Montemayor's Diana

Page 293

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departure: but after wee had all helde our peace a good while, Crimine with watred eies (for then she had not the power to dissemble the great loue she bare him any longer) saide. It is now no time, my friend Parthenius, by my forced countenance to dissemble the inward paine and greefe of my hart, if hitherto by deedes and demonstrations thou wilt not vnderstand and see how much I loue thee, by wordes therefore at this present let it be cleere vnto thee, That I loue thee, and louing thee more then mine owne life, determine to goe in thy companie (at the lest with thy consent) if thou wilt not carie me with thee, or else with mine owne hands (if not with thine thou wilt not) resolue to giue me my mortall stroke of death, which shall be more glorious and acceptable to me, then giuen by my selfe when thou art gone. Then she being as it were cut off from her boldnes, with a tainted blush and a sorrowfull sigh, held her peace. To whose amorous wordes Parthenius wisely answered thus. Stela had scarce begun Parthenius answere, when Felicia with the companie she brought with her came, saying to Felismena. Dost thou not thinke that I haue fulfilled that which I promised thee yesterday, by comming hither to day at the woorst time? Yes indeede good Lady, saide Felismena. But why must we pay for that, saide Syluanus, which she hath eaten: bicause we must pay her some∣thing for her companie, saide Felicia. But more for your sakes then Felismenas I will be gone, for I came to no other purpose but to accomplish my word, and hereupon she went, they remaining still that were there before. Then Stela said.
But harke what Parthenius answered to Crimines words. I am not able to iudge, deere Nymph, if thy ill fortune be greater by hauing placed thy loue in so miserable a man; or my mishap greater, by nothauing libertie to giue thee the like againe. On the one side I would gladly satisfie thy desire, and haue on the other no power to doe it: yet I will not denie to doe thee this pleasure to carie thee with me, whereby I should not gaine little, if I thought not to doe faire Stela, and my brother Delicius an ill turne: her, by bereauing her of so sweete companion; him, by depriuing him of her, by whose meanes he hopes to be remedied, whereas thou knowest how ill it would fall out for him with thy faire companion when thou art absent. I was not a little glad to heare him with such modestie take an occasion to forsake Crimine, bi∣cause my life molested with the secret iealousie I had of Crimine, depended (me thought) vpon his answere to her againe. And so turning to Parthenius, I saide. For mine owne part, good Shepherd, I thanke thee for thy good will thou hast to doe me so much honour, by not consenting to carie away with thee my friend Crimine: But for that which I owe her, and wherein I am bound to thee, and for the content of both, I agree thereunto, though it be to mine owne cost: wherefore denie not what she hath with such earnest affection requested. But before thou answere me to this, I must needes tell thee that (it seemes) thou hast taken more leaue, bicause thou art going away, then was reserued, by taking so boldly vpon thee to speake for thy friend Delicius beyond the due limits of chastitie, and common friendship, which were promised me. But I will pardon thee, as I said, bicause thou art now but a ghest, who are allowed to doe and say what they list. But yet I would faine knowe who it is that hath taken thy libertie from thee, as thou saiest, no doubt the onely impedi∣ment to make thee condescend to the amorous request of my friend Crimine. If thou thinkest (saide Parthenius) to haue me so obedient to thee as my friend Delicius, by satisfying all thy demaunds (pardon me faire Nymph) thou art much deceiued. This selfesame thing didst thou aske him, which cost vs all deere, how much more then hauing no cause to aske it, when it can serue thee to no purpose. One thing thou
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