Montemayor's Diana

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first dissembled the matter so cunningly, that I could gather nothing of it. And so, meaning to take away the effect by remoouing the cause, she would sometimes slie from cōpany, refraining to com where the Shepherds were staying for vs, vnles she was importuned by me. But after certain daies that we foure were al alone togither, I said. It is not reason yong Shepherdes, that with therest we liue in doubt of kno∣wing you, but that in some point we may perceiue a difference betweene you, when as oftentimes we cannot, no more then the rest, call you by your right names, which I assure you troubles vs not a little: So that I would faine haue one of you take some kinde of marke to be knowen from the other, but in such secret sort, to put vs out of doubt, and make the rest remaine still therein: Our intent answered Delici∣us, hath beene hitherto (gracious Crimine) to haue our garments make no dis∣similitude betweene them, whom one will and shape hath made so like. But to pleasure thee herein, & that by taking it, no offence be ministred to thy companion, let faire Stela set downe the difference betweene vs in outward shew, since she hath made it in the inward soule. I know not Shepherd said Stela, what difference I haue put betweene you and Parthenius. Thy conceit faire Stela is not I thinke so hard, as thy hart, but that thou maist easily coniecture, how much loue workes in me for thy sake. The putenesie of my thoughts (saide Stela) hath made me ignorant of that, which I would had not beene. The hardnes of thy hart (said Delicius) hath made me prudent in that, which was not so much expedient for me. Dost thou then speak it in good earnest saide Stela, That thou louest me? Dost thou then aske it in iest (said Delicius) if I loue thee? No said Stela: But then belike I am she (as the matter fals out) to whom thou hast adressed all thy songs and teares. Delicius thinking to haue a prosperous gale (whereof we also thought him assured, for all this while she seemed not to be angrie, but milde and gentle, whereby she got that out of his hart (which the forrowfull soule had kept so secret in his breast) with a pitifull eie cast on her, answered. Euen she indeed thou art, as the matter fals out, to whom I auow the terme and seruice of my life and voluntarie subiection of my soule, that is, &c. Enough, enough said Stela. I vnderstand thee too well, and am now resolued of my former suspitions. I neuer thought that the bold presumption of a miserable and obscure man could so far extend as to entertaine a thought so preiudiciall to my honor. Wherefore from this day let come who will to enioy thy poisoned con∣uersation. When she had spoken these bitter wordes, with an austere and angrie countenance, she flung from thence without any companie, and with no lesse haste, then the timorous virgin, that walking by some hedge, and treading with her fine foote vpon some carelesse viper, appalled with feate, flieth with speede away: The tender harted Delicius not able to powre foorth any com∣plaints, as one stroken dumbe, remained no lesse astonished then the Shep∣herde, seeing the faithfull Mastie harde by his side stroken dead with a fearefull thunderclap, and the grasse but euen now greene at his seete, burned by the sudden lightning thereof. On whom I tooke so great compassion, that I could not staie my teares, but turning my face to Farthenius to bid him helpe his fellow, I espied him in a sencelesse trance, representing more the image of a dead bodie, then the sigure of a liue man, to whom it was no lesse then death to see his deere friend in such a plight, and woorse then death to his decaied soule, knowing that he must nowe be depriued of the sight of his deere Stela, the onely reward and comfort of all his pri∣uate passions. Seing my Parthenius in such a case, like a true louer I clasped my hands togither, and then opening them againe, saide. O dismall day! At which very


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