• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Front Matter
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 I
 II
 III
 IV
 Duel of the Dormice
 The Six Kittens
 The Frogs Who Would A-Wooing...
 The Story of Reynard the Fox
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: The comical creatures from Wurtemberg : including the story of Reynard the Fox
Title: The comical creatures from Wurtemberg
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001862/00001
 Material Information
Title: The comical creatures from Wurtemberg including the story of Reynard the Fox
Alternate Title: Comical creatures from Wurtemberg
Reynard the Fox
Physical Description: 4, 96 p. : ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bogue, David, 1812-1856 ( Publisher )
Ploucquet, Herrmann
Measom, William ( Engraver )
Weir, Harrison, 1824-1906 ( Illustrator )
Robson, Levey, and Franklyn (Firm) ( Printer )
Publisher: David Bogue
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Robson, Levey, and Franklyn
Publication Date: 1851
Edition: 2d ed.
 Subjects
Subject: Animals -- Fiction   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1851   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1851
Genre: Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
 Notes
Citation/Reference: Osborne Coll.,
Statement of Responsibility: with twenty illustrations drawn from the stuffed animals contributed by Herrmann Ploucquet of Stuttgart to the Great Exhibition.
General Note: Baldwin Library copy missing pages: frontis., 61-61 (ill.), 67-68, 77-92 (includes one ill.)
General Note: Ill. engraved by Wm Measom.
General Note: Ill. by H. Weir.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001862
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002223227
oclc - 10865124
notis - ALG3476
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front 1
        Front 2
        Front 6
    Half Title
        Page i
    Front Matter
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Frontispiece
        Page iv
    Title Page
        Page v
    Preface
        Page vi
        Page vii
    Table of Contents
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
    I
        Page 15
        Page 15a
        Page 16
        Page 19
        Page 20a
        Page 20
        Page 21
    II
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 27
        Page 27a
        Page 28
    III
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 32a
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36a
        Page 36
    IV
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
    Duel of the Dormice
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
    The Six Kittens
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 53
        Page 53a
        Page 54
        Page 57
        Page 58
    The Frogs Who Would A-Wooing Go
        Page 59
        Page 60
    The Story of Reynard the Fox
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
    Back Cover
        Page 81
    Spine
        Page 82
Full Text








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THE


COMICAL CREATURES
FROM

WURTEMBERG.
















From the EXAMINER, August 2d.

" THE title-page of this agreeable little volume sufficiently commends its pleasant
contents. To whom, old or young, will it not be welcome ? Who has not, young
or old, seen, laughed at, revisited, and brought away, pleasant recollections of the
Stuffed Animals from the Zoliverein ?
It was a good notion, that of perpetuating these clever productions by means
of daguerreotype and wood-engraving. They are very nicely executed in this volume,
and wonderfully like. It is needless to particularise where all is so graphic and
faithful; but let the studious little rabbit over his arithmetic lesson at p. 32, with
that demure conscience-striken pair behind him wincing at the flogging of their idle
brother, be especially admired.
We must add that the letterpress is not unworthy of the humour and fidelity
of the illustrations. The various Weasels, Rabbits, and Foxes, are brought into one
little tale; the Wonderful Hare-Hunt into another; the Tea-Party of Kittens, and
the Marten and Tabby, into a third; the Duel of the Dormice, and the Frogs, form
two separate and ingenious anecdotes; and the story of Reynard the Fox is quaintly
related in prose so far as was necessary to explain the six comical groups of Ploucquet.
We predict a great run at Christmas for the Comical Creatures from Wurtem-
berg."

From the MORNING CHRONICLE, August 12th.

"The book is a clever and a pleasant memento of the Great Exhibition. The
drawings are careful and clever, and convey a very correct representation of the
original creatures, with all, or nearly all, their subtlety of expression and aspect.
The capital fatuity of the Rabbits and Hares, the delightful scoundrelism of the
Fox, the cunning shrewdness of the Marten and Weasels, the hoyden visages of the
Kittens, and the cool, slippery demeanour of the Frogs, are all capitally given. The
book may lie on the drawing-room table, or be thumbed in the nursery; and in
the latter case we have little doubt that many an urchin still in petticoats will in
future years associate his most vivid recollection of the Great Exhibition of 1851
with Mr. Bogue's perpetuation of the Comical Creatures from Wurtemberg."





























































DAME WEASEL AND HER CHILDREN.




THE


COMICAL CREATURES

FROM


WURTEMBERG,



tnrIlming t4 ttnro nf t tnuar t4 l fnx.


WITH TWENTY ILLUSTRATIONS,

DRAWN FROM THE STUFFED ANIMALS CONTRIBUTED BY
HERRMANN PLOUCQUET OF STUTTGART
TO THE GREAT EXHIBITION.



rniiit @Bhitinc.



LONDON:
DAVID BOGUE, FLEET STREET.

1851.









PREFACE.



To HERRMANN PLOUCQJET, Preserver of Objects of Natural
History at the Royal Museum of Stuttgart,--the capital of the
kingdom of Wurtemberg,--we are indebted for one of the clever-
est and most popular displays in the GREAT EXHIBITION. Every
one, from her Majesty the Queen down to the least of the charity-
boys, hastens to see the Stuffed Animals from the Zollverein;
every one lingers over them and laughs at them as long as the
crowd will allow; and every one talks of them afterwards with
a smile and a pleasing recollection.

That these clever productions of Ploucquet's talent may be
long perpetuated, we have had daguerreotypes of them taken by
Mr. Claudet, and engravings made from them on wood as faith-
fully like as possible.

We must beg our readers to remember that, excepting Rey-
nard the Fox," our sketches have been written to illustrate the
drawings, for on this plea we claim some indulgence; but as we
know full well that the pictures will be the main attraction of the
volume, we are not apprehensive of much criticism.




PREFACE.

The story of Reynard the Fox" is told briefly in the words of
an old version of this wonderful tale published in England many
years ago. In Germany Rteinecde Wucd) is as popular as our Jack
the Giant-Killer." Carlyle says, "Amon:g the people it was long
a house-book and universal best companion; it has been lectured
on in Universities, quoted in imperial Council-halls; it lay on
the toilets of princes, and was thumbed to pieces on the bench
of the artisan: we hear of grave men ranking it next to their
Bible."


Goethe took the story of Reynard" for the subject of a great
poem; and the famous painter Kaulbach has recently illustrated
Goethe's version with perhaps the finest series of pictures with
which a book was ever adorned.

Herrmann Ploucquet has had the good taste to select six of
these designs as models for his works. He has admirably pre-
served the expression which the painter gave to the Fox and his
dupes, and every one recognizes them with pleasure.





















CONTENTS.




PAGE
THE WEASELS OF HOLM-WOOD 15

THE WONDERFUL HARE-HUNT 40

THE DUEL OF THE DORMICE 45

THE Six KITTENS 49

THE FROGS WHO WOULD A-WOOING GO 59

THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX 63











ILLUSTRATIONS.


THE WONDERFUL HARE-HUNT (Double Plate)
DAME WEASEL AND HER FAMILY .
THE ATTENTIVE PHYSICIAN ..
THE VERY ATTENTIVE PHYSICIAN .

OLD MARTEN AND SHARP WEASEL, ESQ.

MR. BANTAM'S INTERVIEW WITH OLD MARTEN .
LONGTAIL TEACHING THE YOUNG RABBITS ARITHMETIC
JACK HARE AND GRACE MARTEN LEADING OFF THE BALL

THE DUEL OF THE DORMICE .
THE KITTENS AT TEA-MISS PAULINA SINGING
ENSIGN SQUEAKER AND MISS ROSE .
YOUNG MARTEN BIDDING FAREWELL TO MISS PAULINA
THE FROGS WHO WOULD A-WOOING GO .
REYNARD AT HOME AT MALEPARDUS
REYNARD IN THE LIKENESS OF A HERMIT .
SIR TIBERT DELIVERING THE KING'S MESSAGE
REYNARD BRINGS FORWARD THE HARE AS HIS WITNESS

REYNARD ON HIS PILGRIMAGE TO ROME
REYNARD ATTACKETH LAPRELL THE RABBIT


S Frontispiece.
S 14
. 17
S 21
S 25
S 29
' 33

S 37
S 44
S 48
S 51

S 55

S 58
S 62
S 65
S 71
S 81
S 85
S 91



























































C
















THE


WEASELS OF HOLM-WOOD.




CHAPTER I.

IN a pleasant country where green meadows lay stretched by the
side of a broad river whose banks were lined with the pollard-
willow and tall poplar, there once dwelt a family of Weasels,
known, from their place of residence, as the Weasels of Holm-
wood.

Holm-wood was a little island covered with underwood, rushes,
and wild flowers. A few aged trees stood by its edge, bathing
their long arms in the stream, and in the hollow trunk of one of
these the Weasels lived.











1
/


THE ATTENTIVE PHYSICIAN.

THE ATTENTIVE PHYSICIAN.


~-
~`:

.~ :-,
~






THE WEASELS OF HOLM-WOOD.


Any fine morning you might have seen the mother of this
family carrying her infant in her arms, and followed by her other
children, a girl and two boys, who would amuse themselves by
dragging little wooden horses, playing at soldiers with mock mus-
kets, running against the wind with little whirligig mills, or fro-
licking about with a thousand of the antics of children. Their
father, known every where as Old Weasel, was of a most resolute
and unbending disposition; he made many enemies, and was ever
at war with one or other of his neighbours. The Partridges of
Clover-field asserted that he sucked their eggs and stole their
young ones; the Rabbits of the Warren held Old Weasel and all
his family in the deepest abhorrence, and accused them of the
greatest cruelties; but no one complained of them more bitterly
than Dame Partlett of the Farm, who accused the whole tribe of
being born enemies of her race, and said, that were it not that
Old Weasel himself was dreadfully afraid of her neighbour and
friend, young Mastiff of Kennel-wood, she verily believed that she
should never know any peace on earth.


All the world will understand how, with such a character, the
Weasels had but few friends, and that when Miss Weasel grew to
be of age, she should have but few admirers; nevertheless two or
three families who were related to them by blood kept up an occa-
sional acquaintance, and among them the Ferrets of Hollow-oak
were the most intimate. Now it so happened that one evening,


16





THE WEASELS OF HOLM-WOOD.


when out for a ramble in the woods, a branch of a tree on which
Miss Weasel had mounted in order to get nearer to young Linnet,
with whom she wished to be on intimate terms, broke suddenly
off, and the poor young lady was precipitated to the ground and
sadly hurt. Her cries brought to her assistance her younger
brother Tom, who, as soon as he had helped her home, ran for
young Ferret, who had lately begun practice as a physician. When
the good young doctor came, he found Miss Weasel lying on the
sofa, looking very pale and very interesting. He felt her pulse,
looked at her tongue, and soon discovered that the lady was more
frightened than hurt. However, as he had not many patients,
he did not choose to tell all the truth, but prescribing a simple
remedy, he ordered her to keep very quiet, and promised to call
again on the next day. Whether it was that Miss Weasel had
been hurt more than her physician had thought, or whether there
were any other inducements, we cannot say; but young Ferret
thought it his duty to call at Holm-wood every morning, and
sometimes twice a day, for at least a month: and if any one could
have seen how frequently he felt Miss Weasel's pulse, and how
anxiously he studied every expression of her face, he would have
set down Dr. Ferret as a very attentive at least, if not excellent
physician.


When Miss Weasel became somewhat stronger, this good


19












/
/


THE VERY ATTENTIVE PHYSICIAN.


I)






20 THE WEASELS OF IOLM-WOOD.

young man would lend his arm for her support during an
evening walk, would bring her birds' eggs and other delicacies,
and in many ways endeavour to contribute to her restoration
to health.


This went on for some time, till the gossips of the neigh-
bouring village would smile whenever they saw the doctor wend-
ing his way towards Holm-wood; and Miss Weasel's two brothers
would immediately leave their lessons, which their sister used to
teach them, as soon as ever the physician appeared in sight.

















CHAPTER II.


THE other relations of the Weasels who were on visiting terms
with them were, the Polecats of The Grange, who came but sel-
dom, and the Martens of Forest-farm, with whom they were more
intimate. Now old Mr. Marten had always intended that his own
son Longtail, who kept a boarding-school for boys near the War-
ren, should marry Miss Weasel; and when he heard of the phy-
sician's great attentions to that young lady, he was very wroth.
At first he thought of way-laying young Ferret in the wood and
killing him; but then he recollected that the Ferrets were a
powerful family, who would never rest till they had been revenged.
His next thought was to go to his attorney, Sharp Weasel, Esq.,
of Nettle Cottage, and consult with him as to the best means
of thwarting young Ferret's projects. So the old man took down
his pipe and his account-book, and set off to the attorney.















I i

I )















SII1,


L __ --


OLD MARTEN AND SHARP WEASEL, ESQ.


i





THE WEASELS OF HOLM -WOOD.


Mr. Sharp Weasel was well pleased to see so excellent a client
as old Mr. Marten, and received him with many smiles. The two
quickly laid down a plan of proceedings, and Mr. Marten produced
his account-book, and proved that young Ferret owed him for the
following goods sold and delivered, viz. one young rabbit; item,
one wood-pigeon; item, one brace of partridges; item, one cock-
pheasant; item, one duckling; item, one fat gosling.


For this account young Ferret was next day summoned be-
fore Judge Fox, who, after hearing the case, immediately gave
judgment in favour of plaintiff; and as young Ferret had not
sufficient funds to meet this unexpected demand, he was forth-
with arrested and sent to prison.


Old Mr. Marten chuckled and was well pleased at the success
of his stratagem, and was on his way to his son Longtail to tell
him of what he considered the good news, when he met Mr. Ban-
tam of Holm-farm, searching for his wife and daughters, who had
wandered for a walk. Bantam, it was evident, did not particularly
wish for this meeting, for his comb grew very red, and he strutted
off at a quick pace in an opposite direction; but old Marten ran
through some bushes, and caught him just as he was getting clear
of the wood.


24





THE WEASELS OF HOLM-WOOD.


Good morning, Mr. Bantam," said he.


"Good morning, sir," said Bantam, shaking in every feather.


I want you to do me a service, Bantam," continued old
Marten; "but you must not say one word of what I am going
to tell you."


Bantam promised this, as indeed he would have any thing else.


"You must go to Old Weasel of Holm-wood," whispered
Marten, laying his forepaws on Bantam's breast to hold him near
him, and find his daughter, Tell her that young Ferret is a
scapegrace and a good-for-nothing fellow, and that Judge Fox
has sent him to prison. Then tell her that I am very rich, and
that my son Longtail is making a handsome fortune by his school.
This is a delicate matter, Bantam: if you manage cleverly, I will
be your friend through life; if you betray me, mark this." And
the old man clapped his paw on the cutlass he usually wore by his
side.


Bantam, glad to get out of his clutches on any terms, promised
the strictest compliance, and flew rather than ran back to his
farmyard as soon as he was released. There the first person he
saw was his wife, who had returned, and was wondering what had


27




































































\------A










MR. BANTA

E


M'S INTERVIEW WITH OLD MAI:TEN.


~aEnos==






28 THE WEASELS OF HOLM-WOOD.

become of him. To her, of course, he told all his strange adven-
ture, and she, silly thing, went immediately and cackled the whole
story to Dame Goose; who told it to one of the young Goslings,
who told it to old Mr. Drake; he quacked it about so loudly that
his wife and children soon learned it; and in ten minutes there
was not one in all Holm-farm who did not know of this won-
derful adventure. As for performing his promise, we must do
Mr. Bantam the credit of saying he never for a moment thought
of being such a silly, for he well knew that the day which saw
him enter Old Weasel's house would be his last.





I









CHAPTER III.

AFTER old Marten had let Bantam go, he himself went straight
to his son, whom he found engaged in his professional pursuits.
At the moment of his father's entry, young Longtail was hearing
a class of the young Rabbits, on one of whom he was inflicting
summary chastisement for great neglect and carelessness in his
arithmetic. The poor young fellow was squeaking terribly, and
his three brothers, with tears in their eyes, were trying with all
their might to cast up their sums on their slates, which shook so
in their hands that they could scarce see the figures. Their master
left off the beating when he saw his father, and consequently
young Rabbit, for the first and perhaps only time in his life, was
very glad to see the old man. The class was dismissed; and if
you had seen these four youngsters scamper off, shaking their
white tails and jumping half a yard high as they ran to the





32 THE WEASELS OF HOLM-WOOD.

Warren, you would have thought it was a good thing to have the
light-heartedness of children.

The Martens, father and son, retired up an oak-tree, at the old
man's request, to talk over their private affairs. When the son
heard of his father's plans, and how young Ferret had been arrested,
he was struck dumb with amazement. He had never dreamed that
his father would interfere in such a matter; and if the truth must
be told, he was already engaged to Miss Pussy, the eldest daughter
of old Mrs. Hare of the Ferns.

However, he knew better than to contradict his father's inten-
tions too suddenly, for he felt assured that the old;man would cut
him off with a shilling if he were to offend him ; so he pretended
to acquiesce in all that was said, and promised compliance in
every particular.


But as soon as his father had bidden him farewell, and had
got out of sight, young Longtail ran as fast as his legs would
carry him to the cavern where the doctor was imprisoned, paid
the amount of the debt for which he had been arrested, and took
young Ferret home with him to consult about their future conduct.

It would have amused you, could you have heard all the plans
discussed by these young lovers for their joint benefit; how the
















7


LONGTAIL TEACHING THE YOUNG RABBITS ARITHMETIC.






THE WEASELS OF HOLMV-WOOD.


Warren, you would have thought it was a good thing to have the
light-heartedness of children.

The Martens, father and son, retired up an oak-tree, at the old
man's request, to talk over their private affairs. When the son
heard of his father's plans, and how young Ferret had been arrested,
he was struck dumb with amazement. He had never dreamed that
his father would interfere in such a matter; and if the truth must
be told, he was already engaged to Miss Pussy, the eldest daughter
of old Mrs. Hare of the Ferns.


However, he knew better than to contradict his father's inten-
tions too suddenly, for he felt assured that the old;man would cut
him off with a shilling if he were to offend him ; so he pretended
to acquiesce in all that was said, and promised compliance in
every particular.


But as soon as his father had bidden him farewell, and had
got out of sight, young Longtail ran as fast as his legs would
carry him to the cavern where the doctor was imprisoned, paid
the amount of the debt for which he had been arrested, and took
young Ferret home with him to consult about their future conduct.


It would have amused you, could you have heard all the plans
discussed by these young lovers for their joint benefit; how the


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one talked of his darling Miss Weasel, and the other of his dear
Miss Pussy; how they agreed that in matters of love every thing
was allowable; and how they swore eternal friendship to each
other throughout their lives.

Two days afterwards it was known all over Holm-wood that
the fair Miss Weasel had eloped with Longtail Marten. Mrs.
Goose and the four Miss Goslings were full of the information for
every one they met. It was the finest piece of scandal they had
known for years. Only think," said they, after all her en-
gagement to young Doctor Ferret, to go and take up with the
schoolmaster; and all, forsooth, because Old Marten is rich !"


But scarce had the first news of Miss Weasel's extraordinary
behaviour run through the farm-yard, than old Bantam was seen
hurrying in, very red in the face from over exertion, and was
heard to declare, that he never knew the like of it, but as sure as
he was a living cock, he had met young Ferret the physician
running away with Miss Pussy, the daughter of old Mrs. Hare of
the Ferns. Mrs. Goose turned up the whites of her eyes and
almost fainted. Dame Partlett ran with all speed, that she might
be the first to cackle the intelligence to Mr. Drake; and the whole
island was soon in a ferment at this wonderful piece of gossip.

Of course, old Mr. Marten soon heard of all this and so


01.5












7"


"--- ....



JACK HARE AND GRACE MARTEN LEADING OFF T- ALL.
JACK HARE AND GAEhT LTTN OFF THE 1RALL0.


F


r


i


~
~ .~..,;





THE WEASELS OF HOLM-WOOD.


pleased was he that he immediately altered his will, doubling the
amount he had previously given to his dear boy Longtail, and
getting so extremely excited at the Huntsman and Hounds" on
the same afternoon, that, sad to relate, he was untimely carried
off by an effusion of blood.


And what think you became of the lovers ? Why, the very
day all this commotion happened at Holm-wood the two pair met
at their aunt's, old Mrs. Stoat's, of Four-mile Cross, as they had
agreed. There the young fellows, overjoyed at the success of their
scheme, changed their fair partners, and, to complete their hap-
piness, immediately set out for a tour on the neighboring Con-
tinent.


There, on fine summer evenings, you might often have seen
the doctor and his beloved quietly strolling by wood-sides and
along the banks of the green meadows, listening intently to the
warbling of the tender birds they loved so much; while young
Longtail Marten and his bride, fonder of more boisterous excite-
ment, devoted themselves to the pleasures of the chase, scouring
rapidly over hill and dale whenever they heard the huntsman's
loud horn, or the hounds' deeper notes; and never so happy as
when, after the sports of the day were done, they finished up with
a ball, and danced joyously till the next day's dawn.












THE WONDERFUL HARE-HUNT.




MERRILY sounded the cock's shrill horn, and brightly shone the
early morning sun, when a party of young sportsmen set out to
the field, armed with their guns and game-bags. Four beaters
from the neighboring village attended them, each with a long
stick to rout the hares and rabbits from their hiding-places. Gaily
went they forth, these merry sportsmen and their helpers; light
was their step across the green meadows and up the sandy hill-
sides; loud was their laughter when one of them, trying to jump
through a broken hedge, fell into the neighboring ditch; great
was their mirth when another's gun went off and lamed a squirrel
in an adjoining tree; and joyous was the shout with which they
scared a frightened rabbit from its morning meal.

At last the sportsmen came to the side of a wood, and one of
the beaters reported that just round the corner of the palings he
could see nearly a dozen hares feeding together. A council of war
was summoned; each sportsman looked to the priming of his gun,





THE WEASELS OF HOLM-WOOD.


As for the good folks at Holm-wood, as soon as Mrs. Hare
discovered that her daughter had run away, she sent for her
eldest son, Jack Hare, who lived in a farm close by, and asked
him to pursue his sister and bring her back; but Jack said she
was quite old enough to know her own mind, and that he would
have nothing to do with it. When, however, the old lady learned
that her daughter was married to the rich young Marten, and not
to the poor physician, then she was greatly rejoiced, though she
confessed she could not make out why her dear child Pussy should
run away with the doctor and then marry the schoolmaster; but
she supposed it was all right.

As for Jack, when he heard that old Mr. Marten had died,
leaving great riches behind him, he, to follow the fashion, fell in
love with Grace, the only daughter of the deceased, and only
sister of Longtail. Miss Grace listened favourably to Jack's
suit -for she was very lonely now her father was dead, and her
brother away; and as there was no papa to consult in their case,
they got married quietly at home, and asked all their neighbours
to a ball, when Jack Hare and Grace Marten (that was) led off
the polka in grand style, greatly to the admiration of all the
young folks in the island.


39





THE WONDERFUL HARE-HUNT.


and trod with a more cautious step; each beater bent his head
nearly to the ground, and crept along the grass. A plan of attack
was formed; the beaters stole within the wood to stop the hares
that way, while the sportsmen suddenly appearing on the other
side, caused the poor hares, surrounded as they were, to run into
the very jaws of destruction. They that leaped towards the wood
received blows on their heads from the beaters; they that ran
down the hill met Ponto the dog, who pounced on them open-
mouthed; and they that ran upwards were soon sent downwards
again, toppling head over heels, killed by the fire of the enemy.
Not a hare escaped. The gun-bearers took deadly aim, and Ponto
and the beaters prevented their flight.

While the young sportsmen and their helpers were yet picking
up the hares and rejoicing at their good fortune, the sky became
quickly overcast, black clouds gathered, and a hurricane of wind
swept through the wood, tearing off large branches of the trees.
The sportsmen stood amazed at the suddenness of the storm, but
presently their amazement was changed to fear; for, riding in a
bright chariot drawn by six snow-white swans,-blown swiftly
by the wind,--there appeared a lady of fairy-like beauty. At
her command the beautiful birds stayed their flight, and the
chariot rested on the green turf close by the sportsmen.

Young men," said the lady in a melodious but mournful


41





THE WONDERFUL HARE-HUNT.


voice, as she pointed to the dead hares, you have murdered
these poor innocents for your sport: know, I am the fairy called
KINDNESS, and these hares were all of them my friends. In
punishment for your cruelty, you sportsmen shall be changed
into Martens, and you attendants into Weasels. In such shapes
you may pursue your cruel sports; you are not worthy of the
forms of men." And, waving her wand, the swans bore her in-
stantly out of sight.


They who live in this country say that every old Michaelmas-
day, five martens and four weasels, with long sticks, may still
be seen hunting hares near this wood; sometimes a dog's bark
is heard and a shrill whistle, but if any of mankind appear in
their sight, the creatures run quickly away, and hide themselves
in the wood.


42

























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THE DUEL OF THE DORMICE.







THE DUEL OF THE DORMICE.

OUT in the fields, in the hollow of an old willow-tree, two Dormice
slept the whole winter long. They neither ate nor drank, nor did
they so much as raise their heads from their pillows during all
this dreary time. A ray of sunshine, as the sun passed right over
their tree, would perhaps make one of them stretch out his paws;
but as soon as the gleam had passed and left them, he would curl
himself up all the closer in his nest, and go faster asleep than ever.

But the sun came one bright spring morning, and shone on the
Dormice so warmly, that they turned round in their bed, stretched
their paws, rubbed their eyes, yawned, and at last woke quite up.

It is summer-time at last," said the elder Dormouse, as he
took a nut from his store of provisions and cracked it, and we
may now leave our winter's bed." I don't believe it," replied
the younger. The wind blows cold; I shall go to sleep again."

"Ah, that's like your laziness," rejoined the elder; sleep on;
I'm off to the wood." And so saying, he scrambled up the tree, then
down the outside of the trunk, and so into the wide meadows.

The younger Dormouse went to sleep. He slept for an hour,
then he woke again, and finding his companion gone, he turned
to the food and ate a hearty meal; then he slept again, but the
sun had made his bed too hot: so he presently woke and made
another attack on the provisions; and this he did the whole day
long, until, at evening time, all the corn and nuts which the two
Dormice had so diligently collected in the autumn, were gone.
Soon the moon rose, and the young one curled himself for sleep.





THE DUEL OF THE DORMICE.


In the meantime the elder had wandered about the fields; but
the earth was wet, and no corn or fruit was ripe, so at night he
returned to his nest wet and hungry. He ran straight to the
store-room for food; but what was his surprise when he found
nothing left but a few barley-corns! His cries woke his com-
panion, from whom he demanded the provisions; the younger one
muttered that he knew nothing about them, and pretended to
sleep; but the unfortunate adventurer, driven to desperation by
hunger, flew into a rage and struck the other with his claws: a fight
ensued, and the whole neighbourhood was alarmed at the outcry.

Two Moles who were passing by the foot of the tree, hearing
this dreadful noise, called out to the combatants to stop. The
Dormice fearing it might be some of the Weasels who spoke, were
silent instantly, and then the Moles bade them come out.

So the Dormice came down to the Moles; and when the Moles
found that the silly creatures were bent on their quarrel, they in-
sisted that the combat should be with swords. Moreover, they offered
to play the part of seconds, and to dig a grave for the vanquished.

To all this the Dormice consented; the Moles found an old
trap, and from the iron parts they fashioned rude swords. These
they measured, and gave to the combatants; and then, with their
long spades in their hands, they awaited the issue of the affray.
It was fierce and desperate. The hungry one fought with fury,
but he who had had a good feast was the stronger and the calmer:
at last the younger one drove his sword right through the body of
the elder; but the elder at the same moment clove his opponent's
head asunder, and so they fell dead together. And the Moles dug
a deep hole, and buried both the Dormice in the same grave.


46

































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THE SIX KITTENS.



ONCE upon a time a cat had six kittens, whom she brought up in
the most genteel manner. No one could say that their education
was in any wise neglected, for besides being taught the ordinary
duties of life by their mother, such as mouse-hunting, fish-stealing,
and bird-catching, they received instructions in the arts of singing,
and playing the harp and the piano, and were taught to waltz
and dance the polka with every imaginable grace. Now when the
kittens grew to be of age, it was their custom of an afternoon to
spend s6me hours at tea and intellectual talk, The youngest
always performed the duties of servant, while one of the elder ones
would entertain the rest by playing airs from the latest opera, or
singing a love-song, the music of which she had herself composed.

It is true some animals who dwelt close by complained of this
music, and called it by all kinds of ill names; but that is ever the
jealous way of the world: and the kittens frequently performed
serenades in their garden by moonlight, when all who passed by
would stay to listen to their melody.

But to our tale. It happened that, one fine summer's after-
noon, when the kittens were all enjoying themselves at tea; when
Paulina, the eldest, was warbling some of her most delightful
songs, and Violet, the second, was entertaining the rest, in an
under tone, with a little bit of scandal about a neighboring




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ENSIGN SQUEAKER AND MIISS t OSE.





THE SIX KITTENS.


Tabby, whom she had seen coming home in a sad condition about
five o'clock in the morning, when she, Miss Violet, was taking
her early walk;-just at this moment there sounded a tap at the
door, and presently in came Diana, the youngest sister, bearing
in her hand more cakes for tea, and in the plate with them a
note addressed to Miss Rose,- the next to Violet in age, and by
most people considered the beauty of the family. Violet took
the letter eagerly from Diana; but when she saw the address, she
remarked that it was evidently a gentleman's handwriting, and
tossing her head somewhat disdainfully, she handed it to Miss
Rose, who blushed very much, and retired with it to the sofa.
Rose opened the note with trembling paws, and a sweet smile
played on her features as she read its contents; then, carefully
folding it up, she observed to her sisters that it was merely an
invitation for a walk, and springing on to the back of the sofa,
she jumped through the open window, and retired to her own
summer-house up a fine sycamore-tree in the garden.

This incident, as may be imagined, caused a great sensation
among the sisters; and all wondered very much who could have
been the writer of the note that had so evidently pleased Miss
Rose. One hoped it was not from that scapegrace Tom who lived
at the Farm-yard; another feared it might come from young
Marten Sable of the Forest; and Violet demanded of her youngest
sister what sort of person it was who had brought the note.
Diana did not know, but believed it was a relation of old
Mr. Weasel, who belonged to the same farm that Tom did. This
set them all guessing again, for it was well known that Tom and
Old Weasel did not speak to each other: and in the end they
were all just as wise as in the beginning.


50





THE SIX KITTENS.


About seven o'clock the same evening an attentive observer
might have noticed Miss Rose emerging from her door very
quietly, and making the best of her way to the green fields that
bordered the sea-coast close by. An ill-natured person would
have said that Miss Rose had taken especial pains with her toilet,
and that she carried her parasol with a lack-a-daisical air; but
Rose herself, at her last peep in the glass, had thought that she
looked very nicely indeed; and so it would appear thought Ensign
Squeaker (of the Household Pigade), who, with his regimental
sword by his side, and his pocket telescope in his hand, sauntered
along the pathway, merely to enjoy the beauty of the evening, and
inhale the fresh breezes from the ocean. How it happened that
Young Squeaker and Miss Rose met at the corner of the cliff, just
as the village clock struck the half-past seven, no one knows;
certain only it is that they did meet; and that after the interchange
of the usual compliments, Miss Rose accepted Mr. Squeaker's
proffered arm, and that the pair wandered about by the sea-shore
until the moon rose; and Miss Rose, in great trepidation at find-
ing it so late, desired her companion to escort her home. Nor is
it known what Mr. Squeaker said when he bade a fond adieu to
his dear Rose, nor for how long after Rose sat in her arbour in
the garden and watched the bats flitting across the moon,

It was noticed by the sisters that Rose was very quiet all the
next day, and that at times a tear stood in the corner of her eye,
which she would wipe away, sighing. Many were the sly allu-
sions to the note of the previous afternoon and the long evening
walk, and no one tormented poor Rose with her insinuations
more than Paulina, who was for some cause in a most unusual
flow of spirits. After tea, Rose took down her treasured volume,


53

































































YOUNGARTEN BIDDING FAREWELL TO ISS PAULINA.






YOUNG MARTEN BIDDING FAREWLLL TO MISS PAULINA.


~-'------ ---~~





THE SIX KITTENS.


" Pussicat's Poems," and retiring to the garden, read the tenderest
parts. Violet, overcome with the fatigue of a recent mouse-hunt,
went to sleep on the sofa; the younger ones busied themselves
with their crochet and net-work; and Miss Paulina, saying she
was going to call on a neighbour, with her best lace-tordered
handkerchief in her hand, sallied forth and took her way towards
the forest. Now it so happened that young Marten Sable was
leaning against a tree, tapping his heel with his cane, and medi-
tating very profoundly at the entrance of the very walk towards
which Paulina bent her steps. He started at her approach, and
with a sad but eager countenance ran to meet her.

'j What has happened, Marten," cried Paulina, that you look
so miserable? tell me directly, I implore you;" and placing her
hand on his arm, she looked piteously in his face. Marten hung
his head and seemed overcome with grief; at last he said in a low
husky voice, We must part, Paulina; but it will be only for a
time; my father has ordered me to set out for Russia to visit his
forests there, and, my darling Paulina,-how can I bear the
thought !--it will be six months before I see you again." Paulina
covered her face with her paws and wept bitterly; at last rousing
herself, she said, "Let us not, Marten, spend our last evening thus;
come, six months will soon pass, and then--" Here Paulina's voice
dropped, and Marten threw his arms round her waist and kissed
away the tears.

We know of every word that Marten said to Paulina, and of
Paulina's every reply, for we had it all from a young hedgehog
whose curiosity led her to listen to their talk; but we think that
the hedgehog did wrong to listen, and so, perhaps, did we to listen


54





THE SIX KITTENS.


to the hedgehog, and so we will not tell their secrets; but this. we
may mention, that they wandered up and down the pathways of
the forest, now and then pouncing on a stray field-mouse or a
poor sleeping bird, until the moon shone brightly through the
trees. And we know that they parted at length by the sign-post
at the edge of the wood, when Paulina shed many tears, and
Marten, laying his paw upon his heart, vowed ever to be constant
to her, and in all his travels and all his adventures to remember
his sweet Pussy. To have seen how the poor kitten wept when
she went to bed that night, would have grieved a hard-hearted
terrier; and to have seen how melancholy she looked as she wan-
dered about for three weeks afterwards, would have drawn pity
from a ferocious bull-dog.

One morning, about seven months after the events we have
narrated, there was a great commotion in the house where the
kittens dwelt; the bells rang, the flags were hoisted, and little
cannon fired. In the papers of the next morning we read that
Ensign Squeaker of the Household Pigade carried off the beautiful
Miss Rose, and young Marten Sable of the Forest his fair prize
Miss Paulina, both on the same day.

May they all enjoy much felicity, and may the brides catch
plenty of mice !


57




SN


THE FROGS WHO WOULD A-WOOING GO.


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THE


FROGS WHO WOULD A-WOOING GO.




Two frogs, who were cousins, were hopping about together one
warm summer's evening by the side of a rivulet, when they began
talking--ust as the men will talk-about a young lady-frog who
lived in a neighboring marsh. One extolled the brightness of
her eyes, the other praised the beauty of her complexion, and
somehow the two frogs found out that they had both fallen in love
with the same young lady-froggy. When they had made this
discovery they parted rather abruptly, and muttered something,
the meaning of which was not very clear.

"Bless me," said Mr. Croaker, the elder and richer of the two,
" I must not let that young scapegrace Jumper get the better of
me. A pretty joke indeed that he should think of the beautiful Miss
Leapfrog, he who is not worth a rap, and is as ugly as a toad."

"Who would have thought," said Jumper to himself, "that
that old curmudgeon Croaker was going to make love to that dear
young Miss Leapfrog ? We will soon see whom she likes best."

The next morning Croaker dressed himself with unusual neat-
ness; and that he might appear to better advantage, he went to a
barber-frog who lived in a neighboring arbour, and asked to be
shaved and to have his wig dressed. The barber had just spread





THE FROGS WHO WOULD A-WOOING GO.


his white cloth, had lathered his customer's chin, and was flourish-
ing a razor in his face, when what should catch Croaker's eye
through the open doorway but the figure of his cousin Jumper,
smartly dressed, with his cane under his arm, and a parasol over
his head, to keep the sun off his delicate complexion, walking
hastily along the path that led to Miss Leapfrog's residence.

To jump from his chair was Croaker's first impulse, and, sad
to say, it was his last; for he fell with his throat upon the edge
of the barber's razor, and in two minutes breathed his last.

Deep was Miss Leapfrog's grief, and great was Mr. Jumper's
joy, when the news of this sad misfortune reached their ears. In
the first burst of her anguish the young lady accused the barber
of having murdered her dear Croaker; but Mr. Jumper hopped
about for joy, and vowed that the barber was the best frog
alive. And well he might be joyful, for as Croaker had died with-
out a will, Jumper inherited all his estates and when, after a
week's mourning, the young lady's grief had somewhat subsided,
the happy Mr. Jumper carried off the beautiful Miss Leapfrog.

But alas, how uncertain is happiness either to man or frogs!
Two days afterwards, as Jumper was crossing a brook, a lily-white
duck, who had been concealed by the rushes, flew at him with open
beak and gobbled him up.

And the poor bride was left to mourn in silent solitude.


60








THE STORY


OF

REYNARD THE FOX.



ABOUT the feast of Whitsuntide, when the woods were in their
lustyhood and gallantry, when every tree was clothed in the green
and white livery of glorious leaves and sweet-smelling blossoms,
when the earth was covered with her fairest mantle of flowers,
and the sweet birds entertained the groves with the delight of
their harmonious songs, the LION, the Royal King of Beasts, made
solemn proclamation that all quadrupeds whatsoever should attend
his court, and celebrate this great festival.
Now when the king had assembled all his subjects together,
there was no one absent save Reynard the Fox, against whom
many grievous accusations were laid. First came Isegrim the
Wolf, with all his family and kindred, who, standing before the
King complained loudly how that Reynard had ill-treated his
wife and children. Then there came a little hound named Curtise,
who accused the Fox of having stolen his pudding in the extreme
cold winter-time, when he was nigh dying of starvation. But
scarcely had the hound finished his tale, when, with a fiery
countenance, in sprang Tibert the Cat, and accused Curtise of
having stolen this pudding from himself, and declared that Rey-
nard had righteously taken it away.




































-71


_- I


REYNARD IN THE LIKENESS OF A HERMIT.


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--- .4





THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


Then rose the Panther: "Do you imagine, Tibert," quoth he,
"that Reynard ought not to be complained of ? The whole world
knows that he is a murderer, a vagabond, and a thief."
Then quoth Grimbard the Badger, Reynard's nephew: "It is
a common proverb, Malice never spake well: what can you say
against my kinsman the fox ? All these complaints seem to me
to be either absurd or false. Mine uncle is a gentleman, and
cannot endure falsehood. I affirm that he liveth as a recluse;
he chastiseth his body, and weareth a shirt of hair-cloth. It is
above a year since he hath eaten any flesh; he hath forsaken
his castle Malepardus, and abandoned all his wealth; he lives
only upon alms and good men's charities, doing infinite penance
for his sins; so that he has become pale and lean with praying
and fasting."
While Grimbard was still speaking, there came down the hill
Chanticleer the Cock, and with him two hens, who brought with
them on a bier their dead sister Copple, who had just been
murdered by Reynard. Chanticleer smote piteously his feathers,
and, kneeling before the King, spake in this manner:
"Most merciful and my great Lord the King, vouchsafe, I
beseech you, to hear our complaint, and redress the injuries which
Reynard the Fox has done to me and my children. Not longer
ago than last April, when the weather was fair, and I was in
the height of my pride and glory, because of my eight valiant
sons and seven fair daughters, who were strong and fat, and who
walked in safety in a yard well-fenced round, wherein also were
several large dogs for their protection, Reynard, that false and
dissembling traitor, came to me in the likeness of a hermit, and
brought me a letter to read, sealed with your Majesty's seal,
in which I found written, that your Highness had made peace


64






































































SIR TBERT DELIVERING THE KINGS MESSAGE.

SIR TLBERT DELIVERING THE KING'S MESSAGE.


------ --- --- -------~-


MOM N-


P






THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


that the poor beast howled with pain. This noise quickly brought
out the carpenter, who, perceiving how matters stood, alarmed
the whole village, who came and belaboured the bear's sides with
sticks and hoes and pitchforks, until, mad with rage, he tore his
bleeding face and paws from the tree, and rushed blindly into a
river that ran close by, knocking into the water with him many
of the villagers, and among them, Dame Julock, the parson's
wife, for whose sake every one bestirred himself; and so poor
Bruin got safe away. After some delay, the bear returned to
the court, where, in dismal accents, he recounted the sad trick
that Reynard had played him.
Then said the King, Now, by my crown, I will take such
revenge as shall make that traitor tremble;" and sending for
his counsellors, they decided that Reynard should be again sum-
moned to court, and that Tibert the Cat should be the bearer
of the message. It is your wisdom, Sir Tibert, I employ," said
the great King, and not your strength: many prevail with art,
when violence returns with lost labour."
So Tibert made ready, and set out with the King's letter to
Malepardus, where he found the fox standing before his castle-
gates; to whom Tibert said, Health to my fair cousin Reynard;
the King, by me, summons you to the court, in which if you
fail, there is nothing more assured unto you than a cruel and a
sudden death."
The fox answered, Welcome, dear cousin Tibert; I obey your
command, and wish my Lord the King infinite days of happiness;
only let me entreat you to rest with me to-night, and take such
cheer as my simple house affordeth, and to-morrow, as early as
you will, we will go towards the court, for I have no kinsman
I trust so dearly as yourself."
K


69





THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


Tibert replied, "You speak like a noble gentleman; and me-
thinks it is best now to go forward, for the moon shines as bright
as day."
Nay, dear cousin," said the fox, let us take the day before
us, so may we encounter with our friends; the night is full of
danger."
Well," said the cat, if it be your pleasure, I am content;
what shall we eat ?"
Reynard said, Truly my store is small; the best I have is a
honey-comb, pleasant and sweet; what think you of it ?"
To which Tibert replieth, "It is meat I little respect, and seldom
eat; I had rather have one mouse than all the honey in Europe."
"A mouse!" said Reynard; "why, my dear cousin, here
dwelleth a priest hard by, who hath a barn by his house so full
of mice, that I think half the wagons in the parish are not able
to bear them."
Oh, dear Reynard," quoth the cat, do but lead me thither,
and make me your servant for ever."
Why," said the fox, love you mice so exceedingly ?"
Beyond expression," quoth the cat.
Then away they went with all speed to the priest's barn, which
was well walled about with a mud wall, where, but the night
before, the fox had broken in and stolen an exceeding fat hen,
at which the priest was so angry, that he had set a snare before
the hole to catch him at his next coming, which the false fox
knew of; and therefore said to the cat, Sir Tibert, creep in at
this hole, and believe it, you shall not tarry a minute's space but
you shall have more mice than you are able to devour; hark, you
may hear how they peep. When you have eaten your fill, come
again, and I will stay and await for you here at this hole, that


70






'THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


to-morrow we may go together to the court; but, good cousin,
stay not too long, for I know my wife will hourly expect us."
Then Tibert sprang quickly in at the hole, but was presently
caught fast by the neck in the snare, which as soon as the cat
felt, he quickly leaped back again; and the snare running close
together, he was half-strangled, so that he began to struggle and
cry out and exclaim most piteously.
Then the priest, hearing the outcry, alarmed all his servants,
crying out, The Fox is taken !" and away they all ran to where
poor Tibert was caught in the snare, and, without finding out their
mistake, they beat him most unmercifully, and cruelly wounded
one of his eyes. The cat, mad with pain, suddenly gnawed the
cord, and seizing the priest by the legs, bit him and tore him in
such a way that he fell down in a swoon, and then, as every one
ran to help his master, Tibert leaped out of the hole, and limped
as fast as his wounded legs would carry him to the court, where
the King was infinitely angry at the treatment he had received.
Then Grimbard the Badger, Reynard's nephew, fearing it was
likely to go hard with his uncle, offered to go to Malepardus
and take the King's message to his most subtle kinsman; to
which his Majesty graciously consented. So Grimbard set forth;
and when he came to Malepardus, he found Reynard with Dame
Ermelin his wife sporting with their children. When Grimbard
had delivered the King's letter, Reynard found that it would be
better for him to shew himself at court at once; so bidding an
affectionate farewell to his dear wife and children, he immediately
set out with the badger to go with him before the King. On his
way, Reynard, remembering the heavy crimes he had committed,
and fearing that his end was at hand, desired of the holy Grim-
bard, who had always led a hermit's life, that he would hear


73





THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


him confess, and set him a penance for his sins. Grimbard bade
him proceed. And the fox confessed how shamefully he had ill-
used the bear, and the cat, and the wolf, and Chanticleer's chil-
dren, and many other ill-doings during his life; and when he had
finished, he knelt before Grimbard, and said, Thus have I told
you my wickedness; now order my penance, as shall seem fit in
your discretion."
Grimbard was both learned and wise; and therefore brake a
rod from a tree, and said, "Uncle, you shall three times strike
your body with this rod, and then lay it down upon the ground,
and spring three times over it without bowing your legs or
stumbling; then shall you take it up and kiss it gently, in sign
of meekness and obedience to your penance; which done, you
are absolved of your sins committed up to this day, for I pro-
nounce unto you clear remission."
At this the fox was exceeding glad; and immediately he per-
formed the penance to Grimbard's satisfaction. But as they went
journeying on, it happened that they passed by the poultry-yard
of a convent; and as one young cock strayed far from the rest,
Reynard leaped at him, and caught him by the feathers, but the
cock escaped.
Villain that you are," said Grimbard, will you, for a silly
pullet, fall again into your sins ?"
To which Reynard answered, Pardon me, dear nephew, I
had forgotten myself; but I will ask forgiveness, and mine eye
shall no more wander."
However, Grimbard noted that he turned many times to look
at the poultry. But soon afterwards they arrived at the court.
As soon as it was bruited in the court that Reynard the Fox
and Grimbard his kinsman were arrived there, every one, from





THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


the highest to the lowest, prepared himself to complain of the
fox; at which Reynard's heart quaked, but his countenance kept
the old look, and he went as proudly as ever he was wont with his
nephew through the high street, and came as gallantly into the
court as if he had been the King's son, and as clear from trespass
as the most innocent whosoever; and when he came before the
chair of state in which the King sat, he said, Heaven give your
Majesty glory and renown above all the princes of the earth."
But the King cut him short at these words, and said: Peace,
traitorous Reynard; think you I can be caught with the music
of your words ? no, it hath too oft deceived me; the peace which
I commanded and swore unto, that have you broken."
Then Bellin the Ram, and Oleway his wife, and Bruin the
Bear, and Tibert the Cat, and Isegrim the Wolf, and Kyward the
Hare, and Bruel the Goose, and Baldwin the Ass, and Bortle the
Bull, and Hamel the Ox, and Chanticleer the Cock, and Partlett
the Hen, and many others, came forward; and all these with one
entire noise cried out against the fox, and so moved the King
with their complaints, that the fox was taken and arrested.
Upon this arrest, a parliament was called; and notwithstanding
that he answered every objection severally, and with great art,
Reynard was condemned, and judgment was given that he should
be hanged till his body was dead; at which sentence the fox cast
down his head, for all his jollity was lost, and no flattery nor no
words now prevailed.
Then Isegrim on the one side and Bruin on the other led the
poor fox to the gallows, Tibert running before with the halter.
And when they were come to the place of execution, the King
and the Queen, and all the rest of the nobility, took their places
to see the fox die.


75





THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


When all things were prepared, the fox said: "Now my heart
is heavy, for death stands in all his horror before me, and I cannot
escape. My dread Lord the King, and you my sovereign Lady the
Queen, and you my lords that stand to behold me die, I beseech
you grant me this charitable boon, that I may unlock ms heartt
before you, and clear my soul of her burdens, so that hereafter no
man may be blamed for me; which done, my death will be easy."
Every creature now took compassion on the fox, and said -is
request was small, beseeching the King to grant it, which was
done; and then the fox thus spake: Help me, Heaven, for I see
no man here whom I have not defended; yet was this evil no
natural inclination in me, for in my youth I was accounted as
virtuous as any breathing. This know, I have played with the
lambs all the day long, and taken delight in their pretty bleating;
yet at last in my play I bit one, and the taste of its blood was so
sweet unto me, that I approved the flesh, and both were so good,
that since I could never forbear it. This liquorish humour drew
me into the woods amongst the goats, where hearing the bleating
of the little kids, I slew one of them, and afterwards two more,
which slaughter made me so hardy, that then I fell to murder
hens, geese, and other poultry. And thus my crimes increased
by custom, and fury so possessed me, that all was fish which came
to my net. After this, in the winter season, I met with Isegrim,
where, as he lay hid under a hollow tree, he unfolded unto me
how he was my uncle, and laid the pedigree down so plain, that
from that day forth we became fellows and companions; which
knot of friendship I may ever curse, for then began the flood of
our thefts and slaughters. He stole the great things, I the small;
he murdered nobles, I the mean subjects; and in all our actions
his share was still ever the greatest: when he got a ram or a calf,






'THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


to-morrow we may go together to the court; but, good cousin,
stay not too long, for I know my wife will hourly expect us."
Then Tibert sprang quickly in at the hole, but was presently
caught fast by the neck in the snare, which as soon as the cat
felt, he quickly leaped back again; and the snare running close
together, he was half-strangled, so that he began to struggle and
cry out and exclaim most piteously.
Then the priest, hearing the outcry, alarmed all his servants,
crying out, The Fox is taken !" and away they all ran to where
poor Tibert was caught in the snare, and, without finding out their
mistake, they beat him most unmercifully, and cruelly wounded
one of his eyes. The cat, mad with pain, suddenly gnawed the
cord, and seizing the priest by the legs, bit him and tore him in
such a way that he fell down in a swoon, and then, as every one
ran to help his master, Tibert leaped out of the hole, and limped
as fast as his wounded legs would carry him to the court, where
the King was infinitely angry at the treatment he had received.
Then Grimbard the Badger, Reynard's nephew, fearing it was
likely to go hard with his uncle, offered to go to Malepardus
and take the King's message to his most subtle kinsman; to
which his Majesty graciously consented. So Grimbard set forth;
and when he came to Malepardus, he found Reynard with Dame
Ermelin his wife sporting with their children. When Grimbard
had delivered the King's letter, Reynard found that it would be
better for him to shew himself at court at once; so bidding an
affectionate farewell to his dear wife and children, he immediately
set out with the badger to go with him before the King. On his
way, Reynard, remembering the heavy crimes he had committed,
and fearing that his end was at hand, desired of the holy Grim-
bard, who had always led a hermit's life, that he would hear


73






THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


told to his uncle all that had happened. Reynard received him
with great courtesy, and the next morning accompanied him back
to court, confessing on his way many heinous sins, and obtaining
absolution from the badger. The King received him with a severe
and Ately countenance, and immediately asked him touching the
complaint of Laprell the Rabbit.
To which Reynard made answer: Indeed, sire, what Laprell
received he most richly deserved. I gave him a cake when he was
hungry; and when my little son Rossel wanted to share a bit, the
rabbit struck him on the mouth and made his teeth bleed; where-
upon my eldest son Reynardine forthwith leaped upon him, and
would have slain him had I not gone to the rescue." Then the
rabbit, fearing Reynard, stole away out of court.
"But," quoth the King, "I must charge you with another
foul treason. When I had pardoned all your great transgressions,
and you had promised me to go a pilgrimage to the Holy Land;
when I had furnished you with mail, scrip, and all things fitting
that holy order; then, in the greatest despite, you sent me back
in the mail, by Bellin the Ram, the head of Kyward the Hare;
a thing so notoriously to my disgrace and dishonour, that no
treason can be fouler."
Then spake Reynard to the King, and said, "Alas, my sove-
reign Lord, what is that you have said ? Is good Kyward the Hare
dead ? Oh, where is then Bellin the Ram, or what did he bring
to your Majesty at his return ? For it is certain I delivered him
three rich and inestimable jewels, I would not for the wealth of
India they should be detained from you; the chief of them I de-
termined for you my Lord the King, and the other two for my
sovereign Lady the Queen."
"But," said the King, "I received nothing but the head of
N


93






THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


poor murdered Kyward, for which I executed the ram, he having
confessed the deed to be done by his advice and counsel."
Is this true ?" said the fox; then wo is me that ever I was
born, for there are lost the goodliest jewels that ever were in the
possession of any prince living; would I had died when you were
thus defrauded, for I know it will be the death of my wife, nor
will she ever henceforth esteem me."
Then Reynard told the King and Queen of the great value of
these inestimable jewels. One was a gold ring, another a comb
polished like unto fine silver, and the third was a glass mirror;
and so great were the virtues of this rare glass that Reynard shed
tears to think of the loss of it. When the fox had told all this, he
thus concluded: If any one can charge me with crime and prove
it by witness, here I stand to endure the uttermost the law can
inflict upon me; but if malice only slander me without witness, I
crave the combat, according to the law and instance of the court."
Then said the King, Reynard, you say well, nor know I any
thing more of Kyward's death than the bringing of his head unto
me by Bellin the Ram; therefore of it I here acquit you."
"My dear Lord," said the fox, I humbly thank you; yet is
his death grievous unto me."
But Isegrim the Wolf was not content with this conclusion,
and defied the fox to mortal combat. This challenge the fox
accepted; and the next day was appointed for the meeting.
When all the ceremonies were done, and none but the com-
batants were in the lists, the wolf went toward the fox with in-
finite rage and fury, thinking to take him in his fore-feet; but the
fox leaped nimbly from him, and the wolf pursued him, so that
there began a tedious chase between them, on which their friends
gazed. The wolf taking larger strides than the fox, often overtook


94





THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.


before, they went all to the King, guarding the fox on every side,
all the trumpets, pipes, and minstrelsy sounding before him.
When Reynard came before the King he fell on his knees, but
the King bade him stand up, and said to him, Reynard, you
may well rejoice, for you have won much honour this day; there-
fore here I discharge you, and set you free to go whither your
own will leads you." So the court broke up, and every beast
returned to his own home.
With Reynard, all his friends and kinsfolk, to the number of
forty, took their leave also of the King, and went away with the
fox, who was no little glad that he had sped so well, and stood so
far in the King's favour; for now he had power enough to advance
whom he pleased, and pull down any that envied his fortune.
After some travel the fox and his friends came to his borough
or castle of Malepardus, where they all, in noble and courteous
manner, took leave of each other, and Reynard did to every one of
them great reverence, and thanked them for the love and honour
he had received from them, protesting evermore to remain their
faithful servant, and to send them in all things wherein his life
or goods might be available unto them; and so they shook hands
and departed.
Then the fox went to Dame Ermelin his wife, who welcomed
him with great tenderness ; and to her and her children he related
at large all the wonders which had befallen him at court, and
missed no tittle or circumstance therein. Then grew they proud
that his fortune was so excellent; and the fox spent his days from
thenceforth, with his wife and children, in great joy and content.


ROBSON, LEVEY, AND FRANKLY, GREAT NEW STREET.


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