« PreviousContinue »
But by what meanes did they at first it reare,1 And for what cause? tell if thou have it knowne." Sayd then that Squire: "The Lady, which doth
This castle, is by name Briana hight;
Then which a prouder lady liveth none:
She long time hath deare lov'd a doughty knight, And sought to win his love by all the meanes she might.
15 "His name is Crudor; who, through high disdaine And proud despight of his selfe-pleasing mynd, Refused hath to yeeld her love againe,
Untill a mantle she for him doe fynd
With beards of knights and locks of ladies lynd:
Cald Maleffort, a man of mickle might,
16 "He, this same day as I that way did come
17 Thus whiles they spake, they heard a ruefull shrieke Of one loud crying, which they streightway ghest
1 Reare, establish.
That it was she the which for helpe did seeke.
They saw that carle from farre, with hand unblest,
18 Which haynous sight when Calidore beheld,
"Leave, faytor, quickely that misgotten weft
And turne thee soone to him of whom thou art defyde."
19 Who, hearkning to that voice, himselfe upreard, And, seeing him so fiercely towardes make, Against him stoutly ran, as nought afeard, But rather more enrag'd for those words sake; And with sterne count'naunce thus unto him spake : "Art thou the caytive that defyest me,
And for this mayd, whose party thou doest take, Wilt give thy beard, though it but little bee?
Yet shall it not her lockes for raunsome fro me free."
1 Lest, listen.
2 Faytor, villain.
8 Weft, waif.
XVIII. 8.-That hath it better iustifyde.] That hath established a better claim to it.
20 With that he fiercely at him flew, and layd
21 Like as a water-streame, whose swelling sourse
Breakes forth, and makes his way more violent;
When once he felt his foeman to relent;
22 The heavy burden of whose dreadfull might
He him pursu'd and chaced through the plaine,
1 Unstayd, unsteady. 2 Recuile, recoil.
8 I. e. take to defending himself.
23 They, from the wall him seeing so aghast,
That even in the porch he him did win,
24 With that the rest the which the castle kept
He was ymett, who with uncomely shame
25 "False traytor Knight," sayd she, "no knight at all,
1 On the flore, on the spot.
2 Bryzes, breezes, gadflies.
26 Much was the Knight abashed at that word; Yet answerd thus: "Not unto me the shame, But to the shamefull doer it afford.1
Bloud is no blemish; for it is no blame
To punish those that doe deserve the same;
"Then doe yourselfe, for dread of shame, forgoe
More then his love, which thus ye seeke t' obtaine." Wherewith all full of wrath she thus replyde: "Vile recreant! know that I doe much disdaine Thy courteous lore,2 that doest my Love deride, Who scornes thy ydle scoffe, and bids thee be defyde."
23" To take defiaunce at a ladies word,"
Quoth he, "I hold it no indignity;
But were he here, that would it with his sword
Cowherd," quoth she, "were not that thou wouldst
Ere he doe come, he should be soone in place."
Afford, attach, impute. 2 I. e. lesson of courtesy.
8 In place, here.