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XII. To whom the captaine in full angry wize Made answere, that the mayd of whom they spake Was his owne purchase and his onely prize, With which none had to doe, ne ought partake, But he himselfe, which did that conquest make; Litle for him to have one silly lasse; Besides through sicknesse now so wan and weake, That nothing meet in merchandize to passe: [was. So shew'd them her, to prove how pale and weak she
XIII. The sight of whom, though now decayd and mard, And eke but hardly seene by candle-light, Yet like a diamond of rich regard, In doubtfull shadow of the darksome night With starrie beames about her shining bright, These merchants fixed eyes did so amaze, That what through wonder, and what through delight, A while on her they greedily did gaze, And did her greatly like, and did her greatly praize.
XIV. At last when all the rest them offred were, And prises to them placed at their pleasure, They all refused in regard of her, Ne ought would buy, however prisd with measure, Withouten her, whose, worth above all threasure They did esteeme, and offred store of gold : But then the captaine, fraught with more displeasure, Bad them be still, his love should not be sold ; The rest take if they would, he her to him would hold.
XV. Therewith some other of the chiefest theeves Boldly him bad such iniurie forbeare, For that same mayd, however it him greeves, Should with the rest be sold before him theare, To make the prises of the rest more deare : That with great rage he stoutly doth denay, And fiercely drawing forth his blade, doth sweare That whoso hardie hand on her doth lay, It dearely shall aby, and death for handsell pay.
XVI. Thus as they words amongst them multiply, They fall to strokes, the frute of too much talke, And the mad steele about doth fiercely fly, Not sparing wight, ne leaving any balke, But making way for Death at large to walke; Who in the horror of the griesly night In thousand dreadful shapes doth mongst them stalke, And makes huge havocke; whiles the candle-light Out-quenched leaves no skill nor difference of wight.
XVII. Like as a sort of hungry dogs, ymet About some carcase by the common way, Do fall together, stryving each to get The greatest portion of the greedie pray ; All on confused heapes themselves assay, And snatch, and bite, and rend, and tug, and teare, That who them sees would wonder at their fray, And who sees not would be affrayd to heare ; Such was the conflict of those cruell Brigants there.
XVIII. But first of all their captives they do kill, Least they should ioyne against the weaker side, Or rise against the remnant at their will ; Old Melibee is slaine, and him beside His aged wife, with many others wide ; But Coridon, escaping craftily, Creepes forth of dores, whilst darknes him doth hide, And flyes away as fast as he can hye, Ne stayeth leave to take before his friends doe dye.
XIX. But Pastorella, wofull wretched elfe, Was by the captaine all this while defended, Who minding more her safety then himselfe, His target always over her pretended, By meanes whereof, that mote not be amended, He at the length was slaine and layd on ground, Yet holding fast, twixt both his armes extended, Fayre Pastorell, who with the selfe same wound Launcht thro’the arme, fell downe with him in drerie
[swound. There lay she covered with confused preasse Of carcases, which dying on her fell: Tho whenas he was dead the fray gan ceasse, And each to other calling, did compell To stay their cruell hands from slaughter fell, Sith they that were the cause of all were gone : Thereto they all attonce agreed well, And lighting candles new, gan search anone, How manyof their friends were slaine,how manyfone.
XXIV. But when they saw her now reliv'd againe, They left her so, in charge of one, the best Of many worst, who with unkind disdaine And cruell rigour her did much molest, Scarse yeelding her due food or timely rest, And scarsely suffring her infestred wound, That sore her payn'd, by any to be drest. So leave we her in wretched thraldome bound, And turnewe backe to Calidore where we him found.
XXV. Who when he backe returned from the wood, And saw his shepheard's cottage spoy led quight, And his love reft away, he wexed wood, And halfe enraged at that ruefull sight, That even his hart for very fell despight, And his owne flesh he readie was to leare: He chauft, he griev'd, he fretted, and he sight, And fared like a furious wyld beare, Whose whelpes are stolne away,she being otherwhere,
XXVI. Ne wight he found to whom he might complaine, Ne wight he found of whom he night inquire ; That more increast the anguish of his paine : He sought the woods, but no man could see there; He sought the plaines, but could no tydings heare; The woods did nought but ecchoes vaine rebound; The playnes all waste and emptie did appeare; Where wont the shepheards oft their pypes resound, And feed an hundred flocks, there now not one he