Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Wolverine Woodwose - FQ Book 6 Canto 6

Things that have traumatised Edmund Spenser;

- Ireland
- Ships
- That situation with Lord Grey (see 'Ireland')
- Lord Burleigh
- That time the Irish burnt his house down (see 'That situation with Lord Grey')

We open with another curiously-modern verse about the horrors of character assassination and gossip/calumny generally;

"No wound, which warlike hand of enemy
Inflicts with dint of sword, so sore doth light,
As doth the poysnous sting, which infamy
Infixeth in the name of noble wight:
For by no art, not any leaches might
It ever can recured be againe;
Ne all the skill, which that immortal spright
Of Podalyrius did it it retaine,
Can remedy such hurts, such hurts are hellish paine."

The poisoned (and it is explicitly named as poison of a sort) Serena and Tiamas are chilling with the Sean Connery former-badass healing hermit, who is thinking about how to heal them.

Of course, this is the Faerie Queene and the whole thing is a sermon, so the solution is a moral one, becasue the poison of the Blatant Beast is a spiritual/moral one;

"For in your selfe your onely helpe doth lie,
To heale your selves, and must proceed alone
From your owne will, to cure your maladie.
Who can him cure, that will be cured of none?
If therefore health ye seeke, observe this one.
First learne your outward sences to refraine
From things, that stirre up fraile affection;
Your eies, your eares, your tongue, your talke restraine
From that they most affect, and in due termes containe."

Sean Connory then describes the origins of the Blatant Beast. Its generic monster nonsense, it seems to share a parent with the Spanish Inquisition Sphinx that someone fought that time, another example of all the bad guys in the FQ being related somehow. The verse is good though; 'Wasting the strength of her immortal age.';

"Echinda is a Monster direfull dred,
Whom Gods doe hate, and heavens abhor to see;
So hideous is her shape, so huge her hed,
That even the hellish fiends affrighted bee
At sight thereof, and from her presence flee:
Yet did her face and former parts profess
A faire young Mayden, full of comely glee;
But all her hinder parts did plaine expresse
A monstrous Dragon, full of fearefull uglinesse.

To her the Gods, for her so dreadfull face,
In fearfull darkness, furthest from the skie,
And from the earth, appointed have her place,
Mongst rocks and caves, where she enrold doth lie
In hideous horrour and obscurity,
Wasting the strength of her immortal age."

The Blatant Beast is a big poisonous dog-monster with rusting iron teeth;

"A wicked Monster, that his tongue doth whet
Gainst all, both good and bad, both most and least,
And poures his poysnous gall forth to infest
The nobllest wights with notable defame:
Ne ever Knight, that bore so lofty creast,
Ne ever Lady of so honest name,
But he them spotted with reproach, or secrete shame."

Then Sean Connory repeats and deepens his spiritual anti-poisoning prescription;

"The best (sayd he) that I can you advize,
Is to avoide the occasion of the ill:
For when the cause, whence evill doth arize,
Removed is, th'effect surceaseth still.
Abstaine from pleasure, and restraine your will,
Subdue desire, and bridle loose delight,
Use scanted diet, and forbeare your fill,
Shun secresie, and talke in open sight:
So shall you soone repaine your opresent evill plight."

And this moral psychology apparently works, they are both healed and decide to go off together to look for Arthur, Calpeine, the Savage Man and presumably Belphoebe. What they find is another group from the Chivalric Encounter Generator;

".. a faire Mayden clad in mourning weed,
Upon a mangy jade unmeetly set,
And a lewd foole her leading through dry and wet."

There is also a creepy Gyant, not mentioned here.

But by what meanes that shame to her befell,
And how thereof her selfe she did acquite,
I must a while forbare to you to tell;"

Because now we have to follow Arthur on another of his surprisngly-sneaky and ruthless quests to murder some dudes;


Arthur finds the hall of Turpine, the Knight that refused Calepine shelter (for it is he), and the gate is wide open. Arthur sneaks his way in;

"Where soft dismounting like a weary lode,
Upon the ground with feeble feete he trode,
As he unable were for very neede
To move one foote, but there must make abode;"

Another very murder-hobo/Cugel choice from Arthur, the secret old-school player in the storygame.

Eventually someone comes out to speak to him, Arthur requests aid, they say lol no fucking way gtfo errant knight aaaaad;

"And therewithall rude hand on him did lay,
To thrust him out of dore, doing his worst assay.

Which when the Salvage comming now in place,
Beheld, eftsoones he all enraged grew,
And running streight upon that villaine base,
Like a fell Lion at him fiercely flew,
And with his teeth and nailes, in present vew,
Him rudely rent, and all to peeces tore:"

Literally tears a guy apart. A fight is on.

Arthur and the Salvage Man super-murder everyone until Turpine hears what is going one and;

"Came forth in hast: where when as with the dead
He saw the ground al strow'd, and that same Knight
And salvage with their bloud fresh steeming red,
He woxe nigh mad with wrath and fell despight,
And with reprochfull words him thus bespake on hight.

Art thou he, traytor, that with treson vile,
Hast slaine my men in this unmanly maner,
And now triumphest in the piteous spoile
Of these poore folk, whose soules with black dishonor
And foule defame doe decke thy bloudy baner?"

Yes I am. And I'm going to do the same to you. Also, I have an unkilable Woodwose. More fighting happens.

"But when the Prince had once him plainely eyde,
He foot by foot him follwed alway,
Ne would him suffer once to shrinke asyde
But joyning close, huge lode at him did lay:
Who flying still did ward, and warding fly away.

Arthur chases the fellow through his own house, he runs to where his wife Blandina is sitting and in front of her Arthur hits the Lord;

"And with his sword him on the head did smyte,
That to the ground he fell in senselesse swone:
Yet whether thwart of flatly it did lyte,
The tempred steele did not into his braynepan byte.

Which, when the Ladie saw, with great affright
She starting up, began to shrieke aloud,
And with her garment covering him from sight,
Seem'd under her protection him to shroud;"

Turpine now literally hiding under his lovers dress;

"Her weed she then withdrawing, did him discover,
Who now come to himselfe, yet would not rize,
But still did lie as dead, and quake, and quiver,
That even the Prince his baseness did despize,


Vile cowheard dogge, now doe I much repent,
That ever I this life unto thee lent
Whereof thou caytive so unworthie art;
That both thy love, for lacke of hardiment,
And eke thy selfe, for want of manly hart,
And eke all knights hast shamed with this knightlesse part."

Arthur pauses in his shit talk and realises he has left his Woodwose fighting absolutely everyone else in the castle;

"He had beynd him left that salvage wight,
Amongst so many foes, whom sure he thought
By this quite slaine in so unequall fight:
Therefore descending backe in haste, he sought
If yet he were alive, or to destruction brought.

There he him found environed about
With slaughtred bodies, which his hand had slaine,
And laying yet a fresh with courage stout
Upon the rest, that did alive remaine;
Whom he likewise right sorely did contraine,
Like scattred sheepe, to seeke for safetie,"

So he returns to give the Turpine a load of crap about being an awful person and a bad knight, but Blandina tries to calm things down;

"For well she knew the wayes to win good will
Of every wight, that were not too infest,
And how to please the minds of good and ill,
Through tempering of her words & lookes by wonderous skill.

Yet were her words and lookes but false and fayned,
To some hid end to make more easie way,
Or to allure such fondlings, whom she trayned
Into her trap unto thier owne decay:
Thereto, when needed, she could weepe and pray,
And when her listed, she could fawne and flatter;
Now smyling smoothly, like to sommers day,
Now glooming sadly, so to cloke her matter;
Yet were her words but wynd, & all her teares but water."

So eventually Arthur and the Unkillable Woodwose leave, with Turpine embarrassed, ashamed, alive and PLANNING REVENGE.

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