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Tales from Spenser; Chosen from the Faerie Queene   By:

Tales from Spenser; Chosen from the Faerie Queene by Edmund Spencer

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TALES FROM SPENSER CHOSEN FROM THE FAERIE QUEENE

BY SOPHIA H MACLEHOSE

PUBLISHED BY JAMES MACLEHOSE AND SONS, GLASGOW, Publishers to the University.

MACMILLAN AND CO., LONDON AND NEW YORK.

London, Simpkin, Hamilton and Co. Cambridge, Macmillan and Bowes. Edinburgh, Douglas and Foulis.

MDCCCXCII.

TO MY NEPHEWS HAMISH AND CRAWFORD.

PREFACE.

In writing these Tales from "The Faerie Queene," no attempt has been made to interpret their allegorical or explain their historic bearing. Intended for children, the stories are related simply as stories, and therefore only those episodes in the poem most interesting and most complete in themselves have been chosen. In no case do the Tales pretend to relate the whole that Spenser tells of their heroes and heroines.

CONTENTS.

Una and the Lion

Prince Arthur helps Una to find the Red cross Knight

How the Red cross Knight slew the Dragon

Britomart and the Magic Mirror

Britomart and Amoret

The Story of Marinell and Florimell

Braggadochio

How Britomart found Artegal

Cambello and Triamond

The Story of Timias

Calidore and Pastorella

TALES FROM SPENSER.

UNA AND THE LION.

Faerie Queene. Book I. Cantos I., III., VI.

Once upon a time, while fairies and goblins still lingered in the forests of Merry England, a great queen named Gloriana reigned over Faeryland. The subjects over whom she ruled were not tiny creatures like Oberon and Titania, but brave knights who went out from her court endowed with magic powers to redress wrongs and help those in trouble.

Now there lived at this time a king and queen of very ancient lineage, whose dominions stretched from east to west, and who had once held all the world in subjection. But a cruel enemy had arisen against them, and destroyed their rich lands, and killed the inhabitants, and forced the king and queen to take refuge in a strong castle, guarded by a mighty wall of brass. This enemy was no other than a huge and fearful dragon. From every quarter of the globe knights came to fight the accursed beast, but only those whose faith was strong and conscience clear could prevail; and thus knight after knight fell before the dragon, who grew stronger and more cruel in his success.

The king and queen had one child, a daughter, whose name was Una. She loved her parents dearly, and hearing of the knights of queen Gloriana, she resolved to go to the Faerie Court and pray for assistance for her parents who had now been four years prisoners, and were in great distress. She set out upon her journey, dressed in a long black robe covered by a deep veil; she rode an ass as white as snow, and led by a line a milk white lamb, a symbol of innocence. Behind her followed a dwarf, bearing a spear in his hand, and leading a war like steed, on whose back was laid a suit of armour. Thus accoutred, Una appeared at the court of Gloriana.

Shortly before, a young man, tall and powerful, but clownish in appearance, had arrived at the Faerie Court and had prayed to be sent on the first adventure that should arise. When, therefore, Una came and preferred her request, the young man claimed the enterprise as his right. Gloriana wondered at his boldness, for he had not a knightly air, and Una herself objected, but he only urged his suit the more, and at length Una said he might try on the armour she had brought, but that, unless it fitted him perfectly, it was impossible he could succeed in so dangerous an enterprise.

Now, the armour which Una had was that of a Christian knight; and when it was tried on, lo! the clownish youth changed into the noblest of all the company. And Queen Gloriana conferred knighthood upon him; and he, mounting the steed led by the dwarf, went forth with Una to vanquish her foe. Henceforth the youth is called the Red cross knight, for on his silver shield, and on the breast plate of his armour, was a blood red cross, the symbol of the Christian faith... Continue reading book >>




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