Pandosto by Robert Greene, 1588

Original Spelling. From the First Quarto of 1588.
Transcribed and edited by B.Flues. Copyright © 2003, all rights reserved
Items defined in the glossary are underlined.
Run on lines (closing open endings) are indicated by ~~~.

Pandosto. the Triumph of Time. PART 2


Pandosto part 1
Pandosto part 2 - This page; scroll down.
Pandosto part 3
Appendix I
  Suggested Reading
Appendix II: Connections
Appendix III: Vocabulary, Word Formation

[Para. 42] Fortune, who al this while had shewed a frendly face, began now to turne her back, and to shewe a lowring countenance, intending as she had given Fawnia a slender checke, so she would give her a harder mate: to bring which to passe, she layd her traine on this wise. Egistus had but one only son called Dorastus, about the age of twenty yeeres, a prince so decked and adorned with the gifts of nature: so fraught with beauty and vertuous qualities, as not onely his father joyed to have so good a sonne, and al his commons rejoyced that God had lent them such a noble Prince to succeede in the Kingdom. Egistus placing al his joy in the perfection of his sonne: seeing that he was now marriage-able, sent Embassadors to the king of Denmarke, to intreate a mariage betweene him and his daughter, who willingly consenting, made answer, that the next spring, if it please Egistus with his sonne to come into Denmarke, hee doubted not but they should agree upon reasonable conditions. Egistus resting satisfied with this friendly answer, thought convenient in the meane time to breake with his sonne: finding therefore on a day fit oportunity, he spake to him in these fatherly tearmes:

[Para. 43] Dorastus, thy youth warneth me to prevent the worst, and mine age to provide the best. Oportunities neglected are signes of folly: actions measured by time, are seldome bitten with repentance: thou art young, and I olde: age hath taught me that, which thy youth cannot yet conceive. I therefore will counsell thee as a father, hoping thou wilt obey as a childe. Thou seest my white hayres are blossomes for the grave, and thy freshe colour fruite for time and fortune, so that it behooveth me to thinke how to dye, and for thee to care how to live. My crowne I must leave by death, and thou enjoy my Kingdome by succession, wherein I hope thy vertue and prowesse shall bee such, as though my subjectes want my person, yet they shall see in thee my perfection. That nothing either may faile to satisfie thy minde, or increase thy dignities, the onely care I have, is to see thee well marryed before I die, and thou become olde.

[Para. 44] Dorastus, who from his infancy, delighted rather to die with Mars in the Fielde then to dally with Venus in the Chamber, fearing to displease his father, and yet not willing to be wed, made him this reverent answere.

[Para. 45] Sir, there is no greater bond then duetie, nor no straiter law then nature: disobedience in youth is often galled with despight in age. The commaund of the father ought to be a constraint to the childe: so parentes willes are laws: so they passe not all laws: may it please your Grace therefore to appoint whome I shall love, rather then by deniall I should be appeached of disobedience: I rest content to love, though it bee the only thing I hate.

[Para. 46] Egistus hearing his sonne to flie so farre from the marke, began to be somewhat chollericke, and therefore made him his hasty aunswere.

[Para. 47] What Dorastus canst thou not love? Commeth this cynicall passion of prone desires, or peevish frowardnesse? What durst thou think thy selfe to[o] good for all, or none good inough for thee? I tell thee, Dorastus, there is nothing sweeter then youth, nor swifter decreasing, while it is increasing. Time past with folly may bee repented, but not recalled. If thou marrie in age, thy wives fresh coulours will breede in thee dead thoughtes and suspition, and thy white hayres her lothesomnese and sorrowe. For Venus affections are not fed with Kingdomes, or treasures, but with youthfull conceits and sweet amours. Vulcan was allotted to shake the tree, but Mars allowed to reape the fruite. Yeelde Dorastus to thy Fathers perswasions, which may prevent thy perils. I have chosen thee a Wife, faire by nature, royall by birth, by vertues famous, learned by education, and rich by possessions, so that it is hard to judge whether her bounty, or fortune, her beauty, or vertue bee of greater force: I mean, Dorastus, Euphrania, daughter and heire to the King of Denmarke.

[Para. 48] Egistus pausing here a while, looking when his son should make him answere, and seeing that he stoode still as one in a trance, he shooke him up thus sharply.

[Para. 49] Well Dorastus take heede, the tree Alpya wasteth not with fire, but withereth with the dewe: that which love nourisheth not, perisheth with hate: if thou like Euphrania, thou breedest my content, and in loving her thou shalt have my love, otherwise -- and with that hee flung from his sonne in a rage, leaving him a sorrowfull man, in that he had by deniall displeased his Father, and halfe angrie with him selfe that hee could not yeelde to that passion, whereto both reason and his Father perswaded him: but see how fortune is plumed with times feathers, and how shee can minister strange causes to breede straunge effects.

[Para. 50] It happened not long after this that there was a meeting of all the Farmers Daughters in Sycilia, whither Fawnia was also bidden as the mistres of the feast, who having attired her selfe in her best garments, went among the rest of her companions to the merry meeting: there spending the day in such homely pastimes as shepheards use. As the evening grew on, and their sportes ceased, ech taking their leave at other, Fawnia desiring one of her companions to beare her companie, went home by the flocke, to see if they were well folded, and as they returned, it fortuned that Dorastus (who all that daye had bene hawking, and kilde store of game) incountred by the way these two mayds, and casting his eye sodenly on Fawnia, he was halfe afraid, fearing that with Acteon he had seene Diana; for hee thought such exquisite perfection could not be founde in any mortall creature. As thus he stood in a maze, one of his Pages told him, that the maide with the garland on her heade was Fawnia, the faire shepheard, whose beauty was so much talked of in the Court. Dorastus desirous to see if nature had adorned her minde with any inward qualities, as she had decked her body with outward shape, began to question with her whose daughter she was, of what age, and how she had bin trained up, who answered him with such modest reverence and sharpnesse of witte, that Dorastus thought her outward beautie was but a counterfait to darken her inward qualities, wondring how so courtly behaviour could be found in so simple a cottage and cursing fortune that had shadowed wit and beauty with such hard fortune. As thus he held her a long while with chat, Beauty seeing him at discovert, thought not to lose the vantage, but strooke him so deepely with an invenomed shafte, as he wholy lost his libertie, and became a slave to Love, which before contemned love, glad now to gaze on a poore shepheard, who before refused the offer of a riche Princesse; for the perfection of Fawnia had so fired his fancie as he felt his minde greatly chaunged, and his affections altered, cursing Love that had wrought such a chaunge, and blaming the basenesse of his mind, that would make such a choice: but thinking these were but passionat toies that might be thrust out at pleasure, to avoid the Syren that inchaunted him, he put spurs to his horse, and bad the faire shepheard farewell.

[Para. 51] Fawnia (who al this while had marked the princely gesture of Dorastus) seeing his face so wel featured, and each lim so perfectly framed, began greatly to praise his perfection, commending him so long, til she found her selfe faultie, and perceived that if she waded but a little further, she might slippe over her shooes: shee therefore seeking to quench that fire which never was put out, went home, and faining her selfe not well at ease, got her to bed: where casting a thousand thoughts in her head, she could take no rest: for if she waked, she began to call to minde his beautie, and thinking to beguile such thoughts with sleepe, she then dreamed of his perfection: pestered thus with these unacquainted passions, she passed the night as she could in short slumbers.

[Para. 52] Dorastus (who all this while rode with a flea in his eare) could not by any meanes forget the sweete favour of Fawnia, but rested so bewitched with her wit and beauty, as hee could take no rest. He felt fancy to give the assault, and his wounded mind readie to yeeld as vanquished: yet he began with divers considerations to suppresse this frantick affection, calling to minde, that Fawnia was a shepheard, one not worthy to bee looked at of a Prince, much less to bee loved of such a potentate, thinking what a discredite it were to himself, and what a grief it would be to his father, blaming fortune and accusing his owne follie, that should bee so fond as but once to cast a glaunce at such a country slut. As thus he was raging against him selfe, Love fearing if shee dallied long, to loose her champion, stept more nigh, and gave him such a fresh wounde as it pearst him at the heart, that he was faine to yeeld, maugre his face, and to forsake the companie and gette him to his chamber: where being solemnly set, hee burst into these passionate tearmes.

[Para. 53] Ah, Dorastus, art thou alone? No, not alone, while thou art tried with these unacquainted passions. Yeld to fancy, thou canst not by thy fathers counsaile, but in a frenzie thou art by just destinies. Thy father were content, if thou couldest love, and thou therefore discontent, because thou doest love. O devine Love, feared of men because honoured of the Gods, not to be suppressed by wisdome, because not to be comprehended by reason: without Lawe, and therefore above all Law. How now, Dorastus, why doest thou blaze that with praises, which thou has cause to blaspheme with curses? Yet why should they curse Love that are in Love? Blush Dorastus at thy fortune, thy choice, thy love: thy thoughts cannot be uttered without shame, nor thy affections without discredit. Ah Fawnia, sweete Fawnia, thy beautie Fawnia. Shamest not thou Dorastus to name one unfitte for thy birth, thy dignities, thy Kingdomes? Dye Dorastus, Dorastus die. Better hadst thou perish with high desires, then live in base thoughts. Yea but, beautie must be obeyed, because it is beauty, yet framed of the Gods to feede the eye, not to fetter the heart. Ah but he that striveth against Love, shooteth with them of Scyrum against the wind, and with the Cockeatrice pecketh against the steele. I will therefore obey, because I must obey. Fawnia, yea Fawnia shall be my fortune, in spight of fortune. The Gods above disdain not to love women beneath. Phoebus liked Sibilia, Jupiter Io, and why not I then Fawnia? one something inferiour to these in birth, but farre superiour to them in beautie, borne to be a Shepheard, but worthy to be a Goddesse. Ah Dorastus, wilt thou so forget thy selfe as to suffer affections to suppresse wisedome, and Love to violate thine honour? How sower will thy choice be to thy Father, sorrowfull to thy Subjects, to thy friends a griefe, most gladsome to thy foes! Subdue then thy affections, and cease to love her whome thou couldst not love, unlesse blinded with too much love. Tushe I talke to the wind, and in seeking to prevent the causes, I further the effectes. I will yet praise Fawnia; honour, yea and love Fawnia, and at this day followe content, not counsaile. Doo Dorastus, thou canst but repent: and with that his Page came into the chamber, whereupon hee ceased from his complaints, hoping that time would weare out that which fortune had wrought. As thus he was pained, so poore Fawnia was diversly perplexed: for the next morning getting up very earely, she went to her sheepe, thinking with hard labours to passe away her new conceived amours, beginning very busily to drive them to the field, and then to shifte the foldes, at last (wearied with toile) she sate her down, where (poore soule) she was more tryed with fond affections: for love beganne to assault her, in so much that as she sate upon the side of a hill, she began to accuse her owne folly in these tearmes.

[Para. 54] Infortunate Fawnia, and therefore infortunate because Fawnia, thy shepherds hooke sheweth thy poore state, thy proud desires an aspiring mind: the one declareth thy want, the other thy pride. No bastard hauke must soare so high as the Hobbie, no Fowle gaze against the Sunne but the Eagle, actions wrought against nature reape despight, and thoughts above Fortune disdaine. Fawnia, thou art a shepheard, daughter to poore Porrus: if thou rest content with this, thou art like to stande, if thou climbe thou art sure to fal. The Herb Anita growing higher then sixe ynche becommeth a weede. Nylus flowing more then twelve cubits procureth a dearth. Daring affections that passe measure, are cut shorte by time or fortune: suppresse then Fawnia those thoughts which thou mayest shame to expresse. But ah Fawnia, love is a Lord, who will commaund by power, and constraine by force. Dorastus, ah Dorastus is the man I love, the woorse is thy hap, and the lesse cause hast thou to hope. Will Eagles catch at flyes, will Cedars stoupe to brambles, or mighty Princes looke at such homely trulles? No, no, thinke this, Dorastus disdaine is greater then thy desire, hee is a Prince respecting his honour, thou a beggars brat forgetting thy calling. Cease then not onely to say, but to thinke to love Dorastus, and dissemble thy love Fawnia, for better it were to dye with griefe, then to live with shame: yet in despight of love I will sigh, to see if I can sigh out love.

[Para. 55] Fawnia somewhat appeasing her griefes with these pithie perswasions, began after her wonted manner to walke about her sheepe, and to keepe them from straying into the corne, suppressing her affection with the due consideration of her base estate, and with the impossibilities of her love, thinking it were frenzy, not fancy, to covet that which the very destinies did deny her to obteine.

[Para. 56] But Dorastus was more impatient in his passions; for love so fiercely assayled him, that neither companie, nor musicke could mitigate his martirdome, but did rather far more increase his maladie: shame would not let him crave counsaile in this case, nor feare of his Fathers displeasure reveyle it to any secrete friend; but hee was faine to make a Secretarie of himselfe, and to participate his thoughtes with his owne troubled mind. Lingring thus awhile in doubtfull suspence, at last stealing secretely from the court without either men or Page, hee went to see if hee could espie Fawnia walking abroade in the field; but as one having a great deale more skill to retrive the partridge with his spaniels, then to hunt after such a straunge pray, he sought, but was little the better: which crosse lucke drave him into a great choler, that he began to accuse love and fortune. But as he was readie to retire, he sawe Fawnia sitting all alone under the side of a hill, making a garland of such homely flowers as the fields did afoord. This sight so revived his spirites that he drewe nigh, with more judgement to take a view of her singular perfection, which hee found to bee such as in that countrey attyre she stained all the courtlie Dames of Sicilia. While thus he stoode gazing with pearcing lookes on her surpassing beautie, Fawnia cast her eye aside, and spyed Dorastus, which sudden sight made the poore girl to blush, and to die her christal cheeks with a vermilion red; which gave her such a grace, as she seemed farre more beautiful. And with that she rose up, saluting the Prince with such modest curtesies, as he wondred how a country maid could afoord such courtly behaviour. Dorastus, repaying her curtesie with a smiling countenance, began to parlie with her on this manner.

[Para. 57] Faire maide (quoth he) either your want is great, or a shepheards life very sweete, that your delight is in such country labors. I can not conceive what pleasure you should take, unless you meane to imitate the nymphes, being yourself so like a Nymph. To put me out of this doubt, shew me what is to be commended in a shepherdes life, and what pleasures you have to countervaile these drudging labours.

[Para. 58] Fawnia with blushing face made him this ready aunswere. Sir, what richer state then content, or what sweeter life then quiet? we shepheards are not borne to honor, nor beholding unto beautie, the less care we have to feare fame or fortune: we count our attire brave inough if warme inough, and our foode dainty, if to suffice nature: our greatest enemie is the wolfe: our onely care in safe keeping our flock: in stead of courtly ditties we spend the daies with cuntry songs: our amorous conceites are homely thoughtes; delighting as much in talke of Pan and his countrey prankes, as Ladies to tell of Venus and her wanton toyes. Our toyle is in shifting the fouldes, and looking to the Lambes, easie labours: oft singing and telling tales, homely pleasures; our greatest welth not to covet, our honor not to climbe, our quiet not to care. Envie looketh not so lowe as shepheards: Shepheards gaze not so high as ambition: we are rich in that we are poore with content, and proud onely in this, that we have no cause to be proud.

[Para. 59] This wittie aunswer of Fawnia so inflamed Dorastus fancy, as he commended him selfe for making so good a choyce, thinking, if her birth were aunswerable to her wit and beauty, that she were a fitte mate for the most famous Prince in the worlde. He therefore beganne to sifte her more narrowely in this manner.

[Para. 60] Fawnia, I see thou art content with Country labours, because thou knowest not Courtly pleasures: I commend thy wit, and pitty thy want: but wilt thou leave thy Fathers Cottage and serve a Courtlie Mistresse?

[Para. 61] Sir (quoth she) beggars ought not to strive against fortune, nor to gaze after honour, least either their fall be greater, or they become blinde. I am borne to toile for the Court, not in the Court, my nature unfit for their nurture: better live then in meane degree, than in high disdaine.

[Para. 62] Well saide, Fawnia (quoth Dorastus) I gesse at thy thoughts; thou art in love with some Countrey Shephearde.

[Para. 63] No sir (quoth she) shepheards cannot love, that are so simple, and maides may not love that are so young.

[Para. 64] Nay therefore (quoth Dorastus) maides must love, because they are young, for Cupid is a child, and Venus, though olde, is painted with fresh colours.

[Para. 65] I graunt (quoth she) age may be painted with new shadowes, and youth may have imperfect affections; but what arte concealeth in one, ignorance revealeth in the other.

[Para. 66] Dorastus seeing Fawnia held him so harde, thought it was vaine so long to beate about the bush: therefore he thought to have given her a fresh charge: but he was so prevented by certaine of his men, who missing their maister, came posting to seeke him; seeing that he was gone foorth all alone, yet before they drewe so nie that they might heare their talke, he used these speeches.

[Para. 67] Why, Fawnia, perhappes I love thee, and then thou must needes yeelde, for thou knowest I can commaunde and constraine. Trueth sir (quoth she) but not to love; for constrained love is force, not love: and know this sir, mine honesty is such, as I hadde rather dye then be a concubine even to a King, and my birth is so base as I am unfitte to bee a wife to a poore farmer. Why then (quoth he) thou canst not love Dorastus. Yes saide Fawnia, when Dorastus becomes a shepheard, and with that the presence of his men broke off their parle, so that he went with them to the palace, and left Fawnia sitting still on the hill side, who seeing that the night drewe on, shifted her fouldes, and busied her selfe about other worke to drive away such fond fancies as began to trouble her braine. But all this could not prevaile, for the beautie of Dorastus had made such a deepe impression in her heart, as it could not be worne out without cracking, so that she was forced to blame her owne folly in this wise.

[Para. 68] Ah Fawnia, why doest thou gaze against the Sunne, or catch at the Winde? starres are to be looked at with the eye, not recht at with the hande: thoughtes are to be measured by Fortunes, not by desires: falles come not by sitting low, but by climing too hie: what then shal al feare to fal, because some happe to fall? No luck commeth by lot, and fortune windeth those threedes which the destinies spin. Thou art favored Fawnia of a prince, and yet thou art so fond to reject desired favours: thou hast deniall at thy tonges end, and desire at thy hearts bottome; a womans fault, to spurne at that with her foote, which she greedily catcheth at with her hand. Thou lovest Dorastus, Fawnia, and yet seemest to lower. Take heede, if hee retire thou wilt repent: for unles hee love, thou canst but dye. Dye then Fawnia: for Dorastus doth but jest: the Lyon never prayeth on the mouse, nor Faulcons stoupe not to dead stales. Sit downe then in sorrow, cease to love, and content thy selfe, that Dorastus will vouchsafe to flatter Fawnia, though not to fancy Fawnia. Heigh ho! Ah foole, it were seemelier for thee to whistle as a Shepheard, then to sigh as a lover. And with that she ceased from these perplexed passions, folding her sheepe, and hying home to her poore Cottage.

[Para. 69] But such was the incessant sorrow of Dorastus to thinke on the witte and beautie of Fawnia, and to see how fond hee was being a Prince: and how froward she was being a beggar, then he began to loose his wonted appetite, to looke pale and wan; instead of mirth, to feede on melancholy: for courtly daunces to use cold dumpes: in so much that not onely his owne men, but his father and all the court began to marvaile at his sudden change, thinking that some lingring sickenes had brought him into this state: wherefore he caused Phisitions to come, but Dorastus either would let them minister, nor so much as suffer them to see his urine: but remained stil so oppressed with these passions, as he feared in him selfe a farther inconvenience. His honor wished him to ceasse from such folly, but Love forced him to follow fancy: yea and in despight of honour, love wonne the conquest, so that his hot desires caused him to find new devises, for hee presently made himselfe a shepheards coate, that he might goe unknowne, and with the lesse suspition to prattle with Fawnia, and conveied it secretly into a thick grove hard joyning to the Pallace, whither finding fit time, and opportunity, he went all alone, and putting off his princely apparel got on those shepheards roabes, and taking a great hooke in his hand (which he had also gotten) he went very anciently to find out the mistres of his affection: but as he went by the way, seeing himselfe clad in such unseemely ragges, he began to smile at his owne folly, and to reprove his fondnesse, in these tearmes.

[Para. 70] Well, said Dorastus, thou keepest a rich decorum, base desires and homely attire: thy thoughtes are fit for none but a shepheard, and thy apparrell such as only become a shepheard. A strange change from a Prince to a pesant! What is it? thy wretched fortune or thy wilful folly? Is it thy cursed destinies? Or thy crooked desires, that appointeth thee this penance? Ah Dorastus thou canst but love, and unlesse thou love, thou art like to perish for love. Yet fond foole, choose flowers, not weedes; Diamondes, not peables; Ladies which may honour thee, not shepheards which may disgrace thee. Venus is painted in silkes, not in ragges; and Cupid treadeth on disdaine, when he reacheth at dignitie. And yet Dorastus, shame not at thy shepheards weede: the heavenly Godes have sometime earthly thoughtes: Neptune became a ram, Jupiter a Bul, Apollo a shepheard: they Gods, and yet in love: and thou a man appointed to love.

[Para. 71] Devising thus with himselfe, he drew nigh to the place where Fawnia was keeping her shepe, who casting her eye aside, and seeing such a manerly shepheard, perfectly limmed, and comming with so good a pace, she began halfe to forget Dorastus, and to favor this prety shepheard, whom she thought shee might both love and obtaine: but as shee was in these thoughtes, she perceived then, that it was the yong prince Dorastus, wherfore she rose up and reverently saluted him. Dorastus taking her by the hand, repaied her curtesie with a sweete kisse, and praying her to sit downe by him, he began thus to lay the batterie.

[Para. 72] If thou marvel Fawnia at my strange attyre, thou wouldest more muse at my unaccustomed thoughtes: the one disgraceth but my outward shape, the other disturbeth my inward sences. I love Fawnia, and therefore what love liketh I cannot mislike. Fawnia, thou hast promised to love, and I hope thou wilt performe no lesse: I have fulfilled thy request, and now thou canst but graunt my desire. Thou wert content to love Dorastus when he ceast to be a Prince, and to become a shepheard, and see I have made the change, and therefore not to misse of my choice.

[Para. 73] Trueth, quoth Fawnia, but all that weare Cooles are not Monkes: painted Eagles are pictures, not Eagles. Zeusis Grapes were like Grapes, yet shadows: rich clothing make not princes: nor homely attyre beggers: shepheards are not called shepheards, because they weare hookes and bagges, but that they are borne poore, and live to keep sheepe: so this attire hath not made Dorastus a shepherd, but to seeme like a shepherd.

[Para. 74] Well Fawnia, answered Dorastus, were I a shepherd, I could not but like thee, and being a prince I am forst to love thee. Take heed Fawnia be not proud of beauties painting, for it is a flower that fadeth in the blossome. Those which disdayne in youth are despised in age: Beauties shadowes are trickt up with times colours, which being set to drie in the sunne are stained with the sunne, scarce pleasing the sight ere they beginne not to be worth the sight, not much unlike the herbe Ephemeron, which flourisheth in the morning and is withered before the sunne setting. If my desire were against lawe, thou mightest justly deny me by reason, but I love thee Fawnia, not to misuse thee as a Concubine, but to use thee as my wife: I can promise no more, and meane to performe no lesse.

[Para. 75] Fawnia hearing this solemne protestation of Dorastus, could no longer withstand the assault, but yeelded up the forte in these friendly tearmes.

[Para. 76] Ah Dorastus, I shame to expresse that thou forcest me with thy sugred speeche to confesse: my base birth causeth the one, and thy high dignities the other. Beggars thoughts ought not to reach so far as Kings, and yet my desires reach as high as Princes. I dare not say, Dorastus, I love thee, because I am a shepherd; but the Gods know I have honored Dorastus (pardon if I say amisse) yea and loved Dorastus with such dutiful affection as Fawnia can performe, or Dorastus desire: I yeeld, not overcome with prayers, but with love, resting Dorastus handmaid ready to obey his wil, if no prejudice at all to his honour, nor to my credit.

[Para. 77] Dorastus hearing this freendly conclusion of Fawnia embraced her in his armes, swearing that neither distance, time, or adverse fortune should diminish his affection: but that in despight of the destinies he would remaine loyall unto death. Having thus plight their troath each to each other, seeing they could not have the full fruition of their love in Sycilia, for that Egistus consent woulde never bee graunted to so meane a match, Dorastus determined, assone as time and opportunitie would give them leave, to provide a great masse of money, and many rich and costly jewels, for the easier cariage, and then to transporte themselves and their treasure into Italy, where they should leade a contented life, until such time as either he could be reconciled to his Father, or else by succession come to the Kingdome. This devise was greatly praysed of Fawnia, for she feared if the King his father should but heare of the contract, that his furie would be such as no lesse than death would stand for payment: she therefore tould him, that delay bred daunger: that many mishaps did fall out betweene the cup and the lip, and that to avoid danger, it were best with as much speed as might be to pass out of Sycilia, least fortune might prevent their pretence with some newe despight: Dorastus, whom love pricked forward with desire, promised to dispatch his affaires with as great hast, as either time or opportunitie would geve him leave: and so resting upon this point, after many imbracings and sweete kisses they departed.

[Para. 78] Dorastus having taken his leave of his best beloved Fawnia, went to the Grove where hee had his rich apparel, and there uncasing himself as secretly as might be, hiding up his shepheards attire, till occasion should serve again to use it, he went to the pallace, shewing by his merrie countenaunce, that either the state of his body was amended, or the ease of his minde greatly redressed: Fawnia poore soule was no less joyful, that being a shepheard, fortune had favoured her so, as to reward her with the love of a Prince, hoping in time to be advanced from the daughter of a poore farmer to be the wife of a riche King: so that she thought every houre a yeere, till by their departure they might prevent danger, not ceasing still to goe every daye to her sheepe, not so much for the care of her flock, as for the desire she had to see her love and Lord Dorastus: who oftentimes, when oportunitie would serve, repaired thither to feede his fancy with the sweet content of Fawnias presence: and although he never went to visit her, but in his shepheards ragges, yet his ofte repaire made him not onely suspected, but knowne to divers of their neighbours: who for the good will they bare to old Porrus, tould him secretly of the matter, wishing him to keepe his daughter at home, least she went so ofte to the field that she brought him home a yong sonne: for they feared that Fawnia being so beautifull, the yong prince would allure her to folly. Porrus was striken into a dump at these newes, so that thanking his neighboures for their good will he hyed him home to his wife, and calling her aside, wringing his handes and shedding foorth teares, he brake the matter to her in these tearmes.

[Para. 79] I am afraid wife, that my daughter Fawnia hath made her selfe so fine, that she will buy repentance too deare. I heare newes, which if they be true, some will wish they had not proved true. It is tould me by my neighbours, that Dorastus the Kings sonne begins to looke at our daughter Fawnia: which if it be so, I will not geve her a halfe-peny for her honestie at the yeeres end. I tell thee wife, nowadaies beauty is a great stale to trap yong men, and faire wordes and sweete promises are two great enemies to a maydens honestie: and thou knowest where poore men entreate, and cannot obtaine, there Princes may commaund, and wil obtaine. Though Kings sonnes daunce in nettes, they may not be seene: but poore mens faultes are spied at a little hole: Well, it is a hard case where Kings lustes are lawes, and that they should binde poore men to that, which they themselves wilfuly breake.

[Para. 80] Peace husband (quoth his wife) take heede what you say: speake no more than you should, least you heare what you would not: great streames are to be stopped by sleight, not by force: and princes to be perswaded by submission, not by rigor: doe what you can, but no more than you may, least in saving Fawnias mayden-head, you loose your owne head. Take heede I say, it is ill jesting with edged tooles, and bad sporting with Kinges. The Wolfe had his skinne puld over his eares for but looking into the Lions den. Tush wife (quoth he) thou speakest like a foole. If the King should knowe that Dorastus had begotten our daughter with childe (as I feare it will fall out little better) the Kings furie would be such as no doubt we should both loose our goodes and lives; necessitie therefore hath no lawe, and I will prevent this mischiefe with a newe devise that is come into my head, which shall neither offend the King, nor displease Dorastus. I meane to take the chaine and the jewels that I found with Fawnia, and carrie them to the King, letting him then to understand how she is none of my daughter, but that I found her beaten up with the water alone in a little boate wrapped in a rich Mantle, wherein was inclosed this treasure. By this meanes I hope the King will take Fawnia into his service, and we whatsoever chaunceth will be blamelesse. This device pleased the good wife very well, so that they determined assoone as they might know the King at leisure, to make him privie to this case.

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