Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Blatant Beast

The fairy queen Gloriana asked Calidore to capture the Blatant Beast. Calidore followed the beast, seeing the devastation and ruin he left behind him.

At last, in a narrow place, Sir Calidore overtook him, and, fiercely assailing, forced him to turn. Then the Blatant Beast ran at him with open mouth, huge and horrible; it was all set with a double row of iron teeth, and in it were a thousand tongues of every kind and quality–some were of dogs, that barked day and night; some of cats that yawled; some of bears that growled continually; some of tigers that seemed to grin and snarl at all who passed by; but most of them were tongues of mortal men, who poured forth abuse, not caring where nor when; and among them were mingled here and there the tongues of serpents, with three-forked stings, that spat out poison at all who came within reach, speaking hateful things Of good and bad alike, of high and low, not even sparing kings or kaisers, but either blotting them with infamy or biting them with their baneful teeth.

But Calidore, not in the least afraid of this horrid spectacle, met him with such impetuous might that he checked his violence and beat him back. Then the monster, rearing up, ramped upon him with his ravenous paws, as if his cruel claws would have rent him; but the Knight, being well on guard, cast his shield between, and putting forth all his strength, forced him to fall back; and when he was down, he threw his shield on him and pinned him to the ground. In vain did the Beast rage and roar; for the more he strove, the more firmly the Knight held him, so that he was almost mad with spite. He grinned, he bit, he scratched, he spat out venom, and acted like a horrible fiend.

When the monster saw force was of no avail, he began to use his hundred tongues, and reviled and railed at the Knight with bitter terms of infamy, weaving in many a forged lie, whose like Sir Calidore had never heard or thought of; yet for all that he did not let the creature go, but held him so tight that he nearly choked him.

At last, when he found his strength failing and his rage lessening, Sir Calidore took a strong muzzle of the stoutest iron, made with many a link, with which he fastened up his mouth, shutting up therein his blasphemous tongue, so that he should never more defame gentle knight or wrong lovely lady; and to this he tied a great long chain, with which he dragged him forth in spite of himself. The hideous Beast chafed inwardly at these strange bonds, which no one till then had dared to impose on him; yet he dared not draw back nor attempt to resist the power of the noble Calidore, but trembled before him, and followed like a frightened dog.

Sir Calidore had the Blatant Beast in bondage and walked him through Faerie Land. People walked out to see the valiant knight and the beast.

See also
Fairies | The Legend of King Arthur