The Faerie Queene Book 1, Canto 12
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Book 1, Canto 12
- Our narrator tells us that this part of his story is ending and that Una is getting close to the end of her journey.
- Early that same morning, a watchman sees the dragon fall and die and runs to tell the king and queen what he has seen.
- The king rushes to see if the watchman is right. Seeing that he is, the whole kingdom begins to rejoice.
- The king and queen, and many nobles of the court, all proceed down to Redcrosse and bow before him in thanks.
- There is a great celebration around them, with dancing and music, and the women crown Una with leaves.
- Many people approach the dead dragon with a mixture of fear and curiosity, and some said that parts of him are still alive so mothers tried to keep their children away from him.
- Meanwhile, the king talks with Redcrosse, thanks him for his service, and offers gifts.
- When he sees his daughter, he embraces her and they all head back to the palace in one big, joyful procession.
- They all share a large feast and afterward ask Redcrosse to tell the story of his adventures.
- Redcrosse agrees and they all listen with amazement and pity at everything he went through.
- The king then tells Redcrosse he's suffered much and now it's time for him to relax.
- Redcrosse, however, can't relax since he's promised the Faerie Queene six more years of service.
- The king is disappointed, but tells Redcrosse that once those six years are past, he should come back and marry Una and take over his realm.
- The king calls Una into the hall, who enters looking incredible since she is no longer wearing black and a veil now that the dragon is slain.
- She's about to speak when she's suddenly interrupted by a messenger who runs into the hall with news.
- The messenger carries a letter which says that Redcrosse shouldn't marry Una because he has already promised himself to another woman.
- The king is stunned to hear this and finally asks Redcrosse to explain himself.
- Redcrosse answers that he was tricked by a witch, Duessa, who was pretending to be someone else and whose magic was just too strong for him.
- Una too comes forward and vouches for Redcrosse's story, saying that not only is this letter part of her mischief, but that this messenger is actually Archimago in disguise.
- Sure enough Archimago-as-messenger tries to run, but is captured and thrown into a deep, dark, well-guarded dungeon.
- Once this is all resolved, the king goes ahead and has his daughter engaged to Redcrosse. Then there is great rejoicing in the whole kingdom.
- Redcrosse stays with Una for a while, but eventually has to leave to finish serving the Faerie Queene.
- And so, the narrator tells us that this voyage is ending and that he'll rest awhile before beginning another.