As she had finished seven days her collection is known as the Heptameron. Not long after Sextus Tarquinius with one man retourned to Collatia vnknowen to Collatinus, and ignorant to Lucrece and the reft of her houf- hold, for what purpofe he came. In 1586 his proceedings excited the suspicions of the government, and he and two colleagues were ordered to refund to the treasury a sum of 7,075 l. The condemned party seeing the kinde parte of Salimbene, rendreth into his hands his sister Angelica, with whom he was in loue, which gratitude and curtesie, Salimbene well markinge, moued in conscience, woulde not abuse hir, but for recompence tooke hir to his wyfe. A great pastyme it was to thys fyne Gentlewoman to feede hir self wyth the Orations of those two Lordes and a ioye it was to hir, to vse her owne discourse and aunswers expressinge with right good grace sundry amorous countenances, intermingling therwithall sighes, sobbes, and alteration of cheere, that full well it might haue bene sayde, of loue trickes that shee was the only dame and mistresse.
Mistresse Gismonda which bitterly lamented the mischaunce of hir Louer, after she vnderstoode the confession hee had made, and euidently knew that because hee woulde not bleamish hir honour, he had rather willingly forgo his owne, and therewithall his lyfe, felt hir selfe so oppressed with feruent loue, as shee was ready presently to surrender hir ghost. How Plutarche did beate his man, and of pretie talke touching signes of anger. The time may come when he may know himself and his powers more thoroughly, but never again, as on that morn, will he feel such an exultant sense of mastery over the world and his fortunes. Then after much contention and rebellion, the Decemuiri were deposed. Nowe for so mutch as of your motion, grace, curtesie and liberality the same is offred, and that it pleaseth you to accept me for yours, I humblye beseche you to dispose of me not as husband, but of one whych is, and shalbe your Seruaunt for euer, and sutch as is more ready to obey, than you to commaund. Armarie is furniflied: and amonges other chaunced vpon that excellent Hiftoriographer Titus Liuius.
A-C, for example, would indicate a quarto volume composed of three signatures or gatherings of eight pages each for a total of 24 pages. Nearly all the novelle of the Fourth Day, for example, deal with tragic topics. Wherefore my Lords I beseech your honours to reuoke the confession wherein he hath made hymselfe to be a theefe. The first assayes be harde, and the minde doubtfull, and conscience gnaweth vpon the worme of repentaunce, but the same once nousled in vice, and rooted in the heart, it is more pleasaunte, and gladsome for the wicked to execute, than vertue is familiar to those that follow hir: So that shame separate from before the eyes of youth, riper age noursed in impudency, their sight is so daseled, as they can see nothing that eyther shame or feare can make them blush, which was the cause that this Lady, continuinge still in hir mischiefe, so mutch practised the freendes of hym whom she desired to kill, and made sutch fit excuse by hir Ambassades, as hee was content to speake to hir, and to here hir Iustifications, whych were easy inough to doe, the Iudge being not very guilty. And that done went into her bedde, with the cuppe in her hand, toflSng her bodie as de- cently as fhe could vppon the fame, holding the harte of her dead frende, fo nere as hee coulde, vnto her owne. So when the eare of yong Wyfe or mayde is pliant to lasciuious talk, and deliteth in wanton words, albeit hir chastity receyue no damage, yet occasion of speach is ministred to the people, and perchaunce wyth sutch disaduantage, as neuer after hir good name is recouered.
Meanwhile, from translation and imitation, young scholars at the universities had become familiar with some of the masterpieces of Ancient Drama, and with the laws of dramatic form. A goodlie document to men of like calling, to moderate them felues, and their magifterie with good and honed life, thereby to giue in- couragement of vertue, to their vaf- falles and inferiours: who for the moft parte doe imitate and fol- lowe the Hues and conuerfa- tion of their fu- periours. The early tragedies Appius and Virginia, and Tancred and Gismund were taken from The Palace of Pleasure. Moreouer Zilia was so religious I will not say superstitious and rigorous to obserue customes, as she made it very squeimish and straung to kisse a Gentleman that met hir, a ciuility which of long time hath bene obserued, and yet remayneth in the greatest parte of the Worlde, that Gentlewomen do welcome straungers and Guests into their houses with an honest and chaste kisse. I am neither Pirat nor Aduenturer, for the Lady loueth me.
Partly, I think, because owing to the Italianisation of the Elizabethan Drama the figures whom the dramatists drew are unreal, and live in an unreal world. Every memorable outburst of the fiercer passions of men that occurred in Italy, the land of passion, for all these years, found record in a novella of Boc- caccio's followers. Vnto which my sute his Eare was deafe, swearing still and protesting that either he would be slayne himselfe, or else dispatch the Countee Ardizzino. Hauing taken order as they thought meete, they agreed dailye to espye what shoulde 129chaunce, and purposed first with sweete and pleasaunte lookes to bayte and lure eche other feere, to put them in hope therby that they should satisfie their desires, which done for that tyme they departed. But he loued to mutch his wife and children, and woulde kepe them company both in lyfe and death. And when both their armies were ioyned at the mount Auentine, aforefayd, al the multitude of the citie, men, women, and children, repaired thither in forte, that Rome was like a forlorne and abandoned place.
Frauncis Church, where I haue taried longer peraduenture than my duety requireth: how be it not without fruict and great rest to my afflicted conscience, by reason of the godly persuasions of our ghostly Father Frier Laurence, vnto whom I haue made a large declaration of my life. See Weever's Funeral Menu- mints. Hence they could only be approached by literature when read or recited to them in church or theatre. I woulde to God shee sawe the bottome of my heart, and viewed the Closet of my mynde, that shee might iudge of my firme fayth and know the wrong she doth me by hir rigor and froward will. For by hys prudence and aduise, the Dominion of the State, and Common wealth was amplified and dilated. William Paynter, Clerke of the great Ordinance of the Tower of London, was buryed, and as neere to the place where he was buryed as conuenyentlie may be, with some memoriall there to be engraven sett vp or placed as shalbe devised and appoynted by my executor and overseers hereafter named; yf elsewhere then allso at their like discretions and with the like memoriall.
Moreouer I doe not intende by any meanes, to befeche your clemencie and loue towardes mee, to be beneuolente and bontifull, but confeffinge the trouthe, I will firft with true reafons and argumentes, defende myne honour, and aftcr- wardes profecute in vertuous wyfe, by effeftes, the ftoutnefle of my courage. Claudius alfo the aflertor was condempned : howbeit Virginius was contented he fhould be banifhed the citie, and then he fled to Tybur. Marguerite's other works hardly prepare us for the narrative skill, the easy grace of style and the knowledge of certain aspects of life shown in the Heptameron. Then the Albanes appointed one Metius Suffetius, to be their Diftator. Of the most noysom poyson that euer was mingled with the subtilest druggs that euer were.
Included in the collection are stories novelle that would provide the basis for Romeo and Juliet, the Duchess of Malfy, The Rape of Lucrezia, , Timon of Athens, Coriolanus, All's Well That Ends Well and many other English classics. Eftsones perused corrected and augmented. The Counte being maried againft his will, for defpite fled to Florence and loued another. Each of these, all uncommonly fair and perfect, through the liberal indulgence of their respective owners, are now before me; a combination which has scarcely been seen by any collector, however distinguished for ardour of pursuit and extensiveness of research, since the age of Q. The family of the Capellets as we haue declared in the beginninge of thys Hystory was at variance with the Montesches, which was the cause that none of that family repaired to that Banket, but onelye the yong Gentleman Rhomeo, who came in a maske after supper with certaine other yong Gentlemen: and after they had remained a certayne space with their visards on, at length they did put of the same, and Rhomeo very shamefast, withdrew himself into a Corner of the Hall: but by reason of the light of the Torches which burned very bright, he was by and by 84knowen and loked vpon of the whole Company, but specially of the Ladies, for besides his Natiue Beauty wherewyth Nature had adorned him, they maruelled at his audacity how hee durst presume to enter so secretly into the House of that Famyllye which had litle cause to do him any good.
I have however ventured to neglect the reprint of the First Tome in 1569, and taken account only of complete editions. But after they were clofed together, not onely the mouing of their bodies, and doubtfull welding and hand- ling of their weapons, but bloudye woundes appeared, two of the Romaines falling downe flarke dead one vppon an other: But before the three Albanes were fore hurt. The Marchyonesse of Montferrato desirous to gratify the Lord of Mantua his sonne in law, endeuored to induce this wanton Lady to take for spouse Gismondo Gonzaga, and the sute so well proceeded, as almost the mariage had bene concluded if the Sauoy Earle had not come betwixte, and shewed forth his Noblenesse of minde, when he vnderstode how things did passe, and that another was ready to beare away the pryse, and recouer his mistresse. It is not for nothing that the Decamerone has been the storehouse of poetic inspiration for nearly five centuries. But the loue that I beare to mine onely beloued Aloisio here present, I do esteeme aboue al the Iewels and treasures of the world, whose personage I do regard more than mine owne Lyfe. That God that made my soule, and knows what I haue felt, Who causeth sighes and sorows oft, the sely soule to swelt, Doth see my torments now, and what I suffer still, And vnderstands I tast mo griefs, than I can shew by skill. Is not the houfe of thy mother, and her domefticall Goddes, conteyned within the walles of yonder Citie? There can be little doubt, I think, that in the denunciation of the bawdie stories introduced from Italy, Ascham was thinking mainly and chiefly of Painter's Palace of Pleasure.
Thus in their search for the New Learning, Englishmen of culture who went to Italy came back with a tincture of what may be called the Newest Learning, the revival of Italian Literature. That euery man ought to beholde, the thinges that were his owne. Indeed as the Italian novelle form part of that continuous stream of literary tradition and influence which is common to all the great nations of Europe, Painter's book may be termed a link connecting England with European literature. For which offence he was brought before the kinge, whom he deliuered to be iudged accord- ing to the lawe. Webster found here the plot of The Duchess of Malfi; and Marston, Shirley, and Peele, all took plots from these tales. No, no, a vertuous man ought to let shine in him selfe the force of the generosity of his minde. Whereunto as your honour hitherto hath borne finguler affeftion, by preferring to her Maieftie fuche as from their infancie haue bene trayned vp in that neceflarie feruice and very painefullye haue imployed their time, euen fo I humbly befeche your honour for continuance of the fame, fpecially in thofe, that be indewed with greateft experience, in whome only refteth the brunte of our defence.