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SPENSER FOR CHILDREN.
THE CHILDREN'S LIBRARY.
Chaucer for Children; A Golden Key. By Mrs. H.
R. HAWEIS. With Eight Coloured Pictures and numerous Wood-
cuts by the Author. New Edition, crown 4to, cloth extra, 6s.
Shakespeare for Children: Tales from Shake-
speare. By CHARLES and MARY LAMB. With numerous Illus-
trations, coloured and plain, by J. MoYR SMITH. Crown 4to,
cloth gilt, 6s.
Spenser for Children. By M. H. TowRa. With
Coloured Illustrations by WALTER J. MORGAN. Crown 4to, cloth
LONDON: CHATTO AND WINDS, PICCADILLY.
TAL E [
UNA AND THE RED CROSS KNIGHT
SPENSER FOR CHILDREN
BY M. H. TOWRY.
_KING OF EDEN
He whose green bays shall bloom for ever young,
Sweet Spenser, sweetest Bard ; yet not more sweet
Than pure was he, and not more pure than wise,
High Priest of all the Muses' mysteries."-SOUTHEY.
A NEW EDITION.
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOURS BY WALTER 7. MORGAN
CHATTO AND WINDUS, PICCADILLY.
N these transcripts the writer has endeaveu'red to pre-
serve the thoughts and language of Spenser, while
presenting the tales in a simple and continuous form.
The work of one of our greatest poets has not been
approached in an irreverent spirit, nor with any inten-
tion of vulgarizing his fictions by relating them in a
familiar and mocking manner-a style too often sup-
S posed to be that most attractive to the young.
Many of the episodes in the poem, though comprising some of
the finest descriptive parts, have little or no action, and have,
therefore, been necessarily omitted. In Books III. and IV. of
the "Faerie Queene" the plot is so entangled that it would be
difficult for young readers to follow the threads of the different
adventures which are here given separately, but entirely without
The volume can only give a most imperfect foretaste of the
pleasure to be afterwards enjoyed from the original work, and is
designed to serve as an incitement to turn to it. Children read
on account of the interest of the narrative; beautiful thoughts and
artistic excellence of composition are not perceived until a riper
age, when the Poems themselves can be enjoyed.
I. HISTORY OF THE KNIGHT OF THE RED CROSS, CONTAINING HIS ADVENTURES
IN THE WANDERING WOOD, THE HOUSE OF PRYDE, AND HIS ENCOUNTER
WITH THE DRAGON OF TARTARY ... ... ... ... .. I
II. THE PERILOUS VOYAGES OF SIR GUY IN SEARCH OF THE BOWER OF BLISS 48
III. HISTORY OF CAMBEL AND TRIAMOND; OR, THE RING OF CANACEE ... 8I
IV. HISTORY OF BRITOMART; OR, THE MAGIC MIRROR AND THE ENCHANTER
BUSYRANE ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 8
V. THE FAIR FLORIMELL; OR, THE SEA-KING'S PALACE ... ... 117
"VI. TALUS; OR, THE IRON MAN .. ... ... ... ... 142
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
UNA AND THE RED CROSS KNIGHT ... ... ... ... Fro.itisfiece.
"THIS IS THE PORT OF REST FROM TROUBLOUS TOYLE ...To face frge 77
"A LADY BRIGHT AND FAIR, AND OF ANGELIC RACE" ... 86
THE MASQUE ... .. ... ... ** 96
CYMOENT AND MARINELL ... ... .. ... I20
THE QUEEN AND THE Two KNIGHTS ... ... .. ... ,, 70
THE HISTORY OF THE KNIGHT OF THE RED CROSS,
CONTAINING HIS ADVENTURES IN THE WANDERING WOOD, THE HOUSE OF
PRYDE, AND OTHER PLACES; ALSO HIS ENCOUNTER WITH THE DRAGON
N the distant kingdom of Fairyland stood a splendid
city named Cleopolis, built by one of the elfin
kings, and surrounded by a golden wall. Here
dwelt the graceful and beautiful Queen of the
Fairies, Gloriana; and to her court came all noble
knights seeking adventures, and all persons in
distress, to be delivered from their misfortunes.
Once upon a time there arrived at the palace a royal maiden named
Una, the only daughter of a king and queen. She had travelled
far, for the kingdom of her parents lay in the distant East, arrzes at
near the Euphrates, and the golden sands of the river Gehon. Cleoiafoi
There had she dwelt happily with her father and mother, until a huge
and cruel monster had found its way into their land. It was an enormous
2 Spenser for Children.
dragon, which had crawled out of a loathsome lake in Tartary, and devoured
everything on its way. This horrible and ravenous beast had laid waste all
the country, and forced the king and queen to flee for safety into a strong
castle with brazen walls. In this fortress they had lived four years, not
daring to venture out, lest they should be swallowed up by the dragon, who
lay in wait outside. Many knights from all countries had tried to slay the
monster, but without success. They had all, one after the other, been
conquered and devoured as its prey. At last the princess, full of pity for
the unhappy state of the country, managed to leave the castle unperceived
by the enemy, and, after a long and toilsome journey, reached the court
The princess had not remained long in the palace of the fairy queen
The Red before a noble and valorous knight undertook the adventure,
Crossknight in spite of its difficulty and danger. He set forth, guided on
to slay te the way by the princess, whom he promised to conduct to
dragon. her father's kingdom.
The knight was mounted on a fiery steed, and well armed at all points.
He bore upon his breastplate the sign of a bloody cross, and
the same emblem was marked upon his silver shield. The
gentle princess rode beside him upon a snow-white ass. She was attired in
a black robe, and her fair countenance was hidden by a long veil. She led
beside her, by a string, a little milk-white lamb, which could easily follow her,
as she rode but slowly. Far behind there lagged a lazy dwarf, who carried on
his back her bag of necessaries.
As they journeyed, the sky suddenly became overcast with clouds, and
a storm of rain poured so heavily that they began to look for some shelter.
Not far away they spied a shady grove of lofty trees. The branches spread
so widely and so thick that they almost hid the light of heaven. Within were
The History of the Knzght of the Red Cross. 3
many paths and alleys, worn by travellers, and leading into the depths of the
forest. The air was filled with the chirping of birds, who had found a shelter
from the tempest, and seemed in their songs to scorn the cruel sky.
Whilst the travellers rode under the shade they beguiled the way by
observing the different trees under which they passed. There
was the cedar, tall and proud; the oak, king of forests; the their w'oy in
aspen, good for staves; the cypress, carried at funerals; the the Wander-
laurel, worn by conquerors and poets; and many others,
too numerous to be named. By this time the storm had ceased, but
when the knight wished to get out of the wood. he could not find the path
by which they had entered. They wandered to and fro, finding themselves.
always further from the entrance. There were so many paths and turnings
that they doubtedgreatly which to take. At last they resolved Andfind
to follow that which was most worn, and after they had tracked a cave.
it a long way, they arrived at a hollow cave in the thickest part of the forest.
The knight quickly dismounted from his steed, and gave his spear to the
dwarf to hold, while he advanced to enter the cave, sword in hand.
"Be cautious," said the lady, "lest you provoke sudden mischief; the
danger is hid, and the place is unknown and wild. There is often fire
without smoke, and peril without show; therefore, Sir Knight, withhold your
stroke till trial be made of what lies concealed within."
"Ah, lady," said the champion, "it were shame to turn back for the
darkness of this hidden shade."
"Yes, but," she answered, "I know the peril of this place better than you.
We are in the Wandering Wood, and this is the den of Errour, a vile monster;
therefore I say, beware."
"Fly, fly!" then quoth the frightened dwarf; "this is no place for living
4 Spenser for Chzildren.
But the youthful knight, full of courage and daring, could not be stayed.
Forth to the darksome hole he went, and looked in. His
a terrible glittering armour made a little gloomy light, by means of
which he saw an ugly monster, named Errour, lying in the cave.
Half of her form was like a serpent, the other retained the shape of a woman.
As she lay upon the dirty ground, her huge long tail overspread all the den.
So lengthy was it that she was forced to coil it up in many knots and
folds, and each of these was pointed with a sting. A number of young ones
were crawling about her, of different shapes, but all horrible like their mother.
As soon as the rays of light glanced on them from the champion's armour,
they suddenly crept into her mouth and disappeared. The monster herself,
The knight being somewhat frightened, started out of her den, and rushed
encounters the forth, hurling her hideous tail about her head, with all its folds
stretched out and untwisted. She looked round, and seeing the
knight armed in mail, sought to turn back again; for she hated light, and
always remained in the darkness, where she could see nothing plainly.
When the knight perceived her retiring, he leapt forward as fiercely as a
lion,' and with his sharp sword boldly kept her from turning back, and
forced her to stay. Enraged at this, she began to roar loudly, and turning
her speckled tail, she threatened him with her stings, and advanced towards
him. He, still undaunted, dealt her a terrible blow, which glanced from
her head to her shoulder. She was somewhat stunned by this stroke, but in
her rage she gathered herself round, and all at once raised her body high above
the earth. Then, suddenly she leapt fiercely on his shield, and in an instant
wound all her huge train round him, so that he could not move hand or foot.
When his lady saw the danger he was in, she cried out, "Now, Sir
Knight, show what ye are; add faith to your strength, and be not faint.
Strangle her, or else she will surely strangle thee."
The History of the Kcight of the Red Cross. 5
When he heard this, he struggled violently, and with all his strength got
one hand free. With this he seized her by the throat so hard that she was
forced to loose her wicked bands. Thereupon she opened her mouth, and
poured out a flood of poison, horrible and black, mixed with frogs and toads
without eyes, who crawled away into the weedy grass. The smell of all
this sickened and nearly choked the knight, which when the fiend perceived,
she opened her maw again, and discharged a flood of small serpents and
foul deformed monsters, black as ink, which swarmed and crawled over him.
Upon this, the knight, half furious, resolved either to win or lose at once;
so, with a sudden and mighty stroke, he severed her head from
She is slain.
her body. The corpse fell back, and poured forth a stream
of coal-black blood. The brood of young monsters gathered round it,
and, horrible to relate, devoured it so ravenously that they forthwith burst
in pieces; thus the knight needed not to slay them also.
The lady, who had watched the encounter afar off, now approached
to greet his victory, and said, "Fair knight, born under a happy star, ye
have won great glory this day, and proved your strength on a strong enemy.
May all your adventures succeed as well as this first one."
He then remounted his steed, and they set forth to find the way back.
They kept to the beaten path, and did not turn aside in search of shorter
tracks; at last it brought them out of the wood.
They travelled far before they met anything worthy of record. One day
they chanced to meet an aged man, clad in long black weeds. They ieet an
His feet were bare, his beard was hoary gray, and a book hung old hermit.
from his belt. He seemed grave and sad, his eyes were bent upon the
ground, and as he went along he prayed, and often knocked his breast as if
he was repentant. He bowed low to the knight, who courteously returned
his salute, and asked him if he knew of any adventures.
6 Spenser for Children.
"Alas! my dear son," answered he, "how should an old man who sits in
hidden cell all day know of wars and troubles ? But if you wish to hear
of evil and danger at hand, I can tell you of a strange man that wasteth all
this country far and near."
"It is of such," said the knight, "that I chiefly inquire; show the place,
and I will reward thee well."
His dwelling," said the hermit, "is in a wilderness far from here."
Now," said the lady to the champion, "it is nearly dark, and you must
be wearied with your battle. Wait till to-morrow, and with new day new
work at once begin."
The hermit joined in this advice, and offered to lodge them for the night;
so they went with him to his home. It was a little hermitage down in a dale,
by the side of a forest, and far removed from travellers' roads. Near it there
was a small chapel, and a stream of water ran past, which issued from a
sacred fountain close by. The house was so small that the company quite
filled it; but they were well satisfied with their entertainment-
The noblest mind the best contentment has,"
-and passed the evening in discourse; for the old man had a store of pleasing
words, and told them tales of saints and popes.
Now, this old man was in reality a wicked magician; and when the
travellers had retired to rest, he went to his study, and there opened his books
of magic. In these he sought for charms to trouble sleepy minds. He called
forth by his spells a legion of sprites, who fluttered about his head like little
flies, ready to do his will. He chose two of the falsest of these; one he sent
on a message, the other stayed beside him. The first flew with great speed
through the air, then through the water, till he reached the house of Sleep
in the depths of the earth, where the light of day can never penetrate. He
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 7
passed its gates, one of polished ivory, the other of silver. Watchful dogs lay
before them to hinder the entrance of Care, the great enemy of Sleep. To
lull the soul to slumber, a trickling stream flowed from a high rock, and rain
drizzled on the roof, mixed with a murmuring wind, like the droning sound of
a swarm of bees; excepting this, all else was wrapt in silence.
The messenger went up and spoke to the genius, who was arts of the
slumbering on a couch; but in vain, for he slept so sound that er.
nothing could waken him. Then the sprite began to thrust and push him until
he stretched himself, on which he shook him so hard that he began to mumble
some words as if in a dream. The sprite on this awoke him more boldly, and
threatened'him with the dread name of Hecate. At this he quaked with fear,
lifted up his head, and angrily asked the sprite what he wanted.
"The great magician, Archimago," said he, "sent me to thee, to ask thee
for a false dream."
"The genius obeyed, and calling a dream out of a dark prison, gave it to
the sprite; then, laying down his head, instantly fell fast asleep. The mes-
senger quickly returned through the ivory door, and flew straight to his
master, carrying the dream on his wings.
As soon as he arrived, Archimago, the false hermit, took the false dream,
and sent. it to the knight as he lay asleep. He then called the The knight is
two sprites together, and caused one to assume the appearance deceived.
of Una, the other that of a knight. Next he went to the Red Cross knight,
who was -already much disturbed by the dream, and suddenly awoke him,
crying out, "Waken, Sir Knight, and sleep no longer. Behold your lady
departing with another champion."
The knight unhappily believed what he saw, for he did not know that the
hermit was in reality a wicked enchanter. So, beingmuch grieved, he called
to the dwarf to bring him his steed, and rode off, with the dwarf following.
8 Spenser for Children.
As soon as the rosy morning dawned, the royal maiden left her chamber,
Una is and looked everywhere for her knight; then called for her dwarf,
forsaken. who had always attended her. But no one came. She wept to
find herself thus cruelly deserted, and she rode after the knight with as much
speed as her slow beast could make, but all in vain. For his light-footed
steed had borne him so far that it was useless to attempt to follow him. Yet
she would not rest her weary limbs, but searched every hill and dale, wood
and plain; much grieved that he whom she loved best had so unkindly left
her, she knew not why.
While the gentle lady is wandering alone, we must return to the knight,
The knz;.t who rode along in great wrath and disdain. After some time
meets Sansfoy. he met a tall Saracen riding fully armed. On his shield was
written in large letters his name-SANSFOY. Beside him rode a lady clad
in scarlet trimmed with gold and pearls. On her head was a Persian mitre
garnished with coronets and gems set in gold. Her palfrey was covered with
tinsel trappings, and her bridle rung with golden bells and bosses.
When this damsel, whose name was Duessa, saw the Red Cross knight
advance his spear, she told Sansfoy to begin the fray. He, impatient to show
his valour, spurred fast forwards. In an instant they met with such force
that their steeds staggered under them, and each broke his spear on the
other's shield. The Saracen drew out his sword and flew fiercely upon the
knight, who warded off his blows, and pressed him hard in return. Each
fought with equal power, and sought to pierce the other's iron side. The
flashing fire flew out of their shields, and streams of blood stained the grass.
"Cursed be that cross," said the Saracen; "thou wouldst have been dead
Sasfoy is long ago had not that charm preserved thee. But hide thy
slain by the head now;" and, so saying, he smote so hard upon the knight's
i crest that he hewed a large piece out of it, and the stroke
crest that he hewed a large piece out of it, and the stroke
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 9
glanced downwards upon the shield. At this the Red Cross knight aimed a
blow at the helmet of the pagan, and, with a huge stroke, rived the steel,
and cleft his head in twain.
The lady, when she saw her champion fall like the old ruins of a broken
tower, stayed not to bewail him, but fled with all her power from the knight.
He hastily rode after her, and called to the dwarf to bring away with him the
Saracen's shield as token of his victory. He soon overtook the lady, and
bade her cease her flight, as there was no cause of fear.
She turned back with a rueful countenance, crying, "Mercy, mercy,
sir, vouchsafe to show to a poor lady, subject to misfortune and to your
He pitied her distress, and said, Dear lady, put fear aside, and tell
me who you are, and who was your companion."
Melting in tears she then began: "The wretched woman who has now
become your captive was born the sole daughter of an emperor Duessa tells
of.the West. In the flower of my youth my father betrothed me er false tale.
to the only son of a mighty king, rich and wise. There was never a prince so
gentle, so faithful, and so fair. But ere the wedding day arrived, he fell into
the hands of an accursed foe, by whom he was cruelly slain. His body was
carried away and concealed. Great was my sorrow when the unhappy tidings
were brought to me. I went forth to seek for his dear remains, and many
years throughout the world have I strayed, a virgin widow. At last it
chanced that this proud Saracen met me wandering, and led me away with
him. He was the eldest of three brothers, and was named Sansfoy. The
second is Sansloy, and the youngest Sansjoy. In this sad plight, friendless
and unfortunate am I, the miserable Fidessa. I beg of you in pity to do me
no ill, if ye will not do well."
The knight answered, "Fair lady, a heart of flint would pity your
10 Spenser for Children.
undeserved woes and sorrows. Henceforth rest in safe assurance, having
found a new friend to aid you and lost an old foe."
The seemingly simple maid cast her eyes on the ground, and consented
to pursue her journey under his guard.
They travelled some way until they perceived two goodly trees that
The speaking spread their arms abroad, covered with gray moss. Their green
tree. leaves, trembling with every blast, threw a wide shadow on the
grass. Timid shepherds always shunned the place as unlucky ground, and
never sat there nor played their pipes. But the good knight, as soon as he
saw the trees, went thither to find cooling shade from the heat of the noon-
day sun, which his new lady could not endure. As they sat under the
branches, the knight plucked a bough to frame a garland for the lady, when,
lo! from the rift there came small drops of gory blood, and a piteous voice
was heard crying, "Oh, spare my tender sides, shut in this rough bark. And
fly from hence, lest to you hap what happened to me here, and to this
wretched lady my dear love."
The knight stood astonished and unable to move with sudden horror.
Then in wonder, half doubting his senses, he spoke. "What voice of con-
demned ghost or guileful sprite wandering in empty air sends to my doubtful
ear these rueful complaints, bidding me spare guiltless blood ?"
The tree, deeply groaning, replied, "Neither ghost nor sprite speaketh
these words to thee, but I, Fradubio, once a man and now a tree. A cruel
witch transformed me, and placed me in this plain. The north wind blows
bleak and cold, and the scorching sun dries up my veins, for though I am
a tree, yet I suffer from the seasons."
"Say on, then, Fradubio, man or tree," quoth the knight; "by whose
mischievous spells art thou misshapen thus ?
"He oft finds medicine who his griefs imparts,
But double grief afflicts concealing hearts."
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 11
"The authoress," said Fradubio, "of all my troubles is one Duessa, a
false sorceress, who has brought many knights to wretchedness. Fradubio's
I loved this gentle lady whom ye see beside me, also in the sad tale.
form of a tree. As I was riding with her one day, I chanced to meet a
knight, who had a fair lady, as she seemed, at his side. This was the foul
Duessa. Her knight declared her beauty to exceed that of all others. I
stood up in defence of my lady's charms, so both fell to furious battle. It
was his lot to fall under my spear, and his lady remained my prisoner. Then
did she, envious of the beauty of my Frcelissa, cast wicked spells upon
her, that dimmed her loveliness, and made her appear of ugly and misshapen
form. After which she cried out, 'Fy! deformed wight, whose borrowed
beauties now appear plainly. Leave her, Sir Knight, or let her be slain.'
Then I, believing that my Frcelissa had deceived me, would have slain her;
but Duessa restrained me with feigned pity for her, and turned her into a tree.
So henceforth I took Duessa to me my lady, and believed that she was
what she seemed, till on a certain day (which is every spring), when witches
must do penance for their crimes, I chanced to see her in her own shape,
bathing in origan and thyme, and found she was a loathsome old hag.
The witch divined my thoughts by my [altered behaviour to her. So while
I slept, she smeared me with her magic herbs and ointments, till my senses
left me. Then she brought me to this desert, changed me to a tree, and
placed me beside my Frcelissa. Here, inclosed in wooden walls, far from
any living soul, we waste our weary days."
But how long," said the knight, "must you dwell here ?"
"We may not change this evil plight," said the tree, till we be bathed
in a well; such are the terms of the charm."
How may I find it out, and restore you again ? said he.
"Time and fate will restore us," answered the tree; "nothing else can
12 Spenser for Children.
Meantime the false Duessa, who had called herself Fidessa, heard all
this, and knew it to be true. She feigned to faint; so, when the good knight
had stuck the bough into the ground, and closed up the wound with clay,
he looked round, and saw her lying senseless. He, too simple and too true,
took pains to restore her, and often kissed her. At last she opened her
eyes. Then he set her carefully on her steed, and led it away.
Let us now return to the fair Una, whom we left abandoned. She,
faithful lady, forsaken and solitary, strayed through wilderness and deserts.
to find her knight. Fearless of evil, she daily sought him through woods and
wastes, but could hear no tidings of him.
One day, wearied by the irksome journey, she alighted from her beast,
Unafindeth and lay down on the grass to rest. Suddenly out of the thickest
a lion. of the wood rushed a ramping lion, hunting for savage blood.
As soon as he espied the royal virgin, he ran at her greedily with gaping
mouth; but when he drew nearer his rage ceased, and he stood amazed
at the sight. Instead of devouring her, he kissed her weary feet and
licked her lily hands, as if he knew her wronged innocence.
"C Oh, how can beautie master the most strong,
And simple truth subdue avenging wrong !"
When she perceived his yielding pride and his submission she wept.
"The lion," quoth she, "the king of beasts, yields to me through pity for my
sad state. But why has my noble lord hated and left me ?" Tears choked
her words, which were softly echoed from the neighboring wood. At last
she mounted her palfrey and set forth. The lion would not leave her
desolate, but went along with her as a strong guard, and a faithful sharer
of her, troubles. While she slept he kept watch, and when she waked
he waited on her with humble service. From her fair eyes he took com-
mand, and understood her meaning by her looks.
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 13
Long did she thus travel across wide deserts, through which she thought
her wandering knight might pass. Yet she found no living Ske lodgeth in
person, till at length she came to trodden grass at the foot of Kirkrapine's
a mountain. This path she followed, till she spied a damsel
walking slowly before her, carrying a pot of water on her shoulders. She
approached her, and began to call to her to ask if there was any dwelling
nigh at hand. But the rude girl never answered her, till, seeing the lion
standing by her side, she threw down her pitcher and fled away in great fear.
Full fast she fled, and never looked behind, as if her life depended on her
speed, till she reached home, where her blind mother sat. She could not
speak, but, suddenly catching hold of her, showed her fright by quaking
hands and other signs of terror. Her mother, full of dread, rose up and
shut the door.
By this time the wearied Una arrived, and prayed them to let her in;
but they would not open. On this the lion rent the door with his claws, and
thus made an entrance. She found them both, half dead with fear, in a dark
corner. At length she removed their terrors, and prayed leave to rest for the
night in their small cottage. This being granted, she laid down to sleep, and
the faithful lion kept watch at her feet. But alas! she had little rest, through
lamenting the loss of her dear knight, and all through the long hours she
wept and wished for morning.
While the stars were shining, and all was still, a man came to the door,
and knocked to be let in, cursing and swearing because they did
not open the door to him. He carried on his back a heavy load killeth
of nightly pillagings, for he was a stout and sturdy thief. He Kirkrafine.
was accustomed to creep through windows in the darkness, and rob churches
of their ornaments and of the money in the box for the poor; he also stole
the rich robes of saints and priests. And all that he got he brought to
14 Spenser for Children.
this house, and gave great part of it to the daughter of this woman; both
gold, and rings, and garments. Now, on this night he beat the door a long
time in his rage; but neither of the women dared to rise and let him in, for
they feared the lion. At last he furiously broke open the fastenings, and
would have entered, when suddenly the lion encountered him, and, seizing
him, rent him in a thousand pieces, and so put an end to his wicked life.
His terrified friends half suspected what had happened in the darkness,
but they dared not move, lest they should be slain.
When daylight appeared, Una rose and went her way, guarded by
her attendant. The old woman and her daughter then came outside, and
finding Kirkrapine (such was the robber's name) lying dead, they tore their
hair and beat their breasts. Then, filled with malice and rage at Una,
they ran forth to follow her, and railed and accused her of dishonesty,
wishing that plagues and mischief might ever fall on her. Then they
returned; and as they came back they met what seemed an armed knight,
Archiinmao but was in reality the false hermit, Archimago. For by his
taketh the arts he could take many forms and shapes. Sometimes he
shape of the
Red Cross made himself a fowl, sometimes a fish, or a fox, or a dragon, so
kmg't. that even himself would often quake for fear and fly away.
He had now taken the form of the Red Cross knight, and had clothed
himself in armour of the same appearance.
Having found out from the old woman which way Una had gone, he rode
quickly after her, but being afraid to go too near, on account of the lion,
he turned aside to a hill, on which he placed himself. She soon perceived
him, and thinking it was her own dear knight, rode up to him, and weeping,
gently reproached him for his long absence. He told her that he never had
forsaken her, nor would leave her, his dearest lady, but that he had gone
to slay the felon of whom Archimago had spoken, a wretch who had
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 15
troubled many knights. But his faithful service was ever at her command,
to defend her by land or sea.
His lovely words her seemed due recompense
Of all her passed pains ; one loving hour
For many years of sorrow can dispense.
A dram of sweet is worth a pound of sour.
She has forgot how many a woeful store
For him she late endured ; she speaks no more
Of past; true is, that true love hath no power
To looken back: his eyes be fixed before.
Before her stands her knight for whom she toiled so sore."
Una had great joy when she found her knight, as she thought; and the
enchanter seemed no less glad. So they rode on, discoursing of
all her distresses, and she told him how faithfully the lion had countereth
guarded her. Soon they saw a knight galloping fiercely towards
them, strongly armed and mounted on a foaming courser. His shield bore
his name, Sansloy; his looks were stern and full of revenge and hate. No
sooner did he see the red cross, than he couched his spear for battle. The
enchanter was timid and loth to fight; but being cheered by his lady, he began
to hope to succeed, and spurred forward. But the proud Paynim came on so
fiercely and wrathfully that his sharp spear pierced right through the other's
shield, and if the staggering steed had not shrunk back, would have forced it
through his body too. As it was, he bore Archimago quite down from his
saddle, and tumbled him on the ground. Then Sansloy, dismounting lightly
from his lofty steed, leapt to him and said, Lo! here is the reward of him
that slew my brother Sansfoy. His life thou tookest, therefore thine shalt
be taken by Sansloy." With these words, he began to unlace his helmet, and
paid no attention to Una, who piteously implored him to have mercy. But
when he had rent off the helmet, great was his surprise to see the hoary head
of Archimago, for he knew the old man well. "Why, Archimago," cried he,
"luckless sire, what do I see ?"
16 Spenser for Children.
The hermit did not answer, for he had fainted away. So the Saracen
Sansloy killeth turned aside and left him, and came to the lady, who stood in
thefaithfullion. great perplexity and distress to find it was not her own true
knight. He rudely seized hold of her, whereupon the lion instantly flew at
him. But the Saracen pulled his shield from the claws of the royal beast,
drew his sword, and stabbed him to the heart. Thus was the unfortunate
Una left in yet greater distress, in the hands of the fierce Paynim, with her
faithful guard slain. The Saracen bore her away as captive on his steed,
in spite of all her prayers and entreaties, and her own palfrey followed her
Meantime the Red Cross knight travelled on his way with the false
Duessa, until they arrived at a large building, which seemed to
The Red Cross
knight comet be the house of a mighty prince. A broad, well-trodden high-
to the house way led to it, and great troops of people of all degrees travelled
there day and night. But it was a strange thing that few
returned, except some in beggary and disgrace, who lay under the hedges in
a woful state. It was a majestic palace, built of square bricks, cunningly laid
without mortar. Its walls were high, but neither strong nor thick. Golden
foil was laid over them, so that they glittered in the sunshine. There were
many lofty towers and goodly galleries-
"Full of fair windows and delightful bowers;
And on the top a dial told the timely hours."
It was a pity such a fair building stood on a weak foundation. For it
was on a sandy hill that was ever falling away; and it stood so high that
every breath of heaven shook it. The back parts, which few could see, were
old and ruinous, but skilfully painted. Its name was The House of Pryde."
The gates stood wide open, and a porter was in charge of them, named
Malvenu, who allowed all people to enter. The knight and Duessa went into
The History of the Knzzgzht of tZe Red Cross. 17
the hall, which was hung with costly tapestry, and in which was a great crowd
of people waiting to see the lady of the palace. These they passed, and went
into her presence, led by an usher called Vanitie. High above the crowd a
cloth of state was spread, and a rich throne, bright as a sunny day, on which
the queen sat. She was clad in glistering gold and peerless precious stones,
yet her beauty was brighter than the riches in which she was arrayed. Under-
neath her feet lay a dragon with a hideous tail, and in her hand she held a
mirror, in which she often viewed herself with delight. Her name was proud
Lucifera, and she had caused herself to be crowned as a queen. Yet she had
no rightful kingdom at all, but had tyrannously usurped the sceptre she now
held. She did not rule her kingdom by laws, but by the advice of five
ancient wizards, who by their bad counsels upheld her sway.
The knight and Duessa made obeisance before her, saying that they had
come to see her royal state, and prove the wide report of her great majesty.
She thanked them very disdainfully, and scarcely vouchsafed to look at them,
or to bid them rise. But the knights and ladies attending received them with
courtesy, for they knew Duessa of old, and were glad to have the knight as
one of their band. In a short time the queen rose from her throne, and
called for her chariot, in which she entered with princely grace. Crowds of
people, thronging in the halls, pressed and overturned each other to get a
sight of her. The chariot was drawn by five unequal animals, on which the
five counsellors rode.
The first rider, who guided all the rest, was named Idleness. He rode
upon a slothful ass, and was attired in a black robe. In his The chariot of
hand he carried a book of prayers, much worn but little read, Queen Lucifera.
for he was generally drowned in sleep, and scarcely held up his heavy head
to see if it was night or day. He greatly shunned all manly exercises, and
every kind of work. He had withdrawn himself from all worldly cares to
18 Spenser for Children.
have time, he pretended, for contemplation; yet he spent half his days in
rioting, which made him be ever afflicted with a shaking fever. Ill led must
have been the way when such a guide ruled, who knew not whether he went
right or astray.
Next rode Gluttony upon a pig, dressed in vine leaves and with an ivy
garland on his head. Whilst he rode he eat, and carried in one hand a can,
from which he was always drinking. His mind was so dulled that he scarce
knew friend from foe. Then came greedy Avarice, upon a camel laden with
gold. Two iron coffers hung on either side, filled with precious metal, and
on his lap lay a heap of coin which he was ever counting. He was thin and
worn from miserly saving, and dressed in a threadbare coat and cobbled
shoes. Next followed malicious Envy, riding on a ravenous wolf, chewing
between his teeth a venomous toad, and filled with rage and sadness at the
wealth of his neighbours ; but when he heard of evil and misfortune, he became
glad. He was clothed in a thin cloak of many colours, painted full of eyes, and
in his breast there lay a hateful snake, coiled up in many folds. And as he
rode he gnashed his teeth at the heaps of gold carried by Avarice, and grudged
the rest of the company their splendour. Last came fierce Wrath, on a lion
that would hardly be restrained, carrying in his hand a burning brand, which
he brandished about his head. Sparks of fire flew from his eyes, his counte-
nance was pale, and his other hand was on his dagger. His raiment was all
stained with blood, and torn to rags.
So forth they all issued to ride through the fresh flowering fields; and
Duessa rode by the queen, Lucifera, as one of her train. But the good
knight kept behind, not liking the company he was in.
When the procession returned they found that Sansjoy, the youngest of
Sansjoy arrives three Saracen brothers, had arrived at the palace. He, seeing
at the palace. the shield of Sansfoy carried by the dwarf, snatched it from
The History of the Knigkht of the Red Cross. 19
him, and defied the Red Cross knight to mortal combat. On which
they drew their swords and clashed their shields, disturbing all the place,
until the queen commanded them. to refrain till the morrow, when they
should fight in equal lists. The night was passed in jollity and feasting in
bower and hall; for the steward was Gluttony, who poured forth plenty to
every one. Then the chamberlain, Sloth, showed to them their rooms.
When all were wrapped in sleep, Duessa softly arose and went to the
Saracen's chamber, where she found him meditating how he might conquer
his foe. To him, with many false tears, she bewailed the death of Sansfoy,
telling him that he had been treacherously slain by the Red Cross knight,
who had then dragged her about as his captive, and long shut her up in a
darksome cave. But I fear," said she, "you will find it hard to subdue him,
for he has a charmed shield and enchanted arms."
Charmed or enchanted," said he, fiercely, I care not a whit. To-
morrow I shall slay him, and gain you and the shield as my prize. So
to-night return whence you came, and rest awhile."
The Red Cross champion had also spent the night in watching, and as
soon as he perceived the sun rise he put on his armour and went into the
common hall. Many people stood waiting to see the tourney, and there were
minstrels and bards to drive away melancholy with their sweet tunes, and
chroniclers who could tell of old loves and wars for ladies done by many a
lord. Soon after, the Saracen came in, and the attendants brought wines of
Greece and Araby, and dainty spices of the far Ind, to strengthen the courage
of the knights, who took a solemn oath, when they drank, to observe the sacred
laws of arms.
Lastly came the queen with royal pomp, and was led under a stately
canopy, in front of a green fenced in by pales. On the other side of the
ground was placed Duessa, and on a tree was hung the shield of Sansfoy.
20 Spenser for Children.
A shrill trumpet was now sounded from on high to bid them begin the fight.
The tourney They tied their shining shields to their wrists, and, brandishing
between their swords, they struck each other so fiercely that they im-
the Red Cross pressed deep furrows in the battered mail. The Saracen was
kikt. stout and wondrous strong, and heaped great blows like iron
hammers, for he longed for blood and vengeance. The knight was young
and fierce, and returned with doubled stroke, fighting for praise and honour;
and from their shields and hewn helmets flew fiery sparks of light.
At last the Pagan chanced to cast his eyes upon his brother's shield, the
sight whereof redoubled his fury, and he struck the knight upon his crest so
hard that he reeled twice, ready to fall. Then the lookers-on thought the
battle coming to an end, and the false Duessa loudly called to the Saracen,
"Thine is the shield, and thine am I, and all."
But when the knight heard his lady's voice, though indistinctly, he
recovered from his faintness, and so fiercely struck at his enemy that he forced
him to stoop on one knee, and then lifted up his sword again to slay him,
when, lo a dark cloud fell on the Pagan, and he vanished. The Red Cross
knight called aloud, but saw him nowhere. Astonished at the sudden dis-
appearance of his foe, he stood alone in the field.
Immediately Duessa arose from her seat in haste, and running to him,
said, "The powers of evil have covered your foe with darkness and borne
him away. The conquest and the glory are yours."
Then the trumpets sounded notes of triumph, and the heralds came to
greet him and brought him the shield. With it he went to the queen, and
bending on one knee before her made her a present of his service, which she
accepted with thanks and goodwill. Then she marched home, the knight
walking with her; and all the people followed with great glee, shouting and
clapping their hands. Having reached the palace, he was laid on a sump-
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 21
tuous bed, and many skilful leeches came to him to cure his hurts, bringing
wine, oil, and balms. Meanwhile sweet music was played to beguile him
from suffering, and the false Duessa feigned to weep for his wounds.
But when the eventide came, Duessa went out to where the Pagan knight
lay under the cloud which she had caused to fall over him, andFalse Duessa's
found him as she had left him, nearly dead, and in a slumbering midnight
trance. She did not stay to bewail his condition, but hurried to eedii
the East, to the abode of the goddess Night. She found her clad in a black
mantle, coming forth from her den. An iron chariot was awaiting her, drawn
by two coal-black steeds and two brown, who stood champing their rusty bits.
When the old enchantress saw Duessa all sunny bright, adorned with shining
gold and jewels, she feared the unaccustomed blaze of light, and would have
retired into her cave; but Duessa prayed her to stay, and craved her help for
Sansjoy. For these three brothers were the sons of Aveugle, a brother of
that ancient dame.
To this the goddess agreed, but asked Duessa who she was.
"I do not appear what I am," said she, "being thus arrayed, but I am
Duessa, the daughter of Deceit and Shame."
"Ah !" said the other, "I see the resemblance of your father now; yet
such true-seeming grace is there in your appearance, that I could scarce
discern it, though I am the mother of Falsehood and all your race. Oh,
welcome, child, whom I have longed to see and have now seen unaware."
Then they entered the chariot and took their way through the thick
murky air. The horses swam smoothly along, never stamping unless their
stubborn mouths were twitched. Then, foaming out tar, they would toss
their bridles, and fiercely trample through the element. The goddess and
Duessa reached the spot where the Paynim lay devoid of his senses. They
bound up his hurts, and laid him in the chariot; but whilst they were on the
22 Spenser for Children.
ground busied about him, hideous noises were heard. For the dogs bayed,
startled by the chariot and the dark, grisly visage of its mistress, the ghastly
owl shrieked drearily, and wolves roaming on the plain howled continually.
But the witches soon remounted and softly drove away, silently and
swiftly, for many leagues, until they brought the corpse to a yawning gulf,
from whence smoke and sulphur were ever rising. This deep hole was the
entrance to Avernus. No mortals who descended thither ever returned,
except through the mighty aid of Heaven. For there only issued dreadful
Furies which had burst their chains, or ghosts sent to terrify the wicked.
Slowly they drove down the slanting way, and on every side of them stood
trembling ghosts amazed, chattering their iron teeth, and staring wide with
stony eyes. They passed the bitter waves of Acheron, and the house of
Endless Pain. Before its threshold lay the monster Cerberus, with three
deformed heads curling with a thousand venomous adders. He raised his
bristles and gnarled at the travellers, but the goddess appeased him, and he
suffered them to proceed. They passed Ixion, for ever turning on a wheel;
Sisyphus, rolling uphill a ponderous stone that when it reached the top fell
heavily down again; Tantalus, ever hungering and thirsting, standing in
water to his chin, and with fairest fruits just above his head; Tityus, the
living prey of a vulture; and the fifty sisters, condemned to draw water in
leaking vessels. At the farthest part was a deep dark cave, in which was
chained .Esculapius, the great physician. To him the witches carried
Sansjoy, and left him there to be cured of his wounds.
Duessa then returned to the house of Pryde, but she found the Red
The dwarfs Cross knight gone. For his dwarf had one day been wander-
discovery. ing about the palace, and spied a deep dungeon in which
many captives lay, shut up by that tyrant queen to live and die in wretched-
ness. Such was the fate, sooner or later, of all who came to the house
The History of the Knzght of the Red Cross. 23
of Pryde, to perish in misery, rags, and darkness. When the dwarf had
told his master what he had seen, the good knight resolved to escape.
So they rose early, and before daylight had dawned went out by a
privy postern gate, for it would have been death to them had they been
perceived. They could scarce pick their way out among the corpses of
murdered men, which lay strewn about unburied, and under the castle wall
they spied a heap of dead carcases.
Now let us return to Una, whom we left carried off by the fierce Sansloy.
He took his way through a thick forest, dragging her as his
captive. But she was rescued from his cruelty; for a troop of rescued fom
satyrs, who were dancing in the wood, hearing her cries and Sansloy by
complaints, ceased their sports, and came to where the Saracen
was riding. When he saw this rabble of rude, misshapen creatures, half men,
but with the legs and feet of goats, he durst not stay, but fled in fright. The
troop, finding only the fair lady, stood amazed at her beauty, and pitied her
unhappy plight. They read her sorrow in her sad countenance, and bending
their horned foreheads, gently grinned and bowed before her with their back-
ward-bent knees. They led her forth to their dwelling in the woods, strewing
green branches in her way, and playing on their merry pipes. And all the
wood nymphs came out to see her; but when they had viewed her lovely face,
they were filled with envy at her beauty and fled away again. So the maiden
dwelt awhile with the satyrs, and they paid her all honours, adoring her as
their goddess. And when the gentle lady had restrained them from this,
they would fain have worshipped her ass.
It chanced that there was a young knight of the woods, named Satyrane,
who had been born in the forest and there passed his youth. He could sub-
due all wild beasts-the lion, the leopard, the panther, the tiger, and the wolf.
These he would often harness together, and bring them under the yoke. He
24 Spenser for Children.
came one day into the wood, and found the satyrs sitting round Una, listening
attentively to her words. In a short time he learnt her sad history, and
agreed to lead her away, whilst the satyrs went to do homage to their old
chieftain. For she wished to escape that she might resume her search for the
Red Cross knight. So under his guidance she soon found her way out of the
wood, and they reached the plain. On their way they met an old pilgrim, a
man covered with dust, and with a sunburnt visage. In his hand he carried a
Jacob's staff, and a scrip on his back contained his scanty possessions. They
asked this old wanderer if he had ever met a knight with a red cross marked
on his corselet.
"Alas," said the pilgrim, dear lady, I sorrow to tell the sad sight I have
The '-' r.:: seen, for I have beheld that knight both living and dead."
tells her the At these terrible words she fainted; but young Satyrane
knight is tried to restore her, and as soon as she could speak she bade the
dead. pilgrim tell his tale.
He described how he had seen the Red Cross knight fighting with
a Saracen, who slew him; "and if you proceed a little way," he said,
"you will find the Paynim washing his wounds at a fountain hard by."
Satyrane quickly went there; but Una, oppressed with sorrow, could not
follow him so fast. There he found the Saracen and challenged him to
fight, who on hearing him, seized his three-square shield and shining
helmet, and buckled on his armour. A fierce encounter began; and mean-
while Una, who came up to the place, fled away again in affright, for fear of
At this battle the pilgrim, who hid himself in a thicket near, greatly
rejoiced. For he was in reality false Archimago, and had invented this false-
hood that he might deprive Una of her protector, Satyrane. So when he saw
the royal maiden flee, he went after her to capture her.
The History of thIe Knigzt of the Red Cross. 25
We must now tell the true fate of the Red Cross knight. As soon as
Duessa found he had left the house of Pryde, she hastened after
him, She had not gone far before she found him sitting by lows the Red
a fountain, his charger feeding near him, and his armour laid Cross knigt.
on the grass. The witch reproached him for leaving her, but mingled her
upbraidings with caressing words, so that they were soon reconciled. They
rested under the shade of the green branches, sheltered from the burning sun
and listening to the bubbling of the cool spring. The knight drank the
sparkling waters, and did not know that, though pleasant to look on and to
taste, they made all who partook of them feeble and weak; for with this evil
property they had been cursed by the goddess Diana.
Suddenly they were startled by a tremendous noise bellowing through
the wood, so that the very trees seemed to tremble. The knight leapt from
the ground, and hastily began to lay hold of his weapons. But before he
could don his armour or get his shield, his monstrous enemy A monstrous
came stalking in sight with sturdy steps. It was a hideous giant sur-
giant, horrible and high. He seemed nearly to reach the clouds,
for he was as tall as three of the tallest men: and the earth seemed to
groan under his weight. He was a monstrous mass of earthy slime, puffed
out with wind. He leant upon a shaggy oak, which he had torn out of
the ground. When he spied the knight, he strode towards him with
great fury. The champion advanced to meet him, dismayed and hope-
less of victory, for he felt himself so feeble and frail in every joint and
limb, that he could hardly drag his steps along or hold his sword. The
giant struck so mercilessly that he would have overthrown a stone tower,
and nearly powdered him to dust with a heavy blow, had the knight not
leapt from its full force; yet it was so great that he lay stunned Andcatlures
and senseless on the ground. Then would his foe have utterly the knight.
26 Spenser for C/ildren.
destroyed him, had not Duessa called out, Oh, great Orgoglio, greatest under
the sky, hold thy hand, and slay him not, but make him thy eternal bond slave,
and take me for thy love." The monster hearkened to her words, and, lifting
up the senseless corpse, carried it to his castle, and threw it into a deep
From that day forth Duessa was his dear, and he gave her gold and
Duessa's purple robes to wear, and a triple crown. And to make her
treachery. feared of all men, he chose a monstrous beast for her to ride
upon. It was bred in a filthy fen, and had seven great heads, an iron breast,
a back covered with brazen scales, and bloody eyes shining like glass.
The sorrowful dwarf, when he saw his master's fall, took the horse and
The dwarf the armour, the long spear and the silver shield, and went sadly
finds Una. away to find help. He had not travelled far before he met Una
flying from the Paynim Sansloy. When she saw the dwarf, and the signs
that told of deadly tidings-
"She fell to ground with sorrowful regret,
And lively breath her sad breast did forsake;
Yet might her piteous heart be seen to pant and quake."
The messenger, in great grief himself, tried to restore her strength. Soon,
with faltering words, she prayed him to tell her the woful tragedy. Then
the dwarf declared everything to her-the subtilty of Archimago, the wan-
tonness of Fidessa, the wretched pair transformed to trees, the house of Pryde,
the combat with Sansjoy, and the luckless conflict with the giant. She heard
with patience to the end, but the more she strove to master her sorrow, the
greater it became.
For greater love the greater is the loss."
At last she arose, resolved to find her knight living or dead. The dwarf
attended her, and away they went over hill and dale. By good fortune they
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 27
chanced to meet a goodly knight, together with his squire. His armour
glittered like the sun's rays, and he wore upon his breast a They meet
baldric that shone with precious stones like twinkling stars. By Prince
his side hung his sword in a carved ivory sheath, with a hilt of undertakes to
burnished gold and a handle of mother of pearl, buckled with a defend them.
golden tongue. His helmet was of gold, covered with a golden dragon, with
two extended wings, and adorned by a plume of divers coloured hair, dressed
with sprinkled pearls and gold. His large shield was neither of steel nor brass,
but of one perfect diamond, hewn out of adamantine rock; it could not be
pierced by point of spear or sword. His squire carried his ebony spear, with
a point thrice hardened in the fire. All this admirable suit of armour was
wrought by Merlin for the knight who wore it. He was the renowned Prince
Arthur, one of the bravest champions in Fairyland. Having inquired of the
fair Una the cause of her distress, he at once undertook to attempt the deliver-
ance of the Red Cross knight. So forth they went, guided by the dwarf;
and he endeavoured to cheer the gentle lady with kind and courteous words.
Soon they reached a strong and high castle, upon sight of which Prince
Arthur alighted from his steed, and bade Una stand aside with
the dwarf to see what should befall him. Then he boldly at an un-
marched forward with his squire to the front of the fortress. known castle.
The gates were shut, and no living thing was to be seen. The squire took a
small bugle which hung at his side, with twisted gold and gay The magic
tassels. This horn had great virtues, for its sound could be bugle.
heard at the distance of three miles, and echo answered it three miles
further. No false enchantment could abide the terror of that blast, and
no gate or lock was strong enough to resist it, but presently flew wide
open. This horn the squire blew before the giant's gate; whereupon the
castle quaked to the ground, and every door forthwith flew apart. The giant
28 Spenzser for C/ildren.
himself came rushing forth from an inner bower, with a stern, staring
countenance and staggering steps. And after him the proud Duessa came,
mounted on her beast, every head of which wore a crown and had its
flaming fiery tongue outstretched.
As soon as Prince Arthur saw his foe he flew fiercely at him. On this
the giant lifted up his knotty club, and brought it down with
Arthur's such a furious stroke, that it made a furrow in the ground three
combat with yards deep. But the prince had lightly leaped aside, and
whilst the giant was trying to rear up his club, he smote off one
of his arms. He brayed with a tremendous yelling noise, which when Duessa
heard, she hastily drove forth her dreadful beast, who came ramping and
threatening with all its heads. But the squire made it retreat, and stood sword
in hand between it and his lord. Duessa, full of spite at this, took her golden
cup, and after muttering some charms and enchantments, she lightly sprinkled
it over the squire, so that his sturdy courage was quelled, and his senses dis-
mayed with sudden dread. So he fell down before the bloody beast, who
planted his cruel claws on his neck, and would have crushed all life out of him.
His master perceiving the danger, with great anguish of heart, ran to his loved
squire, and, lifting up his sword on high, smote one of the deformed heads
Duessa's of the animal and clove it in twain. At this the beast roared
beast, horribly, and beat the empty air with his long tail. In his fury
he would have thrown off his gorgeous rider, and trampled her in the mud,
had not the giant come up to her aid and made the prince retire. The
strength of both his arms was now in his left one, since the other had
been hewn off. So he swung his enormous club high in the air, and dashed
it down upon the prince's shield. The heavy blow brought the prince to the
ground, and in his fall the veil which covered his shield flew off, and the
dazzling light blazed forth, which when the giant saw, -he dropped his arm
The History of 11e Knzight of the Red Cross. 29
and let down his club. And the beast was blinded by the flashing beams, and
all his senses were so dazed that he fell down upon the ground.
When his mistress perceived him to stagger and sink, she began to call
loudly, Help, Orgoglio, else we shall all perish."
Moved by her cries, the giant addressed himself to battle anew; but in
vain, for he saw his end in that bright shield, and he had no power to hurt, or
to defend himself. Prince Arthur advanced and smote off his right leg. So
he fell like an aged tree rolling from a rocky cliff, or like a The, iant is
castle undermined, and seemed to shake the earth with his overcome.
weight. The prince then lightly leaped to him, and hewed off his head;
whereupon, as soon as breath left his breast, his huge body vanished
away, and nothing remained of the monstrous mass but the outside, like
an empty bladder.
When Duessa spied his grievous fall, she threw her golden cup and her
mitre to the ground, and fled away ; but the squire ran after her,
and seized her as his lord's prey. Meantime, the royal Una captures
gartefully thanked the prince for his bold deeds of valour, and uessa.
prayed him to enter the castle and bring out her dear knight, whom she had
lost for so long. Then he gave Duessa in charge to the squire, and ordered
him to guard her carefully, and himself went into the castle. He searched the
halls, calling loudly, but no one answered.
"There reigned a solemn silence over all;
Nor voice was heard, nor wight was seen in bower or hall."
At last there slowly crept forth, with crooked pace, an aged man, with a
beard as white as snow, supporting his feeble steps on a staff, and guiding his
way by it; for his eyesight had failed long since. On his arm he bore a bunch
of rusty keys, and ever as he went he turned his wrinkled face backward.
He was the ancient keeper of the place, and had been the giant's foster-father.
30 SpenCser for Children.
Ignaro was his name. Prince Arthur honoured his reverend age and gravity,
Prince and gently asked him, Where were all the people who dwelt
sercs in this stately building ?"
castle. He answered softly, He could not tell."
Again he asked, "Where is that knight whom great Orgoglio made his
And again the other answered, "He could not tell."
Then he said, By which way can I pass in ? "
To which the other replied, "He could not tell," and would make no
The prince was displeased, and said, Old sire, surely thou knowest not
how ill it becomes that silver head to mock in vain. Answer me gravely
what I ask of thee."
His answer was, He could not tell;" so the prince, marking his doted
ignorance and senseless speech, guessed his nature, and stepping up to
him took the keys, and opened the different doors. He found the chambers
filled with royal arras and resplendent gold; but the floor was dreadful to
view, covered with the blood of innocent babes who had been slain there, and
ashes strewn over it; and there was a marble altar, carved with curious
imagery, on which many martyrs had been killed.
Prince Arthur sought through every room and tower, but could nowhere
find the captive. At length he came to an iron door, fast locked, but no
key in the bunch would open it. However, there was a little grating in it,
through which he called to see if any one was within. A hollow,
And funds the
Red Cross dreary, murmuring voice answered feebly, "Who brings me the
knight in happy choice of death? Long months have I lain here in
darkness. Welcome, if thou bringest true tidings of death."
The prince was thrilled with pity at these sad words, and with all
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 31
nis strength rent the iron door; but found no floor within, but a deep
descent, from which issued a baneful smell. However, neither this nor the
darkness could restrain the prince, but he let himself down, and after much
pain and labour he reared up the prisoner, who could scarcely stand. He
was a sad sight to behold. His dull eyes, sunk in his face, could not bear the
light; his cheeks were thin and bare, and his sides fallen in ; his arms, which
once hewed helmets through and could rive steel plates, hung shrunken by
him; and his voice was weak and low.
When Una saw him, she ran to him with hasty joy. To see him again
made her glad; but she was sorrowful to view his pale and wan visage.
Weeping, she said, "Welcome, my dear lord in weal or woe, whom I have lost
so long; and fie on cruel Fortune, whose spite is now, I hope, allayed, and
better times shall come."
Prince Arthur also bid the knight take comfort, and told him that his foe
lay dead outside, and that the wicked woman who had caused all his woe was
captive, and might be killed. But the gentle Una interceded for her life,
and asked that she might be allowed to flee. So they took
off her purple robes, her jewels, ornaments, and the charms she discovered
wore, and found she was a foul and loathsome hag; no teeth, to be a hag.
no hair, and with a fox's tail, and, instead of feet, the claw of an eagle and the
paw of a bear.
She ran away with speed to the wilderness, to lurk in rocks and caves.
But the two knights, Una, the squire, and the dwarf went into the unused
parts of the castle, where they found stores of all that was dainty and rare;
and there they passed some weeks to refresh themselves.
After a while they parted, to resume their journeys, having pledged firm
friendship to each other. And as tokens, Prince Arthur gave the knight a
little diamond box arched over with gold, which held a few drops of a rare
32 Spenser for Children.
liquor which could cure any wound. And the knight gave him in return
a little book, which contained the Testament written in golden letters. So
the prince and his squire went one way, and the knight, his dear Una, and the
The next adventure which befel the knight and Una was that they met
an unhappy man riding in great haste, with a hempen rope round
adLventure- his neck, which had a strange appearance over his glittering
Armour. This was Sir Trevisan, flying from the cave of Despair,
where there dwelt a wicked wretch, whose delight was to render all men
miserable, and persuade them to put an end to their lives. For this purpose
he had crept out, like a snake in the grass, and enticed Sir Trevisan and a
companion of his with many false words, giving Trevisan a rope to hang
himself, and the other a rusty knife.
When the Red Cross knight had questioned Trevisan, he desired to visit
the cave and hear the words of its inhabitant; so he prevailed upon Trevisan
to show him the way. They soon reached the spot, a hollow cavern under
a craggy cliff. It was dark, doleful, and dreary, like a yawning grave.
Over it sat a ghastly owl, shrieking his baleful note, and wandering ghosts
hovered near. Here and there, on the rugged rocks, were old stocks
and stubs of trees, bare of fruit or leaf, on which many wretches had
hanged themselves, whose carcases lay scattered on the green and thrown
about the cliffs.
When they came to the cave, Trevisan would fain have fled again; for he
The cave of saw the corpse of his companion lying on the blood-stained
Despair. grass, with the fatal knife plunged into the heart. But the Red
Cross knight forced him to stay, and went into the cave. The man was
sitting on the ground, musing sullenly and sadly. His long, grisly locks
hung down on his round shoulders, and partly hid his face and his thin,
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 33
bony cheeks. His hollow eyes looked on the comers with a dull stare, and
his garment was many ragged cloths pinned and patched together with thorns.
The knight began to converse with him; and after some talk, the
miscreant so allured the champion with artful words and speeches of feigned
wisdom, that he desired even to end his own life, and live no longer-so
persuasive were the arguments of this villain. Then the wretch, when he
perceived him wavering and doubtful, yet half inclined, brought swords,
ropes, poison, and fire, and bade him choose. But when he saw him take
none of these, he handed to him a sharp and keen dagger. The knight
took it with a trembling hand, while his countenance betrayed the troubled
workings of his mind; and being resolved to work his own destruction,
lifted it up, which when Una beheld, she ran very hastily to him, snatched
it away, and threw it on the ground, saying-
Fie, faint-hearted knight, is this the battle thou art going to wage
with the terrible dragon ? Come away, and let not these vain words bewitch
thee; arise, let us leave this cursed place."
So he rose, and mounted, prevailed on by her words. And when the
care saw them departing safe, full of despite, he chose a halter and hung
himself; yet he could not work his own death thereby, for he cannot die-
"Till he shall die his last, that is, eternally."
By this occurrence Una saw that her knight was still feeble and faint
through his long imprisonment, and, as yet, unfit for the great battle. So she
resolved to conduct him to a place where he might be cheered and refreshed.
There was an ancient house not far away, renowned for sacred lore, and
for the piety of them that dwelt therein.. It was well governed ey go
They go to
by a grave and virtuous lady, named Dame Ccelia, whose only Dame Calia's
joy was to relieve the needs of wretched souls, and help the house.
34 Spenser for Children.
helpless poor. She was the mother of three daughters. The two elder, Fidelia
and Speranza, were betrothed, but not yet wedded; the youngest, Charissa,
was married, and had many children. On arriving at this place they found
the door fast locked, for it was well guarded for fear of many foes. But when
they knocked, the porter readily opened to them. He was an aged man, bent
in his walk, and guiding his steps with a staff. His name was Humiltt. They
entered, stooping low, for the passage was very straight and narrow. But
when they had got through it, they came into a spacious, pleasant court, where
a courteous freeman met them, named Zeal, who gladly guided them to the
hall. Here they were received by a gentle squire of mild demeanour, clad in
comely, grave attire, named Reverence, who addressed them with great
modesty and respect, and afterwards led them to the lady. She was counting
her beads ; and this done, she rose and welcomed them with grace, especially
rejoicing to see Una, whom she knew to spring from a heavenly line.
"It is strange," said she, to see a knight in this place, so few turn their
steps into the narrow -path that leads this way; they rather choose the broad
highway with such company."
I hither came to see thyself, and to rest tired limbs, O sage matron," said
Una; "and this good knight came with me, led with thy praises and broad-
blazed fame, which is blown up to heaven."
The lady entertained them with all courtesy and great bounty, causing
them to be seated beside her.
Whilst they were conversing of sundry things, two fair virgins entered,
arm in arm, with modest grace. The eldest, Fidelia, was arrayed in lily white,
and carried in her right hand a golden cup, filled with wine and water, in
which a serpent lay enfolded. In her other hand she bore a book; signed
and sealed with blood, in which dark things were written, hard to be compre-
hended. The younger, Speranza, was clad in blue. She seemed somewhat
The History of the Knight oJ the Red Cross. 35
pensive and sad, not so cheerful as her sister-whether from some anguish
in her heart is hard to tell; she leant upon a silver anchor. When they saw
Una they went towards her, and many kind speeches passed between them,
and then they saluted the knight. The aged Ccelia shortly after said-
"Dear lady, and you, good sir, I think that with your toils and long
labours ye must be wearied; therefore I advise you to rest awhile."
Then she called a groom, Obedience, who led the knight to a goodly
bower, took off his heavy arms, and laid him in an easy bed.
Now, when all were well refreshed, Una asked Fidelia to take the knight
into her school-house, that he might taste her heavenly learning, and hear the
wisdom of her divine words. This she granted, and disclosed to him all
her sacred book, in which none could read unless she taught them; and
she told him many wondrous things, for she was able with her words to kill
and to raise to life again. And, when she chose to exert all her spirit, she
could command the sun to stand, or to turn his course backward through
the heaven; she could dismay great hosts of men; she could divide the
floods, and pass through them; she could command huge mountains to
move and throw themselves into the sea.
In a short time, through hearing the wisdom of Fidelia and of Speranza,
the faithful knight grew to think but little of the world, and turned his
thoughts to things celestial. And he was also cured of all his hurts, and
the effects of his long captivity, by two skilful leeches, named Patience
and Repentance. When recovered, they brought him to Una, who rejoiced
greatly at his cure, and, gently kissing him, besought him to cherish himself,
and put away consuming thought from his breast.
They then went to the third sister, Charissa, whom they found playing
with a multitude of babes, whom she fed whilst they were weak and young.
She was attired in yellow robes, and wore a golden tiara, adorned with rich
36 Spenzser for Children.
gems and settings ; she was seated in an ivory chair, and by her sat a gentle
pair of turtle doves. The knight and Una greeted her courteously, and bid
her joy of those infants, and she answered them graciously and entertained
them cheerfully. Then she took the knight by the hand, and began to
instruct him in every good behest of love, and righteousness, and doing
well. After which she said she would show him the way to heaven. So
she called an ancient matron, named Mercy, whose sober looks showed her
wisdom, well known to be gracious and liberal, and bid her guide his steps.
The aged dame led him along a narrow path, scattered with bushy thorns
and ragged briars, which she removed before him, and pushed aside. They
reached a holy hospital, which stood by the roadside, with its gates wide open
to all who were travelling the weary way, and one sat in the porch to call in
all that were needy and poor. In the hospital lived seven Beadsmen who had
vowed to spend their lives in the service of heaven's high King. The eldest
was guardian and steward, and had charge and government of the house. His
office was to give lodging and entertainment to all who came or went-not to
such as could repay him, but to those who could not requite what he spent
on them. The second was almoner of the place; he fed the hungry and gave
drink to the thirsty. The third had custody of their wardrobes, in which
were not rich attires or gay garments, but clothes to keep the cold away.
With these he daily clad many wretched wights, and if he had no spare
clothes, would often cut his own cloak and distribute it. The fourth was
appointed to relieve poor prisoners, and redeem captives from the Turks
and Saracens. The fifth had charge to attend sick persons, and to comfort
those at the point of death. The sixth had care of the dead, to bury them
in a seemly manner, and to deck their graves with flowers. The seventh
took care of their widows and tender orphans. He would plead their right
in judgment; nor did he dread the power of mighty men in their defence,
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 37
and when they were in necessity he supplied their wants. The knight was
received in this house with welcome, and his guide with due reverence;
for she was patroness of the order, though Charissa was the foundress.
The knight stayed awhile to rest, and was instructed by them in every
good work of alms and charity. Then, when he was stronger, they went on to
a hill that was both steep and high, and with difficulty came at last to the top.
Here was a sacred chapel, and a little hermitage hard by, in which a holy
aged man dwelt, named Contemplation. He said his devotions both day and
night, and applied himself to no worldly business, but meditated on heavenly
things. They found the aged sire, with snowy locks falling upon his shoulders,
who greeted them humbly, and asked to what end they had climbed that
"What end," said Mercy, "but that which every one should make his
mark-to attain high heaven ? From hence is the way to that glorious house,
that glistens bright with burning stars and everliving fire. The wise Fidelia,
who gave thee the keys of it, desires thee to show it to this knight."
The hermit consented, and took the knight to the highest point of a
mount, from whence he pointed out to him a little path, both steep and long,
which led to a goodly city. Its walls and towers were built high and strong,
with pearls and precious stones. "That," said he, is the city of the great
King, where eternal peace and happiness dwell. The way to it, after long
labours and sad delay, will bring thee to joyous rest and endless bliss."
As the knight gazed, he saw its stately buildings with high towers
extending to the starry spheres, and angels descending to and fro from the
skies. "Till now," said he, "I thought the great Cleopolis, in which the
Queen of Fairies dwells, the fairest city that might be seen, and its crystal
tower the brightest thing that was; but this city far surpasses it, and this
angel's tower quite dims that tower of glass."
38 Spjenser for Children.
Most true," answered the hermit; "but Cleopolis is the fairest town on
earth, and it well beseems all knights of noble fame to haunt it, and offer
their service to the queen. So shall their names be written in the immortal
book of fame. And thou, fair knight, dost well to succour this desolate
princess, and must not forego her care till thou hast rid her of her foe. That
done, thou mayst travel this path, which shall lead thee to the great city.
And there in after times shalt thou be a saint, and befriend thine own nation.
St. George of merry England shalt thou be."
But why, old father," said the knight, "dost thou read me of English
blood, whom all call a fairy's son ?"
"Thy birth," said the hermit, "I shall declare. Thou art sprung from a
race of ancient Saxon kings, who reared their royal thrones in
tells the knight British land. A fairy stole thee from thy cradle, and left her own
is lineage. elfin child in thy place. Such, men call changelings, as changed
by the theft of fairies. She brought thee into Fairyland, and hid thee in a
heaped furrow. A ploughman guiding his team found thee, and reared thee
in a ploughman's state, naming thee Georgos.* Then thou camest to the
fairy court to seek for fame, and prove thy arms."
"0 holy sire," said the Red Cross knight, "how shall I quit the
favours I have received from thee ? Thou hast taught me the way to
heaven, and shown me my name and nation."
This said, he looked to the ground, thinking to return; but his eyes were
dazed with the brightness of the distant city, and his senses confounded.
At last, when he came to himself, he took leave of the heavenly sire with great
thanks, and returned to Una, who rejoiced to see him. So, after a little
rest, they took leave of Ccelia and her three daughters, and resumed their
"* Which in the Greek signifies a husbandman.
The History of the Knightz of the Red Cross. 39
In a short time they arrived in the native country of the princess, who
pointed out to her knight the brazen castle in which her royal
parents were shut up. I see," said she, "the watchman on the i te
highest tower, waiting for tidings." So saying, she began to native country
cheer the champion, and in her modest manner thus spoke:
" Dear knight, who sufferest all these sorrows for my sake, may high heaven
behold the tedious toil ye have undertaken."
Upon this, they heard a hideous roaring sound that seemed to shake the
earth, and they espied the dreadful dragon. He lay stretched They see
on the sunny side of a great hill; but as soon as he saw St. tke dragoz.
George's glistering armour, he roused himself, and began to move towards
them. The knight bade his lady withdraw a little, that she might be safe
from danger; so she obeyed, and went to another hill, from whence she could
view the combat. On came the beast, half flying, half on foot, over-
shadowing a great piece of land with his huge carcase. On approaching the
knight he reared aloft his monstrous, horrible body, which was all swollen
with poison and gore. He was covered with huge brazen scales, which he
clashed together with a dreadful noise, like an eagle raising his plumes. His
flaggy wings were like two windmill sails, the feathers of his pinions
resembled mainyards lined with flying canvas; and when he flapped them,
he flew faster onwards. His huge long tail was wrapped up in a hundred
folds, with thick entangled knots, spotted with red and black. It was nearly
three furlongs in length, and two stings of deadly sharpness were fixed in its
point. But these were exceeded by his cruel rending claws, for death was
certain to whatever his ravenous paws clutched, or came within his reach.
His head was the most hideous of all, for his devouring jaws gaped like a
deep abyss, with long ranges of iron teeth, in which was seen his half-
devoured prey; and a cloud of smoke and sulphur steamed from his
40 Spenser for Children.
throat, filling the air with a hideous stench. His blazing eyes were like
two bright shields, but full of rage and rancorous ire; they were set far in
his head, in a dreadful shade.
He came forward with joy to see a new prey, and lifted up his speckled
The terrible breast aloft. The knight couched his ready spear, and rode at
combat. him with all his might. The steel could not pierce his hide,
but glanced aside. The beast, enraged with the rude force of the push,
turned about, and with a brush of his long tail sent horse and man to the
ground. They lightly rose up again, and addressed to a new encounter; but
the spear again recoiled, and found no place to pierce. The beast grew
furious, for he felt that the strokes were more powerful than those of former
foes. So he spread his waving wings, lifted himself high from the ground,
and with strong flight forcibly divided the yielding air. Then, soaring round,
he stooped low suddenly and in an unwieldy way, and snatched up horse
and man. He bore them above the plain, as far as a bow-shot, till they, by
struggling, constrained him to let them drop; then the knight again essayed
to thrust his spear through the brazen scales. He struck with a force equal
to three men ; the stiff beam quaked, and glancing from the scaly neck, glided
under the left wing and made a large wound. The monster gave horrible
shrieks like the roaring of a tempest, but the spear stuck fast till he seized it
with his claws, and broke off the wooden beam; the steel head was left.
Forth flowed a river of black blood that drenched all the land beneath him,
and fiery flames issued from his nostrils. Then he hurled his tail about, and
entwisted the limbs of the knight's good steed in it, who, plunging and
striving to free himself, threw his rider on the ground. The knight quickly
sprang up, drew his blade, and struck furiously and fast on the monster's
crest. But the hardened iron made no dint; the crest was as hard as adamant;
and the beast tried to fly again, but found he could not move his left wing:
The History of the K'jight of the Red Cross. 41
He brayed loudly, and sent out a flame of fire from his huge gorge that
flashed upon the knight, scorching all his face, and searing his body through
his armour. For his mail became so fiery hot that it greatly harmed him;
and, faint, wearied, and burnt, he wished for death. His foe, seeing his
strength wane, increased his fury, and struck him so strongly with his tail,
which he whirled round, that he fell to the ground.
But, by great good fortune, it chanced that, unknown to the knight,
there was just behind him a springing well of ancient fame, The knight
from which a bright stream trickled, full of great virtues, falls into
Before the dragon came to that happy land, and defiled its e well.
waves with innocent blood, it had been called the well of life. For it could
restore the dead, and wash away the guilt of crimes, cure sickness, and
renew those decayed with age. Into this well the knight fell backwards,
overthrown by the monster. The beast, thinking victory gained, clapped his
iron wings, and raised his broad front on high.
By this time the sun was sinking beneath the distant waves, and the
anxious Una, looking from afar, could no longer see her champion. She
feared that the battle had come to a sad end, and watched all night with
trembling disquietude. Before the sunrise, as soon as ever it was light, she
looked for him, and to her great joy she saw him start out of the well, like a
fresh young eagle.
When the fiend beheld him, he wondered at the sight, and doubted if it
were his foe of yesterday, or another. St. George advanced The second
boldly, brandishing his bright sword, and dealt the monster such day of combat.
a deadly blow, that it made a yawning wound even to the skull. The steel
was sharpened with the holy water, or else the hands of the knight, through
the same cause, had grown stronger. For never till then had force of mortal
arm or molten metal so wounded the beast, for neither might nor charms
42 Spenser for Children.
had any effect on him before. He yelled loudly, and tossed about his tail so
wildly that he tore up the trees, and rent some rocks in pieces. Then, lifting
it high above his head, he struck the knight with it, so that the sting pierced
right through his shield and stuck in his shoulder. The champion rose up,
and in great pain tried to get it out, but failed; so, holding his sword firmly, he
struck the tail so hard that he cleft it at the fifth joint, and only left an end
yet growing from the beast. The monster threw forth the most terrible
roars, with flashes of fire and volumes of smoke, and, enflamed with rage, he
lifted himself out of the mire with his uneven wings, and fell heavily on St.
George's shield, grasping it in his claws. The knight was much encumbered,
for he knew not how to make him loose his hold. He thrice tried to pull the
buckler from his griping talons, but in vain. At last he laid upon him with
his trusty sword, and forced him to undo one of his grasping feet to defend
himself. The other he smote with all his might, and hewed it off, though still
it grasped the shield. The monster threw forth huge flames that dimmed all
the light of heaven, wrapped in dusky smoke and blue brimstone. The great
heat made the knight retire, and, slipping in the mire, he fell. He fell
beneath a tree loaded with rosy apples, and from its bark flowed a stream of
balm, which trickled along the plain. This saved him from death a second
time, for the beast durst not approach that tree, but retired in spiteful fury.
The night came on, and darkness fell over everything. Una watched
The third day through another weary night, until the day broke, and the lark
of combat. began to sing. Then the knight again rose up, fresh and strong,
and spied his foe, waiting for him as near as he dared come. When St.
George advanced the beast rushed gaping upon him, to swallow him up; but
the knight took advantage of his open jaw, and, plunging his weapon into the
deep gorge, drew forth all his life blood. The beast fell down, and the earth
groaned beneath him, as when a huge rocky cliff tumbles into the sea, and an
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 43
enormous volume of smoke poured forth. The knight himself even trembled
at the fall of the horrible mass, and his dear lady durst not approach for
dread. But when she saw the fiend lie without stirring, she took courage and
drew nearer, and praising Heaven, she thanked her faithful knight, who had
achieved so great a conquest.
As soon as the last breath of smoke had gone up, the watchman began
to call loudly to his lord and lady that the dragon was slain. The dragon
The aged king arose, and looked forth to see if the news were is slain.
indeed true, and seeing it was so, ordered the brazen gates to be thrown wide
open, and peace and joy to be proclaimed throughout the land. Then the
triumphant trumpets began to sound, the news spread far and wide, and the
people assembled in great numbers. The king and queen came forth, clad in
long antique robes of a sad colour, and surrounded by a noble band of sage
and sober peers. Far before marched a crew of tall young men carrying
laurel branches. They came in order to the mighty conqueror, and bowing
low before him, proclaimed him their lord and patron, and threw Thje trizmIlhal
their laurel boughs at his feet. Soon after them followed a troop procession.
of virgins, adorned with fresh bright garlands, and playing on their timbrels.
And before these ran a crowd of young children, with wanton sports and
childish mirth, singing a joyous lay to the music of the timbrels. They all
went to where the fair Una stood, who received them smiling; they knelt
before her, sung her everlasting fame, and crowned her with a green garland.
Then poured forth all the multitude, eager to behold the victorious man.
But when they came to where the dragon lay, stretched on the ground
in all its monstrous size, they were dismayed with fear and did not dare to
approach it. Some fled; and one, that would be wiser than the rest, warned
them not to touch it, lest some lingering life remained, or that beneath his
wings might be a nest of young dragonets. Another said that he saw spark-
44 Spenser for Cildren.
ling fire yet in his eyes; another, that he saw them move. One mother, when
her foolhardy child came too near and played with the talons, half dead with
fear, scolded the baby, and said to her neighbours, "The claws may scratch his
hands." Thus they stood staring and talking, while some of the boldest
began to measure the monster, to see how many acres he covered.
Meanwhile, the hoary king, with all his train, came up to the champion,
and greeted him, presenting him with rich gifts of ivory and gold, and giving
him a thousand thanks. Then, beholding his dear daughter, he embraced
and kissed her. Both were brought to his palace with shawms, trumpets, and
clarions; and all the way the joyous people sang, and strewed the streets
with their garments. Having reached the building, they found
all fitting for a royal court, and the floor spread with costly
scarlet, on which they sat. We need not tell of the feast, with its dainty
dishes and courtly train. Yet was there not vain luxurious pomp, for the
antique world hated excess and pride.
When the banquet was over, the king demanded of his guest what
strange adventures and perils had befallen him in his travels. He, with grave
utterance, told of all his journeyings. The king and queen heard him with
great pleasure, mixed with pitiful regard, and often lamented the wrathfulness
of fate, through which he had endured so many hardships, and been tossed
by the freaks of fortune.
Then said the king, "Dear son, you have borne great evils, and have
passed through a sea of deadly dangers. Now let us devise of ease and
"Ah, dearest lord," answered the knight, I may not yet think of ease.
For, by the faith which I have plighted, I am bound, after this enterprise,
to serve the fairy queen for six years against a Paynim king, who works
her ill. So I must crave pardon till I have been there."
The History of the Knight of the Red Cross. 45
"Unhappy necessity," said the king; "ye cannot now release the band,
for vows must be kept. But return when the six years are expired, and the
marriage betwixt ye twain shall be accomplished, and I shall yield my
daughter and my kingdom to you."
He then caused the Princess Una, his only daughter and heiress, to be
called. She came forth, as fresh and fair as a flower in May; for she had
laid aside her mournful stole and veil, and now she wore a lily-white garment,
that seemed like silk and silver mixed. Even her own dear knight wondered
at her celestial beauty, for he had often seen her fair, but never so fair as this.
She made a humble reverence to her sire, thus adding grace to her
excellence. He, with grave eloquence, began to speak, when, A messenger
lo! a messenger came running in with flying speed, and great arriveth.
pretence of haste, carrying a letter. All who were in the hall stood amazed
at his presumption, but he would stay for nought. He ran up to the king,
and falling flat before him, put a paper into his hands. The monarch took
it, and read thus, aloud:-
"TO thee, most mighty King of fair Eden, sends greeting the woful
daughter of the Emperor of the West. She bids thee take heed with a letter
ere thou link thy daughter to thy new guest, for he has already to the king.
plighted his right hand to another love. To me, unhappy maid, he was
affianced long time before, and gave and had many sacred pledges. Witness
the burning altars on which he swore, and the heavens whom he hath
perjured. Therefore, since he is mine, free or bond, living or dead, false
or true, withhold, 0 sovereign prince, from league with him. Think not to
tread down my right with strength, for truth is strong to plead her rightful
cause, and shall find friends, if need requireth. So bids thee farewell,
"Thy neither friend nor foe,
46 Spenzser for Ch/ildren.
When the king had read these strange tidings, he sat a long time in
silence, astonished. At last he spoke, with doubtful eyes fixed on his guest.
Redoubted knight, who perilled life and honour for my sake, let nothing
be hid from me. What mean these bloody vows and idle threats ? What
heavens ? What altars ? What signify these enraged terms ? I am guiltless,
but if you, sir knight, are faulty, or wrapped in love of another lady, do not
cover it, but disclose the same."
"My lord and king," said the Red Cross knight, be not dismayed at
this letter, till ye learn what woman upbraids me with love and loyalty
Hereupon he related to him the wicked arts of Duessa, the falsest dame
alive, who called herself Fidessa. And Una, stepping forth, prostrated herself
on the ground, saying-
"Pardon me, sovereign lord, if I show the secret reasons wrought lately
by that sorceress. It was she who threw this gentle knight into so great
distress. And now she hath sent this crafty messenger with vain letters to
work this new evil, and break the band betwixt us twain. But if ye examine
this false footman, cloaked with simpleness, I guess that ye shall find him to
The king was greatly moved by her words, and with sudden indignation
Arczimago bade them lay hands on the messenger. Instantly the guards
is seized, seized and bound him. He endeavoured to escape, but they
laid him in a deep dungeon, for in truth it was that false traitor. They
chained him hand and foot with iron fetters, and some kept constant watch;
so who would have thought that, ere long, by his subtile sleights, he could
Then, the king's wrath being pacified, he renewed the late forbidden
banns, and the knight was tied to his dear Una with sacred rites and vows
7The History of the Knig/t of the Red Cross. 47
for ever. The king himself knitted together the holy knots that nothing
but death can loosen, and provided and kindled the sacramental
fire by which the vows were sworn, sprinkling holy water on it. Una and her
A servant lighted the bushy torch at it, and placed the sacred
lamp in a hidden chamber, where it should never be quenched by day or
night, for fear of evil fates, but should burn steadfastly. Then they sprinkled
all the posts with wine, and made a great feast to solemnize the day. The
palace was perfumed with frankincense and precious odours, sweet music was
played, and songs of love and jollity were sung. And on this, the betrothal
day, there resounded through the palace a heavenly noise, as it were of angels
singing on high. No one knew whence it came, yet all were ravished with
delight, and felt their senses stolen away. Great joy was made by old and
young, and a solemn feast proclaimed throughout the kingdom.
The knight thought himself a thrice happy man, thus possessed of his
lady's heart and hand, and his heart was filled with pleasure as often as
he beheld her. He long enjoyed her joyous presence and sweet company,
yet was he not unmindful of his vow, but after a space he left to return to his
fairy queen, leaving the princess disconsolate. But when the six years were
passed, having done many mighty deeds of arms in the service of his queen,
he bade her farewell, and came back with great joy to his love, when his
nuptials were solemnized, and in the kingdom of her father he reigned beloved
and admired of all men.
THE PERILOUS VOYAGES OF SIR GUY IN SEARCH OF
THE BOWER OF BLISS.
FTER the Red Cross knight had departed from the kingdom
( of the Princess Una, the cunning enchanter Archimago freed
himself from his bonds by secret means, and escaped, leaving
his shackles empty. He went forth, full of malice and deter-
S.. mined to work mischief and woe to the knight, since Una was
now beyond his power. He set all kinds of crafty snares for
him, and placed spies to watch his doings; but the good knight
had become so wise and wary that he shunned the traps, and avoided
the enchanter's wiles. Nevertheless, Archimago hoped yet to succeed in
overthrowing him, and to find some means of avenging himself.
One day, as he was wandering beneath a shady hill, he met a goodly
Archimago knight, armed from head to foot, riding a lofty steed with a
meeteth golden saddle. He was tall and majestic, with a grave
countenance, which became stern and terrible in fight. He
was of noble lineage, great in deeds of arms, and had received knighthood
from good Sir Huon, King of Guienne, who came once with King Oberon
to Fairyland. He bore on his shield the portrait of the great Gloriana, his
Sir Guy in Search of tI/e Bower of Bliss. 49
mistress, the fairy queen. His name was Sir Guy. He was accompanied
by a palmer, gray-haired and clad in black, who carried a long staff
and led the way with a slow pace, to which the knight restrained his
The false wizard approached him in the likeness of a squire, with a fair
countenance, and prayed him to listen to his complaint. Sir Guy reined in
his steed, and bade him say on. Archimago then, pretending to quake with
fear, told a false tale of how a fair maiden had been almost slain by a caitiff
knight, and begged Sir Guy to avenge her.
"Does the traitor yet live ?" said Sir Guy. Show me where he is,.
or how I may track him."
Then with all speed he followed the enchanter, who led him to a spot
where a gentle golden-haired lady sat alone, moaning and wringing her
hands. The knight was much moved by her sorrow, and having comforted
her with kind words, bade her tell him the name of her false foe, that he
might avenge her.
Ccrtes," said she, "I know not his name, but he rode a dapple-gray
steed, and bore upon his silver shield the emblem of a bright red cross."
"Now, by my head," said Guy, "I marvel how that knight should so
behave, for he is a right good knight, and true of word; he undertook the
adventure of the errant damsel, and I hear he hath won great glory in it.
Nevertheless, he shall be tried by arms, and else he acquit himself, shall make
you dear amends." So saying, he leapt to horse again, and bade Archimago
guide him to the Red Cross knight.
But this maiden was none other than the false Duessa, whom the
enchanter had found wandering in the wilderness, lurking in rocks and
underground caves, clothed in green moss. And to work his evil purposes he
had conspired with her, and decked her out as a fair lady, feigning himself to
50 Spenser for Childrezn.
be her squire. Now he led Guy by a toilsome road, through woods and
mountains, till they arrived at a pleasant dale betwixt two hills, a cool and
shady valley, through which ran a little rivulet. There sat a knight with his
helm unlaced, refreshing himself with the cold, sparkling water.
"Lo, yonder he is," cried Archimago; "speed you well in fight, and
The two we will view the combat from afar." So saying, he fled and
knights meet. left him.
But the two knights recognized each other well, for they were both
champions of Queen Gloriana, and had dwelt together at the fairy Court.
So they spoke courteously ere they fell to arms, and Guy learnt the treachery
of Archimago and his false devices. By this time the aged palmer came
up, and, when he saw the Red Cross knight, gave him great praise of his
Fair son," said he, may you have joy and everlasting fame of your
hard achievement; your name is enrolled in glorious registers. But we
must now begin to run a like race, and Heaven guide thee, Guy, to end
thy work as well."
Palmer," said St. George, "I did but what I ought; and may you, sir
knight, fare as well as thought can wish, for you are worthy of all good."
So they plighted hands, and parted with fair words.
Then Sir Guy followed his guide, the palmer, through many lands, and
overcame many perils, always gaining honour. One day, as they passed by a
forest-side, they heard a voice ruefully lamenting and bewailing. Sir Guy dis-
mounted and forced his way into the thicket, and there found a lady almost
-dead beside a fountain, whilst about her played a little babe, ignorant of her
misery. Near them lay on the grass the corpse of a youthful knight, his
armour besprinkled with blood, and his goodly countenance not yet pale.
Sir Guy, with much care, brought the lady's feeble spirit back to life again,
but only to renew her grief.
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 51
"Alas !" said she, "leave off, and let me die. This was the gentlest
knight that ever spurred gay steed; this was Sir Mordant, my The lady's
dear lord. One day he went forth to seek adventures and prove tale.
his puissance, leaving me with this small babe. By evil fortune he came to
the place of the false Acrasia, a vile enchantress who hath undone many
knights. She dwells on a wandering island, which floateth in a deep and
perilous gulf. Shun it, fair sir, if ever you travel that way; you shall know
it by its name, the Bower of Bliss. There are brave champions overcome by
her false spells, and there she beguiled my dear lord. Hearing of this, I
wrapt myself in palmer's weeds and journeyed until I found him. From the
thralls of the witch I released him, and brought him away; but she, ere he
left, gave him a charmed cup, over which she had thrown this hidden spell, to
act when the cup should be used-
'Sad verse, give death to him that death does give,
And loss of love to her-that loves to live.'
So, ignorant of this, we went on our journey, till, coming to this fountain,
he stooped to drink, and the charm being fulfilled, he fell down dead. And
I- But here, overcome by fresh sorrow, she fell softly back, and ended
all her woe in quiet death.
Then were Sir Guy and the palmer sorely grieved at her sad fate, and
they made an honourable tomb for the unhappy pair, and covered it with
cypress boughs. And Sir Guy drew the sword of the dead knight from its
sheath, and with it he cut from each corpse a lock of hair, which he threw
into the grave, and made a solemn vow thereby that he would punish the
enchantress for her guilty deeds and the evil she had wrought.
Then Sir Guy took up the little smiling babe, and gave it to the palmer
to carry, whilst he bore away the load of its father's arms to preserve for it.
But when he came back to the place where he had left his tall steed, with its
52 Spenser for Ch/ildren.
golden saddle and gorgeous bridle, he found him gone. Then was he
wrathful, but to no avail, for he could not find the horse far or near. So he
was obliged to journey on foot, bearing his double burden of arms; and thus
The castle of they travelled a long way, till they arrived at an ancient castle
Extremes. built on a rock adjoining the seas. Therein dwelt three sisters,
children of one father by different mothers, and to them the fortress equally
belonged. But they agreed not together; the eldest strove always against the
youngest, and both against the second. The knight, when he arrived, was
well received by the second, who far excelled the two others. Medina was
her name, a grave, comely, and courteous lady. She was richly attired in
goodly garments, and her golden locks were fastened into many braids. She
led the travellers into a pleasant bower, and entertained them graciously.
Meanwhile, her sisters were amusing themselves with their lovers-two
knights of peerless power, and famous far abroad. He who loved the eldest
lady was named Sir Hudibras-a hardy man, but more huge in strength than
wise in fight, who had won renown by many rash adventures; he was of
melancholy countenance, and clad in armour of shining brass. The other
was Sansloy, a bold and lawless champion, who cared not what wrong and
mischief he did. Each bore a deadly hatred to the other, and they daily
warred together, as each wished his lady to think that he excelled in arms,
and to find favour in her sight. But when they heard a stranger was in the
castle, both knights and ladies were right angry, and they went fiercely forth
to battle with him. But before they came to the tower in which he was, they
fell to quarrelling, and began a combat, heaping huge strokes upon each other
with fury and rage, and making such a din and uproar that all in the house
Sir Guy came forth at the noise, and when he saw two brave foes fighting
with deadly rancour, he snatched up his sun-broad shield, and, unsheathing
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 53
his shining blade, ran forward to pacify them. But they, spying him, set
upon him both at once, and beset him without remorse, raining blows on
his shield like iron sledge-hammers. He, nevertheless, boldly rebutted them,
so that they turned their spite against each other, and began to hack and hew
with new rage. But he rushed boldly between them, and fought with won-
drous prowess. At once he warded and struck, gave and took, and wielded
his sword before, behind, and round about. Meanwhile the two ladies stood
by and encouraged their champions; but at last the fair Medina came, and
running into the thickest of the fight, prayed them to cease, and so compelled
them to cease their strife. Then they let fall their weapons and listened to
her words, and she bade them refresh themselves and come to the banquet
So, after a time, they appeared in the hall, and thither came also the two
sisters; but they were both discontented, and one thought the feast too little,
the other too much. Elissa, the eldest, would not eat, or speak, or entertain
her knight, but sat with bent and frowning brows. Perissa,
the youngest, was sumptuously attired, laughed and jested
immoderately, encouraged by Sansloy, and had no measure in her mirth;
whilst Hudibras sat still, inwardly tormenting himself. As for Medina,
she tried to encourage the one pair and restrain the other, and she prayed
Sir Guy to tell them on what adventure he was bound. So, when he had
made end of his tale, they saw by the changed skies that the night was
far spent, and all retired to rest.
The next morning, Sir Guy, mindful of his vow, rose early, armed him-
self, and took leave of the fair Medina. To her he committed the little babe,
praying her to train him in all virtuous love and gentle nouriture. Then he
set forth on foot, with the palmer.
Sir Guy's horse had been stolen by a vain-glorious peasant, named
54 Spenser for Children.
Braggadochio, who finding a steed and a spear all ready, ran away with them,
Braggadocio's and, puffed up with vanity, determined to go to Court and
adventure, pass himself off as a knight. On his way he saw a man sitting
idly on a sunny bank. Thinking he would frighten him, he rode at him,
threatening him with his spear; whereupon the man fell flat upon the ground,.
begging for mercy. At this Braggadochio became very proud, and reviled
him in a loud voice-
"Vile caitiff, prepare thyself for death, or else yield as my captive for
ever, and kiss my stirrup."
The man obeyed him, and cried, "I am your humble thrall, to follow
you wherever you go." But, as he was cunning and knavish, he soon found
out the folly of his master, and he fed him with flattery, and blew the bellows
to his vanity.
On their way they met Archimago, who went up to Trompart, the
serving-man, and asked him who was that mighty warrior with
meeeth the golden saddle and spear, but without a sword.
Bragadocio. "He has lost his sword in hard fight," said he, "and has
vowed never to wear one till he be avenged. That spear is enough to make
a thousand groan."
The enchanter rejoiced at this boast, and going up to Braggadochio,
humbly begged him to punish Guy and the Red Cross knight, who had foully
slain Sir Mordant and his wife.
Braggadocio affected great rage, and said, "Old man, show me the way,
and I will wreak vengeance on them for their hateful deed."
"Certes, my lord," said he, "but I advise you to get a sword before the
day of combat, for they be two of the prowest knights on ground."
"Dotard," said Braggadochio, "your wits fail you through age. You.
little know what this right hand can do; let them speak who have seen
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 55
the battles it has won. Once, when I killed seven knights with one sword,
I swore never to carry sword again, unless it be that which the noblest
knight on earth wears."
"Perdie, sir knight," replied the enchanter, "I shall shortly bring you
that; for the best and noblest knight now alive is Prince Arthur, and he has
a sword that flames like a burning brand."
He stayed no longer, but vanished out of sight, flying on the north wind.
At this the two were much frightened, and fled, trembling with
And goet for
fear. Soon they arrived at a green forest, where they hid Prince Arthur's
themselves in great terror, their hair standing on end. sword.
Before long they heard a horn loudly sounding, and some one rushing
through the thicket. At this Braggadochio fell off his lofty steed and crept
into a bush, but Trompart stayed to see what might happen. Presently a
fair damsel appeared, of stately presence, clad as a huntress in lily-white silk,
with gold aigulets and fringe, and buskins fastened with rich bands clasped
with a shining jewel. In her hand she carried a sharp spear, and wore,
fastened by a belt, a bow and quiver. Her yellow locks hung loosely over
her shoulders, mingled with flowers and buds. She asked Trompart if he
had seen a hind pass by; and then, glancing at the bush where Braggadochio
stirred, she would have pierced it with her lance, had not Trompart begged
her to refrain. At this Braggadochio crawled out on hands and knees, and
then, standing up, shook his crest, and would have given rude words; but
when he saw the arms in her hand, he was meeker. But after they had
spoken together, the lady, not liking his uncouth ways, fiercely shook her
javelin at him and departed.
Let her pass," said Trompart, "for I deem she is some celestial power,
for whilst she spoke I quaked and trembled."
"So did I," said Braggadochio; "for I have had this grace from my
56 Spenser for Children.
birth-never to be affrighted for earthly things, but only for fiends or powers
on high. Therefore did I hide; but I came boldly forth when I knew more.
But now let us depart, or worse may befall."
Then he climbed on the noble steed, and began to ride in his awkward
manner, which that valiant courser well discerned, and chafed and foamed
under his base burden. So they went their way.
Meantime Guy travelled on, guided by the palmer, seeking the dwelling
of the enchantress, and on the road he saw a madman dragging by the hair
an unfortunate stripling, whom he had nearly killed. He was
the qag and urged on to his wicked deeds by an old hag, his mother, who
her son. followed behind, provoking him to further wrath and railing
with outrageous words, handing him stones, and even her staff, though she
was lame and leant on it. Her robes were ri.; :..I and worn, and her gray
hair hung over her ill-favoured countenance; it was combed over her face,
that none might seize her by it if she were pursued. Sir Guy, after a hard
conflict, rescued the unhappy squire, and bound with chains the madman and
Ere long there came up a varlet running with all haste, raising a cloud
of dust, and carrying on his back a brazen buckler, on which was painted a
flaming fire in a bloody field. Panting and breathless, he came up, and
looked scornfully at Guy, then shook at him two darts with poisoned heads.
Sir knight," said he, if you be a knight, I counsel you abandon this
is place, or stay at your jeopardy. A knight of wondrous power,
threatened by my master, is coming, who never yet encountered an enemy but
he dismayed him. He is disposed to bloody fight and cruelty;
fly, therefore, for he seeks the hag Occasion."
"What is his name ?" said Guy.
"Pyrrhochles," said the servant, and told his lineage.
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 57
There is the hag whom thou seekest, sitting bound," said Guy; take
that message to thy lord."
Away went the varlet Atin, and ere long the wrathful Pyrrhochles came
fast pricking along the plain, the sunbeams glancing on his
bright armour, and his red steed foaming at the mouth. He with
stayed not to greet Sir Guy, but galloping fiercely, drove at him
with his steel-headed spear. Sir Guy lightly leaped aside, and passing by,
smote at Pyrrhochles so strongly with his sword that it glanced off the shield,
came down upon the horse's head, and sundered it from the body. Pyrrhochles
fell to the ground, and bruised with the fall, slowly arose, and full of fury
drew his sword. He struck Guy so fiercely that he cut away the upper
margin of his sevenfold shield, and broke open his helmet. Guy reeled
and stooped, but recovering himself, dealt a heavy blow at Pyrrhochles,
and wounded him in the shoulder. Then he, mad with rage, laid about on
every side, hewing and thundering blows; but Guy was wary, and often
eluded him till he was breathless and spent. Then, with a fresh onset, he
brought Pyrrhochles to the ground, and placed his foot upon the vanquished
knight's breast. Pyrrhochles begged for mercy, whereupon Guy generously
granted him his life. So he rose up, grinding his teeth and shaking his
sandy locks for grief of mind at being conquered. Sir Guy bid him not
be aggrieved, and said that the strongest had sometimes the worst. Then
he asked him the cause of his anger; and finding it was because he had
bound the hag and her son: "If you free them," said he, they will do
you great hurt; but there they are; I give them to you."
Thereupon Pyrrhochles immediately unbound them. Then the hag
began to revile both Guy and Pyrrhochles, one for conquering, the other
for being conquered, and she set her son to fight with Pyrrhochles, who
soon became equally enraged. And she brought her son a flaming brand,
58 Spenser for Children.
wherewith he burned the knight, and then dragged him about the mire
"Help, Sir Guy," cried he at last, "and rescue me from this wretch."
Sir Guy was moved, and seized his arms.
"Nay," said the palmer; "he sought this through wilfulness; let him
repent." So he persuaded Guy to pursue his journey.
In the mean time, Atin the varlet, when he saw Pyrrhochles fall beneath
Guy in the combat, fled away to carry the news of his death, as he thought, to
the knight Cymochles, who was dwelling with the enchantress Acrasia, and
prayed him to come and revenge his brother slain.
Cymochles, on his way, came to a river, too broad and deep to ford, but
he saw a small boat moving swiftly to the bank, all decked with flowers and
boughs. Therein sat a beauteous dame, amusing herself: sometimes she sang,
sometimes she laughed, though no one was with her. Cymochies called
loudly to her to draw to land, and ferry him over, whereupon she directed her
gondola to shore, and took him in; but Atin she would not receive, though the
knight prayed her much. Immediately her shallow ship glided away, swifter
than a swallow's flight, without an oar, pilot, or sails. She only turned a pin,
and it darted from the shore, taking its own course, for it knew how to shun
rocks and flats. And on the way, the damsel entertained her passenger with
merry tales, but she drowned them in vain laughter, and wanted grace in
telling them. Sometimes she adorned herself with fresh garlands and made
rings of rushes. Cymochles soon forgot his errand in listening to her idle
play, and began to discourse, questioning her who she was.
"Vain man," said she ; I am Phaedria, a fellow-servant of thine, for I, too,
serve the great enchantress Acrasia. In this wide inland sea, which is called
' The Idle Lake,' I wend in my boat. She knows her port, and I care not
whether the wind blow, or if I sail slow or swift, for either serves my turn."
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 59
"Whilst she spoke, they had far passed the passage, and arrived at an
island that floated in the midst of the great lake. There the boat came to
port, and the gay pair stepped on shore, she showing him the pleasantness of
the land. It was set among the wide waves like a little nest, green and
fertile, with dainty flowers, arbours of fair blossoms, sending forth their faint
perfumes, shady trees and sweet singing birds; all was there to allure the
mind to careless ease. Cymochles disarmed himself, and rested upon a
grassy plain, whilst the damsel lulled him to sleep with a softly sung lay.
Then she poured a charmed liquor on his eyes, so that he should not
hastily waken, and betook herself to her boat, which sped away to the
place where she first was.
By this time Guy had come to the strand, and sought for passage. The
boat soon floated towards him, and the damsel took him on board, but not the
palmer, whom she would not receive for price or prayers. Guy was loth to
leave him, but having entered, could not get out, for the bark at once flitted
away, and ran nimbly through the sluggish dull billows, thick as mire. Again
the maiden began her pranks, but though Guy was courteous to her, yet he
despised her when he saw her gibe and jeer, and pass the bounds of gentle
merry-making. Then they arrived at the pleasant isle, but when Guy caught
sight of it he was angry, and said-
"Alh, dame, ye have not done right thus to mislead me."
Fair sir," quoth she, "be not displeased; who fares on sea cannot
command his course, but must yield to winds and waves. Here can you
rest awhile in safety till a new passage can be tried.
'Better safe port, than be in seas distrest;'"
and therewith she laughed.
Guy was half discontented, but stepped ashore, and she showed him the
60 S penser for Children.
joys and pleasures of the fair island, and tried to charm him with her songs.
But he always prayed her to let him depart, though he did not wish to despise
her courtesy. She would not listen, but bade him wait till the tide should be
In a short time Cymochles awoke, and, ashamed of his idleness, started
up, and without asking for the lady, walked down to the shore to depart. On
his way he met Sir Guy and Phaedria, and being enraged to see the lady with
another knight, he challenged Sir Guy to battle. Forthwith they began a
fierce combat, and so continued till Phmdria ran between them and entreated
them to cease. When she had assuaged their wrath, Guy again begged her to
let him continue his journey, and she readily yielded, for she saw that he took
no pleasure in her company. So they stepped into the boat, which sped
swiftly through the dull waves to the sands on the opposite shore. Then Guy
landed, and thanked the lady for her courtesy, and she turned about the boat,
and departed to her isle.
Guy soon met Atin on the sands, who was left there when Cymochles
was ferried over, and the varlet began to revile him with rude words.
"Vile miscreant," said he, flying from shame and death, some coward
will soon give thee the doom thou deservest" Guy was wrathful, but con-
trolled his anger, and went his way without answering.
Atin had not wandered long before he saw a knight running towards
him, breathless and faint, his armour hacked, and covered with dust. He
never stayed till he came to the river, into which he hastily leapt, and plunged
deeply into the waves, till only his crest was seen above the water. There
he tossed about, beating the billows, and was careless of his safety. Atin
watched him, when whom should he find him to be but his own lord and
"Alas, my lord !" said he; "what betides thee ?"
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 6r
"I burn," answered the knight, in unquenchable flame, which no waters
can extinguish, and I long for death."
Then'Atin, grieved at his condition, leapt into the waves to rescue him
from drowning, and caught hold of him. But the waves of that sea were so
miry and thick that nothing could sink in them, but was upborne near the
surface. Whilst they were struggling, there came to the shore a man in
ancient robes, with hoary locks, and carrying in his hand a goodly sword.
Atin knew him well when he saw him, and cried out-
"Help, help, Archimago, to save my lord!"
Archimago asked Pyrrhochles the reason of his state, who answered it
was the doing of the fiend Furor, and the hag his mother. The enchanter
then took him out of the water, disarmed him, and in a short space cured
him with balms and herbs charmed by mighty spells.
Meanwhile, Guy, who had lost his good guide, the palmer, travelled a
long way, for many weeks, through a dreary wilderness, where he found
neither inhabitants nor houses. At last he came to a gloomy glade, over-
shadowed by dark trees from the light of heaven. Into this he penetrated,
and there he found an ill-favoured looking, grisly man, uncouth and savage.
His face was tanned with smoke, his hair covered with soot, his eyes bleared,
and his hands coal-black. He wore an iron coat covered with rust, once
embossed with gold underneath. He had in his lap a heap of coins, which
he was constantly turning about. Round him lay large piles of gold in every
form, some of it rude ore, not yet separated from rock, some of it in bars and
square wedges, some in flat, round, unmarked plates; but most of it stamped
with antique figures of kings and emperors. As soon as he saw Guy he rose,
in great fear, to remove his precious heaps; and poured them through a hole
into the earth. But Guy, lightly leaping forward, stayed his hand, and asked
him who he was. He answered with disdain-
62 Spenser for Children.
"Thou art a hardy and rash knight to trouble me and my heaps of
precious pelf. I am great Mammon, adored by all worldlings, and I give of
my plenty unto all-riches, honours, and estates. So, if thou wilt serve me,
these mountains of gold shall all be thine; or, if these be not enough, ten
times as much."
"Mammon," said Sir Guy, "thy boasts are vain, and thine offers of
golden fee idle; proffer thy gifts to those who covet them.
'Faire shields, gay steeds, bright arms be my delight;
These be the riches fit for advent'rous knight.
Regard of worldly pelf doth foully blend
And low abase the high heroic spright.'"
Then Mammon represented to him that gold could purchase everything,
even crowns and kingdoms, and was greatly to be desired. But Guy replied
he thought otherwise of riches, and that they were the root of disquietness,
got with guile, preserved with dread, spent with pride, and left behind them
grief and trouble, and caused many mischiefs. And when they had disputed
awhile, Mammon said that he would show the knight his secret stores, and
bade Sir Guy follow him.
Then he led him through the thick covert into a dark hollow passage,
which descended a long way into the depths of the earth. At last it widened
into a broader space, which led straight to the dark kingdom of Pluto. On
the wayside sat two grim figures gnashing their teeth: the one called Pain
held an iron whip ; the other Strife, a bloody dagger. Opposite were other
fiends, cruel Revenge, Despight, Hate, Treason, and one who sat alone named
Jealousy, whilst a trembling shadow, called Fear, flitted across the path, and
further back in the darkness lurked ugly-faced Shame and lamenting Sorrow.
Overhead hovered the grisly bird of Horror, flapping his iron wings, and
night owls and ravens flew after him, whilst a mournful strain of woe was
Sir Guy in Searc/ of the Bower of Bliss. 63
sung by the harpy Celeno, a bird with a woman's face, sitting on a cliff.
Guy followed his conductor past these gigantic and shadowy figures, dimly
seen in the darkness, till they came to three gates adjoining. One was the
house of Sleep, one the terrible gate of Hades, and the third the door of the
house of Riches. Before the entrance sat a figure ever wasting away, yet
never consumed, named Care.
At the approach of Mammon the door flew open; he entered, and
Sir Guy followed him closely. No sooner were they within than the door
straightway shut, and an ugly fiend leapt from behind it, and stalked after
Guy, watching him as he went. Much he hoped that the knight would touch
or even look longingly at any of the treasures, or that sleep would overcome
his weary frame, for then he had power to seize him; and so he strode on,
holding his cruel claws over him, ready to tear him ravenously to pieces.
The vast house was huge and vaulted, like an enormous cave, and the
roof, the floor, the walls, and every cliff were of massive gold, but overgrown
with dust and spider's webs. Scarcely could the treasures be seen in the
darkness, for there was only a faint shadow of uncertain light, like a dying
lamp, or the moon when the night is cloudy. On all sides stood great iron
chests and coffers, strongly bound, and the floor was strewn with skulls, dead
men's bones, and unburied carcases. Then Guy and his guide came to an
iron door, which flew open of its own accord, and showed within such great
wealth of riches as mortal eyes had never yet seen. These were guarded by
a covetous sprite, who drove away other fiends.
Soon Mammon turned to the warrior again, and offered him these things
as rewards; but Guy said he sought other happiness. Mammon gnashed his
teeth and grieved that he could not tempt his guest, but thought that ere long
he would entrap him in another way. They went on to another room,
wherein were a hundred furnaces burning and roaring brightly, and by each
64 Spenser for Cilddren.
furnace stood many horrible and deformed fiends, toiling hard. Some blew
huge bellows, others threw on fresh fuel with iron tongs; some skimmed the
dross from the hissing molten metal, others stirred it with great ladles. But
when they saw an earthly man, glittering in arms, they ceased their toilsome
work, for they had never before seen living creatures. Guy was almost
dismayed by their ugly shapes and fiery staring eyes, but he stood still.
Now," said Mammon again, change thy wilful mood, lest thou after-
Nay," said Guy, suffice it to say I refuse thine offers; give me leave to
follow my enterprise."
Mammon was much displeased, but led him on, to entice him further.
They went through a narrow passage, till they came to a broad gate of
beaten gold, standing open. There stood a huge golden giant, holding an
iron club, which he could heavily wield. He was of terrible portance and
stern looks, far surpassing mortal height. He raised his ponderous weapon
on high, and threatened battle to the knight, who began to draw his sword;
but Mammon stopped him, and bade the giant forbear. They passed into
the chamber, which was like a solemn temple: the roof was upheld by great
golden pillars, and each column was decked with crowns, diadems, and rich
jewels. And in the hall was a large crowd of people in tumultuous uproar,
all striving to reach the upper part. There, on a stately seat, sat a woman
gorgeously arrayed in royal robes. She held by one hand a long gold linked
chain, whose upper end was in the skies, and its lower below the ground,
firmly stretched. The crowd were endeavouring to seize this chain, and to
climb aloft by it. Some had already struggled a little way up, stepping
by the links, and they tried to keep the remainder of the people down.
Those who were below pulled back the others, and would not suffer them
to rise. Guy inquired who the lady might be, and Mammon told him
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 65
she was his daughter, and possessed all honours and dignities to give to her
"And since," said he, thou hast found favour in my sight, I will give
her to thee for wife."
Guy thanked him, but would not accept his offer, for he said his troth
was plighted to another lady.
Then Mammon took him into a garden, gloomy. There grew no fair
herbs or flowers of earthly hue, but only plants fit to adorn the dead or deck
a tomb-poppies, hellebore, coloquintida, and the poisonous cicuta. The
walks were shadowed with cypress boughs, and dark ebony. In the midst
was a silver seat covered with an arbour, where Queen Proserpine often
sat, and beside it grew a large tree laden with rich golden apples and fair
blossoms. Its branches stretched far over the walks, and even beyond the
high earthen mound which encompassed the garden. Guy went to the
borders and climbed up this bank, and looking down, saw beneath him
the black river of Cocytus, full of many sprites weeping and wailing. Into
the sad waves they were continually plunged by cruel fiends, unmindful
of their groans. One wight he saw drenched beneath the cold waters
and trying in vain to reach some of the golden apples from the drooping
boughs; and another who for ever strove to cleanse his hands, which no
washing could again restore. But Mammon would not suffer him to look
longer, but said, "Thou fool, why dost not thou take of the golden fruit,
and seat thyself on that silver chair in the cool shade ?"
But the knight was wary, and refused, for he saw the dreadful fiend
lurking behind to rend him in pieces. Three days had now passed since
he began this enterprise, and as he felt himself feeble for want of food
and sleep, he asked Mammon to guide him back to the upper earth. The
demon, though loth, was forced to obey, for no living man might remain
66 Spenser for Children.
longer below, so he brought him back. But as soon as Guy felt the fresh
air and the sunlight, his enfeebled frame was overcome, and he fell sense-
less on the grass.
In the mean time, the palmer, who was denied passage by the Maiden of
the Idle Lake, had gained a crossing through other means, and was on his
way searching for Guy. Suddenly he heard a clear voice calling, "Come
hither, oh, come hastily!" and so he quickened his feeble steps and went into
the shady dell where Mammon had been. There lay Guy, senseless, and
beside him sat a fair young man of wondrous beauty. His face seemed
resplendent with light, his golden locks hung over his ivory forehead, and
on his shoulders were two wings of brightly painted feathers.
The palmer was afraid, but the genius spoke, saying, "Long lacked has
been thy faithful aid; but, reverend sire, be not afraid of dolour and death, for
life shall ere long return. I commend his safety to thee, and I also will guard
him, invisible from his foe and mine; but watch thou, for evil is at hand."
So saying, he spread his wings and vanished.
The palmer was much amazed, and gazed after him awhile; then, turning
to his charge, he found life not quite dislodged, and began to tend him care-
fully. Ere long, alas, he spied two Paynim knights coming in bright armour,
led by an aged hermit, whilst before them ran a light-footed varlet breathing
enmity. These were the two sons of Acrates, Cymochles and Pyrrhochles,
and their servant Atin. They were guided by the crafty Archimago, that
they might work evil to Guy. When they approached they well knew Guy's
person, as they had each fought with him, and Pyrrhochles, inflamed with
rage, bade the palmer abandon that base carcase. The palmer fearlessly
answered that they had proved Guy's courage, and knew him to be bold, and
that vile was the vengeance which spent itself upon a sleeping corpse. But
Cymochles only railed, and Pyrrhochles said that to wreak his spite he would
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 67
take from Guy his arms and shield. The palmer prayed them not to do such
unknightly deeds, but to leave these arms to deck his hearse.
"He shall have no hearse or grave," said Pyrrhochles; "but shall be
entombed in the raven or the kite."
Then one began to take the champion's good shield, and the other to
unlace his helm ; but whilst they were at their foul work they spied a knight
approaching, riding a prancing Libyan steed, and followed by a squire carry-
ing an ebon lance and a covered buckler. The enchanter knew him from afar,
and hastily bid them rise and fall to arms, "for," said he, "here comes the
bravest knight alive, Prince Arthur, the flower of chivalry, who hath killed a
They started up furiously and prepared for battle, but Pyrrhochles was
without a sword, and begged Archimago to give him the one he was carrying
I would gladly," said the wizard, but it would work you no good. For
this is yonder knight's own sword, made for him by Merlin; the metal of it
was mixed with medcewart, so that no enchantment might save from its dint;
then it was wrought in the flames of iEtna, and seven times dipped in Styx.
No steel or stone can defend from the stroke of it, nor will it break or bend,
nor can it be used by Arthur's foes."
Foolish old man," said the Paynim; charms cannot withstand strength.
Thou shalt soon see me slay its lord with this brand." So he snatched it
from Archimago, and bound Guy's shield round his wrist.
By this time Prince Arthur came up and saluted them, but they only
answered with angry looks. Then the palmer told him what they would have
done, and he entreated them to forbear, but the enraged Pyrrhochles fell upon
him in fight. Whereupon there arose a terrible conflict, in which the prince
fought, single-handed against these two furious Saracens. At last, after long
68 Spenser for Children.
battle, he overcame Cymochles, and overthrew him with a mortal stroke. Then
the rage of Pyrrhochles was redoubled, and he smote often at Arthur with
the enchanted sword. But it always swerved aside, and would yield no blow,
though when Arthur would have struck Pyrrhochles, he could not do so for
Guy's shield, which the Saracen held before him, and whereon was painted
the picture of the Fairy Queen. At last Pyrrhocles threw away the sword,
and they grasped each other with mighty force. The prince was victor in the
end, and offered the Paynim his life; but he refused all grace, so he struck him
with Guy's sword, which the palmer had reached him, a deadly blow.
By this time Guy had recovered from his faint, and when he saw his two
foes slain, and the palmer had told him all, he gave great thanks to Prince
Arthur. But the good knight answered that he had only done his due, and
that all knights were bound to aid each other. Then their strength being
refreshed, Guy took up his arms, and the prince recovered his own stolen
sword, and they went on their way together with the palmer. As for Atin
and Archimago, they had fled when they saw how the combat would end.
When the knights had travelled many miles and the sun was gone down,
they perceived in the distance a fair castle in a pleasant dale, and there they
thought they would pass the night. So they hastened their steeds and came
up to it, but when they arrived they found all the gates fast barred and locked,
though the evening had scarce begun. They were surprised at this inhospi-
tality, and Prince Arthur's squire blew his horn long and loudly. Then a
watchman looked out from the highest tower, and bade them fly, "for," said
he, "though we would give you entrance, we cannot. We are beset by a
thousand enemies raving about us, holding this place in a long siege of seven
years, and they have slain many good knights, who sought to save us."
Whilst he spoke, a great noise was heard, and all the rocks and caves of
the dale were seen swarming with villains, ragged, rude, and deformed. Some
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 69
carried clubs, some long spears, others rusty knives and staves warmed in fire.
They had stiff upstanding hair, hollow staring eyes, and a wild and ghastly
look. They assailed the knights, and forced them to recoil; but when the
champions gathered their strength and broke on them, they retreated and fled.
But ere long they returned again with greater fury, led on by their captain.
But the knights rode at them fiercely, hewing and slashing with their bright
swords, when, lo! they found that their bodies were not substance, but
shadows which could not be finally slain. At last they dispersed them,
and craved entrance at the castle gate.
Then came forth the lady of the place, with a goodly train of squires and
maidens, and bade them enter with much courtesy. Alma was her name, and
she was arrayed in a lily-white robe, the train of which was embroidered with
gold and pearls, and borne by two damsels. After the knights had rested
awhile, they prayed her to show them the castle, which favour she granted.
They ascended to the outside wall, and perceived that the building was
formed of neither brick nor stone, but of a substance like Egyptian slime, not
enduring. The castle had two gates, through one of which, when it was
locked, no one could pass, and when it was opened, no man could close it.
The porch was of hewn stone, fairly carved, and with a vine and ivy twining
over it, and a strong portcullis hung above. Within the barbican a porter
sat, keeping watch day and night, and near him was a larum bell which
was rung each morn and even. Round about the porch were thirty-two
warders, tall yeomen, brightly armed in glistering steel, who bowed lowly as
Alma passed, as likewise did the porter. They passed into a stately hall,
where were many tables spread, and at the upper end sat a grave and sober
personage in red attire, holding a white wand, the steward of the household.
A sturdy yeoman walked up and down the chamber, and marshalled the
guests to their places. From thence they went to the great kitchen of the
70 Spenser for Children.
castle, an enormous vault, with a roaring furnace in the midst, upon which
was placed a huge cauldron. Many cooks were going to and fro with hooks
and ladles, attending to the viands: some removed the dishes from the fire,
others stirred and mixed, and the clerk of the kitchen ordered where all
should be disposed.
After the knights had seen these things, Alma led them to a goodly
chamber, hung with rich arras, on which were portrayed things easy to be
understood. Here were a bevy of fair ladies amusing themselves with a
company of knights: some sang together, some played with straws, others sat
at ease. When Alma appeared, all rose from their seats and did her homage.
The knights then went forward to speak to the ladies. The prince came to
one who was fair but somewhat sad, arrayed in a long purple pall, fretted
with gold, and holding in her hand a poplar branch; she was named Praise-
desire. Guy entertained another, attired in blue, with a bird upon her wrist.
After they had solaced themselves awhile with games and discourse, they
went on with Alma, who took them to a stately turret, to which they ascended
by ten steps of alabaster. This turret was high above the ground, and was
greater than the proud Tower of Troy, or that built by Cadmu s in Thebes.
It had an arched roof, decked with flowers, and two beacons were set in it,
which flamed and gave light continually. They were made of living fire, and
set in golden sockets, covered with curious lids which could open and shut
readily. In this tower were many rooms, but three chief ones, in which dwelt
three honourable men, who counselled fair Alma with sage advice. The first
could foretell things to come, the second could advise about the present, and
the third kept the memory of what was past. The chamber of the first was in
the fore part of the tower, and was painted all within with infinite shapes.
There were drawn infernal hags, centaurs, fiends, hippodames, apes, lions,
eagles, owls, fools, lovers, children, and many more. The room was filled
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 71
with flies which made a buzzing noise like many swarms of bees ; these were
opinions, visions, prophecies, and conjectures. In the midst of the room sat
Phantastes, for so was he called, a man of dark complexion and crabbed hue,
with beetling brows and sharp staring eyes. Then Alma and the knights
passed into the second room, painted with pictures of judges, courts, kingdoms
-in short, all things of art, science, and philosophy were pictured or written
therein. Here sat a grave man of ripe age, who continually meditated upon
such matters. The third room was ruinous and old, and lay in the back part
of the tower, but the walls were still strong, though bent. Here they found
an aged man, half blind, decrepit in body, but vigorous in mind. He was of
infinite remembrance, and recorded all that had passed through many ages,
setting it down in his immortal record; yea, he could well recollect the wars
of King Ninus and the infancy of Methuselah. His chamber was hung with
ancient rolls and records, some in books, others in long parchments, worm-
eaten and cankered. Amidst these he sat, tossing and turning them about,
and near him was a little boy to reach him what he wanted, and to seek
for what was amiss ; Anamnestes was his name, and Eumnastes that of his
Here the knights stayed and read awhile. Sir Guy found an ancient
register named Briton Moniments," and Prince Arthur another book called
"Antiquities of Faerieland." After this they went with the lady to supper in
the great hall, and spent the evening in fair discourse.
The next morning before sunrise, Sir Guy arose to pursue his journey,
and with him went the palmer clad in black. They went down to a river
not far distant, where Alma had caused a ferryman to be in readiness with
a well-rigged boat. They went on board, and he launched at once, so
they sped away and were soon out of sight.
And there must we leave them awhile, that we may recount what befel
72 Spenser for Children.
Prince Arthur that day. For as soon as Guy was gone, the band of villains
began to assail the castle anew, and lay strong siege to it on every side.
They came in great numbers, and their foul, ugly visages frightened all whom
they approached. Their captain divided them into twelve troops, and ordered
each to attack a part of the fortress. Seven troops were placed against the
gate, in strong entrenchments, with orders to batter incessantly upon it
day and night. The other five went before the five great bulwarks of the
castle, against which they planted their artillery. The first troop was a
monstrous rabble of misshapen creatures; some had heads like owls, with
beaks, others like dogs, others like griffins; some had wings and claws,
and all had lynx's eyes. The second company were likewise deformed in
shape; some had heads like harts and others like snakes. The third band
were yet more hideous and fiend-like; they resembled hounds, apes, and
frogs, with the bodies of men, and were arrayed in bright plumes. Of the
fourth detachment, some had ostriches' mouths, some were toad-like, others
had the bodies of wild boars. The fifth squadron were most horrible of
all; they were like snails, spiders, and thick short hedgehogs. All carried
bows and arrows, and were urged to fight by their wicked captain, who
showed them the spoil they would gain if they ransacked the castle.
On the other side, the besieged inmates mightily maintained their ground,
and wrought many brave achievements, though hard beset. But the Lady
Alma was much dismayed with the great peril they were in, till the prince,
seeing her troubled plight, offered his service and his life in defence of the
castle, and said he would go forth to fight the captain, who was the chief
author of the assault. In a short time he was clad in his glittering armour,
ordered the gates to be unbarred, and issued forth, followed by his gay squire.
No sooner did the rabble perceive him than they raised a dreadful yell,
and at once let fly a thick shower of arrows against him, but he received the
Sir Guy in Search of t/e Bower of Bliss. 73
hail-storm of darts on his shield, and galloped into the midst of the crowd,
brandishing his bright sword, whilst his fiery steed, Spumador, trod the caitiffs
down. Then, at their cry of horror, their captain came forward, riding on a
fierce tiger, which ran like the wind. The captain was named Maleger. He
was large and broad-shouldered; his long feet, as he rode, nearly touched
the ground; but his body was made of a thin, airy substance, cold and
snakelike to the touch, so that he seemed more like a ghost than a man.
He was clothed in a thin canvas garment, and had many arrows in his belt
at his right side. A bow was in his hand, and on his head a helmet made
of a dead man's skull. After him followed fast two wicked hags, with grim
visages and hoary locks flying loose in the wind; one carried a staff and was
somewhat lame, the other a burning brand.
Maleger, spurring on his tiger, aimed an arrow at the prince, but it fell
harmless on Arthur's shield. Then another and another he let fly, whereupon
Arthur couched his spear and rode fiercely at him. Maleger turned his tiger
and sped away, and the knight followed him as fast as his courser could
gallop; but in vain, for the tiger flew like the wind, and Maleger, turning
round, shot arrows as he rode. When the prince was far off he slackened
the animal's pace, and let the knight approach, but as soon as he was near
Maleger started off again. One of the hags gathered up the darts he shot,
and gave them to him again. Prince Arthur, seeing that the villain had thus
always a fresh store, leapt off his steed, that he might tie the hands of the
hag. Immediately the other one ran to him, and whilst he was bending down
to bind her sister, overthrew him backwards ; then Maleger came up and all
three grappled with him. But the squire, perceiving his master's danger, flew
to his aid, and dragged aside the two hags, threatening them with his sword.
Then the prince with all his strength sprang up, and dealt Maleger a blow
which overthrew him; but the villain started up again, and snatching a huge
74 Spenser for Children.
stone, threw it at Arthur, who leapt aside, and in return dealt a heavy blow at
Maleger with his sword. Strange to relate, though the weapon pierced his foe
no blood appeared, and he did not fall a corpse to the ground, but continued
to fight, though a large wound was seen. Then the prince was horrified, and
thought his opponent must be a fiend that could not die, and yet seemed
mortal, so he threw away his good sword Mordure, and his bright shield, and
assailed Maleger by snatching him up in his arms. But to his surprise, every
time he threw him on the earth, the miscreant gained fresh strength, and
sprang up with restored vigour. Then he remembered how he had heard
that Maleger was an arch-son of earth, and that his waning life was renewed
by it. So he caught him up again, and ran with him, about three furlongs
distance, straight to a lake and threw him therein, and there saw him drowned.
At this the two hags, with many howlings, came up, and one cast herself into
the pond, the other seized a dart of Maleger's and therewith stabbed herself.
Arthur then returned to the squire, who stood holding Spumador, the
gallant steed, and began to faint through loss of blood. But the faithful
squire helped him to mount, and holding him up, led the horse by the road-
way to the castle, where many grooms and squires were ready to take the
prince tenderly from his steed. Then they conveyed him upstairs, laid him
on a sumptuous couch, and carefully ministered to his needs. And Alma
brought great stores of wine, balms, and costly spiceries, to cure his hurts.
And there will we leave him, whilst we return to Guy.
Guy, the palmer, and the boatman sailed for two days on the open sea,
without beholding land or living being. On the third morning they heard
a hideous roaring in the distance, and the raging waves rose up nearly to
Then said the boatman, Palmer, steer aright, and keep an even course,
for we must pass yonder way. That is the Gulf of Greedynesse, which
Sir Guy in Search of the Bower of Bliss. 75
engorges every worldly thing, and having swallowed up all, sendeth it forth
again, making the waters fly back. Opposite the gulf is a hideous rock of
magnet stone, drawing all passengers near it; and on its top is a craggy cliff,
hanging over ready to fall upon the vessel. So if we escape the gulf, it is
likely we shall be rent on the rock."
But on they went, and he rowed with all his strength till they neared the
gulf, which grew more and more violent. Then they strove to drive the frail
boat on, and escape the huge abyss which roared beside them. As they looked
into it, they saw the waters sucked in, and things tossed in the boiling waves;
and if they turned away their eyes, they beheld the lofty rock, with battered
fragments of ships sticking on the clefts, and carcases of lost men. The Rock
of Foul Reproach it was called, and no fish came near it, but yelling mews and
sea-gulls hovered round, and cormorants sat waiting to devour the wretches
lost thereon. At last, with many pains they struggled past, and came into
easier waters, where the light bubble danced along. Soon they spied islands
floating on every side.
Then said Guy, I descry land, old sire. I pray thee direct thy course
"That may not be," said the ferryman. "These isles are not firm land,
but straggling plots, floating to and fro in the wide waters; therefore they
are called The Wandering Isles.' "
They seemed fair and fruitful, and tempted the wearied travellers,for the
grass was green, and the trees covered with white and red blossoms. But he
who set foot on them was doomed to wander for ever. So they passed on;
and as they rowed near one of these very islets, they saw a damsel sitting on
the bank dressing her hair, and a little boat in the waters near her. She,
seeing them, called often, and begged them to draw near the shore, and
laughed loudly. But when they would not turn, she left her locks undighted,
76 Spteser for Children.
ran to the boat, launched it, and sped after them with all her might. When
she came up with them, she tried to come on board, and said many things in
sport, with smiles and laughter. But the palmer rebuked her forwardness;
whereupon she began to scoff, turned aside her boat, and rowed away.
"Now," said the wary boatman, must we take good heed, for here be
another perilous passage. It is haunted by many mermaids, making false
melodies, and there is a great quicksand and whirlpool. Therefore, good
palmer, steer evenly."
Scarcely had he spoken when they saw the quaking Quicksand of
Unthriftyhed close by; and therein was sinking a goodly ship, laden with
much precious merchandise, with the mariners toiling to save her, but in vain.
Opposite was the Whirlpool of Decay, in which many had been sunk of whom
no memory remained. There the waters whirled round, swayed like a restless
wheel. The strong boatman strained his utmost force, and they laboured at
the oars till the peril was past. But erelong the surging waters rose like
mountains, and yet there was not one puff of wind. Soon appeared a hideous
host of huge sea-monsters, of ugly shape and horrible aspect. There were
spring-headed hydras, mighty whales, scaly scolopendras glittering brightly,
and the huge monoceros of immeasurable length. Then appeared the
dreadful death-fish, the grisly wasserman, who pursues flying ships, the
horrible sea-satyr, always seen in perilous storms, the great ziffius, and the
greedy rosmarines, with deformed visages. These, and thousands of other
monsters, came on with a hollow, rumbling roar, rolling in the foamy waves
towards the frail boat.
Then the palmer arose, and said, Fear nought; these are sent by the
wicked witch, to stay us from our journey." He lifted his staff on high, and
smote the sea, which became calmer, and the monsters hid themselves
beneath the waters.
TAL F, IT
"THIS IS THE PORT OF REST F RK o TPOUBLOUTS TO YL E
Sir Guy in Search of tIe Bower of Bliss. 77
Next they passed an island wherein they saw a maiden sitting by the
shore, weeping with great sorrow and sad agony, who loudly called to them
for succour. Guy, pitying her distress, bade the palmer steer thither, that
he might help her.
SBut he said, "Fair sir, be not displeased if ye are disobeyed; this is only
her guileful bait to ruin you."
The knight was ruled, and the boatman held on his way.
Then they approached the place where the mermaids dwelt. It was
a still, calm bay, sheltered on one side with the broad shadow of a hoary
hill. Opposite was a high rock, and betwixt both lay this pleasant port.
Here were the five sisters, who sang their sweet melodies as Guy passed,
and chanted this song together :-
O thou fair sonne of gentle Faery,
That art in mighty armes most magnifide
Above all knights that ever battle tried,
O turne thy rudder hitherward awhile ;
Here may thy storm-beat vessel safely ride.
This is the Port of Rest from troublous toyle-
The world's sweet Inn from paine and wearisome turmo) le."
And as they sang, the rolling sea, softly sounding, answered them, and beat a
measure against the rock, whilst the breezes whistled in harmony. Guy was
charmed, and bade the boatman row slower, that he might the better hear.
But the palmer dissuaded the knight, and they passed on.
By this time they began to spy land, when suddenly there: arose a' ddll,
vaporous fog, v.hich .\l:.:1:.' everything in utter darkness:- They, viere
much dismayed, and knew not how to direct their way, fearing c:, nceak.:l
dangers. All at once a great fliht of harmful fowls came about -them,
fluttering, and smiting them with their wings in the darkness. It was a
troop of hateful birds of ill omen and death-the ill-faced owl, the hoarse
78 Stpeeser for Children.
night-raven, the bat; the strick, which waits on the bier; the whistler, that
whoso heareth dies, and the shrill harpies. Still they rowed on, and at last
made their way through the mist, and saw land.
Then said the palmer, Lo, there is the soil where all our perils grow.
Sir knight, arm yourself."
Guy obeyed, and erelong the boat's keel struck the ground.
Then forth stepped Guy and the palmer on their enterprise, and the
boatman stayed with his vessel. They marched on, firm and stedfast.
Soon they heard a loud bellowing of many roaring beasts, and soon came
in sight of them. The animals rushed forward, gaping greedily, and fiercely
rearing up their crests to devour the strangers. But the palmer held up his
staff, which could defeat all charms, whereat their courage was quelled, and
they stood tremblingly by.
After a while the knight and his guide reached the far-famed Bower of
Bliss, which contained all that this world hath sweet and pleasant to the
senses. It was surrounded by a slight wall, more for pleasure than for service.
The gate was of precious ivory, and on it was carved the histories of Jason
and Medea-her charms, his conquest of the golden fleece, his false faith,
and the wondrous ship Argo. All this, and much more, was depicted on
the gate. In the porch sat a comely personage, tall and pleasing, in a loose
robe; he was decked with flowers, and held a staff in his hand. By his
side was a mighty mazer bowl of wine, of which he gave to passing guests.
But Guy defied him, overthrew his bowl, and broke his staff.
When they entered they found themselves in a spacious plain of fair
grassy ground, covered with sweetest groves and beds of flowers, trees, and
plants in tender blossom. There were no rude winds, or storms, or frost, but
always mild air and gentle odours. Much was Guy tempted to delight him-
self there, but he kept on his way till he came to another entrance, a porch
Sir Guy in Search of tlie Bower of Bliss. 79
with a vine clambering over it, where, amid the tender green leaves, hung
rich bunches of luscious grapes, freely to be gathered-some like rubies,
some not yet well ripened, like green emerald. Under the archway sat a
fair dame, holding in her left hand a cup of gold, and with her right she
squeezed the sap from the grapes, and offered the cup, made more sweet
by her fair fingers, to strangers passing by. So did she to Guy; but he
threw it on the ground, where it was broken in pieces, so that she was
forced to let him pass.
Then he went through shady dales, and by fair groves and brightly
running streams, till he came to a noble fountain, shaded with laurel-trees,
paved with jasper, and adorned with fair statues of Cupids and Graces.
A rich trail of ivy, formed of purest gold, was overspread, and dipped its
branches here and there in the clear waters, which sparkled in the sun-
shine. By this small lake sported two damsels, beautiful and gay. But the
palmer would not suffer Guy to talk with them, but led him on to surprise
the enchantress Acrasia.
Soon they heard a most melodious harmony of birds, voices, instru-
ments, winds, and waters, all mingled in one sweet concert. Soft trembling
notes were heard, and the murmur of the waters, with the gentle warbling
of the wind. There in the shade, in the spot from whence this music
proceeded, was the enchantress and many other squires and ladies. She
was arrayed in a garment of thin silk and silver, more fine than a spider's
web, and rested on a bank strewn with roses. She was of great beauty,
golden haired, and with eyes like the starry light that sparkles on the
silent waves. Near was a young knight, with his idle arms hung on a
tree, and his good shield, full of old quarterings, with its devices erased.
He seemed to be one of honourable place and of amiable looks: more
pity that he was trapped in so great enchantment.
8o Spenser for Children.
Guy and the palmer drew near softly and warily, then suddenly rushed
on them, and threw over the enchantress a large net which the skilful palmer
had erst prepared. In vain she strove to free herself from it, so strongly
had it been made. Then they bound her with bands of adamant, for
nothing else might keep her. But to the youth, whose name was Verdant,
Guy gave sage counsel, and soon untied his bonds. They broke down
the bowers, and burned the palace and the banqueting house, and then
they led the enchantress and the young knight away with them by the way
which they had come.
Soon the crowd of wild beasts came into the path, awaking and raging
with fury, seeking to rescue their mistress; but the palmer pacified them
with his staff. Guy asked what they were, and the palmer told him they
were lately men who had been decoyed to the bower by the enchantress,
and changed by her into these shapes. Guy prayed the palmer to restore
them, which he did straightway, by touching each with his staff; where-
upon their figures fell from them, and they became men again. Some stared,
some looked ashamed, and others were wrathful. One specially, named
Grill, who had been in the form of a pig, repined greatly, and scolded Guy
for recalling him from that state.
Said the knight, "See the mind of man ; how soon he has forgotten
his former excellence, and now chooseth to be an animal."
Then answered the palmer, "Let Grill be Grill, and have his mind, but
let us depart whilst wind and weather serve."
So they embarked, and the enchantress being taken captive, and the
great enterprise finished, they returned with joy to the fairy Court.
HISTORY OF CAMBEL AND TRIAMOND; OR, THE RING
i., HERE was once a knight named Cambel, or Cambello, who,
Shad a fair sister, hight Canacee. She was the most learned
of ladies; she knew every science and every secret work
of nature. She was versed in witty riddles and wise
Ssoothsaying. She was skilful in knowledge of the power
"" of herbs, and the meanings of the tunes and cries of birds.
and beasts. Moreover, she was modest in all her deeds and words, and
loved by many knights and lords, yet she showed liking to none of them.
But the more she refused them, the more she was sought, and great strife
often arose among her followers.
Now, when Cambel perceived all these quarrels, he bethought himself
how to prevent the perils that ensued, and one day, when Cambel
all the troop of warlike wooers were assembled, he decreed challenges
that three of the strongest should be chosen, and should suitors.
combat with him for her sake, and the victor should have his sister.
This was a bold challenge, but he was a man of great courage; moreover,
he had much confidence in a ring which Canacee had given him. It
.82 Spleser for Children
had a magic power to stanch every wound that bled mortally. Its great
virtue was well known to all; so the challenge somewhat dismayed the
youthful lovers, and they debated whether they should hazard life for the
lady. For they were uncertain if, after they had braved so much peril
for her sake, she would be favourable or show liking to the victor.
However, there were three among the crowd, all brothers, who undertook
to fight Cambel; and the day was appointed, and pledges given that it
should be kept.
Now, these three brothers had a strange history, which was this:
Strange seTheir mother was a fairy, skilled in many secret arts, and
of the three married to a mortal knight. She, seeing her three sons grown
up to manhood, and resembling their father in love of arms
.and knighthood and desire of adventure, doubted for their safety. For she
thought that by their search for perils, and their provokaunce of dangers,
they would soon abridge their days. So, being desirous to lengthen their
lives, and to know how long they had to live, she went one day, by
many hidden ways, to the house of the Three Fatal Sisters. It was far
underground, down in the bottom of a deep abyss, where Demogorgon
is pent in darkness. There she found them all sitting round about, the
direfull distaff standing in the middle, whilst they with unwearied fingers
drew out the threads of life. Sad Clotho held the rock, grisly Lachesis
spun the thread with pain, and cruel Atropos soon cut the twist with
her cursed shears. She saluted them, and sat by them watching them spin,
and after awhile she tremblingly told her errand.
"Bold fay," said the fierce Atropos, "that darest to come and see
the secret of human life, thou art worthy to be accurst of Jove, and thy
children's threads to be broken asunder."
At this she was sore afraid, yet besought them that she might see
History of Cambel and Triamond. 83.
her children's threads, and know the measure of their lives. This Clotho
granted; and she was much amazed when she perceived they were as thin
as spider's threads, and so short that it seemed as if their ends would
come out immediately. Then she began to pray the sisters to draw them
out longer, and to twine them better.
But Lachesis answered, "Foolish one, that thinkest divine things
can be altered like human, and changed at pleasure for these imps of
thine! Not so; what the Fates have once decreed, not all the gods can
change, nor Jove himself."
"Then," said the fairy, "since no man's life can be lessened or
enlarged, at least grant this: When ye cut the thread of the eldest
which I see is the shortest, let his life pass into the second, and when
his life shall be ended, let both their lives be annexed to the third : so
shall his be trebled."
They agreed, and she went home with a contented mind; but when
she came back, she did not tell her children of their destinies, or how
their lives were increased, but she warned them to look to their safety,
and love each other dearly.
Their names were Priamond, Diamond, and Triamond, and the
differences between them are best expressed in the following Description
of the three
verse :- brothers.
"Stout Priamond, but not so strong to strike;
Strong Diamond, but not so stout a knight :
But Triamond was strong and stout alike :
On horseback used Triamond to fight,
And Priamond on foot had more delight,
But horse and foot knew Diamond to wield;
With curtaxe used Diamond to smite,
And Triamond to handle spear and shield,
But spear and curtaxe both used Priamond in field."
Stout means bold and stubborn in battle.
84 Spenser for Children.
At last the great day came, and the champions were in the field by
sunrise. The ground was enclosed by lists, or barriers, to keep off the
crowd. On one side sat six judges to view the deeds of arms; on the
other side, on a raised dais and under a canopy, the fair Canacee, to see
the fortune of the fray. Cambel came first into the field, with stately
steps and a fearless countenance. Soon afterwards appeared the three
brethren, with gilt escutcheons and broad banners displayed; they marched
thrice round the field, bowing as they passed the noble maid, while the
shrill trumpets and loud clarions sounded. Then there was a pause for a
moment, and immediately afterwards the doughty challenger
rode out, and Sir Priamond set his spear and rode against
him. They met with dreadful force, and their blows flew thick and fast;
they were careless of peril, and yet, though each seemed every moment
in danger of death, they avoided many strokes. At last one thrust of
Priamond's went through Cambel's shoulder, and forced him to lower his
shield; so he in return drove at his adversary with such might that he
pierced through his mailed armour, and then again with double force, till
the staff of his spear broke, and the head was left in the wound. Then
shaking the end of the shivered spear, Cambel cried, "Lo, faitour, take
Priamondis thy deserts; I have spared thee thus long for thy sister's
killed, sake." Then he again struck him on the helmet, broke the
truncheon in half, and pierced his gorget with another blow. The blood
rushed forth, and the body fell to the ground. Meanwhile, the life fled not
to Pluto's land, nor vanished into air, nor was changed to a star, but
passed into Diamond's frame.
When Diamond beheld his brother on the ground, he felt himself
stirred to vengeance and fury, and endued with new strength. He rushed
iorth fiercely, the trumpets blew a shrilling blast, and they closed in deadly
History of Cambel and Triamond. 85
combat. Neither plate nor mail could stand the huge blows of their axes,
but were rived like rotten wood, and flashed sparks of fire. At last
Diamond, provoked with the wavering of fortune, wished for any ending,
so he heaved his axe with a mighty sway. But, alas for him! Cambel
leapt aside, and he, missing his mark, slipped his right foot, and tottered.
Then Cambel rushed forward and smote off his head; the body stood still
an instant, and then fell. The lookers-on were much amazed to see the
body stand up holding a weapon; they knew not that the life Diamond is
was passing into the youngest brother, Triamond, who there- killed.
upon flew forth. It was great wonder that Cambel could fight singly
against so many foes, but he was sustained by the virtue of the stone in
the magic ring.
However, Triamond feared him not, but boldly set himself to the
fight, and assailed him furiously. Their swords clashed together, as they
dealt showers of blows, now advancing, now retreating, with varying
fortune, while the purple blood streamed from their sides, till Triamond
grew weak and faint. But Cambel always felt the stronger, through the
ring, which evermore gave him new vigour. At length he dealt Triamond
a tremendous blow, which pierced his hauberk, and he fell
down dead in the sight of all. Yet was he not dead, for only first life is
one soul fled out of his body to its native home. So whilst killed.
they thought all was over, lo! he started up, like one out of a dream,
and freshly assailed his foe, who, struck with amazement, stood holding
his idle sword, till he was forced to betake himself to the combat; yet this
time he fought more warily, and rather seemed to defend himself than to
attack. Triamond, perceiving this, thought victory was at hand, so he
heavily struck him on the helmet; but at the same moment Cambel
pierced him with his sword, so that both fell to the ground at once. Then
86 Spenser for Children.
all deemed the battle at an end; the judges rose, and the marshals of the
field began to break down the lists, to take the arms away from the
knights, whilst Canacee was bewailing her brother. Suddenly both sprang
Triand up, Cambel out of his swoon, and Triamond having only lost
loses his his second life, and the combat began again. This time
they fought madly and rashly, careless of life and careless
who won, so that the encounter might be finished, for both were weary of
Whilst it hung doubtful, and all were gazing to see the fatal end, all
at once a troublous noise was heard, as if some perilous tumult was at
hand, mixed with the cries of women and the shouts of boys. The
champions stood still a space, to see what this meant. Then came
whirling along a strange chariot, which swept onward like a storm. It
was wondrously decked with gold and many gorgeous ornaments, after the
antique guise of Persian monarchs. It was drawn by two grim lions, and
a lady sat within, bright and fair, and who seemed of angelic race. She
was Cambina, the daughter of the fairy, and was skilled in magic from.
her mother's teaching. Having learnt by her arts that her dear brother
Triamond was in danger, she came to succour him, and to pacify the
strife. As she rode on, the crowd fled like sheep in a narrow fold, over-
running each other. Some shrieked for fright; some, being hurt, howled;
some laughed for sport, and others shouted for wonder. In her right.
hand she carried a rod of peace entwined with two serpents, which were
both crowned with one olive garland. In her left was a cup, filled with
nepenthe to the brim. Nepenthe is a drink which assuages all grief and.
anguish, and calms all rage, instilling peace and quiet into the heart.
Few are allowed by the gods to drink of it, but such as may, find eternal
happiness. Some famous men and some of the ancient heroes have
TALE E 11.
"A LADY BRIGHT AND FAIR, A D OF ANGELIC RACE"
History of Cambel and Triamond. 87
tasted it, and all former cares have been washed away from their memories.
It is much more precious than the water of Ardenne which Rinaldo
drank, for that turned men's hearts from love to hate, but this brings
comfort to heavy souls.
When Cambina arrived at the lists, she gently smote them with her
rod, and they straightway flew open. Then she descended from her
coach, and bidding all hail, she went to her brother and to Cambel, whose
sad plight made her turn pale, thus betraying her affection. They spoke
to her but little, for they hasted to renew the fight, but she with many
prayers besought them to cease; but when nothing could prevail on them
to do so, she smote them with the rod, and forthwith their weapons
dropped from their hands. Then she handed to them the cup, of which
as soon as they had tasted, they felt a wondrous change, Cbia
and from bitter foes became true friends, plighting hands as wondrous
a token of their troth, and embracing each other.
When those who stood by saw these mortal enemies thus changed,
they shouted for joy, and the fair Canacee hastily descended from her
chair to discover what sudden tidings had been heard. When she saw
the cruel battle so ended, she greeted the lovely Cambina with joy, and
proffered her true affection and friendship. Thus were all accorded, the
trumpets sounded, and they departed with glee. The champions chose
to march homeward together, to repose themselves; and Cambina took
Canacee by her side, and with her rode home in the chariot, admired and
glorified by all the people. They spent many days in joyous feasts, and
Triamond married Canacee, and Cambel, Cambina. So all alike did love,
and were beloved, and since their days such lovers have not been found
/ ; ?-;f1.', .__ -.- ---
HISTORY OF BRITOMART; OR, THE MAGIC MIRROR
AND THE ENCHANTER BUSYRANE.
N ancient times there was a king of South Wales, named
S King Ryence. The great magician Merlin made a most
-'-' The maic wondrous mirror, which he gave to this monarch.
t.! mirror. It was round-shaped and hollow, like a globe of
glass. It showed, if one looked into it, everything that
S pertained to the looker-whatever foes had done or friends
S'L' had feigned-and nothing was secret from it, but all was
plainly discovered therein. It was a famous present for a prince, for by it
could be known what enemies were at hand, and what were their plots,
before tidings came.
King Ryence had one child, a daughter, named Britomart, fair and
lovely in her person, and brave in mind. From her he kept nothing, as
Britomart she was his only child and heiress. One day she went into
looks in it. his private chamber, and there she espied the wondrous mirror.
She looked awhile at it, and then, remembering the virtues she had heard
told of it, she began to think what should befall her, and whom fortune
should allot for her husband. Immediately there was presented to her