Montemayor's Diana

Page 339

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so they should haue good regard to that they did, & for so weightie a matter as this, craue some time and respit of Sagastes, wherein they might determine with due consideration what was best to be done, and that then she would giue them her answer of the matter. And bicause Sagastes in the meane time might not thinke himselfe disgraced while they were concluding this matter, to tell him that she was resolued first to make an end of certaine Pilgrimages and deuotions, which she had of late begun, and so in the meane time to feed him with hope, whereby he might not thinke himselfe agreeued for staying so long. This respit of time Marthea took to trie, if in the end she could dispose her thoughts to loue Sagastes, and forget her beloued Beldanisus (for so was the Gentleman called, who serued her, and whom she loued.) And Sagastes was well content, since that her parents had left the conclusion of the matter to Marthea, in whom he had placed his libertie. She with the consent of her parents (not giuing him to vnderstand any such matter) spake vnto him, as often as he would, but fayning that she did it by stealth. But as Sagastes euerie day, & more by night walked vp and downe before her doore, Beldanisus could not choose but perceiue it (for what doth not a true louer suspect and finde out) and this he sur∣mised by the cold affection that Marthea had shewed him of late. Whereupon wrath and iealousie seising vpon his hart at once, he resolued to be well reuenged of him, though it cost him his life; and therefore certaine nights togither lay in secret waite for him, accompanied with his brother and three of his cosins, all three suffi∣cient men to defend him in any broile. And though sometimes they met him, yet they durst not assault him, not for feare, but bicause there was euer so much people in the streetes, that if they had killed or wounded him, they had suffered (if it had beene knowen) no lesse then cruell death: So that they onely attended fit time and opportunitie to do it to their owne sasetie. By some of Sagastes seruants, it came to faire Dardaneas eares, that her brother vsed not to stay at home in the nights, where∣upon incited with desire and feare, she would faine know wither he went: And talking with mine Aunt Palna her nurse about this matter, thought that there were no better meanes to know it, then by my secret diligence to spie him out. Dardanea therefore for this purpose commaunded mine Aunt to send for me: and bicause Disteus might haue a sight of Dardanea, she caused him to come thither in my name. I left you (if I remember) when they bad me come in, or else Disteus (to say better) disguised like me. Mine Aunt being well aduised in euerie thing she tooke in hand, a little before Disteus came in, as if she had nothing to doe, did set the candle be∣fore her Mistresse for two causes: The one, by the opposite brightnes of the light, to dazle Dardaneas eies, bicause shee might not knowe Disteus; and the other, to shewe Disteus the more light whereby hee might beholde Dardanea better. Hee was nowe come in (and if ioyfull to see her, or sorrowfull for her mishap I knowe not) when the bright reflexion of her faire face smit against his gree∣die eies, wherewith he was not onely amazed, but knew that her beautie was greater then the report that was spred abroad if it, and that Fame had iniuried her by pub∣lishing it lesse, then it was indeede: which not onely hee (in fauour of his affection) but any other (free from like passion) might easily haue iudged. And without all doubt he had beene in danger of some sudden extasie, if his minde had not still run on her mischance, that mine Aunt had seyned: who, thinking that he had now seen her enough, which so much he desired, came to him speaking somewhat aloude, to hold him still in that opinion, saying. Placindus, my Lady must employ you about her busines, and therefore commands thee to go thy waies: And so of purpose she came


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