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She had destroyed two and twenty more.
Aiel me, how could her love make half amends therefore !
And now she was uppon the weary way,
Whenas the gentle Squire, with faire Serene,
Met her in such misseeming? foule array ;
The whiles that mighty Man did her demeane 3
With all the evill termes and cruell meane 4
That he could make; and eeke that angry Foole
Which follow'd her, with cursed hands uncleane
Whipping her horse, did with his smarting toole 5
Oft whip her dainty selfe, and much augment her doole. 6
Ne ought it mote availe her to entreat
The one or th' other better her to use;
For both so wilfull were and obstinate
That all her piteous plaint they did refuse,
And rather did the more her beate and bruse:
But most the former? Villaine, wbich did lead
Her tyreling iade,8 was bent her to abuse;
Who, though she were with wearinesse nigh dead,
Yet would not let her lite, nor rest a little stead :
For he was sterne and terrible by nature,
And eeke of person huge and hideous,
Exceeding much the measure of mans stature,
And rather like a Gyant monstruous :
For sooth 1 he was descended of the hous
Of those old Gyants, which did warres darraine ?
Against the Heaven in order battailous;
And sib 3 to great Orgolio, which was slaine
By Arthure, whenas Unas Knight he did maintaine.
His lookes were dreadfull, and his fiery eies,
Like two great beacons, glared bright and wyde,
Glauncing askew, as if his enemies
He scorned in his overweening pryde;
And stalking stately, like a crane, did stryde
At every step uppon the tiptoes hie;
And, all the way he went, on every syde
He gaz'd about and stared horriblie,
As if he with his lookes would all men terrifie.
He wore no armour, ne for none did care,
As no whit dreading any living wight ;
But in a iacket, quilted richly rare
Upon checklaton, 4 he was straungely dight 5;
And on his head a roll of linnen plight,
Like to the Mores of Malaber, he wore,
With which his locks, as blacke as pitchy night,
2 Darraine, engage in.
3 Sib, related
* Checklaton, cloth of gold.
5 Dight, dressed.
6 Plight, folded.
XLI. 9. – By Arthure, &c.] See book I. canto VIII. stanza XXIV.
XLIII. 6. — Like to the Mores of Malaber.] In illustration of this passage, Todd quotes the following extract from Sir Thomas Herbert's Travels, (1667.) “ And albeit they (the natives of Malabar] wear their hair, yet conform they to the mode of shashes; for about their temples they wreath a curious sort of linnen, sometimes wrought with silk and gold.”
Were bound about and voyded from before; And in his hand a mighty yron club he bore.
XLIV. This was Disdaine, who led that Ladies horse (plains, Through thick and thin, through mountains and through Compelling her, where she would not, by force, Haling her palfrey by the hempen raines : But that same Foole, which most increast her paines, Was Scorne; who, having in his hand a whip, Her therewith yirks?; and still, when she complaines,
The more he laughes, and does her closely quip,3
To see her sore lament and bite her tender lip.
Whose cruell handling when that Squire beheld,
And saw those Villaines her so vildely use,
His gentle heart with indignation sweld,
And could no lenger 4 beare so great abuse
As such a Lady so to beate and bruse;
But, to him stepping, such a stroke him lent,
That forst him th' halter from his hand to loose,
And, maugre 5 all his might, backe to relent 6.
Else had he surely there bene slaine, or fowly shent.?
The Villaine, wroth for greeting him so sore,
Gathered himselfe together soone againe,
And with his yron batton 8 which he bore
Let drive at him so dreadfully amaine,
That for his safety he did him constraine
9 Yirks, jerks, lashes.
3 Quip, sneer at, insult.
• Lenger, longer.
Maugre, in spite of.
6 Relent, retire.
7 Shent, disgraced, ill treated.
To give him ground, and shift to every side,
Rather than once his burden to sustaine :
For bootlesse thing him seemed to abide
So mighty blowes, or prove the puissaunce of his pride.
Like as a mastiffe having at a bay
A salvage bull, whose cruell hornes doe threat
Desperate daunger, if he them assay,
Traceth his ground, and round about doth beat,
To spy where he may some advantage get,
The whiles the beast doth rage and loudly rore;
So did the Squire, the whiles the Carle did fret
And fume in his disdainefull mynd the more,
And oftentimes by Turmagant and Mahound swore.
Nathelesse so sharpely still he him pursewd,
That at advantage him at last he tooke,
When his foote slipt, (that slip he dearely rewd,?)
And with his yron club to ground him strooke ;
Where still he lay, ne out of swoune awooke,
Till heavy hand the Carle upon him layd,
And bound him fast: Tho,y when he up did looke
And saw himselfe captiv’d, he was dismayd,
Ne powre had to withstand, ne hope of any ayd.
Then up he made him rise, and forward fare,
Led in a rope which both his hands did bynd;
Ne ought that Foole for pitty did him spare,
But with his whip him following behynd
Him often scourg'd, and forst his feete to fynd:
And otherwhiles with bitter mockes and mowes 1
He would him scorne, that to his gentle mynd
Was much more grievous then the others blowes : Words sharpely wound, but greatest griefe of scorning growes.
The faire Serena, when she saw him fall
Under that Villaines club, then surely thought
That slaine he was, or made a wretched thrall,
And Aed away with all the speede she mought
To seeke for safety ; which long time she sought;
And past through many perils by the way,
Ere she againe to Calepine was brought:
The which discourse as now I must delay,
Till Mirabellaes fortunes I doe further say.
XLIX. 5. — Forst his feete to fynd.] Forced him to get up and continue running