Paridell rapeth Hellenore:
Malbecco her pursewes:
Findes emongst Satyres, whence with him
To turne she doth refuse.
T He morow next, so soone as Phoebus Lamp
Bewrayed had the world with early light,
And fresh Aurora had the shady damp
Out of the goodly heauen amoued quight,
Faire Britomart and that same Faerie knight
Vprose, forth on their iourney for to wend:
But Paridell complaynd, that his late fight
With Britomart, so sore did him offend,
That ryde he could not, till his hurts he did amend.
So forth they far'd, but he behind them stayd,
Maulgre his host, who grudged grieuously,
To house a guest, that would be needes obayd,
And of his owne him left not liberty:
Might wanting measure moueth surquedry.
Two things he feared, but the third was death;
That fierce young mans vnruly maistery;
His money, which he lou'd as liuing breath;
And his faire wife, whom honest long he kept vneath.
But patience perforce he must abie,
What fortune and his fate on him will lay,
Fond is the feare, that findes no remedie;
Yet warily he watcheth euery way,
By which he feareth euill happen may:
So th'euill thinkes by watching to preuent;
Ne doth he suffer her, nor night, nor day,
Out of his sight her selfe once to absent.
So doth he punish her and eke himselfe torment.
But Paridell kept better watch, then hee,
A fit occasion for his turne to find:
False loue, why do men say, thou canst not see,
And in their foolish fancie feigne thee blind,
That with thy charmes the sharpest sight doest bind,
And to thy will abuse? Thou walkest free,
And seest euery secret of the mind;
Thou seest all, yet none at all sees thee;
All that is by the working of thy Deitee.
So perfect in that art was Paridell,
That he Malbeccoes halfen eye did wyle,
His halfen eye he wiled wondrous well,
And Hellenors both eyes did eke beguyle,
Both eyes and hart attonce, during the whyle
That he there soiourned his wounds to heale;
That Cupid selfe it seeing, close did smyle,
To weet how he her loue away did steale,
And bad, that none their ioyous treason should reueale.
The learned louer lost no time nor tyde,
That least auantage mote to him afford,
Yet bore so faire a saile, that none espyde
His secret drift, till he her layd abord.
When so in open place, and commune bord,
He fortun'd her to meet, with commune speach
He courted her, yet bayted euery word,
That his vngentle hoste n'ote him appeach
Of vile vngentlenesse, or hospitages breach.
But when apart (if euer her apart)
He found, then his false engins fast he plyde,
And all the sleights vnbosomd in his hart;
He sigh'd, he sobd, he swownd, he perdy dyde,
And cast himselfe on ground her fast besyde:
Tho when againe he him bethought to liue,
He wept, and wayld, and false laments belyde,
Saying, but if she Mercie would him giue
That he mote algates dye, yet did his death forgiue.
And otherwhiles with amorous delights,
And pleasing toyes he would her entertaine,
Now singing sweetly, to surprise her sprights,
Now making layes of loue and louers paine,
Bransles, Ballads, virelayes, and verses vaine;
Oft purposes, oft riddles he deuysd,
And thousands like, which flowed in his braine,
With which he fed her fancie, and entysd
To take to his new loue, and leaue her old despysd.
And euery where he might, and euery while
He did her seruice dewtifull, and sewed
At hand with humble pride, and pleasing guile,
So closely yet, that none but she it vewed,
Who well perceiued all, and all indewed.
Thus finely did he his false nets dispred,
With which he many weake harts had subdewed
Of yore, and many had ylike misled:
What wonder then, if she were likewise carried?
No fort so fensible, no wals so strong,
But that continuall battery will riue,
Or daily siege through dispuruayance long,
And lacke of reskewes will to parley driue;
And Peece, that vnto parley eare will giue,
Will shortly yeeld it selfe, and will be made
The vassall of the victors will byliue:
That stratageme had oftentimes assayd
This crafty Paramoure, and now it plaine displayd.
For through his traines he her intrapped hath,
That she her loue and hart hath wholy sold
To him, without regard of gaine, or scath,
Or care of credite, or of husband old,
Whom she hath vow'd to dub a faire Cucquold.
Nought wants but time and place, which shortly shee
Deuized hath, and to her louer told.
It pleased well. So well they both agree;
So readie rype to ill, ill wemens counsels bee.
Darke was the Euening, fit for louers stealth,
When chaunst Malbecco busie be elsewhere,
She to his closet went, where all his wealth
Lay hid: thereof she countlesse summes did reare,
The which she meant away with her to beare;
The rest she fyr'd for sport, or for despight;
As Hellene, when she saw aloft appeare
The Troiane flames, and reach to heauens hight
Did clap her hands, and ioyed at that dolefull sight.
This second Hellene, faire Dame Hellenore,
The whiles her husband ranne with sory haste,
To quench the flames, which she had tyn'd before,
Laught at his foolish labour spent in waste;
And ranne into her louers armes right fast;
Where streight embraced, she to him did cry,
And call aloud for helpe, ere helpe were past;
For loe that Guest would beare her forcibly,
And meant to rauish her, that rather had to dy.
The wretched man hearing her call for ayd,
And readie seeing him with her to fly,
In his disquiet mind was much dismayd:
But when againe he backward cast his eye,
And saw the wicked fire so furiously
Consume his hart, and scorch his Idoles face,
He was therewith distressed diuersly,
Ne wist he how to turne, nor to what place;
Was neuer wretched man in such a wofull cace.
Ay when to him she cryde, to her he turnd,
And left the fire; loue money ouercame:
But when he marked, how his money burnd,
He left his wife; money did loue disclame:
Both was he loth to loose his loued Dame,
And loth to leaue his liefest pelfe behind,
Yet sith he n'ote saue both, he sau'd that same,
Which was the dearest to his donghill mind,
The God of his desire, the ioy of misers blind.
Thus whilest all things in troublous vprore were,
And all men busie to suppresse the flame,
The louing couple need no reskew feare,
But leasure had, and libertie to frame
Their purpost flight, free from all mens reclame;
And Night, the patronesse of loue-stealth faire,
Gaue them safe conduct, till to end they came:
So bene they gone yfeare, a wanton paire
Of louers loosely knit, where list them to repaire.
Soone as the cruell flames yslaked were,
Malbecco seeing, how his losse did lye,
Out of the flames, which he had quencht whylere
Into huge waues of griefe and gealosye
Full deepe emplonged was, and drowned nye,
Twixt inward doole and felonous despight;
He rau'd, he wept, he stampt, he lowd did cry,
And all the passions, that in man may light,
Did him attonce oppresse, and vex his caytiue spright.
Long thus he chawd the cud of inward griefe,
And did consume his gall with anguish sore,
Still when he mused on his late mischiefe,
Then still the smart thereof increased more,
And seem'd more grieuous, then it was before:
At last when sorrow he saw booted nought,
Ne griefe might not his loue to him restore,
He gan deuise, how her he reskew mought,
Ten thousand wayes he cast in his confused thought.
At last resoluing, like a pilgrim pore,
To sea[r]ch her forth, where so she might be fond,
And bearing with him treasure in close store,
The rest he leaues in ground: so takes in hond
To seeke her endlong, both by sea and lond.
Long he her sought, he sought her farre and nere,
And euery where that he mote vnderstond,
Of knights and ladies any meetings were,
And of eachone he met, he tydings did inquere.
But all in vaine, his woman was too wise,
Euer to come into his clouch againe,
And he too simple euer to surprise
The iolly Paridell, for all his paine.
One day, as he forpassed by the plaine
With weary pace, he farre away espide
A couple, seeming well to be his twaine,
Which houed close vnder a forrest side,
As if they lay in wait, or else themselues did hide.
Well weened he, that those the same mote bee,
And as he better did their shape auize,
Him seemed more their manner did agree;
For th'one was armed all in warlike wize,
Whom, to be Paridell he did deuize;
And th'other all yclad in garments light,
Discolour'd like to womanish disguise,
He did resemble to his Ladie bright;
And euer his faint hart much earned at the sight.
And euer faine he towards them would goe,
But yet durst not for dread approchen nie,
But stood aloofe, vnweeting what to doe;
Till that prickt forth with loues extremitie,
That is the father of fowle gealosy,
He closely nearer crept, the truth to weet:
But, as he nigher drew, he easily
Might scerne, that it was not his sweetest sweet,
Ne yet her Belamour, the partner of his sheet.
But it was scornefull Braggadocchio,
That with his seruant Trompart houerd there,
Sith late he fled from his too earnest foe:
Whom such when as Malbecco spyed clere,
He turned backe, and would haue fled arere;
Till Trompart ronning hastily, him did stay,
And bad before his soueraine Lord appere:
That was him loth, yet durst he not gainesay,
And comming him before, low louted on the lay.
The Boaster at him sternely bent his browe,
As if he could haue kild him with his looke,
That to the ground him meekely made to bowe,
And awfull terror deepe into him strooke,
That euery member of his bodie quooke.
Said he, thou man of nought, what doest thou here,
Vnfitly furnisht with thy bag and booke,
Where I expected one with shield and spere,
To proue some deedes of armes vpon an equall pere.
The wretched man at his imperious speach,
Was all abasht, and low prostrating, said;
Good Sir, let not my rudenesse be no breach
Vnto your patience, ne be ill ypaid;
For I vnwares this way by fortune straid,
A silly Pilgrim driuen to distresse,
That seeke a Lady,---There he suddein staid,
And did the rest with grieuous sighes suppresse,
While teares stood in his eies, few drops of bitternesse.
What Ladie, man? (said Trompart) take good hart,
And tell thy griefe, if any hidden lye;
Was neuer better time to shew thy smart,
Then now, that noble succour is thee by,
That is the whole worlds commune remedy.
That cheareful word his weake hart much did cheare,
And with vaine hope his spirits faint supply,
That bold he said; ô most redoubted Pere,
Vouchsafe with mild regard a wretches cace to heare.
Then sighing sore, It is not long (said he)
Sith I enioyd the gentlest Dame aliue;
Of whom a knight, no knight at all perdee,
But shame of all, that doe for honor striue,
By treacherous deceipt did me depriue;
Through open outrage he her bore away,
And with fowle force vnto his will did driue,
Which all good knights, that armes do beare this day,
Are bound for to reuenge, and punish if they may.
And you most noble Lord, that can and dare
Redresse the wrong of miserable wight,
Cannot employ your most victorious speare
In better quarrell, then defence of right,
And for a Ladie gainst a faithlesse knight;
So shall your glory be aduaunced much,
And all faire Ladies magnifie your might,
And eke my selfe, albe I simple such,
Your worthy paine shall well reward with guerdon rich.
With that out of his bouget forth he drew
Great store of treasure, therewith him to tempt;
But he on it lookt scornefully askew,
As much disdeigning to be so misdempt,
Or a war-monger to be basely nempt;
And said; Thy offers base I greatly loth,
And eke thy words vncourteous and vnkempt;
I tread in dust thee and thy money both,
That, were it not for shame,---So turned from him wroth.
But Trompart, that his maisters humor knew,
In lofty lookes to hide an humble mind,
Was inly tickled with that golden vew,
And in his eare him rounded close behind:
Yet stoupt he not, but lay still in the wind,
Waiting aduauntage on the pray to sease;
Till Trompart lowly to the ground inclind,
Besought him his great courage to appease,
And pardon simple man, that rash did him displease.
Bigge looking like a doughtie Doucepere,
At last he thus; Thou clod of vilest clay,
I pardon yield, and with thy rudenesse beare;
But weete henceforth, that all that golden pray,
And all that else the vaine world vaunten may,
I loath as doung, ne deeme my dew reward:
Fame is my meed, and glory vertues pray.
But minds of mortall men are muchell mard,
And mou'd amisse with massie mucks vnmeet regard.
And more, I graunt to thy great miserie
Gratious respect, thy wife shall backe be sent,
And that vile knight, who euer that he bee,
Which hath thy Lady reft, and knighthood shent,
By Sanglamort my sword, whose deadly dent
The bloud hath of so many thousands shed,
I sweare, ere long shall dearely it repent;
Ne he twixt heauen and earth shall hide his hed,
But soone he shall be found, and shortly doen be ded.
The foolish man thereat woxe wondrous blith,
As if the word so spoken, were halfe donne,
And humbly thanked him a thousand sith,
That had from death to life him newly wonne.
Tho forth the Boaster marching, braue begonne
His stolen steed to thunder furiously,
As if he heauen and hell would ouerronne,
And all the world confound with cruelty,
That much Malbecco ioyed in his iollity.
Thus long they three together traueiled,
Through many a wood, and many an vncouth way,
To seeke his wife, that was farre wandered:
But those two sought nought, but the present pray,
To weete the treasure, which he did bewray,
On which their eies and harts were wholly set,
With purpose, how they might it best betray;
For sith the houre, that first he did them let
The same behold, therewith their keene desires were whet.
It fortuned as they together far'd,
They spide, where Paridell came pricking fast
Vpon the plaine, the which himselfe prepar'd
To giust with that braue straunger knight a cast,
As on aduenture by the way he past:
Alone he rode without his Paragone;
For hauing filcht her bels, her vp he cast
To the wide world, and let her fly alone,
He nould be clogd. So had he serued many one.
The gentle Lady, loose at randon left,
The greene-wood long did walke, and wander wide
At wilde aduenture, like a forlorne weft,
Till on a day the Satyres her espide
Straying alone withouten groome or guide;
Her vp they tooke, and with them home her led,
With them as housewife euer to abide,
To milk their gotes, and make them cheese and bred,
And euery one as commune good her handeled.
That shortly she Malbecco has forgot,
And eke Sir Paridell, all were he deare;
Who from her went to seeke another lot,
And now by fortune was arriued here,
Where those two guilers with Malbecco were:
Soone as the old man saw Sir Paridell,
He fainted, and was almost dead with feare,
Ne word he had to speake, his griefe to tell,
But to him louted low, and greeted goodly well.
And after asked him for Hellenore,
I take no keepe of her (said Paridell)
She wonneth in the forrest there before.
So forth he rode, as his aduenture fell;
The whiles the Boaster from his loftie sell
Faynd to alight, something amisse to mend;
But the fresh Swayne would not his leasure dwell,
But went his way; whom when he passed kend,
He vp remounted light, and after faind to wend.
Perdy nay (said Malbecco) shall ye not:
But let him passe as lightly, as he came:
For litle good of him is to be got,
And mickle perill to be put to shame.
But let vs go to seeke my dearest Dame,
Whom he hath left in yonder forrest wyld:
For of her safety in great doubt I am,
Least saluage beastes her person haue despoyld:
Then all the world is lost, and we in vaine haue toyld.
They all agree, and forward them addrest:
Ah but (said craftie Trompart) weete ye well,
That yonder in that wastefull wildernesse
Huge monsters haunt, and many dangers dwell;
Dragons, and Minotaures, and feendes of hell,
And many wilde woodmen, which robbe and rend
All trauellers; therefore aduise ye well,
Before ye enterprise that way to wend:
One may his iourney bring too soone to euill end.
Malbecco stopt in great astonishment,
And with pale eyes fast fixed on the rest,
Their counsell crau'd, in daunger imminent.
Said Trompart, You that are the most opprest
With burden of great treasure, I thinke best
Here for to stay in safetie behind;
My Lord and I will search the wide forrest.
That counsell pleased not Malbeccoes mind;
For he was much affraid, himselfe alone to find.
Then is it best (said he) that ye doe leaue
Your treasure here in some securitie,
Either fast closed in some hollow greaue,
Or buried in the ground from ieopardie,
Till we returne againe in safetie:
As for vs two, least doubt of vs ye haue,
Hence farre away we will blindfolded lie,
Ne priuie be vnto your treasures graue.
It pleased: so he did, Then they march forward braue.
Now when amid the thickest woods they were,
They heard a noyse of many bagpipes shrill,
And shrieking Hububs them approching nere,
Which all the forrest did with horror fill:
That dreadfull sound the boasters hart did thrill,
With such amazement, that in haste he fled,
Ne euer looked backe for good or ill,
And after him eke fearefull Trompart sped;
The old man could not fly, but fell to ground halfe ded.
Yet afterwards close creeping, as he might,
He in a bush did hide his fearefull hed,
The iolly Satyres full of fresh delight,
Came dauncing forth, and with them nimbly led
Faire Hellenore, with girlonds all bespred,
Whom their May-lady they had newly made:
She proud of that new honour, which they red,
And of their louely fellowship full glade,
Daunst liuely, and her face did with a Lawrell shade.
The silly man that in the thicket lay
Saw all this goodly sport, and grieued sore,
Yet durst he not against it doe or say,
But did his hart with bitter thoughts engore,
To see th'vnkindnesse of his Hellenore.
All day they daunced with great lustihed,
And with their horned feet the greene grasse wore,
The whiles their Gotes vpon the brouzes fed,
Till drouping Phoebus gan to hide his golden hed.
Tho vp they gan their merry pypes to trusse,
And all their goodly heards did gather round,
But euery Satyre first did giue a busse
To Hellenore: so busses did abound.
Now gan the humid vapour shed the ground
With perly deaw, and th'Earthes gloomy shade
Did dim the brightnesse of the welkin round,
That euery bird and beast awarned made,
To shrowd themselues, whiles sleepe their senses did inuade.
Which when Malbecco saw, out of his bush
Vpon his hands and feete he crept full light,
And like a Gote emongst the Gotes did rush,
That through the helpe of his faire hornes on hight,
And misty dampe of misconceiuing night,
And eke through likenesse of his gotish beard,
He did the better counterfeite aright:
So home he marcht emongst the horned heard,
That none of all the Satyres him espyde or heard.
At night, when all they went to sleepe, he vewd,
Whereas his louely wife emongst them lay,
Embraced of a Satyre rough and rude,
Who all the night did minde his ioyous play:
Nine times he heard him come aloft ere day,
That all his hart with gealosie did swell;
But yet that nights ensample did bewray,
That not for nought his wife them loued so well,
When one so oft a night did ring his matins bell.
So closely as he could, he to them crept,
When wearie of their sport to sleepe they fell,
And to his wife, that now full soundly slept,
He whispered in her eare, and did her tell,
That it was he, which by her side did dwell,
And therefore prayd her wake, to heare him plaine.
As one out of a dreame not waked well,
She turned her, and returned backe againe:
Yet her for to awake he did the more constraine.
At last with irkesome trouble she abrayd;
And then perceiuing, that it was indeed
Her old Malbecco, which did her vpbrayd,
With loosenesse of her loue, and loathly deed,
She was astonisht with exceeding dreed,
And would haue wakt the Satyre by her syde;
But he her prayd, for mercy, or for meed,
To saue his life, ne let him be descryde,
But hearken to his lore, and all his counsell hyde.
Tho gan he her perswade, to leaue that lewd
And loathsome life, of God and man abhord,
And home returne, where all should be renewd
With perfect peace, and bandes of fresh accord,
And she receiu'd againe to bed and bord,
As if no trespasse euer had bene donne:
But she it all refused at one word,
And by no meanes would to his will be wonne,
But chose emongst the iolly Satyres still to wonne.
He wooed her, till day spring he espyde;
But all in vaine: and then turnd to the heard,
Who butted him with hornes on euery syde,
And trode downe in the durt, where his hore beard
Was fowly dight, and he of death afeard.
Early before the heauens fairest light
Out of the ruddy East was fully reard,
The heardes out of their foldes were loosed quight,
And he emongst the rest crept forth in sory plight.
So soone as he the Prison dore did pas,
He ran as fast, as both his feete could beare,
And neuer looked, who behind him was,
Ne scarsely who before: like as a Beare
That creeping close, amongst the hiues to reare
An hony combe, the wakefull dogs espy,
And him assayling, sore his carkasse teare,
That hardly he with life away does fly,
Ne stayes, till safe himselfe he see from ieopardy.
Ne stayd he, till he came vnto the place,
Where late his treasure he entombed had,
Where when he found it not (for Trompart bace
Had it purloyned for his maister bad:)
With extreme fury he became quite mad,
And ran away, ran with himselfe away:
That who so straungely had him seene bestad,
With vpstart haire, and staring eyes dismay,
From Limbo lake him late escaped sure would say.
High ouer hilles and ouer dales he fled,
As if the wind him on his winges had borne,
Ne banck nor bush could stay him, when he sped
His nimble feet, as treading still on thorne:
Griefe, and despight, and gealosie, and scorne
Did all the way him follow hard behind,
And he himselfe himselfe loath'd so forlorne,
So shamefully forlorne of womankind;
That as a Snake, still lurked in his wounded mind.
Still fled he forward, looking backward still,
Ne stayd his flight, nor fearefull agony,
Till that he came vnto a rockie hill,
Ouer the sea, suspended dreadfully,
That liuing creature it would terrify,
To looke adowne, or vpward to the hight:
From thence he threw himselfe dispiteously,
All desperate of his fore-damned spright,
That seem'd no helpe for him was left in liuing sight.
But through long anguish, and selfe-murdring thought
He was so wasted and forpined quight,
That all his substance was consum'd to nought,
And nothing left, but like an aery Spright,
That on the rockes he fell so flit and light,
That he thereby receiu'd no hurt at all,
But chaunced on a craggy cliff to light;
Whence he with crooked clawes so long did crall,
That at the last he found a caue with entrance small.
Into the same he creepes, and thenceforth there
Resolu'd to build his balefull mansion,
In drery darkenesse, and continuall feare
Of that rockes fall, which euer and anon
Threates with huge ruine him to fall vpon,
That he dare neuer sleepe, but that one eye
Still ope he keepes for that occasion;
Ne euer rests he in tranquillity,
The roring billowes beat his bowre so boystrously.
Ne euer is he wont on ought to feed,
But toades and frogs, his pasture poysonous,
Which in his cold complexion do breed
A filthy bloud, or humour rancorous,
Matter of doubt and dread suspitious,
That doth with curelesse care consume the hart,
Corrupts the stomacke with gall vitious,
Croscuts the liuer with internall smart,
And doth transfixe the soule with deathes eternall dart.
Yet can he neuer dye, but dying liues,
And doth himselfe with sorrow new sustaine,
That death and life attonce vnto him giues.
And painefull pleasure turnes to pleasing paine.
There dwels he euer, miserable swaine,
Hatefull both to him selfe, and euery wight;
Where he through priuy griefe, and horrour vaine,
Is woxen so deform'd, that he has quight
Forgot he was a man, and Gealosie is hight.