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Book VI, Canto VII

July 20, 2011

Turpine the coward follows Arthur from his castle. He stalks him through the woods, planning to kill him somehow. Turpine meets a pair of inexperienced knights that he convinces (by lying) to fight Arthur for him.

When the two knights catch up with him it goes badly for them. The first knight’s lance misses and he rides on by. The second knight is killed in the fall off his horse. The first knight turns around to face Arthur again and is knocked down. Arthur spares him when he begs for mercy, and the knight tells him all about being recruited by Turpine. He volunteers to bring Turpine to Arthur, and that he does. The knight returns to where he left Sir Turpine and tells him how the other fellow is dead and so is Arthur. He leads Turpine to the spot…but Arthur is only asleep (I guess he got tired of waiting). The knight declares Sir Turpine a villain and will not be swayed by his frightened bribes. The savage man returns and Arthur wakes up. You can’t fool him twice, so Turpine gets hung upside down on a tree.

Now we are introduced to the lady on the ass that Serena and Timias recently passed. Her name is Mirabella, and she is riding along on the ass with the fool and the carl*.  Mirabella is a proud, stonyhearted beauty who used to ruin people’s love. She is in her present state because Cupid found out about it during one of his St. Valentine’s Day courts, when a lot of his men went missing. She had ruined, killed, or bound them all. He exiled her with this sorry company until she had saved as many loves as she ruined (22 in all). So far, after 2 years of wandering, she has saved 2.

The foul carl is Disdain, and the fool is Scorn. They assail her physically and verbally as they ride. The squire Timias is too noble to stay out of it, so he interferes but is quickly made hostage himself and tied up to walk before the wagon. Poo Serena flees the scene.

*Which I had to look up in the dictionary. It means churl, or boor.

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