Citation
The most delectable history of Reynard the Fox

Material Information

Title:
The most delectable history of Reynard the Fox
Series Title:
Cranford series
Uniform Title:
Roman de Renart
Creator:
Jacobs, Joseph, 1854-1916 ( Editor, Author of introduction )
Calderon, W. Frank ( William Frank ), 1865-1943 ( Illustrator )
Cole, Henry, 1808-1882 ( Author )
Summerly, Felix, 1808-1882 ( Author )
Macmillan & Co ( Publisher )
Place of Publication:
London ;
New York
Publisher:
Macmillan and Co.
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
xxxvii, 260, [4] p., [1] leaf of plates : ill ; 19 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Reynard the Fox (Legendary character) -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Tricksters -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Foxes -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Animals -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Courts and courtiers -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Characters and characteristics -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Fables -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Folklore -- Juvenile literature ( lcsh )
Fables -- 1895 ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1895 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre:
Fables ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
non-fiction ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

General Note:
Follows Felix Summerly's (Sir Henry Cole's) version for children, which was adapted from Caxton's. The introduction and notes attempt to give the adult reader a condensed account of the latest results of research in folk-lore and literary history. cf. Pref.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Statement of Responsibility:
edited with introduction and notes by Joseph Jacobs ; done into pictures by W. Frank Calderon.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
026932367 ( ALEPH )
ALH7017 ( NOTIS )
01835635 ( OCLC )
17027607 ( LCCN )

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EDITED WITILE INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

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JOSEPH JACOBS

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1895



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Next to sof, Reynard the Fox is the best
known of the tales in which animals play the
chief part. It is natural, therefore, that a
Cranford .#s0p should be followed by a
Cranford Reynard; and in the present volume
I have endeavoured to do for Reynard what I
attempted to do for Zsop in its predecessor—
provide a text which children could read with
ease and pleasure, and at the same time give
their parents, their cousins, and their aunts a
short réswmé of the results which the latest
research in folklore and literary history has
arrived at with regard to the origin of the
book.

With regard to the text, I found that

ready-made to my hand. The late Sir Henry



viii REYNARD THE FOX

Cole, of South Kensington fame, in his earlier
days made an attempt to reform children’s
books, and may be regarded as the precursor
of their improved position to-day. Under the
name of ‘“ Felix Summerley” he produced a
number of children’s books, well printed, well
written, and tolerably illustrated, which some
of us remember as the chief treasures of
our youth. Among these was a version of
Reynard—mostly adapted from Caxton’s—
which I found, with some slight alteration,
could easily be adapted for my present purpose,
and, in the main, the text of the present
book is a resuscitation of “ Felix Summerley’s”
version.

As regards Introduction and Notes, I have
attempted to give the adult reader a condensed
account of the latest results about the origin of
this interesting and characteristic product of the
Middle Ages. Much has been done during
the present century to clear up the many

obscurities attaching to Reynard the Fox, which



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

researches of others.

JOSEPH JACOBS.









INTRODUCTION

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

These philological facts are of somewhat



X11 REYNARD THE FOX

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

Let us dismiss out of our way the more
certainly attested facts relating to the early
literary history of Reynard. Like most of
the favourite medieval productions of the
Romantic Period, versions of it occur in the



INTRODUCTION xlil

chief languages of Western Europe. There
is the German feznhart, dated by modern
scholarship czvca 1180. There is the French
Roman de Renard, with its twenty-six or seven
‘branches,’ to the nucleus of which a provisional
date of 1230 may be assigned, though many
of the ‘branches’ are earlier and some later.
There is the Flemish ezuaert, the earliest
part of which was composed by a certain
Willem, near Ghent, about 1250. While there
is beyond these a Latin poem, Vsengrimus,
written at Ghent in 1148. Even in England a
trace has been found of a metrical version of
the Satire in the form of a thirteenth-century
poem, entitled, Of the Vox and of the Wolf.
Of the Italian Raznardo, and of the medieval
Greek version, there is no occasion to speak,
since they are out of the running in the race
for priority.

The results summed up in a few words
above are the outcome of a long series of
critical investigations by German, French, and
Dutch scholars, started by the monograph of
Jacob Grimm on Reinhart Fuchs in 1824. He
originated the theory that Reynard was the
outcome of an ancient Teutonic Beast Epic of
primitive origin. Every step in the investiga-



xiv REYNARD THE FOX

tion since his time has tended to strip his
theory of every vestige of plausibility, and it
may be now regarded as having gone the way
of all exploded theories. All the versions
referred to above are of literary origin, and
with the exception of the YVsengrimus, that
origin, even the Germanists allow, is French.
Both the Reinhart and the Retinaert are
derived from French originals, now lost, which
have been revised and extended to form the
Roman de Renard, The whole family is thus
derived from a French parent, who flourished
somewhere between 1150 to 1170, though it is
from a Flemish descendant that all modern
versions, including Caxton’s and Goethe’s, and
the one represented in the book before us,
have been derived.

But though we can trace our book to a
literary original, it does not follow that it is
entirely or solely literary in origin. Man has
been defined as a tale-telling animal; it comes
as natural to him to tell tales as to cook food.
Thus, a tale may arise naturally among the
Folk, even though it must ultimately be written
down by somebody who can write. One is,
naturally, inclined to suspect a Folk origin for
tales like those contained in .£sop’s Fades, or



INTRODUCTION XV

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

before the Reynard, and unless actually in-
b



xvi REYNARD THE FOX

vented by the author must have been found
among the Folk.

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

Some, indeed, would go further, and contend
that it has lived among the Folk in all places
where it is found, because it is natural to the
Folk to think of wolves or bears fishing with
their tails in the ice. But by going further in



INTRODUCTION xvii

this particular instance they certainly fare worse.
For the story has spread into lands where
there is no ice at all, and where, accordingly,
it could not have arisen independently. If it
could have spread to these lands, there is no
reason to suppose that it could not have spread
to lands favoured with ice in the winter. All
we need assume for the present purpose is that
it either originated in, or spread to, North-
Eastern France in the twelfth century, and was
there taken up by the original author of
Reynard into his fable.

What he did with the Iced Wolf's Tail
he must have done with other incidents of the
Cycle which are not found in earlier literary
sources, but which are found among the Folk of
to-day. In my Notes on the various incidents
given in the book before us, I have pointed
out which were probably derived from Fable
Literature, and which from the Folk. One of
the chief points of interest in the study of the
Reynard is this mixture of literature and folk-
lore. which thus gave rise to a new form of
literature. Investigation of this mixture has
been begun by the capable hands of M. Sudre,
but the investigation is by no means at an end.

So much for the present on the origin of



xviii REYNARD THE FOX

the book. But the question of origins is far
from being the only one which it raises. The
very form in which the tale is told is original.
The fable speaks of the Lion, the Wolf, or the
Fox. The Reynard talks of Noble, of Isengrim,
or of Reynard. The type is individualised and
made personal. The artistic gain of such a
procedure is clear, and is proved, above all, by
the fact that the personal name of the Fox has,
in France at least, replaced the name of the
species. One might have thought, at first
sight, that this individualising process had
been performed by the literary artist to whom
we owe the Reynard. But there is a curious
piece of evidence proving that the Wolf at
least received such an individualised name
before any literary form of the Reynard had
come into existence. In 1112 a tumult arose
at Laon, during which the life of the Bishop
Gaudri came into danger, and he concealed
himself in a cask. Among his pursuers was
one Teudegald, whom the Bishop had been
accustomed to call Isengrim, on account of
his wolf-like appearance. ‘For so,’ adds the
chronicler, ‘some are wont to call wolves.’
When Teudegald came near the cask he tapped
it and called out, ‘Is Isengrim at home?’



INTRODUCTION XIX

and so had his revenge for the Bishop’s insult.
Both Gaudri and Teudegald were clearly
familiar with the name of Isengrim, which was,
therefore, current among the Folk before the
rise of the Reynard Cycle.

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



XX REYNARD THE FOX

Whether we are to call Lorraine French or
German depends on which side of the Rhine
we were born. From this side of the Channel
one feels inclined to ‘hedge’ and call the
names Franco-Teutonic.

Another set of names in the Cycle are of
interest, because they are appellative and not
personal. Noble the Lion, Chanticleer the
Cock, Kyward the Hare derive their names
from their qualities, and imply an allegorising
tendency in those who acted as their godfathers.
These names increase in the latter development
of the fable, and thus afford the crucial test
of the relative antiquity of the various branches.
Thus, the earliest of them, as represented by
the German Rezxhart, contains only one such
appellative name, Chanticleer, and that in such
a form that it was clearly not appellative to the
German writer. It is owing to the significance
and critical importance of these names that I
have devoted such attention to them in the
annotations to this volume.

The increasing tendency to give significant
names to the various beasts introduced marks
a change that came over the Reynard after the
earlier stages of its development. When the
beasts had only personal names given to them



INTRODUCTION xxl

their adventures were told by the Folk, as the
adventures of persons are told, for the purpose
of raising a laugh. Later on when significant
names were given to the new beast personages
introduced, there was a meaning, and often a
bitter meaning, underlying the laugh. The
Beast Jest had grown into the Beast Satire.
The story of the adventures of Sir Wolf and
Sir Fox, told first merely to raise a guffaw,
became in the hands of the later developers of
the thesis means of casting ridicule on the
institutions of Medieval Society. The hypo-
crisy of the Monk, the greed of the Noble,
the craft of the Lawyer, the conquest of the
world by cunning wickedness—these were the
themes which formed the farrago of the later
branches of the Reynard Cycle. While seem-
ingly only continuing the earlier adventures of
their beast heroes, a change had come over the
spirit of the Cycle: the Beast Epic had become
a World Satire.

The earlier critics of Reynard laid almost
exclusive stress upon this satiric aspect of the
Cycle. The Roman de Renard was regarded
as an outcome of the same literary movement
that produced the second and satiric half of the
Roman de la Rose. Carlyle, in the remarks on



xxii REYNARD THE FOX

Reynard, which he included in his essay on
Larly German Literature, regarded it almost
solely from this point of view.

‘A true Irony must have dwelt in the
Poet’s heart and head. Here, under grotesque
shadows, he gives us the sadder picture of
Reality ; yet for us without Sadness ; his figures
mask themselves in uncouth bestial vizards,
and enact gambolling ; their Tragedy dissolves
into sardonic grins.’

The progress of critical research has shown
that Carlyle was mistaken in regarding Irony
as the original motive force for the Reynard
Cycle, which came in later in the French
developments of it in consonance with the
satiric tendencies of the Gallic genius. But in
its inception the Reynard was a Beast Comedy
rather than a Beast Satire. The Comedy came
from the Folk, the Satire from the Literary
Artist. The closest analogy is offered by
those modern redressings of folk-tales like
Thackeray’s Rose and Ring, or Mr. Lang’s
Prince Prigio, worthy pendant to that other,
in which the modern literary artist uses the
Folk form in which to express his genial Satire.

Reverting for a moment to the form in
which the earlier adventures of Reynard are



INTRODUCTION XXIli

found among the Folk we are enabled to guess
with some precision, owing to the researches
of M. Sudre, the set of tales on which the
twelfth-century artist based his work. The
outrage of Reynard on Dame Wolf, the Iced
Wolfs Tail, the Fishes in the Car, the Bear
in the Cleft, the Wolf as Bell-ringer, the Dyed
Fox, together with the Atsopic Fables of the
Sick Lion, the Lion’s Share, the Fox and the
Goat, and the Fox, Cock, and Dog—these form
the chief Folk ingredients out of which the
artist of the Reynard made up his tale. But
how ingeniously did he weld them into an
artistic whole! In his hands the insult offered
by the Fox to Dame Wolf becomes the
starting-point of a whole Beast Epic, dealing
with the feud between the Fox and the Wolf,
which, ultimately, draws in all the other
animals in its train, till the court of King
Noble becomes like Verona in the days of the
Montagues and the Capulets.

Curiously enough, Dr. Krohn has found
these Folk incidents of the Cycle scattered
separately among the Folk in all parts
of the world. Still more curiously he finds
all these incidents, and more also, current
among the Finnish folk even at the present



XXIV REYNARD THE FOX

day.1_ He connects eleven incidents into a Folk
History of the feud of the Wolf and the Fox,
constituting a definite chain of tradition, each
link of which is bound up inextricably with all
the rest. Here, then, it would seem we have
found among the Finnish folk of to-day the
actual Beast Epic which the French artist of
the twelfth century dressed up with his own
adornments seven centuries ago. But closer
investigation robs this thesis of most of its
plausibility. The chain does not occur in
Finland as a chain, but in separate links, so
that the epic character of the so-called chain
at once disappears. Many of the links, indeed,
occur, as some of my readers may remember,
in the tales collected from Uncle Remus by
Mr. J. C. Harris, so that it is impossible to
regard the existence of an original Folk Epic
as substantiated by Dr. Krohn’s ingenious
researches.

The interest of those researches lies in a
different direction. M. Sudre’s researches
have shown that in the eleventh and twelfth
centuries a series of folk-tales existed dealing

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



INTRODUCTION XXV

with the enmity of the Fox and the Wolf, or,
as some say, of the Fox and the Bear. Dr.
Krohn has shown that precisely these traditions
still exist as traditions among the Folk of to-day.
We have, accordingly, evidence here of the
continued existence of a fable among the Folk
for at least seven centuries, during which it has
spread through all the continents.

M. Sudre and Dr. Krohn go even further.
They. think they can localise the original home
and scene of at least one part of the tradition.
The incident of the Iced Wolf’s Tail, to which
I have already referred, occurs in many places,
especially in North Europe, as the Iced Bear’s
Tail, and is there used to explain why the
Bear’s tail is so short. It is, indeed, obvious,
that the story as told in the Reynard Cycle
loses much of its efficacy from the fact that
the Wolf is nearly as well provided with
a brush as Master Reynard himself. The
Reynard story can only be told of an individual
Wolf, the Northern folk-tale is appropriately
applied to the Bear in general. If we regard
the Northern Fable as the original, it is, in its
way, a myth told to explain a natural pheno-
menon, viz. ‘Why the Bear’s tail is so short,’
the actual title of one of the folk-tales.



xxvi REYNARD THE FOX

Here, then, we seem to be getting back to
the position of Grimm, that for at least one
‘part of the Reynard Cycle there is a mytho-
logical source current among the Northern
European nations. But even this modicum
of Grimm’s position is rendered doubtful, as has
been shown by M. Gaston Paris, by the fact
that even the Northern nations are not unani-
mous in keeping to the Bear.. It is more
probable that the mythological explanation was
added when the Bear was substituted for the
Wolf, than that the mythology was dropped
when Isengrim took the place of the Bear.
Weare, accordingly, reduced to the conclusion
that in this case the Great Bear does not point
to the Pole.

But after all, these investigations and theories
as to the origin, meaning, and source of the
Reynard have little bearing upon the attraction
it had for our forefathers, and to a more
limited extent for ourselves. Amid the com-
plexities of life it is an obvious convenience
to possess a means by which its problems
can be presented in simpler terms. The
Fable or the Allegory is primarily intended to
simplify the problem in this way. The Fable,
in particular, does this by identifying the



INTRODUCTION XXVIL

elementary virtues and vices with the characters
of the best known birds, beasts, and fishes.
Man may be the most interesting thing to
man, but animals are more interesting to
children and to men of childlike mind. The
cynic has observed, ‘ The more I know of men,
the more I respect dogs.’ But the fabulists
invert the process and say that the more they
observe animals the more they understand
men. What applies to the simpler fable is
even more applicable to the more elaborate
Beast Satire, which is better suited to display
the complicated forces which go to make up
life,

The life depicted in the Reynard is, indeed,
a somewhat limited one. We have got down
to ‘hard pan,’ as American miners say. It ts,
in truth, the bare struggle for existence that
Reynard portrays, and is a fit outcome of the
Feudal Age when for all but the barons life
was but a bare struggle. Medieval literature
presents us, for the most part, pictures of life
as seen by those above the salt. Reynard, the
Fabliaux, and Villon present us with life as
it appeared to the Disinherited Folk. What
a life is there presented! Greed, hypocrisy,
brute force, and cunning rule the roast. Force



XXVIil REYNARD THE FOX

and cunning are the only two powers re-
cognised, and if the book has a moral, it is
merely the low one that cunning is more
powerful than force.

But it is scarcely the Moral, or the Allegory,
which has attracted so many to Reynard the
fox. It is the adventurous, shifty, eponymous
Hero who captures our interest. We have
all a sneaking regard for the crafty villain who
can control Circumstance, even though we salve
our conscience by the implicit thought, ‘ But
fomethe erace, of God, there oo 9) Where
is something artistic in the way the villain
moulds Circumstance to his own ends which
extorts our reluctant admiration. His career
is a long series of making fools of his enemy,
and to the primitive mind the ‘sell’ is the most
exquisite form of practical wit.

To the medieval mind the triumphs of
Reynard were even more attractive than they
can be nowadays. When brute force un-
blushingly ruled the world cunning was your
only remedy against the tyrant. Every district
in those days had its Noble, its Isengrim, and
its Bruin, and all the villagers who suffered
from their cruelty felt a sympathetic interest
in the triumphs of Reynard over them. Theo-



INTRODUCTION Xxix

retically the Hero ought to represent our best
self; if Reynard in some ways represented
the worst, the medieval conditions of life were
mainly to blame.

There is another source of interest to which
Reynard appealed, and still appeals. Mr.
Vincent Crummles knew the human heart when
he placed upon the Portsmouth stage a hero
of five feet nothing combating successfully
with three antagonists, all of larger inches.
‘Go it, little un’ is the natural cry in an
unequal battle of this description, and Reynard,
in his multifarious intrigues against Noble,
Isengrim, and Bruin, enlists our sympathy
much as David or Jack the Giant-killer has us
on his side in the conflict with the Giant.

Reynard had another source of attraction
in the Middle Ages and at the time of the
Reformation. At times he manages to gain
his ends by donning a monk’s cowl. He
confesses his sins, and is scarcely absolved
before he longs to repeat them. He thus
became a type of the hypocrisy of the monkish
nature. A good deal of his popularity in
Germany has been due to his Protestant
proclivities. Earlier investigators were in-
clined to lay overmuch stress on this side of



XXX REYNARD THE FOX

the Reynard. Writing was, in great measure,
a monopoly of the monks in the Middle Ages,
and there was, accordingly, evidence that most
versions of the Reynard were written down,
if not composed, by monks. This made the
whole Cycle seem to be a confession of
weakness by the monks. But more dis-
passionate inquiry has shown that the satiric
attack upon monkery is a later development,
and cannot be in any sense regarded as a
primary motif in the Cycle. Yet it adds many
a quaint passage in the later forms of the book,
and cannot be disregarded in any treatment of
the subject, however cursory.

Enough has now been said to put the reader
in a position where he can best begin the read-
ing of Reynard. He has to expect a novel
of adventure in which animals play the part of
men, and for the most part bear men’s names.
The traits of character he will be called upon
to observe will be mainly those which men can
be supposed to share with beasts. Through it
all he will see Cunning clad in Fox pelt
extricating itself against invincible odds out
of the most desperate difficulties. Fables he
knows of in the ancient world he will find
repeated under novel circumstances; while



INTRODUCTION XXxl

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







COIN WIE NTS

CHAPTER I

flow the Lion proclaimed a solemn Feast at his Court, and
how Isegrim the Wolf and his Wife, and Curtois the

Flound, made their first complaints of Reynard the lox
Pages 1-7

CHAPTER II

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

CHAPTER III

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

CHAPTER IV.

The King’s answer to the Cock’s complaint, and how they sung
the Dirge. : : 5 : 19-21



XXXIV REYNARD THE FOX

CHAPTER V

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

CHAPTER VI

flow the King sent Vibert the Cat for Reynard the Fox
40-45

CHAPTER VII

flow Tibert the Cat was deceived by Reynard the Fox 46-51

CHAPTER VIII

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

CHAPTER Ix

flow Reynard shrove him to Grimbard the Brock . 55-62

CHAPTER X

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

CHAPTER XI

flow the Fox was arrested and judged to death. 69-73



CONTENTS XXXV

CHAPTER XII

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

CHAPTER XIII

How Reynard the Fox was honoured of all beasts by the King's
commandment 3 : : : 95-99

CHAPTER XIV

How Isegrim and his wife Exeswine had their shoes plucked off,
Jor Reynard ¢o wear to Rome : . 100-106

CHAPTER XV

Flow Kyward the Hare was slain by Reynard the Fox, and
sent by the Ram to the King . : . 107-117

CHAPTER XVI

How Bellin the Ram and his lineage were given to the Bear
and the Wolf : : : . 118-124

CHAPTER XVII

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



XXXVI REYNARD THE FOX

CHAPTER XVIII

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

CHAPTER XIX

flow Reynard the Fox excused himself before the King, and of
the King’s answer. ; j . 146-159

CHAPTER XX

flow Dame Rukenaw answered for the Fox to the King, and
of the parable she told : & . 160-171

CHAPTER XXI

ffow Reynard excused himself of Kyward’s death, and all other
tmputations, got the King’s favour and made a relation
of certain Jewels : : Z . 172-196

CHAPTER XXII

flow Reynard made his peace with the King, and how Isegrim
the Wolf complained of him again. « 197-214

CHAPTER XXIII

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



CONTENTS XXXVil

CHAPTER XXIV

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

CHAPTER XXV

flow the King forgave the Fox all things, and made him the
greatest in his Land, and of his noble return home with
all his kindred : : : » 238-245

NOTES ‘ : . ; - 247-260







7
=

S&S

Char AER

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

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



2 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

known over all his kingdom to all beasts what-
soever, that, upon pain to be held in contempt,
every one should resort to that great celebration.
Within a few days after, at the time appointed,
all beasts both great and small came in infinite
multitudes to the court, only Reynard the fox
excepted, who knew himself guilty in so many
trespasses against many beasts, that his coming
thither must needs have put his life in great
hazard and danger.

Now when the King had assembled all his
court together, there were few beasts found
but made their several complaints against the
fox, but especially /segvim the wolf, who, being
the first and principal complainant, came with
all his lineage and kindred, and standing before
the King, spoke in this manner:

‘My dread and dearest Sovereign Lord the
King, 1 humbly beseech you, that from the
height and strength of your great power, and
the multitude of your mercies, you will be
pleased to take pity on the great trespasses
and unsufferable injuries which that unworthy
creature Reynard the fox hath done to me, my
wife, and our whole family. Now to give your
highness some taste of these, first know (if it
please your Majesty) that this Reyzard came



I REYNARD THE FOX 3

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

When the wolf had spoken these words,
there stood by him a little hound whose name
was Curtots, who, stepping forth, made likewise



4 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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



sustain his life than one poor pudding; which
pudding the said Reynard had most unjustly
taken away from him.

But the hound could hardly let these words
fly from his lips, when, with a fiery and angry
countenance, in sprang 77zder¢t the cat amongst
them, and falling down before the King, said,
‘My Lord the King, I must confess the fox
is here grievously complained upon, yet were
other beasts’ actions searched, each would have
enough to do for his own clearing. Touching
the complaint of Cwrtocs the hound, it was
an offence committed many years ago, and



I REYNARD THE FOX 5

though I myself complain of no injury, yet was
the pudding mine and not his; for I won it by
night out of a mill when the miller lay asleep,
so that if Czrtozs could challenge any share
thereof, it must be from mine interest.’

When Panther heard these words of the cat,
he stood forth and said, ‘Do you imagine,
Tibert, that it were a just or a good course
that Reynard should not be complained upon?
Why the whole world knows he is a murderer,
a vagabond, and a thief. Indeed he loveth not



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



6 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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



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



I REYNARD THE FOX 7

of your laws, your princely children many years
hereafter shall bear the slander of this evil.’

‘Certainly, Panther, said Lsegrim, ‘you
say true, and it is fit they receive the benefit
of justice that desire to live in peace.’



CH Aria Rea

flow Grimbard the Brock spake for Reynard before
the King.

Tuen spake Grvimbard the brock, that was
Reynard’s sister’s son, being much moved with
anger: ‘/segvim, you are malicious, and it isa
common saw, Malice never spake well; what can
you say against my kinsman Reynard ? I would
you durst adventure, that whichever of you had
most injured one another might die the death,
and be hanged asa felon. I tell you, were he
here in the court, and as much in the King’s
favour as you are, it would be much too little
satisfaction for you to ask him mercy. You
have many times bitten and torn my kinsman
with your venomous teeth, and oftener much
than I can reckon, yet some I will call up to
my remembrance.

‘Have you forgot how you cheated him
with the plaice which he threw down from the



CHAP. II REYNARD THE FOX 9

cart, when you followed aloof for fear? Yet
you devoured the good plaice alone, and gave
him no more but the great bones which you -
could not eat yourself. The like you did
with the fat flitch of bacon, whose taste was so
good, that yourself alone did eat it up, and
when my uncle asked his part, you answered
him with scorn, “ Fair young man, thou shalt
have thy share.’ But he got not anything,
albeit he won the bacon with great fear and
hazard, for the owner came, and caught my
kinsman in a sack, from whence he hardly
escaped with life. Many of these’ injuries
hath Jsegrim done to Reynard, which |
beseech your lordships judge if they be
sufferable.

‘Now comes Ayward the hare with his
complaint, which to me seems but a trifle, for
if he will learn to read, and read not his lesson
aright, who will blame the schoolmaster /ey-
nard if he give him due correction? for if
scholars be not beaten and chastened they will
never learn.

‘Lastly complaineth Curtozs that he with
great pain had gotten a pudding in the winter,
being a season in which victuals are hard to
find; methinks silence would have become



10 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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



II REYNARD THE FOX II

men’s charities ; doing infinite penance for his
sins, so that he is become pale and lean with
praying and fasting.’

Thus, whilst Grzmbard his nephew stood
preaching, they perceived coming down the
hill unto them, stout Chanticleer the cock, who
brought upon a bier a dead hen, of whom /ey-
nard had bitten off the head, and was brought
to the King to have knowledge thereof.



GineAY Ral Ea Resta

How Chanticleer the Cock complained of Reynard
the Fox.

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

‘Most merciful and my great Lord the



CHAP. III REYNARD THE FOX 13

King, vouchsafe, I beseech you, to hear our
complaint, and redress those injuries which
Reynard hath unjustly done to me, and to my
children that here stand weeping. For so it 1S,
most mighty sir, that in the beginning of April,



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



14 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. III

sheds for their guard six stout mastiff dogs,
which had torn the skins of many wild beasts,
so that my children feared not any evil which
might happen unto them. But Reynard, that
false and dissembling traitor, envying their
happy fortune because of their safety, many
times assailed the walls, and gave such dan-
gerous assaults, that the dogs divers times
were let forth unto him and hunted him away.
Yea, once they lighted upon him, and bit him,
and made him pay the price for his theft, and
his torn skin witnessed; yet nevertheless he
escaped, the more was the pity; albeit, we
were quit of his troubling a great while after.
At last he came in the likeness of a hermit, and
brought me a letter to read, sealed with your
Majesty’s seal, in which I found written, that
your highness had made peace throughout
all your realm, and that no manner of beast or
fowl should do injury one to another. He
affirmed unto me that for his own part he was
become a monk or cloistered recluse, vowing to
perform a daily penance for his sins; and
showed unto me his beads, his books, and the
hair shirt next to his skin, saying in humble
wise unto me, “Sir Chanticleer, never hence-
forth be afraid of me, for I have vowed never-









= = : 3
=: = |
—— = 7 7 >
— = lee. “dls a
Hy, a . Jin

Mp ft) Lf
[ | | i ii Hii!
// | i

Hy} {
/ Wel ft
if I (UN

hij Uf!

sy













CHAP, III REYNARD THE FOX 17

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



















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

my children he hath left me but four un-
©



18 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. III

slaughtered, and yesterday Copp/e my daughter,
which here lieth dead on this bier, was after
her murder, by a kennel of hounds, rescued
from him. This is my plaint, and this I leave
to your highness’s mercy to take pity of me,
and the loss of my fair children.’



Ci AV ral ace)

The King’s answer to the Cock’s complaint, and how

they sung the Dirge.

Tuen spake the King: ‘Sir Gremdard, hear you
this of your uncle the recluse? he hath fasted
and prayed well; and well, believe me, if I live
a year, he shall dearly abide it. As for you,
Chanticleer, your complaint is heard and shall
be cured; to your daughter that is dead, we
will give her the right of burial, and with
solemn dirges bring her to the earth, with
worship; which finished, we will consult with
our lords how to do you right and justice
against the murderer. Then began the
Placebo Domine, with all the verses belonging
to it, which are too many to recite ; and as soon
as the dirge was done, the body was interred,
and upon it a fair marble stone laid, being
polished as bright as glass, in which was
engraven in great letters this inscription
following :



20 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

Copple,
Chanticleer’s daughter,
whom Reynard the Cor hath slain,
lieth here buried ;
Mourn thou that readest it,
fov Her death twas unjust and lamentable.

After this the King sent for his lords and
wisest counsellors to consult how this foul
murder of Aeynard’s might be punished. In
the end it was concluded that Reynard should
be sent for, and without all excuse to appear
before the King to answer those trespasses
should be objected against him, and that this
message should be delivered by Bruzx the
bear. To all this the King gave consent, and
calling him before him, said, ‘Sir Bruzn, it is
our pleasure that you deliver this message, yet
in the delivery thereof have great regard to
yourself, for Reynard is full of policy, and
knoweth how to dissemble, flatter, and betray.
He hath a world of snares to entangle you
withal, and without great exercise of judgment,
will make a scorn and mock of the best wisdom
breathing.’

‘My Lord,’ answered Sir Bruzn, ‘let me
alone with Reyxard, | am not such a truant in



IV REYNARD THE FOX 21

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



© HPACRe eB Rev)
Flow Bruin the Bear sped with Reynard the Fox.

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



CHAP. V REYNARD THE FOX 23

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



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

uncle Bruin, you are exceeding welcome;



24 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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

‘Alas, dear cousin,’ said the bear, ‘what
meat is that which maketh you so ill?’

‘Uncle,’ answered he, ‘ what will it profit you
to know? the meat was simple and mean. We



Vv REYNARD THE FOX 25

poor men are no lords, you know, but eat that
for necessity which others eat for wantonness,
yet not to delay you, that which I ate was
honeycombs, great, full, and most pleasant,
which, compelled by hunger, I ate too un-
measurably and am thereby infinitely dis-
tempered.’

‘Ha,’ quoth ruc, ‘honeycombs? do you
make such slight respect of them, nephew?
why it is meat for the greatest emperor in the
world. Fair nephew, help me but to some of
that honey, and command me whilst I live; for
one little part thereof I will be your servant
everlastingly.’

‘Sure,’ said the fox, ‘uncle, you but jest with
men

‘But jest with you,’ replied Bruznz , ‘ beshrew
my heart then, for I am in that serious earnest,
that for one lick thereat you shall make me the
faithfullest of all your kindred.’

‘Nay,’ said the fox, ‘if you be in earnest,
then know I will bring you where so much is,
that ten of you shall not be able to devour it at
a meal, only for your love’s sake, which above
all things I desire, uncle.’

‘Not ten of us?’ said the bear, ‘it is im-
possible ; for had J all the honey betwixt 7yd/a



26 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

and Portugal, yet I could in a short space eat
it all myself.’

‘Then know, uncle,’ quoth the fox, ‘that
near at hand here dwelleth a husbandman
named Laxfert, who is master of so much honey,
that you cannot consume it in seven years,



which for your love and friendship’s sake I will
put into your safe possession.’

Lruin, mad upon the honey, swore, that
to have one good meal thereof he would not
only be his faithful friend, but also stop the
mouths of all his adversaries.

Reynard, smiling at his easy belief, said,
‘If you will have seven ton, uncle, you shall
have it.’



Vv REYNARD THE FOX 27

These words pleased the bear so well, and
made him so pleasant, that he could not stand
for laughing.

Well, thought the fox, this is good fortune,
sure I will lead him where he shall laugh
more measurably; and then said, ‘ Uncle, we
must delay no time, and I will spare no pain



for your sake, which for none of my kin |
would perform.’

The bear gave him many thanks, and so
away they went, the fox promising him as
much honey as he could bear, but meant as
many strokes as he could undergo. In the
end they came to Lanfert’s house, the sight
whereof made the bear rejoice. This Lan/fert
was a stout and lusty carpenter, who the



28 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. V

other day had brought into his yard a great
oak, which, as their manner is, he began to
cleave, and had struck into it two wedges in
such wise that the cleft stood a great way
open, at which the fox rejoiced much, for
it was answerable to his wish. So with a
laughing countenance he said to the bear,
‘Behold now, dear uncle, and be careful of
yourself, for within this tree is so much honey
that it is unmeasurable. Try if you can get
into it, yet, good uncle, eat moderately, for
albeit the combs are sweet and good, yet a
surfeit is dangerous, and may be troublesome
to your body, which I would not for a world,
since no harm can come to you but must be
my dishonour.’

‘Sorrow not for me, nephew eynard,
said the bear, ‘nor think me such a fool that
I cannot temper mine appetite.’

‘It is true, my best uncle, I was too bold.
I pray you enter in at the end, and you shall
find your desire.’

The bear with all haste entered the tree,
with his two feet forward, and thrust his
head into the cleft, quite over the ears, which
when the fox perceived, he instantly ran and
pulled the wedges out of the tree, so that





See
= Ss.
SENG SN

7
SS











CHAP. V REYNARD THE FOX 31

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

(



destitute of all relief, he began to howl and
bray, and with scratching and tumbling to
make such a noise, that Lanfert, amazed, came
hastily out of his house, having in his hand
a sharp hook, whilst the bear lay wallowing
and roaring within the tree.

The fox from afar off said to the bear in
scorn and mocking, ‘Is the honey good,
uncle, which you eat? How do you? Eat
not too much, I beseech you. Pleasant things



32 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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



Vv REYNARD THE FOX 33

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



34 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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



Vv REYNARD THE FOX 5

wu

noise pursued him, crying in his rage, ‘Turn,
villain, that I may be revenged of thee;’
but the bear swam in the strength of the
stream and suspected not his calling, for he
was proud that he was so escaped from them.
Only he bitterly cursed the honey tree and
the fox, which had not only betrayed him,
but had made him lose his hood from his
face, and his gloves from his fingers. In
this sort he swam some three miles down
the water, in which time he grew so weary
that he went on land to get ease, where
blood trickled down his face; he groaned,
sighed, and drew his breath so short, as if
his last hour had been expiring.

Now whilst these things were in doing,
the fox in his way home stole a fat hen, and
threw her into his mail, and running through
a bypath that no man might perceive him,
he came towards the river with infinite joy;
for he suspected that the bear was certainly
slain: therefore said to himself, ‘My fortune
is as I wished it, for the greatest enemy |
had in the court is now dead, nor can any
man suspect me guilty thereof. But as he
spake these words, looking towards the river,
he espied where Lrucx the bear lay and



36 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

rested, which struck his heart with grief, and
he railed against Lanfert the carpenter,
saying, ‘Silly fool that thou art, what mad-
man would have lost such good venison,
especially being so fat and wholesome, and
for which he took no pains, for he was taken
to his hand; any man would have been proud
of the fortune which thou neglectest.’ Thus
fretting and chiding, he came to the river,
where he found the bear all wounded and
bloody, of which Reynard was only guilty;
yet in scorn he said to the bear, ‘ Monszeur,
Dieu vous garde.’

‘O thou foul red villain,’ said the bear
to himself, ‘what impudence is like to this?’

But the fox went on with his speech, and
said, ‘What, uncle? have you forgot any-
thing at Lanfert’s, or have you paid him for
the honeycombs you stole? If you have
not, it will redound much to your disgrace,
which before you shall undergo, I will pay
him for them myself. Sure the honey was
excellent good, and I know much more of
the same price. Good uncle, tell me before
I go, into what order do you mean to enter,
that you wear this new-fashioned hood? Will
you be a monk, an abbot, or a friar? Surely



Vv REYNARD THE FOX 37

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



These taunts made Lruzxz mad with rage,

but because he could not take revenge, he
was content to let him talk his pleasure.
Then after a small rest he plunged again



38 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

into the river, and swam down the stream,
and landed on the other side, where he began
with much grief to meditate how he might
get to the court, for he had lost his ears, his
talons, and all the skin off his feet, so that
had a thousand deaths followed him, he could
not go. Yet of necessity he must move,
that in the end compelled by extremity, he
set his tail on the ground, and tumbled his
body over and over, so by degrees, tumbling
now half a mile, and then half a mile, in the
end he tumbled to the court, where divers
beholding his strange manner of approach,
they thought some prodigy had come towards
them; but in the end the King knew him,
and grew angry, saying, ‘It is sir LBruzn,
my servant; what villains have wounded him
thus, or where hath he been that he brings
his death thus along with him?’

‘O my dread Sovereign Lord the King,’
cried out the bear, ‘I complain me grievously
unto you; behold how I am _ massacred,
which I humbly beseech you revenge on
that false Reynard, who, for doing your royal
pleasure, hath brought me to this disgrace
and slaughter.’

Then said the King, ‘How durst he do



Vv REYNARD THE FOX 39

this? now by my crown I swear I will take
the revenge which shall make the traitors
tremble!’

Whereupon the King sent for all his
council, and consulted how and in what sort
to persecute against the fox, where it was
generally concluded that he should be again
summoned to appear and answer his tres-
passes; and the party to summon him they
appointed to be. Zzdert the cat, as well for
his gravity as wisdom; all which pleased the

King well.



Crees Raval

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

Tuen the King called for sir 72der¢ the cat,
and said to him, ‘Sir 7zéert, you shall go to
Reynard, and say to him the second time, and
command him to appear, and answer his
offences; for though he be cruel to other
beasts, yet to you he is courteous. Assure
him if he fail at your first summons, that I will
take so severe a course against him and his
posterity, that his example shall terrify all
offenders.’

Then said 77zdert the cat, ‘My dread Lord,
they were my foes which thus advised you, for
there is nothing in me that can force him either
to come or tarry. I beseech your Majesty
send some one of greater power; I am little
and feeble. Besides, if noble sir Bruzn, that
is so strong and mighty, could not enforce him,
what will my weakness avail?’



CHAP. VI REYNARD THE FOX 41

The King replied, ‘It is your wisdom, sir
Tibert, 1 employ, and not your strength, and
many prevail with art, when violence returns
with lost labour.’

Wiel, said™ the cat, “since it is your
pleasure, it must be accomplished; Heaven
make my fortune better than my _ heart
presageth.’

This Zzéert made things in readiness, and
went towards Malepardus, and in his journey
he saw come flying towards him one of Saint
Martin's birds, to whom the cat cried aloud,
‘Hail, gentle bird, I beseech thee turn thy
wings and fly on my right hand.’ But the bird
turned the contrary way, and flew on his left
side; then grew the cat very heavy, for he was
wise and skilful in augurism, and knew the
sign to be ominous; nevertheless, as many do,
he armed himself with better hope, and went
to Malepardus, where he found the fox standing
before his castle gates, to whom 77%éer7 said,
‘Health to my fair cousin Reynard, so it
is that the King by me summons you to the
court, in which if you fail or defer time, there
is nothing more assured unto you than a cruel
and a sudden death.’

The fox answered, ‘Welcome, dear cousin



42 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP, VI

Tibert, | obey your command, and wish my
Lord the King infinite days of happiness, only
let me entreat you to rest with me to-night,
and take such cheer as my simple house
affordeth. To-morrow, as early as you will,
we will go towards the court, for I have no
kinsman I trust so dearly as yourself. Here
was with me the other day the treacherous
knight sir Bruzx the bear, who looked upon
me with that tyrannous cruelty, that I would
not for the wealth of an empire have hazarded
my person with him. But, my dear cousin,
with you I will go, were a thousand sicknesses
upon me.’

Tibert replied, ‘You speak like a noble
gentleman, and methinks it is best now to go
forward, for the moon shines as bright as day.’

‘Nay, dear cousin,’ said the fox, ‘let us
take the day before us, so may we encounter
with our friends; the night is full of danger
and suspicion.’

‘Well,’ said the cat, ‘if it be your pleasure,
I am content, what shall we eat ?’

Reynard said, ‘Truly my store is small, the
best I have is a honeycomb, too pleasant and
sweet, what think you of it?”

Tibert replieth, ‘It is meat I little respect.





























CHAP. VI REYNARD THE FOX 45

and seldom eat; I had rather have one mouse
than all the honey in Zurofe.’

‘A mouse, said Reynard, ‘why, my dear
cousin, here dwelleth a priest hard by, who
hath a barn by his house so full of mice that
I think half the wains in the parish are not
able to bear them.’

‘O dear Reynard, quoth the cat, ‘do but
lead me thither, and make me your servant for
evict

‘Why,’ said the fox, ‘love you mice so
exceedingly ?’

‘Beyond expression,’ quoth the cat; ‘why,
a mouse is beyond venison or the delicatest
cates on princes’ tables; therefore conduct me
thither, and command my friendship in any
matter; had you slain my father, my mother,
and all my kin, I would clearly forgive you.’



Cl A roe Re Az

Flow Tibert the Cat was deceived by Reynard the
fox.

THEN said Reynard, ‘Sure you do but jest.’

‘No, by my life,’ said the cat.

‘Well, then,’ quoth the fox, ‘if you be in
earnest, I will so work that this night I will
fill your belly.’

‘It is not possible,’ said the cat.

‘Then follow me,’ said the fox, ‘for I will
bring you to the place presently.’

Thus away they went with all speed to the
priest’s barn, which was well walled about with
a mud wall, where but the night before the fox
had broken in, and stolen from the priest an
exceeding fat hen, at which the priest was so
angry, that he had set a gin or snare before
the hole to catch him at his next coming, which
the false fox knew perfectly, and therefore said
to the cat, ‘Sir Zzdert, creep in at this hole,
and believe it you shall not tarry a minute’s



CHAP. VII REYNARD THE FOX 47

space, but you shall have more mice than you
are able to devour. Hark, you may hear how
they peep; when your belly is full, come again,
and I will stay and await for you here at
this hole, that to-morrow we may go together
to the court. But, good cousin, stay not too
long, for I know my wife will hourly expect us.’









‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘think you I may
safely enter in at this hole? these priests are
wise, and subtle, and couch their danger so
close, that rashness is soon overtaken.’

‘Why, cousin Tibert, said the fox, ‘I
never saw you turn coward before; what, man,
fear you a shadow?’

The cat, ashamed at his fear, sprang quickly
in at the hole, but was presently caught fast



48 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

by the neck in the gin, which as soon as the
cat felt and perceived, he quickly leaped back
again, so that the snare running close together,
he was half strangled, so that he began to
struggle and cry out and exclaim most
piteously.

Reynard stood before the hole and heard
all, at which he infinitely rejoiced, and in great
scorn said, ‘Cousin Zzéert, love you mice?
I hope they be well fed for your sake; knew
the priest or Martinet of your feasting, I know
them of so good disposition, they would bring
you sauce quickly. Methinks you sing at your
meat, is that the court fashion? If it be, |
would /segrim the wolf were coupled with
you, that all my friends might be feasted
together.’

But all this while the poor cat was fast, and
mewed so piteously, that Martinet leaped out
of bed, and cried to his people, ‘ Arise, for the
thief is taken that had stolen our hens.’

With these words the priest unfortunately
rose up and awaked all in his house, crying,
‘The fox is taken, the fox is taken!’ and
arising, he gave to /udlock his wife an offering
candle to light, and then coming first to 7zdert,
he smote him with a great staff, and after him



VII REYNARD THE FOX 49

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

This when the King beheld, and saw 77bert
So pitifully mangled, he grew infinitely angry

E



50 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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



fore it is fit you do him justice as to a man of
his rank, which is, he must be the third time
summoned, and if then he appear not, make
him guilty of all that is laid against him.’

Then the King demanded of the brock
whom he thought fittest to summon him, or
who would be so desperate to hazard his hands,
his ears, nay, his life, with so tyrannous and
irreligious a being?



VII REYNARD THE FOX 51

‘Truly,’ answered the brock, ‘if it please
your Majesty, I am that desperate person who
dare adventure to carry the message to my
most subtle kinsman, if your highness but
command me.’



CHAPTER Vall

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

Tuen said the King, ‘Go, Grimébard, for I
command you; yet take heed of Reynard, for
he is subtle and malicious.’

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



CHAP. VIII REYNARD THE FOX 53

days your castle will be demolished, your
kindred made slaves, and yourself exempted
for a public example. Therefore, my best
uncle, I beseech you recollect your wisdom,
and go with me presently to the court, I doubt
not but your discretion shall excuse you, for
you have passed through many as eminent
perils, and made your foes ashamed, whilst the
innocence of your cause hath borne you spot-
less from the tribunal.

Reynard answered, ‘ Nephew, you say true,
and I will be advised and go with you, not to
answer offences, but in that I know the court
stands in need of my counsel. The King’s
mercy I doubt not, if 1 may come to speak with
his Majesty, though mine offences were ten
times doubled; for I know the court cannot
stand without me, and that shall his highness
understand truly. Though I know I have
many enemies, yet it troubles me not; for mine
innocence shall awaken their injuries, and they
shall know that in high matters of state and
policy Reynard cannot be missing. They may
well harp upon things, but the pitch and
ground must come from my relation. It is the
envy of others hath made me leave the court,
for though I know their shallowness cannot



54 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. VIII

disgrace me, yet may their multitudes oppress
me; nevertheless, nephew, I will go with you
to the court, and answer for myself, and not
hazard the welfare of my wife and children.
The King is too mighty, and though he do me
injury, yet will I bear it with patience.’ This
spoke, he turned to his wife and said, ‘ Dame
Ermelin, have care of my children, especially
Reynardine my youngest son, for he had much
of my love, and I hope will follow my steps ;
also Rossel is passing hopeful, and I love them
entirely, therefore regard them, and if [I escape,
doubt not but my love shall requite you.’

At this leave-taking Avmelin wept, and her
children howled, for their lord-and victualler was
gone, and Malepardus left unprovided.



CirtA PaleE aR vx
Flow Reynard shrove him to Grimbard the Brock.

Wuen Reynard and Grimbard had gone a good
way on their journey, Reynard stayed and said,
‘Dear nephew, blame me not if my heart be
full of care, for my life is in great hazard, yet
to blot out my sins by repentance, and to cast
off the burthen, give me leave to shrive myself
unto you. I know you are holy, and having
received penance for my sin, my soul will be at
quiet.’

Grimbard bade him proceed; then said the
fox, ‘ Confitebor tibet pater.’

‘Nay,’ said the brock, ‘if you will shrive
you to me, do it in English, that I may under-
stand you.’

Then said Reynard, ‘1 have grievously
offended against all the beasts that live, and
especially mine uncle, Bruzz the bear, whom I
lately massacred; then Zzder¢ the cat, whom

I ensnared in a gin. I have trespassed against



56 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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



Ix REYNARD THE FOX 57

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



58 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

‘Uncle, they are farther, and if you will have
them, you must adventure for them; those
which used to sit there I myself had long
since.” At this the wolf going a little farther, |
gave him a push forward, so that he fell down
in the vault, and his fall was so great, and made
such a noise, that they which were asleep in
the house awaked and cried that something
was fallen down at the trap-door; whereupon
they arose and lighted a candle, and espying
him, they beat and wounded him to death.
Thus I brought the wolf to many hazards of
his life, more than I can now either remember
or reckon, which as they come to my mind I
will reveal to you hereafter.

‘Thus have I told you my wickedness, now
order my penance as shall seem fit in your dis-
cretion.’

Grimbard was both learned and wise, and
therefore brake a rod from a tree, and said,
‘Nephew, you shall three times strike your
body with this rod, and then lay it down upon
the ground, and spring three times over it with-
out bowing your legs or stumbling. Then
shall you take it up and kiss it gently in sign
of meekness and obedience to your penance;
which done, you are absolved of your sins com-



IX REYNARD THE FOX 59

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



glad, and then Grimdard said unto him, ‘See
that henceforth, uncle, you do good works,

read your Psalter, go to church, fast vigils,



60 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

keep holy days, give alms, and leave your
sinful and evil life, your theft, and your treason,
and then no doubt you shall attain mercy.’

The fox promised to perform all this, and so
they went together towards the court; but a
little beside the way as they went, stood a
religious house of nuns, where many geese,
hens, and capons went without the wall; and
as they went talking, the fox led Griméard out
of his right way to that place. And finding
the poultry walking without the barn, amongst
which was a fat young capon, which strayed
a little from his fellows, he suddenly leaped at
and caught him by the feathers, which flew
about his ears, but the capon escaped, which
Grimbard seeing, said, ‘Accursed man, what
will you do, will you for a silly pullet fall again
into all your sins? mischief itself would not
do it.’

To which Reynard answered, ‘Pardon me,
dear nephew, I had forgotten myself, but I
will ask forgiveness, and mine eye shall no
more wander’; and then they turned over a
little bridge; but the fox still glanced his eye
toward the poultry, and could by no means
refrain it, for the ill that was bred in his bones
still stuck to his flesh, and his mind carried his



IX REYNARD THE FOX 61

eyes that way as long as he could see them;
which the brock noting, said, ‘ Fie, dissembling
cousin, why wander your eyes so after the
poultry?’

The fox replied, ‘Nephew, you do me in-
jury so to mistake me, for mine eyes wandered



not, but I was saying a paternoster for the souls
of all the poultry and geese which I have slain
and betrayed, in which devotion you hindered
me.’

‘Well,’ said Griméard, ‘it may be so, but
your glances are suspicious.’

Now by this time they were come into



62 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. IX

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



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THE COURT OF KING NOBLE
THE
MOST DEEECTABEE HISTORY

Or

NEE ee) ie OX

EDITED WITILE INTRODUCTION AND NOTES

BY

JOSEPH JACOBS

DONE INTO PICTURES

BY

W. FRANK CALDERON



London
MAG NDE AN: AND Co!

AND NEW YORK

1895
IIR IS ie AC 18

Next to sof, Reynard the Fox is the best
known of the tales in which animals play the
chief part. It is natural, therefore, that a
Cranford .#s0p should be followed by a
Cranford Reynard; and in the present volume
I have endeavoured to do for Reynard what I
attempted to do for Zsop in its predecessor—
provide a text which children could read with
ease and pleasure, and at the same time give
their parents, their cousins, and their aunts a
short réswmé of the results which the latest
research in folklore and literary history has
arrived at with regard to the origin of the
book.

With regard to the text, I found that

ready-made to my hand. The late Sir Henry
viii REYNARD THE FOX

Cole, of South Kensington fame, in his earlier
days made an attempt to reform children’s
books, and may be regarded as the precursor
of their improved position to-day. Under the
name of ‘“ Felix Summerley” he produced a
number of children’s books, well printed, well
written, and tolerably illustrated, which some
of us remember as the chief treasures of
our youth. Among these was a version of
Reynard—mostly adapted from Caxton’s—
which I found, with some slight alteration,
could easily be adapted for my present purpose,
and, in the main, the text of the present
book is a resuscitation of “ Felix Summerley’s”
version.

As regards Introduction and Notes, I have
attempted to give the adult reader a condensed
account of the latest results about the origin of
this interesting and characteristic product of the
Middle Ages. Much has been done during
the present century to clear up the many

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

researches of others.

JOSEPH JACOBS.



INTRODUCTION

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

These philological facts are of somewhat
X11 REYNARD THE FOX

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

Let us dismiss out of our way the more
certainly attested facts relating to the early
literary history of Reynard. Like most of
the favourite medieval productions of the
Romantic Period, versions of it occur in the
INTRODUCTION xlil

chief languages of Western Europe. There
is the German feznhart, dated by modern
scholarship czvca 1180. There is the French
Roman de Renard, with its twenty-six or seven
‘branches,’ to the nucleus of which a provisional
date of 1230 may be assigned, though many
of the ‘branches’ are earlier and some later.
There is the Flemish ezuaert, the earliest
part of which was composed by a certain
Willem, near Ghent, about 1250. While there
is beyond these a Latin poem, Vsengrimus,
written at Ghent in 1148. Even in England a
trace has been found of a metrical version of
the Satire in the form of a thirteenth-century
poem, entitled, Of the Vox and of the Wolf.
Of the Italian Raznardo, and of the medieval
Greek version, there is no occasion to speak,
since they are out of the running in the race
for priority.

The results summed up in a few words
above are the outcome of a long series of
critical investigations by German, French, and
Dutch scholars, started by the monograph of
Jacob Grimm on Reinhart Fuchs in 1824. He
originated the theory that Reynard was the
outcome of an ancient Teutonic Beast Epic of
primitive origin. Every step in the investiga-
xiv REYNARD THE FOX

tion since his time has tended to strip his
theory of every vestige of plausibility, and it
may be now regarded as having gone the way
of all exploded theories. All the versions
referred to above are of literary origin, and
with the exception of the YVsengrimus, that
origin, even the Germanists allow, is French.
Both the Reinhart and the Retinaert are
derived from French originals, now lost, which
have been revised and extended to form the
Roman de Renard, The whole family is thus
derived from a French parent, who flourished
somewhere between 1150 to 1170, though it is
from a Flemish descendant that all modern
versions, including Caxton’s and Goethe’s, and
the one represented in the book before us,
have been derived.

But though we can trace our book to a
literary original, it does not follow that it is
entirely or solely literary in origin. Man has
been defined as a tale-telling animal; it comes
as natural to him to tell tales as to cook food.
Thus, a tale may arise naturally among the
Folk, even though it must ultimately be written
down by somebody who can write. One is,
naturally, inclined to suspect a Folk origin for
tales like those contained in .£sop’s Fades, or
INTRODUCTION XV

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

before the Reynard, and unless actually in-
b
xvi REYNARD THE FOX

vented by the author must have been found
among the Folk.

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

Some, indeed, would go further, and contend
that it has lived among the Folk in all places
where it is found, because it is natural to the
Folk to think of wolves or bears fishing with
their tails in the ice. But by going further in
INTRODUCTION xvii

this particular instance they certainly fare worse.
For the story has spread into lands where
there is no ice at all, and where, accordingly,
it could not have arisen independently. If it
could have spread to these lands, there is no
reason to suppose that it could not have spread
to lands favoured with ice in the winter. All
we need assume for the present purpose is that
it either originated in, or spread to, North-
Eastern France in the twelfth century, and was
there taken up by the original author of
Reynard into his fable.

What he did with the Iced Wolf's Tail
he must have done with other incidents of the
Cycle which are not found in earlier literary
sources, but which are found among the Folk of
to-day. In my Notes on the various incidents
given in the book before us, I have pointed
out which were probably derived from Fable
Literature, and which from the Folk. One of
the chief points of interest in the study of the
Reynard is this mixture of literature and folk-
lore. which thus gave rise to a new form of
literature. Investigation of this mixture has
been begun by the capable hands of M. Sudre,
but the investigation is by no means at an end.

So much for the present on the origin of
xviii REYNARD THE FOX

the book. But the question of origins is far
from being the only one which it raises. The
very form in which the tale is told is original.
The fable speaks of the Lion, the Wolf, or the
Fox. The Reynard talks of Noble, of Isengrim,
or of Reynard. The type is individualised and
made personal. The artistic gain of such a
procedure is clear, and is proved, above all, by
the fact that the personal name of the Fox has,
in France at least, replaced the name of the
species. One might have thought, at first
sight, that this individualising process had
been performed by the literary artist to whom
we owe the Reynard. But there is a curious
piece of evidence proving that the Wolf at
least received such an individualised name
before any literary form of the Reynard had
come into existence. In 1112 a tumult arose
at Laon, during which the life of the Bishop
Gaudri came into danger, and he concealed
himself in a cask. Among his pursuers was
one Teudegald, whom the Bishop had been
accustomed to call Isengrim, on account of
his wolf-like appearance. ‘For so,’ adds the
chronicler, ‘some are wont to call wolves.’
When Teudegald came near the cask he tapped
it and called out, ‘Is Isengrim at home?’
INTRODUCTION XIX

and so had his revenge for the Bishop’s insult.
Both Gaudri and Teudegald were clearly
familiar with the name of Isengrim, which was,
therefore, current among the Folk before the
rise of the Reynard Cycle.

From a comparison of the earliest forms
M. Gaston Paris, than whom no more competent
authority can be cited, comes to the conclusion
that among the animals which had individualised
names from the first, were Reynard the Fox,
Bruin the Bear, Baldwin the Ass, Belier the
Ram, Tibert the Cat, Hirsent the Lady Wolf,
Richut the Vixen. All these names are
German in origin, and might seem at first sight
to stand in the way of the French contention
fora French origin to the Cycle. Not at all,
answer M. Paulin Paris, and his son, German
names were quite common among the Franks,
and need not surprise us among the French.
When pressed for details they are able to find
these personal names in cartularies of the
eleventh and twelfth centuries. They are,
however, obliged to recognise the fact that
some of these names are only to be found in
documents relating to Lorraine, and it is,
accordingly, in this district that we must seek
for the origin of the names of the Cycle.
XX REYNARD THE FOX

Whether we are to call Lorraine French or
German depends on which side of the Rhine
we were born. From this side of the Channel
one feels inclined to ‘hedge’ and call the
names Franco-Teutonic.

Another set of names in the Cycle are of
interest, because they are appellative and not
personal. Noble the Lion, Chanticleer the
Cock, Kyward the Hare derive their names
from their qualities, and imply an allegorising
tendency in those who acted as their godfathers.
These names increase in the latter development
of the fable, and thus afford the crucial test
of the relative antiquity of the various branches.
Thus, the earliest of them, as represented by
the German Rezxhart, contains only one such
appellative name, Chanticleer, and that in such
a form that it was clearly not appellative to the
German writer. It is owing to the significance
and critical importance of these names that I
have devoted such attention to them in the
annotations to this volume.

The increasing tendency to give significant
names to the various beasts introduced marks
a change that came over the Reynard after the
earlier stages of its development. When the
beasts had only personal names given to them
INTRODUCTION xxl

their adventures were told by the Folk, as the
adventures of persons are told, for the purpose
of raising a laugh. Later on when significant
names were given to the new beast personages
introduced, there was a meaning, and often a
bitter meaning, underlying the laugh. The
Beast Jest had grown into the Beast Satire.
The story of the adventures of Sir Wolf and
Sir Fox, told first merely to raise a guffaw,
became in the hands of the later developers of
the thesis means of casting ridicule on the
institutions of Medieval Society. The hypo-
crisy of the Monk, the greed of the Noble,
the craft of the Lawyer, the conquest of the
world by cunning wickedness—these were the
themes which formed the farrago of the later
branches of the Reynard Cycle. While seem-
ingly only continuing the earlier adventures of
their beast heroes, a change had come over the
spirit of the Cycle: the Beast Epic had become
a World Satire.

The earlier critics of Reynard laid almost
exclusive stress upon this satiric aspect of the
Cycle. The Roman de Renard was regarded
as an outcome of the same literary movement
that produced the second and satiric half of the
Roman de la Rose. Carlyle, in the remarks on
xxii REYNARD THE FOX

Reynard, which he included in his essay on
Larly German Literature, regarded it almost
solely from this point of view.

‘A true Irony must have dwelt in the
Poet’s heart and head. Here, under grotesque
shadows, he gives us the sadder picture of
Reality ; yet for us without Sadness ; his figures
mask themselves in uncouth bestial vizards,
and enact gambolling ; their Tragedy dissolves
into sardonic grins.’

The progress of critical research has shown
that Carlyle was mistaken in regarding Irony
as the original motive force for the Reynard
Cycle, which came in later in the French
developments of it in consonance with the
satiric tendencies of the Gallic genius. But in
its inception the Reynard was a Beast Comedy
rather than a Beast Satire. The Comedy came
from the Folk, the Satire from the Literary
Artist. The closest analogy is offered by
those modern redressings of folk-tales like
Thackeray’s Rose and Ring, or Mr. Lang’s
Prince Prigio, worthy pendant to that other,
in which the modern literary artist uses the
Folk form in which to express his genial Satire.

Reverting for a moment to the form in
which the earlier adventures of Reynard are
INTRODUCTION XXIli

found among the Folk we are enabled to guess
with some precision, owing to the researches
of M. Sudre, the set of tales on which the
twelfth-century artist based his work. The
outrage of Reynard on Dame Wolf, the Iced
Wolfs Tail, the Fishes in the Car, the Bear
in the Cleft, the Wolf as Bell-ringer, the Dyed
Fox, together with the Atsopic Fables of the
Sick Lion, the Lion’s Share, the Fox and the
Goat, and the Fox, Cock, and Dog—these form
the chief Folk ingredients out of which the
artist of the Reynard made up his tale. But
how ingeniously did he weld them into an
artistic whole! In his hands the insult offered
by the Fox to Dame Wolf becomes the
starting-point of a whole Beast Epic, dealing
with the feud between the Fox and the Wolf,
which, ultimately, draws in all the other
animals in its train, till the court of King
Noble becomes like Verona in the days of the
Montagues and the Capulets.

Curiously enough, Dr. Krohn has found
these Folk incidents of the Cycle scattered
separately among the Folk in all parts
of the world. Still more curiously he finds
all these incidents, and more also, current
among the Finnish folk even at the present
XXIV REYNARD THE FOX

day.1_ He connects eleven incidents into a Folk
History of the feud of the Wolf and the Fox,
constituting a definite chain of tradition, each
link of which is bound up inextricably with all
the rest. Here, then, it would seem we have
found among the Finnish folk of to-day the
actual Beast Epic which the French artist of
the twelfth century dressed up with his own
adornments seven centuries ago. But closer
investigation robs this thesis of most of its
plausibility. The chain does not occur in
Finland as a chain, but in separate links, so
that the epic character of the so-called chain
at once disappears. Many of the links, indeed,
occur, as some of my readers may remember,
in the tales collected from Uncle Remus by
Mr. J. C. Harris, so that it is impossible to
regard the existence of an original Folk Epic
as substantiated by Dr. Krohn’s ingenious
researches.

The interest of those researches lies in a
different direction. M. Sudre’s researches
have shown that in the eleventh and twelfth
centuries a series of folk-tales existed dealing

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

with the enmity of the Fox and the Wolf, or,
as some say, of the Fox and the Bear. Dr.
Krohn has shown that precisely these traditions
still exist as traditions among the Folk of to-day.
We have, accordingly, evidence here of the
continued existence of a fable among the Folk
for at least seven centuries, during which it has
spread through all the continents.

M. Sudre and Dr. Krohn go even further.
They. think they can localise the original home
and scene of at least one part of the tradition.
The incident of the Iced Wolf’s Tail, to which
I have already referred, occurs in many places,
especially in North Europe, as the Iced Bear’s
Tail, and is there used to explain why the
Bear’s tail is so short. It is, indeed, obvious,
that the story as told in the Reynard Cycle
loses much of its efficacy from the fact that
the Wolf is nearly as well provided with
a brush as Master Reynard himself. The
Reynard story can only be told of an individual
Wolf, the Northern folk-tale is appropriately
applied to the Bear in general. If we regard
the Northern Fable as the original, it is, in its
way, a myth told to explain a natural pheno-
menon, viz. ‘Why the Bear’s tail is so short,’
the actual title of one of the folk-tales.
xxvi REYNARD THE FOX

Here, then, we seem to be getting back to
the position of Grimm, that for at least one
‘part of the Reynard Cycle there is a mytho-
logical source current among the Northern
European nations. But even this modicum
of Grimm’s position is rendered doubtful, as has
been shown by M. Gaston Paris, by the fact
that even the Northern nations are not unani-
mous in keeping to the Bear.. It is more
probable that the mythological explanation was
added when the Bear was substituted for the
Wolf, than that the mythology was dropped
when Isengrim took the place of the Bear.
Weare, accordingly, reduced to the conclusion
that in this case the Great Bear does not point
to the Pole.

But after all, these investigations and theories
as to the origin, meaning, and source of the
Reynard have little bearing upon the attraction
it had for our forefathers, and to a more
limited extent for ourselves. Amid the com-
plexities of life it is an obvious convenience
to possess a means by which its problems
can be presented in simpler terms. The
Fable or the Allegory is primarily intended to
simplify the problem in this way. The Fable,
in particular, does this by identifying the
INTRODUCTION XXVIL

elementary virtues and vices with the characters
of the best known birds, beasts, and fishes.
Man may be the most interesting thing to
man, but animals are more interesting to
children and to men of childlike mind. The
cynic has observed, ‘ The more I know of men,
the more I respect dogs.’ But the fabulists
invert the process and say that the more they
observe animals the more they understand
men. What applies to the simpler fable is
even more applicable to the more elaborate
Beast Satire, which is better suited to display
the complicated forces which go to make up
life,

The life depicted in the Reynard is, indeed,
a somewhat limited one. We have got down
to ‘hard pan,’ as American miners say. It ts,
in truth, the bare struggle for existence that
Reynard portrays, and is a fit outcome of the
Feudal Age when for all but the barons life
was but a bare struggle. Medieval literature
presents us, for the most part, pictures of life
as seen by those above the salt. Reynard, the
Fabliaux, and Villon present us with life as
it appeared to the Disinherited Folk. What
a life is there presented! Greed, hypocrisy,
brute force, and cunning rule the roast. Force
XXVIil REYNARD THE FOX

and cunning are the only two powers re-
cognised, and if the book has a moral, it is
merely the low one that cunning is more
powerful than force.

But it is scarcely the Moral, or the Allegory,
which has attracted so many to Reynard the
fox. It is the adventurous, shifty, eponymous
Hero who captures our interest. We have
all a sneaking regard for the crafty villain who
can control Circumstance, even though we salve
our conscience by the implicit thought, ‘ But
fomethe erace, of God, there oo 9) Where
is something artistic in the way the villain
moulds Circumstance to his own ends which
extorts our reluctant admiration. His career
is a long series of making fools of his enemy,
and to the primitive mind the ‘sell’ is the most
exquisite form of practical wit.

To the medieval mind the triumphs of
Reynard were even more attractive than they
can be nowadays. When brute force un-
blushingly ruled the world cunning was your
only remedy against the tyrant. Every district
in those days had its Noble, its Isengrim, and
its Bruin, and all the villagers who suffered
from their cruelty felt a sympathetic interest
in the triumphs of Reynard over them. Theo-
INTRODUCTION Xxix

retically the Hero ought to represent our best
self; if Reynard in some ways represented
the worst, the medieval conditions of life were
mainly to blame.

There is another source of interest to which
Reynard appealed, and still appeals. Mr.
Vincent Crummles knew the human heart when
he placed upon the Portsmouth stage a hero
of five feet nothing combating successfully
with three antagonists, all of larger inches.
‘Go it, little un’ is the natural cry in an
unequal battle of this description, and Reynard,
in his multifarious intrigues against Noble,
Isengrim, and Bruin, enlists our sympathy
much as David or Jack the Giant-killer has us
on his side in the conflict with the Giant.

Reynard had another source of attraction
in the Middle Ages and at the time of the
Reformation. At times he manages to gain
his ends by donning a monk’s cowl. He
confesses his sins, and is scarcely absolved
before he longs to repeat them. He thus
became a type of the hypocrisy of the monkish
nature. A good deal of his popularity in
Germany has been due to his Protestant
proclivities. Earlier investigators were in-
clined to lay overmuch stress on this side of
XXX REYNARD THE FOX

the Reynard. Writing was, in great measure,
a monopoly of the monks in the Middle Ages,
and there was, accordingly, evidence that most
versions of the Reynard were written down,
if not composed, by monks. This made the
whole Cycle seem to be a confession of
weakness by the monks. But more dis-
passionate inquiry has shown that the satiric
attack upon monkery is a later development,
and cannot be in any sense regarded as a
primary motif in the Cycle. Yet it adds many
a quaint passage in the later forms of the book,
and cannot be disregarded in any treatment of
the subject, however cursory.

Enough has now been said to put the reader
in a position where he can best begin the read-
ing of Reynard. He has to expect a novel
of adventure in which animals play the part of
men, and for the most part bear men’s names.
The traits of character he will be called upon
to observe will be mainly those which men can
be supposed to share with beasts. Through it
all he will see Cunning clad in Fox pelt
extricating itself against invincible odds out
of the most desperate difficulties. Fables he
knows of in the ancient world he will find
repeated under novel circumstances; while
INTRODUCTION XXxl

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

COIN WIE NTS

CHAPTER I

flow the Lion proclaimed a solemn Feast at his Court, and
how Isegrim the Wolf and his Wife, and Curtois the

Flound, made their first complaints of Reynard the lox
Pages 1-7

CHAPTER II

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

CHAPTER III

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

CHAPTER IV.

The King’s answer to the Cock’s complaint, and how they sung
the Dirge. : : 5 : 19-21
XXXIV REYNARD THE FOX

CHAPTER V

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

CHAPTER VI

flow the King sent Vibert the Cat for Reynard the Fox
40-45

CHAPTER VII

flow Tibert the Cat was deceived by Reynard the Fox 46-51

CHAPTER VIII

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

CHAPTER Ix

flow Reynard shrove him to Grimbard the Brock . 55-62

CHAPTER X

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

CHAPTER XI

flow the Fox was arrested and judged to death. 69-73
CONTENTS XXXV

CHAPTER XII

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

CHAPTER XIII

How Reynard the Fox was honoured of all beasts by the King's
commandment 3 : : : 95-99

CHAPTER XIV

How Isegrim and his wife Exeswine had their shoes plucked off,
Jor Reynard ¢o wear to Rome : . 100-106

CHAPTER XV

Flow Kyward the Hare was slain by Reynard the Fox, and
sent by the Ram to the King . : . 107-117

CHAPTER XVI

How Bellin the Ram and his lineage were given to the Bear
and the Wolf : : : . 118-124

CHAPTER XVII

How the King was angry at these complaints, took counsel for
revenge, and how Reynard was forewarned by Grimbard
the Brock. : ¢ ; . 125-134
XXXVI REYNARD THE FOX

CHAPTER XVIII

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

CHAPTER XIX

flow Reynard the Fox excused himself before the King, and of
the King’s answer. ; j . 146-159

CHAPTER XX

flow Dame Rukenaw answered for the Fox to the King, and
of the parable she told : & . 160-171

CHAPTER XXI

ffow Reynard excused himself of Kyward’s death, and all other
tmputations, got the King’s favour and made a relation
of certain Jewels : : Z . 172-196

CHAPTER XXII

flow Reynard made his peace with the King, and how Isegrim
the Wolf complained of him again. « 197-214

CHAPTER XXIII

ffow Isegrim proffered his glove to Reynard to Sight with him
which Reynard accepted, and how Rukenaw advised the
Fox how to carry himself in the fight . . 215-223
CONTENTS XXXVil

CHAPTER XXIV

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

CHAPTER XXV

flow the King forgave the Fox all things, and made him the
greatest in his Land, and of his noble return home with
all his kindred : : : » 238-245

NOTES ‘ : . ; - 247-260

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Char AER

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

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

known over all his kingdom to all beasts what-
soever, that, upon pain to be held in contempt,
every one should resort to that great celebration.
Within a few days after, at the time appointed,
all beasts both great and small came in infinite
multitudes to the court, only Reynard the fox
excepted, who knew himself guilty in so many
trespasses against many beasts, that his coming
thither must needs have put his life in great
hazard and danger.

Now when the King had assembled all his
court together, there were few beasts found
but made their several complaints against the
fox, but especially /segvim the wolf, who, being
the first and principal complainant, came with
all his lineage and kindred, and standing before
the King, spoke in this manner:

‘My dread and dearest Sovereign Lord the
King, 1 humbly beseech you, that from the
height and strength of your great power, and
the multitude of your mercies, you will be
pleased to take pity on the great trespasses
and unsufferable injuries which that unworthy
creature Reynard the fox hath done to me, my
wife, and our whole family. Now to give your
highness some taste of these, first know (if it
please your Majesty) that this Reyzard came
I REYNARD THE FOX 3

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

When the wolf had spoken these words,
there stood by him a little hound whose name
was Curtots, who, stepping forth, made likewise
4 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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



sustain his life than one poor pudding; which
pudding the said Reynard had most unjustly
taken away from him.

But the hound could hardly let these words
fly from his lips, when, with a fiery and angry
countenance, in sprang 77zder¢t the cat amongst
them, and falling down before the King, said,
‘My Lord the King, I must confess the fox
is here grievously complained upon, yet were
other beasts’ actions searched, each would have
enough to do for his own clearing. Touching
the complaint of Cwrtocs the hound, it was
an offence committed many years ago, and
I REYNARD THE FOX 5

though I myself complain of no injury, yet was
the pudding mine and not his; for I won it by
night out of a mill when the miller lay asleep,
so that if Czrtozs could challenge any share
thereof, it must be from mine interest.’

When Panther heard these words of the cat,
he stood forth and said, ‘Do you imagine,
Tibert, that it were a just or a good course
that Reynard should not be complained upon?
Why the whole world knows he is a murderer,
a vagabond, and a thief. Indeed he loveth not



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

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



deceit; for he had caught Ayward by the
throat, and had I not come at that time, he
had taken his life also, as you may see by the
fresh wound on Ayward at this present. O
my Lord the King, if you suffer this un-
punished, and let him go quit, that hath thus
broken your peace, and profaned your dignity,
and doing no right according to the judgment
I REYNARD THE FOX 7

of your laws, your princely children many years
hereafter shall bear the slander of this evil.’

‘Certainly, Panther, said Lsegrim, ‘you
say true, and it is fit they receive the benefit
of justice that desire to live in peace.’
CH Aria Rea

flow Grimbard the Brock spake for Reynard before
the King.

Tuen spake Grvimbard the brock, that was
Reynard’s sister’s son, being much moved with
anger: ‘/segvim, you are malicious, and it isa
common saw, Malice never spake well; what can
you say against my kinsman Reynard ? I would
you durst adventure, that whichever of you had
most injured one another might die the death,
and be hanged asa felon. I tell you, were he
here in the court, and as much in the King’s
favour as you are, it would be much too little
satisfaction for you to ask him mercy. You
have many times bitten and torn my kinsman
with your venomous teeth, and oftener much
than I can reckon, yet some I will call up to
my remembrance.

‘Have you forgot how you cheated him
with the plaice which he threw down from the
CHAP. II REYNARD THE FOX 9

cart, when you followed aloof for fear? Yet
you devoured the good plaice alone, and gave
him no more but the great bones which you -
could not eat yourself. The like you did
with the fat flitch of bacon, whose taste was so
good, that yourself alone did eat it up, and
when my uncle asked his part, you answered
him with scorn, “ Fair young man, thou shalt
have thy share.’ But he got not anything,
albeit he won the bacon with great fear and
hazard, for the owner came, and caught my
kinsman in a sack, from whence he hardly
escaped with life. Many of these’ injuries
hath Jsegrim done to Reynard, which |
beseech your lordships judge if they be
sufferable.

‘Now comes Ayward the hare with his
complaint, which to me seems but a trifle, for
if he will learn to read, and read not his lesson
aright, who will blame the schoolmaster /ey-
nard if he give him due correction? for if
scholars be not beaten and chastened they will
never learn.

‘Lastly complaineth Curtozs that he with
great pain had gotten a pudding in the winter,
being a season in which victuals are hard to
find; methinks silence would have become
10 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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

men’s charities ; doing infinite penance for his
sins, so that he is become pale and lean with
praying and fasting.’

Thus, whilst Grzmbard his nephew stood
preaching, they perceived coming down the
hill unto them, stout Chanticleer the cock, who
brought upon a bier a dead hen, of whom /ey-
nard had bitten off the head, and was brought
to the King to have knowledge thereof.
GineAY Ral Ea Resta

How Chanticleer the Cock complained of Reynard
the Fox.

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

‘Most merciful and my great Lord the
CHAP. III REYNARD THE FOX 13

King, vouchsafe, I beseech you, to hear our
complaint, and redress those injuries which
Reynard hath unjustly done to me, and to my
children that here stand weeping. For so it 1S,
most mighty sir, that in the beginning of April,



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

sheds for their guard six stout mastiff dogs,
which had torn the skins of many wild beasts,
so that my children feared not any evil which
might happen unto them. But Reynard, that
false and dissembling traitor, envying their
happy fortune because of their safety, many
times assailed the walls, and gave such dan-
gerous assaults, that the dogs divers times
were let forth unto him and hunted him away.
Yea, once they lighted upon him, and bit him,
and made him pay the price for his theft, and
his torn skin witnessed; yet nevertheless he
escaped, the more was the pity; albeit, we
were quit of his troubling a great while after.
At last he came in the likeness of a hermit, and
brought me a letter to read, sealed with your
Majesty’s seal, in which I found written, that
your highness had made peace throughout
all your realm, and that no manner of beast or
fowl should do injury one to another. He
affirmed unto me that for his own part he was
become a monk or cloistered recluse, vowing to
perform a daily penance for his sins; and
showed unto me his beads, his books, and the
hair shirt next to his skin, saying in humble
wise unto me, “Sir Chanticleer, never hence-
forth be afraid of me, for I have vowed never-






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CHAP, III REYNARD THE FOX 17

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



















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

my children he hath left me but four un-
©
18 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. III

slaughtered, and yesterday Copp/e my daughter,
which here lieth dead on this bier, was after
her murder, by a kennel of hounds, rescued
from him. This is my plaint, and this I leave
to your highness’s mercy to take pity of me,
and the loss of my fair children.’
Ci AV ral ace)

The King’s answer to the Cock’s complaint, and how

they sung the Dirge.

Tuen spake the King: ‘Sir Gremdard, hear you
this of your uncle the recluse? he hath fasted
and prayed well; and well, believe me, if I live
a year, he shall dearly abide it. As for you,
Chanticleer, your complaint is heard and shall
be cured; to your daughter that is dead, we
will give her the right of burial, and with
solemn dirges bring her to the earth, with
worship; which finished, we will consult with
our lords how to do you right and justice
against the murderer. Then began the
Placebo Domine, with all the verses belonging
to it, which are too many to recite ; and as soon
as the dirge was done, the body was interred,
and upon it a fair marble stone laid, being
polished as bright as glass, in which was
engraven in great letters this inscription
following :
20 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

Copple,
Chanticleer’s daughter,
whom Reynard the Cor hath slain,
lieth here buried ;
Mourn thou that readest it,
fov Her death twas unjust and lamentable.

After this the King sent for his lords and
wisest counsellors to consult how this foul
murder of Aeynard’s might be punished. In
the end it was concluded that Reynard should
be sent for, and without all excuse to appear
before the King to answer those trespasses
should be objected against him, and that this
message should be delivered by Bruzx the
bear. To all this the King gave consent, and
calling him before him, said, ‘Sir Bruzn, it is
our pleasure that you deliver this message, yet
in the delivery thereof have great regard to
yourself, for Reynard is full of policy, and
knoweth how to dissemble, flatter, and betray.
He hath a world of snares to entangle you
withal, and without great exercise of judgment,
will make a scorn and mock of the best wisdom
breathing.’

‘My Lord,’ answered Sir Bruzn, ‘let me
alone with Reyxard, | am not such a truant in
IV REYNARD THE FOX 21

discretion, to become a mock to his knavery ;’
and thus full of jollity the bear departed ; if his
return be as jovial, there is no fear in his well
speeding.
© HPACRe eB Rev)
Flow Bruin the Bear sped with Reynard the Fox.

THE next morning away went Brucn the bear
in quest of the fox, armed against all plots of
deceit whatsoever. And as he came through a
dark forest, in which Reynard had a bypath,
which he used when he was hunted, he saw a
high mountain, over which he must pass to go
to Malepardus. For though Reynard have many
houses, yet Walepardus is his chiefest and most
ancient castle, and in it he lay both for defence
and ease. Now at last when Bruix was come
to Malepardus, he found the gates close shut,
at which after he had knocked, sitting on his
tail, he called aloud, ‘Sir Reynard, are you at
home? [am Lruzz your kinsman, whom the
King hath sent to summon you to the court, to
answer many foul accusations exhibited against
you, and hath taken a great vow, that if you
fail to appear to this summons, that your life
CHAP. V REYNARD THE FOX 23

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



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

uncle Bruin, you are exceeding welcome;
24 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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

‘Alas, dear cousin,’ said the bear, ‘what
meat is that which maketh you so ill?’

‘Uncle,’ answered he, ‘ what will it profit you
to know? the meat was simple and mean. We
Vv REYNARD THE FOX 25

poor men are no lords, you know, but eat that
for necessity which others eat for wantonness,
yet not to delay you, that which I ate was
honeycombs, great, full, and most pleasant,
which, compelled by hunger, I ate too un-
measurably and am thereby infinitely dis-
tempered.’

‘Ha,’ quoth ruc, ‘honeycombs? do you
make such slight respect of them, nephew?
why it is meat for the greatest emperor in the
world. Fair nephew, help me but to some of
that honey, and command me whilst I live; for
one little part thereof I will be your servant
everlastingly.’

‘Sure,’ said the fox, ‘uncle, you but jest with
men

‘But jest with you,’ replied Bruznz , ‘ beshrew
my heart then, for I am in that serious earnest,
that for one lick thereat you shall make me the
faithfullest of all your kindred.’

‘Nay,’ said the fox, ‘if you be in earnest,
then know I will bring you where so much is,
that ten of you shall not be able to devour it at
a meal, only for your love’s sake, which above
all things I desire, uncle.’

‘Not ten of us?’ said the bear, ‘it is im-
possible ; for had J all the honey betwixt 7yd/a
26 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

and Portugal, yet I could in a short space eat
it all myself.’

‘Then know, uncle,’ quoth the fox, ‘that
near at hand here dwelleth a husbandman
named Laxfert, who is master of so much honey,
that you cannot consume it in seven years,



which for your love and friendship’s sake I will
put into your safe possession.’

Lruin, mad upon the honey, swore, that
to have one good meal thereof he would not
only be his faithful friend, but also stop the
mouths of all his adversaries.

Reynard, smiling at his easy belief, said,
‘If you will have seven ton, uncle, you shall
have it.’
Vv REYNARD THE FOX 27

These words pleased the bear so well, and
made him so pleasant, that he could not stand
for laughing.

Well, thought the fox, this is good fortune,
sure I will lead him where he shall laugh
more measurably; and then said, ‘ Uncle, we
must delay no time, and I will spare no pain



for your sake, which for none of my kin |
would perform.’

The bear gave him many thanks, and so
away they went, the fox promising him as
much honey as he could bear, but meant as
many strokes as he could undergo. In the
end they came to Lanfert’s house, the sight
whereof made the bear rejoice. This Lan/fert
was a stout and lusty carpenter, who the
28 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. V

other day had brought into his yard a great
oak, which, as their manner is, he began to
cleave, and had struck into it two wedges in
such wise that the cleft stood a great way
open, at which the fox rejoiced much, for
it was answerable to his wish. So with a
laughing countenance he said to the bear,
‘Behold now, dear uncle, and be careful of
yourself, for within this tree is so much honey
that it is unmeasurable. Try if you can get
into it, yet, good uncle, eat moderately, for
albeit the combs are sweet and good, yet a
surfeit is dangerous, and may be troublesome
to your body, which I would not for a world,
since no harm can come to you but must be
my dishonour.’

‘Sorrow not for me, nephew eynard,
said the bear, ‘nor think me such a fool that
I cannot temper mine appetite.’

‘It is true, my best uncle, I was too bold.
I pray you enter in at the end, and you shall
find your desire.’

The bear with all haste entered the tree,
with his two feet forward, and thrust his
head into the cleft, quite over the ears, which
when the fox perceived, he instantly ran and
pulled the wedges out of the tree, so that


See
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SENG SN

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CHAP. V REYNARD THE FOX 31

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

(



destitute of all relief, he began to howl and
bray, and with scratching and tumbling to
make such a noise, that Lanfert, amazed, came
hastily out of his house, having in his hand
a sharp hook, whilst the bear lay wallowing
and roaring within the tree.

The fox from afar off said to the bear in
scorn and mocking, ‘Is the honey good,
uncle, which you eat? How do you? Eat
not too much, I beseech you. Pleasant things
32 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

are apt to surfeit, and you may hinder your
journey to the court. When Lanfert cometh
(if your belly be full) he will give you drink
to digest it, and wash it down your throat.’
And having thus said, he went towards
his castle. But by this time, Lazfert, finding
the bear fast taken in the tree, he ran to his
neighbours and desired them to come into his
yard, for there was a bear fast taken there.
This was noised through all the town, so that
there was neither man, nor woman, nor child
but ran thither, some with one weapon, and
some with another—as goads, rakes, broom-
staves, or what they could gather up. The
priest had the handle of the cross, the clerk
the holy water sprinkler, and the priest’s wife,
Dame /ullock, with her distaff, for she was
then spinning; nay, the old beldames came
that had ne’er a tooth in their heads. This
army put Lruim into a great fear, being none
but himself to withstand them, and hearing
the clamour of the noise which came thundering
upon him, he wrestled and pulled so extremely,
that he got out his head, but he left behind
him all the skin, and his ears also; insomuch
that never creature beheld a fouler or more
deformed beast. For the blood covering all
Vv REYNARD THE FOX 33

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

extremely, groaning under the burden of
their strokes, of which Lanxferts were the
greatest and thundered most dreadfully; for
Dame Podge of Casport was his mother, and
his father was Marob the steeple-maker, a
passing stout man when he was alone. Bruzn
received of him many showers of stones till
Lanfert’s brother, rushing before the rest with
a staff, struck the bear in the head such a
blow, that he could neither hear nor see, so
that awaking from his astonishment the bear
leaped into the river adjoining, through a
cluster of wives there standing together, of
which he threw divers into the water, which
was large and deep, amongst whom the
parson’s wife was one; which the parson
seeing how she floated like a sea-mew, he
left striking the bear, and cried to the rest
of the company, ‘Help! oh help! Dame
Jullock is in the water; help, both men and
women, for whosoever saves her, I give free
pardon of all their sins and transgressions,
and remit all penance imposed whatsoever.’
This heard, every one left the bear to help
Dame /ullock, which as soon as the bear
saw, he cut the stream and swam away as
fast as he could, but the priest with a great
Vv REYNARD THE FOX 5

wu

noise pursued him, crying in his rage, ‘Turn,
villain, that I may be revenged of thee;’
but the bear swam in the strength of the
stream and suspected not his calling, for he
was proud that he was so escaped from them.
Only he bitterly cursed the honey tree and
the fox, which had not only betrayed him,
but had made him lose his hood from his
face, and his gloves from his fingers. In
this sort he swam some three miles down
the water, in which time he grew so weary
that he went on land to get ease, where
blood trickled down his face; he groaned,
sighed, and drew his breath so short, as if
his last hour had been expiring.

Now whilst these things were in doing,
the fox in his way home stole a fat hen, and
threw her into his mail, and running through
a bypath that no man might perceive him,
he came towards the river with infinite joy;
for he suspected that the bear was certainly
slain: therefore said to himself, ‘My fortune
is as I wished it, for the greatest enemy |
had in the court is now dead, nor can any
man suspect me guilty thereof. But as he
spake these words, looking towards the river,
he espied where Lrucx the bear lay and
36 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

rested, which struck his heart with grief, and
he railed against Lanfert the carpenter,
saying, ‘Silly fool that thou art, what mad-
man would have lost such good venison,
especially being so fat and wholesome, and
for which he took no pains, for he was taken
to his hand; any man would have been proud
of the fortune which thou neglectest.’ Thus
fretting and chiding, he came to the river,
where he found the bear all wounded and
bloody, of which Reynard was only guilty;
yet in scorn he said to the bear, ‘ Monszeur,
Dieu vous garde.’

‘O thou foul red villain,’ said the bear
to himself, ‘what impudence is like to this?’

But the fox went on with his speech, and
said, ‘What, uncle? have you forgot any-
thing at Lanfert’s, or have you paid him for
the honeycombs you stole? If you have
not, it will redound much to your disgrace,
which before you shall undergo, I will pay
him for them myself. Sure the honey was
excellent good, and I know much more of
the same price. Good uncle, tell me before
I go, into what order do you mean to enter,
that you wear this new-fashioned hood? Will
you be a monk, an abbot, or a friar? Surely
Vv REYNARD THE FOX 37

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



These taunts made Lruzxz mad with rage,

but because he could not take revenge, he
was content to let him talk his pleasure.
Then after a small rest he plunged again
38 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

into the river, and swam down the stream,
and landed on the other side, where he began
with much grief to meditate how he might
get to the court, for he had lost his ears, his
talons, and all the skin off his feet, so that
had a thousand deaths followed him, he could
not go. Yet of necessity he must move,
that in the end compelled by extremity, he
set his tail on the ground, and tumbled his
body over and over, so by degrees, tumbling
now half a mile, and then half a mile, in the
end he tumbled to the court, where divers
beholding his strange manner of approach,
they thought some prodigy had come towards
them; but in the end the King knew him,
and grew angry, saying, ‘It is sir LBruzn,
my servant; what villains have wounded him
thus, or where hath he been that he brings
his death thus along with him?’

‘O my dread Sovereign Lord the King,’
cried out the bear, ‘I complain me grievously
unto you; behold how I am _ massacred,
which I humbly beseech you revenge on
that false Reynard, who, for doing your royal
pleasure, hath brought me to this disgrace
and slaughter.’

Then said the King, ‘How durst he do
Vv REYNARD THE FOX 39

this? now by my crown I swear I will take
the revenge which shall make the traitors
tremble!’

Whereupon the King sent for all his
council, and consulted how and in what sort
to persecute against the fox, where it was
generally concluded that he should be again
summoned to appear and answer his tres-
passes; and the party to summon him they
appointed to be. Zzdert the cat, as well for
his gravity as wisdom; all which pleased the

King well.
Crees Raval

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

Tuen the King called for sir 72der¢ the cat,
and said to him, ‘Sir 7zéert, you shall go to
Reynard, and say to him the second time, and
command him to appear, and answer his
offences; for though he be cruel to other
beasts, yet to you he is courteous. Assure
him if he fail at your first summons, that I will
take so severe a course against him and his
posterity, that his example shall terrify all
offenders.’

Then said 77zdert the cat, ‘My dread Lord,
they were my foes which thus advised you, for
there is nothing in me that can force him either
to come or tarry. I beseech your Majesty
send some one of greater power; I am little
and feeble. Besides, if noble sir Bruzn, that
is so strong and mighty, could not enforce him,
what will my weakness avail?’
CHAP. VI REYNARD THE FOX 41

The King replied, ‘It is your wisdom, sir
Tibert, 1 employ, and not your strength, and
many prevail with art, when violence returns
with lost labour.’

Wiel, said™ the cat, “since it is your
pleasure, it must be accomplished; Heaven
make my fortune better than my _ heart
presageth.’

This Zzéert made things in readiness, and
went towards Malepardus, and in his journey
he saw come flying towards him one of Saint
Martin's birds, to whom the cat cried aloud,
‘Hail, gentle bird, I beseech thee turn thy
wings and fly on my right hand.’ But the bird
turned the contrary way, and flew on his left
side; then grew the cat very heavy, for he was
wise and skilful in augurism, and knew the
sign to be ominous; nevertheless, as many do,
he armed himself with better hope, and went
to Malepardus, where he found the fox standing
before his castle gates, to whom 77%éer7 said,
‘Health to my fair cousin Reynard, so it
is that the King by me summons you to the
court, in which if you fail or defer time, there
is nothing more assured unto you than a cruel
and a sudden death.’

The fox answered, ‘Welcome, dear cousin
42 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP, VI

Tibert, | obey your command, and wish my
Lord the King infinite days of happiness, only
let me entreat you to rest with me to-night,
and take such cheer as my simple house
affordeth. To-morrow, as early as you will,
we will go towards the court, for I have no
kinsman I trust so dearly as yourself. Here
was with me the other day the treacherous
knight sir Bruzx the bear, who looked upon
me with that tyrannous cruelty, that I would
not for the wealth of an empire have hazarded
my person with him. But, my dear cousin,
with you I will go, were a thousand sicknesses
upon me.’

Tibert replied, ‘You speak like a noble
gentleman, and methinks it is best now to go
forward, for the moon shines as bright as day.’

‘Nay, dear cousin,’ said the fox, ‘let us
take the day before us, so may we encounter
with our friends; the night is full of danger
and suspicion.’

‘Well,’ said the cat, ‘if it be your pleasure,
I am content, what shall we eat ?’

Reynard said, ‘Truly my store is small, the
best I have is a honeycomb, too pleasant and
sweet, what think you of it?”

Tibert replieth, ‘It is meat I little respect.




















CHAP. VI REYNARD THE FOX 45

and seldom eat; I had rather have one mouse
than all the honey in Zurofe.’

‘A mouse, said Reynard, ‘why, my dear
cousin, here dwelleth a priest hard by, who
hath a barn by his house so full of mice that
I think half the wains in the parish are not
able to bear them.’

‘O dear Reynard, quoth the cat, ‘do but
lead me thither, and make me your servant for
evict

‘Why,’ said the fox, ‘love you mice so
exceedingly ?’

‘Beyond expression,’ quoth the cat; ‘why,
a mouse is beyond venison or the delicatest
cates on princes’ tables; therefore conduct me
thither, and command my friendship in any
matter; had you slain my father, my mother,
and all my kin, I would clearly forgive you.’
Cl A roe Re Az

Flow Tibert the Cat was deceived by Reynard the
fox.

THEN said Reynard, ‘Sure you do but jest.’

‘No, by my life,’ said the cat.

‘Well, then,’ quoth the fox, ‘if you be in
earnest, I will so work that this night I will
fill your belly.’

‘It is not possible,’ said the cat.

‘Then follow me,’ said the fox, ‘for I will
bring you to the place presently.’

Thus away they went with all speed to the
priest’s barn, which was well walled about with
a mud wall, where but the night before the fox
had broken in, and stolen from the priest an
exceeding fat hen, at which the priest was so
angry, that he had set a gin or snare before
the hole to catch him at his next coming, which
the false fox knew perfectly, and therefore said
to the cat, ‘Sir Zzdert, creep in at this hole,
and believe it you shall not tarry a minute’s
CHAP. VII REYNARD THE FOX 47

space, but you shall have more mice than you
are able to devour. Hark, you may hear how
they peep; when your belly is full, come again,
and I will stay and await for you here at
this hole, that to-morrow we may go together
to the court. But, good cousin, stay not too
long, for I know my wife will hourly expect us.’









‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘think you I may
safely enter in at this hole? these priests are
wise, and subtle, and couch their danger so
close, that rashness is soon overtaken.’

‘Why, cousin Tibert, said the fox, ‘I
never saw you turn coward before; what, man,
fear you a shadow?’

The cat, ashamed at his fear, sprang quickly
in at the hole, but was presently caught fast
48 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

by the neck in the gin, which as soon as the
cat felt and perceived, he quickly leaped back
again, so that the snare running close together,
he was half strangled, so that he began to
struggle and cry out and exclaim most
piteously.

Reynard stood before the hole and heard
all, at which he infinitely rejoiced, and in great
scorn said, ‘Cousin Zzéert, love you mice?
I hope they be well fed for your sake; knew
the priest or Martinet of your feasting, I know
them of so good disposition, they would bring
you sauce quickly. Methinks you sing at your
meat, is that the court fashion? If it be, |
would /segrim the wolf were coupled with
you, that all my friends might be feasted
together.’

But all this while the poor cat was fast, and
mewed so piteously, that Martinet leaped out
of bed, and cried to his people, ‘ Arise, for the
thief is taken that had stolen our hens.’

With these words the priest unfortunately
rose up and awaked all in his house, crying,
‘The fox is taken, the fox is taken!’ and
arising, he gave to /udlock his wife an offering
candle to light, and then coming first to 7zdert,
he smote him with a great staff, and after him
VII REYNARD THE FOX 49

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

This when the King beheld, and saw 77bert
So pitifully mangled, he grew infinitely angry

E
50 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

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



fore it is fit you do him justice as to a man of
his rank, which is, he must be the third time
summoned, and if then he appear not, make
him guilty of all that is laid against him.’

Then the King demanded of the brock
whom he thought fittest to summon him, or
who would be so desperate to hazard his hands,
his ears, nay, his life, with so tyrannous and
irreligious a being?
VII REYNARD THE FOX 51

‘Truly,’ answered the brock, ‘if it please
your Majesty, I am that desperate person who
dare adventure to carry the message to my
most subtle kinsman, if your highness but
command me.’
CHAPTER Vall

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

Tuen said the King, ‘Go, Grimébard, for I
command you; yet take heed of Reynard, for
he is subtle and malicious.’

The brock thanked his Majesty, and so
taking humble leave, went to Malepardus,
where he found Reynard and Ermelin his wife
sporting with their young whelps; then having
saluted his uncle and his aunt, he said, ‘ Take
heed, fair uncle, that your absence from the
court add not more mischief to your cause than
the offence doth deserve. Believe, it is high
time you appear at the court, since your delay
doth beget but more danger and punishment.
The complaints against you are infinite, and
this is your third time of summons; therefore
your wisdom may tell you, that if you delay
but one day further, there is not left to you or
yours any hope of mercy. For within three
CHAP. VIII REYNARD THE FOX 53

days your castle will be demolished, your
kindred made slaves, and yourself exempted
for a public example. Therefore, my best
uncle, I beseech you recollect your wisdom,
and go with me presently to the court, I doubt
not but your discretion shall excuse you, for
you have passed through many as eminent
perils, and made your foes ashamed, whilst the
innocence of your cause hath borne you spot-
less from the tribunal.

Reynard answered, ‘ Nephew, you say true,
and I will be advised and go with you, not to
answer offences, but in that I know the court
stands in need of my counsel. The King’s
mercy I doubt not, if 1 may come to speak with
his Majesty, though mine offences were ten
times doubled; for I know the court cannot
stand without me, and that shall his highness
understand truly. Though I know I have
many enemies, yet it troubles me not; for mine
innocence shall awaken their injuries, and they
shall know that in high matters of state and
policy Reynard cannot be missing. They may
well harp upon things, but the pitch and
ground must come from my relation. It is the
envy of others hath made me leave the court,
for though I know their shallowness cannot
54 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. VIII

disgrace me, yet may their multitudes oppress
me; nevertheless, nephew, I will go with you
to the court, and answer for myself, and not
hazard the welfare of my wife and children.
The King is too mighty, and though he do me
injury, yet will I bear it with patience.’ This
spoke, he turned to his wife and said, ‘ Dame
Ermelin, have care of my children, especially
Reynardine my youngest son, for he had much
of my love, and I hope will follow my steps ;
also Rossel is passing hopeful, and I love them
entirely, therefore regard them, and if [I escape,
doubt not but my love shall requite you.’

At this leave-taking Avmelin wept, and her
children howled, for their lord-and victualler was
gone, and Malepardus left unprovided.
CirtA PaleE aR vx
Flow Reynard shrove him to Grimbard the Brock.

Wuen Reynard and Grimbard had gone a good
way on their journey, Reynard stayed and said,
‘Dear nephew, blame me not if my heart be
full of care, for my life is in great hazard, yet
to blot out my sins by repentance, and to cast
off the burthen, give me leave to shrive myself
unto you. I know you are holy, and having
received penance for my sin, my soul will be at
quiet.’

Grimbard bade him proceed; then said the
fox, ‘ Confitebor tibet pater.’

‘Nay,’ said the brock, ‘if you will shrive
you to me, do it in English, that I may under-
stand you.’

Then said Reynard, ‘1 have grievously
offended against all the beasts that live, and
especially mine uncle, Bruzz the bear, whom I
lately massacred; then Zzder¢ the cat, whom

I ensnared in a gin. I have trespassed against
56 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

Chanticleer and his children, and have devoured
many of them; nay, the King hath not been
quiet of my malice, for I have slandered him
and his Queen. I have betrayed /segrim the
wolf, and called him uncle, though no part of
his blood ran in my veins; I made him a
monk of Almane, where I became also one of
the order only to do him open mischief. I
made him bind his feet to a bell-rope to teach
him to ring, but the peal had like to have cost
him his life, the men of the parish beat and
wounded him so sore. After this I taught him
to catch fish, but he was soundly beaten there-
fore, and feeleth the stripes at this instant. [|
led him to steal bacon at a rich priest’s house,
where he fed so extremely, that not being able
to get out where he got in, I| raised all the
town upon him, and then went where the priest
was set at meat, with a fat hen before him;
which hen I snatched away, so that the priest
cried out, ‘‘ Kill the fox, for never man saw
thing so strange, so that the fox should come
into my house, and take my meat from before
me. This is a boldness beyond knowledge.”
And with these words he threw his knife at me,
but he missed me, and I ran away, whilst he
pursued me crying, ‘ Kill the fox, kill the fox,”
Ix REYNARD THE FOX 57

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

‘Uncle, they are farther, and if you will have
them, you must adventure for them; those
which used to sit there I myself had long
since.” At this the wolf going a little farther, |
gave him a push forward, so that he fell down
in the vault, and his fall was so great, and made
such a noise, that they which were asleep in
the house awaked and cried that something
was fallen down at the trap-door; whereupon
they arose and lighted a candle, and espying
him, they beat and wounded him to death.
Thus I brought the wolf to many hazards of
his life, more than I can now either remember
or reckon, which as they come to my mind I
will reveal to you hereafter.

‘Thus have I told you my wickedness, now
order my penance as shall seem fit in your dis-
cretion.’

Grimbard was both learned and wise, and
therefore brake a rod from a tree, and said,
‘Nephew, you shall three times strike your
body with this rod, and then lay it down upon
the ground, and spring three times over it with-
out bowing your legs or stumbling. Then
shall you take it up and kiss it gently in sign
of meekness and obedience to your penance;
which done, you are absolved of your sins com-
IX REYNARD THE FOX 59

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



glad, and then Grimdard said unto him, ‘See
that henceforth, uncle, you do good works,

read your Psalter, go to church, fast vigils,
60 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

keep holy days, give alms, and leave your
sinful and evil life, your theft, and your treason,
and then no doubt you shall attain mercy.’

The fox promised to perform all this, and so
they went together towards the court; but a
little beside the way as they went, stood a
religious house of nuns, where many geese,
hens, and capons went without the wall; and
as they went talking, the fox led Griméard out
of his right way to that place. And finding
the poultry walking without the barn, amongst
which was a fat young capon, which strayed
a little from his fellows, he suddenly leaped at
and caught him by the feathers, which flew
about his ears, but the capon escaped, which
Grimbard seeing, said, ‘Accursed man, what
will you do, will you for a silly pullet fall again
into all your sins? mischief itself would not
do it.’

To which Reynard answered, ‘Pardon me,
dear nephew, I had forgotten myself, but I
will ask forgiveness, and mine eye shall no
more wander’; and then they turned over a
little bridge; but the fox still glanced his eye
toward the poultry, and could by no means
refrain it, for the ill that was bred in his bones
still stuck to his flesh, and his mind carried his
IX REYNARD THE FOX 61

eyes that way as long as he could see them;
which the brock noting, said, ‘ Fie, dissembling
cousin, why wander your eyes so after the
poultry?’

The fox replied, ‘Nephew, you do me in-
jury so to mistake me, for mine eyes wandered



not, but I was saying a paternoster for the souls
of all the poultry and geese which I have slain
and betrayed, in which devotion you hindered
me.’

‘Well,’ said Griméard, ‘it may be so, but
your glances are suspicious.’

Now by this time they were come into
62 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. IX

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

Flow the Fox came to the Court, and how he excused
hineself.

As soon as it was bruited in the court that
Reynard the fox, and Griméard his kinsman
were arrived there, every one, from the highest
to the lowest, prepared himself to complain of
the fox; at which Reyzard’s heart quaked, but
his countenance kept the old garb, and he went
as proudly as ever he was wont with his nephew
through the high street, and came as gallantly
into the court as if he had been the King’s son
and as clear from trespass as the most innocent
whosoever; and when he came before the chair
of state, in which the King sat, he said,
‘Heaven give your Majesty glory and renown
above all the princes of the earth; I assure
your highness there was never king had a truer
servant than myself have been to you, and yet
am, and so will die. Nevertheless, my dread
Lord, I know there be many in this court that
64 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. X

seek my confusion, if they could win belief with
your Majesty. But you scorn the slanders of
malice, and although in these days flatterers
have the most room in princes’ courts, yet with
you it is not so, nor shall they reap anything
but shame for their labour.’

But the King cut him short at these words,
and said, ‘ Peace, traitorous Aeyzard, | know
your dissimulation, and can expound your
flattery, but both shall now fail you. Think you
I can be caught with the music of your words?
No, it hath too oft deceived me; the peace
which J commanded and swore unto, that have
you broken.’

And as he would have gone forward,
Chanticleer crying out, ‘O how have I lost this
noble peace?’

‘Be still, Chanticleer, said the King, and
then he proceeded, ‘Thou evil among good
ones, with what face canst thou say thou lovest
me, and seest all those wretched creatures ready
to disprove thee, whose very wounds yet spit
bloody defiance upon thee; and for which
believe thy dearest life shall answer.’

‘In nomine patris, etc., said the fox, ‘my
dread Lord, if Lruzn’s crown be bloody, what
is that tome? If your Majesty employed him








CHAP. X REYNARD THE FOX 67

in a message, and he would neglect it to steal
honey at the carpenter’s house, where he re-
ceived his wounds, how shall I amend it? If
revenge he sought, why did he not take it
himself, he is strong and puissant? As for
Tibert, whom I received with all friendship, if
he against my will or advice will steal into the
priest’s barn to catch mice, and there lose his
eyes, nay, his life, wherein is mine offence, or
how become I their guardian? O my dread
Lord, you may do your royal pleasure, and
however mine innocence plead, yet your will
may adjudge me to what death contents you.
J am your vassal, and have no support but your
mercy; I know your strength and mine own
weakness, and that my death can yield you but
small satisfaction, yet whatsoever your will is,
that to me shall be most acceptable.’

And as he thus spake, Bedlim the ram
stepped forth, and his ewe dame Oleway, and
besought the King to hear their complaint ;
with them Bruin the bear and all his mighty
lineage; and Zvdert the cat, /segrim the wolf,
Kyward the hare, and Panther, the boar, the
camel, and Bruel the goose, the kid and the
colt, Baldwin the ass, Bortle the bull, and
Flamel the ox, the weasel, Chanticleer the
68 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. X

cock, and Fartlet with all her children; all
these with one entire noise cried out against
the fox, and so moved the King with their
complaints, that the fox was taken and
arrested.
CHAGIEAR X!
How the Fox was arrested and judged to death.

Upon this arrest a parliament was called, and
every voice went that Reynard should be
executed. Notwithstanding he answered every
objection severally, though great art was used
both in one and the other, to the wonderful
admiration of all that heard him. But witnesses
examined, and every proof made pregnant, the
fox was condemned, and judgment was given,
that he should be hanged till his body were
dead; at which sentence the fox cast down his
head, for all his jollity was lost, and no flattery
nor no words now prevailed.

This done, Grzméard his nephew, and divers
others near him in blood (which could not endure
to see him die) took their leave of the King
and departed from the court. When the King
noted what gallant young gentlemen departed
thence, all sad and weeping, being near of the
70 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

fox’s blood and alliance, he said to himself, ‘It
behoveth us to take good and mature counsel ;
though Reynard have some faults, yet he hath
many friends, and more virtues.’

As the King was thus thinking, the cat said to
the bear, ‘Sir Bruin, and you, sir /segrim, why
are you slow in this execution? The even is
almost come, and here be many bushes and
hedges; if he escape and quit himself of this
danger, his subtilty is so great that not all the art
in the world shall ever again entangle him. If
you mean to execute him, then proceed, for before
the gallows can be made, it will be dark night.’

At these words /segrim, remembering him-
self, said, ‘There is a pair of gallows near at
hand’ (and with that fetched a deep sigh), which
the cat noting, said, ‘Are you afraid, sir /segrinz,
or is this execution against your mind? You
may remember that it was only his work that
both your brethren were hanged; and sure had
you judgment, you would thank him for the same,
and not thus stand trifling time.’

But /segrim, half angry, answered, ‘ Your
anger puts out the eye of your reason, yet had
we a halter that would fit his neck, we would
soon despatch him.’

Reynard, that had been silent a great while,
XI REYNARD THE FOX 71

said, ‘I beseech you, shorten my pain; sir
Tibert hath a cord strong enough, in which
himself was hanged at the priest’s house;
besides, he can climb well and swift. O let him
be mine executioner, for it neither becometh
Lsegrim nor Bruin thus to do to their nephew.
Iam sorry I live to see it; but since you are
set to be my hangmen, play your parts and
delay not; go before, Bruzu, and lead my way ;
follow, /segrim, and beware I escape not.’

‘You say well,’ said Bruzn, ‘and it is the
best counsel I have heard you give.’

So forth they went, and /segrim and all his
friends guarded the fox, leading him by the
neck and other parts of his body. When the
fox felt this usage, he was dismayed, yet said,
‘O why do you put yourself, my best kins-
man, tothis pain, to do me hurt? Believe it, I
could well ask your forgiveness, though my pains
be pleasant unto you, yet well I know, did my
aunt, your wife, understand of my trouble, she
would for old affection’s sake not see me thus
tormented. But I am subject to your will, and
can endure your worst malice; as for Bruen and
Trbert, | leave my revenge to justice, and wish
you the reward of traitors, if you do not to me
the worst of your powers. I know my worst
72 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

fortune, and death can come but once unto me;
I wish it were past already, for to me it is no
terror; I saw my father die, and how quickly
he vanished, therefore the worst of death is
familiar unto me.’

Then said /segrim, ‘ Let us go, for his curse
shall not light on me by delaying.’ So he on
one side, and Bruzz on the other, led the poor
fox to the gallows; Z7zéert running before with
the halter, hoped to be revenged of his wrong
formerly received. When they were come to
the place of execution, the King and Queen, and
all the rest of the nobility, took their place to
see the fox die. Then Reynard, full of sorrow,
and busily bethinking himself how he might
escape that danger, and how to enthral and
disgrace his proud enemies, and also how to
draw the King on his party, said to himself,
‘Though the King and many others be offended
with me, as they have reason, for I have
thoroughly deserved it, nevertheless, yet I hope
to live to be their best friend.’

During this meditation the wolf said, ‘ Sir
Bruin, now remember your injuries, take your
revenge ina full measure, for the day is come we
wished for. Zzdert, ascend quickly, and bring
the rope to the gallows, making a running noose,
XI REYNARD THE FOX 93

for this day you shall have your will of your
enemy ; and good sir Bru, take heed he escape
not, whilst | myself raise up the ladder.’
When all things were prepared, the fox said,
‘Now may my heart be heavy, for death stands
now in all his horror before me, and | cannot
escape; my dread Lord the King, and you, my
Sovereign Lady the Queen, and you, my lords,
that stand to behold to see me die, I beseech
you grant me this charitable boon, that I may
unlock my heart before you, and clear my soul
of her burdens, so that hereafter no man may be
blamed for me, which done, my death will be

easy.’


CHAPLER X11
How Reynard made his Confession before the King.

Every creature now took compassion on the
fox, and said his request was small, beseeching
the King to grant it, which was done; and
then the fox thus spake: ‘Help me, Heaven,
for I see no man here whom I have not
offended; yet was this evil no natural in-
clination in me, for in my youth I was ac-
counted as virtuous as any breathing. This
know, I have played with the lambs all the
day long, and took delight in their pretty
bleating, yet at last in my play I bit one, and
the taste of their blood was so sweet unto me
that I approved the flesh, and both were so
sweet that since I could never forbear it. This
liquorish humour drew me into the woods
amongst the goats, where hearing the bleating
of the little kids, I slew one of them, and after,
two more, which slaughter made me so hardy,
CHAP. XII REYNARD THE FOX 75

that then I fell to murder hens, geese, and
other poultry. And thus my crimes increased
by custom, and fury so possessed me, that all
was fish which came to my net. After this, in
the winter season, I met with /segvzm, where,







SE SS .
Rare :

as he lay hid under a hollow tree, he unfolded
unto me how he was my uncle, and laid the
pedigree down so plain, that from that day
forth we became fellows and companions; that
knot of friendship I may ever curse, for then
began the flood of our thefts and slaughters.
He stole the great things, | the small; he
76 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

murdered nobles, I the mean subjects; and
in all our actions his share was still ever the
greatest. When he got a ram, a calf, or
wether, his fury would hardly afford me the
horns to pick on. Nay, when he had an ox,
or a cow, after himself, his wife, and his seven
children were served, nothing remained to me
but the bare bones to pick on. This I speak
not in that I wanted (for it is well known |
have more plate, jewels, and coin than twenty
carts are able to carry), but only to show his
ingratitude.’

When the King heard him speak of this
infinite treasure and riches, his heart grew
inflamed with a desire thereof, and he said,
‘ Reynard, where is that treasure you speak of?’

The fox answered, ‘My Lord, I shall
willingly tell you, for it is true the wealth was
stolen, and had it not been stolen in that
manner which it was, it had cost your highness
your life (which Heaven I beseech keep ever in
their protection).’

When the Queen heard that dangerous
speech, she started, and said, ‘What dangers
are these you speak of, Reynard? I do
command you, upon your soul’s health, to

unfold these doubtful speeches, and to keep
XII REYNARD THE FOX 77

nothing concealed which concerns the life of
my dread lord.’

The fox, with a sorrowful and sad counte-
nance, replied to the Queen, ‘O my dread
Sovereign Lady, at what infinite ease were I,
if J might die at this present! But, gracious
Madam, your conjuration and the health of
mine own soul so prevaileth with me, that |
will discharge my conscience, and yet speak
nothing but what I will make good with the
hazard of my life. It is true, the King should
have been pitilessly murdered by his own
people, and I must confess by those of my
dearest kindred, whom I am unwilling to
accuse, did not the health of mine own soul and
my fealty to the King command the contrary.’

The King, much perplexed at this dis-
covery, said, ‘Is this true, Reynard, which you
protest?’

The fox answered, ‘Alas, my dread Lord,
you see the case wherein I stand, and how
small a sand is left in my poor glass to run.
Can your Majesty imagine I will now dis-
semble? What can the whole world avail me,
when my soul perisheth?’

At that he trembled, and looked so pitifully,
that the Queen had great compassion of him,
78 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

and humbly besought the King, for the safety of
his own royal person, to take some pity of the
fox, and to command all his subjects to hold
their peace, and keep silence till he had spoken
the uttermost of his knowledge; all which was
presently done, and the fox proceeded in this
manner :

‘Since it is the pleasure of my Sovereign
‘Lord the King, and that his royal life lieth in
the balance with my present death, I will freely
and boldly unfold this capital and foul treason,
and in the relation not spare any guilty person
for any respect whatsoever, whether it be
blood, greatness, or authority. Know then,
my dread Sovereign Lord the King, that my
father by a strange accident, digging in the
ground, found out King Ayvmerick's treasure,
being a mass infinite and innumerable; of
which being possessed, he grew so proud and
haughty, that he held in scorn all the beasts
of the wilderness, which before had been his
kinsmen and companions. At last he caused
Tibert the cat to go into the vast forest of
Arden to Bruin the bear, and to tender to him
his homage and fealty, saying, “If it would
please him to be king, he should come into
Flanders, where he would show him means
XII REYNARD THE FOX 79

how to set the crown upon his head.” Brudz
was glad of this embassage (for he was ex-
ceeding ambitious, and had long thirsted for
sovereignty), and thereupon came into /Vanders,
where my father received him nobly. Then
presently he sent for the wise Griméard, my



nephew, and for J/segrvim the wolf, and for
Tibert the cat ; then these five coming between
Gaunt and the village called ZJ/e, they held a
solemn council for the space of a whole night, in
which, by the assistance of the evil one, and the
strong confidence of my father’s riches, it was
there concluded, that your Majesty should be
forthwith murdered. And, to effect this, they
took a solemn oath in this manner: the bear,
80 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

my father, Grimébard, and the cat, laying their
hands on /segrim’s crown, swore, first to make
Brum their king, and to place him in the chair
of estate at Acon, and to set the imperial
diadem on his head; and if by any of your
Majesty’s blood and alliance they should be
gainsaid, that then my father with his treasure
should hire those which should utterly chase
and root them out of the forest. Now after
this determination held and finished, it hap-
pened that my nephew Grimdbard, being on
a time high flown with wine, he discovered
this dread plot to Dame Svopecade his wife,
commanded her upon her life to keep secret
the same. But she, forgetful of her charge,
disclosed it in confession to my wife, as they
went a pilgrimage over an heath, with like
conjuration of secrecy. But she, woman-like,
contained it no longer than till she met with
me, and gave me a full knowledge of all that
had passed, yet so as by all means I must keep
it secret too, for she had sworn by the three
kings of Cologne never to disclose it. And
withal she gave me such assurance by certain
tokens, that I right well found all was true
which she had spoken; insomuch that the very
affright thereof made my hair stand upright,
XII REYNARD THE FOX 81

and my heart became like lead, cold and heavy
in my bosom. This made me call to mind the
story of the frogs, who being free and without
subjection, complained to /upzter, and desired
they might have a king to rule and govern
over them, and he presently sent them a stork,
which ate and devoured them up; so that by
his tyranny they became the most miserable of
all creatures; then they complained again to
Jupiter for redress, but it was then too late, for
they which could not be content with their
freedom must now of necessity suffer in
thraldom.

‘Thus I feared it might happen with us,
and thus I sorrowed for your Majesty, although
you little respect my grieving. I know that
ambition of the bear, and his tyranny is so
infinite great, that should the government
come into his hands (as Heaven forbid) the
whole commonwealth will be destroyed. Be-
sides, I know your Majesty of so royal and
princely birth, so mighty, so gracious, and so
merciful, that it had been a horrible exchange
to have seen a ravenous bear sit in the throne
of the royal lion, for there is in the bear and in
his generation more prodigal looseness and in-
constancy than in any beast whatsoever. But

G
82 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. XII

to proceed: from this sorrow I began to
meditate how I might undo my father’s false
and wicked conspiracies, who sought to bring
a base traitor and a slave into the throne
imperial. For I well perceived as long as he
held the treasure, there was a possibility of
deposing your Majesty, and this troubled my
thought exceedingly, so that I laboured how I
might find out where my father’s treasure was
hid, and to that end I watched and attended
night and day in the woods, in the bushes, and
in the open fields. Nay, in all places where-
soever my father laid his eyes, there was I ever
watching and attending. Now it happened on
a time, as I was laid down flat on the ground,
I saw my father come running out of a hole,
and as soon as he was come out, he gazed
round about him, to see if any discovered him.
Then seeing the coast clear, he stopped the
hole with sand, and made it so even, smooth,
and plain, that no curious eye could discern a
difference betwixt it and the other earth. And
where the print of his foot remained, that with
his tail he stroked over, and with his mouth so
smoothed, that no man might perceive it; and
indeed that and many other subtilties I learned
of him there at that instant, When he had








CHAP. XII REYNARD THE FOX 85

thus finished, away he went towards the village
about his private affairs ; then went I presently
towards the hole, and notwithstanding all his
subtilty I quickly found it out, then entered
I the cave, where I found that innumerable
quantity of treasure which cannot be expressed.
I took Lrmelin my wife to help me, and we



ceased not, day nor night, with infinite great
toil and labour, to carry and convey away this
treasure to another place much more con-
venient for us, where we laid it safe from the
search of any creature. Now during the time
that my wife and I were thus employed, my
father was in consultation with the rest of the
traitors, about the death of the King ; in which
consultation it was concluded that /segrim the
wolf should travel over all the kingdom, and
86 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

promise to all beasts that would take wages,
and acknowledge Bruzz for their sovereign,
and defend his title, a full year’s pay before-
hand. And in this journey my father accom-
panied him, carrying letters patent signed to
that purpose, little suspecting that he was
robbed of the wealth which should supply his



treason. When this negotiation was finished
between lve and Soame, and a world of valiant
soldiers raised against the beginning of the
next spring, then they returned to Bruzz and
his consorts, to whom they declared the many
perils they had escaped in the dukedom of
Saxony, where they were pursued by huntsmen
and hounds, so as they hardly escaped with
life. After this relation they showed Bruin
XII REYNARD THE FOX 87

their muster rolls, which pleased him ex-
ceeding much, for there was of J/segrim’s
lineage about twelve hundred sworn to the
action, besides the bear’s own kindred, the
fox’s, the cat’s, and the dassen’s, all which
would be in readiness upon an hour’s warning.
All this I found out, I praise Heaven, by
perfect intelligence ; now things being brought
to this perfection, my father went to his cave
of treasure, but when he found it open, spoiled,
and ransacked, it is not in me to express the
infinite agony and sorrow he fell into, that
grief converting to madness, and madness to
desperation, suddenly he went to the next tree
and hanged himself.

‘Thus by my art only was the treason of
Bruin defeated, for which I now suffer; from
hence sprang all misfortune, as thus: these
foul traitors, Bruin and Jsegrim, being of the
King’s privatest council, and sitting in high
and great authority, tread upon me, poor
Reynard, and work my disgrace ; notwith-
standing, for your Majesty’s sake, I have lost
my natural father. O my dread Lord, what
is he, or who can tender you a better affection,
thus to lose himself to save you?’

The King and Queen having great hope
88 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

to get this inestimable treasure from Reynard,
took him from the gibbet, and entreated him
to unfold where this great treasure was.

But the fox replied, ‘O my Lord, shall I
make mine enemies my heirs? shall these
traitors which take away my life, and would
devour yours, be possessed of the good I
enjoy? No, that is a madness | will never
die guilty of.’

Then said the Queen, ‘ Fear not, Reynard,
the King shall save your life, and grant you
pardon, and you shall henceforth swear faith
and true allegiance to his Majesty.’

The fox answered, ‘Dearest Madam, if the
King out of his royal nature will give credit
to my truth, and forgive my former offences,
there was never King so rich as | will make
him.’

Then the King staying the Queen, said,
‘Madam, will you believe the fox? know you
not that it is his natural quality to lie, steal,
and deceive ?’:

The Queen answered, ‘My dear Lord, now
you may boldly believe him, for howsoever
in his prosperity he was full of errors, yet
now you may see he is changed. Why, he
spareth not to accuse his own father, nay,
XII REYNARD THE FOX 89

Grimbard, his dearest nephew and kinsman;
had he dissembled, he might have laid his
imputations on other beasts, and not on those
he loveth most entirely.’

‘Well, Madam,’ said the King, ‘you shall
at this time rule me, and all the offences of
the fox I will clearly pardon; yet with this
protestation, that if ever again he offend in
the smallest crime whatsoever, that not only
himself, but his whole generation I will utterly
root out of my dominions.’

The fox looked sadly when the King spake
thus, but was inwardly most infinitely glad at
his heart, and said, ‘My dread Lord, it were
a huge shame in me, should I speak any
untruths in this great presence.’

Then the King taking a straw fot the
ground, pardoned the fox of all his trespasses
which either he or his father had ever
committed. If the fox now began to smile,
it was no wonder, the sweetness of life
required it; yet he fell down before the
King and Queen, and humbly thanked them
for mercy, protesting that for that favour he
would make them the richest princes in the
world. And at these words the fox took up
a straw, and proffered it unto the King, and
go THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

said to him, ‘My dread Lord, I beseech your
Majesty to receive this pledge as a surrender
unto your Majesty of all the treasure that
the great King Lyvmerick was master of, with





which I freely infeoff you, out of my mere
voluntary and free motion.’

At these words the King received the
straw, and smiling, gave the fox great thanks
for the same. But the fox laughed outright
to think of the abuse; from that day forward
XII REYNARD THE FOX gl

no man’s counsel prevailed with the King as
the fox’s, which the fox seeing, said to the
King, ‘My gracious Lord, you shall under-
stand that at the west side of /vlanders, there
standeth a wood called AYustreloe, near which
runneth a river named Cvekenpit, this is a
wilderness so vast and impassable, that hardly
in all the year there cometh either man or
woman in the same. In it I have hid this
treasure, whither I would have your Majesty
and the Queen to go, for I know none but
yourselves whom I dare trust in so great
design ; and when your highness comes thither,
you shall find two birchen trees growing by
the pit, into which you shall enter, and there
you shall find the treasure, which consisteth
of coin, rich jewels, and. the wealthy crown
which King Armerick wore. With this crown
Bruin the bear should have been crowned, if
his treason had succeeded according to his
determination. There shall you see also many
rich and costly precious stones, of which, when
you are possessed, then remember the love
of your servant Reynard.’

The King answered, ‘Sir Reynard, you
must yourself help me to dig for this treasure,
for else I shall never find it. I have heard
92 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

named Paris, London, Aix, and Cologne, but
Crekenpit | never heard of, therefore, I fear,
you dissemble.’

The fox blushed at those words, yet with
a bold countenance he said, ‘Is your Majesty
so doubtful of my faith? nay, then I will
approve my words by public testimony’; and
with that he called forth Ayward the hare
from among the rest of the beasts, and
commanded him to come before the King,
charging him upon his faith and allegiance
which he bore to the King and Queen, to
answer truly to such questions as he should
ask him.

The hare answered, ‘| will speak truth in all
things, though I were sure to die for the same.’

Then the fox said, ‘Know you not where
Crekenpit standeth ?’

‘Yes,’ said the hare, ‘I have known it any
time these dozen years; it standeth in a wood
called HYustreloe, upon a vast and wide wilder-
ness, where I have endured much torment
both of hunger and cold. Besides, it was there
where father Szwony the friar made false coin,
with which he supported himself and his fellows.
Yet that was before I and Azmg the hound
became companions.’
XII REYNARD THE FOX 93

‘Well, said the fox, ‘you have spoken
sufficiently, go to your place again’; so away
went the hare. Then said the fox, ‘My
Sovereign Lord the King, what say you now
to my relation—am I worthy your belief or
no?’

The King said, ‘ Yes, Reynard, and I
beseech thee excuse my jealousies, it was
my ignorance which did thee evil; therefore
forthwith make preparation that we may go
to this pit where the treasure lieth.’

The fox answered, ‘Alas, my Lord, do
you imagine that I would not fain go with you?
if it were so that I might go without your
dishonour, which I cannot do; for you shall
understand (though it be my disgrace) that
when Jsegrim the wolf, in the evil one’s name,
would needs grow religious and turn a monk,
that then the permission of meat which was
for six monks, was too little for him alone.
Whereupon he complained so pitifully unto
me, that I, commiserating his case, being my
kinsman, gave him counsel to run away, which
he did. Whereupon I stand accursed, and
excommunicated under the Pope’s sentence,
and am determined to-morrow, as soon as
the sun riseth, to take my way towards Rome
94 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. XII

to be absolved, and from Rome I intend to
cross the seas to the Holy Land, and will
never return again to my native country, till
I have done so much good, and satisfied for
my sins, that | may with honour and reputation
attend on your highness’s person.’

The King, hearing this, said, ‘Since you
stand accursed in the censures of the Church,
I may not have you about me, and therefore
I will at this time take Ayward the hare,
and some other with me to Cvekenpit, and
only command you, Reynzard, as you respect
my favour, to clear yourself of his holiness’s
curse.’

‘My Lord,’ said the fox, ‘it is the only
reason of my going to Rome; neither will I
rest night nor day till I have gotten a full
absolution.’

‘The course you take is good,’ said the
King, ‘go on and prosper in your intent and
purpose.’
COAG bys hee

Flow Reynard the Fox was honoured of all beasts by

the King’s commandment.

As soon as this conference was ended, the royal
King mounted upon a high throne made in
manner of a scaffold, made of fair squared stone,
and then commanded a general silence amongst
all his subjects, and that every one should take
his place according to his birth, or dignity in
office, only the fox was placed between the
King and the Queen.

Then said the King, ‘ Hear, all you noble-
men, knights, gentlemen, and others of inferior
quality; this Reynard, one of the chief and
supreme officers of my household, whose
offences had brought him to the least reckoning
of his life, as being in the hands of the law and
justice, hath this day, in requital of these in-
juries, done that noble and worthy service
to the State that both myself and my Queen
96 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

stand bound to render him our best grace and
favour. Therefore know, that for divers things
best known unto ourselves, we have freely given
pardon to all his offences, and restored back to









him whatsoever to us was confiscate; therefore,
henceforth I command all of you, upon the pain
and hazard of your dearest lives, that you fail
not from this day forward to do all reverence
and honour not only to Aeyzard himself, but
also to his wife and children; whensoever or
XIII REYNARD THE FOX 97

wheresoever you shall meet them, whether by
night or by day. And let not any one hereafter
be so audacious as to trouble mine ears with any
more complaints of him; for his wickedness
he hath cast behind him, and will no more be
guilty of wrongdoing, which to effect the better,
to-morrow very early he taketh his journey
towards Rome, where from the Pope he will
purchase a free pardon and indulgence for all
his offences, and then will go on pilgrimage to
the Holy Land.’

This speech, when 77se¢dn the raven heard,
he flew to Brutn, Tsegrim, and Tibert, and
said, ‘Wretched creatures, how are your
fortunes changed! or how can you endure to
hear these tidings? Why, Reynard is now a
courtier, a counsellor, nay, the prime favourite ;
his offences are forgiven, and you are all
betrayed, and sold unto bondage.’

Lsegvim answered, ‘It is impossible, Z77zsed/n,
nor can such a thing be suffered.’

‘Do not deceive yourselves,’ said the raven,
‘for it is as true as that now I speak it.’

Then went the wolf and the bear to the
King, but the cat stayed, and was so sore
affrighted with the news, that to purchase the
fox’s friendship again, he would not only have

I
98 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

forgiven the evils received, but willingly have
run into a second hazard. But now J/segrim,
with great majesty and pride tracing over the
fields, came before the King and Queen,
and with most bitter and cruel words inveighed
against the fox in such a passionate and im-
pudent manner, that the King, being infinitely
moved with displeasure, caused the wolf and
the bear to be presently arrested upon high
treason; which suddenly was done with all
violence and fury, and they were bound hand
and foot so fast, that they could neither stir
nor move from the place where they were
couched.

Now when the fox had thus enthralled and
entangled them, he so laboured with the
Queen, that he got leave to have so much of
the bear’s skin as would make him a large
scrip for his journey; which granted, he
wanted nothing but a strong pair of shoes to
defend his feet from the stones in his travel;
whereupon he said to the Queen, ‘Madam, |
am your pilgrim, and if it would please your
Majesty but to take it into your consideration,
you shall find that sir /segvim hath a pair of
shoon, excellent long-lasting ones, which would
you vouchsafe to bestow upon me, I should
XUI REYNARD THE FOX 99

pray for your Majesty’s soul in all my travel,
above any charitable devotion. Also mine
aunt, Dame £veswine, hath other two shoes,
which would your Majesty bestow upon me,
I should be most infinitely bound to you, nor
should you do to her any wrong, because she
goes seldom abroad.’

The Queen replied, ‘ Reynard, I can per-
ceive how you can want such shoes, for your
journey is full of labour and difficulty, both in
respect of the stony mountains and the gravelly
ways, and therefore you shall have (though it
touch their life never so nearly) from each of
them a pair of shoes to accomplish and finish
your journey.’
@ine Epa ox)

How Isegrim and his wife Ereswine had their shoes
plucked off, for Reynard to wear to Rome.

Arter the fox had made this petition, /segrzmz
was taken, and his shoes pulled off in most
cruel and violent manner, so that all the veins
and sinews lay naked, nor durst the poor
massacred wolf either complain or resist. After
he had been thus tormented, then Dame
Eveswine his wife was used on the same
manner on her hinder feet, as her husband
was on his forefeet; which the fox seeing,
said to her in a scornful manner, ‘ Dear aunt,
how much am I bound to you that take all this
pains for my sake! Questionless, you shall bea
sharer in my pilgrimage, and take part in the
pardon I shall bring from beyond the seas by
the help of your shoes.’

Then Zveswine (though speech were trouble-
some to her) said, ‘Well, sir Reynard, you
CHAP. XIV REYNARD THE FOX IOI

have your will accomplished, yet Heaven, I
hope, will requite the misdoer.’
This she said, but her husband and the bear

lay mute, for their wounds were grievous unto



them; and surely had the cat been there also,
he had not escaped some extreme punishment.
The next morning, very early, Reynard,
causing his shoes to be well oiled, put them

on, and made them as fit to his feet as they
102 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

were to the wolves’, and then went to the
King and Queen, and said, ‘My dread Lord
and Lady, your poor subject voweth before
your Majesties, humbly beseeching your high-
nesses to vouchsafe to deliver me my mail and
my staff blessed, according to the custom due
unto pilgrims.’

This said, the King sent for BelZin the ram,
and commanded him to say solemn mass before
the fox, and to deliver him his staff and his
mail; but the ram refused, saying, ‘My Lord,
1 dare not, for he hath confessed he is in the
Pope’s curse.’

And the King said, ‘What of that? Have
not our doctors told us, that if a man com-
mit all the sins in the world, yet if he repent
himself, be shriven, do penance, and walk as the
priest shall instruct him, that all is clearly for-
given him? and hath not Reyxard done all this?’

Then answered Belin, ‘Sir, I am loath to
meddle herein, yet if your Majesty will bear
me harmless against the bishop of Pyrendesor,
my ordinary, and against the archdeacon
Loosuynd, and Rapiamus his official, I will
effect your commandment.’

At this the King grew angry, and said, ‘I

scorn to be beholden unto you’; but when
XIV REYNARD THE FOX 103

the ram saw the King offended, he shook for
fear, and ran presently to the altar, and sang
mass, and used many ceremonies over the fox,
who gave little respect unto them, more than
the desire he had to enjoy the honour.

Now when Beddin the ram had finished his
orisons, he presently hung about Keyxara’s
neck his mail, which was made of the bear’s
skin, and put into his right foot a palmer’s
staff; and thus being furnished of all things,
he looked sadly upon the King, as if he had
been loath to depart, and feigned to weep
(though sorrow and he were never farther
asunder), only his worst grief was, that all in
that presence were not in the same case that the
bear and the wolf were. Yet he took his leave
of them, and desired every one to pray for him,
as he would pray for them; and then offering
to depart (for knowing his own knavery, he was
very desirous to be gone).

The King said, ‘Sir Reynard, | am sorry
we must part thus suddenly.’

Then said the fox, ‘ There is no remedy, my
Lord, nor.ought I to be slow in so devout an
action.’

Then the King took leave, and commanded
all that were about him, but the bear and the
104 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

wolf, to attend Reynard some part of his
journey. O he that had seen how gallant and
personable Reynard was, and how well his
staff and his mail became him, as also how fit
his shoes were for his feet, it could not have
chosen but have stirred in him very much
laughter. Yet the fox carried himself outwardly
very demurely, however inwardly he smiled at
the abuses he had cast amongst them, especially
to see his enemies now his attendants, and the
King, whom he had most palpably wronged
with false lies, aiding to all his vain desires,
and accompanying him also as if he had been
his companion.

But the fox being now started on his way,
he said to the King, ‘I beseech your Majesty
trouble yourself no further, but in respect of
your ease, and the danger might happen to
your royal person, for you have arrested two
capital traitors, who, if in your absence they
should get at liberty, the danger were infinite
which might ensue thereon.’

And this said, he stood upon his hinder feet,
and entreated the beasts that were in his com-
pany, and would be partakers of his pardon,
that they would pray for him; which done, he
departed from the King with an exceeding
XIV REYNARD THE FOX 105

sad and heavy countenance. Then turning to
Kyward the hare, and Belin the ram, he said
with a smiling countenance, ‘ My best friends,

OS



shall we part thus soon? I know your loves
will not leave me yet; with you two I was
never offended, and your conversations are
agreeable to my nature. For you are mild,
106 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. XIV

loving, and courteous; religious, and full of
wise counsel, even such as myself was when
I was first a recluse; if you have a few green
leaves, or a little grass, you are well content as
with all the bread and flesh in the world, and
you are temperate and modest.’

And thus with a world of such like flattering
words he enticed these two, that they were
content to go along with him.
CHARTER. XV.

flow Kyward the Hare was slain by Reynard the
fox, and sent by the Ram to the King.

Tuus marched these three together, and when
Reynard was come to the gates of his own
house he said to Belin, ‘ Cousin, I will entreat
you to stay here without a little, whilst I and
Kyward go in, for I would have him a witness
to some private passages betwixt me and my
wife.’

Bellin was well content, and so the fox and
the hare went into MJalepardus, where they
found Dame Zrmelin lying on the ground with
her younglings about her, who had sorrowed
exceedingly for the loss and danger of her
husband; but. when she saw his return, her
joy was ten times doubled. But beholding his
mail, his staff, and his shoes, she grew into
great admiration, and said, ‘ Dear husband, how
have you fared?’ to whom he delivered from
108 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

point to point all that had passed with him at
the King’s court, as well his danger as release,
and that now he was to go a pilgrimage, having
left Bruin and [segrim two pledges for him till
his return.

As for Kyward, he said the King had be-

stowed him upon them, to do with him what





they pleased, affirming that Ayward was the
first that had complained of him, for which,
questionless, he vowed to be sharply revenged.

When Ayward heard these words he was
much appalled, and would fain have fled away,
but he could not; for the fox had got between
him and the gate, who presently seized the
Xv REYNARD THE FOX 109

hare by the neck, at which the hare cried unto
Bellin for help, but could not be heard, for the
fox in a trice had torn out his throat; which
done, he, his wife, and young ones feasted
therewith merrily, eating the flesh, and drink-
ing the blood to the King’s health; but
Ermelin, growing suspicious, said, ‘1 fear,
Reynard, you mock me; as you love me, tell
me how you sped at the court.’

Then he told her how extremely he had
flattered the King and the Queen, and abused
them with a feigned promise of treasure that
was not, insomuch, that he knew when it
should come to be revealed, the King would
seek all the means he could to destroy him.

‘Therefore, wife,’ said he, ‘there is no
remedy but we must steal from hence into
some other forest where we may live in better
safety, and in a place more fruitful, where we
shall have all the delicate meats that can be
wished for; clear springs, fresh rivers, cool
shades, and wholesome air. Here I know is
no abiding, and now I have gotten my thumb
out of the King’s mouth, I will no more come
within the danger of his talons.’

‘Vet, said ZLyrmclin, ‘1 have no fancy to
go from hence to a place where I am utterly
110 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

unacquainted ; here we possess all that we
desire, and you are a lord over all that lives
about you, and it is but an indiscreet hazard
to change a certain good for a hoped content-
ment; besides, we are here safe enough, and
should the King besiege us never so straitly,
yet have we so many passages and by-holes,
that he can cut from us neither relief nor liberty.
O what reason have we then to fly beyond seas?
but you have sworn it, that’s my vexation.’
‘Nay, Dame,’ said the fox, ‘grieve not at
that; the more forsworn, the less forlorn;
besides, I have heard some say, that a forced
oath is no oath, nor do I make account that
this pilgrimage will avail me a rush; and there-
fore I am resolved, and will not start from
hence, but follow thy counsel. If the King do
hunt after me, I will guard myself as well as I
am able, and against his power apply my policy;
so that being forced to open my sack, let him
not blame me if he catch hurt by his own fury.’
All this while stood Belin the ram at the
gate, and grew exceeding angry both against
the fox and the hare, that they made him wait
so long; and therefore called out aloud for
Reynard to come away, which, when Reynard
heard, he went forth, and said softly to the ram,
Xv REYNARD THE FOX III

‘Good Bellin, be not offended, for Kyward is in
earnest conference with his dearest aunt, and
entreated me to say unto you, that if you
would please to walk before, he would speedily
overtake you, for he is light of foot, and speedier
than you; nor will his aunt part with him thus
suddenly, for she and her children are much
perplexed at my departure.’

‘Ay, but,’ quoth Belin, ‘methought I heard
Kyward cry for help.’

‘How, cry for help? Can you imagine he
shall receive hurt in my house? Far be such
a thought from you; but I will tell you the
reason. As soon as we were come into my
house, and that Avmelin my wife understood
of my pilgrimage, presently she fell down in
a swoon, which, when Ayward saw, he cried
aloud, “O Bellin, come, help my aunt, she
dies, she dies!””’

Then said the ram, ‘In sadness I mistook the
cry, and thought the hare had been in danger.’

‘It was your too much care of him,’ said the
fox, ‘but before he should have any injury in
my house, I would leave to respect either wife
or children. But letting this discourse pass,
you remember, e/iin, that yesterday the King
and his council commanded me, that before |
112 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

departed from the land, I should send unto him
two letters, which I have made ready, and will
entreat you, my dearest cousin, to bear them to
his Majesty.’

The ram answered, ‘I would willingly do
you the service if there be nothing but honour-
able matter contained in your letters; but I am
unprovided of anything to carry them in.’

The fox said, ‘That is provided for you
already, for you shall have my mail which you
may conveniently hang about your neck; I
know they will be thankfully received of his
Majesty, for they contain matter of great im-
portance.’

Then Belin promised to carry them; so the
fox returned into his house, and took the mail,
and put therein the head of Kyward, and
brought it to the ram, and gave him a great
charge not to look therein, till it was presented
to the King, as he did expect the King’s favour;
and that he might further endear himself with
his Majesty, he bade the ram take upon him
the inditing of the letters, ‘which will be so
pleasing to the King, that questionless he will
pour upon you many favours.’

The ram was exceeding glad of this advice,
and thanked the fox, saying, ‘ That the favours
Xi REYNARD THE FOX 113

he did him should not die unrequited ; and I
know it will be much to mine honour when the
King shall think I am able to indite with so
great perfection ; for | know there be many in
these days as ignorant as myself that are risen
to high promotion, only by taking upon them
the worth of other men’s labours; and therefore,



why may not I run the same course also? Yet
I pray you, Reynard, further advise me: is it
meet that I take Ayward the hare along with
me?”

‘O by no means,’ said the fox; ‘ let him come
after you, for I know his aunt will not yet part
with him. Besides, I have other secret things
to impart to him, which may not yet be re-
vealed.’
114 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

This said, Belin took leave of the fox and
went toward the court, in which journey he
made such speed that he came thither before
noon, where he found the King in his palace
sitting amongst the nobility.

The King wondered when he saw the ram
come in with the mail which was made of the



bear’s skin, and said, ‘Whence comest thou,
Bellin, and where is the fox, that you have that
mail about you?’

Bellin answered, ‘My dread Lord, I at-
tended the noble fox to his house, where, after
some repose, he desired me to bear certain
letters to your Majesty of infinite great im-
portance, to which I easily consented, Where-
XV REYNARD THE FOX II5

upon he delivered me the letters enclosed in
this mail, which letters myself had formerly
indited, and I doubt not but are such as will
give your highness both contentment and
satisfaction.’

Presently he commanded the letters to be
delivered to Bocart, his secretary, who was an
excellent linguist, and understood all languages,
that he might read them publicly; so he and
Tibert the cat took the mail from Peldin’s
neck, and opening the same, instead of letters
they drew out the head of Ayward the hare,
at which, being amazed, they said, ‘Woe, and
alas, what letters call you these? Believe it,
my dread Lord, here is nothing but the head
of poor murdered Kyward.’

Which the King seeing, he said, ‘Alas,
how unfortunate was I to believe the traitorous
fox?’

And with that, being oppressed with anger,
grief, and shame, he held down his head for a
good space, and so did the Queen also; but in
the end, shaking his curled locks, he groaned
out such a dreadful noise, that all the beasts
of the forest did tremble to hear it.

Then spake sir /7zrapell the leopard, who
was the King’s nearest kinsman, and _ said,
116 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

‘Why is your Majesty thus vexed in heart?
This sorrow might serve for the Queen’s
funeral. I do beseech you, assuage your
anguish; are not you King and master of
this country, and are not all things subject
to your power?’

The King replied, ‘ Cousin, this is a mischief
beyond endurance; I am betrayed by a base
villain, and a traitor, and have been made to
wrong and abuse my best friends and subjects,
even those of my blood, and nearest counsel.
I mean the stout Brun, and valiant Lsegrim,
whose wrongs speak loud to my dishonour, yet
in myself I found an unwillingness thereto,
only my Queen’s pity working upon the easi-
ness of my belief, hath made me guilty of that
which will evermore grieve me.’

‘Why,’ said the leopard, ‘what of all this?
You are above your injuries, and with one
smile can salve the greatest wound that can
be made in honour; you have power to re-
compense, and what reputation is it that
reward will not sawder? As for the bear
which lost his skin, the wolf, and his wife,
Dame Zveswine, that lost their shoes, you may
in recompense (since Ledin hath confessed
himself a party in this foul murder) bestow
XV REYNARD THE FOX 117

him and his substance on the parties grieved ;
as for Reynard, we will go and besiege his
castle, and having arrested his person, hang
him up by the law of arms without further
trial.’
GC Atal ike Deval

How Bellin the Ram and his lineage were given to
the Bear and the Wolf.

To this motion of the leopard the King con-
sented, so that /vvapell forthwith went to the
prison, where the bear and the wolf were, and
said, ‘My lords, I bring a free and general
pardon from the King, with his love and a
recognition of your injuries, which to re-
compense in some large manner out of his
princely bounty, he is pleased to bestow upon
you both Gefin the ram and his whole genera-
tion, with whatsoever they possess, and is
now confiscate to his Majesty, to hold from
henceforth to you and yours till doomsday ;
with full commission to slay, kill, and devour
them wheresoever you find them, be it in
woods, fields, or mountains. And also the
King granted unto you full power to hunt, kill,
or wound Reynxard the fox wheresoever you
CHAP. XVI REYNARD THE FOX 119

find him or any of his lineage or generation ;
and of this great privilege you shall receive























































































































































letters patent at your pleasure, with only a
reservation of your fealty and homage to be due
to his Majesty, which I advise you to accept,
for it will redound much to your honours.’
{20 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

Thus was the peace made between the
King and these nobles by the leopard, and
Bellin the ram was forthwith slain by them;
and all these privileges doth the wolf hold to
this hour, nor could ever any reconcilement be
made between them and the ram’s kindred.
When this peace was thus finished, the King,
for joy thereof, proclaimed a feast to be held
for twelve days after, which was done with all
solemnity.

To this feast came all manner of wild
beasts, for it was universally known through
the whole kingdom, nor was there wanting any
delight or pleasure that could be imagined, as
music, dancing, masking, and all princely re-
creations; as for several meats, they were in
that abundance, that the court seemed a store-
house which could not beemptied. Also to this
feast resorted abundance of feathered fowl, and
all other creatures that held peace with his
Majesty, and no one missing but the fox only.

Now after this feast had thus continued in
all pomp the space of eight days, about high
noon came Laprell the coney before the King
and Queen, as they sat at dinner, and with a
heavy and lamentable voice said, ‘My gracious
and great Lord, have pity upon my misery,
XVI REYNARD THE FOX 121

and attend my complaint, which is of great
violence, force, and murder, which Reynard the
fox would yesterday have committed against
me. As I passed by the castle of AZalepardus,
where, standing without his gates, attired like
a pilgrim, I supposing to pass peaceably by
him towards my nest, he crossed my way,



saying his beads so devoutly, that I saluted
him; but he, returning no answer, stretched
forth his right foot and gave me such a
blow on the neck between the head and
shoulders, that I imagined my head had been
stricken from my body; but yet so much
memory was left me that I leaped from his
claws, though most grievously hurt and
wounded. At this he grieved extremely,
122 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP,

because I escaped; only of one of my ears
he utterly deprived me, which I beseech your
Majesty in your royal nature to pity, and that
this bloody murderer may not live thus to
afflict your poor subjects.’

Now whilst the coney was thus speaking to
the King, there came flying into the court
Corbaut the rook, who, coming before the



King, said, ‘Great King, I beseech you, vouch-
safe to hear me, and pity the complaint I shall
utter. So it is, that I went this morning with
Sharpbeak my wife to recreate ourselves on
the heath, and there we found Reynard the fox
laid on the ground like a dead carcass, his eyes
staring, his tongue lolling out of his mouth,
like a dead hound, so that we, wondering at
his strange plight, began to feel and touch his
XVI REYNARD THE FOX 123

body, but found no life therein at all. Then
went my wife (poor careful soul), laid her head
to his mouth, to see if he drew any breath, ©
which she had no sooner done, but the foul
murderer, awaiting his time, snatched her head
into his mouth, and bit it quite off. At that |
shrieked out and cried, ‘‘Woe is me, what
misfortunes are these?”

‘But presently the murderer started up,
and reached at me with such a bloody intent,
that with much trembling and anguish I was
fain to fly up to a tree, where I saw him
devour up my wife in such terrible manner,
that the very thought is death to me in the
repeating.

‘This massacre finished, the murderer de-
parted, and I went to the place and gathered
the feathers of my lost wife, which here I
humbly present before your Majesty, be-
seeching you to do me justice, and in such
manner to revenge mine injury, that the world
may speak fame of your great excellence.
For thus to suffer your laws, protections, and
safe-conducts to be violated and broken, will
be such disreputation and scandal to your
crown and dignity, that your very neighbours
and colleagues will note and point at your
124 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. XVI

remissness; besides, the sufferance of the evil
will make you guilty of the trespasses which
arise from such sufferance. But to your
great considerations | leave it, since | know
your Majesty’s own goodness will make you
careful of your honour and royalty.’


Cree PE Re eval

flow the King was angry at these complaints, took
counsel for revenge, and how Reynard was fore-
warned by Grimbard the Brock.

Tue royal King was much moved with anger
when he heard these complaints both of the
coney and the rook, so that his eyes darted
out fire amongst the beams of majesty; his
countenance was dreadful and cruel to look on,
and the whole court trembled to behold him.
In the end he said, ‘By my crown and the
truth | evermore reverence and owe unto the
Queen my wife, I will so revenge these out-
rages committed against my crown and dignity,
that goodness shall adore me, and the wicked
shall die with the remembrance; his falsehood
and flattery shall no more get belief in me. Is
this his journey to Rome and to the /oly
Land? Are these the fruits of his mail, his
staff, and other ornaments becoming a devout
126 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

pilgrim? Well, he shall find the reward of his
treasons; but it was not my belief, but the
persuasion of my Queen; nor am I the first
that hath been deceived by that soft gender,
since many great spirits have fallen through
their enticements.’

This said, he commanded all that were about
him, all noble, worthy, and very discreet spirits,
to assist him with their counsel, and to lay him
down such sure ground for his revenge, that
his honour and royalty might be anew revived,
and every offender made to know and feel the
heavy price for their most unjust actions.

Lsegrim the wolf and Brucn the bear, hearing
the King’s words, were wonderfully well repaid,
and doubted not but now to gain their full
revenge against Reynard, yet still they kept
silence and spake not a word. Insomuch that
the King being much moved with their dumb-
ness, and noting that none durst freely deliver
their opinions, he began to bend his forehead.

But the Queen, after solemn reverence, said
to the King, ‘Mon Sire, pour Dieu croyez mite
toutes choses qu'on vous diva, et ne jurez potnt
légerement, Sir, it is not the part of any ex-
cellent wisdom to believe or protest in any-
thing till the matter be made most apparent
XVII REYNARD THE FOX 127

and pregnant to his knowledge. Neither
should both his ears be engaged to any com-
plaint, but one ever reserved to entertain the
defence of any accused; for many times the
accuser exceedeth the accused in injury, and
therefore Audire alteram partem, to hear the
other party, is the act of perfect justice. For
my own part, howsoever I have erred, yet I
have strong ground for my persuasion, and
whether Reynard be good or bad, yet it stands
with your Excellency not to proceed against
him but by the true form of your laws; for he
hath no power to escape you, but must obey
whatsoever your severity can impose upon
him.’

When the Queen had thus spoken, /7vapell
the leopard, to second her entreaty, said, ‘My
Lord, the Queen hath spoken graciously, and I
see not wherein your Majesty can stray from
her judgment; therefore let him take the due
trial of your laws, and being found guilty of the
trespasses whereof he is accused, let him be
summoned, and if he appear not before your
feast be ended, to clear himself, or submit to
your mercy, then may your Highness proceed
against him as it shall seem best to your
pleasure,’
128 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

To this speech /segrim the wolf replied,
‘Sir Firvapell, for my own part, I think not any
in this assembly will dissent from your counsel,
so it may stand with the pleasure of my Lord
the King. Yet this I dare maintain, that how-
ever Aeynard shall clear himself of these and a
thousand such like trespasses which shall be
brought against him, yet I have that lodged in
my bosom which shall approve he hath forfeited
his life; but at this time his absence shall make
me silent, only touching the treasure of which
he hath informed his Majesty to lie at Crekenpit
in /Yustreloe, there never came a falser informa-
tion from the mouth of any creature; for it was
a lie made out of malice to wrong me and the
bear, and get himself liberty to rob and spoil
all that pass by his house as now he doth; but,
notwithstanding, I hold it meet that all things
be done as shall seem good to his Majesty, or
you, sir /zvapell. Yet this believe, that if he
had meant to have appeared, he had been here
long since, for he hath had summons given
him by the King’s messenger.’

To this the King answered, ‘I will have no
other course of summoning him, but command
all that owe me allegiance, or respect mine
honour, that forthwith they make themselves
XVII REYNARD THE FOX 129

ready for the war; and at the end of six
days appear before me with their bows, guns,
bumbards, pikes, and halberds ; some on horse-
back, some on foot, for I will besiege ak-
pardus instantly, and destroy Reynard and his
generation from the earth for ever; this if any
dislike, let him turn his back, that I may know
him for mine enemy.’



And they all cried with one voice, ‘We are
ready to attend your Majesty.’

When Grimbard the brock heard this
determination he grew exceeding sorry, though
his sorrow was desperate, and stealing from
the rest of the company, he ran with all speed
possible to Malepardus, neither sparing bush
nor brier, pale nor rail; and as he went he said
to himself, ‘Alas, my dear uncle Reynard, into
what hazards art thou drawn, having but one

Kk
130 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

step betwixt thee and thy death, or at the best
thine everlasting banishment? Well may I
grieve for thee, since thou art the top and
honour of my house, art wise and politic, and a
friend to thy friends, when they stand in need
of thy counsel, for with thy sweet language
thou canst enchant all creatures; but all is now
bootless.’

With such manner of lamentations as these,
came Grimbard unto Malepardus, and found
his uncle Reynard standing at the castle gates,
who had newly gotten two young pigeons as
they came creeping out of their nest to try
how they could learn to fly. But now be-
holding his nephew Griméard, he stayed, and
said, ‘Welcome, my best beloved nephew, the
only one I esteem above all my kindred ; surely
you have run exceeding fast, for you are
wonderfully hot; what news, man, how run
the squares at the court?’

‘Oh,’ said Grimébard, ‘exceeding ill with
you, for you have forfeited both your life,
honour, and estate. The King is up in arms
against you with horsemen, footmen, and
soldiers innumerable; besides, /segrim and
Lruin are now in more favour with his Majesty
than I am with you, therefore it is high time
XVII REYNARD THE FOX 131

you have great care of yourself, for their envy
hath touched you to the quick; they have
informed against you, that you are a thief and
a murderer; and to second their informations,
Laprell the coney and Corbaut the rook have
made heinous complaints against you, so that
but your shameful death, | see no escape or
freedom.’

‘Tush,’ said the fox, ‘my dear nephew, if
this be the worst, let no sorrow affright you;
but let us be cheerful and pleasant together,
for though the King and all the court would
swear my death, yet will I be exalted above
them all. Well may they prate and jangle,
and tire themselves with their counsels; but
without the help of my wit and policy, neither
can the court nor commonwealth have any long
continuance. Come, then, my best nephew,
let us enter into my castle and feast ; I have
here a pair of fat pigeons for you, which are
meat of pure and light digestion; I love not
anything better; they are young and tender,
and may be almost swallowed whole, for their
bones are little other than blood. Yet come, I
say, my wife Armelin will receive you kindly ;
but by all means report not to her of any
dangers, for she is of soft and melting temper,
132 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP,

and it might strike her into sudden sickness,
for women are apt to entertain grief. When
we have feasted, I will then to-morrow early in
the morning go with you to the court, and if I
can but obtain speech with the King, I shall
gall some deep enough; only this I desire,
dear nephew, at your hands, that you will
stand to me, as one friend and kinsman ought
to do to another.’

‘Doubt me not,’ said Grimbard, ‘for both
my life and goods shall be at your service.’

‘T thank you, nephew,’ said the fox, ‘and
you shall not find me ungrateful.’

‘Sir,’ said the brock, ‘be bold of this, that
you shall come and make your answer before
the lords freely, for none shall dare to arrest or
hold you, for that favour the Queen and the
leopard have purchased from the King.’

‘T am glad of that,’ said the fox, ‘nor care |
then a hair for their worst malice.’

And this said, they went into Malepardus,
and found Zyvmefn sitting among her young-
lings, who presently arose, and received the
brock with all reverence, and he on the other
part saluted her and her children with all
courtesy. Presently the two pigeons were
made ready, and they supped together, each
XVII REYNARD THE FOX 133
taking their part, though none had so much as
they desired.

Then said the fox, ‘ Nephew, how like you
my children Rossel and Reynardine? J hope
they will do honour to our family; they are

towardly, I assure you, for the one lately caught



a chicken, and the other hath killed a pullet;
they are also good duckers, and can both
deceive the lapwing and the mallard. I tell
you true, I dare already adventure them far,
only I mean first to instruct them how to
escape the gins, and to avoid both the hunts-
man and his hounds. They are of the right
134 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. XVII

hair, nephew, and like me both in countenance
and quality; they play grinning, entrap sooth-
ing, and kill smiling ; this is the true nature of
the fox, and in this they are perfect, which is
great pride unto me.’
Citra Bhai

How the Fox, repenting his sins, doth make hts

confession and ts absolved by the Brock.

‘Unctie,’ said the brock, ‘you may be proud
that you have such toward children, and | re-
joice because they are of my blood.’

‘I thank you, nephew,’ said the fox, ‘but I
know your journey hath made you weary,
therefore you shall go to your rest’; to which
the brock consented, so they laid them down
upon straw litter, and all slept soundly but the
fox, whose heart was heavy with sorrow, and
he lay studying how he might best excuse
himself before the King.

But as soon as the morning began to rise
from the tops of the mountains, he arose and
went with Gvimdbard towards the court; yet
before he went, he took leave of his wife and
children, and said, ‘Think not mine absence
long, dear wife and children, for I must go to
136 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

the court with my cousin Griméard, and though
my stay be more than ordinary, yet take no
affright thereat, and what tidings soever you
hear, yet consider all things for the best, and
be careful of yourselves, and keep my castle
close and well guarded; as for myself, doubt
not but I will defeat all mine enemies.’

‘Alas, Reynard, said his wife, ‘what moves
you to take this sudden journey? ‘The last time
you were at the court you know what dangers
you escaped, and you vowed never to see it
again. Will you now run a second hazard?’

‘Dame,’ said the fox, ‘the occurrences of
the world are divers and uncertain, and we are
subject to the strokes of fortune; but rest you
content, there is necessity that I go, and I
hope my stay shall not be above five days at
the uttermost’; and so embracing his wife and
children, he took leave and departed.

And as they journeyed over the heath,
Leeynard said to the brock, ‘Nephew, since I
was last shriven I have committed many sins,
therefore, I beseech you, let me make before
you my confession, that I may pass with less
trouble through my worst dangers.’

Then he proceeded and said, ‘It is true,
nephew, that I made the bear receive a great
XVIII - REYNARD THE FOX 137

wound for the mail which | did cut off his skin ;
and | caused the wolf and his wife to be stripped
of their shoes; I appeased the King only with
falsehood. I feigned a conspiracy against his
Majesty’s life by the bear and the wolf, when
there was never any such determination ; also
I reported of great treasure to be hid in
fTustveloe, but it was as fabulous as the rest.
I slew Ayward, and betrayed Bellin; |
wounded the coney, and killed Dame Sharf-
beak, the rook’s wife. Lastly, I forgot at my
last shrift one great deceit which I committed,
but I will reveal it; and thus it was—

‘As I went talking with the wolf between
Flouthlust and Elverding, we beheld a goodly
bay mare grazing, with a black foal by her side,
which was exceeding fat and wanton; the wolf
at that instant was almost dead with hunger,
insomuch that he entreated me to go to the
mare, and know if she would sell her foal? I
went and demanded the question. The mare
said, ‘She would willingly sell it for money.”
I then asked the price? And she said, “The
price was written in her hinder foot, which, if
I pleased, I might come and read at my
pleasure”; but I, that well understood her

politic anger, said, “It is true that I cannot
138 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

read, neither do I desire to buy your foal, only
I am a messenger from the wolf, who hath a
great desire to have it.” ‘Then,’ said the
mare, “let him come himself, and I will give
him satisfaction.”

‘Then went I to the wolf, and told him
what the mare said, assuring him that if he
pleased, he might have his belly full of the
foal, provided he could read, for the price was
written in the mare’s hinder foot. ‘ Read,”
said the wolf, “what should ail me? I can,
cousin, read Latin, French, English, and
Dutch; I have studied in Oxford, and argued
with many doctors; I have heard many stately
plays, and sat in the place of judgment; I
have taken degrees in both the laws, nor is
there that writing which I cannot decipher.”

‘So desiring me to stay for him there, away
he went to the mare, and craved that he might
see and read the price of the foal; to which
the mare consented, and lifting up her hinder
foot, which was newly shod with strong iron
and seven sharp nail heads, as the wolf looked
thereon, she smote him just upon the forehead,
so that she threw him over and over, and he
lay in a dead swoon whilst a man might have
ridden a mile and better, which done, away
REYNARD THE FOX

XVIII

trotted the mare with her colt, and left the



poor wolf bloody and wounded, insomuch that

he howled like a dog.
140 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

‘Then went I to him and said, “ Sir /segrim,
dear uncle, how do you, have you eaten too
much of the colt? Indeed, you are unkind, that
will give me no part with you. I went your
message honestly, methinks you have outslept
your dinner; good uncle, tell me what was
written under the mare’s foot, was it in prose
or rhyme? Indeed, I would fain knowit; |
think it was a prick song, for I heard you
sing ; nay, you show your scholarship in all the
arts.”

‘Alas, Reynard, alas,” said the wolf, “I pray
you forbear to disdain me, for I am extremely
wounded, and my anguish is so great that a
heart of flint would pity me. The mare on
her long leg hath an iron foot, and I took the
nails to have been letters, on which I looked;
she hit me so full on the head that I think my
skull is cloven.”

oo Deatemiminclem <1saiG lm oniGes Eish=tuuth
which you tell me? Believe it, you make me
wonder; why, I took you for one of the
greatest clerks in this kingdom. Well, well,
I perceive the old proverb is now made good
in you: The greatest clerks are not the wisest
men. Poor men sometimes may outstrip them
in judgment, and the reason is, you great
XVIII REYNARD THE FOX 141

scholars study so much that you grow dull, in
that you so much over-labour.”

‘And thus with these mocks and taunts I
brought the wolf within a hair’s-breadth of
destruction. And now, fair nephew, I have
unladed my conscience, and delivered as many
of my sins as I can call to my remembrance,
wherefore, I beseech you, let me receive ab-
solution and penance, and then come what
chance shall at the court, | am armed against
all dangers.’

Then Grimbard said, ‘ Your trespasses are
great and heinous, nevertheless, who is dead
must abide dead. And therefore here I freely
absolve you, upon assurance of your hearty
repentance; only the contempt you made in
sending him Ayward’s head, and the abuse
of so many falsehoods will lie heavy upon you.’

‘Why,’ said the fox, ‘he that will live in
the world to see this, hear that, and under-
stand the third, must ever converse with
affliction. No man can touch honey but he
must lick his fingers. I often feel touches of
repentance, but reason and our will are ever
in continual combat, so that I often stand still
as at my wits’ end, and cry out against my
sins, feeling a detestation of them. But pre-
142 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

sently the world and her vanities appear to me
again, and when I find so many stones and
rubs in my way, and the examples of the crafty
men of all degrees, to enchant me, I am forth-
with taken again.

‘The world fills me with covetousness, and
the flesh with wantonness, so that losing my
good resolutions, | am only for evil and
wickedness. I hear their singing, piping,
laughing, playing, and all kind of mirth, and
I see their words and actions so contrary, that
nothing is more uncertain and various; from
them I learn my lying, and from lords’ courts
my flattery; for certainly lords, ladies, and
clerks use most dissimulation.

‘It is now an offence to tell great men truth ;
and he that cannot dissemble cannot live. I
have oft heard men speak truth, yet they have
still graced it with falsehood; for untruths
many times happen into discourse unwillingly
and without knowledge, yet having a handsome
garment it ever goes for current. Dear nephew,
it is now a fashion to lie, flatter, soothe, threaten,
pray, and curse, and to do anything that may
keep the weak in subjection; who does other-
wise is held foolish. But he that cannot wimple
falsehood in truth’s kerchief, hath neither art
XVIII REYNARD THE FOX 143

nor cunning; but he that can do it, and de-
liver error without stammering, he may do
wonders, he may wear scarlet, gray, or purple;
he shall gain both by the laws spiritual and
temporal, and write himself conqueror in every
designment.

‘There be many that imagine they can lie
neatly, but their cunning oft fails them, so that
when they think to feed of the fat morsels,
they slip quite beside their trenchers. Others
are blunt and foolish, and for want of method
mar all their discourses; but he that can give
to his lie a fit and an apt conclusion, can pro-
nounce it without rattling, and make it as
truth appear fair and amiable; that is the man,
and worthy of admiration.

‘But to speak truth is no cunning, it never
makes the evil one laugh. To lie well and
with a grace; to lift up wrong above right;
to make mountains and build castles in the air;
to make men juggle and look through their
fingers, and all for the hope of gain only: this,
nephew, is an art beyond expression ; yet ever-
more of the end cometh misery and affliction.
I will not deny but sometimes men may jest
or lie in small things, for he that will speak
all truths shall sometimes speak out of season.
144 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

To play Placebo may now and then be borne
with; for whoso always speaks truth shall find
many rubs in his way; men may err for need
and mend it by counsel, since no trespass but
hath his mercy, nor any wisdom but at some
time dulleth.’

‘Then,’ said the brock, ‘uncle, you are so
wise you cannot fail in any purpose, and |
would grow enamoured of you; your reasons
so far surpass my understanding, that it is no
need of your shrift, for yourself may play
both the priest and confessor; you know the
world in such sort, that it is impossible for
any man to halt before you.’

With these and such manner of discourses
they held on their journey towards the court ;
the fox’s heart, for all his fair show, was sad
and heavy, yet his countenance betrayed it
not; but he passed without amazement through
all the press of the court, even till he came to
the presence of the King, and the brock
marched close by his side, saying, ‘ Uncle, be
not afraid, but be of good cheer; it is courage
of whom fortune is ever enamoured.’

‘Then,’ said the fox, ‘nephew, you say
true, and your comfort avails me.’

And so on he went, casting a disdainful
XVIII REYNARD THE FOX 145

countenance on those he liked not; or as one
would say, Here I am, what is it that the
proudest of you dare object against me? He
beheld there many of his kin which he knew

Gs



loved him not, as the O?ter, the Beaver, and
divers others which I will name hereafter;
and many he saw which loved him. As soon
as he was come in the view of the King, he
fell down humbly on his knee, and spake as
followeth.
(ClsVAIP INS AX CID

How Reynard the Fox excused himself before the

King, and of the King’s answer.

‘Trat divine power from whom nothing can
be hid, save my Lord the King, and my Lady
the Queen, and give them grace to know who
hath right and who hath wrong, for there
are many false shows in the world, and the
countenance bewrayeth not the heart. This
I wish were openly revealed, and that every
creature’s trespass stood written on his fore-
head, albeit it cost me the uttermost of my
substance, or that you, my Sovereign Lord,
knew me as well as myself, and how I dispose
myself early and late, labouring in your service.
For which cause only malice makes all her
complaints against me, striving to thrust me
out of your grace and favour, insomuch that
out of my anguish I must needs cry shame
upon them which have so deadly belied me,
CHAP. XIX REYNARD THE FOX 147

‘Nevertheless, I know that you, my Lord
and Sovereign Lady, are so excellent in your
judgment, that you will not be carried away
with falsehoods; and therefore I most humbly
beseech your Majesties to take into your
wisdom all things according to the right of
your laws. For it is justice I look for, and
desire that he which is found guilty may feel
the weight of his punishment. For believe
it, dread Lord, it shall be known before I
depart from your court who I| am, that I cannot
flatter, but will show my face with an un-
blemished forehead.’

All they that were in the presence stood
amazed, and wondered when the fox spake
so stoutly. But the King, with a stately
countenance, said, ‘ Reynard, 1 know you are
‘expert in fallacies, but words are now too
weak to relieve you. I believe this day will
be the last of your glory and disgrace ; for me,
I will not chide you much, because I intend
you shall live but a short time; the love you
do bear me you have showed to the coney
and the rook, and your requital shall be a
short life on earth. The ancient saying is,
A pitcher may pass often to the water, but im
the end it comes broken home, And your evils
148 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

have so long succeeded, that they will now pay
you the hazard.’

At these words Reynard was stricken into



a great fear, and wished himself far away ;
yet he bethought himself that now he must
bear through, what fortune soever came.

Whereupon he -said, ‘My Sovereign Lord
XIX REYNARD THE FOX 149

the King, it is but justice that you hear me
answer my accusations, for were my faults
more heinous than envy can make them, yet
equity gives the accused leave ever to answer.
‘I have with my counsel done you service in
former times, and may no less still. I have
never started from your Majesties, but walked
by your side when others have gone from
your presence; if then mine enemies with
their slanders shall prevail against me, blame
me not to complain. Time hath been it was
otherwise, and mine may bring it to the old
course, for the actions of good servants ought
not to be forgotten.

‘I see here divers of my kindred and friends
which now make no value of me, whom I can
prove go about to deprive you of the best
servant you possess. Can your Majesty
imagine if I had been guilty in the least
imagined crime that I would thus voluntarily
have made my appearance even in the throng
of mine enemies? Oh, it had been too much
indiscretion, nor would the liberty I had been
so easily subjected. But Heaven be thanked
I know mine innocence, and dare confront my
worst enemy.

‘Yet when my kinsman Griméard first
150 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP,

brought me the tidings, I must confess | was
half distracted with anger, and had I not been



in the censure of his church, I had appeared
ere they had left complaining, but that detained
me. And I wandered with sorrow on the
heath, till I met with my uncle Martin, the
XIX REYNARD THE FOX 151

ape, who far exceedeth any priest in pastoral
business, for he hath been attorney to the
bishop of Camervick any time this nine years;
and seeing me in this great agony of heart,
he said, ‘“‘ Dear cousin, why are you thus heavy
in spirit, and why is your countenance dejected ?
Grief is easy to carry when the burden is
divided amongst friends; for the nature of a
true friend is to behold and relieve that which
anguish will not suffer the oppressed to see
or suffer.”

‘Then I answered him, “ You say true,
dear uncle, and the like is my fortune, for
sorrow is without cause laid upon me, and of
that I am not guilty; I am accused by those
I ranked with my best friends: as namely, the
coney, who came yesterday to my house as |
was saying JZatins, saying he was travelling
towards the court, but was at that time both
hungry and weary, and therefore requested
of me some meat. I willingly consented, took
him in and gave him a couple of manchets and
sweet butter, for it was on Wednesday, on which
day I never eat flesh. Besides, it was then
a fast, by reason the feast of Whitsuntide was
near. At which time we must have cleansed
and prepared hearts, Z¢ vos estote paratt.
152 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

“« Now when he had almost well refreshed
himself, my youngest son /osse/ came in and
offered to take away what he had left, for you

_know the nature of children is ever to be
eating and craving; but presently the coney
smote Rosse/ on the mouth, that his teeth bled,
and the poor fool fell down almost in a swoon,
which when Reynardine, my eldest son, beheld,
he forthwith leaped to the coney, and caught
him by the head, and questionless had slain
him, had I not come to the rescue. Which
done, I went and gave my son correction for
his fault. But presently Lapred? the coney
posted to my Lord the King, and gave
information that myself sought means to
murder him. Thus I am accused without
cause, and brought in danger, that in truth
have best cause to accuse others.

‘« But not long after came Corbaut the rook
flying to my house with a sad noise. And
demanding what he ailed? he answered,
‘Alas, my wife is dead. I craved the cause ;
he said, ‘A dead hare lying on the heath full
of maggots and vermin, of which she had eaten
so much, that the worms had gnawed her
throat in sunder’; and without speaking to me
any more words, away he flew, leaving me much
XIX REYNARD THE FOX 153

amazed ; and now reports that I slew his wife,
which how could I by any possible means do,
considering she flieth in the air and I walk afoot
onthe ground? Thus, dear uncle, you see how
I am slandered, but it may be it is for my old
sins, and therefore I bear it with more patience.”

‘Then said the ape to me, ‘“ Nephew, you
shall go to the court and disprove their false-
hoods.” ‘Alas, uncle,’ quoth I, “it cannot
be, for the archdeacon hath put me in the
Pope’s curse, because I gave counsel to the
wolf to forsake his holy orders, when he com-
plained to me of his unableness to endure that
strict life and much fasting; of which act I
now much repent me, since he repayeth my
love with nothing but hatred and malice; and
with all the slanders he can invent, stirreth
his Majesty daily against me. These things,
dear uncle, bring. me to my wits’ end, for of
necessity I must go to Rome for absolution ;
and in mine absence, what injury may happen
to my wife and children through the malice of
these bloody wretches, any one may guess.
Whereas, on the other part, were I free of the
Pope’s curse, then I could go to the court, and
plead mine own cause, and turn their malice

into their own bosoms.”
154 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

‘Then said the ape, ‘ Cousin, cast off your
sorrow, for I know the way to ome well, and
am experienced in these businesses, for | am
called the bishop’s clerk, therefore I will go
thither, and enter a plea against the archdeacon,
and in spite of his will, bring you from the
Pope a well-sealed absolution.

‘«Tut, man, I have many great friends
there, as mine uncle Szmoz and_ others,
Prentout, Waytescathe, and the like, all which
will stand unto me; besides, I will not go
unfurnished of money, for I know praters are
best heard with gifts, and the law hath no feet
to walk on but money. A true friend is tried
in necessity, and you shall find me without
dissembling ; therefore cast off your grief, and
go to the court as soon as you can, for I will
presently to Rome, and in the meantime, here I
quit you of all your sins and offences, and only
put them upon myself.

‘« When you come to the court you shall
find there Dame Aukenaw my wife, her two
sisters, and my three children, with divers
others of our family. I pray you salute them
from me, and show them mine occasions; my
wife is exceeding wise, and she shall find that
her distressed friends shall not shrink when I
XIX REYNARD THE FOX 155

can help them. I know she is faithful, and as
behoves her will never leave her friend in
danger. At the uttermost, if your oppression
be more than you can bear, send presently to
me to Home, and not an enemy that you have,
be it king or queen, or subject, even from the
highest to the lowest, but I will presently put
them in the Pope’s curse, and send back such
an interdiction, that no holy or sacred duty
shall be performed till you have right and
justice restored you.

‘« This assure yourself I can easily perform,
for his holiness is very old and little regarded,
and only now cardinal Paregold beareth all the
sway in the conclave, as being young, and
rich in many friends; besides, he hath a
favourite, of whom he is far enamoured, that
he denies nothing she demandeth. His lady is
my niece, and will do whatsoever I request her ;
therefore, cousin, go boldly to the King, and
charge him to do you justice, which I know he
will, since he understands the laws are made
for the use of all men.”

‘This, my Sovereign Lord the King, when
I heard him speak I smiled, and with great
joy came hither to relate unto you the truth;
therefore, if there be any creature within this
156 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

court that can charge me with any trespass
whatsoever, and prove it by testimony as the
law requireth, or if otherwise, he will oppose
himself against me, person to person, grant me
but a day, and equal lists, and in combat I will
maintain my innocence against him, provided
he be equal to me in birth and degree; this
law hath ever hitherto stood constant, and I



hope neither in me, for me, or by me, it stnall
now be broken.’

When all the assembly of beasts heard this,
they were dumb and amazed to behold his
stoutness. As for the coney and the rook, they
were so scared they durst not speak, but
privately stole away out of the court, and being
far on the plain, they said, ‘This devilish
murderer hath such art in his falsehood, that
no truth can look with better countenance,
XIX REYNARD THE FOX 157

which only ourselves know; but having no
other witness, therefore it is better we
depart than try combat with him, which is
so much too strong for us’; and so away they
went.

Lsegrim the wolf, and Bruin the bear, were
very sad when they saw these two forsake the
court; whereupon the King said, ‘If any will
appeal the fox, let him come forth, and he shall
be heard; yesterday we were laden with com-
plaints, where are they to-day? Here is the
fox ready to answer.’

Then said the fox, ‘My Sovereign Lord,
absence makes impudent accusers when
presence daunts them, as your highness may
see both by the coney and the rook. Oh, what
it is to trust the malice of these cowards, and
how soon they may confound good men; but
for me it matters not; nevertheless, had they,
at your Majesty's commandment, but asked me
forgiveness, I had quickly cast all their offences
behind me, for I will ever shake hands with
charity, and not hate or complain of mine
enemies; my revenge I leave to Heaven, and
justice to your Majesties.’

Then said the King, ‘ Reynard, you speak
well, if the inward heart be like the outward
158 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

show, yet I fear your grief is not such as you
express it.’

‘Tt far surmounts it,’ said the fox.

‘No,’ quoth the King, ‘for I must charge
you with one foul treason, which is, when I
had pardoned all your great transgressions,
and you had promised me to go a pilgrimage
to the Holy Land; when I had furnished you
with mail, state, and all things fitting that holy
order; then in the greatest despite you sent
me back in the mail by 4elin the ram the
head of Ayward the hare, a thing so notoriously
to my disgrace and dishonour, that no treason
can be fouler. This you have no colour to
deny, for elm, our chaplain, at his death
revealed the whole process, and the same
reward which he then gained, the same you
shall receive, or else right shall fail me.’

At this sentence Leynard grew so sore
afraid that he knew not what to say, but
looked with a pitiable countenance upon all his
kindred which stood round about him; his
colour went and came, and his heart fainted,
but none lent him either hand or foot to help
him.

Then the King said, ‘Thou dissembling
and false traitor, why art thou now dumb?’
MIX REYNARD THE FOX 159

But the fox, being full of anguish, fetched a
sigh as if his heart would have broken, so that
every beast pitied him, save only the bear
and the wolf, who much rejoiced to behold his
sorrow.


CER AE Ro DX

How Dame Rukenaw answered for the Fox to the
King, and of the parable she told.

Dame Rukenaw the she ape, being aunt unto
Reynard, and a great favourite of the Queen,
was much grieved when she saw this dis-
traction; and it was well for the fox that she
was in the presence, for she was exceeding wise,
and durst boldly speak; and therefore rising
up, after reverence done, she said, ‘My Lord
the King, you ought not to be possessed with
anger when you sit in judgment, for it becometh
not nobility to be void of reason ; it is discretion
which should only accompany you in that
reason ; for my own part, I think I know the laws
as well as some which wear furred gowns, for |
have read many, and put some in use. It is
well known I had ever in the Pope’s palace a
bed of straw, when other beasts lay on the bare
ground, and | was ever suffered to speak freely
CHAP. XX REYNARD THE FOX 161

without interruption because I talk not beyond
mine experience.

‘It is Sexeca’s opinion, that princes are
bound to do justice to all men, nor may the
law waver or halt with any partiality. I do
not think but if every man which standeth
here should call to account all the actions of



his life, he could not choose but pity much the
state of my poor kinsman Reynard, and there-
fore I wish every one to know himself, for
none so sure but they may fall, and for him
that never erred, he is so good that he needeth
no amendment. ‘To do amiss and mend it by
counsel is humane and manly; but to trespass
and still gallop forward in iniquity is insuffer-
M
162 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

able. Goodness never forsaketh her own
servants.

‘This counsel would some take to their
hearts, the day would not appear so dark as it
doth to my cousin Reynard. It is well known
that both his grandfather and father ever bore
greater reputation in this court than either
Bruin or Lsegrim, or their whole generations.
Alas! when have their counsels or wisdoms
been worthy to have held comparison with
those of my cousin Reynxard’s? Why, the
passages of the world are to them prophecies
which they understand not, and the court is
turned topsy-turvy by his absence; the evil
are now advanced and the good suppressed ;
but how this can long endure I see not, since
the end of their labour is but the ruin of your
Majesty.’:

To this speech the King made this answer:
‘Dame, had the fox done that offence to you
that he hath done to others, your excuse would
couch in another nature; you cannot blame
me to hate him, since it is only he which
breaketh my laws and covenants. You have
heard him accused of theft, murder, and treason,
how can you then defend him? If you will
needs make him your saint, then set him upon
XX REYNARD THE FOX 163

the altar and do him worship; but believe it,
there is no one good thing in him; and how-
ever you imagine, yet search him and you
shall find him rotten and deformed. There
is neither kinsman nor friend but yourself that
will assist him, and therefore your violence
draws my greater wonder. What companion
hath he that ever thrived by his society, or
whom hath he smiled on, that his tail hath not
after dashed out the eye of ?’

To this the she ape replied: ‘My Lord, I
love him, and have ever borne him a singular
reverence, and I can well recount one noble
and good action he did in your presence, for
which then you thanked him, though it be now
forgotten; yet the heaviest thing should ever
weigh the most, and men should keep a
measure in their affections, and not hate nor
love with violence, since constancy is the
greatest ornament of a princely nature. We
should not praise the day till the evening come,
nor is good counsel available but to those
which mean to pursue it.

‘I remember about some two years since
there came to this court a man and a serpent,
to have judgment in a doubtful controversy ;
for the serpent attempting to go through a
164 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

hedge was taken by the neck with a snare, so
that there was no way for him to escape with
life. A’certain man passing by, the serpent
called and cried unto him and desired his help,
or else he should perish presently. The man
taking pity of him said, “If thou wilt faithfully
promise me neither to do me hurt with thy
tooth or tail, nor other poison about thee, |
will release thee.” The serpent presently
swore “he would not, neither at that time nor
any time hereafter” ; so the man unloosed him
and set him free, and they went forth and
travelled together a long season.

‘At the last the serpent grew exceeding
hungry, and rushing upon the man offered to
kill him; but the man started aside, and said,
‘What meanest thou to do? hast thou for-
gotten thine oath?” The serpent replied,
“No; but I may justly kill thee since I am
compelled thereto by hunger, which cancelleth
all obligations.” ‘Then the man said, ‘If it be
so, yet give me leave to live till we may meet
with the next passenger which may judge the
controversy.”

‘The serpent agreed thereto; so they
travelled till they met with 7zsedén the raven,
and Stnofere his son, to whom relating the
XX REYNARD THE FOX 165

difference, the raven adjudged that the serpent
should eat the man, hoping that he and his
son should get a share also. But the man
said, ‘‘ How shall he that is a robber and lives
by blood judge this cause? It must not be one
but divers, and such as know both law and
equity, that must judge this contention: the
raven is neither just nor indifferent.”

‘Then they travelled till they met the bear
and the wolf, unto whom also they told the
matter, and they adjudged as against the man
likewise. Then the serpent began to cast his
venom at the man; but the man leaped away,
and said, ‘You do me wrong thus to attempt
to kill me”; and the serpent said, ‘ Hath not
the judgment gone twice on my side?” “Yes,”
said the man, ‘by such as are murderers them-
selves, and such as never keep promise; but
I appeal unto the court, let me be tried by
your King, and what judgment he giveth |
will willingly abide.”

‘To this they all consented: so they came
to the court before your Majesty, and the
wolf's two children came with their father, the
one was called Lipty-bell, the other Ever-full,
because they sought to devour the man. So
the full process of the matter was declared to
166 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP,

your Majesty; both the man’s kindness and
covenant, the serpent’s danger and faith breach,
occasioned through the extremity of hunger.
Remember how much your highness was per-
plexed with their difference, and all your council
also. For the man’s sorrow, the serpent’s
hunger; the man’s goodness, and the serpent’s
ingratitude, equally raised much pity in your
bosom. But in the end such doubts rose that
not any in your court was able to judge it.

‘At last, when no help could be found, then
you commanded my kinsman Aeynard to decide
the business. Then was he the oracle of the
court, nor was anything received but what he
propounded; but he told your Majesty it was
impossible to give true judgment according to
their relations; but if he might see the serpent
in that manner as he was fettered, and the
greatness of his danger, then he knew well
how to give judgment therein. Then you
commended him, and called him by the title of
Lord Reynard, approving that to be done which
he had spoken.

‘Then went the man and the serpent to
the place where the serpent was snared, and
Reynard commanded the serpent to be fastened
as before in the snickle, which being done,
XX REYNARD THE FOX 167

then said your Majesty, “ Reyxard, what judg-
ment will you now give?” and he replied,
“They are now, my Lord, in the same state
they were before at their first encounter:
they have neither won nor lost; therefore this
is my censure, if it be your Majesty’s pleasure.
If the man will now loose and unbind the
serpent upon the same promise and oath made
formerly unto him, he may at his pleasure; but
if he think that hunger or other inconvenience
will make him break his faith, then may the
man go freely whither he will, and leave the
serpent bound and enthralled as he first found
him ; for it is fit that ingratitude be so repaid.”
‘This judgment your Majesty then ap-
plauded for most excellent, and held the
wisdom of the fox unlimitable, terming him
the preserver of your honour. When did
ever the bear or wolf the like? They can howl
or scold, steal, rob, and eat fat morsels, make
their sides crack with others’ ruin, and con-
demn him to death who takes a chicken; but
themselves which kill kine, oxen, and horses,
oh, they go safe and be accounted as wise as
Solomon, Avicenna, or Aristotle, and their deeds
and statutes must be read for monuments.
But if they come where virtue is to be exer-
168 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

cised, they are the first which retreat and let
the simple go foremost, whilst they follow in
the retreat with shame and cowardice.

‘These, my Lord, and their like are the
fools of the corrupt times, yet destroy towns,
castles, lands, and people; nor care they whose
house burneth so they may warm them by the
fire; for it is their profit only at which their
aim bendeth. But Reynard the fox and all
his family have ever made the honour of the
King their renown and advancement, and ap-
plied their counsel to do him service, not pride
and boasting ; this hath been and is his exer-
cise, though it now be thankless. But time,
I hope, will produce whose merit is greatest.

‘Your Majesty says his kindred are all fallen
from him, and start at his fortune; would any
but your highness had affirmed it; you should
then have seen there could not be a thing of
greater falsehood. But your grace may say
your pleasure, nor will I in any word oppose
you, for to him that durst so do would both he
and we bend our forces.

‘It is known we dare fight, nor are we de-
scended of any base generation ; your highness
may call to mind the worth of our pedigree,
and how dearly from time to time they have
XX REYNARD THE FOX 169

respected him, willing ever to lay down their
lives and goods for the safety of their noble
kinsman Reynard. For mine own part I am
one myself, and albeit I am the wife of another,
yet for him I would not stick to spend my
dearest blood. Besides, I have three full-
grown children, which are known valiant and
strong in arms, yet for his sake I would ad-
venture them all to the uttermost peril. Albeit
I love them with that dear affection that no
mother doth exceed me. My first son is called
LBitelus which is most active and nimble, my
second, Fulromp, the third is a daughter called
FHlatanet; and these three are loving and dear
to one another.’

With that she called them forth unto her,
and said, ‘Come, my dear children, and stand
with your kinsman the noble Reynard, and
with you come all the rest of our ancient
family, and be all petitioners to the King,
that he would do to Reynard the equity of
his laws and kingdom.’

Then presently came forth a world of other
beasts, as the squirrel and the ferret ; for
those love poultry as well as Reynard doth.
Then came the otter and Pantecrote his wife,
which I had almost forgotten, because in
170 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

former time they had taken part with the
bear against the fox, but now they dare not
but obey Dame Rukenaw, for they stood in
awe of her wisdom and greatness; and with
these came above twenty other beasts for
her sake and stood by Reynard. Then came
also Dame A/¢rvof and her two sisters, the
weasel and ermine, the ass, the sow, the
water-cat, and many others, to the number
almost of a hundred, and stood by Reynard
with such affection, as if his trouble did
equally concern them.

Then said the ape, ‘My Lord the King,
now you may see that my kinsman hath
friends which dare avow him, and we are
your true and loyal subjects, which will never
fail to do you faithful service. Therefore, let
us with one voice beg of your Majesty, that
Reynard may have justice; and if he be not
able to disprove his adversaries, and clear
the crimes imputed against him, let the law
pass, for we will not murmur to see _ his
destruction.’

Then said the Queen to Rukenaw, ‘Thus
much I told unto his Majesty yesterday, but
his anger was so great he would not give
ear to me.’
XX REYNARD THE FOX 171

Also the leopard said, ‘Sire, you must
judge according to witness, for to be governed
by will is tyrannous and ignoble.’

Then answered the King, ‘It is true you
inform me; but the disgrace done to my
particular self in Ayyward’s death and other
informations so robbed me of patience, that
I had no leisure to look back either to law
or reason. Therefore, now let the fox speak
boldly, and if he can justly acquit himself of
the crimes laid against him, I shall gladly
restore him his liberty, and the rather for
you his dear friends’ sake, whom I have ever
found faithful and loyal.’

Oh how infinitely glad was the fox when
he heard these words, and said in himself,
‘Thanks, my noble aunt, a thousand times,
thou hast put me new blossoms on my dried
roses, and set me in a fair path to liberty.
I have one good foot to dance on; anaes
doubt not but to use my art of dissimulation
so bravely, that this day shall be remembered
for my renown and victory.’
CA Re Oxe)

How Reynard excused himself of Kyward’s death,
and all other tmputations, got the King’s favour,

and made a relation of certain Jewels.

Tuen spake Reynard the fox to the King,
and said, ‘Alas, my Sovereign Lord, what is
that you said? Is good Ayward the hare
dead? Oh where is then Belin the ram, or
what did he bring to your Majesty at his
return? ~For it is certain I delivered him
three rich and inestimable jewels, I would
not for the wealth of /zdia they should be
detained from you; the chief of them I
determined for you my Lord the King, and
the other two for my Sovereign Lady the
Queen.’

‘But,’ said the King, ‘I received nothing
but the head of poor murdered Ayward, for
which I executed the ram, having confessed the
deed to be done by his advice and counsel.’
* CHAP. XX1 REYNARD THE FOX 173

‘Is this true?’ said the fox; ‘then woe is
me that ever I was born, for there are lost
the goodliest jewels that ever were in the
possession of any prince living; would I had
died when you were thus defrauded; for |
know it will be the death of my wife, nor will
she ever henceforth esteem me.’

Then said the she ape, ‘Dear nephew,
why should you sorrow thus for transitory
wealth? Let them go, only discourse what
manner of jewels they were, it may be we
shall find them again; if not, the magician
M. AZkarin shall labour his books and search
_ all the corners of the earth. Besides, who-
soever detains them shall be cursed in all
parishes till he restore them to the King’s
Majesty.’

‘© aunt, said the fox, ‘do not persuade
yourself so, for whosoever hath them will not
restore them to gain an empire, they are so
goodly and precious; yet your words do some-
thing appease me. But whom shall we trust
in this corrupt age, when even sanctity itself
walks masked and mistaken?’

And then fetching a deep sigh, with which
he gilded his dissimulation, he proceeded on
and said, ‘Hearken all you of my stock and
174 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

lineage, for I will here discover what these
rich jewels were, of which both I and the
King are defrauded. The first of them, and
which indeed I intended for his Majesty, was
a ring of fine and pure gold, and within this
ring next the finger were engraven letters
enamelled with azure and sables, containing
three Hebrew names. For my own part,
I could neither read nor spell them; but
M. Adrion of Zrere, the excellent linguist, who
knoweth the natures of all manner of herbs,
beasts, and minerals, to this famous Jew I
showed the ring once, and he assured me
that they were those three names which Seth
brought out of Paradise when he brought to
his father Adam the oil of mercy. And
whosoever shall wear these three names about
him shall never be hurt by thunder or
lightning, neither shall any witchcraft have
power over him; he shall not be tempted to
do any sins, neither shall heat nor cold ever
annoy him.

‘Upon the top of the ring was encased a
most precious stone of three several colours:
the first like red crystal, and glittering like
fire, and that with such brightness, that if
one had occasion to journey by night, the
XXI REYNARD THE FOX 175

light thereof was so great as that at noon-
day; the other colour was white and clear,
as if it had been burnished, and the virtue
of it was to cure any blemish or soreness in
the eyes, or any part of the body; also by
stroking the place grieved therewithal, it
presently cured all manner of swellings,
headache, or any sickness whatsoever, whether
it were venom, weakness of stomach, colic,
stone, strangles, fistula, or canker, either
outwardly applied as aforeshown, or inwardly,
by steeping the stone in water, and then
drinking the same; the last colour was
green like grass mixed with a few small
spots of purple; and the learned affirmed for
truth, that whosoever wears this stone about
him could never be vanquished by his
enemies, and that no creature were he never
so strong and hardy, but he shall yield to
him, and he should be victor day and night
in all places.

“Again, as far as one bore it fasting, into
what company soever he chanced, albeit his
worst enemies, yet should he be of them
infinitely beloved, nor should any anger or
evil turn be remembered. Also, if one
should be naked in a vast wild field against
176 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP,

an hundred armed enemies, yet should not
his heart fail him, but he should come off
with honour and victory; only he must be
nobly bred, and of no churlish disposition ;
for the ring gave no virtue to any which
was not a true gentleman. Now all these
virtues considered, I thought myself unworthy
to keep it, and therefore I sent it to you,
my Lord the King, knowing you to be the
most excellent of all creatures living, and
one on whom all our lives depend, and
therefore fittest to be guarded with so rich
a jewel.

‘This ring I found in my father’s treasure,
and in the same place also I found a comb
and a glass mirror, which my wife desired of
me; they were jewels of great wonder and
admiration; these were sent to my lady the
Queen, because of her grace and mercy
extended towards me.

‘To speak of the comb, it can never be
too much praised, for it was made of the
bone of a noble beast named Panther, which
liveth between the great /zdia and earthly
Paradise; he is so goodly and fair of colour
that there is no beautiful colour under heaven
but some splendour thereof appears in him;
XXI REYNARD THE FOX 177

also the smell of him is delicately sweet and
wholesome, that the very savour cureth all
infirmities, and for his excellent beauty and
rare odour all other beasts attend and follow
him, for he is the physician to all their
sicknesses,

‘The Panther hath one fair bone broad and
thin, which, whensoever this beast is slain, all
the virtues of the whole beast do rest in that
bone, which can never be broken, nor ever
rot, consume or perish either by fire, water,
or other violence, yet it is so light a small
feather may poise it. The smell of it hath
that virtue, that whosoever smells it, taketh
delight in no other thing whatsoever, and they
are presently eased of all manner of diseases
and infirmities, and the heart is cheerful and
merry ever after.

‘This comb is polished like unto fine silver,
and the teeth of it are small and straight, and
between the great teeth and the small in a
large field or space, there is graven many an
image, subtilely made, and cunningly enamelled
about with fine gold; the field is checked with
sables and silver, and enamelled with cybor
and azure; and therein is contained the story
how Venus, Juno, and Pallas strove for the

N
178 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

golden ball in the mountain /da, and how it
was put to Paris, to give it to the fairest of
them.

‘Now for the glass mirror, it was not
inferior to either of the other; for the glass
which stood thereon was of such virtue that
men might see and perceive therein what-
soever was done within a mile thereof, whether
it were the actions of men, or beasts, or any-
thing else the owner would desire to know,
and whosoever but gazed therein, if he had
any malady whatsoever, it was presently cured.
So great were the virtues of this rare glass,
that wonder not if I shed tears to think of
the loss; for the wood in which this glass
stood was light and fast, and is called caézne,
it will last for ever; for no worms, dust, wet,
or time can consume it; and therefore King
Solomon ceiled his temple with the same.
The value exceeds far the value of gold; it is
like to the wood hebenus, of which King
Crampart made a horse, for the love of the
most beautiful daughter of King Morcadiges.

‘This horse was made with such art within,
that whosoever rode on it, if he pleased, he
would run above an hundred miles in less than

an hour, which was approved by Clamades
XXI REYNARD THE FOX 179

the King’s son, who not believing in the
engine, and being young and lusty, leaped
upon the horse, and presently Crampar¢t turning
a pin that. stood in the breast of the engine,





moved and went out of the palace through the
windows, and in the first minute he was gone at
least ten miles. Clamades was much affrighted
at the wonder, and imagined, as the story said,
that he should never have returned back
again; but of his long journey, much fear,
180 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

great trouble, and infinite joy, when he had
learned to manage and govern the wooden
beast, I. leave to speak for tediousness’ sake,
only the high virtue of all issued from the
wood.

‘Of this wood the glass case was made,
being larger than the glass by half a foot and
more square, upon which verge was deciphered
divers many strange histories in gold, in silver,
in sables, yellow, azure, and cynope; and these
colours were very curiously wrought and inter.
laid together, and under each history the
words so engraven and enamelled, that any
man might read the whole story.

‘Believe it, the world never produced a
thing of greater worth, lustre, or pleasure.
In the upper part thereof stood a horse in his
natural glory, fat, fair, and fiery, which braved
a stately hart which ran before him; but
seeing he could not overtake the hart in
swiftness; at which he infinitely disdained, he
went to a herdsman standing by, and told him,
if he would help him to take a hart which he
would show him, he should have all the profit
of the conquest, as the horns, skin, and flesh.

‘Then the herdsman asked him what

means he should use to get him. The
XXI REYNARD THE FOX 181

horse said, “Mount upon my back, and |
will bear thee after him, till with tiring we
take him.” The herdsman took his offer,
and bestriding the horse followed the deer;
but he fled away so fast, and got so much
ground of the horse, that with much labour
the horse grew weary, and he bade the herds-
man alight, for he would rest himself awhile.
But the herdsman said, ‘I have a bridle on
thy head, and spurs on my heels, therefore
know thou art now my servant, neither will I
part with thee, but govern thee as seems best
to my pleasure.” Thus the horse brought
himself into thraldom and was taken in his
own net, for no creature hath a _ greater
adversary than his own envy, and many which
labour the hurt of others, still fall upon their
own ruin.

‘In another part were figured an ass and a
hound, which were both the servants of a rich
man. This man loved his hound exceedingly,
and would oft play with him, and suffer the
dog to fawn and leap upon him, and now and
then to lick him about the mouth. Now when
Laldwin the ass saw this, he began to envy
the hound, and said, ‘What sees my master
in this foul hound, that he suffers him thus to
182 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

leap upon him and kiss him? I see no profit-
able service he doth him. I labour, bear and
draw, and do more service in one week than
the dog and his whole kind are able to do in
a year, and yet have I not the tithe of his
favours; for he sitteth by his trencher, eats
the fat of his meat, and lies on carpets and
pillows; when I that do all am fed only with
nettles and thistles. Well, I will no longer
endure it, but I will study to have my lord’s
favour as much as the hound, if not in greater
measure.”

‘Anon, the master of the house came home,
and the ass lifting up his tail leaped with his
forefeet on his shoulders, and braying and
grinning, and put forth his mouth to kiss him,
and used such rude unmannerly action, that he
rubbed all the skin from his master’s ear, and
almost overthrew him, so that the man was
forced to cry out, “ Help, help, for this ass will
kill me.” Then came in his servants with
staves, and beat the ass so exceedingly, that
he was almost slain, which done, he returned
to his stall again, and was an ass as he was
before. In the same manner, they which do
envy and spite at others’ welfare, if they
receive the same reward, it is nothing more
XXI REYNARD THE FOX 183

than is due to their merit; for an ass is an ass
and was born to eat thistles; and where asses
govern, there order is never observed, for they
have no eye either on this side, or beyond
their own private profit; yet sometimes they
are advanced, the more is the pity.

‘In another part was figured the story how
my father and 77éer¢ the cat travelled together,
and had sworn by their troth that neither for
love nor hate they would depart one from the
other; but it happened on a time they saw
hunters coming over the fields with a kennel
of hounds, from which they fled apace, for their
lives were in danger. Then said the fox,
“ Tibert, whither shall we fly? for the hunters
have espied us; for mine own part, I havea
thousand wiles to escape them, and as long as
we abide together we shall not need to fear
them.”

‘But the cat began to sigh, and was
exceedingly afraid, and said, “ Reyxard, what
needs many words? I have but one wile,
and that must help me”; and forthwith he
clambered up to the top of a high tree, where
he lurked amongst the leaves, that neither
huntsman nor hound could hurt him, and left
my father to abide the whole hazard, for the
184 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. XXI

whole kennel pursued him, horns and halloos
echoing after him, “ Kill the fox, kill the fox.”

‘This when 7Zzdert saw, he mocked my
father, and said, ‘“‘ Now, cousin Reynard, it is
time to let loose all your wiles, for if your wit
fail you, I fear your whole body will perish.”
This my father hearing from him he most
trusted, and being then in the height of
pursuit, wearied and almost spent, he let his
mail slip from his shoulders, to make himself
so much lighter; yet all availed not, for the
hounds were so swift they had caught him,
had he not by chance espied a hole, into
which he entered, and escaped the hounds and
huntsmen.

‘Thus you may see the false faith of the cat,
whose like there be many living at this time,
and though this might well excuse me from
loving the cat, yet my soul’s health and charity
bind me to the contrary, and I wish him no
hurt, though his misfortunes shall never be
grievous to me; not so much for hatred as the
remembrance of his injuries, which often con-
tends against my reason.

‘Also in that mirror stands another history of
the wolf, how on a time he found upon a heath
a dead horse, whose flesh being eaten away, he
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CHAP. XXI REYNARD THE FOX 187

was fain to gnaw and devour the bones, which
he did with such greediness, that swallowing
them too hastily down, one fell so across
his throat that he was almost choked, and
hardly escaped with life ; whereupon he sought
every place for the cunningest surgeons, pro-
mising them great gifts to ease his torment ;
but having lost much labour, in the end he
met with the crane, and besought him with his
long neck and bill to help him, and he would
highly reward him.

‘ The crane, greedy of gain, put his head into
the wolf’s throat, and brought out the bone.
The wolf started at the pull, and cried out
aloud, ‘Thou hurtest me; but I do forgive
thee; yet do it not again I charge thee, for at
another’s hands I would not bear it.”

‘Then the crane said, ‘“ Sir /segrtm, go and
be frolic, for you are whole. I look for no
more but the reward you promised me.”

“« How,” said the wolf, “what impudence
is this? I suffer and have cause to complain ;
yet he will be rewarded, he will not so much
as thank me for his life, but forgets that his
head was in my mouth, and how I suffered him
to draw it out again without hurting ; albeit
he has put me to exceeding much pain. I
188 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

suppose it is I which deserve the reward, and
not the crane.”

‘Thus you may see the fashion of ungrateful
men in these days, how ever they reward good
with evil; for whereas pride is exalted, there
honour is ever laid in the dust. There be in
the world which ought to reward and do good
to those that have advanced them, which now
complain, and make those advancements in-
juries; but the guerdon will follow; for it is
the wisest counsel, that whosoever will go
about to chastise another, should ever be sure
of his own clearness,

‘All this and a world more than I can well
remember was curiously wrought on this glass ;
for the work-master thereof was the most
cunning and profound clerk in all sciences that
ever breathed. And because the jewels were
too good and precious for me to keep, therefore
I sent them to the King and Queen’s Majesties
as a present to witness my faith and service.
Oh, he that had seen what sorrow my children
made when I sent the glass away, would have
wondered! for by reason of the great virtue
therein, they oft gazed in the same, both to
behold themselves, and to see how their
clothing and apparel became them.
XXI REYNARD THE FOX 189

‘Little did I then imagine that good Ayward
was so near his death, for except himself, and
Lellin the ram, 1 knew no messengers worthy
to carry so rich a present. But I will search
the whole world, and I will find the murderer,
for murder cannot be hid. It may be, he is in
this presence which knows what is become of
Kyward, albeit he do conceal it; for the wicked
walk like saints.

‘Yet the greatest wonder of all is, which
troubled me most, that my Lord the King
should say, that my father nor myself ever did
good. But the troubles of affairs may well
breed forgetfulness in Kings, otherwise your
Majesty might call to mind how, when the
King your father lived, and you were a prince
not above two years old, my father came from
the school at AZountpelorr, where he had studied
five years the art of physic, and was éxpert in
all the principles thereof, and so famous in
those days, that he wore clothes of silk and a
golden girdle. Now when he was come to the
court, he found the King in great extremity of
sickness, which was no little grief unto him,
for he loved the King most dearly, and the
King rejoiced at his sight, and would not suffer
him to be out of his presence. All others
190 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

might walk whither they would, only he must
ever be near him. Then said your father,
“ Reynard, | am exceeding sick, and I feel my
sickness increasing.” My father answered,
“My lord, let me feel your pulse, and as soon
as I. perceive your state, I will give my
opinion.” The King did as he was advised,



for he trusted not any equal with him. Then
said my father, “ My best Lord, if you will be
eased of your grief, you must needs eat the
liver of a wolf of seven years old, or else your
disease is incurable.”

‘The wolf at that time stood by your father,
but said nothing; whereupon the King said,
“Sir /segrim, you hear how there is nothing
which can cure me but your liver.” The wolf
XXI REYNARD THE FOX Ig

replied, ‘‘ Not so, my Lord, for I am not yet
full five years old.” ‘It is no matter,” answered
my father, “let him be opened, and when I see
the liver, I will tell you if it be medicinal.”
Then was the wolf carried to the kitchen and
his liver taken out, which the King ate, and
was presently cured of his sickness.

‘Then the King thanked my father, and
commanded all his subjects, on pain of death,
from thenceforth to call him Master Reynard.
So he abode still about the King, walked by
his side, and was trusted in all things; and the
King gave him, for an honour, a garland of
roses, which he must ever wear upon his head.
But these remembrances are all lost and gone,
and his enemies are now only advanced ; virtue
is put back, and innocence lives in sorrow;
for when baseness and covetousness are made
commanders, they neither know themselves,
nor look at the lowness from whence they are
risen. They have no hearts for pity, nor ears
for the poor man’s cause. Gold is the goal
they run to, and gifts the god which they
worship. What great man’s gate doth not
now lock up covetousness? Where is not
flattery entertained, and what prince takes
hate at his own praises? But should greatness
192 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

need their honest service, well might they
starve ere they could gain that employment;
for like wolves they had rather see their
masters die than lend them the least part of
their liver.

‘This, my Lord, was an accident which fell
in your youth, and you may well forget it;
yet, without boasting, I myself may say |
have done to you both honour and service,
and you haply also forget this which I shall
repeat, which I vow I do not to upbraid
your Majesty, for you are ever worthy of
more than I can tender; and my uttermost
is but the rent of a loyal subject, which I
am ever bound by the laws of God and nature
to perform.

‘So it was, that on a time /segrizm the wolf
and I had gotten a swine under us, and by
reason of his extreme loud crying, we were
compelled to bite him to death. At which
time yourself came out of a grove unto us,
and saluted us friendly, saying, “That you
and the Queen your wife, who came after you,
were both exceeding hungry, and entreated us
to give you part of our getting.”

‘Isegrim then whispered in such manner
that none could understand him; but I spake
XNXI REYNARD THE FOX 193

out aloud, “ With all my heart, my Lord, and
were it better than it is, it were too mean for
your service.” But /segrim, according to his
wont, departed grumbling, and took half of the
swine, giving you and the Queen but one poor
quarter, the other he himself unmannerly de-
voured, and left me for my share but poor half
of the lungs. When your Majesty had eaten

























your part, you were still hungry, but the wolf
would deliver none; so that you reached him
a blow with your foot, which tore all the
skin from about his ears, so that he ran away
crying and howling with all extremity. But
your Majesty commanded him to return again
speedily and bring you more meat; yet he
went away grumbling. Then I besought your
Majesty that I might go with him: and I well
remember your answer. So away we went
Oo
194 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

together, his ears dropping blood all the way
as he went.

‘In the end we took a calf, and when your
Majesty saw us bring it, you laughed, and said
to me, ‘I was a swift huntsman, and could find
my game quickly, and therefore I was fit to
serve in time of necessity.’ Then you bade
me to divide it, and I did it, and gave one half
thereof to your Majesty, the other half to the
Queen. As for the liver, lungs, and all the
inwards, I sent them to the young princes
your children. As for the head, I gave it to
Tsegrim the wolf, and took unto myself but the
feet only. Then said your Majesty, ‘Ah,
Reynard, who taught you to make these
courteous divisions?” ‘My Lord,” answered
I, “that did this priest which sits here with the
bloody pate; for he lost his skin for his too
much inequality, and for his covetousness hath
reaped nothing but shame and dishonour. But
it matters not, for there be many wolves in
these days that would even eat up their best
friends and kindred—nay, if they had power,
even your Majesty also, for they make no
respect either of friend or enemy. But woe to
that commonwealth where such have the upper
hand and government.”
XXI REYNARD THE FOX : 195

‘My gracious Lord, this and many such like
actions as this have I done for your Majesty,
which were it not for tediousness’ sake I could
well repeat. But they are all now cast out of
your remembrance; time and my loyalty |
hope will one day again recall them. I have
seen the day when no matter was finished in
the court without my advice and censure,
though now that judgment is not so reputed ;
yet it may be, the same reputation may spring
up again, and be believed as firmly as before,
as long as it swerves not from justice, which is
the only thing I aim at. For if any one can
charge me otherwise and prove it by witness,
here I stand to endure the uttermost the law
can inflict upon me; but if malice only slander
me without witness, I crave the combat ac-
cording to the law and instance of the court.’

Then said the King, ‘ Reynard, you say
well, nor know I anything more of Ayward’s
death than the bringing of his head unto me
by Belin the ram, therefore of it I here acquit
you.’

‘My dear Lord,’ said the fox, ‘I humbly
thank you: yet is his death so grievous unto
me I cannot let it pass so easily. I remember
my heart was heavy at his departure, and I was
196 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP, XXI

ready to sink to the ground, which was a certain
presage of the loss which happened.’

These words, and the sad looks of the fox,
so amazed all the beholders, that they could
not choose but believe all that he uttered, so
that every one bemoaned his loss, and pitied
his sorrow. But the King and Queen were
most touched with the same, and then entreated
him that he would make diligent search for the
finding of them out, for his praises had stricken
them far in love with the jewels. And because
he told them he had sent those jewels unto
them, though they never saw them, yet they
gave him as great thanks as if they had been
in their safe possession, and desired him he
would be a means they might be restored to
them again.
CHARTER SOx

How Reynard made his peace with the King, and how
Isegrim the Wolf complained of him again.

Tue fox understood their meaning exceeding
well, and though he little meant to perform
what they entreated, yet he thanked the King
and Queen for the comforts they gave him in his
great extremity. He vowed not to rest, neither
night nor day, but to search all the corners of
the earth till he had found what was become of
those jewels. Also he entreated his Majesty,
that if they should be concealed in such places
where he might be withstood by force, so as
neither his prayers nor power might attain
unto them, that then his highness would assist
him both because it was an occasion which
concerned him so nearly, and also a thing
required from his office, being an act of perfect
justice, to punish theft and murder, both which

were contained in this action.
198 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

Then the King assured him that so soon as
it should be known where they were, no help
or assistance should be wanting. The fox
gave the King humble thanks, for now he
had gotten all his purposes to the wished end
he expected, and by his false tale and flattery
had so fastened the King unto him, that now
he might go freely whither he pleased, and
none should dare to complain of him.

Only /segrim the wolf stood all this while
infinitely displeased, and not able to contain
his anger any longer, he said, ‘O my Lord the
King, is it possible your Majesty should be so
much childish or weak of belief as to fix your
trust upon the falsehood of this ever-deceiving
merchant, which hath nothing but shadows and
chimeras wherewith to enchant you? Oh be
not so easily seduced; he is a wretch all
covered and besmeared with murder and
treason, and even to your own face hath made
a scoff of your Majesty. For my own part I
am glad he is here in your presence, and I
intend to ring him such a peal of contrary
nature, that all the lies he can invent shall not
bear him away with safety.

{50 jit 1s. anyecdteads lord. that this dis:
sembling and false traitor not long since did
XXII REYNARD THE FOX 199

betray my wife most shamefully; for it
happened upon a winter's day, that they two
travelled together through a very great water,
and he persuaded my wife that he would teach
her a singular art, how to catch fish with her
tail, by letting it hang angle-wise in the water
a good while, whereunto, he said, there would
so much fish instantly cleave, that half a dozen
of them should not be able to devour it.

‘The silly fool, my wife, supposing all to be
truth which came from him, went presently
into the mire up to the middle before she came
to the water, and coming into the depth of the
water, as he directed her, she held her tail
down still in the water, expecting when there
the fish would cleave to it; but the weather
being sharp and frosty, she stood there so
long that her tail was frozen hard to the ice,
so that all the force she had was not able to
pull it out. This no impudence can make him
deny, for I came and saw him there. Oh how
much jealousy, grief, and fury assailed me at
that instant, I was even distracted to behold
them; and I cried, “ Reynard, villain, what
art thou doing?” but he seeing me so near
approaching, presently ran his way.

‘So I went unto her with much sorrow and
200 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. XXII

heaviness, having a world of labour ere I could
break the ice about her; and in spite of all my
cunning, yet she was compelled to leave a piece
of her tail behind her: and indeed we both
hardly escaped with our lives. For by reason
of the great anguish she endured, she barked
so loud, that the people of the next village
rose up, and came with staves and bills, with
flails and pitchforks, and the wives with their
distaves, and so fiercely assaulted us, crying
Kill, kill, and Slay, slay, that I was never in
so desperate a taking. One slave amongst the
rest, which was strong and swift of foot, hurt
us sore with a pikestaff; and had not the
night befriended us,-we had never escaped the
danger. From hence we came into a field full
of brooms and brambles, where we hid us from
the fury of our enemies.

‘Thus, my gracious Lord, you have heard
how this traitor and murderer hath used us,
and against the same we crave the right of
your law and justice.’

But Reynard answered and said, ‘If this
were true, I confess it would touch me near in
honour and reputation; but it is not possible
that such a slander should be proved against
me: I confess I taught her to catch fish, and






















































































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CHAP. XXII REYNARD THE FOX 203

taught her how to enter the water and never
touch the mire; but her greediness so trans-
ported her when she heard me name the fish,
that she ran without respect of any path or
direction, and so coming into the ice, she was
there presently frozen by reason of her too long
tarrying, for she had more fish than would have
satisfied twenty reasonable appetites. But it
is commonly seen that who all would have, all
forego, for covetousness seldom bringeth any-
thing well home; yet when I saw her so
fastened in the ice, I used all my best en-
deavours to loosen her, and so indeed was
heaving and shoving about her, but to little
purpose, for by reason of her weight I was not
able to move her.

‘Now whilst this was doing, came /segrim,
and seeing me so busy about her, churl-like he
most vilely slandered me, and threatened much
vengeance against me, so that more to eschew
his blasphemy than fury I went my way, and
he came, and with as great ado, and as much
heave and shove he helped her out; which
done, they then almost starved with cold, ran
and skipped up and down the fields to get
them heat: and that this is all truth which I
have spoken, I will willingly be deposed, for I
204 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF; CHAP.

would not be the father of any falsehood before
your Majesty, to be master of many millions;
however my fortunes go, I respect not, truth is
my badge, and hath ever been the ensign of all
my ancestors; and if there be any scruple or
doubt made of mine assertion, I ask but eight
days’ liberty, that I may confer with my learned
counsel, and I will so approve all my words by
the oath and testimony of good and sufficient
witness, that your Majesty and your honourable
council shall accord to the justness of my
protestation.

‘As for the wolf, what have I to do with
him? it is well known already that he is a
debauched and almost notorious villain, false
both to heaven and to your Majesty; and now
his own words witness him a base slanderer of
women, therefore I refer myself to the trial of
his wife; if she accuse me, let the world hold
me guilty, provided she may be made free from
her husband, whose tyranny will compel her to
say anything, though never so unjustly.’

At this forth stepped Dame Lveswine, the
wolf's wife, and said, ‘O Reynard, thou hast so
oily a smooth tongue, and so dipped in flattery,
that no man is safe from thine enchantment ; it
is not once, but oft thou hast deceived me;
XXII REYNARD THE FOX 205

remember but how thou didst use me at the
well with two buckets,
hanging at one cord, and
running through one
pulley, which ever as one
went down the other
went up. I remember
how thou getting into one
of them, fell down into
the bottom of the well,
and there sat in great
danger and peril, so that
I ran thither with great
haste, and heard thee sigh

and make great moan;





then asking thee how
thou camest there, thou
answeredst me that thou













wert there a-fishing, and
hadst much fish, of which
thou hadst eaten so many



that you were ready to
break with swelling.
‘Then I asked how I
might come to thee, and
thou saidst, “Aunt, leap
into that bucket which




206 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

hangeth there, and you will be presently
with me”; which I no sooner did, but being
much heavier than thyself, I fell presently to
the bottom of the well, and thou came up to
the top; at which when I seemed to be angry,
thou said, “‘ Aunt, this is but the fashion of the
world; ever as one comes up another must go
down”; and so said, you leaped out of the
bucket and ran your way, leaving me there all
alone, where I remained a whole day, pined
with hunger and starved with cold; and ere I
could get out from thence, received so many
blows, that my life was never in greater
danger.’

The fox replied, ‘Aunt, though the strokes
were painful unto you, yet I had rather you
should have them than myself, for you are
stronger and better able to bear them; and at
that time of necessity, one of us could not
escape them: besides, aunt, I taught you
wisdom and experience, that you should not
trust either friend or foe, when the matter he
persuades to is the avoiding of his own peril;
for nature teacheth us to love our own welfare,
and he which doth otherwise is crowned with
nothing but the title of folly.’

Then said Sir J/segrim to the King, “i
XXII REYNARD THE FOX 207

beseech your Majesty mark how this dissembler
can blow with all winds, and paint his mischief
with false colours: a world of times hath he
brought me into these hazards. Once he
betrayed me to his aunt the she ape, where
ere I escaped I was fain to leave one of mine
ears: behind me. -If the fox “dare tell the
truth of the story, for I know his memory
to be much better, besides he is apt to
catch advantage from the weakness of my
language, I desire no better evidence against
him.’

Then said the fox, ‘Willingly I will do it,
and without flattery or falsehood; and there-
fore I beseech your Majesty lend me your
royal patience. Upon a certain time the wolf
here came to me into the wood, and complained
unto me that he was exceeding hungry, yet |
never saw him fuller in my life; but he would
ever dissemble. At which presently I took
pity on him, and said I was also as hungry as
he: so away we went and travelled half a day
together without finding anything.

‘Then began he to whine and cry, and said
he was able to go no farther. Then hard by
the foot of a hawthorn tree we espied a hole all
covered over with brambles, and heard a great
208 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

rushing therein, but could not imagine the
cause why: then I desired the wolf to go in,
and look if anything were there to profit us,
for something I knew there was. Then said
he, ‘“‘ Cousin, I would not creep into the hole
for a hundred pounds, till I knew certainly
what was therein; for there may be danger:
but if you please to attempt it, who I know
hath both art and wit to save yourself, I will
stay here under this tree till you return; but I
beseech you make haste and let me know what
is therein as soon as you perceive it.”

‘Behold, my dread Lord the King, thus he
hath made me, poor silly beast, to go before
into the hazard, and he who is great, strong,
and mighty did abide without in peace,
wherein I expressed no little friendship, for I
would not endure the like danger for a king-
dom. But to proceed: I entered into the hole,
and found the way dark, long, and tedious;
in the end I espied a great light, which came
in on the farther side of the hole, by which I
saw there lying a great she ape, with eyes
glimmering and sparkling with fire, her mouth
set round with long sharp teeth, and on her
hands and feet nails sharp as an elfin or bodkin.
I imagined her at first a marmoset or baboon,
XXII REYNARD THE FOX 209

or else a mercat, for a more dreadful beast I
never beheld in all my lifetime, and by her
side lay divers of her children, which like
herself were stern and cruel of countenance:
when they saw me come towards them, they
gaped wide with their mouths upon me, so
that I grew amazed, and wished myself far
from the harbour.

‘But resolving with myself that now I was
in I must quit myself as well as I could, I
looked more constantly upon her, and me-
thought she appeared bigger than /segrim the
wolf, and the least of her brats much larger
than myself; a fouler company I never saw,
they were all laid in so bad litter, that I was
almost poisoned with the place. For my own
part I durst not but speak them fair, and
therefore I said, “ Aunt, God give you many
good days, and bless you and my cousins,
your pretty children; questionless they are
the fairest of their ages that ever I beheld,
and so surpass in beauty and perfection that
they may well be accounted of most princely
issue. Truly, aunt, we are infinitely beholden
to you that doth add this increase and glory
to your family. For mine own part, dear aunt,
when I heard you were laid down and indis-

P
210 : THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

posed, I could not stay but must needs come
to visit you.”

‘Then replied she, ‘Cousin Reynard, you
are exceeding welcome; you have found me
like a slut, but I thank you for your kind
visitation: you are a worthy gentleman, and
through the King’s dominions, for your wit
and judgment, held of singular reputation, you
do much honour to our kindred, and are
famous for the means you work to their prefer-
ment. I must entreat you to take the charge
of my children, and instruct them in the rules
of knowledge and science, that they may know
hereafter how to live in the world. I have
thought of you ever since they were born, and
resolved upon this, cousin, because I knew
your perfection, and that you accompanied
yourself with none but the good and the
virtuous.”

‘Oh how glad was I when I heard those
words to proceed from her, which kindness
was only because at first I called her aunt, who
indeed was no soul kin unto me; for my true
aunt indeed is only Dame Rukenaw, who
standeth yonder, who indeed is the mother of
excellent children. Yet, notwithstanding, I
answered this foul monster: ‘Aunt, my life
XXII REYNARD THE FOX 211

and goods are both at your service, and what
I can do for you, night or day, shall ever be
at your command and your children’s.”

‘Yet I most heartily wished myself far
from them at that instant, for I] was almost
poisoned with their smell. And I pitied
Isegrim who was sore griped with hunger all
this while; and offering to take my leave, and
feigning that my wife would think it long till
my return, she said, “ Dear cousin, you shall
not depart till you have eaten something. I
shall take it unkindly if you offer it”; then
rose she up, and carried me into an inner
room, where was great store of all kind of
venison, both of the red deer, fallow deer, and
roe; and great store of partridges, pheasants,
and other fowls, that I was amazed much from
whence such store of meat should come.

‘Now when I had eaten sufficiently, she
gave me a side and half a haunch of a hind,
to carry home to my wife, which I was ashamed
to take, but that she compelled me; and so
taking my leave, and being entreated often to
visit her, I did depart thence, much rejoiced
that I had sped so well.

‘Now being come out of the causey, I spied
where Jsegrim lay groaning pitifully, and |
212 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

asked him how he fared? He said, ‘‘ Wondrous
ill, and so extremely ill, that, dear nephew,
without some meat I die presently”: then did
I take compassion on him, and gave him my
wife’s token, which preserved his life, and for
which then he gave me a world of thanks,
though now he hates me extremely.

‘But as soon as he had devoured up my
venison, he said, “ Reynard, my dear cousin,
what found you in the hole? believe it, | am
now more hungry than | was before, and this
small morsel hath but sharpened my teeth to
eat more.” Then said I to him, ‘“ Uncle, get
you into that hole, and you shall find store
of victuals, for there lieth my aunt with her
children: if you can flatter and speak her fair,
you need fear no hard measure, all things will
be as you would wish it.”

‘T think, my gracious Lord, this was warn-
ing sufficient, and that which might have armed
any wise spirit; but rude and barbarous beasts
will never understand wisdom, and therefore
they loathe the policies they know not. But
yet he promised to follow my counsel; so forth
he went into that foul dismal hole, and found
the ape in that filthy sort as before I described ;
which when he saw, being affrighted, he cried
XXII REYNARD THE FOX 213

out, ‘Woe and alas, | think I am come into
evil; did ever creature see such fearful goblins?
Drown them, for shame drown them, they are
so ugly, they will scare all the world; why,
they make my hair stand on end with their
horrid deformity.”

‘Then said she, “Sir /segrvzm, their creation
is not my fault, let it suffice, they are my
children, and I am their mother; nor ought
their beauty or hard favour to displease you:
there was a kinsman of theirs here to-day, and
is but newly departed, who is well known to
exceed. you, both in birth, virtue, and wisdom,
and he accounted them fair and lovely; for
your opinion I care not, therefore you may
depart at your pleasure.”

‘Then he replied, ‘‘ Dame, I would have you
know that I would eat of your meat, it is much
better bestowed on me than on those ugly
urchins.” But she told him, “she had no
meat.” ‘‘ Yes,” said he, ‘‘ here is meat enough,”
and with that, offering to reach at the meat,
my aunt started up with her children, and ran
at him with their sharp nails, and so clawed
him, that the blood ran about his ears, and |
heard him cry and howl so extremely, that it
appeared he had no defence but to run out
214 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. XXII

of the hole as fast as he could. For indeed he
came out both extremely beaten, and extremely
bitten, and all his skin slashed like a Spanish
jerkin; and one ear left behind as a pawn of
his manners.

‘This when I saw, I asked him if he had
flattered sufficiently? and he said he had
spoken as he found, for the dame was a foul
animal, and the litter most ugly monsters.
Then I told him, how he should have com-
mended their beauties, and taken them for his
best of alliance. And he replied, he had
rather have seen them all hanged. “Then,”
quoth I, “ you must always receive such reward
as now you do, but wisdom would do otherwise ;
fair words never come out of season, and better
than we hold it for a rule worthy imitation.”

‘Thus, my Lord, I have told you truly how
he came by his red nightcap, which I know he
cannot, nor dare not deny, for all is true with-
out any addition.’
CEE ER SOT

How Isegrim proffered his glove to Reynard to fight
with him, which Reynard accepted, and how
Rukenaw advised the Fox how to carry himself
mm the fight.

Tue wolf answered the fox, ‘I may well for-
bear, false villain as thou art, thy mocks and
scorns; but thine injuries I will not. You say
I was almost dead for hunger, when you
helped me in my need: but thou liest falsely
therein, for it was nothing but a bare bone
thou gavest me, when thou hadst gnawed all
the meat thereof; and therefore know in this
thou injurest my reputation. Again, thou
accusest me of treason against the King, and
to conspire his Majesty’s death, for certain
treasure thou sayest is in //ustreloe: also thou
hast abused and slandered my wife, which will
ever be an infamy to her name if it be not
revenged.
216 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

‘These things considered, I have forborne
you long, therefore now look not to escape;
wherefore seeing there is no other testi-
mony but our own consciences, here before
you, my Lord the King, and the rest of my
noble lords, friends, and alliances, here I affirm
and will approve to the last drop of my blood
that thou, Reyzard the fox, art a false traitor
and a murderer; and this I will approve and
make good upon thy body within the lists of
the field, body against body, by which means
our strife shall have an end, and in witness
whereof I cast thee here my glove, which |
dare thee to take up, that I may have right
for mine injuries, or else die like a recreant.’

Reynard was something perplexed when he
saw this, for he knew himself much too weak
for the wolf, and feared to come by the worst ;
but straight remembering the advantage he
had, by reason that the wolf’s fore-claws were
pulled away and that they were not yet fully
cured, he said, ‘Whosoever he be that saith |
am a traitor or a murderer I say he lieth in his
throat, especially /segr¢m above all others;
poor fool, thou bringest me to the place I
desire, and to the purpose I wish for, in sign
whereof I take up the gage, and throw
XXIII REYNARD THE FOX 217

down mine, to approve all thy words lies and
falsehoods.’

This said, the King received their pledges,
and admitted the battle, commanding them to
put in their sureties, that the next morrow



they should try the combat: then stepped
forth the bear and the cat, and were sureties
for the wolf; and for the fox were sureties
Grimbard the brock and Bitelus. When all
ceremonies were finished, the she ape took
Reynard aside, and said, ‘ Nephew, I beseech
you take care of yourself in this battle, be bold
218 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

and wise. Your uncle taught me once a prayer
of singular virtue for him which was to fight ;
and he learned it of that excellent scholar and
clerk, the abbot of Budelo, and he that saith
this prayer with a good devotion fasting, shall
never be overcome in combat, and therefore,
my best nephew, be not afraid, for to-morrow
I will read it over to you, and the wolf shall
never prevail against you.’

The fox gave her many thanks for her
favours, and told her his quarrel was good and
honest, and therefore he had no doubt of happy
success; so all that night he rested with his
kinsfolk about him, who drove away the time
with pleasant discourse. But Dame Aukenaw,
his aunt, still beat her brain how to work him
advantage in the combat, wherefore she caused
all his hair to be shaven off, even from his
head to the tail, and then she anointed all his
body quite over with oil of olive, so that she
made it so smooth and slippery that the wolf
could catch no hold of him. Besides he was
round, fat and plump of body, which much
availed to his advantage; then she advised
him, ‘ At these especial times keep your tail as
close as can be between your legs, lest he catch
hold thereon and pull you to the ground; also
XXIII REYNARD THE FOX 219

look carefully to yourself at the first, and by
all means shun his blows, making him to toil
and run after, especially there where most dust
is, and spring it up with your feet, make it fly
in his eyes, take your advantage, and smite and
bite him where you may do him most mischief,



ever and anon striking him on the face with
your tail, and that will take from him both
sight and understanding. Besides, it will so
tire and weary him, that, his feet not being
fully cured of their hurt by the loss of his
shoes, which you caused to be pulled off, he
will no be able to pursue you; for though he
is great, yet his heart is little and weak.
THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

to
to
oO

‘This, nephew, is mine advice, and assure
yourself in these cases art prevaileth as much
as courage; therefore regard yourself well,
that not only yourself, but your whole family
may gain honour and reputation from your



Uf Ay
\ (euy; Be
28

Ahoy.
ti ie

fortune. As for the charm of prayer which
your uncle AZartin taught me, by which you
may be invisible, it is this which followeth’:
then laying her hand upon his head, she said,
‘Blaerd, Shay, Alphenio, Rasbue, Gorsons,
Arsbuntro. Now, nephew, assure yourself you
are free from all mischief or danger whatsoever,
XNIII REYNARD THE FOX 221

therefore go to your rest, for it is near day,
and some sleep will make the body better
disposed.’

The fox gave her infinite thanks, and told
her, ‘She had bound him to her a servant for
ever; and in those holy words she had spoken
he had placed his confidence unremovable’ ;
and so he laid him down to rest under a tree
in the grass, till it was sunrise, at which time
the otter came unto him and awaked him and
gave a fat young duck to eat, saying, ‘ Dear
cousin, I have toiled all this night to get this
present for you, which I took from a fowler ;
here take and eat it, and it shall give you
vigour and courage.’

The fox gave him many thanks, and said,
‘It was a fortunate handsel, and if he survived
that day he should find he would requite it’;
so the fox ate the duck without bread or sauce
more than his hunger, and to it he drank four
great draughts of water, and then he went to
the place appointed where the lists stood, with
all his kindred attending on him.

When the King beheld Reynard thus shorn
and oiled, he said to him, ‘Well, fox, I see you
are careful of your own safety; you respect
not beauty so you escape danger.’
222 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

The fox answered not a word, but bowing
himself down humbly to the earth, both before
the King and the Queen’s Majesties, went
forth into the field; and at the same time
the wolf was also ready, and stood boasting,
and giving out many proud and vainglorious
speeches. The marshals and rulers of the
lists were the leopard and the loss. These
brought forth a book, on which the wolf swore
and maintained his assertion that the fox was
a traitor and a murderer, which he would
prove on his body, or else be counted a
recreant. Then Reynard took the book, and
swore he lied as a false traitor and a thief,
which he would prove on his body, or be
accounted a recreant.

When these ceremonies were done, the
marshals of the field bade them do their
devoir. And then every creature avoided the
lists, save Dame Aukenaw, who stood by the
fox, and bade him remember the words and
instructions she had given him, and call to
mind how, when he was scarce seven years old,
he had then wisdom enough to pass the darkest
night without lantern or candle-light, or the
help of the moon, when any occasion required
him: and that his experience was much greater,
XXIII REYNARD THE FOX 223

and his reputation of wisdom more frequent
with his companions; and therefore to work
so as he might win the day, which would be
an eternal monument to him and his family for
ever.

To this the fox answered, ‘My best aunt,
assure yourself I will do my best, and not for-
get a tittle of your counsel. I doubt not but
my friends shall reap honour and my foes
shame by my actions.’ To this the ape said
amen, and so departed.
Cees hem OxGlay

Of the combat betwixt the Fox and the Wolf, the event,

assages, and victory.
ey OP)

WuEN none but the combatants were in the
lists, the wolf went toward the fox with infinite
rage and fury, and thinking to take the fox in
his forefeet, the fox leaped nimbly from him
and the wolf pursued him, so that there began
a tedious chase between them, on which their
friends gazed. The wolf taking larger strides
than the fox often overtook him, and lifting up
his feet to strike him, the fox avoided the blow
and smote him on the face with his tail, so that
the wolf was stricken almost blind, and he was
forced to rest while he cleared his eyes; which
advantage when Reynard saw, he scratched up
the dust with his feet, and threw it in the eyes
of the wolf.

This grieved him worse than the former, so
that he durst follow him no longer, for the dust








CHAP. XXIV REYNARD THE FOX 227

and sand sticking in his eyes smarted so sore,
that of force he must rub and wash it away,
which Reyxard seeing, with all the fury he had
he ran upon him, and with his teeth gave him
three sore wounds on his head, and _ scoffing
said, ‘Have I hit you, Mr. Wolf? I will yet
hit you better; you have killed many a lamb
and many an innocent beast, and would impose
the fault upon me, but you shall find the price
of your knavery. I am marked to punish thy
sins, and I will give thee thy absolution
bravely. It is good for thee that thou use
patience, for thy evil life is at my mercy. Yet,
notwithstanding, if thou wilt kneel down and
ask my forgiveness, and confess thyself van-
quished, though thou be the worst thing living,
yet I will spare thy life, for my pity makes me
loath to kill thee.’

These words made /segrim both mad and
desperate, so that he knew not how to express
his fury, his wounds bled, his eyes smarted, and
his whole body was oppressed. So that in the
height of his fury he lifted up his foot and struck
the fox so great a blow that he felled him to the
ground. But Reyzard, being nimble, quickly rose
up again and encountered the wolf, that between
them began a dreadful and doubtful combat.
228 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

The wolf was exceeding furious, and ten
times he leaped to catch Reynard fast, but his
skin was so slippery and oily he could not hold
him. Nay, so wondrous nimble was he in the
fight, that when the wolf thought to have him
surest, he would shift himself between his legs
and under his belly, and every time gave the
wolf a bite with his teeth, or a slap on the face
with his tail, that the poor wolf found nothing
but despair in the conflict, albeit his strength
was much the greater.

Thus many wounds and bitings passing on
either side, the one expressing cunning, and
the other strength, the one fury, the other
temperance ; in the end the wolf being enraged
that the battle had continued so long, for had
his feet been sound it had been much shorter,
he said to himself, ‘I will make an end of this
combat, for I know my very weight is able to
crush him to pieces; and I lose much of my
reputation, to suffer him thus long to contend
against me.’

And this said, he struck the fox again so
sore a blow on the head with his foot, that he
fell down to the ground, and ere he could
recover himself and arise, he caught him in his

feet and threw him under him, lying upon him
XXIV REYNARD THE FOX 229

in such wise, as if he would have pressed him
to death.

Now began the fox to be grievously afraid,
and all his friends also, and all /segrzm’s friends
began to shout for joy; but the fox defended
himself as well as he could with his claws,
lying along, and the wolf could not hurt him
with his claws, his feet were so sore, only with
his teeth he snatched at him.to bite him, which,
when the fox saw, he smote the wolf on the
head with his fore-claws, so that he tore the
skin between his brows and his ears, and one
of his eyes hung out of his head, which put the
wolf to infinite torment, and he howled out
extremely. Then /segrim wiping his face,
the fox took advantage thereof, and with his
struggling got upon his feet.

At which the wolf was angry, and striking
after him, caught the fox in his arms, and held
him fast; never was Reynard in so great a
strait as then, for at that time great was their
contention; but anger now made the wolf
forget his smart, and griping the fox altogether
under him, as Reynard was defending himself
his hand lighted into /segrim’s mouth, so that
he was in danger of losing it. Then said the
wolf to the fox, ‘Now either yield thyself as
230 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

vanquished, or else certainly I will kill thee ;
neither thy dust, thy mocks, nor any subtle
invention shall now save thee; thou art now
left utterly desperate, and my wounds must
have their satisfaction.’

When the fox heard this he thought it was
a hard election, for both brought his ruin; and
suddenly concluding, he said, ‘Dear uncle,
since fortune commands me, | yield to be your
servant, and at your commandments will travel
for you to the Holy Land, or any other
pilgrimage, or do any service which shall be
beneficial to your soul or the souls of your
forefathers. I will do for the King or for our
holy father the Pope, I will hold of you my
lands and revenues, and as I, so shall all the
rest of my kindred; so that you shall be a lord
of many lords, and none shall dare to move
against you.

‘Besides, whatsoever | get of pullets, geese,
partridges, or plover, flesh or fish, you, your
wife, and children shall have the first choice,
ere any are eaten by me. I will ever stand by
your side, and wheresoever you go, no danger
shall come near you; you are strong, and I am
subtle ; we two joined together, what force can
prevail against us? Again, we are so near in
XXIV REYNARD THE FOX 231

blood, that nature forbids there should be any
enmity between us; I would not have fought
against you had I been sure of victory, but
that you first appealed me, and then you know
of necessity I must do my uttermost. I have
also in this battle been courteous to you, and
not shown my worst violence, as I would on a
stranger, for I know it is the duty of a nephew
to spare his uncle; and this you might well
perceive by my running from you. I tell you,
it was an action much contrary to my nature,
for I might often have hurt you when I
refused, nor are you worse for me, by anything
more than the blemish of your eye, for which
I am sorry, and wished it had not happened;
yet thereby know that you shall reap rather
benefit than loss thereby, for when other beasts
in their sleep shut two windows, you shall shut
but one.

‘As for my wife, children, and lineage, they
shall fall down at your feet before you in any
presence ; therefore, I humbly desire you, that
you will suffer poor Reyxard to live. I know
you will kill me, but what will that avail you,
when you shall never live in safety for fear of
revengement of my kindred? ‘Therefore, temper-
ance in any man’s wrath is excellent, whereas
232 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

rashness is ever the mother of repentance.
But, uncle, I know you to be valiant, wise, and
discreet, and you rather seek honour, peace,
and good fame than blood and revenge.’

Isegrim the wolf said, ‘Infinite dissembler,
how fain wouldst thou be freed of my
servitude? Too well I understand thee, and
know that if thou wert safe on thy feet thou
wouldst forswear this submission ; but know all
the wealth in the world shall not buy out thy
ransom, for thee and thy friends I esteem them
not, nor believe anything thou hast uttered.
Too well I know thee, and am no bird for thy
lime bush, chaff cannot deceive me. Oh how
wouldst thou triumph if I should believe thee,
and say I wanted wit to understand thee; but
thou shalt know I can look both on this side
and beyond thee, thy many deceits used upon
me have now armed me against thee. Thou
sayest thou hast spared me in the battle; but
look upon me, and my wounds will show how
falsely thou liest, thou never gavest me a
time to breathe in, nor will I now give thee a
minute to repent in.’

Now whilst /segvzm was thus talking, the
fox bethought himself how he might best get
free, and thrusting his other hand down he
XXIV REYNARD THE FOX 233

caught the wolf fast by the neck, and he
wrung him so extremely hard thereby, that
he made him shriek and howl out with the
anguish; then the fox drew his other hand
out of his mouth, for the wolf was in such
wondrous torment that he had much ado to
contain himself from swooning ; for this torment
exceeded above the pain of his eye, and in the



end he fell over and over in a swoon; then
presently Reynard leaped upon him, and drew
him about the lists and dragged him by the
legs, and struck, wounded, and bit him in
many places, so that all the whole field might
take notice thereof.

At this, all /segrim’s friends were full of
sorrow, and with great weeping and lamentation
went to the King, and prayed him to be pleased
234 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

to appease the combat, and take it into his own
hands; which suit the King granted, and then the
leopard.and the loss, being marshals, entered
the lists, and told the fox and the wolf that
the King would speak with them, and that
the battle should there end, for he would take
it into his own hands and determine thereof;
as for themselves they had done sufficiently,
neither would the King lose either of them.
And to the fox they said the whole field gave
him the victory.

The fox said, ‘1 humbly thank them, and
what pleaseth my Lord the King to command
I am ready to obey, for mine ambition is no
further than to be victor; therefore, I beseech
you, let my friends come to attend me, that I
may proceed by their advice.’

They answered it was reason; so presently
came forth Dame Svopecade and Grimbard her
husband, Dame ARukexnaw with her two sisters
Lritelus and Fulronp, her two sons, and Malice
her daughter, the field mouse, the weasel, and
above an hundred which would not have come
if the fox had lost the conquest; for to him
that hath honour will ever flock attendants;
but to him that is in loss will nothing but
contempt follow. Also, the fox came to the
XXIV REYNARD THE FOX 235

beaver, the otter, and both their wives
Pauntecerrot and Ordegale, and the Ostrole,
the AVarten, and the /rtchews, the Ferret, the
Sgutrre?, and a world more than I can name,
and all because he was the victor; nay, divers
which before had complained of him, were now

of nearest kindred, and ready to do him all



service. This is the fashion of the world;
he that is rich and in favour can never be
poor or hungry for friendship, every one will
seem to love him, every one will imitate his
fashions.

Then was a solemn feast held, trumpets
were sounded, cornets winded, shawms, and
all instruments warbled, and every one cried,
236 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

‘Praised be Heaven for this glorious conquest.’
Reynard thanked them all kindly, and received
them with great joy and gladness; then asked
their opinions whether he should yield the
victory to the King or no; and Dame Svlopecard
said, ‘Yea, by all means, cousin, for it stands
with your honour, nor may you deny it.’ And
so, the marshals going before, they went all to
the King, guarding the fox on every side, all
the trumpets, pipes, and minstrelsy sounding
before him.

When Reynard came before the King he
fell on his knees, and the King bade him stand
up, and said to him, ‘ Reynard, you may well
rejoice, for you have won much honour this
day, therefore here |] discharge you, and set
you free to go whither your own will leads
you, for all contestations I take upon myself,
and will have it discussed by the wisest of the
kingdom as soon as /segvim’s wounds shall be
cured, at what time I will send for you, and
so proceed to judgment.’

‘My worthy and dread Lord,’ said the fox,
‘IT am well repaid with anything that shall
please you; yet when I came first to your
highness’s court, there were many malicious
persons which sought my life, whom I never
XXIV REYNARD THE FOX 237

injured; but they thought to overcome me by
joining with mine enemies against me, and
thinking the wolf had greater favour than I
with your Majesty; this was the ground of
their indignation, wherein they showed their
simplicity not to alter the end which followed.’


Cia Ae Re xOay

Flow the King forgave the Fox all things, and made
him the greatest in his Land, and of his noble

return home wrth all his kindred.

Tur King said, ‘ Reynard, you are one that
owes me homage and fealty, and I hope I shall
ever enjoy it; and for your service here |
make you one of the lords of my privy council.
Take heed you do not anything unworthily,
for here I place you in all your power and
authority as formerly you were, hoping you
will administer justice equally and truly. For
as long as you employ your wit unto virtuous
actions, so long the court cannot miss you; for
you are a star whose lustre exceeds all other,
especially in finding out mischiefs and pre-
venting them. Therefore, remember the moral
you yourself told me, and be a lover of truth
and equity. From henceforth I will be
CHAP. XXV REYNARD THE FOX 239

governed by your wisdom, and there shall not
breathe that creature in any kingdom which
shall do you injury; but I will highly revenge
it. This you shall proclaim through all the
nation, and be the chief governor in the same,

for the office of high bailiff here I freely



bestow upon you, and [ know you may reap
great honour thereby.’

All Reynard’s friends and kindred humbly
thanked the King; but he told them it was
much short of that he intended to do for their
sakes, and advised them all to admonish him
to be careful of his faith and loyalty. This
said Dame Rukenaw, ‘ Believe it, my Lord, we
will not fail in that point, neither fear you the
contrary; for should he prove otherwise, we
would renounce him.’
240 REYNARD THE FOX CHAP. XXV

Then the fox also thanked the King with
fair and courteous words, saying, ‘ My gracious
Lord, I. am not worthy of these high honours
you do me; yet will ever study with my
service how to deserve them; nor shall my
counsel at any time be wanting.’

And this said, he took his humble leave of
the King, and so departed with the rest of his
friends and kindred.

Now whilst these passages happened, Bruzx
the bear, 7zdert the cat, and Lreswine and her
children, with the rest of their lineage, drew
the wolf out of the field and laid him upon soft
litters and hay, and covered him all over very
warm, and dressed his wounds, which were to
the number of five-and-twenty, by the help
of many skilful leeches and surgeons. His
sickness and weakness was so great that his
feeling was lost; but they rubbed and chafed
him on the temples and under the eyes, till he
leaped out of his swoon, and howled so loud
that all were amazed which heard him; but
the physicians gave him cordials to drink, and
a dormiture or potion to make him sleep ; and
then comforted his wife, telling her there was no
danger or peril of his life. So the court broke
up, and every beast returned to his own home.


CHAP. XXV REYNARD THE FOX 243

Amongst the rest Reynard the fox took his
leave of the King and Queen; she desired him
not to be long absent from them. To whom
he answered, ‘That he would be ever ready
at their service, as was his bounden duty, and
not himself alone, but all his friends and
kindred also.’

And so begging license of his Majesty in
all solemn manner and with fair speech, he
departed from the court.

Wirn Reynard all his friends and kinsfolks to
the number of forty took their leave also of
the King, and went away with the fox, who
was no little glad that he had sped so well, and
stood so far in the King’s favour. For now
he had power enough to advance whom he
pleased, and pull down any that envied his
fortune.

After some travel the fox and all his friends
came to his borough or castle of Malepardus,
where every one, in noble and courteous
manner, took leave of each other, and Reynard
did to every one of them great reverence, and
thanked them for the love and honour he had
received from them, protesting evermore to
244 THE PLEASANT HISTORY OF CHAP.

remain their faithful servant, and to send them
in all things wherein his life or goods might be
available unto them; and so shook hands and
departed.

The fox went to Dame Avmeln his wife,
who welcomed him with great tenderness.
And to her and her children he related at
large all the wonders which had befallen him
at the court, and missed no tittle or cir-
cumstance therein. Then grew they proud
that his fortune was so excellent; and the
fox spent his days from thenceforth with
his wife and children in great joy and
content.

There are many plays both comic and moral
which figure out things that never were, only
to make use and benefit of the example, that
men may thereby the better shun vice and
pursue virtues. In like manner this book,
though it contain but matter of jest and sport,
yet if he look seriously thereunto, he may haply
find much moral matter and wisdom worthy
his consideration. Goodness or any good men
shall he not find in it disreputed, for all things
are generally spoken, and every man may take
his own part as his conscience shall instruct
him. Ifany find himself too much oppressed,
XXV REYNARD THE FOX 245

let him shake it off with amendment; if any
be clear, let him hold on his path and avoid
stumbling. And if any take distaste or offence,
let him not blame me but the fox, for it is only
his language.



NOTES

The story of Reineke Fuchs zs more than any other a
truly European performance ; for some centuries the universal
Lfousehold Possession and Secular Bible, read everywhere, in
the palace and the hut. . . . Lt comes before us with a character
such as can belong only to very few, that of being a true
Worlds Book which through centuries was everywhere at
home, the spirit of which diffused itself into all languages and
all minds, CARLYLE,

In the following Notes I have endeavoured to give
rough indications of the parallels existing in other branches
of the Reynard Cycle, together with references to modern
critical investigations where these parallels are discussed.
The references to the Roman de Renard are to the
‘branches’ of M. Martin’s (Strassburg, 1882-87) edition,
and are indicated by Ren. dr. The German Leinhart
Fuchs is referred to as Rein, I have used the edition
of Reissenberger (Halle, 1886). The Flemish verse is
indicated by Reyn. (edit. Van Helten, Groningen, 1887).
The Flemish prose version is, practically, the base of the
one before us, and may best be paralleled by Caxton’s
version (edit. Thoms, Percy Society, 1844).

CHAPTER “1

The beginning of the Plea. Ren. br. I., Re’n. combines
with the episode of the sick lion. Reym. vv. 33 seg. ‘The
earliest form occurs in an Italian version, Mainardo,
published by Teza (Pisa, 1869), Caxton, cc. i-iii, Goethe
1. 1-88.

P. 1. Sanden, Caxton, Stade. Other versions do not
localise.

P. 2, Reynard. For the etymology see Introduction,
250 REYNARD THE FOX

p. xi. The y comes from the Flemish, the Middle
English form was Leneward.

Lsegrim. The original form was Jsengrim or possibly
Lsangrim, and was current among the Folk before it
appeared in literature (see Introduction, p. xviii.).

P. 3. House by violence, Ren. br., ii. Rein. 563-634. ‘This
incident of the adultery of Reynard with the she-wolf forms
the central motif in the Roman, and was developed in the
later branches. It occurs among folk-tales in which at
times the she-bear takes the place of the she-wolf, while
on other occasions the hare replaces the fox (cf. Sudre,
Sources, pp. 153-157). Marie de France (c. 1200) tells
the story of a fox and she-bear.

Refused to swear. Referred to in a few lines, Rex. br. I.
37-42 as here, but developed at greater length in dr. V.;
an earlier form in Rez.

P. 4. Zibert. In Retin. Diepreht. As a personal name
one of the earliest actors in the Cycle.

Curtois. In the Roman this is applied to the ewe.

P. 5. Panther, derived from the Pancer, in fen. 126,
which has probably only an accidental resemblance to the
name of the beast.

Kyward, from the Cuvaert of “&eyz. In the later
editions of Caxton it is misprinted Ruward. It is the
same word with the same meaning as our ‘ coward.’

CHAPTER II

Continuation of the Plea, see chap. i, Caxton, chap. iv.

P. 8. Grimbard does not occur in Rein., but probably
one of the earlier names.

Brock, that is, the badger.

Reynard’s sister's son. This is not an attempt at
NOTES 251

phylogeny, but merely a relic of the original form of the
Cycle which dealt with the feud between Isegrim and
Reynard, and connected all the other beast actors by ties of
relationship with the protagonists.

P. 9. Hat fluitch of bacon. A reference to an episode
contained in fen. br. V.

P. 10. Malepardus. In Ren. Malpertius. In ein.
Ubelloch. Probably Maupertius in Champagne.

P. 11. Chanticleer. Familiar to us in Chaucer’s use of
the name in his Wonne Preestes Tale. Occurs in Rein. as
Schantecler. It is, obviously, a French descriptive term
for the ‘clear singing’ cock.

CHAPTER III

Chanticleer’s Plaint. ez. dr. I1., Caxton, chap. v. For
the sources, see Sudre, chap. iv., section 1.

P. 12. Zantart, Cragant. In Reyn. Cantaert, craiant.

Copple. A diminutive of Coppe of eyx. Grimm
compares the English ‘copped hen’ (Ree. Fuchs, ccxxxviii.)
Chaucer calls Chanticleer’s wife, Pertelote, whence the
Shakespearian name, Partlet (1 King Henry IV., Act iit.
sc. 3; Winter's Tale, Act ii. se. 3).

P. 14. Had made peace, derived from the A%sopic
fable of ‘Fox, Cock, and Dog’ (see Jacob’s sof,
Cranford edition, lix., and note, p. 214).

CHAPTER IV

Continuation of Chanticleer’s Plaint (see chap. iii.).

P. 19. Placebo. An anthem used in the office for the
dead, and beginning with 2s. Vulg. cxiv. 9.

P. 20. Bruin. In Rein. Brune. In Rex. Bruns. In
252 REYNARD THE FOX

-Leyn. Brun. ‘The name is to be referred to the colour of
bear-skin.

CHAPTER V

Bruin and the Honeycomb. fen. dr. I. 476-605.
Caxton, chap. viii. For the source, see Sudre, Joc. cit. pp.
180-188.

P. 25. Honeycombs. Both in Russian and Finnish,
one of the popular names of the bear is ‘Honey Eater.’

P. 26. Lanfert. One of the few names of men given
in the story. In fen. it is written Lanfroi.

P. 28. Head into the cleft. A similar incident occurs in
the Fables of Bidpat. See my edition, in the Bibl de
Carabas, p. 73, and references, p. Ixxi.

P. 36. Dieu vous garde. In the old Flemish original it
was Dieu vo saut.

CHAPTER VI

Embassage of Tibert. ew. dr. XV., Caxton, chap. x.

P. 41. St Martin’s birds. The learned are not at one
as to which birds these are. Some say the crow, some the
goose, while others produce evidence of a wren, with long
legs, named after St. Martin.

Skilful tn augurism. As is well known, the Ancients
drew auguries from the side on which certain birds
appeared. When starting on a journey the left was
considered unlucky, cf. Hopf, Dhierorakel und Orakelthiere
(Stuttgart, 1888).

CHAPTER VII
Continuation of Tibert’s Embassage (see chap. vi.).

P. 48. /ullock. She was Bane, the priest’s wife, a little
while before (see p. 33).
NOTES 253

CHAPTER VIII

Grimbard’s Embassage.

P. 52. Lrmelin. Not named in Rein. Hermeline in
Ren.

P. 54. Reynardine, Rossel. In en, there are three sons,
Malebranche, Percehaie, and Rousel. In Jey. there are
two, named Reinerdin and Rossel. The fox is named the
Russet Dog by the Scotch peasantry.

CHAPTER IX

Reynard’s Confession. en. dr. VII. This is one of the
incidents that have caused the book to be regarded as a
satire upon monks, to which some of its popularity in
Protestant Germany is due.

P. 56. Bind his feet to a bell-rope. Told at length in
Ren. br. VIII. In some of the medieval Latin fables the
wolf sings in church. In two French folk-tales, collected
by Bladé, this is turned into pulling the bell-rope, as in the
Reynard, from which this touch was probably derived
(see Sudre, pp. 242-243).

Catch fish. See infra, p. 200.

Steal bacon. See supra, p. 9, and note. In one of the
fables of Babrius, No. 86, repeated in the prose Greek
sop, ed. Halm 31, it is the fox with swollen paunch who
cannot escape (cf. Sudre, /oc. cit. p. 247).

CHAPTER X

Reynard’s Condemnation. en. dr. V.
P. 67. Bellin, not in Rein, Lelin in Ren.
254 REYNARD THE FOX

Oleway. In Reyn. Havi. Clearly not one of the early
names.

Bruel, Brunel in Reyn., not in Rein. or Ren. In
Reineke Vos Alhett. Again a late invention.

Baldwin. In Rein. Baldewin. One of the earliest
names of the Cycle.

Bortle. In Reyn. Boore ; in Ren. Bruiant.

P. 68. FPartlet. See supra, note on p. 12.

CHAPTER XI

P. 69. Reynard Arrested. en. br. VII. Not in
Rein., but well told in Rey.

CHAPTER XII

P. 74. Reynard’s Confession. For occurrences in
comparative literature, see chap. xi. The skill with which
Reynard extracts himself from his perilous position is,
perhaps, the most characteristic passage in the whole book.
Not even Antony before the Roman mob has chosen so
deftly the most effective of arguments.

P. 77. What can the whole world. Reynard can quote
Scripture for his own purposes.

P. 78. King Lrmerick. The great hoard of the
Nibelungen, renowned in Teutonic myth.

P. 79. £7fe. In Reyn. Waes, a district in Flanders.

P. 80. Acon. Aix-la-Chapelle. German Aachen.

P. go. Received the straw. In all transfers of real
property under Roman and Feudal Law some material
object, supposed to be taken from the land, was almost
NOTES 255

invariably passed as a stipulation of surrender, whence
the term. The author of Reyzard makes a delicious use
of this practice here to lend plausibility to his hero’s
deceit.

P. ot. Hustreloe, properly Hudsterio. A wood between
Hulst and Lillo in East Flanders.

Crekenpit. In Reyn. Krickepit. ‘This river is unknown
to geography. Grimm suggests that it was placed where
‘Greek meets Greek’; as Greek was used in Old German
for anything strange and woeful.

CHAPTER XIII

P. 95. Reynard Restored. Caxton, chap. xiii.
P. 97. Zisellin. In Rein. Diezelin. In Len. Tiecelins.
Probably one of the original names.

CHAPTER XIV

P. roo. Reynard Shod. Caxton, chap. xix. Of course
in the original, Isegrim and his wife have their paws shod
to make Reynard’s shoes.

P. 102. Prendesor, Rapiamus. These names of Church
dignitaries are, of course, satirical, and helped towards the
popularity of the Reynard in Protestant countries. Learned
research is inclined to regard them as later additions and
not in the original intention.

P. 103. Used many ceremonies. ‘There was a prescribed
rule for starting on pilgrimages, the pilgrim being blessed
by the priest (see Fosbrooke, British Afonachism, p. 326).
256 REYNARD THE FOX

CHAPTER XV

P. 107, The Slaying of Kyward. Caxton, chap. xx.
In the Ren. br. I., Couart escapes.
P. 115. Hirapell, i.e, Mer & poil.

CHAPTER XVI

P. 118, Caxton, chaps. xxii.-xxiv.

P. 120. Laprell. Not in Rein. or Ren.
P. 122. Corbaut. Not in Rein. or Ren,
Sharpleak, From the Reyn. Scerpenebbe.

CUA IIR OVAL

P. 125. Caxton, chap. xxv.

P. 133. Rossel and Reynardine. From Reyn. In Ren.
the three sons are named Malebranche, Percehaie, and
Rosel, though the latter is called Rousel in one place.
This is clear evidence that the Fox’s cubs are a later
insertion.

CEASP AE Re Xe

P. 135. Reynard’s Confession. ex. dr. VII., Caxton,
chap. xxvii.

P. 137. Goodly bay mare. This episode is one of the
most widely spread of the medieval editions to Zsop. It
first occurs in Peter Alfonsi’s Désciplina Clericalis, vy. 4.
For other references see my edition of Caxton’s sop,
where it forms the first of the Zudule extravagantes, los,
at, vol. i. p. 252.
NOTES 257

P. 140. Zhe greatest clerks. Cf. Chaucer, Zhe Reve’s
Tale, A. 4054.

The greteste clerkes been noght the wysest men,
As whylom to the wolf thus spak the mare.

And Prof. Skeat’s note thereto, who fails, however, to
observe that. the quotation in this connection proves that
Chaucer had before him some form of Zhe Reynard. We
may have here another trace of the Middle English
Reynard, of which the only other fragment that remains is
that Of the Vox and of the Wolf.

P. 141. He that will tive. Here begins Reynard’s
Apologia pro Domo, the moral of the tone of the book,
which is, in its way, a parody on the clerical morals
attached to stories like those of the Gesta Romanoruin.

CHAPTER XIX

P. 146. Reynard’s Second Defence. Caxton, chap.
XXVIL., XXix.

P. 150. Martin. ein. Kunin. Not in Ren., therefore
of very late addition.

P. 155. Cardinal Paregold. A late and Protestant
touch.

CHAPTER XX

P. 160. Rukenaw’s Defence. Caxton, chap. xxix.,
Rukenaw. Not in ezz. or Ren.

P. 163. A man and a serpent. This well-known
story is also widely spread among folk-tales. Prof. Krohn
has given references to no less than ninety-four parallels of
it in his dissertation, AZann und Fuchs (Helsingfors, 1891),
to which I have added a few others in Ladian Fairy Tales,

S
258 REYNARD THE FOX

pp. 242, 243. I there contend for the Indian origin of the
whole collection of variants. The earliest form occurs in
Petrus Alfonsi, from whom it probably got into the
Reynard, °

P. 169. Bitelus, Fulromp, Hatanet. Only in Leyz.,
and therefore very late additions.

CHAPTER XXI

P. 172. Caxton, chap. xxii.

P. 173. Alkarin. Quite an imaginary personage.
Possibly, I suggest, a confused reminiscence of Alkoran.

Pp. 174. Abrion of Trere. Equally imaginary, and
certainly unknown in the history of the Treves Jewry.
Perhaps a ‘Portmanteau’ word compounded of Abraham
and Aaron.

Seth brought out. The opening scene of the Legend of
the Holy Cross, when Adam sends Seth to Paradise for
some of the Oil of Mercy, instead of which he gets three
Seeds of the Tree of Life, which afterwards grew up into
the Cross. See Ashton, Legendary History of the Cross,
woodcut 1.

P. 176. Panther. Not the panther of ordinary
commerce, but an entirely legendary animal, a cross
between lion and tiger.

Great India, earthly Paradise. Smaller India was
Abyssinia. The earthly Paradise is usually placed in
medieval maps as an island, at the top, that is at the
extreme east of the habitable world. See Bevan and
Phillott, dZedieval Geography, p. 25, and A. Graf, Adit
Leggende e Superstisioni, Vurin, 1892.

P. 178. Crampart. The Cambuscan of Chaucer's
Squire's Tale, derived here from the romance of Cleomades
NOTES 259

by Adeles Le Roi, Poet Laureate, to Henri III., Duke of
Brabant, fl. 1250 (see Clouston, AZagical Elements in the
Tale, p. 409).

P. 180. Zhe horse. See my Cranford sop, xxxiii.

P. 181. Ass and hound. See Cranford sof, x.

P. 183. My father and Tibert. See Cranford sop,
XXXVIIL.

P. 184. LHistory of the wolf. See Cranford Zsof, v.

P. 190. Liver of a wolf. This incident is given in
Ren., X.

P. 191. Master Reynard. Master was applied mainly
to qualified physicians.

P. 192. Give a part. This is a variant of the fable of
‘The Lion’s Share,’ on which I have commented, History
of the sopic Fable, pp. 74, 166. M. Sudre develops
my thesis, /oc. cf. p. 128 seg. It isclear that we have here
the original form of the fable with carnivorous fellow hunts-
man of the lion as against his herbivorous comrades in
Pheedrus’s fable.

CHAPTER XXII

P. 199. Catch fish with her tail. See Introduction,
pp. xv-xvil, and Krohn’s Bar, Wolf, und Fuchs, pp. 25, 44.
Also Gerber’s further references in Great Russian Animal
Tules, pp. 48, 49. I have given a translation of the earliest
literary version from a Hebrew fable by an English Jew in
my Jews of Angevin England, pp. 170-172. The Scotch
Highland peasants tell the tale to explain ‘How the bear
lost his tail.’

P. 205. Zwo buckets. Told at length in Ren. dr. IV.
M. Sudre, /oc. cit. pp. 226-236, contends that the story has
nothing to do with the Avsopic fable of ‘The Fox and the
260 REYNARD THE FOX
Goat.’ The Reynard occurs earliest in Petrus Alfonsi,
and was probably derived from the East.

P. 212. Foul dismal hole. In Ren. br. XIV. the wolf
eats his fill and becomes too fat:to get out again.

CHAPTER XXIII

P. 215. Challenge. ‘Trial by battle was of course the
final resource during the Middle Ages in cases like the
present, where there was a conflict of evidence.

CHAPTERS XXIV-V

P. 224. The Combat. en. br. VI., Caxton, chap.
XXXIX.

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