Saturday, 30 December 2017

The Worst Day of Braggadochio's Life - FQ Book 5 Canto 3

It's time for Florimell, the super-hot girl that everyone was obsessively chasing through Books 3 and 4, and who got kidnapped by a Sea-God Proteus to finally marry Marinell, the super-hot sea-guy with the overprotective mother who made sure he didn't meet girls because she thought they would kill him.

"To tell the glorie of the feast that day,
The goodly service, the devicefull sights,
The bridegomes state, the brides most rich aray,
The pride of Ladies, and the worth of knights,
The royall banquets, and the rare delights
Were worke fit for an Herald, not for me:
But for so much as to my lot here lights,
That with this present treatise doth agree,
True vertue to advance, shall here recounted bee."

Luckily I think Edmund is finally boring himself with this ceremony stuff as much as he bores me so things are cut realtively short.

The wedding ceremony is another three-day tournament and Marinell has a great time "Rashing off helmes, and ryving plates a sonder" until we get another of the peculiar and interesting repetition patterns Spenser uses for emotional emphasis, and which I quite like;

"But what on earth can alwayes happie stand?
The greater prowesse greater perils find.
So farre he past amongst his enemies band,
That they have him enclosed so behind,
As by no meanes he can himselfe outwind.
And now perforce they have him prisoner taken;
And now the doe with captive bands him bind;
And now they lead him thence, of all forsaken,
Unlesse some succour had in time him overtaken."

Of course 'some succour' does arrive; Artegall, with Braggadochio in tow. Artegall and Marinell join forces to beat everyone up, my boi Braggadochio rolls as only he can;

"Who all this while behind him did remaine,
Keeping there close with him in pretious store
That his false Ladie, as ye heard afore."

He's holding Artegalls sheild while he fights. When Florimell (the real one) comes forth to congratulate all the guys who were good at beating other guys up, Braggadocio pulls another of his classic moves;

"...but for sir Artegall
Came Braggadocio, and did shew his shield,
Which bore the Sunne brode blazed in a golden field.


So unto him they did addeeme the prise
of all that Tryumph. Then the trompets shrill
Don Braggadocios name resounded thrise:
So courage leant a cloak to cowardise."

Despite running a scam, Brag acts in his customary deliriously overbearing manner and;

"With proud distaine did scornefull answere make;
That what he did that day, he did it not
For her, but for his owne deare Ladies sake,
Whom on his perill he did undertake,
Both her and eke all others to excell:
And further did uncomely speaches crake.
Much did his words the gentle Ladie quell,
And turn'd aside for shame to heare, what he did tell."

Brag brings out his demon-powered sex-bot Florimell and everyone freaks because the two are exactly alike. Even Marinell can't tell the difference. I'm including the following lines mainly because they include and old friend;

"As when two sunnes appeare in the azure skye,
Mounted in Phoebus charet fierie bright,
Both darting forth faire beames to each mans eye,
And both adorn'd with lampes of flaming light,
All that behold so strange prodigious sight,
Not knowing natures worke, nor what to weene,
Are rapt with wonder, and with rare affright."

Artegall has been watching this scene unfold, and stewing. He bursts out and accuses Braggadochio of being Braggadochio;

"For proofe shew forht thy sword, and let it tell,
What strokes, that dreadfull stoure it stird this day:
Or shew the wounds, which unto thee befell;
Or shew the sweat, with which thou diddest sway
So sharpe a battell, that so many did dismay."

Artegall then shows the crowd his own sword, shield and wounds, (the sweat is not mentioned);

"As for this Ladie, which he sheweth here,
Is not (I wager) Florimell at all;
But some fayre Franion, fir for such a fere,"

The notes tell us a 'Franion' is a 'loose person' and a 'fere' a companion. So now you know.

They decide to bring out their Florimell and compare them. The Real Florimell is suitably abashed and sensitive, and Spensers customary, and somewhat odd, interest in the exact complexions of women when they blush is brought into play;

"Whereto her bashfull shamefastnesse ywrought
A great increase in her faire blushing face;
As roses did with lillies interlace."

She stands beside False Florimell "Like the true saint beside the image set,", and instantly;

"Th' enchaunted Damzell vanisht into nought:
Her snowy substance melted was with heat,
Ne of that goodly hew remayned ought,
But th'emptie girdle, which about her wast was wrought."

This obvoisly freaks everyone out;

"They striken were with great astonishment,
And their faint hearts with senselesse hourrour queld,"

Spare a thought for the real hero here;

"And Braggadocio selfe with dreriment
So daunted was in his despeyring mood,
That like a lifelesse course immovable he stood."

The poor guy. Probably the fairest and most stable relationship in the book, between a lunatic narcissist and a robot woman, is now over.

Artegall puts Florimels magic virginity girdle back on her. Everyone wonders and defames Braggadochio. Then Sir Guyon (the pleasure-palace-wrecking Puritan knight of Temperance from Book Two) turns up to get his horse back.

Artegall stops him from instantly killing Braggadocio and asks him for proof of horse ownership;

"If that (said Guyon) may you satisfie,
Within his mouth a blacke spot doth appeare,
Shaped like a horses shoe, who list to seeke is there."

People try to check but the horse bites and smashes them (why didn't he do this when Braggadocio stole him?), only Guyon can calm the beast and this proves it to everyone.

Now it is time for Brags depressing punishment;

"But Talus by the backe the boaster hent,
And drawing him out of the open hall,
Upon him did inflict this punishment.
First he his beard did shave, and it renverst,
And blotted out his armes with falsehood blent,
And himselfe baffuld, and his armes unherst,
And broke his sword in twaine, and all his armour sperst.

Anyone who was fat or strange in school will recognise the closing scene;

"All gan to jest and gibe full merilie
At the remembrance of their knaverie.
Ladies can laugh at Ladies, Knights at Knights,
To thinke with how great vaunt of braverie
He them abused, through his subtill slights,
And what a glorious shew he made in all their sights."

Fuck all of you rich bastards. In my Fanon Braggadochio escapes, gets False Flormell back and teams up with Archimago, Duessa, Pyrochles and all the others in team Bad Guy behind the scenes.

Braggadocio and Trompart in the bush by W. Kent
This is how I choose to remember them. Hiding in a bush.

That's all. A short canto to get a minor character out of the way. The next section should be a multi-canto dump as Artegall and his robot fight a Feminist Amazon who has read her De Pizan and created a City of Ladies.

1 comment:

  1. This would be something close to my version as well, only there would also be that witch who created Other Florimell too.
    Poor Braggadochio. I honestly thought been forgotten like Archmage is worst that could have happened but the author is almost vicious in getting this guy ruined in any way possible.