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As soon as it was dawn, Sir Guyon arose, and, mindful of his appointed work, armed himself again for the journey.
The little baby whom he had rescued he entrusted
to the tender care of Medina, entreating her to train him up as befitted his noble birth. Then, since his good steed had been stolen from him, he and the Palmer fared forward on foot.
It will be remembered that when Sir Guyon heard the cries for help of the Lady Amavia, he dismounted, and ran into the thicket, leaving his horse outside. While he was absent, there wandered that way an idle, worthless fellow, called Braggadochio. This was a man who never did anything great or good, but who was extremely vain and boastful, and always trying to make out that he was somebody grand. When he saw the beautiful horse with its golden saddle and rich trappings, and Sir Guyon's spear, he immediately took possession of them, and hurried away. He was so puffed up with self-conceit that he felt now as if he were really some noble knight, and he hoped that every one else would think the same of him. He determined to go first to court, where he thought such a gallant show would at once attract notice and gain him favour. '
Braggadochio had never been trained in chivalry; he rode very badly, and could not manage Sir Guyon's splendid high-spirited horse in the least. He managed, however, to stick on somehow, and presently, seeing a man sitting on a bank by the roadside, and wishing to show off, he rode at him, pretending to aim at him with his spear. The silly fellow fell flat down with fear, crying out for mercy. Braggadochio was very proud and delighted at this, and shouted at him in a loud voice, "Die, or yield thyself my captive!" The man was so terrified that he promised at once to become
Braggadochio's servant. So the two went on together. They were excellently well suited, for both were vain, and false, and cowardly, while Braggadochio tried to get his own way, by bluster, and his companion by cunning.
Trompart (or Deceit), for that was the man's name, speedily discovered the folly of his master. He was very wily-witted and well accustomed to every form of cunning trickery, and, to suit his own purpose, he flattered tip Braggadochio, and did all he could to encourage his idle vanity.
Presently, as the two went along, they met the wicked magician, Archimago (or Hypocrisy), who was now just as angry with Sir Guyon as he had been before with the Red Cross Knight. When he saw Braggadochio, he thought he had found a good opportunity to be revenged on both the knights, and, going up to him, he asked if he would be willing to fight them.
Braggadochio immediately pretended to fall into a great rage against them, and said he would slay them both. Then Archimago, seeing that he had no sword, warned him that he must arm himself with the very best weapons, for they were two of the mightiest warriors living.
"Silly old man said!" Braggadochio boastfully. "Stop giving advice. Isn't one brave man enough, without sword or shield, to make an army quail? You little know what this right hand can do. Once, when I killed seven knights with one sword, I swore thenceforward never to wear a sword in battle again, unless it could be the one that the noblest knight on earth wears."
"Good!" said the magician quickly; "that sword you shall have very shortly. For now the best and noblest knight alive is Prince Arthur, who lives in the land of the Faerie Queene. He has a sword that is like a flaming brand. I will undertake that, by my devices, this sword is found to-morrow at your side."
At these words the boaster began to quake, for he could not think who it was that spoke like this. Then Archimago suddenly vanished, for the north wind, at his command, carried him away, lifting him high into the air.
Braggadochio and Deceit looked all about, but could find no trace of him. Nearly dead with fright, they both fled, never turning to look round till, at last, they came to a green forest where they hid themselves. Even here fear followed them, and every trembling leaf and rustle of the wind made their hair stand on end.