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Who having lately left that lovely pair,
Enlinked fast in wedlocks loyal bond,
Bold Marinell with Florimell the fair,
With whom great feast and goodly glee he fond,
Departed from the castle of the strond,
To follow his adventures first intent,
Which long ago he taken had in hond :
Ne wight with him for his assistance went,
But that great iron groom, his guard and government.
With whom as he did pass by the sea shore,
He chanc'd to come, whereas two comely Squires,
Both brethren, whom one womb together bore,
But stirred up with different desires,
Together strove, and kindled wrathful fires :
And them beside, two seemly damzels stood,
By all means seeking to assuage their ires,
Now with fair words but words did little good: [mood.
Now with sharp threat; but threats the more increas'd their
And there before them stood a coffer strong,
Fast bound on every side with iron bands,
But seeming to have suffred mickle wrong,
Either by being wreckt upon the sands,
Or being carried far from foreign lands,
Seem'd that for it these Squires at odds did fall,
And bent against themselves their cruel hands.
But evermore those damzels did forestall
Their furious encounter, and their fierceness pall.
But firmly fixt they were, with dint of sword,
And battles doubtful proof their rights to try,
Ne other end their fury would afford,
But what to them fortune would juftify.
So stood they both in readiness thereby,
To join the combat with cruel intent;
When Arthegal arriving happily,
Did stay awhile their greedy hickerment,
Till he had questioned the cause of their diffent,
To whom the elder did this answer frame;
Then weet ye Sir, that we two brethren be,
To whom our Sire, Milesio by name,
Did equally bequeath his lands in fee,
Two islands, which ye there before
fee Not far in sea ; of which the one appears But like a little mount of small degree;
Yet was as great and wide ere many years,
As that same other isle, that greater breadth now bears.
But tract of time, that all things doth decay,
And this devouring sea that nought doth spare,
The most part of my land hath washt away,
And thrown it up unto my brothers share :
So his encreased, but mine did empair.
Before which time I lov'd as was my lot,
That further maid hight Philtera the fair,
With whom a goodly dowre I should have got, And should have joined been to her in wedlocks knot.
Then did my younger brother Anidas,
Love that fame other damzel Lucy bright,
To whom but little dowre allotted was :
Her vertue was the dowre that did delight.
What better dowre can to a Dame be hight?
But now when Philtra faw my lands decay,
And former livel’od fail, the left me quight,
And to my brother did elope straightway;
Who taking her from me, his own Love left astray.
She seeing then herself forfaken fo,
Through dolorous despair, which she conceiv'd,
Into the sea herself did headlong throw,
Thinking to have her grief by death: bereav'd.
But see how much her purpose was deceiv'd.
Whilst thus, amidst the billows beating of her,
Twixt life and death, long to and fro The weav'd,
She chanc'd unwares to light upon this coffer,
Which to her in that danger hope of life did offer,
The wretched maid, that erst defir'd to die,
Whenas the pain of death she tasted had,
And but half seen his ugly visnomie,
Gan to repent that she had been so mad,
For any death to change life though most bad:
And catching hold of this fea-beaten chest,
The lucky Pilot of her paffage fad,
After long tosling in the seas distreft,
Her weary bark at last upon mine Ine did reft.
Where I by chance then wandring on the shore,
Did her espy, and through my good endeavour,
From dreadful mouth of death, which threatned fore
Her to have swallow'd up, did help to save her.
She then in recompence of that great favour,
Which I on her bestow'd, bestow'd on me
The portion of that good which Fortune gave her,
Together with her self in dowry free;
Both goodly portions; but of both the better The.
Yet in this coffer, which she with her brought,
Great treasure fithence we did find contain'd:
Which as our own we took, and so it thought.
But this fame other damzel since hath feign’d,
That to her self that treasure appertain'd;
And that she did transport the same by sea,
To bring it to her husband new ordain'd,
But suffred cruel shipwreck by the way.
But whether it be fo or no, I cannot fay.
But whether it indeed be so or no,
This do I say, that what so good or ill,
Or God or Fortune unto me did throw
(Not wronging any other by my will)
I hold mine own and fo will hold it ftill.
And though my land he first did win away,
And then my Love (though now it little skill)
Yet my good luck he shall not likewise prey s
But I will it defend whilft ever that I may.
So having said, the younger did ensue ;
Full true it is, whatso about our land
My brother here declared hath to you:
But not for it this odds twixt us doth stand,
But for this treasure thrown upon his strand;
Which well I prove, as shall appear by trial,
To be this maids, with whom I fastned hand,
Known by good marks and perfect good espial :
Therefore it ought be rendred her without denial.
When they thus ended had, the Knight began ;
Certes your strife were easie to accord,
Would ye remit it to some righteous man.
Unto your self, said they, we give our word,
To bide that judgement ye shall us afford.
Then for assurance to my doom to stand,
Under my foot let each lay down his sword,
And then you shall my sentence understand.
So each of them laid down his sword out of his hand,
XVII. Then Artbegal thus to the younger
Now tell me Amidas, if that ye may,
Your brothers land the which the sea hath laid
Unto your part, and pluckt from his away,
By what good right do you withhold this day?
What other right, quoch he, should you esteein,
But that the sea it to my share did lay?
Your right is good, said he, and so I deem,
That what the sea unto you sent, your own should feem.
Then turning to the elder thus he said ;
Now Bracidas, let this likewise be shown;
Your brothers treasure, which from him is straid,
Being the dowry of his Wife well known,
By what right do you claim to be your own?
What other right, quoth he, should you esteem,
But that the sea hath it unto me thrown?
Your right is good, said he, and so I deem,
That which the sea unto you sent, your own should feem,
For equal right in equal things doth stand;
For what the mighty sea hath once poffeft,
And plucked quite from all possessors hand,
Whether by rage of waves, that never rest,
Or else by wreck that wretches hath distrest,
He may dispose by his imperial might,
As thing at random left, to whom he list.
So Amidas, the land was yours first hight,
And so the treasure yours is Bracidas by right.
When he his sentence thus pronounced had,
Both Amidas and Philtra were displeasid:
Bat Bracidas and Lucy were right glad,
And on the treasure by that judgment seiz'd.
So was their discord by this doom appeas’d,
And each one had his right. Then Arthegall,
Whenas their sharp contention he had ceas'd,
Departed on his way as did befall,
To follow his old quest, the which him forth did call.
So as he travelled upon the way,
He chanc'd to come, where happily he spide)
A rout of many people far away ;
To whom his course he hastily applide,
To weet the cause of their affemblance wide.
To whom when he approached near in sight
(An uncouth sight) he plainly then descride
To be a troop of women, warlike dight,
With weapons in their hands, as ready for to fight.
And in the midst of them he saw a Knight,
With both his hands behind him piniond hard,
And round about his neck an halter tight,
As ready for the gallow tree preparid:
His face was cover'd, and his head was bar'd,
That who he was uneath was to descry;
And with full heavy heart with them he far'd,
Griev'd to the soul, and groaning inwardly,
That he of Womens hands. lo base a death should dye,