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Tom A Lincoln

1 Roman goddess of war, sometimes portrayed as the wife or sister of Mars (see note 6). (Brumble, David H. Classical Myths in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998).
2 Ancient Italian female divinity, moon-goddess, patroness of virginity and of hunting. (Oxford English Dictionary).
3 "Quittance" usually refers to the payment of or release from a debt or obligation; it can also refer to the documentary record of such a transaction--a receipt (Oxford English Dictionary). The use of the word in this context likely carries biblical connotations, alluding to I Corinthians 7:3, which (in the Douay-Reims translation) refers to sexual activity as a "debt" which spouses owe to one another. Thus, "quittance" could refer either to Arthur's seed (the "payment" itself), the impregnation (the "receipt" of payment, in the form of a child), or both. Johnson uses this euphemism again in the dialogue between Tom and Anglitora.
4 Crystal.
5 More commonly known (in English) as the Fates, these are the three sisters (Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos) of Greco-Roman mythology who determine the course of lives by spinning, winding, and cutting threads. (Brumble).
6 Roman god of war.
7 Barnsdale, in the West Riding of Yorkshire, is the setting for some of the early Robin Hood stories, particularly in the Gest of Robyn Hode, a notable 15th-century collection of Robin Hood material. (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Robin Hood).
8 A figure of sorrow drawn from Greek mythology. In Ovid's version of the story, Niobe's children (seven sons and seven daughters) were slain after she offended the goddess Latona; the mourning Niobe was transformed into a rock, but her eyes continued to weep (in the form of a spring). (Ovid, Metamorphoses, 6).
9 "Tom" was a common name for a large bell ("Tom" of Exeter, "Tom" of Oxford, etc.). Lincoln Cathedral did have a large bell commonly known as "Tom a' Lincoln" or "Tom of Lincoln," which was recast from an older, smaller bell in 1610--more than a decade after Johnson's romance first appears in the stationers' register. Whether the previous bell carried the same name is unclear, but in any case the earliest extant copy of the romance was printed in 1631, so it is possible that the bell episode was a later addition. There is one earlier (1592) reference to a "Tom a Lincolne," in Thomas Nashe's Four Letters Confuted, that may refer to a previous bell, but the reference is unclear. For more information see G. R. Proudfoot's introduction to his edition of the play Tom A Lincoln (Oxford: Oxford UP for the Malone Society, 1992. xix.).
10 Light half-armor, popular in the 16th century, which protected the torso and sometimes the arms and thighs. It was most commonly worn by foot soldiers (Blair, Claude. European Armor. London: B. T. Batsford Ltd., 1972. pp. 118-119).
11 The tournament in which a newly-made knight emerges as victor is a common element in chivalric romance.
12 Fortune, or Fortuna, is the Roman personification of chance. It is worth nothing that Fortune and the Fates (Destinies) are separate entities within the realm of classical mythology, despite their seemingly overlapping functions. (Grimal, Pierre. Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Trans. A. R. Maxwell-Hyslop, ed. Stephen Kershaw. London: Penguin Books, 1991).
13 In general, sixteenth-century warfare was a rather disorganized affair. Soldiers were often poorly-trained, poorly-supplied, and undisciplined. Also, fraud was a common problem, and pay rarely arrived on time. Tom a Lincoln's encampment, as described here, would have been a rare and welcome change from the average soldier's experiences, and his fame would be well-deserved (see Hale, J. R. War and Society in Renaissance Europe. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985).
14 Whifflers were armed attendants who, as suggested by the context, were employed to control the crowds at processions and public spectacles. (OED).
15 In this context, "artificial" refers to the skill (artifice) with which the tapestries were manufactured.
16 Cattle.
17 Roman god of the sea.
18 The events described here recall the origins of the Amazons as recounted in the 14th-century Travels of Sir John Mandeville, but there is an even stronger resemblance to the classical story of the Lemnian women in the Latin poet Statius's 1st-century Thebaid. In this story, set on the island of Lemnos, Hypsipyle saves her father, King Thoas, by hiding him in a boat during the slaughter, and is afterward made queen. Later, Jason and his Argonauts visit this island of women, and Jason becomes romantically involved with Hypsipyle. This story is also referenced in Ovid's Heroides, in Hypsipyle's letter to Jason. The influence of the classical stories of Jason's voyages can be seen throughout this section of Tom a Lincoln, and the influnce of the Heroides in particular can be seen in Celia's later letter to The Red Rose Knight.
19 Hymen is the Greek god of marriage, particularly lawful marriages. Hymen was often invoked by early-modern poets to demonstrate the propriety or propitiousness of a particular union. (Brumble).
20 The source text reads "woman in the woman in the."
21 Roman god of love. The trope of Cupid's blindness is not classical in origin; rather, it dates from the early 13th century. The blind cupid is representative of the commonplace "love is blind" adage. (Brumble).
22 Usually a hard or inflexible substance or attribute; it can also describe a lodestone or magnet (OED). Given the context, the latter usage likely applies here.
23 The goddess of flowers, gardens, and spring, Flora personifies the act of blooming and is, in this sense, the de facto goddess of youth and youthful pleasures. (Brumble).
24 The flower here referenced is likely some sort of heliotrope, possibly a sunflower or marigold, which always turns towards the sun (OED). In Ovid's tale of Leucothoe, Clytie becomes a sunflower while pining for the love of Apollo. (Metamorphoses, book 4).
25 Armor covering the chin and neck (Bradbury, Jim. Routledge Companion to Medieval Warfare. London: Routledge, 2004. p. 253). In this case the "bever" apparently also refers to either a visor or some other sort of face-covering armor.
26 Text obscured; "her" is suggested by the text, and it is consistent with the ninth printing (1655).
27 Cynthia is another name for the goddess Diana, referring to Diana's birth on "Cynthus Hill" on the island of Delos. Incidentally, "Cynthia" came to be used as an allegorical name for Queen Elizabeth I, used by the likes of Lyly, Raleigh, and Spenser. (Brumble).
28 A legendary, impossibly complicated knot tied by Gordias of Phrygia to secure his chariot. According to an oracle, the one to undo the knot would be ruler of Asia, and subsequently the knot was famously severed by Alexander the Great.
29 See note 5.
30 In classical mythology, Bellerophon, after being falsely accused of raping the wife of Proteus (king of Tiryns), was sent to Iobates (king of Lycia) bearing a sealed letter which contained an order to kill the bearer. (Oxford Classical Dictionary).
31 This is a reference to Ovid's version of the story of Philomela (Metamorphoses, Book 6). After she was raped by Tereus (husband of her sister Procne), Philomela's tongue was cut out. After somewhat gruesome series of events (involving a story woven into a tapestry, child-murder and cannibalism), she was ultimately turned into a nightingale. (Brumble).
32 Text obscured. "sake" is suggested by the text, and is consistent with the 1655 edition.
33 Text obscured. "Phoebus" is suggested by the text, but it is likely a mistake; the 1655 edition reads "Phoebe," which is more appropriate to this context. Phoebus is another name for Apollo, the sun god, while Phoebe is another name for Diana, the goddess of the moon (Brumble). In this case, the moon reference would make more sense.
34 The Furies are the avengers of crimes, especially crimes against society and family. (Brumble).
35 Prester John is a legendary medieval figure, said to rule an exotic Christian kingdom in the East.
36 There is nothing in the source text which clearly designates the "I" in this sentence. Presumably it refers to either Prester John (the third person speaker in the preceding passages) or the narrator (the default speaker when a first-person construction is unattributed), but each of these readings is more or less equally problematic.
37 The text reads "...put of his cloaths...". In this context, "off" makes more sense.
38 See note 3.
39 Source reads "deing."
40 A small bundle or package. (OED).
41 The Nine Worthies are a collection of cultural figures considered particularly admirable in the later middle ages. The Worthies first appeared in the early fourteenth century Les Voeux du paon of Jacques de Longuyon and quickly gained popularity. The list includes three Christians (Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godefroy de Bouillon), three Jews (Joshua, David, and Judas Maccabeus), and three pagans (Hector, Caesar, and Alexander). (New Arthurian Encyclopedia. Ed. Norris J. Lacy. New York: Garland, 1996).
42 A notable feature of the Arthurian tradition, the twelve battles of Arthur are the major victories against the Saxons first attributed to Arthur around 800 by the chronicler Nennius. The twelve battles (which include the Battle of Mount Badon) are referenced throughout literary history (Lupack, Alan. Oxford Guide to Arthurian Literature and Legend. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. pp. 472-3).
43 See note 50.
44 Juno was the wife of Jupiter, a god whose various love affairs served as fuel for Juno's famed jealousy. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, books 1 and 2. (Brumble).
45 Hercules was the son of Jupiter by Alcmene. As the product of one of Jupiter's love affairs (see note 43 above), Hercules was often the target of jealous Juno's rage. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 9. (Brumble).
46 The cockatrice is a fantastic serpent, hatched from a cock's egg, which can kill with its glance. (OED).
47 A piece of valuable cloth, often associated with mourning, particularly when worn as a hat-band, arm-band, etc. (OED).
48 Examples of immoderate lovers, both found in Ovid and others. Hero and Leander are lovers separated by the Hellespont, which Leander swims regularly so that he can embrace his love. After Leander drowns in a storm, Hero drowns herself. See Ovid, Heroides, 19. Pyramis and Thisbe are neighbors whose parents will not consent to their marriage. They communicate through a chink in the wall separating the two houses and ultimately arrange to meet in the woods. Thisbe, arriving first, is chased away by a lioness, and in her haste she drops her cloak, which the lioness then tears with bloody jaws. Pyramis sees the torn, bloody cloak, assumes Thisbe has been devoured, and kills himself out of grief. Thisbe, returning, sees the corpse of Pyramis and kills herself. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 4. (Brumble).
49 A style of tapestry (OED)
50 Hecuba is a classical figure of extreme grief. Queen of Troy at the time of the Trojan war, she witnesses the fall of her city and the deaths of her husband and children. (Brumble). In Ovid's version (Metamorphoses, Book 13) she becomes a maddened beast who barks like a dog and tears out the eyes of the king who killed her son before throwing herself into the sea.
51 This likely refers to fine silver and gold thread used in zardozi, a traditional form of Indian embroidery. There are references to coverlets embroidered with gold and silver thread in the description of Gujarat in the Travels of Marco Polo.
52 Hercules is killed by a similar poisoned garment in Ovid (Metamorphoses, book 9).
53 There is no reference to the sixth option (the dish of snakes) in the source text.
54 This could mean a dissected body or a withered or mummified form (OED), but in this case it likely refers to a skeleton--the poisoned garment consumes flesh and blood, presumably leaving only bones.
55 "Quod [said] the queen" (qd is an abbreviation).
56 "A" makes more sense than "and."
57 A large, lute-like instrument invented about 1560. (OED).
58 Apparently the Helen and Paris of the Trojan War--though it is worth noting that this particular Paris is a Trojan, not a Greek (in this phrase, however, the author may be referring to Paris as a figure drawn from Greek epic, rather than as a Greek).
59 The classical story of the rape of Lucrece by the son of a Roman king (which leads to the fall of the kings of Rome and the rise of the Roman Republic) serves here as an example of the dangers of lust. (Brumble).
60 Read "hated."
61 Text obscured. "far" is suggested by the text, and is consistent with the 1655 edition.
62 How this "vail" aids the servant is unclear; it is apparently made from an unusually buoyant form of silk.
63 Read "murtheress."
64 Roman god of the earth/underworld (Brumble)
65 A phosphorescent light floating above marshy ground; a "Will 'o the Wisp." (OED).
66 Classical personification of divine punishment, particularly against the proud. (Brumble).
67 Sculptor who falls in love with his own work, a sculpture of a woman, which then comes to life. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, book 10.
68 Vial.
69 Proserpina is the daughter of Ceres and the wife of Pluto, god of the underworld. See Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 5.
70 Appears in source text as "Fairy Kn."
71 Classical embodiment of the void, or the state of the universe before order was imposed. (Grimal).
72 In the source text, the dash falls on a line break, and the word is left incomplete. The inserted letters are consistent with the 1655 edition.
73 This seems to be a confused version of the 16th- and 17th-century proverb "Lincoln was, London is, and York shall be." Whether this variance is the product of error or editorial decision is unclear--the standard form appears in the 1631 printing, but the altered form appears in the 1655, which indicates that, if this change is the result of an error, it is an error that carried through more than one printing. The proverb itself is a bit of a mystery, and its meaning is unclear; it's earliest known appearance in the printed record is in 1588, in John Harvey's A Discoursive Probleme Concerning Prophesies, where it appears in a short list of prophetic statements but is neither attributed nor explained. Subsequent references offer little historical insight or explanation, though Thomas Fuller, in his 1662 Worthies of England, speculates thus: "that Lincoln was, namely a fairer, greater, richer city, than now it is, doth plainly appear by the ruins thereof, being without controversy the greatest city in the kingdom of Mercia. That London is, we know; that York shall be, God knows." (1840 ed., v. III, p. 461). If we follow this particular reading, then, and accept the textual variance as the product of error, it would seem that in this case (much like that of the bell in Lincoln Cathedral) the author (or editor) is creating an ahistorical myth of origins which attributes the former greatness of Lincoln to Tom and his progeny rather than the Romans.
The Most Pleasant History
That Ever Renowned Souldier
The Red-Rose Knight.

Who for his Valour and Chivalry was Sir-Named the
Shewing his Honourable Victories in Forraign Countries, with his strange Fortunes
in the Fairy Land: And how he Married the fair Anglitora, daughter to
Prester John, that Renowned Monarch of the WORLD.

Together with the lives and deaths of his two
Famous Sons the Black Knight, and the Fairy Knight:
with divers other memorable accidents full of delight.

The Twelveth Impression.

Printed by H. Brugis for W. Thackery, at the Angel in Duck-

To the Right Worshipful
Of Okenberry, in the County of Huntingdon Esq;
Health, Happinss, and Prosperity.

The general report and consideration (right Worshipful) of your exceeding courtesie, and the great friendship which my Parents have heretofore found at the hands of your renowned Father, do imbolden me to present unto your Worship these my unpolisht labours; which if you shall vouchsafe to cast a favorable glance upon, and therein find any part or parcel pleasing to your vertuous mind, I shall esteem my travel most highly Honored. The History (I present) you shall find delightful, the matter not offensive to any, only my skill in penning it very simple, and my presumption great, in presenting so rude a piece of work to so wise a Patron, which I hope your Worship will the more bear with, and account the rather to be pardonable, in that the fault proceedeth from a good meaning.

Your Worships devoted and
Poor Country-man, R.I.


How King Arthur loved the fair Angelica, the Earl of London's Daughter; and likewise of the Birth of Tom of Lincoln.

WHEN as King Arthur wore the emperial diadem of England, he ordained the order of the Round Table, and selected many worthy knights to attend his Majesty; of whole glittring renown many ancient histories do record and witness to all ensuing ages.
      This worthy prince, upon a time intending to visit the city of London, with some few number of his knights, he came and feasted with Androgius, being at that time Earl of London; whose house was not only replenished with delicate fare but graced with a number of beautiful ladies, who gave such a pleasing entertainment to King Arthur and his knights that they were ravished with pleasure, and quite forgot the sound of martial drums that had wont to summon them forth to the fields of honour. Amongst these glorious troops of London ladies, Angelica the Earl's daughter had the chiefest praise for beauty and courtly behaviour, whereby King Arthur was so intangled in the snares of love that by no means he could withdraw his affections from her divine excellence. He that before delighted to tread a weary march after Bellona's1 drums was now constrained to trace Cupid's measures in ladies chambers, and could as well strain the strings of a lover's lute as sound a soldier's alarm in the field. Her beauty, like the adamant, drew his steeled heart to lodge in the closure of her breast, and no company delighted so much the love-sick king as the presence of fair Angelica. So upon a time, as he stood looking out of his chamber window, he espyed the mistris of his soul sitting in a garden under a bower of vines, prettily picking the ripest grapes with her delicate hands, and took such pleasant pains in that maiden-like exercise, that the well-coloured blood in her face began to wax warm and cheeks to obtain such an excellent beauty that they seemed like two purple roses intermixt with hawthorn buds, whereby King Arthur grew enamored upon her and stood for a time senseless through the extream passion he took in beholding her beauty. But at last recovering his senses, he spake to her in this manner:
     "Oh most divine Angelica, thou excellent ornament of beauty, thy lovely face painted with a crimson dye, rosical cheeks surpassing snow for whiteness, thy decent neck like purest ivory, hath like a fowler's net intangled my yielding heart whereby it is for ever more imprisoned in thy breast. Oh that the golden tresses of thy dainty hair which shine like the rubies, glittering in the sun, had never twinkled before my ravisht eyes, then had my hart enjoyed his wonted liberty, and my fancy been free from lover's vain imagination." Thus, and in such like manner, complained the king unto himself, seeking by all meanes possible to exclude love's fire from his breast. But the more he strove to abandon it the more it increased, and feeling no policy might prevail but that this burning torment must of force be quenched with her celestial love, he descended from his chamber and went boldly into the garden; where takeing Angelica by the hand, as she sat upon a bed of violets which as then grew under the arbor, in this manner began to court her:
     "Fair of all fairs," said the king, "divine and beautious paragon, fair flower of London know that since my abode in thy father's house, thy beauty hath so conquered my affections, and so bereaved me of my liberty, that unless thou vouchsafe to cool my ardent desires with a willing grant of thy love, I am like to dye a languishing death, and this country England of force must lose him that hath filled her bounds with many triumphant victories. Therefore sweet Angelica, if thy heart be so obdurate that the tears of my true love may nothing molifie, yet take pitty on thy country, that through thy cruelty she lose not her wonted glory and be made unhappy by the loss of her soveraign. Thou seest, my divine Angelica, how I that have made princes stoop and kings to humble when I frown'd, do now submissively yield my high honour to thy feet, either to be made happy by thy love, or unhappy by thy hate, that in time to come children may either bless or curse thee. Of these two consider which thou wilt perform: either with cruelty to kill me, or with clemency to preserve me."
     This unexpected request of the king so amazed fair Angelica that her cheeks were stained with blushing shame, and like a bashful maiden, for a time stood silent, not knowing in what manner to answer him, considering he was the king of England and she but daughter to an earl. But at last, when fear and shame had a while strove together in her heart, she replied in this sort.
     "Most mighty King," said she, "if your entertainment in my father's house hath been honorable, seek not the foul dishonour of his daughter, nor proffer to blemish the bud of her virginity with the least thought of your unchast desires, the loss of which sweet gem is a torment to my soule more worse than death. Consider with your self, most worthy Prince, the black scandal that it may bring unto your name and honor, having a queen a most vertuous and loyal princess. Think upon the stain of your marriage-bed, the wrongs of your wedded peer, and lasting infamy of your own glory, for this I vow: before I will yield the conquest of my virginity to the spoil of such unchast desires, I will suffer more torments then man's heart can imagine. Therefore, most mighty Soverain, cease your unreverend suit, for I will not lose that matchless jewel for all the treasure the large ocean contains." And in speaking these words she departed thence and left the love-sick king in the arbour, complaining to the empty air, where, after he had numbred many determinations together, this he purposed: never to cease his suit, till he had gained what his soul so much desiered. For continually at the break of day, would he always send to her chamber window the sweetest musick that could be devised thinking thereby to obtain her love. Many times would he solicite her with rich gifts and large promises rather befitting an empress then the daughter of an earl, proffering such kindness that if she had a heart of iron, yet could she not chuse but relent and requite his courtesies--for what is it that time will not accomplish, having the hand of a king set thereunto?
     Twelve weary days King Arthur spent in wooing of Angelica before he could obtain his heart's happiness and his soul's content--at the end of which time she was pliant to his will. But now their secret meaning requiered a policy to keep their privy loves both from King Arthur's queen and from old Androgius, Angelica's father. And that their secret joys might long time continue without mistrust of any party whatsoever, this device they contrive: that Angelica should desire liberty of her father, to spend the remain of her life in the service of Diana,2 like one that abandoned all earthly vanity, harbouring true chastity and religious life. So with a demure countenance and a sober grace, she went unto her father, and obtained such leave at his hands that he willingly condescended that she should live as professed nun in a monastery that the king before time had builded in the city of Lincoln, and so furnished her forth with such necessaries as her state required. He gave her his blessing, and so commitied her to Diana's service.
     But now Angelica was no sooner placed in the monastery, and chosen a sister of that fellowship, but King Arthur many times visited her in so secret a manner, and so disguisedly, that no man suspected their pleasant meetings. But so long tasted they joys of love that in the end the nun grew great-bellied, and poor King Arthur's quittance3 sealed in her womb, and at the end of forty weeks was delivered; where, in the presence of the midwife, and one more, whom the king largly recompenced for their secrecy, she was made mother of a goodly son, whom King Arthur caused to be wrapped in a mantle of green silk, tying a purse of gold about his neck, and caused the midwife to bear it into the field, and so lay it at a shepherd's gate, near adjoining the city, in hope the old man would foster it as his own--by which means his Angelica's dishonour might be kept secret from the world, and his own disgrace from the murmuring report of the vulgar people.
     This his commandment was so speedily performed by the midwife that the very next morning she stole that young infant from his mother's keeping and bore it secretly to the place appointed, there laying it down upon a turf of green grasse. It seemed prettily to smile, turning his christial4 eyes up towards the elements. This being done, the midwife withdrew herself some little distance from that place and hid herself closely behind a well grown oak, diligently marking what should betide the comfortless infant. But long she had not there remained, but there flocked such a number of little birds about the young harmlesse babe, and made such a chirping melody, that it fell into a silent slumber and slept as sweetly as though it had been laid in a bed of softest silk. By this time, the golden sun began to glitter on the mountain top, at which time old Antonio approached out of his gate with a cheerful countenance whose beard was white as polished silver. This bony shepherd no sooner espyed Angelica's sweet babe lying upon the hillock, but immediately he took it up and viewing it circumspectly every part of the rich vestments wherein it was wrapped, at last found out the purse of gold which the king had tyed unto the child's neck. Whereat the shepherd so exceedingly rejoyced, that for the time he stood as a man ravished with pleasure, and was not able to remove from the place where he stood. But yet at the last, thinking with himself that Heaven had sent him that good fortune, not only giving him riches but withal a son to be a comfort to him in his latter years: so bearing it in to his old wife, and withal the purse of gold, and the rich mantle, with the other things, who at the sight thereof was as highly pleased as her husband, when he found it first. So being both agreed to foster and bring it up as their own; incontinently they caused it to be christned and called by the name of Tom a Lincoln, a name most fitting for it, in that they knew not who were his true parents.
     But now we speak again of the midwife, that after she had beheld how kindly old Antonio received the young infant she returned back unto Angelica's chamber, whom she found bitterly lamenting the loss of her tender babe, thinking that some fayry nimph had stoln it away. But such was the kind comfort which the smooth-tongued midwife gave her in that extremity, whereby her sorrow seemed the less and her mistrustful fear exchanged into smiling hope. Yet neither would the king nor the midwife, at any time whatsoever, make known unto her what was become of her little son, but driving her off with delays and fond excuses, lest having intelligence of his abode she should go to visit him and so discover their love's practises.
     Thus lived the most fair Angelica many days in great grief, wishing his return and desiring Heaven that the Destinies5 might be so favourable that once again, before the fatal sisters had finished her life, she might behold her infant's face, for whose presence her soul thirsted.
     Here we will leave the solitary lady comfortless and without company (except it were the king, that sometimes visited her by stealth), and report what hapned to Tom a Lincoln in the shepherd's house.


Of the manner of Tom a Lincoln's bringing up, and how he first came to be called the Red-Rose Knight, with other things that hapned to him.

Great was the wealth that old Antonio gathered together by means of the treasure he found about the infant's attire (whereby he became the richest in all that country, and purchased lands and livings) that his supposed son was deemed a fit match for a knight's daughter. Yet for all this, his bringing up was but mean, and in a homely sort, for after he had passed ten years of his age he was set to keep Antonio's sheep, and to follow husbandry--whereby he grew strong and hardy, yet notwithstanding was of honest and vertuous conditions, well-featured, valiant, active, quick and nimble, sharp-witted, and of a ripe judgement. He was valiant, and of invincible courage, so that it seemed he was vowed to Mars6 and martial exploits. For though he obscurely lived in a country cottage, yet had he a superior mind, aiming at state and majesty, bearing in his breast the princely thoughts of his father. For on a time keeping cattel in the field among other young men of his age and condition, he was chosen by them for their lord, or knight, and they to attend on him like dutiful servants. And although this their election was but in play, yet he whose spirits were ravished with great and high matters, first procured them to swear to him loyalty in all things, and to obey him as a king, where or when it should please him in any matter to command them, to which they all most willing condescended. Thus after they had solemnly taken their oaths, he persuaded them to leave that base and servile kind of life, seeking to serve in war and to follow him being their general. The which through persuasion they did, and so leaving their cattel to their fathers and masters, they assembled all together, to the full number of a hundred at the least, unto whom he gave red roses to be worn for colours in their hats, and commanded them ever after he should be called the Red-Rose Knight. So departed he with his followers unto Barnsdale Heath,7 where they pitched up tents and lived a long time upon the robberies and spoyls of passengers, insomuch that the whole country was molested by them.
This disordered life so highly displeased the parents of these unruly outlaws that many of them dyed with grief, but especially of all other, old Antonio took it in ill part, considering how dearly he loved him, and how tenderly he had brought him up from his infancy. Therefore he purposed to practice a means to call him from that uncivil kind of life, if it might possible be brought to pass. So in his old days undertaking this task, he travelled towards Barndale Heath, into which being no sooner entred but some of the ruder sort of these outlaws seized upon the old man, and without any further violence brought him before their lord and captain, who at the first sight knew him to be his father (as he thought) and therefore used him most kindly, giving him the best entertainment that he could devise. Where, after they had some small time conferred together, the good old man brake out into these speeches.
     "Oh thou degenerate," quoth he, "from nature's kind; is this thy duty to thy father's age, thus disobediently to live, wounding thy natural country with unlawful spoyles? Is this the comfort of mine age? is this thy love unto thy parents, whose tender care hath been ever to advance thy estate? Canst though behold these milk-white hairs of mine to be rent and torn, which I have violently martyred in thy absence? Canst thou indure to see my dimn eyes, almost sightless through age, to drop down tears at thy disobedient feet? Oh! wherefore hast thou infringed the laws of nature, thus cruelly to kill thy father's heart with grief and to end his days by thy vicious life? Return, return dear Child, banish from thy breast these base actions, that I may say I have a virtuous son, and be not like the viperous brood that works the untimely death of their parents." And speaking these words, grief so exceeded the bounds of reason that he stood silent, and beginning again to speak, tears trickled from his eyes in such abundance that they stayed the passage of his speech, the which being perceived by the Red-Rose Knight, he humbly fell upon his knees, and in this sort spake unto good Antonio.
     "My dear and reverend father, if my offence do seem odious in your eyes, that I deserve no forgiveness, then here behold now your poor inglorious son laying his breast open, ready to receive death's remorseless stroke from your aged hands, as a due punishment for this my disobedient crime: but to be reclaimed from this honourable kind of life--I count it honourable, because it tasteth of man-hood--first shall the sun bring day from out of the western heavens, and the silver moon lodge her brightness in the eastern waves, and all things else against both kind and nature turn their wonted course."
     "Well then," quoth Antonio, "if thy resolution be such, that neither my bitter tears nor my fair intreaties may prevail to withdraw thy vain folly, then know--thou most ungracious impe-- that thou art no son of mine, but sprung from the bowels of some untamed tyger or wild lioness, else wouldest thou humbly submit thy self to my reverent perswasions. From whence thou camest I know not, but sure thy breast harbours the tyranny of some monstrous tyrant from whose loyns thou art naturally descended. Thou art no fruit of my body, for I found thee in thy infancy lying in the fields, cast out as a prey for ravening fowles, ready to be devoured by hunger-starved dogs. But such was my pitty towards thee that I took thee up, and ever since have fostered thee as mine own child. But now such is thy unbridled folly that my kind courtesie is requited with extream ingratitude, which sin, above all others, the immortal powers of Heaven do condemn and the very devils themselves do hate. Therefore, like a serpent, henceforth will I spit at thee, and never cease to make incessant prayers to the justiful heavens to revenge this, thy monstrous diobedience."
     These words being ended, he gave such an extream sigh that his very heart broke with grief, and he immediately died in the presence of the Red-Rose Knight, for whose death he made more sorrowful lamentation, then Niobe8 did for her seven sons. But in recompense of old Antonio's kind love, that preserv'd his infancy from the fury of the ravenous fowls, he intombed him most stately in the city of Lincoln, whose body he sent thither by certain passengers whom he had taken, and withal a thousand pounds in treasures to be bestowed upon a great bell to be rung at his funeral--which bell he caused to be called Tom a Lincoln,9 after his own name, where to this day it remaineth in the same city. These passengers (being as then rich merchants of London), having received the dead body of old Antonio, and withal the treasure, went with all speed unto Lincoln, and performed there every thing as the Red-Rose Knight had appointed.
     The death of this good old man not only caused a general sorrow through the city, but strook such an extream grief to old Antonio's wife that she within few days yielded her life to the remorseless stroke of the frowning Destinies, and was buried in the same grave where her husband was intombed--whose deaths we will now leave to be mourned by their dearest friends, and likewise for brevities sake pass over many stratagems which were accomplished by the Red-Rose Knight and his followers upon Barnsdale Heath, and return to King Arthur and his knights, flourishing in the English court.


Of the conquest of Portugal by the Red-Rose Knight, and how he was the first that ever triumphed in the city of London.

The report of Tom a Lincoln's practices grew so general amongst the vulgar sort of people that at last it came to King Arthur's ears, who imagined in his princely mind that he was sprung of his blood, and that he carried lofty thoughts of honour planted in his breast (though shrouded under a country life). He purposed to make him resident in court with him, that he might daily see his sparks of honour shew their resplendent brightness, yet in such obscurity that he should not know the smallest motion of his parentage. Therefore he called three of his approved knights--namely Lancelot du Lake, Sir Tristram, and Sir Triamore--and gave them in charge, if it were possible, to fetch the Red-Rose Knight unto his court, of whose adventurous exploits he hath heard so many times reported. And withal he gave them general pardon, sealed with his privy seal, for him and all his lawless followers.
     This commission being received by the three worthy knights, they with all speed armed themselves in rich corselets10 and strong habiliments of war, and so rode towards Barnsdale Heath, where being no sooner come and delivered their message from the king, but the Red-Rose Knight gave them an honourable welcome and for three days most royally feasted them under large canvas tents, wherein they slept as securely as if they had been in King Arthur's court or in a strong castle of war.
     After this, Tom a Lincoln selected out an hundred of his resolute followers (such as he liked of), and came with Sir Lancelot and the rest of the English court, where King Arthur not only gave him a friendly entertainment but also installed him one of the Knights of the Round Table, and withal proclaimed a solemn turnament that should be holden in the honour of this new made knight. To which turnament assembled from other countries many princes, barons, and knights of high honour, which behaved themselves most nobly and won great commendations of every beholder--but especially the Red-Rose Knight, who for that day stood as champion against all commers. In that turnament, or first days deed of his knighthood, where only by his valour and prowess he overthrew three kings and thirty other knights, whereby he obtained such grace in the English court that he had by the king a pair of golden spurs put upon his feet, and was accounted one of the bravest knights that lived in the whole world.11
     But now mark how frowning Fortune12 ended their triumphs with unlucky news, for the same day, before the knights unbuckled their armours, there arrived a messenger who certified King Arthur how his embassador was unjustly put to death in the Portugale court--for whose death King Arthur grew so inraged that he swore by the honour of his bright renown and by the golden spur of true knighthood, the Portugales should repent that inhumane violence with the death of many thousand guiltless souls, and that babes unborn should have cause to curse the first contriver of that unjust murder. Therefore with all speed he mustred up a mighty army of souldiers and appointed the Red-Rose Knight as chief general over the army mustred for Portugale. In which service he accomplished so many famous exploits, that he was for ever after sir-named "The Boast of England." For he so circumspectly ordered his Captains that in his camp was never any brawle or mutiny. He was very courteous and liberal, doing honour to all men according to their deserts. And (to be brief) his camp resembled one of the greatest cities in the world, for all kind of officers were there found in order, and also a great number of merchants to furnish it with all manner of necessaries. He in no case permitted any robberies, private fighting, force, or violence, but with severity punished those that were therein found guilty. His desire was that his souldiers should glory in nothing so much as in martial prowesse, vertue and wisdom. He evermore gave them their pay without either fraud or deceit, by which means his fame and honour grew so renowned that his army daily increased more and more13--for when he first arrived upon the confines of Portugal, his camp grew to be as great as ever was Cesar's when he conquered the western world. So fortunate were his proceedings that he made a great part of the provinces of Portugal desolate, as the Portugal King had gathered together a marvellous number of souldiers, both old and of much experience (by reason of the continual wars that they had with the Turkish nation, adjoyning near unto them). But when the Portugal King had set his army in a readiness and so marched forward to meet the Red-Rose Knight and his warlike followers--which at that time had pitched his camp in a large champion plain, adjoyning neer unto the city of Lisbourn--whereas both these armies met, and setting them in order (as it became good captains) there they began in the break of the day the most cruel and terriblest that ever was heard of, or fought in that age.
     In great danger continued this fight till the sun began to set, with marvellous slaughter on both sides--yet remained the victory doubtful, declining neither to the Portugals nor yet to the English. But at last, though long, the Portugals began to faint and flie, more indeed oppressed with the multitude then for any fear they received in the battel, for the most part of them dyed manfully in the field, some taken prisoners, and the rest fled for their better safety. But now the Portugal King, perceiving his souldiers begin to flie, with courage he sought to withdraw them from flight, resisted in person valiantly the furious rage of the enemy. But in that enterprise he gained such and so many knocks that at last he was unhorsed, and for want of rescue was forced to yeild himself as prisoner, whereat the whole army of the Portugals were discomfited and the victory fell to the Englishmen. The which being obtained, the Red-Rose Knight with his army entred into the city of Lisborn, where the common souldiers were inriched with wealthy spoils and the king's palace ransacked by the Red-Rose Knight: where he took such prisoners as him best liked, and the rest (like an honourable souldier) he set at liberty, commanding that no violence should be proffered any way.
     After this, setting his army in readiness, he marched towards England, where after some few days travel he arrived with all his host in the western part of Devonshire, and marching towards London--where against his coming the citizens (with the inhabitants of other villages near adjoyning) were that day seen in their most sumptuous and rich attire; every one of them endeavouring to place himself in some gallery or window, that the better and with more ease they might behold the triumphant return of the Red-Rose Knight. All the churches in London were on every side set open, hanged round about with most costly furniture. The streets were also most gorgeously beset with green boughs and strowed with perfumes of no small value, and for the infinite multitude of people that were seen in the city, there were appointed a hundred whifflers,14 most richly attired, to keep the streets plain and open, whereby the triumphs might have the easier passage.
The first day hardly sufficed in good order to bring in the banners, standards, and ensignes of the conqueror; the golden images; and tables of price, which were all brought in on carts very curiously painted and trimmed.
     On the second day came in the armour of the conquered king, as also of all the other Portugal lords. After these, entred three thousand men in order bearing nothing but money openly to be seen--and that in huge platters of vessels of silver, of which were three hundred and fifty in number, and four of our men allotted to every vessel. The other brought in most artificial15 tapestry works beautified with gold and silver. And thus was the second day's triumph ended in most pompous solemnity.
     Upon the third day an infinite number of flutes, drums, and trumpets, with other like martial and warlike instruments, sounding not after a most pleasant and sweet manner, but in most terrible sort as it was possible to be done, even in such order as they do when they presently join battel. And after them came and hundred and twenty kine,16 all white, having their horns curiously guilded with gold, their bodies covered with vails (which they accounted most sacred and holy), bearing also garlands of flowers upon their heads, driven by certain young gentlemen, no less well-favoured then gorgeously attired. After these followed the coach of the conquered king of Portugal, with his own armour laid thereon, openly to be seen of all men. His crown and royal scepter was laid in seemly order upon his armour. After his coach came all the multitude and train of prisoners on foot, and after them followed a great troop of his sevants and officers, as masters of his houshould, secretaries, ushers, controllers, chamberlains, with other gentlemen of court, all in a most sorrowful manner, seeing themselves brought into such extremity and servitude, that they moved to compassion all such as beheld them. Of the king's children, there were two boys and one girl, of age so young and tender that they had small understanding of their misfortune and misery.
     After these followed one which carried certain precious stones that had been presented to the Red-Rose Knight from some ancient cities in Portugal, who immediately followed in person triumphantly in his ivory chariot, apparelled in vestures of purple tissue, having a lawrel bough in his hand and a crown of the same upon his head. After him followed his own souldiers, both footmen and horsemen all marching in most decent order, armed with rich furniture, holding also each of them a laurel-bough in his hand, their endsigns and banners souldier-like, being displayed, sounding martial melody, in honour of their triumphant captain, with many other like presidents most royal and magnificent.
     Thus in this gallant order marched they unto the king's chappel, where in the presence of the king and his lords, which came to honour and grace their triumphs, they gave thanks to God for their successful victory; and after solemn service was ended, they departed to King Arthur's court, where everyone (as well strangers as others) were most royally feasted.
     The Portugal King, seeing his kind entertainment in the English court, where he was used more like a friend then an enemy, had small care to return home, but frolicked many a day amongst the English lords. But so great were the courtesies that the noble King Arthur bestowed upon the Portugals, requited them liberally with honour, and not only sent them home ransomless, but promised to lend them aid and succour from England, if occasion required. So bearing them company to the seaside, he most friendly committed them to the mercy of the winds and waves, which were so favourable that in short time they arrived safe in their own country, where many a day after they remembered the honourable kindness of the Englishmen, and caused the chronicles of Portugal to record the renown of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.


How the Red-Rose Knight travelled from the king of England's court, and how he arrived in the Fairy-land, where he was entertained by a maiden queen; and what hapned to him in the same country.

Now after the Portugals were thus conquered and sent home with great honour, the English king and his lords rested themselves many a day in the bowers of peace, leaving their armour rusting and their pampered steeds standing in their stables, forgetting their usual manner of wrathful war--which idle ease greatly discontented the magnanimous Red-Rose Knight, who thought it a stain to his passed glory and a scandal to his princely mind to entertain such base thoughts. And considering with himself how ignorant he was of his parents, and from whence he was descended he could not imagine, therefore he purposed to begin a new enterprise, and to travel up and down the world till he had either found his father and mother or else yielded his life to nature's course in that pretended journey. So going to the king (full little thinking that he was sprung from so noble a stock), craving at his grace's hands to grant him liberty for to try his knighthood in forreign countries, whereas yet did never Englishman make his adventure and so to eternize his name to all posterity, rather then to spend his life in such home-bred practices.
     To this his honourable request, the king (though loath to forgo his company) he gave him leave and furnished him a ship at his own proper cost and charge, giving free licence to all knights whatsoever to bear him company--among which number, Sir Lancelot du Lake was the chiefest that proffered himself to that voyage, who professed such love to the Red-Rose Knight that they plighed their faiths like sworn brothers, and to live and dye together in all extremities.
     So these two English knights, with the number of a hundred more--all resolute gentlemen--took leave of the king, and with all speed went on ship-board; wherein being no sooner entred, but the pilot hoisted sail, and disanchored, and so committed their lives and fortunes to the pleasure of Neptune's17 mercy, and the winds so violently troubled the swelling waves that every minute they were in danger to end their lives in the bottom of the seas.
     Three months the wind and the water strove together for supremacy, during which time they saw no land but were driven up and down to whatever place the ever-changing Destinies listed. So at last they sailed beyond the sun, directed only by the light of the stars, not knowing which way to travel towards land--but in such extremity for want of victual that they were forced to land at a certain island in the western parts of the world, inhabited only by women. Where being no sooner on land, and giving God Almighty thanks for delivering them from that mortal peril which they had now past, but the Red-Rose Knight, casting up his eyes towards the higher parts of the country, espyed more than two thousand women coming forth of a city gate, all most richly armed with breastplates of silver, marching in trim array, like an army of well-approved souldiers. The which number coming neer to the sea-tide, they sent two of their damsels as messengers to the English knights, willing them as they loved their lives, presently to retire again back to the seas, for that was no country for their abode. But when the couragious and valiant Red-Rose Knight of England had understood and heard the bold message of the two damsels he was abashed, considering the number of armed women he saw before him and the great danger he had suffered before on the sea for want of victuals and other necessaries, that he knew not in what manner he was best to answer them. But having a good courage, and would not be daunted by a woman, he at last turned them this answer and spake to the two damsels in this sort:
     "Right noble ladies, I have well understood your speeches. Therefore I desire you to shew such favour unto wandering travellers as to tell us what country Fortune hath brought us to, and for what cause we are commanded by you to return to the sea."
     "Surely Sir Knight," answered one of the damsels, "this country whereon you are arrived, it is not very big, but yet most fertile and commodious, and it is called by the name of the Fairy Land. And now to shew you the cause why you are commanded to return, this it is: not many years ago there reigned in this country a king which had to name Larmos, for wisdom and prowess not his equal to be found in any of these parts of the world. This king had such continual war with the bordering islanders, that upon a time he was constrained to muster for the same war all the men, both old and young, which were found in his kingdom--whereby the whole country was left destitute of men, to the great discontentment of the ladies and damsels that there inhabited. Whereupon finding themselves together, with the daughter of King Larmos, which is called Celia--no less in beauty then in vertue and wisdom--these ladies and damsels, being gathered together, with a general consent dispatched certain messengers to the king and to their husbands, willing them to return unto their country and not to leave their wives and children in such extremity, without the comfort or company of man. Upon which the king answered that he had besieged his enemies in their towns of war, and before one man should return home till he came with conquest, his country should be lost and made desolate, and the women given over to the spoil of his enemies. Which answer when the ladies had received, they took it in evil part, that they conspired against their king and husbands, and put to death all the men children that were in the country, and after determined, when their husbands, fathers and friends returned from war, that they should the first night of their coming be slain sleeping in their beds, and that never after they should suffer man to enter into their country. After this conclusion, they crowned Celia the king's daughter for their queen. And so afterwards, when the king and his army returned from the wars, this bloody murder practised and not a man left alive, but only the king reserved, whom Celia would by no means against nature murther, but yet notwithstanding, she delivered him into the hands of her chiefest ladies, which put him into a boat, and so sent him to the sea to seek his fortune. Therefore, most noble Knight, this is the cause why you may not enter into our country, which if you do, and not presently withdraw yourselves unto the sea, the ladies will suddenly give you a marvellous battel."18
      "Now by the ever-living God which Englishmen adore," said the noble Red-Rose Knight, "such extremity have we suffered at sea that we are all like to perish and dye with hunger, unless we find some succour at your hands, and before we will end our lives with famine we will enter battel with those ladies and so dye with honour in the field. Yet this kindness we do humbly desire at your hands: to return unto your queen, and certifie her of our poor estate and necessity, and that we altogether instantly desire her, that if there be any spark of vertue or nobility harboured in her breast, tha[t] she will have pitty upon us and suffer us not to end our lives by such an unhappy kind of death."
     With this request the two ladies returned to the queen, and recounted word to word the humble suit of the Red-Rose Knight, and what extremity they were in; which when the queen understood that they were knights of England, she demanded what manner of people they were, and of what condition. "Surely, Madam," answered on of the two damsels, "I never in all my life saw more goodly men, nor better spoken, and it is to be supposed they be the choice of all humane people, and with courteous demeanours are able to draw the merciless and savage nation to affect them."
     The queen, hearing the damsels so highly commend the English knights, thinking also upon their request, began (in mind) to have pitty upon their misadventures, and so instantly sent for them, and gave them free liberty to make their abode in her country. So coming before the queen and her ladies, they saluted each other most courteously, and with great reverence. But when the vertuous queen beheld this noble company before her, she delivered to a hundred of her ladies the hundred English knights, and reserved the princely Red-Rose Knight unto her self--and so were they brought to the queen's palace, where every lady treated her knight in most gallant sort and to their hearts' content. But now when the queen had the Red-Rose Knight in her chamber, and had beheld the exceeding beauty of the noble prince, she took him by the hand and led him into one of her chambers, where she shewed him her riches and treasure and spake unto him in this manner.
     "Most noble and valiant Englishman, these riches be all at thy commandment, and also my body, which here I offer up as a gift and present to thy divine excellency--and furthermore, there is nothing of value which I am mistriss of but shall be at thy disposing to the intent that my love may be acceptable to thy gracious eyes." But when the Red-Rose Knight perceived to what intent she spake these words, in this manner answered her, saying:
     "Most dear Princess, and fair Queen of this maiden country, I give you right humble thanks for these your courtesies, and by no means possible may I deserve this high honour you have graced me with."
     "Oh great Knight," replyed then the queen, "the smallest thought of your honourable mind is sufficient to recompence the uttermost of my deserts--yet let me request this one thing at your noble hands that never asked the like favour of any one before: for she that never knew the least motion of love is now pricked with a hundred torments, and unless you quench the ardent affection wherewith my heart is fired with pleasant hopes of some comfortable smiles I am like to dye desperate, and then the world will accuse you of cruelty in murdering a constant lady. But if it shall please you to grant me love, and to espouse me according to Hymen's holy rites,19 here shall you rule sole king, and be lord of all this country."
"My right dear Lady," answered then the Red-Rose Knight, "you have done such pleasure to me, and my distressed followers, in preserving us from famine, as I shall never requite it, though I should spend all the rest of my life in your service. And know there is no adventure so dangerous, yet at your command would I practice to accomplish it. Yet for to tye myself in wedlock's bonds, there is no woman in the20 world shall procure me--for until I have finished my adventure which in my heart I have vowed, I will not link my affection to any lady in the world. But think not, Madam, that I refuse your love through disdain, for I swear, by the dignity King Arthur grac'd me with, I should think my self most fortunate if I had so fair and noble a lady as your divine self."
     "Most worthy Knight," then answered the queen, "I imagine that the gods hath sent you into this country for two causes principally: the first is that you and your followers should be preserved from death by my means; the second is that you should inhabit in this country, lest it should in a short time be left as a desert wilderness, for it is inhabited only by women, without a king, and have no other governour but me, which am their chief princess. And for so much as I have succoured you, so succour you this desolate city, that it may be repeopled with your seed--and in so doing you shall accomplish a vertuous deed, and win to your names an eternal memory to all ensuing ages."
     "I confess," quoth the Red-Rose Knight, "that you and your ladies have succoured me and my followers in our great necessity, and in recompense whereof we will employ all our endeavors to the repeopling again of this country. But in regard of the secret vow my heart hath made, I will not yield myself to your desires, for if I should infringe my oath mine honour were greatly impaired; and before I would commit that dishonourable fact, I would suffer the greatest torment that man's heart can imagine."
     Incontinently, when the love-sick queen heard this answer of the English knight, and perceived that he was firm in his purpose, she took leave of him and departed for that time. The Red-Rose Knight likewise withdrew himself into his chamber, pondring in his mind a thousand imaginations. But she for her part was so troubled in mind and so wounded with the darts of blind Cupid21 that, when the misty darkness of the night had covered the earth, she laid her down upon her bed, where betwixt shame and her heart began a terrible battel--her heart was encouraged that she should go and lye with him, but shame began to blush and withstood that perswasion. But at last the heart was conqueror, and shame vanquished and put to flight in such sort that the fair queen arose from her bed and went and laid her down by her beloved knight where he slept. And being in bed, she began fearfully to tremble, for shame still followed her unlawful practises. Where after her quivering heart began a little to be qualified, with her trembling hand she awaked him, and after spake in this manner:
     "My most dear and affectionate friend: though like a careless wretch I come unto thee apparelled with shame, yet let my true love colour this my infamous presumption, for your princely person and kingly demeanours, like adamants,22 have drawn my steeled heart to commit this shameful act. Yet let not my fervent affection be requited with disdain, and although you will not consent to be my wedded lord and husband, yet let me be thy love and secret friend, that a poor distressed queen may think herself happy in an Englishman's love."
     When the noble knight heard the fair Celia's voice and felt her by his side all naked, he was sore abashed that he wist not what to do. But yet at last, having the nature and courage of a man, he turned to her, using many amorous speches, embracing and kissing each other in such manner, that fair Celia was conceived with child, and waxed great of a right fair son, of whom she was in processe of time safely delivered, as you shall hear discoursed of at large in the following history.
      But to be short: during the space of four months, the fairy ladies lay with the English knights, and many of them were conceived with their seed, in such sort that the countrey was afterward re-peopled with male children, and what hapned to them in the mean season I will pass over for this time, for the days and nights that he and the rest pass on their course. In which time their ship was replenished with all necessaries, and the Red-Rose Knight summoned together Sir Lancelot and the rest, and being assembled he said unto them:
      "My good friends and countreymen, you know that long time we have sojourned in this country, spending our days in idle pastimes, to the reproach of our former glories. Now my intent is, within these three days, to depart this countrey. Therefore let every man make himself in readiness, for there is no greater dishonour to adventurous knights then to spend their days in ladies' bosoms."
      When Sir Lancelot and the other English gentlemen heard the forward disposition of the Red-Rose Knight, they were exceeding joyful and answered him, that with great willingnesse they would all be ready at the time appointed.
      But now when the fairy ladies perceived the preparations that the English knights made for their departure, they grew exceeding sorrowful and so complained one to another in a most grevious manner. But amongst the rest, the queen was most displeased, who with a sorrowful and sad heart came unto the Red-Rose Knight, and in this manner complained to him:
      "Alas, alas my dear lord, have you that tyrannous heart, to withdraw yourself from me, and forsake me before you see the fruit of your noble person, which is nourished with my blood? Dear Knight, behold with pitty my womb, the chamber and mansion of your blood. Oh let that be a means to stay you--that my child as yet unborn be not fatherless by your departure." And in speaking these words, she began to weep and sigh bitterly, and after to whisper secretly to herself in this order:
      "O ye immortal heavens! How may mine eyes behold the departure of my joy? For being gone, all comfort in the world will forsake me and all consolation flie from me; and contrariwise, all sorrow will pursue me and all misfortune come against me. O what a sorrow will it be to my soul to see thee floating on the dangerous seas, where every minute perils do arise ready to whelm thee in the bottomless ocean. And being once exempted thy sight, my heart for evermore will lie in the bed of tribulation, under the coverture of mortal distress, and between the sheets of eternal bewailings. Yet if there be no remedy but that thou wilt needs depart, swear unto me that if thou dost accomplish thy pretended voyage--what it is I know not--that thou wilt return again to this country to tell me of thy happy fortunes, and that mine eyes may once more behold thy lovely countenance, which is as delectable to my soul as the joys of paradise."
      When the noble English knight understood that the queen condescended to his departure upon condition of his return, to which he solemnly protested, if the gods gave him life and good fortune, to perform her request. Whereby the Fairy Queen was somewhat recomforted, and having great hope of the return of her dear love, she ceased her lamentations. And now to abridge the story: the time came that the valiant Englishmen should go on ship-board, upon which day the Red-Rose Knight and his followers took leave of the noble queen and her ladies, thanking them for their kind entertainments, and so went to the port of the sea, where they entred their ships, and so departed from the fairy land. After this, when Celia had born her babe in her womb full forty weeks, she was delivered of a fair son who came afterwards to be called the Fairy Knight (which for this time we will not touch, but refer it to the second part of this history).


What happened to the English knights after their departure from the Fairy Land.

With a prosperous wind sailed these English knights many a league from the Fairy Land, to their great content and hearts desire. So upon a day when the sun shone clear and a gentle calm wind caused the seas to lye as smooth as christial ice, the Red-Rose Knight requested Sir Lancelot to drive away the time with some courtly discourse, whereby they might not think their voyage over-long. Therefore requesting the Red-Rose Knight and the other English gentlemen to sit down and listen to the tale that followeth.

The pleasant history that Sir Lancelot du Lake told to the Red-Rose Knight,
being on ship-board.

      At that time of the year, when the birds had nipt away the tawny leaves, and Flora23 with her pleasant flowers had inriched the earth and incloathed trees, herbs, and flowers with nature's tapestry, when the golden sun with his glittering beams did glad men's hearts, and every leaf, as it were, did bear the form of love by nature painted upon it: this blessed time did cause the Grecian Emperour to proclaim a solemn turnament to be holden in his court, which as then was replenished with many worthy and valiant knights--but his desire chiefly was to behold his princely son Valentine, to try his valour in the turnament.
      Many were the ladies that repaired thither, to behold the worthy triumphs of the young prince--amongst which number came the beautiful Dulcippa, a maiden which as then waited upon the empress, being daughter to a country gentleman. This Dulcippa, like Apollo's flower,24 being the fairest virgin in that company, had so firmly settled her love on the emperor's son that it was impossible to expel it from her heart. Likewise his affection was no less in fervency then hers, so that there was a just equality in their loves and liking, though a difference in their births and callings.
      This princely Valentine (for so was the emperor's son called) entred the lists in costly armour, most richly wrought with Orient pearls, his crest incompassed with sapphire stones, and in his hand a sturdy launce. Thus mounted on a milk-white steed, he vaunted for himself to try his war-like force, and in prauncing up and down he many times (thorow his bever)25 stole a view of his fair Dulcippa's face--at which time there kindled in his breast two sundry lamps: the one was to win the honour of the day; the other to obtain the love of his mistriss. On the other side, Dulcippa did nothing but report the valiant acts of his prowess and chivalry, in such sort that there was no other talk amongst the ladies but of Valentine's honourable attempts.
      No sooner was the turnaments ended, and his love begun, but Dulcippa departed to her lodging, where sighs did serve as bellows to kindle love's fire. Valentine in like manner being wounded to death, still roamed up and down to find a salve for his stanchless thirst. So seeks Dulcippa to restore herself to her former liberty, for she, being both beloved and in love, knew not the means to comfort herself. Sometimes she did exclaim against her wandring eyes, and wished they had been blind when first they gazed upon the beauty of princely Valentine. Sometimes in visions she beheld his face chearful, smiling upon her countenance, and presently again she thought she saw his martial hands bathed all in purple blood, scorning her love and former courtesies. With that, she started from [her]26 dreaming passion, wringing her tender hands till floods of silver dropping tears trickled down her face, her golden hairs that had wont to be bound up in threads of gold hung dangling down about her ivory neck; the which in most outrageous sort she rent and tore, till that her hair, which before look'd like burnished gold, was dyed now in purple and vermillion blood. In this strange passion remained this distressed lady till the golden sun had three times lodged in the western seas, and the silver moon her shining face in the palace of the christal clouds. At this time, a heavy slumber possessed all her senses, for she, whose eyes before in three days and as many nights had not shut up their closets, was now locked up in silent sleep, lest her heart, over-burthened with grief, by some untimely manner should destroy itself.
      But now return we to the worthy Valentine, who sought not to pine in passion, but to court it with the best, considering with himself that a faint heart never gained a fair lady. Therefore, he purposed boldly to discover his love unto the fair Dulcippa, building upon a fortunate success, considering that she was but daughter to a gentleman, and he a prince born. So attireing himself in costly silks, wearing in his hat an Indian pearle cut out of ruby red, on either side a golden arrow thrust through a bleeding heart to declare his earnest affection. In this manner he went to his beloved lady, who taking her by the hand, he led her aside into a gallery near adjoyning, where he began in this manner to express the passion of his love:
      "Sacred Dulcippa," quoth he, "in beauty brighter than glistering Cinthia,27 when with her beams she beautifies the vale of Heaven: thou art that Cinthia, that with thy brightness dost light my cloudy thoughts, which have many days been over-cast with stormy showers of love. Shine with thy beams of mercy on my mind, and let thy light conduct me from the obscure labyrinth of love. If tears could speak, then should my tongue keep silence: therefore let my sighs be messengers of true love. And though in words I am not able to deliver the true meaning of my desires, yet let my cause beg pitty at your hands--otherwise, your denial drowns my soul in a bottomless sea of sorrow. One of these two, most beauteous lady, do I desire: to give life with a cheerful smile, or death with a fatal frown."
      Valentine having no sooner ended his love's oration, but she with a scarlet countenance returned him this joyful answer:
      "Most noble Prince, thy words within my heart have knit a Gordian knot28 which no earthly wight may unty, for it is knit with faithful love and tears distilling from a constant mind. My heart, which never yet was subject to anyone, I freely yield up into thy bosom, where it for evermore shall rest, till the fatal sisters29 cut our lives asunder."
      And in speaking these words they kissed each other, as the first earnest of their loves. With that, the empresse came thorow the gallery, who espying their secret conference presently nursed in her secret hate which she intended to practice against the guiltless lady, thinking it a scandal to her son's birth to match in marriage with one of so base a parentage. Therefore purposing to cross their loves with dismal stratagems and direful tragedies, she departed into her chamber, where she cloak'd up her treacheries in silence, and pondered in her heart how she might end their loves, and finish Dulcippa's life. In this tragical imagination remained she all that night, hammering in her head a thousand several practices, but no sooner was the dewy earth comforted with the hot beams of Apollo's fire but this thirsting empresse arose from her dreadful bed, penning her self closely within her chamber, like one that made no conscience to kill. She in all haste sent for a doctor of physick--not to give physick to restore health, but poyson for untimely death--who being no sooner come into her presence, but presently locked the chamber-door, and with an angry countenance staring him in the face, she breathed this horror into his harmless ears.
      "Doctor, thou knowest how oft in secret matters I have used thy help, wherein as yet I never saw thy faith falsified. But now amongst the rest, I am to require thy aid in an earnest business so secret that if thou dost but tell it to the whispering winds it is sufficient to spread it through the whole world--whereby my practices may be discovered and I be made a noted reproach to all hearers."
      "Madam, what needs all these circumstances where duty doth command my true obedience? Desist not therefore, gentle Empress, to make me privy to your thoughts." But having conjured most strongly secrecy, she spake to him as followeth:
"Doctor, the love which I have spied of late, betwixt my unnatural son and proud Dulcippa, may in short time--as thou knoweth--bring a sudden alteration of our state, considering that he, being born a prince and descended from a royal race, should match in marriage with a base and ignoble maiden, daughter but to so mean a gentleman. Therefore, if I should suffer this secret love to go forward, and seek not to prevent it, the Emperour might condemn me of falshood and judge me an agent in this unlawful love--which to avoid, I have a practice in my head, and in thy hand it lies to procure thy prince's happinesse and countrey's good. Dulcippa's father--as thou knowest--dwells about three miles from my palace; unto whose house I will this day send Dulcippa about such businesse as I think best, where thou shalt be appointed, and none but thou, to conduct her thither. Where is a thick and bushy grove, which standeth directly in the mid-way, thou shalt give her the cup of death, and so free my heart from suspicious thoughts.
      This bloody practice being pronounced by the Empresse caused such a terrour in the doctor's mind that he trembled forth this sorrowful complaint:
      "Oh you immortal powers of Heaven, you guiders of my hapless fortunes, why have you thus ordained me to be the bloody murderer of a chast and vertuous lady and the true pattern of sobriety, whose untimely overthrow if I should but once conspire, Diana's nimphs would turn their wonted natures and stain their hands with my accursed blood? Therefore, most glorious Empress, cease your determination, for my heart will not let my hand commit so foul a villany."
      "And wilt thou not do it then?" replied the Empress with a mind fraught with rage and blood. "I do protest," quoth she, "by Heaven's bright majesty: except thou dost consent to accomplish my intent, thy head shall warrant this my secrecy. Stand not on terms--my resolute attempt is clean impatient of objections."
      The doctor, hearing this resolution, and that nothing but Dulcippa's death might satisfie her wrath, he consented to her request, and purposed cunningly to dissemble with the bloody queen, who believed that he would perform what she so much desired. So departing out of her chamber she went to the guiltless lady, sending her on this fatal message--who like to a hapless Bellerophon30 was ready to carry an embassage of her own death. But in the meantime the doctor harboured in his heart a world of bitter woes, to think how vilely this vertuous lady was betrayed, and considering in his mind how that he was forced by constraint to perform this tragedy. Therefore he purposed not to give her a cup of poyson but a sleeping drink to cast her into a trance, which she should as a cup of death receive, as well to try her constancy as to rid himself from so hanious a crime.
      But now return we to Dulcippa, who being sped of her message went with the doctor walking on the way, where all the talk which they had was of the liberal praise of Prince Valentine, who remained in court little mistrusting what had happened to his beloved lady (and she likewise ignorant of the hurt that was pretended against her life). But being alone together in the wood, where nothing was heard but chirping birds, which with their voices seemed to mourn at the ladies misfortune. But now the doctor, breaking off their former talk, took occasion to speak as followeth:
      "Man, of all other creatures, most vertuous Lady, is most miserable. Nature hath ordained to every bird a pleasant tune to bemoan their mishaps: the nightingale doth complain her rape and lost virginity within the desert groves;31 the swan doth likewise sing a doleful tune a while before she dies, as if Heaven had inspired her with some foreknowledge of things to come. You madam, now must sing your swan-like song, for the pretty birds I see do droop their hanging heads, and mourn to think that you must die. Marvel not madam--the angry queen will have it so. Accurst am I, being constrained to be the bloody instrument of so tyrannous a fact. Accurst am I that have ordained that cup, which must by poison stanch the thirst of the bloody Empress--and most accursed am I, that cannot withstand the angry fates, which have appointed me to offer violence unto vertue."
      And in speaking these words, he delivered the cup into the ladies hands--who, like a lamb that was led to the slaughter, used silence for her excuse. Many times lifted she up her eyes toward the sacred throne of Heaven, at last breathed forth these sorrowful lamentations.
      "Never," quoth she, "shall vertue stoop to vice. Never shall death affright my soul, nor never poyson quench that lasting love which my true heart doth bear to princely Valentine, whose spirit I hope shall meet me in the joyful fields of Elizium, to call those ghosts that died for faithful love, to bear me witness for my faith and loyalty:" And so taking the cup, she said, "Come, come thou most blessed cup wherein is contained that happy drink which gives rest to troubled minds. And thou most blessed wood, bear witness that I mix this baneful drink with tears distilling from my bleeding heart. These lips of mine which had wont to kiss Prince Valentine shall now most willingly kiss this ground that must receive my corps. The author of my death I'le bless, for she honours me in that I dye for my sweet Valentine's sa[k]e.32 And now doctor, to thee--being the instrument of this my death--I do bequeath all earthly happiness, and here-withal I drink to Valentine's good fortune."
      So drinking off the potion, she was presently cast into a trance, which she, poor lady, supposed death. The doctor, greatly admiring at her vertuous mind, erected her body against an aged oak, where he left her sleeping, and with all speed returned to the hateful queen and told her that he had performed her majesties command--who gave him many thanks and vow'd to requite his secrecy with a large recompence.
      But now speak we again of Prince Valentine, who had intelligence how the only comfort of his heart had ended her life by poyson's violence. To which cause he leaves the court, and converted his rich attire into ruthful robes, his costly coloured garments to a homely russet coat. And so traveling to the solitary woods, he vowed to spend the rest of his days in a shepherd's life--his royal scepter was turned into a simple sheep-hook, and all his pleasure was to keep his sheep from the teeth of the ravenous wolves.
      Three times had glistering [Phoeb]us33 renewed her horned wings and decked the elements with her shining countenance--three months were past, three moons had likewise run their wonted compass before the Grecian emperour mist his princely son, whose want was no sooner bruited through the court but he ecchoed forth this horrour to himself.
      "What cursed planet thus indirectly rules my hapless course? Or what uncouth fate hath bereaved me of my princely son? Love, send down thy burning thunder-bolts and strike them dead that be procurers of his want--but if, sweet Venus, he be dead for love, hover his ghost before mine eyes that he may discover the cause of his afflictions. But contrariwise, if his life be finished by the fury of some murtherous mind, then let my exclamations pierce to the justful majesty of Heaven, that never sun may shine upon his hated head which is the cause of my Valentine's decay, or the angry Furies34 may lend me their whips, incessantly to scourge their purple souls till my son's wrongs be sufficiently revenged."
      Thus or in such a like frantick humour ran he up and down his palace, till reason pacified his outragious thoughts and by perswasion of his lords he was brought into his quiet bed. Meanspace, Diana, the queen of chastity, with a train of beautiful nymphs, by chance came through the woods where Dulcippa was left in a trance. In which place, rousing the thickets in pursuit of a wild hart, the queen of chastity esped the harmlesse lady standing against a tree, and her sweet breath to passe thorow her closed lips--at whose presence the queen awhile stood wondring at, but at last with her sacred hand she awaked her, and withal asked the cause of her trance, and by what means she came thither. Which poor awaked lady, being amazed both at her sudden majesty and the strangness of her passed fortune and distress, with far fetcht sighs she related what happened to her in those desart woods. The heavenly goddess, being moved with pitty, with a smiling voice cheered her up, and with a lilly taken from the ground she wiped the tears from off Dulcippa's tender cheeks, which like a river trickled from her christial eyes. This being done, Diana, with an angel's voice, spoke unto her as followeth:
      "Sweet Virgin, far better would it befit thy happy estate, having past so many dangers, to spend the remnant of thy life amongst my train of nymphs, whereas springeth nothing but chastity and purity of life." Dulcippa, though in her love both firm and constant, yet did she condescend to dwell with Diana's nymphs: where now instead of parley with courtly gallants, she singeth songs, carols, and roundelays; instead of pen and ink wherewith she was wont to write love-letters, she exerciseth her bow and arrows to kill the swift fat deer; and her downy beds are pleasant groves, where pretty lambs do graze.
      But now return we again to the raging emperour, who sifted out the matter in such sort that he found the empress guilty of her son's want, and the doctor to be the instrument of Dulcippa's death--who being desperate, like one that had utterly detested the cruelty of the empress, would not alledge that he had but set the lady in a trance but openly confessed that he had poysoned her, and for that fact was willing to offer up his life to satisfie the law. Therefore the angry emperour swears that nothing shall satisfie his son's revengement but death, and thereupon commanded the empress to be put into prison, and the doctor likewise to be locked in a strong tower. But yet because she was his lawful wife and a princess born, he something thought to mitigate the law, that if any one within a twelve month and a day would come offer himself to combat in her cause against himself (which would be the appealant champion), she should have life; if not, to be burnt to ashes, in sacrifice of his son's death. All which was performed as the emperour commanded.
      But now all this while the poor prince lives alone within the woods, making his complaints to the flocks of sheep and washing their wool with distressed tears. His bed whereon his body rested was turned into a sun-burnt bank; his chair of state, covered with grass; his musick, the whistling winds; the rhetorick, pittiful complaints and moans, wherewith he bewailed his distressed fortunes and the bitter crosses of his unhappy love.
      The solitary place wherein this prince remained was not far distant from the grove where Dulcippa led her sacred life--who by chance in the morning at the sun's uprising, attired in green vestments, bearing in her hand a bow bended, and a quiver of arrows hanging at her back, with her hair tyed up in a willow wreath. In this manner coming to hunt a savage hart, she was surprised by a bloody satyre, bent to rape, who with a bloody mind pursued her--and coming to the same place where Valentine fed his mourning lambs, he overtook her, whereat she gave such a terrible shriek in the wood that she stirred up the shepherd's princely mind to rescue her. But now, when the bloody satyre beheld a face of majesty shrouded in a shepherd's cloathing, immediately he sculked through the woods, more swift than ever the fearful deer did run.
      But now, gentle reader, here stay to read a while, and think upon the happy meeting of these lovers, for surely the imagination hereof will lead a golden wit into the labyrinth of heavenly joys...but being breathless, in avoiding passed dangers, they could not speak a word, but with stedfast eyes stood gazing each other in the face. But coming again to their former senses, Valentine broke silence with this wavering speech:
      "What heavenly wight art thou," quoth he, "which with thy beauty hast inspired me?"
      "I am no goddess," replied she again, "but a virgin vowed to keep Diana company. Dulcippa is my name, a lady sometime in the Grecian court, whilst happy Fortune smiled, but being crost in love, here do I vow to spend the remnant of my days."
      And with that he, catching the word out of her mouth, said:
      "O ye immortal gods! And is my Dulcippa yet alive? I, I, alive I see she is; I see that sweet celestial beauty in her face, which hath banished deep sorrow from my heart." And with that, kissing her, he said: "see, see fairest of all fairs that nature ever made, I am thy Valentine, that unhappy love, the Prince of Greece, the emperor's true son, who for thy lovely sake am thus disguised, and for thy love have left the gallant court for this sweet and homely countrey life."
      With that, she took him about his manly neck and breathed many a bitter sigh into his bosom, and after, with weeping tears, discoursed all her passed dangers, as well the cruelty of the empress as of the vertuous deed of the good doctor. And having both accounted their passed fortunes, they consented to travel to the Grecian court to see if the Destinies had transformed the state of the emperour or his regiment. Thus whilst Apollo's beams did parch the tender twigs, these two lovers sate still under the branches of a shady beech, recounting still their joys and pleasures. And sitting both thus upon a grassy bank, there came by them an aged old man, bearing in his withered hand a staff to flay his benumbed body, whose face when Prince Valentine beheld, with a gentle voice spoke unto him in this sort.
      "Father, God save you: how happeneth that you, wearied with age, do travel through desert groves, befitting such as can withstand the checks of Fortune's fickleness? Come, fair old man, sit down by us, whose minds of late were mingled with grief and crost with wordly cares."
      This good old hermit, hearing the courteous request of the prince, sate down by them, and in sitting down he stumbled forth this speech.
      "I come, young man, from yonder city, where the emperour holds a very heavy court and makes exceeding sorrow for the want of his eldest son, and for a lady which is likewise absent. The empress, being found guilty of their wants, is kept close prisoner and is condemned to be burnt, unless within a twelvemonth and a day she can get a champion that will enter battel in her cause--and with her a doctor is adjudged to suffer death. Great is the sorrow that is there made for this noble prince, and none but commends his vertue and withal the deserved praises of the absent lady."
      "Father," replied then the prince, "thou hast told us tydings full of bitter truth able to enforce an iron heart to lament--for cruel is the doom, and most unnatural the emperour, to deal so hardly with his queen."
      "Nay," quoth the old man, "if she be guilty, I cannot pitty her that will cause the ruine of so good a prince, for higher powers must give example unto their subjects."
      "By-Lady, Father," quoth the princely shepherd, "you can well guess of matters touching kings, and be a witness of this accident. We will presently go unto the court, and see what shall betide unto this distressed queen."
      This being said, they left the aged man, and so travelled towards the Grecian court, and by the way these lovers did consult that Prince Valentine, attired like a shepherd, should offer himself to combat in his mother's cause, and so to express the kind love and nature which was lodged in his princely breast. But being no sooner arrived in the court and seeing his father to take the combat upon himself, presently he kneeled, and like an obedient son discovered himself, and withal, Dulcippa's strange fortunes--whereupon the empress and the doctor were presently delivered, and did both most willingly consent to joyn these two lovers in the bands of marriage, whereafter they spent their days in peace and happiness.
      This pleasant discourse being ended, which Sir Lancelot had told to the exceeding pleasure of the greatest company, but especially of the Red-Rose Knight, who gave many kind thanks. At this time the winds began to rise and blow cheerfully, by which they sailed on their journey from one coast to another, till at last they arrived upon the coasts of Prester John's Land,35 where they cast anchor unseen of any of that countries inhabitants.


What happened to the Red-Rose Knight, and his company, in the court of Prester John, and how the Red-Rose Knight slew a dragon with three tongues that kept a golden tree in the same country; with other attempts that happened.

The next morning, by the break of day, the Red-Rose Knight rose from his cabin and went upon the hatches of the ship to see if he could espy some town or city where they might take harbour, and in looking about espyed a great spacious city, in the middle whereof stood a most sumptuous palace, having many high towers standing in the air like the Grecian pyramides. Therefore calling Sir Lancelot (with two other knights) unto him, he requested them to go up into the city and to inquire who was the governour thereof. So arming themselves (as it was convenient, being strangers in that country) they went up to the city, where they were presently presented unto Prester John, who gave them a royal entertainment, leading them up into his palace. And having intelligence that they were English men, and adventurous travellers, he sent four of his knights for the rest of their company, desiring them in the knights' behalf to return to the court, where they would have a friendly welcome and a knightly entertainment.
      Thus, when the Red-Rose Knight had understood the will of Prester John by his four knights, the next evening with his whole company he repaired to the city, which was right noble and fair; and although it was night, yet were the streets as light as though it had been midday by the clear resplendent brightness of torches, cressets, and other lights which the citizens ordained to the entertaining of the English knights. The streets through which they passed to go to the king's palace were filled with people, as burgomasters, knights, and gentlemen, with ladies and beautiful damsels, which in comely order stood beholding their coming. But when the Red-Rose Knight was entred the palace, he found the renowned Prester John sitting on his princely throne, underpropt with pillars of jasper stone--who after he had given them an honourable welcome, he took the Red-Rose Knight by the hand and led him into a large and sumptuous hall, the richest that ever he had seen in all his life. But in going up certain staires, he looked in at a window, and espyed fair Anglitora, the king's daughter, sporting amongst other ladies (which was the fairest maid that ever mortal eye beheld). But being entred the hall they found the tables covered with costly fare, ready for supper. When as the English knights were set at the king's table, in company of Prester John and Anglitora, with other ladies attending, they fed lustily, but Anglitora, which was placed right over against the Red-Rose Knight, fed only upon his beauty and princely behaviour, not being able to withdraw her eyes from his divine excellency. But the renowned Prester John, for his part, spent away the supper-time with many pleasant conferences touching the country of England and King Arthur's princely court--the report of which Fame had so often sounded in his ears. But amongst all other devices, he told the English knights of a tree of gold which now grew in his realm, and yearly brought forth golden fruit, but he could not injoy the benefit thereof by reason of a cruel dragon that continually kept it. For the conquest of which golden tree he had many times solemnly proclaimed through that part of the world, that if any knight durst attempt to conquer it, and by good fortune bring the adventure to an end, he would have in reward his daughter the fair Anglitora in marriage--to which many knights resorted, as well of forraign countries as his own nation, but none proved so fortunate as to accomplish the wished conquest, but lost their lives in the same adventure. Therefore I fully believe that if all the knights in the world were assembled together, yet were they all insufficient to overcome this terrible dragon.36
      With that the Red-Rose Knight, with a bold courage, stood up and protested, by the love he bore unto his countries king, he would perform the enterprise or lose his life in the attempt. So in this resolution he remained all supper-time, which being ended, the English knights were brought into divers chambers: but amongst the rest the Red-Rose Knight and Sir Lancelot were lodged near to the fair Anglitora, for their was nothing betwixt their chambers but a little gallery, into which being come, and no sooner laid in their beds, but the Red-Rose Knight began to confer with Sir Lancelot in this sort.
      "What think you," quoth he, "of the enterprise I have taken in hand? Is it not a deed of honour and renown?"
      "Surely," replied Sir Lancelot, "in my judgement it is an enterprise of death, for every man in this country adjudgeth you overcome and destroyed if you once approach but the sight of the dragon. Therefore be advised, and go not to this perillous adventure, for you can obtain nothing thereby but hazard and death, and doubtless they are accounted wise that can shun the misadventures and keep themselves from danger."
      "But then," quoth the Red-Rose Knight, "shall I falsifie my promise? And the promise of a noble mind ought still to be kept. Therefore e're I will infringe my vow I have made, I will be devoured by the terrible dragon." And in speaking these words they fell asleep.
      During which time of their conference, fair Anglitora stood at their chamber door and heard all that had passed betwixt them, and was so surprised with the love of this gentle Red-Rose Knight that by no means she could refrain her affections, and returning to her chamber, casting herself upon her bed, thinking to have slept but could not, she began to say secretly to herself this sorrowful lamentation:
      "Alas mine eyes, what torment is this you have put my heart unto? For I am not the woman I was wont to be, for my heart is fired with a flame of amorous desires, and so subject to the love of the gallant English knight, the beauty of the world and the glory of Christendom. But, fond fool that I am, wherefore do I desire the thing which may not be gotten? For I greatly fear that he is already betrothed to a lady of his own country, and furthermore, his mind is garnished with princely cogitations that I may not enjoy his love, and he thinketh no more of me than on her that he never saw. But grant that he did set his affection on me, yet it were to smal purpose, for he resolv'd to advance his life in the conquest of the golden tree, where he will soon be devoured by the terrible dragon. Ah, what a grief and sorrow it will be to my heart, when I shall hear of his untimely death? For he is the choice of all nature, the prince of nobility, and the flower of worship, for I have heard him say that he had rather dye honourably in accomplishing his vow then to return with reproach into England--which happy countrey, if these eyes of mine might but once behold, then were my soul possessed with terrestrial joys." Anglitora with these words fell asleep, and so passed the night away till the day came, who no sooner shone with his bright beams against the palace walls but the Red-Rose Knight arose from his bed and armed himself in great courage, ready for the adventure. After he had taken leave of the king and the rest of his English friends, he departed forth of the city towards the golden tree, which stood in a valley two miles from the king's palace.
      This morning was fair and clear; the sun cast his resplendent beams upon the earth. At which time the ladies and damsels mounted upon the highest towers in the palace, and the common people came up to the battlements and walls of churches, to behold the adventure of this valiant knight, who as then went most joyfully on his journey, till he came to the vale of the golden tree--wherein being no sooner entred but he beheld a most cruel and terrible dragon come springing out of his hollow cave. This dragon was far more bigger than a horse (in length full thirty foot), the which as soon as he was out of his cave began to raise his neck, set up his ears, and to stretch himself. Then the Red-Rose Knight drew out his good sword and went towards him. The monster opened his terrible throat, whereout sprang three tongues, casting forth flaming fire in such sort that it had almost burnt him. The first blow that the knight struck hit the dragon betwixt the eyes so furiously that he staggerred, but being recovered and feeling himself most grievously hurt, he discharged from his throat such abundance of thick fuming smoak, that it blinded the knight in such sort that he saw nothing. But yet notwithstanding, he lifted up his sword and discharged it upon the dragon where he imagined his head was, and struck so furious a blow that he cut off his three tongues close by their roots--by which the dragon endured such marvellous pain that he turned his body so suddenly round that his tail smote the valiant knight a blow upon his back, whereby he fell down upon the sands. Being thus overthrown, he was in mind most marvellously ashamed, but after awhile, having recovered himself, he ran to the dragon again, and with his good sword smote such a terrible blow upon his tail that it cut it off in the middle (the which piece was seven foot in length). The draggon came and encountred the knight in such a fashion that he beat him down to the ground, and after he stood over him as though he had been dead: but the knight took his sword, and underneath him thrust it up to the hilt, so far that it pierced his heart--which when the draggon felt, as smitten to death, began to run away with the sword in his belly, thinking to have hid himself in his cave, but his life departed before he could get thither.
      Incontinently, when the Red-Rose Knight had rested himself and saw that the dragon was dead, he recomforted himself and went and drew out his sword from his belly, which was all so bestained with his black blood, and after took the dragon's three tongues and stuck them upon his sword, and likewise pulled a branch from the golden tree, which he bore in his hand. And so in triumph went towards the city, and being come within sight thereof he lifted up the golden branch into the air as high as he could, that it might glitter in the sun for the people to behold (which stood upon high turrets, expecting his coming)--who perceiving it, with great admiration began to wonder. Some there were that gathered green herbs and flowers, and strowed the way whereas the knight should pass to go to the king's palace, saying that all honour ought to be given to so noble and glorious a conquerour.
      Fair Anglitora, amongst all other, was most joyfull when she beheld the glittering brightness of the golden branch, and commanded her waiting maids to put on their richest attires to solemnize the honour of that excellent victory.
      And to conclude, he was met at the city gate with the melody of drums and trumpets, and so conducted to the king's palace, where he was right honourably entertained of Prester John and his nobles. Surely there is no man so eloquent that can discourse by writing the great joy that Anglitora took at his return, and generally the whole inhabitants had thereat exceeding pleasure.
      But now, when the valiant Red-Rose Knight had entred the hall, and had set the golden branch upon the ivory cupboard (richly furnished with costly plate), the English knights and many other ladies began to dance most joyfully, and to spend the time in delicious sports till supper was ready, and then the king and the Red-Rose Knight was set, and with them the noble and fair Anglitora, Lancelot du Lake, and other English knights--where, all supper while, there was no other conference holden but of the valiant encounters of the Red-Rose Knight, who for his part did nothing but make secret love-signs to Anglitora.
      What, shall I make long circumstances? The supper passed, and the hour came that the general company withdrew them into their chambers. The Red-Rose Knight was conducted to his lodging by many noblemen and others, which brought the golden branch after him and so bequeathed him for that night to his silent rest. But presently, after the noblemen's departure, Anglitora entered into his chamber, bearing in her hand a silver bason full of warm perfumed waters, the which she had provided to wash the dragon's blood from his body--which when the Red-Rose Knight perceived, and thinking upon the kind love that she proffered him, put of[f]37 his cloaths and made himself ready to wash. Fair Anglitora, being attired in a white frock without sleeves, turned up her smock above her elbows, and so with her own hands washed the body of the Red-Rose Knight.
      But now when this gentle batchelour beheld her lovely body, her fair and round breasts, the whiteness of her flesh, and that he felt her hands marvellous soft, he was so much inflamed with the ardent desire of love, that in beholding her beauty, he began to imbrace her, and kissed her many times most courteously. And so after, when he had been well washed, Anglitora caused him to lie in his bed, beholding his well formed limbs, of colour fair, and quick, and could not turn her eyes from his sight. Thus as they were beholding each other without speaking a word, at last the noble knight spake to her in this sort.
      "Most dear Lady, you know that by this conquest I have deserved to be your husband, and you, through kind love, to be my wife: whereby I may say that you are mine, and I am yours, and of our two bodies there is but one. Therefore I desire you to seal up the first quittance38 of our loves, which request is that we two this night might sleep together, and so accomplish the great pleasure that I have so long wished for."
      "Ah most noble Knight," answered the fair lady, "what in me lyeth, that may bring you the least motion of content, shall with all willingness be performed; but yet I conjure you by the promise of true knighthood that you save mine honour, lest I be made a scandal to my father's glory."
      "There is no man in the world," quoth he, "that shall preserve thine honour more than I--what if you sleep this night with me in bed, do you any more than your duty, in that I am your husband, and best loved friend?"
      "My dear love," replied she again, "there is no pleasure which I will deny you; but this night you shall have patience, for I will never yield up the pride of my virginity till my father hath given me in marriage, and therefore I desire you that to morrow you will request that favour at his hands--which being granted and performed, then accomplish your content."
      When the Red-Rose Knight had understood his ladies mind, he was content to obey her request. Here slept the Red-Rose Knight till the next morning, which at the break of day was presented with a consort of musick, which the king brought himself into his chamber. Their melody so highly contented his mind that he threw them a gold chain, which was wrapped around his wrist. The musitians being39 departed, he arose from his rich bed and went unto the king, whom he found walking in a pleasant garden, of whom he required his daughter Anglitora in marriage, in recompence of his adventure. The which request so displeased the king that all his former courtesies were changed into sudden sorrow, and would by no means consent that Anglitora should be his betrothed spouse, and answered that first he would lose his kingdome before she should be the wife of a wandring knight.
      The noble Red-Rose Knight, when he understood the unkind answer of Prester John, all abashed went unto Sir Lancelot and his other friends, and certified them of all things that had happened--who counselled them that the next morning they should depart.
      After this conclusion, they went to the king and thanked him for the high honour he had graced them with, and after that went and visited their ship, where for that day they passed their time in pleasure. And so when the night approached, the Red-Rose Knight went to the fair Anglitora, and certified her of the unkind answer of her cruel father, whereat she grew sorrowful, and grieved in mind. But at last better considering with herself, she yielded her fortune fully at his pleasure, promising that for his love she would forsake both country, parents, and friends, and follow him to what place soever he pleased to conduct her. And it is to be supposed that this night the fair Anglitora took all the richest jewels which she had, and trussed them in a fardle.40 And so when it was a little before day she came unto the Red-Rose Knight and awaked him, who presently made him ready, and so departed secretly, till they came to their ships, where they found all the rest of the English knights ready to depart. So when they were all aboard, they hoised sail and departed from the port. To whose happy journey we will now leave them for a time, and speak of the discontentments of Prester John, who all that night was exceeding sorrowful for the unkind answer which he had given the Red-Rose Knight, and so melancholy and sorrowful that he could neither sleep nor take any rest. But at the last he concluded with himself that he would accompany and go and convey the English knights at their farewel, and departing unto their ships, to the end that, being in other countries, they might applaud his courtesies used to strangers.
      So in the morning he arose and went to the chamber where the Red-Rose Knight was lodged, whom he found departed contrary to his expectation. After that, he went into his daughter's chamber, where he found nothing but relentless walls which in vain he might speak unto: whose absence drove him into such desperate mind that he suddenly ran to the sea coasts, where he found many of his citizens that shewed him the ships wherein the English knights were, which were at that time from the port or haven more than half a mile. Then the king, weeping tenderly, demanded of them if they had seen his daughter Anglitora; to whom the people answered that they had seen her upon the ship hatches, in the company of the Red-Rose Knight. At which the king bitterly lamented, beating his breast and tearing his milk white hair from his head, that it grieved the beholders.
      At that time there were many of his lords present, who by gentle perswasions withdrew him from the sea coasts to his palace, where he many days after lamented the disobedient flight of his daughter.


How Celia, Queen of the Fairy Land, was found dead, floating on the sea; with other things that happened to the English knights.

Many days the winds blew cheerfully, in such sort that the English ships were within kenning of the Fairy-Land, at which Sir Lancelot took an occasion to speak unto the Red-Rose Knight and put him in remembrance how he promised Celia to return into her country--unto which request he answered, and said unto him that he would keep his promise if the destinies afford him life, and thereupon he commanded the master-pilot to make thitherwards. But the wind, not being willing, raised such a tempest on the raging sea that the ship was cast a contrary way and the marriners by no means possible could approach the Fairy-Land. At which time the noble Queen Celia stood by the seaside upon an high rock, beholding the English ships as they passed by, as her accustomed and usual manner was, every day standing, expecting her dear love's return, many times making this bitter lamentation to herself:
      "Ah gentle Neptune, thou god of seas and winds, where is my desired love? Bring him again unto me, that day and night do weep for his company." Thus she complained at the same instant when her lover's ship sailed by, for surely she did know it by the banners and ensignes which were displayed in the wind. But when the poor lady perceived the ship to turn from her, she was sore abashed and mightily dismayed. Instead of joy, she was forced to weep tears; and instead of singing, was constrained to make sorrowful complaints. In this manner she abode there all that ensuing night, and caused fires and great lights to be made on the shore, thinking thereby to call the Red-Rose Knight unto her.
      This order kept she every day and night for the space of six weeks, wailing the want of him whom she loved more dear than her own heart. But when six weeks were past, and the Fairy Queen perceived that she should have no tydings of her love, she went from the rock (all in despair) into her chamber, where, being entred, she caused her son to be brought unto her, whom she kissed many times for the love she bore unto his father. And after beholding the little infant, crossing her armes, with a sigh coming from the bottom of her heart, she said: "Alas my dear son, alas thou canst not speak to demand tydings of thy father, which is the bravest knight, the most vertuous and most valiant in arms that God ever formed. O where is nature, sweet babe, that should enjoyn thee to weep, and myself more then thee, for the loss of so brave a prince, whose face I never more shall see. O cruel fortune, my heart hath concluded that I go and cast myself headlong into the sea, to the intent that if the noble knight be there buried, I may lie in the same sepulchre and tomb with him; where, if he be not dead, that same sea that brought him hither alive to me may carry me dead to him. And to conclude, before I commit this murder upon myself, with my blood I will write a letter, which shall be sewed to my vestments or attire, to this purpose and intent: that if ever my body be presented to the Red-Rose Knight, that then this bloody letter may bear witness that I constantly harboured in my breast true love towards him, to the last hour of my death."
      Many ladies and damsels were in her company whilst thus she lamented her knight's absence--who, hearing of her desperate intended death, made exceeding sorrow. Some there were that so mightily grieved that they could not speak one word; other some there were that thought to perswade her from that desperate intent. But all in vain, for she presently went from them, and with her own blood writ a letter, and wrapped it in a sear-cloth, and then sowed it to the vestures wherein she was cloathed. Then taking her crown, she bound it from her head with a golden chain which the Red-Rose Knight before time had given her. Then when she had done all this, she came to her little son, and many times kissed him, and so delivered him to the ladies and damsels to be nourished. And so after taking leave of them all she departed towards the sea, whither being come she went to the top of the rock, where, looking up to Heaven, she said:
      "Thou God of my fortunes, lord of the winds and seas, thou that broughtest into this country the right perfect knight, in beauty, manhood, and all vertues, grant that when my soul hath made passage out of this world, my body may be intombed in his bosom."
      Which words being said, she turned her eyes towards her palace and spoke with a loud voice: "Adieu my dear babe, adieu ye glistening towers, my royal palace, adieu ladies and damsels, and lastly, adieu to all the world." And so she cast herself into the sea.
      But yet such was her fortune that the waves of the sea bore her dead body the same day to the English knights' ship, which as then lay in road, where they cast anchor for to rest that night. And to be short, it so hapned at the same hour when her dead body was cast against the ship the Red-Rose Knight went up to the hatches to take the fresh air, where, looking about, he espied the dead lady richly attired in cloth of gold that gorgeously shone in the water, the which he presently caused to be taken up, and brought into the ship; where looking wishly upon her, he knew her perfectly well, and after stooping to kiss her pale lips, he found a bloody letter which she compiled, wrapt in sear-cloth. So taking it and reading the contents thereof, his blood began to change, and to wax red like the rose and presently again as pale as ashes, whereat Sir Lancelot and the other knights were greatly abashed, but especially Anglitora, who demanded the cause of his grief--whereunto the Red-Rose Knight was not able to answer a word, the sorrow of his heart so exceeded, yet he delivered the bloody letter to Anglitora. The contents thereof are these that follow:

The bloody letter of Queen Celia

Thou bright star of Europe, thou chosen of England for prowess and beauty, when wilt thou return to fulfill thy promise made unto her, that many a day has had her eyes planted upon the seas after thee, shedding more tears in thy absence then the heaven contains stars? Ah my dear love, makest thou no reckoning nor account of thy promise that thou madest to me at thy departure? Knowest thou not that every noble mind is bound to keep his word, upon pain of reproach and shame? But thou hast infringed it, and hast broken thy oath of knight-hood, which no excuse can recover--for since I last saw thy ship floating upon the seas, I never came within my palace till the writing hereof, nor ever lay in my bed to take my rest, nor never sat in judgement on my countries causes, but for the space of forty days I stood upon a rock expecting thy return, till famine constrained me to depart. There I have stood day and night in rain and in snow, in the cold of the morning and in the heat of the sun, in fasting, in prayers, in desires, in hope, and finally languishing in despair and death: where, when I could hear no news of thy return, I would desperately cast myself into the sea, desiring the gods that they would bring me alive or dead to thy presence, to express the true affection that I have ever bore to thy noble person. Thus fare thou well. From thine own true lover, till we meet in the Elizian Fields: Thy unhappy Celia, Queen of the Fairy-Land.

      Thus, when fair Anglitora had read these bloody lines, she greatly lamented her unhappy death, and withal requested the Red-Rose Knight, in that she died for his sake, to bear her body into England and there most honourably to intomb it--to which he most willingly consented. So, causing her body to be imbalmed, they hoised sail and departed towards England; at whose coming the inhabitants greatly rejoyced, but chiefly the Red-Rose Knight and his company, who at their first arrival kneeled down upon the earth and gave God thanks for preserving them from so many dangers and perils.
      After this, they intombed the body of Celia most honourably, as befitted a princess of her calling. This being done, they departed towards Pendragon Castle, standing in Wales, whereas then King Arthur kept his royal court. Where being arrived, they found the king and many other nobles in a readiness to give them a princely welcome, among whom was fair Angellica, the Nun of Lincoln, mother to the Red-Rose Knight, yet kept in so secret a manner that neither he nor she had any suspicion thereof, but spake one to another as meere strangers--the discovery of whom is discoursed at large in the second part of this history, as is likewise the strange fortune of Celia's little son, which the ladies in the Fairy Land called by the name of Fairy Knight, and by what means he came to be called the World's Triumph, with many strange accidents, etc.


The Second Part of
The Most Famous HISTORY

Wherein is declared his unfortunate death, his lady's disloyalty,
his children's honours, and lastly his death most
strangely revenged.


How Tom a Lincoln knew not his mother till forty years of his age, nor whose son he was; of King Arthur's death, and his speeches; and what happened thereupon.

When Arthur that renowned King of England (being one of the Nine Worthies of the World41), had by twelve several set battels42 conquered the third part of the earth, and being wearied with the exploits and martial adventures, in his old days betook himself to a quiet course of life, turning his warlike habiliments to divine books of celestial meditations, that as the one had made him famous in this world, so might the other make him blessed in the world to come. Seven years continued quiet thoughts in his breast; seven years never heard he the sound of delightful drums; nor in seven years beheld he his three worthy knights of the Round-Table, flourishing in his court, by which means his palace grew disfurnished of those martial troops that drew commendations from all forraign kingdomes. In this time most of those renowned champions had yielded their lives to the conquering tyranny of pale death, and in the bowels of the earth lay sleeping their eternal sleeps. The royal king, himself laden with the honour of many years, and having now (according to nature) the burthen of death lying heavy upon his shoulders and the stroak lifted up to divide his body from his soul, he called before him all the chiefest of his court, but especially his own queen, the Red-Rose Knight, and his lady Anglitora, with the fair Angellica, the Nun of Lincoln, whom he had so many years secretly loved; and being at the point to bid a woful farewel to the world, with countenance as majestical as King Priamus of Troy, he spake as followeth:
     "First, to thee my beloved queen, must I utter the secrets of my very soul, and what wanton escapes I have made from my nuptual bed, otherwise cannot this, my labouring life, depart from my fading body in quiet. Long have I lived in the delightful sin of adultery, and polluted our marriage bed with that vile pleasure. Pardon me, I beseech thee, and with that forgiveness (which I hope will proceed from thy gentle heart) wash away this long-bred evil, the celestial powers have granted me remission." Then, turning to Angellica, the Nun of Lincoln, he said:
     "Oh thou my youth's delight, thou whose love hath bereaved my queen of such marriage pleasure: thou, and but onely thou, have I offended withal. Therefore, divine Angellica, forgive me--I like a ravisher spotted thy virginity, I cropt thy sweet body of chastity; I with flattery won thy heart, and led thee from thy father's house (that good Earle of London) to feed my wanton desires; by thee had I a son, of whom both thou and I take glory of, for in his worthiness remains the true image of a martialist, and this renowned Knight of the Red-Rose is he. He lives, the fruit of our wanton pleasures, born at Lincoln, and there by a shepherd brought up, few knowing, till now, his true parents. Marvel not, dear Son. Think not amiss, sweet Queen, nor thou, my lovely Angellica. Be not dismayed ye honourable states, here attending my dying hour, for as I hope presently to enter into Elizium Paradise and wear the crown of desertful glory, I have revealed the long secrets of my heart and truly brought to light those things that the darkness of oblivion had covered. Now the mother knows her son, and the son the mother. Now may this valiant knight boast of his pedigree, and a quiet content satisfie all your doubts. Thus have I spoke my mind, and thus quieted my soul bids the world farewell. Adieu, fair Queen; adieu, dear Son; farewell, lovely Angellica. Lords and Ladies, adieu unto you all, ye have seen my life, so now behold my death--as kings do live, so kings must die." These were the last of King Arthur's words, and being dead, his death not half so amazed the standers-by, as the strange speeches of his life's farewel.
     The queen, in a raging jealousie fretting at her marriage wrongs, protested in her heart to be revenged upon the Nun of Lincoln.
     The Nun of Lincoln, seeing her wantonness discovered, took more grief thereat then joy in the finding of her long-lost son, supposing now, that the king being gone, she should be made a scandal in the world.
     The Red-Rose Knight, knowing himself to be begot in wantonness, and born a bastard, took small joy in the knowledge of his mother.
     Anglitora (Tom a Lincoln's wife), exceeding all the rest in sorrow, bitterly sobbing to herself, and in heart making great lamentation in that she had forsaken father, mother, friends, acquaintance, and country, all for the love of a bastard bred in the womb of a shameless strumpet. Therefore she purposed to give him the slip, and with her own son (a young gallant knight named the Black Knight, in courage like his father) to travel towards the kingdom of Prester John, where she first breathed life, and her father raigned.
     The Red-Rose Knight conducted his mother Angellica to a cloyster in Lincoln, which place she had so often polluted with her shame, there to spend the remnant of her life in repentance, and with her true lamentations to wash away her black spots of sin that so grievously stained her soul, who from a pure virgin made herself a desolate strumpet.
     Likewise, King Arthur's widowed queen, like to ireful Hecuba43 or the jealous Juno,44 kept her chamber for many days, pondering in her mind what revenge she might take upon Angellica, her husband's late favourite.
     On the other side, Anglitora, lady and wife to the Red-Rose Knight, with her son the Black Knight, made provision for their departure towards the land of Prester John, where she was born. So upon a night when neither moon nor star-light appeared, they secretly departed the court, only attended by a neger or black-moore, a slave fitting to provide them necessaries and to carry their apparel and jewels after them (whereof they had abundant store). The Black Knight, her son, was all fired with the ardent desire he had to see his grand-sier Prester John. Therefore, without taking leave of his father, with a noble spirit conducted his mother to the sea-side, where a ship was ready to hoist sail, where of the pilots they were most willingly received for passengers.
     In this manner passed they the seas, in which travels we will leave them for a time, and speak of other things pertinent to our story.


Of Tom a Lincoln's strange manner of travelling, his his wofull departure from England, and of his sorrowful lamentations for the unkindness of his lady.

When Tom of Lincoln (the Red-Rose Knight) had spent some two moneths in the company of his mother at Lincoln, giving her as much comfort as a son might, he left her very penitent for her life's amiss, and returned to the court, where he left both his wife and his son the Black Knight, thinking at his arrival to find so joyful a welcome, and so courteous an entertainment that all the black clouds of discontent might be blown over by this happy meeting. But as ill chance had alotted, all things fell out contrary to all expectation, for he neither found wife, child, servant, nor any one to make him answer. His plate and treasure was diminished, his house-hold furniture imbesselled, and by thieves violently carried away. He had not so much as one steed left in his stable, for them the queen had seized on for her use, and furthermore, by her commandment a decree was made that whosoever in all the land shewed him any duty, or gave him but homely reverence, should lose their heads. She indeavored to brand him with ignominy, for she had entituled him "the base-born seed of lust, a strumpet's brat, and the common shame of the dead king." This was the malice of King Arthur's widow, and surely Queen Juno never thirsted more for the confusion of Hercules45 then she did for Tom a Lincoln's overthrow: But yet this grief (being cast from a princess favour to a vulgar disgrace) was but a pleasure to the sorrow he took for the miss of his lady and son. No news he could hear from them, but that they were fled from the fury of the angry queen, which was but a vain imagination laid upon the envious time. But far otherwise did mischief set in her foot--the doting mind of his lady Anglitora intended to a further reach, which was to abandon his presence forever, and to think him as ominous to her sight as the killing cockatrice.46 The effect of this, his wives sudden dislike, she had caused (before her departure) to be carved in stone over the chimney of his lodging: how that she deserved damnation to leave father, friends, and country, for the disloyal love of a bastard.
      Of all grief to him this was the very spring, the root, the depth, the height; which when he had read, he fell into a swound, and had it not been for two pages that attended him, he had never recovered. In this agony the veines of his brest sprung out into blood, and all parts of his body sweat with grief, down fell he then upon his knees and immediately pulled the ring from his finger which she had given him when they were first betrothed, and washt it with his tears, killing it a hundred times, and after bound them in a cypress47 to his left side, directly where his heart lay, protesting by that God that created him, never to take them thence till either he found his lady, or ended his life. He likewise made solemn vow to Heaven never to cut his hair, never to come to bed, never to wear shoes, never to taste food, but only bread and water, nor ever to take pleasure in humanity till he had eas'd his grief in the presence of his dearest Anglitora, and that her love were reconciled to him.
      Being thus strangely resolved he discharged his servants and pages, giving them all the wealth and treasure that he had, and clad himself in tanned sheep-skins made close unto his body, whereby he seemed rather a naked wild man bred in the wilderness than a sensible creature brought up by civil conversation. Thus, bare-footed and bare-legged, with an ivory staff in his hand, he set forward to seek his unkind wife and unnatural son, giving this wofull farewell to his native countrey:
      "O thou gracious Queen of Love, I have been as loyal a servant in thy pleasures as ever was Hero to Leander, or Pyramis to his Thisbe.48 Wherefore then hath madding fury, like a tyrannous and cruel commander, taken possession of my Anglitora's heart, and placed infernal conditions, whereas the pure vertues of modest behaviour had wont to be harboured? It cannot be otherwise but the furious and enraged queen with her unquenchable envy hath driven her hence, and not only of one heart made two, but of two seeks to make none--which is by untimely death to work both our confusions. Therefore, proud Queen, farewel: let all the furies haunt thee, and may thy court seem loathsome and hateful to thy sight, as for the torments of hell-fire to a guilty conscience. Ungrateful England likewise adieu to thee for all the honours I have brought into thy bounds, and with spoils of forraign countries made thee the only prince of kingdoms, yet thou repayest me with disgrace, and loadest me with more contempt then my never conquered heart can endure." So kissing the ground with his warm lips, that had so long fostered him, and with many a bitter tear and deep sob, like a pilgrim (as I said before) he took leave of his native countrey, and took his journey to the sea-side, where he heard of his wife and his son's departure, after whom (as soon as the wind conveniently served) he took shipboard ... where we will now likewise leave him to his fortune upon the sea, and speak of the professed malice the queen prosecuted against Angellica, the mother of the Red-Rose Knight.


Of the woful death of Angellica, mother to the Red-Rose Knight, and of the death of the jealous queen and others.

The beautious Angellica, being left by her son the Red-Rose Knight, at his departure, in a monastery at Lincoln, there to bewaile her former offences and for her youth's pleasure in age to taste the bitter food of sorrow. The day-time she spent in grieved passions, the night she wasted with sighs and heart-breaking sobs. Her sleeps were very few, but her comforts less. Her continual exercise was with a needle to work in silk, upon the hangings in her chamber, which she kept exceeding clean and handsome--how she was first of all wooed, and afterwards won to King Arthur's pleasures, in what manner their meeting were, their amorous and wanton dalliance, his imbraces, her smiles, his princely gifts, her courteous acceptance, and lastly, the birth of her thrice worthy son, his bringing up, his honours in the court, and his strange discovery: all of which she had wrought as an arras-work,49 with silk of divers colours in a piece of the purest Holland cloth. In doing this, twice had the golden sun run his circumference about the world; twice had the pleasant spring beautified the earth with her changeable mantles; twice had nipping winter made the fields barren, and the woods leafe-lesse; and twice had the year shewed himself to all mankind. In which time of twice twelve months, every day made she a sorrowful complaint for the wrack of honour, and her virginities love which so willingly she surrendered. And in this, so greatly had sorrow and grief changed her that her eyes (which had wont like twinkling diamonds to give light to all affections) were now sunk into their cells, and seemed like a hollow sepulchre newly opened; her face, wherein beauty herself dwelt, and her cheeks the true die of the lilly and the rose intermixt, now appeared old and writhen like to the countenance of Hecuba, when her husband King Priamus and her princely children were slain at Troy's destruction;50 and her tresses of hair gold-like, which like to Indian Wyres51 hung over her shoulders, were now grown more white than thistle down, the sickles of frozen ice or the white mountain snow. All their griefs of nature had not age changed, but the inward grief of her careful heart.
      But now mark the woful change that happened even upon the day which by computation she had in former times yielded up her maiden pride and lost that jewel that kingdomes cannot recover: upon that hapless day came there a messenger from the queen to bid her make preparation for death, which she most willingly accepted of, and took more joy thereat, then to be invited to a princely banquet.
      "Be not dismaid," said the messenger, "for you shall have as honourable a death as ever had lady; seven several instruments of death shall be presented to you for a choice, and your own tongue shall give sentence which of them you will dye by." Whereupon this messenger set this sorrowful lady at a round table, directly in the middle of a very large room, whereunto he led her, hung all about with black. Where being placed as to a banquet or some solemn dinner of state, there entred some servitors in disguised shapes like unto murtherers, with seven several deadly services in dishes of silver plate: the first brought in fire burning in a dish, if she would, to consume her body to ashes; the second brought in a dish of twisted cord to strangle her to death; the third, a dish full of deadly poyson to burst her body withal; the fourth, a sharp edged razor or knife to cut her throat; the fifth, an iron rack to tear her body into pieces; the sixth, a dish full of snakes to sting her to death; and the seventh, an impoysoned garment, being worn, that will consume both flesh and blood.52 These seven deathful servitors having set down their dishes (the least whereof brings present death), she was commanded by the messenger which of them she would chuse to die withal, and to make speedy choice, for he was sworn to the queen (on whom he attended) to see it that day accomplished. At these his words she fell upon her knees, and with a courage readier to yield to death's fury then to the mercy of the living queen, said as followeth:
     "O thou guider of this earthly globe, thou that gavest my weak nature over to a wanton life, and from a virgin chast, hast made me an infamous strumpet; thou that sufferedst only a king in majesty to prevail against me, and with the power of greatness won me to lewdness, for which I am doomed now to a present death and forced by violence to bid this tempting world adieu: inspire me with that happy choice of death, as that my soul may have an easie passage from my body. First, to die by fire to an earthly imagination seems terrible, and far different from nature. Secondly, to die with strangling cord were base, and more fit for robbers, thieves, and malefactors. Thirdly, to die by deadly poyson, were a death for beasts and worms that fed upon the bosom of the earth. Fourthly, to die by cutting knives and slicing razors, were a death for cattel, fowles, and fishes that die for the use of man. Fifthly, by an iron rack to end my life were a barbarous death and against man's nature. But seventhly,53 to die a lingring death, which is a life consuming by wearing of impoysoned garments (where repentance may still be in company) will I chuse. Therefore, sweet messenger of death, do thy office--attire me in those robes, and the manner of my death I beseech thee make known unto the queen. Tell her (I pray thee) I forgive her, and may my death be a quiet unto her soul, for my life is to her ears as the fatal sound of night-ravens, or the maremaids' tunes."
     Many other words would she have spoken, but that the commanding messenger (being tied to an hour) caused her to put on the impoysoned robes, which no sooner came to the warmth of her body but the good lady (after a few bitter sighs and dreadful gasps), yielded up the ghost, being (through the extremity of the infectious garment) made like to an anotomy,54 which they wrapped in searcloth, and the next day gave her burial according to her state and so returned to the inraged queen, keeping then her court in Pendragon Castle in Wales, into whose presence the messenger was no sooner come but the angry queen, beyond all measure being desirous to hear of Angellica's death, in a rage ran and clasped him about the middle, saying:
     "Speak messenger, speak. Is the vile strumpet dead? Is the shame of women-kind tortured? is my hearts grief by her death banished from my bosom? Speak, for I am over-mastered with doubts."
     "Most gracious Queen," quoth the messenger, "resolve yourself of her death, for the cold earth hath inclosed up her body. But so patiently she took her death, that it might well have moved a tyger's heart to remorse, for in troth my heart relented at the manner of her death. Never went lamb more gently to slaughter, nor ever turtle dove more meek then this woful lady was at the message of her death, for the elements did seem to mourn, closing their bright beauties up in black and sable curtains, and the very flinty walls (as it were) sweat of the agony of her death--so gently, meekly, and humbly took she her death, commending herself unto your majesty, wishing that her death might be your soul's contentment."
     "And could she be so patient," qd the queen,55 "that she even in death would wish happiness to the causers thereof? Farewel, thou miracle of woman-kind, I have been to thee a savage lioness. I was blinded at the report of thy wantonness, else hadst thou been now alive, all my cruelty against thee I deeply repent, and for thy dear heart's blood by me so rashly spilt, it shall be satisfied with the lives of many souls."
     Hereupon she in a fury commanded the messenger's head to be stricken off, and the seven servitors to be hanged all at the court-gate, and afterward caused their limbs to be set upon high poles by the common high-way-side, as an example of her indignation.
     Never after this hour (such is the remorse of a guilty conscience) could she sleep in quiet, but strange visions of this lady seemed to appear unto her. The least noise that she heard whispering in the silence of the night, did she imagine to be some fury to drag her to hell, for the death of this good lady. Yea, every thing that made noise (in her conceit) gave remorse for revenge, and till that her own life had given satisfaction by death for the ruine of so sweet a ladies life, no food could do her good, no sleep quiet her brain, no pleasure content the mind, but despair, with a terrible countenance, did evermore attend her, willing her sometime to throw herself headlong from the top of a tower, sometime by poyson to end her dayes, sometime by drowning, sometime by hanging, sometime by one thing, sometime by another. But at last in the middle of the night having her heart deeply over-mastered by despair, she took a girdle of pure Arrabian silk (which girdle she first wore on her princely nuptial day, when King Arthur first married her), in this in this fatal girdle she made and56 sliding knot, and there withal upon her bed-post she hanged herself.
     Here will we leave the dead to their quiet rests, and return to the Black Knight, and his mother Anglitora, with the Indian slave that attends them; for strange be the accidents that hapned to them in forraign countries: and after we will speak what hapned to the Red-Rose Knight upon the sea.


By what means Anglitora became a curtizan, and how her son the Black Knight lost himself in a wilderness

     The Black Knight, his mother Anglitora, and the black-moore slave, having happily crost the seas, and arrived in a country very fertile to see to (being replenished with all kind of trees and fruit), yet there were no inhabitants to find, but only an old castle built of flint-stone, the turrets whereof were made like the Grecian pyramides, square and very high. At this castle gate they knocked so boldly (each one careless of all accidents that might happen) as it rung into the chamber where the Knight of the Castle lay--who immediately sent a very low-statured dwarf to see who knocked, and if they were strangers, to direct them up into his chamber, to take such kind courtesies as the castle afforded, for indeed he was a knight of a bountiful condition, and full of liberality.
     The dwarf no sooner coming to the gate, and espying people in such strange disguised attires (never having seen the like before), without speaking one word ran amazedly up to his master, certifying him that a kind of people of an unknown nation were arrived, and that they seemed rather angels (in shape) then any earthly creatures.
     The Knight of the Castle, hearing this, came down and met them in a large square court, paved with marble stone, where he kindly gave them entertainment.
     The three travellers accepted of his courtesies, and being long before weather-beaten on the seas, though themselves from a deep dungeon of calamity, lifted to the top of all pleasure and prosperity. Thus from the paved court, the knight led them up to his own chamber, wherein was a fire made of juniper-wood, and frankinsense, which smelled very sweet. The walls were hung about with rich tapestry, whereon was writ the story of Troy's destruction, the creation of mankind, and the fearful description of the latter day of doom. Likewise upon the same wall, instruments of all sorts of musick, with such variety of other pleasures, as they had never seen the like.
     Now while these weary travellers had took pleasure in beholding these pleasant things, the good knight caused his dwarf (which was all the servants that he kept) to cover the table, made of cypress-wood, with a fine damask table-cloth, and thereon set such delicates as his castle afforded--which was a piece of a wild boar, roasted the same morning, with divers other services of fowles, whereof the countrey had plenty; their bread was made of almonds mixed with goats-milk, for no corn grew in this soil; their drink of the wild grape likewise mingled with goats-milk, which is in my mind accounted restorative--to this banquet were the travellers placed, where having good stomachs, they quickly satisfied their hunger, and afterwards began to chat of their adventures, what dangers they endured at sea, and how luckily they arrived in that countrey, giving the courteous knight great thanks for his kindness.
     On the other side, when the banquet was ended, everyone rising from the table, he took an orphirian57 that hung by, and caused his dwarf to dance a measure after the sound thereof. The strings whereof he himself strained with such curiosity, that it moved much delight, especially to the lady Anglitora, whose eyes and ears were as attentive to the melody as Helena's were to the inchanting musick of the Grecian Paris.58 In this kind of pleasure continued they most part of the day, till the bright sun began greatly to decline; then the Black Knight, in a courageous spirit, said:
     "Sir Knight--for so you seem to be by your entertainment of strangers--this carpet-kind of pleasure I like not. It disagrees with my young desires--the hunting of untamed tygers, the tilts and turnaments of knights, and the battels of renowned warriours is the glory I delight in. And now considering no other adventurous exercise may be found in this countrey, but only the hunting of wild beasts, I will into the forrest and by manhood fetch some wild venison for my mother's supper."
     The Knight of the Castle, seeing his resolution, furnished him with a hunting javelin, and so directed him to the forrest, where most plenty of such pleasures were. God be his good speed, for we will leave the Black Knight in his exercise, and speak of the wanton affections of Anglitora and the Knight of the Castle that they cast upon each other--a short tale to make, whereas two hearts make one thought, the bargain is soon made. The Knight of the Castle, having not had the presence nor society of a woman in seven years before, grew as wantonly minded as the Roman Tarquinus when he ravished the chast lady Lucretia.59
     On the other side, Anglitora, having the venome of disloyalty, grew so pliable to his desires that at his pleasure he obtained that love which in former times the Red-Rose Knight adventured his life for. She that in former times was accounted the world's admiration for constancy was now the very wonder of shame, and the by-word of modest matrons. This was the first day's entrance into their wanton pleasures, which in all dalliance they spent untill the sun had lost the light of the earth, then expecting the return of the Black Knight--but all in vain, for having a wild panther in chase, he followeth so far in the unknown forrest that he lost himself, all that night travelling to find the way forth, but could not. Sleep was to him as meat to a sick man; his steps were numberless, like the stars of Heaven, or the sands of the sea; his devices for recovery little prevailed--the further he went, the further he was from returning. Thus day and night (for many days and nights) spent he in these comfortless travels. No hope cheared his heart, no comfort bore him company but his patient mind, and now at last, when he saw all means frustrated, he resolved to live and dye in that solitary forrest: his food he made of the fruits of trees; his drink of the clear running water; his bed was no better than a heap of sun-burn'd moss; his canopies the azure elements full of twinkling lights; his curtains a row of thick-branched trees; the torches to light him to bed, the stars of Heaven; the melody of musick to bring him asleep, the croaks of ravens or the fearful cries of night owles; the clock to tell the houres of the night were hissing snakes and toads croaking in soggy grass; his morning-cock, the chearful nightingale or the chirping lark; his companions on the day were howling wolves, ravening lions, and the wrathful boars, all (as the Fates had decreed) as gentle to him as fellowship, as people of a civil governant. For to say troth, time and necessity had converted him to a man of wild conditions, for his hair was grown long and shaggy, like unto a satyr; his flesh tanned in the sun as an Indian; the nails of his fingers were as the talons of eagles; whereby he could easily climb the highest trees; garments he had not any, for they were worn out; and as willingly was he content with nakedness, as in former times he was with rich habiliments.
     Thus lived he for seven years in this desolate forrest, by which time he was almost grown out of the favour of a man: where for a time we will leave him, and proceed to other accidents.


How the Red-Rose Knight found his lady, and how he was most strangely murthered, and buried in a dung-hill.

The black-a-moore slave (as you have heard) attended upon them like an obedient servant, and shewed all duty and love, till Anglitora gave her body to the spoile of lust; from a vertuous lady converted herself to a hatred60 strumpet--which vile course of life, when the Indian perceived, he secretly departed the castle, greatly lamenting the wrongs of his master the Red-Rose Knight, whose noble mind deserved better at her hands. Day and night travelled the poor slave towards England, thinking to find his master there, and to reveal that which he thought hardly would be believed by him. Weary and opprest with hunger went he this long journey; many provinces he passed thorow before he could learn the way towards England, and then was he so [far]61 from it as at the first, when he departed from the castle. The labouring husbandman grieved not more to see his corn and cattel taken by thieves, nor the merchant to hear of his ships sunk at sea, then did this Indian at his vain travels and wearisome journey to small purpose. So at last setting forward again, he came to the sea-side, thinking to hear of some ship to give him passage over; but alas, one cross falls after another, one mischief comes upon the neck of another--so as this true-hearted neger stood beholding how the billows of the sea beat against her banks, and the whale-fishes lay wallowing in the waves, behold, such a tempest suddenly arose, that by the force thereof the poor slave was cast into the sea. But by reason of his silken vail62 tyed about his middle, and his great skill in swimming (as most negers be perfect therein) kept himself from drowning, and as good fortune would, the same tempest drove the weather-beaten ship to the same shore, wherein the Red-Rose Knight (his master) was, which ship had been seven years upon the sea in great extremity, and before this tide could never see land.
     By that time the tempest ended, the ship floated to land, wherein was left but only the Red-Rose Knight in his pilgrim's weed (for all the rest were starved for want of food) who, being weak and feeble, climbed up to the top of the hatches, where, when he had perceived the neger labouring for life upon the waters, cast out a long cord, and so saved him--whom, when the Red-Rose Knight saw, and perfectly knew, he fell almost into a trance for joy supposing his lady and son not to be far distant. But recovering his former senses, he spake as followeth:
     "Oh blessed Neptune, hast thou vouchsafed to deliver me from the depth of thy bowels, and cast me on land, where once again I may behold my fair Anglitora and my dear son the Black Knight? These seven years famine indured on the sea hath been a sweet pleasure to me, in that the end brings me to my desires. Full threescore of my miserable companions in this ship hath death seized upon, and through famine hath eaten one another, making their hungry bowels graves for the other carcasses--and though now this belly of mine (like the cannibals) hath been glutted with humane flesh, and this mouth of mine tasted the blood of man, yet I am as pitiful as the tender-hearted mother forgetting her sons offence, and to my Anglitora will be as kind as if neither she had trespassed, nor like the Grecian Helena left her married lord." So taking the black-a-moore by the hand, he demanded of her welfare, and in what estate his son remained. The true-hearted neger could hardly speak for grief, or utter one word for tears, yet at the last with a woful sigh he uttered forth these heart-killing and woful speeches:
     "Oh my noble Master," quoth he, "by you from a pagan I was made a Christian: therefore if I should prove a perjur'd slave and a false varlet towards you, my body were worthy to be made food for the hungry fowles of the air. Therefore, considering that duty binds me to it, I will reveal such woful chances, and such disloyal tricks shewed by your lady, as will make your heart tremble, your sinews shake, and your hair to stand upright.
     "Anglitora, your lady and wife, hath dishonoured your bed and polluted the sacred chamber of secrecy. That marriage-vow she made in God's holy temple, hath she infringed, and untyed the knot of nuptial promise. In a countrey far hence hath she wrought this hateful crime; in a countrey unpeopled lives she in a castle which is kept by a knight of wanton demeanor. There live they in adultery, there live they secretly sleeping in wantonness, and there for seven years hath she made herself the child of shame. All this with extream grief do I unfold, and with a heart almost killed with sorrow do I breath out the duty of a servant. If I have offended, let my death make amends, for what I speak is truly delivered from a heart unfeigned."
     All the time of this sorrowful discourse stood the Red-Rose Knight in a bitter agony, like one newly dropt from the clouds, not knowing how to take these discourtesies--one while purposing to be revenged, and with his nails to tear out the strumpet's eyes, another while bewailing her weak nature, that so easily was won to lewdness. But at last taking to him (the vertue) patience, he resolved to travel to the castle, and with his meek perswasions seek to win her from her wickedness, and to forget, forgive, and cast out of remembrance all these her un-woman-like demeanors, observing the proverb that "fair means sooner wins a woman then foul."
     Thus, in company of his true servant the neger, he took his journey toward the castle, where after four months travel they arrived. The Red-Rose Knight by the directions of the neger knocked, and in his pilgrim's habit desired meat and lodging for himself and his guide.
     The first that opened the gate was his own lady, who immediately upon the sight of them blushed, as though some sudden fear had affrighted her. Yet dissemblingly colouring her knowledge of them, she in a charitable manner gave them entertainment and conducted them to a by-room at the backside of the castle, into which place she sent them (by her dwarf) victuals from her own table, with command that the next morning they should avoid and never more trouble this place. This message sent by the dwarf much disquieted the Red-Rose Knight, and drove such amaze into his mind that he grew ignorant what to do. And seeing his appointed time very short to remain there, he now thought fit to strike whilst the iron was hot and to discover what he was, so taking the scarf of jewels and rings tyed to his left side against his heart (which she knew perfectly well to be the gifts of her love) and by the dwarf sent them her--the which she no sooner beheld, but she openly laid to the Knight of the Castle that their secret affections were discovered, and her husband in the habit of a pilgrim made abode in her house, conducted thither by the moore to bring their shame to light, to carry her thence to England, there to be punished for her sins. Hereupon the knight and she purposed the same night to rid themselves of that fear, and by some violent death send the pilgrim to his last abiding. Disquietness attended on all sides for that day, and every hour seemed ten till night approached, which at last came, though long lookt for. Then Anglitora in company of the Knight of the Castle like two murtherers rose from their beds, even at that hour of the night when mischiefs are acted, when no noise was heard but the barking of wolves, the howling of dogs, and the croaking of night-owles, all assistants to black actions. In this manner came they into the lodging of the pilgrim, who for weariness of his journey most soundly slept, little dreaming that such cruelty could be lodged in the bosom of his wedded wife, one whose love he had first gained with great danger, and alwaies esteemed as dear as his own heart-blood. All signs of duty had she obscured, not any remembrance had she of woman-hood: marriage-love was forgotten, their passed joys were as things had never been. Not any thought of remorse remained within her, but she, more cruel then the new-delivered bear or the tyger starved for meat, by the help of the Knight of the Castle took the scarfe of jewels (sent her from him the same evening) and by violence thrust them down the pilgrim's throat, by which means she bereaved him of life. And without any solemnity due to so brave a man, they buried him in a dung-hill without the gate, nor shedding so much as one tear for his death (so great was the envy of this spightful lady). The poor neger they set up to the middle in the ground so securely fastened, that by any means he could not stir from thence, where we will leave him waiting for death, the Red-Rose Knight (or rather the unhappy pilgrim) in his unchristian-like grave, and the Knight of the Castle with the murtherless63 Anglitora to their surfeiting banquets of sin, and return to the Black Knight, which had lost himself in the woods.


How the Black Knight, being lost in a wilderness, became a wild man; how his father's ghost appeared unto him; and in what manner he slew his own mother.

By this time the Black Knight grew so natural a wild man as though he had been bred in the wilderness, for day by day he sported with lions, leopards, tygers, elephants, unicorns, and such like kind of beasts, playing as familiarly with them, as in King Arthur's court he had with gallant gentlemen. But mark how it happened one day above another, he chanced to walk down into a valley, where he sate himself down by a river-side and in humane complaints bewailed his own estate, how being born and bred of a princely race, descended royally, he should thus consume his days in savage sort amongst wild beasts, and by no means could recover his liberty, or free himself from that solitary wilderness. Being in this distress of mind, sudden fear assailed him, his heart shivered, his hair stood upright, the elements seemed to look dim, a terrible tempest tore up huge trees, the wild beasts roared and gathered on an heap together, birds fell lifeless from the air, the ground, as it were troubled, and a sudden alteration troubled each thing about him. In this amaze sate he a good time, marvelling what should ensue. At last there appeared (as he imagined) the ghost of his father newly murdered, with a countenance pale and wan, with hallow eyes (or none at all), gliding up and down before him, casting such fearful frowns as might make the stoutest heart in the world to tremble. And at last setting himself before the Black Knight, spake as followeth:
     "Fear not my son, I am the ghost of thy murthered father, returned from Pluto's64 hollow region. I came from that burning kingdom where continually flames an everlasting furnace. From the fearful pit come I to thee for revenge. O thou my son, if ever gentle nature were pliant in thy bosom, if ever thou tookest pleasure to hear thy father's honours spoken of, if ever thou desirest to have thy life meritorious in this world, take to thee thy never failing courage and revenge my death upon thy adulterous mother--thy mother now living in the filthiness of shame, making the castle where she now remains in a lustful stew. There was I murthered and there buried in a stinking dung-hill. No man gave me funeral tears, nor any sorrowed for my death. I that have dared death in the face, and purchased honour in many kingdomes, was slain by my own wife Anglitora, whom the whole world admired for vertue. Rise, dear son, rise and haste to that castle polluted with the shame of thy wicked mother. By Heaven, and by that great immortal throne of happiness, by the low kingdome of eternal pains, by the huge watery seas I past to follow her, by the earth and the souls of all the mortal men that ever died, I command, charge, and constrain thee to persevere in this revenge. Hence to that foul defamed castle, defamed by adultery, defamed by murther; there to my soul do thy latest duty; there wound thy cursed mother's breast; there sacrifice her life's blood; there appease thy father's ghost incenst with fury: so shall my soul in joy enter into the fields of Elizium. But if thou prove coward like, and through fear deny to execute my glorious revenge, from henceforth shall my pale, wan, lean, and withered ghost, with ghastly looks and fearful steps, pursue and follow thee."
     These were the words of his father's ghost, and having spoken these words, with a grievous groan he vanished. At this, his sudden departure, the Black Knight cried with a loud and fearful voice, saying:
     "Let me never breath one day longer nor view the morning's rising sun, let me ever live imprisoned in this wilderness, let nothing prosper that ever I take in hand, and here let the world end if I cease to prosecute a mortal revenge as the soul of my father hath commanded." Hereupon he set forward toward the castle, conducted by what chance the heavens had allotted him. Not one step he knew aright, nor what course to take to find the direct way, but it happened that an ignis fatuis65 (as he thought) or a going fire, led him the right way out of the forrest, directly to the castle where his dishonest mother made her abode. But coming near unto the gates, he found all close, and neer unto the castle the black-a-moore set half way quick into the earth, having for want of food eaten most part of the flesh from his armes--whom the Black Knight soon digged up and kept alive, to be a furtherance to his intended revenge.
     The poor Indian, being thus happily preserved from death, revealed all that had happened in the castle: how his mother lived in adultery; how his father was murthered; why himself was set quick in the earth. And lastly, for the love of his dead master, he protested to conduct him through a secret vault into the castle, that in the dead of night they might the easier accomplish their desired revenge. Thus lingring about the castle till the middle of the night, a time (as they imagined) to be the fittest for their tragical business--at last the midnight-hour came, and through a secret cell they entred underneath the castle, into the lodging where his father was murthered. "This is the place," quoth the neger, "where my sad eyes beheld thy father both alive and dead." So going from thence into the chamber, which by chance and (as ill luck appointed) was through negligence left open, he shewed him the bed where these adulterers lay secretly sleeping in each others arms. "Oh doleful sight!" quoth the Black Knight, "this lust hath made me fatherless, and e're long this weapon shall make me motherless." So kneeling down upon his knees, in a whispering manner he said unto himself:
     "Ye lowring destinies, how weave you the web of their two lives who lived too long? Ye infernal furies, draw neer, assist me thou revengeful god Nemesis,66 for on this sword sits now such a glorious revenge, as being taken, the world will then applaud me for a loving son." Having spoken these words, he sheathed his sword up to the hilt in the bosom of the Knight of the Castle, who, lying in the armes of Anglitora, gave so deadly a groan that she immediately awaked, first looking to the knight that was slain in her armes, then perceiving her son standing with his weapon drawn, yet reaking in the blood of the dead knight, menacing likewise her death, with a woful shriek she breathed out these words:
     "O what hast thou done, my cruel son? Thou hast slain the miracle of humanity, and one whom I have chosen to be my heart's paramour and thy second father."      
     "Oh Lady," quoth the Black Knight, "for mother is too proud a title for thee: what fury driveth thee to lament the deserved death of that lewd blood-shedder, and not rather chuse with heart-relenting sighs to bewail the death of my father, thy renowned husband, whose guiltless body, even dead, thou didst despise by burying him inhumanely upon a dung-hill? But Heaven hath granted and earth hath agreed detesting both thy misdeeds, and hath sent me to sacrifice thy blood unto the soul of my murthered father."
     Whilst he was speaking these words, Anglitora arose from her bed, and in her smock kneeled to her son, upon her bare knees, saying:
     "Oh thou my dear son, whom I once nourished in my painful womb, and fed thee with mine own blood; whom oft I choicely dandled in my armes, when with lullabies and sweet kisses I rocked thee asleep: O far be it from thee, my loving son, to harm that brest, from whom thou first receivedst life; Of thee, my son, thy mother beggeth life. Oh spare the life that once gave thee life. With bleeding tears I do confess my wanton offences. I do confess through me thy father died--then, if confession of faults may merit mercy, pardon my life. Wound not the womb that fostred thee, which now I term wicked by only fostring thee. What child can glut his eyes with gazing on his parent's wounds, and will not faint in beholding them?" Hereupon the Black Knight, not able to indure to suffer his mother's further intreating, lest pitty and remorse might mollifie his heart and so grant her life (which to Heaven to take away he had deeply sworn), he cut her off with these deadly words:
     "Lady, I am not made of flint nor adamant. In kind regard of calamity, I am almost struck with remorse. But duty must quite undo all duty; kind must work against kind. All the powers of my body be at mortal strife, and seek to confound each other. Love turns to hatred, nature turns to wrath, and duty to revenge, for methinks my father's blood, with a groaning voice, cries to Heaven for revenge. Therefore to appease my father's angry spirit, here shalt thou yield up thy dearest blood." Here was he ready to strike, and with the sword to finish up the tragedy, but that his grieved soul in kind nature plucked back his hand--whereupon with a great sigh he said:
     "Oh heavens, how am I grieved in mind? Father, forgive me, I cannot kill my mother. And now again, methinks I see the pale shadow of my father's ghost gliding before mine eyes; methinks he shews me the manner of his murther, methinks his angry looks threaten me and tell me, how that my heart is possest with cowardise, and childish fear." And in speaking these words, with his sword he split the dear heart of his mother, from whence the blood as from a gushing spring issued. Which when he beheld, such a sudden conceit of grief entred his mind (considering that he had slain his own mother, whom in duty he ought to honour above all living women) that he rather fell into a frenzie then a melancholy, and so with a pale countenance and ghastly looks, began to talk idely.
     "What have I done? Whom hath my bloody hand murdered? Now wo unto my soul, for I am worse then the viperous brood that eat out their dam's womb to get life unto themselves. They do but according to nature, I against all nature; for I have digged up the bosom that first gave me life. Oh wicked wretch, where shall I now hide my head? For I have slain myself in killing her. I have stained this chamber here with humane blood. The heavens abhor me for this deed, the world condemns me for this murther, and Hell-furies will follow me with shame and terrour." In this frantick sort ran he up and down the chamber, and at last with the nails of his fingers, he fell to grave upon the stone-walls the picture of his mother, imitating Pigmalion,67 hoping to have life breathed into the same. Meanwhile the poor Indian with the fleshless arms heaved up towards Heaven, and on his bare knees made this supplication to the gods for the Black Knight's recovery of his wits:
     "Oh you angry heavens," qouth he, "revoke your heavy dooms, forget this crime, forgive this unnatural murther, pitty the state of this distressed knight, and send some means to recover his senses." Thus in a zealous manner prayed the poor neger, desiring God to lay the knight's faults upon his head, and reclaim his unbridled rage--which prayer was soon regarded by Heaven, for the Black Knight had immediately his madness turned into a sad melancholy, and in a more gentle manner made his sad lamentations.
     But now the neger (who all the time of Anglitora's murther stood in a trance), seeing the unchast lady dead, and the chamber all besprinkled with blood, said as followeth:
     "Now," quoth he, betwixt life and death, "have you shown yourself a dutiful son, and nobly revenged the death of your father." These were the last words of the poor Indian, which was then sunk down and never after breathed. Thereupon came forth the dwarf of the castle, with great store of treasure, proffering the same to the Black Knight, who, nothing thirsting after covetousness, refused it, and withal took the dwarf (in satisfaction for the neger's death) and crammed the treasure down his throat, and after buried the two servants in one grave.


How the Fairy Knight came to be called "The Worlds Triumph;" of his arrival in England, of the two knights' death, and of the proverb used in the three cities of England.

You have read in the first part of this history how the Fairy Knight, the son of Celia, begot by the Red-Rose Knight, was committed (by his mother at her death) to the keeping of the ladies in the land (then were there but few men living, being a country only of women), and now being of lusty age, and a knight of renowned valour, he betook himself to travel. The only cause thereof was to find his father or some of his kindred, whom he had never seen.
     Many were the countries he passed, but more the dangers he indured, all which for this time we omit, and will only a little speak of three gifts given him by an hermit, that had three exceeding vertues. For coming to an island to seek adventures, it was his chance to save a young beautiful maiden from ravishing by a satyrical wild-man. For he having tied the golden locks of her hair to two knotty brambles, and being ready to take his venerial pleasure upon her, the Fairy Knight, coming by and seeing that dishonour and violence offered to so young a virgin, with his sword at one blow paired away the wild-man's head, and so went with the maiden home to her father's house, which was an hermitage some miles distant off. Where being no sooner come, but the good old man, having a head more white than silver (but a heart more heavy then lead, by reason of the want of his daughter cruelly so taken from him), began at her sight to be so cheered that he had not the power for joy to speak in a good space. But at last taking the Fairy Knight by the hand, he led him to an inward room, where he banqueted him with such cheer as his hermitage afforded, and after in liew of his daughter's rescue he gave three such gifts, and of three such vertues as the like seldom had knight.
     The first was a ring, which whosoever did wear should never die by treason. The second a sword, that on what gate soever it struck, it should presently fly open. The third and last, a viol68 of such drink, that whosoever tasted thereof should presently forget all passed sorrows. Having received these three gifts of the good old hermit, he departed, and travelled without any adventure till he came and found the Black Knight asleep upon his father's grave; whom when the Fairy Knight had awaked, in countenance they were so alike as if nature had made them both one.
     But when the Black Knight had revealed his birth and parentage, his father's name and place of birth, the Fairy Knight resolved himself that he had found a brother, as well in nature as condition. But when he heard the story of his father's life, and the manner of his death, with the murther of Anglitora his unchast wife, he could not chuse but shed tears, whereupon he took occasion to speak as followeth:
     "Heavens rest thy sweet soul, my unknown father, and may the fruit of thee prove as famous in the world as thou hast been, but more fortunate in their marriage choice. Or as my step-mother, though her unchast life have made her infamous to all women-kind, yet this in charity I desire: that when she comes to Pluto's realm, that Proserpina69 may send her to the fields of Elizium. In remembrance of whom in this world, if we ever arrive in that noble countrey of England where my knightly father was born, we will there erect her a stately tomb--yet no epitaph shall shew her disloyal life, but in letters of beaten gold shall remain engraven upon her tomb, the name of "ANGLITORA, Daughter to Prester John, and Wife to the Red-Rose Knight." Hereupon he gave his newfound brother the knight his viol of drink, which the hermit had given him; who no sooner had tasted, but all former griefs were forgot.
     Hereupon these two knights departed towards England, and performed many noble deeds of chivalry by the way, but amongst all others being in the Turkish court. This is worthy to be noted, for with one box of the ear the Black Knight killed the Turk's son stark dead, for which cause by treason were their lives conspired, and the following night had their lodgings entred by twelve of the Turk's guard, with an intent to murther them. But by reason of the inchanted ring, in the which they put both their fingers, the guard of a sudden fell all fast in a trance. Hereupon the two knights departed the great Turkish court. But no sooner were they out of the city but a troop of armed knights pursued them, and followed them so neerly that they were forced to enter a castle that stood by the seaside, wherein no creature had abiding. Coming to the gate, the Fairy Kn[ight]70 with his sword struck thereat, and it presently opened; wherein being no sooner entred, but the armed knights of the Turkish nation closed them fast in, and caused the gates to be walled up with free-stone, and so departed. Now were these two knights in more danger of death then ever they had been in all their lives, and sure they had starved had not good policy preserved their lives, for the castle walls were so high that none durst venture down without great danger. So the two knights cut off all their hair from their head, which were very long, and therewithal made a long twisted line or cord, with which they slid from the top of the wall to the ground. But this mischance happened: as the Fairy Knight glided down, the cord broke, and his body took such a violent blow against the ground that it struck the breath quite out of his body. No life by the Black Knight could be perceived, but that his soul was forever divided from his body. This of all misfortunes was held the extreamest--therefore in great grief he breathed forth this lamentation:
      "Oh you partial Fates," quoth he, "oh you unjust Destinies: why have you bereft two lives by wounding one? Now let the sun forbear his wonted light, let heat and cold, let drought and moysture, let earth and air, let fire and water be all mingled and confounded together; let that old confounded Chaos71 return again, and here let the world end. And now you Heavens, this is my request: that my soul may presently forsake this flesh. I have no soul of mine own, for it is the soul of the Fairy Knight, for but one soul is common to us both--then how can I live, having my soul departed, which spightful death hath now seperated. Oh thou my knightly brother, though the Fates deny to give me life, yet in spight of them I'le follow thee.
     "You Heavens receive this false soul of my true friend, and let not life and death part us. With eagle's wings will I flie after him, and in Jove's celestial throne joyn with him in friendship. We two in life were but one: one will, one heart, one mind, one soul made us one, one life kept us both alive, one being dead draws the other unto death. Therefore as we lived in love, so will we die in love, and in one grave we may interre both our bodies. How glorious were my death to die with my beloved friend! Now I do loath this life in living alone without my dear brother." Whereupon drawing his sword from his side, he said:
     "Oh thou woful weapon, even thou shalt be the means to rid my soul from this prison of my body. Oh faith unfeigned, oh hand of sacred friendship; I am resolved both with the force of heart, hand and arm to give my heart death's deadly wound, for now my noble Fairy Knight, this blood I offer up unto thy soul." But being ready with his sword to pierce his own heart, he saw a lively blood spread in his friend's face, and those eyes that were so dolefully closed up began now to look abroad. So the next morning the wind ser-[ved] well,72 the pilots hoisted sail, and they merrily floated on the waters.
     Ten weeks had not passed toward the finishing of a year before they arrived on the chalky clifts of England--upon which they had no sooner set footing but with their warm lips gently kissed the cold earth. "This is the land of promised glory," said the Fairy Knight. "To find this land I have indured many miseries; to find this land I have passed many countries; and in this land must I seal up the last quittance of my life. Here shall my bones rest, for I am lawfully descended from the loynes of an English knight. Peace be in my end, for all my days have been spent in much trouble."
     After this, the king which then raigned ordained a solemn justing to be kept in his court, and held in a great honour for forty days. To which knightly sports resorted chiefest flowers of chivalry from all countries, as kings, princes, dukes, earls, lords, and knights, and for chief challenger and champion of the country was the Fairy Knight, who for his matchless manhood therein shewn had this title to be given him: to be called "The World's Triumph."
     After this, being desirous to see the city of Lincoln, where the Red-Rose Knight was born, he in company of his brother and true friend the Black Knight and old Sir Lancelot du Lake, rode thither--at whose coming into the city the great bell (called Tom a Lincoln) was rung an hour, which as then was seldom done to any except kings and renowned warriours, returning victoriously from bloody battels.
     Here builded they a most sumptuous minster, and likewise a most stately tomb in remembrance of their parents, the like as then no place of England afforded.
     Thus having left the noble feats of chivalry, they lived a life zealous and most pleasing to God, erecting many almes-houses for poor people, giving thereto great wealth and treasure, and when nature had ended their days, they were buried in the same minster both in one tomb, with like solemnities--so richly set up with pillars of gold that above all it grew the most famous. Whereupon since that time was the old proverb of the three cities grown common to all, in these words: "Lincoln is, London was, York shall be."73