Montemayor's Diana

Page 336

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that I am, what haue I done by not answering thy wise and louing letter, and thrise vnhappy mee, if thy nephew returned the sharpe answere from the venemous mouth of thy vnwoorthy sonne? Ah then thou shalt haue more reason to detest the vnfruitfull milke thou gauest him, then he had to condemne thee for thy iust departure, and with greater cause to curse the vngratefull nouriture that thou hast bestowed on him, then he hath now to blame thy forced absence. O Disteus, inconsi∣derate youth, how rash wert thou in answering Palna thy graue and wise mother, and how ill hast thou deserued to aduantage thy selfe by her gentlenes and helpe. And thus, thinking he had done a hainous offence by not answering her, in haste he called for inke and paper, and going about to write, he was a good while in sus∣pence, and knew not how to begin: for faine he would haue shewed her how willing he was not onely to forgiue her, but also to haue craued pardon of her, both which he durst not doe, neither was it wisedome, before Palna had cleerely made her iusti∣fication. And therefore he wrote in such sort, that my Aunt might take no offence thereat, and did what became him, the tenour whereof was this.

Disteus his letter to Palna.

BIcause thou maist haue no defence, whereby thou maist not be bound to shew that innocencie (which thou saiest thou hast) and maist also vnderstand, how I haue better plaied the part of an humble sonne, then thou of a louing mother, I haue strained my selfe to take pen in hand to answere thee. By and by after I had read thy letter, I would haue setled my selfe to this taske, wherein I had so many contraries of (I) and (no) that not knowing what to determine, or to which of both to adhere, I haue till now suspended it. If the loue I beare thee, did sollicite me to do it; the anger thou gauest me did forbid it. If the faith which euer thou foundest in me did admo∣nish me thereof; the disloyaltie, that then I sawe in thee, did disswade me from it. If my good minde towards thee did force an (I) thy impietie to me did forge a (No.) So that if I was bound by the one, I was restrained by the other: whereupō in this doubt∣full pretence, not knowing what way to choose, that which perswaded me to write had beene ouercomed, if the desire that I had to heare of thy excuse, and the weigh∣tie hope (I know not whereof) thou gauest me, had not succoured & helpt it, which did driue me from the doubt I had, and forced me to write vnto thee, though I must needs confesse, that, albeit I read thy letter neuer so well, yet I know not how to an∣swer it, since in no clause therein I find good construction: for that which seemed most cleere, was most obscure; where, in manner of a consolatorie letter thou tellest me, That thou art well, and content in minde, as if my comfort depended thereon: Whereas thou hadst pleased me better by affirming the contrarie, bicause by being discontent, thou mightest repent thee, and by repentance amend, and by amend∣ment, come backe againe vnto me. But with that, which in proofe of thy content thou saiest, That thou art with Dardanea, &c. thou pleasest me as little. For what haue I to do with any thing touching her, whereof thou dost write vnto me: So that I must either affirme, that I vnderstand it not, or thinke it was not to the pur∣pose, which shall be a greater inconuenience then the first, since it must redound to condemne thee for a foole (a thing far vnwoorthie thy selfe) if with this chaunge thou dost not lay fault vpon fault. The Gods take account of the intent thou hadst to leaue me: And as for other greetings in the beginning heereof, or requestes in the end I will not giue thee, vntill I heare of thy excuse, if thou hast any at all.

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