: ..... . .
REYNARD AT H-ME AT MALEPAD,
REYNA RD AT HIOME AT M1AILEPRI[DUS. .
WITH SIX ILLUSTRATIONS,
FROM DESIGNS BY KAULBACH.
LE AVI T T & ALLEN,
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1860, by
WILLIS P. HAZARD,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States in and for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
REYNARD THE FOX.
ONCE, when the woods were green, and the earth was covered
with her fairest mantle of flowers, and the sweet birds entertained
with the delight of their songs, the LIoN, the Royal King of
Beasts, made solemn proclamation that all quadrupeds whatsoever
should attend his court, and celebrate a 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 Reynard had righteously
taken it away.
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. 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."
While Grimbard was still speaking, there came down the hill
Chanticleer the Cock, and with him two hens, who brought with
them on a bler their dead sister Copple, who had just been mur-
dered 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 be-
seech 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 throughout all your
realm, and that no manner of beast or fowl should do injury one
to another; affirming unto me, that, for his own part, he was
become a monk, for his sins, shewing unto me his beads, saying,
in humble wise, unto me,' Sir Chanticleer, never henceforth be
afraid of me, for I have vowed never more to eat flesh. I am now
waxed old, and would only remember my soul; therefore I take
my leave, for I have ye( my noon and my even song to say.'
Which spoken, he departed, and laid him down under a hawthorn.
At this I was exceeding glad, and took no heed, but went and
clucked my children together, and walked without the wall, which
I shall ever rue; for false Reynard, lying under a bush, came
creeping betwixt us and the gate, and suddenly surprised one of
REYNARD IN THE LIKENESS OF A HERMIT.
BRUIN'S VISIT TO REYNARD.
my children, which he bore away, to my great sorrow; for, having
tasted the sweetness of our flesh, neither hunter nor hound can
protect or can keep him from us. Night and day he waits upon
us, with that greediness, that of fifteen of my children, he has left
me but four unslaughtered; and yesterday, Copple, my daughter,
which here lieth dead on this bier, was, after her murder, rescued
from him.- This is my complaint, and this I leave to your High-
ness's mercy to take pity on me, and the loss of my fair children."
Then spake the King: "Sir Grimbard, hear you this of your
uncle the recluse ? he hath fasted and prayed well: believe me,
if I live a year, he shall dearly abide it. As for you, Chanticleer,
your complaint is heard, and shall be cured; to your daughter
that is dead we will give the right of burial."
After this the King sent for his wisest counselors. And it was
concluded that Reynard should be sent for, and without all excuse,
he should be commanded to appear before the King, to answer
whatever trespasses should be objected against him; and that this
message should be delivered by Bruin the Bear.
To all this the King gave consent, and calling the bear before
him, he said, "Sir Bruin, it is our pleasure that you deliver this
message; yet in the delivery thereof have great regard to yourself;
for Reynard is full of policy, and knoweth how to dissemble,
flatter, and betray, and without great exercise of judgment, will
make a scorn and mock of the best wisdom breathing."
"My Lord," answered Sir Bruin, "let me alone with Reynard;
I am not such a truant in discretion to become a mock to his
The next morning Bruin set out in quest of the fox; and after
passing through a dark forest and over a high mountain, he came
to Malepardus, Reynard's chiefest and most ancient castle. Rey-
nard was at home, and pretended to be ill with eating too much
honey. When the bear heard this, he was extremely desirous of
THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.
knowing where such excellent food could be obtained; and Rey-
nard promised to take him to a garden where he should find more
honey-combs than ten bears could eat at a meal. But the treach-
erous rascal took him to a carpenter's yard, where lay the trunk
of a huge oak-tree, half riven asunder, with two great wedgesin
it, so that the cleft stood a great way open. "Behold now, dear
uncle," said the Fox, within this tree is so much honey that it is
unmeasdrable.' The bear, in great haste, thrust his nose and
fore-paws into the tree; and immediately Reynard pulled out the
two great wedges, and caught Bruin in so sharp a trap, 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 belabored 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 re-
venge as shall make that traitor tremble;" and sending for his
counselors, they decided that Reynard should be again summoned
to court, and that Tibert the Cat should be the bearer of the mes-
sage. "It is your wisdom, Sir Tibert, I employ," said the great
King, and not your strength: many prevail with art, when vio-
lence returns with lost labor."
So Tibert made ready, and set out with the King's letter to
Malepardus, where he found the fox reading 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."
SIR TIBERT DELIVERING THE KING'S MESSAGE.
REYNARD TREATS THE CAT TO MICE.
The fox answered, "Welcome, dear cousin Tibert; I obey
your command; 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 toward the Court, for I have no
kinsman I trust so dearly as yourself."
"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 1" said Reynard; "why, my dear cousin, here dwell-
eth 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
"Oh, dear Reynard," quoth the cat, "do but lead me thither;
and make me your servant forever."
"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 \be-
fore, 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 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
THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.
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 to-
gether, 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
SMajesty 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 fare-
well to his dear wife and children, he immediately set out with the
badger to go with him before the King, and soon afterward they
arrived at the court.
As soon as it was bruited *n the court that Reynard the Fox and
Grimbard his kinsman were arrived there, every one, from 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
REYNARD IS LED TO EXECUTION.
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 often 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 any
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.
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, grant that I may unlock my
heart before you, and clear my soul of her burdens, so that here-
after no one may be blamed for me; which done, my death will
Every creature now took compassion on the fox, and said his
THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.
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 one here whom I have not offended; yet was this evil no natu-
ral inclination in me, for in my youth I was accounted as virtuous
as any breathing. After this in the winter season, I met with
Isegrim, 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; when he had an ox or a cow, after himself, his wife, and his
seven children were served, nothing remained to me but the bare
bones to pick. This I speak not in that I wanted (for it is well-
known I have more plate, jewels, and coin than twenty carts are
able to carry,) but only to show his ingratitude."
When the King heard him speak of this infinite treasure and
riches, his heart grew inflamed with a desire thereof; and he said,
"Reynard where is that treasure you speak of?"
The fox answered: "My Lord, I shall willingly tell you, for it
is true the wealth was stolen."
Then the King and Queen, having great hope to get this inesti-
mable treasure from Reynard, took him from the gibbet; and the
King taking a straw from the ground, pardoned the fox of all his
trespasses which either he or his father had ever committed. If
the fox now began to smile, it was no wonder; the sweetness
of life required it: yet he fell down before the King and Queen,
and humbly thanked them for mercy, protesting that for that favor
he would make them the richest princes in the world.
Then the King began to inquire where all these treasures were
hid, and Reynard told that he had hid them in a wood called Hus-
treloe, near a river named Crekinpit.
The King said," Reynard, forthwith make preparation that we
may go to this pit where the treasure lieth."
But the fox answered that he could not go with his Majesty
REYNARD ON HIS PILGRIMAGE TO ROME.
REYNARD ON HIS PILGRIMAGE TO ROMIE.
REYNARD STARTS FOR ROME.
without dishonor; for that at present he was under excommunica-
tion, and that it was necessary that he should go to Rome to be
absolved, and that from thence he intended to travel in the Holy
Land. "The course you propose is good," said the King; "go on
and prosper in your intent."
Then the King mounted on a rock, and addressing his subjects,
told them how that, for divers reasons best known to himself, he
had freely given pardon to Reynard, who had cast his wickedness
behind him, and would no more be guilty of wrong-doing; and
furthermore, he commanded them all to reverence and honor not
only Reynard, but also his wife and children. At this, Isegrim
the Wolf and Bruin the Bear inveighed against the fox in such an
unseemly way, that his Majesty caused them both to be arrested
for high-treason. Now when the fox saw this, he begged of the
Queen that he might have so much of the bear's skin as would
make him a large scrip for his journey; and also the skin of the
wolf's feet for a pair of shoes, because of the stony ways he would
have to pass over. To this the Queen.consented, and Reynard saw
his orders executed.
The next morning Reynard caused his new shoes to be well
oiled, and made them fit his feet as tightly as they had fitted the
wolf's. And the King commanded Bellin the Ram to say mass
before the fox; and when he had sung mass and used many
ceremonies over the fox, he hung about Reynard's neck his rosary
of beads, and gave him into his hands a palmer's staff.
Then the King took leave of him, and commanded all that
were about him, except the bear and the wolf, to attend Reynard
some part of his journey. Oh I he that had seen how gallant and
W.a~m'akt P~ywa~ r was, and [how well -his staff and his mail be-
came him, as also how fit his shoes were for his feet, it could not
have chosen but have stirred in him very much laughter. But
when they had got onward on their way, the fox entreated all the
. THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.
beasts to return; and only begged of Bellin the Ram, and Ky-
ward the Hare, that they would accompany him as far as Male-
Thus marched these three together; and when Reynard was
come to the gates of his own house, he said to Bellin, "Cousin, I
will entreat you to stay here without a little, whilpt I and Kyward
go in." Bellin was well content; and so the fox and the hare
went into Malepardus, where they found Dame Ermelin lying on
the ground with her youngerlings about her, who had sorrowed
exceedingly for the loss and danger of her husband; but when
she saw his return, her joy was ten times doubled. But behold-
ing his mail, his staff, and his shoes, she grew into great admira-
tion, and she said, "Dear husband, how have you fared?" So
he told all that had passed with him at the King's court, as well
his danger as his release, and that now he was to go a pilgrimage.
As for Kyward, he said the King had bestowed him upon them,
to do with him what they pleased, affirming that Kyward was the
first that had complained -of him, for which, he vowed to be
When Kyward heard these words, he was much appalled, and
would fain have fled away, but he could not, for tlie fox had got
between him and the gate; who presently seized the hare by the
neck, at which the hare cried unto Bellin for help, but could not
be heard, for the fox in a trice had torn out his throat; which
done, he, his wife, and young ones, feasted therewith merrily,
eating the flesh, and drinking to the King's health.
All this while stood Bellin the Ram at the gate, and grew ex-
ceeding angry both against the fox and the hare, that they made
him wait so long; and therefore called out aloud for Reynard to
come away, which when Reynard heard, he went forth, and said
softly to the ram, "Good Bellin, be not offended, for Kyward is
in earnest conference with his dearest aunt, and entreated me to
REYNARD BRINGS FORWARD THE HARE TO HIS WIFE.
BELLIN'S SUSPICION OF FOUL PLAY.
say to you, that if you would please to walk before, he would
speedily overtake you, for he is light of foot and speedier than
you: nor will his aunt part with him thus suddenly, for she and
her children are much perplexed at my departure."
"Ay, but," quoth Bellin, "methought I heard Kyward cry for
"~ How, cry for help ? can you imagine he shall receive hurt in
my house? far be such a thought from you; but I will tell you
the reason: As soon as we were come into my house, and that
Ermelin my wife understood of my pilgrimage, presently she fell
down in a swoon, which when Kyward saw, he cried aloud, '0
Bellin, come, help my aunt, she dies, she dies "
Then said the ram: "In sadness I mistook the cry, and thought
the hare had been in danger."
It was your too much care of him," said the fox. "But, let-
ting this discourse pass, you remember Bellin, that yesterday the
King and his council commanded me that, before I departed from
the land, I should send unto him two letters, which I have made
ready, and will entreat you, my dearest cousin, to bear them
to his Majesty."
The ram answered: "I would willingly do you the service, if
there be nothing but honorable matter contained in your letters;
but I am unprovided of any thing to carry them in."
The fox said: That is provided for you already, for you shall
have my mail, which you may conveniently hang about your
neck; I know they will be thankfully received of his Majesty, for
they contain matter of great importance."
Then Bellin promised to carry them. So the fox returned into
his house, and took the mail, and put therein the head of Kyward,
and brought it to the ram, and gave him a great charge not to
look therein till it was presented to the King, as he did expect
the King's favor; and that he might further endear himself with
THE STORY OF REYNARD THE FOX.
his Majesty, he bate the ram take upon him the inditing of the
letters, "which will be so pleasing to the King, that questionless
he will pour upon you many favors."
This said, Bellin took leave of the fox and went toward the
court, in which journey he made such speed, that he came thither
before noon, where he found the King in his palace sitting
amongst the nobility.
The King wondered when 'he saw the ram come in with the
mail which was made of bear's skin, and said: "Whence comest
thou, Bellin, and where is the fox, that you have that mail about
Bellin answered: "My dread Lord, I attended the noble fox to
his house, where, after some repose, he desired me to bear certain
letters to your Majesty of infinite great importance, to which I easily
consented. Wherefore he delivered me the letters inclosed in
this mail, which letters I myself indited, and I doubt not but they
are such as will give your highness both contentment and satisfac-
tion." Presently the King commanded the lettersto be delivered
to Bocart, his secretary, who was an excellent linguist and under;
stood all languages, that he might read them publicly; so that he
and Tibert the Cat took the mail from Bellin's neck, and opening
the same, instead of letters they drew out the head of Kyward
the Hare, at which being amazed, they said: "Woe and alas, what
letters call you these ? Believe it, dread Lord, here is nothing
but the head of poor murdered Kyward."
Which the King seeing, he said: "Alas, how unfortunate was
I to believe the traitorous fox 1" And with that, being oppressed
with anger, grief, and shame, he held down his head for a good
space, and so did the Queen also. But in the end, shaking his
curled looks, he groaned out such a dreadful noise, that all the
beasts of the forest did tremble to hear it.
Then the King, full of wrath, commanded the Bear and the
THE COMPLAINT OF LAPRELL THE RABBIT.
Wolf to be released from prison, and gave t hem and to their
heirs for ever Bellin and all his generation.
Thus was peace made between the King ad these nobles, and
Bellin the Ram was forthwith slain by them; and all these privi-
leges doth the wolf hold to this hour, nor could ever any recon-
cilement be made between the wolf's and the ram's kindred.
When this peace was thus finished, the King, for joy thereof,
proclaimed a feast to be held for twelve days after, which was
done with all solemnity.
To this feast came all manner of wild beasts, for it was known
through the whole kingdom, nor was there wanting any pleasure
that could be imagined. Also to this feast resorted abundance of
feathered fowl, and all other creatures that held peace with his
Majesty, and no one missing but the fox only.
Now after this feast had thus continued in all pomp the space
of eight days, about high noon came Laprell the Rabbit before the
King and Queen, as they sat at dinner, and with a heavy and
lamentable voice said: "My gracious and great Lord, have pity
upon my misery and attend to my complaint, which is of the great
violence which Reynard the Fox would yesterday have committed
against me. As I passed by the castle of Malepardus, supposing
to go peacefully toward my nest, I saw the fox, standing without
his gates, attired like a pilgrim and telling his beads so devoutly,
that I saluted him; but he, returning no answer, stretched forth
his right foot, and with his pilgrim's staff, gave me such a blow
on the neck between the head and shoulders, that I imagined my
head had been stricken from my body; but yet so much memory
was left me that I leaped from his claws, though most grievously
hurt and wounded. At this he was wrathful extremely, because
I escaped; only of one of my ears he utterly deprived me, which
I beseech your Majesty in your royal nature to pity, and that
THE STORY OF EYNARD THE FOX.
this bloody murderer may not live thus to afflict your poor sub-
The royal King was much moved with anger when he heard
this complaint, so that his eyes darted out fire amongst the beams
of majesty; his countenance was dreadful and cruel to look on,
and the whole court trembled to behold him. In the end he said:
"By my crown, I will so revenge these outrages committed against
my dignity, that goodness shall adore me, and the wicked shall
die with the remembrance; his falsehood and flattery shall no
more get belief in me. Is this his journey to Rome and to the
Holy Land? are these the fruits of his mail, his staff; and other
ornaments becoming a devout pilgrim? Well, he shall find the
reward of his treason. I will besiege Malepardus instantly, and
destroy Reynard and his generation from the earth for ever."
When Grimbard heard this, he grew exceedingly sorry, and
stealing from the rest, he made all haste to Malepardus, and 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. The King re-
ceived him with a severe and stately countenance, and immedi-
ately 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;
whereupon 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
REYNARD ATTACKETH LAPRELL THE RABBIT.
REYNARD DARES HIS ENEMIES TO COMBAT.
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 dishonor, that no treason can
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 your the chief of them I
determined 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 poor
murdered Kyward, for which I executed the ram, he having con-
fessed the deed to be done by his advice and counsel."
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 haa 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 ac-
cepted; and the next day was appointed for the meeting.
THE STORY. OF REYNARD THE FOX.
When all the ceremonies were done, and none but the combat-
ants were in the lists, the wolf went toward the fox with infinite
rage and fury, thinking to take him in his fore-feet; but the fox
leaped nimbly front 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 him,
and lifted up his feet to strike him; but the fox avoided the blow,
and smote him on the face with his tail, so that the wolf was
stricken almost blind, and was forced to rest while he cleared his
eyes; which advantage when Reynard saw, he-scratched u- the
&dusJ hti is ieet, and threw it in the eyes of the wolf. This
grieved him worse than the former, so that he durst follow him
no longer, for the dust and sand sticking in his eyes smarted so
sore, that of force he must rub and wash it away; which Reynard
seeing, with all the fury he had he ran upon him, and with his
teeth gave him three sore wounds on the head.
Then the wolf being enraged, said, "I will make an end of this
combat, for I know iny very weight is able to crush him to pieces;
and I lose much of my reputation, to suffer him thus long to
contend against me." And this said he struck the fox again so
sore a blow on the head with his foot, that he fell down to the
ground; and ere he could recover himself and arise the wolf
caught him in his feet and threw him under him, lying upon him
in such wise, as if he would have pressed him to death.
Then the fox bethought himself how he might best get free;
and thrusting his paw down, he caught the wolf fast by the bel-
ly, and he wrung him so extremely hard thereby, that be made
him shriek and howl out with the anguish, and in the end the
wolf fell over and over in a swoon; then presently Reynard leaped
upon him, and drew him about the lists and dragged him by the
legs, and struck, wounded, and bit him in many places, so that
the whole field might take notice thereof.
THE GREAT VICTORY OF REYNARD.
Then a great shout was raised, the trumpets were sounded, and
every one cried, "Honor to the fox for this glorious conquest."
Reynard thanked them all kindly, and received their congratula-
tions with great joy and gladness. And, the marshals going
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 honor 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 re-
turned 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
fair in the King's favor; 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 honor
he had received from them, protesting evermore to remain their
faithful servant, and to tend them in all things wherein his life or
goods might be available unto them; and so they shook hands
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.