Ultima II: Revenge Of The Enchantress Online Free
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Ultima II: Revenge Of The Enchantress Online Free
Then, looking upon her attentively, he thought he saw the fairest face of a woman that ever his eye beheld, judging that, except Periander, none in the world was able to match her. What tongue might express, or pen set down, the motions which Periander felt when he knew that she who was judged to die, and after freed, was Auristela? His sight and breath failed which, as soon as he had recovered, with a weak and staggering pace he ran to embrace that fair one, whom he held in his arms, and said unto her, "O dear half of my soul, pillar of my hopes, and a pledge which I cannot say I have found by my good or bad fortune; albeit it cannot but be for my good, because no evil can proceed from thy sight: see here thy brother Periander." This last word was softly uttered, lest any might hear. Then he continued, saying, "Live, my sister, and rejoice, for in this isle death is not appointed for women. Be not more cruel to thyself than the islanders; put thy trust in heaven which, having delivered thee until this present from so many perils which thou shouldest have undergone, will defend thee also from those which may be feared hereafter." "O brother, brother," answered Auristela, "alas, I dread much that this distress wherein we find ourselves, shall not bethe last which we ought to fear. Happy hath been my fortune to find you, but unhappy to find you in such a place, and in such a manner." In speaking these words they both wept, which the barbarous Bradamire perceived and, believing that Periander shed tears of grief because such a one should die whom he had loved or known, resolved, whatsoever it should cost him, to deliver her. So coming to them twain, with one hand he held Auristela, and the other Periander; and with a threatening and proud countenance, he spake aloud in this manner. "Let none be so hardy to touch so much as one hair of these two, if he make never so little account of his life. This maid is for myself, because I love her: and this man ought to be free, because she will have it so." Scarcely had he ended these words when the Governor, moved by disdain and wrathful impatience, put a great shaft in his bow and, going back so far as he might hold out his left arm, he drew the string with the other to his right ear, and then let fly with so direct a violence that the arrow hit Bradamire in the mouth, taking from him the motion of his tongue, together with his life, which filled all them that stood by with astonishment and marvel. Nevertheless, this bold and certain stroke fell not out so well for the Governor's profit, but that he did as readily receive payment for his hardiness: for a son of the same Corcicurbo, who was drowned when he would have transported Periander, trusting more in the agility of his feet than his assured shooting, at two leaps was upon the Governor and, lifting up his arm, sheathed a poniard in his breast which, being of stone, was yet more strong and cutting than if it had been forged of steel. The unhappy Governor closing his eyes with an endless night, by his own death revenged the death of Bradamire; and in a moment, fury troubling the minds of their kinsfolk, and urging them to vengeance, put weapons into their hands, whereupon the arrows began to fly on either part, which inthe end were all spent, but not their hands and poniards, wherewith they stoutly rushed one against another in such sort that the son had no respect of his father, nor the brother his brother, but as though they had ever been mortal enemies for wrongs that were past amends they rent with their nails and killed each other with stabs of poniards, there being none who could endeavour to set them at peace. Amongst the arrows, wounds, and dead men, the old Clelia, the damsel interpreter, Periander and Auristela were close together in very much fear and confusion. But in the heat of this fury, certain barbarians who should have been partakers with Bradamire departed from the fight, going to set on fire a forest belonging to the Governor. The trees began to burn, the wind favoured their anger, and it seemed that all of them could not choose but be either blinded with smoke or burnt with flame. The obscurity of the night, the sighs of such as lay a-dying, the clamours of them that threatened, nor the noise of the fire, could not any whit terrify the hearts of these barbarians, because they were wholly set upon wrath and vengeance. Only the minds of these unhappy persons were feared who, thronging close one to another, knew not what to do, nor what might become of them. Yet heaven forgot not to succour them in so troublesome a time, and that by such a new and strange means that, for just cause, they esteemed it as a miracle.
"Consider, I speak unto thee in Spanish, which language thou knowest. And this conformity is wont to beget affection amongst those that know not one another. My name is Zenocia, a Spanish woman by birth, for I was born and brought up in Alhama, a city of the realm of Granada. My name is known throughout all Spain, and in many other places besides, for my knowledge permitteth not my name to be hidden. Making then myself famous by mine actions, I went out of my country about four years ago, flying those mastiffs that keep the Catholic flock of this kingdom. My ancestors were Agarenes, my studies those of Zoroaster's, wherein I am excellent. Behold this sun which now shines upon us: if in trial of my cunning you will have me take away his beams and cover him with clouds, do but command me, and I will make the dark night immediately follow this brightness. Or if you desire to see the earth to shake, the sea to be altered, the winds fight, and mountains meet, or other more dreadful signs which may represent unto us the confusion of the first chaos, no more but speak the word, and you shall be satisfied, and I believed. You shall also understand that, in the city of Alhama, there is always a woman of my name who is inheritor of this science which teacheth us, not to be sorcerers, as some call us, but enchantresses, or magicians, which names more aptly agree unto us. Those who are sorcerers never perform any act whereby another may be profited. They practise their mockeries by things appearing ridiculous, as bitten beans, pointless needles, headless pins, hair cut off in the new or wane of the moon, using characters which they understand not. And if they sometimes attain their purposes, it is not by virtue of their plain meaning, but because God suffereth the devil to deceive them, to their greater condemnation. But we which carry the name of enchantresses and magicians are of an higher flight. We deal with the stars, contemplate the motions of the heavens, know the virtue of herbs, plants, stones, metals, and words and, joining things active with passive, it seems we work miracles, which brings the world into admiration: from whence ariseth our good or bad renown, which is good, if by our knowledge we do well; and bad, if therewith we do wickedly. But because it seems that nature inclineth us rather to evil than good, we cannot so well govern our desires, but they will go astray and give over themselves unto evil. For who can take away the desire of revenge from the heart of a man who is wronged and inflamed with choler? Who can hinder a despised lover to make himself beloved of her that scorneth him, if he can? Albeit to change the wills, and draw them from the things, as it should be to go against freewill, so there is no science or virtue of herbs able to effect it."
They all being in this bitter affliction, and as yet not any tongue having published the inward grief, they saw a company of people that came unto them who, passing by the highway, had seen in the air those that fell, and came to see the end. These were the fair ladies of France, of whom we have before spoken: Deleasire, Belarmina and Feliflore. Immediately, they knew Auristela and Periander, whose beauties remained eternally imprinted in the imagination of all those which had once beheld them. And they had scarcely set foot on the ground to succour those whom they saw in this extremity, but that all of them together were assailed by seven or eight armed men, who caught hold of them at their backs. This assault made Anthony take in hand his bow and arrows, which he had always ready either for offence or defence. One of those that were armed, having taken Feliflore by the arm, and put her on his saddle-pommel before him, said to his companions: "This matter is dispatched. This woman here sufficeth me: let us return back again." Anthony, who never accepted of discourtesy for payment, laying all fear aside, set an arrow in his bow and, holding out his left arm as straight as he could, he drew the string with his fingers unto his ear, in such sort that both ends of the bow came almost together: and taking the ravisher of Feliflore for his white, he shot so right, that without touching the gentlewoman, save only a piece of the veil that covered her head, he pierced the body of him that carried her away, through and through. One of his companions ran to revenge him, and before Anthony had leisure to help himself once more with his bow, he gave him such a blow with a sword upon his head that he laid him along upon the earth, more like one dead than living. Which Constance seeing, she gave over to be an image, and ran to her brother. For parentage heateth the blood, which is wont to freeze in the greatest amity: and both the one and the other are tokens of unmeasurable affection.
From thenceforth, Auristela and Periander beheld themselves interchangeably with other eyes than they were accustomed, at the least Periander: to whom it seemed that Auristela had accomplished the vow which brought her to Rome and that she might freely marry. But if Auristela being half a pagan had loved chastity, now she adored it since she was catechised, not as thinking she should offend in marrying but lest she should give token of any effeminate thought, looking also if heaven would impart unto her any light, how to behave herself after she was married. For, to think to return into her country, she believed to be rashness, because Periander's older brother, to whom she had been destined, seeing his hope beguiled, peradventure would revenge upon her and upon his brother the offence which he thought he had received. These terrors and imaginations made her somewhat weak and pensive.