Montemayor's Diana

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her againe. Such were the words good Lady, that whose soule they did not touch, the same should not be touched with such loue as mine is. Felicia then lifting vp her voice a little higher, saide vnto her. In these loue matters I note a certaine con∣clusion, which I finde for the most part true, That the generous minde and delicate witte by many degrees excelleth him in affection, that hath not these gifts. Because as loue is a vertue, and vertue doth euer choose her being in the best place, it is cleere, that persons of valour and dignitie, are more enamoured, and (as they are properly termed) better louers, then those of baser condition and estate. The Shep∣herds and Shepherdesses hearing what Felicia saide, seemed to be somewhat angry in their mindes, which made Syluanus to thinke, that her words ought not to escape without an answer, who therefore saide thus vnto her. Wherein good Ladie doth a noble minde and fine witte consist? Felicia (who by and by perceiued to what pur∣pose the Shepherd demanded this question, because she woulde not giue him anie occasion of discontent) saide. In no other thing but in the proper and sole vertue of him that loues, as to haue a liuely and quicke witte, a mature and good iudge∣ment, a thought tending to high and stately things, and in other vertues which doe arise and flow from them themselues. I am satisfied saide Syluanus, and so are these Shepherdesses, because we imagined (discreete Lady) that you take valour and vertue to be onely in noble personages. I speake it to this ende, bicause he is but poore in the giftes of nature, that goes to seeke them foorth in those that are gone and past. It pleased not the other Shepherdesse a little to heare what Sylua∣nus had saide; and the Nymphes did laugh, to see how the Shepherds did blush at Feliciasproposition. Who taking Felismena by the hand, brought her into a faire chamber, where she lay her selfe all alone: And after she had passed the time with her in many discourses, she put her in great hope of enjoying her desire, & the ver∣tuous end of her loue, by hauing Don Felix to her husband, albeit she saide, that this could not be done, without passing first some fewe trauels and troubles more: which the Lady made small account of, who in countermaund of them did encou∣rage and comfort her selfe with the guerdon that she hoped to gaine by them. Felicia tolde her moreouer, that during her abode in her pallace, she shoulde put off her pastorall habits, vntill the time came, when she was to weare them againe. And therefore calling vnto her the three Nymphes, in whose companie she came, she commanded them to apparell her in such garments, as to her noble and high estate were requisite. The Nymphes were not slow in executing her command, nor Felismena disobedient in doing that which Felicia thought cōuenient for her. They leading her therefore away by the hand, brought her into an inward chāber, at the one side whereof was a dore, which faire Doria opening, they went downe a paire of alablaster staires into a faire hall, in the middest whereof was a cesterne of most cleere water, where all the Nymphes did vse to bathe themselues. Where stripping themselues naked with Felismena, they did bathe themselues. And after they had adressed their golden haire, they went vp to one of Felicias inward chambers, where the Nymphes hauing apparelled themselues, they did also put these garments on Felismena: A faire petticoate of carnation printed satten, the vpper body of shi∣ning cloth of gold, of the same colour, and fringed beneath, and garded with a lace of beaten golde and small pearle. A gowne of crymosin veluet, with the sleeues, the bodies and skirts beneath embrodered with knots of seede pearle, and golde which was curiously wrought with needle by artificiall and cunning hande. A kirtle of pure white satten full of embrodered flowers and rare works of siluer, in the


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