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What sawest thou there? said the king.
Sir, he said, I saw nothing but waves (50 HOW KING ARTHUR COMMANDED TO CAST
and winds. That is untruly said of thee, HIS SWORD EXCALIBUR INTO THE WATER,
said the king; therefore go thou lightly AND HOW HE WAS DELIVERED TO LADIES IN A BARGE
again, and do my command, as thou art
to me lief and dear, spare not, but throw But I may not stand, mine head works it in. Then Sir Bedivere returned again, so. Ah, Sir Launcelot, said king Arthur, and took the sword in his hand; and then this day have I sore missed thee. Alas, him thought sin and shame to throw away that ever I was against thee, for now have that noble sword; and so eft he hid the I my death, whereof Sir Gawaine me sword, and returned again, and told to warned in my dream. Then Sir Lucan the king that he had been at the (60 took up the king the one part, and Sir water, and done his commandment. Bedivere the other part, and in the lifting | What saw thou there? said the king. Sir, the king swooned, and Sir Lucan fell in he said, I saw nothing but the waters a swoon with the lift, that the part of (10 wap and the waves wan. Ah traitor, his bowels fell out of his body, and there untrue, said king Arthur, now hast thou with the noble knight's heart brast. And betrayed me twice. Who would have when king Arthur came to himself again, wend that thou that hast been to me so he beheld Sir Lucan, how he lay foaming lief and dear, and thou art named a noble at the mouth, and part of his bowels lay | knight, and would betray me for the richat his feet. Alas, said the king, this isness of the sword. But now go again (70 unto me a full heavy sight, to see this lightly, for thy long tarrying putteth me noble duke so die for my sake, for he would | in great jeopardy of my life, for I have have holpen me that had more need of | taken cold. And but if thou do now as help than I. Alas, he would not com- (20 I bid thee, if ever I may see thee, I shall plain him, his heart was so set to help me. slay thee with mine own hands, for thou Now Jesu have mercy upon his soul. Then wouldest for my rich sword see me dead. Sir Bedivere wept for the death of his | Then Sir Bedivere departed, and went brother. Leave this mourning and weep | to the sword, and lightly took it up, and ing, said the king, for all this will not avail went to the water side; and there he me; for, wit thou well, and I might live bound the girdle about the hilts, and (80 myself the death of Sir Lucan would then he threw the sword as far into the grieve me evermore; but my time hieth water as he might; and there came an arm fast, said the king. Therefore, said and an hand above the water, and met Arthur, take thou Excalibur, my good (30 | it, and caught it, and so shook it thrice sword, and go with it to yonder water and brandished, and then vanished away side, and when thou comest there, I the hand with the sword in the water. So charge thee throw my sword in that water, Sir Bedivere came again to the king, and and come again, and tell me what thou told him what he saw. Alas, said the there seest. My lord, said Bedivere, your king, help me hence, for I dread me I have commandment shall be done, and lightly tarried over long. Then Sir Bedivere (90 bring you word again.
took the king upon his back, and so went So Sir Bedivere departed, and by the with him to that water side. And when way he beheld that noble sword, that the they were at the water side, even fast by pommel and the haft were all of pre- [40 the bank hoved a little barge, with many cious stones; and then he said to himself, fair ladies in it, and among them all was If I throw this rich sword in the water, a queen, and all they had black hoods, and thereof shall never come good, but harm all they wept and shrieked when they saw and loss. And then Sir Bedivere hid king Arthur. Now put me into the barge, Excalibur under a tree. And as soon as said the king; and so he did softly. And he might he came again unto the king, there received him three queens with (100 and said he had been at the water, and great mourning, and so they set him had thrown the sword into the water. I down, and in one of their laps king Arthur 140
laid his head. And then that queen said, | my life here to pray for my lord Arthur. Ah, dear brother, why have ye tarried so Ye are welcome to me, said the hermit, long from me? Alas, this wound on your | for I know ye better than ye ween that I head hath caught over-much cold. And do. Ye are the bold Bedivere, and the so then they rowed from the land, and full noble duke Sir Lucan the Butler was Sir Bedivere beheld all those ladies go your brother. Then Sir Bedivere told (30 from him. Then Sir Bedivere cried, Ah, the hermit all as ye have heard tofore. So my lord Arthur, what shall become of (110 there bode Sir Bedivere with the hermit me, now ye go from me, and leave me that was tofore bishop of Canterbury, and here alone among mine enemies? Com there Sir Bedivere put upon him poor fort thyself, said the king, and do as well clothes, and served the hermit full lowly as thou mayest, for in me is no trust for in fasting and in prayers. to trust in. For I will into the vale of Thus of Arthur I find never more writAvilion to heal me of my grievous wound. | ten in books that be authorized, nor more And if thou hear never more of me, pray of the certainty of his death heard I for my soul. But ever the queens and never tell.. the ladies wept and shrieked, that it was pity to hear. And as soon as Sir Bedi- (120 vere had lost the sight of the barge, he
CHAPTER VII wept and wailed, and so took the forest,
OF THE OPINION OF SOME MEN OF THE and so he went all that night, and in the
DEATH OF KING ARTHUR; AND HOW morning he was ware betwixt two holts
QUEEN GUENEVER MADE HER A NUN IN hoar, of a chapel and an hermitage.
Yet some men say in many parts of
England that king Arthur is not dead, but HOW SIR BEDIVERE FOUND HIM ON THE
had by the will of our Lord Jesu in anMORROW DEAD IN AN HERMITAGE, AND
other place. And men say that he shall HOW HE ABODE THERE WITH THE HER
come again, and he shall win the holy MIT
cross. I will not say it shall be so, but Then was Sir Bedivere glad, and thither rather I will say, here in this world he he went; and when he came into the changed his life. But many men say that chapel, he saw where lay an hermit grovel there is written upon his tomb this verse: ing on all four, there fast by a tomb was Hic jacet Arthurus, Rex quondam, Rex- (10 new graven. When the hermit saw Sir que futurus. Thus leave I here Sir BediBedivere he knew him well, for he was vere with the hermit, that dwelled that but little before bishop of Canterbury, time in a chapel beside Glastonbury, that Sir Mordred banished. Sir, said and there was his hermitage. And so Sir Bedivere, what man is there interred they lived in their prayers and fastings, that ye pray so fast for? Fair son, (10 and great abstinence. said the hermit, I wot not verily, but by | And when queen Guenever understood deeming. But this night, at midnight, that king Arthur was slain, and all the here came a number of ladies, and brought | noble knights, Sir Mordred and all the hither a dead corpse, and prayed me remnant, then the queen stole away, (20 to bury him; and here they offered an and five ladies with her, and so she went to hundred tapers, and gave me an hundred Almesbury, and there she let make herbesants. Alas, said Sir Bedivere, that self a nun, and wore white clothes and was my lord king Arthur, that here lieth black, and great penance she took, as ever buried in this chapel. Then Sir Bedivere did sinful lady in this land, and never swooned, and when he awoke he prayed (20 creature could make her merry, but lived the hermit he might abide with him still in fasting, prayers, and alms-deeds, that there, to live with fasting and prayers. all manner of people marveled how virFor from hence will I never go, said Sir tuously she was changed. Bedivere, by my will, but all the days of | * * *
THE ELIZABETHAN AGE
ses hath ensampled a good governour and EDMUND SPENSER (1652?-1599).
a vertuous man, the one in his Ilias, the THE FAERIE QUEENE
other in his Odysseis; then Virgil, whose
like intention was to doe in the person of A LETTER OF THE AUTHORS, Aeneas; after him Ariosto comprised them Expounding his whole intention in the
both in his Orlando: and lately Tasso dis
severed them againe, and formed both course of this worke: which, for that it
parts in two persons, namely that part giveth great light to the reader, for the
which they in Philosophy call Ethice, or better understanding is hereunto an
vertues of a private man, coloured in [40 nexed.
his Rinaldo; the other named Politice in To the Right Noble and Valorous his Godfredo. By ensample of which ex
cellente poets, I labour to pourtraict in Sir WALTER RALEIGH, KNIGHT;
Arthure, before he was king, the image of Lord Wardein of the Stanneryes, and Her
a brave knight, perfected in the twelve Maiesties Liefetenaunt of the County of
| private morall vertues, as Aristotle hath
devised; the which is the purpose of these Cornewayll.
first twelve bookes: which if I finde to be Sir, knowing how doubtfully all alle well accepted, I may be perhaps encoraged gories may be construed, and this booke | to frame the other part of polliticke (50 of mine, which I have entituled the Faery | vertues in his person, after that hee came Queene, being a continued allegory, or to be king. darke conceit, I haue thought good, as To some, I know, this methode will well for avoyding of gealous opinions and | seeme displeasaunt, which had rather have misconstructions, as also for your better good discipline delivered plainly in way of light in reading thereof, (being so by you precepts, or sermoned at large, as they commanded,) to discover unto you the use, then thus clowdily enwrapped in general intention and meaning, which (10 Allegoricall devises. But such, me seeme, in the whole course thereof I have fash- should be satisfide with the use of these ioned, without expressing of any particular dayes, seeing all things accounted by [60 purposes, or by accidents therein occa their showes, and nothing esteemed of, sioned. The generall end therefore of all that is not delightfull and pleasing to the booke is to fashion a gentleman or commune sence. For this cause is Xenonoble person in vertuous and gentle dis- phon preferred before Plato, for that the cipline: which for that I conceived shoulde one, in the exquisite depth of his judgebe most plausible and pleasing, being ment, formed a commune welth, such as coloured with an historicall fiction, the it should be; but the other in the person which the most part of men delight to (20 of Cyrus, and the Persians, fashioned a read, rather for variety of matter then for governement, such as might best be: so profite of the ensample, I chose the his-much more profitable and gratious is (70 torye of King Arthure, as most fitte for doctrine by ensample, then by rule. So the excellency of his person, being made | haue I laboured to doe in the person of famous by many men's former workes, Arthure: whome I conceive, after his long and also furthest from the daunger of education by Timon, to whom he was envy, and suspition of present time. In by Merlin delivered to be brought up, which I have followed all the antique so soone as he was borne of the Lady Poets historicall: first Homere, who in Igrayne, to have seene in a dream or the Persons of Agamemnon and Ulys- (30 | vision the Faery Queene, with whose excellent beauty ravished, he awaking | Queene kept her annuall feaste xii. dayes; resolved to seeke her out; and so being (80 uppon which xii. severall dayes, the occaby Merlin armed, and by Timon throughly sions of the xii. severall adventures hapned, instructed, he went to seeke her forth in which, being undertaken by xii. severall Faerye land. In that Faery Queene I knights, are in these xii. books severally meane glory in my generall intention, but handled and discoursed. The first was in my particular I conceive the most this. In the beginning of the feast, there excellent and glorious person of our sover | presented him selfe a tall clownishe (140 aine the Queene, and her kingdome in younge man, who, falling before the Queene Faery land. And yet, in some places els, of Faeries, desired a boone (as the manner I doe otherwise shadow her. For con then was) which during that feast she sidering she beareth two persons, the 190 might not refuse: which was that hee one of a most royall Queene or Empresse, might have the atchievement of any adthe other of a most vertuous and beautifull venture, which during that feaste should Lady, this latter part in some places I doe happen: that being graunted, he rested expresse in Belphæbe, fashioning her him on the floore, unfitte through his rusname according to your owne excellent ticity for a better place. Soone after conceipt of Cynthia, (Phæbe and Cynthia entred a faire ladye in mourning (150 being both names of Diana.) So in the weedes, riding on a white asse, with a person of Prince Arthure I sette forth dwarfe behind her leading a warlike steed, magnificence in particular, which vertue, that bore the armes of a knight, and his for that (according to Artistotle and (100 speare in the dwarfes hand. Shee, falling the rest) it is the perfection of all the rest, before the Queene of Faeries, complayned and conteineth in it them all, therefore that her father and mother, an ancient in the whole course I mention the deedes king and queene, had bene by an huge of Arthure applyable to that vertue, which dragon many years shut up in a brasen I write of in that booke. But of the xii. castle, who thence suffred them not to other vertues, I make xii. other knights yssew; and therefore besought the (160 the patrones, for the more variety of the Faery Queene to assygne her some one of history: of which these three bookes her knights to take on him that exployt. contayn three. The first of the knight Presently that clownish person, upstartof the Redcrosse, in whome I expresse (110 ing, desired that adventure: whereat the holynes: The seconde of Sir Guyon, in Queene much wondering, and the lady whome I sette forth temperaunce: The much gainesaying, yet he earnestly imthird of Britomartis, a lady knight, in portuned his desire. In the end the lady whome I picture chastity. But, because told him, that unlesse that armour which the beginning of the whole worke seemeth she brought, would serve him (that is, abrupte, and as depending upon other | the armour of a Christian man speci- (170 antecedents, it needs that ye know the fied by Saint Paul, vi. Ephes.) that he occasion of these three knights' seuerall could not succeed in that enterprise: which adventures. For the methode of a poet being forthwith put upon him, with dewe historical is not such, as of an his- [120 | furnitures thereunto, he seemed the goodtoriographer. For an historiographer dis liest man in al that company, and was courseth of affayres orderly as they were well liked of the lady. And eftesoones donne, accounting as well the times as taking on him knighthood, and mounting the actions; but a poet thrusteth into the on that straunge courser, he went forth middest, even where it most concerneth with her on that adventure: where behim, and there recoursing to the thinges ginneth the first booke, viz. (180 forepaste, and divining of thinges to come,
A gentle knight was pricking on the maketh a pleasing analysis of all. · The beginning therefore of my history,
playne, etc. if it were to be told by an historiog- (130 The second day there came in a palmer, rapher, should be the twelfth booke, which bearing an infant with bloody hands, is the last; where I devise that the Faery | whose parents he complained to have
bene slayn by an enchaunteresse called Wherein old dints of deepe woundes did Acrasia; and therefore craved of the I remaine, a Faery Queene, to appoint him some | The cruell markes of many a bloody fielde; knight to performe that adventure; which Yet armes till that time did he never being assigned to Sir Guyon, he presently wield: went forth with that same palmer: (190 His angry steede did chide his foming which is the beginning of the second booke, bitt, C
6 and the whole subject thereof. The third As much disdayning to the curbe to day there came in a groome, who com yield: plained before the Faery Queene, that a Full jollya knight he seemd, and faire did vile enchaunter, called Busirane, had in / şitt, e hand a most faire lady, called Amoretta, | As one for knightly giusts® and fierce enwhom he kept in most grievous torment, counters fitt. c because she would not yield him the pleasure of her body. Whereupon Sir Scudamour, the lover of that lady, (200 | But on his brest a bloodie crosse he bore, 10 presently tooke on him that adventure. The deare remembrance of his dying But being unable to performe it by reason Lord, of the hard enchauntments, after long For whose sweete sake that glorious badge sorrow, in the end met with Britomartis, he wore, who succoured him, and reskewed his And dead as living ever him ador’d: loue.
Upon his shield the like was also scor'd, But by occasion hereof many other | For soveraine hope, which in his helpe he adventures are intermedled; but rather as I had: accidents then intendments: as the love of Right faithfull true he was in deede and Britomart, the overthrow of Marinell, (210 word, the misery of Florimell, the vertuousness of But of his cheere4 did seeme too solemne Belphæbe, the lasciviousnes of Hellenora, sad; and many the like.
Yet nothing did he dread, but ever was Thus much, Sir, I have briefly overronne, to direct your understanding to the welhead of the history, that from thence gathering the whole intention of the conceit | Upon a great adverture he was bond, ye may, as in a handfull, gripe al the dis- That greatest Gloriana to him gave, 20 course, which otherwise may happily seeme That greatest glorious queene of Faery tedious and confused. So, humbly (220 Lond, craving the continuance of your honor To winne him worshippe, and her grace to able favour towards me, and th' eternall have, establishment of your happines, I humbly Which of all earthly thinges he most did take leave.
crave; 23. January, 1589. | And ever as he rode his hart did earne? . Yours most humbly affectionate, | To prove his puissance in battell brave 25
ED. SPENSER. Upon his foe, and his new force to learne
Upon his foe, a dragon horrible and From Book I, CANTO I
A lovely ladie rode him faire beside,
Upon a lowly asse more white then snow,
A gentle knight was pricking on the plaine, al Under a vele, that wimpled was full low, Ycladd in mightie armes and silver shielde, 4 worshielded
3 jousts. ? gallant. À countenance, expression of his face,
s dreaded. 1 spurring, riding.