« PreviousContinue »
glas stode was lyght and faste, and was named Cetyne, hit sholde endure ever, er it wold rote, or wormes shold hurte it; and therfore kynge Salamon seelyd his temple wyth the same wode withynforth. Men preysed it deerer than fyn gold, hit is like to tre of Hebenus, of whiche wode kynge Crompart made his hors of tree for love of kynge Morcadigas doughter, that was so fayr, whom he had wende for to have wonne.
That hors was so made within, that wosomever rode on it, yf he wolde, he shold be within lesse than an hour, an hondred myle thens; and that was wel prevyd, for Cleomedes, the kynges sone, wolde not byleve that hors of tree had suche myght and vertue. He was yonge, lusty, and hardy, and desyred to doo grete dedes of
prys, for to be renomed in this world, and leep on this hors of tree. Crompart torned a pynne that stode on his brest, and anon the hors lyfte hym up, and wente out of the halle by the wyndowe, and er one myght saye his Pater Noster, he was goon more ten myle waye. Cleomedes was sore aferd, and supposed never to have torned agayn, as thistorye therof telleth more playnly; but how grete drede he had, and how ferre that he rood upon that horse made of the tree of Hebenus, er he coude knowe the arte and crafte how he shold torne hym, and how joyeful he was whan he knewe it, and how men sorowed for hym, and how he knewe all this, and the joye therof whan he cam agayn, al this I pass over for losyng of tyme, but the moste parte of alle cam to by the vertue of the wode, of whiche wode the tree that the glas stode in was made :
and that was without forth of the glas half a foot brood, wherin stode somme strange hystoryes, whiche were of gold, of sable, of silver, of yelow, asure, and cynope. Thyse sixe colowrs were therin wrought in suche wise as it behoved, and under every hystorye the wordes were graven and enameld, that every man myght understande what eche historye was.
After my jugement ther was never myrour so costly, so lustly, ne so playsaunt. In the begynnyng stode there an horse made fatte, stronge, and sore enuyous upon an herte, whiche ran in the feeld so ferre and swyftly, that the hors was angry that he ran so ferre to fore hym, and coude not overtake hym. He thought he shold cacche hym, and subdue hym, though he shold suffre moche payne therfore. The horse spack tho to a herdeman in this wyse. Yf thou cowdest taken an herte that I wel can shewe the, thou sholdest haue grete prouffyt therof: thou sholdest selle dere his hornes, his skyn and his flesshe. The herdeman sayd, How may
I come by hym. The hors saide, Sytte vpon me, and I shal bere the, and we shal hunte hym til he be take.
The herdeman sprange and satte vpon the hors and sawe the herte, and he rode after, but the herte was lyght of foot, and swyft, and out ran the hors ferre. They honted so ferre after hym that the horse was wery, and said to the herdeman that satte on hym, Now sytte of, I wil reste me: I am al wery,
gyue me leue to goo fro the. The herdeman saide, I haue arested the, thow mayst not escape fro me.
I haue a
brydle on thy hede and sporis on my heles, thou shalt neuer haue thanke herof. I shal bydwynge and subdue the, haddest thou sworn the contrarye. See how the horse brought hym self in thraldom, and was taken in his owne nette. How may one better be taken than by his owne propre enuye suffre hym self to be taken and riden; ther ben many that laboure to hurte other, and they them seluen ben hurte and rewarded with the same.
Ther was also made an asse and an hound; whiche dwelled bothe with a riche man. The man louyd his hound wel, for he pleyde ofte with hym as folke doo with houndis. The hound leep vp and pleyd with his tayl, and lycked his maister aboute the mouth. This sawe Bowdwyn the asse, and had grete spyte therof in his herte, and said to hym self, how may this be and what may my lorde see on this fowle hound, whom I neuer see doth good ne proffyt, sauf spryngeth on hym and kysseth hym, but me whom men putten to laboure, to bere and drawe, and doo more in a weke than he wyth his xv shold doo in a hole yere; and yet sytteth he neuertheles by hym at the table, and there eteth bones, flessh, and fatte trenchours; and I haue nothyng but thystles and nettles, and lye on nyghtes on the harde erthe and suffre many a scorn. I wyl no lengre suffre this. I wylle thynke how I may gete my lordes loue and frendship lyke as the hound doth.
Therwyth cam the lorde, and the asse lyft vp his tayl and sprang with his fore feet on the lordes sholdres. And blered, grennyd, and songe, and with his
feet made two grete bules aboute his eris; and put forth his mouth and wold haue kyssed the lordes mouth as he had seen the hound doon. Tho cryde the lorde sore aferde, Help! help! this asse wil slee me. Thenne cam his seruauntis with good stauis, and smyten and bete the asse so sore that he had wende he shold haue loste his lyf. Tho retorned he to his stable and ete thistles and nettles and was an asse as he to fore was. In lyke wyse, who so haue enuye and spyte of an others welfare, and were seruyd in lyke wyse, it shold be wel behoeful. Therfor it is concluded that the asse shal ete thistelis and netteles and bere the sacke. Though men wold doo hym worship he can not vnderstonde it, but must vse old lewde maners.
Where as asses geten lordshippis, there men see selde good rewle. For they take hede of nothyng but on theyr synguler prouffyt; yet ben they take vp and rysen grete, the more pyte is.
Herken ferther, how my fadre and Tybert the catte wende to gydre, and had sworn by theyr trouthe, that for loue ne hate they shold not departe ; and what they gate, the shold departe to eche the half. Thenne on a tyme they sawe hunters comyng ouer the felde with many houndes. They leep and ranne faste fro them ward, al that they myhte, as they that were aferd of theyr lyf. Tybert, said the foxe, whyther shal we now best flee? The hunters haue espyed vs, knowe ye ony helpe? My fadre trusted on the promyse that eche made to other. And that he wolde for no nede departe fro hym. Tybert, said he, I haue a sack ful of wyles
yf we haue nede ; as ferre as we abyde to gydre we nede not to doubte hunters ne houndes.
Tybert bigan to syghe and was sore aferd, and saide, Reynart, what auayllen many wordes? I knowe but one wyle; and theder muste I too. And tho clamme he vpon an hye tree in to the toppe vnder the leuys, where as hunter ne hounde myght doo hym non harme, and lefte my fadre allone in jeoparde of his lyf: for the hunters sette on hym the houndes alle that they coude. Men blewe the hornes and cryed and halowed The foxe. Slee and take! Whan Tybert the catte sawe that, he mocked and scorned my fadre and said, what Reynart, cosyn, vnbynde now your sakke wher al the wylis ben in, it is now tyme; ye be so wyse called, helpe your self, for ye haue nede.
This mocke muste my fadre here of hym to whom he had most his trust on. And was almoste taken and nyghe his deth ; and he ranne and fledde wyth grete fere of his lyf and lete his male slyde of by cause he wold be lyghter. Yet al that coude not helpe hym, for the houndes were to swyft and shold haue byten hym; but he had one auenture, that ther by he fond an old hole, wherin he crepte, and escaped thus the honters and houndes. Thus helde this false deceyuer Tibaert his sykernes that he had promysed.
Alas! how many ben there now a dayes that kepe not theyr promyse and sette not therby though they breke it. And though I hate Tybaert herfore, is it wonder? But I doo not sikerly; I loue my sowle to wel therto. Neuertheles yf I sawe hym in auenture and