• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Table of Contents
 Preface
 Introduction
 Table of Contents
 How the Lion proclaimed a solemn...
 How Grimbard the brock spake for...
 How Chanticleer the cock complained...
 The king's answer to the cock's...
 How Bruin the bear sped with Reynard...
 How the king sent Tibert the cat...
 How Tibert the cat was deceived...
 How Grimbard the brock was sent...
 How Reynard shrove him to Grimbard...
 How the fox came to the court,...
 How the fox was arrested and judged...
 How Reynard made his confession...
 How Reynard the fox was honoured...
 How Isegrim and his wife Ereswine...
 How Kyward the hare was slain by...
 How Bellin the ram and his lineage...
 How the king was angry at these...
 How the fox, repenting his sins,...
 How Reynard the fox excused himself...
 How Dame Rukenaw answered for the...
 How Reynard excused himself of...
 How Reynard made his peace with...
 How Isegrim proffered his glove...
 Of the combat betwixt the fox and...
 How the king forgave the fox all...
 Notes
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine














Group Title: Cranford series
Title: The most delectable history of Reynard the Fox
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082962/00001
 Material Information
Title: The most delectable history of Reynard the Fox
Series Title: Cranford series
Uniform Title: Roman de Renart
Physical Description: xxxvii, 260, 4 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill ; 19 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Jacobs, Joseph, 1854-1916 ( Editor , Author of introduction )
Calderon, W. Frank ( William Frank ), 1865-1943 ( Illustrator )
Cole, Henry, 1808-1882 ( Author )
Summerly, Felix, 1808-1882 ( Author )
Macmillan & Co ( Publisher )
Publisher: Macmillan and Co.
Place of Publication: London ;
New York
Publication Date: 1895
 Subjects
Subject: Reynard the Fox (Legendary character) -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Tricksters -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Foxes -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Courts and courtiers -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Characters and characteristics -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Fables -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Folklore -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Fables -- 1895   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1895   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre: Fables   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: edited with introduction and notes by Joseph Jacobs ; done into pictures by W. Frank Calderon.
General Note: Follows Felix Summerly's (Sir Henry Cole's) version for children, which was adapted from Caxton's. The introduction and notes attempt to give the adult reader a condensed account of the latest results of research in folk-lore and literary history. cf. Pref.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082962
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002236542
notis - ALH7017
oclc - 01835635
lccn - 17027607

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page i
        Page ii
    Half Title
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Frontispiece
        Page v
    Table of Contents
        Page vi
    Preface
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page ix
        Page x
    Introduction
        Page xi
        Page xii
        Page xiii
        Page xiv
        Page xv
        Page xvi
        Page xvii
        Page xviii
        Page xix
        Page xx
        Page xxi
        Page xxii
        Page xxiii
        Page xxiv
        Page xxv
        Page xxvi
        Page xxvii
        Page xxviii
        Page xxix
        Page xxx
        Page xxxi
        Page xxxii
    Table of Contents
        Page xxxiii
        Page xxxiv
        Page xxxv
        Page xxxvi
        Page xxxvii
        Page xxxviii
    How the Lion proclaimed a solemn feast at his court, and how Isegrim the wolf and his wife, and Curtois the hound, made their first complaints of Reynard the fox
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    How Grimbard the brock spake for Reynard before the king
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    How Chanticleer the cock complained of Reynard the fox
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    The king's answer to the cock's complaint, and how they sung the dirge
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    How Bruin the bear sped with Reynard the fox
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    How the king sent Tibert the cat for Reynard the fox
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    How Tibert the cat was deceived by Reynard the fox
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
    How Grimbard the brock was sent to bid the fox to the court
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
    How Reynard shrove him to Grimbard the brock
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    How the fox came to the court, and how he excused himself
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    How the fox was arrested and judged to death
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    How Reynard made his confession before the king
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    How Reynard the fox was honoured of all beasts by the king's commandment
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
    How Isegrim and his wife Ereswine had their shoes plucked off, for Reynard to wear to Rome
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
    How Kyward the hare was slain by Reynard the fox, and sent by the ram to the king
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
    How Bellin the ram and his lineage were given to the bear and the wolf
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    How the king was angry at these complaints, took counsel for revenge, and how Reynard was forewarned by Grimbard the brock
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    How the fox, repenting his sins, doth make his confession and is absolved by the brock
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
    How Reynard the fox excused himself before the king, and of the king's answer
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
    How Dame Rukenaw answered for the fox to the king, and of the parable she told
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
    How Reynard excused himself of Kyward's death, and all other imputations, got the king's favour, and made a relation of certain jewels
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
    How Reynard made his peace with the king, and how Isegrim the wolf complained of him again
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
    How Isegrim proffered his glove to Reynard to fight with him, which Reynard accepted, and how Rukenaw advised the fox how to carry himself in the fight
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
    Of the combat betwixt the fox and the wolf, the event, passages, and victory
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
    How the king forgave the fox all things, and made him the greatest in his land, and of his noble return home with all his kindred
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
        Page 245
        Page 246
    Notes
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
        Page 259
        Page 260
    Advertising
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
    Back Cover
        Page 265
        Page 266
    Spine
        Page 267
Full Text







I' A\

























4Y 1A





































6S



















REYNARD THE FOX
















































































THE COURT OF KING NOBLE







THE

MOST DELECTABLE HISTORY

OF


REYNARD THE FOX



EDITED WITH INTRODUCTION AND NOTES
MY

JOSEPH JACOBS


DONE INTO PICTURES


W. FRANK CALDERON




4










AND NEW YORK
1895













PREFACE


NEXT to XEsop, Reynard Ite Fox is the best
known of the tales in which animals play the
chief part. It is natural, therefore, that a
Cranford iEsop should be followed by a
Cranford Reynard; and in the present volume
I have endeavoured to do for Reynard what I
attempted to do for 7Esop in its predecessor-
provide a text which children could read with
ease and pleasure, and at the same time give
their parents, their cousins, and their aunts a
short rdsumd of the results which the latest
research in folklore and literary history has
arrived at with regard to the origin of the
book.
With regard to the text, I found that
ready-made to my hand. The late Sir Henry






viii REYNARD THE FOX
Cole, of South Kensington fame, in his earlier
days made an attempt to reform children's
books, and may be regarded as the precursor
of their improved position to-day. Under the
name of "Felix Summerley" he produced a
number of children's books, well printed, well
written, and tolerably illustrated, which some
of us remember as the chief treasures of
our youth. Among these was a version of
Reynard-mostly adapted from Caxton's-
which I found, with some slight alteration,
could easily be adapted for my present purpose,
and, in the main, the text of the present
book is a resuscitation of Felix Summerley's"
version.
As regards Introduction and Notes, I have
attempted to give the adult reader a condensed
account of the latest results about the origin of
this interesting and characteristic product of the
Middle Ages. Much has been done during
the present century to clear up the many
obscurities attaching to Reynard the Fox, which






PREFACE ix
shares with AEsop the distinction of being a
piece of folklore raised into literature. I have
tried to summarise the results reached by such
authorities as Grimm, Voigt, Martin, and
Sudre, in their various monographs on the
subject. For the present I confine myself to a
summary of their researches, as the small space
at my disposal prevents me entering into any
discussion of doubtful or controverted points.
I have for some time been engaged in a more
elaborate treatment of the subject, which will
ultimately appear in the Bibliolkhque de Carabas
as a companion to my treatment of XEsop in
the same series. I owe it to the courtesy of
Mr. Nutt that I am able to deal with it in a
more popular manner before the publication of
the results of my own research. For the
present I confine myself to a summary of the
researches of others.
JOSEPH JACOBS.














INTRODUCTION


RAGINHARD was once a man's name, tolerably
widely spread, both in Germany itself and in
the Debatable Land between France and
Germany which forms at once both the link
and the bone of contention between the two
countries. It is composed of two Teutonic
roots, one of which is represented by our
English hard, and the other which exists only
in the Gothic raging, with the sense of' counsel.'
Raginhard thus means 'strong in counsel,' and,
therefore, is well adapted for the name of the
beast which, most of all animals, lives by its
wits. In a slightly modified form it has become
in French the only name by which the fox is
known, the earlier form gouzil having become
replaced by regard, owing to the widespread
popularity of the Beast Satire in which the fox
plays so prominent a part.
These philological facts are of somewhat






REYNARD TIE FOX


more significance than the usual barren inquiry
into the derivation of words. They lead us at
once into most of the points of interest or
dispute with which scholarly inquiry has con-
cerned itself about Reynard the Fox. The
relative importance of France and Germany,
of the Celtic and the Teutonic genius, in
originating the Satire, the significance of a
proper name being attached to an animal
species, the distinction between the Fable and
the Beast Satire, the popularity of the latter
among the Folk, and its relation to the Folk-tales
dealing with the same subject-all these topics
are suggested by the mere consideration of
the name of our hero. German and French
scholars have, naturally, much to say upon a
topic in which Germany and France are
equally interested, and there can be no doubt
that at times patriotic zeal has attempted to
supply the place of historic fact. Yet that very
zeal has served its purpose, for when competent
scholars fall out Truth comes by her own.
Let us dismiss out of our way the more
certainly attested facts relating to the early
literary history of Reynard. Like most of
the favourite medieval productions of the
Romantic Period, versions of it occur in the





INTRODUCTION xiii
chief languages of Western Europe. There
is the German Reinhart, dated by modern
scholarship circa 1180. There is the French
Roman de Renard, with its twenty-six or seven
'branches,' to the nucleus of which a provisional
date of 1230 may be assigned, though many
of the 'branches' are earlier and some later.
There is the Flemish Reinaert, the earliest
part of which was composed by a certain
Willem, near Ghent, about 1250. While there
is beyond these a Latin poem, Ysengrimus,
written at Ghent in 148. Even in England a
trace has been found of a metrical version of
the Satire in the form of a thirteenth-century
poem, entitled, Of the Vox and of the Wolf.
Of the Italian Rainardo, and of the medieval
Greek version, there is no occasion to speak,
since they are out of the running in the race
for priority.
The results summed up in a few words
above are the outcome of a long series of
critical investigations by German, French, and
Dutch scholars, started by the monograph of
Jacob Grimm on Rein'/art Fuchs in 1824. He
originated the theory that Reynard was the
outcome of an ancient Teutonic Beast Epic of
primitive origin. Every step in the investiga-






REYNARD THE FOX


tion since his time has tended to strip his
theory of every vestige of plausibility, and it
may be now regarded as having gone the way
of all exploded theories. All the versions
referred to above are of literary origin, and
with the exception of the Ysengrimus, that
origin, even the Germanists allow, is French.
Both the Rein'zart and the Reinaert are
derived from French originals, now lost, which
have been revised and extended to form the
Roman de Renard. The whole family is thus
derived from a French parent, who flourished
somewhere between 1150 to I170, though it is
from a Flemish descendant that all modern
versions, including Caxton's and Goethe's, and
the one represented in the book before us,
have been derived.
But though we can trace our book to a
literary original, it does not follow that it is
entirely or solely literary in origin. Man has
been defined as a tale-telling animal; it comes
as natural to him to tell tales as to cook food.
Thus, a tale may arise naturally among the
Folk, even though it must ultimately be written
down by somebody who can write. One is,
naturally, inclined to suspect a Folk origin for
tales like those contained in -Esop's Fables, or






INTRODUCTION


Reynard the Fox, which represent animals act-
ing and talking with all the duplicity of men.
Accordingly, it is the tendency of recent re-
search to attempt to discover how far and in
what way certain Folk fables were worked up
by the literary artist of the eleventh century, who
was the father of the family of the Reynards.
The question is complicated in various
ways. Many incidents of the Reynard are
mere modifications of Esopic fable, and might
be only literary renderings of those popular
tales. Thus, Voigt has traced all the incidents
of the Latin Ysengrizmus, the firstborn of all the
Reynard family now in existence, to literary
sources, whether AEsop, or the P/ysiologus, or to
Peter Alfonsi. But the very medium in which
it is composed proves that the Ysengrimus is a
learned monkish product, and it is not, there-
fore, strange that it should have an entirely
literary origin. No such origin, however, can
be claimed for many of the incidents common
to the Reynard in its popular German, French,
and Flemish forms. To take a striking
example, the stratagem by which the Fox
induces the Wolf to fish with his tail through
a hole in the ice occurs nowhere in literature
before the Reynard, and unless actually in-
b






REYNARD THE FOX


vented by the author must have been found
among the Folk.
It is found among the Folk, even to the
present day, that incident of the Iced Wolfs
Tail. Dr. Krohn, a Finnish savant, has found
no less than a hundred and seventy-one variants
of the incident collected by folklorists in all the
four quarters of the globe. Still, nearly all of
these have been printed this century, and it
remains possible that they have been derived,
directly or indirectly, from the Reynard itself.
But though possible, this is far from being
probable. It is little likely, for example, that
the Finns, among whom no less than ninety-
eight variants of the incident have been
discovered, were at any time diligent students
of Reynard, nor can we attribute similar
learning to Uncle Remus, who also tells the
tale. No, we must assume that the Iced
Wolf's Tail has lived among the Folk for over
a thousand years, and that it was from the Folk
that the French satirist first adopted it.
Some, indeed, would go further, and contend
that it has lived among the Folk in all places
where it is found, because it is natural to the
Folk to think of wolves or bears fishing with
their tails in the ice. But by going further in






INTRODUCTION


this particular instance they certainly fare worse.
For the story has spread into lands where
there is no ice at all, and where, accordingly,
it could not have arisen independently. If it
could have spread to these lands, there is no
reason to suppose that it could not have spread
to lands favoured with ice in the winter. All
we need assume for the present purpose is that
it either originated in, or spread to, North-
Eastern France in the twelfth century, and was
there taken up by the original author of
Reynard into his fable.
What he did with the Iced Wolf's Tail
he must have done with other incidents of the
Cycle which are not found in earlier literary
sources, but which are found among the Folk of
to-day. In my Notes on the various incidents
given in the book before us, I have pointed
out which were probably derived from Fable
Literature, and which from the Folk. One of
the chief points of interest in the study of the
Reynard is this mixture of literature and folk-
lore which thus gave rise to a new form of
literature. Investigation of this mixture has
been begun by the capable hands of M. Sudre,
but the investigation is by no means at an end.
So much for the present on the origin of






xviii REYNARD THE FOX
the book. But the question of origins is far
from being the only one which it raises. The
very form in which the tale is told is original.
The fable speaks of the Lion, the Wolf, or the
Fox. The Reynard talks of Noble, of Isengrim,
or of Reynard. The type is individualised and
made personal. The artistic gain of such a
procedure is clear, and is proved, above all, by
the fact that the personal name of the Fox has,
in France at least, replaced the name of the
species. One might have thought, at first
sight, that this individualising process had
been performed by the literary artist to whom
we owe the Reynard. But there is a curious
piece of evidence proving that the Wolf at
least received such an individualised name
before any literary form of the Reynard had
come into existence. In III2 a tumult arose
at Laon, during which the life of the Bishop
Gaudri came into danger, and he concealed
himself in a cask. Among his pursuers was
one Teudegald, whom the Bishop had been
accustomed to call Isengrim, on account of
his wolf-like appearance. For so,' adds the
chronicler, 'some are wont to call wolves.'
When Teudegald came near the cask he tapped
it and called out, Is Isengrim at home?'






INTRODUCTION xlx
and so had his revenge for the Bishop's insult.
Both Gaudri and Teudegald were clearly
familiar with the name of Isengrim, which was,
therefore, current among the Folk before the
rise of the Reynard Cycle.
From a comparison of the earliest forms
M. Gaston Paris, than whom no more competent
authority can be cited, comes to the conclusion
that among the animals which had individualised
names from the first, were Reynard the Fox,
Bruin the Bear, Baldwin the Ass, Belier the
Ram, Tibert the Cat, Hirsent the Lady Wolf,
Richut the Vixen. All these names are
German in origin, and might seem at first sight
to stand in the way of the French contention
for a French origin to the Cycle. Not at all,
answer M. Paulin Paris, and his son, German
names were quite common among the Franks,
and need not surprise us among the French.
When pressed for details they are able to find
these personal names in cartularies of the
eleventh and twelfth centuries. They are,
however, obliged to recognize the fact that
some of these names are only to be found in
documents relating to Lorraine, and it is,
accordingly, in this district that we must seek
for the origin of the names of the Cycle.






REYNARD THE FOX


Whether we are to call Lorraine French or
German depends on which side of the Rhine
we were born. From this side of the Channel
one feels inclined to 'hedge' and call the
names Franco-Teutonic.
Another set of names in the Cycle are of
interest, because they are appellative and not
personal. Noble the Lion, Chanticleer the
Cock, Kyward the Hare derive their names
from their qualities, and imply an allegorising
tendency in those who acted as their godfathers.
These names increase in the latter development
of the fable, and thus afford the crucial test
of the relative antiquity of the various branches.
Thus, the earliest of them, as represented by
the German Reinhart, contains only one such
appellative name, Chanticleer, and that in such
a form that it was clearly not appellative to the
German writer. It is owing to the significance
and critical importance of these names that I
have devoted such attention to them in the
annotations to this volume.
The increasing tendency to give significant
names to the various beasts introduced marks
a change that came over the Reynard after the
earlier stages of its development. When the
beasts had only personal names given to them





INTRODUCTION


their adventures were told by the Folk, as the
adventures of persons are told, for the purpose
of raising a laugh. Later on when significant
names were given to the new beast personages
introduced, there was a meaning, and often a
bitter meaning, underlying the laugh. The
Beast Jest had grown into the Beast Satire.
The story of the adventures of Sir Wolf and
Sir Fox, told first merely to raise a guffaw,
became in the hands of the later developers of
the thesis means of casting ridicule on the
institutions of Medieval Society. The hypo-
crisy of the Monk, the greed of the Noble,
the craft of the Lawyer, the conquest of the
world by cunning wickedness-these were the
themes which formed the farrago of the later
branches of the Reynard Cycle. While seem-
ingly only continuing the earlier adventures of
their beast heroes, a change had come over the
spirit of the Cycle: the Beast Epic had become
a World Satire.
The earlier critics of Reynard laid almost
exclusive stress upon this satiric aspect of the
Cycle. The Roman de Renard was regarded
as an outcome of the same literary movement
that produced the second and satiric half of the
Roman de la Rose. Carlyle, in the remarks on






REYNARD THE FOX


Reynard, which he included in his essay on
Early German Lilerature, regarded it almost
solely from this point of view.
'A true Irony must have dwelt in the
Poet's heart and head. Here, under grotesque
shadows, he gives us the sadder picture of
Reality; yet for us without Sadness; his figures
mask themselves in uncouth bestial vizards,
and enact gambolling; their Tragedy dissolves
into sardonic grins.'
The progress of critical research has shown
that Carlyle was mistaken in regarding Irony
as the original motive force for the Reynard
Cycle, which came in later in the French
developments of it in consonance with the
satiric tendencies of the Gallic genius. But in
its inception the Reynard was a Beast Comedy
rather than a Beast Satire. The Comedy came
from the Folk, the Satire from the Literary
Artist. The closest analogy is offered by
those modern redressings of folk-tales like
Thackeray's Rose and Ring, or Mr. Lang's
Prince Prigio, worthy pendant to that other,
in which the modern literary artist uses the
Folk form in which to express his genial Satire.
Reverting for a moment to the form in
which the earlier adventures of Reynard are





INTRODUCTION xxiii
found among the Folk we are enabled to guess
with some precision, owing to the researches
of M. Sudre, the set of tales on which the
twelfth-century artist based his work. The
outrage of Reynard on Dame Wolf, the Iced
Wolf's Tail, the Fishes in the Car, the Bear
in the Cleft, the Wolf as Bell-ringer, the Dyed
Fox, together with the AEsopic Fables of the
Sick Lion, the Lion's Share, the Fox and the
Goat, and the Fox, Cock, and Dog-these form
the chief Folk ingredients out of which the
artist of the Reynard made up his tale. But
how ingeniously did he weld them into an
artistic whole In his hands the insult offered
by the Fox to Dame Wolf becomes the
starting-point of a whole Beast Epic, dealing
with the feud between the Fox and the Wolf,
which, ultimately, draws in all the other
animals in its train, till the court of King
Noble becomes like Verona in the days of the
Montagues and the Capulets.
Curiously enough, Dr. Krohn has found
these Folk incidents of the Cycle scattered
separately among the Folk in all parts
of the world. Still more curiously he finds
all these incidents, and more also, current
among the Finnish folk even at the present





REYNARD THE FOX


day.' He connects eleven incidents into a Folk
History of the feud of the Wolf and the Fox,
constituting a definite chain of tradition, each
link of which is bound up inextricably with all
the rest. Here, then, it would seem we have
found among the Finnish folk of to-day the
actual Beast Epic which the French artist of
the twelfth century dressed up with his own
adornments seven centuries ago. But closer
investigation robs this thesis of most of its
plausibility. The chain does not occur in
Finland as a chain, but in separate links, so
that the epic character of the so-called chain
at once disappears. Many of the links, indeed,
occur, as some of my readers may remember,
in the tales collected from Uncle Remus by
Mr. J. C. Harris, so that it is impossible to
regard the existence of an original Folk Epic
as substantiated by Dr. Krohn's ingenious
researches.
The interest of those researches lies in a
different direction. M. Sudre's researches
have shown that in the eleventh and twelfth
centuries a series of folk-tales existed dealing

1 K. Krohn, Die geografische Verbreitung einer modischen
Thiermarchenkette in Finnland. In Fennia, organ of the
Helsingfors Literary Society, vol. iv. pt. 4.





INTRODUCTION


with the enmity of the Fox and the Wolf, or,
as some say, of the Fox and the Bear. Dr.
Krohn has shown that precisely these traditions
still exist as traditions among the Folk of to-day.
We have, accordingly, evidence here of the
continued existence of a fable among the Folk
for at least seven centuries, during which it has
spread through all the continents.
M. Sudre and Dr. Krohn go even further.
They think they can localise the original home
and scene of at least one part of the tradition.
The incident of the Iced Wolf's Tail, to which
I have already referred, occurs in many places,
especially in North Europe, as the Iced Bear's
Tail, and is there used to explain why the
Bear's tail is so short. It is, indeed, obvious,
that the story as told in the Reynard Cycle
loses much of its efficacy from the fact that
the Wolf is nearly as well provided with
a brush as Master Reynard himself. The
Reynard story can only be told of an individual
Wolf, the Northern folk-tale is appropriately
applied to the Bear in general. If we regard
the Northern Fable as the original, it is, in its
way, a myth told to explain a natural pheno-
menon, viz. Why the Bear's tail is so short,,
the actual title of one of the folk-tales.


XXV






xxvi REYNARD THE FOX
Here, then, we seem to be getting back to
the position of Grimm, that for at least one
part of the Reynard Cycle there is a mytho-
logical source current among the Northern
European nations. But even this modicum
of Grimm's position is rendered doubtful, as has
been shown by M. Gaston Paris, by the fact
that even the Northern nations are not unani-
mous in keeping to the Bear.. It is more
probable that the mythological explanation was
added when the Bear was substituted for the
Wolf, than that the mythology was dropped
when Isengrim took the place of the Bear.
We are, accordingly, reduced to the conclusion
that in this case the Great Bear does not point
to the Pole.
But after all, these investigations and theories
as to the origin, meaning, and source of the
Reynard have little bearing upon the attraction
it had for our forefathers, and to a more
limited extent for ourselves. Amid the com-
plexities of life it is an obvious convenience
to possess a means by which its problems
can be presented in simpler terms. The
Fable or the Allegory is primarily intended to
simplify the problem in this way. The Fable,
in particular, does this by identifying the







elementary virtues and vices with the characters
of the best known birds, beasts, and fishes.
Man may be the most interesting thing to
man, but animals are more interesting to
children and to men of childlike mind. The
cynic has observed, The more I know of men,
the more I respect dogs.' But the fabulists
invert the process and say that the more they
observe animals the more they understand
men. What applies to the simpler fable is
even more applicable to the more elaborate
Beast Satire, which is better suited to display
the complicated forces which go to make up
life.
The life depicted in the Reynard is, indeed,
a somewhat limited one. We have got down
to 'hard pan,' as American miners say. It is,
in truth, the bare struggle for existence that
Reynard portrays, and is a fit outcome of the
Feudal Age when for all but the barons life
was but a bare struggle. Medieval literature
presents us, for the most part, pictures of life
as seen by those above the salt. Reynard, the
Fabliaux, and Villon present us with life as
it appeared to the Disinherited Folk. What
a life is there presented! Greed, hypocrisy,
brute force, and cunning rule the roast. Force


xxvii


INTRODUCTION






REYNARD THE FOX


and cunning are the only two powers re-
cognised, and if the book has a moral, it is
merely the low one that cunning is more
powerful than force.
But it is scarcely the Moral, or the Allegory,
which has attracted so many to Reynard the
Fox. It is the adventurous, shifty, eponymous
Hero who captures our interest. We have
all a sneaking regard for the crafty villain who
can control Circumstance, even though we salve
our conscience by the implicit thought, But
for the grace of God, there go I.' There
is something artistic in the way the villain
moulds Circumstance to his own ends which
extorts our reluctant admiration. His career
is a long series of making fools of his enemy,
and to the primitive mind the 'sell' is the most
exquisite form of practical wit.
To the medieval mind the triumphs of
Reynard were even more attractive than they
can be nowadays. When brute force un-
blushingly ruled the world cunning was your
only remedy against the tyrant. Every district
in those days had its Noble, its Isengrim, and
its Bruin, and all the villagers who suffered
from their cruelty felt a sympathetic interest
in the triumphs of Reynard over them. Theo-


xxviii





INTRODUCTION


retically the Hero ought to represent our best
self; if Reynard in some ways represented
the worst, the medieval conditions of life were
mainly to blame.
There is another source of interest to which
Reynard appealed, and still appeals. Mr.
Vincent Crummles knew the human heart when
he placed upon the Portsmouth stage a hero
of five feet nothing combating successfully
with three antagonists, all of larger inches.
'Go it, little un' is the natural cry in an
unequal battle of this description, and Reynard,
in his multifarious intrigues against Noble,
Isengrim, and Bruin, enlists our sympathy
much as David or Jack the Giant-killer has us
on his side in the conflict with the Giant.
Reynard had another source of attraction
in the Middle Ages and at the time of the
Reformation. At times he manages to gain
his ends by donning a monk's cowl. He
confesses his sins, and is scarcely absolved
before he longs to repeat them. He thus
became a type of the hypocrisy of the monkish
nature. A good deal of his popularity in
Germany has been due to his Protestant
proclivities. Earlier investigators were in-
clined to lay overmuch stress on this side of






xxx REYNARD THE FOX
the Reynard. Writing was, in great measure,
a monopoly of the monks in the Middle Ages,
and there was, accordingly, evidence that most
versions of the Reynard were written down,
if not composed, by monks. This made the
whole Cycle seem to be a confession of
weakness by the monks. But more dis-
passionate inquiry has shown that the satiric
attack upon monkery is a later development,
and cannot be in any sense regarded as a
primary motif in the Cycle. Yet it adds many
a quaint passage in the later forms of the book,
and cannot be disregarded in any treatment of
the subject, however cursory.
Enough has now been said to put the reader
in a position where he can best begin the read-
ing of Reynard. He has to expect a novel
of adventure in which animals play the part of
men, and for the most part bear men's names.
The traits of character he will be called upon
to observe will be mainly those which men can
be supposed to share with beasts. Through it
all he will see Cunning clad in Fox pelt
extricating itself against invincible odds out
of the most desperate difficulties. Fables he
knows of in the ancient world he will find
repeated under novel circumstances; while





INTRODUCTION


other fables, possibly as old as those, have
been rescued by the Medieval Satirist from the
Folk and woven cunningly into the narrative.
And amidst it all he will remember that, while
the story-teller was relating the shifts by which
Reynard overcame Noble, Isengrim, and Bruin,
he was, as often as not, pointing the sly finger
of scorn at the Lawyer, the Squire, or the
Parson of the Parish.




















CONTENTS


CHAPTER I.

How the Lion proclaimed a solemn Feast at his Court, and
how Isegrim the Wolf and his Wife, and Curtois the
Hound, made their first complaints of Reynard the Fox
Pages 1-7



CHAPTER II

How Grimbard the Brock spake for Reynard before the King
8-11


CHAPTER III


How Chanticleer the Cock complained of Reynard the Fox
12-18



CHAPTER IV

The King's answer to the Cock's complaint, and how they sung
the Dirge 19-21







REYNARD THE FOX


CHAPTER V

How Bruin the Bear sped with Reynard the Fox
Pages 22-39


CHAPTER VI

How the King sent Tibert the Cat for Reynard the Fox
40-45


CHAPTER VII

How Tibert the Cat was deceived by Reynard the Fox 46-5 I



CHAPTER VIII

How Grimbard the Brock was sent to bid the Fox to the Court
52-54


CHAPTER IX

How Reynard shrove him to Grimbard the Brock 55-62



CHAPTER X

How the Fox came to the Court, and how he excused himself
63-68


CHAPTER XI

How the Fox was arrested and judged to death 69-73


xxxiv







CONTENTS


CHAPTER XII

How Reynard made his Confession before the King
Pages 74-94



CHAPTER XIII

How Reynard the Fox was honoured of all beasts by the King's
commandment 95-99



CHAPTER XIV

How Isegrim and his wife Ereswine had their shoes fllucked off,
for Reynard to wear to Rome oo-0o6



CHAPTER XV

How Kyward the Hare was slain by Reynard the Fox, and
sent by the Rain to the King 107-117



CHAPTER XVI

How Bellin the Ram and his lineage were given to the Bear
and the Wolf 8-124



CHAPTER XVII

How the King was angry at these complaints, took counsel for
revenge, and how Reynard was forewarned by Grimbard
the Brock 125-134


xxXV







REYNARD THE FOX


CHAPTER XVIII

How the Fox, repenting his sins, doth make his confession and
is absolved by the Brock Pages 135-145



CHAPTER XIX

How Reynard the Fox excused himself before the King, and of
the King's answer 146-159



CHAPTER XX

How Dame Rukenaw answered for the Fox to the King, and
of the arable she told 160-17I



CHAPTER XXI

How Reynard excused himself of Kyward's death, and all other
imputations, got the King's favour and made a relation
of certain Jewels 172-196


CHAPTER XXII

How Reynard made his feace with the King, and how Isegrim
the Wolf complained of him again 197-214


CHAPTER XXIII

How Isegrim profered his glove to Reynard to fight with him
which Reynard accepted, and how Rukenaw advised the
Fox how to carry himself in he fight. .215-223


xxxvi






CONTENTS xxxvii


CHAPTER XXIV

Of the combat betwixt the Fox and the Wolf, the event,
passages, and victory .Pages 224-237



CHAPTER XXV

How the King forgave the Fox all flings, and made him the
greatest in his Land, and of his noble return home with
all his kindred 238-245


NOTES 247-260
















CHAPTER I


How the Lion proclaimed a solemn Feast at his
Court, and how Isegrim the Wolf and his Wife,
and Curtois the Hound, made their first com-
plaints of Reynard the Fox.

IT was about the Feast of Pentecosl (which is
commonly called Whitsuntide), when the woods
are in their lusty-hood and gallantry, and every
tree clothed in the green and white livery of
glorious leaves and sweet-smelling blossoms,
and the earth is covered in her fairest mantle
of flowers, while the birds with much joy
entertain her with the delight of their har-
monious songs. Even at this time and
entrance of the lusty spring, the Lion, the royal
King of beasts, to celebrate this holy feast
time with all triumphant ceremony, intends to
keep open court at his great palace of Sanden,
and to that end, by solemn proclamation, makes






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


known over all his kingdom to all beasts what-
soever, that, upon pain to be held in contempt,
every one should resort to that great celebration.
Within a few days after, at the time appointed,
all beasts both great and small came in infinite
multitudes to the court, only Reynard the fox
excepted, who knew himself guilty in so many
trespasses against many beasts, that his coming
thither must needs have put his life in great
hazard and danger.
Now when the King had assembled all his
court together, there were few beasts found
but made their several complaints against the
fox, but especially Isegrimn the wolf, who, being
the first and principal complainant, came with
all his lineage and kindred, and standing before
the King, spoke in this manner:
'My dread and dearest Sovereign Lord the
King, I humbly beseech you, that from the
height and strength of your great power, and
the multitude of your mercies, you will be
pleased to take pity on the great trespasses
and unsufferable injuries which that unworthy
creature Reynard the fox hath done to me, my
wife, and our whole family. Now to give your
highness some taste of these, first know (if it
please your Majesty) that this Reynard came


CHAP.






REYNARD THE FOX


into my house by violence, and against the
will of my wife, where, finding my children laid
in their quiet couch, he there assaulted them
in such a manner that they became blind.
For this offence a day was set and appointed
wherein Reynard should come to excuse himself,
and to take a solemn oath that he was guiltless
of that high injury; but as soon as the book
was tendered before him, he that well knew
his own guiltiness refused to swear, and ran
instantly into his hole, both in contempt of
your Majesty and your laws. This, my dread
Lord, many of the noblest beasts know which
now are resident in your court: nor hath this
alone bounded his malice, but in many other
things he hath trespassed against me, which to
relate, neither the time nor your highness's
patience would give sufferance thereunto.
Suffice it, mine injuries are so great that none
can exceed them, and the shame and villainy
he hath done to my wife is such that I can
neither bide nor suffer it unrevenged, but I
must expect from him amends, and from your
Majesty mercy.'
When the wolf had spoken these words,
there stood by him a little hound whose name
was Curtois, who, stepping forth, made likewise






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


a grievous complaint unto the King against
the fox, saying that in the extreme cold season
of the winter, when the frost was most violent,
he being half starved and detained from all
manner of prey, had no more meat left him to





i:ii "-- .



C


sustain his life than one poor pudding; which
pudding the said Reynard had most unjustly
taken away from him.
But the hound could hardly let these words
fly from his lips, when, with a fiery and angry
countenance, in sprang Tibert the cat amongst
them, and falling down before the King, said,
'My Lord the King, I must confess the fox
is here grievously complained upon, yet were
other beasts' actions searched, each would have
enough to do for his own clearing. Touching
the complaint of Curtois the hound, it was
an offence committed many years ago, and


CHAP.






REYNARD THE FOX


though I myself complain of no injury, yet was
the pudding mine and not his; for I won it by
night out of a mill when the miller lay asleep,
so that if Curtois could challenge any share
thereof, it must be from mine interest.'
When Pantker heard these words of the cat,
he stood forth and said, 'Do you imagine,
Tibert, that it were a just or a good course
that Reynard should not be complained upon ?
Why the whole world knows he is a murderer,
a vagabond, and a thief. Indeed he loveth not










truly any creature, no not his Majesty himself,
but would suffer his highness to lose both
honour and renown, so that he might thereby
attain to himself but so much as the leg of
a fat hen; I shall tell you what I saw him
do yesterday to Kyward the hare, that
now standeth in the King's protection. He
promised unto Kyward that he would teach






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


him his credo, and make him a good chaplain;
he made him come sit between his legs and
sing and cry aloud credo, credo. My way lay
thereby, and I heard the song: then coming
nearer, I found that Mr. Reynard had left his
first note and song, and begun to play his old




JI
n','" l,,''*^/ ll I I t' '












deceit; for he had caught Kyward by the
throat, and had I not come at that time, he
had taken his life also, as you may see by the
fresh wound on Kyward at this present. 0
my Lord the' King, if you suffer this un-
punished, and let him go quit, that hath thus
broken your peace, and profaned your dignity,
and doing no right according to the judgment


CHAP.






I REYNARD THE FOX 7
of your laws, your princely children many years
hereafter shall bear the slander of this evil.'
'Certainly, Panther,' said Isegrim, 'you
say true, and it is fit they receive the benefit
of justice that desire to live in peace.'















CHAPTER II


How Grimbard the Brock spake for Reynard before
the King.

THEN spake Grimbard the brock, that was
Reynard's sister's son, being much moved with
anger: Isegrim, you are malicious, and it is a
common saw, Malice never spake well; what can
you say against my kinsman Reynard? I would
you durst adventure, that whichever of you had
most injured one another might die the death,
and be hanged as a felon. I tell you, were he
here in the court, and as much in the King's
favour as you are, it would be much too little
satisfaction for you to ask him mercy. You
have many times bitten and torn my kinsman
with your venomous teeth, and oftener much
than I can reckon, yet some I will call up to
my remembrance.
'Have you forgot how you cheated him
with the plaice which he threw down from the






REYNARD THE FOX


cart, when you followed aloof for fear ? Yet
you devoured the good plaice alone, and gave
him no more but the great bones which you
could not eat yourself. The like you did
with the fat flitch of bacon, whose taste was so
good, that yourself alone did eat it up, and
when my uncle asked his part, you answered
him with scorn, Fair young man, thou shalt
have thy share." But he got not anything,
albeit he won the bacon with great fear and
hazard, for the owner came, and caught my
kinsman in a sack, from whence he hardly
escaped with life. Many of these' injuries
hath Isegrim done to Reynard, which I
beseech your lordships judge if they be
sufferable.
'Now comes Kyward the hare with his
complaint, which to me seems but a trifle, for
.if he will learn to read, and read not his lesson
aright, who will blame the schoolmaster Rey-
nard if he give him due correction ? for if
scholars be not beaten and chastened they will
never learn.
'Lastly complaineth Curtois that he with
great pain had gotten a pudding in the winter,
being a season in which victuals are hard to
find; methinks silence would have become


CHAP. II






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


him better, for he had stolen it; and MAale quze-
sisti, et male perdidisti-that is to say, it is fit
that be evil lost which was evil won; who can
blame Reynard to take stolen goods from a
thief? It is reason that he which understands
the law and can discern right, being of great
and high birth as my kinsman is, do right unto
the law. Nay, had he hanged up Curtois when
he took him with the manner, he had offended
none but the King in doing justice without
leave; wherefore, for respect to his Majesty, he
did it not, though he reaped little thanks for his
labour. Alas, how do these complaints hurt
him! mine uncle is a gentleman and a true
man, nor can he endure falsehood; he doth
nothing without the counsel of his priest. I
affirm, since my Lord the King proclaimed his
peace, he never thought to hurt any man. He
eateth but once a day, he liveth as a recluse,
he chastiseth his body, and weareth a shirt of
haircloth; it is above a year since he ate any
flesh (as I have been truly informed by them
which came but yesterday from him); he hath
forsaken his castle Malepardus, and abandoned
all royal state, a poor hermitage retains him,
hunting he hath forsworn, and his wealth he
hath scattered, living only by alms and good


CHAP.






II REYNARD THE FOX 1I
men's charities; doing infinite penance for his
sins, so that he is become pale and lean with
praying and fasting.'
Thus, whilst Grimbard his nephew stood
preaching, they perceived coming down the
hill unto them, stout Chanticleer the cock, who
brought upon a bier a dead hen, of whom Rey-
nard had bitten off the head, and was brought
to the King to have knowledge thereof.















CHAPTER III


How Chanticleer the Cock complained of Reynard
the Fox.

CHANTICLEER marched foremost, smote piteously
his hands and feathers, whilst on the other side
the bier went two sorrowful hens-the one was
Tantart, the other the good hen Cragant, being
two of the fairest hens between Holland and
Arden; these hens bore each of them a straight
bright burning taper, and these hens were
sisters to Copfle, which lay dead on the bier,
and in the marching they cried piteously, 'Alack
and well-a-day for the death of Copple, our dear
sister.' Two young hens bare the bier, which
cackled so heavily, and wept so loud for the
death of Copple their mother, that the hills
gave an echo to their clamour. Thus being
come before the King, Chanticleer, kneeling
down, spake in this manner:
'Most merciful and my great Lord the






CHAP. III REYNARD THE FOX 13
King, vouchsafe, I beseech you, to hear our
complaint, and redress those injuries which
Reynard hath unjustly done to me, and to my
children that here stand weeping. For so it is,
most mighty sir, that in the beginning of April,


when the weather was fair, I being then in the
height of my pride and glory, because of the
great stock and lineage I came of, and also I
had eight valiant sons, and seven fair daughters,
which my wife had hatched, all which were strong
and fat, and walked in a yard well walled and
fenced round about, wherein they had in several






14 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. III
sheds for their guard six stout mastiff dogs,
which had torn the skins of many wild beasts,
so that my children feared not any evil which
might happen unto them. But Reynard, that
false and dissembling traitor, envying their
happy fortune because of their safety, many
times assailed the walls, and gave such dan-
gerous assaults, that the dogs divers times
were let forth unto him and hunted him away.
Yea, once they lighted upon him, and bit him,
and made him pay the price for his theft, and
his torn skin witnessed; yet nevertheless he
escaped, the more was the pity; albeit, we
were quit of his troubling a great while after.
At last he came 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. He
affirmed unto me that for his own part he was
become a monk or cloistered recluse, vowing to
perform a daily penance for his sins; and
showed unto me his beads, his books, and the
hair shirt next to his skin, saying in humble
wise unto me, "Sir Chanticleer, never hence-
forth be afraid of me, for I have vowed never-






REYNARD THE FOX


more to eat flesh. I am now waxed old, and
would only remember my soul; therefore I take
my leave, for I have yet my noon and my
even song to say." Which spake, he de-
parted, saying his credo as he went, and laid
him down under a hawthorn; at this I was
exceeding glad, that I took no heed, but went
and clucked my children together, and walked




A






without the wall, which I shall ever rue. For
false Reynard, lying under a bush, came creep-
ing betwixt us and the gate, and suddenly
surprised one of my children, which he trussed
up in his mail and bore away, to my great
sorrow. For having tasted the sweetness of
our flesh, neither hunter nor hound can protect
or keep him from us. Night and day he waits
upon us with that greediness, that of fifteen of
my children he hath left me but four un-
C


CHAP. III






18 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. III
slaughtered, and yesterday Copple my daughter,
which here lieth dead on this bier, was after
her murder, by a kennel of hounds, rescued
from him. This is my plaint, and this I leave
to your highness's mercy to take pity of me,
and the loss of my fair children.'













CHAPTER IV


The King's answer to the Cock's complaint, and how
they sung the Dirge.

THEN spake the King: 'Sir Grimbard, hear you
this of your uncle the recluse ? he hath fasted
and prayed well; and 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 her the right of burial, and with
solemn dirges bring her to the earth, with
worship; which finished, we will consult with
our lords how to do you right and justice
against the murderer.' Then began the
Placebo Domine, with all the verses belonging
to it, which are too many to recite; and as soon
as the dirge was done, the body was interred,
and upon it a fair marble stone laid, being
polished as bright as glass, in which was
engraven in great letters this inscription
following:






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


topple,
Ciantfcler'e taugibte,
btbom letnart tbl fox Ibattj slain,
liettb) er iuvift ;
Sourn tljou that teabrst it,
for Ier tbeatb tWao unfust ant lamentable.

After this the King sent for his lords and
wisest counsellors to consult how this foul
murder of Reynard's might be punished. In
the end it was concluded that Reynard should
be sent for, and without all excuse to appear
before the King to answer those 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 him before him, 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.
He hath a world of snares to entangle you
withal, 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


CHAP.






IV REYNARD THE FOX 21
discretion, to become a mock to his knavery;'
and thus full of jollity the bear departed; if his
return be as jovial, there is no fear in his well
speeding.














CHAPTER V


How Bruin the Bear sped with Reynard the Fox.

THE next morning away went Brzzin the bear
in quest of the fox, armed against all plots of
deceit whatsoever. And as he came through a
dark forest, in which Reynard had a bypath,
which he used when he was hunted, he saw a
high mountain, over which he must pass to go
to Malepardus. For though Reynard have many
houses, yet Malepardus is his chiefest and most
ancient castle, and in it he lay both for defence
and ease. Now at last when Bruin was come
to Malepacrdus, he found the gates close shut,
at which after he had knocked, sitting on his
tail, he called aloud, 'Sir Reynard, are you at
home? I am Bruinz your kinsman, whom the
King hath sent to summon you to the court, to
answer many foul accusations exhibited against
you, and hath taken a great vow, that if you
fail to appear to this summons, that your life






CHAP. v REYNARD THE FOX 23
shall answer your contempt, and your goods
and honours shall lie confiscate at his highness's
mercy. Therefore, fair kinsman, be advised of
your friend, and go with me to the court to
shun the danger that else will fall upon you.'
Reynard, lying close by the gate, as his
custom was for the warm sun's sake, hearing





'-,







those words, departed into one of his holes, for
Mdalepardus is full of many intricate and curious
rooms, which labyrinth-wise he could pass
through, when either his danger or the benefit
of any prey required the same. There he medi-
tated awhile with himself how he might
counterplot and bring the bear to disgrace
(whom he knew loved him not) and himself to
honour; at last he came forth, and said, Dear
uncle Bruin, you are exceeding welcome;





THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


pardon my slowness in coming, for at your first
speech I was saying my even song, and devo-
tion must not be neglected. Believe me, he
hath done you no good service, nor do I thank
him which hath sent you this weary and long
journey, in which your much sweat and toil far
exceeds the worth of the labour. Certainly had
you not come, I had to-morrow been at the
court of my own accord, yet at this time my
sorrow is much lessened, inasmuch as your
counsel at this present may return me double
benefit. Alas, cousin, could his Majesty find no
meaner a messenger than your noble self to
employ in these trivial affairs ? Truly it appears
strange to me, especially since, next his royal
self, you are of greatest renown both in blood
and riches. For my part, I would we were both
at court, for I fear our journey will be exceed-
ing troublesome. To speak truth, since I made
mine abstinence from flesh, I have eaten such
strange new meats, that my body is very
much distempered, and swelleth as if it would
break.'
'Alas, dear cousin,' said the bear, 'what
meat is that which maketh you so ill?'
'Uncle,' answered he, 'what will it profit you
to know? the meat was simple and mean. We


CHAP.






REYNARD THE FOX


poor men are no lords, you know, but eat that
for necessity which others eat for wantonness,
yet not to delay you, that which I ate was
honeycombs, great, full, and most pleasant,
which, compelled by hunger, I ate too un-
measurably and am thereby infinitely dis-
tempered.'
'Ha,' quoth Bruin, 'honeycombs ? do you
make such slight respect of them, nephew?
why it is meat for the greatest emperor in the
world. Fair nephew, help me but to some of
that honey, and command me whilst I live; for
one little part thereof I will be your servant
everlastingly.'
'Sure,' said the fox, 'uncle, you but jest with
me.'
But jest with you,' replied Bruin; beshrew
my heart then, for I am in that serious earnest,
that for one lick threat you shall make me the
faithfullest of all your kindred.'
'Nay,' said the fox, 'if you be in earnest,
then know I will bring you where so much is,
that ten of you shall not be able to devour it at
a meal, only for your love's sake, which above
all things I desire, uncle.'
'Not ten of us ?' said the bear,' it is im-
possible; for had I all the honey betwixt Hybla






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


and Porlugal, yet I could in a short space eat
it all myself.'
'Then know, uncle,' quoth the fox, 'that
near at hand here dwelleth a husbandman
named Lanfert, who is master of so much honey,
that you cannot consume it in seven years,
















which for your love and friendship's sake I will
put into your safe possession.'
Bruin, mad upon the honey, swore, that
to have one good meal thereof he would not
only be his faithful friend, but also stop the
mouths of all his adversaries.
Reynard, smiling at his easy belief, said,
'If you will have seven ton, uncle, you shall
have it.'


CHAP.






REYNARD THE FOX


These words pleased the bear so well, and
made him so pleasant, that he could not stand
for laughing.
Well, thought the fox, this is good fortune,
sure I will lead him where he shall laugh
more measurably; and then said, 'Uncle, we
must delay no time, and I will spare no pain



1,' .. _


.- -- i ,-^ '* -







for your sake, which for none of my kin I
would perform.'
The bear gave him many thanks, and so
away they went, the fox promising him as
much honey as he could bear, but meant as
many strokes as he could undergo. In the
end they came to Lanfert's house, the sight
whereof made the bear rejoice. This Lanfert
was a stout and lusty carpenter, who the






REYNARD THE FOX


other day had brought into his yard a great
oak, which, as their manner is, he began to
cleave, and had struck into it two wedges in
such wise that the cleft stood a great way
open, at which the fox rejoiced much, for
it was answerable to his wish. So with a
laughing countenance he said to the bear,
'Behold now, dear uncle, and be careful of
yourself, for within this tree is so much honey
that it is unmeasurable. Try if you can get
into it, yet, good uncle, eat moderately, for
albeit the combs are sweet and good, yet a
surfeit is dangerous, and may be troublesome
to your body, which I would not for a world,
since no harm can come to you but must be
my dishonour.'
'Sorrow not for me, nephew Reynard,'
said the bear, 'nor think me such a fool that
I cannot temper mine appetite.'
It is true, my best uncle, I was too bold.
I pray you enter in at the end, and you shall
find your desire.'
The bear with all haste entered the tree,
with his two feet forward, and thrust his
head into the cleft, quite over the ears, which
when the fox perceived, he instantly ran and
pulled the wedges out of the tree, so that


CHAP. V






REYNARD THE FOX


he locked the bear fast therein, and then
neither flattery nor anger availed the bear.
For the nephew had by his deceit brought
the uncle into so false a prison that it was
impossible by any art to free himself of the
same. Alas, what profited now his great
strength and valour? Why they were both
causes of more vexation; and finding himself


> s .,\ .

S," '\






destitute of all relief, he began to howl and
bray, and with scratching and tumbling to
make such a noise, that Lanfert, amazed, came
hastily out of his house, having in his hand
a sharp hook, whilst the bear lay wallowing
and roaring within the tree.
The fox from afar off said to the bear in
scorn and mocking, Is the honey good,
uncle, which you eat? How do you? Eat
not too much, I beseech you. Pleasant things


CHAP. V






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


are apt to surfeit, and you may hinder your
journey to the court. When Lanfert cometh
(if your belly be full) he will give you drink
to digest it, and wash it down your throat.'
And having thus said, he went towards
his castle. But by this time, Lanfert, finding
the bear fast taken in the tree, he ran to his
neighbours and desired them to come into his
yard, for there was a bear fast taken there.
This was noised through all the town, so that
there was neither man, nor woman, nor child
but ran thither, some with one weapon, and
some with another-as goads, rakes, broom-
staves, or what they could gather up. The
priest had the handle of the cross, the clerk
the holy water sprinkler, and the priest's wife,
Dame Jullock, with her distaff, for she was
then spinning; nay, the old beldames came
that had ne'er a tooth in their heads. This
army put Bruin into a great fear, being none
but himself to withstand them, and hearing
the clamour of the noise which came thundering
upon him, he wrestled and pulled so extremely,
that he got out his head, but he left behind
him all the skin, and his ears also; insomuch
that never creature beheld a fouler or more
deformed beast. For the blood covering all


CHAP.






REYNARD THE FOX


his face, and his hands leaving the claws and
skin behind them, nothing remained but
ugliness. It was an ill market the bear
came to, for he lost both motion and sight-
that is, feet and eyes. But notwithstanding
this torment, Lanfert, the priest, and the
whole parish came upon him, and so be-
cudgelled him about his body part, that it
might well be a warning to all his misery,
to know that ever the weakest shall still go
most to the wall. This the bear found by
experience, for every one exercised the height
of their fury upon him. Even Houghlin with
the crooked leg, and Ludolf with the long
broad nose, the one with a leaden mall, and
the other with an iron whip, all belashed
poor sir Bruin, not so much but sir Bertolf
with the long fingers, Lanfert and Ortam
did him more annoyance than all the rest,
the one having a sharp Welsh hook, the
other a crooked staff well leaded at the end,
which he used to play at stab ball withal.
There was Birkin and Armes Ableqazck,
Bane the priest with his staff, and Dame
Jullock his wife; all these so belaboured the
bear, that his life was in great danger. The
poor bear in this massacre sat and sighed
D






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


extremely, groaning under the burden of
their strokes, of which Lanfert's were the
greatest and thundered most dreadfully; for
Dame Podge of Casport was his mother, and
his father was Marob the steeple-maker, a
passing stout man when he was alone. Bruin
received of him many showers of stones till
Lanfert's brother, rushing before the rest with
a staff, struck the bear in the head such a
blow, that he could neither hear nor see, so
that awaking from his astonishment the bear
leaped into the river adjoining, through a
cluster of wives there standing together, of
which he threw divers into the water, which
was large and deep, amongst whom the
parson's wife was one; which the parson
seeing how she floated like a sea-mew, he
left striking the bear, and cried to the rest
of the company, Help! oh help! Dame
Jullock is in the water; help, both men and
women, for whosoever saves her, I give free
pardon of all their sins and transgressions,
and remit all penance imposed whatsoever.'
This heard, every one left the bear to help
Dame Jullock, which as soon as the bear
saw, he cut the stream and swam away as
fast as he could, but the priest with a great


CHAP.






v REYNARD THE FOX 35
noise pursued him, crying in his rage, 'Turn,
villain, that I may be revenged of thee;'
but the bear swam in the strength of the
stream and suspected not his calling, for he
was proud that he was so escaped from them.
Only he bitterly cursed the honey tree and
the fox, which had not only betrayed him,
but had made him lose his hood from his
face, and his gloves from his fingers. In
this sort he swam some three miles down
the water, in which time he grew so weary
that he went on land to get ease, where
blood trickled down his face; he groaned,
sighed, and drew his breath so short, as if
his last hour had been expiring.
Now whilst these things were in doing,
the fox in his way home stole a fat hen, and
threw her into his mail, and running through
a bypath that no man might perceive him,
he came towards the river with infinite joy;
for he suspected that the bear was certainly
slain: therefore said to himself, My fortune
is as I wished it, for the greatest enemy I
had in the court is now dead, nor can any
man suspect me guilty thereof.' But as he
spake these words, looking towards the river,
he espied where Brzin the bear lay and






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


rested, which struck his heart with grief, and
he railed against Lanfert the carpenter,
saying, 'Silly fool that thou art, what mad-
man would have lost such good venison,
especially being so fat and wholesome, and
for which he took no pains, for he was taken
to his hand; any man would have been proud
of the fortune which thou neglectest.' Thus
fretting and chiding, he came to the river,
where he found the bear all wounded and
bloody, of which Reynard was only guilty;
yet in scorn he said to the bear, Monsieur,
Dieu vous garden '
0 thou foul red villain,' said the bear
to himself, 'what impudence is like to this?'
But the fox went on with his speech, and
said, 'What, uncle? have you forgot any-
thing at Lanferis, or have you paid him for
the honeycombs you stole? If you have
not, it will redound much to your disgrace,
which before you shall undergo, I will pay
him for them myself. Sure the honey was
excellent good, and I know much more of
the same price. Good uncle, tell me before
I go, into what order do you mean to enter,
that you wear this new-fashioned hood ? Will
you be a monk, an abbot, or a friar? Surely


CHAP.






REYNARD THE FOX


he that shaved your crown hath cropped your
ears; also your foretop is lost, and your
gloves are gone; fie, sloven, go not bare-
handed, they say you can sing peccavi rarely.'


' I..-


These taunts made Bruin mad with rage,
but because he could not take revenge, he
was content to let him talk his pleasure.
Then after a small rest he plunged again






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


into the river, and swam down the stream,
and landed on the other side, where he began
with much grief to meditate how he might
get to the court, for he had lost his ears, his
talons, and all the skin off his feet, so that
had a thousand deaths followed him, he could
not go. Yet of necessity he must move,
that in the end compelled by extremity, he
set his tail on the ground, and tumbled his
body over and over, so by degrees, tumbling
now half a mile, and then half a mile, in the
end he tumbled to the court, where divers
beholding his strange manner of approach,
they thought some prodigy had come towards
them; but in the end the King knew him,
and grew angry, saying, 'It is sir Bruin,
my servant; what villains have wounded him
thus, or where hath he been that he brings
his death thus along with him ?'
'0 my dread Sovereign Lord the King,'
cried out the bear, I complain me grievously
unto you ; behold how I am massacred,
which I humbly beseech you revenge on
that false Reynard, who, for doing your royal
pleasure, hath brought me to this disgrace
and slaughter.'
Then said the King, 'How durst he do


CHAP.





v REYNARD THE FOX 39
this? now by my crown I swear I will take
the revenge which shall make the traitors
tremble!'
Whereupon the King sent for all his
council, and consulted how and in what sort
to persecute against the fox, where it was
generally concluded that he should be again
summoned to appear and answer his tres-
passes; and the party to summon him they
appointed to be Tibert the cat, as well for
his gravity as wisdom; all which pleased the
King well.













CHAPTER VI


lHow the King sent Tibert the Cat for Reynard the
Fox.

THEN the King called for sir Tibert the cat,
and said to him, 'Sir Tibert, you shall go to
Reynard, and say to him the second time, and
command him to appear, and answer his
offences; for though he be cruel to other
beasts, yet to you he is courteous. Assure
him if he fail at your first summons, that I will
take so severe a course against him and his
posterity, that his example shall terrify all
offenders.'
Then said Tiberl the cat, 'My dread Lord,
they were my foes which thus advised you, for
there is nothing in me that can force him either
to come or tarry. I beseech your Majesty
send some one of greater power; I am little
and feeble. Besides, if noble sir Bruzin, that
is so strong and mighty, could not enforce him,
what will my weakness avail?'






REYNARD THE FOX


The King replied, 'It is your wisdom, sir
Tibert, I employ, and not your strength, and
many prevail with art, when violence returns
with lost labour.'
'Well,' said the cat, 'since it is your
pleasure, it must be accomplished; Heaven
make my fortune better than my heart
presageth.'
This Tibert made things in readiness, and
went towards Malefardus, and in his journey
he saw come flying towards him one of Saint
Marlin's birds, to whom the cat cried aloud,
'Hail, gentle bird, I beseech thee turn thy
wings and fly on my right hand.' But the bird
turned the contrary way, and flew on his left
side; then grew the cat very heavy, for he was
wise and skilful in augurism, and knew the
sign to be ominous; nevertheless, as many do,
he armed himself with better hope, and went
to Malepardus, where he found the fox standing
before his castle gates, to whom Tibert said,
'Health to my fair cousin Reynard, so it
is that the King by me summons you to the
court, in which if you fail or defer time, there
is nothing more assured unto you than a cruel
and a sudden death.'
The fox answered, 'Welcome, dear cousin


CHAP. VI






REYNARD THE FOX


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. To-morrow, as early as you will,
we will go towards the court, for I have no
kinsman I trust so dearly as yourself. Here
was with me the other day the treacherous
knight sir Brutin the bear, who looked upon
me with that tyrannous cruelty, that I would
not for the wealth of an empire have hazarded
my person with him. But, my dear cousin,
with you I will go, were a thousand sicknesses
upon me.'
Tibert replied, 'You speak like a noble
gentleman, and methinks 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
and suspicion.'
'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 honeycomb, too pleasant and
sweet, what think you of it ? "
Tibert replieth, It is meat I little respect.


CHAP. VI






REYNARD THE FOX


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 wains in the parish are not
able to bear them.'
'0 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; 'why,
a mouse is beyond venison or the delicatest
cates on princes' tables; therefore conduct me
thither, and command my friendship in any
matter; had you slain my father, my mother,
and all my kin, I would clearly forgive you.'


CHAP. VI













CHAPTER VII


How Tibert the Cat was deceived by Reynard the
Fox.

THEN said Reynard, 'Sure you do but jest.'
No, by my life,' said the cat.
'Well, then,' quoth the fox, 'if you be in
earnest, I will so work that this night I will
fill your belly.'
It is not possible,' said the cat.
'Then follow me,' said the fox, 'for I will
bring you to the place presently.'
Thus 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 from the priest an
exceeding fat hen, at which the priest was so
angry, that he had set a gin or snare before
the hole to catch him at his next coming, which
the false fox knew perfectly, and therefore said
to the cat, Sir Tibert, creep in at this hole,
and believe it you shall not tarry a minute's






REYNARD THE FOX


space, but you shall have more mice than you
are able to devour. Hark, you may hear how
they peep; when your belly is full, 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,' said the cat, 'think you I may
safely enter in at this hole? these priests are
wise, and subtle, and couch their danger so
close, that rashness is soon overtaken.'
'Why, cousin Tibert,' said the fox, 'I
never saw you turn coward before; what, man,
fear you a shadow?'
The cat, ashamed at his fear, sprang quickly
in at the hole, but was presently caught fast


CHAP. VII






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


by the neck in the gin, which as soon as the
cat felt and perceived, he quickly leaped back
again, so that the snare running close together,
he was half strangled, so that he began to
struggle and cry out and exclaim most
piteously.
Reynard stood before the hole and heard
all, at which he infinitely rejoiced, and in great
scorn said, 'Cousin Tibert, love you mice?
I hope they be well fed for your sake; knew
the priest or Martinet of your feasting, I know
them of so good disposition, they would bring
you sauce quickly. Methinks you sing at your
meat, is that the court fashion? If it be, I
would Isegrim the wolf were coupled with
you, that all my friends might be feasted
together.'
But all this while the poor cat was fast, and
mewed so piteously, that Martinet leaped out
of bed, and cried to his people, 'Arise, for the
thief is taken that had stolen our hens.'
With these words the priest unfortunately
rose up and awaked all in his house, crying,
'The fox is taken, the fox is taken!' and
arising, he gave tozullock his wife an offering
candle to light, and then coming first to Tiberl,
he smote him with a great staff, and after him


CHAP.






REYNARD THE FOX


many other, so that the cat received many
deadly blows, and the anger of Martinet was
so great, that he struck out one of the
cat's eyes, which he did to second the priest,
thinking at one blow to dash out the cat's
brains. But the cat perceiving his death so
near him, in a desperate mood he leaped upon
the priest, and scratched and tore him in so
dread a manner, that the poor priest fell down
in a swoon, so that every man left the cat to
revive the priest. And whilst they were doing
this, the fox returned home to Malepardus, for
he imagined the cat was past all hope to escape.
But the poor-cat seeing all his foes busy about
the priest, he presently began to gnaw and
bite the cord, till he had sheared it quite
asunder in the midst. And he leaped out of
the hole and went roaring and stumbling, like
the bear, to the King's court. But before he
got thither, it was fair day, and the sun being
risen, he entered the court like the pitifullest
beast that ever was beheld; for by the fox's
craft his body was beaten and bruised, his
bones shivered and broken, one of his eyes
lost, and his skin rent and mangled.
This when the King beheld, and saw Tibert
so pitifully mangled, he grew infinitely angry
E






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


and took counsel once more how to revenge
the injuries upon the fox. After some con-
sultation, Grimbard the brock, Reynard's sister's
son, said to the rest of the King's council, My
good lords, though my uncle were twice so evil
as those complaints make him, yet there is
remedy enough against his mischiefs. There-














fore it is fit you do him justice as to a man of
his rank, which is, he must be the third time
summoned, and if then he appear not, make
him guilty of all that is laid against him.'
Then the King demanded of the brock
whom he thought fittest to summon him, or
who would be so desperate to hazard his hands,
his ears, nay, his life, with so tyrannous and
irreligious a being ?


CHAP.






VII REYNARD THE FOX 51
'Truly,' answered the brock, 'if it please
your Majesty, I am that desperate person who
dare adventure to carry the message to my
most subtle kinsman, if your highness but
command me.'













CHAPTER VIII


How Grimbard the Brock was sent to bid the Fox to
the Court.

THEN said the King, 'Go, Grimbarcd, for I
command you; yet take heed of Reynard, for
he is subtle and malicious.'
The brock thanked his Majesty, and so
taking humble leave, went to Malefardus,
where he found Reynard and Ermelin his wife
sporting with their young whelps; then having
saluted his uncle and his aunt, he said, 'Take
heed, fair uncle, that your absence from the
court add not more mischief to your cause than
the offence doth deserve. Believe, it is high
time you appear at the court, since your delay
doth beget but more danger and punishment.
The complaints against you are infinite, and
this is your third time of summons; therefore
your wisdom may tell you, that if you delay
but one day further, there is not left to you or
yours any hope of mercy. For within three






REYNARD THE FOX


days your castle will be demolished, your
kindred made slaves, and yourself exempted
for a public example. Therefore, my best
uncle, I beseech you recollect your wisdom,
and go with me presently to the court, I doubt
not but your discretion shall excuse you, for
you have passed through many as eminent
perils, and made your foes ashamed, whilst the
innocence of your cause hath borne you spot-
less from the tribunal.'
Reynard answered, Nephew, you say true,
and I will be advised and go with you, not to
answer offences, but in that I know the court
stands in need of my counsel. The King's
mercy I doubt not, if I may come to speak with
his MIajesty, though mine offences were ten
times doubled; for I know the court cannot
stand without me, and that shall his highness
understand truly. Though I know I have
many enemies, yet it troubles me not; for mine
innocence shall awaken their injuries, and they
shall know that in high matters of state and
policy Reynard cannot be missing. They may
well harp upon things, but the pitch and
ground must come from my relation. It is the
envy of others hath made me leave the court,
for though I know their shallowness cannot


CHAP. VIII





REYNARD THE FOX


disgrace me, yet may their multitudes oppress
me; nevertheless, nephew, I will go with you
to the court, and answer for myself, and not
hazard the welfare of my wife and children.
The King is too mighty, and though he do me
injury, yet will I bear it with patience.' This
spoke, he turned to his wife and said, 'Dame
Ermelin, have care of my children, especially
Reynardine my youngest son, for he had much
of my love, and I hope will follow my steps;
also Rossel is passing hopeful, and I love them
entirely, therefore regard them, and if I escape,
doubt not but my love shall requite you.'
At this leave-taking Ermelin wept, and her
children howled, for their lord and victualler was
gone, and M.alepardus left unprovided.


CHAP, VIII













CHAPTER IX


How Reynard shrove him to Grimbard the Brock.

WHEN Reynard and Grimbard had gone a good
way on their journey, Reynard stayed and said,
'Dear nephew, blame me not if my heart be
full of care, for my life is in great hazard, yet
to blot out my sins by repentance, and to cast
off the burthen, give me leave to shrive myself
unto you. I know you are holy, and having
received penance for my sin, my soul will be at
quiet.'
Grimbard bade him proceed; then said the
fox, Confitebor tibi after '
'Nay,' said the brock, 'if you will shrive
you to me, do it in English, that I may under-
stand you.'
Then said Reynard, I have grievously
offended against all the beasts that live, and
especially mine uncle, Bru'in the bear, whom I
lately massacred; then Tibert the cat, whom
I ensnared in a gin. I have trespassed against





56 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.
Chanticleer and his children, and have devoured
many of them; nay, the King hath not been
quiet of my malice, for I have slandered him
and his Queen. I have betrayed Isegrim the
wolf, and called him uncle, though no part of
his blood ran in my veins; I made him a
monk of Elmane, where I became also one of
the order only to do him open mischief. I
made him bind his feet to a bell-rope to teach
him to ring, but the peal had like to have cost
him his life, the men of the parish beat and
wounded him so sore. After this I taught him
to catch fish, but he was soundly beaten there-
fore, and feeleth the stripes at this instant. I
led him to steal bacon at a rich priest's house,
where he fed so extremely, that not being able
to get out where he got in, I raised all the
town upon him, and then went where the priest
was set at meat, with a fat hen before him;
which hen I snatched away, so that the priest
cried out, Kill the fox, for never man saw
thing so strange, so that the fox should come
into my house, and take my meat from before
me. This is a boldness beyond knowledge."
And with these words he threw his knife at me,
but he missed me, and I ran away, whilst he
pursued me crying, Kill the fox, kill the fox,"





REYNARD THE FOX


and after him a world of people, whom I led to
the place where Isegrim was, and there I let
the hen fall, for it was too heavy for me (yet
much against my will), and then springing
through a hole, I got into safety. Now as the
priest took up the hen, he espied Isegrim, and
then cried out, Strike, friends, strike, here is
the wolf, by no means let him escape." Then
the people ran all together with clubs and staves,
and with a dreadful noise, giving the poor wolf
many a deadly blow, and some throwing stones
after him, hit him such mortal blows on the
body that the wolf fell down as if he had been
dead, which perceived, they took him and
dragged him by the heels over stocks and
stones, and in the end threw him into a ditch
without the village, and there he lay all night,
but how he got thence I know not. Another
time I led him to a place where I told him were
seven hens and a cock, set on a perch, all lusty
and fat, and hard by the place stood a fall door,
on which we climbed; then I told him if he
would creep in at the door he should find the
hens. Then Isegrim with much joy went
laughing to the. door, and entering in a little,
and groping about, he said, "Reynard, you abuse
me, for here is nothing." Then replied I,






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


" Uncle, they are farther, and if you will have
them, you must adventure for them; those
which used to sit there I myself had long
since." At this the wolf going a little farther, I
gave him a push forward, so that he fell down
in the vault, and his fall was so great, and made
such a noise, that they which were asleep in
the house awaked and cried that something
was fallen down at the trap-door; whereupon
they arose and lighted a candle, and espying
him, they beat and wounded him to death.
Thus I brought the wolf to many hazards of
his life, more than I can now either remember
or reckon, which as they come to my mind I
will reveal to you hereafter.
'Thus have I told you my wickedness, now
order my penance as shall seem fit in your dis-
cretion.'
Grimbard was both learned and wise,, and
therefore brake a rod from a tree, and said,
'Nephew, you shall three times strike your
body with this rod, and then lay it down upon
the ground, and spring three times over it with-
out 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 com-


CHAP.






REYNARD THE FOX


mitted this day, for I pronounce unto you clear
remission.' At this the fox was exceeding


"I


w.F C


glad, and then Grimbard said unto him, 'See
that henceforth, uncle, you do good works,
read your Psalter, go to church, fast vigils,






THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF


keep holy days, give alms, and leave your
sinful and evil life, your theft, and your treason,
and then no doubt you shall attain mercy.'
The fox promised to perform all this, and so
they went together towards the court; but a
little beside the way as they went, stood a
religious house of nuns, where many geese,
hens, and capons went without the wall; and
as they went talking, the fox led Grimbard out
of his right way to that place. And finding
the poultry walking without the barn, amongst
which was a fat young capon, which strayed
a little from his fellows, he suddenly leaped at
and caught him by the feathers, which flew
about his ears, but the capon escaped, which
Grimbard seeing, said, 'Accursed man, what
will you do, will you for a silly pullet fall again
into all your sins? mischief itself would not
do it.'
To which Reynard answered, 'Pardon me,
dear nephew, I had forgotten myself, but I
will ask forgiveness, and mine eye shall no
more wander'; and then they turned over a
little bridge; but the fox still glanced his eye
toward the poultry, and could by no means
refrain it, for the ill that was bred in his bones
still stuck to his flesh, and his mind carried his


CHAP.






REYNARD THE FOX


eyes that way as long as he could see them;
which the brock noting, said, 'Fie, dissembling
cousin, why wander your eyes so after the
poultry ?'
The fox replied, 'Nephew, you do me in-
jury so to mistake me, for mine eyes wandered









L 7 -^ \ v








not, but I was saying a faternoster for the souls
of all the poultry and geese which I have slain
and betrayed, in which devotion you hindered
me.'
Well,' said Grimbaird, it may be so, but
your glances are suspicious.'
Now by this time they were come into






62 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. IX

the way again, and made haste towards the
court, which as soon as the fox saw, his heart
quaked for fear; for he knew well the crimes
he was to answer, that they were infinite and
heinous.




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