Montemayor's Diana

Page 308

Home  /  Facsimile  /  Page 308

Previous Page Next Page



to stay, for I am going to seeke out a pretie fawne, which my Shepherdesse makes no small account of: So that I must be forced to depart, sooner then I would, from such an honorable companie. Take no care for that, said Felicia, for I haue taken order for it. But Delicius mooued with a certaine desire to know, or rather with a secret instinct and motion from aboue, said. If by entreatie I might obtaine at thy hands (fortunate Shepherd) to tell vs some curious things, such as thou didst tou∣ching thy habit, and who did first shew them thee, I should thinke my selfe much bound to thee. More questions yet, said Felicia: What dost thou meane? Gracious yoong Shepherd, answered the Shepherd, those, and many more I learned in the fertill fields, which the great riuer Duerus with his cristalline fluents doth water in the Countie of Saint Stephen, of a famous Shepherd that came thither from for∣raine parts, to whose skill and knowledge, it seemed, nature it selfe with all her secre∣cies was subiect. If I should tell you of his graces, his vertues, and courteous beha∣uiour, as to me it would be impossible, so to you it would be tedious, not being able to make an end. We all know (for it cannot otherwise be) that he is no Shepherd, although he faines it by his habit. Of one thing I can assure you, that with whom soeuer he conuerseth, with great affection he winnes the same vnto him. O what great profit do we and our flockes receiue by his companie with vs? We, by easing vs of our continuall labours by his industrie; our flockes, by healing their common diseases. If there were any gadding goat that estraying from his company, did put vs to trouble in seeking him, by cutting his beard, he made him keep still with the flock. If the Ram, which for guide of the rest we chose out for the stoutest, we could not make gentle, he made more milde then a lambe, by making holes thorow his hornes hard by his eares. If at any time we wanted tinder, lint, or a steele to smite fire with at our neede, he procured vs light, with rubbing two drie Laurell stickes the one against the other, or with the Mulberie sticke against the Iuie, and a great deale bet∣ter with the Laurell sticke against the Iuie, which being rubbed verie well, with ca∣sting the dust of brimestone vpon them, with great facilitie he got out fire. To in∣struct vs, and sometimes to be merrie with vs, he vsed many pretie iestes amongst vs: for he would secretly hang vpon the rackes in our sheepe-folds, and other pla∣ces the head or taile of a woolfe, by meanes whereof, not onely the lesser flockes, as our lambes, sheep, durst not once take a mouthfull of fodder laid there before them, but also the greater, as Oxen, Horses, and the rest would stand and eat nothing. We being ignorant of the cause thereof, thought the cattell had some disease, and he perceiuing vs to be greeued for it, tooke them away againe, but so priuily that we might not see him. Whereupon the cattell falling to their woonted feeding, we helde it for a woonder, seeing them on the sudden so whole againe. When we were in the fields, misdoubting nothing, and our goats feeding apace, he would se∣cretly put an herbe into one of their mouths called Eringius, wherewith he made not that Goat alone stiffe and num, and not to feed; but all the rest in company of that, to leaue of feeding. We maruelling thereat, and not able to make them feed, asked some remedie of him for it. Who faining then to make some characters vpon the Goat, into whose mouth he had put the herbe (bicause we might thinke it proceeded of his owne vertue) tooke it out of her mouth, and then did she, and all the rest feed apace. These prettie deceits he vsed in all things to make vs woonder at him the more, and bicause we might not vnderstand that it was not the naturall virtue of those things. The master Goat, whom we call the leader of the rest, he tooke out of the flocke by the beard, and in an instant, the whole flocke, standing like sencelesse


Previous Page Next Page