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Ne day nor night he suffred her to rest,
But her all night did watch, and all the day molest.
At last, when him she so impórtune1 saw,
Sith 2 in his powre she was to foe or friend;
So from thenceforth, when love he to her made, With better tearmes she did him entertaine, Which gave him hope, and did him halfe perswade, That he in time her ioyance should obtaine: But when she saw, through that small favours gaine, That further then she willing was he prest5; She found no meanes to barre him, but to faine A sodaine sickenesse which her sore opprest, And made unfit to serve his lawlesse mindes behest.
By meanes whereof she would not him permit
3 Wend, go.
1 Impórtune, importunate.
2 Sith, since.
4 Then, than.
5 Prest, ready, inclined.
VI. 4.-To foe or friend.] To be a foe or a friend, as he pleased.
Nor better cheare to shew in misery,
Till Fortune would her captive bonds unbynde: Her sickenesse was not of the body but the mynde.
During which space that she thus sicke did lie, It chaunst a sort of Merchants, which were wount To skim those coastes for bondmen there to buy, And by such trafficke after gaines to hunt, Arrived in this isle, though bare and blunt,2 T' inquire for slaves; where being readie met. By some of these same Theeves at th' instant brunt, Were brought unto their Captaine, who was set By his faire patients side with sorrow full regret.
To whom they shewed, how those Marchants were
Be sold, and mongst them shared equally.
And willed streight the slaves should forth be called, And sold for most advantage not to be forstalled.
Then forth the good old Melibee was brought,
1 Sort, company.
2 Blunt, uncultivated.
3 Commodity, advantage. ▲ Moe, more.
IX. 7.-At th' instant brunt.] Instantly, or immediately
Gan to inquire for that faire Shepherdesse,
Which with the rest they tooke not long agoe;
And her forme and feature to expresse, gan
The more t'augment her price through praise of comlinesse.
To whom the Captaine in full angry wize
Made answere, that "the Mayd of whom they spake
Besides through sicknesse now so wan and weake,
So shew'd them her, to prove how pale and weake she was.
The sight of whom, though now decayd and mard,
In doubtfull shadow of the darkesome night
With starrie beames about her shining bright,
That what through wonder, and what through delight,
And did her greatly like, and did her greatly praize.
At last when all the rest them offred were,
And prises to them placed at their pleasure,
Ne ought would buy, however prisd with measure,
1 Purchase, something purchased or procured, property.
But then the Captaine, fraught with more displeasure, Bad them be still; "his Love should not be sold; The rest take if they would; he her to him would hold."
Therewith some other of the chiefest Theeves
For that same Mayd, however it him greeves,
It dearely shall aby,2 and death for handsell pay.
Thus, as they words amongst them multiply,
In thousand dreadful shapes doth mongst them stalke,
Like as a sort of hungry dogs, ymet
1 Denay, deny.
2 Aby, abide.
XV. 9.- Handsell.] Handsell is a term used in contracts of business for that which is given as a pledge or earnest of future payment. It is here used in the sense of price, or reward.
XVI. 4. Ne leaving any balke.] "Balke is here used in the sense of balke in agriculture; that is, a ridge of land between two furrows. Ne leaving any balke; i. e, leaving no ridges or furrows; making all even."-UPTON.
3 Sort, company.
About some carcase by the common way,
The greatest portion of the greedie pray ;
But, first of all, their captives they doe kill,
Least they should ioyne against the weaker side,
Old Melibee is slaine; and him beside
His aged wife; with many others wide:
Creepes forth of dores, whilst darknes him doth hide,
And flyes away as fast as he can hye,
Ne stayeth leave to take before his friends doe dye.
But Pastorella, wofull wretched elfe,
Was by the Captaine all this while defended, Who, minding more her safety then himselfe, His target alwayes over her pretended 1; By meanes whereof, that mote not be amended, He at the length was slaine and layd on ground, Yet holding fast twixt both his arines extended Fayre Pastorell, who with the selfe same wound Launcht through the arme fell down with him in drerie
1 Pretended, stretched over.
XVIII. 5.- Wide.] Far and wide; round about.