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Book VI, Canto VIII

July 20, 2011

Arthur and Sir Enias (the knight hired by Turpine in the last canto) pass by Mirabella’s van. Timias keeps his head down, ashamed of being a thrall. Enias challenges Disdain and puts up a fair fight, but is beaten in the end and held, struggling, down on the ground by the fool Scorn.

Arthur then challenges Disdain. He has a better outcome, breaking Disdain’s leg so that he falls on the ground. As he is about to dispatch him, Mirabella stop him, saying that his death will mean her own. She explains her sad story:

In prime of youthly years, when first the flowre
Of beauty gan to bud…
I was belou’d of many a gentle Knight,
And sude and sought with all the seruice dew:
Full many a one for me deepe groand and sight,
And to the dore of death for sorrow drew…

But let them loue that list, or liue or die…
Thus I triumphed long in louers paine,
And sitting carelesse on the scorners stoole,
Did laugh at those that did lament and plaine:
But all is now repayd with interest againe.

-stanzas 20-21

She shows them her bottle, which she puts her tears into, and the bag on her back, which she puts her repentance into. They both leak out anything she puts inside, and she is scorned by Scorn for her sins.

Arthur at last recognizes Timias and frees him. The savage man fights Disdain (who is able to get back up again despite his leg) until Arthur stops him. Arthur gives Mirabella the option to leave this group, but she tells him she must carry out her penance. Then Arthur is gone from the poem.

Lady Serena is all alone and terrified. At last she sits down in the woods, blames Sir Calepine in her heart, and falls asleep. During the night she is discovered by a band of cannibal raiders, who decide to sacrifice her and then eat her. She wakes up as they are preparing their ritual, and ends up naked on the altar before Calepine is attracted by all the commotion. He kills all the cannibals and saves the lady, but he cannot discern her face in the darkness and she is too shy (being naked) to speak to him.


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