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"And am I now in safetie sure," quoth he, "From him, that would have forced me to dye? And is the point of death now turnd fro mee, That I may tell this haplesse history?" "Fear nought," quoth he, "no daunger now is nye." "Then shall I you recount a ruefull cace," Said he," the which with this unlucky eye I late beheld; and, had not greater grace Me reft from it, had bene partaker of the place.


"I lately chaunst (would I had never chaunst!)
With a fayre Knight to keepen companee,
Sir Terwin hight, that well himselfe advaunst
In all affayres, and was both bold and free;
But not so happy as mote happy bee:
He lov'd as was his lot a Lady gent,1
That him againe lov'd in the least degree;
For she was proud, and of too high intent,
And ioyd to see her lover languish and lament:


"From whom retourning sad and comfortlesse, As on the way together we did fare,

We met that Villen, (God from him me blesse !) That cursed wight, from whom I scapt whyleare,2 A man of hell, that calls himselfe Despayre: Who first us greets, and after fayre areedes 3 Of tydinges straunge, and of adventures rare : So creeping close, as snake in hidden weedes, Inquireth of our states, and of our knightly deedes.

1 Gent, accomplished.

2 Whyleare, just now. 3 Areedes, informs.


"Which when he knew, and felt our feeble harts Embost with bale,2 and bitter byting griefe, Which love had launched with his deadly darts; With wounding words, and termes of foule repriefe,3 He pluckt from us all hope of dew reliefe, That earst us held in love of lingring life: Then hoplesse, hartlesse, gan the cunning thiefe Perswade us dye, to stint all further strife; To me he lent this rope, to him a rusty knife:


"With which sad instrument of hasty death, That wofull lover, loathing lenger light, A wyde way made to let forth living breath. But I, more fearfull or more lucky wight, Dismayd with that deformed dismall sight, Fledd fast away, halfe dead with dying feare; Ne yet assur'd of life by you, Sir Knight, Whose like infirmity like chaunce may beare: But God you never let his charmed speaches heare!"


"How may a man," said he, " with idle speach
Be wonne to spoyle the castle of his health?"
"I wote," quoth he, "whom tryall late did teach,
That like would not for all this worldes wealth.
His subtile tong, like dropping honny, mealt❜h 5

1 Embost, overwhelmed.

2 Bale, sorrow.

3 Repriefe, reproof.

▲ Earst, before.
5 Mealth, melteth.

XXXI. 3. — I wote, &c.] I, who have been taught by recent experience, know how a man may be so won, though I would not have been persuaded to do the like by the world's wealth.

Into the heart, and searcheth every vaine;
That, ere one be aware, by secret stealth
His powre is reft, and weaknes doth remaine.
O never, Sir, desire to try his guilefull traine!"


"Certes," sayd he, "hence shall I never rest, Till I that Treachours art have heard and tryde: And you, Sir Knight, whose name mote I request, Of grace do me unto his cabin guyde." “I, that hight1 Trevisan," quoth he, “will ryde, Against my liking, backe to doe you grace: But not for gold nor glee will I abyde

By you, when ye arrive in that same place; For lever had I die then 3 see his deadly face."


Ere long they come, where that same wicked wight
His dwelling has, low in an hollow cave,
Far underneath a craggy cliff ypight,*
Darke, dolefull, dreary, like a greedy grave,
That still for carrion carcases doth crave:
On top whereof ay dwelt the ghastly owle,
Shrieking his balefull note, which ever drave
Far from that haunt all other chearefull fowle;

And all about it wandring ghostes did wayle and howle:

And all about old stockes and stubs of trees,
Whereon nor fruit nor leafe was ever seen,
Did hang upon the ragged rocky knees 5;
On which had many wretches hanged beene,

3 Then, than.

4 Ypight, placed.

• Ragged rocky knees, rough points or projections of rock.

1 Hight, am named.
2 Lecer, rather.

Whose carcases were scattred on the greene, And throwne about the cliffs. Arrived there, That bare-head Knight, for dread and dolefull teene,' Would faine have fled, ne durst approachen neare; But th' other forst him staye, and comforted in feare.


That darkesome cave they enter, where they find
That cursed man, low sitting on the ground,
Musing full sadly in his sullein mind:

His griesie lockes, long growen and unbound,
Disordred hong about his shoulders round,
And hid his face; through which his hollow eyne
Lookt deadly dull, and stared as astound;

His raw-bone cheekes, through penurie and pine,
Were shronke into his iawes, as 3 he did never dine.


His garment, nought but many ragged clouts,
With thornes together pind and patched was,
The which his naked sides he wrapt abouts:
And him beside there lay upon the gras
A dreary corse, whose life away did pas,
All wallowd in his own yet luke-warme blood,
That from his wound yet welled fresh, alas!
In which a rusty knife fast fixed stood,
And made an open passage for the gushing flood.


Which piteous spectacle, approving trew
The wofull tale that Trevisan had told,
Whenas the gentle Redcrosse Knight did vew;
With firie zeale he burnt in courage bold

Teene, trouble.

2 Griesie, greasy or filthy.

3 As, as if.

Him to avenge, before his blood were cold; And to the Villein sayd; "Thou damned wight, The authour of this fact we here behold, What iustice can but iudge against thee right, [sight?" With thine owne blood to price1 his blood, here shed in


"What franticke fit," quoth he, " hath thus distraught Thee, foolish man, so rash a doome to give? What justice ever other judgement taught, But he should dye, who merites not to live? None els to death this man despayring drive But his owne guiltie mind, deserving death. Is then uniust to each his dew to give? Or let him dye, that loatheth living breath? Or let him dye at ease, that liveth here uneath??


"Who travailes by the wearie wandring way,
To come unto his wished home in haste,
And meetes a flood, that doth his passage stay;
Is not great grace to helpe him over past,
Or free his feet that in the myre sticke fast?
Most envious man, that grieves at neighbours good;
And fond,3 that ioyest in the woe thou hast;
Why wilt not let him passe, that long hath stood
Upon the bancke, yet wilt thyselfe not pas the flood?


"He there does now enioy eternall rest

And happy ease, which thou doest want and crave,
And further from it daily wanderest:

What if some little payne the passage have,
That makes frayle flesh to feare the bitter wave;

1 Price, atone for. 2 Uneath, scarcely.

3 Fond,


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