Montemayor's Diana

Page 413

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The one the ioy of loue to paine doth chace,
The other pitie from the hart defend.
Beautie and Loue were both for sworne, by mee
And thee, by making my vnsure estate
In ioy and happinesse so fortunate:
Bicause smce first thy figure I did see
Being so Faire, yet Prouder wast thou neuer
Nor I in Loue, that could be Iealous euer.

The pleasure that my Alcida tooke when I rehearsed this Sonnet to her, was so great (perceiuing thereby the integritie of my loue) that a thousand times shee would sing it, knowing that I had well pleased her fansie with it. And truely (faire Shepherdesse) I hold it for a great errour, that such a horrible monster as iealousie is, should be accounted a good thing, as to say, that it is the token of Loue, and that it is not but in an enamoured hart. For by this assertion we may say, that a feauer is good, bicause it is a token of life, for it is neuer but in a body most likely to liue. But both are manifest errours, since iealousie affoords no lesse paine then a feauer: For it is a plague of the soule; a frensie disturbing the thoughts; a madnes that weakens the bodie; an anger consuming the spirits; a feare abasing the minde, and a furie that fils the will with folly. But bicause thou maist the better iudge of iealousie to be most abhominable, imagine the cause of it, and thou shalt finde that it is no∣thing else, but a little feare of that which is not, nor shall be, a vile contempt of ones owne deserts, and a mortall surmise, which cals the faith and sinceritie of that which is beloued, in doubt and suspition. The pangs of iealousie with words (gentle Shep∣herdesse) cannot be decyphered: for they are such that do infinitely exceed in quan∣titie and qualitie the paines, that are incident to loue. For all the rest (sauing they) may be conuerted in the end to a great sweetnes, and content. And as the burning thirst in the hottest day makes the cold and fresh fountaine water to taste more sweete and sauorie, and as the danger and garboiles in warre and sedition, make vs esteeme the more of quietnes and peace; so the torments of Loue serue vs for grea∣ter pleasure, whensoeuer any small fauour is graunted vnto vs, and when we enioy but the least content and happines. But this frantike iealousie powres such bitter poyson into mens harts, that it spoiles and driues away all delights that harbour in it. To this effect I remember that an excellent Musition in Lisbone did sing this Sonnet on a day before the King of Portugall, which said thus.

A Sonnet.

Wen cruell absence woundes a soule with paine,
Then thought is fed with fancies in their kinde:
For further of the good remaines, the minde
Receiues more ioy, when that it comes againe:
He that on hope his ground doth yet sustaine,
For all his greefe a remedie shall finde,
And for his paines rewardes shall be assign’d:
Or dies at lest in loue content and faine:
A thousand paines away one ioy doth chace,
And to a thousand scornes reuenge presents


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