Montemayor's Diana

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that string, that she was obliged to her honour and good name. But bicause the se∣uere stile of the letter might not daunt Disteus, she secretly sent him another, where∣in she aduised him what he had to do, after so good a beginning: which might be gathered by some wordes of the answere: for proofe whereof, hee might perceiue that she had written no austere and sharpe letter, wherein if any bitternes had esca∣ped her pen vnawares, she did straight moderate it with a hidden temper of milde∣nes. Aduising him besides to note, that when she warned him to surcease his loue vnto her, she saide vnto him (if thou canst) correcting her-selfe in a matter, that made so greatly for her owne minde; and to consider how greatly these affaires did trouble her, who was continually thinking on them, and that she was not perswaded that he loued her from his hart; but aboue all things, to take heede howe much it stoode him in hand to keepe this secrecie, which she committed vnto him. Palna moreouer perswaded him to hope well, since Dardanea tooke delight in hearing these affaires, whereof she made her her onely secretarie. Finally not to be tedious to you with so long a discourse, a few daies after Palna vsed so great diligence, that she got that out of Dardanea, which she kept so secret in her breast; but could neuer winne her to speake with Disteus, vnlesse he would first promise and sweare to marie her, which was so ioyfull newes to him, who thought he wanted nothing more to make him the happiest man aliue. So that this being done, Dardanea (though at the first she made it somewhat coy) gaue him leaue to come to her house, where they in∣ioyed a little while each others company in sweete and pleasant conuersation, with all respect of reuerence and modestie that was requisite in such a case: At the ende whereof (the pleasanter the biginning was, more bitter was the sequell, since at the first loue seldome affoords one little pleasure without distempering it in the end with sorrowe and care) it fell out that Disteus hauing gone verie early to Dardanea, and Palna not remembring to shut the doore after him, they lay togither in one bed which was made readie for them in a faire and large Summer chamber beneath, where they had before sometimes lyen togither: For Palna (when Disteus was come in) was warned to shut a certaine doore, which was a passage into all the house, bi∣cause no maide nor seruant might come downe and goe thorow that way. But as she remembred not also to shut the streete doore, which they thought was safe enough, Sagastes by chance came in suspecting least of all any such matter. Disteus perceiuing a greater noise in the chamber then a womans treading could make, co∣uered himselfe the best he could with the clothes of the bed. If Dardanea was not altered by seeing her brother (iudge you Gentlemen) though then it stoode her in hand to dissemble it. Sagastes sat him downe in a chaire at the beds feete, and asked her what the matter was that she went to bed so soone. Who answered that shee was not well at ease, and was therefore minded to take some Phisicke. Sagastes hea∣ring this, would haue beene gone, but turning his face (for now he was on that side of the bed where his sister lay) and seeing a little stirring in the bed, asked her who was a bed with her. Dardanea answered it was her Neece (for she kept a little child of one of hir gentlewomen, the which (bicause she loued it well) she called her Neece:) but Sagastes thinking it was more then a childes stirring, did thrust vp his hands be∣tweene the sheetes to feele the feete, Disteus as softly as he could drawing them vp. But as Sagastes thrust vp his arme so far, that Disteus knew he could not keep himself any longer hidden, with both his hands he lifted vp the clothes of the bed, and cast them so happily on Sagastes, that they couered him all ouer, and therewithall lea∣ping out of the bed, as though he would haue laid hands on him, Dar danea made him


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