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contriver of this meeting: but let it not twenty years of age, named Earl Arbe said that you have done wisely; for nesto, whose elevated rank, high blood, well we know that sudden joy is wont to and the great favour which his mother be fatal as well as sudden grief.” enjoyed with the queen, all together made

So saying, she turned to Isabella and him excessively arrogant, haughty, and parted her from her mother, who, when presumptuous. This same Arnesto fell they had sprinkled water in her face, soon in love with Isabella so ardently that his revived, and being somewhat more col- soul caught fire at her eyes; but al. lected, knelt before the queen and said ; though, during Ricaredo's absence, he

May it please your majesty to pardon had shewn her some marks of his pasmy, presumption—but it is no wonder sion, never had Isabella given him any that I should lose my senses with the joy encouragement. Notwithstanding that of finding that beloved treasure.”

rejection and disdain in the commenceThe queen told her (Isabella acting as ment of a love-suit will usually make a interpreter) that she said very right. lover desist from his enterprise, quite

In this manner were her parents made the contrary effect was worked upon Arknown to Isabella, and she to her parents; nesto by the many open repulses which whom the queen commanded to remain he received from Isabella; for her conat the palace, that they might enjoy at stancy did but incite him, and her moleisure the presence and conversation of desty inflame him. their daughter.

So, as he found that Ricaredo, in the Ricaredo was greatly rejoiced at this; queen's opinion, had merited Isabella, and again he solicited the queen to fulfil and that she was so shortly to be given the promise she had made him of giving to him in marriage, he was ready to fall him his betrothed—in case he had merited into despair. But before he should do her;—and if he had not merited her, then a thing so mean-spirited and cowardly, he entreated her majesty to command him he resolved to speak to his mother, whom forthwith upon other services which might he asked to solicit the queen to make entitle him to that which he so much de- Isabella his bride; for that otherwise sired.

she might rest assured that death was The queen was

well

that awaiting him. Ricaredo was quite satisfied of his own The lady of the bedchamber was in desert, and of his great valour, which astonishment at the words of her son; needed not fresh trials to prove it; and but knowing the fierceness of his violent so she told him that in four days she temper, and the tenacity with which any would deliver Isabella to him, at the desire fixed itself in his breast, she was same time doing them both every honour apprehensive that his passion would have

some unhappy issue. Nevertheless, as a With this assurance Ricaredo took mother, in whom it is natural to desire leave, most happy in the confident hope and promote her children's happiness, of so speedily possessing Isabella without she promised her son that she would one alarming chance of losing her which speak to the queen, not with any hope is every lover's fondest aspiration. The of obtaining from her a thing so unreatime passed on—but not so swiftly as he sonable as the forfeiture of her word, could have wished; for they who live in but that, at all events, she might not leave hope of a coming boon, ever fancy, not the last desperate remedy untried. that Time flies, but that he travels with Accordingly, Isabella being that mornthe pace of indolence itself. At length, ing dressed, by the queen's command, in however, the day arrived, on which a manner splendid beyond description; Ricaredo expected, not to extinguish his and the queen having with her own desires, but to find in Isabella new charms, hand thrown about her neck a string of impelling him to love her yet more dearly, pearls, from among the best that had if that were possible.

been brought in the prize-ship, valued But in that short space of time wherein at twenty thousand ducats, and put a he thought that the bark of his good for- diamond ring upon her finger worth six tune was gliding with propitious gale thousand escudos; all the ladies being in towards the wished for haven, opposing a bustle of preparation for the approachfate raised such a tempest on its track as ing espousals; the first lady of the bedoftentimes had well nigh overwhelmed it. chamber came into the queen's presence,

knelt down before her, and petitioned Char. IV.

her to postpone Isabella's nuptials for It happened, then, that the queen's first two days longer, saying, that if her malady of the bedchamber, who had charge jesty would do her but that favour, she of Isabella, had a son about one-and- should consider it as an ample payment

in her power.

ness.

of all favours else that she might have to raise you to such fortune: and in merited or hoped for.

maintenance of this my declaration that The queen desired to know first of all, thou dost not deserve her, if thou think why she so earnestly solicited that post- fit to contradict me, I here defy thee to ponement, which would be directly con- mortal combat." trary to the word she had given to The earl was now silent, and Ricaredo Ricaredo; but the lady would not tell answered him thus :her until she had first obtained a promise “I am nowise concerned to answer that her request should be acceded to- your challenge, my lord; for I freely so strong was the queen's desire to have declare, not only that I do not deserve the occasion of this demand.

Isabella, but that there is no man breathAnd so, when the lady of the bed- ing who does; so that, acknowledging chamber had obtained what she desired as I do the truth of what you say, I for the time, she informed the queen once more tell you that I am not called of her son's passion, and of her own upon to meet your challenge; but yet I apprehensions that, unless Isabella were accept it, on account of the presumption given him to wife, he would either go you have shewn in challenging me at into despair, or commit some scandalous all." act; and that she had asked for the two So saying, he retired from the windays' delay, solely to give her majesty dow, and called hastily for his arms. His time to consider what might be the fittest relatives, and all who had come to attend means of relieving her son's unhappi- him to court, were thrown into pertur

bation. Among the many who had seen The queen replied, that had not her Arnesto armed, and heard him vociferatroyal word interposed, she might have ing his challenge, there were those who found means to obviate so urgent a diffi- did not fail to go and relate the whole culty; but that she would not break that to the queen, who ordered the captain of word, nor deceive the hopes of Ricare- her guard to go and seize the earl. The do, for all the interest upon earth. captain made such speed that he arrived

This answer the lady communicated just at the moment when Ricaredo was to her son; and he, without a moment's coming away from his father's house, delay, burning with desire and jealousy, clad in the very same armour in which went and put on full armour; then, he had landed from his expedition, and mounting a fine and powerful horse, he mounted upon a beautiful horse. went and presented himself before the When the earl saw the officer, he house of Clotaldo, calling out aloud

for immediately guessed for what purpose he Ricaredo to come to the window. The came, and resolved not to let himself be latter had already put on his decorated taken. So he called out aloud to Ribridegroom's habit, and was just on the caredo—“ You see, Ricaredo, what impoint of setting out for the palace with pediment comes between us; but if you the requisite attendance. But when he have a mind to chastise me, you will seek heard this call, and was told from whom me out; and with the mind which I it came, he, with some agitation, went have to chastise you, I shall seek out up to one of the windows, and as soon you; and as two men that seek each as Arnesto perceive him, he said :- other do not long seek in vain, let us

“ Ricaredo, mark what I have to say leave till then the performance of our to you. The queen, my mistress, com- wishes." manded you to go upon her service, and “ Agreed," answered Ricaredo. perform deeds that should make you de- The captain now came up, with all his serving of the peerless Isabella. You guard, and told the earl that he must went, and brought back your ships laden make him prisoner in her majesty's with gold, wherewith you think you have purchased and merited Isabella. Now, The earl replied, that he submitted, although the queen, my mistress, has but not to be taken anywhere else than promised her to you, it was because she into the queen's presence. thought there was no other about her To this the captain assented; and court that could serve her better than taking him in the midst of his guard, he you, or do more to deserve Isabella. carried him to the palace and before the But therein, forsooth, she may have been queen, whom her lady of the bedchamber mistaken; and so she is, in my opinion, had already apprised of her son's violent which I hold to be very truth; and there- passion for Isabella, entreating her mafore I tell you, that neither have you jesty to pardon the earl, who, as a youth done anything to make you worthy of and in love, was liable to even greater Isabella, nor can you ever do anything errors. Arnesto arrived before the queen, who, without waiting to hear anything went to see Isabella, who already was he had to say, ordered him to be deprive almost expiring. ed of his sword, and carried prisoner to The queen ordered her physicians to a certain tower.

name,

be summoned with all speed ; and while All these things were torturing the awaiting their arrival she made her athearts of Isabella and her parents, who tendants give the patient a quantity of beheld the tranquillity of their fortune certain powders, with many other anthus suddenly disturbed.

tidotes, such as great sovereigns keep The lady of the bedchamber advised always in readiness for the like emergenthe queen that, in order to obviate the cies. The physicians came, administered mischief that might arise between her their remedies with all diligence, and kindred and Ricaredo's, she should re- solicited the queen that the lady of the move the cause out of the way, by send- bedchamber might be made to declare ing off Isabella to Spain, and so the what kind of poison she had given, as effects that were to be feared would be there was no cause to suspect that it had avoided; enforcing her arguments by been administered by any one but heradding, that Isabella was a catholic, and self. She made the required disclosure; so firm a one that none of her persua- and upon this information the physicians sions, and she had used many, had been applied their remedies so abundantly and able to make her swerve in the least efficaciously, that by their means, and by from her attachment to her religion. God's blessing, Isabella's life was spared,

To this the queen answered, that she or at least there appeared good hopes of esteemed her the more on that account, saving it. for adhering to the faith which her pa- The queen ordered her lady of the rents had taught her; and that as for bedchamber to be taken and kept in close sending her to Spain, she would not hear custody in a small room in the palace, of it, for that she took great pleasure in intending to punish her as her crime decontemplating her lovely aspect, her served; although the latter defended many graces and virtues; and that as- herself by saying, that in killing Isabella suredly, if not on that day, on some she was only offering up a sacrifice to other she should give her in marriage to heaven, by ridding the earth of a cathoRicaredo, as she had promised him. lic, at the same time that she was re

This determination of the queen's left moving the occasion of strife to her her lady of the bedchamber so disconsolate, that she was unable to answer a When these melancholy news reached word; and thinking, as she had already the ears of Ricaredo, they drove him thought, that if Isabella could not be almost to distraction, so wild were his removed out of the way, there was no movements, and so heart-rending his other means whatever, either of soothing complaints. Isabella, however, was not her son's violent temper, or inducing doomed to die; nature having, as it him to keep peace with Ricaredo, she were, commuted that sentence into the resolved to commit one of the greatest leaving her without eye-lashes, eyecruelties that ever entered the imagina. brows, or hair,—with her face swollen, tion of a woman of rank, especially so her colour gone, her skin blistered, and elevated as hers; she resolved to take off her eyes watery; in short, so unsightly Isabella by poison; and as the temper of did she remain that, as hitherto she had women is, for the most part, hasty and appeared a miracle of beauty, so now she eager, she administered the poison that seemed a monster of ugliness. They very evening, in a conserve, which she who had known her before thought it forced her to take as being good for a more unfortunate for her to be left in sinking of the heart, by which she was that condition, than it would have been then affected.

had the poison killed her. Nevertheless Not long after she had taken it, Isa. Ricaredo solicited her hand of the queen; bella's tongue and throat began to swell, and entreated her majesty that she would her lips to turn black, her voice to grow permit him to take her to his own resihoarse, her eyes to look wild, and her dence, for that the love which he bore bosom to feel oppressed—all evident signs her possessed the soul as well as the body, that poison had been given her. The and that if Isabella had lost her beauty, ladies hurried to the queen, and told her she could not have lost her inestimable what had happened, assuring her at the virtues. same time that her first lady of the bed- “ True," said the

queen ;

6 take her, chamber was the author of the mischief. Ricaredo; and mark well that you bear

The queen found no great difficulty in with you a most precious jewel 'enclosed crediting this statement; and so she in a homely casket. God is my witness,

son.

how fain would I have given it to you from that which tends only to sensual such as you delivered it to me; and gratification; for, although your personal perhaps, by the punishment which I will charms enchained my senses, your inesinflict on the perpetrator of so heinous a timable virtues captivated my soul ;--SO crime, vengeance at least will be satis- that if in your beauty I loved you, in fied.'

your deformity I still adore you ; in Ricaredo used many arguments with confirmation whereof let me take this the queen in extenuation of her lady's hand;" and grasping her right hand, guilt; entreating that she would forgive which she held out to him, he continued: her, as, he said, the excuses she alleged “ By that catholic faith which my reliwere sufficient to make even greater of- gious parents taught me—which if it be fences pardonable.

not in all due integrity, then by that I In fine, Isabella and her parents were swear which the Roman pontiff sancpresented to him, and he carried them tions, that which in my heart I confess, home to his parents' house; the queen believe, and hold,—and by the true God having added to the rich pearls and the who now hears us, I promise thee, Isadiamond ring other jewels and apparel, bella, my dearer half, to be thy huswhich testified her great affection for band—and such henceforth I am, if thou Isabella. The latter remained in her wilt so elevate me as to make me deformity for two months, without giving thine." any signs of ever recovering her pristine Isabella was surprised at Ricaredo's beauty ; but at the end of that period words, and her parents were in utter her skin began to clear, and her lovely astonishment. She knew not what to complexion to return.

say, nor how to do otherwise than to Meanwhile, Ricaredo's parents, seeing kiss Ricaredo's hand repeatedly, and tell no possibility of Isabella's perfect reco. him, with tears in her eyes, that she acvery, determined to send for the young cepted him for hers, and yielded herself Scottish lady, to whom they had origi- to be his slave. Ricaredo then pressed nally proposed to marry their son, and to his lips to the unsightly cheek which in send without his knowledge, not doubt- its beauty he had never ventured to aping that the present beauty of the new proach; and Isabella's parents solembride would soon make him forget the nized the espousals with tender and departed charms of Isabella, whom they plenteous tears. designed to send to Spain with her pa- Ricaredo told them that he would rents, bestowing upon them at the same contrive, in the manner they should time property sufficient to compensate afterwards see, to get the marriage with their past losses.

the Scottish lady postponed; and that Scarcely six weeks had elapsed when, when his father should desire to send unexpected by Ricaredo, the intended them all three to Spain, they must not bride entered the gates with an attend- refuse, but go and wait for him at Cadiz ance suited to her rank, and looking so or at Seville for two years, within which beautiful that, after the Isabella that time he pledged himself to join them, used to be, there was not another so should heaven grant him so long to live; handsome in all London. Ricaredo was and should that term expire without startled at the unlooked for presence of their seeing him, then they were to set this young lady; and was fearful lest the it down for certain that some serious im. alarm of her arrival should prove fatal pediment-most likely, death-had into Isabella; and so, to allay it, he went terposed. straight to her bedside, and found her Isabella replied, that she would wait parents with her, in whose presence he for him not only two years, but all the said :

years of her life, until she should be “ Dearest Isabella, — my parents, in convinced that his own was at an end, the great affection they bear me, not for that she could never survive the inyet aware how great a one I bear to you, telligence of his death. have brought to our house a young These tender assurances drew fresh Scotchwoman, to whom they intended to tears from them all, and Ricaredo withmarry me before I had come to the drew, to go and tell his parents that he knowledge of your own perfections; would by no means be married, nor give and this, I believe, they have done to his hand to the Scottish lady, without the intent that this damsel's great beauty first going to Rome to satisfy his conmay banish the impression of yours, science. Such arguments on this point which is fixed in my heart. But, Isa- did he use to them, and to the relatives bella, from the first moment of my pas- who were come with Clisterna-so the sion, my love for you was far different Scottish lady was named--that, being all catholics, they admitted them without nally, the queen took so many securities difficulty; and Clisterna consented to of the merchant as satisfied her that the remain at her father-in-law's house until transaction was perfectly safe. Ricaredo's return, who had requested the She moreover sent for the master of a postponement for a twelvemonth. Flemish vessel which was to sail the next

This being agreed and decided, Clo- day for France, merely to take a certifi. taldo informed Ricaredo of his determi. cate from some French port, which nation to send Isabella and her parents should enable it to enter a Spanish one, to Spain; that the queen had given him as coming from France instead of Eng. permission; and that perhaps Isabella's land ; and him she earnestly requested to native air would hasten and facilitate that take Isabella and her parents on board, recovery of which she had begun to shew and with every care for their safety and some symptoms. Ricaredo, that he good treatment, to land them at the first might give no indication of his intentions, Spanish port he should-touch at. The answered his father coolly, that he must sea-captain, desirous of gratifying the do what he thought best; only he en. queen, told her that he would do so, and treated him not to take from Isabella any would land them either at Lisbon, at of the valuables which the queen had Cadiz, or at Seville. given her.

Having taken the merchant's securi. Clotaldo promised him that he would ties, the queen sent word to Clotaldo not; and the same day he went to ask that he must not take from Isabella any the queen's leave, both to marry his son article of what she had given her in to Clistérna, and to send Isabella and jewels or apparel. The next day, Isabella her parents to Spain. The queen gave and her parents went to take leave of the her consent in both instances, and queen, who received them' with great thought Clotaldo had taken a prudent kindness. She gave then the merchant's resolution. The very same day, without letter;. and made them many additional either holding legal consultation, or sub- presents in money and in articles of pleajecting her lady of the bedchamber to sure for their voyage. In such terms did judicial examination, she condemned her Isabella express her gratitude, that the to perpetual exclusion from her office queen felt more than ever bound to do about her person, and to a fine of ten her kindness. She then took leave of thousand escudos in gold for Isabella's the ladies of the court, who, now that

And Earl Arnesto, for giving the she was no longer handsome, desired challenge, she banished from England not her departure, finding themselves

relieved from the envy which they had Within four days Arnesto was prepar- borne her beauty, and well pleased to ed to depart in pursuance of his sen- have the enjoyment of her graceful contence, and the money was in readiness. versation. The queen embraced all The queen sent for a rich merchant re- three; and commending them to their siding in London, who, being himself good stars, and to the captain's care, and a Frenchman, had correspondents in requesting Isabella to send her informaFrance, Italy, and Spain. To him she tion of her safe arrival in Spain, and delivered the ten thousand escudos, and ever after of her health, through the requested bills for the payment of the hands of the French merchant, she money to Isabella's father at Seville or took final leave of herself and her pasome other Spanish port. The merchant, rents. reckoning up his discounts and allow- They embarked the same evening, not ances, told the queen that he would give without tears from Clotaldo and his lady, bills, perfectly safe, upon another French and from all their household, by whom merchant, his correspondent, at Seville Isabella was exceedingly beloved. Ri-after this manner.- - That he would caredo was not present at this parting; write to Paris to get the bills drawn for, in order to avoid betraying the there by another correspondent of his, real state of his feelings, he had got so that they might bear a French date some of his friends to take him out that instead of an English one, communica- day on a hunting party. The presents tion being prohibited between England which the Lady Catalina made to Isabella and Spain; and that then it would only for her voyage were many; her embraces, be necessary to carry a letter pf advice endless; her tears, abundant; her injuncfrom him without any date, but with tions that she would write, without his signature, in order to have the money number; and Isabella and her parents paid over by the merchant at Seville, as answered them with such ample acknowhe would already have received advice to ledgments, that those whom they left that effect from the one at Paris. Fi- weeping, they still left satisfied.

use.

for six years.

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