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and albeit, I knowe the world will wounder, when they shall vnderstand the fondnesse of my choise, yet I trust you your selfe will nothing dislike with me, sith I haue meant no other thing, then the satisfiyng of mine owne contentation and liking.

"The duke hearing these wordes, aunswered: Madam, I must then content my selfe, although against my wil, hauing the lawe in your owne hands, to like of whom list, and to make choise where it pleaseth you.

"Iulina giuing the duke great thankes, that would content himselfe with such pacience, desired him likewise, to giue his free consent good wil, to the partie whom she had chosen to be her husband.

"Nay surely madam (quoth the duke) I will neuer give my consent, that any other man shall enioy you then my selfe, I haue made too great accompt of you, then so lightly to passe you away with my good will: but seeing it lieth not in me to let you, hauing (as you say) made your owne choise, so from hence forwards I leaue you to your owne liking, alwaies willing you well, and thus will take my leaue.

"The duke departed towards his owne house very sorrowfull, that Iulina had thus serued him, but in the meane space that the duke had remained in the house of Iulina, some of his seruantes fell into talke and conference, with the seruantes of Iulina, where debating betweene them, of the likelihood of the marriage, betweene the duke and the ladie, one of the seruantes of Iulina said that he neuer sawe his lady and mistresse, vse so good countenance to the duke himself, as shee had done to Siluio his man, and beganne to report with what familiarity and courtesie, she had received him, feasted him, and lodged him, and that in his opinion, Siluio was like to speede before the duke or any other


that were suters.


This tale was quickly brought to the duke himself, who making better inquiry in the matter, found it to bee true that was reported, and better considering of the words, which Iulina had vsed towards himselfe, was very well assured that it could be no other then his owne man, that had thrust his nose so far out of ioynt, wherefore without any other respect, caused him to bee thrust into a dungeon, where he was kept prisoner, in a very pitifull plight.


Poore Siluio, hauing gct intelligence by some of his fellowes, what was the cause that the duke his maister did beare such displeasure vnto him, deuised all the meanes he could, as well by meditation [mediation] by his fellowes, as otherwise by petitions, and supplications to the duke, that he would suspend his iudgment, till perfect proofe were had in the matter, and then if any manner of thing did fall out against him, wherby the duke had cause to take any griefe, he would confesse himselfe worthy not onely of imprisonment, but also of most vile and shamefull death :

with these petitions he daiely plied the duke, but all in vaine, for the duke thought hee had made so good proofe, that he was throughlie confirmed in his opinion against his man.

"But the ladie Iulina, wondering what made Siluio, that he was so slacke in his visitation, and why he absented himselfe so long from her presence, began to thinke that all was not well, but in the end, perceiving no decoction of her former surfet, receiued as you haue heard, and finding in her selfe, an vnwounted swelling in her bellie, assuring her selfe to bee with child, fearing to become quite bankrout of her honour, did thinke it more then time to seeke out a father, and made such secret search, and diligent enquirie, that shee learned the truth how Siluio, was kepte in prison, by the duke his maister, and minding to find a present remedie, as well for the loue she bare to Siluio, as for the maintainaunce of her credit and estimation, shee speedily hasted to the pallace of the duke, to whom she saied as followeth.

"Sir Duke, it may be that you will thinke my comming to your house in this sorte, doeth something passe the limites of modestie, the which I protest before God, proceedeth of this desire, that the worlde should know, how iustly I seeke meanes to maintaine my honour, but to the end I seeme not tedious with prolixitie of woords, not to vse other then direct circumstaunces, knowe sir, that the loue I beare to my onely beloued Siluio, whom I doe esteeme more then all the jewelles in the world, whose personage I regard more then my owne life, is the onely cause of my attempted iourney, beseeching you, that all the whole displeasure, which I understand you haue conceiued against him, may be imputed vnto my charge, and that it would please you louingly to deale with him, whom of my selfe I haue chosen rather for the satisfaction of mine honest liking, then for the vaine preheminencies or honourable dignities looked after by ambitious mindes.

"The duke hauing heard this discourse, caused Siluio presently to be sent for, and to be brought before him, to whom he said: Had it not been sufficient for thee, when I had reposed my selfe in thy fidelitie, and the trustinesse of thy seruice, that thou shouldest so traiterously deale with me, but since that time hast not spared, still to abuse me with so many forgeries, and periured protestations, not onely hateful vnto me, whose simplicitie thou thinkest to be such that by the plotte of thy pleasant tongue, thou wouldest make me beleeue a manifest vntroth, but most abominable be thy doings in the presence and sight of God, that hast not spared to blaspheme his holy name, by calling him to be a witnesse to maintaine thy leasinges, and so detestably wouldest thou forsweare thy self, in a matter that is so openly knowne.

"Poore Siluio whose innocencie was such, that he might lawfully sweare, seeing Iulina to be there in place, aunswered thus.

"Most noble duke, well vnderstanding your conceiued greefe, most humbly I beseech you paciently to heare my excuse, not


minding thereby to aggrauate or heape vp your wrath and displeasure, protesting before God, that there is nothing in the world, which I regarde so much, or doe esteeme so deare, as your good grace and favour, but desirous that your grace should know my innocencie, and to cleare my selfe of such impositions, wherewith I knowe I am wrongfully accused, which as I vnderstand should be in the practising of the lady Iulina, who standeth here in place, whose acquitaunce for my better discharge, now I most humbly craue, protesting before the almightie God, that neither in thought, word, nor deede, I have not otherwise used my selfe, then according to the bonde and duetie of a seruant, that is both willing and desirous, to further his maisters sutes, which if I haue otherwise sayed then that is true, you madame Iulina, who can verie wel decide the depthes of al this doubt, I most humbly beseech you to certifie a troth, if I haue in any thing missaied, or haue otherwise spoken then is right and iust.

"Iulina hauing heard this discourse which Siluio had made, perceiuyng that he stood in great awe of the dukes displeasure, aunswered thus: Thinke not my Siluio, that my comming hither is to accuse you of any misdemeanour towardes your maister, so I doe not denay, but in all such imbassages wherein towardes me you haue been imployed, you haue vsed the office of a faithfull and trustie messenger, neither am I ashamed to confesse, that the first daie that mine eyes did behold, the singular behauiour, the notable curtesie, and other innumerable giftes wherwith my Siluio is endued, but that beyond al measure my heart was so inflamed, that impossible it was for me, to quench the feruent loue, or extinguish the least part of my conceiued torment, before I had bewraied the same vnto him, and of my owne motion, craued his promised faith and loialty of marriage, and now is the time to manifest the same vnto the world, which hath been done before God, and betweene our selues: knowing that it is not needefull, to keepe secret that, which is neither euill done, nor hurtful to any persone, therefore (as I saied before) Siluio is my husband by plighted faith, who I hope to obtaine without offence, or displeasure of any one, trusting that there is no man, that will so farre forget himselfe, as to restraine that, which God hath left at libertie for euery wight, or that will seeke by crueltie, to force ladyes to marrie otherwise, then accordyng to their owne likyng. Feare not then my Siluio to keepe your faith and promise, which you haue made vnto me, and as for the rest: I doubt not thinges will so fall out, as you shall have no maner of cause to complaine.

"Siluio amazed to heare these wordes, for that Iulina by her speech, seemed to confirme that, which he most of all desired to bee quite of, saied: Who would haue thought that a ladie of so great honour and reputation, would her selfe be the embassadour, of a thing so prouidentiall, and vncomely for her estate, what plighted promises be these which bee spoken of: altogether igno

raunt vnto me, which if be otherwise than I haue saied, you sacred gods consume me straight with flashing flames of fire. But what wordes might I vse to giue credit to the truth, and innocencie of my cause? Ah madame Iulina I desire no other testimonie, then your owne honestye and vertue thinking that you wil not so much blemish the brightnesse of your honour, knowing that a woman is or should be, the image of curtesie, continencie, and shamfastnesse, from the which so soone as she stoopeth, and leaueth the office of her duetie and modesty, besides the degraduation of her honour, she thrusteth her selfe into the pit of perpetual infamy, and as I can not think you would so farre forget your selfe, by the refusall of a noble duke, to dimme the light of your renowne and glorie, which hitherto you haue maintained, amongst the best and noblest ladies, by such a one as I knowe my selfe to be, too farre vnworthie your degree and callyng, so most humbly I beseech you to confesse a troth, whereto tendeth those vowes and promises you speake of, which speeches be so obscure vnto me, as I know not for my life howe I might vnderstand them.

"Iulina something nipped with these speeches, saied, and what is the matter that now you make so little accoumpt of your Iulina, that beeing my husband indeed, haue the face to denie me, to whom thou art contracted by so many solemne othes: what art thou ashamed to haue me to thy wife? how much oughtest thou rather to be ashamed to breake thy promised faith, and to haue despised the holie and dreadfull name of God, but that time constraineth me to lay open that, which shame rather willeth I should dissemble and keepe secret, behold me here then Siluio whom thou hast gotten with childe, who if thou bee of such honestie, as I trust for all this I shall finde, then the thing is done without preiudice, or any hurt to my conscience, consideryng that by the professed faith, thou didest accoumpt mee for thy wife, and I receiued thee for my spouse and loyall husband, swearing by the almightie God, that no other then you haue made the conquest and triumph of my chastitie, whereof I craue no other witneses then your selfe, and mine own conscience.


"I praie you gentlewomen, was not this a foule oversight of Iulina, that would so precisely sweare so great an oth, that she was gotten with child by one, that was altogether vnfurnisht with implementes for such a tourne. For Gods loue take heede, and let this be an example to you, when you be with child, how you sweare who is the father, before you haue had good proofe and knowledge of the partie, for men be so subtill, and full of sleight, that God knoweth a woman may quickly be deceiued.

"But nowe to returne to our Siluio, who hearing an othe sworne so diuinely that it [he] had gotten a woman with child, was like to beleeue that it had bin true in very deede, but remembring his owne impediment, thought it impossible that he should committee such an acte, and therfore halfe in a chafe, he saied. What lawe

is able to restraine the foolish indescretion of a woman, that yeeldeth herselfe to her owne desires, what shame is able to bridle or withdrawe her from her mind and madnesse, or with what snaffell is it possible to holde her back, from the execution of her filthinesse, but what abhomination is this, that a lady of such a house should so forget the greatnesse of her estate, the alliaunce whereof she is descended, the nobility of her deceased husband, and maketh no conscience to shame and slaunder her selfe, with such a one as I am, beeing so farre vnfit and vnseemely for her degree, but how horrible is it to heare the name of God so defaced, that we make no more account, but for the maintainance of our mischiefs, we feare no whit at all to forsweare his holy name, as though he were not in all his dealings most righteous, true and iust, and will not onely lay open our leasings to the worlde, but will likewise punish the same with sharpe and bitter scourges.

"Iulina, not able to indure him to proceede any farther in his sermon, was alreadie surprised with a vehement griefe, began bitterly to crie out, vttering these speeches following.


Alas, is it possible that the soueraigne iustice of God, can abide a mischiefe so great and cursed, why may I not now suffer death, rather then the infamy which I see to wander before mine eies. Oh happy and more then right-happy had I bin, if inconstant fortune had not deuised this treason, wherein I am surprised and caught, am I thus become to be intangled with snares, and in the handes of him, who inioying the spoiles of my honour, will openly depriue mee of my fame, by making mee a common fable to all posterity in time to come, ah traitour and discourteous wretch, is this the recompence of the honest and firme amity which I haue borne thee, wherein haue deserued this discourtesie, by louing thee more then thou art able to deserue, is it I, arrant theefe is it I, vpon whom thou thinkest to worke thy mischiefes, doest thou thinke me no better worth, but that thou maiest prodigally wast my honour at thy pleasure, didest thou dare to aduenture vpon me, hauing thy conscience wounded with so deadly a treason: ah vnhappy and aboue all other most vnhappy, that haue so charely preserued mine honour, and now am made a prey to satisfie a yong mans lust, that hath coueted nothing but the spoile of my chastity and good name.

"Herewithall the teares so gushed downe her cheekes, that she was not able to open her mouth to vse any further speech.

"The duke who stoode by all this while, and heard this whole discourse, was wonderfully moued with compassio towards Iulina, knowing that from her infancie she had euer so honourably vsed her selfe, that there was no man able to detect her of any misdemeanour, otherwise then beseemed a lady of her estate, wherefore being fully resolued that Siluio his man had committed this villanie against her, in a great furie drawing his rapier, he said vnto Siluio.

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