George L. Craik: "Canto VII. (50 stanzas). Still hoping to find an opportunity of effecting his base and malignant purpose, Turpin, as soon as Arthur is out of sight, arms himself in haste and sets out after him, keeping however at a safe distance till fit time and place present themselves. At last he chances to meet two stranger knights, both armed alike, and united, as it turns out, in a compact to share between them whatever adventure and whatever spoil fortune may send. To them, after courteous salutation, he makes his complaint of great discourtesy done both to himself and to his lady by a knight who rides not a long way before them and he intimates that if they will aid him in avenging himself they shall both accomplish a knightly deed and obtain a goodly guerdon for their pains. Believing what he tells them to be all true, and 'being fresh and full of youthly sprite,' as well as 'desirous of the offered meed,' the two knights are well pleased to hear of an opportunity of making the first trial of their skill in fight.
"So, spurring on under Turpin's guidance, they soon come in sight of the prince, riding softly, 'with portance sad,' and thinking of his love never yet beheld more than of any danger about to befall him, while his wild attendant foots it at as gentle a pace by his side. 'Then one of them aloud unto him cried, | Bidding him turn again; false traitor knight, | Foul woman-wronger! for he him defied. | With that they both at once with equal spite | Did bend their spears, and both with equal might....' The other knight, who had been carried past the prince, now turns round again to attempt a second onset; he is not a little astonished to see his friend lying lifeless on the ground, but this does not prevent him from letting drive with the most ambitious of aims — only, however, to be again balked as before; the steel-head can find no steadfast hold, but merely touches the prince's armour and glances by. Not so the prince's more knowing spear: it takes this second adversary, and, pitching him forth above a lance's length from his horse's back, makes him strike against 'the cold hard earth' with a force that well nigh breaks all his bones in pieces.
"The prince leaps down to him to give him the last fatal stroke with his sword; but when he sees the flaming steel uplifted over him he cries aloud for mercy, and promises, if his conqueror will spare his life, to reveal to him a dangerous plot contrived against his own. Then he tells how a stranger knight had by the promise of a great reward set himself and his companion upon the attempt which has prospered so ill in their hands. 'The prince much mused at such villainy, | And said: 'Now sure ye well have earned your meed; | For the one is dead, and the other soon shall die, | Unless to me thou hither bring with speed | The wretch that hired you to this wicked deed.' To this proposal the prostrate man gladly assents, and, having sworn by his sword to rest 'neither day nor week' (one of the boldest and most tyrannical of Spenser's subjugations of the sense to the sound) till he shall have found the knight of whom he has spoken, he is permitted to rise, and straightway proceeds to where he had left Turpin.
"The latter is not a little astonished and alarmed at his changed appearance, and also at the absence of his friend; and the other confesses that his victory has not been an easy one: — 'Perdy, said he, in evil hour it fell, | That ever I for meed did undertake | So hard a task as life for hire to sell.' As for his friend and fellow-adventurer, he lies upon 'the cold bare ground, slain of that errant knight with whom he fought,' but whom he himself, he adds, afterwards slew. Turpin now accompanies him to the spot, and the first sight that meets them is the dead body of the other knight. 'Much did the craven seem to moan his case, | That for his sake his dear life had forgone; | And, him bewailing with affection base, | Did counterfeit kind pity where was none....' At first Turpin thinks that Arthur is dead; but a nearer approach quickly undeceives turn. Trembling in every limb and vein, he now endeavours in vain to tempt the other to break his oath, and to join with him in despatching the prince while he sleeps.
"While they are still debating, the Salvage Man makes his appearance from the wood, and his eye immediately falls on his lord lying asleep on the ground. Then... 'Himself unto his weapon he betook, | That was an oaken plant, which lately he | Rent by the root; which he so sternly shook, | That like an hazel wand it quivered and quook.' On this the prince awakening starts up, and, snatching his sword, lays hold of Turpin with the left hand by the collar: — 'Therewith the cowherd, deaded with affright, | Fell flat to ground, lie, word unto him said, | But, holding up his hands, with silence mercy prayed.' But mercy is of course out of the question in such a case. The indignant prince, having first set his foot on the vile neck of the wretch as he lies grovelling 'upon the humbled grass,' then lets him get to his feet, and, while he stands before him an abject thrall, upbraids him with his crimes and his cowardice, and, calling him recreant, — the last term of contempt, — proceeds formally to degrade him by taking from him his knightly banneral, or pennon borne on his lance. Finally, he hangs him on a tree by the heels, and so 'baffles,' or disfigures, him that all who pass may read the baseness of his crime in the baseness of his punishment.
"And now we come to a very remarkable passage. Having thus disposed of Turpin, the poet suddenly addresses his readers, — 'But turn we now back to that lady free, | Whom late we left riding upon an ass, | Led by a carle and fool which by her side did pass.' This is the 'fair maiden clad in mourning weed,' who it may be remembered was met, as related in the beginning of the preceding Canto, by Timias and Serena some time after they had set out together from the house of the hermit. There, however, she was represented as attended only by a fool.
"What makes this episode especially interesting is the conjecture which has been thrown out, and which seems extremely probable, that the lady is Spenser's own Rosalind, by whom he had been jilted, or at least rejected, more than a quarter of a century before his unforgetting resentment is supposed to have taken this revenge. It is pretty evident, at any rate, that the picture is drawn from the life; some of the circumstances that are mentioned can hardly have been introduced except with the design of indicating a particular individual. There is a gusto in the writing, too, which is very like the inspiration of a strong personal feeling. And, as has been already remarked, the description will answer very well for what we know of Rosalind, who was certainly a person moving in a superior class, and educated and accomplished as well as beautiful, but most probably of humble birth. Spenser himself in the Shepherd's Calendar calls her 'the widow's daughter of the glen;' and, although his annotator E. K. asserts that this is 'rather said to colour and conceal the person than simply, spoken,' and adds that she was well known to be 'a gentlewoman of no mean house,' his expressions may very well refer to some family of rank to which she had become allied, and not to her birth or descent. Aubrey, the antiquary, who lived in the latter part of the seventeenth century, states, on the authority of Dryden, the poet, that Rosalind was a kinswoman of the lady of Sir Erasmus Dryden, of Canons Ashby, in Northamptonshire, the poet's grandfather. The pedigree, or family history, of the Drydens, if closely examined, might perhaps furnish a clue to the mystery.
"The story of the lady encountered by Serena and Timias is thus given: — 'She was a lady of great dignity, | And lifted up to honourable place... | But she thereof grew proud and insolent, | That none she worthy thought to be her fere, | But scorned them all that love unto her meant... | But lo! the gods, that mortal follies view, | Did worthily revenge this maiden's pride... | For on a day, when Cupid kept his court, | As he is wont at each Saint Valentide, | Unto the which all lovers do resort, | That of their love's success they there may make report'.... Having been brought to the bar and there arraigned, in her stubborn pride she would neither plead nor answer aught; judgment was therefore about to pass according to law; when, humbled at last, she cried out for mercy. At this, 'The son of Venus, who is mild by kind, | But where he is provoked by peevishness,' moved with pity refrained from pronouncing so severe a doom as he might, but still imposed upon her this penance, that she should wander 'through this world's wide wilderness' in company of her two present attendants till she had saved as many lovers as she had destroyed. 'So now she had been wandering two whole years | Throughout the world, in this uncomely case'....
"And she is still travelling thus on her weary way when she is met by Timias and Serena, all in foul disfigurement; while 'that Mighty Man,' the carle, perpetually assails her with all the evil terms and cruel annoyances he can think of or invent.... Roused to indignation by this spectacle, Timias, stepping up to Disdain, without stopping to parley deals him such a blow as forces him to drop the halter and also to reel back; but, recovering himself immediately, the carle in return lets drive at the squire so furiously that he can only preserve himself from destruction by the utmost activity and dexterity in shifting from side to side. As a mastiff, who has got at bay a savage bull, beats round and round about to avoid the brute's murderous horns and to spy out where he may get any advantage, 'So did the squire, the whiles the carle did fret | And fume in his disdainful mind the more, | And oftentimes by Turmagant and Mahound swore.'
"At last, however, the squire's foot slips, he is struck to the ground by the carle's iron club, and when he recovers his senses he finds himself a captive. Disdain now, binding both his hands, leads him along by the rope; 'Ne ought that fool for pity did him spare, | But with his whip him following behind | Him often scourged, and forced his feet to find'.... Meanwhile Serena, thinking him slain when she saw him fall under the villain's club, has sought safety in flight" Spenser and his Poetry (1845; 1871) 3:47-57.
Turpine is bafful'd, his two Knights
Do gain their Treason's Meed:
Fair Mirabella's Punishment
For Love's Disdain decreed.
Like as a gentle Heart it self bewrays,
In doing gentle Deeds with frank delight:
Even so the baser Mind it self displays
In cancred Malice and revengeful Spight.
For, to malign, t' envy, t' use shifting Slight,
Be Arguments of a vile Dunghill-Mind;
Which what it dare not do by open Might,
To work by wicked Treason ways doth find,
By such discourteous Deeds discovering his base Kind.
That well appears in this discourteous Knight,
The coward Turpine, whereof now I treat;
Who notwithstanding that in former Fight
He of the Prince his Life received late,
Yet in his Mind malicious and ingrate
He 'gan devise, to be aveng'd anew
For all that shame, which kindled inward Hate.
Therefore, so soon as he was out of view,
Himself in haste he arm'd, and did him fast pursue.
Well did he track his Steps as he did ride,
Yet would not near approach in Danger's Eye,
But kept aloof, for dread to be descry'd,
Until fit time and place he mote espy,
Where he mote work him Scathe and Villany.
At last, he met two Knights, to him unknown,
The which were armed both agreeably
And both combin'd, whatever chaunce were blown,
Betwixt them to divide, and each to make his own.
To whom false Turpine coming courteously,
To cloke the Mischief which he inly ment,
'Gan to complain of great Discourtesy,
Which a strange Knight, that near afore him wont,
Had done to him, and his dear Lady shent:
Which, if they would afford him aid at need;
For to avenge in time convenient,
They should accomplish both a knightly Deed,
And for their Pains obtain of him a goodly Meed.
The Knights believ'd that all he said was true;
And being fresh, and full of youthly Spright,
Were glad to hear of that Adventure new,
In which they mote make trial of their Might,
Which never yet they had approv'd in Fight:
And eke desirous of the offer'd Meed,
Said then the one of them; Where is that Wight,
The which hath done to thee this wrongful Deed,
That we may it avenge, and punish him with speed?
He rides, said Turpine, there not far afore,
With a wild Man soft footing by his side,
That if ye list to haste a little more,
Ye may him over-take in timely tide.
Eftsoons they pricked forth with forward Pride;
And e'er that little while they ridden had,
The gentle Prince not far away they spy'd
Riding a softly pace with portance sad,
Devising of his Love, more than of Danger drad.
Then one of them aloud unto him cry'd,
Bidding him turn again, false Traytor Knight,
Foul Woman-wronger; for, he him defy'd.
With that, they both attonce with equal Spight
Did bend their Spears, and both with equal Might
Against him ran; but that one did miss his mark:
And being carry'd with his force forthright,
Glaunst swiftly by; like to that heavenly Spark,
Which gliding through the Air, lights all the Heavens dark.
But th' other, aiming better, did him smite
Full in the Shield, with so impetuous power
That all his Launce in pieces shiver'd quite,
And (scatter'd all about) fell on the Floor.
But the stout Prince, with much more steady Stour,
Full on his Bever did him strike so sore,
That the cold Steel, through-piercing, did devour
His vital Breath, and to the Ground him bore,
Where still he bathed lay in his own bloody Gore.
As when a Cast of Faulcons make their flight
At an Hernshaw, that lies aloft on Wing,
The whiles they strike at him with heedless Might,
The wary Fowl his Bill doth backward wring;
On which the first, whose force her first doth bring,
Her self quite through the Body doth engore,
And falleth down to Ground like senseless Thing;
But th' other, not so swift as she before,
Fails of her Souse, and passing by doth hurt no more.
By this, the other which was passed by,
Himself recovering, was return'd to Fight;
Where, when he saw his Fellow lifeless lie,
He much was daunted with so dismal sight;
Yet nought abating of his former Spight,
Let drive at him with so malicious Mind,
As if he would have passed through him quite
But the Steel-head no stedfast hold could find,
But glauncing by, deceiv'd him of that he design'd.
Not so the Prince; for his well-learned Spear
Took surer hold, and from his Horse's Back
Above a Launce's length him forth did bear,
And gainst the cold hard Earth so sore him strake,
That all his Bones in pieces nigh he brake.
Where seeing him so lie, he left his Steed,
And to him leaping, Vengeance thought to take
Of him, for all his former Follies Meed,
With flaming Sword in Hand his Terror more to breed.
The fearful Swain, beholding Death so nigh,
Cry'd out aloud for Mercy him to save;
In lieu whereof, he would to him descry
Great Treason to him meant, his Life to reave.
The Prince soon harkned, and his Life forgave.
Then thus, said he; There is a stranger Knight
The which for promise of great Meed, us drave
To this Attempt, to wreak his hid Despight,
For that himself thereto did want sufficient Might.
The Prince much mused at such Villany,
And said; How sure ye well have earn'd your Meed?
For, th' one is dead, and th' other soon shall die,
Unless to me thou hither bring with speed
The Wretch that hir'd you to this wicked Deed.
He glad of Life, and willing eke to wreak
The Guilt on him, which did this Mischief breed,
Swore by his Sword, that neither Day nor Week
He would surcease, but him where-so he were, would seek.
So, up he rose, and forth straightway he went
Back to the place where Turpine late he lore:
There he him found in great Astonishment,
To see him so bedight with bloody Gore,
And griesly Wounds that him appalled sore.
Yet thus at length he said; How now, Sir Knight?
What meaneth this which here I see before?
How fortuneth this foul uncomely Plight,
So different from that, which earst ye seem'd in sight?
Perdy, said he, in evil hour it fell,
That ever I for Meed did undertake
So hard a task, as Life for Hire to sell,
The which I earst adventur'd for your sake.
Witness the Wounds, and this wide bloody Lake,
Which ye may see yet all about me steem.
Therefore now yield, as ye did promise make,
My due Reward; the which right well I deem
I earned have, that Life so dearly did redeem.
But where then is, quoth he half wrathfully,
Where is the Booty which therefore I bought,
That cursed Caitive, my strong Enemy,
That recreant Knight, whose hated Life I sought?
And where is eke your Friend, which half it ought?
He lies, said he, upon the cold bare Ground,
Slain of that errant Knight, with whom he fought;
Whom afterwards, my self with many a Wound
Did slay again, as ye may see there in the Stound.
Thereof false Turpine was full glad and fain,
And needs with him straight to the place would ride,
Where he himself might see his Foe-man slain;
For, else his Fear could not be satisfy'd.
So, as they rode, he saw the way all dy'd
With Streams of Blood; which tracking by the Trail,
E'er long they came, whereas in evil tide,
That other Swain, like Ashes deadly pale,
Lay in the Lap of Death, rueing his wretched Bale.
Much did the Craven seem to moan his Case,
That for his sake his dear Life had forgone;
And, him bewailing with Affection base,
Did counterfeit kind Pity, where was none:
For, where's no Courage, there's no Ruth nor Moan.
Thence passing forth, not far away he found,
Whereas the Prince himself lay all alone,
Loosely display'd upon the grassy Ground,
Possessed of sweet Sleep, that lull'd him soft in Swound.
Weary of Travel in his former Fight,
He there in shade himself had lay'd to rest,
Having his Arms and warlike Things undight,
Fearless of Foes that mote his Peace molest;
The whiles, his Salvage Page, that wont be prest,
Was wandred in the Wood another way,
To do some thing that seemed to him best,
The whiles his Lord in silver Slumber lay,
Like to the Evening Star, adorn'd with dewy Ray.
Whom when-as Turpine saw so loosely laid,
He weened well that he indeed was dead,
Like as that other Knight to him had said:
But when he nigh approach'd, he mote aread
Plain signs in him of Life and Livelihead.
Where-at much griev'd against that stranger Knight,
That him too light of Credence did mislead,
He would have back retired from that sight,
That was to him on Earth the deadliest Despight.
But that same Knight would not once let him start,
But plainly 'gan to him declare the Case
Of all his Mischief, and late luckless Smart;
How both he and his Fellow there in place
Were vanquished, and put to foul Disgrace;
And how that he in lieu of Life him lent,
Had vow'd unto the Victor, him to trace
And follow through the World, where-so he went,
Till that he him deliver'd to his Punishment.
He, therewith much abashed and affraid,
Began to tremble every Limb and Vein;
And softly whispering him, entirely pray'd
T' advise him better, than by such a train
Him to betray unto a stranger Swain:
Yet rather counsel'd him contrariwise,
Sith he likewise did wrong by him sustain,
To join with him and Vengeance to devise,
Whilst time did offer Means him sleeping to surprize.
Nath'less, for all his Speech, the gentle Knight
Would not be tempted to such Villany,
Regarding more his Faith, which he did plight,
All were it to his mortal Enemy,
Than to entrap him by false Treachery:
Great shame in Liege's Blood to be embru'd.
Thus, whilst they were debating diversly,
The Salvage forth out of the Wood issu'd
Back to the place, where-as his Lord he sleeping view'd.
There, when he saw those two so near him stand,
He doubted much what mote their meaning be;
And throwing down his Load out of his Hand
(To weet, great store of Forest Fruit, which he
Had for his Food late gather'd from the Tree)
Himself unto his Weapon he betook,
That was an Oaken-Plant, which lately he
Rent by the Root, which he so sternly shook,
That like an Hazel Wand, it quivered and quook.
Where-at the Prince awaking, when he spy'd
That Traitor Turpine with that other Knight,
He started up; and snatching near his side
His trusty Sword, the Servant of his Might,
Like a fell Lion leaped to him light,
And his left Hand upon his Collar laid.
Therewith, the Coward deaded with affright,
Fell flat to Ground, ne word unto him said,
But holding up his Hands, with silence Mercy pray'd.
But he so full of Indignation was,
That to his Prayer nought he would incline,
But as he lay upon the humble Grass,
His Foot he set on his vile Neck, in sign
Of servile Yoke, that nobler Hearts repine.
Then, letting him arise like abject Thrall,
He 'gan to him object his heinous Crime,
And to revile, and rate, and Recreant call,
And lastly, to despoil of knightly Banneral.
And after all, for greater Infamy,
He by the Heels him hung upon a Tree,
And bafful'd so, that all which passed by,
The Picture of his Punishment might see,
And by the like ensample warned be,
However they through Treason do trespass.
But turn we now beck to that Lady free,
Whom late we left riding upon an Ass,
Led by a Carl and Fool, which by her side did pass.
She was a Lady of great Dignity,
And lifted up to honourable Place,
Famous through all the Land of Fairy;
Though of mean Parentage and Kindred base,
Yet deckt with wondrous Gifts of Nature's Grace;
That all Men did her Person much admire,
And praise the Feature of her goodly Face,
The Beams whereof did kindle lovely Fire
In th' Hearts of many a Knight, and many a gentle Squire.
But she thereof grew proud and insolent,
That none she worthy thought to be her Feer,
But scorn'd them all that Love unto her ment:
Yet was she lov'd of many a worthy Peer;
Unworthy she to be belov'd so dear,
That could not weigh of Worthiness aright.
For, Beauty is more glorious, bright and dear,
The more it is admir'd of many a Wight,
And noblest she, that served is of noblest Knight.
But this coy Damsel thought contrariwise,
That such proud Looks would make her praised more;
And that the more she did all Love despise,
The more would wretched Lovers her adore;
What cared she, who sighed for her sore,
Or who did wail, or watch the weary Night?
Let them, that list, their luckless Lot deplore;
She was born free, not bound to any Wight,
And so would ever Live, and love her own Delight.
Through such her stubborn Stiffness, and hard Heart,
Many a Wretch for want of Remedy,
Did languish long in Life-consuming Smart,
And at the last, through dreary Dolour die:
Whilst she (the Lady of her Liberty)
Did boast her Beauty had such sovereign Might,
That with the only Twinkle of her Eye,
She could or save, or spill, whom she would hight:
What could the Gods do more, but do it more aright?
But loe, the Gods, that mortal Follies view
Did worthily revenge this Maiden's Pride:
And, nought regarding her so goodly Hue,
Did laugh at her that many did deride,
Whilst she did weep, of no Man mercify'd.
For, on a Day, when Cupid kept his Court,
As he is wont at each Saint Valentide,
Unto the which all Lovers do resort,
That of their Love's Success they there may make Report:
It fortun'd then, that when the Rolls were read,
In which the Names of all Love's Folk were fill'd,
That many there were miring, which were dead,
Or kept in Bands, or from their Loves exil'd,
Or by some other Violence despoil'd.
Which when as Cupid heard, he wexed wroth,
And doubting to be wronged, or beguil'd,
He bad his Eyes to be unblindfold both,
That he might see his Men, and muster them by oath.
Then found he many missing of his Crew,
Which wont do suit and service to his Might;
Of whom what was becomen, no Man knew.
Therefore a Jury was impanel'd straight,
T' enquire of them, whether by force or sleight,
Or their own Guilt, they were away convey'd.
To whom foul Infamy and fell Despight
Gave Evidence, that they were all betray'd,
And murder'd cruelly by a rebellious Maid.
Fair Mirabella was her Name, whereby
Of all those Crimes she there indited was:
All which when Cupid heard, he by and by
In great Displeasure, will'd a Capias
Should issue forth, t' attach that scornful Lass.
The Warrant straight was made, and therewithal
A Bailiff errant forth in post did pass,
Whom they by Name their Portamore did call;
He which doth summon Lovers to Love's Judgment-Hall.
The Damsel was attach'd, and shortly brought
Unto the Bar, whereas she was arraign'd:
But she thereto nould plead, nor Answer ought,
Even for stubborn Pride, which her restrain'd.
So Judgment past, as is by Law ordain'd
In Cases like; which when at last she saw,
Her stubborn Heart, which Love before disdain'd,
'Gan stoop, and falling down with humble Awe,
Cry'd Mercy, to abate th' Extremity of Law.
The Son of Venus, who is mild by kind
But where he is provok'd by Peevishness,
Unto her Prayers piteously inclin'd,
And did the Rigour of his Doom repress;
Yet not so freely, but that nathless
He unto her a Penance did impose:
Which was, that through this World's wide Wilderness
She wander should in company of those,
Till she had sav'd so many Loves as she did lose.
So now she had been wandring two whole Years
Throughout the World, in this uncomely Case,
Wasting her goodly Hue in heavy Tears,
And her good Days in dolorous Disgrace:
Yet had she not, in all these two Years space,
Saved but two; yet in two years before,
Through her despiteous Pride, whilst Love lack'd place,
She had destroyed two and twenty more.
Aye me! how could her Love make half amends therefore.
And now she was upon the weary way,
When as the gentle Squire, with fair Serene,
Met her in such misseeming foul Array;
The whiles, that mighty Man did her demean
With all the evil Terms and cruel Mean
That he could make: and eke that angry Fool,
Which follow'd her, with cursed Hands unclean
Whipping her Horse, did with his smarting Tool
Oft whip her dainty self, arid much augment her Dool.
Ne ought it mote avail her to entreat
The one or th' other, better her to use:
For, both so wilful were and obstinate,
That all her piteous Plaint they did refuse,
And rather did the more her beat and bruise.
But most, the former Villain, which did lead
Her tireling Jade, was bent her to abuse;
Who though she were with weariness nigh dead,
Yet would not let her lite, nor rest a little stead.
For, he was stern, and terrible by Nature,
And eke of Person huge and hideous,
Exceeding much the measure of Man's Stature,
And rather like a Giant monstruous.
For sooth he was descended of the House
Of those old Giants, which did Wars darrain
Against the Heaven in order battailous,
And Sib to great Orgolio, which was slain
By Arthur, when as Una's Knight he did maintain.
His Looks were dreadful, and his fiery Eyes
(Like two great Beacons) glared bright and wide,
Glauncing askew, as if his Enemies
He scorned in his overweening Pride;
And stalking stately, like a Crane, did stride
At every step upon the Tip-toes high:
And all the way he went, on every side
He gaz'd about, and stared horribly,
As if he with his Looks would all Men terrify.
He wore no Armour, ne for none did care,
As no whit dreading any living Wight;
But in a Jacket, quilted richly rare
Upon Checklaton, he was strangely dight,
And on his Head a Roll of Linnen plight,
Like to the Moors of Malabar he wore;
With which, his Locks, as black as pitchy Night,
Were bound about, and voided from before,
And in his Hand a mighty iron Club he bore.
This was Disdain, who led that Lady's Horse
Through thick and thin, through Mountains and through Plains,
Compelling her, where she would not by force,
Haling her Palfrey by the hempen Reins;
But that same Fool, which most increast her Pains,
Was Scorn, who having in his hand a Whip,
Her therewith yirks; and still when she complains,
The more he laughs, and does her closely quip,
To see her sore lament, and bite her tender Lip.
Whose cruel Handling when that Squire beheld,
And saw those Villains her so vildely use,
His gentle Heart with Indignation swell'd,
And could no longer bear so great Abuse,
As such a Lady so to beat and bruise;
But to him stepping, such a Stroke him lent,
That forc'd him th' Halter from his hand to loose,
And mauger all his Might, back to relent:
Else had he surely there been slain, or foully shent.
The Villain, wroth for greeting him so sore,
Gather'd himself together soon again;
And with his iron Batton which he bore,
Let drive at him so dreadfully amain,
That for his safety he did him constrain
To give him ground, and shift to every side,
Rather than once his Burden to sustain:
For, bootless thing him seemed to abide
So mighty Blows, or prove the Puissance of his Pride.
Like as a Mastiff, having at a Bay
A salvage Bull, whose cruel Horns do threat
Desperate Danger, if he them assay,
Traceth his Ground, and round about doth bear,
To spy where he may some Advantage get;
The whiles the Beast doth rage and loudly roar:
So did the Squire, the whiles the Carl did fret
And fume in his disdainful Mind the more,
And oftentimes by Turmagant and Mahound swore.
Nath'less, so sharply still he him pursu'd,
That at advantage him at last he took,
When his Foot slipt (that slip he dearly ru'd)
And with his Iron Club to ground him Brook;
Where still he lay, ne out of Swoun awoke,
Till heavy Hand the Carl upon him laid,
And bound him fast; Tho, when he up did look.
And saw himself captiv'd, he was dismay'd,
Ne pow'r had to withstand, ne hope of any aid.
Then up he made him rise, and forward fare,
Led in a Rope, which both his Hands did bind;
Ne ought that Fool for pity did him spare;
But with his Whip him following behind,
Him often scourg'd, and forc'd his Feet to find:
And other-whiles, with bitter Mocks and Mows
He would him scorn, that to his gentle Mind
Was much more grievous than the others Blows:
Words sharply wound, but greatest grief of Scorning grows.
The Fair Serena, when she saw him fall
Under that Villain's Club, then surely thought
That slain he was, or made a wretched Thrall,
And fled away with all the speed she mought,
To seek for Safety, which long time she sought;
And past through many Perils by the way,
E'er she again to Calepine was brought;
The which Discourse as now I must delay,
Till Mirabella's Fortunes I do further say.
[Works, ed. Hughes (1715) 4:934-46]