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death. His discovery of their miserable situation, and their appearance on being released from confinement, form a very striking and ably-executed picture.
Beneath a rock an iron gate appears;
Their voices well the British hero knew,
B. iii. p. 91.
Fortunately for the sufferers, Arthur had with him a phial of sanative juice, the gift of Merlin, of power so potent, that no sooner had they partaken of its contents, than health and strength returned, and, with these blessings, the conscious happiness of being restored to freedom by their honoured prince. Lionel then relates, that, desirous of proving himself worthy of the love of his beautiful mistress, the fair Guendolen, he had sought for fame in distant lands, and at a tournament given by the king of Galicia, had most unexpectedly, in one of his opponents, recognized the voice of his beloved friend Cradoc. They challenge all competitors in honour of their native island, and are successful; but their joy is overcast by learning the unhappy state of Britain. They determine to hasten to the assistance of their prince; and the Spanish monarch, whose friendship they had gained by their prowess and mutual attachment, aids them with a band of Galician warriors. On landing at Southampton, they speedily become acquainted with the rumour that Hengist, through the agency of infernal power, had constructed a magic castle, in which he laughed at his enemies, being assured by the demons, that, whilst it stood, his arms and influence would prevail. Lionel adds, that, eager to signalize their valour in behalf of their country, they resolve to attack Hengist in his enchanted hold; but, as their situation has already too plainly told, fail in the attempt.
An account is then given of the cruel treatment which they had experienced from the Saxon chieftain since their capture, a picture which possesses much of the strength and peculiar colouring of Dante :
Our mighty but ungenerous foe
Within yon gloomy cavern plunged us low.
“Here meet your doom " the furious Hengist cried—
Th'unquiet mind's perturbed brood : a train
B. iii. p. 97.
The poet goes on to narrate, that Lionel having informed the prince that he had seen, on coming to this accursed place, a castle not far distant, embosomed in a wood, Arthur and his friends proceed thither, and find it the habitation of the aged Ebrank, the father of Guendolen, who receives them with open arms. He and his daughter had beheld their approach from the battlements, and the fears of the former, lest they should be enemies, had been allayed by the latter declaring that she knew the foremost knight to be her long-lost Lionel. The meeting of the lovers is beautifully described, and Arthur, having spent the succeeding day with his hospitable host, takes his departure, directing Lionel and Cradoc to rejoin the Galician forces, whilst he, in obedience to the decrees of Heaven, pursues his way alone towards the mountains of Cambria. The fourth book, at its commencement, reverts to some events which had taken place during Arthur's voyage to collect succours, and introduces us to Lancelot, the bosom friend of the prince, and one of the most intrepid defenders of the British crown. He is represented as walking in deep abstraction on the cliffs near Milford Haven, having escaped from Carlisle, after cutting his way, with great havoc, through the camp of Hengist, who, despising a contest with warriors pent up in walls, was then invading Scotland; and who, on his return, hearing of this achievement of Lancelot, is preparing to take revenge, when he is ordered by the Weird Sisters to retire into and defend the enchanted castle, whose destruction by Arthur we have witmessed in the preceding book. Lancelot who, ignorant of what had occurred to