Montemayor's Diana

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dutie to you (my Lord) doth most humblie beseech you to reade this letter which she sends you. Disteus tooke the letter, and dissembling his greefe, as Anfilardus had counselled him, said: If thine Aunt doth write to me to the ende to excuse her∣selfe, she needed not haue taken these paines, for she might haue done heerein ac∣cording to her owne minde, as in that, which shall like me best, I will do to mine own will and pleasure. Thou shalt tell her that I will reade it, wherein, if there be anie thing for me to do for her, I will heereafter bethinke me of it. I not perceiuing this kinde of dissimulation, maruelled not a little to see how soone he had shaken off the loue that he bare to mine aunt. Truth it is, that as I was then ignorant of that, which afterwards succeeded, so I esteemed his coye answere for a point of wisedome, and was no lesse ashamed at that she had done. With this answer I went my waies and they remained all alone. Anfilardus praised not a little his fained answere, & com∣mended his wisedome, in that he would not call her mother, as he was wont to do, nor name her by her owne name, in token of contempt. But Disteus opening the letter, saw it said thus.

Palnas letter to Disteus.

PAlna thy mother from thy milke, and from the loue of her inward soule, to thee her louing Sonne Disteus sendeth greeting. Bicause as I know thou wouldest condemne me for a verie foole, if I went about to shew, that I had iust cause to for∣sake thee, that wert mine onely comfort, and to whom I am so much bound; so will I not excuse my selfe heerein, which if I should do, and say, that I am not worthie of reprehension, I might then seeme in a manner to charge thee therewith, since some∣thing must be attributed to so great a chaunge. But if any fault be committed, I am content that it be onely imputed to me; for it shall greeue me lesse, that the whole world should condemne me for it, then that any should suspect the least defect in thee that might be. Wherefore let this onely serue to entreate thee by the amorous milke, that thou hast sucked out of my breast, to haue so much patience, vntill the successe shall manifest the cause hereof; which to the end I will passe with the ill opi∣nion that the world hath on me for leauing thee, to an effect that shall result to thy profit, whereby thou shalt affirme thy selfe satisfied, and me acquited (with thee at the least) whereas for the rest it shall not greatly skill. I know well thou wilt obiect & say, That if there were any hidden thing, whereby I might haue procured thy con∣tent, I had no reason to conceale it from thee. I answer, bicause I knew thou woul∣dest by no meanes giue me leaue to depart, I would not tell thee of my purpose, vn∣till (seeing the good successe of it) thou mightest know my great loue to thee, since (without making thee priuie) I haue enterprized so great and difficult a matter. And now bicause I haue spoken more, then I thought, I will conclude with this, That I am in good health, and not a little glad, that my good Fortune brought me to Dar∣dancas seruice, whose beautie and golden vertues are the woonder of our age.
When Disteus had read the letter softly to himself (for he would not read it aloud, before he had viewed the contents of it) he said to Anfilardus. I would haue read this letter vnto thee Anfilardus, if I had thought it would haue made thee glad or sor∣rie; and also bicause it is so obscurely written, that I can scarce vnderstand one clause thereof. The contents of it perswade me not to be carefull, nor trouble my wits by inquiring out the cause of her departure, vntill time doth manifest it, when as then (she saieth) she shall be as free from fault, as I from complaint. With this also she


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