thine owne imaginations so greatly preiudicially to thy rest and quiet: for the Shepâˆ£herd whom thoumissest, is not so long since wanting, that thou maiest haue anie cause to thinke that he hath forsaken thee. Pacifie then thy selfe a little, for it may be that when thy backe was turned, he hauing some desire to change place, secretly got away, vnwilling (perhaps) that we shoulde see him go for seare of staying him, being inuited by the coole shades of those greene Sicamours, and by the fresh and pleasant winde that is gently blowing them; or else perhaps discontended for my comming hither, thinking my companie troublesome, whereas now without it he may merrily passe the heate of the day away.
To this answered Diana. By these words (gracious Shepherd) which thy toong hath vttered, and forced cheere which thou dissemblest, who cannot conceiue the greefe that consumes thy life? Thou shewest well that loue is thy torment, and art accustomed to deceiue amorous suspicions by vaine imaginations. For it is a comâˆ£mon tricke of louers, to work their thoughts to beleeue false and impossible things, bicause they would not credite things that are certaine and true. Such comforts (gentle Shepherd) auaile more to quote out the sorrow of my greefe by thee, then to remedie my paine. For I know well enough, that my husband Delius is fledde afâˆ£ter a most faire Shepherdesse, who went but euen now from hence, and in regarde of the great and feruent loue wherewith he beheld her, and sighes, which for her sake came smoking from his hart, I do verily beleeue (knowing moreouer how stedâˆ£fastly he performes that he imagines or takes in hand) that he will not leaue folloâˆ£wing that Shepherdesse, though he thinke to come neuer in my sight againe. And that which greeues me most is, that I know her disposition to be so rigorous, and her hart so great an enimie to Loue, that she will not onely shew him no pitic, but with great despite contemneth the most soueraigne beautie, and greatest deserts that may be.
At these very wordes the sorrowfull Shepherd thought that a mortall dart pierâˆ£ced his chill hart, and therefore saide. Vnhappie me most wretched Louer, what greater reason haue not these harts (not made of stonie flint) to be sorrowfull for me, when thorow out the worlde I seeke the most cruell and pitilesse Damsell that liues on earth? Ah faire Shepherdesse, thou hast good cause to be sorrie for thy husâˆ£band, for if she whom he followes, be so cruelly conditioned as this, then must his life be in great danger.
By these words Diana cleerely perceiued, what his greefe was, and that the Shepâˆ£herdesse that ranne away at his comming, was the very same, whom in so many parts of the worlde he had sought. And so she was indeede; for when she began to flie from him, she tooke the habite of a Shepherdesse, by that meanes not to be knowne nor discourered. But for that present time Diana dissembled with the Shepâˆ£herd, and woulde tell him nothing of the matter, to keepe her worde and promise which she had giuen Alcida at her departure: And also bicause it was now a good while since she was gone, and ranne with such haste thorow the thicke wood, that it was impossible for him to ouertake her. All which if she should tell the Shepherd, she thought would serue for nothing else but to adde a fresh wounde to an old sore, and to trouble his minde more, by giuing him some little hope to attaine to his purâˆ£pose, when by no meanes he was able to obtaine it. But bicause she desired to know what he was, the summe of his loue, and the cause of her hate, she said vnto him.
Comfort thy selfe (Shepherd) in these thy complaints, and of curtesie tell me their cause: for to lighten them, I would be glad to know who thou art, and to heare