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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:
Which to provide, she hath this castle dight,
And therein hath a seneschall assynd,

Cald Maleffort, a man of mickle might,
Who executes her wicked will with worse despight.

16 "He, this same day as I that way did come
With a faire damzell, my beloved deare,
In execution of her lawlesse doome
Did set uppon us flying both for feare;
For little bootes against him hand to reare:
Me first he tooke, unhable to withstond,
And whiles he her pursued every where,
Till his returne unto this tree he bond;
Ne wote I surely whether her he yet have fond."

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.
Tho, looking up unto the cry to lest,1

They saw that carle from farre, with hand unblest,
Hayling that mayden by the yellow heare,
That all her garments from her snowy brest,
And from her head her lockes he nigh did teare,
Ne would he spare for pitty, nor refraine for feare.

18 Which haynous sight when Calidore beheld,
Eftsoones he loosd that Squire, and so him left
With hearts dismay and inward dolour queld,
For to pursue that villaine, which had reft
That piteous spoile by so iniurious theft:
Whom overtaking, loude to him he cryde:

"Leave, faytor, quickely that misgotten weft
To him that hath it better iustifyde,


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
On hideous strokes with most importune might,
That oft he made him stagger as unstayd,1
And oft recuile2 to shunne his sharpe despight:
But Calidore, that was well skild in fight,
Him long forbore, and still his spirite spar'd,
Lying in waite how him he damadge might:
But when he felt him shrinke, and come to ward,
He greater grew, and gan to drive at him more hard.

21 Like as a water-streame, whose swelling sourse
Shall drive a mill, within strong bancks is pent,
And long restrayned of his ready course,
So soone as passage is unto him lent,

Breakes forth, and makes his way more violent;
Such was the fury of Sir Calidore,

When once he felt his foeman to relent;
He fiercely him pursu'd, and pressed sore,
Who as he still decayd, so he encreased more.

22 The heavy burden of whose dreadfull might
Whenas the carle no longer could sustaine,
His heart gan faint, and streight he tooke his flight
Toward the Castle, where, if need constraine,
His hope of refuge used to remaine :
Whom Calidore perceiving fast to flie,

He him pursu'd and chaced through the plaine,
That he for dread of death gan loude to crie
Unto the ward to open to him hastilie.

1 Unstayd, unsteady. 2 Recuile, recoil.

8 I. e. take to defending himself.

23 They, from the wall him seeing so aghast,
The gate soone opened to receive him in ;
But Calidore did follow him so fast,

That even in the porch he him did win,
And cleft his head asunder to his chin:
The carkasse, tumbling downe within the dore,
Did choke the entraunce with a lumpe of sin,
That it could not be shut; whilest Calidore
Did enter in, and slew the porter on the flore.1

24 With that the rest the which the castle kept
About him flockt, and hard at him did lay;
But he them all from him full lightly swept,
As doth a steare, in heat of sommers day,
With his long taile the bryzes2 brush away.
Thence passing forth into the hall he came,
Where of the Lady selfe in sad dismay

He was ymett, who with uncomely shame
Gan him salute, and fowle upbrayd with faulty blame :

25 "False traytor Knight," sayd she, "no knight at all,
But scorne of armes ! that hast with guilty hand
Murdred my men, and slaine my seneschall;
Now comest thou to rob my house unmand,
And spoile myselfe, that cannot thee withstand?
Yet doubt thou not, but that some better knight
Then thou, that shall thy treason understand,
Will it avenge, and pay thee with thy right:
And if none do, yet shame shal thee with shame re-

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;
But they that breake bands of civilitie,
And wicked customes make, those doe defame
Both noble armes and gentle curtesie:
No greater shame to man then inhumanitie.


"Then doe yourselfe, for dread of shame, forgoe
This evill manner which ye here maintaine,
And doe instead thereof mild curt'sie showe
To all that passe: that shall you glory gaine

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
Abett, perhaps he mote it deare aby."

Cowherd," quoth she, "were not that thou wouldst

Ere he doe come, he should be soone in place."
"If I doe so," sayd he, "then liberty

Afford, attach, impute. 2 I. e. lesson of courtesy.

8 In place, here.


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