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XLII.

And, still among, most bitter wordes they spake,

Most shamefull, most unrighteous, most untrew,
That they the mildest man alive would make
Forget his patience, and yeeld vengeaunce dew
To her, that so false sclaunders at him threw :
And more, to make them pierce and wound more

deepe, She with the sting which in her vile tongue grew

Did sharpen them, and in fresh poyson steepe : Yet he past on, and seem'd of them to take no keepe.

XLIII.

But Talus, hearing her so lewdly raile

And speake so ill of him that well deserved,
Would her have chástiz’d with his yron faile,
If her Sir Artegall had not preserved,
And him forbidden, who his heast observed :
So much the more at him still did she scold,
And stones did cast; yet he for nought would swerve
From his right course, but still the way

did hold To Faerie Court; where what him fell shall else be told,

THE SIXTH BOOKE OF

THE FAERIE QUEENE

CONTAYNING

THE LEGEND OF SIR CALIDORE, OR OF COURTESIE.

I.

THE waies, through which my weary steps I guyde

In this delightfull land of Faëry,
Are so exceeding spacious and wyde,
And sprinckled with such sweet variety
Of all that pleasant is to eare or eye,
That I, nigh ravisht with rare thoughts delight,
My tedious travell doe forget thereby ;

And, when I gin to feele decay of might,
It strength to me supplies and chears my dulled spright.

II.

Such secret comfort and such heavenly pleasures,

Ye sacred Imps, that on Parnasso dwell,
And there the keeping have of Learnings threasures
Which doe all worldly riches farre excell,
Into the mindes of mortall men doe well,
And goodly fury into them infuse;
Guyde ye my footing, and conduct me well

In these strange waies where never foote did use, Ne none can find but who was taught them by the Muse :

III.

Revele to me the sacred noursery

Of Vertue, which with you doth there remaine,
Where it in silver bowre does hidden ly
From view of men and wicked worlds disdaine ;
Since it at first was by the Gods with paine
Planted in earth, being deriv'd at furst
From heavenly seedes of bounty soveraine,

And by them long with carefull labour nurst, Till it to ripenesse grew, and forth to honour burst.

IV.

Amongst them all growes not a fayrer flowre

Then is the bloosme of comely Courtesie;
Which though it on a lowly stalke doe bowre,
Yet brancheth forth in brave nobilitie,
And spreds itselfe through all civilitie:
Of which though present age doe plenteous seeme,
Yet, being matcht with plaine antiquitie,

Ye will them all but fayned showes esteeme,
Which

carry

colours faire that feeble eies misdeeme:

But, in the triall of true Curtesie,

Its now so farre from that which then it was,
That it indeed is nought but forgerie,
Fashion'd to please the eies of them that pas,
Which see not perfect things but in a glas :
Yet is that glasse so gay that it can blynd
The wisest sight, to thinke gold that is bras:

But Vertues seat is deepe within the mynd,
And not in outward shows but inward thoughts defynd.

VI.

But where shall I in all antiquity
So faire a patterne finde, where may

be seene
The goodly praise of princely Curtesie,
As in Yourselfe, O soveraine Lady Queene?
In whose pure minde, as in a mirrour sheene,
It showes, and with her brightnesse doth inflame
The eyes of all which thereon fixed beene;

But meriteth indeede an higher name :
Yet so, from low to high, uplifted is your Name.

VII.

Then pardon me, most dreaded Soveraine,

That from Yourselfe I doe this Vertue bring,
And to Yourselfe doe it returne againe :
So from the ocean all rivers spring,
And tribute backe repay as to their king:
Right so from you all goodly vertues well
Into the rest which round about you ring,

Faire Lords and Ladies which about you dwell, And doe adorne your Court where Courtesies excell.

CANTO I.

Calidore saves from Maleffort

A Damzell used vylde:
Doth vanquish Crudor; and doth make

Briana wexe more mylde.

I.

OF Court, it seemes, men Courtesie doe call,

For that it there most useth to abound;
And well beseemeth that in Princes hall
That Vertue should be plentifully found,
Which of all goodly manners is the ground,
And roote of civill conversation :
Right so in Faery Court it did redound,

Where curteous Knights and Ladies most did won Of all on earth, and made a matchlesse paragon.

II.

But mongst them all was none more courteous Knight

Then Calidore, beloved over all :
In whom it seemes that gentlenesse of spright
And manners mylde were planted naturall;
To which he adding comely guize withall
And gracious speach, did steale mens hearts away :
Nathlesse thereto he was full stout and tall,

And well approv'd in batteilous affray,
That him did much renowme, and far his fame display.

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