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Whiche did hym shewe of the famous pulcritude
Of La Bell Pucell so cleare in beauty,
Excellyng all other in every similitude;
Nature her favoured so muche in degree.
When he heard this, with fervent amytie,
Accompanied with Grace and Governaunce,
He toke his waye without encombraunce
Unto the ryght famous tower of learnyng,
And so from thence unto the tower of chyvalry,
Where he was made knight the noble kyng
Called Melizeus, well and worthely;
And furthermore it sheweth full notably
Upon the arras imbrodred all of blewe,
What was his name with letters all of Grewe.
Thus with his verlet he toke on his waye
To the perillous tower and sytuation,
Metyng Folye, as he rode on his journey,
Ryding on a mare by great illusion;
After whom ensued fast Correction,
And in her hande a strong knotted whippe;
At every yarke she made hym for to skyppe.
And then Correction brought La Graund Amour
Unto the tower, whereas he myght well se
Divers men makyng ryght great dolour,
That defrauded women by their duplicitie;
Yet before this in perfite certaintie,
As the arras well did make relacion,
In Venus temple be made his oblacion.
After whiche he mette an hydeous gyaunt
Havyng thre heades of marveylous kynde;
With his great strokes he did hym daunt,
Castyng hym downe under the lynde,
With force and myght he did hym bynde,
Strikyng of his heades then everychone,
That of all thre heades he left not one.
This terryble gyant yet had a brother,
Whiche Graunde Amoure destroyed also,
Having foure heades more then the other,
That unto hym wrought mikel wo;
But he slewe sone his mortall foe,
Whiche was a great gyaunt with heades seven,
To marveylous nowe for me to neven.
Yet moreover he put to utteraunce
A venemous beast of sundry likenes,
Of divers beastes of ryght great mischaunce
Wherof the picture bare good wytnes;
For by his power and his hye worthynes
He did discomfyte the wonderous serpente
Of the seven metals, made by enchauntment.
And eke the clothe made demonstration
Howe he wedded the great lady beauteous,
La Bell Pucell, in her owne dominacion,
After his labour and passage daungerous,
With solemne joye and myrthe melodious.
This famous storye well pictured was
In the fayre hall upon the arras.
The marshall ycclipped was dame Reason,
And the yewres also Observaunce,
The panter Plesaunce at every season;
The good butler Curteis Continuaunce
And the chefe coke was called Temperaunce,
The lydy chamberlayne named Fidelitie,
And the hye stewarde Liberalitie.
There sate dame Doctrine, that lady gent,
Whiche called me unto her presence,
For to knowe al the whole entent
Of my comyng unto her excellence.
Madame, I sayde, to learn your science
I am comen nowe me to applye,
With all my cure and perfect study.
And yet, also, I unto her then shewed
My name and purpose wythout doublenes.
For very greate joye than were endued
Her crystall eyes full of lowlenes,
Whan that she knewe of very sykernesse,
That I was he that should so attayne
La Bell Pucell wyth my busy payne.
And after thys I had ryght good chere;
Of meate and drynke there was great plenty.
Nothynge I wanted, were it chepe or dere.
Thus was I served wyth dylycate dysshes deyntie;
And after thys wyth all humylite
I went to Doctryne, prayenge her good grace,
For to assygne me my fyrst lernynge place.
Seven doughters, moost expert in connynge,
Wythouten foly she had well engendred;
As the seven Seyences in vertue so shynynge,
At whose encreace there is great thankes rendred
Unto the mother, as nothynge surrendred
Her good name and her dulcet sounde,
Whych did engendre theyr orygynall grounde.
And fyrst to Grammer she forthe me sent,
To whose request I dyd well obay;
Wyth delygence forth on my way I went,
Up to a chamber depaynted fayre and gay;
And at the chambre in ryght ryche araye
We were let in, by hygh auctoryte
Of the ryght noble dame Congruyte.
HOW SCIENCE SENT HIM FYRST TO GRAMER, WHERE HE WAS RECEIVED BY DAME CONGRUYTE.
THE lady Gramer, in all humbly wyse,
Dyd me receyve into her goodly scoole;
To whose doctrine I dyd me advertise
For to attayne, in her artyke poole,
Her gylted dewe, for to oppresse my doole;
To whom I sayde that I wold gladly lerne
Her noble connynge, so that I myght descerne
What that it is, and why that it was made?
To whych she answered than, in speciall,
By cause that connynge shoulde not pale ne fade,
Of every scyence it is originall,
Whych doth us tech ever in generall
In all good ordre to speke directly,
And for to wryte by true ortografy.
Somtyme in Egypt reygned a noble kyng,
Iclyped Evander, whych dyd well abounde
In many vertues, especially in lernyng;
Whych had a doughter, that by her study found
To wryte true Latyn the fyrst parfyt ground.
Whose goodly name, as her story sayes,
Was called Carmentis in her livyng dayes.
Thus in the tyme of olde antiquytie,
The noble phylosophers, wyth theyr whole delyghte,
For the comon prouffyte of all humanite,
Of the seven sciences for to knowe the ryght,
They studied many a long wynters nyght,
Eche after other theyr partes to expresse,
Thys was theyr guyse to eschewe ydelnesse.
The pomped carkes wyth foode dilicious
They dyd not feed, but to theyr sustinaunce;
They folowed not theyr fleshe so vycious,
But ruled it by prudent governaunce;
They were content alway wyth suffisaunce,
They coveyted not no worldly treasure,
For they knewe that it myght not endure.