Montemayor's Diana

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writes me, that she is content with Dardaneas seruice; for proofe whereof, she extols her highly with onely two wordes, saying: That she is the woonder of our age. She that is of such excellent beautie (saide Anfilardus) enchased with all precious gems of vertue, deserues no lesse, assuring you Sir, that Palna (if with so much truth she iustifies that which she hath done, as she hath reason for that she hath spoken) may be blameles and excused to all the worlde: wherein I must needes say she hath beene wise (hauing no good discharge and excuse of her fault) by putting you in a doubtfull loue and hope of a thing you knowe not, to the ende that in (the meane while) you might forget and ouerpasse your anger by such thoughts, and that she might not neede heereafter to excuse her-selfe. I told thee not long since (saide Di∣steus) that though I feele Palnas absence very neere, yet I must dissemble it with thee; by meanes whereof, happe good or ill, I will still shewe one semblant, proui∣ded that I know the cause of it, for indeed I could neuer perswade my selfe, that this was no more but a dreame, since I had euer so great confidence in her loue and fide∣litie: Whereupon I thinke some iust cause must needes mooue her to doe it for my behoofe and benefit, as she writes vnto me, which (though it were not so) I will not (Anfilardus) otherwise conceiue nor imagine. In that which toucheth the fa∣uour you do me (said Anfilardus) by imparting to me the contents of the letter, I am bound to kisse your handes: And in the rest, as in this, you shew (my Lord) your selfe what you are, and maintaine the title of your noble minde. In these and like speeches they spent a pretie time, though Disteus sometimes altered his talke, asking him of Dardaneas qualities, beautie, and wit; for he tooke a great delight to heare, that so many good parts in so high a degree were iointly found in one woman: which Anfilardus did so brauely set forth, as one that knew them well, and to whom he was so much bound, that the eloquence of the golden mouthed Lord of Ithaca had beene needlesse there. All which was to cast an amorous and secret powder into Disteus foule, that he might thereafter haue been set on fire. On the other side, mine Aunt Palna with great respect of dutie and discretion discoursed sometimes vnto Dardanea (but with far fet circumstances) of Disteus his honorable disposition and noble vertues, which she so wisely insinuated, as if she meant nothing lesse then to praise him Disteus now gaue leaue to his imaginations, to be only imploied in Darda∣neas beauty, so that he loued melancholy & sadnes, & abandoned al sports & publick places. He now delighted only in solitarines, & not only the company of strangers, but of his own friends & serūats was troublesom vnto him, who neuer suspected that any amorous thought had so forcibly raigned in him: but rather attributed this alte∣ratiō to the greef that he had for Palnas absēce, which if they had not beleeued, they wuld not haue left to aske him the cause therof, though it had bin but in vaine, when he himself did scarce know it. Disteus spent som daies in these considerations, where∣in his fansies being not meanly occupied, he vsed these words. O God, how need∣lesse is it for thee (my mother) to tell me what reason thou hadst to leaue me for this excellent Ladie. O ten times art thou happie, that hast before thee (as often as thou wilt) the cleerest mirrour of our times. Onely heerem, from this day foorth, I will not cease to blame thee, for leauing me so late, if any fit occasion had beene offered thee to defend thee with the shield of Dardaneas bountie and beautie, for both which all mortall men are bound to serue and obey her. Thou hast soone per∣formed thy word, that at length I should see thy iust cause. Pardon therefore (good mother) my errour by reproouing thee, although the same (if thou dost marke it well) was not my fault, but the great loue, that I did euer beare thee. But wretch


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