Montemayor's Diana

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to the honorable old man, as to be embraced with such an vnseemelines, let vs go to put them asunder. Whereupon they went towards them, and making as though they had not seene them before, Felicia said vnto them. God saue this noble com∣panie. The other Shepherdesse yeelded her due thankes, and a courteous answer, for the Shepherd was yet sleeping, and the old man and the other Shepherdesse were still embracing each other. Lord Felix comming to them both, said. Thou shouldest haue enough noble Lord of these vnfit embracements. Whereat Felicia laughed to her-selfe, to see how much in their mindes they disdained the Shepher∣desse. But the old man said. Nowe may yee (O Gods) conclude my many daies with their last period, since you haue granted me this vnspeakeable fauour, to see my deerest daughter: now may yee make an end of my wearied yeeres, hauing be∣fore mine eies my onely beloued Stela, (for so was the Shepherdesse called that spake vnto him) Stela mine onely hope, my ioy and comfort of my life. To this end my praiers tended, to lengthen my decaying life, and to see this ioyfull day. This was the white whereat my petitions, oblations, and sacrifices aymed, for proroga∣tion of my death. And now let it come when it wil, since I haue her in my presence, who in despite of death maintaines my life; but yet gentle death, rather then by any other misfortune that may ensue, I might be depriued of her againe, come and bereaue me of this common light. O my deerest daughter, who did take thee away from me, for I coulde neuer beleeue that of thine owne accord thou wouldst haue left me without first taking leaue of thy louing father. Woe befall to thee (false Shepherde) that liest there asleepe, and an ill end betide thy friend, wheresoeuer he be, if he hath it not yet already. Bende not thy eares, O Iupiter (saide the Shepher∣desse) to this cruell petition, but rather turne it vpon me (a thing more requisite for my miseries) and not on them, whose goodnes neuer deserued any ill at all. I will not consent (good Father) nor be content to heare them accursed, that in all points are so faultlesse.Lo (Loue she would haue said hath erred, if modestie and maidenly shame had not staied her toong in the middest) I haue erred, or rather my Fortune (to speake more truely) hath beene to blame, by granting me no meanes to take my leaue of thee. Felicia, who knewe the cause of the Shepherdesse her greefe, said. Let these excuses now cease. And Parisiles forsake thy sadnes, since now thou inioyest thine onely desire. Who turning to sage Felicia, and marking with what graue auctoritie she spake vnto him, said vnto her. Whosoeuer thou art (noble La∣die) whether thou dost recken thy selfe in the number of mortall women, or art re∣gistred in the Catalogue of the immortall Gods (for such an one thou seemest to be) pardon me, if hitherto I haue not done my obliged duetie, and reuerence, hauing so pitifull and condigne a cause of pardon: in euerie thing hereafter I am wholy at thy deuotions, and subiect to thy commaund whatsoeuer. It is well, said Felicia, we shall thinke of that hereafter. And bicause I will make thee more ioyfull, then euer thou thoughtest to be (for from him thy comfort shall proceed, of whom thou dost most complaine) let vs goe to rest vs vnder the shadowes of those Laurell trees, neere to the siluer fountaine brincke: and that thou maist beleeue my words to be true, know that I am Felicia, if euer my name hath sounded in thine eares. Parisiles then with the Shepherdesses fell downe on their knees to kisse her hands, saying. Who of all those, that honour our immortall Gods, is there, that is ignorant of the portion which thou hast with them? Felicia lifted them all three vp, and would not suffer them to do her such honour, and taking one of the Shepherdesses by the hand (cal∣led Crimine) said to all the rest. Go you (my Sonnes) to the fountaine, and rest you


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