Montemayor's Diana

Page 218

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downe to dinner. And giuing it to the Sepherds, and Lord Felix seeing it of a diffe∣rent colour, requested onely to see of what woode it was, for from a very little side∣wise, the principall was not deuided, which might be from the middes of the pom∣mell vpward, which was wrought all ouer, and carued very fine, and from one side thereof (I say) this caruing was not seene, by reason of the fine workemanship. But when Lord Felix holding it in his hande, viewed the sheepehooke well, he saide. Why wouldest thou haue the Shepherds (good Lady) onely enioy the sight of this sheepehooke? Bicause it is a thing (said Felicia) more properly apperteining to their estate. And me thinkes (saide Lord Felix) it may well beseeme a Prince his hands, though it is well enough bestowed, where it is. If I am of any woorth amongst so good a companie as this (saide the Shepherd) I will not gainsay you, neither is it my minde, to pay you with the same money, least my base wordes might diminish your high deserts. Nowe was Lord Felix answering, when Felicia reached foorth her hand, saying. Heere take it, and view it well. Then came the Shepherds Syrenus, and Syluanus to Lord Felix, to looke vpon the curious sheepehooke; Which was all blacke with some white spots, and the women staied to looke on it afterwardes. They varied amongst themselues what wood it might be, and there were diuers opi∣nions concerning the same. Some of them said it was the wood of Aloës, others of Ebony; and in the end concluded, that it was the roote of an Olife, which was verie like to both. Then they began to view the sheepe-hooke well, which was of length, as much as a man of meane stature to the breast; from the part beneath to the mids of the head, and from the part aboue in the steele a handfull length: it was gar∣nished with copper, which shined like gold, so finely laid in, and so euen with the wood, that if it were not for the different colour, the staffe might hardly haue beene discerned from the metall. Then from the metall in the steele, without any worke, two strikes went downe as broad as two barley cornes: the rest of the pommell of the sheepe-hooke was deuided into fower peeces in bredth, by fower pedestals, Ba∣ses, Cannyons, Chaptrees, Architrees, Frises, and Cornishes. And yet bicause all reached not to the steele (for all the fower pillars vpheld it) vpon euerie one was a little child, holding forth his arme, and lifting vp one leg, the better to reach it with his hand, and to support the steele of it. Betweene pillar and pillar were fower little figures verie finely wrought, so that there were sixteene carued peeces in all the Pommell: But betweene euerie pillar, one onely fable was carued, belonging to sheepe or Shepherds, bicause it was a hooke for a Shepherd. In the peece that was first offered to their sight, was a goodly white Bull in a heard amongst many other Buls and Cowes, a fairer Bull then all the rest, and with white hornes (for the work∣man helped himselfe by the white streakes of the wood, when he had any occasion) whereon Europa was putting a garland of flowers, which she tooke from her owne head; the Bull lying gently, standing quietly, & licking her garments, to assure hir the more of his gentlenes. A litle before that was she sitting vpon the Buls back, who by little and little (making as though he went feeding) rose vp. Aboue the first of these two peeces, the Bull, turning his head, licked the Damsels handes that rodde vpon him, and pace by pace went towardes the sea shore that was hard by, put∣ting now and then his foore into the water. Aboue the second figure of his first space, the Bull leapt indeede into the sea before him: vpon whose backe the Damsell sitting with great feare, and not regarding her wette and drenched garmentes, thought good to holde fast by his hornes, to saue her selfe from falling, turning her pitifull face (and wrinkled for feare) to the shore, which


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