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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!

3 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.

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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 4:

š 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.
2 Bloosme, blossom, flower.

8 Bowre, lodge.
4 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.

6 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

of all which thereon fixed beene;
But meriteth indeede an higher name:
Yet so, from low to high, uplifted is your fame.

The eyes

7 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 Of 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.

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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 2:

For he loathd leasing and base flattery,
And loved simple truth and stedfast honesty.

4 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 rad 4:

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. 2 Embase, put down.

8 Bestad, circumstancei. 4 Rad, recognized.

“ Which have, so goodly as ye can devize,

Atchiev'd so hard a quest, as few before; That shall you most renowmed make for evermore.

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“But where ye ended have, now I begin
To tread an endlesse trace; withouten guyde
Or good direction how to enter in,
Or how to issue forth in waies untryde,
In perils strange, in labours long and wide ;
In which although good fortune me befall,
Yet shall it not by none be testifyde.”

“ What is that quest,” quoth then Sir Artegall, “ That you into such perils presently doth call ?”

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6 The Blattant Beast," quoth he, “I doe pursew, And through the world incessantly doe chase. Till I him overtake, or else subdew : Yet know I not or how or in what place To find him out, yet still I forward trace.” “ What is that Blattant Beast,” then he replide. “ It is a monster bred of hellishe race,"

Then answerd he, “which often hath annoyd Good knights and ladies true, and many else de

stroyd.

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8“ Of Cerberus whilome he was begot,
And fell Chimæra, in her darkesome den,
Through fowle commixture of his filthy blot ;
Where he was fostred long in Stygian fen,
Till he to perfect ripenesse grew; and then

1 Devize, describe.

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