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How Duke Robert deceived his Keepers, & got from them: how he met /aire Margaret, and in carrying her away was taken, for the which he had his Eyes put out.
DUKE Robert having, as you heard, obtained the Love of faire Margaret, did now cast in his Mind, how hee might delude his Keepers, and carry her quite away. In the End, hebeing absolutely resolved what to doe, sent this Letter unto her, wherein he requested, that she would be readie to meet him in the Forrest, betwixt Cardiffe and Glocester.
The young Lady, having secretly received his Message, unknown to her Master or Dame, in a Morning berime made her ready and got forth, walking to the appointed Place, where her Love should meet her.
During her Abode there, and thinking long
ere her Love came, she entred into divers Passions,
which indeed presaged some disaster Fortune to
follow. follow. O my deare Love, said shee, how slacke art thou in performing thy Promise! Why doe not thy Deeds agree with thy Inditing? See, these are thy Words, Come, my deare Margaret, and with Cupids swift Wings flie to thy Friend; be now as nimble in thy Footing as the Camels of Bactria, that runne an Hundred Miles a Day: I will waite and stay for thee, so I stay not too long. There is no Country like Austria for ambling Horses, & to carry thee I have got one.
O my Love (quoth she) here am I, but where art thou? O why doest thou play the Trewant with Time, who like the Wind slides away unseen? An ambling Gennet of Spaine is too slow to serve our Turnes. A flying Horse for flying Lovers were most meete. And thus casting many Lookes thorow the Silvane Shades, up and downe to espie him, she thought every Minute an Houre, till she might see him: sometimes she would wish her self a Bird, that she might flie through the Ayre to meet him; or a pretty Squirill, to clime the highest Tree to descry his Comming: but finding her Wishes vaine, she began thus to excuse him, and perswaded her selfe, saying,
How much to blame am I, to finde fault with my Friend? Alas, Men that lacke their Liberty,
must must come when they can, not when they would; poore Prisoners cannot doe what they desire; and then why should I be so hastie? Therefore, if safely I may lay me downe, I will beguile unquiet Thoughts with quiet Sleep: it is said that Galino breeds no Serpents, nor doth Englands Forrests nourish Beares or Lyons, therefore, without Hurt I hope I may rest awile. Thus leaving faire Margaret in a sweet Slumber, we will returne to Duke Robert, who had thus plotted his Escape from his Keepers.
Having Liberty of the King to hawke and hunt, hee determined on a Day, as he should follow the Chase, to leave the Hounds to the Hart, and the Hunters to their Homes, and being busie in their Sport, himselfe would flie, which hee performed at that Time when hee appointed Margaret to meete him, and so comming to the Place, his Horse all on a Water, and himself in a Sweat, finding his Love asleepe, he awaked her with a Kisse, saying, Arise, faire Margaret, now comes the Time wherein thou shalt be made a Queene: and presently setting her on Horse-backe, he posted away.
Now when the Keepers saw they had lost his Company, and that at the killing of the Game, hee was not present, they were among Themselves in
such such a Mutiny, that they were ready one to stabbe another. It was thy Fault, said one, that hee thus escapt from us, that hadst more Mind of thy Pleasure then of thy Prisoner, and by this Meanes we are all undone. The other said as much to him, that he had thought he had followed him in the Chase: but leaving at last this Contention, the one posted up to the King, while the others coasted up and downe the Country to search for the Duke, who having kild his Horse in travelling, was most unhappily mette on Foot with faire Margaret, ere he could come to any Towne, where he might for Money have another. But when he espyed his Keepers come to take him, he desired Margaret to make Shift for her selfe, and to seeke to escape them. But she being of a contrary Mind, said, she would live and die with him.
The Duke, seeing himselfe ready to be surprized, drew his Sword, and said, he would buy his Liberty with his Life, before he would yeeld to be any more a Prisoner; and thereupon began a great Fight betwixt them, insomuch that the Duke had killed Two of them: but himselfe being sore wounded, and faint with overmuch bleeding, at length fell downe, being not able any longer to stand: and by this Meanes the good Duke was
taken taken with his faire Love, and both of them commited to Prison.
But in the meane Space, when Grayes Wife had missed her Maide, and saw she was quite gone, she made great Lamentation for her among her Neighbours, for she loved her as dearly as any Child that ever she bore of her owne Body. O Margaret (quoth she) what Cause hadst thou to leave me? if thou didst mislike any Thing, why didst thou not tell me? If thy Wages were too little, I would have mended it: If thy Apparell had been too simple, thou shouldst have had better: If thy Worke had bin too great, I would have had Helpe for thee.
Farewell, my sweet Meg, the best Servant that ever came in any Mans House; many may I have of thy Name, but never any of thy Nature: thy Diligence is much; in thy Hands I laid the whole Government of my House, and thereby eased myselfe of that Care which now will cumber me.
Heere shee hath left me my Keyes unto my Chests, but my Comfort is gone with her Presence: every gentle Word that she was wont to speake, comes now into my Mind; her courteous Behaviour shall I never forget: with how sweet and modest a Countenance would she qualifie my over-hastie