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TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE
EARL OF SOUTHAMPTON, AND BARON OF TICHFIELD.
THE love I dedicate to your lordship is without end whereof this pamphlet, without beginning, is but a superfluous moiety. The warrant I have of you honourable disposition, not the worth of my untutored lines, make it assured of acceptance. What I have done is yours, what I have to do is yours, being part in all I have devoted yours. Were my worth greater, my duty should show greater meantime,
as it is, it is bound to your Lordship to whom I wish long life, still lengthened with all happiness.
Your Lordship's in all duty,
LUCIUS TARQUINIUS, surnamed Superbus from his excessive pride, after he had caused his father-in-law, Servius Tullius, to be cruelly murdered, and contrary to the Roman laws and customs, not requiring or staying for the people's suffrages, had possessed himself of the throne and kingdom, went, accompanied with his sons, and other noblemen of Rome to besiege Ardea ; during which siege, the principal men of the army meeting one evening at the tent of Sextus Tarquinius, the king's son, in their discourses after supper every one commended the virtues of his own wife; among whom Colatinus extolled the incomparable chastity of his wife Lucrece. In that pleasant humour they all posted to Rome, intending by their secret and sudden arrival to make trial of that, which every one had before avouched: only Colatinus finds his wife, though it were late in the night, spinning amongst her maids, the other ladies were found all dancing and revelling, or in several disports. Whereupon the noblemen yielded Colatinus the victory, and his wife the fame. At that time Sextus Tarquinius being inflamed with Lucrece's beauty, yet smothering his passion for the present, departed with the rest back to the camp; from whence he shortly after privily withdrew himself, and was, according to his state, royally entertained, and lodged by Lucrece at Colatium. The same night, he, treacherously stealing into her chamber, violently ravished her; and early in the morning speeded away. Lucrece, in this lamentable plight, hastily despatched messengers, one to Rome, for her father, another to the camp for Colatine. They came, the one accompanied with Junius Brutus, the other with Publius Valerius : and finding Lucrece attired in a mourning habit, demanded the cause of her sorrow. She, first taking an oath of them for her revenge, revealed the actor, and the whole matter of his dealing, and withal suddenly stabbed herself. Which done, with one consent they all vowed to root out the whole hated family of the Tarquins: and bearing the dead body to Rome, Brutus acquainted the people with the doer, and manner of the vile deed; to which he added a bitter invective against the tyranny of the king; wherewith the people were so moved, that with one consent, and a general acclamation, the Tarquins were all exiled,and the state government changed, from kings to consuls.
TARQUIN AND LUCRECE.
FROM the besieg'd Ardea all in post,
Borne by the trustless wings of false desire,
And girdle with embracing flames the waist
Haply that name of chaste, unhaply set
To praise the clear unmatched red and white,
Where mortal star, as bright as heaven's beauties
For he the night before in Tarquin's tent,
That kings might be espoused to more fame,
O happiness enjoy'd but of a few!
Honour and beauty in the owner's arms,
 Did not forbear. MALONE.