Montemayor's Diana

Page 155

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This song being ended, Felismena came out of the place, where she had hid her∣selfe, directly to that place where the Shepherdesses were, who amazed at her sud∣den sight, but more at her rare grace and beautie, went to her, and with louing em∣bracings welcommed her, asking her of what countrey she was, and from whence she came. To which demaundes faire Felismena could not answer, but with manie teares asked them what countrey that was, wherein they nowe where. For by her owne toong she cleerely made them knowe, that she was of Vandalia, and that for a certaine mishap she was banished from her countrey. The Portugall Shepher∣desses with their pitifull teares did the best they could to cōfort her, being very sor∣rie for her exile, a common thing to that nation, & more proper to the inhabitants of that prouince. And Felismena asking them what citie that was, which she had left, where the riuer with his christalline streames, and speedy course came running on with great force: and bicause she also desired to know, what castle that Monte∣mayor was, which was scituate on the hill, higher then the rest, and many other de∣mands, one of them called Duarda, tolde her, that the citie was Coymbra, one of the most famons & principall cities, not onely of that kingdome, but of all Europe, for the braue territories & fieldes about it, which that great riuer (called Mondego) wa∣tred with his cleerest waters. And that all those fieldes, where with great swiftnes it ranne, were called the fieldes of Mondego: And that the castle which she sawe be∣fore her, was the ancient light and glory of Spaine; which name (she saide) did bet∣ter fit it, then the right name of it, bicause in the mids of the infidelitie of Marsilius the Mahometicall king, who had so many yeeres encompassed it with a cruell and continuall siege, it did euer so strongly defend it selfe, that it was alwaies the con∣querour, and neuer subdued, and that it was called in the Portugall toong Monte∣mor, or Velho, where the vertue, valour, wisedome, and magnanimitie remained for trophees of the noble deedes, that the Lords and Knights of it did in those daies, and that the Lords and Ladies that now dwelt in it, flourished in all kinde of ver∣tues, and commendable parts. And so did the Shepherdesse tell her manie other things of the fertilitie of the foile, of the antiquitie of the buildings, of the riches of the inhabitants, of the beautie, discretion, and vertues of the Nymphes & Shep∣herdesses, and of the aptnes and actiuitie of the iolly Shepherdes, that dwelt a∣bout that impregnable castle: All which things did put Felismena in great admira∣tion. But the Shepherdesses requesting her to eate somthing (bicause they thought she needed it) she thankfully accepted their curteous offer. And whiles she was ea∣ting that which the Shepherdesses had set before her, they sawe her shed so manie teares, that caused no small sorrow in them both. And desirous to aske her the cause of them, they were hindred by the voice of a Shepherd, that came sweetely singing to the tune of his Rebecke, whom the Shepherdesses knewe to be the Shepherd Danteus, for whom Armia pleaded so much to the gracious Duarda for pitie and pardon. Who saide to Felismena. Although these are but homely cates (faire Shepherdesse) and countrey Shepherdesses fare, yet fals it out to be a dinner for a Princesse, for thou didst but little thinke when thou cam’st hither, to dine with mu∣sicke. There is not any musicke in the world (saide Felismena) that pleaseth me bet∣ter then thy sight and conuersation, gracious Shepherdesse, which by greater rea∣son makes me thinke, that I am a princesse, then the musicke thou talkest of. These words should be adressed (said Duarda) to one of more woorth, and higher deserts then I am, and that had a riper wit, and deeper conceite to vnderstande them. But howsoeuer I am, to my poore abilitie, thou shalt finde an earnest will & an vnfained


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