« 上一頁繼續 »
Book I. PYROCLES's mind was all this while so fixed upon another devotion, that he no more attentively marked his friend's discourse, than the child that hath leave to play, marks the last part of his lesson ; or the diligent pilot in a dangerous tempest doth attend the unskilful words of a passenger : yet the very sound having imprinted the general points of his speech in his heart, pierced without any mislike of so dearly an esteemed friend, and desirous by degrees to bring him to a gentler consideration of him, with a shame-faced look, witnessing he rather could not help, than did not know his fault, answered him to this purpose : excellent Musidorus ! in the praise you gave me in the beginning of your speech, I easily acknowledge the force of your good will unto me; for neither could you have thought 80 well of me, if extremity of love hath not made your judgment partial, nor could you have loved me so entirely, if you had not been apt to make so great, though undeserved, judgments of me; and even so must I say to those imperfections, to which, though I have ever through weakness been subject, yet you by the daily mending of your mind have of late been able to look into them which before you could not discern ; so that the change you speak of, falls not out by my impairing, but by your bettering. And yet under the leave of your better judgment, I must needs say thus much, my dear cousin ! that I find not myself wholly to be condemned, because I do not with continual vehemency follow those knowledges, which you call the bettering of my mind ; for both the mind itself must, like other things, sometimes be unbent, or else it will be either weakened, or broken: and these knowledges, as they are of good use; so are they not all the mind may stretch itself unto: who knows whether I feed not my mind with higher thoughts ? truly, as I know not all the particulars, so yet I see the bounds of all these knowledges : but the workings of the mind, I find much more infinite than can be led unto by the eye, or imagined by any that distract their thought without themselves. And in such contemplation, or, as I think, more excellent, I enjoy my solitariness, and my solitariness perchance is the nurse of these contemplations. Eagles we see fly alone, and they are but sheep which always herd together; condemn not therefore my mind sometimes to enjoy itself; nor blame not the taking of such times as serve most fit for it. And alas, dear Musidorus ! if I be sad, who knows better than you the just causes I have of sadness? And here Pyrocles suddenly stopped, like a man unsatisfied in himself, though his wit might well have served to have satisfied another. And so looking with a countenance, as though he desired he should know his mind without hearing him speak, and yet desirous to speak, to breathe out some part of his inward evil, sending again new blood to his face, he continued his speech in this manner: and lord, dear cousin, said he, doth not the pleasantness of this place carry in itself sufficient reward for any time lost in it ? do you not see how all things conspire together to make this country a heavenly dwelling ? do you not see the grass, how in colour they excel the emerald, every one striving to pass his fellow, and yet they are all kept of an equal height ? and see you not the rest of these beautiful flowers, each of which would require a man's wit to know, and his life to express?
do not these stately trees seem to maintain their flourishing old age with the only happiness of their seat, being clothed with a continual spring, because no beauty here should ever fade? doth not the air breathe health, which the birds, delightful both to ear and eye, do daily solemnize with the sweet consent of their voices P is not every echo thereof a perfect music? and these fresh and delightful brooks how slowly they slide away, as loth to leave the company of so many things united in perfection ? and with how sweet a murmur they lament their forced departure? certainly, certainly, cousin, it must needs be that some goddess inhabiteth this region, who is the soul of this soil: for neither is any less than a goddess worthy to be shrined in such a heap of pleasures: nor any less than a goddess could have made it so perfect a plot of the celestial dwellings. And so ended with a deep sigh, ruefully casting his eye upon Musidorus, as more desirous of pity than pleading.
Then went they together abroad, the good Kalander entertaining them with pleasant discoursing, how well he loved the sport of hunting when he was a young man, how much, in the comparison thereof, he disdained all chamber delights, that the sun, how great a journey soever he had to make, could never prevent him with earliness, nor the moon, with her sober countenance, dissuade him from watching till midnight for the deers feeding. O said he, you will never live to my age, without you keep yourselves in breath with exercise, and in heart with joyfulness: too much thinking doth consume the spirits, and oft it falls out, that while one thinks too much of his doing, he leaves to do the effect of his thinking. Then spared he not to remember, how much Arcadia was changed since his youth: activity and good fellowship being nothing in the price it was then held in; but, according to the nature of the old-growing world, still worse and worse. Then would he tell them stories of such gallants as he had known : and so with pleasant o beguiled the time's
B Z *
haste, and shortened the way's length, till they came to the side of the wood, where the hounds were in couples staying their coming, but with a whining accent craving liberty; many of them in colour and marks so resembling, that it shewed they were of one kind. The huntsmen handsomely attired in their green liveries, as though they were children of summer, with staves in their hands, to beat the guiltless earth, when the hounds were at a fault, and with horns about their necks, to sound an alarm upon a silly fugitive: the hounds were straight uncoupled, and e'er long the stag thought it better to trust to the nimbleness of his feet, than to the slender fortification of his lodging: but even his feet betrayed him; for howsoever they went, they themselves uttered themselves to the scent of their enemies; who one taking it of another, and sometimes believing the wind's advertisement, sometimes the view of their faithful counsellors, the huntsmen, with open mouths then denounced war, when the war was already begun ; their cry being composed of so well-sorted mouths, that any man would perceive therein some kind of proportion, but the skilful woodmen did find a music. Then delight, and variety of opinion, drew the horsemen sundry ways, so cheering their hounds with voice and horn, kept still, as it were together. The wood seemed to conspire with then against his own citizens, dispersing their noise through all his quarters, and even the nymph Echo left to bewail the loss of Narcissus, and became a hunter But the stag was in the end so hotly pursued, that leaving his flight, he was driven to make courage o despair; and so turning his head, made the hounds with change of speech, to testify that he was at a bay as if from hot pursuit of their enemy, they were sud denly come to a parley.
Book II. The sweet minded Philoclea was in their degree o well-doing, to whom the not knowing of evil servet for a ground of virtue, and hold their inward power in better form with an unspotted simplicity, than many who rather cunningly seek to know what goodness is, than willingly take into themselves the following of it. But as that sweet and simple breath of heavenly goodness, is the easier to be altered, because it hath not passed through the worldly wickedness, nor feelingly found the evil that evil carries with it ; so now the lady Philoclea, whose eyes and senses had received nothing, but according as the natural course of each thing required, whose tender youth had obediently lived under her parents behests, without framing out of her own will the fore-choosing of any thing, when now she came to a point, wherein her judgment was to be practised, in knowing faultiness by his first tokens, she was like a young fawn, who coming in the wind of the hunters, doth not know whether it be a thing or no to be eschewed; whereof at this time she began to get a costly experience. For after that Zelmane had awhile lived in the lodge with her, and that her only being a noble stranger had bred a kind of heedful attention; her coming to that lovely place where she had no body but her parents, a willingness of conversation; her wit and behaviour, a liking and silent admiration; at length the excellency of her natural gifts, joined with the extreme shows she made of a most devout honouring Philoclea, carrying thus, in one person, the only two bands of good will, loveliness and lovingness, brought forth in her heart a yielding to a most friendly affection; which when it had gotten so full possession of the keys of her mind, that it would receive no message from her senses, without that affection were the interpreter; then straight grew an exceeding delight still to be with her, with an unmeasurable liking of all that Zelmane did: matters being so turned in her, that where at first liking her manners did breed good-will, now good-will became the chief cause of liking her manners: so that within a while Zelmane was not prized for her demeanour, but the demeanour was prized because it was Zelmane's. Then followed that most natural effect of conforming herself to that, which she did like, and not only wishing to be herself such another in all things, but to ground an imitation