Montemayor's Diana

Page 273

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Felicia came? Not for any other thing, saide the Nymphes. God neuer helpe me (said Seluagia) if euer I goe one foote from Crimine, before she haue made an end of her historie, and I hope Syluanus, and Syrenus will doe the like. We meane no lesse said they. Dinner being done, Lord Felix, Felismena, and the Nymphes desirous to knowe the rest of that which Crimine had begun the day before, consulted togither to get her out of the companie she was in. Which sage Felicia perceiuing, and what they went about, bad Lord Felix be content, and told them that she would doe the best to fulfill their desires. A little while after, she went from thence to passe away the time with Parisiles and Crimine, and left Stela with them all, to tell out the rest, bicause Crimine could not tell that which followed, so well as Stela, whereof Felicia informed Lord Felix. When dinner was done, Delicius went as he was woont to walke vp and downe in the woods, spending those miserable daies in sorrowfull thoughts and teares. So that Felicia, Parisiles, and Crimine being gone, Lord Felix, Felismena, the Nymphes, and the Shepherdes remained with faire Stela, to whome Felismena began thus to say. From that very instant (most excellent virgine) when first thou didst discouer to vs thy vermillion and snow white face, we cleerely knew, that for singular beautie thou didst get the prize and honour amongst the fairest wheresoeuer, and till yesterday that Crimine shewed the hardnes of thy hart, we had not knowen, that thy exceeding crueltie deserued the palme and victorie amongst all mortall women. Renowned Ladie, said Stela (cutting her off) I thinke it will not greeue thee, if I answere thy needelesse wordes after a rude sort, since thou wilt giue me that but in wordes, which thou hast deserued in deede, I speake it concerning thy more rare beautie. For, as for being cruell, I denie not but that I haue deserued a reward, though I am now more worthie of a greater, for being on the contrarie so pitifull as thou seest. Thereof (said Felismena) we know the first, and of the seconde being ignorant, doe vs therefore the fauour to rid vs out of this false opinion of thee. All of them with one voice likewise charged her with the same demaund. For many respects, said Stela, I cannot (woorthy companie) denie your earnest requests, for one, bicause I was commaunded thereunto by sage Felicia, to whom I owe all obedience and respect of dutie: for another, to fulfill your commaunds, which I will not disobey: and for the third, bicause I take a pleasure in recounting mine owne passions, to trie if with the greefe which I shall haue in telling them, death will de∣liuer me once from them; which though for this respect I chiefly desire, yet life is pleasant to me, onely for no more, but to enioy the sight of my yoong Shepherdes, to whom (mine honour reserued) I haue sacrificed my deerest libertie. Other rea∣sons I omit that mooue me to satisfie your mindes. And now bicause you are infor∣med to that point where my deere friend Crimine left, from that I will take my begin∣ning and proceede vnto the present estate that we are now in, aduising you by the way, that I durst neuer open my mouth with such boldnes to tell you of my loues, if of mine owne part there had euer beene the lest staine or thought of impuritie in them. The which thing affirmed as well by Crimine, as by that which I will rehearse, shall soone appeere. And as I will also tell you (which my companion could not, but that which she did openly see) what I did, and spake with my selfe alone, so cannot I report vnto you what she or the Shepherdes did, or spake, when they were by themselues alone. And if I shall tell you any thing that I haue not seene, it shall be after their owne report to me. Giue eare therefore, for now I begin CRimine could scarce pronounce the words of the song written in the tree, and recited by her, for pitie of Delicius (which we knew well by the tenor of it to be


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