Montemayor's Diana

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companie, and to passe away the time with them, but they took no pleasure in their copany, although outwardly they dissembled it, as by singing, playing on their instruments, & other pastimes. From the which sports Parthenius on a time faining a little busines, that he had to go into the wood, went from that company, and en|tring into the thickest of it, in a secret place a good way off sat him downe, where musing vpon many matters, and seeing how needfull it was for him to depart from his Mistresse, by reason of the menaces of cruell Gorphorost against Delicius, as it was told you, he was many times about to kill himselfe, but would not put it in prac|tise, onely bicause he knew Delicius would follow him therein; as also for that, the fu|ture blisse and hope of seeing his Mistres any more would haue ended. Being there|fore a greate while there, then was needfull for the cause of his absence, from his friend, Delicius asked leaue of the Nymphes to go see why Parthenius staied so long. And so seeking and finding him, he came to him, where he lay flat vpon his bellie with his mouth to the grounde, who seeing him in this sort, and thinking hee was asleepe, came so softly to him, that Parthenius could not percuie him; and in verie truth, being in such extreme greefe of minde and deepe imaginations as hee was, though he had come as fast, and as loud as he could, I thinke, he had not heard him. As these two were therefore thus togither, and Parthenius now & then speaking to himselfe, thinking that no body heard him, he vttered such lamentable wordes and complaints of himselfe and of his hard fortune, that Delicius knew by and by he was a true-louer of Stela, and that for his sake hee dissembled the same so much: when Delicius perceiued this, he went softly from thence againe, bicause he would not be seene of Parthenius, the better to do that which he had now determined. Whereby he might shew that in his loue and friendship to Parthenius, he had no lesse integri|tie and degree then Parthenius in his, or to endeuour (at the least) to be euen with it. And so without speaking or doing any thing, he went backe to the Nymphes, say|ing, that he coulde not finde him, but hoped he woulde not be long away. After a good while Parthenius came (to all their thinkings) very ioyfull, which made Deli|cius not a little to maruell, knowing in what a miserable plight he had left him; wher|upon he gathered, it was but a fayned gladnes, bicause hee might not suspect his greefe. From this point therefore, Delicius by little and little (bicause he would not be suspected doing it on the sudden) began to shew himself very cold in Stelas loue, be|ing merrier then he was wont to be, & saying it was needlesse to passe sorrowes and greefes for one, that made no account of them, nor cared a whit for him: which (he said) he cleerely perceiued, since so many daies she staied without comming to see him; and that he had done a great deale better, if hee had employed his loue on Crimine, then on her, of whom(perhaps) hee might haue beene rewarded: so that with this he shewed, that he made no great account of Stela, and to beare no small affection to Crimine. But for all this Parthenius would neuer declare his loue, for he rather suspected that this was but a deuise to trie if hee loued Stela, then once thought that Delicius knewe it, the which hee imagined not at all. But as Delicius coulde not by these meanes bring the truth out of Parthenius to light, by forcing himselfe as much as he coulde, he sung and plaied many merrie things, like a man free from loue, and without speaking any thing of Stela, which was different from his wonted custome, which he did not onely put in practise, but determined to doe more if they met togither, as he did indeed, when face to face he told Stela that hee loued her not. And behold heere, what you desired to know. We are satisfied, said Lord Felix, and truly it was a great part of friendship betweene them both. But


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