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CANTO VIII.

Prince Arthure overcomes Disdaine ;

Quites Mirabell from dreed:
Serena, found of Salvages,

By Calepine is freed.

I.
Ye gentle Ladies, in whose soveraine powre
Love hath the glory of his kingdome left,
And th’ hearts of men, as your eternall dowre,
In yron chaines, of liberty bereft,
Delivered hath unto your hands by gift;
Be well aware how ye the same doe use,
That pride doe not to tyranny you lift;

Least, if men you of cruelty accuse,
He from you take that chiefedome which ye doe abuse.

II.
And as ye soft and tender are by kynde, 2
Adornd with goodly gifts of beauties grace,
So be ye soft and tender eeke in mynde;
But cruelty and hardnesse from you chace,
That all your other praises will deface,
And from you turne the love of men to hate:
Ensample take of Mirabellaes case,

Who from the high degree of happy state
Fell into wretched woes, which she repented late.

| Least, lest.

? Kynde, nature.

1

III.
Who after thraldome of the gentle Squire,
Which she beheld with lamentable eye,
Was touched with compassion entire,
And much lamented his calamity,
That for her sake fell into misery;
Which booted nought for prayers nor for threat
To hope for to release or mollify;
For
aye

the more that she did them entreat, The more they him misust, and cruelly did beat.

IV.
So as they forward on their way

did

pas, Him still reviling and afflicting sore, They met Prince Arthure with Sir Enias, (That was that courteous Knight, whom he before Having subdew'd yet did to life restore ;) To whom as they approcht, they gan augment Their cruelty, and him to punish more,

Scourging and haling him more vehement;
As if it them should grieve to see his punishment.

V.
The Squire himselfe, whenas he saw his Lord
The witnesse of his wretchednesse in place,
Was much asham'd that with an hempen cord
He like a dog was led in captive case,
And did his head for bashfulnesse abase,
As loth to see or to be seene at all;
Shame would be hid : But whenas Enias

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2

| Entire, earnest.

? Abase, hang down.

IV.4. That was that courteous Knight, &c.] See the twelfth stanza of the preceding canto.

Beheld two such, of two such Villaines thrall, His manly mynde was much emmoved therewithall;

VI. And to the Prince thus sayd; “See you, Sir Knight, The greatest shame that ever eye yet saw, Yond Lady and her Squire with foule despight Abusde, against all reason and all law, Without regard of pitty or of awe! See! how they doe that Squire beat and revile ! See! how they doe the Lady hale and draw!

But, if ye please to lend me leave awhile,
I will them soone acquite, and both of blame assoile.”

VII.
The Prince assented; and then he, streightway
Dismounting light, his shield about him threw,
With which approaching thus he gan to say ;
“ Abide, ye caytive treachetours * untrew,
That have with treason thralled unto you
These two, unworthy of your wretched bands;
And now your crime with cruelty pursew :

Abide, and from them lay your loathly hands;
Or else abide the Death that hard before

you

stands."

VIII. The Villaine stayd not aunswer to invent 5 ; But, with his yron club preparing way, His mindes sad message backe unto him sent; The which descended with such dreadfull sway, That seemed nought the course thereof could stay,

3

1 Yond, yonder. ? Acquite, rescue. Abide, stop.

4 Treachelours, traitors. 6 Indent, find.

VI. 9.— Both of blame assoile.] Free both from their present disgraceful situation.

No more then lightening from the lofty sky:
Ne list the Knight the powre thereof assay,

Whose doome was death; but, lightly slipping by, Unwares defrauded his intended destiny:

IX And, to requite him with the like againe, With his sharpe sword he fiercely at him flew, And strooke so strongly, that the Carle with paine Saved himselfe but that he there him slew ; Yet sav'd not so, but that the blood it drew, And gave his Foe good hope of victory: Who, therewith flesht, upon him set anew,

And with the second stroke thought certainely
To have supplyde the first, and paide the usury.

X.
But Fortune aunswerd not unto his call;
For, as his hand was heaved up on hight,
The Villaine met him in the middle fall,
And with his club bet backe his brond-yron bright
So forcibly, that with his owne hands might
Rebeaten backe upon himselfe againe
He driven was to ground in selfe despight;

From whence ere he recovery could gaine, ,
He in his necke had set his foote with fell disdaine.

XI.

With that the Foole, which did that end awayte,

,
Came running in ; and, whilest on ground he lay,
Laide heavy hands on him and held so strayte,
That downe he kept him with his scornefull sway,
So as he could not weld him any way:
The whiles that other Villaine went about

| Then, than.

? Flesht, flushed.

3 Weld, manage, direct.

corage stout.

Him to have bound and thrald without delay;

The whiles the Foole did him revile and flout, Threatning to yoke them two and tame their

XII. As when a sturdy ploughman with his hynde? By strength have overthrowne a stubborne steare, They downe him hold, and fast with cords do bynde, Till they him force the buxome 3 yoke to beare: So did these two this Knight oft tug and teare. Which when the Prince beheld, there standing by, He left his lofty steede to aide him neare;

And, buckling soone himselfe, gan fiercely ily
Upon that Carle, to save his friend from ieopardy.

XIII.
The Villaine, leaving him unto his Mate
To be captiv'd and handled as he list,
Himselfe addrest unto this new debate,
And with his club him all about so blist,5
That he which way to turne him scarcely wist 6:
Sometimes aloft he layd, sometimes alow,
Now here, now there, and oft him neare he mist;

So doubtfully, that hardly one could know
Whether? more wary were to give or ward the blow.

XIV.
But yet the Prince so well enured 8
With such huge strokes, approved oft in fight,
That way to them he gave forth right to pas;

5

was

| Flout, insult.

2 Hynde, servant. 3 Buxome, obedient, or yielding. 4 Debate, contest. Blist, (blesser, Fr.,) wounded, struck. 6 Wist, knew.

? Whether, which of the two. * Enured, accustomed.

XI. 9.

Them two.] Sir Enias and Timias.

12

VOL. IV.

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