Montemayor's Diana

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this last night he found the meanes to get into the chamber where I was a bed with my wife Felisarda, and with this naked dagger would haue killed me: And had done it, but that God did cut off his strength, and abated it in such sort, that being halfe astonished and afraide, he went out from thence, not able to put his damnable in∣tent in practise, leauing the dagger (that fell out of his hands) in the chamber. This is the true report of that which this last night passed, whereof you may be better in∣formed by my louing wife. But bicause I certainly know that my sonne Montanus would neuer haue committed so foule a deed against his Father, if his wife Ismenia had not perswaded him to it, I therefore beseech you all to consider well of this matter: First, that my sonne may be sufficiently punished for his wicked attempt; and then, that false Ismenia, especially for the treacherous counsell she gaue her hus∣band, as also for her dishonest loue, and life that she leades with Alanius, may like∣wise receiue due correction. Filenus had scarce ended his tale, when there arose such a noise amongst the people, that all the towne seemed to haue suncke: And the harts of all the Shepherds and Shepherdesses were so much altered at these words, that they conceiued a mortall hatred against Montanus. Some saide, that he de∣serued to be stoned to death; others, to be throwen into the deepest place of the riuer Duerus; others, that he should be cast forth to be deuoured of hungrie woolfes, so that there was not one almost amongst them all, who allotted not his doome and manner of his death. It mooued them also not a little to despite to heare that which Filenus falsely reported concerning my life: but they were so incensed with anger and hate against Montanus, and his pretenses, that they had no leysure to thinke of mine. When Montanus vnderstoode how his Father had openly before all the towne accused him of this deed, and of the hurly burly and awaite, that was laide to catch him, he fell into a woonderfull desperation. And besides this knowing what his Father had told of me before them all, he tooke such a deepe conceit and griefe thereat, that the like was neuer heard of. From hence did all my sorrowes rise, this was the cause of my perdition, and here did my painfull life begin. For my beloued Montanus knew that in times past I had loued Alanius, and was beloued of him againe; and imagining that old and mortified loues might oftentimes be reuiued, & seeing Alanius (whom now for his sake I had quite forgotten) to be in loue with me as much as euer he was, by making daily suites to me for my loue, with those kinde of pastorall feasts and sports, that louers are woont to please their Shepherdesses withall, he vehemently suspected, that the false report which his Father Filenus had told of me was true; and the more he thought of it, the more he beleeued it to be so indeed: In so much that waxing almost mad and desperate for the treacherie that Sylueria had wrought him, and for that which he suspected I had done him, he fled from the towne and countrey thereabouts, and since was neuer more heard of. And I then, who knew of his departure and the cause thereof, by the report of certaine Shepherds his friends, whom he fully acquainted with his vnfortunate estate, left also our town to seeke him out, and while I liue will neuer leaue seeking, vntill I haue found my deere husband, to acquite my selfe of this crime which he suspectes, although I shoulde die by his owne handes for my labour. It is a good while since I haue gone vp and downe wandring and enquiring after him, and for all that I haue sought in the cheefest townes, and amongst all the Shepherdes and cottages, Fortune neuer yet gaue me any notice of my Montanus. The grea∣test accident, that in these my trauels chanced vnto mee, since I forsooke my towne, was, that I found the trayteresse Sylueria, who knowing the voluntarie exile


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