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This was the letter I wrote vnto her; the penning whereof, had it beene as fine, as the purpose fortunate, I would not haue changed my skil in posie for famous Homers. It came to Alcidas hands, in whose hart (when finally she knew the summe of my griefe, though at the first the contents of my letter with my too great preâˆ£sumption did somewhat offend her) it made deeper impressions then I imagined, or hoped for. Then I began to manifest my selfe for her open Louer, by making maâˆ£nie braue Iustes, and encounters at Tilt and Tourney, running of wilde Buls, and juego de Cannas, by celebrating for her sweete sake and seruice Moresco sportes on horsebacke in the day time, and maskes and stately dances in the night, causing consorts of sundrie musicke to delight her, and making verses, impresas, and Anaâˆ£grammes of her loue and name, and many other gallant shewes and inuentions more for the space of two whole yeeres togither. At the ende whereof, Eugerius thought me woorthie to be his sonne in law, and by the request of some great Lords in those parts, offered me his faire daughter Alcida for wife. We concluded that the espousall rites should bee solemnized in the citie of Lysbone, bicause the king of Portugall might with his presence honour them: and therefore dispatching a Poste with all haste, by him we certified the king of this marriage, and requested his maâˆ£iestie to giue vs leaue (hauing commended our charges and affaires to persons of trust) to celebrate it there. Whereupon the report of this solemne day was publiâˆ£shed thorow all the citie, and places farre and neere, which caused so generall a ioy, as was due to so faire a dame as Alcida, and to so faithfull a louer as my selfe. Vnto this passage my good fortune conducted me, thus high she reared me vp to throw me downe afterwardes headlong into the depth of miseries, wherein (wretâˆ£ched man) I still remaine. O transitorie good, mutable content, vading delight, and inconstant firmenes of mundaine things! What greater ioy could I haue wished for, then that I had alreadie receiued, and what greater crosse am I able to suffer then this; which I now carie about me? Oh faire Shepherdesse, entreat me no more to molest thy eares with so large and lamentable a historie, nor to pierce thy comâˆ£passionate hart with recitall of my ensuing calamities. Let it content thee, that thou hast knowen my passed felicities, and desire not to search out farther my present greefes, bicause I assuredly know, that as my long and pitifull historie will be tediâˆ£ous to thy eares, so will my continued disgraces alter thy reposed minde.
To which Diana answering said. Leaue off (Marcelius) these excuses, for I would not desire to know the successe of thy life, onely thereby to reioice my minde with thy contents, without sorrowing for thy calamities, but woulde rather heare euerie part of them, to bewaile them also in my pitifull hart.
How greatly woulde it please me, faire Shepherdesse (saide Marcelius) if the good will I beare thee did not force me to content thee in a matter of so great grief. And that which greeues me most, is that my disgraces are such, that they must
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