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And he acquires the noblest spouse
That widows greatest herds of cows ;
Then what may I expect to do,
Who ’ve quell’d so vast a buffalo?


Mean while the Squire was on his way,
The knight's late orders to obey;
Who sent him for a strong detachment
Of beadles, constables, and watchmen,
T'attack the cunning man for plunder
Committed falsely on his lumber;
When he, who had so lately fack'd
The enemy, had done the fact,
Had rifled all his pokes and fobs
Of gimcracks, whims, and jiggumbobs,
Which he by hook or crook had gather’d,
And for his own inventions father'd:




And when they should, at jail-delivery,
Unriddle one another's thievery,
Both might have evidence enough
To render neither halter-proof.
He thought it desperate to tarry,
And venture to be accessary ;
But rather wisely slip his fetters,
And leave them for the Knight, his betters.
He calld to mind th' unjust foul play
He would have offer'd him that day,
To make him curry his own hide,
Which no beast ever did beside,
Without all possible evasion,
But of the riding dispensation.
And therefore, much about the hour

The knight, for reasons told before,
Resolv’d to leave him to the fury
Of justice, and an unpack'd jury,


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The Squire concurr'd to abandon him,
And serve him in the self-fame trim
T'acquaint the Lady what h' had done,
And what he meant to carry on;
What project 'twas he went about,
When Sidrophel and he fell out;
His firm and stedfast resolution,
To swear her to an execution ;
To pawn his inward ears to marry her,
And bribe the devil himself to carry her.
In which both dealt, as if they meant
Their party saints to represent,
Who never fail'd, upon their sharing
In any prosperous arms-bearing,
To lay themselves out to supplant
Each other cousin-german saint.
But ere the knight could do his part,
The Squire had got so much the start,


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He 'ad to the Lady done his errand,
And told her all his tricks aforehand.

Just as he finish'd his report,
The knight alighted in the court,
And having ty’d his beast t'a pale,
And taking time for both to stale,
He put his band and beard in order,
The sprucer to accost and board her:
And now began t' approach the door,
When she, wh’ had spy'd him out before,
Convey'd th' informer out of sight,
And went to entertain the knight :
With whom encountering, after longees
Of humble and submissive congees,
And all due ceremonies paid,
He stroak'd his beard, and thus he said:

Madam, I do, as is my duty,
Honour the shadow of your shoe-tie;




And now am come, to bring your ear
A present you 'll be glad to hear ;
At least I hope fo: the thing's done,
Or may I never see the sun ;
For which I humbly now demand
Performance at your gentle hand;
And that you'd please to do your part,
As I have done mine to my smart.

With that he shrugg’d his sturdy back,
As if he felt his shoulders ake:
But she, who well enough knew what,
Before he spoke, he would be at,
Pretended not to apprehend
The mystery of what he mean’d,
And therefore wilh'd him to expound
His dark expressions less profound.

Madam, quoth he, I come to prove
How much I've suffer'd for your love,



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