Don Zara his descent. The description of his Shield, and Martiall Furniture. His invocation, and setting forth to seek Adventures.
IT was now about that mun∣grell hour when the black∣brow'd night, and grey∣ey'd morning strove for su∣periority, when the mirror of Martiall spirits Don Zara del Fogo sweeping the somniferous God from o••is ample front with that Broom of Heaven his face-pounding fist, en∣tred into serious contemplation of Page 2 the renowned Acts of his most Noble Ancestors, Thistram the terrible and the great Lancelot of the Lake, so ravi∣shing were those heroick, Rhapsodies, that (upon mature chew of the cud) the Champion began to tax himself of tardity, as not having accumulated that Fame, which at the price of so * eminent dangers he had so hotly hunted after; this second cogitation had but a while combated with the first, when he summons the Squire of his body Soto, who lay soundly sleep∣ing at his beds feet, commanding him (since himself never knew Letters) to read the Chronicle History of Saint George, who bathed his body in the bloody bowels of a fell Dragon, or the like Atchievement of Sir Elamore, or the hard Quest of Sir Topa• after the Queen of Elues to Barwick, or of Sir Guy and the fierce Boar of Boston; Sir quoth Soto (who had hardly gained sight enough to see his Master) you were wont to take great pleasure in hearing the redoubted Adventures of Sir Bevis, sirnamed Southampton; and The Knight of the Sun; that, that quoth the Champion, the Knight of the Suns Page 3 actions would put fire into a flint stone, animate a Log, and make a woodden leg to walk; Soto had not long led his Master by the large eares (* for our Champion boasted a long∣linckt Genealogie, from the Phrygian King Midas, a hundred fourscore and fourteen descents by the fathers side) but suddenly deserting his bed, he ceazed (* all naked as he was) on his naked Sword, that Thunder-crack of terrour Slay-a-Cow, the very same that he lately won on Monta-Mole-hill from the great Gyant Phrenedecrenobroso, the son of Pediculo, and leaning thereon like the legitimate Heyr of Mars, he very attentively hoorded up the trea∣sures of true Magnanimity. At every close where the Knight either woun∣ded the Gyant, or rescued the Lady, in token of the ardency he bare to such illustrious Acts, he gave liberty to his nayles to bring blood from ei∣ther buttock, for such was the ranck∣ness of his courage, that not onely his soul, but his skin had a perpetuall itching after honourable Attempts, •ugmented by a herd of small Cattel, which some Authors will have to be Page 4 the Genuisses of deceased Worthies, all waiting upon this man of men, which I confess * I cannot credit since it was Soto's custome (in order to his Masters special command) every mor∣ning to kill some of them; but the cheerfull Lady of the Light, old Ty∣thons tender-skin'd Madam, appearing our Champion, commanded his trusty Squire to buckle on his Armour; too long (quoth he) have we * Padlockt Fames Tongue, not administring any tittle tattle to that tell-tale Goddess; Soto amaz'd at his Masters mood, soon girds that Sword about him which had often made head-strong Gyants to reel, the flinty-edged Slay-a-Cow, putting a Buckler fashioned like a Spanish Ruffe (full half yard deep) about his neck, in which with won∣drous Art was pourtrayed the thrice∣famous story of that renowned Com∣bat betwixt those two Arcadian He∣ro's, Clinias and Dametas, as I have seen those pair of Champions * drawn to the life in Canvas against the walls of a mean Mansion made for good∣fellowship; those Bucklers that *Ho∣mer and Virgil have fashioned for A∣chillesPage 5 and Aeneas, were but the varni∣shes of some Indian hand compared with this rare piece of Sculpture, a∣bout the Reverse whereof was this Distich (which some attribute to Li∣nus, others to Hesiod) ingraven,
His Mace * bearing the figure of a Cambrian Fig Soto hanged at his Sad∣dle bow, for he had abjured the use of a Spear since that fatall Turnament in Utopia, when a splinter of his Lance forced it self against the face of the truly Sanctimonious Matron Bawd∣whore•a; then seating himself on the back of good Steed Founder-foot (a hors not to be bettered in Phoebus Sta∣ble for the flownce or the frisk, and all the fashions of a prauncing Pal∣fray) he appointed Soto to Lacquey by his side, committing himself to the guidance of Fortune: Soto was ar∣med (not so much for his own preser∣vation as his Lords defence) with an Page 6* Ashen plant, made tough by Time, and pointed with steel, his brain was bound about with a Monmouth Tur∣band, and his back and breast bul∣warkt with impenetrable Past-boord, so that he who had seen our Champi∣on and his Attendant, could not but have fancied the mighty Primalion and his Page, or the famous Bragado∣chio and his man Trompart; nor could the piety of our Champion permit him to castigate his Courser for the mending of his pace, till he had offe∣red up this solemn Orayson to the * souls of those deceased Worthies, whose complicated lustre creates that splendent path, called The Milkie way.
O Mervin, Mervin, (quoth he) thou mighty Son of the munificent Oger, who at one stroke didst pare away three heads from off the shoulders of an Orke begotten by an Incubus! Thou George the great Champon of Christendom (the true Apol∣lo) who for the sake of the Sultans daugh∣ter, destroyedst a Python s•x acres in length; Thou Amadis de Gaule, wh• encountredst with a Dragon and a Devil at once; Thou Palmerin de Oliva, who Page 7 (by vertue of a Wart on thy nose) didst so many times passe the Aegean Seas in a Shallop contrived all of Coney-skins; and thou Errant Knight of the Ruby Rose; Look down ye immortall Essences of never∣dying Fulgor, let your spirits be*Centred and centupled in me whose*heart is of a size sufficient to retain all your Excellen∣cies, and in whose ample brest there lod∣ges as sublime a Soul as ever yet Nature coffin'd up in a Carkas composed of a met∣tal more robust then that of Roderigo, or Rud-Hudrinbrass.
This Ejaculation was no sooner sooner extinct, but Soto (enamoured on his Lords perfections, as if he had been inspired by one of Agrippa's holy Demons) began to shake his skull very strangely, rowling his eyes like Abra∣ham in Sands his Show, insomuch that our Champion (could it have been possible for that thing call'd Fear to build in his brest) had fled from the face of his faithfull Servitor; but to put a period to his anxiety, Soto thrust forth these numbers, in a tone almost equall to *Stentors, the presages of Page 8 his Masters incomparable, incompre∣hensible performances.
Heightned with this poeticall Pro∣phesie (the Brittish* Proverb being verified by this brace of brave ones) our Champion already fancied him∣self fighting with Gogmagog, or Gar∣gantua for the moity of the Universe; but so unfortunate was he this very first day of his most memorable re∣solve, that desired Adventurs offered it self, neither fierce Lyon, nor furious Bear, yelling Dragon, foaming Boar, or angry Antilope, no perjured Knight to fight withall, or injur'd Lady to infranchise, no Magicall Wharfe, so that the Champion did not causlesly curse so calm a Climate, that afforded no viands for Valour to feed on; Thus chewing the cud of courage, he Page 10 rode on in much vexation, till the approaching night warned him to take shelter, which Fortune favou∣rably allotted him, for at the foot of a huge mountain, whose head knockt against the Clouds, a * Cottage with a * chequered Portall, Piriwig'd with thatch, and lined with mud, offered it self for his entertainment, its course out-side was no less then a corasive to our Champions conscience, but he had heard of *Seneca's Avisoe, that, The wisest and strongest men ought to stoop to Time and Fate; and threfore ma∣king a halt at the door of this sedgie structure, he alighted from his good Steed, and demanded hospitable treat of the Captain of that carowsing Cit∣tadel, who (in much astonishment) gave a trembling reception to himself and Soto.