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Then good Sir Claribell him thus bespake:
"Now were it not, sir Scudamour, to you
Dislikefull paine so sad a taske to take,
Mote we entreat you, sith this gentle crew
Is now so well accorded all anew,

That as we ride together on our way,

Ye will recount to us in order dew

All that adventure which

ye did assay

For that faire Ladies love: past perils well apay."

So gan the rest him likewise to require;
But Britomart did him importune hard

To take on him that paine: whose great desire
He glad to satisfie, him selfe prepar'd
To tell through what misfortune he had far'd
In that atchievement, as to him befell,
And all those daungers unto them declar'd;
Which sith they cannot in this Canto well
Comprised be, I will them in another tell.




Scudamour doth his conquest tell
Of vertuous Amoret:

Great Venus Temple is describ'd;
And lovers life forth set.

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RUE he it said, what ever man it sayd, 1
That love with gall and hony doth abound;
But if the one be with the other wayd,

For every dram of hony therein found,
A pound of gall doth over it redound:
That I too true by triall have approved;

For since the day that first with deadly wound My heart was launcht, and learned to have loved, I never joyed howre, but still with care was moved.


"And yet such grace is given them from above,
That all the cares and evill which they meet
May nought at all their setled mindes remove,
But seeme, gainst common sence, to them most sweet;
As bosting in their martyrdome unmeet.

So all that ever yet I have endured

I count as nought, and tread downe under feet, Since of my love at length I rest assured, That to disloyalty she will not be allured.


"Long were to tell the travell and long toile
Through which this shield of love I late have wonne,
And purchased this peerelesse beauties spoile,
That harder may be ended, then begonne :
But since ye so desire, your will be donne.
Then hearke, ye gentle knights and Ladies free,
My hard mishaps that ye may learne to shonne;
For though sweet love to conquer glorious bee,
Yet is the paine thereof much greater then the fee.

"What time the fame of this renowmed prise Flew first abroad, and all mens eares possest, I, having armes then taken, gan avise

To winne me honour by some noble gest,

And purchase me some place amongst the best. I boldly thought, (so young mens thoughts are bold) That this same brave emprize for me did rest, And that both shield and she whom I behold Might be my lucky lot; sith all by lot we hold. "So on that hard adventure forth I went,

And to the place of perill shortly came : That was a temple faire and auncient, Which of great mother Venus bare the name, And farre renowmed, through exceeding fame, Much more then that which was in Paphos built, Or that in Cyprus, both long since this same, Though all the pillours of the one were guilt, And all the others pavement were with yvory spilt. "And it was seated in an Island strong, Abounding all with delices most rare, And wall'd by nature gainst invaders wrong, That none mote have accesse, nor inward fare, But by one way that passage did prepare. It was a bridge ybuilt in goodly wize

With curious Corbes and pendants graven faire, And arched all with porches did arize

On stately pillours fram'd after the Doricke guize.




"And for defence thereof on th' other end
There reared was a castle faire and strong,
That warded all which in or out did wend,
And flancked both the bridges sides along,
Gainst all that would it faine to force or wrong;
And therein wonned twenty valiant Knights,
All twenty tride in warres experience long,
Whose office was against all manner wights
By all meanes to maintaine that castels ancient rights.

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"Before that Castle was an open plaine,

And in the midst thereof a piller placed;



On which this shield, of many sought in vaine, The shield of Love, whose guerdon me hath graced, Was hangd on high with golden ribbands laced: And in the marble stone was written this, With golden letters goodly well enchaced; Blessed the man that well can use his blis: Whose ever be the shield, fair Amoret be his. “Which when I red, my heart did inly earne, And pant with hope of that adventures hap; Ne stayed further newes thereof to learne, But with my speare upon the shield did rap, That all the castle ringed with the clap. Streight forth issewd a Knight all arm'd to proofe, And bravely mounted to his most mishap; Who, staying nought to question from aloofe, Ran fierce at me that fire glaunst from his horses hoofe.

"Whom boldly I encountred (as I could)

And by good fortune shortly him unseated.
Eftsoones outsprung two more of equall mould;
But I them both with equall hap defeated.
So all the twenty I likewise entreated,
And left them groning there upon the plaine:
Then, preacing to the pillour, I repeated
The read thereof for guerdon of my paine,

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And taking downe the shield with me did it retaine.

"So forth without impediment I past,

Till to the Bridges utter gate I came;

The which I found sure lockt and chained fast. I knockt, but no man aunswred me by name;

I cald, but no man answred to my clame : Yet I persever'd still to knocke and call; Till at the last I spide within the same. Where one stood peeping through a crevis small, To whom I cald aloud, halfe angry therewithall.

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"That was to weet the Porter of the place,

Unto whose trust the charge thereof was lent:
His name was Doubt, that had a double face,


Th' one forward looking, th' other backeward bent,
Therein resembling Janus auncient

Which hath in charge the ingate of the yeare:
And evermore his eyes about him went,

As if some proved perill he did feare,

Or did misdoubt some ill whose cause did not appeare.

"On th' one side he, on th' other sate Delay,
Behinde the gate, that none her might espy;
Whose manner was all passengers to stay
And entertaine with her occasions sly:
Through which some lost great hope unheedily,
Which never they recover might againe;
And others, quite excluded forth, did ly
Long languishing there in unpittied paine,
And seeking often entraunce afterwards in vaine.
"Me when as he had privily espide



Bearing the shield which I had conquerd late, He kend it streight, and to me opened wide. So in I past, and streight he closd the gate: But being in, Delay in close awaite, Caught hold on me, and thought my steps to stay, Feigning full many a fond excuse to prate, And time to steale, the threasure of mans day, Whose smallest minute lost no riches render may.


"But by no meanes my way I would forslow
For ought that ever she could doe or say;
But from my lofty steede dismounting low
Past forth on foote, beholding all the way
The goodly workes, and stones of rich assay,
Cast into sundry shapes by wondrous skill,
That like on earth no where I recken may;
And underneath, the river rolling still
With murmure soft, that seem'd to serve the workmans


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