Montemayor's Diana

Page 247

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on the one side, and had no force on the other to forsake Stela, the ioy and light of his darke and mournfull life. The seldome enioying of whose woonted sweete sight, and discontinued speech with her, by reason of old Parisiles, applied more matter to the heauie burden of his greefe: So that he (though all the rest did sing and play) could neuer be perswaded to keepe them companie, from the which but with faint and fained reasons he for the most part excused himselfe. Whereupon (when op∣portunely he could do it) he closely conuayed himselfe out of their company, whose discontentment (his yoong Shepherdesses with watchful eie perceiuing it) did not a little greeue thē. But sage Felicia seeing how little her promised hope preuailed with the fearefull Shepherd, on an euening before them all saide thus vnto him. I woulde neuer leaue to complaine on thee (sorrowfull yoong Shepherd) if I knewe not the great reason thou hast to bee so sad: And therefore I beseech you that be heere, not to be offended with the course of his melancholike life; nor take it in ill part, if hee cannot pleasure you as you woulde; praying you besides to do me so much fauour, not to aske him any more, then he is willing of himselfe to tell you, and to attende the time, when with his gratefull conuersation and sweete discourses he shall fill your hands full. Of curtesie then good Shepherd, and for shame do no more, then what thou shalt see most auailing thy content, since we are so glad (by al the meanes we can) to giue it thee. Then answered Delicius. I can receiue no greater fauour in any thing (most gracious and prudent Ladie) vnlesse it be the enioying of my Par∣thenius his presence) then in that, which you haue alreadie done me: which especi∣all benefits (since my abilitie is so small) must needs remaine without due requitall. For though in signe of subiection, my willing minde and person woulde bee euer ready at your command and seruices; yet it were but a friuolous and vndiscreet part to promise you that, which by all reason is alreadie due vnto it. Don Felix, Felisme∣na, the Shepherds and the Nymphes with one voice said, That they were not a little glad to see Delicius take content in any thing, who gaue them many thankes for it, crauing pardon of them for the great strangenes he vsed amongst them. At whose hands and of Felicia and the rest obtaining a friendly pardon, hee passed away his sorrowes all alone, going often into that thicke woode to lament his hard and sini∣ster haps; wherein he could not choose but many times haue lost himselfe, if the shi∣ning turrets of Felicias pallace had not brought him thither again, when he would. Amongst many other daies, that heere and there some went to sport themselues in diuers places, it fell out that the Shepherdes Syrenus, Syluanus, and Seluagia, (for Felicia and Don Felix had gone one way, and the rest of the companie another) were one day all alone with old Parisiles in a quadrant of the rich pallace, to whom Syre∣nus saide. Since it hath pleased you woorthie Parisiles (the fewe daies that you haue beene heere) to content all our louers with your pleasant and amorous historie of C•pid their idolatrous God, my selfe, that haue not to do with this blinde boye, why haue you refused to gratifie with some pleasant discourse touching a Shepherds state. The first day that we enioyed your happie companie, you propounded diuers things concerning the same, from that time surcharging me with (more then a meane) desire to heate them discoursed by you: And especially the manner of the sacrifice of our God Pan, and how at the first it was vsed to be done, and from what time it was held in reuerence, and all the rest that you propounded about this mat∣ter. So that your tale shall come nowe in good time, and to very good purpose, since we are heere all Shepherds and alone. Whereupon I pray you (noble Parisiles) ease my impatient minde of the burden of this desire. I cannot my friend Syrenus
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