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Spenser Expands His Text

  • Rudolf Gottfried (a1)

Extract

      They bene ybrought into a comely bowre,
      And seru'd of all things that mote needfull bee
      Yet secretly their hoste did on them lowre,
      And welcomde more for feare, then charitce;
      But they dissembled, what they did not see,
      And welcomed themselves. Supper was dight;
      Then they Malbecco prayd of curtesy,
      That of his Lady they might have the sight,
      And company at meat, to do them more delight.

Any reader of Renaissance News will immediately identify this stanza as one of the thousands that make up The Faerie Queene; in fact, given the name Malbecco and the situation described, he cannot fail to spot it as occurring in the ninth canto of Book Three. In a sense, however, he will be in error. It is actually a spurious composite of two of Spenser's stanzas in that canto: the nineteenth, which supplies everything before the period in line 6, and the twenty-fifth, from which the remainder is taken.

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