Montemayor's Diana

Page 198

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there, while I talke with this Shepherdesse, and with that Shepherd a word or two. And thou (my friend Parisiles) with thy deere daughter shalt keepe them company, and tell them some famous historie, or antiquite, vntill it be time to go in to dinner. Then taking Crimine by the hand, she went towards the Shepherd that was yet slee∣ping all this while, and shaking him by the shoulder, awaked him, & said. He should sleep but a little, that comes as a guard to two faire yoong Shepherdesses. Where∣at the vnknowen Shepherd awaked, and not seeing Stela, without making the sage Ladie any answere, with a sudden sursault of griefe, said. O Crimine, where is Stela? Be not afraid (said Felicia) for she is not far from hence. Thou mightest do better to looke more aduisedly to thy selfe, when as but euen now thy temporall slumber had verie neere cast thee into thy last and endlesse sleepe. They (of whose liues and honours they chose thee their onely ampare) had more care to faue thy late en∣dangered person, then thou hadst of thy selfe or them. And bicause thou maist see vnto what extremitie thy fates had almost brought thee, knowe that it is not long since the knife was at thy throate readie to cut it. The Shepherd could not imagine what she meant by these words, nor what companie that was, that sat about the fountaine, where (turning his eies about to see Stela) he espied her, but Crimine se∣cretly admonished him to doe his duetie to Felicia, who then making low obei∣sance vnto her, craued pardon of her. Felicia then told him in order what had passed; and how Parisiles forgetting his aged weaknes, and ayded by the force of his furie, would haue killed him, & how they would not let him, with that that folowed. In the end the Shepherd was verie sad, when he knew that old Parisiles was there, not for feare of him, but bicause he now thought to loose his beloued Stela, which sage Feli∣cia perceiuing, said vnto him. Abandon (Shepherd) these sorrowfull thoughts, for all shall redound to thy content and ioy: for now thou art in such a place, where thou shalt haue no wrong, and where thy passed troubles, & those of thy sweet company & deerest friends shall be better ended, then thou art able to imagine. To all this the Shepherd could yeeld no more but humble thankes, though it was not sufficient to comfort him, bicause he was absent from a deere friend of his, whom he loued more then himselfe, and who euer requited him with no lesse loue againe, as by manie proofes most often it appeered. For well might they two haue been the thirde number, annexed to the onely two paire of friends, that after so manie thousande yeeres were accounted in the world for the greatest. But the Lady Felicia assured him, how she would finde out some meanes to haue him thither out of hande. At which words he fell downe on his knees, and kissed her hands, for any thing that she could do the contrarie. In these and other speeches, they went talking vp and downe a pretie while. But God knowes, how Crimine was ashamed of her-selfe be∣fore Felicia, though it was not long, for Felilia did remedie that by and by, hauing taken her aside to no other ende from the rest of the companie. While these three were in these speeches, Lord Felix, Felismena, the three Nymphes, and the Shep∣herds, desirous to knowe who these fower were, and for what cause Parisiles in so great an anger would haue killed the Shepherd that lay asleepe, and all the rest of his fortunes, would faine haue demanded the same on him. But yet they did not, bi∣cause they suspected he would not tell it them. Whereupon they reserued it, till Felicia was come, to entreat her to mooue Parisiles, or the rest thereof, bicause they knewe they could not then excuse themselues. Lord Felix therefore with the rest praied Parisiles to obey the sage Felicia, by discoursing some noueltie vnto them. But they seemed importunate & troublesome vnto him, for he would not (willingly)

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