« PreviousContinue »
little note he had written with his own blood to her; and after he had given him the rites of burial, to make all the speed he could to France, and deliver the said box to mademoiselle Fayel. The old servant did as his master had commanded him, and so went to France; and coming one day to monsieur Fayel's house, he suddenly met him with one of his servants, and examined him, because he knew he was captain Coucy's servant; and finding him timorous, and faultering in his speech, he searched him and found the said bex in his pocket, with the note which expressed what was therein: he dismissed the bearer, with menaces that he should come no more near his house. Monsieur Fayel going in, sent for his cook, and delivered him the powder, charging him to make a little well-relished dish of it, without losing a jot of it, for it was a very costly thing; and commanded him to bring it in himself, after the last course at supper. The cook bringing in the dish accordingly, monsieur Fayel commanded all to avoid the room; and began a serious discourse with his wife; however, since he had married her he observed she was always melancholy, and feared she was inclining to a consumption, therefore he had provided her a very precious cordial, which he was well assured would cure her : thereupon he made her eat up the whole dish ; and afterwards much im
portuning him to know what it was, he told her at last, she had eaten Coucy's heart, and so drew the box out of his pocket, and shewed her the note, and the bracelet. In a sudden exultation of joy, she with a far-fetched sigh, said, This is a precious cordial indeed ; and so licked the dish, saying, It is so precious that 'tis pity to put ever any meat upon it. So she went to bed, and in the morning she was found stone dead*.
This gentleman told me that this sad story is painted in Coucy Castle, and remains fresh to this day.
In my opinion, which veils to yours, this is choice and rich stuff for you to put upon your loom, and make a curious web of.
I thank you for the last regalo you gave me at your musæum, and for the good company. I heard you censured lately at court, that you have lighted two fold upon sir Inigo, and that you write with a porcupine's quill dipt in too much gall. Excuse me that I am so free with you ; it is because I am, in no common way of friendship,
* This is a true story, and happened about the year 1180. It is related by Fauchet at large, from an old authentic French Chronicle; and he then adds, Ainsi finirent les amours du Chastelain du Couci et de la dame de Faiel.--Regnard de Couci was famous for his chansons and chivalry, though still more for his unfortunate love, which, in the old French Romances, became proverbial. This affecting story gave rise to an old metrical English Romance, entitled “ The Knight of Courtesy," and was woven in tapestry in Coucy Castle in France.
Westminster, May 3, 1635.
To Dr. Duppa, L. B. of Chichester, his Highness's
Tutor at St. James's.
It is a well-becoming and very worthy work you are about, not to suffer Mr. Ben Jonson to go silently to his grave, or rot so suddenly: being newly come to town, and understanding that your Jonsonus Verbius was in the press, upon the solicitation of sir Thomas Hawkins, I suddenly fell upon the ensuing decastich, which, if your lordship please, may have room among the rest.
Upon my honoured Friend and Father, Mr. Ben Jonson.
And is thy glass run out, is that oil spent
Yet in despite of distaff, clue, and knife,
So I rest, with many devoted respects to your lordship, as being
Your very humble servitor, London, May 1, 1636.
James HARKINGTON, descended of an ancient and noble family in Rutlandshire, was born in 1611. He entered in 1629 gentleman commoner of Trinity College, Oxford, where he became pupil to the famous Dr. Chillingworth. After quitting college, he in a short time departed on his travels, first visiting Holland, at that time the principal school of martial discipline, and (what was still more interesting to him) a country flourishing under the influence of that liberty she had lately wrested from the tyranny of Spain. Here he commenced the study of politics : for he had been often heard to say, that before he left England, he knew no more of monarchy, anarchy, aris