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treson. The kynge sayde, How durst this fals theef Reynart doo this? I saye to yow Bruyn, and swere by my crowne, I shal so avenge you on hym, that ye
shal conne me thanke. He sent for alle the wyse beestis, and desired counseyl how that he myght auenge this ouer grete wronge that the foxe had don. Thenne the counseyl concluded, olde and yong, that he shold be sente fore and dayed ernestly agayn, for tabyde suche jugement as shold there be gyven on hym of alle his trespaces; and they thought that the catte Tybert myght best do this message yf he wolde, for he is ryght wyse. The kynge thought this counceyl good.
IIOW THE KYNGE SENTE ANOTHER TYME TYBERT THE CATTE FOR THE FOXE, AND HOW TYBERT SPEDDE WITH
REYNART THE FOXE.
THENNE the kynge saide, Syr Tybert, ye shal now goo to Reynart and saye to hym, this seconde tyme, that he come to court vnto the plee for to answere, for though he be felle to other beestis he trusteth you wel, and shal doo by your counseyl ; and telle, yf he come not, he shal have the thirde warnyng, and be dayed, and yf he thenne come not, we shal procede by ryght ayenste hym, and alle hys lygnage, wythout mercy. Tybert spack; My lord the kynge, they that this counseylde you were not my frendes, what shal I doo there ? he
wyl not for me neyther come ne abyde, I beseche you, dere kynge, sende some other to hym, I am lytyl and feble, Bruyn the bere whiche was so grete and stronge coude not brynge hym, how shold I thenne take it on honde ? Nay, said the kynge, sir Tybert, ye ben wyse and wel lerned. Though ye be not grete ther lyeth not on, many do more wyth crafte and connyng, than with myght and strengthe. Thenne, said the catte, syth it muste nedes be don, I muste thenne take it vpon me, God geve grace that I may wel achieve it, for my herte is hevy and evil willed therto. Tybert made hym sone redy toward Maleperduys, and he saw fro ferre come fleying one of Seynt Martyns byrdes ; tho cryde he lowde and saide, Al hayl gentyl byrde, torne thy wynges hetherward and flee on my right side; the byrde flewh forth vpon a tree whiche stoode on the lift side of the catte, tho was Tybert woo, for he thought hit was a shrewd token and a sygne of harme, for yf the birde had flowen on his right side, he had ben mery and glad, but now he sorowed that his journey sholde torne to vnhappe. Nevertheles he dyde as many doo, and gaf to hymself better hope than his herte sayde; he wente and ronne to Maleperduys ward; and there he fonde the foxe allone standyng to fore his hous. Tybert saide, The riche God geve you good even, Reynart, the kyng hath menaced yow, for to take your lyf from yow, yf ye come not now wyth me to the court. Tho foxe then spack and saide, Tibert, my dere cosyn, ye be ryght wel come, I wolde wel truly that ye had moche good lucke. What
hurted the foxe to speke fayre, though he sayd wel his herte thoughte it not, and that shal be seen er they depart. Reynart sayde, wylle we this nyght be togydre, I wyl make you good chyere and to morow erly in the dawnyng we wyl to gydre goo to the court. Good neve late us so doo, I have none of my kyn, that I truste so moche as to yow, hier was Bruyn the bere the traytour he loked so shrewdly on one, and me thoughte he was so stronge, that I wolde not for a thousand marke have goon with hym, but cosyn I wil to morow erly goo with yow. Tybert saide, it is beste that we now goo, for the mone shyneth al so light as it were daye, I never sawe fayrer weder. Nay dere cosyn, suche myght mete vs by daye tyme that wold make us good chiere, and by nyghte paravanture myght doo us harme, it is suspecyous to walke by nyghte, therfore abyde this nyght here by me. Tybert sayde, wat sholde we ete yf we abode here? Reynart sayde, here is but lytle to ete, ye maye wel haue an hony combe good and swete, what saye ye Tybert? wyl ye ony therof? Tybert answerd, I sette nought therby; haue ye nothyng ellis ? yf ye gaf me a good fatte mows, I shold be better plesyd. A fatte mows, said Reynard, dere cosyn what saye ye? here by dwelleth a preest and hath a barne by his hows therin ben so many myse, that a man sholde not lede them away upon a wayne, I have herd the preest many tymes complayne that they dyde hym moche harme. O dere Reyner, lede me thyder for alle that I may doo for yow. Ye, Tybert, saye ye me trouthe?
wel s? Yf I love hem wel, said the catte. I love myes better than ony thyng that men gyve me, knowe ye not that myes savoure better that veneson, ye than flawnes or pasteyes; wil ye wel doo, so lede me theder where the myes ben, and thenne shal ye wynne my love, ye al had ye slayn my fader, moder, and alle my kyn. Reynart sayde, ye moke and jape therwyth. The catte saide, so helpe me God I doo not. Tybert, said the foxe, wiste I that veryly, I wolde yet this nyght make that ye shuld be ful of myes. Reynart quod he, ful! that were many. Tybert ye jape. Reynart quod he in trouth I doo not, yf I hadde a fatte mows I wold not gyve it for a golden noble. Late vs goo thenne. Tybert, quod the foxe, I wyl brynge yow to the place. Er I goo fro you, reyner ? Quod the foxe, vpon your sauf conduyt, I wolde wel goo wyth you to Monpelier. Late vs thenne goo, said the foxe, we tarye al to long. Thus wente they forth without lettyng to the place where as they wold be, to the prestes barne, whiche was faste wallid aboute withe a mude wal, and the nyght to fore the foxe had broken in and had stolen fro the preest a good fatte henne, and the preest alle angry had sette a gryn to fore the hool to avenge hym, for he wold fayn have take the foxe. This knewe wel the felle theef the foxe, and said, sir Tybert, cosyn, crepe in to this hool, and ye shal not longe tarye but that ye shal catche myes by grete heepis, herke how they pype. Whan ye be ful, come agayn ; I wil tarye here after you, be fore this hole, we wil to morowe goo to gyder to the court. Tybert
why tarye ye thus longe? come of, and so maye we retorne sone to my wyf, whiche wayteth after vs, and shal make vs good chiere. Tybert saide, Reynart cosyn is it thenne your counseyl that I goo in this hole. Thise prestes ben so wyly and shrewyssh, I drede to take harme. Oho Tybert, said the fox, I sawe you never so sore afered, what eyleth yow? The catte was ashamed and sprange in to the hoole, and anon he was caught in the gryn by the necke er he wyste, thus deceyuyd Reynart his ghest and cosyn.
As Tybert was waer of the grynne, he was a ferde and sprange forth, the grynne wente to, thenne began he for he was almost ystranglyd, he called, and cryed, and made a shrewd noyse. Reynart stode to fore the hool and herde al, and was wel a payed and sayde, Tybert, love ye wel myes? be they fatte and good ? knewe the preeste herof or Mertynet, they be so gentyl that they wolde brynge yow sawce: Tybert ye synge and eten, is that the guyse of the court ? if Ysegrym ware there by yow in suche reste as ye now be thenne shold I be glad, for ofte he hath don me scathe and harme. Tybert coude not goo awaye, but he mawede and galped so lowde that Martynet sprang vp, and cryde lowde, God be thanked ! my gryn hath taken the theef that hath stolen our hennes, aryse vp we wil rewarde hym.
Wyth these wordes arose the preest in an evyl tyme and waked alle them that were in the hows, and cryde wyth a lowyde vois, the foxe is take; there leep and ranne alle that there was, the preest