"What vertue is so fitting for a knight,
Or for a Ladie, whom a knight should love,
As Curtesie, to beare themselves aright
To all of each degree, as doth behove?
For whether they be placed high above,
Or low beneath, yet ought they well to know
Their good, that none them rightly may repove
Of rudenesse, for not yeelding what they owe:
Great skill it is such duties timely to bestow.
Thereto great helpe dame Nature selfe doth lend:
For some so goodly gratious are by kind,
That every action doth them much commend,
And in the eyes of men great liking find;
Which others, that have greater skill in mind,
Though they enforce themselves, cannot attaine.
For everie thing, to which one is inclin'd,
Doth best become, and greatest grace doth gaine:
Yet praise likewise deserve good thewes, enforst with paine.
That well in courteous Calidore appeares,
Whose every act and deed, that he did say,
Was like enchantment, that through both the eyes,
And both the eares did steale the hart away."
Calidore bumps into a standard encounter from the Chivalric Encounter Generator; a young yet super hawt squire on foot fighting an armed and armoured knight on a horse and a damizell 'standing alone on foot, in foule array'.
By the time he gets the the youth has killed the knight and all Calidore can do is chivalric detective work.
This kid is dressed in another cosplay-appropriate costume;
"All in a woodmans jacket he was clad
Of Lincolne greene, belayd with silver lace;
And on his head an hood with aglets sprad.
And by his side his hunters horne he hanging had.
Buskins he wore of costliest cordwayne,
Pinkt upon gold, and paled part per part,
As then the guize was for each gentle swayne;"
The good-looking squire says he was out here being generally noble in a woodsmans fashion when he saw the knight riding along with the lady on foot;
"When she so lagged, as she needs mote so,
He with his speare, that was to him great blame,
Would thumpe her forward, and inforce to goe,
Weeping to him in vaine, and making piteous woe."
This squire then gives the Knight some shit about his unchivalric behaviour, the knight hits him and the kid takes him out with a 'dart' which seems to be a light javelin of some kind, putting it right through his sternum in one cast.
"Much did Sir Calidore admyre his speach
Tempred so well, but more admyr'd the stroke
That through the mayles had made so strong a breach"
Courtesy is nice, but being able to through a pointy stick right through a dude is nicer.
Calidore checks with the Lady if this is accurate and she says it is, he then says that all of this is fine with him since;
"What he spake, for you he spake it, Dame,
And what he did, he did him selfe to save:"
Plus any other witness is dead. Calidore asks the Lady how she came to be with this knight. She says they were out riding together when they came upon;
"Within a wood, whereas a Ladie gent
Sate with a knight in joyous jolliment,
Of their franke loves, free from all gealous spyes:
Faire was the ladie sure, that mote content
An hart, not carried with too curious eyes,
And unto him did shew all lovely courtesyes."
Which is exactly what it sounds like. When the bad-guy knight see this;
"He inly gan her lover to envy,
And wish, that he part of his spoyle might share
He with strong hand down from his steed me throw'th,
And with presumpteous powre against that knight streight go'th."
Just kicks his girlfriend right off the horse and goes to beat a dude up, some real old-school hardcore classic bad-guy action. Its been a while.
The other knight is 'unarmed' because they were shagging in the forest, and asks a moment to grab his armour and/or weapons, but our nameless baddy just rides him down. The lady runs for it into the undergrowth;
"Into the covert did her selfe withdraw,
And closely hid her selfe within the grove."
"He woxe halfe made, and in that rage gan rove
And range through all the wood, where so he wist
She hidden was, and sought her so long, as him list.
But when as her he by no meanes could find,
After long search and chauff, he turned backe
Unto the place, where me he left behind:
There gan he me to curse and ban, for lacke
Of that faire bootie, and with bitter wracke
To wreake on me the guilt of his owne wrong.
Of all which I yet glad to beare the packe,
Strove to appease him, and perswaded long:
But still his passion grew more violent and strong."
Which is a somewhat operatic, but pretty psychologically accurate depiction of an abusive relationship.
I knind of wish we knew this stuff before the Squire killed the guy, it would have added a lot of tension and release to the Canto, but maybe that's the point of this Canto? We get the end-scene first, then Colombo our way backwards finding out more about the main villain?
So the baddy rides off jabbing the poor girl with the spear butt until he runs into our Tristram.
That's right Chivalric Expanded Universe fans, its an origin story. This woodsman is the Tristram of Cornwall as seen in Thomas Mallorys Morte and a shitload of other places.
Spenser tells us quite a bit more about his noble looks;
"Then turning backe unto that gentle boy,
Which has himselfe so stoutly well aquit;
Seeing his face so lovely sterne and coy,
And hearing th'answers of his pregnant wit,
He praysd it much, and much admired it;"
Of course if you look and act like that in the Faerie Queene you are either Archimago, a sex daemon summoned by Archimago, Arthur or a missing child of a King.
And indeed Tristram is the child of the King of Cornwall. Dead dad. Evil Uncle. Sent to Faerie when young. Living in the forest. You've seen the Lion King.
Lion King >based on> Shakespere >based on> The Faerie Queene >based on> Probably Some Celtic Thing or just ripping off Chetrain De Troyes who probably based it on Some Celtic Thing.
Heres a pleasing fragment;
"Ne is there hauke, which mantleth her on pearch,
Whether high towring, or accoasting low,
But I the measure of her flight doe search,
And all her pray, and all her diet know.
Such be our joyes, which in these forrests grow:"
Just like in 'The Peregrine'.
Calidore just thinks this kid is the best, hottest, most lethal kid ever and immediately knights him.
"Full glad and joyous then young Tristram grew,
Like as a flowre, whose silken leaves small,
Long shut up in the bud from heavens vew,
At length breakes forth, and brode displayes his smyling hew."
But says he can't accompany him on his quest as the Faerie Queene said he had to do it alone (interesting, unlike most other knights who usually get a helper, maiden, friend or robot to assist).
So Tristram goes off with the Lady he rescued. She needn't worry about his masculine attentions, he only has eyes on one thing;
"But Tristram then despoyling that dead knight
Of all those goodly implements of prayse,
Long fed his greedie eyes with the faire sight
Of the bright metall, shyning like Sunne rayes;
Handling and turning them a thousand wayes."
Calidore goes off on his own quest and runs into the sex/murder situation the un-named Biff Tannen Knight left behind;
"There he that knight found lying on the flore,
With many wounds full perilous and wyde,
That all his garments, and the grasse in vermeill dyde."
With the Lady sitting around vaguely weeping.
Its a standard buisness with the only really interesting part being exacltly how long they stand around talking chivalric with this guy bleedig out before they try to stop the blood-loss.
Wait, I'll count.
He finds them in verse 41.
"So off he did his shield, and downeward layd,
Upon the ground, like to an hollow beare;
And powring balme, which he had long purvayd,
Into his wounds, him up thereon did reare,"
And off they go to a castle for the next Canto