OF GEORGE OF
(ALonso Perez, yGaspar Gil Polo.)
Translated out of Spanish into
English by BARTHOLOMEW
YONG of the Middle
At London, Printed by Edm. Bollifant,
Impensis G. B.
Robert Harley of Bramton Castle
In the County of Hereford Esq.
TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE
and my very good Lady
the Lady RICH.
RIGHT HONORABLE, such are the apparant defects of arte and iudgement in this new pourâˆ£traied DIANA, that their discouerie must needes make me blush and abase the worke, vnlesse with vndeserued fauour erected vpon the high and shining pillar of your Honorable protection, they may seeme to the beholder lesse, or none at all. The glorie wherof as with reason it can no waies be thought woorthie, but by boldly aduenturing vpon the apparant deâˆ£monstration of your magnificent minde, wherein all noble vertues haue their proper seate, and on that singular desire, knowledge and delight, wherewith your Ladiship entertaineth, embraceth and affecteth honest endeuours, learned languages, and this particular subiect of DIANA, warranted by all vertue and modestie, as COLLIN in his French dediâˆ£catorie to the Illustrous Prince LEWIS of LORRAINE at large setteth downe and commendeth: so now presenting it to so soueraigne a light, and relying on a gracious acceptance, what can be added more to the full content, desire and perfection of DIANA, and of her vnwoorthie Interpreter (that hath in English attire exposed her to the view of stranâˆ£gers) then for their comfort and defence to be armed with the Honoâˆ£rable titles and countenance of so high and excellent a Patronesse? But as certaine yeares past (my Honorable good Lady) in a publike shewe at the Middle Temple, where your Honorable presence with many noble Lordes and faire Ladies graced and beautified those sportes, it befell to my lot in that woorthie assemblie, vnwoorthily to performe the part of a French Oratour by a deducted speech in the same toong, and that amongst so many good conceits and such generall skill in toongs, all the while I was rehearsing it, there was not any, whose mature iudgement and censure in that language I feared and suspected more then your Ladiâˆ£ships, whose attentiue eare and eie daunted my imagination with the apprehension of my disabilitie, and your Ladiships perfect knowledge in the same: Now once againe in this translation out of Spanish (which language also with the present matter being so well knowen to your
Ladiship) whose reprehension and seuere sentence of all others may I more iustly feare, then that which (Honorable Madame) at election you may herein duely giue, or with fauour take away. But as then by your graâˆ£cious aspect and milde countenance I flattered my selfe with your fauouâˆ£rable applause of the first; So now to preuent the second, I haue no other meanes, then the humble insinuation of it to your most Honorable name & clemencie, most humbly beseeching the same to pardon all those faultes, which to your learned and iudicious view shall occurre. Since then for pledge of the dutifull and zealous desire I haue to serue your Ladiship, the great disproportion of your most noble estate to the qualitie of my poore condition, can affoorde nothing else but this small present,
my praier shall alwaies importune the heauens for the happie
increase of your high and woorthie degree, and
for the full accomplishment of your
most Honorable and ver-
From High Onger in Essex the
28. of Nouemb.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Your Honors most
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â humbly deuoted,
The Preface to divers learned Gentlemen,
and other my louing friendes.
ABout nineteene yeeres past (curteous Gentlemen) comming out of Spaine into my natiue countrey, and hauing spent welny three yeeres in some serious studies and certaine affaires, with no meanes or occasion to exercise the Spanish toong (by disâˆ£continuance whereof it had almost shaken hands with me) it was my good hap to fall into the companie and acquaintance of my especiall good friend Edward Banister of Idesworth in the Countie of Southampton Esquier; who perceiuing my remissenes in the saide language, perswaded & encouraged me earnestly, by some good translation to recal it to her former place: And to that intent he gaue me the first and second Part of Diana of Montemayor in Spanish, which Booke (although I had beene two yeeres in Spaine) till then I neuer saw nor heard of; whose friendly care and desire to preuent so great a losse, and to preserue such an ornament in me, I confesse was the chiefe and principall cause (and therefore the onely credit) of this translation, whereby I recouered that toong againe that lay (as it were) smothered in the cinders of obliâˆ£uion. The second cause of this my labour, was the delight I passed in discurring most of those townes and places in it with a pleasant recordation of my pen, which mine eies so often with ioy and sorrow had beheld. The third, the resolued then inâˆ£tent I had neuer (howsoeuer now it hath escaped my hands) to put it in Print, in proofe whereof it hath lyen by me finished Horaces ten and sixe yeeres more. For till then I neuer tried my vnproper vaine in making an English verse: how well or ill then the hard and strange kinde of Spanish is turned, I leaue to your fauourable censure and pardon: The low and pastorall stile hereof, Montemayor in his Epistle to the L. of Villanoua excuseth, entreating of Shepherds, though indeed they were but shadowes of great and honorable personages, and of their marriages, that not many yeeres agoe liued in the Court of Spaine, whose posteritie to this day liue in noble estate. But touching the Bookes following, you must vnderstand that George of Montemayor a Gentleman sprung out of the noble house of Montemayor in Portuâˆ£gal, after he had ended his first Part of Diana,which he distributed into seuen Bookes, intending to set forth the second Part, and before his departure into Italie (where I heard he died) imparted his purpose, and the subiect of his intended second Part, to Alonso Perez, who answering his intent, wrote the second Part of Diana, contayning eight Bookes, promising in the end thereof to continue it with a third Part, which yet he hath not done, although I heare he hath a purpose to do it. But Gaspar Gil Polo a Valentian Gentleman, who in my opinion excelleth for fine conceit (whether beâˆ£fore or after that Alonso Perez second Part came forth) made another Part of Diana, naming it the first Part of Enamoured Diana; the which being diuided into fiue Bookes, he intituleth to follow in due sequence the first seuen Bookes of Diana of George of Montemayor. And in the ende of that first Part of Enamoured Diana, he likewise maketh a reference to another Part which he promised to set foorth; the which and that of Alonso Perez, if euer they come to light, I leaue to some finer wit and better iudgement to English, my selfe hauing done too much by launching so far into the maine, vnlesse (happily) in your fauourable iudgements it may finde a
friendly and temperate construction. Hauing compared the French copies with the Spanish originall, I iudge the first Part to be exquisite; the other two corruptly done with a confusion of verse into Prose, and leauing out in many places diuers hard sentences, and some leaues in the end of the third Part, wherefore they are but blind guides by any to be imitated. Well might I haue excused these paines, if onely Edward Paston Esquier (who heere and there for his owne pleasure (as I vnderstand) hath aptly turned out of Spanish into English some leaues that liked him best) had also made an absolute and complete translation of all the Parts of Diana; the which, for his trauell in that Countrey, and great knowledge in that language, accompaâˆ£nied with other learned and good parts in him, had of all others, that euer yet I heard translate these Bookes, prooued the rarest and worthiest to be embraced. The faults escaped in the Printing, the copie being verie darke and enterlined, and I loth to write it out againe, I pray you Gentlemen pardon, since all the last Terme that it was in the Presse (hauing matters of greater consequence in charge) I could not intende the correction: aduertising you by the way that the greatest faults are at the ende of the Booke set downe, the lesse being of no moment purposely omitted. Fare ye well and continue me in your woonted loue and fauours.
Yours in all friendly offices,
To the Illustrous and noble Lord Don
Iuan de Castella de Villa Noua,
Baron of Bicorb and Quesa,
of GEORGE of
ALthough this custome were not very auncient, most noble L. for Authours to dedicate their workes to personages of honour and renowne, by whome they were protected and defended; notwithstanding your rare and high deserts (as well for your noble and ancient house from whence you are descended, as also for the reâˆ£splendant valour and vertue of your person) might with greater reason then I can expresse, incite me to performe more then this obliged dutie. And admit the base stile of the worke, and the Authours small woorth, in reason ought not so far extend as to dediâˆ£cate it to your Lordship: yet excluded from all other remedies, I presuâˆ£med onely on this, that it was somewhat accounted of. For precious stones are not so highly valued for the name they haue (for they may be false and counterfeite) as for his estimate in whose handes they are: I humbly beseech your good Lordship to entertaine this booke vnder your Hon. ampare and correction, as to the Authour heereof (being but a stranger) you haue done no lesse, since his poore abilitie is not able to serue your Lordship in any other thing: whose wished life and noble estate our Lord increase for many yeeres.
To the same Lord.
Moecenas was to Maro of great fame
A singular good Lord and louing frend,
And Alexander did enioy that same
Rare wit of Homer, death though him did end:
And so the Æ²illanouas generous name
The Lusitan poore Authour doth defend,
Making a base and wanting wit tâ€™aspire
Vnto the clouds, and yet a great deale higher.
Don Gaspar Romani to the Authour.
If Lady LAVRAS memorie vnstained
PETRARC in endlesse verse hath left renowned:
And if with Laurell HOMER hath beene crowned
For writing of the wars the Greekes obtained:
If Kings tâ€™aduaunce the glorie they haue gained
In life time, when fierce MARS in battell frowned,
Procure it should not be in LETHE drowned,
But after death by historie maintained:
More iustly then shouldst thou be celebrated
(O excellent DIANA) for the fairest
Of all the faire ones, that the world hath brought foorth:
Since all those wits, whose pens were estimated
To write the best, in glorie thou impairest,
And from them all the Laurell crowne hast sought foorth.
Don Hieronymo Sant-Perez, to
George of Montemayor.
Parnasse, O sacred mount and full of glorie,
The Poets muse, delight of their desires:
Me thinkes thou art too comfortlesse and sorie,
Comparâ€™d with this, whose famous name aspires.
In deede J am, since that the Muses left me,
And with their gracious Quire from hence descended
To mount this Hill, whose Greatnes hath bereft me
Of all my fame, and glorie that is ended.
Thrise happie his Diana, since her flower
In top of this High Hill was set so lately,
That all the world might view it euery hower,
Where she doth liue most soueraigne and stately:
In all the world most celebrate and graced,
Being no lesse excelse, then highly placed.
The Argument of the first Seuen
IN the fieldes of the auncient and principall citie of Leon in Spaine, lying along the bankes of the riuer Ezla, liued a Shepherdesse called Diana, whose beautie was most soueraigne aboue all others in her time. She loued, and was deerely beloued againe of a Shepherd calâˆ£led Syrenus, in whose mutuall loue was as great chastitie and vertue as might be. At the same time another Shepherd called Syluanus loued her also more then himselfe, but so abhorred of the Shepherdesse, that there was not any thing in the world, which she hated more. But it fell out, that as Syrenus was conâˆ£strained to be out of the kingdom about certaine affaires, which could by no means be excused, nor left vndone, and the Shepherdesse remaining at home very sad for his absence, time, and Dianas hart with time were chaunged, who then was married to another Shepherd called Delius,burying him, whom she had but of late so greatly loued, in vniust obliuion. Who, after a whole yeere of his absence comming home againe with great affection and desire to see his beloued Shepherdesse, knew before he came, that she was already married. And from hence the first booke begins: and in the others following, they shall finde diuers histories of accidents, that haue truly happened, though they goe muffled vnder pastorall names and style.
The first Booke of Diana of George
DOwne from the hils of Leon came forgotten Syrenus, whom loue, fortune, and time did so entreate, that by the least greefe, that he suffered in his sorrowfull life, he looâˆ£ked for no lesse then to loose the same. The vnfortunate Shepherd did not now bewaile the harme, which her absence did threaten him, and the feare of her forgetfulâˆ£nes did not greatly trouble his minde, bicause he sawe all the prophecies of his suspicion so greatly to his preiuâˆ£dice accomplished, that now he thought he had no more misfortunes to menace him. But the Shepherd comming to those greene and pleaâˆ£sant meades, which the great riuer Ezla watreth with his cristalline streames, the great felicitie and content came to his wandring thoughtes, which sometimes he had enioyed there, being then so absolute a Lord of his owne liberty, as now subiect to one, who had wrongfully enterred him in darke obliuion. He went musing of that happie time, when in those medowes, and on those faire banks he fed his flocks, applying then his minde in the onely care and interest he had to feede them well: and spending the rest of his howers in the onely delight, that he tooke in the sweete smell of those golden flowers, at that time especially, when cheerefull spring-tyde (the merry messenger of sommer) is spread ouer the face of the whole earth: someâˆ£times taking his rebecke, which he euer caried very neate in a scrip, and sometimes his bagpipe, to the tune of which he made most sweete ditties, which of all the
Shepherdesses of those hamlets thereabouts made him most highly commended. The Shepherd busied not his thoughts in the consideration of the prosperous and preposterous successe of fortune, nor in the mutabilitie and course of times, neither did the painfull diligence and aspiring minde of the ambitious Courtier trouble his quiet rest: nor the presumption and coye disdaine of the proude and nice Ladie (celebrated onely by the appassionate vowes and opinions of her amorous sutours) once occurre to his imaginations. And as little did the swelling pride, and small care of the hawtie priuate man offend his quiet minde. In the field was he borne, bred, and brought vp: in the field he fed his flockes, and so out of the limits of the field his thoughts did neuer range, vntill cruell loue tooke possession of his libertie, which to those he is commonly woont to doe, who thinke themselues freest from his tyrannie. The sad Shepherd therefore came softly on his pace, his eies turned into fountaines, the fresh hew of his face chaunged, and his hart so tempered to suffer Fortunes vnworthie disgraces, that if she would haue giuen him any content, she must haue sought him a new hart to receiue it. The weedes that he did weare, was a long gray coate, as rugged as his haps, carrying a sheepehooke in his right hand, and a scrip hanging on his left arme. He laide himselfe downe at the foote of a thicke hedge, and began to cast foorth his eyes along those faire riuer banks, vntill their beames came to that place, where first they beheld the beautie, grace, and rare vertues of the Shepherdesle Diana, she, in whom skilfull nature had consumâˆ£mated all perfections, which in euery part of her dainty body she had equally beâˆ£stowed. Then did his hart imagine that, which before it diuined of, That sometimes he should finde himselfe put amongst sorrowfull memories. And then could not the wofull Shepherd stop his teares from gushing out, nor smother his sighes which came smoking out of his brest, but lifting vp his eies to heaueÌ„ began thus to lament. Ah memorie (cruell enemie to my quiet rest) were not thou better occupied to make me forget present corsies, then to put before mine eies passed contents? What saiest thou memorie? That in this medow I beheld my Lady
Diana, that in the same I began to feele that, which I shal neuer leaue of to lament, That neere to that cleere fountaine (set about with high and greene Sicamours) with many teares she soâˆ£lemnly sware to me, that there was not the deerest thing in the world, no, not the will of her parents, the perswasion of her brethren, nor the importunities of her allies, that were able to remooue her from her setled thoughts? And when she spake these words, there fell out of those faire eies teares like orientall pearles, which seeâˆ£med to testifie that, which remained in her secret hart, commanding me, vpon paine to be accounted of her a man but of a base and abiect minde, if I did not beleeue that, which so often times she had told me. But stay yet a little Memorie, since now thou hast put before me the foundations of my mishap (and such they were, that the ioy, which I then passed, was but the beginning of the greefe which now I suffer) forget not to tune me this iarring string, to put before mine eies by one and one, the troubles, the turmoiles, the feares, the suspects, the iealousies, the mistrusts, and cares, which leaue not him, that most truly loues. Ah memorie, memorie, how sure am I of this answere at thy hands, that the greatest paine, that I passed in these conâˆ£siderations, was but little in respect of that content, which in lieu of them I receiâˆ£ued. Thou hast great reason memorie, and the worse for me that it is so great: and lying and lamenting in this sort, he tooke a paper out of his bosome, wherein he had a few greene silken strings and haire tyed vp together, and laying them open before him vpon the greene grasse, with abundance of teares he tooke out his Rebecke, not
halfe so iocund as it was woont to be, at what time he was in Dianasfauour, and began to sing that which followeth.
HAire in change what libertie,
Since I sawe you, haue I seene?
How vnseemely hath this greene
Bene a signe of hope to me?
Once I thought no Shepherd might
In these fieldes be found (O haire)
(Though I did it with some feare)
Worthy to come neere your sight.
Haire, how many times and tydes
Did my faire Diana spie,
If I ware or left you by
And a thousand toyes besides.
And how oft in weeping sort
(Of deceitfull teares O springs)
Was she iealous of the things,
Which I spake or did in sport?
Those faire eies which wrought my woe,
(Golden haire) tell me what fault
In beleeuing them I caught,
When they did assure me soe?
Saw you not how she did greeue,
Spilling daily many a teare,
Vnto her till I did sweare,
That I did her words beleeue?
Who more beautie euer knew
In a subiect of such change,
Or more sorrowes or more strange
In a loue so perfect true?
On the sand her did I see
Sitting by you riuer bright,
Where her finger this did wright
Rather dead then changed be.
See how loue beares vs in hand,
Making vs beleeue the wordes,
That a womans wit affordes,
And recorded in the sand.
Syrenus had not so soone made an end of his sorrowful song, if that his teares had not bene at hand, for such an one was he, from whom fortune had cut off all the waies and meanes of his remedie. Sorrowing thus, his Rebecke fell out of his hand, and taking vp the golden haire he put them in their place againe, saying, O pledges of the fairest and most disloyall Shepherdesse that humane eies may behold, how with your owne sasetie haue you beguiled me? Woe is me, that I cannot choose but see you, my whole greefe consisting in hauing seene you. And pulling his hande out of his scrip, he found a letter, that Diana in time of his prosperitie had sent him,
which when he beheld, with a burning sigh, that came from his very hart, he saide. O letter, letter burned maist thou be by his handes, who may best doe what he list: and woe be to him that now shall reade thee: But who may doe it? And opening it, he sawe that it said thus.
Dianas letter to Syrenus.
HOw ill I should brooke thy words (my Syrenus) who would not thinke, but that loue made thee vtter them? Thou saiest I loue thee not so much as I ought to doe, I knowe not whereby thou perceiuest it, and conceiue not, how I should loue thee more. Behold, it is now no time not to beleeue me, bicause thou seest, that the loue, which I beare thee, compels me to beleeue that, which from thy very thoughts and affection thou dost tell me. I imagine oftentimes, that as thou supposest, that I loue thee not (by louing thee more then my selfe) so must thou thinke, that thou loâˆ£uest me by hating me. Behold Syrenus,how time hath dealt better with thee then thou didst imagine at the beginning of our loues (with safetie yet of mine honour) which owes thee all that it may: wherein is not any thing, that I would not doe for thy sake, beseeching thee, as much as I may, not to trouble thy minde with iealousie and suspicions, bicause thou knowest, how few escape out of their hands with safetie of life, which God giue thee with all the content that I wish thee.
Is this a letter saide Syrenus, sighing, to make one thinke, that obliuion could enter into that hart, from whence such wordes came foorth? And are these wordes to be passed so slightly out of memorie? And that she then spake them, and now forget me? O sorrowfull man, with what great content did I reade this letter when my Mistresse had sent it me, and how many times in the same hower did I reade it ouer againe? But for euery pleasure then, with seuen folde paine I am now apaide: and fortune could doe no lesse with me, then to make me fall from one extreme to anoâˆ£ther: For it had ill beseemed her with partiall hand to exempt me from that, which to all others she is commonly wont to doe.
About this time from the hill beneath, that led from the village to the greene medowe, Syrenus might perceiue a Shepherd comming downe pace by pace, and staying awhile at euery step, sometimes looking vp to heauen, and sometimes casting his eies vpon the greene medow and faire riuer bankes, which from aloft he might easily view and discouer (the thing which more augmented his sorrow) seeing the place, where the beginning and roote of his mishap did first growe. Syrenus knew him by and by, and looking towardes the place from whence he came, saide. Vnfortunate Shepherd (though not halfe so much as I am) that art a corriuall with me in Dianas loue, to what end haue thy bootelesse suites serued thee, and the disâˆ£daine that this cruell Shepherdesse hath done thee, but to put them all on my score? But if thou hadst knowen that the finall summe of all thy paines should haue bene like to mine, what greater fauour hadst thou found at fortunes hands, by preseruing thee still in this haplesse estate of life, then by throwing me headlong downe from it, when I did lest suspect it? But now despised Syluanus tooke out his bagpipe, and playing on it a little, with great sorrow and greefe did sing these verses following.
I Am a louer, but was neuer loued,
Well haue I louâ€™d, and will though hated euer,
Troubles I passe, but neuer any mooued,
Sighes haue I giuen, and yet she heard me neuer:
I would complaine, and she would neuer heare me,
And flie from loue, but it is euer neere me:
Obliuion onely blamelesse doth beset me,
For that remembreth neuer to forget me.
For euery ill one semblant I doe beare still,
To day not sad, nor yesterday contented,
To looke behinde, or go before I feare still,
All things to passe alike I haue consented:
I am besides my selfe like him that daunceth,
And mooues his feete at euery sound that chaunceth:
And so all like a senselesse foole disdaines me,
But this is nothing to the greefe that paines me.
The night to certaine louers is a trouble,
When in the day some good they are attending:
And other some doe hope to gaine some double
Pleasure by night, and wish the day were ending:
With that, that greeueth some, some others ease them,
And all do follow that, that best doth please them:
But for the day with teares I am a crying,
Which being come, for night I am a dying.
Of Cupid to complaine who euer craue it,
In waues he writes and to the windes he crieth:
Or seeketh helpe of him, that neuer gaue it:
For he at last thy paines and thee defieth.
Come but to him some good aduise to lend thee,
To thousand od conceits he will commend thee.
What thing is then this loue? It is a science,
That sets both proofe and study at defiance.
My Mistresse loued her Syrenus deerely,
And scorned me, whose loues yet I auouched,
Left to my greefe, for good I held it cleerely,
Though narrowly my life and soule it touched:
Had I but had a heauen as he once shining,
Loue would I blame, if it had bene declining.
But loue did take no good from me he sent me,
For how can loue take that he neuer lent me.
Loueâ€™s not a thing, that any may procure it,
Loueâ€™s not a thing, that may be bought for treasure;
Loueâ€™s not a thing, that comes when any lure it,
Loueâ€™s not a thing, that may be found at pâ€¢â€¦re:
For if it be not borne with thee, refraine it
To thinke, thou must be borne anew to gaine it:
Then since that loue shuns force, and doth disclame it,
The scorned louer hath no cause to blame it.
Syrenus was not idle when Syluanus was singing these verses, for with his sighes he answered the last accents of his wordes, and with his teares did solemnize that, which he conceiued by them. The disdained Shepherd after he had ended his song, began to reuolue in his minde the small regarde he had of himselfe, and how for the loue of his cruell Mistresse Diana, he had neglected all his busines and flockes: and yet he reckoned all this but small. He considered, that his seruice was without hope of recompence, a great occasion to make him, that hath but small firmnesse, easily cut off the way of his loue. But his constancie was so great, that being put in the middes of all the causes, which he had to forget her, who neuer thought of him, with his owne safetie he came so easily out of them, and so cleerely without preiuâˆ£dice to the sincere loue, which he bare his Shepherdesse, that (without any feare) he neuer committed any ignorance, that might turne to the hurt or hinderance of his faith. But when he sawe Syrenus at the fountaine, he woondred to see him so sad, not that he was ignorant of the cause of his sorrow, but bicause he thought that if he had tasted but the lest fauour, that Syrenus had sometimes receiued at Dianas handes, such a contentment had bene ynough for him all his life time. He came vnto him and imbraced him, and with many teares on both sides they sat them downe vpon the greene grasse, Syluanus beginning to speake in this sort. God forbid (Syrenus) that for the cause of my mishap, or at the lest for the small remedie thereof, I should take delight or reuenge in thine, which though at mine owne pleasure I might well doe, yet the great loue which I beare to my Mistresse Diana, woulde neuer consent thereunto, nor suffer me to goe against that, which with such good will and liking she had sometimes fauoured: if thy sorrowes greeue me not, let me neuer haue end of mine; and in such sort, that as soone as Diana was about to marry, if it killed not my hart with thinking, that her marriage and thy death should haue bene both at one time, let me neuer enioy any other estate and condition of life then now I doe. Canst thou then thinke (Syrenus) that I would wish thee ill, bicause Diana loued thee? And that the fauours that she did thee, were the occasions to make me hate thee? What man, my faith was neuer so basely poysed, but that it was euer so serâˆ£uiceable to my Mistresse humour, not onely in louing thee, but in louing and honouâˆ£ring all that euer she loued. And yet thou hast no cause to thanke me for this care and compassion of thy greefe, for I am so dissolued into cares, that for mine owne good I would be sorie, how much more then for other mens harmes. This straunge kinde of the Shepherd Syluanus his greeting caused no small admiration in Syrenus, and made him for a while in suspence with himselfe, woondring at his great suffeâˆ£rance, and at the strange qualitie of his loue, that he did beare to his Shepherdesse. But remembring himselfe at last, he said. Hast thou (Syluanus) happily, bene borne for an example of patience to those, who know not how to suffer the aduersities, that fortune puts before their eies? Or may it be, that nature hath giuen thee so strong a minde, that it is not ynough for thee to suffer thine owne, but thou wilt needes helpe others to support theirs? I see thee so conformable to the hard condiâˆ£tion of thy fortune, that, promising thee no helpe of remedie, thou doest aske no other, then that it hath already giuen thee. I tell thee (Syluanus) that time shewes well by thee, how euery day it discouers nouelties and straunge conceites beyonde the compasse of mans imagination. O how much more then ought this vnfortunate Shepherd to emulate thee, by seeing thee suffer thy greefes with such content, which thou mightest rather haue done to him, when thou sawest him so happily enioy his merry times. Hast thou not seene how greatly she fauoured me, and with
what sweete and gracious wordes she manifested her loue vnto me? Didst thou not see, how she could neuer goe with her flockes to the riuer, or take her lambes out of the folde, or in the heate of the day driue her sheepe into the shades of these Sicaâˆ£mours without my companie? But for all this, I wish I may neuer see the remedie of my greefe, if I euer expected or desired any thing at Dianas hands that was reâˆ£pugnant to her honour, or if any such thing did euer passe my thought. For such was her beautie, her braue minde, her vertue, and such vnspotted puritie in her loue to me againe, that they admitted no thought into my minde, which in preiudice of her goodnes and chastitie I might haue imagined. I beleeue it well (saide Syluanus sighing) for I can say as much by my selfe, and thinke moreouer that there was neuer any, that casting his eies on Dianaspeerelesse beautie, durst desire any other thing, then to see her, and to conuerse with her. Although I knowe not, whether such rare and excellent beautie might in some mens thoughts (not subiect to such a continent affection as ours) cause an excessiue desire: and especially, if they had seene her, as I did one day sitting with thee neere to you little brooke, when she was kembing her golden haire, and thou holding the glasse vnto her, wherein now and then she beâˆ£held her diuine figure, though neither of you both did (perhaps) knowe that I espied you from those high bushes, neere to the two great okes, keeping (yet) in minde the verses, that thou sungest vpon the holding of the glasse, whiles she was addressing her resplendant tresses. How came they to thy handes, saide Syrenus? The next day following (saide Syluanus) in that very place I founde the paper wherein they were written, and reading them, committed them to memorie: And then came Diana thither weeping for the losse of them, and asking me, if I had found them, which was no small ioy and contentment to me, to see my Mistresse powre foorth those teares, which I might speedily remedie. And this I remember was the first hower, that euer I had a gentle and curteous word of her mouth (how greatly in the meane time stood I neede of fauours) when she saide vnto me, that I might highly pleasure her, to helpe her to that, which so earnestly she sought for: which wordes, like holy relikes, I kept in my minde; for in a whole yeere after I tooke no regarde of all the woes and greefes that I passed, for ioy of that one onely word, which had in it but a small apparance of ioy and happinesse. Now as thou louest thy life (saide Syrenus) rehearse those verses, which, thou saidst, I did sing, since thou hast them so well by hart. I am content, saide Syluanus: and these they were.
FOr a fauour of such woorth
In no doubt I doe remaine,
Since with selfe same coyne againe
(Mistresse) thou art paide right foorth.
For if I enioy with free
Pleasure, seeing before me
Face and eies, where Cupid stands:
So thou seeing in my hands,
That which in thine eies I see.
Let not this to thee seeme ill,
That of thy beautie diuine
Thou seeâ€™st but the figure shine,
And I natures perfect skill:
Yet a thought, thatâ€™s free and set
Neuer yet in Cupids net,
Better then the bond beholdes,
Though the one the liuely mouldes,
Thâ€™other but the counterfet.
When Syrenus had heard the song out, he saide to Syluanus. I wish that loue, gentle Shepherd, with hope of impossible felicitie may remedie my greefes, if there be any thing in the worlde, that I would sooner choose to passe away my sorrowfull life with, then in thy sweete and gracious companie, and if it greeues me not now to the hart, that Diana is so cruell vnto thee, that she hath not (which well she might haue done) once thanked thee, nor showen thee a fauourable and gratefull counteâˆ£nance for all thy long and loyall seruice, and for so true loue that thou hast shewed therein. I could with a little content me (saide Syluanus sighing) if my angrie fortune would perswade Diana to giue me some hope, which she might well affoord without staine to her honour, or breach of faith to thee. But so hard harted is she, that not onely when I craue it, she denies it me, and flies from me when I come in her sight, but to comfort me with any small signe or token, whereby I might imagine or hope hereafter to enioy it, she would neuer yet consent. Whereupon I saide many times to my selfe. It may fall out that this stonie harted and fierce Tygresse may one day conceiue some displeasure against Syrenus, for reuenge whereof, and to despite him, she will perhaps shew me some fained fauour; for so disgraced and comfortlesse a man as I am would be glad but with fained fauours to content him, and to imbrace them as true ones. And when thou wentst out of this countrie, then I infallibly perswaded my selfe, that the remedie of my greefe was knocking (as it were) at my doore, and that obliuion was the certainest thing to be expected after absence, and especially in a womans hart. But after when I saw her teares, her little rest and stayâˆ£ing in the village, her delight in seeking out solitarie places, and her continual sighes, when I say I beheld all these things, God knowes with what impatience and greefe of minde I felt them. For though I knewe, that time was an approoued phisition of sorrow, which absence is commonly woont to procure, yet I desired not, that my Mistresse might passe one hower of greefe, although I hoped to get thereby two thousand of content. A few daies after thy departure I saw her at the foote of yonâˆ£der hill, leaning against an oke, and staying her tender brest vpon her sheepehooke, where she stood in that sort a good while before she espied me, who, though afterâˆ£wards she lifted vp her eies, yet her teares that issued out so fast, did also hinder her (I thinke) that she could not well perceiue me. She should then be musing on her solitarie and sorrowfull life, and on the greefe that by thy absence she conceiued: But a little after that, not without many teares (accompanied with as many painfull sighes) she tooke out her bagpipe which she caried in a fine scrip, and began to play on it so sweetely, that the hils, and dales, the riuers, the enamoured birdes, and the rockie mountaines of that thicke wood were amazed and rauished with her sweete musicke. And leauing her bagpipe, to the tune that she had plaied, she began to sing this song following.
O Eies, that see not him, who lookâ€™d on yow
When that they were the mirrours of his sight,
What can you now behold to your content?
Greene flowrie meade where often I did vew,
And staid for my sweete friend with great delight,
The ill, which I doe feele with me lament.
Heer did he tell me how his thoughts were bent,
And (wretch) I lent an eare;
But angry more then whelplesse Beare
Presumptuous him I callâ€™d, and vndiscreete:
And he layde at my feete,
Where yet (poore man) me thinkes I see him lye:
And now I wish that I
Might see him so, as then I did: O happy time were this,
Sweete shadowed riuer bankes tell me where my Syrenus is.
Yon is the riuer banke, this is the meade,
From thence the hedge appeeres and shadowed lay,
Wherein my flockes did feede the sauourie grasse:
Behold the sweete noysâ€™d spring, where I did leade
My sheepe to drinke in heate of all the day,
When heere my sweetest friend the time did passe:
Vnder that hedge of liuely greene he was;
And there behold the place,
Where first I saw his sweetest face
And where he sawe me, happy was that day,
Had not my ill haps way
To end such happy times, O spring,
O hedge, and euery thing
Is heere, but he, for whom I paine continually, and misse,
Sweete shadowed riuer bankes tell me where my Syrenus is.
Heere haue I yet his picture that deceaues me,
Since that I see my Shepherd when I view it,
(Though it were better from my soule absented)
When I desire to see the man, that leaues me
(Which fond deceipt time showes and makes me rue it)
To yonder spring I goe, where I consented
To hang it on yon Sallow, then contented
I sit by it, and after
(Fond loue) I looke into the water,
And see vs both, then am I so content heere,
As when his life he spent heere:
This bare deuise a while my life sustaineth;
But when no more it faineth,
My hart surchargâ€™d with anguish, and cries out, but yet amisse,
Sweete shadowed riuer bankes tell me where my Syrenus is.
Speaking to it no wordes it is replying,
And then (me thinkes) reuenge of me it taketh,
Bicause sometime an answere I despised.
But (wofull soule) I say vnto it crying,
Syrenus speake, since now thy presence maketh
Aboade, where neuer once my thoughts surmized:
Say, in my soule art thou not onely prized?
But not a word it saieth,
And as before me there it staieth,
To speake, my soule doth pray it (in conclusion)
O what a braue delusion,
To aske a simple picture toong or sences?
O time, in what offences
Of vainest hope is my poore soule so subiect vnto his?
Sweete shadowed riuer bankes tell me where my Syrenus is.
I neuer can go homeward with my sheepe,
When to the west the sunne begins to gyre,
Nor to the foldes returne from our towne,
But euery where I see, and (seeing) weepe
The sheepe cote of my ioy and sweete desire
Broken, decaied, and throwen vnto the ground:
Carelesse of lambes and sheepe, there sit I downe
A little while, vntill
The herdesmen feeding on the hill,
Cry out to me, saying, O Shepherdesse
What doe thy thoughts possesse,
And let thy sheepe goe feeding in the graine?
Our eies doe see it plaine:
For them the tender grasse in pleasant vales doth growe ywisse,
Sweete shadowed riuer bankes tell me where my Syrenus is.
Yet in thine owne opinion greater reason
(Syrenus) it had bene, thus to haue started
With more constraint, and force then I did see yet,
But whom doe I accuse of guiltlesse treason?
For what could make him stay and not haue parted,
If fate and fortune thereto did agree yet?
No fault of thine it was, nor could it be yet
In my beleefe, haue ended
Thou wouldst in ought, or haue offended
Our loue so plaine and simple, as to leaue it
Nor will I once conceaue it,
Though many shewes and signes thereof there were yet:
O no, the fates did sweare it,
With cloudes of sorrow to obscure my heauen of ioy and blisse,
Sweete shadowed riuer bankes tell me where my Syrenus is.
My song take heede thou goest where I betake thee,
Yet shalt thou not forsake me:
For it may be that fortune will with such a humour place thee,
That may terme thee importunate and by that meanes disgrace thee.
After Syluanus had made an ende of Dianas amorous song, he saide to Syrenus, who in hearing the louing verses that his Shepherdesse had sung after his deparâˆ£ture, was almost besides his wits. When faire Diana was singing this song, it was seene by my teares if I felt not those at my hart, which for thy sake she powred out: but making as though I had not heard, nor seene any thing, by dissembling the matâˆ£ter the best I could, (which I could scarce doe) I came to the place where she was. Syrenus interrupting him at these wordes, saide. Stay a little Syluanus, (I pray thee) and tell me what hart was able to chaunge, that
â€¢elt such passions? O constancie, O firmnesse, how seldome and how small a time doe you soiourne in a womans hart? That the more subiect she is to loue and to imbrace you, the more ready she is to leaue and forget you. And surely I was of this opinion, that this imperfection was incident to all women, but to my Mistresse Diana, in whom I euer thought that nature had not omitted to frame euery good and perfect thing. But Syluanus after this prosecuting his historie, saide vnto him. When I came neere to the place where Diana was, I sawe her fixing her faire eies in the cleere fountaine, where vsing her accustomed maner, she began to say. O woefull eies, how sooner shall you want teares to water my cheekes, then continuall occasions to powre you out? O my Syrenus, I would to God, before the winter with his blustring stormes despoyles the greene medow of fresh and fragrant flowers, the pleasant vallies of fine and tender grasse, and the shadowed trees of their greene leaues, that these eies may behold againe thy presence so much desired of my louing soule, as mine is eschewed and (perhaps) hated of thine: With this she lifted vp her diuine countenance, and by chance espied me, and going about to dissemble her sorrowfull complaint, she coulde not so cunningly doe it, but that her teares made it too manifest, by stopâˆ£ping the passage of her dissimulation. She rose vp at my comming, and saide. Sit downe heere Syluanus, and see how thou art now (to mine owne cost) sufficiently reuenged of me. Now doth this miserable woman pay thee home againe those paines, which thou didst suffer (as thou saidst) for her sake, if it be true, that she was euer, or yet is the cause of them. Is it possible Diana (saide I againe) that these eares may heare these wordes? In the end, I perceiue, I am not deceiued by saying, that I was borne to discouer euery day new kindes of torments for thy sake, and thou to requite them with the greatest rigour in the world. Dost thou now therefore doubt, that thou art the cause of my greefe? If thou art not, who (dost thou imagine) can deserue so great loue as this: or what hart in the world (but thine) had not before this bene mollified and made pitifull by so many teares? And to these I added many other wordes, which now I doe not so well remember. But the cruell enemie of my rest cut off my wordes, saying. If thy toong, Syluanus, fondly presumeth to speake to me againe of these matters, and not to entertaine the time with talke of my Syrenus, I will (at thine owne pleasure) leaue thee to enioy the delight of this faire fountaine, where we now sit. For knowest thou not, that euery thing that intreates not of the goodnes of my Shepherd is both hatefull and hurtfull to my eares? And that she, that loueth well, thinketh that time but ill imploied, which is not spent in hearing of her loue? Whereupon, fearing least my wordes might haue bene an occasion to haue made me loose that great content and happines, that I had by her sweete sight and presence, I sealed them vp with silence, and was a good while without speaking a worde, onely delighting my selfe with the felicitie I had, by contemplating her soueraine beautie, vntill night with greater haste then I desired, came on, when both of vs then were constrained to goe homewards with our flockes to our village. Then
Syrenus giuing a great sigh, saide. Thou hast tolde me strange things, Syluanus, and all (wretched man) for the increase of my harmes, since I haue tried too soone the small constancie that is in a womans hart, which for the loue that I beare to them all (for her sake) in very trueth greeues me not a little. For I would not, Shepherd, heereafter heare it spoken, that in a moulde, where nature hath conioined such store of peregrine beautie, and mature discretion, there should be a mixture of such vnâˆ£worthy inconstancie as she hath vsed towards me. And that, which comes neerest to my hart, is, that time shall make her vnderstand, how ill she hath dealt with me, which cannot be, but to the preiudice of her owne content and rest. But how liues she, and with what contentment after her marriage? Some tell me, saide Syluanus,that she brookes it but ill, and no maruell, for that Delius her husband though he be (as thou knowest) enriched with fortunes giftes, is but poore in those of nature and good education: For, thou knowest, how lowtish of spirit and body he is, and namely for those things, which we Shepherds take a pride in, as in piping, singing, wrestling, darting of our sheepehookes, and dauncing with the wenches on Sunday, it seemes that Delius was borne for no more, but onely to beholde them. But now good Shepherd, said Syrenus, take out thy Kit, and I will take my Bagpipe, for there is no greefe that is not with musicke relented and passed away, and no sorrow, which is not with the same againe increased. And so both the Shepherdes tuning, and playing on their instruments with great grace and sweetnesse began to sing that which followeth.
SYrenus, what thoughtâ€™st thou when I was viewing thee
From yonder hedge, and in great greefe suspending me
To see with what affliction thou wert ruing thee?
There doe I leaue my flocke, that is attending me:
For while the cleerest sunne goeth not declining it,
Well may I be with thee, by recommending me
Thine ill (my Shepherd) for that (by defining it)
Is passed with lesse cost, then by concealing it:
And sorrow (in the end) departs resigning it.
My greefe I would recount thee, but reuealing it,
It doth increase, and more, by thus recording me
How in most vaine laments I am appealing it:
My life I see (O greefe) long timeâ€™s affoording me
With dying hart, and haue not to reuiue me it,
And an vnwonted ill I see aboording me,
From whom I hopâ€™d a meane, she doth depriue me it:
But (sooth) I hopâ€™d it neuer, for bewraying it,
With reason she might gain say to contriue me it.
My passions did sollicite her, essaying yet
With no importune meanes, but seemely grounding them,
And cruell loue went hindering and dismaying it.
My pensiue thoughts were carefully rebounding them
On euery side, to flie the worst, restraining them,
And in vnlawfull motions not confounding them.
They praiâ€™d Diane, in ils, that were not fayning them,
To giue a meane (but neuer to repell it thee)
And that a wretch might so be entertaining them.
But if to giue it me, I should refell it thee,
What wouldst thou doe (O greefe) that thus adiuring it,
Faine would I hide mine ill, and neuer tell it thee.
But after (my Syrenus) thus procuring it,
A Shepherdesse I doe inuoke (the fairest one)
And thâ€™end goes thus, vnto my cost enduring it.
Syluanus mine, a loue, of all the rarest one,
A beautie, blinding presently disclosing it,
A wit, and in discretion the waryest one,
A sweete discourse, that to the eare opposing it,
The hardest rocks entendereth in subduing them.
What shall a haplesse louer feele in loosing it?
My little sheepe I see, and thinke in viewing them,
How often times I haue beheld her feeding them,
And with her owne to foulde them, not eschewing them.
How often haue I met her driue, and speeding them
Vnto the riuer, in the heate, where resting her
With great care she was telling yet, and heeding them.
After, if that she was alone, deuesting her,
Thou shouldst haue seene the bright sunne beames enuying her
Resplendant hayre, to kembe them manifesting her.
But on the sudden meeting, and espying her,
(My deerest friend Syluane) how oft incended was
Her fairest face, with orient blushing dying her?
And with what grace, how mildly reprehended was
My staying long, which she did aske, correcting me?
Which if I greeuâ€™d, with blandishments amended was.
How many daies haue I found her expecting me
At this cleere fountaine, when that I was seeking her
Along that thickest hedge, to greefe subiecting me?
All paines and troubles what so ere (in meeting her)
Of sheepe, or lambes, we straight way were forgetting them,
When she sawe me, or when that I was greeting her.
Some other times (Syluane) we tunâ€™d (in setting them)
Our Bagpipe and the Rebeck, which we plaied on,
And then my verses sung we, nothing letting them.
After with bowe and arrowes we estraied on,
Sometimes with nets, and she neuer refraining me,
And came not home without some chase we praied on.
Thus fortune went by these meanes entertaining me:
Reseruing for some greater ill, and tendring me,
Which hath no end, but by deathes end restraining me.
Syrenus, that most cruell loue, engendring me
Such greefe, stints not, nor hindreth the perswading me
Of so much ill: I die therein remembring me.
Diane I sawe, but straight my ioy was failing me,
When to my onely sight she was opposing her:
And (to my greefe) I saw long lift inuading me.
How many tymes haue I found her, in losing her,
How often lost, in finding and espying her?
And I my death and seruice not disclosing her.
My life I lost, when meeting I was eying her
Faire louely eies, which, full of anger, cruelly
She turnâ€™d to me, when that my speech was plying her:
But her faire haire, where Cupides in their fâ€¢â€¦ll lye,
When she vndid and kembâ€™d, vnseene, then leauing me,
My ils returnâ€™d most sensibly, which rue well I.
But pitilesse Diana then perceiuing me,
Turnâ€™d like a cruell serpent, that in winding it,
Assailes the lion: thâ€¢â€¦ my life be reauing me.
One time false hope (deceitfully but blinding it)
My hart maintainâ€™d, ewen for my comfort choosing it,
But afterwardes in such an error finding it,
It mocked hope, and then it vanisht loosing it.
Not long after that the Shepherdes had made an ende of their sorrowfull songs, they espied a shepherdesse comming out of the thicket neere to the riuer, playing on a Bagpipe, and singing with as sweete a grace and delicate voice, as with no lesse sorrow and greefe, which by her countenance and gesture she so liuely expressed, that it darkened a great part of her excellent beautie: Whereupon Syrenus,who had not of a long time fed in those vallies, asked Syluanus what she was, who answered: This is a faire Shepherdesse, that hath sed but a fewe daies since in these meâˆ£dowes, complaining greatly of loue, and (as some say) with good cause, though others say, that she hath bene a long time mocked by the discouerie of a deceite: Why, saide Syrenus, lies it then in her to perceiue it, and to deliuer her selfe from it? It doth, saide Syluanus, for I thinke there is no woman, though neuer so much in loue, whose wits and senses the force and passion of loue can so much blinde, that may not perceiue whether she be beloued againe or not. I am of a contrarie opiâˆ£nion, saide Syrenus. Of a contrarie, saide Syluanus? Why, thou shalt not flatter thy selfe so much, for, the affiance which thou hadst in Dianus wordes, hath cost thee deere, and yet I blame thee not, considering that as there is none, whom her beautie ouercomes not, so is there not any, whom her wordes deceiue not. How knowest thou that, since she neuer deceiued thee by word nor deede. It is true, saide Syluanus, that I was euer (if so I may terme it) vndeceiued by her, but I durst (by that which hath hitherto fallen out) that she neuer meant any deceit to me, but only to deceiue thee. But let vs leaue this, and harken to this Shepherdesse, that is a great friend to Diana, who is well worthy for the commendable report of her wisedome and good graces to be harkened vnto. But now was the faire Shepherdesse comming towards the fountaine, and began to sing this Sonnet following.
MIne eies, once haue I seene you more contented,
And my poore hart, more ioyfull I haue knowne thee:
Woe to the cause, whose greefes haue ouer growne thee,
And yet whose sight your comforts once presented.
But as this cruell fortune hath inuented
(Sweete ioy) to roote thee vp, where she had sowen thee,
So now (Seluagia) she hath ouer throwen thee:
Thy pleasures scarce begun, she hath tormented.
Let me to time or to his changing take me,
Let me with motions out of order leade me,
Then I shall see how free my hart is to me.
Then will I trust in hopes that not forsake me,
When I haue staide her wheeles that ouertread me,
And beaten downe the fates that doe vndoe me.
After that the Shepherdesse had made an end of her song, she came directly to the fountaine where the Shepherdes were, and while she was a comming, Syluanus, smiling, saide. Marke but those woâ€¢â€¦, and the burning sigh wherewith she ended her song, what witnesses they are of her inward loue and greefe. Thereof I haue no doubt, saide Syrenns, for I woulde to God I could so speedily remedie her sorrowe, as I beleeue (to my great greefe) all that she hath by dolefull song vttered. And talking thus together, Seluagia was by this time come, and knowing the Shepâˆ£herds, curteously saluted them, saying. What doe you in this greene and pleasant medow, despised Shepherds? Thou saiest not amisse, faire Seluagia, by asking vs what we doe, saide Syluanus, for we doe so little in respect of that we shoulde doe, that we can neuer conclude and bring any thing to passe, that in our loues we desire to haue. Maruell not thereat, saide Seluagia, for there are certaine things, that beâˆ£fore they ende, they that desire them, are ended. True, saide Syluanus, if a man puts his rest in a womans disposition, for she will first ende his life, before she will ende or determine to giue him any fauour, that he is still hoping to receiue at her handes. Vnhappy women are these, saide Seluagia, that are so ill intreated by your wordes: But more vnfortunate are those men, saide Syluanus, that are worse handled by your deedes. Can there be a thing more base and of lesse account, then that you are so ready for the lightest thing in the worlde to forget them, to whom you haue borne the greatest loue? For, absent your selues but a day from him whom you loue well, and then shall he neede to commence his suite new againe. Two things I gather, saide Seluagia, by thy speech, which make me wonder not a little. The one, to see thy toong goe so much awrie, and contrarie to that which I euer coniectured, and knew by thy behauiour and conditions. For I thought, when I heard thee talke of thy loue, that in the same thou wert a Phoenix, and that none of the best louers to this day came euer neere to the extreme that thou hadst, by louing a Shepherdesse, whom I knowe, a cause sufficient ynough not to speake ill of women, if thy malice were not greater then thy loue. The second, that thou speakest of a thing thou vnâˆ£derstandest not; for to blame forgetfulnes, who neuer had any triall thereof, must rather be attributed to follie and want of discretion, then to any thing else. For if Diana did neuer remember thee, how canst thou complaine of her obliuion? I thinke to answere, saide Syluanus, both these pointes, if I shall not wearie thine eares with hearing me. To the first, saying, That I wish I may neuer enioy any more conâˆ£tent then now I haue, if any (by the greatest example that he is able to alleage me) can with wordes set downe the force and power, that this thanklesse and disloyall Shepherdesse, whom thou knowest, and I would I knew not, hath ouer my subiected
soule. But the greater the loue is I beare her, the more it greeues me, that there is any thing in her that may be reprehended. For heere is Syrenus, who was fauoured more of Diana, then any louer in the world of his Mistresse, and yet she hath now forgotten him, as thou faire Shepherdesse, and all we doe know. To the other point, where thou saiest, that I haue no reason to speake ill of that, whereof I neuer had experience, I say, that the Phisition may iudge of that greefe, which he himselfe neâˆ£uer had: and will further satisfie thee, Seluagia, with this opinion of me, that I beare no hate to women, nor (in very trueth) wish them ill, for there is nothing in the world, which I would desire to serue with more reuerence and affection. But in reâˆ£quitall of my zealous loue, I am but ill intreated, and with such intolerable disdaine, which made me speake so much by her, who takes a pride and a glorie in giuing me such cause of greefe, Syrenus, who had held his peace all this while, said to Seluaggia: If thou wouldâ€™st but listen to me, faire Shepherdesse, blamelesse thou wouldest hold my riuall, or (to speake more properly) my deere friend Syluanus. But tell me, what is the reason, that you are so inconstant, that in a moment you throwe a Shepherde downe from the top of his good hap, to the deepest bottome of miserie: knowest thou whereunto I attribute it? To nothing else but to your owne simplicitie: bicause you haue no perfect vnderstanding to conceiue the good, nor knowe the value of that, you haue in your handes. You meddle with loue and are vncapable to iudge what it meanes; how doe you, then, knowe to behaue your selues in it. I tell thee, Syrenus, saide Seluagia, that the cause why Shepherdesses forget their louers, is no other, but bicause they are forgotten of them againe. These are things, which loue doth make and vndoe, things which time and place alters and buries in silence, but not for the want of womens due knowledge in them, of whom there haue bene an infinite number in the world, who might haue taught men to liue, and to loue, if loue were a thing that might be taught or learned: But yet for all this, there is not (I thinke) any baser estate of life then a womans; for if they speake you faire, you thinke them by and by to die for your loue; if they speake not to you, you thinke them proude and fantasticall; if their behauiour be not to your liking, you thinke them hypocrites. They haue no kind of pastaunce, which you thinke not to exceede: if they holde their peace, you say they are fooles: if they speake, you say they are so troublesome, that none will abide to heare them: if they loue you the most in the world, you thinke they goe about to deceiue you: if they forget you, and flie the occasions of bringing their good names in question, you say they are inconstant, and neuer firme in one minde and purpose: So that the good or ill woman can doe no more to please your mindes, then neuer to exceede the limits of your desires and dispositions. If euery one faire Seluagia, saide Syrenus, were indued with this fineâˆ£nesse of wit and graue vnderstanding as thou art, they woulde neuer giue vs occaâˆ£sions to make vs complaine of their small regarde in their loue. But bicause we may knowe what reason thou hast to finde thy selfe so much aggreeued with it, so may God giue thee comfort needefull for such an ill, as thou wouldest vouchsafe to tell vs the substance of thy loue, and all the occurrents which haue hitherto befallen thee therein. For (it seemes) thou canst tell vs more of ours, then we are able to inâˆ£forme thee, to see, if his effects, which thou hast passed, will giue thee leaue to speake so freely as thou dost: for by thy wordes thou seemest to haue more experience in them, then any woman that euer I knewe. If I were not the most tried woman in them, saide Seluagia, I am (at the lest) the worst intreated by them, as any euer was, and such an one, who with greater reason then the rest may complaine of loues
franticke effects (a thing sufficient to make one speake ynough in it.) And bicause by that which is past, thou maiest knowe that which I now suffer, to be a diuellish kinde of passion, commit your misfortunes a while to silence, and I will tel you greaâˆ£ter then euer you heard before.
IN the mightie and inuincible kingdome of Portugall run two great riuers, which wearied with watring the greater part of our Spaine, not far from one another enter into the maine Ocean. Betweene both which are situated many olde and anâˆ£cient townes, by reason of the great fertilitie of the soile, which hath not the like in the whole world. The inhabitants liues of this prouince are so much sequestred and estranged from things, that may disturbe the minde, that there is not any (but when Venus by the mightie handes of her blinde sonne meanes to shew her power) who troubles his minde more, then to sustaine a quiet life, by maintaining a meane and competent liuing with those things, which for their poore estates are requisite. The mens endeuours are naturally disposed to spend their life time in sufficient content, & the womens beauties to take it from him, who liueth most assured of his libertie. There are many houses in the shadowed forrestes, and pleasant vales, the which beâˆ£ing nourished by the siluer deaw of soueraine heauen, & tilled by their inhabitants, fauourable sommer forgetteth not to offer vp into their handes the fruites of their owne trauels, and prouision for the necessitie of their liues. I liued in a village neere to great Duerus one of these two riuers, where Minerua hath a most stately temple built vnto her, the which in certaine times of the yeere is visited of all, or most of the Shepherdesses, that liue in that prouince: who, with the faire Nymphes thereâˆ£abouts, begin, a day before the holy feast, with sweete songs and hymnes to celeâˆ£brate it, and the Shepherdes likewise to solemnize the same with challenges of runâˆ£ning, leaping, wrestling, and pitching the barre, appointing seuerall rewardes and giftes for them, that beare the bell away, sometimes a garland of greene Iuie, someâˆ£times a fine Bagpipe, Flute, or Sheepehooke of knottie Ashe, and other guerdons which Shepherdes make most account of. But the festiuall time being come, I with other Shepherdesses my friendes and acquaintance, leauing of our seruile and worke-day apparell, and putting on the best we had, went the day before to that place, determining to watch all that night in the temple, as other yeeres before we were wont to doe. Being therfore in companie of my friendes, we sawe comming in at the doore a Beuie of faire Shepherdesses, attended on by iolly Shepherdes, who leauing them within, and hauing done their due orisons, went out againe to the pleasant valley: for the order of that prouince was, that no Shepherd might enter into the temple, but to doe his deuotion, and then presently to goe foorth againe, vntill the next day, when all came in together to participate the ceremonies and sacrifices, which were made there. The reason was, bicause the Shepherdesses and Nymphes might sit alone, and without trouble or occasion to thinke of any other matter, then deuoutly to celebrate the feast, and to make merry with one another, according to the ancient accustomed manner. And the Shepherdes to remaine amongst themselues without the temple in a faire greene meade hard by, where by the brightnesse of nocturnall Diana they might disport themselues. But the foresaid Shepherdesses being come into the sumptuous temple (after they had saide a fewe prayers, and presented their offerings vpon the altar) they placed themselues downe by vs. And it was my ill hap, that one of them sat next vnto me, to make me infortuâˆ£nate as long as her memorie did importune me. The Shepherdesses came in
muffled, for their faces were couered with white vailes tied vp aboue their hats, which were artificially made of fine strawe, and so curiously wrought with many workes of the same, that it excelled the glittering golde in shew. But as I was eying her, that sat next vnto me, I perceiued how she did seldome cast off her eies from beholding me againe; and when I looked on her, I might see her cast them downe, fayning as though she would see me, but in such sort, that I might not perceiue it. I did not meanely desire to knowe what she was, bicause, if she had spoken to me, I might not vpon ignorance haue made a fault by not knowing her againe, who all the while that I sat thinking of some other matter, did neuer cast her eies off me, but viewed me so much, that a thousand times I was about to speake vnto her, being suddenly enamoured of those faire eies, which of all her face were onely discouered and open. But she seeing me sitting in this perplexitie, pulled out the fairest, and most dainty hand, that euer I did see, and taking mine into it, did with a sweete and amorous eie a little while behold me: whereupon being now so striken in loue, as toong cannot expresse, I saide vnto her. It is not onely this hand, most faire and graâˆ£cious Shepherdesse, that is alwaies ready to serue thee, but also her hart and thoughts, to whom it appertaineth. Ismenia (for so she was called, that was the cause of my disquiet and molested thoughts) hauing now complotted in her minde to mocke me (as you shall heare) answered me softly, that none might heare her, in this manner, saying. I am so much thine, sweete Shepherdesse, that, as such an one, I boldly presumed to doe that which I did, praying thee not to be offended with me, for no sooner I viewed thy faire and amiable face, but presently I lost the power of my conquered soule: I was so glad to heare these wordes, that comming neerer vnto her, with a smile I answered her thus. How can it be, gentle Shepherdesse, that thy selfe being so passing faire, shouldest fal in loue with her, who wants it so much, to make her haue the name of such an one, and more, with a woman as I am. It is that loue (faire Shepherdesse) saide she againe, that seldome endes, suruiuing all destinies, and which is neither subiect to change of time, nor fortune. If the condiâˆ£tion of my estate (saide I againe) could prompt me so fit an answere, as thy wise and discreete wordes doe inforce, the desire which I haue to serue thee, should not let me from manifesting the same by most louing termes, but in these few ones beleeue me (faire Shepherdesse) that the resolution which I haue to be thine, not death it selfe can determine, nor take away. After these wordes, our mutuall imbracings were so many, and our louing speeches to one another so often redoubled, and of my part so true and vnfained, that we regarded not the Shepherdesses songs, nor beheld the daunces, nor other sportes that were made in the temple. And now by this time was I earnest with Ismenia to tell me her name, and to put off her muffler, both which not onely she cunningly excused, but very suttly turned her talke to anoâˆ£ther matter. But midnight being now past, and I hauing the greatest desire in the worlde to see her face, and to knowe her name, and of what village she was, began to complaine of her, and to tell her, that it was not possible that the loue, which by her wordes she protested to beare me, was so great, since hauing tolde her my name, she concealed hers from me: and that louing her as I did, it was impossible for me to liue, vnlesse I knewe whom I loued, or from whence I might heare newes from my loue againe, and many other things I tolde her in so good earnest, that the same, and my teares helped to mooue false Ismenias hart: who rising vp and taking me by the hand, to carry me aside into some secret place, where none might heare her, began to say these wordes vnto me, making as though
they came out from the bottome of her hart. Faire Shepherdesse, borne onely for the vnrest and torment of a soule, that hitherto hath liued as exempt and free as possible might be, who can choose, but tell thee that thou requirest at my handes, hauing now made thee the sole Mistresse of my libertie? Vnhappie me, that the chaunge of my habit hath deceiued thee, although the deceit redoundes to mine owne harme: The muffler, which thou intreatest me to pull off, behold, to please thee, I take away, but to tell thee my name makes not much to thy purpose, when as heereafter (though I would not) thou shalt see me oftener then thou maiest well suffer. And speaking these wordes, and pulling off her muffler, mine eies behelde a face, whose countenance, though it was somewhat manlike, yet was the fauour and beautie of it so singular, that it made me to woonder. But Ismenia prosecuting her speech, saide. And bicause thou maist knowe (faire Shepherdesse) the summe of this paine which thy beautie hath made me feele, and that the wordes which haue pasâˆ£sed betweene vs but in sport, are true, knowe, that I am a man, and not a woman, as thou takest me to be: These Shepherdesses, which thou seest heere in my companie (my kinswomen and familiar acquaintance) to make some sport and to laugh, appaâˆ£relled me in this sort; for otherwise I could not haue staied in the temple, by reason of the olde custome so strictly obserued heere. When I heard these wordes, and perceiued as I said before, not those effeminate lookes in her face, nor that demure modestie in her eies, which maidens for the most part are woont to haue, I verily beleeued that all was true that she tolde me, and then was so far besides my selfe, that I knew not what to answere her. Yet mine eies did still contemplate that most perfect beautie, and marked those words, which with so great dissimulation she had tolde me: for neuer could any make a false and fained tale seeme more apparant and true as that craftie and cruell Shepherdesse did. Then I felt my selfe so intangled in her loue, and so well content to heare that she was enamoured of me againe, as (gentle Shepherdes) I am not able to declare. And though I had not till then any experience of loue passions (a cause sufficient not to make me expresse them) yet forcing my selfe the best I could, in this sort I saide vnto her. Faire Shepherdesse, that hast (to make me liue without libertie, or for some other respect, which fortune best knowes) taken vpon thee the habit of her, who for thy loue hath entirely vowed her affections to thee, thine owne had sufficed to ouercome me, without making me yeelde with mine owne weapons. But who can flie from that, which fortune hath allotted her? Thrise happy might I haue thought my selfe, if on purpose thou hadst done that, which by chaunce, and onely for merriment thou hast deuised. For, if by changing thy naturall habit, it had bene onely to haue seene me, and to vnfolde to me thy amorous desires, I would then haue attributed it to mine owne desertes, and (no doubt) to thy great affection, but seeing that the intent was of an other conseâˆ£quence, although the effect hath resulted to this thou seest, it contents me not so greatly (I must needes confesse) being done in such sort as I haue saide. And let not this desire amaze nor greeue thee; for there is no greater signe of a perfect louer, then to desire to be beloued of him, to whom she hath wholy offered vp her libertie. Whereupon by that thou hast heard me vtter, thou maiest gather, how thy sight hath blinded my vnderstanding, and made me become such an one as I am, beseeâˆ£ching thee to vse the power thou hast ouer me, in such sort, that I may entertaine this opinion, to thinke my selfe happie and fortunate to the end of our loue, the which for my part (while life doth last) shall not die in my faithfull and louing brest. Deceitfull Ismenia was so skilfull to frame a suttle answere to my simple wordes,
and to faine speeches so fit for the subiect of our talke, that none coulde escape the cunning deceit, whereinto I fell, vnlesse fortune by the threed of wisedome had vnwound her out of so intricate a laberinth. And in this sort we were together vntill morning came on, talking of that, which she may imagine, that hath passed the like disordered occurrents in loue. She tolde me her name was Alanius, her countrie village Gallia, three miles from our towne, where we appointed to meete, and see one another many times together. But now gan the duskie welkin to waxe cleere, and hastie morning was come, when both of vs with many imbracings, teares, and sighes were constrained to depart from one another. She went from me, and I, turning my head backe to beholde her, and to see if she looked backe at me againe, perceiued how she went away smiling to her selfe, whereof (thinking that mine eies did but deceiue me) I made no regarde at all. Away she went with the companie that came with her, and I with more then I brought, since in my troubled minde I carried backe with me the eies and Idea of fained Alanius, the wordes, by the which she had opened to me her malicious and ridiculous loue, the imbracings, that I receiued of her, and the cruell greefe, which vntill that time I had neuer prooâˆ£ued before. And now you must knowe (good Shepherdes) that this false and suttle Ismenia had a cosin called Alanius, whom she loued more then her selfe, for in counâˆ£tenance and eies, and in euery other part and lineaments, she resembled him so much, that if they had not bene of different sexe, none could haue iudged the one from the other. And the loue which she did beare him, was so great, that when I asked her her name in the temple, and seeing that she must needes tell me some Shepherdes name or other, the first that came to her minde and mouth, was that of Alanius. For there is no greater certaintie, then that the toong in a sudden matter doth euer concurre with the hart. And her the Shepherd loued well, but yet not so much as she did him. But now when the Shepherdesses were come out of the temple, to goe home to their villages, Ismenia went to her kinsman Alanius, who, to shew her all the curtesie, that in so great and mutual loue was requisite, leauing the yongsters companie of his towne, accompanied her all alone: whereat Ismenia was not a little proude and ioyfull: who to entertaine the time with some talke by the way, tolde him all that had passed betweene vs, not omitting any thing, and not without great sport and laughter of them both, telling him also, that I went away with firme beleefe, that she was a man, and greatly enamoured of her. When Alanius heard these nouelties, he dissembled the matter the best he coulde, saying, that it was a pleasant and pretie iest. And picking all out of her, that had passed betweene vs, so that (he thought) there was nothing left vntold, they came to their towne. But eight daies after (which I thought were eight thousand yeeres) the traitour Alanius (for so I may with greater reason call him, then he had afterward to cast me off) came to our towne, and stood attending me in such a place, where I could not choose but see him, as I was going with other maides to the fountaine not far from the towne: whom when I espied, I was rapt out of minde for extreme and sudden ioy, thinking he was the very same, that in the habit of a Shepherdesse had spoken to me in the temple; whereupon I made him some secret signes to come to the fountaine, whiâˆ£ther I was going, who knowing my meaning, performed foorthwith my minde. Thiâˆ£ther he came, and there we were talking together as long as time woulde giue vs leaue, and the loue (of my side at the lest) was so strongly confirmed betweene vs, that though the deceit had bene discouered (as not many daies after it was knowne) it was yet of so great force and vertue, that it coulde neuer make me alienate my
minde and affection from him. And I also beleeued, that Alanius loued me well, and that especially from that time he was greatly enamoured of me, though afterwardes in effect he did not so well declare it: so that for certaine daies together our loue happily continued, and was handled with the greatest secrecie that might be, which was not yet so great, but that subtile Ismenia in the end perceiued it: who (seeing her selfe to be the onely cause thereof, and most in fault) not onely by deceiuing me, but by ministring occasion to
Alanius of discouering himselfe, and by that which passed, to fall in loue with me, and to forget her (as indeede he did) for very greefe was alâˆ£most out of her wits, but that with this poore hope she comforted her selfe againe, that, if I knew the trueth, I would immediately forget and cast him off, wherein she was not a little deceiued: for as he afterwardes loued me more and more, so by his seuerall beauties and singular deserts, I was more obliged to loue and honour him. But Ismenia purposing to open the deceite, which by her owne follie and suttletie she had framed, wrote me this letter following.
Ismenias letter to Seluagia.
IF we are bound to loue those well (Seluagia) that loue vs, there is nothing in the world, which I ought to esteeme deerer then thy selfe; but if to hate them that are the cause, why we are forgotten and despised, I leaue it to thine owne discretion. I would put thee in some fault, for casting thine eies vpon my Alanius, but (wretched woman) what shall I doe, that am the organ of mine owne mishap. O
Seluagia, to my greefe I sawe thee, and well could I excuse that which I passed with thee, but in the end such fonde prankes haue seldome good successe. For laughing but one little hower with my
Alanius, and telling him what had passed betweene vs, I must now weepe and lament all my life time, if my greefe (at the lest) may not mooue thee to some remorse of pitie. I beseech thee (by all I may) that the discouerie of this deceite may suffice, and so worke with thee, to make thee forget my Alanius, and restore this haplesse Shepherdesse to that, which (being not a little) thou art able to doe, if loue will permit thee to graunt me this fauour, which I request at thy hands.
When I had read this letter, and imparted it to Alanius, he then at large vnfolded vnto me the maner of her deceit, but not one word of the loue, that was betweene them both, whereof I made no great reckoning; for I was so assured of that which he seemed to beare me, that I woulde neuer beleeue that any passed or future thoughts might haue bene an occasion to haue made him afterwardes forget me. But bicause Ismenia might not by my silence thinke me discurteous, I answered her letter thus.
Seluagias letter to Ismenia.
I Knowe not faire Ismenia, whether I may iustly accuse thee, or giue thee thankes for disposing my minde and affection in this sort, nor can resolue with my selfe whether of these two I should doe, vntill the successe of my loue doe counsell me heerein. On the one side I am sorie for thy ill hap; on the other, I see that thou wentst foorth (as it were) to meete and imbrace it. Seluagia was free when thou didst delude her in the temple, and is now subiect to his will, into whose handes thou wouldst needes deliuer her. Thou praiest me to leaue off the loue, that I beare Alaâˆ£nius, with that which thou thy selfe wouldst doe in this behalfe, I may easily answere thee. Yet one thing makes me very sad, that thou art greeued for that, for which
thou hast no iust cause of complaint, which to the patient therof giueth the greatest paine in the world. I do often consider & thinke of those faire eies, with which thou didst behold me, and of that sweete face, which (after many importunate requestestes) thou didst shew me, and it greeues me Ismenia, that such faire things, and so like to my Alanius, should suffer any sorrow and discontentment at all. Behold then what remedie is left for thy greefe: that for the bountie, which thou hast vsed towardes me, by giuing me the most precious gemme thou hadst, I kisse thy faire and daintie hands; which curtesie of thine being so great, God graunt that by some meanes or other I may be able to requite. If thou seest my Alanius there, tell him (I pray thee) what reason he hath to loue me, for he knoweth already, how much he hath to forget thee. And God glue thee the content thou desirest, which may not be to the cost of that which I haue, by seeing my affection so happily and well imploied.
Ismenia could not reade this letter to the end, for in the middest of it her sighes and teares, which she powred out, were so many, that she thought at that very time to haue lost her life. She laboured (as much as she could) to make Alanius forsake me, and deuised so many meanes for the same purpose, as he, to shun those places and occasions, whereby he thought he might see her. Not that he meant her any harme thereby, but bicause he thought (by doing so) in some part he requited the great loue that I bare him. All the daies that he liued in this minde, there escaped not any, wherein I sawe him not; for he passed euermore that way, feeding his flockes, which from our towne did leade to his. He accounted no trauels nor trouâˆ£bles too great, which he did for my sake, and especially, if he thought I regarded them. Day by day Ismenia inquired after him, and neuer ceased to seeke him out, who being sometimes tolde by others, and sometimes knowing her selfe, that he was in our towne, had no patience at all to suffer such a corsiue at her hart. And yet for all this, there was not anything, that contented and pacified her troubled minde more, then when she could get some little time to speake with him. But as necessitie is so ingenious and politike, that it seekes out remedies, where mans wit can scarce imagine any, despised Ismenia aduentured to helpe her selfe by one, which I woulde to God had neuer entred into her thought, by faining that she extremely loued another Shepherd called Montanus, who a long time had loued and serued her before. And as she purposed, so she put it in practise, to trie if by this sudden change she might draw
Alanius to that which so much she desired. For there is not any thing, which a man thinks he hath most sure, though making but a small account thereof, but that the losse of it (if on a sudden he loose it) doth not a little greeue him. But now when Montanus perceiued that faire Ismenia his loue and Mistresse had at last mollified her long obâˆ£durate hart, and now thought good to requite the great loue that he had so long time borne her, Shepherdes, you may well imagine, what content he felt. For so great was his ioy, so obsequious his seruices to her, and so many troubles that he passed for her sake, that they were an occasion (with the disfauours and contempt that Alanius had shewen her) to make that fained loue prooue true, which but in iest she began to beare him. So that Ismenia yeelded her hart wholy to Montanus with such firmnesse, that there was not any in the world, whom she loued more then him, nor whom she desired lesse to see then my Alanius: the which (as soone as she could) she gaue him to vnderstand, thinking that as by these meanes she was sufficiâˆ£ently reuenged of his for getfulnesse, she had likewise busied my head with the cruell thought therof. The loue that Alanius did beare me (although it greeued him to the hart to see Ismenia loue that Shepherd, whoÌ„ in all his life time he could neuer abide)
was yet so great, that he neuer seemed to make any shew of his secret greese. But certaine daies passing on, and thinking with himselfe, that he onely was the cause of his enemies good hap, and of those singular fauours, that Ismenia shewed him, and that the Shepherdesse did now shun his sight (who not long since before died for the want thereof) despite, wroth, and iealousie at once so fiercely assailed him, that his impatience had almost bereft him of his wits, if presently he had not determined to hinder Montanus his good fortune, or in the pursuite thereof to haue lost his deerest life. For performance whereof, he began to looke on Ismenia againe, and not to come so openly in my sight, as he was wont to doe, nor to be so often out of his towne, least Ismenia might haue knowen it. The loue betweene her and Montaâˆ£nuswent not on so forwardes, as that betweene me and my Alaniusbackwardes, though not of my part (when nothing, but death, was able to diuorce my minde from him) but of his, in whom I neuer thought to see such a sudden change: For so extremely he bumed with choler and rancour against Montanus, and so deepely enuied his good fortune, that (he thought) he could not execute nor asswage that anger, but by renewing the olde loue, that he bare to Ismenia; for furtherance whereâˆ£of, his comming to out towne was a great impediment, whose absence from me as it engendred forgetfulnesse in him, so the presence of his Ismenia, rekindled his hart with a straunger kinde of loue then before: whereupon he returned againe to his fust thoughts: And I (poore soule) remained all alone deceiued and scorned in mine owne affection. But all the seruice that he bestowed on Ismenia, the tokens and letâˆ£ters that he sent her, and the pitifull complaints that he made vnto her, or any thing els that he was able to doe, could neuer mooue her fetled minde, nor make her forâˆ£get the lest part of that loue, which she bare Montanus. I being therefore lost for the loue of Alanius, Alanius dying for Ismenia, and Ismenia for Montanus, it fell out, that my father had a certame occasion of busines about the buttals of certaine paâˆ£stures with Phylenus father to Montanus, by reason whereof both of them came often to our towne, and in such a time, that Mont anus (whether it was for the superâˆ£fluous fauours, that Ismenia bestowed on him (which to men of a base minde is a cloying) or whether he was too iealous of the renewed and earnest suites of Alaâˆ£nius) waxed very colde in his loue to Ismenia. In the end when he espied me driuing my sheepe to the folde, and with a curious eie looking on me, he began presently to be enamoured of me, so that (by the effects which he daily shewed) it was not possible for me to beare greater affection to Alanius, nor Alanius to Ismenia, nor Ismenia to Montanus, nor Montanus to loue me more, then in very trueth he did. Beâˆ£holde what a strange cousinage of loue: If Ismenia went by chaunce to the fielde, Alanius went after her; if Montanus went to his flockes, Ismenia after him; if I went to the hils with my sheepe, Montanus after me; if I knew that Alanius was in the wood, where he was wont to seede his flocks, thither I hied me after him. And it was the strangest thing in the world to heart how Alanius sighing saide, Ah my Ismenia; and how Ismenia saide, Ah my Montanus; and how Montanus said, Ah my Seluagia; and how Seluagia saide, Ah my Alanius. It fell out afterwardes on a day, that we fower met together in a forrest that lay betweene all our townes, and the reason was, bicause Ismenia went to visite certaine Shepherdesses of her acquaintance, which dwelt thereabouts, which when Alanius knew, being forced, and driuen on by his fleeting thoughts, he went after to seeke her out, and found her neere to a fine spring kembing her golden haire. I being tolde by a certaine Shepherd (my neighâˆ£bout) that Alanius was gone to the forrest of the valley (for so it was called) tooke
out before me a few goates, that were shut vp in a little yarde neere to our house, (bicause I would not goe without some errant) and went after him, where my desire guided me; whom by chaunce I found weeping and complaining of his ill fortune, and the Shepherdesse laughing and iesting at his bootlesse teares, and sighes. When Ismeniaespied me, she was not a little glad of my companie, and began to be merry with me, although I had no cause to be so with her, to whom I rather obiected the small reason, and lesse regarde of modestie and discretion she had, to greeue my hart with that vnciuill part and bad deceit; whereof she so wisely excused herselfe, that whereas I thought she would haue made me some amendes for all my greefe and sorrow, by her wise and well ordered reasons, she gaue me to vnderstand, that I was rather bound to her, in that if she had mocked me, I had (saide she) satisfied my selfe as well, and requited her againe, not onely by taking Alanius her cosin from her, whom she loued more then her selfe, but also by enticing Montanus to my loue, from that he was wont to shew her. By this time came Montanus, who was tolde by a Shepherdesse (a friend of mine) called Solisa, that I was gone to the forrest of the valley with my goates. And when all the fower discontented and discordant louers met there together, it cannot be imagined what we all felt: for euery one looâˆ£ked vpon another that would not haue bene viewed of those eies againe. I asked my Alanius the cause of his forgetfulnes, he sued for mercie at craftie Ismenias handes; she accused and complained of the colde loue of Montanus; he of Seluagias cruelty. Being therefore in this sort (as you haue heard) euery one tormented for them, who loued them not againe, Alanius to the tune of his Fiddle by this dolefull song began to complaine of Ismenias crueltie.
NO more (O cruell Nymph) now hast thou prayed
Ynough in thy reuenge, prooue not thine ire
On him that yeeldes, the fault is now apayed
Vntomy cost: now mollifie thy dire,
Hardnes and brest of thine so much obdured:
And now raise vp (though lately it hath erred)
A poore repenting soule, that in the obscured
Darknes of thy obliuion lies enterred.
For it fals not in that, that doth commend thee,
That such a Swaine as I may once offend thee.
If that the little sheepe with speede is flying
From angrie Shepherd (with his wordes affraied)
And runneth here and there with fearfull crying,
And with great greefe is from the flocke estraied:
But when it now perceiues that none doth follow,
And all alone, so far estraying, mourneth,
Knowing what danger it is in, with hollow
And fainting bleates, then fearefull it returneth
Vnto the flocke, meaning no more to leaue it,
Should it not be a iust thing to receiue it?
Lift vp these eies (Ismenia) which so stately
To view me, thou hast lifted vp before me
That libertie, which was mine owne but lately,
Giue me againe, and to the same restore me:
And that milde hart, so full of loue and pittie,
Which thou didst yeeld to me, and euer owe me.
Behold (my Nymph) I was not then so witty
To knowe that sincere loue, that thou didst shew me:
Now wofull man full well I knowe and rue it,
Although it was too late before I knew it.
How could it be (my enemie) say, tell me,
How thou (in greater fault and errour being
Then euer I was thought) shouldâ€™st thus repell me?
And with new league and cruell title seeing
Thy faith so pure and woorthy to be changed.
And what is that Ismenia, that doth binde it
To loue, whereas the same is most estranged,
And where it is impossible to finde it?
But pardon me, if herein I abuse thee,
Since that the cause thou gauâ€™st me doth excuse me.
But tell me now what honour hast thou gained,
Auenging such a fault by thee committed;
And thereunto by thy occasion trained:
What haue I done, that I haue not acquitted?
Or what excesse, that is not amply paied,
Or suffer more, that I haue not endured?
What cruell minde, what angry brest displaied,
With sauage hart, to fiercenes so adiured,
Would not such mor tall greefe make milde and tender,
But that, which my fell Shepherdesse doth render?
Now as I have perceiued well thy reasons,
Which thou hast had, or hast yet to forget me,
The paines, the greefes, the guiltes of forced treasons,
That I haue done, wherein thou first didst set me:
The passions, and thine cares, and eies refusing
To heare, and see me, meaning to vndoe me:
Camâ€™st thou to know, or be but once perusing
Thâ€™vnsought occasions, which thou gauâ€™st vnto me,
Thou shouldâ€™st not haue wherewith to more torment me,
Nor I to pay the fault my rashnes lent me.
Thus did my Alanius end his sweet song, wherewith I would my life had also ended, & not without great cause, since my mishap could not be more extreme, then to see him (whom I loued more then my selfe) before mine eies to pine so much for the loue of another, and so strangely to forsake me. But as I was not alone in these misâˆ£fortunes, I did dissemble them for that time (as well as I could) as also bicause faire Ismenia, casting her eies vpon her
Montanus, began to sing that which followeth.
HOw fond am I to hope for any rest
In endlesse plaints, vaine sighes, and bootelesse teares?
The present now at hand to be exprest,
Yet few to these, that, with ten thousand feares,
I haue powrâ€™d out vnto thy cruell eares.
And if at any time my life did tend
To other loues in earnest or in iest,
This loue by that I neuer could offend,
Bicause I did but then begin to prooue,
And learne, how well Montanus I could loue.
Then did I learne to loue, my selfe I taught
To loue, by him, who louâ€™d me not againe:
For I suspected that I should be brought
Vnto thy loue (Montanus) when in vaine
I loued him, that did my loue disdaine:
I tryâ€™de (I say) my free and carelesse hart
Of loue to taste some sorrow, that it sought:
And let that Shepherd with his loue depart,
That loues with thee, for all his paine and greefe
Is but in vaine, when vaine is his releefe.
Let none accuse me then, if I disdaine
Alanius loues, whose loues are but a showe,
For I could neuer loue nor entertaine
Any but thee, for whom I will bestowe
My deerest life, since heauens will haue it soe.
And if at any time I feinâ€™d to like,
I likâ€™d (I say) but how I did I knowe,
For neuer any Shepherd els could strike
My hart indeede, but thou, to whom I giue
My faith kept for thee since I first did liue.
Let burning sighes go forth and still increase,
Let both mine eies become two springs of teares,
Let accidents, repugnant to mine ease
Arise, for thoughts, which now my minde for sweares,
Shall neuer hurt that loue which now it beares:
Let sorrow goe, and ill which way they will,
And now let ioies returne which way they please,
For where they are, there will I houer still,
Since that no harme my purpose may reclame,
Nor cruell death it selfe, although it came.
Ismenia by this song had reuenged me of cruell and disloyall Alanius, (if in the loue (at the lest) which I did beare him, any desire of reuenge could befall,) but Monâˆ£tanus staied not long from requiting Ismeniaagaine, who casting his eie vpon me, sung this song as followeth.
FOolish loue, ah foolish louer,
I for thee, thou for another.
I am a foole, and seeme no lesse,
For thee who will not be?
For heâ€™s a foole I doe confesse,
That is not one for thee:
And yet this doth not well agree,
To be a foolish louer,
Or foole for her, that is a foole for louing of another.
Now seeing thee, thou seest not mee,
And diest for my foe,
Eate me with sauce (that loueth thee)
Of him thou louest soe:
So shalt thou make me (to my woe)
To be a foolish louer,
And such a foole for louing thee as thou art for another.
When he had made an ende of the last verses, notwithstanding the present agoâˆ£nie and sorrow, that we al suffered, we could not choose but laugh hartily to see how Montanus would haue me deceiue my taste by looking on him, with the sauce and appetite of
Alanius, whom I loued, as if it might haue fallen in the compasse of my thought, to suffer it to be deceiued by the apparance of an other thing. But now with greater firmnesse then the rest, I began to tune and play on my Bagpipe, and to sing a song to it, as you shall heare; for by the same I thought to shew how more constantly then any of the rest there, I had perseuered in my loue to Alanius.
ALthough my quiet it doth let,
Rather then blame discredit me,
(For God forbid that I forget)
Let me with wrong forgotten be.
Not onely where obliuion raineth,
There is no loue, nor can be none,
Nay, where there is suspicion,
There is no loue, but such as faineth;
Great harme it is to loue, where set
In bootelesse hopes, the minde they free,
But God defend that I forget,
Forgotten though a iest it bee.
If that I loue, why then loue I,
To sport or leaue to loue at all?
For what more honor can befall,
Then die for that, for which I die:
To liue therefore and to forget,
Is such a shamefull life I see,
That I had rather loue one yet,
Forgotten though to death I bee.
When I had made an ende of my song, the Shepherdes teares (but those especiâˆ£ally of faire Ismenia) were so many, that of force they made me participate some of her greefe, which thing I might well haue left vndone, for no fault could iustly haue bene attributed to my great mishap, as to all those that were there, it was sufficiently knowen. After this euery one of vs went to their owne towne, bicause it was not meete for vs to be out of them at such inconuenient and late howers. And the next day, my father (without telling me the cause why) caried me out of our towne, and brought me to yours, placing me there in the house of Albania mine aunt, and his sister, whom you knowe well, where I haue remained a few daies since my comming hither, not knowing the cause of my sudden exile, but haue heard of late, that Monâˆ£tanus hath married Ismenia, and that Alanius was about to marrie a sister of hers called Syluia: whereupon to conclude, I wish that he may liue (since it was not my good fortune to haue him) as ioyfull a life with his new spouse, that nothing may want to the full accomplishment of their content and happinesse: For, the loue, which I beare him will suffer me no lesse, then to wish him all the felicitie of this life.
When Seluagia had made an end of her sorrowfull tale, she began to weepe so bitterly, that both the Shepherdes (being a kinde of friendly dutie, wherein they had no small experience) began also to helpe her with their teares, and after hauing spent a little time in this sort,
Syrenus saide vnto her. Great is thy greefe (faire
Selâˆ£uagia) and yet I iudge thy patience and discretion greater. Take example by other mens harmes, looke into their paines, consider their woes, if thou wilt the better support thine owne: And bicause it growes now towardes night, let vs be iogging towardes our towne, and to morrow passe away the heate of the day neere to this cleere fountaine, where we will all three meete. Let it be as thou saiest (said Seluagia) but bicause betweene this and the towne there is a pretie way, let euery one of vs (to passe it away with some thing) sing a song befitting the condition and qualitie of his loue. The Shepherdes answered, if she would begin, they would follow, which Seluagia did, all three going on softly towardes the towne.
SHepherd who can passe such wrong
And a life in woes so deepe?
Which to liue is to too long,
As it is too short to weepe.
Greeuous sighes in vaine I waste,
Leesing my affiance, and
I perceiue my hope at last
With a candle in the hand.
What time then to hope among
Bitter hopes, that euer sleepe?
When this life is to too long,
As it is too short to weepe.
This greefe which I feele so rife,
(Wretch) I doe deserue as hire,
Since I came to put my life
In the handes of my desire.
Then cease not my plaints so strong,
For (though life her course doth keepe)
It is not to liue so long,
As it is too short to weepe.
With a burning sigh that came from her afflicted soule,
Seluagia ended her song, saying, How vnfortunate (alas) am I that see my selfe buried in iealousie & despaire, which cannot in the end but bring my life to no other passe, then to that which is infallibly expected of them. After this, forgotten Syrenus to the tune of his Rebecke began to sing this song following.
WEepe not my dolefull eies,
But if you weepe, thinke (at the lest)
They tolde no trueth but lies,
And then it may be you may rest.
Since that imagination
Doth cause so much in euery state,
Thinke that she loues thee as of late,
And thou shalt haue lesse passion.
And if you will (mine eies)
Haue ease, imagine then the best,
And that they told you lies:
And so perhaps you may haue rest.
Thinke that she loues as well,
As euer she did heretofore:
But this sad men caunot restore,
To thinke what once befell:
Then mournfull eies, where lies
Your helpe? Yet thinke of some at lest,
If not, weepe still mine eies,
Or make an end, and you shall rest.
After that sorrowfull Syrenus with many teares had made an end of his song, deâˆ£spised Syluanus began his thus.
MY life (yoong Shepherdesse) for thee
Of needes to death must post;
But yet my greefe must stay with mee
After my life is lost.
The greeuous ill, by death that cured is
Continually hath remedie at hand:
But not that torment, that is like to this,
That in slowe time, and fortunes meanes doth stand.
And if this sorrow cannot be
Ended with life (as most)
What then doth this thing profit me,
A sorrow wonne or lost?
Yet all is one to me, as now I trie
A flattring hope, or that that had not bene yet.
For if to day for want of it I die,
Next day I doe no lesse for hauing seene it.
Faine would I die, to end and free
This greefe, that kils me most
If that it might be lost with me,
Or die when life is lost.
And in this sort the two Shepherdes went homewardes in companie of
Seluagia, departing from one another with accorde to
meete the next day following at
the same place.
The end of the first booke of Diana.
The second Booke of Diana of George
NOw did the Shepherdes, which fed their sheepe in the fieldes of Ezla, begin to shew themselues, euery one with his flockes along the bankes of those cristalline waters (each Shepherde knowing, & choosing out the best place before the Sun did rise, the better to passe away the burning heate of the day) when the faire Shepherdesse Seluagia came down from the hil, which froÌ„ her towne did leade to a thick wood, driuing her gentle sheepe and lambes before her: who, after she had put them amongst the lowe shrubs, which grew very thicke thereabouts, and seeing them busie in knobbing the yoong and tender boughes, to stanch their hunger, went directly to the fountaine of the Sicamours, where the day before, in companie of the two Shepherds, she had passed away the noone-tide heate: and seeing the place so agreeable to melancholie, and contemplation of her sorrowes, she thought it not amisse to take the opportunitie of the time, and place, and to sit downe by the founâˆ£taine, whose waters seemed with her swelling teares to increase: where, after she had a great while busied her selfe in diuers and sundrie thoughts, she began thus to say. May it be possible Alanius, that thou art the man, whose eies I neuer saw dried vp from teares in presence of mine? And he, who, falling downe so many times at my feete, with louing and pitifull wordes, craued mercie and clemencie at my handes, the which (to my great harme and greefe) I so gently bestowed on thee? Tell me Shepherd (the falsest that liues on earth) is it true that thou louedst me, to cloy thy
minde, with my fauours, and so soone to be wearie of the loue that thou didst beare me? Thou mightest imagine, that it was no lesse in my power, to forget and despise thee, as thou hast forgotten me. For it is the part of those, that handle not their matters of loue so well as they shoulde, to thinke that their Mistresses may play the like partes with them, as they haue done before; though some vse it for a remedie and policie to make their loue encrease the more. And others, that iealousie (the occasion whereof most commonly they faine) may so captiuate their Mistresses mindes, that (as they make them beleeue) they are not able to settle their affection in any other place: whereupon most of them come by little and little to manifest all that they fained before, whereby more cleerely they discouer their disloyaltie. All which extremes at last result to the greefe and preiudice of vs poore soules, who (not considering how the endes of such things commonly fall out) doe so deepely sinke into that kinde of assured affection, that we neuer leaue of to loue you, nor you to requite vs with ingratitude and inconstancie, as thou dost that loue (disloyall Alaâˆ£nius) which I haue borne, and doe still beare thee. So that which of these thou hast bene, I cannot coniecture. But wonder not Seluagia, that thou vnderstandest so little in matters of disdaine, that art so well practised in loues affaires. Thou didst euer beare an honest and vertuous pretence by thy wordes, whereby I neuer looked for lesse by thy deedes, which made me thinke, that that loue, (whereby thou madâ€™st me beleeue, that thy desire extended to wish no more of me, then pure loue againe) should neuer haue an end: for if any further drift had bene in thy desires, I woulde neuer haue suspected firmnesse in thy loue. O wretched woman, how soone haue I begun to know thy intentions, and yet how late to preuent my harmes? Come thou to me my pretie Bagpipe, and with thee will I passe the time away: for had I spent it onely in thy exercise and delight, it had bene better for me: and after she had plaied a while on it, she began to sing this Sextine following.
WAters that fall from top of these steepe Hils,
With such a noyse into these lowe deepe Vales,
Why thinke you not of those, which from my Soule
Continually distill my wearied Eies?
And whatâ€™s the cause of them? Vnluckie Time,
In which hard fortune robbed all my Ioy.
Loue gaue me hope of such a golden Ioy,
That therâ€™s no Shepherdesse in all these Hils,
That had such cause to praise a happy Time:
But after he did put me in these Vales
Of swelling teares, that fall from both mine Eies:
Not to behold such greefe as kils my Soule.
Such is the paine, that wounds a louing Soule,
That in the end I know what thing is Ioy:
O where shall I then turne my wearied Eies?
If that the medowes, woods, the plaines, and Hils,
The pleasant groues, and fountaines of the Vales,
Still to my thoughts present so sweete a Time?
Who would haue thought that such a happy Time
Should be so fierce a torment to my Soule?
Or cruell fortune banish me the Vale,
Wherin all things were obiects of my Ioy?
Vntill the hungrie woolfe, which to the Hill
Ascending vp, was pleasant to mine Eies.
But fortune now, what may my drenched Eies
Behold, which saw their Shepherd many a Time
Driuing his lambes before him downe this Hill?
Whose name for ay shall rest within my Soule.
O fortune foe vnto my former Ioy,
How doe I languish in this irkesome Vale?
But when so pleasant and so fresh a Vale
Is not delightfull to my wearied Eies,
And where I cannot finde content and Ioy:
And hope not now to haue it any Time,
See what extremes enuiron then my Soule:
O that he came againe. O that sweete Hill:
O highest Hils, and fresh and pleasant Vale,
Where once my Soule did rest and both these Eies,
Tell me shall I in Time haue so much Ioy?
About this time Syluanus was with his flockes in a thicket of Mirtle trees neere to the fountaine, musing and imagining diuers things in his minde: but when he heard Seluagias voice, awaked as it were out of a slumber, he gaue attentiue eare to the verses, that she did sing. But as this Shepherd was cruelly intreated of loue, and contemned of Diana, so his passions made him wander a thousand times out of his wits, as that he now spake ill of loue, and by and by praised it, sometimes merrie, and other times more pensiue and sad, then the most sorrowfull man in the world, to day speaking ill of women, to morrow extolling them aboue all mortall creatures. And thus did this sorrowfull Shepherd leade a life, which as to all, so especially to those that are free from loue would be tedious and difficult to describe. But hauing heard Seluagias sweete verses, and obtained leaue of his sad thoughts, he tooke his Kit, and to the tune thereof began to sing that which followeth.
TO heare me wearied is the cleerest riuer,
Tedious I am to euery vale and mountaine:
And now to heare (O loue, my sorrowes giuer)
My plaining, wearied is each cristall fountaine.
The Sicamour, the Oke, and Elme are wearie,
Spring, Sommer, Autumne, and the winter season
Hearing my cries, are sworne not to be merry.
With teares I melt these rocks: and yet all reason
Of pitie (Tigresse) thou dost still deny me,
When trees, and stones for greefe are dying by me.
A bondslaue of a freeman thou hast made me,
And of a man of reason, cleane contrarie:
With life, and death, by turnes thou dost inuade me,
And to tormenting greefe my soule dost carrie.
Of affable, and one that liuâ€™d so gayly,
Made me thou hast to frowards disdaining:
Of one, that did conuerse with all men daily,
Made me thou hast their company refraining.
Eies had I once, now blinded with desire:
I was a man of flesh, but now of fire.
Whatâ€™s this my hart, thy torments dost thou double?
Tell me mine eies, and are you still a weeping?
My soule, sufficeth not my passed trouble?
My teares, and are ye yet in riuers steeping?
My wandring wits, and are you not molested
More then ynough with such incessant sorrow?
And are ye not my senses also wrested
From your right course, resting not euen nor morrow?
How know I then, weepe, see, or feele this hower,
When torments waste their force and seuerall power?
Who made my Shepherdesses tresses twist all
Of fine Arabian gold, not gilt-like shining:
Her face of cleerest and of chosen christ all,
Her rubie lips, two rowes of pearle combining:
Her dymond eies, like to those stars aboue all,
Her necke, that whitest Allablaster stayneth,
Her passing wit, inforcing vs to loue all:
Her stately minde, that all our loues disdaineth.
Why made shee not her hart of melting matter,
Then of such marble stone so hard to batter?
One day I do conforme me to my fortune,
And to my griefe, that faire Diana causeth:
Next day mine yll doth vex me, and importune
My soule with thoughts of griefe that seldome pauseth:
Cruell and fierce and inhumane I call her,
And so there is no order in my sorrow:
For afterwards in phrases I install her,
What now I say, I do deny to morrow.
And all is thus leading a life in anguish,
Which soone mine eies may see by death to languish.
When faire Seluagia knew the Shepherd Syluanus by his voice, she went to him, and saluting one another with curteous and louing words, they sat them downe vnâˆ£der the shadow of a thicke and leafie mirtle, in the mids of a little medow, which for the diuersitie of fine golden flowers wherewith it was spotted, more then their sorrowfull thoughts could desire, was most pleasant to the wandring eie. And Sylâˆ£uanus began to speake in this sort. The diuersitie of so many vnaccustomed miâˆ£shaps, that daily harme vs woefull & true louers cannot be (faire Seluagia) without griefe and compassion of minde considered. But amongst them all, there is none (me thinks) that ought to be so much feared as that, which he suffers, who hath once
seene himselfe in a good and ioyfull estate: the which by experience (as yesterday thou didst tell me) I neuer came yet to know: for the life (which I passe) is so far from rest, and deliuered vp to sorrowfull imaginations, that a thousand times in vaine I seeke out new inuentions and means to deceiue and alter my tast. For remedy wherâˆ£of, I do sometimes think, That I am deerely beloued of my mistresse, which thought (without opening any further passage to this fiction) I retaine as long as I can in my mind: but when I consider afterwards the truth of my estate, I am so confounâˆ£ded with my selfe, as I am not able to expresse it, and then (against my will) am voide of all patience: since then a bare imagination is not such a thing, that may be suffeâˆ£red, behold what the truth is able to do? I would to God (Syluanus) I were free (said Seluagia) from this franticke passion that I might speake the better in it, as in such a case it were most needfull. For thou canst not know any greater signe of loue, wheâˆ£ther it be little or much, or of passion, whether it be small or great, then by hearing her tell it, that feeles it: for a passion extremely felt can neuer be well manifested by her toong that suffers it. So that I (being subiect to my mishap, and sorrowfull for that disgrace, which Alanius doth me) am not with words able to expresse the Chaos of griefe wherin I am ouerwhelmed. Wherefore I leaue it to thy consideration and iudgement, as to things wherin I may put an assured confidence and trust. I know not Seluagia, what to say (replied Syluanus sighing) nor what remedies we may hope for of our harms, dost thou (perhaps) know any? How should I not know (said Selâˆ£uagia) And wottest thou what it is? To leaue of to loue. And this maiest thou do thy selfe (said Syluanus.) As fortune and time shall ordaine (saide Seluagia.) Then I tell thee (said Syluanus maruelling much) that thou needest not trouble thy selfe so much by complayning of thy griefe, bicause that loue, which is subiect to time and fortune, cannot be so extreme, to giue one any trouble or paine that suffers it. And canst thou deny (said Seluagia, againe) that it is not possible to haue an end in thy loue, either by death or absence, or by being fauoured in some other place, where thy sutes & seruiâˆ£ces may be more esteemed, and better recompenced? I will not make my selfe (saide Syluanus) such an hypocrite in loue, that I will not graunt, what thou saiest may be possible, but not in me. For woe betide that louer, that (though he see such forâˆ£tune fall to others) would haue so little constancie in his loue, to thinke that any thing (contrary to his faith) may befall vnto him. I am a woman (said Seluagia) and thou shalt see by me if I loue not as much as any may. And yet this offendes not my loue to thinke, that there may be an end of euery thing, be they neuer so firme and strong, since it is the propertie of time and fortune with their vsuall changes to alter all things, as they haue euer done. And thinke not Shepherd, that any obliuiâˆ£ous thought of his loue, that hath so iniuriously forgotten me, makes me speake this, but that, which I haue seene by experience in these passions. And talking thus together they heard a Shepherd singing, as he came along the medow before them, whom they knew by and by to be the forgotten Syrenus, who, to the tune of his Reâˆ£becke came singing this Sonnet.
GOe now my thoughts, where one day you were going,
When neither fortune, nor my loue did lower:
Now shall you see that changed day and hower,
Your ioies decaied, and vncouth sorrowes growing?
And in the glasse, where I was oft bestowing
Mine eies, and in that sweete and pleasant flower,
A sluggish drone vnwoorthely deuower
That honie, which for me sometimes was flowing.
And you shall see to whom I did surrender
My subiect life, that causelesse did despise it:
And though this ill no remedy can borrow,
Yet tell her, that my minde did once ingender
A feare of that, vvhich after to mine eyes yet
She makes more plaine, to end my life in sorrow.
After Syrenus had made an end of his Sonnet, he sawe faire Seluagia,and Syluanus comming towards him, whereof he was not a little glad, and after some curteous saâˆ£lutations between them, they determined to go to the fountaine of the Sicamours, where they had beene the day before, but before they were come thither, Syluanus said, Hearke, do you not heare certaine voices singing? Yes (said Seluagia) and me thinks of more then one. Where might it be (said Syrenus.) In the meadowe of the Laurell trees, said Syluanus, in the mids whereof the spring, that comes out of this cleere fountaine so pleasantly runneth: It shall not be amisse for vs to go thither, but so softly, that they that are singing, may not perceiue or heare vs, lest we breake off their sweete musicke. Let vs go, said Seluagia: and so step by step, they went towards the place, where they heard that singing, & hiding themselues behind certaine trees neere vnto the brook, they saw three Nymphes sitting vpon the golden flowers, of such excellent beauty that (it seemed) nature had made a manifest proofe of that, she was able to do. They were apparelled with vpper garmeÌ„ts of white silk, wrought all aboue with fringe of gold, their haire, (which in brightnes obscured the sunnie beames) was tied about their heads with fillets of orientall pearle, whose curled lockes vpon their christalline foreheads made a fine periwig; iust in the mids wherâˆ£of hung downe an Eagle of gold, holding betweene her talants a rich and pretious Diamond. All three with maruellous good consent so sweetly plaied on their instruâˆ£ments, whereunto they ioyned their Angelicall voices, that it seemed no lesse then celestiall musicke, and the first thing they sung, was this fancie.
COntents of loue,
That come with so great paine,
If that you come, why go you hence againe?
Not fully come,
But you begin to starte:
Neuer with perfect some
To nestle in a woefull heart.
And will you now so soone depart,
And leaue me in such paine?
Then hence delights, and see me not againe.
From you I flye,
(Since you denie my sight)
To make me know thereby
The losse, if that I loose you quite.
Then (since you do me such despite)
Depart not griefe and paine,
For when you goe, you soone returne againe.
After they had ended their song, one of them called Doria said. Are these (Cynâˆ£thia) the riuer bankes, where the Shepherd Syrenus went vp and downe, tormented and lost for the loue of the faire Shepherdesse Diana? I without doubt (said the other) they must be these, for neere vnto a fountaine not far from this medow, it was told me, they tooke of each other their last farewell, which is (I assure thee) worâˆ£thie to be celebrated with eternall memorie, for the amorous and louing speeches, that passed betweene them. When Syrenus heard this, he was almost out of his wits, to see how the three Nymphes had knowledge of his mishaps. But Cynthia, proceeding, said. And among these riuer banks are many other faire Shepherdesses, and enamoured Shepherds, where loue hath shewed his mightie power and effects, and some cleane contrary to that they hoped for. This is a thing (said Polydora, for so was the third called) not greatly to be maruelled at, bicause there is no successe in loue, (be it neuer so preposterous) which may cause wonder in those that haue passed his disordinate effects. But tell me Cynthia, how knewest thou of this farewell? I knew it thus (said Cynthia) for at that time when they tooke it, neere to the foresaid fountaine, Celius, who behind an Oke was listening to them, heard it, and commitâˆ£ting it to memorie, did truly put it in verse, as it passed betweene them. Therfore if thou wilt heare it, I thinke, I can sing it to the tune of my lute. Faire Cynthia (anâˆ£swered Polydora) so may thy destinies and fortune fauour thee, as thy beauty and good graces are no lesse delightfull vnto vs, then the hearing of so sweete a song shall be (wherein is matter so woorthie to be knowen) if thou wilt deyne to pleasure vs with the recitall of it. Cynthia then taking her harpe, began to sing as followeth.
The song of the Nymph.
NEere to the riuer bankes, with greene
And pleasant trees on euery side,
Where freest mindes would most haue beene,
That neuer felt braue Cupids pride,
To passe the day and tedious howâ€™rs
Amongst those painted meades and flowâ€™rs.
A certaine Shepheard full of woe
(Syrenus callâ€™d) his flockes did feede,
Not sorowfull in outward showe,
But troubled with such greefe indeede,
As cruell loue is wont tâ€™impart
Vnto a painfull louing hart.
This Shepherd euery day did die
For loue he to Diana bare,
A Shepherdesse so fine perdie,
So liuely yoong and passing faire,
Excelling more in beautious feature,
Then any other humane creature.
Who had not any thing, of all
She had, but was extreme in her,
For meanely wise none might her call,
Nor meanely faire, for he did erre,
If so he did: but should deuise
Her name of passing faire and wise.
Fauours on him she did bestowe,
Which if she had not, then (be sure)
He might haue suffred all that woe,
Which afterwards he did endure
When he was gone, with lesser paine,
And at his comming home againe.
For when in deede the hart is free
From suffring paine or torments smart,
If wisedome doth not ouersee,
And beareth not the greater part,
The smallest greefe and care of minde
Doth make it captiue to their kinde.
Neere to ariuer swift and great
(That famous Ezla had to name)
The carefull Shepherd did repeate
The feares he had by absence blame,
Which he suspect, where he did keepe
And feede his gentle lambes and sheepe.
And now sometimes he did behold
His Shepherdesse, that thereabout
Was on the mountaines of that old
And ancient Leon, seeking out
From place to place the pastures best,
Her lambes to feede, her selfe to rest.
And sometimes musing, as he lay,
(When on those hils she was not seene)
Was thinking of that happy day,
When Cupid gaue him such a Queene
Of beautie, and such cause of ioy,
Wherein his minde he did imploy.
Yet saide (poore man) when he did see
Himselfe so sunke in sorrowes pit,
The good that loue hath giuen mee
I onely doe imagine it:
Bicause this neerest harme and trouble
Hereafter I should suffer double.
The Sunne, for that it did decline,
The carelesse man did not offend
With firie beames, which scarce did shine,
But that which did of loue depend,
And in his hart did kindle fire
Of greater flames and hot desire.
Him did his passions all inuite,
The greene leaues blowne with gentle winde,
Cristalline streames with their delite,
And Nightingales were not behinde,
To helpe him in this louing verse,
Which to himselfe he did rehearse.
Syrenus his song.
A Farewell they departure call,
That loues delight did neuer knowe,
But that that endes with life and all,
I terme a greefe and endlesse woe.
God graunt therefore that all that space
My lingring life I might sustaine,
Vntill I see againe the place
Where my true hart doth still remaine.
For onely thinking to depart,
The thought doth make me so afraid,
That it must kill my trembling hart
With force of such great greefe apaid.
Syrenus did these verses sing,
And on his Rebecke sweetely play,
So far from ioy or ioyfull thing,
And from contentment any way:
That he could not pronounce his minde
For weeping, which was left behinde.
And now bicause he would not be
In fault, (if that his greefe and paine
The accents and the verse, which he
Pronouncâ€™t, did hinder or restraine)
That which his willing minde did let,
His hart to end did not forget.
But after that the Shepherd had
With moornefull voice these verses soong,
He sawe Diana come so sad,
And yet so faire, so fresh and yong,
That where she cast her star like eies,
With colours braue the meades she dies.
Her face as faire and fresh as flower,
And yet so sorrowfull againe,
That none could iudge at that same hower,
Whether her greefe and inward paine,
Or her braue beautie did surpasse?
In her so faire, and sad (alas.)
Thus comming many a time she staide,
Casting vnto the ground her eies,
So comfortlesse and so dismade,
And sometimes vp into the skies,
That there they hung with greefe in steede
Of two bright stars, like stars in deede.
Saying with greater greefe of minde
(Then humane thought can once conceaue)
Since such annoy in ioy I finde:
From this day (loue) well maist thou leaue
Thy ioies vnto thy selfe to keepe,
And me, to feede no more but sheepe.
The cause of all her greefe and woe,
Which she by absence wrong did feare,
There did she very cleerely showe,
And if she wasted many a teare,
Aske but those blasing eies, which still
With passions did Syrenus kill.
If that her loue had euer peere,
Her goodnes there hid not the same:
And if that absence cost her deere,
Or feared her before it came,
This song aboue each other thing
Can tell, which she with teares did sing.
O Loue thou gauâ€™st me not the ioy,
That in sweete presence I did finde,
But that in absence the annoy
Should seeme more greeuous to my minde.
Thou giuest ease, thou giuest rest,
But not to giue content but guile,
And that the suffrance in my brest,
Might be but idle for a while.
She loues inuentions, neuer scant
In presence to affoord releefe,
Bicause in absence I should want
Defence against my mortall greefe.
Now faire Diana being come
Vnto the place, where she did spie
Her loue, she would haue spoken some
Few wordes, but greefe did them denie:
And wofull man, he nothing spake,
Though he did oft a semblant make.
How much they had betweene them both
To talke, their eies made manifest,
Declaring that, which very loth
Lay in their secret harts and brest,
With that milde countenance and show,
With which they spake not long agoe.
They both together downe did sit
Vnder a flowrie Myrtle tree,
One by the hand the other yet
Did take, for ouer come was he
By her, and she by him againe,
Both in their mutuall passions slaine.
For that great pleasure and delight
Of seeing one an other there,
And greefe, to leese that happie sight,
So wrought their harts with ioy and feare,
That to each other neither could
Vtter a word, though faine they would.
Some other times they met againe
Vpon this banke with other passions,
Which meetings they did entertaine
And celebrate with other fashions:
Not, as in times then gone and past,
For of this sort, this was the last.
A strange effect of mighty loue,
To see two loue in such degree,
That greater torments they did proue,
When either did each other see,
Then when they were remooued quite
From ioying in each others sight.
Syrenus seeing now the howre,
When greefe of parting was to come,
He had no patience nor no powre
To speake, but straight was striken dumbe:
Nor of his teares he could get leaue
To vtter what he did conceaue.
His Shepherdesse he did behold,
His Shepherdesse beheld againe
The man, whose hart with feare was cold,
Speaking to her with cruell paine:
Indeede his Greefe for him did speake,
For he could not whose hart did breake.
Alas Diana, who would haue said,
When I was in most heauie case,
Or who would haue imagined,
But that, when I did view thy face,
My very soule then most opprest,
Should by that sight haue found some rest.
In any time who would haue thought,
That any thing (sweete Mistresse) might
A greater greefe or paine haue brought
Vnto my soule with more despight,
Then thy sweete presence and thy sight,
(My soueraine ioy and chiefe delight)
Who would haue thought, but that againe
Those eies, when that they viewed me,
Should haue dissoluâ€™d, and burst in twaine
The knot of all my miserie:
Which my mishaps (so long assured)
By any way might haue procured.
Faire Mistresse then behold my state,
And how mishap my soule doth chace,
For if I died but of late
With great desire to see thy face,
Now doe I die by seeing thee,
Present and not thou killest me.
And thinke not that this passion drawes
To want of louing thee, for none
Hath bene so firme, but now bicause
I come vnto this meade with mone
To take my leaue, where I before
To see thee came, but now no more.
My soule I would haue giuen faine
This day, which thou hast conquerâ€™d soe,
Not to haue seene thee in this plaine
(Although no other life I knowe)
Onely to misse (I care not how)
The greefe of this departure now.
And giue me leaue (faire Shepherdesse)
To thinke, that thou canst not deny it,
But thou dost feele my heauinesse
In that degree, as I doe trie it:
For in thy presence tâ€™is not such
A matter to presume so much.
If then, Diana, it be so,
Tell me, how can I now depart?
How dost thou suffer me to go
When each doth carry others hart?
Or how doe I come hither yet,
To take my farewell without let?
O my faire Shepherdesse againe
No reason can I yeeld thee why,
Nor how of thee I should complaine,
As thou shalt haue continually
Absent, when I am gone from thee
O, neuer to remember me.
I knowe right well it is not thow,
That makâ€™st me to depart, and lesse,
My purest faith constraines me now,
(For needes I must the same confesse)
And if I should but tell and show it,
Who doth the same, I doe not know it.
Thus full of paine and bitter teares,
And sighing, which he neuer sparâ€™d,
The Shepherd to her louing eares
Did speake these words which you haue heard.
And hearing them, in minde she kept
Them, and full bitterly she wept.
To answere him she went about
A thousand times, but could not doe it,
For still her greefe did put her out,
And so she could not frame her to it.
But then for her, her loue so stable
An answere shapt (her toong vnable.)
My friend in such a time I am,
Where I shall speake more then I would,
That though mine ill, which lately came,
Cannot be vttered (as it should:)
Yet (Shepherd) would I thinke it good,
To hold my peace if that I could.
But woe is me, that this great ill
I come to tell, and publish it
In such a time against my will,
That it auailes not any whit
Thy iourney to delay a while,
Nor these my torments to beguile.
Why goest thou hence (O Shepherd) tell:
Why wilt thou now forsake me heere?
So full of greefe alone to dwell,
Where time, and place, and all the deere,
And sweetest ioyes of this our loue
Shall neuer from my minde remooue.
What shall I feele (vnhappy wight)
Comming vnto this pleasant greene,
When I shall say (Farewell sweete sight)
Heere haue I my Syrenus seene;
Heere did we sit, heere did we play,
Discoursing with him day by day.
Behold if that it will not bee
A daily sorrow, when these bankes
I doe beholde, and cannot see
Thy selfe, where goodly trees in rankes
And in their barke my name to stand
Carued so finely by thy hand.
And see if any greefe or dole
Is like to this, when I behold
The place so sorrowfull and sole,
Where deere Syrenus with a cold
And trembling feare thou didst protest
Thy greefe to me within thy brest.
If then thy hart (so cruell now)
Is mollified by falling teares,
How melts it not for greefe, and how
Consumes it not with many feares,
At this occasion (so vniust)
To leaue my comfort in the dust?
Then Shepherd weepe not, for in vaine
Thy plentious teares and sighes are spent,
For he that doth lament the paine,
In whom it lieth to preuent,
I thinke he is not sound of wit,
If such a folly he commit.
But my Syrenus pardon me,
If my sharpe wordes thine eares offend,
And giue me leaue to speake with thee
In this faire meade, where (cruell frend)
Thou leauâ€™st me not one little howâ€™r
With my poore selfe, nor in my powâ€™r.
For I will not, (nor yet in iest)
Shepherd from thee my selfe absent,
Then goe not, wilt thou? say at lest,
And to these eies, that euer lent
Such helpe to thee, some pitie keepe,
And sorrow now to see them weepe.
Syrenus answered her againe,
Alas thou canst not choose but knowe
By all these teares I spend in vaine,
If that I doe desire to goe;
But thou commaundest me to stay,
And my hard hap to goe away.
Thy matchlesse beautie when I see,
(Mistresse) then am I euer bound
Willing at thy commaund to be:
But wofull Shepherd when I found
My hap to beare so great a sway,
Of force I must the same obay.
Then my departure forced is,
But by no fault that I did make,
And credit me (sweete Nymph) in this,
That all the world I would forsake,
In these faire meades with thee to wende,
Where now I see my ioyes doe ende.
My Master that great Shepherd is
He, that doth make me to depart,
Whom I may see, and wish that his
Exempted thoughtes and freest hart
Braue loue may punish with such paine,
As at this parting I sustaine.
I would to God, my going hence
(Onely to pleasure thee this day)
By shewing of my iust pretence,
Lay in my power any way:
As Mistresse in thy fairest handes
My life and death at mercie standes.
But credit me, it is in vaine,
(To that which euer I doe trie,
And that thou thinkâ€™st as much againe)
That neuer in my handes did lie
Ought in the world, that might but giue
Any content to make me liue.
Another course well might I take,
And leaue my flocke to stray about,
I might my Shepherd to forsake
And seeke some other Master out:
But if the end I marke and see,
This with our loue doth not agree.
For if I doe forsake my flocke,
Which vnto me he did commend,
And take in hand some other stocke
Of cattell or of sheepe to tend,
Tell me, how can I come vnseene
Without thy harme vpon this greene?
And if the force of this great flame
My willing presence heere detaines,
It is a signe, that I doe frame
My thoughts on thee, and so it staines
Thy honour, which to saile is sent,
Onely (sweete life) for my content.
And if (they say) I doe imploy
(Faire Shepherdesse) my loue on thee,
And that againe I doe enioy
Thy loue so frankly giuen me.
Thee they condemne, thou dost sustaine
The onely losse, and I no gaine.
The Shepherdesse at this same season
This answer with great greefe did make,
O Shepherd tell me now, what reason
Thou hast my presence to forsake?
Since that in loue there is no sound
Of any reason to be found.
A signe it is (not good to vse)
By daily proofe we see the same,
That he that can so well excuse
His absence from his louing dame,
If he were gone out of her sight,
He would account the same but light.
Ah greefe, since going now away,
I knowe not what will chaunce to thee,
And forced if I am to stay
Nor then what shall become of me?
Nor there if thou wilt thinke (my deere)
That one did see another heere.
I knowe not if I am deceauâ€™d,
By hauing laide before thine eies
This painfull greefe that hath bereauâ€™d
Me of my ioy, where now it dies,
But that which to my harme must be,
I knowe shall be most sure in me.
Thou greeuâ€™st not at my little ease,
Go Shepherd then, take shipping now,
With brittle barke the Ocean seas,
In steede of these greene fieldes goe plow:
Since of my teares these seas (alas)
So quickly thou dost ouerpasse.
The heauens from stormes thy barke defend,
From rockes, from wrecke, and swallowing sand,
And that thou maiâ€™st (my sweetest frend)
Safely arriue in wished land:
And fortune better deale with thee,
Then at this time thou dost with me.
Alas for very greefe I die,
Seeing mine eies to take their leaue
Of all their sweete contents, whereby
This greefe, and teares doe so bereaue
My toong of speech, that faine I would
Speake more vnto thee if I could.
And Shepherd I doe wish besides,
That these two eies (which weepe in vaine)
Before that death my life deuides,
May see thee heere yet once againe:
And though their harme thou dost procure,
They wish thee yet all good be sure.
He answered her, my Mistresse deere,
A mischeefe neuer comes alone:
A mortall greefe doth not appeere
Without more companie, and one
That is more mightie then the rest,
And this it is that wounds my brest.
For though I see I must depart
From my sweete life, (since from thy sight)
Not halfe so much it greeues my hart,
At seeing thee in such a plight
For my departure, and sustaine
Such greefe indeede and cruell paine.
But if those eies I doe forget,
(The mirrours of my happinesse)
I wish that God aboue may let
Me not this wished life possesse,
Or if my thoughtes imploied be
(Sweete life) on any but on thee.
And if that any beautie else
Shall make new motions in my minde,
(Though it be neuer so excelse)
Or in the same content I finde,
For one small howre of such content,
I wish eternall punishment.
And if my firmest faith for strange
And forren loue, that may befall,
Or my sincerest loue I change,
I wish that fortune may recall
Me to a life most desperate,
Throwing me downe from this estate.
O sweetest Mistresse of my hart,
Prescribe no time for my retourne:
For it doth kill me to depart,
And I shall neuer cease to mourne,
And passe the greatest greefe and paine,
Vntill these eies see thee againe.
She answered him, (my deere Syrenus)
If that I shall in any day
(Though now our destinies doe weane vs)
Forget thee, then I wish the May
And freshest flowers in this meade
May die, when on them I doe treade.
And if on any man aliue,
But onely thee (my loue) I thinke,
I wish, that, (when my sheepe I driue
Vnto the riuer streames to drinke)
Comming vnto them, at my sight,
The waters may be dryâ€™d vp quite.
Shepherd, receiue this little string
Made of my haire for thy sweete sake,
Bicause by seeing of the thing,
Thou maist remember thou didâ€™st take
Possession of my louing hart,
And them, with which thou doest depart.
And this ring with thee thou shalt beare,
With hand in hand, as thou dost see,
Which for my sake I pray thee weare,
That though our bodies parted bee,
Nothing shall part, not death alone,
Two soules vnited both in one.
He saide with thee what shall I leaue,
Naught haue I but this Sheepehooke heere:
The which I pray thee to receiue,
And Rebecke, to the which (my deere)
Thou sawâ€™st me sing in this greene meade,
And play and many a daunce to leade.
To sound of which (my Shepherdesse)
A thousand songs to thee I soong,
Singing of thy great worthinesse
(Too high for my base song and toong)
And of our loues and of my passions,
And of my sweetest lamentations.
Each one imbracâ€™t the other fast,
And this (I thinke) the first time was,
And (as I gesse) it was the last,
Bicause those times did change and passe:
And loue with time did change and varie
From that, which once they both did carie.
For though Diana felt great paine
For absence of her louer deere,
Yet in the same she found againe
A remedie, as did appeere,
For after he the seas did passe,
She to another married was.
Faire Cynthia hauing made an end of her sweete song, Doria and Polydora wonâˆ£dred that a Shepherdesse could be the cause, that loue kindled such burning flames, and marueiled no lesse how time had cured her greefe, which seemed at their fareâˆ£well to be remedilesse. But vnfortunate Syrenus all the while the Nymph with her sweete song did manifest his old cares and sighes, forgot not to breath them out so thicke, that Syluanus, and Seluagia could not by any meanes comfort him: for he was now no lesse pensiue then at the very time, when he passed them, maruelling much how she knew of these particulars which passed betweene him and Diana. And Sylâˆ£uanus and Seluagia were no lesse astonished at the passing sweete grace, wherewith Cynthia both song and plaied the same.
But now the faire Nymphes, tooke vp their instruments, and went walking vp and downe the greene meadow, lest of all suspecting that, which happened vnto them: for hauing gone but a little way from the place, where the Shepherdes were secretly abiding, three monstrous and foule Sauages came out of a thicket of high broome and bushes on the right hande of the woode, armed with corselets and morions of tygres skins, and so vgly to behold, that to the fearefull Nymphes it was a strange and terrible sight. The braces of their corselets were at the endes armed with gasâˆ£ping mouthes of serpents, out of the which their armes shewed monstrously great, and full of haire, and their morions that encompassed their grisely foreheads, with dreadfull heads of lyons, being naked in euery other part of their body, but that it was couered all ouer with long and thicke haire, and bearing in their rude hands clubs, armed with iron and sharpe steeled points. At their neckes their bowes and arrowes, and likewise their shields, which were broad shels of monstrous Torâˆ£tuses were hanging downe behinde them: who with an incredible swiftnes ranne vpon the fearefull Nymphes, saying. Now is the time come (ingrate and scornefull Nymphes) that by our strength and wils you shall be forced to do that, which our milde loue and longe suites could neuer bring to passe, for it is not reason that forâˆ£tune should doe such iniurie to our captiue harts, with so long and great paine to defer our remedies. In fine, we haue now in our hands the guerdon of our sighes and lamentations, which wearied the birds and beasts of the darke and enchaunâˆ£ted woode, where we dwell: and the recompence of our burning teares, whereâˆ£with we made the raging and lothsome riuer, that watreth the dreadfull fieldes and plaines of our territories to swell, and ouerflowe his banks: Since then you haue no other meanes to saue your liues, but by easing & helping our harmes, be not so wilâˆ£full by resistance, to make our cruell hands take vengeance of that paine, which so long you haue made our afflicted harts to feele. The Nymphes at the sudden sur-sault of these monsters were so amazed, that they were not able to answer to these proude and cruell wordes, but onely with silence and teares. Albeit faire Doria,who had more courage then the rest, at last did stoutly answer them thus againe. I neuer thought that loue could bring a louer to so foule an extreme, as with violent hands, and such vnseemly force to sease vpon his beloued. It is the manner of coâˆ£wards to carie weapons, and fight with silly women, in an open and desart fielde, where none is able to defend them, but their vertue, and honest reasons. But of one thing (cruell & vile beasts) you may be ascertained, that your menaces shal not make vs leese one iot of that, which our honours require, and that we will sooner leaue our liues in your barbarous hands, then suffer our deer chastities by your beastly forces to be violated. It is needlesse (Doria) (saide one of them againe) to harken to their reasons, who had none at all to handle vs with so great scorne and crueltie: where-
vpon vnloosing the string from his bowe, that hung at his necke, he tooke her by both her faire hands, and rudely tied them togither, and so did his companions, Cynthias and Polydoras. The two Shepherds and the Shepherdesse Seluagia, astoâˆ£nished at the monstrous violence of the Sauages, and seeing what beastialitie they beganne to vse to the faire and tender Nymphes, not able to endure it, reâˆ£solued to die, or to defende them from their cruell handes. Wherefore all three taking out their slings, and filling their scrips with stones, came out of the woode, into the greene medowe, and beganne to throwe them at the Sauages with such courage and dexteritie, as though their liues had lien in their handes; And thinâˆ£king to plie them so fast with stones, that the Nymphes (while the Sauages were busie about their owne defence) might escape, and saue their persons from their vile immanitie, they redoubled their force, with the greatest speede and valour they coulde: Whose driftes the suttle Sauages suspecting, one of them had an eie to the faire prisoners for running away, while the other two, by winning ground on their enemies, thought to make a quicke dispatch of them. But the stones came so dangerously and so many, that they had ynough to defende themselues, so that, as long as they lasted, the Sauages fared very ill. But as the Shepherdes were afterwardes occupied in stowping downe to take vppe more stones, the Saâˆ£uages came running in to them so speedily with their massie clubs, that nowe they were without any hope of life, if presently a certaine strange Shepherdesse (of such singular beautie and comely feature, as made both the Sauages and the rest amazed at her goodly personage) had not come out of the thicke wood neere vnto the fountaine, where they before were singing. She had her bowe hanging on her left arme, and a quiuer of arrowes at her shoulder, in her hand a fine staffe of wilde oke, armed at the end with a long and well steeled pike. But when she saw the three Nymphes in so great distresse, and the effray betweene the two Sauages and the Shepherdes, who now looked for nothing more then present death, by putting quickly a sharpe headed arrow into her bowe, with no meane force and skill she shot it at one of the Sauages, leauing it halfe hidden in his hard brest, whereby the arrow of loue, that pearced his hart lost the force, and the Sauage his life. Neither was she slowe in putting another in her bowe, nor lesse skilfull in shooting it, for with the same she as well ended the enamoured passions of the second Sauage, as of the first. But setling her selfe to shoote at the third, that was keeping the three Nymphes, she could not so soone effect it, but that he came running in to her, within the length of his club, and had surely dispatched her with one blowe, if the faire Shepherdesse, by lifting vp her knottie staffe (as he was discharging vpoÌ„ her) had not taken it vpon the iron point (whereby his club brake in two peeces) and immediately requited him with another vpon the top of his crowne, wherewith she made him stagger on his knees, and then running a thrust at his face (and with such force and aime it was) that pearcing his eies, her staffe made speedie passage thorow his braines, so that the fierce. Sauage, yelling out a horrible and lowde grone, fell downe dead to the ground. The Nymphes seeing themselues deliuered from so great violence, and the Shepherdes and Shepherdesses from expected death, whereunto they were so neere, and how by the admirable valour and strength of that Shepherdesse, not oneâˆ£ly they, but the Shepherdes had escaped, they were in a traunce for a while, and could not afterwardes imagine her to be any humane wight. But the Shepherdesse comming now vnto them, began to vntie their handes, saying. They deserued no lesse punishment, then that they haue (faire Nymphes) that with these rude and
rough bonds durst presume to binde such white and delicate hands, whose beauties are fitter to binde tender and relenting harts. Accursed be such proude monsters, and ill befall to such senselesse and beastly men: but Ladies, they haue their hire, and I my desire, by hauing done you this small seruice, and comming in so good a time with speedie remedie for such an outrage, although these hardie Shepherdes, and faire Shepherdesse deserue no lesse thankes for hazarding their liues in your deâˆ£fence, who woulde (no doubt) like my selfe haue thought them well emploied, and themselues well appaied, if in so good a quarrell, and for such woorthy personages they had ioyntly lost them. The Nymphes were no lesse amazed at her rare beautie and wisedome, then at the courage and force, that she had shewed in their defence, whereupon Doria with a gratious semblant answered her thus againe. Faire Shepâˆ£herdesse, if thou art not (as by thy approoued valour and braue minde, thou seemest to be) the daughter of inuincible Mars, yet for thy beautie (which is celestiall) thou must needes be the daughter of louely Venus and faire Adonis; and if of neither of them, it cannot then otherwise be, but that Minerua must be thy mother, since such great wisedome cannot proceed from any other part, although it is most true that nature hath endowed thee with the principall of them all. And since for so strange a curtesie, and good turne that thou hast done vs, extraordinarie and great must the seruices be, wherewith they must be requited, we hope, that at somtime or other, ocâˆ£casion may be offered, wherein thou maiest knowe, what earnest desire and entyre good wils we haue, to repaie so singular & woorthie a fauor. But bicause (it seemes) thou art wearie, let vs go to the fountaine of the Sicamours, neere to yonder wood, where thou maist rest and refresh thy selfe. Let vs goe ladie (said the Shepherdesse) not so much to ease my wearied body, as to talke of other matters, wherin my soules health and the summe of my content doth chiefely consist. That will we do with all possible diligence (said Polydora) since there is not any, whom we should with greaâˆ£ter reason endeuor to content then thy selfe. But faire Cynthia turning to the Shepâˆ£herdes, said. The debt (faire Shepherdesse, and stout Shepherds) wherein you haue perpetually bound vs to you, your selues know well ynough, which though we are neuer able to acquite, yet we will not cease to wish, that some occasion may heereafâˆ£ter fall out, wherein we may shewe the earnest will and affection we haue to disâˆ£charge it, according to our great desire. These thankes (faire Nymphes) answered Seluagia, and your gentle offers, are more due to these two Shepherds then to me, that could do no more then praie for your safe deliuerie. But is this the Shepherd Syrenus (said Polydora) so much beloued in times past, as now forgotten of the faire Diana? And is this other, his corriuall Syluanus? They are the same (saide Seluagia.) Then am I glad (said Polydora) that you are such kind of men, whom we may in some part recompence, the great good will you shewed, and the perill you passed to set vs free. Doria woondring at that she had heard, said. And is it true that this is Syâˆ£renus? I am very glad that I haue founde thee, and that there is an occasion miniâˆ£stred me to seeke out some remedie (which (I hope) shall not be small) for thy great cares and sorrow. Nor sufficient ynough for so great griefe, if it be small (saide Syreâˆ£nus.) Let vs go to the fountaine (saide Polydora) where we will at large discourse of these and other matters. To the which when they were come, the Nymphes, plaâˆ£cing the Shepherdesse in the middes of them, sat them downe, and the Shepherds at the Nymphes requests, went to the next towne to prouide some victuals, bicause it was now somewhat late, and that they all had an appetite to eate. But the three Nymphes remaining all alone with the vnknowne Shepherdesle, faire Doria thus
began to say vnto her. It is no lesse strange to vs, to see such an one as thou art (most valiant and faire Shepherdesse) of such valour and strength in these plaines and woods, sequestred from all popular concourse, then to thee (I thinke) to see three Nymphes heere all alone, and without companie to defend them from the like asâˆ£saults. But bicause we may knowe what thou art (which is our chiefe desire) we will inforce that fauour with this small desert, by telling thee first what we are, for the better knowledge wherof, thou shalt vnderstand (couragious Shepherdesse) that this Nymph is called Polydora, that Cynthia, and my selfe Doria, we hauing our mansion place in Dianas wood, where sage Feliciakeepes her stately court, whose course of life, and onely exercise, is to cure and remedie the passions of loue. We, going to visit a certaine Nymph her cousin, that liueth on this side of the Gallician hils, came by chance to this pleasant and shadowed dale, where, seeing the place fit to passe away the heate of the noone day, vnder the shadowe of these greene Sicamours and Laurell trees, and emulating the harmonie of this running spring, which passeth thorow this greene medow, we tooke our instruments, to see if we could imitate the same. And our hap (or rather mishap) it was that these Sauages long since captiuaâˆ£ted (as they say) in our loues, by chaunce came hither, who importuning vs many times with their brutish requestes, to graunt them our loue, and seeing that by no meanes we gaue them any hope thereof, with violent hands determined to put their beastly intents in practise; and finding vs heere all alone, did that, which (faire Shepherdesse) thou sawest, wheÌ„ so fortunately thou camest to our rescue. The Shepâˆ£herdesse hearing what faire Doria had told her, with plentious teares gaue an euiâˆ£dent testimonie of the inward greefe, which her afflicted hart felt, and looking vpon the Nymphes, she began thus to say.
Loue is not such a qualitie (faire Nymphes of the chaste Goddesse) that the perâˆ£son, whom it holdeth in captiuitie, can haue any regarde of reason, neither is reason a meanes to make an enamoured hart forsake that way, wherein the cruell destinies will conduct it. For proofe whereof, experience is at hand: for though you were loued of these cruell Sauages, and that the lawes of honest and pure loue doth proâˆ£hibite all iniuries, and whatsoeuer might offend you, yet on the other side, that headâˆ£long disorder comes, wherewith it workes such strange and sundrie effectes, that the same men, that should serue and honour you, seeke to spoile and hurt you. And bicause you may knowe, that I am not vrged to say this, as onely induced by that, which now at my comming I haue seene in this vallie, I will tell you that, which I thought to conceale from all the world, but onely from him, to whom I yeelded vp long since the freedome of my hart, (if euer time and fortune grant mine eies such fauour, that they may see him once againe) whereby you shal see how in the schoole of mishaps I haue learned to talke of loues consequences, and of the effectes, which the traitor works in their sorrowfull harts, that are subiect vnto him.
You shall therefore knowe (faire Nymphes) that great Vandalia is my natiue countrie, a prouince not far hence, where I was borne, in a citie called Soldina, my mother called Delia, my father Andronius, for linage and possessions the chiefest of all that prouince. It fell out that as my mother was married many yeeres, and had no children, (by reason whereof she liued so sad and malecontent, that she enioyed not one merry day) with teares and sighes she daily importuned the heauens, and with a thousand vowes and deuout offerings besought God to grant her the summe of her desire: whose omnipotencie it pleased, beholding from his imperiall throne her continuall orisons, to make her barren bodie (the greater part of her age being
now spent and gone) to become fruitfull. What infinite ioy she conceiued thereof, let her iudge, that after a long desire of any thing, fortune at last doth put it into her handes. Of which content my father
Andronius being no lesse partaker, shewed such tokens of inward ioy, as are impossible to be expressed. My mother Delia was so much giuen to reading of ancient histories, that, if by reason of sicknes, or any important businesse, she had not bene hindred, she would neuer (by her will) haue passed the time away in any other delight: who (as I said) being now with childe, and finding her selfe on a night ill at ease, intreated my father to reade something vnto her, that, her minde being occupied in contemplation thereof, she might the better passe her greefe away. My father, who studied for nothing els but to please her in all he might, began to reade vnto her the historie of Paris, when the three Ladies referred their proude contention for the golden Apple, to his conclusion and iudgement. But as my mother held it for an infallible opinion, that Paris had partially giuen that sentence, (perswaded thereunto by a blinde passion of beautie) so she said, that without all doubt he did not with due reason and wisedome consiâˆ£der the Goddesse of battels; for as martiall and heroicall feates (saide she) excelled all other qualities, so with equitie and iustice the Apple should haue bene giuen to her. My father answered, that since the Apple was to be giuen to the fairest, and that Venus was fairer then any of the rest, Paris had rightly giuen his iudgement, if that harme had not ensued thereof, which afterwardes did. To this my mother replied, that, though it was written in the Apple, (That it should be giuen to the fairest) it was not to be vnderstood of corporall beautie, but of the intellectuall beautie of the mind. And therfore, since fortitude was a thing that made one most beautiful, & the exercise of arms an exterior act of this vertue, she affirmed, that to the Goddesse of battels this Apple should be giuen, if Paris had iudged like a prudent & vnappassioâˆ£nate iudge. So that (faire Nymphes) they spent a great part of the night in this conâˆ£trouersie, both of them alledging the most reasons they could, to confirme their owne purpose. They persisting in this point, sleepe began to ouercome her, whom the reasons and arguments of her husband coulde not once mooue, so that being very deepe in her disputations, she fell into as deepe a sleepe, to whom (my father being now gone to his chamber) appeered the Goddesse Venus with as frowning a countenance, as faire, and saide. I maruell Delia, who hath mooued thee to be so contrarie to her, that was neuer opposite to thee? If thou hadst but called to minde the time, when thou wert so ouercome in loue for Andronius, thou wouldest not haue paide me the debt (thou owest me) with so ill coine. But thou shalt not escape free from my due anger; for thou shalt bring forth a sonne and a daughter, whose birth shall cost thee no lesse then thy life, and them their contentment, for vttering so much in disgrace of my honour and beautie: both which shall be as infortunate in their loue, as any were euer in all their liues, or to the age wherein with remedyâˆ£lesse sighes they shall breath forth the summe of their ceaselesse sorrowes. And haâˆ£uing saide thus, she vanished away: when likewise it seemed to my mother that the Goddesse Pallas came to her in a vision, and with a merry countenance, saide thus vnto her. With what sufficient rewardes may I be able to require the due regarde (most happie and discreete Delia) which thou hast alleaged in my fauour against thy husbands obstinate opinion, except it be by making thee vnderstand, that thou shalt bring foorth a sonne and a daughter the most fortunate in armes that haue bene to their times. Hauing thus said, she vanished out of her sight, and my mother thorow exceeding seare, awaked immediately. Who within a moneth after, at one
birth was deliuered of me, and of a brother of mine, and died in childebed, leauing my father the most sorrowfull man in the world for her sudden death, for greefe whereof within a little while after, he also died. And bicause you may knowe (faire Nymphes) in what great extremities loue hath put me, you must vnderstand, that (being a woman of that qualitie and disposition (as you haue heard) I haue bene forced by my cruell destinie to leaue my naturall habit, and libertie, and the due reâˆ£spect of mine honour, to follow him, who thinkes (perhaps) that I doe but leese it by louing him so extremely. Behold how bootelesse and vnseemely it is for a woman to be so dextrous in armes, as if it were her proper nature and kinde, wherewith (faire Nymphes) I had neuer bene indued, but that by meanes thereof, I should come to doe you this little seruice against these villaines, which I account no lesse then if fortune had begun to satisfie in part some of those infinite wrongs, that she hath continually done me. The Nymphes were so amazed at her words, that they coulde neither aske nor answere any thing, to that the faire Shepherdesse tolde them: who prosecuting her historie, saide. My brother and I were brought vp in a Nunnerie, where an aunt of ours was Abbesse, vntill we had accomplished twelue yeeres of age, at what time we were taken from thence againe, and my brother was caried to the mightie and inuincible King of Portugall his Court (whose noble fame and princely liberalitie was bruted ouer all the world) where, being growen to yeeres able to manage armes, he atchieued as valiant, and almost incredible enterprises by them, as he suffered vnfortunate disgraces and foiles by loue. And with all this, he was so highly fauoured of that magnificent King, that he would neuer suffer him to depart from his Court. Vnfortunate I, reserued by my sinister destinies to greater mishaps, was caried to a grandmother of mine, which place I would I had neuer seene, since it was an occasion of such a sorrowfull life, as neuer any woman suffered the like. And bicause there is not any thing (faire Nymphes) which I am not forâˆ£ced to tell you, as well for the great vertue and desertes, which your excellent beauâˆ£ties doe testifie, as also for that my minde doth giue me, that you shall be no small part and meanes of my comfort; knowe that as I was in my grandmothers house, and almost seuenteene yeeres olde, a certaine yoong Gentleman fell in loue with me, who dwelt no further from our house, then the length of a garden Terrasse, so that he might see me euery sommers night, when I walked in the garden. When as therefore ingratefull Felix had beheld in that place the vnfortunate
Felismena (for this is the name of the wofull woman that tels you her mishaps) he was extremely enamoured of me, or else did cunningly dissemble it, I not knowing then whether of these two I might beleeue, but am now assured, that whosoeuer beâˆ£leeues lest, or nothing at all in these affaires, shall be most at ease. Many daies Don Felix spent in endeuouring to make me know the paines, which he suffered for me, and many more did I spende in making the matter strange, and that he did not sufâˆ£fer them for my sake. And I know not why loue delaied the time so long by forcing me to loue him, but onely that (when he came indeed) he might enter into my hart at once, and with greater force and violence. When he had therefore by sundrie signes, as by Tylt and Tourneyes, and by prauncing vp and downe vpon his proude Iennet before my windowes, made it manifest, that he was in loue with me (for at the first I did not so well perceiue it) he determined in the end to write a letter vnto me, and hauing practised diuers times before with a maide of mine, and at length with many gifts and faire promises, gotten her good will and furtherance, he gaue her the letter to deliuer to me: But to see the meanes that Rosina made vnto me (for so was
she called) the dutifull seruices and vnwoonted circumstances, before she did deliâˆ£uer it, the others that she sware vnto me, and the subtle words and serious protestaâˆ£tions she vsed, it was a pleasant thing, and woorthie the noting. To whom (neuerâˆ£thelesse) with an angrie countenance I turned againe, saying. If I had not regard of mine owne estate, and what heereafter might be said, I would make this shamelesse face of thine be knowne euer after for a marke of an impudent and bolde minion. But bicause it is the first time, let this suffice that I haue saide, and giue thee warning to take heede of the second. Me thinkes I see now the craftie wench, how she helde her peace, dissembling very cunningly the sorrow, that she conceiued by my angrie answer: for she fained a counterfaite smiling, saying. Iesus Mistresse, I gaue it you, bicause you might laugh at it, and not to mooue your pacience with it in this sort, for if I had any thought that it woulde haue prouoked you to anger, I praie God he may shew his wrath, as great towards me, as euer he did to the daughter of any moâˆ£ther. And with this she added many wordes more (as she could do well enough) to pacifie the fained anger, and ill opinion that I conceiued of her, and taking her letâˆ£ter with her, she departed from me. This hauing passed thus, I began to imagine what might ensue thereof, and loue (me thought) did put a certaine desire into my minde to see the letter, though modestie & shame forbad me to aske it of my maide, especially for the wordes, that had passed betweene vs, as you haue heard. And so I continued all that day vntill night, in varietie of many thoughts. But when Rosina came to helpe me to bedde, God knowes how desirous I was to haue her entreat me againe to take the letter, but she woulde neuer speake vnto me about it, nor (as it seemed) did so much as once thinke thereof. Yet to trie, if by giuing her some ocâˆ£casion, I might preuaile, I saide vnto her. And is it so Rosina, that Don Felixwithout any regard to mine honour dares write vnto me? These are things Mistresse (saide she demurely to me againe) that are commonly incident to loue, wherfore I beseech you pardon me, for if I had thought to haue angred you with it, I woulde haue first pulled out the bals of mine eies. How cold my hart was at that blow, God knowes, yet did I dissemble the matter, and suffer my selfe to remaine that night onely with my desire, and with occasion of little sleepe. And so it was indeede, for that (me thought) was the longest and most painfull night, that euer I passed. But when with a slower pace (then I desired) the wished day was come, the discreet & subtle Rosina came into my chamber to helpe me to make me readie, in dooing whereof, of purâˆ£pose, she let the letter closely fall, which when I perceiued, what is that that fell downe (said I,) let me see it. It is nothing Mistresse, saide she. Come, come, let me see, it (saide I) what, mooue me not, or else tell me what it is. Good lord Mistresse (â€¢â€¦ide she) why will you see it: it is the letter I would haue giuen you yesterday. Nay that it is not (saide I) wherefore shew it me, that I may see if you lie or no. I had no sooner said so, but she put it into my handes, saying: God neuer giue me good, if it be anie other thing; and although I knewe it well indeede, yet I saide, what, this is not the same, for I know that well enough, but it is one of thy louers letters, I will read it, to see in what neede he standeth of thy fauour. And opening it, I founde it conteined this that followeth.
I euer imagined (deere Mistresse) that your discretion and wisedome woulde haue taken away the feare I had to write vnto you, the same knowing well enough (without any letter at all) how much I loue you, but the very same hath so cunningly dissembled, that wherein I hoped the onely remedie of my griefes had been, thereâˆ£in consisted my greatest harme. If according to your wisedome you censure my
boldnes, I shall not then (I know) enioy one hower of life: but if you do consider of it according to loues accustomed effects, then will I not exchange my hope for it. Be not offended I beseech you (good Ladie) with my letter, and blame me not for writing vnto you, vntill you see by experience, whether I can leaue of to write: And take me besides into the possession of that which is yours, since all is mine doth wholly consist in your hands, the which with all reuerence and dutifull affection a thousand times I kisse.
When I had now seene my Don Felix his letter, whether it was for reading it at such a time, when by the same he shewed, that he loued me more then himselfe, or whether he had disposition and regiment ouer part of this wearied soule, to imprint that loue in it, whereof he wrote vnto me, I began to loue him too well (and alas for my harme) since he was the cause of so much sorrow, as I haue passed for his sake. Whereupon asking Rosina forgiuenes of what was past (as a thing needfull for that which was to come) and committing the secrecie of my loue to her fidelitie, I read the letter once againe, pausing a little at euery worde, (and a very little indeede it was) bicause I concluded so soone with my selfe, to do that I did, although in verie truth it lay not otherwise in my power to do. Wherefore calling for paper and inke, I answered his letter thus.
Esteeme not so slightly of mine honour, Don Felix, as with fained words to thinke to enueagle it, or with thy vaine pretenses to offend it any waies. I know wel enough what manner of man thou art, and how great thy desert and presumption is, from whence thy boldnes doth arise (I gesse,) and not from the force (which thing thou wouldst faine perswade me) of thy feruent loue. And if it be so, (as my suspicion sugâˆ£gesteth) thy labor is as vaine, as thy imagination presumptuous, by thinking to make me do any thing contrarie to that, which I owe vnto mine honour. Consider (I beâˆ£seech thee) how seldome, things, commenced vnder suttletie and dissimulation, haue good successe; and that it is not the part of a Gentleman, to meane them one way, and speak them another. Thou praiest me (amongst other things) to admit thee into possession of that, that is mine: but I am of so ill an humour in matters of this qualiâˆ£tie, that I trust not things experienced, how much lesse then thy bare wordes, yet neuerthelesse, I make no small account of that, which thou hast manifested to me in thy letter; for it is ynough that I am incredulous, though not vnthankfull.
This letter did I send, contrarie to that I should haue done, bicause it was the occasion of all my harmes and greefes: for after this, he began to waxe more bolde by vnfolding his thoughts, and seeking out the meanes to haue a parly with me. In the ende (faire Nymphes) a few daies being spent in his demaunds and my answers, false loue did worke in me after his wonted fashions, euery hower seasing more strongly vpon my vnfortunate soule. The Tourneies were now renewed, the musicke by night did neuer cease, amorous letters and verses were recontinued on both sides: and thus passed I away almost a whole yeere, at the end whereof, I felt my selfe so far in his loue, that I had no power to retire, nor stay my selfe from disclosing my thoughts vnto him, (the thing which he desired more then his owne life.) But my aduerse fortune afterwardes would, that of these our mutuall loues (when as now they were most assured) his father had some intelligence, and whosoeuer reuealed them first, perswaded him so cunningly, that his father (fearing least he would haue married me out of hand) sent him to the great Princesse Augusta Caesarinas court, telling him, it was not meete that a yoong Gentleman, and of so noble a house as he was, should spende his youth idly at home, where nothing could be learned, but
examples of vice, whereof the very same idlenes (he said) was the onely Mistresse. He went away so pensiue, that his great greefe would not suffer him to acquaint me with his departure, which when I knew, how sorrowfull I remained, she may imaâˆ£gine, that hath bene at any time tormented with like passion. To tell you now the life, that I led in his absence, my sadnes, sighes, and teares, which euery day I powred out of these wearied eies, my toong is far vnable: if then my paines were such, that I cannot now expresse them, how could I then suffer them? But being in the mids of my mishaps, and in the depth of those woes which the absence of Don Felix cauâˆ£sed me to feele, and it seeming to me that my greefe was without remedie, if he were once seene or knowen of the Ladies in that Court (more beautifull and gracious then my selfe.) By occasion whereof, as also by absence (a capitall enemie to loue) I might easily be forgotten, I determined to aduenture that, which I thinke neuer any woman imagined: which was, to apparell my selfe in the habit of a man, and to hye me to the Court to see him, in whose sight al my hope and content remained: which determination, I no sooner thought of, then I put in practise, loue blinding my eies and minde with an inconsiderate regarde of mine owne estate and condition. To the execution of which attempt, I wanted no industrie, for, being furnished with the helpe of one of my approoued friends, and treasouresse of my secrets, who bought me such apparell, as I willed her, and a good horse for my iourney, I went not onely out of my countrie, but out of my deere reputation (which (I thinke) I shall neuer recouer againe) and so trotted directly to the Court, passing by the way many accidents, which (if time would giue me leaue to tell them) woulde not make you laugh a little to heare them. Twenty daies I was in going thither, at the ende of which, being come to the desired place, I tooke vp mine Inne in a streete lest freâˆ£quented with concurse of people. And the great desire I had to see the destroier of my ioy, did not suffer me to thinke of any other thing, but how or where I might see him. To inquire of him of mine host, I durst not, lest my comming might (perhaps) haue bene discouered: and to seeke him foorth, I thought it not best, lest some inoâˆ£pinate mishap might haue fallen out, whereby I might haue bene knowen. Whereâˆ£fore I passed all that day in these perplexities, while night came on, each hower whereof (me thought) was a whole yeere vnto me. But midnight being a little past, mine host called at my chamber doore, and tolde me if I was desirous to heare some braue musicke, I should arise quickly, and open a window towards the street. The which I did by and by, and making no noise at all, I heard how Don Felix his Page, called Fabius (whom I knew by his voice) saide to others that came with him. Now it is time my Masters, bicause the Lady is in the gallerie ouer her garden, taking the fresh aire of the coole night. He had no sooner saide so, but they began to winde three Cornets and a Sackbot, with such skill and sweetenesse, that it seemed celeâˆ£stiall musicke. And then began a voice to sing, the sweetest (in my opinion) that euer I heard. And though I was in suspence, by hearing
Fabius speake, whereby a thouâˆ£sand doubtes and imaginations (repugnant to my rest) occurred in my minde, yet I neglected not to heare what was sung, bicause their operations were not of such force, that they were able to hinder the desire, nor distemper the delight that I conâˆ£ceiued by hearing it. That therefore which was sung, were these verses.
SWeete Mistresse harken vnto me
(If it greeues thee to see me die)
And hearing though it greeueth thee,
To heare me yet, do not denie.
O grant me then this short content,
For forcâ€™d I am to thee to fliie:
My sighes do not make thee relent,
Nor teares thy hart do mollifie.
Nothing of mine doth giue thee payne,
Nor thou thinkâ€™st of no remedie:
Mistresse how long shall I sustaine
such ill, as still thou dost applie?
In death there is no helpe, be sure,
But in thy will, where it doth lie:
For all those illes which death doth cure,
Alas, they are but light to trie:
My troubles do not trouble thee,
Nor hope to touch thy soule so nie:
O from a will that is so free,
What should I hope, when I do crie?
How can I mollifie that braue
And stonie hart, of pittie drie?
Yet Mistresse turne those eies (that haue
No peeres) shining like stars in skie:
But turne them not in angrie sort,
If thou wilt not kill me thereby:
Though yet in anger, or in sport,
Thou killest onely with thine eie.
After they had first with a concent of musicke sung this song, two plaied, the one vpon a Lute, the other vpon a siluer sounding Harpe, being accompanied with the sweete voice of my Don Felix: the great ioy that I felt in hearing him, cannot be imagined, for (me thought) I heard him nowe, as in that happie and passed time of our loues. But after the deceit of this imagination was discouered, seeing with mine eies, and hearing with mine eares, that this musicke was bestowed vpon another and not on me, God knowes what a bitter death it was vnto my soule: And with a greeâˆ£uous sigh, that caried almost my life away with it, I asked mine host, if he knew what the Ladie was, for whose sake the musick was made? He answered me, that he could not imagine on whom it was bestowed, bicause in that streete dwelled manie noble and faire Ladies. And when I saw he could not satisfie my request, I bent mine eares againe to heare my Don Felix, who now to the tune of a delicate harpe whereon he sweetely plaied, began to sing this Sonnet following.
MY painefull yeeres impartiall Loue was spending
In vaine and booteles hopes my life appaying,
And cruell Fortune to the world bewraying
Strange samples of my teares that haue no ending.
Time euerie thing to truth at last commending,
Leaues of my steps such markes, that now betraying
And all deceitfull trusts shall be decaying,
And none haue cause to plaine of his offending.
Shee, whom I louâ€™d to my obliged power,
That in her sweetest loue to me discouers
Which neuer yet I knew (those heauenly pleasures,)
And I do saie, exclaiming euery hower,
Do not you see, what makes you wise, O Louers?
Loue, Fortune, Time, and my faire Mystresse treasures.
The Sonnet being ended, they paused a while, playing on fower Lutes togither, and on a paire of Virginals, with such heauenly melodie, that the whole worlde
(I thinke) could not affoord sweeter musick to the eare, nor delight to any minde, not subiect to the panges of such predominant greefe and sorrow as mine was. But then fower voice passing well tuned and set togither, began to sing this song folâˆ£lowing.
THat sweetest harme I doe not blame,
First caused by thy fairest eies,
But greeue, bicause too late I came,
To know my fault, and to be wise.
I neuer knew a worser kinde of life,
To liue in feare, from boldnesse still to cease:
Nor woorse then this, to liue in such a strife,
Whether of both, to speake, or holde my peace?
And so the harme I doe not blame,
Caused by thee, or thy faire eies:
But that to see how late I came,
To knowe my fault, and to be wise.
I euer more did feare, that I should knowe
Some secret things, and doubtfull in their kinde,
Bicause the surest things doe euer goe
Most contrarie vnto my wish and minde.
And yet by knowing of the same,
There is no hurt, But it denies
My remedie, Since late I came,
To knowe my fault, and to be wise.
When this song was ended, they began to sound diuers sorts of instruments, and voices most excellently agreeing togither, and with such sweetnes, that they could not chuse but delight any very much, who were not so farre from it as I. About dawning of the day the musicke ended, and I did, what I could to espie out my Don Felix, but the darknes of the night was mine enimie therein. And seeing now that they were gone, I went to bed againe, where I bewailed my great mishap, knowing that he, whom most of al I loued, had so vnwoorthily forgotten me, whereof his muâˆ£sicke was too manifest a witnes. And when it was time, I arose, & without any other consideration went straight to the Princesse her pallace, where (I thought) I might see that, which I so greatly desired, determining to call my selfe Valerius, if any (perâˆ£haps) did aske my name. Comming therefore to a faire broad court before the palâˆ£lace gate, I viewed the windowes and galleries, where I sawe such store of blazing beauties, and gallant Ladies, that I am not able now to recount, nor then to do any more, but woonder at their graces, their gorgeous attyre, their iewels, their braue fashions of apparell, and ornaments, wherewith they were so richly set out. Vp and downe this place before the windowes roade many lords, and braue gentlemen in rich and sumptuous habits, and mounted vpon proud Iennets, euery one casting his
eie to that part, where his thoughts were secretly placed. God knowes how greatly I desired to see Don Felix there, and that his iniurious loue had beene in that faâˆ£mous pallace, bicause I might then haue beene assured, that he shoulde neuer haue got any other guerdon of his sutes and seruices, but onely to see, and to be seene, and sometimes to speake to his Mistresse, whom he must serue before a thousand eies, bicause the priuilege of that place doth not giue him any further leaue. But it was my ill fortune, that he had setled his loue in that place, where I might not be asâˆ£sured of this poore helpe. Thus as I was standing neere to the pallace gate, I espied Fabius, Don Felix his page, comming in great haste to the pallace, where speaking a word or two with a porter that kept the second entrie, he returned the same waie he came. I gessed his errant was, to knowe whether it were fit time for Don Felix to come to dispatch certaine busines, that his father had in the court, and that he could not choose but come thither out of hand. And being in this supposed ioy, which his sight did promise me, I sawe him comming along with a great traine of followers attending on his person, all of them being brauely apparelled in a liuerie of watchet silke, garded with yellow veluet, and stitched on either side with threedes of twisted siluer, wearing likewise blew, yellow, and white feathers in their hats. But my Lorde Don Felixhad on a paire of ash colour hose, embrodered and drawen foorth with watchet tissue, his dublet was of white satten, embrodered with knots of golde, and likewise an embrodered ierkin of the same coloured veluet, and his short cape cloke was of blacke veluet, edged with gold lace, and hung full of buttons of pearle and gold, and lined with razed watchet satten, by his side he ware at apaire of embrodeâˆ£red hangers a rapier and dagger, with engrauen hilts and pommell of beaten golde. On his head, a hat, beset full of golden stars, in the mids of euerie which a rich orient pearle was enchased, and his feather was likewise blew, yellow, and white. Mounted he came vpon a faire dapple graie Iennet, with a rich furniture of blew, embrodered with golde and seede pearle. When I sawe him in this rich equipage, I was so amaâˆ£zed at his sight, that how extremely my sences were rauished with sudden ioye, I am not able (faire Nymphes) to tell you. Truth it is, that I could not but shed some teares for ioy and greefe, which his sight did make me feele, but fearing to be noted by the standers by, for that time I dried them vp. But as Don Felix (being now come to the pallace gate) was dismounted, and gone vp a paire of staires into the chamber of presence, I went to his men, where they were attending his returne, and seeing Fabjus, whom I had seene before amongst them, I tooke him aside, and saide vnto him. My friend, I pray you tell me what Lord this is, which did but euen now alight from his Iennet, for (me thinkes) he is very like one, whom I haue seene before in an other farre countrey. Fabius then answered me thus. Art thou such a nouice in the court, that thou knowest not Don Felix? I tell thee there is not any Lord, knight, or gentleman better knowne in it then he. No doubt of that (saide I) but I will tell thee what a nouice I am, and how small a time I haue beene in the court, for yesterâˆ£day was the first, that euer I came to it. Naie then I cannot blame thee (saide Fabiâˆ£us) if thou knowest him not. Knowe then that this gentleman is called Don Felix, borne in Vandalia, and hath his chiefest house in the ancient cittie of Soldina, and is remaining in this court about certaine affaires of his fathers and his owne. But I pray you tell me (said I) why he giues his liueries of these colours? If the cause were not so manifest, I woulde conceale it (saide Fabius) but since there is not any that knowes it not, and canst not come to any in this court, who cannot tell thee the reason why, I thinke by telling thee it, I do no more then in courtesie I am bound to
do. Thou must therefore vnderstand, that he loues and serues a Ladie heere in this Citie named Celia, and therefore weares and giues for his liuerie an azure blew, which is the colour of the skie, and white and yellow, which are the colours of his Lady and Mistresse. When I heard these words, imagine (faire Nymphes) in what a plight I was, but dissembling my mishap and griefe, I answered him. This Ladie certes is greatly beholding to him, bicause he thinkes not enough, by wearing her colours, to shew how willing he is to serue her, vnlesse also he beare her name in his liuerie: whereupon I gesse, she cannot be but very faire and amiable. She is no lesse indeede (saide Fabius) although the other, whom he loued and serued in our owne countrey, in beautie farre excelled this, and loued and fauoured him more then euer this did. But this mischieuous absence doth violate and dissolue those things, which men thinke to be most strong and firme. At these wordes (faire Nymphes) was I faine to come to some composition with my teares, which if I had not stopped from issuing foorth, Fabius could not haue chosen, but suspected by the alteration of my countenance that all was not well with me. And then the Page did aske me, what countrey-man I was, my name, and of what calling and condition I was: whom I answered, that my countrey, where I was borne was Vandalia, my name Valerius, and till that time serued no Master. Then by this reckoning (saide he) we are both countrey-men, and may be both fellowes in one house if thou wilt: for Don Felix my Master commanded me long since to seeke him out a Page. Therefore if thou wilt serue him say so. As for meate, drinke, and apparell, and a couple of shilâˆ£lings to play away, thou shalt neuer want, besides pretie wenches, which are not daintie in our streete, as faire and amorous as Queenes, of which there is not anie, that will not die for the loue of so proper a youth as thou art. And to tell thee in secret (because perhaps we may be fellowes) I know where an old Cannons maide is, a gallant fine girle, whom if thou canst but finde in thy hart to loue and serue, as I do, thou shalt neuer want at her hands, sine hand-kerchers, peeces of bacon, and now and then wine of S. Martyn. When I heard this, I could not choose but laugh, to see how naturally the vnhappie Page played his part, by depainting foorth their properties in their liuely colours. And because I thought nothing more commodiâˆ£ous for my rest, and for the enioying of my desire, then to follow Fabius his counâˆ£sell, I answered him thus. In truth I determined to serue none, but now, since fortune hath offered me so good a seruice, and at such a time, when I am constrained to take this course of life, I shall not do amisse if I frame my selfe to the seruiee of some Lord or Gentleman in this Court, but especially of your Master, because he seemes to be a woorthy Gentleman, and such an one, that makes more reckoning of his seruants then an other. Ha thou knowest him not as well as I (said Fabius) for I promise thee by the faith of a Gentleman (for I am one in deede, for my father comes of the Cachoâˆ£pines of Laredo) that my Master Don Felix is the best natured Gentleman that euer thou knewest in thy life, and one who vseth his Pages better then any other. And were it not for those troublesome loues, which makes vs runne vp and downe more, and sleepelesse, then we woulde, there were not such a Master in the whole worlde againe. In the end (faire Nymphes) Fabius spake to his Master Don Felixas soone as he was come foorth in my behalfe, who commanded me the same night to come to him at his lodging. Thither I went, and he entertained me for his Page, making the most of me in the worlde, where, being but a fewe daies with him, I sawe the messages, letters, and gifts that were brought and caried on both sides, greeuous wounds (alas & coruiues to my dying hart) which made my soule to flie sometimes
out of my body, & euery hower in hazard to leese my forced patience before euery one. But after one moneth was past, Don Felix began to like so well of me, that he disclosed his whole loue vnto me from the beginning vnto the present estate and forwardnes, that it was then in, committing the charge thereof to my secrecie and helpe, telling me, that he was fauoured of her at the beginning, and that afterwards she waxed wearie of her louing and accustomed entertainment, the cause whereof was a secret report (whosoeuer it was that buzzed it into her eares) of the loue, that he did beare to a Lady in his owne countrey, and that his present loue vnto her was but to entertaine the time, while his busines in the Court were dispatched. And there is no doubt (saide Don Felix vnto me) but that indeede I did once commence that loue that she laies to my charge, but God knowes if now there be any thing in the world, that I loue and esteeme more deere and precious then her. When I heard him say so, you may imagine (faire Nymphes) what a mortall dagger pierced my wounded heart. But with dissembling the matter the best I coulde, I answered him thus. It were better sir (me thinkes) that the Gentlewoman should complaine with cause, and that it were so indeed, for if the other Ladie, whom you serued before, did not deserue to be forgotten of you, you do her (vnder correction my Lord) the greaâˆ£test wrong in the world. The loue (said Don Felix againe) which I beare to my Celia will not let me vnderstand it so, but I haue done her (me thinkes) the greater iniuâˆ£rie, hauing placed my loue first in an other, and not in her. Of these wrongs (saide I to my selfe) I know who beares the woorst away. And (disloyall) he pulling a letter out of his bosome, which he had receiued the same hower from his Mistresse, reade it vnto me, thinking that he did me a great fauour thereby, the contents whereof were these.
Celias letter to Don Felix.
NEuer any thing, that I suspected touching thy loue, hath beene so farre from the truth, that hath not giuen me occasion to beleeue more often mine owne imagination, then thy innocencie, wherein, if I do thee any wrong, referre it but to the censure of thine owne follie: For well thou mightest haue denied, or not declaâˆ£red thy passed loue, without giuing me occasion to condemne thee by thine owne confession. Thou saiest I was the cause that made thee forget thy former loue: Comâˆ£fort thy selfe, for there shall not want another to make thee forget thy second. And assure thy selfe of this (Lord Don Felix) that there is not any thing more vnbeseeâˆ£ming a Gentleman, then to finde an occasion in a Gentlewoman to leese himselfe for her loue. I will saie no more, but that in an ill, where there is no remedie, the best is not to seeke out any.
After he had made an end of reading the letter, he said vnto me. What thinkest thou Valerius of these words? With pardon be it spoken my Lord; That your deedes are shewed by them. Go to, said Don Felix, and speake no more of that. Sir, saide I, they must like me wel, if they like you, because none can iudge better of their words, that loue well, then they themselues. But that which I thinke of the letter is, that this Gentlewoman would haue beene the first, and that Fortune had entreated her in such sort, that all others might haue enuied her estate. But what wouldest thou counsell me saide Don Felix? If thy griefe doth suffer any counsell, saide I, that thy thoughts be diuided into this second passion, since there is so much due to the first.
Don Felix answered me againe sighing, and knocking me gently on the shoulder, saying. How wise art thou Valerius, and what good counsell dost thou giue me, if I
could follow it. Let vs now go in to dinner, for when I haue dined, I will haue thee carie me a letter to my Lady Celia, and then thou shalt see, if any other loue is not woorthy to be forgotten in lieu of thinking onely of her. These were wordes, that greeued Felismena to the hart, but bicause she had him before her eies, whom she loued more then her-selfe, the content, that she had by onely seeing him, was a sufficient remedie of the paine, that the greatest of these stings did make her feele. After Don Felix had dined, he called me vnto him, and giuing me a speciall charge what I should do (because he had imparted his griefe vnto me, and put his hope and remedie in my hands) he willed me to carie a letter to Celia, which he had alreadie written, and reading it first vnto me, it said thus.
Don Felix his letter to Celia.
THe thought, that seekes an occasion to forget the thing, which it doth loue and desire, suffers it selfe so easily to be knowne, that (without troubling the minde much) it may be quickly discerned. And thinke not (faire Ladie) that I seeke a remedie to excuse you of that, wherewith it pleased you to vse me, since I neuer came to be so much in credit with you, that in lesser things I woulde do it. I haue confessed vnto you, that indeede I once loued well, because that true loue, without dissimulation, doth not suffer any thing to be hid, and you (deere Ladie) make that an occasion to forget me, which should be rather a motiue to loue me better. I canâˆ£not perswade me, that you make so small an account of your selfe, to thinke that I can forget you for any thing that is, or hath euer been, but rather imagine, that you write cleane contrarie to that, which you haue tried by my zealous loue, and faith towards you. Touching all those things, that in preiudice of my good will towards you, it pleaseth you to imagine, my innocent thoughts assure me to the contrarie, which shall suffice, to be ill recompenced, besides, being so ill thought of, as they are.
After Don Felix had read this letter vnto me, he asked me if the answer was corâˆ£respondent to those words that his Ladie Celia had sent him in hers, and if there was any thing therein, that might be amended. Whereunto I answered thus. I thinke Sir, it is needlesse to amende this letter, or to make the Gentlewoman amendes, to whom it is sent, but her, whom you do iniurie so much with it. Which vnder your Lordships pardon I speake, bicause I am so much affected to the first loue in all my life, that there is not any thing that can make me alter my minde. Thou hast the greatest reason in the world (said Don Felix) if I coulde perswade my selfe to leaue of that, which I haue begun: But what wilt thou haue me do, since absence hath frozen the former loue, and the continuall presence of a peerelesse beautie rekindled another more hot and feruent in me. Thus may she thinke her-selfe (saide I againe) vniustly deceiued, whom first you loued, because that loue, which is subiect to the power of absence, cannot be termed loue, and none can perswade me that it hath beene loue. These words did I dissemble the best I could, because I felt so sensible griefe, to see my selfe forgotten of him, who had so great reason to loue me, and whom I did loue so much, that I did more, theÌ„ any would haue thought, to make my selfe still vnknowen. But taking the letter and mine errant with me, I went to Celias house, imagining by the way the wofull estate, whereunto my haplesse loue had brought me; since I was forced to make warre against mine owne selfe, and to be the intercessour of a thing so contrarie to mine owne content. But comming to Celias
house, and finding a Page standing at the dore, I asked him if I might speake with his Ladie: who being informed of me from whence I came, tolde Celia how I would speake with her, commending therewithall my beautie and person vnto her, and telâˆ£ling her besides, that Don Felix had but lately entertained me into his seruice, which made Celia saie vnto him. What, doth Don Felix so soone disclose his secret loues to a Page, but newly entertained? he hath (belike) some great occasion that mooues him to do it. Bid him com in, & let vs know what he would haue. In I came, & to the place, where the enimie of my life was, & with great reuerence, kissing her hands, I deliuered Don Felix his letter vnto her. Celia tooke it, and casting her eies vpon me, I might perceiue how my sight had made a sudden alteration in her countenance, for she was so farre besides her-selfe, that for a good while she was not able to speake a worde, but remembring her-selfe at last, she saide vnto me. What good fortune hath beene so fauourable to Don Felix to bring thee to this Court, to make thee his Page? Euen that, faire Ladie, saide I, which is better then euer I imagined, bicause it hath beene an occasion to make me behold such singular beautie and perfections, as now I see cleerely before mine eies: And if the paines, the teares, the sighes, and the continuall disquiets, that my Lord Don Felix hath sufâˆ£fred, haue greeued me heeretofore, now that I haue seene the source, from whence they flow, and the cause of all his ill, the pittie, that I had on him, is now wholly conâˆ£uerted into a certaine kinde of enuie. But if it be true (faire Lady) that my comming is welcome vnto you, I beseech you by that, which you owe to the great loue, which he beares you, that your answer may import no lesse vnto him. There is not anie thing (saide Celia) that I would not do for thee, though I were determined not to loue him at all, who for my sake hath forsaken another. For it is no small point of wisedome for me, to learne by other womens harmes to be more wise, and warie in mine owne. Beleeue not good Lady (saide I) that there is any thing in the worlde, that can make Don Felix forget you. And if he hath cast off another for your sake, woonder not thereat, when your beautie and wisedome is so great, and the others so small, that there is no reason to thinke, that he will (though he hath woorthelie forsaken her for your sake) or euer can forget you for any woman else in the worlde. Doest thou then know Felismena (saide Celia) the Lady whom thy Master did once loue and serue in his owne countrey? I know her (saide I) although not so well as it was needfull for me, to haue preuented so many mishaps, (and this I spake softly to my selfe). For my fathers house was neere to hers, but seeing your great beautie adorned with such perfections and wisedome, Don Felix can not be blamed, if he hath forgotten his first loue, onely to embrace and honour yours. To this did Celia answer merily, and smiling. Thou hast learned quickly of thy Master to sooth. Not so faire Ladie, saide I, but to serue you woulde I faine learne: for flatterie canâˆ£not be where (in the iudgement of all) there are so manifest signes and proofes of this due commendation. Celia began in good earnest to aske me what manner of woman Felismena was; whom I answered, that touching her beautie, Some thought her to be very faire, but I was neuer of that opinion, bicause she hath many daies since wanted the chiefest thing, that is requisite for it. What is that said Celia? Conâˆ£tent of minde, saide I, bicause perfect beautie can neuer be, where the same is not adioyned to it. Thou hast the greatest reason in the world, said she, but I haue seene some Ladies, whose liuely hewe sadnes hath not one whit abated, and others, whose beautie anger hath encreased, which is a strange thing, me thinkes. Haplesse is that beauty said I, that hath sorrow & anger the preseruers & mistresses of it, but I caÌ„not
skill of these impertinent things: And yet that woman, that must needes be moleâˆ£sted with continuall paine and trouble, with greefe and care of minde, and with other passions to make her looke well, cannot be recknoed among the number of faire women, and for mine owne part, I do not account her so. Wherein thou hast great reason said she, as in all things else that thou hast saide, thou hast shewed thy selfe wise and discreete. Which I haue deerely bought, said I againe: But I beseech you (gracious Lady) to answer this letter, because my Lord Don Felix may also haue some contentment, by receiuing this first well emploied seruice at my hands. I am content, saide Celia, but first thou must tell me if Felismena in matters of discretion be wise and well aduised? There was neuer any woman (saide I againe) more wise then she, bicause she hath beene long since beaten to it by her great mishaps; but she did neuer aduise her selfe well, for if she had (as she was accounted wise) she had neuer come to haue bene so contrarie to her selfe. Thou speakest so wisely in all thy answeres, saide Celia, that there is not any, that woulde not take great delight to heare them: which are not viands (said I) for such a daintie taste, nor reasons for so ingenious and fine a conceit (faire Lady) as you haue, but boldly affirming, that by the same I meane no harme at all. There is not any thing, saide Celia, whereunto thy wit cannot attaine, but because thou shalt not spende thy time so ill in praising me, as thy Master doth in praying me, I will reade thy letter, and tell thee what thou shalt say vnto him from me. Whereupon vnfolding it, she began to read it to herâˆ£self, to whose countenance and gestures in reading of the same, which are oftenâˆ£times outwarde signes of the inwarde disposition and meaning of the hart, I gaue a watchfull eie. And when she had read it, she said vnto me. Tell thy Master that he that can so well by wordes expresse what he meanes, cannot choose but meane as well as he saith: And comming neerer vnto me, she saide softly in mine eare. And this for the loue of thee
Valerius, and not so much for Don Felix thy Master his sake, for I see how much thou louest and tenderest his estate: And from thence alas (saide I to my selfe) did all my woes arise. Whereupon kissing her hands for the great curâˆ£tesie and fauour she shewed me, I hied me to Don Felix with this answer, which was no small ioy to him to heare it, and another death to me to report it, saying manie times to my selfe (when I did either bring him home some ioyfull tydings, or carrie letters or tokens to her) O thrise vnfortunate Felismena, that with thine owne weaâˆ£pons art constrained to wounde thy euer-dying hart, and to heape vp fauours for him, who made so small account of thine. And so did I passe away my life with so many torments of minde, that if by the sight of my Don Felix they had not beene tempered, it coulde not haue otherwise beene, but that I must needes haue lost it. More then two monethes togither did Celia hide from me the feruent loue she bare me, although not in such sort, but that by certaine apparant signes, I came to the knowledge thereof, which was no small lighting and ease of that griefe, which incessantly haunted my wearied spirites; For as I thought it a strong occasion, and the onely meane to make her vtterly forget Don Felix, so likewise I imagined, that, perhaps, it might befall to him, as it hath done to many, that the force of ingratitude, and contempt of his loue, might haue vtterly aboâˆ£lished such thoughtes out of his hart. But alas it happened not so to my Don Felix, for the more he perceiued that his Ladie forgot him, the more was his minde troubled with greater cares and greefe, which made him leade the most sorowfull life that might be, whereof the least part did not fall to my let. For remeâˆ£die of whose sighes and pitious lamentations, poore Felismena (euen by maine
force) did get fauours from Celia, scoring them vp (whensoeuer she sent them by me) in the catalogue of my infinite mishaps. For if by chaunce he sent her anie thing by any of his other seruants, it was so slenderly accepted, that he thought it best to send none vnto her but my selfe, perceiuing what inconuenience did ensue thereof. But God knowes how many teares my messages cost me, and so many they were, that in Celias presence I ceased not to powre them foorth, earnestly beâˆ£seeching her with praiers and petitions, not to entreat him so ill, who loued her so much, bicause I woulde binde Don Felix to me by the greatest bonde, as neuer man in like was bounde to any woman. My teares greeued Celia to the hart, as well for that I shed them in her presence, as also for that she sawe, if I meant to loue her, I woulde not (for requitall of hers to me) haue sollicited her with such diligence, nor pleaded with such pittie, to get fauours for another. And thus I liued in the greatest confusion that might be, amids a thousand anxieties of minde, for I imagined with my selfe, that if I made not a shew that I loued her, as she did me, I did put it in haâˆ£zard, lest Celia, for despite of my simplicitie or contempt, woulde haue loue Don Felix more then before, and by louing him, that mine coulde not haue any good successe; And if I fained my selfe on the other side, to be in loue with her, it might haue beene an occasion, to haue made her reiect my Lord Don Felix, so that with the thought of his loue neglected, and with the force of her contempt, he might haue lost his content, and after that, his life, the least of which two misâˆ£chiefes to preuent, I woulde haue giuen a thousand liues, if I had them. Manie daies passed away in this sort, wherein I serued him as a thirde betweene both, to the great cost of my contentment, at the end whereof, the successe of his loue went on woorse and woorse, bicause the Loue, that Celia did beare me was so great, that the extreme force of her passion made her leese some part of that compassion, she should haue had of her selfe. And on a day after that I had caried, and recaried maâˆ£ny messages and tokens betweene them, somtimes faining some my selfe from her vnto him, because I could not see him (whom I loued so deerly) so sad and pensiue, with many supplications and earnest praiers I besought Lady Celia with pittie to reâˆ£gard the painfull life, that Don Felix passed for her sake, and to consider, that, by not fauouring him, she was repugnant to that, which she owed to her selfe: which thing I entreated, bicause I sawe him in such a case, that there was no other thing to be expected of him but death, by reason of the continuall and great paine, which his greeuous thoughts made him feele. But she with swelling teares in her eies, and with many sighes answered me thus. Vnfortunate and accursed Celia, that nowe in the end dost know, how thou liuest deceiued with a false opinioÌ„ of thy great simpliâˆ£citie (vngratefull Valerius) and of thy small discretion. I did not beleeue till now, that thou didst craue fauours of me for thy Master, but onely for thy selfe, and to enioy my sight all that time, that thou diddest spende in suing to me for them. But now I see thou dost aske them in earnest, and that thou art so content to see me vse him well, that thou canst not (without doubt) loue me at all. O how ill dost thou acquite the loue I beare thee, and that, which for thy sake I do nowe forsake? O that time might reuenge me of thy proude and foolish minde, since loue hath not beene the meanes to do it. For I cannot thinke, that Fortune will be so contrarie vnto me, but that she will punish thee for coÌ„temning that great good which she meant to bestow on thee. And tell thy Lord Don Felix that if he will see me aliue, that he see me not at all: And thou vile traitour, cruell enemie to my rest, com no more (I charge thee) beâˆ£fore these wearied eies, since their teares were neuer of force to make thee knowe
how much thou art bound vnto them. And with this, she suddenly flang out of my sight with so many teares, that mine were not of force to staie her. For in the greaâˆ£test haste in the worlde she got her into her chamber, where locking the dore after her, it auailed me not to call and crie vnto her, requesting her with amorous and sweete words to open me the dore, and to take such satisfaction on me, as it pleased her: Nor to tell her many other things, whereby I declared vnto her the small reaâˆ£son she had to be so angrie with me, and to shut me out. But with a strange kinde of furie she saide vnto me. Come no more, vngratefull and proud Valerius in my sight, and speake no more vnto me, for thou art not able to make satisfaction for such great disdaine, and I will haue no other remedie for the harme, which thou hast done me, but death it selfe, the which with mine owne hands I will take in satisfacâˆ£tion of that, which thou deseruest: which words when I heard, I staied no longer, but with a heauie cheere came to my Don Felix his lodging, and with more sadnes, then I was able to dissemble, tolde him, that I could not speake with Celia, because she was visited of certaine Gentlewomen her kinsew omen. But the next day in the morning, it was bruted ouer all the citie, that a certaine trance had taken her that night, wherein she gaue vp the ghost, which stroke all the court with no smal woonâˆ£der. But that, which Don Felix felt by her sudden death, and how neere it greeued his very soule, as I am not able to tell, so can not humane intendement conceiue it, for the complaints he made, the teares, the burning sighes, and hart-breake sobbes, were without all measure and number. But I saie nothing of my selfe, when on the one side, the vnluckie death of Celia touched my soule very neere, the teares of Don Felix on the other, did cut my hart in two with greefe: And yet this was noâˆ£thing to that intollerable paine, which afterwardes I felt. For Don Felix heard no sooner of her death, but the same night he was missing in his house, that none of his seruants, nor any bodie else could tell any newes of him.
Whereupon you may perceiue (faire Nymphes) what cruell torments I did then feele, then did I wish a thousand times for death to preuent all those woes and myâˆ£series, which afterwards befell vnto me: For Fortune (it seemed) was but wearie of those which she had but till then giuen me. But as all the care and diligence which I emploied in seeking out my Don Felix, was but in vaine, so I resolued with my selfe to take this habite vpon me as you see, wherein it is more then two yeeres, since I haue wandred vp and downe, seeking him in manie countryes: but my fortune hath denied me to finde him out, although I am not a little now bounde vnto her by conâˆ£ducting me hither at this time, wherein I did you this small peece of seruice. Which (faire Nymphes) beleeue me, I account (next after his life in whom I haue put all my hope) the greatest content, that might haue fallen vnto me.
When the Nymphes had heard faire Felismenas tale, and vnderstoode what a great Lady she was, and how loue had made her forsake her naturall habite, and taken vpon her the weedes and life of a shepherdesse, they were no lesse amazed at her constancie and zeale, then at the great power of that cruell tyrant, who absoâˆ£lutely commands so many liberties to his seruice. And they were mooued besides to no small pittie, to see the teares and burning sighes wherewith the Ladie did soâˆ£lemnize the historie of her loue. Doriatherefore, whose tender soule Felismenas greefe did most transpierce, and who was more affected to her, then to any woman, with whom she had ouer conuersed before, tooke her by the hand, and began to say to her in manner follwing. What can we do (saire Lady) against the blowes of Forâˆ£tune, what place is there so strong, where one may be safe from the mutabilities of
time? What harneys so impenetrable, and steele so well tempered, that may serue for a defence against the violence of this tyrant, whom so vniustly they call Loue? And what hart (though it be harder then diamond) which an amorous thought can not mollifie and make tender? Certes this beautie, this valour, and this wisedome, deserue not to be forgotten of him, who had but once seene and knowne them: But we liue now in such an age, that the deserts of any thing, are the meanes and occaâˆ£sions of not obtaining it. And cruell loue is of so strange a condition, that he beâˆ£stoweth his contents without any good order and rule, and giueth there greatest faâˆ£uours, where they are lest esteemed; but the medicine of so many ils, (whereof this tyrant is the cause) is her discretion & courage that suffers them. But whom doth he leaue so free, that these may serue her for a remedie? Or who can command her selfe so much in this passion, that in other womens affaires she is able to giue counsell, how much lesse to take it in her owne. Yet for all this, I beseech thee (faire Ladie) to put before thine eies, and consider what thou art, bicause if women of such high reâˆ£nowne and vertue as thou art, are not able to tolerate his aduerse effects, how can they suffer them, that are not such. And in the behalfe of these Nymphes and mine owne, I request thee, to go with vs to the sage Felicias pallace, which is not farre from this place, for that to morrow about this time we may be well there: where (I am assured) thou shalt finde great remedies for thy greefes, as many others haue done heeretofore, that haue not deserued them as much as thou hast: whose proâˆ£founde skill and rare experiments (besides many other notable things in her, wherein no man or woman in our times came euer neere her) and her princely bountie dothâ€™make her so famous and renowned, that the greatest kings and estates in the worlde are desirous of her companie. I know not faire Nymphes (said Felismena againe) who is able to applie a remedie to such an ill, but he that first caused it. But neuerthelesse I will fulfill your wils heerein, and since your companie is such an ease and lighting to my paine, it were a fond part to reiect that comfort, whereof at this time I stande in so great neede. I woonder said Cynthia, that Don Feâˆ£lix (al the while thou didst serue him) did not know thee by thy faire face, thy sweete grace, and looking daily on such faire eies. He did so little remember those beauties, saide Felismena, which he had once scene in me, (his thoughts being so deepely imâˆ£printed on Celias which he daily viewed) that he had no power, nor knowledge left to thinke once of mine. And talking thus togither, they heard the Shepherds singâˆ£ing, (that in companie of discreet Seluagia were comming down the hill) the oldest songs they knew, or that their seuerall greefes did put into their heads, euerie one taking that, which made most for his purpose. And the first that began to sing, was Syluanus, who did sing this song following.
MY passion (Loue) thou dost disdaine,
But God keepe thee from such a paine.
I am of Loue disdained,
And Fortunes wheele doth broose me,
I care not now to loose me,
And hope not to be gained.
So care to care is chained
By Fortune and by Loue againe:
But God keepe thee from such a paina.
In playntes Loue entertained
Myhart (such sport to choose me)
And fortune thus vndooes me,
To make me thinke vnfained,
That Time a change maintained,
But Both do still my greefes ordaine,
But God keepe thee from such a paine.
Seluagia, who bare no lesse loue, or at lest no lesse presumption thereof to her Alanius, then Syluanus to faire Diana, and who thought her selfe no lesse greeued for the change, that he had made in his loue, then Syluanus for the long perseueraÌ„ce in his harme, changing the first verse of this old pastorall round that followeth, she began to sing it, applying it to her purpose in this sort.
SAie Shepherdesse, what hath depriued thee
Of curtesie and ioy,
Since that so merrie thou were woont to be?
The deere remembrance of my passed gladnes
In middes of all my present greefe and paine,
Woe to my soule, that feeles it with such sadnes,
If long in such a state it doth remaine:
And since that time hath changed (to beplaine)
A Shepherd to offend and trouble me,
Merrie and pleasant I could neuer be.
Syrenus thought Seluagias song sufficient enough to manifest his greese, if Syluaâˆ£nus and she had agreed thereunto; who also perswading him to choose out some song, that he had sometimes heard most fit for his purpose, he began to sing this which followeth.
MIstresse thou hast forgotten me,
But more I loue and honor thee.
Haples, I see I am forgot,
And yet I know no reason why,
To whom thy faith thou dost apply.
And takâ€™st from whom thou dost not wot:
Being belouâ€™d, he loues thee not,
And Mistresse thou dost not loue me,
But more I loue and honor thee.
Me thinkes I do behold with pride
Those eies (my ioyes not long ago)
And for thou wilt not see me so,
Thy fairest face from me dost hide:
And that I saie to thee, beside,
Mistresse lift up those eies to me,
For more I loue and honor thee.
The Nymphes with no small delight and content, were harkening to the Shepâˆ£herds songs, but the infinite sighes and teares which the noble Shepherde sse powâˆ£red foorth, did not suffer her to be idle, while the Shepherds were a singing. When they were come to the fountaine, and had done their due reuerence, they spred a faire white cloth vpon the greene grasse, and setting that meate on it, which they had brought with them from the towne, they sat them downe to eate, whom their thoughts (at lest) would giue leaue, and they, (who had not such a priuiledge) imporâˆ£tuned by them, that were most free, must needes do the like. And after they had reâˆ£freshed themselues, Polydora saide thus. The remedie of your paines disdained Shepherds, (if it be lawfull to call you by that name,) which (to your greefe) fortune hath cast vpon you, consisteth in the hands of the graue Lady Felicia, to whom naâˆ£ture hath giuen that diuine knowledge, which she hath denied vs: And therefore since you see, how greatly it importeth you to go visit her, in the name of these two Nymphes (to whom you haue done this day so great seruice) I request you, not to refuse our companie, bicause by no other meanes you may receiue the rewarde of your trauell and paine, the which this woorthie Shepherdesse intends to take, who needes it no lesse then your selues. And thou Syrenus, whom Fortune hath tossed from a happie and ioyfull time, to a life as haplesse and full of sorrowe, despaire not, but cheere vp thy selfe, for if thy Mistresse had the remedie of the miserable life, which she leades with Delius so neere her, as thou of that, which she makes thee sufâˆ£fer, it would be no small lighting to those churlish wordes, and iealous iarres, which I know she passeth euery day with him. There is nothing faire Polydora (saide Syreâˆ£nus) that giues me now any greater discontent, then that Dianahath reuenged herâˆ£selfe on me so much to her owne cost, for louing one, who hath not any thing in him that deserues such loue, and being perforce in his companie, thou seest how much it must greeue her; and as for me, to seeke a remedie for my greefe, I woulde do it, if time and fortune would permit me. But I plainly see, that all the waies of it are stopâˆ£ped vp, and know not whither thy selfe and these faire Nymphes will carrie me to seeke it out. But let it be as it will, I will followe you, as Syluanus (I thinke) and Seluagia will do no lesse, if they be not of so small vnderstanding, that they conâˆ£ceiue not the great fauour, that you do to vs all. And so they two referring themâˆ£selues to that, which Syrenus had answered, and committing their flockes to their friends (which were not feeding farre from that place) while they came backe again, they went altogither, which way the Nymphes did lead them.
The end of the second booke of Diana.
The third Booke of Diana of George
WIth great content the faire Nymphes with their companie were going on their way thorow the middes of a thicke wood, and now the sunne being readie to set, they entred into a faire valley, in the mids of which ran a swift brooke, beset on either side with thicke Sallows and Sicamours; amongst the which were many other kindes of lesse trees, which twyning about the greater, and the golden and coloured flowers of the one,
wouen (as it were) with the greene bowes of the other, represented a goodly sight and delight to the eie. The Nymphes and Shepherds tooke a pathway betweene the brooke and the faire arbours, who had not gone farre, when they came to a large greene meadow, wherein was a very faire great moate of cleere water, from whence the brooke did spring, that with great force ranne thorow the valley. In the middes of that moate was an Iland, wherein grew some greene trees, amongst the which stoode a Sheepe-cote, and about the same a flocke of sheepe went seeding of the greene and tender grasse. The Nymphes thinking this a fit place to passe away the night, which was neere at hand, vpon a fine causey of stones most artificiallie (as it seemed) laide in order, they passed all ouer into the iland, and went directly to the cote which they sawe before them. But Polydora going in first (for she was a litâˆ£tle before the rest) was scarce entred in when she came foorth as fast againe, and looking towards her companie, did put her singer vpon her mouth, in token that they should come softly on & without any noise, which the Nymphes & the Shepâˆ£herdes perceiuing, with the least they could, came into the cote, and looking into it, espied a bed in a corner, not made of any other thing, then of the greene bowes of those Sicamours, that were growing about it, and of the greene grasse, that did growe about the water brinkes. Vpon the which they sawe a Shepherdesse lying a sleepe, whose beautie stroke them with no lesse admiration, then if on a sudden they had seene faire Diana before their eies. She had on a light skie coloured pettiâˆ£coate, and vnder that a gorget of so passing fine net-worke, that they might at pleaâˆ£sure behold the delicate proportion of her snow white brest, and comely feature of her euen body, for the vpper part (being of the same colour with the rest) hung so loose about her, that they might take a perfect view of her fine and daintie waste. Her yellowe haire in brightnes surpassing the sunnie beames, were loose and hangâˆ£ing downe without any order. But neuer did frizeling and adorned periwigge of any Lady in stately court beautifie in such sort, as the carelesse disorder that these had; and her white legge, being bare by the negligence of her harmelesse sleepe, laie seemely out of her petticoate, but not so much, that the lookers on might perâˆ£ceiue any part, but what with modestie they might well beholde. And by manie teares that (sleeping yet) went trickling downe her faire and rosie cheekes, her sleepe (it seemed) should not hinder her sorrowfull imaginations. The Nymphes and Shepherds were so amazed at her beautie, and at her inward sorrow, which by outâˆ£ward signes they well coniectured did trouble her waking soule, that they knew not what to saie, but were forced to shed teares for pittie of those, which they sawe the Shepherdesse powre foorth: who (as with pittie and admiration they were looking on her) turned her on the other side, and with a greeuous sigh fetchâ€™t from the botâˆ£tome of her hart, saide thus to her selfe. How vnfortunate art thou Belisa, that thy greefe consisteth in no other thing, but in that thy life is of so small value, that it is not able to pay those things with extinction thereof, which by thine owne occasion are destroyed and lost? And then with a sudden sursault she awaked in such sort, that the end of her daies (it seemed) was neere at hand: But when she sawe the three Nymphes, and two such faire Shepherdesses with two Shepherds, she was so amaâˆ£zed, that it was a good while before she came to her selfe againe, who at last lifting vp her eies to looke on them againe, without stopping her teares, which continually she powred out, or putting silence to her burning sighes, which her afflicted hart sent foorth, began to speake in this sort. Howe great a comfort to so comfortles a sonle as mine is should it be, if I were assured, that none by worde nor deede woulde
endeuour to giue me any at all; bicause the great reson, that I haue (faire Nymphes) to liue enwrapped in such sadnes as I doe, hath put such a kinde of emnitie beâˆ£tweene me and the consolation of my greefe, that if I thought at any time to enâˆ£ioy it, I would my selfe be the authour of mine owne death: Whereat maruell not faire Nymphes, or that I woulde seeke to preuent me of this remedie, since there is no other, that can greeue me more, then this your sudden sight and comming to this vncouth cote, a place selected out and fit for no other thing, but to bewaile reâˆ£medilesse greefes. Wherefore let it be a warning to those that are attending their torments, to go quickly out of this place, bicause the misfortunes of loue haue stopped vp the waies in such sort, that they neuer let any hope of comfort or remeâˆ£die enter in. But what hap hath ledde such a faire companie to this place, where noâˆ£thing is that yeelds content. What is it (thinke you) that makes the greene grasse of this iland growe, and the waters (that encompasse it rounde about) to encrease, but my ceasles teares? What is it, that moues the trees of this faire valley, but the voice of my piteous outcries, and the violent breath of my sorrowfull sighes, which, filling the aire, do execute that office for it, which for it selfe it cannot do? Why do the pretie birdes sing among these springes, when golden Phoebus is in all his force, but to helpe to lament and bewaile my mishaps? Wherefore is it that the timerous wilde beastes come foorth to the greene meadowe, but to heare my continuall plaints? I pray God your fortune hath not brought you (faire Nymphes) to this place to that end, that mine hath, bicause nature (according to the sorrowfull life, that I doe passe in it) hath for no other thing (it seemes) framed it, but for those that are troubled with the incurable malladies of loue, therein to passe away their sorâˆ£rowfull liues: If any of you therefore be in this extremitie, let her passe on no farâˆ£ther, if not, let her go quickly from hence againe, least by staying heere long, she be forced by the nature and qualitie of the place. The faire Shepherdesse spake these words with so many teares, that there was not any amongst them, that coulde staie theirs. They were all amazed to see the spirit, gesture and countenance wherewith she spake them, for they came (as it appeered) from the verie center of her painfull soule. And she coulde do no lesse then this, because the sorrowfull successe of her loue did take away all manner of suspicion, that that greefe, which so extremely she shewed, was either counterfaite or fained. But faire Doria spake thus vnto her. What is the cause (faire Shepherdesse) that hath driuen thy beautie to these extreâˆ£mities? What greefe so strange coulde loue make an occasion of so manie teares, accompanied with so sole and solitarie a life, as thou dost leade in this place? But what do I aske, when seeing thee to complaine of loue, thou tellest me more then I am able to aske thee. It was thy desire, when we came hether, to be assured that none of vs would offer thee any comfort, wherein I cannot blame thee, since it is the propertie of sorrowfull soules not onely to abhorre comfort, but to flie from them, by whom they thinke by any meanes to receiue it. If I should tell thee (faire Shepherdesse) that I could helpe thy greefe, what doth it auaile, if the same will not giue thee leaue to beleeue me? To tell thee, that in thine owne iudgement and disâˆ£cretion thou dost help thy selfe, I know thou hast it not so free, that thou canst do it: Of one thing yet (good Shepherdesse) thou maist be assured, that there is no meanes in the whole world to rid thee from this painfull life, which I would not giue then, if it lay in my power. And if this good will deserueth any thing at all, I beseech thee for their sakes (that are heete present) and for mine owne, to tell vs the cause of thy greefe, because there are some in this companie, that haue as great neede of
remedie, and whom loue hath driuen to so narrow a streight, that, if Fortune do not succour them the sooner, I knowe not what will become of their liues. The Shepâˆ£herdesse, hearing Doria speake these wordes, came out of her melancholie cell, and taking her by the hand, carried her vnto a fountaine in a little greene meadowe not farre off. Whither the Nymphes and Shepherdes went after them, and about the same sat them downe altogither, when golden Phoebus had made an end of his diurnall course, and siluer Diana began hers with such brightnes, as if it had beene midday. Where being in such sort as you haue heard, the faire Shepherdesse began to tell this which followeth.
AT that time (faire Nymphes of the chaste Goddesse) when I was free from loue, I heard once a certaine thing, the experience whereof did afterwardes beguile me, finding it cleane contrarie to that which I heard reported. For it was tolde me, that there was no kind of greefe, but (by telling it) was some lighting & ease to her that did suffer it. I finde, that there is not any thing, that more augments my mishap, then to call it to memorie, and tell it her, that is free from the like. For if I thought otherwise, I durst not (beleeue me) recount vnto you the historie of my annoies. But because it is true, that the telling of it to you shall be no cause of comfort to my balefull soule (which are the two causes most abhorred of me,) giue eare, and you shall heare the most strange and haples accidents, that euer fell in loue.
Not farre from this valley towards that part, where the sunne doth set, there is a village in the middes of a forrest neere to two riuers, which with their currants do water and giue life to the greene trees, whose shadowed bowes are so delightfull, and thicke togither, that one house may hardly be discerned from another. Euerie one of them hath their limits rounde about them, where the gardens in sommer time are decked with fragrant flowers, besides the abouÌ„dance of pleasant orchards, which are there naturally brought foorth, though helped by the industrie of them, which in great Spaine are called (Freemen) by reason of the antiquity of their houses & linage. In this place was the vnfortunate Belisa borne, for this name I tooke from the funt, where I would to God I had left and lost my life. Heere liued also a certaine Shepherd, one of the chiefest for birth and riches, that was in all that countrey, calâˆ£led Arsenius, and married to the fairest Shepherdesse in all her time, but vntimely death (because her destinies woulde haue it so, or else for auoyding some other in-conuenience that her beautie might haue caused) did within a fewe yeeres after she was married, cut asunder her vital thred. The greefe that Arsenius felt for the death of his beloued Florida, was so extreme, that he was almost in danger of loosing his life: the which yet he preserued by the comfort of a sonne she left behinde her calâˆ£led Arsileus, whose beautie and comely feature so farre excelled others, that they matched the gifts so highly commended (and descended to him) from Florida his mother. And yet did Arsenius for the losse of her, leade the most sorrowfull and deâˆ£solate life, that might be. But seeing his Sonne in sufficient yeeres to set him to some vertuous exercise, knowing, That idlenes in boyes was the curse of vices, and an enimie to vertue, he determined to sende him to the famous Academie of Salaâˆ£manca, with intent to haue him learne those sciences, which make men mount vppe to higher degrees then men, and so sent him thither indeede. But fifteene yeeres being nowe past since the death of his mother, it fell out that I going on a daie with others of our neighbours daughters to the market, kept in a prettie
towne not farre from ours, vnfortunate Arsenius (to his owne harme, and (alas) to mine, and to the preiudice of his haplesse sonne) by chance espied me. This sight kindled an extreme kinde of loue in him, as it appeered afterwardes by the strange effects he shewed: for he endeuoured to make me know it sometimes in the fielde, as I was going to carrie the Shepherds their dinner; sometimes againe, as I was goâˆ£ing to the riuer to rince my clothes; and somtimes for water to the fountaine, where he neuer missed, of purpose to meete me. But I, (that was till then but a nouice in matters of loue, although by heare-saie I vnderstoode some of his disordinate efâˆ£fects) sometimes dissembled the matter, as though I vnderstoode not his meaning, and sometimes made but a mocke of them, and was angry to see him so importunate and earnest. But my wordes were not able to defende my selfe from his continuall suites, nor the great loue he bare me, suffered him to leaue of to woe me more and more: And in this sort I passed away more then fower yeeres, in which space he left not of his fond attempt, nor I to resolue with my selfe to giue him the lest fauour in the worlde. About this time came his haplesse sonne Arsileus from his studie, who amongst other sciences, that he had studied, was so brauely seene in Poetrie and Musicke, that he excelled all others in his time. His father tooke such exceeâˆ£ding ioy in him, that he could neuer be out of his sight, and not without great reaâˆ£son, bicause Arsileus was such an one indeed that he deserued to be beloued, not onely of his father whom nature constrained to loue as his sonne, but of euery one else in the worlde: And so in our towne he was so much esteemed and regarded of the cheefest and vulgar sort, that they talked amongst themselues of no other thing, then of the great wisedome, graces, gentilitie, and many other good parts more, which beautified the flourishing prime of his youth. Arsenius was so secret to his sonne, that by no meanes he would let him vnderstand any thing touching his loue, whom although Arsileus had seene on a day very sad, yet he durst not aske him the cause of his heauines, but rather thought, those passions to be the reliques of that sorrow, which yet for the vntimely death of his faire mother, remained in his fathers brest. But Arsenius greatly desiring to sende me a letter, and to get it in such sort from his sonne, (for he knewe him to be an excellent Poet) that he might not perâˆ£ceiue for whom it was, he thought it most fit to discouer the matter, and the summe of his loue to a great friend of his called Argastus, a towns-man and our neighbour, praying him earnestly to request his sonne Arsileus (as a thing that he stood greatly in neede of) to pen him a letter, and to tell him, that it was to be sent a good wale thence to a bonnie Shepherdesse, whom he loued and serued. And so he gaue him instructions of other things, making most for his purpose, that he was to request him to put in the letter. Argastus was so carefull about his friends busines, that Arsileus (vrged thereunto by his incessant requests) deliuered him the letter in as ample sort as he requested it. Which Arsenius seeing so fit for his purpose, wrought the meanes, that it came to my hands: the which receiuing much against my will, I founde that it saide thus.
Arsenius his letter.
FAire Shepherdesse whose hap and fare,
That such it be, it is Gods will:
Let not such grace and beautie rare
Decay, or be imployed ill.
And whose milde lambes and marked sheepe
Thou maist behold (with merrie cheere)
By flockes increase, where they doe keepe
On tops of these greene hillocks heere.
Harke to a Shepherdes wretched crie,
Vnto himselfe so great a foe,
As for thy sweetest sake to die,
He findes he doth it well be stowe:
Turne thy deafe eares vnto my smart,
And mollifie thy hard pretences,
And now begin to put thy hart
Into the handes of thy sweete sences.
Turne these two faire and cruell eies
Vnto this haplesse Shepherd Swaine:
Thy flocke regarde not, but his cries,
And thinke a little on his paine,
Let that but mooue and change thy will:
To thinke thereof, I pray thee deine yet,
And not to remedie mine ill,
But to behold how I susteine it.
How often hast thou come and leade
Vnto the field thy flocke and dams,
How many times vnto the meade
Hast thou brought forth thy pretie lambes?
That I told not my little ease,
That I became a foole for thee,
But better had I held my peace,
So little it auailed me.
That which I feele for thy sweete sake
With what wordes shall I now declare?
Or with what knowledge shall I make
My faith but knowen and heauie care?
What humane senses shall suffice
To feele that paine, and that vnrest,
Which for thy lake Loue did deuise
To giue me (though I tell it best.)
Why dost thou hide thy selfe from me,
Since thou dost knowe it very cleere,
That present when I am with thee,
Most absent from thee I appeere:
I, in suspences to enfolde me
Being where thy faire beauties are:
And thou, when that thou dost beholde me,
From seeing me then art thou far.
To shewe me likewise thou dost knowe
(To mocke me when thou dost pretend)
Things from thy thought, which euer goe,
See then who greater loue can giue,
Or greater grounded loue in hand,
That my deceiued thought must liue
With that thou makâ€™st it vnderstand.
Behold thâ€™extreme wherein I am,
Seeing my good in doubtfull state,
That silly creatures I became,
(Lesse then my selfe) to emulate:
For, for the bird the winde doth beare,
And fish that in the waues doe liue,
For their sweete freedome euery where
My vnderstanding I would giue.
A change of thousand times I see,
And nouels euery day doe raine:
Minds change from that they wont to bee,
Obliuions doe reuiue againe.
In euery thing there is great change,
The which I neuer saw in thee,
Whereby thou maist perceiue how strange,
And vaine my hope is vnto me.
The other day thou didst passe by,
Feeding thy fiocke vpon the hill:
For greefe I sighed somewhat high;
Meaning thereby to thee no ill:
A lambe the head then lift vp, that it
Did heare, and did some pitie feele,
And thou didst fling thy sheepe hooke at it:
See what a hardned hart of steele.
Couldâ€™st thou not (armed with such power)
After such long time killing me
Helpe me a day or but an hower?
If that doth seeme too much to thee,
Doe it to see how I may proue
Or how with fauours, that ensue,
In better sort intreate this loue:
Then after kill my soule anew.
I doe desire to change estate
From paine to paine, and not to pleasure:
Nor yet to change from loue to hate,
And all in one degree and measure.
And though the ill in substance should
Be but all one and of one sort:
Yet in the circumstance I would
That more or lesse it did import.
For that may be of such behoofe,
And Mistresse, so much it may doe
That loue may giue thee greater proofe,
Then it hath giuâ€™n thee hitherto.
And whom an ill and firmest loue
Can neither greeue, nor mollifie,
It may be such a greefe may moue
Thee, of some greater qualitie.
Vnto the meade if thou dost goe,
Vnto the riuer or the plaine,
Then am I diligent to knowe,
If thou art gone or come againe.
If angrie, when I follow thee,
Or mocke me, if behinde I stay:
See then how feare doth trouble me,
And what extremes I doe essay.
To Syluia then thy deerest friend
I goe (to seeke a poore releefe)
To know if (haply) in the end
Thou hast informâ€™d her of my greefe.
But nothing when of thee she speakes,
Then doe I say, this cruell foe
Vnto her good companion breakes
Nothing of me, nor of my woe.
Some other times I watch the place,
To heare the singing in the night,
With singular and sweetest grace,
A thousand songs of great delight:
For I doe heare them one by one,
And thou seekâ€™st out the worst of all,
And euer from thy mouth heare none
That in loue matters doe befall.
I sawe thee yet the other day,
Talking with Maudline, who in fine
To thee her sorrow did bevvray:
I thought thou wouldst not long defer
(Poore soule) to cheere her heauy hart,
But laughing, thou didst answere her.
It is a iest, in loueâ€™s no smart.
Thou leftâ€™st her weeping all in vaine,
And I came thither by and by:
Of thy hard hart she did complaine,
And sighing, this I did reply:
No wonder, for this cruell one
Delights not onely, that aboue
All others she loues not alone,
But that all others should not loue.
Some other times I thee espie
Talking with other Shepherdesses,
All is of feastes and brauerie,
Who daunceth best, and like digresses:
That this maide hath a seemely grace,
And he this, or that interest:
But if of loue they touch an ace,
Then straight thou turnâ€™st it to a iest.
Beware yet, liue not too secure,
For in braue loue and fortunes art,
There is not anything lesse sure
Then such a free exempted hart.
And it may be with after woe
That cruell loue will subiect thee,
To one that will intreate thee soe,
(Cruell) as thou intreatest me.
But (if that fall out to thy cost)
God graunt the same may neuer bee,
And first I wish my life were lost,
Rather then such a thing to see.
For this poore hart which in my brest
Is burning in so strange a fire,
Feares more thy harme and thy vnrest,
Then it respects her owne desire.
With the greatest signes of dolour and of a most afflicted hart indeede, the Shepherdesse Belisa rehearsed Arsenius his letter, or (to say more truely) the letter of his sonne Arsileus, staying betweene many verses, and repeating some of them twise, and at other some lifting vp her eies to heauen with such anguish and greefe of minde, that one woulde haue thought her hart would haue burst in
peeces. But prosecuting the sorrowfull historie of her loue, she said vnto them.
This letter (faire Nymphes) was the beginning of all the harme of the woefull man, that made it, and the end of all the rest and content of the haplesse woman, to whom he wrote it. For when I had read it, by some curious inuestigation that my surmise found out, I perceiued, that it sauoured more of his sonne his quicke wit, then of the father his blunt affection. And bicause the time was now at hand, wherâˆ£in loue came to take an account of the small care, I had till then of his inuincible power, or bicause in the end I should haue some feeling of his poysoned sweete, I perceiued my selfe a little more mollified then before, and not so little, but that I gaue loue place to take possession of my libertie. And that which this tyrant did by me, was the strangest thing that euer hapned in matters of loue, for he made me not onely loue Arsileus, but also his father Arsenius. Truth it is, that I loued the father to requite the loue he bare me; and the sonne, to yeeld vp my entyre libertie into his hands, as from that hower I did indeed giue it him. So that I loued the one, not to seeme vngratefull; and the other, because it was not in my power to do any lesse. But when Arsenius perceiued me to be more gentle then before (which thing he desired so long since) there was not any thing in the world, which he woulde not haue done for my content and pleasure: For so many were the presents, the iewels, and manie other gifts he sent me, that it greeued me a little to see my selfe so greatly indebted to him. With euery thing he sent me, came so many amorous verses and letters, that I was forced to answer them againe, whereby I shewed him no signes of loue to put him in any hope, nor my selfe so coie as I was woont to be. But the loue I bare to Arsileus tooke euery day deeper roote in my hart, and molested my sences in such sort, that it left no quiet place in all my soule. It fell out afterwards, that
Arseâˆ£nius and Arsileus being in companie on a sommers night with certain of their neighâˆ£bours, and sitting vnder a faire great Oke, that stoode in a broade place before our house, Arsenius began to commend the skill which his sonne Arsileus had in musick and musicall instruments, to giue them occasion that were present, to praie him to go fetch a harpe from home, and to plaie and sing there among them, who sat so neere to our house, that I could not choose, but heare the musicke. And as he imaâˆ£gined it, so it fell out answerable to his desire: For Arsileus, being earnestly requested by the companie, sent for a harpe, and sweetely thereon began to plaie and singe. When I heard Arsileus, and with what daintie melodie he plaied, and enticing grace he sung, I was gone almost as farre as might be in Cupids affects, seeing his father would needes bestowe the musicke on me, and vnwittingly enamour me of the excellent graces of his woorthie sonne. Wherefore I saide to my selfe. Thou dost no lesse deceiue thy selfe Arsenius by procuring thy sonne to sing, that I might heare him, then by sending me a letter of his owne hande. If thou didst but knowe what will ensue thereof, thou mightest well from this day admonish all louers, not to procure their Mistresses loue by other mens gifts & graces, bicause it commonly fals out that women do sooner fall in loue with those that are the instruments and meanes, then with those that thinke to benefite themselues by them. But nowe by this time did my Arsileus, with a singular sweete grace and voice, begin to sing this Sonnet to the tune of his siluer sounding Harpe.
IN this cleere Sunne with golden beames that shineth,
In thu most high diuine and rare perfection,
In this sweete soule and figure, that refineth
Our age with ioyes, with treasures and affection.
O blinding light and face each harts subiection,
Where beauties store to pities want inclineth:
Sweete words, but hard condition of reiection;
Sweete lookes, yet sight that many sorrowes shrineth.
For these sweete Mistresse, I am thus enwrapped,
For these I feare to see mine owne desire,
And passe the time in thinking of thy treasures.
A case most strange, effects that neuer happed,
That seeing thee, I see my greatest pleasures,
And harmes, when that to see thee I require.
After he had made an end of this Sonnet, he began to sing this song with so marâˆ£uellous sweete grace and delectable voice, that he helde all his hearers in a great suspence, and me (poore sorrowfull soule) that loued him more, then euer any coulde be.
TO see thee I lift vp my happie eies,
And hauing seene thee, cast them downe againe.
For further to proceede the same denies:
Nor other ioy but thy loue to containe.
What greater glory is there then to view thee,
If that he knew the sight that he did see,
For neuer was there any one that knew thee,
That could be wearie of beholding thee,
And though he could not knowe thee any wise
As well as I haue knowen thee to my paine,
Yet should he be besides himselfe, if dies
Not at the least, to see thee once againe.
If that my erring pen did others praise
It was but trid, I see, vpon the lest,
For they were all but papers of essaies
Of that, wherewith thou truly wert possest.
And if (before I louâ€™d thee) with surmise,
My pen hath for some other writ in vaine,
It was not for bicause I sawe her eies,
But hopâ€™t it should see such a Soueraine.
Nature in framing thee did so excell
And shewâ€™d so braue a skill and suttle art,
That one of thy perfections serued well
Beautie to thousand others to impart.
She that to thee is like in any wise
In least of all I sawe in thee so plaine:
To passe no further she may well suffice,
Nor he, that sees thee but must loue containe.
Who sees thee as God made thee, and hath seene
An other thing thatâ€™s faire and of delight,
He thinkes, he sees a thing that would haue beene
Thy selfe in any thing, if that it might:
But if he sees thee with such perfect eies,
And (Mistresse) as I sawe thee, then againe
Thereâ€™s no compare (compare for it denies)
Nor glorie, but thy sweete loue to containe.
It was not onely this, which Arsileus sung that night to the sounde of his Harpe, but as Orpheus, when he demaunded his Nymph Euridice, made the hellish furies gentle with his sweete song, suspending for a while the paines of the damned ghostes; so did vnfortunate Arsileus not onely amaze and mollifie their harts that were present, but wretched Belisaes also, who with great boldnes from a high garret windowe was harkening vnto him: whose sweete musicke delighted moreouer the heauen, the starres, and the cleere moone, which was then in her force and vigour, that in what part soeuer I did then cast mine eies, it admonished me (me thought) and tolde me, that I loued him more then mine owne life: whereof it was needlesse for any to put me in minde, for if I had then beene Lady of all the worlde, I had thought my selfe too meane to be woorthie of him. And from thence I purposed to hide this affection as little from him as I could. All that night I laie imagining, by what meanes I might best discouer vnto him my griefe, but in such sort, that my vertuous name and modestie might not suffer any blemish, though death (when this was wanting) with her appalled feare and danger should not haue hindred mine inâˆ£tent. And yet when that should come, and when we haue the greatest care to auoid the occasions that might hinder it, euen then & most of all they present themselues. The next day after needs I must go with other countrey maides (my kineswomen & neighbours) to a thicke wood, in the mids whereof was a cleere fountaine, whither euery other holy day we caried our kine, as well for that there was good pasture for them, as also for that (the fresh & hungry euening being come) we might take the milke of the next day, whereof we made sweete butter, & fresh cheefe and creame. But I and my companie being set round about the fountaine, and our kine liyng in the coole shades of the thick and branchie trees of that hedge, licking their yong and tender caluelings, that lay by them, one of my friendes amongst the rest, (vnacâˆ£quainted (it seemed) with that loue that warred within my soule) with many requests importuned me (vpon paine neuer to receiue any pleasure at her handes) to enterâˆ£taine the time and that companie with some song or other. My many excuses (with telling her besides that times and occasions were not alwaies one, nor alike) auailed me very little from performing that, which with so great instance she requested of me: And therefore to the sound of a Bagpipe, whereon one of them most sweetely plaied, I began to sing these verses.
LOue passed by me with his bowe vnarmâ€™d,
His eies cast downe, milde, gentle, modest gay,
And (carelesse) left me then behinde vnharmâ€™d:
How small a time did I this ioye essaie?
For presently enuious Fortune saide,
Staie loue, why passest thou so soone awaie?
Foorthwith the blinde boye turnâ€™d to me, and staide
Angry to see himselfe so checkt with blame,
For therâ€™s no blame, where his hot fire is laide:
Cupid was blinde, but well he spide his game:
So blinded bâ€¢ he, that he may see none,
That did so blinde my wit, and sence enflame:
O that I might reuenge my selfe of one
That wisheth harme to all, and will not free
(With his consent) not one poore hart alone:
Straight did the traytour arme his bowe, and he
with poysoned shaft did pierce my carelesse hart,
Which in his bowe he put, and aymâ€™d at me:
Fortune vnarmâ€™d did take me, for his parte
Loue neuer plaies, nor workes not any feate,
But on free soules, exempted from his darte:
A hardned hart his arrow brake hart with heate,
And brake a neuer subiect freedome, so
That I did yeeld, and his content was great:
O sole free quiet life that I forgo,
O meadowe seene so oft with freest eies,
Cursed be Loue, his arrowes, and his bowe:
Nowe follow loue, and what he doth deuise,
Come from securitie to greatest care,
And passe from rest, to thousand miseries:
See now how that a carefull hart doth fare,
Which lately was without suspect or thought
Subiect to be to such a tyrants snare.
O soule with teares vndone and brought to nought,
Now learne to suffer, since you learnâ€™d to see,
But what auailes, if this my Fortune wrought?
O wretched eies (if with this terme he be
Not angry) whom you savve vvith free consent,
Where haue you put and placâ€™d my libertie?
O meadovves, groues, and vvoods of svveete content,
Which bred so free a hart as I had heere,
So great an ill vvhy did you not preuent?
Svvift running brooke, and riuer pure and cleere,
Where once my flocke vvere wont to drinke their fill,
O euery season of the passing yeere,
Why haue you put me in a state so ill?
Since onely I did loue you, and these plaines,
And this most pleasant vale, and greenest hill.
Heere did I mocke a thousand Shepherd swaines:
Who now will laugh at me, when they shall knovv.
That novv I doe begin to feele their paines.
They are not ils of Loue, that vvound me soe,
For if they vvere, then should I passe them all,
As thousands, vvho haue died in Cupids vvoe.
Fortune it is, that turnes, and makes me fall
From euery meane occasion, path, and way,
Wherby I might but shew my painfull thrall.
How can the causer of my passion (say)
Helpe them, if that their paine he neuer knowes,
But thereâ€™s no loue, where reason beareth sway,
To how much ill is fortune drawing those,
Whom she makes loue? since nothing can restore
(sea, earth nor Sunne, moone, stars nor any showes)
Or giue delight, vnlesse one loue before.
And all is thus, and wretched thus am I,
Whom time perswades and hinders more and more.
Cease now my verse, since loue with angrie eie
Beholds, how soone of him I doe complaine,
And for my harmes doe craue his remedie.
Complaine not oft, for feare of his disdaine,
Now hold your peace, since I seale vp my wordes,
And when you see Loues fell, and angrie vaine,
Cease, for Loues wroth no remedie affoordes.
These verses of the Shepherdesse Belisa pleased the Nymphes and Shepherdes, no lesse then the sweete and sorrowfull note, wherewith she sung them, who (proseâˆ£cuting the historie of her mishap) said: But Arsileus was not farre froÌ„ thence, when I sung these verses, for hauing gone foorth that day a hunting, & being in the thicâˆ£kest of the woode to passe away the heate of the day, it seemed he heard vs, and as one, that loued musicke well, came softly pacing amongst the thickest trees that were neere vnto the fountaine, bicause he might from thence the better heare vs. But our musicke being ended, he came straight to the fountaine, whose sudden sight engendred a forcible passion of ioy and feare in my amazed soule. Which was no great maruell, bicause an enamoured hart may be as well sursaulted with a sudâˆ£den ioy, as with an vnexpected sorrow. He came to vs where we were set, and curâˆ£teously saluting vs, in very good sort, and with a good grace requested pardon of vs; That certes (faire Nympes) when I begin to thinke of the sweete behauiour, and ripened wisedome of vnfortunate Arsileus, I do not thinke that his sinister fates and fortune were the cause, that death tooke him away so quickly from my sight, but rather that the worlde was not woorthie to enioye any longer so singular a youth, on whom nature had bestowed so many perfections of beautie and enâˆ£riched with so many gifts of the minde, as that hee left not his like behinde him. After hee had saluted vs, and leaue obtained (which hee humblie requested of vs) to passe away the heate of the daye in our companie, hee cast his eies vpon me (which had hee neuer done, happie had we both beene) and was (as it apâˆ£peered afterwardes by diuers signes, whereby hee manifested his affection to me) extremely ouercome in my loue. Vnhappie I, (that needed not to looke on him to loue him, being so much enwrapped in his, by seeing him before, as hee was nowe in mine after hee had seene me) lifted vp mine eies to beholde him at the ve-
rie instant when he addressed his to looke on me, which forcible encounter both of vs would willingly had not befell, bicause that modestie and shame sharpely rebuâˆ£ked me, and feare left not him without bitter punishment. But he to dissemble his newe greefe, began to discourse with me in matters cleane different from those, which he woulde haue imparted to me, to some of which I answered againe, my thoughts and sences being then more careful to see, if by the alteration of his counâˆ£tenance, or mildenes in his words he shewed any signes of loue, then fully to satisfie his questions. For then so greatly I desired to heare him sighe, (to confirme me in my doubtfull hope) that in lieu of such a happines I woulde not haue cared to haue passed any greefe whatsoeuer. And in the end I coulde not wish for more apparant signes of loue in him, then at that present I behelde: for what with his toong he coulde not, with his eies he manifestly declared vnto me the amorous and secret passions of his hart. And being in these points, the two Shepherdesses, that were with me, rose vp to milke their kine, whom I praied to take the paines to milke mine likewise, for that I felt my selfe not well at ease. And needlesse it was for me to entreate them much, and for Arsileus to haue any fitter occasion to deâˆ£clare vnto me his greefe, wherein I knowe not if he was deceiued, by imagining the occasion why I would be without companie, but am assured, that he was not a little glad to helpe himselfe by the opportunitie thereof. The Shepherdesses were busie about milking their kine, which suffered themselues to be deceiued with huâˆ£mane industry by tying their gentle cauelings to their feete. That Arsileus now (newâˆ£ly suprised in loue) had yeelded himselfe so much to Cupids bonds, that nothing but speedie death could giue him libertie, I perceiued apparantly, in that fower or fiue times he began to speake vnto me, and euery time in vaine: for the feare he had of my displeasure came euer betweene him and his speech, and therefore I began to talke to him of another matter, not farre from his intent, bicause he might not diâˆ£gresse much from it, inducing him thereby to tell me what it was that so often he went about to speake and could not vtter, saying. Doth this countrey like thee well, Arsileus? For the entertainment and conuersation of that, where thou hast lately spent thy time, is, I knowe, farre different from ours, which therefore cannot so well content thee as that. As of my selfe (quoth he) I haue not so much power, so hath not my vnderstanding (faire Shepherdesse) so much libertie, to answer this demand. And changing this manner of talke (to shewe him the way with occasion) I said vnâˆ£to him againe: I haue heard say, that in those parts are many faire Shepherdesses, that paragonned to vs, they so farre excell vs, that we must seeme but meane in thy sight that are heere. I might be thought too simple (saide Arsileus) if I woulde conâˆ£fesse this, for though there are as faire there (as you haue heard) yet heere are they which with mine owne eies I daily see, that so farre surmount them, as the sun doth the chiefest stars in brightnes. This is the greatest glose in the world (said I againe) and yet for all this I am not sorrie, that our countrey-women are so farre in your good opinion and liking, because I am one of them my selfe. Which onely reason (saide he) if there were no other, were sufficient enough to prooue what I haue said. So that by word and worde he came to tell me that, which I desired to heare, though I would not then make him knowe so much, but rather intreated him to stop vp the passage of his wordes. But fearing least this might haue bene an occasion to qualifie his loue (as often times it falleth out, that disgraces and disfauours in the beginning are the meanes to make any leaue of their true commenced loue) I beâˆ£gan to tune againe my iarring answere, saying thus vnto him. And if thy loue be
such Arsileus, that it will not suffer thee to leaue of to loue me, be secret therein, since it is the manner of those that are wise and iudicious (like thy selfe) to be no lesse in things of meaner consequence. Albeit by all this, which I haue saide vnto thee, I would not haue thee thinke to profit thy selfe any more, then that I must for euer liue bounde vnto thee, if thou wilt follow my counsell in this behalfe. This did my toong speake, but an other thing did my pitifull eies affirme, with the which I still looked him in the face, and casting out a sigh (an assured messenger of my inwarde and sensible passion) which Arsileus might haue perceiued well ynough (if Loue at the least would haue giuen him leaue) I held my peace. In this sort we departed from one another, and many times afterwards he talked with me of these matters, who sent me besides many letters, and fine Sonnets of his owne making. And as he sung them night by night to the tune of his sweete Harpe, with amorous teares I oftenâˆ£times harkened vnto him, so that in the ende both of vs was assured of each others loue. But now did Arsenius his father importune me in such sort, with his messaâˆ£ges and presents, that I knew not what way to take, to defend me from him. And it was the strangest thing in the world to see, how the loue, which increased euery day in the sonne, was also augmented in the father, though they were both of different age and powers: and yet the same (I must needes confesse) made me not reiect him, nor refuse any thing, that he sent me. But liuing now in all contentment, and seeing my selfe so truly beloued of Arsileus, whom I loued so deerely againe, it seemed that fortune would make an end of all my ioy with the most haplesse euent that was euer seene before. For thus it was, that Arsileus and I appointing to meete together on a certaine night (too darke and dismall for me; bicause I neuer since knew perfectly what day meant) we concluded that he should come into my fathers orchard, and I to my chamber windowe, which opened right vpon a Mulberie tree, whereon he might easily get vp to be necre vnto me, there to talke togither of our matters. Acâˆ£cursed Belisa that shalt neuer conceiue to what purpose I brought him to such danâˆ£ger, when as euery day, sometimes in the fielde, sometimes at the riuer side, and sometimes at the wood, when I carried my kine to pasture, and sometimes when I driue my sheepe to the folde, he might at pleasure haue talked with me, as he did many daies before. But my hard hap was the cause, that fortune would be paied for the content, which she had lent me till then, with making me liue all my life time without it. For now the appointed hower, (which was the ende of his daies, and the beginning of my woes) being come, Arsileus came iust at the time, and to the very place, where both of vs talking together of those things, which they may imagine, that haue sometimes loued well, his wretched father Arsenius, that accustomed many nights to walke vp and downe about our house, to see if he could see me (which if I had so well remembred, for it was so far out of my thoughtes, as if I had neuer knowen any such matter, I would neuer haue consented to put him in such danger) in the ende happened to come thither that night, and iust at that hower when his sonne was in the tree, and so priuily, that though he had quickly espied vs, we could neither heare, nor see him. And knowing it was I, that was speaking out at the winâˆ£dow, but not his sonne, that was in the Mulberie tree, not imagining who he might be, it was the principall cause of our ill successe. For thereupon he conceiued such great wroth and iealousie, that, without any noise at all, he bied him home, where bending a Crossebowe, and putting a poisoned arrow in it, came againe to the place where we were, and aimed so right at his sonne, that the arrow pearcing his tender hart, he fell immediately downe dead from the tree, saying. How little time (my
deere Belisa) doth fortune lend me to serue thee according to my great good will & desire. Which wordes he could scarce vtter, when the accursed father, who by his speech knew that he was the homicide of his owne sonne, with a desperate outcrie saide. Thrise wretched and accursed may I euer be, if thou art my sonne Arsileus, who seemest to be no other by thy voice. Whereupon comming vnto him, and by the light of the moone, that shone vpon his face, knowing him well, and that he had giuen vp the ghost, he saide. Since (cruell Belisa) my vnfortunate sonne by thy means hath bene slaine, it is not meete that the murdering father suruiue to lament his vntimely death. At which wordes taking out his Woodknife, he thrust it into his hart, and fell downe presently dead! O vnhappie chaunce! O strange case, neuer heard of, nor seene before! O greeuous scandale to their eares that shall he are the lamentable discourse of my balefull tragedie? O miserable Belisa, may thy guiltie hart thinke of these things, and not take that way, which both father and sonne haue taken for thy sake? Alas it shall be great impietie not to mingle thy blood with theirs, who desired so much to serue thee. But when wretched soule I sawe this vnâˆ£luckie accident, without any more adoe, I left my fathers house, and went vp and downe, wearying the heauens with importunate complaints, and burning the aire with smokie sighes, vntill I came to this place, where accusing cruell fortune and hatefull death, that had in so short time taught me to feele the woundes of their cruell dartes. I haue liued sixe monethes, without seeing or speaking to any person, and not desirous of any companie or consolation whatsoeuer.
Faire Belisa hauing made an end of her pitifull tale, began to weepe so bitterly, that euery one there was forced with their teares to helpe to bewaile her dire misâˆ£fortune. And adding further she saide. This is faire Nymphes, the sorrowfull historie (or rather dolefull tragedie) of my haplesse loues, and of their bloodie successe: Beâˆ£hold then if this be such an ill, that fortune or time may cure and remedie? O Arsiâˆ£leus, how often did I feare it, without thinking of that, which I iustly feared. But she that will not beleeue her feare and preuent it, let her not maruell, when she sees that come to passe which she feared, for well I knew, thou couldst not be any long time without meeting me, and that my ioy could endure no longer, then when Arsenius thy father perceiued any thing of our loues. I woulde to God it had so fallen out, that the greatest hurt that he could haue done me, had bene but to banish thee his sight and our towne. For an ill which is cured with time, may with lesse harme be suffered. O Arsenius, the death of thy sonne is no impediment to the greefe, that I also conceiue for thine, for the loue which thou didst continually beare me, thy vertuous and pure zeale, wherewith thou didst euer loue me, thy bountie and cost bestowed on me, the tempestuous and ill nightes, that thou hast passed for my sake, will let me doe no lesse, then lament and bewaile thy disastrous end, for by this time I had bene married vnto thee, if thy sweete sonne Arsileus had not come to our towne. If I should say, that I did not loue thee well, I should deceiue the world; for in the end there is no woman, if she knowes she is truly beloued, but will loue little or much againe, although otherwise she manifest the same. But now my toong holde thy peace, since thou hast told more then thou wert asked. And pardon me (faire Nymphes) if I haue bene tedious in my sorrowfull narration, bicause so great misâˆ£haps cannot be comprised in fewe wordes. Whilest the Shepherdesse was telling that which you haue heard, Syrenus, Syluanus, Seluagia, and faire Felismena, and the three Nymphes coulde not giue eare without some secrete teares, although the Nymphes, as women neuer touched with loue, felt her paine and greefe, but not
the circumstances of it. But faire Doria seeing the comfortlesse Shepherdesse did not leaue of her bitter complaint, began to comfort her in this sort. Let thy teares cease Belisa,since thou seest what small remedie thou hast of them, and waigh that two eies are not able to bewaile so great a greefe. But what sorrow can there be, which is not ended, or endes not her that suffers it: and yet I could shew thee the way whereby I could a little lighten thy paine. Wherefore, I pray thee goe with vs as well for this respect, as for that it is not meete thou shouldest waste thy life so fondly, for in that place where we carrie thee, thou maist choose out what manner of life thou list, & where none is that may hinder thee of it. This place (answered the Shepherdesse) I thought most fit not onely to lament my woes in, but to end my life in the same, the which (if time doth but intreate me as it hath done hitherto) shall not be very long. But now since this is thy will, I am minded not to gainsay it; and as for mine (faire Nymphes) from this time forward you may vse it according to your owne pleasures. They were all glad that she yeelded to goe with them. And bicause the night was passed on more then three howers, and the moone did shine as cleere as day, they supped there with that prouision the Shepherdes had in their scrips. And after they had supped, euery one chose out her place that did best content her, to passe the rest of the night away, the which the louers spent more in teares and sighes then in sleepe; and the rest that were free, eased themselues of their weaâˆ£rinesse they had the day before.
The end of the third booke
The fourth Booke of Diana of George
NOw did the morning starre begin to cast foorth her woonted brightnes, and with the comfort of her light the prety birdes and nightingales were warbling vp their sweetest notes to the skies, when the three Nymphes with their companie departed from the little Iland, where Belisa passed away her sorrowfull life; whose greefe, though she was a little comforted by the enamoured shepherdes, and cheered vp by the rest, did neuerâˆ£thelesse haunt her so much, that she founde no remedie, nor meanes to rid hir-selfe from it. Both the Shepherds acquainted her with their pasâˆ£sed paines, and the Shepherdesses tolde her the sorrowfull summe of their loues, to trie if by these meanes they might mitigate her paine a little. But all comfort is in vaine where the greefe is remedilesse. The disguised Ladie tooke such delight in Beâˆ£lisaes beautie, discretion, and sweete graces, that she coulde not satisfie her-selfe by asking her still more questions, though Belisa was almost wearie with answering to them. And the familiaritie betweene them both was so great, that it made the Shepherds and the Shepherdesse in a manner emulate their conuersation. But they came to a thicke woode full of wilde shadowed trees, where they coulde not chuse, (had they not beene guided by the Nymphes) but haue lost themselues. They thereâˆ£fore led the way before thorow a narrow glade, where they could not enter in but by one and one. And hauing gone halfe a league thorow the thickest thereof, they came into a broade and faire plaine lying betweene two goodly riuers, both which
were brinked on either side with greene & tall trees. In the middes thereof suddenly appeered vnto their sight a stately Pallace, with so high and loftie turrets, that it filled them full of woonder and delight to behold it. Before they came to this great pallace, they sawe diuers Nymphes of incomparable beautie comming foorth to meete them: All of them apparelled with daintie white vailes, curiously wouen with fine threeds of golde and siluer, wearing garlands of redolent flowers vpon their yellow haire, which in most comely grace was hanging downe loose vpon their shoulders. After them came a Lady, which seemed (by the grauitie and maâˆ£iestie of her person) to be a woman of some great state and authoritie, attyred in blacke veluet, and leaning (as she came) vpon one of her Nymphes shoulders, the fairest in the companie. When the three Nymphes were come vnto them, with great ioy and many imbracings they were receiued of the other. But when the Lady came nigh, with great reuerence they kissed her handes, whom she entertained and wel-commed as ioyfully as they could wish. And before the Nymphes spake one worde of that which had passed, sage Felicia (for so was this honorable Ladie calâˆ£led) saide to Felismena. The great aduenture which thou hast done for these three Nymphes, cannot (faire Shepherdesse) be requited with lesse, then by euer hauing me bound vnto thee; and to do thee all the fauour I may, which shal not be smal, thy neede being so great: For since I knowe what thou art (without report of anie) and whether thy thoughts do leade thee, thou shalt in the ende perceiue if I be able to helpe thee in any thing. Wherefore be of good cheere, for if I liue, thou shalt see and enioy thy desire, in pursuite whereof though thou hast passed much paine and trauell, there is nothing (as thou knowest) obtained nor gotten without it. Faire Felismena, maruelling much at Felicias wordes, and forgetting not to giue her due thankes for so great curtesies and promises, answered thus. Since you deigne (sage Ladie) not onely in the end to remedie my griefes, but to blesse the remnant of my life with happines and content, whereas there is no desert of my part that may chaâˆ£lenge any such fauour at your gracious hands, do but consider (good Lady) what is due to your selfe, and then you shall see how I remaine acquited of this debt, and your selfe sufficiently paied. For so great deserts as thine are (saide Felicia) and for such excellent beautie, as nature hath bestowed on thee, all that may be done, is litâˆ£tle enough. Felismena then bowed herselfe at these wordes to kisse her hands: but Felicia embraced her louingly, and looking vpon the Shepherds and Shepherdesles, saide vnto them. Be not dismaied couragious Shepherds, and discreete Shepherâˆ£desses, at the continuance of your seuerall greefes, for I haue also no lesse care of their speedie remedies. The Shepherdes and the Shepherdesse kissed her handes, and went in all together to the stately Palace. Before which was a faire broade court, set round about with high Cypres trees, and placed in good order, and interâˆ£paued all ouer with Lozanges of Allablaster and blacke Marble in manner of checâˆ£key worke. In the mids whereof stood a fountaine of Iaspar Marble, set vpon fower great brasen Lions. And in the mids of the fountaine a Iaspar piller, about the which fower Nymphes (most liuely made out of white Marble) had their places. They reached vp their armes on high, and in their handes held seuerall vessels after the Antique Roman manner, out of the which from certaine Lions mouthes, that were painted in them, they powred Cristalline water: The portall of the Palace was of polished Marble, with all the bases and chaptres of the pillers gilded, as likewise the garments of the imagerie that was set in it. All the house seemed to be made of shining Iaspar, with statues and figures of many Roman Emperours and
matrones therein engrauen, and with other like antiquities. All the windowes were double leafed a peece, and the springs and bars belonging to them of bright siluer, and all the gates of stately Cedar. The house was quadrant, and at euery Canton was reared vp a high and artificiall tower. Comming to the portall, they staied a little to behold the strange workmanship and the imagerie that was so liuely grauen in it, that it seemed rather a naturall then artificiall worke, or wrought by humane industrie, wherein were two Nymphes of massie siluer that stood on the tops of two pillers, and helde vp betweene them a polished table of smooth Ieat with golden letters grauen in it, that saide thus.
WEll let her life that enters heere be waighed,
And if she hath not chastitie estranged,
And she that loues, or Loues lawes hath essaied,
If for anothers loue she hath not changed:
And if from former faith she hath not straied,
And kept her first true loue, and hath not ranged:
May enter heere into Dianas temple,
Whose soueraigne grace to such appeeres most gentle.
When faire Felismena heard this, she saide to the Shepherdesses Belisaand Selâˆ£uagia, I thinke we may safely enter into this sumptuous Palace, without breach of the lawes, that this table doth depaint vnto vs. Syrenus answering to that, saide. But faire Diana coulde not doe so, bicause she hath not onely gone against them, but against all, that good and honest loue commaunds to be obserued. Be not angrie with her Shepherd (saide Felicia,) for before many daies hence thou shalt wonder that thou wert so much angrie, and laugh at this harde opinion thou hadst of her. And so handes in handes they went into the sage Felicias chamber, which was richâˆ£ly hanged with cloth of golde and tissue of inestimable value. And by and by (after they were come in) supper was made ready, where fine white clothes being spred on the tables, and furnished with daintie cates, euery one was placed in order: Felisâˆ£mena was set next to the sage Lady Felicia, and the Nymphes tooke the Shepherdes and Shepherdesses betweene them, whose talke at the boord was full of modest mirth and delight. There were the rich tables of Cedar, and stooles framed out of Iuorie, with cushions of fine needle worke wrought with golde and siluer, many cups, goblets, and glasses of diuers formes and mettals, were common there, and all of no small price, some of them artificially made of strange glasse, others of fine Cristall, with the feete and handles of pure golde; others, all of golde and siluer most richly garnished with precious stones of inestimate value. They were serued with such plentie of sundrie daintie dishes, as is almost impossible in order to set downe. After that supper was ended, three Nymphes came into the hall, one of them playing on a Harpe, another on a Lute, and the third on a base Vial de gamba, but with such sweetenesse and melodie, that they that were present, were (as it were) enchaunted and rauished with it. They placed themselues in one side of the hall, and the Shepherdes and Shepherdesses (being louingly requested by the three Nymphes, and by sage Felicia) placed themselues right ouer against them on the other side, with their Rebeckes and a Bagpipe, whereon Seluagia sweetely plaied. And then the Nymphes began to sing this song, and the Shepherdes to answere them in manner following.
THe authours of subiections
Fortune and Loue, and of most peeuish fashions,
Aboue the moone affections
Doe place, and hard reiections,
And in the same extremest paines and passions.
Lessemay he vaunt and boast
For ioy, whom Loue did neuer yet molest,
Then he, that loueth most,
And fauours euer lost,
Since they that suffer more are euer best.
If Loues extremes releene you,
And did not gainsay reason, as we view them,
Perhaps we would beleeue you:
But seeing how they greeue you,
Happy are we that can so well eschew them.
The hardest things the stoute
And valiant persons euer take in hand:
And that of greatest doubt
Braue courage brings about,
For tâ€™is no honour small things to withstande.
The Louer well doth see,
To fight it out, it is not Loues intent
In torments he must be
Of those, that suffring them are most content.
If any ioy we sought
By any ill of Loue which we obtaine,
It cannot be the thought
Vnto the passion brought:
But heâ€™s more happy that endures more paine.
The best estate and fare,
Where he doth see himselfe that loueth best,
Brings nothing els but care:
And yet doth neuer spare
With flames to burne the dame and seruants brest:
And he thatâ€™s fauourâ€™d most,
Is changed in the twinkling of an eie:
For with disfauours tost,
And in obliuion lost,
It kils his hart and makes his ioyes to die.
To leese a good estate
By falling from it, is a greefe and paine:
Blamelesse is Loue, but fate
It is, and Fortunes hate,
That no exception makes from his disdaine:
Vniust and far vnfit
Is death, if Loue doth say that we shall liue,
If death it promisâ€™d yet,
No fault he doth commit:
For in the ende his promise he doth giue.
Fierce Loue they doe excuse,
That finde themselues entangled with his fetter:
And blame those that refuse
Him, but of these to chuse
The blamed mans estate is far the better.
Faire Nymphes, it is denied
The free and bond with one toong to debate,
Liue men and those that died,
The loued, and defied,
All speake according to their owne estate.
Sage Felicia and the Shepherdesse Felismena gaue attentiue eare vnto the muâˆ£sicke, that the Nymphes and Shepherdes made, and to the sundry opinions, which on both sides they shewed by singing. And Felicia smyling on Felismena, saide to her in her eare. Who beleeues not (faire Shepherdesse) but that most of these words haue touched thy soule to the quicke? who with a milde and sober grace, answered
her againe. Such were the words good Lady, that whose soule they did not touch, the same should not be touched with such loue as mine is. Felicia then lifting vp her voice a little higher, saide vnto her. In these loue matters I note a certaine conâˆ£clusion, which I finde for the most part true, That the generous minde and delicate witte by many degrees excelleth him in affection, that hath not these gifts. Because as loue is a vertue, and vertue doth euer choose her being in the best place, it is cleere, that persons of valour and dignitie, are more enamoured, and (as they are properly termed) better louers, then those of baser condition and estate. The Shepâˆ£herds and Shepherdesses hearing what Felicia saide, seemed to be somewhat angry in their mindes, which made Syluanus to thinke, that her words ought not to escape without an answer, who therefore saide thus vnto her. Wherein good Ladie doth a noble minde and fine witte consist? Felicia (who by and by perceiued to what purâˆ£pose the Shepherd demanded this question, because she woulde not giue him anie occasion of discontent) saide. In no other thing but in the proper and sole vertue of him that loues, as to haue a liuely and quicke witte, a mature and good iudgeâˆ£ment, a thought tending to high and stately things, and in other vertues which doe arise and flow from them themselues. I am satisfied saide Syluanus, and so are these Shepherdesses, because we imagined (discreete Lady) that you take valour and vertue to be onely in noble personages. I speake it to this ende, bicause he is but poore in the giftes of nature, that goes to seeke them foorth in those that are gone and past. It pleased not the other Shepherdesse a little to heare what Syluaâˆ£nus had saide; and the Nymphes did laugh, to see how the Shepherds did blush at Feliciasproposition. Who taking Felismena by the hand, brought her into a faire chamber, where she lay her selfe all alone: And after she had passed the time with her in many discourses, she put her in great hope of enjoying her desire, & the verâˆ£tuous end of her loue, by hauing Don Felix to her husband, albeit she saide, that this could not be done, without passing first some fewe trauels and troubles more: which the Lady made small account of, who in countermaund of them did encouâˆ£rage and comfort her selfe with the guerdon that she hoped to gaine by them. Felicia tolde her moreouer, that during her abode in her pallace, she shoulde put off her pastorall habits, vntill the time came, when she was to weare them againe. And therefore calling vnto her the three Nymphes, in whose companie she came, she commanded them to apparell her in such garments, as to her noble and high estate were requisite. The Nymphes were not slow in executing her command, nor Felismena disobedient in doing that which Felicia thought coÌ„uenient for her. They leading her therefore away by the hand, brought her into an inward chaÌ„ber, at the one side whereof was a dore, which faire Doria opening, they went downe a paire of alablaster staires into a faire hall, in the middest whereof was a cesterne of most cleere water, where all the Nymphes did vse to bathe themselues. Where stripping themselues naked with Felismena, they did bathe themselues. And after they had adressed their golden haire, they went vp to one of Felicias inward chambers, where the Nymphes hauing apparelled themselues, they did also put these garments on Felismena: A faire petticoate of carnation printed satten, the vpper body of shiâˆ£ning cloth of gold, of the same colour, and fringed beneath, and garded with a lace of beaten golde and small pearle. A gowne of crymosin veluet, with the sleeues, the bodies and skirts beneath embrodered with knots of seede pearle, and golde which was curiously wrought with needle by artificiall and cunning hande. A kirtle of pure white satten full of embrodered flowers and rare works of siluer, in the
middes whereof did sticke out faire orientall pearles. And tying vp her haire with a carnation ribbon of silke and siluer, they did put thereon a caule of glittering golde, in euery corner whereof a precious Ruby was set, with a naturall crisped periwigge of her owne haire, matching the brightest golde in colour, which adorâˆ£ned either side of her cristalline forehead: wherein were put two iewels curiouslie enchased with tablet Diamonds and Saphires of infinite value. The border that bound vp her caule, was of chosen flowers of golde, enameled with sundrie liuely colours, and beset betweene with Emeraulds and Rubies, in the middes whereof, iust betweene the two periwigs, hung downe a rich iewell of sparkeling Diamonds vpâˆ£on her snowe white browe, with three long orientall pearles in forme of acornes, hanging therea. The attyre of her head was in forme of two little ships made of Emeraulds, with all the shrouds and tackling of cleere Saphyres. About her white necke, they put a little chaine of fine golde, made in manner of a wreathed snake, with an enameled Eagle of golde in her mouth, which helde betweene both her tallons a Rubie of infinite price. When the three Nymphes did see her adorned in this sort, they wondred at her excellent beautie, and then brought her into the hall, where the other Nymphes and Shepherds were. And whereas they did till then knowe her for none other then a Shepherdesse, they remained so astonished, that they knewe not what to saie. Felicia commanded her Nymphes after this to carie faire Felismena and her company to see the sumptuous and rich temple, which was presently done, the sage Lady betaking her selfe to her solitarie chamber. Polâˆ£lydora therfore and Cynthia taking Felismenabetween them, & the other Nymphes the Shepherdes and Shepherdesses, who for their wisedome, and many other good parts were not a little made of, went out into a great court, the arches and pillers whereof were of Iaspar marble, and the bases and chaptres of Allablaster, with many borders and workes cut out after the Romaine manner, gilded in some plaâˆ£ces very curiously, and wrought all ouer with Moysaical worke: the pillers were supâˆ£ported with Lyons, Ounces and Tygres, so liuely cut of brasse, that they looked as though they would assaile them that came into that place. In the midst of the court was an eight square paterne or Obeliske of shining copper, ten cubits high, vpon the top whereof stoode fierce Mars armed at all points after the ancient manner, whom the Gentils called the God of battailes. In this Obeliske with maruellous art and skill were set foorth the proud squadrons of the Romaines on the one side, and the Carthaginian campe on the other side. Before the one one stoode the noâˆ£ble captaine Hanniball, and before the other, the inuincible and valiant African Scipio, in whom, before he had either age or experience, nature shewed great toâˆ£kens of valour and magnanimitie. On the otherside stoode Marcus Furius Camilâˆ£lus the wise and valiant captaine fighting in the high capitoll, to set his countrey at libertie, from whence he had himselfe beene late banished. There stoode Horatius, Mutius Scaeuola,the happie Consull Marcus Varro, Caesar, Pompey with great Alexâˆ£ander, and all they who by warre had atchieued great enterprises, and woone great same, with scrolles & characters in golde, declaring their names and famous deeds, and in what especiall point euery one of them had shewed himselfe most valiant and couragious. And a little aboue these stoode an inuincible knight armed all ouer, with a naked sworde in his hande, and with manie dead mens heads vnder his feete, with these words ouer his head.
I Am Cid thâ€™ honour of Spaine,
If that any more could bee
In my workes thou shalt see.
On the other side stoode another braue knight armed in like maner, the sight of his beuer lifted vp with these words also aboue his head.
Hernand GonÃ§ales of Castile I am
In number the first Earle, and endlesse praise,
The Spanish Scepters honor, since the same
With my braue deedes so highly I did raise,
My valour and my manhood golden Fame
Can tell, that sa we it, wherefore she displaies
My high deedes in eternall memorie,
As tels you the Castilian historie.
Next to him stoode another knight of great force and courage, as by his face they might well iudge, armed in bright siluer, which was sowen full of Lyons and castles, who shewed by his countenance a kinde of fiercenes, making them (almost) afraide that looked on him; and that which was written aboue him was this.
Bernard of Carpio I am,
The Pagans terror, and their smart:
An honour to the Christian name,
Since that my handes aduauncâ€™t the same
By valour of my stoutest hart:
Fame, iust it is not thou conceale
My matchlesse deedes from tender yeeres,
But nothing if thou wilt reueale,
To RonÃ§es-Vales I appeale,
That sometimes was of the twelue Peeres.
On the other side stoode a valiant captaine in gilded armour, with sixe bendes gueles in the middes of his shielde, and on the other side on him many enfolded Auncients, and a captiue king in a chaine, whose superscription said thus.
My greatest valours they shall see,
Which knewe them not, whereby againe
I onely haue deseruâ€™d to bee
Surnamed (The great Capitaine)
And in strangelandes, and in our owne
I purchased so great a fame,
That my exploites are held and knowne
To be far greater then my name.
Next to this stout captaine stoode a knight all in siluer armour, sowen full of starres, and of the other side on him a king with three Fleure de Lyses Or in his shielde Azure, before whom he tare certaine papers; the superscription aboue him was this.
I am Fonseca whose braue historie
Europe doth knowe, and doth so much commend,
(Whose life though ended) yet my memorie
Enrollâ€™d by liuing fame shall neuer end.
My souer aigne King I serued, and did beare
My countrey loue, and not in fained showe,
I neuer did leaue of for seruile feare
To keepe that holy lawe, which euery where
The seruant doth vnto his master owe.
In another quadrant of the Obeliske stoode an armed knight, his armour sowen full of little golden shieldes, who by the valour of his personage seemed to be deâˆ£scended from some noble and high blood: casting his eies amongst manie other Lords and knights of his ancient lynage, the subscription beneath his feete was this.
Don Luys of Villanoua I am named,
And from the great Marquesse of Tranz descended,
My valour and renowne (with praise proclamed
In Italie, Fraunce, Spaine) is far extended.
Bicorb, an ancient house my state is framed,
That fortune to a hart hath now commended
So high, sans peere, and that so much surmonnteth,
As to commaund a world, it smally counteth.
After they had particularly behelde the paterne, and all the knights and valiant champions placed in it, they went into a rich hall, the feeling whereof was all of yuorie, woonderfully wrought and carued, the wals of allablaster, and many anciâˆ£ent histories so liuely cut out and grauen in them, that one would verily haue thought, that Lucretia killed her selfe indeede, and subtill Medea vndid her webbe in the Iland of Ithaca; and that the famous Romaine Lady yeelded to the fatall sister, bicause she would not offende her honour with the sight of the horrible monâˆ£ster; and that the louing wife of Mauseolus was making great lamentation, thinking to what end the sepulcher of her husband was counted for one of the seuen wonâˆ£ders of the world: And many other histories and examples of chaste Ladies worthie to be eternized with immortall fame thorow out the whole world, bicause it seemed not sufficient ynough for some of them, to giue manifest examples by their vnspotâˆ£ted life, but for others, by their vntimely and cruell death great testimonie of their pure and vndefiled thoughts, amongst the which the Spanish Coronella was one, who did rather commit her body to consuming flames, then suffer her chaste minde to be ouercome with the motion and delight of a dishonest thought. After they had viewed all the figures well, and the varietie of the histories round about the wals of the hall, they went into another square court, which for the riches thereof, seemed to their iudgements so much to excell all that they had seene, as the substance doth the shadowe; for all the wals of it were couered ouer with fine golde, and the paueâˆ£ments of precious stones. Round about this Quadrant stood the figures of many Ladies of Spaine, and of other nations, and aboue them all, the Goddesse Diana curiously cut out of mettall of Corynth, with short garmentes like a hunter, adorned with much pearle and precious stones of great value, who had her bowe
in her hande, and her golden quiuer hanging downe by her side, enuironed rounde about with a troupe of Nymphes fairer then Titan in his cheefest gloâˆ£rie. The Shepherdes and the Shepherdesses were so amazed at the sight of these things, that they knew not what to say, bicause the riches of the house were so infiâˆ£nite, the figures so liuely, the workmanship of the Quadrant so excellent, and the proportion of the Ladies that were retracted there, with so great art, that they thought it impossible to imagine a more perfect and absolute, or a more sumptuous building in the whole world then that was. On the one side of the Quadrant stood fower Laurell trees of gold, so brauely enameled with greene leaues, that in gardens there were none more fresh or liuely, and neere to them a little fountaine made all of beaten siluer, in the middes whereof was likewise a Nymph of beaten gold, which at her faire breastes thorow nybles of Rubies spouted out water cleerer then Criâˆ£stall: and neere to this fountaine did Orpheus the famous musition sit, enchaunted with the age that he was in, when his
Euridice was requested of importunate Ariâˆ£steus: He had on a cote of cloth of siluer, interseamed and imbrodered with flowers of seede pearle, his sleeues broad about the shoulders, and falling very narrow to his elbowes, from whence his armes came out naked. He had on a paire of hose of cloth of siluer to the knee, and made after the olde fashion of Thrace, wrought full of little golden Harpes and Citherens, his golden bush of haire, which hung downe curled and long, was tied about with a faire Laurell wreath. But when he perceiued the Nymphes comming towardes him, he began most sweetely to touch a fine Harpe, which he had in his handes, with the diuine melodie whereof the strangers were so much rauished, that they forgot all that they had seene, in respect of this new delight. Felismena sate her downe vpon a faire lowe bed in the Quadrant, which for the most was couered all ouer with purple damaske, finely wrought and fringed with golde, and the Nymphes and Shepherdesses about her, the Shepherdes leaâˆ£ning vpon the siluer fountaine. In this sort therefore they were harkening to worthy Orpheus, as if he had bin singing amongst the Cyconians when Cyparisus was turned into a Cypres tree, and Atis into a Pine tree. Enamoured Orpheus then began to sing so sweetely to the tune of his Harpe, that with the heauenly musicke thereof he suspended their amazed senses. And turning his sweete face to Felismena, he began to sing these verses following.
Orpheus his song.
HArke Felismena to the sweetest song
Of Orpheus, whose loue hath bene so high,
Suspend thy greefe (Seluagia) somewhat long,
Whilst now I sing, that once for loue did die:
Forget (Belisa) now thy woefull wrong,
And to my voice sweete Nymphes your eares apply:
That lost his eies, to beauties blaze then turning,
And Shepherdes, cease a while your amorous mourning.
I will not speake (for God forbid the same)
Of that most heauie processe of mine ils,
Nor when I so did sing, that I did tame
Wilde beastes and birdes, and mooued trees and hils:
Nor when I did suspend thâ€™infernall flame,
Nor when I sawe Pluto, nor that, that kils
My soule with greefe, when I lookt backe to see,
If that Euridice did follow me.
But I will sing with pure and sweetest voice
Of those perfections, and that grace display,
That wisedome, wit and beautie of such choice,
Of those who doe illustrate Spaine this day.
Then see her (Nymphes) whose beautie doth reioice
Vs all: her great Diana, and her gay
And goodly traine, on whom both Gods and men
Cannot ynough imploy their toongs and pen.
Lift vp your eies this Lady to beholde,
That heere is sitting in this highest chaire,
With scepter neere to her and crowne of golde,
And angrie fortune by her on the staire:
This is the star that Spaines light did enfolde,
Whose absence now her glory doth impaire:
Her name is Lady Mary that hath beene
Of Hungarie, Boeme, and of Austrie Queene.
The next that sits to her, is Lady Iane
Princesse of Portugall and of Castille
The Infant, and from whom fortune had tane
The crowne and scepter by her turning wheele:
And vnto whom death was so inhumane,
That in her selfe great wonder she doth feele,
To see how soone she did stretch forth her hands
On her, that was the light of Lusitans.
Behold (faire Nymphes) that Lady Mary great
And soueraigne Infant of her
Whose grace and beautie hath this day a seate,
Where humane thought could neuer reach at all:
Behold, though cruell for tune there doth threat:
Her wisedome yet doth count of her but small:
For time, and death, and destinie cannot
Conquere her goodnes, vertues, and her lot.
Those two that are by her on either side,
Whose beauties Titans brightnesse doe offend:
Their sleeues of gold, their gownes of damaske tide
With pearle, and where faire Emerauldes depend:
Their curled golden lockes, wauing so wide
Vpon their shoulders, loose that doe descend:
Daughters they are of thâ€™Infant Lusitanc:
Duarta the valiant, and great Cristiane.
Those two great Dutchesses of worthy fame,
For beauties prize in either of our Spaines
Which there you see to life seâ€¢ out in frame,
With grace, and features, that all others staines
Of Sessa and Najare each hath her name:
Whose companie Diana not disdaines
For their exceeding beautie, and desartes,
Discretion, wisedome, and all other partes.
Behold a golden Phoenix all alone:
Arare perfection neuer seene before,
Wisedome, as like was not in any one,
Beautie, and grace, where neuer could be more.
She that puls fortune from her vaunting throne,
And hath her subiect to her will and lore:
Great Lady Leonore Manuell hath to name,
The Lusitane light that doth the world inflame.
The Lady Luise Carillo, that in Spaine
Hath made MendoÃ§as blood of such renowne:
Whose beautie, and braue grace hath in a chaine
Cupid himselfe, for loue of her cast downe:
Sheâ€™s waiting still vpon our Goddesse traine:
For chastitie worthie to weare a crowne.
Of faire and honest an example heere,
And of them all a mirrour bright and cleere.
Rehold a sweete perfection and a rare,
Of her, whom fame her selfe doth greatly feare:
Behold a passing beautie, sans compare,
Founded in grace and wisedome euery wheare:
That both with reason binde to loue and care.
For in her doth the lest part beautie beare.
Lady Eufrase of Guzman is her name,
Worthy to be eternized with fame.
That matchlesse beautie sweete and peregrine,
Not seene in any, but in her alone,
Which euery wit and soule doth so refine
With holy loue, as like was neuer none:
Apparelled with Crimson, that doth shine
With flowres of gold, and pearle that there are sowne.
The Lady Mary Aragon her name:
The world doth know, and he auen doth knowe the same.
Her doe you knowe to whome Diane her face
Doth turne, and points her to vs with her hand,
Who matcheth her in wisedome and in grace,
And equall is with others in this land
In wit, and hath in beautie highest place,
Apt to conduct and leade a martiall band.
Tâ€™is Lady Isabell Mauriq of Padille,
Who Mars doth conquer and with wonder fill.
The Ladies Mary Manuell and Ione
Osorius, are those two, which you doe see,
Whose grace, and beautie, as the like not knowne,
Euen Loue himselfe with loue doth wound and slee.
And this our Goddesse doth not ioy alone,
To see two such with her, but also wee.
Since then no toong their worthinesse may praise,
Reason, and fame to heauen the same shall raise.
And those two sisters of such worthy name,
Either of them a second neuer had.
Their grace, and beautie fils the world with fame:
This day their golden beames doth each one glad:
Me thinkes I see them in their perfect frame,
To which more beautie nature could not adde.
The Lady Bettrice Sarmient is one,
With Castro her faire sister so well knowne.
That cleerest sunne, which heere you see doth shine,
And heere and there her golden beames doth cast,
She, that doth laugh at louers that doe pine
In loue, and at the teares, that they doe wast,
And at Loues powre: whose countenance diuine
Saies more then I, though praising her so fast,
Tâ€™is Lady Ione Carate, in whom we see
Surpasing grace and beauties praise to bee.
The Lady Anne Osorius, that braue dame,
And Castro next to her possesse their place,
For peerelesse beautie honoured with fame,
For goodly giftes, for modestie, and grace:
But her hard hap (alas) was much to blame,
So cruelly her glory to deface:
Bicause her fortune equall might not bee
Vnto her wisedome, beautie, and degree.
That matchlesse beautie thatâ€™s adorned so
With honestie, and grace so soueraine,
Which was with reason chosen to bestowe
Her honour in the Temple of Diana,
Not conquerâ€™d, but still conquâ€™ring high and lowe:
Her name (O Nymphes) is Lady Iuliana,
Neece to that greatest Duke and Conestable,
Speake fame of her, for I am far vnable.
Behold the beautie (on the other part)
Of many faire and braue Valencian Dames,
Whom with my pen, but more yet with my hart,
I will procure to celebrate their names?
Heere Fount of Helicone, vouchsafe thy art,
And heere Minerua helpe me in these blames;
To tell what those braue Ladies be, whose sight
Onely to them all eies and harts inuite.
See heere fowre blasing stars that brightly shine,
Of whom Fame brutes their name in euery ground,
That from three famous kingdomes drawe their line,
And from Cardonas aneient house come downe,
On thâ€™one side Dukes most excellent decline,
And from the other scepter, throne, and crowne:
Daughters vnto Sogorbe, whose golden fame
From Atlas vnto Maurus soundes their name.
The light of all the world, the flowre of Spaine,
The end of perfect beautie, and of grace,
A royall hart, that euer doth maintaine
Valour, and bountie, in a vertuous race:
That looke so modest, and so sweete againe,
Adorned with so faire and milde a face,
GiuÃ¨s Lady Anne of Aragon such fame,
That Loue himselfe is captiue to her name.
Her sister Lady Bettrice, that you see,
Is next (if that you can behold such light)
Whom none can praise, for this is onely shee,
Whom none can praise according to her right:
That Painter that did make her, so must bee
Her praiser, and her giftes he must reeite:
For where all humane wit cannot attaine,
My poore conceite doth labour there in vaine.
The Lady Frances of great Aragon
Shew you I vvould, but she is alvvaies hid:
Her svveetest beauties leaues not any one
With life, for so her starlike eies forbid
Our mortall sight to vievv the same alone:
In life and death, her vertues euer did
Subiect each hart to loue, and admiration:
As fame can tell in euery forrain nation.
Now Lady Magdalene you may reueale,
Sister vnto those three which I haue showne,
Behold her well, and see how she doth steale
Her gazers harts, and subiect liues to none.
Her peerelesse beautie threats, and in a chaine
Leades little Cupid, turnâ€™d into a stone:
None see her, but they die, and none there ar
But she doth conquer without armes or war.
Those two bright stars, that heere and there doe vaunt
Their shining beames, that dim the starrie skie,
And making that illustrous house of Gaunt
In all the world with high renowne to flie.
This day their wisedome, and their beauties daunt
Each humane thought, and euery mortall eie.
For who sees Magdeline and Marguerite,
That doth not die (for loue) at such a sight?
But will you see the thing, that hath vndone
All wits, and made them all to wonder so?
Behold a Nymph more faire then orient sunne,
Or louely rose, or lilly hard by Po;
This Phoenix name, that through the world doth runne,
Is Lady Caterine Milane, for so
Valencia cals her, and the world doth say,
She is as faire, and wise, as liues this day.
Lift vp your eies (faire Nymphes) and now behold
The Lady Mary Pexon Ã§annoguere,
How by the riuer banks her locks of gold
She kembes, adorning of her shining heare,
Whose beautie, wisedome, and braue giftes are told
For rarest in our Europe euery wheare,
Behold her eies, her faire and Cristalline face,
Her sweete demeanour and her heauenly grace.
Those two behold, the rest that doe excell
Inperfect wisedome, and in quicke conceate:
And for braue beautie beare away the bell,
A paire sans peere, whose starlike eies doe threate
Despaire and death, to those that view them well:
For there sits Cupid in his proper seate.
Their blessed names doe with their nature fit,
Faire Bettrice Vigue and Bettrice Fenollir.
What time Diana went to sport and play,
With her most soueraine face, and more diuine,
Amorning star arose in moneth of May,
Like to that Star, that neere the Moone doth shine:
Which when she sawe so glorious euery way;
A famous place to her she did a ssigne:
Her beauties tell you, if her name you seeke,
That sheâ€™s the peerelesse Lady Anna Vigue.
Faire Nymphes, behold the Lady Theodore
Carroz, that is great Lady and the Queene
Of such braue beautie, neuer seene before,
Wisedome, and grace, as like was neuer seene:
Each thing of hers enamours more and more.
The brauest mens deserts haue neuer beene
Such, as they durst attempt, or euer sought,
By them to place in her an amorous thought.
See (Shepherdes) Lady Angelas braue grace,
Of Borja, looking on Diana bright;
And how to her the Goddesse turnes her face,
To view those eies, that all eies doe inuite,
And mightie Loue himselfe weeping apace,
And how the Nymph derides his conquerâ€™d might:
And laughes to see the cruell Tyrant lying,
Wrapped in chaines, to her for mercy crying.
Of that most famous stocke of Ã§annoguere
A flowre sprung out, so perfect and so pure,
That liuing yet but yong, she neede not feare
Any that may her beauties blaze obscure:
Her mothers heire she is, for she doth beare
The praise, which she did with her giftes procure.
So hath Lady Hieronyma, you see,
In grace, and wit obtainâ€™d the highâ€™st degree.
Now in a wonder (Nimphes) will you remaine?
And see what fortune gaue to her alone,
How wisedome, beautie, and the goodly traine
Of vertues, make in her the chiefest throne?
Lady Veronica Marrades see againe,
For onely by her figure it is knowne
That she hath all, and nothing wants to serue her,
Vnlesse it be, that none can well deserue her.
The Lady Luise Penaroje we see
In more then humane beautie and in grace,
In euery thing most excellent is shee:
All beauties els she staines, and gaineâ€¢â€¦pace,
Loue dies for her, and he will not agree,
That any should behold so sweete a face:
Who sees it dies, vnlesse he see it againe,
And seene it, then his sight augments his paint.
Now see I (Nymphes) that you are seeing her,
On whom my thoughts continually deuise,
And yours perforce from her can never stirre,
Cupid for robs, and in her loue he dies:
See how her beauties make the world to erre?
See, but beware such light blinde not your eies.
The Lady Iane Cardona, that faire star,
It is to whom loues powres subiected ar.
That beautie, which exceedeth humane thought,
Which you doe see, if that you can behold it,
She, whose estate was blest, esteeming nought
Of fortune, time, or chaunce, that could enfold it.
She, to the world that such rare giftes hath brought:
She thatâ€™s my Muse, and Parnasus, vntold yet,
Lady Ione Anne of Catalane, The end
She is of all, that eâ€™re I did commend.
Neere vnto her there is a great extreme
In purest vertue, high and sublimate,
In comely grace, the fairest in this Realme,
Her golden haire, her necke most delicate;
Each gracious eie a firie pointed beame,
A noble wit, and name of heauens estate:
The Lady Angela Fernando named:
Whom nature to her name like gifts hath framed.
Next to her sits the Lady Marian,
Who hath not in the world her paragon,
Neere to her sister, fairer then the swan
In cristall streames, or fine Vermillion.
Proud is our age of both of them, that can
In tender yeeres haue no comparison
For wisedome; for so much they may presume,
As thousand toongs can tell, or golden plume.
The two fine sisters Borjas which you see,
Hyppolita and Isabell so faire,
With grace and giftes, that so adorned lee,
That Phebus brightest beames they doe empaire.
And see how many liues, that once were free,
Their beauties conquers (Cupids onely snare),
Behold their haire, their countenance, and eies,
This gold, that sweete, and those like stars in skies.
Behold the Lady Mary Cannoguere,
Who wow is Lady of sure Catarasse,
Whose beautie, and sweete grace doth euery where
Conquer each hart with vnrepaired losse:
Fame on her wings thâ€™row-out the world doth beare
Her vertues rare, that shine like gold to drosse.
Since each one them that sees her must commend her,
Who them can praise her well and not offend her?
The Lady Isabell Boja here doth stand
Perfect and absolute in euery thing
Behold her face, her fine and dainty hand,
Ouer whose head the nightingales doe sing.
Our age she honours, and thâ€™ Hiberian land:
Of grace, and vertue sheâ€™s the onely spring:
And those, to whom nature did beautie giue,
She staines, as fairest that did euer liue.
She, that her haire hath hanging downe, and speed
Abroad, and tide with golden third behinde:
And that faire face, that hath so often led
So many harts to bondage of the minde:
Her Iuorie necke her ties in beautie bred,
Faire, modest, gray, not looking out of kinde:
Her famous name is Lady Iuliana,
That honours heere the Temple of Diana.
She, whom you there doe see, whom nature made
So curiously, at neuer like before,
Since that her beautie neuer seemâ€™d to fade,
Nor that a faire one can desire more:
Whose great deserts, and wit, doth still perswade
Fame, to the world her praises to restore:
Is called Lady Moncia Fenollit,
To whom Loue yeelds himselfe and doth submit.
The song of renowned Orpheus was so pleasant in Felismenas eares, and in all theirs, that heard it, that it held them in such a suspence, as if they had passed by no other thing but that, which they had before their eies. Who now hauing particuâˆ£larly viewed the rich chamber of estate with euery thing in it that was woorth the seeing (as all was) the Nymphes went foorth by a certaine dore into the great hall, and by an other out of the hall into a faire garden, the beautie whereof stroke no lesse admiration into their mindes, then the strange things which they had seene before: for amongst the fruitfull trees, and sweete flowers, were many sepulchers and tombes erected of diuers Nymphes and Ladies, which with great puritie had kept their chastitie (due to the Goddesse thereof) inniolate and vnstained. Some of the tombes were adorned with coronets of knottie Iuie; others with chapplets of sweete Myrtles; and some with garlands of greene Laurell. There were also manie
Allabluster fountaines in the garden, some of Iaspar marble, & some of other mettall seated under vines, which with artificiall arches and wreathes aloft did spred foorth their branches depressed with clusters of coloured grapes. The Mytrhe trees grew in manner of fower walles, with embattlements and pinnacles on the tops of them, and on the sides aboue them were certaine Terrasses and walkes, reared vp, whereâˆ£on (as ouer all the garden besides) did growe many sweete flowers of sundry colours, as white Iesmins, Woodbyne, and many more delightfull to the insatiable eie. In the hiddes of the garden stoode a Ieat-stone vpon fower brazen pillers, and in the thids of it a tombe framed out of Iaspar, which fower Nymphes that were wrought out of white Allablaster did hold vp with their handes, and about it stoode manie Tapers of Virgine waxe burning in massie candlestickes of bright siluer, that were made in artificiall manner. About this tombe stoode certaine Lordes and Knights, some fashioned out of stone, and mettall, other som out of Iaspar marble, and other matter. Which figures shewed such great sorrow by their countenances, that they filled Felismenas hart, and all theirs that were looking on the tombe, with no lesse greefe, then admiration. But viewing it narrowly, they sawe in a table of shining golde, which at the foote of the sepulchre, a dead and pale mattone held betweene her hands, this Epitaphe subscribed.
HEere Lady Katherine entombed lies,
Of Aragon and Sarmient, whose fame
Doth mount with praise vnto the loftie skies:
And sounds from North to South, her woorthy name.
Death kilâ€™d her, to reuenge the sacrifice
Of those she killed, when she was a dame:
Her bodyâ€™s heere, her soule in heauen with pleasure:
The world vnwoorthy to possesse such treasure.
After they had read this Epitaphe, they sawe an Eagle of blacke marble, with diâˆ£splaied wings on the top of the tombe, with a golden table betweene her tallons, with those verses in it.
EVen as (O death) the Planets should remaine
Without Apollo and Diana bright,
The ground without mankinde, and beasts againe,
The Marriner without the North-starre light;
The fielde without faire flowers, grasse, or graine,
The mornings showe without the dewe of night:
Vertue and beautie so remaine and die
Without the dame that in this tombe doth lie.
When they had read both these Epitaphs, and Belisa had vnderstoode by them what the Nymph was, that was buried therein, and how much Spaine lost by leeâˆ£sing her, calling therewithall to minde the vntimely death of her deere Arsileus, she could not, but with teares breath out these sorrowfull wordes. O death, how far am I from thinking that thou maiest comfort me with other womens harmes? The small time, that the world enioyed the great beautie and wisedome, wherewith they tell me this Nymph was endowed, doth not a little greeue me, bicause as she was
not her-selfe in loue, so did not any deserue, she should be so. For had she beene, I would then account her for so happie a woman by dying, as my selfe vnfortunate, by seeing how small reckoning thou makest of me (cruell death) since taking from me all my good, and the onely ioy of my life, thou dost not leaue me heere, but oneâˆ£ly to feele the neuer-ceasing paine of this heauie want. O my
Arsileus, O rare wiseâˆ£dome in such yoong yeeres? O the most faithfull louer that euer was, and the finest wit that the heauens could euer infuse into so braue an ornament of nature. What eies may without inundations of reares behold thy sorrowfull absence? And what hard hart suffer thy vntimely and difastrous end? O Arsenius, Arsenius, how smal a time wert thou vnable to endure the violent death of thy vnfortunate sonne, haâˆ£uing more occasion to suffer it, then my selfe? Why didst thou make me (cruell Arâˆ£senius) participate of two deathes? Of both which to preuent the least that did greeue me, I would haue giuen a thousand liues. Farewell (happie Nymphe) the light and honour of the royall house of Aragon: God giue thy soule eternall glory, and deliuer mine from so many woes and afflictions, wherinto it is so deepely sunke. After that Belisa had spoken these wordes, and after they had seene many tombes more, very richly erected, they went out by a backe dore in the garden, into a greene meadowe, where they found the sage Ladie Felicia recreating her-selfe alone, and walking vp and downe, who seeing them comming towards her, receiued them all with a ioyfull countenance. And whilest it was time to go to supper, they went to a pleasant walke in a groue of Sicamours harde by, where the Nymphes of the sumptuous temple were woont many times to go and disport themselues: where sitâˆ£ting downe in a little plat of greene grasse, that was encompassed round about with leauie Sicamours, they began to discourse one with another of that, which did best please their fancies. The Lady Felicia called the Shepheard Syrenus, and Felismena to her. The Nymph Doria sat her downe with Syluanus in one place of the greene meadowe, and the Shepherdesses
Seluagia and Belisa went by themselues, with the most beautifull Nymphes Cynthia and Polydora into another, so that (though they were not farre asunder) yet they might talke togither well enough, and not trouble one another. But Syrenus desiring that their talke and conuersation might be conâˆ£formable to the time, place, and person with whom he talked, began to saie in this manner. I thinke it not (sage Lady) much beyond the purpose, to demand a cerâˆ£taine question, to the perfect knowledge whereof, as I could neuer yet attaine; so do I not meanely desire by your Ladiships wisedome to be resolued therein: and this it is. They do all affirme (that would seeme to know something) That true Loue doth spring of reason: which if it be so, what is the reason, that there is not a more timeâˆ£rous and vnruly thing in the worlde then loue, and which is left of all gouerned by it? As this Question (answered Felicia) is more then a simple Shepherdes conâˆ£ceite, so is it necessarie, that she that must answer it, ought to haue more then a silâˆ£lie womans wit: But to satisfie thy minde with that little skill I haue, I am of a conâˆ£trarie opinion, affirming that Loue, though it hath Reason for his mother, is not therefore limited or gouerned by it. But it is rather to be supposed, that after reaâˆ£son of knowledge and vnderstanding hath engendred it, it will suffer it selfe to be gouerned but fewe times by it. And it is so vnruly, that it resultes oftentimes to the hurt and preiudice of the louer: since true louers for the most part fall to hate and neglect themselues, which is not onely contrarie to reason, but also to the lawe of nature. And this is the cause why they paint him blinde, and void of all reason. And as his mother Venus hath most faire eies, so doth he also desire the fairest. They
paint him naked, because good loue can neither be dissembled with reason, nor hidâˆ£den with prudence. They paint him with wings, because he swiftly enters into the louers soule: and the more perfect he is, with more swiftnes and alienation of himâˆ£selfe, he goeth to seeke the person of the beloued, for which cause Euripides saide; That the louer did liue in the body of the beloued. They paint him also shooting his arrowes out of his bowe, because he aymes right at the hart, as at his proper white: And also, because the wound of loue is like that, which an arrow or dart maâˆ£keth, narrow at the entrance, and deepe in his inward soule that loueth. This is an inscrutable, and almost incurable wounde, and very slowe in healing: So that thou must not maruell Syrenus, that perfect loue (though it be the sonne of reason) is not gouerned by it, bicause there is nothing, after it is borne, that doth lesse conforme it selfe to the originall of his birth, then this doth. Some saie there is no other diffeâˆ£rence betweene vertuous and vicious loue, but that the one is gouerned by reason, and the other not: but they are deceiued; because excesse and force is no lesse proâˆ£per to dishonest, then to honest loue, which is rather a qualitie incident to euerie kinde of loue, sauing the one doth make vertue the greater by it, and the other doth the more encrease vice. Who can denie, but that in true and honest loue excessiue and strange effects are oftentimes founde? Aske it of many, who for the onely loue of God made no account of themselues, and cared not to leese their liues for it, alâˆ£though knowing the reward they looked for, did not worke Io much in their minds. And how many againe (enflamed with the loue of vertue) haue gone about to cast away themselues, and to end their liues, to get thereby a glorious and suruiuing name? A thing truely, which ordinarie reason doth not permit, which doth rather guide euery effect in such sort, that the life may honestly preserue it selfe. But what diuersitie of examples could I bring thee (Syrenus) of many, who onely for the loue of their friendes haue lost their liues, and euery thing that with life is lost. But let vs leaue this loue, and come againe to that which nature hath bred betweene man and woman: wherein thou must know, that if the loue, which the louer beares to the mistresse of his affections, (although burning in vnbridled desire) doth arise of reaâˆ£son, and of true knowledge and iudgement, as by her onely vertues he doth iudge her woorthy to be beloued, That this kinde of loue (in my opinion,) (and yet I am not deceiued) is neither vnlawfull nor dishonest, bicause all loue being of this quaâˆ£litie, doth tende to no other end but to loue the person beloued for her owne sake, without hoping for any other guerdon or effect of his true, and sincere loue. So that this is as much as (me thinkes) may be saide in answer of thy question, which thou hast put me. Syrenus then saide vnto her. I am resolued (sage Lady) of that which I desired to vnderstande; and also belceue, that by your gracious wisedome which is great, and bountie which is no lesse, I shall be thorowly instructed of whatsoeuer I woulde desire to know, although some finer capacitie then mine were more requiâˆ£site to conceiue these deepe reasons, so perfectly alledged by your learned asserâˆ£tions.
Syluenus, that was talking with Polydora, saide: It is strange (faire Nymph) to see what a sorrowfull hart (that is subiect to the traunces of impatient loue) doth suffer, because the lest ill, that it causeth in vs, is the depriuation of our iudgement, the losse of our memorie, and the surcharging of our imaginations with his onelse obiects, making euery one to alienate himselfe Iron, himselfe, and to impropriate himselfe in the person of his beloued. What shall that wofull man then do, who sees himselfe so great an enimie to pleasure, such a friende to solitarines, so full of passiâˆ£ons,
enuironed with feares, troubled in his spirits, martyred in his wits, sustained by hope, wearied with thoughts, afflicted with griefes, haunted with iealousies, and continually worne with sobs, sighes, sorrowes, and woes, which he neuer wanteth? And that, which makes me more to maruel, is, that the mind doth not procure, (this loue being so vntolerable and extreme in crueltie) nor hath any desire at all to part from it, but doth rather account it her enimie, that giues it any counsell to that efâˆ£fect. All this is true (saide Polydora) but I know well that Louers for the most part haue more words, then passions. This is a signe (saide Syluanus) that thou canst not conceiue them (faire Nymph) because thou canst not beleeue them, nor that thou hast beene euer touched with this pleasing ill. And I wish thou maist not, the which none can beleeue, nor knowe the multitude of woes proceeding from it, but onlie she that doth participate of his bitter effects. Why? dost thou thinke (faire Nymph) when the louer that findes himselfe continually confused, his reason obscured, his memorie gone, his fancies and sences wearied by excessiue loue, that his toong can then remaine so free, that it may faine passions, and shew another thing by words, then that he feeles by deedes? Ah deceiue not thy selfe with these wordes, which I know are cleane contrary to thy thought. Beholde heere am I, in whom there is noâˆ£thing, that can be gouerned by reason; neither can he haue it, that is so much withâˆ£out his libertie as I am, because all corporall subiections do suffer the will (at the least) to be free, but the bondage of loue is such, that the first thing it takes in hand, is to constraine one, to make a profession of it. And wilt thou Shepherdesse then beleeue, that he doth form complaints, & faine sighes, that sees himselfe handled in this sort? It seemes well thou art free froÌ„ loue, as I did but euen now tell thee. I know Syluanus (saide Polydor a againe) that louers are full of troubles, and afflicted in mind all the while they do not obtaine their desires. Thou speakest in a thing (saide Syluaâˆ£nus) wherein it seemes thou hast no experience, bicause their loue, whose paines cease after the accomplishment of their desires, proceedeth not from reason, but from a base and dishonest appetite.
Seluagia, Belisa, and faire Cynthia were talking togither, what the reason was that in absence, loue did for the most part waxe colde. Belisa coulde not beleeue, that for any thing in the worlde she might entertaine such disloyaltie in her hart, saying: That since she did beare her Arsileus (being now dead, and too well assured neuer to see him againe) the selfe same loue, that she did, when he was aliue, howe much more then was it impossible for any other to forget that loue, which one doth hope sometimes to see againe. I cannot answer thee Belisa (saide the Nymph Cynâˆ£thia) so sufficiently as perhaps this matter doth require, because as it is a thing imâˆ£pertinent to our coÌ„dition, so the resolution thereof is it not expected of a Nymphes witte and profession. But yet this is my opinion, that though one departs from the presence of her louer, yet the remembrance of him afterwards remaines in her eies, by the present occasions wherof she still sees the Idea of the thing that she desireth. The charge and office of this remembrance is to represent that to the vnderstanâˆ£ding, which it conteineth in it, and of thinking of the person whom she loueth, commeth will (the thirde power of the soule) to engender desire, by meanes whereâˆ£of the person absented suffereth paine, by not seeing that which she loueth well. So that all these effects are deriued from the memorie, as from a fountaine, froÌ„ whence the beginning of desire springeth. But you must now knowe (faire Shepherdesses) that as the memorie is a thing, that the more it encreaseth, the more it looseth her strength and vertue, for getting that which the eies did deliuer and put into it; so
likewise do the other powers, whose workes had their beginning in it, in the verie same sort as riuers should want their streames, if the fountaines from whence they spring, did cease to flowe. And as this is vnderstoode of him that departs, so is it likewise of her that remaines still. And whereas thou dost thinke (faire Shepherâˆ£desse) that time will not cure thy greefe by committing the remedie thereof into my Lady Felicias handes, thou art much deceiued, because there is not any, whom she doth not helpe, and louers more then any other kinde of people.
The sage Lady Felicia (though she was somewhat from them) heard what Cynâˆ£thia saide, and answered. It might be thought no small point of crueltie in me, to put the remedie of her greefes (who needes it so much) in the hands of so slowe and tedious a phisition as time is: For though it be sometimes a helpe, yet it fals out in the end, that the greatest malladies (if they haue no other remedies then their own) do last so long a time that before they haue an ende, they ende their liues that haue them. And therefore because I meane to be thinke me of that, which toucheth Feâˆ£lismenaes ease, and the remedy of her greefes, and those of all her companie, & that now the beames of golden Apollo seeme to make an ende of their daies iourney; I thinke it best to seale vp our discourses, and to go in, bieause supper (I thinke) by this time is staying for vs. And so they went into the great Ladies Pallace, where they founde the tables ready furnished and set vnder an arbour of greene vines, in a pleasant and fresh garden within the house. And supper being ended, the sage Lady praied Felismena to tell them some discourse, were it a historie, or some notaâˆ£ble accident, that had befallen in the Prouince of Vandalia? Which Felismena did not denie: for with a sober and gentle grace she began to tell this history following.
IN the time of the Valiant Prince Don Fernando, who was afterwards King of Aâˆ£ragon, liued a knight in Spaine called Rodriga of Naruaez, whose singular virâˆ£tues and approoued manhood were so great, that as well in peace, as in war, he got the Sirname of the best knight of all those that liued in his time; and where he did especially winne it, when the same noble Prince ouercame the power of the Moores at the citie of Antiquera, shewing by his great enterprises and martiall feates in this warre, an absolute minde, an inuincible hart, and a noble kinde of liberalitie, by meanes whereof a good Captaine is not onely beloued, and highly esteemed of his owne souldiers, but also of strangers and his chiefest enimies: In regarde of which worthie seruice, hee was guerdoned after the subduing of that counâˆ£trey (although but meanely in lieu of his high desertes and excellent deedes) with the regiment of Antiquera and Allora, where hee spent most of his time with fiftie choise gentlemen at the Kings paie, for defence and garrison of both those frontier townes. All which by the good gouernment of their Captaine enterâˆ£prised many valiant deedes in defence of the Christian faith, atchieuing them with great honour, and registring the in perpetuall same with notable aduentures done in mainrenance of the same. Whose mindes therefore being so great enemies to idleâˆ£nes, and the exercise of armes so agreeable to the generous hart of their valiant Goâˆ£uernour; it fell out that vpon a certaine sommers night, Cynthiainuiting them to take part of the bright & coole aire, Rodrigo with nine of his gentlemen (for therest remained in garrison of the towne) armed at all points, went out of Allora, to surprise the Moores which lay on their frontiers, carelesse (perheps) in their charge and negâˆ£ligent. And emboldened by the priuiledge of the night, they passed by certaine waies neere vnto their townes. The valiant Captaine therefore going on with his
gentlemen as secret as he might, and verie carefull not to be discried, came to a way that parted into two, where consulting to diuide themselues into two companies of fiue a peece, and in such sort, that if the one company perceiued themselues to be in any danger, by sounding of a cornet they might be presently aided by the other fiue. The Gouernor and fower of them tooke one way, and the other fiue an other: who riding in seuerall companies together, and talking of diuers matters, euerie one desiâˆ£ring some aduenture to trie his manhood, and to shew himselfe a couragious man at armes, as almost euerie day they were wont to doe, they heard not far from them a mans voice sweetly singing, and now and then breathing out a profound sigh; wherâˆ£by they coniectured that some amorous passion did trouble his thoughts. The horsâˆ£men therefore that heard this, rode into a little wood hard by the way, and because the moone did shine as cleere as day, they might perceiue a Moore comming that way they went, so gallant and comely a genteleman, that his personage did well teâˆ£stifie that he was of noble bloud, and singular valour. He came mounted vpon a daple graie horse, and the garments he had on was a horse-mans coate of crimosin damaske, and vpon that a Barberie mantell fringed about with golde, and embrodeâˆ£red all ouer, and edged with many workes of siluer twist. He ware by his side a faire Moresco Cymitarre, with tassels of carnation silke and golde hanging at it; on his head a Tunez Turbant or roll of silke and white cotton, which was listed with golde, and fringes of the same, which being wrapped many times about his head, did serue him for an ornament, and a defence of his person. He carried a great Tarâˆ£get on his left arme, and in his right hande a Launce of two punches: and with so goodly grace and countenance came the enamoured Moore, that they coulde not wish to see a better sight. But giuing attentiue eare vnto his song, they heard that the dittie (although it was in the Arabicke toong) saide thus.
FIrst in Granada Ivvas borne,
In Cartama brought vp and bred,
To Allora fronter, which I scorne,
And in Coyn enamoured.
Though in Granada I was borne,
And brought vp in Cartama braue;
My faith in Coyn I haue sworne,
And there my libertie I gaue.
There doe I liue, where I doe die,
And where my care is thither led
To Allora Fronter am I,
And in Coyn enamoured.
The fiue horsemen, who had perhaps but small experience in amorous passiâˆ£ons, or whether they had or no, regarding more the interest, which so braue an aduenture did promise them, then the song of the enamoured Moore, issuâˆ£ed out of the woode, and ranne with great violence vpon him. But the valiant More, who in like assaultes was a tried champion (though loue at that time was Lorde of his thoughtes) was not a whit dismaied, but couching his launce in rest, with woonderfull courage began to skitmish with them all, whom he made immediately knowe, that he was no lesse valiant then amorous. Some say, they set vpon him by one and one, but they that haue sought out the truth of this historie, assirme, that they ranne all vpon him at once, which is most like they did so, to take
him prisoner, but when they sawe him begin to defende himselfe, that then perhaps the other fower did stande by, whilest one of them did fight with him alone. But howsoeuer it was, he droue them to such a narrowe streight, that casting three of theÌ„ to the ground, the other two very fiercely set vpon him, who needed not to vse their ordinarie strength against so valiant an aduersarie; for though he was wounâˆ£ded in one of his thighes, yet his strength and courage was not of such a temper, that mortall wounds could daunt his minde, nor make him leaue of that, which so highly touched his honour. But hauing by chance let fall his launce, he put spurs to his horse making a shewe of flight, whom the two Christians pursued at his verie heeles, which when he perceiued, he turned backe against them both, and passing thorow them like a furious and swift lightning, came to the place where one of the three laie, which he had vnhorsed, where stooping downe from his horse to take vp his launce that lay by him, he mounted nymbly into the saddle againe: which one of the two horsemen seeing, and thinking they were not able to make their parâˆ£tie good, he sounded his Cornet; but the Moore in the meane time so fiercely assailed them, that if the valiant Gouernour had not come, they had kept company with their other three companions, that lay hurt on the ground. But when the goâˆ£uernour was come, and sawe how valiantly the Moore did fight, he made great acâˆ£count of him in his minde, and hauing an eagre desire in single combat to prooue his manhoode with him, he saide vnto him. Such is thy noble valour and rare strength (braue knight) that by ouercomming thee, there cannot be but great hoâˆ£nor and glorie got; which singular fauour if gentle Fortune would but grant me, I could not (by my life) request any other at her handes. Wherein though I put my person in no small danger, by offring him the combat, that can so brauely defende himselfe, yet for a worlde I will not leaue it, when by so braue an enterprise, and howsoeuer I speede, I cannot chuse but winne great honor and renowne. And sayâˆ£ing this, he badde his men stande aside, appointing the conquered the prise of the victorie. When they were both asunder, a hot fight began betweene these valiant men at armes. The magnanimious Narudez desired the victorie, because the vaâˆ£lour of the braue Moore encreased the glorie, that he hoped to get by it: And the stout Moore, to no other ende but to attaine to the effect of his hope and desire. And so they belaied about them, passing actiue and nimble in lending blowes, and so hardie in assayling each others person, that had it not beene for the former weaâˆ£rines, and wound that the Moore had, (who by this time grewe somewhat faint by leesing his blood) with great difficultie had the Gouenour got the happie victorie. But these impediments, and being not able to manage his horse any longer, did promise it Naruaez cleerely; and not bicause he knew there wanted one iot of couâˆ£rage or valour in the Moore, who (when he sawe that in this single combat his life was in hazard, which he woulde haue willingly changed for the contentment, which Fortune did then deny him) he râ€™enforced himselfe with all his might, & stanâˆ£ding vptight in his styrrops, gaue the Gouenour a dangerous thrust, which he reâˆ£ceiued vpon his target, who was not slacke in answering him with another vpon the right arme, and trusting to his strength, if the matter came to handie gripes, at last he ranne in, and closed with him, and with such force shaked him, that casting him out of his saddle, he also fell with him to the ground, saying. Yeeld thy selfe knight, if thou makest any account of thy life, which is now in my hands. It is in thy hands (said the Moore) to kil me as thou saist, but fortune shal neuer do me such despite, to make me ouercommed by any, but onely by whom I haue long since suffered my self
to be conquered. And this onely content doth remaine to me of my prison, whereâˆ£vnto my misfortune hath now brought me. The Gouernour did not then marke the Moore his words so much, nor to what end he spake them, but vsing the mercy that the valiant conquerour is woont to vse to the forlorne man of Fortune, he helped him to rise vp, and to binde vp his woundes, which were not so great, but that he might get vpon his horse, and so all of them with their prisoner tooke the next way home to
Alora. The Gouernour as he rode, did continually cast an eie vpon the Moore whom he thought with himselfe, a goodly man of person, and gracious of visage, remembring therewithall, howe stoutly he had defended himselfe; but thought his sadnes too great for so braue a minde as he carried; and because he inâˆ£termixed his sorrow with sighes, which were tokens of greater greefe, then could be imagined in so braue a man, and also desirous to knowe more of the matter, he said vnto him. Behold Sir knight, how the prisoner that leeseth his hart & magnanimitie for feare of imprisonment, doth hazard the law of his libertie, and that in Martiall affaires, aduersitie must be entertayned with as merrie a countenance, as by this greatnes of minde it may deserue to enioy prosperitie againe. And these sighes are not (me thinkes) beseeming that valour and courage, which thou hast shewed by tryall of thy person; neither are thy wounds so mortall, that thy life is in hazarde, whereof besides thou hast shewed not to make so much account, but that thou wouldest willingly haue left it for thine honours sake: If there be then any other ocâˆ£casion of thy heauines, tell it me: for by the faith of a gentleman, I sweare vnto thee, that I will vse as much curtesie and friendship towards thee, as thou shalt not haue occasion to repent thee, that thou hast tolde me it. The Moore hearing the Goâˆ£uernours gentle speech, whereby he argued in him a braue and noble minde, and his curteous and friendly offer to helpe him, thought it no point of wisedome to conceale the cause of his greefe from him, because by his milde wordes and graciâˆ£ous countenance he had such great hope of helpe and fauour, that lifting vp his face, which with the waight of sorrow he went carying in his bosome, he saide vnto him. How art thou called Sir Knight, that dost thus comfort me in my sadnesse, whereof thou seemest to haue some feeling, and the which thou dost enforce me to tell thee. My name is Rodrigo of Naruaez, and Gouernour I am of Alora, and Antiquera, of both which townes of garrison the King of Aragon my Lord and Master, hath appointed me Chiefetaine. When the Moore heard this, with a merâˆ£rier countenance then before, he said: I am glad that my misfortune hath beene so fortunate, to make me fall into thy handes; of whose force and manhoode I haue beene long since informed, the triall whereof though it had cost me deerer, coulde not haue greatly greeued me, since it doth so greatly content me to see my selfe his prisoner, whose vertues, valour, and dexteritie in armes doth importune euery ones eares so much. And becauie the subduing of my person doth oblige me to esteeme thee the more, and that thou maist not thinke it is any kinde of pusyllanimitie, or feare in me (without some other great occasion, which lies not in my power to forâˆ£sake) that makes me so sad and pensiue, I praie thee gentle Knight, by that thou art, to coÌ„mand thy gentlemen to ride on before, because thou maist know, that neither the paine of my greene woundes, nor the greefe of my present captiuitie is cause of my heauie thoughts. The Gouernour hearing these words, made greater reckoning of the Moore, and because he was verie desirous to be thorowly resolued what he was, he willed his gentlemen to ride on before: and they two comming on faire and softly behind, the Moore fetching a profound sigh from his soule, began thus to saie.
IF time and triall of thy great virtues (most valiant Gouernour) and that golden fame wherewith they are spread in euery place, had not penetrated my hart with desire of knowing them, & now put them manifestly before mine eles, these words, which thy will doth enforce me to relate, should be now excused, and the discourse, which I meane to tell thee of a life, continually enuironed with disquiets & suspects (the least whereof being (as thou wilt iudge no lesse) worse then a thousand deaths) remaine vntold. But as I am on the one side assured of that I speake, and that (on the other) thou art a worthie kinght, and noble gentleman, and hast either heard, or els thy selfe passed the like passion to mine, Know, that my name is Abyndaraez the yoonger in difference of an vncle of mine, my fathers brother who is also called so. Descended I am from the noble house of the Abencerrajes in Granada, by whose vnâˆ£luckie destinies I did learne to be vnfortunate. And because thou maist know what theirs was, and maist by them the better coniecture, what may be expected of mine, Thou shalt vnderstand, that in Granada was a noble linage of Lords, and Knights, called Abencerrajes, whose valiant deeds, and graue personages, as well in martiall aduentures, as in peaceable and wise gouernment of our common-wealth, were the mirrours of that kingdome. The olde men were of the Kings counsell; the yoong gentlemen exercised their minds, and bodies in feates of armes, in the seruice of Laâˆ£dies and gentlewomen, and by shewing in euery point their valour and gentilitie. And as they were honoured of the popular sort, and welbeloued among the princiâˆ£pall, (for in all those good parts that a gentleman should haue, they farre excelled others) so were they very well thought of with the King: They did neuer any thing in war abroad, nor in counsell at home, that their experience was not correspondent to their expectation: whose valour, bountie, and humanitie was so highly commenâˆ£ded, that for a common example it was euer alleaged, That there was neuer Abenâˆ£cerraje coward, niggard, or ill disposed person. In the citie they were the masters of braue inuentions for apparell: In the Court, of maskes, daunces, and triumphes, and in the court and citie, in the seruice and courting of Dames passing gracious: For neuer did Abencerraje loue and serue any Ladie, of whom he was not fauoured, nor any Ladie (were she neuer so faire and amiable) thinke her selfe worthie of the name & title of an Abencerraje his mistresse. They liuing therfore in as great prospeâˆ£ritie, honor, and reputation, that might be, came fortune (an enemie to the rest and contentment of happie men) to cast them downe from that ioyfull estate, to the most vnfortunate and greeuous condition of disgrace that might be. The beginâˆ£ning whereof was, that the King hauing done a certaine iniury to the Abencerrajes, they made an insurrection, wherein, with ten gentlemen more of their kinred, they conspired to kill the King, land to diuide the kingdome amongst themselues, & so to be reuenged of the vnworthie disgrace receiued by him. This conspitacie (whether it was true or false) was discouered before it could be put in practise, and they apâˆ£prehended, and condemned to die, before the citizens had intelligence thereof; who, without all doubt for the great loue they bare them, would haue risen, not conâˆ£senting that iustice should haue beene done vpon them; For, carying them to exeâˆ£quution, it was the strangest spectacle in the world, to see the lamentations that some made; the priuie murmuring of one to another; and the bootlesse excuses, that for compassion of these gentlemen were generally made in all the citie. They ran all to the King, and offered to buie his mercie with great summes of gold and siluer; but such was his seueritie, that it expelled all motions of pitie and clemencie:
Which when the people beheld, they began to weepe, and lament againe: The Lords, Knights and gentlemen did weepe and mourne, with whom they were wont to keepe companie: The tender Ladies and Damsels of the Court wept, whom they loued and serued: And all the whole citie wept, for the great honour and auctority, that such noble citizens gaue them. The lamentations, and outcries were so many, and so loud, as if the earth had sunke, or the world beene drowned anew. But the King, who to all these teares, lamentations, and pitifull outcries did stop his eares, commaunded, that his definitiue sentence should be presently executed: So that, of all that house, and linage there remained not one man aliue, that was not beheaâˆ£ded that day, except my father and mine vncle, who were not found complices in that conspiracie. These ils resulted to them (besides this miserable chaunce) that their houses were ruinated; they proclaimed traitours to the King; their goodes, lands, and possessions confiscated: And that no Abenceraje should liue any longer in Granada, except my father and mine vncle; and they but with this condition, that if they had any issue, they should send the men children (as soon as they were borne) to be brought vp out of the citie, neuer to returne into it againe; and if they were women, and marriageable, to be married out of the Realme. When the Gouernor heard the strange discourse of Abyndaraez, and the termes wherewith he complayâˆ£ned of his misfortune, he could not stop his teares, but did shew by them the sensible greefe, which of such a disastrous accident could not be but felt. And therefore turning himselfe to the Moore, saide vnto him. Thou hast good cause Abyndaraes, to be sorrie for the fall of thy noble house and kinred, whose heads (I thinke) coulde neuer hatch so great treason: And were it for no other proofe, but that so worthie a gentleman as thy selfe came out of it, this onely were sufficient to make me beleeue, that they neuer pretended such wickednes. This gentle opinion, which thou hast of me (said the Moore) and of the goodnes of my auncestors, I know not (worthie Goâˆ£uernour) how to requite, but onely with vnfained and humble thankes. But now, when I was borne into the world, with the inheritance of the selfe same mishap of my kinred, they sent me (because they would not infringe the Kings edict) to be nurâˆ£sed, and brought vp in a certaine fort, belonging sometimes to the Christians, calâˆ£led Cartama, committing the charge and care of me to the Gouernor thereof, with whom my father had ancient familiaritie & acquaintance: A man of great account in the kingdome, vpright in the maner of his life, and verie rich, but chiefly in a daughter that he hath, which is the greatest felicitie, which I account of in this life, the which I wish I may neuer enioy, if in anything (but onely her) I euer tooke conâˆ£tent & pleasure. With her was I brought vp from my childhood, (for she was borne but three yeeres after me) and as we were generally thought of all to be brother and sister (for like such was our education) so did we also thinke our selues to be. The loue that I did beare Xarifa (for thus is the Lady called that is mistresse of my liberâˆ£tie) were but little, if I could tell it: Let it suffice that time hath so confirmed the same, that I would giue a thousands liues (if I had them) but to enioy one momentaâˆ£rie sight of her faire face. Euerie day encreased our age, but euerie hower augmenâˆ£ted our loue, and so much, that now (me thought) I was made of another kind of mettall, then of consanguinitie. I remember that Xarifa being on a day in the orâˆ£chard of the Iesemynes, dressing her faire head, by chaunce I espied her, amazed at her singular beautie, and how (me thought) it greeued me, that she was my sister. And by the extreme passion of my loue, driueÌ„ out of my musing, I went to her, who, as soone as she saw me, with open armes came to receiue me: And sitting vpon the
fountaine by her, she said vnto me. Why hast thou (good brother) left me so long alone? It is (sweete Ladie) said I againe, a good while since I hauing sought thee in euerie place, & found not any, that could tell me what was become of thee, my hart at last coniectured where thou wert: Buttel me now (I pray thee) what certaintie hast thou, that we are brother and sister? No other (saide she) then of the great loue I beare thee, and to see, how euerie one doth call vs so, and that my father doth bring vs vp like his sonne and daughter. And if we were not brother and sister (saide I) wouldest thou then loue me so much as thou dost? Oh seest thou not (saide she) that we shuld not be suffered to go so coÌ„tinually together, & al alone, if we were not. But if we were depriued of this ioy, that which I feele in my selfe is a great deale more: At which words her faire face being tainted with a vermillion blush, she said vnto me. What couldest thou leese by it, if we were brother and sister? My selfe and thee to, said I. I vnderstand thee not said she, but (me thinkes) (being brother and sister) it binds vs to loue one another naturally. Thy onely beautie (said I) doth oblige me to this brotherhood, which rather qualifieth my loue, and sometimes distempers my thoughts: At which words blushing for too much boldnes, casting downe mine eies, I saw her diuine figure in the cristalline fountaine so liuely represented, as if it had beene she her selfe, and in such sort, that wheresoeuer she turned her head, I still beheld her image, and goodly counterfaite truely translated into verie hart. Then said I softly to my selfe. O, if I were now drowned in this fountaine, where with pride I behold my sweete Lady, how more fortunate should I die then Narcissus? And if she loued me as I do her, how happie should I be? And if fortune would let vs liue euer together, what a happie life should I then lead? These words I spake to my selfe, and it would haue greeued me, that another had heard them. But hauing spoken this, I rose vp, and reaching vp my hand to certaine Iesemynes that grew round about that fountaine, I made of them, and of some Orenge flowers a faire and redoâˆ£lent garland, and putting it vpon my head, I sat downe againe crowned, and conâˆ£quered. Then did she cast her eies vpon me (to my thinking) more sweetly then beâˆ£fore, and taking it from my head, did put it vpon her owne, seeming then more faire then Venus. And looking vpon me, she said. How dost thou like me now Abyndaâˆ£raez? That in beautie (said I) and sweete perfections, thou ouercomest al the world, and that crowned Queene and Ladie of it. At which words rising out of her place, she tooke me by the hand, and said vnto me. If it were so indeed (bâ€¢â€¦er) thou shoulâˆ£dest leese nothing by it; and so without answering her againe, I followed her out of the garden. But now from that time certaine daies after, wherein cruell Loue thought he was too long from discouering vnto me the deceit that I had of my selfe, and time meaning then to lay open hidden and secret things, we came to perfect knowâˆ£ledge, that the kinred between vs was as much as nothing, whereupon our firme affections were confirmed more strongly in their former and true places. All my deâˆ£light was in her, and my soule cut out so iust to the proportion of hers, that all, that was not in her face, seemed to mine eies foule, friuolous, and vnprofitable in the whole world. And now were our pastimes far different from our first, and I beheld her with a certaine kind of feare, and suspect to be perceiued of any: And now had I also a certaine enuie and iealousie of the sunne, that did touch her. Who, though she looked on me again with the verie same desire and intent, wherewith she had beheld me before; yet thought it was not so, bicause ones owne distrust is the most assured and certaine thing in an enamoured hart. It fell out afterwardes, that she being on a day it the cleere fountaine of the Iesmynes, I came by chaunce thiâˆ£ther,
and beginning to talke with her, her speech (me thought) and countenance was not like to her former lookes & communication. She prayed me to sing, for she was greatly delighted with songs & musick: And I was then so trustles & misconceiuing of my selfe, that I thought she bad me sing, not for any pleasure that she took by heaâˆ£ring me, but to passe away the time, and only to entertaine my companie with such a request: so that I then wanted time to tell her the whole summe of my greefe. But I who employed my minde in nothing else, but to do whatsoeuer my Lady Xarifa commanded me, in the Arabicke toong began to sing this song, whereby I gaue her to vnderstand the crueltie that I suspected of her.
IF thy soft Haires be threds of shining gold,
Vnder the shade of which are two faire Eies,
(Two sunnes) whose Brow like heauen doth them vphold,
Rubie thy Mouth, and lips where Corall lies?
Could Cristall want, to frame thy Necke so white,
And Diamond, to make thy Brest so bright?
Thy hart is not vnlike vnto thy Brest,
Since that the flight of mettall of thy Haire
Did neuer make thee turne thy Necke at lest,
Nor with thine Eies giue hope, but cold despaire.
Yet from that sugred Mouth hope for an I,
And from that snowe-white Brow, that makes me die.
Ah beautifull, and yet most bitter Brow,
And may there be a Brest so hard and faire,
So sweete a necke, and yet so stiffe to bow,
So rich, and yet so couetous a Haire?
Who euer sawe so cleere and cruell Eies,
So sweete a Mouth, yet mooues not to my cries.
Enuious Loue my Necke doth chaine with spite,
His passions make my Brow looke pale and swart,
He makes mine Eies to leese their deerest light,
And in my Brest doth kill my trembling hart.
He makes my Haire to stand in ghastly wise,
Yet in thy Mouth all wordes of comfort dies.
O sweetest face, and lips more perfect faire,
Then I may tell; O soft and daintie Necke,
O golden Raies of yonder Sunne, not Haire,
O Cristalline Brow, and Mouth with Rubie deckt,
O equall white and red, O Diamond Brest,
From these faire Eies when shall I hope for rest?
But if a (No) by turning of thine Eies,
Harke yet what saith her sweetest Mouth to me?
See if her hardnes in her Brest yet lies,
And if she turnes her whitest Necke to thee?
Marke vvell the beckning of her fairest Brow,
Then from her Haire what may I hope for now?
If that her Lilly Brest and Necke doe once affirme their (No)
And if her shining Eies and Haire will not conclude an (I)
What will her Ruby Mouth then doe, and Brow as white as snowe,
Nay what shall I my selfe expect but vvith denials die?
These wordes were of such force, that, being helped by the loue of her, in whose praise they were sung, I saw her shed certaine teares, that I cannot tell you now (noâˆ£ble Gouernour) how much they moued my hart, nor whether the content, that I had by seeing so true a testimonie of my Mistresse loue, or the greefe, (my selfe being the occasion of her teares) was greater. Calling me to her, she made me sit downe by her, and thus began to say vnto me. If the Loue Abyndaraez, whereunto I am obliged (after I was fully assured of thy thoughtes) is but small, or such, that cannot but with extinction of life be ended, my wordes (I hope) before we leaue this onely place, shall make thee sufficiently knowe. And blame thee I will not for thy mistrust, which hath made thee conceiue amisse; for I knowe it is so sure a thing to haue it, as there is nothing more proper and incident to Loue. For remedie whereof, and of the sorrow that I must needes haue, by seeing my selfe at any time separated from thy sweete companie, from this day forth for euer thou maist hold and esteeme thy selfe such a Lord and Master of my libertie, as thou shalt be indeede, if thou art wilâˆ£ling to combine thy selfe in sacred bondes of marriage with me, the refusall whereâˆ£of is (before euery other thing) no small impediment to both our contents, a preiuâˆ£dice to mine honour, and the sole obstacle of enioying the great loue which I beare thee. When I heard these wordes (Loue working my thoughts to things cleane contrarie) I conceiued such great ioy, that had it not beene but by onely bowing downe my knees to the ground, and kissing her faire handes, I was not able to doe any other thing. With the hope of these wordes I liued certaine daies, in the greaâˆ£test ioy in the world, whilest mutable Fortune (enuying my prosperitie and ioyfull life) bereaued vs both of this sweete contentment: for not long after, the King of Granada minding to prefer the Gouernour of Cartama to some higher charge, by his letters commanded him foorthwith to yeeld vp the charge of that Fort, which lies vpon the frontires, and goe to Coyn,where his pleasure was he should be capâˆ£taine and Gouernour, and also to leaue me in Cartama vnder the charge of him, that came to be Gouernour in his place. When I heard these vnluckie newes for my Mistresse and my selfe, iudge you (noble Gentleman, if at any time you haue beene a louer) what a world of greefe we conceiued. We went both into a secret place to weepe, and lament our misfortunes, and the departure and losse of each others companie. There did I call her my soueraine Mistresse mine onely ioy, my hope, and other names, that Loue did put into my mouth: with weeping I saide vnto her. When the viewe of thy rare beautie shall be taken from mine eies, wilt thou then Xarifa, sometimes remember me? Heere did my teares and sighes cut off my words, and inforcing my selfe to speake more (being troubled in minde) I vttered I know not what foolish wordes vnto her: for the apprehended absence of my deere Miâˆ£stresse in my thoughts did vtterly carry away my wits, senses, and memorie with it. But who can tell what sorrow my deere Lady felt for this departure, and what bitter
potions of greefe her orientall teares, (which for this crosse of fortune she powred forth) made me sup vp? She did then speake such wordes vnto me, the lest of which was ynough, to haue made the hardest hart thought of a sorrowfull departure for euer: which (valiant Gouernour) I will omit to tell thee, bicause thou wilt thinke them (if thy brest was neuer possessed with loue) impossible. And if it hath beene for feare, lest by hearing some of them, thou couldest not, but with hazard of life, stay out to heare the rest. Let it suffice, that the end of them, was by telling me, that, hauing any fit occasion by her fathers sicknes, or by his absence, she would sende for me, that, that might haue effect, which was betrothed and agreed vpon beâˆ£tweene vs both. With this promise my hart was somewhat lightned, and for this infinite curtesie, (which she did promise me when time and occasion serued) I kissed her daintie hands. The next day after, they went away, and I tarried still behinde, like one that (wandring vpon craggie and wilde mountaines, and hauing lost the comfortable light of the sunne) remained in hideous darknes: with great greefe I began to feele her absence, and sought all the false remedies (I could) against it: for sometimes I did cast mine eies vp to the windowes, where she was woont to looke out; sometimes vpon the bed where her tender body was accustomed to take rest; and went somtimes into the garden, where daily she vsed to disport herselfe, and in the heate of the day to the christalline fountaine, where she bathed and refreshed herselfe vnder the shade of Limon and Pomegranate trees: I walked and went all her stations, and in euery one of them I found a certaine representation of my sorâˆ£rowfull thoughts. Truth it is, that the hope that she gaue me (to send for me) eased my paines a little, and with it I dissembled some part of my woes. But for as much as the continuall thought of my desire so long deferred, did encrease my paine the more, me thought sometimes I would haue beene glad, if I had beene left altogither without hope, for desperation doth but trouble one, vntill it be certainly knowen; but hope, vntill the desire be accomplished. But my good Fortune did so much faâˆ£uour me, that this morning my Lady stoode to her worde, by sending for me by a gentlewoman of hers (a trustie secretarie of her thoughts) for the Gouernour her Father was gone to Granada, who being sent for thither by the king, was to returne home in a short time againe. Awaked out of my heauie slumber and melancholike cares with these inopinate and happie newes, I prepared my selfe to go with winged speede vnto her: yet staying for night, and because I might the better escape vnâˆ£knowne, I did put on this habite, as thou seest, and the brauest I could deuise, to make the better shewe to my Lady of my proud and ioyfull hart. In which iourney (truely) I would not haue thought, that two of the best knights at armes had beene sufficient to abide me the fielde, because I carried my Mistresse with me. Whereâˆ£fore Rodrigo if thou hast ouercomed me, it was not by pure strength, which was imâˆ£possible, but it was either my harde fortune, or the determination of the heauens, that woulde preuent me of such a supreme good. Whereupon consider nowe in the end of my true tale, and of the good that I haue lost, and the ill which I possesse: I came from Cartama to go to Coyn, but a short iourney, although the desire of the proudest Abencerraje that euer liued, made it a great deale longer. I went, sent for by my Lady, to see my Lady, to enioy my Lady, and to marrie my sweetest Ladie. But now I see my selfe wounded, captiue, and in subiection to him, who will doe, I know not what with me. And that which greeues me most, is, that the time and enâˆ£ioying of my desire, endeth with this present night. O suffer me then Christian to comfort my selfe at the least with my secret lamentations: let me euacuate out of
my sorowfull brest my choking and smothering sighes, and water mine eies with burning teares: All which impute not to any imbecillitie or feare of minde, though it were a great deale better for me that I had a hart, that coulde beare and suffer this harde and sinistrous chance of Fortune, then to do that which I now do.
The discourse of the enamoured Moore pearced deepely into the valiant Narâˆ£uaes his soule, who was not a little amazed at the strange successe of his loue. And thinking with himselfe, that for the better dispatch of his affaires, nothing might hinder them more, then his long staying, he said vnto him. I am minded Abyndaraes, to make thee knowe how much my vertue surmounteth thy ill fortune, for if thou wilt but promise me to returne to my prison within three daies, I will set thee at libertie, bicause thou maist not leaue of thy amotous enterprise. For it woulde greeue me to cut off so good, and honest an endeuour. The Abenceraje hearing this, in token of thankes would haue fallen downe at his feete, and saide vnto him. If thou dost me this vnexpected fauour (noble Gouernour of Alora) thou shalt restore me againe to life, and shew the greatest gentilitie of minde, that euer any Conquerour did. Take what securitie thou wilt of me, for whatsoeuer thou dost demaund, I will not faile to accomplish. Then Rodrigo of Naruaes called his gentleâˆ£men vnto him, and saide. Gentlemen, trust me for this prisoner, for whose raunsome my selfe will be a pledge. They answered him againe, that he might dispose of him at his owne pleasure, for whatsoeuer he did, they would be well content withall. Then the Gouernour taking the Abenceraje by his right hand, saide vnto him. Dost thou promise me as thou art a Gentleman to come to my Castell of Alora, there to yeelde thy selfe my prisoner within three daies? I doe (saide he) and with solemne othe binde it. Then goe (saide the Gouernour) and good fortune with thee, and if thou standest in neede of mine owne person to accompany thee, or of any other thing for thy way, speake, and thou shalt haue it. The Moorethanked him very much, but tooke no more but a horse, which the Gouernour gaue him, for his owne was hurt in the late encounter betweene them, and went very heauie, being also wearied and faint with much blood, which he lost by the way: and so turning the raines, he rode as fast as he coulde towardes
Coyn. Rodrigo of Naruaes and his Gentlemen returned homewardes to Alora, talking by the way of the valour and goodly behauiour of the Abenceraje. The Moore was not long (according to the great speede he made) in comming to the Fort of Coyn, where, going directly as he was commanded, he first went about all the wals, vntill at last he found a posterne gate, and the Centrinels on the wals fast asleepe, who though he had a great desire, and made no lesse haste to enter in, yet he staied a litâˆ£tle, looking about him on euery side, least happily he might be espied, or in danger of some thing else. But when he perceiued that all was quiet, he knocked with the punch of his launce at the wicket (for that was the watchworde, that his Mistresse had giuen him by the gentlewoman that went to call him) the which was immediâˆ£ately opened vnto him by the same gentlewoman, who saide vnto him: Sir your long tarying hath put my Ladie in a great feare, for she hath staide this good while for you. Alight and I will bring you vp where she is attending your presence in great perplexitie: he then dismounted from his horse, and set him vp in a secret place, that he founde there, where also leauing his Launce against a wall with his Target and Cymitarre, the gentlewoman tooke him by the hande, and very softly led him vp a paire of staires, for feare of being heard by them in the castle, and brought him into Xarifaes chamber. Before whom when he was come, with a sudden sursault of ioye
she ranne to receiue him, and both of them with such extreme passions of loue and gladnes embracing one another, were not able to speake one worde, for the infinite ioy they had at each others sight: But comming to themselues againe, at the last she saide thus vnto him. What the cause may be, that thou hast staied so long (my loâˆ£uing Lord) I knowe not, but what sorrowe and anxieties of minde I haue passed for thy slowe comming, my impatient loue is able to testifie. I hope, thou dost imagine faire Lady (saide he againe) that it is not by my fault and negligence, but mens disâˆ£seignes doe not alwaies fall out fit to their desires: So that if there be any trueth in me, thou maist well beleeue me, that it was not in my power to come sooner then I haue done. But breaking him off in his excuses, she tooke him by the hand, & leading him into a rich chamber, they sat them downe vpon a faire bed, where thus she said vnto him. I was desirous my thrise beloued Abyndaraes, to haue thee see, how capâˆ£tiues in loue can fulfill their promise; for, from the very day, that I gaue thee my word for pledge of my hart, I haue sought the meanes to discharge me of it. I sent for thee to come to this Castell, to be my prisoner, as I am thine. But now I haue brought thee in hither, to make thee Lord of me, and of my fathers treasure, vnder the honourable name of a lawfull husband, whereunto my estate, nor thy loyaltie cannot otherwise consent. I do knowe well, that my fathers will wilbe contrarie to our workings, who being ignorant of thy valour, and not knowing thy deserts, as well as I doe, will perhaps bestowe some richer husband on me: but I esteeme thy noble personage, and thy vertuous and valiant mind more, then the greatest riches in the world. And hauing saide thus vnto him, she hung downe her head, blushing not a little, that she had so much discouered her selfe, and in so plaine and open termes declared her affection vnto him. The noble Moore tooke her in his armes, and many times kissing her white hands for such louing and curteous wordes, saide thus vnto her. I haue no new thing (sweete Lady of my soule) to giue thee in requiâˆ£tall of such great good as thou dost offer me, bicause I am no lesse (as I was before) wholy thine. Onely this pledge I giue thee in token of my vnspeakable loue, that I receiue thee for my beloued Lady and wife: And heerewithall thou maist lay aside for a while that modest shamefastnes, and maidenly teynt, which continually thou hast had, since thou hast taken me for thine owne. Vnwillingly she did the same: And vpon this conclusion they went to bed, where with a new experience they reâˆ£kindled the flames of their enamoured harts. In which amorous enterprise, passed on either side many louing wordes, and deedes fitter for imagination, then to be written. The Moore being in so great ioy and pleasure, fetched on the sudden a proâˆ£found and painfull sigh, and turning from her, began to lie so sad and pensiue, that faire Xarifa perceiuing it, was much amazed and troubled in minde to see so sudden an alteration: who lying still, heard him breath foorth a deepe and dolefull sigh with turning his body on euery side. The Lady vnable to suffer so great an iniurie to her beautie and loyaltie, thinking he was displeased with the one or both, rising vp a little in the bedde, with a milde and merrie voice (though somewhat troubled) saide vnto him. What meanes this Abyndaraes? It seemes thou art offended with my mirth. I heard thee sigh, and tumble, and tosse thy body on euery side: why man, if I am wholy thy ioye, and thy delight, why dost thou not tell me for whom thou dost sigh; and if I am not, why hast thou thus deceiued me? If thou hast found any fault in my person, that hath abridged the delight of thy imagination, cast thine eies and minde vpon my will, which is sufficient to supply many wants, and vpon my zealous and louing hart, that wisheth it the fairest and finest in the world for thy
sake. If thou seruest any other Lady, let me know her, that I may serue her to: And if thou hast any other greefe (which shall not offend me) tell it me, for I will either die, or rid thee from it. And clasping him with a kinde of violent and forcible loue, she turned him to her againe, who being then confounded, and ashamed for that he had done, and thinking that it might be an occasion (if he did not tell her the cause of his sorrow) to fill her head full of iealousie and suspicion, with an appassionate sigh he said vnto her. If I did not (my sweetest life) loue thee more then mine owne soule, I woulde neuer haue made such signes of inwarde greefe, for the wounding thoughts, which I brought with me (wheÌ„ I came with my selfe all alone) I passed away with a better hart; but now that I am constrained to go from thee, I haue no force to endure them at all. And because thou shalt be no longer in suspence of knowing the cause of my sorrow, I will tell thee what lately passed: And then he told her all the matter, not leauing any thing out, in the end of his tale with many teares saying thus vnto her. So that thy captiue (faire Lady) is also prisoner to the Gouernour of Alora: And the paine of that imprisonâˆ£ment, which thou hast cast vpon me, and taught my hart to suffer, I feele not, but the torment and bondage by liuing without thee, I account woorse then any death: Wherupon thou seest, that my sighes are rather arguments of greater loyalty, then of any want thereof. And with this, he began againe to be so pensiue and sad, as he was before he had tolde her his greefe. But then with a merrie countenance she said vnto him: Trouble not thy minde Abyndaraes with these thoughts, for I will take the care and remedie of this greefe vpon mee, as a thing that toucheth mee most of all; and the more, since it is not denied any prisoner that hath giâˆ£uen his worde to returne to prison, to satisfie it, by sending the ransome that shall be demaunded of him: Wherefore set thy selfe downe what summe thou wilt, for I haue the keyes of al my fathers treasure, which I will put into thy hands, & leaue it all at thy disposition. Rodrigo of Naruaez is a curteous gentleman, & a good knight, and one who gaue thee once thy libertie: And as thou hast acquainted him with the trust of these affaires; so is he now the more bound to vse greater virtue and gentlenes towardes thee. I am sure he will be contented with reason; for haâˆ£uing thee in his power and prison, he must perforce set thee at libertie, when he hath the value of thy ransome. I see well faire Ladie (said the Abencerraje againe) that the loue which thou dost beare me, will not suffer thee to giue me the best counâˆ£sell, for I will neuer commit so foule a fault as this. For if I was bound to fulfill my word, when I was alone, and without thee, now that I am thine, the bond is greaâˆ£ter: I will therefore returne to Allora, and yeeld my selfe into the Gouernors hands, and when I haue done what I am bound to do, let Fortune do with me what she will. Nay let me rather die, saide Xarifa (if thou goest to be prisoner) then once desire to remaine here at libertie. For being thy captiue, by duetie I am bound to accompaâˆ£nie thee in this iourney for the extreme loue that I beare thee, whereas also the feare of my fathers frownes, which I haue purchased by offending him, will let me do no lesse. The Moore weeping for ioy, to heare these words, embraced her saying. Thou neuer ceasest (my deerest soule) to heape fauours vpon my happie head, do therefore what thou wilt, for this is my resolution. With this determination they rose before it was day, and prouiding some necessarie things for their iourney, they went verie secretly towards Allora: and when the day began to waxe cleere, Xarifawent with her face couered with a maske, for feare of being knowen, and by reason of the greath aste they made, they came in good time to Alora, where going directly to
the castle, & knocking at the gate, it was opened to them out of hand by the Centriâˆ£nels, who had notice of that was past, and what they should do. The valiant Gouerâˆ£nor receiued them curteously: and Abyndaraes going to the gate and taking his wise by the hand brought her vnto him, & said. Behold Rodrigo of Naruaez if I keepe not well my word and appointed time? For promising thee to returne thy prisoner, inâˆ£steed of one, I bring thee two, for one was enough to ouercome many. Behold here my Ladie, & iudge if I haue not iustly suffered for her sake: accept vs now for thine, for in thy virtuous and noble minde I repose my whole trust and confidence, and inâˆ£to thy hands commit her deere and chiefest honour. The Gouernor was verie glad to see them both, and said to Xarifa: I know not faire Ladie which of you haue conâˆ£quered each other in loue and curtesie, but truely thinke my selfe greatly bound vnâˆ£to you both. Come in therefore, and rest you in your owne house, the which from henceforth, as also the master of it, accept for none other. After this friendly enâˆ£tertainement, they went with him into his dining chamber, where after a little while they refreshed themselues, bicause they came somewhat wearie. The Gouernor asâˆ£ked the Moore how he did for his wounds. I thinke (said he) that what with the way, and what with paine, they are somewhat rankled: which faire Xarifa hearing, with an altered an appalled countenance said vnto him. Alas how comes this to passe my Lord? Haue you any woundes about you, and I not knowe them? Who escapes (saide he) from thine, needes little to care for any other. Truth it is, that at our late skirmish in the night I got two little woundes, which my troublesome iourney and negligence in curing them hath made somewhat worse, but all is but little or noâˆ£thing. It is best (saide the Gouernour) that you lay you downe, and I will send for a Chirurgeon that is heere in the Castell to cure them. Following which counsell, faire Xarifa caused him to put off his apparell, and though she set a good face on the matter (bicause she woulde not giue him any occasion to feele her inwarde greefe) yet was she altered much and troubled in her minde. The Chirurgeon came, and searching his wounds saide, that they were not dangerous, bicause the signe was not in those places when he receiued them; and also, bicause they were smitten ouerthwart, would not be long in healing: For with a certaine ointment that he made out of hand, the paine of them was somewhat asswaged; and in fower daies (by meanes of the great care the Chirurgeon had in healing them) hee was as sound and whole as euer he was before. But one day, after dinner was done, the Abencerajesaide thus vnto the Gouernour. As you are wise, Rodrigo of
Naruaez, so can you not choose, but by the manner of our being at Coyn, and of our comming hither, imagine more then you haue seene, which affaires of ours by our owne misâˆ£fortunes (driuen to this desperate (though happy) euent, wherein they nowe are) must be (I hope) by your aduise and helpe brought to some good end. This is faire Xarifa, of whom I tolde you: This is my Lady, and my deerely beloued wife: In Coyn she woulde not stay for feare of her Father. For though he knowes not what hath passed betweene vs, yet she feared least this accident at some time or other might be discouered. Her Father is nowe with our King of Granada, whose highnesse I know, doth beare you especiall good will, and loueth you, (though you be a Christiâˆ£an) for your valour and vertuous disposition. Wherefore I beseech you (gentle knight) to sollicite our pardon at his gracious hands for dooing what is past without his leaue and priuitie, since Fortune hath brought it (though happily) to this doubtâˆ£full passe. Comfort your selues Abyndaraes and faire Xarifa (said the noble Gouerâˆ£nour) for by the faith of a gentleman I promise you to do what I can for you in this
behalfe, whereupon he presently called for inke and paper to write a letter to the king of Granada, which in a few words and true, opening their estate vnto him, said thus.
MOst mightie king of Granada, Rodrigo of Naruaez the Gouernour of Alora, by these letters kisseth your royall hands, and giues your Maiestie to vnderâˆ£stande, that Abyndaraez Abencerraje borne in Granada, brought vp in Cartama and being vnder the charge and gouernment of the captaine of that Forte, was enamoâˆ£red of Xarifa his faire daughter: And after that it pleased your Maiestie to preferre the saide captaine to the gouernment of Coyn, the two louers (to binde themâˆ£selues in a mutall and indissoluble bonde) betrothed their faith to each other before her departure, who sent to Cartama for the Abencerraje in her Fathers absence (beâˆ£ing now in your Maiesties Court) to whom as he was going to Coyn, in the way I met him, and in a certaine skirmish betweene vs, (wherein he shewed himselfe a vaâˆ£liant and couragious man at armes) made him my prisoner: who telling me his pitiâˆ£full case (my hart being mooued with compassion of his greefe, and with his earnest praiers) I set him free for two daies, who went his way, and got him to his wife, so that in that iourney he woone his wife, and lost his libertie. But seeing the Abencerâˆ£raje (according to his worde) woulde needes returne to my prison, she came also with him, and so they are both now in my power. Let not the name of Abencerraje, I beseech your Maiestie offende it, for this Gentleman and his Father were not priâˆ£uie (as I haue heard) nor consenting to the conspiracie pretended against your royâˆ£all person, in testimonie whereof, they are yet both liuing. Wherefore I humblie beseech your Maiestie to impart-betweene your Grace and me a remedie for these haplesse louers, whose raunsome I will frankely forgiue, and freely let them go. May it onely please your Maiestie to procure the Ladies pardon with her Father, who is your subiect, and to intreat him to receiue the gentleman into his affinitie and good liking: By doing whereof (besides the singular fauour that your Highnesse shall do me) your Maiestie shall do no lesse, then is expected of the woonted vertues and bountie of your Royall and magnificent minde.
With this letter he dispatched away one of his gentlemen, who comming beâˆ£fore the King, gaue it him into his owne handes, the which he gratefully receiued, when he knew from whom it came, for he loued this Christian, especially for his vaâˆ£lour and goodly personage: and reading it, he turned his face, and by chaunce esâˆ£pied the Gouernor of Coyn, to whom (taking him aside) he gaue the letter, saying vnâˆ£to him. Read this letter, who read it, and seeing what was past, by his countenance did manifest how much he was grieued in mind. Which thing the King perceiuing, said vnto him. Be not offended, nor sorrie, although thou hast good cause; for there is not any reasonable thing, that the noble Gouernor of Alora requesteth at my hands (if it lies in my power) which I will not doe for him. And therefore I comâˆ£maund thee by deferring no time, presently to goe to Alora, and to pardon thy daughter and son in law, and carrie them with thee to thy Castle; in recompence whereof I will not forget to bestow on thee continuall fauours. It greeued the old Moore to the verie hart, when he vnderstood of this euent; but seeing he must not disobey the Kings commaund, by counterfeiting a merie countenance, and borroâˆ£wing a little courage of his daunted spirits, as wel as he could, he said That he would do it. The Gouernor of Corndeparted from the Court in all haste, and came to Aâˆ£lora, where (vnderstanding by the way of the Gouernors Gentleman that went with
him, all that had passed in this aduenture) he was curteously receiued: The Abencerâˆ£raje and his daughter teynted and appalled with shame and feare came before him, and kissed his hands, who receiuing them ioyfully, said vnto them. I come not hiâˆ£ther of mine owne accord to repeate, nor entreat of things past, but by the comâˆ£maundement of the King, who willed me to pardon your misdeeds, and your sudden marriage without my coÌ„sent. And as for the rest daughter, thou hast chosen a better husband for thy selfe, then I could haue giuen thee. Rodrigo of Naruaez was very glad to heare this gentle greeting of the olde Moore, for whose entertainment he made many feastes and banquets. And one day when diner was done, he said vnto them. I am not so glad, as proud, that I haue beene some part and meanes, whereby these occurrents are brought to so good a passe; in proofe whereof, and that noâˆ£thing else could make me more coÌ„tent, for the ransome of your imprisonment, I will haue but onely the honour, that I haue enioyed by getting and keeping such braue prisoners. Wherefore Abyndaraes, thou art free, in testimonie whereof I giue thee leaue to goe whither it please thee, and whensoeuer thou wilt. He humbly thanked him, and so they prepared themselues to bee gone the next day, when Rodrigo of Naruaez bearing them company, they went from Alora, and came to Coyn, where great triumphes, banquets, and feasts were made in publicke celebration of the marâˆ£riage: The which being past, their father taking them both one day aside, spake these words vnto them. Now that you are (my beloued sonne and daughter) possessours of my riches, and liue in rest, it is not reason that you forget the manifolde good turnes done you by the Gouernor of Alora, for which you are yet indebted vnto him; and it stands not with our honors, for vsing you with such great virtue and huâˆ£manitie, that he should leefe the right of your ransome, which should be rather (if you confider the matter well) more then ordinarie. I will giue you fower thousand double duckats, send them vnto him, and behold them here, which he well deserues (as a friend indeed) though there be different lawes betweene you and him. The Abencerraje thanked him verie humbly, and taking them, sent them in a little rich coffer to Rodrigo of Naruaez. And because he would not of his own part shew himâˆ£selfe vnthankfull, he sent him there with all sixe faire Barbary horses with rich saddles & furniture, and sixe targets, and launces, the bars and punches being of fine golde. Faire Xarifa wrote a sweete and louing letter vnto him, wherein she gaue him inâˆ£finite thankes for the benefits she had receiued by his meanes, and for the gentle entertainment she had in his Castle. And willing to shew her selfe as liberall and thankefull as the rest, she sent him a sweete Cypresse chest, finely wrought and carâˆ£ued for a present, and within it most curious and costly white garmentes for his owne person. The valiant Gouernor accepting the presents, with great thankes to them that sent them, gaue the horses, targets, and launces incontinently amongest the gentlemen that did accompanie him that night in the skirmish, taking the best of each, and also the Cyprsse chest, with that which faire Xarifahad sent him for himselfe, and returning the fower thousand double peeces to the messenger againe, he saide vnto him. Tell thy Lady Xarifa, that I receiue the Duckets for her husâˆ£bandes raunsome, and (to doe her seruice) sende them backe againe, towardes the charges of her marriage, and, that for her friendship and sweete sake, I woulde change all the interests that I haue in the world, in lieue that she would make an account of this Castell, as her owne, and her husbandes also. The messenger returâˆ£ned backe to Coyn, where he was well receiued, and the liberalitie of the noble Capâˆ£taine of euery one highly commended, whose linage doth continue in flourishing
estate to this day in Antiquera, equiualent in Heroicall and Martiall deedes with the first originall, from whence they are descended. The historie being ended, Felicia did commend the grace, and good wordes wherewith faire Felismena did tell it, and so did all the rest, that were preient, who taking their leaue of the sage Lady, went all to take their rest.
The end of the fourth booke.
The fifth Booke of Diana of George
THe next day in the morning the Lady Felicia rose vp, and went to Felismenas chamber, whom she found, not with few teares, newly making an end of apparelling her-selfe, thinking euery hower she staied there a thousand yeeres. And the sage Lady taking her by the hande, they went into a gallerie that looked into a garden, where they had supped the night before, and haâˆ£uing asked her the cause of her teares, and giuing her som comâˆ£fort and assured hope, that her greefes should haue such an end, as she her-selfe deâˆ£sired, she saide vnto her. There is nothing in the world more ready to take her life away, whom I loue well, then with incertaine hope to depriue her of the remedie of her greefe, for there is not an hower that seemes not so long vnto her (liuing in this sort) as she thinkes the howers of her life short and speedie. Because therefore my desire is to fulfill thine, and after some fewe troubles to haue thee obtaine the sweet content and rest, that Fortune hath promised thee, thou shalt depart from thine owne house heere, in the same habite that thou camest, when thou didst defend my Nymphes from the force and violence of the brutish and cruell Sauages; assuring thee besides, that when my helpe and fauour may stande thee in steede, vnsent for, thou shalt alwaies haue it. So that thy departure faire Felismena must be presently; & trust in God, that thy desire shall haue a happie end: For if I knew it to be otherâˆ£wise, thou maist well thinke, I woulde not be without other remedies to make thee forget these thoughts, as I haue done to many other Louers more. Felismena was glad to heare the graue Ladies wordes, to whom she replied thus. I know not howe with words (discreete Lady) I may giue you condigne thankes, nor with what deeds and humble seruice make any part of satisfaction of this infinite fauour, which I receiue at your Ladiships hands. God grant I may liue so long, that by proofe your Ladishippe may know the great desire I haue to do you all the seruice I may. That which your Ladiship commands me to do, I will presently go about, which cannot but haue good successe, being directed by her counsell, that can in euery thing giue the best. The sage Lady embraced her, saying. I hope to see thee, faire Felismena, in this house more loyfull and contented, then now thou art. And bicause the two Shepherdes and Shepherdesses are staying for vs, it is reason that I go, to giue them also some remedy for their sorrowes, that need it so much. Wherefore both of them going out of the hall, and finding Syrenus and Syluanus, Seluagia and Belisa attenâˆ£ding their comming, the Lady Felicia saide to Felismena. Entertaine this company faire Lady, while I come hither againe: and going into a chamber, it was not long before she came out againe with two cruets of fine cristall in either hande the feete
of them being of beaten golde, and curiously wrought and enameled: And comâˆ£ming to Syrenus, she saide vnto him. If there were any other remedy for thy greefe (forgotten Shepherd) but this, I woulde with all possible diligence haue sought it out, but because thou canst not now enioy her, who loued thee once so well, withâˆ£out anothers death, which is onely in the handes of God, of necessitie then thou must embrace another remedie, to auoide the desire of an impossible thing. And take thou, faire Seluagia, and despised Syluanus, this glasse, wherein you shall finde a soueraine remedie for all your sorrowes past & present; and a beginning of a ioyâˆ£full and contented life, whereof you do now so little imagine. And taking the criâˆ£stall cruet, which she helde in her left hande, she gaue it to Syrenus, and badde him drinke; and Syrenus did so; and Syluanus, and Seluagia drunke off the other beâˆ£tweene them, and in that instant they fell all downe to the ground in a deepe sleepe, which made Felismena, and Belisa not a little to woonder, to whom the sage Ladie said. Discomfort not thy selfe Belisa, for I hope in time to see thee as glad, as euer any was after their many sorrowes and paines. And vntill thy angrie fortune be not pleased to giue thee a needfull remedy for thy great greefes, my pleasure is, that thou still remaine heere in my companie. The Shepherdesse woulde haue kissed her hands at these words, but Felicia did not let her, but did rather imbrace her, shewâˆ£ing how greatly she loued her. But Felismena standing halfe amazed at the deepe sleepe of the Shepherdes, saide to Felicia: If the ease of these Shepherds (good Laâˆ£die) consisteth in sleeping (me thinkes) they haue it in so ample sort, that they may liue the most quiet life in the worlde. Woonder not at this (saide Felicia) for the water they drunke hath such force, that, as long as I will, they shall sleepe so strongly, that none may be able to awake them. And because thou maist see, wheâˆ£ther it be so or no, call one of them as loude as thou canst. Felismena then came to Syluanus, and pulling him by the arme, began to call him aloud, which did profite her as little, as if she had spoken to a dead body; and so it was with Syrenus and Selâˆ£uagia, whereat Felismena maruelled very much. And then
Felicia saide vnto her. Nay, thou shalt maruell yet more, after they awake, bicause thou shalt see so strange a thing, as thou didst neuer imagine the like. And because the water hath by this time wrought those operations, that it shoulde do, I will awake them, and marke it well, for thou shalt heare and see woonders. Whereupon taking a booke out of her bosome, she came to Syrenus, and smiting him vpon the head with it, the Shepherd rose vp on his seete in his perfect wits and iudgement: To whom Felicia saide. Tell me Syrenus, if thou mightest now see faire Diana, & her vnworthy husband both togither in all the contentment and ioy of the worlde, laughing at thy loue, and making a sport of thy teares and sighes, what wouldest thou do? Not greeue me a whit (good Lady) but rather helpe them to laugh at my follies past. But if she were now a maide againe, (saide Felicia) or perhaps a widow, and would be marâˆ£ried to Syluanus and not to thee, what wouldst thou then do? My selfe woulde be the man (saide Syrenus) that woulde gladly helpe to make such a match for my friende. What thinkest thou of this Felismena (saide Felicia) that water is able to vnloose the knottes that peruerse Loue doth make? I woulde neuer haue thought (saide Felismena) that anie humane skill coulde euer attaine to such diuine knowledge as this. And looking on Syrenus, she saide vnto him. Howe nowe Syrenus, what meanes this? Are the teares and sighes whereby thou didst manifest thy loue and greefe, so soone ended? Since my loue is nowe ended (said Syrenus) no maruell then, if the effects proceeding from it be also determined.
And is it possible now (said Felismena) that thou wilt loue Diana no more? I wish her as much good (answered Syrenus) as I doe to your owne selfe (faire Lady) or to any other woman that neuer offended me. But Felicia, seeing how Felismena was amazed at the sudden alteration of Syrenus, said. With this medicine I would also cure thy greefe (faire Felismena) and thine Belisa, if fortune did not deferre them to some greater content, then onely to enioy your libertie. And bicause thou maist see how diuersly the medicines haue wrought in Syluanus and Seluagia, it shall not be amisse to awake them, for now they haue slept ynough: wherefore laying her booke vpon Syluanus his head, he rose vp, saying. O faire Seluagia, what a great offence and folly haue I committed, by imploying my thoughtes vpon another, after that mine eies did once behold thy rare beautie? What meanes this Syluanus (said Felicia.) No woman in the world euen now in thy mouth, but thy Shepherdesse Diana, and now so suddenly changed to Seluagia? Syluanus answering her, said. As the ship (discreete Lady) sailes floting vp and downe, and well-ny cast away in the vnknowen seas, without hope of a secure hauen: so did my thoughtes (putting my life in no sinall hazard) wander in Dianas loue, all the while, that I pursued it. But now since I am safely arriued into a hauen, of all ioy and happinesse, I onely wish I may haue harâˆ£bour and entertainment there, where my irremooueable and infinite loue is so firmeâˆ£ly placed. Felismena was as much astonished at the second kinde of alteration of Syluanus, as at that first of Syrenus, and therefore saide vnto him laughing. What dost thou Syluanus? Why dost thou not awake Seluagia? for ill may a Shepherdesse heare thee, that is so fast asleepe. Syluanus then pulling her by the arme, began to speake out aloud vnto her, saying. Awake faire Seluagia, since thou hast awaked my thoughtes out of the drowsie slumber of passed ignorance. Thrise happy man, whom fortune hath put in the happiest estate that I could desire. What dost thou meane faire Shepherdesse, dost thou not heare me, or wilt thou not answere me? Beâˆ£hold the impatient passion of the loue I beare thee, will not suffer me to be vnheard. O my Seluagia, sleepe not so much, and let not thy slumber be an occasion to make the sleepe of death put out my vitall lightes. And seeing how little it auailed him, by calling her, he began to powre foorth such abundance of teares, that they, that were present, could not but weepe also for tender compassion: whereupon Felicia saide vnto him. Trouble not thy selfe Syluanus, for as I will make Seluagia answere thee, so shall not her answere be contrarie to thy desire, and taking him by the hand, she led him into a chamber, and said vnto him. Depart not from hence, vntill I call thee; and then she went to the place againe where Seluagia lay, and touching her with her booke, awaked her, as she had done the rest, and saide vnto her. Me thinks thou hast slept securely Shepherdesse. O good Lady (said she) where is my Syluanus, was he not with me heere? O God, who hath carried him away from hence? or wil he come hither againe? Harke to me Seluagia,said Felicia, for me thinkes thou art not wel in thy wits. Thy beloued Alanius is without, & saith that he hath gone wandring vp and downe in many places seeking after thee, and hath got his fathers good will to marrie thee: which shall as little auaile him (said Seluagia) as the sighes and teares which once in vaine I powred out, and spent for him, for his memorie is now exiled out of my thoughts. Syluanus mine onely life and ioy, O Syluanus is he, whom I loue. O what is become of my Syluanus? Where is my Syluanus? Who hearing the Shepâˆ£herdesse Seluagia no sooner name him, could stay no longer in the chamber, but came running into the hall vnto her, where the one beheld the other with such apâˆ£paraunt signes of cordiall affection, and so strongly confirmed by the mutual bonds
of their knowen deserts, that nothing but death was able to dissolue it; whereat Syâˆ£renus, Felismena, and the Shepherdesse were passing ioyfull. And Felioia seeing them all in this contentment, said vnto them. Now is it time for you Shepherds, and faire Shepherdesse to goe home to your flocks, which would be glad to heare the wonted voice of their knowen masters: And make this account, that you shall neuer want any helpe and fauour at her handes, who is soready to pleasure you in what shee may. And the holy end (Syluanus) and consummation of thy loue shall be, when with her, whom thou dost so deerly loue, thou shalt combine thy selfe in the sacred bonds of chaste and lawfull mariage, whereof I will be carefull to put you both in minde, when time & opportunitie shal serue. And (faire Felismena) prepare thy selfe also for thy departure, for to morrow is the day, wherein it behooues thee to go from hence. After this, all the Nymphes came in at the hall doore, who now knew of the remeâˆ£dies, that their gracious Ladie had giuen the Shepherds for their griefes, which thing made them not a little glad, Doria especially, Cynthia and Polydora, bicause they were the principall occasions of their content. The two new louers did busie themâˆ£selues in nothing else, but in looking vpon one another with such affection and tenâˆ£dernes, as if a thousand yeeres had bin past since their loues had first begon between them. And that day they all taried there, with as great ioy and pleasure, as by such a new commenced loue might be imagined, vntil the next day in the morning, when the two Shepherds and the Shepherdesse, taking their leaue of the sage Ladie Feliâˆ£cia, and of Felismena, and Belisa, and likewise of all the Nymphes, with great ioy reâˆ£turned to their villages, whither they came the verie same day. And faire Felismena (who had that day put on againe her Shepherdesses weeds) taking her leaue of the sage Ladie, and being particularly and well aduised what to doe, with many teares embraced her, and, accompanied of all those Nymphes, went forth into the great Court before the Palace gate, where embracing euerie one by her selfe, shee went that way that they did direct her. Felismena went not alone, neither did her imaginaâˆ£tions giue her leaue so to do: for on the one side she went thinking of that, which the wise Ladie had told her; and considering on the other, what little hap and lesse sucâˆ£cesse, she had yet in her loue, which made her doubt of her future happines. With these contrarieties of thoughts did she go warring in her minde, which though on the one side they made her wearie; yet on the other they did entertaine her with their company, so that in the meane time she forgot her solitarie and painefull way. She had not trauelled far in the mids of a faire valley, when towardes the west part therof, she espied a far off a Shepherds coat, which, at the entrance of a green wood stood, amongst many high Okes, and inuited thither by her importunate hunger and wearines, and also bicause the heate of the day began to come on so fast, that shee was forced to passe it away vnder the shadow of those braunchie trees, she bended her steps directly towards it. Comming to the coate, she heard how a Shepherd said vnto a Shepherdesse, that sat neere vnto him, these wordes. Entreate me not, good Amarillis, to sing, since thou knowest what great causes I haue to sigh, and weepe all the dayes, whilest my languishing soule shall not forsake this wearied and fainte bodie. For though musicke is no small meanes to encrease his melancholie, that is euer sadde and pensiue, as his ioye and mirthe, whoe liues a merry life; yet my greefe is not of such a qualitie, that by any humane arte or industrie may be increased or diminished. Heere hast thou thy baggepipe, play and sing, faire Shepherdesse, for well maist thou do it, hauing thy hart as free, as thy wil exempt from the bondage of loue. Then the Shepherdesse answered him againe.
Be not such a niggard of thy skill, Arsileus, which the heauens and nature haue so bountifully bestowed on thee: for, she that doth aske it at thy hands, will not denie to pleasure thee in any thing she may. Sing if it be possible that song, which (at the request of Argastus) thou didst make in the name of thy father Arsenius, when, for hir loue, you both serued and sued to the faire Shepherdesse
Belisa. Thy condition is strange Amarillis (saide the Shepherd againe) still demanding that of me, which doth least of all content me. What shall I do, for perforce I must please thee, and yet not perforce, since he were very discourteous (to say the truth) that would not of his own accord do thee any seruice he could. But now thou seest, how my ill fortune doth euer narrowly pursue me, when I woulde faine take some small respite, and ease from my greeuous thoughts. And seeing the great reason I haue (Amarillis) to burst out in continuall lamentations and teares, why dost thou then command me to sing? What pleasure dost thou take to offende the occasions of my sorrowe? I pray God thou maist neuer haue the like, to feele the greefe that I do, bicause Forâˆ£tune might not (so greatly to thy cost) informe thee of my paine. Thou knoâˆ£west well enough I haue lost my Belisa, and that I liue without hope of her reâˆ£couerie. Why dost thou then commaund me to sing? But since I will not haue thee conceiue an opinion of me to be discourteous (for it was neuer my manner and condition to be accounted so amongst faire Shepherdesses, to whom we Shepâˆ£herdes, and my selfe especially for my Belisas sake, owe all respect of loue and dutie, and are so much beholding) I will endeuour (though most against my minde) to content thee: Whereupon taking vp his Rebecke that lay hard by him, he began to tune it, and doe that, which the Shepherdesse requested him. Felismena, that was listening to their talke, might heare very well what speeches passed betweene them; And when she sawe they talked of Arsenius, and Arsileus, seruants to faire Belisa, (both which she tooke to be long since dead, as Belisa had told, not only her, but the Nymphes also, & the Shepherds, when they found her in the Shepherds coat in the Iland) she verily thought, that all, that she heard, and sawe there, was but a meere dreame, or some fantastick illusion. But giuing attentiue eare, she perceiued how the Shepherd began to touch his Rebecke so diuinely, that she thought it to be some celestiall musicke, who hauing plaide on it a little with a more heauenly then huâˆ£mane voice, began to sing this song following.
O Vainiest hopes, Alas, how many Daies
Haue I beene bondslaue to a braue Deceite?
And how, in vaine, haue these two wearied Eies
With showâ€™rs of teares watred this pleasant Vale?
Appaid I am of cruell Loue, and Fortune,
And knowe not yet whereof I doe Complaine.
No small harmes I must passe, smce I Complaine,
For, to endure, framed are all my Daies,
The traunces, and deceites of Loue and Fortune:
But whence Complaine I, of a braue Deceite,
Of such a Shepher desse within this Vale,
On whom (to my great harme) I cast mine Eies?
Yet am I much beholding to my Eies,
(Although with greefe of them I doe Complaine)
Since by their meanes I sawe within this Vale
The fairest thing, which neuer in my Daies
I thought to see, And this is no Deceite;
In proofe whereof, aske it of Loue and Fortune.
Though on the other side, instable Fortune,
And time, occasion, and my dolefull Eies,
And not suspecting this most braue Deceite,
Causâ€™d all the ill, whereof I doe Complaine:
And so I thinke to end my wofull Daies,
Counting my greefes, and passions to this Vale.
If that the riuer, hill, the meade, and Vale,
Earth, heauen, and fate, and cruell Loue, and Fortune,
The howers, and the moments, yeeres, and Daies,
My soule, my hart, and these two wearied Eies,
Doe aggrauate my greefe when I Complaine,
Who then can say, I liue by fond Deceite?
Deceiuâ€™d I was, but this was no Deceite,
For, that I haue beheld within this Vale
So rare perfection, I doe not Complaine,
But to behold, how Loue and cruell Fortune
Would signifie vnto these wearied Eies,
That there should come a helpe after some Daies.
And now the yeeres are past, the months, and Daies,
Vpon this confidence, and cleere Deceite:
Wearie with weeping are my watrie Eies:
Wearie to heare me is the hill, and Vale.
And in the end thus answered of false Fortune,
Iesting at that, whereof I doe Complaine.
But wofull man, whereof doe I Complaine,
But of the length of my prolonged Daies?
Perhaps, a slaue to me is cruell Fortune,
That for my fault she must pay this Deceite?
Went he not free, exempted in this Vale,
Who did command me to lift vp mine Eies?
But who againe can tame his greedie Eies,
Or can I liue, if I doe not Complaine
Of thâ€™ill, which Loue hath done me in this Vale.
Curst be that ill, that lastes so many Daies:
But death cannot (if this be no Deceite)
Stay long to giue an end vnto my Fortune.
Calmes wonted are to come after hard Fortune,
But neuer shall be viewed of mine Eies.
(Nor yet I thinke to fall in this Deceite)
O well, let the first suffice, which I Complaine,
And will (faire Shepherdesse) as many Daies,
As the remembrance lasteth of this Vale.
If (Shepherdesse) that day, when in this Vale
I did behold thee (to my hardest Fortune
The finall end had come of all my Daies,
Or I had lesse beheld those coyest Eies,
The cause should cease, whereof I doe Complaine,
And I would fall no more into Deceite.
But purposing to worke me this Deceite,
When by and by thou sawest me in this Vale,
Milde thou didst seeme: See then if I Complaine
Vniustly of false Loue, and cruell Fortune?
And now I knowe not, why thou turnâ€™st thine Eies
Away, vnlesse thou greeuest at my Daies.
My song of Loue and Fortune I Complaine,
And since a braue Deceite so many Daies
Did last, water mine Eies this hill and Vale.
This did the Shepherd sing, keeping time with his teares, and resting with his sighes, and the Shepherdesse sat harkening vnto him with great content, to see with what a grace he did both play and sing. But after the Shepherd had made an end of his song, laying his rebecke out of his hand, he said to Shepherdesse. Art thou now pleased Amarillis,for (to content thy minde) thou maist make me do that, which doth vtterly displease me. And accursed Alfeus, I wish that Fortune would bring thee to that passe, wherunto by thy detested forceries I am come, bicause thou mightest then know what good cause I haue to hate thee, for the cruell despite that thou hast done me. O sweet Belisa, is there any in the world more bound to thee then I am? God graunt I may deduct this sorrowfull life so long, that mine eies may once again enioy thy peerlesse beautie, & that thine may see, if I do not acknowledge, how much I do owe vnto them. These words the Shepherd spake with such plentie of teares, that there was no hart (had it beene neuer so hard) that by hearing them, would not haue melted. But now that thou hast told me Arsileus (said the Shepherâˆ£desse vnto him) the beginning of thy affection, and how thy father Arsenius was the principall occasion of thy seruice and great loue to Belisa; bicause when he sued vnto her, she did participate, and thou profit thy selfe by thine owne letters & songs, and some times by thine owne musicke, (of all which he might haue well excused himselfe) I pray thee now tell me, how thou didst leese her. This is a thing (said the Shepherd) which I would seldome repeat, but bicause it is euer thy qualitie, to comâˆ£maund me to tell thee that, which is most grieuous vnto my soule, hearke then, and in a few words I will tell it thee.
There was a man in our towne called Alfeus, who had the name amongst vs to be a great Magician, and he loued Belisa extremely, before my Father euer began to serue her, but she could not abide, not onely to see him, but not to heare of his
name, which if any had but founded in her eares, they could not haue angred her worse. Now when this Coniurer vnderstood (I know not how) of the appointed meeting betweene me and Belisa, to talke together in the night from the toppe of a Mulberie tree in her fathers Orchard; Alfeus, full of diuels, commanded two spirits to take the shape of my father Arsenius, & mine vpon them, & that he, that took vpâˆ£on him my shape, shuld go to the appointed place; & the other, that took my fathers, should come thither, & shoot at him in the tree with a crosbow arrowe, thinking he was not his Son, but another, & then to come presently vnto him, & knowing him to be his Son, should kill himselfe, for greefe that he had staine his owne Son, to the end that the Shepherdesse Belisa should kill her-selfe, seeing my selfe & my Father dead, or at least do that, which afterwards she did. This villany did the traitor Alfeus work, for despight of that great loue, which he knew Belisa did beare me; and for the conâˆ£tempt, which she had of his vnwoorthy affection. When this was in maner aforeâˆ£saide done, and Belisa thought that my Father and I were both staine, like a careles and desperate woman, she forsooke her Fathers house, and is gone where none can yet tel where she is, or any tydings of her. This did the Shepherdesse Armida tel me, and I do verily beleeue it, according to that which succeeded after. When Felismeâˆ£na had heard what the Shepherd had tolde Amarillis, she wondred not a little, imaâˆ£gining with her-selfe, that all that he tolde, did seeme to be true, and by the signes that she sawe in him, knewe that he was the same Arsileus, Belisas seruant, whom she thought to be dead, and therefore saide to her-selfe. It is not reason, that Fortune should giue her any content, that would denie it a Shepherd, that doth so well deâˆ£serue it, and that stands so much in neede thereof. I will not at the least, depart from this place, without giuing him such ioy, as he will receiue at the newes of his beloâˆ£ued Shepherdesse. Whereupon comming to the dore of the coate, she saide to Amarillis. Will it please thee (faire Shepherdesse) to giue the forlorne woman of Fortune, that hath lost her way, and the hope to finde it out againe, leaue to passe away the heate of the day in this place with thee? The Shepherdesse seeing on a sudden such exceeding beautie, and so comely a feature, was so amazed, that she was vnable to answer one worde againe: but Arsileus saide vnto her. There wants no other thing (faire Shepherdesse) for the performing of thy request, but the place, which is not so good as thou deseruest: but if thou art wont to bee serued with such homely lodging, Come in, and wherein wee may doe thee any serâˆ£uice, our good wils shall excuse the wants of our abilitie. These wordes Arsiâˆ£leus (saide Felismena againe) seeme well to come out of thy mouth, but the ioye, that I will leaue with thee in requitall of them, I wish may befall to me of that, which I haue so long desired. And saying thus, she went into the Coate, and the Shepherd and Shepherdesse rose vppe, offering her their places, and all three sitting downe againe, Arsileus saide to Felismena. Haue you euer seene mee before (faire Shepherdesse,) or hath any body tolde you of my name? I knowe more of thee Arsileus (saide Felismena) and of thy estate, then thou thinkest, although thou art in a Shepherdes weede, far different from that I sawe thee in, when thou wert a student in the famous Academie of Salamanca: If there be any thing heere to eate, I pray thee giue it me, for I will tell thee afterwardes a strange and true thing, which thou hast desired long since to knowe. This will I doe with a good will (saide Arsileus) though I can doe no kinde of seruice, due ynough to the great apparance of thy vertues and deserts. Whereupon Arsileus and Amarillis, taking of their seuerallscrips, gaue Felismena such victuals, as they had. And after she had
refreshed her selfe, desirous to make him a ioyfull man, who liued so long a time in greefe and sorrow, she began to speake to him in this sort. There is nothing in the world (Arsileus) that ought more religiously to be kept then firmnesse, and most of all in a womans hart where it is seldomer wont to be found. But the reason thereâˆ£of I plainly perceiue, that men for the most part are occasions of their small conâˆ£stancie towardes them. I speake this for the greatbond wherein thou art obliged to a Shepherdesse, that I knowe, who would not (if she knew thou wert aliue) exchange her ioy and content for all that the whole world could affoord. And then she beâˆ£gan to tell him in order all that was past, from the time that she killed the three Saâˆ£uages, vntill she came to the Lady Felicias house: In which discourse Arsileus heard the golden newes of the thing, which he so deerely loued, and all that had passed betweene her and the Nymphes, when they found her sleeping in the Iland of the Lake, as you haue heard before: And that ioie, which he then felt, when he vnderâˆ£stood, that the loue and faith which his Shepherdesse did beare him, remained yet sincere, and inuiolate in her hart, and the place certaine, where he might finde her out, was so extreme, that he fell downe in a traunce betweene them both, by putting his life in hazard, with surfeit of that sudden passion: But comming to himselfe againe, he said to Felismena. With what wordes shall I sufficiently (faire Shepherdesse) thanke thee for the great curtesie thou hast done me, and with what deedes acquite that singular content, wherewith thou hast now blessed me, the like whereof I pray God so amply in euery thing may giue thee, as thy hart can either wish or desire. O my sweete Belisa, is it possible that I shall see those eies so soone againe, that had so great power ouer mine, to kisse those delicate hands, that made so intricate a knot in my hart, to heare those angelicall words, and see that singular beauty, that rauished so much my admiring senses. And that after so many troubles of minde, and turmoiles of Fortune, such soueraine felicitie to succeede in their places? And speaking this with many teares, he tooke Felismenas hands, and with great reuerence kissed them. And so did the Shepherdesse Amarillis, saying. Thou hast reuiued (faire Shepherdesse) the most sorrowfull man that euer I did see, and filled him full of ioye, who did lest deserue to haue it. Sixe monethes hath Arsileus liued in this Cotage so sorrowfull and desolate a life, as none coulde imagine the like, without all manner of consolation, but that cortaine Shepherdesâˆ£ses, seeding their flockes in these plaines (of the which I am one) sometimes come in to visite him, and to affoord him that comfort, which his greefe (were it at the lest capable of any at all, woulde giue him leaue to embrace. This is not such a greefe (saide
Felismena againe) that he, that hath it, may thinke to take any comfort in any thing, but in the first causer thereof, or by whom he heareth such newes, as I haue now tolde him: which are so good for me (faire Shepherdesse) saide Arsileus, that they haue reuiued a liuing hart in me, which was mortified and worne almosT out with the clogge of continual care. So much did the Shepherds words & teares, vttered and powred foorth for ioy, mollifie her tender hart, as by her owne, she gaue manifest proofe thereof. And in this sort they tarried there, vntill the heate of the day was past; and then Arsileus, taking his leaue with great thankes to both the Shepherdesses, with infinite ioy went towards the Temple of Diana, the same way that Felismena did direct him.
Syluanus, and Seluagia with that content, as they are wont to haue, which after a long absence, enioy the sight of their desired Loue, did goe towardes the pleasant meadowes, where their flockes went feeding in companie of the Shepâˆ£herde
Syrenus, who went also free and deliuered from that kinde of content, that hee behelde in them, and from the paine, which the want thereof is wont to procure; bicause hee neither thought of louing well, nor cared, whether he was beloued or no? Whereupon Syluanus said vnto him. Euerie time that I see thee (my deere friend Syrenus) thou shouldest not be the man (me thinkes) that thou wert wont to be, but that iointly with thy former thoughts and affection, thou art thy selfe also chaunged: On the one side, I haue in a manner pitie of thee; on the other, it greeues me not to see thee carelesse of loues misfortunes. In what respect (said Syrenus) hast thou pitie on me? Bicause I thinke it (saide Syluanus) the most malecontent and worst estate of life, not to loue well, nor to be beloued againe. It is not long since that thou didst vnderstand this cleane contrarie (said Syrenus.) And for mine owne part, I pray God that Fortune may still preserue me in this ill estate, and thee in that ioy & pleasure which thou takest in seeing thy Seluagia. For though there might arise some emulation of thy loue, and being beloued of so faire a Shepâˆ£herdesse; yet can I assure thee, that Fortune doth not neglect to tune you the conâˆ£tent, that you receiue of your mutuall loue. The hurt, said Seluagia, that she may doe vs with her disordinate effects, can neuer be so great, as my ioy is to see my selfe so well bestowed. Ah Seluagia (said Syrenus to her) I haue also seene my selfe as well beloued, as none might be more, and thought as little to see an end of my loue, as you do now: but let none account without Fortune, nor lay his foundation withâˆ£out the consideration of the mutabilitie of time. But I doe owe no small reâˆ£spect of loue and duetie to the sage Ladie Felicia, whom the heauens requite: For I neuer imagined to speake so freely of mine ill in such a time, when I thought to feele it so little. But I am more indebted to her (saide Seluagia) bicause shee was the cause, that I loued him well, whose sight I euer enioyed beâˆ£fore mine eies: But Syluanusturning his eies to her, saide. This debt I shoulde with great reason (my life) requite, if it were such a thing, that might with life bee paied, which God grant thee (saide Seluagia) since without the same mine shoulde be woorse then a continuall death. Syrenus seeing the amorous words on both sides, with a smiling countenance saide vnto them. It is well that euery one can so well acquite himselfe for his good turne done him, that the one will neither be in debt, nor the other haue any indebted to him; and yet in mine owne opinion it is betâˆ£ter, that you reioyce so much, and so louingly entreate of your amorous affections, my selfe not being a thirde in them. With these and other speeches the newe Loâˆ£uers and carelesse Syrenus passed away the time and length of the way, which they made an end of about sunne set: And before they came to the fountaine of the Siâˆ£camours, they heard a voice of a Shepherdesse sweetely singing, whom they knew by and by, for Syluanus hearing her saide vnto them. This is Diana doubtlesse, that singes at the fountaine of the Sicamours. It is she indeede (said Seluagia.) Let vs go behinde these Myrtle trees neere vnto her, bicause we may heare her the better. Agreed saide Syrenus, although the time hath beene, when her musicke and sight delighted me more then now. But all three going into the thicket of Myrtle trees, and bicause it was about the going down of the Sunne, they sawe faire Diana neere to the fountaine, shining with such surpassing beautie, that they stoode (as men that had neuer seene her before) amazed and in a woonder. Her haire hung downe loose from her head behinde, and gathered vp with a carnation stringe, which parted them in the middes: her eies were fixed on the ground, and somtimes looking into the cleere fountaine, and wiping away some teares, that nowe and then trickled downe her beautifull cheekes, she sung this Dittie.
WHen that I poore soule was borne,
I was borne vnfortunate:
Presently the Fates had sworne
To foretell my haplesse state.
Titan his faire beames did hide,
Phoebe â€˜clipsâ€™d her siluer light,
In my birth my mother dide,
Yong, and faire in heauie plight.
And the nurse, that gaue me sucke,
Haplesse was in all her life:
And I neuer had good lucke
Being maide or married wife.
I louâ€™d well, and was belouâ€™d,
And forgetting, was forgot:
This a haplesse marriage mouâ€™d,
Greeuing that it kils me not.
With the earth would I were wed,
Then in such a graue of woes
Daily to be buried,
Which no end nor number knowes.
Yong my father married me,
Forcâ€™t by my obedience:
Syrenus, thy faith, and thee
I forgot, without offence.
Which contempt I pay so far,
Neuer like was paide so much:
Iealousies doe make me war,
But without a cause of such.
I doe goe with iealous eies
To my foldes, and to my sheepe,
And with iealousie I rise,
When the day begins to peepe.
At his table I doe eate,
In his bed with him I lie,
But I take no rest, nor meate,
Without cruell iealousie.
If I aske him what he ailes,
And whereof he iealous is?
In his answere then he failes:
Nothing can he say to this.
In his face there is no cheere,
But he euer hangs the head:
In each corner he doth peere,
And his speech is sad and dead.
Ill the poore soule liues ywisse,
That so hardly married is.
The time was once, when Dianas teares and dolefull song and the sorrow, that by her sadde lookes she expressed, might haue so much mooued Syrenus hart, as put the Shepherdes life in such danger, that all other remedies (but onely proceeding from the same) had beene impossible to haue helpt it; whose eies and hart, since now they were deliuered out of that dangerous prison, tooke no delight to beholde Diaâˆ£na, nor greeued at her sorrowfull lamentations. And the Shepherd Syluanus had lesse cause in his minde to be condolent for any greefe that Diana had, considering she neuer had the smallest regard of the greatest woes which he passed for her sake. Onely Seluagia helped her with her teares, fearefull (by the fall of her ioy) of her own fortune, whereupon she said to Syrenus. There is no perfection, beautie, nor fauour, in natures gift, which she hath not liberally bestowed on Diana, bicause her beautie is peerelesse, her wit and discretion admired, her good graces excellent, and all other her commendable parts, which a Shepherdesse should haue, not to be seconâˆ£ded: since in the lest of them, that made her such a woonder in our age, there was neuer any yet that excelled her. Onlie one thing she wanted, which I euer suspecâˆ£ted and feared, and this was her good Fortune, which woulde neuer accompanie her, to haue made her liue a contented and ioyfull life, which (to speake the truth)
she euer well deserued. She that so vniustly hath taken it from so many (saide Syreâˆ£nus) by great reason should not enioy such a happie estate; which I speake not, that I am not sorrie to see this Shepherdesse so sorrowful, but for the great reason I haue, not to wish her any content at all. Saie not so (said Seluagia) for I cannot thinke, that Diana hath offended thee in any thing. What offence did she by marrying, compelled thereunto by the constraint of her parents, and kinsfolkes, and not by her owne will? And after she was married, what could she do (hauing due regarde to her honor and honestie) but forget thee? Truly Syrenus, thou shouldest haue greaâˆ£ter cause to complaine of Diana, then I haue heard thee hitherto alledge. In truth Syrenus (saide Syluanus) Seluagia hath so great reason for that she saith, that none can well disprooue it. And if there be any that of ingratitude can iustly accuse her, it is I, who loued her more then my selfe, she requiting it so ill againe, and with such cruell contempt as thou knowest well enough. Seluagia casting an amorous eie vpâˆ£on him, saide. But thou didst not deserue (my beloued Shepherd) to be so ill entreaâˆ£ted, since there is no Shepherdesse in the worlde, that may not thinke her-selfe blest to enioy thy happy loue. About this time Dianaperceiued, that their talke was of her, for the Shepherds were so loude, that she might heare them very well: Wherâˆ£fore rising vp, and looking among the Myrtle trees, she knew the Shepherdes, and the Shepherdesse that was sitting betweene them. Who, perceiuing that she had espied them, came to her, and curteously saluted her, and she them againe with a good grace and countenance, asking them, where they had beene so long a time. Whom they answered with another kinde of wordes and countenance, then they were wont to do, which seemed so strange to Diana, that though she tooke no care for any of their loues, yet in the end it greeued her, to see them so much altered from that they were wont to be, and especially when she perceiued what great ioy Syluaâˆ£nus tooke in beholding faire Seluagia. And bicause it was now time to go home, and that the flockes tooke their accustomed way towards the village, they went afâˆ£ter them, and by the way faire Dianasaide to Syrenus. There are many daies past, Shepherd, since I sawe thee in these valleyes. But more (saide he) since I woulde haue lost my life, in lieu she had not seene me, that made me passe it away in such great greefe, whereas in the end it contents me not a little to talke of my passed forâˆ£tunes, that finde my selfe now in a safe hauen. Dost thou then thinke this to be a sure estate, (saide Diana) wherein thou now liuest? It cannot be dangerous (said he) when I dare speake thus before thee. I neuer remember (saide Diana) that I sawe thee so much lost for my loue, but that thy toong might haue had as much liâˆ£bertie, as now it hath. Thou art as discreet in imagining this (said he) as in all other things else. Why so (saide Diana?) bicause there are no other meanes (saide he) to make thee not know that, which thou hast lost in me, but onely by thinking that I did not loue thee so much, that my toong might not haue that libertie, as thou sayâˆ£est. But yet for all this I pray God giue thee so much content as sometimes (faire Diana) thou hast wished me: For though my loue be now past, yet the relickes therâˆ£of that remaine in my soule, are sufficient to wish thee al the happines in the world. Euery word that Syrenus spake was a dagger to Dianas hart. For God knowes, if she would not haue rather giuen a more willing eare to his wonted complaints, then occupied her minde in beleeuing such apparant signes of his newe libertie. And though she answered to euery thing the Shepherd spake vnto her, with a cerâˆ£taine kinde of carelessenes, and did helpe her-selfe by her owne discretion (bicause she would not shew any signe of sorrow for their libertie) yet in her minde she rumiâˆ£nated
the discontent, that by their speeches & semblances she had so deepely coÌ„ceiâˆ£ued. And with talking of these and other matters, they were come to their village by that time the Sunne had hidden all his beames, and taking leaue one of another, they went to their owne houses.
But comming to Arsileus againe, who went with great ioye and desire towards the wood where Dianas Temple was, to see his Shepherdesse, he came to a little brooke, that ranne hard by the Temple amongst a row of greene Sicamours, vnder whose coole shadowes he sat him downe, hoping that Fortune would send some body that way, by whom he might make his Belisa vnderstand of his being there, biâˆ£cause he thought it somwhat dangerous to come vpon her on the sudden, especially when she thought him long since to be dead: And on the other side, the vnpatient desire that he had to see her, would not suffer him to take any rest at all. But the Shepherd consulting with himselfe what was best to be done, espied by chaunce a Nymph of wonderfull beautie comming towardes him with her bowe in her hand, and her quiuer at her necke, looking on euerie side, if she could espie any Deare or wilde beast, to trie how she could bestow an arrow, that she carried in her bow ready bent. But seeing the Shepherd, she went straight vnto him, who rising vp, did her such reuerence as was due to so faire a Nymph, whom she curteously saluted againe: For this was faire Polydora, one of the three that Felismena and the Shepherds deliâˆ£uered from the violent hands of the Sauages, and a deere friend to Belisa. But both sitting downe againe vpon the greene grasse, Polydora asked him what countrey man he was, and the cause of his comming thither. Whom Arsileus answered thus. The countrey where I was borne (faire Nymph) hath so ill intreated me, that (me thinkes) it greeues me to call it mine, although on the other side, I am bound to loue it much, and more then I am able to expresse. And to tell thee the cause, that Forâˆ£tune had to bring me to this place, it were first needefull for thee (faire Nymph) to tell me, if thou dost belong to the sage Lady Felicia, in whose Palace (I heard say) my deerest Belisia doth remaine, the onely cause of my exile out of my natiue town, & of that infinit sorrow, which her long absence hath made me feel, I am of Lady Felicias house (said
Polydora) & the gretest friend in the world to the Shepherdesse that thou hast named: and bicause thou maist also make such an account of me, if I thought I might profit thee any thing by giuing thee some consel, I would aduise thee to forget hir, if it were possible, or (if it lay in thy power) not once to haue an amorous thought of hir, bicause the remedie of thy griefe is no lesse impossible, then the helpe of that, which she suffers, since the cruell ground doth now feede on him, who was once the hope of al her sorrow. And may this be true (said he) that the earth doth consume hir seruant
Arsileus? most true (said Polydora) for this was he, whom she loued more then her selfe, and he, whom I may iustly call the most vnfortunate man besides thee, biâˆ£cause thou hast setled thy thoughts in such a place, where it is impossible for them to haue any remedie. For though I was neuer in loue my selfe, yet do I hold it for a firme opinion, that the passion of death is not so ill, as that, which one suffers by loâˆ£uing, her that hath her affection setled in another place. I beleeue it well faire Nymph (said Arsileus) and that such are Belisas golden virtues and rare constancie, that as imperious death cannot make her settle her affection in any other place, so there is none in the world, that can make her chaunge her minde, wherein (faire Nymph) the whole summe of my felicitie consisteth. How doth thy felicitie consist Shepherd (said she) by louing so as thou saist, when as her loue is so strongly fixed in another place? This is a strange kinde of affection, and neuer heard of before. Biâˆ£cause
thou maist no longer (faire Nymph) maruell at my words, nor at the maner of the loue which I beare to Belisa the soueraigne mistresse of my thoughts, giue eare a while (said Arsileus) and I wil tel thee that, thou neuer thoughtâ€™st to heare, although the beginning of it, thy friend, and the loadstarre of my life hath perhaps told thee. And then he told her from the beginning of their loues to Alfeus his inchauntâˆ£ments and braue deceit, and euerie thing else, that till then in his loues aforesaid beâˆ£fell vnto him: which the Shepherd told sometimes with teares, being loth to recall to memorie his passed mishaps; sometimes with sighes, that he fetcht from the cenâˆ£tre of his hart, imagining what his mistresse Belisa might feele in these occurrents and greeuous accidents. And by his dolefull words and alterations in his counteâˆ£nance, he gaue so great a spirit to that he said, and shewed such signes of inwarde griefe, that as it strooke the Nymph in a great admiration, so likewise in no lesse compassion of his paines: but when she vnderstood, that vndoubtedly he was Arsiâˆ£leus, the ioy that she conceiued thereof was so great, that with words she could not tell it, and thought her selfe vnable at that present to do any more, but with inward sence to surfet on the sweet ioy of such happie newes. Behold then what might be expected of comfortlesse Belisa, when she should vnderstand of these gladsome tyâˆ£dings. The Nymph therfore casting hir eies on Arsileus, not without teares of inward gladnes said vnto him, I would I had thy ripe wit and fluent toong (Arsileus) to make thee know what infinite pleasure I conceiue by the good successe, that Fortune hath solicited for my Belisa, because I might otherwise be deceiued, by thinking that so simple a conceit and barren wordes as mine are, could declare it. I euer thought that the coutinuall griefe of my Belisa should be at length conuerted into great gladnes, induced thereunto by the great deserts of her singular beautie, wisdome, & faith that she hath euer kept firme and inuiolate, but did euer feare on the other side, that Fortune neuer made account to giue it her so amply, and in such sorte, as I did desire it, bicause it is her condition (for the most parte) to bring her effectes to passe cleane contrarie to their desires that loue well. Happie maiest thou call thy selfe Arsileus, since thou didst deserue to bee so well beloued in life, that couldest not bee forgotten after death. And bicause the deferring of such great ioy, for a hart that needes it so much, may not be too long, giue me leaue to goe and carrie so good newes to thy Shepherdesse, as those of thy life, and of her deceiued minde. And depart not from this place vntill I come againe with her whom thou dost so much desire, and most deserue to see. As I can expect nothing else (saide Arsileus) from such excellent wisdome, and exceeding beautie as thine, but all ioy and contentment whatsoeuer: euen so faire Nymph (bicause thou dost so greatly desire to giue it me) thy will be done, whereby I hope to gouerne my selfe as well in this, as in all things else, that shall ensue thereof. Whereupon they taâˆ£king leaue of one another, Polydora went to tel Belisa these inopinate newes, & Arsiâˆ£leusremained still, tarying for them vnder the pleasant shadow of those green Sicaâˆ£mours, who (to entertaine the time with something) as they are wont to doe, that are attending some ioyfull thing, tooke out his Rebecke, and to the tune of it, beâˆ£gan with sweetest voice to sing these verses following.
NOw Loue, and fortune turne to me againe,
And now each one enforceth and assures
A hope, that was dismaied, dead, and vaine:
And from the harbour of mishaps recures
A hart, that is consumâ€™d in lurning fire,
With vnexpected gladnes, that adiures
My soule to lay aside her mourning tire,
And senses to prepare a place for ioy.
Care in obliuion endlesse shall expire:
For euery greefe of that extreme annoy,
Which when my torment raignâ€™d, my soule (alas)
Did feele, the which long absence did destroy,
Fortune so well appaies, that neuer was
So great the torment of my passed ill,
As is the ioy of this same good I passe.
Returne my hart, sur saulted with the fill
Of thousand great vnrests, and thousand feares:
Enioy thy good estate, if that thou will:
And wearied eies, leaue of your burning teares,
For soone you shall behold her with delight,
For whom my spoiles with glorie Cupid beares.
Senses which seeke my star so cleere and bright,
By making heere and there your thoughts estray,
Tell me, what will you feele before her sight?
Hence solitarinesse, torments away
Felt for her sake, and wearied members cast
Of all your paine, redeemâ€™d this happy day.
O stay not time, but passe with speedie hast,
And Fortune hinder not her comming now.
O God, betides me yet this greefe at last?
Come my sweete Shepherdesse, the life which thou
(Perhaps) didst thinke was ended long ago,
At thy commaund is ready still to bow.
Comes not my Shepherdesse desired so?
O God what if sheâ€™s lost, or if she stray
Within this wood, where trees so thicke doe growe?
Or if this Nymph, that lately went away,
Perhaps forgot to go and seeke her out.
No, no, in her obliuion neuer lay.
Thou onely art my Shepherdesse, about
Whose thoughts my soule shall finde her ioy and rest:
Why commâ€™st not then to assure it from doubt?
O seeâ€™st thou not the sunne passe to the vvest,
And if it passe, and I behold thee not,
Then I my vvonted torments vvill request
And thou shalt vvaile my hard and heauie lot.
When Polydora went from Arsileus, not far from thence she met with the Shepâˆ£herdesse Belisa, who was going to recreate her selfe in the greene wood, in the comâˆ£panie of the two Nymphes Cynthia and Doria,who seeing her comming in such haste, began to be afraid, thinking that she ran away from some thing, from the which it behoued them also to flie away. But now when she came neerer vnto them,
the ioy that they perceiued by her milde eies and countenance did warrant them from danger, and being come to them, she went presently to the Shepherdesse Belisa, and imbracing her with great ioy and gladnes, saide thus vnto her. If thou knewest from whom this imbracement came, thou wouldst with greater content (faire Shepherdesse) receiue it then now thou dost. It can come from no part faire Nymph (said she) where I may more ioyfully accept it, then from thine owne selfe, since he, from whom with the supre most ioy in the world I should entertaine it, is not now in the world: And I would desire to liue no longer, if I were now altogither depriued of the content, that this miserable life may at some times affoorde me, which onely I account, faire Nymph, thy friendly and gracious companie. This life (saide Polydora) from henceforth I hope thou shalt enioy with more content then thou canst imagine: And bicause thou maist knowe how, let vs sit vnder the shade of this greene Sicamour, and I will acquaint thee with such matters, as shall reuiue thy spirits, and decaied soule.
Belisa, and the Nymphes sat them downe taking Polydora in the mids, who said to Belisa. Tell me (faire Shepherdesse) how certaine art thou of the death of Arsenius and of Arsileus? Belisa vnable to stop the sudden eruption of her violent teares, answered. So certaine, as one that beheld that tragiâˆ£call spectacle with her owne eies, the one shot thorow with an arrowe, the other killing himselfe with his owne Faulchion. But what wilt thou say to one, that will tell thee, that these two, whom thou didst see dead, are aliue, and in perfect health? Her would I answere (saide Belisa) that told me this, that she had a desire to renew my teares, and to bring those to my thoughts againe, whose remembrance is my death, or that she tooke a delight to sport her selfe with my greefes. I am certaine (saide Polydora) thou thinkest not so of me, for thou knowest how thy cares haue touched me neerer then any other, to whom thou didst euer impart them. But tell me what is that Shepherd of thy towne, that is called Alfeus. The greatest Coniuâˆ£rer (said Belisa) and the most cunning Magician that is (I thinke) in Europe, who did once fondly spend his time in louing and seruing me. He is a man (faire Nymph) whose dealing and conuersation is altogether with Diuels, which he makes to take such shapes vpon them as he list himselfe, so that many times thou wouldst thinke, thou wert talking with thy familiar acquaintance (into whose shape he transformeth some spirit or other) when indeede thou art talking with a very Diuell. Thou must therefore knowe faire Shepherdesse (saide Polydora) that the same Alfeus with his enchantments and diuellish deuises hath beene the cause of the deceite, wherein hitherto thou hast liued, and of the infinite teares, that for the same thou hast powâˆ£red forth, bicause knowing that Arsileuswas to speake with thee that night (as it was concluded betweene you) he caused two spirits to take the shapes of Arsileus and his father vpon them. And Arsileus desiring to talke with thee, effected that, that should fall out, which with thine eies thou didst that night beholde. Bicause thinking they were dead, thou mightest despaire and kill thy selfe, or do that (at the least) which thou hast already done. When Belisa heard what faire Polydora did tell her, she was so farre beside her-selfe, that for a while she could not speake one word, but comming to her-selfe again, she said vnto her. Thou hast told me (faire Nymph) strange things, if my sorrow woulde giue me leaue to beleeue them. By that loue which (thou saiest) thou dost beare me, tell me (I beseech thee) how thou knowest it, or of whom thou hast vnderstoode that those two, which I sawe dead before mine eies, were not Arsenius and Arsileus? Of no other saide Polydora, but of Arsileus himselfe. What, of Arsileus, saide Belisa? Is it possible that my Arsileus doth liue,
and so nigh to blesse me with these happy newes? I will tell thee how possible it is (saide Polydora) if thou wilt go with me, for before we come yonder to those three hedges, which thou seest before thee, I will shew thee the man, that shal restore thy decayed hope, and restore thee thy life againe. O soueraigne Deities (said Belisa) what words do I heare? That the renuing of my ioyes & felicitie is so apparant, and that my Arsileus is there? Why dost thou not leade me (faire Nymph) to the place, where I may see him, and die at his feete with ioy of his happy sight? Ah thou dost not loue me (Polydora) so much as thou saiest. This did the faire Shepherdesse speake with an vncertaine kinde of ioy, and doubtfull hope of that, which she so much deâˆ£sired. But Polydora rising vp, and taking her by the hand, and the Nymphes Cynthia and Doria, who for ioy also to see Belisas good happe, would not stay behinde, went to the brooke, where Arsileus was: And before they came, a temperate aire, that came from the place where he sat, rauished their sences with the sweete voice of the enamoured Shepherd, who had not yet left off his musicke, but still began a fresh to sing vpon this old prouerbe.
Good fortune come and tarrie.
With the glosse that he himselfe did descant vpon it to his owne purpose.
WHat motions, times and changes,
What waies, what vncouth ranges,
What slights, what disillusions,
What gladnes (in conclusions)
Haue risen of such sorrowes?
One faith yet all these borrowes,
And one goodloue assureth,
And my misfortunes cureth.
And since from greefe they varie,
Good fortune come and tarie.
Good hap thou still dost mooue thee,
So light as not behooues thee,
And if, thus to content me,
Thou thinkest to repent thee?
Then better is my smarting:
My sense and wits forsake me:
But if (more sure to make me)
Thou comâ€™st, my soule to marrie,
Good fortune come and tarrie.
But if I come in vaine heere,
Or liue deceiuâ€™d, to plaine heere:
For, wretched men what feare not?
To loose my life, then weare not
The same more safe each hower?
O feare, strange is thy power.
For thâ€™ill thou figurest euer.
But since such beautie neuer
Did any falshood carrie,
Good fortune come and tarrie.
When Belisa heard Arsileus his musicke, she felt such inward ioy, as the like did neuer any, whereupon resoluing with her selfe to shake off all former sorrowe that had appalled that surpassing beautie, which nature had bountifully bestowed on her, and decaied those pleasant lookes, and comely fauour (the onely source of Arsiâˆ£leus his teares and sighes) in her sweete and alluring face, now on a sudden with a renewed grace and excellent beautie (whereat the Nymphes were not a little amaâˆ£zed) she spake in this sort, saying. This is, without doubt, the voice of my Arsileus, if I doe not deceiue my selfe by calling him mine. When the Shepherd did see the cause of all his passed cares, and present contents before his eies, the ineffable ioy that he conceiued thereat was so great, that his hart vnable to comprehend it, was troubled in such sort, that at that instant he could not vtter a word: To whom the
Nymphes, perceiuing in what a traunce the sight of his Shepherdesse had put Arsiâˆ£leus, most louingly came, when the Shepherd, suspending that for a litle while, which the present ioy wrought in him, with many teares saide. With what wordes am I able to expresse the satisfaction that fortune hath made me for so many greefes and troubles, as for thy sake (sweete Shepherdesse Belisa) I haue endured. O who may giue me now a new hart, and not so distempered with sorrowfull thoughts, to receiue into it such vnspeakable ioy as thy happy sight presents me! O fortune, I haue no more to request of thee, and thou no more to giue me: yet onely one thing I aske thee, That, since it is thy fashion to giue no supreme happinesse without exâˆ£treme heauinesse, the great force of this vnexpected ioy, which thou hast giuen me this seuenfold happy day, may with little sorrowe (in liew of such a soueraigne sweete) and with such an opposite, as may but a while countermaund this sweete content, be mildly and with fauour tempered. And faire Nymphes, in whose sacred guard and ampare, such great treasure hath bin diuinely preserued, & where it could neuer haue beene better imployed, let your harts reioice with mine, at this infinite ioy that reuiues it, which thing (if you your selues haue sometimes loued well) shall seeme no lesse then due to my restored good. O faire Shepherdesse, why dost thou not speake vnto me, doth it greeue thee to see me, or dost thou take no delight in seeing thy Arsileus? hath his greeuous sight troubled thy toong, or the extreme ioy thereof hindered the passage of thy golden wordes? Whom Belisa answered thus. The ioy which I haue to see thee (my deere Arsileus) were but little, if with words it might be told. Let it suffice thee to know in what continual panges and dangers of my life, thy supposed death hath put me, and by that thou shalt see what a world of ioy thy renewed life hath brought to this my mournfull soule. At the ende of which words, by reason of an issue of swelling teares ascending vp from the center of her sorrowfull hart into her eye brinkes, she was not able to vtter out the rest of her minde, which the tender harted Nymphes, being mollified with the milde and pitifull words of both these louers to one another, did helpe and accompany with theirs. And bicause night was comming on, they went all to Felicias house, telling to each other the discourse & accidents of their liues, which till then they had both passed. Belisa asked her Arsileus for his father Arsenius, who told her, that, as soone as
he knew she was gon, he went to one of his Farmes not far from thence, where he liues
as quiet and contented a life, as he could wish, hauing put all mundane affaires
in obliuion: whereat Belisa was verie glad, and so they came to the Palace of
sage Felicia, where they were welcommed with great ioye and
feast, whose hands Belisa kissed many times, saying,
euermore that shee was the cause of her
good Fortune. And so did Arsi-
leus, to whom Felicia shewed
an earnest will to do euer
for him, what lay
in her po-
The end of the fifth booke.
The sixth Booke of Diana of George
AFter that Arsileus was gone, Felismena staied still with the Shepâˆ£herdesse Amarillis, that was with him, demaunding of one an other the course of their liues, a common thing to them, that finde themselues in like places. And as Felismena was telling the Shepherdesse the cause of her comming thither, a iolly Shepherd came to the Coate, though very sad by his counteâˆ£nance and gate. When Amarillis sawe him, she rose vp in great haste to be gone, but Felismena taking hold by her garment, and suspecting what the cause of her sudden departure might be, said vnto her. It were not reason Shepherâˆ£desse, that I should receiue this discourtesie at thy hands, who desires so much to serue thee. But as she striued to be gone from thence, the Shepherd with many teares said vnto her. My desire is (Amarillis) hauing respect to that, which thou maâˆ£kest me suffer, not to see thee sorie for this vnfortunate Shepherd, but to consider what belongs to thy wisedome and beautie, and that there is nothing in the worlde worse beseeming a Shepherdesse of thy braue qualities, then to intreate one so cruâˆ£elly, that loues thee so entirely. Beholde these wearied eies (Amarillis) that haue shed so many teares, and then thou shalt see what reason thine haue to shew themâˆ£selues so angrie against this miserable man. Alas, that thou fliest away from me, not seeing the reason thou hast to abide my presence. Stay Amarillis, and harken to my complaints, and to my iust excuses, and if thou wilt not answere me at all, yet I will be content, so that thou staiest still. What can it hinder thee to heare him, whom it hath so deerely cost to see thee? And looking vpon Felismena, with many teares he besought her, not to let her goe, who with sweete and gentle wordes intreated the Shepherdesse not to vse him with so small pitie, whom he shewed to loue more then himselfe, or that she would (at the lest) harken vnto him, since she could not hurt hir selfe much by doing so litle. But Amarillis said: Intreat me not (faire Shepherdesse) to giue eare to him, who beleeues his thoughts, more then my words. For behold, this Shepherd that stands in this fained sort before thee, is one of the most disloyall men, that euer liued, & one of them that most of al troubles our simple louing Shepâˆ£herdesses with his false deceits & dissimulatioÌ„s. Then said Filemon to Felismena. My onely request and desire is, faire Shepherdesse, that thou wouldst be iudge in the cause betweene Amarillis and me, wherein if I am found culpable, or the iust prouoâˆ£ker of that anger, and ill opinion that she hath wrongfully conceiued against me, that then I may loose my life; and if she be, that I may haue no other thing for satisâˆ£faction, but her confession, how much she hath iniured, and owes me. To leese thy life (said Amarillis) I am sure thou wilt not, bicause thou wilt not wish thy selfe so much harme, nor me so much good, as for my sake to put thy life in aduenture. But I am content, that this faire Shepherdesse be iudge (if it please her) betweene vs, to consider of our reasons, and to declare which of vs both is more worthie of blame. Agreed (said Felismena) and let vs sit downe at the foote of this greene hedge neere to the flourishing meadow before our eies, for I will see what reason you haue to complaine of one another. After they were all three set downe vpon the greene grasse, Filemon began thus to say. I trust faire Shepherdesse, if thou hast at any time beene touched with the force of Loue, that thou shalt plainly perceiue what small
reason Amarillis hath to be angrie with me, & to conceiue so ill an opinion of the vnâˆ£stained faith I beare her, which makes her surmise that, which neuer any other Shepâˆ£herdesse hath euer yet imagined of her louing Shepherd. Knowe therefore (faire Shepherdesse) that the fates (not onely when I was borne, but long before) deâˆ£termined, that I should loue this faire Shepherdesse, which fits before thy faire & my sorrowfull eies, whose intents I haue answered with such effect, as there is no loue (I thinke) like mine, nor any ingratitude like to hers. It fell out afterwardes, that from my childehood, seruing her in the best manner I coulde, there are fiue or sixe moneths past, since my mishap brought a Shepherd hither called Arsileus, who went vp and downe seeking a Shepherdesse called Belisa, which by some ill successe of Fortune, wandred like an exile heere and there amongst these woodes & groues. And as his sorrow was very great, it fell out, that this cruell Shepherdesse, either for great pittie she tooke of him, or for the little she had of me, or for what cause else (she knowes best herselfe) woulde neuer be out of his companie: To whom if by chance I did but speake thereof, she was ready to kill me with anger; for those eies which thou seest there, procure death no lesse, when they are angry, then life when they are milde and gentle. But now when all my sences were thus occupied, mine eies with teares, my eares with hearing denials, my thoughts with a bitter taste of sorrow, my soule with a rare and vnspeakeable kind of affection, and my vnderstanâˆ£ding with the greatest iealousie, as the like neuer any had, I made my complaint to Arsileus with sighes, and to the earth, and these groues with pitifull and bitter laâˆ£mentations, shewing them what iniuries Amarillis did me. Her deceiued imaginaâˆ£tion of the suspect, that I had of her honestie, hath bredde in her so great despite and hatred against me, that to be reuenged of me, she hath hitherto perseuered therein, which greeuous torment she is not onely content to lay vpon me, but when she sees me before her eies, flies from my presence, as the fearefull Hinde from the hungry and pursuing Hounde. So that by the loue which thou owest thy selfe, I pray thee (good Shepherdesse) iudge whether this be a sufficient cause to make her thus abhorre me, and if my fault on the other side, be so great, that it deserues such endles and extreme hate. Filemon hauing made an end of the cause of his greefe and iniurie, wherewith his Shepherdesse tormented him; Amarillis began to shape her answer thus. This Filemon (faire Shepherdesse) that sits before thee, hath loued me well (I must needes confesse) or at the least, made a fine shewe thereof, and such haue his seruices beene towards me, that to say otherwise of him, then he deserues, it would ill beseeme me. But if for his sake, in lieu and recompence of that affection, I haue not reiected the suites and seruice of many iolly Shepherds that feede their flockes vpon these downes, and in these pleasant vales; and also (for his loue) haue not contemned many countrey youthes, whom nature hath enriched with no lesse perfections then himselfe, let himselfe be iudge. For the infinite times, that with their amorous sutes I haue beene importuned, and those wherein I haue kept that firmnes due to his faith, haue not (I thinke) beene at any time out of his presence, which neuerthelesse should be no sufficient cause for him to make so small account of me, as to imagine or suspect any thing of that, wherein I am most of all bounde to my selfe. For if it be so, (as he knowes well enough) that for the loue of him I haue cast off many, that died by mine occasion, how coulde I then forget or reiect him for the loue of another? A thousand times hath Filemon watched me, not leesing a steppe that the Shepherd Arsileus and I haue troden amiddes these greene woods, and pleasant vales, but let him say, if he euer heard Arsileus talke to
me of loue, or if I answered him any thing touching such matter. What day did Filemon euer see me talke to Arsileus, whereby he might conceiue any thing else by my words, but that I went about to comfort him in such great forrow, as he sufâˆ£fered: And if this be a sufficient cause to make him thinke ill of his Shepherdesse, who can better iudge it, then himselfe? Behold then (faire Shepherdesse) how much he was giuen to false suspects and wrongfull iealousie, that my wordes could neuer satisfie him, nor worke with him, to make him leaue off his obdurate minde by abâˆ£senting himselfe from this valley, thinking therby to haue made an end of my daies, wherein he was deceiued, when as he rather ended his owne ioy and contentment, if for me at the least he had euer any at all. And this was the michiefe besides, that Filemon being not onely content to beare mee such a kinde of vniust iealousie, whereof he had so small occasion, as now (faire Shepherdesse) thou hast seene, hee did likewise publish it at euerie feast, in all bridales, wrestlings, and meeâˆ£tings, that were made amongst the Shepherds of these hilles. And this thou knoâˆ£west (good Shepherdesse) howe it did preiudice mine honour more then his contentment: In the ende hee absented himselfe from mee, which course since hee hath taken for a medicine of his malladie (which it seemes hath the more inâˆ£creased it) let him not finde fault with me, if I haue knowne how to profit my selfe more thereby then he hath. And now that thou hast seene (faire Shepherdesse) what great content that I felt, when thou toldst the Shepherd Arsileus so good newes of his Shepherdesse, & that I my selfe was most earnest with him to haue him go and seeke her out, it is cleere, that there could not be any thing between vs, that might ingeÌ„der such cause of suspition, as this Shepherd hath wrongfully coÌ„ceiued of vs. So that this is the cause, that hath made me not only so cold in the loue that I did beare him, but not to loue any more, wherby to put mine honor & good name in haâˆ£zard of false suspects, since my good hap hath brought me to such a time, that (withâˆ£out forcing my selfe) I may do it at mine own choise & libertie. After Amarillis had shewed the small reason the Shepherd had to giue so great credit to his iealous imaâˆ£ginations, and the libertie wherein time, and her good fortune had put her (a natuâˆ£rall thing to free harts) the woefull Shepherd replied in this sort. I doe not denie (Amarillis) but that thy wisedome and discretion is sufficient to cleere thee of all suâˆ£spition. But wilt thou now make nouelties in loue, & inuent other new effects, then those which we haue heretofore seene? When a louer would loue well, the least ocâˆ£casion of iealousie torments his foule, how much more when those were greater, which by thy priuie conuersation and familiaritie with Arsileus thou hast giuen me. Dost thou thinke (Amarillis) that for a iealousie certainties are needfull? Alas thou deceiuest thy selfe, for suspicions be the principall causes of their entrance: which was also no great matter, since I beleeued that thou didst beare Arsileus good will, the publishing whereof was as little preiudiciall and lesse offensiue to thine hoâˆ£nour, since the force of my loue was so great, that it made mee manifest the ill that I did feare. And though thy goodnes assured mee, when, at stealth and deceite of my suspectes, I thought thereof, yet I alwaies feared, least some aduerse successe might befall vnto me, if this familiaritie had beene still continued. But to that thou saiest (faire Shepherdesse) that I absented my selfe, I answere, that vpon a stomacke, or to giue thee any offence or greefe thereby, I did it not; but to see if I could haue any remedie in mine owne, not seeing the cause of my great misâˆ£hap and greefe before mine eies, and bicause my pursutes might not also offende thee. But if by seeking remedy for so great an ill, I went against that, which I owed
thee, what greater punishment can I haue, then that which thy absence hath made me feele? If thou saiest thou didst neuer loue Arsileus, it giues me greater occasion to complaine of thee, since for a thing of so small importance, thou didst forsake him, who so greatly desired to serue thee. So that I haue the more cause to accuse thee, the lesse thy loue was to Arsileus. And these are the reasons Amarillis and manie more, which I do alleage, not in mine owne excuse and fauour, whereby I thinke not to helpe my selfe at all, since in matters of loue they are woont to profite so little; onely requesting thee (gentle Amarillis) that thy clemencie and the faith which I haue euer borne thee, may be of my side, and mooue thee vnto pittie, the want whereof can prescribe no ende to my greefe, nor meanes of reconciliation in thy hard condition and crueltie. And with this the Shepherd made an ende of his words, and began to poure forth so many teares, that they were sufficient (with the requests and sentence that Felismena gaue in his behalfe) to mollifie Amarillis hard hart, and to make the enamoured Shepherd come againe into her good grace and liking, for which he was so glad a man, as neuer more; and Amarillisnot a little ioyâˆ£full, by shewing how much Filemon was deceiued in his false suspicions of her. And after this, they passed away that day with great content of the two reconciled loâˆ£uers, and with greater sorrow of faire Felismena, who next day early in the morning departed from them after many embracings, and promises, to sende to each other newes of their affaires.
But Syrenus being now free from loue, and Syluanus and Seluagia more enamoâˆ£red then euer before, and faire Diana, not a little discontent for the sorrowfull sucâˆ£cesse of her affaires, passed away her melancholike life, feeding her flocke along the bankes of the great riuer Ezla, where, many times meeting with one another, they talked of that, which pleased their fancies best. And discreete Seluagia being on a day at the fountaine of the Sicamours, the Shepherdesse Diana came thither by chance, to seeke a lambe that had runne out of the foulde, which Syluanus had tyed to a myrtle tree, for when they came thither, they founde it drinking at the cleere spring and by the marke knewe it to be faire Dianas. But being come (as I say) and curteously welcommed of the newe louers, they sat them downe vpon the greene grasse, leaning to one of the Sicamours, that stoode about the fountaine, and after they had talked of many matters, Syluanus saide vnto her. Why dost thou not aske vs (faire
Diana) for Syrenus? Bicause I woulde not talke of matters past (said Diana) for the great greefe which present things do giue me: The time was, when I tooke more delight to aske for him, and hee for mee, and to speake and conâˆ£uerse with one another then now, which giues neither of vs the like contentment; but time doth cure infinite cares, that seeme remedilesse to many men, which if I vnderstood not so, there could not be now a Diana in these faire meades & plaines, in regard of the sorrowes and care that are daily offred me. God neuer graunt so much harme to our pleasant fieldes (saide Seluagia) by depriuing them of such great beautie as hers is. That shall not be wanting as long as thou liuest (saide Diana) and wheresoeuer thy grace and perfections are, little may be lost by my want, in truth whereof, behold thy Syluanus, who (I thought) would neuer haue forgotten me for any other Shepherdesse, and yet in the end hath shaken hands with me for thy loue, which deserued a great deale more. This did Diana speake with a gracious smile, although she laughed not so much in minde at these things, nor with so good a hart as they thought. For though she once loued Syrenus more then her owne life, and despised Syluanus, as nothing so much, yet it greeued her more, that
had forgotten her for the loue of another, whose sight he now enioyed euery day with great contentment of his newe loue, then that Syrenushad freed himselfe out of her loue, whom nowe no new affection mooued. When Syluanus heard what Diana said, he answered her thus. Time, and the reuolutions of the heauens shall first cease (faire Diana) before I will forget thee, for thy beautie and wisedome is not such, that may be euer put in obliuion. Truth it is that I am now bound to my Selâˆ£uagia, bicause (besides many other good parts in her obliging me to her loue) she neâˆ£uer esteemed her Fortune to bee woorse by this, that she is nowe beloued of him, whom thou didâ€™st alway so reiect and make so small account of. No more of this (saide Diana) for thou art well bestowed, and I was not well aduised by not louing thee, as thy loue deserued it at my hands. But if at anytime thou didst desire to giue me some content, I beseech thee (al I may) and thy faire Seluagia, to sing some song, to entertaine the time, and to passe the heate of the day aâ€¢way; which now beginnes so fast, that we must be faine to passe it vnder these Sicamours, and there enioy the bubling of this cleere spring, which shall not a little helpe the sweetenes of your song. The new louers were not daintie to be praied, though faire Seluagia was not very well content with this kinde of talke that Diana had with Syluanus. But bicause in her song, she thought to be reuenged on her, to the tune that Diana plaied on her Bagpipe, both of them began to sing as followeth.
I See thee iolly Shepherd merry,
And firme thy faith and sound as a berry.
Loue gaue me ioy, and fortune gaue it,
As my desire could wish to haue it.
What didst thou wish, tell me (sweete louer)
Whereby thou mightâ€™st such ioy recouer?
To loue where loue should be inspired,
Since thereâ€™s no more to be desired.
In this great glory, and great gladnes,
Thinkâ€™st thou to haue no touch of sadnes?
Good for tune gaue me not such glory,
To mocke my loue, or make me sorie.
If my firme loue I were denying,
Tell me, with sighes wouldâ€™st thou be dying?
Those wordes in iest to heare thee speaking,
For very greefe my hart is breaking.
Yet wouldâ€™st thou change, I pray thee tell me,
In seeing one, that did excell me?
O noe, for how can I aspire,
To more then to mine owne desire.
Such great affection dost thou beare me
As by thy wordes thou seemâ€™st to sweare me?
Of thy deserts, to which a detter
I am, thou maist demaund this better.
Sometimes me thinkes, that I should sweare it,
Sometimes me thinkes, thou shouldâ€™st not beare it.
Onely in this, my pap doth greeue me,
And my desire, not to beleeue me.
Imagine that thou dost not loue mine,
But some braue beautie thatâ€™s aboue mine.
To such a thing (sweete) doe not will me,
Where faining of the same doth kill me.
I see thy firmnes gentle louer,
More then my beautie can discouer.
And my good fortune to be higher
Then my desert, but not desier.
About this time came Syrenus downe from the village towards the fountaine of the Sicamours, with great desire to meete Seluagia or Syluanus, for hee nowe tooke no greater delight in any thing, then in the company of these two louers. And if he had (perhaps) a touch of Dianas loue in his memorie, the time that he had spent in louing her, did not leaue him altogither without some pensiue thoughts, not, for that her loue now gaue him any paine; but because the remembrance of a good estate, doth breed some small kind of griefe and discontent in him that hath lost it. Before he came to the fountaine, in the mids of the greene meadow which was beset round about with Myrtles and Laurels, he found Dianas sheepe, that went by themselues all alone feeding amongst the trees vnder the keeping of two fierce masties. And as the Shepherd staied to looke vpon them, thinking of the time, wherein he had greater care of them, then of his owne, the masties with great furie came running vpon him. But when they came somewhat nigh and knew him, by wagging their tailes, and holding downe their necks (that were armed with collers of sharpe nailes) the one fell downe at his feete; and the other by skipping vpon him fawned on him with the greatest ioy in the world. And the sheepe did no lesse, for the Bell-wether with his rurall bleating came to the Shepherd, whom all the rest followed, and knowing Syrenus, came round about him, which sight he could not behold without teares, calling to mind that sometimes in the company of faire Diaâˆ£na he had fed that gentle flocke. And seeing that in the silly beasts that loue and knowledge did abound, which wanted in their mistresse, it was so forcible a motion in his minde, that if the vertue of the water, which sage
Felicia had giuen him, had not made him forget his olde loue: it might well haue beene, that there was noâˆ£thing else in the worlde that coulde haue let him from renewing it againe. But seeâˆ£ing himselfe thus in the mids of Dianas sheepe, and with the thoughts, that the meâˆ£morie of such a thing did put before his eies, to the tune of his merie Recbecke he began to sing this song.
O what meane ye?
Forsake me now, and doe not wearie me.
Wilt thou heare me, O memorie,
My pleasant daies, and nights againe,
I haue appaid with seuenfold paine:
Thou hast no more to aske me why,
For when I went, they all did die:
As thou dost see,
O leaue me then, and doe not wearie me.
Sometime my chiefest pleasure was,
Behold what I did after passe:
Then let me rest, and if I beare
Not with good cause continuall feare,
Now doe you see.
O leaue me then, and doe not trouble me.
I sawe a hart changed of late,
And wearied to assure mine:
Then I was forced to recure mine
By good occasion, time and fate,
My thoughts, that now such passions hate,
O what meane ye?
Forsake me now and doe not wearie me.
You lambes and sheepe that in these layes,
Did sometimes follow me so glad:
The merry howres, and the sad
Are passed now with all those daies:
Make not such mirth, and wonted plaies,
As once did ye:
For now no more you haue deceiued me.
If that to trouble me you come,
Or come to comfort me indeede:
I haue no ill for comforts neede.
But if to kill me, Then (in summe)
Full well may ye
Kill me, and you shall make an end of me.
After Syrenus had made an ende of his song, faire Diana knewe him by his voice, and so did the two enamoured Shepherdes Syluanus and Seluagia. They calâˆ£led to him, telling him, that if he was minded to passe away the heate of the day in the field, there was the fresh fountaine of the Sicamours, and faire Diana, both which should be no small allurements to inuite him thither. Syrenus answered him, that be must needs stay all day in the field, vntill it was time to go home againe with his sheepe to the towne, and comming where the Shepherd and Shepherdesses were, they sat round about the cleere fountaine, as they were commonly woont to do. But Diana, (whose life was so sorrowfull, as one may imagine, that euer sawe a Shepherdesse, the fairest and wisest that was then knowne, married so greatly to her greefe) went day by day seeking out new occasions to entortaine the time, and to passe her life away, and studying often to preuent her continuall and sorrowfull thoughts. But the Shepherdes sitting and talking of other matters touching the feeding of sheepe, and their profite, Diana brake off the substance of their talke, sayâˆ£ing to Syluanus. It is a proper thing, Shepherd, that, sitting before thy faire Seluagia, thou talkest of other impertinent things, and not of praising her beautie, nor of the great loue, that she beares thee: Let the field and lambes alone, the good or ill sucâˆ£cesse of time and fortune, and enioy the good hap that (Shepherd) thou hast nowe, by being beloued of so faire a Shepherdesse, for where there is so great reason to haue continually such contentment of minde, thou needâ€™st not care for that, which Fortune doth but sometimes giue. How much I am beholding to thee Diana (anâˆ£swered Syluanus) none can expresse but he, that knowes what great reason I haue to acknowledge this debt, bicause thou didst not onely then teach me to loue well, but now also shewest me the way to vse the contentment, that my loue affoordes me: The reason thou hast to warne me, not to talke of any other matter (my Miâˆ£stresse being in presence) but onely of the content that by her sight I receiue, is great & infinite, the which I promise thee (faire Diana) to do, while my happy soule shall be conteined in this ioyfull body. But I maruell at one thing, to see how thy Syrenus doth cast his eies another way, when thou speakest vnto him, it seemes thy wordes please him not, or that he is not satisfied with thy answers. Blame him not (said Diana) for carelesse men & enimies to their own good will do more then this. Enimy to mine own good (said Syrenus?) If I was euer such an one, let death punish me for my error. This is a prety shift to excuse thy fault. To excuse my fault (said Diâˆ£ana?) If I haue not yet the first offence to do thee, I pray God I may neuer haue any other coÌ„tent, then that, which I now enioy: It is wel that thou dost finde fault with me for being married hauing parets. But it is wel (said Syrenus) that thou didst marry hauing another Loue: And what power had that Loue (saide Diana) where obediâˆ£ence
was due to parents? And what power had those parents (saide Syrenus) that obedience, those times, those fauourable or sinistrous successes of Fortune, to ouerâˆ£rule so true a Loue, as before my departure thou didst shew me? Ah Diana, I neâˆ£uer thought there was any thing in the worlde, that could dissolue so great a faith as that, and how much more Dianas, considering that well thou mightest haue marâˆ£ried, and not forgotten him, who loued thee so entyrely. But thinking of the matter vnappassionately, it was now better for me, since thou wert resolued to marrie, and being married, to forget me quite. For what reason saide Diana? For what, saide Syrenus? Bicause there is no woorse thing in the worlde, then for a Shepherd to loue a Shepherdesse that is married, nor that makes him, (that beares her true loue and affection) sooner to loose his wits and sences: the reason whereof (as wee all know) is, that the principall passion which doth torment a louer (after the desire of his Mistres) is cruell iealousie: For what dost thou then thinke, that a poore vnfortuâˆ£nate Louer that loues wel is able to do, what griefe (thinkest thou) he passeth, when he knowes, that his Shepherdesse is in the armes of her new married husband, and he bewailing and weeping his disgrace and ill Fortune in the streete. And this is not all the torment, when such a mischeefe and death remaines yet thereof, that he must not complaine of it at all, but must suffer (silly man) and holde his peace, biâˆ£cause by complaining he shall be thought no lesse then a foole or a madde man (a thing as contrarie to his rest as may be:) For if the iealousies were of some other Shepherd, that serued her, by complayning of the fauours she doth him, and by hearing her excuses, the Louer might better passe away his greefe; but this is such a kinde of torment, that in an instant one shall loose it, if he haue no stay in his desire. Leaue of this talke (said Diana) for thou hast no neede to loue, nor to be beloued. In respect of not hauing it to loue (saide Syrenus) I am glad in not hauing it also to be beloued. Strange is thy libertie (said Diana) but stranger was thy forgetfulnes (said Syrenus) if thou dost remember well the words thou spakest to mee at my departure. But let vs (as thou saiest) leaue of to speake of things which are past, & let vs thanke time and Lady Felicia for those that are present. And thou Syluanus, take thy Pipe, and I will tune my Rebecke to it, and let vs sing some verses togither, although so free a hart as mine cannot sing of anie thing, that may giue content to thine, that is of another qualitie. I will giue thee a good remedie for this (saide Syluanus🙂 For let vs imagine that we are both in the same case, as this Shepherdesse made vs liue, when we filled these hils and dales with our amorous complaints.
Syluanus deuise liked them all well, but Seluagia was a little displeased thereat, who for that time, (bicause she would not seeme to be iealous, where she was ascertained of so great loue) helde her peace: And the Shepherds began to sing in manner following.
IF teares cannot with tendernesse relent thee,
How can my song thy cruelty assured,
Since nought of mine could euer yet content thee:
What hart was euer that so much endured?
That to deride thou neuer canst suffice thee,
Agreefe that hath the worlds wonder procured.
Ah blinde conceite, let loue nor time disguise thee,
And such a thought of change that neuer told me
But to thy good and my content a duise thee.
Ah wilt thou in such cares and greefes enfold me,
Fierce Shepherdesse, and in such lamentations
To spend my dolefull yeeres, wilt thou behold mo?
Ahart thatâ€™s thine, disposâ€™st thou in such fashions?
Intreatâ€™st thou thus a foule to thee affied,
That the lest greefe it is to suffer passions?
Loue such a knot, thatâ€™s endless thou hast tied,
Thatâ€™s blinde, and thou, and I more blinde intended:
She is blinde, for whom my lifeâ€™s denied:
For I sawe not my life, and pleasure ended,
Nor she how I for her to death imploy me,
Nor thou, that I in flames am thus incended.
Fell Loue, shall faire Diana now destroy me
With absence? then conclude (since hate surrounds it)
To end my life, and fortunes that annoy me.
Ioyâ€™s slowe, timeflies, and with his shortnes wounds it,
Hope dies, an amorous thought lives still augmented:
Loue shortens it, prolongs it, and confounds it.
To speake I am ashamed thus tormented,
And though it greeues me, yet with ceaslesse payning
Without the same I cannot live contented.
O soule, for sake not now they dolefull plaining,
And you my weried eies
Cease not in swelling teares my cheeks to steepe,
Since you have learnâ€™d to weepe,
And waile the chiefest cause of all my cries.
And waile the chiefest cause of all my cries:
Yet (cruell Shepherdesse)
Sometimes they were of my most sweete content.
O thoughts in sorrow spent,
How small time lasts a ioy and happiness?
How small time lasts a ioy and happiness,
And that sweete gracious smile,
(Fortune) wherewith I sawe thee not accoyd?
Now all is well imployd
In him, whom time doth counsell and beguile.
In him, whom time doth counsell and beguile,
Loue works his behest:
But in his things who can him well aduise?
Or his deceites who spies?
O cruell Shepherdesse, O cruell brest.
O cruell Shepherdesse, O cruell brest
Whose crueltie is no
Whit lesse then her braue beautie and her grace,
And my mishap and case:
How to my cost my sorrowes doe I knowe?
My Shepherdesse, in white and red more cleere,
Then both those roses pluckt, in May we see:
And brighter then the sunne beames sent
From their coruscant Orient
By morning, that vpon thy foldes appeere:
How can I liue, if thou forgettest me?
My Shepherdesse, thy rigour then impaire,
For crueltie becomes not one so faire.
My faire Diana more resplendant, then
The Emerauld, or Diamond in the night:
Whose beautious eies doe cease
My sorrowes, that increase,
if gently that (perhaps) to me they bend.
So maist thou with thy flocke so faire and vvhite,
Come to my shadovved sheepefold in the heate,
That such a vvretch thou vvouldâ€™st not ill intreate.
My Shepherdesse, when that thy yellow haire
Thou combest in the beames of shining sunne,
Dost thou not see the same obscured?
My pride andioy by them procured?
That am from hence beholding it so faire,
Woon now with hope, now with despaire vndone,
But so maist thou thy beautie braue enioy,
As thou wouldst giue, ameane in such annoy.
Diana, whose sweete name in all these hils
The wilde beastes tames, and crueltie rebates:
And whose surpassing beautie to it
Doth subiect fortune, and vndoe it.
And feares not loue, but wars against his wils:
Respecting not occasion, time, nor fates.
To thee thy flockes and folds such ioy may giue,
As carelesse of my greefe thou wouldst not liue.
The heate is past (Syrenus) and doth cease,
The Shepherds to their folds begin to goe,
And wearie grashoppers doe hold their peace:
The night will not stay long, which, hid belovve,
Is comming in, vvhile Phoebus in our skie
Doth heere and there his vading light bestovve:
Therefore before the darkest shade shall lie
Vpon the ground, and vvhile the vvren doth sing
In top of this greene Sicamour on hie,
Our vvandring flockes together let vs bring,
And driue them vvhere Diana novv doth stay
For vs, vvhile in the vvoods our voices ring.
My friend, Syluanus, goe not yet avvay,
Since all his beames not yet the sunne doth hide,
And that vve haue sufficient of the day.
Thereâ€™s time for vs and for our flocke beside,
And time to driue them to the riuer cleere.
For in this meade to day they shall abide:
And, Shepherd, let my song be ended heere.
All the while that the Shepherds were singing, the Shepherdesse iwas leaning her faire face vpon her hand, whose sleeue falling downe a little from her wrest, discouered an arme whiter then the driuen snow, she held her eies downe to the ground, powring out such plentie of teares, as were sufficient arguments of more inward griefe and paine, then she would (though faine) haue then vttered. And as the Shepherds ended their song, with a deepe sigh, in company whereof it seemed that her soule would haue flowen out, she rose vp, & without taking her leaue, went downe along the valley, dressing her golden haire, whose vaile hung intangled beâˆ£hinde in a bow, when she rose vp. And if the Shepherds had not tempered the great pitie which they had of her, with the little that she had of them, neither the one nor the others hart had beene able to indure it. And so all of them went to gather vp their sheepe, that (scattered abroad) went skipping vp and downe the greene meadow.
The end of the sixth booke.
The seventh Booke of Diana of George
AFter that Felismena had reconoiled Amarillis & Filemon, & left them with full purpose and resolution, the one neuer to do any thing to the discontentment and complaint of the other: beâˆ£ing now gon from them, she went downe along the valley, wherein she wandred many daies without hearing any newes, that might affoorde her the least content, that she desired: and yet carrying with her an assured hope of sage Felicias wordes,
she did not let it passe out of her minde, but thought, that after so many trauels, Forâˆ£tune would be wearie at the last of troubling her any more: And these imaginations supported her somewhat in the greatest torments of her desire. But trauelling one morning on her way, thorow the mids of a woode, and at the going out of certaine thick bushes which appeared froÌ„ the top of a high hill, she beheld before her a most pleasant and greene Champaine that lay all along beneath the hill, and of such length, that she could scarce see to the end of it; for twelue miles right out it butted vpon the bottoms of certaine hils, that might hardly be discerned. Thorow the mids of this pleasant plaine a goodly riuer ranne, which in many places made fresh and faire bankes on both sides, whereon grew thicke Birches, greene Sicamours, and diuers other trees; and in other places leauing the cristalline waters discouered to the wandring view, and in some (brinked with sandie plats) did from a far off more brauely beautifie the faire riuer bankes. The graine which was sowne in all those fields, was at hand to yeeld vp the desired fruit, and by reason of the fertill soyle was verie well growen: which being mooued by a little gale of winde, waued vp and downe some in greene, & some in yellow colours, which made most pleasant shades and delightful obiects to the greedie eie. The greene and delectable vale was in some places three miles broad, and in others a little more, and in none lesse then this. The faire Shepherdesse therefore comming downe her way from the hil aboue, entered into a great wood full of Sicamours and wilde Oliue trees; in the middes whereof were many stately houses so sumptuously built, that they made her not a little to maruell: And lifting vp her eies on a sudden, there appeared to her sight a great and faire Citie, which being full of faire houses and stately buildings, from the top of a rockie hill that was right before her, reached in breadth with the wals to the great riuer that ranne thorow the mids of the plaine. The buildings of that faâˆ£mous citie were high, and wrought with as great arte, as humaine industrie could deuise. Amongst the which were many towres, Pyramydes, and shining pinnacles, reared vp to the skies. The Temples were many, and sumptuous, the houses strong, the wals loftie and strongly embattelled; the bulwarkes thicke and full of munition: so that excelling in stately structure and euen proportion, it made a faire show, and gaue a goodly glorie to the great and auncient Citie: all which from that place she seuerally beheld. The Shepherdesse was amazed to see that braue sight, and on the sudden to be so neere so faire a Citie; from whence, as from all other popular conâˆ£curse with great care she endeuored to flie. And yet she could not choose, but sat her downe a little vnder the shadow of an Oliue tree, to behold from thence all in particular which you haue heard; and seeing that populous Citie, great Soldina her natiue Citie and Countrey came to her musing thoughts; from whence, the loue that she bare Don Felix had exiled her, which was an occasion not to make her passe it out of her memorie without teares, bicause the remembrance of a good thing lost, doth for the most part offer occasions of no lesse. But the faire Shepherdesse leauing that place and citie on the right hand, went softly on by a path hard by the riuer toâˆ£wards that part, where the Cristalline waters with a gentle and pleasant noise runne smoothly into the Ocean. And hauing gone sixe miles by the pleasant bankes of that riuer, she espied two Shepherdesses at the foote of a great Oke neere to the riâˆ£uer side, passing away the heat of the day, both which (though they were but meaneâˆ£ly faire) yet in sweete fauour and gentle behauiour, were passing gracious. The hew of their faces was a nutbrowne sanguine, but amiable, the colour of their haire, a darke browne-abram; their eies and eiebrowes blacke, and yet of a sweete and mild
aspect in their countenances. Vpon their hands they had seuerall garlandes of greene Iuie, tied vp togither with many roses and sweete flowers. The fashion of their attire seemed to her to be different from any other kind of apparell, that she had seene till that time. But one of them rising vp in great haste, to driue a flocke of sheepe out of a flaxe field, where they had broken in, and the other going to driue her goates to the riuer to drinke, they went and sat them downe againe vnder the shadow of that leafie Oke. Felismena, that had hid her selfe in a plat of high bulruâˆ£shes, and so neere to the Shepherdesses, that she might well heare what passed beâˆ£tweene them, vnderstood that the language they spake, was the Portugal toong, and that the kingdome wherein she was, was Portugall; for one of the Shepherdesses taking the other by the hand with a sweete grace in her owne toong said thus to the other. Ah my Duarda,what small reason hast thou to despise him, who loues thee more then himselfe? How better beseeming thee were it, not so ill to entreate a thought that is so much employed in thy perfections? It greeues mee that so faire a Shepherdesse shoulde bee so farre from pitying him that hath so great neede thereof. The other, that seemed to bee more at libertie, with a certaine disdaine, and a fillippe of her hande (a common note of carelesse and free mindes) answered her thus. Wilt thou haue me tell thee, Armia? If I should trust him another time, who hath so ill apaied the loue I bare him, he shall not beare the blame of the ill, that I shall procure by mine owne desire, but my selfe. Lay not before mine eies the seruices, that this Shepheard hath sometimes done me, nor tell me the reasons that he giues thee to mooue me, for the time is now past, when they once helpt him. He promised to marrie me, and behold he hath married another. What would he nowe haue? Or what pretendes this enemie of my quiet rest? What, now that his wife is dead, would he haue me marrie him? O God forbid that I should doe my selfe so great iniurie. Let him go, Armia, let him go: for if he loues me so much as he saith, this loue shall serue me for a renenge of his deepe deceite. The other ioyning her smiling face to Duardas srowning countenance, and louingly imbracing her, with milde & gentle wordes replied thus. How wel hath all becomen thee, gracious Shepherdesse, which thou hast said? I would neuer desire to be a man, but euen now, to loue thee more then mine owne selfe. But tell me, Duarda, why art thou so desirous to haue Danteus leade so sorrowfull a life? He saith, the reason that thou hast to complaine of him, serues him for his excuse. For, before he married, being with thee one day neere to the hedge of Fremoselle, he saide vnto thee. Duarda, my father wil marrie me, what is thy aduise in this matter? And that thou didst anâˆ£swere him roughly. How now Danteus? Am I so olde, or haue I so great power ouer thee, that thou dost aske my opinion and leaue for thy marriage? Thou maiest doe what thou list, and what thine owne will and thy fathers shall oblige thee to: for in the like case I my selfe would do no lesse: And this was spoken with an estranged countenance, and not with that woonted kinde of milde and gentle speech, but as if it had beene quite past thy memorie, that thou didst once loue him well. Callest thou this an excuse (said Duarda) If I knew thee not Armia, so well as I doe, thy wiseâˆ£dome and discretion should hazard their credit with me. What should I answere a Shepherd, who published euery where, that there was nothing in the world wherâˆ£on he would cast an affectionate eie, but on me, how much more then, that Danteus was not so ignorant, but that he vnderstood by my countenance and manner of my wordes, that with my will I would not haue answered him, as I did. What a mockeâˆ£rie was this (I pray thee Armia) for him to meete me one day before this came to
passe, neere to the fountaine, and with many teares to say thus vnto me. Why are thou so vngratefull (Duarda) to the good will which I beare thee, that thou wilt not be married to me without thy fathers consent? when time (thou knowest) will weare out the anger, that they may conceiue thereof. Whom I then answered thus. Conâˆ£tent thy selfe Danteus, that I am thine, and that I can neuer be any others, whatsoeâˆ£uer shall befall vnto me. And thy word and promise, which thou hast giuen me to be my husband, contents me well ynough: desire not then, in respect of staying a little time longer, a thing, whereof such mischiefe may ensue. At which wordes he tooke his leaue, telling me the next day that his father would marrie him, and reâˆ£questing me to giue him leaue, and not content with this, but to be married in deede three daies after. Dost thou not therefore thinke this (Armia) a sufficient reason for me, to vse the benefite of that libertie, which with such trouble of my thoughts I haue at last obtained? These are things (saide the other) soone spoken and passed betweene the truest louers, but must not be taken so much at the hart, nor so narâˆ£rowly interpreted, as thou dost vnderstand them. For those, which are spoken, thou hast reason, Armia; but for those that are done, thou seest it well ynough, if they touch not our soules too neere, that loue well. In the ende Danteu married, and it greeues me not a little, that so faire a Shepherdesse liued so small a time, and more, to see that one whole moneth after her buriall being scarce past, new thoughts beâˆ£gan to occupie his minde againe. God tooke her away (said Armia) to the end that Danteus might be thine, for indeede he could be no others but thine. If this be so (said Duarda) that he that is ones, cannot be anothers, I finde my selfe now to be mine owne; and therefore cannot be Danteus his. But let vs leaue of a thing not worth the losse of time that is spent about it, which shal be better imployed in singâˆ£ing a song: And then both of them in their owne toong with a sweete grace began to sing that which followeth.
TImes change and shall (as we doe see)
And life shall haue an ende:
But yet my faith shall euer bee
Whereon my eies depende.
The daies, and moments, and their scope,
The howres with their changes wrought,
Are cruell enemies to hope,
And friendes vnto a louing thought.
Thoughts still remaine, as we doe see,
And hope shall haue an end;
But yet my faith shall not leaue me,
Her honour to defend.
Inconstancie in trust contriued,
Causeth great danger in conclusion,
And life that is of hope depriued,
Standes not in feare of disillusion.
Times goe and come, as we doe see,
And life shall haue an end,
But yet my faith shall neuer bee
Distanâ€™d for foe or friend.
This song being ended, Felismena came out of the place, where she had hid herâˆ£selfe, directly to that place where the Shepherdesses were, who amazed at her sudâˆ£den sight, but more at her rare grace and beautie, went to her, and with louing emâˆ£bracings welcommed her, asking her of what countrey she was, and from whence she came. To which demaundes faire Felismena could not answer, but with manie teares asked them what countrey that was, wherein they nowe where. For by her owne toong she cleerely made them knowe, that she was of Vandalia, and that for a certaine mishap she was banished from her countrey. The Portugall Shepherâˆ£desses with their pitifull teares did the best they could to coÌ„fort her, being very sorâˆ£rie for her exile, a common thing to that nation, & more proper to the inhabitants of that prouince. And Felismena asking them what citie that was, which she had left, where the riuer with his christalline streames, and speedy course came running on with great force: and bicause she also desired to know, what castle that Monteâˆ£mayor was, which was scituate on the hill, higher then the rest, and many other deâˆ£mands, one of them called Duarda, tolde her, that the citie was Coymbra, one of the most famons & principall cities, not onely of that kingdome, but of all Europe, for the braue territories & fieldes about it, which that great riuer (called Mondego) waâˆ£tred with his cleerest waters. And that all those fieldes, where with great swiftnes it ranne, were called the fieldes of Mondego: And that the castle which she sawe beâˆ£fore her, was the ancient light and glory of Spaine; which name (she saide) did betâˆ£ter fit it, then the right name of it, bicause in the mids of the infidelitie of Marsilius the Mahometicall king, who had so many yeeres encompassed it with a cruell and continuall siege, it did euer so strongly defend it selfe, that it was alwaies the conâˆ£querour, and neuer subdued, and that it was called in the Portugall toong Monteâˆ£mor, or Velho, where the vertue, valour, wisedome, and magnanimitie remained for trophees of the noble deedes, that the Lords and Knights of it did in those daies, and that the Lords and Ladies that now dwelt in it, flourished in all kinde of verâˆ£tues, and commendable parts. And so did the Shepherdesse tell her manie other things of the fertilitie of the foile, of the antiquitie of the buildings, of the riches of the inhabitants, of the beautie, discretion, and vertues of the Nymphes & Shepâˆ£herdesses, and of the aptnes and actiuitie of the iolly Shepherdes, that dwelt aâˆ£bout that impregnable castle: All which things did put Felismena in great admiraâˆ£tion. But the Shepherdesses requesting her to eate somthing (bicause they thought she needed it) she thankfully accepted their curteous offer. And whiles she was eaâˆ£ting that which the Shepherdesses had set before her, they sawe her shed so manie teares, that caused no small sorrow in them both. And desirous to aske her the cause of them, they were hindred by the voice of a Shepherd, that came sweetely singing to the tune of his Rebecke, whom the Shepherdesses knewe to be the Shepherd Danteus, for whom Armia pleaded so much to the gracious Duarda for pitie and pardon. Who saide to Felismena. Although these are but homely cates (faire Shepherdesse) and countrey Shepherdesses fare, yet fals it out to be a dinner for a Princesse, for thou didst but little thinke when thou camâ€™st hither, to dine with muâˆ£sicke. There is not any musicke in the world (saide Felismena) that pleaseth me betâˆ£ter then thy sight and conuersation, gracious Shepherdesse, which by greater reaâˆ£son makes me thinke, that I am a princesse, then the musicke thou talkest of. These words should be adressed (said Duarda) to one of more woorth, and higher deserts then I am, and that had a riper wit, and deeper conceite to vnderstande them. But howsoeuer I am, to my poore abilitie, thou shalt finde an earnest will & an vnfained
affection in me readie to do thee all the seruice it may. Ah Duarda(saide Armia to her) how discreete art thou, and how mightest thou not win the onely praise of wisedome, if thou wert not cruell? Is there any woman in the worlde like thee heerein, who of purpose art offring occasions of impertinent speech, and to busie thy head with other matters, bicause thou hast no list to harken to the wofull Shepâˆ£herd that by dolefull song is breathing out his sorrowes and mishaps. Felismenavnderstanding what that Shepherd was by Armias wordes, praied them to be still and to giue eare vnto him, who to the tune of his Rebecke did in his owne toong sing this song following.
SIghes, since you lighten not my hart,
Why go you not, why stay you still?
For in the end hope doth impart
Aremedie vnto mine ill.
Yet hope to helpe me neuer stood,
Where reason worketh all in vaine:
Nor euer promisâ€™d so much good,
As crueltie doth giue me paine.
But loue and trust giue me an art,
And qualitie of such a skill,
That neither hope reuiues my hart,
Nor crueltie the same doth kill.
Mine eies you neede not then complaine,
With which her faire ones I haue seene,
And what neede you to feare againe,
Since viewed by her you haue beene?
And therefore change shall haue no part,
Nor entrance in my constant will,
Though crueltie doth kill my hart,
Or whether hope remaineth still.
The Shepherds musicke pleased Felismena better then the Shepherdesses meat, for she thought the song was made to complaine more of his owne griefe, then to lament an others. And as he made an ende, she said. Shepherd, it seemes thou hast truely learned by my ils to complaine of thine owne. Vnfortunate woman, that can neither heare, nor see any thing, which sets not before me the small reason I haue, to desire life. But yet God grant I may so long enioy it, vntil mine eies may see the cause of their burning teares. Thinkest thou faire Shepherdesse (said Armia to her) that these words deserue not to be heard, and that the hart, from whence they came forth, to be more esteemed then this Shepherdesse regards them? Talke not saide Duarda of his words, talke of his works; speake not of his dittie, but of his deeds, for by them his intent and meaning is to be iudged. If thou dost enamour thy selfe of songs, and delightest in Sonets compacted of industrie of fine and flattering words; Thinke not, that I do so: for as they are things wherein I take least pleasure; so by them I lesse perswade me of the loue he beares me. Felismena then fauouring Duardas reason, said. Behold Armia, how many ils might be auoided, and great mischiefes not efâˆ£fected, if we would not hearken to smooth & filed speeches, & lightly credit words framed by free harts: for, by nothing else they shew their properties more, then by a cunning and false tale, vttered by an eloquent & fine toong; that when we thinke it most true, there is nothing more false. Vnhappie me, that could not in time helpe my selfe with this counsell. But by this time was the Porugall Shepherd come where the Shepherdesses were, who in his owne language saide to Duarda. If the teares of these eies, and the sighes of this my hart are not sufficient (Shepherdesse) to mollifie that hardnes, wherewith thou dost so ill intreate me, I require nothing else, but that my company may not be troublesome vnto thee in these fields, and that the sorrowfull verses (which my griefe makes me sing, like to the dying swanne neere to this riuer) may be no occasion of thy miscontent and trouble. Passe away (faire
Shepherdesse) the parching heate of the day vnder the shade of these greene Osiars, for thy swaine will driue thy goates to the riuer to drinke, and tarrie with them, while they are washing themselues in the cristalline waters. Kembe and adresse (louely Shepherdesse) thy silke soft haire vpon the brinke of this cleere fountaine, from whence issueth out the running brook, that round about watereth this sweete meadow: And in the meane time I will carrie thy faire flocks to feed, and keepe thy sheep from going into the corne, that growes along the riuer side. I pray thee (sweet Shepherdesse) take no care for anything, for I haue no rest all the while that I am not trauelling about thy busines. If this seemes to thee but a small token of loue, tell me then, wherein I may shew the good will & entire affection that I beare thee? For no especiall loue doth wrong (to speake the truth) in anything whereof it offers any experience at all. Danteus hauing made an end, the Shepherdesse Duarda anâˆ£swered him thus. If it be true (Danteus) that there is any loue in the world, I haue borne it thee, and as great, as thou thy selfe knowest. Neuer any of these Shepâˆ£herds, that bring their flockes to seede in the fieldes of Mondego, and to drinke in these cleere waters, obtained so much as one onely word of me, whereby thou mighâˆ£test haue occasion to complaine of Duarda, nor of the loue that she hath euer shoâˆ£wen thee. Thy teares, and burning sighes haue neuer touched any neerer at the hart then me. The day, mine eies beheld thee not, could not see anything that pleaâˆ£sed them. The bullocks that thou didst keepe, were of more account to me, and I had a greater care of them, then of mine owne. And (for the most part) fearing, least the keepers of this delightfull Champaine might hinder their feed, I went to the top of this little hill, to see if I could espie them, whereas I brought mine in place, when they could not feed the grasse of these faire riuer bankes, without feare of being imâˆ£pounded. And I was not afraid to put my selfe in this subiection and danger, to put thee in assurance and safetie. I know well, that of this my subiect and apparant kind of loue thy affiance did arise; and of thy affiance, that which thou dost. Thou didâ€™st marie Andresa (whose soule is now in glorie) a thing that in times past, made me to die for griefe: but I prayed to God, that I might see my selfe at last reuenged of her and thee, and after thy marriage I haue suffered that, which thou and others sufficiâˆ£ently knowe: And in the end my Fortune hath concluded, that thine shall giue me no more paine and care. Let me then inioy my libertie, and hope not to regaine that with me, which by thine owne folly and default thou hast so fondly lost.
The Shepherdesse hauing made an ende of her sharpe answer, and Felismena beâˆ£ginning to arbitrate the matter between them; they heard a great noise in the other side of the meadow, like to the sounde of blowes, and smiting of swordes vpon harâˆ£neies, as if some armed men had fought togither, so that all of them with great haste ranne to the place, where they heard the noise, to see what the matter was. And being come somewhat neere, they saw in a little Iland, (which the riuer with a round turning had made) three knights fighting against one. And although he deâˆ£fended himselfe valiantly, by shewing his approoued strength and courage, yet the three knights gaue him so much to do, that he was faine to helpe himselfe by all the force and pollicie he could. They fought on foote, for their horses were tied to little trees, that grew thereabouts. And now by this time, the knight that sought all alone and defended himselfe, had laide one of them at his feete with a blowe of his good sword, which ended his life: But the other two that were very strong and valiant, redoubled their force and blowes so thicke on him, that he looked for no other thing then death. The Shepherdesse Filismena seeing the knight in so great
danger, and if she did not speedily helpe him, that he could not escape with life, was not afraide to put hers in ieopardy, by doing that, which in such a case she thought, she was bound to performe: wherefore putting a sharpe headed arrowe into her bowe, shee saide vnto them: Keepe out knights, for it is not beseeming men that make account of this name and honour, to take aduantage of their enimies with so great oddes. And ayming at the sight of one of their helmets, she burst it with such force, that the arrow running into his eies, came out of the other side of his head, so that he fell downe dead to the ground. When the distressed knight sawe two of his enimies dead, he ran vpon the third with such force, as if he had but then beâˆ£gun the combat; but Felismenahelped him out of that trouble, by putting another arrow into her bow, the which transpiercing his armour, she left vnder his left pap, and so iustly smot his hart, that this knight also followed his two companions. When the Shepherds and the knight beheld what Felismena had done, and how at two shootes she had killed two such valiant knights, they were all in great woonâˆ£der. The knight therefore taking off his helmet, and comming vnto her saide. How am I able (faire Shepherdesse) to requite so great a benefite, and good turne, as I haue receiued at thy hands this day, but by acknowledging this debt for euer in my gratefull minde. When Felismena beheld the knights face, and knew him, her senâˆ£ces were so troubled, that being in such a traunce she could scarce speake, but comâˆ£ming to her-selfe againe, she answered him. Ah my Don Felix, this is not the first debt, wherein thou art bound vnto me. And I cannot beleeue, that thou wilt acâˆ£knowledge this (as thou saiest) no more then thou hast done greater then this beâˆ£fore. Beholde to what a time and ende my fortune and thy forgetnesse hath brought me, that she that was woont to be serued of thee in the citie with Tilt and Tourneyes, and honoured with many other things, whereby thou didst deceiue me, (or I suffered my selfe to be deceiued) doth nowe wander vppe and downe, exiled from her natiue countrey and libertie, for vsing thus thine owne. If this brings thee not into the knowledge of that which thou owest me, remember how one whole yeere I serued thee as thy page in the Princesse Cesarinas Court: and how I was a solicitor against my selfe, without discouering my selfe, or my thoughts vnto thee, but onley to procure thy remedie, and to helpe the greefe, which thine made thee feele. How many times did I get thee fauours from thy mistresse Celia to the great cost of my teares and greefes: all which account but small Don Felix in reâˆ£spect of those dangers (had they beene vnsufficient) wherein I would haue spent my life for redresse of thy paines, which thy iniurious loue affoorded thee. And vnlesse thou art weary of the great loue, that I haue borne thee, consider and weigh with thy selfe the strange effects, which the force of loue hath caused me to passe. I went out of my natiue countrey, and came to serue thee, to lament the ill that thou didâ€™st suffer, to take vpon me the iniuries and disgraces that I receiued therein; and to giue thee any content, I cared not to lead the most bitter and painefull life, that euer woman liued. In the habite of a tender and daintie Ladie I loued thee more then thou canst imagine, and in the habite of a base page I serued thee (a thing more conâˆ£trarie to my rest and reputation then I meane now to reherse) and yet now in the haâˆ£bite of a poore and simple Shepherdesse I came to do thee this small seruice. What remaines then more for me to doe, but to sacrifice my life to thy louelesse soule, if with the same yet, I could giue thee more content: and if in lieu therof thou wouldest but remember, how much I haue loued, & do yet loue thee: here hast thou thy sword in thy hand; let none therefore, but thy selfe reuenge the offence that I haue done
thee. When the Knight heard Felismenas words, and knew them all to be as true as he was disloyall, his hart by this strange & sudden accident recouered some force againe to see what great iniurie he had done her, so that the thought thereof, and the plenteous effusion of blood that issued out of his woundes, made him like a dead man fall downe in a swoune at faire Felismenas feete. Who with great care, and no lesse feare, laying his head in her lap, with showers of teares that rained from her eies, vpon the Knights pale visage, began thus to lament. What meanes this cruell Fortune? Is the periode of my life come iust with the last ende of my Don Felix his daies? Ah my Don Felix (the cause of all my paine) if the plenteous teares, which for thy sake I haue shed, are not sufficient: and these which I now distill vpon thy louely cheekes, too fewe to make thee come to thy selfe againe, what remedie shall this miserable soule haue to preuent, that this bitter ioy by seeing thee, turne not inâˆ£to occasion of vtter despaire. Ah my Don Felix, Awake my loue, if thou dost but sleepe, or beest in a traunce, although I would not woonder if thou dost not, since neâˆ£uer any thing that I could do, preuailed with thee to frame my least content. And in these and other lamentations was faire Felismena plunged, whom the Portugall Shepherdesses with their teares and poore supplies, endeuored to incourage, when on the sudden they saw a faire Nymph comming ouer the stony causey that lead the way into the Ilande, with a golden bottel in one hand, & a siluer one in the other, whom Felismena knowing by and by, saide vnto her. Ah Doria, could any come at this time to succour me, but thou faire Nymph? Come hither then, & thou shalt see the cause of al my troubles, the substance of my sighs, & the obiect of my thoughts, lying in the greatest danger of death that may be. In like occurrents (saide Doria) vertue and a good hart must take place. Recall it then (faire Felismena) and reuiue thy daunted spirits, trouble not thy selfe any more, for nowe is the ende of thy sorâˆ£rowes, and the beginning of thy contentment come. And speaking these wordes, she besprinkled his face with a certaine odoriferous water which she brought in the siluer bottle, whereby he came to his memorie againe, and then saide vnto him. If thou wilt recouer thy life, Sir Knight, and giue it her that hath passed such an ill one for thy sake, drinke of the water in this bottle: The which Don Felix taking in his hande, drunke a good draught, and resting vpon it a little, founde himselfe so whole of his wounds, which the three knights had giuen him, and of that, which the loue of Celia had made in his brest, that now he felt the paine no more, which either of them had caused in him, then if he had neuer had them. And in this sort he began to rekindle the old loue, that he bare to
Felismena, the which (he thought) was neuer more zealous then now. Whereupon sitting downe vpon the greene grasse, hee tooke his Lady and Shepherdesse by the hands, and kissing them manie times saide thus vnto her. How small account would I make of my life (my deerest Felismena) for cancelling that great bond, wherein (with more then life) I am for euer bound vnto thee: for since I enioy it by thy means, I thinke it no more then right, to restore thee that, which is thine owne. With what eies can I behold thy peerelesse beauty, which (though vnaduisedly) I knew not to be such, yet how dare I (for that which I owe thee) cast them in any other part? What wordes are sufficient to excuse the faults, that I haue committed against thy faith, and firmest loue, and loyaltie? Wretâˆ£ched and accursed for euer shall I be, if thy condition and clemencie be not encliâˆ£ned to my fauour, and pardon: for no satisfaction can suffice for so great an offence, nor reason to excuse me for that, which thou hast to forget me. Truth it is, that I loued Celiawell, and forgot thee, but not in such sort that thy wisedome and beauâˆ£tie
did euer slide out of my minde. And the best is, that I knowe not wherein to put this fault, that may be so iustly attributed to me; for if I will impute it to the yoong age that I was then in, since I had it to loue thee, I shoulde not haue wanted it to haue beene firme in the faith that I owed thee. If to Celias beautie, it is cleere, that thine did farre excell hers and all the worlds besides. If to the change of time, this shoulde haue beene the touchstone which should haue shewed the force and verâˆ£tue of my firmenes. If to iniurious and trayterous absence, it serues as little for my excuse, since the desire of seeing thee should not haue been absent from supporting thy image in my memorie. Behold then Felismena, what assured trust I put in thy goodnes, that (without any other meanes) I dare put before thee, the small reason thou hast to pardone me. But what shall I doe to purchase pardon at thy gracious hands, or after thou hast pardoned me, to beleeue, that thou art satisfied: for one thing greeues me more then any thing else in the world, and this it is. That, though the loue which thou hast borne me, and wherewith thou dost yet blesse me, is an ocâˆ£casion (perhaps) to make thee forgiue me, and forget so many faults: yet I shall neâˆ£uer lift vp mine eies to behold thee, but that euerie iniurie, which I haue done thee, will be worse then a mortal incision in my guiltie hart. The Shepherdesse Felismena, who saw Don Felix so penitent for his passed misdeedes, and so affectionately reâˆ£turned to his first thoughts, with many teares told him, that she did pardon him, biâˆ£cause the loue, that she had euer borne him, would suffer her to do no lesse: which if she had not thought to do, she would neuer haue taken so great paines and so many wearie iourneyes to seeke him out, and many other things, wherewith Don Felix was confirmed in his former loue. Whereupon the faire Nymph Doria came then to the Knight, and after many louing words and courteous offers in the Ladie Felicias behalfe passed betweene them, she requested him and faire Felismena to goe with her to Dianas Temple, where the sage Ladie (with great desire to see them) was atâˆ£tending their comming. Don Felix agreed thereunto, and taking their leaue of the Portugall Shepherdesses (who wondered not a little to see what had happened) and of the woefull Shepherd
Danteus, mounting vpon the horses of the dead Knights that were slaine in the late combate, they went on their waie. And as they were going, Felismena told Don Felix with great ioy, what she had past since she had last seene him, which made him to maruell verie much, and especially at the death of the three Sauages, and at the Palace of the sage Ladie Felicia, and successe of the Shepâˆ£herds and Shepherdesses, and at euerie thing else contained in this booke. And Don Felix wondred not a little to vnderstand how his Ladie Felismena had serued him so many daies as his page, and that he was so far gon out of his wits and memorie, that he knew her not all that while. And his ioy on the other side, to see that his Ladie loued him so well, was so great, that by no meanes he could hide it. Thus therefore riding on their way, they came to Dianas Temple, where the sage Felicia was looking for their comming: and likewise the Shepherd Arsileus, and Belisa, Syluanus, and Selâˆ£uagia, who were now come thither not many daies before. They were welcoÌ„med on euerie side, & with great ioy intertained; but faire Felismena especially, who for hir rare vertues and singular beautie was greatly honored of them all. There they were all married with great ioy, feasts, and triumphes, which were made by all the goodly Nymphes, and by the sage and noble Ladie Felicia; the which Syrenus with his comming augmented not a little, of whom, & of the Portugall Shepherds Danteus, and Duarda, more shall be spoken in the second part of this booke.
The end of the seauen Bookes of Diana of
George of Montemayor.