Montemayor's Diana

Page 254

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Now as Delicius had ended his song, and Stela thinking that he had made an end indeede of singing and playing (although it was not so, for Delicius was reque∣sting Parthenius to play on his Rebecke and to sing) she saide vnto me. Tell me faire Crimine, Enioyeth this solitarie place oftentimes such like voices, ioyned with such heauenly sweetenes? If it be so, I cannot but in some sort complaine of the amitie lately commenced, and confirmed betweene vs, in that I haue not spent the time in such pleasure and delight, as now by the sweetenes of this musicke and fine song we haue amply had. After that cruell Gorphorost (my deere friend saide I) whom the Gods confound for bereauing vs of a great part of our pleasures, began to dwell in these partes, this is the first Bagpipe and Rebecke, that in this forrest hath beene long since touched, of so many Shepherdes and Shepherdesses, that haue continu∣ally plaied and sung in other times before when they fed their sheepe heere, and passed away the heate of the day vnder these greene trees: whereupon I maruell no lesse at the noueltie of this accident, then at the rare melodie of the song, for I neuer heard the like since I first dwelt in this place, nor that euer delighted my senses so much. But bicause they begin to play and sing againe, let vs goe a little to them, for they seeme to be milde and courteous youthes, and such that make a shew to haue some respect and reuerence of vs that be Nymphes. When I had spoken this, we went towards them, who perceiuing it, felt an extreme ioy, bicause they had now brought their desired purpose to effect. But to dissemble the more with vs, and bi∣cause we might not take vs to our woonted flight, they sat still, without once rising to doe vs any courtesie, vntill we first spake vnto them. When we were come vnto them, and sawe two such goodly yoong Shepherdes, and so like in face and appa∣rell, turning to Stela, I saide. Behold what two faire Shepherdes, but seest thou not how like they be? There is not in my iudgement, siluer to siluer, gold to gold, nor water to water so like as these be. Our Iupiter and Amphitrion could not be so much one, nor Mercurie so like to Sosia, when to enioy Alomenas loue, Iupiter in the likenes of Amphitrion kept him out of his owne house; and Mercurie in the likenes of Sosia made his man feele the hardnes of his fist. Then turning by and by to the Shep∣herds, I spake thus vnto them. Your vnaccustomed and sweete songs (gracious Shepherds) after the long suspence and silence of many, that haue beene long since made in these fieldes, haue forced vs to come thus abruptly to enioy the sweetenes of them; if we therefore (being Nymphes) are of any estimation with you iolly Shepherdes, we beseech you, that our presence be not of woorse condition and entertainment then these trees, which (without moouing) were euen now harkening vnto you, nor may displease you no more then our absence, and to make no more difficultie to sing, now we are heere, then when we were not. At these wordes the Shepherdes rising vp, and asking one another who should answere, Parthenius said. Sweete Nymphes in grace and beautie non pareille, we will not deny but that, in respect of your courteous speech to vs, we are bounde to performe your gracious request (at will they cast out golden wordes which sauoured of the glozings in the Court) and confesse no lesse, that we are constrained to obey you more for your owne sakes, then for any thing else, be it spoken with pardon of the rest of these goodly Nymphes: So that onely tell vs wherein wee may giue you content, and we will doe our best to please your mindes. Our mindes saide I, you haue already vnderstood. Then since it is so, saide Delicius, begin Parthenius to sing. It were better, said Partthenius, for thee to do it: for in regard of the great sweetnes wherwith (not without good cause) thou hast alreadie delighted them, thy


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