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cannot declare it. Thou hast ouercome me more (said Alcida) with thy answer, then I haue done thee with my Riddle; for to confesse it plainly vnto thee I vnderstood it not, before thou hadst subtilly expounded it. By chaunce I haue hit it, said Diana (as I thinke) and not by any skill, speaking at randome, and not thinking to hit it so neer. Howsoeuer thou didst it (said Alcida) it cannot otherwise be but that it proceeded from thy readie wit and ripe iudgement. But I pray thee now (faire Shepherdesse) diuine what my Sister Clenardas Riddle is (which I know is no ill one) that she shall put thee, if she can at the least remember it. And then turning her selfe to Clenarda, she said vnto her. Propound to this wittie Shepherdesse (good sister) that Riddle, which one day in our citie (if thou remembrest) thou didst put to Berinthius and Cloâˆ£menius our cosins, when we were merie togither in Elisonias house. I am well conâˆ£tent (said Clenarda) for I remember it well, and was purposed to tell it: and this it is.
I should neuer expound this Riddle (said Diana) if I had not heard the meaning of it by a Shepherd in my towne, who had sometimes sailed. And yet I cannot tell whether I remember it or not, but I thinke, he said that a Galley was vnderstood by it, which being in the middest of the dangerous waues, is neere to death, and being accustomed to robbing and killing, casteth the dead carcases into the Sea. By the feete he told me, that the oares were ment, by the winges the sayles, and by the stones that it threw, the pellets. We must in the end (saide Clenarda) goe one equall with another, for one deserues no more praise then another. Truely thy great knowledge Diana makes me to woonder much, and thou canst receiue no reâˆ£ward sufficient enough for so great deserts, but onely by being Syrenus wife. These and other curteous speeches they passed, when Felicia, beholding the fine wit, the comely grace, the passing behauiour, and sweete actions of Diana, and maruelling much at them, tooke off from her finger a verie rich ring, set with a stone of infinite value, which she did ordinarilie weare, and giuing it her for a rewarde of her wittie answers to those Riddles, said. This shall serue for a token of that, which I meane to do for thee (faire Shepherdesse) keepe it therfore wel, for in time of thy need the verâˆ£tue of it may not be a litle profitable vnto thee. Diana & Syrenus both reÌ„dred humble thanks to Felicia for so great a gift, with deuoutly kissing her reuerend hands. Who after he had sufficientlie & curteously made an end of his thanks, said. I haue noted one thing in all these Riddles, which is this, that the Shepherdesses & Ladies haue propounded the most of them, and that the men haue held their peace in such sort
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