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And sette a souper at a certain pris ;
And we wold reuled ben at his devise,
In highe and lowe: and thus by on assent,
We ben accorded to his jugement.
And therupon the win was fette anon.
We dronken, and to reste wenten eche on,
Withouten any lenger tarying.

A-morwe whan the day began to spring,
Up rose our hoste, and was our aller cok,
And gaderd us togeder in a fiok,
And forth we riden a litel more than pas,'
Unto the watering of Seint Thomas:
And ther our hoste began his hors arest,
And saide ; “lordes, herkeneth if you lest.
Ye wete your forword, and I it record.
If even-song and morwe-song accord,
Let se now who shal telle the first tale.
As ever mote I drinken win or ale,
Who so is rebel to my jugement,
Shal pay for alle that by the way is spent.
Now draweth cutte, or that ye forther twinne.
He which that hath the shortest shal beginne.

“Sire knight (quod he), my maister and my lord,
Now draweth cutte, for that is min accord.
Cometh nere (quod he), my lady prioresse,
And ye, sire clerk, let be your shamefastnesse,
Ne studieth nought, lay hand to, every man."

i Foot-pace.

2 Promise,

3 Draw lots.

4 Depart.

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Anon to drawen every wight began, And shortly for to tellen as it was, Were it by aventure, or sort, or cas The sothe is this, the cutte felle on the knight, Of which ful blith and glad was every wight ; And tell he must his tale as was reson, But forword, and by composition, As ye han herd; what nedeth wordes mo? And whan this good man saw that it was so, As he that wise was and obedient To keep his forword by his free assent, He saide : “Sithen I shal begin this game, What? welcome be the cutte a goddes name. Now let us ride, and herkeneth what I say.”

And with that word we riden forth our way; And he began with right a mery chere His tale anon, and saide as ye shul here.




(JAMES I. KING OF SCOTLAND, was born in 1394. When he was eleven years old, he was sent by his father to France, and, on his passage across the sea, fell into the hands of the English, who put him in the Tower, where he was confined for nineteen years. His misfortunes were not, however, without their advantages, since he received, while a prisoner, a most excellent education, of which he afterwards made good use. He married Joanna Beaufort, daughter of the Earl of Somerset, with whom he fell in love while he was a captive. He was assassinated in 1437 by his uncle Walter, Earl of Athol, and Robert Graham. James I. was remarkable for skill in poetry and music, and many productions which have been ascribed to him are still popular. ]

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And though I stood abasit tho a lite,
No wonder was; for why ? my wittis all
Were so overcome with pleasance and delight,
Only through letting of my eyen fall,
That suddenly my heart became her thrall,
For ever of free will,-for of menace

There was no token in her sweete face.

And in my head I drew right hastily,
And eftesoons I leant it out again,
And saw her walk that very womanly,
With no wight mo', but only women twain.
Then gan I study in myself, and sayn,
“Ah, sweet! are ye a worldly creature,
Or heavenly thing in likeness of nature ?

Or are ye god Cupidis own princess,

And comin are to loose me out of band ?

Or are ye very Nature the goddess,
That have depainted with your heavenly hand,


This garden full of flowers as they stand ?
What shall I think, alas! what reverence
Shall I mister unto your excellence ?

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