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I like well thy countenance, thou hast an honest
" Yet it is best, husband, for to deal warily :
Show me thy passport, and all shall be well.'
Then our king presently, making low courtesy,
With his hat in his hand, thus he did say :
' But a poor courtier, rode out of my way :
I will requite it in every degree.'
Then to the miller his wife whisper'd secretly,
Saying,' It seems, this youth's of good kin,
'To turn him out, certainly 'twere a great sin.'
Well, (quoth the miller's wife,) young man, wel
Nay, first, (quoth Richard,) good fellow, tell me true ;
• Hast any creepers within thy gay hose ?
' I pray you, (quoth the king,) what things are
those ?' Art thou not lousy, nor scabby? (quoth he ;) * If thou be'st, surely thou liest not with me.'
This caus'd the king suddenly to laugh most heartily,
Till the tears trickled down from his eyes : Then to their supper were they set orderly,
With a hot bag-pudding, and good apple-pies; Nappy ale, stout and stale, in a brown bowl, Which did about the board merrily troul.
'Here, (quoth the miller,) good fellow, I drink to
thee, " And to all courtnols that courteous be.' * I'll pledge you, (quoth our king,) and thank you
heartily, For your good welcome in every degree: ' And here, in like manner, I'll drink to your son.'—
Do so, (quoth Richard,) but quick let it come.'
Wife, (quoth the miller,) fetch me forth Lightfoot,
" That we of his sweetness a little may taste : A fair venison-pasty, then brought she forth presently;
'Eat, (quoth the miller ;) but, sir, make no waste.' • Here's dainty Lightfoot, in faith, (said our king ;) · I never before eat so dainty a thing.'
'I wis, (said Richard,) no dainty at all it is,
- For we do eat of it every day.' ! In what place, (said our king,) may be bought like
* 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 see that :
Very well fleshed, and excellent fat :
* Doubt not,(then said our king,) my promis'd secrecy ;
The king shall never know more on't for me.'
And to their beds they pass'd presently.
gree: Fours tit com:
At last, at the miller's house, soon they espied him
nake no me ad our lit
The king perceiving him fearful and trembling,
Drew forth his sword, but nothing he said :
Doubting the king would have cut off his head :
THE SECOND PART.
When as our royal king came home from Nottingham,
And with his nobles at Westminster lay;
In this late progress along by the way;
* And now, my lords, (quoth the king,) I am determined
• Against Saint George's next sumptuous feast, - That this old miller, our last confirmed knight,
With his son Richard, shall both be my guest : For, in this merriment, 'tis my desire, " To talk with the jolly knight, and the brave squire.'.
When as the noblemen saw the king's pleasantness,
They were right joyful and glad in their hearts;
The which had many times been in those parts.
. God save your worship, (then said the messenger,)
And grant your lady her heart's desire, * And to your son Richard good fortune and happiness, * That sweet young gentleman, and gallant young
squire. • Our king greets you all, and thus doth say,
You must come to the court on Saint George's day.'
Therefore, in any case, fail not to be in place.'
• What should we do there? (he said :) faith, I am half
afraid.' "I doubt, (quoth Richard,) be hang'd at the least.' Nay, (quoth the messenger,) you do mistake ; • Our king he prepares a great feast for your sake.'
Then said the miller, ‘Now by my troth, messenger,
- Thou hast contented my worship full well. Hold, here's three farthings, to quit thy great gen
tleness, For these happy tidings which thou dost me tell. 'Let me see, hear’st thou me? tell to our king, "We'll wait on his mastership in every thing.'
The pursuivant smiled at their simplicity,
And, making many legs, took their reward: And, taking then his leave with great humility,
To the king's court again he repair'd; Showing unto his grace, in each degree, The knight's most liberal gift and bounty.
When as he was gone away, thus did the miller say:
• Here comes expences and charges indeed ; "Now we must needs be brave, though we spend all
we have; For of new garments we have great need : • Of horses and serving-men we must have store, • With bridles and saddles, and twenty things more.'
Tush, Sir John, (quoth his wife,) neither do fret nor
frown; " You shall be at no more charges for me ; For I will turn and trim up my old russet gown, "With every thing as fine as may be;