Monday, 27 November 2017

Be Bold - FQ Book 3 Canto 11

Spencer opens pointing out how terrible Jealousy is; 'Of all the passions in the mind thou vilest art.' and how good Love is by comparison.

Then we quickly return to Britomart (finally), who sees a giant chasing a young man;

"..It was that Ollyphant, the brother deare
Of that Argante vile and vitious,
From whom the Squire of Dames was reft whylere;
This all as bad as she, and worse ought were.

For as the sister did in feminine
And filthy lust exceede all woman kind,
So he surpassed his sex masculine,
I beastly use that I did ever find;"

Sir Satyrane is there with her and together they chase the giant, who quickly abandons the boy hes after and runs for it. Quite effectively;

"For he was long, and swift as any Roe,
And now made better speed, t'escape he feared foe."

He is also scared of Briomat specifically; 'For he the powre of chast hands might not beare,', which raises the image of the virgin lightly picking up the giant like an empty carboard box.

Unfortunately Briomart does not get to do this, but instead comes upon a sorrowful Knight;

"His face upon the ground did groveling ly,
As if he had bene slombring in the shade,"

This is Sir Scudamore, lamenting at some length, as Knights are wont to do, about his captured girl and how there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING, that anyone can do about it;

"There an huge heape of singulfes did oppresse
His strugling soule, and swelling throbs empeach
His foltring toung with pangs of drerinesse,
Choking the remnant of his plaintife speach,
As if his days were come to their last reach.
Which when she heard, and saw the ghastly fit,
Threatning into his life to make a breach,
Both with great ruth and terrour she was smit,
Feareing least from her cage the wearie soule would flit."

Britomart tries to help him and get him back in Knighting shape, but he just goes on about his girl, the 'tyraunt', blacke Magicke', 'dungeon deepe', 'dreadfull feends' etc etc.

"With this sad hearsall of his heavy stresse,
The warlike Damizell was empassioned sore,
And said; Sir knight, your cause is nothing lesse,
Than is your sorrow, certes if not more;
For nothing so much pitty doth implore,
As gentle Ladies helplesse misery.
But yet, if please ye listen to my lore,
I will with proofe of her last extremity,
Deliver her fro thence, or with her for you dy.

Ah gentlest knight alive, (said Scudamore)
What huge heroicke magnamity
Dwels in thy bounteous brest? what couldst thou more,
If she were thine, and thou as now am I?
O spare they happy dayes, and them apply
To better boot, but let me dye, that ought;
More is more losse: one is enough to dy.
Life is not lost, (said she) for whic h is bought
Endlesse renowm, that more then death is to be sought."

So off they go to the surprisigly close magic castle where his girl is, only to find, blocking the entry, not dudes, or feends, but fire. Magic fire.

"Greatly thereat was Britomart dismayd,
Ne in that stownd wist, how her selfe to beare;
For daunger vaine it were, to have assayd
That cruell element, which all things feare,
yet none can suffer to approachen neare:
And turning backe to Scudamour, thus sayd;
What monsterous enmity provoke we here,
Foolhardy as th'Earthes children, the which made
Battell against the Gods? so we a God invade.

Daunger without discretion to attempt,
Inglorious and beastlike is: therefore Sir knight,
Aread what course of you is safest dempt,
And how we with our foe may come to fight."

Wise words from Britomart, which she almost instantly ignores;

"Therewith resolv'd to prove her utmost might,
Her ample shield she threw before her face,
And her swords point directing forward right,
Assayld the flame, the which eftsoones gave place,
And did it selfe divide with equall space,
That through she passed; as a thunder bolt
Perceth the yielding ayre, and doth desplace
The soring clouds into sad sowres ymolt;
So to her yold the flames, and did their force revolt."

Knightly as fuck


Britomart can pass through the flames but Scudamore is stopped 'all scorcht and pitifully brent'.

Britomart goes into the castle and discovers no-one, eventually she finds a kind of treasure store;

"For round about, the wals yclothed were
With goodly arras of great majesty,
Woven with gold and silk so close and near,
That the rich metall lurked privily,
And faining to be hid from envious eye;
Yet here, and there, and every where unwares
It shewd it selfe, and shone unwillingly;
Like a discolourd Snake, whose hidden snares
Through the greene gras his long bright burnist backe declares."

This tapestry is another long tale-within-a-tale, this one is about Cupids war against the Gods and how he perpetually dicks them about and ruins everything.

Its a list of Zeuses creepy transformations to start with, so that's pretty long, then the other Gods get in there with a few. It's long and is summed up in verse 45;

"Ne did her spare (so cruell was the Elfe)
His owne deare mother, (ah why should he so?)
Ne did he spare sometime to pricke himselfe,
That he might tast the sweet consuming woe,
Which he had wrought to many others moe.
But to declare the mournfull Tragedyes,
And spoils, wherewith he all the ground did strow,
More eath to number, with how many eyes
High heaven beholds sad lovers nightly theeueryes.

...

And round about a border was entrayld,
Of broken bowes and arrowes shivered short,
And a long bloudy river through them rayld,
So lively and so like, that living sence it fayld."

Then she finds a creepy altar of Cupid as 'The Victor of the Gods' which people worship at commiting 'fowle Idolatree'. She keeps seeing the words 'be bold written everywhere 'yet could not find what sence it figured'.

Then she finds another creepy treasure room;

"..Wrought with wilde Antickes, whch their follies playd,
In the rich metall, as they living were:
A thousand monstrous formes therein were made,
Such as false love doth oft upon him weare,
For love in thousand monsrous formes doth oft appeare."

.....


And as she lookt about, she did behold,
How over that same dore was likewise writ,
Be bold, be bold and every where Be bold,
That much she muz'd, yet could not construe it
By any ridling skill, or commune wit.
At last she spyde at that roomes upper end,
Another yron dore, on which was writ,
Be not too bold; whereto though she did bend
Her earnest mind, yet wist not what it might intend."

And there she stays, waiting, till eventide

"Yet living creature none she saw appeare:"


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