Montemayor's Diana

Page 297

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Delicius is talking about thy affaires. Nay about thine, answered she againe. And it was true indeed. For both of them were in counsell togither, as afterwards we knew it. Being come to the Shepherds, we found such an alteration in them, that it see∣med very strange to vs. What will you more, but that Delicius seemed to haue changed the loue that he did beare me, to bestow it on Crimine, when he had grea∣test reason to loue me. Who, at the last time when I spake to him, got more of me then euer he did before. I coulde not by any meanes know the cause of this sudden change. Truth it is, that as I had perceiued Delicius loue to Crimine to be but colde, as that I also held him for such an one, who would not change without great occa∣sion, and not able to coniecture it by any fault of mine owne, I haue suspected, and Crimine thinkes no lesse, but that Delicius by some waies should know of Parthenius secret loue to me; and by sayning that he had forgot mee, it was to giue place to his deere friend in my loue. Which if it be so (as we beleeue) although we could neuer get it of him, it is (Gentlemen) one of the noblest deeds of friendship that was euer seene to this day. For in more then a whole yeere that we accompanied togither, he neuer solicited me for himselfe, but for his friende, beholding me euer with such modestie, as if we had beene both borne in one bellie. But I pray thee tell vs (said Doria) what meanes he vsed to shew that he did not loue thee. That I will, said Stela, bicause there remaines now but litle of my tale, for our long peregrination with ma∣ny misfortunes that we haue passed shal be kept for some fitter time: When we were come before the Shepherds, Delicius shewed a certaine kinde of greater libertie and boldnes in his words, and more merrines in his countenance then he was woont to do. Whereat both of vs maruelling not a little, and asking him the cause, he answe∣red. Times are not euer all one, nor equall Stela. The fire many times mollifies that which is harde. The finest plaister (be it neuer so well tempered) if it be too much charged, fals downe againe. So much water may be cast on the greatest fire, that it will put it quite out. My great loue serued me nothing at all to make thee gentle, and thy extreme disdaine hath auailed me to make me forget thee. I had grounded well mine affection on thee, but thou hast choaked it with a multitude of torments, sorrowes, & cares. Great was the flame that burned coÌ„tinually in my brest, but thou hast quenched it with excessiue water of thy cold disfauours, & with th’abundance of my teares. So that from this day thou maiest well match thee with one, who is more vertuous, wise, & constant then I am, & who may in iust proportion bee more answerable to thee in euery thing then my selfe; for I confesse I am not sufficient for it. Yet I will not denie, but that I am now as truely, and as much deuoted to thy seruice as euer I was before, whereof thou maiest make triall, if it please thee in whatsoeuer thou wilt command mee, though in another kinde of respect then in these daies past. We were all three looking with what libertie he tooke his leaue of my loue, and maruelled more at his change. Delicius had tolde Parthenius before of his determination, but he neuer beleeued all till then, when he verily thought his companion did not loue me, bicause face to face so constantly he tolde mee it, thinking if it had beene otherwise, it had not beene possible for him to haue vsed the boldenesse nor courage by speaking to me in such sorte. At this noueltie I stoode astonished, and a certaine kind of remorse and repentance (me thought) troubled mee for handling him, and mine owne matters so ill: but dissembling it as well as I coulde, I saide. O howe glad am I to heare these good wordes Shep∣herd? From this time forwarde I will loue thee more then euer I did. But I know not (said Crimine) what I may say vnto thee friend Delicius, neither can I sound


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