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Book IV, Canto III

June 15, 2011

On the day of the fight, Cambell entered the  lists with Sir Priamond as his challenger. They fought evenly until one of Priamond’s blows caused Cambell to drop his shield. Cambell in retaliation drove his spear through Priamond’s thigh armor, which stunned Priamond and gave him the chance to stab him in the side and in then in the face with his broken spear. Priamond died with the broken spear in his throat.

Thanks to the magic of the last canto, Priamond’s spirit flew into the body of Diamond. Diamond and Cambell smote each other for awhile, until Diamond’s impatience caused him to swing a hard blow that missed and caused him to stumble. Cambell immediately beheaded him. There is a great description of the event in stanzas 20-21:

The headlesse tronke, as heedlesse of that stower,
Stood still a while, and his fast footing kept,
Till feeling life to fayle, it fell, and deadly slept.

They which that piteous spectacle beheld,
Were much amaz’d the headlesse tronke to see
Stand vp so long, and weapon vaine to weld,
Vnweeting of the Fates diuine decree,
For lifes succession in those brethren three.
For notwithstanding that one soule was reft,
Yet, had not the bodie not dismembred bee,
It would haue livued, and reuiued eft;
But finding no fit seat, the lifelesse corse it left.

Now BOTH spirits entered Triamond. This wasn’t really cheating when you recall that Cambell had a ring that healed all wounds. Triamond fought fast and furiously but eventually the bleeding got to him and Cambell struck him down. This caused one spirit to fly away, but he still had two others. After a moment he stood back up and began fighting afresh. One huge stroke led to another and it ended with BOTH knights lying lifeless on the ground. The party began to leave. They both got up and once again returned to fighting.

At this point the lady Cambia showed up, riding a chariot pulled by lions. She was a magician bearing Mercury’s caduceus and the drink Nepenthe (a drink that makes one non-violent and happy). Between her wisdom and her drink, she managed to stop the fight and make them all into friends. Triamond married Canacee and Cambell married Cambina.


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