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Book VI, Canto VI

July 19, 2011

The hermit tries all his potions on the wounded to no avail. He recognizes that the cure will be mental instead of physical. He gives a speech in stanza 7:

For in your selfe your onley helpe doth lie,
To heale your selues, and must proceed alone
From your owne will, to cure your maladie.

He teaches them the history of the Beast, bred in the Stygian pit by its monster parents Echidna and Typhaon. He emphasizes that no salves will be able to heal them, only mental discipline. They must remove themselves from situations in which evil may arise. He advises that they live ascetically and never gossip. With this wisdom their wounds heal soon and Timias and Serena are able to leave together.

The story switches to Arthur, who has gone with the savage man to find Sir Turpine. By chance he finds the gate of the castle open and rides inside the hall. Arthur feigns that he is injured when the household servant questions him. When the servant moves to push him outside the savage man rips him apart. This leads to a big fight that ends with Arthur and the savage man amidst a pile of bodies. Then Turpine arrives with 40 men. Arthur focuses on Turpine himself and ends up chasing him all the way into his upstairs chamber where Blandina was waiting. He fall son the ground and shakes like a coward. She covers him with her dress and begs for his life. Arthur is dismayed at the knight’s cowardice, and lets him live on the condition that he never call himself a knight or bear arms again.

Arthur finds the savage man still killing. He gives him the order to stop, preventing him from attacking Turpine. They stay the night in that castle, with Blandina entertaining them. Spenser points out that she is not genuine, and manipulates with her words.


Book VI, Canto V

July 19, 2011

This savage man also must have noble blood, because he is more or less a sweetheart. When Calepine doesn’t return he goes out looking for him, but can’t find him anywhere. Serena throws herself down for grief and starts her wounds bleeding again. The wildman takes care of her until she decides to leave. He comes along, wearing all of Calepine’s arms except his sword (which Spenser tells us Calepine had hidden).

This odd couple by chance meets none other than Arthur and Timias on the road! Last time we saw them together Timias was a crazy old hermit! Well, after Belphoebe took him back he made some enemies. Three of them were named Despetto, Decetto, and Defetto. They plotted against him and sent the Blatant Beast to pull him away from Belphoebe. Their trick worked and Timias pursued the monster through the woods, despite having been bitten. But the monster led them straight into an ambush by the three. One versus three wasn’t working out well for Timias, but luckily Arthur showed up to save him! And thus they came to be in the same wood as the lady and the savage man.

After a scuffle with the savage Serena explains the situation, that the savage is kind but simple and mute. Since Timias is also wounded by the Beast, they ride together to find treatment. During the trip Serena relates the incident of wicked Sir Turpine, and Arthur vows to avenger her.

They come to a little hermitage. The hermit is a good man and an ex-knight. They spend the knight, with Timias and Serena growing worse from their festering wounds. In the morning Arthur leaves.

Book VI, Canto IV

July 18, 2011

Just then, a savage man happens to come by and witness the spectacle. He feels sorry for Calepine and interferes, beating Sir Turpine by gripping his shield and dragging him off his horse. He chases Turpine through the woods until he’s long gone, then returns to Calepine and Serena.

They’re a bit nervous around the wildman, but he makes signs to them of his good intentions and they follow him into the woods. He shows them his forest dwelling. The savage also heals Calepine’s wound, though Serena’s is beyond his skill.

One day Calepine met a bear with an infant in its mouth. Of course Calepine rushes the bear to save the baby. He chucks a great stone into the bear’s throat and kills it. The baby is unharmed so he carries it away…only to discover that he has gotten lost whilst chasing the bear.

Eventually he hears a women crying and goes to her. In true fairy-tale fashion, this women (named Matilde) is the barren wife of Sir Bruin. Her lord has extensive property but no heir. Matilde recounts a prophecy that a son should “be gotten, not begotten” and Calepine is quickly “Right glad…to be so rid / Of his young charge, whereof he skilled nought”. The baby grows up into a famous knight.

But now Calepine is alone in the woods.

Book VI, Canto III

July 18, 2011

The castle belongs to the wounded knight’s father. His name is Aldus and his son’s name is Aladine. He is (understandably) upset at his son’s condition, but entertains Calidore and the lady Priscilla with great courtesy. We learn that Priscilla’s father is of higher rank than than Aladine and disapproved of his daughter’s relationship. That is why they were meeting in the woods when the unfortunately incident of the previous canto happened. Poor Priscilla weeps over Aladine all night, and in the morning he is much improved. When Caladore visits him he asks that he escort Priscilla home. On the way to her father’s house, they find the corpse of the previous canto’s antagonist, and he cuts off the head to show to Priscilla’s father.

As Calidore is leaving, he passes a knight and his lady resting in the shade. He apologizes for interrupting them, but makes himself so pleasant that they ask him to sit down with them. The knight is Calepine and his lady’s name is Serena. Serena wanders in the field nearby, picking flowers, until suddenly out of the forest bursts the Blatant Beast! He snatches her up and runs off. Calidore and Calepine are after him immediately. Calidore overtakes the beast and causes him to drop Serena, then they are out of the story for a bit.

Serena is badly wounded when Calepine reaches her. Her sets her on his horse and they travel until evening, when they come to a ford they must cross. At the ford they encounter another knight and yet another lady. This knight is a jerk, he offers no help (though his lady tries to) and mocks Calepine as he crosses the ford on foot, leading his horse. Calepine challenges him once he reaches the other side, but is dismissed. The knight and lady ride off to the same castle Calepine was heading towards.

When he gets to the castle, the porter refuses him entrance. The lord of the castle is Turpine, the same jerk from the ford. His lady Blandina tries to get him to change his mind about offering the wounded woman shelter, but he will not let them in. Calepine and Serena sleep in the field.

The next morning, after leaving the grounds, Calepine sees Sir Turpine coming after him. There’s a weird cat and mouse game, with the mounted Turpine chasing Calepine around even though Serena begs him to stop. Calepine uses the wounded lady as his shield but gets stabbed by Turpine’s spear regardless.

Book VI, Canto II

July 17, 2011

Calidore is back on the road. He sees a young man dressed like Robin Hood fighting a knight on horseback, with a lady in dirty clothes watching them. The youth quickly kills the knight, and Calidore is amazed that a young woodsman is able to defeat an armed and armored knight.

The youth tells his story – he interfered because he saw the knight riding along with the poor lady tied to his horse. He was hitting her with his spear and she was crying, so the youth dispatched him with one of his darts.

The lady tells her story – she and the knight were riding along when they spied another couple in the woods. He decided that the other lady was more lovely, and despicably attacked her unarmed knight. The lady he wanted slipped away into the woods and disappeared. When he could not find his prize, he turned on his own lady and spitefully tied her to the horse.

Calidore knows that this woodsman is an aristocrat, and he is right. It is Tristram, brought to Faerie to hide from his usurping uncle. He is skilled in hunting and other activities but has yet to learn to fight with arms. Calidore promptly makes Tristram his squire, but gives him the task of escorting the dirty lady home, saying that he is not able to attend him on this particular quest. Tristram despoils the dead knight and does as he is asked.

Now Sir Calidore continues to ride and comes upon the other people who can validate the stories he recently heard. He finds the wounded unarmed knight and his lady grieving for him. Calidore tries to cheer them up by telling them of Tristram’s victory. He also lends his shield as a bier so he and the lady can between them carry the wounded man to a nearby castle.

Book VI, Canto I

July 17, 2011

The end is in sight!








Book VI is all about courtesy. Our hero is Sir Calidore, a knight with a golden tongue to “steale mens hearts away”. He is not a flatterer or a liar, just an honest, tactful, considerate knight. As Calidore is leaving for his book’s adventure, he meets Arthegall return from Book V’s adventure. They exchange pleasantries and Arthegall asks what quest Calidore is on. He responds that he is seeking the Blatant Beast. Arthegall informs him that he recently saw the same beast, and they part with well wishes on both sides.

Soon Calidore meets a squire tied to a tree. He unties him and inquires about his situation. The squire tells of a nearby castle. The lady of the castle is named Briana, and she loves a knight named Crudor. Crudor is too proud to marry her unless she gives him a mantle made of beards and locks.  Briana instituted a rule that none may pass without forfeiting their hair (for ladies) or their beard (for men). Briana has her seneschal Maleffort in charge of this strange tax.

The squire was just riding by with his lady when he was assaulted for his beard, and his lady is now being chased down for her hair. They hear her scream and Calidore confronts the man who has her. He chases him all the way to the castle and chops off his head once they make it inside. Then he fights his way to Briana, who chastises him and calls him an uncourteous coward. She threatens him with Crudor’s wrath and he offers to face him. Briana sends for Crudor to fight for her.

Calidore meets Crudor out on the field in front of the castle and knocks him unconscious right away. He is too kind to kill him while he is out, but the fight resumes on foot once Crudor awakes. They spill each other’s blood, Calidore wins, Crudor begs for mercy, and Calidore grants it on the condition that he take Briana without the hair mantle.

In her gratitude Briana gives the castle to Calidore, who in turn gives it to the unfortunately squire and his lady.


Book V, Canto XII

July 16, 2011

They find a ship and cross the sea. On the other shore is a horde of soldiers, but Talus flails his way through them and they disembark. As they approach the town, Grantorto sends more forces to stop them, but again Talus prevails. Arthegall halts the slaughter and calls for a truce. He offers to fight Grantorto in single combat for the deliverance of Irena.

Poor Irena has no idea anyone is coming for her, and wakes up with dread on the tenth day. When she arrives at the battle-place she is greatly encouraged to see that Arthegall has come. The giant Grantorto also comes, arrayed in mail and holding a big axe. Their combat only lasts a few stanzas – Grantorto’s axe gets stuck in Arthegall’s shield (which he is quick to toss away, despite his advice to Bourbon in the previous canto), and then Arthegall’s sword Chrysaor finds his head, knocking him down. And that’s the end of Grantorto.

Irena is honored as the true Princess, and Arthegall and Talus punish everyone who plotted against her. He stays to meet out justice, but soon the Faerie court calls Arthegall away. He leaves Irena in the middle of sorting out her realm’s problems.

On the way home he runs into two terrible hags. One is Envy and the other her loudmouth buddy Detraction. They are described as vile women, Envy gnawing on a still-living snake. They also have a monster known as the Blatant Beast. They rail on Arthegall incessantly. Envy throws her snake and it bites him. The Blatan Beast barks and howls at him. Arthegall forbids Talus from interfering, but simply ignores the hags. They proceed on to the Faerie court.