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Thus whilest all things in troublous uprore were, 16
Soone as the cruell flames yslaked were,
Malbecco, seeing how his losse did lye,
Out of the flames which he had quencht whylere, Into huge waves of griefe and gealosye Full deepe emplonged was, and drowned nye Twixt inward doole and felonous despight: He rav'd, he wept, he stampt, he lowd did cry, And all the passions that in man may light Did him attonce oppresse, and vex his caytive spright.
Long thus he chawd the cud of inward griefe,
At last resolving, like a Pilgrim pore,
To search her forth where so she might be fond, And bearing with him treasure in close store, The rest he leaves in ground: So takes in bond To seeke her endlong both by sea and lond. Long he her sought, he sought her far and nere, And every where that he mote understond Of knights and ladies any meetings were; And of eachone he mett he tidings did inquere
But all in vaine: his woman was too wise
Ever to come into his clouch againe, And hee too simple ever to surprise The jolly Paridell, for all his paine. One day, as hee forpassed by the plaine With weary pace, he far away espide A couple, seeming well to be his twaine, Which hoved close under a forest side, As if they lay in wait, or els them selves did hide.
Well weened hee that those the same mote bee; 21
Him seemed more their maner did agree,
And ever his faint hart much earned at the sight:
And ever faine he towards them would goe,
He closely nearer crept the truth to weet:
Might scerne that it was not his sweetest sweet, Ne yet her Belamour, the partner of his sheet:
But it was scornefull Braggadochio,
That with his servant Trompart hoverd there,
The Boaster at him sternely bent his browe,
Said he, "Thou man of nought, what doest thou here
The wretched man at his imperious speach
For I unwares this way by fortune straid,
That seeke a Lady "-There he suddein staid, And did the rest with grievous sighes suppresse, While teares stood in his eies, few drops of bitternesse.
"What Lady, man?" (said Trompart) "take good hart, And tell thy griefe, if any hidden lye:
Was never better time to shew thy smart
Then sighing sore, "It is not long," (saide hee) 27
And you, most noble Lord, that can and dare 28
Your worthy paine shall wel reward with guerdon rich."
With that out of his bouget forth he drew
Great store of treasure, therewith him to tempt; But he on it lookt scornefully askew, As much disdeigning to be so misdempt, Or a war-monger to be basely nempt; And sayd; "Thy offers base I greatly loth, And eke thy words uncourteous and unkempt: I tread in dust thee and thy money both, [wroth. That, were it not for shame "-So turned from him
But Trompart, that his maistres humor knew
Big looking like a doughty Doucepere,
At last he thus; "Thou clod of vilest clay, I pardon yield, and with thy rudenes beare; But weete henceforth, that all that golden pray, And all that els the vaine world vaunten may, I loath as doung, ne deeme my dew reward: Fame is my meed, and glory vertuous pray: But minds of mortall men are muchell mard And mov'd amisse with massy mucks unmect regard
"And more: I graunt to thy great misery
Gratious respect; thy wife shall backe be sent: And that vile knight, who ever that he bee, Which hath thy lady reft and knighthood shent, By Sanglamort my sword, whose deadly dent The blood hath of so many thousands shedd, I sweare, ere long shall dearely it repent; Ne he twixt heven and earth shall hide his hedd, But soone he shalbe fownd, and shortly doen be dedd." The foolish man thereat woxe wondrous blith, As if the word so spoken were halfe donne, And humbly thanked him a thousand sith That had from death to life him newly wonne. Tho forth the Boaster marching brave begonne His stolen steed to thunder furiously,
As if he heaven and hell would over-ronne, And all the world confound with cruelty; That much Malbecco joyed in his jollity. Thus long they three together traveiled,
Through many a wood and many an uncouth way, To seeke his wife that was far wandered: But those two sought nought but the present pray, To weete, the treasure which he did bewray, On which their eies and harts were wholly sett, With purpose how they might it best betray; For, sith the howre that first he did them lett The same behold, therwith their keene desires were whett.
It fortuned, as they together far'd,
They spide where Paridell came pricking fast Upon the plaine; the which him selfe prepar'd To giust with that brave straunger knight a cast, As on adventure by the way he past. Alone he rode without his Paragone; For, having filcht her bells, her up he cast To the wide world, and lett her fly alone: He nould be clogd. So had he served many one.