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Roebuck attempted to console his master with men are wont, on his family name: and on his the display of the honours that would be shown asking what the fellows meant by their impuhim aboard the brig, when his quality should be dence, a scholar from Oxford, of whom he indiscovered. Then, taking advantage of a shoal quired it, one who liked the logic of princes better of porpoises, that rolled and darted in every direc- than that of pedants, told him they wished to tion round the boat, he showed them to Sir Mag- express by their words and gestures that he was, nus, who turned pale at seeing them so near him. in the phrase of Horace, ad unguem factus.
Never be frightened at a parcel of bots !” cried “I do not approve of any phrases," answered he, Roebuck.
somewhat proudly, “and pray, sir, tell them so.” “ Bots! what, those vast creatures ?”
“ Sir !” said Roebuck in his “ although Ay, surely,” said one of the sailors. “ The sea- you may be somewhat disappointed in the measure horses void them by millions in a moment: you of respect paid to you aboard, you will be compenmay sometimes see a thousand of them sticking sated on landing." on a single hair of their tails."
Sir Magnus thought hereby that his tenants “ Do those horses come within sight then?” would surely bring him pullets and chines. As said Sir Magnus tremulously.
they approached the coast, “I told you, sir !" “Only when they are itchy,” answered the exclaimed he. « Look at the bonfire on the very mariner; "and then they contrive to slip between edge of the sands! they could not make it nearer a boat and a brig, and crack a couple or three at a you.” A fire was blazing, and there were loud time of these troublesome little insects."
huzzas as the ship entered the port. Sir Magnus said something to himself about the “I would still be incog. if possible,” said Sir wonders of the great deep, and praised God for Magnus, hollowing his cheeks and voice, and rehaving kept hitherto such a breed of bots out of covering to himself a great part of his own estihis stables. He began to see clearly how fitted mation. “ Give the good men this money; and everything is to the place it occupies; and how tell them in future not to burn a serviceable boat certainly these creatures were created to be killed for me, in want of brushwood. I will send them between brigs and boats.
a cart-load of it another time, on due application.” Meditations must have their end, though they The people were caulking a fishing-smack : they reach to Heaven.
took the money, hooted at Sir Magnus, and turned Great as had been the consternation of Sir again to their labour. Magnus at the sight of the porpoises, and at the After the service of the day, the king of Eng. probability that a hair of some stray marine horse, land was always pleased to watch the ships coming covered over with them, might lie between him over, to observe the soldiers debarking, and to and the river; greater still was it, if possible, at learn the names of the knights and esquires who approaching the brig, and discerning the two De successively crossed the channel. He happened Ardens. “What can they want with me?” cried to be riding at no great distance; and ordered he. “ I am resolved not to go home with them.” one of his attendants to go and bring him infor
Roebuck raised his spirits, by swearing that mation of the ship and her passengers, particunothing of the kind should happen, while he had larly as he had seen some stout horses put ashore. a drop of blood in his veins. “Hark! Sir Knight!” This knight was an intimate friend of De Arden said he. “ Observe how the two young gentle. the father, and laughed heartily at the adventure, men are behaving."
as related by Humphrey. He repeated it to the Gaily indeed did they accost him, and impe- king, word for word, as nearly as he could. riously cried they to the crew, “ Make way for “Marry!” said the king. “Three fat horses, with Sir Magnus Lucy."
a bean-field (I warrant) in each, are but an in“ Behold, sir, your glorious name hath already adequate price for such a name. I doubt whether manifested itself,” said Ralph.
we have another among us that was in any deA rope-ladder was let down; and the brothers gree noble before the Norman conquest. We knelt, and inclined their bodies, and offered their ourselves might have afforded three decent ones, hands to aid him in mounting. “Here are ho- in recompense for the dominion and property of nours paid to my master !” said Roebuck exult- nearly one whole county, and that county the ingly. Sir Magnus himself was highly gratified fairest in England. Let the boys make the with his reception, and resolved to defer his in- knight show his prowess, as some of his family terrogatory on the course they seemed to be have done. I observe they ride well, and have taking. He was startled at dinner-time when the prudence to exercise their horses on their first the captain with strange familiarity entitled him debarking, lest they grow stiff and lose their “ Sir Mag.” The following words were even appetite. Tell them I shall be glad to hear of more offensive ; for when the ship rolled some- them, and then to see them.” what, though moderately, the trencher of Sir Sir Magnus, the moment he set foot on shore, Magnus fell into his lap; and the captain cried, was welcomed to land by Roebuck. No, no! “Nay, nay, Sir Mag! as much into gullet as rogue Ralph !” said he, nodding. “I know the gullet will hold, but clap nothing below the girdle.” Avon when I see it. Here we are . : .
None of He protested he had no design to secrete any- your mummery, good people,” cried he, somewhat thing. The sailors played and punned, as low angrily, when several ragged French, men, women,
and children, asked him for charity. “ We will, decrees we should render our best services to our have no Babel here, by God's blessing."
country. Your three horses followed you for idle Soon came forward two young knights, and pomp; vanity prompted you to appear what you told him it was the king's pleasure he should pitch are not." his tent above Eu, on the right of this same river Very wrong, Ralph !” Brete.
“ And yet, Sir Magnus, if you had not com. Youngsters !” cried he arrogantly, “I shall mitted this action, which in your pious and reapitch nothing; neither tent (whatever it may be) sonable humility you call very wrong, perhaps nor quoit nor bar. Know ye, I am Sir Magnus three gallant youths (for Sir Magnus Lucy by Lucy of Charlecote."
God's grace shall be the third) had remained at The young knights, unceremoniously as he had home in that sad idleness, which leads to an treated them, bowed profoundly, and said they unprivileged and tongue-tied old-age. We are bore the king's command, leaving the execution now in France” of it to his discretion.
Ralph ! Ralph !” said Sir Magnus, “ be serious “ The king's,” repeated he. “What have I still. Faith! I can hardly tell when thou art and done? Has that skipping squirrel of an under- when thou art not, being so unsteady a creature." sheriff been at the king's ear about me?"
“Sir Magnus, I repeat it, we are now in NorThey could not understand him; and, telling mandy or Picardy, I know not rightly which, him that it would be unbecoming in them to where the king also is, and where it would be investigate his secrets, made again their obeis- unseemly if any English knight were not. The i ance, and left him. He then turned toward eyes of England and of France are fixed upon us. Ralph ; the polar star in every ambiguity of his Here we must all obey, the lofty as well as the
humble.” “Honoured master, Sir Magnus !" answered “Obey ? ay, to be sure, Ralph! Thou wilt Ralph," let no strife be between us, nor ill blood, obey me: thou art not great enough to obey the that alway maketh ill counsels boil uppermost in king: therefore set not thy heart upon it."
Ralph smiled and replied, “I offered my “ Roebuck !" said the knight, surveying him service to the young De Ardens, which they grawith silent admiration, now speakest thou ciously accepted. As however they have their soundly and calmly; for thou hast taken time in own servants with 'em, if you, my honoured mas the delivery thereof, and communed with thyself, ter, can trust me, who have more than once de before thou didst trust the least trustworthy of ceived you, but never to your injury, I will with thy members. But I do surmise from thy man- their permission continue to serve you, and that ner, and from the thing spoken, that thou hast right faithfully. Whatever is wanting to the somewhat within thee which thou wouldst utter dignity of your appearance is readily purchased yet."
in this country, from the many trafficken who “Worshipful sir!” subjoined Ralph, “although follow the camp, and from the great abundance of I do not boast of my services, as who would? yet, Normandy. So numerous too are the servants truth is truth ; I have saved your noble neck who have lost their masters, you may find as many from the gallows; forasmuch as you took a name, as your rank requires, or your fortune can mainworshipful sir! which neither king nor father tain. There are handier men among them than ever gave you, and which belongeth to others I am; and I do not ask of you any place of trust rightfully. Now if both the name and the above my betters. Such as I am, either take me, horses had been found at once upon you, a mi. Sir Magnus, or leave me with the two brave lada." racle only could have saved you from that bloody- “ Ralph !" answered the knight, “ I can not do minded under-sheriff. Providential was it for without thee; since I am here; as it seems I am!" you, sir knight, that those two young gentle- and he sighed. “ About those servants that have men, whether in mercy they counterfeited the lost their masters . . I wish thou couldst bare letter"..
held thy peace. I would not fain have such unNo, no, no! the priest's own brother wrote it: lucky varlets. But some of these masters, let us the priest deposed to the handwriting.”
hope, may be found. Thou dost not mean they “ Then,” said Ralph calmly, lifting up the are dead ; that is, killed !" palms of his hands toward Sir Magnus, “let us “Missing,” said Ralph, consolatorily. praise the Lord !”
“I thought so: I corrected thee at the time Hei-day ? Ralph! why! art even thou grown Now my three horses, the king being here, if devout? Verily this is a great mercy; a great thou speakest truth, I can have them up by er deliverance. I doubt whether the best part of it tiorari at his Bench.” (praised be the Lord nevertheless !) be not rather "They would be apt to leap it, I trow," replied for thee, than for such a sinner as I am. For Ralph, “with such riders upon their backs. Mas thou hast lost no horse; and yet art touched as if ter, be easy about them !" thou hadst lost a stud : thou hast not suffered in “ Ismael is very powerful: he could carry me the flesh; and yet thy spirit is very contrite." anywhere in reason," said Sir Magnus.
“ Master !” said Ralph, "only one thing is “Do not let the story get wind," answered his quite plain to me; which is, that Almighty God co ellor, " lest we never hear the end of it. I
promise you, my worthy master, you shall have | steed, worthy to bear a knight of distinction. Ismael again after the wars.”
My father,” said he, “made a song for himself, “He will have longer teeth, and fewer marks in in readiness at fair or market, when he had a his mouth, before that time," said sorrowfully Sir sorry jade to dispose of :Magnus.
" Who sells a good nag “ No bridle can hold him, when he is wilful,”
On his legs may fag replied Ralph ; “and although peradventure he
Until his heart be weary. might carry your Worship clean through the
Who buys a good nag,
And hath groats in his bag, enemy, once or twice, yet Ismael is not the horse
May ride the world over full cheery.'" to be pricked and goaded by pikes and arrows, without rearing and plunging, and kicking off
“ Comfortable thoughts, both of 'em !” said helmets by the dozen, nine ells from the ground. Sir Magnus. “I never sold my nags: and I have Let those Staffordshire lads break him in and groats enow .. if nobody do touch the same. bring him home.”
Not knowing well the farms about this country, “ Tell them so! tell them so !” said Sir Magnus, and the day being more windy than I could wish rubbing his hands. “ And find me one very strong it, and proposing still to remain for a while incogand fleet, and very tractable, and that will do nito, and being somewhat soiled in my apparel anything rather than plunge and rear at being by the accidents of the voyage, and furthermore pricked, if such bloody times should ever come my eyes having been strained thereby a slight over again in the world : for, as I never yet gave matter, it would please me, Roebuck, if thou any man cause to mock at me, I will do my wentest in search of the charger : the troublesome utmost to make all reverent of me, now I am near part of looking at his quarters, and handling the king.” Thus he spoke, being at last well him, and disbursing the moneys, I myself may, aware that he was indeed in France; although by God's providence, bring unto good issue.” he was yet perplexed in spirit in regard to his Ralph accepted the commission, and performed having been at Babel.
it faithfully and amply. He returned with two However, some time afterward he was likewise powerful chargers, magnificently caparisoned, and cured of this scepticism ; as by degrees men will told his master that he would grieve to the day of be on such points, if they seek the truth in humi- his death if he let either of them slip through lity of spirit. Conversing one day with Roebuck his fingers. Sir Magnus first asked the prices, and on past occurrences, he said, after a pause, “Ralph! then the names of them. He was informed that I have confessed unto thee many things, as thou one was called Rufus, and the other Beauclerc, likewise hast confessed many unto me; the which after two great English kings. Inquiring of manner of living and communing was very plea- Ralph the history of these English kings, and sant to the gentle saints Paul and Timothy. whether he had ever heard of them, and on the And now I do indeed own that I have seen men confession of Ralph in the negative, he was vexed in these parts beyond sea, and doubt not that and discontented, and told Ralph he knew nothing. there be likewise such in others, who in sundry The owner of the horses was very fluent in the matters have more of worldly knowledge than I history of the two princes ; which nearly lost him have . . knowledge I speak of, not of under- his customer ; for the knight shook his head, standing. In the vanity of my heart, having at saying he should be sorry to mount a beast of such that time seen little, I did imagine and surmise an unlucky name as Rufus : above all, in a country that Babel lay wider of us; albeit I could not where arrows were so rife. As for Beauclerc, he apon oath or upon honour say where or where- was unexceptionable. about. It pleased the Lord to enlighten me by “ A horse indeed !" cried Roebuck; “ in my signs and tokens, and not to leave me for the mind, sir ! Ismael is not fit to hold a candle to scorn of the heathen and the derision of the un- him." godly. Had I minded his word somewhat more, “I would not say so much as that," gravely and when in my self-sufficiency I thought I had majestically replied the knight: “ but this Beauminded little else and knew it off-hand, I should clerc has his points, Roebuck.” Sir Magnus purhave remembered that we pray every sabbath for chased the two horses, and acquired into the the peace of Jerusalem, and of Sion, and of bargain the two pages of history appertaining to Israel; meaning thereby (as the priest admo- their names; which, proud as he was of displaynishes the simpler of the congregation) our own ing them on all occasions, he managed less dexcountry, albeit other names have been given in terously. Before long he heard on every side the these latter days to divers parts thereof. By the most exalted praises of Humphrey and Henry ; same token I might have apprehended that Babel and, although he was by no means invidious, he lay at no vast distance.”
attributed a large portion of the merit to Ismael, Rochuck listened demurely, smacking his lips and appealed to Roebuck whether he did not at intervals like a carp out of pond, and looking once hear him say that Jacob too would show himgrave and edified. Tired however with this geo- self one day or other. Stimulated by the glory graphical discursion, burred and briared and his horses had acquired, horses bred upon his own braked with homilies, he reminded his master land, and by the notice they had attracted from that no time was to be lost in looking for a gallant our invincible Edward, under two mere striplings of half his weight, he himself within a week or have been eaten here by the dogs. Welladay, fortnight was changed in character. Sloth and and what harm ? Dogs at any time are better inactivity were no longer endurable to him. He beasts than worms, and should be served first.! exercised his chargers and himself in every prac- They love us, and watch us, and help us while we tice necessary to the military career; and at last are living : the others don't mind us while we are being presented to the king, Edward said to him good for anything. There are chaps, too, and that, albeit not being at Westminster, nor having feeding in clover, who think much as they do his chancellor at hand, he could not legally upon that matter. enforce the payment of the three angels, still due “Give me thy hand, Ralph! Tell my father I (he understood) as part of the purchase-money of have done my best. If thou findest a slash or sundry chargers, nevertheless he would oblige the two athwart my back and loins, swear to him, as gallant knight who bought them to present him thou safely mayest do on all the Gospels, and on on due occasion a pair of spurs for his acquit- any bone of any martyr, that they closed upon me tance.
and gave them when I was cutting my way The ceremony was not performed in the pre- through . . . aweary with what had been done sence of the king, whose affairs required him else- already. to lend my last service ... to our where, but in
presence of his glorious son, worthy master." after the battle of Cressy. Here Sir Magnus was Now, Messer Francesco, I may call upon you, surrounded, and perhaps would have fallen, being having seen you long since throw aside your gta still inexpert in the management of his arms, when vity, and at last spring up alert, as though you suddenly a young soldier, covered with blood, would mount for Picardy. rushed between him and his antagonist, whom he Petrarca. A right indeed have you acquired to levelled with his battle-axe, and fell exhausted. call upon me, Ser Geoffreddo; but you must Sir Magnus had received many bruises through accept from me the produce of our country. Brave his armour,
and noticed but little the event; men appear among us every age almost ; yet all many similar ones, or nearly so, having occurred of them are apt to look to themselves ; none will in the course of the engagement. Soon however hazard his life for another; none will trust his that quarter of the field began to show its herbage best friend. Such is our breed; such it always again in larger spaces; and at the distant sound was. In affairs of love alone have we as great a of the French trumpets, which was shrill, fitful, variety as you have, and perhaps a greater. I am and tuneless, the broken ranks of the enemy near by nature very forgetful of light occurrences, eren him, waved, like a tattered banner in the wind, of those which much amused me at the time; and and melted, and disappeared. Ralph had fought if your greyhound, Messer Geoffreddo, had not resolutely at his side, and, though wounded, was been laying his muzzle between my knees, urging little hurt. The knight called him aloud: at my attention, shivering at the cold of this unmathis voice not only Ralph came forward, but the ted marble, and treading upon my foot in prefer soldier, who had preserved his life, rolled round ence, I doubt whether you would ever have heard toward him. Disfigured as he was with blood from me the story I shall now relate to you. and bruises, Ralph knew him again: it was Peter It occurred the year before I left Avignon ; the Crosby of the bulrush. Sir Magnus did not find inhabitants of which city, Messer Giovanni will immediately the words he wanted to accost him : certify, are more beautiful than any others in and indeed though he had become much braver, France. he had not grown much more courteous, much Boccaccio. I have learnt it from report, and! more generous, or much more humane. He took believe it readily: so many Italians have resided him however by the hand, thanked him for hav- there so long, and the very flower of Italy : amering saved his life, and hoped to assist in doing ous poets, stout abbots, indolent priests, high-fed him the same good turn.
cardinals, handsome pages, gigantic halberdiers Roebuck in the meantime washed the several and crossbow-men for ever at the mark. wounds of his former friend and playmate, from a Petrarca. Pish! pish! let me find my way cow's horn containing wine; of which, as he had through 'em, and come to the couple I have before reserved it only against thirst in battle, few drops my eyes, and the spaniel that was the prime mover were left. Gashes opened from under the gore; in the business. which made him wish that he had left it untouched; Tenerin de Gisors knew few things in the and he drew in his breath, as if he felt all the pain world ; and, if he had known all therein, he would he awakened.
have found nothing so valuable, in his own esti“Well meant, Ralph! but prythee give over!” mation, as himself. The ladies paid much court said Crosby patiently. “ These singings in my to him, and never seemed so happy as in his prehead are no merry-makings."
sence : this disquieted him. "Master!... if you are there... I would liefer Boccaccio. How the deuce! he must have been have lain in Hampton churchyard among the a saint then : which accords but little with his skittles, or as near them as might be, so as not to vanity. spoil the sport : and methinks had it been a score Petrarca. You might mistake there, Giovanni! or two of years later, it were none the worse. The observation does not hold good in all cases, Howsoever, God's will be done! Greater folks I can assure you.
Boccaccio. Well, go on with him.
to return to Avignon, while she herself hid her Petrarca. I do think, Giovanni, you tell a story grief, it is said, with young Gasparin de l'Euf, in a great deal more naturally ; but I will say plainly the villa. Egidia was resolved to enjoy the first what my own eyes have remarked, and will let moments of freedom, and perhaps to show how the peculiarities of men appear as they strike me, little she cared for an unforgiving father. No one whether they are in symmetry with our notions however at Avignon, beyond the family, had yet of character, or not.
heard anything of his decease. The evening of Chaucer. The man of genius may do this : no her liberation she walked along the banks of the other will attempt it. He will discover the sym. Durance, with her favourite spaniel, which had metry, the relations, and the dependencies, of the become fat and unwieldy by his confinement, and whole : he will square the strange problematic by lying all day under the southern wall of the circle of the human heart.
garden, and, having never been combed nor washed, Pardon my interruption; and indulge us with exhibited every sign of dirtiness and decrepitude. the tale of Tenerin.
To render him smarter, she adorned him again Petrarca. He was disquieted, I repeat, by the with his rich silver collar, now fitting him no gaiety and familiarity of the young women, who, longer, and hardly by any effort to be clasped truly to speak, betray at Avignon no rusticity of about his voluminous neck. He escaped from her, reserve. Educated in a house where music and dragging after him the scarlet ribbon, which she poetry were cultivated, he had been hearing from had formed into a chain, that it might appear the his earliest days the ditties of broken hearts and richer with its festoons about it, and that she desperation : and never had he observed that might hold the last object of her love the faster. these invariably were sung under leering eyes, On the banks of the river he struggled with both with smiles that turned every word upside-down, paws to disengage the collar, and unhappily one and were followed by the clinking of glasses, a of them passed through a link of the ribbon. hearty supper, and what not! Beside, he was very Frightened and half-blind, he ran on his three handsome; men of this sort, although there are legs he knew not whither, and tumbled through exceptions, are usually cold toward the women; some low willows into the Durance. Egidia and he was more displeased that they should caught at the end of the ribbon; and, the bank share the admiration which he thought due to giving way, she fell with him into deep water. She himself exclusively, than pleased at receiving the had, the moment before, looked in vain for assistlarger part of theirs.
ance to catch her spaniel for her, and had cast a At Avignon, as with us, certain houses enter- reproachful glance toward the bridge, about a tain certain parties. It is thought unpolite and hundred paces off, on which Tenerin de Gisors was inconstant ever to go from one into another, I do leaning, with his arms folded upon the battlement. not mean in the same evening, but in your life- “Now," said he to himself, “ one woman at least time; and only the religious can do it without would die for me. She implored my pity before reproach. As bees carry and deposit the fecun- she committed the rash act . . as such acts are dating dust of certain plants, so friars and priests called on other occasions.” the exhilarating tales of beauty, and the hardly Without stirring a foot or unfolding an arm, he less exhilarating of frailty, covering it deeply with added pathetically from Ovid, pity, and praising the mercy of the Lord in per
Sic, ubi fata vocant, udis abjectus in herbis, mitting it for an admonition to others.
There are two sisters in our city (I forgot myself in calling Avignon so), of whom among friends We will not inquire whether the verses are the I may speak freely, and may even name them ; more misplaced by the poet, or were the more Cyrilla de la Haye, and Egidia. Cyrilla, the misapplied by the reciter. Tenerin now stepped younger, is said to be extremely beautiful: I never forward, both to preserve his conquest and add saw her, and few beside the family have seen her solemnity to his triumph. He lost however the lately. She is spoken of among her female friends opportunity of saving his mistress, and saw her as very lively, very modest, fond of reading and carried to the other side of the river by two stout of music: added to which advantages, she is peasants, who had been purchasing some barrels heiress to her uncle the Bishop of Carpentras, now in readiness for the vintage, and who placed her invested with the purple. For her fortune, and with her face downward, that the water might run for the care bestowed on her education, she is out of her mouth. He gave them a livre, on conindebted to her sister, who, having deceived many dition that they should declare he alone had saved respectable young men with hopes of marriage, the lady: he then quietly walked up to his neck was herself at last deceived in them, and bore in the stream, turned back again, and assisted (or about her an indication that deceived no one. rather followed) the youths in conveying her to During the three years that her father lived after the monastery near the city-gate. this too domestic calamity, he confined her in a Here he learned, after many vain inquiries, that country-house, leaving her only the liberty of a the lady was no other than the daughter of Philigarden, fenced with high walls. He died at bert de la Haye. Perpetually had he heard in Paris : and the mother, who fondly loved Egidia, every conversation the praises of Cyrilla ; of her went instantly and liberated her, permitting her beauty, her temper, her reserve, her accomplish
Ad vada Mæandri concinit albus olor.