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And take great ioy to publish it to many;
In mischiefe; for herselfe she onely vext;
36 Her face was ugly, and her mouth distort,
In which her cursed tongue full sharpe and short
Upon the which she litle spinnes, but spils*;
And faynes to weave false tales and leasings bad, To throw amongst the good, which others had dis
37 These two now had themselves combynd in one,
1 Melling, meddling.
2 Closely, secretly.
& I. e. in one of her hands.
4 Spils, spoils.
5 Faynes, delights.
6 Disprad, spread abroad.
7 Fone, foes.
A dreadfull feend, of gods and men ydrad,1
Whom they by slights allur'd and to their purpose lad
38 Such were these hags, and so unhandsome drest :
Towardes him runs, and with rude flaring lockes About her eares does beat her brest and forhead knockes.
39 Then from her mouth the gobbet she does take,
And, as he past afore withouten dread
Bit him behind, that long the marke was to be read.
40 Then th' other, comming neare, gan him revile And fouly rayle, with all she could invent:
Saying that he had, with unmanly guile
1 Ydrad, dreaded.
2 Read, perceived.
And foule abusion, both his honour blent,1
And that bright sword, the sword of Iustice lent,
In guiltlesse blood of many an innocent:
And traynes having surpriz'd, he fouly did to die.
41 Thereto the Blatant Beast, by them set on,
That all the woods and rockes nigh to that way
So dreadfully his hundred tongues did bray :
42 And, still among, most bitter wordes they spake, Most shamefull, most unrighteous, most untrew, That they the mildest man alive would make Forget his patience, and yeeld vengeaunce dew To her, that so false sclaunders at him threw : And more, to make them pierce and wound more deepe,
1 Blent, stained.
XL. 8. - As for Grandtorto, &c.] "But in that sharpe execu tion of the Spaniards, at the Fort of Smerwicke I heard [his cruelty] specially noted, and if it were true as some reported, surely it was a great touch to him in honour, for some say that he promised them life; others, at least hee did put them in hope thereof." See View of the State of Ireland, pp. 434-436. C.
She with the sting which in her vile tongue grew Did sharpen them, and in fresh poyson steepe: Yet he past on, and seem'd of them to take no keepe.1
43 But Talus, hearing her so lewdly 2 raile
And speake so ill of him that well deserved,
From his right course, but still the way did hold To Faery Court; where what him fell shall else be
1 Keepe, heed.
2 Lewdly, impudently, wickedly.
NOTE TO BOOK V.
WILL it appear too refining, if we suppose that the Sarazin Pollante (Canto II.), with his trap-falls, and his groome of evill guize, hence named Guizor, alludes to Charles the Ninth, king of France, who by sleights did underfong the Protestants, and thus perfidiously massacred them? If this is allowed, who can help applying the name of Guizor to the head of the Popish League, and chief persecutor, the Duke of Guise? And, to carry on still this allusion, what is ail that plot laid in the dead of night, by the same sort of miscreants, to murder the British Virgin (Canto VI. 27), but a type of that plot laid against the chief of the British, as well as other Protestant noblemen, "that being thus brought into the net," as Camden relates, "both they, and with them the evangelical religion, might with one stroke, if not have their throats cut, yet at least receive a mortal wound"?- -a plot which, though not fully accomplished, yet ended in a massacre, and was begun at midnight, at a certain signal given, on the eve of St. Bartholomew, anno 1572.
What shall we say of the tilts and tournaments at the spousal of fair Florimel? Had the poet his eye on those tiltings, performed at a vast expense, by the Earl of Arundel, Lord Windsor, Sir Philip Sidney, and Sir Fulk Greville, who challenged all comers, and which were intended to entertain the French nobility and the ambassadors, who came to treat of Anjou's marriage with the Queen? Methinks also I sometimes see a faint resemblance between Braggadochio and the Duke of Anjou, and their buffoon servants, Trompart and Simier.
In the fifth canto, Artegal is imprisoned by an Amazonian dame called by a French name, Radigund; for Radegonda was a famous Queen of France. Now as Spenser carries two faces under one hood, and means more always than in plain words he tells you, why, I say, does he, who writes in a "continued allegory," give you this episode, if there is not more meant than what the dull letter contains? The story, I think, is partly moral, but chiefly historical, and alludes to Artegal's father being taken prisoner in France; who almost ruined his patrimony to pay his ransom. See Camden, and Lloyd's Life of Arthur Grey, Baron of Wilton.