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THE SIXTE BOOKE

OF

THE FAERIE QUEENE,

CONTAYNING

THE LEGEND OF SIR CALIDORE, OR OF COURTESIE.

THE waies, through which my weary steps I guyde In this delightfull land of Faery,

Are so exceeding spacious and wyde,

And sprinckled with such sweet variety

Of all that pleasant is to eare or eye,
That I, nigh ravisht with rare thoughts delight,
My tedious travell doe forget thereby ;

And, when I gin to feele decay of might,

It strength to me supplies and chears my dulled spright.

1 Well, cause to flow.

2 Such secret comfort and such heavenly pleasures,
Ye, sacred Imps, that on Parnasso dwell,
And there the keeping have of Learnings threasures,
Which doe all worldly riches farre excell,
Into the mindes of mortall men doe well,1
And goodly fury into them infuse.

2 Fury, inspiration.

Guyde ye my footing, and conduct me well In these strange waies where never foote did use, Ne none can find but who was taught them by the Muse!

Revele to me the sacred noursery

Of Vertue, which with you doth there remaine, Where it in silver bowre does hidden ly From view of men and wicked worlds disdaine; Since it at first was by the gods with paine' Planted in earth, being deriv'd at furst From heavenly seedes of bounty soveraine, And by them long with carefull labour nurst, Till it to ripenesse grew, and forth to honour burst.

4 Amongst them all growes not a fayrer flowre
Then is the bloosme2 of comely Courtesie;
Which though it on a lowly stalke doe bowre,
Yet brancheth forth in brave nobilitie,
And spreds itselfe through all civilitie:

Of which though present age doe plenteous seeme
Yet, being matcht with plaine antiquitie,
Ye will them all but fayned showes esteeme,
Which carry colours faire that feeble eies misdeeme⭑

5 But, in the triall of true Curtesie,

Its now so farre from that which then it was,
That it indeed is nought but forgerie,
Fashion'd to please the eies of them that pas,

1 Paine, difficulty.

• Bloosme, blossom, flower.

8 Bowre, lodge.

• Misdeeme, misjudge

Which see not perfect things but in a glas:
Yet is that glasse so gay that it can blynd
The wisest sight, to thinke gold that is bras:

But Vertues seat is deepe within the mynd,
And not in outward shows but inward thoughts defynd.

• But where shall I in all antiquity

So faire a patterne finde, where may be seene The goodly praise of princely Curtesie, As in Yourselfe, O soveraine Lady Queene? In whose pure minde, as in a mirrour sheene, It showes, and with her brightnesse doth inflame The eyes of all which thereon fixed beene; But meriteth indeede an higher name: Yet so, from low to high, uplifted is your fame.

Then pardon me, most dreaded Soveraine, That from Yourselfe I doe this vertue bring, And to Yourselfe doe it returne againe : So from the ocean all rivers spring, And tribute backe repay as to their king: Right so from you all goodly vertues well Into the rest which round about you ring, Faire lords and ladies which about you dwell, And doe adorne your court where courtesies excell.

CANTO I.

Calidore saves from Maleffort
A Damzell used vylde:

Doth vanquish Crudor; and doth make
Briana wexe more mylde.

1 Or Court, it seemes, men Courtesie doe call,
For that it there most useth to abound;
And well beseemeth that in princes hall
That vertue should be plentifully found,
Which of all goodly manners is the ground,
And roote of civill conversation :

Right so in Faery Court it did redound,

Where curteous knights and ladies most did won' Of all on earth, and made a matchlesse paragon.

2 But mongst them all was none more courteous knight Then Calidore, beloved over all:

In whom it seemes that gentlenesse of spright
And manners mylde were planted naturall;
To which he adding comely guize withall,
And gracious speach, did steale mens hearts away:
Nathlesse thereto he was full stout and tall,

1 Won, dwell.

II. 2. Then Calidore.] Sir Calidore, as Upton conjectures represents Sir Philip Sidney. H.

And well approv'd in batteilous affray, That him did much renowme, and far his fame display

8 Ne was there knight, ne was there lady found
In Faery Court, but him did deare embrace
For his faire usage and conditions' sound,
The which in all mens liking gayned place,
And with the greatest purchast greatest grace;
Which he could wisely use, and well apply,
To please the best, and th' evill to embase":
For he loathd leasing and base flattery,
And loved simple truth and stedfast honesty.

And now he was in travell on his way, Uppon an hard adventure sore bestad, Whenas by chaunce he met uppon a day With Artegall, returning yet halfe sad From his late conquest which he gotten had: Who whenas each of other had a sight, They knew themselves, and both their persons rad1: When Calidore thus first: "Haile, noblest knight Of all this day on ground that breathen living spright!

5 "Now tell, if please you, of the good successe
Which ye have had in your late enterprize."
To whom Sir Artegall gan to expresse
His whole exploite and valorous emprize,
In order as it did to him arize.
"Now, happy man," sayd then Sir Calidore,

1 Conditions, qualities.

• Embase, put down.

8 Bestad, circumstanced.

4 Rad, recognized.

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