Montemayor's Diana

Page 373

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companie were perhaps found out they might get their pardon, and be restored againe to their former estates and reputation, which we thought might easily be obtained, since King Rotyndus, by the good examples of his virtuous Queene Agenesta (whom God preserue for many yeeres) & by her holy life & conuersation, had almost now forsaken his old cōditions. Wherby (gentlemen) we may note, how the good examples of a vertuous wife, doe oftentimes worke to amend and correct the lewde disposition of a vitious husband: And therefore it is saide, that the wise is the mirrour of the husband, and the woman to the man, bicause the man looking into her, as into a cleere glasse, may frame his life and minde to her modestie and semblance: And contrarie, the man is the womans glasse for the selfesame cause and reason. Wherefore Rotindus loued not now Sagastes so well, as in times past, and liked lesse his lewde conditions, which sauoured nothing of vertue, whereon if any humane thought or action be not grounded, it is not durable any long time: for as vice is nothing, being the priuation of vertue, so is that of no stabilitie and per∣manence which is grounded vpon it. The fame of Delicius and Parthenius depar∣ture, and the end thereof was in a few daies spred ouer all the citie, whereat though most were sorie, yet some, who enuied their deserued fauour (for noble vertue is euer accompanied with base enuie) were not wanting that ioyed to see that day. This fit occasion therefore for the effecting of that which you shall heare offering it selfe to my semblable desseignes, comming vnto them, I vsed these wordes. As I cannot be sorie, Gentlemen, and my deere friends, for your departure, since it is a thing that concernes you so much: So am I not a little glad, that it hath so happily fallen out for my determinations, if in this iourney my poore companie (for onely yours heerein I desired) shall not be any waies troublesome vnto you: And bicause you may knowe the forcible cause that mooues me heereunto, I will (vpon that fidelitie and trust, which with all men, but especially with me you haue alwaies vsed) most frankly tell it you. As it is not vnknowen to you (I thinke) what great friendship hath been betweene Disteus and me, and (for my part) shall euer be while my soule shall rule this earthly body: So must you know againe, that I concealed and kept him close, vntill I found out the meanes to put him in some safetie of his life; and (not content with this) would (if he had giuen me leaue, or if it had not beene pre∣iudiciall to his secret departure) haue accompanied him to the extremest danger of mine owne: since which time I haue had a great desire to seeke him out, the which for two causes I haue left of: The one, bicause two of his seruants, who had no little care of that busines, haue many daies since gone from hence to seeke him out. The other depending of this, bicause it behooued me to remaine here still to procure his pardon, and leaue (if he had beene found) to come to his owne againe. When An∣filardus and Placindus went hence, there was an agreement betweene vs, that they should aduise me of all they knew; the which thing being not performed certaine daies after, I coniecture that they are either dead, or not at libertie. With this hope (or to terme it better despaire) I haue (though meanly) to this point fed my thoughts: The which being of late so mightily increased; and Fortune presenting to my de∣sires so good an occasion for my secret departure; and occasion taking away all suspicion that I goe to seeke Disteus, but onely to accompanie you, tels me, that there remaines nothing else, but your fauourable acceptance of my companie into yours, onely to passe out of the citie, and afterwardes if it please you, to diuide our selues, or doe as likes you best. To this (like discreete and aduised youthes, being faithfull to me their friend, and loyall to Rotindus their king) they answered thus. As Disteua


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