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nothing else expected, but an ingenious and well composed order in it. Although there is no such matter (saide Faustus) yet for your pleasure I will shewe it you, for heere I haue the copie of it, hoping by these meanes to discharge me of you; but it is in prose of purpose, bicause I vnderstood how certaine of my rude rymes (against my will) came to her hands. I thinke not (saide Syluanus) that thy well penned prose is of lesse substance and commendation then thy pleasant and gracious verse, and yet I haue heard, that it requires many things more, not so commonly knowne to vs Shepherds. Then thrusting his hand into the lining of his Shepherds hoode, hee tooke out a paper, and reading it, they sawe it said thus.
Faustus his letter to Cardenia.
HE that hath none himselfe, nor wisheth to haue any, but onely that which may come from thy hands, sends thee (Gracious Shepherdesse) all the health in the world. My rude hand trembleth to thinke, that a letter written by it, must come to thy fairest hands, in whose iudgement it lies not otherwise (I suspect) but to conâˆ£demne my bold attempt, and chastise my foolish rashnes, and that I shall not haue force to suffer the rigour of thy angrie hand, if thou dost but once withdraw it from my comfort and succour. For thou must not vnderstand that (to make thee amends for the iniurie I haue done thee) as being but a base Shepherd, to haue placed my thoughts on so famous a yoong Shepherdesse, there needes any more punishment, then the wound, which thy faire and cruel hand hath giuen me, if by the same againe I am not fauoured with some remedie. I know well faire Shepherdesse (pardon me for saying so) that reading these ill compacted lines, thou wilt be in suspence to know the man, that shewes himselfe so much appassionate for thy sake; if any such thing occur to thy thoughts, demaund it I beseech thee, of a hart, which thou hast lately got into thy subiection, for that shal tell thee so sincere and pure a truth, as here by a sencelesse wit simply set down. Alas for me, that going to visite one wounded with a knife, I returned from thence wounded by thy Iuorie hand; & thou going to comfort a weake man in bodie, did’st leaue me wounded in soule. Behold therefore, if being compassionate with him, thou hast not beene cruell to me. Thou wilt say perhaps, thou didst not thinke, any such thing would fall out, which I beleeue verie well, when as the same did as little fall in the compasse of my thought. But yet thou canst not be iustly excused from fault and punishment, since, no lesse then her, that with suspitious and priuie weapons armes her selfe, thou art woorthie of both. Who then can carrie about her such secret weapons as thou hast done, assayling my soule (vnâˆ£armed then and without defence) with such a victorious and wounding hand. I will not trouble thee any more with my vnpolished & simple reasons, vntil the string of my iarring fansies be tuned by thy most soueraigne hande, which the immorâˆ£tall Gods defend with their mightie handes, as thou maist me with thy milke white hand.
This letter being short and sententious pleased the Shepherdes verie much. But when it was read out, Faustus said. Behold here (good Shephedes) the estate wherein I am attending the sentence of my glorious death, or happie life, written by that incomparable white hand. Entreat (gentle Shepherdes) the Amorous God of loue (if your sacrifices be acceptable to him) to wound her, like my selfe, with his golden headed arrow, and hide his leaden one from her. If the seruants of this little boy (enamoured Shepherd) said Seluagia, may preuaile any thing to obtaine such faâˆ£uour
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