Montemayor's Diana

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begun, wounded them cruelly, not escaping himselfe without some small wounds & cuts in his garments, bicause their swordes did not cut like his, nor their armes had the strength as his had; the cheefest cause whereof was, that Disteus did not let them wound him at their pleasure: albeit one of the cosins did put him to much trouble: For as two of them did set him well a worke, he with a long tucke did thrust at him mortall stocados, wherupon Disteus thinking that all the victory consisted by ouer∣comming him, he endeuoured to close with him; for he perceiued wel, that if he had thrust but one to his minde, it had beene ynough for him. But the other two percei∣uing his intent, preuented him of his purpose; whereupon the other in the meane time reached him a desperate thrust, the which with a ready eie auoyding, he requi∣ted with such a sturdie blowe, that he felled him to the ground: And to Beldanisus, who had wounded him in the shoulder, without any pause at all he gaue an ouer∣thwart blowe on the left arme, that he cut the maile from his sleeue, and the flesh to the bone. With these two blowes they were put in such a feare, that they thought it best to giue backe, studying rather to defend themselues, then offend or hurt their enemie. Disteus seeing the victorie in his hands, did not cease to plie them still in such sort, that he made them by one and one retire. But now by this time there was much people gathered togither, to part the effray, though by the darknes of the night one knew not another. Whereupon Disteus, taking vp his cloke, that he had cast downe, got himselfe out of the prease: and Sagastes to seeke the man out, that had helped him so well in that encounter, cared not to pursue his enemies, so that they escaped then away vnknowen, without getting any thing of their purpose. Disteus perceiuing, that with so great desire they sought him, to doe his feate the better, and that which heereafter you shall heare, came to Sagastes page, and put∣ting a corner of his bandkercher in his mouth, bicause he would not be knowen by his speech, said vnto him. Let not thy Master take any care to knowe who I am, for to morrow I will goe my selfe to kisse his handes. The page went with this errant, but Sagastes not content therewith, would haue gone himselfe to haue spoken with him, if the page had not disswaded him, saying. Sir, it is no reason to molest him, that hath done you no lesse a good turne, then the sauing of your life. It seemes he would not now be willingly knowne, let him therefore alone and trouble him not, since he hath giuen you his word to come to morrow and visit you. Thou saiest well (saide Sagastes) and till then I shall not be quiet in minde: for it hath put me in a great wonder and confusion to knowe who he might be, that so valiantly defended him∣selfe against three; but in a greater, when I call to minde the wordes that he spake, when he stept in to helpe me, That I should take it for a peece of seruice due to my sister and his Mistresse Dardanea. For they were such, that (had I not knowen Dar∣danea well) would haue put me in a great suspicion and iealousie of her. And besides this, it comes also to my minde that if he be wounded (for he could not otherwise escape) it shall be ill beseeming me, if I doe not the best I can to procure his health and reuenge, although by the last he hath sufficiently accuited himselfe. Go tell him therefore from me what my desire and good will is towardes him, and that (before he be gone in haste to helpe himselfe) I will not depart from this place. The page went, and being come to Disteus spake thus vnto him. Sir, whosoeuer you be, my Lord Sagastes doth kisse your hands, and by me giues you to vnderstand, that he praies the Gods may graunt him but the lest occasion and opportunity to serue you in any thing he may, and to requite the great good turne, which he hath this night receiued at your hands; who would haue come in person himselfe to thanke you, but


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