Book I.

    Book II.

    Book III.

    Book IV.

    Book V.

    Book VI.

Translated by John Oelsner and A. B. Welford

La Galatea is Miguel de Cervantes’ first novel, which was initially published in 1585. Presenting an allegory of pastoral characters, the novel is an examination of love with veiled allusions to contemporary literary figures. Though the novel enjoyed some success, it was not reprinted in the author’s lifetime and a promised sequel, referred to by Cervantes on more than one occasion, was never published and presumably never written.

Composed as an imitation of the Diana by the Portuguese novelist Jorge de Montemayor, La Galatea appears to have been intended as a structure to contain a rich collection of poems in the old Spanish and Italian styles. The Diana helped launch a vogue in the sixteenth century for stories about shepherds and shepherdesses and their experiences in love. As well as Cervantes, one of Montemayor’s most famous readers was William Shakespeare, who borrowed the Proteus-Julia-Sylvia plot of The Two Gentlemen of Verona from the Diana.

In La Galatea, the framing story is merely a thread that holds the many poems together and they establish Cervantes’ claim to rank among the most eminent poets of his contemporary Spanish literature. Throughout the text Cervantes composes in all the various kinds of syllabic measure used in his time, whilst occasionally adopting the use of the old dactylic stanza. Among the vast range of verses, the song of Caliope, in the last book of the novel particularly stands out due to its metrical dexterity and imaginative use of imagery. Other beautiful poems in the La Galatea are a few in the cancion style, some of which are iambics, and some in trochaic or Old Spanish verse.

The main characters of La Galatea are Elicio and Erastro, who are best friends that both fall in love with the beautiful shepherdess Galatea. The friends reveal to each other their desire for Galatea, but agree not to let it come between their friendship. They then set off on a journey with Galatea and her friend Florisa to the wedding of Daranio and Silveria, along which, in the pastoral tradition, they encounter other characters that tell their own stories and often join the travelling group.

The vast majority of the characters in the novel are involved primarily in minor story digressions. One such tale concerns Lisandro, who loses his love, Leonida, when Crisalvo mistakenly kills her instead of his former love Silvia. Lisandro avenges Leonida’s death in the presence of the main party. Astor, under the pseudonym Silerio, feigns attraction for Nísida’s sister Blanca in order to avoid the scorn of Nísida’s lover Timbrio, who dies following the confusion present after a successful duel against his rival Pransiles. Astor’s grief thrusts him into hermitage, waiting to hear from Nísida. Arsindo holds a poetry competition betwixt Francenio y Lauso, which is judged by Tirsi and Damón, lauded by many within the novel as some of the most famous poets of Spain, and is determined to have no single winner. The wedding has controversy as Mireno is deeply in love with Silveria, yet Daranio’s wealth guaranteed him the hand of Silveria.





Your Lordship’s worth has prevailed with me so much as to take away from me the fear I might rightly feel in venturing to offer you these first-fruits of my poor genius. Moreover, considering that your August Lordship came to Spain not only to illumine her best Universities, but also to be the pole-star by which those who profess any real science (especially those who practise that of poetry) may direct their course, I have not wished to lose the opportunity of following this guidance, since I know that in it and by it all find a safe haven and a favourable reception. May your Lordship be gracious to my desire, which I send in advance to give some kind of being to this my small service; and if I do not deserve it for this, I may at least deserve it for having followed for several years the conquering banners of that Sun of warfare whom but yesterday Heaven took from before our eyes, but not from the remembrance of those who strive to keep the remembrance of things worthy of it, I mean your Lordship’s most excellent father. Adding to this the feeling of reverence produced in my mind by the things that I, as in prophecy, have often heard Cardinal de Acquaviva tell of your Lordship when I was his chamberlain at Rome; which now are seen fulfilled, not only by me, but by all the world that delights in your Lordship’s virtue, Christian piety, munificence, and goodness, whereby you give proof every day of the noble and illustrious race from which you descend; which vies in antiquity with the early times and leaders of Rome’s greatness, and in virtues and heroic works with equal virtue and more exalted deeds, as is proved to us by a thousand true histories, full of the renowned exploits of the trunk and branches of the royal house of Colonna, beneath whose power and position I now place myself to shield myself against the murmurers who forgive nothing; though, if your Lordship forgive this my boldness, I shall have naught to fear, nor more to desire, save that our Lord may keep your Lordship’s most illustrious person with the increase of dignity and position that we your servants all desire.

Most Illustrious Lord,

Your humblest servant kisses your Lordship’s hands,




The occupation of writing eclogues, at a time when poetry is generally regarded with such little favour, will not, I fancy, be counted as so praiseworthy a pursuit, but that it may be necessary especially to justify it to those who, following the varying tastes of their natural inclination, esteem every taste differing from it as time and labour lost. But since it concerns no man to justify himself to intellects that shut themselves up within bounds so narrow, I desire only to reply to those who, being free from passion, are moved, with greater reason, not to admit any varieties of popular poetry, believing that those who deal with it in this age are moved to publish their writings on slight consideration, carried away by the force which passion for their own compositions is wont to have on the authors. So far as this is concerned, I can urge for my part the inclination I have always had for poetry, and my years, which, having scarcely passed the bounds of youth, seem to permit pursuits of the kind.

Besides, it cannot be denied that studies in this art (in former times so highly esteemed and rightly) carry with them no inconsiderable advantages: such as enriching the poet (as regards his native tongue); and acquiring a mastery over the tricks of eloquence comprised in it, for enterprises that are loftier and of greater import; and opening a way so that the narrow souls that wish the copiousness of the Castilian tongue to be checked by the conciseness of the ancient speech, may, in imitation of him, understand that it offers a field open, easy, and spacious, which they can freely traverse with ease and sweetness, with gravity and eloquence, discovering the variety of acute, subtle, weighty, and elevated thoughts, which, such is the fertility of Spanish men of genius, Heaven’s favourable influence has produced with such profit in different parts, and every hour is producing in this happy age of ours, whereof I can be a sure witness, for I know some men who, with justice and without the impediment I suffer, could safely cover so dangerous a course.

But so common and so diverse are men’s difficulties, and so various their aims and actions, that some, in desire of glory, venture, others, in fear of disgrace, do not dare, to publish that which, once disclosed, must needs endure the uncertain, and well-nigh always mistaken, judgment of the people. I have given proof of boldness in publishing this book, not because I have any reason to be confident, but because I could not determine which of these two difficulties was the greater: whether that of the man who, wishing to communicate too soon the talent he has received from Heaven, lightly ventures to offer the fruits of his genius to his country and friends, or that of him who, from pure scrupulousness, sloth, or dilatoriness, never quite contented with what he does and imagines, counting as perfect only that which he does not attain, never makes up his mind to disclose and communicate his writings. Hence, just as the daring and confidence of the one might be condemned, by reason of the excessive license which accompanies security; so, too, the mistrust and tardiness of the other is vicious, since late or never does he by the fruits of his intellect and study benefit those who expect and desire such aids and examples, to make progress in their pursuits. Shunning these two difficulties, I have not published this book before now, nor yet did I desire to keep it back longer for myself alone, seeing that my intellect composed it for more than for my pleasure alone, I know well that what is usually condemned is that no one excels in point of the style which ought to be maintained in it, for the prince of Latin poetry was blamed for having reached a higher, level in some of his eclogues more than in others; and so I shall not have much fear that any one may condemn me for having mingled philosophical discourses with some loving discourses of shepherds, who rarely rise beyond treating of things of the field, and that with their wonted simplicity. But when it is observed (as is done several times in the course of the work) that many of the disguised shepherds in it were shepherds only in dress, this objection falls to the ground. The remaining objections that might be raised as regards the invention and ordering may be palliated by the fixed intention of him who reads, if he will do so with discretion, and by the wish of the author, which was to please, doing in this what he could and actually did, achieve; for even though the work in this part do not correspond to his desire, he offers others, yet to come, of better taste and greater art.



What time thy neck and shoulders thou didst place,

Submissive, ‘neath the Saracenic yoke,

And didst uphold, with constancy unbroke

Amidst thy bonds, thy faith in God’s own grace,

Heaven rejoiced, but earth was for a space,

Without thee, well-nigh widowed: desolate,

Filled with lament and sadness for thy state,

Was left the Muses’ royal dwelling-place.

But since that, from amidst the heathen host,

Which kept thee close, thy manly soul and tongue

Thou didst unto thy native land restore,

Heaven itself of thy bright worth makes boast,

The world greets thy return with happy song,

And the lost Muses Spain receives once more.



In thee the sovran gods their mighty power,

Mighty Cervantes, to the world declared.

Nature, the first of all, for thee prepared

Of her immortal gifts a lavish store:

Jove did his lightning on his servant pour,

The living word that moves the rocky wall:

That thou in purity of style mightst all

With ease excel, Diana gave her dower:

Mercury taught thee histories to weave:

The strength Mars gave thee that doth nerve thine arm:

Cupid and Venus all their loves bestowed:

’Twas from Apollo that thou didst receive

Concerted song: from the Nine Sisters charm

And wisdom: shepherds from the woodland god.



Out from the sea they issue and return

Unto its bosom when their course is o’er,

As to the All-Mother they return once more,

The children who have left her long forlorn.

She is not lesser made whene’er they go,

Nor prouder when their presence they restore;

For she remaineth whole from shore to shore,

And with her waters aye her pools o’erflow.

Thou art the sea, oh Galatea fair!

The rivers are thy praises, the reward

Whereby thou winnest immortality.

The more thou givest to us, thou canst spare

The more; though all before thy feet have poured

Their tribute, yet thou canst not greater be.

Book I.

What time unto my sad and mournful cry,

Unto the ill-tuned music of my lyre,

The hill and mead, the plain and stream reply

In bitter echo of my vain desire,

Then take thou, wind, that heedless hastenest by,

The plaints which from my breast, chilled with love’s fire,

Issue in my despite, asking in vain

Succour from stream and hill, from mead and plain.

The stream is swollen by the tears which flow

Forth from my wearied eyes: the flowery mead

Blooms with the brambles and the thorns that grow

Into my soul: the lofty hill doth heed

Nowise my sorrows; and the plain below

Of hearing is awearied: in my need

No solace, e’er so small, to assuage my ill

I find in stream or plain, in mead or hill.

I thought the fire that sets the heart aflame,

Lit by the wingèd boy, the cunning net,

Within whose mesh he doth the gods entame,

The strangling noose, the arrow he doth whet

In frenzied wrath, would wound the peerless dame

As me they wound, who am her slave; and yet

No noose nor fire hath power against a heart

That is of marble made, nor net nor dart.

But lo, ’tis I who burn within the blaze,

I waste away: before the net unseen

I tremble not: my neck I humbly place

Within the noose; and of his arrow keen

I have no fear: thus to this last disgrace

Have I been brought — so great my fall has been

That for my glory and my heart’s desire

The dart and net I count, the noose and fire.

Thus on the banks of the Tagus sang Elicio, a shepherd on whom nature had lavished as many gifts as fortune and love had withheld; though the course of time, that consumes and renews man’s handiwork, had brought him to such a pass, that he counted for happiness the endless misfortunes in which he had found himself, and in which his desire had placed him, for the incomparable beauty of the peerless Galatea, a shepherdess born on those same banks. Although brought up in pastoral and rustic exercises, yet was she of so lofty and excellent an understanding, that gentle ladies, nurtured in royal palaces, and accustomed to the refined manners of the Court, counted themselves happy to approach her in discretion as in beauty, by reason of the many noble gifts with which Heaven had adorned Galatea. She was loved and desired with earnest passion by many shepherds and herdsmen, who tended their herds by the banks of the Tagus; amongst whom the gay Elicio made bold to love her, with a love as pure and honest, as the virtue and modesty of Galatea allowed. It must not be thought of Galatea that she despised Elicio, still less that she loved him: for, at times, almost persuaded, as it were, and overcome by the many services of Elicio, she with some modest favour would raise him to heaven; and, at other times, without taking account of this, she would disdain him in such wise, that the love-sick shepherd scarce knew his lot. The excellencies and virtues of Elicio were not to be despised, nor were the beauty, grace, and goodness of Galatea not to be loved. On the one hand, Galatea did not wholly reject Elicio; on the other, Elicio could not, nor ought he to, nor did he wish to, forget Galatea. It seemed to Galatea, that since Elicio loved her with such regard to her honour, it would be too great an ingratitude not to reward his modest thoughts with some modest favour. Elicio fancied that since Galatea did not disdain his services, his desires would have a happy issue; and, whenever these fancies revived his hope, he found himself so happy and emboldened, that a thousand times he wished to discover to Galatea what he kept concealed with so much difficulty. But Galatea’s discretion well knew from the movements of his face what Elicio had in his mind; and she gave such an expression to hers that the words of the love-sick shepherd froze in his mouth, and he rested content with the mere pleasure of that first step: for it seemed to him that he was wronging Galatea’s modesty in treating of things that might in some way have the semblance of not being so modest, that modesty itself might take their form. With these up and downs the shepherd passed his life so miserably that, at times, he would have counted as gain the evil of losing her, if only he might not feel the pain which it caused him not to win her. And so one day, having set himself to consider his varied thoughts, in the midst of a delightful meadow, invited by the solitude and by the murmur of a delightful streamlet that ran through the plain, he took from his wallet a polished rebeck (singing to the sound of which he was wont to communicate his plaints to Heaven), and with a voice of exceeding beauty sang the following verses:

Amorous fancy, gently ride

On the breeze if thou wouldst show

That I only am thy guide,

Lest disdain should bring thee low,

Or contentment fill with pride.

Do thou choose a mean, if fate

Grants thee choice amidst thy plight,

Neither seek to flee delight

Nor yet strive to bar the gate

‘Gainst the woe of Love’s dark night.

If it be thy wish that I

Of my life the course should run,

Take it not in wrath: on high

Raise it not, where hope is none,

Whence it can but fall to die.

If presumption lead astray,

And so lofty be thine aim,

This at last thy course will stay: —

Either thou wilt come to shame,

Or my heart thy debts will pay.

Born therein, thy sinning lay

In thy birth; the guilt was thine,

Yet for thee the heart must pay.

If to keep thee I design,

’Tis in vain, thou fleest away.

If thou stayest not thy flight,

Wherewith thou dost mount the skies

(Should but fate thy fortunes blight)

Thou wilt plunge in deep abyss

Thy repose and my delight.

Who to fate, thou mayst declare,

Yields himself, does well: his spirit,

Spurring on to do and dare,

Not as folly but as merit

Will be counted everywhere.

To aspire so loftily,

Yearning thus to reach the goal,

Peerless glory ’tis to thee, —

All the more when heart and soul

Do with the design agree.

Thee to undeceive I seek,

For I understand the meaning:

’Tis the humble and the meek,

Rather than the overweening,

Who of Love’s delights can speak.

Greater beauty cannot be

Than the beauty thou desirest;

Thy excuse I fail to see,

How it comes that thou aspirest

Where is no equality.

Fancy, if it hath desire

Something raised on high to view,

Looks and straightway doth retire,

So that none may deem it true

That the gaze doth thus aspire.

How much more doth Love arise

If with confidence united

Whence it draws its destinies.

But if once its hope be blighted,

Fading like a cloud it dies.

Thou who lookest from afar

On the goal for which thou sighest,

Hopeless, yet unto thy star

True, — if on the way thou diest,

Diest knowing not thy care.

Naught there is that thou canst gain,

For, amidst this amorous strife,

Where the cause none may attain,

Dying is but honoured life,

And its chiefest glory pain.

The enamoured Elicio would not so soon have ended his agreeable song, had there not sounded on his right hand the voice of Erastro, who with his herd of goats was coming towards the place where he was. Erastro was a rustic herdsman; yet his rustic lot, out in the woods, did not so far prevail with him as to forbid that Gentle Love should take entire possession of his manly breast, making him love more than his life the beauteous Galatea, to whom he did declare his plaints whenever occasion presented itself to him. And though rustic, he was, like a true lover, so discreet in things of love, that whenever he discoursed thereon, it seemed that Love himself revealed them to him, and by his tongue uttered them; yet withal (although they were heard by Galatea), they were held of such account as things of jest are held. To Elicio the rivalry of Erastro did not give pain, for he understood from the mind of Galatea that it inclined her to loftier things — rather did he have pity and envy for Erastro: pity in seeing that he did indeed love, and that in a quarter where it was impossible to gather the fruit of his desires; envy in that it seemed to him that perhaps his understanding was not such as to give room for his soul to feel the flouts or favours of Galatea in such a way that either the latter should overwhelm him, or the former drive him mad.

Erastro came accompanied by his mastiffs, the faithful guardians of the simple sheep, which under their protection were safe from the carnivorous teeth of the hungry wolves; he made sport with them, and called them by their names, giving to each the title that its disposition and spirit deserved. One he would call Lion, another Hawk, one Sturdy and another Spot; and they, as if they were endowed with understanding, came up to him and, by the movement of their heads, expressed the pleasure which they felt at his pleasure. In such wise came Erastro to where he was amiably received by Elicio, and even asked, allowing that he had not determined to spend the warm season of the sultry noon-tide in any other place, since that place in which they were was so fitted for it, whether it would be irksome to him to spend it in his company.

‘With no one,’ replied Erastro, ‘could I pass it better than with you, Elicio, unless indeed it were with her who is as stubborn to my entreaties as she has proved herself a very oak to your unending plaints.’

Straightway the twain sat them down on the close-cropped grass, allowing the herd to wander at will, blunting, with teeth that chew the cud, the tender little shoots of the grassy plain.

And as Erastro by many plain tokens knew perfectly well that Elicio loved Galatea, and that the merit of Elicio was of greater carat than his own, in token that he recognised this truth, in the midst of his converse, among other discourses addressed to him the following:

‘I know not, gay and enamoured Elicio, if the love I have for Galatea has been the cause of giving you pain, and if it has, you must pardon me, for I never thought to offend you, nor of Galatea did I seek aught save to serve her. May evil madness or cruel rot consume and destroy my frisky kids and my tender lambkins! when they leave the teats of their dear mothers, may they not find in the green meadow aught to sustain them save bitter colocynth and poisonous oleander, if I have not striven a thousand times to put her from my memory, and if I have not gone as many times more to the leeches and priests of the place, that they might give me a cure for the anguish I suffer on her account! Some of them bid me take all kinds of love-potions, others tell me to commend myself to God, who cures everything, or that it is all madness. Suffer me, good Elicio, to love her, for you can be sure that if you, with your talents and admirable graces and discourses, do not soften her, I shall scarce be able, with my simple ways, to move her to pity.

This favour I beg of you, by what I am indebted to your deserving: for, even if you do not grant it me, it would be as impossible to cease loving her, as to cause these waters to cease from giving moisture, or the sun with his combed tresses from giving us light.’

Elicio could not refrain from laughing at Erastro’s discourse, and at the courtesy with which he begged of him permission to love Galatea; and thus he replied to him: ‘It does not pain me indeed, Erastro, that you love Galatea; it pains me much to know from her disposition, that your truthful discourses and sincere words will be of little avail with her. May God give you as fair success in your desires as the sincerity of your thoughts deserve! and henceforward cease not on my account to love Galatea; for I am not of so mean a disposition that, if fortune fail me, I rejoice that others should not attain her. But I pray you, by what you owe to the good-will I show you, that you should not deny me your converse and friendship, since of mine you can be as sure as I have declared to you. Let our herds go united, since our thoughts go in unison. You to the sound of your pipe will declare the pleasure or the pain which Galatea’s joyous or sorrowful countenance shall cause you, I to the sound of my rebeck, in the silence of the stilly night, or in the heat of the glowing noon-tide, in the cool shade of the green trees by which this bank of ours is made so fair, will help you to carry the heavy load of your trouble, proclaiming mine to Heaven.

And in token of our good intent and true friendship, while the shadows of these trees grow longer, and the sun is declining towards the west, let us tune our instruments and make a beginning of the practice which henceforth we are to follow.’

Erastro did not need asking, but with signs of supreme content at seeing himself in such friendship with Elicio, drew forth his pipe, and Elicio his rebeck: and, one beginning, and the other replying, they sang what follows:

ELICIO. Ungrateful Love, thy servant thou didst place

In sweet, caressing, peaceful bonds the day

When first I saw the golden hair and face

Of that fair sun that dimmed the sun’s own ray.

Straightway I came to drink with eager gaze

Love’s cruel bliss, which, like a serpent, lay

Within the ruddy tresses; for ’twas there

I saw the sun, amid the clustered hair.

ERASTRO. I stood amazed, and filled with rapturous flame,

Voiceless was I like to a flinty rock,

When Galatea’s grace and beauty came,

In all their loveliness my sight to mock.

On my left side stood Love (ah bitter shame!),

My love-lorn breast sustained his arrow’s shock,

A gate was opened in me by his dart

Whereby the maid might come and steal my heart.

ELICIO. His breast, who, wretched, follows in thy train,

Love, by what miracle dost open wide?

What glory from the wound doth he attain,

The wound that thou didst deal him in his side?

Whence from the loss thou sendest, comes the gain?

And whence the joyous life when thou hast died?

The soul that hath endured these at thine hand

The cause, but not the ways can understand.

ERASTRO. SO many faces in a broken glass

Are seen not, nor in glass formed with such art,

That if one looks therein, one sees to pass

A multitude portrayed in every part,

As are the cares on cares that spring, alas!

From that cruel care, which from my shattered heart

Goes not away, though conqueror in the strife,

Until it doth depart along with life.

ELICIO. The white snow of her cheek, the crimson rose

Which neither summer wastes nor winter’s cold,

The sun’s twain morning-stars, wherein repose

Soft Love doth find, the spot where time untold

Shall guard the voice, strong to subdue our woes,

As did hell’s furies Orpheus’ voice of old,

The many charms I saw, though blind I ween,

Have made me tinder for the fire unseen.

ERASTRO. Twain apples rosy-red no tree can bear

As those in Galatea’s cheeks displayed;

Iris herself could boast no bow so fair

As the twain archèd eye-brows of the maid,

Two rays of light, two threads, beyond compare,

Of pearls ‘twixt scarlet: — and if more be said —

The peerless graces which in her I find

A cloud have made me to the amorous wind.

ELICIO. I burn nor am consumed, I live and die,

Far from myself am I and yet so near,

I sink to hell, I rise to Heaven on high,

One thing alone I hope, and yet I fear.

Gentle, yet fierce — for what I loathe I sigh,

To love thee racks my soul with torment drear,

Thus step by step already am I come,

Drawn in these different ways to my last doom.

ERASTRO. Elicio, mark! how gladly would I pour

At Galatea’s feet all that she hath left

To me in life, if but she would restore

The heart and soul whereof I am bereft.

My herd I would bestow, and furthermore

My Spot and Hawk, if she would but the theft

Forego: but ah! the goddess on her throne

More than aught else would have my soul alone.

ELICIO. Erastro, mark! if once the heart on high

Be placed by fate, or chance, or what you will,

To pluck it down ‘twere foolishness to try

By force, or art, or any human skill.

Rejoice that she is blessed; though thou canst die

In truth without her, ’tis my thought that still

No life on earth can be more full of bliss

Than death for such a noble cause as this.

Erastro was already setting himself to follow on in his song when they perceived, by a thickly wooded hillock which was at their back, no slight clamour and sound; and, both rising to their feet to see what it was, they saw a shepherd descending from the mountain, running at the greatest speed in the world, with a naked knife in his hand, and the hue of his countenance changed, and, coming after him, another shepherd swift of foot, who in a few strides overtook the first, and seizing him by the collar of his skin-coat, raised his arm in the air as high as he could, and a sharp dagger which he carried unsheathed, and buried it twice in his body, saying:

‘Receive, oh ill-starred Leonida, the life of this traitor, which I offer up in vengeance of your death.’

This happened with such rapidity that Elicio and Erastro had not the opportunity to stop him; for they came up at the time when the stricken shepherd was already giving out his last breath, struggling to utter these few ill-formed words:

‘Would that you had allowed me, Lisandro, to satisfy Heaven with a longer repentance for the wrong I did you, and had then taken from me the life which, for the reason I have said, now departs from this flesh ill-content.’

And without being able to say more he closed his eyes in everlasting night. By these words Elicio and Erastro fancied that for no small cause had the other shepherd inflicted on him so cruel and violent a death. And the better to inform themselves of the whole occurrence, they would fain have inquired of the murderous shepherd; but he, with retreating step, leaving the shepherd dead and the two wondering, turned to go back into the hillock beyond. And when Elicio desired to follow him, and to learn from him what he’ wished, they saw him come again out of the wood, and, being a good space distant from them, in a loud voice he said to them:

‘Pardon me, gentle shepherds, if I have not been gentle in having wrought in your presence that which you have seen, for the just and mortal rage which I had conceived against that traitor did not permit a more moderate course on my part.

What I counsel you is, that, if you would not anger the Deity that dwells in high Heaven, you should not offer the last rites and accustomed prayers for the traitorous soul of that body which you have before you, nor give it burial, if here in your country it is not the custom to give it to traitors.’

And, saying this, he turned with all speed to go into the forest, with so much haste as to take away from Elicio the hope of overtaking him, even though he followed him. And so the twain with tender hearts turned to perform the pious office, and to give burial, as best they could, to the wretched body, which had so suddenly ended the course of its short days.

Erastro went to his hut which was not far away, and, bringing sufficient implements, made a grave at the very spot where the body was; and, bidding it the last farewell, they placed it therein.

Not without compassion for his hapless lot they returned to their herds, and, collecting them again with some haste (for the sun was already entering with all speed by the gates of the west), betook themselves to their accustomed shelters, where neither the comfort they felt therein, nor the little that his cares allowed him, could keep Elicio from wondering what causes had moved the two shepherds to come to so desperate a pass; and already he regretted that he had not followed the murderous shepherd, and learnt from him, if possible, what he wished.

With this thought, and with the many that his love caused in him, after leaving his herd in a place of safety, he went out from his hut, as was his wont at other times, and by the light of the beauteous Diana, who showed herself resplendent in the sky, he entered the denseness of a dense wood beyond, seeking some solitary spot where, in the silence of the night, with greater peace he might give rein to his amorous fancies: for it is an assured fact that, to sad, fanciful hearts, there is no greater joy than solitude, the awakener of sad or happy memories. And thus going little by little, enjoying a gentle breeze which blew against his face, full of most delicate scents, which from the scented flowers wherewith the green earth was heaped it gently stole, as it passed through them wrapped in the delicate air, he heard a voice as of one who grievously complained, and checking for a while his breath within him, so that the sound might not hinder him from hearing what it was, he perceived that from some thickset bramble bushes, a little way off, the mournful voice proceeded, and though interrupted by endless sighs, he understood that it uttered these sad words:

‘Cowardly and craven arm, mortal enemy of that which you owe to yourself, look, naught now remains on which to take vengeance, save yourself! What does it profit you to prolong the life I hold in so great abhorrence? If you think that our ill is of those that time is wont to heal, you live deceived, for there is nothing more remote from cure than our misfortune: seeing that she who might have made mine pleasant, had a life so short that, in the green years of her joyous youth, she offered it to the blood-thirsty knife, that it might take it from her, through the treason of the wicked Carino. He to-day, by losing his own, will have in part appeased that blessed soul of Leonida, if, in the heavenly region where she dwells, she can cherish desire for any vengeance. Ah, Carino, Carino! I beseech the high Heavens, if by them just prayers are heard, not to heed the plea, if any you offer, for the treachery you have done me, and to suffer that your body may lack burial, even as your soul lacked mercy. And you, fair and hapless Leonida, receive, in token of the love I bore you in life, the tears I shed at your death; and put it not down to lack of feeling that I do not end my life, with all I feel at your death: for a grief that should end so soon would be a scant return for what I ought and wish to feel. You will see, if you take account of things here, how this wretched body will one day be consumed by grief, little by little, for its greater grief and suffering: even as powder, moist and kindled, which, without making a noise, or raising a flame on high, is consumed in itself, without leaving of itself aught save the traces of consumed ashes. It grieves me as much as it can grieve me, oh soul of my soul, seeing that I could not enjoy you in life, that in death I cannot perform for you the last rites and honours which befitted your goodness and virtue; but I promise to you, and swear, for the short time — and it will be very short — that this impassioned soul of mine shall rule the heavy burden of this wretched body, and my weary voice have breath to form it, not to treat aught else in my sad and bitter songs save your praises and deserts.’

At this point the voice ceased, from the sound of which Elicio clearly perceived that it was the murderous shepherd; whereat he was much rejoiced, because it seemed to him that he was in a position to learn from him what he desired. And, wishing to approach more closely, he needs must stop again, for it seemed to him that the shepherd was tuning a rebeck, and he wished first to hear if he should say anything to its sound. And he did not wait long before he heard him, with gentle and tuneful voice, singing after this wise:

Lisandro. Blest soul, that from the veil

Of human life below

Free to the realms above didst, deathless, wing,

Leaving as in a jail

Of misery and woe

This life of mine which yet to thee did cling!

The bright light of the spring,

When thou art gone is dead,

And beaten to the ground

The hope I thought to found

On that firm seat where joy its radiance shed.

Alas! when thou wert gone,

My life died too: naught lived save grief alone.

Death claimed thee for his prey,

He revelled in his prize,

Thy loveliness beyond compare he marred;

He came to take away

The light of these mine eyes

Which gazed on thee and did their riches hoard.

Swiftly beneath his sword,

Like wax in summer’s sun

Or cloud before the wind,

The fancies of my mind

Which sprang from glorious Love have been undone.

The stone above thy tomb

Shuts in my fortune and declares my doom.

How could thy brother speed

His cruel, ruthless hand

In hot revengeful purpose ‘gainst thy heart?

How came the wicked deed

To tear thee from the land

And set thee from thy mortal veil apart?

Why sought he with his dart

Two lovers thus to sever?

Our love had had no end,

Our pathway would we wend

In holy wedlock hand in hand for ever.

Command why didst thou give,

Cruel, scornful hand! that dying I should live?

My hapless soul shall spend

The days, the months, the years,

In sad laments that ne’er shall reach their close.

‘Midst joys that have no end

Thy soul shall know no fears

Of stubborn time — forgot for aye thy woes;

Secure in thy repose,

The bliss thou shalt behold

That thy good life hath won

Which ne’er shall be undone:

Him that so loved thee in remembrance hold,

If unto thee be given

To keep remembrance of the earth in Heaven.

Blest, lovely soul above!

How foolish have I been

To ask that thou shouldst mind thee of thy swain;

Who gave thee all his love.

Eternally, I ween,

Shall I, if thou art kind, thus feel my pain.

‘Twere better for my gain

That I should be forgot,

That woe should waste away

The life that yet doth stay,

That I should perish ‘neath my cruel lot,

Since in my bitter grief

Death’s ill I count not ill, but sweet relief.

Amidst the holy choir,

Amongst the sainted dead,

Dear soul! enjoy the wealth of Heaven’s delight,

That fears nor time nor fire;

The mercies that are shed

On all who flee not from the path of right.

I hope to reach that height,

To dwell with thee in bliss,

Amidst eternal spring,

If to thy steps I cling

And know no dread nor yet the pathway miss.

Oh lead me to this goal!

For such a deed as this befits thy soul.

And then, blest souls that dwell in Heaven, behold

The good that I desire,

Enlarge the wings of this my good desire.

Here ceased the voice, but not the sighs of the hapless swain who had sung, and both served to increase in Elicio the desire to know who he was. And bursting through the thorny brambles so as to reach more quickly the spot whence the voice proceeded, he came to a little meadow which, in the fashion of a theatre, was girt all round with very dense and tangled shrubs; and there he saw a shepherd who was standing in an attitude of great vigour, with his right foot advanced and his left behind, his right arm raised in the manner of one hoping to make a mighty throw. And such was the truth, for at the noise which Elicio had made in bursting through the bushes, he, thinking it was some wild beast (against which the woodland shepherds were forced to defend themselves), had placed himself in a position to hurl at him a weighty stone he was holding in his hand. Elicio, perceiving his intent by his posture, before he could accomplish it, said to him: ‘Calm your bosom, hapless shepherd, for he who comes hither, brings a bosom ready for all you might ask of it; desire to learn your fortune has made him break in upon your tears, and disturb the solace which might attend upon you in solitude.’

With these gentle and courteous words of Elicio the shepherd was calmed, and with no less gentleness replied to him, saying:

‘I gratefully acknowledge your kind offer, whoever you be, courteous shepherd; but, as for fortune, if you desire to learn mine who never had any, you will scarce be able to have your wish.’

‘You speak true,’ answered Elicio, ‘since from the words and plaints I this night have heard from you, you clearly show the little or none that you have. But you will no less satisfy my desire by telling me your troubles than by making known to me your joys. May fortune give you these in what you desire, so that you do not deny me what I beg of you, if indeed your not knowing me do not prevent it; although I would have you know, so as to reassure and move you, that I have not a soul so happy as not to feel as much as it should the miseries you would recount to me. This I tell you, for I know that nothing is more wasted, nay thrown away, than for an unhappy man to recount his woes to one whose heart is brimful with joys.’

‘Your kindly words,’ answered the shepherd, ‘compel me to satisfy you in what you ask me, not only that you may not fancy that from a mean and craven soul spring the complaints and lamentations you say you have heard from me, but also that you may realise that the feeling I show is but small as compared with the cause I have for showing it.’

Elicio thanked him heartily, and after some more courteous words had passed between the two, Elicio giving proof that he was a true friend of the woodland shepherd, the latter, recognising that they were not feigned promises, granted in the end what Elicio asked. The twain sate them down on the green grass, covered with the splendour of the fair Diana, who could that night rival her brother in brightness, and the woodland shepherd, with tokens of a tender grief, began to speak in this wise:

‘On the banks of the Betis, a stream exceeding rich in waters, which enriches great Vandalia, was born Lisandro (for that is my luckless name), and of parents so noble that I would to Almighty God I had been begotten in a lowlier station; for ofttimes nobility of lineage lends wings and strength to the soul to raise the eyes to where a humble lot would never dare to raise them, and from such boldness calamities are often wont to spring such as you shall hear from me, if with attention you will listen to me. In my village was also born a shepherdess, whose name was Leonida, the sum of all the beauty which, as I fancy, could be found in a great part of the world, — born of parents no less noble and wealthy than her beauty and virtue deserved.

Whence it came to pass that, the parents of both being among the chief people of the place, and the rule and government of the village being vested in them, envy, the deadly enemy of a peaceful life, brought about strife and mortal discord between them over some differences concerning the administration of the village, in such a manner that the village was divided into two factions; the one followed that of my parents, the other that of Leonida’s, with so deep-rooted a hatred and malice that no human effort has been able to bring about peace between them.

Fate then decreed, as though to shut out every prospect of friendship, that I should fall in love with the fair Leonida, daughter of Parmindro, the head of the opposite faction; and my love was, indeed, so great that, though I strove in countless ways to put it from my heart, they all ended in my remaining yet more vanquished and enslaved. Before me rose a mountain of difficulties, which hindered me from gaining the end of my desire, such as Leonida’s great worth, the inveterate enmity of our parents, the few or no occasions which presented themselves to me for disclosing my thoughts to her: and yet, whenever I turned the eyes of fancy towards the rare beauty of Leonida, every difficulty was made smooth, so that it seemed to me a little thing to break through sharp points of adamant, that I might reach the goal of my loving and honourable thoughts.

Having then for many days battled with myself, to see if I could turn my soul from a design so arduous, and seeing that it was impossible, I set all my skill on considering how I might give Leonida to understand the secret love in my breast. And even as, in any matter, the beginnings are always difficult, so in those that relate to love they are for the most exceedingly difficult, until Love himself, when he wishes to show himself favourable, opens the gates of the remedy, where they seem most closely barred. Thus it appeared in my case, for my thought being guided by his, I came to fancy that no better means presented themselves to my desire than to make friends with the parents of Silvia, a shepherdess who was a bosom friend of Leonida, and often they visited each other at their houses, in company with their parents. Silvia had a kinsman called Carino, a very close companion of Crisalvo, fair Leonida’s brother, whose boldness and harshness of manner had gained him the nickname of cruel, and so, by all those who knew him, he was generally called cruel Crisalvo; and in the same way they called Carino, Silvia’s kinsman and Crisalvo’s companion, the, cunning Carino, from his being officious and sharp-witted.

With him and with Silvia (for it seemed to serve my purpose) by means of many presents and gifts I forged a friendship, to outward seeming; at least on Silvia’s side it was stronger than I desired, for the presents and favours, which with pure heart she bestowed on me, constrained by my unceasing services, were by my fortune taken as instruments to place me in the misery where now I see myself. Silvia was passing fair, and adorned with graces so many that the hardness of Crisalvo’s savage heart was moved to love her (but this I did not learn save to my hurt); and many days later, after that from long experience I was sure of Silvia’s good-will, an opportunity offering itself one day, in the tenderest words I could, I disclosed to her the wound in my stricken breast, telling her that, though it was so deep and dangerous, I did not feel it so much, only because I thought that in her solicitude lay its cure. I informed her, too, of the honourable goal to which my thoughts were tending, which was to unite myself in lawful wedlock with the beauteous Leonida; and that, since it was a cause so just and good, she must not disdain to take it under her care. Finally, not to weary you, love furnished me with such words to say to her, that she, being overcome by them and more by the pain which she, like a clever woman, recognised from the signs of my face as dwelling in my soul, determined to take charge of my cure, and to tell Leonida what I felt for her, promising to do for me all that her power and skill might achieve, even though such an undertaking was fraught with difficulties for her, by reason of the great enmity she knew to exist between our parents; though, on the other hand she thought that it might put an end to their differences, if Leonida were to marry me. Moved then by this good intention, and softened by the tears I shed, as I have said before, she dared to intercede on behalf of my happiness, and, discussing with herself how she would approach Leonida, she made me write her a letter, which she offered to give her at the moment she thought fitting. Her counsel seemed to be for my good, and that same day I sent her a letter, which I have always known by heart, as having been the beginning of the happiness I felt at the reply to it, though it would be better not to remember happy things at a time so sad as that in which I now find myself.

Silvia received the letter, and awaited the opportunity for placing it in Leonida’s hands.’

‘Nay,’ said Elicio, interrupting Lisandro’s discourse, ‘it is not right that you should fail to repeat to me the letter you sent to Leonida, for, seeing that it was the first, and that you were so deeply in love at that time, it must undoubtedly be eloquent.

And since you have told me that you know it by heart, and of the pleasure you obtained from it, do not now withhold it from me by not repeating it.’

‘You say well, my friend,’ replied Lisandro, ‘for I was then as deeply in love and timid as now I am unhappy and despairing; and, on that account, it seems to me that I did not succeed in uttering any eloquent words, though it was sufficient success that Leonida should believe those which were in the letter. Since you wish so much to hear them, it ran as follows:


“So long as I have been able (though with very great grief to myself) to resist with my own strength the amorous flame which for you, fair Leonida, consumes me, fearful of the exalted worth which I recognise in you, I have never had the boldness to discover to you the love I bear you; but now that the virtue, which up till now has made me strong, is consumed, it has become necessary for me to disclose the wound in my breast, and thus, by writing to you, to make trial of the first and last remedy in your power. What the first may be you know, and to be the last is in your hand, from which I hope for the pity that your beauty promises, and my honourable desires merit. What they are, and the goal to which they tend, you shall learn from Silvia, who will give you this: and since she has been so bold, being who she is, as to bring it to you, know that they are as honourable as is due to your merit.”

The words of this letter did not seem bad to Elicio, and Lisandro continuing the story of his love, said:

‘Many days did not pass before this letter came into the fair hands of Leonida by means of the kindly hands of Silvia, my true friend. In giving it, she told her such things that she largely assuaged the rage and emotion which Leonida had felt at my letter, such as telling her how good it would be if through our marriage the enmity of our parents were to cease, and that an object so well meant should lead her not to reject my desires; all the more as it should not be compatible with her beauty to allow one who loved her as much as I to die, without more consideration; adding to these other reasonings, which Leonida recognised as just. But, so as not to show herself vanquished in the first encounter, and won in the first advance, she did not give to Silvia as pleasant a reply as she wished.

But still, at the intercession of Silvia, who forced her to it, she replied with this letter which I shall now repeat to you:


“If I had thought, Lisandro, that your great daring had sprung from my lack of modesty, I would have carried out on myself the punishment that your fault deserves; but as what I know of myself makes me sure on this point, I have come to the conclusion that your great boldness has proceeded more from idle thoughts, than from thoughts of love; and though they may be as you say, think not that you can move me to cure them, as you did Silvia to believe them. I complain more of her for having made me answer you, than of you who dared to write to me, for silence had been fit answer to your folly. If you draw back from your purpose, you will act wisely, for I would have you know that I deem my honour of more account than your empty thoughts.”

This was Leonida’s reply, which, together with the hopes that Silvia gave me, though it seemed somewhat harsh, made me count myself the happiest man on earth. Whilst these matters were passing between us, Crisalvo did not neglect to woo Silvia with countless messages, gifts and services; but so hard and severe was Crisalvo’s disposition that he could never move Silvia to grant him the smallest favour. Whereat he was as desperate and impatient as a bull when speared and vanquished.

For the sake of his love he had formed a friendship with the cunning Carino, Silvia’s kinsman, though these two had first been mortal enemies, for in a wrestling-bout, which on a great feast-day the deftest swains of the place held before all the village, Carino was vanquished by Crisalvo, and mauled: so that he conceived in his heart undying hatred for Crisalvo, and no less was the hatred he felt against another person, a brother of mine, for having thwarted him in a love-affair, in which my brother carried off the fruit Carino hoped for. This rancour and ill-will Carino kept secret till time disclosed to him the opportunity when he might avenge himself on both at once, in the cruellest way imaginable. I kept friends with him, so that admission to Silvia’s house might not be denied me; Crisalvo adored him, so that he might further his designs with Silvia; and his friendship was such that whenever Leonida came to Silvia’s house, Carino accompanied her: wherefore it seemed good to Silvia to tell him, since he was my friend, of my love affair with Leonida, which was by this time prospering with such ardour and good fortune, through Silvia’s good offices, that we now awaited but the time and place to cull the honourable fruit of our pure desires. On hearing of this, Carino used me as an instrument to commit the greatest treason in the world. For one day (feigning to be true to Crisalvo, and giving him to understand that he rated his friendship higher than his kinswoman’s honour), he told him that the chief reason why Silvia did not love or favour him, was that she was in love with me; he knew it unmistakably, and our love-affair was going on so openly that if he had not been blinded by his amorous passion he would by now have perceived it from a thousand signs; and the more to assure himself of the truth he was telling him, he bade him look to it henceforward, for he would see clearly how Silvia without any restraint granted me exceptional favours. At this news Crisalvo must have been quite beside himself, as appeared from what followed therefrom. Henceforward he employed spies to watch my dealings with Silvia; and as on many occasions I sought to be alone with her, in order to speak not of the love he thought, but of things concerning mine, these were reported to Crisalvo, together with other favours prompted by pure friendship, which Silvia showed me at every step.

Whereat Crisalvo came to so desperate a pass, that many times he sought to kill me, though I did not think it was for such a cause, but on account of the long-standing enmity of our parents. But as he was Leonida’s brother, I was more concerned to guard myself than to harm him, thinking it certain that if I married his sister our enmities would have an end. Of this he was quite ignorant, thinking rather that, because I was his enemy, I had sought to make love to Silvia, and not because I was really fond of her; and this increased his anger and resentment to such a degree that it robbed him of reason, though he had so little that little was needed to destroy it. And this evil thought wrought so strongly in him, that he came to loath Silvia as much as he had loved her, merely because she favoured me, not with the good-will he thought, but as Carino told him.

And so, in whatever circle or assembly he was, he spoke ill of Silvia, giving her dishonourable names and epithets. But as all knew his ugly character and Silvia’s goodness, they lent little or no belief to his words. Meanwhile Silvia had arranged with Leonida that we two should be married, and, in order that it might be done with more safety to ourselves, that it would be well for Leonida, one day when she came with Carino to her house, not to return that night to that of her parents, but to go thence in Carino’s company to a village half a league distant from ours, where some rich kinsmen of mine lived, in whose house we could with greater peace effect our designs. For if Leonida’s parents were not pleased at the issue, it would at least be easier, when she was away from them, to come to terms. This resolve having been taken, Carino was informed of it, and, displaying the greatest spirit, offered to Silvia to escort Leonida to the other village as she desired. The services I did to Carino for the good-will he showed, the promises I uttered to him, the embraces I gave him, would methinks have sufficed to extinguish in a heart of steel any evil purpose it might cherish against me. But that traitor of a Carino, casting behind him my words, deeds and promises, without regarding what he owed himself, planned the treason which now you shall hear. Having informed himself of Leonida’s wish, and seeing that it agreed with what Silvia had told him, he planned that on the first night which from the appearance of the day promised to be dark, Leonida’s departure should be effected, offering once more to maintain all possible secrecy and loyalty. After making this agreement which you have heard, he went off to Crisalvo, as I have since learnt, and told him that his kinswoman Silvia had gone so far in her loveaffair with me, that I had determined on a certain night to steal her from her parents’ house, and take her to another village where my kinsmen dwelt. There an opportunity offered itself to avenge his feelings on both, on Silvia for the small account she had made of his services, on me for our long-standing enmity, and for the injury I had done him in robbing him of Silvia, since she was leaving him on my account alone. Carino knew how to exaggerate to him, and to say what he wanted, in such a way as, even with less effort, would have moved to any evil purpose a heart not so cruel as his. The day being now arrived which I thought was to be the day of my greatest bliss, after having told Carino not what he actually did do, but what he was to do, I went off to the other village to give orders how to receive Leonida. And to leave her entrusted to Carino was like leaving the innocent lamb in the power of the hungry wolves, or the gentle dove in the claws of the fierce hawk, who tears it to pieces. Ah, friend! when I come to this point with my imagination, I know not how I have strength to sustain life, nor thought to think of it, much more tongue to tell it! Ah, ill-advised Lisandro! How did you not know Carino’s duplicity? Yet, who would not have trusted his words, since he risked so little in proving them true by deeds! Ah, ill-starred Leonida! how little did I know how to enjoy the favour you did me, in choosing me for your own! Finally, to end with the tragedy of my misfortune, you must know, discreet shepherd, that on the night Carino was to take Leonida with him to the village where I was expecting her, he summoned another shepherd, called Libeo, who ought to have considered him an enemy, though Carino concealed it beneath his wonted false dissimulation, and asked him to accompany him that night, for he was resolved to carry off a shepherdess, his sweetheart, to the village I have told you, where he purposed to marry her. Libeo, a man of spirit and a lover himself, readily offered him his company.

Leonida bade farewell to Silvia with close embraces and loving tears, an omen, as it were, that it was to be the last farewell.

The hapless maid must needs have thought then of the treason she was committing against her parents; not of that Carino was planning against her, — and how bad a return she was making for the good opinion that was held about her in the village. But, passing over all these thoughts, constrained by the loving thought that vanquished her, she entrusted herself to the care of Carino, who was to conduct her to where I awaited her. How often do I call to mind when I reach this point, what I dreamed the day I would have counted fortunate, had the number of my days ended thereon! I remember that, leaving the village a little while before the sun withdrew his rays from our horizon, I sate me down at the foot of a tall ash tree on the very road by which Leonida was to come, waiting till night should close in a little more to further my purpose and to receive her, and without knowing how or wishing it, I fell asleep.

Scarce had I yielded my eyes to slumber when, methought, the tree against which I leaned, bending before the fury of a fierce wind that was blowing, tearing its deep roots out of the earth, fell upon my body, and attempting to get away from the heavy weight, I rolled from side to side. While in this plight methought I saw a white hind beside me, which I earnestly implored to lift, as well as it could, the heavy burden from my shoulders, and when moved with compassion, it was about to do it, at the same moment a fierce lion sprang from the thicket, and seizing it in his sharp claws, marched off with it through the forest. After I had escaped with great toil from the heavy burden, I went to look for it in the mountain, and found it torn and wounded in a thousand places. Whereat I felt so much grief that my soul was wrung from me merely by reason of the pity it had shown at my plight: and thus I began to weep in my dreams, so that the tears themselves awoke me, and finding my cheeks bathed with sorrow I was beside myself, pondering on what I had dreamed; but in the joy I hoped to have in seeing my Leonida, I failed to see then that fortune was showing me in dreams what was to happen in a short time to me awake.

At the moment when I awoke night had just closed in with such darkness, with such terrible thunder and lightning as furthered the perpetration of the cruel deed which that night was perpetrated. As Carino left Silvia’s house with Leonida, he entrusted her to Libeo, telling him to go with her by the road to the village I have mentioned, and though Leonida was perturbed at seeing Libeo, Carino assured her that Libeo was no less a friend of mine than he was, and that in security she could go with him slowly whilst he went forward to give me tidings of her approach. The guileless maid, being after all in love, believed the words of the treacherous Carino, and with less mistrust than was fitting, guided by the courteous Libeo, advanced her timid steps, which were to be the last of her life, thinking they led her to the height of her bliss. Carino went on before the two, as I have already told you, and gave information of what was happening to Crisalvo, who with four of his kinsmen was in ambush on the very road by which they were to pass, this being wholly shut in by forest on either side. He told them how Silvia was coming and I was the only one with her, and that they should rejoice at the good opportunity fate put in their hands to avenge the wrong we two had done him, and that he should be the first to prove the edge of his knife on Silvia, though she was a kinswoman of his. Immediately the five cruel butchers prepared to stain themselves in the innocent blood of the pair who came along the road all unsuspicious of such treason; when they reached the place where the ambush was, at once the traitorous murderers were on them, and surrounded them. Crisalvo came up to Leonida, thinking she was Silvia, and with insulting and excited words, in the hellish rage which mastered him, left her stretched on the ground with six mortal wounds, whilst Libeo weltered on the earth with countless stabs dealt by the other four, who thought they were inflicting them on me. When Carino saw how well his traitorous intent had turned out, without awaiting words, he went away, and the five traitors, fully satisfied as if they had done some notable exploit, returned to their village. Crisalvo went to Silvia’s house himself to give her parents the news of what he had done, so as to increase their grief and pain, telling them to go and bury their daughter Silvia, whose life he had taken because she had set more store on the cold esteem of Lisandro his enemy, than on the unremitting attentions shown by him. Silvia, who heard what Crisalvo was saying, — her soul telling her what had happened, told him that she was alive, and free too from all that he had accused her of; and that he should be sure he had not killed one whose death would grieve him more than the loss of his own life. And with this she told him that his sister Leonida had that night left her house in unwonted apparel. Crisalvo was amazed to see Silvia alive, thinking for sure that he had left her dead, and being suddenly seized with great fear, immediately hastened to his house, and not finding his sister there, returned alone in the greatest consternation and frenzy to see who it was he had killed, since Silvia was alive.

Whilst all this was going on, I was awaiting Carino and Leonida with strange anxiety; and as it seemed to me that by this time they were later than they should be, I wished to go and meet them, or learn if by any accident they had been detained that night. I had not gone far along the road when I heard a piteous voice saying: “Oh sovereign Maker of Heaven, withhold the hand of thy justice and open that of thy mercy in order to show mercy to this soul, which soon shall give account to thee of the offences it has committed against thee! Ah Lisandro, Lisandro! surely Carino’s friendship will yet cost you your life, since it cannot be that grief for my having lost mine for your sake will put an end to it! Ah, cruel brother, can it be that without hearing my excuses you desired to inflict on me so soon the punishment of my error?” When I heard these words, I at once recognised from the voice and from them that it was Leonida who uttered them, and — an augury of my misfortune — with feelings in a turmoil, I set to groping where Leonida was weltering in her own blood; and, having at once recognised her, I let myself fall on her wounded body, and with the greatest grief possible, said to her: “What woe is this, my joy, my soul? what cruel hand was it that did not respect so much beauty?” At these words I was recognised by Leonida; and raising her weary arms with much effort, she threw them round my neck, and, pressing with all her strength, she joined her mouth to mine, and, with weak and broken utterance, spoke but these words to me: “My brother has killed me, Carino... betrayed, Libeo is without life, and may God give you yours, Lisandro mine, for long and happy years, and may he grant that I enjoy in another life the peace denied me here;” and, joining her mouth closer to mine, she pressed her lips together to give me her first and last kiss; and, as she opened them, her soul went from her, and she lay dead in my arms. When I perceived it, I abandoned myself to grief over her body, and remained senseless; and if, instead of being alive, I had been dead, whoever saw us in that plight had called to mind the hapless plight of Pyramus and Thisbe. But on coming to myself, I had opened my mouth to fill the air with cries and sobs, when I perceived some one coming with hurried steps to where I was; and, when he was near, though the night was dark, the eyes of my soul gave me assurance that he who came there was Crisalvo, as was the truth. He was coming back to convince himself whether perchance it was his sister Leonida he had killed. When I recognised him, before he could guard himself against me, I came upon him like a raging lion; and, giving him two blows, I brought him to the ground. Before he ceased to breathe, I dragged him to where Leonida was, and, placing in her dead hand the dagger her brother wore — the same with which she had been killed — I guided it and plunged it thrice through his heart. And mine being somewhat consoled by Crisalvo’s death, without further delay I took upon my shoulders Leonida’s body, and bore it to the village where my kinsmen lived. Telling them what had happened, I asked them to give it honourable burial, and immediately determined to take on Carino the same vengeance as on Crisalvo; but, since he has kept away from our village, it has been delayed until to-day, when I found him on the skirts of this wood, after going about in search of him for six months. Now he has come to the end his treason deserved; and none now is left on whom to wreak vengeance, unless it be the life I endure so much against my will. This, shepherd, is the cause whence proceed the laments you have heard from me. If it seems to you sufficient to cause yet a deeper grief, I leave to your good judgment to determine!’

Therewith he ended his discourse, and set to weeping so copiously that Elicio could not refrain from keeping him company therein; but after they had for a long while eased with gentle sighs, the one the pain he suffered, the other the compassion he felt thereat, Elicio began to console Lisandro with the best arguments he knew, though his misfortune was as far beyond consolation as he had seen from its issue. Amongst other things he said to him, the one which gave Lisandro most solace was to tell him that in misfortunes beyond remedy, the best remedy was to hope for none; and, since one might believe from Leonida’s purity and noble disposition, according to his account, that she was enjoying a life of bliss, he should rather rejoice at the happiness she had gained, than grieve for that which she had lost. Whereto Lisandro replied:

‘I know full well, my friend, that your arguments have power to make me believe they are true; but not that they have — nor will all the arguments in the world have — power to give me any consolation. With Leonida’s death began my evil fortune, which will end when I behold her again; and since this cannot be without I die, the man who should help me to attain death will I count the greatest friend of my life!’

Elicio did not wish to give him more sorrow with his words of solace, since he did not regard them as such; only he asked him to come with him to his hut, where he might stay as long as it pleased him, offering him his friendship in all wherein he might be able to serve him. Lisandro thanked him as heartily as possible; and though he was unwilling to consent to go with Elicio, yet he had to do so, constrained by his repeated asking. And so the two arose, and came to Elicio’s cabin, where they rested for the little that remained of the night. Now when the white dawn was leaving the couch of her jealous husband, and beginning to give signs of the coming day, Erastro arose and began to put in order Elicio’s herd and his own to lead them to the accustomed pasture. Elicio invited Lisandro to come with him; and so, when the three shepherds came with their gentle flock of sheep through a ravine below, on ascending an incline, they heard the sound of a gentle pipe, which was straightway recognized by the two enamoured swains, Elicio and Erastro, for it was Galatea who was playing it. And it was not long before some sheep began to show themselves over the crest of the hill, and immediately behind them Galatea, whose beauty was such that it were better to leave it to speak for itself, since words fail to enhance it. She came dressed like a girl of the mountains, with her long hair free to the wind, whereof the sun himself appeared to be envious, for, smiting it with his rays, he sought to rob it of lustre if he could; but that which came from the glimmer of it seemed another new sun.

Erastro was beside himself looking at her, and Elicio could not keep his eyes from gazing at her. When Galatea saw the flock of Elicio and Erastro join hers, she showed that she did not wish that day to keep them company, and called to the pet lamb of her flock, which the rest followed, and directed it to another spot, different from that for which the shepherds were making.

Elicio, seeing what Galatea was doing, and being unable to endure such open contempt, came to where the shepherdess was and said to her:

‘Permit your flock, fair Galatea, to come with ours, and, if you do not like our company, choose that which will please you better, for your sheep will not, through your absence, lack good pasturage, since I, who was born to serve you, will take more care of them than of my own. Do not seek to disdain me so openly, for the pure affection I cherish towards you does not deserve it. According to the way you were taking, you were making for the spring of slates, but, now you have seen me, you wish to change your road; and, if this is as I think, tell me where you wish, to-day and always, to graze your herd, for I swear to you never to take mine there.’

‘I assure you, Elicio,’ replied Galatea, ‘that it was not to shun your company or that of Erastro that I have changed the way you think I was taking, for my intention is to spend the noontide of to-day by the stream of palms, in the company of my friend Florisa, who is awaiting me there, for as early as yesterday we two agreed to graze our flocks there to-day. As I came along, heedlessly playing my pipe, the pet lamb took the road of slates, as more accustomed for it. For the affection you bear me and the offers you make me I thank you, and count it no small thing that I have justified myself against your suspicion.’

‘Ah, Galatea!’ replied Elicio, ‘how well you invent what seems good to you, though you have so little need to use stratagem with me, for after all I do not seek to wish more than you wish! Now, whether you go to the stream of palms, to the wood of council, or to the spring of slates, be assured that you ‘ cannot go alone, for my soul accompanies you always; and, if you do not see it, it is because you do not wish to see it, so that you may not be obliged to heal it.’

‘Until now,’ said Galatea, ‘I have yet to see my first soul, and so I am not to blame if I have healed none.’

‘I do not know how you can say that, fair Galatea,’ replied Elicio, ‘since you see them to wound them, and not to heal them.’

‘You accuse me falsely,’ replied Galatea, ‘in saying that I have wounded anyone without arms, seeing that these are not granted to women.’

‘Ah, discreet Galatea,’ said Elicio, ‘how you jest at what you perceive of my soul, which you have invisibly wounded, and with no other arms than those of your beauty! I do not so much complain of the wrong you have done me, as that you hold it in little account.’

‘I would hold myself in less account, if I held it in more, replied Galatea.

At this moment Erastro came up, and, seeing that Galatea was going off and leaving them, said to her:

‘Where are you going, whom do you flee, fair Galatea? If you part from us who adore you, who shall hope for your company? Ah fair foe! how heedlessly you go your way, triumphing over our affections! May Heaven destroy the warm affection I bear you, if I do not long to see you in love with some one who may value your plaints in the same degree as you value mine!

Do you laugh at what I say, Galatea? Then I weep at what you do.’

Galatea could not answer Erastro, for she was going away, guiding her flock towards the stream of palms; and bowing her head from afar in token of farewell, she left them. When she saw herself alone, whilst she was making for the spot where her friend Florisa thought she would be, with the exquisite voice Heaven had pleased to give her, she went along singing this sonnet:

GALATEA. Away with noose and frost, with dart and fire,

Whereby to strangle, freeze, or wound or burn,

Love doth essay. ’Tis vain: my soul doth yearn

For no such knot, nor doth such flame desire.

Let each bind, freeze, kill, press, consume in ire,

‘Gainst any other will its anger turn,

But mine shall snow or net or arrow spurn,

To hold me in its heat let none aspire.

My chaste intent will chill the burning flame,

The knot I shall break through by force or art,

My glowing zeal will melt away the snows,

The arrow shall fall blunted by my shame,

And thus nor noose nor fire, nor frost nor dart,

Shall make me fear, safe in secure repose.

With juster cause might beasts stand still, trees move and stones unite on hearing Galatea’s gentle song and sweet harmony than when to Orpheus’ lute, Apollo’s lyre, or Amphion’s music the walls of Troy and Thebes of their own accord set themselves in the ground without any craftsman laying hand thereon, and the sisters, dark dwellers in deepest chaos, grew gentle at the exquisite voice of the unheeding lover. Galatea finished her song, and at the moment came to where Florisa was, by whom she was received with joyous mien, as being her true friend, and she to whom Galatea was wont to tell her thoughts. After the two had allowed their flocks to go at their will to graze on the green grass, they determined, invited by the clearness of the water of a stream flowing by, to wash their beauteous faces; for, to enhance their beauty, they had no need of the vain and irksome arts whereby those ladies in great cities who think themselves most beautiful, torture theirs. They remained as beautiful after washing as before, save that, through having rubbed their faces with their hands, their cheeks remained aflame and blushing-red, so that an indescribable beauty made them yet more fair, and especially Galatea. In her were seen united the three Graces whom the Greeks of old depicted naked to show (amongst other purposes) that they were mistresses of beauty. Straightway they began to gather divers flowers from the green meadow with intent to make each a garland wherewith to bind up the disordered tresses that flowed freely over their shoulders. In this task the two beauteous shepherdesses were engaged when of a sudden they saw, by the stream below, a shepherdess coming of gentle grace and bearing, whereat they wondered not a little, for it seemed to them that she was not a shepherdess of their village nor of the others near by: wherefore they looked at her with more attention and saw that she was coming gradually to where they were; and though they were quite near, she came so absorbed and lost in thought that she never saw them until they chose to show themselves. From time to time she stopped, and raising her eyes to Heaven, uttered sighs so piteous that they seemed to be torn from her innermost soul; at the same time she wrung her white hands, and tears like liquid pearls she let fall down her cheeks. From the extremes of grief the shepherdess displayed Galatea and Florisa perceived that her soul was filled with some inward grief, and to see on what her feelings were set, both hid themselves amongst some close-grown myrtles, and thence watched with curious gaze what the shepherdess was doing. She came to the brink of the stream, and with steadfast gaze stopped to watch the water running by; and letting herself fall on its bank, as one wearied, she hollowed one of her fair hands, and therein took up of the clear water, wherewith she bathed her moist eyes, saying with voice low and enfeebled:

‘Ah water clear and cool, how little avails your coldness to temper the fire I feel in my soul! Vain will it be to hope from you — or indeed from all the waters the mighty ocean holds — the remedy I need; for if all were applied to the glowing passion that consumes me, you would produce the same effect as do a few drops on the glowing forge which but increase the flame the more. Ah, sad eyes, cause of my ruin! to how lofty a height did I raise you for so great a fall! Ah fortune, enemy of my repose! with what haste didst thou hurl me from the pinnacle of my joy to the abyss of misery wherein I am! Ah cruel sister! how came it that Artidoro’s meek and loving presence did not appease the anger of your breast devoid of love? What words could he say to you that you should give him so harsh and cruel a reply? It seems clear, sister, that you did not esteem him as much as I; for, if it were so, you would in truth have shown as much meekness as he obedience to you.’

All that the shepherdess said she mingled With such tears, that no heart could listen to her and not be moved to compassion; and after she had calmed her sorrowing breast for a while, to the sound of the water gently flowing by, she sang with sweet and dainty voice this gloss, adapting to her purpose an ancient verse:

Hope hath fled and will not stay

One thought only brings delight;

Time that passes swift of flight

Soon my life will take away.

Two things, all the world among,

Help the lover to attain

All that doth to Love belong:

E’en desire the good to gain,

Hope that makes the coward strong.

Both within my bosom lay.

No, ’twas in my stricken soul

That they lurked to take away

My desire to reach the goal.

Hope hath fled and will not stay.

Though desire should cease to be,

What time hope is on the wane,

Yet ’tis not the same in me.

My desire doth wax amain,

Though my hope away doth flee.

‘Gainst the wounds my soul that blight

I can take nor care nor thought,

Martyr to my hapless plight,

In the school where Love hath taught,

One thought only brings delight.

Scarce the blessing from on high

Had unto my fancy come,

When, as gently they passed by,

Heaven, fate, and bitter doom,

With it from my soul did fly.

Whoso for my grievous plight

Fain would mourn, let him strike sail,

Into the haven of delight

Glide more gently ‘fore the gale

Than Time that passes swift of flight.

Who that hath such woe as mine

Would not faint beneath his fate?

From such woes we may divine

Joy to be a featherweight,

Sorrow lead from deepest mine.

Though my fortune be not gay,

Though I falter to my knees,

Yet this blessing is my stay:

He who robbed me of my peace

Soon my life will take away.

Soon the shepherdess ended her song, but not the tears which made it more sad. Moved to compassion thereby, Galatea and Florisa came out from where they lay concealed, and with loving and courteous words greeted the sad shepherdess, saying to her among other things:

‘So may Heaven, fair shepherdess, show itself favourable to what you would ask of it, and so may you obtain from it what you desire, if you tell us (allowing that it be not displeasing to you), what fortune or what destiny has brought you to this region, for according to the experience we have of it, we have never seen you on these banks. Now that we have heard what you have just sung, gathering from it that your heart has not the calm it needs, and by reason of the tears you have shed, of which your lovely eyes gave witness, in the name of fair courtesy we are bound to give you all the solace in our power; and if your evil be of those that do not permit of consolation you will at least perceive in us a good will to serve you.’

‘I know not, fair maidens,’ replied the strange shepherdess, ‘how I shall be able to repay you save by silence for the courteous offers you make me, unless by saying no more about it, and being grateful for it, and valuing them as much as they deserve it, and by not withholding from you what you wish to learn from me, although it would be better for me to pass by in silence the circumstances of my misfortunes, than to tell them and give you cause to count me immodest.’

‘Your countenance and the gentle bearing that Heaven has given you,’ replied Galatea, ‘do not betoken an intellect so coarse as to make you do a thing in telling which afterwards you must needs lose reputation; and since your appearance and words have in so short a time made this impression on us, that we already count you discreet, prove to us, by telling us your life, whether your misfortune comes up to your discretion.’

‘As far as I believe,’ replied the shepherdess, ‘both are on a level, unless, indeed, fate has given me more judgment, the more to feel the griefs that present themselves; but I am quite sure that my woes exceed my discretion, in the same degree as all my craft is overcome by them, since I have none wherewith to cure them. And that experience may set you right, if you wish to hear me, fair maidens, I will tell you, in as few words! as possible, how, from the great understanding you judge I possess, has sprung the woe which surpasses it.’

‘With nothing will you better satisfy our desires, discreet maiden,’ replied Florisa, ‘than with telling us what we have asked you.’

‘Let us retire, then,’ said the shepherdess, ‘from this spot, and seek another, where, without being seen or disturbed, I may be able to tell you what it grieves me to have promised you, for I foresee that it will not cost more to lose the good opinion I have gained with you, than to reveal my thoughts to you, however late, if perhaps yours have not been touched by the affliction I am suffering.’

Desirous that the shepherdess should fulfil her promise, straightway the three arose, and betook themselves to a secret and retired place, known already to Galatea and Florisa, where, beneath the pleasant shade of some leafy myrtles, without being seen by anybody, all three could be seated. Forthwith, with exquisite grace and charm, the strange shepherdess began to speak in this wise:

‘On the banks of the famous Henares, which ever yields fresh and pleasant tribute to your golden Tagus, most beauteous shepherdesses, was I born and nurtured in a station not so lowly, that I might count myself the meanest of the village. My parents are labourers and accustomed to field-labour, in which occupation I followed them, leading a flock of simple sheep over the common pastures of our village. So well did I adapt my thoughts to the condition in which my lot had placed me, that nothing gave me more joy than to see my flock multiply and increase, and I had no other thought save how to gain for them the richest and most fertile pastures, the clearest and freshest waters I could find. I had not, nor could I have, cares beyond those that might arise from the rustic duties on which I was engaged. The woods were my companions, in whose solitude, ofttimes invited by the sweet birds’ gentle harmony, I sent forth my voice in a thousand simple songs, without mingling therein sighs or words that might give any token of a love-sick breast.

Ah! how often, merely to please myself and to allow the time to pass away, did I wander from bank to bank, from vale to vale, culling, here the white lily, there the purple iris, here the red rose, there the fragrant pink, making from every kind of sweet-smelling flowers a woven garland, wherewith I adorned and bound up my hair; and then, viewing myself in the clear and peaceful waters of some spring, I remained so joyous at having seen myself, that I would not have changed my happiness for any other! And how often did I make sport of some maidens, who, thinking to find in my breast some manner of pity for the misery theirs felt, disclosed to me, with abundance of tears and sighs, the love-secrets of their soul! I remember now, fair shepherdesses, that one day there came to me a girl friend of mine: throwing her arms round my neck, and joining her face to mine, she said to me with streaming eyes: “Ah, sister Teolinda!” (for this is the name of the hapless being before you). “I truly believe the end of my days has come, since love has not dealt with me as my desires deserved.”

Whereupon I, wondering at her display of grief, thinking that some great misfortune had befallen her, in the loss of her flock, or the death of her father or brother, wiped her eyes with the sleeve of my smock, and asked her to tell me what misfortune it was that caused her to lament so much. She, continuing her tears, nor giving truce to her sighs, said to me: “What greater misfortune, oh Teolinda, would you have happen to me, than that the son of the chief man in our village, whom I love more than the very eyes in my head, should have gone away without saying a word to me; and that I have this morning seen in possession of Leocadia, daughter of the head shepherd Lisalco, a crimson belt which I had given to that false Eugenio, whereby was confirmed the suspicion I had of the love-affair the traitor was carrying on with her?” When I ceased hearing her complaints, I swear to you, friends and ladies mine, that I could not cease from laughing within myself, and saying to her: “By my faith, Lydia,” (for so the unhappy girl was called) “I thought from your complaints that you came stricken with another and a greater wound. But now I know how void of sense are you who fancy yourselves in love, in making much ado about such childish things. Tell me on your life, dear Lydia, what is the worth of a crimson belt, that it should grieve you to see it in Leocadia’s possession or to find that Eugenio has given it to her? You would do better to consider your honour and what concerns the pasturage of your sheep, and not to mix yourself up with these fooleries of love, since we draw nothing from them, so far as I see, but loss of honour and of peace.”

When Lydia heard from me a reply so contrary to the one she hoped for from my lips and pitying disposition, she did nothing but bow her head, and adding tear to tear and sob to sob, went from me; and after a little while, turning her head, she said to me: “I pray God, Teolinda, that soon you may see yourself in a state, compared to which you would count mine happy, and that love may so treat you that you may tell your grief to one who will value it and feel it in such wise as you have done mine and therewith she went away, and I was left laughing at her madness. But ah! poor me! I perceive clearly at every moment that her curse is working in me, since even now I fear that I am telling my grief to one who will sorrow but little at having learnt it!’

Thereto Galatea replied: ‘Would to God, discreet Teolinda, that you might find a remedy for your loss as easily as you will find in us pity for it, for you would soon lose the suspicion you cherish of our sympathy.’

‘Your lovely presence, sweet shepherdesses, and pleasant converse,’ replied Teolinda, ‘make me hope so; but my poor fortune compels me to fear the contrary. Yet, come what may, I must now tell you what I have promised you. With the freedom I have told you, and in the pursuits I have related to you, I passed my life so joyously and peacefully that desire knew not what to bid me do, until avenging love came to exact from me a strict account for the small account in which I held him, wherein he vanquished me in such a way that though I am his slave I fancy that he is not yet paid nor satisfied. It happened then, that one day (which would have been for me the happiest of the days of my life, had not time and season brought such a decrease to my joys), I went with other shepherdesses of our village to cut branches and gather rushes and flowers and green sword-lilies to adorn the temple and streets of our native place; for the following day was a most high festival, and the inhabitants of our hamlet were bound by vow and promise to keep it. We chanced to pass all together through a delightful wood which is situated between the village and the river, where we found a group of graceful shepherds, who were spending the heat of the glowing noon-tide in the shade of the green trees. When they saw us, we were at once recognised by them, for they were all cousins or brothers or kinsmen of ours, and coming to meet us and learning from us the purpose we had in view, they persuaded and constrained us with courteous words not to go farther, for that some of them would fetch the branches and flowers for which we were going.

And so, being overcome by their prayers — they were so earnest — we granted their desire, and forthwith six of the youngest, equipped with their bill-hooks, went off in great glee to bring us the green spoils we sought. We girls (there were six of us) went to where the other shepherds stood; and they received us with all courtesy, especially a strange shepherd who was there, known to none of us, who was of such noble grace and spirit that all stood wondering on seeing him, but I stood wondering and overcome. I know not what to tell you, shepherdesses, save that as soon as my eyes beheld him, I felt my heart grow tender and there began to course through all my veins a frost that set me aflame, and without knowing why, I felt my soul rejoice to have set eyes on the handsome face of the unknown shepherd; and, in a moment, though I was inexperienced in the ways of love, I recognised that it was love that had stricken me; straightway had I wished to make my plaint of him, if time and circumstances had permitted. In short I then remained as now I am, overcome and filled with love, though with more hope of recovery than I now possess. Ah! how often in that hour did I long to go to Lydia, who was with us, and say to her: “Forgive me, Lydia dear, for the discourteous reply I gave you the other day, for I would have you know that now I have more experience of the woe you complained of than you yourself!” One thing fills me with wonder, how all the maidens there failed to see from the workings of my face the secrets of my heart, and the cause of this must have been that all the shepherds turned to the stranger and begged him to finish the singing of a song he had begun before we came up. He, without waiting to be pressed, continued the song he had begun, with so exquisite and marvellous a voice that all who listened to it were transported at hearing it. Then at last I yielded myself all in all to all that love demanded, without there being left in me more desire than if I had never had any for anything in my life. And, although I was more entranced than all on hearing the shepherd’s sweet melody, yet I did not foil to lend the greatest attention to what he sang in his verses; for love had already brought me to such a pass that it would have touched me to the soul, had I heard him singing a lover’s themes, since I would have fancied that his thoughts were already engaged, and perchance in a quarter where mine might have no share in what they desired. But what he then sang was nothing but praises of the shepherd’s lot and the peaceful life of the fields, and some useful counsels for the preservation of the flock; whereat I was not a little pleased; for it seemed to me that if the shepherd had been in love, he would have treated of naught but his love, since it is the way of lovers to think time ill-spent which is spent on aught save extolling and praising the cause of their griefs or joys. Mark, friends, in how short a space I became mistress in the school of love. The end of the shepherd’s song and the first sight of those who came with the branches occurred at the same moment; and the youths, to one who saw them from afar, looked for all the world like a little hillock moving along trees and all, as they came in staid procession covered with branches. As they came near us, the six all raised their voices, and, one beginning and all replying, with tokens of the greatest joy and with many merry shouts, began a graceful chant. Amidst this joy and happiness they came nearer than I wished, for they deprived me of the happiness I felt at the sight of the shepherd. When they had laid down their green burden, we saw that each had a lovely garland entwined round his arm, composed of various charming flowers, which with graceful words they presented, one to each of us, offering to carry the branches to the village; but we, full of joy, thanked them for their fair courtesy and wished to return to the village, when Eleuco, an old shepherd who was there, said to us: “It will be well, fair shepherdesses, that you should repay us for what our youths have done for you by leaving us the garlands you are taking away over and above what you came to seek; but it must be on condition that you give them to whomsoever you think fit, with your own hands.”

“If you will be satisfied by so small a return from us,’ replied one of the maidens, “I for my part am content,” and taking the garland with both hands placed it on the head of a gallant cousin of hers.

The others, guided by this example, gave theirs to different youths who were there, all of them their kinsmen. I who remained to the last, and had no kinsman there, affecting a certain indifference, went up to the strange shepherd and placed the garland on his head, saying to him: “For two reasons I give you this, fair youth, one, for the pleasure you have given us all by your charming song, the other, because in our village it is our custom to honour strangers.” All the bystanders were delighted with my action, but how can I tell you what my soul felt when I saw myself so near to him who had stolen it away? I can only say that I would have given any happiness I could have wished for at that moment (save that of loving him), to be able to encircle his neck with my arms as I encircled his brows with the garland.

The shepherd bowed to me and with well-chosen words thanked me for the favour I did him, and as he took his leave of me, stealing the opportunity from the many eyes that were there, with low voice said to me: “I have rewarded you, fair shepherdess, better than you think, for the garland you have given me; you take a pledge with you, and if you know how to value it, you will perceive that you remain my debtor.” I would gladly have answered him, but such was the haste my companions imposed on me that I had no chance of replying to him. In this wise I returned to the village with a heart so different from that wherewith I had set out that I myself marvelled at myself. Company was irksome to me, and every thought that came to me and did not tend to thinking of my shepherd, with much haste I strove forthwith to put away from my mind as unworthy to occupy the place that was full of loving cares. I know not how in so short a time I became changed into a being other than that of old; for I no longer lived in myself but in Artidoro (for such is the name of the half of my soul I go seeking). Wherever I turned my eyes, I seemed to see his face; whatever I heard, straightway his gentle music and melody sounded in my ears; nowhere did I move my feet but I had given my life, if he had desired it, to find him there; in food I did not find the wonted savour nor did my hands succeed in finding aught to give it. In a word, all my senses were changed from their former state, nor did my soul work through them as it was used to do. In the consideration of the new Teolinda who was born within me, and in the contemplation of the shepherd’s grace that remained imprinted on my soul, all that day passed away from me, and the night preceding the solemn festival; and when this came, it was celebrated with the greatest rejoicing and enthusiasm by all the inhabitants of our village and of the neighbouring places. After the sacred offerings in the temple were ended and the ceremonies due performed, well-nigh most of the people of the hamlet came together in a broad square before the temple, beneath the shade of four ancient leafy poplars which were therein, and all forming a circle, left a space for the youths from near and far to disport themselves in honour of the festival in various pastoral games.

Straightway on the instant a goodly number of fit and lusty shepherds showed themselves in the square, and giving joyous tokens of their youth and skill, began a thousand graceful games.

Now they tossed the heavy caber, now they showed the lightness of their supple limbs in unwonted leaps, now they revealed their great strength and dexterous craft in complicated wrestling bouts, now they proved the swiftness of their feet in long races, each one striving so to acquit himself in all that he might win the first prize out of the many the chief men of the village had offered for the best who should excel in such sports; but in these I have mentioned, and in many others which I pass by so as not to be tedious, none of all the neighbours or men of the district present achieved as much as my Artidoro, who chose by his presence to honour and gladden our festival, and to carry off the highest honour and prize in all the games that were held. Such, shepherdesses, was his skill and spirit, so great the praises all gave him, that I grew proud, and an unwonted joy revelled in my breast at the mere reflection that I had known to fill my thoughts so well. But despite this it gave me very great grief that Artidoro, being a stranger, would have soon to depart from our village; and, if he went away without at least knowing what he took from me — that is, my soul — what a life would be mine in his absence, or how could I forget my sorrow, at least by lamenting, since I had no one to complain of save myself? Whilst I was occupied with these fancies, the festival and rejoicing ended; and when Artidoro would have taken leave of the shepherds, his friends, they all joined in asking him to spend with them the eight remaining days of the festival, if nothing more pleasing prevented it.

“Nothing can give me greater pleasure, kind shepherds,” replied Artidoro, “than to serve you in this and all else that your wish may be; for although it was my wish now to go and seek a brother of mine, who has for a few days been missing from our village, I will fulfil your desire, since it is I who gain thereby.”

All thanked him greatly, and were pleased at his remaining; but I was more so, thinking that in those eight days an opportunity could not fail to present itself to me, when I might reveal to him what I could no longer conceal. We spent nearly all that night in dances and games, and in telling one another the feats we had seen the shepherds perform that day, saying: “Such a one danced better than such a one, though so and so knew more turns than so and so; Mingo threw Bras, but Bras ran better than Mingo:’ and finally, all came to the conclusion that Artidoro, the strange shepherd, bore off the palm from all, each one praising in detail his graces one by one; and all these praises, I have already said, redounded to my delight. When the morning of the day after the festival came, before fresh dawn lost the pearly dew from her lovely locks, and the sun had fully displayed his rays on the peaks of the neighbouring mountains, some twelve of us shepherdesses, the most admired of the village, came together, and, linking hands, to the sound of a flageolet and a bagpipe, weaving and unweaving intricate turns and dance movements, we went from the village to a green meadow not far away, giving great pleasure to all who saw our mazy dance.

And fortune, which so far was guiding my affair from good to better, ordained that in that same meadow we should find all the shepherds of the place, and Artidoro with them. When they saw us, straightway attuning the sound of a tabor they had to that of our pipes, they came forth to meet us with the same measure and dance, mingling with us in bewildering but well ordered maze; and as the instruments changed their note, we changed the dance, so that we shepherdesses had to unlink and give our hands to the shepherds; and my good fortune willed that I should chance to give mine to Artidoro. I know not, my friends, how to describe fully to you what I felt at such a moment, unless by telling you that I was so perturbed, that I failed to keep fitting step in the dance; so much so that Artidoro was obliged to draw me violently after him, in order that the thread of the measured dance might not be broken if he let me go. Seizing the opportunity for it, I said to him:

“Wherein has my hand offended you, Artidoro, that you press it so hard?” He replied in a voice that could be heard by none: “Nay, what has my soul done to you that you use it so ill?”

“My offence is clear,” I replied gently; “but for yours, neither do I see it, nor will it be seen.”

“This is just the mischief,” replied Artidoro, “that you can see your way to do evil, but not to cure it.” Herewith our discourse ended, for the dancing ended, and I remained happy and thoughtful at what Artidoro had said to me; and though I thought they were loving words, they did not convince me that they came from one in love. Straightway we all, shepherds and shepherdesses, sate down on the green grass; and when we had rested a while from the fatigue of the dances that were over, the aged Eleuco, attuning his instrument, which was a rebeck, to the pipe of another shepherd, asked Artidoro to sing something, for he should so rather than any other, since Heaven had bestowed such talent on him that it were ingratitude to wish to conceal it.

Artidoro, thanking Eleuco for the praises he gave him, straightway began to sing some verses; and I fixed them in my memory, since the words he had spoken to me before had given me a suspicion, so that even now I have not forgotten them. Though it may be irksome to you to hear them, I shall have to repeat them to you, only because they are needful for you to understand, stage by stage, through what stages love has brought me to the pass in which I find myself. They are as follows:

Wild, close-confined and gloomy be his night,

Never may he behold the longed-for day,

Incessant and unending be his woe,

Far, far away from bliss, and joy, and laughter,

Ought he to be, wrapt in a living death,

Whoso without sweet Love shall spend his life.

Full though it be of joyousness, yet life

Naught save the shade can be of briefest night,

The veritable counterfeit of death,

If during all the hours that fill the day

It doth not silence every pang of woe,

And gladly, gladly welcome Love’s sweet laughter.

Where liveth gentle Love, there liveth laughter,

And where Love dieth, dieth too our life,

Our choicest pleasure is transformed to woe,

Into the darkness of eternal night

Is changed the radiance of the peaceful day,

Life without Love is naught but bitter death.

Dangers wherein the issue is but death

The lover doth not flee: rather with laughter

He seeks his chance and longeth for the day,

When he may offer up his treasured life —

Until he shall behold the last calm night —

Unto Love’s flame, and unto Love’s sweet woe.

The woe that is of Love, we call not woe,

Nor yet the death that Love bestoweth, death:

Let none to Love’s night give the name of night,

Nor call Love’s laughter by the name of laughter.

His life alone can be accounted life,

Our only merriment his joyous day.

Oh blest, thrice-blest to me this happy day,

Whereon I can restrain my bitter woe,

Rejoicing that I have bestowed my life

On her who can bestow or life or death!

What will it be, what can I hope save laughter

From that proud face that turns the sun to night?

Love hath my cloudy night to cloudless day

Transformed, to laughter my increasing woe,

And my approaching death to length of life.

These were the verses, fair shepherdesses, which my Artidoro sang that day with wondrous grace and no less pleasure on the part of those that heard him. From them, and from the words he had spoken to me before, I took occasion to consider if by chance the sight of me had caused some new sensation of love in Artidoro’s breast; and my suspicion did not turn out so vain, but that he himself justified it to me on our return to the village.’

Teolinda had reached this point in the tale of her love, when the shepherdesses heard a great uproar of shepherds shouting and dogs barking. This caused them to end the discourse they had begun, and to stop and observe through the branches what it was; in this way they saw a pack of hounds crossing a green plain on their right hand, in pursuit of a timid hare, that was coming with all speed to take shelter in the dense underwood.

It was not long before the shepherdesses saw it coming to the same place where they were, and going straight to Galatea’s side. There, overcome by the fatigue of its long course, and almost as it were safe from the peril nigh at hand, it sank down on the ground with such wearied breath, that it seemed on the point of breathing its last. The hounds pursued it by scent and track, until they came to where the shepherdesses were; but Galatea, taking the timid hare in her arms, checked the vengeful purpose of the eager hounds, for it seemed to her not to be right to fail to defend a creature that had sought her aid. Soon after there approached some shepherds, following the hounds and the hare; and amongst them came Galatea’s father, out of respect for whom Florisa, Teolinda and she went out to meet him with due courtesy. He and the shepherds were filled with wonder at Teolinda’s beauty, and desired to know who she was, for they saw clearly that she was a stranger. Galatea and Florisa were not a little annoyed at their approach, seeing that it had robbed them of the pleasure of learning the issue of Teolinda’s love; and they asked her to be good enough not to leave their company for some days, if the accomplishment of her desires were not by chance hindered thereby.

‘Nay, rather,’ replied Teolinda, ‘it suits me to remain a day or two on this bank, to see if they can be accomplished; and on this account, as also not to leave unfinished the story I have begun, I must do what you bid me.’

Galatea and Florisa embraced her, and offered her their friendship anew, and to serve her to the best of their power.

Meanwhile Galatea’s father and the other shepherds, having spread their cloaks on the margin of the clear stream, and drawn from their wallets some country fare, invited Galatea and her companions to eat with them. They accepted the invitation, and, sitting down forthwith, they sated their hunger, which was beginning to weary them as the day was already far spent. In the course of these doings, and of some stories the shepherds told to pass the time, the accustomed hour approached for returning to the village. Straightway Galatea and Florisa, returning to their flocks, collected them once more, and, in the company of fair Teolinda and the other shepherds, gradually made their way to the hamlet; and at the break of the hill where that morning they had happened on Elicio, they all heard the pipe of the unloving Lenio, a shepherd in whose breast love could never take up his abode; and thereat he lived in such joy and content, that in whatever converse or gathering of shepherds he found himself, his sole intent was to speak ill of love and lovers, and all his songs tended to this end. By reason of this strange disposition of his, he was known by all the shepherds in all those parts, and by some he was loathed, by others held in esteem. Galatea and those who came there stopped to listen, to see if Lenio was singing anything, as was his wont, and straightway they saw him give his pipe to a companion, and begin to sing what follows to its sound:

LENIO. An idle careless thought that wanders free,

A foolish vaunting fancy of the mind,

A something that no being hath nor kind,

Nor yet foundation, nursed by memory,

A grief that takes the name of jollity,

An empty hope that passes on the wind,

A tangled night where none the day may find,

A straying of the soul that will not see.

These are the very roots wherefrom, I swear,

This old chimera fabled hath its birth,

Which beareth o’er the world the name of Love.

The soul that thus on Love doth set its care,

Deserveth to be banished from the earth,

And win no shelter in the heavens above.

At the time that. Lenio was singing what you have heard, Elicio and Erastro had already come up with their flocks in the company of the hapless Lisandro; and Elicio, thinking that Lenio’s tongue in speaking ill of love went beyond what was right, wished clearly to show him his error, and, adopting the very theme of the verses he had sung, at the moment Galatea, Florisa, Teolinda and the other shepherds came up, to the sound of Erastro’s pipe he began to sing in this wise:

ELICIO. Whosoever keepeth Love,

In his breast a prisoner close,

Hurl him down from heaven above,

Give him not on earth repose.

Love a virtue is unending,

Virtues many more attaining,

Semblance after semblance gaining,

To the primal cause ascending.

Whosoever from such love,

Shall be banished by his woes;

Hurl him down from heaven above,

Grant him not on earth repose.

A fair form, a lovely face,

Though but mortal, doomed to fade,

Are but copies, where portrayed

We may see the heavenly grace.

Grace on earth who doth not love,

Nor to it allegiance owes,

Shall be hurled from heaven above,

Nor on earth shall find repose.

Love, when taken quite apart,

And untainted with alloy,

Filleth all the world with joy,

Even as Apollo’s dart,

Whoso hath mistrust of Love,

Love that hides its blessing close,

Shall not win to heaven above,

But in deepest earth repose.

For a thousand joys a debtor,

Each of us to Love is seen,

For ’tis Love that turns, I ween,

Bad to good, and good to better.

He who lets his fancies rove,

E’en a hair’s breadth from Love’s woes,

Shall not win to heaven above,

Nor on earth find sure repose.

Love indeed is infinite,

If but honour be its stay;

But the love that dies away

Is not love, but appetite.

Whoso shall the veil of love

Raise not, but his heart shall close,

Slay him, lightning from above!

Earth, permit him not repose!

The shepherds given to love felt no small pleasure at seeing how well Elicio defended his view: but the loveless Lenio did not on this account cease to remain firm in his opinion; nay, rather, he sought anew to resume his song and to show in what he sang how ineffectual Elicio’s reasonings were to darken the bright truth which, following his judgment, he upheld. But Galatea’s father, who was called Aurelio the venerable, said to him!

‘Don’t weary yourself for the present, discreet Lenio, in seeking to show us in your song what you feel in your heart, for the road from here to the village is short, and it seems to me more time is needed than you think to defend yourself against the many who hold a view contrary to yours. Keep your reasonings for a more convenient spot, for some day you and Elicio with other shepherds will be together at the spring of slates or the stream of palms, where, with greater ease and comfort, you may be able to discuss and make clear your different opinions.’

‘The opinion Elicio holds is mere opinion,’ replied Lenio, ‘but mine is absolute knowledge, and proved, which, sooner or later, forced me to uphold it, seeing that it carried truth with it; but, as you say, there will not fail a time more fitting for this end.’

‘This will I arrange,’ answered Elicio, ‘for it grieves me that so fine an intellect as yours, friend Lenio, should lack what might improve it and enhance it, like the pure and true love whose enemy you show yourself.’

‘You are deceived, Elicio,’ replied Lenio, ‘if you think by specious words and sophisms to make me change principles I would not hold it manly to change.’

‘It is as wrong,’ said Elicio, ‘to persist in wrong, as it is good to persevere in good, and I have always heard my elders say it is the part of the wise to take counsel.’

‘I do not deny that,’ answered Lenio, ‘whenever I see that my judgment is not correct; but so long as experience and reason do not show me the contrary to what they have shown me hitherto, I believe that my opinion is as true as yours is false.’

‘If the heretics of love were to be punished,’ said Erastro at this point, ‘I would begin from this moment, friend Lenio, to cut wood wherewith to burn you for the greatest heretic and enemy that love has.’

‘And even though I saw naught of love, save that you, Erastro, follow it, and are of the band of lovers,’ replied Lenio, ‘that alone would suffice to make me renounce it with a hundred thousand tongues, if a hundred thousand I had.’

‘Do you think then, Lenio,’ answered Erastro, ‘that I am not fit to be a lover?’

‘Nay,’ replied Lenio, ‘I think that men of your disposition and understanding are fitted to be among love’s servants; for he who is lame falls to the ground at the slightest stumble, and he who has little wisdom, wants but little time to lose it all; and as for those who follow the banner of this your valorous captain, I for my part hold that they are not the wisest in the world; and if they have been, they ceased to be it, the moment they fell in love.’

Great was the displeasure Erastro felt at what Lenio said, and thus he answered him:

‘I think, Lenio, your insane reasonings deserve another punishment than words; but I hope that some day you will pay for what you have just said, without being aided by what you might say in your defence.’

‘If I knew of you, Erastro,’ answered Lenio, ‘that you were as brave as you are fond, your threats would not fail to fill me with dread: but, as I know you are as backward in the one, as in the other you are to the fore, they cause laughter in me rather than terror.’

Here Erastro lost all patience, and if it had not been for Lisandro and Elicio, who placed themselves between, he had replied to Lenio with his fists; for by this time his tongue, confused with rage, could scarce perform its office. Great was the pleasure all felt at the sprightly quarrel of the shepherds, and more at the rage and displeasure Erastro displayed; for it was necessary that Galatea’s father should make peace between Lenio and him, though Erastro, if it had not been for fear of losing the respect of his lady’s father, would in no way have made it. As soon as the matter was ended, all with rejoicing went their way to the village, and whilst they were going, the fair Florisa, to the sound of Galatea’s pipe, sang this sonnet:

FLORISA. With increase may my tender lambs be crowned

Amidst the grassy mead or forest’s fold: —

Throughout the summer’s heat or winter’s cold

May herbage green and cooling streams abound.

May I through all my days and nights be found

Wrapt but in dreamings of a shepherd’s life;

In no wise yielding to Love’s petty strife,

Nor may his childish acts have power to wound.

Here one Love’s countless blessings doth proclaim,

Love’s fruitless cares another maketh known.

I cannot say if both be brought to shame,

Nor yet to whom to give the victor’s crown.

This much I know: that many Love by name

May call, yet few are chosen for his own.

Short indeed was the road to the shepherds, beguiled and entertained by the charming voice of Florisa, who ceased not her song till they were quite near the village and the huts of Elicio and Erastro, who stopped there with Lisandro, first taking leave of the venerable Aurelio, Galatea, and Florisa, who went with Teolinda to the village, the remaining shepherds going each to where he had his hut. That same night the hapless Lisandro asked leave of Elicio to return to his country or to where he might, in harmony with his desire, finish the little of life that, as he thought, remained to him. Elicio with all the arguments he could urge on him, and with the endless offers of true friendship he made him, could by no means prevail on him to remain in his company even for a few days; and so the luckless shepherd, embracing Elicio with many tears and sighs, took leave of him, promising to inform him of his condition wherever he might be. Elicio, having accompanied him half a league from his hut, again embraced him closely; and making again fresh offers, they parted, Elicio being in great grief for what Lisandro suffered. And so he returned to his hut to spend the greater part of the night in amorous fancies and to await the coming day that he might enjoy the happiness the sight of Galatea caused him. And she, when she reached her village, desiring to learn the issue of Teolinda’s love, arranged so that Florisa, Teolinda and she might be alone that night; and finding the opportunity she desired, the love-sick shepherdess continued her story as will be seen in the second book.

Book II.

BEING now free and relieved from what they had to do that night with their flocks, they arranged to retire and withdraw with Teolinda to a spot where they might, without being hindered by anyone, hear what was lacking of the issue of her love. And so they betook themselves to a little garden by Galatea’s house; and, the three seating themselves beneath a stately green vine which entwined itself in an intricate manner along some wooden network, Teolinda repeated once more some words of what she had said before and went on, saying:

‘After our dance and Artidoro’s song were ended, as I have already told you, fair shepherdesses, it seemed good to all of us to return to the village to perform in the temple the solemn rites, and because it likewise seemed to us that the solemnity of the feast in some way gave us liberty; but not being so punctilious as to seclusion, we enjoyed ourselves with more freedom.

Wherefore we all, shepherds and shepherdesses, in a confused mass, with gladness and rejoicing returned to the village, speaking each with the one who pleased him best. Fate, and my care, and Artidoro’s solicitude also ordained that, without any display of artifice in the matter, we two kept apart from the rest in such a manner that on the way we might safely have said more than what we did say, if each of us had not respected what we owed to ourselves and to each other. At length I said to him, to draw him out, as the saying goes: “The days you have spent in our village, Artidoro, will be years to you, since in your own you must have things to occupy you which must give you greater pleasure.”

“All that I can hope for in my life,” replied Artidoro, “would I exchange, if only the days I have to spend here might be, not years, but centuries, since, when they come to an end, I do not hope to pass others that may give me greater joy.”

“Is the joy you feel so great,” I replied “at seeing our festivals?”

“It does not arise from this,” he answered, “but from regarding the beauty of the shepherdesses of your village.”

“In truth,” I retorted, “pretty girls must be wanting in yours.”

“The truth is that they are not wanting there,” he replied, “but that here there is a superabundance, so that one single one I have seen is enough for those of yonder place to count themselves ugly compared to her.”

“Your courtesy makes you say this, oh Artidoro,” I replied, “for I know full well that in this hamlet there is no one who excels so much as you say.”

“I know better that what I say is true,” he answered, “since I have seen the one and beheld the others.”

“Perhaps you beheld her from afar, and the distance between,” said I, “made you see a different thing from what it really was.”

“In the same way,” he replied, “as I see and am beholding you now, I beheld and saw her. Happy should I be to have been mistaken, if her disposition does not agree with her beauty.”

“It would not grieve me to be the one you say, for the pleasure she must feel who sees herself proclaimed and accounted beautiful.”

“I would much rather that you were not,” replied Artidoro. “Then what would you lose,” I answered, “if instead of not being the one you say, I were?”

“What I have gained, I know full well,” he replied, “as to what I have to lose, I am doubtful and in fear.”

“You know well how to play the lover, Artidoro,” said I. “You know better how to inspire love, Teolinda,” he replied. Thereon I said to him, “I do not know if I should tell you, Artidoro, that I wish neither of us to be deceived.” Whereto he replied, “I am quite sure that I am not deceived, and it is in your hands to seek to undeceive yourself as often as you seek to make trial of the pure desire I have to serve you.”

“I will reward you for that,” I answered, “with the same desire; for it seems to me that it would not be well to remain indebted to anybody where the cost is so small.” At this moment, without his having a chance to reply to me, the head-shepherd Eleuco came up, saying in a loud voice: “Ho, gay shepherds and fair shepherdesses, make them hear our approach in the village, you singing some chant, maidens, so that we can reply to you, in order that the people of the hamlet may see how much we who are on our way here, do to make our festival joyous.” And because in nothing that Eleuco commanded did he fail to be obeyed, straightway the shepherds beckoned to me to begin; and so, availing myself of the opportunity, and profiting by what had passed with Artidoro, I commenced this chant:

Whosoever by much striving

Would the perfect lover be

Honour needs and secrecy.

Wouldst thou seek with heart elate

Love’s sweet joy to reach aright,

Take as key to thy delight

Honour, secrecy as gate.

Who thereby would enter straight,

Wise and witty though he be

Honour needs and secrecy.

Whoso loveth human beauty,

With reproach is oft confounded,

If his passion be not bounded

By his honour and his duty:

And such noble love as booty

Winneth every man, if he

Honour have and secrecy.

Everyone this truth hath known,

And it cannot be denied,

That speech oft will lose the bride

Whom a silent tongue hath won,

And he will all conflict shun

Who a lover is, if he

Honour have and secrecy.

Chattering tongues, audacious eyes,

May have brought a thousand cares,

May have set a thousand snares

For the soul, and so it dies.

Whoso would his miseries

Lessen, and from strife be free,

Honour needs and secrecy.

‘I know not, fair shepherdesses, if in singing what you have heard I succeeded; but I know very well that Artidoro knew how to profit by it, since all the time he was in our village, though he often spoke to me, it was with so much reserve, secrecy, and modesty that idle eyes and chattering tongues neither had nor saw aught to say that might be prejudicial to our honour. But in the fear I had that, when the period Artidoro had promised to spend in our village was ended, he would have to go to his own, I sought, though at the cost of my modesty, that my heart should not remain with the regret of having kept silence on what it were useless to speak afterwards, when Artidoro had gone. And so, after my eyes gave leave for his most beauteous eyes to gaze on me lovingly, our tongues were not still, nor failed to show with words what up till then the eyes had so clearly declared by sign. Finally, you must know, friends, that one day when I found myself by chance alone with Artidoro, he disclosed to me, with tokens of an ardent love and courtesy, the true and honourable love he felt for me; and though I would have wished to play the reluctant prude, yet, because I was afraid, as I have already told you, that he would go, I did not wish to disdain him nor to dismiss him, and also because it seemed to me that the lack of sympathy, inspired or felt at the beginning of a love-affair, is the reason why those who are not very experienced in their passion, abandon and leave the enterprise they have begun. Wherefore I gave him answer such as I desired to give him. We agreed in the resolve that he should repair to his village, and a few days after should by some honourable mediation send to ask me in marriage from my parents; whereat he was so happy and content that he did not cease to call the day fortunate on which his eyes beheld me. As for me, I can tell you that I would not have changed my happiness for any other that could be imagined; for I was sure that Artidoro’s worth and good qualities were such that my father would be happy to receive him as a son-in-law. The happy climax you have heard, shepherdesses, was the climax of our love, for only two or three days remained before Artidoro’s departure, when fortune, as one who never set bounds to her designs, ordained that a sister of mine, a little younger than I, should return to our village from another where she had been for some days, in the house of an aunt of ours who was ill. And in order that you may see, ladies, what strange and unthought-of chances happen in the world, I would have you know a fact which I think will not fail to cause in you some strange feeling of wonder: it is that this sister of mine I have told you of, who up till then had been away, resembles me so much in face, stature, grace, and spirit (if I have any), that not merely those of our hamlet, but our very parents have often mistaken us, and spoken to the one for the other, so that, not to fall into this error, they distinguished us by the differences of our dresses, which were different. In one thing only, as I believe, did Nature make us quite different, namely, in disposition, my sister’s being harsher than my happiness required, since, because of her being less compassionate than sharp-witted, I shall have to weep as long as my life endures. It happened, then, that as soon as my sister came to the village desiring to resume the rustic duties that were pleasing to her, she rose next day earlier than I wished, and went off to the meadow with the very sheep I used to lead; and though I wished to follow her by reason of the happiness which followed to me from the sight of my Artidoro, for some reason or other my mother kept me at home the whole of that day, which was the last of my joys. For that night my sister, having brought back her flock, told me as in secret that she had to tell me something of great importance to me. I, who might have imagined anything rather than what she said to me, arranged that we should soon see each other alone, when with face somewhat moved, I hanging on her words, she began to say to me: “I know not, sister mine, what to think of your honour, nor yet whether I should be silent on what I cannot refrain from telling you, in order to see if you give me any excuse for the fault I imagine you are guilty of: and though, as a younger sister, I should have addressed you with more respect, you must forgive me; for in what I have seen to-day you will find the excuse for what I say to you.” When I heard her speaking in this way I knew not what to answer her except to tell her to go on with her discourse. “You must know, sister,” she proceeded, “that this morning when I went forth with our sheep to the meadow, and was going alone with them along the bank of our cool Henares, as I passed through the glade of counsel there came out towards me a shepherd whom I can truly swear I have never seen in our district; and with a strange freedom of manner he began to greet me so lovingly that I stood shamed and confused, not knowing what to answer him. Failing to take warning from the anger which I fancy I showed in my face, he came up to me, saying to me: ‘What silence is this, fair Teolinda, last refuge of this soul that adores you?’ And he was on the point of taking my hands to kiss them, adding to what I have said a whole list of endearments, which it seemed he brought ready prepared, At once I understood, seeing that he was falling into the error many others have fallen into, and thinking he was speaking with you; whence a suspicion arose in me that if you, sister, had never seen him, nor treated him with familiarity, it would not be possible for him to have the boldness to speak to you in that way. Whereat I felt so great a rage that I could scarcely form words to answer him, but at last I replied to him in the way his boldness deserved, and as it seemed to me you, sister, would have had to answer anyone speaking to you so freely; and if it had not been that the shepherdess Licea came up at that moment, I had added such words that he would truly have repented addressing his to me. And the best of it is that I never chose to tell him of the error he was in, but that he believed I was Teolinda, as if he had been speaking with you yourself. At last he went off, calling me thankless, ungrateful, one who showed little return; and from what I can judge from the expression he bore, I assure you, sister, he will not dare speak to you again though he should meet you all alone. What I want to know is who is this shepherd, and what converse has been between you, whence it comes that he dare speak to you with such freedom?” To your great discretion, discreet shepherdesses, I leave it to imagine what my soul would feel on hearing what my sister told me: but at length, dissembling as best I could, I said to her: “You have done me the greatest favour in the world, sister Leonarda,” (for so was called the disturber of my peace) “in having by your harsh words rid me of the disgust and turmoil caused me by the importunities you mention of this shepherd. He is a stranger who for eight days has been in our village, whose thoughts are full of arrogance and folly, so great that wherever he sees me he treats me as you have seen, giving himself up to the belief that he has won my good-will; and though I have undeceived him, perhaps with harsher words than you said to him, nevertheless he does not cease to persist in his vain purpose. I assure you, sister, that I wish the new day were here that I might go and tell him that if he does not desist from his vain hope, he may expect the end to it which my words have always indicated to him.” And it was indeed true, sweet friends, that I would have given all that might have been asked of me, if it had but been dawn, only that I might go and see my Artidoro, and undeceive him of the error he had fallen into, fearing lest through the bitter and petulant reply my sister had given him he should be disdainful and do something to prejudice our agreement. The long nights of rough December were not more irksome to the lover hoping some happiness from the coming day than was that night distasteful to me, though it was one of the short nights of summer, since I longed for the new light to go and see the light whereby my eyes saw. And so, before the stars wholly lost their brightness, being even in doubt whether it were night or day, constrained by my longing, on the pretext of going to pasture my sheep, I went forth from the village, and hurrying the flock more than usual to urge it on, reached the spot where at other times I was wont to find Artidoro, which I found deserted and without anything to give me indication of him; whereat my heart throbbed violently within me, for it almost guessed the evil which was in store for it. How often, seeing that I did not find him, did I wish to beat the air with my voice, calling out my Artidoro’s beloved name, and to say, “Come, my joy, I am the true Teolinda, who longs for you and loves you more than herself!” But fear lest my words might be heard by another than him, made me keep more silent than I should have wished. And so, after I had traversed once and yet again all the bank and wood of the gentle Henares, I sat me down, wearied, at the foot of a green willow, waiting until the bright sun should with his rays spread over all the face of the earth, so that in his brightness there might not remain thicket, cave, copse, cottage, or hut where I might not go seeking my joy. But scarcely had the new light given opportunity to distinguish colours, when straightway a rough-barked poplar, which was before me, presented itself to my eyes: on it and on many others I saw some letters written, which I at once recognised to be from Artidoro’s hand, set there; and rising in haste to see what they said, I saw, fair shepherdesses, that it was this:

Shepherdess, alone in thee

Do I find that beauty rare

Which to naught can I compare

Save to thine own cruelty.

Thou wert fickle, loyal I,

Thus thou sowedst with open hand

Promises upon the sand;

Down the wind my hope did fly.

Never had I thought to know

That thy sweet and joyous “yes.”

Would be followed — I confess —

By a sad and bitter “no.”

Yet I had not been undone,

Had the eyes that gazed on thee

Kept in sight prosperity,

Not thy loveliness alone.

But the more thy mystic grace

Speaks of promise and of gladness,

All the more I sink in sadness,

All my wits are in a maze.

Ah, those eyes! they proved untrue,

Though compassionate in seeming.

Tell me, eyes so falsely beaming,

How they sinned that gaze on you.

Is there man, cruel shepherdess,

But thou couldst beguile his fancies

By thy staid and modest glances,

By thy voice’s sweet caress?

This indeed have I believed,

That thou couldst have, days ago,

Held me, hadst thou wished it so,

Captive, vanquished, and deceived.

Lo, the letters I shall write

On the rough bark of this tree —

Firmer than did faith with thee,

Will they grow in time’s despite.

On thy lips thy faith was set,

On thy promises so vain;

Firmer ‘gainst the wind-tossed main

Is the rock the gale hath met.

Fearsome art thou, full of bane

As the viper which we\press

Under foot — ah, shepherdess,

False as fair, my charm and pain!

Whatsoe’er thy cruelty

Biddeth, I without delay

Will perform; to disobey

Thy command was ne’er in me.

I shall far in exile die

That contented thou mayst live,

But beware lest Love perceive

How thou scorn’st my misery.

In Love’s dance, though Love may place

Loyal heart in bondage strait,

Yet it may not change its state,

But must stay, to shun disgrace.

Thou in beauty dost excel

Every maiden on this earth,

And I thought that from thy worth

Thou wert firm in love as well.

Now my love the truth doth know

’Twas that Nature wished to limn

In thy face an angel, Time

In thy mood that changes so.

Wouldst thou know where I have gone,

Where my woeful life shall end,

Mark my blood, thy footsteps bend

By the path my blood hath shown.

And though naught with thee doth well

Of our love and harmony

Do not to the corse deny

E’en the sad and last farewell.

Thou wilt be without remorse,

Harder than the diamond stone,

If thou makest not thy moan,

When thou dost behold my corse.

If in life thou hatedst me,

Then amidst my hapless plight

I shall count my death delight

To be dead and wept by thee.

‘What words will suffice, shepherdesses, to make you understand the extremity of grief that seized upon my heart, when I clearly understood that the verses I had read were my beloved Artidoro’s? But there is no reason why I should make too much of it to you, since it did not go as far as was needed to end my life, which thenceforward I have held in such loathing, that I would not feel, nor could there come to me, a greater pleasure than to lose it. So great and of such a kind were the sighs I then gave forth, the tears I shed, the piteous cries I uttered, that none who had heard me but would have taken me for mad.

In short, I remained in such a state, that, without considering what I owed to my honour, I determined to forsake my dear native land, beloved parents and cherished brothers, and to leave my simple flock to take care of itself; and, without heeding aught else save what I deemed to be necessary for my satisfaction, that very morning, embracing a thousand times the bark where my Artidoro’s hand had been, I departed from that place with the intent to come to these banks where I know Artidoro has and makes his abode, to see if he has been so inconsiderate and cruel to himself, as to put into practice what he left written in his last verses: for if it were so, henceforward I promise you, my friends, that the desire and haste with which I shall follow him in death, shall be no less than the willingness with which I have loved him in life. But, woe is me! I verily believe there is no foreboding which may be to my hurt but will turn out true, for it is now nine days since I came to these cool banks, and all this while I have learnt no tidings of what I desire; and may it please God that when I learn them, it may not be the worst I forebode. Here you see, discreet maidens, the mournful issue of my life of love. I have now told you who I am and what I seek; if you have any tidings of my happiness, may fortune grant you the greatest you desire, so that you do not withhold it from me.’

With such tears did the loving shepherdess accompany the words she uttered, that he would have had a heart of steel who had not grieved at them. Galatea and Florisa, who were naturally of a pitying disposition, could not hold theirs back, nor yet did they fail to comfort her with the most soothing and helpful words in their power, counselling her to remain some days in their company; that perhaps her fortune would in the meantime cause her to learn some tidings of Artidoro, since Heaven would not allow a shepherd so discreet as she depicted him by reason of so strange an error to end the course of his youthful years; that it might be that Artidoro, his thought having in course of time returned to better course and purpose, might return to see the native land he longed for and his sweet friends; and that she might, therefore, hope to find him there better than elsewhere. The shepherdess, somewhat consoled by these and other reasonings, was pleased to remain with them, thanking them for the favour they did her, and for the desire they showed to secure her happiness. At this moment the serene night, urging on her starry car through the sky, gave token that the new day was approaching; and the shepherdesses, in desire and need of rest, arose and repaired from the cool garden to their dwellings. But scarce had the bright sun with his warm rays scattered and consumed the dense mist, which on cool mornings is wont to spread through the air, when the three shepherdesses, leaving their lazy couches, returned to the wonted pursuit of grazing their flock, Galatea and Florisa with thoughts far different from that cherished by the fair Teolinda, who went her way so sad and thoughtful that it was a marvel.

And for this reason, Galatea, to see if she might in some way distract her, begged her to lay aside her melancholy for a while, and be so good as to sing some verses to the sound of Florisa’s pipe. To this Teolinda replied:

‘If I thought that the great cause I have for weeping, despite the slight cause I have for singing, would be diminished in any way, you might well forgive me, fair Galatea, for not doing what you bid me; but as I already know by experience that what my tongue utters in song, my heart confirms with weeping, I will do what you wish, since thereby I shall satisfy your desire without going contrary to mine.’

And straightway the shepherdess Florisa played her pipe, to the sound of which Teolinda sang this sonnet:

TEOLINDA. Whither a flagrant cruel lie doth go,

This have I learned from my grievous state,

And how Love with my hurt doth meditate

The life that fear denies me, to bestow.

To dwell within my flesh my soul doth cease,

Following his soul that by some mystic fate

In pain hath placed it, and in woe so great

That happiness brings strife, and sorrow peace.

If I do live, ’tis hope that makes me live,

Hope, that, though slight and weak, doth upward mount,

Clinging unto the strength my love doth give.

Ah firm beginning, transformation frail,

Bitterest total of a sweet account!

Amidst your persecutions life must fail.

Teolinda had scarcely ceased singing the sonnet you have heard, when, on their right hand, on the slope of the cool vale, the three shepherdesses became aware of the sound of a pipe, whose sweetness was such that all halted and stood still, to enjoy the sweet harmony with more attention. And anon they heard the sound of a small rebeck, attuning itself to that of the pipe with grace and skill so great that the two shepherdesses Galatea and Florisa stood rapt, wondering what shepherds they might be who played with such harmony; for they clearly saw that none of those they knew was so skilled in music, unless it were Elicio.

‘At this moment,’ said Teolinda, ‘if my ears deceive me not, fair shepherdesses, I think you now have on your banks the two renowned and famous shepherds Thyrsis and Damon, natives of my country — at least Thyrsis is, who was born in famous Compluto, a town founded on our Henares’ banks; and Damon, his intimate and perfect friend, if I am not ill informed, draws his origin from the mountains of Leon, and was nurtured in Mantua Carpentanea, the renowned. Both are so excellent in every manner of discretion, learning and praiseworthy pursuits, that not only are they known within the boundaries of our district, but they are known and esteemed throughout all the boundaries of the land; and think not, shepherdesses, that the genius of these two shepherds extends merely to knowing what befits the shepherd’s lot, for it passes so far beyond that they teach and dispute of the hidden things of Heaven and the unknown things of earth, in terms and modes agreed upon. And I am perplexed to think what cause will have moved them to leave, Thyrsis his sweet and beloved Phyllis, Damon his fair and modest Amaryllis; Phyllis by Thyrsis, Amaryllis by Damon so beloved, that there is in our village or its environs no person, nor in the district a wood, meadow, spring or stream, that does not know full well their warm and modest love.’

‘Cease at present, Teolinda,’ said Florisa, ‘to praise these shepherds to us, for it profits us more to hear what they sing as they come, since it seems to me that they have no less charm in their voices than in the music of their instruments.’

‘What will you say,’ Teolinda then replied, ‘when you see all this surpassed by the excellence of their poetry, which is of such a kind that for the one it has already gained the epithet of divine, and for the other that of superhuman?’

The shepherdesses, whilst engaged in this discourse, saw, on the slope of the vale along which they themselves were going, two shepherds appear, of gallant bearing and abounding spirit, one a little older than the other; so well dressed, though in shepherd’s garb, that in their carriage and appearance they seemed more like brave courtiers than mountain herdsmen.

Each wore a well-cut garment of finest white wool, trimmed with tawny red and grey, colours which their shepherdesses fancied most. Each had hanging from his shoulder a wallet no less handsome and adorned than the garments. They came crowned with green laurel and cool ivy, with their twisted crooks placed under their arms. They brought no companion, and came so rapt in their music that they were for a long while without seeing the shepherdessses, who were wending their way along the same slope, wondering not a little at the gentle grace and charm of the shepherds, who, with voices attuned to the same chant, one beginning and the other replying, sang this which follows:


DAMON. Thyrsis, who dost in loneliness depart

With steps emboldened, though against thy will,

From yonder light wherewith remains thine heart,

Why dost thou not the air with mourning fill?

So great indeed thy cause is to complain

Of the fierce troubler of thy life so still.

THYRSIS. Damon, once let the life be rent in twain,

If the grief-stricken body go away,

And yet the higher half behind remain,

What virtue or what being will essay

My tongue to move, already counted dead?

For where my soul was, there my life doth stay.

I see, I hear, I feel, ’tis truth indeed,

And yet I am a phantom formed by love,

My only stay is hope that hath not fled.

DAMON. Oh, happy Thyrsis, how thy lot doth move

My soul to envy’! rightly, for I know

That it doth rise all lovers’ lots above.

Absence alone displeaseth thee, and so

Firm and secure thou hast in Love a stay

Wherewith thy soul rejoiceth ‘midst its woe.

Alas! where’er I go I fall a prey

Beneath the chilly scornful hand of fear,

Or with its cruel lance disdain doth slay!

Count life as death; although it doth appear

Living to thee, ’tis like a lamp that dies

And as it dies, the flame burneth more clear.

My wearied soul doth not in time that flies,

Nor in the means that absence offers, find

Its consolation midst its miseries.

THYRSIS. Love that is firm and pure hath ne’er declined

Through bitter absence; rather memory

Fosters its growth by faith within the mind.

The perfect lover sees no remedy

Relief unto the loving load to give,

However short or long the absence be.

For memory, which only doth perceive

What Love hath set within the soul, doth show

The lovèd image to the mind alive.

And then in soothing silence makes him know

His fortune, good or ill, as from her eye

A loving or a loveless glance doth go.

And if thou markest that I do not sigh,

’Tis that my Phyllis doth my singing guide,

Here in my breast my Phyllis I descry.

DAMON. If in her lovely face thou hadst espied

Signs of displeasure when thou didst depart

Far from the joy that thee hath satisfied,

Full well I know, my Thyrsis, that thine heart

Would be as full as mine of bitter woe —

Love’s bliss was thine, but mine Love’s cruel smart

THYRSIS. With words like these I pass the time, and so,

Damon, I temper absence’s extreme,

And gladly do remain, or come, or go.

For she who was from birth a living theme,

Type of the deathless beauty in the skies,

Worthy of marble, temple, diadem,

Even my Phyllis, blinds th’ covetous eyes,

With her rare virtue and her modest zeal,

So that I fear not; none will wrest the prize.

The strait subjection that my soul doth feel

Before hers, and the purpose raised on high,

That in her worship doth its goal reveal,

And more, the fact that Phyllis knows that I

Love her, and doth return my love — all these

Banish my grief and bring felicity.

Damon. Blest Thrysis, Thyrsis crowned with happiness!

Mayst thou enjoy for ages yet to come

Thy bliss ‘midst Love’s delight and certain peace.

But I, whom brief and unrelenting doom

To such a doubtful pass as this hath led,

In merit poor, in cares rich, near the tomb.

’Tis good that I should die, since, being dead,

Nor cruel Amaryllis shall I fear

Nor Love ungrateful whereby I am sped.

Oh, fairer than the heavens, or sun’s bright sphere,

Yet harder far than adamant to me,

Ready to hurt, but slow to bring me cheer,

What wind from south or north or east on thee

Harshness did blow, that thou didst thus ordain,

That from thy presence I should ever flee?

I, shepherdess, in lands across the main

Far off shall die — thy will thou hast avowed —

Doomed unto death, to fetter, yoke and chain.

Thyrsis. Since Heaven in its mercy hath endowed

Thee, Damon, with such blessings, dearest friend,

With intellect so sprightly and so proud,

Yet it with thy lament and sorrow blend,

Remember that the sun’s all-scorching ray

And ice’s chill at last shall have an end.

Destiny does not always choose one way

Whereby with smooth, reposeful steps to bring

Happiness to us — mark the words I say —

For sometimes by unthought-of suffering,

In seeming far from pleasure and from joy,

It leads us to the blisses poets sing.

But come, good friend, thy memory employ

Upon the modest joys that Love once gave,

Pledges of victory without alloy.

And, if thou canst, a pastime seek, to save

Thy soul from brooding, whilst the time of scorn

Goes by, and we attain the boon we crave.

Unto the ice that by degrees doth burn,

Unto the fire that chills beyond degree,

What bard shall place degree thereto, or bourne?

Vainly he wearies, vainly watcheth he

Who, out of favour, yet Love’s web doth seek

To cut according to his fantasy;

He is, though strong in Love, in fortune weak.

Here ceased the exquisite song of the graceful shepherds, but not as regards the pleasure the shepherdesses had felt at listening to it; rather they would have wished it not to end so soon, for it was one of those lays that are but rarely heard.

At this moment the two gallant shepherds bent their steps in the direction where the shepherdesses were, whereat Teolinda was grieved, for she feared to be recognised by them; and for this reason she asked Galatea that they might go away from that place. She did it, and the shepherds passed by, and as they passed Galatea heard Thyrsis saying to Damon:

‘These banks, friend Damon, are those on which the fair Galatea grazes her flocks, and to which the loving Elicio brings his, your intimate and special friend, to whom may fortune give such issue in his love as his honourable and good desires deserve. For many days I have not known to what straits his lot has brought him; but from what I have heard tell of the coy disposition of discreet Galatea, for whom he is dying, I fear he must be full of woe long before he is content.’

‘I would not be astonished at this,’ replied Damon, ‘for with all the graces and special gifts wherewith Heaven has enriched Galatea, it has after all made her a woman, in which frail object is not always the gratitude that is due, and which he needs whose smallest risk for them is life. What I have heard tell of Elicio’s love is that he adores Galatea without passing beyond the bounds that are due to her modesty, and that Galatea’s discretion is so great that she does not give proofs of loving or of loathing Elicio; and so the hapless swain must go on subject to a thousand contrary chances, waiting on time and fortune (means hopeless enough) to shorten or lengthen his life, but which are more likely to shorten it than to sustain it.’

So far Galatea could hear what the shepherds, as they went along, said of her and of Elicio, whereat she felt no small pleasure, understanding that what report published of her affairs was what was due to her pure intent; and from that moment she determined not to do for Elicio anything that might give report a chance of speaking false in what it published of her thoughts. At this moment the two brave shepherds were gradually wending their way with loitering steps towards the village, desiring to be present at the nuptials of the happy shepherd Daranio, who was marrying Silveria of the green eyes, and this was one of the reasons why they had left their flocks, and were coming to Galatea’s hamlet.

But, when but little of the way remained to be covered, they heard on its right side the sound of a rebeck which sounded harmoniously and sweetly; and Damon stopping caught Thyrsis by the arm, and said to him ‘Stay, listen a while, Thyrsis, for if my ears do not deceive me, the sound that reaches them is that from the rebeck of my good friend Elicio, on whom Nature bestowed so much charm in many different arts, as you will hear if you listen to him, and learn if you speak with him.’

‘Think not, Damon,’ replied Thyrsis, ‘that I have yet to learn Elicio’s good qualities, for days ago fame clearly revealed them to me. But be silent now, and let us listen to see if he sings aught that may give us some sure token of his present fortune.’

‘You say well,’ answered Damon, ‘but it will be necessary, the better to hear him, for us to go in among these branches so that we may listen to him more closely without being seen by him.’

They did so, and placed themselves in so good a position that no word that Elicio said or sang, failed to be heard by them and even noted. Elicio was in the company of his friend Erastro, from whom he was rarely separated by reason of the pleasure and enjoyment he received from his excellent converse, and all or most of the day was spent by them in singing and playing their instruments, and at this moment, Elicio playing his rebeck and Erastro his pipe, the former began these verses:

ELICIO. I yield unto the thought within my breast

And in my grief find rest;

Glory no more in view,

I follow her whom fancy doth pursue,

For her I ever in my fancy see,

From all the bonds of Love exempt and free.

Unto the soul’s eye Heaven grants not the grace

To see the peaceful face

Of her who is my foe,

Glory and pride of all that Heaven can show;

When I behold her with my body’s eye,

The sun have I beheld, and blind am I.

Oh bitter bonds of Love, though fraught with pleasure!

Oh, mighty beyond measure,

Love’s hand! that thus couldst steal

The bliss which thou didst promise to reveal

Unto mine eyes, when, in my freedom’s hour,

I mocked at thee, thy bow and quiver’s power.

What loveliness! what hands as white as snow,

Thou tyrant, didst thou show!

How wearied wert thou grown,

When first the noose upon my neck was thrown!

And even thou hadst fallen in the fray

Were Galatea not alive to-day.

She, she alone, on earth alone was found

To deal the cruel wound

Within the heart of me,

And make a vassal of the fancy free,

That would as steel or marble be displayed,

Did it not yield itself to love the maid.

What charter can protect, what monarch’s grace

Against the cruel face,

More beauteous than the sun,

Of her who hath my happiness undone?

Ah face, that dost reveal

On earth the bliss that Heaven doth conceal!

How comes it then that nature could unite

Such rigour and despite

With so much loveliness,

Such worth and yet a mood so pitiless?

Such opposites to join

My happiness consents — the hurt is mine.

Easy it is that my brief lot should see

Sweet life in unity

With bitter death, and find

Its evil nestling where its good reclined.

Amidst these different ways

I see that hope, but not desire decays.

The loving shepherd sang no more, nor did Thyrsis and Damon wish to stay longer, but showing themselves unexpectedly and with spirit, came to where Elicio was. When he saw them he recognised his friend Damon, and going forward with incredible joy to welcome him, said to him:

‘What fortune, discreet Damon, has ordained that by your presence you should bestow so fair a fortune on these banks which have long wished for you?’

‘It cannot be but fair,’ answered Damon, ‘since it has brought me to see you, oh Elicio, a thing on which I set a value as great as is the desire I had for it, and as long absence and the friendship I cherish for you forced me to do. But if you can for any reason say what you have said, it is because you have before you the famous Thyrsis, glory and honour of the Castilian soil.’

When Elicio heard him say that this was Thyrsis, to him only known by fame, he welcomed him with great courtesy, and said to him:

‘Your pleasing countenance, renowned Thyrsis, agrees well with what loud fame in lands near and far proclaims of your worth and discretion; and so, seeing that your writings have filled me with wonder and led me to desire to know you and serve you, you can henceforward count and treat me as a true friend.’

‘What I gain thereby,’ replied Thyrsis, ‘is so well known that in vain would fame proclaim what the affection you bear me makes you say that it proclaims of me, if I did not recognise the favour you do me in seeking to place me in the number of your friends; and since between those who are friends words of compliment must be superfluous, let ours cease at this point, and let deeds give witness of our good-will.’

‘Mine will ever be to serve you,’ replied Elicio, ‘as you will see, oh Thyrsis, if time or fortune place me in a position in any way suitable for it; for that I now occupy, though I would not change it for another offering greater advantages, is such that it scarcely leaves me free to proffer what I desire.’

‘Since you set your desire on so lofty a goal as you do,’ said Damon, ‘I would hold it madness to endeavour to lower it to an object that might be less; and so, friend Elicio, do not speak ill of the condition in which you find yourself, for I assure you that if it were compared with mine, I would find occasion to feel towards you more envy than pity.’

‘It is quite clear, Damon,’ said Elicio, ‘that you have been away from these banks for many a day, since you do not know what love makes me feel here, and if it is not so, you cannot know or have experience of Galatea’s disposition, for if you had noted it, you would change into pity the envy you might feel for me.’

‘What new thing can he expect from Galatea’s disposition,’ replied Damon, ‘who has experienced that of Amaryllis?’

‘If your stay on these banks,’ answered Elicio, ‘be as long as I wish, you, Damon, will learn and see on them, and on others will hear, how her cruelty and gentleness go in equal balance, extremes which end the life of him whose misfortune has brought him to the pass of ‘adoring her.’

‘On our Henares’s banks,’ said Thyrsis at this point, ‘Galatea had more fame for beauty than for cruelty; but above all, it is said that she is discreet; and if this be true, as it ought to be, from her discretion springs self-knowledge, and from self-knowledge self-esteem, and from self-esteem desire not to stray, and from desire not to stray comes desire not to gratify herself. And you, Elicio, seeing how ill she responds to your wishes, give the name of cruelty to that which you should have called honourable reticence; and I do not wonder, for it is, after all, the condition proper to lovers who find small favour.’

‘You would be right in what you have said, oh Thyrsis,’ replied Elicio, ‘if my desires were to wander from the path befitting her honour and modesty; but if they are so measured, as is due to her worth and reputation, what avails such disdain, such bitter and peevish replies, such open withdrawal of the face from him who has set all his glory on merely seeing it? Ah, Thyrsis, Thyrsis, how love must have placed you on the summit of its joys, since with so calm a spirit you speak of its effects!

I do not know that what you say now goes well with what you once said when you sang:

“Alas, from what a wealth of hope I come Unto a poor and faltering desire” — with the rest you added to it.’

Up to this point Erastro had been silent, watching what was passing between the shepherds, wondering to see their gentle grace and bearing, with the proofs each one gave of the great discretion he had. But seeing that from step to step they had been brought to reasoning on affairs of love, as one who was so experienced in them, he broke silence, and said:

‘I quite believe, discreet shepherds, that long experience will have shown you that one cannot reduce to a fixed term the disposition of loving hearts, which, being governed by another’s will, are exposed to a thousand contrary accidents.

And so, renowned Thyrsis, you have no reason to wonder at what Elicio has said, and he as little to wonder at what you say, or take for an example what he says you sang, still less what I know you sang when you said:

“The pallor and the weakness I display,” wherein you clearly showed the woeful plight in which you then were; for a little later there came to our huts the news of your bliss celebrated in those verses of yours, which are so famous.

They began, if I remember rightly:

“The dawn comes up, and from her fertile hand.”

Whence we clearly see the difference there is between one moment and another, and how love like them is wont to change condition, making him laugh to-day who wept yesterday and him weep to-morrow who laughs to-day. And since I have known her disposition so well, Galatea’s harshness and haughty disdain cannot succeed in destroying my hopes, though I hope from her nothing save that she should be content that I should love her.’

‘He who should not hope a fair issue to so loving and measured a desire as you have shown, oh shepherd,’ replied Damon, deserved renown beyond that of a despairing lover truly n is a great thing you seek of Galatea! But tell me’ shepherd — so may she grant it you — can it be that you have your desire so well in bounds that it does not advance in desire beyond what you have said.’

‘You may well believe him, friend Damon,’ said Elicio, ‘since Galatea s worth gives no opportunity for aught else to be desired or hoped of her, and even this is so difficult to obtain that at times in Erastro hope is chilled, and in me grows cold, so that he counts as certain, and I as sure, that sooner must death come than hope’s fulfilment. But as it is not right to welcome such honoured guests with the bitter tales of our miseries, let them now cease, and let us betake ourselves to the village, where you may rest from the heavy toil of the road, and may with greater ease, if so you wish, learn our uneasiness.’

All were pleased to fall’ in with Elicio’s wish, and he and Erastro, collecting their flocks once more, though it was some hours before the wonted time, in company with the two shepherds, speaking on different matters, though all concerned with love, journeyed towards the village. But, as all Erastro’s pastime was in playing and singing, so for this reason, as also from the desire he had to learn if the two new shepherds were as skilful as was said of them, in order to induce them and invite them to do the same, he asked Elicio to play his rebeck, to the sound of which he began to sing as follows:

ERASTRO. Before the light of yonder peaceful eyes,

Whereby the sun is lit the earth to light,

My soul is so inflamed, that, in despite,

I fear that death will soon secure the prize.

Yon clustered rays descending from the skies,

Sent by the Lord of Delos, are thus bright:

Such are the tresses of my heart’s delight,

Whom, kneeling, I adore with litanies.

Oh radiant light, ray of the radiant sun,

Nay sun in very truth, to thee I pray,

That thou wouldst let me love, — this boon alone.

If jealous Heaven this boon to me deny,

Let me not die of grief though grief doth slay,

But grant, oh rays, that of a ray I die.

The shepherds did not think ill of the sonnet, nor were they displeased with Erastro’s voice, which, though not one of the most exquisite, was yet a tuneful one; and straightway Elicio, moved by Erastro’s example, bade him play his pipe, to the sound of which he repeated this sonnet:

ELICIO. Alas! that to the lofty purpose, born

Within the fastness of my loving mind,

All are opposed, to wit, Heaven, fire and wind,

Water and earth, and she that doth me scorn!

They are my foes; ‘twere better I should mourn

My rashness, and the enterprise begun

Abandon. But the impulse who can shun

Of ruthless fate, by Love’s persistence torn?

Though Heaven on high, though Love, though wind and fire,

Water and earth, and even my fair foe,

Each one, with might, and with my fate allied,

Should stay my bliss and scatter my desire,

My hope undoing, — yet, though hope should go,

I cannot cease to do what I have tried.

As Elicio finished, straightway Damon, to the sound of the same pipe of Erastro, began to sing in this wise:

Damon. Softer than wax was I, when on my breast

I did imprint the image of the face

Of Amaryllis, cruel ‘midst her grace,

Like to hard marble, or to savage beast.

’Twas then Love set me in the loftiest

Sphere of his bliss, and bade sweet fortune come;

But now I fear that in the silent tomb

Alone shall my presumption find its rest.

Of hope did Love, as vine of elm, take hold

Securely, and was climbing up with speed,

When moisture failed, and its ascent was stayed.

’Twas not the moisture of mine eyes: of old

Their tribute ever — Fortune this doth heed —

Unto face, breast and earth, mine eyes have paid.

Damon ceased, and Thyrsis, to the sound of the instruments of the three shepherds, began to sing this sonnet:

THYRSIS. My faith broke through the net that death had spread;

To this pass have I come that I no more

Envy the highest and the richest store

Of happiness that man hath merited.

I saw thee, and this bliss was straightway born,

Fair Phyllis, unto whom fate gave for dower

To turn to good that which was bad before,

And win to laughter him who once did mourn.

E’en as the felon, when he doth espy

The royal face, the rigour of the law

Escapes — this ordinance is true indeed —

E’en so doth death before thy presence fly,

Oh fairest of the fair, harm doth withdraw,

And leaveth life and fortune in its stead.

As Thyrsis finished, all the instruments of the shepherds made such pleasing music that it gave great joy to any who heard it, being further aided from among the dense branches by a thousand kinds of painted birds, which seemed as in chorus to give them back reply with divine harmony. In this way they had gone on a stretch, when they came to an ancient hermitage standing on the slope of a hillock, not so far from the road but that they could hear the sound of a harp which some one, it seemed, was playing within. Erastro, hearing this, said:

‘Stop, shepherds, for, as I think, we shall hear to-day what I have wished to hear for days, namely, the voice of a graceful youth, who, some twelve or fourteen days ago, came to spend within yon hermitage a life harder than it seems to me his few years can bear. Sometimes when I have passed this way, I have heard a harp being played and a voice sounding, so sweet that it has filled me with the keenest desire to listen to it; but I have always come at the moment he stayed his song; and though by speaking to him I have managed to become his friend, offering to his service all within my means and power, I have never been able to prevail with him to disclose to me who he is, and the causes which have moved him to come so young and settle in such solitude and retirement.’

What Erastro said about the young hermit, newly come there, filled the shepherds with the same desire of knowing him as he had; and so they agreed to approach the hermitage in such a way that without being perceived they might be able to hear what he sang, before they came to speak to him, and on doing this, they succeeded so well that they placed themselves in a spot where, without being seen or perceived, they heard him who was within uttering to the sound of his harp, verses such as these:

If Heaven, Love and Fortune have been pleased —

The fault was not mine own —

To set me thus in such a parlous state,

Vainly unto the air I make my moan,

Vainly on high was raised

Unto the moon the thought that seemed so great.

Oh cruel, cruel, fate!

By what mysterious and unwonted ways

Have my sweet joyous days

Been checked at such a pass in their career

That I am dying and e’en life do fear!

Enraged against myself I burn and glow

To see that I can bear

Such pains, and yet my heart breaks not; the wind

Receiveth not my soul, though vital air

Amidst my bitter woe

At last withdraws, and leaveth naught behind.

And there anew I find

That hope doth lend its aid to give me strength,

And, though but feigned, doth strengthen life at length,

’Tis not Heaven’s pity, for it doth ordain

That to long life be given longer pain.

The hapless bosom of a lovèd friend

In turn made tender mine,

At once I undertook the dread emprize.

Oh sweet and bitter plight none can divine!

Oh deed that ne’er shall end!

Oh strategy that madness did devise!

To win for him the prize

How bounteous and how kind Love did appear,

To me how full of fear

And loyalty, and yet how covetous!

To more than this a friend constraineth us.

An unjust guerdon for a wish as just

At every step we see

By a distrustful fortune’s hand bestowed,

And, traitorous Love, by thine; we know of thee

That ’tis thy joy and trust

That lovers e’en in life should bear death’s load.

The living flame that glowed —

Oh may it kindle in thy pinions light

And may, in thy despite,

To ashes sink each good and evil dart,

Or turn, when thou dost loose it, ‘gainst thine heart

How comes it then, by what deceit or wile,

By what strange wanderings,

Didst thou possession take of me by storm?

How ‘midst my longings after higher things

Within the heart, from guile

Yet free, didst thou my healthy will transform,

False traitor to my harm?

Who is so wise as patiently to see

How that I entered, free

And safe, to sing thy glories and thy pains,

And now upon my neck do feel thy chains?

‘Twere right that I should of myself complain,

Nor to thee give the blame,

That ‘gainst thy fire I did not strive to fight.

I yielded, and the wind, amidst my shame,

That slept, I roused amain

Even the wind of chance with furious might.

A just decree and right

Hath Heaven pronounced against me that I die;

This only fear have I,

Amidst my luckless fate and hapless doom,

Misfortune will not end e’en in the tomb.

Thou, sweetest friend, and thou, my sweetest foe,

Timbrio, Nisida fair,

Happy and hapless both? What unjust power

Of ruthless fate, what unrelenting star,

Enemy of my woe,

Hard and unkind, hath in this evil hour

Parted us evermore?

Oh wretched and unstable lot of man!

How soon to sudden pain

Is changed our joy, that swiftly flies away,

And cloudy night doth follow cloudless day!

What man will put his trust with might and main

In the instability

And in the change, pervading human things?

On hasty pinions time away doth flee

And draweth in its train

The hope of him who weeps, and him who sings.

Whenever Heaven brings

Its favour, ’tis to him, in holy love

Raising to Heaven above

The soul dissolved in heavenly passion’s fire,

To him that doth nor loss nor gain desire.

Here, gracious Lord, with all my power I raise

To holy Heaven on high

My hands, my eyes, my thoughts, in prayer always;

My soul doth hope thereby

To see its ceaseless mourning turned to praise.

With a deep sigh, the secluded youth, who was within the hermitage, ended his mournful song, and the shepherds, perceiving that he was not going on, without more delay, went in all together, and saw there, at one end, sitting on a hard stone, a comely and graceful youth, apparently two and twenty years of age, clad in a rough kersey, his feet unshod and his body girt with a coarse rope, which served him as belt.

His head was drooping on one side, one hand clutched the portion of the tunic over his heart, the other arm fell limply on the other side. As they saw him in this plight, and as he had made no movement on the entry of the shepherds, they clearly recognised that he had fainted, as was the truth, for his deep brooding over his sorrows often brought him to such a pass. Erastro went up to him, and seizing him roughly by the arm, made him come to himself, though so dazed that he seemed to be waking from a heavy sleep; which tokens of grief caused no small grief in those who witnessed it,-and straightway Erastro said to him:

‘What is it, sir, that your troubled breast feels? Do not fail to tell it, for you have before you those who will not refuse any trouble to give relief to yours.’

‘These are not the first offers you have made me,’ replied the young man with voice somewhat faint, ‘nor yet would they be the last I would try to make use of, if I could; but fortune has brought me to such a pass, that neither can they avail me, nor can I do justice to them more than in will. This you can take in return for the good you offer me; and if you wish to learn aught else concerning me, time, which conceals nothing, will tell you more than I could wish.’

‘If you leave it to time to satisfy me in what you tell me, replied Erastro. ‘to such payment small gratitude is due, since time, in our despite, brings into the market-place the deepest secret of our hearts.’

Thereupon the rest of the shepherds all asked him to tell them the cause of his sorrow, especially Thyrsis, who, with powerful arguments, persuaded him and gave him to understand, that there is no evil in this life but brings with it its cure, unless death, that interrupts man’s course, opposes it. Thereto he added other words, which moved the obstinate boy with his to satisfy them all on what they wished to learn from him: and so he said to them:

‘Though for me it were better, my pleasant friends, to live the little that remains to me of life without friendship, and to retire to a greater solitude than that in which I am, yet, not to show myself irresponsive to the good-will you have shown me, I decide to tell you all that I think will be sufficient, and the passes through which fickle fortune has brought me to the strait in which I am. But as it seems to me that it is now somewhat late, and that, as my misfortunes are many, it might be possible for night to come on before I have told you them, it will be well for us all to go to the village together, since it causes me no further inconvenience to make the journey to-night I had determined on to-morrow, which is compulsory for me, since from your village I am provided with what I need for my sustenance; and on the way, as best we can, I will inform you of my adversities.’

All approved of what the young hermit said, and setting him in their midst, they turned with loitering steps to follow the road to the village; and straightway the sorrowing hermit, with tokens of great grief, began in this wise the tale of his woes:

‘In the ancient and famous city of Xeres, whose inhabitants are favoured of Minerva and Mars, was born Timbrio, a valiant knight, and if I had to relate his virtues and nobility of soul, I would set myself a difficult task. It is enough to know that, whether by his great goodness, or by the power of the stars which drew me to it, I sought in every possible way to be his particular friend; and in this Heaven was so kind to me, that those who knew us, almost forgetting the name of Timbrio and that of Silerio (which is mine) merely called us the two friends, and we, by our constant converse and friendly deeds caused this to be no idle opinion. In this wise we two passed our youthful years in incredible joy and happiness, engaging ourselves now in the field in the pastime of the chase, now in the city in that of honourable Mars, until, one day (of the many unlucky days that hostile time has made me see in the course of my life), there happened to my friend Timbrio a weighty quarrel with a powerful knight, an inhabitant of the same city. The dispute came to such a pass that the knight remained wounded in his honour and Timbrio was obliged to absent himself, to give an opportunity for the furious discord to cease, which was beginning to kindle between the two families. He left a letter written to his enemy, informing him that he would find him in Italy, in the city of Milan or in Naples, whenever, as a knight, he should wish to have satisfaction for the insult done him.

With this the factions between the kinsmen of both ceased: and it was ordained that the offended knight, who was called Pransiles, should challenge Timbrio to equal and mortal combat, and that, on finding a safe field for the combat, he should inform Timbrio. My luckless fate further ordained that, at the time this happened, I should find myself so failing in health, that I scarce could rise from my bed. And from this chance, I lost that of following my friend wherever he might be going, who, on parting, took his leave of me with no-small discontent, charging me, on recovering strength, to seek him, for that I would find him in the city of Naples; and he left me with greater pain than I can now express to you. But at the end of a few days (the desire I had to see him prevailing on me more than the weakness that wearied me), I set myself straightway on the journey; and, in order that I might accomplish it with more speed and safety, fortune offered me the convenience of four galleys, which were lying ready equipped off the famous isle of Cadiz for departure to Italy. I embarkèd on one of them, and with a prosperous wind we soon discovered the Catalan shores; and when we had cast anchor in a harbour there, I, being somewhat weary of the sea, first making sure that the galleys were not leaving there that night, disembarked with only a friend and a servant of mine. I do not think it could have been midnight, when the sailors and those that had the galleys in charge, seeing that the serenity of the sky betokened a calm, or a prosperous wind, so as not to lose the good opportunity offered to them, at the second watch made the signal for departure; and weighing anchor, with much speed they set their oars to the smooth sea, and their sails to the gentle wind, and it was done as I say with such haste, that for all the haste I made to return to embark, I was not in time. And so I had to remain on the shore with the annoyance he can imagine, who has passed through ordinary occurrences of the kind, for I was badly supplied with everything that was necessary to continue my journey by land.

But, reflecting that little remedy was to be hoped from remaining there, I determined to return to Barcelona, where, as being a larger city, it might be possible to find someone to supply me with what I needed, writing to Xeres or Seville as regards the payment. The morning broke on me, whilst engaged in these thoughts, and, determined to put them into practice, I waited till the day should be more advanced: and when on the point of departing, I perceived a great sound on land, and all the people running to the principal street of the place. And when I asked some one what it was, he replied to me: “Go, sir, to that comer, where you will learn what you want from the voice of the crier.” I did so, and the first object on which I set eyes was a lofty crucifix, and a great mob of people, signs that some one condemned to death was coming among them; and all this was proved to me by the voice of the crier, declaring that justice ordered a man to be hanged for having been a robber and a highwayman. When the man came to me, I straightway recognised that he was my good friend Timbrio, coming on foot with fetters on his hands, and a rope round his throat, his eyes riveted on the crucifix he carried before him. He was speaking and protesting to the priests who were going with him, that, by the account he thought, within a few short hours, to render to the true God, whose image he had before his eyes, he had never, in all the course of his life, committed aught for which he deserved to suffer publicly so shameful a death; and he asked all to ask the judges to give him some term, to prove how innocent he was of that which they accused him of. Let it here be imagined, if imagination could raise itself so high, how I would remain at the terrible sight offered to my eyes. I know not what to say to you, gentlemen, save that I remained so amazed and beside myself, and so bereft of all my senses, that I must have seemed a marble statue to anyone who saw me at that moment. But now that the confused murmur of the people, the raised voices of the criers, the piteous words of Timbrio, and the consolatory words of the priests, and the undoubted recognition of my good friend, had brought me from my first amazement, and the seething blood came to give aid to my fainting heart, awakening in it the wrath befitting the crying vengeance for Timbrio’s wrong, without regarding the danger I incurred, but only that of Timbrio, to see if I could set him free or follow him to the life beyond, fearing but little to lose mine, I laid hand on my sword; and, with more than ordinary fury, forced my way through the confused crowd, till I came to where Timbrio was. He, not knowing if so many swords had been unsheathed on his behalf, was watching what was going on with perplexed and anguished mind, until I said to him:

“Where, Timbrio, is the strength of your valorous breast?

What do you hope, or what do you wait for? Why not avail yourself of the present opportunity? seek, true friend, to save your life whilst mine forms a shield against the injustice, which I think is being done you here.” These words of mine and Timbrio’s recognition of me caused him to forget all fear and to break the bonds or fetters from his hands; but all his ardour would have availed little, had not the priests, moved with compassion, aided his wish. These seized him bodily, and despite those who sought to hinder it, entered with him into a church hard by, leaving me in the midst of all the officers of justice, who with great persistence endeavoured to seize me, as at last they did, since my strength alone was not capable of resisting so many strengths combined; and with more violence than in my opinion my offence deserved, they took me to the public gaol, wounded with two wounds. My boldness and the fact that Timbrio had escaped increased my fault, and the judges’ anger; they, weighing carefully the crime committed by me, deeming it just that I should die, straightway pronounced the cruel sentence and awaited another day to execute it. This sad news came to Timbrio there in the church where he was, and as I afterwards learned, my sentence caused him more emotion than his own death-sentence had done; and to free me from it, he again offered to surrender himself once more to the power of the law; but the priests advised him that that was of little avail, nay rather, was adding evil to evil and misfortune to misfortune, since his surrender would not bring about my release, for that it could not take place without my being punished for the fault committed. Not a few arguments were needed to persuade Timbrio not to give himself up to justice; but he calmed himself by deciding in his mind to do for me next day what I had done for him, in order to pay me in the same coin or die in the attempt. I was informed of all his intentions by a priest who came to confess me, through whom I sent him word that the best remedy my calamity could have was that he should escape and seek with all speed to inform the viceroy of Barcelona of all that had happened, before the judges of that place should execute judgment on him. I also learned the reason why my friend Timbrio was consigned to bitter punishment, as the same priest I have mentioned to you told me; it was that, as Timbrio came journeying through the kingdom of Catalonia, on leaving Perpignan, he fell in with a number of brigands, who had as lord and chief a valiant Catalan gentleman, who by reason of certain enmities was in the band — as it is the time-honoured custom of that kingdom for those who have suffered from an enemy, whenever they are persons of mark, to join one, and to inflict all the evil they can, not only on lives, but on property, a practice opposed to all Christianity, and worthy of all commiseration. It happened then that while the brigands were busied in robbing Timbrio of what he had with him, that moment their lord and captain came up, and as after all he was a gentleman, he did not wish that any wrong should be done to Timbrio before his eyes; but rather, deeming him a man of worth and talents, he made him a thousand courteous offers, asking him to remain with him that night in a place near by, for that on the morrow he would give him a safe-conduct so that without any fear he might pursue his journey until he left that province. Timbrio could not but do what the courteous gentleman asked of him, constrained by the good offices received from him; they went off together and came to a little spot where they were joyously received by the people of the place. But fortune, which up till then had jested with Timbrio, ordained that that same night a company of soldiers, gathered together for this very purpose, should fall in with the brigands: and having surprised them, they easily routed them. And though they could not seize the captain, they seized and killed many others, and one of the prisoners was Timbrio, whom they took for a notorious robber in that band, and as you may imagine, he must undoubtedly have much resembled him, since, though the other prisoners testified that he was not the man they thought, telling the truth about all that had happened, yet malice had such power in the breasts of the judges that without further inquiry they sentenced him to death. And this would have been carried out, had not Heaven, that favours just purposes, ordained that the galleys should depart, and I remain on land to do what I have so far been telling you I did. Timbrio was in the church, and I in gaol, arranging that he should set out that night for Barcelona, and while I was waiting to see where the rage of the offended judges would end, Timbrio and I were freed from our misfortune amidst another yet greater that befell them. But would that Heaven had been kind and wreaked on me alone the fury of its wrath, if but it had been averted from that poor unfortunate people who placed their wretched necks beneath the edges of a thousand barbarous swords. It would be a little more than midnight, an hour suited for wicked onslaughts, at which the wearied world is wont to yield its wearied limbs to the arms of sweet sleep, when suddenly there arose among all the people a confused hubbub of voices crying: “To arms, to arms, the Turks are in the land.” The echoes of these sad cries — who but that they caused terror in the breasts of the women and even set consternation in the brave hearts of the men? I know not what to say to you, sirs, save that in an instant the wretched land began to burn so greedily that the very stones with which the houses were built seemed but to offer fitting fuel to the kindled fire that was consuming all. By the light of the raging flames the barbarous scimetars were seen flashing and the white turbans appearing of the Turks, who, all aflame, were breaking down the doors of the houses with axes or hatchets of hard steel, and entering therein, were coming out laden with Christian spoils. One carried the wearied mother, another the tender little son, who with faint and weak groans pleaded, the mother for her son, and the son for his mother; and one I know there was who with profane hand stayed the fulfilment of the rightful desire of the chaste maiden newly-wed and of the hapless husband, before whose weeping eyes mayhap he saw culled the fruit the ill-starred one was thinking in a short time to enjoy.

So great was the confusion, so many the cries and minglings of these different voices that they caused much terror. The savage and devilish rabble, seeing what little resistance was made them, dared to enter the hallowed temples, and lay infidel hands on the holy relics, placing in their bosoms the gold with which they were adorned, and dashing them to the ground with loathsome contempt. Little availed the priest his holiness, the friar his refuge, the old man his snowy hair, the boy his gallant youth, or the little child his simple innocence, for from all those unbelieving dogs carried off booty. They, after burning the houses, robbing the temple, deflowering the maidens; and slaying the defenders, at the time the dawn was coming, more wearied than sated with what they had done, returned without any hindrance to their vessels, having already loaded them with all the best the village contained, leaving it desolate and without inhabitant, for they were taking with them nearly all the people and the rest had taken refuge in the mountain. Who at so sad a sight could have kept his hands still and his eyes dry?

But, ah! our life is so full of woes that, for all the mournful disaster I have related to you, there were Christian hearts that rejoiced, even those of the men in the gaol who, amidst the general unhappiness, recovered their own happiness, for, pretending to go and defend the village, they broke the gates of the prison, and set themselves free, each one seeking not to attack the enemy, but to save himself, and amongst them I enjoyed the freedom so dearly gained. And seeing there was no one to face the enemy, through fear of falling into their clutches, or returning to the clutches of the prison, forsaking the wasted village, with no small pain at what I had seen, and with that caused by my wounds, I followed a man who told me he would bring me safely to a monastery which was in those mountains, where I would be cured of my hurts and even defended, if they sought to seize me again. In a word I followed him, as I have told you, in the desire to learn what my friend Timbrio’s fortune had wrought; he, as I afterwards learned, had escaped with some wounds, and followed over the mountain another road different from that I took; he stopped at the port of Rosas, where he remained some days, seeking to learn what fate had been mine, and at last, not learning any news, he went away in a ship and came with a favouring wind to the great city of Naples. I returned to Barcelona, and there furnished myself with what I needed; and then, being healed of my wounds, I resumed my journey, and, no misadventure happening to me, came to Naples, where I found Timbrio ill; and such was the joy we both felt at seeing each other, that I have not the power to describe it properly to you now. There we told each other of our lives, and of all that had happened to us up to that moment; but this my pleasure was all watered by seeing Timbrio not so well as I could wish, nay rather so ill, and with so strange a disease, that if I had not come at that moment, I might have come in time to perform the rites of his death, and not to celebrate the joys of seeing him. After he had learnt from me all he wanted, with tears in his eyes he said to me:

“Ah, friend Silerio! I truly think that Heaven seeks to add to the load of my misfortunes, so that, by giving me health through your safety, I may remain every day under greater obligation to serve you.” These words of Timbrio’s moved me; but, as they seemed to me courtesies so little used between us, they filled me with wonder. And not to weary you in telling you word for word what I replied to him, and what he answered further, I shall only tell you that Timbrio, unhappy man, was in love with a notable lady of that city, whose parents were Spaniards, though she had been born in Naples. Her name was Nisida, and her beauty so great, that I make bold to say that nature summed up in her its highest perfections; and in her modesty and beauty were so united, that what the one enflamed the other chilled, and the desires her grace raised to the loftiest heaven, her modest propriety brought down to the lowest depths of earth. From this cause Timbrio was as poor in hope as rich in thoughts; and above all failing in health, and in the plight of ending his days without disclosing his state — such was the fear and reverence he had conceived for the fair Nisida. But after I had fully learnt his disease, and had seen Nisida, and considered the quality and nobility of her parents, I determined to waive for him property, life and honour, and more, if more I had in my power to bestow. And so I employed an artifice, the strangest heard or read of up till now; which was, that I decided to dress up as a buffoon, and with a guitar to enter Nisida’s house, which, as Kir parents were, as I have said, among the principal people of the city, was frequented by many other buffoons. This decision seemed good to Timbrio, and straightway he left to the hands of my skill all his happiness. Forthwith I had several elegant costumes made, of various kinds, and, putting them on, I began to rehearse my new character before Timbrio, who laughed not a little at seeing me thus clothed in buffoon’s garb; and to see if my skill equalled the dress, he told me to say something to him, pretending that he was a great prince, and I newly come to visit him. And if memory does not fail me, and you, sirs, are not tired of listening to me, I will tell you what I sang to him then, as it was the first time.’

All said that nothing would give them greater pleasure, than to learn in detail all the issue of his affair, and so they bade him not to fail to tell them anything, however trivial it might be.

‘Since you give me this permission,’ said the hermit, ‘I have no desire to fail to tell you how I began to give examples of my foolery, for it was with these verses that I sang to Timbrio, imagining him to be a great lord to whom I was saying them:

SILERIO. From a prince whose path is true,

Levelled by a rule so right,

What, save deeds that Heaven delight,

Can we hope from him to view?

Neither in this present age,

Nor in times of long ago,

Hath a State been ruled, I know,

By a prince who is so sage,

One whose zeal is measured true

By the Christian rule of right: —

What, save deeds that Heaven delight,

Can we hope from him to view?

For another’s good he toils,

Mercy ever in his eye,

In his bosom equity,

Seeking ne’er another’s spoils:

Unto him the most, ’tis true,

In the world the least is, quite: —

What, save deeds that Heaven delight,

Can we hope from him to view?

And thy name for kindly Love,

Which doth raise itself to Heaven,

That a holy soul hath given

Unto thee, doth clearly prove

That thy course thou keepest true,

And art loyal to Heaven’s right: —

What, save deeds that Heaven delight,

Can we hope from him to view?

When a prince’s Christian breast

Shrinketh aye from cruelty,

Righteousness and clemency

Are his guardians trustiest:

When a prince, where none pursue,

Towards the sky, doth raise his flight: —

What, save deeds that Heaven delight,

Can we hope from him to view?

‘These and other things of more jest and laughter I then sang to Timbrio, seeking to adapt the spirit and bearing of my body, so that I might in every way show myself a practised buffoon: and so well did I get on in the part, that in a few days I was known by all the chief people in the city, and the fame of the Spanish buffoon flew through it all, until at last they desired to see me in the house of Nisida’s father, which desire I would have fulfilled for them with much readiness, if I had not purposely waited to be asked. But at length I could not excuse myself from going there one day when they had a banquet, where I saw more closely the just cause Timbrio had for suffering, and that which Heaven gave me to rob me of happiness all the days I shall remain in this life. I saw Nisida, Nisida I saw, that I might see no more, nor is there more to see after having seen her. Oh mighty power of love, against which our mighty powers avail but little! can it be that in an instant, in a moment, thou shouldst bring the props and armaments of my loyalty to such a pass, as to level them all with the ground! Ah, if only the thought of who I was had stayed with me a little for aid, the friendship I owed to Timbrio, Nisida’s great worth, and the ignominious costume in which I found myself, which all hindered the hope of winning her (the staff wherewith love, in the beginnings of love, advances or retires) from springing up together with the new and loving desire that had sprung up in me. In a word I saw the beauty I have told you, and since to see her was of such moment to me, I sought ever to win the friendship of her parents, and of all her household; and this by playing the wit and the man of breeding, playing my part with the greatest discretion and grace in my power.

And when a gentleman who was at table that day asked me to sing something in praise of Nisida’s beauty, fortune willed that I should call to mind some verses, which I had made, many days before, for another all but similar occasion; and adopting them for the present one, I repeated them to this effect:

SILERIO. ’Tis from thine own self we see,

Lady fair, how kind is Heaven,

For it hath, in giving thee,

Unto earth an image given,

Of its veiled radiancy.

Easily we come to know,

If it could not more bestow

And thou couldst no more desire,

That he highly must aspire,

Who aspires your praise to show.

All the sovereign, matchless grace

Of that beauty from afar,

Which to Heaven doth us raise,

Tongue of man could not but mar, —

Let the tongue of Heaven praise,

Saying, — and ’tis not in vain —

That the soul which doth contain

Such a being for its pride,

More than aught on earth beside

Should the lovely veil attain.

From the sun she took her hair,

From the peaceful Heaven her brow,

Of her eyes the light so fair

From a radiant star which now

Shineth not when they are there;

From the cochineal and the snow,

Boldly and with might, I trow,

Did she steal their lovely hue,

For to thy fair cheek is due

The perfections that they show.

Teeth and lips of ivory

And of coral, whence a spring

Issues, rich in fantasy,

Full of wisest reasoning,

And celestial harmony;

But of marble stubbornest

She hath made her lovely breast,

Yet in truth we see that earth

Is made better by her worth,

E’en as Heaven itself is blest.

‘With these and other things that I then sang, all were so charmed with me, and especially Nisida’s parents, that they offered me all I might need, and asked me to let no day go by without visiting them; and so, without my purpose being discovered or imagined, I came to achieve my first design, which was to expedite my entrance into the house of Nisida, who enjoyed extremely my bright ways. But now that the lapse of many days, and my frequent converse and the great friendship all that household showed me, had removed some shadows from the excessive fear I felt at disclosing my intent to Nisida, I determined to see how far went the fortune of Timbrio, whose only hope for it lay in my solicitude. But woe is me! I was then more ready to ask a salve for my wound than health for another’s; for Nisida’s grace, beauty, discretion, and modesty had so wrought in my soul that it was placed in no less an extreme of grief and love than that of hapless Timbrio. To your discreet imagination I leave it to picture what a heart could feel in which there fought, on the one hand, the laws of friendship, and, on the other, the inviolable laws of Cupid; for, if those obliged it not to go beyond what they and reason asked of it, these constrained it to set store by what was due to its happiness. These attacks and struggles afflicted me in such wise that, without procuring another’s health I began to have fears for my own, and to grow so weak and pale that I caused general compassion in all that saw me, and those who showed it most were Nisida’s parents; and even she herself, with pure and Christian sympathy, often asked me to tell her the cause of my disease, offering me all that was necessary for its cure.

“Ah!” would I say to myself whenever Nisida made me such offers, “with what ease, fair Nisida, could your hand cure the evil your beauty has wrought! but I boast myself so good a friend that, though I counted my cure as certain as I count it impossible and uncertain, it would be impossible for me to accept it.” And since these thoughts at such moments disturbed my fancy, I did not succeed in making any reply to Nisida; whereat she and a sister of hers, who was called Blanca (less in years, though not less in discretion and beauty than Nisida), were amazed, and with increasing desire to know the origin of my sadness, with many importunities asked me to conceal from them nought of my grief. Seeing, then, that fortune offered me the opportunity of putting into practice what my cunning had brought so far, once, when by chance the fair Nisida and her sister found themselves alone, and returned anew to ask what they had asked so often, I said to them: “Think not, ladies, that the silence I have up till now kept in not telling you the cause of the pain you imagine I feel has been caused by my small desire to obey you, since it is very clear that if my lowly state has any happiness in this life, it is to have thereby succeeded in coming to know you, and to serve you as retainer.

The only cause has been the thought that, though I reveal it, it will not serve for more than to give you grief, seeing how far away is its cure. But now that it is forced upon me to satisfy you in this, you must know, ladies, that in this city is a gentleman, a native of my own country, whom I hold as master, refuge, and friend, the most generous, discreet, and courtly man that may be found far and wide. He is here, away from his dear native land, by reason of certain quarrels which befell him there and forced him to come to this city, believing that, if there in his own land he left enemies, here in a foreign land friends would not fail him. But his belief has turned out so mistaken that one enemy alone, whom, without knowing how, he has made here for himself, has placed him in such a pass that if Heaven do not help him he will end his friendships and enmities by ending his life. And as I know the worth of Timbrio (for this is the name of the gentleman whose misfortune I am relating to you), and know what the world will lose in losing him and what I shall lose if I lose him, I give the tokens of feeling you have seen, and even they are small compared to what the danger in which Timbrio is placed ought to move me to. I know well that you will desire to know, ladies, who is the enemy who has placed so valorous a gentleman as he whom I have depicted to you in such a pass; but I also know that, in naming him to you, you will not wonder save that he has not yet destroyed him and slain him. His enemy is love, the universal destroyer of our peace and prosperity; this fierce enemy took possession of his heart. On entering this city Timbrio beheld a fair lady of singular worth and beauty, but so high placed and so modest that the hapless one has never dared to reveal to her his thought.” To this point had I come when Nisida said to me:

“Truly, Astor,” for this was my name for the nonce, “I know not if I can believe that that gentleman is as valorous and discreet as you say, since he has allowed himself so easily to surrender to an evil desire so newly born, yielding himself so needlessly to the arms of despair; and though I understand but little these effects of love, yet it seems to me that it is folly and weakness for him who is cast down by them to fail to reveal his thoughts to her who inspires it in him, though she be of all the worth conceivable. For what shame can result to her from knowing that she is well loved, or to him what greater evil from her harsh and petulant reply than the death he himself brings on himself by being silent? It would not be right that because a judge has a reputation for sternness, anyone should fail to allege proof of his claim. But let us suppose that the death take place of a lover as silent and timid as that friend of yours; tell me, would you call the lady with whom he was in love cruel? No indeed, for one can scarcely relieve the need which does not come to one’s knowledge, nor does it fall within one’s duty to seek to learn it so as to relieve it. So, forgive me, Astor, but the deeds of that friend of yours do not make very true the praises you give him.” When I heard such words from Nisida, straightway I could have wished by mine to reveal to her all the secret of my breast, but, as I understood the goodness and simplicity with which she expressed them, I had to check myself, waiting for a better and more private opportunity, and thus I replied to her: “When the affairs of love, fair Nisida, are regarded with free eyes, follies so great are seen in them that they are no less worthy of laughter than of pity: but if the soul finds itself entangled in love’s subtle net, then the feelings are so fettered and so beside their wonted selves, that memory merely serves as treasurer and guardian of the object the eyes have regarded, the understanding is of use only in searching into and learning the worth of her whom it loves well, and the will in consenting that the memory and understanding should not busy themselves with aught else: and so the eyes see like a silvered mirror, for they make everything larger. Now hope increases when they are favoured, now fear when they are cast down; and thus what has happened to Timbrio, happens to many, that deeming at first very high the object to which their eyes were raised, they lose the hope of attaining it, but not in such wise that love does not say to them there within the soul:

Who knows? it might be; and thereat hope goes, as the saying is, between two waters, while if it should forsake them altogether, love would flee with it. And hence it arises that the heart of the afflicted lover walks between fearing and daring, and without venturing to tell it, he braces himself up, and presses together his wound, hoping, though he knows not from whom, for the remedy from which he sees himself so far away. In this very plight I have found Timbrio, though, in spite of all, he has, at my persuasion, written to the lady for whom he is dying, a letter which he gave to me that I might give it to her and see if there appeared in it anything in any way unseemly, so that I might correct it. He charged me also to seek the means of placing it in his lady’s hands, which, I think, will be impossible, not because I will not hazard it, since the least I will hazard to serve him will be life, but because it seems to me that I shall not find an opportunity to give it.”

“Let us see it,” said Nisida, “for I wish to see how discreet lovers write.” Straightway I drew from my bosom a letter which had been written some days before, in the hope of an opportunity for Nisida to see it, and fortune offering to me this one, I showed it to her.

As I had read it many times, it remained in my memory, and its words were these:


“I had determined, fair lady, that my ill-starred end might declare to you who I was, since it seemed to me better that you should praise my silence in death than blame my boldness in life; but as I think it befits my soul to leave this world in favour with you, so that in the next love may not deny it the reward for what it has suffered, I make you cognisant of the state in which your rare beauty has placed me. It is such that, though I could indicate it, I would not obtain its cure, since for small things no one should make bold to offend your exalted worth, whereby, and by your honourable generosity I hope to renew life to serve you, or to win death to offend you never more.”

‘Nisida was listening with much attention to this letter, and, when she had heard it all, said: “The lady to whom this letter is sent has naught to complain of, unless, from pure pride, she has become prudish, a failing from which the greater part of the ladies in this city are not free. But nevertheless, Astor, do not fail to give it to her, since, as I have already told you, more evil cannot be expected from her reply, than that the evil you say your friend suffers now should become worse. And to encourage you the more, I wish to assure you that there is no woman so coy and so on the alert to watch over her honour that it grieves her much to see and learn that she is loved, for then she knows that the opinion she holds of herself is not vain, while it would be the contrary if she saw she was wooed by none.”

“I know well, lady, that what you say is true,”

I replied, “but I am afraid that, if I make bold to give it, it must at least cost me the refusal of admittance henceforward into that house, whereat there would come to me no less hurt than to Timbrio.”

“Seek not, Astor,” replied Nisida, “to confirm the sentence which the judge has not yet given. Be of good courage, for this on which you venture is no fierce conflict.”

“Would to Heaven, fair Nisida,” I answered, “that I saw myself in that pass, for more readily would I offer my breast to the danger and fierceness of a thousand opposing arms than my hand to give this loving letter to her who, I fear, being offended by it, must hurl upon my shoulders the punishment another’s fault deserves. But, in spite of these objections, I intend to follow, lady, the counsel you have given me, though I shall wait for a time when fear shall not occupy my feelings as much as now. Meanwhile I entreat you to pretend that you are the one to whom this letter is sent, and give me some reply to take to Timbrio, in order that by this deceit he may be comforted a little, and time and opportunities may reveal to me what I am to do.”

“A poor artifice you would employ,” answered Nisida, “for, granted that I were now to give, in another’s name, some soft or disdainful reply, do you not see that time, that discloses our ends, will clear up the deceit, and Timbrio will be more angry with yon than satisfied? Especially as since I have not hitherto replied to such letters, I would not wish to begin by giving replies in a feigned and lying manner; but, though I know I am going contrary to what I owe to myself, if you promise to tell me who the lady is, I will tell you what to say to your friend, and such words that he will be pleased for the nonce, and even though afterwards things turn out contrary to what he thinks, the lie will not be found out thereby.”

“Do not ask this of me, Nisida,” I answered, “for to tell you her name places me in confusion as great as I would be placed in if I gave her the letter. Suffice it to know that she is of high degree, and that, without doing you any detriment, she is not inferior to you in beauty, and saying this, it seems to me, I praise her more than all women born.”

“I am not surprised that you say this of me,” said Nisida, “since, with men of your condition and calling, to flatter is their business; but, leaving all this on one side, as I do not wish you to lose the comfort of so good a friend, I advise you to tell him that you went to give the letter to his lady, and that you have held with her all the discourses you have held with me, without omitting anything, and how she read your letter, and the encouragement she gave you to take it to his lady, thinking she was not the one to whom it came, and that, though you did not make bold to declare everything, you have come to this conclusion from her words that, when she learns she is the one for whom the letter came, the deceit and the undeceiving will not cause her much pain. In this way he will receive some solace in his trouble, and afterwards, on revealing your intention to his lady, you can reply to Timbrio what she replies to you, since, up to the moment she knows it, this lie remains in force, and the truth of what may follow, without to-day’s deceit interfering.” I was left marvelling at Nisida’s discreet project, and indeed not without mistrust of the honesty of my own artifice; and so, kissing her hands for the good counsel, and agreeing with her that I was to give her a particular account of whatever happened in this affair, I went and told Timbrio all that had happened to me with Nisida. Thence came it that hope came into his soul and turned anew to sustain him, banishing from his heart the clouds of chilly fear that up till then had kept him in gloom; and all this pleasure was increased by my promising him at every step that my steps should only be devoted to his service, and that when next I found myself with Nisida, he should win the game of skill with as fair a success as his thoughts deserved.

One thing I have forgotten to tell you, that all the time I was talking with Nisida and her sister, the younger sister never spoke a word, but with a strange silence ever hung on mine; and I can tell you, sirs, that, if she was silent, it was not because she could not speak with all discretion and grace, for in these two sisters nature showed all she has in her power to bestow. Nevertheless, I know not if I should tell you that I would that Heaven had denied me the happiness of having known them, especially Nisida, the beginning and end of all my misfortune; but what can I do, if that which the fates have ordained cannot be stayed by human means? I loved, love, and shall love Nisida well, yet without hurt to Timbrio, as my wearied tongue has well shown, for I never spoke to her, but it was on Timbrio’s behalf, ever concealing, with more than ordinary discretion, my own pain, so as to cure another’s.

It happened then, that as Nisida’s beauty was so engraven on my soul from the first moment my eyes beheld her, being unable to keep so rich a treasure concealed in my breast, whenever I found myself at times alone or apart, I used to reveal it in some loving and mournful songs under the veil of a feigned name. And so one night, thinking that neither Timbrio nor anyone else was listening to me, to comfort somewhat my wearied spirit, in a retired apartment, to the accompaniment only of a lute, I sang some verses, which, as they placed me in the direst turmoil, I shall have to repeat to you. They were as follows:

SILERIO. What labyrinth is this that doth contain

My foolish and exalted fantasy?

Who hath my peace transformed to war and pain,

And to such sadness all my jollity?

Unto this land, where I can hope to gain

A tomb alone, what fate hath guided me?

Who, who, once more will guide my wandering thought

Unto the bounds a healthy mind hath sought?

Could I but cleave this breast of mine in twain,

Could I but rob myself of dearest life,

That earth and Heaven, at last content, might deign

To leave me loyal ‘midst my passion’s strife,

Without my faltering when I feel the pain,

With mine own hand would I direct the knife

Against my breast, but if I die, there dies

His hope of love; the fire doth higher rise.

Let the blind god his golden arrows shower

In torrents, straight against my mournful heart

Aiming in maddened frenzy, let the power

Of fiercest rage direct the cruel dart;

For, lo, of happiness a plenteous store

I gain, when I conceal the grievous smart;

Ashes and dust though stricken breast become,

Rich is the guerdon of my noble doom.

Eternal silence on my wearied tongue

The law of loyal friendship will impose,

By whose unequalled virtue grows less strong

The pain that never hopes to find repose;

But, though it never cease, and seek to wrong

My health and honour, yet, amidst my woes,

My faith, as ever, shall more steadfast be

Than firmest rock amidst the angry sea.

The moisture that my weeping eyes distil,

The duteous service that my tongue can do,

The sacrifice I offer of my will,

The happiness that to my toil is due,

These gain sweet spoil and recompense; but still,

’Tis he must take them, he my friend so true;

May Heaven be gracious to my fond design

Which seeks another’s good and loses mine.

Help me, oh gentle Love, uplift and guide

My feeble spirit in the doubtful hour,

To soul and faltering tongue, what e’er betide,

Send in the long-expected moment power,

That shall be strong, with boldness at its side,

To make that easy which was hard before,

And bravely dash upon fate and misfortune,

Until it shall attain to greatest fortune.

‘It resulted from my being so transported in my endless imaginings that I did not take heed to sing these verses I have repeated, in a voice as low as I ought, nor was the place where I was so secret as to prevent their being listened to by Timbrio; and when he heard them, it came into his mind that mine was not free from love, and that if I felt any, it was for Nisida, as could be gathered from my song; and though he discovered the true state of my thoughts, he did not discover that of my wishes, but rather understanding them to be contrary to what I did think, he decided to depart that very night and go to where he might be found by nobody, only to leave me the opportunity of alone serving Nisida. All this I learnt from a page of his, who was acquainted with all his secrets, who came to me in great distress and said to me: “Help, Senor Silerio, for Timbrio, my master and your friend, wishes to leave us and go away this night.

He has not told me where, but only that I should get for him I do not know how much money, and that I should tell no one he is going, especially telling me not to tell you: and this thought came to him after he had been listening to some verse or other you were singing just now. To judge from the excessive grief I have seen him display, I think he is on the verge of despair; and as it seems to me that I ought rather to assist in his cure than to obey his command, I come to tell it to you, as to one who can intervene to prevent him putting into practice so fatal a purpose.” With strange dread I listened to what the page told me, and went straightway to see Timbrio in his apartment, and, before I went in, I stopped to see what he was doing. He was stretched on his bed, face downwards, shedding countless tears accompanied by deep sighs, and with a low voice and broken words, it seemed to me that he was saying this:

“Seek, my true friend Silerio, to win the fruit your solicitude and toil has well deserved, and do not seek, by what you think you owe to friendship for me, to fail to gratify your desire, for I will restrain mine, though it be with the extreme means of death; for, since you freed me from it, when with such love and fortitude you offered yourself to the fierceness of a thousand swords, it is not much that I should now repay you in part for so good a deed by giving you the opportunity to enjoy her in whom Heaven summed up all its beauty, and love set all my happiness, without the hindrance my presence can cause you. One thing only grieves me, sweet friend, and it is that I cannot bid you farewell at this bitter parting, but accept for excuse that you are the cause of it. Oh, Nisida, Nisida! how true is it of your beauty, that he who dares to look upon it must needs atone for his fault by the penalty of dying for it! Silerio saw it, and if he had not been so struck with it as I believe he has been, he would have lost with me much of the reputation he had for discretion.

Hut since my fortune has so willed it, let Heaven know that I am no less Silerio’s friend than he is mine; and, as tokens of this truth, let Timbrio part himself from his glory, exile himself from his bliss, and go wandering from land to land, away from Silerio and Nisida, the two true and better halves of his soul.”

And straightway, with much passion, he rose from the bed, opened the door, and finding me there said to me: “What do you want, friend, at such an hour? Is there perchance any news?”

“Such news there is,” I answered him, “that I had not been sorry though it were less.” In a word, not to weary you, I got so far with him, that I persuaded him and gave him to understand that his fancy was false, not as to the fact of my being in love, but as to the person with whom, for it was not with Nisida, but with her sister Blanca; and I knew how to tell him this in such a way that he counted it true. And that he might credit it the more, memory offered me some stanzas which I myself had made many days before, to another lady of the same name, which I told him I had composed for Nisida’s sister. And they were so much to the purpose, that though it be outside the purpose to repeat them now, I cannot pass them by in silence. They were these:

Silerio. Oh Blanca, whiter than the snow so white,

Whose heart is harder yet than frozen snow,

My sorrow deem thou not to be so light

That thou to heal it mayst neglect. For, lo,

If thy soul is not softened by this plight —

That soul that doth conspire to bring me woe —

As black will turn my fortune to my shame

As white thou art in beauty and in name.

Oh gentle Blanca, in whose snowy breast

Nestleth the bliss of love for which I yearn,

Before my breast, with woeful tears oppressed,

Doth unto dust and wretched earth return,

Show that thine own is in some way distressed

With all the grief and pain wherein I burn,

A guerdon this will be, so rich and sure

As to repay the evil I endure.

Thou’rt white as silver; for thy loveliness

I would exchange gold of the finest grain,

I’d count it wealth, if thee I might possess,

To lose the loftiest station I might gain:

Since, Blanca, thou dost know what I confess,

I pray thee, cease thy lover to disdain,

And grant it may be Blanca I must thank

That in love’s lottery I draw no blank.

Though I were sunk in blankest poverty

And but a farthing had to call my own,

If that fair thing were thou, I would not be

Changed for the richest man the world hath known.

This would I count my chief felicity,

Were Juan de Espéra en Dios and I but one,

If, at the time the Blancas three I sought,

Thou, Blanca, in the midst of them were caught.

Silerio would have gone further with his story, had he not been stopped by the sound of many pipes and attuned flageolets, which was heard at their backs; and, turning their heads, they saw coming towards them about a dozen gay shepherds, set in two lines, and in the midst came a comely herdsman, crowned with a garland of honeysuckle and other different flowers. He carried a staff in one hand; and with staid step advanced little by little, and the other shepherds, with the same success, all playing their instruments, gave pleasing and rare token of themselves. As soon as Elicio saw them, he recognised that Daranio was the shepherd they brought in the midst, and that the others were all neighbours, who wished to be present at his wedding, to which also Thyrsis and Damon had come; and to gladden the betrothal feast, and to honour the bridegroom, they were proceeding in that manner towards the village. But Thyrsis, seeing that their coming had imposed silence upon Silerio’s story, asked him to spend that night together with them all in the village, where he would be waited upon with all the good-will possible, and might satisfy their wishes by finishing the incident he had begun. Silerio promised this, and at the same moment came up the band of joyous shepherds, who, recognising Elicio, and Daranio Thyrsis and Damon, his friends, welcomed one another with tokens of great joy; and renewing the music, and renewing their happiness, they turned to pursue the road they had begun. Now that they were coming nigh to the village, there came to their ears the sound of the pipe of the unloving Lenio, whereat they all received no little pleasure, for they already knew his extreme disposition, and so, when Lenio saw and knew them, without interrupting his sweet song, he came towards them singing as follows:

LENIO. Ah happy, happy all

Brimful of gladness and of jollity,

Fortunate will I call

So fair a company,

If it yield not unto Love’s tyranny!

Whoso his breast declined

To yield unto this cruel maddening wound,

Within whose healthy mind

Traitor Love is not found,

Lo I will kiss beneath his feet the ground!

And happy everywhere

The prudent herdsman will I call, the swain

Who lives and sets his care

On his poor flock, and fain

Would turn to Love a face of cold disdain.

Ere the ripe season come,

Such a one’s ewe-lambs will be fit to bear,

Bringing their lambkins home,

And when the day is drear

Pasturage will they find and waters clear.

If Love should for his sake

Be angry and should turn his mind astray,

Lo, his flock will I take

With mine and lead the way

To the clear stream, and to the meadow gay.

What time the sacred steam

Of incense shall go flying to the sky,

This is the prayer I deem

To offer up on high,

Kneeling on earth in zealous piety.

“Oh holy Heaven and just,

Since thou protector art of those who seek

To do thy will, whose trust

Is in thee, help the weak,

On whom for thy sake Love doth vengeance wreak.

“Let not this tyrant bear

The spoils away that were thine own before,

But with thy bounteous care

And choice rewards once more

Unto their senses do thou strength restore.”

As Lenio ceased singing, he was courteously received by all the shepherds, and when he heard them name Damon and Thyrsis, whom he only knew by repute, he was astonished at seeing their admirable bearing, and so he said to them:

‘What encomiums would suffice, though they were the best that could be found in eloquence, to have the power of exalting and applauding your worth, famous shepherds, if perchance love’s follies were not mingled with the truths of your renowned writings? But since you are in love’s decline, a disease to all appearance incurable, though my rude talents may pay you your due in valuing and praising your rare discretion, it will be impossible for me to avoid blaming your thoughts.’

‘If you had yours, discreet Lenio,’ replied Thyrsis, ‘without the shadows of the idle opinion which fills them, you would straightway see the brightness of ours, and that they deserve more glory and praise for being loving, than for any subtlety or discretion they might contain.’

‘No more, Thyrsis, no more,’ replied Lenio, ‘for I know well that with such great and such obstinate foes my reasonings will have little force.’

‘If they had force,’ answered Elicio, ‘those who are here are such friends of truth, that not even in jest would they contradict it, and herein you can see, Lenio, how far you go from it, since there is no one to approve your words, or even to hold your intentions good.’

‘Then in faith,’ said Lenio, ‘may your intentions not save you, oh Elicio, but let the air tell it, which you ever increase with sighs, and the grass of these meadows which grows with your tears, and the verses you sang the other day and wrote on the beeches of this wood, for in them will be seen what it is you praise in yourself and blame in me.’

Lenio would not have remained without a reply, had they not seen coming to where they were the fair Galatea, with the discreet shepherdesses Florisa and Teolinda, who, not to be recognised by Damon and Thyrsis, had placed a white veil before her fair face. They came and were received by the shepherds with joyous welcome, especially by the lovers Elicio and Erastro, who felt such strange content at the sight of Galatea, that Erastro, being unable to conceal it, in token thereof, without any one asking it of him, beckoned to Elicio to play his pipe, to the sound of which, with joyous and sweet accents, he sang the following verses:

ERASTRO. — Let me but the fair eyes see

Of the sun I am beholding;

If they go, their light withholding,

Soul, pursue them speedily.

For without them naught is bright,

Vainly may the soul aspire,

Which without them doth desire

Neither freedom, health nor light.

Whoso can may see these eyes

Yet he cannot fitly praise;

But if he would on them gaze

He must yield his life as prize.

Them I see and saw before,

And each time that I behold,

To the soul I gave of old

New desires I give once more.

Nothing more can I bestow,

Nor can fancy tell me more,

If I may not her adore

For the faith in her I show.

Certain is my punishment

If these eyes, so rich in bliss,

Viewed but what I did amiss,

Nor regarded my intent.

So much happiness I see

That this day, though it endure

For a thousand years and more,

But a moment were to me.

Time, that flies so swiftly by,

Doth the flight of years withhold,

Whilst the beauty I behold

Of the life for which I die.

Peace and shelter in this sight

Doth my loving soul acclaim,

Living in the living flame

Of its pure and lovely light,

Wherewith Love doth prove its truth:

In this flame it bids it win

Sweetest life, and doth therein,

Phoenix-like, renew its youth.

I go forth in eager quest

Of sweet glory with my mind,

In my memory I find

That my happiness doth rest.

There it lies, there it doth hide,

Not in pomp, nor lofty birth,

Not in riches of the earth,

Nor in sovereignty nor pride.

Here Erastro ended his song, and the way was ended of going to the village, where Thyrsis, Damon and Silerio repaired to Elicio’s house, so that the opportunity might not be lost of learning the end of the story of Silerio, which he had begun.

The fair shepherdesses, Galatea and Florisa, offering to be present on the coming day at Daranio’s wedding, left the shepherds, and all or most remained with the bridegroom, whilst the girls went to their houses. And that same night, Silerio, being urged by his friend Erastro, and by the desire which wearied him to return to his hermitage, ended the sequel of his story, as will be seen in the following book.

Book III.

The joyful uproar there was that night in the village, on the occasion of Daranio’s wedding, did not prevent Elicio, Thyrsis, Damon and Erastro from settling down together in a place where, without being disturbed by anyone, Silerio might continue the story he had begun, and he, when all together had given him pleasing silence, continued in this wise:

‘From the feigned stanzas to Blanca, which I have told you I repeated to Timbrio, he was satisfied that my pain proceeded not from love of Nisida, but of her sister; and with this assurance, begging my forgiveness for the false idea he had had about me, he again entrusted me with his cure; and so I, forgetful of my own, did not neglect in the least what concerned his. Some days passed, during which fortune did not show me an opportunity as open as I could wish for disclosing to Nisida the truth of my thoughts, though she kept asking me how it was going with my friend in his love-affair, and if his lady as yet had any knowledge of it. In reply to this I said to her that the fear of offending her still kept me from venturing to tell her anything; whereat Nisida was very angry, calling me coward and of little sense, and adding to this that since I was playing the coward, either Timbrio did not feel the grief I reported of him, or I was not so true a friend of his as I said. All this induced me to make up my mind and reveal myself at the first opportunity, which I did one day when she was alone. She listened with strange silence to all I had to say to her, and I, as best I could, extolled to her Timbrio’s worth, and the true love he had for her, which was so strong that it had brought me to take up so lowly a pursuit as that of a buffoon, merely to have an opportunity of telling her what I was telling her. To these I added other reasonings which Nisida must needs have thought were not without reason; but she would not show by words then what she could not afterwards keep concealed by deeds; rather with dignity and rare modesty she reproved my boldness, rebuked my daring, blamed my words and daunted my confidence, but not in such a way as to banish me from her presence, which was what I feared most; she merely ended by telling me to have henceforward more regard for what was due to her modesty, and to see to it that the artifice of my false dress should not be discovered — an ending this which closed and finished the tragedy of my life, since I understood thereby that Nisida would give ear to Timbrio’s plaints. In what breast could or can be contained the extremity of grief that was then concealed in mine, since the end of its greatest desire was the finish and end of its happiness? I was gladdened by the good beginning I had given to Timbrio’s cure, and this gladness redounded to my hurt, for it seemed to me, as was the truth, that, on seeing Nisida in another’s power, my own was ended. Oh mighty force of true friendship, how far dost thou extend! how far didst thou constrain me! since I myself, impelled by thy constraint, by my own contriving whetted the knife which was to cut short my hopes, which, dying in my soul, lived and revived in Timbrio’s, when he learned from me all that had passed with Nisida. But her way with him and me was so coy that she never showed at all that she was pleased with my solicitude or Timbrio’s love, nor yet was she disdainful in such a manner that her displeasure and aversion made us both abandon the enterprise. This went on till it came to Timbrio’s knowledge that his enemy Pransiles, the gentleman he had wronged in Xeres, being desirous of satisfying his honour, was sending him a challenge, indicating to him a free and secure field on an estate in the Duke of Gravina’s territory, and giving him a term of six months from that date to the day of the combat. The care induced by this news did not cause him to become careless in what concerned his love-affair, but rather, by fresh solicitude on my part and services on his, Nisida came to demean herself in such a way that she did not show herself disdainful though Timbrio looked at her and visited at the house of her parents, preserving in all a decorum as honourable as befitted her worth. The term of the challenge now drawing near, Timbrio, seeing that the journey was inevitable for him, determined to depart, and before doing so, he wrote to Nisida a letter, of such a kind that with it he ended in a moment what I during many months and with many words had not begun. I have the letter in my memory, and to render my story complete, I will not omit to tell you that it ran thus:


All hail to Nisida, from a loving swain

Who is not hale nor ever hopes to be,

Until his health from thine own hand he gain.

These lines, I fear, will surely gain for me,

Though they be written in my very blood,

The abhorred reproach of importunity.

And yet I may not, e’en although I would,

Escape Love’s torment, for my passions bear

My soul along amidst their cruel flood.

A fiery daring and a chilly fear

Encompass me about, and I remain,

Whilst thou dost read this letter, sad and drear;

For when I write to thee, I do but gain

Ruin if thou dost scorn my words, ah woe!

And spurn my awkward phrases with disdain.

True Heaven is my witness and doth know

If I have not adored thee from the hour

I saw the lovely face that is my foe.

I saw thee and adored — What wouldst thou more?

The peerless semblance of an angel fair

What man is there but straightway would adore?

Upon thy beauty, in the world so rare,

My soul so keenly gazed that on thy face

It could not rest its piercing gaze, for there

Within thy soul it was upon the trace

Of mighty loveliness, a paradise

Giving assurance of a greater grace.

On these rich pinions thou to Heaven dost rise

And on the earth thou sendest dread and pain

Unto the simple, wonder to the wise.

Happy the soul that doth such bliss contain,

And no less happy he who to Love’s war

Yields up his own that blissful soul to gain!

Debtor am I unto my fatal star,

That bade me yield to one who doth possess

Within so fair a frame a soul so fair.

To me thy mood, oh lady, doth confess

That I was wrong when I aspired so high,

And covereth with fear my hopefulness.

But on my honest purpose I rely,

I turn a bold face to despondency,

New breath I gain when I to death am nigh.

They say that without hope Love cannot be.

’Tis mere opinion: for I hope no more

And yet the more Love’s force doth master me.

I love thee for thy goodness, and adore,

Thy beauty draws me captive in its train,

It was the net Love stretched in love’s first hour

That with rare subtlety it might constrain

This soul of mine, careless and fancy-free,

Unto the amorous knot, to know its strain.

Love his dominion and his tyranny

Within some breasts sustains by beauty’s aid,

But not within the curious fantasy,

Which looks not on Love’s narrow noose displayed

In ringlets of fine gold that satisfy

The heart of him who views them undismayed,

Nor on the breast that he who turns his eye

On breast alone, doth alabaster call

Nor on the wondrous neck of ivory;

But it regards the hidden all in all

And contemplates the thousand charms displayed

Within the soul that succour and enthral.

The charms that are but mortal, doomed to fade,

Unto the soul immortal bring not balm,

Unless it leave the light and seek the shade.

Thy peerless virtue carrieth off the palm,

It maketh of my thoughts its spoil and prey,

And all my lustful passions it doth calm.

They are content and willingly obey,

For by the worth thy merits ever show

They seek their hard and bitter pain to weigh.

I plough the sea and in the sand I sow

When I am doomed by passion’s mystic stress

Beyond the viewing of thy face to go.

I know how high thou art; my lowliness

I see, and where the distance is so great,

One may not hope, nor do I hope possess.

Wherefore I find no cure to heal my state.

Numerous my hardships as the stars of night,

Or as the tribes the earth that populate.

I understand what for my soul is right,

I know the better, and the worse attain,

Borne by the love wherein I take delight.

But now, fair Nisida, the point I gain,

Which I with mortal anguish do desire,

Where I shall end the sorrow I sustain.

Uplifted is the hostile arm in ire,

The keen and ruthless sword awaiteth me,

Each with thine anger ‘gainst me doth conspire.

Thy wrathful will soon, soon, avenged will be

Upon the vain presumption of my will,

Which was without a reason spurned by thee.

No other pangs nor agonies would fill

With agitation dread my mournful thought,

Though greater than death’s agonizing chill,

If I could in my short and bitter lot

But see thee towards my heart-felt wishes kind,

As the reverse I see, that thou art not.

Narrow the path that leads to bliss, I find,

But broad and spacious that which leads to pain;

By my misfortune this hath been designed,

And death, that buttressed is on thy disdain,

By this in anger and in haste doth run,

Eager its triumph o’er my life to gain.

By yonder path my bliss, well-nigh undone,

Departs, crushed by the sternness thou dost show,

Which needs must end my brief life all too soon.

My fate hath raised me to the height of woe

Where I begin e’en now to dread the scorn

And anger of my sore-offended foe.

’Tis that I see the fire wherein I burn

Is ice within thy breast, and this is why

At the last moment I a coward turn.

For if thou dost not show thee my ally,

Of whom will my weak hand be not afraid,

Though strength and skill the more accompany?

What Roman warrior, if thou dost but aid,

Or what Greek captain would oppose my might?

Nay, from his purpose he would shrink dismayed.

I would escape e’en from the direst plight,

And from death’s cruel hand away I’d bear

The spoils of victory in his despite.

Thou, thou, alone my lot aloft canst rear

Above all human glory, or abase

Unto the depths below — no bliss is there.

For if, as pure Love had the power to raise,

Fortune were minded to uphold my lot

Safe ‘midst the dangers of its lofty place,

My hope which lieth where it hopeth naught,

Itself would see exalted to a height

Above the heaven where reigns the moon, in thought.

Such am I that I now account delight

The evil that thine angry scorn doth give

Unto my soul in such a wondrous plight,

If in thy memory I might see I live,

And that perchance thou dost remember, sweet,

To deal the wound which I as bliss receive.

‘Twere easier far for me the tale complete

To tell of the white sands beside the sea,

Or of the stars that make the eighth heaven their seat,

Than all the pain, the grief, the anxiety,

Whereto the rigour of thy cruel disdain

Condemns me, though I have not wounded thee.

Seek not the measure of thy worth to gain

From my humility; if we compare

Loftiness with thee, ‘twill on earth remain.

Such as I am I love thee, and I dare

To say that I advance in loving sure

Unto the highest point in Love’s career,

Wherefore in merit I am not so poor

That as an enemy thou shouldst me treat —

Rather, methinks, my guerdon should endure.

So great a cruelty doth ill befit

Such loveliness, and where we do perceive

Such worth, there doth ingratitude ill sit.

On thee fain would I call account to give

Of a soul yielded thee; where was it thrown?

How, when my soul is gone, do I yet live?

Didst thou not deign to make my heart thy throne?

What can he give thee more who loves thee more?

Herein how well was thy presumption shown!

I have been soulless from the earliest hour

I saw thee for my bliss and for my pain,

For all were pain if I saw thee no more.

There I of my free heart gave thee the rein,

Thou rulest me, for thee alone I live,

And yet thy power can more than this attain.

Within the flame of pure Love I revive

And am undone, since from the death of Love.

I, like a phœnix, straightway life receive.

This would I have thee think all things above,

In faith of this my faith, that it is sure

That I live glowing in the fire of Love,

And that thou canst e’en after death restore

Me unto life, and in a moment guide

From the wild ocean to the peaceful shore.

For Love in thee and power dwell side by side,

And are united, reigning over me.

They waver not nor falter in their pride —

And here I end lest I should weary thee.

‘I know not whether it was the reasonings of this letter, or the many I had urged before on Nisida, assuring her of the true love Timbrio had for her, or Timbrio’s ceaseless services, or Heaven that had so ordained it, that moved Nisida’s heart to call me at the moment she finished reading it, and with tears in her eyes to say to me: “Ah, Silerio, Silerio! I verily believe that you have at the cost of my peace sought to gain your friend’s! May the fates that have brought me to this pass make Timbrio’s deeds accord with your words; and if both have deceived me, may Heaven take vengeance for my wrong, Heaven which I call to witness for the violence desire does me, making me keep it no longer concealed. But, alas, how light an acquittal is this for so weighty a fault! since I ought rather to die in silence so that my honour might live, than by saying what I now wish to say to you to bury it and end my life.” These words of Nisida’s made me confused, and yet more the agitation with which she uttered them; and desiring by mine to encourage her to declare herself without any fear, I had not to importune her much, for at last she told me that she not only loved, but adored Timbrio, and that she would always have concealed that feeling had not the compulsion of Timbrio’s departure compelled her to disclose it. It is not possible to describe fitly the state I was in, shepherds, on hearing what Nisida said, and the feeling of love she showed she bore to Timbrio; and indeed it is well that a grief which extends so far should be beyond description.

Not that I was grieved to see Timbrio loved, but to see myself rendered incapable of ever having happiness, since it was, and is clear, that I neither could nor can live without Nisida; for to see her, as I have said at other times, placed in another’s arms, was to sever myself from all pleasure, and if fate granted me any at this pass, it was to consider the welfare of my friend Timbrio, and this was the cause why my death and the declaration of Nisida’s love did not occur at one and the same moment. I listened to her as well as I could, and assured her as well as I knew how of the integrity of Timbrio’s breast, whereat she replied to me that there was no need to assure her of that, for that she was of such a mind that she could not, nor ought she to, fail to believe me, only asking me, if it were possible, to manage to persuade Timbrio to seek some honourable means to avoid a combat with his foe: and when I replied that this was impossible without his being dishonoured, she was calmed, and taking from her neck some precious relics, she gave them to me that I might give them to Timbrio from her. As she knew her parents were to go and see Timbrio’s fight, and would take her and her sister with them, but as she would not have the courage to be present at Timbrio’s dire peril, it was also agreed between us that she should pretend to be indisposed, on which pretext she would remain in a pleasure-house where her parents were to lodge, which was half a league from the town where the combat was to take place, and that there she would await her bad or good fortune, according to Timbrio’s. She bade me also, in order to shorten the anxiety she would feel to learn Timbrio’s fortune, take with me a white kerchief which she gave me, and, if Timbrio conquered, bind it on my arm, and come back to give her the news; and, if he were vanquished, not to bind it, and so she would learn from afar by the token of the kerchief the beginning of her bliss or the end of her life. I promised her to do all she bade me, and taking the relics and the kerchief I took leave of her with the greatest sadness and the greatest joy I ever felt; my little fortune caused the sadness; Timbrio’s great fortune the gladness. He learnt from me what I brought him from Nisida, whereat he was so joyous, happy, and proud, that the danger of the battle he awaited he counted as naught, for it seemed to him that in being favoured by his lady, not even death itself would be able to gainsay him. For the present I pass by in silence the exaggerated terms Timbrio used to show himself grateful for what he owed to my solicitude; for they were such that he seemed to be out of his senses while discoursing thereon. Being cheered, then, and encouraged by this good news, he began to make preparations for his departure, taking as seconds a Spanish gentleman, and another, a Neapolitan.

And at the tidings of this particular duel countless people of the kingdom were moved to see it, Nisida’s parents also going there, taking her and her sister Blanca with them. As it fell to Timbrio to choose weapons, he wished to show that he based his right, not on the advantage they possessed, but on the justice that was his, and so those he chose were the sword and dagger, without any defensive weapon. But few days were wanting to the appointed term, when Nisida and her father, with many other gentlemen, set out from the city of Naples; she, having arrived first, reminded me many times not to forget our agreement; but my wearied memory, which never served save to remind me of things alone that were unpleasing to me, so as not to change its character, forgot as much of what Nisida had told me as it saw was needful to rob me of life, or at least to set me in the miserable state in which I now see myself.’

The shepherds were listening with great attention to what Silerio was relating, when the thread of his story was interrupted by the voice of a hapless shepherd, who was singing among some trees, nor yet so far from the windows of the dwelling where they were, but that all that he said could not fail to be heard. The voice was such that it imposed silence on Silerio, who in no wise wished to proceed, but rather asked the other shepherds to listen to it, since for the little there remained of his story, there would be time to finish it. This would have annoyed Thyrsis and Damon, had not Elicio said to them:

‘Little will be lost, shepherds, in listening to the luckless Mireno, who is without doubt the shepherd that is singing, and whom fortune has brought to such a pass that I fancy he hopes for nothing in the way of his happiness.’

‘How can he hope for it,’ said Erastro, ‘if to-morrow Daranio marries the shepherdess Silveria, whom he thought to wed?

But in the end Daranio’s wealth has had more power with Silveria’s parents than the abilities of Mireno.’

‘You speak truth,’ replied Elicio: ‘but with Silveria the love she knew Mireno had for her should have had more power than any treasure; the more so that Mireno is not so poor that his poverty would be remarked, though Silveria were to wed him.

Through these remarks which Elicio and Erastro uttered, the desire to learn what Mireno was singing increased in the shepherds; and so Silerio begged that no more might be said, and all with attentive ears stopped to listen to him. He, distressed by Silveria’s ingratitude, seeing that next day she was wedding Daranio, with the rage and grief this deed caused him, had gone forth from his house accompanied only by his rebeck: and invited by the solitude and silence of a tiny little meadow which was hard by the walls of the village, and trusting that on a night so peaceful no one would listen to him, he sat down at the foot of a tree, and tuning his rebeck was singing in this wise:

MIRENO. Oh cloudless sky, that with so many eyes

O’er all the world the thefts of Love beholdest,

And in thy course dost fill with joy or grief

Him who to their sweet cause his agonies

Tells ‘midst thy stillness, or whom thou withholdest

From such delight, nor offerest him relief,

If yet with thee be chief

Kindness for me perchance, since now indeed

In speech alone contentment must I find,

Thou, knowing all my mind,

My words — it is not much I ask — may’st heed;

For, see, my voice of woe

Shall with my sorrowing soul die ‘neath the blow.

Ah now my wearied voice, my woeful cry,

Scarce, scarce, will now offend the empty air;

For I at last unto this pass am brought,

That to the winds that angry hasten by,

Love casts my hopes, and in another’s care

Hath placed the bliss that I deserving sought,

The fruit my loving thought

Did sow, the fruit watered by wearied tears

By his triumphant hands will gathered be,

And his the victory,

Who was in fortune rich beyond his peers,

But in deserving poor —

’Tis fortune smooths the rough and makes it sure.

Then he who sees his happiness depart

By any way, who doth his glory see

Transformed into such bitter grievous pain —

Why ends he not his life with all its smart?

Against the countless powers of destiny

Why strives he not to break the vital chain?

Slowly I pass amain

Unto the peril sweet of bitter death.

Wherefore, mine arm, bold ‘midst thy weariness,

Endure thou the distress

Of living, since our lot it brighteneth

To know that ’tis Love’s will

That grief should do the deed, as steel doth kill.

My death is certain, for it cannot be

That he should live whose very hope is dead,

And who from glory doth so far remain.

Yet this I fear, that death, by Love’s decree,

May be impossible, that memory fed

By a false confidence may live again

In my despite. What then?

For if the tale of my past happiness

I call to mind, and see that all is gone,

That I am now undone

By the sad cares I in its stead possess,

‘Twill serve the more to show

That I from memory and from life should go.

Ah! chief and only good my soul hath known!

Sun that didst calm the storm within my breast!

Goal of the worth that is desired by me!

Can it be that the day should ever dawn

When I must know that thou rememberest

No more, and Love that day doth let me see?

Rather, ere this should be,

Ere thy fair neck be by another’s arms

In all its loveliness encircled, ere

Thy golden — nay thy hair

Is gold, and ere its gold in all its charms

Should make Daranio rich,

Its end may the evil with my life’s end reach.

None hath by faith better deserved than I

To win thee; but I see that faith is dead,

Unless it be by deeds made manifest.

To certain grief and to uncertain joy

I yield my life; and if I merited

Thereby, I might hope for a gladsome feast.

But in this cruellest

Law used by Love, hath good desire no place,

This proverb lovers did of old discover:

The deed declares the lover,

And as for me, who to my hurt possess

Naught but the will to do,

Wherein must I not fail, whose deeds are few?

I thought the law would clearly broken be

In thee, that avaricious Love doth use;

I thought that thou thine eyes on high wouldst raise

Unto a captive soul that serves but thee,

So ready to perform what thou dost choose,

That, if thou didst but know, I would earn thy praise.

For a faith that assays

By the vain pomps of wealth so full of care

All its desires, thou wouldst not change, I thought,

A faith that was so fraught

With tokens of good faith, Silveria fair.

Thyself thou didst to gold

Yield that thou mightst yield me to grief untold.

Oh poverty, that creepest on the ground,

Cause of the grief that doth my soul enrage,’

He praiseth thee, thy face who never saw.

Thy visage did my shepherdess confound,

At once thy harshness did her love assuage,

She to escape thee doth her foot withdraw.

This is thy cruel law,

Vainly doth one aspire the goal to find

Of amorous purpose; thou high hopes abasest

And countless changes placest

Within the greedy breast of womankind,

But never dost thou bless

The worth of lovers with complete success.

Gold is a sun, whose ray the keenest eyes

Blindeth, if on the semblance they be fed

Of interest, that doth beguile the sight.

He that is liberal-handed wins the prize,

Even her hand, who, by her avarice led,

Fair though she be, declares her heart’s delight.

’Tis gold that turns the sight

From the pure purpose and the faith sincere;

More than a lover’s firmness is undone

By the diamond stone,

Whose hardness turns to wax a bosom fair,

However hard it be;

Its fancy thus it winneth easily.

Oh sweet my foe I suffer grief untold

For thee, because thy matchless charms thou hast

Made ugly by a proof of avarice.

So much didst thou reveal thy love of gold

That thou my passion didst behind thee cast

And to oblivion didst my care dismiss.

Now thou art wed! Ah, this

Ends all! Wed, shepherdess! I pray that Heaven

Thy choice, as thou thyself wouldst wish, may bless,

That for my bitterness

A just reward may not to thee be given. —

But, alas! Heaven, our friend,

Guerdon to virtue, stripes to ill doth send.

Here the hapless Mireno ended his song with tokens of grief so great that he inspired the same in all those who were listening to him, especially in those who knew him, and were acquainted with his virtues, gallant disposition and honourable bearing. And after there had passed between the shepherds some remarks upon the strange character of women, and chiefly upon the marriage of Silveria, who, forgetful of Mireno’s love and goodness, had yielded herself to Daranio’s wealth, they were desirous that Silerio should end his story, and, complete silence having been imposed, without needing to be asked, he began to continue, saying:

‘The day of the dire peril, then, having come, Nisida remained half a league out of the village, in some gardens as she had agreed with me, with the pretext she gave to her parents that she was not well; and as I left her, she charged me to return quickly, with the token of the kerchief, for, according as I wore it or not, she would learn the good or ill fortune of Timbrio. I promised it to her once more, being aggrieved that she should charge me with it so often. Therewith I took leave of her and of her sister, who remained with her. And when I had come to the place of combat and the hour of beginning it had come, after the seconds of both had completed the ceremonies and warnings which are required in such a case, the two gentlemen, being set in the lists, at the dread sound of a hoarse trumpet engaged with such dexterity and skill that it caused admiration in all that saw them. But love or justice — and this is the more likely — which was favouring Timbrio, gave him such vigour that, though at the cost of some wounds, in a short space he put his adversary in such a plight, that, having him at his feet, wounded and covered with blood, he begged him to give in, if he wished to save his life. But the luckless Pransiles urged him to make an end of killing him, since it was easier for him and less hurtful to pass through a thousand deaths than to surrender; yet Timbrio’s noble soul is such that he neither wished to kill his foe, nor yet that he should confess himself vanquished. He merely contented himself with his saying and acknowledging that Timbrio was as good as he; which Pransiles confessed gladly, since in this he did so little, that he might very well have said it without seeing himself in that pass. All the bystanders who heard how Timbrio had dealt with his foe, praised it and valued it highly. Scarcely had I seen my friend’s happy fortune, when with incredible joy and swift speed I returned to give the news to Nisida. But woe is me! for my carelessness then has set me in my present care. Oh memory, memory mine! why had you none for what concerned me so much? But I believe it was ordained in my fortune, that the beginning of that gladness should be the end and conclusion of all my joys. I returned to see Nisida with the speed I have said, but returned without placing the white kerchief on my arm. Nisida, who from some lofty galleries, with violent longing, was waiting and watching for my return, seeing me returning without the kerchief, thought that some sinister mishap had befallen Timbrio, and she believed it and felt it in such wise, that, without aught else contributing, all her spirits failed her, and she fell to the ground in so strange a swoon, that all counted her dead. By the time I came up, I found all her household in a turmoil, and her sister showing a thousand extremes of grief over the body of sad Nisida. When I saw her in such a state, firmly believing that she was dead, and seeing that the force of grief was drawing me out of my senses, and afraid that while bereft of them I might give or disclose some tokens of my thoughts, I went forth from the house, and slowly returned to give the luckless news to luckless Timbrio. But as the anxiety of my grief had robbed me of my strength of mind and body, my steps were not so swift but that others had been more so to carry the sad tidings to Nisida’s parents, assuring them that she had been carried off by an acute paroxysm. Timbrio must needs have heard this and been in the same state as I was, if not in a worse; I can only say that when I came to where I thought to find him, the night was already somewhat advanced, and I learned from one of his seconds that he had departed for Naples with his other second by the post, with tokens of such great unhappiness as if he had issued from the combat vanquished and dishonoured. I at once fancied what it might be, and at once set myself on the way to follow him, and before I reached Naples, I had sure tidings that Nisida was not dead, but had been in a swoon which lasted four and twenty hours, at the end of which she had come to herself with many tears and sighs.

With the certainty of these tidings I was consoled, and with greater joy reached Naples, thinking to find Timbrio there; but it was not so, for the gentleman with whom he had come assured me that on reaching Naples, he departed without saying anything, and that he did not know whither; only he fancied that, as he saw him sad and melancholy after the fight, he could not but think he had gone to kill himself. This was news which sent me back to my first’ tears, and my fortune, not even content with this, ordained that at the end of a few days Nisida’s parents should come to Naples without her and without her sister, who, as I learned, and as was the common report, had both absented themselves one night, whilst coming with their parents to Naples, without any news being known of them.

Thereat I was so confused that I knew not what to do with myself nor what to say to myself, and being placed in this strange confusion, I came to learn, though not very surely, that Timbrio had embarked in the port of Gaeta on a large ship bound for Spain. Thinking it might be true, I came straightway to Spain, and have looked for him in Xeres and in every place I fancied he might be, without finding any trace of him. At last I came to the city of Toledo, where all the kinsmen of Nisida’s parents are, and what I succeeded in learning is that they have returned to Toledo without having learned news of their daughters.

Seeing myself, then, absent from Timbrio and away from Nisida, and considering that as soon as I should find them, it must needs be to their joy and my ruin, being now wearied and disenchanted of the things of this deceitful world in which we live, I have resolved to turn my thoughts to a better pole-star, and to spend the little that remains to me of life, in the service of Him who values desires and works in the degree they deserve. And so I have chosen this garb you see, and the hermitage you have seen, where in sweet solitude I may repress my desires and direct my works to a better goal; though, as the course of the evil inclinations I have cherished till now, springs from so far back, they are not so easy to check but that they somewhat overrun the bounds, and memory returns to battle with me, representing to me the past. When I see myself in this pass, to the sound of yonder harp which I chose for companion in my solitude, I seek to lighten the heavy burden of my cares until Heaven shall take it and be minded to call me to a better life. This, shepherds, is the story of my misfortune; and if I have been long in telling it to you, it is because my misfortune has not been brief in afflicting me. What I pray you is to allow me to return to my hermitage, for, though your company is pleasing to me, I have come to the pass that nothing gives me more joy than solitude, and henceforward you will understand the life I lead and the woe I endure.’

Herewith Silerio ended his story, but not the tears with which he had ofttimes accompanied it. The shepherds consoled him for them as best they could, especially Damon and Thyrsis, who with many reasonings urged him not to lose the hope of seeing his friend Timbrio in greater happiness than he could imagine, since it was not possible but that after such evil fortune Heaven should become serene, wherefrom it might be hoped that it would not be willing for the false news of Nisida’s death to come to Timbrio’s knowledge save in a truer version before despair should end his days; and that, as regards Nisida it might be believed and conjectured that, on finding Timbrio absent, she had gone in search of him; and that, if fortune had then parted them by such strange accidents, it would know now how to unite them by others no less strange. All these reasonings and many others they addressed to him, consoled him somewhat, but not so as to awaken the hope of seeing himself in a life of greater happiness, nor yet did he seek it, for it seemed to him that the life he had chosen, was the one most fitting for him. A great part of the night was already passed when the shepherds agreed to rest for the little time that remained until the day, whereon the wedding of Daranio and Silveria was to be celebrated. But scarce had the white dawn left the irksome couch of her jealous spouse, when most of the shepherds of the village all left theirs, and each as best he could, for his part, began to gladden the feast. One brought green boughs to adorn the doorway of the betrothed, another with tabor and flute gave them the morning greeting.

Here was heard the gladdening pipe, here sounded the tuneful rebeck, there the ancient psaltery, here the practised flageolet; one with red ribands adorned his castanets for the hoped-for dance, another polished and polished again his rustic finery to show himself gallant in the eyes of some little shepherdess his sweetheart, so that in whatever part of the village one went, all savoured of happiness, pleasure, and festivity. There was only the sad and hapless Mireno, to whom all these joys were the cause of greatest sadness. He, having gone out from the village, so as not to see performed the sacrifice of his glory, ascended a hillock which was near the village, and seating himself there at the foot of an old ash tree, placing his hand on his cheek, his bonnet pulled down to his eyes which he kept rivetted on the ground, he began to ponder the hapless plight in which he found himself, and how, without being able to prevent it, he had to see the fruit of his desires culled before his eyes; and this thought held him in such a way that he wept so tenderly and bitterly that no one could see him in such a pass without accompanying him with tears. At this moment Damon and Thyrsis, Elicio and Erastro arose, and appearing at a window which looked on to the plain, the first object on which they set eyes was the luckless Mireno, and on seeing him in the state in which he was, they knew full well the grief he was suffering; and, being moved to compassion, they determined all to go and console him, as they would have done, had not Elicio begged them to let him go alone, for he thought that, as Mireno was so great a friend of his, he would impart his grief to him more freely than to another.

The shepherds consented to it, and Elicio, going there, found Mireno so beside himself and so transported in his grief that he neither recognised him nor spoke to him a word. Elicio, seeing this, beckoned to the other shepherds to come, and they, fearing that some strange accident had,befallen Mireno, since Elicio called them with haste, straightway went there, and saw Mireno with eyes so fixed on the ground, and so motionless that he seemed a statue, seeing that he did not awake from his strange trance with the coming of Elicio nor with that of Thyrsis, Damon and Erastro, except that after a long while he began to say as it were between his teeth:

‘Are you Silveria, Silveria? if you are, I am not Mireno, and if I am not Mireno, you are not Silveria, for it is not possible for Silveria to be without Mireno, or Mireno without Silveria. Then who am I, hapless one? or who are you, ungrateful one? Full well I know that I am not Mireno, for you have not wished to be Silveria, at least the Silveria you ought to have been and I thought you were.’

At this moment he raised his eyes, and as he saw the four shepherds round him and recognised Elicio among them, he arose and without ceasing his bitter plaint, threw his arms round his neck, saying to him:

‘Ah, my true friend, now indeed you will have no cause to envy my state, as you envied it when you saw me favoured by Silveria; for, if you called me happy then, you can call me hapless now, and change all the glad names you gave me then, into the grievous ones you now can give me. I indeed will be able to call you happy, Elicio, since you are more consoled by the hope you have of being loved than afflicted by the real fear of being forgotten.’

‘You make me perplexed, oh Mireno,’ answered Elicio, ‘to see the extreme grief you display at what Silveria has done, when you know that she has parents whom it was right to have obeyed.’

‘If she felt love,’ replied Mireno, ‘duty to parents were small hindrance to keep her from fulfilling what she owed to love.

Whence I come to think, oh Elicio, that if she loved me well, she did ill to marry, and if the love she used to show me was feigned, she did worse in deceiving me and in offering to undeceive me at a time when it cannot avail me save by leaving my life in her hands.’

‘Your life, Mireno,’ replied Elicio, ‘is not in such a pass that for cure you have to end it, since it might be that the change in Silveria was not in her will, but in the constraint of obedience to her parents; and, if you loved her purely and honourably when a maid, you can also love her now that she is wed, she responding now as then to your good and honourable desires.’

‘Little do you know Silveria, Elicio,’ answered Mireno, ‘since you imagine of her that she is likely to do aught that might make her notorious.’

‘This very argument you have used, condemns you,’ replied Elicio, ‘since, if you, Mireno, know of Silveria that she will not do anything which may be hurtful to her, she cannot have erred in what she has done.’

‘If she has not erred,’ answered Mireno, ‘she has succeeded in robbing me of all the fair issue I hoped from my fair thoughts; and only in this do I blame her that she never warned me of this blow, nay rather, when I had fears of it, she assured me with a firm oath that they were fancies of mine, and that it had never entered her fancy to think of marrying Daranio, nor, if she could not marry me, would she marry him nor anyone else, though she were thereby to risk remaining in perpetual disgrace with her parents and kinsmen; and under this assurance and promise now to fail in and break her faith in the way you have seen — what reason is there that would consent to such a thing, or what heart that would suffer it?’

Here Mireno once more renewed his plaint and here again the shepherds had pity for him. At this moment two youths came up to where they were; one of them was Mireno’s kinsman, the other a servant of Daranio’s who came to summon Elicio, Thyrsis, Damon and Erastro, for the festivities of his marriage were about to begin. It grieved the shepherds to leave Mireno alone, but the shepherd his kinsman offered to remain with him, and indeed Mireno told Elicio that he wished to go away from that region, so as not to see every day before his eyes the cause of his misfortune. Elicio praised his resolve and charged him, wherever he might be, to inform him how it went with him.

Mireno so promised him; and drawing from his bosom a paper, he begged him to give it to Silveria on finding an opportunity.

Therewith he took leave of all the shepherds, not without token of much grief and sadness. He had not gone far from their presence, when Elicio, desirous of learning what was in the paper, seeing that, since it was open, it mattered but little if he read it, unfolded it, and inviting the other shepherds to listen to him, saw that in it were written these verses:


He who once gave unto thee

Most of all he did possess,

Unto thee now, shepherdess,

Sends what remnant there may be;

Even this poor paper where

Clearly written he hath shown

The faith that from thee hath gone,

What remains with him, despair.

But perchance it doth avail

Little that I tell thee this,

If my faith bring me no bliss,

And my woe to please thee fail;

Think not that I seek to mourn,

To complain that thou dost leave me;

’Tis too late that I should grieve me

For my early love forlorn.

Time was when thou fain wouldst hear

All my tale of misery;

If a tear were in my eye,

Thou therewith wouldst shed a tear:

Then Mireno was in truth

He on whom thine eyes were set,

Changed thou art and dost forget,

All the joyous time of youth!

Did that error but endure,

Tempered were my bitter sadness;

Fancied joy brings greater gladness

Than a loss well known and sure.

But ’twas thou that didst ordain

My misfortune and distress,

Making by thy fickleness

False my bliss and sure my pain.

From thy words so full of lies

And my ears that, weak, believed,

Fancied joys have I received,

And undoubted miseries.

Seeming pleasures once me crowned

With the buoyancy of youth,

But the evils in their truth

To my sorrow do redound.

Hence I judge and know full well,

And it cannot be denied.

That its glory and its pride

Love hath at the gates of hell;

Whoso doth not set his gaze

Upon Love, from joy to pain

By oblivion and disdain

Is brought in a moment’s space.

With such swiftness thou hast wrought

This mysterious transformation,

That already desperation

And not gain becomes my lot;

For methinks ’twas yesterday

Thou didst love me, or didst feign

Love at least, for this is plain,

What I must believe to-day.

Still thy pleasing voice I hear

Uttering sweet and witty things,

Still thy loving reasonings

Are resounding in my ear;

But these memories at last,

Though they please, yet torture more,

Since away the breezes bore

Words and works adown the blast.

Wert thou she who in her pride

Swore her days on earth should end,

If she did not love her friend

More than all she loved beside?

Wert thou she who to me showed

How she loved with such good-will,

That, although I was her ill,

She did hold me for her good?

Oh if but I could thee hate

As thou hatest me, thy name

Would I brand with fitting shame,

Since thou’rt thankless and ingrate;

Yet it useless is for me

Thus to hate thee and disdain,

Love to me is greater gain

Than forgetfulness to thee.

To my singing sad lament,

To my springtime winter’s snow,

To my laughter bitter woe

Thy relentless hand hath sent


It has changed my joyous dress

To the garb of those that mourn,

Love’s soft flower to poignant thorn,

Love’s sweet fruit to bitterness.

Thou wilt say — thereat I bleed —

That thy marriage to this swain,

Thy forgetfulness again,

Is a noble honest deed;

If it were not known to thee

That in thy betrothal hour

My life ended evermore,

Then I might admit thy plea.

But thy pleasure in a word

Pleasure was; but ’twas not just,

Since my faith and loyal trust

Did but earn unjust reward;

For my faith, since it doth see

How to show its faithfulness,

Wanes not through thy fickleness,

Faints not through my misery.

None will wonder — surely no man,

When he comes to know the truth,

Seeing that I am a youth,

And, Silveria, thou art woman;

Ever in her, we believe,

Hath its home inconstancy;

Second nature ’tis to me

Thus to suffer and to grieve.

Thee a wedded bride I view

Now repentant, making moan,

For it is a fact well known

That thou wilt in naught be true;

Gladly seek the yoke to bear

That thou on thy neck didst cast,

For thou may’st it hate at last,

But for ever ‘twill be there.

Yet so fickle is thy state,

And thy mood is so severe,

That what yesterday was dear

Thou must needs to-morrow hate;

Hence in some mysterious way,

‘Lovely ‘midst her fickleness,

Fickle ‘midst her loveliness,’

He who speaks of thee will say.

The shepherds did not think ill of Mireno’s verses, but of the occasion for which they had been made, considering with what rapidity Silveria’s fickleness had brought him to the pass of abandoning his beloved country and dear friends, each one fearful lest, as the result of his suit, the same thing might happen to him. Then, after they had entered the village and come to where Daranio and Silveria were, the festivities began with as much joy and merriment as had been seen for a long time on the banks of the Tagus; for, as Daranio was one of the richest shepherds of all that district, and Silveria one of the fairest shepherdesses of all the river-side, all or most of the shepherds of those parts assisted at their wedding. And so there was a fine gathering of discreet shepherds and fair shepherdesses, and amongst those who excelled the rest in many different qualities were the sad Orompo, the jealous Orfenio, the absent Crisio, and the love-lorn Marsilio, all youths and all in love, though oppressed by different passions, for sad Orompo was tormented by the untimely death of his beloved Listea, jealous Orfenio by the unbearable rage of jealousy, being in love with the fair shepherdess Eandra, absent Crisio by seeing himself parted from Claraura, a fair and discreet shepherdess, whom he counted his only joy, and despairing Marsilio by the hatred against him existing in Belisa’s breast.

They were all friends and from the same village; each was not ignorant of the other’s love, but, on the contrary, in mournful rivalry they had ofttimes come together, each to extol the cause of his torment, seeking each one to show, as best he could, that his grief exceeded every other, counting it the highest glory to be superior in pain; and all had such wit, or, to express it better, suffered such grief, that, however they might indicate it, they showed it was the greatest that could be imagined. Through these disputes and rivalries they were famous and renowned on all the banks of the Tagus, and had caused in Thyrsis and Damon desire to know them; and, seeing them there together, they offered one another courteous and pleasing greetings, all especially regarding with admiration the two shepherds Thyrsis and Damon, up till then only known to them by repute. At this moment came the rich shepherd Daranio, dressed in mountain garb; he wore a high-necked smock with pleated collar, a frieze vest, a green coat cut low at the neck, breeches of fine linen, blue gaiters, round shoes, a studded belt, and a quartered bonnet the colour of the coat. No less finely adorned came forth his bride Silveria, for she came with skirt and bodice of fawn, bordered with white satin, a tucker worked with blue and green, a neckerchief of yellow thread sprinkled with silver embroidery, the contrivance of Galatea and Florisa, who dressed her, a turquoise-coloured coif with fringes of red silk, gilded pattens of cork, dainty close-fitting shoes, rich corals, a ring of gold, and above all her beauty, which adorned her more than all. After her came the peerless Galatea, like the sun after the dawn, and her friend Florisa, with many other fair shepherdesses, who had come to the wedding to honour it; and amongst them, too, came Teolinda, taking care to conceal her face from the eyes of Damon and Thyrsis, so as not to be recognised by them. And straightway the shepherdesses, following the shepherds their guides, to the sound of many rustic instruments, made their way to the temple, during which time Elicio and Erastro found time to feast their eyes on Galatea’s fair countenance, desiring that that way might last longer than the long wandering of Ulysses. And, at the joy of seeing her, Erastro was so beside himself, that addressing Elicio he said to him:

‘What are you looking at, shepherd, if you are not looking at Galatea? But how will you be able to look at the sun of her locks, the heaven of her brow, the stars of her eyes, the snow of her countenance, the crimson of her cheeks, the colour of her lips, the ivory of her teeth, the crystal of her neck, and the marble of her breast?’

‘All this have I been able to see, oh Erastro,’ replied Elicio, ‘and naught of all you have said is the cause of my torment, but it is the hardness of her disposition, for if it were not such as you know, all the graces and beauties you recognise in Galatea would be the occasion of our greater glory.’

‘You say well,’ said Erastro; ‘but yet you will not be able to deny to me, that if Galatea were not so fair, she would not be so desired, and if she were not so desired, our pain would not be so great, since it all springs from desire.’

‘I cannot deny to you, Erastro,’ replied Elicio, ‘that all grief and sorrow whatsoever springs from the want and lack of that which we desire; but at the same time I wish to tell you that the quality of the love with which I thought you loved Galatea has fallen greatly in my estimation, for if you merely love her because she is fair, she has very little to thank you for, since there will be no man, however rustic he be, who sees her but desires her, for beauty, wherever it be, carries with it the power of creating desire. Thus no reward is due to this simple desire, because it is so natural, for if it were due, by merely desiring Heaven, we would have deserved it. But you see already, Erastro, that the opposite is so much the case, as our true law has shown to us; and granted that beauty and loveliness are a principal factor in attracting us to desire them and to seek to enjoy them, he who would be a true lover must not count such enjoyment his highest good; but rather, though beauty causes this desire in him, he must love the one only because the desire is honourable, without any other interest moving him, and this can be called, even in things of this life, perfect and true love, and is worthy of gratitude and reward. Just as we see that the Maker of all things openly and fittingly rewards those who, not being moved by any other interest, whether of fear, pain, or hope of glory, love Him, worship Him, and serve Him only because he is good and worthy of being worshipped; and this is the last and greatest perfection contained in divine love, and in human love, too, when one does not love except because what one loves is good, without there being an error of judgment, for ofttimes the bad seems to us good, and the good bad, and so we love the one and abhor the other, and such love as this does not deserve reward but punishment. I wish to imply from all I have said, oh Erastro, that if you love and worship Galatea’s beauty with intent to enjoy it, and the goal of your desire stops at this point without passing on to love her virtue, her increase of fame, her welfare, her life and prosperity, know that you do not love as you ought, nor ought you to be rewarded as you wish.’

Erastro would fain have replied to Elicio, and given him to understand that he did not understand rightly concerning the love with which he loved Galatea; but this was prevented by the sound of the pipe of loveless Lenio, who also wished to be present at Daranio’s wedding, and to gladden the festivities with his song; and so setting himself in front of the betrothed pair, whilst they were going to the temple, to the sound of Eugenio’s rebeck he went singing these verses:

LENIO. Unknown, ungrateful Love, that dost appal

At times the gallant hearts of all our race,

And with vain shapes and shades fantastical

In the free soul dost countless fetters place,

If, proud of godhead, thou thyself dost call

By such a lofty name, spurn in disgrace

Him, who, surrendered to the marriage tie,

To a new noose would yield his fantasy.

Strive thou that pure and spotless evermore

The law of holy wedlock may remain,

Turn thou thy mind thereto with all thy power,

Unfurl thy banner on this fair champaign,

See what sweet fruit he hopes, what lovely flower,

For little toil, who doth himself constrain

To bear this yoke, as duty bids and right;

For, though a burden, ’tis a burden light.

Thou canst, if thou no more rememberest

Thy misdeeds and thy peevish character,

Make glad the marriage bed, the happy nest,

Wherein the nuptial yoke unites the pair;

Set thyself in their soul, and in their breast

Until their life have ended its career,

Then may they go (and to this hope we cling)

To enjoy the pleasures of the eternal spring.

Do thou the shepherd’s tiny cot pass by,

To do his duty leave the shepherd free,

Fly higher yet, since thou so high dost fly,

Seek for a better pastime, nobler be:

To make of souls a sacrifice on high

Thou toilest and dost watch;— ’tis vanity,

If thou dost bring them not with better mind

To the sweet union Hymen hath designed.

The mighty hand of thy amazing might

Thou canst herein to all the world display,

Making the tender bride in love delight,

And by her bridegroom be beloved alway;

The infernal jealous madness that doth blight

Their peace and comfort, thou canst drive away;

Suffer not scornful harsh disdain to keep

Far from their eyelids sweet refreshing sleep.

But if the prayers of him who was thy friend

Have never, traitorous Love, been heard by thee,

To these of mine thou wilt no hearing lend,

For I thy foe am, and shall ever be;

Thy character, thy works of evil end,

Whereof is witness all humanity,

Lead me to expect not from thy hand a wealth

Of peace or fortune, happiness or health.

Already those who listened to the loveless Lenio as they went along were wondering at seeing with what meekness he was treating the things of Love, calling him a god, and of a mighty hand — a thing they had never heard him say. But having heard the verse’s with which he ended his song, they could not refrain from laughter, for it already seemed to them that he was getting angry as he went on, and that if he proceeded further in his song he would deal with love as he was wont at other times; but time failed him, for the way was at an end. And so, when they had come to the temple, and the usual ceremonies had been performed therein by the priests, Daranio and Silveria remained bound in a tight and perpetual knot, not without the envy of many who saw them, nor without the grief of some who coveted Silveria’s beauty. But every grief would have been surpassed by that which the hapless Mireno would have felt, had he been present at this spectacle. The wedded pair having returned from the temple with the same company that had escorted them, came to the village square, where they found the tables set, and where Daranio wished publicly to make a demonstration of his wealth, offering to all the people a liberal and sumptuous feast. The square was so covered with branches, that it seemed a lovely green forest, the branches interwoven above in such wise that the sun’s keen rays in all that compass found no entry to warm the cool ground, which was covered with many sword-lilies and a great diversity of flowers. There, then, to the general content of all was celebrated the liberal banquet, to the sound of many pastoral instruments, which gave no less pleasure than is wont to be given by the bands playing in harmony usual in royal palaces; but that which most exalted the feast was to see, that, on removing the tables, they made with much speed in the same place a stage, because the four discreet and hapless shepherds, Orompo, Marsilio, Crisio, and Orfenio, so as to honour their friend Daranio’s wedding, and to satisfy the desire Thyrsis and Damon had to hear them, wished there in public to recite an eclogue, which they themselves had composed on the occasion of their own griefs. All the shepherds and shepherdesses who were there being then arranged in their seats, after that Erastro’s pipe, and Lenio’s lyre and the other instruments made those present keep peaceful and marvellous silence, the first who showed himself in the humble theatre was the sad Orompo, clad in black skincoat, and a crook of yellow box-wood in his hand, the end of which was an ugly figure of Death. He came crowned with leaves of mournful cypress, all emblems of grief which reigned in him by reason of the untimely death of his beloved Listea; and after he had, with sad look, turned his weeping eyes in all directions, with tokens of infinite grief and bitterness he broke the silence with words like these:

OROMPO. Come from the depths of my grief-stricken breast,

Oh words of blood, with death commingled come,

Break open the left side that keeps you dumb,

If ’tis my sighs perchance that hold you fast.

The air impedes you, for ’tis fired at last

By the fierce poison of your utterance;

Come forth and let the breezes bear you hence,

As they have borne my bliss adown the blast.

For ye will lose but little when ye see

Yourselves lost, since your lofty theme has gone,

For whom in weighty style and perfect tone

Utterance ye gave to things of high degree.

Famed were ye once, of high renown were ye,

For sweetness, and for wittiness and gladness;

But now for bitterness, for tears and sadness,

Will ye by Heaven and earth appraisèd be.

Although ye issue trembling at my cry

With what words can ye utter what I feel,

If my fierce torment is incapable

Of being as ’tis painted vividly?

Alas, for neither means nor time have I

To express the pain and sinking at my heart;

But what my tongue doth lack to tell its smart,

My eyes by constant weeping may supply.

Oh death, who cuttest short by cruel guile

A thousand pleasant purposes of man,

And in a moment turnest hill to plain,

Making Henares equal unto Nile,

Why didst thou temper not thy cruel style,

Traitor, and why didst thou, in my despite,

Make trial on a bosom fair and white

Of thy fierce hanger’s edge with fury vile?

How came it that the green and tender years

Of that fair lamb did, false one, thee displease?

Wherefore didst thou my woes by hers increase?

Why didst thou show thyself to her so fierce?

Enemy mine, friend of deceitful cares,

Goest thou from me who seek thee, and concealest

Thyself from me, while thou thyself revealest

To him who more than I thy evils fears?

On riper years thy law tyrannical

Might well its giant vigour have displayed,

Nor dealt its cruel blow against a maid,

Who hath of living had enjoyment small;

But yet thy sickle which arrangeth all —

By no prayer turned aside nor word of power —

Moweth with ruthless blade the tender flower

E’en as the knotty reed, stalwart and tall.

When thou Listea from the world away

Didst take, thy nature and thy strength, thy worth,

Thy spirit, wrath and lordship to the earth

Thou didst by that proud deed alone display.

All that the earth possesseth fair and gay,

Graceful and witty, thou didst likewise doom,

When thou didst doom Listea; in her tomb

Thou didst with her this wealth of blisses lay.

My painful life grows longer, and its weight

I can no more upon my shoulders bear,

For without her I am in darkness drear;

His life is death who is not fortunate.

I have no hope in fortune nor in fate,

I have no hope in time, no hope in Heaven;

I may not hope for solace to be given,

Nor yet for good where evil is so great.

Oh ye who feel what sorrow is, come, find

In mine your consolation, when ye see

Its strength, its vigour and alacrity;

Then ye will see how far yours falls behind.

Where are ye now, shepherds graceful and kind,

Crisio, Marsilio, and Orfenio? What

Do ye? Why come ye not? Why count ye not

Mine greater far than troubles of your mind?

But who is this who cometh into sight,

Emerging at the crossing of yon path?

Marsilio ’tis, whom Love as prisoner hath,

The cause Belisa, her praise his delight.

The fierce snake of disdain with cruel bite

His soul doth ever gnaw and eke his breast,

He spends his life in torment without rest,

And yet not his but mine the blacker plight.

He thinks the ill that makes his soul complain

Is greater than the sorrow of my woe.

Within this thicket ‘twill be well to go,

That I may see if he perchance complain.

Alas! to think to match it with the pain

That never leaves me is but vanity.

The road mine opens that to ill draws nigh,

Closing the pathway that doth bliss attain.

Marsilio. Oh steps that by steps bring

Me to death’s agonies

I am constrained to blame your tardiness!

Unto the sweet lot cling,

For in your swiftness lies

My, bliss, and in such hour of bitterness.

Behold, me to distress,

The hardness of my foe

Within her angry breast,

Hostile unto my rest,

Doth ever do what it was wont to do,

And therefore let us flee,

If but we can, from her dread cruelty.

To what clime shall I go,

Or to what land unknown

To make my dwelling there, that I may be

Safe from tormenting woe,

From sad and certain moan,

Which shall not end till it hath ended me?

Whether I stay or flee

To Libya’s sandy plains

Or to the dwelling-place

Of Scythia’s savage race,

One thing alone doth mitigate my pain;

That a contented mind

I do not in a change of dwelling find.

It wins me everywhere,

The rigorous disdain

Of her that hath no peer, my cruel foe,

And yet an issue fair

’Tis not for me to gain

From Love or hope amidst such cruel woe.

Belisa, daylight’s glow,

Thou glory of our age,

If prayers of a friend

Have power thy will to bend,

Temper of thy right hand the ruthless rage!

The fire my breast doth hold,

May it have power in thine to melt the cold.

Yet deaf unto my cry,

Ruthless and merciless,

As to the wearied mariner’s appeal

The tempest raging by

That stirs the angry sea,

Threatening to life the doom unspeakable,

Adamant, marble, steel,

And rugged Alpine brow,

The sturdy holm-oak old,

The oak that to the cold

North wind its lofty crest doth never bow,

All gentle are and kind

Compared unto the wrath in thee we find.

My hard and bitter fate,

My unrelenting star,

My will that bears it all and suffereth,

This doom did promulgate,

Thankless Belisa fair,

That I should serve and love thee e’en in death

Though thy brow threateneth

With ruthless, angry frown,

And though thine eyes so clear

A thousand woes declare,

Yet mistress of this soul I shall thee crown,

Until a mortal veil

Of flesh no more on earth my soul conceal.

Can there be good that vies

With my tormenting ill,

Can any earthly ill such anguish give?

For each of them doth rise

Far beyond human skill,

And without her in living death I live,

In disdain I revive

My faith, and there ’tis found

Burnt with the chilly cold.

What vanity behold,

The unwonted sorrow that my soul doth wound!

Can it be equal, see,

Unto the ill that fain would greater be?

But who is he who stirs

The interwoven boughs

Of this round-crested myrtle, thick and green?

OROMPO. A shepherd who avers,

Reasoning from his woes,

Founding his words upon the truth therein,

That it must needs be seen

His sorrow doth surpass

The sorrow thou dost feel,

The higher thou mayst raise it,

Exalt it, and appraise it.

MARS. Conquered wilt thou remain in such a deal,

Orompo, friend so true.

And thou thyself shalt witness be thereto.

If of my agonies,

If of my maddening ill,

The very smallest part thou didst but know,

Thy vanities would cease,

For thou wouldst see that still

My sufferings all are true, and thine but show.

Orompo. Deem thy mysterious woe

A phantom of the mind,

Than mine, that doth distress

My life, reckon thine less,

For I will save thee from thine error blind,

And the dear truth reveal,

That thy ill is a shadow, mine is real.

But, lo! the voice I hear

Of Crisio, sounding plain.

A shepherd he, whose views with thine agree,

To him let us give ear,

For his distressful pain

Maketh him swell with pride, as thine doth thee.

MARS. To-day time offers me

Place and occasion where

I can display to both

And prove to you the truth

That only I misfortune know and care.

OROMPO. Marsilio, now attend

Unto the voice and sad theme of thy friend.

Crisio. Ah! hard oppressive absence, sad and drear,

How far must he have been from knowing thee,

Who did thy force and violence compare

To death’s invincible supremacy!

For when death doth pronounce his doom severe,

What then can he do more, so weak is he,

That to undo the knot and stoutest tether

That holdeth soul and body firm together?

Thy cruel sword to greater ill extends,

Since into two one spirit it doth part.

Love’s miracles, which no man understands,

Nor are attained by learning or by art.

Oh let my soul with one who understands,

There leave its half, and bring the weaker part

Hither, whereby more ill I on me lay,

Than if from life I were far, far away!

Away am I from yonder eyes so fair,

Which calmed my torment in my hour of need,

Eyes, life of him who could behold them clear,

If they the fancy did not further lead;

For to behold and think of merit there

Is but a foolish, daring, reckless deed,

I see them not, I saw them to my wrong,

And now I perish, for to see I long.

Longing have I, and rightly, to behold —

The term of my distress to abbreviate —

This friendship rent in twain which hath of old

United soul to flesh with love so great,

That from the frame set free which doth it hold,

With ready speed and wondrous flight elate,

It will be able to behold again

Those eyes, relief and glory to its pain.

Pain is the payment and the recompense

That Love doth to the absent lover give;

Herein is summed all suffering and offence,

That in Love’s sufferings we do perceive;

Neither to use discretion for defence,

Nor in the fire of loyal love to live

With thoughts exalted, doth avail to assuage

This torment’s cruel pain and violent rage.

Raging and violent is this cruel distress,

And yet withal so long doth it endure,

That, ere it endeth, endeth steadfastness,

And even life’s career, wretched and poor;

Death, jealousy, disdain, and fickleness,

An unkind, angry heart, do not assure

Such torment, nor inflict wounds so severe,

As doth this ill, whose very name is fear.

Fearful it were, did not a grief, so fierce

As this, produce in me such mortal grief;

And yet it is not mortal, since my years

End not, though I am absent from my life;

But I’ll no more my woeful song rehearse,

For to such swains, in charm and wisdom chief,

As those I see before me, ‘twill be right

That I should show to see them more delight.

OROMPO. Delight thy presence gives us, Crisio friend,

And more, because thou comest at an hour,

When we our ancient difference may end.

CRISIO. If it delights thee, come, let us once more

Begin, for in Marsilio of our strife

A righteous judge we have to plead before.

MARS. Clearly ye show and prove your error rife,

Wherewith ye twain are so besotted, drawn

By the vain fancy that rules o’er your life,

Since ye wish that the sorrows ye bemoan,

Although so small, should be to mine preferred,

Bewailed enough, and yet so little known.

But that it may by earth and Heaven be heard,

How far your sorrows fall below the pain

That hath my soul beset and hope deferred,

I will the least my bosom doth contain,

Put forth, with all the feeble wit I have —

Methinks the victory in your strife I’ll gain —

And unto you I shall the verdict leave,

To judge my ill whether it harroweth

More than the absence which doth Crisio grieve,

Or than the dread and bitter ill of death;

For each of you doth heedless make his plaint,

Bitter and brief he calls the lot he hath.

OROMPO. Thereat I feel, Marsilio, much content,

Because the reason I have on my side,

Hath to my anguish hope of triumph sent.

CRISIO. Although the skill is unto me denied

To exaggerate, when I my grief proclaim,

Ye will behold how yours arc set aside.

MARS. Unto the deathless hardness of my dame

What absence reaches? Though so hard is she,

Mistress of beauty her the world acclaim.

OROMPO. At what a happy hour and juncture see,

Orfenio comes in sight! Be ye intent,

And ye will hear him weigh his misery.

’Tis jealousy that doth his soul torment,

A very knife is jealousy, the sure

Disturber of Love’s peace and Love’s content.

CRISIO. Hearken, he sings the griefs he doth endure.

ORFENIO. Oh gloomy shadow, thou that followest

My sorrowing and confused fancy still,

Thou darkness irksome, thou that, cold and chill,

Hast ever my content and light oppressed.

When will it be that thou thy bitterest

Wrath wilt assuage, cruel monster, harpy fell?

What dost thou gain to make my joy a hell?

What bliss, that thou my bliss dost from me wrest?

But if the mood thou dost upon thee take,

Leadeth thee on to seek his life to steal,

Who life and being unto thee did give,

Methinks I should not wonder thou dost wreak

Thy will upon me, and upon my weal,

But that despite my woes, I yet do live.

OROMPO. If the delightful mead

Is pleasant to thee as ’twas wont to be

In times that now are dead,

Come hither; thou art free

To spend the day in our sad company.

He that is sad agrees

Easily with the sad, as thou must know;

Come hither, here one flees,

Beside this clear spring’s flow,

The sun’s bright rays that high in heaven glow.

Come and thyself defend,

As is thy custom, raise thy wonted strain,

Against each sorrowing friend,

For each doth strive amain

To show that his alone is truly pain.

I only in the strife

Must needs opponent be to each and all,

The sorrow of my life

I can indeed extol,

But cannot give expression to the whole.

ORFENIO. The luscious grassy sward

Is not unto the hungry lamb so sweet,

Nor health once more restored

Doth he so gladly greet

Who had already held its loss complete,

As pleasant ’tis for me

In the contest that is at hand to show

That the cruel misery

My suffering heart doth know

Is far above the greatest here below.

Orompo, speak no word

Of thy great ill, Crisio, thy grief contain,

Let naught from thee be heard,

Marsilio; death, disdain,

Absence, seek not to rival jealous pain.

But if Heaven so desires

That we to-day should seek the battle-field,

Begin, whoso aspires,

And of his sorrow yield

Token with all the skill his tongue can wield.

A truthful history

In the pure truth doth find its resting-place.

For it can never be,

That elegance and grace

Of speech can form its substance and its base.

CRISIO. Shepherd, in this great arrogance I feel

Thou wilt reveal the folly of thy life

When in this strife of passions we engage.

ORFEN. Thy pride assuage or show it in its hour,

Thine anguish sore is but a pastime, friend,

The souls that bend in grief, because they go

Away, their woe must needs exaggerate.

CRISIO. So strange and great the torment is I moan,

That thou full soon thyself, I trust, wilt say

That nothing may with my fatigues compare.

MARS. An evil star shone on me from my birth.

OROMPO. Ere yet on earth I came, methinks e’en then

Misfortune, pain, and misery, were mine.

ORFEN. In me divine the greatest of ill-fortune.

CRISIO. Thy ill is fortune, when to mine compared.

MARS. When it is paired with my mysterious ill,

The wound that kills you is but glory plain.

OROMPO. This tangled skein will soon be very clear,

When bright and clear my grief it doth reveal.

Let none conceal the pain his breast within,

For I the tale of mine do now begin.

In good ground my hopes were sown,

Goodly fruit they promised then,

But when their desire was known,

And their willingness was shown,

Heaven changed their fruit to pain.

I beheld their wondrous flower,

Eager happiness to shower

On me — thousand proofs it gave —

Death that envious did it crave

Plucked it in that very hour.

Like the labourer was I,

Who doth toil without relief

And with lingering energy,

Winning from his destiny

But the bitter fruit of grief:

Destiny doth take away

All hope of a better day,

For the Heaven that to him brings

Confidence of better things

It beneath the earth did lay.

If to this pass I attain,

That e’en now I live, despairing

Whether I shall glory gain,

Since I suffer beyond bearing,

’Tis a certain truth and plain:

That amidst the darkest gloom

Hope assures that there shall come

Yet a happier, brighter dawn.

Woe for him, whose hope is gone,

Buried in the hopeless tomb.

MARS. — From mine eyes the tear-drops fall

On a spot where many a thorn,

Many a bramble, hath been born

To my hurt, for, once and all,

They my loving heart have torn:

I am luckless, yes, ’tis I,

Though my cheeks were never dry

For a moment in my grief,

Yet nor fruit, nor flower, nor leaf,

Have I won, howe’er I try.

For my bosom would be stilled,

If I might a token see

Of some gain, small though it be;

Though it never were fulfilled,

I should win felicity:

For the worth I should behold

Of my fond persistence bold

Over her who doth so scorn,

That she at my chill doth burn,

At my fire is chilly cold.

But if all the toil is vain

Of my mourning and my sigh,

And I still cease not my cry,

With my more than human pain

What on earth can hope to vie?

Dead the cause is of thy grief,

This, Orompo, brings relief,

And thy sorrow doth suppress;

But when my grief most doth press

On me, ’tis beyond belief.

CRISIO. — Once the fruit that was the dower

Of my ceaseless adoration

I held in its ripest hour;

Ere I tasted it, occasion

Came and snatched it from my power:

I above the rest the name

Of unfortunate can claim,

Since to suffering I shall come,

For no longer lies my doom

Where I left my soul aflame.

When death robs us of our bliss,

We for ever from it part,

And we find relief in this.

Time can soften e’en the heart

Hard and firm against Love’s cries.

But in absence we the pain

Of death, jealousy, disdain,

Feel with ne’er a glimpse of gladness, —

Strange it is — hence fear and sadness

With the absent one remain.

When the hope at hand is near,

And the accomplishment delays,

Harder is the pain we bear,

And affliction reacheth where

Hope doth never lift its gaze;

In the lesser pangs ye feel

’Tis the remedy of your ill

Not to hope for remedy,

But this solace faileth me,

For the pangs of absence kill.

ORFEN. Lo, the fruit that had been sown

By my toil that had no end,

When to sweetness it had grown,

Was by destiny my friend

Given to me for my own.

Scarce to this unheard of pass

Could I come, when I, alas!

Came the bitter truth to know,

That I should but grief and woe

From that happiness amass.

In my hand the fruit I hold,

And to hold it wearies me,

For amidst my woes untold

In the largest ear I see

A worm gnawing, fierce and bold;

I abhor what I adore,

And that which doth life restore

Brings death; for myself I shape

Winding mazes, whence escape

Is denied for evermore.

In my loss for death I sigh,

For ’tis life unto my woe.

In the truth I find a lie,

Greater doth the evil grow

Whether I be far or nigh;

No hope is there that is sure

Such an ill as this to cure;

Whether I remain or go,

Of this living death the woe

I must evermore endure.

OROMPO. ’Tis sure an error clear

To argue that the loss which death hath sent

Since it extends so far,

Doth bring in part content,

Because it takes away

The hope that fosters grief and makes it stay.

If of the glory dead

The memory that doth disturb our peace

Forever shall have fled,

The sorrow doth decrease,

Which at its loss we feel,

Since we can hope no more to keep it still.

But if the memory stays,

The memory of the bliss already fled

Doth live the more and blaze

Than when possessed indeed;

Who doubteth that this pain

Doth more than others untold miseries gain?

Mars. If it should be the chance

Of a poor traveller by some unknown way

To find at his advance

Fleeing at close of day

The inn of his desire,

The inn for which he doth in vain aspire,

Doubtless he will remain

Dazed by the fear the dark and silent night

Inspires, and yet again

Hapless will be his plight,

If dawn comes not, for Heaven

To him hath not its gladdening radiance given.

The traveller am I,

I journey on to reach a happy inn;

Whene’er I think that nigh

I come to enter in,

Then, like a fleeting shadow,

Bliss flees away, and grief doth overshadow.

CRISIO. E’en as the torrent deep

Is wont the traveller’s weary steps to hold,

And doth the traveller keep

‘Midst wind and snow and cold,

And, just a little space

Beyond, the inn appears before his face,

E’en so my happiness

Is by this painful tedious absence stayed;

To comfort my distress

’Tis ever sore afraid,

And yet before mine eyes

I see the healer of my miseries.

And thus to see so near

The cure of my distress afflicts me sore,

And makes it greater far,

Because my bliss before

My hand doth further flee

For some strange cause, the nearer ’tis to me.

ORFEN. I saw before mine eyes

A noble inn, that did in bliss abound,

I triumphed in my prize,

Too soon, alas, I found

That vile it had become,

Changed by my fate to darkness and to gloom.

There, where we ever see

The bliss of those who love each other well,

There is my misery;

There where is wont to dwell

All bliss, is evil plain,

United in alliance with disdain.

In this abode I lie —

And never do I strive to issue hence —

Built by my agony,

And with so strange a fence,

Methinks they to the ground

Bring it, who love, see, and resist its wound.

OROMPO. Sooner the path that is his own, the sun

Shall end, whereon he wanders through the sky

After he hath through all the Zodiac run,

Than we the least part of our agony

According to our pain can well declare,

However much we raise our speech on high.

He who lives absent dies, says Crisio there,

But I, that I am dead, since to the reign

Of death fate handed o’er my life’s career.

And boldly thou, Marsilio, dost maintain

That thou of joy and bliss hast lost all chance,

Since that which slayeth thee is fierce disdain.

Unto this thought thou givest utterance,

Orfenio, that ’tis through thy soul doth pass,

Not through thy breast alone, the jealous lance.

As each the woes through which his fellows pass

Feels not, he praiseth but the grief he knows,

Thinking it doth his fellows’ pangs surpass.

Wherefore his bank rich Tagus overflows,

Swollen by our strife of tears and mournfulness,

Wherein with piteous words we moan our woes.

Our pain doth not thereby become the less,

Rather because we handle so the wound,

It doth condemn us to the more distress.

We must our plaints renew with all the sound

Our tongues can utter, and with all the thought

That can within our intellects be found.

Then let us cease our disputation, taught

That every ill doth anguish bring and pain,

Nor is there good with sure contentment fraught.

Sufficient ill he hath that doth constrain

His life within the confines of a tomb,

And doth in bitter loneliness remain,

Unhappy he — and mournful is his doom —

Who suffereth the pangs of jealousy,

In whom nor strength nor judgment findeth room,

And he, who spends his days in misery,

By the cruel power of absence long oppressed,

Patience his only staff, weak though it be;

Nor doth the eager lover suffer least

Who feels, when most he burns, his lady’s power,

By her hard heart and coldness sore distressed.

CRISIO. His bidding let us do, for lo, the hour

E’en now with rapid flight comes on apace,

When we our herds must needs collect once more.

And while unto the wonted sheltering-place

We go, and whilst the radiant sun to rest

Sinketh and from the meadow hides his face,

With bitter voice and mourning manifest,

Making the while harmonious melody,

Sing we the grief that hath our souls oppressed.

Mars. Begin then, Crisio, may thine accents fly

With speed unto Claraura’s ears once more,

Borne gently by the winds that hasten by,

As unto one who doth their grief restore.

CRISIO. Whoso from the grievous cup

Of dread absence comes to drink,

Hath no ill from which to shrink, —

Nor yet good for which to hope.

In this bitter misery

Every evil is contained:

Fear lest we should be disdained,

Of our rivals’ jealousy.

Whoso shall with absence cope,

Straightway will he come to think

That from no ill can he shrink,

Nor for any good can hope.

OROMPO. True ’tis ill that makes me sigh

More than any death I know,

Since life findeth cause of woe

In that death doth pass it by.

For when death did take away

All my glory and content,

That it might the more torment,

It allowed my life to stay.

Evil comes, and hastily

With such swiftness good doth go,

That life findeth cause of woe

In that death doth pass it by.

MARS. In my dread and grievous woe

Now are wanting to my eyes

Tears, and breath unto my sighs,

Should my troubles greater grow,

For ingratitude, disdain,

Hold me in their toils so fast

That from death I hope at last

Longer life and greater gain.

Little can it linger now,

Since are wanting to my eyes

Tears, and breath unto my sighs,

Should my troubles greater grow.

ORFEN. If it could, my joy should be

Truly all things else above:

If but jealousy were love,

And if love were jealousy.

From this transformation I

So much bliss and pride should gain

That of love I would attain

To the palm and victory.

If ‘twere so, then jealousy

Would so much my champion prove,

That, if jealousy were love,

Nothing I save love should be.

With this last song of the jealous Orfenio, the discreet shepherds made an end of their eclogue, leaving all who had heard them satisfied with their discretion: especially Damon and Thyrsis, who felt great pleasure at hearing them, for it seemed to them that the reasonings and arguments which the four shepherds had propounded to carry through their proposition, seemed of more than shepherd wit. But a contest having arisen between many of the bystanders as to which of the four had pleaded his cause best, at last the opinion of all came to agree with that which discreet Damon gave, saying to them that he for his part held that, among all the distasteful and unpleasing things that love brings with it, nothing so much distresses the loving breast as the incurable plague of jealousy, and neither Orompo’s loss, nor Crisio’s absence, nor Marsilio’s despair could be equalled to it.

‘The cause is,’ he said, ‘that it is not in reason that things which have become impossible of attainment should be able for long to compel the will to love them, or weary the desire to attain them; for when a man has the will and desire to attain the impossible, it is clear that the more desire is excessive in him, the more he would lack understanding. And for this same reason I say that the pain Orompo suffers is but grief and pity for a lost happiness; and because he has lost it in such a way that it is not possible to recover it again, this impossibility must be the cause of his sorrow ending. For although human understanding cannot be always so united with reason as to cease feeling the loss of the happiness which cannot be recovered, and must in fact give tokens of its feeling by tender tears, ardent sighs, and piteous words, under pain, should one not do this, of being counted rather brute than rational man — in a word, the course of time cures this sorrowing, reason softens it, and new events have a great share in blotting it from memory.

All this is the contrary in absence, as Crisio well pointed out in his verses, for, as in the absent one, hope is so united to desire, the postponement of return gives him terrible distress; seeing that, as nothing hinders him from enjoying his happiness except some arm of the sea, or some stretch of land, it seems to him, having the chief thing, which is the good-will of the beloved person, that flagrant wrong is done to his bliss, in that things so trivial as a little water or land should hinder his happiness and glory. To this pain are also joined the fear of being forgotten, and the changes of human hearts; and so long as absence endures, strange without a doubt is the harshness and rigour with which it treats the soul of the hapless absent one. But as it has the remedy so near, which consists in return, its torment can be borne with some ease; and if it should happen that the absence should be such that it is impossible to return to the desired presence, that impossibility comes to be the remedy, as in the case of death. As for the sorrow of which Marsilio complains, though it is, as it were, the same that I suffer, and on this account must needs have seemed to me greater than any other, I will not therefore fail to say what reason shows me, rather than that to which passion urges me. I confess that it is a terrible sorrow to love and not be loved; but ’twould be a greater to love and be loathed. And if we new lovers guided ourselves by what reason and experience teach us, we would see that every beginning in anything is difficult, and that this rule suffers no exception in the affairs of love, but rather in them is confirmed and strengthened the more; so that for the new lover to complain of the hardness of his lady’s rebellious breast, goes beyond all bounds of reason. For as love is, and has to be, voluntary, and not constrained, I ought not to complain of not being loved by anyone I love, nor ought I to attach importance to the burden I impose on her, telling her that she is obliged to love me since I love her; seeing that, though the beloved person ought, in accordance with the law of nature and with fair courtesy, not to show herself ungrateful toward him who loves her well, it must not for this reason be a matter of constraint and obligation that she should respond, all in all, to her lover’s desires. For if this were so, there would be a thousand importunate lovers who would gain by their solicitude what would perhaps not be due to them of right; and as love has the understanding for father, it may be that she who is well loved by me does not find in me qualities so good as to move her and incline her to love me. And so she is not obliged, as I have already said, to love me, in the same way that I shall be obliged to adore her, for I found in her what is lacking in me; and for this reason he who is disdained ought not to complain of his beloved, but of his fortune, which denied him the graces that might move his lady’s understanding to love him well.

And so he ought to seek, with constant services, with loving words, with not unseasonable presence, and with practised virtues, to improve and amend in himself the fault that nature caused; for this is so essential a remedy that I am ready to affirm that it will be impossible for him to fail to be loved, who, by means so fitting, shall seek to win his lady’s good-will. And since this evil of disdain has with it the good of this cure, let Marsilio console himself, and pity the hapless and jealous Orfenio, in whose misfortune is enclosed the greatest that can be imagined in those of love. Oh jealousy, disturber of the tranquil peace of love! jealousy, knife of the firmest hopes!

I know not what he could know of lineage who made thee child of love, since thou art so much the contrary, that, for that very reason, love would have ceased to be love, had it begotten such children. Oh jealousy, hypocrite and false thief! seeing that, in order that account may be taken of thee in the world, as soon as thou seest any spark of love born in any breast, thou seekest to mingle with it, changing thyself to its colour, and even seekest to usurp from it the lordship and dominion it has. Hence it comes that as men see thee so united with love, though by thy results thou showest that thou art not love itself, yet thou seekest to give the ignorant man to understand that thou art love’s son, though in truth thou art born from a low suspicion, begotten by a vile and ill-starred fear, nurtured at the breast of false imaginings, growing up amidst vilest envies, sustained by slanders and falsehoods. And that we may see the ruin caused in loving hearts by this cursed affliction of raging jealousy, when the lover is jealous, it behoves him, with the leave of jealous lovers be it said, it behoves him, I say, to be, as he is, traitorous, cunning, truculent, slanderous, capricious, and even ill-bred; and so far extends the jealous rage that masters him, that the person he loves most is the one to whom he wishes the most ill. The jealous lover would wish that his lady were fair for him alone, and ugly for all the world; he desires that she may not have eyes to see more than he might wish, nor ears to hear, nor tongue to speak; that she may be retiring, insipid, proud and ill-mannered; and at times he even desires, oppressed by this devilish passion, that his lady should die, and that all should end. All these passions jealousy begets in the minds of jealous lovers; the opposite to the virtues which pure and simple love multiplies in true and courteous lovers, for in the breast of a good lover are enclosed discretion, valour, generosity, courtesy, and all that can make him praiseworthy in the eyes of men. At the same time the force of this cruel poison contains yet more, for there is no antidote to preserve it, counsel to avail it, friend to aid it, nor excuse to fit it; all this is contained in the jealous lover, and more — every shadow terrifies him, every trifle disturbs him, and every suspicion, false or true, undoes him. And to all this misfortune another is added, namely, the excuses that deceive him. And since there is no other medicine than excuses for the disease of jealousy, and since the jealous man suffering from it does not wish to admit them, it follows that this disease is without remedy, and should be placed before all others. And thus it is my opinion that Orfenio is the most afflicted, but not the most in love; for jealousy is not the token of much love, but of much ill-advised curiosity. And if it is a token of love, it is like fever in a sick man, for to have it is a sign of having life, but a life sick and diseased; and so the jealous lover has love, but it is love sick and ill-conditioned; and moreover to be jealous is a token of little confidence in one’s own worth. And that this is true the discreet and firm lover teaches us, who, without reaching the darkness of jealousy, touches on the shadows of fear, but does not enter so far into them that they obscure the sun of his bliss; nor goes so far away from them that they relieve him from walking in solicitude and fear; for if this discreet fear should be wanting in the lover, I would count him proud and over-confident. For as a common proverb of ours says: “Who loves well, fears”; and indeed it is right that the lover should fear, lest, as the thing he loves is extremely good, or seemed to him to be so, it should seem the same to the eyes of anyone who beholds it; and for the same reason love is begotten in another who is able to disturb his love and succeeds in so doing. The good lover fears, and let him fear, the changes of time, of the new events which might offer themselves to his hurt, and lest the happy state he is enjoying may quickly end; and this fear must be so secret, that it does not come to his tongue to utter it, nor yet to his eyes to express it. And this fear produces effects so contrary to those which jealousy produces in loving breasts, that it fosters in them new desires to increase love more if they could, to strive with all solicitude that the eyes of their beloved should not see in them aught that is not worthy of praise, showing themselves generous, courteous, gallant, pure and well-bred; and as much as it is right that this virtuous fear should be praised, so much, and even more, is it fitting that jealousy should be blamed.’

The renowned Damon said this and was silent, and drew in the wake of his own opinion the opposite ones of some who had been listening to him, leaving all satisfied with the truth he had shown them with such plainness. But he would not have remained without reply, had the shepherds Orompo, Crisio, Marsilio, and Orfenio been present at his discourse; who, wearied by the eclogue they had recited, had gone to the house of their friend Daranio. All being thus occupied, at the moment the various dances were about to be renewed, they saw three comely shepherds entering on one side of the square, who were straightway recognised by all. They were the graceful Francenio, the frank Lauso, and the old Arsindo, who came between the two shepherds with a lovely garland of green laurel in his hands; and crossing through the square, they came to a stop where Thyrsis, Damon, Elicio, and Erastro, and all the chief shepherds were, whom they greeted with courteous words, and were received by them with no less courtesy, especially Lauso by Damon, whose old and true friend he was. Compliments having ceased, Arsindo, setting eyes on Damon and Thyrsis, began to speak in this wise:

‘It is the renown of your wisdom, which extends near and far, discreet and gallant shepherds, that brings these shepherds and myself to beg you to consent to be judges of a graceful contest that has arisen between these two shepherds; and it is that, the feast being over, Francenio and Lauso, who are here, found themselves in a company of fair shepherdesses, and in order to pass without tedium the leisure hours of the day amongst them, they set on foot, amongst many other games, the one which is called ‘themes.’ It happened then that, the turn to propose and begin coming to one of these shepherds, fate would have it that the shepherdess at his side and on his right hand was, as he says, the treasurer of his soul’s secrets, and the one who was, in the opinion of all, accounted the most discreet and most in love. Approaching then her ear, he said to her:

“Mope doth fly and will not stay.”

The shepherdess, without being at a loss, went on, and, each one afterwards repeating in public what he had said to the other in secret, it was found that the shepherdess had capped the theme by saying:

“With desire to check its flight.”

The acuteness of this reply was praised by those who were present; but the one to extol it most was the shepherd Lauso, and it seemed no less good to Francenio, and so each one, seeing that the theme and the reply were verses of the same measure, offered to gloss them. After having done so, each one claims that his gloss excels the other’s, and to have certainty in this, they wished to make me judge of it, but, as I knew that your presence was gladdening our banks, I counselled them to come to you, to whose consummate learning and wisdom questions of greater import might well be trusted. They have followed my opinion, and I have gladly taken the trouble to make this garland that it may be given as a prize to him whom you, shepherds, decide to have glossed the better.’

Arsindo was silent and awaited the shepherds’ reply, which was to thank him for the good opinion he had of them and to offer themselves to be impartial judges in that honourable contest. With this assurance straightway Francenio once more repeated the verses and recited his gloss, which was as follows:

Hope doth fly and will not stay,

With desire to check its flight


When to save myself I think,

In the faith of love believing,

Merit fails me on the brink,

And the excesses of my grieving

Straightway from my presence shrink;

Confidence doth die away,

And life’s pulse doth cease to beat,

Since misfortune seems to say,

That, when fear pursues in heat,

Hope doth fly and will not stay.

Yes, it flies, and from my pain

With it takes away content,

And the keys of this my chain

For my greater punishment

In my enemy’s power remain;

Far it rises to a height

Where ‘twill soon be seen no more,

Far it flies, so swift and light

That it is not in my power

With desire to check its flight.

Francenio having recited his gloss, Lauso began his, which was as follows:

In the hour I saw thee first,

As I viewed thy beauty rare,

Straightway did I fear and thirst;

Yet at last I did so fear,

That I was with fear accursed;

Feeble confidence straightway,

When I see thee, leads astray,

With it comes a coward’s fear.

Lest they should remain so near,

Hope doth fly and will not stay.

Though it leaves me and doth go

With so wondrous a career,

Soon a miracle will show

That the end of life is near,

But with love it is not so.

I am in a hopeless plight,

Yet that I his trophy might

Win, who loves but knows not why,

Though I could, I would not try

With desire to check its flight.

As Lauso ceased reciting his gloss, Arsindo said:

‘Here you see declared, famous Damon and Thyrsis, the cause of the contest between these shepherds; it only remains now that you should give the garland to him whom you should decide to deserve it with better right; for Lauso and Francenio are such friends, and your award will be so just that, what shall be decided by you, they will count as right.’

‘Do not think, Arsindo,’ replied Thyrsis, ‘that, though our intellects were of the quality you imagine them to be, the difference, if there be any, between these discreet glosses can or ought to be decided with such haste. What I can say of them, and what Damon will not seek to contradict, is that both are equally good, and that the garland should be given to the shepherdess who was the cause of so curious and praiseworthy a contest; and, if you are satisfied with this judgment, reward us for it by honouring the nuptials of our friend Daranio, gladdening them with your pleasing songs, and giving lustre to them by your honourable presence.’

The award of Thyrsis seemed good to all, the two shepherds approved it and offered to do what Thyrsis bade them. But the shepherdesses and shepherds, who knew Lauso, were astonished to see his unfettered mind entangled in the net of love, for straightway they saw, from the paleness of his countenance, the silence of his tongue, and the contest he had had with Francenio, that his will was not as free as it was wont to be, and they went wondering among themselves who the shepherdess might be who had triumphed over his free heart. One thought it was the discreet Belisa, another that it was the gay Leandra, and some that it was the peerless Arminda, being moved to think this by Lauso’s usual practice to visit the huts of these shepherdesses, and because each of them was likely by her grace, worth, and beauty, to subdue other hearts as free as that of Lauso, and it was many days ere they resolved this doubt, for the love-sick shepherd scarce trusted to himself the secret of his love. This being ended, straightway all the youth of the village renewed the dances, and the rustic instruments made pleasing music. But seeing that the sun was already hastening his course towards the setting, the concerted voices ceased, and all who were there determined to escort the bridal pair to their house. And the aged Arsindo, in order to fulfil what he had promised to Thyrsis, in the space there was between the square and Daranio’s house, to the sound of Erastro’s pipe went singing these verses:

Arsindo. Now let Heaven tokens show

Of rejoicing and of mirth

On so fortunate a day,

‘Midst the joy of all below

Let all peoples on the earth

Celebrate this wedding gay.

From to-day let all their mourning

Into joyous song be turning,

And in place of grief and pain

Pleasures let the myriads gain,

From their hearts all sorrow spurning.

Let prosperity abound

With the happy bridal-pair,

Who were for each other made,

On their elms may pears be found,

In their oak-groves cherries rare,

Sloes amid the myrtle glade,

Pearls upon the rocky steep.

May they grapes from mastic reap,

Apples from the carob-tree.

May their sheepfolds larger be,

And no wolves attack their sheep.

May their ewes that barren were,

Fruitful prove, and may they double

By their fruitfulness their flock.

May the busy bees prepare

‘Midst the threshing floor and stubble,

Of sweet honey plenteous stock.

May they ever find their seed,

In the town and in the mead,

Plucked at fitting time and hour,

May no grub their vines devour,

And their wheat no blighting weed.

In good time with children twain,

Perfect fruit of peace and love,

May the happy pair be blest.

And when manhood they attain,

May the one a doctor prove,

And the other a parish priest.

May they ever take the lead

In both wealth and goodly deed.

Thus they gentlemen will be,

If they give security

For no gauger full of greed.

May they live for longer years

E’en than Sarah, hale and strong,

And the sorrowing doctor shun.

May they shed no bitter tears

For a daughter wedded wrong,

For a gambling spendthrift son.

May their death be, when the twain

Shall Methusaleh’s years attain,

Free from guilty fear; the date

May the people celebrate

For ever and aye, Amen.

With the greatest pleasure Arsindo’s rude verses were listened to, and he would have gone on further with them, had not their arrival at Daranio’s house hindered it. The latter, inviting all who came with him, remained there, save that Galatea and Florisa, through fear lest Teolinda should be recognised by Thyrsis and Damon, would not remain at the wedding banquet. Elicio and Erastro would fain have accompanied Galatea to her house, but it was not possible for her to consent to it, and so they had to remain with their friends, and the shepherdesses, wearied with the dances of that day, departed. And Teolinda felt more pain than ever, seeing that at Daranio’s solemn nuptials, where so many shepherds had assisted, only her Artidoro was wanting.

With this painful thought she passed that night in company with Galatea and Florisa, who passed it with hearts more free and more dispassionate, until on the new day to come there happened to them what will be told in the book which follows.

Book IV.

With great desire the fair Teolinda awaited the coming day to take leave of Galatea and Florisa and to finish searching by all the banks of the Tagus for her dear Artidoro, intending to end her life in sad and bitter solitude, if she were so poor in fortune as to learn no news of her beloved shepherd. The wished-for hour, then, having come, when the sun was beginning to spread his rays over the earth, she arose, and, with tears in her eyes, asked leave of the two shepherdesses to prosecute her quest. They with many reasonings urged her to wait some days more in their company, Galatea offering to her to send one of her father’s shepherds to search for Artidoro by all the banks of the Tagus, and wherever it might be thought he could be found. Teolinda thanked her for her offers, but would not do what they asked of her, nay rather, after having shown in the best words she could the obligation in which she lay to cherish all the days of her life the favours she had received from them, she embraced them with tender feeling and begged them not to detain her a single hour. Then Galatea and Florisa, seeing how vainly they wrought in thinking to detain her, charged her to try to inform them of any incident, good or bad, that might befall her in that loving quest, assuring her of the pleasure they would feel at her happiness, and of their pain at her misery.

Teolinda offered to be herself the one to bring the tidings of her good fortune, since, if they were bad, life would not have patience to endure them, and so it would be superfluous to learn them from her. With this promise of Teolinda Galatea and Florisa were content, and they determined to accompany her some distance from the place. And so, the two only taking their crooks, and having furnished Teolinda’s wallet with some victuals for the toilsome journey, they went forth with her from the village at a time when the sun’s rays were already beginning to strike the earth more directly and with greater force. And having accompanied her almost half a league from the place, at the moment they were intending to return and leave her, they saw four men on horseback and some on foot crossing by some broken ground which lay a little off their way. At once they recognised them to be hunters by their attire and by the hawks and dogs they had with them, and whilst they were looking at them with attention to see if they knew them, they saw two shepherdesses of gallant bearing and spirit come out from among some thick bushes which were near the broken ground; they had their faces muffled with two white linen kerchiefs, and one of them, raising her voice, asked the hunters to stop, which they did; and both coming up to one of them, who from his bearing and figure seemed the chief of all, seized the reins of his horse and stood awhile talking with him without the three shepherdesses being able to hear a word of what they said, because of the distance from the spot which prevented it. They only saw that after they had talked with him a little while, the horseman dismounted, and having, as far as could be judged, bidden those who accompanied him to return, only a boy remaining with his horse, he took the two shepherdesses by the hands and gradually began to enter with them into a thick wood that was there. The three shepherdesses, Galatea, Florisa, and Teolinda, seeing this, determined to see, if they could, who the masked shepherdesses, and the horseman who escorted them were. And so they agreed to go round by a part of the wood, and see if they could place themselves in some part which might be such as to satisfy them in what they desired. And acting in the manner they had intended, they overtook the horseman and the shepherdesses, and Galatea, watching through the branches what they were doing, saw that they turned to the right and plunged into the thickest part of the wood; and straightway they followed them in their very footsteps until the horseman and the shepherdesses, thinking they were well within the wood, halted in the middle of a narrow little meadow which was surrounded by countless thickets of bramble. Galatea and her companions came so near that without being seen or perceived, they saw all the horseman and the shepherdesses did and said; and when the latter had looked on all sides to see if they could be seen by anyone, and were assured on this point, one removed her veil, and scarcely had she done so when she was recognised by Teolinda, who, approaching Galatea’s ear, said to her in as low a voice as she could:

‘This is a very strange adventure; for, unless it be that I have lost my understanding from the grief I suffer, without any doubt that shepherdess who has removed her veil, is the fair Rosaura, daughter of Roselio, lord of a village near ours, and I know not what can be the reason that has moved her to adopt so strange a garb and to leave her district, — things which speak so much to the detriment of her honour. But, alas, hapless one!’ added Teolinda, ‘for the horseman who is with her is Grisaldo, eldest son of rich Laurencio, who owns two villages close to this of yours.’

‘You speak truth, Teolinda,’ replied Galatea, ‘for I know him; but be silent and keep quiet, for we shall soon see the purpose of his coming here.’

Thereat Teolinda was still, and set herself attentively to watch what Rosaura was doing. She, going up to the horseman, who seemed about twenty years old, began to say to him with troubled voice and angry countenance:

‘We are in a spot, faithless man, where I may take the wished for vengeance for your lack of love and your neglect. But though I took it on you in such a way that it would cost you your life, it were little recompense for the wrong you have done me. Here am I, unrecognised so as to recognise you, Grisaldo, who failed to recognise my love; here is one who changed her garb to seek for you, she who never changed her will to love you. Consider, ungrateful and loveless one, that she who in her own house and amongst her servants scarce could move a step, now for your sake goes from vale to vale, and from ridge to ridge, amidst such loneliness seeking your companionship.’

To all these words the fair Rosaura was uttering, the horseman listened with his eyes fixed on the ground, and making lines on the earth with the point of a hunting knife he held in his hand. But Rosaura, not content with what she had said, pursued her discourse with words such as these:

‘Tell me, do you know peradventure, do you know, Grisaldo, that I am she who not long ago dried your tears, stayed your sighs, healed your pains, and above all, she who believed your words? or perchance do you understand that you are he who thought all the oaths that could be imagined feeble and of no strength to assure me of the truth with which you deceived me?

Are you by chance, Grisaldo, he whose countless tears softened the hardness of my pure heart? It is you, for indeed I see you, and it is I, for indeed I know myself. But if you are the Grisaldo of my belief, and I am Rosaura, as you think her to be, fulfil to me the word you gave me, and I will give you the promise I have never denied you. They have told me that you are marrying Leopersia, Marcelio’s daughter, so gladly that it is actually you who are wooing her; if this news has caused me sorrow, can well be seen by what I have done in coming to prevent its fulfilment, and if you can confirm it, I leave the matter to your conscience.

What do you reply to this, mortal enemy of my peace? Do you admit perchance, by your silence, that which it were right should not pass even through your thought. Now raise your eyes and set them on those that beheld you to their hurt; lift them and behold her whom you are deceiving, whom you are abandoning and forgetting. You will see, if you ponder it well, that you are deceiving her who always spoke truth to you, you are abandoning her who has abandoned her honour and herself to follow you, you are forgetting her who never banished you from her memory. Consider, Grisaldo, that in birth I am your equal, that in wealth I am not your inferior, and that I excel you in goodness of heart and in firmness of faith. Fulfil to me, sir, the faith you gave me, if you are proud to be a gentleman, and are not ashamed to be a Christian. Behold, if you do not respond to what you owe me, I will pray Heaven to punish you, fire to burn you, air to fail you, water to drown you, earth not to endure you, and my kinsmen to avenge me! Behold, if you fail in your duty towards me, you will have in me a perpetual disturber of your joys so long as my life shall last, and even after I am dead, if it may be, I shall with constant shadows affright your faithless spirit, and with frightful visions torment your deceiving eyes!

Mark that I but ask what is my own, and that by giving it you gain what you lose by refusing it! Now move your tongue to undeceive me for the many times you have moved it to wound me!’

Saying this, the fair lady was silent, and for a short while was waiting to see what Grisaldo replied. He, raising his face, which up till then he had kept down, crimsoned with the shame Rosaura’s words had caused in him, with calm voice replied to her in this wise:

‘If I sought to deny, oh Rosaura, that I am your debtor in more than what you say, I would likewise deny that the sunlight is bright, and would even say that fire is cold and air solid. So that herein I confess what I owe you, and am obliged to pay it; but for me to confess that I can pay you as you wish is impossible, for my father’s command has forbidden it, and your cruel disdain has rendered it impossible. Nor do I wish to call any other witness to this truth than yourself, as one who knows so well how many times and with what tears I begged you to accept me as your husband, and to deign to permit me to fulfil the word I had given you to be it. And you, for the reasons you fancied, or because you thought it was well to respond to Artandro’s vain promises, never wished matters to come to such an issue; but rather went on from day to day putting me off, and making trials of my firmness, though you could make sure of it in every way by accepting me for your own. You also know, Rosaura, the desire my father had to settle me in life, and the haste he showed in the matter, bringing forward the rich and honourable marriages you know of, and how I with a thousand excuses held aloof from his importunities, always telling you of them, so that you should no longer defer what suited you so well and what I desired; and that after all this I told you one day that my father’s wish was for me to marry Leopersia, and you, on hearing Leopersia’s name, in a desperate rage told me to speak to you no more, and that I might marry Leopersia with your blessing, or anyone I liked better. You know also that I urged you many times to cease those jealous frenzies, for I was yours and not Leopersia’s, and that you would never receive my excuses, nor yield to my prayers, but rather, persevering in your obstinacy and hardness, and in favouring Artandro, you sent to tell me that it would give you pleasure that I should never see you more. I did what you bade me, and, so as to have no opportunity to transgress your bidding, seeing also that I was fulfilling that of my father, I resolved to marry Leopersia, or at least I shall marry her to-morrow, for so it is agreed between her kinsmen and mine; wherefore you see, Rosaura, how guiltless I am of the charge you lay against me, and how late you have come to know the injustice with which you treated me. But that you may not judge me henceforward to be as ungrateful as you have pictured me in your fancy, see if there is anything wherein I can satisfy your wish, for, so it be not to marry you, I will hazard, to serve you, property, life and honour.’

While Grisaldo was saying these words, the fair Rosaura kept her eyes riveted on his face, shedding through them so many tears that they showed full well the grief she felt in her soul.

But, seeing that Grisaldo was silent, heaving a deep and woful sigh, she said to him:

‘As it cannot be, oh Grisaldo, that your green years should have a long and skilled experience of the countless accidents of love, I do not wonder that a little disdain of mine has placed you in the freedom you boast of; but if you knew that jealous fears are the spurs which make love quicken his pace, you would see clearly that those I had about Leopersia, redounded to make me love you more. But as you made such sport of my affairs, on the slightest pretext that you could conceive, you revealed the little love in your breast, and confirmed my true suspicions; and in such a way that tells me you are marrying Leopersia to-morrow.

But I assure you, before you bear her to the marriage-couch, you must bear me to the tomb, unless, indeed, you are so cruel as to refuse to give one to the dead body of her over whose soul you were always absolute lord. And, that you may know clearly and see that she who lost for you her modesty, and exposed her honour to harm, will count it little to lose her life, this sharp poniard which here I hold will accomplish my desperate and honourable purpose, and will be a witness of the cruelty you hold in that false breast of yours.’

And saying this she drew from her bosom a naked dagger, and with great haste was going to plunge it in her heart, had not Grisaldo with greater speed seized her arm, and had not the veiled shepherdess, her companion, hurried to close with her.

Grisaldo and the shepherdess were a long while before they took the dagger from the hands of Rosaura, who said to Grisaldo:

‘Permit me, traitorous foe, to end at once the tragedy of my life, without your loveless disdain making me experience death so often.’

‘You shall not taste of death on my account,’ replied Grisaldo, ‘since I would rather that my father should fail in the word he has given to Leopersia on my behalf, than that I should fail at all in what I know I owe you. Calm your breast, Rosaura, since I assure you that this breast of mine can desire naught save what may be to your happiness.’

At these loving words of Grisaldo, Rosaura awakened from the death of her sorrow to the life of her joy, and, without ceasing to weep, knelt down before Grisaldo, begging for his hands in token of the favour he did her. Grisaldo did the same, and threw his arms round her neck; for a long while they remained without power to say a word one to the other, both shedding many loving tears. The veiled shepherdess, seeing her companion’s happy fortune, wearied by the fatigue she had sustained in helping to take the dagger from Rosaura, being unable to bear her veil any longer, took it off, disclosing a face so like Teolinda’s, that Galatea and Florisa were amazed to see it. But Teolinda was more so, since, without being able to conceal it, she raised her voice, saying:

‘Oh Heavens, and what is it that I see? Is not this by chance my sister Leonarda, the disturber of my repose? She it is without a doubt.’

And, without further delay, she came out from where she was, and with her Galatea and Florisa; and as the other shepherdess saw Teolinda, straightway she recognised her, and with open arms they ran one to the other, wondering to have found each other in such a place, and at such a time and juncture. Then Grisaldo and Rosaura, seeing what Leonarda was doing with Teolinda, and that they had been discovered by the shepherdesses Galatea and Florisa, arose, with no small shame that they had been found by them in that fashion, and, drying their tears, with reserve and courtesy received the shepherdesses, who were at once recognised by Grisaldo. But the discreet Galatea, in order to change into confidence the displeasure that perchance the two loving shepherds had felt at seeing her, said to them with that grace, with which she said everything:

‘Be not troubled by our coming, happy Grisaldo and Rosaura, for it will merely serve to increase your joy, since it has been shared with one who will always have joy in serving you. Our fortune has ordained that we should see you, and in a part where no part of your thoughts has been concealed from us, and since Heaven has brought them to so happy a pass, in satisfaction thereof calm your breasts and pardon our boldness.’

‘Never has your presence, fair Galatea,’ replied Grisaldo, ‘failed to give pleasure wherever it might be; and this truth being so well known, we are rather under an obligation at sight of you, than annoyed at your coming.’

With these there passed some other courteous words, far different from those that passed between Leonarda and Teolinda, who, after having embraced once and yet again, with tender words, mingled with loving tears, demanded the story of each other’s adventures, filling all those that were there with amazement at seeing them, for they resembled each other so closely, that they could almost be called not alike, but one and the same; and had, it not been that Teolinda’s dress was different from Leonarda’s, without a doubt Galatea and Florisa could not have distinguished them; and then they saw with what reason Artidoro had been deceived in thinking that Leonarda was Teolinda. But when Florisa saw that the sun was about midway in the sky, and that it would be well to seek some shade to protect them from its rays, or at least to return to the village, since, as the opportunity failed them to pasture their sheep, they ought not to be so long in the meadow, she said to Teolinda and Leonarda:

‘There will be time, shepherdesses, when with greater ease you can satisfy our desires, and give us a longer account of your thoughts, and for the present let us seek where we may spend the rigour of the noontide heat that threatens us, either by a fresh spring that is at the outlet of the valley we are leaving behind, or in returning to the village, where Leonarda will be treated with the kindness which you, Teolinda, have experienced from Galatea and myself. And if I make this offer only to you, shepherdesses, it is not because I forget Grisaldo and Rosaura, but because it seems to me that I cannot offer to their worth and deserving more than good-will.’

‘This shall not be wanting in me as long as life shall last,’ replied Grisaldo, ‘the will to do, shepherdess, what may be to your service, since the kindness you show us cannot be paid with less; but since it appears to me that it will be well to do what you say, and because I have learnt that you are not ignorant of what has passed between me and Rosaura, I do not wish to waste your time or mine in referring to it, I only ask you to be kind enough to take Rosaura in your company to your village, whilst I prepare in mine some things which are necessary to fulfil what our hearts desire; and in order that Rosaura may be free from suspicion, and may never cherish suspicion of the good faith of my intentions, with deliberate will on my part, you being witnesses thereof, I give her my hand to be her true husband.’

And, saying this, he stretched out his hand, and took fair Rosaura’s, and she was so beside herself to see what Grisaldo did, that she scarce could answer him a word, only she allowed him to take her hand, and a little while after said:

‘Love had brought me, Grisaldo, my lord, to such a pass, that, with less than you have done for me, I would remain for ever your debtor; but since you have wished to have regard rather for what you yourself are, than for my deserving, I shall do what in me lies, which is to give you my soul anew in recompense for this favour, and may Heaven give you the reward for so welcome a kindness.’

‘No more, no more, my friends,’ said Galatea at this moment, ‘for where deeds are so true, excessive compliments must find no place. What remains is to pray Heaven to lead to a happy issue these beginnings, and that you may enjoy your love in a long and beneficent peace. And as for what you say, Grisaldo, that Rosaura should come to our village, the favour you do us therein is so great, that we ourselves beg it of you.’

‘So gladly will I go in your company,’ said Rosaura, ‘that I know not how to enhance it more than by telling you that I will not much regret Grisaldo’s absence, when I am in your company.’

‘Then come,’ said Florisa, ‘for the village is faraway, and the sun strong, and our delay in returning there conspicuous. You, senor Grisaldo, can go and do what you wish, for in Galatea’s house you will find Rosaura, and these, or rather this one shepherdess, for being so much alike, they ought not to be called two.’

‘Be it as you wish,’ said Grisaldo; and, he taking Rosaura by the hand, they all went from the wood, having agreed among themselves that Grisaldo should on the morrow send a shepherd, from the many his father had, to tell Rosaura what she was to do, and that this shepherd, when sent, might be able to speak to Galatea or to Florisa without being observed, and give the instructions that suited best. This agreement seemed good to all, and, having come out from the wood, Grisaldo saw that his servant was waiting for him with the horse, and embracing Rosaura anew, and taking leave of the shepherdesses, he went away accompanied with tears and by Rosaura’s eyes, which never left him until they lost him from sight. As the shepherdesses were left alone, straightway Teolinda went away with Leonarda, in the desire to learn the cause of her coming. And Rosaura, too, as she went, related to Galatea and to Florisa the occasion that had moved her to take a shepherdess’s dress, and to come to look for Grisaldo, saying:

‘It would not cause you wonder, fair shepherdesses, to see me in this dress, if you knew how far love’s mighty power extends, which makes those who love well change not only their garb, but will and soul, in the way that is most to its taste, and I had lost my love for ever, had I not availed myself of the artifice of this dress. For you must know, my friends, that, as I was in Leonarda’s village, of which my father is the lord, Grisaldo came to it with the intention of being there some days, engaged in the pleasing pastime of the chase; and as my father was a great friend of his father, he arranged to receive him in the house, and to offer him all the hospitality that he could. This he did; and Grisaldo’s coming to my house resulted in driving me from it; for indeed, though it be at the cost of my shame, I must tell you that the sight, the converse, and the worth of Grisaldo made such an impression on my soul, that, without knowing how, when he had been there a few days, I came to be quite beside myself, and neither wished nor was able to exist without making him master of my freedom. However, it was not so heedlessly but that I was first satisfied that Grisaldo’s wish did not differ in any way from mine, as he gave me to understand with many very true tokens. I then, being convinced of this truth, and seeing how well it pleased me to have Grisaldo for husband, came to acquiesce in his desires, and to put mine into effect; and so, by the mediation of a handmaiden of mine, Grisaldo and I saw each other many times in a secluded corridor, without our being alone extending further than for us to see each other, and for him to give me the word, which to-day he has given me again with more force in your presence. My sad fortune then decreed, that at the time I was enjoying so sweet a state, there came also to visit my father a valiant gentleman from Aragon, who was called Artandro; he being overcome, according to what he showed, by my beauty, if I have any, sought with the greatest solicitude that I should marry him without my father knowing it. Meanwhile Grisaldo had sought to carry out his purpose, and I, showing myself somewhat harsher than was necessary, kept putting him off with words, with the intention that my father should set about marrying me, and that then Grisaldo should seek me for his wife; but he did not wish to do this, since he was aware that his father’s wish was to marry him to the rich and beauteous Leopersia for you must know her well by the report of her riches and beauty. This came to my knowledge, and I took the opportunity to try to make him jealous of me, though feignedly, merely to make trial of the sincerity of his faith; and I was so careless, or rather so simple, that thinking I gained something thereby, I began to show some favours to Artandro.

Grisaldo, seeing this, often declared to me the pain he felt at my dealings with Artandro, and he even informed me that if it was not my wish that he should fulfil to me the word he had given me, he could not fail to obey the wish of his parents. To all these words of warning and advice I replied unadvisedly, full of pride and arrogance, confident that the bonds which my beauty had cast over Grisaldo’s soul could not be so easily broken, or even touched, by any other beauty. But my confidence turned out to be much mistaken, as Grisaldo soon showed me, who, wearied of my foolish and scornful disdain, saw fit to leave me and to obey his father’s behest. But scarcely had he gone from my village and left my presence, when I recognised the error into which I had fallen, and with such force did Grisaldo’s absence and jealousy of Leopersia begin to torment me that his absence overwhelmed me and jealousy of her consumed me.

Considering then, that, if my remedy were deferred, I must leave my life in the hands of grief, I resolved to risk losing the lesser, which in my opinion was reputation, in order to gain the greater, which is Grisaldo. And so, on the pretext I gave my father, of going to see an aunt of mine, the mistress of another village near ours, I left my home, accompanied by many of my father’s servants, and when I reached my aunt’s house, I disclosed to her all my secret thoughts, and asked her to be kind enough to allow me to put on this dress and come to speak to Grisaldo, assuring her that if I did not come myself, my affairs would have a poor issue. She consented to this on condition that I took with me Leonarda, as one in whom she had much confidence. I sent for her to our village and procured this garb, and, bearing in mind some things which we two had to do, we took leave of her eight days ago; and, though we came to Grisaldo’s village six days ago, we have never been able to find an opportunity of speaking to him alone, as I desired, until this morning, when I knew he was going to the chase. I awaited him in the same place where he took leave of us, and there has passed between us what you, friends, have seen, at which happy issue I am as happy as it is right she should be who desired it so much. This, shepherdesses, is the story of my life, and if I have wearied you in telling it you, throw the blame on the desire you had to know it, and on mine which could not do less than satisfy you.’

‘Nay, rather,’ replied Florisa, ‘we are so grateful for the favour you have done us, that, though we may always busy ourselves in your service we shall not escape from the debt.’

‘I am the one who remains in debt,’ answered Rosaura, ‘and who will seek to repay it as my powers may allow. But, leaving this aside, turn your eyes, shepherdesses, and you will see those of Teolinda and Leonarda so full of tears that they will move yours without fail to accompany them therein.’

. Galatea and Florisa turned to look at them, and saw that what Rosaura said was true. What caused the weeping of the two sisters was that after Leonarda had told her sister all that Rosaura had related to Galatea and Florisa, she said to her:

‘You must know, sister, that, as you were missing from our village, it was thought that the shepherd Artidoro had taken you away, for that same day he too was missing without taking leave of anyone. I confirmed this opinion in my parents, because I told them what had passed with Artidoro in the forest. With this evidence the suspicion increased, and my father determined to go in search of you and of Artidoro, and in fact would have done so had not there come to our village two days afterwards a shepherd whom all took for Artidoro when they saw him. When the news reached my father that your ravisher was there, straightway he came with the constables to where the shepherd was, and they asked him if he knew you or where he had taken you to. The shepherd denied on oath that he had ever seen you in all his life, or that he knew what it was they were asking him about. All that were present wondered to see the shepherd denying that he knew you, since he had been ten days in the village and had spoken and danced with you many a time, and without any doubt all believed that Artidoro was guilty of what was imputed to him. Without wishing to admit his defence or to hear a word from him, they took him to prison, where he remained without anyone speaking to him for some days, at the end of which, when they came to take his confession, he swore again that he did not know you, nor in all his life had he been more than that once in that village, and that they should consider — and this he had said at other times — whether the Artidoro they thought he was, was not by chance a brother of his, who resembled him so exactly as truth would reveal when it showed them that they had deceived themselves in taking him for Artidoro: for he was called Galercio, son of Briseno, a native of Grisaldo’s village.

And, in fact, he gave such indications and showed such proofs that all clearly saw that he was not Artidoro, whereat they were more amazed, saying that such a marvel as that of my likeness to you, and Galercio’s to Artidoro, had not been seen in the world. This announcement concerning Galercio moved me to go and see him many times where he was confined; and the sight of him was such that I was deprived of sight, at least for the purpose of seeing things to give me pleasure, so long as I did not see Galercio. But the worst of it is, sister, that he went from the village without knowing that he took with him my freedom, nor had I the opportunity of telling it him, and so I remained with such a grief as may be imagined, until Rosaura’s aunt sent for me for a few days, all for the purpose of coming to accompany Rosaura; whereat I felt extreme joy, for I knew that we were going to Galercio’s village, and that there I might make him acquainted with his debt to me. But I have been so poor in fortune that we have been four days in his village and I have never seen him, though I have asked for him, and they tell me that he is in the country with his flock. I have also asked for Artidoro, and they have told me that for some days he has not appeared in the village; and, in order not to leave Rosaura, I have not taken an opportunity of going to look for Galercio, from whom it might be possible to learn news of Artidoro. This is what has happened to me, besides what you have seen with Grisaldo, since you have been missing, sister, from the village.’

Teolinda was astonished at what her sister told her; but when she came to know that in Artidoro’s village no news was known of him, she could not restrain her tears, though she consoled herself in part, believing that Galercio would have news of his brother; and so she resolved to go next day to look for Galercio wherever he might be. And having told her sister as briefly as she could all that had happened to her since she went in search of Artidoro, Teolinda embraced her again and returned to where the shepherdesses were. They were walking along a little distance from the road, in among some trees which protected them a little from the heat of the sun. Teolinda coming up to them told them all that her sister had said to her concerning the issue of her love, and the likeness of Galercio and Artidoro; whereat they wondered not a little, though Galatea said:

‘Whoever sees the strange likeness there is between you, Teolinda, and your sister, cannot wonder though he sees others, since no likeness, as I believe, is equal to yours.’

‘There is no doubt,’ replied Leonarda, ‘but that the likeness there is between Artidoro and Galercio is so great that, if it does not surpass ours, at least it will be in no way behind it.’

‘May Heaven please,’ said Florisa, ‘that as you four resemble one another, so may you agree and be like one another in fortune, that which fate grants to your desires being so good that all the world may envy your joys, as it wonders at your likenesses.’

Teolinda would have replied to these words, had not a voice they heard issuing from among the trees prevented it; and all stopping to listen to it, they straightway recognised that it was the voice of the shepherd Lauso, whereat Galatea and Florisa felt great joy, for they wished very much to know of whom Lauso was enamoured, and believed that what the shepherd should sing would relieve them of this doubt, and for this reason, without moving from where they were, they listened to him in the greatest silence. The shepherd was seated at the foot of a green willow, accompanied by his thoughts alone, and by a little rebeck, to the sound of which he sang in this wise:

Lauso. If I the good within my thought confessed,

What good I do possess would turn to ill.

The good I feel is not to be expressed.

Even from me let my desire conceal

Itself, and herein let my tongue be dumb,

And let its trophy be that it is still.

Let artifice stop here, nor art presume

To praise enow the pleasure and the balm

Which to a soul from Love’s kind hand doth come.

Suffice to say that I in peaceful calm

Cross o’er the sea of Love, setting my trust

In noble triumph and victorious palm.

The cause unknown, let what the cause produced

Be known, for ’tis a good so measureless

That for the soul alone ’tis kept in trust.

Now I new being have, now life possess,

Now I in all the earth can win a name

For lofty glory and renowned success.

For the pure purpose and the loving flame,

Which is enclosed within my loving side,

Can unto loftiest Heaven exalt my fame.

In thee I hope, Silena, and confide

In thee, Silena, glory of my thought,

Pole-star that doth my roving fancy guide.

I hope that, by thy peerless judgment taught,

Thou wilt adjudge that I in truth do merit

By faith what in deserving lieth not.

And, shepherdess, I trust that soon thy spirit

Will show, when thy experience makes thee sure,

The liberty that noble breasts inherit.

What wealth of bliss thy presence doth assure!

What evils doth it banish! When ’tis gone,

Who for a moment absence will endure?

Oh thou that art more beauteous on thy throne

Than beauty’s self, and more than wisdom wise,

Star to my sea, unto my eyes a sun!

She who in famous Crete became the prize

Of the false lovely bull, and bowed to Love,

Did not unto thy perfect beauty rise:

Nor she who felt descending from above

The golden rain, that turned her heart aside

(To guard her maidenhood no more she strove);

Nor she whose angry ruthless hand, in pride

Of purity, did her chaste bosom smite,

And in her blood the piercing dagger dyed;

Nor she who roused to madness and despite

‘Gainst Troy the hearts of the Achaean host,

Who gave unto destruction I lion’s height;

Nor she the squadrons of the Latin coast

Who launched irate against the Teucrian race,

Whose bitter pangs were ever Juno’s boast;

And no less she who hath a different praise

And trophy for the steadfast purity

Wherewith she kept her honour from disgrace;

Nor she who mourned her dead Sychaeus, she

On whom Mantuan Tityrus did cast

Reproach for fond desire and vanity;

Neither ‘mongst all the fair ones that the past

Ages produced, nor at this present hour

Nor in the days to come find we at last

One who in wisdom, worth, or beauty’s dower,

Was or is equal to my shepherdess,

Or claimeth o’er the world a sovereign’s power.

Ah happy he, if but the bitterness

Of jealousy he knew not, who by thee,

Silena, should be loved with faithfulness!

Thou who hast to this height exalted me,

Oh Love, with heavy hand hurl me not down

Unto oblivion’s deep obscurity.

Seek thou a prince’s, not a tyrant’s crown.

The enamoured shepherd sang no more, nor from what he had sung could the shepherdesses come to the knowledge of what they desired, for, though Lauso named Silena in his song, the shepherdess was not known by this name; and so they imagined that, as Lauso had gone through many parts of Spain, and even of all Asia and Europe, it would be some foreign shepherdess who had subdued his free will; but when they considered again that they had seen him a few days before triumphing in his freedom and making mock of lovers, they believed beyond a doubt, that under a feigned name he was celebrating some well-known shepherdess whom he had made mistress of his thoughts; and so, without being satisfied in their suspicion, they went towards the village, leaving the shepherd in the same place where he was. But they had not gone far when they saw coming from a distance some shepherds who were straightway recognised, for they were Thyrsis, Damon, Elicio, Erastro, Arsindo, Francenio, Crisio, Orompo, Daranio, Orfenio, and Marsilio, with all the chief shepherds of the village, and among them, the loveless Lenio with the hapless Silerio, who came to pass the noon-tide heat at the spring of slates, in the shade made in that place by the interwoven branches of the dense green trees. Before the shepherds approached, Teolinda, Leonarda and Rosaura took care each to veil herself with a white cloth that they might not be recognised by Thyrsis and Damon. The shepherds approached, offering courteous greetings to the shepherdesses, inviting them to consent to spend the noon-tide heat in their company; but Galatea excused herself by saying that the strange shepherdesses who came with her, must needs go to the village; therewith she took leave of them, drawing after her the souls of Elicio and Erastro, and the veiled shepherdesses likewise the desires of all who were there to know them. They betook themselves to the village, and the shepherds to the cool spring, but before they reached there, Silerio took leave of all, asking permission to return to his hermitage; and though Thyrsis, Damon, Elicio, and Erastro begged him to remain with them for that day, they could not prevail with him; nay rather he embraced them all and took his leave, charging and begging Erastro not to fail to visit him every time he passed by his hermitage. Erastro promised it him, and therewith, he turned aside, and accompanied by his constant sorrow, returned to the solitude of his hermitage, leaving the shepherds not without grief to see the straitness of life he had chosen when his years were yet green; but it was felt most among those who knew him and were acquainted with the quality and worth of his person. When the shepherds came to the spring, they found there three gentlemen and two fair ladies who were journeying, and being wearied with fatigue and invited by the pleasing and cool spot, it seemed good to them to leave the road they were following, and spend there the sultry hours of the noon-tide heat. There came with them some servants, so that they showed by their appearance that they were persons of quality. The shepherds, when they saw them, would have left the spot free to them: but one of the gentlemen, who seemed the chief, seeing that the shepherds in their courtesy wished to go to another place, said to them:

‘If it was by chance your pleasure, gallant shepherds, to spend the noon-tide heat in this delightful spot, let not our company hinder you from it, but rather do us the favour of increasing our pleasure with your company, since your noble disposition and manner promise no less; and, the place being, as it is, so adapted for a greater number of people, you will grieve me and these ladies, if you do not agree to what I ask you in their name and mine.’

‘By doing, sir, what you bid us,’ replied Elicio, ‘we shall fulfil our desire, which did not for the moment extend beyond coming to this place to spend here in pleasant converse the tedious hours of the noon-tide heat; and, though our purpose were different, we would change it merely to do what you ask.’

‘I am grateful,’ replied the gentleman, ‘for tokens of such good-will, and in order that I may be the more assured of it and gratified thereby, be seated, shepherds, around this cool spring, where with some things which these ladies have with them for refreshment by the way, you may awake your thirst and quench it in the cool waters this clear spring offers us.’

All did so, constrained by his fair courtesy. Up to this point the ladies had kept their faces covered with two rich veils; but, seeing that the shepherds were remaining, they revealed themselves, revealing a beauty so strange that it caused great astonishment in all who saw it, for it seemed to them that after Galatea’s there could be on earth no other beauty to match it.

The two ladies were equally beautiful, though one of them, who seemed the older, excelled the smaller one in a certain grace and spirit. All being seated then, and at their ease, the second gentleman, who up till then had spoken nothing, said:

‘When I stop to consider amiable shepherds the advantage your humble shepherds’ ways have over the proud ways of the courtier, I cannot fail to have pity for myself, and honourable envy of you.’

‘Why do you say that, friend Darinto?’ said the other gentleman.

‘I say it, sir,’ replied the former, ‘because I see with what care you and I, and those who follow our ways, seek to adorn our persons, to nourish our bodies, and to increase our property, and how little it comes to profit us, since the purple, the gold, the brocade, and our ‘ faces are faded from badly digested victuals, eaten at odd hours, and as costly as they are wasteful, and since they adorn us in no way, nor beautify us, nor suffice to make us look better in the eyes of those who behold us. And all this you can see is different in those who follow the rustic pursuits of the field, proving it by those you have before you, who, it might be and even is the case, have been nourished and are nourished on simple victuals, in every way different from the wasteful composition of ours. And, besides, see the tan of their faces, which promises a state of health more perfect than the sickly pallor of ours, and how well a jerkin of white wool, a grey bonnet and some gaiters of whatsoever colour suit their robust and supple limbs; whereby they must appear more handsome in the eyes of their shepherdesses, than gay courtiers in those of modest ladies. What could I say to you, then, if I were minded, of the simplicity of their life, the sincerity of their character, and the purity of their love? I say no more to you, save that what I know of the shepherd’s life has such power with me, that gladly would I exchange mine for it.’

‘We shepherds are all indebted to you,’ said Elicio, ‘for the good opinion you have of us, but nevertheless I can tell you that in our country life there are as many slippery places and toils as are contained in your courtier’s life.’

‘I cannot but agree with what you say,’ replied Darinto, ‘for indeed it is well known that our life on earth is a war; but after all in the shepherd’s life there is less of it than in that of the town, for it is more free from causes that may move and disquiet the spirit.’

‘How well agrees with your opinion, Darinto,’ said Damon, ‘that of a shepherd friend of mine, called Lauso, who, after having spent some years in a courtier’s pursuits, and some others in the toilsome pursuits of cruel Mars, has at last been brought to the poverty of our country life, and before he came to it, he showed that he much desired it, as appears by a song he composed and sent to the famous Larsileo, who has a long and practised experience in affairs of the court; and, because I saw fit to do so, I committed it all to memory, and would even repeat it to you, if I thought that time would permit it, and that it would not weary you to listen to it.’

‘Nothing will give us greater pleasure than to listen to you, discreet Damon,’ replied Darinto, calling Damon by his name, for he already knew it from having heard the other shepherds, his friends, name him; ‘and so I for my part beg you to repeat to us Lauso’s song, for since it is composed, as you say, to suit my case, and you have committed it to memory, it will be impossible for it not to be good.’

Damon began to repent of what he had said, and sought to escape from his promise; but the gentlemen and ladies and all the shepherds begged it of him so much, that he could not escape repeating it. And so, having composed himself a little, with admirable grace and charm he spoke in this wise:

DAMON. The idle fancies that our minds do weave,

Which hither and thither are buffeted

In rapid flight by every wind that blows;

Man’s feeble heart, ever inclined to grieve,

Set upon pleasures that are doomed to fade,

Wherein it seeks, but findeth not, repose;

The world that never knows

The truth, the promiser of joyous pleasures;

Its siren voice, whose word

Is scarcely overheard,

When it transforms its pleasures to displeasures;

Babylon, chaos, seen and read by me

In everything I see;

The mood the careful courtier doth command —

Have set, in unity

With my desire, the pen within my hand.

I would my rude ill-shapen quill might rise,

My lord, though brief and feeble be its flight,

Unto the realms that my desire doth gain,

So that the task of raising to the skies

Thy goodness rare and virtue ever bright

It might essay, and thus its wish attain.

But who is there that fain

Would on his shoulders cast so great a burden,

Unless he is a new

Atlas, in strength so true,

That Heaven doth little weary him or burden?

And even he the load will be compelled

To shift, that he has held,

On to the arms of a new Hercules,

And yet such toil beheld,

Although he bow and sweat, I count but ease.

But since ’tis to my strength impossible,

And but an empty wish I give to prove

All that my loyal fancy doth conceal,

Let us consider if ’tis possible

My feeble ill-contented hand to move,

And some vague sign of joy thereby reveal;

Herein my power I feel

So powerless, that thou thine ears must lend,

And to the bitter groans

And agonising moans

That issue from a breast despised, attend;

Upon that breast fire, air, and earth, and sea

Make war unceasingly,

Conspiring all together for its pain,

Which its sad destiny

Doth bound, and its small fortune doth contain.

Were this not so in truth, an easy thing

It were through pleasure’s realm one’s steps to bend,

And countless pleasures to the mind restore,

The mountain, strand, or river picturing.

Not Love, but fortune, fate and chance did lend

Their wealth of glory to a shepherd poor:

Hut Time a triumph o’er

This sweet tale claims, and of it doth remain

Alone a feeble shadow,

Which doth the thought o’ershadow

That thinks on it the more, and fills with pain.

Such is the fitting plight of all mankind!

The pleasure we designed

In a few hours is changed to sore displeasure,

And no one will e’er shall find

In many years a firm and lasting pleasure.

Now let the idle thought revolve on high,

Let it ascend or descend to the abyss,

And in a moment run from east to west,

‘Twill say, however much it sweat and ply

Its strength, escaping from its miseries,

Set in dread hell, or Heaven loftiest:

“Oh thrice and four times blest

And blest and blest again with happiness,

The simple herdsman who,

With his poor sheep and few,

Liveth with more content and peacefulness

Than Crassus rich or Midas in his greed,

Since the life he doth lead,

A shepherd’s life, of healthy simple powers,

Doth make him take no heed

Of this false, wretched, courtly life of ours.”

Beside the trunk that Vulcan’s flame dissolves,

Of sturdy oak, he seeks himself to warm,

Amidst the might of winter’s bristling cold,

And there in peace a clear account resolves

To give of life to Heaven, and how from harm

To keep his flock, he doth discussion hold.

And when away hath rolled

The hard and barren frost, when it doth shrink,

When he who had his birth

In Delos, doth the earth

And air inflame, then, on some river’s brink,

Of willows green and elms its canopy,

In rustic harmony

He sounds the shrilly fife, or lifts his voice;

Then truly one doth see

The waters stop to listen and rejoice,

He is not wearied by the solemn face

Of one in favour, who doth bear the port

Of governor, where he is not obeyed,

Nor by the sweetly uttered lofty praise

Of the false flatterer, who in absence short,

Views, leaders, parties, changeth undismayed.

Of the disdain displayed

By the wise secretary, of his pride

Who bears the golden key,

But little recketh he,

Nor of the league of divers chiefs allied.

Not for a moment from his flock he goes,

Because the angry blows

Of frenzied Mars on either side may sound,

Who doth such skill disclose

That e’en his followers scarce have profit found.

Within a circle small his footsteps wend

From the high mountain to the peaceful plain,

To the clear river from the fountain cold.

Nor doth he plough, in madness without end,

The heaving meadows of the ocean main,

Desiring distant countries to behold.

It doth not make him bold

To learn that close beside his village lives

The great unconquered king,

Whose weal is everything,

Yet not to see him small displeasure gives.

No ambitious busy-body he, beside

Himself, who without pride

Runs after favour, and a favourite’s power,

Though never hath he dyed

His sword or lance in blood of Turk or Moor.

’Tis not for him to change or face or hue

Because the lord he serveth changeth face

Or hue, since he no lord hath to constrain

Him with mute tongue to follow and pursue —

As Clytie did her golden lover chase —

The sweet or bitter pleasure he may gain.

Nor doth he share the pain

Of fearing that an idle, careless thought

Within the thankless breast

Of his lord may at last

The memory of his loyal service blot,

And thus be his the doom of banishment;

His mien doth not present

Other than what his healthy breast doth hold;

Our ways, with falsehood blent,

Do not compete with rustic knowledge old.

Who such a life as this will hold in scorn?

Who will not say that this is life alone,

Which hath the comfort of the soul pursued?

A courtier may in loathing from it turn.

This makes its goodness unto him be known

Who hath the good desired, the ill eschewed:

Oh life of solitude,

Wherein one doth his crowded joys refine!

Oh pastoral lowliness,

Higher than loftiness

Of the most lofty and exalted line!

Oh shady woodland, flowers whose fragrance fills

The air, pellucid rills!

I for a moment brief could taste your bliss,

But that my constant ills

Soon would disturb so fair a life as this!

Song, thou dost go to where thy poverty,

To where thy wealth will all too soon be seen,

Say thou with prayerful mien

And humble, if but breath be given thee;

“Lord, pardon! he who sends me to thy side,

In thee and in his wishes doth confide.”

‘This, gentlemen, is Lauso’s song,’ said Damon on finishing it; ‘which was as much extolled by Larsileo as it was well received by those who saw it at the time.’

‘With reason you can say so,’ replied Darinto, ‘since its truth and workmanship are worthy of just praises.’

‘These are the songs to my taste,’ said the loveless Lenio at this moment, ‘and not those which every instant come to my ears, full of a thousand simple amorous conceits, so badly arranged and involved, that I will venture to swear that there are some, which neither the hearer, however discreet he be, can comprehend, nor the composer understand. But no less wearisome arc others, which entangle themselves in giving praises to Cupid, and in exaggerating his powers, his worth, his wonders and miracles, making him lord of Heaven and earth, giving him a thousand other attributes of might, dominion and lordship; and what wearies me more than those who make them, is that, when they speak of love, they mean a someone undefined, whom they call Cupid, the very meaning of whose name declares to us what he is, namely a vain and sensual appetite, worthy of all reproof.’

The loveless Lenio spoke, and indeed he was certain to end in, speaking ill of love; but as nearly all who were there knew his disposition, they did not give much heed to his reasonings, except Erastro, who said to him:

‘Do you think, Lenio, by chance, that you are always speaking to a simple Erastro, who cannot contradict your opinions, or reply to your arguments? Then I wish to warn you that it will be wise for you to be silent for the present, or at least to discuss other matters than speaking ill of love, unless indeed you would have Thyrsis’s and Damon’s discretion and learning restoring your sight, from the blindness in which you are, and showing you clearly what they understand, and what you should understand, of love and of its affairs.’

‘What will they be able to tell me that I do not know?’ said Lenio, ‘or what shall I be able to reply to them but what they are ignorant of?’

‘This is pride, Lenio,’ replied Elicio, ‘and therein you show how far you go from the path of love’s truth, and that you guide yourself more by the pole-star of your opinion and fancy, than by that whereby you should be guided, namely that of truth and experience.’

‘Nay rather by reason of the great experience I have of its works,’ replied Lenio, ‘am I as opposed to it as I show, and shall show so long as my life shall last.’

‘On what do you base your reasoning?’ said Thyrsis.

‘On what, shepherd?’ answered Lenio; ‘on this, that by the effects they have I know how evil is the cause that produces them.’

‘What are the effects of love that you count so evil?’ replied Thyrsis.

‘I will tell you them, if you listen to me with attention,’ said Lenio; ‘but I would not have my discourse weary the ears of those who are present, since they can spend the time in different and more pleasurable converse.’

‘There will be nothing that could be more so to us,’ said Darinto, ‘than to hear a discussion of this topic, especially between persons who will know so well how to defend their opinion: and so for my part, if these shepherds on theirs do not hinder it, I beg you, Lenio, to continue the discourse you have begun.’

‘That will I do readily,’ answered Lenio, ‘for I think I shall show clearly therein what a strong reason compels me to follow the opinion I do follow, and to blame any other that may be opposed to mine.’

‘Begin then, oh Lenio,’ said Damon, ‘for you will not hold it longer than my companion Thyrsis will take to explain his.’

At this moment, whilst Lenio was preparing to utter his reproofs against love, there came to the spring the venerable Aurelio, Galatea’s father, with some shepherds, and with him came also Galatea and Florisa, with the three veiled shepherdesses, Rosaura, Teolinda, and Leonarda, whom he had met at the entrance of the village, and, learning from them of the gathering of shepherds there was at the spring of slates, caused to turn back at his request, the strange shepherdesses trusting that by reason of their veils they would not be recognised by anyone. All rose to receive Aurelio and the shepherdesses, these latter seating themselves by the ladies, Aurelio and the shepherds by the other shepherds. But when the ladies saw Galatea’s remarkable beauty, they were so astonished that they could not keep their eyes from looking at her. Nor was Galatea less so at their beauty, especially at that of her who seemed the older. There passed between them some words of courtesy, but everything ceased when they learnt what was agreed between the discreet Thyrsis and the loveless Lenio; whereat the venerable Aurelio was infinitely rejoiced, for he desired very much to see that assembly, and to hear that discussion, and all the more when Lenio would have someone who could answer him so well; and so, without waiting further, Lenio, seating himself on the trunk of a felled elm-tree, in a voice at first low, and then full-sounding, began to speak in this wise:

LENIO. ‘Already I almost guess, worthy and discreet company, how even now in your understanding you are judging me as bold and rash, since with the little intellect and less experience which the rustic life, in which I have been nurtured for some time, can promise, I am willing to hold a contest in a matter so difficult as this with the famous Thyrsis, whose nurture in famous academies, and whose profound studies, can assure naught to my pretensions save certain failure But confident that at times the force of natural genius, adorned with some little experience, is wont to discover new paths with which one makes easy sciences acquired during long years, I wish to make bold to-day to show in public the reasons which have moved me to be such an enemy to love, that I had deserved thereby to gain the appellation of loveless; and though nothing else would have moved me to do this, save your behest, I would not excuse myself from doing it; all the more that the glory will not be slight which I have to gain hereby, though I should lose in the enterprise, since after all fame will say that I had the spirit to compete with the renowned Thyrsis. And so on this understanding, without wishing to be favoured except by the reason that I have on my side, it alone do I invoke and pray to give such strength to my words and arguments that there may appear in both of them the reason I have for being such an enemy to love as I proclaim. Love, then, as I have heard my elders say, is a desire for beauty; and this definition, amongst many others, those give it that have advanced farthest in this question. Then, if it be granted me, that love is desire for beauty, it must necessarily be granted me that such as is the beauty which is loved, will be the love with which it is loved.

And because beauty is of two kinds, corporeal and incorporeal, the love which loves corporeal beauty for its ultimate goal, such a love as this cannot be good, and this is the love whose enemy I am; but as corporeal beauty is divided likewise into two parts, namely into living bodies and dead bodies, there can also be a love of corporeal beauty which may be good. The one part of corporeal beauty is shown in living bodies of men and women, and this consists in all the parts of the body being good in themselves, and all together making one perfect whole, and forming a body proportioned in limbs and in pleasantness of hue. The other beauty of the corporeal part which is not alive, consists in pictures, statues and buildings; which beauty can be loved without the love with which it is loved being blameworthy.

Incorporeal beauty is divided also into two parts, the virtues and the sciences of the soul; and the love which cleaves to virtue must necessarily be good, and likewise that which cleaves to virtuous sciences and agreeable studies. Then, as these two kinds of beauty are the cause which begets love in our breasts, it follows that whether love be good or bad, depends upon loving the one or the other: but, as incorporeal beauty is viewed with the pure and clear eyes of the understanding, and corporeal beauty is regarded with the corporeal eyes, clouded and blind, in comparison with the incorporeal, and as the eyes of the body are quicker to regard the present corporeal beauty which pleases, than those of the understanding to view the absent incorporeal beauty which glorifies, it follows that mortals more usually love the fading and mortal beauty which destroys them than the rare and divine beauty which makes them better. Then from this love, or from desiring corporeal beauty, have arisen, arise, and will arise in the world desolation of cities, ruin of states, destruction of empires, and deaths of friends; and when this, as is generally the case, does not happen, what greater woes, what more grievous torments, what fire, what jealousy, what pains, what deaths, can the human understanding imagine which can be compared to those the wretched lover suffers? And the cause of this is that, as the lover’s whole happiness depends upon enjoying the beauty he desires, and this beauty cannot be possessed and enjoyed fully, that inability to reach the goal which is desired, begets in him sighs, tears, complaints, and dejection. It is manifest and clear then that it is true that the beauty of which I speak, cannot be enjoyed perfectly and fully, because it is not in the power of man to enjoy completely a thing which is outside of him and not wholly his; because external things, it is well known, are always under the control of that which we call fortune or chance, and not in the power of our free-will, and so it results that where there is love there is sorrow; and he who would deny this, would likewise deny that the sun is bright and that fire burns. But that we may come the more easily to the knowledge of the bitterness that love contains, the truth I follow will be clearly seen by running over the passions of the mind. The passions of the mind, as you know best, discreet gentlemen and shepherds, are four universal ones, and no more. Immoderate desire, much joy, great fear for future miseries, great sorrow for present calamities; these passions, being, as it were, contrary winds which disturb the tranquillity of the soul, are called by a more appropriate term disturbances; and of these disturbances the first is proper to love, since love is nothing else save desire; and so desire is the beginning and origin of all our passions, from which they issue as every stream from its source. Hence it comes that every time desire for something is kindled in our hearts, straightway it moves us to follow it and seek it, and in seeking it and following it, it leads us to a thousand disordered ends. This desire it is which incites the brother to seek his beloved sister’s abominable embraces, the stepmother her step-son’s, and what is worst, the very father his own daughter’s; this desire it is that bears our thoughts to grievous perils. Nor does it avail that we oppose it with the reason, for, though we clearly recognise our hurt, we cannot, on that account, withdraw from it; and love does not content itself with keeping us intent on one wish, but rather, as from the desire of things all the passions arise, as has already been said, so from the first desire that arises in us, a thousand others are derived; and these are in lovers no less various than infinite, and though they well-nigh always look to one goal only, yet, as the objects are various, and various the fortune of those in love with each, without any doubt desire takes various forms.

There are some who, to reach the attainment of what they desire, put all their strength on one course, in which, alas, what great hardships are encountered, how often they fall, what sharp thorns torture their feet, and how often strength and breath are lost before they attain what they seek! There are some others who are possessors of the thing beloved, and neither desire nor think of aught else save to remain in that state, and, having their thoughts busied about this alone, and on this alone spending all their toil and time, are wretched amidst happiness, poor amidst wealth, and unfortunate amidst good fortune. Others who are no longer in possession of their treasure, seek to return to it, employing for the purpose a thousand prayers, a thousand promises, a thousand conditions, countless tears, and at last, busying themselves with these woes, they bring themselves to the pass of losing their life. But these torments are not seen at the entry of the first desires, for then deceitful love shows us a path whereby we may enter, in appearance broad and spacious, which afterwards gradually closes in in such a manner that no way offers itself to return or go forward; and so the wretched lovers, deceived and betrayed by a sweet and false smile, by a mere turn of the eye, by two stammered words which beget in their breasts a false and feeble hope, dash straightway to go after it, goaded by desire, and afterwards, in a short space and in a few days, finding the path of their cure closed, and the way of their pleasure obstructed, turn to bedew their faces with tears, to disturb the air with sighs, to weary the ears with woeful complaints; and the worst is, that if perchance with their tears, their sighs, and their complaints they cannot come to the goal of their desire, straightway they change their manner and seek to attain by bad means what they cannot by good. Hence arise hatreds, angers, deaths as well of friends as of enemies. For this cause it has been seen and is seen at every moment that tender and delicate women set themselves to do things so strange and rash that even to imagine them inspires terror. Therefore the holy marriage-bed is seen bathed in crimson blood, now of the sad unheeding wife, now of the incautious and careless husband.

To come to the goal of this desire brother is traitor to brother, father to son, and friend to friend. It originates feuds, tramples on respect, transgresses laws, forgets duties, and seduces kinswomen. But in order that it may be clearly seen how great the misery of lovers is, it is already known that no appetite has such strength in us, nor carries us with such force to the object in view as that which is urged on by the spurs of love. Hence it comes that no happiness or contentment passes so much beyond the due bounds as that of the lover when he comes to attain any one of the things he desires; and this is evident, for what person of judgment will there be, save the lover, who will reckon his highest joy a touch of his mistress’s hand, a little ring of hers, a short loving glance, and other similar things of as small account as a dispassionate understanding holds them? And not by reason of these abundant pleasures which lovers in their judgment gain, must it be said that they are happy and fortunate; for there is no contentment of theirs that does not come accompanied by innumerable displeasures and disgusts, wherewith love dilutes them and disturbs them, and never did amorous glory reach the pitch reached and attained by pain. So evil is the happiness of lovers that it draws them out of themselves, making them careless and foolish; for, as they set their whole intent and strength to maintain themselves in that pleasant state they fancy themselves to be in, they neglect everything else, whereby no small harm overtakes them, as well of property, as of honour and life.

Then, in exchange for what I have said, they even make themselves slaves of a thousand pangs, and enemies of themselves.

What then, when it happens that, in the midst of the course of their pleasures, the cold steel of the heavy lance of jealousy touches them? Then the sky is darkened for them, the air is disturbed, and all the elements turn against them. Then they have nothing from which to hope for contentment, since the attainment of the end they desire cannot give it them. Then appear ceaseless dread, unfailing despair, sharp suspicions, varying thoughts, care without gain, false laughter and true sorrow, with a thousand other strange and terrible sensations which consume them and affright them. All the actions of the beloved object distress them, if she looks, if she laughs, if she turns away or comes back, if she is silent, if she speaks; and in a word all the graces that moved him to love well, are the very ones which torture the jealous lover. And who does not know that if fortune does not favour with full hands the beginnings of love and with speedy diligence lead them to a sweet end, how costly to the lover are any other means the luckless one employs to attain his purpose? What tears he sheds, what sighs he scatters, how many letters he writes, how many nights he does not sleep, how many and what contrary thoughts assail him, how many suspicions distress him and fears surprise him? Is there by chance a Tantalus who feels more distress, set between the waters and the apple-tree, than that which the wretched lover feels placed between fear and hope? The services of the lover out of favour are the pitchers of Danaus’s daughters, drained so fruitlessly that they never come to attain the least part of their purpose. Is there eagle that so destroys the bowels of Tityus as jealousy destroys and gnaws those of the jealous lover? Is there rock that weighs down so much the shoulders of Sisyphus as love unceasingly weighs down the thoughts of those in love? Is there wheel of Ixion that more quickly turns and torments than the quick varying fancies of irresolute lovers?

Is there a Minos or Rhadamanthus who so punishes and oppresses the luckless condemned souls as love punishes and oppresses the loving breast which is subject to his unendurable power? There is not a cruel Megæra, nor raging Tisiphone, nor avenging Alecto, who so illtreat the soul in which they enclose themselves, as this fury, this desire, illtreats those hapless ones who recognise it as lord, and bow before it as vassals, who, to give some excuse for the follies they commit, say — or at least the ancient heathens said — that that instinct which incites and moves the lover to love another’s life more than his own, was a god, to whom they gave the name of Cupid, and so, being constrained by his godhead, they could not fail to follow and go after what he willed. They were moved to say this, and to give the name of god to this desire by seeing the supernatural effects it produces in lovers. Without doubt it seems a supernatural thing for a lover at the same moment to be timorous and confident, to burn away from his beloved and grow cold when nearer her, to be dumb when speaking much, and speaking much when dumb. It is likewise a strange thing to follow one who shuns me, to praise one who reproaches me, to utter words to one who does not listen to me, to serve an ungrateful one, and to hope in one who never promises nor can give aught that is good. Oh bitter sweetness, oh poisonous medicine of sick lovers, oh sad joy, oh flower of love, that dost indicate no fruit, save that of tardy repentance! These are the effects of this fancied god, these are his deeds and wondrous works; and indeed it can also be seen in the picture by which they represented this vain god of theirs, how vainly they acted; they painted him as a boy, naked, winged, his eyes bandaged, with bow and arrows in his hands, to give us to understand, amongst other things, that, when a man is in love, he assumes again the character of a simple and capricious boy, who is blind in his aims, light in his thoughts, cruel in his deeds, naked and poor in the riches of the understanding. They said likewise that amongst his arrows he had two, the one of lead and the other of gold, with which he produced different effects; for the leaden one begot hatred in the breasts it touched, and the golden one increase of love in those it wounded, merely to tell us that it is rich gold that causes love, and poor lead abhorrence. And for this reason poets do not sing in vain of Atalanta vanquished by three lovely golden apples; and of fair Danae, made pregnant by the golden rain; and of pious Æneas descending to hell with the golden branch in his hand; in a word, gold and gifts are one of the strongest arrows which love has; and the one with which he subdues most hearts; quite the contrary to the one of lead, a metal low and despised, as poverty is, which rather begets hatred and abhorrence where it comes, than any kind of benevolence. But if the reasons spoken by me so far do not suffice to persuade you of the reason I have for being on bad terms with this treacherous love, which I am discussing to-day, observe its effects in some true examples from the past, and you will see, as I see, that he who does not attain to the truth I follow does not see nor has he eyes of understanding.

Let us see then — what but this love is it which made righteous Lot break his chaste purpose and violate his own daughters?

This it is without doubt that made the chosen David be an adulterer and a murderer; that forced the lustful Ammon to seek the infamous embraces of Tamar, his beloved sister; that placed the head of mighty Samson in the traitorous lap of Delilah, whereby he lost his strength, his people lost their protection, and at last he and many others their lives. This it was that moved Herod’s tongue to promise to the dancing girl the head of the Fore-runner of Life; this makes one doubt of the salvation of the wisest and richest king of kings, and even of all mankind. This brought down the strong arms of famous Hercules, accustomed to wield the weighty club, to turn a tiny spindle and to busy themselves in feminine tasks. This made the raging and loving Medea scatter through the air the tender limbs of her little brother; this cut out the tongue of Procne, Arachne and Hippolytus, made Pasiphae infamous, destroyed Troy, and slew Ægisthus. This caused the works of new Carthage once begun to be stayed, and her first queen to pierce her chaste breast with a sharp sword. This placed in the hands of the fair and famous Sophonisba, the vial of deadly poison which ended her life. This robbed valiant Turnus of life, Tarquin of kingdom, Mark Antony of power, and his mistress of life and honour. This finally handed our Spain over to the barbarous fury of the children of Hagar, called to avenge the disordered love of the wretched Roderick. But, because I think that night will cover us with its shade before I finish bringing to your memory the examples that offer themselves to mine, of the exploits that love has performed, and is performing every day in the world, I do not wish to go on with them, nor yet with the discourse I have begun, in order to give an opportunity for the famous Thyrsis to reply to me, begging you first, gentlemen, not to be wearied by hearing a song which I composed some days ago in reproach of this my foe. If I remember rightly, it runs in this way:

No fear have I before the frost and fire,

The bow and arrows of the tyrant Love,

And so I needs must sing in his dispraise;

For who shall fear a blind boy whose desire

Varies, whose judgment doth inconstant rove,

Although he threaten wounds and sad decays?

My pleasure doth increase, his worth decays,

When I employ my tongue

To utter the true song

Which in reproach of Love himself I form,

So rich in truth, in manner, and in form,

That unto all Love’s malice it reveals,

And clearly doth inform

The world of the sure hurt that Love conceals.

Love is a fire that burns the soul within,

A frost that freezes; dart that opes the breast,

Which heedeth not its cunning manifold;

A troubled sea where calm hath ne’er been seen;

Wrath’s minister; enemy manifest,

In guise of friend; father of dismay cold;

Giver of scanty good and ill untold;

Caressing; full of lies;

Fierce in his tyrannies;

A traitorous Circe that transforms us all

To divers monstrous shapes fantastical

Wherefrom no power of man can us restore,

Though quickly at our call

Comes reason’s light, to what we were before,

A yoke that doth the proudest neck abase;

A mark to which desires of slothful ease,

Born without reason, go as to their goal;

A treacherous net, which men of highest place

Amidst their foul and unclean sins doth seize

And doth within its subtle mesh enthrall;

A pleasing ill that tempts the senses all;

Poison in guise of pill,

Gilded, but poison still;

A bolt that burns and cleaves where it descendeth;

An angry arm that traitorously offendeth;

Headsman that dooms the thought which captive lies,

Or which itself defendeth

From the sweet charm of his false fantasies;

A hurt that doth in the beginning please,

When on an object which doth seem as fair

As the fair heavens above, the sight doth feast —

And yet the more it looks with yearning gaze,

The more the heart doth suffer everywhere,

The heart that is with anguish sore distressed —

Dumb speaker; chatterer with dumbness oppressed;

A wise man babbling folly;

Ruin that slayeth wholly;

The life which joyous harmony doth fill;

Shadow of good that is transformed to ill;

A flight that raiseth us to Heaven on high,

Only that grief may still

Live after we have fallen, and pleasure die;

A thief unseen that doth destroy us quite,

And robs us of our wealth with ruthless hand,

Carrying our souls away at every hour;

A speed that overtakes the quickest flight;

A riddle none there is to understand;

A life that always is in peril sore;

A chosen, and, withal, a chance-born war;

A truce that is but brief;

Beloved, luckless grief;

Promise that never doth to fruitage come;

Illness that makes within the soul its home;

Coward that upon evil rusheth bold;

Debtor that doth the sum

He owes, which is our due, ever withhold;

A labyrinth wherein is nestling found

A fierce wild beast that doth itself sustain

On the surrendered hearts of all mankind;

A bond wherewith the lives of all are bound;

A lord that from his steward seeks to gain

Account of deed and word, and of his mind;

Greed, unto countless varied aims inclined;

A worm that builds a house,

Wretched or beauteous,

Where for a little while it dwells and dies;

A sigh that never knows for what it sighs;

A cloud that darkens all our faculties;

A knife that wounds us — this

Is Love, him follow, if ye think it wise.’

With this song the loveless Lenio ended his reasoning, leaving some of those that were present full of wonder at both, especially the gentlemen, for it seemed to them that what Lenio had said seemed of more worth than was usual with a shepherd’s intellect. And with great desire and attention they were awaiting Thyrsis’s reply, all promising themselves in fancy that it would without any doubt excel Lenio’s, for Thyrsis exceeded him in age and experience, and in the studies most generally pursued, and this likewise reassured them, for they desired that Lenio’s loveless opinion should not prevail. It is indeed true that the hapless Teolinda, the loving Leonarda, the fair Rosaura, and even the lady who came with Darinto and his companion, clearly saw depicted in Lenio’s discourse a thousand points of the course of their loves; and this was when he came to treat of tears and sighs, and of how dearly the joys of love were bought. Only the fair Galatea and the discreet Florisa did not count in this, for up till then love had not taken count of their fair rebellious breasts, and so they were eager only to hear the acuteness with which the two famous shepherds disputed, without seeing in their free will any of the effects of love they were hearing of.

But Thyrsis’s will being to reduce to better limits the loveless shepherd’s opinion, without waiting to be asked, the minds of the bystanders hanging on his lips, he set himself in front of Lenio, and with agreeable and elevated tone began to speak in this wise:

THYRSIS. ‘If the acuteness of your fair intellect, loveless shepherd, did not assure me that with ease it can attain the truth, from which it finds itself so far at present, rather than put myself to the trouble of contradicting your opinion, I would leave you in it, as a punishment for your unjust words. But because those you have uttered in blame of love show me the good germs you possess by which you may be brought to a better purpose, I do not wish by my silence to leave those who hear us scandalised, love despised, and you pertinacious and vainglorious; and so, being aided by Love on whom I call, I think in a few words to show how different are his works and effects from those you have declared about him, speaking only of the love you mean, which you defined when you said that it was a desire for beauty, and likewise declared what beauty was, and a little later you closely examined all the effects which the love of which you speak produced in loving breasts, finally strengthening your views with various unhappy events caused by love. And though the definition you made of love may be the one most generally given, yet it is not so much so but that it may be contradicted; for ‘love and desire are two different things, since not everything that is loved is desired, nor everything that is desired loved. The reasoning is clear in the case of all things that are possessed, for then it cannot be said that they are desired, but that they are loved: thus, he who has health will not say that he desires health, but that he loves it; and he who has children cannot say that he desires children, but that he loves his children; nor yet can it be said of the things that are desired that they are loved, as of the death of enemies, which is desired and not loved. And so for this reason love and desire come to be different passions of the will. The truth is that love is the father of desire, and amongst other definitions which are given of love this is one. Love is that first change which we feel caused in our mind by the appetite which moves us and draws us to itself, delighting and pleasing us; and that pleasure begets motion in the soul, which motion is called desire, and, in short, desire is a motion of the appetite in regard to what is loved, and a wish for that which is possessed, and its object is happiness. And as there are found different species of desires, and love is a species of desire which looks to and regards the happiness which is called fair, yet for a clearer definition and division of love it must be understood that it is divided into three kinds, chaste love, useful love, and delectable love.

And to these three forms of love are reduced all the kinds of loving and desiring that can exist in our will: for the chaste love regards the things of Heaven, eternal and divine; the useful, the things of earth, full of joy and doomed to perish, such as wealth, powers, and lordships; the delectable, things giving delight and pleasure, as the living corporeal beauties of which you, Lenio, spoke. And each form of these loves of which I have spoken ought not to be blamed by any tongue, for the chaste love ever was, is and must be spotless, simple, pure and divine, finding rest and repose in God alone. Profitable love, being, as it is, natural, ought not to be condemned, still less the delectable, for it is more natural than the profitable. That these two forms of love are natural in us, experience shows us, for as soon as our daring first parent transgressed the divine commandment, and from lord was made a servant, and from freeman a slave, straightway he knew the misery into which he had fallen, and the poverty in which he was. And so he at once took the leaves of trees to cover him, and sweated and toiled, breaking the earth to sustain himself, and to live with the least discomfort possible; and thereafter, obeying his God therein better than in aught else, he sought to have children, and in them to perpetuate and delight the human race. And as by his disobedience death entered into him, and through him into all his descendants, so we inherit at the same time all his affections and passions, as we inherit his very nature; and as he sought to remedy his necessity and poverty, so we cannot fail to seek and desire to remedy ours. And hence springs the love we have for things useful to human life; and the more we gain of them, the more it seems to us we remedy our want. And by the same reasoning we inherit the desire of perpetuating ourselves in our children; and from this desire follows that, which we have, to enjoy living corporeal beauty, as the only true means which lead such desires to a happy end. So that this delectable love, alone and without mixture of any other accident, is worthy rather of praise than of blame. And this is the love, which you, Lenio, hold for enemy; and the cause is that you do not understand it, nor know it, for you have never seen it alone, and in its own shape, but always accompanied by pernicious, lascivious and ill-placed desires. And this is not the fault of love, which is always good, but of the accidents which come to it; as we see happening in some copious stream, that has its birth from some clear and limpid spring, which is ever supplying to it clear cool waters, and a little while after it leaves its stainless mother, its sweet and crystalline waters are changed to bitter and turbid, by reason of the many stained brooks, which join it on either side.

Hence this first motion, love or desire as you would call it, cannot arise except from a good beginning; and truly among good beginnings is the knowledge of beauty, which, once recognised as such, it seems well-nigh impossible to avoid loving. And beauty has such power to move our minds, that it alone caused the ancient philosophers (blind and without the light of faith to guide them), led by natural reason, and attracted by the beauty they beheld in the starry heavens, and in the mechanism and roundness of the earth, marvelling at such harmony and beauty, to pursue investigations with the understanding, making a ladder by these second causes to reach the first cause of causes; and they recognised that there was one only beginning without beginning of all things. But that which made them wonder most and raise their thoughts, was to see the frame of man so well-ordered, so perfect and so beautiful, that they came to call him a world in little; and so it is true that in all the works made by God’s steward, Nature, nothing is of such excellence, nor reveals more the greatness and wisdom of its Maker. For in the form and frame of man is summed up and enclosed the beauty which is distributed in all the other parts of it: and hence it arises that this beauty, when recognised, is loved, and as all beauty displays itself most and is most resplendent in the face, as soon as a beautiful face is seen, it summons and draws the will to love it.

‘Hence it follows that as the faces of women so much excel in beauty those of men, it is they who are the more loved, served and courted by us, as the object in which dwells the beauty that is naturally more pleasing to our sight. But our Maker and Creator, seeing that it is the proper nature of our soul to be for ever in perpetual motion and desire, for it cannot find rest save in God, as in its proper centre, willed, so that it might not rush with loosened rein to desire things empty and doomed to perish, and this without taking from it the liberty of free-will, to set over its three powers an alert sentinel, who should warn it against the dangers that opposed it and the enemies that persecuted it; this was reason, which corrects and curbs our inordinate desires. And seeing likewise that human beauty must needs draw after it our passions and inclinations, while it did not seem good to Him to take away from us this desire, at least He wished to temper it and correct it, ordaining the holy yoke of matrimony, beneath which most of the natural joys and pleasures of love are lawful and fitting for man and woman.

By these two remedies imposed by the divine hand comes to be tempered the excess there can be in the natural love which you, Lenio, blame, which love is of itself so good that if it were lacking in us, the world and we would end. In this very love of which I am speaking are summed up all the virtues, for love is moderation, since the lover, according to the chaste wish of the beloved object, tempers his own; it is fortitude, for the lover can endure any adversity for the love of the one who loves him; it is justice, for with it he serves her who loves well, reason itself forcing him to it; it is prudence, for love is adorned with all wisdom. But I ask you, oh Lenio, you who have said that love is the cause of the ruin of empires, of the destruction of cities, of the deaths of friends, of sacrileges committed, the deviser of treasons, the transgressor of laws — I ask you, I say, to tell me, what praiseworthy thing there is to-day in the world, however good it be, the use of which cannot be changed into evil. Let philosophy be condemned, for often it discovers our faults, and many philosophers have been wicked; let the works of the heroic poets be burned, for with their satires and verses they reprehend vices; let medicine be blamed, for men discover poisons; let eloquence be called useless, for at times it has been so arrogant that it has placed in doubt the recognised truth; let not arms be forged, for robbers and murderers use them; let not houses be built, for they can fall upon the inhabitants; let variety of victuals be prohibited, for they are wont to be a cause of illness; let no one seek to have children, for Œdipus, driven by cruellest madness, slew his father, and Orestes smote the breast of his own mother; let fire be counted evil, for it is wont to burn houses and to consume cities: let water be despised, for with it all the earth was flooded; in a word, let all elements be condemned, for they can be perversely used by some perverse persons. And in this manner every good thing can be changed to evil, and from it can proceed evil effects, if placed in the hands of those who, as irrational beings, allow themselves to be governed by the appetite, without moderation.

The ancient Carthage, rival of the Roman Empire, warlike Numantia, Corinth made so fair, proud Thebes, and learned Athens, and God’s city Jerusalem, which were conquered and laid desolate — are we to lay therefore that love was the cause of their destruction and ruin? Hence those who are accustomed to speak ill of love, ought to speak ill of their own selves for the sifts of love, if they are used with moderation, are worthy of perpetual praise; since in everything the mean was always praised, or the extreme was blamed, for if we embrace virtue beyond what suffices, the wise man will win the name of fool and the just of iniquitous. It was the opinion of the ancient tragedian Chremes, that, as wine mixed with water is good, so love, when moderate, is profitable, but it is the contrary when immoderate; the generation of rational animais and brutes would be naught if it did not proceed from love, and if it were wanting on earth, the latter would be deserted and empty. I he ancients believed that love was the work of the gods, given for the preservation and care of mankind. But, coming to what you, Lenio, said of the sad and strange effects which love produces in loving breasts, keeping them ever in ceaseless tears, deep sighs, despairing fancies, without ever panting them an hour of repose — let us see perchance what thing can be desired in this life the attainment of which does not cost fatigue and toil; and the more valuable a thing is, the more one must suffer and does suffer for it. For desire presupposes a lack of the desired object, and until it is gained there must needs be disturbance in our mind. If then all human desires without wholly attaining what they desire, can be rewarded and contented with a part of it being given them, and with all this it is compatible to follow them, how strange it is that to attain what cannot satisfy nor content the desire save with itself, one should surer, weep, fear and hope? He who desires lordships, commands honours, and riches, since he sees that he cannot reach the highest rank he would wish, when he succeeds in settling in some good position, is partly satisfied, for the hope which fails him of not being able to ascend further, makes him stop where he can, and where best he can. All this is the contrary in love for love has no other reward nor satisfaction save love itself, and love itself is its own true reward; and for this reason it is impossible for the lover to be content till he clearly knows that he is truly loved, being assured of this by the loving tokens which they know. And so they value highly a pleasing glance, a pledge of any sort from their beloved, a trivial smile, or word, or jest they take for truth, as signs which are assuring them of the reward they desire; and so, whenever they see tokens contrary thereto, the lover is constrained to lament and grieve, without having moderation in his sorrows, since he cannot have it in his joys, when kind fortune and gentle love grant them to him. And, as it is a task of such difficulty to bring another’s will to be one with mine, and to unite two souls in a knot and bond so indissoluble that the thoughts of the two may be one and all their deeds one, it is not strange that to achieve so lofty a purpose one should suffer more than for aught else, since, after it is achieved, it satisfies and gladdens beyond all things that are desired in this life. Not always are the tears of lovers shed with cause and reason, nor their sighs scattered, for if all their tears and sighs were caused by seeing that their wish is not responded to as is due, and with the reward that is sought for, it would be necessary to consider first whither they raised their fancy, and if they exalted it higher than their merit attains, it is no wonder that, like some new Icarus, they fall consumed into the river of miseries; and for these love will not incur the blame, but their folly. With all this I do not deny, but affirm that the desire of gaining what is loved, must needs cause affliction, by reason of the want it presupposes, as I have already said at other times; but I also say that to attain it gives the greatest pleasure and happiness, like rest to the weary and health to the sick. Together with this I acknowledge that if lovers marked, as in the ancient custom, with white and black stones their sad or happy days, without any doubt the unhappy would be more; but I also recognise that the quality of one white stone alone would excel the quantity of countless black ones. And for a proof of this truth we see that lovers never repent of being lovers, nay, rather, if anyone should promise them to deliver them from love’s disease, they would repel him as an enemy; for even to suffer it is pleasant to them; and therefore, oh lovers, let no fear prevent you from offering and dedicating yourselves to love what should seem to you most difficult, nor complain, nor repent, if you have raised things lowly to your height, for love makes the little equal to the sublime, the lesser to the greater; and with just resolve it tempers the various dispositions of lovers, when with pure affection they receive its grace in their hearts. Yield not to dangers, that the glory may be so great as to take away the feeling of every sorrow; and, as for the captains and emperors of old, as a reward for their toils and fatigues, triumphs were prepared according to the greatness of their victories, so for lovers are reserved a multitude of pleasures and joys; and as with the former their glorious reception made them forget all their past troubles and griefs, so with the lover, when beloved by the beloved, his dreadful dreams, his uncertain sleep, his waking nights, his restless days are turned to highest peace and happiness. Hence, Lenio, if you condemn them for their sad effects, you should acquit them for their pleasing and happy ones. And as for the interpretation you gave of Cupid’s form, I am going to say that you are almost as wrong in it as in the other things you have said against love.

For to picture him a boy, blind, naked, with wings and arrows, means nothing but that the lover must be a boy in not having a double character, but one pure and simple; he must be blind to every other object that might offer itself to him, save that which he has already been able to see and yield to, naked because he must have naught save what belongs to her he loves, having wings of swiftness to be ready for all that may be commanded him on her part, while he is depicted with arrows, for the wound of the loving breast must needs be deep and hidden, and that scarce may be disclosed save to the very cause that is to cure it. That love should strike with two arrows which operate in different ways, is to show us that in perfect love there must be no mean between loving and not loving at the same moment, but that the lover must love whole-heartedly without any admixture of lukewarmness. Finally, Lenio, this love it is which, if it destroyed the Trojans, made the Greeks great; if it caused the works of Carthage to cease, it caused the buildings of Rome to grow; if it took away the kingdom from Tarquin, it brought back the republic to freedom. Though I might here adduce many examples opposed to those I have adduced of the good effects love causes, I do not wish to busy myself with them, since they are so well known of themselves.

I only wish to ask you to be disposed to believe what I have shown and to have patience to hear a song of mine which seems as if it was composed in rivalry of yours; and if by it and by what I have said to you, you should not be willing to be brought over to love’s side, and it should seem to you that you are not satisfied of the truths I have declared concerning it, if the present time permits it, or at any other you might choose and indicate, I promise you to satisfy all the replies and arguments you might wish to express in opposition to mine; and, for the present, attend to me and listen:

Come, issue from the pure and loving breast,

Sonorous voice, and let thy tones of pride

Sing of the lofty marvels done by Love,

So that the thought that freest is and best,

May be content thereby and satisfied,

Though ’tis but hearsay that the thought doth move.

Sweet Love, that canst thy lofty marvels prove,

If thou wilt, by my tongue,

Grant unto it such grace,

That glory, joy and praise,

For telling who thou art, reward my song;

For, if thou aidest me, as I surmise,

Thy worth, in rapid flight

To Heaven’s height, we see with mine arise.

’Tis Love that is beginning of our bliss;

The means whereby one winneth and attaineth

The happiest end that anyone doth seek;

Unequalled master of all sciences;

A fire, that, though a breast ice cold remaineth,

Into bright flames of virtue makes it break;

A power that wounds the strong and helps the weak:

A root from which is born

The lucky plant whereby

We rise to Heaven on high.

With fruitage, that doth unto pleasure turn

The soul, of goodness, worth, and noble zeal,

Of bliss without alloy,

That earth with joy, and Heaven with love doth fill;

Courteous and gallant, wise, discreet is he:

Gay, liberal-handed, gentle, rich in might;

Of piercing glance, although blind be his eves;

True guardian of respect and modesty;

A captain who doth triumph in the fight,

But honour only claimeth as his prize;

A flower that doth ‘midst thorns and brambles rise,

Which life and soul adorns:

An enemy of fear;

Of hope a friend so near;

A guest that gladdens most when he returns;

An instrument of honoured wealth, I trow,

Whereby one seeth thrive

The honoured ivy on the honoured brow;

A natural instinct that doth move us all

To raise the thoughts within our minds so high

That scarce thereto doth human sight attain:

A ladder which he that is bold doth scale

To the sweet region of the hallowed sky;

Ridge at its summit fair, smooth as a plain;

An easiness that makes the intricate plain;

Pole-star that in this sea

Of madness guides the thought

That from sense strayeth not;

A solace of the sorrowing fantasy;

Godfather who doth never seek our harm;

A beacon not concealed

That hath revealed the haven ‘midst the storm;

A painter that doth in our souls portray,

With shadows and with tints full of repose,

Now mortal, now immortal, loveliness;

A sun that driveth all the clouds away;

A pleasure that brings sweetness in our woes;

A glass wherein one sees the kindliness

Of nature, that doth crown with high success

True generosity;

A fiery spirit bright,

That even to the blindest bringeth light;

Of hatred and of fear sole remedy;

Argus that ne’er can tempted be to nod,

Although within his ear

The words he hear of some deceiving god;

An army of well-armed infantry

That countless difficulties puts to flight,

And ever wins the victory and the palm;

A dwelling where abideth jollity;

A face that never hides the truth from sight,

But shows what is within the soul; a balm

Whose power the tempest changeth to sweet calm,

Merely because some day

We hope to have it sure;

A comfort that doth cure

Him who is scorned, when life doth pass away;

Finally Love is life, ’tis glory, gladness,

’Tis joyful peace and sweet;

Follow his feet; to follow him is gladness.

The end of the reasoning and song of Thyrsis was the beginning to confirm anew in all the reputation he had for discretion, save in the loveless Lenio, to whom his reply did not seem so good as to satisfy his understanding, and change him from his first purpose. This was clearly seen, for he was already giving signs of wishing to answer and reply to Thyrsis had not the praises Darinto and his companion, and all the shepherds and shepherdesses present were giving the two, prevented it; for Darinto’s friend, taking his hand, said: ‘I have just at this moment learnt how the power and wisdom of love extends over every part of the earth; and that the place where it is most refined and purified is in shepherds breasts, as has been shown to us by what we have heard from the loveless Lenio and the discreet Thyrsis, whose reasonings and arguments savour more of intellects nurtured amidst books and lecture-rooms, than of those that have grown up amidst thatched huts But I would not be so astonished thereat, if I were of the opinion of him who said that the knowledge of our souls was to remember what they already knew, presupposing that they are all born instructed. But when I see that I ought to follow the other and better view of him who affirmed that our soul was as it were a blank canvas, which had nothing painted on it, I cannot fail to wonder at seeing how it has been possible, in the company of sheep, in the solitude of the fields, for one to be able to acquire sciences, concerning which it is scarcely possible to hold disputes in renowned universities; if, indeed, I do not wish to be persuaded of what I said at first, that love extends through all, and communicates itself to all, raising the fallen, giving wisdom to the simple, and making perfect the wise.’

‘If you knew, sir,’ replied Elicio at this moment, ‘how the upbringing of the renowned Thyrsis has not been amidst trees and forests, as you fancy, but in royal courts and well-known schools, you would not wonder at what he has said, but at what he has left unsaid; and although the loveless Lenio in his humility has confessed that the rusticity of his life can promise but slight pledges of intellect, nevertheless I assure you that he spent the choicest years of his life, not in the pursuit of tending goats on the hills, but on the banks of the clear Tormes in laudable studies and discreet converse. So that if the colloquy the two have held seems to you of more worth than one of shepherds, consider them as they were, and not as they now are; all the more so that you will find shepherds on these banks of ours, who will not cause you less wonder if you hear them, than those you have heard now. For on them are grazing their flocks the famous and well-known Franio, Siralvo, Filardo, Silvano, Lisardo and the two Matuntos, father and son, excelling beyond all excellence, one on the lyre, the other in poetry; and, to crown all, turn your eyes and know the well-known Damon, whom you have before you, where your desire can rest if it wishes to know the extreme of discretion and wisdom.’

The gentleman was about to reply to Elicio, when one of those ladies who came with him said to the other:

‘It seems to me, senora Nisida, that since the sun is now setting it would be well for us to go, if we are to reach to-morrow the spot where they say our father is.’

The lady had scarcely said this, when Darinto and his companion looked at her, showing that it had grieved them that she had called the other by her name. But when Elicio heard the name of Nisida, the thought struck him whether it was that Nisida of whom the hermit Silerio had related so many things, and the same idea came to Thyrsis, Damon and Erastro. And Elicio, to assure himself of what he suspected, said:

‘A few days ago, senor Darinto, I and some of us who are here heard the name of Nisida mentioned, as has been done by that lady now, but accompanied by more tears and referred to with more alarm.’

‘Is there perchance,’ replied Darinto, ‘any shepherdess on these banks of yours called Nisida?’

‘No,’ replied Elicio; ‘but she whom I speak of was born on them, and was nurtured on the remote banks of the famous Sebeto.’

‘What is it you say, shepherd?’ rejoined the other gentleman.

‘What you hear,’ replied Elicio, ‘and what you will hear at greater length, if you assure me of a suspicion I have.’

‘Tell it me,’ said the gentleman, ‘for it might be that I shall satisfy you therein.’

To this Elicio replied: ‘Is your own name, sir, perchance Timbrio?’

‘I cannot deny that truth to you,’ replied the other, ‘for I am called Timbrio, which name I had fain concealed till another more fitting season; but the wish I have to know why you suspected that I was so called, constrains me to conceal naught from you of what you might wish to know of me.’

‘Accordingly you will not deny to me either,’ said Elicio, ‘that this lady you have with you is called Nisida, and further, so far as I can guess, the other is called Blanca, and is her sister.’

‘In all you have hit the mark,’ replied Timbrio; ‘but since I have denied to you nothing of what you have asked me, do not you deny me the reason that has moved you to ask it me.’

‘It is as good, and will be as much to your taste,’ replied Elicio, ‘as you will see before many hours.’

All those who did not know what the hermit Silerio had said to Elicio, Thyrsis, Damon and Erastro, were confounded, hearing what was passing between Timbrio and Elicio. But at this moment Damon said, turning to Elicio:

‘Do not keep back, oh Elicio, the good tidings you can give to Timbrio.’

‘And I, too,’ said Erastro, ‘shall not delay a moment in going to give to the hapless Silerio those of the finding of Timbrio.’

‘Holy Heavens! O, what is it I hear!’ said Timbrio; ‘and what is it you say, shepherd? Is that Silerio you have named perchance he who is my true friend, he who is the half of my life, he whom I desire to see more than aught else that desire could ask of me? Free me from this doubt at once, so may your flocks increase and multiply, in such a manner that all the neighbouring herdsmen may bear you envy.’

‘Do not distress yourself so much, Timbrio,’ said Damon, ‘for the Silerio that Erastro speaks of is the same that you speak of, and the one who desires more to know of your life than to sustain and lengthen his own; for after you departed from Naples, as lie has told us, he has felt your absence so much, that the pain of it, with that which other losses he related to us caused him, has brought him to the pass that, in a small hermitage, a little less than a league distant from here, he leads the straitest life imaginable, with the determination of awaiting death there, since he could not be satisfied by learning how your life had prospered. This we know for sure, Thyrsis, Elicio, Erastro, and I; for he himself has told us of the friendship he had with you, with all the story of the events that happened to both, until fortune by such strange accidents parted you, to set him apart to live in a solitude so strange, that it will cause you wonder when you see him.’

‘May I see him, and may straightway come the last end of my days,’ said Timbrio; ‘and so I pray you, famous shepherds, by that courtesy which dwells in your breasts, to satisfy this breast of mine, by telling me where is that hermitage where Silerio is living.’

‘Where he is dying, you had better say,’ said Erastro, ‘but henceforward he will live with the news of your coming; and since you so much desire his pleasure and yours, arise and let us go, for before the sun sets I will set you with Silerio; but it must be on condition that on the way you tell us all that has happened to you since you departed from Naples, for with all the rest up to that point some of those present are acquainted.’

‘Small payment you ask of me,’ replied Timbrio, ‘for so great a thing as you offer me; for I do not say that I will tell you this, but all that you might wish to learn of me and more.’ And, turning to the ladies who came with him, he said to them: ‘Since with so good a cause, dear lady Nisida, the motive we had not to utter our own names has been destroyed, with the joy that the good news they have given us demands, I ask you that we should not delay, but that we should go forthwith to see Silerio, to whom you and I owe our lives and the happiness we possess.’

‘It is needless, senor Timbrio,’ replied Nisida, ‘for you to ask me to do a thing I desire so much, and the doing of which suits me so well; let us go, and may good luck attend us, for now every moment that I delay in seeing him, will be to me an age.’

The same said the other lady, who was her sister Blanca, the same that Silerio had spoken of, and the one who gave the greatest signs of happiness. Darinto alone, at the news of Silerio, assumed such an attitude that he did not move his lips, but with a strange silence arose, and bade a servant of his bring him the horse on which he had come there; without taking leave of any one, he mounted it, and turning the reins went away from all at a gallop. When Timbrio saw this, he mounted another horse and with much haste followed Darinto until he overtook him; and seizing hold of the horse’s reins, he made him stand still, and remained there talking with him a good while, at the end of which Timbrio returned to where the shepherds were, and Darinto pursued his journey, sending to excuse himself by Timbrio for having departed without taking leave of them.

In the meantime Galatea, Rosaura, Teolinda, Leonarda, and Florisa went up to the fair Nisida and Blanca; and the discreet Nisida old them in a few words of the great friendship there was between Timbrio and Silerio, with a great part of the events they had passed through. But with Timbrio’s return all wished to set themselves on the road for Silerio’s hermitage, had not at the same moment a fair young shepherdess, some fifteen years of age, come to the spring, with her wallet on her shoulder and her crook in her hand. And when she saw so pleasing a company, she said to them with tears in her eyes:

‘If perchance there is among you, gentlemen, one who has any knowledge of the strange effects and accidents of love, and whose breast tears and loving sights are wont to make tender, let him who feels this hasten to see if it is possible to heal and check the most loving tears and deep sighs that ever issued from love-sick eyes and breasts; hasten then, shepherds, to do what I ask you and you will see how when you observe what I show you I prove my words true.’

And in saying this she turned her back, and all who were there followed her. The shepherdess, seeing then that they followed her, with hasty step entered in among some trees which were on one side of the spring; and she had not gone far, when turning to those who were coming after her, she said to them:

‘You see there, sirs, the cause of my tears, for that shepherd who appears there is a brother of mine, who for the sake of that shepherdess before whom he is bent on his knees, without any doubt will leave his life in the hands of her cruelty.’

All turned their eyes to the spot the shepherdess indicated, and saw that at the foot of a green willow a shepherdess was leaning, dressed like a huntress nymph, with a rich quiver hanging at her side, and a curved bow in her hands, her beauteous ruddy locks bound together with a green garland. The shepherd was before her on his knees, with a rope cast round his throat and an unsheathed knife in his right hand, and with his left he had seized the shepherdess by a white scarf, which she wore over her dress. The shepherdess showed a frown on her face, and that she was displeased that the shepherd should detain her there by force; but when she saw that they were looking at her, with great earnestness she sought to free herself from the hand of the hapless shepherd, who with abundance of tender tears and loving words was begging her at least to give him opportunity that he might be able to indicate to her the pain he suffered for her; but the scornful and angry shepherdess went away from him at the very moment all the shepherds came so near that they heard the love-sick youth addressing the shepherdess in such wise:

‘Oh ungrateful and heedless Gelasia, with how just a title you have won the name you have of cruel! Turn your eyes, hardhearted one, to behold him who, from beholding you, is in the extremest grief imaginable. Why do you flee from him who follows you? Why do you not welcome him who serves you?

And why do you loathe him who adores you? You, who are without reason my foe, hard as a lofty cliff, angry as a wounded snake, deaf as a dumb forest, scornful as boorish, boorish as fierce, fierce as a tiger, a tiger that feeds on my entrails! Will it be possible for my tears not to soften you, for my sighs not to rouse your pity, for my services not to move you? Yes, it will be possible; since my brief and ill-starred lot wishes it, and yet it will also be possible for you not to wish to tighten this noose I have at my throat, nor to plunge this knife through this heart that adores you. Turn, shepherdess, turn, and end the tragedy of my wretched life, since with such ease you can make fast this rope at my throat, or make bloody this knife in my breast.’

These and other like words the hapless shepherd uttered, accompanied by sobs and tears so many that they moved to compassion as many as heard him. But the cruel and loveless shepherdess did not therefore cease to pursue her way, without wishing even to turn her eyes to behold the shepherd, who, for her sake, was in such a state; whereat all those who perceived her angry disdain were not a little astonished, and it was so great that even the loveless Lenio thought ill of the shepherdess’s cruelty. And so he with the old Arsindo went up to ask her to be so good as to turn and hear the plaints of the lovesick youth, even though she should have no intention of healing them. But it was not possible to change her from her purpose, rather she asked them not to count her discourteous in not doing what they bade her; for her intention was to be the mortal enemy of love and of all lovers, for many reasons which moved her to it, and one of them was that from her childhood she had dedicated herself to follow the pursuit of the chaste Diana, adding to these so many reasons for not doing the bidding of the shepherds that Arsindo held it for good to leave her and return. The loveless Lenio did not do this, and when he saw that the shepherdess was such an enemy of love as she seemed, and that she agreed so completely with his loveless disposition, he determined to know who she was, and to follow her company for some days; and so he told her how he was the greatest enemy love and lovers had, begging her that since they agreed so much in their opinions, she would be so kind as not to be wearied with his company which would not be hers longer than she pleased. The shepherdess rejoiced to learn Lenio’s intention, and permitted him to come with her to her village, which was two leagues from Lenio’s. Therewith Lenio took leave of Arsindo, begging him to excuse him to all his friends and to tell them the reason that had moved him to go with the shepherdess, and without waiting further, he and Gelasia went away quickly and in a short while disappeared. When Arsindo returned to tell what had passed with the shepherdess, he found that all the shepherds had gone up to console the love-sick shepherd, and that, as for the two of the three veiled shepherdesses, one had fainted in the fair Galatea’s lap, and the other was in the embrace of the beauteous Rosaura, who likewise had her face covered. She who was with Galatea was Teolinda, and the other her sister Leonarda, whose hearts, as soon as they saw the despairing shepherd whom they found with Gelasia, were overwhelmed with a jealous and love-sick faintness, for Leonarda believed the shepherd was her beloved Galercio, and Teolinda counted it truth that he was her enamoured Artidoro; and when the two saw him so subdued and undone by the cruel Gelasia, they felt such grief in soul that all senseless they fell fainting, one into Galatea’s lap, the other into

Rosaura’s arms. But a little while after Leonarda, coming to herself, said to Rosaura:

‘Alas, my lady, I verily believe that fortune has occupied all the passes of my cure, since Galercio’s will is so far from being mine, as can be seen by the words that shepherd has spoken to the loveless Gelasia; for I would have you know, lady, that that is he who has stolen my freedom, nay he who is to end my days.’

Rosaura was astonished at what Leonarda was saying; and was more so when, Teolinda also having come to herself, she and Galatea called her, and, all joining Florisa and Leonarda, Teolinda said that that shepherd was her longed-for Artidoro; but scarcely had she named him, when her sister replied to her that she was deceived, for it was none but his brother Galercio:

‘Ah, traitorous Leonarda,’ replied Teolinda, ‘does it not suffice you that you have once parted me from my bliss, without wishing, now that I find it, to say that it is yours? Then undeceive yourself, for in this I do not deem you a sister, but an open foe.’

‘Without doubt you deceive yourself, sister,’ replied Leonarda, ‘and I do not wonder, for into this same error all the people of our village fell, believing that this shepherd was Artidoro, until they clearly came to understand that it was none but his brother Galercio, for they resemble each other as much as we do; and indeed, if there can be greater likeness, they have a greater likeness.’

‘I will not believe it,’ replied Teolinda, ‘for, though we are so much alike, these miracles are not so easily found in nature; and so I would have you know that so long as experience does not make me more certain of the truth than your words make me, I do not think of ceasing to believe that that shepherd I see there, is Artidoro; and if anything could make me doubt it, it is that I do not think that from the disposition and constancy I have known in Artidoro, it can be hoped or feared that he has made a change so soon and forgets me.’

‘Calm yourselves, shepherdesses,’ then said Rosaura, ‘for I will free you soon from that doubt in which you are.’

And leaving them she went to where the shepherd was giving to the shepherds account of Gelasia’s strange disposition and of the wrongs she did him. At his side the shepherd had the fair little shepherdess who said he was her brother, whom Rosaura called, and, withdrawing with her to one side, she begged and prayed her to tell her what her brother was called, and if she had any other like him. To this the shepherdess replied that he was called Galercio, and that she had another called Artidoro, who was so like him that they could scarcely be distinguished save by some mark in their dress, or by the organ of the voice, which differed somewhat. She asked her also what Artidoro had been doing. The shepherdess answered her that he was on some mountains some distance from there, grazing part of Grisaldo’s flock with another herd of goats of his own, and that he had never been willing to enter the village, or to hold converse with any one, since he had come from the banks of Henares; and together with these she gave her such other details that Rosaura was satisfied that the shepherd was not Artidoro, but Galercio, as Leonarda had said and that shepherdess said, whose name she learned was Maurisa. And taking her with her to where Galatea and the other shepherdesses were, she related again in the presence of Teolinda and Leonarda all she knew of Artidoro and Galercio, whereat Teolinda was soothed and Leonarda ill content, seeing how indisposed Galercio’s mind was to think of her affairs. In the discourses the shepherdesses were holding, it chanced that Leonarda called the veiled Rosaura by her name, and Maurisa, hearing it, said:

‘If I do not deceive myself, lady, my coming here and my brother’s has been on your account.’

‘In what way?’ said Rosaura.

‘I will tell it you, if you give me leave to tell it you alone,’ replied the shepherdess.

‘Willingly,’ answered Rosaura, and the shepherdess going aside with her, said to her:

‘Without any doubt, fair lady, it is to you and to the shepherdess Galatea that my brother and I come with a message from our master Grisaldo.’

‘That is the case,’ replied Rosaura, and calling Galatea, both listened to what Maurisa said from Grisaldo, which was to inform them that he would come in two days with two friends of his, to take her to his aunt’s house, where they would in secret celebrate their nuptials, and together with this she gave to Galatea on behalf of Grisaldo some rich golden trinkets, by way of thanks for the willingness she had shown to entertain Rosaura. Rosaura and Galatea thanked Maurisa for the good news, and in reward for it the discreet Galatea wished to share with her the present Grisaldo had sent her, but Maurisa would in no way accept it. Then Galatea began again to ask information about the strange likeness there was between Galercio and Artidoro. All the time Galatea and Rosaura spent in talking to Maurisa, Teolinda and Leonarda occupied in looking at Galercio, for, Teolinda’s eyes feasting on Galercio’s face which resembled Artidoro’s so much, she could not withdraw them from looking; and as those of the love-sick Leonarda knew on what they were looking, it was also impossible for her to turn them elsewhere. By this time the shepherds had consoled Galercio, though, for the ill he suffered, he counted every counsel and consolation vain and needless, all of which redounded to Leonarda’s hurt. Rosaura and Galatea, seeing that the shepherds were coming towards them, bade Maurisa farewell, telling her to tell Grisaldo that Rosaura would be in Galatea’s house. Maurisa took leave of them, and calling her brother, told him in secret what had passed with Rosaura and Galatea; and so with fair courtesy he took leave of them and of the shepherds and with his sister returned to his village. But the love-sick sisters Teolinda and Leonarda, who saw that when Galercio went, the light of their eyes and the life of their life went from them, both together approached Galatea and Rosaura and asked them to give them leave to follow Galercio, Teolinda giving as excuse that Galercio would tell her where Artidoro was, and Leonarda that it might be that Galercio’s will would change, seeing the obligation in which he was to her. The shepherdesses granted them leave on the condition that Galatea had before begged of Teolinda that she should inform her of all her good or ill fortune. Teolinda repeated her promise again, and again taking her leave, followed the way Galercio and Maurisa were pursuing. The same was done forthwith, though in a different direction, by Timbrio, Thyrsis, Damon, Orompo, Crisio, Marsilio, and Orfenio, who went their way to the hermitage of Silerio with the fair sisters Nisida and Blanca, having first all taken leave of the venerable Aurelio and of Galatea, Rosaura and Florisa, and also of Elicio and Erastro, who did not wish to fail to go back with Galatea, Aurelio offering that on coming to his village, he would go straightway with Elicio and Erastro to seek them at Silerio’s hermitage, and would bring something with which to make good the lack of means Silerio would have to entertain such guests. With this understanding they went away, some in one direction and some in another, and missing the old Arsindo at the leave-taking, they saw that, without taking leave of any one, he was going in the distance by the same way Galercio and Maurisa and the veiled shepherdesses were pursuing, whereat they wondered; and seeing that now the sun was hastening his course to enter by the gates of the west, they did not wish to delay there further, in order to come to the village before the shades of night. Elicio and Erastro then, seeing themselves before the lady of their thoughts, in order to show somewhat that which they could not conceal, and to lighten the fatigue of the way, and also to fulfil the bidding of Florisa, who bade them sing something whilst they were going to the village, to the sound of Florisa’s pipe began, Elicio to sing and Erastro to reply in this wise:

ELICIO. Whoso would fain the greatest beauty find

That was, or is, or shall be on the earth,

The fire and crucible, where are refined

White chastity and purest zeal, all worth,

Being, and understanding of the mind,

A Heaven that in the world had its new birth,

Loftiness joined in one with courtesy,

Let him approach my shepherdess to see.

ERASTRO. Let him approach my shepherdess to see,

Whoso would tell the peoples of the sight

That he hath seen, a sun whose radiancy

The day illumined, than the sun more bright;

How with her fire she chilleth, this can be

Made known, and how the soul she sets alight

Which touched by her fair flashing eyes has been,

That naught is left to see when they are seen.

ELICIO. That naught is left to see when they are seen,

This truth full well my wearied eyes do know,

Eyes that unto my hurt so fair have been,

The chief occasion of my bitter woe:

I saw them, and I saw my soul therein

Burning, the spoils of all its powers aglow,

Yielding in sweet surrender to their flame,

Which doth me summon, banish, freeze, inflame.

ERASTRO. She doth me summon, banish, freeze, inflame,

She, the sweet enemy unto my glory,

From whose illustrious life and being fame

Can weave a strange, and yet a truthful story:

Her eyes alone, wherein Love sets his claim

To power, and all his winsomeness before ye,

Present a theme to raise to Heaven’s height

A quill from any wing of lowly flight.

ELICIO. A quill from any wing of lowly flight,

If it would wish unto the sky to rise,

The courtesy must sing, the zeal for right,

Of this rare phoenix, peerless ‘neath the skies,

Our age’s glory, and the world’s delight,

Of the clear Tagus and its bank the prize,

Unequalled wisdom hers, and beauty rare,

Nature achieved her highest work in her.

ERASTRO. Nature achieved her highest work in her,

In her the thought hath equal been to the art,

In her both worth and grace united were,

Which in all other maids are found apart,

In her humility and greatness share

Together side by side the selfsame part,

In her Love hath his nest and dwelling made,

And yet my foe hath been the thankless maid.

ELICIO. And yet my foe hath been the thankless maid,

Who would, and could, and should at once my thought

That wanders free, hold fast, if but the aid

Of one of her gossamer locks she sought;

Though I within the narrow noose am laid,

My capture is with so much pleasure fraught,

That foot and neck I stretch out to the chain,

Sweet is the name I call my bitter pain.

ERASTRO. Sweet is the name I call my bitter pain,

Short is the life and full of misery

Of the sad soul my frame doth scarce sustain,

And sustenance doth scarce to it supply,

To my brief hope that it the crown should gain

Of faith, fortune once promised bounteously;

What pleasure, good or glory doth he know,

Where hope diminisheth and faith doth grow?

ELICIO. Where hope diminisheth and faith doth grow,

There one can see and know the lofty aims

That loyal love proclaims; for he whose thought

Hath confidence but sought in love so pure,

Of a reward secure and certain is,

Which shall with truest bliss his soul delight.

ERASTRO. The wretched suffering wight, whom illness swayeth

And with cruel anguish slayeth, is contented,

When he is most tormented by his grief,

With any small relief, though soon ’tis gone:

But when more dull hath grown at last the pain,

He calls on health, and fain would have it sound.

Not otherwise is found the tender breast

Of the lover oppressed with grievous sadness,

Who says his pain doth gladness find herein,

In that the light serene of the fair eyes

To which as spoil and prize he gave his days,

Should on him truly gaze or feignedly;

Soon as love sets him free and makes him strong,

He seeks with clamorous tongue more than before.

ELICIO. NOW the fair sun sinks o’er the hill to rest,

The growing gloom doth, best of friends, invite

Us to repose, the night is drawing nigh.

ERASTRO. The village draweth nigh, for rest I long.

ELICIO. Let us put silence to our wonted song.

Those who were listening to Elicio and Erastro would have held it a good thing that the way should be prolonged in order to enjoy more the agreeable song of the love-sick shepherds; but the closing-in of night and their coming to the village caused them to cease from it, and Aurelio, Galatea, Rosaura, and Florisa to betake themselves to their house. Elicio and Erastro likewise went to theirs, with the intention of going forthwith to where Thyrsis and Damon and the other shepherds were, for so it was agreed between them and Galatea’s father.

They were only waiting until the white moon should banish the darkness of the night; and as soon as she showed her fair face, they went to seek Aurelio, and all together made their way towards the hermitage, where there happened to them what will be seen in the following book.

Book V.

So great was the desire the love-sick Timbrio and the two fair sisters Nisida and Blanca felt to reach Silerio’s hermitage that the swiftness of their steps, though it was great, could not come up to that of their will; and, knowing this, Thyrsis and Damon would not press Timbrio to fulfil the word he had given to relate to them on the way all that had happened during his travels after he departed from Silerio. Nevertheless, carried away by the desire they had to learn it, they were just going to ask it of him, had there not at that moment smitten the ears of all the voice of a shepherd, who was singing amongst some green trees a little way off the road; from the somewhat untuneful sound of his voice, and from what he was singing, he was at once recognised by most of those who were coming along, especially by his friend Damon, for it was the shepherd Lauso who was repeating some verses to the sound of a small rebeck.

And because the shepherd was so well known, and all had learned of the change which had taken place in his inclination, they checked their steps of one accord, and stopped to listen to what Lauso was singing, which was this:

Lauso. Who hath come a slave to make

Of my thought, with freedom filled?

Who, where fortune did forsake,

Lofty towers of wind could build

On foundations doomed to break?

Who my freedom took away,

What time I in safety lay,

And with life was satisfied?

Who my breast hath opened wide,

And hath made my will decay?

Whither hath the fancy flown

Of my scornful, loveless mind?

Whither the soul I called my own?

And the heart that none may find

Where it was — whither hath it gone

Where can my whole being be?

Whence come I and whither flee?

Know I aught of this my pass?

Am I he that once I was,

Or have I been never he?

On myself I call to explain,

Yet I cannot prove the truth,

Since to this pass I attain

That of what I was in youth

But a shadow I remain;

Knowledge how myself to know,

Help to help myself — these go

Far from me, and sure I find

Woe ‘midst such confusion blind,

Yet I think not of my woe.

In this hapless state I lie,

Captive to my sorrow’s power,

To the love that doth comply,

Thus the present I adore,

And bewail the days gone by;

In the present I perceive

That I die, and that I live

In the past; now death I hold

Sweet, and in the days of old

Fate, that bliss no more can give.

Blind am I, my woe is great

In so strange an agony,

For I see that Love doth prate,

And that in the flames I lie,

Yet ’tis water cold I hate;

Save the water from mine eyes,

Of the fire the fuel and prize,

In the forge of Love I crave

Water none, nor seek to have

Other comfort to my sighs.

All my bliss would now begin,

All my sorrow now would end,

If my fortune willed herein

That my faith should from my friend

For its truth assurance win;

Come and tell Silena, sighs,

Come, instruct Silena, eyes

Filled with tears, that this is true;

Come, confirm it, each of you,

Pen and tongue and faculties.

The eager Timbrio neither could nor would wait for the shepherd Lauso to proceed further with his song, for, begging the shepherds to show him the way of the hermitage, if they wished to remain, he gave signs of going on, and so all followed him, and they passed so near to where the love-sick Lauso was, that he could not fail to perceive it, and to come forth to meet them, as he did; and all were delighted with his company, especially Damon, his true friend, whom he accompanied all the way there was from there to the hermitage, discoursing on the different events that had happened to the two since they ceased seeing each other, which was from the time the valorous and renowned shepherd Astraliano had left the Cisalpine pastures, to go and bring back those who had rebelled from his famous brother and from the true religion.

And at last they came to bring back their discourse to treat of Lauso’s love, Damon asking him earnestly to tell him who the shepherdess was who with such ease had won him from free will; and when he could not learn this from Lauso he begged him with all earnestness at least to tell him in what state he was, whether of fear or of hope, whether ingratitude harassed him, or whether jealousy tormented him. To all this Lauso answered satisfactorily, telling him some things that had happened to him with his shepherdess; and among other things he told him, how, finding himself one day jealous and out of favour, he had come to the pass of putting an end to himself, or of giving some token that might redound to the hurt of his person and to the credit and honour of his shepherdess, but all was remedied when he had spoken to her, and she had assured him that the suspicion he had was false. All this being confirmed by her giving him a ring from her hand, which caused his understanding to return to a better course, and that favour to be celebrated by a sonnet, which was counted for good by some who saw it. Damon then asked Lauso to repeat it; and so, without being able to excuse himself, he had to repeat it, and it was this:

LAUSO. Love’s rich and happy gage, that didst adorn

The precious ivory and the snow so pure!

Love’s gage that didst from death and gloom obscure

Unto new light and life bid me return!

The hell of my misfortune thou didst turn

To the heaven of thy bliss, and thou didst lure

My hope to live in sweetest peace secure, —

The hope that thou didst cause once more to burn.

Dost know what thou dost cost me, gage of love?

My soul, and yet I am not satisfied,

Since less I give than what I do receive.

But, that the world thy worth may know and prove,

Lie thou my soul, be hidden in my side!

All shall see how for thee I soulless live.

Lauso repeated the sonnet, and Damon again asked him, if he had written anything else to his shepherdess, to repeat it to him, since he knew how pleasant his verses were for him to hear.

To this Lauso replied:

‘This will be, Damon, because you have been my master therein, and the desire you have to see what improvement you have wrought in me makes you desire to hear them; but let this be as it may, for nothing that I could do must be denied you. And so I tell you that in these same days, when I was jealous and ill at ease, I sent these verses to my shepherdess.’


In this great wholeheartedness

From the healthy purpose sprung,

’Tis Love guides the hand along

And the thought thy loveliness;

Love, Silena, in this hour,

And thy loveliness so fair,

Will account discretion rare

What thou wilt deem folly sure.

Love constrains, loveliness moveth

Me to adore thee, and to write;

Since my faith the twain upright

Hold, my hand its courage proveth;

And in this my fault so great,

Though thy rigour threateneth,

Love, thy loveliness, my faith,

Will my error palliate.

Since with helpers such as these,

Though they blame me, ne’ertheless,

I can well the bliss express

Sprung from mine own miseries;

And this bliss, full well I know,

Is naught else, Silena fair,

Save that I amid my care

Should a wondrous patience show.

No small pleasure makes me glad,

For in patience lies my bliss;

Were it not so, long ere this,

Had my misery made me mad;

But my senses all agree,

All together join to cry,

That I, though I needs must die,

May die wise and patiently.

After all, the jealous one,

Whom none loveth, scarce will be

Able to bear patiently,

When he makes his love-sick moan;

Since, amid my agonies,

All my bliss is banishèd,

When I see that hope is dead,

And the foe before my eyes.

Countless years, my shepherdess,

Revel in thy blissful thought,

For I seek no pleasure bought

With thy sorrow or distress;

Follow ever, lady fair,

Thy desire, since ’tis thy pleasure,

For I, for another’s treasure,

Think not e’er to shed a tear.

For it had been levity

To the soul my soul to yield,

Which hath as its glory held

That it hath not liberty;

But, ah me! fortune doth will —

And Love also doth agree —

That my neck is not to flee

From the knife that doth me kill.

Now I go — I know too plain —

After one that shall me doom,

And when thoughts of parting come,

I more firm and fixed remain;

Ah, what bonds, what nets I find,

Dearest! in thine eyes so bright,

Which, the more I take to flight,

Hold the more, the faster bind!

Eyes, alas! ye make me fear,

That if ye but look on me,

Lesser shall my solace be,

And the greater grow my care;

’Tis a truth none can gainsay,

That the glances ye bestow

On me, are but feigned, for, lo!

Cruelly they my love repay.

With what dread and fear oppressed

Ever is my loving mind!

And what opposites I find

In the love within my breast!

Leave me, poignant memory,

Forget, nor another’s bliss

Call to mind, for lost in this

Thine own glory is to thee.

With such tokens thou affirmest

The love that is in thy breast;

By thy wrath I am oppressed,

Ever thou my woes confirmest;

By what laws of thine am I

Doomed to yield, Love, traitor fell!

Soul unto Silena’s spell,

While she doth a word deny?

On points rousing bitter strife

I but for a moment dwell,

For the least of them might well

Leave me mad or without life;

Let my pen no further go,

Since thou mak’st it feel its doom,

’Tis not in my power to sum

In brief words so great a woe.

Whilst Lauso was occupied in repeating these verses, and in praising the unwonted beauty, discretion, grace, modesty, and worth of his shepherdess, the tedium of the way was lightened for him and Damon, and the time passed for them without being perceived, until they came near to Silerio’s hermitage, which Timbrio, Nisida, and Blanca would not enter, so as not to alarm him by their unexpected arrival. But fate ordained it otherwise, for Thyrsis and Damon having approached to see what Silerio was doing, found the hermitage open, and without any one inside; and whilst they were filled with astonishment, without knowing where Silerio could be at such an hour, there came to their ears the sound of his harp, from which they understood that he could not be far away. And going to look for him, guided by the sound of the harp, they saw by the bright radiance of the moon, that he was seated on the trunk of an olive, alone and without other company than that of his harp, which he was playing so sweetly that to enjoy so gentle a harmony, the shepherds would not approach to speak to him, and the more so when they heard him beginning to sing with exquisite voice these verses:

SILERIO. Swift fleeting hours of swiftly fleeting time,

That pass me by with wearied flight and slow,

If ye are not conspired unto my woe,

Be pleased to end me now, for ’tis full time.

If now ye end me, ‘twill be at a time

When my misfortunes can no further go;

See, if ye linger, they will lesser grow,

For evil endeth if it bides its time.

I do not ask that ye should come, with pleasure

And sweetness filled, since ye no path will gain

To the life I have lost to lead me back.

Hours, to all others blissful beyond measure,

Grant me but the sweet hour of mortal pain,

Even death’s hour — this boon alone I lack.

After the shepherds listened to what Silerio had sung without his seeing them, they turned to meet the others who were coming there, with the intent that Timbrio should do what you shall now hear. This was, that, having told him how they had found Silerio, and in the place where he was, Thyrsis asked him that, without any of them letting themselves be recognised by him, they should gradually go approaching towards him, whether he saw them or not — for though the night was bright, no one would be recognised on that account — and that he should likewise make Nisida or himself sing something; and all this he did to moderate the joy Silerio must needs feel from their arrival.

Timbrio was satisfied with this, and Nisida, being told it, came to be of his opinion too; and so, when it seemed to Thyrsis that they were now so near that they could be heard by Silerio, he caused the fair Nisida to begin; and she, to the sound of the jealous Orfenio’s rebeck, began to sing in this wise:

NISIDA. — Though my soul is satisfied

With the bliss which is my own,

’Tis in part racked and undone

By another’s bliss denied;

Fortune scant and Love bestow —

Enemies unto my pleasure —

On me bliss in niggard measure,

And unmeasured endless woe.

In the state by Love befriended

Although merit may abound,

Pleasure is as lonely found,

E’en as evil comes attended;

Evils aye in unity

Walk, nor for a moment sever,

Blisses are divided ever

That their end may sooner be.

What it costeth to attain

Any joy of love so fair,

Let our love and hope declare,

And our patience make it plain:

One bliss untold agony

Costeth, one joy untold sighs —

Ah! they know it well, my sighs

And my wearied memory.

Which forever hath in mind

That which power to help it hath

Yet to find it, road or path

Nowhere doth the memory find;

Ah! sweet friend of that fair youth

Who did call thee friend, when he

Claimed the name of friend from thee,

E’en as I am his in truth!

Our unthought-of happiness

Groweth better when thou’rt near,

Let not thy cruel absence drear

Turn it to unhappiness;

Anguish sore the memory

Rouseth, that reminds me how

I was wise, and foolish thou,

Thou art wise, and foolish I.

More he lost in losing thee —

He to whom, fortune thy guide,

Thou didst give me as his bride —

Than he won in winning me;

Half his soul in thee he had,

Thou wert he, by whom my soul

Could attain the happy goal

That thine absence maketh sad.

If the exquisite grace with which the fair Nisida was singing, caused admiration in those who were with her, what would it cause in the breast of Silerio, who, without missing anything, noted and listened to all the details of her song?

And as he retained Nisida’s voice so well in his soul, its accents scarce began to resound in his ears when he came to be perturbed, and amazed and to be beside himself, enraptured by what he heard. And though truly it seemed to him that it was Nisida’s voice, he had so lost the hope of seeing her, and above all in such a place, that in no way could he make sure of his suspicion. In this manner all came to where he was; and Thyrsis, greeting him, said to him:

‘You left us, friend Silerio, so attracted by your disposition and converse, that Damon and I, drawn by experience of them, and all this company by their fame, leaving the way we were taking, have come to seek you in your hermitage, and when we did not find you there, as we did not, our desire would have remained unfulfilled, had not the sound of your harp and of your admirable song guided us here.’

‘Far better had it been, sirs,’ replied Silerio, ‘that you had not found me, since in me you will find naught save occasions to move you to sadness, for the sadness I endure in my soul time takes care each day to renew, not only with the memory of the past happiness, but with the shadows of the present, which at last will be so indeed, since from my fortune naught else can be hoped for, save feigned happiness and certain fear.’

Silerio’s words caused pity in all who knew him, especially in Timbrio, Nisida, and Blanca, who loved him so much, and they would straightway have let themselves be known by him had it not been that it would be deviating from what Thyrsis had bidden them. He made them all sit down on the green grass, and in such a way that the rays of the bright moon should strike the faces of Nisida and Blanca from behind, in order that Silerio might not recognise them. Being then in this fashion, and after Damon had said some words of consolation to Silerio, in order that the time should not be spent wholly in discoursing on things of sadness, and to make a beginning, so that Silerio’s sadness might end, he begged him to play his harp, to the sound of which Damon himself sang this sonnet:

DAMON. If the wild fury of the angry main

Should long time in its ruthlessness endure,

Whoso should to the storm his vessel, poor

And frail, entrust, could little comfort gain.

Bliss doth not always in one state remain,

Nor woe, but each of them doth fly away,

For if bliss were to flee, and woe to stay,

Ere this the world had been confusion plain.

Night follows after day, heat after cold,

After the fruit the flower, and thus we find

Opposites reconciling everywhere.

Meek slavery is changed to lordship bold,

Pain into pleasure, glory into wind,

‘For nature is by such transformings fair.’

Damon ceased singing, and straightway beckoned to Timbrio to sing likewise. He, to the sound of Silerio’s harp, began a sonnet which he had composed in the time of his love’s fervour, which was as well known to Silerio as to Timbrio himself.

TIMBRIO. My hope is builded on so sure a base

That, though the fiercer blow the ruthless wind,

It cannot shake the bonds that firmly bind,

Such faith, such strength, such fortune it displays.

Timbrio could not end the sonnet he had begun, for Silerio’s hearing of his voice and recognition of him took place together, and, unable to do aught else, he arose from where he was seated, and went to embrace Timbrio’s neck with tokens of such strange content and surprise, that without speaking a word he became faint and was for a while without consciousness, with such grief on the part of those present, who feared some mishap, that they already condemned as evil Thyrsis’s artifice; but she who showed the most extremes of grief was the fair Blanca, as the one who tenderly loved him. Straightway Nisida and her sister came up to give remedy to the swoon of Silerio, who after a little while came to himself, saying:

‘Oh, mighty Heaven! is it possible that he I have before me is my true friend Timbrio? Is it Timbrio I hear, is it Timbrio I see? Yes it is, if my fortune does not mock me, and my eyes deceive me not.’

‘Neither does your fortune mock you, nor do your eyes deceive you, my sweet friend,’ replied Timbrio, ‘for I am he who without you was not, and he who would never have been, had Heaven not permitted him to find you. Let your tears now cease, friend Silerio, if for me you have shed them, since now you have me here, for I will check mine, since I have you before me, calling myself the happiest of all that live in the world, since my misfortunes and adversities have been so discounted that my soul enjoys the possession of Nisida, and my eyes your presence.’

By these words of Timbrio’s Silerio knew that she who had sung, and she who was there, was Nisida; but he was more sure of it, when, she herself said to him:

‘What is this, Silerio mine? What solitude and what garb is this, which gives such tokens of your discontent? What false suspicions or what deceptions have brought you to such an extreme, in order that Timbrio and I might endure the extreme of grief all our life, being absent from you who gave it to us?’

‘They were deceptions, fair Nisida,’ replied Silerio, ‘but because they have brought such ways of undeceiving they will be celebrated by my memory so long as it shall last in me.’

For the most of this time Blanca had been holding one of Silerio’s hands, gazing intently on his face, shedding some tears, which gave manifest proof of the joy and pity of her heart. It would be long to relate the words of love and content that passed between Silerio, Timbrio, Nisida, and Blanca, which were so tender and of such a kind, that all the shepherds who heard them had their eyes bathed in tears of joy. Straightway Silerio related briefly the cause that had moved him to withdraw to that hermitage, with the thought of ending therein his life, since of theirs he had not been able to learn any news; and all that he said was the means of kindling yet more in Timbrio’s breast the love and friendship he had for Silerio, and in Blanca’s friendship for his misery. And so when Silerio finished relating what had happened to him after he left Naples, he asked Timbrio to do the same, for he desired it extremely; saying that he should not be afraid of the shepherds who were present, for all or most of them already knew his great friendship and part of his adventures. Timbrio was delighted to do what Silerio asked, and the shepherds, who likewise desired it, were more delighted; for seeing that Thyrsis had told it to them, all knew already the love-affair of Timbrio and Nisida, and all that which Thyrsis himself had heard from Silerio. All then being seated, as I have already said, on the green grass, they were awaiting with wondrous attention what Timbrio would say, and he said:

‘After fortune was so favourable to me and so adverse, that it allowed me to conquer my enemy and conquered me by the consternation of the false news of Nisida’s death, with such sorrow as can be imagined, at that very moment I left for Naples, and Nisida’s unlucky fate being confirmed there, so as not to see her father’s house, where I had seen her, and in order that the streets, windows, and other spots where I was wont to see her, might not continually renew in me the memory of my past happiness, without knowing what way to take, without my will following any course, I went from the city, and in two days came to strong Gaeta, where I found a ship which was just on the point of unfurling its sails to the wind to leave for Spain; I embarked on it, only to flee from the hateful land where I was leaving my heaven. But scarcely had the busy sailors weighed anchor and spread their sails, and put out some distance to sea, when there arose a sudden and unthought-of tempest, and a squall of wind smote the ship’s sails with such fury that it broke the foremast and split the mizzen sail from top to bottom. Straightway the ready sailors came to the rescue and with the greatest difficulty furled all the sails, for the tempest was increasing, and the sea was beginning to rise, and the sky was giving signs of a long and fearful storm. It was not possible to return to port, for the wind which blew was the mistral, and with such great violence that it was necessary to set the foresail on the mainmast, and to ease her, as they say, by the stern, letting her drive where the wind might will. And so the ship, driven by its fury, began to run with such speed over the stormy sea, that in the two days the mistral lasted, we ran by all the islands in that course, without being able to take shelter in any, passing always in sight of them, without Stromboli sheltering us, or Lipari receiving us, or Cimbalo, Lampadosa, or Pantanalea serving for our aid; and we passed so near to Barbary that the recently destroyed walls of the Goleta were revealed and the ancient ruins of Carthage showed themselves. Not small was the alarm of those on board the ship, who feared that if the wind became somewhat stronger, they must needs be driven on a hostile coast; but when they were most in fear of this, fate, which was keeping a better one in store for us, or Heaven which heard the vows and promises made there, ordained that the mistral should be changed into a south wind which was so strong — and which touched on the quarter of the sirocco, — that in another two days it brought us back to the very port of Gaeta from which we had started, with such relief to all that some set out to fulfil the pilgrimages and promises they had made in the past danger.

The ship remained there, being refitted with some things she required, for another four days, at the end of which she resumed her voyage in a calmer sea and with a favourable wind, keeping in sight the fair coast of Genoa, full of gay gardens, white houses, and gleaming pinnacles, which, being struck by the sun’s rays, flash with such burning rays that they can scarcely be looked at. All these things which were being’ seen from the ship, might have caused content, as indeed they did to all those who were on board the ship, except to me, for to me they were the cause of greater sorrow. The only relief I had was to occupy myself in lamenting my woes, singing them, or, let me say rather, bewailing them to the sound of a lute belonging to one of the sailors; and one night I remember — and indeed it is well that I should remember, since then my day began to dawn, — that, the sea being calm, the winds still, the sails fixed to the mast, and the sailors without any care lying stretched in different parts of the ship, and the helmsman almost asleep by reason of the fair weather there was, and that which the sky promised, in the midst of this silence and in the midst of my fancies, as my griefs did not suffer me to yield my eyes to sleep, seated on the poop, I took the lute, and began to sing some verses, which I must now repeat, in order that it may be noted from what extreme of sadness, and how without thinking it, fate led me to the greatest extreme of joy imaginable; this, if I remember right, was what I sang:

TIMBRIO. NOW that silent is the wind

And the peaceful sea at rest,

Let my pain no silence find,

For my grieving from my breast

Issue soul with voice conjoined;

To recount wherefore I grieve,

Showing that my grief in part

Comes perforce, the soul must give

Tokens, and likewise the heart,

Of the deadly pangs that live.

Once Love bore me off in flight

Through the ranks of bitter woe,

Raising me to Heaven’s height:

Death and Love to earth below

Now have hurled this hapless wight;

Love and death it was ordained

Such a love and death as this,

O’er sweet Nisida they reigned,

From her woe and from my bliss

Fame unending they attained.

With new voice, more terrible

Henceforth, and with awesome sound,

Fame will make it credible

That Love is a champion found

And death is invincible;

Satisfied the world will be

At their might, whene’er it knows

How the twain have wrought in me:

Death her glorious life did close,

Love my bosom holds in fee.

But I think, since I am brought

Nor to madness nor to death

By the anguish they have wrought,

That death little power hath,

Or that feeling I have not;

For if I but feeling had,

So the increasing anguish strives

Everywhere to drive me mad,

Though I had a thousand lives,

Countless times had I been dead.

My surpassing victory

By the death was famous made

Of THE life, which needs must be

CHIEF OF all the past displayed

Or THE PRESENT age can see;

Therefrom I achieved as prize

Grief within my loving heart,

Countless tears within my eyes,

In my soul confusion’s smart,

In my true breast agonies.

Cruel hand of him my foe,

Hadst thou but my doom fulfilled,

I had held thee friend, for, lo!— ‘

In the slaying thou hadst stilled

All the anguish of my woe!

What a bitter reckoning

Victory brought, for I shall pay —

And I feel it as I sing —

For the pleasure of a day

With an age-long suffering!

Sea, that hearkenest to my cry,

Heaven, that didst my woe ordain,

Love, that causest me to sigh,

Death, that hast my glory ta’en,

End ye now my agony!

Sea, my lifeless corse receive,

Heaven, to my soul grant thy calm,

Love, to fame the tidings give,

That death carried off the palm

From this life that doth not live!

Heaven, Love, and death and sea,

Now to aid me linger not,

Make an end of ending me,

For ‘twill be the happiest lot

Ye can give and I foresee!

If sea doth not drowning give,

And Heaven welcome doth deny,

If Love must for ever live,

And I fear I shall not die,

Where can I repose receive?

‘I remember that I came to these last verses I have repeated, when, without being able to proceed further, interrupted by countless sighs and sobs which I sent forth from my hapless breast, afflicted by the memory of my misfortunes, from merely feeling them I came to lose my senses by such a paroxysm that for a good while it held me unconscious; but after the bitter attack had passed, I opened my wearied eyes and found my head lying in the lap of a woman, dressed in pilgrim’s attire, and at my side was another, decked in the same garb, who was holding my hands whilst both wept tenderly. When I saw myself in that position, I was amazed and confused, and was doubting whether it was a vision I saw, for never had I seen such women in the ship since I had gone on board. But the fair Nisida here — for she was the pilgrim who was there — drew me from this confusion, saying to me: “Ah, Timbrio, my true lord and friend, what false fancies or what luckless accidents have caused you to be placed where you now are, and my sister and me to take such little account of what we owed to our honour, and without heeding any difficulty to have washed to leave our beloved parents and our wonted garb, with the intention of looking for you and of undeceiving you about my so doubtful death which might have caused yours in reality?”

When I heard such words, I became quite convinced that I was dreaming, and that it was some vision I had before my eyes, and that my ceaseless thoughts that did not depart from Nisida were the cause that represented her there to my eyes alive. A thousand questions I asked them and in all they completely satisfied me, before I could calm my understanding and assure myself that they were Nisida and Blanca. But when I came to learn the truth, the joy I felt was such that it, too, wellnigh brought me to the pass of losing my life as the past grief had done. Then I learned from Nisida how your mistake and neglect, oh Silerio, in making the signal of the kerchief, was the cause why she, believing that some ill had befallen me, fell into such a swoon and faint, that all believed her to be dead, as I thought, and you, Silerio, believed. She also told me how, after coming to herself, she learned the truth of my victory together with my sudden and hasty departure, and your absence, the news of which brought her to the verge of making true that of her death; but as it did not bring her to the last extreme, it caused her and her sister, by the artifice of a nurse of theirs who came with them, to dress themselves in the attire of pilgrims, and in disguise to go away from their parents one night when they were approaching Gaeta on the return they were making to Naples. And it was at the time when the ship on which I had embarked, having been repaired after the storm which had passed, was on the point of departing; and telling the captain they wished to cross over to Spain to go to Santiago of Galicia, they agreed with him and embarked with the intention of coming to seek me at Xeres, where they thought to find me or to learn some news of me; and all the time they had been in the ship, which would be four days, they had not left a cabin which the captain had given them in the stern, until, hearing me sing the verses I have repeated to you, and recognising me by the voice, and by what I said in them, they came out at the moment I have told you, when, celebrating with joyous tears the happiness of having found one another, we were looking at one another, without knowing with what words to increase our new and unexpected joy, which would have grown the greater, and would have reached the point and pass it has now reached, if we had then known any news of you, friend Silerio. But, as there is no pleasure which comes so perfect as wholly to satisfy the heart, in that we then felt, there was wanting to us, not only your presence, but even news of it. The brightness of the night, the cool and pleasing wind (which favouring and gentle at that moment began to strike the sails), the calm sea and the cloudless sky, it seems, all together, and each by itself, helped to celebrate the joy of our hearts. But fickle fortune, from whose disposition one can make sure of no stability, envious of our happiness, chose to disturb it by the greatest mishap that could have been imagined, had not time and favouring circumstances turned it to a better issue. It happened then that at the time the wind began to freshen, the busy sailors hoisted all the sails higher and assured themselves of a safe and prosperous voyage to the general joy of all. One of them, who was seated on one side of the bow, discovered by the brightness of the moon’s low rays, that four rowing vessels with long-drawn-out stroke were approaching the ship with great speed and haste, and at the moment he knew that they were an enemy’s, and with loud cries began to shout: “To arms, to arms, for Turkish vessels are in sight!” This cry and sudden alarm caused such panic in all the crew of the ship, that, without being able to take thought for the approaching danger, they looked at one another; but its captain (who had sometimes seen himself in similar circumstances), coming to the bow, sought to learn how large the vessels were and how many, and he discovered two more than the sailor, and recognised that they were galliots with slave crews, whereat he must needs have felt no small fear. But, dissembling as best he could, he straightway ordered the guns to be prepared and the sails to be trimmed as much as possible to meet the opposing vessels so as to see if he could go between them and let the guns play on every side. Straightway all rushed to arms, and, dispersed at their posts, as well as could be, awaited the coming of the enemy. Who will be able to express to you, sirs, the pain I felt at this moment, seeing my happiness disturbed with such quickness, and myself so near the chance of losing it, and the more when I saw Nisida and Blanca looking at each other without speaking a word, confused by the uproar and shouting there was in the ship, and seeing myself asking them to shut themselves up in their cabin and pray to God to deliver us from the enemy’s hands? This was a situation which makes the imagination faint when the memory recalls it; their open tears, and the violence I did myself so as not to show mine, held me in such a way that I had almost forgotten what I ought to do,! who I was, and what the danger required. But at last I made them withdraw almost fainting to their cabin, and shutting them in from outside, hastened to see what the captain was ordering.

He with prudent care was providing everything necessary for the emergency, and entrusting to Darinto, the gentleman who left us to-day, the guard of the forecastle, and handing over to me the poop, he with some sailors and passengers hurried through all the waist of the ship from one part to another. The enemy did not delay much in approaching, and the wind delayed rather less in growing calm, which was the complete cause of our ruin. The enemy did not dare to board, for, seeing that the weather was growing calm, it seemed to them better to wait for the day in order to attack us. They did so, and, when the day came, though we had already counted them, we saw finally that it was fifteen big vessels that had surrounded us, and then the fear of being lost was at once confirmed in our breasts. Nevertheless, the valiant captain, not losing heart — nor did any of those who were with him, — waited to see what the enemy would do. They, as soon as morning came, lowered a boat from their flagship, and sent by a renegade to tell our captain to surrender, since he saw he could not defend himself against so many vessels, and the more so that they were all the best in Algiers, threatening him on behalf of Arnaut Mami, his general, that if the ship discharged a single piece, he would hang him from a yard-arm when he caught him, and the renegade, adding to these other threats, urged him to surrender. But the captain, not wishing to do so, told the renegade in reply to sheer off from the ship or he would send him to the bottom with the guns. Arnaut heard this reply, and straightway priming the guns of his ship everywhere, began to play them from a distance with such speed, fury, and din, that it was a marvel. Our ship began to do the same with such good fortune that she sent to the bottom one of the vessels that were attacking her at the stern, for she hit her with a ball close to the harpings, in such a manner that the sea swallowed her without receiving any succour.

The Turks, seeing this, hurried on the fight, and in four hours attacked us four times and as many times retired with great loss on their part, and no small loss on ours. But, not to weary you by relating to you in detail the things that happened in this fight, I will only say that after we had fought sixteen hours, and after our captain and nearly all the crew of the ship had perished, at the end of nine assaults they made upon us, at the last they furiously boarded the ship. Though I should wish, yet I cannot exaggerate the grief that came to my soul when I saw that my beloved darlings whom now I have before me, must needs then be handed over to, and come into the power of those cruel butchers; and so, carried away by the wrath this fear and thought caused in me, I rushed with unarmed breast through the midst of the barbarous swords, desirous of dying from the cruelty of their edge, rather than to see with my eyes what I expected.

But things came to pass differently from what I had feared, for, three stalwart Turks grappling with me, and I struggling with them, we all fell up confusedly against the door of the cabin where Nisida and Blanca were, and with the force of the blow the door was broken, open, displaying the treasure that was there enclosed. The enemy lusting after it, one of them seized Nisida and the other Blanca; and I, seeing myself free from the two made the other who held me leave his life at my feet, and I thought to do the same with the two, had they not, warned of the danger, given up their hold of the two ladies and stretched me on the floor with two great wounds. Nisida, seeing this, threw herself upon my wounded body and with lamentable cries begged the two Turks to finish her. At this moment, drawn by the cries and laments of Nisida and Blanca, Arnaut, the general of the vessels, hurried up to the cabin, and, learning from the soldiers what was going on, had Nisida and Blanca carried to his galley, and at Nisida’s prayer also gave orders for them to carry me thither, since I was not yet dead. In this manner, without my being conscious, they carried me to the enemy’s flagship, where I was straightway tended with some diligence, for Nisida had told the captain that I was a man of rank and of great ransom, with the intention that, tempted by the bait of covetousness and of the money they might get from me, they should look after my health with somewhat more care. It happened then, that, as my wounds were being tended, I returned to consciousness with the pain of them, and turning my eyes in every direction, I knew I was in the power of my enemies, and in the enemy’s vessel; but nothing touched my soul so much as to see at the stern of the galley Nisida and Blanca sitting at the feet of the dog of a general, shedding from their eyes countless tears, the tokens of the inward grief they were suffering. Neither the fear of the shameful death I was awaiting when you, good friend Silerio, in Catalonia freed me from it; neither the false tidings of Nisida’s death, believed by me as true; neither the pain of my deadly wounds, nor any other affliction I might imagine, caused me, nor will cause more anguish than that which came to me at seeing Nisida and Blanca in the power of that barbarous unbeliever, where their honour was placed in such imminent and manifest peril. The pain of this anguish worked so much upon my soul that I once again lost my senses, and took away the hope of my health and life from the surgeon who was tending me, in such a manner that believing I was dead, he stopped in the midst of his tending of me, assuring all that I had already passed from this life. When this news was heard by the two hapless sisters, let them say what they felt, if they make so bold, for I can only say that I afterwards learned that the two, rising from where they were, tearing their ruddy locks, and scratching their fair faces, without anyone being able to hold them back, came to where I lay in a faint, and there began to make so piteous a lament, that they moved to compassion the very breasts of the cruel barbarians. By reason of Nisida’s tears which were falling on my face, or through the wounds already cold and swollen which caused me great pain, I returned again to consciousness, to be conscious of my new misfortune. I will pass in silence now the piteous and loving words that in that hapless moment passed between Nisida and myself, so as not to sadden so much the joyous moment in which we now find ourselves, nor do I wish to relate in detail the dire straits she told me she had passed through with the captain.

He, overcome by her beauty, made her a thousand promises, a thousand gifts, a thousand threats, that she might come to submit to his lawless will; but showing herself towards him as scornful as modest, and as modest as scornful, she was able all that day and the following night to defend herself from the hateful importunities of the corsair. But as Nisida’s continued presence went on increasing in him every moment his lustful desire, without any doubt it might have been feared, as I did fear, that by his abandoning his prayers and using violence, Nisida might lose her honour or life, the latter being the likelier to be expected from her virtue. But fortune, being now weary of having placed us in the lowest stage of misery, chose to show us that what is published abroad of her instability is true, by a means which brought us to the pass of praying Heaven to keep us in that hapless lot, instead of losing our lives on the swollen billows of the angry sea: which (after two days that we were captives, and at the time we were taking the direct course to Barbary), moved by a furious sirocco, began to rise mountains high, and to lash the pirate fleet with such fury, that the wearied oarsmen, without being able to avail themselves of the oars, bridled them and had recourse to the wonted remedy of the fore-sail on the mast, and of letting themselves run wherever the wind and sea listed. And the tempest increased in such a manner that in less than half an hour it scattered and dispersed the vessels in different directions, without any of them being able to give heed to following their captain, but rather in a little while, all being separated as I have said, our vessel came to be left alone, and to be the one that danger threatened most; for she began to make so much water through her seams, that however much they bailed her in all the cabins at the stern, bow, and mizzen, the water in the bilge all the time reached the knee. And to all this misfortune was added the approach of night, which in such cases, more than in any others, increases dread fear; and it came with such darkness and renewed tempestuousness, that we all wholly despaired of help. Seek not to learn more, sirs, save that the very Turks begged the Christians, who were captives at the oar, to invoke and call on their saints and their Christ, to deliver them from such misfortune, and the prayers of the wretched Christians who were there were not so much in vain that high Heaven moved by them let the wind grow calm, nay rather it increased it with such force and fury, that at break of day, which could only be told by the hours of the sand-glass by which they are measured, the ill-steered vessel found herself off the coast of Catalonia, so near land, and so unable to get away from it, that it was necessary to hoist the sail a little higher, in order that she might drive with more force upon a wide beach which offered itself to us in front; for the love of life made the slavery the Turks expected appear sweet to them. Scarcely had the galley driven ashore, when straightway there hurried down to the beach a number of people armed, whose dress and speech showed them to be Catalans, and the coast to be Catalonia, and even the very spot where at the risk of yours, friend Silerio, you saved my life. Who could exaggerate now the joy of the Christians, who saw their necks free and relieved from the unbearable and heavy yoke of bitter captivity; and the prayers and entreaties the Turks, free a little while before, made to their own slaves, begging them to see that they were not ill-treated by the angry Christians, who were already awaiting them on the beach, with the desire of avenging the wrong these very Turks had done them, in sacking their town, as you, Silerio, know? And the fear they had did not turn out vain for them, for the people of the place, entering the galley which lay stranded on the sand, wrought such cruel havoc on the corsairs that very few were left with life; and had it not been that the greedy desire of sacking the galley blinded them, all the Turks had been killed in this first onslaught. Finally the Turks who remained, and we captive Christians who came there, were all plundered; and if the clothes I wore had not been stained with blood, I believe they would not have left me even them. Darinto who was also there, helped straightway to look after Nisida and Blanca, and to see that I might be taken ashore to be tended there. When I came out and recognised the place where I was, and considered the danger in which I had seen myself there, it did not fail to give me some anxiety, caused by the fear of being known and punished for what I ought not to be; and so I begged Darinto to arrange for us to go to Barcelona without making any delay, telling him the cause that moved me to it. But it was not possible, for my wounds distressed me in such a way that they forced me to be there for some days, as I was, without being visited save by a surgeon. In the meantime Darinto went to Barcelona, whence he returned, providing himself with what we needed; and, as he found me better and stronger, we straightway took the road for the city of Toledo, to learn of Nisida’s kinsmen if they knew of her parents,! to whom we have already written all the late events of our lives, asking forgiveness for our past errors. And all the happiness and grief from these good and evil events has been increased and diminished by your absence, Silerio. But since Heaven has now, with such great blessings, given a remedy to our calamities, there remains naught else save that you, friend Silerio, should render it fitting thanks therefor, and banish the past sadness by reason of the present joy, and endeavour to give it to one who for many days has for your sake lived without it, as you shall learn when we are more alone, and I acquaint you therewith.

There remain some other things for me to tell, which have happened to me in the course of this my journey; but I must leave them for the nonce, so as not, by reason of their tediousness, to displease these shepherds, who have been the instrument of all my delight and pleasure. This, then, friend Silerio and shepherd friends, is the issue of my life. Mark if, from the life I have gone through and from that I go through now, I can call myself the most ill-starred and the happiest man of those that are living to-day.’

With these last words the joyful Timbrio ended his tale, and all those that were present rejoiced at the happy issue his toils had had, Silerio’s content passing beyond all that can be said.

He, turning anew to embrace Timbrio, and constrained by the desire to learn who the person was that for his sake lived without content, begged leave of the shepherds, and went apart with Timbrio on one side, where he learned from him that the fair Blanca, Nisida’s sister, was the one who loved him more than herself, from the very day and moment she learned who he was and the worth of his character, and that, so as not to go against what she owed to her honour, she had never wished to reveal this thought except to her sister, by whose agency she hoped to have honoured him in the fulfilment of her desires.

Timbrio likewise told him how the gentleman Darinto, who came with him and of whom he had made mention in his late discourse, knowing who Blanca was, and carried away by her beauty, had fallen in love with her so earnestly that he asked her from her sister Nisida as his wife, and she undeceived him saying that Blanca would by no means consent; and that Darinto being angry thereat, believing that they rejected him for his little worth, Nisida, in order to free him from this suspicion, had to tell him how Blanca had her thoughts busied with Silerio; but that Darinto had not turned faint-hearted on this account, nor abandoned his purpose— ‘for as he knew that no news was known of you, Silerio, he fancied that the services he thought to render to Blanca, and the lapse of time, would make her desist from her first intention. And with this motive he would never leave us, until hearing yesterday from the shepherds sure tidings of your life, knowing the happiness that Blanca had felt thereat, and considering it to be impossible that Darinto could gain what he desired when Silerio appeared, he went away from all, without taking leave of anyone, with tokens of the greatest grief.’

Together with this Timbrio counselled his friend to be content that Blanca was to have him, choosing her and accepting her as wife, since he already knew her and was not ignorant of her worth and modesty; and he dwelt on the joy and pleasure they both would have seeing themselves wedded to two such sisters. Silerio asked him in reply to give him time to think about this action, though he knew that in the end it was impossible not to do what he bade him. At this moment the white dawn was already beginning to give tokens of its new approach, and the stars were gradually hiding their brightness; and at this point there came to the ears of all the voice of the love-sick Lauso, who, as his friend Damon had known that they must needs spend that night in Silerio’s hermitage, wished to be with him, and with the other shepherds. And as it was all his pleasure and pastime to sing to the sound of his rebeck the prosperous or adverse issue of his love, carried away by his mood, and invited by the solitude of the road and by the delicious harmony of the birds, who were already beginning to greet the coming day with their sweet concerted song, he came singing in a low voice verses such as these:

Lauso. I lift my gaze unto the noblest part

That can be fancied by the loving thought,

Where I behold the worth, admire the art

That hath the loftiest mind to rapture brought;

But if ye fain would learn what was the part

That my free neck within its fierce yoke caught,

That made me captive, claims me as its prize,

Mine eyes it is, Silena, and thine eyes.

Thine eyes it is, from whose clear light I gain

The light that unto Heaven guideth me,

Of the celestial light a token plain,

Light that abhorreth all obscurity;

It makes the fire, the yoke, and e’en the chain,

That burns me, burdens, and afflicts, to be

Relief and comfort to the soul, a Heaven

Unto the life the soul hath to thee given.

Oh eyes divine! my soul’s joy and delight,

The end and mark to which my wishes go,

Eyes, that, if I see aught, have given me sight,

Eyes that have made the murky day to glow;

My anguish and my gladness in your light

Love set; in you I contemplate and know

The bitter, sweet, and yet the truthful story

Of certain hell, of my uncertain glory.

In darkness blind I walked, when I no more

Was guided by your light, oh eyes so fair!

No more I saw the heavens, but wandered o’er

The world, ‘midst thorns and brambles everywhere;

But at the very moment when the power

Of your bright clustered rays my soul laid bare,

And touched it to the quick, I saw quite plain

The path that leads to bliss, open and plain.

Ye, ye, it is, and shall be, cloudless eyes,

That do and can uplift me thus to claim

Amongst the little number of the wise,

As best I can, a high renownèd name;

This ye can do, if ye my enemies

Remain no longer, nor account it shame

Sometimes a glance to cast me, for in this ——

Glancing and glances — lies a lover’s bliss.

If this be true, Silena, none hath been,

Nor is, nor will be, who with constancy

Can or will love thee, as I love my queen,

However Love his aid, and fortune, be;

I have deserved this glory — to be seen

By thee — for my unbroken loyalty.

’Tis folly, though, to think that one can win

That which one scarce can contemplate therein.

The love-sick Lauso ended his song and his journey at the same moment, and he was lovingly received by all who were with Silerio, increasing by his presence the joy all had by reason of the fair issue Silerio’s troubles had had; and, as Damon was telling them to him, there appeared close to the hermitage the venerable Aurelio, who, with some of his shepherds, was bringing some dainties wherewith to regale and satisfy those who were there, as he had promised the day before he left them. Thyrsis and Damon were astonished to see him come without Elicio and Erastro, and they were more so when they came to know the cause why they had stayed behind.

Aurelio approached, and his approach would have increased the more the happiness of all, if he had not said, directing his words to Timbrio:

‘If you prize yourself, as it is right you should prize yourself, valiant Timbrio, as being a true friend of him who is yours, now is the time to show it, by hurrying to tend Darinto, who, no great distance from here, is so sad and afflicted and so far from accepting any consolation in the grief he suffers that some words of consolation I gave him did not suffice for him to take them as such. Elicio, Erastro, and I found him, some two hours ago in the midst of yonder mountain which reveals itself on this our right hand, his horse tied by the reins to a pine tree, and himself stretched on the ground face downwards, uttering tender and mournful sighs, and from time to time he spoke some words which were directed to curse his fortune. And at the piteous sound of them we approached him, and by the moon’s rays, though with difficulty, he was recognised by us and pressed to tell us the cause of his woe. He told it to us, and thereby we learned the little remedy he had. Nevertheless Elicio and Erastro have remained with him, and I have come to give you the news of the plight in which his thoughts hold him; and since they are so manifest to you, seek to remedy them with deeds, or hasten to console them with words.’

‘Words, good Aurelio,’ replied Timbrio, ‘will be all I shall spend thereon, if indeed he is not willing to avail himself of the occasion to undeceive himself and to dispose his desires so that time and absence may work in him their wonted effects; but, that he may not think that I do not respond to what I owe to his friendship, tell me, Aurelio, where you left him, for I wish to go at once to see him.’

‘I will go with you,’ replied Aurelio, and straightway at the moment all the shepherds arose to accompany Timbrio and to learn the cause of Darinto’s woe, leaving Silerio with Nisida and Blanca to the happiness of the three, which was so great that they did not succeed in uttering a word. On the way from there to where Aurelio had left Darinto, Timbrio told those who went with him the cause of Darinto’s sorrow, and the little remedy that might be hoped for it, since the fair Blanca, for whom he was sorrowing, had her thoughts set on her good friend Silerio, saying to them likewise that he must needs strive with all his skill and powers that Silerio might grant what Blanca desired, and begging them all to help and favour his purpose, for, on leaving Darinto, he wished them all to ask Silerio to consent to receive Blanca as his lawful wife. The shepherds offered to do what he bade them; and during these discourses they came to where Aurelio believed Elicio, Darinto, and Erastro would be; but they did not find anyone, though they skirted and covered a great part of a small wood which was there, whereat they felt no little sorrow. But, while in it, they heard a sigh so mournful that it set them in confusion and in the desire to learn who had uttered it; but they were quickly drawn from this doubt by another which they heard no less sad than the former, and all hurrying to the spot whence the sigh came, saw not far from them at the foot of a tall walnut tree two shepherds, one seated on the green grass, and the other stretched on the ground, his head placed on the other’s knees. The one seated had his head bent down, shedding tears and gazing intently on him whom he had on his knees, and, for this reason, as also because the other had lost his colour and was of pallid countenance, they were not able at once to know who he was; but when they came nearer, they knew at once that the shepherds were Elicio and Erastro, Elicio the pallid one, and Erastro the one that wept. The sad appearance of the two hapless shepherds caused great wonder and sadness in all who came there, because they were great friends of theirs, and because they did not know the cause that held them in such wise; but he that wondered most was Aurelio, because he said that he had left them so recently in Darinto’s company with tokens of all pleasure and happiness, so that apparently he had not been the cause of all their misery. Erastro then seeing that the shepherds were coming to him, shook Elicio saying to him:

‘Come to yourself, hapless shepherd, arise, and seek a spot where you can by yourself bewail your misfortune, for I think to do the same until life ends.’

And saying this he took in his two hands Elicio’s head and, putting it off his knees, set it on the ground, without the shepherd being able to return to consciousness; and Erastro, rising, was turning his back to go away, had not Thyrsis and Damon and the other shepherds, kept him from it. Damon went to where Elicio was, and taking him in his arms, made him come to himself. Elicio opened his eyes, and, because he knew all who were there, he took care that his tongue, moved and constrained by grief, should not say anything that might declare the cause of it: and, though this was asked of him by all the shepherds, he never gave any answer save that he knew naught of himself but that, as he was speaking with Erastro, a severe fainting fit had seized him. Erastro said the same, and for this reason the shepherds ceased to ask him further the reason of his affliction, but rather they asked him to return with them to Silerio’s hermitage and to let them take him thence to the village or to his hut: but it was not possible for them to prevail with him in this beyond letting him return to the village. Seeing then that this was his desire, they did not wish to oppose it, but rather offered to go with him, but he wished no one’s company, nor would he have accepted it, had not his friend Damon’s persistence overcome him, and so he had to depart with him, Damon having agreed with Thyrsis to see each other that night in the village or Elicio’s hut, in order to arrange to return to theirs.

Aurelio and Timbrio asked Erastro for Darinto, and he told them in reply that as soon as Aurelio had left them the fainting fit had seized Elicio, and whilst he was tending to him, Darinto had departed with all haste, and they had seen him no more.

Timbrio and those who came with him, seeing then that they did not find Darinto, determined to return to the hermitage and beg Silerio to accept the fair Blanca as his wife; and with this intention they all returned except Erastro, who wished to follow his friend Elicio; and so, taking leave of them, accompanied only by his rebeck, he went away by the same road Elicio had gone. The latter, having gone some distance away with his friend Damon from the rest of the company, with tears in his eyes, and with tokens of the greatest sadness, began to speak to him thus:

‘I know well, discreet Damon, that you have so much experience of love’s effects that you will not wonder at what I now think to tell you, for they are such that in the reckoning of my judgment I count them and hold them among the most disastrous that are found in love.’

Damon who desired nothing else than to learn the cause of his fainting and sadness, assured him that nothing would be new to him, if it touched on the evils love is wont to cause.

And so Elicio with this assurance and with the assurance yet greater he had of his friendship, went on, saying:

‘You already know, friend Damon, how my good fortune, for I will always give it this name of good, though it cost me life to have had it — I say then, that my good fortune willed, as all Heaven and all these banks know, that I should love — do I say love? — adore the peerless Galatea with a love as pure and true as befits her deserving. At the same time I confess to you, friend, that in all the time she has known my just desire, she has not responded to it with other tokens save those general ones which a chaste and grateful breast is wont and ought to give. And so for some years, my hope being sustained by intercourse both honourable and loving, I have lived so joyous and satisfied with my thoughts, that I judged myself the happiest shepherd that ever pastured flock, contenting myself merely with looking at Galatea and with seeing that if she did not love me, she did not loathe me, and that no other shepherd could boast that he was even looked at by her, for it was no small satisfaction of my desire to have set my thoughts on an object so secure that I had no fear of anyone else, being confirmed in this truth by the opinion which Galatea’s worth inspires in me, which is such that it gives no opportunity for boldness itself to make bold with it. Against this good, which love gave me at so little a cost, against this glory enjoyed so much without harm to Galatea, against the pleasure so justly deserved by my desire, irrevocable sentence has to-day been passed, that the good should end, the glory finish, the pleasure be changed, and that finally the tragedy of my mournful life should be closed. For you must know, Damon, that this morning, as I came with Aurelio, Galatea’s father, to seek you at Sileno’s hermitage, he told me on the way how he had arranged to marry Galatea to a Lusitanian shepherd who pastures numerous herds on the banks of the gentle Lima. He asked me to tell him what I thought because, from the friendship he had for me, and from my understanding, he hoped to be well counselled. What I said to him in reply was that it seemed to me a hard thing to be able to bring his will to deprive itself of the sight of so fair a daughter, banishing her to such distant regions, and that if he did so, carried away and tempted by the bait of the strange shepherd’s wealth, he should consider that he did not lack it so much that he was not able to live in his village better than all in it who claimed to be rich, and that none of the best of those who dwell on the banks of the Tagus, would fail to count himself fortunate when he should win Galatea to wife. My words were not ill received by the venerable Aurelio, but at last he made up his mind, saying that the chief herdsman of all the flocks bade him do it, and he it was who had arranged and settled it, and that it was impossible to withdraw. I asked him with what countenance Galatea had received the news of her banishment. He told me that she had conformed to his will and was disposing hers to do all he wished, like an obedient daughter. This I learned from Aurelio, and this, Damon, is the cause of my fainting, and will be that of my death, since at seeing Galatea in a stranger’s power and a stranger to my sight, naught else can be hoped for save the end of my days.’

The love-sick Elicio ended his words and his tears began, shed in such abundance that the breast of his friend Damon, moved to compassion, could not but accompany him in them.

But after a little while he began with the best reasons he could to console Elicio, but all his words stopped at being words without producing any effect. Nevertheless they agreed that Elicio should speak to Galatea and learn from her if she consented of her will to the marriage her father was arranging for her, and that, should it not be to her liking, an offer should be made to her to free her from that constraint, since help would not fail her in it. What Damon was saying seemed good to Elicio, and he determined to go to look for Galatea to declare to her his wish, and to learn the wish she held enclosed in her breast; and so, changing the road they were taking to his cabin, they journeyed towards the village, and coming to a cross way hard by where four roads divided, they saw some eight gallant shepherds approaching by one of them, all with javelins in their hands, except one of them who came mounted on a handsome mare, clad in a violet cloak, and the rest on foot, all having their faces muffled with kerchiefs. Damon and Elicio stopped till the shepherds should pass, and these passing close to them, bowed their heads and courteously saluted them, without any of them saying a word. The two were amazed to see the strange appearance of the eight, and stood still to see what road they were following; but straightway they saw they were taking the road to the village, although a different one to that by which they were going. Damon told Elicio to follow them, but he would not, saying that on that way which he wished to follow, near a spring which was not far from it, Galatea was ofttime wont to be with some shepherdesses of the village, and that it would be well to see if fortune showed herself so kind to them that they might find her there. Damon was satisfied with what Elicio wished, and so he told him to lead wherever he chose. And his lot chanced as he himself had imagined, for they had not gone far when there came to their ears the pipe of Florisa, accompanied by the fair Galatea’s voice, and when this was heard by the shepherds, they were beside themselves. Then Damon knew at last how true they spoke who celebrated the graces of Galatea, who was in the company of Rosaura and Florisa and of the fair Silveria newly wed, with two other shepherdesses of the same village.

And though Galatea saw the shepherds coming, she would not for that reason abandon the song she had begun, but rather seemed to give tokens that she felt pleasure at the shepherds listening to her, and they did so with all the attention possible; and what they succeeded in hearing of what the shepherdess was singing, was the following:

Galatea. Whither shall I turn mine eyes

In the woe that is at hand,

If my troubles nearer stand,

As my bliss the further flies?

I am doomed to grievous pain

By the grief that bids me roam:

If it slays me when at home,

When abroad what shall I gain?

Just obedience, hard to bear!

For I have the ‘yes’ to say

In obedience, which some day

My death-sentence shall declare;

I am set such ills among,

That as happiness ’twould be

Counted, if life were to me

Wanting, or at least a tongue.

Brief the hours, ah! brief and weary

Have the hours been of my gladness

Everlasting those of sadness,

Full of dread and ever dreary;

In my happy girlhood’s hour

I enjoyed my liberty,

But, alas! now slavery

O’er my will asserts its power.

Lo! the battle cruel doth prove,

Which they wage against my thought,

If, when they have fiercely fought,

I love not, yet needs must love;

Oh displeasing power of place!

For, in reverence of the old

I my hands must meekly fold

And my tender neck abase.

What! have I farewell to say,

See no more the golden river,

Leave behind my flock for ever,

And in sadness go away?

Shall these trees of leafy shade,

Shall these meadows broad and green

Never, nevermore, be seen

By the eyes of this sad maid?

Ah! what doest thou, cruel sire?

Lo! the truth is known full well,

That thou from me life dost steal

In fulfilling thy desire;

If there is not in my sighs

Power to tell thee my distress,

What my tongue cannot express,

Mayst thou learn it from my eyes.

Now I picture in its gloom

The sad hour when we must sever,

The sweet glory, lost for ever,

And the mournful, bitter, tomb;

Unknown husband’s joyless face,

Troubles of the toilsome road,

And his aged mother’s mood,

Peevish, for I take her place.

Other troubles will begin,

Countless heartaches will annoy,

When I see what giveth joy

To my husband and his kin;

Yet the fear I apprehend

And my fortune pictureth,

Will be ended soon by death,

Which doth all our sorrows end.

Galatea sang no more, for the tears she was shedding hindered her voice, and even the satisfaction in all those who had been listening to her, for they straightway knew clearly what they were dimly imagining concerning Galatea’s marriage with the Lusitanian shepherd, and how much it was being brought about against her will. But he whom her tears and sighs moved most to pity was Elicio, for he would have given his life to remedy them, had their remedy depended thereon; but making use of his discretion, his face dissembling the grief his soul was feeling, he and Damon went up to where the shepherdesses were, whom they courteously greeted, and with no less courtesy were received by them. Galatea straightway asked Damon for her father, and he replied to her that he was staying in Silerio’s hermitage, in the company of Timbrio and Nisida, and of all the other shepherds who accompanied Timbrio, and he likewise gave her an account of the recognition of Silerio and Timbrio, and of the loves of Darinto and Blanca, Nisida’s sister, with all the details Timbrio had related of what had happened to him in the course of his love, whereon Galatea said:

‘Happy Timbrio and happy Nisida, since the unrest suffered until now has ended in such felicity, wherewith you will set in oblivion the past disasters! nay, it will serve to increase your glory, since it is a saying that the memory of past calamities adds to the happiness that comes from present joys. But woe for the hapless soul, that sees itself brought to the pass of recalling lost bliss, and with fear of the ill that is to come; without seeing nor finding remedy, nor any means to check the misfortune which is threatening it, since griefs distress the more the more they are feared!’

‘You speak truth, fair Galatea,’ said Damon, ‘for there is no doubt that the sudden and unexpected grief that comes, does not distress so much, though it alarms, as that which threatens during long lapse of time, and closes up all the ways of remedy.

But nevertheless I say, Galatea, that Heaven does not send evils so much without alloy, as to take away their remedy altogether, especially when it lets us see them coming first, for it seems that then it wishes to give an opportunity for the working of our reason, in order that it may exercise and busy itself in tempering or turning aside the misfortunes about to come, and often it contents itself with distressing us by merely keeping our minds busied with some specious fear without the accomplishment of the dreaded evil being reached; and though it should be reached, so long as life does not end, no one should despair of the remedy for any evil he may suffer.’

‘I do not doubt of this,’ replied Galatea, ‘if the evils which are dreaded or suffered were so slight, as to leave free and unimpeded the working of our intellect; but you know well, Damon, that when the evil is such that this name can be given to it, the first thing it does is to cloud our perception, and to destroy the powers of our free will, our vigour decaying in such a way that it can scarce lift itself, though hope urge it the more.’

‘I do not know, Galatea,’ answered Damon, ‘how in your green years can be contained such experience of evils, if it is not that you wish us to understand that your great discretion extends to speaking from intuitive knowledge of things, for you have no information concerning them in any other way.’

‘Would to Heaven, discreet Damon,’ replied Galatea, ‘that I were not able to contradict you in what you say, since thereby I would gain two things: to retain the good opinion you have of me, and not to feel the pain which causes me to speak with so much experience of it.’

Up to this point Elicio had kept silence; but being unable any longer to endure seeing Galatea give tokens of the bitter grief she was suffering, he said to her:

‘If you think perchance, peerless Galatea, that the woe that threatens you can by any chance be remedied, by what you owe to the good-will to serve you which you have known in me, I beg you to declare it to me; and if you should not wish this so as to comply with what you owe to obedience to your father, give me at least leave to oppose anyone who should wish to carry away from us from these banks the treasure of your beauty, which has been nurtured thereon. And do not think, shepherdess, that I presume so much on myself, as alone to make bold to fulfil with deeds what I now offer you in words, for though the love I bear you gives me spirit for a greater enterprise, I distrust my fortune, and so I must needs place it in the hands of reason, and in those of all the shepherds that pasture their flocks on these banks of Tagus, who will not be willing to suffer that the sun that illumines them, the discretion that makes them marvel, the beauty that incites them and inspires them to a thousand honourable rivalries should be snatched and taken away from before their eyes. Wherefore, fair Galatea, on the faith of the reason I have expressed, and of that which I have for adoring you, I make you this offer, which must needs constrain you to disclose your wish to me, in order that I may not fall into the error of going against it in anything; but considering that your matchless goodness and modesty must needs move you to respond rather to your father’s desire than to your own, I do not wish, shepherdess, that you should tell it me, but to undertake to do what shall seem good to me, with the purpose of looking after your honour, with the care with which you yourself have always looked after it.’

Galatea was going to reply to Elicio and to thank him for his kind desire; but she was prevented by the sudden coming of the eight masked shepherds whom Damon and Elicio had seen passing toward the village a little while before. All came to where the shepherdesses were, and without speaking a word, six of them rushed with incredible speed to close with Damon and Elicio, holding them in so strong a clutch that they could in no way release themselves. In the meanwhile the other two (one of whom was the one who came on horseback) went to where Rosaura was, shrieking by reason of the violence that was being done to Damon and Elicio; but, without any defence availing her, one of the shepherds took her in his arms, and placed her on the mare, and in the arms of the one who was mounted. He, removing his mask, turned to the shepherds and shepherdesses, saying:

‘Do not wonder, good friends, at the wrong which seemingly has here been done you, for the power of love and this lady’s ingratitude have been the cause of it. I pray you to forgive me, since it is no longer in my control; and if the famous Grisaldo comes through these parts (as I believe he soon will come), you will tell him that Artandro is carrying off Rosaura, because he could not endure to be mocked by her, and that, if love and this wrong should move him to wish for vengeance, he already knows that Aragon is my country, and the place where I live.’

Rosaura was in a swoon on the saddle-bow, and the other shepherds would not let Elicio or Damon go, until Artandro bade them let them go; and when they saw themselves free, they drew their knives with valiant spirit and rushed upon the seven shepherds, who all together held the javelins they were carrying at their breasts, telling them to stop, since they saw how little they could achieve in the enterprise they were undertaking.

‘Still less can Artandro achieve,’ Elicio said in reply to them, ‘in having wrought such treason.’

‘Call it not treason,’ answered one of the others, ‘for this lady has given her word to be Artandro’s wife, and now, to comply with the fickle mood of woman, she has withdrawn it, and yielded herself to Grisaldo, a wrong so manifest and such that it could not be dissembled from our master Artandro. Therefore calm yourselves, shepherds, and think better of us than hitherto, since to serve our master in so just a cause excuses us.’

And without saying more, they turned their backs, still mistrusting the evil looks Elicio and Damon wore, who were in such a rage at not being able to undo that violent act, and at finding themselves incapacitated from avenging what was being done to them, that they knew neither what to say nor what to do.

But the sufferings Galatea and Florisa endured at seeing Rosaura carried away in that manner, were such that they moved Elicio to set his life in the manifest peril of losing it; for, drawing his sling — and Damon doing the same — he went at full speed in pursuit of Artandro, and with much spirit and skill they began from a distance to throw such large stones at them that they made them halt and turn to set themselves on the defensive.

But nevertheless it could not but have gone ill with the two bold shepherds, had not Artandro bidden his men to go forward and leave them, as they did, until they entered a dense little thicket which was on one side of the road, and, with the protection of the trees the slings and stones of the angry shepherds had little effect. Nevertheless they would have followed them, had they not seen Galatea and Florisa and the other two shepherdesses coming with all haste to where they were, and for this reason they stopped, violently restraining the rage that spurred them on, and the desired vengeance they meditated; and as they went forward to receive Galatea, she said to them:

‘Temper your wrath, gallant shepherds, since with the advantage of our enemies your diligence cannot vie, though it has been such as the valour of your souls has shown to us.’

‘The sight of your discontent, Galatea,’ said Elicio, ‘would, I believed, have given such violent energy to mine, that those discourteous shepherds would not have boasted of the violence they have done us; but in my fortune is involved not having any luck in anything I desire.’

‘The loving desire Artandro feels’ said Galatea, ‘it was which moved him to such discourtesy, and so he is in my eyes excused in part.’

And straightway she related to them in full detail the story of Rosaura, and how she was waiting for Grisaldo to receive him as husband, which might have come to Artandro’s knowledge, and that jealous rage might have moved him to do as they had seen.

‘If it is as you say, discreet Galatea,’ said Damon, ‘I fear that from Grisaldo’s neglect, and Artandro’s boldness, and Rosaura’s fickle mood, some grief and strife must needs arise.’

‘That might be,’ replied Galatea, ‘should Artandro dwell in Castile; but if he withdraws to Aragon, which is his country, Grisaldo will be left with only the desire for vengeance.’

‘Is there no one to inform him of this wrong?” said Elicio.

‘Yes,’ replied Florisa, ‘for I pledge myself that before night approaches, he shall have knowledge of it.’

‘If that were so,’ replied Damon, ‘he would be able to recover his beloved before they reached Aragon; for a loving breast is not wont to be slothful.’

‘I do not think that Grisaldo’s will be so,’ said Florisa, ‘and, that time and opportunity to show it may not fail him, I pray you, Galatea, let us return to the village, for I wish to send to inform Grisaldo of his misfortune.’

‘Be it done as you bid, friend,’ replied Galatea, ‘for I shall give you a shepherd to take the news.’

And with this they were about to take leave of Damon and Elicio, had not these persisted in their wish to go with them.

And as they were journeying to the village, they heard on their right hand the pipe, straightway recognised by all, of Erastro, who was coming in pursuit of his friend Elicio. They stopped to listen to it, and heard him singing thus, as he came, with tokens of tender grief:

ERASTRO. By rugged paths my fancy’s doubtful end

I follow, to attain it ever trying,

And in night’s gloom and chilly darkness lying,

The forces of my life I ever spend.

To leave the narrow way, I do not lend

A thought, although I see that I am dying,

For, on the faith of my true faith relying,

‘Gainst greater fear I would myself defend.

My faith the beacon is that doth declare

Safe haven to my storm, and doth reveal

Unto my voyage promise of success,

Although the means uncertain may appear,

Although my star’s bright radiance Love conceal,

Although the heavens assail me and distress.

With a deep sigh the hapless shepherd ended his loving song, and, believing that no one heard him, loosed his voice in words such as these:

‘Oh Love, whose mighty power, though exercising no constraint upon my soul, brought it to pass that I should have power to keep my thoughts busied so well, seeing that thou hast done me so much good, seek not now to show thyself doing me the ill wherewith thou threatenest me! for thy mood is more changeable than that of fickle fortune. Behold, Lord, how obedient I have been to thy laws, how ready to follow thy behests, and how subservient I have kept my will to thine!

Reward me for this obedience by doing what is to thee of such import to do; suffer not these banks of ours to be bereft of that beauty which set beauty and bestowed beauty on their fresh and tiny grasses, on their lowly plants, and lofty trees; consent not, Lord, that from the clear Tagus be taken away the treasure that enriches it, and from which it has more fame than from the golden sands it nurtures in its bosom; take not away from the shepherds of these meadows the light of their eyes, the glory of their thoughts, and the noble incentive that spurred them on to a thousand noble and virtuous enterprises; consider well that, if thou dost consent that Galatea should be taken from this to foreign lands, thou despoilest thyself of the dominion thou hast on these banks, since thou dost exercise it through Galatea alone; and if she is wanting, count it assured that thou wilt not be known in all these meadows; for all, as many as dwell therein, will refuse thee obedience and will not aid thee with the wonted tribute; mark that what I beg of thee is so conformable and near to reason, that thou wouldst wholly depart from it, if thou didst not grant me my request. For what law ordains, or what reason consents that the beauty we have nurtured, the discretion that had its beginning in these our woods and villages, the grace granted by Heaven’s especial gift to our country, now that we were hoping to cull the honourable fruit of so much wealth and riches, must needs be taken to foreign realms to be possessed and dealt with by strange and unknown hands? May piteous Heaven seek not to work us a harm so noteworthy! Oh green meadows, that rejoiced at her sight, oh sweet-smelling flowers, that, touched by her feet, were full of a greater fragrance, oh plants, oh trees of this delightful wood! make all of you in the best form you can, though it be not granted to your nature, some kind of lamentation to move Heaven to grant me what I beg!’

The love-sick shepherd said this, shedding the while such tears that Galatea could not dissemble hers, nor yet any of those who were with her, making all so noteworthy a lamentation, as if then weeping at the rites of his death. Erastro came up to them at this point and was received by them with pleasing courtesy. And, as he saw Galatea with tokens of having accompanied him in his tears, without taking his eyes from her, he stood looking intently on her for a space, at the end of which he said:

‘Now I know of a truth, Galatea, that no one of mankind escapes the blows of fickle fortune, since I see that you who, I thought, were to be by special privilege free from them, are assailed and harassed by them with greater force. Hence I am sure that Heaven has sought by a single blow to grieve all who know you, and all who have any knowledge of your worth; but nevertheless I cherish the hope that its cruelty is not to extend so far as to carry further the affliction it has begun, coming as it does so much to the hurt of your happiness.’

‘Nay for this same reason,’ replied Galatea, ‘I am less sure of my misfortune, since I was never unfortunate in what I desired; but, as it does not befit the modesty on which I pride myself, to reveal so clearly how the obedience I owe to my parents draws me after it by the hair, I pray you, Erastro, not to give me cause to renew my grief, and that naught may be treated of either by you or by anyone else that may awaken in me before the time the memory of the distress I fear. And together with this I also pray you, shepherds, to suffer me to go on to the village in order that Grisaldo, being informed, may have time to take satisfaction for the wrong Artandro has done him.’

Erastro was ignorant of Artandro’s affair; but the shepherdess Florisa in a few words told him it all; whereat Erastro wondered, thinking that Artandro’s valour could scarce be small, since it was set on so difficult a task. The shepherds were on the very point of doing what Galatea bade them, had they not discovered at that moment all the company of gentlemen, shepherds and ladies who were the night before in Silerio’s hermitage.

They were coming with tokens of the greatest joy to the village, bringing with them Silerio in a different garb and mind from that he had had hitherto, for he had already abandoned that of a hermit, changing it for that of a joyous bridegroom, as he already was the fair Blanca’s to the equal joy and satisfaction of both, and of his good friends Timbrio and Nisida who persuaded him to it, giving an end by that marriage to all his miseries, and peace and quiet to the thoughts that distressed him for Nisida’s sake. And so, with the rejoicing such an issue caused in them, they were all coming giving tokens thereof with agreeable music, and discreet and loving songs, which they ceased when they saw Galatea and the rest who were with her, receiving one another with much pleasure and courtesy, Galatea congratulating Silerio on what had happened to him, and Blanca on her betrothal, and the same was done by the shepherds, Damon, Elicio, and Erastro, who were warmly attached to Silerio. As soon as the congratulations and courtesies between them ceased, they agreed to pursue their way to the village, and to lighten it, Thyrsis asked Timbrio to finish the sonnet he had begun to repeat when he was recognised by Silerio. And Timbrio, not refusing to do so, to the sound of the jealous Orfenio’s flute, with an exquisite and sweet voice sang it and finished it.

It was as follows:

TIMBRIO. My hope is builded on so sure a base

That, though the fiercer blow the ruthless wind,

It cannot shake the bonds that firmly bind,

Such faith, such strength, such courage it displays.

Far, far am I from finding any place

For change within my firm and loving mind,

For sooner life doth in my anguish find

Its end draw nigh, than confidence decays.

For, if amidst Love’s conflict wavereth

The love-sick breast, no sweet nor peaceful home

To win from the same Love it meriteth.

Though Scylla threaten and Charybdis foam,

My breast the while, exultant in its faith,

Braveth the sea, and claims from Love its doom.

Timbrio’s sonnet seemed good to the shepherds, and no less the grace with which he had sung it; and it was such that they begged him to repeat something else. But he excused himself by telling his friend Silerio to answer for him in that affair, as he had always done in others more dangerous. Silerio could not fail to do what his friend bade him, and so, in the joy of seeing himself in such a happy state, he sang what follows to the sound of that same flute of Orfenio’s:

SILERIO. TO Heaven I give my thanks, since I have passed

Safe through the perils of this doubtful sea,

And to this haven of tranquillity,

Although I knew not whither, I am cast.

Now let the sails of care be furled at last,

Let the poor gaping ship repairèd be,

Let each fulfil the vows which erstwhile he

With stricken face made to the angry blast.

I kiss the earth, and Heaven I adore,

My fortune fair and joyous I embrace,

Happy I call my fatal destiny.

Now I my hapless neck rejoicing place

In the new peerless gentle chain once more,

With purpose, new and loving constancy.

Silerio ended, and begged Nisida to be kind enough to gladden those fields with her song, and she, looking at her beloved Timbrio, with her eyes asked leave of him to fulfil what Silerio was asking of her, and as he gave it her with a look too, she, without waiting further, with much charm and grace, when the sound of Orfenio’s flute ceased, to that of Orompo’s pipe sang this sonnet:

NISIDA. Against his view am I, whoso doth swear

That never did Love’s happiness attain

Unto the height attained by his cruel pain,

Though fortune wait on bliss with tenderest care.

I know what bliss is, what misfortune drear,

And what they do I know full well; ’tis plain

That bliss the more builds up the thought again,

The more Love’s sorrow doth its strength impair.

I saw myself by bitter death embraced,

When I was ill-informed by tidings ill;

To the rude corsairs I became a prey.

Cruel was the anguish, bitter was the taste

Of sorrow, yet I know and prove that still

Greater the joy is of this glad to-day.

Galatea and Florisa were filled with wonder at the exquisite voice of the fair Nisida, who, as it seemed to her that Timbrio and those of his party had for the time taken the lead in singing, did not wish her sister to be without doing it; and so, without much pressing, with no less grace than Nisida, beckoning to Orfenio to play his flute, to its sound she sang in this wise:

Blanca. Just as if I in sandy Libya were

Or in far frozen Scythia, I beheld

Myself at times by glowing fire assailed

That never cools, at times by chilly fear.

But hope, that makes our sorrow disappear,

Although such different semblances it bore,

Kept my life safe, well-guarded by its power,

When it was strong, when it was weak and drear,

Spent was the fury of the winter’s chill,

And, though the fire of Love its power retained,

Yet the spring came which I had longed to see.

Now in one happy moment I have gained

The sweet fruit long desirèd by my will

With bounteous tokens of sincerity.

Blanca’s voice and what she sang pleased the shepherds no less than all the others they had heard. And when they were about to give proof that all the skill was not contained in the gentlemen of the court, and when Orompo, Crisio, Orfenio, and Marsilio, moved almost by one and the same thought, began to tune their instruments, they were forced to turn their heads by a noise they perceived behind them, which was caused by a shepherd who was furiously rushing through the thickets of the green wood. He was recognised by all as the lovesick Lauso, whereat Thyrsis marvelled, for the night before he had taken leave of him, saying that he was going on a business, to finish which meant to finish his grief, and to begin his pleasure; and without saying more to him had gone away with another shepherd his friend, nor did he know what could have happened to him now that he was journeying with so much haste. What Thyrsis said moved Damon to seek to call Lauso, and so he called to him to come; but seeing that he did not hear him, and that he was already with great haste disappearing behind a hill, he went forward with all speed, and from the top of another hill, called him again with louder cries. Lauso hearing them, and knowing who called him, could not but turn, and on coming up to Damon embraced him with tokens of strange content, and so great that the proof he gave of being happy made Damon marvel; and so he said to him:

‘What is it, friend Lauso? Have you by chance attained the goal of your desires, or have they since yesterday conformed with it in such a way that you are finding with ease what you purpose?’

‘Much greater is the good I have, Damon, true friend, replied Lauso; ‘since the cause which to others is wont to be one of despair and death has proved to me hope and life, and this cause has been owing to a disdain and undeceiving, accompanied by a prudish grace, which I have seen in my shepherdess, for it has restored me to my first condition. Now, now, shepherd, my wearied neck does not feel the weighty yoke of love, now the lofty fabric of thought that made me giddy has vanished in my mind; now I shall return to the lost converse of my friends, now the green grass, and sweet-smelling flowers of these peaceful fields will seem to me what they are, now my sighs will have truce, my tears a ford, and my turmoils repose.

Consider, therefore, Damon, if this is sufficient cause for me to show myself happy and rejoicing.’

‘Yes it is, Lauso,’ replied Damon, ‘but I fear that happiness so suddenly born cannot be lasting, and I have already experienced that every freedom that is begotten of disdain vanishes like smoke, and straightway the loving purpose turns again with greater haste to follow its purposings. Wherefore, friend Lauso, may it please Heaven that your content may be more secure than I fancy, and that you may enjoy for a long time the freedom you proclaim, for I would rejoice not only because of what I owe to our friendship, but also because I should see an unwonted miracle in the desires of love.’

‘Howsoever this may be, Damon,’ replied Lauso, ‘I now feel myself free, and lord of my will, and that yours may satisfy itself that what I say is true, consider what you wish me to do in proof of it. Do you wish me to go away? Do you wish me to visit no more the hut where you think the cause of my past pains and present joys can be? I will do anything to satisfy you.’

‘The important point is that you, Lauso, should be satisfied,’ replied Damon, ‘and I shall see that you are, if I see you six days hence in this same frame of mind; and for the nonce I seek naught else from you, save that you leave the road you were taking and come with me to where all those shepherds and ladies are waiting for us, and that you celebrate the joy you feel by entertaining us with your song whilst we go to the village.’

Lauso was pleased to do what Damon bade him, and so he turned back with him at the time when Thyrsis was beckoning to Damon to return; and when it came to pass that he and Lauso came up, without wasting words of courtesy Lauso said:

‘I do not come, sirs, for less than festivity and pleasure; therefore if you would have any in listening to me, let Marsilio sound his pipe, and prepare yourselves to hear what I never thought my tongue would have cause to utter, nor yet my thought to imagine.’

All the shepherds replied together that it would be a great joy to them to hear him. And straightway Marsilio, moved by the desire he had to listen to him, played his pipe, to the sound of which Lauso began to sing in this wise:

LAUSO. Unto the ground I sink on bended knee,

My suppliant hands clasped humbly, and my breast

Filled with a righteous and a loving zeal;

Holy disdain, I worship thee; in thee

Are summed the causes of the dainty feast

Which I in calm and ease enjoy full well;

For, of the rigour of the poison fell

Which Love’s ill doth contain,

Thou wert the certain and the speedy cure,

Turning my ruin sure

To good, my war to healthy peace again.

Wherefore not once, but times beyond all measure,

I do adore thee as my kindliest treasure.

Through thee the light of these my wearied eyes,

Which was so long troubled and even lost,

Hath turned again to what it was before;

Through thee again I glory in the prize

Which from my will and life at bitter cost

Love’s ancient tyranny in triumph bore.

’Twas thou that didst my error’s night restore

To bright unclouded day,

’Twas thou that ledd’st the reason, which of old

Foul slavery did hold,

Into a peaceful and a wiser way;

Reason, now mistress, guideth me to where

Eternal bliss doth show and shine more clear.

From thee I learned, disdain, how treacherous,

How false and feigned had been those signs of love,

Which the fair maid did to my eyes display,

And how those words and whispers amorous,

That charmed the ear so much, and caused to rove

The soul, leading it from itself astray,

Were framed in falsehood and in mockery gay;

How the glance of those eyes,

So sweet and tender, did but seek my doom,

That unto winter’s gloom

Might be transformed my springtime’s sunny skies,

What time I should be clearly undeceived;

But, sweet disdain, thou hast the wound relieved.

Disdain, disdain, ever the sharpest goad

That urges on the fancy to pursue

After the loving, long-desirèd need,

In me changed is thy practice and thy mood,

For, by thee led, the purpose I eschew

Which once I followed hard with unseen speed;

And, though Love, ill-contented with my deed,

Doth never, never, rest,

But spreads the noose to seize me as before,

And, to wound me the more,

Aimeth a thousand shafts against my breast,

’Tis thou, disdain, alone that art my friend,

Thou canst his arrows break, his meshes rend.

My love, though simple, yet is not so weak

That one disdain could bring it to the ground,

Countless disdains were needed for the blow,

E’en as the pine is doomed at last to break

And fall to earth — though on its trunk resound

Full many a blow, the last ’tis brings it low.

Weighty disdain, with countenance of woe,

Who art on love’s absence based,

On poor opinion of another’s lot,

To see thee hath been fraught

With joy to me, to hear thee and to taste,

To know that thou hast deigned, with soul allied

To beat down and to end my foolish pride.

Thou beatest down my folly, and dost aid

The intellect to rise on lofty wing

And shake off heavy slumber from the mind,

So that with healthy purpose undismayed

It may the power and praise of others sing,

If it perchance a grateful mistress find.

Thou hast the henbane, wherewith Love unkind

Lullèd my sorrowing strength

To slumber, robbed of vigour, thou, in pride

Of glowing strength, dost guide

Me back unto new life and ways at length,

For now I know that I am one who may

Fear within bounds and hope without dismay.

Lauso sang no more, though what he had sung sufficed to fill those present with wonder, for, as all knew that the day before he was so much in love and so content to be so, it made them marvel to see him in so short a space of time so changed and so different from what he was wont to be. And having considered this well, his friend Thyrsis said to him:

‘I know not, friend Lauso, if I should congratulate you on the bliss attained in such brief hours, for I fear that it cannot be as firm and sure as you imagine; but nevertheless I am glad that you enjoy, though it may be for a little while, the pleasure that freedom when attained causes in the soul, since it might be that knowing now how it should be valued, though you might turn again to the broken chains and bonds, you would use more force to break, them, drawn by the sweetness and delight a free understanding and an unimpassioned will enjoy.’

‘Have no fear, discreet Thyrsis,’ replied Lauso, ‘that any other new artifice may suffice for me to place once more my feet in the stocks of love, nor count me so light and capricious but that it has cost me, to set me in the state in which I am, countless reflections, a thousand verified suspicions, a thousand fulfilled promises made to Heaven, that I might return to the light I had lost; and since in the light I now see how little I saw before, I will strive to preserve it in the best way I can.’

‘There will be no other way so good,’ said Thyrsis, ‘as not to turn to look at what you leave behind, for you will lose, if you turn, the freedom that has cost you so much, and you will be left, as was left that heedless lover, with new causes for ceaseless lament; and be assured, friend Lauso, that there is not in the world a breast so loving, which disdain and needless arrogance do not cool, and even cause to withdraw from its illplaced thoughts. And I am made to believe this truth the more, knowing who Silena is, though you have never told it me, and knowing also her fickle mood, her hasty impulses, and the freedom, to give it no other name, of her inclinations, things which, if she did not temper them and cloak them with the peerless beauty wherewith Heaven has endowed her, would have made her abhorred by all the world.’

‘You speak truth, Thyrsis,’ replied Lauso, ‘for without any doubt her remarkable beauty, and the appearances of incomparable modesty wherewith she arrays herself are reasons why she should be not only loved but adored by all that behold her.

And so no one should marvel that my free will has submitted to enemies so strong and mighty; only it is right that one should marvel at the way I have been able to escape from them, for though I come from their hands so ill-treated, with will impaired, understanding disturbed, and memory decayed, yet it seems to me that I can conquer in the strife.’

The two shepherds did not proceed further in their discourse, for at this moment they saw a fair shepherdess coming by the very road they were going, and a little way from her a shepherd, who was straightway recognised, for he was the old Arsindo, and the shepherdess was Galercio’s sister, Maurisa. And when she was recognised by Galatea and Florisa, they understood that she was coming with some message from Grisaldo to Rosaura, and as the pair went forward to welcome her, Maurisa came to embrace Galatea, and the old Arsindo greeted all the shepherds, and embraced his friend Lauso, who had a great desire to know what Arsindo had done after they told him that he had gone off in pursuit of Maurisa. And when he was now seen coming back with her, he straightway began to lose with him and with all the character his white hairs had won for him, and he would even have lost it altogether, had not those who were there known so well from experience to what point and how far the force of love extended, and so in the very ones who blamed him he found excuses for his error. And it seems that Arsindo, guessing what the shepherds guessed of him, as though to satisfy and excuse his affection, said to them:

‘Listen, shepherds, to one of the strangest love-affairs that for many years can have been seen on these our banks, or on others. I believe full well that you know, and we all know, the renowned shepherd Lenio, him whose loveless disposition won him the name of loveless, him who not many days ago, merely to speak ill of love, dared to enter into rivalry with the famous Thyrsis, who is present; him, I say, who never could move his tongue, were it not to speak ill of love; him who with such earnestness was wont to reprove those whom he saw distressed by the pangs of love. He, then, being so open an enemy of Love, has come to the pass that I am sure Love has no one who follows him more earnestly, nor yet has he a vassal whom he persecutes more, for he has made him fall in love with the loveless Gelasia, that cruel shepherdess, who the other day, as you saw, held the brother of this damsel’ (pointing to Maurisa), ‘who resembles her so closely in disposition, with the rope at his throat, to finish at the hands of her cruelty his short and illstarred days. I say in a word, shepherds, that Lenio the loveless is dying for the hard-hearted Gelasia, and for her he fills the air with sighs and the earth with tears; and what is worse in this is that it seems to me that Love has wished to avenge himself on Lenio’s rebellious heart, handing him over to the hardest and most scornful shepherdess that has been seen; and he knowing it, now seeks in all he says and does to reconcile himself with Love; and in the same terms with which before he abused him, he now exalts and honours him. And nevertheless, neither is Love moved to favour him, nor Gelasia inclined to heal him, as I have seen with my eyes; since, not many hours ago, as I was coming in the company of this shepherdess, we found him at the spring of slates stretched on the ground, his face covered with a cold sweat, and his breast panting with strange rapidity. I went up to him and recognised him, and with the water of the spring sprinkled his face, whereat he recovered his lost senses; and drawing close to him I asked him the cause of his grief, which he told me without missing a word, telling it me with such tender feeling, that he inspired it in this shepherdess, in whom I think there never was contained the sign of any compassion. He dwelt on Gelasia’s cruelty, and the love he had for her, and the suspicion that reigned in him that Love had brought him to such a state to avenge himself at one blow for the many wrongs he had done him. I consoled him as best I could, and leaving him free from his past paroxysm, I come accompanying this shepherdess, and to seek you, Lauso, in order that, if you would be willing, we may return to our huts, for it is ten days since we left them, and it may be that our herds feel our absence more than we do theirs.’

‘I know not if I should tell you in reply, Arsindo,’ replied Lauso, ‘that I believe you invite me rather out of compliment than for anything else to return to our huts, having as much to do in those of others, as your ten days’ absence from me has shown. But leaving on one side most of what I could say to you thereon for a better time and opportunity, tell me again if it is true what you say of Lenio; for if it is, I may declare that Love has wrought in these days two of the greatest miracles he has wrought in all the days of his life, namely, to subdue and enslave Lenio’s hard heart, and to set free mine which was so subjected.’

‘Look to what you are saying, friend Lauso,’ then said Orompo, ‘for if Love held you subject, as you have indicated hitherto, how has the same Love now set you in the freedom you proclaim?’

‘If you would understand me, Orompo,’ replied Lauso, ‘you will see that I in no wise contradict myself, for I say, or mean to say, that the love that reigned and reigns in the breast of her whom I loved so dearly, as it directs itself to a purpose different from mine, though it is all love, — the effect it has wrought in me is to place me in freedom and Lenio in slavery; and do not compel me, Orompo, to relate other miracles with these.’

And as he said this he turned his eyes to look at the old Arsindo, and with them uttered what with his tongue he kept back; for all understood that the third miracle he might have related would have been the sight of Arsindo’s gray hairs in love with the few green years of Maurisa. She was talking apart all this time with Galatea and Florisa, telling them that on the morrow Grisaldo would be in the village in shepherd’s garb, and that he thought there to wed Rosaura in secret, for publicly he could not, because the kinsmen of Leopersia, to whom his father had agreed to marry him, had learned that Grisaldo was about to fail in his plighted word, and they in no wise wished such a wrong to be done them; but nevertheless Grisaldo was determined to conform rather to what he owed to Rosaura than to the obligation in which he stood to his father.

‘All that I have told you, shepherdesses,’ went on Maurisa, ‘my brother Galercio told me to tell you. He was coming to you with this message, but the cruel Gelasia whose beauty ever draws after it the soul of my luckless brother, was the cause why he could not come to tell you what I have said, since, in order to follow her, he ceased to follow the way he was taking, trusting in me as a sister. You have now learned, shepherdesses, why I have come. Where is Rosaura to tell it her? or do you tell it her, for the anguish in which my brother lies does not permit me to remain here a moment longer.’

Whilst the shepherdess was saying this, Galatea was considering the grievous reply she intended to give her, and the sad tidings that must needs reach the ears of the luckless Grisaldo; but seeing that she could not escape giving them, and that it was worse to detain her, she straightway told her all that had happened to Rosaura, and how Artandro was carrying her off; whereat Maurisa was amazed, and at once would fain have returned to tell Grisaldo, had not Galatea detained her, asking her what had become of the two shepherdesses who had gone away with her and Galercio, to which Maurisa replied:

‘I might tell you things about them, Galatea, which would set you in greater wonder than that in which Rosaura’s fate has set me, but time does not give me opportunity for it. I only tell you that she who was called Leonarda has betrothed herself to my brother Artidoro by the subtlest trick that has ever been seen; and Teolinda, the other one, is in the pass of ending her life or of losing her wits, and she is only sustained by the sight of Galercio, for, as his appearance resembles so much that of my brother Artidoro, she does not depart from his company for a moment, a thing which is as irksome and vexatious to Galercio as the company of the cruel Gelasia is sweet and pleasing to him. The manner in which this took place I will tell you more in detail, when we see each other again; for it will not be right that by my delay the remedy should be hindered, that Grisaldo may have in his misfortune, using to remedy it all diligence possible. For, if it is only this morning that Artandro carried off Rosaura, he will not have been able to go so far from these banks as to take away from Grisaldo the hope of recovering her, and more so if I quicken my steps as I intend.’

Galatea approved of what Maurisa was saying, and so she did not wish to detain her longer; only she begged her to be kind enough to return to see her as soon as she could, to relate to her what had happened to Teolinda, and what had happened in Rosaura’s affair. The shepherdess promised it her, and without staying longer, took leave of those who were there, and returned to her village, leaving all contented with her charm and beauty.

But he who felt her departure most was the old Arsindo, who, not to give clear tokens of his desire, had to remain as lonely without Maurisa as he was accompanied by his thoughts. The shepherdesses, too, were left amazed at what they had heard about Teolinda, and desired exceedingly to learn her fate; and, whilst in this state, they heard the clear sound of a horn, which was sounding on their right hand, and turning their eyes to that side, they saw on the top of a hill of some height two old shepherds who had between them an aged priest, whom they straightway knew to be the old Telesio. And, one of the shepherds having blown the horn a second time, the three all descended from the hill and journeyed towards another which was hard by, and having ascended it, they again blew the horn, at the sound of which many shepherds began to move from different parts to come to see what Telesio desired; for by that signal he was wont to call together all the shepherds of that bank whenever he wished to address to them some useful discourse, or to tell them of the death of some renowned shepherd in those parts, or in order to bring to their minds the day of some solemn festival or of some sad funeral rites. Aurelio then, and almost all the shepherds who came there, having recognised Telesio’s costume and calling, all came on, drawing nigh to where he was, and when they got there, they were already united in one group. But, as Telesio saw so many people coming, and recognised how important all were, descending from the hill, he went to receive them with much love and courtesy, and with the same courtesy was received by all. And Aurelio, going up to Telesio, said to him:

‘Tell us, if you be so good, honourable and venerable Telesio, what new cause moves you to wish to assemble the shepherds of these meadows; is it by chance for joyous festival or sad funereal rite? Do you wish to point out to us something appertaining to the improvement of our lives? Tell us, Telesio, what your will ordains, since you know that ours will not depart from all that yours might wish.’

‘May Heaven repay you, shepherds,’ answered Telesio, ‘for the sincerity of your purposes, since they conform so much to that of him who seeks only your good and profit. But to satisfy the desire you have to learn what I wish, I wish to bring to your memory the memory you ought ever to retain of the worth and fame of the famous and excellent shepherd Meliso, whose mournful obsequies are renewed and ever will be renewed from year to year on to-morrow’s date so long as there be shepherds on our banks, and in our souls there be not wanting the knowledge of what is due to Meliso’s goodness and worth. At least! for myself I can tell you that, as long as my life shall last, I shall not fail to remind you at the fitting time of the obligation under which you have been placed by the skill, courtesy, and virtue of the peerless Meliso. And so now I remind you of it j and make known to you that to-morrow is the day when the luckless day must be renewed on which we lost so much good, as it was to lose the agreeable presence of the prudent shepherd Meliso. By what you owe to his goodness, and by what you owe to the purpose I have to serve you, I pray you shepherds to be to-morrow at break of day all in the valley of cypresses, where stands the tomb of Meliso’s honoured ashes, in order that there with sad hymns and pious sacrifices we may seek to lighten the pain, if any it suffers, of that happy soul which has left us in such solitude.’

And as he said this, moved by the tender regret the memory of Meliso’s death caused him, his venerable eyes filled with tears, most of the bystanders accompanying him therein. They all with one accord offered to be present on the morrow where Telesio bade them, and Timbrio and Silerio, Nisida and Blanca did the same, for it seemed to them that it would not be well to fail to attend at so solemn an occasion and in an assembly of shepherds so celebrated as they imagined would assemble there. Therewith they took leave of Telesio and resumed the journey to the village they had begun. But they had not gone far from that place when they saw coming towards them the loveless Lenio, with a countenance so sad and thoughtful that it set wonder in all; and he was coming so rapt in his fancies that he passed by the side of the shepherds without seeing them; nay, rather, turning his course to the left hand, he had not gone many steps when he flung himself down at the foot of a green willow; and giving forth a heavy and deep sigh, he raised his hand, and placing it on the collar of his skin-coat, pulled so strongly that he tore it all the way down, and straightway he took the wallet from his side, and drawing from it a polished rebeck, he set himself to tune it with great attention and calm; and after a little while he began in a mournful and harmonious voice to sing in such a manner that he constrained all who had seen him to stop to listen to him until the end of his song, which was as follows:

LENIO. Sweet Love, I repent me now

Of my past presumptuous guilt,

I feel henceforth and avow

That on scoffing it was built,

Reared aloft on mocking show;

Now my proud self I abase

And my rebel neck I place

‘Neath thy yoke of slavery,

Now I know the potency

Of thy great far-spreading grace.

What thou wiliest, thou canst do,

And what none can do, thou wiliest,

Who thou art, well dost thou show

In thy mood whereby thou killest,

In thy pleasure and thy woe;

I am he — the truth is plain —

Who did count thy bliss as pain,

Thy deceiving undeceiving,

And thy verities as deceiving,

As caresses thy disdain.

These have now made manifest —

Though the truth I knew before —

To my poor submissive breast

That thou only art the shore

Where our wearied lives find rest;

For the tempest pitiless

Which doth most the soul distress,

Thou dost change to peaceful calm,

Thou’rt the soul’s delight and balm.

And the food that doth it bless.

Since I this confession make —

Late though my confession be —

Love, seek not my strength to break,

Temper thy severity,

From my neck the burden take;

When the foe hath made submission,

None need punish his contrition,

He doth not himself defend.

Now I fain would be thy friend,

Yet from thee comes my perdition.

From the stubborness I turn

Where my malice did me place

And the presence of thy scorn,

From thy justice to thy grace

I appeal with heart forlorn;

If the poor worth of my mind

With thy grace no favour find, —

With thy well-known grace divine —

Soon shall I my life resign

To the hands of grief unkind.

By Gelasia’s hands am I

Plunged into so strange a plight,

That if my grief stubbornly

With her stubbornness shall fight,

Soon methinks they both will die;

Tell me, maiden pitiless,

Filled with pride and scornfulness,

Why thou wishest, I implore thee,

That the heart which doth adore thee,

Should thus suffer, shepherdess.

Little it was that Lenio sang, but his flood of tears was so copious that he would there have been consumed in them, had not the shepherds come up to console him. But when he saw them coming and recognised Thyrsis among them, he arose without further delay and went to fling himself at his feet, closely embracing his knees, and said to him without ceasing his tears:

‘Now you can, famous shepherd, take just vengeance for the boldness I had to compete with you, defending the unjust cause my ignorance set before me; now, I say, you can raise your arm and with a sharp knife pierce this heart where was contained foolishness so notorious as it was not to count Love the universal lord of the world. But one thing I would have you know, that if you wish to take vengeance duly on my error, you should leave me with the life I sustain, which is such that there is no death to compare to it.’

Thyrsis had already raised the hapless Lenio from the ground, and having embraced him, sought to console him with discreet and loving words, saying to him:

‘The greatest fault there is in faults, friend Lenio, is to persist in them, for it is the disposition of devils never to repent of errors committed, and likewise one of the chief causes which moves and constrains men to pardon offences is for the offended one to see repentance in the one who gives offence, and the more when the pardoning is in the hands of one who does nothing in doing this act, since his noble disposition draws and compels him to do it, he remaining richer and more satisfied with the pardon than with the vengeance; as we see it repeatedly in great lords and kings, who gain more glory in pardoning wrongs than in avenging them. And since you, Lenio, confess the error in which you have been and now know the mighty forces of Love, and understand of him that he is the universal lord of our hearts, by reason of this new knowledge and of the repentance you feel, you can be confident and live assured that gentle and kindly Love will soon restore you to a calm and loving life: for if he now punishes you by giving you the painful life you lead, he does it so that you may know him and may afterwards hold and esteem more highly the life of joy he surely thinks to give you.’

To these words Elicio and the remaining shepherds who were there, added many others whereby it seemed that Lenio was somewhat more consoled. And straightway he related to them how he was dying for the cruel shepherdess Gelasia, emphasising to them the scornful and loveless disposition of hers, and how free and exempt she was from thinking on any goal in love, describing to them also the insufferable torment which for her sake the gentle shepherd Galercio was suffering, on whom she set so little store that a thousand times she had set him on the verge of suicide. But after they had for a while discoursed on these things, they resumed their journey, taking Lenio with them, and without anything else happening to them they reached the village, Elicio taking with him Thyrsis, Damon, Erastro, Lauso and Arsindo. With Daranio went Crisio, Orfenio, Marsilio, and Orompo. Florisa and the other shepherdesses went with Galatea and her father Aurelio, having first agreed that on the morrow at the coming of the dawn they should meet to go to the valley of cypresses as Telesio had bidden them, in order to celebrate Meliso’s obsequies. At them, as has already been said, Timbrio, Silerio, Nisida and Blanca wished to be present, who went that night with the venerable Aurelio.

Book VI.

Scarce had the rays of golden Phoebus begun to break through the lowest line of our horizon, when the aged and venerable Telesio made the piteous sound of his horn come to the ears of all that were in the village — a signal which moved those who heard it to leave the repose of their pastoral couches, and hasten to do what Telesio bade. But the first who led the way in this were Elicio, Aurelio, Daranio, and all the shepherds and shepherdesses who were with them, the fair Nisida and Blanca, and the happy Timbrio and Silerio not being absent, with a number of other gallant shepherds and beauteous shepherdesses, who joined them, and might reach the number of thirty.

Amongst them went the peerless Galatea, new miracle of beauty, and the lately-wed Silveria, who brought with her the fair and haughty Belisa, for whom the shepherd Marsilio suffered such loving and mortal pangs. Belisa had come to visit Silveria, and to congratulate her on her newly attained estate, and she wished likewise to be present at obsequies so celebrated as she hoped those would be that shepherds so great and so famous were celebrating. All then came out together, from the village, outside which they found Telesio, with many other shepherds accompanying him, all dad and adorned in such wise that they clearly showed that they had come together for a sad and mournful business. Straightway Telesio ordained, so that the solemn sacrifices might that day be performed with purer intent and thoughts more calm, that all the shepherds should come together on their side, and apart from the shepherdesses, and that the latter should do the same: whereat the smaller number were content, and the majority not very satisfied, especially the fond Marsilio, who had already seen the loveless Belisa, at sight of whom he was so beside himself and so rapt, as his friends Orompo, Crisio, and Orfenio clearly perceived, and when they saw him in such a state, they went up to him, and Orompo said to him:

‘Take courage, friend Marsilio, take courage, and do not by your faint-heartedness cause the small spirit of your breast to be revealed. What if Heaven, moved to compassion of your pain, has at such a time brought the shepherdess Belisa to these banks that you may heal it?’

‘Nay rather the better to end me, as I believe,’ replied Marsilio, ‘will she have come to this place, for this and more must needs be feared from my fortune; but I will do, Orompo, what you bid, if by chance in this hard plight reason has more power with me than my feelings.’

And therewith Marsilio became again somewhat more calm, and straightway the shepherds on one side, and the shepherdesses on another, as was ordained by Telesio, began to make their way to the valley of cypresses, all preserving a wondrous silence; until Timbrio, astonished to see the coolness and beauty of the clear Tagus by which he was going, turned to Elicio who was coming at his side, and said to him:

‘The incomparable beauty of these cool banks, Elicio, causes me no small wonder; and not without reason, for when one has seen as I have the spacious banks of the renowned Betis, and those that deck and adorn the famous Ebro, and the well-known Pisuerga, and when one in foreign lands has walked by the banks of the holy Tiber, and the pleasing banks of the Po, made noted by the fall of the rash youth, and has not failed to go round the cool spots of the peaceful Sebeto, it must needs have been a great cause that should move me to wonder at seeing any others.’

‘You do not go so far out of the way in what you say, as I believe, discreet Timbrio,’ answered Elicio, ‘as not to see with your eyes how right you are to say it; for without doubt you can believe that the pleasantness and coolness of the banks of this river excel, as is well known and recognised, all those you have named, though there should enter among them those of the distant Xanthus, and of the renowned Amphrysus, and of the loving Alpheus. For experience holds and has made certain, that almost in a straight line above the greater part of these banks appears a sky bright and shining, which with a wide sweep and with living splendour seems to invite to joy and gladness the heart that is most estranged from it; and if it is true that the stars and the sun are sustained, as some say, by the waters here below, I firmly believe that those of this river are in a large measure the cause that produces the beauty of the sky that covers it, or I shall believe that God, for the same reason that they say He dwells in Heaven, makes here His sojourn for the most part. The earth that embraces it, clad with a thousand green adornments, seems to make festival and to rejoice at possessing in itself a gift so rare and pleasing, and the golden river as though in exchange, sweetly interweaving itself in its embraces, fashions, as if with intent, a thousand windings in and out, which fill the soul of all who behold them with wondrous pleasure; whence it arises that, though the eyes turn again to behold it many a time, they do not therefore fail to find in it things to cause them new pleasure and new wonder. Turn your eyes then, valiant Timbrio, and see how much its banks are adorned by the many villages and wealthy farmhouses, which are seen built along them. Here in every season of the year is seen the smiling spring in company with fair Venus, her garments girded up and full of love, and Zephyrus accompanying her, with his mother Flora in front, scattering with bounteous hand divers fragrant flowers; and the skill of its inhabitants has wrought so much that nature, incorporated with art, is become an artist and art’s equal, and from both together has been formed a third nature to which I cannot give a name. Of its cultivated gardens, compared with which the gardens of the Hesperides and of Alcinous, may keep silence, of the dense woods, of the peaceful olives, green laurels, and rounded myrtles, of its abundant pastures, joyous valleys, and covered hills, streamlets and springs which are found on this bank, do not expect me to say more, save that, if in any part of the earth the Elysian fields have a place, it is without doubt here. What shall I say of the skilful working of the lofty wheels, by the ceaseless motion of which men draw the waters from the deep river, and copiously irrigate the fields which are distant a long way? Let there be added to this that on these banks are nurtured the fairest and most discreet shepherdesses that can be found in the circle of the earth; as a proof of which, leaving aside that which experience shows us, and what you, Timbrio, do, since you have been on them and have seen, it will suffice to take as an example that shepherdess whom you see there, oh Timbrio.’

And, saying this, he pointed with his crook to Galatea; and without saying more, left Timbrio wondering to see the discretion and words with which he had praised the banks of the Tagus and Galatea’s beauty. And he replied to him that nothing of what was said could be gainsaid, and in these and other things they beguiled the tedium of the road, until, coming in sight of the valley of cypresses, they saw issuing from it almost as many shepherds and shepherdesses as those who were with them. All joined together and with peaceful steps began to enter the sacred valley, the situation of which was so strange and wondrous that even in the very ones who had seen it many a time, it caused new admiration and pleasure. On one portion of the bank of the famous Tagus there rise in four different and opposite quarters four green and peaceful hills, walls and defenders as it were of a fair valley which they contain in their midst, and entrance into it is granted by four other spots. These same hills close together in such a way that they come to form four broad and peaceful roads, walled in on all sides by countless lofty cypresses, set in such order and harmony that even the very branches of each seem to grow uniformly, and none dares in the slightest to exceed or go beyond another. The space there is between cypress and cypress is closed and occupied by a thousand fragrant rose-bushes and pleasing jessamine, so close and interwoven as thorny brambles and prickly briars are wont to be in the hedges of guarded vineyards. From point to point of these peaceful openings are seen running through the short green grass clear cool streamlets of pure sweet waters, which have their birth on the slopes of the same hills. The goal and end of these roads is a wide round space formed by the declivities and cypresses, in the midst of which is placed a fountain of cunning workmanship, built of white and costly marble, made with such skill and cunning that the beauteous fountains of renowned Tibur, and the proud ones of ancient Trinacria cannot be compared to it. With the water of this wondrous fountain are moistened and sustained the cool grasses of the delightful spot, and what makes this pleasing situation the more worthy of esteem and reverence is that it is exempt from the greedy mouths of simple lambs and gentle sheep, and from any other kind of flock; for it serves alone as guardian and treasure-house of the honoured bones of any famous shepherds, who, by the general decree of all the survivors in the neighbourhood are determined and ordained to be worthy and deserving of receiving burial in this famous valley. Therefore there were seen between the many different trees that were behind the cypresses, in the space and expanse there was from them to the slopes of the hills, some tombs, made one of jasper and another of marble, on the white stones of which one read the names of those who were buried in them. But the tomb which shone most above all, and that which showed itself most to the eyes of all, was that of the famous shepherd Meliso, which, apart from the others, was seen on one side of the broad space, made of smooth black slates and of white and well-fashioned alabaster. And at the very moment the eyes of Telesio beheld it, he turned his face to all that pleasing company, and said to them with peaceful voice and piteous tones:

‘There you see, gallant shepherds, discreet and fair shepherdesses, there you see, I say, the sad tomb wherein repose the honoured bones of the renowned Meliso, honour and glory of our banks. Begin then to raise to Heaven your humble hearts, and with pure purpose, copious tears and deep sighs, intone your holy hymns and devout prayers, and ask Heaven to consent to receive in its starry abode the blessed soul of the body that lies there.’

As he said this, he went up to one of the cypresses, and cutting some branches, he made from them a mournful garland wherewith he crowned his white and venerable brow, beckoning to the others to do the same. All, moved by his example, in one moment crowned themselves with the sad branches, and guided by Telesio, went up to the tomb, where the first thing Telesio did was to bend the knee and kiss the hard stone of the tomb. All did the same, and some there were who, made tender by the memory of Meliso, left the white marble they were kissing bedewed with tears. This being done, Telesio bade the sacred fire be kindled, and in a moment around the tomb were made many, though small, bonfires, in which only branches of cypress were burned; and the venerable Telesio began with solemn and peaceful steps to circle the pyre, and to cast into all the glowing fires a quantity of sacred sweet-smelling incense, uttering each time he scattered it, some short and devout prayer for the departed soul of Meliso, at the end of which he would raise his trembling voice, all the bystanders with sad and piteous tone replying thrice ‘Amen, amen,’ to the mournful sound of which the neighbouring hills and distant valleys re-echoed, and the branches of the tall cypresses and of the many other trees of which the valley was full, stricken by a gentle breeze that blew, made and formed a dull and saddest whisper, almost as if in token that they for their part shared the sadness of the funereal sacrifice. Thrice Telesio circled the tomb, and thrice he uttered the piteous prayers, and nine times more were heard the mournful tones of the amen which the shepherds repeated.

This ceremony ended, the aged Telesio leaned against a lofty cypress which rose at the head of Meliso’s tomb, and by turning his face on every side caused the bystanders to attend to what he wished to say, and straightway raising his voice as much as the great number of his years could allow, with marvellous eloquence he began to praise Meliso’s virtues, the integrity of his blameless life, the loftiness of his intellect, the constancy of his soul, the graceful gravity of his discourse, and the excellence of his poetry, and above all the solicitude of his breast to keep and fulfil the holy religion he had professed, joining to these other virtues of Meliso of such a kind and so great that, though the shepherd had not been well known by all who were listening to Telesio, merely by what he was saying, they would have been inspired to love him, if he had been alive, and to reverence him after death. The old man then ended his discourse saying:

‘If the lowliness of my dull understanding, famous shepherds, were to attain to where Meliso’s excellences attained, and to where attains the desire I have to praise them, and if the weak and scanty strength begotten by many weary years did not cut short my voice and breath, sooner would you see this sun that illumines us bathing once and again in the mighty ocean, than I should cease from my discourse begun; but since in my withered age this is not allowed, do you supply what I lack, and show yourselves grateful to Meliso’s cold ashes, praising them in death as the love constrains you that he had for you in life.

And though a part of this duty touches and concerns us all in general, those whom it concerns more particularly are the famous Thyrsis and Damon, as being so well aquainted with him, such friends, such intimates; and so I beg them, as urgently as I can, to respond to this obligation, supplying in song with voice more calm and resounding what I have failed to do by my tears with my faltering one.

Telesio said no more, nor indeed had there been need to say it in order that the shepherds might be moved to do what he bade them, for straightway, without making any reply, Thyrsis drew forth his rebeck, and beckoned to Damon to do the same.

They were accompanied straightway by Elicio and Lauso, and all the shepherds who had instruments there; and in a little while they made music so sad and pleasing, that though it delighted the ears, it moved the hearts to give forth tokens of sadness with the tears the eyes were shedding. To this was joined the sweet harmony of the little painted birds, that were flitting through the air, and some sobs that the shepherdesses, already made tender and moved by Telesio’s discourse, and by what the shepherds were doing, wrung from time to time from their lovely breasts; and it was of such a kind that the sound of the sad music and that of the sad harmony of the linnets, larks, and nightingales, and the bitter sound of the deep groans joining in unison, all formed together a concert so strange and mournful, that there is no tongue that could describe it. A little while after, the other instruments ceasing, only the four of Thyrsis, Damon, Elicio, and Lauso were heard. These going up to Meliso’s tomb, placed themselves on its four sides, a token from which all present understood that they were about to sing something. And so they lent them silence marvellous and subdued, and straightway the famous Thyrsis, aided by Elicio, Damon, and Lauso, began, with voice loud, sad and resounding, to sing in this wise:

THYRSIS. Such is the cause of our grief-stricken moan,

Not ours alone, but all the world’s as well,

Shepherds, your sad and mournful chant intone!

Damon. Let our sighs break the air, and let them swell

E’en unto Heaven in wailings, fashionèd

From righteous love and grief unspeakable!

ELICIO. Mine eyes the tender dew shall ever shed

Of loving tears, until the memory,

Meliso, of thine exploits shall be dead.

LAUSO. Meliso, worthy deathless history,

Worthy to enjoy on holy Heaven’s throne

Glory and life through all eternity.

THYRSIS. What time I raise myself to heights unknown

That I may sing his deeds as I think best,

Shepherds, your sad and mournful chant intone!

Damon. With welling tears, Meliso, that ne’er rest,

As best I can, thy friendship I reward,

With pious prayers, and holy incense blest.

ELICIO. Thy death, alas! our happiness hath marred,

And hath to mourning changed our past delight,

Unto a tender grief that presseth hard.

LAUSO. Those fair and blissful days when all was bright,

When the world revelled in thy presence sweet,

Have been transformed to cold and wretched night.

Thyrsis. Oh Death, that with thy violence so fleet

Didst such a life to lowly earth restore, —

What man will not thy diligence defeat?

Damon. Since thou, oh Death, didst deal that blow with power,

Which brought to earth our stay’midst fortune’s stress,

Ne’er is the meadow clad with grass or flower.

ELICIO. Ever this woe remembering, I repress

My bliss, if any bliss my feeling knows,

Myself I harrow with new bitterness.

Lauso. When is lost bliss recovered? Do not woes,

E’en though we seek them not, ever assail?

When amidst mortal strife find we repose?

Thyrsis. When in the mortal fray did life prevail?

And when was Time, that swiftly flies away,

By harness stout withstood, or coat of mail?

DAMON. Our life is but a dream, an idle play,

A vain enchantment that doth disappear,

What time it seemed the firmest in its day.

ELICIO. A day that darkeneth in mid career,

And on its track close follows gloomy night,

Veilèd in shadows born of chilly fear.

LAUSO. But thou, renownèd shepherd, in a bright

And happy hour didst from this raging sea

Pass to the wondrous regions of delight,

Thyrsis. After that thou hadst heard and judged the plea

Of the great shepherd of the Spanish plain

In the Venetian sheepfold righteously,

DAMON. And after thou hadst bravely borne the pain,

E’en the untimely stroke of Fortune fell,

Which made Italia sad, and even Spain,

ELICIO. After thou hadst withdrawn so long to dwell,

With the nine maidens on Parnassus’ crest,

In solitude and calm unspeakable;

LAUSO. Despite the clang of weapons from the East

And Gallic rage, thy lofty spirit lay

Tranquil, naught moved it from its peaceful rest.

Thyrsis. ’Twas then Heaven willed, upon a mournful day,

That the cold hand of wrathful death should come,

And with thy life our bliss should snatch away.

DAMON. Thy bliss was better, thou didst seek thy home,

But we were left to bitterness untold,

Unending and eternal was our doom.

ELICIO. The sacred maiden choir we did behold

Of those that dwell upon Parnassus’ height

Rending in agony their locks of gold.

LAUSO. The blind boy’s mighty rival by thy plight

Was moved to tears; then to the world below

He showed himself a niggard of his light.

THYRSIS. Amidst the clash of arms, the fiery glow,

By reason of the wily Greek’s deceit,

The Teucrians sad felt not so great a woe,

As those who wept, as those who did repeat

Meliso’s name, the shepherds, in the hour

When of his death the tidings did them greet.

Damon. Their brows with fragrant varied flowers no more

Did they adorn, with mellow voice no song

Sang they of love as in the days of yore.

Around their brows the mournful cypress clung,

And in sad oft-repeated bitter moan

They chanted lays of grief with sorrowing tongue.

ELICIO. Wherefore, since we to-day once more have shown

That we are mindful of our cruel wound,

Shepherds, your sad and mournful chant intone!

The bitter plight that fills with grief profound

Our souls, is such that adamant will be

The breast wherein no place for tears is found.

Lauso. Let countless tongues the soul of constancy

Extol in song, the loyal breast he showed,

Undaunted ever in adversity.

Against the cruel disdain that ever glowed

Within the wrathful breast of Phyllis sweet,

Firm as a rock against the sea, he stood.

THYRSIS. The verses he hath sung let all repeat,

Let them, as tokens of his genius rare,

In the world’s memory find eternal seat.

Damon. Let Fame, that spreadeth tidings everywhere,

Through lands that differ far from ours, his name

With rapid steps and busy pinions bear.

ELICIO. From his most chaste and love-enraptured flame

Let the most wanton breast example take,

And that which fire less perfect doth inflame.

Lauso. Blessed art thou, though fortune did forsake

Thee countless times, for thou dost joyous live,

No shadow now doth thy contentment break.

THYRSIS. This mortal lowliness that thou didst leave

Behind, more full of changes than the moon,

Little doth weary thee, doth little grieve.

Damon. Humility thou changedst for the boon

Of loftiness, evil for good, and death

For life — thy fears and hopes were surely one.

ELICIO. He who lives well, though he in semblance hath

Fallen, doth soar to Heaven on lofty wing,

As thou, Meliso, by the flowery path.

There, there, from throats immortal issuing,

The voice resounds, that glory doth recite,

Glory repeateth, glory sweet doth sing.

There the serene fair countenance and bright

We see, and in the sight thereof behold

Glory’s supreme perfection with delight.

My feeble voice to praise thee waxeth bold,

Yet, e’en as my desire doth greater grow,

In check my fear, Meliso, doth it hold.

For that which I, with mind uplifted, now

View of that hallowed mind of thine, and see

Exalted far above all human show,

Hath made my mind a coward utterly;

I may but press my lips together, may

But raise my brows in wondering ecstasy.

LAUSO. When thou dost go, thou fillest with dismay

All who their pleasure in thy presence sought;

Evil draws nigh, for thou dost go away.

THYRSIS. In days gone by the rustic shepherds taught

Themselves thy wisdom, in that self-same hour

They gained new understanding, wiser thought.

But, ah! there came the inevitable hour,

When thou departedst, and we did remain,

With hearts dead, and with minds bereft of power.

We celebrate this memory of pain,

We who our love for thee in life have shown,

E’en as in death we mourn thee once again.

So to the sound of your confusèd moan,

New breath the while receiving ceaselessly,

Shepherds, your sad and mournful chant intone!

Even as is the bitter agony,

So be the welling tears, so be the sighs,

Wherewith the wind is swollen that hastens by.

Little I ask, little the boon I prize,

But ye must feel all that my tongue to you

Can now unfold with feeble, stammering cries.

But Phoebus now departs, and robs of hue

The earth that doth her sable mantle don.

So till the longed-for dawn shall come anew,

Shepherds, no more your mournful chant intone!

Thyrsis, who had begun the sad and mournful elegy, was the one who ended it, without any of those that had listened to the lamentable song ending their tears for a good while. But at this moment the venerable Telesio said to them:

‘Since we have in part, gallant and courteous shepherds, complied with the debt we owe the blessed Meliso, impose silence for the nonce on your tender tears, and give some truce to your grievous sighs, since by neither can we make good the loss we bewail; and though human sorrow cannot fail to show sorrow when ill befalls, yet it is necessary to temper the excess of its attacks with the reason that attends on the discreet. And although tears and sighs are tokens of the love cherished for him who is bewailed, the souls for which they are shed gain more profit by the pious sacrifices and devout prayers which are offered for them, than if all the ocean main were to be made tears and distil through the eyes of all the world. And for this cause and because we must give some relief to our wearied bodies, it will be well to leave what remains for us to do till the coming day, and for the present to make a call on your wallets, and comply with what nature enjoins on you.’

And in saying this, he gave orders for all the shepherdesses to abide on one side of the valley near Meliso’s tomb, leaving with them six of the oldest shepherds who were there, and the rest were in another part a little way from them. And straightway with what they carried in their wallets and with the water of the clear spring they satisfied the common necessity of hunger, ending at a time when already night was clothing with one same colour all things contained beneath our horizon, and the shining moon was showing her fair and radiant face in all the fulness she has when most her ruddy brother imparts to her his rays. But a little while after, a troubled wind arising, there began to be seen some black clouds, which in a measure hid the light of the chaste goddess, making shadows on the earth; tokens from which some shepherds who were there, masters in rustic astrology, expected some coming hurricane and tempest. But all ended only in the night remaining grey and calm, and in their settling down to rest on the cool grass, yielding their eyes to sweet and peaceful slumber, as all did save some who shared as sentinels the guardianship of the shepherdesses, and save the guardian of some torches that were left blazing round Meliso’s tomb. But now that calm silence prevailed through all that sacred valley, and now that slothful Morpheus had with his moist branch touched the brows and eyelids of all those present, at a time when the wandering stars had gone a good way round our pole, marking out the punctual courses of the night: at that moment from the very tomb of Meliso arose a great and wondrous fire, so bright and shining that in an instant all the dark valley was in such brightness, as if the very sun had illumined it. By which sudden marvel the shepherds who were awake near the tomb, fell astonished to the ground dazzled and blind with the light of the transparent fire, which produced a contrary effect in the others who were sleeping; for when they were stricken by its rays, heavy slumber fled from them, and they opened, though with some difficulty, their sleeping eyes, and seeing the strangeness of the light that revealed itself to them, remained confounded and amazed; and so, one standing, another reclining, another kneeling, each gazed on the bright fire with amazement and terror. Telesio seeing all this, arraying himself in a moment in the sacred vestments, accompanied by Elicio, Thyrsis, Damon, Lauso, and other spirited shepherds, gradually began to draw nigh to the fire, with the intention of seeking with some lawful and fitting exorcisms to extinguish, or TO understand whence came the strange vision which showed itself to them. But when they were drawing nigh to the glowing flames, they saw them dividing into two parts, and in their midst appearing a nymph so fair and graceful, that it set them in greater wonder than the sight of the blazing fire; she appeared clad in a rich and fine web of silver, gathered and drawn up at the waist in such wise that half of her legs revealed themselves arrayed in buskins or close-fitting foot-gear, gilded and full of countless knots of variegated ribbons. Over the silver web she wore another vestment of green and delicate silk, which, wafted from side to side by a light breeze that was gently blowing, seemed most exquisite. She wore scattered over her shoulders the longest and the ruddiest locks that human eyes ever saw, and upon them a garland made of green laurel only. Her right hand was occupied by a tall branch of the yellow palm of victory, and her left with another of the green olive of peace.

And with these adornments she showed herself so fair and wonderful, that all that beheld her she kept rapt by her appearance in such wise that, casting from them their first fear, they approached with sure steps the neighbourhood of the fire, persuading themselves that from so fair a vision no harm could happen to them. And all being, as has been said, ravished to see her, the beauteous nymph opened her arms on each side, and made the divided flames divide the more and part, to give an opportunity that she might the better be seen; and straightway raising her calm countenance, with grace and strange dignity she began words such as these:

‘By the results that my unexpected appearance has caused in your hearts, discreet and pleasing company, you can gather that it is not by virtue of evil spirits that this form of mine has been fashioned which presents itself here to you; for one of the means by which we recognise whether a vision BE good or bad, is by the results it produces on the mind of him who BEHOLDS it.

For in the case of the good, though it cause in him wonder and alarm, such wonder and alarm comes mingled with a pleasant disturbance which in a little while calms and satisfies him, contrary to what is caused by the malignant vision, which brings alarm, discontent, terror, but never assurance. Experience will make clear to you this truth when you know me, and when I tell you who I am, and the cause that has moved me to come from my distant dwelling-place to visit you. And because I do not wish to KEEP you in suspense with the desire you have to know who! AM, know, discreet shepherds and beauteous shepherdesses, that I am one of the nine maidens, who on the lofty and sacred peaks of Parnassus have their own and famous abode. My name is Calliope, my duty and disposition it is to favour and aid the divine spirits, whose laudable practice it is to busy themselves in the marvellous and never duly lauded science of poetry. I am she who made the old blind man of Smyrna, famous only through him, win eternal fame; she who will make the Mantuan Tityrus live for all the ages to come, until time end; and she who makes the writings, as uncouth as learned, of the most ancient Ennius, to be esteemed from the past to the present age. In short, I am she who favoured Catullus, she who made Horace renowned, Propertius eternal, and I am she who with immortal fame has preserved the memory of the renowned Petrarch, and she who made the famous Dante descend to the dark circles of Hell, and ascend to the bright spheres of Heaven. I am she who aided the divine Ariosto to weave the varied and fair web he fashioned; she who in this country of yours had intimate friendship with the witty Boscan, and with the famous Garcilaso, with the learned and wise Castillejo, and the ingenious Torres Naharro, by whose intellects and by their fruits your country was enriched and I satisfied. I am she who moved the pen of the celebrated Aldana, and that which never left the side of Don Fernando de Acuna; and she who prides herself on the close friendship and converse she always had with the blessed soul of the body that lies in this tomb. The funeral rites performed by you in his honour not only have gladdened his spirit, which now paces through the eternal realm, but have so satisfied me that I have come perforce to thank you for so laudable and pious a custom as this is, which is in use among you. Therefore I promise you, with the sincerity that can be expected from my virtue, in reward for the kindness you have shown to the ashes of my dear beloved Meliso, always to bring it to pass that on your banks there may never be wanting shepherds to excel all those of the other banks in the joyous science of poetry. I will likewise always favour your counsels, and guide your understanding so that you may never give an unjust vote, when you decide who is deserving of being buried in this sacred valley; for it will not be right that an honour, so special and distinguished, and one which is only deserved by white and tuneful swans, should come to be enjoyed by black and hoarse crows. And so it seems to me that it will be right to give you some information now about some distinguished men who live in this Spain of yours, and about some in the distant Indies subject to her; and if all or anyone of these should be brought by his good fortune to end the course of his days on these banks, without any doubt you can grant him burial in this famous spot. Together with this I wish to warn you not to think the first I shall name worthy of more honour than the last, for herein I do not intend to keep any order, because, though I understand the difference between the one and the other, and the others among themselves, I wish to leave the decision of it in doubt, in order that your intellects may have something to practise on in understanding the difference OF theirs, of which their works will give proof. I shall go through their names as they come to my memory, so that none may claim that it is a favour I have done him in having remembered him before another, for, as I tell you, discreet shepherds, I leave you to give them afterwards the place which seems to you to be due to them of right; and, in order that with less trouble and annoyance you may be attentive to my long narration, I will make it of such a kind that you may only feel displeasure at its brevity.’

The fair nymph, having said this, was silent and straightway took a harp she had beside her, which up till that time had been seen by no one, and, as she began to play it, it seemed that the sky began to brighten, and that the moon illumined the earth with new and unwonted splendour; the trees, despite a gentle breeze that was blowing, held their branches still; and the eyes of all who were there did not dare to lower their lids, IN order that for the little while they lingered in raising, they might not be robbed of the glory they enjoyed in beholding the beauty of the nymph, and indeed all would have wished all their five senses to be changed into that of hearing only; with such strangeness, with such sweetness, with so great a charm did the fair muse play her harp. After she had sounded a few chords, with the most resounding voice that could be imagined, she began with verses such as these:


To the sweet sound of my harmonious lyre,

Shepherds, I pray you lend attentive ear,

The hallowed breath of the Castalian choir

Breathing therein and in my voice ye’ll hear:

Lo! it will make you wonder and admire

With souls enraptured and with happy fear,

What time I do recount to you on earth

The geniuses that Heaven claims for their worth.

It is my purpose but of those to sing

Of whose life Fate hath not yet cut the thread,

Of those who rightly merit ye should bring

Their ashes to this place when they are dead,

Where, despite busy Time on hasty wing,

Through this praiseworthy duty rendered

By you, for countless years may live their fame,

Their radiant work, and their renownèd name.

And he who doth with righteous title merit

Of high renown to win a noble store,

Is DON ALONSO; he ’tis doth inherit

From holy Phoebus heavenly wisdom’s flower,

In whom shineth with lofty glow the spirit

Of warlike Mars, and his unrivalled power,

LEIVA his surname in whose glorious sound

Italy, Spain herself, hath lustre found.

Arauco’s wars and Spanish worth hath sung

Another who the name ALONSO hath.

Far hath he wandered all the realms among

Where Glaucus dwells, and felt his furious wrath;

His voice was not untuned, nor was his tongue,

For full of strange and wondrous grace were BOTH,

Wherefore ERCILLA doth deserve to gain

Memorial everlasting in this plain.

Of JUAN DE SILVA I to you declare

That he deserves all glory and all praise,

Not only for that Phoebus holds him dear,

But for the worth that is in him always;

Thereto his works a testimony clear

Will be, wherein his intellect doth blaze

With brightness which illumineth the eyes

Of fools, dazzling at times the keen and wise.

Be the rich number of my list increased

By him to whom Heaven doth such favour show

That by the breath of Phoebus is his breast

Sustained, and by Mars’ valour here below;

Thou matchest Homer, if thou purposest

To write, thy pen unto such heights doth go,

DIEGO OSORIO, that to all mankind

Truly is known thy loftiness of mind.

By all the ways whereby much-speaking fame

A cavalier illustrious can praise,

By these it doth his glorious worth proclaim,

His deeds the while setting his name ablaze;

His lively wit, his virtue doth inflame

More than one tongue from height to height to raise


Nor doth the flight of time bring them to fear.


CARVAJAL famous, nursling of our choir,

Of Hippocrene the radiance and delight,

Youthful in years, old in poetic fire;

Thy name will go from age to age, despite

The waters of oblivion, rising higher,

Made famous by thy works, from grace to grace,

From tongue to tongue, and from race unto race.

Now chief of all I would to you display

Ripeness of intellect in tender years,

Gallantry, skill that no man can gainsay,

A bearing courteous, worth that knows no fears;

One that in Tuscan, as in Spanish, may

His talent show, as he who did rehearse

The tale of Este’s line and did enthral,


LUIS DE VARGAS, thou in whom I see

A genius ripe in thy few tender days,

Strive thou to win the prize of victory,

The guerdon of my sisters and their praise;

So near are thou thereto, that thou to me

Seemest triumphant, for in countless ways

Virtuous and wise, thou strivest that thy fame

May brightly shine with clear and living flame.

Honour doth Tagus’ beauteous bank receive

From countless heavenly spirits dwelling there,

Who make this present age wherein we live,

Than that of Greeks and Romans happier;

Concerning them this message do I give

That they are worthy of sepulture here,

And proof thereof their works have to us given,

Which point us out the way that leads to Heaven.

Two famous doctors first themselves present,

In Phoebus’ sciences of foremost name,

The twain in age alone are different,

In character and wit they are the same;

All near and far they fill with wonderment,

They win amongst their fellows so much fame

By their exalted wisdom and profound

That soon they needs must all the world astound.

The name that cometh first into my song,

Of the twain whom I now to praise make bold,

Is CAMPUZANO, great the great among,

Whom as a second Phoebus ye can hold;

His lofty wit, his more than human tongue,

Doth a new universe to us unfold

Of Indies and of glories better far,

As better than gold is wisdom’s guiding star.

Doctor SUAREZ is the next I sing,

And SOSA is the name he adds thereto —

He who with skilful tongue doth everything

That free from blemish is and best, pursue;

Whoso should quench within the wondrous spring

His thirst, as he did, will not need to view

With eye of envy learnèd Homer’s praise,

Nor his who sang to us of Troy ablaze.

Of Doctor BAZA, if of him I might

Say what I feel, I without doubt maintain,

That I would fill all present with delight;

His learning, virtue, and his charm are plain

First have I been to raise him to the height

Where now he stands, and I am she who fain

Would make his name eternal whilst the Lord

Of Delos shall his radiant light afford.

If fame should bring the tidings to your ear

Of the strange works a famous mind displays,

Conceptions lofty, well-ordered, and clear,

Learning that would the listener amaze;

Things that the thought checketh in mid career,

And tongue cannot express, but straightway stays —

Whene’er ye are in trouble and in doubt

’Tis the Licentiate DAZA leads you out.

Master GARAI’S melodious works incite

Me to extol him more than all beside;

Thou, fame, excelling time of hasty flight,

His celebration deem a work of praise;

Fame, thou wilt find the fame he gives more bright

Than is thine own in spreading far and wide

His praise, for thou must, speaking of his fame,

From many-tongued to truthful change thy name.

That intellect, which, leaving far behind

Man’s greatest, doth to the divine aspire.

Which in Castilian doth no pleasure find —

The heroic verse of Rome doth him inspire:

New Homer in Mantuan new combined

Is Master CORDOVA. Worthy his lyre

Of praise in happy Spain, in every land.

Where shines the sun, where ocean laves the strand.

Doctor FRANCISCO DIAZ, I can well

Assure my shepherds here concerning thee,

That with glad heart and joy unspeakable

They can thy praises sing unceasingly;

And if I do not on thy praises dwell —

The highest is thy due, and worthily —

’Tis that our time is short, nor do I know

How I can e’er repay thee what I owe.

LUJAN, who with thy toga merited

Dost thine own Spain and foreign lands delight,

Who with thy sweet and well-known muse dost spread

Thy fame abroad to Heaven’s loftiest height,

Life shall I give thee after thou art dead,

And I shall cause, in swift and rapid flight,

The fame of thine unequalled mind to roll

And spread from ours unto the opposing pole.

His lofty mind doth a Licentiate show,

And worth,— ’tis a beloved friend of yours —

I mean JUAN DE VERGARA, whom ye know,

An honour to this happy land of ours;

By a clear open pathway he doth go,

’Tis I that guide aright his steps and powers.

Unto his height to rise is my reward,

His mind and virtue joy to me afford.

That my bold song may praise and glory gain,

Another shall I name to you, from whom

My song to-day shall greater force attain

And to the height of my desire shall come;

And this it is that maketh me refrain

From more than naming him and finding room

To sing how lofty genius hath been sung


Over the rugged steep unto the fane

Where dwelleth fame, there climbs and draweth near

A noble youth, who breaks with might and main

Though every hindrance, though ’tis fraught with fear,

And needs must come so nigh that it is plain

That fame doth in prophetic song declare

The laurel which it hath prepared ere now,

HERNANDO MALDONADO, is for thy brow.

Adorned with noble laurel here ye see

His learned brow, who hath such glory found

In every science, every art, that he

O’er all the globe is even now renowned;

Oh golden age, oh happy century,

With such a man as this worthily crowned!

What century, what age doth with thee vie.

When Marco Antonio de la Vegan’s nigh?

A DIEGO IS the next I call to mind,

Who hath in truth MENDOZA for his name,

Worthy that history should her maker find

In him alone, and soar as soars his fame;

His learning and his virtue, which, enshrined

In every heart, the whole world doth acclaim,

Absent and present both alike astound,

Whether in near or distant nations found.

High Phoebus an acquaintance doth possess —

Acquaintance say I? Nay, a trusty friend,

In whom alone he findeth happiness,

A treasurer of knowledge without end;

’Tis he who of set purpose doth repress

Himself, so that his all he may not spend,

DIEGO DURAN, in whom we ever find,

And shall find, wisdom, worth, and force of mind.

But who is he who sings his agonies

With voice resounding, and with matchless taste?

Phoebus, and sage Arion, Orpheus wise,

Find ever their abode within his breast;

E’en from the realms where first the dawn doth rise,

Unto the distant regions of the west,

Is he renowned and loved right loyally,

For, LOPEZ MALDONADO, thou art he.

Who could the praises, shepherds mine, recite

Of him ye love, a shepherd crowned by fame,

Brightest of all the shepherds that are bright,

Who is to all known by FILIDA’S name?

The skill, the learning and the choice delight,

The rare intelligence, the heart aflame,

Of Luis DE MONTALVO aye assure

Glory and honour whilst the heavens endure.

His temples now let holy Ebro bind

With ivy evergreen and olive white,

And with acanthus golden, may he find

In joyous song his fame forever bright:

The fruitful Nile hath his renown resigned,

For Ebro’s ancient worth to such a height

Pedro de Linan’s subtle pen doth lift,

Sum of the bliss which is Apollo’s gift.

I think upon the lofty soul and rare

By Don Alonso de VALDES possessed,

And am spurred on to sing and to declare

That he excels the rarest and the best;

This hath he shown already, and more clear

By the elegance and grace wherewith his breast

He doth reveal, with bitter pangs distraught,

Praising the ill that cruel Love hath wrought.

Before an intellect in wonder bow,

Wherein all that the wish can ask is found,

An intellect, that though it liveth now

On earth, is with the pomp of Heaven crowned;

All that I see and hear and read and know

Of Pedro de Padilla the renowned,

Whether he treat of peace or war’s alarm,

Brings fresh delight and wonder by its charm.

Gaspar Alfonso, thou who wingst thy flight

Unto the immortal realms, so orderest

That I can scarce thy praises all recite,

If I must praise thee as thou meritest;

The pleasing, fruitful plants that on the height

Of our renowned Parnassus find their nest,

All offer wealthy laurels for a crown

To circle and adorn thy brows alone.

Of Cristoval de Mesa I can say

That to your vale he will an honour be;

While he is living, nay, when life away

Hath fled, still ye can praise him fittingly;

His lofty weighty style can win to-day

Renown and honour, and the melody

Of his heroic verse, though silent fame

Remain, and I remember not his name.

Don Pedro de Ribera doth, ye know,

Wealth to your banks, and beauty, shepherds, bring,

Wherefore give him the honour that ye owe,

For I will be the first his praise to sing:

His virtue, his sweet muse doth clearly show

A noble subject, where, on noisy wing,

Fame, hundred thousand fames, their powers might spend

And strive his praises only to extend.

Thou, who didst bring the treasure manifold

Of verse in a new form the shores unto

Of the fair fruitful stream, whose bed of gold

Maketh it famous wheresoe’er it flow,

Thy glorious fame I promise to uphold

With the applause and reverence that we owe

To thee, Caldera, and thy peerless mind;

With laurel, ivy, I thy brows shall bind.

Let fame, and let the memory I possess,

For ever famous make the memory

Of him who hath transformed to loveliness

The glory of our Christian poesy;

The knowledge and the charm let all confess,

From the dayspring to where the day doth die,

Of great Francisco de Guzman, whose are

The arts of Phoebus as the arts of war.

Of the Captain Salcedo ’tis quite clear

That his celestial genius doth attain

Unto the point most lofty, keen and rare,

That can be fancied by the thought of man;

If I compare him, him I do compare

Unto himself — Comparisons, ’tis plain,

Are useless, and to measure worth so true,

All measures must be faulty, or askew.

By reason of the wit and curious grace

Of Thomas de Gracian, I pray, permit

That I should choose within this vale a place

Which shall his virtue, knowledge, worth, befit;

And if it run with his deserts apace,

‘Twill be so lofty and so exquisite

That few, methinks, may hope with him to vie,

His genius and his virtues soar so high.

Fain would BAPTISTA DE VIVAR you praise,

Sisters, with unpremeditated lyre;

Such grace, discretion, prudence, he displays,

That, muses though ye be, ye can admire;

He will not hymn Narcissus in his lays

Nor the disdains that lonely Echo tire,

But he will sing his cares which had their birth

‘Twixt sad forgetfulness and hope of mirth.

Now terror new, now new alarm and fear

Cometh upon me and o’erpowereth the,

Only because I would, yet cannot bear

Unto the loftiest heights of dignity

Grave BALTASAR, who doth as surname wear

TOLEDO, though my fancy whispereth me

That of his learned quill the lofty flight

Must bear him soon to the empyrean height.

There is a mind wherein experience shows

That knowledge findeth fitting dwelling-place,

Not only in ripe age amidst the snows,

But in green years, in early youthful days;

With no man shall I argue, or oppose

A truth so plain, the more because my praise,

If it perchance unto his ears be brought,

Thine honour hath, LOPE DE VEGA, sought.

Now holy Betis to my fancy’s eye

Presents himself with peaceful olive crowned,

Making his plaint that I have passed him by, —

His angry words now in my ears resound —

He asks that in this narrative, where I

Speak of rare intellects, place should be found

For those that dwell upon his banks, and so

With voice sonorous I his will shall do.

But what am I to do? For when I seek

To start, a thousand wonders I divine,

Many a Pindus’ or Parnassus’ peak,

And choirs of lovelier sisters than the nine,

Whereat my lofty spirits faint and weak

Become, and more when by some strange design

I hear a sound repeated as in echo,

Whene’er the name is namèd of PACHECO.

PACHECO ’tis whom Phoebus calls his friend,

On whom he and my sisters so discreet

Did from his feeble tender years attend

With new affection and new converse sweet;

I too his genius and his writings send

By strange paths never trod by mortal feet,

And ever have sent, till they rise on high

Unto the loftiest place of dignity.

Unto this pass I come, that, though I sing

With all my powers divine HERRERA’S praise,

My wearied toil but little fruit will bring,

Although to the fifth sphere my words him raise;

But, should friendship’s suspicions to me cling,

Upon his works and his true glory gaze,

HERNANDO doth by learning all enthral

From Ganges unto Nile, from pole to pole.

FERNANDO would I name to you again

DE CANGAS surnamed, whom the world admires,

Through whom the learning lives and doth sustain

Itself that to the hallowed bays aspires;

If there be any intellect that fain

Would lift its gaze to the celestial fires,

Let it but gaze on him, and it will find

The loftiest and the most ingenious mind.

Concerning CRISTOVAL, who hath the name

Of DE VILLAROEL, ye must believe

That he full well deserveth that his name

Ne’er should oblivion’s gloomy waters cleave;

His wit let all admire, his worth acclaim

With awe, his wit and worth let all receive

As the most exquisite we can discover,

Where’er the sun doth shine, or earth doth cover.

The streams of eloquence which did of old

Flow from the breast of stately Cicero,

Which, gladdening the Athenian people bold,

Did honour on Demosthenes bestow,

The minds o’er whom Time hath already rolled —

Who bore themselves so proudly long ago —


Let them before thy lofty learning bow.

Rightly thou canst, renownèd Betis, now

With Mincio, Arno, and with Tiber vie,

Uplift in happiness thy hallowed brow,

And spread thee in new bosoms spaciously:

Since Heaven wished, that doth thy bliss allow,

Such fame to give thee, honour, dignity,

As he doth bring unto thy banks so fair,

BALTASAR DEL ALCAZAR, who dwells there.

Another ye will see, summed up in whom

Apollo’s rarest learning will ye see,

Which doth the semblance of itself assume,

When spread through countless others it may be;

In him ’tis greater, in him it doth come

To such a height of excellence that he,

The Licentiate MOSQUERA well can claim

To rival e’en Apollo’s self in fame.

Behold! yon prudent man who doth adorn

And deck with sciences his limpid breast,

Shrinks not from gazing on the fountain born

In wisdom’s waters from our mountain’s crest;

In the clear peerless stream he doth not scorn

To quench his thirst, and thus thou flourishest,

DOMINGO DE BECERRA, here on earth,

For all recount the mighty doctor’s worth.

Words I might speak of famous ESPINEL

That pass beyond the wit of human kind,

Concerning all the sciences that dwell,

Nurtured by Phoebus’ breath, within his mind;

But since my tongue the least part cannot tell

Of the great things that in my soul I find,

I say no more save that he doth aspire

To Heaven, whether he take his pen or lyre.

If ruddy Phoebus ye would fain espy

With blood-red Mars in equal balance weighed,

On great CARRANZA seek to cast an eye,

In whom each hath his constant dwelling made;

With such discretion, art, dexterity,

Hath he his power o’er pen and lance displayed

That the dexterity once cleft apart

He hath brought back to science and to art.


Than mine must needs be tuned with better art,

To sing the good that Heaven doth inspire,

The worth that Heaven fosters in his heart:

By Mars’ and Phoebus’ path he doth inspire

To climb unto the lofty heights apart

Where human thought scarce reacheth, yet, despite

Fortune and fate, he will reach them aright.

BALTASAR DE ESCOBAR, who doth adorn

The famèd shores of Tiber’s stream to-day,

Whom the broad banks of hallowed Betis mourn,

Their beauty lost when he is far away,

A fertile wit, if he perchance return

To his beloved native land, T pay

Unto his youthful and his honoured brow

The laurel and the honour that I owe.

JUAN SANZ, called DE ZUMETA, with what power,

What honour, palm, or laurel shall be crowned,

If from the Indian to the ruddy Moor

No muse as his so perfect can be found?

Here I anew his fame to him restore

By telling you, my shepherds, how profound

Will be Apollo’s joy at any praise

Which ye may bring to swell ZUMETA’S praise.

Unto JUAN DE LAS CUEVAS fitting place

Give, shepherds, whensoever in this spot

He shall present himself. His muse’s grace

And his rare wit this prize for him have wrought;

His works I know, though Time may flee apace,

In Time’s despite, shall never be forgot,

From dread oblivion they shall free his name,

Which shall abide with bright and lofty fame.

If him ye ever see, with honour greet

The famous man, of whom I now shall tell,

And celebrate his praise in verses sweet,

As one who doth therein so much excel;

Bibaldo he — to make my tale complete,

Adam Bibaldo — who doth gild and swell

The glory of this happy age of ours

With the choice bloom of intellectual powers.

E’en as is wont to be with varied flowers

Adorned and wealthy made the flowery May,

With many varied sciences and powers

DON JUAN AGUAYO’S intellect is gay;

Though I in praising him might pass the hours,

I say but this, that I now but essay,

And at another time I shall unfold

Things that your hearts with wonderment will hold.

Don Juan Gutierrez Rufo’s famous name

I wish in deathless memory to live,

That wise and foolish may alike acclaim

In wonderment his noble narrative;

Let hallowed Betis give to him the fame

His style doth merit, let them glory give

To him, who know, may Heaven with renown

Equal unto his towering flight him crown.


A rare and lively wit that hath no peer,

His works delight me, their wealth I bestow

Not on myself alone, but everywhere;

And if I merit aught, because ye know

My love for you, see that your praises bear

To endless life his lofty love profound

Despite the flight of time and death’s cruel wound.

Let the green laurel, let the ivy green,

Nay, let the sturdy holm-oak crown the brow


Worthy of being crowned therewith art thou;

More than Apollo’s learning in thee seen,

In thee doth Mars the burning ardour show

Of his mad rage, yet with so just a measure

That through thee he inspireth dread and pleasure.

Thou, who with thy sweet plectrum didst extol

Celidon’s name and glory everywhere,

Whose wondrous and well-polished verses call

Thee unto laurels and to triumphs fair,

GONZALO GOMEZ, take the coronal,

Sceptre and throne from her who holds thee dear,

In token that the bard of Celidon

Deserveth to be Lord of Helicon.

Thou, Darro, far renownèd stream of gold,

How well thou canst thyself exalt on high,

And with new current and new strength, behold,

Thou canst e’en with remote Hydaspes vie!

MATEO DE BERRIO maketh bold

To honour thee with every faculty

So that through him e’en now the voice of fame

Doth spread abroad through all the world thy name.

Of laurel green a coronal entwine,

That ye therewith the worthy brows may crown

Of SOTO BARAHONA, shepherds mine,

A man of wisdom, eloquence, renown;

Although the holy flood, the fount divine

Of Helicon, should BARAHONA drown,

Mysterious chance! he yet would come to sight

As if he were upon Parnassus’ height.

Within the realms antarctic I might say

That sovereign minds eternal fame attain,

For if these realms abound in wealth to-day,

Minds more than human also they contain;

In many now I can this truth display,

But I can give you plenteous store in twain,

One from New Spain, he an Apollo new,

The other, a sun unrivalled from Peru.


Of one, renowned in Spain and in the West,

New Hippocrene his noble heart aflame

Hath given to his happy native nest;

Unto the other cometh equal fame,

Since by his heavenly genius he hath blest

Far Arequipa with eternal spring —


Beneath a happy star a radiance bright

Here did flash forth, so rich in signal worth

That his renown its tiniest spark of light

From East to West hath spread o’er all the earth;

And when this light was born, all valorous might

Was born therewith, PICADO had his birth,

Even my brother, Pallas’ brother too,

Whose living semblance we in him did view.

IF I must give the glory due to thee,

Great ALONSO DE ESTRADA, thou to-day

Deservest that I should not hurriedly

Thy wisdom and thy wondrous mind display;

Thou dost enrich the land that ceaselessly

To Betis doth a bounteous tribute pay,

Unequal the exchange, for no reward

Can payment for so fair a debt afford.

DON JUAN, Heaven gave thee as the rare delight

Of this fair country with no grudging hand,

AVALOS’ glory, and RIBERA’S light,

Honour of Spain, of every foreign land,

Blest Spain, wherein with many a radiance bright

Thy works shall teach the world to understand

All that Nature can give us, rich and free,

Of genius bright and rare nobility.

He who is happy in his native land,

In Limar’s limpid waters revelling,

The cooling winds and the renownèd strand

With his divinest verses gladdening, —

Let him come, straightway ye will understand

From his spirit and discretion why I sing,

For SANCHO DE RIBERA everywhere

Is Phoebus’ self and Mars without a peer.

A Homer new this vale of high renown

Did once upon a time from Betis wrest,

On whom of wit and gallantry the crown

We can bestow — his greatness is confessed;

The Graces moulded him to be their own,

Heaven sendeth him in every grace the best,

Your Tagus’ banks already know his fame,


Wonder the illustrious DIEGO DE AGUILAR

In everything the wish can ask inspires,

A royal eagle he, who flieth far

Unto a height whereto no man aspires;

His pen ‘mongst thousands wins the spoil of war,

For before it the loftiest retires,

Guanuco will his style, his valour tell

Of such renown; Guanuco knows it well.


A mighty captain in Apollo’s host,

In whose heroic name that hath no peer,

SOTOMAYOR to-day doth make his boast;

His verse is wondrous and his wisdom clear

Where’er he is beheld from coast to coast,

And if his pen doth so much joy afford,

He is no less renowned by his sword.

HENRIQUE Garces the Peruvian land

Enricheth. There with sweet melodious rhyme,

With cunning, skilful, and with ready hand,

In him the hardest task did highest climb;

New speech, new praise he to the Tuscan grand

Hath given in the sweet Spanish of our time;

Who shall the greatest praises from him take,

E’en though Petrarch himself again awake?


And excellent, and his immortal vein

Make him to be in no small part the heir

Of Hippocrene’s waters without stain;

Since whatsoe’er he would therefrom, is ne’er

Denied him, since such glory he doth gain

In the far West, let him here claim the part

He now deserveth for his mind and art.

And thou that hast thy native Betis made,

With envy filled, to murmur righteously,

That thy sweet tuneful song hath been displayed

Unto another earth, another sky,

Noble JUAN DE MESTANZA, undismayed

Rejoice, for whilst the fourth Heaven shall supply

Its light, thy name, resplendent in its worth,

Shall be without a peer o’er all the earth.

All that can e’er in a sweet vein be found

Of charm, ye will in one man only find,

Who bridleth to his muse’s gladsome sound

The ocean’s madness and the hurrying wind;

For BALTASAR DE ORENA is renowned,

From pole to pole his fame, swift as the wind,

Doth run, and from the East unto the West,

True honour he of our Parnassus’ crest.

A fruitful and a precious plant I know

That hath been to the highest mountain found

In Thessaly transplanted thence, and, lo!

A plant ere this with happy fruitage crowned;

Shall I be still nor tell what fame doth show

Of PEDRO DE ALVARADO the renowned?

Renowned, yet no less brightly doth he shine,

For rare on earth is such a mind divine.

Thou, who with thy new muse of wondrous grace

Art of the moods of love, CAIRASCO, singing,

And of that common varying fickleness,

Where cowards ‘gainst the brave themselves are flinging;

If from the Grand Canary to this place

Thou art thy quick and noble ardour bringing,

A thousand laurels, for thou hast deserved,

My shepherds offer, praises well-deserved.

What man, time-honoured Tormes, would deny

That thou canst e’en the Nile itself excel,

If VEGA in thy praises can outvie

E’en Tityrus who did of Mincio tell?

DAMIAN, I know thy genius riseth high

To where this honour doth thine honours swell,

For my experience of many years

Thy knowledge and thy virtue choice declares.

Although thy genius and thy winning grace,

FRANCISCO SANCHEZ, were to give me leave,

If I dared form the wish to hymn thy praise,

Censure should I for lack of skill receive;

None but a master-tongue, whose dwelling place

Is in the heavens, can be the tongue to achieve

The lengthy course and of thy praises speak,

For human tongue is for this task too weak.

The things that an exalted spirit show,

The things that are so rare, so new in style,

Which fame, esteem, and knowledge bring to view

By hundred thousand proofs of wit and toil,

Cause me to give the praises that are due


Fame that proclaims the tidings everywhere,

Seeks not to linger in her swift career.

At such a time as this I would have crowned

My sweet song gladly, shepherds, with the praise

Of one whose genius doth the world astound,

And could your senses ravish and amaze;

In him the union and the sum is found

Of all I have praised and have yet to praise;

FRAY LUIS DE LEON it is I sing,

Whom I love and adore, to whom I cling.

What means, what ways of praise shall I achieve,

What pathways that yon great MATIAS’ name

May in the world for countless ages live,

Who hath ZUNIGA for his other name?

Unto him all my praises let me give,

Though he is man and I immortal am,

Because his genius truly is divine,

Worthily praise and honour in him shine.

Turn ye the thought that passeth speedily

Unto Pisuerga’s lovely banks divine,

Ye will see how the lofty minds whereby

They are adorned, enrich this tale of mine;

And not the banks alone, but e’en the sky,

Wherein the stars resplendent ever shine,

Itself assuredly can honour claim,

When it receives the men whom now I name.

Thou, DAMASIO DE FRIAS, canst alone

Thy praises utter, for, although our chief,

Even Apollo’s self should praise thee, none

But could be in thy praises all too brief;

Thou art the pole-star that hath ever shone

Certain and sure, that sendeth sweet relief

From storm, and favouring gales, and safe to shore

Brings him who saileth wisdom’s ocean o’er.


That breath, I pray, whereby Phoebus doth move

Thy learned pen, and lofty fantasy,

That I may praise thee as it doth behove;

For my rough tongue will never able be,

Whate’er the ways it here may try and prove,

To find a way of praising as I would

All that I feel and see in thee of good.

Happiest of minds, thou towerest in thy flight

Above Apollo’s highest, with thy ray

So bright, thou givest to our darkness light,

Thou guidest us, however far we stray;

And though thou dost now blind me with thy light

And hast my mind o’erwhelmèd with dismay,

Glory beyond the rest I give to thee,

For, SORIA, glory thou hast given to me.

If, famous Cantoral, SO rich a meed

Of praise thy works achieve in every part,

THOU of my praises wilt have little need,

Unless I praise thee with new mode and art;

With words significant of noble deed,

With all THE skill that Heaven doth impart,

I marvel, praise in silence, thus I reach

A height I cannot hope to gain by speech.

IF I to sing thy praise have long delayed,

THOU, VACA Y DE QUINONES, mayst forgive

THE past forgetfulness I have displayed

And the repentance I now show receive,

For with loud cries and proclamation made

O’er the broad world this task I shall achieve

In open and in secret, that thy fame

Shall spread abroad, and brightly gleam thy name.

Thy rich and verdant strand no juniper

Enricheth, nor sad cypress; but a crown

Of laurels and of myrtles it doth wear,

Bright Ebro, rich in waters and renown,

As best I can, I now thy praise declare,

Praising that bliss which Heaven hath sent down

Unto thy banks, for geniuses more bright

Dwell on thy banks e’en than the stars of night.

Two brothers witnesses will be thereto,

Two daysprings they, twin suns of poesy,

On whom all that it could of art bestow

And genius, Heaven lavished bounteously;

Thoughts of wise age, though still in youthful glow,

Converse mature, and lovely fantasy,

Fashion a worthy, deathless aureola


With envy blest, in holy rivalry

Methinks the younger brother doth aspire

To match the elder, since he riseth high

To where no human eye e’er riseth higher;

Wherefore he writes and sings melodiously

Histories countless with so sweet a lyre

That young BARTOLOME hath well deserved

Whatever for LUPERCIO is reserved.

If good beginning and a sequence fair

Inspire the hope of an illustrious close

In everything, my mind may now declare

That thus thou shalt exalt o’er all its foes,

COSME PARIENTE. Thus thou canst with rare

Confidence to thy wise and noble brows

Promise the crown that rightly hath been gained

By thy bright intellect and life unstained.

MURILLO, thou dost dwell in solitude,

Heaven thy companion, and dost there display

That other muses, cleverer and more good,

Ne’er leave thy Christian side and go away;

Thou from my sisters didst receive thy food,

And now thou dost, this kindness to repay,

Guide us and teach us heavenly things to sing,

Pleasing to Heaven, and this world profiting.

Turia, who loudly didst of old proclaim

The excellence of the children born to thee,

If thou shouldst hearken to the words I frame,

Moved BY no envy, by no rivalry,

Thou wilt hear how by those whom I shall name,

Thy fame is bettered; their presence with thee,

Their valour, virtue, genius, are thy dower,

And make thee o’er Indus and Ganges tower.

DON JUAN COLOMA, thou within whose breast

Hath been enclosed so much of Heaven’s grace,

Who hast with bridle stern envy repressed,

And given to fame a thousand tongues to blaze,

From Tagus to the kingdom fruitfulest,

Abroad thy name and worth in words of praise,

COUNT DE ELDA, blest in all, thou dost bestow

On Turia greater fame than that of Po.

He in whose breast a spring that is divine

Through him, doth ever copiously abound,

To whom his choir of flashing lights incline,

And rightly — they their Lord in him have found —

Who should by all, from Ethiop ‘neath the Line

To Eskimo, with name unique be crowned,

DON LUIS GARCERAN is peerless, bright,

Grand Master of Montesa, world’s delight.

Within this famous vale he should receive

A place illustrious, an abode renowned,

HE to whom fame the name would gladly give

Wherewith his intellect is fitly crowned;

BE it the care of Heaven to achieve

HIS praise — from Heaven comes his worth profound —

And laud what is beyond my faculties


DOCTOR FALCON, SO lofty is thy flight

That thou beyond the lordly eagle high

Dost rise; thy genius unto Heaven’s heigh

Ascends, leaving this vale of misery;

Wherefore I fear, wherefore I dread aright

That, though I praise thee, thou wilt yet espy

Cause of complaint in that for nights and days

My voice and tongue I use not in thy praise.

If e’en as fortune doth, sweet poesy

Had but an ever-changing wheel possessed,

Swifter in speed than Dian through the sky,

Which was not, is not, ne’er shall be at rest,

Thereon let MICER ARTIEDA lie —

The wheel unchanged the while amid the test —

And he would ever keep the topmost place

For knowledge, intellect, and virtue’s grace.

The goodly shower of praises thou didst pour

Upon the rarest intellects and best,

Alone thou meritest and dost secure,

Alone thou dost secure and meritest;

GIL POLO, let thy hopes be firm and sure,

That in this vale thy ashes will find rest

In a new tomb by these my shepherds reared,

Wherein they will be guarded and revered.

CRISTOBAL DE VIRUES, since thou dost vaunt

A knowledge and a worth like to thy years,

Thyself the genius and the virtue chant

Wherewith thou fleest the world’s beguiling fears;

A fruitful land and a well-nurtured plant —

In Spain and foreign lands I shall rehearse

And for the fruit of thy exalted mind

Win fame and honour and affection kind.

If like unto the mind he cloth display


A voice more skilled were needed and more gay

A longer time and greater faculty;

But since my voice he guideth on the way,

This guerdon true shall I bestow, that he

May have the blessing Delos’ god cloth bring

To the choice flood of Hippocrene’s spring.

The world adorning as he comes in view

Amongst them an Apollo I behold,

GARCIA ROMERO, discreet, gallant too,

Worthiest of being in this list enrolled;

If dark Peneus’ child, whose story true

Hath been in Ovid’s chronicles retold,

Had found him in the plains of Thessaly,

Not laurel, but ROMERO would she be.

It breaks the silence and the hallowed bound,

Pierces the air, and riseth to the sky,

The heavenly, hallowed, and heroic sound

That speaks in FRAY PEDRO DE HUETE’S cry;

Of his exalted intellect profound

Fame sang, sings and shall sing unceasingly,

Taking his works as witness of her song

To spread amazement all the world among.

Needs must I now to the last end draw near,

And of the greatest deed I e’er designed

Make a beginning now, which shall, I fear,

Move unto bitter wrath Apollo kind;

Since, although style be wanting, I prepare

To praise with rustic and untutored mind

Two suns that Spain, the country of their birth,

Illumine, and moreover all the earth.

Apollo’s hallowed, honourable lore,

Discretion of a courtier mature,

And years well-spent, experience, which a store

Of countless prudent counsels doth assure,

Acuteness of intellect, a ready power

To mark and to resolve whate’er obscure

Difficulty and doubt before them comes, —

Each of these in these twin suns only blooms.

Now, shepherds, I in these two poets find

An epilogue to this my lengthy lay;

Though I for them the praises have designed

Which ye have heard, I do not them repay;

For unto them is debtor every mind,

From them I win contentment every day,

Contentment from them winneth all the earth

E’en wonder, for ’tis Heaven gives them birth.

In them I wish to end my melody,

Yet I begin an admiration new,

And if ye think I go too far, when I

Say who they are, behold, I vanquish you;

By them I am exalted to the sky,

And without them shame ever is my due;

’Tis LAINEZ, FIGUEROA ’tis I name

Worthy eternal and unceasing fame.

Scarce had the fair nymph ended the last accents of her delightful song, when the flames which were divided, uniting once more, enclosed her in the midst, and straightway, as they were gradually consumed, the glowing fire in a little while vanished, and the discreet muse from before the eyes of all, at a time when already the bright dawn was beginning to reveal her cool and rosy cheeks over the spacious sky, giving glad tokens of the coming day. And straightway the venerable Telesio, setting himself on Meliso’s tomb, and surrounded by ALL the pleasing company who were there, all lending him a pleasing attention and strange silence, began to speak to them in this wise:

‘What you have seen this past night in this very spot and with your eyes, discreet and gallant shepherds, and fair shepherdesses, will have given you to understand how acceptable to Heaven is the laudable custom we have of performing these yearly sacrifices and honourable funeral rites, for the happy souls of the bodies which by your decree deserved to have burial in this famous valley. I say this to you, my friends, in order that henceforth with more fervour and diligence you may assist in carrying out so holy and famous a work, since you now see how rare and lofty are the spirits OF which the beauteous Calliope has told us, for all are worthy not only OF your, but of all possible praises. And think not that THE pleasure is small I have felt in learning from so true a narration how great is the number of the men of divine genius who live in our Spain to-day; for it always has been and is held by all foreign nations that the spirits are not many, but few, that in the science of poetry show that they are of lofty spirit, the real fact being as different as we see, since each of those the nymph has named excels the most subtle foreigner, and they would give clear tokens of it, if poetry were valued as highly in this Spain of ours as it is in other regions. And so for this reason the renowned and clear intellects that excel in it, because of the little esteem in which the princes and the common people hold them, by their minds alone communicate their lofty and strange conceptions, without daring to publish them to the world, and I hold for my part that Heaven must have ordained it in this way because the world does not deserve, nor does our heedless age, to enjoy food so pleasant to the soul. But, since it seems to me, shepherds, that the little sleep of the past night and our long ceremonies will have made you somewhat wearied and desirous of repose, it will be well, after doing the little that remains to us to fulfil our purpose, for each to return to his hut or to the village, carrying in his memory what the muse has enjoined on us.’

And, saying this, he descended from the tomb, and crowning himself once more with new funereal branches, he went again round the pyre three times, all following him and accompanying him in some devout prayers he was uttering. This being done, all having him in their midst, he turned his grave face to EACH side, and, bowing his head, and showing a grateful countenance and eyes full of love, he took leave of all the company, who, going some by one and some by another side of the four outlets that PLACE had, in a little while all dispersed and divided, only those OF Aurelio’s village remaining, and with them Timbrio, Silerio, Nisida, and Blanca, with the famous shepherds, Elicio, Thyrsis, Damon, Lauso, Erastro, Daranio, Arsindo, and the four hapless ones, Orompo, Marsilio, Crisio, and Orfenio, with the shepherdesses Galatea, Florisa, Silveria and her friend Belisa, for whom Marsilio was dying. All these then being together, the venerable Aurelio told them that it would be well to depart at once from that place in order to reach the stream of palms in time to spend the noontide heat there, since it was so suitable a spot for it. What Aurelio was saying seemed good to all, and straightway they went with peaceful steps towards where he said. But as the fair appearance of the shepherdess Belisa would not permit Marsilio’s spirits to rest, he would fain, if he had been able, and it had been allowed him, have approached her and told her of the injustice she used towards him; but, not to break through the respect which was due to Belisa’s modesty, the mournful swain was more silent than his desire required. Love produced the same effects and symptoms in the souls of the lovers Elicio and Erastro, who each for himself would fain have told Galatea what she well knew already. At this moment Aurelio said:

‘It does not seem to me well, shepherds, that you should show yourselves so greedy as not to be willing to respond to and repay what you owe to the larks and nightingales and to THE other painted little birds that amongst these trees are delighting and gladdening you by their untaught wondrous harmony.

Play your instruments and uplift your sounding voices, and show them that your art and skill in music excel their native music, and with such a pastime we shall feel less the tedium of the journey and the rays of the sun which already seem TO be threatening the violence with which they must needs strike the earth during this noontide heat.’

But little was necessary for Aurelio to be obeyed, for straightway Erastro played his pipe and Arsindo his rebeck, to the sound of which instruments, all giving the lead to Elicio, he began to sing in this wise:

ELICIO. For the impossible I fight,

And, should I wish to retreat,

Step nor pathway is in sight,

For, till victory or defeat,

Desire draweth me with might;

Though I know that I must die,

Ere the victory I achieve,

When I most in peril lie,

Then it is that I receive

More faith in adversity.

Never may I hope to gain

Fortune; this is Heaven’s decree.

Heaven the works of hope hath ta’en

And doth lavish aye on me

Countless certainties of pain;

But my breast of constancy,

Which amidst Love’s living flame

Glows and melteth ceaselessly,

In exchange this boon doth claim:

More faith in adversity.

Certain doubt and fickleness

Traitorous faith and surest fear,

Love’s unbridled wilfulness,

Trouble ne’er the loving care

Which is crowned with steadfastness,

Time on hasty wing may fly,

Absence come, or disdain cold,

Evil grow, tranquillity

Fail, yet I as bliss will hold

More faith in adversity.

Certain folly is it not,

And a madness sure and great,

That I set my heart on what

Fortune doth deny, and Fate,

Nor is promised by my lot?

Dread of everything have I,

There is naught can give me pleasure,

Yet amidst such agony

Love bestows its chiefest treasure:

More faith in adversity.

Victory o’er my grief I gain,

Which to such a pass is brought

That it doth Love’s height attain,

And I find that from this thought

Comes some solace to my pain;

Although poor and lowly I,

Yet relief so rich in woe

To the fancy I apply,

That the heart may ever know

More faith in adversity.

All the more that every ill

Comes with every ill to-day,

AND that they my life may fill

With more pain, though deadly they,

They do keep me living still;

But our life in dignity

With a noble end is crowned,

And in mine my fame shall lie,

For in life, in death I found

More faith in adversity.

It seemed to Marsilio that what Elicio had been singing accorded WITH his mood so well that he wished to FOLLOW HIM IN the same idea, and so, without waiting for anyone else to take THE lead in it, to the sound of the same instruments, he began to sing thus:

MARSILIO. Ah! ’tis easy for the wind

All the hopes to bear away

That could ever be designed

And could their foundations lay

On vain fancies of the mind;

For all hopes OF loving gain,

All the ways Time doth uncover,

Wholly are destroyed and slain;

But the while in the true lover

Faith, faith only, doth remain.

It achieves such potency

That, despite disdain which never

Offereth security,

Bliss it promiseth me ever,

Bliss that keeps the hope in me;

And, though Love doth quickly wane

In the angry breast and white

That increaseth so my pain,

Yet in mine, in its despite,

Faith, faith only, doth remain.

Love, ’tis true thou dost receive

Tribute for my loyalty,

And so much dost thou achieve

That my faith did never die,

It doth with my works revive;

My content— ’tis to thee plain —

And my glory all decays,

As thy fury grows amain;

In my soul as dwelling-place

Faith, faith only, doth remain.

But if it be truth declared

And beyond all doubt have passed,

That to faith glory is barred,

I, who shall to faith hold fast,

What hope I for my reward?

Sense doth vanish with the pain

That is pictured, all the bliss

Flies and is not seen again,

And amidst such miseries

Faith, faith only, doth remain.

With a profound sigh the hapless Marsilio ended his song, and straightway Erastro, handing over his pipe, without further delaying began to sing thus:

ERASTRO. In my woe and suffering

‘Midst the pleasures of my care,

My faith is so choice a thing,

That it flieth not from fear

Neither unto hope doth cling;

’Tis not moved to agony,

In its task of climbing high,

To behold that joy hath fled,

Nor to see that life is sped

Where faith lives and hope is dead.

This is wondrous ‘midst my woe,

Yet ’tis so that thus my bliss,

If it comes, may come to show

That amidst a thousand ’tis

That to which the palm should go;

Let not fame this truth deny

But unto the nations cry

With loud tongue that Love doth rest

Firm and loyal in my breast

Where faith lives and hope doth die.

Ah! thy rigorous disdain

And my merit, poor and low,

So affright me that ’tis plain,

Though I love thee, this I know,

Yet I dare not tell my pain;

Ever open I espy

The gate to my agony,

And that life doth slow depart,

For thou heedest not the heart

Where faith lives and hope doth die.

Never doth my fancy frame

Such a frenzied, foolish, thought

As to think that I could claim

Any bliss that I have sought

By my faith and heart aflame;

Thou canst know with certainty

My surrendered soul doth try,

Shepherdess, to love thee true,

For ’tis there that thou wilt view

Where faith lives and hope doth die.

Erastro became silent, and straightway the absent Crisio, to the SOUND of THE same instruments, began to sing in THIS fashion:

CRISIO. If the loyal heart despair

Of achieving happiness,

Whoso faints in the career

Of THE loving passion’s stress,

What shall he as guerdon bear?

I know not that any may

Win delight and pleasure gay

In the sudden rush of Love,

If the greatest joys but prove

‘ Tis no faith that doth not stay.

This undoubted truth we know

That in battle and in love

He that proud and bold is, though

Conqueror he at first may prove,

Sinks at last beneath the blow;

And the wise man knows to-day

That the victory ever lay

‘Midst the strife in constancy,

And he knows, whate’er it be

’Tis no faith that doth not stay.

Whoso seeks in love to gain

Nothing save his happiness,

In his fickle thought and vain,

Faith that shall withstand all stress

Cannot for one hour remain;

I myself these words would say,

If my faith should not display

Constancy amidst the storm

Of ill, as when hope is warm:

‘ Tis no faith that doth not stay.

Madness of a lover new,

His impetuous hastening,

Sighs and sadness, these, ’tis true,

Are but fleeting clouds of spring,

In a moment lost to view:

’Tis not love he doth display,

Greed and folly lead astray,

For he loves, yet loveth not,

No man loves who dieth not,

’Tis no faith that doth not stay.

All approved of the order the shepherds were keeping in their songs, and with desire they were waiting for Thyrsis or Damon to begin; but at once Damon satisfied them, for, as Crisio finished, to the sound of his own rebeck, he sang thus:

DAMON. Thankless Amaryllis fair,

Who shall make thee tender prove,

If the faith of my true love

And the anguish of my care

Do thee but to hardness move?

Maiden, ’tis to thee well known

That the love which is in me

Leads to this extremity:

Save my faith in God alone

Naught is faith but faith in thee.

But although I go so high

In love for a mortal thing,

Such bliss to my woe doth cling

That the soul I raise thereby

To the land whence it doth spring;

Thus this truth I know full well

That my love remains in me

In life, in death, ceaselessly,

And, if faith in love doth dwell,

Naught is faith bat faith in thee.

All the years that I have passed

In my services of love,

My soul’s sacrifices prove

All the cares that hold me fast

And the faith that doth me move:

Wherefore for the ill I bear

I will ask no remedy,

Should I ask it willingly,

’Tis because, my lady fair,

Naught is faith but faith in thee

In my soul’s temptestuous ocean

Peace and calm I ne’er have found,

And my faith is never crowned

With that hope and glad emotion

Whereon faith itself doth ground;

Love and fortune I deplore

Yet revenge is not for me,

For they bring felicity

In that, though I hope no more,

Naught is faith but faith in thee.

Damon’s song fully confirmed in Timbrio and in Silerio the good opinion they had formed of the rare wit of the shepherds who were there; and the more when, at the persuasion of Thyrsis and of Elicio, the now free and disdainful Lauso, to the sound of Arsindo’s flute, released his voice in verses such as THESE:

LAUSO. Fickle Love, disdain thy chains

Broke, and to my memory

Hath restored the liberty

Born from absence of thy pains;

Let him, whoso would, accuse

My faith as capricious, weak,

And as best he thinketh, seek

To convert me to his views.

I my love did soon forsake,

He may say, my faith was hung

By a hair so finely strung

That it e’en a breath could break;

All the plaints Love did provoke,

All my sighs, did feignèd prove,

Nay the very shafts of Love

Did not pierce beneath my cloke.

For no torture ’tis for me

To be callèd fickle, vain,

If I may behold again

My neck from the mad yoke FREE;

Who Silena is, I know,

And how strange her mood hath been,

How her peaceful face serene

Promise and deceit doth show.

To her wondrous dignity,

To her fair and downcast eyes,

Tis not much to yield the prize

Of THE will, whose’er it be,

For at first sight we adore;

Now we know her, fain WOULD we

Life and more, if more COULD BE,

Give to see her nevermore.

Ofttimes to her have I given

Heaven’s Silena and my dear

For her name — she was so fair

That she seemed the child of Heaven;

Better now her name shall BE —

Now that I need fear no MORE —

Not Silena, Heaven’s flower,

But false Siren of the sea.

Earnest words, FRIVOLITIES,

Gazing eyes and ardent pen

Of the lover, blind and vain, —

Take a countless sum of these,

And the last is ever first;

Whoso hath in love surpassed,

As the first loved, e’en at last

Is by her disdain accursed.

How much fairer would we deem

Our Silena’s beauteous grace,

If her wisdom and her ways

Did her fairness but beseem!

She discretion hath at will,

But a halter ’tis to slay

The presumption of her way,

For she useth it so ill.

I speak not with shameless tongue,

For it were but passion wild,

But I speak as one beguiled,

Who hath suffered grievous wrong;

Passion doth no more me blind,

Nor desire that she should wrong

Suffer, for always my tongue

Was in reason’s bonds confined.

Her caprices manifold,

And her moods that ever change,

From her every hour estrange

Those who were her friends of old;

Since Silena foes hath made

In the many ways we see,

Wholly good she cannot be,

Or they must be wholly bad.

Lauso ended his song, and though he thought that no one understood him, through ignorance of Silena’s disguised name, more than three of those who were there knew her, and even marvelled that Lauso’s modest behaviour should have gone so far as to attack anyone, especially the disguised shepherdess with whom they had seen him so much in love. But in THE opinion of his friend Damon he was fully excused, for he was acquainted with Silena’s conduct, and knew how she had conducted herself towards Lauso, and wondered at what he left unsaid. Lauso finished, as has been said; and as Galatea had heard of the charm of Nisida’s voice, she wished to sing first, so as to constrain her to do the same. And for this reason, before any other shepherd could begin, beckoning to Arsindo to continue sounding his flute, to its sound with her exquisite voice she sang in this wise:

Galatea. E’en as Love ever seeks the soul to entame,

Tempting it by the semblance of delight,

E’en so she from Love’s deadly pangs in flight

Turneth, who knows its name bestowed by fame.

The breast that doth oppose his amorous flame,

The breast with honourable resistance armed,

By Love’s unkindness is but little harmed,

Little his fire and rigour doth inflame.

Secure is she who never was beloved,

Nor could love, from that tongue which in dispraise

Of her honour, with subtle glow doth gleam.

But if to love and not to love have proved

Fruitful in harm, how shall she spend her days

Who honour dearer e’en than life doth deem?

It could easily be seen in Galatea’s song that she was replying to Lauso’s malicious one, and that she was not against unfettered wills, but against the malicious tongues and wronged souls which, in not gaining what they desire, change the love they once showed to a malicious and detestable hatred, as she fancied in Lauso’s case; but perhaps she would have escaped from this error, if she had known Lauso’s good disposition, and had not been ignorant of Silena’s evil one. As soon as Galatea ceased to sing, she begged Nisida with courteous words to do the same. She, as she was as courteous as beautiful, without letting herself be pressed, to the sound of Florisa’s pipe sang in this fashion:

NISIDA. Bravely I took my courage as defence

In the dread conflict and onslaught of Love,

My boldness bravely raised to Heaven above

Against the rigour of the clear offence.

But yet so overwhelming and intense

The battery, and withal so weak my power

That, though Love seized me not, IN one short hour

Love brought me to confess his power immense.

O’er worth, o’er honour, o’er a mind discreet,

Shy modesty, a bosom of disdain,

Love doth with ease achieve the victory;

Wherefore, in order to escape defeat,

Strength from no words of wisdom can we gain,

Unto this truth an eye-witness am I.

When Nisida ceased to sing and to fill with admiration Galatea and those who had been listening to her, they were already quite near the spot where they had determined to pass the noontide hour. -But in that short time Belisa had time to fulfil Silveria’s request, which was that she should sing something; and she, accompanied by the sound of Arsindo’s flute, sang what follows:

BELISA. Fancy, that is fancy-free,

Listen to the reason why

Our fame groweth steadily,

Pass the vain affection by,

Mother of all injury;

For whene’er the soul doth load

Itself with some loving load,

Bane that takes the life away,

Mixed with juice of bitter bay,

Is to it but pleasing food.

But our precious liberty

Should not bartered be nor sold

For the greatest quantity

Of the best refinèd gold,

Best in worth and quality;

Shall we bring ourselves to bear

Such a loss and heed the prayer

Of a lover whom we scorn,

If all blessings ever born

Do not with such bliss compare?

IF the grief we cannot bear

When the body, free from love,

Is confined in prison drear,

Shall the pain not greater prove,

When the very soul is there?

Pain ‘twill be of such a kind

That no remedy we find

For such ill in patience, time,

Worth, or learning in its prime,

Naught save death alone is kind.

Wherefore let my healthy MOOD

From this madness flee away,

Leave behind so false a good,

Let my free will ever sway

Every fancy as it would;

Let my tender neck and free

Never yield itself to be

Placed beneath the loving yoke,

Whereby peace is, at a stroke,

Slain, and banished liberty.

The shepherdess’s verses of freedom reached the soul of the hapless Marsilio, by reason of the little hope her words held out that her deeds would grow better; but as the faith with which he loved her was so firm, the noteworthy proofs of freedom he had heard uttered, could not but keep him as much without it as he had been before. At this point the road leading to the stream of palms ended, and though they had not had the intention of spending the noontide heat there, when they reached it and saw the comfort of the beautiful spot, it would have of itself compelled them not to go further. When they had come to it then, straightway the venerable Aurelio commanded all to seat themselves beside the clear and glassy stream, which was flowing in amongst the short grass, and had its birth at the foot of a very tall and ancient palm (for there being on all the banks of the Tagus only that one, and another which was beside it, that place and stream was called “of the palms”), and after sitting down, they were served by Aurelio’s shepherds with more good-will and simplicity than costly victuals, satisfying their thirst with the clear cool waters that the pure stream offered them. And on ending the short and pleasant repast, some of the shepherds separated and departed to seek some shady place apart, where they might make up for the unslept hours of the past night; and there remained alone only those of Aurelio’s company and village with Timbrio, Silerio, Nisida and Blanca, Thyrsis and Damon, to whom it appeared to be better to enjoy the fair converse that was expected there, than any other enjoyment that sleep could offer them. Aurelio then, guessing and almost knowing this their purpose, said to them:

‘It will be well, sirs, that we, who are here, since we have not wished to yield ourselves to sweet sleep, should not fail to make use of this time we steal from it in something that may be more to our pleasure, and what, it seems to me, will not fail to give it us, is that each, as best he can, should here show the sharpness of his wits, propounding some question, or riddle, to whom the companion who may be at his side may be forced to reply; since with this pastime two things will be gained — one to spend with less tedium the hours we shall BE here, THE OTHER, not to weary our ears so much with always hearing lamentations of love, and love-sick dirges.’

All straightway fell in with Aurelio’s wish, and WITHOUT any of them leaving the place where they were, the first who began to question was Aurelio himself, speaking in this wise:

AURELIO. Who is he, that mighty one,

That from East to farthest West

Winneth fame and high renown?

Sometimes strong and self-possessed,

Sometimes weak with courage gone;

Health he gives and takes away,

Strength on many every day

He bestows or doth withhold,

Stronger he when he is old

Than when youth is bright and gay.

Changing where he changeth not

By a strange preeminence,

Strong men tremble, by him caught,

He hath rarest eloquence

Unto sullen dumbness brought;

He his being and his name

Measureth in different ways,

From a thousand lands of praise

He is wont to take his fame.

He unarmed hath conquerèd

Armèd men, as needs he must,

Who hath dealt with him is sped,

Who would bring him to the dust,

To the dust is brought instead;

’Tis a thing that doth astound

That a champion should be found,

In the field and in the town,

‘Gainst a chief of such renown,

Though he soon shall bite the ground.

The answering of this question fell to the old shepherd Arsindo, who was beside Aurelio; and having for a little while considered what it could denote, at last he said to him:

‘It seems to me, Aurelio, that our age compels us to be more enamoured of that which your question denotes than OF the most graceful shepherdess that might present herself to us, for, if I am not mistaken, the mighty and renowned one you mention is wine, and all the attributes you have given him tally with it.’

‘You speak truth, Arsindo,’ replied Aurelio, ‘and I am inclined to say that I am sorry to have propounded a question which has been solved with much ease; but do you tell yours, for at your side you have one who will be able to unravel it for you, however knotty it may be.’

‘I agree,’ said Arsindo; and straightway he propounded the following:

ARSINDO. Who is he that loseth hue

Where he most is wont to thrive,

In a moment doth revive

And his colour takes anew?

In THE birth hour he is grey,

Afterwards black as a crow,

Last, so ruddy is his glow

That it maketh all men gay.

Laws nor charters doth he keep,

To the flames a faithful friend,

Oftentimes he doth attend

E’en where lords and princes sleep;

Dead he manhood doth assume,

Living takes a woman’s name,

He at heart is lurid flame

But in semblance deepest gloom.

It was Damon who was at Arsindo’s side, and scarcely had the latter finished his question, when he said to him:

‘It seems to me, Arsindo, that your query is not so dark as the thing it denotes, for if I am not wrong in it, it is charcoal of which you say that when dead it is called masculine, and when glowing and alive brasa, which is a feminine noun, and all the other parts suit it in every respect, as this does; and if you are in the same plight as Aurelio, by reason of the ease with which your question has been understood, I am going to keep you company in it, since Thyrsis, to whom it falls to answer me, will make us equal.’

And straightway he spoke his:

DAMON. Who is she of courtly grace,

Well-adorned, a dainty dame,

Timorous, yet bold of face,

Modest she, yet lacking shame,

Pleasant, yet she doth displease?

When in numbers, to astound,

Masculine their name doth sound,

And it is a certain thing

That amongst them is the king,

And with all men they are found.

‘Verily, friend Damon,’ said Thyrsis forthwith, ‘your challenge comes true, and you pay the forfeit that Aurelio and Arsindo pay, if any there be; for I tell you I know that what your riddle conceals is a letter, and a pack of cards.’

Damon admitted that Thyrsis was right. And straightway

Thyrsis propounded his riddle thus:

THYRSIS. Who is she that is all eyes,

All eyes she from head to foot,

And, although she seeks it not,

Sometimes causeth lovers’ sighs?

Quarrels too she doth appease,

Though indeed she knows not why,

And although she is all eye,

Very few the things she sees.

She doth call herself a grief

Counted mortal, good and dire

Evil worketh, and doth fire

Love, and to love brings relief.

Thyrsis’s riddle puzzled Elicio, for it was his turn to answer it, and he was on the point of ‘giving up,’ as the saying is; but in a little while he managed to say that it was jealousy, and, Thyrsis admitting it, Elicio straightway propounded the following:

ELICIO. ’Tis obscure, and yet ’tis clear,

Thousand opposites containing,

Truth to us at last explaining,

Which it hides from far and near;

Born at times from beauty rare

Or from lofty fantasies,

Unto strife it giveth rise,

Though it deals with things of air.

Unto all its name is known,

From the children to the old,

’Tis in numbers manifold,

Divers are the lords they own;

Every beldame doth possess

One of them to make her gay,

Things of pleasure for a day,

Full of joy or weariness.

And to rob them of their sense

Men of wisdom keep awake,

Whatsoe’er the pains they take,

Some are doomed to impotence;

Sometimes foolish, sometimes witty;

Easy, or with tangles fraught,

Whether naught it be or not,

Say, what is this thing so pretty?

Timbrio could not hit upon the thing which Elicio’s question denoted, and HE almost began to be ashamed at seeing that he delayed longer in answering than any one else, but not even this consideration made him come to a better perception OF it; and HE delayed so long that Galatea, who was after Nisida, said:

‘IF it is allowed to break the order which is given, and the ONE who should first know may reply, I say for my part that I know what the riddle propounded denotes, and I am ready to solve it, if senor Timbrio gives me leave.’

‘Certainly, fair Galatea,’ replied Timbrio, ‘for I know that just as I lack, so you have a superabundance of, wit, to solve greater difficulties; but nevertheless I wish you to be patient until Elicio repeats it, and if this time I do not hit it, the opinion I have of my wit and yours, will be confirmed with more truth.’

Elicio repeated his question, and straightway Timbrio solved its meaning, saying:

‘With the very thing by which I thought your query was obscured, Elicio, it appears to me to be solved, for the last line says, that they are to say what is this thing so pretty. And so I answer you in what you ask me, and say that your question means that which we mean by a pretty thing; and do not be surprised that I have been long in answering, for, if I had answered sooner, I would have been more surprised at my wit; which will show what it is in the small skill of my question, which is this:

TIMBRIO. Who is he who to his pain

Placeth his feet in the eyes,

And although no hurt arise,

Makes them sing with might and main?

And to pull them out is pleasure,

Though at times, who doeth so,

Doth by no means ease his woe,

But achieveth more displeasure.’

It fell to Nisida to reply to Timbrio’s question, but neither she nor Galatea who followed her were able to guess it. And Orompo, seeing that the shepherdesses were wearying themselves in thinking what it denoted, said to them:

‘Do not tire yourselves, ladies, nor weary your minds in solving this riddle, for it might well be that neither of you in all her life has seen the figure that the question conceals, and so it is no wonder that you should not hit upon it; for if it had been of a different kind, we were quite sure, as regards your minds, that in a shorter time you would have solved others more difficult. And therefore, with your leave, I am going to reply to Timbrio, and tell him that his query denotes a man in fetters, since when he draws his feet from those eyes he speaks of, it is either to set him free or to take him to execution; so that you may see, shepherdesses, if I was right in thinking that perhaps neither OF you had seen in all her life jails or PRISONS.’

‘I for my PART CAN say,’ said Galatea, ‘that NEVER have! SEEN any one imprisoned.’

Nisida and Blanca said the same. And straightway Nisida propounded her question in this form:

Nisida. Fire it biteth, and its bite

To its victim harm and good

Bringeth; but it doth no blood

Lose, although the blade doth smite;

But if deep should be the wound,

From a hand that is not sure,

Death comes to the victim poor,

In such death its life is found.

Galatea delayed little in answering Nisida, for straightway she said to her:

‘I am quite sure that I am not mistaken, fair Nisida, if I say that your riddle can in no way be better applied than to candle-muffers and to the taper or candle they snuff; and if this is true, as it is, and you are satisfied with my reply, listen now to mine, which I hope will be solved by your sister with no less ease than I have done yours.’

And straightway she spoke it, and it ran thus:

GALATEA. Children three, who love inspire,

And the children of one mother,

One was grandson of his brother,

And another was his sire;

These three children did distress

And o’erwhelm her with such woes,

That they gave her countless blows,

Showing thus their skilfulness.

Blanca was considering what Galatea’s riddle could denote, when they saw two gallant shepherds crossing at a run near the place where they were, showing by the fury with which they were running that something important constrained them to move their steps with such speed, and straightway at the same moment they heard some mournful cries, as of persons seeking help; and on this alarm all arose and followed the direction whence the cries sounded; and in a few steps they issued from that delightful spot and came out on the bank of the cool Tagus, which, close at hand, was flowing gently by. And scarcely did they see the river, when the strangest thing they could imagine was presented to their gaze; for they saw two shepherdesses seemingly of noble grace, who were holding a shepherd fast by the lappets of his coat with all the strength in their power, IN order that the poor fellow might not drown himself, for he already had half his body in the river, and his head below THE water, struggling with his feet to release himself from THE shepherdesses, who were hindering his desperate purpose.

They were already almost on the point of letting him go, being unable to overcome his obstinate determination with their feeble strength. But at this point the two shepherds approached, who had been coming at a run, and seizing the desperate man, drew him out of the water just as all the others were already approaching, astounded at the strange sight, and they were more so, when they learned that the shepherd who wished to drown himself was Artidoro’s brother, Galercio, while the shepherdesses were his sister Maurisa and the fair Teolinda; and when these saw Galatea and Florisa, Teolinda ran with tears in her eyes to embrace Galatea, saying:

‘Ah, Galatea, sweet friend and lady mine, how has this luckless wretch fulfilled the word she gave you to return to see you and tell you the news of her happiness!’

‘I shall be as glad for you to have it, Teolinda,’ replied Galatea, ‘as you are assured by the good-will you know I have to serve you; but it seems to me that your eyes do not bear out your words, nor indeed do these satisfy me so as to make me imagine a successful issue to your desires.’

Whilst Galatea was thus occupied with Teolinda, Elicio and Artidoro with the other shepherds had stripped Galercio, and as they loosened his coat, which with all his clothes had been wetted, a paper fell from his bosom, which Thyrsis picked up, and, opening it, saw that it was verse; and not being able to read it because it was wet, he placed it on a lofty branch in the sun’s ray so that it might dry. On Galercio they placed a cloak of Arsindo’s, and the luckless youth was as it were astounded and amazed, without saying a word, though Elicio asked him what was the cause that had brought him to so strange a pass.

But his sister Maurisa answered for him, saying:

‘Raise your eyes, shepherds, and you will see who is the cause that has set my unfortunate wretch of a brother in so strange and desperate a plight.’

The shepherds raised their eyes at what Maurisa said, AND saw a graceful and comely shepherdess on a beetling rock that overhung the river, seated on the same crag, and watching WITH smiling countenance all that the shepherds were doing. SHE was straightway recognised by all as the cruel Gelasia.

‘That loveless, that thankless girl, sirs,’ went on Maurisa, ‘is the mortal enemy of this my unhappy brother, who, as all these banks already know and you are not unaware, loves her, worships her and adores her; and in return for the ceaseless services HE has always done her, and for the tears that he has shed FOR HER, she this morning, with the most scornful and loveless disdain that could ever be found in cruelty, bade him go from her presence, and never return to her now or henceforth. And my brother wished to obey her so earnestly, that he sought TO take away his life, to avoid the occasion of ever transgressing her bidding; and if these shepherds had not by chance come so quickly, the end of my happiness, and the end of my hapless brother’s days would by now have come.’

What Maurisa said set all those who listened to her in amazement, and they were more amazed when they saw that the cruel Gelasia, without moving from the spot where she was, and without taking account of all that company who had their eyes set on her, with a strange grace and spirited disdain, DREW A small rebeck from her wallet, and stopping to TUNE IT VERY leisurely, after a little while with a voice of great BEAUTY BEGAN to sing in this wise:

GELASIA. The pleasing herbs of the green shady mead,

The cooling fountains, who will e’er forsake,

And strive no more the fleet hare to o’ertake

Or bristling wild-boar, following on with speed?

Who will no more the friendly warblings heed

Of the dear, simple birds within the brake?

Who in the glowing noontide hour will make

No more his couch within the woods at need,

That he the fires may follow, and the fears,

Jealousies, angers, rages, deaths, and pains,

Of traitorous Love, that doth the world torment?

Upon the fields are set my loving cares

And have been, rose and jessamine my chains,

Free was I born, on freedom am I bent.

Gelasia was singing, and showing in the motion and expression of her face her loveless disposition; but scarcely had she come to the last verse of her song, when she rose with a strange swiftness, and, as if she were fleeing from some terrible thing, she began to hurry down by the crag, leaving the shepherds amazed at her disposition and astounded at her swift course.

But straightway they saw what was the cause of it, on seeing the enamoured Lenio, who with dragging step was ascending the same crag, with the intention of coming to where Gelasia was; but she was not walling to wait for him, so as not to fail in a single instance to act in accordance with the cruelty of her purpose. The wearied Lenio came to the summit of the crag, when Gelasia was already at its foot, and seeing that she did not check her steps, but directed them with more haste through the spacious plain, with spent breath and tired spirit he sat down in the same spot where Gelasia had been, and there began with desperate words to curse his fortune, and the hour in which he raised his eyes to gaze on the cruel shepherdess Gelasia, and in that same moment, repenting as it were of what he was saying, he turned to bless his eyes, and to extol the cause that placed him in such a pass. And straightway goaded and urged by a fit of frenzy, he flung his crook far from him, and, stripping off his coat, cast it into the waters of the clear Tagus, which followed close by the foot of the crag. And when the shepherds who were watching him saw this, they believed without a doubt that the violence of his love-passion was depriving him of reason; and so Elicio and Erastro began to ascend the crag to prevent him from doing any other mad act, that might cost him more dear. And though Lenio saw them ascending, he made no other movement save to draw his rebeck from a wallet, and with a new and strange calm sat down again; and turning his face to where his shepherdess heard, he began with a voice mellow and accompanied with tears to sing in this fashion:

LENIO. Who drives thee on, who leadeth thee aside,

Who makes thee leave all loving thought behind,

Who on thy feet hath rapid pinions tied,

Wherewith thou runnest swifter than the wind?

Wherefore dost thou my lofty thought deride

And think but little of my loyal mind?

Why fleest thou from me, why leavest me?

Harder than marble to my agony!

Am I perchance so lowly in estate

That I may not behold thy eyes so fair,

Or poor or niggard? Have I proved ingrate

Or false since I beheld their beauty rare?

I am in naught changed from my former state,

Does not my soul hang ever from thy hair?

Then wherefore dost thou go so far from me?

Harder than marble to my agony!

Let thy o’erweening pride a warning take,

When it beholds my will, once free, subdued,

My ancient daring, see, I now forsake,

To loving purpose changed my former mood;

Behold, the forest life, that doth not make

A care of aught, ‘gainst Love is nowise good,

Now stay thy steps, why wearied should THEY be?

Harder than marble to my agony!

Once I was as thou art, now Ï behold

That I can ne’er be what I was before,

The force of my desire doth wax so bold,

So great my love, I love myself no more;

Love can me now within his prison hold;

This is thy palm, thy trophy in the war,

Victorious o’er me, dost complain of me?

Harder than marble to my agony!

While the hapless shepherd was intoning his piteous plaints, the other shepherds were reproving Galercio for his evil design, condemning the wicked purpose he had displayed. But THE despairing youth replied to nothing, whereat Maurisa was not a little distressed, believing that, if left alone, he must carry out his evil thought. In the meantime Galatea and Florisa, going aside with Teolinda, asked her what was the cause of her return, and if by chance she had already heard of her Artidoro. To which she replied weeping:

‘I know not what to say to you, friends and ladies mine, save that Heaven wished that I should find Artidoro, to lose him utterly; for you must know that that same UNCONSIDERATE AND traitorous sister of mine, who was the beginning OF MY misfortune, has been the cause of the end and termination of my happiness.

For learning, as we came with Galercio and Maurisa to their village, that Artidoro was on a mountain not far from there with his dock, she went away to look for him without telling me anything. She found him, and, pretending that she was I (since for this wrong alone Heaven ordained that we should be alike), with little difficulty gave him to understand that the shepherdess who had disdained him in our village was a sister of hers, who was exceedingly like her; in a word, she recounted to him, as though they were hers, all the actions I have done for his sake, and the extremes of grief I have suffered. And as the heart of the shepherd was so tender and loving, with far less than the traitress told him would she have been believed by him, as indeed he did believe her, so much to my hurt, that without waiting for fortune to mingle any new obstacle with his pleasure, straightway at the very moment he gave his hand to Leonarda, to be her lawful husband, believing he was giving it to Teolinda.

Here you see, shepherdesses, where the fruit of my tears and sighs has ended; here you see all my hope already torn up by the root; and what I feel most is that it has been by the hand that was most bound to sustain it. Leonarda enjoys Artidoro by means of the false deception I have told you, and although he already knows it, though he must have perceived the trick, he has kept it to himself like a wise man. The tidings of his marriage came straightway to the village, and with them those of the end of my happiness; the stratagem of my sister was also known, who gave as excuse that she saw Galercio, whom she loved so much, going to ruin through the shepherdess Gelasia, and that therefore it seemed to her easier to bring to her will the loving will of Artidoro than Galercio’s despairing one, and that since the two were but one as regards outward appearance and nobility, she counted herself happy and fortunate, indeed, with Artidoro’s companionship. With this the enemy of my bliss excuses herself, as I have said; and so I, not to see her enjoy that which was rightly due to me, left the village and Artidoro’s presence, and accompanied by the saddest fancies that can be fancied, came to give you the news of my misery in the company of Maurisa, who likewise comes with the intention of telling you what Grisaldo has done since he learnt Rosaura’s abduction. And this morning at sunrise we fell in with Galercio, who with tender and loving words was urging Gelasia to love him well; but she with the strongest disdain and scorn that can be told, bade him leave her presence, nor dare ever to speak to HER. And the hapless shepherd, crushed by so harsh a bidding, and BY cruelty so strange, wished to fulfil it, doing what you have SEEN. All this is what has happened to me, my friends, since I went from your presence. Think now whether I have more to weep for than before, and whether the cause has grown for you to busy yourselves in consoling me, if perchance my woe might admit of consolation.’

Teolinda said no more, for the countless tears that came to her eyes, and the sighs she wrung from her soul, hindered her tongue in its office; and though the tongues of Galatea and Florisa wished to show themselves skilful and eloquent in consoling her, their toil was of little avail. And while this converse was passing between the shepherdesses, the paper which Thyrsis had taken from Galercio’s bosom became dry, and being anxious to read it he took it and saw that it ran thus:


Angel in the guise of maid,

Fury with a lady’s face,

Cold, and yet a glowing blaze,

Wherein my soul is assayed;

Hearken to the bitter wrong,

By thy lack of passion wrought,

Which hath from my soul been brought

And set these sad lines among.

I write, not to move thine heart,

Since against thy breast of mail

Prayers nor cleverness avail,

Loyal service hath no part;

But that thou the wrong mayst see

Which thou dost inflict, I write,

And how ill thou dost requite

All the worth there is in thee.

Just it is that liberty

Thou shouldst praise, and thou art right.

Yet, behold, ’tis held upright

Only by thy cruelty;

Just it is not to ordain

That thou wouldst be free from strife,

And yet thine unfettered life

On so many deaths sustain.

That all men should love thee well

Do not fancy ’tis dishonour,

Do not fancy that thine honour

In the use of scorn doth dwell;

Nay, the cruelty restrain

Of the wrongs that thou dost do,

And be pleased with lovers few,

Thus a better name attain.

For thy rigour doth proclaim

That wild beasts did give thee birth,

That the mountains of the earth

Formed thee, harsh, whom none may tame.

For therein is thy delight,

In the moorland and the mead,

Where thou canst not find indeed

One to set thy wish alight.

Once I saw thee all alone,

Seated in a pleasant glade,

And, as I beheld, I said:

‘’Tis a statue of hard stone.’

Thou didst move and thus my view

Thou didst prove to be mistaken,

‘Yet in mood,’ I said, unshaken,

‘She is more than statue, true.’

Would that thou a statue were,

Made of stone, for then I might

Hope that Heaven for my delight

Would thee change to woman fair!

For Pygmalion could not be

So devoted to his queen,

As I am and aye have been

And shall ever be to thee.

Thou repayest, as is due,

Good and ill, I murmur not,

Glory for the good I wrought,

Suffering for the ill I do.

And this truth is shown abroad

In the way thou treatest me,

Life it gives me thee to see,

Thou dost slay me by thy mood.

Of that breast which maketh bold

Love’s encounters to despise,

May the fire that in my sighs

Gloweth, somewhat melt the cold,

May my tears this boon obtain,

Tears that never, never, rest,

That for one short hour thy breast

May be sweet and kind again.

Well I know thou wilt declare

That I am too long; ’tis true,

My desire make less, I too

Then will lesser make my prayer;

But according to the way

Thou dost deal with my requests,

Thee it little interests

Whether less or more I pray.

If I might in words essay,

To reproach thy cruelty,

And that sign point out to thee

Which our weakness doth display,

I would say, when I did learn

What thou art, no longer blind:

‘Thou art rock, bear this in mind,

And to rock thou must return.’

Whether rock or steel thou art,

Adamant or marble hard,

Steel, I am thy loving bard,

Rock, I love with all my heart;

Angel veiled, or fury, know

That the truth is ALL too plain,

I live, by the angel slain,

By the fury brought to woe.

Galercio’s verses seemed better to Thyrsis than Gelasia’s disposition, and wishing to show them to Elicio, he saw him so changed in hue and countenance that he seemed the image of death. He went up to him, and when he wished to ask him if any grief were distressing him, there was no need to await his reply in order to learn the cause of his pain, for straightway he heard it announced amongst all those who were there. Now the two shepherds who helped Galercio, were friends of the Lusitanian shepherd to whom the venerable Aurelio had agreed to marry Galatea, and they were coming to tell him how the fortunate shepherd would come in three days’ time to his village to conclude that most happy betrothal. And straightway Thyrsis saw that this news must needs cause in Elicio’s soul newer and stranger symptoms than had been caused; BUT nevertheless he went up to him and said to him:

‘Now it is necessary, good friend, that you should know how to make use of the discretion you have, since in the greatest peril hearts show themselves courageous, and I assure you that there is something assures me that this business must have a better end than you think. Dissemble and be silent, for if Galatea’s will takes no pleasure in conforming wholly with her father’s, you will satisfy yours, by availing yourself of ours, and also of all the favour that can be offered you by all the shepherds there are on the banks of this river, and on those OF the gentle Henares. And this favour I offer you, for I feel quite sure that the desire all know I have to serve them, will constrain them to act so that what I promise you here may not turn out vain.

Elicio remained amazed, seeing the generous and true offer of Thyrsis, and could not nor did he know how to reply to him save by embracing him closely and saying to him:

‘May Heaven reward you, discreet Thyrsis, for the consolation you have given me, by which and by Galatea’s will, which, as I think, will not differ from ours, I understand without doubt that so notorious a wrong as is being done to all these banks IN banishing from them the rare beauty of Galatea, shall not go further.’

And, as he turned to embrace him, the lost colour returned to his face. But it did not return to Galatea’s, to whom hearing of the shepherds’ embassy was as if she heard her death-sentence. Elicio noted it all, and Erastro could not ignore IT, nor yet the discreet Florisa, nor indeed was the news pleasing to any of those who were there. At this hour the sun was already descending by his wonted course, and therefore for this reason, as well as because they saw that the love-sick Lenio had followed Gelasia, and there was nothing else left to do there, all that company, taking Galercio and Maurisa with them, bent their steps towards the village, and on coming close to it, Elicio and Erastro remained in their huts, and with them remained Thyrsis, Damon, Orompo, Crisio, Marsilio, Arsindo and Orfenio, with some other shepherds. The fortunate Timbrio, Silerio, Nisida, and Blanca took leave of them all with courteous words and offers, telling them that on the morrow they intended to set out for the city of Toledo, where the end of their journey was to be; and embracing all who were remaining with Elicio, they departed with Aurelio, with whom went Florisa, Teolinda and Maurisa, and the sad Galatea, so heartbroken and thoughtful that with all her discretion she could not fail to give tokens of strange unhappiness. With Daranio departed his wife Silveria and the fair Belisa. Thereon the night closed in, and it seemed to Elicio that all the roads to his pleasure were closed with it, and had it not been for welcoming with cheerful mien the guests he had in his hut that night, he would have spent it so badly that he would have despaired of seeing the day. The wretched Erastro was passing through THE same trouble, though with more relief, for, without regarding anyone, with loud cries and piteous words he cursed his fortune and Aurelio’s hasty resolve. This being so, when the shepherds had satisfied their hunger with some rustic victuals, and some OF them had yielded themselves to the arms of peaceful sleep, the fair Maurisa came to Elicio’s hut, and finding Elicio at the door of his hut, TOOK him aside and gave him a paper, telling him it was from Galatea, and that he should read it at once, for, since she was bringing it at such an hour, he should understand that what it must contain was important. The shepherd, wondering at Maurisa’s coming, and more at seeing in his hands a paper from his shepherdess, could not rest for a moment until he read it, and entering his hut, read it by the light of a splinter of resinous pine, and saw that it read thus:


‘In my father’s hasty resolve lies the resolve I have taken to write to you, and in the violence he uses towards me lies the violence I have used towards myself to reach this extreme.

You well know in what an extreme pass I am, and I know well that I would gladly see myself in a better, that I might reward you somewhat for the much I know I owe you. But if Heaven wishes me to remain in this debt, complain of it, and not of my will. My father’s I would gladly change, if it were possible, but I see that it is not, and so I do not try it. IF you think of any remedy in that quarter, so long as prayers have NO part in it, put it into effect with the consideration you owe to your reputation and hold due to my honour. He whom THEY are giving me as husband, he who shall give me burial, is coming the day after to-morrow; little time remains for you to take counsel, though sufficient remains to me for repentance. I say no more save that Maurisa is faithful and I unhappy.’

The words of Galatea’s letter set Elicio in strange CONFUSION, as it seemed to him a new thing both that she should write to him, since up till then she had never done so, and that she should bid him seek a remedy for the wrong that was being done her. But, passing over all these things, he paused only to think how he should fulfil what was bidden him, though HE should hazard therein a thousand lives, if he had so many.

And as no other remedy offered itself to him save that which he was awaiting from his friends, he made bold, trusting in them, to reply to Galatea by a letter he gave TO Maurisa, which ran in this manner:


‘If the violence of my strength came up to the desire I have to serve you, fair Galatea, neither that which your father uses towards you, nor the greatest in the world, would have power to injure you. But, be that as it may, you will see now, if THE wrong goes further, that I do not lag behind in doing YOUR bidding in the best way the case may demand. Let the faithfulness you have known in me, assure you of this, and show a good face to present fortune, trusting in coming prosperity, for Heaven which has moved you to remember me and write to me, will give me strength to show that I merit in PART THE favour you have done me, for, if only it be obeying you, neither fear nor dread will have power to prevent me putting into effect what befits your happiness, and is of such import to mine. No more, for what more there is to be in this, you will learn from Maurisa, to whom I have given account of it; and if your opinion does not agree with mine, let me be informed, in order that time may not pass by, and with it the season of our happiness, which may Heaven give you as it can and as your worth deserves.’

Having given this letter to Maurisa, as has been said, he told her also how he was intending to assemble as many shepherds as he could, and that all should go together to speak to Galatea’s father, asking him as a signal favour to be so kind as not to banish from those meadows her peerless beauty; and, should this not suffice, he was intending to place such obstacles and terrors before the Lusitanian shepherd that he himself would say that he was not content with what had been agreed; and, should prayers and stratagems be of no avail, he was resolved to use violence and thereby set her at liberty, and that with the consideration for her reputation which could be expected from one who loved her so much. With this resolve Maurisa went away, and the same was taken straightway by all the shepherds that were with Elicio, for he gave to them account of his intentions, asking for favour and counsel in so difficult a plight. Straightway Thyrsis and Damon offered to be those who should speak to Galatea’s father. Lauso, Arsindo, and Erastro, with the four friends, Orompo, Marsilio, Crisio and Orfenio, promised to look for their friends and assemble them for the following day, and to carry out with them whatsoever should be bidden them by Elicio. In discussing what was best suited to the case, and in taking this resolve, the greater part of that night passed away. And, the morning having come, all the shepherds departed to fulfil what they had promised, save Thyrsis and Damon, who remained with Elicio.

And that same day Maurisa came again to tell Elicio how Galatea was resolved to follow his opinion in everything; Elicio took leave of her with new promises and confidences; and with joyous countenance and strange gaiety he was awaiting the coming day to see the good or evil issue fortune was bestowing on his work. With this night came on, and, Elicio repairing with Damon and Thyrsis to his hut, they spent almost all of it in testing and taking note of all the difficulties that could arise in that affair, if perchance Aurelio was not moved by the arguments Thyrsis intended to bring before him. But Elicio, in order to give the shepherds opportunity for repose, went out of his hut, and ascended a green hill that rose before it; and there, girt round with solitude, he was revolving in his memory all that he had suffered for Galatea, and what he feared he would suffer, if Heaven did not favour his plans. And without leaving this train of thought, to the sound of a soft breeze that was gently blowing, with a voice sweet and low he began to sing in this wise:

ELICIO. If ‘midst this boiling sea and gulf profound

Of madness, ‘midst the tempest’s threatening strife,

I from so cruel a blow rescue my life,

And reach the haven, fortunate and sound,

Each hand uplifted to the air around,

With humble soul and will contented, I

Shall make Love know my thanks, and Heaven on high,

For the choice bliss wherewith my life is crowned.’

Then fortunate shall I my sighings call,

My tears shall I account as full of pleasure,

The flame wherein I burn, refreshing cold.

Love’s wounds, I shall declare, are to the soul

Sweet, to the body wholesome, that no measure

Can mete his bliss, which boundless I behold.

When Elicio ended his song, the cool dawn, with her fair cheeks of many hues, was beginning to reveal herself by the Eastern gates, gladdening the earth, sprinkling the grass with pearls, and painting the meadows; whose longed-for approach the chattering birds straightway began to greet with thousand kinds of harmonious songs. Thereon Elicio arose and, stretching his eyes over the spacious plain, discovered not far away two troops of shepherds, who, as it seemed to him, were making their way towards his hut, as was the truth, for he straightway recognised that they were his friends Lauso and Arsindo WITH others whom they were bringing with them. And the others were Orompo, Marsilio, Crisio and Orfenio, with as many of then friends as they could assemble. Elicio then recognising them, descended from the hill to go and welcome them; and when they came near to the hut, Thyrsis and Damon, who were going to look for Elicio, were already outside it. In the meantime all the shepherds came up and welcomed each other with joyous countenance. And straightway Lauso, turning to Elicio said to him:

‘In the company we bring, you can see, friend Elicio, whether we are beginning to give tokens of our wish to fulfil the word we gave you; all whom you see here, come with the desire to serve you, though they should hazard their lives therein. What is wanting is that you should not be wanting in what may BE most essential.’

Elicio, with the best words he could, thanked Lauso and THE others for the favour they were doing him, and straightway told them all that it had been agreed with Thyrsis and Damon to do in order to succeed in that enterprise. What Elicio was saying seemed good to the shepherds; and so, without more delay, they made their way towards the village, Thyrsis and Damon going in front, and all the others following them, who might be some twenty shepherds, the bravest and most graceful that could be found on all the banks of the Tagus, and all were minded, if the reasonings of Thyrsis did not move Aurelio TO act reasonably in what they asked him, to use force instead OF reason, nor to consent that Galatea should yield herself TO THE foreign shepherd; whereat Erastro was as happy, as if a fair issue to that demand were to redound to his happiness alone, for, rather than lose sight of Galatea, absent and unhappy, HE held it a good bargain that Elicio should win her, as he thought he would, since Galatea must needs be so much indebted TO him.

The end of this loving tale and history, with what happened to Galercio, Lenio and Gelasia, Arsindo, Maurisa, Grisaldo, Artandro and Rosaura, Marsilio and Belisa, with other things which happened to the shepherds mentioned hitherto, IS promised in the Second Part of this history. Which, if it sees this First received with favourable wishes, will have THE boldness shortly to come out in order to be seen and judged by the eyes and understanding of mankind.

The End of Galatea.