Montemayor's Diana

Page 362

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And thus putting filence to her greefe, she went musing what meanes she might vse, to make Palna giue her the letter, whereby she might haue some good occasion to write vnto Disteus, and in the ende resolued to take Palna on the sudden with the letters in her hand, and to see them against her will, as she could not otherwise ima∣gine: Whereby the meanes to answer him againe might be fitly offered her. This determination being put in practise, when Palna had the letters in her hand (for as I saide, she read them many times of purpose to be seene) Dardanea came into her chamber, and she faining as though she would hide them, Dardanea importuned her to see them, commanding her in the ende to tell her to whom, and what she wrote. But she that desired nothing more, making some simple excuses, as though she were not content therewith, at last shewed them: which, when Dardanea sawe, faining that she was angry with Disteus, she commended her that she had so wisely answe∣red him, though it sufficed not (as she said) for so presumptuous and bold a part, and that she woulde therefore answere him with another letter to supplie the want of hers, to warne him, not once in thought to imagine, speake, or write of it againe. In the end whereof she purposed to tell him, by what meanes the letter came to her hands, bicause both of them might be blamelesse. The which thing she did put im∣mediately in practise, and so began to write: The letter being ended, she read it to Palna, and thus it said.

Dardaneas answere to Disteus.

TO thee the most presumptuous without leaue,
Counsell, not health, by these few lines I send,
That am more fearfull then thou maist conceaue:
If that I thought mine honour to offend
By answering thee, constraind as thou maist see,
Or answering not, it might the more extend,
Rather then I would thus much pleasure thee,
Or would vouchsafe to take my pen in hand,
First would I take a sword to murder me.
Mine end is good, and doth with vertue stand,
And if thou dost thinke otherwise then so,
Thou art deceiu’d as much as any man:
For if my reason soundly thou wilt knowe,
And weigh my wordes but with attentiue minde,
And note each sentence that heerein I showe:
By all the foresaid thou shalt onely finde,
How I pretend to giue thee sound aduise,
And holesome counsell fit for one so blinde:
Which is, that thou leaue of this enterprise
(If that thou canst) and flie a thought so vaine,
Or at the least conce ale it from mine eies.
I knowe not, and the ground cannot obtaine,
That made thee write to me this other day:
Nor yet from whence such boldnes thou might’st gaine.
But now I doe remember thou didst say,
That loue, not thou, those louing lines did write,


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