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Book V, Canto III

July 12, 2011

We return to poor Florimell, who has at last found happiness with Marinell. They are celebrating their marriage with a tournament. Sir Marinell wins the first two days, but on the third day all the other knights gang up on him and things begin to look bad. Luckily, Arthegall arrives at the right moment to save the day. He snatches Braggadochio’s shield as a disguise and quickly defeats 50+ knights to free Marinell.

At the afterparty, Florimell awards the victor’s garland to Braggadochio (since he is wearing the winning shield). Braggadochio begins to boast about his own lady, the false Florimell, and shows her off. The room is dumbfounded by the resemblance*, and even Marinell believes that this could be the real Florimell.

Arthegall can’t handle this foolishness, so he reveals himself as the true champion and challenges Braggadochio to show his weapon, his scars, or his sweat as proof of his victories. Of course he has none of these to show. Then Arthegall bids the real Florimell to stand next to hear false doppelganger, and the false Florimell melts away, Wicked-Witch style. Only the girdle is left. Arthegall fastens it on the real Florimell, and it stays on her waist.

Just then, Guyon from Book II shows up to claim his stolen horse. Again Arthegall weighs the truth, and asks Guyon to prove the horse is his. Guyon answers that the animal has a certain mark inside his mouth. After the horse performs a killing and a maiming, Guyon calms him down, names him Brigadore, and is able to open his mouth. Then they all know that the horse is his.

Braggadochio begans to revile Arthegall to the point of angering our Justice knight. Guyon dishes out some Temperance and stops him from avenging himself. Talus, however, follows Braggadochio out, shaves his beard off, and disposes of all his weaponry.

Thus justice is done, and the party continues.

*Spenser compares this to a parhelion. Neat, huh?


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