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Wife, quoth the miller, fetch me forth Lightfoot,
That we of his sweetness a little may tafte :
Eat, quoth the miller; but, fir, make no waste.
I wis, faid Richard, no dainty at all it is,
For we do eat of it every day.
We never pay penny for it, by my fay :
Then I think, said our king, that it is venison.
Each fool, quoth Richard, full well may see that :
Very well felhed, and excellent fat:
Doubt not, then said our king, my promis’d secrecy ;
The king shall never know more on’t for me.
of lambswool they drank unto him then,
At last, at the millers house, foon they espied him plain,
As he was mounting upon his fair steed;
Which made the millers heart woefully bleed :
The king perceiving him fearful and trembling,
Doubting the king would have cut off his head :
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 Georges next sumptuous feast,
With his son Richard, shall both be my guest :
When as the noblemen faw the kings 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 hearts defire,
That sweet young gentleman, and gallant young squire.
Therefor, in any case, fail not to be in place.
I wis, quoth the miller, this is an odd jeft:
I doubt, quoth Richard, be hang'd at the least.
Then said the miller, Now by my troth, messenger,
Thou haft contented my worship full well. Hold, here's three farthings, to quit thy great gentleness,
For these happy tidings which thou doft me tell. Let me see, hear'lt thou me ? tell to our king, We'll wait on his mastership in every thing.
The pursuivant smiled at their fimplicity,
And, making many legs, took their reward:
To the kings court again he repair'd;
When as he was gone away, thus did the miller say:
Here comes expences and charges indeed ;
For of new garments we have great need :
Tush, fir John, quoth his wife, neither do fret nor frown;
You shall be at no more charges for me,
With every thing as fine as may be ;
In this most stately fort, rode they unto the court,
Their jolly fon Richard foremost of all;
And so they jetted down towards the kings hall :
The king and his nobles, that heard of their coming,
Meeting this gallant knight, with his brave train ;
Good fir John Cockle, once welcome again :
Quoth our king gently, How should I forget thee?
Thou wast mine own bed fellow, well that I wot. • But I do think on a trick.”—Tell me that, prithee Dick.
“ How we with farting did make the bed hot.” Thou whoreson, happy knave, then quoth the knight, Speak cleanly to our king, or else go shite.
The king and his counsellors heartily laugh'd at this,
While the king took them both by the hand;
The millers wife did so orderly ftand:
Where the king royally, in princely majesty,
Sate at his dinner with joy and delight :
Taking a bowl of wine, drank to the knight :