Montemayor's Diana

Page 004

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which when he beheld, with a burning sigh, that came from his very hart, he saide. O letter, letter burned maist thou be by his handes, who may best doe what he list: and woe be to him that now shall reade thee: But who may doe it? And opening it, he sawe that it said thus.

Dianas letter to Syrenus.
HOw ill I should brooke thy words (my Syrenus) who would not thinke, but that loue made thee vtter them? Thou saiest I loue thee not so much as I ought to doe, I knowe not whereby thou perceiuest it, and conceiue not, how I should loue thee more. Behold, it is now no time not to beleeue me, bicause thou seest, that the loue, which I beare thee, compels me to beleeue that, which from thy very thoughts and affection thou dost tell me. I imagine oftentimes, that as thou supposest, that I loue thee not (by louing thee more then my selfe) so must thou thinke, that thou lo∣uest me by hating me. Behold Syrenus,how time hath dealt better with thee then thou didst imagine at the beginning of our loues (with safetie yet of mine honour) which owes thee all that it may: wherein is not any thing, that I would not doe for thy sake, beseeching thee, as much as I may, not to trouble thy minde with iealousie and suspicions, bicause thou knowest, how few escape out of their hands with safetie of life, which God giue thee with all the content that I wish thee.
Is this a letter saide Syrenus, sighing, to make one thinke, that obliuion could enter into that hart, from whence such wordes came foorth? And are these wordes to be passed so slightly out of memorie? And that she then spake them, and now forget me? O sorrowfull man, with what great content did I reade this letter when my Mistresse had sent it me, and how many times in the same hower did I reade it ouer againe? But for euery pleasure then, with seuen folde paine I am now apaide: and fortune could doe no lesse with me, then to make me fall from one extreme to ano∣ther: For it had ill beseemed her with partiall hand to exempt me from that, which to all others she is commonly wont to doe.
About this time from the hill beneath, that led from the village to the greene medowe, Syrenus might perceiue a Shepherd comming downe pace by pace, and staying awhile at euery step, sometimes looking vp to heauen, and sometimes casting his eies vpon the greene medow and faire riuer bankes, which from aloft he might easily view and discouer (the thing which more augmented his sorrow) seeing the place, where the beginning and roote of his mishap did first growe. Syrenus knew him by and by, and looking towardes the place from whence he came, saide. Vnfortunate Shepherd (though not halfe so much as I am) that art a corriuall with me in Dianas loue, to what end haue thy bootelesse suites serued thee, and the dis∣daine that this cruell Shepherdesse hath done thee, but to put them all on my score? But if thou hadst knowen that the finall summe of all thy paines should haue bene like to mine, what greater fauour hadst thou found at fortunes hands, by preseruing thee still in this haplesse estate of life, then by throwing me headlong downe from it, when I did lest suspect it? But now despised Syluanus tooke out his bagpipe, and playing on it a little, with great sorrow and greefe did sing these verses following.

I Am a louer, but was neuer loued,
Well haue I lou’d, and will though hated euer,
Troubles I passe, but neuer any mooued,
Sighes haue I giuen, and yet she heard me neuer:
I would complaine, and she would neuer heare me,


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