Montemayor's Diana

Page 424

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of Montanus, went vp and downe following, to tell him the plot and drift of the se∣cret trecherie that she had done him, and to aske him forgiuenes for it, being verie penitent that she had committed such abhominable wickednes. But as yet till then she had not spoken with him, and when she sawe me, she told me openly howe the matter stoode, which was no small ease vnto my minde, to know the maner how we were betraied. I thought with mine owne handes to haue killed her, though I was but a weak woman, yet I did it not, bicause it lay in her only to helpe my greefe by confessing her owne wickednes. I praied her, to seeke out my beloued Montanus in all the haste she could, to certifie him of the matter, and how it stoode, and so I left her to seeke him out some other way. I came hither to day to this woode, where being inuited by the pleasantnes of the place, I rested mee to passe the heate of the day away. And since that Fortune (for my great comfort) hath brought you hither, and that it is now the hottest part of the day, I beseech you let me enioy your gracious companie, while the heate of the sunne shall last. Diana and Marcelius were glad to heare the historie that Ismenia tolde them, and to knowe the cause of her greefe. It pleased them also well to heare the discourse of her life, who then gaue her some comfort to ease her greefe, promising her all the fauour and helpe, that they might possiblie bestow on her for remedie of her paine and trauels. They praied her also to go with them to Felicias pallace, bicause it was most like that there she should finde out some kind of comfort to make her glad againe. And they both thought good to passe the time away there, while the heate of the Sunne did last, as Ismenia requested them. But bicause Diana was very skilfull in that ground, & knew very well the woods, fountaines, forrests, and the pleasant and shadowed places of it, she told them, that there was not farre from thence a more delightfull and plea∣sant place then that was, for it was not yet full midday: So that all three of them ri∣sing, went a little way, and came by and by to a forrest, where Diana led them, which was as pleasant, coole, and delightful a place, as any of those hils, or fieldes that euer was with fame renowned in the pastorall Arcadia: There were in it faire and greene Sicamours, Sallowes, Ashes, Byrch, and Beech trees, which round about the brinks of the chrystalline fountaines, and in euery part thereabout, being softly blowen with a coole and sweete winde, made a pleasant and gentle noise. There the aire did so sweetely resound with the tuned melodie of the little birdes, which went skipping vp and downe the greene boughes, that it cheered vp the minde with a gracious kinde of welcome. It was couered all ouer with greene and small grasse, amongst the which were many faire and coloured flowers, which painting the place with knots in many places, did with their sweete sinell recreate the most sorrowfull and melancholike spirits. There were the Hunters woont to finde Heardes of feare∣full Harts, wilde Goates, and of other little beasts, in which games and sports they tooke no small pastime and delight. They came into this forrest following Diana their guide that went in first, for she went before to seeke out a little thicke groue of trees, that she had marked out in that place (where she was woont to resort) to rest and refresh herselfe many times. And they had not gone farre, when Diana com∣ming neere to the place, that she thought the most pleasant of all the wood, and where shee minded to haue passed away the heate of the daie, putting her finger to her mouth, she made signes to Marcelius and Ismenia to come on softly without making any noise. The reason was, bicause she heard amongst those thicke trees certaine Shepherds singing. By their voices they seemed to be Taurisus and Berar∣dus, both extremely tormented in pursute of her loue, as it is saide before. But bi∣cause


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