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Book IV, Canto XII

June 19, 2011

FINALLY the procession of the rivers comes to an end, and the story resumes with Marinell’s nymph mother Cymodoce attending the wedding. He can’t go with her, being half-mortal, so he wanders around on shore outside Proteus’ house. He happens to hear Florimell’s laments, and realizes that all her sad sufferings have been for love of himself.

This melts his hard heart and he tries to devise a way to free her. He can’t ask his mother for help, nor can he fight Proteus, nor can he free her on his own. He blames himself for all her problems. This makes him ill, and eventually he wastes away in his mother’s house.

Cymodoce is worried. Tryphon tells her that her son’s disease is not a physical ailment. “Nathlesse she rested not so satisfide”, but brings Apollo himself to Marinell’s side. Apollo pronounces the malady as “some inward thought” – love, to be precise.

The nymph is worried yet more, as she knows that a woman’s love will be the death of Marinell. But she knows that he’s already near death, so she resolves to find Florimell for him. She goes straight to Neptune himself and complains of Florimell’s captivity and Marinell’s illness. Neptune commands Proteus to let Florimell go, and Cymodoce is able to take her from the dungeon “right ioyous, that she gotten had / So fair a wife for her sonne Marinell.” And with that happy ending Book IV is finished.

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