Monday, 4 December 2017

Dewed with silver drops, through sweating sore - FQ Book 4 Canto 6

Scudamore rides from the House of Care and comes upon the Savage Knight who is waiting for the Knight of the Heben Launce, that humaliated him (by winning);

"On whom I wait to wreak that foule despight,
When ever he this way shall passe by day or night.

When Scudamour heard mention of that speare,
He wist right well, that it was Britomart,"

And so they join together. Luckily they don't have to wait long;

"Whiles thus they communed, lo farre away
A Knight soft ryding towards them they spyde,"

It's Britomart, and Scudamour rides out to fight her;

"Who soone as she him saw approaching neare
With so fell rage, her selfe she lightly gan
To dight, to welcome him, well as she can:"

She knocks him down.

Alfred John Church
Artegall attacks. She knocks him down quickly by he draws 'his direfull deadly blade.';

"So as they coursed here and there, it chaunst
That in her wheeling round, behind her crest
So sorely he her strooke, that thence it glaunst
Adowne her backe, the which it fairely blest
From foule mischance; ne did it ever rest,
Till on her horses hinder parts it fell;
Where byting deepe, so deadly it imprest,
That quite it chynd his backe behind the sell,
And to alight on foote her algates did compell."

Yep, Artegall just cut a horse in half. Think of the mess.

The fight continues and culminates in a classic Spencerian manner with everyones mail being cut to rags till they look like a radical fashion show, and ends with someone committing everything to a super-mega blow. In this case, Arthegall;

"The wicked stroke upon her helmet chaunst,
And with the force, which in it selfe it bore,
Her ventayle shard away, and thence forth glaunst
A downe in vaine, ne harm'd her any more.
With that her angels face, unseene afore
Like to the ruddie morne appeared in sight,
Dewed with silver drops, through sweating sore,
But somewhat redder, then beseem'd aright,
Through toylesome heate and labout of her weary fight."

On seeing Britomarts beautiful, red, sweaty face, framed with hair which 'Like to a golden border did appeare,' Artegall falls instantly in love;

"His powrelesse arme benumbed with secret feare"

And also has a total meltdown;

"While trembling horrour did his sense assayle,
And made ech member quake, and manly hart to quayle."

Britomart tells him to stand and fight but he will only kneel and apologise.

Scudamour also has a lot going through his mind;

"He blest himselfe, as one sore terrfide,"

Britomart is still making like she's going to kill Arthegall;

"But ever when his visage she beheld,
Her hand fell downe, and would no longer hold
The wrathfull weapon gainst his countnance bold:
But when in vaine to fight she oft assayd,
She arm'd her tongue, and thought at him to scold;
Nathlesse her tongue not to her will obayd,
But brought forth speeches myld, when she would have missayd."

Scudamore as worked out what is going on and 'now woxen inly glad, That all his gealous feare he false had found,". He uses Arthegalls name (despite, as the notes point out, not actually having being told it), when Britomart hears this we get more of Spensers blushing fetish;

"Her hart did leape, and all her hart-strings tremble,
For sudden joy, and secret feare withall,
And all her vitall powres with motion nimble,
To succour it, themselves gan there assemble,
That by the swift recourse of flushing blood
Right plaine appeard, though she it would dissemple,"

Glauce is thrilled 'thus gan wisely all upknit', she finally gets to sum up, explain everything, calm everyone down and presumably not have to pretend to be a man any more.

Artegall and Britomart are in the middle of falling in love, but Scudamore wants news of Amoret. It's not good. Birtomart has goddamn lost her between Cantos. They were travelling through 'a desert wylde' and Brit lay down to sleep in 'shadow myld';

"But when as I dod out of sleepe abray,
I found her not, where I her left whyleare,
But thought she wandred was, or gone astray."

When Scudamore hears this;

"His hart was thrild with point of deadly feare;
Ne in his face or bloud or life appeared,
But senselesse stood, like to a mazed steare,
That yet of mortall stroke the stound doth beare."

Glauce tries to cheer him up, but Britomart, being lawful good, knows only one response;

""Great cause of sorrow certes Sir ye have:
But comfort take: for by this heavens light
I vow, you dead or living not to leave,
Till I her find, and wreake on him that her did reave."

Artegall takes them all to a resting place where they can heal up and presumably have someone repair all that riven mayle, and where he and Britomart can go about the important buisness of falling in love;

"So well he woo'd her. and so well he wrought her,
With faire entreatie and sweet blandishment,
That at the length unto a bay he brought her,
So as she to his speeches was content
To lend an eare, and softly to relent.
At last through many vowes which forth he pour'd,
And many othes, she yeelded her consent
To be his love, and take him for her Lord,
Till they with mariage meet might finish that accord."

Hooray! Britomart = QUEST ACHIEVED. (mainly)

But Arthegall has his own quest and has to go off on it, plus Britomart just made another oath. They agree to meeyt again no longer space ' But till the horned moone three courses did expire'. Arthegall travels off and Britomart say she will accompany him for a little while;

"And by the way she sundry purpose found
Of this or that, the time for to delay,
And of the perils whereto he was bound,
The feare whereof seem'd much her to affray:
But all she did was but to weare out day.
Full oftentimes she leave of him did take;
And eft againe deviz'd some what to say,
Which she forgot, whereby excuse to make:
So loth she was his companie for to forsake."

Awwww. These are the parts that make me not want to punch Spenser, or at least, to not want to punch him quite as much.

Ultimately she returns with Scudamour to search for Amoret;

"Her second care, though in another kind;
For vertues only sake, which doth beget
True love and faithfull friendship, she by her did set."

We finish with another outro apology verse, which seems to be the new standard for Book Four;

"Were long to tell; therefore I here will stay
Untill another tyde, that I it finish may."

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