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Title: Tales from Spenser; Chosen from the Faerie Queene
Author: Spencer, Edmund
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Tales from Spenser; Chosen from the Faerie Queene" ***

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                          TALES FROM SPENSER
                     CHOSEN FROM THE FAERIE QUEENE

                         BY SOPHIA H MACLEHOSE

    Publishers to the University.


    _London,        Simpkin, Hamilton and Co._
    _Cambridge,     Macmillan and Bowes._
    _Edinburgh,     Douglas and Foulis._




In writing these Tales from "The Faerie Queene," no attempt has been
made to interpret their allegorical or explain their historic bearing.
Intended for children, the stories are related simply as stories, and
therefore only those episodes in the poem most interesting and most
complete in themselves have been chosen. In no case do the Tales pretend
to relate the whole that Spenser tells of their heroes and heroines.


Una and the Lion

Prince Arthur helps Una to find the Red-cross Knight

How the Red-cross Knight slew the Dragon

Britomart and the Magic Mirror

Britomart and Amoret

The Story of Marinell and Florimell


How Britomart found Artegal

Cambello and Triamond

The Story of Timias

Calidore and Pastorella



Faerie Queene. Book I. Cantos I., III., VI.

Once upon a time, while fairies and goblins still lingered in the
forests of Merry England, a great queen named Gloriana reigned over
Faeryland. The subjects over whom she ruled were not tiny creatures like
Oberon and Titania, but brave knights who went out from her court
endowed with magic powers to redress wrongs and help those in trouble.

Now there lived at this time a king and queen of very ancient lineage,
whose dominions stretched from east to west, and who had once held all
the world in subjection. But a cruel enemy had arisen against them, and
destroyed their rich lands, and killed the inhabitants, and forced the
king and queen to take refuge in a strong castle, guarded by a mighty
wall of brass. This enemy was no other than a huge and fearful dragon.
From every quarter of the globe knights came to fight the accursed
beast, but only those whose faith was strong and conscience clear could
prevail; and thus knight after knight fell before the dragon, who grew
stronger and more cruel in his success.

The king and queen had one child, a daughter, whose name was Una. She
loved her parents dearly, and hearing of the knights of queen Gloriana,
she resolved to go to the Faerie Court and pray for assistance for her
parents who had now been four years prisoners, and were in great
distress. She set out upon her journey, dressed in a long black robe
covered by a deep veil; she rode an ass as white as snow, and led by a
line a milk-white lamb, a symbol of innocence. Behind her followed a
dwarf, bearing a spear in his hand, and leading a war-like steed, on
whose back was laid a suit of armour. Thus accoutred, Una appeared at
the court of Gloriana.

Shortly before, a young man, tall and powerful, but clownish in
appearance, had arrived at the Faerie Court and had prayed to be sent on
the first adventure that should arise. When, therefore, Una came and
preferred her request, the young man claimed the enterprise as his
right. Gloriana wondered at his boldness, for he had not a knightly air,
and Una herself objected, but he only urged his suit the more, and at
length Una said he might try on the armour she had brought, but that,
unless it fitted him perfectly, it was impossible he could succeed in so
dangerous an enterprise.

Now, the armour which Una had was that of a Christian knight; and when
it was tried on, lo! the clownish youth changed into the noblest of all
the company. And Queen Gloriana conferred knighthood upon him; and he,
mounting the steed led by the dwarf, went forth with Una to vanquish her
foe. Henceforth the youth is called the Red-cross knight, for on his
silver shield, and on the breast-plate of his armour, was a blood-red
cross, the symbol of the Christian faith. And the knight proved right
worthy of his cross: he was true and faithful both in word and deed, and
his countenance was grave and sober, befitting one who dreaded no
danger, but was himself held in dread; so Una loved him well.

Now, it happened that, shortly after Una and her knight had left the
court of Gloriana, they met a grave old man dressed in long black weeds;
he had bare feet, and a hoary head, and a book hung from his side; and
as he walked, he prayed and smote upon his breast in the manner of a
hermit. But he was, instead, a wicked enchanter named Archimago, who, by
means of the most cunning tricks, deceived the Red-cross knight, made
him think Una an impostor, and beguiled him and also the dwarf away from
her. This made the lady very sad, for not only was she lonely and
helpless in the strange land through which she was passing, but, unless
she could find the knight, she must give up the hope of seeing the cruel
dragon subdued and her dear parents set free. So Una, brave as she was
good, put away her fears, and travelled on through vast forests and
desolate moors, seeking for her knight.

One day, when almost wearied out, Una alighted from her slow-footed
steed, and, taking off her robe and unbinding the band which confined
her hair, lay down to rest; and so fair and lovely was she that her
sweet countenance made sunshine in the shady place in which she lay.
Now, while she rested, there suddenly burst out from the forest a lion,
hungry and greedy, who, seeing the maiden, ran towards her with jaws
wide-open, ready to devour his prey. But, as the lion drew nearer to the
maiden, his rage changed into pity, and, amazed at the fair sight before
him, he forgot his savage fury and licked her lily hands and kissed her
weary feet. And Una, unable at first to cease from the fear of death,
watched him, hardly believing her eyes, and then her heart began to melt
in gratitude and her tears to flow, as she thought how this fierce lord
of beasts pitied her, while her own lord, whom she loved as her very
life, had forsaken her.

At length Una checked her tears, and, trying to put away her grief,
arose, and, remounting her humble steed, set out again to seek her
knight. But she was no longer a defenceless maiden, for with her went
the lion--a strong guardian and faithful comrade--who, while she slept,
kept both watch and ward, and, while she waked, waited on her will,
taking direction from his lady's eye.

One day, as the damsel and the lion travelled thus through untrodden
deserts, they unexpectedly came upon a beaten path. Following this path,
which led under the brow of a steep mountain, Una observed a young girl
walking slowly before them, bearing on her shoulder a water-pot. To her
Una called, and asked if there were any dwelling-place near at hand. But
the girl was rude, and did not reply; indeed, she seemed neither to hear
nor understand, and when she saw the lion fear seized upon her, and,
throwing down her pitcher, she fled. She dared not once look back, but
ran as if her life depended on her speed, until she reached her home,
where sat her mother old and blind. This was Corceca, a wicked woman and
a hypocrite, who was wont daily to fast and pray and do painful penance.
With trembling hands, the girl caught hold of the old woman, and
exhibited such signs of terror that her mother rose in great alarm and
hastened to close the door just as Una and her strange page arrived. Una
prayed hard for admittance, but in vain; and at this the lion lifted his
great paws, and, tearing down the wicket door, let his lady in. She
found the two women almost dead with fright, crouching in the darkest
corner of the hovel. Una tried to calm their fears by gentle words and
looks, and after a time succeeded so far as to receive permission to
rest there for the night. She was very weary and laid herself down on
the floor--the lion at her feet--but she was too sad for the loss of the
Red-cross knight to sleep, and so spent the long hours in sighs and
groans and bitter tears.

At length morning approached, and with it came some one knocking at the
door. He knocked loud and repeatedly, and was heard to curse and swear
because the door was not more readily opened to him. Now, he who knocked
was a wicked thief, who robbed churches and stole money from the poor
men's box. At this very moment he had on his back a heavy load of stolen
goods, for all that he got, whether by lawful means or unlawful, he
brought to this old woman's house and bestowed upon her daughter Abessa,
who was as wicked as herself. There he stood knocking at the door, but
neither Abessa nor Corceca dared pass by the lion to open. At length,
Kirk-rapine, for such was his name, became quite furious and would wait
no longer, but burst open the door. Alas! for Kirk-rapine; the moment he
entered, the lion rose from Una's feet, and, outstretching his lordly
paws, laid the robber low. The wretched man was powerless to resist, nor
did Abessa or Corceca dare to go to his assistance, and very soon
Kirk-rapine lay quite dead--his body torn in pieces, and his blood
flowing into the earth.

Now, when the broad daylight returned, Una arose, and with her the lion,
and once more set out together to seek the knight. As soon as she was
gone, the women came out from their dark corner, to see whether or not
their worst fears were realized. When they saw that Kirk-rapine was
indeed slain, they tore their hair, and beat their breasts, and, half
mad with malice and revenge, rushed forth in pursuit of Una. As soon as
they got near her, they began to shout and cry after her, calling her
all sorts of bad names and praying that every kind of evil might befall
her. At length, tired out with their own curses, they turned back, and
on the way met one clad in armour as became a knight.

This was, however, no knight, but Archimago, the wicked enchanter, who,
not content with having separated Una from her champion, sought to lead
her into further distress. He stopped the old woman, and, describing
Una, asked if she had seen any such lady. Thereupon Corceca's passion
became renewed, and, crying and cursing, she declared she knew her but
too well, and told him which way to take.

Before long, Archimago came where "Una travelled slow," her fierce
guardian treading by her side. The sight of the lion alarmed the
enchanter, and he turned aside, not daring to approach too near. Now
Archimago had taken care to disguise himself as Una's own Red-cross
knight. When, therefore, she recognized the well-known shield, she
turned and rode towards him, and, as she approached more near, became
assured in her own mind that this was indeed her lost lord. Hastening
on, in much humility and with tears in her eyes, she exclaimed: "Ah! my
long-lost lord, where have you been so long hidden from my sight?" The
pretended knight replied "that his absence had been enforced in that a
certain Archimago had sent him on an adventure, from which he had now
returned successful, and ready henceforth to abide by her and defend her
by land and sea." His words made Una very happy. In her new-found joy,
she forgot the pains and toils she had encountered and journeyed on,
discoursing happily of all that had befallen her.

They had not, however, travelled far when they saw an armed horseman
riding towards them at full speed. Although his horse was covered with
foam, the warrior kept spurring it from time to time, and looked as if
he were breathing forth dread threats of vengeance on some unknown
victim. On his shield his name Sansloy was written in red letters. Now,
this Sansloy was a Saracen knight, and was brother of another knight
named Sansfoy, but this brother had encountered the Red-cross knight
shortly after he and Una left the Faerie Court, and had been slain by
him. The moment, therefore, that Sansloy had seen the cross on
Archimago's armour, he had determined to avenge his brother's death, and
bore down thus fiercely on the enchanter and the lady. But Archimago had
no mind to fight; he grew faint and fearful when he saw the warrior, and
it was only when Una cheered him on that he ventured to couch his spear
or put spurs to his horse. Sansloy showed no mercy, but came on with
such force and fierceness that his spear went right through Archimago's
shield and hurled his antagonist from his charger, so that he fell
heavily to the ground, while the blood gushed from his wound.
Immediately Sansloy leapt from his steed and hastened toward his
prostrate foe exclaiming, "Lo! there the worthy meed of him who slew
Sansfoy with bloody knife," and thereupon began to unlace Archimago's
helmet, thinking to sever his head at one stroke. But Una saw his
purport, and cried out, beseeching him to hold "that heavy hand," urging
that surely Sansloy's revenge was enough when he saw his foe lie
vanquished at his feet. To her piteous words the cruel Saracen paid no
attention, but tore off the other's helmet, and would have given the
fatal blow had he not perceived before him, instead of the Red-cross
knight, the hoary head of Archimago the enchanter. He stayed his hand,
and gazed on the old man in amazement, for he knew him well, and knew
that, skilful as Archimago was in charms and magic, he was but little
used to war.

"Why, Archimago," he exclaimed, "what do I see? What hard mishap is

The enchanter answered him never a word, but lay in a trance, apparently
dying, and Sansloy, who had no compassion in his soul, made no attempt
to render him assistance.

He turned instead to Una, who, poor damsel, was in sore amazement to see
that he whom she had believed her own true knight was the cruel
enchanter who had caused all her distress. Her wonder soon changed into
terror, for Sansloy proceeded to seize hold of her white veil and pluck
her rudely from her steed and gaze boldly in her face. But now arose the
lion, her fierce servant, and, full of kingly rage at seeing his lady
thus maltreated, sprang upon the Saracen, and with sharp-rending claws
strove to tear away his shield. But Sansloy was very strong and wary,
and, redeeming the shield from the lion's paws, he drew his sword. Alas!
the power of the wild beast was all too weak to withstand a foe armed at
every point and so mighty in strength and in skill as Sansloy. Very soon
the deadly steel pierced the lion's heart, and he roared aloud, and life
forsook him. Una was left alone in the hands of a cruel warrior, bereft
of hope, for her faithful guardian was slain. She knew not where to look
for help, and indeed help seemed very far away.

The Saracen would listen to no entreaty, but lifted her on to his own
steed and bore her off, while the lowly ass, who would not forsake his
lady, followed as best he could. With piteous words, she wept and begged
for freedom, but all in vain; her words only increased the hardness of
her captor's heart.

After a time, Una found herself borne into a wild forest. Here the
damsel's terror became extreme, and she cried aloud in her distress. She
had no hope of succour, but succour came.

    "Eternal providence, exceeding thought,
    Where none appears, can make herself a way."

And a wondrous way in this case it proved.

Far off in the wood, a troop of Fauns and Satyrs, wild, untamed
inhabitants of deepest forests, were dancing, whilst old Sylvanus, their
god, lay sleeping. These, hearing Una's cry, left their sport, and,
running towards the spot from which the cry had come, appeared suddenly
on the scene.

They were a rude, misshapen, even frightful-looking crowd, and Sansloy,
like the wicked knight that he was, seized with superstitious fears,
took fright and fled. But, when the Satyrs beheld Una all alone, sad and
desolate, her fair face stained with tears, they stood still before her,
astonished at her beauty, and pitiful of her distress. And she, more
amazed than they, began to fear and tremble afresh, for wild stories
were told of the Satyrs and of their lawless deeds. And it seemed to her
that a worse lot than ever before had now befallen her. So fearful was
she that she dared neither speak nor move.

The wild people read Una's sorrow in her sad countenance, and, laying
aside the rough, frowning looks they usually wore, began to grin and
smile and bend their knees before her, trying thus to comfort her.
Uncertain whether or not she dare trust herself to them, Una stood
irresolute. They, as they watched her, were overcome by pity of her
tender youth and wonder at her sovereign beauty, and prostrating
themselves on the ground, kissed her feet and fawned upon her with their
most kindly looks.

Then Una, guessing their hearts aright, gave herself up to their care,
and, rising, went fearlessly among them. Glad as birds in the joyous
spring-time, they led her forth dancing, shouting, singing, and strewing
green branches before her. All the way they played on their merry pipes,
until the woods rang with their echo; and, worshipping the lady as a
queen, they crowned her with an olive garland and led her to Sylvanus,
their god.

He had wondered at the sounds of rejoicing which had roused him from his
sleep, but when, leaning on his cypress staff, he came forth from his
bower and saw Una, he stood amazed and wondered not when his wood-born
subjects fell prostrate before her.

And then came tree-nymphs and light-footed Naiads, flocking to see the
new-comer. But when they saw how fair and good she was, sharp envy
seized upon them, and they fled away lest the Satyrs, in their new-born
reverence for Una, should scorn their ancient playmates.

So Una, thankful for the favour she found and the respect shown to her,
remained a long time among this forest people, and rested from her
weariness. In return for their hospitality, she tried to teach them
something of truth, and to prevent their worship of herself, but it was
in vain, for when they found they might not worship the lady, they
turned to the milk-white ass, her lowly steed, and worshipped it in her

One day there came to the forest a certain Sir Satyrane, a noble knight
who had been born in these woods, and who was in the habit of revisiting
them from time to time. Now, when he came unexpectedly on this fair lady
sitting among the Satyrs and endeavouring to teach them true sacred
lore, he wondered at her heavenly wisdom, the like of which he had never
before seen in woman. And when he watched her courteous deeds and heard
the story of her sad misfortunes, his wonder changed into admiration,
and he became her scholar and learned of her "the discipline of truth
and faith."

Thus Una and Sir Satyrane grew close friends, and at length she told him
her most secret grief, how deeply she longed to find the Red-cross
knight, and how all her secret thoughts were spent in contriving an
escape from her kind but rude guardians. So Sir Satyrane began to devise
how he might help her, and one day while the Satyrs had all gone to pay
homage to Sylvanus, the strong knight led away the gentle virgin, and
after further adventures, of which you shall hear in the next tale, Una
did at last rejoin her long-lost knight to the great comfort of them


Faerie Queene. Book I. Cantos VIII., X.

Una and the good Sir Satyrane travelled together for some time, seeking
her knight. In the course of their search Sir Satyrane became separated
from Una, who must have gone on alone had not her long-lost dwarf
unexpectedly appeared.

This was a most welcome sight, and yet Una's heart sank within her as
she looked at the dwarf, for he travelled alone and carried with him the
silver shield, the mighty spear and ancient armour of the Red-cross
Knight. Seeing these, she fell helpless to the ground, for she knew some
terrible misfortune must have happened to her lord.

The dwarf, as he drew near and beheld his lady in such distress, became
as sorrowful as she; for he bore heavy tidings and feared greatly to
impart them. His heart sank within him, but he made a show of
hopefulness and set about to rub and chafe the poor damsel's temples
until she began to give signs of life, and to moan and groan aloud. She
was very weary, and she thought her effort to save her parents was all
in vain. Loathing the very sunshine she cried out for death, and,
believing her prayers about to be answered, once more sank upon the

Three times she sank and three times the dwarf raised and revived her
with busy care and pains. When at length life fairly won the victory,
with trembling limbs and failing tongue Una prayed him to tell her what
woful tragedy had befallen her knight. "Thou canst not," she said, "tell
a more heavy tale than that I already know to be true."

Then the dwarf began to relate all the adventures which had happened to
him and the knight from the time that Archimago, the wicked enchanter,
had parted them from Una until now. These were many, but at present I
can only tell you of that in which the Red-cross Knight lost his armour.

First, you must know that the knight ought never to have left Una. In
leaving her he followed a false imagination put into his mind by
Archimago, instead of remaining strictly true to the charge given him by
Gloriana, Queen of Faeryland, and this one false step led him into much

It was thus he came to trust in Duessa, a wicked witch, who one day led
him to rest by a stream whose waters had the fatal effect of rendering
every one who drank of them weak and powerless against all attacks of
evil. The knight, then, resting by the stream, drank of its waters, and
immediately his strength gave way, his blood ran slow, and a chill
struck at the very root of his courage.

While lying in this feeble condition, a dreadful sound was heard, that
seemed to shake the earth and cause the trees to tremble. Starting up,
the knight began to collect his weapons and to don his armour in great
haste. But before he could do so, before he had even got his shield in
his hand, a hideous giant, more than three times the height of any
mortal man, and so huge that the earth groaned under his weight, came
stalking into sight. In his hand the giant Orgoglio bore a gnarled oak
torn up from the forest, which he used both as staff and weapon, and
when he saw the knight he raised this formidable cudgel and bore down
upon him in a fury.

Alas! the Red-cross Knight was little able to sustain the combat.
Unarmed, disgraced and inwardly dismayed by the power of the fatal
waters, he could hardly wield his single blade.

The giant struck with a force that might overthrow a tower of stone,
much more a defenceless man: but the knight watched carefully where the
blows fell, and skilfully leapt out of their way, and thus for a time
evaded them. But not for long: so furious were the blows that the wind
they raised presently overthrew him and flung him stunned upon the

The giant was not slow to see his advantage. He uplifted his powerful
arm, and with one stroke would have made an end of his opponent had not
Duessa interfered. She besought Orgoglio to spare the life of the
Red-cross Knight and take only his liberty: and to this the giant
consented on condition that Duessa would become his lady-love. He then
raised the knight in his cruel arms and carried him in haste to his
strong castle, where he threw him into its darkest dungeon.

Such was the tale the dwarf had to tell.

Una heard him patiently to the end, and strove to master her sorrow, but
it only grew stronger the more she contended against it. At length, when
the first passion of grief had worn itself out, she rose, and, attended
by the dwarf, resolved to find her knight, alive or dead. But ever as
she wandered through low dales, and over high hills and among thick
woods, her grief broke forth from time to time as if from a wound that
had not healed.

After a time Una and her dwarf chanced to meet a very noble-looking
knight attended by a single follower.

These were none other than the great and good Prince Arthur and Timias
his much loved squire. The armour of the Prince glittered from afar, and
on his breast he wore a bauldric beset with precious stones, in the
midst of which shone one shaped like a lady's head, which was of
wondrous worth and was possessed of magic powers. By the bauldric hung
the Prince's sword: its sheath was of ivory curiously wrought. The hilt
and the buckle were of burnished gold and the handle was of
mother-of-pearl. His helmet was also of gold and had a dragon for its
crest: the wings of the dragon spread wide apart, while its head couched
close upon the Prince's beaver, and its tail stretched low upon his
back, and on the top of all was a tuft of divers coloured hair sprinkled
with gold and pearls, and quivering in the sunlight. His shield was
closely covered and might not be seen of mortal eyes, for it was made of
pure and perfect diamond:--one massive piece cut solid from the rock,
and no spear could pierce it nor any sword divide its substance.

And never did Prince Arthur reveal its brightness to any single foe, but
if he wished to dismay huge monsters or daunt whole armies, then would
he discover its exceeding brightness, and so discomfit them. No magic
art or enchanter's word had power over it, and all things that were not
what they seemed, faded away before its brightness. By it the Prince
could blind the proud, turn men into stones, stones to dust, and dust to

This wondrous shield, with the rich sword and armour, had been made for
Prince Arthur by Merlin, the great and good magician.

Timias, the Prince's squire, was a gentle youth. He bore a spear of
ebony, with a square pike head, which had been three times heated in the
furnace; and he rode a proud and stubborn steed that chafed under its
rider, but was kept well in hand.

As Prince Arthur approached the lady, he spoke courteously to her, and
when he perceived that his words drew forth slow and unwilling answers,
he guessed that a secret sorrow rent her heart. He then tried to draw
from her the cause of her distress, until, moved by his kind words, Una

"What happiness," she asked, "could reach a heart plunged in a sea of
sorrow, and heaped with huge misfortunes?" As soon as she thought of her
distress a cold chill crept over her, and she felt as if stung by an
iron arrow. Griefs which could not be cured were best not spoken
of,--she could only weep and wail.

Then said the Prince--"Ah! dear lady, well do I believe that your grief
is a heavy one, for only to hear you speak fills my soul with sadness;
but let me entreat of you to unfold it, for counsel eases the worst

"But great grief," said Una, "will not bear to be spoken of; it is easy
to think about, but hard to utter."

"True," replied the Prince, "but he that wills not, can do nothing."

"Ah!" pleaded Una, "but grief that is spoken, and finds no relief, grows
still heavier, and leads to despair."

"Not so," said the Prince, "when there is trust and faith."

And thus was Una at length persuaded to disclose her secret sorrow.

She told the Prince the story you already know: how her dear parents
were imprisoned by a huge dragon, and how the Red-cross Knight, who was
to have rescued them, had been betrayed into the hands of a cruel giant,
in whose dungeons he lay, disarmed and helpless.

Before she had quite ended her tale, the poor damsel grew faint from
grief and dread, but the Prince comforted her with cheering words.

"Truly," he said, "you have great cause of sorrow; but take comfort and
courage, for until I have rescued your captive knight be assured that I
will not leave you."

So the whole party went on together, until they reached a great castle.
Here, said the dwarf, lay his luckless lord, and here the Prince must
try his prowess. Whereupon the Prince alighted from his steed, and
bidding Una remain where she was and watch the issue of the fight, took
Timias, his squire, and strode up to the castle wall. He found the gates
fast closed, and no one to keep guard or answer to his call. At this,
the squire blew a small bugle, which hung by his side, adorned with
twisted gold and gay tassels, and writ all over with the wonders of its

None ever heard its shrill call who did not tremble before it. There was
no gate however strong, or lock however firm, that did not burst open at
its summons. And now, as the squire blew the magic horn, the grim castle
quaked, every door flew open, and the giant himself rushed forth with an
angry stare on his cruel countenance, eager to learn who or what this
might be that had dared his dreaded power. After him appeared Duessa,
riding a many-headed monster, with a fiery, flaming tongue in every one
of its many heads.

At once the Prince began a furious attack on the monster. Thereupon the
giant buckled to the fight, and lifting up his dreadful club, all armed
with ragged knobs and gnarled knots, thought to have slain the Prince at
a single blow. But he, wise and wary, leapt swiftly aside, and the great
weapon fell so heavily, that it sank three yards deep into the ground,
making the earth tremble. Now, Orgoglio could not easily uplift his
club, and as he strove to drag it from the deep cleft, the Prince smote
off his left arm, which fell to the ground, a senseless block, while
streams of blood gushed from the wound. Dismayed by the pain, Orgoglio
roared aloud, and Duessa hastened to draw up her many-headed charger to
his aid. But the squire soon forced the horrid beast to retreat, and at
this Duessa in her pride rebelled and urged the monster afresh; but in
vain, for Timias dealt mighty strokes, and stood firmly to his post.

Then Duessa resorted to her witch ways, and taking out a golden cup,
murmured enchantments over it, and sprinkled some of its contents upon
Timias. His courage immediately faded away, and his senses became dull
and numb, and he fell helpless before the monster.

The dreadful beast laid its claws upon Timias' neck, and kept him pinned
to the ground, until his life was nearly crushed out: then it left him
with neither power nor will to rise.

But when Prince Arthur beheld the sad plight into which his well-loved
squire had fallen, he left off fighting with Orgoglio, and turned upon
the beast, and struck off one of its monster heads.

Thereupon Orgoglio went to Duessa's aid, and putting all his force into
his remaining arm, he let drive his oaken club with such terrible fury,
that falling on the Prince's shield, it bore him to the ground.

But as Prince Arthur fell, his shield became uncovered, and suddenly
there blazed forth a light of such dazzling brightness, that no eye
could bear it. The giant let his arm drop to his side, and the
many-headed beast turned blind and staggered so that Duessa cried out
wildly, "O! help, Orgoglio, help, or we perish all!"

The giant was moved by her piteous cry, and strove to wield his weapon
in her aid, but all in vain, for the bright shield had sapped his

And now Prince Arthur struck at him, smiting off his right leg, and
while he lay prostrate and helpless, leapt lightly upon him, and smote
off his head. Lo! Orgoglio's body shrank away, and nothing was left but
an empty dried-up skin--such is the end of pride.

When Duessa saw the grievous fate of Orgoglio, she cast away her golden
cup, and fled fleetly from the bloody scene; but the squire, light of
foot as she, speedily brought her back captive.

And now Una, who had watched the fight from afar, came forward with
sober and modest gladness, hardly able to find words with which to greet
and thank the victor, declaring that heaven, not she, must requite him
the service he had done. She then went on to pray that since heaven and
his prowess had made him master of the field, he would end that he had
so fair begun, and would rescue her Red-cross Knight from the deep
dungeon in which he lay.

Thereupon the Prince gave Duessa into the charge of Timias, while he
himself proceeded to make forcible entrance into the castle. No living
creature did he see, and when he called aloud, no man answered to his
cry; but a solemn silence reigned in hall and bower.

At length there came forth an old, old man, with a beard as white as
snow, who walked along with a creeping, crooked pace, and leant his
feeble steps on a staff, groping his way, for his eyesight had failed
him long ago. On his arm hung a bunch of keys, overgrown with rust:
these were the keys of the inner doors, but he could not use them, and
only kept them by him from ancient custom. It was a strange sight to
watch his feeble pace, for as he moved slowly forward his face was seen
to be turned backward. He was the ancient keeper of the place,
foster-father to the slain Orgoglio, and his name, Ignaro, betrayed his
true nature.

But the Prince honoured his grave and reverend appearance, and asked him
gently where were all the dwellers in the castle, to which he replied in
a quiet voice that he could not tell. Again the Prince asked where the
knight whom Orgoglio had vanquished lay captive, and Ignaro replied he
could not tell. Then the Prince inquired by which way he might pass into
the castle, and still the old man said he could not tell; whereupon the
Prince, courteous as he ever was, grew displeased, and thinking that
Ignaro mocked at his questions, upbraided him, and demanded an answer
befitting the gravity of the old man's years, but the reply was ever the
same, he could not tell.

At this the Prince looked attentively at the aged sire, and, guessing
that he was indeed ignorant, stayed his wrath in pity for his
imbecility, and, stepping up to him, took the bunch of keys from his
unresisting hand, and made free entrance for himself. He opened all the
doors, and neither bar nor foeman presented any hindrance. He found all
within furnished with great richness and splendour, but everywhere he
beheld traces of the giant's cruelty. He sought through every room and
every bower, but nowhere could he find the Red-cross Knight.

At length, Prince Arthur came upon an iron door, which was fast locked.
He searched among the keys, but in all the bunch there was not one to
open it. Presently he espied a small grating in the door, and through
this he called with all his strength that he might discover whether any
living wight were imprisoned there.

By-and-bye he heard a hollow, dreary, murmuring voice. It asked who this
might be that brought tidings so welcome as the news of death to one who
had lain dying for three weary months, but yet lived on.

When the Prince heard this sad plaint, his heart thrilled with pity and
indignation, and he rent open the iron door in fierce fury; but when the
iron door was open, there was nothing before him but a deep descent,
dank, dark, and foul. However, neither the darkness nor the foulness
could stay the strong purpose of the Prince, and after long labour and
great perseverance, he succeeded in finding means whereby to rescue the
prisoner from the dismal hole.

But alas! when the knight was lifted out, he presented a sad spectacle
of ghastly suffering. His feeble limbs could scarce support his body,
his eyes were dull and sunken, and could ill bear the light, his cheeks
were thin and hollow, his once powerful arms wasted away, and his whole
appearance was withered and shrivelled.

When Una saw him she ran towards him, tears in her eyes, and joy and
sadness mingled in her feelings, and as soon as she could speak for her
tears, she exclaimed, "Ah, dearest Lord, what evil power hath thus
robbed you of yourself, and marred your manly countenance? But welcome
now, whether in weal or in woe."

The knight was too feeble to answer, and the Prince replied for him,
saying that nothing was gained in recounting woes, since the only good
to be had from past peril is to be wise and ware of like again.

He then asked Una what he should do with Duessa, the false witch. Una
declared that to have her die would be too spiteful an act, and,
therefore, having despoiled her of the scarlet and purple robes, and
rich ornaments, with which she imposed upon men, they let her go, and
Una and the knights remained in the castle to rest a while.

But this rest was not sufficient to fit the Red-cross Knight for his
approaching conflict with the dragon, and so Una, seeing that his limbs
were weak, and his spirit damped by the long and miserable imprisonment,
conducted him to an ancient house, called the House of Holiness, in
which she knew they would have a kind welcome and good food.

In this house they remained for some time, and here the knight met an
aged sire, who told him many curious things concerning his origin. The
knight rejoiced greatly as he heard that he was descended from ancient
Saxon kings, and was destined to do great deeds for his native land.

Inspired with fresh courage he returned to Una, who had been resting
with the good lady Charity, and her women, in their side of the great
House of Holiness. After many thanks rendered and many blessings
bestowed, they once more set out to find the Dragon.


Faerie Queene. Book I. Cantos XI., XII.

As Una and the Red-cross Knight rode on their way they came near her
father's wasted lands and the brazen tower in which her parents were

"Dear Knight," said Una, "we are now come where our peril must begin,"
and warning him that they might encounter the dragon at any moment she
prayed him to be constantly on his guard.

As she spoke, the maiden pointed out the tower, and at the same time a
hideous roar filled the air with horror. They looked up and beheld the
dragon stretched out on the sunny side of a hill. The moment that the
monster saw the knight's shining armour, he raised his great frame and
hastened towards them as if delighting at the prospect of fresh prey.

Then the knight bade Una leave him and withdraw to a hill at a little
distance, where she could watch the fight and yet be secure from danger.

The dreadful beast came on steadily, half walking, half flying in his
haste. He covered the ground quickly, and as he went, cast a huge shadow
over the wasted land.

As the dragon approached the knight, he reared his monstrous body on
high, which looked the more horrible that it was swollen with wrath and
venom. It was covered with brazen scales, so closely placed, that
nothing could pierce them, and the dragon shook the scales until they
sounded like the clashing of armour. He had wings which he spread out
like great sails, and when these smote the air, the clouds fled in
terror before them, and the heavens stood still in astonishment. His
tail was twisted in a hundred folds, and lay over his scaly back, and
when he unfolded its coils and displayed its full length, it swept the
land behind him for three furlongs. At its extremity were inserted two
deadly stings, sharper than the sharpest steel. And still sharper and
more cruel were his claws; so cruel and ravenous, that all they touched,
and all they drew within their reach, suffered certain destruction.

But most fearful of all was the dragon's head. It had deep-set eyes,
that burned with rage, and shone forth like shining shields; and gaping
jaws, in which were set three rows of iron teeth. From these trickled
the blood of the creatures he had lately devoured, while from between
his jaws issued clouds of smoke that filled the air with sulphurous

Such was the foe the Red-cross Knight must face and conquer.

On came the dragon, raising his haughty crest, shaking his scales, and
hastening so joyously to the combat, that the knight inwardly quaked for

And now began the first of three days' mortal strife.

The Red-cross Knight couched his spear, and ran fiercely at his foe. The
spear did not wound, but it annoyed the dragon: he turned aside, and as
he turned, swept both the horse and its rider to the ground. In a moment
the knight had risen, and renewed the attack. Never before, although
many a knight had fought with him, had the dragon felt such force in the
arm of a foe, and yet the deadly thrusts glanced back from his
well-armed breast, leaving him unhurt.

But the knight's persistent attacks roused the monster's rage. He spread
his great wings, and lifting himself into the air, swooped down upon his
foe, and seized both horse and man in his cruel claws. He carried them
an arrow's shot, when their fierce struggles obliged him to let them
fall; and the knight, putting the force of three men into a single blow,
once more aimed his spear at the impenetrable scales. Again the blow
glanced aside, but this time it glided close under the dragon's upraised
wing, and there inflicted so sore a wound, that the monster,
unaccustomed to pain, roared aloud with a noise like that of the ocean
in a wintry storm.

The weapon stuck in the dragon's flesh, until he contrived to tear it
out with his claws, whereupon black blood streamed forth from his wound,
and flames of fire from his nostrils. In his rage, he flung his great
tail about: it twisted round the horse's legs, and the steed in its
effort to get free, only became the more entangled, and at length was
forced to throw the knight. Quickly he arose, and laying hold of his
powerful sword, struck the dragon a stroke that seemed as if it must
prove fatal. But the hardened iron took little effect upon the still
more hardened crest, although it fell with a force that made the dragon
careful to avoid its blows.

The knight grew angry when he saw his strokes of no avail, and struck
again with greater might, but the steel recoiled, leaving no mark where
it had fallen.

Now the dragon was suffering from the wound under his wing, and
impatient of the pain, tried again to rise into the air. But the injured
wing impeded his effort, and full of rage and disappointment, he uttered
a roar such as had never before been heard, and once more sent out
flames of fire. These came right into the face of the knight, and making
their way through his armour, burned him so sorely that he could hardly
endure its weight. Faint and weary, burned, and sore with his wounds,
worn out with heat and toil, and the very arms he bore, death seemed to
him much easier than life. "But death will never come when needs
require," and his despair well nigh cost him dear.

The dragon, seeing his discomfiture, turned upon him, and smiting him
with his tail, felled him to the ground. Very near, then, was the knight
to the death he coveted.

However, it so happened that, unknown to him, a well of rare virtue lay
close by. Its waters could cure sicknesses, make the aged young, wash
sinful crimes away, and even restore the dead to life. In the happy days
before the accursed dragon had brought ruin to the land, it had been
called the Well of Life; and though he had denied its sacred waters with
innocent blood, it still retained many of its ancient virtues. Into this
spring the knight fell.

And now the sun began to set, and Una, watching from her hill, saw her
champion fall, and saw, too, that the monster swelled out his proud
breast, and clapped his great wings as if in victory. Little knowing the
boon that had befallen her knight, the maiden grew very sad at heart,
thinking all was lost. No sleep was possible to her. With folded hands,
on lowly knees, she spent the long anxious hours in earnest prayer.

When morning came, Una arose and looked anxiously around to see if,
haply, she might discover the warrior still alive, for with the morning
new hopes frequently arise. By-and-bye, to her great joy, she saw him
start up, all fresh and invigorated by the powers of the wondrous well.
The dragon was confounded at the sight, and knew not whether this was
his foe of yesterday, or another come to take his place, when the knight
uplifted his bright blade, and struck the monster a blow upon the skull,
which wounded him in right earnest.

Whether the sword had received some secret virtue from the waters of the
well, or whether they had only increased the strength of the knight's
right arm, none can tell, but never before had a blow taken such effect
on the cruel monster. He yelled aloud as if he were a hundred lions all
in one; he tossed his great tail aloft, and scourged the air into a
tempest, and flung about its mighty length, so that it overthrew high
trees, and tore rocks into pieces. Then advancing his tail high above
his head, the dragon struck the knight and smote him to the ground. The
cruel sting pierced through his shield and fixed itself in his shoulder.
There it remained, causing him very severe pain.

The knight was nearly overcome, but more mindful of the issues involved
in the combat than of his own suffering, he rose and tried to free
himself. Unable to loose the sting, and inflamed with wrath and anguish,
he struck the dragon on the tail, and at one blow cut off five of the
mighty joints. Deeply enraged, the creature thought to avenge himself
once for all, and gathering himself up, fell fiercely on the knight's
shield, and kept fast hold of it.

And now was the Red-cross Knight terribly encumbered. Three times he
strove to release his shield from the dragon's clutch, and three times
failed. In despair he summoned his trusty sword to his aid, and laid
about with it so ruthlessly that at length the creature was forced to
withdraw one foot in order to defend himself. Then the knight directed
all his blows against the other foot, still fast fixed on the shield,
until, by happy fortune, the sword fell upon the ankle-joint, and
severed it.

Upon this there burst forth from the beast such smoke and flames and
brimstone as to dim the light of heaven itself and force the warrior to
retreat, lest he should be scorched alive. As he did so, his weary feet
slipped, and he fell down, sore terrified with the dread of shame.

Now it chanced that close by where he fell, there grew a goodly tree,
laden with apples. Great virtue had belonged to this tree, and even now
there trickled forth from it a stream of balm that fell on the ground
and watered it as if with dew. This little stream imparted life and long
health to all whom it benefited, and into its soothing power the knight
fell, on this, the close of the second day's fight.

Once more his life was saved, for the dragon, who was of death and
darkness, dared not approach aught life-giving. And now the daylight
began to fade, and Una, seeing her lord again fall and lie motionless,
knowing not that he lay in the healing balm, was once more stricken with
sore affright, and watched and prayed for him all through the weary

When morning again dawned Una saw her knight arise, healed and
refreshed, ready for renewed combat. And the dragon, who had lain
waiting for the day that he might destroy him, grew afraid when he
beheld his foe as fresh as if he had not fought at all. Nevertheless, he
advanced, full of his wonted pride and rage, with jaws wide open,
thinking to devour his foe at the first encounter.

But the knight was prepared to meet him; thrusting his keen weapon
between the monster's open jaws, he ran it through his mouth, and
wounded him with a mortal wound. Then the dragon fell, and as he fell
the earth groaned as if unable to support his weight. And the valiant
knight himself trembled, so huge and hideous did the slain dragon look.

Una, who had seen all from her hill, dared not at first approach; but at
length finding that the huge mass made no movement, she shook off her
terror, and, drawing near, saw that the terrible monster was indeed
dead. Then praising God, she thanked her brave champion for the great

The sun had scarcely risen above the eastern horizon, when the watchman
who stood on the battlements of the brazen tower, saw the last breath of
the monster fade away, and knowing then that the dragon was dead,
shouted out the glad tidings.

The king heard the shout, and rose in joyful haste, although for his
feebleness he could not make much speed, and looked forth to see if the
tidings were indeed true. When he found that they were, he commanded the
brazen gate, long closed, to be thrown open, and peace and joy to be
proclaimed throughout the land--for the dragon was slain! Then the
trumpets sounded the happy victory, and the people, with one accord,
assembled as in solemn festival, to rejoice over the fall of the great
and terrible beast.

From the tower came forth the king and queen, clad in worn and sober
garments. Grave nobles attended them, and a band of young men, bearing
laurel boughs, followed in glad procession. Headed by the king these
made their way to the Red-cross Knight, and, prostrating themselves
before him, loudly proclaimed him their lord and patron, casting the
laurels at his feet.

As they did so, there issued from the brazen gate maidens adorned with
garlands, bearing sweet-sounding timbrels, and dancing as they went;
while with them were children who sang to the maidens' music.

This second procession wended its way until it came where Una stood, and
there they stayed and sang aloud her praises, and set a green garland on
her head, crowning her "'twixt earnest and 'twixt game."

Last of all came the mob, hurrying to see the dragon-slayer, whom they
looked upon as sent from heaven, and at whom they stared with gaping
wonder. But when they arrived where lay the dead dragon they were filled
with fear. Some, indeed, were so terrified that they fled away; others
pretended to conceal their fear, while one who wished to be thought
wiser than all the rest, suggested that the dragon might not be really
dead. At this another immediately declared that he could see fire
sparkle in his eye, while a third was persuaded he had seen the monster
wink. Others, more bold, stood near its carcase, in order to measure how
many acres it covered.

Thus the people flocked about the dead dragon, while the king and his
train were entertaining the knight with gifts of ivory and gold. After
thanking him a thousand times, and embracing their fair daughter Una,
the king and queen conducted them to the palace, while the people
strewed the way with their garments and shouted aloud for joy.

Now when the Red-cross Knight had rested and been feasted, the king and
queen called upon him to relate the story of his adventures. Tears ran
down their cheeks as they listened, and when he had ended, the king
again welcomed him to the palace, and spoke of his resting there from
all further toil.

But the knight declared that he might not rest yet, for he was bound by
vow to Gloriana, Queen of Faeryland, to return and serve her for the
space of six years. Then the king called for Una, his only daughter and
sole heir, and with his own hands betrothed her to the knight.

Never in all her loveliness had Una looked so fair as when her father
called her forth. The toil of the journey over, she had put aside her
sober mournful robe, and was arrayed in a dress of pure and shining
white, while the brightness of her beautiful countenance astonished even
her own true lord. There was great joy among both old and young at the
marriage, and a solemn feast was ordered throughout the land.

The Red-cross Knight held himself a thrice happy man, and ever as he
looked on his dear lady rejoiced anew. In great peace and happiness he
remained with Una until his conscience and his vow compelled him to
return for a time to the court of Gloriana, leaving her in her dear
parent's care.

After this he was no longer known as the Red-cross Knight, but as St.
George, the slayer of the dragon--the great Saint George whom England
has made her patron saint.


Faerie Queene. Book III. Cantos II., III.

Once upon a time there lived in Cambria a king whose name was Ryence.
Now Ryence was a good king, and dealt justly with his people, and on
this account he won the approval of Merlin, the great magician. And
Merlin gave King Ryence a boon.

This boon was a looking-glass, so wonderfully made, and possessed of
such strange properties, that its fame spread throughout the wide world.
The glass was round, shaped like a ball, and hollow inside. He who
looked into it, saw not himself, but saw there portrayed anything that
was happening in any part of the world that might be of consequence to
him. If a foe were working him secret ill, or a friend feigning false
kindness, this glass revealed their deeds. Such, then, was the boon
which Merlin had given to King Ryence; and from it the king could learn
the approach of an enemy more surely and more quickly than from the
swiftest messenger.

Now the King of Cambria had one only child. This was Britomart, his
daughter and his heir. She was a noble damsel, tall and stately, with
rich golden hair, which, when loosened from its silken bands, fell like
a sunny shower, reaching down to her feet. And she was brave as she was
beautiful: gentle towards the weak, and ready to help those in trouble;
one who scorned to take advantage of the misfortunes of others. A fit
daughter of a great king, from whom her father kept no secrets.

It chanced that one day, as Britomart was wandering over the palace, she
found herself in the small apartment where Ryence kept the mirror.
Forgetful of its strange virtues, the princess looked into it, and was
surprised that she did not see a reflection of herself. Then she
remembered that Merlin's gift was no ordinary looking-glass, and as she
recalled its properties, she began to wonder what she might look for
there that was of importance to herself. Standing lingering by the
mirror, her thoughts fell on love, and she wondered--as maidens
will--whom fortune would allot for her husband.

Now Britomart was no foolish maiden, dwelling ever on her future, and in
it forgetting the duties of the present; but she was a rich and lovely
princess, and it was only natural that she should expect to marry some

By-and-bye, as she gazed into the mirror, there appeared before her the
image of a knight, completely armed. His countenance was a right manly
one; a countenance to awe his foes, but to endear him to his friends.
His frame was large and strong, its natural strength increased by deeds
of chivalry which he continually practised. His armour was massive, and
seemed of some antique mould, as indeed it was, for in golden letters
there was written on it these words--


Artegal's crest was a hound couchant, and on his shield he bore the
figure of a crowned ermine on an azure field.

As Britomart looked on the image, she liked it, and having looked at it
well, she went her way, and little thought that Cupid, the false archer,
had shot an arrow into her heart. After a time, the stately Britomart
began to droop. She no longer moved about with her customary princely
bearing, but became sad, low-spirited, and full of foolish fears; nor
could she discover the cause of her discomfiture. At night when she lay
down to sleep, Glaucé, the old nurse who still attended her, wondered at
her wakefulness, and at the tears which Britomart tried in vain to
conceal. And when sleep visited her weary eyes, it was only for a few
minutes at a time, and she started in her sleep as if some ghastly dream
had affrighted her. She did not know that she loved, but her thoughts
ever returned to the fair image she had seen.

One night when Britomart seemed more uneasy than usual, Glaucé
determined to inquire into the cause of her unrest. With loving words
she besought the princess to tell her how it was that her former
cheerfulness had changed into this sad melancholy.

"Ah me," said the old nurse, "how much I fear lest love it be;" and

    "But be it worthy of thy race and royal seed,
    Then I avow by this most sacred head
    Of my dear foster-child to ease thy grief
    And win thy will."

The nurse was a powerful personage in the king's household, and praying
Britomart to put away this melancholy humour, she promised that neither
death nor danger should prevent her from relieving her sorrow. Then she
took her dear foster-child in her arms and fondled her tenderly, and
chafed her cold limbs, and kissed and bathed her fair eyes, praying her
all the time to take courage and disclose the secret trouble of her

Britomart did not answer at once; but at length she spoke, and begged
Glaucé to inquire no further, since there was no remedy for her

"Dear daughter," said the nurse, "despair not; there never yet was a
wound which something could not soothe."

"But mine," said Britomart, "is like no other; for it, reason can find
no remedy."

"Nevertheless," replied Glaucé, "love can mount higher than reason, and
has oft done wondrous things."

"But," urged the poor princess, "not even love can do that which is not
possible to be done."

"Things often seem impossible," said Glaucé, "before they are

Then Britomart broke out bitterly--"These idle words," she said, "do me
no good; mine is no common grief, but, since you will know it, I shall
no longer conceal my crime, if crime it be. Neither for prince nor peer
is my heart pained, but only for the image and semblance of a knight,
aye, and the semblance of one I have not even seen."

So saying, she related to Glaucé the adventure of the magic mirror, and
added that the image haunted her so that she almost longed for death

"Daughter," replied Glaucé, "why be so dismayed? Thy love hath a strange
beginning, but there is nothing to be ashamed of in it, joy therefore
have thou, and eternal bliss;" and stooping over the maiden she kissed
her tenderly.

"Ah! nurse," said the Princess, "what you say comforts me but little;
for what good is it although my love be worthy if it be fixed on nothing
more than a shadow?"

"Nay," said Glaucé, "there never was a shadow that had not a substance,
and one which could not by some means be discovered. Still, if thou
can'st conquer this evil before it grows more powerful, yield thee not,
but if it prove too great for thee, I promise that the beloved knight
shall be found."

Cheered by her words, Britomart laid herself down to sleep. Glaucé
covered her with tender care, and by-and-bye the damsel slept. Well
pleased, the nurse darkened the light of the rude oil lamp and sat down
to watch her charge, and as she watched, tears fell from her aged eyes.
When morning dawned Glaucé roused Britomart, and together they went to
the church to pray. But even there Britomart could not command her
thoughts--nor for that matter could Glaucé--and as soon as they returned
home the old melancholy came back upon the Princess. When Glaucé
perceived this she called Britomart into her own bower, and there tried
the effect of spells much resorted to in those old fairy days. But the
spells were of no avail, and Britomart grew worse, and became so thin
and pale that Glaucé was well nigh in despair. At length it occurred to
her that it might be wise to consult Merlin, the great magician. She
therefore disguised herself and the Princess, and set out.

Now Merlin dwelt in a dark cave which ran low underneath the ground. It
was entered from a rock which lay a little way from a fierce brawling
stream that flowed amongst densely-wooded hills. It was a dismal spot,
and when the travellers reached it they paused and feared to enter, and
half repented their coming. But Britomart, whose nature was full of
spirit, recovered courage, and entered, followed by her nurse.

They found the magician busied in his mysteries, writing strange
characters on the ground. Their entrance did not surprise him, for by
his art he knew before-hand of their coming, and knew also the nature of
their business; but feigning ignorance, he bade them tell their errand.

Then Glaucé spoke, humbly praying him not to be offended by their coming
since no light cause had brought them there. She paused, but he bade her
go on. Then she related how for the last three months the maiden before
him had been afflicted by a sore evil, but what it was she scarce could
tell; of one thing only was she certain, that unless a remedy were found
her nursling must die.

On hearing this Merlin began to smile, and knowing that she had not yet
told him the whole truth, said quietly, "If this be all, the damsel hath
need of a physician rather than of me," and added these words,

          "Who help may have elsewhere
    In vain seeks wonders out of magic spell."

This speech rather disconcerted Glaucé, who wished to secure his help
without confessing who they were or referring to the magic mirror, which
would at once reveal the maiden's parentage. "Ah," she exclaimed, "if
physicians' skill or any learned means could have relieved my dear
daughter, truly I should be loath to disturb thee; but this evil has
arisen from a source beyond nature."

Thereupon the wizard laughed outright.

"Glaucé," he said, "why try to cloak what is self-betrayed? And thou,
fair Britomart," he continued, turning towards the Princess, "art no
more hidden by thy disguise than is the sun when a passing cloud
conceals him. Thy good fortune hath brought thee hither to ask my help,
and it shall be granted thee."

On finding herself thus addressed, Britomart blushed deeply, but old
Glaucé took heart and replied, "Since then thou knowest our grief, pity
it, I pray thee, and relieve us."

Whereupon Merlin sat silent for a time, and then spoke thus.

"Be not thou dismayed, most noble virgin, by the sharp pangs which have
so sore oppressed thine heart, for so must all excellent things begin.
Nor was it idle chance that led thee to look into the charmed mirror;
thine eyes were guided by eternal providence in order that heaven's
destiny be fulfilled. Thine is no evil fate, thus to love the noblest
among knights. Therefore submit thyself to Heaven, and take all due
means to fulfil thy destiny."

"But," said Glaucé "advise us, thou great magician, what means to take.
How shall she find this knight, or indeed why need she do aught since
the fates can of themselves fulfil their own purpose."

"Nay," replied Merlin, "true is it that naught can shake the heavenly
destiny, nevertheless men must use their own endeavour to work it out.
Know then that he whom Britomart loves, and is to marry, is the knight
Artegal. He dwells in the Faeryland, and yet he is neither born of a
fairy nor in any way related to one, but was by them stolen from his
cradle, and to this day he is ignorant that he belongs not to their
race. But he is in truth a son of Gorlois, and a brother of Cador, the
great Cornish king, whose deeds are renowned from east to west. And to
thee, Britomart, is it given to bring Artegal back to his native soil.
He shall return to help his country to withstand the foreign invasion
which now threatens thy father's territory. His great strength and his
dreaded name shall render great assistance against the foe; and thy
prowess shall be added unto his, and together ye shall wear arms and
bear great command."

Then the magician saw before him a vision of the future. In his vision
he beheld wars and desolation, a ruined church, and a king made captive.
Overcome by the sorrows which lay before his people, the aged wizard
passed into an ecstasy which much alarmed the two women, who stood
silent and confused. Presently it passed away, the natural colour
returned to his face, and the expression of horror gave way to one of
calm cheerfulness. He then instructed Britomart and her nurse as to what
they should do, and they, with lightened hearts, bade him farewell and
returned home. There they held secret counsel how best to carry out
their difficult enterprise, proposing now one, and now a different plan.
At length Glaucé hit upon a bold device.

"Daughter," she said, "I think that plan is ever the wisest that takes
into consideration present advantages. Good King Uther is now making war
upon the Saracens, and all Britain is in arms. Let us too wear arms and
learn to use the shield and spear; so shall we pass unrecognized where
we will throughout the land. Thou art tall and large of limb, and armour
will befit thee well, and practice will soon bring thee the needful
skill in handling weapons. Truly," continued Glaucé waxing eager in
praise of her plan, "it ought to inflame thy courage to remember how
many women of thy house--a house inferior to none--have done deeds to
rival those of the bravest men. Remember bold Bundeca, brave Gwendolin,
Martia, and Emmeline; and more than these, let the example of the Saxon
Virgin incite thy courage."

"Ah," said Britomart, "what is her name?"

"Men call her fair Angela," replied the nurse, "for she is as fair as
she is courageous in battle: she is more dreaded than all the Saxons by
her foes, and so beloved by her people that they call themselves by her
name. Therefore, fair child, take her example for thine, and equal her
in courage."

These hearty words of Glaucé sank deep into Britomart's heart, and
inspired in her a great desire to excel in arms. She therefore resolved
to undertake the perils of knighthood, and consulted with her nurse how
to attire herself in suitable array.

Now it chanced that only a few days previously a band of Cambrians who
had gone out against the Saxons had returned with much prey, and among
other booty had carried back a complete suit of the armour worn by
Angela, the Saxon Queen. It was a rich and beautiful suit, and fretted
over with gold. This suit along with other spoils of war King Ryence had
caused to be hung up in his chief church as a lasting monument of his
success and victory.

In the same church was a famous and mighty spear. It had been fashioned
in olden days by magic lore, and was preserved on account of its magic
powers. No matter how well or firmly a warrior sat his charger, this
spear bore him to the ground.

Glaucé remembered these things, and late in the evening she led
Britomart to the church, and taking down Angela's armour from its place
on the wall, arrayed her fair nursling therein. She took also the spear,
and with it a shield, and gave them to Britomart.

When she had thus completed the Princess' attire, she took another suit
of armour and put it on herself, that she might attend Britomart and act
as her squire. And now, both being fully equipped, they mounted the
horses which Glaucé had caused to be ready, and under cover of the
darkness escaped from the palace, nor did they rest until they reached
the Faeryland to which Merlin, the great magician, had directed them.


Faerie Queene. Book III. Cantos XI., XII.

After Britomart and Glaucé left the palace of King Ryence, many
adventures befel them. In all her adventures Britomart's magic sword and
matchless prowess gained for her great renown, and she was spoken of far
and wide as the Knight of the Heben Spear, while old Glaucé, her nurse,
was believed to be her squire. They encountered many a famous knight,
but they had not yet found him whom they sought.

One day, as they were continuing in their search, they came suddenly
upon a stranger knight, who lay with his face on the ground, his armour
scattered near him, and who seemed either asleep or in great distress.
Lest he should be sleeping, Britomart did not speak, but stood waiting
patiently. Presently the knight groaned as if his very heart were
breaking, and then burst forth into a piteous wail over the loss of
Amoret, his wife.

Unconscious that he was heard, the knight cried out against the cruelty
of the wicked enchanter who had taken her prisoner, and kept her for the
last seven months cruelly tormented, and shut out from the light of day,
in a stronghold guarded by thick smoke and magic fires. Then followed
such an outburst of grief that Britomart thought his very life in
danger, and no longer able to forbear, stooped down and spoke to him.

At the sound of her voice, the knight raised himself, and looked up, but
seeing a stranger, he hastily flung himself down, angry at being
disturbed. Britomart, however, was not to be easily daunted, and again

"Ah! gentle knight," she exclaimed, "whose grief seems well-nigh past
bearing, scorn not the relief which Providence may send you. To my hand
it may be given to relieve your woe, and wreak vengeance on your enemy."

Her brave words so touched the knight's heart that he poured out the
whole bitterness of his woe, telling her how hard it was to reach
Amoret, since the tyrant had her in strong enchantment, and had guarded
her dungeon with dreadful fiends.

Britomart was greatly moved by his sad tale, and again offered her aid.
"Sir Knight," she said, "if you will listen to me, I will either deliver
her to you from thence or die with her."

At first the knight, whose name was Scudamour, would not accept so great
a boon, but Britomart at length succeeded in persuading him to arise and
accompany her to the scene of Amoret's captivity.

Arrived at the tyrant's stronghold, they dismounted, and went boldly to
its entrance. There they found neither gate nor porter, but a porch from
which issued flames of fire, mingled with smoke and sulphurous stench.
At this Britomart was greatly dismayed, and turning to Scudamour,
consulted with him how best to overcome this dreadful obstacle, "for,"
said she, "to run into danger without care and thought is worthy only of
the beasts."

"Alas!" said Scudamour, "this is the worst cause of my distress, for the
fire cannot be quenched by any wit or skill; what then is there left to
me but ceaseless sorrowing. Leave me to my grief, let Amoret dwell in
chains, and Scudamour die of misery."

"Nay," replied the noble maid, "to abandon a brave deed for the mere
show of danger were a shameful thing; better run all risks than turn
aside for fear."

Thereupon, resolved to trust her weapons to the utmost, Britomart threw
her great shield before her face, and pointing her magic sword straight
in front, moved onward; when lo! the dread flames parted on either side
of her, and she passed through scatheless.

When Scudamour saw that she had passed beyond the fire and was
uninjured, he, too, tried to force a way. But he was full of proud
passions, and commanded the flames to yield to him, and being foolish
enough to threaten them, increased their mighty rage so that with
imperious sway they sent him back scorched and burned. Impatience and
disappointment raged in his bosom, and in a very madness of misery he
again flung himself on the ground and beat his head and breast, and
would take neither hope nor comfort.

Meantime Britomart pursued her way, and going through the first door,
entered an outer chamber. It was full of precious stores, and was hung
round with rich arras, into which was woven many a fair scene,
portraying the feats of Cupid, the blind god. At the upper end of the
chamber stood an altar, built of gems of great beauty, and on the altar
was an image of massive gold with wings of divers colours, more varied
and brilliant than the hues of the rainbow. This image represented Cupid
with the fatal bow and arrows in his hand, and at his feet a wounded
dragon. Underneath were written these words--"Unto the victor of the
gods this be," and all the people that dwelt in the great castle paid it

Britomart stood still for a while, gazing at the golden image,
fascinated by its brightness; but at length she turned to look back and
take in the other wonders of the chamber. Then, for the first time, she
noticed the words "Be bold" written over a doorway. She puzzled over
their meaning for some time, and could not find it, but no way dismayed
by the apparent warning, she followed their advice, and advanced from
the first to a second chamber.

This chamber was still richer than the other. Its walls were overlaid
with gold wrought with figures of antique story, and all about were the
spoils and arms and trophies of mighty conquerors, who had been taken
captive by the cruel Cupid.

For a long time Britomart gazed around her, and the more she looked the
more she wondered, both at the richness of the room and at the wasteful
emptiness and solemn silence that pervaded the place. As she continued
her survey, she saw over the door through which she had just passed the
same words, three times written, "Be bold." While trying to make out
their import, her eye chanced to light upon an iron door at the other
end of the room, on which was written, "Be not too bold." This puzzled
her still more; but no living creature appeared from whom she could ask
an explanation. And now the shadows lengthened, and darkness fell, yet
Britomart would not sleep, but sat in watchfulness, her armour on, and
her weapons all about her.

When night had quite set in, she was startled by the shrill sound of a
trumpet. After the trumpet blast, there arose a hideous storm of wind,
with thunder, lightning, and an earthquake, followed by a horrible
stench of sulphur and smoke, which lasted from four in the morning until
six--yet Britomart remained steadfast in her watch. Then suddenly arose
a whirlwind throwing open the heavy iron door, and from an inner room
there entered a grave personage bearing a branch of laurel, and clad as
if for the tragic stage. Before Britomart had time to recover from the
surprise of this apparition, a band of minstrels, followed by a troop of
masquers, issued also from the chamber. Sweet music and strange and gay
figures now filled the hitherto empty room. There were Fancy and Desire,
dressed in silk and embroidery; Doubt and Danger in more sober garb;
Fear, armed from head to foot; Hope, with golden locks and samite robes;
Suspicion and Deceit, Grief and Fury, Pleasure and Displeasure--six
couples in all. Behind these came a fair lady, led by Cruelty and
Despight, who goaded and tormented her as she walked. After these rode
the winged god, mounted on a lion, and closely followed by Reproach,
Shame, and Repentance, while a confused rabble brought up the rear.

The procession marched three times round the chamber, and disappeared
into the inner room. As soon as it had passed through, the iron door was
violently closed by the same whirlwind which had opened it. Then
Britomart came forth from the shady corner in which she had stood
unnoticed, and tried to follow; but she could by no means pass the door,
and was obliged to wait patiently for any opportunity that might arise.

All day the maiden waited, and when the next night came with its garment
of darkness her hopes rose, and not in vain. About the second watch, the
door flew open, and afraid neither of masques nor enchantments,
Britomart walked boldly in. As soon as she entered, she looked round for
those persons whom she had seen the previous night. But of all the
motley crew only one was visible, and this was the fair lady who had
been led by the cruel villains, and who indeed was Amoret. Her hands
were fast bound, and round her waist was an iron band that fastened her
to a brass pillar. Before her was the wicked enchanter, drawing strange
characters with Amoret's own heart's blood, which he drew from her by
means of a cruel transfixed dart. By such strange spells, he sought to
charm her into loving him. But he had already tried a thousand charms,
and had utterly failed to touch her love and loyalty to Scudamour, and
indeed she was little likely to love one who wrought such cruel

The moment the enchanter saw Britomart in her knightly attire, he cast
away his books of wicked magic, and drawing a murderous knife from his
pocket ran fiercely at poor Amoret, whom for very spite he was ready to
kill rather than see her escape. Britomart leapt forward, seized his
arm, and stayed his murderous intent. In a moment the enchanter's rage
turned upon her, and his sword inflicted a wound upon her snowy throat.

Then Britomart drew forth her deadly spear, and struck him so dire a
blow, that he fell on the ground half dead. Another stroke must have
killed him, and she was on the point of dealing it when Amoret made sign
to her to hold her hand, telling Britomart that only he who had
enchained could set her free.

Hearing this the noble maiden paused, and very unwilling to spare her
wicked captive, addressed him thus, "Thou wretched man, for whom no
punishment can be too severe, be sure that nothing shall save thee from
death, unless thou immediately restore this lady to health and freedom."

Glad to secure his life on any terms, the enchanter at once yielded, and
rising up, began to look over the leaves of his accursed books, that he
might learn how to reverse the charms he had wrought. Britomart stood
over him with her sword drawn, and so dreadful were the things he read,
that her hair stood on end with horror. By and bye she perceived that
the house shook and the door rattled, but not for a moment did she
slacken the grasp of her weapon. With steadfast eye and stout courage
she waited to see what these strange omens meant. At length she saw the
chain that wound round the waist of Amoret fall slowly to the ground,
and the brazen pillar to which she was bound break in pieces. The dart
that pierced her bosom fell out as of its own accord. The wound it had
made closed up as though it had never existed, and all the hurts and
bruises caused by her long imprisonment were forthwith healed.

When the fair dame found herself free, she fell on the ground before
Britomart, thanking her out of the fulness of her heart, and begging to
be permitted to render her deliverer some service or reward.

Britomart raised her, and replied courteously that her labour received
more than sufficient reward in seeing Amoret thus free and safe.

She then besought the lady to take comfort, and putting away the
remembrance of her past cruel sufferings, think rather of what
Scudamour, her loving husband, had lately endured on her account. It
cheered and comforted Amoret to hear Scudamour, whom of all living
wights she loved best, thus spoken of by her deliverer.

But Britomart's work was not yet done. She turned to Busyran, the wicked
enchanter, bound him firmly by the chain which had held Amoret captive,
and thus secured, led him forth from his own stronghold.

Then Britomart was amazed to find that the rooms which had so lately
astonished her by their beauty and richness had completely vanished.
Still more surprised was she to find the flames which had guarded the
porch quenched, and the porch itself gone.

But now a sore disappointment befel both Britomart and the lady Amoret,
for when they reached the spot where Scudamour had been left, neither he
nor old Glaucé, the squire, were anywhere to be seen. Britomart's brave
heart was sorely astonished, and poor Amoret, in whom hope had sprung
up, was filled with alarm and misgiving lest she had been betrayed.

Scudamour's faint-heartedness was the cause of their grief and

For a time after the war-like maiden's disappearance within the castle,
he lay eagerly expecting her return. But she did not come back all that
day, and Scudamour, who was not a very great and therefore not a very
patient knight, gave way to despair, and made up his mind that Britomart
had been consumed by the flames. He took counsel with old Glaucé, and
together they resolved to leave their post, and go in search of further
help; thus it was that Britomart and Amoret came forth to find
themselves deserted.

And so Scudamour and Glaucé and Britomart and Amoret sought each other
for many a long day in vain; how they met at last another tale must


Faerie Queene. Book III., Cantos IV., VII., VIII.; Book IV., Canto XII.;
Book V., Canto III.

In the days of Britomart there lived a famous knight named Marinell.

Now this Marinell was a sea-nymph's son, and dwelt in a rocky cave by
the sea-shore. His mother had trained him to deeds of daring and a life
of hardihood. Along the strand on which he dwelt no man durst pass
without first doing battle with Marinell. He had subdued and made
vassals of a hundred brave knights, and his renown had reached the Court
of Gloriana, Queen of Faeryland.

Yet Cymoent, his mother, was not satisfied, but prayed the sea-god
to make her son richer than the son of any of the mortals.
The sea-god granted her prayer, and bade the waves yield him their
treasure--treasure gained by the wreck of many a gallant craft.

So there were heaped upon his shores great riches--gold, amber, ivory,
pearls, jewels, rings, and all else that was precious, until Marinell
became as great a lord as any that dwelt in the land. So powerful did he
grow that his mother began to fear lest his boldness and haughtiness
might cost him his life, and she counselled him to forbear further
warfare and be at rest.

That she might be the more secure of his welfare, Cymoent inquired of
Proteus, the sea-god, concerning her son's future. Proteus replied that
Marinell must beware of all womankind, as one day a strange maiden would
cause him much dismay, if not destroy his life. Now Cymoent supposed
this to mean that Marinell must not love any woman; she counselled her
son accordingly, and he listened to her words and followed her advice.

One day as Marinell rode on the rich strand dressed in gay arms, looking
here and there, he descried a rider on the forbidden ground.

This was no other than Britomart, journeying in disguise. Marinell rode
fiercely up to her, and haughtily bade her retire before he made retreat
impossible. She was filled with disdain at his proud threat, and
replying, "Fly they that need to fly," thrust at him with her magic
spear. Thereupon Marinell struck her on the breast; for a moment her
head bent low upon her horse's neck; then she raised herself and smote
him so hard a blow that her spear pierced his shield and hauberk, and
glancing off, wounded his side.

Thus Britomart bore him down until he fell helpless on the sand. She did
not stay to lament his fall, but went on her way, passing by his
treasure, and caring nothing for it.

This then was the woman of whom Proteus, the sea-god, had given warning.

Now, the sad tidings of Marinell's overthrow reached Cymoent as she and
her sister-nymphs were disporting themselves by a pond gathering
daffodils to make garlands wherewith to shade their foreheads from the
sun. When Cymoent heard the melancholy news, she flung away her flowers,
and rending her hair, threw herself speechless on the ground. The nymphs
likewise tore off their garlands, and loudly lamented Marinell's fate.

At length Cymoent arose out of her swoon. She at once called for her
chariot, while the sea-nymphs called for theirs, and set out with her on
their mournful errand. The waves ceased to rage, and helped them on
their way, while the dolphins which drew the chariots sped swiftly
through the water, and brought Cymoent and her sisters to where Marinell

They found him in a deadly faint. When his mother saw him lying thus,
she fell from one swoon into another, and when she at length recovered,
made such piteous moanings that the very rocks could scarce refrain from
tears. She bewailed her son's fall, and wished that she too had been
mortal to have shared his fate.

At length, after long sorrowing and great wailing, the sea-nymphs took
Marinell's armour off, spread their silver-fringed garments on the
strand, and laid him upon them. They then examined his wound, washed the
blood away, and poured in balm and nectar. Then Liagore, the
lily-handed, trained by Apollo in the surgeon's lore, felt his pulse,
and discovered that life still lingered in his frame. Whereupon his
mother no longer despaired, but, aided by the sea-nymphs, bore him to
her chariot. At her command the dolphin-team remained still while
flowers were strewn over him as if he were already dead. The
sister-nymphs then climbed into their chariots, and Marinell was borne
swiftly to Cymoent's sea cave. It was far down at the bottom of the sea,
and built up of hollow billows heaped high on all sides. Here, on the
softest of couches, they laid him, while Cymoent sent for Tryphon, the
best esteemed among the sea-gods in the art of healing, and the nymphs
sat round bemoaning his sad plight.

Now, the news of Marinell's sad overthrow reached the court of Gloriana,
Queen of Faeryland, where was the lady Florimell, who was famed for her
rare goodness and great beauty, and was held in high repute throughout
all Elfin-land. She was loved of many knights, but she herself loved
only Marinell, and when the news of his fall reached her, Florimell
resolved to leave the court of Gloriana, and vowed that she would not
return until she had found her love, alive or dead. She mounted a
snow-white palfrey, and attended by a trusty dwarf, set forth: she was
clad in a dress of cloth of gold, and her fair locks were bound in a
jewelled circlet.

Some days after, it happened that Prince Arthur, accompanied by Timias,
his squire, and one or two others whom they had encountered on their
way, were riding leisurely through the woods that led to Marinell's
abode, when the fair Florimell dashed suddenly across their path. She
had burst out from the brushwood, and rode as if for her life. Her hair
streamed behind her, and she constantly looked back as if fearing
pursuit. And sure enough, there appeared a rough forester, riding a
jaded steed, which he was urging over bush and bank until the blood
flowed from its sides.

Now, when the Prince saw this, he and a knight named Guyon hastened to
Florimell's rescue, while Timias, the Prince's squire, followed the
forester. Through thick and thin, over hill and plain, the Prince and
the knight followed, but the poor damsel feared them as much as she
feared the forester, and fled from them so swiftly, that when they
reached a double way she was out of sight, and they could not tell which
path to take. Each took a separate one, and that chosen by the Prince
proved right. At length he came in sight of Florimell. Urging afresh his
foaming steed, he approached the terrified damsel, and called on her to
have no fear. She looked back, but, not recognizing Prince Arthur's arms
or shield, paid no attention to his call. And so it fell that darkness
came on, and the Prince was reluctantly obliged to give up all hope of
helping her. Little did she think from how great and good a deliverer
she fled, or into what miseries this flight would lead her.

Thus Florimell sped on, fearing every shadow and every sound, until when
darkness fell, she grew so weary that her palfrey wrested the reins from
her slack hold, and went where he would. At length even he could go no
farther, and to her dismay, lay down. Florimell was now forced to alight
and lead him.

After travelling slowly for some time, she came to a hill-side, and here
she saw below her a little valley thickly clothed with wood. From
amongst its high trees there arose a wreath of thin blue smoke, and
encouraged by this sign of habitation, the maiden went on her way more
hopefully. But she was very weary and worn when she reached the place
from which the smoke proceeded. It was a cottage built of sticks and
reeds, walled round with sods, where dwelt a witch, dressed in poor and
dirty rags, and living wilfully in want. She dwelt in these dark woods
because her deeds were evil.

Here poor Florimell entered, and found the hag seated on the ground,
apparently busied in magic arts; she started up when she saw Florimell,
stared at her, but said nothing. Very soon her fear, for such it seemed,
turned to anger, and she asked the damsel who she was, and what ill
fortune had sent her there, unwelcome and uninvited.

Florimell replied that she had lost her way, and prayed her not to be
angry with one who was unwilling to intrude on her, and only begged
shelter and rest for a little space. As she spoke, tears dropped from
her eyes, and she sighed so gently and sadly that the wicked old woman
could not help being sorry for her, and began in her rude way to show
some kindly feeling; wiping the tears from Florimell's eyes, she bade
her sit down and rest. Florimell gladly obeyed; she sat down on the
dusty ground, put her torn garments into better order, smoothed her fair
hair, and fastened it into its golden circlet. When the hag saw the rich
ornaments in Florimell's hair, and beheld how beautiful she was, she
wondered greatly, and feared lest a goddess had found her way to the

This old witch had a son who was as wicked as herself. He was also lazy
and good-for-nothing, loving to lounge in the sunshine, and sleep away
his time. When he returned home, and found a fair lady sitting by his
mother, he was so astonished at the sight of beauty in such a place,
that he stood quite still, staring at Florimell, and saying never a
word. At length he went up to his mother, and asked her in a whisper by
what strange chance this vision had appeared. His mother only replied by
a scared look, as if her wits were gone, and the two gazed first at
Florimell, and then at one another.

By-and-bye, however, they grew accustomed to her presence. Her ways were
so gentle that the witch's son became enamoured of her beauty, and
brought her young birds and garlands of flowers, and a wild squirrel
which he tamed. Florimell received his gifts courteously, but she feared
him, and so, when an opportunity came, she saddled and bridled her
palfrey, and early one morning made her escape. She went in great
trepidation, for she was afraid that she might be followed and

Now when the witch and her son awoke and found her gone, their grief was
very great. Indeed, the son became almost frantic, and nothing his
mother could do would pacify him. So she bethought herself of her wicked
arts, and retiring to her secret cave, called up a hideous beast,
monstrous and misshapen;--its back speckled with a thousand spots, and
so swift that it could overtake the fleetest steed. Nothing like it had
ever been seen, yet it more resembled a hyena than any other creature.

This monster the hag sent after Florimell, charging it not to pause
until it found her, and either to bring her back or slay and devour her.
The moment she ceased speaking, it set off, and by the help of its keen
sense, surely and swiftly traced the maiden. When Florimell saw the
cruel monster, and perceived that it began to overtake her, her heart
quaked with fear. Terror also seized her palfrey, who, as long as breath
supplied him with strength, fled onwards. At length his pace began to
slacken fatally, and then indeed, Florimell believed herself at the last
extremity. But just as her horse's strength gave way, she reached the
shore, and slipping hastily to the ground, sped towards the water,
thinking to drown herself rather than have the monster seize her. All
unexpectedly she found a little boat, with an old fisherman asleep in
it, drawn up at the water's edge. Leaping into the boat, she seized an
oar, and pushed it out from the land.

Her escape was none too soon, for the monster was close upon her, and
ready to spring just as her boat left the shore. It gaped greedily at
her, but durst not venture into the water, and turning back avenged its
wicked spite upon the noble palfrey.

By-and-bye the good Sir Satyrane, who had delivered Una from the Satyrs,
rode that way, and seeing the dead body of the horse, recognized it as
belonging to Florimell. He feared some ill must have befallen the
maiden, and his fears were confirmed when he found a golden girdle she
was wont to wear lying on the sand. Full of grief and rage, he fell upon
the speckled beast, and wounded it severely; but it managed to escape
from him, and returned to the old hag, while Sir Satyrane was forced to
go on his way. When the old woman saw the beast return, she believed
that Florimell was dead, and rejoiced in her heart, but her son became
more wretched than ever, and to comfort him, his mother made an image,
and calling a wicked spirit into it, gave it such a likeness to
Florimell that her son mistook it for her, and was comforted.

Meanwhile the true Florimell was in fresh straits. For a long time the
fisherman slept on, so that she had to steer the boat as best she could,
but this was an easy task, for the wind was light and the sky clear. But
when the old man awoke, she discovered that he was rude and cruel, and
would have made a slave of her if he could. It chanced, however, that
Proteus, god of the seas, was abroad that day, and was roving over the
foamy waves, drawn by his finny steeds. He came upon the little boat,
and when he saw that the fisherman behaved roughly to the damsel, he
beat the old man and took Florimell into his own chariot.

Now Proteus was an aged god, whose hoary hair was frozen, and on whose
long beard icicles hung. He told the still affrighted Florimell who he
was, and bade her no longer fear, and spoke so kindly to her that she
was comforted and cheered. The sea-god bore her to his own dwelling, a
hollow cave eaten out by the angry waves from under a mighty rock at the
bottom of the sea. Here Proteus dwelt with no living being save an old
nymph whose name was Panopè, and whose care it was to keep the cavern
clean. He was very pleased to have Florimell, and thought to keep her
there. But he soon discovered that she thought much more of Marinell
than of anyone else, and that nothing he could do would make her forget
the knight, or be content to remain in the ocean cave. At this he became
very angry, and at last let her down into a deep dungeon, where he
threatened to keep her until she died. And for seven long months the
poor damsel was imprisoned there bound in chains, guarded by raging
waves and grizzly ocean monsters.

Meantime Marinell still lingered in his mother's bower. By the aid of
Tryphon, the sea-god's surgeon, he had been cured of the wound inflicted
by Britomart. But so fearful was his mother lest further ill should
befall her son, that sorely against his will she kept him in her cave
almost as closely confined as if he had been a prisoner.

It happened at this time that all the sea-gods met to celebrate the
wedding of the Thames and the Medway. A solemn feast in honour of the
event was held at the abode of Proteus, and there Cymoent, with many
others, was summoned. With her went Marinell, but, as his father was
only a mortal, Marinell was not accounted a god, and might not banquet
with immortals or eat of their food. Therefore, while his mother was
within, he wandered about examining the strange abode, and, as he did
so, there befel to him a strange adventure. From under a hideous
overhanging cliff he heard a sad voice uttering such piteous
lamentations that the cruel rocks and raging billows seemed moved in
sympathy. It was Florimell, who, believing herself alone, bewailed her
fate aloud. Though none could hear, she nevertheless spoke out her grief
in the hope that the very recital might yield her some comfort, for

    Heaven, that unto all lends equal ear,
    Is far from hearing of my heavy plight,
    And lowest hell, to which I lie most near,
      Cares not what evils hap to wretched wight,
      And greedy seas do in the spoil of life delight.

She mourned that while the beating of the waves pierced the hardest
rocks, her piteous plaints only hardened the tyrant's heart against her.
Then she prayed all the sea-gods to release her, or else to let her die
at once, and ended by the words, "Know, Marinell, that all this is for
thee." After this followed such an outburst of grief and weeping that it
seemed as if poor Florimell's heart must break.

On hearing her sad complaint, Marinell, who had never yet been touched
by pity for the misfortune of any, was filled with remorse and grief at
the thought of Florimell's condition.

In his sorrow began the dawning of his love, and he set himself to
devise the fair damsel's escape. He thought of suing Proteus for her
release, but this he could not do without his mother's aid, and he
remembered her charge against the love of women. For a moment he
contemplated rescuing her by force of arms, but Proteus was a god, while
he had only mortal's might. Then he bethought himself of carrying her
off by stealth, but the damsel was surrounded by water, and he possessed
no means of getting her to land. So he wandered sadly about the rock,
blaming himself severely for not having acknowledged her goodness and
beauty long ago.

At length the feast was over, and Marinell was obliged to accompany his
mother home, and, sore against his will, leave Florimell in her
sea-walled dungeon. Thinking of nothing but her sad fate, he was silent
and disinclined for companionship, and so brooded over his secret sorrow
that he could neither eat nor sleep. He pined and languished and wept
until he grew so weak and ill that he could not stand upright, but was
forced to lie upon his couch.

When his mother saw his miserable state, she was greatly troubled, and
knew not what to think, for she could not discover the source of his
malady. She fancied his old wound was the cause, and repaired to
Tryphon, whom she chid sharply because of her son's distress. He
returned with her and examined the wound, but said that Marinell's
present discomfiture must have some other source, perhaps an unknown
grief. At this Cymoent was more troubled than before, and went to her
son, beseeching him to reveal to her what lay hidden in his heart, but
he would not. Then forsaking the sea-gods as of no avail, she hastened
to the heavens, and thence brought Apollo, god of healing, to see her
son. He declared the disease to be love.

Cymoent grieved and fretted greatly when she heard this, and went to her
son and prayed him in gentle words to tell her which one of the
sea-nymphs he loved. She felt sure it must be a sea-nymph, and was the
less concerned since the god's warning had been only against a mortal
maid. She therefore promised, whoever it might be, to aid him in his
suit. Great was her dismay when Marinell replied that he loved
Florimell. But it was no time to indulge in fruitless grief, for her son
lay in danger of his life. Cymoent therefore went straight to Neptune,
and telling him of Proteus' cruelty towards Florimell, begged him to
order her release. This Neptune at once did, and armed with his warrant
she went to Proteus' cave, and there saw the maiden whom her son loved.
The old sea-god read his monarch's mandate in moody silence, but was
forced to obey, and therefore yielded his prisoner to Cymoent. She,
charmed by Florimell's grace and gentle loveliness, took her by the
hand, and welcomed her lovingly, rejoicing that her son should have so
fair a wife. Then Cymoent showed her son the fair maiden, and his heart
and spirit were so cheered within him that his strength gradually
returned, and he became himself again. Nor was Florimell less glad.

After a time Marinell took her back to Faeryland, where he married her,
and there was a great banquet held in honour of the wedding, and after
the feast a tournament, in which Marinell did deeds of great renown, of
which you shall hear more in the tale of Braggadochio.


Faerie Queene. Book II., Canto III.; Book III., Canto VIII.;
Book IV., Cantos IV., V.; Book V., Canto III.

Among the good and brave knights who fought in Faeryland was a false one
named Braggadochio.

Wandering aimlessly about the forests, this man had one day come upon a
noble horse, fully caparisoned, and a spear lying by its side. Here was
his chance! He made no endeavour to find the owner of the steed, but
straightway appropriated both horse and spear.

Finding himself thus armed and mounted, his ambition rose; he determined
to call himself a knight, and to set out for the famous court of

He had not gone far when he saw a man sitting idly on a sunny bank. At
this Braggadochio puffed himself out in order to look grand, pricked on
his horse, and ran at the man full tilt. In terror the man fell flat
upon the ground, and lifting up his hands, cried out piteously for
mercy. Thereupon Braggadochio thought himself a great warrior, and
thundered at his victim in a loud voice, calling him all sorts of names,
and commanding him to yield or die, adding that he might think himself
happy to be permitted a choice.

The man cried out that he yielded. Then Braggadochio told him, that if
he would prostrate himself on the earth and kiss his stirrups he would
accept him as his thrall. Immediately the coward cringed at his feet,
and did him homage as his liege lord.

By-and-bye this craven thrall became emboldened, for he found out
Braggadochio's character, and being full of cunning, resolved to keep in
his master's favour by humouring his vanity.

So they went forth. Braggadochio the knight, and Trompart the squire, a
fitting pair.

Very soon after they had cast in their fortunes together, they met
Archimago, the great and cruel wizard. Now Archimago had a secret grudge
against certain knights, and was in search of some one to avenge his
fancied wrong. Delighted to see so imposing a personage as Braggadochio,
he inquired of Trompart what mighty man this was that rode on a golden
saddle, yet carried no weapon save a single spear. Trompart replied that
his lord was a great adventurer, who had lost his sword in a hard fight,
and had sworn never to wear another until he had avenged himself of his
loss. His master's spear, he alleged, was weapon enough to make a
thousand combatants quake.

Archimago was much delighted, and he bowed low to Braggadochio, and told
the story of his wrongs.

When Braggadochio heard it, he pretended to be very angry, and
threatened the offending knights with instant death if Archimago would
only tell him where to find them. This the enchanter at once did; but he
warned Braggadochio that his enemies were two of the mightiest knights
that lived, and begged him to arm himself with a sword as well as his

But Braggadochio scorned his advice, laughed at the notion of measuring
his might by the arms he bore, and taunted the enchanter with the
weakness of old age, declaring that Archimago little knew what his right
arm had done. At this the old man grew ashamed of his mistrust, yet
could not dismiss it from his mind.

As he hesitated whether to speak again Braggadochio broke out into a
loud boast, declaring that he had once slain seven knights with a single
blade, and had then sworn never again to wear a sword unless it were
that belonging to the noblest knight alive.

By this grand speech he thought to get rid of Archimago and his
troublesome request. But not so, for the enchanter at once promised to
bring him by next day the flaming sword of Prince Arthur, "noblest
knight alive"; and as he spoke he vanished, leaving no trace behind.

And now the boaster began to fear, and to wonder who this strange man
might be. His wonder soon changed to panic, and the bold champions,
Trompart and Braggadochio, fled from the spot as if the very ground
Archimago had trod would rise and pursue them.

They did not once look back until they reached a green forest, and there
they concealed themselves. But their terror was by no means gone: every
leaf that moved, every sound the wind made caused their valiant hearts
to quake, while all the time they feigned that they were only pretending

At length a shrill horn echoed through the wood, and some one was heard
moving quickly in the thicket. This new cause of fright so overcame
Braggadochio that he tumbled hastily from his horse and crept into a
bush. Trompart waited to see what would happen. Presently there issued
from the brushwood a lady in hunting dress. She was very beautiful: her
habit was adorned with rich jewels, and her stately bearing showed her
to be of princely birth. In her hand she carried a boar-spear, and at
her back was slung a bow and a quiver full of steel headed darts.

When Trompart saw the lady, fear seized upon him, and he could not tell
whether to flee away or to remain in hiding, but she soon spied him out,
and asked whether he had seen a wounded hind pass by. Addressing her in
most respectful terms, Trompart replied that he had not, and then begged
of her to tell him which of the goddesses she was. She was on the point
of replying when something moved in the thicket. It was Braggadochio,
but the damsel thought it was her prey, and, bending her bow, would have
made a speedy end of the boaster had not Trompart stayed her hand, and
explained that his lord, far-famed for bold achievement, lay shrouded

As he spoke Braggadochio crept forth on hands and knees; then, rising up
boldly, shook his helmet fiercely, trying to appear as if he had just
been awakened from deep slumber. The sight of her beauty restored him to
self-confidence, and he was beginning to resume airs of vanity when a
vision of the weapons she carried cowed him. Her manner, however, again
reassured him. She addressed him as a companion-in-arms, and
Braggadochio, taking up the strain, recounted the wondrous deeds he had
done, then boldly asked who she was that thus ranged the forest and did
not dwell at court. To this she replied, that honour was only truly to
be found in toil, and that he who idled at home need not hope to win it.

While she spoke Braggadochio, presuming on her graciousness, grew more
and more insolent in his demeanour. Indignant, the goddess bent her
javelin threateningly, then turned and fled apace. Braggadochio was at
first dismayed, but was far too great a coward to pursue. So, concluding
that he had better depart lest worse things should befall, he mounted
his steed and rode away in so clumsy and untrained a manner that the
noble animal chafed under him, and yearned to be eased of his burden.

Some time after this, as Braggadochio and Trompart, who now also
possessed a steed, were going on their way, they saw a rude rustic
seated on the roadside by a beautiful lady, richly decked with jewels.
Now, these were no other than the false Florimell and her lover, son of
the old witch who had sent the cruel beast after Florimell the true.
Braggadochio thought a knight such as himself more suited to the fair
lady than any rustic. He therefore couched his spear, rode up to the
man, declaring that the damsel was his, and must be yielded to him on
pain of death.

The rustic, greatly alarmed, and not daring to fight against so
powerful-looking an enemy, let his lady go, and Braggadochio mounted her
on Trompart's horse and led her off, a proud and happy man. As they
journeyed he began to make love to her, but presently their love-making
came to an abrupt end, for they encountered an armed knight, who
advanced towards them on a heavy charger that trampled the ground with a
sound like thunder.

The appearance of this knight greatly disconcerted Braggadochio, but he
looked as fierce as he could, and made a show of cheering his lady, who
also was afraid. The knight came on, fierce and powerful, and bade
Braggadochio give up the lady or else do battle for her. This challenge
made the boaster quake with terror, but he put on the best appearance of
bravery he could, and addressing the stranger declared that man to be
very foolish who sought to win with words what he had gained with blows.
At this the knight grew angry, and told Braggadochio to prepare to

"Then," said Braggadochio, "since die thou wilt, let us both turn our
steeds, ride back a certain distance, and meet in equal tilt." They did
as he suggested, and retired one from the other about a furlong's space,
when Braggadochio, whose last intention was to fight, rode away, and
without looking back, left his lady-love to take her chance, caring only
for his own safety. Thus did his valour show itself!

After several further adventures, Braggadochio one day encountered a
party of knights and ladies who were on their way to a great tournament.
He rode up to them and they treated him courteously, and allowed him to
accompany them.

Now, it happened that the fair but false Florimell whom Braggadochio had
so basely deserted was of this company, and rode with a knight named
Blandamour. No sooner did Braggadochio see her than he wished to have
her back again. He therefore declared that he had before won her in
battle and that she was his by right. But Blandamour would not listen to
his claim, and taunting him with having lost his lady-love decreed that
Braggadochio must fight for her once more if he wished to make good his
pretended right. He further proposed that the false Florimell should
stand side by side with a wicked old witch named Até, who was of their
company, and that he who won the day should have the lady, and he who
was beaten, the witch. The company were all pleased with this proposal,
and false Florimell and the hag were brought forward, whereupon all
began to laugh. Then Braggadochio, glad of any excuse which saved him
from fighting, declared that he would be no party to any such bargain;
if Blandamour liked to offer another lady as fair as Florimell, he would
agree to fight, but he would not risk his life on the chance of gaining
so poor a prize as Até. At this they all smiled, the false Florimell
upbraided him with want of gallantry and Até, the witch, tried to urge
him on, but he cared for none of them, and remained obstinate.

In order to keep the peace, a brave knight, Cambello, who chanced to
ride with them, reminded the company that they were on their way to a
great tournament, and had better not waste their strength in quarrelling
on the way, but wait until they arrived where each could fight his fill
and, if they wished, fight out this quarrel also. So they passed off
Blandamour's proposal as a joke, and went on together; but all the way
they mocked at Braggadochio and made a laughingstock of him.

Now, the tournament to which this company was going was one arranged by
the good knight Satyrane, he who had picked up the lost girdle of the
true Florimell.

It was to be held in her honour, and to last for three days. To the
combatant who most distinguished himself the right was reserved of
claiming the hand of the fairest lady present, and to that lady Satyrane
would yield Florimell's golden girdle.

On the first day, Sir Satyrane himself was judged the victor. On the
second, Braggadochio's opportunity arose; but when his turn came to
fight, he looked so uncertain and fearful that the knight Triamond,
indignant at his cowardly hesitation, stepped forward and took his
place. The third day was no more favourable to the braggart, for a
strange knight appeared within the lists, who bore all others down, and
won the honours of the tournament.

Then followed a contest as to which was fairest of the many damsels who
had graced the combat. Knight after knight advanced his lady, but of
them all, Florimell the false was deemed most lovely, and to her the
girdle was awarded.

Now, this girdle had been framed by magic skill, and could not be made
to clasp upon falsehood of any kind. It would not therefore fasten on
the false Florimell, who, however, insisted upon wearing it, although
she was forced to tie it on.

And here fortune favoured Braggadochio, for there arose a great quarrel
as to whose Florimell should be. The knight who had rightfully won her
was no other than Britomart, who cared nothing for her prize. Then
Braggadochio stepped forward and called Florimell to witness that he had
before won her in battle. At his audacity the uproar grew more loud, for
all the knights hated and despised Braggadochio. At length Sir Satyrane
proposed that all should forego their claim, and that the false
Florimell should be placed in their midst, and of her own free will
choose her rightful lord. To this the knights agreed, and after looking
long at each one, as if she would fain have pleased them all, Florimell
turned to Braggadochio. The knights were almost mad with disappointment
and anger at her choice, so Braggadochio, feeling rather uncomfortable
and not very safe among them, bore her off in the night, and left them
to complain.

Soon after this the true Florimell was married, as you have already
heard, to Marinell. Immediately after the wedding, Marinell held a great
tournament, in which he and six friendly knights maintained Florimell's
beauty against that of any lady all the world over.

The lists were open to all who cared to enter them, and many were the
honours lost and won, but when the third day dawned, Marinell still wore
the victor's laurel. This day was to end the tournament, and as the
fight grew more and more fierce, Marinell became surrounded, and was in
serious danger. At that moment the brave Sir Artegal, whom Britomart
sought, entered the tilting-yard, and at the same time, Braggadochio,
Trompart, and the lady. Sir Artegal saw Marinell's danger, and hastened
to his aid, but not wishing to be recognized, he changed shields with
Braggadochio before entering the lists. After a hard combat, he
succeeded in rescuing Marinell from the opposing knights, and together
they won every honour of the field.

The tournament ended, Sir Artegal returned his shield to Braggadochio,
and the whole company repaired to the great hall, where the judges of
the tilting match were to announce the name of him who had won the
prize. There also stood the true Florimell, ready to greet every knight
according to the deeds he had done. Then the judges called for the
stranger knight who had rescued Marinell, but Artegal did not move, and
in his stead Braggadochio advanced and showed his shield, which all
recognized as that belonging to the victor. The trumpets sounded three
times in his honour, the judges awarded him the prize, and Florimell
came forth to greet him and to thank him for the honour he had done her
name. But Braggadochio received her courteous words with scorn,
declaring that what he had done had been for his own lady's sake, and
not for hers.

At these rude words, Florimell turned aside, and Braggadochio, who had
kept his lady veiled until now, brought her boldly forth before all the
people, maintaining that she and not the other was Florimell the true.
She was indeed fair, and for a moment the assemblage was stupified, and
agreed that if this were not the Florimell famed throughout Faeryland,
she was yet more beautiful. Even Marinell was dismayed, and knew not
what to believe. Then arose Sir Artegal, and no longer able to contain
his anger against Braggadochio, plainly discovered himself, and charging
the boaster with utter falsehood, declared it was he and not
Braggadochio who had rescued Marinell; for proof of which he pointed to
the false knight's unused sword. He next called for Florimell, and
leading her up to the other, caused the two to stand side by side.
Behold, the false could not abide the presence of the true, and the
false Florimell faded away before their eyes, and no trace of her was
left but the empty girdle. The people were struck dumb with
astonishment, and Braggadochio was seized with despair and remained as
still as if he were lifeless. Artegal broke the silence, for he stooped
and lifted the girdle, and presented it to Florimell. She fastened it on
her waist, and it fitted perfectly; and all were convinced that this was
indeed Florimell, and crowded around her, giving her tokens of their

Meantime, a commotion arose in the hall. The knight Guyon, to whom the
stolen horse belonged, had arrived, and seeing Braggadochio's horse
recognized it as his own. Seizing its reins with one hand and drawing
his sword with the other, he insisted on having it restored.
Braggadochio refused, and a quarrel ensued, which bade fair to be a
bloody one. Then Artegal came forward and asked Guyon whether he could
prove the steed to be his own. Guyon replied that there was a mark
inside the horse's mouth by which he could certainly recognize it. At
this several of those present tried to open its mouth, and were severely
bitten for their pains. Then came Guyon himself, and called his steed by
its name, at which the horse broke loose from its bonds in its joy and
followed Guyon, opening its mouth so that all could see whose he was.

Now Artegal was deemed the just, and all looked to him for judgment in
the quarrel. He decreed the proof sufficient, and condemned Braggadochio
to go on foot until he could obtain a horse honestly. Braggadochio raged
and raved in fury, and made Artegal at length so angry that he three
times laid his hand on his sword to kill him, but Sir Guyon stayed his
anger, saying that Braggadochio was unworthy the vengeance of a true

So was Sir Artegal pacified, but Talus, his servant, seized
Braggadochio, and, dragging him out of the hall, shaved off his beard,
reversed his shield, blotted out his device, broke his sword, and
scattered his armour. Then, rushing after Trompart, who had tried to
make away, he disarmed him also, and scourged him out of the court; and,
amidst the laughter and scorn of the knights and their ladies,
Braggadochio and his follower finally disappeared.


Faerie Queene. Book IV. Cantos IV., V., VI.

After leaving the abode of Busyran, the cruel enchanter, Britomart and
Amoret met with many adventures, but in none of these did they encounter
either Scudamour or Artegal. At length Britomart heard of Sir Satyrane's
famous tournament, and to it, accompanied by Amoret, she repaired.

It was the last day of the tournament when they arrived. Many brave
combats had already taken place, but for this day was reserved the most
eager display of valour. Full many a knightly deed was wrought, and when
fortune seemed to forsake the side of Satyrane, he himself was ever
ready to assist his knights and uphold their honour, proving once again
his far-famed prowess. Nor was there one that day who did not put forth
his utmost strength, as might be well seen from the many wounds
received, the shivered spears and broken swords, and horses that ran
riderless. Still the knights of Sir Satyrane kept the ascendency. But
when the day had dragged on a weary pace, there appeared from out the
other side a stranger. Whence he came no man could say, nor could they
discover aught from the arms which he bore. His steed was caparisoned
with oaken leaves, his armour looked like wild weeds decked with wood
mosses, and on his ragged shield was the strange device, "Salvagesse
sans finesse." On entering the lists this new-comer levelled his spear
at the first knight he met, and overthrew him at the first encounter.
Knight after knight he vanquished, until his spear split, and then he
drew his sword, and with it hewed and slashed at helmets until everyone
began to shun the very sight of him as of death itself. And now all men
wondered who this was, and whence he came, inquiring one of another by
what name he was called, and when they could learn nothing they dubbed
him the Savage Knight because of his wild appearance. He was, however,
no knight of the woods, but Artegal, the brave and mighty.

Thus were Sir Satyrane and his knights dismayed by the sole power of
Artegal, and none of them durst stand in the field before him, but were
beaten back and chased about all the day, until evening came, and the
sun began to slant downwards in the heavens. Then, again, there rushed
out from the thickest press, an unknown knight, who in turn put to shame
even the glory of Sir Artegal.

This was Britomart, who, eager to restore the day to Sir Satyrane, bent
her powerful spear towards Artegal's helmet, and smote him so sore a
blow that he fell from his charger, and was for a time unable to arise.
Nor did others who crossed spears with the stranger fare better; and
when the fighting was over, Britomart, content with having restored the
glory of the field to Satyrane, went on her way with Amoret, ignorant
that she had, all unawares, seen and fought with Artegal her love.

He, however, was sore at heart, by reason of his defeat, and eager to
have his revenge on the unknown warrior.

Meantime, Scudamour still sought his wife. He had, by this time, heard
of her rescue, but instead of feeling grateful to Britomart, he was
jealous and suspicious of her, for the wicked hag Até had spoken ill of
the noble maid, and tried to create enmity against her.

From being suspicious, Scudamour became unjust, and in his wrath against
Britomart, had nearly slain old Glaucé, her faithful squire. In vain did
the aged dame try to pacify his wrath; the more calmly she spoke, the
more angry he grew, and yet their common interest held them together. At
length, after various wanderings, they one day encountered an armed
knight, who, when he saw them approach, rode rapidly towards them as if
bent on an attack. Scudamour, perceiving his purpose, rode forward,
ready for the combat, but, as the other knight came near and saw the
arms which Scudamour bore, he checked his charger, and riding quietly
up, addressed him courteously, calling him by his name, and praying to
be pardoned for the offence against a friend which he had so nearly

To this, Scudamour replied, that at worst it were a slight offence to
try his sword with any venturous knight, and begged to know who it was
that had thus called him by name.

"Call me the Savage Knight," said Artegal, "as others do."

"Then," said Scudamour, "interpret your name; have you taken it for some
secret purpose, or only because your home is in the forest?"

"The other day," Artegal replied, "a stranger knight did me shame, and I
wait to wreak revenge upon him when he shall pass this way."

At this answer, Scudamour asked who the stranger knight might be, and
Artegal told him that he was one whose name was unknown, although his
fame was far renowned. He was called the Knight of the Heben Spear, and
having borne down all opponents in a great tournament lately held by Sir
Satyrane, had departed, carrying with him the fairest lady ever seen.

When Scudamour heard mention of the dread spear, he knew it must be
Britomart of whom Artegal spoke, and his rage kindling afresh, he
exclaimed in angry accents--

"This is not the first uncourtly deed of which that knight is guilty; he
hath stolen from me my true love, and if this hand can aid in the
revenge you purpose, it shall not fail you when the time arrives."

So together they plotted vengeance on the unconscious and noble

While they were thus talking, they saw far off, a knight, dressed in
foreign arms and strange accoutrements, whom on nearer approach, they
recognized as none other than this same Knight of the Heben Spear. Then
Scudamour prayed Sir Artegal to let him make the first attack. Artegal
granted the request, and Scudamour, preparing his spear for battle, ran
fiercely against his foe. Britomart, seeing his intention, prepared to
receive the onset, and so entertained Sir Scudamour, that presently both
horse and rider were on the ground.

And now Artegal, beholding Scudamour's mischance, advanced his lance,
and full of rage and vengeance, rode against the maiden; but lo! all
unawares, Artegal also left his saddle, and to his great amazement,
found himself on the ground. He leapt lightly up, and snatching his
deadly blade, sprang upon Britomart, assailing her with such vigour that
although she was mounted and he on foot, she was forced to give way
before him. Now, as they fought, it happened that Britomart wheeled
suddenly round, when Sir Artegal's sword struck a blow behind her crest,
which falling backward, wounded her steed, and forced her to dismount.

Not a whit dismayed, she cast from her the enchanted spear, and betook
herself to her shield and sword. So furiously did she fight that
Artegal, exhausted by his long combat, had to yield before her, and her
sword pierced through his armour and wounded him so that his blood
flowed freely on the green grass.

But now the tide of battle began to change, for Britomart grew weary,
while Artegal, through very fighting, seemed to gain rather than to lose
strength. He showered blow after blow on his opponent as if he would
tear her body from her soul, and then gathering together all his force,
the Savage Knight upraised his arm to deal a stroke from which it seemed
impossible that Britomart could escape with her life. Down came the
cruel blow, and falling on her helmet, struck off the face-piece, then
glancing aside, did no further hurt.

And now appeared the maiden's beauteous countenance, shining like the
ruddy morn; and all around, her fair hair--loosened from its band by the
stir of the fight--fell like a golden shower glistening as the shining
sand. And as Sir Artegal once more raised his sword, thinking to deal
the last deadly blow, his arm was suddenly arrested; and benumbed with
secret fear, shrank from its revengeful purpose, while the cruel sword
fell from his slackened fingers to the ground. Then Artegal, having
gazed long on the fair and unexpected vision, fell humbly on his knee,
thinking that she who stood before him was a heavenly goddess, and
horror-struck with what he had done, prayed for pardon.

But Britomart, full of wrath because of the stroke that had revealed her
face, still held her arm uplifted, and standing sternly over the knight,
threatened to strike unless he would return to the combat, bidding him
arise or he should surely die. But Artegal only prayed the more
earnestly for pardon, or if that were refused him, besought that she
would take her will and inflict on him what punishment she chose.

And when Scudamour, who now quaked with fear, watched her as she stood
resolute, and beheld how fair and heavenly her countenance appeared, he
crossed himself, and began to worship her as a celestial vision. And old
Glaucé seeing this, and knowing that now all jealousy of Britomart would
be at rest, was joyful at the thought of a good ending to her sore
trouble, and greeting her lost nursling, prayed her as she loved her
faithful squire to grant these warriors a truce. The maiden yielded to
her request, and the knights raised their beavers to show who they were.

When Britomart beheld the face of Artegal in all its manly beauty, she
saw that it was the countenance she had beheld in the magic mirror in
her father's house; her angry courage gave way, her haughty spirit
became subdued, and her upraised arm fell quietly by her side.

But the maiden was very proud, and cared not to show that she was
conquered, so by-and-bye she tried to uplift her hand again, as if rage
and revenge still remained in her soul, but it fell harmless, for she
caught sight of Sir Artegal's fair countenance. Then she tried to force
bitter, angry words from her tongue, but it too refused to obey her
will, and instead of wrathful speeches, would utter only mild and gentle

And Scudamour, relieved from all his jealous fears by the vision of her
loveliness, grew sportive in his speech, rallying Sir Artegal on his so
sudden humble behaviour towards his late opponent.

"Indeed, Sir Artegal," he exclaimed, "I delight to see you, who were
wont to despise all fair dames, become so suddenly a lady's thrall."

When Britomart heard the name of Artegal, she knew in very truth that
this was the knight whom Merlin had told her she should wed. Her heart
gave a great leap. She trembled for sudden joy and secret fear, while
the blood rushed through her veins and mounted to her fair face. Then,
fearful of betraying herself, she strove the harder to continue in her
former angry mood, trying thus to hide her newly-awakened feeling.

And now old Glaucé began to speak wise words.

"Ye gentle knights," she said, "whom fortune hath brought to be
spectators of the emotion which secret fate hath wrought in this fair
lady, marvel not, and henceforth be not the prey of idle fears and
jealous thoughts. Nor may you, Sir Artegal, again disdain the might of
woman's arm, which hath twice conquered you, nor any longer be
rebellious unto love, which is the crown of knighthood and the bond of
noble minds. And you, fair lady knight," continued the old woman,
"relent, and grant him your grace."

Britomart blushed deeply at her nurse's words, but Artegal rejoiced in
his inmost heart, yet dared not make too sudden a change in his
demeanour, nor show openly the love which her beauty and quiet dignity
of manner, so grave and full of princeliness, inspired within him. But
his passion grew the stronger from the very restraint imposed upon him.

Here Scudamour, whose heart had all this time been racked with fear and
hope, interposed, with a request for tidings of Amoret. This Britomart
at once granted, and went on to relate a sad tale: how, after freeing
her from the enchanter, and guarding her with tender care and love for
many a day, she had lost her in a wild desert, where from sheer
weariness Britomart had fallen asleep.

Poor Scudamour was terribly cast down by these melancholy tidings, and
only plucked up a faint hope when Britomart pledged herself to remain
with him until together they found the missing dame.

Meantime the three combatants being thus reconciled one to another,
mounted their steeds, and rode towards a certain resting-place known to
Sir Artegal, where they were well received and cared for. Here they
remained until their wounds were healed, and their weary limbs
thoroughly rested.

And all the time they sojourned there, Sir Artegal served Britomart with
meek service, watching continually how he might best please her. Thus
day by day he made progress in his suit; and though Britomart in her
womanly pride tried hard to conceal the love she bore him she could not
quite succeed. So well did Artegal woo, so skilfully did he contrive,
that at length he brought the noble damsel to bay and forced her to lay
aside her seeming indifference and to hearken to his words. And as she
listened to the vows with which he swore to love and guard her,
Britomart's reserve gave way, and she yielded a glad consent to love and
own him for her lord until marriage should unite them for ever.

But their marriage might not be yet, for Sir Artegal had been sent out
from the court of Gloriana, Queen of Faeryland, on a hard adventure, and
until it was achieved he might not turn aside from following after it.
And now that his limbs were rested and his wounds were healed, the
knight knew the time was come when he must leave Britomart and continue
on his way, so he told her of the adventure on which he was bound. She,
poor maiden, having just begun to taste of the rest and comfort of his
presence, was sorely grieved and exceeding loth to be so soon parted
from her "dearest love." But he, strong in the sense of duty, persuaded
her to acquiesce, and with fresh vows of love and constancy, promised to
return to her so soon as ever his enterprise was ended, which would not,
he thought, be longer than three months.

Early next morning, Sir Artegal rose and pursued his way unattended,
save by Britomart, who insisted on accompanying him a certain distance.

As they rode, she found first one, and then another excuse for delay,
and talked of the perils he must encounter; perils of which the fearless
maiden would have thought little for herself. But it was of no avail;
all her stratagems but served to wear away the day; evening came, when
they must part. Full often Britomart took leave of her lord, each time
finding some last injunction to give, until at length she had spent all
her words and could find no further pretext for delay, and so with right
heavy heart she left him, and returned to fulfil her promise to

How Sir Artegal did at last return from his enterprise and marry the
Princess Britomart, Spenser does not say, for he did not live to end all
the tales he had begun. But we know that they were married and lived
happily, for Merlin prophesied this when Britomart and Glaucé went
together to his cave.


Faerie Queene. Book IV. Cantos II., III.

Once upon a time there lived a knight named Cambello, who had a sister
called Canacée. This sister was very beautiful, and was the most learned
lady of her day. She was skilled in the works of nature and in magic
arts; she understood the virtues of herbs and the sounds of beasts and
birds, and was as good as she was learned.

Now many lords and knights loved Canacée. She, however, showed favour to
none; but the more difficult she was to gain, the more was she sought
after. Then arose quarrels among her numerous wooers, who ofttimes
fought for her in bloody combat.

When Cambello saw this, he perceived it would cause much mischief, and
he set about to consider how to prevent these unseemly deeds.

So one day, when this bold and mighty company of knights were assembled
together, and were quarrelling as usual, Cambello proposed that if they
really loved his sister they should choose three from among their number
as champions. These three were to challenge and fight him for his
sister's hand, and the bravest was to become her acknowledged suitor.

This was a bold offer on Cambello's part, but Canacée employed her skill
on his behalf. She sent him a ring, which, amongst its many virtues had
the strange power of staunching the bleeding of a mortal wound. The
properties of the ring were well-known, and when her lovers saw Cambello
receive it, they began to falter and to wonder whether it were worth
while to risk life against such odds for a lady of whose favour they
were after all uncertain.

Amongst the knights were three brothers, Priamond, Diamond, and
Triamond. These three were born on the same day and loved one another
dearly. Each had his own way of fighting. Priamond fought on foot, and
for weapons used a spear and cutlass, Triamond on horseback with spear
and shield, while Diamond, who was equally at home on horse or foot,
used only a cutlass. Bolder men never lived.

Now their mother, Agapé, was a fairy, and had the power of knowing
secret things, and as her sons grew up and showed a love of daring, she
feared lest they should thereby incur disaster. She therefore determined
to visit the three sister Fates and to inquire of them concerning her
sons. She had to leave the bright earth and go far underground to a deep
dark abyss where was their dwelling.

Agapé found the sisters sitting round the fateful distaff, which Clotho
held while Lachesis span the threads that measured out men's lives, and
cruel Atropos cut them in twain. Saluting the Fates she sat by, and as
she watched them spin and cut the threads, her heart grew sad, and she
trembled as she told them the cause of her coming.

They at once consented to reveal to her the fate of her sons, and
proceeded to spin out their threads. Agapé trembled still more to see
how short and thin these were. She besought that they might be drawn out
longer, but to this the sisters would not listen.

Then she craved another boon, and asked that when the eldest, whose
thread was shortest, died, his life might pass into the second son, and
that when the second died, both lives might pass into the third. This
boon they granted, and Agapé went home to find her sons arrayed in
armour ready for fight. She did not tell them their destiny, but warned
them to beware of danger and exhorted them to love each other.

Now these three brothers were the champions chosen by Canacée's wooers
to challenge Cambello.

The day of combat was appointed, and as soon as it was dawn the knights
assembled in the field clad in shining armour. The lists were enclosed
with rails to keep off the press of people; at one side sat six judges,
while at the other, Canacée, beautifully dressed, was seated on a stage
where she could both see and be seen by those who fought for her.

The first to enter the lists was Cambello, who walked with stately step
and fearless countenance; soon after came the three brothers, bearing
gilt shields and broad banners. They marched three times round the
field, bowing low to Canacée each time they passed her stage, while
trumpets sounded and clarions played.

This ceremony over, Cambello and Sir Priamond advanced from the opposite
sides of the lists; a trumpet blew, and they met in fierce encounter.
They were a well-matched pair, and it was hard for the on-lookers to say
who was the better man.

At length Priamond struck so mighty a blow that it pierced Cambello's
shoulder, and forced him to lower his shield. Yet no blood fell from the
wound, and the pain of it only made Cambello fight the more fiercely.
Driving his spear at Priamond, he smote him in the thigh so that the
knight reeled in agony; then Cambello drove at him afresh, and this time
fixed his spear so firmly that in drawing it out the head broke.

Mad with pain and rage, Priamond now charged, thrusting his spear
through Cambello's beaver. The weapon broke in his hand, and Cambello,
dragging out the broken head, flung it back with fury. It struck
Priamond in the throat, and wounded him so that he died, whereupon his
life passed into Diamond, as the Fates had predicted.

At once Sir Diamond rushed forth into his brother's place, and,
accepting Cambello's challenge, the trumpets sounded, and the fight
began again. Fiercely they fought, while blood flowed freely, and their
weapons flashed fire as stroke fell on stroke; but for a long time the
issue was uncertain.

At length Diamond heaved his axe at Cambello with such force that it
must have killed him had he not seen it and swerved aside. Then Diamond,
who was bowed almost to the ground with the weight of his own blow,
slipped. Seizing his opportunity, Cambello with one dread stroke severed
his opponent's head from his shoulders. And behold! his body remained
upright for a time before it fell senseless to the earth. The spectators
were much astonished, for they did not know the Fates' decree, nor that
the lifeless trunk had been inhabited by a double soul, which lingered
awhile before it passed to Triamond.

Then Triamond, filled with the life and grief of two, leapt forth to
avenge his brothers' death. And, notwithstanding the hard fight and his
many wounds, Cambello met him as fresh as if he had not fought at all,
for the ring not only prevented his wounds from bleeding, but restored
his wearied spirits and revived his powers.

But Triamond was a fearless foe, and fought so desperately that Cambello
was forced to retreat, until from his very fury Triamond grew
breathless. Then Cambello attacked him in turn, compelling him to
retire. And so the fight went on until both were sorely wounded, and
Triamond's strength gave way from loss of blood. But Cambello, through
the virtue of the ring, grew ever stronger, and striking Triamond on the
hauberk, pierced it through, and so wounded him that he fell, to all
appearance, dead.

But only one of his three lives had gone from him, and, to the utter
surprise of all beholders, he suddenly arose and began again to assail
Cambello. Cambello was astounded at this strange sight, and in his
amazement stood still and off his guard, until Triamond's repeated
thrusts compelled him to defend himself. He now fought more cautiously
than he had done before, as if his adversary were some uncanny thing, so
that Triamond imagined the knight was getting faint-hearted, and that
victory was at hand. So thinking, he upheaved his mighty blade and aimed
a terrible blow at Cambello. He, seeing it come, leapt skilfully aside,
and pierced Triamond under the arm, wounding him right through to the
shoulder. But Cambello did not altogether escape the heavy blow, which,
falling on his head, hurt him wofully. Both combatants fell to the
ground, seemingly dead. Thereupon the on-lookers thought the tournament
ended, and the judges rose from their seats. The field-marshals broke up
the lists, and went to remove the armour from the slain warriors, and
poor Canacée wailed aloud for her brother. When, behold! both knights
started lightly from the ground, and once more began the combat.

For a long time they fought fiercely, recklessly, as if caring only to
end the contest. No one could say who would win, and all were watching
eagerly, yet sadly, for the death of one or both, when suddenly a great
noise was heard, so great that the champions themselves stood still. And
lo! driving at a furious speed, there appeared a chariot, drawn by lions
and decked with gold and precious ornaments, in which there sat a lady
of wondrous beauty. She was bounteous as well as beautiful, and learned
in all magic arts, for she was Cambina, the daughter of Agapé, and
sister of Triamond, to whose aid she came.

There was terrible confusion as she drove through the thick crowds, for
the people pressed to see her, and her unruly steeds grew restive, and
overthrew many of the mob.

In one hand she held a rod of wondrous power, in the other a cup filled
with Nepenthe, a drink devised by the gods to take away anger from the
hearts of men, and give peace in its stead. As she came up to the lists
she touched the rail with her wand, and it at once flew open. Then she
descended from her chariot, and bid "All hail!" first to her brother and
then to Cambello. But they were eager to return to the combat, and paid
her scant attention. Seeing this, she flung herself on the bloody
ground, and with tears prayed them by all that was dear to them to
cease. Her entreaty availing not, she touched them lightly with her
wand, whereupon their swords fell from them, and as they stood doubtful
whether or not to resume them, she handed them the soothing draught, and
they being very thirsty, drank of it eagerly.

Then was a wonder wrought, for the two fierce combatants ceased
fighting, and kissed each other, and plighted hands as friends for
evermore. When the on-lookers beheld this fair sight they shouted aloud
for joy, and Canacée descended in haste from her exalted seat, and came
to see what the shout portended. When she found the fighting ended and
the foes at peace, she greeted Cambina, the strange lady, and offered
her love and friendship.

The trumpets sounded, and they all arose to depart. Cambina took Canacée
in her chariot, and Triamond and Cambello returned home together, and
the people rejoiced with great feasting in the land.

And after a time Triamond took Canacée, and Cambello took Cambina to be
their wives, and no such friends or lovers were anywhere to be found.


Faerie Queene. Book III., Canto V.; Book IV., Cantos VII., VIII.; Book
VI., Canto V.

You may remember that the good Prince Arthur had a squire named Timias.
He it was who went in pursuit of the forester that so rudely followed
Florimell. He thus became separated from his lord and had many
adventures before he again saw Prince Arthur, who grieved sorely over
the loss of his beloved squire.

Timias' first adventure was an encounter with the forester. He chased
him through thick woods, a long and weary way, and more than once had
nearly avenged the rude fellow's discourtesy towards Florimell. But the
forester managed to escape, either because his horse was swifter or his
knowledge of the woods better than that of Timias. He made his way to
his two brethren, who dwelt with him in the wilds. To them he complained
of the ill done him by the squire, and so excited their wrath that they
determined to set out forthwith and aid him in making an end of Timias.

All three therefore repaired to a hidden glade, close by a narrow ford,
difficult at any time to cross, and now swollen by recent rains. They
knew that Timias must pass this ford, and here they lay in wait.

Things fell out just as the brothers expected. All unaware of danger the
squire rode up, and began to cross the ford. The moment he did so, the
forester stepped out upon the opposite bank, and daring Timias to move
another step, threw a dart at him, which struck his habergeon. The blow
did not harm him but it made him very angry, all the more so that the
bank on which the forester stood was so high that Timias could not reach
his antagonist.

At this moment one of the brothers shot a poisoned arrow out of the
thicket, which wounded the squire, and caused him exceeding pain. Still
he struggled on against all difficulties, and at length reached the
opposite bank, where the third brother now attacked him with a
bill-hook. Timias avoided the blow and killed the man with a thrust of
his spear.

This increased the rage of the surviving brothers, who made a fresh
attack with renewed energy. Timias, however, singled out one, and
directing his whole force against him, struck a blow which cleft his
head from skull to chin. Filled with rage and horror, the last brother
shot an arrow at the squire, and immediately attempted flight, but
Timias overtook him, and just as he entered the stream, struck off his

Timias was now freed from the three brothers, but his troubles were not
over, for his poisoned wound bled so profusely that he soon fell from
his horse in a deadly faint. He was in a sad plight all alone in the
forest, but--

    Providence heavenly passeth living thought,
    And doth for wretched man's relief make way.

While he lay in the swoon, Belphoebe the huntress, she whom
Braggadochio had seen, came where the squire lay. She found him lying in
a pool of blood, his hair matted and tangled, his eyes fixed and his
lips pale. She recoiled with horror at the sight, but she was a good and
brave woman and looked again, and as she looked her heart grew pitiful,
and stooping down she felt his pulse. Finding that it still beat she
raised his head and rubbed his temples, and then unfastened his armour.
This done, she hastened to the woods, where she found herbs, which she
carefully prepared. The juice of the herbs she poured into the wound and
then bound it with her scarf. By-and-bye Timias opened his eyes and saw
the lady standing by him, her bow and golden quiver lying at her feet.
He thought her an angel or a goddess, and addressing her as such, asked
what service he could render in return for her care. To this Belphoebe
replied that she was only the daughter of a wood-nymph and that she
desired nothing but his recovery for reward.

By this time the damsels of the huntress arrived and were despatched to
recover Timias' strayed steed. Having brought it back, they set him upon
it and led him gently to their dwelling.

It lay in a pleasant glade, surrounded by mountains whose mighty woods
cast great shadows, and in the midst of which a little stream murmured
softly over a rocky bed. By the stream was a fair spot planted with
myrtles and laurels, and among these stood a rich pavilion. Here they
laid Timias on a soft couch, and here Belphoebe daily dressed his
wounds until he became quite well and strong. And then, from gratitude
for Belphoebe's care and admiration of her rare virtues, Timias gave
up all thought of returning to the Prince, and remained in the forest as
her faithful attendant.

One day when hunting with Belphoebe and her damsels, Timias, as often
happens in the chase, got separated from his companions, and while
wandering about in search of them, came suddenly upon a poor lady who
was being carried off by a cruel giant. He instantly went to her rescue,
and succeeded in freeing the lady. But he was himself in great danger
when Belphoebe, attracted by the noise of the fight, came to his aid,
and bending her bow pursued the giant to the door of his den, where she
slew him with an arrow.

Meantime Timias, always kind and gentle, was filled with pity for the
fair lady whom he had rescued. She had fainted from terror and was much
bruised by the fray and the cruel grasp of the monster. The squire knelt
by her side, examined her wounds with tender touch, wiped her dewy and
unconscious eyes, and in his pitifulness kissed them. At that moment
Belphoebe returned, and when she saw her faithful squire so tender
towards the lady, her heart swelled with proud disdain. In her sudden
passion she was ready to have killed both squire and lady with the very
bow which had already slain the monster. She however restrained herself,
and drawing near to Timias, exclaimed, "Is this the faith?" then turned
and fled.

Distressed at her rebuke Timias instantly arose and followed her, but
ever as he drew near she threatened him with her bow and would not
permit him to approach her. After a long and fruitless pursuit the
squire was forced to turn back with a sad heart. Finding a solitary part
of the forest he chose a glade made gloomy with mossy trees, and there
built a hut to live in. He broke his weapons and threw them away, vowing
never again to fight nor ever again speak to a woman, but to live alone
and deplore his grief. The better to keep his foolish vow he cut and
spoiled his clothes, let his hair grow until it fell untended over his
shoulders, ate only wild fruits and drank only running water. Thus he
weakened himself until he was unfit to carry arms, and disguised himself
until no one could recognize him.

Indeed it chanced that one day Prince Arthur came into that part of the
forest and found Timias in this wretched plight. The Prince talked to
him and tried to make out who he was, but never guessed he was all the
time addressing his lost squire. Timias would not speak, but only bowed
reverently, and the Prince was obliged to go away sad at heart. He
thought the miserable man some love-lorn swain, for he saw the name of
Belphoebe cut on many of the trees, and remarked how he brightened at
the sound of the name and even kissed the ground where it was written.

Thus Timias dwelt alone, wasting his youth in selfish solitude, until
one day, as he lay bemoaning himself, a turtle dove that had lately lost
her mate happened to come that way. Seeing one so sad, she paused in her
flight and began to mourn with Timias. She sat by his side and sang so
pitiful and so human a ditty that the squire fancied he heard in it his
own name; and as he listened, he shed many tears and beat his breast and
tore his hair in his sadness.

Day by day the bird sat by him and sang; she showed no sign of fear and
for guerdon of her song, he never failed to share with her his scanty

Timias grew to regard her as a companion, and one day when looking at
some mementoes given him by Belphoebe, he chose out a ruby, shaped
like a heart, and bound it on the dove's neck. He expected to find some
pleasure in gazing at it as he lay and listened to her song, but
suddenly the dove finding herself thus decked flew away. Timias was now
more sad than ever, for he had lost both the jewel which Belphoebe had
given him and his companion.

Meantime the bird flew right through the forest until she came where
Belphoebe rested after the chase. There she alighted and straightway
began her mournful ditty, hoping thus to attract the maiden's attention.
She succeeded, and after watching her for some time Belphoebe noticed
on the dove's neck the well-known jewel. Rising hastily she attempted to
grasp it, but the dove flew out of her reach, and when she saw that
Belphoebe followed, lingered until the maid was near, when she again
flew a little way forward, and thus flying and resting lured her far
into the forest. They at length arrived near to the abode of Timias,
when the dove flew straight into his hand. There she began a most
piteous plaint, as if to force Belphoebe to understand who this was.
The maiden, however, although sorry for this wretched-looking man, and
wishful to do him any good she could did not recognize him. But Timias
knew her: he said nothing, but fell humbly at her feet, and kissing the
ground on which she trod, washed it with his tears and looked at her
with wistful looks. She did not understand him, but wondered at his
courtly manners, and pitying his misery, asked him whether heaven or the
cruelty of man or his own wilfulness were its cause. When she ended
speaking Timias broke his long silence and with it his vow, and replying
that his suffering arose from all three, added that she herself had done
the wrong.

He went on to pray her forgiveness and the sad words touched
Belphoebe's proud heart when she found that it was Timias who thus
addressed her.

Relenting from her severity she received him into favour again. For a
long time he lived happily in the forest ever attending Belphoebe and
forgetting the Prince, his rightful lord, who still sought for his lost

By-and-bye men grew envious of the high distinction Timias received from
the great Belphoebe, and said unjust and malicious things of him, but
he behaved wisely and continued in her favour.

There were three men more anxious than any others for the overthrow of
Timias. These were Despetto, Decetto, and Defetto. They tried all sorts
of mean tricks by which to work his ruin, but in vain.

At length they resolved to send the Blattant Beast to destroy him. This
was a horrid monster, treacherous and cruel, given to turn suddenly on
its pursuer, and bite with poisonous fangs.

On a day when Timias was hunting, these bad men sent the Beast into the
forest, hoping that he would give it chase and so be led to destruction.
Just as they expected, Timias charged the monster as soon as he saw it,
and with such fury that the Beast turned and fled. As it turned it bit
him; he, however, paid no attention to the wound, but hotly pursued the
Beast, which led him into thick woods and rough places full of briers,
and thus wore out his strength until it had him in a woody glade where
his three foes lay concealed.

All three sprang out and attacked him fiercely, so that it required his
utmost skill to defend himself. They closed round him and rained blows
on every side and yet he contrived to withstand them all and even to
make them yield before him. But after a long fight his strength began to
fail before the heavy odds, and he feared he must soon yield. Just then
he heard the trampling and neighing of a horse. The sound inspired him
with fresh hope, and the next moment he saw a knight in full armour
riding hastily to his rescue. Despetto, Decetto, and Defetto saw this
also, and like the cowards that they were, fled precipitately into the
thick brushwood whither the knight did not choose to follow. He turned
instead to Timias, and in the sorely bested combatant, Prince Arthur,
for he it was, recognized his long-lost squire. Exceedingly rejoiced the
Prince took him in his arms and embraced him tenderly, and thus was
Timias restored to his rightful lord.


Faerie Queene. Book VI. Cantos I., IX., X., XI., XII.

Of all the knights that lived at Gloriana's Faery Court, there was none
more gentle or more courteous than Sir Calidore. He was beloved by every
one, for to his natural gentleness of spirit and grace of manner was
added a manly bearing and courtesy of speech that stole men's hearts
away. He was tall and strong, and much renowned for his bravery in
battle, and he never employed his great gifts for mean purposes or
flattered any one, for he loved simple truth and steadfast honesty.

Now about this time a very hideous monster was wandering about in
Faeryland. This was the Blattant Beast, the same that attacked Timias,
and so terrible a creature was it, that even the wicked race from which
it sprang dreaded and hated it.

This monster had iron teeth, and within the iron teeth were a thousand
tongues--of dogs, cats, bears, and tigers,--but the greatest number were
human tongues, and these uttered cruel scandals, caring not when or
where. There were also serpents' tongues, with three-forked stings,
which spat out poison and said hateful things of any who interfered with
the Beast. Indeed the delight of this horrid creature was to annoy and
injure and destroy good men and women. It was the very plague and curse
of mankind, whom it bit and wounded and tormented with its venomous
teeth and wicked tongues.

Against the Blattant Beast Sir Calidore was sent, and he was commanded
to give it incessant chase until he overtook and subdued it.

It was a hard quest, for the Beast never remained in one place, and Sir
Calidore, without guide or good direction, had to go forth in untried
ways, to unknown dangers, and to laborious effort.

At length after a weary search and many adventures, after permitting
himself little rest either by night or by day, after pursuing the Beast
from the court to cities, and from cities to country places, Sir
Calidore came into open pasture land where shepherds watched their

Here he so nearly overtook the monster that he forced it to hide itself
from him amongst empty sheds and huts. By the help of these it once more
escaped the knight, who, as he still followed in pursuit, chanced to
espy a group of shepherds singing and playing, whilst their sheep
wandered among the fresh young plants, and nipped off their tender buds.

All tired and heated, Calidore went up to the shepherds, and asked them
whether they had seen a Beast such as he described. They replied that
they had neither seen it nor anything else to excite their alarm, and
prayed God to deliver them from all such.

Then one of the shepherds seeing that Calidore perspired from the heat,
offered him a draught to quench his thirst, and food to relieve his
hunger. The knight courteously accepted their kindness, and, sitting
down at their request, partook of their homely hospitality.

As he rested after the meal, Sir Calidore noticed at a little distance a
fair damsel, dressed in home-spun, home-dyed green, with a crown of
flowers tied with ribbon on her head. She sat on a little hillock higher
than the others, and around her was a circle of fair companions, while
beyond these the shepherds lay about, piping and singing her praises,
delighting in her beauty, and shouting aloud for very wonder that so
beautiful a maiden should be found amongst them. She was as good and
modest as she was lovely, and they treated her as if she were a goddess,
singing day and night of fairest Pastorella.

Many of the shepherds loved Pastorella, but one named Coridon loved her
beyond all the others, and yet the maiden cared neither for him nor any
of them. Now, while Sir Calidore looked at the fair damsel and noted the
difference in her mien from that of her companions, his heart, all
unawares, became drawn towards her, and he stood gazing on her, quite
forgetful of his quest, and that the Beast was all this time getting
farther and farther away from him. And after the repast was quite over,
he still stayed talking to the shepherds, hoping all the time that
Pastorella would overhear the adventures he recounted.

Thus the day wore on until night advanced, and the ground grew damp, so
that the shepherds knew that it was time to take their flocks to rest.
Then there came out to them an old man with silver locks, carrying a
shepherd's crook in his hand, and he told Pastorella to arise. The old
man's name was Meliboæ, and he was accounted by all, even by Pastorella
herself, as her father, but he was only her adopted father, for he had
found her as an infant in the fields and had brought her up as his own.

At his bidding she arose and gathered together her little flock of
sheep, and the shepherds who had sat round her gathered theirs also,
while they vied one with another in helping Pastorella; yet Coridon gave
her most help.

When Meliboæ found Sir Calidore left alone, and night so near, he
invited him to his cottage, which, though poor, was a better
resting-place than the fields, and the knight accepted gladly. He was
kindly welcomed both by Meliboæ and his wife, who invited him to lay
aside his armour and to rest until supper was ready and Pastorella had
returned from tending her sheep. When the frugal meal was ended,
Pastorella removed the table, and Sir Calidore in his most courteous
manner gave thanks to his host and hostess for their kindness, and
praised the simple life which shepherds led. Meliboæ replied by dwelling
on the delights of a country life, adding that in his youth he had
sought a prince's court and had worked as a gardener at the palace; ten
years spent there, however, made him return home more contented than
before. Calidore listened much delighted, and anxious to stay on in the
shepherd's hut, replied that the world's gay shows were but vanity, and
that he wished that his lot were that of Meliboæ. "But," said the old
man, "the mind is the true fortune, and happiness is in each man's
power." "Then," said Sir Calidore, "let me make my happiness by staying
here and resting awhile from the storms of fortune." And lest the
expense of his stay should prove burdensome to the old man, he drew
forth much gold with which to pay for his food. This offer Meliboæ
refused but he granted Calidore permission to remain.

So he remained there, and saw Pastorella daily and offered her many
courtesies; but she, unaccustomed to courtly ways, loved the kindness of
the shepherds better than his. Calidore therefore laid aside his armour,
and dressing as a shepherd, went out into the fields and helped
Pastorella with her flocks.

At this Coridon became jealous, and whenever Sir Calidore was present,
looked cross and angry; yet Sir Calidore was ever kind to Coridon, and
when Coridon brought birds and squirrels from the wood to Pastorella,
the knight praised their beauty. But the maiden ceased to care for
Coridon's gift, for her heart was beginning to turn towards Sir

One day, when the shepherds were in a merry mood, they called for music
and began to dance. They invited Sir Calidore to lead the ring, for he
was held to be first in Pastorella's favour. But Coridon frowned and bit
his lips in anger, and seeing this, Sir Calidore courteously yielded to
him the place of honour, and when Pastorella placed her garland on the
knight's head, he put it instead upon Coridon.

Another day games were proposed by the shepherds, and Pastorella was
chosen judge, and held the garland which was to be the victor's reward.
Coridon, renowned for his skill in wrestling, challenged Calidore. But
the knight was much stronger than Coridon expected, and easily threw
him, whereupon the garland was awarded to Sir Calidore. In his
never-failing courtesy the knight gave it up to Coridon, declaring him
well worthy the honour.

Thus Calidore proved himself ever courteous, and won love and honour
even from his rival, and Pastorella's heart was turned more and more
towards him, but he still forgot the Blattant Beast and his vow to
follow it without rest.

One day, as Sir Calidore, Coridon, and Pastorella were gathering
strawberries in a green wood, a tiger rushed suddenly out of the forest,
and with cruel jaws and wide open mouth ran straight at Pastorella. It
happened that the others had wandered a little way from her, and the
poor damsel, left defenceless, cried out for help. Coridon came running
to her aid, but seeing the fierce beast, fled in terror, for his own
life was dearer to him than hers. But when Sir Calidore came up and saw
the tiger ready to tear Pastorella's limbs, rage, not fear, filled his
soul, and with no weapon but his shepherd's hook, he ran at the wild
beast and stunned it by his blow, and before it had time to recover he
had struck off its head, which he laid at the feet of the trembling
Pastorella. From that time she showed marked preference for Calidore,
and a little after promised to be his bride.

But one dreadful day, whilst Calidore was hunting in the woods, a party
of brigands came down upon the shepherds' dwellings, and spoiling their
homes, murdered many of the occupants and carried off the others to sell
as slaves. Amongst those taken captive were Meliboæ, Pastorella, and
Coridon. They were carried off during the night, for the brigands wished
no man to know where they dwelt. Now, their home was on an island,
covered with brushwood, but there was no appearance of dwellers on the
island, for the brigands lived in underground caves, dark and dreary,
and lighted only by candles.

Here they brought their captives, meaning to sell them to the first
merchants who passed that way. But they had not been long in the island
before the captain of the brigands fell in love with Pastorella and
wished her for his wife. Now Pastorella, being betrothed to Calidore,
could not listen to his wish, and this made him angry, and yet he loved
her so much that he continued to try hard to gain her affection. All
this made her so unhappy that she became ill.

While Pastorella lay ill, a band of free-booting merchants arrived in
search of slaves. The brigands came and told the captain who was
watching near the sick maiden, and the news made him sorrowful, for he
feared that his men would insist on Pastorella's being sold with the
others. Yet he dared not refuse; so he showed the merchants old Meliboæ
and Coridon and others. But one of the merchants had heard of the
shepherdess, and demanded to see her also. At this the captain grew
angry and declared that the maiden was his prize, and that, moreover,
she lay sick; and to prove his words, he took them to see her. But the
sight of her pale beauty only made the merchants still more desirous to
have her, and they declared that unless they might buy Pastorella they
would buy no one. Thereupon the brigands demanded her sale, but the
captain stoutly refused and drew his sword, and a fierce fight began, in
which blood was freely spilt.

And first of all, the captives were slain, old Meliboæ, his aged wife,
and many others. But Coridon escaped in the darkness, thinking nothing
of his friends. All this time Pastorella was defended by the captain who
stood between her and the enemy. He was slain at length, and fell with
Pastorella in his arms, who fainted from fear and weakness. And as she
lay there the fight continued, and those slain fell upon her, so that
she was nearly stifled to death.

When the brigands found that their captain was gone, the fighting
ceased, and the combatants became as eager to make friends as they were
before to quarrel; so having agreed among themselves, they lighted
candles and began the melancholy search for the dead. Their captain they
found cruelly slain, and by him the dying maid. Seeing that there was
still life in Pastorella, they used every means to restore her, and at
length succeeded. But when she was able to look round, and saw her
father and her friends lying dead, wringing her hands, she wept and
wailed and wished herself of their number. However, as the brigands were
very anxious that she should get well, they took care of her in their
rude way. When they went out to plunder, they left one of
themselves--the best, although all were bad--in charge of her, but he
was of little use, scarce giving her food or rest.

Meantime Sir Calidore had returned from the chase and had found the
desolation caused by the brigands. He was almost mad with grief and
rage, and his anguish was increased by the sad fact that there was no
one to whom he could speak, nor any of whom he could ask tidings. He
sought everywhere, but in vain; the woods and the plain were alike
silent and empty. Roaming about restlessly in his despair, he at length
saw someone coming towards him. The new-comer was dressed in rags, his
hair was standing on end, and he was running as if from great danger. As
he came near, Sir Calidore saw that it was Coridon. Hastening up to him
the knight asked where Pastorella and the others had been taken.

"Ah," said Coridon, sighing deeply, "would that I had never lived to see
this day, but had died before I saw Pastorella dead."

"What," exclaimed Calidore, "Pastorella dead? How dared death touch
her?" And then he persuaded Coridon to tell his sad tale; and Coridon
told how he had seen Meliboæ die, and the captain defend Pastorella, but
as he believed,--in vain.

On hearing these tidings, Sir Calidore's heart well-nigh broke; but
after a time he recovered spirit and determined to rescue Pastorella
were she still alive, or to avenge her, were she dead. He asked Coridon
to show him the way to the Island, but he had great difficulty in
inducing him to do so. At length Calidore prevailed upon him, and they
went forth dressed as shepherds, although the knight wore armour under
his peaceful garb.

As they neared the Island they came to a hill, on which they saw
shepherds with their flocks. They determined to go and learn from them
the latest tidings. Great was their surprise when Coridon recognized the
flocks as the very ones that had been stolen from them, and these
shepherds no other than the thieves. This discovery alarmed him greatly,
and his heart began to lose all courage, but Sir Calidore reassured him
as best he could and prevailed upon him to advance upon the men, who
were all asleep. Coridon would have slain them, but Sir Calidore, who
had another plan, prevented him.

Sitting down by their side, he wakened them gently, told them the time
of day, and beginning to talk, asked them questions which would, he
hoped, reveal the truth as to Pastorella. And when the brigands in turn
questioned Sir Calidore and asked who he and his comrade might be, the
knight replied that they were herdsmen who sought for hire. On hearing
this the thieves at once offered them wages to take care of their
flocks. Sir Calidore accepted the offer, and when night came, he and
Coridon returned with the outlaws as their hired servants. They quickly
learned all the secrets of the caverns, and to their great joy found
that Pastorella still lived.

After a time of patient waiting Sir Calidore's opportunity came. The
brigands had returned from a fray and slept soundly. In the dead of
night Sir Calidore arose, and armed only with an old sword which he had
found, made his way to the new captain's cavern. Coridon, too cowardly
to join boldly with him, too fearful to be left behind, followed
faltering. They found the doors fast closed, but Sir Calidore attacked
them with all his force and burst them open. The noise awoke the chief
brigand, who came rushing to the entrance, where in a few moments Sir
Calidore slew him.

Meantime the sound of the fray struck terror into the heart of
Pastorella, but when the well-known and much-loved voice of Sir Calidore
called to her, joy and comfort took the place of misery and despair, and
her spirit revived within her. His voice was to her as the sunshine to
the wintry earth, and she who had longed for death felt the spring of
life arise anew within her. Nor did Sir Calidore rejoice less: like one
distraught he rushed to her, and taking her in his strong arms kissed
her a thousand times.

But now the alarm had roused all the brigand camp, who came flocking to
their captain's cavern. Sir Calidore stood in the doorway, and as they
pressed forward, he slew them one by one until the entrance was fairly
blocked by dead bodies. Then he rested until daylight dawned; and when
there was sufficient light to see his way, he arose, chose from among
the slain a trusty sword and went out into the open day. There a great
crowd awaited ready to attack him. Then began a terrible fight. On every
side the brigands set upon him, and sorely they oppressed him, nor did
any spare him; yet so skilled and powerful was Sir Calidore that by the
aid of his trusty brand he dispersed and scattered his enemies, slaying
all that came into his way.

Then Sir Calidore returned to Pastorella his betrothed, and brought her
forth to the light of day, which she had not seen since she was taken
captive, and did all he could to make her forget the sorrows she had
suffered. When he had thus comforted her he returned to the robbers'
caves and took away their treasure. Bestowing the flocks they had stolen
from old Meliboæ on Coridon, Sir Calidore went forth, taking with him

Now all this time the Blattant Beast was ranging at will, no one
stopping or restraining his course. And Sir Calidore deemed it high time
to follow his quest once more, although he must first secure the safety
of his love. He therefore took her to the Castle Belgard, where dwelt
the good Sir Bellamour with Claribell, his wife, and there they were
warmly welcomed and hospitably entertained, for Sir Bellamour knew Sir
Calidore right well, and had loved him for his prowess ever since they
had served together in the field. And Claribell was drawn towards the
fair Pastorella, and tended her so lovingly that she soon grew strong
and well. When Sir Calidore saw the maiden recover strength and health,
he resolved to leave her in Castle Belgard, and to return to his quest,
for he was ashamed to remember how long he had neglected the enterprise
entrusted to him by Gloriana.

With ceaseless pains and toils Sir Calidore resumed his task. It was in
some respects easier than before, for the Beast had gradually waxed more
powerful, and wherever it went left traces of its spoil.

The knight found that it had invaded the homes of men of all conditions
of life and in all had done great damage; that at length it had reached
the clergy, and among them had wrought such spoil and havoc, and
committed such thefts that to tell all would be impossible. And now Sir
Calidore, who had followed its track with ceaseless care, came to a
monastery, where he found the Blattant Beast destroying and despoiling
with might and main. It had broken into the cloisters and scattered the
monks hither and thither; it had pursued them into their cells and had
not spared even the holy things of religion. For it broke into the
church and robbed the chancel; threw down the desks and injured the
altar, and cast everything into confusion.

Here Sir Calidore found it; and the Blattant Beast, knowing his power of
old, at once fled, but the knight pursued with great swiftness and got
nearer and nearer to the monster, until at length he overtook it in a
narrow place. Attacking it fiercely, Sir Calidore forced the Beast to
turn and face him. Then the knight struck it with his sharp steel, and
in return it rushed savagely upon him, its ugly mouth wide open so as to
expose the double row of iron teeth, and the thousand yelling, barking,
back-biting tongues therein. Not one whit afraid, Sir Calidore fell upon
the monster with such might that he obliged it to give way, and for a
moment so mastered it that all it could do was to spit forth poisonous
venom from its foaming, bloody jaws, threatening in vain to bite. Then
rearing itself on its hind legs, it attacked him with its claws as if it
would have rent him in pieces. But Sir Calidore was on his guard, and
thrust his shield before him; then putting out all his strength he
forced the creature back until it fell. Quick as thought the knight
flung his shield upon it, and with all his strength held it down.

At this the Beast raged and roared most horribly, and foamed out bloody
gore, and strove in vain to rear itself upright. The more it strove, the
firmer the knight held it. It bit, and scratched, and threw out venom,
and behaved like a very fiend, so mad was its rage that any should hold
it under, and still Sir Calidore kept on, for the more its anger
increased the greater became his power.

Then when the Beast felt it could do nothing against the knight, it
began to reveal its deepest, most wicked nature, and used its tongue no
longer to spit out blood or venom, but to speak reproaches and to utter
wicked lies of Sir Calidore. But even these could not cause this true
knight so to forget himself as to grow angry and release his hold for a
single moment. He held on tighter and tighter until the Beast was almost
strangled in his grasp. At length when he saw that the creature's power
was growing less, he drew forth a muzzle made of the strongest iron, and
with it closed its cruel mouth and shut in its blasphemous tongues. To
the muzzle he fastened a long chain, and by this drew forth the Blattant
Beast, cowed and captive. Never before had any dared to curb its will or
restrain its tongues, and it greatly repined at its bondage, inwardly
chafing under a restraint which nevertheless it did not dare to
withstand. It trembled under Sir Calidore's mighty hand, and like a
beaten dog followed him where he went. Thus was the once powerful Beast
led through all Faeryland, its former victims thronging out of the towns
to see it captive and to praise and admire its captor. Thus then did Sir
Calidore rid the world during his lifetime of a scandalous pest,
although after his days the Beast broke its chain and ranged once more
at liberty.

His quest ended, the knight returned to Pastorella, to whom a strange
fortune had befallen.

Sir Bellamour and Claribell had known troublous days in their youth. In
these days an infant daughter had been born to them, which, owing to the
sad woes that had befallen them, Claribell was forced to send away from
her. Her maid Melissa had borne the infant to the fields. With many
tears she had laid it down and watched behind bushes until a shepherd
coming to the spot lifted the babe and carried it away.

And now Melissa, who still lived with Claribell, recognized a certain
mark on Pastorella's fair skin by which she was persuaded that the
damsel was none other than the long-lost babe. She ran to her mistress
with the glad tidings; at first Claribell could hardly believe her, and
trembling with uncertain joy, hurried to Pastorella and asked her many
questions. To all Pastorella gave satisfactory answers, and Claribell
overcome with the gladness of a mother's love, tenderly embraced her
child, and then went to tell her husband. Deeply rejoiced, he too
acknowledged Pastorella as his daughter.

Thus was the fair shepherdess proved to be a right worthy bride for the
mighty Sir Calidore by birth as well as by beauty and goodness, and we
may be very sure that they were, as the old story-books say, "happy ever


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