the most valiant and renowned
KNIGHT of the ORACLE.
Son to Pericles, the valiant Knight of Assyria, and the
fair Constantia, the Daughter of the Emperor of
Persia. Containing many strange and wonderful Adventures
of his Parents, relating to their Love-Exploits.
printed by j. and m. robertson.
The Birth and Adventures of Pericles King of Assyria; he falls in Love with the Emperor of Persia’s Daughter; his adventures for her Sake.
In former times there reigned in Assyria an ancient King named Picus, who had two children, a son named Pericles, famous for valour; and a daughter named Piera, famous for beauty.—The King growing old, resigned his crown to his son, and married his daughter to Deloratus, son to the emperor of Persia. At this wedding Pericles fell in love with the emperor’s youngest daughter Constantia; but in the midst of the rejoicings news was brought of the old Kings sudden death. This sad event soon spread all over the neighbouring countries, and the Arminian's threatening to invade Assyria, King Pericles was obliged to depart privately leaving with his sister Piera a letter full of love to the fair Constantia.
While Constantia was hoping for the return of her lover, Pericles; Helion, son of the King of Arabia, demanded her in marriage, to which her father consented; and going to the princess she rejected his love, telling him plainly, her heart was fixed upon another, and though her father threatened her, it should avail nothing. So she sent and told Pericles of it, who returned to the court in the disguise of a hermit; where he found means to make himself known to Constantia, who conveyed him to her chamber, where they confirmed their love.—The time drawing near wherein her father resolved to marry her to Helion, she agreed to make her escape with him into Assyria; and changing clothes with a country girl, they met in a grove, and got off undiscovered.——Constantia’s maid kept the country wench all night, and laid her in the princess’s bed: but Helion thinking to ravish the princess, got into her chamber and went to bed (illegible text) the home-spun Sylvias, who thinking (illegible text) the fashion, willingly yielded to his embrace, whose willingness and kind caresses so pleased him, that though he was surprised to find his mistake in the morning, yet now his love turned into hatred against Constantia for this deceit; and he soon after, by the consent of her poor parents, married her; yet kept it concealed a while for diverse reasons.
The many Troubles of Pericles and Constantia.
The two lovers thus escaped, travelled all night, till coming to a shepherd’s cottage, they were welcomed in by the shepherd and his wife; but the house not affording proper refreshment, the king gave him some gold, desiring them to get better. This made the old couple suspect they were grander than their habit shewed, however, both she and her husband were trusty, and the King and Princess were privately married in a cell by an old Monk; and in a homely bed enjoyed their wish’d for desires.
The next morning as they were taking a repast, one of the Knights sent in search of them by the Emperor, rushed in, saying, she must go back with him to court, at which she swooned, which so enraged the King, that he drew his sword, and would have slain him; had he not proved to be one Pisor, a servant of his sisters; and the king making himself known, he fell on his knees and asked pardon. The King sent him to Assyria, commanding him to send, him clothes, equipages, and guards, that his queen might make a grand entry into the city. He departed, and in five days returned with the sad news of the town being destroyed by fire, and the country wasted by civil war: of which the Arminians had made an advantage, and taken possession of the kingdom. This news so shocked the king, that he retired into the wood privately to vent his grief; Constantia thinking him long, went to seek him, but missing her way, and being weary, sat herself down to rest by the side of the wood, when Helion passing by in his chariot with his bride, and she knowing Constantia by her country habit, told Helion of it, who rejoicing at the opportunity, put her into his chariot, and carried her into Arabia, and there placed her under a strong guard in an old monastry. In the mean time, Pericles knowing nothing of what had befel her, sent out Pisor in search of her; but he not returning, he went himself, and found Pisor in a deep sleep, occasioned by his eating an apple called Pilos, which first throws into a long sleep, and then causes distraction. This made him conclude Pisor dead, and that Constantia was devoured by wild beasts, and so returned mourning and wringing his hands to the shepherd’s cottage; and vowing a solitary life, he gave them his jewels and retired into the wood, where he lived a considerable time, bewailing his misfortunes.
Constantia being in a monastry proved with child, which coming to the ears of Celia the upstart Queen, who was hated by all the court, contrived the death of Constantia and her infant.—In this extremity Constantia made her case known to one Palia, an old nurse whom the Queen had offended, who taking compassion on her case, promised her assistance.
The Queen and Constantia being each brought to-bed of a boy at the same time, the nurse changed the Queen’s for Constantia’s, purposing to carry it to Assyria, where Constantia told her the King its father by this time was; and to acquaint him with her condition, that he might take measures to relieve her. But the poor woman, having travelled for many miles, laid down the child at the edge of a forest, while she went to seek some food, was devoured by a lion, and the child left to desperate fortune; but providence ordered it so that Cothanus, a noble Assyrian, hunting with his lady in the same forest, the letter hearing a child cry, went and took it up, and named it Montellion.
Constantia was in danger of her life by the Queen, who had slain the infant if she had not discovered whose it was: and Helion finding she was married to Pericles, was resolved to punish her; and accordingly ordered a tower to be built, surrounded with ditches, shut up with gates of brass, and inchanted with Necromantic spells, placing Knights and Giants to defend it; and enquiring of the Oracle about the success of it, was answered, that many Knights hearing of Constantia’s beauty, and not knowing whose daughter she was should in vain try adventures to set her free; but at last she should be delivered by her own son, the most valiant Knight in the world. Upon this, over the gate her picture was placed, with these verses in letters of gold.
Within these walls a beauty bright,
Is by hard destiny inclos’d,
T'was for no crime, but for the spite
Of such as have increas’d her woes.
Here she must stay till some brave Knight,
By noble valour sets her free:
And the enchantment vanish quite,
For a certain destiny.
For this he will gain high renown,
And him with constant love she'll crown
Montellion brought up, and aids his Father.
Pericles recovering and finding Pisor they agreed to go to the Persian court to crave aid for the recovery of Assyria, which by means of Deloratus and Piera, they soon obtained. Various battles were fought with different success, in which Montellion, who had been brought up by Cothanus, greatly distinguished himself in delivering his preserver, whom he found environed round with the enemy, driving them back with great slaughter and fury and finding his unknown father Pericles dismounted and fighting on foot, he relieved him: and engaged their general Palian in single combat, overcame him, and made him prisoner. After this victory they returned to Persia, and were elegantly entertained; but Pericles still grieved for the loss of Constantia.
C H A P. IV.
Praxanya rejects Palian and falls in Love with Montellion. The mistaken Discovery of it. Montellion rejects, her Love, and goes with Pericles in search of Constantia. He rescues Philotheta from three Giants.
During their stay, Praxantia daughter of the King of Macedon, fell in love with Montellion; but she had been long loved by Palian aforementioned, who was waiting an occasion to tell his mind to her. Praxantia discovered her love to Launela her nurse, desiring her to discover it to him: who just then passed by the garden gate, where Palian was waiting for an opportunity of admittance, and had fallen asleep with his face downwards. The nurse coming down, and taking him for Montellion, thus accosted him. Are you Montellion? to whom Palian made no answer, but asked why she enquired? It is replied she, to discover a matter of importance to you; a noble lady is in love with you. At this he started up, and entreated to know her name.—It is no less said she, than the princess Praxantia; at which name Palian was almost in raptures; so it was agreed he should be entertained in her chamber, where no light should be had to discover her blushes.—Palian in the mean time sounding Montellion, and finding him ignorant, resolved to venture; and being admitted, kissed her hand, and vowing constant loyalty, she at last promised him marriage, and leaving him went to bed; but he found means to get into her bed-chamber, and when she was asleep into bed, which waking her, she cries out, but he telling her he was Montellion, and would not injure her honour, she was content, on his oath not to attempt her virginity, to let him repose there, Palian, who had the embraces of so fair a Princess, could hardly keep his vow; however, taking his farewel before the morning, he secretly departed, promising to come the next evening, and marry her.—That day the emperor made a feast, and Praxantia placed herself opposite Montellion, and blushed as often as she looked on him; this was noted by Pericles, so taking him aside, told him the princess was in love with him, and persuaded him to embrace the opportunity; whereupon he resolved to pay her a visit the next evening, and as coming to the garden-gate Launela was going for a friar to consumate the marriage, met him, and demanded if he was Montellion? I am, said he; Then replied she, You are come too soon; for the friar that should marry you I am going for, and dare not let you in till he comes. Since your last night’s adventure with her, many troubled thoughts have been in her mind; your stealing to bed has put her in a cross humour; though I suppose it is only shame for being embraced by you before marriage.’—This amazed Montellion, who to know more of it withdrew, and changing habit with a neighbouring friar, he crossed to Launela by a nearer way and told her he was the friar she was going for; this she believed, and went back with him, and found Palian ready to enter, which they did altogether. Praxantia immediately embraced the supposed Montellion, by saying, Welcome, my dear Montellion to thy Praxantia’s arms, who dearly loves thee. Palian thanked her, and now desired the marriage might be consummated. But Montellion, who acted the friar as well as he could, said Hold, not so fast: my friends, bring lights first, that I may see what I do; do you think I will marry I know not what? upon which a candle descovered the cheat, and put the princess in such a rage, that she commanded Paiian out of her presence: Then she began to persuade the true Montellion to marry her; but he supposing her to be debauched by Palian, flung away, from her; and gave over all thoughts of courtship; and seeking Pericles, he went with him in search of Constantia.
They had scarce arrived on the confines of Arabia when they met two damsels weeping, and riding in haste, who told him their mistress Philotheta was violently forced out of her garden by three giants, and that they were going to get her assistance, and commended her beauty highly; it so wrought on Montellion, that he resolved to rescue her; and being directed the road, they went on till they came to two ways, not knowing which to take, they both parted. ’Twas Montellion’s lot in about five miles very hard riding to overtake these monsters, dragging along the lady by the hair of her head; so coming up and drawing his sword, he said, Villains, unbind the lady; upon which two of them were for carrying her away, while the other flew at Montellion, but he soon laid him dead at his feet; the others seeing this, one got off with the lady, and the other advanced towards Montellion, who at one blow cut off one of his arms, which the Giant took up and threw at Montellion, which made him stagger; then the Giant fled, and Montellion pursued him into a
cave, where he found one of them going to ravish Philotheta; and here he combated with them both in a bloody encounter, which ended in his victory and their death. The lady fell on her knees to her deliverer; but he took her up, and comforted her in the best manner he could; so having refreshed themselves, he had a further opportunity of viewing and admiring the beauty of the lady, with whom he fell in love, and she with him; but much trouble ensued before they enjoyed each other; for as they were discoursing in the cave, in rushed three Knights in green, two of them seized her, and the other combated Montellion; and in five minutes they all vanished away, carrying the lady along with them; so that he was persuaded it was done by enchantment; whereupon, he departed in great heaviness in search of her.
Montellion is carried unto the Grove of Hysperian Nymphs, and their Usage to him; he comes to the Castle where Constantia and Philotheta were; he fights with the Knights, and finishes the Enchantment.
Montellion’s horse being strayed in the wood, during his combat with the Giants, and as he was lookling for him, a beautiful damsel saluted him, ordering him to follow her, and at last brought him to a fine grove, and then vanished. When looking about he espied a bower of fine roses and jessamine, entwined by very curious art; but being about to enter it, he perceived in letters of gold this caution:
Be not too rash to enter these fine bowr’s,
Here the Hysperian nymphs at leisure hours
Repose themselves that rule the Oracle,
And do the fate of mortal wights foretel;
Lest you their anger raise, and gain thereby
Mischiefs of life, and so untimely die.
While he was musing on these lines, a crowd of damsels appeared, with flowers on their heads, and very fine music: he thinking they were Goddesses, began to worship them; whereupon he heard a voice saying,
Thou’rt now where man was ne’er before
The Nymphs of the Hesperian Oracle,
To let thee know what will befal you more,
Their favour do contribute to the full;
Thou art of princely birth, yet much care
Befal, e’er you know whom your parents are,
After much toil many good days you'll see,
And her you love shall in the end yours be,
And long long years you shall live happily.
Then they gave him a sword and lance, saying, They should preserve his life in the utmost danger; and named him the Knight of the Oracle. They then conveyed him to the enchanted castle, where seeing Philotheta, he winded the horn, which angered many Knights who were waiting there, each claiming the lady as his prize. On this Montellion, whom we shall now call the Knight of the Oracle, unhorsed them one after the other: after which he cast lots with them who should first attempt the lady’s rescue, and his fell out to be the last.—The rest being defeated, some taken prisoners, and some thrown into the moat, (illegible text) last came up the Knight of the Oracle, in the sight of Philotheta and Constantia, who were looking out at a window, despairing of deliverance. The enchantress rained fire against the
knight, but his armour was proof against it; and blowing the horn, three Giants came forth with iron club they advanced with fury, but he soon laid two of them dead at his feet. Thunder and lightening ensued, and the enchantress finding that he was designed by the destinies to dissolve the enchantment, forced Philotheta out her Tower. The last Giant yielded to the Knight, and shewed him Constantia, who thanked him for her deliverance. Then he ordered the Giant to release the captives, amongst whom was Helion, almost starved to death and who soon died.
Several Occurrences to hasten the Conclusion of the History.
The enchantment being finished and Constantia under the protection of the Knight of the Oracle, on their way to Persia, let’s see what became of Philoteta after she was carried out of the castle by Ila the enchantress. This lady was daughter to Delatus and Assala: This Delatus being Duke of Ila, the beauty of her caused one Amphiador to deal with a Necromancer, to enchant her in a cell in the wilderness, which should be of the same date as the enchanted tower. Amphiador gave it out that Delatus was slain, and so gained the affection of Assala that he married her, and had with her the dukedom; but the true duke coming home, Amphiador fled into Persia, resolving to satisfy his lust upon Philotheta; and as he was mediating thus, he found out Praxantia lamenting the loss of Montellion’s love, whereupon he invited her to an entertainment, after which he stole into her room, and forced her to fly naked into another chamber; where her servants bound him and left him, and he was there starved to death.
Constantia and Montellion coming to Delatus’s house, he assured her that Montellion was her son; which she soon found to be true, by enquiring into his life; the which also rejoiced Pericles, and there was feasting for many days. Palian set up a tent for the entertainment of lust, which he refusing, her love turned into hatred, and she made a great outcry; at which her brother Thetus came in, and would have run Montellion through, had not Philotheta, who had concealed herself in the tent, cried out, Treason! Murder! the King’s son will be killed; which gave Montellion time to draw, and he soon laid him dead; upon which Palian and his other brothers rushed in, and all fell upon Montellion; but he had certainly slain them, had not the Emperor and King of Macedon come in with their guards.—Praxantia no sooner saw them, but she cried out that Montellion had ravished her and slain her brother; this startled them all, for Montellion owned killing Thetus, but forgot the cause. While this contest happened, Palian sneaked away, and a dreadful war broke out between the two Kings ofMacedon and Assyria: and what vexed Montellion was the hazard of losing Philotheta. , to which Philotheta and Praxantia came in disguise; and Montellion coming into the inner part of the tent, where Praxantia was sitting alone, she enticed him to
Philotheta discovers herself to Montellion and the happy Termination of the Whole.
During this misfortune, Philotheta withdrew to a gentlewoman’s house named Relea, and discovered her love to her, who promised to assist her, and went to the Persian and Assyrian camp, who had very lately routed the Macedonians and Armenians, by the help of the Knight of the Oracle; and soon found him, telling him that the lady named Philotheta was desirous to see him, hereupon he mounts his horse, but was stopped by a servant of Relea’s, who brought her word that a party of Armenians had burnt her house, and taken away the lady. At this news Relea fainted away, and Montellion grew melancholy; at last he disguised himfelf like an Arabian eunuch, got into the king of Armenia’s service, and was to persuade Philotheta to yield to the king’s desires. The king of Macedon also made suit to beg (illegible text) likewise the Emperor of Almaiga; but the Knight of the Oracle managed matters so, as he drove them off with many delays, that they might not suspect his design; having prepared to carry her off, he told them severally, That she had complied to meet them that night at St. Bernard’s cell, where a friar would join them in marriage; and by this means got their signets, that he might pass unquestioned. Their signets he gave to the two Queens, telling them what their husbands intended; and by the Emperor’s aid he and Philotheta escaped to Assyria; where they were married to their mutual joy; The Queens going so disguised to surprise their husbands, they each thinking they had got Philotheta, as not coming at the one and the same time, married contrary couples, and going to bed in the dark, for more privacy, cuckolded each other unwillingly.
To conclude, After divers battles the war ended in a lasting peace, and our lovers continued in great felicity to the end of their lives.
F I N I S
G L A S G O W,
Printed by J. and M, Robertson, Saltmarket, l802