber: and she speedeth herself that she were at supper, but so sour a sauce she had given Strabino: that the sharpness turned his stomach from min­ding any meat. It is not strange to see what a metamor­phosis Love maketh of a man? that he which erst might have bragged with the best: is now become to careful for a­ny company, he which erst walked the streets with a gal­lant grace: now pulleth his bonnet over his brows, that none may behold his sudden alteration? He which before lived merrily, faring with the finest, and delighting in the daintiest: now scant eateth a good meal’s meat in a month. He cometh to his Chamber, throweth himself on his bed, encumbered with so many cares, that it is unspeakable: at last unto himself talketh in this order.

O God, where are become the lofty looks I used before I was a Lover? Where are the curious countenances, the weighty words, the dainty dealings, the bold behaviours, and the manly order of life wherein I lived before? Hath Love so puissant a power to revert my sweetness into sorrows, my mirth into amazedness, my life into languor, and all my happiness into a state so helpless? O grief with­out end, O sorrows without ceasing, O hellish torments that hath no conclusion. But yet am I the first that was framed to folly? Or I am the last that shall be led by Love? Hath not the Gods themselves been subject to like mestive [mournful] miseries? Did not Jupiter enter Acrissius tower, in the shape of a fair swimming Swan, to deflower fair Danea? Apollo persecuted Daphne to get his will of her: Neptune begat Nauplius father to Palamedes of Amimone, daughter of Davaeus: Mercury lay with Lar the beautiful Nymph, and got of her two pretty children called Lares. Likewise king David became convinced by the love of Bersaba: Salomon the wise was subject to love likewise. If then love hath made the Gods to agree, the wise to be wilful, the stoutest to stoop: is it possible for me poor Strabino, to resist a thing of such force?[16] O Cornelia, little dost thou esteem the good will I bear thee, little dost thou account of my constancy, little dost thou regard my restless rage, and little dost thou deem all my dolorous doubts. Is thy heart so frozen, that the sunny beams of bounty may not make it to melt? Is thy mind so misbelieving, that no faithful fidelity may seem to reform it? Is not daily proof sufficient to try my trustiness? Is not the great good will I bear thee, able to cause thee to ac­count well of me? To offer me cruelty for courtesy, thou dost me open injury. Alas wretched wight that I am, whose misery is more than mine? Whose days more dolorous, whose time more troublesome, whose life more loathsome, and whose state more irksome, the day to me is nothing delight­ful: the night more careful, sleep I can not, and waking, I never cease wailing.

Sometime I sit to conquer the cogitations, which weary my wits: then again am I driven into a more deep de­sire. Sometime I scorn and laugh at Love, thinking mine own will a sufficient warrant: but then in a moment ariseth manifold miseries, so that neither waking nor sleeping, walking or sitting, can my sorrowful self sustain any rest. Why waste thou born to abide such bitterness? why hast thou lived to see this tristful time? why hath not death desired his due: and the grave cut of this merciless grief? O Labyrinth of intricate evils, O maze of endless miseries, whom neither dutiful surrendering of myself may suffice: nor any virtuous action seem to content you. Cease Strabino, give not thyself altogether to insolence, nor frame not thyself wholly vanquished with follies, time may turn thy troubles to tranquillity, time may make thy foes thy friends, and time may revert all thy pains to pleasure. Impute not thy Lady altogether disloyal, for he that spee­deth at the first: wooeth well, and he that hath no denial: in my opinion is very fortunate.

In these and such like careful complaints the solitary Strabino hath worn away the wearisome night. In the morning cometh his brother and friend Rodolfo to under­stand the cause of his sudden sickness.

 

Rodolfo, the brother of Cornelia, and avouched friend to Strabino, cometh to the Chamber to know the cause of his sickness. Cap. 4.

At last Rodolfo a dear friend to Strabino, and Brother to his Lady and Mistress, missing his friend from School, whereto was his daily repair: cometh to his Chamber, and there found him tossing and turmoiling himself, on his careful couch, which when he saw, as one amazed at this sudden mutability, and greatly grieved to see his friend in such a piteous plight: began thus to frame his speech.

My dearest friend and chiefest Jewel of my joy, not so glad of the rare friendship that in you I have found: as sorrowful to see this uncouth sight. Is this the comely countenance that you were wont to carry: and now changed into the perfect Image of care? Are you that man, that erst did swim in delight: and now bereft of your former behaviour? Was my words erst worthy to procure thee to pleasure: and now not able to stand in their former effect? Am not I the same Rodolfo I was wont to be: and shall not I now be accounted as thy former friend?

What is the cause my Strabino of this sudden alteration? How happens it you are so soon changed into heaviness? If I be worthy to know the cause of your carefulness, or that my deserts may gain my desire: let me understand the sum of your sorrows, and doubt not but I will see some re­dress for you.

Strabino having well weighed the words of his friend, and how earnest he was in this his request: bethought himself how he might sufficiently answer him, and yet not be found tardy in his talk. Perhaps afterward he would discover more of the case: but at this instant he should not know whom he loved, wherefore in this order he framed his an­swer. My dear Rodolfo, whose friendship I highly make account of, and whose fidelity I have found firm in weighty affairs, to you will I display my dolorous disease: hoping by your means it may be mitigated.

Since first it was my fortune (dear friend) to use the com­pany of the brave Ladies and Demoiselles here in Verona: I have been attainted with so many perilous passions: that sure I am past hope to have any recovery, yet do I strive with mine affection as forcibly as I can: but impossible it is for me to remove it, so excellently do I esteem of the person, whom I honour: that in life or death I am hers at com­mand.

Rodolfo perceiving Strabinoʼs sickness, and how that love made him to languish in such sort: he esteemed the matter of less account, and made him an answer but little to please him. Ah Sir (quoth he) are coals so soon kindled in your uncertain stomach? is your mind so mutable, that no stead­fast stay may be had? Are you one which regardeth not your pros­perity: or make you so small account to fall into misery? Do you see the danger each day before your eyes: and are so heedless to fall headlong in the same? You have read yourself, how the effects of Love are strange: and by so much as you have seen and heard, me thinks it should be odious unto you. Forget you Plautus words, when as touching this devilish disease, he saieth: Iactor, crucior, agitor, stimulor, versor in amoris rota, miser exanimor, feror, distrahor diripior, ubi non sum: ibi sum, ibi est animus [Plautus, Cistellaria: I'm tossed, tormented, agitated, goaded, whirled on the wheel of love in my misery, I'm deprived of sensation, carried one way, carried another way]. How like you this lesson alleged to your Love? How can you excuse that these fears are not felt? How can you disprove these innumerable dangers? Remember Antigonusʼ words to his Father Demetrius. Let Seleucus folly to his son, forewarn thee what adverseness consisteth in this contagious disease, who ionized his own Wife with his son in marriage to satisfy his lust. What caused the long dissention between Themistocles and Aristides: but the love of Stesilia the harlot? What procured the hatred between Cato and Caesar: but the licentious love after Servilia the strumpet? Semiramis, honored and extolled for her nobleness of mind, and virtue in her deeds: by love brought her name into eternal infamy. Why are the Assy­rian Kings so reproved of wantonness: but for the lawless love they use, with their Concubines? Did not love ble­mish the rare renown of Hannibal in Salapia? Did not love infect the fame of Alexander? What caused Catalin to kill his son: but love? What caused Laodice Wife to Ariartes King of Cappadocia to murder his sons but love? What made Scylla to destroy her Father: but love? What made the stately walls of Troy be sacked: but love? Infinite are the extremities which through love arise, and can not be so much reprehended: as by right it deserveth. What man so wilful to come subject to Women? What pains more intolerable than to come at their calls? It is their joy, to have one bow at their becks, it is their delight to have one wait on their wills, it is the chiefest of their choice to have a man sue for their succour. Then Jill will be a Gentlewoman, if she could but Parle un petit de Francois. If a man will be made a peacock, and blind himself with a little of their bold behaviour: then is their coin current, yea, better silver than an honester Woman’s. If they can once fledge themselves with another man’s feathers, and jet in their Jewels at other men’s costs: then a pin for the proudest, a fig for the finest, she is as honest as the best, though she be ashamed to use it, yet sure she doth well, not to have her honesty so much seen, least with wearing it on working days, it may catch to much heat, and so melt it away: or else take so much cold, it will never be good after. If with a song, you would be sung asleep, or with a dance led to delight, or if you have the Quatrinos, to play at sink and size: then is she a Companion with the cunningest, a fellow with the forwardest, and will rather play small game: than sit quite out. Who would miss such a mate, that for a month’s pleasure: will after make you lead a loathsome life? Who would lack such a Lass, that for a days pride: will make you go a month stark naked? Now truly he were unwise, that would not have such a Wench, and he were too far foolish, that would want such a Bon Companion.

Oh Strabino, in faith the black Ox never trode on your foot yet, you never came where it grew: nor you never tried time, as here after you shall find it. If you had beaten the bush, and caught any of the Birds[17]: I doubt not but you would have told me another tale. If you be wise: stay yourself in this state, if you will follow your friends who wish you well: eat a bushel of Salt with them, ere you trust any one of them, for you were better beware be­fore: than wish you had taken heed, when it is too late. Try and then trust me, if you find not true that I have told you: then report of me, as my deeds shall give occasion.

Strabino having lain still a pretty while, and devised how he might now stand in defence of his Mistress: made an­swer unto his friend on this wise. Sir (quoth he) saying and doing are two men’s labours, and it is easier for a man to promise: than to fulfil, yourself now setteth such a courageous countenance on the matter: as though your mind were invincible. Think you there is not as wise men in the world as you? Are you made of such metal, as force will not melt you? could you if the matter were brought to the trial: with all the cunning you have make any resistance? No credit me, but even so glad to find ease as myself: and march under Cupid’s banner for company. What said Ariosto in the commendation of Love? He saieth, what sweeter state? what more bountiful bliss, and what more happy life: than to be linked in love? [18] Chrisippus also saieth, that love is the bond of friendship, and ought not to be held in contempt: for that beauty is the flower of virtue. Cicero holdeth opinion, that a Wise man may lawfully love, and the very reciprocal and mutual society of true and faithful friendship (say the Peripa­tions) is Love. Zeno the Prince of the Stoics affirmeth, that it is needful and necessary of young men to be lovers, and never disagreeth with wise men: for that Love is an as­sociate with virtue. And will you reprove Love that is so much honored? Will you disdain Love that is so magnifi­ed? Will you condemn all Women, although some be evil? and will you reprehend all Women for one strumpet’s sake? What perilous pains? What troublesome travail? What pinching pangs[19], and what manifold miseries, did one wo­man sustain for you? Remember her that brought you into this world, consider her care in providing for your prosperity, think on the daily devices her motherly affection framed to keep you in quiet, sometime lulling on the lap, and trifling with many a toy, for the pure love she bare her child, remember all these points indifferently: and then judge how much you are bound unto that famous sex. Did not God give Adam in Paradise a Woman for his companion? Hath not God or­dained man and woman to live together in matrimony? and it the mutual love between man and wife, is to him most accep­table? O my friend Rodolfo, forsake this fondness, leave of this lewdness, and take hold on a better text, love them it love you, and maintain no more this vain assertion. When Rodolfo had weighed the sick man’s answer, and that he was so far in: it was too late to cry hoe, he said. Now credit me Strabino, all women have just cause to wage you well: because you stand in their defence so doughtily, were I a woman: you should not want what possibility could perform, and sure I would choose you always for my Champion against any whatsoever. And truly, she whom you love, knowing what metal you are made of: if she love you not again, she is very uncourteous.

Well, I warrant you, ye will not die of this disease, you will take better advisement with you I hope. If you would frequent the Tournaments, to bestride the stately Steeds, and with the shivering Lance to behave yourself manful­ly: these foolish fancies, these troublesome thoughts, and these coy cogitations would soon abandon you. The hour you know of our exercise is at hand, I must be gone, my Com­panions attend my coming, in the afternoon I will visit you again. Your sudden departure (quoth Strabino) is an augmenting of my grief, but I will not hinder you from your valiant exercise: till you come again, God keep you.

Rodolfo being departed: Strabino could not take any rest, up he rose, his head encumbered with a thousand thoughts, his mind musing on many matters. One while he thought to go see his sweet Saint: then he thought it would but pro­cure the greater pain, another while he thought to send to her: then he doubted how she would take the matter, at last, he took pen, ink and paper, and framed his salutations, as followeth.

Albeit dear Mistress, you may account me more wit­less, than wise, and more saucy than beseemeth me, to perturb your patience with these frivolous lines: yet if you respect the good will I wish you, and consider the dutiful service I am ready to show you: I trust I shall be discharged of any crime committed, and that my honest intent deserveth no rash repulse. Part of my pains I have bewrayed to your bounty, and some of my sorrows you have secretly seen: then judge if my justness deserves not your gentleness, and whether my constancy may claim part of your courte­sy. Pygmalion so long embraced a cold stone: that at last he won the same to his Wife. Admetus in the attire of a man, with long service gained his best beloved. If Love were so effectual to frame, fit for their fancies: why may not Strabinoʼs hap at length return fortunate? But perhaps dear Mistress, you will allege that the liberty of my speech, bewrayeth the lightness of my Love, and that I seem to undermine you with forgery, intending no fidelity. To drive you out of such doubts, and discharge myself of double dealing, and to prove my love vehement without vaun­ting, fervent without falsehood, trusty without trifling, and constant without any craftiness: let be practised for proof, what shall please you to employ me: and command to the uttermost, though it were loss of my life. If you find me faltering: then rightly repel me, and if you prove me perjured: then never more use me. Thus committing the sum of my suit to your sweet solution, and the construing of my cause to your inestimable courtesy: I refer here to mul­tiply manifold matters, and so with a Courteous Conge, bid you farewell heartily.

Yours to command, the solitary Strabino.

This Letter thus written, and sealed with sorrows: he wished a thousand times it were in the hands of his cour­teous Cornelia.[20] But now thought he, how might I behave myself in the sending my suit? How might I devise to have this delivered? If I carry it myself: I shall be suspec­ted, if I send it by a stranger: her Father may chance to see it. If I should make my friend Rodolfo messenger, he would then perceive the sum of my secrets, then would he see that his Sister were my Saint, and that her love would set me at liberty. I know not how the matter may be mis­used: nor how the cause may be by them consulted. A bar­gain (they say) well made is half won, and he that works surely: lightly hath no harm, then will I trust none in this but myself: so if I speed not well, none knows it but myself.

The Tournaments being ended: Rodolfo returned, and finding Strabino walking in his Chamber: requested to know how he felt himself amended? Quoth Strabino, neither a­mended, nor worse impaired: but even as you left me, yet if it were not for hope: the heart could not hold, so I hope that that my sickness will in the end return my sweetness.

I think will somewhat mitigate the amazedness of my mind, and beside make me have a stomach the better to my meat: if it shall please you to walk with me: I will after go with you to your Fathers house. With right good will (quoth Rodolfo) I will walk where you please, and do what you can devise: so that I might somewhat persuade you from love.

 

Signor Truculento, an extorting Usurer in Verona, cometh to the house of Giorolamo Ruscelli, the father of Cornelia, to desire his Daugh­ter in marriage, and bringeth with him a sump­tuous present. Cap. 5.

Leaving Rodolfo and Strabino in walking for their pleasure: I will now rehearse how old Signor Truculento smooched up himself in his Fustian slippers, and put on his holy day hose, to come a wooing to Mistress Cornelia. The old whoreson would needs be lusty, and to cherish up his churlish carcass would get him a wanton Wife. And though I say it, he was as well made a man, and as curious in his qualities: as ever an old Horse in this town, when he is knabbling on a thistle. This carpet Knight, having poun­ced himself up in his perfumes, and walking so nice on the ground, that he would scant bruise an Onion: comes to the house of Signor Giorolamo Ruscelli, bringing with him a very costly Cup, wherein was about five hundred Crowns. When he was come into the presence of the Gentleman, he said Sir, as one right glad to hear of your health, and wil­ling besides to work your welfare: I am come to see how it fareth with you; because that long time I have been desi­rous. First Sir, this Cup I freely give you, and these five hundred Crowns, I frankly bestow on you, besides if you pleasure me in my reasonable request: you shall find me your friend in more than I will speak of.

The Gentleman amazed at Truculentoʼs liberality, who before would scant bestow on himself a good meal’s meat for expense of money: made him this answer. I can not choose Sir, but consider well of your courtesy, and likewise esteem of your bountiful benevolence, undeserved of my part to be so richly rewarded: considering my countenance to you hath been small. And if your request be so reasonable as you seem to affirm, and that it lieth in me to bring the same to effect: doubt not that I will make you any denial, since you have gratified me with so great a gift. Well Sir, now Truculento trusseth up his towardness, and bustleth up his brains like a bunch of Radish, setting up his wits to work about his Amorous eloquence: he thus began to tell forth his tale. It may be thought to you good Sir, either a natural inclination, or a predestinate desire, that a man of my years should now be bent to folly, in craving that com­pany which a youthful head requireth, and seeking to match myself in marriage, drawing each day to my death. But as a good foresight in all things is to be had, and diligent indu­stry keeps the Wolf from the door. Even so, though I am to be thought fond in following my will, I am to be excused in wishing my weal. Yet this may be alleged to condemn mine assertion, and this may be thought, I do it more for lust than love. That in making my choice, I am not more circumspect, and in ruling my will, I am not more wise. The hoary hairs should choose one agreeable to his age, the lusty youth one meet to his tender time: then if this allegation may stand in effect, I have made my market far amiss. On age I begin to bend my brows: and on a gallant Girl I fix my fancy. Age of me is altogether despised: and youthful years honored and exalted, Age in my mind is nothing wholesome: but beauty is brave, delicate and toothsome. So Sir, if I may gain her whom I have thus chosen: I shall not be only pleasured, but yourself for ever hereafter profited. Your Daughter it is whom I desire, it is even she whom I serve, and none but she must be my solace. If you accept my suit, make answer accordingly: and if I shall have your Daugh­ter, do not deny me.

The Gentleman having well listened this new-come wooer’s tale, and seeing at what mark he levelled his love, he bring one himself that preferred money before manly mo­desty, coin before courteous civility, and riches before a­ny virtuous action, besides, overcome with the costliness of the Cup, out of measure contented with the five hundred Crowns: Furthermore he thought, if he matched his daugh­ter with him: she would soon send him to Church, and then should she swim in her golden bags: was very loath to send away such a sweet Suitor, thinking it rare to have a richer: wherefore to Truculento he made this answer.

I hope Sir, you doubt not of the good will I wish you, nor of the courtesy you shall find hereafter, your reasonable re­quest is altogether allowed: and your gentle gift greatly ac­cepted. I would my Daughter’s dowry were as much as I could wish it: I would bestow it on man sooner than yourself. With that he called for his Daughter Cornelia, who when she was come into this old amorous Squire’s presence: his heart began to heave like a Baker’s bun, his whole complexion so miraculously changed: that you could scant have known him from a Croydon sanguine. Oh so his Amorous eyes began to look on his new Wife, I am sure he would have spent all the shoes in his shop to have had one kiss for a courteous Conge.

Lo Daughter (quoth her Father) God hath sent you here a Husband, one that will maintain you in your bravery with the best, and you shall lack nothing, but live a Lady’s life, now make answer as you shall think best.

Cornelia somewhat moved at this made matter, and no­thing contented with her Father’s choice, all her senses di­stracted with this sudden motion: yet took courage to answer the matter in this sort. Dear Father, it is the duty of the Child to be obedient to her Parentsʼ precepts: and it is the Father’s fame to have his Child virtuously nurtu­red, I confess it is my part to obey your grave advise: and it ought to be your care to see me meetly matched. If then your care be no better bestowed: my duty must be as much neglected, though your will be to see me carelessly cast away, if it lie in me, I am to prevent it, both for the credit of your worthy estate: and also for the good name of my simple self. Will you for money marry me to a miser? Will you for wealth wed me to a Wittol? And will you for riches so little regard me? Shall I for a little vain glory? for­sake virtue? Shall I for paltry pride run headlong to hell? Shall I for mortal muck forsake immortality? No Father, had he wit to his wealth: he would be more wise, had he reason to his riches, he would be of more regard, and had he manhood to his money: he would be ashamed of his extorting usury. For what is wealth without wisdom? Riches with­out reason, and money disorderly governed? Even like the shadow of a man portraited in a picture, that hath all the lineaments in good order belonging to a man: yet wants the man himself, for as the Image lacketh life to his proper proportion: so this man wants that which should most of all adorn him. Rather had I you should have chosen a country Clown, that getteth his living lawfully, and liveth by truth and honesty: then such a one as is not acquainted with any virtuous behaviour. I must confess he is wise enough, to make much of his money, and careful beside how to cull in his coin, but he that will run to the devil for a little dross: and pinch the poor to the perdition of his own soul: shall never be loved of me while I live, much less intend I to have him to my Husband.

When Truculento heard Cornelia’s pinching reply, and how she disdained such a loathsome liver: he would with all his heart have had his Cup again, on condition he would never come more a wooing. Yet set he a good face on the matter, be­cause he would not be misdoubted, and fain he would have spoken, but his heart was so big he could not, the which her Father seeing, said.

Come Sir, we will go walk about the City a while, and never dismay yourself at the words of my Daughter, for will she, nil she: I will have her follow my mind in this matter. Away went old Truculento with a heavy heart, yet the Gentleman’s words, procured him to be of better cheer.

They were no sooner out of the door: but in came Rodolfo and Strabino both together, and Strabino in walking: had bewrayed to his friend the sum of his secrets, whereto he gained so much his good will: that he promised he would further it as much as he might. When they came into the Garden: there they found Cornelia very sad and sorrowful. Why Sister (quoth Rodolfo) how happens it that you seem so sad? Why do you cumber your mind with carefulness, your head with heaviness, and all your parts with such pensiveness? When I went forth in the morning: you were merry, and are you now changed into such melancholy? O Brother (quoth she) after mirth cometh moans, after joy grief, and after pleasure pain, that comes in an hour: that happens not in seven year: Even so since your departure, hath chanced such change: that all my friends will lament to hear of my fathers folly. Hath my father (quoth Rodolfo) framed things contrary to your fancy? And doth his dealings hinder your delight? I pray you unfold this sudden alterati­on: if I may be so bold to crave such courtesy. You are to command me in greater affairs than this quoth she: wherefore attend and I will tell you all. Not fully yet two hours ago, there came to my father such a comely Chamaeleon: that could change himself into all hues saving honesty, all qualities in him, saving those it are comely, and as expert in humanity: as he that never knew what it meant. Besides (but that I am not to reprehend age) for that it is honourable, nor to condemn his years, (for it he hath lived a tranquil time) he is as doting a dizzard [fool] as any in Verona, and as covetous a carl, as liveth at this day. But if wealth may make a man wise: he will brag with the best, or his extortion make him esteemed: he will be nothing behind hand. But if virtue should vaunt and claim for her fee: this comely Squire were sunk in the wetting, and all his credit cracked before it were gotten. But to come to the effect of the matter, and to let pass his properties: without they were praiseworthy, and to show the cause of his coming, and his suit to my Father. It is so, that this money miser: is become a lusty lover, and bringing a gorgeous gift to gratify my Father: the Amorous whoreson would have me to his wife. Now my father (as you know) hath a good mind to money, and looks that the old suitor will soon turn up his heels, (so then shall I have more money than modest man­ners, and greater store of substance than wisdom to rule it,) he would needs make him promise, that he should wed me to his Wife. But I gave him such a cooling card, and such a pinching reply: that my Father is fain to go and per­suade him, saying at his departure: that he shall have me whether I will or not. But sure, ere I give my consent to fulfil his fancy, and match myself with such a Midas: my Father shall first cause me leave my life, which will be a greater reward: than to live with reproach.

Now surely Sister (quoth Rodolfo) I must commend your constancy, and allow the care of your credit, before such a do­ting drudge should spoil your gallant youth: myself would tell my Father another tale. With that Strabino took out his Letter, and courteously kissing it: gave it to his sweet Saint, and in the meanwhile she was in reading it: they walked about the Garden together, and having read it: came unto him saying. Sir Strabino, your honest intent: I can not dislike, nor your well meaning mind can I reprove, but wish I were worthy so seemly a suitor, and of ability to gra­tify your exceeding courtesy. I confess your justness con­demneth me of ungentleness; and your constancy reproveth my great discourtesy, in that at your last departure: I did misuse myself with such blunt behaviour, but as the Sun should not set on an anger conceived: so I hope my presump­tion by you was pardoned: If at the first I had granted your love: you might have alleged my mind to be light, if at the first demand I had made no denial: you might have thought me very untrusty, but now perceiving your ardent affection, the loyal love and good will you bear me: I think I can not bestow myself better, than on him whose fidelity I have found so faithful.

Now Brother tell me how like you my choice? In choosing my friend, Sister (quoth Rodolfo) you have followed my fan­cy, in making my friend your Husband: you have done as I would have you. God grant your days may be spent so prosperous: as I wish this match to each party meritori­ous. This match is more seemly: than my Fathers foreca­sting, and this is more agreeable to God: than to have you uni­ted in that order, for where perfect love is effectually placed: there is triumphant tranquillity, peace and plenty God’s blessing and sufficient. But where marriage is made upon compulsion, the one agreeing, the other disdaining: there is daily discord, displeasing of God, continual care, and many infirmities followeth. Wherefore I think this a match so meet: that it can not be mended a choice so equal: as there can be no better, here is love and loyalty, here is faith and fidelity, God prosper your proceeding, I wish it heartily.

Now Gentlemen, judge if Strabino had not cause to be courageous of so gallant a conquest? of so peerless a prize, and so loving a Lady? Whose joy was more jocund? Whose bliss more bountiful? And whose hap might be compared to Strabinoʼs good luck in compassing that in a moment: which he thought would never have come to effect, and in getting the good will of so gallant a Goddess, so sweet a Saint, and so merciful a Mistress.

Wherefore now leaving the languishing of his sorrowful sickness, and forsaking the fear that erst followed his fan­cy: he saluteth his Lady with this courteous reply. I see (most merciful Mistress) that there is no disease so despe­rate: but help may be had, no sickness so sore: but Physic can foil it, no wound so dangerous: but a sweet salve can recur it, no grief so great: but patience brings prosperi­ty, and no doubt so dreadful: but time bringeth to full effect. See here, he that was erst drowned in doubt: now hoisted in happiness, he that erst remained in unmerciful misery: now floateth in flourishing felicity, he that erst was plunged in pitiful perplexity: hath changed his state to perfect prosperity. If Caesar here would commit to me all his conquers, Craesus his puissant possessions, or the three Goddesses proffer unto me, as they did to Paris: None could so much please me, as you my second self, none could more delight me: than my Jewel so gentle, nor any more like me than my Lady so loyal, whose courteous constancy: high Jove prosper in perpetuity.

Cornelia seeing Strabino in the middest of his mirth, and having devised a drift to fall pat to their pleasures, crossed his tale with a courteous kiss, and after began her talk in this order. The wise hold opinion (quoth she) that a present peril is good to be prevented, who works warely [prudent] at the first: need not repent him after, and a bargain well made is half won. You know Brother, our Father requireth riches out of measure, and a match of money makes up his mouth, now if Strabino should solicit his suit to him (as needs he must) he may allege the want of his wealth, and that his ability is not able to maintain me according to his mind, as no doubt he will compass a hundred conceits: because he would match me with old Truculento.

To deceive him now of this device, and to win the mat­ter fit for our will: I have bethought of a cunning conjecture, and remembered such a remedy, as will fall very fit, both that my Father shall give his consent: and the old worldly wretch served in his right kind. First, Brother you shall go with Strabino to Truculentʼs house, and there on your credit take up a great sum of money, as much as you shall think good, then go you into La strada di San Paolo, and buy the Jewel which my Father hath long had such great affec­tion to, the which will so win him: that I dare warrant none but you shall have me to his Wife. For the payment thereof you shall not need greatly to account: for that you shall re­fer unto me [21], but this way I think you shall soonest speed, and this way I warrant you shall gain no nay.

I perceive Sister (quoth Rodolfo) a Woman’s wit is good at a need, and this your device full well we allow. How say you Strabino, shall we put this in practice? Or will you defer it for fear of discredit? Nay sure (quoth Strabino) since the matter consisteth on no greater a clause, and that this invention may drive all out of doubt: I think each day a year till we have dispatched it, and each hour a month till we have bound up the bargain.

Cornelia espying her Father was entered, and fearing least he would mistrust the matter, gave them a watch word to win them away, and to go about their pretended purpose. Rodolfo goes in to flatter his Father, in the meanwhile Stra­bino stealeth out, so that their pranks were nothing perceived: but all fell out, even as they would wish it. Rodolfo stealeth out, and followeth his friend, and in short time they met both together, then they agreed how the case should be concluded: if so be the money would be lent that they hoped for.

They being come to Signor Truculentoʼs house, and he sitting at his door very solitary: Rodolfo in the friendliest fashion saluteth him, and flattering the fool, thus frameth his tale. Worthy Sir, if I say other ways than beseems me: I hope you will bear with me, and if I speak as affection serves me: I doubt not but you will deem all at the best: so that neither flattering you with any forgery, nor upholding myself by any vain glory: I shall commit to your courtesy my well meaning tale, and my simple suit to be accounted of, as you shall like best.

Since the providence of the Gods hath so appointed, law of nature hath eke allowed, and the grave advise of my Father hath so consented, that you are the only man must match with my Sister: I rejoice that my hap hath proved so fortu­nate, and that the Gods hath sent me such a lucky lot, as your worthy self shall become my brother, always wishing that your time may prove as tranquil, as my good will is to work your welfare. When old Truculento heard Rodolfo’s Rhetoric, and how gallantly he glozed to purchase his pur­pose, he thinking that all his tale had been truth, and upon pure affection he had spoken the same, replied. Friend Rodolfo: You have not found me so bountiful: as hereafter you shall find me brotherlike, ne have you had any such occasion to com­mend me: as hereafter you shall purchase occasion to praise me. I remain to pleasure you, in what I can possible, and will stand your friend in more than I will speak of. Indeed your Father hath found me so friendly: that I thank him, he deems me to deserve his Daughter, and you I see conceive so good opinion of me: that you think me sufficient to match with your Sister. Well, if all prove so well, as I hope it will, and the match be so granted as on my part it is prof­fered. It is not money, or ought that I have, but shall be all present to do you a pleasure.

Strabino began to smile in his sleeve. Rodolfo much a do to keep his countenance, to see the old whoreson how willing he was: and how craftily they caught him into so good a belief, wherefore now he beginneth to show forth his suit: not doubting to speed before they departed. Well Sir (quoth Rodolfo) for your proffered courtesy I remain your debtor, not doubting but the matter will come so to pass as I have al­ways wished it, and if it like you so well, as to grant me one request: while I live you shall bind me to the uttermost of my power. Here is a Gentleman, a very dear friend and fel­low of mine, who because his living is not yet come into his hands: is desirous to borrow a certain sum of money, al­lowing for the gains thereof, what you will demand: the sum doth amount to four thousand Ducats, and but for one month he desireth the lending, and if by that time he do not discharge the debt: he is willing to forfeit his patrimo­ny, and besides the best limb of his body.[22]

Friend Rodolfo (quoth Truculento) the world is so wretched now a days, and divers of the people so pinched by poverty: that many will borrow, but slack payment is made, then if we ex­act the Law to the uttermost: we are accounted covetous carls, worldly wretches, and such like, which makes me so loath to lend: for I care not for dealing in the trade any more. What pleasure were it to me to maim or mangle this Gentle­man for mine own: truly I had rather if I could well spare so much, to give it him outright, so should I sustain no reproach myself: nor he be endamaged in the distress of the law. Yet for your sake, I care not if I lend him so much: so that you will stand bound unto me, as straightly as he shall.[23]

Sir (quoth Rodolfo) for the credit of the Gentleman, I dare wage all that I am worth, and for the payment thereof, I dare stand to the peril, deliver you the money, and if the debt be not discharged before, or at the above named day: I will loose all my Lands, beside the best limb of my body. Well (quoth Truculento) this is the bond, if by the first day of the month ensuing, the whole sum be not restored: each of your Lands shall stand to the endamagement, besides the loss of both your right eyes [24], are you content to stand to this bargain? Yea (quoth they both) and that right willingly.

With that he departed to fetch the money, then quoth Strabino to his friend. Did ever man see a more extor­ting villain than this? Is not our Lands sufficient to glut up his greediness? But that each of our eyes must stand to the hazard? Oh miserable miser, oh egregious cormorant, surely the just judgment of God will reward him for his wickedness. Well, cease (quoth Rodolfo) no more words, Lupus est in fabula, little said is soon amended.

Then comes Truculento, willing them to tell out their money, and then to set their hands to his Bill, which being done: he delivered forty Ducats more to Rodolfo, to carry his Sister for a token from him, saying. Desire her to esteem of the gratefulness of the gift, more than the quan­tity doth amount unto, and tell her, that in life or death I am hers at command.

Your courteous token (quoth Rodolfo) shall be delivered, and your message ministered, with as much expedition as pos­sibility will permit, and thus thanking you a thousand times for your Brotherlike benevolence. I commit you to the custody of the heavenly Creator. The like wish I you (quoth he) desiring you to remember the bargain wherein you are bound.

 

After that Rodolfo and Strabino had borrowed the money of Signor Truculento, they de­parted to their lodgings, and in the morning go and buy the rich Jewel, which Strabino presenteth to Signor Giorolamo Ruscelli, the Father of Corne­lia, and obtaineth promise that he shall have her in marriage. Cap. 6.

Rodolfo in the morning, repaireth to the Chamber of his assured Strabino, where being entered, he found him in his study at his Book, awaiting his company to go about their business. Strabino (quoth he) let your Books a while be left: and frame yourself to further your fancy, let be the solemnness you use in your study: for you are like to pur­chase a double delight, the tide tarrieth no man[25], and when we are assured of our wished Jewel: then may we defer the time as long as we list. Wherefore, myself desirous to hasten in our enterprise, and also to prove the doubt of a dream. I desire the more to make an end of this matter. Quoth Strabino, hath a dream driven you in any such doubt, or have you seen a fancy in your sleep, which you shall prove effectuous now you are waking: if it shall like you to tell me the truth, I will define thereon as well as I can.

To trifle the time in talk (quoth Rodolfo) may let our la­bour, and beside, to show you the effect of the same: would cause you to delude me, wherefore I will let it alone till we return, and if by the way it prove to perfection (as my de­sire is of God it may not) truly I will tell you. They take their way down by Signor Truculentoʼs door, where he saw the Saint sitting which all night was in his vision, no fur­ther could he go he was so faint, but stood leaning on the breast of his friend Strabino, at last he burst forth in these words, saying.

O my Strabino, but that you are my friend, and one whom I do highly make account of: I should doubt to discover the cause of my dolour, and fear to display my so sudden pas­sions, yet seeing yourself hath tasted like torment, and have borne out the brunts which now I abide: the bolder I may my secrets bewray, and the surer demonstrate the cause of my care. Yet you will condemn me for my preter [past] presumption, and may rightly control me for my rash reprehension: yet judge with indifference, and deal with me friendly, let old faults be forgotten, and penance claim pardon. I see there is no stomach so stout: but love will allay it, no courage so conquerous: but love will con­vince it, nor no heart so haut: but love can bring low: Even so myself, who was a rejecter of love, am now en­forced to follow my fancy, and I who envied against Wo­men kind: am now become a thrall to one myself.

With that for fear of being suspected in the open street: they went their ways about their other affairs, and as they were walking, quoth Strabino. I see dear friend, that the most learned Clarks, are not the wisest, the most valiant, not the surest, nor the greatest boasters, the best performers, I perceive you would have been in your descant, before you knew what pertained to prick Song. What say you now to Plautus words? What say you to all the matters wherewith you charged me? Well, I will not reply so rashly as you did: nor I will not give you such cold comfort, as you used to me, but I will do the best to make up the matter, and my head to a halfpenny, I will bring it to effect.

I know it is Truculentoʼs Daughter whom you desire, and she it is must cease your sorrows: let us first end the matter we have in hand, and then you shall see how I will compass this gear [stuff]. Rodolfo well satisfied with Strabinoʼs pro­mise: went and bought the Jewel which his Father so much desired, and there withal a fair white Jennet of Spain, and coming home: found his Father sitting at the door, he entered, leaving Strabino to talk with him, who after he had saluted him in seemly sort: began his matters in this order as followeth.

To rip up the chief occasions (worthy Sir) that procureth me in what I can to pleasure you: would be over tedious to me in the telling, and somewhat troublesome to you in the hearing, wherefore letting them pass as remembered in mind, and recounting such matters as occasion doth bid me: I first and foremost present you with this rich and sump­tuous Jewel, wishing it so much worth, as I could wil­lingly bestow.

When Signor Ruscelli saw the Jewel, which so long he desired, and that his son’s friend and Companion was the bestower of the same: he was overcome with such exceeding joy: that it is impossible for me to express. But when he had well viewed all about, and seen the sumptuousness bestowed thereon: he answered Strabino to his great contentment.

If I should show you (quoth he) how much this gift plea­seth me, and besides, make manifest the good will I bear you: you would suppose I did but flatter you, and deem my words of no true intent. Wherefore to drive you out of all such doubts, and to make appearance of that I have spoken: demand of me what you shall deem expedient, and I vow to the uttermost to grant your request.

With that Cornelia came to the door, and seeing the Jewel in her Fathers hand: commended greatly the liberality of her Brotherʼs friend, and informing her Father to make him large amends.

Sir (quoth Strabino) the Jewel given, bids me (under ver­dict of your licence) crave another Jewel, and this Jennet besides I give you, wishing but to speed of that Jewel. What Jewel so ever it be (quoth he) I have, or any other thing, that may seem to suffice you: on my credit and fide­lity, you can but ask and have. Strabino stepped up and took Cornelia by the hand, saying: then give me this Jewel in recompense of my Jewel: so shall I be contented, and you no­thing inured.

Sir Strabino (quoth Signor Ruscelli) the demand you have made is doubtful, and the choice you have chosen, nothing correspondent to mine intent, her marriage is already made, and she is given to one whose wealth is so worthy, and whose store so surpassing: that while she liveth, she shall need to lack nothing. You are a young Gentleman, youthful and liberal, and will spend more in a day: than he in a year, he is wary and wise, you youthful and prodigal, therefore the match is otherwise determined, anything else remaineth at your request. Sir (quoth Strabino) you have left a point open, and I have a man to enter, respect your play wisely, least you loose the game outright. A promise may always be claimed for a due debt, and such a man as you should never shrink at his word, I may claim this Jewel by a suf­ficient title: for that in your promise you made no exception. Yea but Strabino (quoth he) I meant you should have desired some other desert. But I meant (quoth Strabino) to crave none other, so that you standing to the bargain, and I liber­ty to take what best likes me: this Jewel is mine, and your word a sufficient warrant.

Besides, where you doubt my living is not sufficient to welcome such a Wife: I trust that the patrimony my Pa­rents doth allow me, is more than the dowry you will make to her marriage. Again, if my liberality, of you be dis­liked, and the niggardly sparing of a worldly wretch so much commended: I perceive you prefer riches before a noble mind, and account more of vanity, than you do of virtue. Mazeus when he received his Praetorship of Alexander: in commendation of his munificence, used these words. My Prince Darius was ever but one man: but thou by thy liberality, makest many Alexanders. Scipio Africanus never rode abroad, but he would use such liberality ere he returned: that of his greatest foes, he would make his dearest friends. Isocrates wisheth Nicocles to be familiar with this excellent virtue, willing him in his apparel to be gal­lant and glorious: and let his liberality set forth his mag­nificence. Then never dispraise liberality, which is the chief ornament of a noble mind: but hate that worldly pleasure, enemy to all virtuous actions. I content myself to stand to her gentle judgment, if she do not regard me: I am content you shall refuse me, and if she like me not: I will let her alone.

What bargain is between you twain (quoth Signor Ruscelli) I know not, nor how you have devised the matter in hope to deceive me, yet have I seen no such familiarity, whereof I should account: nor any such likelihood, that she will choose you to her Husband. I am content to abide her agreement, wherefore speak Daughter as your mind shall best serve you.

Then since dear Father (quoth Cornelia) it hath liked you to grant me my mind, in making my choice, and that you will not be offended at my bold behaviour: Sir Strabino, you are the man whom I most account of, and no other will I have during life.

When Signor Ruscelli perceived it was come to that pass, and that his promise bound him to stand to her verdict: he said. Take here then Strabino, the Jewel of my joy, to quite your Jewel so liberally bestowed, and God grant you such prosperity while you live together: as I wish to mine own soul, I speak unfainedly. The Nuptials shall be celebrated when you think best, in the meanwhile I will take you as my Son, and you both as Man and Wife.

After much talk passed between them: out cometh the mournful Rodolfo, ravished with such inward desire, and tossed in such frantic fits: as his piteous plight bewray­ed the state of his sickness. Strabino taking leave of his new found Father, and of his sweet Lady and wife Cornelia: went with him. And as they were going (quoth Rodolfo.) O my dear Strabino, needs must I go, to know either of or on, her Father shall know the good will I bear her, and she shall perceive I wish her to my Wife. If I may speed, I have my desire, if not, the greater will be my di­stress.

Ah Sir (quoth Strabino) how like you love? Who shall control you for following your fancy? A man knows what his beginning is: but he knoweth not his ending. Brag is a good Dog, while he will hold out: but at last he may chance to meet with his match. In such like conference they came to the house of Signor Truculento, and who should open the door but Brisana his Daughter, the Mistress of Rodolfo, whom he saluted in very friendly sort. But even so willing as he was to have her to his Wife: she was as desi­rous to have him to her Husband. Here was hot love on both sides, and each of them so far in: that it was impossible for either to get out. Rodolfo, he in secret tells Truculento such a flattering tale in his ear, how his Sister had calmed her courage, and was content to stand to her Father’s appointment: that the day after the debt was dischar­ged the marriage should be made, so he for joy of these new come tidings: joineth them both hand in hand, to marry when they will, and God give them much joy. Here were marriages soon made, and Wives soon won, I believe if I should sue for like succour: I should perforce take longer space to speed.

Now is Rodolfo returned rejoicing, and Strabino right glad of his good success, Truculento presently hies him to horseback, to go will all his friends, to meet at his marri­age.

When Signor Ruscelli knew how his son had sped, and by so fine a drift had deceived Truculento: the next morning marrieth his son, and Truculentoʼs Daughter together, and Cornelia and Strabino in the self same sort. What joy was here on either side: judge you that are married folks and meddle in such matters, yet though I be unskilful to define on such clauses: I must needs suppose, that since each of them gained, the thing which they most desired: their joy was not little, nor their pleasure lightly to be accounted of.

Strabino he with his sweet Cornelia passeth the time plea­santly, and Rodolfo with his brave Brisana liveth at hearts ease and tranquillity, so that they think there is no other felicity.

But now Gentlemen (as the ancient Proverb is) after pleasure comes pain, and after mirth comes misery, and after a fair and sunny day, ariseth blustering winds and sharp showers: Even so to this passed pageant of pleasure, is an­nexed a stratagem of sorrows.

Truculento is returned from bidding his Guests, and hath heard of the hap which chanced in his absence, he comes as one bereft of his wits, or as a man feared out of his five senses, and uttereth this tale to Signor Giorolamo Ruscelli. Sir, blame not my boldness, for that I am constrained, nor reprehend my rashness, since I am so misused, I thought more credit had consisted in your ancient heart, and that you would not have dissembled with any such double dealing. Did not you perfectly promise I should match with your Daughter, and that no one should gain her but only I? Did not I give your Son my Daughter on the self same con­dition? And have you in my absence married her to another? Not contented with matching my Daughter with your Son, I being not present; but to go and play such a Parasite’s part. Well, well, I doubt not but to deal so sharply with some: that they shall wish they never had married my promi­sed wife.

Few words and sweet Sir (quoth Signor Ruscelli) threat­ened folks live long, and angry men are subject to many sor­rows, I gave you no other consent, than on my Daughters agreement, and when I mentioned the matter: I still found her contrary. Wherefore you must pacify yourself, there is no other remedy, and learn to make a virtue of necessity, for sure your luck was still turned to loss. And whereas my Son hath matched with your Daughter: I deem you are not greatly to find any fault, but rather may be glad she hath sped so well, for the day hath been he might have had her betters. Wherefore if you seem to chafe yourself upon so light occasion, and that you will not be contented, we offering you such courtesy: meddle in no more matters than you may, nor heap any more harms on your head, than you are wil­ling to bear. If you set not a point by us: we care not a pin for you, if we may have your good will so it is: if not, keep your wind to cool your Pottage.

This answer made Truculento more mad than he meant to be, and he flung forth of doors in such a fume: as though all the Town would not have held him.

On the morrow, he caused Strabino and Rodolfo to be sum­moned to appear before the Judge, for the payment of the money, which when Cornelia and Brisana perceived: they willed their Husbands in nothing to doubt, for that by their industry they should be discharged. Cornelia apparelth herself all in black like a Scholar, and Brisana attireth herself in the same sort.[26] After dinner they appeared before the Judge, where Truculento appealed against them in this or­der.

 

Signor Truculento summoneth Strabi­no and Rodolfo before the Judge, for the debt which was due to him, where Cornelia and Brisana, by their excellent inventions redeemeth their Husbands, and Truculento at last seeing no remedy: falleth to agreement. Cap. 7.

Most magnificent Judge, time was (quoth Truculento) when firm affection, and pure zeal of friendship, moved me to mind the destitute estate of these two Gentlemen, when as either they had not money to their content­ment: or wanted such necessaries, as then was to them needful. At which time (as the Lamb endangered by the ravenous Wolf, flieth for safeguard to his fold, or as the Ship abiding the hazard of Fortune, and fearing the emi­nent danger, posteth to some Port, or hasteth to some Haven in hope of succour): Even so these twain repaired to me, who being sufficiently stored of that which they wan­ted, and besides, willing to pleasure them, to their greater profit: committed to their custody, a certain sum of money, which amounteth unto four thousand Crowns. Now their necessity indifferently satisfied, and they being bound to deliver the sum at a certain day: they have broken their promise, which is open perjury, and falsified their faiths, in not restoring the money. Wherefore, that all Gentlemen may be warned by such wilful offen­ders, and that God may be glorified in putting them to pu­nishment: I have thus determined how the debt shall be dis­charged. The rendering of the money I do not account of, ne will I be pleased with twice as much restored [27]: the breach of the Law I mean to exact, and to use rigor, where it is so required.

The forfeiture of their Lands, is the one part of the penalty, the loss of their right eyes the whole in general, now remembering the woeful estate of their solitary wives, how in depriving their substance, they might be pinched by penury: I let their Lands remain unto them in full possession, whereon hereafter they may live more honestly. I claim their right eyes for falsifying their faith: to move others regard how they make like reachless promises.[28] So shall Justice be ministered without partiality, they rightly served for infringing their fidelity: and myself not thought to deal with cruelty.

Thus have you heard the cause of my coming: now give judgment as your wisdom shall think most expedient. My friends (quoth the Judge) here is no place to deal with partiality, here is no room where falsehood should be fre­quented, nor time in this place to defer in trifling affairs: but here is simply Justice to be advanced, wrong rightly revenged, and mercy mildly maintained. Wherefore, ere I begin to deal in this diversity, or that I seem to con­tend about this controversy: I exhort you each one to ex­empt double dealing, to fly forged fraud, and to minister no­thing maliciously, but on each cause to way the matter advi­sedly. Consider you come to deal in matters of conscience, matters of your own maintenance, and such things whereon your credit consisteth, now you are not for friend­ship to further falsehood, ne yet for malice to touch an untruth, but even to deal so directly, to frame your matters so faithfully, and to use yourselves here so uprightly: that not so much as a motion be made of any misorder. But every one to answer as occasion is offered, so help you God and the contents of this book, whereat they all kissed the book. And then the Judge called Strabino, to show in what sort, and af­ter what order the money was borrowed, and what promise there was between them.

Most mighty Judge (quoth Strabino) truth never defa­meth his Maister, right repelleth all proffered wrong, and upright dealing disdaineth all forged fraud, wherefore, neither fearing the force of his revenging rigor, nor yet dismay­ing at ought that is done: I will tell my tale, reporting no­thing but truth, and claiming no other courtesy than my deserts shall deserve.

Truth is, my Father failing to send me such money, as served to the maintenance of my studious exercise, and be­sides, wanting wherewith to deal in weighty affairs: my friend and I came unto this Caterpillar, (so rightly may I call him, neither defacing his licentious living, condemning his practised science, and cunning handy craft, nor yet inveigh­ing against any of his honest behaviour: but commending his cut throat conditions, in pinching the poor[29], to fill up his own pouch.) Being come to this aforesaid worm of the world, (who eateth so many to the bare bones, out of Lands and living, to glut his greedy desire) we desired a certain sum of money, which is no less than himself hath confessed, for a month’s space, and then to restore the same to the unright­ful owner, who binding us straightly in the loss of our Lands, and of each our right eyes: lent us this aforesaid sum. Now indeed, we not minding the so short restoring of his due debt, for that necessary occasions was partly our hindrance: have endamaged ourselves in two days more, then the limited time did amount unto, for which time we will allow him to the uttermost he can ask, and his money to have when him pleaseth. Now if your wisdom doth not think we deal with him honestly and well: we will stand to what effect it shall like you to bring it.

My friend (quoth the Judge) your reply is reasonable, you confess yourself indebted in that which he hath demanded, and yield that you have broken the bond, willing to make an amends, insomuch that you will satisfy the uttermost, which he may seem to sue for: I can not choose but account your words of good credit, in that your dealing doth demonstrate no other. Now Truculento, you see the Gentleman granteth himself guilty, since his earnest affairs did hinder the re­payment of your debt to you due, now he hath the whole rea­dy to restore, and beside, over and above this sum: will content you to the uttermost it shall please you to request. In my opi­nion you can reasonably require no more, if you do: you shall but seem to shame yourself.

Sir (quoth Truculento) he that before my face will use such terrible taunts, behind my back would gladly brew my bane, he that in my presence will so spitefully reprove me: in my absence would hang me if it were in his possibility. Doth he demerit favour: that so frowneth on his friend? Can he claim any courtesy: that abuseth himself so disorderly? Or can he once plead for pity: that standeth in so great a presumption? Or you my Lord, desire me deal gently: with one who respecteth not gentility? No, the money is none of mine, ne will I have it, his Lands I respect not, ne care I for them, and now his submission I way not, ne will I accept of it. You my Lord shall rather reap reproach by pleading on his part: than gain any credit in maintaining so care­less a creature. I drive my whole action to this issue, I plead my privilege unto this point, and to this clause I am severe­ly bent: I will have the due which breach of promise doth deserve, I will exempt all courtesy: and account of cruelty, I will be pleased with no rich reward whatsoever, no pity shall prevail, rigor shall rule, and on them both I will have Law to the uttermost.

Why Truculento (quoth the Judge) respect you cruelty: more than Christian civility, regard you rigor more than rea­son. Should the God above all Gods, the Judge above all Judges, administer desert, which your sins hath deserved? If his fatherly affection, if his merciful mildness, if his righteous regard, did not consider the frailty of your flesh, your promptness unto peril, and your aptness unto evil: how mighty were the misery, which should justly fall upon you? How sharp the sentence that should be pronounced against you, and how rigorous the revenge, which should rightly reward you? Is this the love you bear to your brother? Is this the care you have of a Christian? [30] The Turk, whose tyranny is not to be talked of: could but exact to the uttermost of his cruelty. And you a branch of that blessed body, which bare the burden of our manifold sins: how can you seem to deal so sharply with yourself? see­ing you should use to all men: as you would be dealt withal. Yet to let you have the liberty of your demand in Law, and you to stand to the Justice which here I shall pronounce, let first your right eye be put forth in their pre­sence: and then shall they both abide like punishment.

For since neither the restoring of your debt will suffice you, nor yet the liberal amends they are content to make you: I deem it expedient you should be partaker of their pains, so shall you know if you demand a reasonable request. How say you, will you stand to the verdict pronounced: or take the reward which they have promi­sed.

My Lord (quoth Truculento) neither do I deserve to abide any such doom, nor they worthy to be favoured with any such friendship, I may lawfully allege that you permit partiality: and that you divide not each cause indifferently, for to what end should you seem to satisfy me with their words: when yourself perceives how they are found faulty? And what urgeth you to use such gentle persuasions: when you see yourself they deserve no such dealing? If I had wilfully offended in any such cause, and wittingly broken in such sort my bond: I would be contented you should deliver me my deserts, so that you did minister nothing but Justice. And wherefore should you seem to demand the loss of my eye who have not offended: for safeguard of their eyes that have so treacherously trespassed? I am sure I go not beyond the breach of my bond, nor I desire no more than they have deserved. Wherefore object no more matters, whereby to delude me, nor impute no occasions to hinder my pretence, I crave Justice to be uprightly used, and I crave no more, wherefore I will have it.[31]

Indeed my friends (quoth the Judge) who seeketh the extremi­ty, and urgeth so much as his wilful mind doth command him: his commission is very large, and his request not to be refused. Wherefore, since neither pity can prevail, nor friendly counsel persuade: you must render the ransom that he doth require, for we cannot debar him in these his dealings, nor we can not choose but give our consents. Therefore if you have any that will plead your case in Law: let them speak and they shall be heard, to further your safety as much as we may.

My Lord (quoth Rodolfo) their courtesy is overmuch that will kneel to a Thistle, and their benevolence bountiful that will bow to a Bramble: Even so we are far foolish to crave courtesy of such a cut throat, and more witless than wise to meddle with such a worldly wretch. If there be no remedy: we know the uttermost of our pains, yet we crave that these our Attorneys, may have such liberty as Law will permit.

With that Truculento fared like a fiend, and cursed and banned like a Devil of hell, (quoth he) my Lord, you deal with me discourteously: when the Law is come to the pass to let them have their Attorneys.

Sir (quoth the Judge) you have used all this while your Attorneys’ advise, and they have answered simply of themselves, now since you the Plaintiff have had this preroga­tive: it is reason the Defendants should demand their due. It may be that their Attorneys may put you to such a plunge: that you shall have small occasion to brag of your bargain: wherefore let them speak.

Then Brisana (Truculentoʼs Daughter) began in this order to plead for her avail.[32] Admit my Lord (quoth she) that I come to such a person as this party, to borrow the like sum of money, binding me in the self same bond, to restore the money to the same party of whom I had it. Well, the time expired, I come to deliver the due to the owner, he being not at home, nor in the City, but ridden forth, and uncertain of his coming: I return home to my house, and he himself comes out of the Country as yesterday. Now he upon some several spite or malicious intent: sueth me in the Law, not demanding his due, nor I knowing of his arrival. Am I to be condemned for breaking the Law: when the party himself hath deferred the day?

How like you this gear, Truculento? you have now another Pigeon to pull, and here is one wiser than you were beware. Can you condemn this party, not demanding your due, nor being at home when it might have been dis­charged? And making the bond to be restored to yourself?

My Lord (quoth Truculento) though I was not at home: my house was not empty, and though I was away, if it had been restored: it stood in as good effect as if it had been paid to me. Wherefore it is but folly to frame such an alle­gation: for my Receiver in my absence doth represent myself.

Well (quoth Brisana) admit your servant in your absence, standeth in as full effect as yourself, and admit the debt had been discharged to him, if wilfulness had allured your ser­vant to wandering, and that he had departed with the debt he received: you return and find it still in your book, nei­ther marked nor crossed, as if payment had not been made, you will let your servant slip with his offence: but you will demand the debt again of me.

Tush (quoth Truculento) this is but a trifle, and your words are now to be esteemed as wind, you should have restored the sum to my servant: and I would not have troubled you in any such sort, for there is no man that useth such folly: but he will see the book crossed before he depart. Therefore you do but trouble time with mentioning such matters: for your redemption is never the near.

Well then Sir (quoth she) you will thus much allow, that at the delivery: the bond should be restored, and if I had de­livered the money to your servant: I should have respec­ted my bond till yesterday, for your servant had it not to deliver: and I would not pay it before I had my bond. Ah Signor Truculento (quoth the Judge) he toucheth you to the quick now, how can you reply to this his demand? Indeed I confess (quoth he) my Cupboard kept the bond till I returned, but yet noting the receipt in the book, would have been sufficient till my coming home.

With that Cornelia stepped up, saying. Since (Signor Tru­culento) you will neither allow the reasonable answers he hath made, nor be content to abide my Lord the Judges verdict: receive the ransom you so much require, and take both their eyes, so shall the matter be ended. But thus much (under verdict of my Lord his licence) I give you in charge, and also especially notify, that no man but yourself shall execute the deed, ne shall you crave any counsel of any the standers by. If in pulling forth their eyes, you dimi­nish the least quantity of blood out of their heads, over and besides their only eyes, or spill one drop in taking them out: before you stir your foot, you shall stand to the loss of both your own eyes. For that the bond maketh mention of nothing but their eyes, and so if you take more than you should, and less than you ought: you shall abide the punish­ment here in place pronounced. Now take when you will, but beware of the bargain.

Truly (quoth the Judge) this matter hath been excellent­ly handled, it is no reason if you have your bargain: that you should hinder them with the loss of one drop of blood, wherefore I pronounce no other Judgment, shall at this time be ministered.

Now was Truculento more mad that he could not have his heart’s desire, for that he knew he must needs spill some blood, it could not be otherwise chosen, wherefore he desired he might have his money, and so let all other matters alone. Nay (quoth the Judge) since you would not accept of it when it was offered, nor would be contented with so large a promise: the money shall serve to make them amends, for the great wrong which you would have offered. Thus in my opinion is Judgment equally used, and neither party I hope will be miscontented.

Truculento seeing there was no remedy, and that all the people praised the Judgment so worthily: accepted Rodolfo for his lawful son, and put him in possession of all his livings after his disease. Thus were they on all parts ve­ry well pleased, and every one accounted himself well contented.

If now this homely History may seem to suffice you: in recompense of my costs, I crave nothing but your courtesy. You shall have the rest as possibility can permit me, and I remain your friend to pleasure you in ought to my power.

Take this in mean time, though too short to be sweet, and thus I bid Euphues heartily welcome into England.

Honos alit Artes.

FINIS.

A. Munday.

 

 

Bibliography:

- Zelauto. The fountaine of fame Erected in an orcharde of amorous aduentures. Containing a delicate disputation, gallantly discoursed betweene to noble gentlemen of Italye. Giuen for a freendly entertainment to Euphues, at his late ariuall into England. By A.M. seruaunt to the Right Honourable the Earle of Oxenford. Honos alit artes. London 1580 http://tei.it.ox.ac.uk/tcp/Texts-HTML/free/A07/A07911.html

- Anthony Munday, Zelauto: the Fountaine of Fame, ed. by Jack Stillinger, Southern Illinois University Press 1963

“Living as long as he did, Munday could have written a string of books reflecting all the trends in the course of Elizabethan fiction. As it is, he managed to embody most of them in his one novel. The first of the novelists who had no university training, he was reading romances of chivalry, writing ballads, working as a printer's apprentice, and possibly acting on the stage while Lyly, Gosson, and others were absorbing the euphuistic lectures of the Oxford Greek Reader John Rainolds.” (Jack Stillinger)

- Janet Spens, Essay on Shakespeareʼs Relation to Tradition. London 1916. https://archive.org/details/cu31924013155001

- Ramon Jiménez, The Date of The Merchant of Venice: The Evidence for 1578, THE OXFORDIAN Volume XIII 2011. http://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/wp-content/uploads/Oxfordian2011_jimenez_merchant.pdf

 

NOTES:



[1] Oxford’s poetic anthology from 1573.  A Hundreth Sundrie Flowres, Bounde up in one small Poesie. Gathered partely (by translation) in the fyne outlandish Gardins of Euripides, Ovid, Petrarke, Ariosto, and others: and partly by invention, out of our owne fruitefull Orchardes in Englande:Yelding sundrie sweete savours of Tragical, Comical, and Morall Discourses, bothe pleasant and profitable to the well smellyng noses of learned Readers. Meritum petere, grave [= Oxford]. At London, Imprinted for Richarde Smith. [1573] (See 5.0 Introduction, chapt. 2.)

[2] a poor Citizen amongst them all brought a handful of Flowers. This choice of metapher confirms the nature of the literary relationship that existed between Munday and Oxford, i.e. that of servant and master.

[3] these my little labours contain so much faithful zeal to your welfare as others whatsoever. Munday hopes that this literary gift to his master will make him stand out from his contemporaries in Oxford’s eyes.

[4] governed Gon­zalo Guicciardo, elected Duke by elected by the most worthy Orlando Fiorentino. The first thing that arouses our curiosity is the use of the (Spanish) name; Gonzalo. We do not encounter this name in Fiorentino’s Il Pecorone, rather in Shakespeare’s The Tempest (“Gonzalo, an honest old counselor”). Our amazement grows when we notice Munday’s description of the courtly ‘Device’ from 03-03-1579: “But yet I remember one thing more, which was a brave and comely Ship, brought in before her Majesty, wherein were certain of her noble Lords, and this Ship was made with a gallant device, that in her presence it ran upon a Rock, and was despoiled. This credit was the very bravest device that ever I saw, and worthy of innumerable commendations.”

the most worthy Orlando Fiorentino. We must assume that Munday wanted the reader to know that he knew Giovani Fiorentino, the author of Il Pecorone. He might have known the author but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he read his works.

[5] a valiant Knight, who … fled out of his own Country, and inhabited there in a silent Cell, among the woods. Thanks to John Lyly’s novel Euphues The Anatomy of Wyt (1579) the “valiant Knight” already enjoyed a certain fame in England. In Lyly’s second novel Euphues and his England (1580) we find the words:  “Gentlemen, Euphues is musing in the bottome of the Mountaine Silexsedra”.

[6] And as Timantes, when he drew the mournful portrait of King Agamemnon, for the loss of his Daughter, could not set forth his face correspondent to the sorrow that is contained: left the same covered with a veil to the judgment of others.

See Oxford’s commendation poem to George Gascoigne (5.2.4 Oxford, Poems No.103):

And what performance he thereof doth make,
I list not vaunt, his works for me shall say;
In praising him Timantes trade I take,
Who (when he should the woeful cheer display,
Duke Agamemnon had when he did wail
His daughter’s death with tears of small avail

[7] But yet I remember one thing more, which was a brave and comely Ship, brought in before her Majesty, wherein were certain of her noble Lords, and this Ship was made with a gallant device, that in her presence it ran upon a Rock, and was despoiled.

Zelauto asserts having seen the ‘Device’ on 3rd March 1579 in Whitehall, whereby Michel Castelnau, seigneur de Mauvissière submitted the following report to King Henri III on 15th March 1579:

A beautiful comedy was presented which ended in a marriage; a ship came from the end of the large hall upon which the Earl of Oxford, the Earls of Surrey along with three or four other lords was seated. When the ship reached the middle of the hall it suffered a shipwreck which shifted into a well performed ballet. They seized the Queen who to our astonishment also took part in the event, thereafter; she and many other ladies were given presents from out of the shipwreck.  The whole spectacle ended with declarations of love and marriage proposals which would lead to an agreeable alliance that we may live out our days in peace and harmony.  

Munday, the author, could only have heard from this event. He arrived at the English College, Rome, in February 1579 and remained there unteil after Easter. - See 7.2.5 Oxford and France.

[8] the praise of a certain Noble Lord in the English Court. One can easily work out who is meant here. Every imaginable cliché is drawn from the armory of fame. Oxford is not only praised as “a second Caesar” and “Hannibal”; he is also given the epithet of “Fortunatus”. 

See Oxford, Poems No. 75:

I, Hannibal that smile for grief,
And let you Caesar's tears suffice:
The one that laughs at his mischief;
The other all for joy that cries.

[9] to live Argantus life. Argante is an elf or fairy. In some accounts she was queen of Avalon and equated with Morgan le Fay. In Layamons’s Brut, King Arthur, mortally wounded at the battle of Camelford, addresses these words to his successor: “And I will fare to Avalun, to the fairest of all maidens, to Argante the queen, an elf most fair, and she will make my wounds all sound; make me whole with healing draughts.” 

[10] I commend my suit, the Hills, the Dales, the Rocks, the Cliffs, the Crags, yea, and the gallant Echoes resound of this solitary Wildness, they and none but they can witness of my woe. With these words Munday idealizes the image of the melancholic Knight who withdrew to his “idle cell” to escape the falsity of the world. - See Oxford, Poems No. 72.

An anchor's life to lead,
  With nails to scratch my grave,
Where earthly worms on me shall feed,
  Is all the joy I crave;
And hide myself from shame,
  Sith that mine eyes do see,
Ah a lalalantida, my dear dame
Hath thus tormented me.

[11] Astraepho … hath left Zelauto at home to peruse at his pleasure on an Amorous discourse: I will … desire him to let you be partakers of this Delicate dis­course. The Knight Astraepho (a relative of Sydney’s Astropohil and not completely disassociated from Shakespeare’s Prospero) gave Zelauto (a mirror image of the young Anthony Munday) his “amorous discourse” to read. With this image Munday describes his literary relationship with the Earl. The young author is merely the “reader” (and imitator) of an already existing discourse.

[12] In The Merchant of Venice (II/7), the Prince of Morocco opens the golden casket and finds a poem on a scroll, the last line of which is “Fare you well, your suit is cold.” He exclaims:

Cold indeed and labour lost:
Then farewell heat, and welcome frost!

[13] it is ill to halt before a Cripple. In The Adventures of Master F.I. Oxford uses this very same expression.

His Mistress with change of countenance kept silence, whereat dame Frances, rejoicing, cast out this bone to gnaw on. “I perceive,” quoth she, “it is evil to halt before a Cripple.”

[14] The foolish Fly (quoth she) so long je­steth with the Candle, that at last she singeth herself, the silly Mouse wandreth oft so far abroad: that she is taken tardy before she come home.

See 5.1 Oxford, The Adventures of Master F.I. –

Of thee dear Dame, three lessons would I learn:
What reason first persuades the foolish Fly
(As soon as she a candle can discern)
To play with flame till she be burnt thereby?
Or what may move the Mouse to bite the bait
Which strikes the trap that stops her hungry breath?

[15] Qui ante non cavit, post dolebit. Learn to take care or you will regret it afterwards.

[16] Likewise king David became convinced by the love of Bersaba: Salomon the wise was subject to love likewise. If then love hath made the Gods to agree, the wise to be wilful, the stoutest to stoop: is it possible for me poor Strabino, to resist a thing of such force?

See 5.1 Oxford, The Adventures of Master F.I. –

Fair Bersabe the bright once, bathing in a well,
With dew bedimm'd King David's eyes that ruled Israel,
And Salomon himself, the source of sapience,
Against the force of such assaults could make but small defense.

And Oxford (= Meritum petere grave), Poems No. 62 –

Then Salomon this princely prophet’s son,
Did Pharaos’ daughter make him fall or no?
Yes, yes, perdie his wisdom could not shun
Her subtil snares nor from her counsel go.
I nam (as he) the wisest wight of all,
But well I wot, a woman holds me thrall.

[17] If you had beaten the bush, and caught any of the Birds. Oxford’s poetic motto from his poem “The labouring man” which was also quoted by Edmund Spencer in The Shepheardes Calender (1579). See Oxford, Poems No. 1:

So he that takes the pain to pen the book,
Reaps not the gifts of goodly golden muse,
But those gain that, who on the work shall look
And from the sour the sweet by skill doth choose.
For he that beats the bush the bird not gets,
But who sits still and holdeth fast the nets.

[18] What said Ariosto in the commendation of Love? He saieth, what sweeter state? what more bountiful bliss, and what more happy life: than to be linked in love? - See 5.1 Oxford, The Adventures of Master F. I.

Now then, I must think it high time to return unto him, who … gan cast in his inward meditations all things passed and … could think upon nothing else, and yet accusing his own guilty conscience to be infected with jealousy, did compile this translation of Ariosto's 31th song as followeth.

What state to man so sweet and peasant were,
As to be tied in links of worthy love?
What life so bliss'd and happy might appear
As for to serve Cupid, that God above?
If that our minds were not sometimes infect
etc.

[19] What pinching pangs. See Oxford (= Meritum petere grave), Poems No. 55:

Believe me now it is a pinching pain
To think of love, when lovers are away.

[20] I refer here to mul­tiply manifold matters, and so with a Courteous Conge, bid you farewell heartily. / Yours to command, the solitary Strabino. / This Letter thus written, and sealed with sorrows: he wished a thousand times it were in the hands of his cour­teous Cornelia. - See 5.1 Oxford, The Adventures of Master F. I.

Whereunto I need not rehearse his answer but suppose now that thus they departed: saving I had forgotten this, she required of him the last rehearsed letter, saying that his first was lost & now she lacked a new bottom for her silk, the which I warrant you he granted: and so proffering to take an humble congé by Bezo las manos, she graciously gave him the zuccado dez labros: and so for then departed.

And thereupon recounting her words, he compiled these following, which he termed Terza sequenza, to sweet Mistress SHE.

Of thee dear Dame, three lessons would I learn:
What reason first persuades the foolish Fly...

Till then and ever. HE. F. I.

When he had well sorted this sequence, he sought oportunity to leave it where she might find it before it were lost.

[21] and there on your credit take up a great sum of money, as much as you shall think good … For the payment thereof you shall not need greatly to account: for that you shall re­fer unto me.

The essence of Cornelia’s plan is that after her marriage to Strabino, they can repay the loan to the extortionist from her substantial dowry. With that, her “woman’s wit” is proven.

[22] he is willing to forfeit his patrimo­ny, and besides the best limb of his body. Of his own accord, Rodolfo offers “Strabino’s best limb” to the usurer. This offer bears no relationship to the plot, it does however reveal the plagiaristic character of Munday’s story.

[23] so that you will stand bound unto me, as straightly as he shall. Truculento binds Rodolfo, to the same conditions as his friend Strabino, the debtor. With that Munday follows the template of The Jewe (see 3.3.2) or The Merchant of Venice.

[24] each of your Lands shall stand to the endamagement, besides the loss of both your right eyes. Truculento’s proposition contains a milder, more “Christian” cruelty.

[25] the tide tarrieth no man. In 1576 the Morality Play The Tide tarrieth for no Man by George Wapull was published. - See The Two Gentlemen of Verona (II/3) –

  PANTHINO. Launce, away, away, aboard! Thy master is shipp'd, and
    thou art to post after with oars. What's the matter? Why weep'st
    thou, man? Away, ass! You'll lose the tide if you tarry any longer.
  LAUNCE. It is no matter if the tied were lost; for it is the
    unkindest tied that ever any man tied.
  PANTHINO. What's the unkindest tide?
  LAUNCE. Why, he that's tied here, Crab, my dog.

[26] Cornelia apparelth herself all in black like a Scholar, and Brisana attireth herself in the same sort. It is worthy of note that in Munday’s version of the events in the court room, just as in Shakespeare’s story, two women appear before the judge. Strabino’s wife as a doctor of laws- and her friend Brisana, Truculento’s daughter, as the lawyer’s clerk.

[27] The rendering of the money I do not account of, ne will I be pleased with twice as much restored. Shylock also refuses to accept money after the agreed period for the loan is expired -

  SALERIO. Besides, it should appear that, if he had
    The present money to discharge the Jew,
    He would not take it.

[28] I claim their right eyes for falsifying their faith: to move others regard how they make like reachless promises. Truculento wishes to avenge himself because he feels that he’s been made a fool of. Shylock’s thirst for vengeance is deeply rooted and far more convincing. - See The Merchant of Venice, III/1 -

SHYLOCK. If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgrac'd me and hind'red me half a million; laugh'd at my losses, mock'd at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies. And what's his reason? I am a Jew.

[29] but commending his cut throat conditions, in pinching the poor. See The Merchant of Venice, I/3 -

  SHYLOCK. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
    In the Rialto you have rated me
    About my moneys and my usances;
    Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,
    For suff'rance is the badge of all our tribe;
    You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog,
    And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
    And all for use of that which is mine own.

[30] How sharp the sentence that should be pronounced against you, and how rigorous the revenge, which should rightly reward you? Is this the love you bear to your brother? Is this the care you have of a Christian? - See The Merchant of Venice, IV/1 –

 DUKE OF VENICE. Make room, and let him stand before our face.
    Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
    That thou but leadest this fashion of thy malice
    To the last hour of act; and then, 'tis thought,
    Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse, more strange
    Than is thy strange apparent cruelty;
    And where thou now exacts the penalty,
    Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,
    Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture,
    But, touch'd with human gentleness and love,
    Forgive a moiety of the principal,
    Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
    That have of late so huddled on his back-

[31] and I crave no more, wherefore I will have it. A plagiat from Shylock’s speech in the court room in The Merchant of Venice (IV/1), almost word for word.

    The pound of flesh which I demand of him
    Is dearly bought, 'tis mine, and I will have it.

[32] Then Brisana (Truculentoʼs Daughter) began in this order to plead for her avail. The (female) lawyer’s clerk’s closing speech is Munday’s own invention.