Montemayor's Diana

Page 420

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desire that he had to marrie me himselfe: Hauing therefore greater respect to the contentment of his owne life, then to the dutie he owed his Father, without ma∣king him priuie, we performed our vnluckie marriage. Which was done by the con∣sent of my Father, in whose house there were great feastes made in solemnitie of it, besides other pastimes, as dancing, plaies, & such great sports, that the noise of them was bruted in all the countrey towns about. Whereupon the louing old man vnder∣standing his own son had deceiued him of his loue, he became so incensed against vs both that he hated vs like death, & therfore would neuer after that see vs, if he could otherwise choose. On the other side there was a certaine Shepherdesse of that towne called Felisarda, that died almost for the loue of Montanus, whom (in regard of his great loue to me, and of her bad conditions and declining age) he could ne∣uer abide: When she perceiued that Montanus had married me, she had almost hanged her selfe for griefe, so that by our vnfortunate marriage we got vs two mor∣tall enimies. The wretched old dotard, because he would disinherit his sonne, pur∣posed to marrie a yoong and faire wench, to haue had children by her. But though he was rich, yet did not any Shepherdesse of our towne loue him, Felisarda onely ex∣cepted, who, bicause she thought by these meanes to enioy the dishonest loue of Montanus (the which she bare yet fresh in memorie) married with old Filenus. And being now his wife, she practised diuers waies to winne Montanus to her loue, and especially by meanes of a maide she had, called Sylueria, sending him word, that if he would condiscend to her will, she would make an attonement betweene his Father and him, offering him besides many great rewards, & gifts. But she could neuer cor∣rupt his minde, nor peruert his chaste intent: Seeing her selfe therefore so much con∣temned, she began to beare such mortal hatred to Montanus, that by and by she insti∣gated his Father against him; and not content with this, wrought more ouer this vile piece of treacherie against him. For she in such sort ouercame Syluerias minde with flatterie, gifts, good cheere, and other fauours, that she was content to do whatsoe∣uer she commanunded, although it had beene to the preiudice of Montanus, whom sometimes she respected greatly, for that she had beene a long time seruant in his Fathers house. Both of them agreede secretly togither vpon that they had to doe, and vpon the hower of putting it in practise: Whereupon Sylueria went out of her towne, and comming to a forrest neere to the riuer Duerus, where Montanus was fee∣ding his sheepe, she came to talke with him secretly, as though she had beene trou∣bled much in minde about the weightiest matter in the world, saying. Ah, Montanus, how wise wert thou in despising thy wicked Stepdames loue, though I my selfe by her importunate request did what I could to bring thee to it. But since I know what hath passed, she shall neuer make me any more the messenger of her dishonest lusts. I haue seene, and know certaine things by her, which touch thy Fathers credit and thine too neere, and such, that, if thou knewest them (though thy Father is so cruell to thee) in such a case thou would’st not care to leese thy life for safegard of his ho∣nour. I tell thee no more but this, bicause I know thee to be so wise and discreete, that I neede make no longer discourse vnto thee. Montanus was amazed at these wordes, suspecting by and by some dishonest tricke of his Stepmother: But bicause he would be thorowly informed of the matter, he prayed Sylueria to tell him all that she knew concerning that matter. The more she was entreated, the more she de∣nied, making it verie daintie, and no lesse dangerous to discouer so secret a thing; but in the end satisfying his request, and her owne desire, she told him a notable and cunning lye, saying. Bicause it is a thing that so greatly toucheth thy credit, & Filenus

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