you may vnderstand that there was nothing done nor placed heere, but with great wisedome and conceite. The loues of Apollo and Daphne, are sufficiently knowen vnto you, I meane of Apollo with Daphne, as also the preheminences wherewith this God endowed the Laurell tree, whereinto this Nymph was transformed. But how? Doria at these words interrupting his discourse, saide. Me thinkes (noble Parisiles) thou hast plaied the part of a gentleman Sewer, that hast (at our chiefest appetite) taâˆ£ken away our best dishes. Since then these noble personages (pointing to Lord Feâˆ£lix and Felismena) whom the subiect of loue did more narrowly touch, and these Shepherds (pointing to Syrenus, Syluanus, and Seluagia) to whom the first point beâˆ£longed, haue let thee passe on without interruption, my selfe (to whom it chiefely appertaines, to heare the accidents of so famous a Nymph, bicause I am one my selfe) will not (with my will) giue thee leaue to proceed any farther, before thou hast told vs the beginning of Apollos loues, & why Daphne refused and disdained so high a God. Syluanus and Seluagia blushing for shame and anger, that Doria had poinâˆ£ted to Lord Felix and Felismena, and not to them, when she saide, that the questions of loue belonged more to Lord Felix and Felismena, taking Parisiles by the hande, saide. And how thinkest thou Nymph? Are we in respect of these two so farre from loue, that to them onely, and not to vs the treatise of this demand is more apâˆ£pertaining? Euery one laughing at the Shepherds words, Doria answered. I haue made a fault (Shepherds) and so I confesse it. It pleaseth me well (faire Nymph said Parisiles) to obey thee heerein. But if I begin at the very beginning, it may be I shall not make an end before the sage Lady commeth, where (being constrained to end abruptly) I shall perhaps do you more wrong, then if I had not begun at all. Leaue not of for this (saide Felismena) for if it be so, we will request her to giue vs leaue to heare out the rest. Since then you will haue it so (saide Parisiles) giue attentiue eare, for I will recite it vnto you as I did see it written in Apollo his Temple.
THat deluge of reuengement being past,
Determined that was by Gods aboue,
For guilt of wickednes of mortall men:
The earth of moisture yet remaining full,
Wherewith the heate of Titans beames conioyn’d,
Strange creatures did engender of the same:
Diuers in shape, proportion and in kinde.
Amongst the which a Serpent did arise,
Cruell, vntam’d, and greater then a hill,
In Thessalie, a Prouince of great fame;
That first put bridle to the horse his mouth.
This monstrous Serpent did deuoure, and waste
His natiue soile, and all the people there:
He spared not the corne (a sweete rewarde
And hope of him that did with labour sowe it)
He spared not the strong and painfull Oxe,
(The faithfull seruant of the countrey toyle)
As little spared he the harmelesse Calues,
Nor goates, nor kids, that skipt about the heathes.
He spared not the flockes of simple sheepe,
Nor gentle lambes, nor heards of grazing neate.