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But all the while that he these speeches spent,
Upon his lips hong faire Dame Hellenore
With vigilant regard and dew attent,
Fashioning worldes of fancies evermore
In her fraile witt, that now her quite forlore.
The whiles unwares away her wondring eye


And greedy eares her weake hart from her bore; Which he perceiving, ever privily,

In speaking many false belgardes at her let fly.


So long these knightes discoursed diversly
Of straunge affaires, and noble hardiment,
Which they had past with mickle jeopardy,
That now the humid night was farforth spent,
And hevenly lampes were halfendeale ybrent:
Which th' old man seeing wel, who too long thought
Every discourse, and every argument,

Which by the houres he measured, besought Them go to rest. So all unto their bowres were brought.


Paridell rapeth Hellenore:

Malbecco her poursewes;

Fynds emongst Satyres, whence with him
To turne she doth refuse.

HE morow next, so soone as Phœbus Lamp 1 Bewrayed had the world with early light, And fresh Aurora had the shady damp Out of the goodly heven amoved quight, Faire Britomart and that same Faery knight Uprose, forth on their journey for to wend: But Paridell complaynd, that his late fight With Britomart so sore did him offend,

That ryde he could not, till his hurts he did amend.

So foorth they far'd; but he behind them stayd, 2
Maulgre his host, who grudged grivously

To house a guest that would be needes obayd,
And of his owne him lefte not liberty:
Might wanting measure moveth surquedry.
Two things he feared, but the third was death;
That fiers youngmans unruly maystery;

His money, which he lov'd as living breath;

And his faire wife, whom honest long he kept uneath.

But patience perforce, he must abie

What fortune and his fate on him will lay:
Fond is the feare that findes no remedie:
Yet warily he watcheth every way,
By which he feareth evill happen may;
So th' evill thinkes by watching to prevent:
Ne doth he suffer her, nor night nor day,
Out of his sight her selfe once to absent.
So doth he punish her, and eke himselfe torment.


But Paridell kept better watch then hee,

A fit occasion for his turne to finde.

False love! why do men say thou canst not see,
And in their foolish fancy feigne thee blinde,
That with thy charmes the sharpest sight doest binde,
And to thy will abuse? Thou walkest free,
And seest every secret of the minde;

Thou seest all, yet none at all sees thee:
All that is by the working of thy Deitee.
So perfect in that art was Paridell,

That he Malbeccoes halfen eye did wyle;
His halfen eye he wiled wondrous well,
And Hellenors both eyes did eke beguyle,
Both eyes and hart attonce, during the whyle
That he there sojourned his woundes to heale;
That Cupid selfe, it seeing, close did smyle
To weet how he her love away did steale,
And bad that none their joyous treason should reveale.

The learned lover lost no time nor tyde
That least avantage mote to him afford,
Yet bore so faire a sayle, that none espyde
His secret drift, till he her layd abord.
When so in open place and commune bord
He fortun'd her to meet, with commune speach
He courted her; yet bayted every word,
That his ungentle hoste n'ote him appeach
Of vile ungentlenesse, or hospitages breach.

But when apart (if ever her apart

He found) then his false engins fast he plyde, And all the sleights unbosomd in his hart: He sigh'd, he sobd, he swownd, he perdy dyde, And cast himselfe on ground her fast besyde: Tho, when againe he him bethought to live, He wept, and wayld, and false laments belyde, Saying, but if she Mercie would him give, That he mote algates dye, yet did his death forgive.



And otherwhyles with amorous delights

And pleasing toyes he would her entertaine;
Now singing sweetly to surprize her sprights,
Now making layes of love and lovers paine,
Bransles, Ballads, virelayes, and verses vaine;
Oft purposes, oft riddles, he devysd,

And thousands like which flowed in his braine,
With which he fed her fancy, and entysd


To take with his new love, and leave her old despysd.

And every where he might, and everie while,
He did her service dewtifull, and sewd
At hand with humble pride and pleasing guile;
So closely yet, that none but she it vewd,
Who well perceived all, and all indewd.
Thus finely did he his false nets dispred,
With which he many weake harts had subdewd
Of yore, and many had ylike misled:

What wonder then, if she were likewise carried?

No fort so fensible, no wals so strong,

But that continuall battery will rive,



Or daily siege, through dispurvayaunce long
And lacke of reskewes, will to parley drive;
And Peece, that unto parley eare will give,
Will shortly yield it selfe, and will be made
The vassall of the victors will bylive:
That stratageme had oftentimes assayd
This crafty Paramoure, and now it plaine display'd:

For through his traines he her intrapped hath,
That she her love and hart hath wholy sold

To him, without regard of gaine or scath,

Or care of credite, or of husband old,

Whom she hath vow'd to dub a fayre Cucquold.


Nought wants but time and place, which shortly shee Devized hath, and to her lover told.

It pleased well: So well they both agree. So readie rype to ill ill wemens counsels bee!


Darke was the Evening, fit for lovers stealth,
When chaunst Malbecco busie be elsewhere,
She to his closet went, where all his wealth
Lay hid; thereof she countlesse summes did reare,
The which she meant away with her to beare;
The rest she fyr'd, for sport, or for despight:
As Hellene, when she saw aloft appeare

The Trojane flames and reach to hevens hight, Did clap her hands, and joyed at that dolefull sight.

This second Helene, fayre Dame Hellenore,


The whiles her husband ran with sory haste To quench the flames which she had tyn'd before, Laught at his foolish labour spent in waste, And ran into her lovers armes right fast; Where streight embraced she to him did cry And call alowd for helpe, ere helpe were past; For lo! that Guest did beare her forcibly, And meant to ravish her, that rather had to dy.

The wretched man hearing her call for ayd,

And ready seeing him with her to fly,
In his disquiet mind was much dismayd:
But when againe he backeward cast his eye,
And saw the wicked fire so furiously

Consume his hart, and scorch his Idoles face,
He was therewith distressed diversely,

Ne wist he how to turne, nor to what place:
Was never wretched man in such a wofull cace.

Ay when to him she cryde, to her he turnd,
And left the fire; love money overcame :
But, when he marked how his money burnd,
He left his wife; money did love disclame:
Both was he loth to loose his loved Dame,
And loth to leave his liefest pelfe behinde;
Yet, sith he n'ote save both, he sav'd that same
Which was the dearest to his dounghill minde,
The God of his desire, the joy of misers blinde.



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