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Vaine Braggadocchio, getting Guy-
ons horse, is made the scorne
Of knighthood trew; and is of fayre
Belphœbe fowle forlorne.


SOONE as the morrow fayre with purple beames Disperst the shadowes of the misty night, And Titan, playing on the eastern streames, Gan cleare the deawy ayre with springing light; Sir Guyon, mindfull of his vow yplight,' Uprose from drowsie couch, and him addrest Unto the iourney which he had behight 2: His puissant armes about his noble brest, And many-folded shield he bound about his wrest.


Then, taking congé 3 of that Virgin pure,
The bloody-handed Babe unto her truth
Did earnestly committ, and her coniure
In vertuous lore to traine his tender youth,
And all that gentle noriture 4 insu'th 5;
And that, so soone as ryper yeares he raught,


1 Yplight, plighted.

2 Behight, promised.

3 Congé, farewell.

Arg. 4. Fowle forlorne.] Is left in disgrace by Belphœbe.



4 Noriture, nurture.

5 Ensu'th, follows, belongs to.


Raught, reached.

He might, for memory of that dayes ruth,1

Be called Ruddymane; and thereby taught T' avenge his parents death on them that had it wrought.


So forth he far'd, as now befell, on foot,

Sith his good steed is lately from him gone;
Patience perforce: helplesse what may it boot
To frett for anger, or for griefe to mone?

His Palmer now shall foot no more alone.
So fortune wrought, as under greene woodes syde
He lately heard that dying Lady grone,
He left his steed without, and speare besyde,
And rushed in on foot to ayd her ere she dyde.


The whyles a Lossell 3 wandring by the way,
One that to bountie1 never cast his mynd,
Ne thought of honour ever did assay

His baser brest, but in his kestrell kynd 5

A pleasing vaine of glory he did fynd, To which his flowing toung and troublous 6 spright Gave him great ayd, and made him more inclynd; He, that brave steed their finding ready dight, Purloynd both steed and speare, and ran away full light.


Now gan his hart all swell in iollity,

And of himselfe great hope and help conceiv'd,

1 Ruth, sorrow.

2 Sith, since.

3 Lossell, loose person.

4 Bountie, goodness.

5 Kestrell kynd, base nature.
Troublous, restless.

II. 8.- Ruddymane.] Ruddymane means bloody-handed.

III. 2.- Sith his good steed.] See canto II. stanza XI.

IV. 5. - A pleasing vaine, &c.] He felt a pleasing glow of selfcomplacency.

That puffed up with smoke of vanity, And with selfe-loved personage deceiv'd, He gan to hope of men to be receiv'd For such, as he him thought, or faine would bee: But for in Court gay portaunce 2 he perceiv'd, And gallant shew to be in greatest gree,3 Eftsoones to Court he cast t'advaunce his first degree.


And by the way he chaunced to espy
One sitting ydle on a sunny banck,
To whom avaunting in great bravery,


As peacocke that his painted plumes doth pranck,7
He smote his courser in the trembling flanck,
And to him threatned his hart-thrilling speare:
The seely man, seeing him ryde so ranck 9
And ayme at him, fell flat to ground for feare,

And crying, "Mercy," loud, his pitious handes gan reare.


Thereat the Scarcrow wexed wondrous prowd, Through fortune of his first adventure fayre, And with big thundring voice revyld him lowd; "Vile caytive, vassall of dread and despayre, Unworthie of the commune breathed ayre, Why livest thou, dead dog, a lenger 10 day, And doest not unto death thyselfe prepayre? Dy, or thyselfe my captive yield for ay: Great favour I thee graunt for aunswere thus to stay."


"Hold, O deare Lord, hold your dead-doing hand,"

1 But for, because.

2 Portaunce, demeanor.

3 Gree, favor.

4 Eftsoones, immediately.

5 Cast, purposed.

6 Araunting, advancing.

↑ Pranck, display.

8 Seely, silly.

9 Ranck, fierce.

10 Lenger, longer.


Then loud he cryde, "I am your humble thrall.”
"Ah wretch," quoth he, "thy destinies withstand
My wrathfull will, and doe for mercy call.
I give thee life: Therefore prostrated fall,
And kisse my stirrup; that thy homage bee."
The Miser threw himselfe, as an off all,
Streight at his foot in base humilitee,
And cleeped him his liege, to hold of him in fee.


So happy peace they made and faire accord.
Eftsoones 3 this Liegeman gan to wexe more bold,
And, when he felt the folly of his Lord,
In his owne kind he gan himselfe unfold:
For he was wylie witted, and growne old
In cunning sleightes and practick knavery.
From that day forth he cast for to uphold
His ydle humour with fine flattery,
And blow the bellowes to his swelling vanity.


Trompart, fitt man for Braggadochio

To serve at Court in view of vaunting eye;
Vaine-glorious man, when fluttring wind does blow
In his light winges, is lifted up to skye;
The scorne of knighthood and trew chevalrye,

1 Miser, miserable person.
2 Cleeped, called.

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3 Eftsoones, immediately.

4 Cast, resolved

VIII. 9. And cleeped him, &c.] He acknowledged himself to be his vassal, as if he had been his tenant, and held lands of him as his liege lord.

IX. 8.- His.] Braggadochio's.

X. 1.- Trompart.] Trompart means deceiver, and he plays the part of a base flatterer. The name of Braggadochio expresses the quality he is intended to represent.

To thinke, without desert of gentle deed
And noble worth, to be advaunced hye;
Such prayse is shame; but honour, vertues meed,
Doth beare the fayrest flowre in honourable seed.


So forth they pas, a well consorted payre,
Till that at length with Archimage they meet:
Who seeing one, that shone in armour fayre,
On goodly courser thondring with his feet,
Eftsoones1 supposed him a person meet
Of his revenge to make the instrument:


For since the Redcrosse Knight he erst 2 did weet
To been with Guyon knitt in one consent,
The ill, which earst2 to him, he now to Guyon ment.4


And comming close to Trompart gan inquere
Of him, what mightie warriour that mote bee,
That rode in golden sell 5 with single spere,6
But wanted sword to wreake his enmitee.
"He is a great adventurer," said he,
"That hath his sword through hard assay 7 forgone,8

And now hath vowd, till he avenged bee

Of that despight, never to wearen none; That speare is him enough to doen 10

1 Eftsoones, immediately.
2 Erst, before.

3 Weet, learn.

4 Ment, intended.
Sell, saddle.

a thousand grone."

Single spere, spear alone.
Assay, enterprise.

Forgone, lost.

Despight, insult. 10 Doen, make.

XI. 3. — In armour fayre.]

Braggadochio had stolen Sir Guyon's

horse and spear; but it does not appear how he came into possession of the armor he wore.

XII. 9. That speare, &c.] That spear is sufficient for him to cause a thousand to groan.

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