Malbecco will no straunge knights host,
For peeuishpeevish gealosie:
Paridell giusts with Britomart:
Both shew their auncestrie.
R Edoubted knights, and honorable Dames,
To whom I leuelllevell all my labours end,
Right sore I feare, least with vnworthyunworthy blames
This odious argument my rimes should shend,
Or ought your goodly patience offend,
Whiles of a wanton Lady I do write,
Which with her loose incontinence doth blend
The shyning glory of your soueraigne light,
And knighthood fowle defaced by a faithlesse knight.
But neuernever let th’ensample of the bad
Offend the good: for good by paragone
Of euillevill, may more notably be rad,
As white seemes fairer, macht with blacke attone;
Ne all are shamed by the fault of one;
For lo in heauenheaven, whereas all goodnesse is,
Emongst the Angels, a whole legione
Of wicked Sprights did fall from happy blis;
What wonder 2.9. then: thanthenthan, if one of women all did mis?
Then listen Lordings, if ye list to weet
The cause, why Satyrane and Paridell
Mote not be entertaynd, as seemed meet,
Into that Castle (as that Squire does tell.)
Therein a cancred crabbed Carle does dwell,
That has no skill of Court nor courtesie,
Ne cares, what men say of him ill or well;
For all his dayes he drownes in priuitieprivitie,
Yet has full large to liuelive, and spend at libertie.
But all his mind is set on mucky pelfe,
To hoord vpup heapes of euillevill gotten masse,
For which he others wrongs, and wreckes himselfe;
Yet is he lincked to a louelylovely lasse,
Whose beauty doth her bounty far surpasse,
The which to him both far vnequallunequall yeares,
And also far vnlikeunlike conditions has;
For she does ioyjoy to play emongst her peares,
And to be free from hard restraint and gealous feares.
But he is old, and withered like hay,
VnfitUnfit faire Ladies seruiceservice to supply;
The priuieprivie guilt whereof makes him alway
Suspect her truth, and keepe continuall spy
VponUpon her with his other blincked eye;
Ne suffreth he resort of liuingliving wight
Approch to her, ne keepe her company,
But in close bowre her mewes from all mens sight,
Depriu’dDepriv’d of kindly ioyjoy and naturall delight.
Malbecco he, and Hellenore she hight,
VnfitlyUnfitly yokt together in one teeme,
That is the cause, why neuernever any knight
Is suffred here to enter, but he seeme
Such, as no doubt of him he neede misdeeme.
Thereat Sir Satyrane gan smile, and say;
Extremely mad the man I surely deeme,
That weenes with watch and hard restraint to stay
A womans will, which is disposd to go astray.
In vaine he feares that, which he cannot shonne:
For who wotes not, that womans subtiltyes
Can guilen Argus, when she list misdonne?
It is not yron bandes, nor hundred eyes,
Nor brasen walls, nor many wakefull spyes,
That can withhold her wilfull wandring feet;
But fast good will with gentle curtesyes,
And timely seruiceservice to her pleasures meet
May her perhaps containe, that else would algates fleet.
Then is he not more mad (said Paridell)
That hath himselfe vntounto such seruiceservice sold,
In dolefull thraldome all his dayes to dwell?
For sure a foole I do him firmely hold,
That louesloves his fetters, though they were of gold.
But why do we deuisedevise of others ill,
Whiles thus we suffer this same dotard old,
To keepe vsus out, in scorne of his owne will,
And rather do not ransack all, and him selfe kill?
Nay let vsus first (said Satyrane entreat
The man by gentle meanes, to let vsus in,
And afterwardes affray with cruell threat,
Ere that we to efforce it do begin:
Then if all fayle, we will by force it win,
And eke reward the wretch for his mesprise,
As may be worthy of his haynous sin.
That counsell pleasd: 9.8. then: thanthenthan Paridell did rise,
And to the Castle gate approcht in quiet wise.
Whereat soft knocking, entrance he desyrd.
The good man selfe, which 10.2. then: thanthenthan the Porter playd,
Him answered, that all were now retyrd
VntoUnto their rest, and all the keyes conuaydconvayd
VntoUnto their maister, who in bed was layd,
That none him durst awake out of his dreme;
And therefore them of patience gently prayd.
Then Paridell began to chaunge his theme,
And threatned him with force & punishment extreme.
But all in vaine; for nought mote him relent,
And now so long before the wicket fast
They wayted, that the night was forward spent,
And the faire welkin fowly ouercastovercast,
Gan blowen vpup a bitter stormy blast,
With shoure and hayle so horrible and dred,
That this faire many were compeld at last,
To fly for succour to a little shed,
The which beside the gate for swine was ordered.
It fortuned, soone after they were gone,
Another knight, whom tempest thither brought,
Came to that Castle, and with earnest mone,
Like as the rest, late entrance deare besought;
But like so as the rest he prayd for nought,
For flatly he of entrance was refusd,
Sorely thereat he was displeasd, and thought
How to auengeavenge himselfe so sore abusd,
And euermoreevermore the Carle of curtesie accusd.
But to auoydeavoyde th’intollerable stowre,
He was compeld to seeke some refuge neare,
And to that shed, to shrowd him from the showre,
He came, which full of guests he found whyleare,
So as he was not let to enter there:
Whereat he gan to wex exceeding wroth,
And swore, that he would lodge with them yfere,
Or them dislodge, all were they liefe orloth;
And so defide them each, and so defide them both.
Both were full loth to leaueleave that needfull tent,
And both full loth in darkenesse to debate;
Yet both full liefe him lodging to hauehave lent,
And both full liefe his boasting to abate;
But chiefly Paridell his hart did grate,
To heare him threaten so despightfully.
As if he did a dogge to kenell rate,
That durst not barke; and rather had he dy,
Then when he was defide, in coward corner ly.
Tho hastily remounting to his steed,
He forth issew’d; like as a boistrous wind,
Which in th’earthes hollow cauescaves hath long bin hid,
And shut vpup fast within her prisons blind,
Makes the huge element against her kind
To mouemove, and tremble as it were agast,
VntillUntill that it an issew forth may find;
Then forth it breakes, and with his furious blast
Confounds both land & seas, and skyes doth ouercast.
Their steel-hed speares they strongly coucht, and met
Together with impetuous rage and forse,
That with the terrour of their fierce affret,
They rudely drouedrove to ground both man and horse,
That each awhile lay like a sencelesse corse.
But Paridell sore brused with the blow,
Could not arise, the counterchaunge to scorse,
Till that young Squire him reared from below;
Then drew he his bright sword, & gan about him throw.
But Satyrane forth stepping, did them stay
And with faire treatie pacifide their ire,
Then when they were accorded from the fray,
Against that Castles Lord they gan conspire,
To heape on him dew vengeaunce for his hire.
They bene agreed, and to the gates they goe
To burne the same with vnquenchableunquenchable fire,
And that vncurteousuncurteous Carle their commune foe
To do fowle death to dye, or wrap in grieuousgrievous woe.
Malbecco seeing them resolu’dresolv’d in deed
To flame the gates, and hearing them to call
For fire in earnest, ran with fearefull speed,
And to them calling from the castle wall,
Besought them humbly, him to beare with all,
As ignoraunt of seruantsservants bad abuse,
And slacke attendaunce vntounto straungers call.
The knights were willing all things to excuse,
Though nought beleu’d, & entrau[n]ce late did not refuse.
They bene ybrought into a comely bowre,
And seru’d of all things that mote needfull bee;
Yet secretly their hoste did on them lowre,
And welcomde more for feare, 19.4. then: thanthenthan charitee;
But they dissembled, what they did not see,
And welcomed themseluesthemselves . Each gan vndightundight
Their garments wet, and weary armour free,
To dry them seluesselves by Vulcanes flaming light,
And eke their lately bruzed parts to bring in plight.
And eke that straunger knight emongst the rest;
Was for like need enforst to disaray:
Tho whenas vailed was her loftie crest,
Her golden locks, that were in tramels gay
VpboundenUpbounden, did them seluesselves adowne display,
And raught vntounto her heeles; like sunny beames,
That in a cloud their light did long time stay,
Their vapour vaded, shew their golden gleames,
And through the persant aire shoote forth their azure streames.
She also dofte her heauyheavy haberieonhaberjeon,
Which the faire feature of her limbs did hyde,
And her well plighted frock, which she did won
To tucke about her short, when she did ryde,
She low let fall, that flowd from her lanck syde
Downe to her foot, with carelesse modestee.
Then of them all she plainly was espyde,
To be a woman wight, vnwistunwist to bee,
The fairest woman wight, that euerever eye did see.
Like as Minerua, being late returnd
From slaughter of the Giaunts conquered;
Where proud Encelade, whose wide nosethrils burnd
With breathed flames, like to a furnace red,
Transfixed with the speare, downe tombled ded
From top of Hemus, by him heaped hye;
Hath loosd her helmet from her lofty hed,
And her Gorgonian shield gins to vntyeuntye
From her left arme, to rest in glorious victorye.
Which whenas they beheld, they smitten were
With great amazement of so wondrous sight,
And each on other, and they all on her
Stood gazing, as if suddein great affright
Had them surprised . At last auizingavizing right,
Her goodly personage and glorious hew,
Which they so much mistooke, they tooke delight
In the ir first errour, and yet still anew
With wonder of her beauty fed their hungry vew.
Yet note their hungry vew be satisfide,
But seeing still the more desir’d to see,
And euerever firmely fixed did abide
In contemplation of diuinitie:
But most they meruaildmervaild at her cheualreechevalree,
And noble prowesse, which they had approued,
That much they faynd to know, who she mote bee;
Yet none of all them her thereof amouedamoved,
Yet eueryevery one her likte, and eueryevery one her louedloved.
And Paridell though partly discontent
With his late fall, and fowle indignity,
Yet was soone wonne his malice to relent,
Through gracious regard of her faire eye,
And knightly worth, which he too late did try,
Yet tried did adore. Supper was dight;
Then they Malbecco prayd of curtesy,
That of his Lady they might hauehave the sight,
And company at meat, to do them more delight.
But he to shift their curious request,
Gan causen, why she could not come in place;
Her crased health, her late recourse to rest,
And humid eueningevening ill for sicke folkes cace:
But none of those excuses could take place;
Ne would they eate, till she in presence came.
She came in presence with right comely grace,
And fairely them saluted, as became,
And shewd her selfe in all a gentle curteous Dame.
They sate to meat, and Satyrane his chaunce
Was her before, and Paridell besyde;
But he him selfe sate looking still askaunce,
Gainst Britomart, and euerever closely eyde
Sir Satyrane, that glaunces might not glyde:
But his blind eye, that syded Paridell,
All his demeasnure from his sight did hyde:
On her faire face so did he feede his fill,
And sent close messages of louelove to her at will.
And euerever and anone, when none was ware,
With speaking lookes, that close embassage bore,
He rou’drov’d at her, and told his secret care:
For all that art he learned had of yore.
Ne was she ignoraunt of that lewd lore,
But in his eye his meaning wisely red,
And with the like him answerd euermoreevermore:
She sent at him one firie dart, whose hed
Empoisned was with priuyprivy lust, and gealous dred.
He from that deadly throw made no defence,
But to the wound his weake hart opened wyde;
The wicked engine through false influence,
Past through his eyes, and secretly did glyde
Into his hart, which it did sorely gryde.
But nothing new to him was that same paine,
Ne paine at all; for he so oft had tryde
The powre thereof, and lou’dlov’d so oft in vaine,
That thing of course he counted, louelove to entertaine.
Thenceforth to her he sought to intimate
His inward griefe, by meanes to him well knowne,
Now Bacchus fruit out of the siluersilver plate
He on the table dasht, as ouerthrowneoverthrowne,
Or of the fruitfull liquor ouerflowneoverflowne,
And by the dauncing bubbles did diuinedivine,
Or therein write to let his louelove be showne;
Which well she red out of the learned line,
A sacrament prophane in mistery of wine.
And when so of his hand the pledge she raught,
The guilty cup she fained to mistake,
And in her lap did shed her idle draught,
Shewing desire her inward flame to slake:
By such close signes they secret way did make
VntoUnto their wils, and one eyes watch escape;
Two eyes him needeth, for to watch and wake,
Who louerslovers will deceiuedeceive. Thus was the ape,
By their faire handling, put into Malbeccoes cape.
Now when of meats and drinks they had their fill,
Purpose was mouedmoved by that gentle Dame,
VntoUnto those knights aduenturousadventurous, to tell
Of deeds of armes, which vntounto them became,
And eueryevery one his kindred, and his name.
Then Paridell, in whom a kindly pryde
Of gracious speach, and skill his words to frame
Abounded, being glad of so fit tyde
Him to commend to her, thus spake, of all well eyde.
Troy, that art now nought, but an idle name,
And in thine ashes buried low dost lie,
Though whilome far much greater 33.3. then: thanthenthan thy fame,
Before that angry Gods, and cruell skye
VponUpon thee heapt a direfull destinie,
What boots it boast thy glorious descent,
And fetch from heauenheaven thy great Genealogie,
Sith all thy worthy prayses being blent,
Their of-spring hath embaste, and later glory shent.
Most famous Worthy of the world, by whome
That warre was kindled, which did Troy inflame,
And stately towres of Ilion whilome
Brought vntounto balefull ruine, was by name
Sir Paris far renowmd through noble fame,
Who through great prowesse and bold hardinesse,
From Lacedmon fetcht the fairest Dame,
That euerever Greece did boast, or knight possesse,
Whom Venus to him gauegave for meed of worthinesse.
Faire Helene, flowre of beautie excellent,
And girlond of the mighty Conquerours,
That madest many Ladies deare lament
The heauieheavie losse of their brauebrave Paramours,
Which they far off beheld from TroianTrojan toures,
And saw the fieldes of faire Scamander strowne
With carcases of noble warrioures,
Whose fruitlesse liueslives were vnderunder furrow sowne,
And Xanthus sandy bankes with bloud all ouerflowneoverflowne.
From him my linage I deriuederive aright,
Who long before the ten yeares siege of Troy,
Whiles yet on Ida he a shepheard hight,
On faire Oenone got a louelylovely boy,
Whom for remembraunce of her passed ioyjoy,
She of his Father Parius did name;
Who, after Greekes did Priams realme destroy,
Gathred the TroianTrojan reliques sau’dsav’d from flame,
And with them sayling thence, to th’Isle of Paros came.
That was by him cald Paros, which before
Hight Nausa, there he many yeares did raine,
And built Nausicle by the Pontick shore,
The which he dying left next in remaine
To Paridas his sonne.
From whom I Paridell by kin descend;
But for faire Ladies louelove, and glories gaine,
My natiuenative soile hauehave left, my dayes to spend
In sewing deeds of armes, my liueslives and labours end.
Whenas the noble Britomart heard tell
Of TroianTrojan warres, and Priams Citie sackt,
The ruefull story of Sir Paridell,
She was empassiond at that piteous act,
With zelous enuyenvy of Greekes cruell fact,
Against that nation, from whose race of old
She heard, that she was lineally extract:
For noble Britons sprong from TroiansTrojans bold,
And TroynouantTroynovant was built of old Troyes ashes cold.
Then sighing soft awhile, at last she thus:
O lamentable fall of famous towne,
Which raignd so many yeares victorious,
And of all Asie bore the soueraigne crowne,
In one sad night consumd, and throwen downe:
What stony hart, that heares thy haplesse fate,
Is not empierst with deepe compassiowne,
And makes ensample of mans wretched state,
That floures so fresh at morne, and fades at eueningevening late?
Behold, Sir, how your pitifull complaint
Hath found another partner of your payne:
For nothing may impresse so deare constraint,
As countries cause, and commune foes disdayne.
But if it should not grieuegrieve you, backe agayne
To turne your course, I would to heare desyre,
What to Aeneas fell; sith that men sayne
He was not in the Cities wofull fyre
Consum’d, but did him selfe to safetie retyre.
Anchyses sonne begot of Venus faire,
(Said he,) out of the flames for safegard fled,
And with a remnant did to sea repaire,
Where he through fatall errour long was led
Full many yeares, and weetlesse wandered
From shore to shore, emongst the Lybicke sands,
Ere rest he found . Much there he suffered,
And many perils past in forreine lands,
To sauesave his people sad from victours vengefull hands.
At last in Latium he did arriue,
Where he with cruell warre was entertaind
Of th’inland folke, which sought him backe to driuedrive,
Till he with old Latinus was constraind,
To contract wedlock: (so the fates ordaind.)
Wedlock contract in bloud, and eke in blood
Accomplished, that many deare complaind:
The riuallrivall slaine, the victour through the flood
Escaped hardly, hardly praisd his wedlock good.
Yet after all, he victour did suruiuesurvive,
And with Latinus did the kingdome part.
But after, when both nations gan to striuestrive,
Into their names the title to conuartconvart,
His sonne Iulus did from thence depart,
With all the warlike youth of TroiansTrojans bloud,
And in long Alba plast his throne apart,
Where faire it florished, and long time it stoud,
Till Romulus renewing it, to Rome remoudremovd.
There there (said Britomart) a fresh appeard
The glory of the later world to spring,
And Troy againe out of her dust was reard,
To sit in second seat of soueraigne king,
Of all the world vnderunder her gouerninggoverning.
But a third kingdome yet is to arise,
Out of the TroiansTrojans scattered of-spring,
That in all glory and great enterprise,
Both first and second Troy shall dare to equalise.
It TroynouantTroynovant is hight, that with the waueswaves
Of wealthy Thamis washed is along,
VponUpon whose stubborne neck, whereat he rauesraves
With roring rage, and sore him selfe does throng,
That all men feare to tempt his billowes strong,
She fastned hath her foot, which standes so hy,
That it a wonder of the world is song
In forreine landes, and all which passen by,
Beholding it from far, do thinke it threates the skye.
The TroianTrojan Brute did first that Citie found,
And Hygate made the meare thereof by West,
And OuertOvert gate by North: that is the bound
Toward the land; two riuersrivers bound the rest.
So huge a scope at first him seemed best,
To be the compasse of his kingdomes seat:
So huge a mind could not in lesser rest,
Ne in small meares containe his glory great,
That Albion had conquered first by warlike feat.
Ah fairest Lady knight, (said Paridell)
Pardon I pray my heedlesse ouersightoversight,
Who had forgot, that whilome I heard tell
From aged Mnemon ; for my wits bene light.
Indeed he said(if I remember right,)
That of the antique TroianTrojan stocke, there grew
Another plant, that raught to wondrous hight,
And far abroad his mighty branches threw,
Into the vtmostutmost Angle of the world he knew.
For that same Brute, whom much he did aduaunceadvaunce
In all his speach, was SyluiusSylvius his sonne,
Whom hauinghaving slaine, through luckles arrowes glau[n]ce
He fled for feare of that he had misdonne,
Or else for shame, so fowle reproch to shonne,
And with him led to sea an youthly trayne,
Where wearie wandring they long time did wonne,
And many fortunes prou’dprov’d in th’Ocean mayne,
And great adue[n]tures found, that now were lo[n]g to sayne.
At last by fatall course they driuendriven were
Into an Island spatious and brode,
The furthest North, that did to them appeare:
Which after rest they seeking far abrode,
Found it the fittest soyle for their abode,
Fruitfull of all things fit for liuingliving foode,
But wholy wast, and void of peoples trode,
SaueSave an huge nation of the Geaunts broode,
That fed on liuing flesh, & druncke mens vitall blood.
Whom he through wearie wars and labours long,
Subdewd with losse of many Britons bold:
In which the great Goemagot of strong
Corineus, and Coulin of Debon old
Were ouerthrowneoverthrowne and layd on th’earth full cold,
Which quaked vnderunder their so hideous masse,
A famous history to be enrold
In euerlastingeverlasting moniments of brasse,
That all the antique Worthies merits far did passe.
His worke great TroynouantTroynovant, his worke is eke
Faire Lincolne, both renowmed far away,
That who from East to West will endlong seeke,
Cannot two fairer Cities find this day,
Except Cleopolis: so heard I say
Old Mnemon . Therefore Sir, I greet you well
Your countrey kin, and you entirely pray
Of pardon for the strife, which late befell
Betwixt vsus both vnknowneunknowne. So ended Paridell.
But all the while, that he these speaches spent,
VponUpon his lips hong faire Dame Hellenore,
With vigilant regard, and dew attent,
Fashioning worlds of fancies euermoreevermore
In her fraile wit, that now her quite forlore:
The whiles vnwaresunwares away her wondring eye,
And greedy eares her weake hart from her bore:
Which he perceiuingperceiving, euerever priuilyprivily
In speaking, many false belgardes at her let fly.
So long these knights discoursed diuerslydiversly,
Of straunge affaires, and noble hardiment,
Which they had past with mickle ieopardyjeopardy,
That now the humid night was farforth spent,
And heauenlyheavenly lampes were halfendeale ybrent:
Which th’old man seeing well, who too long thought
EueryEvery discourse and eueryevery argument,
Which by the houres he measured, besought
Them go to rest. So all vntounto their bowres were brought.