Montemayor's Diana

Page 414

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The only viewing of an Angels face:
But when a soule vile iealousie torments,
Though thousand ioyes doe afterwards succeede,
Yet bitter greefe and rage the same doth breede.

O how true was his opinion, how sure was this conclusion? For in very truth this pestilent iealousie leaues not one part of the soule whole, nor the least corner of the hart vnsearched, where any small delight may hide it selfe. There is no cōtent in Loue, where there is no hope; and hope will neuer be there, where iealousie is a meane betweene them both. There is no stedfast pleasure where iealousie is, no de∣light which is not consumed with it, and no griefe but iealousie torments vs with it. The enraged furie of poysoned iealousie is so extreme, that it grieueth the hart in∣fected with it, to heare the praises of the thing beloued, and would neuer haue the perfections of that which one loueth neither seene nor knowen of any but of him∣selfe, offering great iniurie by meanes hereof to the woorthines of that gentilitie, that holds him in captiuitie. And the iealous man doth not onely liue in this slauery and paine, but to her also whom he loueth, he giueth such incessant griefe, that more he could not giue her, if he were her mortall enimie. Wherefore it is verie cleere, that a iealous husband (like thine) would rather haue his wife seemefoule and loth∣some to the world, & that she might be neuer seene, nor praised; no, not by the most virtuous and modest mindes. What griefe is it for the wife to haue her honesty cō∣demned by a false suspect? What greater punishment, then without all reason to be locked vp in a secret corner of her house? What hart breake sorrowe with austere words, & somtimes with vnseemely deeds to be cōtinually checked? If she be merie, her husband thinks her dishonest; if she be sad, he imagines himselfe lothsom in her eie; if she be musing, he iudgeth her ful of fansies; if she looke on him, he thinks she deceiues him; if she lookes not on him, he thinkes she hates him; if she vse any daliance with him, he thinkes it to be but fained; if shee be graue and modest, he thinkes her a counterfaite; if she laughes, he thinkes her to be loose; if she sigh, he counts her naught: And in the end iealousie conuerteth euerie thing that is poi∣soned with it, to an endlesse griefe and miserie. Whereupon it is verie cleere, that there is no paine in the world like to this, and neuer out of hell came fouler Harpyes to contaminate and putrifie the sweete and sauourie foode of an enamoured soule: wherefore care not greatly Diana for the absence of iealous Delius, for it auailes thee not a little to make thee suffer the paine of Loue more gently. To this Diana an∣swered. Now am I thorowly ascertained, that this passion which thou hast so liuely depainted, is a most vgly and horrble thing, which deserues not a place in amorous harts; and also beleeue, that this was the verie same griefe that tormented Delius. But I must tel thee by the way (Marcelius) that I neuer meant to defend the like grief, & that neuer it found harbour in my brest: for as I neuer thought amisse of Syrenus worthines and deserts; so was I neuer tormented with such like passion and follie, as thou hast told of, but I had onely a certaine kinde of feare to be reiected in respect of another. And in this suspition I haue not beene much deceiued, for to my great griefe I haue tried Syrenus forgetfulnes. This feare, said Marcelius, cānot be properly termed iealousie, which is rather an ordinarie passion in the best and wisest louers. For it is verified, that that which I loue, I esteeme & hold it for good, and thinke it deserues to be beloued: which being so, I am afraide least another might know the goodnes, and worthines of it, & so loue it like my selfe. And so it fals out, that a louer

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