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Then was there brought, as prisoner to the barre, But then, for her, on the contrárie part,
A ladie of great countenance and place,

Rose many advocates for her to plead :
But that she it with foule abuse did marre ; First there came Pittie with full tender hart,
Yet did appeare rare beautie in her face,

And with her joyn’d Regard of Womanhead ; But blotted with condition vile and base,

And then came Daunger threatning hidden dread That all her other honour did obscure,

And high alliance unto forren powre; And titles of nobilitie deface:

Then came Nobilitie of birth, that bread
Yet, in that wretched semblant, she did sure Great ruth through her misfortunes tragicke stowre;
The peoples great compassion unto her allure. And lastly Griefe did plead, and many teares furtha

Then up arose a person of deepe reach,
And rare in-sight, hard matters to revele; (speach With the neare touch whereof in tender hart
That well could charme his tongue, and time his The Briton prinee was sore empassionate,
To all assayes; his name was called Zele: And woxe inclined much unto her part,
He gan that ladie strongly to appele

Through the sad terror of so dreadfull fite,
Of many bayuous crymes by her enured ;)

And wretched ruine of so high estate;
And with sharp reasons rang her such a pele, That for great ruth his conrage gan relent:
That those, whom she to pitie had allured, [ed. Which whenas Zele perceived to abate,
He now tabhorre and loath her person had procur- He gan his earnest fervour to augment,

And many fearefull obiects to them to present.
First gan he tell how this, that seem'd so faire
And royally arayd, Duessa hight;

He gan t'efforce the evidence anew, Tbat false Duessa, which had wrought great care And new accusements to produce in place: And mickle mischiefe unto many a knight He brought forth that old hag of hellish hew, By her beguyled and confounded quight: The cursed Até, brought her face to face, Bat not for those she now in question came, Who privie was and partie in the case : Though also those mote question'd be aright, She, glad of spoyle and ruinous decay, But for vyld treasons and outrageous shame, Did her appeach; and, to her more disgrace, Which she against the dred Mercilla oft did frame. The plot of all her practise did display,

And all her traynes and all her treasons forth did For she whylome (as ye mote yet right well

lay. Remember) had her counsels false conspyred With faithlesse Blandamour and Paridell,

Then brought he forth with griesly grim aspect (Both two her paramours, both by her hyred, Abhorred Murder, who with bloudie knyfe And both with hope of shadowes vaine inspyred) Yet dropping fresh in hand did her detect, And with them practiz'd, how for to depryve And there with guiltie bloudshed charged ryfe: Mercilla of ber crowne, by her aspyred,

Then brought he forth Sedition, breeding stryfe
That she might it unto herselfe deryve, [dryve. In troublous wits and mutinous uprore:
And tryumph in their blood whom she to death did Then brought he forth Incontinence of lyfe,

Even foule Adulterie her face before,
Bat through high Heavens grace, which favour not And lewd Impietie, that her accused sore.
The wicked driftes of trayterous desynes
Gainst loiall princes, all this cursed plot

All which whenas the prince had heard and seene,
Ere proofe it tooke discovered was betymes, His former fancies rath he gan repent,
And th'actours won the neede meet for theircrymes: And froin her partie eftsoones was drawn cleene:
Such be the meede of all that by such meane But Artegall, with constant firme intent
Unto the type of kingdomes title clymes!

For zeale of iustice, was against her bent : But false Duessa, now untitled queene, (seene. So was she guiltie deemed of them all. Was brought to her sad doome, as here was to be Theo Zele began to urge her punishment,

And to their queene for judgement loudly call, Strongly did Zele her baynous fact enforce, Unto Mercilla myld, for iustice gainst the thrall. And many other crimes of foule defame Against her brought, to banish all remorse, But she, whose princely breast was touched neare And aggravate the horror of her blame:

With piteous ruth of her so wretched plight, And with him, to make part against her, came Though plaine she saw, by all that she did heare, Many grave persons that against her pled. That she of death was guiltie found by right, First was a sage old syre, that had to name Yet would not let iust vengeance on her light; The Kingdomes Care, with a white silver hed, But rather let, instead thereof, to fall That many high regards and reasons gainst her few perling drops from her faire lampes of light; red.

The which she covering with her purple pall

Would have the passion bid, and up arose withall. Then gan Authority her to oppose. With peremptorie powre, that made all mute; And then the Law of Nations gainst her rose, And reasons brought, that no man could refute; Next gan Religion gainst her to impute High Gods beheast, and powre of holy lawes; Thea gan the peoples cry and coinmons sute Importune care of their owne publicke cause; And lastly Iustice charged her with breach of lawes. VOL IIL


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Hor name was Belgè; who in former age
A ladie of great worth and wealth had beene,

And mother of a frutefull heritage, (seeno

Even seventeene goodly sonnes; which who had

In their first flowre, before this fatall teene
Prince Arthur takes the enterprize

Them overtooke and their faire blossomes blasted,
For Belgee for to fight:

More happie mother would her surely weene
Gerioncos seneschall

Then famous Niobe, before she tasted
He slayes in Belges right,

Latonaes childrens wrath that all her issue wasted.

Some clarkes doe doubt in their devicefull art But this fell tyrant, through his tortious poure,
Whether this heavenly thing whereof I treat, Had left her now but five of all that brood :
To weeten Mercie, be of lustice part,

For twelve of them he did by times devoure,
Or drawne forth from her by divine extreate: And to his idols sacrifice their blood,
This well I wote, thạt sure she is as great,

Wbylest he of none was stopped nor withstood: And meriteth to have as high a place,

Por soothly he was one of matchlesse inight, Sith in th' Almighties everlasting seat

Of horrible aspéct and dreadfull mood, She first was bred, and borne of heavenly race; And had three bodies in one wast empight, (fight. From thence pour'd down on men by influence of And th’armes and legs of three to succour him in grace,

And sooth they say that he was borne and bred For if that vertue be of so great might

Of gyants race, the sonne of Geryon; Which from iust verdict will for nothing start, He that whylome in Spaine so sore was dred But, to preserve inviolated right,

For his huge powre and great oppression, Oft spilles the principali to save the part;

Which brought that land to bis subiection, So much more then is that of powre and art Throngh his three bodies powre in one combyn'd; That seekes to save the subiect of her skill, And eke all strangers, in that region Yet never doth from doome of right depart; Arryving, to his kyue for food assynd; As it is greater prayse to save then spill,

The fayrest kyne alive, but of the fiercest kynd: And better to reforme then to cut off the ill.

For they were all, they say, of purple hew,
Who then can thee, Mercilla, throughly prayse, Kept by a cowheard, hight Eurytion,
That herein doest all earthly princes pas ?

A cruell carle, the which all strangers slew,
What heavenly Muse shall thy great honour rayse Ne day nor night did sleepe t'attend them on,
Up to the skies, whence first deriv'd it was, But walkt about them ever and anone
And now on Earth itselfe enlarged bas,

With his two-headed dogge that Orthrus higbt ; From th' utmost brinke of the Armericke shore, Orthrus begotten by great Typhaon Unto the margent of the Molucas ?

And foule Echidna in the house of Night: Those nations farre thy justice doe adore ; (more. But Hercules them all did overcome in fight. But thine owne people do thy mercy prayse much

His sonne was this Geryoneo hight; Much more it praysed was of those two knights, Who, after that his monstrous father fell The noble prince and righteous Artegall,

Under Alcides club, streight tooke his flight When they had seene and heard her doome arights from that sad land, where he his syre did quell, Against Duessa, damned by them all;

And came to this, where Belge then did dwell But by her tempred without griefe or gall, And flourish in all wealth and happinesse, Till strong constraint did her thereto enforce : Being then new made widow, as befell, And yet even then ruing her wilfull fall

After her noble husbands late decesse; With more then needfull naturall remorse, Which gave beginning to her woe and wretchedAnd yeelding the last honour to her wretched corse.


During all which, those knights continu'd there Then this bold tyrant, of her widowhed
Both duing and receiving curtesies

Taking advantage and her yet fresh woes,
Of that great ladie, who with goodly chere

Himselfe and service to her offered, Them entertayu'd, fit for their diguities,

Her to defend against all forrein foes Approving dayly to their noble eyes

That should their powre against her right oppose : Royall examples of her mercies rare

Wherefore she glad, now needing strong defence, And worthie paterns of her clemencies;

Him entertayn’d and did her champion chose; Which till this day mongst many living are, Which long he usd with carefull diligence, Who them to their posterities doe still declare. The better to confirme her fearelesse confidence. Amongst the rest, which in that space befell, By meanes whereof she did at last commit There came two springals of full tender yeares, All to his hands, and gave him soveraine poute Farre thence from forrein land where they did dwell, To doe whatever he thought good or fit: To seeke for succour of her and her peares, Which having got, he gan forth from that howre With humble prayers and intreatfull teares; To stirre up strife and many a tragicke stowre; Sent by their mother who, a widow, was

Giving her dearest children one by one Wrapt in great dolours and in deadly feares Unto a dreadfull monster to devoure, By a strong tyrant, who invaded has

And setting up an idole of his owne, Her land, and slaine her children ruefully, alas ! The image of his monstrous parent Geryone,

So tyrannizing and oppressing all,

Then turning unto him; “ And you, sir Knight," The woefull widow had no meanes now left, Said she, “that taken have this toylesome paine But unto gratious great Mercilla call

For wretched woman, miserable wight, For ayde against that cruell tyrants theft,

May you in Heaven immortall guerdon gaine Ere all her children he from her had reft :

For so great travell as you doe sustaine! Therefore these two, her eldest sonnes, she sent For other meede may hope for none of mee, To seeke for succour of this ladies gieft:

To whom nought else but bare life do h remaine; To whom their sute they humbly did present

And that so wretched one, as ye do see la th' hearing of full many knights and ladies gent. Is liker lingring death then loathed life to bee.” Amongst the which then fortuned to bee

Much was he moved with her piteous plight; The noble Briton prince with his brave peare; And low dismounting from his loftie steede Who when he none of all those knights did see Gan to recomfort her all that he might, Hastily bent that enterprise to beare,

Secking to drive away deepe-rooted drecde Nor undertake the same for cowheard frare, With hope of helpe in that her greatest neede. He stepped forth with courage bold and great, So thence he wished her with him to wend Admyrd of all the rest in presence there,

Unto some place where they mote rest and feede, And humbly gan that mightie queene entreat And she take comfort which God now did send : To graunt him that adventure for his former feat. Good hart in evils doth the evils much amend. She gladly graunted it: then he straightway Ay me!” sayd she, “and whither shall I goe? Himselfe unto his journey gan prepare,

Are not all places full of forraine powres ? And all his armours readie dight that day, My pallaces possessed of my foe, That pought the morrow next mote stay bis fare. My cities sackt, and their sky-threatning towres The morrow next appeard with purple hayre Raced and made smooth fields pov fullof flowres ? Yet dropping fresh out of the Indian forint,

Onely these marishes and myrie bogs, And bringing light into the Heavens fayre,

In which the fearefull ewftes do build their bowres, When he was readie to his steede to mount

Yeeld me an hostry mongst the croking frogs, Unto his way, which now was all his care and count. And harbour here in safety from those ravenous

dogs." Then taking humble leave of that great queene, Who gave him roiall giftes and riches rare',

“ Nathlesse,” said he, “ deare ladie, with me goe; As tokens of ber thankefull mind beseene,

Some place shall as receive and harbour yield; And leaving Artecall to his owne care,

If not, we will it force, maugre your foe, Upon his voyage forth be gan to fare

And purchase it to us with speare and shield: With those two gentle youthes, which bim did guide And if all fayle, yet farewell open field ! And all his way before bim still prepare :

The Earth to all her creatures lodging lends." Ne after him did Artegall abide,

With such his chearefull speaches he doth wield But on bis first adventure forward forth did ride. Her mind so well, that to his will she bends;

And, bynding up her locks and weeds, forth with It was not long till that the prince arrived

him wends. Within the land where dwelt that ladie sad; Whereof that tyrant had her now deprived,

They came unto a citic farre up land,

The which whylome that ladies owne had bene; And into moores and marshes banisht had,

But now by force extort out of her hand
Out of the pleasant soyle and citties glad,
In which she wont to harbour happily :

By ber strong foe, who had defaced cleene
But now his cruelty so sore she drad,

Her stately towres and buildings sunny sheene,

Shut up her haven, mard her marchants trade, That to those fennes for fastnesse she did Ay,

Robbed her people that full rich had beene, And there herselfe did hyde from his hard tyranny. And her necke a castle huge had made, (swade.

The which did her commaund without needing perThere he her found in sorrow and dismay, All solitarie without living wight;

That castle was the strength of all that state, For all her other children, through affray,

Untill that state by strength was pulled downe; Had hid themselves, or taken further Night: And that same citie, so now ruinate, And eke herselfe through sudden strange affright, Had bene the keye of all that kingdomes crowne; When one in armes she saw, began to fly ;

Both goodly castle, and both goodly towne, But, when her owne two sonnes she had in sight,

Till that th' offended Heavens list to lowre She gan take hart and looke up joyfully;

Upon their blisse, and balefull fortune frowne. For well she wist this knight came succour to supply. When those gainst states and kingdomes do coniure,

Who then can thinke their hed long ruine to recure! And, running unto them with greedy ioyes, Fell straight about their neckes as they did kneele, But he had brought it now in servile bond, And bursting forth in teares; “ Ah! iny sweet And made it beare the yoke of inquisition, Sayd she, "yet now Igin new life to feele; [boyes," Stryving long time in vaine it to withstond; And feeble spirits, that gan faint and reele, Yet glad at last to make most base submission, Now rise againe at this your ioyous sight.

And life eniɔy for any composition: Alreadie seemes that Fortunes headlong wheele So now he hath new lawes and orders new Begins to turne, and Sunne to shine more bright Imposd on it with many a hard condition, Then it was wont, through comfort of this noble And forced it, the honour that is dew

To God, to doe unto his idole most untrew.


To bim he hath before this castle greene

So all attonce they on the prince did thonder; Built a faire chappell, and an altar framed Who from his saddle swarved pought asyde, Of costly ivory full rich beseene,

Ne to their force gave way, that was great wonder; On which that cursed idole, farre proclamed, But like a bulwarke firmely did abyde, He hath set up, and him his god hath named ; Rebutting him, which in the midst did ryde, Offring to him in sinfull sacrifice

With so huge rigour, that his mortall speare (syde; The flesh of men, to Gods owne likenesse framed, Past through his shield and pierst through either And powring forth their bloud in brutishe wize, That downe he fell uppon his mother deare, That any yron eyes, to see, it would agrize. And powred forth his wretched life in deadly dreare. And, for more horror and more crueltie,

Whom when his other fellowes saw, they filed Under that cursed idols altar-stone

As fast as feete could carry them away; An hideous monster doth in darknesse lie,

And after them the prince as swiftly sped, Whose dreadfull shape was never seene of none To be aveng'd of their unknightly play. That lives on Earth; but unto those alone There, whilest they entring th’one did th'other stay, The which unto him sacrificed bee:

The hindmost in the gate he overhent, Those he devoures, they say, both flesh and bone ; And, as he pressed in, him there did slay: What else they have is all the tyrants fee:

His carkasse tumbling on the threshold sent So that no whit of them remayning one may see. His groning soule unto her place of punishment. There eke he placed a strong garrisone,

The other which was entred laboured fast And set a seneschall of dreaded might,

To sperre the gate; but that same lumpe of clay, That by his powre oppressed every one,

Whose grudging ghost was thereout fed and past, And vanquished all venturous knights in fight; Right in the middest of the threshold lay, To whom he wont shew all the shame he might, That it the posterne did from closing stay: After that them in battell he had wonne:

The whiles the prince hard preased in betweene, To which wben now they gan approch in sight, And entraunce wonne: streight th' other fied away, The ladie counseld him the place to shonne, And rau into the hall, where he did weene Whereas so many knights had fouly bene fordonne. Himselfe to save; but he there slew bim at the

skreene. Her fearefull speaches nought he did regard ; But, ryding streight under the castle wall,

Then all the rest which in that castle were, Called aloud unto the watchfuil ward

Seeing that sad ensample them before, Which there did wayte, willing them forth to call Durst not abide, but fled away for feare, Into the field their tyrants seneschall:

And them convayd out at a posterne dore. To whom when tydings thereof came, he streight Long sought the prince; but when he found no more Cals for his armes, and arming him withall T' oppose against his powre, he forth issued Eftsoones forth pricked proudly in his might, Unto that lady, where he her had lore, And gan with courage fierce addresse him to the and her gan cheare with what she there had vered, fight.

And, what she had not seene within, unto her shewed: They both encounter in the middle plaine, Who with right humble thankes him goodly greeting And their sharpe speares doe both together smite For so great prowesse as he there had proved, Amid their shields with so huge might and maine, Much greater then was ever in her weeting, That seem'd their soules they would have ryven With great admiraunce inwardly was moved, Out of their breasts with furious despight: [quight And honourd him with all that her behoved. Yet could the seneschals no entrance find

Thenceforth into that castle be her led Into the princes shield where it empight,

With her two sonnes right deare of her beloved ; (So pure the metall was and well refynd)

Where all that night themselves they cherished, But shivered all about, and scattered in the wynd: And from her balefull minde all care he banished.

Not so the princes; but with restlesse force
Into his shield it readie passage found,
Both through his haberieon and eke his corse;

Which tombling downe upon the senselesse ground
Gave leave unto his ghost from thraldome bound
To wander in the griesly shades of night:

Prince Arthure overcomes the great
There did the prince him leave in deacily swound,

Gerioneo in fight: And thence unto the castle marched right,

Doth slay the monster, and restore
To see if entrance there as yet obtaine he might.

Belgè unto her right.
But, as he nigher drew, three knights he spyde, It often fals, in course of common life,
All arm'd to point issuing forth apace,

That right long time is overborne of wrong Which towards him with all their powre did ryde, Through avarice, or powre, or guile, or strife, And meeting bim right in the middle race That weakens her, and makes her party strong : Did all their speares attonce on him enchace. But Iustice, though her dome she doe prolong, As three great culverings for batterie bent, Yet at the last she will her owne cause right: And leveld all against one certaine place,

As by sad Belgè seemes ; wbose wrongs though long Doe all attonce their thunders rage forthrent, She suffred, yet at length she did requight, That makes the wals to stagger with astonishment: And sent redresse thereof by this brave Briton kniglit.


Whereof when newes was to that tyrant brought, Downe streight to ground fell his astonisht steed, How that the lady Belgè now had found

And eke to th' earth his burden with him bare; A champion, that had with his champion fought, But he himselfe full lightly from him freed, And laid his seneschall low on the ground, And gan himselfe to fight on foote prepare: And eke bimselfe did threaten to confound ; Whereof whenas the gyant was aware, He gan to burne in rage, and friese in feare, He wox right blyth, as he had got thereby, Doubting sad end of principle unsound:

And laught so loud, that all his teeth wide bare Yet, sith he heard but one that did appeare,

One might have seene enraung'd disorderly, He did himselfe encourage and take better cheare. Like to a rancke of piles that pitched are awry. Nathlesse himselfe he armed all in hast,

Eftsoones againe his axe he raught on hie, And forth he fard with all his many bad,

Ere be were throughly buckled to his geare, Ne stayed step, till that he came at last

And can let drive at him so dreadfullie, Unto the castle which they conquerd had :

That had he chaunced not his shield to reare, There with huge terrour, to be more ydrad, Ere that huge stroke arrived on him neare, He sternely marcht before the castle gate, He had him surely cloven quite in twaine : And, with bold vaunts and ydle threatning, bad But th' adamantine shield which he did beare Deliver him his owne, ere yet too late,

So well was tempred, that for all bis maine To which they had no right, nor any wrongefüllstate. It would no passage yeeld unto his purpose vaine. The prince staid not his aunswere to devize, Yet was the stroke so forcibly applide, But opening streight the sparre forth to him came, That made him stagger with uncertaine sway, Full nobly mounted in right warlike wize; As if he would have tottered to one side : And asked him, if that he were the same,

Wherewith full wroth he fiercely gan assay Who all that wrong unto that wofull dame That curt'sie with like kindnesse to repay, So long bad done, and from her native land And smote at him with so importune might, Exiled her, that all the world spake shame. That two more of his armes did fall away, He boldly aunswerd him, he there did stand Like fruitlesse braunches, which the hatchets slight That would his doings iustifie with his owne hand. Hath pruned from the native tree and croppedquight. With that so furiously at him he dew,

With that all mad and furious he grew, As if he would have over-run liim streight;

Like a fell mastiffe through enraging heat, And with his huge great yron axe gan hew And cnrst, and band, and blasphemies forth threw So hideously uppon his armour bright,

Against his gods, and fire to them did threat, As be to peeces would have chopt it quight; And Hell unto himselfe with horrour great: That the bold prince was forced foote to give Thenceforth he car'd no more which way he strooke, To his first rage, and yeeld to his despight; Nor where it light; but gan to chaufe and sweat, The whilest at him so dreadfully he drive, And gnasht his teeth, and his head at him shooke, That seem'd a marble rocke asander could have and sternely him beheld with grim and ghastly looke. rive.

Nought feard thechilde his lookes, ne yet his threats; Thereto a great advauntage eke he has

But onely wexed now the more aware
Through his three double hands thrise multiplyde, To save himselfe from those his furious heats,
Besides the double strength which in them was: And watch advauntage how to worke his care,
For stil, when fit occasion did betyde,

The which good fortune to him offred faire :
He could his weapon shift from side to syde, For as he in his rage him overstrooke,
From hand to hand; and with such nimblesse sly He, ere he could bis weapon backe repaire,
Could wield about, that, ere it were espide,

His side all bare and naked overtooke, (strooke The wicked stroke did wound his enemy

And with his mortal steel quite through the body Behinde, beside, before, as he it list apply.

Through all three bodies he bim strooke attoncé, Which uncouth use whenas the prince perceived, That all the three attonce fell on the plaine, He gan to watch the wielding of his hand,

Else should he thrise bave needed for the nonce Least by such slight he were unwares deceived; Them to have stricken, and thrise to have slaine. And ever, ere he saw the stroke to land,

So now all three one sencelesse lampe remaine, He would it meete and warily withstand.

Enwallow'd in his owne blacke bloudy gore, One time when he his weapon faynd to shift, And byting th' earth for very Deaths disdaine ; As he was wont, and chang'd from hand to hand, Who, with a cloud of night him covering, bore He met him with a counter-stroke so swift, Downe to the House of Dole, his daies there to deThat quite smit off his arme as be it up did lift.

plore. Therewith all fraught with fury and disdaine Which when the lady from the castle saw, He bragd aloud for very fell despight;

Where she with her two sondes did looking stand, And sodainely, t'avenge himselfe againe

She towards him in hast herselfe did draw Gan into one assemble all the might

To greet him the good fortune of his hand : Of all his hands, and heaved them on hight, And all the people both of towne and land, Thinking to pay him with that one for all : Which there stood gazing from the citties wall But the sad steele seizd not, where it was hight, Uppon these warriours, greedy t' understand Uppon the childe, but somewhat short did fall, To whether should the victory befall, And lighting on bis borses bead him quite did mall. Now when they saw it falne, they eke him greeted all.

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