Montemayor's Diana

Page 136

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thou maist no longer (faire Nymph) maruell at my words, nor at the maner of the loue which I beare to Belisa the soueraigne mistresse of my thoughts, giue eare a while (said Arsileus) and I wil tel thee that, thou neuer thought’st to heare, although the beginning of it, thy friend, and the loadstarre of my life hath perhaps told thee. And then he told her from the beginning of their loues to Alfeus his inchaunt∣ments and braue deceit, and euerie thing else, that till then in his loues aforesaid be∣fell vnto him: which the Shepherd told sometimes with teares, being loth to recall to memorie his passed mishaps; sometimes with sighes, that he fetcht from the cen∣tre of his hart, imagining what his mistresse Belisa might feele in these occurrents and greeuous accidents. And by his dolefull words and alterations in his counte∣nance, he gaue so great a spirit to that he said, and shewed such signes of inwarde griefe, that as it strooke the Nymph in a great admiration, so likewise in no lesse compassion of his paines: but when she vnderstood, that vndoubtedly he was Arsi∣leus, the ioy that she conceiued thereof was so great, that with words she could not tell it, and thought her selfe vnable at that present to do any more, but with inward sence to surfet on the sweet ioy of such happie newes. Behold then what might be expected of comfortlesse Belisa, when she should vnderstand of these gladsome ty∣dings. The Nymph therfore casting hir eies on Arsileus, not without teares of inward gladnes said vnto him, I would I had thy ripe wit and fluent toong (Arsileus) to make thee know what infinite pleasure I conceiue by the good successe, that Fortune hath solicited for my Belisa, because I might otherwise be deceiued, by thinking that so simple a conceit and barren wordes as mine are, could declare it. I euer thought that the coutinuall griefe of my Belisa should be at length conuerted into great gladnes, induced thereunto by the great deserts of her singular beautie, wisdome, & faith that she hath euer kept firme and inuiolate, but did euer feare on the other side, that Fortune neuer made account to giue it her so amply, and in such sorte, as I did desire it, bicause it is her condition (for the most parte) to bring her effectes to passe cleane contrarie to their desires that loue well. Happie maiest thou call thy selfe Arsileus, since thou didst deserue to bee so well beloued in life, that couldest not bee forgotten after death. And bicause the deferring of such great ioy, for a hart that needes it so much, may not be too long, giue me leaue to goe and carrie so good newes to thy Shepherdesse, as those of thy life, and of her deceiued minde. And depart not from this place vntill I come againe with her whom thou dost so much desire, and most deserue to see. As I can expect nothing else (saide Arsileus) from such excellent wisdome, and exceeding beautie as thine, but all ioy and contentment whatsoeuer: euen so faire Nymph (bicause thou dost so greatly desire to giue it me) thy will be done, whereby I hope to gouerne my selfe as well in this, as in all things else, that shall ensue thereof. Whereupon they ta∣king leaue of one another, Polydora went to tel Belisa these inopinate newes, & Arsi∣leusremained still, tarying for them vnder the pleasant shadow of those green Sica∣mours, who (to entertaine the time with something) as they are wont to doe, that are attending some ioyfull thing, tooke out his Rebecke, and to the tune of it, be∣gan with sweetest voice to sing these verses following.

NOw Loue, and fortune turne to me againe,
And now each one enforceth and assures
A hope, that was dismaied, dead, and vaine:
And from the harbour of mishaps recures

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