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1760

But it rebound to the tothir ; wherfor tyme is to ryde.
And as many thonkis, as I can or may,
Of my sport, and chere, and also of your pley."

Nay i-wys, gentil Beryn, I woot ye wol nat go ;
For noriture wol it nat, for to part so,
And eke my condicioune ; but I ley somthing,
Is no more to pley, then who so shoke a ryng
Ther no man is wythin the ryngyng to answere;
To shete a fethirles bolt almost as good me were.
But and ye wold this next game som maner wager legg,
And let the trowith, on both sidis, be morgage and y-plegg,
That whoso be y-matid, graunt and assent
To do the tothirs bidding ; and whoso do repent,
Drynk all the watir that salt is of the see.”
Beryn belevid that he could pley betir than he,
And sodenly assentid, with hond in hond assurid ;
Men that stode besides y-cappid and y-hurid,

1770 Wist wele that Beryn shuld have the wers mes ; For the burgeyse was the best pleyer at ches Of all the wyde marchis, or many a myle about. But that ne wyst Beryn of, ne cast therof no doute. He set the meyné efft ageyn, and toke betir hede Then he did tofore, and so he had nede. The burgeyse toke avysement long on every draught; So wyth an hour or too, Beryn he had y-caught Somwhat oppon the hipp, that Beryn had the wers. And albeit his mynd and wyll was for to curs,

1780 Yit must he dure his fortune, when he was so fer y-go. For who is that that fortune may alway undo ? And namelich stont even in eche side Of

pro and contra ; but God help, down woll he glide. But now a word of philosophy, that fallith to my mynd; Who take hede of the begynnyng, what fal shall of the end, He leyth a bussh tofore the gap ther fortune wold in ryde.

1801

But comynlich yowith forgetith that throughout the world.
Right so be Beryn I may wele sey, that counsaillis in rakid
Likly to lese his marchaundise, and go hymself al nakid.
Beryn studied in the ches, although it nought availid. 1791
The burgeyse in the mene while with othir men consailid,
To fech the sergauntis in the town, for thing he had a-do.
So when they com were, they walked to and fro,
Up and down in the hall, as skaunce they knew nought;
And yit of all the purpose, wit, and mynd, and thought,
Of the untrew burgeyse, by his messengeris
They wer ful enformyd; wherfor with eye and eris,
They lay await full doggidly, Beryn to arest;
Fortherfor they wer aftir sent, and was their charge and hest.
Lord how shuld o sely lomb among wolvis weld,
And scape un-y-harmyd ? it hath been seyn seld.
Kepe thy cut now, Beryn, for thow art in the case.
The hall was full of pepill, the serjauntis shewid their mase ;
Beryn kast up his hede, and was ful sore amayid,
For then he was in certen the burgeyse had him betrayde.
“Draw on,” seyd the burgeyse ; “Beryn, ye have the wers ;"'
And every man to othir the covenaunt gan reherse.
The burgeyse, whils that Beryn was in hevy thought,
The next draught aftir he toke a rook for nought.
Beryn swat for angir, and was in hevy plight,
And drede ful sore in hert; for wele he wist al quyt
He shuld nat escape, and was in high distress;
And pryvelich in his hert, that evir he saw the ches
He cursid the day and tyme ; but what avaylid that?
For wele he wist then, that he shuld be mate.
He gan to chaunge his colour, both pale, and wan.
The burgeyse h, “ Comyth nere, ye shul se this man
How he shull be matid, with what man me list;
He droughe and seyd, Chek mate.” The serjauntis wer

1820

1810

full prest,

And sesid Beryn by the scleve, and seyd,“ Sirs, what think

ye for to do,” Quoth Beryn to the serjauntis, “ that ye me hondith so? Or what have I offendit ? or what have I seide ?"

Trewlich,” quoth the serjauntis, “it vaylith nat to breyde ; Wyth us ye must a while, wher ye wol or no, Tofore the steward of this town ; aryse, and trus, and go ; And ther it shall be openyd, how wisely thou hast wrought : This is the end of our tale, make it never so tought.”

Sirs, farith feir, ye have no nede to hale." “Pas forth,” quoth the serjauntis, “we wol nat her thy tale." “ Yis, sirs, of your curtesy, I prey yow of o word ; 1831 Although my gentill hoost hath pleyd with me in borde, And y-won a wager, ye have nought to doon ; That is betwene hym and me, ye have nothyng to doon.” The hoest made an hidouse cry, in ge-sol-re-ut the haut, And set his hond in kenebowe, he lakkid nevir a faute; “Wenyst thow,” seid he to Beryn, "for to scorne me? What evir thow speke, or stroute, certis it woll nat be; Of me shalt thow have no wrong, pas forth a betir pase ; In presence of our steward I woll tell my case.” 1840 “Why, boost, sey yee this in ernest or in game ? Ye know my contray, and my mothir, my lynnage, and my

name ; And thus ye have y-seyd me ten sith on this dey." “ Ye, what though I seyd so ? I know wele it is nay ; Ther lyth no more therto, but anothir tyme Leve me so much the les, when thow comyst by me. For all that evir I seyd was to bryng the in care

e ; And now I have my purpose, I woll nothyng the spare.”

Thus janglyng to ech othir, endenting every pase, They entrid both into the hall ther the steward was ; Evandir was his name, that sotill was, and so fell,

1850

He must be well avysid tofore hym shuld tell.
Anothir burgeyse wyth hym was, provost of the ceté,
That Hanybald was y-clepid, but of sotiltie
He passid many anothir, as ye shul here sone.
Berynus hoost gan to tell al thyng as it was doon,
Fro gynnyng to the endyng, the wordis wyth the dede ;
And how they made their covenaunt, and wager how they

leyd. “Now, Beryn", quoth the steward, “ thow hast y-herd this

tale;

1871

How and in what manere thow art y-brought in bale. 1860
Thow must do his byddyng, thow maist yn no wyse flee,
Or drynk all the watir that salt is in the see.
Of these too thingis, thow must chese the toon ;
Now be well avysid, and sey thy will anoon.
To do yee both law, I may no betir sey,
For thow shalt have no wrong, as ferforth as I

mey ; Chese the self right as the list, and wit thow nothyng me, Though thow chese the wers, and let the betir be.” Beryn stode astonyd, and no mervaill was, And preyd the steward of a dey to answere to the case ; “For I might lightlich in som word be y-caught, And eke it is right herd to chese, of to that beth right

naught. But and it wer your likyng to graunt me day tyl to morowe, I wold answer, through Goddis help.” " Then must thow

fynd a borowe,” Seyd the steward to Beryn, “and yit it is of grace.” “Now herith me," quoth Hanybald, “ I prey, He hath fyve shippis ondir the town, lyggyng on the strond, The wich been sufficiant y-sesed our hond, By me, that am your provost to execute the law.” “He must assent;" quoth Evander, “let us onys here his

saw.”

a litil spase.

1SSO

66

1890

“I graunt wele," quoth Beryn,“ sith it may be noon othir." Then Hangbald arose hym up, to sese both ship and strothir ; And toke Beryn wyth hym; so talking on the wey,

Beryn,” quoth Hanybald, “ I sure the be my fey,
That thow art much y-bound to me this ilk dey,
So is thy ple amendit by me, and eke of such a wey
I am avysid in thy cause, yf thow wolt do by rede,
That lite or nought by my counsaill ought the to drede.
Yee know wele, to morowe the dey of ple is set,
That

ye

mut nedis answere; or els wythout lett I must yeld them your shippis, I may in no wyse blyn; So have I undirtake. But the merchaundise wythin Is nat in my charge, ye knowe as wele as I,. To make therof no lyvery ; wherfor now wysely Worch, and do aftir rede ; let all your marchaundise Be voidit of your shippis, and at hiest prise I wol have it every dele in covenaunt; yf ye list, To see myne house here onys tofore, I hold it for the best ; Wher shul se of divers londis, housis to or thre Ful of marchaundise, that through this grete ceté 1900 Is no such in preve, I may right well avowe. So when ye have all seyn, and I have your also, Let som bargen be y-made betwene us both too.” Graunt mercy, sir," quoth Beryn, “your profir is feir and

good ;
Feyn wold I do theraftir, yf I undirstood
I myght wythout blame of breking of arest.”

Yis," quoth Hanybald,“ at my perell me trust.”
So to Hanybalds house togithir both they rode;
And fond, as Hanybald had y-seyd, an houge house, long and
brode,

1910 Full of marchaundise, as rich as it may be, Passyng all the marchaunts that dwellid in that ceté.

ye

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