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From merry Sherwood we fetch it home here;
Then I think, said our king, that it is venison.
Each fool, quoth Richard, full well may know that :
Very well fleshed, and excellent fat :
Doubt not, then said the king, my promised secrecy;
The king shall never know more on't for me.
And to their beds they passed presently.
At last, at the miller's cot, soon they espy'd him out,
As he was mounting upon his fair steed;
Which made the miller's heart wofully bleed;
* Ale and roasted apples.
The king perceiving him fearfully trembling
Drew forth his sword, but nothing he said : The miller down did fall, crying before them all,
Doubting the king would cut off his head. But he, his kind courtesy for to requite, Gave him great living, and dubb’d him a knight.
soosh San HEN as our royal king came home from Not
And now, my lords, quoth the king, I am determined
Against St. George's next sumptuous feast,
With his son Richard, shall here be my guest :
When as the noble lords saw the king's pleasantness,
They were right joyful and glad in their hearts : A pursuivant there was sent straight on the business,
The which had oftentimes been in those parts. When he came to the place, where they did dwell, His message orderly then 'gan he tell.
God save your worship, then said the messenger,
And grant your lady her own heart's desire ; And to your son Richard good fortune and happiness ;
That sweet, gentle, and gallant young squire. Our king greets you well, and thus he doth say, You must come to the court on St. George's day;
Therefore, in any case, fail not to be in place.
I wis, quoth the miller, this is an odd jest : What should we do there ? faith, I am half afraid.
I doubt, quoth Richard, to be hang’d at the least. Nay, quoth the messenger, you do mistake; Our king he provides a great feast for your sake.
Then said the miller, By my troth, messenger,
Thou hast contented my worship full well.
Hold, here are three farthings, to quite thy gentleness,
For these happy tidings which thou dost tell. Let me see, hear thou me; tell to our king, We'll wait on his mastership in everything.
The pursuivant smiled at their simplicity,
And, making many legs, took the reward ; And his leave taking with great humility
To the king's court again he repaired; Showing unto his grace, merry and free, The knight's most liberal gift and bounty.
When he was gone away, thus 'gan the miller say,
Here come expenses and charges indeed;
For of new garments we have great need :
Tush, sir John, quo' his wife, why should you fret, or frown?
You shall ne'er be at no charges for me;
With everything else as fine as may be ;