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The whyles sir Artegall with that old knight Like as a tender rose in open plaive,
And hung the head, soone as few drops of raine By this came tydings to the tyrants eare,
Thereon distill and deaw her daintie face, By those which earst did fly away for feare, Gins to look up, and with fresh wonted grace Of their arrivall: wherewith troubled sore
Dispreds the glorie of her leavës gay; He all bis forces streight to him did reare,
Sucb was Irenas countenance, such her case,
All armed in a cote of yron plate
Of colour rustie-browne, but sure and strong ; But he them overtbrew both man and horse, And in his hand an huge polaxe did beare, That they lay seattred over all the land,
Whose steale was yron-studded, but not long, As thicke as doth the seede after the sowers hand: With which he wont to fight, to justifie his wrong: Till Artegall him seeing so to rage
Of stature huge and hideous he was, Willd him to stay, and signe of truce did make: Like to a giant for his monstrous hight, To which all harkning did awhile asswage
And did in strength niost sorts of men surpas, Their forces furie, and their terror slake;
Ne ever any found his match in might; Till he an herauld cald, and to him spake,
Thereto he had great skill in single fight : Willing him wend unto the tyrant streight, His face was ugly and his countenance sterne, And tell him that not for such slaughters sake That could have frayd one with the very sight, He thether came, but for to trie the right
And gaped like a gulfe when he did gerne ; Of fayre Irenaes cause with him in single fight: That whether man or monster one could scarse disa
cerue. And willed bim for to reclayme with speed His scattred people, ere they all were slaine ;
Soone as he did within the listes appeare,
With dreadfull looke he Artegall beheld,
His deadly weapon wbich in hand he held:
And cast his shield about to be in readie plight. That night sir Artegall did cause his tent There to be pitched on the open plaine;
The trompets sound; and they together goe For he had given streight commaundëment With dreadfull terror and with fell intent; That none should dare hiin once to entertaine : And their huge strokes full dangerously bestow, Which none durst breake, though many would right To doe most dammage whereas most they ment: For faire Irena whom they loved deare: [faine But with such force and furie violent But yet old Sergis did so well him paine,
The tyrant thundred his thicke blowes so fast, That from close friends, that dar'd not to appeare, That through the yron walles their way they rent, He all things did purvay which for them needfull And even to the vitall parts they past, (brast.
Ne ought could them endure, but all they cleft or
The morrow next that was the dismall day
Which cruell outrage whenas Artegall
Then up she rose, and on herselfe did dight So did the Faerie knight himselfe abeare,
So stoutest knights doen oftentimes in field.
And did his yron axe so nimbly wield, Warting his foe, it did her dead hart cheare, That many wounds into his flesh it made, [lade. And new life to her lent in midst of deadly feare. And with his burdenous blowes him sore did over
Yet whenas fit advantage he did spy,
But, ere he coulde reforme it thoroughly, The whiles the cursed felon high did reare
He through occasion called was away His cruell hand to smite him mortally,
To Faerie court, that of necessity Under bis stroke he to him stepping neare
His course of justice he was forst to stay, Right in the flanke him strooke with deadly dreare, And Talus to revoke from the right way, That the gore-bloud thence gushing grievously In which he was that realme for to redresse: Did underneath him like a pond appeare,
But envies eloud still dimmeth vertues ray ! And all his armour did with purple dye:
So, having freed Irena from distresse, Thereat he brayed loud, and yelled dreadfully. He tooke his leave of her there left in heavinesse, Yet the huge stroke, which he before intended,
Tho, as he backe returned from that land, Kept on his course, as he did it direct,
And there arrivd againe whence forth he set, And with such monstrous poise adowne descended,
He had not passed farre upon the strand, That seemed nought could him from death protect:
Whenas two old ill-favour'd hags he met, But he it well did ward with wise respect,
By the way-side being together set, And twixt him and the blow his shield did cast,
Two griesly creatures; and, to that their faces Which thereun seizing tooke no great effect;
Most foule and filthie were, their garments yet, But, byting deepe, therein did sticke so fast (wrast. Being all rag'd and tatter'd, their disgraces (cases. That by no meanes it backe againe he forth could Did much the more augment, and made most ugly
The one of them, that elder did appeare, Long while he tug'd and strove to get it ont,
With her dull eyes did seeme to looke askew, And all his powre applyed thereunto, That he therewith the knight drew all about:
That her mis-shape much helpt: and her foule heare Nathlesse, for all that ever he could doe,
Hung loose and loathsomely; thereto her hew
Was wan and leave, that all her teeth arew His axe he could not from his shield undoe.
And all her bones might through her cheekes be red; Which Artegall perceiving, strooke no more,
Her lips were, like raw lether, pale and blew : But ioosing soone his shield did it forgoe; And, whiles he combred was therewith so sore,
And as she spake, therewith she slavered; (she sed:
Yet spake she seldom: but thought more, the lesse He gan at bim let drive more fiercely then afore.
Her hands were foule and durtie, never washt So well he him pursew'd, that at the last
In all her life, with long nayles over-raught, He stroke him with Chrysaor on the bed, That with the souse thereof full sore aghast
Like puttocks clawes; with th' one of which she
scratcht He staggered to and fro in doubtfull sted :
Her cursed head, although it itched naught;
The other held a snake with venime fraught,
On which she fed and gnawed hungrily,
As if that long she had not eaten ought;
That round about her iawes one might descry He lightly reft his head to ease him of his paine.
The bloudic gore and poyson dropping lothsomely. Which when the people round about him saw,
Her name was Envie, knowen well thereby;
Whose nature is to grieve and grudge at all
That ever she sees doen prays-worthily; Which with strong powre did them long time op
Whose sight to her is greatest crosse may fall, presse;
And vexeth so, that makes her eat her gall: And, running all with greedie ioyfulnesse
For, when she wanteth other thing to eat, To faire Irena, at her feet did fall,
She feedes on her owne maw unnaturall, And her adored with due humblenesse
And of her owne foule entrayles makes her meat; As their true liege and princesse naturall;
Meat fit for such a monsters monsterous dyeat: And eke her champions glorie sounded over all :
And if she hapt of any good to beare, Who, streight her leading with meete maiestie
That had to any happily betid, Unto the pallace where their kings did rayne, Then wonld she inly fret, and griere, and teare Did her therein establish peaceablie,
Her flesh for felvesse, which she inward hid; And to her kingdomes seat restore agayne;
But if she heard of ill that any did, And all such persons, as did late maintayne
Or harme that any bad, then would she make That tyrants part with close or open ayde,
Great cheare, like one unto a banquet bid; He sorely punished with heavie payne;
And in anothers losse great pleasure take, That in short space, whiles there with her he stayd, As she had got thereby and gayned a great stake. Not one was left that durst her once have disobayd.
The other nothing better was then shee; During which time that he did there remayne, Agreeing in bad will and cancred kynd, His studie was true iustice how to deale,
But in bad maner they did disagree : And day and night employ'd his busie paine For wbatso Envie good or bad did fynd How to reforine that ragged common-wea'e: She did conceale, and murder her owne mynd ; And that same yron man, which could reveale But this, whatever evill she conceived, All bidden crimes, through all that realme he sent | Did spred abroad and throw in th’ open wynd : To search out those that usd to rob and steale, Yet this in all her words might be perceived, Or did rebell gainst lawfull government;
That all sbe sought was inens good name to have On whom he did indict most grievous punishment.
For, whatsoever good by any sayd
Then from her mouth thé gobbet she does take, Or doen she heard, she would streightwayes invent | The which whyleare she was so greedily How to deprave or slaunderously upbrayd, Devouring, even that halfe-gnawen snake, Or to misconstrue of a mans intent,
And at him throws it most despightfully : And turne to ill the thing that well was ment: The cursed serpent, though she hungrily Therefore she used often to resort
Farst chawd thereon, yet was not all so dead, To common haunts, and companies frequent, But that some life remayned secretly; To hearke what any one did good report,
And, as he past afore withouten dread, To blot the same with blame, or wrest in wicked Bit him behind, that long the marke was to be read. sort :
Then th’ other comming neare gan him revile, And if that any ill she heard of any,
And fouly rayle, with all she could invent; She would it eeke, and make much worse by telling, Saying that he had, with unmanly guile And take great ioy to publish it to many ;
And foule abusion, both his honour bient, That every matter worse was for her melling: And that bright sword, the sword of Justice lent, Her name was hight Detraction, and her dwelling Had stayned with reprochfull crueltie Was neare to Envie, even her neighbour next; In guiltlesse blood of many an innocent: A wicked hag, and Envy selfe excelling
As for Grandtorto, him with treacherie In mischiefe; for herselfe she only vext :
And traynes having surpriz'd he fouly did to die. But this same both herselfe and others eke perplext.
Thereto the Blatant Beast, by them set on, Her face was ugly, and her mouth distort, At him began aloud to barke and bay Foming with poyson round about her gils,
With bitter rage and fell contention ; In which her cursed tongue full sharpe and short That all the woods and rockes nigh to that way Appear'd like aspis sting, that closely kils, Began to quake and tremble with disinay; Or cruelly does wound whomso she wils :
And all the aire rebellowed againe; A distaffe in her other hand she had,
So dreadfully his hundred tongues did bray: Upon the which she litle spinnes, but spils ; And evermore those hags themselves did paine And faynes to weave false tales and leasings bad, To sharpen him, and their owne cursed tongs dia To throw amougst the good, which others had dis
And, still among, most bitter wordes they spake, These two now had themselves combynd in one, Most shamefull, most unrighteous, most untrew, And linckt together gainst sir Artegall;
That they the mildest man alive would make For whom they wayted as his mortall fone, Forget his patience, and yeeld vengeaunce dew How they might make him into mischiefe fall, To her, that so false sclaunders at him tbrew: For freeing from their snares Irena thrall :
And more, to make them pierce and wound more Besides, unto themselves they gotten had
deepe, A monster, which the Blataut Beast men call, She with the sting which in her vile tongue grew A dreadfull feend of gods and men ydrad, [lad. Did sharpen them, and in fresh popson steepe: Whom they by slights allur'd and to their purpose Yet he past on, and seem'd of them to take no keepe.
Such were these bags, and so unbandsome drest:
But Talus, hearing her so lewdly raile
THE LEGEND OF SIR CALIDORE, OR OF COURTESIE.
T'I whissdelightful land of Faery,
Of which though present age doe plenteous seeme, Are so exceeding spacious and wyde,
Yet, being matcht with plaine antiquitie, And sprinckled with such sweet variety
Ye will them all but fayned showes esteeme, Of all that pleasant is to eare or eye,
Which carry colours faire that feeble eies misdeeme: That I, nigh ravisht with rare thoughts delight, My tedious travell doe forget thereby;
But, in the triall of true curtesie, And, when I gin to feele decay of enight,
Its now so farre from that which then it was, It strength to me supplies and chears my dulled That it indeed is nought but forgerie, spright.
Fashion'd to please the eies of them that pas,
Which see not perfect things but in a glas: Such secret comfort and such heavenly pleasures, Yet is that glasse so gay that it can blynd Ye sacred imps, that on Parnasso dwell,
The wisest sight, to thinke gold that is bras: And there the keeping have of learnings threasures But vertues seat is deepe within the mynd, Which doe all worldly riches farre excell, And not in outward shows but inward thoughts Into the mindes of mortall men doe well,
defynd. And goodly fury into them infuse; Guyde ye my footing, and conduct me well But where shall I in all antiquity In these strange waies where never foote did use, So faire a patterne finde, where may be seene Ne none can find but who was taught them by the The goodly praise of princely curtesie, Muse:
As in yourselfe, O soveraine lady queene?
In whose pure minde, as in a mirrour sheene, Revele to me the sacred noursery
It showes, and with her brightnesse doth inflame Of vertue, which with you doth there remaine, The eyes of all which thereou fixed beene; Where it in silver bowre does hidden ly
But meriteth indeede an higher name:
Then pardon me, most dreaded soveraine,
And tribute backe repay as to their king :
Into the rest which round about you ring, Which though it on a lowly stalke doe bowre, Faire lords and ladies which about you dwell, Yet brancheth forth in brave nobilitie,
And doe adorne your court where courtesies excell. “ The Blattant Beast," quoth he, “ I doe pursew,
And through the world incessantly doe chase, CANTO I.
Till I him overtake, or else subdew :
Yet know I not or how or in what place
To find him out, yet still I forward trace."
“ What is that Blattant Beast then?” he replide; Doth vanquish Crudor; and doth make
“ Is it a monster bred of hellishe race,"
Then answered he, “ which often hath annoyd
“ Of Cerberus whilome he was begot And well beseemeth that in princes hall
And fell Chimæra, in her darkesome den, 'That vertue should be plentifully found,
Through fowle commixture of his filthy blot; Which of all goodly manners is the ground,
Where he was fostred loug in Stygian fen, And roote of civill conversation :
Till he to perfect ripenesse grew; and then Right so in Faery court it did redound,
Into this wicked world he forth was sent Where curteous knights and ladies most did won To be the plague and scourge of wretched men : Of all on Earth, and made a matchlesse paragon.
Whom with vile tongue and venemous intent
He sore doth wound, and bite, and cruelly torBut mongst them all was none more courteous
ment." Then Calidore, beloved over all :
“ Then, since the Salvage Island I did leave," In whom it seemes that gentlenesse of spright
Sayd Artegall, “ I such a beast did see, And manners mylde were planted paturall;
The which did seeme a thousand tongues to bare, To which he adding comely guize withall
That all in spight and malice did agree, And gracious speach, did steale mens hearts away:
With which he bayd and loudly barkt at mee, Natblesse thereto he was full stout and tall,
As if that he attonce would me devoure : And well approv'd in batteilous affray, [play. But I, that knew myselfe from perill free, That him did much renowne, and far his fame dis- Did nought regard his malice nor his powre;
But he the more his wicked poyson forth did poure.” Ne was there knight ne was there lady found In Faery court, but bim did deare embrace “ That surely is that beast,” saide Calidore, For his faire usage and conditions sound,
“ Which I pursue, of whom I am right glad The which in all meos liking gayned place, To heare these tidings which of none afore And with the greatest purchast greatest grace; Through all my weary travell I have had : Which he could wisely use, and well apply, Yet now some hope your words unto me add." To please the best, and th' evill to embase: “ Now God you speed," quoth then sir Artegall, For he loathd leasing and base flattery,
“ And keepe your body from the daunger drad; And loved simple truth and stedfast honesty. For ye have much adoe to deale withall!"
So both tooke goodly leare, and parted severall. And now he was in travell on his way, Uppon an hard adventure sore bestad,
Sir Calidore thence travelled not long, Whenas by chaunce he met uppon a day
Whenas by chaunce a comely squire he found, With Artegall, returning yet halfe sad
That thorough some more mighty enemies wrong From his late conquest which he gotten had :
Both hand and foote unto a tree was bound; Who whenas each of other had a sight,
Who, seeing him from farre, with piteous sound They knew themselves, and both their persons rad:
Of his shrill cries himn called to his aide : When Calidore thus first ; “ Haile, noblest knight To whom approching, in that painefull stound Of all this day on ground that breathen living When he him saw, for no demaunds he slaide, spright!
But first him losde, and afterwards thus to him said; " Now tell, if please you, of the good successe
“ Unhappy squire, what hard mishap thee brought
Into this bay of perill and disgrace ? Which ye have had in your late enterprize."
What cruell hand thy wretched thraldome wrought, To whom sir Artegall gan to expresse
And thee captyved in this shamefull place?” His whole exploite and valorous emprize,
To whom he answered thus; " My haplesse case In order as it did to him arize.
Is not occasiond through my misdesert, " Now, happy man," said then sir Calidore,
But through misfortune, which did me abase “ Which have, so goodly as ye can devize,
Unto this shame, and my young hope subvert, Atchiev'd so hard a qnest, as few before;
Ere that I in her guilefull traines was well expert. That shall you most renowmed make for evermore.
“ Not farre from hence, uppon yond rocky hill, * But where ye ended have, now I begin
Hard by a streight there stands a castle strong, To tread an endlesse trace; withouten gugde Which doth observe a custome lewd and ill, Or good direction how to enter in,
And it hath long mayntaind with mighty wrong: Or how to issue forth in waies untryde,
For may no knight nor lady passe along In perils strange, in labours long and wide; That way, (and yet they needs must passe that way, In which although good fortune me befall,
By reason of the streight, and rocks among,) Yet shall it not by none be testifyde."
But they that ladies lockes doe shave away, " What is that quest," quoth then sir Artegall, And that knights beard, for toll which they for pas. ** That you into such perils presently doth call ?"