Montemayor's Diana

Page 370

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content. It greeues me to see thee take and taste some part of my sorrow, wherein yet I do comfort my selfe againe, that I shall not be the last in offring vp my life for the least danger for thy sake, since I was the first in sacrificing my soule to thy will, obtesting almightie God that as I had no force with my feeble iudgment to gainsay thy desire, I had also sufficient valour with my life to deliuer thee from these most wrongfull turmoyles. I see thee heere in great extremities (for mine owne I ac∣count but small) and therefore my opinion concurring with my desire is, that since for many daies we are neither safe heere, nor in any other part of the kingdome are like to be no lesse, thou wouldst resolue to conuey vs into any place, where wee might in more safety ouer passe this cruell storme of Fortune, assuring thee my deere Lord, that if I sawe thee free from danger, I would not take care for the rest. I might well passe ouer this new bond, my sweetest Lady answered Disteus, with many more already past, wherein after that I was thine, thou hast so much obliged me, since I was neuer able yet to discharge them, the which (vnlesse the vnspeakable loue which I haue borne thee, and wherein I meane to die doth not with fauour come in part of their account and satisfaction) must still remaine (the more my greefe) in their for∣mer force, when as the disproportion of my small abilitie can neuer counteruaile their encreasing value. I haue remembred and weighed that with my selfe, which thou didst command me, but would not hitherto tell thee so much, fearing to giue thee any occasion of sorrow by absenting thy selfe from thy friends and kinsfolkes, and from thy house, and quiet rest, to carie thee to some vncouth place amongst strangers to liue in pouertie and vnrest. If you regard this my Lord, saide Dardanea, you do also forsake this and much more. But admit I leaue all this, and you nothing at all, in not leauing you, I might well thinke I left nothing at all. No more of this said Disteus, but were it not fonfeare of thy trouble and harme, I woulde desire no other heauen in this world then to haue thee continually in my presence: But let vs make my mother priuie of it, who will counsell vs as she hath done, what is best for vs, and direct vs in all our matters. They therefore calling Palna vnto them, and tel∣ling her their mindes, she saide. And knowe yee my good sonne and daughter, that Martandrus and I were also talking of the same matter, who is no lesse troubled in minde, fearing there will be a search made in his house, whereby great harme may befall vs, and no good to him at all. I would not tell you of it, bicause you might not thinke he did it for any feare that concerned him. When she had said thus, she called me before them, and Disteus began to say thus vnto me. If I knewe thee not to be a faithfull friend Martandrus, I would not haue put the weight of so great af∣faires in thy trust and secrecie, nor omit with words (since I cannot with deedes) to gratifie that which thou hast done for me. But as I haue experimented, and doe yet trie the contrarie, I hope, thou wilt not blame me, if I make not some outwarde and apparant shewe of thankes for it: But for the present remedie of our dangerous estate, wee are determined to flie the furie of our king with the absence of our per∣sons; for which escape we craue not onely thy aduise, but assistance, and how it may be done without our discouerie. Concerning that supposed debt (saide I) which you my good Lord confesse you owe me, I will not answer you, but only touching that, which you haue committed to my charge, since it hath pleased you to make mine the greater, by hauing amongst all others, chosen me out for your onely friende, which I esteeme more then all that I did euer for you in my whole life, all which were it ten times more, is nothing in respect of this fauourable trust which you re∣pose in me. As for the rest let euery one of vs thinke what we haue to do, and how to


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