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your lyf, and shal al to gydre forgyue you, and ye shal be fro hens forth wyse, and true to my lorde. The foxe answerd to the quene, Dere lady, yf the kynge wil beleue me, and that he wil pardone, and forgyue me alle my olde trespaces; ther was neuer kynge so riche, as I shal make hym, for the tresour, that I shal doo hym haue, is right costely, and may not be nombred. The kynge saide, Ach dame, wille ye beleue the foxe ; sauf your reuerence, he is borne to robbe, stele, and to lye, this cleuid to his bones, and can not be had out of the flessh. The quene saide, Nay, my lorde, ye may now well byleue hym; though he were heretofore felle, he is now changed otherwise than he was. Ye haue wel herde, that he hath appechid his fader, and the dasse, his neuew, whiche he myght wel haue leyde on other bestes, yf he wolde haue ben false, felle, and a lyar. The kynge saide, Dame, wille ye thenne haue it soo, and thynke ye it best to be don, though I supposed it sholde hurte me, I will take alle thise trespaces of Reynart vpon me, and bileue his wordes. But I swere by my crowne, yf he euer here after mysdoo and trespace, that shal he dere abye, and all his lignage vnto the ix. degree. The foxe loked on the kyng stoundmele, and was glad in his herte, and saide, My lorde, I were not wyse, yf I sholde saye thynge that were not trewe. The kynge toke vp a straw fro the ground, and pardoned, and forgaf the foxe, all the mysdedes, and trespaces, of his fader, and of hym also. Yf the foxe was tho mery,
and glad, it was no wonder, for he was quyte of his deth, and was all free, and franke, of alle his enemyes.
than on yow
The foxe saide, My lorde, the kynge, and noble lady, the quene, God rewarde yow, thys grete worship that ye do to me, I shal thynke, and also thanke you for hit, in suche wise, that ye shal be the richest kynge of the world; for ther is none lyuyng vnther the sonne, that I vouchesauf better
bothe. Thenne toke the foxe vp a straw, and profred it to the kyng, and saide, My moste dere lord, plese it yow to receyue hiere, the ryche tresour, whiche kynge Ermeryk hadde, for I gyue it vnto yow, wyth a fre wylle, and knowleche it openly. The kynge receyuid the straw, and threwe it meryly fro hym, with a joyous visage, and thanked moche the foxe.
The foxe laughed in hym self. The kynge thenn herkenede after the counseyl of the foxe, and alle that ther were, were at his wylle. My lorde, sade he, herkene, and marke wel my wordes; in the west side of Flaundres, ther standeth a woode, and is named Hulsterlo, and a water that is called Kerekenpyt lyeth therby. This is so grete a wyldernesse, that ofte in an hole yere man ner wyf cometh therin, sauf they that wil, and they that wille not eschewe it; there lyeth this tresour hydde. Understande wel, that the place is called Krekenpit; for I aduyse you for the lesste hurte, that ye and my lady goo bothe thyder, for I knowe none so trewe, that I durste on your behalue truste, wherfore goo your self. And whan ye come to Krekenpyt, ye shal fynde there, two birchen trees standyng alther next the pytte. My lorde, to the byrchen trees shal ye goo, there lyeth the tresour vnther doluen.
There muste ye scrape, and dygge a way a lytyl, the mosse on the one side; Ther shalle ye fynde many a jewel of golde, and syluer; and there shal ye fynde the crowne, whiche kynge Ermeryk ware in his dayes; that sholde Bruyn the bere have worn, yf his wyl had gon forth. Ye shal see many a costly jewel, with riche stones sette in golde werk, whiche coste many a thousand marke. My lorde, the kynge, whan ye now haue all this good, how ofte shal ye saye
herte and thynke, O how true art thou Reynart, the foxe, that with thy subtyl wytte, daluyst and hyddest here this grete tresour; God gyue the good happe, and welfare, where euer thou be.
The kynge sayde, Sir Reynart, ye muste come and helpe vs to dygge vp this tresour; I knowe not the way; I sholde neuer conne fynde it. I haue herde ofte named, Parys, London, Akon, and Coleyn. As me thynketh, this tresour lyeth right as ye mocked and japed, for ye name Kryekenpyt, that is a fayned name. These wordes were not good to the foxe, and he sayd with an angry mode, and dyssymyled and saide; Ye, my lord, the kynge, ye be also nyghe, that as fro Rome to Maye. Wene ye that I wille lede yow to flomme Jordayn. Nay, I shal brynge you out of wenyng, and shewe it you by good wytnes. He called lowde, Kywart, the hare, come here to fore the kynge. The bestes sawe alle thyder ward, and wondred what the kynge wold. The foxe sayde to the hare, Kywart, ar ye a colde ? How tremble ye, and quake so ? be not aferd, and telle my lorde, the kynge, here the trouthe; And that I
charge you, by the fayth and trouthe, that ye owe hym, and to my lady, the quene, of suche thyng as I shal demande of you. Kywaert saide, I shal saye the trouthe, though I shold lose my necke therfore, I shal not lye, ye haue charged me so sore, yf I knowe it. Thenne saye, knowe ye not where Keriekenpyt standeth ; is that in your mynde ? The hare saide, I knewe that wel, xii. yer a goon, wher that standeth, why aske ye that? It standeth in a woode, named Hulsterto, vpon a warande, in the wyldernesse. I haue suffred there moche sorowe for hunger and for colde; ye more than I can telle. Pater Symonet the friese, was woned to make there false money, wherwyth he bare hym self out, and al his felawship; but that was to fore er I had felawship with Ryn the hounde, whiche made me escape many a daunger, as he coude wel telle yf he were here, and that I neuer in my dayes trespaced agenst the kynge, other wyse than I ought to doo with right. Reynart sayd to hym, Go agayne to yonder felawship, here ye, Keyward: my lorde, the kynge desyreth no more to knowe of yow. The hare retorned and wente agayn to the place he cam fro. The foxe sayde, My lord, the kynge, is it trewe that I saide. Ye, Reynart, said the kynge, forgyue it me. I dyde euyl that I beleuid you not. Now Reynart, frende, fynde the waye that ye goo wyth vs to the place and pytte, where the tresour lyeth. The foxe saide, it is a wonder thyng wene ye, that I wolde not fayne goo wyth yow, yf it were so with me that I myght goo with yow, in suche wise
that it no shame were vnto your lordshyp, I wold goo; but, nay, it may not bee: herkene what I shal saye, and muste nedes thaugh it be to me vylonye and shame. Whan Isegrym the wulf, in the deuels name, wente in to religion and become a monke, shorn in the ordre, tho the prouende of sixe monkes was not suffycient to hym, and had not ynough to ete; he thenne playned and waylled so sore, that I had pyte on hym; for he becam slowe and seke, and bycause he was of my kynne I gaf hym counseyl to renne away, and so he dyde; wherfore I stonde a cursed, and am in the Popes banne and sentence. I wil to morow, bytymes, as the sonne riseth, take my waye to Rome for to be assoyled, and take pardon, and fro Rome I wil ouer the see in to the holy lande, and wil neuer retorne agayn til I haue doon so moche good, that I may with worship goo wyth yow; hyt were greet repref to you, my lord, the kyng, in what londe that I accompanyed you, that men shold saye, ye reysed and accompanyed your self with a cursyd and a persone agravate.
The kynge sayde, Sith that ye stand a cursyd in the censures of the chirche, yf I wente wyth you, men sholde arette vilonye vnto my crowne; I shal thenne take Kywaert, or somme other, to goo with me to Krykenpytte, and I counseylle you, Reynart, that ye put your self out of this curse. My lord, qd. the foxe, therfore wylle I goo to Rome, as hastely as I may: I shal not reste by nyght ner day, til I bee assoylled. Reynart, said the kynge, me thynketh ye ben torned in to a good waye; God gyue you grace taccomplyssh