In this sort was our marriage disturbed, like the marriage of Hyppodame and Perithous. But behold my good mother, now my unhappy fortune is renewed and encreased: For I dreamed in my sleepe, that I was pulled out of our house, out of our chamber, and out of my bed, and that I removed about in solitary and unknowne places, calling upon the name of my unfortunate husband, and how that he, as soone as he perceived that he was taken away, even smelling with perfumes and crowned with garlands, did trace me by the steppes, desiring the aid of the people to assist him, in that his wife was violently stollen away, and as he went crying up and down, one of the theeves mooved with indignation, by reason of his pursuit, took up a stone that lay at his feet, and threw it at my husband and killed him. By the terror of which sight, and the feare of so dreadfull a dreame, I awaked.
Then the old woman rendring out like sighes, began to speake in this sort: My daughter take a good heart unto you, and bee not afeared at feigned and strange visions and dreams, for as the visions of the day are accounted false and untrue, so the visions of the night doe often change contrary. And to dream of weeping, beating, and killing, is a token of good luck and prosperous change. Whereas contrary to dreame of laughing, carnal dalliance, and good cheere, is a signe of sadnesse, sicknesse, loss of substance, and displeasure. But I will tell thee a pleasant tale, to put away all thy sorrow, and to revive thy spirits. And so shee began in this manner.
THE TWENTY-SECOND CHAPTER
The most pleasant and delectable tale of the marriage of Cupid and Psyches.
There was sometimes a certaine King, inhabiting in the West parts, who had to wife a noble Dame, by whom he had three daughters exceeding fair: of whom the two elder were of such comly shape and beauty, as they did excell and pass all other women living, whereby they were thought worthily to deserve the praise and commendation of every person, and deservedly to be preferred above the residue of the common sort. Yet the singular passing beauty and maidenly majesty of the youngest daughter did so farre surmount and excell then two, as no earthly creature could by any meanes sufficiently expresse or set out the same.
By reason wherof, after the fame of this excellent maiden was spread about in every part of the City, the Citisens and strangers there beeing inwardly pricked by the zealous affection to behold her famous person, came daily by thousands, hundreths, and scores, to her fathers palace, who was astonied with admiration of her incomparable beauty, did no less worship and reverence her with crosses, signes, and tokens, and other divine adorations, according to the custome of the old used rites and ceremonies, than if she were the Lady Venus indeed, and shortly after the