Daily (Captain) Cox–“Lucres and Eurialus”

Pedigree:   Originally written (in Latin)  in the fifteenth century by Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (later Pope Pius II).     Mr. Furnivall refers to three known English printings from the sixteenth century, the latest of which was by Wyllyam Copland in 1567.

Synopsis:    When the Emperor Sigismund visited the Tuscan town of Sienna, a member of Sigismund’s household (Eurialus) falls deeply, irrevocably in love with Lucres, the foremost, most beautiful (and married) lady of Sienna, and she likewise with him.      For the remainder of the story, they exchange secret missives, arrange all-too-brief conversations and…visits (one nearly discovered by Lucres’ husband Menelaus)…, and suffer unbearable separations.  Their last parting causes Lucres (who was willing to run off with Eurialus and bear the scandal, but Eurialus was not) to fall ill with lovesickness and melancholy, finally dying of her grief.     In the last passage of the story, her lover fares thus:

“Eurialus…neuer speke to anye bodye in his iourney, but caryed only Lucres in his mynde, and thoughte busylye yf  he myghte retourne…(snip)    But lyke as he folowed the Emperoure so dyd Lucres folow hym in hys sleepe and suffred hym noo nyghtes rest, who whe(n?) he knew hys true louer to be deed meaued by extreme doloure clothed him in mournynge apparell, and vtterly excluded all co(m?)forte, and yet though the Emperoure gaue hym in mariage a ryghte noble and excellente  Ladye,  yet he neuer enjoyed after, but in conclusyon pitifully wasted his painful lyfe.”    (The tale does not specify that he dies as quickly as his lover did.)

 

Online copy of a volume containing reprint of the 1567 printing here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=byAJAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false

(“Lucres and Eurialus” is found between pages 112-161)

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