Montemayor's Diana

Page 251

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to shew the hardnes of the earth. And let this suffice for this time.
With these and many other like curiosities, that the Shepherds demanded of Parisiles, the night came on to his great contentment. The verie same day (as I said) Felicia carried with her Stela: And Lord Felix, Felismena, and the Nymphes with Crimine, went by themselues to another place. To whom, after they were set vnder the shadow of some thick Sallowes, Lord Felix said. So may all thy fortunes succeed happily to thee (faire Nymph) and according to thine owne desire by seeing thy selfe in the greatest prosperitie in the world, as thou wilt deigne to tell vs why Stela and thy selfe go wandring vp and downe so sorrowfull in the company of this faire yoong Shepherd, and how long since it is you had acquaintance with him. Thou commandest me Lord Felix (said Crimine) to renew the summe of my sorrowes and extremest griese. Alas, who can stop my teares from their continuall flowing by awaking such tormenting memories? Who can quench my scalding sighes, that with such a heauie recitall will come smoking out of my balefull breast? How can I tell you my excessiue misfortunes in order, since there was neuer any in my innume∣rable passions? Let it content you Lord Felix, and you faire Ladies to knowe that you haue before your eies the most haplesse woman of all our sexe, and in your pre∣sence the verie summe and pattern of all disastrous virgins. Hauing thus spoken, a profound sigh accompanied with abundant teares, hindered the rest of her dolefull words: whereupon they came all together to comfort her, Felismena saying. Beleeue me (faire Nymphe) my Lord Don Felix woulde neuer haue requested this at thy hands, if he had thought to haue giuen thee the least griefe in the world, but that he and all we were desirous (by knowing the cause of thy sorrowfull life) to helpe thee as much as we could in thy cares and troubles. O happie Ladie (said Crimine) how much art thou deceiued and the rest, that thinke there is any remedie for my mis∣haps. But for the loue and friendship you shew me, and for that which I beare to you all, giue attentiue eare vnto my words, and vnderstand my misfortunes; for I will satisfie you in that which Lord Felix hath demaunded of me. And because you may knowe how far my mishaps haue extended, and to what end my miseries haue driuen me:
Know that I am forced to loue one, that hath no power to loue me againe; & that it is not in my power, not to account her my deerest friend, that entreats me like a cruell foe: Which thing because it may perhaps seeme hard to you to beleeue, you must vnderstand that I loue this Shepherd, that is our guide in our trauels, as much as I can, & can in truth as much as I wil. I loue also Parthenius his friēd as much as I will, & will truely as much as I can: for, as it cannot be discerned which is Deli∣cius, and which Parthenius, and the one impossible to be knowen from the other, for like two drops of water they resemble one another so much; so cannot I tell, which of them I loue most, louing both in equall balance of extreme affection. I thought once to be content and happie by being beloued of one of them, whereof when I was perswaded, I was not yet satisfied. I cannot with reason complaine of them, since both, or at the least Delicius (I think, nay firmly beleeue that my suspition is not in vaine) hath forced himself as much as may be to loue me, by working al the means he could, which neuer yet lay in his power to do. Wherby you see that I haue placed my loue on him, that cannot (though faine he would) requite it with his againe. But you will aske me perhaps in whom the cause & impediment consisteth, that they are not answerable to that, which both are so iustly owing me. To this I answere my greatest and deerest friend I haue in this worlde, bicause for hir, both are alike woun∣ded


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