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I like well thy countenance, thou hast an honest

With my son Richard this night thou shalt lie.'
Quoth his wife, 'By my troth, it is a handsome youth;

" Yet it is best, husband, for to deal warily :
· Art thou not a run-away, I pray thee, youth, tell?

Show me thy passport, and all shall be well.'

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Then our king presently, making low courtesy,

With his hat in his hand, thus he did say :
'I have no passport, nor never was servitor ;

' But a poor courtier, rode out of my way :
' And for your kindness here offered to me,

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,
· Both by his apparel, and eke by his manners;

'To turn him out, certainly 'twere a great sin.'
' Yea, (quoth he,) you may see, he hath some grace,
" When he doth speak to his betters in place.'

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Well, (quoth the miller's wife,) young man, wel

come here,
And, though I say it, well lodg'd thou shalt be:
Fresh straw I will have laid on thy bed so brave,
• Good brown hempen sheets likewise;' quoth she.
Ay, (quoth the good man,) and when that is done,
" You shall lie with no worse than our own son.'

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Nay, first, (quoth Richard,) good fellow, tell me true ;

• Hast any creepers within thy gay hose ?
" Or art thou not troubled with the scabado ?'


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' 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

We never pay penny for it, by my fay:

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* From merry Sherwood we fetch it home here;
• Now and then we make bold with our king's deer.'

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• Then I think, (said our king,) that it is venison.'

. Each fool, (quoth Richard,) full well may see that :
'Never are we without two or three under the roof,

Very well fleshed, and excellent fat :
'But, pray thee, say nothing where'er thou dost go ;
We would not, for two-pence, the king should it


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* Doubt not,(then said our king,) my promis'd secrecy ;

The king shall never know more on't for me.'
A cup of lambswool they drank unto him then,

And to their beds they pass'd presently.
The nobles, next morning, went all up and down,
For to seek out the king, in every town.


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At last, at the miller's house, soon they espied him

As he was mounting upon his fair steed;
To whom they came presently, falling down on their

Which made the miller's heart woefully bleed :
Shaking and quaking before him he stood,
Thinking he should have been hang'd by the rood.

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The king perceiving him fearful and trembling,

Drew forth his sword, but nothing he said :
The miller down did fall, crying before them all,

Doubting the king would have cut off his head :
But his kind courtesy there to requite,
Gave him a living, and made him a knight.

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When as our royal king came home from Nottingham,

And with his nobles at Westminster lay;
Recounting the sports and pastimes they had ta'en,

In this late progress along by the way;
Of them all, great and small, he did protest,
The miller of Mansfield's sport liked him best.

* 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;
A pursuivant there was sent straight on the business,

The which had many times been in those parts.
When he came to the place where he did dwell,
His message orderly then he did tell.

. 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.'

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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? (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.'

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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;

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