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laid his head. And then that queen said, | my life here to pray for my lord Arthur. Ah, dear brother, why have ye tarried so Ye are welcome to me, said the hermit, long from me? Alas, this wound on your for I know ye better than ye ween that I head hath caught over-much cold. And do. Ye are the bold Bedivere, and the so then they rowed from the land, and full noble duke Sir Lucan the Butler was Sir Bedivere beheld all those ladies go your brother. Then Sir Bedivere told 130 from him. Then Sir Bedivere cried, Ah, the hermit all as ye have heard tofore. So my lord Arthur, what shall become of (110 there bode Sir Bedivere with the hermit me, now ye go from me, and leave me that was tofore bishop of Canterbury, and here alone among mine enemies? Com- there Sir Bedivere put upon him poor fort thyself, said the king, and do as well clothes, and served the hermit full lowly as thou mayest, for in me is no trust for in fasting and in prayers. to trust in. For I will into the vale of Thus of Arthur I find never more writAvilion to heal me of my grievous wound. ten in books that be authorized, nor more And if thou hear never more of me, pray of the certainty of his death heard I for my soul. But ever the queens and

never tell.

140 the ladies wept and shrieked, that it was pity to hear. And as soon as Sir Bedi- (120 vere had lost the sight of the barge, he

CHAPTER VII wept and wailed, and so took the forest,

OF THE OPINION OF SOME MEN OF THE and so he went all that night, and in the

DEATH KING ARTHUR; AND HOW morning he was ware betwixt two holts

QUEEN GUENEVER MADE HER A NUN IN hoar, of a chapel and an hermitage.

ALMESBURY
CHAPTER VI

Yet some men say in many parts of

England that king Arthur is not dead, but HOW SIR BEDIVERE FOUND HIM ON THE

had by the will of our Lord Jesu in anMORROW DEAD IN AN HERMITAGE, AND

other place. And men say that he shall HOW HE ABODE THERE WITH THE HER

come again, and he shall win the holy

I will not say it shall be so, but Then was Sir Bedivere glad, and thither rather I will say, here in this world he he went; and when he came into the changed his life. But many men say that chapel, he saw where lay an hermit grovel- there is written upon his tomb this verse: ing on all four, there fast by a tomb was Hic jacet Arthurus, Rex quondam, Rex- (10 new graven. When the hermit saw Sir que futurus. Thus leave I here Sir BediBedivere he knew him well, for he was vere with the hermit, that dwelled that but little before bishop of Canterbury, time in a chapel beside Glastonbury, that Sir Mordred banished. Sir, said and there was his hermitage. And so Sir Bedivere, what man is there interred they lived in their prayers and fastings, that ye pray so fast for? Fair son, (10 and great abstinence. said the hermit, I wot not verily, but by And when queen Guenever understood deeming. But this night, at midnight, that king Arthur was slain, and all the here came a number of ladies, and brought noble knights, Sir Mordred and all the hither a dead corpse, and prayed me remnant, then the queen stole away, (20 to bury him; and here they offered an and five ladies with her, and so she went to hundred tapers, and gave me an hundred Almesbury, and there she let make herbesants. Alas, said Sir Bedivere, that self a nun, and wore white clothes and was my lord king Arthur, that here lieth black, and great penance she took, as ever buried in this chapel. Then Sir Bedivere did sinful lady in this land, and never swooned, and when he awoke he prayed (20 creature could make her merry, but lived the hermit he might abide with him still in fasting, prayers, and alms-deeds, that there, to live with fasting and prayers. all manner of people marveled how virFor from hence will I never go, said Sir tuously she was changed. Bedivere, by my will, but all the days of

MIT

cross.

THE ELIZABETHAN AGE

ses hath ensampled a good governour and EDMUND SPENSER (15627-1699)

a vertuous man, the one in his Ilias, the THE FAERIE QUEENE

other in his Odysseis; then Virgil, whose

like intention was to doe in the person of A LETTER OF THE AUTHORS, Aeneas; after him Ariosto comprised them

both in his Orlando: and lately Tasso disExpounding his whole intention in the

severed them againe, and formed both course of this worke: which, for that it

parts in two persons, namely that part giveth great light to the reader, for the

which they in Philosophy call Ethice, or better understanding is hereunto annexed.

vertues of a private man, coloured in [40

his Rinaldo; the other named Politice in To the Right Noble and Valorous

his Godfredo. By ensample of which ex

cellente poets, I labour to pourtraict in SIR WALTER RALEIGH, KNIGHT; Arthure, before he was king, the image of Lord Wardein of the Stanneryes, and Her

a brave knight, perfected in the twelve Maiesties Liefetenaunt of the County of private morall vertues, as Aristotle hath Cornewayll.

devised; the which is the purpose of these

first twelve bookes: which if I finde to be Sir, knowing how doubtfully all alle well accepted, I may be perhaps encoraged gories may be construed, and this booke to frame the other part of polliticke (50 of mine, which I have entituled the Faery vertues in his person, after that hee came Queene, being a continued allegory, or to be king. darke conceit, I haue thought good, as To some, I know, this methode will well for avoyding of gealous opinions and seeme displeasaunt, which had rather have misconstructions, as also for your better good discipline delivered plainly in way of light in reading thereof, (being so by you precepts, or sermoned at large, as they commanded,) to discover unto you the use, then thus clowdily enwrapped in general intention and meaning, which (10 Allegoricall devises. But such, me seeme, in the whole course thereof I have fash should be satisfide with the use of these ioned, without expressing of any particular dayes, seeing all things accounted by [60 purposes, or by accidents therein occa their showes, and nothing esteemed of, sioned. The generall end therefore of all that is not delightfull and pleasing to the booke is to fashion a gentleman or commune sence. For this cause is Xenonoble person in vertuous and gentle dis- phon preferred before Plato, for that the cipline: which for that I conceived shoulde one, in the exquisite depth of his judgebe most plausible and pleasing, being ment, formed a commune welth, such as coloured with an historicall fiction, the it should be; but the other in the person which the most part of men delight to [20 of Cyrus, and the Persians, fashioned a read, rather for variety of matter then for governement, such as might best be: so profite of the ensample, I chose the his much more profitable and gratious is (70 torye of King Arthure, as most fitte for doctrine by ensample, then by rule. So the excellency of his person, being made haue I laboured to doe in the person of famous by many men's former workes, Arthure: whome I conceive, after his long and also furthest from the daunger of education by Timon, to whom he was envy, and suspition of present time. In | by Merlin delivered to be brought up, which I have followed all the antique so soone as he was borne of the Lady Poets historicall: first Homere, who in Igrayne, to have seene in a dream or the Persons of Agamemnon and Ulys- (30 | vision the Faery Queene, with whose

a

excellent beauty ravished, he awaking Queene kept her annuall feaste xii. dayes resolved to seeke her out; and so being (80 uppon which xii. severall dayes, the occaby Merlin armed, and by Timon throughly sions of the xii. severall adventures hapned, instructed, he went to seeke her forth in which, being undertaken by xii. severall Faerye land. In that Faery Queene I knights, are in these xii. books severally meane glory in my generall intention, but handled and discoursed. The first was in my particular I conceive the most this. In the beginning of the feast, there excellent and glorious person of our sover presented him selfe a tall clownishe (140 aine the Queene, and her kingdome in younge man, who, falling before the Queene Faery land. And yet, in some places els, of Faeries, desired a boone (as the manner I doe otherwise shadow her. For con then was) which during that feast she sidering she beareth two persons, the (90 might not refuse: which was that hee one of a most royall Queene or Empresse, might have the atchievement of any adthe other of a most vertuous and beautifull venture, which during that feaste should Lady, this latter part in some places I doe | happen: that being graunted, he rested expresse in Belphæbe, fashioning her him on the floore, unfitte through his rusname according to your owne excellent ticity for a better place. Soone after conceipt of Cynthia, (Phæbe and Cynthia entred a faire ladye in mourning (150 being both names of Diana.) So in the weedes, riding on a white

asse, with person of Prince Arthure I sette forth dwarfe behind her leading a warlike steed, magnificence in particular, which vertue, that bore the armes of a knight, and his for that (according to Artistotle and 100 speare in the dwarfes hand. Shee, falling the rest) it is the perfection of all the rest, before the Queene of Faeries, complayned and conteineth in it them all, therefore that her father and mother, an ancient in the whole course I mention the deedes | king and queene, had bene by an huge of Arthure applyable to that vertue, which dragon many years shut up in a brasen I write of in that booke. But of the xii. castle, who thence suffred them not to other vertues, I make xii. other knights yssew; and therefore besought the (160 the patrones, for the more variety of the Faery Queene to assygne her some one of history: of which these three bookes her knights to take on him that exployt. contayn three. The first of the knight Presently that clownish person, upstartof the Redcrosse, in whome I expresse (110 ing, desired that adventure: whereat the holynes: The seconde of Sir Guyon, in Queene much wondering, and the lady whome I sette forth temperaunce: The much gainesaying, yet he earnestly imthird of Britomartis, a lady knight, in portuned his desire. In the end the lady whome I picture chastity. But, because told him, that unlesse that armour which the beginning of the whole worke seemeth she brought, would serve him (that is, abrupte, and as depending upon other the armour of a Christian man speci- (170 antecedents, it needs that ye know the fied by Saint Paul, vi. Ephes.) that he occasion of these three knights' seuerall could not succeed in that enterprise: which adventures. For the methode of a poet being forthwith put upon him, with dewe historical is not such, as of an his- (120 furnitures thereunto, he seemed the goodtoriographer. For an historiographer dis- liest man in al that company, and was courseth of affayres orderly as they were well liked of the lady. And eftesoones donne, accounting as well the times as taking on him knighthood, and mounting the actions; but a poet thrusteth into the on that straunge courser, he went forth middest, even where it most concerneth with her on that adventure: where behim, and there recoursing to the thinges ginneth the first booke, viz. (180 forepaste, and divining of thinges to come, maketh a pleasing analysis of all.

A gentle knight was pricking on the The beginning therefore of my history,

playne, etc. if it were to be told by an historiog- (130 The second day there came in a palmer, rapher, should be the twelfth booke, which bearing an infant with bloody hands, is the last; where I devise that the Faery | whose parents he complained to have

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he wore,

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bene slayn by an enchaunteresse called Wherein old dints of deepe woundes did ca. Acrasia; and therefore craved of the remaine, d. Faery Queene, to appoint him some The cruell markes of many a bloody fielde; all knight to performe that adventure; which Yet armes till that time did he never ly being assigned to Sir Guyon, he presently wield: cas

went forth with that same palmer: (190 His angry steede did chide his foming ere which is the beginning of the second booke, bitt, 40

and the whole subject thereof. The third As much disdayning to the curbe to

day there came in a groome, who com yield: ner

plained before the Faery Queene, that a Full jolly2 knight he seemd, and faire did he vile enchaunter, called Busirane, had in sitt, ее

hand a most faire lady, called Amoretta, As one for knightly giusts: and fierce end

whom he kept in most grievous torment, counters fitt. Jd

because she would not yield him the

pleasure of her body. Whereupon Sir as

Scudamour, the lover of that lady, (200 But on his brest a bloodie crosse he bore, 10 presently tooke on him that adventure. The deare remembrance of his dying But being unable to performe it by reason

Lord, of the hard enchauntments, after long For whose sweete sake that glorious badge -d. sorrow, in the end met with Britomartis,

who succoured him, and reskewed his And dead as living ever him ador’d: loue.

Upon his shield the like was also scor’d, But by occasion hereof many other For soveraine hope, which in his helpe he adventures are intermedled; but rather as had: accidents then intendments: as the love of Right faithfull true he was in deede and

Britomart, the overthrow of Marinell, (210 word, to

the misery of Florimell, the vertuousness of But of his cheere* did seeme too solemne

Belphebe, the lasciviousnes of Hellenora, sad; co 0 and many the like.

Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was Thus much, Sir, I have briefly overronne, t

ydrad. t:

to direct your understanding to the welhead of the history, that from thence gath

III ering the whole intention of the conceit Upon a great adventure he was bond, ye may, as in a handfull, gripe al the dis That greatest Gloriana to him gave, course, which otherwise may happily seeme That greatest glorious queene of Faery tedious and confused. So, humbly (220 Lond, craving the continuance of your honor To winne him worshippe, and her grace to able favour towards me, and th' eternall have, establishment of your happines, I humbly Which of all earthly thinges he most did take leave.

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20

crave; 23. January, 1589. And ever as he rode his hart did earne? Yours most humbly affectionate, To prove his puissance in battell brave 25

ED. SPENSER. | Upon his foe, and his new force to learne

Upon his foe, a dragon horrible and From Book I, Canto I

stearne.
The patrone of true Holinesse

IV
Foule Errour doth defeate:
Hypocrisie, him to entrappe,

A lovely ladie rode him faire beside,
Doth to his home entreate.

Upon a lowly asse more white then snow,

Yet she much whiter, but the same did I hide

30 A gentle knight was pricking on the plaine, Under a vele, that wimpled was full low, Ycladd in mightie armes and silver shielde,

3 jousts. * countenance, expression of his face.

s dreaded. 1 spurring, riding.

$ pleated.

2 gallant

6 bound.

yearn.

VIII

36

V

70

And over all a blacke stole shee did throw:
As one that inly mournd, so was she sad, And foorth they passe, with pleasure for-
And heavie sate upon her palfrey slow:

ward led, Seemed in heart some hidden care she had; Joying to heare the birdes sweete harAnd by her in a line a milkewhite lambe

mony,

65 she lad.

Which, therein shrouded from the tempest

dred, So pure and innocent, as that same lambe,

Seemed in their song to scorne the cruell

sky. She was in life and every vertuous lore, And by descent from royall lynage came

Much can? they praise the trees so Of ancient kinges and queenes, that had of

straight and hy,

The saylings pine, the cedar proud and yore

40

tall, Their scepters stretcht from east to westerne shore,

The vine-propp elme, the poplar never And all the world in their subjection held,

dry, Till that infernall feend with foule uprore

. The aspine good for staves, the cypresse

The builder oake, sole king of forrests all, Forwasted all their land, and them expeld:

funerall, Whom to avenge, she had this knight from far compeld.

45

The laurell, meed of mightie conquerours Behind her farre away a dwarfe did lag,

And poets sage, the firre that weepeth That lasie seemd, in being ever last,

still,

The willow worne of forlorne paramours, Or wearied with bearing of her bag Of needments at his backe. Thus as they The birch for shaftes, the sallow for the

The eugh" obedient to the benders will, 76 past,

mill, The day with cloudes was suddeine over

The mirrhe sweete bleeding in the bitter cast,

wound, And angry Jove an hideous storme of raine

The warlike beech, the ash for nothing ill, Did poure into his lemans: lap so fast, That everie wight“ to shrowd it did con

The fruitfull olive, and the platane!? round,

80 strain, And this faire couple eke to shroud them

The carver holme,13 the maple seeldom

inward sound. selves were fain.

IX

VI

10

50

X

VII

Led with delight, they thus beguile the Enforst to seeke some covert nigh at hand, way, A shadie grove not far away they spide, 56 Untill the blustring storme is overblowne; That promist ayde the tempest to with. When, weening to returne whence they did stand:

stray, Whose loftie trees, yclad with sommers They cannot finde that path, which first pride,

was showne,

85 Did spred so broad, that heavens light did But wander too and fro in waies unhide,

knowne, Not perceable with power of any starr; 60 Furthest from end then, when they neerest And all within were pathes and alleies weene, wide,

That makes them doubt, their wits be not With footing worne, and leading inward

their owne: farr:

So many pathes, so many turnings seene, Faire harbour that them seemes, so in they That which of them to take, in diverse entred ar.

doubt they been.

90 1 utterly laid waste.

* summoned.

8 used for ship timber, used for building. I loved one's, i. e. the earth's. 5 shelter.

7 did.
10 lovers. 11 yew.

13 plane.

4

13 a kind of oak, used for wood carvings.

person. . also.

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