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was done in good part, and to assure her selfe there was nothing but honour meant unto her person. But shee inaking no other answer, but letting her hands fall one from the other, which before were joyned (with eyes something cast aside, and a silent sigh) gave him to understand, that considering his doings, shee thought his speech as full of incongruitie, as her answer would be voyde of purpose. Whereupon he kneeling downe, and kissing her hand (which she suffered with a countenance witnessing captivitie, but not kindnesse) hee besought her to have pitie of him, whose love went beyond the bounds of conceit, much more of uttering: that in her hands the ballance of his life or death did stand; whereto the least motion of her would serve to determine, shee being indeed the mistresse of his life, and hee her eternall slave; and with true vehemencie besought her that he might heare her speake, whereupon she suffered her sweet breath to turn it selfe into these kinde of words.
Alas cousin, said shee, what shall my tongue be able to doe, which is informed by the eares one way, and by the eyes another? You call for pitie, and use crueltie; you say you love mee, and yet doe the effects of enmitie. You affirme, your death is in my hands, but you have brought mee to so neere a degree of death, as when you will, you may lay death upon mee: so that while you say I am mistresse of your life, I am not mistresse of mine owne. You entitle your selfe my slave, but I am sure I am yours. If then violence, injurie, terrour, and depriving of that which is more deare than life it selfe, libertie, be fit orators for affection, you may expect that I will be easily perswaded. But if the nearnesse of our kindred breed any remorse in you, or there bee any such thing in you, which you call love toward mee, then let not my fortune be disgraced with the name of imprisonment: let not my heart waste it selfe by being vexed with feeling evill, and fearing worse. Let not mee bee a cause of my parents' wofull destruction; but restore mee to my selfe, and so doing, I shall account I have received my selfe of you. And what I say for my selfe, I say for my deare sister, and my friend Zelmane; for I desire no well being, without they may be partakers. With that her teares rained downe from her heavenly eyes, and seemed to water the sweet and beautifull flowers of her face."-p. 239-240.
The bold step which Cecropia and her son had taken, having excited the indignation of the country, they find it necessary to prepare themselves against the forces which Basilius is levying for the rescue of his daughters; and, determined to persist in what they had begun, they fortify their castle, naturally strong, and make it ready for a siege. 'In the mean time, Cecropia leaves no steps unturned to win Philoclea to favour the suit of her son. She goes to her prisoner, fraught with all the arts of subtlety and craft.
“She went softly to Philoclea's chamber, and peeping thorow the side of the doore, then being a little open, she saw Philoclea sitting low upon a cushion, in such a given-over manner, that one would have thought silence, solitarinesse, and melancholy, were come there under the ensigne of mishap to conquer delight, and drive him from his naturall seat of beauty: her teares came dropping downe like raine in sunshine, and she not taking heed to wipe the teares, they hung upon her cheekes and lips, as upon cherries which the dropping tree bedeweth. In the dressing of her haire and apparell, she might see neither a carefull art nor an art of carelesnesse, but even left to a neglected chance, which yet could no more unperfect her perfections, than a die any way cast could lose his squarenesse."-p. 244.
All her persuasions are however ineffectual, and Philoclea repulses her solicitations with gentleness yet with firmness. Cecropia next applies herself to Pamela, hoping to find her more propitious to her suit, and to substitute her instead of her sister as the mistress of Amphialus. This attempt, also, is unsuccessful. In one of Cecropia's interviews with Pamela, the latter is found occupied at her needle, and we think no Arachne of the present day might blush to have her handy work thus described.
“ Cecropia threatning in her selfe to runne a more rugged race with her, went to her sister Pamela; who, that day having wearied her selfe with reading, and with the height of her heart disdaining to keep company with any of the gentlewomen appointed to attend her, whom she accounted her jaylors, was working upon a purse certaine roses and lillies, as by the finenesse of the work, one might see she had borrowed her wits of the sorrow that then owed them, and lent them wholly to that exercise. For the flowers she had wrought, carried such life in them, that the cunningest painter might have learned of her needle: which with so pretty a manner made his careers to and fro thorow the cloth, as if the needle it selfe would have beene loth to have gone fromward such a mistresse, but that it hoped to return thitherward very quickly againe : the cloth looking with many eyes upon her, and lovingly embracing the wounds she gave it: the sheares also were at hand, to behead the silke that was growne too short. And if at any time she put her mouth to bite it off, it seemed, that where she had beene long in making of a rose with her hands, she would in an instant make roses with her lips : as the lillies seemed to have their whiteness rather of the hand that made them, than of the matter whereof they were made; and that they grew there by the suns of her eyes, and were refreshed by the most (in discomfort) comfortable aire, which an unawares sigh might bestow upon them. But the colours for the ground were so well chosen, neither sullenly darke nor glaringly lightsome, and so well proportioned, as that, though much cunning were in it, yet it was but to serve for an ornament of the principali work; that it was not without marvell, to see how a mind which could cast a carelesse semblant upon the greatest conflicts of fortune, could command it selfe to take care for so small matters. Neither had she neglected the dainty dressing of her selfe: but as if it had been her marriage time to affliction, she rather seemed to remember her owne worthinesse than the unworthinesse of her husband. For well one might perceive she had not rejected the counsell of a glasse, and that her hands had pleased themselves in paying the tribute of undeceiving skill to so high perfections of nature.”— p. 250-251.
Cecropia, thus foiled in her attempts, endeavours to vitiate the mind of Pamela, and render her more tractable by endeavouring to destroy her reliance in Providence, and by attempting to prove to her that there is no God. The plausible and specious arguments of Cecropia are as nothing before the adamantine virtue of Pamela, and in a noble burst of indignation she refutes all the oratory of her tempter with reasoning glowing with all the energy of truth. From this moment, Cecropia becomes the deadly enemy of the two princesses, and her whole cogitations are employed in the invention of fresh schemes of torment.
The prayer of Pamela under her afflictions well deserves extracting. It is elevated and even sublime, and is well known for the use made of it by the unfortunate Charles the First.
“O All-seeing Light and Eternall Life of all things, to whom nothing is either so great that it may resist, or so small that it is contemned: looke upon my misery with thine eye of mercy, and let thine infinite power vouchsafe to limit out some proportion of deliver- · ance unto me, as to thee shall seeme most convenient. Let not injurie, O Lord, triumph over me, and let my faults by thy hand be corrected, and make not mine unjust enemy the minister of thy justice. But yet, my God, if in thy wisdome this be the aptest chastisement for my unexcusable folly; if this low bondage be fittest for my over-high desires; if the pride of my not enough humble heart be thus to be broken; O Lord, I yeeld unto thy will, and joyfully embrace what sorrow thou wilt have me suffer. Onely thus much let me crave of thee, (let my craving, O Lord, be accepted of thee, since even that proceeds from thee) let me crave, even by the noblest title, which in my greatest affliction I may give my selfe, that I am thy creature, and by thy goodnesse (which is thy selfe) that thou wilt suffer some beame of thy Majestie so to shine into my minde, that it may still depend confidently on thee. Let calamity be the exercise, but not the overthrow, of my vertue: let their power prevaile, but prevaile not to destruction: let my greatnesse be their prey: let my paine be the sweetnesse of their revenge: let them (if so seeme good unto thee) vex me with more and more punishment: but, O Lord, let never their wickednesse have such a hand, but that I may carry a pure minde in a pure body.”-p. 248.
Basilius now, having collected forces, besieges the castle of Cecropia. Several skirmishes take place between the contending parties, but no important successes are gained by either. The
entreaties of Basilius prevail upon many knights of renown to appear on his side and challenge Amphialus to combat; who, nevertheless, comes off constantly victorious. Amongst these knights is Argalus, the husband of the fair Parthenia ; who, induced by the solicitations of Basilius, enters into single engagement with Amphialus, but is worsted in the combat, and Parthenia only comes to witness the death and last sighs of her dearest love. Her happiness being now wrecked for ever, she resolves to assume the armour of a knight, to challenge the murderer of her husband, and either to revenge his death or follow it. The narration of her engagement with Amphialus, under the name of the Knight of the Tomb and Death, is very affecting. We regret that our limits do not suffer us to insert it. Her opponent has the misfortune to be victorious; he mortally wounds her, and his pity is only equalled by his remorse, when he discovers whom he has so unwittingly engaged.
“The next champion who appears against Amphialus, is Musidorus; who, under the disguise of the Forsaken Knight, comes to avenge himself upon the ravisher of Pamela and her sister. The combat between these valourous and renowned knights is conducted with mortal fury, and they are both carried desperately wounded from the field.
Amphialus now gets a new accession of strength in the persons of Anaxius and his brothers, who come to offer their services. Anaxius, scarcely inferior to any knight in the world in prowess, and almost the equal of Pyrocles and Amphialus, is proud, tyrannical, and cruel; esteeming himself little less than a god, and all others as born to be his slaves.
The siege is thus protracted for a considerable time. At length, Cecropia, desirous to bring it to a close, and unmoved by any consideration of mercy or pity, sends to acquaint Basilius, that, unless he immediately raises the siege, she would cause the heads of her three prisoners, Pamela, Philoclea, and Zelmane, to be cut off before their eyes. This wily step has the effect proposed. The unfortunate king, not doubting that she would perform her threat, and dismayed by fear for his two daughters, and not less for his beloved Zelmane, notwithstanding the advice of his faithful counsellor Philanax, disbands his army, and leaves his daughters in their prison.
Every obstacle being now put out of the way, and Amphialus, from the wounds received in his combat with Musidorus, being incapable of preventing her cruel designs, Cecropia now gives vent to the unrestrained malice of her nature, and exercises on the two unfortunate princesses every degree of torment to induce them to comply with her desires. After resorting to bodily torture in vain, she nexts put in practice an expedient, which none but an imagination so abominable as her own could
his Fatal end of hand she bursts iropia had thus mas to be one
devise. She resolves to play the tragedy of death before their eyes, and try whether its horrors will not abate their constancy. Her first trial is made on Philoclea. Her, Cecropia now informs, that the time is come when the fatal effects of obstinacy will be visible, by the punishment of her sister Pamela, and that the fate of her sister will only precede her own, if her refusal is longer continued. A lady is then led out, before the prison window of Philoclea, into a court below, attired in the dress of, and similar in appearance to, her sister, and there beheaded on a scaffold. The agony and distress of Philoclea on beholding this fatal end of her whom she conceives to be her sister may well be imagined, and she bursts into all the passionate ravings of sorrow. This lady, whom Cecropia had thus made the subject and engine of her cruelty, turns out afterwards to be one of the attendants of that wicked woman, thus punished for attempted treason. Pamela and Zelmane are, by a deception nearly similar, induced to believe in the death of Philoclea, and experience an equal bitterness of anguish. But the time of retribution is at hand. Their cruel tormentor, at last, meets her deserved punishment. Amphialus, who had hitherto been kept totally unacquainted with the cruelties of his mother to her prisoners, at length is made acquainted with them by one of her servants. His rage and vexation know no bounds : he pursues her with his drawn sword, and she, terrified with his threats, in endeavouring to escape from him, falls from the top of the castle, and thus expiates her abominable crimes.
Amphialus, who is considered by the princesses as implicated in the guilt of his mother, is by them repulsed with aversion, which, increasing the desperation of that unfortunate man, already maddened with remorse at being the cause of his mother's death, drives him to the commission of self-murder. He throws himself on his sword, and, though prevented by his servants, yet wounds himself so desperately, that no hopes are entertained of his recovery. As he thus lies on the bed of death, Queen Helen of Corinth, who had long loved him, without receiving any requital, comes to beg of Anaxius the sad gratification of having the object of her affection delivered to her care, that she might exert, in effecting his cure, all the powers of medicine, or, if they were unsuccessful, that she might have the satisfaction of soothing his last moments with the tender ministration of love. This request is allowed her; she carries Amphialus away with her, and of him we hear no more.
Considering the princesses as the cause of the death of their friend Amphialus, Anaxius and his brothers resolve to put their prisoners to death, but are stayed, in the prosecution of their cruel design, by the power of love, each of them conceiving a passion for one of their three victims. Their love, however,