Montemayor's Diana

Page 353

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but meaning to handle the matter wisely, warned Placindus not to goe openly into Disteus house, excusing the matter to him, and that it was to no other ende, but that none might suspect, that it was he that helped Sagastes: And bicause Sagastes and Dardanea (if they did knowe that he resorted thither) woulde not beare him such good will as they were woont. Palna by no meanes would make Disteus priuie of Dardaneas answer and command, bicause she woulde not giue him so bad newes, knowing that without great greefe of minde hee coulde not suffer them. It is not needfull (Gentlemen) to tell you heere what Sagastes did, vntill he knew who those were that assailed him: Let it suffice that they were reconciled to Sagastes, who par∣doned them bicause they might do the like to Placindus. And Beldanisus coulde not choose but pacisie himselfe, seeing that Marthea had cast him off, and was married to Sagastes. At whose marriage, which with sumptuous and solemne feast and all kind of courtly sports (too long to tell) was celebrated in the Citie, Disteus in disgui∣sed sort was euer present: And in Tylt and Tourney (which for the greater honour thereof Sagastes had ordeined) got so much glory and reputation, that as his he∣roicall deedes and gracious demeanours were the common speeches of al the king∣dome; so did the praises of his valour and prowesse importune so much Dardaneas cares, that she was forced to loue him a little more, especially when by some secret meanes she vnderstoode that she was the onely cause why all those tryumphs were done in honor of her loue & seruice. The which also in particular by Disteus counte∣nances and shewes she not vainely gessed, although with great regard of modestie and reuerence he so behaued himselfe, that whatsoeuer he did to make his feruent passion knowne, to his discredit, nor to her dishonour did any waies redound. And now was she sorrie and wished that she had not so sharpely chidden Palna, bicause she might haue somtimes spoken to her of Disteus, and durst not go foorth to meete her in the way, bicause she woulde not acquaint her with the secrets of her hart. And needlesse it was to speake to her of it, who by secret and hidden signes concei∣ued more then by words Dardanea durst vtter. For Palna like a wise and suttle wo∣man made as though she did not vnderstand that, whereof she yet doubted, least thereby she might haue fallen into some newe errour, being not fully assured of Dardaneas minde. And this she did to make her more gentle, and to discouer her minde more apparantly, thereby to conduct her affaires to a better end. Disteus in the meane time made all possible haste with Palna to bring him againe to the sight of his Mistres, or at least to manifest his paine vnto her, or else to giue her a letter from him. All which Palna considering to be somewhat hard, did choose the least, aduising him therefore to write, and promising him to finde out some way or other to conueigh his letter into Dardaneas handes, without any suspicion or danger at all. For the better effecting whereof she deuised (bicause Dardanea might not thinke that they had any conference togither, or written to one another, and also bicause she might repose more trust and haue the better opinion in her) that he should also write to her, as if that letter had beene the first, wherein hee shoulde charge her to giue Dardanea the other letter that he wrote vnto her, and to leaue the care of all the rest to her good endeuours, promising him to bring the matter to a good ende; but vpon su h a condition, that he woulde haue a little patience, if perhaps the an∣swere were deferred for some fewe daies. Disteus, as Palna did counsell him, did write, whose letters being receiued & come as fit to her minde as could be, she durst not (for the reason abouesaid) deliuer either of them to her Mistresse, as also bicause she would worke her purpose more sure: which was, that knowing when Dardanea


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