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Thus when all was shewid, they dronke and toke their leve,
To se Beryns shippis in hast they gon to meve.
And when that Hanybald was avysid what charge the

shippis bere, Не gan to speke in his wyse, ascaunce he rought nere Whethir he bargeynyd or no, and said thus : “ Beryn,

frend, Your marchaundise is feir and good, now let us make an

end,
If yee list, I can no more, yee knowith how it is.
Com of short let tuk them

yn,
methinkith I sey

nat

mys, And then your meyné, and ye, and I to my house shall we go,

1921 And of the marchaundise I saw, I wol nat part therfro; Chese of the best of that ye find there. Throughout the long house, ther shall no man you dere, And therwith shall your shippis be fillid all fyve; I can sey no betir, yf ye list to dryve This bargeyn to the end, counsellith with your men ; I may nat long tary, I must needis hen.” Beryn clepid his meyné, counsell for to take; But his first mocioune was of the woo, and wrake, 1930 And all the tribulacioune, for pleying at ches, That he had every dele, his shame, and his dures, Fro poynt to poynt, and how it stode, he told how it was ; And then he axid counsaill, what best was in the case, To chaunge with the burgeyse, or els for to leve. Eche man seyd his avise ; but al that they did meve, It wer to long a tale for to tell it here. But fynally at end, they cordit al in fere, That the chaunge shuld stond ; for as the case was fall They held it clerely for the best; and went forth wythall, The next wey that they couth, to Hanybaldis plase.

1941

But now shul ye here the most sotill fallace, That evir man wrought till othir, and highest trechery, Wich Hanybald had wrought hymself to this company. “ Go in,” quoth Hanybald," and chese, as thy covenaunt is." In

goon these Romeyns ech oon, and fond amys; For there was nothing, that eny man might se, Saff the wall, and tyle stonys, and tymbir made of tre. For Hanybald had do void it, of all thing that was there ! Whils he was at shippis his men awey it bere. When Beryn saw the house ler, that full was thertofore 1950 Of riche marchaundise," alas !” thought he, “ I am lore, I am in this world ;” and wittith well, his hert Was nat at all in likeing, and out-ward gan he stert, Like half a wood man, and bete both his lippis, And gan to hast fast towards his own shippis, To kepe his good within, wyth al that evir he myght, That it were nat dischargit, as hym thought verrey right. But al for naught was his hast; for thre hundred men, As fast as they myght, they bere the good then, Through ordenaunce of Hany bald, that pryvelich tofore 1960 Had purposid and y-cast shuld be out y-bore. Beryn made a swyff pase, ther myght no man hym let; But Hanybald was ware i-nough, and with Beryn met, “ All for nought, Beryn ; thou knowist well and fyne, The shippis ben areistid, and the good is myne. What woldest thow do ther? thow hast ther nought to do, I wol hold thy covenaunt, and thow myne

also. For yit saw I nevir man, that was of thy manere ; Sometyme thou wolt avaunte, and some tyme arere ; Now thow wolt, and now thow nolt; wher shul men the fynd ?

1970 Now sey oon, and sith anothir ; 8o variant of mynd Saw I nevir tofore this dey man so variabill ;

1980

Sith I the fynd in such plyte ; our bargen for to stabill,
We woll tofore the steward, ther we both shull have right.”
• Nay, forsoth,” quoth Beryn. “Yis treulich the tire,”
Quoth Hany bald," wher thou wolt or no; and so I the

charge,
As provost; know, that yf me list, my warrant is so large,
And thow make eny diffence, to bynym thy lyffe ;
Take thyn hors, it gaynyth nat for to make stryffe.”
So wyth sorrowfull hert Beryn toke his hors ;
And softly seyd to his men, “Of me," quoth he, no fors;
But wend to your shippis, I wol com when I may.
Ye seth well everichone I may no bet awey."

Now here by this same tale, both fre and bond
Mow fele in their wittis, and eke ondirstonde,
That litill vailith wysdom or els governaunce,
Ther fortune evir werrith, and eke hap, and chaunce.
Or what availith bounté, bewté, or riches,
Friendship, or sotilitie, or els hardines,
Gold, good, or catell, wyt, or hy lynage,

1990 Lond, or lordis service, or els high peerage

? What

may all this avayle, ther fortune is a foo ? I-wis right litil, or nevir a dele ; full oft it fallith so. So shortly to pass ovir, they fill to such an end, That Beryn shuld have day ageyn a morowe, and so to wend He set him in ful purpose to his shippis-ward. But yit or he cam ther, he fond the passage hard ; For how he was begiled, throughout all the towne Ther and ther a coupill gan to speke and roune ; And every man his purpose was to have parte, With falsnes, and with sotilitees, they coud noon othir art. Beryn rode forth in his wey, his page ran hym by, Full sore adred in hert, and cast about his eye Up and down, even long the strete, and for angir swet.

2000

And er he had riden a stones cast, a blynd man with him

met, And spak no word, but sesid him fast by the lap; And cried, “out and harowe !" and nere hym gan to stap. “ All for nought," quoth this blynd, “what wenyst thow for

to skape ?" Beryn had thought to prik forth, and thought it had be jape.

2010 The blynd man cast awey his staff, and set on both his

hondis : “Nay thow shalt nat void," quoth he, "for all thy rich

londis, Tyll I of the have reson, lawe, and eke righte; For trewlich, I may wit it the, that I have lost my sight.” So for ought that Beryn coud othir speke, or prey, He myght in no wyse pas, ful sore he gan to may. And namelich for the pepill throng hym so about, And eche man gan hym hond, and seyd,“ Wythout doute Ye must nedis stond, and rest, and bide the lawe, Be ye nevir so grete a man.

“So wold I wondir sawe,” Quoth Beryn, “yf yee had cause ; but I know noon. “No, thow shalt know or thow go, thow hast nat al y-doon,” The blynd man seyd to Beryn. “Tell on then," quoth he. “Here is no place to plete,” the blynd man seyd age ; “Also we have no juge here of autorité ; But Evandir the steward shall deme both the and me; When I my tale have told, and thow hast made answere, By that tyme men shull know how thow canst the clere. Now, soveren God, I thank the of this ilk dey, Then I may preve the be my lyve, of word and eke of fay Fals, and eke untrewe of covenaunt thow hast y-makid. 2031 But litill is thy charge now, though that I go nakid, That sometyme wer partinere, and rekenyest nevir yit;

2021

But thou shalt here, or we depart, therof a litill witt.
For after comyn seyng, evir atte ende
The trowith woll be previd, how so men evir trend.”

Thus they talkid to eche othir, tyl they com into the plase,
And wer y-entrid in the hall ther the steward was.
The blynd man first gan to spake, “Sir steward, for Goddis

sake, Herith me a little while ; for her I have y-take

2040
He that hath do me wrong most of man of mold;
Be iny help, as law woll, for hym that Judas sold.
Ye know wele that oft tyme I have to yow y-pleynid,
How I was betrayed, and how I was y-peynid,
And how a man some tyme and I our yen did chaunge ;
This is the same persone, though that he make it straunge.
I toke them hym but for a tyme, and wenyd trewly
Myne to have y-had ageyn; and so both he and I
Were ensurid uttirlich, and was our both will ;
But for myne the bettir were, wrongfullich and ille
He hath them kept hitherto, wyth much sorowe and pyne
To me, as ye wele knowith ; because I have nat myne,
I may nat se with his ; wherfor me is full woo;
And evirmore ye seyd, that ye myght nothing do,
Without presence of the man that wrought me this unquert:
Now, sith he is tofore you now, let hym nat astert.
For many tyme and oft

yee
behete

me,
And he myght be take, he shuld do me gre.
Sith ye of hym be sesid, howevir so yee tave,
Let him nevir pas tyl I myn yen have.”
“Beryn," quod Evandir, “herist thow nat thyselve
How sotilly he pletith, and ware by eche halve ?"
Beryn stode all muet, and no word he spake.
And that was tho his grace ; ful sone he had be take,
And he had mysseyd onys, or els y-seyd nay;

2050

2060

S

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