Monday, 1 January 2018

Sexy Amazons, Part One FQ Cantos 4-5

Canto Four

This actually begins with a small classic 'moral-maze' situation involving some Squires, some Damizells and a chest full of treasure. Its pretty par for the course and has nothing to do with the  rest of the multi-canto micro-epic of Radigund so I have moved it to the end of the post, below the line.

Edmund kicks us off with a sermon on Justice and how it takes skill', 'mightie hands' and 'dreadless might' to do it, and so it is given to the best knights to bestow it.

"Whereof no braver president this day
Remaines on earth, preserv'd from yron rust
Of rude oblivion, and long times decay,
Then thus of Artegall, which here we have to say."


Artegal comes upon a 'rout of many people';

"To whom when he approached neare in sight,
(An uncouth sight) he plainely then descride
To be a troupe of women warlike dight,
With weapons in their hands, as ready for to fight."

These woman have a knight tied up, "as ready for the gallow tree prepared:", and they are quite enjoying this state of affairs "And him reviled, and reproched sore, with bitter taunts, and termes of vile disgrace."

Artegall asks them what is going on, but soome becomes aware of their "ill minde" and, since it would be wrong for a knight to beat up girls, he gets his terminator robot to do it.

The women are driven off and Artegall questions the knight;

"What make you here?
That ever in this wreched case ye were?
Or have ye yeelded you to proude oppression
Of womens powre, that boast of mens subjection?"

The knight, Terpin, explains that he heard of a warlike Amazon who fell in love with a knight, Belladont the Bold. Since he would not return her love she "turn'd her love to hatred manifold" and now does terrible things to knights. Terrible terrible things;

"First she doth them of warlike arms despoile,
And cloth in womens weedes: And then with threat
Doth them compell to worke, to earne their meat,
To spin, to card, to sew, the wash, to wring;
Ne doth she give them other thing to eat,
But bread and water, or like feeble thing,
Them to disable from revenge adventuring."

And if they still get handy she puts them in a gibbet to die, which is where Terpin was being taken before Artegalls robot saved his ass.

The name of this Amazon?

"Her name (quoth he) they Radigund doe call,
A Princess of great powre, and greater pride,
And Queene of Amazons, in armes well tride,
And sundry battels, which she hath atchieved
With great successe, that her hath glorifide,
And made her famous, more than is believed;
Nor would I it have ween'd, had I not late it prieved."

Artegall has heard enough, he takes off Terpins chains and asks to be lead to this Amazons city;

"A goodly citty and a mighty one,
The which of her owne name she called Radegone"

When Artegall & crew are seen arrving;

"Eftsoones the people all to harnesse ran,
And like a sort of Bees in clusters swarmed:
Ere long their Queene her selfe, halfe like a man
Camd forth into the rout, and them t'array began."

Radigund orders the gates thrown open, Artegalls group surges in;

"But in the middle way they were ymet
With a sharpe showre of arrowes, which them staid,
And better bad advise, ere they assaid
Unknowen peril of bold womens pride."

They get beaten up and Radigun knocks Terpin so hard on the head he is "Dismayed so with the stroke, that he no colours knew."

Then she stands over him;

"As when a Beare hath siez'd her crull clawes
Uppon the carkasse of some beast too weake,
Proudly stands over, and a while doth pause,
To heare the piteous beast pleading her plaintiffe cause."

Artegall doesn't like the look of this and "left the bloudy slaughter, In which he swam" and attacks Radigund;

"There her assayling fiercely fresh, he raught her
Such an huge stroke, that it of sence distraught her
And had she not it warded warily,
It had depriv'd her mother of a daughter."

Artegall gets an animal-comparison verse, he is "Like to an Eagle in his kingly pride"  taking prey from a Goshawke.

Radigund is;

 "Through vengeful wrath & sdeignfull pride half mad:
For never had she suffered such despight."

But her "warlike maids" gather round her before she can counterattack. Talus does his usual damage and the fight goes on;

"But when as daies faire shinie-beame, yclowded
With fearfull shadowes of deformed night,
Warn'd man and beast in quiet rest be shrowded,"

So until evening them.

Radigund orders her people to retreat and counts them back into the city. Artegall sets his pavilion outside and makes the robot keep watch. Radigund is piiiised and "full of heart-gnawing griefe, For the rebuke, which she sustained that day,".

She sends out a messenger to offer single combat to Artegall;

"But these conditions dow to him propound,
That if I vanquishe him, he shall obay
My law, and ever to my lore be bound,
And so will I, if me he vanquish may;
What ever he shall like to doe or say."

Canto Five

"So soone as day forth dawning from the East,
Nights humid curtaine from the heavens withdrew,"

So about 9am, the two get ready to fight. Apparently in this case Artegall will actually hit a girl.

Radigund looks fabulous;

"All in a Camis light of purple silke
Woven uppon with silver, subtly wrought,
And quilted uppon sattin white as milke,
Trayled with ribbands diversly distraught
Like as the workeman had their courses taught;
Which was short tucked for light motion
Up to her ham, but when she list, it raught
Downe to her lowest heele, and thereuppon
She wore for her defence a mayled habergeon.

And on her legs she painted buskins wore,
Basted with bends of gold on every side,
And mailes betweene, and laced close afore:
Uppon her thigh her Cemitare was tide,
With an embrodered belt of mickell pride;
And on her shoulder hung her shield, bedeckt
Uppon the bosse with stones, that shined wide,
As the faire Moone in her most full aspect,
That to the Moone it mote be like in each respect."

Honestly the Faerie Queene is one of the few epic poems that could probably support cosplay.

She and Artegall go into the lists, a huge crowd gathers to watch;

"The Trumpets sounded, and the field began;
With bitter strokes it both began, and ended."


Radigund goes for Artegall;

"With furious rage, as if she had intended
Out of his breast the very heart have rended:"

Artegall is cooler and defends himself calmly;

".. her blowes he bore, and her forbore,
Weening at last to win advantage new;"

But Radigund does not stint in her RAAAAAGE;

"And though her powre faild, her courage did accrew,"

"So did Air Artegall upon her lay,
And if she had an yron andvile beene,
That flakes of fire, bright as the sunny ray,
Out of her steely armes were flashing seene,
That all on fire ye would her surely weene.
But with her shield so well her selfe she warded,
From the dread daunger of his weapon keene,
That all the while her life she safely garded:
But he that helpe from her against her will discarded."

(These often do seem more like light-sabre battles than sword duels.)

Artegall manages to shear half her shield away;

"That halfe her side it selfe did naked show,
And thenceforth unto danger opened way."

This enrages Radigund so much that;

"With her sharpe Cemitare at him she flew,
That glauncing downe his thigh, the purple bloud forth drew."

Which she is a complete dick about and "with great boast" and "spightfull speaches" gives him shit.

Now Artegall is pissed, and his "great hart gan inwardly to swell With indignation at her vaunting vaine," and lays a blow on her that shatters her shield fully.

Then he whacks her on the head "That downe she fell upon the grassie field,".

It looks like Artegall has won and he leaps to her;

"And her sunshynie helmet soone unlaced,
Thinking at once both head and helmet to have raced."

Big Mistake Artegall;

"But bath'd in bloud and sweat together ment;
Which in the rudenesse of that evill plight,
Bewrayd the signes of feature excellent:
Like as the Moone in foggie winters night,
Doth seeme to be her selfe, though darkned be her light."

Because Radigund is Super Hawt, and you are a Spencerian male.
(She is also covered with sweat and blood, which Spenser seems to generally be into.)

"At sight thereof his cruell minded hart,
Empierced was with pittiful regard,
That his sharpe sword he threw from him apart,
Cursing his hand that had that visage mard:
No hand so cruell, nor no hart so hard,
But ruth of beautie will if mollifie."

(Remember when Artegall had his robot cut off that womans hands and feet a few Cantos back?)

Suddenly Radigund wakes up, sees Artegall weaponless and mooning and directly starts to beat the shit out of him. This time she gets the animal-comparison-verse. She is like a Kite attacking a Falcon with a wounded wing.

Whatever, Artegall submits and Radigund has won.

"Yet was he justly dammned by the doome
Of his owne mouth, that spake so wareless word,
To be her thrall, and service her afford."

Terpin she just kills, so there's the cost of your mooning Artegall.

They try to move Talus, but he whacks everyone with his 'yron flail' leaving heaps wounded, slayed and dismayed;

"yet all that while he would not once assay,
To reskew his owne Lord, but thought it just t'obay."

In typical robot fashion.

Artegall is stripped of his cool stuff and dressed in womans clothes. His sword is broken and he is put with the rest of the forcibly cross-dressed knights;

"Spinning and carding all in comely rew,
That his bigge hart loth'd so uncomely vew.
But they were forst through penurie and pyne,
To doe those workes, to them appointed dew:
For nought was given them to sup or dyne,
But what their hands could earne by twisting linnen twyne."

"Such is the crueltie of womenkynd,
When they have shaken off the shamefast band,
With which wise Nature did them strongly bynd,
T'obay the heasts of mans well ruling hand,
That then all rule and reason they withstand,
To purchase a licentious libertie.
But vertuous women wisely understand,
That they were borne to base humilitie,
Unless the heavens them lift to lawfull soveraintie."

There are a lot of verses and lines about how terrible this is for Artegall and how brave he is to bear with it all.

But he has an advantage, he is also super hawt, and Radigund has fallen in love with him and is now full of weird feelings. She is super-proud, and also super into Artegall;

"Yet would she not thereto yeeld free accord,
To serve the lowly vassall of her might,
And of her servant make her soverayne Lord:
So great her pride, that she such baseness much abhord."

Well if you have fallen for someone you can't possibly have fallen for, who isn't into you, there's only one thing to to; engage in a labyrinthine plan of coercive emotional manipulation.

Radigund summons one of her women, Clarinda, "whom of all I trust a live, sith I thee fostered first" and tells her what's going on;

"With that she turn'd her head, as half abashed,
To hide the blush which in her visage rose,
And through her eyes like sudden lightning flashed,
Decking her cheeke with a vermillion rose:"

Edmund really does like his women blushing and sweaty.

".. seest yond Fayry Knight,"

"... how I may him unbind,
And by his freedome get his free godwill;
Yet so, as bound to me he may continue still.

Bound unto me, but not with such hard bands
Of strong compulsion, and streight violence,
As now in miserable state he stands;
But with sweet love and sure benevolence,"

The ultimate lovers question. How can I make them be into me? I mean, not make_ make them, just generally rrange things so that of their own free will they are totally into me.

So Clarinda goes off with "Armies of lovely lookes, and speeches wise," to make Artegall fall for Radigund; "Even at the markwhite of his hart she roved, And with wide glauncing words, one day she thus him proved."

Now we get a couple of duelling verses between Clarinda and Artegall;

Clarinda opens with how sad it is to see Artegall "In sad despaire, and all thy senses swowned In stupid sorrow," since things could so easily be different.

"Much did her marvel at her uncouth speach,
Whose hidden drift he could not well percieve;"

(I think this is the earliest mention of a 'hidden drift' I have ever read. It always seemed modern to my ears.)

Artegall replies; "For though this cloud have now me overcast, yet doe I not of better times despayre."

Clarinda criticises his "stonie mind", what kind of idiot doesn't take a "windowe open wyde, And to his fortunes help make ready way?"

Artegall cannot but agree.

"Then why does not, thou ill advized man,
Make meanes to win thy libertie forlorne,"

After all, Radigund "was not borne Of Beares and Tygers" Why not chat her up?

Artegall says it is not his "obstinate distainefull mind" but "want of meanes hath bene mine onely let, From seeking favour, where it doth abound;" and asks Clarida for help doing just that;

"She feeling him thus bite upon the bayt,
Yet doubting least his hold was but unsound,
And not well fastened, would not strike him strayt,
But drew him on with hope, fit leasure to awayt.

But foolish Mayd, whyles heedlesse of the hooke,
She thus oft times was beating off and on,
Through slipperie footing, fell into the brooke,
And there was caught to her confusion.
For seeking thus to salve the Amazon,
She wounded was with her deceipts owne dart,
And gan thenceforth to cast affection,
Conceived close in her beguiled hart,
To Artegall, through pittie of his causelesse smart."

So now everyones in love with Artegall.

So now Clarida plots against Radigund and tells her Artegall is "obstinage and sterne" "Not would be taught with any termes to lerne So fond a lesson as to love againe."

Radigund is enraged by this, but when she calms down, advises;

"Say and do all, that may thereto prevale;
Leave nought unpromist, that may him perswade,
Life, freedome, grace, and gifts of great availe,
With which the Gods themselves are mylder made:
Thereto adde art, even womens witty trade,
The art of mightie words, that men can charme;
With which in case thou canst him not invade,
Let him feele hardnesse of thy heavie arme:
Who will not stoupe with goode, shall be made stoupe with harme.

Some of his diet doe from him withdraw;
For I him find to be too proudly fed.
Give him more labour, and with streighter law,
That he with worke may be forwearied.
Let him lodge hard, and lie in strawen bed,
That may pull downe the courage of his pride;
And lay upon him, for his greater dread,
Cold yron chaines, with which let him be tide;
And let, what ever he desires, be him denide."

Now Clarida "all her subtill nets did she unfold"

"As a bad Nurse, which fayning to receive
In her wone mouth the food, ment for her chyld,
Whitholdes if to her selfe, and doeth deceive
The infant, so for wont of nourture spyld:"

She lies to Artegall about Radigund, saying she wont be reasonable, and lies to Radigund about Artegall, saying he defies her.

"Yet ever did deceitpfull Clarin find
In her false hart, his bondage to unbind;
But rather how she mote him faster tye."

"Thus he long while in thraldome there remayned,
Of both beloved well, but litle frended;"

But he is not going to stay there long, because his murder-robot Talus is already on the way to the other person in love with Artegall; Britomart.

Tune in for Cantos six and seven for a girl-on-girl showdown!


(The thing with the squires.)

Our hero leaves Marinell and Flormells wedding and comes upon a small micro-quest. A beach, two squires 'whom one womb together bore', two 'seemly damzels' and a Coffer bound with iron bands (and yes he spelt 'yron' with an I this time, god knows why).

The squires want to fight, Artegall decides it is his duty to sort this situation out.

The squires father left them an Island each, both not far from this shore. The islands were roughly the same size but erosion has taken earth from one and added it to the other, making one very small and the other very big.

Small-isle-squire is due to marry Philetra, a dame with a major dowry.

Big-isle-squire due to marry Lucy, who has litte dowry.

When Philetra sees the Isle of her squire dissapearing, she runs off to the brother with the bigger island.

So big-ilse guy is now with Philetra, Lucy gets so depressed by this thattries to suicide in the sea. She grabs onto this big coffer and is washed to the now-small-isle where that squire saves her.

And the coffer is full of treasure.

Philetra says this treasure is hers, she was transporting it by sea and it got washed off.

So who now owns the treasure?

Artegall points out that the sea washed land onto the big island, and nobody it talking about sending that back, so;

"For equall right in equall things doth stand,
For what the mighty Sea hath once posesst,
And plucked quite from all posessors hand,
Whether by rage of waves, that never rest,
Or else by wracke, that wretches hath distrest,
He may dispose by his imperiall might,
As thing at random left, to whom he list."

And he has the Terminator to back him up so there you go, situation solved.

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