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XV. " If Heaven, then none may it redresse or blame, " Sith to his powre we all are subiect borne ; * If wrathfull wight, then fowle rebuke and shame “ Be theirs that have so cruell thee forlorne ; « But if through inward griefe or wilfull scorné " Of life it be, then better doe advise ; « For he whose daies in wilfull woe are worne, “ The grace of his Creator doth despise, [dise.” " That will not use his gifts for thanklesse nigara

XVI. When so he heard her say, eftsoones he brake His sodaine silence which he long had pent, And sighing inly deepe, her thus bespake " Then have they all themselves against me bent ; * For Heaven, first author of my languishment, “ Envying my too great felicity, “ Did closely with a cruell one consent * To cloud my daies in dolefull misery, * And make me loath this life,still longing for to die.

XVII. “ Ne any but yourself, o dearest dred ! wight “ Hath done this wrong, to wreake on worthlesse « Your high displesure, through misdecming bred; " That when your pleasure is to deeme äright; “ Ye may redresse, and me restore to light." Which sory words her mightie hart did mate With mild regard to see his ruefull plight, That her in-burning wrath she gan abate, And him receiv'd againe to former favours state. Volume IV.


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XVIII. In which he long time afterwards did lead An happy life with grace and good accord, Fearlesse of Fortune's chaunge or Envies dread, And eke all mindlesse of his own dearę lord The noble prince, who never heard one word Of tydings what did unto him betide, Or what good fortune did to bim afford ; But through the endlesse world did wander wide, Him seeking evermore, yet no where him descride :

XIX. Till on a day, as through that wood he rode, He chąunst to come where those two ladies late, Aemylia and Amoret, abode, Both in full sad and sorrowfull estate, The one right feeble through the evill rate Of food, which in her duręsse she had found ; The other almost dead and desperate [wound Through her late hurts, and through that haplesse With which the squire in her defence hep sore astound,

Ҳх, , Whom when the prince beheld, he gan to rew The evill case in which those ladies lay; But most was moved at the piteous vew Of Amoret, so neare unto decay, That her great daunger did him much dismay, Eftsoones that prețious liquor forth he drew, Which he in store about him kept alway, And with few drops thereof did softly dew Her wounds, that unto strength restorid her soone



Tho when they both recovered were right well,

of them inquire, what evill guide
Them thether brought, and how their harmes befell?
To whom they told all that did them beride,
And how from thraldome vile they were untide
Of that same wicked carle, by virgin's hond ;
Whose bloudie corse they shew'd him there beside,
And eke his cave in which they both were bond;
At which he wondred much when all those signes he

And evermore he greatly did desire
To know what virgin did them thence unbind;
And oft of them did earnestly inquire
Where was her won, and how he mote her find?
But whenas nought according to his mind
He could out-learne, he them from ground did reare,
(No service loathsome to a gentle kind)
And on his warlike beast them both did beare,
Himselfe by them on foot to succourthem from feare.

So when that forrest they had passed well,
A litle

away they spide,
To which they drew ere night upon them fell,
And entring in, found none therein abide,
But one old woman sitting there beside
Upon the ground in ragged rude attyre,
With filthy lockes about her scattered wide,
Gnawing her nayles for felnesse and for yre,
And there out sucking venime to her parts entyre.

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XXIV. A foule and loathly creature sure in sight, And in conditions to be loath'd no lesse, For she was stuft with rancour and despight Up to the throat, that oft with bitternesse It forth would breake and gushe in great excesse, Pouring out streames of poyson and of gall Gainst all that truth or vertue doe professe, Whom she with leasings lewdly did miscall, [call, And wickedly backbite: her name men Sclaunder

XXV. Her nature is all goodnesse to abuse, And causelesse crimes continually to frame, With which she guiltlesse persons may accuse, And steale away the crowne of their good name ; Ne ever knight so bold, ne ever dame So chast and loyall liy'd, but she would strive With forged cause them falsely to defame ; Ne ever thing so well was doen alive, [deprive. But shę with blame would blot, and of dew praise

XXVI. Her words were not, as common words are ment, T'expresse the meaning of the inward mind; But noysome breath, and poysnous spirit sent From inward parts, with cancred malice lind, And breathed forth with blast of bitter wind; [hart, Which passing through the eares, would pierce the And wound the soule itselfe with griefe unkind; For like the stings of aspes, that kill with smart, Her spightfull words did pricke and wound the

inner part,

Such was that hag, unmeet to host such guests,
Whom greatest princes' court would welcome fayne,
But neede (that answers not to all requests)
Bad them not looke for better entertayne ;
And eke that age despysed nicenesse vaine,
Enur'd to hardnesse and to homely fare,
Which them to warlike discipline did trayne,
And manly limbs endur'd with litle care
Against all hard mishaps and fortunelesse misfare.

Then all that evening (welcomed with cold
And chearelesse hunger) they together spent ;
Yet found no fault, but that the hag did scold
And rayle at them with grudgefull discontent,
For lodging there without her owne consent :
Yet they endured all with patience milde,
And unto rest themselves all onely lent,
Regardlesse of that queane so base and vilde,
To be uniustly blamd, and bitterly revilde.

Here well I weene, whenas these rimes be red
With misregard, that some rash-witted wight,
Whose looser thought will lightly be misled,
These gentle ladies will misdeeme too light,
For thus conversing with this noble knight,
Sith now of dayes such temperance is rare
And hard to finde, that heat of youthfull spright
For ought will from his greedie pleasure spare;
More hard for hungry steed t'abstaine from pleasant

R iij

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