Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Title Page
 How the li-on held a great feast...
 How Bru-in the bear sped with Rey-nard...
 How the king sent Ti-bert the cat...
 How Grim-bard the brock was sent...
 How Rey-nard the fox spoke to the...
 How Rey-nard the fox, by the king's...
 How Kay-ward the hare was slain...
 How the bear and wolf got hold...
 How Grim-bard the brock met and...
 How Rey-nard the fox did plead...
 How Dame Ruke-naw did plead for...
 How Rey-nard the fox met the charge...
 Of what more Rey-nard the fox said...
 How Is-grim the wolf once more...
 How the wolf spoke to the fox,...
 How the fox and the wolf fought,...
 How the fox got the king's grace;...
 Back Cover

Group Title: Roman de Renart.
Title: The rare romance of Reynard the Fox, the crafty courtier
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082945/00001
 Material Information
Title: The rare romance of Reynard the Fox, the crafty courtier in words of one syllable
Uniform Title: Roman de Renart
Physical Description: 96, 1 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Day, Samuel Phillips
A.L. Burt Company ( Publisher )
Publisher: A.L. Burt Company
Place of Publication: New York
Publication Date: c1895
Subject: Reynard the Fox (Legendary character) -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Tricksters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Foxes -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courts and courtiers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Characters and characteristics -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Fables -- 1895   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1895   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre: Fables   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- New York -- New York
Statement of Responsibility: by Samuel Phillips Day ; illustrated.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements follow text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082945
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002236547
notis - ALH7023
oclc - 03522537

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    How the li-on held a great feast at his court, and how Is-grim the wolf and his wife, Cur-tise the hound, and Chan-ti-cleer the cock, told their tales of Rey-nard the fox, and what the king said
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 10a
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 12a
    How Bru-in the bear sped with Rey-nard the fox
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 16a
        Page 17
    How the king sent Ti-bert the cat for Rey-nard the fox
        Page 18
        Page 18a
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    How Grim-bard the brock was sent to call the fox to court; how the fox came to the court, and how he was to die
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 26a
        Page 27
        Page 28
    How Rey-nard the fox spoke to the king of his great hoard
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 32a
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 34a
    How Rey-nard the fox, by the king's grace, got praise from all beasts, and how he took off the wolf's shoes
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 36a
    How Kay-ward the hare was slain by Rey-nard the fox, and how the ram brought the news to the king
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 40a
        Page 41
    How the bear and wolf got hold of Bel-lin the ram and his race, and how fresh plaints were made of the fox
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    How Grim-bard the brock met and spoke with Rey-nard the fox
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 46a
        Page 47
    How Rey-nard the fox did plead his cause in the king's sight, and of what the king said to him
        Page 48
        Page 48a
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 50a
        Page 51
    How Dame Ruke-naw did plead for the fox with the king, and of what she told him
        Page 52
        Page 52a
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    How Rey-nard the fox met the charge of Kay-ward's death; and how he told of lost gems
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 64a
        Page 65
    Of what more Rey-nard the fox said to the king; and how the charge of Kay-ward's death broke down
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
    How Is-grim the wolf once more made plaint of the fox; and of Rey-nard's plea
        Page 70
        Page 70a
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    How the wolf spoke to the fox, and flung his glove at him; and how Rey-nard took up the gage
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    How the fox and the wolf fought, and how Rey-nard won the bay
        Page 84
        Page 84a
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 86a
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
    How the fox got the king's grace; and how he had a high post in the state thrust on him
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 94a
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text

H, I



"All right," said the Ram; so the Fox and the Hare went through
the gates of Rey-nard's house.
(Page 37) (Reynard the Fox.)















AT the time of a high feast, held in the spring of the
year, when hill and dell were gay and bright, and when
birds sang sweet songs as they sprang from bough to
bough, the Li-on, proud King of Beasts, made up his mind
to hold great court at his seat of Sand-den. He had his
will made known through all his realm, and none were to
stay at home if they did not wish to risk the King's ire.

The Rare Romanc6 of

Hence all beasts, both great and small, came in crowds to
the King's leet. But Rey-nard the Fox gave no heed to
the call. He had done such hurt and harm to not a few
beasts that he felt not quite safe should he join the rest
and face the King.
Now, when all the beasts met in grave court in view of
the King, the Fox had but few friends. Each foe made a
charge, so that this sly rogue grew more black in their
thoughts. Of these, Is-grim the Wolf was the chief. He
had a train of blood friends, who felt joy in his sight, and
proud of his speech to the King, which was in this wise:-
" My dread lord, most low in mien, I beg of you, great as
you are and good, that you will deign to feel for the
wrongs which that wretch the Fox hath done to me and
our whole race. Know, if it please you, sire, that he slung
to my house; and while my young ones were laid in their
soft couch, so ill did he treat them, that they lost their
sight. When the day came to hear the case, and the Fox
was put to the proof, so sure was he of his guilt, that he
ran and hid in his hole, in scorn of your Crown and laws.
But this is not all. He hath done much more to grieve
and gall me; more than time would let me tell, or you,
sire, could hear. I am loth to curb my just ire; I wish
him to change his course; and I hope that you will feel
for me."
SWhen Is-grim the Wolf had thus said what he felt, a
small Hound, Cur-tise, told his tale to the King. He said
that in a cold time of the year, when no food was to be had
in the shape of prey, and with naught but a piece of cake
to keep life in him, the Fox took it from him by stealth.
Ere these words were out of the Hound's mouth, in
sprang Ti-bert the Cat, He fell down in view of the King,

Reynard the Fox.

and said: "My lord, I must own that the Fox is here
made to seem worse than he is. As to what the Hound
said, the theft was done some years since, and, though I do
not mind it now, yet was the
Scake mine, and not his; for I
got it one night from a mill, while
the watch was in bed."
S When the Lynx heard these
~" words of the Cat, he said: "Do
you think, Ti-bert, that the Fox
should not have his crimes
brought home to his door ? Why,
the whole world knows he is a thief and sheds blood,
and that he is void of love for aught that has life. I shall
just tell you what I saw him do but a few hours since
to Kay-ward the Hare, who now stands in the King's sight.
He told the Hare he would
teach him to sing a song; so
he made him sit down, twist
his legs, and shout out the
words, I trust you I trust
you!' When I came more
close to them I found the
Fox had left his first note,
and caught the Hare, with
a firm grip, by the throat,
and had I not been near,
his death was sure.' Oh,
good King, if you fail to
mete out pain for this crime,
and let the Fox go free, each proud prince of your house
shall have to bear the brunt of his vile deeds, which will
bring a blur on your fair shield."

The Rare Romance of

"Ay, Sir Lynx," said the Wolf, you say true; it is
but right that those who wish to live in peace should be
dealt with in a right way."
Then spoke Grim-bard the Brock (who was near of kin
to the Fox), warm with rage: "Wolf, you are vile. What
can you lay to the charge of my friend ? I tell you that
were the Fox here in Court, and as much in the King's
good will as you are, it would be your turn to sue for
grace. You have oft torn him with your rank teeth-
more oft than I can count; yet I can call to mind some of
your acts.
You well know how you did cheat him with the plaice
which he flung down from the cart, when you shrank back
through fear. With greed you ate the fine fish, and gave
him but the bones. The like you did with the fat flitch:
you ate it up; and when one of my clan did crave a share,
he got it not, though he won the flitch with risk to his life,
for he was caught in a trap, and to get free was put to his
wits' end. These, and as grave wrongs, hath the Wolf
done to the Fox, and I pray the Court to judge if such are
to be borne.
Then, the last charge was made by Cur-tise the Hound,
who said that he, with great toil, had found some cake late
in the year, when food was hard to get. I think he had
best have held his tongue, as he has shown he stole it, for
goods ill got do not thrive. Who can blame the Fox for
such an act ? He but took from a thief. Pshaw! How
do these tales hurt him ? My near and dear friend comes
of good blood, and is a true Fox. Nor can I hear lies.
Rey-nard likes to hurt none, for he eats but once a day,
and lives like a monk. He has gone from his fort, and
now dwells in a mean crib, far out of the way. He hath

...r.:-;' 1.C


The REre Romance of

sworn not to hunt. He lives but by alms, and the gifts of
good men."
Ere the Brock (one of the Fox's clan) had quite done
his speech, they saw stout Chan-ti-cleer the Cock strut
down the hill with a dead hen on a bier, who had lost her
head by a freak of the Fox.
The Cock went first. As if in deep grief, he smote his
feet with his wings. On each side of the bier were two
hens, sad of mien. Each held a tall, bright wax light.
Two young hens bore the bier, who gave such vent to
their grief, that the hills gave forth the wild wail. When
they came in the King's sight, the Cock knelt down, and
spoke thus:
Great King, deign to hear our words, and right the
wrongs which the Fox hath done to me and to my chicks,
who now stand here in tears. In the first spring month, I
was in the height of my pride and glee, and the joy of a
sire who could boast of a large stock, strong and fat. We
did strut to and fro in a yard made safe by ;all walls,
where six stout dogs did guard us, so that we had no cause
for fear. Lat that fiend the Fox did oft clear the walls,
and sneak his way to the yard, when the dogs were let
loose on him to drive him off. At length he came in the
guise of a monk, and brought a note with the King's seal
on it. By this I learned that you, sire, had peace made
known, so that no more wrong should be done by beast or
bird. 'Sir Chan-ti-cleer,' he said, 'do not fear me, for I
have made a vow not to eat flesh more. I am now old,
and think but of my end.' At this I was most glad, and
did cluck my chicks to me, told them the good news, and
went out of the yard with them. But the false Fox, who
had hid by a bush, got in front of me and the gate, and

I -
I -

At length the Fox came in the gdise of a monk, and brought a
note with the King's seal on it.-Page 10. Reynard the Fox.

Reynard the Fox.

soon did pounce on one of my young ones, and ran off
with it. Night and
day he lies in wait __
to seize us. A few
Hours since she
who lies here
dead was torn
from his claws by
a pack of hounds.
This, my lord, is
my sad tale; and
I crave of you,
the source of
might and right,
to feel for me, and
mete out just pain -
for the death of
my fair chicks"
Then spoke the a i
King : Sir Grim-
bard, hear you this
of one of your
kin who apes the
monk ? Now, heed ,..,
what I say: if I .iAC
live, he shall rue
it. As for you,
Chan-ti-cleer, your i
tale is heard, and
what is just shall
Tlen they sang a dirge, laid the corpse in the grave

The Rare Romance of

and put on the top a stone slab, on which were cut these
words: Here lies Chan-ti-cleer's child, Cop-ple, whom
Rey-nard the Fox hath slain. Mourn, ye who read this;
for her death was most swift and sad."
So the King sent for his lords of State, to judge of the
mode in which the vile Fox should be dealt with. They
all took the same view of the case; and it was made known
that the Fox should come forth to the Court, and that

Bru-in the Bear should serve him with the King's writ.
When the King had the Bear bought to him, "Sir
Bru-in," said he, "it is our will that you take these words
from us; yet have great heed. The Fox is full of craft,
and if you use not your wits, he will mock you, though
you be the most wise in the world."
My liege," said the Bear, let me but get sight of the
Fox. I am not quite such a one as to be made his dpre,
knave as he is."

But the false Fox soon did pounce on one of my young ones, and
ran off with it.
(Page zo) (Reynard the Fox..)

Reynard the Fox.

Thus, fill of joy, the Bear set out, and if he comes back
in such high glee, we shall hear how he will brag.



THE next day, as soon as the sun shone forth, Bru-in
the Bear set out in quest of Rey-nard the Fox. As he
went through a thick wood, he saw a high hill, which he
must needs climb to get to the house. Now Rey-nard had
not a few seats, but none were so fine as this.
When Bru-in got to this fort, he found the gates shut.
Then did he knock hard and shout with a will: Sir Rey-
nard, are you at home I am Bru-in, one of your own
kin, whom the King hath sent to call you to the Court to
say aught that can be said to the foul tales told of you.
The King hath made a vow that, should you fail to heed
his will, you will lose your goods and good name to boot.
I pray, my fair friend, that you will this once be led by
me, and go with me to the Court."
Rey-nard, as he heard these words, went and hid in one
of his holes, for, be it known, the place is full of dark
rooms through which he could pass, in case of need. There
he thought how he might hit on a plot that would shame
the bear, while it would add to his own fame. At length
he came forth and said: "Dear Bru-in, one of my own
kin, I do so much like to see you. He that hath sent you
this long and lone way hath done you no good. Your toil
and risk are far more than the gain. Had you not come,
I should of my own free will have soon been at the Court.

The Rare Romance of

But, my dear friend, could not the King have found one
less high in rank for this slight work ? I wish for your
sake we were both now at the Court, for I fear I shall
prove a sore grief to you; since I have not had flesh, the
new meats I felt loth to take have put me quite out of
My dear friend," said the bear, what meat is this,
pray, which makes you so ill ? "
In truth," quoth the Fox, "it was mean food, at
the best; we poor folk are not lords, as you well know;
we eat not from choice. It was bees' comb, large and
full, and so good, that sheer want made me gulp it with
Ah I said Bru-in, bees' comb And do you speak
in so light a way of this ?. Why, it is meat fit for the best
king in the world. Fair Rey-nard, help me but to a share,
and your slave will I be from this time forth."
Sure, my dear friend," quoth the Fox, you do but
Jest! said the Bear, "ill fare my heart, then, for I
pledge my troth, that for one lick of it you shall make me
more in love with you than all your clan."
"Nay," said the Fox, "if what you say be true, I will
bring you where so much is to be had, that ten of you
shall have more than your fill."
'Not ten of us," said the Bear, that is not the case;
for had I all such rare food to be found from Greece to
Spain, I could in a short time eat it up."
"Well, then, my dear friend," said the Fox, "there
dwells hard by a man whose name is Lan-fert. He owns
so much -omb that you could not get through it in eight
years; and the whole of this shall be yours."

Reynard thte Fox.

Bru-in, mad for the prize, made a vow that he would
prove Rey-nard's firm friend, and would stop the mouths
of all his foes. A smile sat on the face of the Fox as he
said, If you want eight tons, my friend, you shall
have it."
The bear gave him meet thanks, and so off they went.

At last they got to Lan-fert's house, the mere sight of
which made the Bear's heart jump for joy.
Now Lan-fert had brought to his yard a large oak, which
he cleft in twain, aid then drove in a wedge so as to leave
a wide gap. At this the Fox was glad, a;id, with a smile
on his face, said to the Bear: See now, dear friend, this

The Rare Romance of

stanch tree; there is much sweet food hid in it. Try i:'
you can reach to where it lies. But take care how you
get to it, and do not eat too much; for, though the comb
be rich and good, yet too large a meal may b,-yt you,
which I would not for the world."
Take no thought for me, my friend Rey-nard," quoth
the Bear; do not think I am such a fool as to let my
wants tempt me to glut my maw. I can set bounds to my
It is true, my good friend; I was too bold. I pray
you get in, and you shall at once find what you seek."
The Bear with all haste thrust his head in the cleft right
up to his neck. When the Fox saw the scrape Bru-in was
in, he drew each wedge out of the tree, so that the Bear
could not stir an inch. Poor Bru-in then tore with his
claws, and made such a fierce noise, that Lan-fert came
out of his house. The Fox, who was not far off, saw the
man, and said in jest to the Bear, "Is the comb good, my
friend 1 I pray you do not eat too much. It may cause
you to be late for the Court, should you err in this way."
As soon as Lan-fert found the Bear fast in the tree, he
ran to his friends, who came with him to ris yard. When
the fact got known, all the folk of the town came in haste
to the spot. So large a host put Bru-in in sore fright; so
that he did pull and drag with might and main, till he got
his head clear out, glad to get free with the loss of his ears
and skin. In sooth, a beast so torn and foul could not be
While in this strait, Lan-fert and his friends laid on him
with hard thumps. One and all fell on the poor beast.
The poor bear could but sit and groan as he felt their
blows, of which Lan-fert's were the worst, till. as he woke

When the Fox saw the scrape Bruin was in, he drew each
wedge out of the tree, so that the Bear could not stir an inch.-
4age 16. Reynard the Fop,

Reynard the Po',.

from his swoon, he gave a quick jump, which brought him
in the midst of a deep stream close by. The Bear swam
off as fast as he could, full of joy that he had got free with
his life; yet did he curse, with warmth of heart and
strength of words, the comb which did tempt, and the Fox
who did lure him with his glib tongue.
He swam some three miles down the stream, and grew
so faint, that he went on the bank to rest.
In the mean time, the Fox, in his route home, stole a
fat hen, and slunk through a duct not known, and so he
came down to the stream. He felt quite gay, as he thought
that the Bear was slain; which made him muse thus:
" My fate is as I could wish; for the worst foe I had in
Court is dead, and all men will think that my hands are
free from blood." But as he spoke these words he spied
Bru-in the Bear at rest on the bank. This sight struck
his heart with grief, so he did rail at Lan-fert till he came
to where the Bear lay, then he said in a mock tone of voice:
I hope I see you well ? "
Oh, thou foul red wretch 1" quoth the Bear, "what a
face of brass is thine! "
But the Fox went on with his speech, and said-
Dear friend-a sept of my own-I trust you will call
to mind all the things that took place at Lan-fert's, and
that you paid for the comb; if you did not, it will look
bad, and blast your fame. The comb was sweet, in troth,
and I know of a great deal more at the same price. But,
dear friend, what a strange sort of coif you wear on your
head. Why, when you did shave your crown you gave
your ears a crop, too and you have no gloves! Fie, my
friend! you should not go out with bare hands; it does
not suit one of your rank."

The Bare Romance of

Th.se taunts made Bru-in mad with rage.
As soon as he could move, the Bear once more sought
the stream and swam to the far side, where he thought how
best he could get to the Court. He could not walk, but
he must needs go; so at last he lay down on his side and
did roll on the road. By this means he found his way to
the Court. As he came in view, the lords were struck
with the strange sight, and when the King knew him he
grew wild with rage.
It is," quoth he, Sir Bru-in, whom I sent forth from
this Court. What vile foes have put you in this plight 1 "
"Oh, my dread liege," said Bruin, see how I am at
death's door; I pray you, blame the Fox for this; for
shame and grief have come to me through him."
Then," quoth the King, by my Crown, I swear I
will sate my ire, and make that base imp quake."
At once the King sent for his best lords of State to
learn in what way they should act. It was then thought
that once more Rey-nard should be sent for to put in a
plea, and that this time Ti-bert the Cat should make
known the Court's will. At this the King was right glad
at heart.



THEN the King sent for Sir Ti-bert the Cat, to whom he
thus spoke: Sir Ti-bert, you shall go to Rey-nard, and
urge him once more to haste and let the Court hear what

"Health to thee, my dear friend Rey-nard," said Ti-bert the
Cat; "the King, by me, calls you hence to Court; and it you fail,
a quick death must be yours."-Page 19. Reynard the Fox.

Reynard the Fox.

he has got to say. Let him know that if he fail in this I
will treat him and his kin in such a way that, for all time
to come, they who would scorn my will, and do such deeds
as are laid to his charge, will fear to take the risk."
Then said Ti-bert the Cat: "I pray you, my liege lord,
send some one of more weight. If Sir Bru-in could not
bring him, how can I hope to do so "
To which the King said: It is for that you are wise,
and not for your strength, Sir Ti-bert, that I thus make
use of you. Art and skill may hit a mark, while rude
strength would strive in vain to reach it."
Well," said the Cat, since it is your will, sire, it must
de done."
So Ti-bert madz haste and set out for the hose of the
Fox. While on his way he saw a crow in full flight near
to him, to whom he spoke: "Hail, grave bird; turn thy
wings and fly on my right hand." But the bird took the
wrong course, and flew on the left side. Though he well
knew that the sign meant no good, still did he hope for
the best, and went on to the house, where he found the
Fox in front of the gates which led to the fort.
Health to thee, my dear friend Rey-nard," said Ti-bert;
" the King, by me, calls you hence to Court; and if you
fail, a quick death must, of a truth, be yours."
Then said the Fox: "Right glad am I to see you here,
dear Ti-bert, who art one of my own kin; may the King
have long life, and days of bliss void of pain! Let me
beg of you to rest with me this night, and in the morn we
will both set out for the Court."
Quoth Ti-bert, You speak like a brave knight, as thou
art; but I think it best to set owt now, for the moon shines
as bright as day '

The Rare Romance of

"Nay, dear guest," said the Fox, "let us take day for
our route ; the night is full of risk."
Well," said the Cat, if such be your will, let it be so:
what shall we eat ? "
Rey-nard said, Of a truth my store is small; the best
I have is some bees' comb; what think you of it "
Quoth Ti-bert, It is meat not much to my mind, which
I eat but at rare times. One mouse would be more to me
than all the comb the globe could yield."
"A mouse said Rey-nard: "Why, my dear friend,
there dwells a man hard by who hath a barn near his
grange so full of mice that I think half the wains in the
town would not hold them."
"Oh, good Rey-nard," quoth the Cat, do but lead me
there, and make me your slave from this time forth. A
mouse is more to me than game, or the best dish laid for
kings. Do lead the way, and tell me how I can serve you"
Then said Rey-nard, Sure you do but jest ? "
"No, by my life," said the Cat.
"Well, then," quoth the Fox, if what you say be true,
I will give you as much as you can eat."
"Come with me, then, and I will lead you at once to
the spot."
Thus off they went to the barn, where but a night since
the Fox had made off with a fat hen. This theft put the
man who kept the barn in a rage, so that he had set a
snare in front of the hole to catch the Fox when next he
came. This the Fox well knew, and hence he said to the
Cat, Sir Ti-bert, creep in at this hole, and it shall not be
long ere you clutch more mice than you can eat. I will
wait for you at this hole, and at break of day both of us
will go to the Court."'

Reynard the Fox.

Then said the Cat, "Will it be safe for me to go in at
this hole "
Why, my dear friend," said the Fox, I have not seen
you show fear till now. You start at your own thoughts."
At this taunt the Cat felt shame, when he sprang in at
the hole, but was at once caught by the neck. He tried
in vain to get free, and he could not well gain breath,
which made him whine and shriek for help. Rey-nard
stood in front of the hole, and thus did mock his poor
dupe: My own dear Ti-bert, do you love mice ? I hope,
for your sake, they will be well fed. I think you sing at
your meat. Is that what they do at Court ? If it be so,
I would Is-grim the Wolf were close to you, that all my
friends may feast at the same time."
All this while the poor Cat did mew in so shrill and
loud a tone, as to wake the man of the house, who made
all those in the grange jump out of bed by his cries of
"The Fox is caught! the Fox is caught! All his kin
were soon at the spot, so that the Cat got smart blows.
Sir Ti-bert thought his death was nigh, so at a bound he
sprang on the man, and struck his teeth and claws deep in
his foe, which made him roar for aid.
All this time Rey-nard stood not far from the hole, and
saw and heard all that went on. But the poor man fell
uown in a swoon, so that each one left the Cat to give
him aid.
The Fox now slunk off, and went home, as he thought
the Cat was past all hope. But Ti-bert, when he saw his
fierce 4oes had left him, sprang out of the hole, when he
went on to the King's Court.
Ere he got to the Court the sun had sunk, and the hour
was late. He came in so sad a plight, his bones were

The are -Romance of

out of place, one of his eyes were gone, and his skin
was torn.
When the King saw Ti-bert in such a state, he got in a
great rage, and once more spoke with the lords of his Court.
While the Court sat, Grim-bard the Brock, Rey-nard's
near of kin, spoke thus: "My good lords, though my
friend were twice as bad as these plaints make him, there
is a cure for such ills: it is fit you do what is just to a
beast of rank; he must have a call three times, and then,
if he spurn it, let his peers rule that what has been laid to
his charge is true."
Then the King did ask of the Brock, Whom he thought
would be so bold as to risk his life with one so vile as the
Fox "
My liege," said Grim-bard, if it please you, I am that
bold and brave man who dare let my sly friend the Fox
know the King's will, if you will but tell me that such is
your wish "



THEN said the King, Go, Grim-bard, for such is my
will; yet take heed of Rey-nard, for he is sharp and sly."
When the Brock gave the King due thanks, he took his
leave, and went straight to the house of the Fox. He
first did greet his aunt and her spouse, and then said:
"Take heed, fair friend, that you cause not the crimes laid
to your charge to do you more wrong by the way you act;

.Reynard the Fox.

it is high time
sense must
tell you that
if you act in
the like way
once more,
there is left to
you and yours
not a ray of
hope, for your
fort will be
blown down,
your kin made
slaves, and
you will meet
with a dread
death. I pray
you, then, my
dear, good
friend, to act
in a wise way,
and go with
me to the
Court." Rey-
nard felt the
force of these
words, and
said: "My
best friend,
you speak the
truth. I will
go with you.

that you go to Court, as your own good

If I but speak with the King I feel bare he

24 The Rare Romance of
will not hurt me, though my crimes were ten times more
than they are. That I have a host of foes there is no
doubt; yet it grieves me not, for I shall prove that I am
free from taint, and so balk their plot to crush me. In
high points of State craft, Rey-nard is more than a match
for those who wish him ill. Now, I dread not the worst
their weak minds can hatch, though a host of foes may
do one harm. Still, my friend, I will go with you to the
Court, and not risk that my wife and young ones should
come to grief. The King is great, and though he do me
wrong, yet will I bear it like a saint."
Then said Rey-nard to his wife: Take care of our
young ones, most of all of my dear boy, Rey-ni-kin, for
he hath much of my love, and will, I trust, walk in my
steps. Take you great care of them; and if I come back
safe and sound, and a free man, doubt not but that I shall
bear in mind what you have done."
When Rey-nard and Grim-bard had gone a good way
from the fort, Rey-nard came to a dead halt, and thus
spoke to his guide: Dear friend, blame me not if my
heart be full of care, for I feel as if my life were not safe.
I have done much wrong to all beasts; more still to Bru-in,
who comes of the same stock. I have done grave harm
to Chan-ti-cleer and his large brood, on some of whom I
did feast well; nay, the King and Queen, through my glib
tongue, have been hurt, for I have told lies of them. But
this is not all. Is-grim, the Wolf, I got caught in a snare.
I have made him tie his foot to the rope of a bell to teach
him to ring, as it were; but the peal had well nigh cost
him his life, so ill did the mob treat him. Next I ran to
where a squire was at lunch, who had a plump fowl on his
plate. This I took hold of and made off with as fast as

Reyputra ek7e obx.

my legs would let me, while the squire ran to seize the
thief, and cried out in a gruff voice the while, 'Kill the
fox! kill the fox!' All the folk came in his wake, when
I led them to the spot where Is-grim was. There I let the
fowl drop, and then sprang to a hole and got out of harm's
way. When the squire saw Is-grim he cried out, 'Strike,
friends, strike! here is the wolf, see that he does not get
free.' Then the crowd came with clubs and staves, and
gave the Wolf sound blows, so that he fell down as if he
were dead, when they took him by the heels and flung him
in a ditch; but how he got thence I trow not. Thus,
through me, the Wolf has had great risks of his life, more
than I can now call to mind. I will say more by and by.
And now as I have told you most of my bad deeds, say
what I can do to purge my own soul."
Now Grim-bard was wise, and knew much lore. He
tore a branch from a tree, and said: My dear Rey-nard,
you shall three times strike your body with this rod, then
lay it on the ground and jump three times clear of it, but
you must not bend your legs or fall; then shall you take
it up and kiss it in a mild way, to show how meek you
are; which done, all your faults shall be thought of no
more, and you shall be clear of them."
The Fox said he would do this, and so they went off to
the Court.
But as they sped on their course they came to a spot
where stood a house for nuns, a short way from the road.
Close by the wall a lot of geese and fowl fed; and the
Fox led Grim-bard out of the right path to that place.
When Rey-nard found that a fat young hen had left the
rest of the flock, he sprang and caught her by the wings,
but the fowl got free. Grim-bard saw this, and said,

The ]are 1Romance of

"You wretch of a beast, how weak of will you are! For
such a poor prize you would spoil all you have done." To
which the Fox said, I pray you heed not this act of mine,
for I scarce knew what I did. I will take care now, and
not let my eyes rove in quest of prey."
Then they went past a small bridge, but the Fox
still set his eyes on the fowl; nor could he well help
it, for what was bred in his bones still came out in
his flesh.
Now by this time they had got on the main road, and
soon came in sight of the Court.
When it was known that Rey-nard the Fox, who was in
Grim-bard's keep, was near the Court, all those to whom
he had done wrong made haste to charge him with his
foul deeds. Rey-nard's heart beat high, but he strove to
keep a calm face. When he came in front of the chair of
State, in which the King sat, he thus spoke: My liege,
may your fame spread to the ends of the earth, and no
king have such might as thou dost wield. I have been,
and still am, true to you, and so will die. But, my lord,
I know there are some at this Court who seek my life. In
these days the courts of kings have tools who fawn, as well
as fools who cause mirth; yet, with you it is not so, nor
shall they reap aught but shame for their pains."
But the King cut short his speech, and said, "Peace,
wretch! Rey-nard, I know you well; but your craft and
your soft words shall both fail you now. Thou black
fiend, with what face canst thou say that you love me,
when I see proofs of thy lies in all those poor beasts,
whose wounds yet gape at thee ? "
My dread lord," said the Fox, if Bru-in's crown be
grim with gore. am I the cause ? If he would not do your

When Rey-nard the Fox came to the Court where the King
sat, his heart beat high, but he strove to keep a calm face.
-Pa.e 26. Reynard the Fox.

1eynard lthe Fox.

will, but wait to filch comb from a grange, where he got
his wounds, how am
I to blame If so, I ''', I I, U
why did he not
i 'I''
smite me at the
time, and not wait '.''
for the law to do ,
it ? He is strong,
while I am wpak.
As for Ti-bert the
Cat, whom I met
as a friend, if he
seek out barns to
catch mice, and
there lose his eyes,
is this a fault of I
mine Oh! my
dread liege, you I i
will do what you
list, plead as I
might, yet will I
bear that death to
which youa may
doom me."
As he thus spoke, i1 oil!
all cried out with
one voice, that tihe
Fox hath done them
great hurt and harm,
which so smote the
King's heart, that
the Fox was brought

The Rare Romance of

to the bar to hear what he had to say why the law should
not be put in force. Yet, though the Fox made a speech
full of art and tact, which made the law lords stare, the
proofs were so strong, and his foes so great, that he might
as well have held his peace. The Court said that he
should hang by the neck till he was dead.
When he heard his doom he hung down his head; while
Grim-bard the Brock, and those of his near kin, who could
not bear to see him die, took leave of the King, and went
off with sad hearts and wet eyes
As soon as the King saw that a host of brave hearts had
left the Court so full of grief, he said in his own mind, "It
needs that I take great heed how I act; it is best to be
wise than too brave."
While the King thought thus, the Cat said to the
Sir Bru-in, and you, Sir Is-grim, why are you so slow
Night is near, and the law is not yet put in force. The
rogue may steal a march on us. If you mean to hang him,
do so at once, for it will be dark night ere the tree is set
Is-grim said, The means are nigh at hand." And with
that he gave a deep sigh.
The Cat took note of this and said: Do you then fear
the work, Sir Is-grim, or is the task not quite to your
mind ? Now, if you have one grain of sense left, you
would hang him, and not stand and waste your time."
Quoth Is-grim, in a gruff tone, If we had but a rope
that would fit his neck we would soon get rid of him."
Rey-nard, who for some time spoke not a word, now let
loose his lips.
"I pray you," said he, "let my pain be short. Sir

Reynard the Pox.

Ti-bert hath a strong cord, which did well nigh choke him
at the monk's house. Let him hang me, for it is not right
in Is-grim or Bru-in to act thus with one so near of kin to
them. Bru-in, go on and lead the way; Is-grim, you can
make up the rear."
So Is-grim and Bru-in, one on each side, led the Fox to
the rack, while Ti-bert, to whom he had done much wrong,
ran in front with the rope. When they came to the set
place, the King and Queen, and all the high lords took
their seats to see the Fox die.
When all things were got right the Fox said: "My
dread lord the King, and you, my liege Queen, and you,
my lords, who come to see me die, I pray now grant me
this boon, that I might make bare my heart, and clear my
breast, so that in years hence no man can blame me for
my faults; which done, my death will be one of ease and



ALL the beasts now felt grief that the Fox was in so dire
a scrape, so they did pray the King to grant him his wish.
This was done, and then the Fox spoke:
"I see no one here to whom I have not done wrong of
some sort; yet I was not born with this bad trait. In my
youth I was thought mild and coy. I staid with the lambs
all day long, and was glad to course on green meads with

The .Rare Romance of

them. But whilst in my play I bit one, and the taste of
the blood was so sweet that I still crave it. This greed
drew me to woods where I found goats, when I slew a kid,
which made me so bold that I went from bad to worse,
and took the lives of geese, hens, and what I could clutch.
Once, late in the year, I met with Is-grim, as he lay hid in
the trunk of an old tree, when he told me we were bound
by ties of blood, and did trace my race in so plain a way
that we were firm friends from that time forth, which I
may well rue to this day, for then we set out to steal and
take life. He stole the great things; I, the small. When
he got a sheep or a calf, his greed was so great that he
would scarce give me the bones to pick. This I say, not
that I was in want, for it is well known I have more plate,
gems, and coin, than half a score carts would hold, but
just to show how he dealt with me, and what a bad heart
is his."
When the King heard him speak of his hoard, his pulse
beat quick, and he said, "Rey-nard, where is that vast
wealth of yours "
To which the Fox said, "My lord, I am proud to tell
you. True it is I stole the hoard; but, were it not for
this, it had cost you your life, which I pray, for the sake
of your Realm, may long be safe."
The King grew grave and said, Can what you state be
true ? "
Quoth the Fox, Ah, my dread lord, you see how I
stand, and that there is not much sand left to run in my
poor glass; think you, can I lie ? And then a sad shade
came on his face, so the Queen felt for his state, and by her
wish the King made all the beasts hold their peace till the
Fox told all he knew, Then spoke he in this wise :-

Reynard the Fox.

May it please my liege, I will let you hear the whole
plot. Know, then, my lord, that my sire, while at work
on his farm, found King Er-men-rich's hoard-a large
mass of wealth. Wheh he got this, he grew so proud that
he held in scorn all the beasts of the woods who, up to that
time, were his close friends. At length he sent Ti-bert the
Cat to the woods of Ar-denne to see Bru-in the Bear, who
was told how my sire did love him well, and would make
him king. Bru-in said he would wear the crown if he got
it, and with this view came to Flan-ders, where he did
feast like a prince; then he sent Grim-bard, who is of my
own stock, for Is-grim the Wolf, and for Ti-bert the Cat,
and these five went to a place near Ghent, where they
spoke of their scheme for the space of a whole night. A
plan was laid to slay the King, place Bru-in in the chair
of state at Aix-la-Cha-pelle, and to set the crown on his
Now for a strange tale. Once my friend Grim-bard
drank too much wine, when he told this foul plot to dame
Slo-pard his wife; but on her life she was not to let it pass
her lips. But she told it, as a firm friend, to my wife;
who, as soon as she met with me, let the cat out of the bag,
but made me vow I should keep it hid. My heart now
was like lead, cold and dull in my breast. I felt grief for
the King, though it was of slight use.
Then strove I to bring to naught my sire's plot to rob
you of your Crown. As his wealth might be the means of
this base act, I sought where to find it. Night and day
did I watch, and kept a close eye on my sire's steps.
Once, while I lay flat on the ground, I saw him creep out
of a hole and look to see if all was clear. He then put
sand in the place, and did rub the print of his feet with his

The Rare Romance of

tail to make the ground smooth. Then he went off. But
I soon found where his hoard lay. I took Er-me-line, my
wife, to help me; and we did not cease to toil till it was
put far from his reach. In the mean time Is-grim the
Wolf, went with my sire through the Realm, and said he
should give to all who would hail him as king a full year's
pay. Bru-in was shown the roll of names; a host of which
the clan of the Bear, the Fox, the Cat, and the Brock made
up the chief part. But when my sire went to his cave and
saw that his hoard was gone, all hope fled, he put a rope
round his neck and tied it to a graff of the next tree he
came to, where he hung till he was dead.
Thus by my art did I spoil the plot to strip you, my
liege, of your Crown, and rob the State of its King. For
this I am to yield up my life. 0, my lord, what can one
do more for his King than lose his own blood ? "
Then spoke the Queen: "Fear not, Rey-nard, the King
shall spare thy life; and, more than this, you shall be
made one of the first lords of his Court."
Quoth the Fox, "Dear Queen, if the King but have
faith in me, no king was, or will be, so rich as I will make
Then the King did chide the Queen, and said, "Dame,
vou want me to trust the Fox. Know you not, that his
chief traits are to lie and cheat and steal ?"
The Queen said to this: My dear lord, you may trust
him this time, for he is not what he has been; grief has
made a change in him. Had he not told the truth he
might with ease have laid this crime on those he did not
Well, dame," said the King, you shall for this once
rule me, and the Fox shall be set free; yet let me tell

Then the King on his high throne, said, "Hear, all peers,
knights, and squires-Rey-nard the Fox is now made one of the
prime lords of my Court."-Page 35. Reynard the Fox.

Beynard thk lbox.

you, should but a slight charge be made by one beast
whom he may wrong or harm, I will drive his whole race,
root and branch, out of my Realm."
When the King spoke thus, gloom sat on the Fox's face,
while he was glad at heart.
Then the King in due form did clear the Fox of all his
crimes. So he fell down at the feet of the King and
Queen, gave them his best thanks for the grace shown to
him, and said that no king or queen in the world would be
so rich as they. From that time forth the Fox had more
weight in Court than all the beasts.
The Fox now said to the King: My good lord, you
must know that at the west end of Flan-ders there is a
wood known by the name of Hus-ter-loe, near to which
runs the brook Cre-ken-pit. Here have I hid this wealth,
to which spot I would that you, sire, and your Queen
would go, for there is none else whom I could trust.
When my lord gets there, you shall see two birch trees
close to a pit. You shall go in, and there you shall find
the hoard. There shall you find rare stones, and when
you clasp them in your hands, think of the love that Rey-
nard bears you."
Quoth the King, Sir Rey-nard, you must of a truth
dig up this hoard, for sure I am I shall not find it. I have
heard of Par-is, Lon-don, Aix-la-Cha-pelle, and Co-logne,
but Cre-ken-pit I do not know; hence I fear you mean to
trick me."
At these words a blush sat on the Fox's face, and he
said, Does my lord doubt of my faith ? With that he
bade Kay-ward the Hare come forth. When he was told,
by the love he bore the King and Queen, to speak the
truth, the Hare said-

The Rare Romance of

I will speak the truth in all things, though 1 were sure
to die for the same."
Quoth the Fox, "Know you not where is Cre-ken-pit ."
Yes," said the Hare, I have known it these twelve
years. It is in the wood Hus-ter-loe."
Well," said the Fox, I have done with you now; you
may go hence." Then said the Fox, My liege lord, what
say you now ; can you doubt me more ? "
The King said, No, Rey-nard; and I pray you let this
pass. Let us at once seek the pit where the hoard lies hid."
The Fox said, Ah, my lord, think you would I not set
out with joy, could I but act as I please Just hear what
I have to say, though it may cause you to think the worse
of me. When Is-grim the Wolf would fain turn monk,
the meat that was meant for six of his guild was less than
he could eat. He told me this, and I felt for him, so I saw
it were best he should run off, which he did. Now I stand
with the Pope's ban on my head, and at break of dawn
must wend my way tc Rome; and will not come back till
I have done so much good that I may be a fit knight to
wait on my liege lord."
When the King heard this he said, In such case I dare
not have you at Court; and hence I will take Kay-ward
the Hare with me to Cre-ken-pit. I but ask you, Rey
nard, not to stay too long."
My lord," said the Fox, I will not rest night nor day
till I am in my own land."
I like the course you take," said the King "Go your
way, and may all rood be with you."


Then was Is-grim caught hold of, and the skin torn from his
front feet to make shoes for the Fox.-Page 36.
Reynard the Fox.

Reynard t6e Fox.



THEN the King sat on his high throne, and said that
each beast that heard him should speak not a word, but
take the place fit for his birth or rank. The Fox was the
sole lord put next to the King and Queen. Then said the
King: "Hear, all peers, knights, squires, and you of still
less name, this Rey-nard is now made one of the prime
lords of my Court. He hath this day done such good to
the State, that both the Queen and I felt bound to show
him the best proof of our grace. Hence, we did grant him
his life, let him go free, clear him of his crimes, and give
him back his goods which he hath lost. That he is staid
now, and means well, I know for a fact. At the hour of
Prime he goes on to Rome, where he will buy what will
cleanse him from his sins! then he will set out for the
Ho-ly Land, and is the chief friend of the King."
Then went the Wolf and Bear to the King. Is-grim,
with great pomp and pride, came near to the Throne, and
with sharp words spoke so ill of the Fox, that both the
Bear and he were bound fast, so that they could not stir
an inch.
When the Fox had by guile thus caught his foes in a
snare, he got leave of the Queen to have so much of the
Bear's skin as would make him a large scrip, for use on
his way to Rome. Still lie was in dire need of a strong
pair of shoes; so he said to the Queen, Dread dame, I am

The Rare Romance of

your poor friend, and may it please your Grace to know
that Sir Is-grim wears a pair of shoes that will last long,
which, if you deign to give me, I will pray for you all the
The Queen said, "No doubt, Rey-nard, you will want
such shoes, for your road is strewn with stones and hard
grit; hence, you shall have a pair to guard your soft feet."
Then was Is-grim caught hold of, and the skin torn from
his front feet in so cruel a way as to lay bare his nerves.
Is-grim and Bru-in lay mute, for they felt the keen
smart of their wounds too much to let them speak.
Ere Rey-nard set out, he put oil on his shoes, and made
them fit as well and as close to his feet as they did on those
of Is-grim. He then went to the King and Queen, and
said, My grand lord, and my bland Queen, your poor
friend bows low in yorr sight; I pray thee give me my
mail and staff, and with such forms as are due to one
like me."
Then the King sent for Bel-lin the Ram, and told him
to hang round Rey-nard's neck the mail made of the Bear's
skin, and to place the staff in his right paw. Then he took
leave of the lords, and left the Court. So the King said to
him, It grieves me, Rey-nard, that we must part so soon."
Quoth the Fox, "There is no cure for it, my liege, that
I know of; nor ought I to be slow in an act so full of
praise, and which will ease my soul."
Then the King gave strict word to all his Court, save
the Bear and Wolf, to go with Rey-nard a part of the way.
The Fox put on grave airs, whilst his heart was full of
glee He felt proud to find his foes his slaves, and the
King, whom he made a fool of by his tricks, walk with
him, as if he, too, were a prince of the blood.

Then the King gave strict word to all of his Court, save the
Bear and the Wolf, to go with Rey-nard a part of the way, the
King walk-ing with the Fox.-Page 36. Reynard the Fox.

Reynard the Fox.

They had not gone far when the Fox said, "I beg, my
lord, that you will not move one step more, but think of
the risk you run on this lone road. You have left two
base beasts in chains at your Court, and should they get
free, you know not what may take place. It may cost you
your Crown."
Then he took quick leave of the King, in a sad way;
when he at once spoke to Kay-ward the Hare, and Bel-lin
the Ram, in this strain: My best friends, shall we part
so soon Do not leave me, I pray you. I like your bland
words and staid ways, for you are mild, kind, and wise,
just as I was when I first put on a monk's cowl."
The poor beasts, struck with his fair speech, and too
dull to grasp its drift, were led to go on with him.



THUS these three went on, and all was well for a time.
But when Rey-nard got to the gates of his own house, he
said to Bel-lin the Ram, My dear sir, I pray you stay
here for a short time, as I have some slight work to do at
nome which I should like Kay-ward to see."
All right," said the Ram; so the Fox and the Hare
went through the gates of Rey-nard's house. Er-me-line
sat on the ground, much cast down for the loss of her
lord; but when she saw him safe once more, her joy was
too great for tongue to tell. Then lie told her all that took

The .Rare Romance /f

place at Court; how he was bound and then set free ; how
he was now on his way to Rome; and how the King gave
Kay-ward to him to treat as he list.
When Kay-ward heard these words he would have fled
had not the Fox caught him fast. On this the Hare sought
help from Bel-lin; but the Fox gave his neck a squeeze,
and he was dead in a trice.
But Er-me-line said, "I fear, Rey-nard, you trick me;
tell me if all you say be true."
Then he told her in what bland speech he spoke to the
King and Queen; how he did trick them by the lure of
wealth that he had not, but which he said should be theirs;
so that when his guile should be found out the King would
try all means to take his life. And hence, wife," said
he, it is well that we should quit this place in quick time,
and get to some far off copse, where we may rest more at
Yet," said Er-me-line, "I have no wish to go to a
strange home. I like to stay where I am, for I have got
all I want. More than this, we are safe here; and should
the King storm the walls of the house with all his troops,
we shall not be cut off from aid."
Well, dame," quoth the Fox, grieve no more; first
thoughts are not the best. We shall stay where we are.
If the King hunt me, I will use my craft to fight his
strength, and in this I think I shall be a match for him."
All this while stood Bel-lin the Ram at the gate, wroth
that they should keep him there so long; so he gave a
shout, which, when Rey-nard heard, he came forth, and
said, Good Bel-lin, think not I slight you, for I meant
not to be rude, Kay-ward is with his fond aunt in close
speech, and he told me to say. that, if you would walk on,



The Rare Romance of

he would soon come up to you, for he is more fleet of foot
than you are."
Ay," said Bel-lin, but have I not heard Kay-ward cry
for help ? "
What! How can you think he could meet with hurt
in my house ? I will tell you how it was he made that
noise. When my wife heard of my plans, she fell down
in a swoon. Kay-ward saw this, so he gave a scream, and
said, 0 Bel-lin, come and aid my aunt; she will die! she
will die !' "
Then quoth the Ram, in a grave tone of voice, "I
thought it was Kay-ward who was in need of help."
"It was your too much care of him," said the Fox,
"made you think so; but bear in mind, Bel-lin, that the
King told me, ere I left the Realm, I should write two
notes to him. I beg you will bear them to our liege lord.
You shall have my mail, and can with ease slip it round
your neck. Full well I know that what I send will cause
the King to thank you, for the news has to do with grave
things of State."
So the Fox took the bag, put in it the head of Kay-
ward, and brought it to the Ram, with the charge that if
he did wish the King to be his friend, he would not dare
look to see what it held till the King had got it in his
hands; and that he might still more gain the King's good
will, he told him to say it was he who wrote the scroll.
The Ram was most glad to get such shrewd hints from
Rey-nard, so he said, What you have done for me shall
one day be made up to you. It will raise me in the King's
mind when he thinks I can write so well."
This said, Bel-lin took leave of the Fox and went on to
the Court, where he got just at noon.

__ NN

So the Leo-pard went to the fort where the Bear and Wolf
were, and said: My lords, I am told by the King to set you free.
He sends his love, and grieves for your wrongs."-Page 42.
Reynard the Fox.

Reynard the Fox.

The Kiig dia stare when he saw the Ram walk in with
the mail made of the Bear's skin, and said, Whence dost
thou come, Bel-lin, and where is the Fox that thou hast
his sack with you "
Quoth Bel-lin, "My lord, I went with the Fox to his
house, stayed at the gate, and in a short time he came to me
and said I should take a scroll of great pith to the King.
He gave it to me shut up in this bag, which scroll I did write,
and I doubt not that the style will please my liege lord."
The King said, Pass the mail to Boc-art," whose post
it was to read all things that had to do with the Realm. So
he and Ti-bert the Cat took the mail off Bel-lin's neck,
and when they did loose the ties they found the head of
Kay-ward the Hare.
Cut to the heart, they said in a loud voice, Woe, woe,
what a scroll is this My dread lord, there is naught here
but the head of poor Kay-ward, who must have met his
death by foul means."
When the King saw the head, he said with wry looks,
" Ah, woe is me, that I should have put faith in this vile
Fox I have been made a fool of by a vile wretch, who
did cause me to wrong my best friends. Yet it was not
my will; my Queen felt for the Fox in his dire grief, and
did work on me till she made me act in a way that I shall
mourn whilst I live."
Nay," said the Leo-pard, say not so, sire. You can
make up for this wrong by gifts, which will be found the
best salve for all sores. You can give them the flesh and
store of Bel-lin the Ram, who did aid in this foul crime.
As for Rey-nard, we will storm his fort, and hang him by
the law of arms; we shall not try him this time, nor shall
he have shrift of priest."

The Bare Romance of



THE King said he thought the Leo-pard's plan a good
one; so Fy-ra-pel went at once to the fort where the Bear
and the Wolf were pent, and thus spoke to them: My
lords, I am told by the King to set you free. More than
this, he sends his love, and doth grieve for your wrongs;
to make up in a slight way for which he grants you Bel-lin
the Ram, his bucks and ewes, and his whole race, with all
their goods, that when you may find them you may kill
and eat them."
Thus did the Leo-pard cause these lords and the King
to be on good terms once more. Then Bel-lin the Ram
was slain by the Bear and the Wolf, while the King gave
a feast, which was held for twelve days, to show his joy at
the pact that was made.
On the eighth day of the feast came Lap-rel the Rab-bit
to the King and Queen, and while they sat at meat, said
in sad tones, but so loud that all who were there heard
him: My lord, list to what I have to tell you, which is of
great force. But a day since I came by the Fox's house at
Ma-le-par-dus. He stood in front of the gates and had on
a monk's hood. When he saw me he came to meet me,
and told his beads at the same time. I bade him good
day,' but he spoke not a word; while he flung out his
right foot and gave me a blow in the eyes with all his

The Rare Romance of

strength, which made me reel. I had just that share of
life left to get free from him. Still, I have lost one ear,
and have four great cuts in my head from his sharp nails.
Now, my lord, I pray you to look on my wounds, and to
make this vile beast smart for his crimes. No beast is safe
while he is let ramp and prowl at large."
Just at this time came in Cor-bant the Rook, who thus
spoke: Great King, I bear with me a sad tale. This
morn I went with my wife, Sharp-beak, to play on the
heath, and there lay Rey-nard the Fox, as though he were
dead. For some time we stood to watch the strange sight,
and then my poor wife-dear soul as she is !-put her ear
near to his mouth to try if he drew breath ; but at once
the foul Fox, who kept sharp watch and bode his time,
when he saw her so nigh him, gave a fierce snap, caught
her by the head, and bit it off. On this the wretch made a
dart at me, with such hot ire in his eyes, that I was glad to
fly to a tree, where I stayed while I saw him eat my dear
wife, so that he left not flesh or bone, but the plumes. Now
I pray you will be just, and stay the Fox's course, for if
not, you and your lords will scarce be safe while the law ii
set at naught."
When the King heard from the Rab-bit and the Rook
what dire deeds the Fox had done, his eyes shot fire, while
he said, By my Crown, I will not sta y my hand till I
have glut my ire. His lies and glib tongue shall take me
in no more. I here vow I will so wreak my ire on the Fox
for the slight he has cast on my Crown and name, that while
the good shall look on with joy, the bad shall wail with fear."
,But the Queen, with a deep bow, thus said : Sire, a wise
man will put faith in naught till he knows all the ins and
outs of it; nor should he lend both ears to strange tales,

Reynad the Fox.

but keep one free, so as to be just to each side. Rey-nard
may or may not have done the deeds laid to his charge;
you may bind nim or you may slay him; but still the
King durst not act save in due form of law."
To these words of the Queen, Sir Fy-ra-pel the Leo-pard
rose and said: My lord, the Queen hath laid down the
best course, and I see not how you can well act save in so
wise a way. Let the Fox get the last call to Court; and
if he come not ere the close of this feast, then shall you
treat him as seems best to thee."
Then quoth the King, By my troth I will call him no
more. Now I crave that all who owe me love, and wish
to see my Throne firm, come here in my sight at the end
of six days, with bows, guns, pikes, and spears, on foot or
on colts, for I mean at once to lay siege to Ma-le-par-dus
and to cut off Rey-nard and his race, large and small, from
the face of the earth."



WHEN Grim-bard the Brock heard these words he ran
with all speed through bush and brake, till he got to
He saw his friend Rey-nard, who stood at the gates, and
said to him, I am so glad to see you, my best friend that
I love so well, more than all my kin. Tell me how runs
the news at Court."
"Oh," said Grim-bard, "most ill with you, I grieve to

The Rare Romance of

say. The King is up in arms, and means to storm this
place. Is-grim and Bru-in now lead the King, and he
loves them much; so it is high time that you use your
wits, for they have told all you did to them, and I see no
means by which you can flee from a death of pain and
"Tush," said the Fox, "let no care for me put you in
such a fright; but let us cheer up. My dear friend, come
let us go in and feast. I have a brace of fat snipe for you.
As soon as we have had our slight meal, I will go with
you to the Court; and if I can but get to speak with the
King I shall gall some of them and touch them to the
This said, they went to Ma-le-par-dus, and found Er-me-
line with her young ones at her feet. Soon the brace of
snipe were set forth, when each took his part. Then said
the Fox, My most dear friend, I know you are worn out
from your long walk, hence you shall go to your rest."
So they lay down and had a sound sleep, save the Fox,
who thought of the way he should act when he met the
King. As soon as the sun shone on the brow of the hills,
Rey-nard got up and went to Grim-bard, and set out with
him to the Court.
As they went through the heath, Rey-nard said to the
Brock, My dear friend, I will tell you some of the crimes
which I have done, that you may know for what I am to
be brought to task." Then quoth he, "You must know,
my fond friend, that I got the Bear's skin torn off to make
a pouch, and I said that the Bear and the Wolf did plot to
take the King's life, and to change the form of the State,
when there were no grounds for these things; and I said
that there was a huge hoard of wealth in Hus-ter-loe.

When the Wolf got nigh the mare, she gave him such a kick,
that he did roll to and fro in pain and then fell in a swoon.
-Page 47. Reynard the Fox.

1eynard the Fox.

Through me the Wolf got a smerk in his head-it was this
way: while I spoke with him on a plain, we saw a bay
mare at grass with a fat foal by her side. The Wolf was
all but dead from want of food, and he told me to go to
the mare and ask if she would sell her foal. I spoke to
the mare, and then told the Wolf that if it was his wish to
know what the foal would cost, he must read some Greek
words that were on the mare's hind foot; which, as he was
a beast of lore, he could do quite well. Now the mare had
just been shod _
with stout shoes, _
full of big nails
with sharp heads
to them, and
when he got
nigh the mare,
she up with her
heels, and gave
him such a kick,
that he did roll
to and fro in ---
pain, and then ,
fell in a swoon.
Then went I up to him and said, 'Sir Is-grim, have you
ate too much of the colt q It is not kind of you to grudge
me my share. Tell me, pray, what was on the mare's
foot, was it prose or was it rhyme ? '
"' Ah, Rey-nard,' quoth the Wolf to me, I pray you,
mock me not, for my grief is too great. The vile mare had
on her long leg a shoe with sharp nails in it; I took the nails
for Gree&- signs, and when I cast my eye on them, she hit me
so full on the head that I think my skull is rent in twain.'

The Rare Romance of

"' Dear friend,' said I, 'is this truth that you tell me ?
I took you for one of the best read beasts in the Realm.'
With these mocks and taunts I brought the Wolf nigh to
death's door. Now, my fair and dear friend, I have made
my heart more light, and come what may at the Court, it
will be seen if my foes can do me hurt."
Then said Grim-bard, "You have in truth been vile,
your crimes are of a deep dye; and I can but hope you
may feel grief of heart, and, if you have the chance, lead
quite a new life."
With such talk did they make brisk the hours till they
got to the Court, when the Brock got by his side and said
in a low voice, Fear not, but be of good cheer; good
luck goes with the brave."
Then quoth the Fox, "Friend, you speak the truth, and
your hint is good." As soon as he came where the King
sat, he fell down on his knees and spoke thus:-



"HAIL to my lord the King, and to my good Queen,
and may they be led to see whose cause is right and whose
is wrong; for in this world lies oft wear the gloss of truth,
and the face proves not a sure guide to the heart. Still I
know that you, my lord, and your Queen, can soon sift the
chaff from the wheat; that your minds are clear to see,
and your hearts just to judge, what is right in my case.


As soon as the Fox came where the King sat, he fell down on
his knees and said: Hail to my lord the King, and to my good
Queen."-Page 48. Reynard the Fox.

Reynard the Fox.

Trust me, my lord, it shall be known, ere I leave your
Court, that I do bear a name on which none can fix a
But the King, with a proud air, said: Rey-nard, I see
you in no new dress; I know what a gift you have for
guile; but soft words will not now get you out of your
scrape. I fear this day will be the last c 2 your pride, and
that your fall is sure. Your
crimes have gone on so long
that they bring you to grief A.I
in the end."
My lord," quoth Rey-
nard, it is just that you
hear what I have to say, for
let my faults be worse than '
they are set forth, or than
pique can paint them, still
the law gives me the right
of speech. In this Court I
now view a host of my own
kin who care not one whit
for me. Think you, sire,
could I but own to this
guilt, that I would have
come here of my own free
will, and face such a throng ? Not I, my lord. When
Grim-bard, one of my own kin, brought me the news, had
I not been on my way to Rome, I would have got here
ere the last charge was made. Then I met on the route
my friend Mar-tin the Ape, who, when lie saw me in such
grief, quoth he, Dear Rey-nard, why are you thus cast
down ? grief is light, and may be borne when friends

The RarC hRomance of

share it.' Then said I, 'You speak the truth, dear Ape;
woe, in sooth, weighs me down. False tales are told of
me at Court by the Rab-bit, whom I took for one of my
stanch friends. A day since he came to my house, weak
and worn, so I at once gave him a loaf of fine bread and
some rich cheese. My young son, Ros-sel, came in just
ere he had quite done his meal, and said he would take off
what crumbs were left, when the Rab-bit smote my boy on
the mouth, and he fell down in a swoon. Rey-nard-ine,
my heir, saw the brute give the blow, when he sprang
forth, caught him by the head, and would have slain him
had I not been there. Then I gave my son stripes for his
fault, to teach him he should love those who did him hurt,
and that two wrongs could not make a right. But La-
prel the Rab-bit posts to my lord the King, and says that
I sought to kill him. So good deeds have been my bane.
Thus, dear Ape, you see how crimes are laid to my charge
from which I am as free as you are.' Then said the Ape
to me, 'My dear friend, you shall go to the Court and
show that it is not in you to do such black deeds.' Ah,'
quoth I, 'it must not be yet, at least, for I am on my way
to Rome, to buy a brief from the Pope, so that I may get
quit of all the sins I have done to this day.' Then said
the Ape, Friend, cast off your care, for I know the road
to Rome well, and how to do these sort of things; so I
will go there and bring you back the brief you want, with
the seal of the Keys on it. So, cast your grief to the
winds, and get to the Court as soon as you can.'
At this, my dread lord, I was full of joy; so I made
up my mind to come here and speak out my whole mind.
Let now but one in this Court come forth and charge me
with the least crime, and prove it in due form of law, or

Then I met on the route my friend the Ape, who, when he saw
me in such grief, quoth he, "Dear Rey-nard, why are you thus
cast down? "-Page 49. Reynard the Frx.

Reynard the Fox.

else meet me hand to hand in fair fight, and let us have
war to the knife.
When I shall hold
my own, and prove
by the death of my
foe how free I am
from fault! "
The bold air Rey-
nard put on, and
the warm words he
spoke, made all the
beasts stare at him
half in fear.
But the King said,
"Let him stand forth
who wants to charge
the Fox, and he shall
be heard. A day
since we could not
get to the end of his
crimes; this day,
where are they
Here is the Fox, who
will speak in turn ?"
Then said the \
Fox, "Foes are bold
when tho se they
wish to harm are far
off; when near, it
daunts them. You
may see this, sire,
both by the Rab-bit and ii ikook. But I mind it not; for

The Rare Romance of

I could not hate those who do me ill, and wish not to pay
them back in the same coin. I leave you, my lord, to
mete out what is just."
Quoth the King, Rey-nard, you speak well; yet I much
fear you sham grief. I must charge you with one thing,
which is, that when I set you free, and you gave me your
faith you would go to Rome, and then cross seas to Pal-es-
tine, you got mail and staff, and all things else to aid you
in your good work, and then out of sheer scorn you sent
me back the head of Kay-ward the Hare. You dare not
say nay to this, for Bel-lin at his death made known the
fact. The gain he got shall be yours; trust me, you shall
course the meads no more."
When the King had told him what his doom would be,
he shook with fear, and his tongue clave to the roof of his
mouth. Then quoth the King, "Thou false, vile slave,
how comes it that thou art for once dumb? Art thou
hoarse, or hast thou caught a cold? But the Fox gave
a deep sigh, as if his heart would burst; so that all the
beasts filt grief for him save the Bear and the Wolf, who
were glad t- find their old foe brought low at last.



DAME RUKE-NAW, the Ape, Rey-nard's aunt, who stood
well with the Queen, wept when she saw the Fox sunk so
low; and it was well for Rey-nard that she was in Court
at the time, as she was wise and had much tact


A day since he came to my house, weak and worn, so I at once
navee him a loaf of fine bread and some rich cheese.
(Page 50) (Reynard the Fox.)

Reynard the box.

With the high grace and fine airs of one brought up at
Court, she made a low bow to the Throne, and then said:
" My lord the King, when you sit here to judge of what is
just, you should curb your ire, and not let your hot blood
spur you to do that which would give you grief had you
been calm. A sage of Greece once said that kings are
bound to act in a just way with those they rule, and that
the law must be dealt out in the same straight form to
high and low. I wish each one to know his own mind
and heart; for none is so sure he stands but he may fall;
none so good that he needs must stop in the right course.
Would that some who hear me took these thoughts to
heart; for the sky would not then be so dark for Rey-nard
as it seems. It is well known how high his own and his
sire's sire stood in this Court; for more sway did they
wield than Bru-in or Is-grim, or their whole stock."
To this speech the King said: "Dame, had the Fox
done the same wrong to you he hath to some beasts, such
is not the style in which you would speak to us. You
have heard the high crimes laid to his charge-that he
thieves, sheds the blood of those who hurt him not, and
scorns my rank and rule. I tell you, there is not one good
trait in him, from the crown of his head to the sole of his
foot. Not a friend or one of his own kin comes to his aid.
I should like to hear who once got good by him, or what
friend he flung his smiles on he hath not made to weep "
Then spoke the Ape: My lord, I love him, and have
done so this long while, and I well bear in mind one great
and good deed he did in your sight, for which you gave
him thanks, though I dare say you think not of it at this
far time. Let me bring it to your mind. Two years since
there came to this Court a man and a snake to have a

The Rare Romance of

point of law heard, and to get a rule. It was in this wise:
The snake broke through a hedge, when he was caught by
the neck with a snare, so that there was no way to get
free with his life. A man came by at the tim6, when the
snake told him to help him in his ill luck. The man was
kind at heart, and said, If thou wilt swear not to do me
hurt with thy tooth or sting I will let thee free.' The
snake of course said he would; so the man let him loose.
Then they went for a long way on the same road.


"In time the snake tern the pangs of want, and sprang
on the man and sought to kill him; but he gave a jump
out of his reach, and said, What dost thou mean ? hast
thou heed of thine oath V' Quoth the snake, 'No; but I
may kill thee for all that, and not get in the mesh of the
law, since want will break through stone walls, and aught
else.' Then said the man, If it be so, yet let me live till
we meet with some one who will solve the doubt; for I
place no faith in what you tell me.'

Reynard the Fox.

The snake said he would do so; so they went on till
they met Tis-el-len the Ra-ven, who said that the snake
should eat the man; but gave the snake to know that he
must get a share. But, quoth the man, 'How shall he
That is a thief and lives by spoil, judge the cause It
must be done by such as know both law and right; the
Ra-ven is not just, nor is he free from self love. Let us
go to the Court and have the point made clear; there cau
be no doubt left then. Let your King try me, and I shall
fain bide by what he says.' So they brought their case,
my liege, for you to judge of. It was set forth in full form
by your law lords, and both sides were heard. Points
were put which got the whole Court in a fog. In fact,
such doubts were brought to bear on the case that not one
in your Court could judge of it.
At last, when no help could be found, you put the case
in Rey-nard's hands. He told you, my lord, that he could
not judge of the case as it was put, and said he should
have more proof, and that if he might see in what way the
snake had been caught, and what risk he had run, then he
could state his view as to what ought to be done. Then
went the man and the snake to the place where the trap
was set; so Rey-nard had the snake made fast in the
snare. When this was done, then you, my lord, said,
'Rey-nard, how will you judge now ?' Thus he spoke,
'They are, my lord, just in the same state they were in
when they first met; they have not won or lost. Hence I
judge in this case, may it but please my lord the King:
If the man will now let the snake loose on the strength of
the same vow made to him at first, he may do so; but if
he thinks that want will force the snake to break faith
with him, then is he free to go where he choose, and leave

The Rare Romance of

the snake bound as he had found him ere this cause came
up to be heard.' You, my lord, at that time gave the Fox
high praise for the shrewd plan his quick brain had
brought forth, when your Court was in such a dire strait
to fix a point of law. You say, my lord, that his friends
and kin have left him. Had one said this save the King,
you would then have seen how false was the view you
took; but your Grace may speak as you list, nor will I
make so bold as to let a word pass my lips that would
clash with it. Think, my lord, of our high birth, and how
much from time to time Rey-nard's friends have thought

of him, and would lay down their lives, if need be, to save
his. For mine own part, I am of his race; and though we
are not near of kin, yet for him I would spend my best
blood. I have a brood of three, whom for his sake I would
see face risk, though I feel for them the love of her who
brought them forth." With that she spoke to them and
said, Come, my dear ones, and stand by one of your own
race, the good and brave Rey-nard, and with you come all
the rest of our old stock; and let us pray to the King to do
for him what is meet and just."

Beynard the Fox.

Then forth came a crowd of beasts, the Squir-rel, and
the Fer-ret, for these love fowl as well as Rey-nard doth -
then came the Ot-ter, and more than a score of beasts, who
stood by the Fox. Then spoke Ruke-naw: My lord, the
King, now you may see that he who is of my kin hath
friends who dare to be proud of him, and who are true and
stanch to your Throne and bound to our King by strong.
ties; hence let us, with one voice, beg of you, sire, to deal
in a just way with Rey-nard, and if he does not prove that
what his foes charge him with is false, let the law pass;
we will not mourn for his fate."
The Leo-pard next spoke: "Sire," said he, "you must
judge in this case not from whim, but from what has been
sworn in Court; for rule by mere will is cruel."
Then said the King, It is true; but the scorn shown to
me in Kay-ward's death, and some things else, did so rouse
my blood that I could not look to law or take a calm view
of what was said. Hence, now let the Fox speak out what
he has to say. If he can show that false tales have been
told of him, I shall at once set him free; the more so, for
your sakes, who are his dear friends, and are bound to my
Throne, and love and prize him who sits on it."

THEN spoke Rey-nard the Fox: "Ah, my liege lord,
what have you said Is good Kay-ward the Hare dead .
Oh! where is Bel-lin the Ram ? I gave him three gems
rich and rare, that I would not for a mine of gold should

The Bare Romance of

be kept from you. The best of these I sent to my lord the
King; the two that were left to my good Queen."
Quoth the King, "I got naught, save the head of poor
Kay-ward, all grim with gore, for which I had the Ram
put to death, who said that the deed was done by his
Is it so, in truth ? said the Fox; then woe is me
that I was born; for there are gone such gems the like of
which are not
in the world!
Would I had
Lost my life
with such a
S prize."
Then said
Dame Ruke-
?6- naw, "Dear
Rey-nard, why
should you
P- grieve thus for
this world's
wealth Tell
us what sort of
gems they
were; it may be we shall find them. We will search
all the nooks of the earth till we can get them for the
Oh, aunt," said the Fox, do not give heed to such a
vague thought. He who hath them will not part with
them to gain a realm; they are so rare that no gold can
buy the like; yet your words do soothe me in a slight way.
But whom shall we trust in this lorn age, when what is

.Reynard the -oxe,

pure walks with a mask and looks as though it were
vile." Then he gave a deep sigh, to cloak his guile, and
Hear all you who are of my stock and kin, for I now
will make known what these rich gems were, of which
some one did rob both me and the King.
"The first-which I meant for the King-was a gyve
of pure gold. On it were cut, in deft form, some strange
signs, dight with blue and black hues-a charm of three
words. For my own part, I could not make them out, but
Rab-bi Ab-rou, of Trent, who knows all tongues, and the
cure that lies hid in herbs, beasts, and ores, told me they
were three names of vast pith, and that none but those
who knew the Black Art could read them; and that if
one wore them, he could not be hurt by clash of winds or
flash of fire from the clouds; nor could heat burn, or cold
freeze, or weird charms act on him.
On the top of the ring was a rich stone of three tints;
the first red as fire, and with such a glare that it shed light
by night as bright as the sun at noon. The next was
white and clear, and its smooth hard gloss was put on by
the hand of art; its use was to cure all kinds of blains,
sprains, aches, and ills brought on by glut of food, or drugs
that would take life. The last was green as grass, with
red and blue spots on it, which will guard him who wears
it from his foes in peace or war, in city or camp. Then I
thought it was not meet in me to wear a ring of such
worth; so I sent it to you, my liege, as the sole one who
could lay claim to it.
This ring I found in my sire's desk, with a comb and
a glass to look in, which my wife sought to gain hold of.
They were rare gems, and were sent to my good Queen as

The Rare Romance of

a gift for her grace to me. It were vain to laud the comb:
it was made of the bone of a stout beast known as Pan-the-
ra, who lives in the far East. His hue is so bright that
the bow in the clouds pales in its sight; and he hath so
sweet a smell that one sniff of it cures all the ills that flesh
is heir to. This Pan-the-ra hath one broad and thin bone,
and when he dies all the charm he had lies in it; while it
is so light that a mere plume can weigh it down, yet not
air, earth, fire, or wet can harm it. He who smells it once
will care for no scent but this: if weak he grows strong;
and if dull or sad he will get blithe, and his heartowill
know no grief from that time forth.
"This comb is sheen like fine white ore, while its teeth
are straight and smooth. Its ground tint is blue and
black, and on it the life of Ve-nus and Ju-no and Pal-las
are wrought in bright pearl and faint blue, and how they
strove for the fruit of gold on Mount I-da, and how Par-is
was made to judge which of the three was the most fair.
At that time Par-is was with his flocks on the hills, and
when the prize of gold was put in his hands to give to one
of the three Queens of Love, Ju-no said that, He should
have a great store of wealth did he but give it to her.'
Pal-las said, That if she got it, she would make him the
most wise man of his age, and cause him to tread down
his foes.' But Ve-nus spoke to him and said, What need
hast thou to be wise, or brave, or to have wealth Art
thou not the son of Pri-am, and is not thy sire the sire of
Hec-tor, who are lords of all A-sia ? Art thou not an
heir of great Troy? Come, give me the bright fruit,
and thou shalt have the best gifts the world knows I
will let thee have the most fair wife that breathes;
then wilt thou be more rich and wise and brave than

Reynard the Fox.

all men; for fair looks yield a charm that makes sour
sweet,'and turns all things to joy.' When Par-is heard
,his, quoth he, 'And who is this fair sylph you speak
of V' So Ve-nus said, 'It is none but Hel-en of Greece,
the gem of the world, the soul of grace, and the joy
of all eyes.' Then Par-is gave her the fruit of gold,
and made her the most fair of the three-then, the
wrought work did show how Par-is won Hel-en and
brought her to Troy; the grand feast held when they were
made man and wife; and much that took place in course
of time.
The globe of glass, too, was of vast wortLi; for what
was done a mile off by man or beast could be seen in it,
and it would tell all that he who had it sought to know.
So great were the charms of this rare glass, that I can but
shed salt tears to think of its loss. Its frame was of
wood, light and smooth, but so strong that it will last
till the wreck of time; nor can damp or dust, worms or
age, harm it. It is of much more worth than fine gold; it
is like the wood with which King Cram-part made a
strange kind of horse for the love of a fair maid, the child
of King Mar-ca-di-ges. The horse was wrought with rare
art, so that when one rode it, he could make it course more
than five score miles an houi. 1 his was shown to his cost
by the King's son, Cla-ma-des. who was young and stout,
and put faith in strange things. He sprang on the steed's
back, and put his hand to a screw stuck in its neck and
made it loose, when off flew this bosk horse out of the
hall door and went ten miles in a trice Cla-ma-des got a
fright, and thought he could not get back. But of his
long ride, his fear, and of his joy when he learnt how to
curb it, I will say no more, lest I may tire you. I have

The zdare Romance of

said as much as I need to prove the high charm there is in
the wood.
"Of this wood the frame of the glass was made, and
it was wrought with gold and rare ores and gems. In
one part was cut a proud steed in full chase, with a deer a
far way off. But the deer was too fleet for the horse,
which set him wild and :made him snort. So he went to
a man who grew herbs,
and said, That if he
would help him to
catch the deer, all the
A gain should be his.'
Quoth the man, 'By
what means can I aid
you The horse said,
'Just mount on my
back, and I will take
d thee till we get up to
him.' The man then
f( got on the steed; but
the deer fled so fast
that at length the
horse got worn out, and
went but at a trot; so
he bade the man to come off. But the man said, I have
reins in my hand and spurs on my heels ; I know how
good a slave thou art, and I will not part with thee, but'
will guide thee as I please.' Thus the horse c-me to grief,
and was caught in his own snare; for no one has a worse
foe than his own ill will; and such as seek tc do harm oft
find that harm come home to roost.
Then there was wrought the tale of the Dog and the

Reynard the Fox. 63
Ass who were kept by the same squire. HIe was fond of
his Dog, and would play with him, and let him fawn and
leap on him, and lick his face. Now when the Ass saw
this, he grew full of spite, and soad, What does he who
owns me see in this foul hound, that he lets him leap on
him and kiss him '? He gives him no help, while I draw large
loads and work more in one week than all his breed could in
a year. Yet I have not a tithe of his good luck. He fares well
and leads a life of ease, while I am fed on furze. I will not
bear this scurf on my name; and must try to win the smiles
of him who keeps me as much at least as the Dog.' By
and by the Ass broke from his boose, and came to the
room of the grange in which the squire sat, when he gave
a spring, put his fore feet on the man's knees, and sought
to lick his lips. This rough mark of love threw the squire
off his chair, tore the skin from his ears, hurt him to the
quick, and made him shriek out, Help, help the Ass will
kill me.' Then came in men of the farm with sticks and
stones, and beat him till he was half dead. So the Ass
went back to his stall, and thought not once more of a
change of life. Thus do they come to grief who like not
to see some they know get on well. An Ass is born to eat
gorse; and where oafs of their kind rule there is no good
in the realm, for they are the dupes of their own pride.
'Tis true they sit on high seats at times, and are the butts
for wise men to laugh at.
"The tale of Ti-bert the Cat and my sire Rey-nard
was in like way wrought on it. It told how that
they made a long tour, and said that not for love or
hate would they part. But once they saw a pack of hounds
and a lot of men on their track, so they fled for their lives.
Then quoth my sire, Where shall we flee, Ti-bert, for we

The Rare Romance of

have been seen I know,' said my sire,' more ways than
one how to put them on a false scent; so long as you stay
with me all will go well.' But Ti-bert, full of fear, got up to
the top of a high tree, and hid in the leaves, where no dog
could see or reach him, and left my sire with all the pack
close on his trail. Then did Ti-bert jeer at my sire, and
said, 'Now, dear Rey-
nard, show forth all
Your wiles; for if your
wit fail you, I fear you
,- are lost.' My sire heard
this from one in whom
Te he put most trust; and
his wiles would have
been in vain, had he not
seen and crept to a hole,
and thd got clear of the
hounds. I do not love
Ti-bert, but yet I wish
him no hurt, though
I should not grieve if he
gets paid out one day.
"One tale more in
nold and clear form was
wrought on this strange glass. It was of a Wolf; and of
'how he once found on a heath a dead horse whose flesh
was foul, and he was fain to scrunch and eat the bones,
and with such greed, that one stuck fast in his throat.
Then he sought for one who had skill to cure him, and
said he would give a heap of gold to him that should
ease his pain. At last he met with the Crane, whom
he thought could help him with his long neck ; so he

When they heard the hounds, Ti-bert the Cat got up in a high
tree and hid in the leaves, but Rey-nard the Fox had to run for
his life.-Page 64. .Rynard the Fox.

Reynard the Fox.

said he would give him the large store. The Crane, to get
this rich fee, thrust his neck in the Wolf's throat and drew
out the bone. The Wolf gave a start and said, in a howl,
' You hurt me; but I mind it not this time, yet take heed
that you do not so once more.' Quoth the Crane, 'Go,
and be glad, Sir Is-grim, for the bone is out; I want but
the fee you said you would give me.' Quoth the Wolf,
'What does this hunks crave ? I feel pain, and yet
you ask a fee, when it is you who ought to thank me
for your life. 1 had your head in my mouth and
let you draw it forth; so it is I who have the right to
the fee.'
All this, and more than I can think of, was wrought
on the glass; for no man had so great art as he who made
it. And as such gems were too rich for me to hold, I sent
them to my liege King and Queen, as marks of the high
trust their reeve had in them. You would have wept for
my brood had you seen their grief when the glass was
gone, for they oft gave a sly peep in it to view their faces
and see how their coats sat on them.
But I thought not how nigh good Kay-ward was to
his death; and I knew of none but Bel-lin the Ram who
was fit to bring such gifts. I will search the world, but I
will find the base wretch who took Kay-ward's life; for lie
who sheds blood will be found out-its voice cries to the
skies! He on whose fate the red guilt rests may now
be in the King's sight; for crime can hide its fell form
so as to seem void of stain."

The Bare Romance of



THEN Rey-nard said, "My lord, my worst grief is that
you should say no good was done by my sire or me. The
cares of state may well cause kings to have blunt minds
for some things, or else my liege might know how in the
days of your sire's reign, and you were a prince of two
years old, my sire came from a high school where he won
great fame for the skill he had in drugs, that he wore robes
of silk and a belt of gold lace. When he came to Court,
the King was so ill that it was thought his death was sure.
My sire felt sad at this news, for he had great love for his
liege lord, who was glad to see him, and would let no one
else come nigh his sick bed. Your sire said, Rey-nard, I
am in much pain, and in a low state.' My sire felt his
pulse, made him thrust out his tongue, put on grave airs,
and thought of his case for some time; then quoth he,
'My dear lord, I know what will cure you at once; so, if
you want to mend, you must eat the heart of a wolf six
years old, else, I fear, you will not live, and my skill cai
do no more.' The Wolf at that time stood some way off,
but spoke not a word. Then quoth the King, 'Sir Is-grim,
you hear there is but one cure left for me, which is your
heart.' The Wolf said, 'Not so, I pray, my liege, for I
am not yet five years old.' It must needs be,' quoth my
sire; 5 let him be slit; and when I view his heart I will

Reynard the Fox.

tell you if it will do.' Then the Wolf was brought to the
garth, and his heart was cut out, which the King ate, and
he soon grew well. Then my sire got the thanks of the
King, who made a law that on pain of death all the beasts
of his Realm should call him Sir Rey-nard. Then 'he had
a post in the Court; and the King had such love for him
as to have him wear a wreath round his head, as a mark of
his high grade.
What I have now told you, my liege, fell out in your
youth, and it may well slip your mind. But I boast not
when I say that I, too, have shown my love for the
Throne, though that may not be borne in your thoughts,
from the length of time since it took place. I tell you
this, not to grieve you, but to show my vaunt is not in vain.
"Once in our sport Sir Is-grim and I caught a pig,
which gave such fierce grunts that we had to kill it. At
this time you came out of a grove, spoke to us as if we had
been friends, and said that you and the Queen felt the
want of food; so you bade us give you part of our chase.
Is-grim did not like the thought, and gave a scowl; but
quoth I, in warmth,' With all my heart, my lord; and
had I a more fit meal, it would be too mean for you.'
Then Is-grim gave a growl, as is his wont, and in a
glum way caught hold of one half the pig, so that he
left but a fourth part each for you and the Queen; while
poor I had to make the best of the draff. You still
had not food for your wants, and as Is-grim would give
up none, you dealt him a blow with your foot, which
tore the skin from his ears, and sent him off in throes
of pain. Then you told him to get you more meat,
and then come back at once; so he crept off in search of
game, though he would fain stay where he was. Then

The Rare Romance of

quoth I, If it be my lord's will, I will go and cause him
to make more haste.' So off we went and soon caught a
calf, which, when you saw it, made you laugh. Then you
said that I was swift, and had a rare gift for sport, to find
my game so soon, and then you bade me halve it. I did
so, and gave a cut each to you and the Queen, while
our kin, who
were with
you, got the
tripe; the
Head I gave
to the Wolf,
while I kept
but the feet.
Then said
mylord, 'Ah,
Rey-nar d,
who taught you to carve
prey so well ?' 'My lord,'
quoth I, he who doth soss
here with a gash in his head,
for he lost his skin through
S his own fault, and his greed
brought him to shame.' But
I shall say no more of this:
there be wolves in these days that
would eat up their best friends and kin, nay, the King's
,elf, for they love and fear no one. But woe to that land
where such imps as these have sway.
'" This, my lord, and deeds of a like kind, have I done
to hrve my King, though they find no place in your mind
at this long date; still I hope "J-at time and my zeal for

Reynard the Fox.

the Throne will bring them back with force. I have seen
the day when my words had full weight with the Court,
and I may live to see it once more. I have lost caste; yet
it may be I shall rise to my late height, when faith
in me may be as firm as of yore; so long as it swerves
not from what is just, which is my sole aim. Now, my
lord, I sue at your feet for what is meet. Let him who
brings a charge to my hurt, vouch it in due form of law, and
on strong proof, and I stand here to hail my doom. Should
this not be the case, and crimes are laid on my head through
sheer spite, of which I am free; then I claim the palm "
Quoth the King, Rey-nard, you say well. I reck not
of Kay-ward's death more than that his head was brought
to me by Bel-lin the Ram. Hence I feel bound to free
you from the blame as well as from the pain, which the
law doth make the wage of such a crime as was laid,
void of proof, at your door."
My dread lord," said the Fox, "I thank you from the
depths of my heart; but Kay-ward's death makes me mourn
so much that I must notlet it pass in a light way. I know my
soul was sad when he set out, and I had dark thoughts which
were the sure signs of the dread loss that was to be mine."
At these words and sad looks of the Fox, all those in
Court could not check their sighs; for they put faith in his
words and drank them in with greed. The King and
Queen, in like way, felt one touch of that law which
makes the whole world kin. But the lost gems were
much to their minds; so they said Rey-nard should do
all he could to find such; and as they had heard that
this rare prize was for them, though they had it not,
yet did Rey-nard meet with the same thanks as if they

The Bare .Romance Co



THE Fox heard with joy those words of the King; and
though he knew he could not put his vow in force, yet
swore he would search the world through, till he had found
the gems.
The King at once said he should grant the Fox all due
aid, so soon as he could learn where the gems were. Rey-
nard gave meet thanks to his liege: he thought by his
false tales and bland speech he had so bound the King to
him with a leash of love, that none durst speak a word,
much less bring a charge, to his hurt. But Is-grim stood
gruff and mute. At length his thoughts grew too strong
for him; so he had to give them vent.
Oh, my lord," said he, how can you thus put faith in
the words of one who takes pride in his guile ? Let not
his glib tongue and low art lead you to think he means
what he says. He has shed blood more times than I can
count; is false to the Throne, and scoffs in your face. I
am glad he is now here that I may show up his guilt in so
strong a light that all the lies he can hatch will serve him
not a jot. First, let me tell you, my lord, in how vile a
way he dealt with Dame Hers-win a short time since.
One day, at the bleak time of the year, when both were by
a lake, he told my wife he would teach her a new and sure
way to catch fish with her tail. Well, my poor wife did
not see the joke; so she went through the deep mire till
she came to where he told her: then she held down her

When the Wolf got to the lake, she stood so long that her tail
grew firm in the ice; then the pain and the cold made her howl,
-Page 71. Reynard the Fox.


- --

Reynard the Fox.

tail, and thought the fish would come and bite But the
cold was so keen, and she stood still so long, that her tail
grew firm in the ice, and with all her strength she could
not pull it out. Then pain and cold made her howl; but
the rude rogue gave her taunts and not help. When I
heard my wife's groans, I came at once to give my mite of
aid; when I saw Rey-nard run off, swift as a roe. I had
hard work of it to break the ice and set her free; but with
all my toil and pains she had to leave a piece of her tail in
the lake. We both ran the worst of risks; for my poor
wife's groans made such a fuss in the vill close by that the
folks came with stones and bills, and flails and forks, and
the dames with the staffs with which they spin, and they
beat us and said, 'Kill, kill!' and Slay, slay!' that it
was the worst plight we were in. One stout and swift
boor hurt us much with the staff of a pike, and were it not
the night stood our friend we would scarce have got off
with our lives. Thence we came to a field, full of broom
and furze, where we hid from our foes. Thus, my good
lord, have you lent a kind ear to what this vile wretch
hath done to us; and we now claim what the law deems
just. Though he wears a sleek face, he lives in fear of the
axe and the rope; one of which will be his fate at last."
Then up spoke Rey-nard, "My liege, if what the Wolf
says were true, I grant it would touch my good name. I
now tell him he durst not prove his words, and fling back
his foul charge right full in his face. I know I taught his
wife to catch fish, and how to get to the lake. But her
greed, when she heard me name the fish, made her rush in
such hot haste that she would not pay the least heed to
what I said. When she got to the lake she stood so long
there that her tail grew firm in the ice, though she caught

The Rare Romance of

as much fish as a score of wolves would eat, whose maws
were of the main size. But it is a trite phrase, Crave all,
lose all'; and, in sooth, greed works but ill to him who
has it, and brings no good home. So soon as I saw her
fast bound, I did all I could to free her; but it was of no
use ; I could not move her.
Just at that time Is-grim came, and when he found
the plight his wife was in he fell in a huge rage; he spoke
in a harsh and foul way to her; while the worst names he
could think of were too good for me; nay, he said I should
bear the brunt; so that more to get rid of his noise than
from fear of him, I left the spot. Then he got to the edge
of the lake, and by dint of pulls and hauls, till he was nigh
out of breath, he set her free from the ice, when numb and
half dead with cold they ran up and down the fields to
gain warmth. What I say is the truth; for I would not
lie to the King for all this world's wealth. Truth, my
lord, is my badge, and has for all time been the pride of
my race. Should you have the least doubt of what I say,
I ask but eight days to speak with such friends whose
skill in the law is well known; at the end of which time I
shall prove my words in due form, and by the lips of those
you can trust, who are good beasts, and free from guile.
Then both you, my lord, and the Court, will find how just
is my cause; and that I would as lief lose my life as lie to
the King. What have I to do with the Wolf ? He is
more vile than the worst beast that prowls the woods, and
is false to the Throne as well. As to the trick which he
says I had the spite to play on his wife, I now ask her if
this be not a base lie ? that is, if she stand not in such awe
of her spouse that she dare not speak the truth, let the
cause be what it might."

Reynard the Fox.

At this Dame Hers-win came forth and said, "Oh, Rey-
nard, why dost thou oil thy tongue so, that no one is safe
from thy wiles ? Not once, but scores of times have you
led me wrong and brought me to grief. Think how ill
thou didst use me at the well, where two pails hung by
one rope which ran through a groove, so that when one
went down the next came up. Thou didst stand in one
pail and then fall down souse as far as thou couldst go;
there thou wast in great fear till I heard thy moans and
sped in haste to help thee. 'How didst thou get in this
plight quoth I. 'I am in search of fish,' saidst thou,
'and have had such a glut that I dread I shall burst.'
'How shall I come to thee ?' said I. Then saidst thou,
'Aunt, leap right in the pail which hangs by you; and
thou wilt be down soon.' This I did; and as I was of
more bulk than you I was borne down in a trice; while
you got safe to the top. The ruse was shrewd, and when
I grew cross at this low trick of yours, quoth you, to taunt
me, 'Aunt, this is but the way of the world; one falls
that some one else may rise.' Then didst thou leap out of
the pail and hie off, while I was left in the well all day in
cold and with no food to eat, and ere I could get out I was
so much hurt from blows that I had well nigli lost my life."
Aunt," said the Fox, though the blows gave you pain,
it were best you had them and not me; for you are strong
and can bear them, which I could not. Then think, Aunt,
what a nice bit of lore thou hast learnt, which is, not to
put trust in friend or foe when what he says tends to free
him from a scrape; for we all love self best."
Then spoke Dame Hers-win to the King: "I pray you,
my lord, to mark well how this knave can blow all winds
with the same breath, and paint all hues with the same

The Rare Romance of

brush. It would fail me to tell of half his vile pranks.
Once he led my spouse to a great ape, which, by the way,
cost him one of his ears. If the Fox dare for once to
speak the truth, the best proof he can give, or I can wish
for, is his own tale."
At once Rey-nard caught at these words, and said,
"Most glad will I be to do this. I shall tell the truth and
not flinch; and hence I pray the King to lend his ear to
what I now state.
Once the Wolf came to me while in the woods, and
said in a whine that he had no meat to eat and was in great
want, though I thought at the time he was sleek and full;
for one must not trust a word he says. I felt ruth at last,
and gave him to know that I stood in need of a meal as
much as he did. So off we set, side by side, in search of
prey. When half the day had gone, and we found our
chase in vain, he said he could not move a step more. In
the nick of time our eye fell on a gap close by a thorn tree,
and we heard a queer kind of low dull sound come from it,
the cause of which we could not make out. I told the
Wolf to creep ii and try if he could find aught that would
serve us in our need, for I knew there must be some kind
of game in the place. But, quoth he, Friend, I durst not
do so for the King's crown, till I first know what is in the
hole; I would not take the risk; but, what if you try, who
have arts and parts to get you quick out of a strait; I will
stay hard by this tree till you come back; and I pray you
take time by the front lock, and let me know what the
spoil is when you clutch it.'
"Thus, my lord, did he cause me, a poor weak beast, to
put my head first in a poke, and chance my life, while he,
who is stout and firm of limb, lay in peace. I got in the

Reynard the Fox.

den, as he bade me, and found the way dark, dank, and
long; but at last I saw a strong glare of light come in at
the mouth of the cave, and by it my eye caught a huge she
Ape, with eyes like fire, her mouth set round with long
sharp teeth, and with nails on her paws as fine as pins.
By her side lay a brood as grim and fierce as their dam.
They gave a gape with their mouths when they saw me, at
which I took fright; but I thought that now I was in, I
would brave it as well as I could. Hence I set my eyes
full on her, till she grew as big as Is-grim, and the least of
her young ones as large as I am. There they lay in mire
and dirt; but I made up my mind, as I thought it the
best course, to speak them fair; and hence I said, 'Long
life to you, dear aunt, and may you have more bliss than
you can wish. I do so much like your fine brood; they
look so sleek and slim; you may well be proud of such a
stock, for they would not shame a prince had one been
their sire. When I got to these parts I would not lose a
day, but came at once to see you; and now my cup of joy
is full.' Quoth she, 'My friend Rey-nard, I greet you
well; you have found me in a sad state, more like a blowz
than is my wont, but I thank you for all that; we are now
and then caught by our friends when things are not quite
as straight as they ought to be You are known all through
the King's realm for your wit and the store of lore that lies
in one small head, and hence your call is a great boon. I
beg you to take charge of my young ones and teach them
some of the grand arts, that they may know how to live
and thrive in the world. From the time they were born I
have had you in my mind; and I know they can find none
to guide them so well; for you have the best traits, and
walk with those who are wise and good.'

The Bare Romance of

"These words gave me ease, which came of my kind
speech; for she felt proud of the term aunt, though she is
none of my kith or kin ; for my true aunt is Dame Ruke-
naw, who stands a short way off, and can boast of a fine
brood. Then said I to the foul thing, Aunt, my life and
my goods are both at your beck; and to serve you night
or day shall be my chief pride.' Had I lost all my wealth
I would have felt rich were I but clear of the cave; for it
was so rank and close I thought I should choke. Then I
felt for Is-grim, who all this while had no food; so I took
my leave, on the ground that my wife would grieve at my
long stay. Quoth she,' Dear friend, you must not quit
this place till you have had a slight meal. I do not take
it as kind of you thus to make such swift haste, for your
time is your own, I go bail.' Then she rose up and led
me to a large room close at hand where there was a row of
prime red deer and roes, and such piles of rare birds that
my eyes shed tears at the sight. I set to work and made
a rich feast, and when I had done she gave me a whole
side and half a haunch of a fat doe to bring home to my
wife, which I felt shame to take; but she saw at a glance
how loath I was to have her gifts, and hence did press
them on me. Then I took my leave; and when she gave
me her hand to kiss, said I would see them all soon, and
felt right glad that I had sped so well.
"When I came out of the cave I saw Is-grim plump on
the ground, while his groans rent the air. He told me he
was so faint that if he could not get some meat he would
be sure to give up the ghost. Then I gave him the prime
haunch I brought with me; so that he owes his life to me.
For this act he gave me thanks at the time, much as he
seeks to do me hurt now, When he could eat no more,

Reynard the Fox.

quoth he, Rey-nard, my good friend, what else did you
find in the hole q for I need to eat more than when you
gave me the haunch; that wee bit but whets my greed and
gives me a gust for good things.' Is-grim,' said I, 'you
creep in at the cave's mouth, and there you will find my
aunt, with her whole brood; if you please her ear with
fine words and speak her fair, you need dread no ill, and
all will go as you would wish.'
"I think, my lord, to one who had a grain of sense in
his head such hints would tell him how tc act; but dull
dolts will walk in their own ways, do what one might, and
it is but waste of words to teach them. Is-grim said he
would do as I bade him, and so in he went to the moist
den, where he found the huge Ape, quite snug, with her
young ones at her feet, which made him blench at first
sight. He gave a shrill squeak, and said, What foul sty
is this I have come to and what grim whelps Drown
them! pray drown them I their gruff looks put me in a
fume and make mine hair stand on end. And then, they
glare so I trust I shall not once more set eyes on such
waifs and strays; they serve but to scare the crows!'
' Sir Is-grim,' said the Ape, 'tis true I can say not a word
in praise of their good looks ; but it is not their fault that
I know of; nor do I see what it has to do with you.
They are my brood, and I am their dam. One of your kin
has but just gone from hence, who is of high rank, and
wise, which you are not. He told me they are fair and
have good looks; so I care not a straw what you think,
and you may trudge as soon as you please.' Is-grim
blurts out, 'Dame, you carp at what I say. Now, I want
some of the meat you have in store; it is more fit for me
to have it than these brats of yours.' She told him she

The areme Romance of

had no meat for him; but he said he would soon find as
much as he could eat; and with that he caught hold of
some, when up got my aunt (as she claims to be) and her
brood, who tore him with their sharp nails, that the blood
ran down his ears and chaps. I heard him yelp and yell
as if he had got bad pains, and naught was left for him
but to scape from the den as fast as he could, mulct of his
meat. When I saw him he was black and blue and full
of gore from the blows and bites he got. Here and there
he had a slash in his skin, and one ear he left in the hole
as a pledge that he would act with more tact the next time
he gave the Ape a call.
"When I saw him in this sad state it made me yearn;
so I said-but not to twit him-he had not made that good
use of his tongue he might have done. He told me he
spoke as he felt and as he found them, for the dame was
a foul beast and the young ones a set of grim runts. I
told him he should have been mild of speech, spoke of
their fair looks, and laid claim to them as his best of kin;
but he said he would have seen them hung first. Then
quoth I, 'You must shut your chaps and not whine more,
for you are to blame. Fair words cost not a groat; and
keep fresh and good all the year. To be bland one need
not lie; and those of high grade will go as far as to say
that, and, in sooth, more so, if the truth be told.'
Thus, my lord, have I been frank with you, and told
you how Is-grim came by his red night cap. No word of
his can mar what I say; for it is the whole truth, in which
there is not a patch of guile; for I would be the last one
in the world to fly in the face of, or to foist false tales on,
my liege King."

.eynard the Fox.



THEN said Is-grim to mne Fox, Vile knave that thou
art, I heed not thy gibes and scowls, but I will tell of the
hurt thou hast done me. You say I was in great need and
that you came to my help. You lie, like a dog! You
gave me naught but a bare bone, from which thou didst
champ off the meat. You charge me with high crimes,
such as that I laid a plot to change the form of the State
and to take the King's life, just to gain a hoard hid in
Hus-ter-loe. This, too, is a bold and base lie. I have
borne with you thus long, but find I must sneap you at
last. Hence, my lord the King, and you my brave
knights, my friends and kin, I here state and vouch to the
last gasp of my life that thou, Rey-nard the Fox, art a
vile knave, and that thou hast the red stain of blood on
thy head; and this I will make good on thy foul skin, in
face of the King, by fair fight, till one of us shall fall. In
proof of this I here cast thee my glove, which I dare thee
to take up ; that my wrongs may be set right, or else die
like a loon."
Rey-nard, when he heard these words of wrath, felt ill
at ease. He knew he was weak whilst the Wolf was
strong, so he thought he might fare the worst. Still he
did not quite want to shirk the fight; for he knew that
were he to wince, it would stick as scurf to his name and

The Rare Romance of

blur his shield. But then he brought to mind that he had
one chance left, as the Wolfs claws had been off and his
foot was still sore; so he said in a loud voice: He who
says I am a knave, and that I plot to kill the King, and
that I shed blood, I say lies in his throat, and Is-grim most
of all. Fool that thou art! thou dost thirst for thy own
bale ; which I shall not balk thee of. All thy lax words I
will prove to be false, and that they mar the weal of the
Realm. In mark of this I take up thy gage, and here
throw thee mine."
When this was done, the King took the pledge of each,
and gave them the right to try a feat of strength; but he
said they must find sound bail that the fight should take
place on the next day. Then the Bear and the Cat came
forth as bail for the Wolf, and Grim-bard the Brock and
Bit-e-las the young Ape in like way for the Fox. As soon
as all the forms had been gone through, Dame Ruke-naw
took Rey-nard to the porch of the Court, and said, Your
dear aunt hopes you will take care and not get hit or hurt
in this fight One, near of kin to us, once told me of a
charm gooc for those who meet a foe and cross swords
with him; he learned it, he said, from an old priest who
had much skill in such kind of art. He who will say the
words of this charm while he fasts from food, shall come
off best should he face a foe that day. Hence, my dear
Rey-nard, fear not; for ere you take to the field, I will
read it to you, and the Wolf shall lose the palm." The
Fox gave her his best thanks, and said he had no doubt
that through her means he would come off welht'and not
get a scratch, as on his part the fight was fair and just, for
he held no pique, and but sought to clear his fair name of
foul blots. Then he stayed all night long with his horde,

Reynard the Fox.

who made time wane by good cheer and blithe talk as to
what Fate had in store for the Fox.
Dame Ruke-naw thought well how she might work for
Rey-nard's good in the fight that was to come off; so she
got him close shorn from his head to his tail, and then put
oil on his skin. This made him so smooth and hard to
hold, that the Wolf must fail should he try to catch him;
the more so, as he was round, fat and plump. Then she
told him not to wax warm at the first set to, nor to get too
close, that his foe may toil and run at him when he meant
to deal a blow, and that in such case he was to get where
there was most dust, which he should strive to whisk up
with his feet and thick tail, so as to make it fly in the
Wolf's eyes. At the same time he was to keep his tail as
close as he could, so that his foe might not seize it and
pull him to the ground. She said when the Wolf's eyes
were half blind from dust, he should not let that time slip,
but bite him where he might do him most hurt; then wend
and thwack him in the eyes with his tail to tease him and
get him in a maze, that by this means he might lose a
chance. "And thus," quoth she, "you will so tire and
wear him out, that he will fail to get at you; the more so
as the wounds on his feet are still raw from the loss of his
shoes, which you took off from him; for though he is a big
size, yet his heart is small and frail as that of a chick.
This, Rey-nard, is what I tell you to do; and take an old
dame's word for it, that, in such a case, guile is more than
force. I pray you, then, be of good cheer, and hope for
the best; so that not you but all your kin may have joy
and gain fame and a proud name by the palm you will
win this day. And this is the charm which Monk Mar-tin
taught me, by wlich no foe, let him be as fierce as he may,

The Rare Romance of

can strike you. These are the words of the weird spell."
Then she laid her hands on his head and said:

Iaerbe Sbcap ~ipbento,
kasbue Coreonse Albuffrio.

"Now, dear Rey-nard, you may be sure that you are
quite safe from all hurt or harm; so go to rest for a short
time, for it is just day, and a nice nap will give you strength
and help you to win the fight."
The Fox gave his aunt his best thanks, and told her he
put full faith in the might of the charm, and that he would
love and serve her more and more from that time forth.
Then he lay down to sleep on the grass, near to a tree, till
the sun rose, when the Ot-ter came to rouse him, and gave
him a fat young duck with which to break his fast. "Dear
friend," said he, I have kept strict watch all the live long
night to get this snack for you. I stole it from the man
who shot it, and I find it fresh and good; here, take and
eat it, for it will give you nerve to meet your foe."
The Fox was glad of this treat; said it was a stroke of
good luck to get it; and that, should he live out that day,
he would do some kind deed for the Ot-ter, who was a
friend in need. He then ate the duck, to which keen greed
and the crisp air gave the sole sauce; and took four large
draughts at a brook to wash it down. Then in high glee
he and all his kin and clan went to the field where the
fight was to take place.
When the King saw Rey-nard so shorn and full of
grease he said to him, "Well, Rey-nard, I see you mean
to get safe out of this fray; you look as if you meant
more to shun harm than to gain a prize."

Reynard the Fox.

The Fox was dumb fo
bent to the earth in
sight of the King and
Queen, as though he a
would lick the dust.
He then went forth to
the sward where the R)
match was to be
fought, and where he
was met by the Wolf,
whose tongue must'
needs wag with vain 2
taunts at his foe, and
proud boasts of how 1
he would serve him
The Leo-pard and
the Lynx were the
chiefs of arms, and
led the lists. First,
the Wolf was bade to
make his call, when
he said the Fox was
false to his King and
to the Realm, and that
on his pate lay the
stain of blood, which
he would prove on his
vile hide, or else be
known as a mean churl.
When the set forms
had been gone through.

r the nonce, and, with staid airs,

the chiefs of arms held them to

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