1596
ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

The Fourth Booke of the Faerie Queene. containing the Legend of Cambel and Telamond, or of Friendship.

The Faerie Queene. Disposed into Twelve Bookes, fashioning XII. morall Vertues. The Second Part of the Faerie Queene. Containing the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Bookes.

Edmund Spenser


The second installment of Spenser's poem was published in 1596 with the altered ending to Book III.

Ralph Church: "Why the four Copies severally signed R. S. — H. B. — W. L. — Ignoto — and the seventeen Copies addressed to Noblemen, &c, were not reprinted, and particularly why the Letter to Sir Walter Raleigh was then omitted, we are at a loss to account for; and should take it as a particular favour if any Gentleman can inform us whether more than we have now mentioned, was contained in that Copy of 1596. That little care was used in that Impression will readily appear, when the Reader shall be informed that many of the Errata of the first Edition (tho' some of them very valuable ones) are overlooked and not amended in this second" Faerie Queene (1758) 1:iv.

Henry John Todd: "The second part of the Faerie Queene appeared; which had been entered for the same bookseller in the Stationers' Registers on the 20th January 1595-6. And a new edition of the former part accompanied it. Of the remaining six books, which would have completed Spenser's original design, two imperfect Cantos Of Mutabilitie are the only parts with which the publick has been gratified: and which were first inserted in the folio edition of the Faerie Queene in 1609, as a part of the lost Book, entitled The Legend of Constancy" Works of Spenser (1805) 1:cxv.

George L. Craik: "The Fourth Book of the Fairy Queen is entitled The Legend of Cambel and Triamond (misprinted in the old editions Telamond), or of Friendship. It is preceded by five introductory stanzas, setting out as follows, with what is no doubt an allusion to Burleigh and the little favour, or rather avowed contempt, with which the former portion of the work had been regarded, both for its form and its subject, by the wise but not poetical Lord Treasurer: — 'The rugged forehead, that with grave foresight | Welds kingdoms' causes, and affairs of state, | My looser rhymes, I wote, doth sharply wite'.... All great works, he proceeds to affirm, of former ages will be found to have either begun or ended in love; and even the father of philosophy, Socrates, was wont often to make this passion the subject of discourse with 'his Critias' (that name being apparently used by mistake for Crito, from a forgetfulness similar to what we had occasion to notice in regard to the same name in the seventh Canto of' the second Book). To such therefore as so wrongfully deem of love he does not sing at all, but 'to that sacred saint' his sovereign queen, in whose chaste breast all treasures of true love are enlocked, 'Bove all her sex that ever yet was seen.' 'To her,' he exclaims, 'I sing of love, that loveth best, | And best is loved of all alive, I ween; | To her this song most fitly is addressed, | The Queen of Love and Prince of Peace from heaven blest.'

"Canto I. (54 stanzas). — This Canto carries on the adventures of Amoret, the story of whose previous sufferings, and of the trials she has still to encounter, is declared to be so sad a one, 'that I,' says Spenser, 'with tears full oft do pity it, | And oftentimes do wish it never had been writ.' For never had she any enjoyment of life since the time when Scudamore won her from twenty knights, all of whom he had to fight and conquer before she became his; the vile enchanter Busirane having contrived on her wedding-day, in the midst of the bridal feast, to carry her off, as if in sport, by means of that Masque of Love of his, and having since detained her for seven long months in durance and torment, till she was delivered by Britomart, as related in the last Canto of the preceding Book. But her misfortunes are not yet at an end. Scudamore, as we have seen, is still lost to her and she is left alone with the Briton maid, whose sex of course she does not suspect. It would be a pleasant tale, says the poet, to tell 'the diverse usage and demeanour daint' of the one to the other, as they rode along....

"At last one evening they come to a castle, where many knights and ladies are assembled to witness and take part in deeds of arms: — 'Amongst all which was none more fair than she, | That many of them moved to eye her sore. | The custom of that place was such, that he | Which had no love nor leman there in store | Should either win him one, or lie without the door.' A jolly knight, who lays claim to Amoret, is easily and speedily disposed of by 'the warlike virgin;' yet, although he had been overthrown by her in fight, as he seems to be a youth of valour, she, who is as courteous as stout, is loth that he should be either forced to pass the night in the open air, or that the custom of the place should be broken. Having first, therefore, obtained an assurance that in any circumstances Amoret should remain under her protection, she then surprises them all by claiming the admission of the knight into the castle as due to her, his conqueror, in her quality of a lady: 'With that, her glistering helmet she unlaced; | Which deft, her golden locks, that were upbound | Still in a knot, unto her heels down traced, | And like a silken veil in compass round | About her back and all her body wound'.... Some think that the transformation is the work of enchantment; some that she is Bellona, the Goddess of War, visibly revealed to them 'with shield and armour fit.' But to Amoret especially the discovery is a great relief.

"The two spend the night in conversing of their loves, and then on the morrow at sunrise resume their journey. At length they spy two armed knights pacing towards them, each with a lady, as seems, riding by his side but ladies they are none, although fair enough in face and outward show: the one is the false Duessa, in yet another of her endless disguises — 'For she could don so many shapes in sight | As ever could chamelion colours new; | So could she forge all colours, save the true:' the other was no whit better than she, but rather, if possible, much worse: 'her name was Ate, mother of debate and all dissension,' raised by Duessa 'from below | Out of the dwellings of the damned sprites, | Where she in darkness wastes her cursed days and nights.' Her dwelling is 'in a darksome delve, far under ground,' hard by the gates of hell;' environed with thorns and brakes, yet with many ways to enter, although with none whereby to issue forth.... The two knights are our former acquaintance, Paridel, who accompanies Ate, and a new personage, Sir Blandamour, 'a man of mickle might,' and 'that bore great sway in arms and chivalry,' who has attached himself to Duessa; 'For, though, like withered tree that wanteth juice, | She old and crooked were, yet now of late | As fresh and fragrant as the flower-de-luce | She was become, by change of her estate, | And made full goodly joyance to her new-found mate.'

"When they perceive Britomart and Amoret, Blandamour proposes to Paridel that he should attack the former, who must be supposed to have resumed her knightly attire; but Paridel remembers his late mischance, as related in the Ninth Canto of the last Book, and willingly leaves the enterprize to his friend, who thereupon makes his onset gallantly enough, but meets with the same sudden discomfiture as all those who encounter the warlike Britoness and her enchanted spear. However, when Britomart and Amoret have passed on, he is again set on his horse by his companions, and the four proceed on their way as before, till they meet two other knights, one of whom Blandamour immediately perceives to be Sir Scudamore, 'by that he bore | The God of Love with wings displayed wide; | Whom mortally he hated evermore, | Both for his worth, that all men did adore, | And eke because his love he won by right.'

"Unable, from his bruised condition, to 'wreak his old despite,' he applies to Paridel to do as he had just been done by: — 'Ah! Sir, said Paridel, do not dismay | Yourself for this; myself will for you fight, | As ye have done for me | The left hand rubs the right.' Paridel and Scudamore meet like too opposing 'billows in the Irish Sounds;' but the former is soon overthrown. Blandamour upon this, though he can do no more, attacks the victor with words of reproach and insult. Duessa sarcastically beseeches him not to distress himself or be wroth that his love 'list love another knight;' 'For love is free, and led with self-delight, | Ne will enforced be with maisterdom of might:' — but Ate, striking in, exclaims that she can but laugh both at Scudamore and Blandamour for striving and storming about one who cares for neither, but loves another, with whom she both lovingly journeys and sleeps. When Scudamore interrupts her with a passionate asseveration that she lies, she repeats her statement with a more precise detail of circumstances: — 'Which whenas Scudamore did hear, his heart | Was thrilled with inward grief: as, when in chase | The Parthian strikes a stag with shivering dart, | The beast astonished stands in middest of his smart; | So stood Sir Scudamore when this he heard; | Ne word he had to speak for great dismay, | But looked on Glauce grim.'

"Glauce, it may be recollected, had accompanied Scudamore when he set out from the house of Busirane, as related in the concluding stanza of the preceding Book. Blandamour and Duessa now taunt and triumph over the unhappy knight; he on the other hand is too much distressed to answer, and after they have left him and Glauce by themselves he is hardly prevented by the sober and soothing words with which the old woman endeavours to assuage his fury from sacrificing her to his rage and thirst of revenge as an abettor of the disloyalty which he imputes to Britomart. Glauce of course knows that there is and can be no ground for what he believes; but we are to suppose that the fear and perturbation in which she is, or her fidelity to her mistress arid reluctance to betray her secret, withhold her from relieving Scudamore and also averting all danger from herself by the requisite easy, and conclusive explanation.

"There are, however, it may be remarked, several things in this Canto which are somewhat perplexing, but about which the commentators give themselves no trouble; especially the whole of the part played by Ate — the contradiction between her first introduction as having the appearance of a beautiful lady and the subsequent description of her foul and filthy face, and her position in relation to Paridel, who is at first represented as having her riding by his side in the same manner as Blandamour has Duessa, but is notwithstanding soon after expressly stated to be unprovided with any particular lady-love for the present. The figure seems to have taken successively two distinct shapes under the poet's forming fancy, or to have been originally designed for something different from what she eventually turns out" Spenser and his Poetry (1845; 1871) 2:83-91.



The rugged Forehead, that with grave Foresight,
Wields Kingdoms Causes, and Affairs of State,
My looser Rimes, I wote, doth sharply wite,
For praising Love as I have done of late,
And magnifying Lovers dear Debate:
By which frail Youth is oft to Folly led,
Thro false Allurement of that pleasing Bait,
That better were in Vertues discipled,
Than with vain Poems Weeds to have their Fancies fed.

Such one's ill Judg of Love, that cannot love,
Ne in their frozen Hearts feel kindly Flame:
For-thy they ought not thing unknown reprove,
Ne natural Affection faultless blame,
For fault of few that have abus'd the same.
For, it of Honour and all Vertue is
The Root, and brings forth glorious Flowers of Fame,
That crown true Lovers with immortal Bliss;
The Meed of them that love, and do not live amiss.

Which whoso list look back to former Ages,
And call to count the things thee then were done,
Shall find, that all the Works of those wise Sages,
And brave Exploits which great Heroes won,
In Love were either ended or begun:
Witness the Father of Philosophy,
Which to his Critias, shaded oft from Sun,
Of Love full many Lessons did apply,
The which these Stoick Censours cannot well deny.

To such therefore I do not sing at all;
But to that sacred Saint my sovereign Queen,
In whose chaste Breast all Bounty natural,
And Treasures of true Love enlocked been,
'Bove all her Sex that ever yet was seen.
To her I sing of Love, that loveth best,
And best is lov'd of all alive I ween;
To her this Song most fitly is addrest,
The Queen of Love, and Prince of Peace from Heaven blest.

Which that she may the better deign to hear,
Do thou, drad Infant, Venus dearling Dove,
From her high Spirit chace imperious Fear,
And Use of aweful Majesty remove:
Instead thereof with Drops of melting Love,
Dew'd with ambrosial Kisses, by thee gotten
From thy sweet smiling Mother from above,
Sprinkle her Heart, and haughty Courage soften,
That she may heark to Love, and read this Lesson often.

CANTO I.
Fair Britomart saves Amoret:
Duessa Discord breeds
'Twixt Scudamore and Blandamore:
Their Fight and warlike Deeds.

Of Lovers sad Calamities of old,
Full many piteous Stories do remain;
But none more piteous ever was ytold,
Than that of Amoret's heart-binding Chain,
And this of Florimel's unworthy Pain:
The dear Compassion of whose bitter Fit
My softned Heart so sorely doth constrain,
That I with Tears full oft do pity it,
And oftentimes do wish it never had been writ.

For from the time that Scudamore her bought
In perilous Fight, she never joyed day;
A perilous Fight, when he with Force her brought
From twenty Knights, that did him all assay:
Yet fairly well he did them all dismay;
And with great Glory both the Shield of Love,
And eke the Lady self he brought away:
Whom having wedded, as did him behove,
A new unknowen Mischief did from him remove.

For that same vile Enchaunter Busiran,
The very self-same day that she was wedded,
Amidst the bridal Feast, whilst every Man
Surcharg'd with Wine, were heedless and ill headed,
All bent to Mirth before the Bride was bedded,
Brought in that Mask of Love which late was shown:
And there the Lady ill of Friends bestedded,
By way of Sport, as oft in Masks is known,
Conveyed quite away to living Wight unknown.

Seven Months he so her kept in bitter Smart,
Because his sinful Lust she would not serve,
Until such time as noble Britomart
Released her, that else was like to starve,
Thro cruel Knife that her dear Heart did kerve.
And now she is with her upon the way,
Marching in lovely wise, that could deserve
No spot of Blame, tho Spite did oft assay
To blot her with Dishonour of so fair a Prey.

Yet should it be a pleasant Tale, to tell
The diverse Usage and Demeanure daint,
That each to other made, as oft befel.
For Amoret right fearful was and faint,
Lest she with Blame her Honour should attaint,
That every Word did tremble as she spake,
And every Look was coy, and wondrous quaint,
And every Limb that touched her did quake:
Yet could she not but courteous Countenance to her make.

For well she wist, as true it was indeed,
That her Life's lord, and Patron of her Health,
Right well deserved, as his dueful Meed,
Her Love, her Service, and her utmost wealth,
All is his justly that all freely dealth:
Nathless her Honour, dearer than her Life,
She sought to save, as thing reserv'd from Stealth;
Die had she liefer with Enchanter's Knife,
Than to be false in Love, profess'd a virgin Wife.

Thereto her Fear was made so much the greater,
Thro fine Abusion of that Briton Maid;
Who, for to hide her feigned Sex the better,
And mask her wounded Mind, both did and said
Full many things so doubtful to be weigh'd,
That well she wist not what by them to guess:
For other whiles to her she purpose made
Of Love, and otherwhiles of Lustfulness,
That much she fear'd his Mind would grow to some Excess.

His Will she fear'd; for him she surely thought
To be a Man, such as indeed he seem'd:
And much the more, by that he lately wrought
When her from deadly Thraldom he redeem'd,
For which no Service she too much esteem'd;
Yet Dread of Shame, and Doubt of foul Dishonour,
Made her not yield so much, as due she deem'd.
Yet Britomart attended duly on her
As well became a Knight, and did to her all Honour.

It so befel one Evening, that they came
Unto a Castle, lodged there to be,
Where many a Knight, and many a lovely Dame
Was then assembled, Deeds of Arms to see
Amongst all which was none more fair than she,
That many of them mov'd to eye her sore.
The Custom of that place was such, that he
Which had no Love nor Leman there in store,
Should either win him one, or lie without the Door.

Amongst the rest there was a jolly Knight,
Who being asked for his Love, avow'd
That fairest Amoret was his by Right,
And offer'd that to justify aloud.
The warlike Virgin seeing his so proud
And boastful Challenge, wexed inly wroth,
But for the present did her Anger shroud;
And said, her Love to lose she was full loth,
But either he should neither of them have, or both.

So forth they went, and both together giusted;
But that same Younker soon was overthrown,
And made repent, that he had rashly lusted
For thing unlawful, that was not his own:
Yet sith he seemed valiant, tho unknown,
She that no less was courteous and stout,
Cast how to salve, that both the Custom shown
Were kept, and yet that Knight not locked out;
That seem'd full hard t' accord two things so far in doubt.

The Seneschal was call'd to deem the Right;
Whom she requir'd, that first fair Amoret
Might be to her allow'd, as to a Knight,
That did her win, and free from Challenge set:
Which straight to her was yielded without Let.
Then sith that strange Knight's Love from his was quited,
She claim'd that to her self as Ladies Debt,
He as a Knight might justly be admitted:
So none should be out-shut, sith all of Loves were fitted.

With that, her glistring Helmet she unlac'd;
Which doft, her golden Locks, that were up-bound
Still in a Knot, unto her Heels down trac'd,
And like a silken Veil in Compass round
About her Back and all her Body wound:
Like as the shining Sky in Summer's Night,
What time the Days with scorching Heat abound,
Is creasted all with Lines of fiery Light,
That it prodigious seems in common Peoples sight.

Such when those Knights and Ladies all about
Beheld her, all were with Amazement smit,
And every one 'gan grow in secret doubt
Of this and that, according to each Wit.
Some thought, that some Enchauntment feigned it;
Some that Bellona in that warlike wise
To them appear'd, with Shield and Armour fit;
Some, that it was a Mask of strange Disguise:
So diversly each one did sundry Doubts devise.

But that young Knight, which thro her gentle Deed
Was to that goodly Fellowship restor'd,
Ten thousand Thanks did yield her for her Meed,
And doubly overcomen, her ador'd:
So did they all their former Strife accord;
And eke fair Amoret now freed from Fear,
More frank Affection did to her afford,
And to her Bed, which she was wont forbear,
Now freely drew, and found right safe Assurance there.

Where, all that Night they of their Loves did treat,
And hard Adventures 'twixt themselves alone,
That each the other 'gan with Passion great,
And grief-ful Pity privately bemoan.
The morrow next, so soon as Titan shone,
They both up-rose, and to their ways them dight:
Long wander'd they, yet never met with one
That to their Wills could them direct aright,
Or to them Tidings tell, that mote their Hearts delight.

Lo! thus they rode, till at the last they spy'd
Two armed Knights, that toward them did pace,
And each of them had riding by his side
A Lady, seeming in so far a space:
But Ladies none they were, albe in Face
And outward Shew fair Semblance they did bear;
For under Mask of Beauty and good Grace,
Vile Treason and foul Falshood hidden were,
That mote to none but to the wary wise appear.

The one of them, the false Duessa hight,
That now had chang'd her former wonted Hue;
For she could d'on so many Shapes in sight,
As ever could Cameleon Colours new;
So could she forge all Colours, save the true.
The other no whit better was than she,
But that such as she was, she plain did shew;
Yet otherwise much worse, if worse might be.
And daily more offensive unto each degree.

Her Name was Ate, Mother of Debate,
And all Dissension, which doth daily grow
Amongst frail Men, that many a publick State,
And many a private oft doth overthrow.
Her, false Duessa, who full well did know;
To be most fit to trouble noble Knights
Which hunt for Honour, raised from below,
Out of the Dwellings of the damned Sprights,
Where she in Darkness wastes her cursed Days and Nights.

Hard by the Gates of Hell her Dwelling is,
There whereas all the Plagues and Harms abound,
Which punish wicked Men, that walk amiss:
It is a darksom Delve far under ground,
With Thorns and barren Brakes environ'd round,
That none the same may easily out-win;
Yet many Ways to enter may be found,
But none to issue forth when one is in:
For Discord harder is to end than to begin.

And all within, the riven Walls were hung
With ragged Monuments of Times fore-past;
All which, the sad Effects of Discord sung:
There were rent Robes, and broken Scepters plac'd,
Altars defil'd, and holy things defac'd,
Dishiver'd Spears, and Shields ytorn in twain,
Great Cities ransack'd, and strong Castles ras'd,
Nations captived, and huge Armies slain:
Of all which Ruins there some Relicks did remain.

There was the Sign of antique Babylon,
Of fatal Thebes, of Rome that reigned long,
Of sacred Salem, and sad Ilion;
For Memory of which, on high there hung
The golden Apple (cause of all their Wrong)
For which the three fair Goddesses did strive:
There also was the Name of Nimrod strong,
Of Alexander, and his Princes five,
Which shar'd to them the Spoils that he had got alive.

And there the Relicks of the drunken Fray,
The which amongst the Lapithees befel,
And of the bloody Feast, which sent away
So many Centaurs drunken Souls to Hell,
That under great Alcides' Fury fell:
And of the dreadful Discord, which did drive
The noble Argonauts to Outrage fell,
That each of Life sought others to deprive,
All mindless of the Golden-Fleece, which made them strive.

And eke of private Persons many moe,
That were too long a Work to count them all;
Some, of sworn Friends, that did their Faith forgo;
Some, of born Brethren, prov'd unnatural;
Some, of dear Lovers, Foes perpetual:
Witness their broken Bands there to be seen,
Their Girlonds rent, their Bowers despoiled all;
The Monuments thereof there biding been,
As plain as at the first, when they were fresh and green.

Such was her House within; but all without,
The barren Ground was full of wicked Weeds,
Which she her self had sowen all about,
Now growen great, at first of little Seeds,
The Seeds of evil Words, and factious Deeds:
Which when to Ripeness due they growen are,
Bring forth an infinite Increase, that breeds
Tumultuous Trouble, and contentious Jar,
The which most often end in Bloodshed and in War,

And those same cursed Seeds do also serve
To her for Bread, and yield her living Food:
For Life it is to her, when others starve
Thro mischievous Debate, and deadly Feud,
That she may suck their Life, and drink their Blood;
With which she from her Childhood had been fed:
For she at first was born of hellish Brood,
And by infernal Furies nourished,
That by her monstrous Shape might easily be read.

Her Face most foul and filthy was to see,
With squinted Eyes contrary ways intended,
And loathly Mouth, unmeet a Mouth to be,
That nought but Gall and venom comprehended,
And wicked Words, that God and Man offended:
Her lying Tongue was in two Parts divided,
And both the Parts did speak, and both contended;
And as her Tongue, so was her Heart discided,
That never thought one thing, but doubly still was guided.

Als as she double spake, so heard she double,
With matchless Ears deformed and distort,
Fill'd with false Rumors and seditious Trouble,
Bred in Assemblies of the vulgar Sort,
That still are led with every light Report.
And as her Ears, so eke her Feet were odd,
And much unlike; th' one long, the other short,
And both misplac'd; that when th' one forward yode,
The other back retired, and contrary trode.

Likewise unequal were her Handes twain:
That one did reach, the other push'd away;
That one did make, the other marr'd again,
And sought to bring all things unto Decay;
Whereby great Riches, gather'd many a day,
She in short space did often bring to nought,
And their Possessors often did dismay.
For all her Study was, and all her Thought,
How she might overthrow the things that Concord wrought.

So much her Malice did her Might surpass,
That even th' Almighty self she did malign,
Because to Man so merciful he was,
And unto all his Creatures so benign,
Sith she her self was of his Grace indign:
For all his World's fair Workmanship she try'd
Unto his last Confusion to bring,
And that great golden Chain quite so divide,
With which it blessed Concord hath together ty'd.

Such was that Hag, which with Duessa rode;
And serving her in her malicious Use,
To hurt good Knights, was as it were her Baud,
To fell her borrow'd Beauty to abuse.
For tho like wither'd Tree, that wanteth Juice,
She old and crooked were, yet now of late,
As fresh and fragrant as the Flower-de-luce
She was become, by change of her Estate,
And made full goods Joyance to her new-found Mate.

Her Mate he was a jolly youthful Knight,
That bore great Sway in Arms and Chivalry,
And was indeed a Man of mickle Might:
His Name was Blandamore, that did descry
His fickle Mind full of Inconstancy,
And now himself he fitted had right well,
With two Companions of like Quality,
Faithless Duessa, and false Paridel,
That whether were more false, full hard it is to tell.

Now when this Gallant with his goodly Crew,
From far espy'd the famous Britomart,
Like Knight adventurous in outward View,
With his fair Paragon (his Conquests part)
Approaching nigh, eftsoons his wanton Heart
Was tickled with Delight, and jesting said;
Lo there! Sir Paridel, for your Desert,
Good luck presents you with yond lovely Maid,
For pity that ye want a Fellow for your Aid.

By that, the lovely pair drew nigh to hond:
Whom whenas Paridel more plain beheld,
Albe in Heart he like Affection found,
Yet mindful how he late by one was feld,
That did those Arms and that same Scutcheon weld,
He had small Lust to buy his Love so dear:
But answer'd, Sir, him wise I never held,
That having once escaped Peril near,
Would afterwards afresh the sleeping Evil rear.

This Knight too late his Manhood and his Might
I did assay, that me right dearly cost;
Ne list I for Revenge provoke new Fight,
Ne for light Ladies Love, that soon is lost.
The hot-spur Youth so scorning to be crost,
Take then to you this Dame of mine, quoth he,
And I without your Peril or your Cost,
Will challenge yond same other for my Fee:
So forth he fiercely prick'd, that one him scarce could see.

The warlike Britoness her soon address'd,
And with such uncouth Welcome did receive
Her feigned Paramour, her forced Guest,
That being forc'd his Saddle soon to leave,
Himself he did of his new Love deceive
And made himself th' Ensample of his Folly.
Which done, she passed forth not taking leave,
And left him now as sad, as whilom jolly,
Well warned to beware with whom he dar'd to dally.

Which when his other Company beheld,
They to his Succour ran with ready Aid;
And finding him unable once to weld,
They reared him on Horse-back, and up-stay'd,
Till on his way they had him forth convey'd:
And all the way with wondrous Grief of Mind
And Shame, he shew'd himself to be dismay'd,
More for the Love which he had left behind,
Than that which he had to Sir Paridel resign'd.

Nath'less, he forth did march well as he might,
And made good Semblance to his Company,
Dissembling his Disease and evil Plight:
Till that e'er long they chaunced to espy
Two other Knights, that towards them did ply
With speedy Course, as bent to charge them new.
Whom, when as Blandamore, approaching nigh,
Perceiv'd to be such as they seem'd in view,
He was full woe, and 'gan his former Grief renew.

For, th' one of them he perfectly descry'd
To be Sir Scudamore, by that he bore
The God of Love, with Wings displayed wide;
Whom mortally he hates evermore,
Both for his Worth (that all Men did adore)
And eke because his Love he won by right:
Which when he thought, it grieved him full sore,
That through the Bruises of his former Fight,
He now unable was to wreak his old Despite.

For-thy, he thus to Paridel bespake;
Fair Sir, of Friendship let me now you pray,
That as I late adventured for your sake,
The Hurts whereof me now from Battle stay,
Ye will me now with like good turn repay,
And justify my Cause on yonder Knight.
Ah Sir! said Paridel, do not dismay
Your self for this; my self will for you fight,
As ye have done for me: the Left Hand rubs the Right.

With that, he put his Spurs unto his Steed,
With Spear in Rest, and toward him did fare,
Like Shaft out of a Bow preventing Speed.
But Scudamore was shortly well aware
Of his approach, and 'gan himself prepare
Him to receive with Entertainment meet.
So furiously they met, that either bare
The other down under their Horses Feet,
That what of them became, themselves did scarcely weet.

As when two Billows in the Irish Sounds,
Forcibly driven with contrary Tides,
Do meet together, each aback rebounds
With roaring Rage; and dashing on all sides,
That filleth all the Sea with Foam, divides
The doubtful Current into divers ways;
So fell those two in spite of both their Prides:
But Scudamore himself did soon up-raise,
And mounting light, his Foe for lying long upbrays.

Who, rolled on an heap, lay still in Swound,
All careless of his Taunt and bitter Rail:
Till that the rest him seeing lie on ground,
Ran hastily, to weet what did him ail.
Where, finding that the Breath 'gan him to fail,
With busy Care they strove him to awake,
And doft his Helmet, and undid his Mail:
So much they did, that at the last they brake
His Slumber, yet so mazed, that he nothing spake.

Which when-as Blandamore beheld, he said,
False Faitour, Scudamore, that hast by sleight
And foul Advantage this good Knight dismay'd,
A Knight much better than thy self behight;
Well falls it thee that I am not in Plight,
This day, to wreak the Damage by thee done:
Such is thy wont, that still when any Knight
Is weakned, then thou dost him over-run;
So hast thou to thy self false Honour often won.

He little answer'd, but in manly Heart
His mighty indignation did forbear;
Which was not yet so secret, but some part
Thereof did in his frowning Face appear:
Like as a gloomy Cloud, the which doth bear
An hideous Storm, is by the Northern blast
Quite over-blown, yet doth not pass so dear,
But that it all the Sky doth over-cast
With Darkness dread, and threatens all the World to waste.

Ah! gentle Knight, then false Duessa said,
Why do ye strive for Lady's Love so sore,
Whose chief Desire is Love and friendly Aid
'Mongst, gentle Knights to nourish evermore?
Ne be ye wroth, Sir Scudamore, therefore,
That she your Love list love another Knight,
Ne do your self dislike a whit the more;
For, Love is free, and led with Self-Delight,
Ne will enforced be with Maisterdom or Might.

So false Duessa: but vile Ate thus;
Both foolish Knights, I can but laugh at both,
That strive and storm with Stir outrageous,
For her that each of you alike doth loath,
And loves another, with whom now she go'th
In lovely wise, and sleeps and sports, and plays;
Whilst both you here with many a cursed Oath,
Swear she is yours, and stir up bloody Frays,
To win a Willow-bough, whilst other wears the Bays.

Vile Hag, said Scudamore, why dost thou lye?
And falsly seek'st a vertuous Wight to shame?
Fond Knight, said she the thing that with this Eye
I saw, why should I doubt to tell the same?
Then tell, quoth Blandamore, and fear no blame,
Tell what thou saw'st, maulger who-so it hears.
I saw, quoth she a stranger Knight, whose Name
I wote not well, but in his Shield he bears
(That well I wote) the heads of many broken Spears.

I saw him have your Amoret at will,
I saw him kiss, I saw him her embrace,
I saw him sleep with her all Night his fill,
All many Nights, and many by in place,
That present were to testify the case.
Which when as Scudamore did hear, his Heart
Was thrill'd with inward Grief; as when in Chace
The Parthian strikes a Stag with shivering Dart,
The Beast astonish'd stands in middest of his Smart.

So stood Sir Scudamore when this he heard;
Ne word he had to speak for great dismay,
But look'd on Glauce grim, who wax affeard
Of Out-rage for the words which she heard say,
Albe untrue she wist them by assay.
But Blandamore, when-as he did espy
His change of Chear, that Anguish did bewray,
He wox full blith, as he had got thereby,
And 'gan thereat to triumph without Victory.

Lo! Recreant, said he, the fruitless end
Of thy vain Boast, and Spoil of Love misgotten,
Whereby the name of Knighthood thou dost shend,
And all true Lovers with dishonour blotten!
All things not rooted well, will soon be rotten.
Fie, fie, false Knight, then false Duessa cry'd,
Unworthy Life, that Love with Guile hast gotten;
Be thou, where-ever thou do go or ride,
Loathed of Ladies all, and of all Knights defy'd.

But Scudamore (for passing great despite)
Staid not to aunswer, scarcely did refrain,
But that in all those Knights and Ladies sight,
He for Revenge had guiltless Glauce slain:
But being past, he thus began amain;
False Traytor Squire, false Squire of falsest Knight,
Why doth mine hand from thine Avenge abstain,
Whose Lord hath done my Love this foul despite?
Why do I not it wreak on thee, now in my Might?

Discourteous, disloyal Britomart,
Untrue to God, and unto Man unjust,
What Vengeance due can equal thy Desert,
That hast with shameful Spot of sinful Lust
Defil'd the Pledg committed to thy trust?
Let ugly Shame, and endless Infamy
Colour thy Name with foul Reproach's Rust;
Yet thou false Squire his Fault shalt dear aby,
And with thy Punishment his Penance shalt supply.

The aged Dame him seeing so enrag'd,
Was dead with Fear; nath'less as need requir'd,
His flaming Fury sought to have assuaged
With sober Words, that Sufferance desir'd,
Till time the trial of her Truth expir'd:
And evermore sought Britomart to clear.
But he the more with furious Rage was fir'd,
And thrice his Hand to kill her did uprear,
And thrice he drew it back; so did at last forbear.

[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 3:547-62]

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