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thys grete good, he was so proude and orguillous, that he had alle other beestis in despyte, whiche to fore had been his felaws. He made Tybert the catte, to go in to that wylde lande of Ardenne to Bruyn the bere, for to do to hym homage, and bad hym saye yf he wolde be kynge, that he shold come in to Flaundres. Bruyn the bere was glad hierof, for he had longe desired it, and wente forth in to Flaundres, where my

fader receyued hym right frendly. Anone he sente for the wyse Grymbert myn neuewe, and for Ysegrym the wulfe, and for Tybert the catte. Tho these fyue camen, bytwene Gaunt and the thorpe, callyd Yfte. There they helden their counseyl an hole derke nyght longe. What with the deuels helpe and craft, and for my faders richesse they concluded, and swore there the kyngys deth. Now herkene, and here this wonder; the foure sworen vpon Ysegryms crowne, that they sholde make Bruyn a kynge and a lorde; and brynge hym in the stole at Akon, and sette the crowne on his heed ; and, yf there were ony of the kynges frendes, or lignage, that wolde be contrarye or ayenst this, hym sholde my fader wyth his good and tresour fordryue, and take from hym his myght and power. It happed so, that on a morow tyde erly, that Grymbert my neuew, was of wyne almost dronke, that he tolde it to dame Sleopcade his wif in counseyl, and badde her kepe it a secrete, but she anone forgate it, and saide it forth in confession to my wyf, vpon an heth where they both wenten a pylgremage; but she must firste swere by her trouthe, and by the holy thre kynges of Coleyn, that for loue, ne for hate, she sholde neuer telle it forth, but kepe it

secrete. But she helde it not, and kepte it no longer secrete, but tyl she cam to me; and she thenne tolde to me alle that she herde, but I must kepe it in secrete; and she tolde me so many tokenys, that I felte wel it was trouthe; and for drede and fere, myn heer stode right vp, and my herte becam as heauy as leed, and as colde as ise. I thought by this, a lyknesse whiche hier a fore tyme byfylle to the frosshis, which were free; and complayned that they had none lorde, ne were not bydwongen, for a comynte without a gouuernour was not god; and they cryden to God with a lowde voys, that he wolde ordeyne one that myght rewle them. This was al that they desired. God herde theyr requeste, for it was resonable, and sent to them a storke, whiche ete and swolowed them in as many as he coude fynde: he was alway to hem vnmercyful. Tho complayned they theyr hurte, but thene it was to late ; they that were to fore free, and were aferde of no body, ben now bonde and muste obeye to strengthe theyr kynge; hyerfore, ye riche and poure, I sorowed that it myght happen vs in lyke wyse. Thus, my lord the kyng, I haue had sorowe for you, wherof ye can me but lytyl thanke. I knowe Bruyn the bere, for suche a shrewe and raveneur, wherfor I thoughte yf he were kynge, we shold be all destroyed and loste. I knowe our souerain lord the kyng, of so hye byrthe, so myghty, so benygne and mercyful, that I thought truly it had ben an euyl chaunge for to haue a foule stynkynge theef, and to refuse a noble, myghty, stately lyon, for the bere hath more madde folye in his vnthrifty heed, and al his anncestris, than

ony other hath. Thus had I in myn herte, many a sorowe; and thought alway, how I myght breke and fordoo

my faders fals counseyl, which of a chorle and traytour, and worse than a theef, wolde make a lorde, and a kynge. Alway I prayd God, that he wolde kepe our kyng in worship, and good helthe, and grante hym long lyf; but I thought wel, yf my fader helde his tresour, he sholde with his fals felaws, wel fynde the waye that the kyng shold be deposed, and set a syde. I was sore bethought, how I myght beste wyte where my faders good laye; I awayted at al tymes, as nygh as I coude, in wodes, in bushes, in feeldis, where my fader leyde his eyen; were it by nyght or by daye, colde or weet, I was alway by hym, to espye and knowe where his tresour was leyde. On a tyme, I laye doun al pat on the grounde, and sawe my

fader come rennyng.out of an hole. Now herke what I sawe hym doo. Whan he cam out of the hole, he loked fast a boute, yf ony body had seen hym; and, whan he coude no wher none see, he stopped the hole with sande, and made it euen and playn, lyke to the other grounde by. He knewe not that I sawe it: and where his footspore stood, there stryked he with his tayl, and made it smothe with his mouth, that no man shold espy it. That lerned I there of

fals fadre, and many

subtylitees, that I to fore knewe nothyng of. Thenne departed he thens, and ran to the village warde, for to doo his thyngis; and I forgate not, but sprange and lepe to the hole ward ; and how wel that he had supposed, that he had made al faste, I was not so moche


a fool, but that I fonde the hole wel, and cratched and scraped with my feet the sand out of the hole, and crepte therin; There fonde I, the moste plente of siluer, and of golde, that euer I sawe. Hier is none so olde, that euer so much sawe, on one heep, in alle his lyf. Tho toke I Ermelyne, my wife, to helpe, and we ne rested, nyght ne day, to bere and carye awaye with grete labour, and payne, this riche tresour, in to another place, that laye for vs better, vnder an hawe in a depe hole. In the mene whyle, that myn housewyf and I thus labouryd, my fader was with them, that wolde betraye the kynge. Now may ye here what they dede. Bruyn the bere, and Ysegrym the wulf, sente alle the londe aboute; yf ony man wolde take wages, that they shold come to Bruyn, and he wolde paye them their souldye or wagis to fore: My fader ranne ouer alle the lande, and bare the lettres. He wist lytil that he was robbed of his tresour, ye though he myght haue wonnen al the world, he had not conne fynde a peny therof. Whan my fader had ben ouer al in the lande, bytwene the Elue, and the Somme ; and hadde goten many a souldyour, that shold the next somer haue comen to helpe Bruyn, tho cam he agayn to the bere, and his felowis, and tolde them, in how grete auenture he had be tofore the borughes, in the londe of Saxone; and how the hunters dayly ryden, and hunted with houndes after hym, in suche wise, that he vnnethis escaped with his lyf. Whan he had tolde this to thise foure false traytours, thenne shewde he them lettres, that plesyd moche to Bruyn; there in

were wreton xii. C., of Ysegryms lignage by name, withoute the beres, the foxes, the cattes, and the dasses. All thise had sworn, that wyth the first messager that shold come for them, they shold be redy, and come for to helpe the bere, yf they had their wages a moneth to fore. This aspyed I; I thanke God. After thise wordes, my fader wente to the hole, where his tresour had leyn, and wolde loke vpon it. Tho began he a grete sorowe, of that he soughte he fonde nothyng: He fonde his hole broken, and his tresour born a way. There dede he that I may wel sorowe, and bewaylle ; for grete anger and sorowe, he wente and hynge hym self. Thus abode the treson of Bruyn, by my subtylte, after. Now see myn infortune; thise traytours, Ysegrym, and Bruyn, ben now most preuy of counseyl aboute the kynge, and sytte by hym on the hye bouche; And I, poure Reynart, have no thanke ne reward. I haue buryed myn owen fader, by cause the kynge sholde haue his lyf. My lorde, saide the foxe, where ben they that so wolde doo, that is to destroye them self for to kepe yow.

The kynge, and the quene, hoped to wynne the tresour, and wythout counceyl, toke to them Reynart, and prayde hym that he wold do so wel, as to telle them were this tresour was. Reynart saide, how shold I telle the kynge, or them that wolde hange me, for love of the traytours, and murderars, which by her flaterye, wolde fayne brynge me to deth. Shold I telle to them wher mye good is, thenne were I out of my wytte. The quene tho spak, Nay, Reynart, the kyng shal lete you haue

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