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"Safe her, I never any woman found

That chastity did for itselfe embrace,
But were for other causes firme and sound;
Either for want of handsome time and place,
Or else for feare of shame and fowle disgrace.
Thus am I hopelesse ever to attaine
My Ladies love, in such a desperate case,

But all my dayes am like to waste in vaine, [traine.” Seeking to match the chaste with th' unchaste Ladies

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'Perdy," sayd Satyrane," thou Squyre of Dames, 61
Great labour fondly hast thou hent in hand,
To get small thankes, and therewith many blames;
That may emongst Alcides labours stand."
Thence backe returning to the former land,
Where late he left the Beast he overcame,
He found him not; for he had broke his band,
And was returnd againe unto his Dame,

To tell what tydings of fayre Florimell became.

S

CANTO VIII.

The Witch creates a snowy La-
dy like to Florimell;

Who wrong'd by Carle, by Proteus sav'd,
Is sought by Paridell.

O oft as I this history record,

ונט

My hart doth melt with meere compassion,
To thinke how causelesse of her owne accord
This gentle Damzell, whom I write upon,
Should plonged be in such affliction
Without all hope of comfort or reliefe ;
That sure I weene the hardest hart of stone

Would hardly finde to aggravate her griefe: For misery craves rather mercy then repriefe.

But that accursed Hag, her hostesse late,

Had so enranckled her malitious hart,
That she desyrd th' abridgement of her fate,
Or long enlargement of her painefull smart.
Now when the Beast, which by her wicked art
Late foorth she sent, she backe retourning spyde
Tyde with her golden girdle; it a part

Of Her rich spoyles whom he had earst destroyd
She weend, and wondrous gladnes to her hart applyde:

And, with it ronning hast'ly to her sonne,

Thought with that sight him much to have reliv'd; Who, thereby deeming sure the thing as donne, His former griefe with furie fresh reviv'd

Much more than earst, and would have algates riv'd The hart out of his brest: for sith her dedd He surely dempt, himselfe he thought depriv'd Quite of all hope wherewith he long had fedd His foolish malady, and long time had misledd.

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With thought whereof exceeding mad he grew,
And in his rage his mother would have slaine,
Had she not fled into a secret mew,
Where she was wont her Sprightes to entertaine,
The maisters of her art: there was she faine

By their advice, and her owne wicked wit,

She there deviz'd a wondrous worke to frame,
Whose like on earth was never framed yit;
That even Nature selfe envide the same,
And grudg'd to see the counterfet should shame
The thing itselfe: In hand she boldly tooke
To make another like the former Dame,
Another Florimell, in shape and looke
So lively, and so like, that many it mistooke.

To call them all in order to her ayde,

And them conjure, upon eternall paine,
To counsell her so carefully dismay

How she might heale her sonne whose senses were decayd.

The substance, whereof she the body made,
Was purest snow in massy mould congeald,
Which she had gathered in a shady glade
Of the Riphaan hils, to her reveald
By errant Sprights, but from all men conceald:
The same she tempred with fine Mercury
And virgin wex that never yet was seald,
And mingled them with perfect vermily;
That like a lively sanguine it seemd to the eye.

Instead of eyes two burning lampes she set
In silver sockets, shyning like the skyes,
And a quicke moving Spirit did arret
To stirre and roll them like to womens eyes:
Instead of yellow lockes she did devyse
With golden wyre to weave her curled head :
Yet golden wyre was not so yellow thryse
As Florimells fayre heare: and, in the stead
Of life, she put a Spright to rule the carcas dead;

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A wicked Spright, yfraught with fawning guyle
And fayre resemblance above all the rest,
Which with the Prince of Darknes fell somewhyle
From heavens blis and everlasting rest:
Him needed not instruct which way were best
Himselfe to fashion likest Florimell,

Ne how to speake, ne how to use his gest;
For he in counterfesaunce did excell,

And all the wyles of wemens wits knew passing well.

Him shaped thus she deckt in garments gay,

Which Florimell had left behind her late;
That whoso then her saw, would surely say
It was herselfe whom it did imitate,
Or fayrer then herselfe, if ought algate

Might fayrer be. And then she forth her brought
Unto her sonne that lay in feeble state;

Who seeing her gan streight upstart, and thought She was the Lady selfe whom he so long had sought.

Tho, fast her clipping twixt his armës twayne,
Extremely joyed in so happy sight,

And soone forgot his former sickely payne:
But she, the more to seeme such as she hight,
Coyly rebutted his embracement light:
Yet still, with gentle countenaunce, retain'd
Enough to hold a foole in vaine delight :
Him long she so with shadowes entertain'd,
As her Creatresse had in charge to her ordain'd:

Till on a day, as he disposed was

To walke the woodes with that his Idole faire,
Her to disport and idle time to pas
In th' open freshnes of the gentle aire,

A Knight that way there chaunced to repaire;
Yet Knight he was not, but a boastfull Swaine
That deedes of armes had ever in despaire,

Proud Braggadocchio, that in vaunting vaine His glory did repose and credit did maintaine.

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He, seeing with that Chorle so faire a wight
Decked with many a costly ornament,
Much merveiled thereat, as well he might,
And thought that match a fowle disparagement:
His bloody speare eftesoones he boldly bent
Against the silly Clowne, who dead through feare
Fell streight to ground in great astonishment:
"Villein," sayd he, “this Lady is my deare;
Dy, if thou it gainesay: I will away her beare.”

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The fearefull Chorle durst not gainesay nor dooe,
But trembling stood, and yielded him the pray;
Who, finding litle leasure her to wooe,
On Tromparts steed her mounted without stay,
And without reskew led her quite away.

But, when he saw himselfe free from poursute,
He gan make gentle purpose to his Dame
With termes of love and lewdnesse dissolute;
For he could well his glozing speaches frame
To such vaine uses that him best became :
But she thereto would lend but light regard,
As seeming sory that she ever came
Into his powre, that used her so hard

To reave her honor which she more then life prefard.

Thus as they two of kindnes treated long,

There them by chaunce encountred on the way
An armed Knight upon a courser strong,
Whose trampling feete upon the hollow lay
Seemed to thunder, and did nigh affray
That Capons corage; yet he looked grim,
And faynd to cheare his Lady in dismay,
Who seemd for feare to quake in every lim,
And her to save from outrage meekely prayed him.

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Proud man himselfe then Braggadochio deem'd, And next to none, after that happy day, Being possessed of that spoyle, which seem'd The fairest wight on ground and most of men esteem'd.

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