[...]SECOND PART, OF THE Most Pleasant and Delightful HISTORY OF Reynard the Fox. Containing Much Matter of Pleasure and Content. WRITTEN For the Delight of Young Men, Pleasure of the Aged, and Profit of all.

To which is added many Excellent Morals.

Here read the Fox, his Nature, and his Art,
Who in this Story acts the greatest Part.
Him here you find advanced highly, and
In this his Grandeur for a time to stand;
Till he aspiring further, Treachery
Contrived, and did for his Treason die.

LONDON, Printed by A. M. for Edward Brewster, at the Sign of the Crane in St. Pauls Church yard, 1672.

TO THE READER.

Courteous Reader,

IT is well known that publick Works necessarily undergo a pub­lick Censure; and how diligently careful soever any Man is, who ex­poseth this or that to the view of all, he shall meet with praise or dispaise, more frequently according to the under­standing or affection of the Censurer, than according to the worth or inva­lidity of what he presents. Therefore since I beg not the Patronage of any, nor would I by any Man be misun­derstood, and so causlesly censured, [Page] as an impertinent Writer: I have to the subsequent Work (which I was minded to have committed to the Press without Marginal Notes) added a Moral, or Exposition of my own; in doing which, I hope no Man will be so disingenious as to wrest my words to a sense contrary to my true and proper intent.

I, in the following History, aim not at the reproach or slander of any Man or Men whatsoever; but do only desire thy Content and Recrea­tion with delight and profit. Fare­well.

Read and peruse this Little Book, when care
And pensive thoughts to be expelled are.

THE CONTENTS.

  • HOw the King and Reynard the Fox consulted together about chusing a chief Prelate, in the place of Bellin the Ram, and how Isegrim the Wolf was chosen, &c. Chap. 1.
  • How the Fox advised the Wolf and his Children to wear Bellin's Gown, and the Clothing of Bellin's Kindred. Chap. 2.
  • How the Fox communed with the King about Ise­grim's Doubt, and thereupon Sir Isegrim was sent for to Court, &c. Chap. 3.
  • How the Bear and Cat conspired Sir Isegrim's Death &c. Chap. 4.
  • Of the Assembly of the Commons, &c. Ch. 5.
  • How the King feasted his Nobles. Chap. 6.
  • [Page]Of the Discourse between the King and Reynard about the advancement of the Bear and Cat, &c. Chap. 7.
  • How the Fox, Bear and Cat, were honoured, &c. Chap. 8.
  • How the Wolf went to Malepardus, to discourse with his Cousin Reynard, &c. Chap. 9.
  • How the Fox behaved himself in his Office, and of two Causes decided by him. Chap. 10.
  • How the Fox liberally bestowed what he got, &c. Chap. 11.
  • How Bitelas the Ape, informed Reynard of what passed at a Meeting of the Lords. Ch. 12.
  • Of the Discourse between the Fox and Wolf, and of another Meeting of the Lords. Chap. 13.
  • Of their last Meeting, and how they determined to surprise the King, and Court, &c. Chap. 14.
  • How Sir Firrapel the Libard, and his Cousin Slylook revealed their Treason to the King. Ch. 15.
  • How the Forces of the Lords met at the place ap­pointed, &c. and how the Traytors were sur­prised. Chap. 16.
  • How the Fox consulting with Bitelas the Ape, re­turned to his own Castle, &c. Chap. 17.
  • [Page]How the Fox was pursued, &c. Chap. 18.
  • The Examination of Traytors and Prisoners taken, &c. Chap. 19.
  • How the Fox and his Soldiers made Incursions, &c. Chap. 20.
  • The King Summons the Fox to surrender his Castle, &c. Chap. 21.
  • The Fox assaults the Kings Camp in the Night, &c. Chap. 22.
  • The King proclaims all Traytors that assist Rey­nard, &c. Chap. 23.
  • How the Fox's Castle was stormed, and all but himself killed, and he taken alive. Ch. 24.
  • Of the Dissolution of the Kings Army, and how the Fox was carryed Prisoner to the Court. Ch. 25.
  • The Fox examined. Chap. 26.
  • His Confession and Execution, as also of all the other Traytors, &c. Chap. 27.
  • How the King and the Nobles ruminated the Fox's Confession. Chap. 28.
  • How the King made Proclamation, no Beast should walk disguised, &c. Chap. 29.
  • [Page]How the King caused three of the Ram's Kindred to be brought before him, &c. Chap. 30.
  • How the Wolves were suddenly ruined. Chap. 31.
  • How the King distributed the Wealth of the Wolves among the Commons, and then openly shewed his love to Bellin's Kindred, &c. Chap. 32.

THE SECOND PART Of the Pleasant and Delightful HISTORY OF Reynard the FOX.

CHAP. I.

How the King and Reynard the Fox consulted together about chu­sing a chief Prelate in the place of Be [...]in the Ram, who (as you heard in the former Part) was convicted of the murder of Key­ward the Hare (though falsly), and so put to Death, and how Iseg [...]im the Wolf was made chief Prelate, &c. The Fox and be reconciled.

NOW after the Fox his Vidory against Isegrim the Wolf, he was not only honoured by the King and all his Subjects with the Title of Lord Reynard, [...]t el [...]e grew very inward and familiar with the King himself, insomuch as none could [...]e admitted to any [Page] private conference with his Majesty, unless he first made way by the favour of the Lord Reynard.

This did not a little disturb Sir Isegrim the Wolf, Sir Bruin the Bear, Sir Tibert the Cat, and many others who mortally hated Reynard. But his height seemed to be far beyond and above their malice; which although he well knew, he dissembled all he could; and least adverse fortune should again eclipse his Greatness, and so expose him to the mercy of his Enemies, which he knew would be but little, he plotted and [...]evised with himself, which way he

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might win their favour and make them more fast friends so himself, then they had been Enemies. To accomplish this, his subtile wit could find out no better way t [...]an to endeavour their promotion, as near, as might be with safe­ty to his own Grandeu [...]; for he was not ignorant, that if their advancement should come by his means, all malice [Page] and inveterate hatred would be turned into love; and he himself should be most firmly rivited in hi [...] Greatness and Honour. Therefore, he united on the King with all dili­gence, but conceals his intent for some time, until once on a day, the King being disposed to hunt, commanded the Lord Reynard to attend him; who very r [...]dily obeying, hun­ted with the King until dinner time; but when the King had [...]n [...], [...] Reynard also after him: The King (in a [...] ly yo [...] [...]r [...]) sitting on a green B [...]nk, held down his head, but sp [...]ke not at all; Reynard, seeing the King sit [...]s defected, most dread Soveraign, how is it, that your Majesty, who even now was chearful and in health, dining [...]s heartily as any Prince in Christend [...]m, is be­come so sad and Disco [...]te suddenly? Oh, said the King, my trusty friend Reynard, when I consider the State of my Realm how discomposed it is, how great the hatred and malice of my Subjects is one against another, especi­ally of my Lords against you, whom I love so dearly, and see not which way to gratifie them, without displeasing you, I [...]nn [...] ch [...] but be sorrowful and defected. To this, the Fox repl [...] (being glad at his heart that opportunity was Every subtil Politii [...]n makes not an occasion for the accompli­shing his end [...], but waite [...] till oc­casion be of­fered; as is here seen by the Fox, who would not di [...]cover his great, till he saw a sit op­portunity present it self. offered to [...]ffect his before intended design), most mighty Prince, I am your Vassal, therefore let not your Majesty stick to displease and ruin me, so that thereby your peace and content may be procured. Hereat the King looking somewhat more chear [...]ully, said; Why Reynard d [...]st then in earnest love me so well, as to be content to be [...]ined for my advantage. Yea, my Lord, said Reynard, I would wil­lingly [...]y down my life, if your Majesty think it will be your interest. By these words the Fox had [...]o possessed the King with a f [...]m conceit of his Loyalty, as he thought it better to l [...]t [...] discentented Nobles expiate their malice by length of time, then to attempt the putting [...]n end there­to to th [...] [...]ice of so faithful a friend; neverless, know­ing the [...] [...]l [...]y of his friend Reynard, said to him in this ma [...]ner. L [...]d Reynard, I pr [...]y the [...] t [...]ll me, can [...]t not thou [...]e so [...] [...]ay to [...]t [...]e [...] discontented Nobles with­out [Page] thy own injury, or my prejudice. To this the Fox an­swers (bowing his Body very Low), Mighty Sir, un­doubtedly the matter your Majesty speaks of, may be so effected, as to bring no inconveniency on me, nor any dis­c [...]mmodity to your self, but a benefit rather, and a continu­al peace, content, and satisfaction to all your most loyal Sub­jects. At this, the King assuming his wonted chearfulness again, asked, which way can you bring this to pass, so, as all parties may be pleased, and I my self, nor you my friend incur any blemish, since they have been so degraded, and slighted by us and you, as now we cannot well repair their loss of honour and credit with us and our Subjects; or whom the Prince disregards, the Commons will not e­steem? It is true Sir, replied the Fox, but the way I in­tend to take, shall give a testimony of your Majesties Roy­al Love, Favour and Goodness, to all your Subjects in ge­neral, in winking at, and not taking notice of the errors and flips of some of the chief, and always of your Maje­sty's ancient Nobility; for so doing you will eternize your Name to posterity; and I also, when dead and gone, shall be commended as a Loyal Subject, forgetting anger and revenge of those, by whom I have been so grosly abused. To this, the King said, if your wisdom judges the matter feasi­ble and honourable also, propound what is to be done, and I will proceed by your advice. Worthy Sir, said the Fox, it is not unknown to you, that since the death of Bellin your Chaplain, there hath been none to officiate in the Priests office, because in him his whole family was extinct by a Law, which confiscated all his Generation to be a prey to the Bear and the Wolf for ever. And among all your Majesty's Sub­jects, there is not any one more learned, or more fit (though he hath been my mortal foe, which I freely forgive), then is Sir Isegrim the Wolf; for to my knowledg he hath been a Student in several Vniversities, and in law-practises is not a little ekilled, besides he hath sate in the Chair of Phy­sick also; so that, as I said before, he is most fit to be Bel­lin's successor, which will he a great honour and profit also to [Page] him, if your Majesty will be pleased to add the title of Lord chief Prelate, and to admit no Priests under him, but what are of his Family. To this the King replies, stay Rey­nard, how shall this be, since Sir Isegrim is so generally feared and hated of the Commons, that instead of coming to hear him, they will all run away with might and m [...]in. It is very wisely thought on, Mighty Sir, said the Fox: but for this we have a remedy; so soon as he is chosen chief Prelate, he must put on Bellin's furred Gown, which he used always to wear; then the Commons will be no more afraid of him. Ha, Reynard, said the King, here is a slip in your Politicks, it were better that he should put on Bel­lin's furr Gown before he is chosen. Certes, quoth the Fo [...] Princes have great forecast than their Subjects. Yet I doubt, if any one desire him to put it on first, he will take it as a mockery, unless he be assured of the place and honour intended him. That he shall be, said the King, for I will send for him while you are present, and I will endeavour a reconciliation between him and you, and then propose the matter to him. Mighty Sir, said the Fox, if you propose not the matter first, as being my Request to your Majesty on his behalf, all endeavour of reconciliation will be fruit­less; for he will be sure to revile me, and that in such wise, as I fear will further provoke your Majesties displeasure a­gainst him, and so the wished end not be answered. Go to then said the King, I will send for him, Sir Bruin, and all the Noble [...]; and then in a sull Council we will consult about the matter, in which Council you shall speak for me and your self, as you shall judg most convenient: for in this meeting of Nobles only (without the Commons), Sir Ise­grim needs not be spoke to, about Bellin's Gown, but may take his place among us with his own Garments he is want to wear. At this the Fox making humble obeysance to the King; said, Mighty Prince, your wisdom far exceeds our conceivings, that are of the vulgar sert. Therefore, we all should acknowledg that you are not set over us for nought, but to guide and inform, as well as to rule and govern; [Page] with many more such flattering speeches he courts the King Treacherous Subjects fl [...]t­ter Princes most. for the accomplishing his own subtil ends, as you shall hear anon. The next day, the King sent Sir Firapel the Libard to summon all the Nobles to meet at his Royal Palace ear­ly in the morning following. According to this Summons

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they came. Now when they were come to the place appoint­ed for that meeting, the King and Sir Reynard came bath to­gether [Page] among them: for they were together almost all the night before. First of all the King in friendly manner salutes Sir Isegrim the Wolf, and Sir Bruin the Bear, sel­ling them he wondred they were such strangers, and should have been glad to have seen them ere that time. This fa­vourable and loving entertainment from the King, raised up in them a fresh remembrance of their grievances, hoping now they had a seasonable opportunity to make their come plaints, and find redress accordingly. But when the King perceived their intention, which could not but be known, by those so often spightful f [...]owns upon Sir Reynard cast from them both, which the King himself had observed; be begins thus: Loving friends, the intent of this days meeting is not to determine differences between party and party, nor is it to redress private grievances; therefore of them I would have no mention made at this time; but a more weighty met­ter is now in hand, which concerns us all, and this is the business of Religion, touching which we have all been too remiss. When the Bear and Wolf heard this, they bowed themselves and sate. down. So when all were sate, the King spake to Sir Reynard, calling him Cousin, and said, Cousin Reynard, our pleasure is, that you declare to the Assembly our full intention concerning this business. Reynard, bow­ing very low to the King first, afterward to the Assembly, eg in to speak thus.

Worthy Lords, and Subjects of the most-puissant King of Beast, be it known unto you, that our Mighty Prince, here present, did for several good Causes (as espe [...]idly for Murther by himself confessed) deprive Bellin the Ram both of Life and Dignity, confiscating his whole Family to be a prey to Sir Bruin the noble Bear, and Sir Isegrim the learned Wolf, and this confiscation of body and goods to continue from generation to generation, and to descend to the families and Lineages of the said Sir Bruin, and Sir Isegrim for ever, and longer if possible, By means of this, we (with grief be it spoken), are wholly destitute of a Priest, or any to officiate in Bellin's office, and [Page]

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are like to co [...]in [...] so, if some speedy c [...]e be not ta­ken. Ther [...]f [...] [...]e High and Mighty King of Beasts, our L [...]r [...] and Ma [...]er, having Princely cute and affection [Page] towards all his Subjects in general, and to you his Nobles in a special manner, hath thought good to call this Assem­bly at this time, and with your advice, and consent, to make choice of some one, that shall be judged most fit for the Priests Office; and when you here have chosen the Person, his Majesty will present him to be approved by a general Assembly of the Commons, whom he will summon together very speedily for that purpose. Having spoken this, he sate down. Then the King said; I approving of all my Cousin Reynard hath said, do heartily with that out of you may be chosen an able and fit person, rather than from among the Commons; for should one of the common sort be advanced to so high a dignity; it is very questionable, whether he would know how to demean himself, &c. therefore I would have you to proceed to your choice of one from amongst your selves. After this, for a little space the whole company were silent, and sate looking one upon another, yet not without musing, and imagining on whom this so noble office would fall; each wishing he might be the person; the Wolf and Bear especially supposed they might have the office, the Bear because the Lord Reynard (whom he hated) had stiled him The hopes of honour and profit pacifieth the minds fo ma­licious per­sons; especi­ally where their ad­vancement is procured by such, as they mortally ha­ted. Noble; the Wolf, because he was termed Learned, undoudt­edly believed he should be chosen: so the wrath and choler of both was somewhat abated, and Sir Bruin first stood up and said: Most mighty King, we your Loyal Subjects cannot but acknowledg your Majesties undoubted care and zeal for the well being of all your leige people, therefore must needs greatly approve of your high and noble intention, so amply and plainly delivered by the noble Lord Reynard. Next spake Sir Firrapel the Libard, and said, The Office intended to be conferred this day is Noble, and the person fit for the ma­nagement thereof should be honest, wise, and also learned; therefore I hope it will be conferred on such a one, and on no other. For my part I know my own incapacity, therefore do not in the least desire it; but were I fit for it, I would chuse it above all dignities in the world. Then the King said to Sir Isegrim, how is it Sir Isegrim, that you are so [Page] silent, I am informed by my Cousin Reynard, that you are a great Scholar, very wise and learned in Law, Divinity, and Physick, therefore I hoped you would have proffered to take on you this great charge, which I, my Cousin Reynard, and all my Nobles (I suppose) will freely confer on you, and on no other. Now the Wolf, greedy enough of honour, By the Wolf here is deno­ted greedy and unsatia­ble men. perceiving, that by the Lord Reynard's means he was like­ly to be greatly honoured stood up, and after obeysance made, thus spake:

Most puissant King, the cause of my silence was not, be­cause I was unwilling to undergo any charge or trouble for the good of your Majesty and whole Kingdom, but because I was ashamed of the discord that had been between my Lord Reynard, my self, and some other of your Loyal Subjects, about matters not worthy to be mentioned in so noble an Au­ditory; for that cause only was I silent. We, said the King, remit and forgive all that hath passed between my Lord Rey­nard, Sir Bruin, your self, or any other, and will have no more mention made thereof. My Lord Reynard hath highly commended you to me, which surely no enemy would do. He hath also praised Sir Bruin so, as I will not forget to ho­nour him also. And for Sir Tibert, because he is swift of foot, and fit for imployment, also politick and subtil, I (as soon as opportunity serves) will think of some office, where­in he may benefit himself, and please me.

With these words they were all highly contented; the Wolf gave his hand to the Fox in token of friendship; the Bear and Cat also shook hands with the Fox. After these Ceremonies were passed, they all sate down. And by a Ge­neral Vote, Sir Isegrim was chose chief Prelate.

CHAP. II.

How the Fox advised the Wolf and his Children to wear Bellin's Gown, and the cloathing of Bellin's kindred.

THe Fox and Wolf being thus reconciled, held a coun­sel together how they might strengthen each other in the power they had thus obtained. The Fox begun his dis­course in this manner: My most dear Uncle, I remembring the wrong I did you more than once, and now by the Kings favour, having an opportunity to recompence you, and my Cousin Bruin, but you especially, I think I have done it to purpose. You have indeed, good Cousin, replied the Wolf, and I and mine shall always acknowledg our selves behol­ding to you, not only for the time present, but ever after du­ring life. But how I shall pass the censure of the commons I cannot tell. Tush, said the Fox, let me alone for that, do but follow my advice and all shall be well: your advice Cousin, said the Wolf, that I will as long as I have breath. Well then, quoth the Fox, do thus; first of all, trim your self handsomly, then take Bellin's furr Gown, and make it as fit to your body, as is possible, that head ears, and all may be covered; having done this, those Beasts which be­fore hated and fled from you will now follow, love, and a­dore you, especially if you under that garment conceal your Covetous Persons are easily per­swaded to disguise themselves, and to dis­semble their churlish na­tures, for ef­fecting ho­nour and pr [...]fit. own churlish nature; pardon me Uncle, that I speak so. Good Cousin, said Sir Isegrim, think not that I will take offence, where I am to take advice. Well then, if it be so said the Fox, I will proceed further; I beseach you good Uncle, as you love your self and me, shew not your teeth at any time, when you are among the [...] in the day time, in the night use your liberty, Provision must be had You speak wisely saith the Wolf, I could never have thought of all this; but good Cousin tell me what I shall do, when I come to say masse, the hoarsness of my voice will bewray me. O good Uncle, said the Fox, are you so weak, as not [Page]

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to find an excuse for that? tell them, to whom you are to read; that you have gotten a grievous cold. I but Cousin, said the Wolf, that excuse will serve but once. Ah Uncle, [Page] said Reynard, if you mean to thrive in your office, you must not stick to lye apace. Besides you being chief, need not appear above once a year, your children, and the youngest of your kindred have not so ho [...]rse a voice as you; when they grow old, they must read but seldom, but now being young they will stand you in good stead, if they be exactly cloathed with the Gowns of Bellin's kindred; otherwise Uncle all is nothing worth: and be sure to give them the same advice I now give you, that is, not to shew their teeth in the ray time, &c. Indeed Uncle, I wonder you should think the excuse of saying you have a cold, will not hold water; do you not well know, that the Ram's Kindred have colds often, and cough much. It is true good Cousin, said the Wolf, I well remem­ber it, for when I went to hunt for any of them in the night, I usually was directed to the place where they were by their coughing. Well then said Reynard, I hope Uncle you own my Counsel as right and good. Yes with all my heart Cou­sin, said Isegrim: but now I think of it, you spake of my Children and Kindred; I perceive not as yet that any thing was said of them by the King and Lords at this last counsel. Uncle, said Reynard, you seem to be very serupi­lous, and to doubt where there is no cause; know you not that every Captain puts who he will in place under him, and why not every chief Prelate? Blame me not good Cou­sin, said Isegrim, for I fear the Commons, so soon as they hear my name, will all cry out, Not Isegrim, not Isegrim. Well Uncle, said the Fox, if that be your suspition we will seek some way to avoid what you most fear. I my self will ha­sten to the King, and acquaint him what hath passed between us, as also with this most material cause of fear: and when I have communed with him for some time, I will request him to send for you, then do you be sure to come (with Bel­lin's Gown exactly fitted to your Body) into the Kings Presence, and doubt not but the success shall answer your desire. In the mean while, let us both go home to our R [...] ­pasts, and early in the Morning I purpose to go to the King; do you wait in readiness at home, till you are sent for. So [Page] the Fox returned to his Castle, and the Wolf to his own house.

CHAP. III.

How the Fox communed with the King, touching Sir Isegrim's doubt, and thereupon Sir Isegrim was sent for to Court, and created Earl of Pitwood.

EArly in the morning the Fox came to Court, and being suddenly admitted, after obeysance made, he said, Hail my Soveraign Lord. The King seeing him, looked plea­santly upon him, and said, what are you and your Uncle good Friends? Yes, said the Fox, I humbly thank your Majesty, all malice and rancor is laid aside; and all the evening last. I was instructing him how he should behave himself in this high Office your M [...]jesty hath conferred upon him. You did well Reynard, said the King; but did you mind him of wearing Bellin's fur Gown? Yes noble Sir, said the Fox and he is so far resolved of it, t [...]at I judg ere this he hath fitted the Gown to his own body. If so, saith the King, it is well; then there is no doubt but he will be well liked of. I have given commandment already, that the heads of all the families of the Commons be sum­moned to appear here, after the third day, now next com­ing. Therefore I would h [...]ve Sir Isegrim be re [...] at the time appointed Then the Fox said, ready he will be to be sure; a [...]d [...]f he observe all that I advised him to, w [...] [...] ­doubtedly gain the Commons to be on his side. N [...]e [...]he­less there is one thing which troubles him, and m [...]k [...]s me suspi [...]i [...]us also, and that is, lest when your Maj [...] shall present him by the name of Sir Isegrim, which name [...]ll the Commons know, they immediately (not mi [...]ing his Gar­ment or Person) cry out, No Isegrim [...]o Isegrim 'Tis true Reynard, said the King, this is a considerable matter, and I wish I could remedy the s [...]me. Sir, s [...]id the Fox, you may very well; for if your Majesty be pleased to honour [Page] him with the title of Count, it matters not of how mean a place, he shall bear the name of that place, and not his own name any longer. Well then said the King, I will do so; here is a Wood, not far from this place near his own house, and it is called Pitwood, that Wood I will settle upon him and his heirs for ever, and he shall be created E [...]cl of Pitwood. Therefore send for him immediately to come be­fore us. Then Reynard stepping forth called to Sir Tibert, who waited in the Court, and commanded him to go pre­sently, and bring Sir Isegrim to the Kings presence; Sir Tibert ran speedily to the House, and when he had entred the House and saw Sir Isegrim, he knew him not, until he had more strictly observed his countenance and disage, then he knew him, and said; Certes, I knew you not Sir in this new fashioned Gown; the King hath sent to speak with you presently So away went the Wolf and Tibert the Cat to the Court. When they came there, Reynard the Fox came forth, and conducted his Uncle into the Kings presence, and said; here most noble Prince is your lately made chief Prelate, is he not very trim and neat? Yes, Cousin Reynard, said the King, I like him passing well; but had you not told me how he was dressed. I should scarcely have known him; sure his beard is shaved, or else he seems younger than when we saw him last. Mighty Sir, said the Fox, I advised him to trim himself thus, judging it most conve­nient; besides I have given him other particular Instru­ctions, which I hope he will observe. Then the King tur­ning to Sir Isegrim said, assuredly Sir Isegrim you have found our Cousin Reynard to be your most faithful friend, not only by advising you what to do, but also by informing us, how to assure and confirm that honour on you, which we and our Lords have bestowed so freely on your self and on no other; and that is, by conferring a further title of ho­nour; that so your name (so dreadful to the Commons), may be laid aside, and your other Title (being unknown to them), find acceptance and applause with them all. The Wolf hearing this, bowed so low, as his mouth touched the [Page] ground, then raising himself a little, he began to speak in this manner:

Most puissant King, how infinitely am I obliged to your Majesty, and to the noble Lord Reynard here present; and that in a time, when I least of all expected any favour from your self, and less from him (whom I hated, there­fore I here before your Majesty beg his pardon), of whose loyalty your Majesty hath undoubtedly had sufficient testi­mony, otherwise your Princely wisdom could not have em­braced one, rendred so vile by me, and other of your Sub­jects, for which I here again humbly beg your Majesties pardon. Sir Isegrim, Sir Isegrim, you are already pardon­ed, said the King, therefore rise up (for Sir Isegrim had prostrated himself on the ground), and hearken to what I shall further say. I have not only pardoned you already, but I do now also, besides the honour of chief Prelate, con­fer on you the Earldom of Pitwood, which Wood you un­doubtedly know, for it lies near your Manston House; that Wood I give to you, your heirs, and successors for ever; and after the name of that Wood, so shall you be called e­ver after, and your old name Isegrim, shall be no more men­tioned, but your title shall run thus: Count of Pitwood, Lord Paramount; and for brevity sake, you shall be cal­led, Lord Pitwood. When the King had ended his speech, Isegrim (almost ready to leap out of his skin for joy) knew not what to say; but bowing himself with great reverence to the King and the Fox, he in all humility acknow­ledged the Kings immense bounty toward him, and the Foxes great love he would never forget; besides he added, that in the exercise of his Function, he would study nothing so much as the Kings interest; and that of his own profit he would be always least mindful, with many other such like protestations; yet in all these he lyed egregiously, as you shall hear anon:

CHAP. IV.

How the Bear and the Cat offended at the great Honours of Sir Isegrim, conspired his death; and how the Fox pacified them till the great Assembly of the Commons was over.

VVHen the rumour of the Wolf's great Preferments was spread among the Nobles, Sir Bruin the Bear, and Sir Tibert the Cat hearing thereof, stomacked the mat­ter not a little. And therefore reasoned among themselves thus; How much is this Caitiff the greatest murtherer of all Beasts, advanced to Honour above us! if we suffer him to abide in this height, we must necessarily be his Vassals: besides, how great soever our grievances be, we can never find redress because the Fox his great friend is the Kings only Favourite; so that every way we are like to suffer, not only by himself, but also by the Fox, who is now so much his Intimate, as he can crush us at pleasure; and when we would complain, the Fox perhaps will take our Petition, but the King shall never see it. Having thus reasoned, they sate silent for some time, until at length the Cat, with a courage undaunted, thus spake. Noble Sir Bruin, you are mighty, and I am crafty; it is not to be doubted, but if you and I agree together, we may acquit our selves of this bur­den. Well said Cousin Tibert, quoth the Bear; if you can propose the way, I will endeavour to follow your proposal. Why Sir, said the Cat, the way I would have you take, is this, go unto Sir Isegrim, and congratulate his happy ad­vancement, expressing as great joy and affection as is possi­ble then invite him to your Castle to dinner, and when he hath dinned (for I know he will eat so long, as until he is scarce able to stir) invite him to walk (telling him it is for his health) out into the Forest, where when you have him in a convenient place, fall upon him and tare him to pieces. Oh, Sir Tibert, said the Bear, I am fraid to set upon him alone, for he is devillish fierce, and for all that I know may [Page] kill me. Good Uncle, said the Cat, fear him not, I will follow close after you, and when you have got him down, I will tare out his throat I'le warrant you. Well then, said the Bear, if you will be as good as your word, follow me, I will go to Sir Isegrim presently. So they both hasted, and got to the Wolfs house in a short space. When they were thi­ther Evil men once advan­ced, are mor­tally hated of their friends, because they also see no ho hopes of sharing with them in ho­nor and pro­fit; but if once they see a probability of their own ad­vancement, they flatter, and basely crouch to those, whom they just be­fore would have killed, as appears by this Chapter. come, they found the Lord Reynard and Sir Isegrim to­gether; for they were discoursing about several weighty matters. The Fox observing the countenance of these two Guests to be filled with hatred, howsoever they covered the same with a dissembled cheerfulness; began to speak to them in this manner: Noble Friends, had I not been engaged here with my Lord Pitwood (for so his Majesty will have him called ever after) I had ere this time sent for you to ac­quaint you with his Majesties royal intention concerning you both; for so soon as this great Convention is over, which now will be (as you very well know) the next day af­ter to morrow, our puissant King royally intends to honour you Sir Bruin with the Earldom of the Forests, an honour which the greatest of Subjects must needs hold himself well contented with. And for you Sir Tibert, he intends to make you Steward of his house; and if that like you not, he pur­poseth to command the Earl of Pitwood, here present, to admit you for his principal Secretary, a place of unspeak­able profit undoubtedly. When the Bear and the Cat heard such mountains of Honour and Profit were like to fall in their Laps, and that so suddenly; their countenances and intentions were quite altered, and they with all due rever­ence saluted and honoured the Lord Pitwood, calling him the honourble Lord chief Prelate; and for the Lord Reynard, they told his Lordship they should never be able sufficiently to trumpet out his Praises, who had so highly promoted his Enemies in an extraordinary manner. After this they took their leaves, and departed far more second than they came.

CHAP. V.

Of the Assembly of the Commons, [...]d what passed there.

THe Bear and Cat being thus pacifled, as you have heard, by the hopes of so great preserment, nothing could let the intentions of Reynard the Fox, in advancing his Uncle Isegrim, lately stiled Earl of Pitwood; therefore he, now fully assured of accomplishing his end, and of the further ad­vancement of his own Grandeur, rested well contented till the morning appeared, which ushered in the day on which the general Assembly was to be held. Then early before the Sun was fully risen, he hastens to Court, not forgetting to call upon his Uncle to be ready to come with his Lineage be­fore the King and Nobles; but his Uncle was ready are he could come to his House, yet all his Lineage (according to Reynards advice) were not come together; therefore the Fox said, Dearest Uncle, I am glad to see you and yours in so good forwardness, I hope we shall see your whole Family together by and by. I will go first to Court, do you come after as soon as you can. So Reynard delayed not but went immediately to the Court, and saluted the King in these words, Most Puissant, most Heroick, and most mighty Prince, I your Vassal, and most loyal Subject, thought my self above all others most obliged to salute your Majesty first in the morning of so happy and glorious a day, as this is like to be. VVell Reynard, said the King, you are not come be­fore you are welcome. How is it you brought not your Uncle and his Family, according as you told me you would. My Lord, said the Fox, my Uncle is ready, but all his Lineage were not come together; nevertheless, I am assured they will wait upon your Highness presently. Whilst he was speaking this, Sir Tibert the Cat called to the Fox and said, My Lord, here is the Lord Pitwood come with a great Train of such Gallants as I never in all my life saw the like. So the Fox stepping forth, took his Uncle by the hand, and led [Page]

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him into the Presence-Chamber; and when he had, by the Kings order, placed him in a seat of State made for the pur­pose, he called in all his Linage, who as they came in one by one made reverend obeysance to the King, and stood round about their Father's Seat. Then the King said, my Lord Pitwood, you are welcome, I am glad to see you so decently, [Page] and all yours here so exactly, fitted with these Gowns of Bel­lin and his K [...]vred; assuredly you are greatly obliged to our Cousin Reynard for his so witty invention. It is so, mighty Sir, said the Wolf (standing up, and bowing his Head very low) I and my whole Family h [...]e present do ac­knowledg his great favour, and next unto the continual yielding of our Homage and Fealty to your Royal Majesty most due, we shall ever own him as our principal Patron, the Preserver of our Honour, and good Name, among your Majesties Subjects in general. By this time Sir Bruin the Bear, and all the other Nobles were come. All of them ap­plauded the Habit and Gestures of the Wolf and his Linage. And indeed they looked so demure, that the King and all his Disguises and presences of sanctity do often de­ceive. Nobles (except the Fox only) were almost throughly per­swaded they had put on Bellin's Nature with his Garment. So they being all highly contented, after a short Banquet, went forth to the Commons, who were gathered together in great multitudes in a large Meadow nigh unto the Palace. Now among that huge concourse were several of Bellin's Kindred incognito, and very many of his Friends, yet they durst not be known to be such, for fear of danger. No soo­ner did the Commons see the King and his Nobles walking towards them but they all shouted, and cryed out aloud, All hail our noble King. An happy presage, noble Sir, said the Fox to the King. But when the Lord Pitwood and his Li­nage came forward, clothed all in the Garments of Bellin and his Kindred, they were all amazed, some said (pointing The common people gene­rally are affe­cted with no­velties, and look more on the Habit and Gestures, then into the nature and condition, of such as are recommen­ded to them. to the Lord Pitwood) that was Bellin's Son, see you not what a comely proper person he is? Others said, nay surely it can­not be so, but we rather judg it some Outlandish Beast, come as an Embassador to our King; for look you, said they, how many Attendants he hath, all clothed in the same Libery he himself wears. But the Friends of Bellin said one to ano­ther, we wish it be not Isegrim the Wolf and his Retinue, all grand Enemies to our friend Bellin and his posterity. Nevertheless, Bellin's kindred were all silent, for they knew him well enough, but durst not say so much. Now as soon [Page] as the King himself, Reynard the Fox, Pitwood the Wolf, and his Retinue, were ascended a Scaffold purposely made, the place could contain no more, therefore all the Nobles took their places as near the Scaffold as possible; only Sir Bruin the Bear, an [...]ir Firrapel the Libbard were for that day Marshals of the Field, and so had no certain palce; also Grimbard the Brock was made Crier of the Court, and that he might the better be heard (his voice being not very good) was thrust up, upon the Scaffold, though there he stood in little ease. Thus all things being ordered, as well as was possible among so many Beasts; the King gave a sign for silence, by laying his hand upon his mouth; then the Brock (according as he had been before instructed) by three O yes's, commanded silence upon pain of imprisonment. Silence being made, The King rose up, and bowing his head a lit­tle, began to speak thus. My Friends and Subjects, I called you together this day, about an exceeding weighty matter. It is not unknown to many of you, that we removed and displaced, and for a known and notorious Murder, put to death our late Chaplain Bellin the Ram, & condemned his poste­rity for ever. Since which time I have not only béen without a Chaplain, but you also have been destitute of Teachers, because all my Chaplain's kindred were also displaced and condemned for his enormous Crime. Therefore to remedy this Grievance, we with the advice and consent of our Lords here present, have made choice of a very worthy and highly learned person now standing next our own person, of whose integrity and worth we have had sufficient and bery ample Experience. This person with his whole Lineage we recom­mend to you to be Priests for you and all our leige People throughout our Dominions. Having said this, he sate him down

Then Reynard the Fox, rose up, and after he had with a great shew of courtesie, bowed himself to the Assembly, he began to speak thus. Worthy Sirs, his Majesty our Royal King, taking care of the well-being of all his Subjects in general, could not without grief think of the sad and deplo­rable [Page] state you all have been left in since the Death (The true Emblem of an Hypocrite. grieves me to speak it!) of Bellin, and downfall of his Poste­rity; therefore he in his Princely wisdom for Princes cer­tainly are far wiser then their Subjects) hath thought of a most excellent expedient to prevent the enormities you were too-too apt to run into, for want of Teachers and Guides to direct you better: Therefore he advised with this incompa­rably learned Lord Pitwood, requesting as far as beseemeth the Majesty of a King to request him, for the good of him­self and all his liege people, to improve his great Learning to the general good of us all. This Noble Lord, was so far from excusing himself, and avoiding, or shunning this bur­then some office, as he readily and cheerfully accepts of the same, and not only so, but also promiseth to engage all his Li­neage (little less learned than himself) in the same Offices and Employments. We the Lords, being then all present and setting in Councel by his Majesties command, seeing his great readiness and alacrity, and also knowing how con­ducent it would be to the well being of all, could not chuse, but (by our joint consent) vote him to be the Lord chief Pre­late throughout all his Majesties Dominions. Thus was he, not without mature deliberation, chosen by us, and the choice confirmed by the King himself.

Before he had ended these words, there was heard a rumor among the multitude, which at length grew louder and lou­der. Mistakes in a multitude, do sometimes give oppor­tunity to the Judicious, of making their minds known. Then the Fox feared some one or other had descried the false mask he (with his greatest cunning) had put upon the business. But, after silence was commanded, it proved not altogether so. For among those who stood furthest from the Scaffold, there were some who asked, what Lord that was that then spake? which question made the greatest part of the By-standers to laugh, supposing it not possible for any of the Company not to know the Fox. This noise being heard among them by others that stood farther off, made them also to ask one another, what the noise meaned; they that stood nearest the Scaffold were most of them Bellin's friends, who had placed themselves there, on purpose the [Page] better to descry the Lord Pitwood's person (as he was called) Subtil Politi­cians when­soever they fear a disco­very of their false Paints and Disguises, immediately betake them selves to ly­ing & smooth words full of guile. whom they plainly knew to be Isegrim the Wolf; therefore presently, being asked by the Crier, what the noise meant? they said, the Company behind desired to know of what Country the Lord Pitwood was, some of them supposing, others affirming they had never seen him before, and there­fore were not willing to have a stranger imposed upon them. The Fox hearing this, again bowed himself to the Com­pany, and said: Loving Friends, and fellow Subjects, I marvel not, that it is supposed by some, and believed by others, that this honourable Lord Pitwood here present, is a stranger or foreigner; because he indeed all his life-time, with his whole Family and Lineage, hath lived a life so obscure and secret, as never did any Monk in a Cloyster live more retired; besides he is so holy and debout, as the like of him is not to be found in the whole World: More­over he is so silent, and of so few words, so humble gentle, affable and kind, as I know not whether any mortal wight living may be compared unto him. And that is the reason he is so little known; for had be discovered himself before the King by his Princely Wisdom took notice of him, un­doubtedly The most ig­norant most readily assent to, what they understand not. none of you would in the least have suspected him to be a stranger: But this your suspition had indeed ground enough, therefore his Majesty is not in the least offended with you, but wills that you give your Approbation by holding up your right Hands.

Then the greatest part of the Assembly held up their right hands, and many that scarce heard what was said held up both. After this, Pitwood the Wolf and his Linage bowed themselves to the Company, but spake not a word, least their Teeth should be seen.

When this was done, the King willed the Fox to speak to the Assembly (before they were dismissed) about Pitwood's Linage. Therefore the Fox standing up again, said, His Majesty is highly pleased with this your Approbation, and commanded me to thank you all: His further pleasure is, that the Lord Pitwood's Linage be recommended to you for [Page] you assent for confirming their Offices under himself, now Lord chief Prelate; as to these persons, in declaring the worth and goodness of their Father, I have not detracted any thing from them; for they all have led the same life with him, have béen always under his Tutelage, and still will be under his Governance; so, as although any of them should by reason of his Youth err, yet his Father will quick­ly espy it and reclaim him; therefore I think you cannot do better for your selves, nor better please the King's Ma­jesty, than to discover your assent by holding up your hands. Then, as before, the greatest part held up their hands; and Pitwood and his Lineage also bowed themselves again, but spake not. When this business was so well effected to the great content of the King and Nobles but especially of the Fox and Wolf; It was thought convenient to dismiss the Commons. Therefore Grimbard the Brock was commanded to intimate so much to them, which very formally he did; first by thrée O yes's commanding silence, afterward by spea­king to the Assembly in this manner.

Our Puissant King and all his Nobles give great thanks to you all, for your so re [...]dy attendance this day, and also for that you have so chearfully assented to what was proposed; therefore for your better commodity, and that you may with greater ease journey to your own homes, his Royal Majesty and all his noble Lords here present have commanded me to dismiss you, and you are dismissed for this time. Vpon this the Assembly brake up, some greatly contented, others doubtful, and not a few plainly sorrowful for what had passed. When the Field began to be emptyed, and it was thought there was way enough for the King and his Nobles to walk to the Palace: The King first descended, after him Knaves and Fo [...]l; (the first for self­ends, the last i [...] imitation) honour the worthy, and most wicked the Lord Reynard, then the Lord Pitwood and his Lineage, with such seeming soberness, as many of the Commons that stayed to see the fight, admired the gravity of him and his. The Fox observing the Lord Pitwood was gazed upon, stept a little back. and walked directly before him bare-headed: the Bear and Cat seeing this, placed themselves on each [Page] side of him. likewise bare headed; after him followed his Lineage all in order, and after them the Nobles, and lastly Grimbard the Breck, leading a great Treop of Se [...]vitors, that attended on the King and Nobles. In this Equipage marched they, till the King was ready to enter his own Palace; then did the Trumpets sound, and all manner of other Musick was heard in a melodious manner, constantly playing until all the whole company was entred the Royal Palace.

CHAP. VI.

How the King invited his Nobles the next day to a Feast, and what pafled thereat.

WHen all the Nobles and their Followers were entred the Palace, the King willed them all to sit down, and told them, the business of the day holding so long, and the issue also of the same being dubious, he would not resolve what to do; but now his affairs being setled according to his wish, he desired they would all accompany him on the mor­row at a Feast which should be prepated for them; and then he would further declare his mind. They hearing this, all took their leaves and departed, every one to his own home.

In the mean while the King sent out his Purveyors into all parts, who provided store of Venison, and other Cates in abundance. When the morrow was come, and noon drew nigh they all came much about one time: and after obeysance made, all took their places at the Table, the Fox sitting down on the right hand of the King, and the Wolf on his left, and all the other Nobles in order, giving place still to Pitwood's Lineage; so as they sate all intermixt a­mong them. When they were all sate, the Servitors brought in Meat, dressed in divers manners with curious Sauces, and set it before them. Grace being ended, the King cuts first of the Dish that stood nearest him, bidding his Guests to fall to. They all in like manner lay hands of what was [Page] nearest them, and soon made a clear board. Then those empty platters removed, other full Dishes, provided for a second course, were set on the Table; while this was doing the King calls to his Servitors for Wine, which was brought, and the Cup given into the Kings hand, he drank to all his Guests, bidding them welcome, withal comman­ding to fill unto every one that sate at the Table. This be­ing done they fall to the second course, and then began to talk a little. The Servitors fearing by their eating so much Gluttons will always eat greedily, al­though si [...]ting at the Table of a King. none would be left for them, take away the second course, and bring in the third without bidding; and as before fill Wine to the King first, and afterward to the whole Assem­bly. And this order they kept in all the following courses till the Feast was done. Now when the Feast was ended, the King and all the Company looked very chearfully one upon another, and the King first of all said. How bravely did our Cousin Reynard manage his business yesterday? To this the Wolf (who during the Feast had said nothing, least his Téeth should be séen too plainly by the Servitors) reply­ed, he did indeed (most Puissant Prince) act no otherwise, then as if he had been inspired by an Oracle; in truth I was afraid all would not be well when that rumour and murmu­ring noise was heard among the Commons. That verily put me also to a stand, said the For, and I was a little troubled till I heard what the matter was; then I knew I was able to put an end to that murmuring. I am glad all things are so well, said the King; it will be our parts now to endea­vour It is honour­able in a King to give good Counsell, but it is baseness in a Subject not to regard the same; as this Chapter, and the whole Histo­ry following, clearly prove; for although here the Wolf for himself, by his silence, and the Fox for him, by a long and ly­ing discourse, solomnly pro­mise to ob­serve all the King com­manded, or advised to, yo [...] they nei­ther of them ever in ten­ded to per­form the same. to keep them so. Therefore to you my Lord Pitwood, I now speak: I hope the Honour we have conferred on you and yours here present, will never be forgot; for whosoever is unmindful of benefits, deviates from all honesty. Our Subjects are numerous, and all of them (as I well noted) did not consent to your Approbation, though the major part (which is sufficient) indeed did very cheerfully. For this cause I would have you to consider you have Enemies as well as Friends, which will be apt to espy all advantages, and ready to exclaim against you so soon as they can find any [Page] occasion, which will by nothing be sooner given, than by pride and licentious living; of which (though I thus speak) I hope I shall have no occasion to be jealous.

Then stood up Reynard the Fox, and said, Most dread Sovereign. I dare engage my honour, yea life and all, for the good deportment of my Uncle. For the reason why he heretofore was reputed churlish, and licentious, was because of his penury; this now being totally removed by the office your Majesty hath given him, can be no cause of stirring up in him such vices as were (in times past) condemnable in him: because had he now no other estate to live on than his profits, (not to mention other Perquisites) he must needs have so ample a competency, as that he shall need to desire no more. Yea, I say, his riches will be so great, as he will be in a capacity rather to give to others, than to need any thing more than what his office daily supplies him with. Besides, I consider him by my self; it is well known to your Majesty, how I was continually complained of by my Enemies, accused of Murder, Theft and Rapine (as my former troubles do well witness) untill your Majesty was pleased to advance me, and conser on me so ample Treasures, as I now possess. Since this time, not one Beast of all your Majesty's Subjects hath so much as opened his mouth against me. It is true, Reynard, said the King, I have ne­ver heard any complaint of thee since the time I first advan­ced thee; therefore I repent me not of what I have done. Then the Fox bowing himself, said I humbly thank your Majesty for all your Favours bestowed on me, as also for this great Bounty, for my sake, conferred on my Uncle; of whom (doubtless) from this day forward, you will never more hear complaint. With this speech of Reynards the King was greatly satisfied; and therefore said, Cousin Reynard. I believe no less than you have told me. I am glad to see you affectionate and loving to your Uncle; I doubt not but he will repay your Kindness with like love and affection, and in the Execution of his office be always mindful of saving our Honour. Yes, said Reynard, that will be his only aim; [...] [Page] he hath already promised to be always more mindful of your Majesties interest th [...]n of his own. These, and many more such speeches passed between the King and the Fox, until it was somewhat late in the Evening; then the King finish­ing his Discourz, told all his Guests it was late, he would detain them no longer. So they departed; only Reynard the Fox was ordred to come to Court early in the morning; for the King told him he would speak with him alone about earnest Business.

CHAP. VII.

Of the Discourse the King had with Reynard the Fox, touching the Advancement of Sir Bruin the Bear, and Tibert the Cat.

THe day no sooner appeared, but Reynard hasted to the Court; where his Majesty had expected his coming al­most an hour before, for he was troubled about his promise to Bruin and Tibert not yet performed, lest they through dis­content should be the Authors of Commotion. Therefore, so soon as Reynard came in, he said, it is well you are come, Cousin, I was even now, and indeed last night, thinking of my promise to Bruin, and also to Tibert, how remiss I have been in performing my word, doubting whether by that omission they two being discontented (as I suppose they are) might not raise some Commotion and stir among our Friends and Subjects. Hereupon, the Fox (now finding all things to succeed according to his own desire) after obeysance made, thus speaks:

Sure, mighty Prince, you have consulted with the Ora­cle, otherwise you could not have conjectured so truly. For Bruin the Bear, and Tibert the Cat were highly offended with my Uncle two days before the Assemby of the Com­mons, and came with full intent to his house to have done him some mischief; but by good fortune, I being present, discerned their design by their looks, and therefore presently told them of your Majesty's royal intent to promote and ho­nour [Page] them, the very next day after the Assembly of the Com­mons was over, which for the present pacifted them, very wolf, but sine [...] the time appointed is past and gone, without any effect, answerable to what I promised, how they now stand affected. I cannot tell. Well then, said the King, I understand by your words, that it is high time to do some­what in this business; but I pray thee Cousin Reynard, tell me which way I may best honour them, with least damage to my self, or injury to you. The Fox hearing this, after low Obeysance made, said; Dread Sovereign, if my poor judgment may be received in this case, I humbly request your Majesty to consider the nature and temper of them both, and accordingly to honour them. To this the King re­plied, you speak well Cousin, but since you best know their natures, I leave it to you to propose, which way they may be [...] be honoured?

Mighty Sir, said the Fox, if it be your pleasure that I It is a point of great dis­cretion to give honour, or choose Of­ficers accor­ding to their Qualificati­ons, and on active Spirits to conser act­ive employ­ments; but when any Subject shall perswade his Sovereign so to do, only for the accom­plishing his own base ends, that is of evil conse­quence, and perilous to the Prince himself. shall speak my mind, I briefly say thus. Bruin is a lump, and an heavy flow beast, one that loves to live in idleness, therefore an empty title of honour without imployment is fittest for him. But Tibert is nimble, active, subtile and po­litick, therefore some stirring imployment that is profitable (for he is naturally covetous) will please him better than all the honour in the world. The King hearing this, was well contented; and further said, what Title shall I give Bruin? and what Employment shall I find out for Tibert? My Lord, Bruin will hold himself highly contented with such a Title as Isegrim my Uncle hath that is, if your Majesty will create him Earl of the Forests, although he have not one foot of Land there, it will be as much as needs to be And for Tibert, if your Highness will but command my Uncle to make him his Clerk (for a Clerk he must have) that will be both honour and profit also the last of which is his chief and only aim. Then the King said, this you speak of may well be done; yet I doubt there will be an inconveniency in making Bruin Earl of the Forests, because the Forests are mine only, and in case any Insurrection be, the Rebels [Page]

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may make Bruin their head, by virtue of this Title, and so my Royal dignity be in danger. My Lord, said the Fox (bowing himself) how can your Majesty think thus? For whilst I continue in your Highnesse's grace and favour, [Page] Bruin must needs be under me, especially if this Honour be conferred on him, as for my sake, that will make him al­ways to act by my advice, and never to do any thing without it. Besides, if he would be a Traytor, he is of himself so timerous and fearful, that he must needs bewray himself. Therefore, for him I say thus much, If ever he be found false to your Majesty, take off my Head. Well Cousin, said the King, since you have so good opinion of him, I will for your sake do him this Honour; and that I may the more firmly bind him to serve you, I will at the same time make you Lord chief Baily of all my Dominions; only at the receiving these Honours, you shall both of you solemnly swear fealty to me and my Heirs for ever. At the hearing of this, the Fox (infinitely joyful no doubt, for by these means he knew all power would be in his hand) vowed himself to the King, and said; Noble Sir, I am not only willing to serve your Majesty in such an high and honourable office, but should hold my self well contented to be accounted your Highnesse's Vassal, since I see so great nobleness, as I am not able to express. Well Reynard, said the King, I am willing to honour you thus, because I repose in you so great trust, as I never in all my life did, in any of my Subjects; For indeed I am so sufficiently perswaded of your Loyalty, as I suppose I have no cause to doubt any Misdemeanor in you. Oh my Lord, said the Fox, should I in the least act any thing repugnant to your Majesty's honour, I should be worse than any Beast, and the most wretched of all Crea­tures. Then the King said; Cousin, you have said enough, I believe you. Therefore call in Sir Tibert, and I will or­der him to summon the Nobles to appear all here on the mor­row morning betimes. In the mean while you may go home to your own Castle, until the time of their intended mee­ting be fully come.

The Fox hearing this, bowed his head, and departed full of joy and content; but forgot not to send in Tibert to the King. Now when Tibert came before the King, the King said, Sir Tibert, our will is, that you summon the Lords to [Page] be all here too morrow morning, for I purpose to confer Honours on Sir Bruin and your self, of which I would have them to be witnesses; also for the Lord Reynard's good ser­vices, I intend, and fully resolve to make him chief Baily of all my Dominions, therefore hast you, and dispatch your Business.

CHAP. VIII.

How the Fox, Bear, and Cat, were honoured by the King; and how the Bear and Fox swore fealty.

THe Cat above measure joyed at this news, runs first to Bruin the Bear, and acquaints him with the whole story; then he hastens to all the other Lords, and last of all comes to Malepardus, where Reynard's Castle stood, into which he enters, and not finding Reynard at home, (for he was gone forth to hunt) he saluted Reynard'sWife and Chil­dren, (who were most of them of good stature) in these words: Reverend Madam, and you noble Lords, I am hi­ther sent by the Kings Royal Majesty, to summon my Lord Reynard to the Court early on the morrow. Having said this, away he runs to his own dwelling, and there remained until morning. Now, the morrow being come, and the Lords all present in the Court, the King sitting down among them, began his discourse thus.

My Lords and Friends, We have done much toward the setling of our affairs in the choice and confirmation of the Lord Pitwood in his office of chief Prelate; yet there seems something more of necessity to be done; for Sir Bruin hath béen long our leige-man, and although of so high descent, as you all know we have none nearer us by birth, except our own family, in all our Dominions [...] yet we have never unto this day conferred on him any singular specimen of honour. Therefore our will and pleasure now is, before you all, to create him Earl of the Forests, thereby to oblige him nea­rer to us, and to intimate to all our Subjects in general, that [Page] we will honour as many, as either by birth, or desert, ought to be honoured. Also our will is, that Sir Tibert, for his dili­gente in executing our commands, be admitted by my Lord Pitwood here present, as his chief Clerk. We know he is able and capable of such an Imployment; therefore my Lord (directing his speech to the Wolf) I pray accept of him as your Secretary, by me recommended. To this the Wolf replied, your Majesty may command much more than this: I do here in this noble presence accept of Sir Tibert as my chief Secretar [...], and none other. Then the King further said, We have great reason to honour those especially, who (if at any time seeing us remiss) admonish us of our duty, therefore I am now fully resolved to confer greater honour on our Cousin Reynard, the Preserver of our Royal Crown and Dignity [...] Having said this, he immediately before them all called to him the Lord Reynard, and when he had kissed him, gave him a staffe headed with Gold; saying, this is our badg of honour, at all times to be born before you, by your Cousin Grimbard; or in case he be not well at any time, then by your Cousin Be [...]clas the Ape, so soon as he returns from Rome, whence he is hourly expected; and with this Staffe we give you power over all our Subjects, and therefore con­stitute you Lord chief Baily of all our Dominions. After the King had spoke this, the Fox bowing himself, said, Dread Soveraign, I shall never be able sufficiently by words to express my thankfulness, being wholly overcome by your Majesties immense Bounty; but my Actions shall testifie my gratitude, to all your Subjects. Then the King, nodding his head and smiling, said nothing to him, but called Sir Bruin, and said; Sir Bruin, I create you Earl of the Forests, and if hereafter I have so ample a testimony of your Loyalty, as I at this time perswade my self I shall, I will confirm the same honour on your Heirs and Successors for ever. The Bear hearing this, made obeysance and hum­ [...]y thanked his Majesty. To this the King said, he had rea­son [...]ewise to be thankful to his Cousin Reynard, who had [...] this great honour for him. Then the Bear turned [Page] himself, and gave the Fox great thanks also. This being Oathes taken by wicked Persons, are no longer binding to them, than till they can see an oppor­tunity of fal­cifying the same, to pro­mote their ambitious in­tents, as by the following story is evi­dent in the Fox, and Bear, now sworn before the King. done, the King said, now there remains nothing, but that you two swear Fealty to us, our Heirs and Successors. Then the Wolf (whose office it was to swear them) gave them the Book, on which he bade each of them to lay his right hand, and then say after him: So the Fox and Bear after him repeated these words: We swear to be true and faithful to our Soveraign Lord the King, and directly or in­directly to practice nothing against his Royal Crown and Dignity, &c. Having said this, he bad them kiss the Book, so they did, and then rose up; for they took their Oath kneeling.

This being done, the King dismissed all his Nobles; and to the Fox particularly said; Now, my Lord Reynard, see that you deal justly to all my Subjects, in deciding their causes impartially; for I am willing you should your self redress the Grievances of my meaner Subjects; and what difference shall arise among you my Nobles and Friends, of that I my self will have the Decision. Then the Fox bowed himself, and said, All your Majesties commands shall be exactly obeye [...] by me your most obliged.

Then Grimbard the Brock, receiving the Staff of Reynard, bore it before him; and Pitwood the Wolf, Bruin the Bear, and all the other Nobles followed after, and attended the Fox to his own Castle gates, where they took their leaves of him, and returned every one to his own home.

CHAP. IX.

How Pitwood the Wolf went to Malepardus to commune and advise with his Cousin Reynard about his own Affairs, and what was the Result of that Discourse.

AFter this, some-time being elapsed, Pitwood the Wolf, thought it necessary to go to his Cousin Reynard. There­fore coming to Malepardus, he knocked, and one of Reynard's Sons roming to the gate, opened it, and bowed him­self to the Lord Pitwood, saying, My Father is within; if your Lordship would speak with him. I will go in and call him. I pray thee do, said the Wolf for I come for that end. So Reynards Son told his Father, the Lord chief Prelate was come to speak with him. He hearing this, hasted to the Gate, and there saluted his Uncle, in these words, Reve­rend Uncle I joy to see you, I think it not expedient to in­vite your Lordship to come into my House, therefore we (going to younder hedg) shall have a very convenient place to sit down and talk together; for I know we shall there have more privacy, then we can have within doors. Honourable Cousin said the Wolf, I am always obliged to you for your readiness to serve me, but especially for your providence and forecast; your self being so circumspect and wise, as to be able to foresee conveniency, or inconveniency, as oft as need is. By this time they were come to the Hedg, where the Fox sitting down first, invited his Uncle to set by him. When he was sat, the Fox began thus; Uncle Pitwood, I suppose by this time you perceive the profits of your office? Yes Cousin, said the Wolf, I have indeed reaped no small benefit by my office, the Perquisites are large, and I have received great presents, and those of so great variety, as I never in all my life saw the like; besides, there quantity is so great, as my own House will hardly contain them. I am glad to hear it, said the Fox; but how fares it with all my Cousins, your Children and Nephews, do they also thrive in [Page] their offices? Yes, very well, said the Lord Pitwood, they tell me they have enough, and I believe them; for three or four of them have lately taken Surfeits with eating (poor hearts.) O Uncle said the Fox, that's nothing, perhaps their Stomachs were weak; but they will be well enough in a little time. Yes, yes, Cousin, said the Wolf, I doubt it not. But good Cousin, let me have your advice in some few things. Suppose I have more than I can tell where to bestow, what shall I do with the remainder? shall I give it to the King, This Chapter shews that Liberality is one main up­holder of Greatness, & that without it, Envy and Malice may so [...]ar prevail as to be able to shake, if not totally to ruin these that are in great honour and yet very c [...]vetous: Besides, gifts blind the eyes and alter the understand­ing so, as men are easily in­duced to ap­prove of that now, which they the day before did contemn as monstrous. or build my House larger to receive all that comes, and your advice, shall I give to the King, and so ingratiate my self further with him? Not so, said the Fox, for the King seeing your great affluence of Riches, will begin to cut short your other Revenues; supposing you will in time grow too mighty for him. That's very considerable, quoth the Wolf; what then? I perceive you allow of enlarging my house? No, said the Fox, if you will take my advice, I see no security in that, but would rather perswade you to inrich your Friends. How say you! what Friends can I have in this high estate, which every one envies? To this the Fox answers Uncle, did you ever know any one envied for giving? It is not your high estate that causeth envy; but the hatred of others against you, is because they can reap no benefit by your greatness: Therefore, you cannot do better for your self, nor better se­cure your own Grandeur than by pleasuring some few of the Nobles with a small part of your wealth, now and then. Well Cousin, said the Wolf, I will do so, but you must ad­vise me to whom; for I know not what to do in such a case as this? What to do, said the Fox, why know you not that the Earl of the Forests, although mighty to sée to, is but poor; and though he as yet carry fare to you and me, yet if he partake not of part of our Wealth he may in time prove a bitter enemy: Likewise Sir Firrapel the Libbard, and Sly-look the Panther, are esteemed great, yet we well know that some small pittance from us, will be so thankfully ac­cepted by them, as we shall ever after oblige them firmly to [Page] us. And Uncle, it is a very necessary point to be thought on; for if we be diligent in obliging Friends so mighty, what is it we may not do? Yet you must be sure to be mind­ful of your own Servitors that they may not repine at your wealth; especially, look into your Secretaries profits; if they be not large enough to content him, you must add more, till he holds himself well contented. For he who would re­tain the greatness he at present hath, must not forget to re­ward his Attendants so, as they never utter one word in his discommendation. Cousin, said the Wolf, I well understand you, and purpose to put in practice what you have advised. So for that time they parted, and the Wolf distributed his Goods among the before-recited Nobles, as freely and as liberally as ever Wolf did. And the Fox according to the advice he had given himself. did also largely reward those of whom he thought he stood in greatest need, or in time to come might have occasion to use, and in his bounty exceeded the Wolf by far.

CHAP. X.

How the Fox behaved himself in his Office, and of two Causes by him decided.

THe Fox (who knew it was no less wisdom to keep what is gotten, than to get the same) notwithstanding his other affairs, (which now by reason of his Office were many) waits and tends upon the King as formerly, always making great Protestations of his Loyalty, touching which the King doubted not at all, the Fox had so craftily insinu­ated himself into his affections. All being well on this side, we now come to speak of his Decision of Causes and ma­nifest differences among the meaner sort of Subjects: And of these at this time we mention only two.

The first is of a Bever and an Otter, who being at strife about Fish they had taken, make their complaints before the Lord Reynard; the Otter first thus begins; My Lord, [Page]

[figure]

this Bever hath done me great wrong; for he and I were Partners for many years, and all the Fish we got, we stored up in common, and both his and my Family were fed there­of always in our need, especially in Winter; and it hap­pened, that this present Winter I expecting the same privi­ledg [Page] I formerly had, came for Fish in my need, but he de­nyed me my right; and having all the Fish in his possessi­on, gave me not so much as one small Fish. Therefore I am in necessity, having spent all I had to buy food for my self and family. The Fox hearing this, asked the Bever, if it w [...]e tru [...]? No, said he, my Lord, this lying beast accuses me [...] f [...]y; for he and I were never Partners, except that we have sometimes gone a fishing together, and afterwards made merry with our Booty. Besides he hath not the right art of Fishing, for he makes such a noise, when he is in the water, that all Fishes that are near, fly with might and main; but I leap not into the water, before I espy my prey ready and within my reach. By my discreet fishing I catch more than two for his one; therefore my Lord, it is not to be imagined that I would tye my self to so great an incon­veniency as to labour for another. Then the Fox asked the Bever, if he had any store of Fish by him? and he said, No my Lord. When he heard this, he asked the Otter, what he said to that; had the Bever any Fish by him, when you and he came last from home? Yes, said the Otter: Believe him not, I beseech your Honour, quoth the Bever. So the Fox straightway commanded two Officers to go to the Bevers house to search for Fish. When they came there, they saw two Rooms one above another, full stored with dried Fish. The Fish being so much, as they could not bare it away at several times going; they carried none of it with them, but one stayed to guard the Fish, and the other hastned to the Court of Iudicature saying, My Lord, there is such store of Fish, as I never saw before; for in the Bevers house are two Rooms full, &c. When the Lord Reynard heard this, he proceeded to give sentence thus; Since the Bever hath falsly belyed his Neighbour, and denyed him his just due, he shall lose all his Fish. Then touching the Otter he said, since he had been wronged, he should have one half of the Fish to make him reparation. The Orter [...]ep [...]ted well enough contented with this Sentence [...] but the Bever was ma [...] at heart. This Sentence was as exactly executed as [Page] pronounced, and the Fox had as surely had half the Fish for his pains.

After this there happened a great difference betwéen cer­tain Daws and Rooks. The occasion take as follows. In an high Tower, appert [...]ining to a Country-Town, where men formerly had dwelt, a company of Dawes took up their habitations, and had dwelt there so long as until they became very numerous. Right against this Tower, wère planted Elmes, which in length of time were grown up to a very great height; in the upper part of which, at first a few, and afterwards many Rocks but [...]t N [...]sts [...]nd setled their. These two kinds kinds being so near N [...]ighbou [...]s, at length grew into acquaintance, and familiarity one with another: the Rooks pretending great kindness to the D [...]wes, were by them admitted into their Houses, and sometimes feasted; the Rooks likewise invited th [...] Daws to them, feasting them after the same manner. This reciprocal entertainment con­tinued a long time, until a scarce and hard Season came. Then the Rooks watching their opportunity, when the old Dawes were gone forth, (for it was Spring-time, and they had young ones) being greatly pressed with hunger, agreed all together to rob the Dawes, and fearing the noise of the young Dawes would bewray their intentions, it was re­solved among them, first to kill all they found in every house. With this resolution they all at once flew out, and one or two of them went into every house and slew all the young ones, some of which in carrying out they let fall, by reason of their haste; but as many as they could hold, they carryed into their own Nests, and returned immediately and took away all the Provisions they could find (which was not much by reason of the scarcity of the time) and carryed that home also. Then with speed some of them flew out to purvey, as at other times, but (by reason of their own hunger) m [...]de haste home. By this time were the old Dawes also returned with provision for their Young, whom they never more saw alive. Therefore smelling the deceit, some of the boldest of them flew over to their Neighbours, and coming unawares [Page] upon the [...], could easily see the torn limbs of their children. Others of them flying again downwards, espied under the Tower-walls several of their younglings lying dead. At this, they were all so much enraged, as had not some of the wisest among them diss [...]aded them from it, they would have suddenly in an hostile manner assailed their Enemies. Therefore they took up this resolution, namely, that they would complain of their Grievances to the King of Beasts. But after it was told them that the King himself would not meddle in their matters, because he had deputed his Cousin Reynard, they all fly to him, and lighting on a Trée▪ nighth the place of Iudicature, they called aloud, Iustice, Noble Lord Reynard. Reynard being informed of this Cry, imme­diately came forth, and sitting down, said, What is the matter? They said, my Lord, avenge our cause of those persidious Rooks, who have slain our Children and robbed us of all our substance. To this, the Fox replied, how shall I know your complaint is just, unless I also hear those that be accused? At this, they all flew away home, and being there, called to their Neighbours the Rooks, telling them they must appear before the Lord Reynard. To this the Rooks answered, that was no lawful Summons; neverthe­less, they would not stick to appear, being sufficiently able to clear themselves. So some of the oldest of the Rooks flew first to the Court of Iudicature; the Daws seeing that, made haste after them. When both had lighted on Trees as near the Foxes seat, as they could, the Dawes as before, ex­hibit their complaint. To this the Rooks answer, My Lord, these Dawes here present, belye us shrewdly; for we as well as they were gone forth to purvey for Necessaries; but their young ones intheir absence crawled out, and fell down, and so died; some of which are to be seen▪ at this present, broken to pieces against the Stones; and this is the cause why these Varlets accuse us, who are as innocent as your Lordship. To this the Fox answered, it is strange that all the young ones in every house should at one time be alike disposed to crawl out; I suspect the truth of this matter, and cannot ac­quit [Page] you, unless you can by substantial Witnesses, evidence the truth of your Assertion. Then the oldest of the Rooks said, My Lord we are able to produce Witnesses enough, some of which saw this downfall of the young Dawes. Go to then, said the Fox, produce them. Then hasted one or two of the Rooks, and in a short time produced all the rest of their It is danger­ous for guilty persons to come within the Judg his power. fellows, who had an hand in the former Massacre of the Dawes. When these Witnesses were come, the Fox com­manded them down to be sworn: Therefore down they came (though unwillingly) and after they were sworn, and ready to give evidence, he would not hear them, before the other Rooks, who were accused, were also come down off the Trèes, and brought to the Bar. Now said he to the Wit­nesses, let us hear what you can say. We, my Lord, said one of them, were eye-witnesses of what hapned to the young Dawes; for they came all to the doors of their houses, and there looked one upon another, until at length, striving (as it seems) to fly (before they were able) they all tumbled down headlong. Now indeed, we seeing they were fallen and dead, took up every-one of us one of them, and carried them home, because we knew they were dead. When these our Kinsfolks, who are now arraigned, came home, we told them the whole story; they allowed of what we had done; because that was free booty, yet to avoid the ill-will of our Neighbours, they would not suffer us to fetch up any more of their dead bodies. Now it is true, that some of the Dawes flying over to us, did see many of us the Witnesses eating of the dead bodies of their Children, and therefore without one word speaking, they falsly affirmed to your Lordship that we had slain their children▪ and robbed them, So then said the Fox, you deny you have robbed them, yet confess you eat the dead Younglings. Now where are stoln goods to be found, but in the possession of the Thief? Therefore by your own evidence you have condemned your selves, and I can do no less in equity than to condemn you all to be strangled, as a just recompence for your heinous Massacre. When he had said this, the Fox's Attendants strangled every one of them [Page] in a moments time; but their dead bodies were delivered Crafty men willingly for­go, and readi­ly give away what is not their own, nor ever like to be in their possession, as here is evi­dent, by the Fox, who gives the Dawes the Rookes Nests, because he knew not how to come at them. by T [...]le into the Lord Reynard's Kitchin. The D [...]wes see­ing what was done, rejoiced greatly, and bowing them­selves to the Fox, said, Honoured Sir, we are infinitely [Page] bound to your Lordship, for that you have so justly avenged our cause on the Murtherers of our Children. The Fox answered, I could do no less; sor I plainly perceived they were guilty, both of Murther and Theft; therefore I give you all the Houses and Goods remaining of these Miscreants, (although indeed my own Pexquisites) that you may ever after live [...]secure from such treacherous Neighbours.

Now when the Dawes had humbly thanked the Fox, they took their leaves and departed; and from that day for­ward would never after have any Fellowship with Rooks.

CHAP. XI.

How the Fox liberally bestowed what he got, among the Nobles, and of the Communication that was held by them at a general Meeting.

THe Fox in this manner handling all matters so, as When aspi­ring Subjects abound in Wealth, the Kings royal person and power is ly­able to great danger. which way soever the scale turned, profit should redound to him, partly by Brides taken privily on both sides, and partly by the Forfeitures of the condemned, had got together an infinite mass of Wealth. Then knowing his own great Riches, he aspired to advance his estate yet higher, yea even above his Master, that had honoured him so highly, and had given him power sufficient to endanger his own Crown and Dignity. Therefore, to proceed surely (as he thought) to his before-imagined Grandeur, he shews himself much more liberal than formerly, enrighing all the Nobles, and their Followers and Retinue, among which he most of all gratified Sir Tibert the Cat, giving to him very largely. By this liberal giving, he was the only eminent person in the land (as they who were so greatly benefited by him judged) that was endued with Wisdom, Policy, and great Riches. To Pitwood the Wolf (though he had wealth enough of his own he also forgat not to send several Presents, not once or twice, but oftner. He holding this course with the [Page] Nobles, was not in the mean while unmindful of waiting often on the King, and with smooth words, and a lying pre­t [...]nce of honesty, to [...]ull him asleep even to a Lethargy of security; for the King being old, and hearing no complaints, was well pleased, that he had constituted a Substitute who was able and willing to free and discharge him of all trou­ble Thus the Fox, concealing his intent, seemingly be­haded himself most uprightly and indeed he was so circum­spect as he would never divulge his mind, until he saw a manifest occasion offer it self very plainly. Some time be­ing passed, the Nobles were all met together at the Lord Pitwood's house, to which Meeting the Fox came not, but attended on the King, whether necessitated thereunto, or purposely is not well known At this meeting, the Fox's great worth was highly magnified and Pitwood himself ex­tolled him to the skies, adding withal, that he was fit to rule a Kingdom. These words being minded by those who judged all he said to be true, spurred them on to speak disloyally of their Soveraign. Therefore B [...]uin the Bear broke his mind Also the Prin­ces security is the disloyal Subjects ad­vantage; and whensoever any man in power is magnified (by other potent men) above his Master, and the King his Master evil spoken of, actual Treason is ready to be produced, as this Chapter clearly shews. thus. He is indeed a most worthy person, and is more mind­ful to recompence and pleasure his Friends, than the King himself; for what gives he to any of us? If we bring him Presents, he for the present only thanks us, and afterward never more thinks of us, or our Present; but the Lord Reynard expects no gifts from us, and yet is never weary of conferring Benefits on us. To this Bittelas the Ape as­sented (for he was newly come from Rome) and said, My Nephew the Lord Reynard is not only wise, but courteous, affable, and exceeding mindful of Benefits; yea, and where he neither hath, nor can expect to have reaped any commodity, there also his benevolence is largely extended. It is true indeed, said Firrapel the Libbard; and his near Kinsman, Sly-look the Panther owned as much. At length one among them said, if a vacancy should happen, shall we not do well to elect Reynard for our lawful King? Yes, said another, we may do well in so doing; but it is not time to talk of such matters as yet. No, no, said Pitwood the Wlof, [Page] we shall endanger our Heads by such a discourse (as this) if it should happen to come to the Kings ear. Besides, for us to imagine such a thing, before we consult with the Lord Reynard thereabout, to know whether he will accept of our good endeavours, and stand by us in it, and assist us with his wealth and friends, I judg it a very great imprudence, if not a rash and hazardous folly.

To these words of his, they all assented, and for that time sp [...]ke no more thereabout.

CHAP. XII.

How Bitelas the Ape informed Reynard of all that passed at the Meeting of the Lords.

ON the morrow early, Bitleas the Ape journeyed to his Nephew Reynard's Castle, and when he was let in he spake to the Fox in this manner:

Honoured Nephew, I hear your commendations so high­ly commemorated, as I am above measure joyed thereat. The Nobles are all at your devotion, there is not one of them, but he is ready to hazard Life and Fortune for your further advancement: You know my meaning Ne­phew, do you not? Yes Uncle, said the Fox, I know it well enough; for I can step but one step higher, and I think it not time as yet to begin that Ascent. No no, said the Ape, you mistake me Nephew, if you think I mention this to engage your Lordship into any rash attempt but ra­ther that you knowing your Friends, may the better under­stand how to use them, when occasion is. You speak very well Uncle, said the Fox. Will you do one thing [...]or me? Yes, said the Ape, that I will Cousin if possi [...]e. Then said the Fox, go to every of the Lords apart, and sound them, to sée how they stand affected; and bring me an exect account.

So the Ape with all diligence sounded them, and found not one dissenting, but largely promising to hazard all to [Page] invest the Lord Reynard with Regal Power. Only he As in all Treasons, some one principal per­son is em­ployed by the Grand Proje­ctor, to sound the intenti­ons of all the Conspirators, so here the Ape is im­ployed by the Fox to fathom the Affections and Resoluti­ons of all the other Confe­derate. Tray­tors. This shews great craft in the Projector; for if any one had dissented he then had a fair occasion to accuse all the other, and so clear him­self. perceived that the Bear scrupled his Oath to the King; because he said If he were but absolved there-from, he would be none of the backwardest to promote this design. All this he related to Reynard three days after. Then Rey­nard said. smiling, Uncle you have done me a great kind­ness, I will repay it ere long. As for Bruin's doubt, I can easily remove it; for I am sure the Lord Pitwood will ab­solve both him and my self from that Oath extorted from us by the King, so soon as time shall serve for effecting this business: Yet we must not only relie on the Favour of the Lords, but by the best means we can, engage the Commons also. It is true Nephew, said the Ape; but how that will be done. I cannot tell; for if Soldiers should be listed, that would never be done so secretly, but it would be bl [...]zed abroad, and so come easily to the King's ear. No Uncle, said the For, that is not the way. We must proceed after another manner than vi­sibly to raise any Soldiers: Each Lord, must by pro­mise and reward engage as many of the Commons as he can, pretending a private Quarrel, in which he would have their assistance, and therefore injoyn them to be ready armed at any time, when he shall call.

Bitelas the Apt, admiring his Nephews Wisdom, said, This is the direct way to raise an Army invisibly. To this the Fox said, if we intend to effect our business throughly, we must not visibly raise Soldiers until the hour appointed be fully come; then how squares will go we shall soon know; and if our first Exploit prosper, all the other will succeed accordingly, and we shall need the fewer Soldiers. Therefore the stress of all lies in managing the business well at first: If we miscarry at first, our Design will scarcely be effected; ney, it is well if our own Ruin fall not in as an Appendix. The Ape hear­ing this, said, You do well Cousin to promise the worst; this seems to me a sure presage of the future Event, that [Page] it will be exceeding prosperous. Well Uncle, said the Fox, if it prosper, and I obtain my desired end, I will honour and reward you above all others.

Thus did the Fox disloyally intend the ruin of his Sove­raign, his greatest friend, to whom he had solemnly sworn fealty; but what success he had, shall hereafter be shewed.

CHAP. XII.

Of the Discourse between the Fox and the Wolf, and of another Meeting of the Lords, and what was agreed on among them.

THe Fox, now filled with hopes of obtaining the height of all power, resolved to let pass no opportunity of promoting his design; therefore, the first leisure-time he had, he bestowed in Conference with the Wolf. Who not only promised his Assistance, but also to absolve him, and the Bear from their Oath of fidelity. Telling the Fox, that all the Lords he was sure were like minded with him. If so, said the Fox, it were necessary, loving Uncle, to summon the Lords as privately as may be. That is done already, said the Wolf, and they will be all here by and by; but I willed the Messenger not to summon you, because I intended so soon as they were all sat down, to dispatch an Herauld pre­sentl [...] to you. This course I thought would be best, for who soever should at that time have been with you, they would have judged, that the King was here, and so not have of­fered their service to come and attend you hither, because of the haste all know you are wont to make when his Majesty sends.

By this time, several of the Lords were come in, most of them entring through the back-gate, for fear of being suspected Now as every one came in, he first saluted the Fox with great Reverence, then the chief Prelate Isegrim, lately stiled P [...]twood. When all were come, & each sate down orderly in his wonted place, Pitwood the Wolf stood up, [Page] and bowing himself a little, said, My Lords, here is now present the Noble and Puissant Lord Reynard, of whom Fame hath made such a loud report &c. I have disclosed your intentions to him, and he very well approving thereof, now gives you this meeting. Then the Fox stood up and said, My Lords and loving Fridnds. I am not ignorant of your affectionate desire to advance me yet one step higher than I at present am. I also am informed that for effecting this, you will hazard Life and Fortune, (for which I give you great thanks, and will not fail to return a proportionable recompence, if ever I attain [...]he wished end) yet I cannot understand, you have to your selve [...] proposed what way to take to bring about your purpose. Then Sir B [...]uin the Bear, lately made Earl of the Forests, said, Noble Lord Rey­nard, we are all ready to serve you, and follow the Di­rections your Lordship shall think good to propose. The Fox hearing this, said, he could propose an expedient course, which being taken, would further the design, and yet not be perceived; but before he did that, he desired to be absolved from the Oath of Fealty, which he and Bruin the Bear swore to the King. The Lord Pitwood hearing this, stood up and said? I here absolve you, Lord Rey­nard, and you Sir Bruin, of the Oath you have taken, &c. and you are absolved. After this, the bowing himself, began to speak thus. Worthy Friends, it is well known unto us all, that we have need of the Commons; for as no man can work without hands, so we can never accomplish what we intend, without the assistance of many more than we out selves are. Also for procuring their assistance we must not publickly invite, or solicite any, or otherwise hire and list, as is usual in such Cases. Therefore there is but one way left us and that is best and will be most se­cure. The way is this; Let every one of us here present, by promise and reward, oblige as many of the Commons as we can, telling them we require their assistance in a private quarrel, and therefore would have them be ready (but secretly) in Arms, till we do call for them: This [Page] way will both conceal our design and our selves, until we Here it ap­pear [...], that Flattery and Dissimulation are necessary concomitants of Treason: for had not the Fox wai­ted on the King as for­merly, his ab­sence had gi­ven cause of suspition. think good to disclose our selves and it. The Nobles hear­ing the Foxes proposal, approved thereof; and highly prai­sing his Wisdom, said, They would put in practise what he had so prudently advised to. Then he again stood up and said, Worthy Friends, if you think good to put in practice our advice, we also judg it expedient, that all speed possi­ble be used, because delay may produce danger; and indeed such designs as this should be as soon executed as thought on. Therefore I request you, and as Confederates adjure you to use all diligence this evening, and all day too mor­row, to oblige as many as you can, and then to meet here to morrow-night, that we may determine what to do, and appoint the hour, in which we will set about the business, and dispatch it.

Having said this, the Meeting broke up, and the Lords went forth one by one, as privily as they could.

CHAP. XIV.

Of their last meeting, and how they determined to surprise the Also Misere­ants before they attempt dangerous Designes, forecast how in secure themselves if it happen their intenti­ons befrustra­ted; as here is evident by the [...]ox his [...]ortilying, and furnish­ing his Castle to abide a siege, if need should be.King and Court the next night following.

THe next day the Fex went to Court, and tarried with the King until Dinner-time; then with great sub­mission and seeming Loyalty he took his leave of him; who doubting nothing, dismissed the Fox with great chearful­ness.

When Reynard came home, he was not idle, but stayed at home all that day, not only to view the Fortifications of his Castle, (for he under pretence of repairing it, had already fortified it strongly) which he liked well, but also to examine his stores of Provision, observing what was deficient, and supplying the same that day, that if need were) he might abide a Siege to the confusion of his Ene­mies, as he still stedfastly hoped. Therefore such Soldiers [Page] as he levied privily, he kept there, with a plentiful allow­ance of all that was needful.

Now the Evening being come, so soon as it was quite Qui malum agit lucem fugit. Conspi­racies and Treasons can at no time so commodi­ously be con­trived as in the Night; because then Conspirators may meet to­gether un­seen, and pass away undis­covered. dark, he goes to the Wolfe's house, where he found all the Nobles just come in before him He observing that not one was missing, concluded that all were right for his purpose, (as indeed they at that time were) therefore he, full of joy and content, spake to them on this manner. Worthy Friends, I am not a little pleased to see you all so unanim­ous. To this they all said they would live and die with him. Then he bowing himself, said, If your Resolution be such after you have declared what power you have in readiness, I will disclose my intentions, touching the time and man­ner of execution. As to our Power, said Sir Firrapel the Libbard, we had a general Meeting in the Forest before we came hither, because we would be rightly informed thereabout; and among us all, except only the Lord Pitwood, who was not with us, we find we are able to raise at an hours warning three thousand Soldiers. Then the Wolf said, and I, my Lord, am assured of four hundred, at as short a warning. Well then, said the Fox, I perceive your Loyalties, for which I give you thanks; I my self have also Six hundred Soldiers ready when I call for them. These Forces reckoned together, will amount to no less than Four thousand, a power sufficient to carry our Design through all opposition and difficulty. Having said this, he paused a little; and at length stood up again, and said, Worthy Friends, it now remains, that we fully and una­nimously agree about the time and manner of executing our Design. Therefore, Noble Sirs, if any of you can devise a better way, for effecting what we intend, than I my self have thought upon, I would have him speak first. To this they all replied, Noble Lord Reynard, we all are your Honours Servants, you may command us, we cannot ad­vise you; but whatsoever you shall propose, that we will do to the utmost of our power. let the event be what it will. The Fox hearing this, said, For this your Loyalty, I will [Page] reward every one of you with such gratuities, as you could Hopes of Re­ward, and fu­ture advance­ment makes Conspirators bold and ad­venturous. Besides, all Traytors themselves are very libe­ral in promi­sing; as ap­pears by the Fox, who promiseth to exceed the King his Ma­ster, against whom he conspires, & of whom he contempt [...] ­ously speaks. never expect from the present King. And, as to the time and manner of execution (since you leave, it to me) my judg­ment is, that the sooner the better; yet because it is necessa­ry that our Friends and Allies, (I mean the Commons by us ingaged) should have timely notice to be ready; I find it is not possible to set about the business sooner than to mor­row night. Therefore I would have you, and all your Sol­diers to be ready embattelled in the Forest to morrow in the Evening, setting out spies every way to intercept all Passengers, that no Tales may be told: Then will I, when I see the time, give command for you to march. But first, I would have two or three of you, with your Soldi­ers to go to the Court, and if possible to surprise the same, then by a Messenger to signifie the Surprisal thereof to us, that we may with all our Forces come in immediately to repress all Resistance whatsoever that may be made by any of the King's Sons, or Kinsfolks, if they happen to escape the first comers, and should by that Alarum draw to them­selves a multitude of Auxiltaries which may frustrate our intentions. For it is to be understood, that if we do not our business to purpose, we shall never long hold our gettings in peace and quietness; therefore, since I well know, that the King and his Sons be strong and valiant, I think it Evil Designes are never throughly executed, without great effusion o [...] b [...]o [...]d; for the shadow of a m [...]n [...]ter­ [...]es a M [...]r­there [...], especially i [...] it be of an Allie in blood to the person mur­thered; as here the Fox most expedient for you Sir Firrapel, with your Cousin Sly­look, to take with you your own Forces, and such as will voluntarily follow you; and at the time I shall give com­mand to march first (yet secretly) to the Court, and there to demean your selves right valiently, that you may with the greatest speed, and least noise, surprise the same; above all, be sure you take care that neither the King himself, nor any one of his Children, or Nephews (who I understand are all to sup with the King to morrow Night) escape your hands but be either taken alive, or killed out-right. Having said this, the Libbard [...]nd Panther stood up promising to undertake the charge imposed on them, resolving either to effect it throughly, or to die in the attempt. The Fox thank­ed [Page] them, and added, Worthy Friends, we cannot be too commands, that neither the King, nor any of his Kindred should be spared; his rea­son he gives before. circumspect, or wary in this matter; therefore I judg it fit to use one policy more, and it is this. Do you two go to the Court to morrow in the forenoon, and acquaint the King that I am gone a hunting for to recreate my self a little, be­cause I have lately been greatly wearied with my multipli­city of business, and also that the Lord Pitwood is busie in preparing a Prepsent for his Majesty. Then do you enquire of his Sons and Nephews how they do, and he will answer, they will all be here anon: you hearing that, may say, you will come in the Evening, and salute their Lordships. By this means your approach in the Evening will be less suspe­cte [...], and you design much more easily effected. They hear­ing this humbly thinked his Lordship for his singular ad­vice, which rendred their work so easie, as they now had no doubt of accomplishing the same. Then the Fox directing his Speech to the other Lords. said, As for you my Lord Pitwood: I leave to you the leading the [...]an of the Body of the Army remaining; and to you Sir B [...]uin I commit the Care of the Rear. I pray, my Lords▪ be careful and cir­cumspect, command your Soldiers to march with silence; so soon as you are marched out of the Forest, you shall see me with my Six hundred Soldiers. Yet I will not joyn with you, but march on one side, at a convenient distance, that I may the better observe what is to be done; and also, the more commodiously receive intelligence and give instructi­ons, or come in to rescue if need be▪ My Intelligencers or Scouts shall be Sir Tiberts Lineage, over whom he himself shall be Captain. This is my Determination, therefore doubt him not▪ And although in this my charge, I have par­ticularly spoken un [...]o four of you only, yet (as your friend) I request, and (as your Chieftain) command you all to be prudent, and very wa [...]y in your proceedings, let each of you advise; and encourage his own Soldiers, and by your obedi­ence to your Supertors, teach them to be obedient to your self; for thus doing, you your selves sh [...]ll reap the profit, and I be the more engaged to serve you in time to come. Upon [Page]

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this, they all again promised to hazard Life and Fortune, and to be every one (according as he should be placed that day) obedient to his Superior. After this, they depart [...]ach to his home, for by thi [...] time it was very late.

CHAP. XV.

How Sir Firrapel the Libbard, and his Cousin Sly-look, revealed the whole Treason to the King, &c.

ON the morrow when Sir Firrapel and his Cousin met, they both looked less theerful then they were wont; and therefore asked each other the cause of his sadness. The Libbard first spake thus:

Cousin, I am troubled with the thoughts of what we are going about; for I consider we have no reason to be Tray­tors Relenting thoughts in Conspirators, prove dange­rous to grand Projectors. to our Soveraign, because he never in the least degra­ded or injured us, but always admitted us as Friends and Companions; and indeed he is a Prince deserving the love and not the hatred of all his Subjects, much more of his Lords, and in an especial manner of the Lord Reynard, and his Uncle Isegrim, since called Pitwood. But now engaged as we are, we are in such a streight as what to do I cannot tell.

Then the Panther said, Truly Cousin, I know not what to think, I have been so perplexed all this night with the consideration of my Disloyalty, as I am now even at my Wits end. If we bewray the Plot to the King, he is so well conceited of the Lord Reynard, as he will not believe us; and so we are in danger of death for falsly accusing him, who is the falsest of all living, and will not stick to ruin all us, so he may but escape himself. Besides, his language is so smooth, and he is so crafty and subtile as it will be impossi­ble to prove a tittle of all we can say against him. No, no, said the Libbard, if we having declared all to the King, re­quest him to detain us in his Court but for one day, until our Loyalty be proved or disproved, and in the mean while not be known we have bewrayed the Plot; we when the time appointed is come, may look over the Battlements and call to Sir Tibert (who will be sure to lie very near, that he may give intelligence) telling him the King and his Sons are [Page] dead, the Lord Reynard may now come in securely; then we shall quickly sée our selves out of danger, and the Authors of our trouble brought to condign punishment. Cousin, said the Panther, I like your counsel well; but if we be detained in Court all day, and come not with our Soldiers in the Evening to the place of Rendezvouz, Reynard will presently smell the matter, and let fall his present design, but imme­diately run to Court and accuse us. 'Tis true indéed, said the Libbard, we are in a bad case if we reveal the Treason, and it is very hazardous if we reveal it not, and any other do; our danger will be the greater. Therefore, since we are so straitned, it is better for us of these two Evils to chuse the least, and speedily to reveal the Treason, let the event be what it will.

To this the Panther consented; and so they went toge­ther to Court. When they were come before the King, and This Chapter shews, that some men are easily wrought up­on to consent to Treason, yet will very un willingly put the same in practice; but rather, to save them­selves, reveal the whole Conspiracy, as here the Libbard and Panther did. had vowed themselves, they thought to have spoke, but nei­ther of them could for shame and grief. The King noting their dejected Countenances, said, Friends, why are you so sad? O Sir, said the Libbard, the consideration of your Ma­jesties clemency, and our own unworthiness, is the cause of our present grief. Why (said the King) speak you thus; Because Sir, said the Panther, we have been so unworthy, and indeed so false to your Majesty, as to know of a Treason (intended against your Royal Person, Crown and Dignity) for at least four days, and not to reveal it; and that which most of all perplexeth us, is, that we gave our consents, and promised to aid and assist the Traytors against your Majesty.

Here the King interrupted him; saying, Treason! and would have spoke more, but for rage could not ot present. Iu a little time his wrath abating, he sternly said, Who be the Traytors? At which words the Panther and Libbard trem­bled excéedingly, and said, We he those Traytors who dissoyally conspired your Majesties Death. The King hear­ing this, knew not what to say, but supposed they were mad. Therefore he again asked them; What, do you accuse your [Page] selves, are you Traytors? Ye [...], we are, said they. Then the King said would you have p [...]rdon? Yes, said they, if your Majesty so please. Pleased I am to pardon all that of them­selves make complaint first; therefore I here pardon you, how soul soever the Treason be, provided you will reveal the whole [...]onspiracy, and Conspirators. At these words they took courage, and (after Obeysance) said We will not only reveal the whole Treason exactly, from point to point as it is, but will also (if your Majesty will act by our advice) deliver all, or most of the Traytors into your own hands, to deal with them as your Highness shall think fit. Well, said the King, first let me know the Conspiracy, and Conspirators.

So they in all points declared the whole Treason and Traytors, from beginning to end, as you have heard. Then the King said, How say you, all the Lords! Yes, Sir, said they from the highest to the lowest, there was not one that co [...]sented not. It is true indeed Sir, Tibert was not at our Meetings, but he must needs be privy to it; for he is made Captain of the Scouts that are to go before the Army; and undoubtedly he may be seen in or about the Court this night, if a diligent search be made for him. The King hearing this, was above measure troubled and would often have sent for Reynard, had not his eldest Son, and his other Friends present, perswaded him to the contrary; saying, We have often heard your Majesty say, you have twice saved Reynard from death, and that his Loyalty of late had so far repaid the Recompence of all his former Misdemeanors, that you had no cause to repent of all, or any your Favours. Hath it not been too, too often seen, that some who receive greatest Be­nefits, are most ungrateful to their Benefactors? And is there not a Proverb, Save a Thief from the Gallows, he will hang you if he can? All this is true, said the King, but sure our Cousin Reynard is not a Traytor. To this, his Son and Friends said, Sir, while your Majesty is of this mind, the depth of this Treason can never be sufficiently known; for if Reynard be sent for, he will deny all, and (if he be guilty, [Page] as we believe he is) acense others most malielously, and so A well mean­ing man can­not easily be perswnded to entertain bad thoughts of any one, that hath [...]ormer­ly been his friend; as ap­pears here by the King, who would not believe that Reynard was a Traytor, &c. (if your Majesty give credit to his words) escape himself, and another time put that in practice effectu [...]lly, which now (we have good reason to hope) he can never be able to accom­plish. With these and the like words, the King was with­dr wn from his intent of sending for Reynard the Fox. Therefore he turning to the Panther and Libbard, said: Which way can you enervate this Treason, and deliver the Traytors into our hands? They answered, My Lord we think it not possible to deliver Reynard himself, because he already intends to come last; and in surprisal of the other Lords, some one or other of Tiberts Lineage will enter in among them, and then seeing what is done, acquaint Rey­nard therewith; but for most of the other Lords, we may make sure of, before any thing of our intent is perceived, if Tibert, who will be sure to come this night, enter not with us into Court, For if your Majesty will be rightly inform­ed by the effect, and be resolved to take your Traytors acting their Treason, we must have leave to dep [...]rt and go to the place of Rendezvouz, at the time appointed to meet the Sol­tiers by us levyed, which will be near Six hundred; with these Soldiers we (with your Majesties leave) will enter the Court, and least Tibert should discover our intent, will counterfeit a fight, as against your Majesties Guard, and then rushing in, will by and by cry, all is our own. When this is done, one of us will call to Tibert, and send him a­way, telling him we have slain all the Fox ordered should be slain, and charge him to make haste. Thus we shall accom­plish all things well; and undoubtedly, before intelligence can be given to Reynard, intangle most of the Nobles in their e [...]n Net.

The King liking the yrosect, consented to their departure; Here is also shewed how necessary the advice of Friends is, in a time of great danger. and so soen as he had dismissed them, he consulted with his Friends what to do. They advise him to double his Guards, and to call in as many of his Friends as could be called in so short a time; but that all might be kept secret) not to ac­quaint them with the present danger. The King did all [Page]

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things as they advised, and ordered all private Avenues be­longing to the Court, to be stopped, lest Tibert or any of his Lineage should enter thereat.

CHAP. XVI.

How the Forces of the Lords met at the place appointed, and how Firrapel, and Sly-look entred the Court, and ensnared most of the Confederates, and among them Tibert the Cat.

SIr Firrapel the Libbard, and Sly-look the Panther, were no sooner gone from Court, but they hasted all they could to Reynard, who was at home waiting their coming; for the whole hindge of his business depended on their Intelli­gence, how squares went at Court. When they came near his Castle, he came forth and met them, and said, My noble Friends you are welcome, how is it you stayed so long? To this they answered, Most excellent Lord Reynard, after we had spoke unto the King according to the Instructions we received from your self; he entertained us with a large discourse of your Merits, telling us how highly he was plea­sed with your Lordships great diligence, by which he could Here is Trea­son repaid with Trea­chery. take his pleasure without fear or care, adding many such like expressions too long to be now recited; we were constrained to stay by this occasion, otherwise we had waited on your Lordship sooner. All is well, said the Fox, you are come soon enough. I would have you now to mind your Levies, and see your Soldiers be all well armed. for fear of the worst, because you know, it is ordered that you give the on­set. To this they replied, My Lord, we are ready to obey your command, and so they departed about their Levies, but not with the same intent as Reynard supposed. So soon as it began to be dark, the Soldiers in Troops repaired to the Forest, where their Lords were ready to attend them; and when they were all come, they embatteled them as soon as was possible. Reynard's Espials giving him Intelligence they were all ready, he gave command for their March; ac­cordingly Sir Firrapel and his Cousin Sly-look marched out with their Six hundred Soldiers, having not many Volun­tiers out of the other Companies, because each Lord strove [Page] to have most Soldiers. Reynard met this Forlorn Hope, and saluted the Leaders very courteously. but spoke not loud. So on they march until they come to the Court-gates. When there, they stand a little, and make a pretended scuffle with the Kings Guard, who well know the Kings mind and so resisted but coldly. But before Sir Firrapel was entred himself, he charged Tibert the Cat to wait in one certain place without the gate that he might the better inform him how squares went; and he, when it was time to be gone, have no let; withal charging him to command his Soldiers to lie close round about the Walls of the Court, that if called to on any side, they might presently be ready to run and give intelli­gence. Tibert did as he was commanded Now, when Sir Firrapel and his Cousin Sly-look with all their Soldiers were entred, and had stayed within some small time. Sir Firra­pel failed not to call to Tibert aloud, saying, the day is our own haste quickly and tell our Lord Reynard, that all are dead whom he commanded should be killed. Tibert hearing this, sent two of his Soldiers to the Lord Pitwood, who was not far with the whole Army, to tell him the Newes; but ran himself to the Lord Reynard, and said, Most noble Lord, your renowned Captains Firrapel, and Sly look, have fully executed your Lordships commands, and all your Enemies are dead; this they have me tell you. The Fox hearing this, said, It is good news indeed, if it be true: True Sir, said the Cat, I'le warrant you Nevertheless the Fox, like an old Soldier, would not believe the first report, but sent away Politick per­sons believe not reports by Hear-say, but require a Testimony from fight Sir Tibert, commanding him to enter into the Court, if possible, and then to tell him what he knew. In the mean while, Reynard commanded Pitwood the Wolf to march up to the Court-gates with the whole Army embattelled as they were, and then to make a stand, and call to him all the Commanders to advise what was fit to be done, still (as be­fore) wishing him to proceed warily, and to be well infor­med, before he attempted any thing. But the Wolf, being over-credulous, and above measure joyful at the News he had heard, forgat all counsel of wariness. Therefore, being [Page] come up, he found Sir Firrapel, and his Cousin Sly-look, stan­ding without the Court-gate, with all their Soldiers ready embattelled within. At this sight, he was confirmed in his former conceit, and therefore stepping a little before the Army, he saluted them, congratulating their prospe­rous success. To this they answer, We indeed, noble Covetous and greedy mind­ed men, for­getting all good & whol­some counsel given them, rush head­long upon their own ru­ine, where matter of profit is strewed as a bait. Lord Pitwood, did at first find some resistance, but our Soldiers couragiously fighting, soon overcame the Guard and then the King and his Friends were without difficulty dispatched. Now my Lord, if it be your pleasure to walk in, and if your Honour will send for all the Comman [...]ers, we may the better consult what is fit to be done within, when we are all together; and besides here is store of Provisions, which were left of the Feast. Here the Wolf interrupted, Provisions Sir, said he! I am in truth very hungry, ha­ving walked about all this night; and with these words proffered to go in. Then Sir Firrapel said I beseech your Lordship first to command the Army to stand still em­battelled as they are, and then to send for Sir Bruin, and our other noble Commanders; otherwise, if your Lordship only enter your self, the other Lords will suspect some Treason is plotted by us, and so an irrecoverable di­straction and danger will follow. It is well considered Sir Firrapel, said the Wolf. So the Wolf presently commanded the Army to stay and rest themselves there, where they were, but that the Commanders should all repair unto him, now gone into the Court. Which order was scarcely well under­stood, before the Wolf was entred within the Court-gate, he was in such haste to fill his belly, as he supposed he should. Now with him Sir Tibert would have entred, but the Soldi­ers diligently watching, on purpose to prevent him, (for they had order so to do) put him by, saying, he might come in anon after the Nobles; adding also this, Here is not so much room within as to let in every one that comes. So Tibert waited till all the Lords were come to the Gate, & seeing the guard of sol­diers to open themselves to make way for them to come in, ad­vised a Nephew of his to enter in at one side of the gate & slip [Page] between the Soldiers Legs, and so get in. His Nephew old so, and was in. Tibert himself walked under Bruin's belly, and so was admitted unespied; after Bruin the Bear all the other Commanders walked in, not one was missing, except Bitelas the Ape, who was gone to his Cousin Reynard; whe­ther sent for by him, or because he suspected the Treachery, is not known. When all were within, the Court-gates were shut; and all the Lords were immediately laid hold of, and secured; also Tibert the Cat with them; but his Ne­phew seeing what was done, in great fear leapt over that Soldiers head, who would have taken him, and so escaped: Sir Firrapel understanding that Tiberts Nephew was gone, knew it was high time to disperse the Army. Therefore he with four hundred Soldiers sallyed out upon them, char­ging them (who were before disordered) in so furious a man­ner as most of them fled, leaving their Arms behind them; many of were taken Prisoners, and sent into the Court, but some few escaped and ran to Reynard's Com­pany.

CHAP. XVII.

How the Fox consulting with his Uncle Bitelas the Ape, returned to his Castle, and dismissed part of his Soldiers.

THe Fox greatly perplered at the ruin of his Army, of which he was too, toosurely informed by the Run-aways, and having just before understood how all the Nobles were betrayed, he was almost at his wits end. Bitelas the Ape see­ing his Cousin Reynard so exceedingly overcome with grief, said, Cousin, it is not the first time you have been in danger, and yet have overcome all difficulties, why not now? Ah, Uncle, said the Fox, there is a vast difference between what I then was, and what I am now, or at least was but three hours ago. And I too well know, that the greater any one is, when he falls his fall is so much the more dangerous. Before I vexed some few only, and those not considerable [Page] persons; but now I have displeased the King himself, and Great disast­ers ast [...]nish the most p [...] ­litick, especi­ally when the know­ledg thereof comes unex­pected; as here is seen in the Fox, who al­though be­fore, never had a shift to seek, yet now is so consoun­ded, as he knows not which way to turn him­self. all his most intimate friends; therefore I must needs be utterly undone. But Cousin, said the Ape, have you not made some provision before-hand to secure your self in this time of need? For every one that is wise, will always pro­vide for the worst. Yes Uncle, I h [...]ve done as much as could be, for I fortified my Castle long before, and have stored it with all sorts of Provision: but yet I am in a very great strait: if I draw all this Company into Malepardu [...] after me, their number is so great as I shall not be able to hold out a long Si [...]ge, especially if all the private Avenues of my Castle be stopped up, as they will be to be sure, if the King with his Forces shall come to sit down before it. For so soon as I, or my Soldiers shall be res [...]rained from forage, so many mouth & will quickly devour all. And if I draw not in with me a sufficient number to make sallies out upon my Enemies, then they will adventure to storm or blow up my Fort, and what shall become of us then? Truly, it is an hard case, Cousin, said the Ape, but cheer up; and first of all, with-draw from this place, leaving the Kings high­way, and be [...]ake your self and Soldiers to Covert, in some by Lane, that if the King pursue, he may not find you. Thus doing. you will have some respit to determine of your March. According to the Ape's advice, the Fox withdrew into a by Lane with all his Soldiers. Then his Uncle again said to him, Now Cousin you need fear no surprisal, at least for an hour or two. If you like not to hasten to your Castle and there to [...]bide the brunt, what is your determination? I can­not at all judg it safe for us to go to the King, especially whilst his rage is at such an height, as it must needs be at this time. Therefore I judg nothing will conduce more to our security, then to protract the time, the best way we can. Indeed Uncle, said the For. I think it will be best to do as you say; but the many mouths we have to feed will endanger all. Why Cousin, you have a reme [...]y for that. Know you not that three or four hundred in a Fort, will be able to resist ten thousand in the Field. Yes Uncle; quoth the For, I well know it; yet I would have more than three hundred, yea [Page] more than four hundred Soldiers, if I were sure not to be blockt up too suddenly. Cousin, Cousin, said the Ape, you must determine somewhat speedily: Be ruled by me, I pray chuse out the weakest of your Soldiers and dismiss them, and retain none with you, but such as are stout and resolute Warriers. To this the Fox hearkned, and present­ly discharged thrée hundred and odd of the weakest, but the strongest with him were near four hundred. his Army being increased by the Run-aways who were retained still with him; and because the night was far spent, and he durst not abide where he was till day-light, he by a swift march came toh is own Castle by break of day.

CHAP. XVIII.

How the Fox was pursued, and many of his Soldiers that he dis­missed, taken by the Pursuers.

VVHen Firrapel the Libbard, as is aforeshewed, had routed and dispersed the Army that lay before the Court; not long after it was thought convenient to send out other fresh Soldiers, in pursuit of the Fox and his Company. The Leader of these fresh Soldiers was one of the Kings Friends, that supped with him that night. He having no guide to direct him where to find the Fox, bade his Soldiers to lie in wait for straglers. So they did, and in a short time one of them laid hold of one of Ti­berts Lineage, and cried out a Spy, a Spy; the Captain hearing this, said, bind him and bring him hither: When he was brought bound to the Captain, he asked him what he was? he told him, he was one of Sir Tiberts Kindred. Well then, said the Captain, go along with us, and shew us the place where that Trayterous Lord Reynard is. So on they went with this their Guide to that very by-Lane in which Reynard and his Uncle Bitelas had béen, but were gone. Then he again examined the Guide, if he knew not where they were gone. The Guide told him, whither they [Page] were gone he could not tell, for whilst they were with their Soldiers in that by-Lane, he was sent out with several others to lie as near the Court, as they could, to give notice if any marched out to attaque the Lord Reynard. And that he having layn long thereabout, did at length return to that place, but found neither him, nor his Soldiers, except some few that were dismissed by him, as they said, and so were going to their own homes. Which way went they, said the Captain? this way Sir, said the Guide, (pointing westward from the Court) and if you hasten, you will overtake them, for they go not fast. The Captain having this intelligence from the guide, commanded his Soldiers to follow close. In a little time they found two or three, and passing further on, found several others by threes and fours in a Company; this course they held till they had gleaned up almost an hun­dred. Then the Captain fearing to be over-burthened with too many Prisoners, gave command to pursue no further. So he with these Prisoners hasted to the King, but he had marched out so far in pursuit, as it was Sun-rise ere he came to the Court.

CHAP. XIX.

Of the Examination of the Traytors and Prisoners.

WHen this Captain with his party were come into the Court, and the King by him understood that Rey­nard was fled: He then, fearing no Enemy, commanded his Purveyors to bring Provision in abundance, that he and all his Friends might eat and be merry. The Purveyors mate ready as soon as was possible, and the King and all his Friends dined very chearfully; after this the Se [...]vitors dined. and what was left was given to the Captive Prison­ers; but the Traytors all this while had neither eat nor drunk. Therefore the King commanded, that what the Pri­soners left, the Traytors should have divided among them. This was done accordingly, and they had no more, any of [Page] them except Tibert, who by good fortune had a Mouse given him by a certain Soldier, who found it dead and trod on in the Court. This present was so thankfully accepted by Sir Tibert, as he promised to requite him who gave it with a grea­ter Booty, i [...] ever he had his Liberty.

When the King and his Friends had dined, as we said; The King looking on Sir Firrapel and his Cousin Sly look, said, Now my Noble Lords, I perceive you have told me a truth, you have in very deed convinced me of that which I could not otherwise have believed, although my incr [...]dulity had cost me my life. I thank you both for your Loyalty, and all you my Friends for your faithful advice and assistance. Now I judg it convenient that we first examine the Prisoners, and afterward the Traytors; that if we find any not guilty, we may dismiss them. Then Sir Firrapel stood up and said Noble Prince, I do verily believe that all the Captive Prisoners are not guilty, for they were led by their Lords, but about what they could not tell, as by Examination your Majesty will clearly find. Well then, said the King, let Reynard's Soldiers be first called. So when they were brought before the King, his Majesty asked them, how they durst take up arms against himself? Some of them answered, they were hired Soldiers, hired by the Lord Rey­nard, and by him led forth the last night; but about what, or for what cause, they never knew, till some of the other Lord's Soldiers run in among them, saying, the whole Army was either killed, or taken; then indeed (said they) we mistrusted we were led against your Majesty, but yet of that could not be assured, because those that fled from before the Court-gates unto us could not tell who were their Ene­mies, only they said, they who set upon them came all out at the Court-gates. The King hearing the simplicity of their answer dismissed them, and all the other Prisoners, strictly charging them to be ready at his Summons, when he thought good to hunt the Traytor Reynard. They all bowing them­selves promised they would couragiously fight against the Kings Enemies. So they all departed safely to their own homes.

This being done, the King said, now my Friends, I per­ceive that this is Reynard's work, it is managed so craftily; for I plainly see, that not one of the Commons is guilty of this Treason, because they knew not what they went about. Therefore let the Lord Pitwood be first called. So Pitwood was brought in before the King and his Friends, with Bellin's Gown on his back, quaking and trembling: The King no sooner saw him, but he sternly said, Pull off the Villain's disguise, that we may see him, as he is. Then did Sir Firra­pel M [...]essctors o [...] base spirit, and [...]l [...]tton­ [...], d [...]spositi­ons, are in their aff [...]cti­on more de­jected than others; and the [...]ercour of punishment is most [...]e [...]s to such, be­cause th [...] [...]exation [...] ­seth not [...]m the ho [...] and [...]etes [...] ­on o [...] their [...]o [...]e [...]aised evils; but from a sense of being ut­terly dep [...]i­ved of liber­ty, to persist in that course [...] of li [...]e. and his Cousin Sly-look, immediately tear off Bellin's Gown, and when all the Company saw it was Isegrim the Wolf, they laughed heartily. As soon as they were all silent, the King said. Thou wretch, what moved thee to conspire my death, who from a low and vile estate advanced thee to so great Honour? Is Treason Religion? Or, is Murder and Treason virtue in a Priest? At these wor [...]s the Wolf was so frighted, as he pist for fear. At length he said, The Lord Reynard gave me presents often, and often spake to me, that I should commend him before the Lords, and at length perswad [...] them to establish him in the Royal Throne. And was that all said the King? Yes, all indeed Sir, said the Wolf (and then pist again) except that we must with hired Soldiers (who must know nothing before-hand of the Busi­ness) come hither and kill your Majesty and all the Royal Family, and then set the Crown on Reynard's Head. Enough, enough, said the King. Take away the Villain, and chain him to a stake, and so keep him, with bread and dirty water until I call for him. So the Keeper who had charge of this Prisoner, took him away, and bound, and fed him, according to the King's will.

Then the King called for Sir Bruin the Bear, who was immediately brought and examined, and after Ex­amination was found to acknowledg himself guilty of the Treason; onely he pleaded, the Wolf and the Ape in­stigated him thereto. So he was taken away and bound, and fed as the former. After him all the rest were called [Page]

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one by one, and all except Tibert confessed the same as Bruin did, accusing the Ape and the Wolf. But Tibert the Cat pleaded not Guilty; affirming as he was Secretary to the Wolf, he was obliged not to reveal his Masters Secrets, therefore he was clear of this Treason. If so, said the King, why did you lead a band of your own Lineage? I led none [Page] Sir, but went where I was sent, said the Cat. Then the King said, how say you Sir Firrapel? Mighty Prince, said the Libbard, This Sir Tibert was made Captain of the Scouts (which were all of his own Lineage) by the Lord Reynard; and if Scouts know not what they go about, and go only where they are sent, I leave that to your Majesty to judg. The King hearing this, said no more, but, Away with the Traytor, look to him Keeper. Then the King arose, and he and his Friends walked out into the Court­walks.

CHAP. XX.

How the Fox with his Soldiers made incursions the next day so ea­gerly on several of the Neighbouring Beasts, that they com­plain to the King.

DVring the time the Fox was in prosperity, and had abundance of all things, either given by way of Pre­sents, or obtained by Delinquents forfeitures, the Neigh­bouring Beasts, that dwelt not far from Reynards Castle, had rest and peace, and therefore without fear were wont to walk abroad in the day-time all there about. But when Reynard was fled home in fear and great danger, with his Soldiers, intending there to abide a Siege, and protract the time as long as was possible, (for he knew he was now un­capable of mercy) he on a sudden set forth with two hun­dred Soldiers, who he commanded all to go silently along by the Hedges which encompassed a large Warren, where many Conies dwelt. These Conies fearless, and suspect­ing Commonly, the most peaceable feel the first strokes of War. nothing, played and skipped about in the Sun-shine, as they were daily wont to do; but suddenly Reynard with his Soldiers rushed in among them, and flew two hundred outright presently, all which he bore away to his Castle. And immediately returned again, where several She-goats fed their young ones, all which young ones he and his Sol­diers seized and carried home. Many other Incursions he [Page] made that day further into the Country, and made great havock and spoil. At this all the Neighbouring Beasts were alarum'd, and resolved to stand upon their defence. But when they understood by the eldest of the Goats and Conies, who it was had done their Neighbours this great wrong, they resolved joyntly to go together to the Court and complain to the King; for by this time they had all notice of Reynard's Treason and Rebellion; and there­fore had no doubt but they should be heard. So they in the Evening come in troops to the Court-gates, where the Guard seeing them, demand the cause of their com­ming thus in multitudes? They answer, We are come to complain to his Majesty of the great Outrages Reynard and his company have committed. So the Guard ac­quainted the King, who immediately came forth to them; saying, Who is it that hath wronged you? The Conies answer, If your Majesty be pleased to hear us, we will truly declare what we have suffred. The King said, speak, we will hear you. Then one of the eldest among them said,

Dread Soveraign, We your Majesties peaceable Sub­jects, being imployed about our occasions in tending our young ones, drew them forth to take the Air in the mor­ning, the Traytor Reynard lying in wait (as it seems) with many Soldiers, suddenly slew two hundred of us, (for so many young and old are missing) and bear away the Bodies to his Castle of Malepardus, for there we saw him plainly go in with all his Soldiers, every one of them bearing one of our dear Friends and Kinsfolks dead; this we could not have known, had not some of us adventured to run after them, to see which may they went, and who they were. Thus spake the Conies.

The Goats also made a like complaint of sudden sur­prising their Kid before they were aware. And all the other Beasts who had sustained wrong, exhibited their Complaints with tears in their eyes, earnestly request­ing his Majesty to take compassioon of them, and to a­venge [Page] their cause of such a bloody Murtherer. The King (in a rage shaking his curled locks) said, Be content, if I live I will avenge my self and you, on that cursed Traytor Rey­nard, to morrow by this time, if possible. So they bowing themselves very submissively, departed.

CHAP. XXI.

How the King with his Kinsfolks, and the Soldiers of Sir Firrapel, and his Cousin Sly-look, marched out of the Court to Malepardus, and there summoned the Fox to surrender himself.

EArly in the Morning the King willed Sir Firrapel and his Cousin Sly-look to command their Soldiers to make ready for a March, for he would speedily march to Malepar­dus, to be avenged of the Traytors Reynard and Bittelas. When the Soldiers were ready, the King sets out first with his eldest Son, Kinsfolks and Friends; then followed Sir Firrapel and his Cousin with their Soldiers, of whom, and of Servitors, one hundred were left in the Court, to keep Guard there, and secure the Prisoners. When all that were appointed for this Expedition were gone forth, the Court-gates were diligently shut; and the King himself being foremost, made an halt, and turning him to his Son, said, Son, I this day commit the leading of the Army to your self, that if possible you may have the honour of find­ing out and subduing the crafty and Trayterous Varlet Rev­nard. Therefore lead as you please, we all will follow, as well as we can. So this young Prince bowing himself to his Fa­ther and Friends, said no more, but ma [...]rh on Sirs. And indéed he led so hard, without speaking ought, as he got within fight of Ma [...]pardus, before Noon. When he saw the place, he stood still, and so did they all. Then [...]he King said, now Son it will be good to rest here a while, and [...] mean time to consider w [...]t we have to do First of all [...] do our best to learn of what strength our [...] [...]he­ther it be best to besiege or assault th [...] [...] if we do not one of these our labor will [...] purpose [...] will not come forth to fight us we must either [...] with our Soldiers, & so by length of [...] them, or suddenly [Page] with fire & sword endeavour to force the Castle, and so drive them forth. His Son said, my Lord to send out Scouts to disco­ver what they can, is most necessary; but to begirt the Ca­stle, we have not Forces enough, neither is that conveni­ent at present, because we know not the private Avenues and Holes belonging to the Castle, how far they are exten­ded, Here is shew­ed the danger of attempting any thing in War, without good advice. And how be­neficial a right under­standing of the Enemy's condition, is for a future management of Martial Affairs. and so they may happen to lie within them, and by that means when we only expect an Enemy before us, they issu­ing out, assault us behind, and on every side suddenly. It is well thought on, said the King. Therefore send out some of the nimblest Soldiers to espy whether they see any passing to & from the Castle So Spies were sent, and charged to lie close at a good distance from the Castle round about. In a little time they discovered several Beasts laden with Pro­visions to pass in by holes under the Walls of Malepardus; and others not loaded, coming forth further off, and among those Scouts there was one, who see the Earth cast up just before him; he lying close a little while, at length see Rey­nard himself putting forth his Head; but he espying that the Coast was not clear, drew back: then did this Scout leap to the Hole, but the Fox had stiled it up so in that short time, the Scout could not so much as put in one hand. He by this set a mark, and lay still, at length he spyed one of Reynard's Soldiers coming forth of another hole a little further off; him he suffred to come quite out, and then immediately seized him, and carryed him to the King. Others of the Scouts saw like passages, and some of them took of Rey­nard's Soldiers three or four other that were laden and going to the Castle. When all the Scouts were returned, it was found by their Relation, that none went into the Castle laden by those private holes, but by larger holes just under the Castle-walls. The King hearing this, examined the four Prisoners that were taken laden with Provisious fi [...]st; they tell him, that the Fox and his Uncle Bitelas were with­in the Castle, and that with them the Soldiers in number were not above Three hundred seventy-five in all, and that he had store of Provisions of all sorts; yet fearing that [Page] would not be enough, one half of the Soldiers were yester­day imployed in foraging, and the other half to day; withal adding, if his Majesty were pleased be might take near an hundred of them with their booty in a short time, for near so many were still out, and had not returned since morning; because they who went out yesterday had so alarum'd the Country thereabouts, as near home nothing could be got. Then the King immediately sent out a great Party, here and there to lie in wait on every side. Having done this, he examined the Soldier that was taken coming out of an hole that lead from the Castle. He said, that the Lord Rey­nard (as he still called him) being informed by the Soldiers, who returned into the Castle with their Booty, that there were lyers in wait, and that your Majesty was near with an Army, was resolved to go forth by that Avenue where he was seen to put out his head, to see whether the report was true, and finding by his own experience that it was too true, he presently commanded me to run to the Soldiers that are yet out, and bid them to retire into Covert till night, and then come home; this I had done, had I not been taken, as your Majesty sees. So the King gave com­mand to secure the Prisoners, yet that they should be used well. After this, the King again consulting with his Lords, determined to send a Summons to Reynard to deliver him­self and Castle into the Kings hand. This Summons they judged convenient to send speedily, before the Fox knew what strength the King had, least in the night he should work them some mischief. So Sir Firrapel the Libbard, Traytors ha­ving forseited their Lives grow despe­rate, and will hearken to no Summons, but at the hearing ther­of, are the more enra­ged. with what Company he pleased, was appointed to Summon the Fox to deliver up his Castle. Sir Firrapel accordingly took forty Soldiers with him, and came as near to the Ca­stle as he thought he might with safety, and called aloud, Sir Reynard, Sir Reynard, his Majesty commands you to deliver up your Fort, with all the Ammunition you have, into his hands this night, otherwise he is resolved to use all extremity to force it. By that time he had ended his Speech, a shower of stones was poured down upon him and [Page] his Soldiers, which hurt many of them, and doubtless had they been nearer, would have killed most of them. Sir Fir­rapel thus answered, hastens to the King, and shews him some of his Soldiers wounded. Vpon this the King resolves to be revenged; therefore said to his Son, Son, I see it will be long work, and we have not soldiers enough to lay a close Siege. Therefore when those you have sent out be come in, encamp your selves as securely as you can, either in the place where you are, or further off from the Castle, not failing to keep good Guard all night; and I in the mean time will return home, and send out my Mandates for raising the Coun­trey speedily, and then undoubtedly we shall dispatch this business to our content. So the King went to Court, and his Son encamped the Army, who for that night supped with what the Scouts brought in.

CHAP. XXII.

How the Fox's Soldiers in the night assailed the King's Camp, and what ensued thereupon.

AFter Supper the Watch was ordered, and Officers appointed to change the Centries often, also to set Pur­dues to lie round about the Camp. All this while the Fox was not idle, but being extreamly discontented that he had lost so many of his Soldiers (for the King's Scouts brought in above forty with their Booties) studied how he might most annoy his Enemies in the Night. Therefore in the deed of the Night he sent out a party of three hundred, advising them to march silently, and to encompass the Camp round, and when they were drawn very near to it in their encom­passing, all at once to cry out aloud, Now for the Lord Rey­nard; and then immediately to assault the Centries first, and afterward the Camp it self (for he knew the Enemy were encamped very close together, so as three hundred Soldiers all in a File might conveniently encompass it) on every side. This party was led by his Uncle Bitelas (for the Fox would rather lose all the Friends he had, than endanger his own [Page] person) who very slyly marched his Soldiers in the form of an half Moon, that so they might keep together, and yet be in a posture ready to begirt the Camp suddenly. This enter­prise of his was perceived by the Purdues, and timely in­telligence given to the Lord Firrapel, who himself watched. He therefore on the other side of the Camp drew out his Sol­diers, This Chapter shews how provident Commander [...] enervate and frustrate the policy and [...] their Enemies. which he had in readiness, and dividing them in two parts, led one part himself, and left the other part to the leading of his Lieutenant; then march they softly round the Camp of two sides to meet with the Horns of the Enemies Half-Moon, which they quickly met with, engaged and routed, and pu [...]sued them till they were driven close toge­ther, just before the other Gate of the Camp, right opposite to that out of which the Lord Firrapel Issued; the other Soldi­ers that were at rest in the Camp, being allarum'd, they flank their Enemies, who were turned both ways to resist the Lord Firrapel and his Lieute [...]; in this miserable plight, some throw down their Arms and yield themselves Prisoners, others are slain outright, (among which Bitelas the Ape, their Captain, [...] one) many taken, because of their Wounds, which prevented their flight and some esca­pd to carry the News to Malepardus. After the fight was done, they numbred the Captives, and found them to be a hundred and six, the dead they accounted not till morning; but then it appeared, that of the King's Soldiers were slain six, and several wounded; but of Reynards Forces forty eight, so that of the three hundred that issued out of Malepardus, there returned but a hundred and [...] six. Thus in one day and a night Reynard lost two hundred of his three hundred seventy­five Soldiers, which he seared would [...]e too many.

CHAP. XXIII.

How the King gave command to proclaim all Traytors that assist­ed Reynard, promising pardon to those that would desert him, &c.

EArly in the morning the news of this Victory, and of death of Bitelas the Ape, was carryed to Court by one purposely sent thither to acquaint his Majesty how mat­ters went. The King greatly pleased with the newes, thought of another way to weaken Reynard, before the Coun­trey did come in. Therefore he by the same Messenger sent an express order to his Son to draw out all his Forces out of the Camp, and to march to Malepardus, as close as was con­venient, and there in his name to proclaim all Traytors, that assisted Reynard, withal promising pardon to all that would desert him. Vpon this Message the King's Son drew out all the Forces he had (leaving not one in the Camp, for he feared no enemy) and marched dirctly to Malepardus; being thither come, and within the hearing of those within, he commanded silence, and afterward caused the Cryer to proclaim all Traytors that assisted Reynard, but present par­don to all those who would within three hours desert him. It is common­ly seen, that the followers of Traytors, readily for­sake them, when they see a probability of securing themselves. Vpon the hearing of this, near an hundred of Reynard's Soldiers fled from him, and came and offred their Service to the King. But ere this was effected, some thousands of the Commons who had been summoned by the King, marched toward Malepardus. The King's Son seeing them, sent out certain Scouts to enquire what they were? they answer, they were summoned by the King to come and assist his Son, in taking the Traytor Reynard. So the young Prince being glad of this Supply, did forthwith command them to begirt the Castle. They accordingly lie down before it all that day, but sée no enemy appear. In the mean while, the King's Son orders the Lord Firrapel, and his Cousin Sly-look, to imploy their Soldiers to march at some distance round about Malepardus, that wheresoever they saw any Avenues, [Page]

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or private holes, they might stop them with heavy stones; withal commanding to set out Scouts, who should lie close in manner of Purdues, the better to descry the outgoing of the Enemies. All these things being done, no Enemy was seen, either to appear in the Castle, or to come forth by those private Avenues, (which as fast as they could they [Page] stopped) or by any other new made hole. Therefore now nothing was thought on but a storm, yet night being so near, they judged it not seasonable to begin the Assault un­til morning; in the mean while, care was taken that the Holes and Avennes should be watched all night. This was accordingly done.

CHAP. XXIV.

How the Fox's Castle was storme [...], and all within it killed, onely Reynard himself taken alive, as the [...] comman­ded.

Early on the Morrow s [...]ling [...]being brought, and all things [...] for [...] Soldiers only waited for the word of [...] the [...]ib­bard Bold Adven­tures are ha­zardons, therefore the wiles of an Enemy should always be su­spected. was commanded with its Soldiers to begin [...] As­sault. But the Fox who all this while was [...] provided for their coming before-hand, and round about the Castle-Walls on the inside had digged deep Tren­ches of a great depth, which stood fall of [...]ter, by him drawn thither from a Spring, which stood within his Castle. Over this Trench upon the Walls he had made a f [...]lse Batilement seemingly strong, on [...] when four hundred of the Soldiers (commanded by Sir F [...]pel) had go [...] up, the Battlements breaking down, they fall into the Trenches, where mo [...] of them drowned one an­other in striving to get out, the residue were killed by Reynards Soldiers.

This overthrow perplexed Sir Firrapel and the Prince exceedingly; for the possibility of storming it. seemed now to be taken away. Therefore the Prince consul [...]s with all his Friends abou [...] the present Business. After a little time it was agreed by went to sord up certain Soldiers to the top of the Wall, with [...] not to attempt to leap down, what provocation soever was given, but to shoot and sling at their Enemies, if [...] were, and to espy how the Avenues belonging [...]o the Castle had their [Page] in [...]let. They accordingly march up round about the Castle, Here is seen h [...] Assail­ants dv [...]tu­ring toor [...]shly, are taught by their own loss to be af­terward more wary. and met with no small provocations from the Enemy (who were but few in number) yet they observed what they were commanded, and between whiles well viewed the Trench and over if they espyed several Bridges, many in number round about, yet all of them were so narrow, as but one Soldier could pass a-breast upon them at once. This intel­ligence being given to the Prince, he commanded two thousand Soldiers to imploy themselves in opening the Ave­nues, and making them wider, which was speedily done; then he ordered more Soldiers to ascend the Walls, there­by to amuse the Enemy, giving them command to shout and sling, but keeping in their places. Whilst this was doing he sent in six hundred Soldiers through the Avenues, comman­ding them to fight resolutely, and get over the Bridges, then to slay all they found in the Castle, except only Reynard himself; and for their encouragement he promised them among them full one half of the Booty that should be taken Promise [...] necessary in dangerous attempts. therein; and that if any died in the Attempt (as he hoped none would) his Wife and Children should have all his part duly given to them.

With this encouragement they boldly entred the Ave­nues, some of which stunk so abominably, as the Soldiers were almost poysoned; nevertheless they hastned forward, and got to the mouths of those Holes where they plainly saw the Bridges, and Reynard's Soldiers standing here and there one, very near them. But by the mouths of the Holes they saw another out-let, one of which being opened, it was found to be one of them Holes, by which the For's Soldiers were wont to enter, when laden with Booty. Vpon this Sir Firrapel gave command, that all the other Holes (whcih were as many as there were private Avenues should be opened; this was accordingly done by the six hundred Soldiers, who were in those Avenues, but du [...]st not beware over the Bridges. Now when they saw great m [...]bers might speedily have entrance that way to back them, they were encouraged and boldly [Page] set forward. Yet in the mean while Reynard's Soldiers attempted to pluck up the Bridges; but because they were shot at, both from the top of the Walls, and also from the mouths of the Holes, they could not effect what they desired. Therefore as they gave back, the Kings Soldiers came for­ward, and in a very short time above one thousand got over the Bridges; then they flew about like wild Beasts, kill­ing all they sound, and indeed all that were in the Castle died at that time; and Reynard himself was knockt down with a Battle-are by a Soldier who knew him not; but his fellow seeing him about to kill the Fox, said, That is the Traytor himself. Then that Soldier who had knockt him down, led him out of the Castle, and carryed him to the Prince, who rejoiced excéedingly that his Enemy was taken alive. After this, the Soldiers that first entred, had half the Booty, and the residue was divided among the whole Army.

CHAP. XXV.

Of dissolving of the Army, and how Reynard the Fox was carryed Prisoner to the Court, and what passed after this.

AS soon as this work was ended, and the Castle demo­lished, the Prince sent home all those Soldiers who were raised by Summons for his Assistance immediately, and th [...] with the two hundred Soldiers of Sir Firrapel that r [...]rained alive, and all his other Friends, he marched to Court leading the Fox along with them. A little before Sun-set they were all come to the Court, where they were welcomed by the King, with great expressions of Ioy, only some sorrow was intermixed by reason of the loss of those four hundred brave Soldiers who were drowned and killed by the [...] policy. Therefore the King at that time before he sat down, declared that the two hundred Soldiers yet living should be retained as a Guard for his Person, and over them Sir Firrapel the Libbard should be chief comman­der, and his Lieutenant-General of all Forces that should [Page] be raised at any time ever after, when need should be. But unto Sly-look the Panther, Firrapel's Cousin, he said, As for you my Lord I intend to constitute you the Keeper of my Stores, and Steward of my House. After this, he spake to all his Friends, praising their readiness and valour; and to them he promised Gifts and Rewards, as soon as all his trouble was over; therefore he willed and desired them not to depart, until the Execution of Reynard and all the Traytors was passed.

When the King had ended his Speech, his Son asked him, if he would see the Traytor Reynard? The King an­swered, No, not at this time, let him be bound, and dili­gently lookt too, that he escape not; Vpon this, the Soldiers that guarded the Fox, haled him to the Prison, and there in a stinking hole chained him to a stake, that was fixed in the ground.

Then the King royally feasted his Friends, and the two Lords, Firrapel and Sly-look. Also to every Company of Sol­diers he sent a large Pittance, so they all feasted right joy­fully: But the Prisoners in the hearing of all this were al­most pined with hunger, especially Isegrim the Wolf. After the Feast was over, and all the Kings Servitors had supped, they gave to every Prisoner a few scraps, and carryed into them a small quantity of dirty water. And indeed their use­age was so hard, as they all even wished Death rather than Life.

CHAP. XXVI.

How the Fox was brought before the King. and Examined; of the Answer he gave; and how he and all the other Traytors were condemned.

ON the Morrow the King sitting among his Nobles and Friends, said, I suppose it is now high time that we call Reynard before us. To which they all assented. There­fore Sir Firrapel went to the Prison, and commanded that Reynard should be brought forth. His Keeper presently obey­ing, loosed Reynard from the Stake to which he was chained, and by his Chain led him into the Kings Presence. The King at the sight of him was so fraught with Ire as he could not speak, until a little time being passed, his fury was allayed; then he said aloud, False Miscreant, how darest thou to hold up thy head, (for the Fox seemingly undaunted, stedfastly looked upon the King) who art so loaden with Vices, as the worst of all living Creatures is not more Politick per­sons dissemble their fe [...]r till an aggra­vation of their them relent. vile! Was it not enough for you (base Traytor) to insinu­ate into my affections so far, by Dissimulations (as now I have great reason to judg) as to engage me to invest that monstrously wicked and cruel Beast Isegrim, with an Office (due to the best of Creatures) and Title so honourable; but also to perswade me to create perfidious Bruin Earl of the Forests; and last of all (as if before you had not been vile enough) to instigate these and all my Nobles at once against me; and all this for your own base ends, which can never be accomplished? Have I honoured you for this end? Or would any Creature living have thought, that he who I most honoured, would have conspired my Ruin most? What sayest thou to this?

To this, the Fox said not one word; but at last hung down his head. The King said, speak wretch, or I will pronounce Sentence against you speedily. At last the Fox said, My Lord, I have so many Enemies that it will be in vain to say any thing contrary to what they have affirmed; [Page] and since I know I must die; I here before your Majesty declare I am guilty of what is laid to my charge, and would have slain your Majesty (for which I am now right sorrow­ful) if my design had not been frustrated by the Treason of Firrapel and his Cousin. It is enough, said the King, call in all the other Traytors, that as they all conspired toge­ther, so they may together hear their Sentence of Death justly to be pronounced against them; and then their Exe­cution shall quickly follow. So all the Traytors were brought in. Then did the King with the advice of his Friends, in this manner proceed to Iudgment. Since you are now all together (except Bitelas the Ape, who died a death too honourable for his Merit) we judg it meet, you should all hear your Sentence at one time. Therefore Reynard first hearken to your Sentence: Because you have Trayterously endeavoured the Subversion of our Government, and Royal Dignity, I condemn you to Death, in this manner to be ex­ecuted upon you. First, you shall be dragged contumelously from this Place to the Place of Execution, and there your right hand shall be cut off, afterward you shall be hanged by the neck until you are dead, dead. After death your Head shall be cut off, and together with your right hand be set up in publick view, on some conspicuous place, for a terror to all Traytors for the future. Vnto the Wolf he also repeated the above-said words, and pronounced the same Sentence exactly in all points. But on all the other Traytors, he only pronounced the Sentence of Death in manner and form as you have heard, except in cutting off their heads, and right hands, which was not mentioned in their Sentences.

After this the Prisoners were taken away until the place and time of Execution was fully determined, and agreed on by the King and his Friends.

CHAP. XXVII.

Of the Fox's Consession, and the Execution of himself and all the Traytors.

IN the Evening of the same day that Iudgment was gi­ven, the King and his Friends again consulted together, about the place and time of Execution. At length it was agreed on, that the place should be on the outside of that Forest, out of which the Traytors marched to put their de­sign in execution. And the time, the next morning early. In the mean while, that all things should be provided in readi­ness, and the Prisoners have notice of their death so near approaching.

Now when the Morrow was come, and the King and his Friends were gone before to take their standings commodi­ously to avoid the Press; (which they knew would be great) The Fox himself, and all the other Traytors were led out of their several Prisons; then were their legs and hands tyed, the Halters with which they were to be hanged, were fastned about their necks, and by them they were dragged (with houtings and shouts of the multitude) to the place of Exe­cution: When there, Ladders were erected against the Trees, (which were more than enough to hang all the Traytors) and each Prisoner, by his Executioner, led up those Ladders, and immediately the Executioners fastned the ropes to the Trees (supposing they must be hanged as soon as they came there) because it was the custom of their Country in other Cases to hang Malefactors presently; but the King spake to the Executioners, and said, Be not too­hasty, if any of the Prisoners will purge himself by Con­fession he shall have as free liberty as any one of our Sub­jects hath, who dieth on his bed. The Fox hearing this, said:

Dread Soveraign, and you my Lords here present. I am not a little comforted, that I have liberty to ease my mind which is sorely burthened with the horror of my Si [...], [...] [Page]

[the execution of Reynard the Fox]

have been a loose Liver all my days; I have often pretended Murther will [...]ut at one time or ano­ther. Subtlety betrays the Innocent to [...] Sanctity, and amendment of Life, yet all was [...]. I slew Kayward the Hare, though Bellin died for it: Oh, [...], [Page] thy death, and the great ruin that hath ever since vefell thy Family, is all the effect of my falseness. The King hear­ing this, was extreamly troubled; and said, What! have we put to death a righteous person, through false informati­on? Alas! what have we done? To this the Fox said, It is so noble King, I am the person who wrought so great mis­chief; and I also perswaded your Majesty to advance Sir Isegrim the Wolf, and Sir Bruin the Bear, for my own ends. I likewise was so wicked, as designedly to give them and all the other Lords Gifts and Presents often, and then spake to Isegrim to perswade the Lords to make me King in your Majesties stead as they would have done, if Sir Firrapel and his Cousin had not betrayed us all. Besides in all Cases that ever were brought before me, I always more sought my own interest than the execution of Justice, yet was still seemingly just; by which means I gained so great Riches, as I not knowing my self, would have been what your Ma­jesty is, &c. Then the King said to the For, well Reynard, I have heard you, and do now plainly perceive, that if you had died for your first faults, you had not lived to have per­petrated so great and enormous Crimes; therefore for the future, neither fair words, nor ought else shall oblige me to Riche puff up: and when men of low degree attain to great wealth and honour, they (not know­ing how to bridle their inordinate Appetites) do very often aspiring high­er, ruin them selves, as by this History is plainly evident. pardon Malefactors deserving death.

The King having said this, ordered the Executioner to do his Office; so he immediately cut off Reynard's right hand, and afterward turned him off the Ladder. In the mean while the King spake to Sir Isegrim the Wolf, and said, Isegrim have you any thing to say before the Executioner do his Office? Nothing Sir, said the Wolf, (looking roguish­ly) except that I was drawn in by the Fox's subtilty, and his great promises made me forget my Loyalty to your Ma­jesty, and readily to absolve both him and Sir Bruin of their oath of fidelity sworn to your Majesty, and by me admini­stred. Oh execrable Villain, said the King, what! durst you release any Subject of his sworn fealty to us? After this the King would not hear him any further; but spake to the Executioner, and said, Dispatch this Varlet out of my fight [Page] quickly. So the Executioner presently cut off his hand, and then turned him off the Ladder. Next to him Sir Bruin the Bear was asked, if he had ought to say? but he answered, No; and so was quickly turned off. After him all the rest in order were asked, if they would say any thing before they died? but they all answered, They could say no more than they had already said in their Examination; there­fore they were all turned off. After it was supposed the Traytors were dead the King gave command they should be cut down, and their bodies buried in one Pit. Accor­dingly they were all cut down, being all stark dead, except Tibert the Cat, who stirred a little, therefore his brains were beat out by one of the Guard, and the bodies of them all were thrown into one Pit, except the Heads and right Hands of Reynard and Isegrim, which were carryed to the Palace, and there set on Poles, placed on the uppermost Tower of the same, so high as they might be easily seen by all that passed by the Court.

Thus have you as true an account of these matters as ever was given by any man that saw them not. If you would know what this grand Treason produced, peruse the following Chapters which will inform you more plainly than can be expressed without a Fable.

CHAP. XXVIII.

How the King and all his Nobles returning home, ruminated the Fox's Confession, and what was the effect of their consultation.

VVHen the Traytors were buried, and the Hands and Heads of Reynard and Isegrim fixed upon Poles, as is said. The King and his Nobles (being come home) sat down together in the Court, all of them pondering much the words of Reynard touching Bel [...]ins death. At length the King (as one greatly perplexed said, My Lords, & Fri [...]nds, it grieves me not a little, that our Chapl. Bellin, was long since so basely put to death and his Family ruined so, as I question whether [Page] any of that Stock be now remaining in the World. To Although in nocent per­sons may long remain injured, yet in process of time, the cause of their oppression comes to be known and then the [...]dre [...] is nigh at hand. this, one of the Kings Friends (who was present when Isegrim was chose chief Prelate) said, Soveraign Lord, think not so, for I am certain, that many of them were living when Isegrim was made Prelate; because I there saw several of them, but would not be known I saw them, for fear of your Majesties displeasure against them. Sure said the King it is not possible! I suppose your eye deceived you; however, if it were so then, it is too probable, that they are all dead since, because the Sons and KIndred of Isegrim, although very numerous, had all of them Furr-Gowns like Bellin's (which Isegrim himself wore) not long after they were confirmed in the Priestly Function: for many more of Isegrim's Kindred came into him after the choice of the Commons, than were that day present upon the Scaffold with us, and yet all these had such Fur-Gowns, which they could never have had, if so many of Bellin's Kindred had not been first slain and stript, &c. To this, the same Lord replied, Noble Sir, I am most certain, that in secret places of your Majesties Realm, there are thousands of them yet living. It is well if it be so, said the King. After this Discourse was ended, the King again said. Wor­thy Friends, I too well know, that we have confirmed the Priestly Office, not on Isegrim only, but on his whole Line­age and Kindred, who are all revenous Beasts void of all goodness; nay I think, the worst of all Creatures living; although the Fox by his subtilty blinded my eyes, and Isegrims pretended demure carriage alienated my Iudgment. For had honest Bellin yet lived, treacherous Reynard could never have thought of working our ruin; nor ever could that cursed Miscreant Isegrim, have contributed any assistance to his disloyal intentions. The young Prince seeing his Fa­ther speak with so great earnestness, said, Royal Father, why is your Majesty troubled at the Advancement of Isegrims Lineage, let it be signified by Proclamation, that in their Father's Crime, they have all forfeited their Offices; and besides, that upon good and sure grounds, your Majesty well [Page] knows, that they are the Destroyers of your Subjects, and continually in their masked Habits, and under a pretence of Sanctity they rob, and pill them so bare, as of necessity your Kingdom must be ruined if they be permitted to live in all excess and riot; for of all the Beasts under your Majesties Authority, there are none so debauched and vicious as they. This Spéech of the Prince was seconded by several others of the Kings Friends, all inveighing bitterly against Isegrim's Lineage. The King hearing this, said, Sirs, what think you is best to be done? If we lay aside this Ge­neration (I mean displace them of their Offices) and yet let them hold their Wealth, they may in time by their Ri­ches work us great wrong. To this that Friend of the Kings Prudent ad­vice to avoid Vulgar cen­sure. who first spake, said, Noble Sir, to lay aside this impious stock is honourable; but to take away their Wealth will have no good aspect in the eyes of the Vulgar (whose censure is seldom right) because they will impute their displacing to arise from no other cause, then that they were rich, or (to speak more plainly) because your Majesty was disposed to Many men willingly are blinded, and by cunning Sycophants opp [...]essed: because they jud [...] of things a [...]e [...]app [...]a: and not [...] they rea [...]y are in them­selves. seize on all they had. Therefore if your Majesty please to displace the Wolves, there needs no care to be taken of the Wealth they have; for if other of your Subjects, whose eyes are open, do but once find that they are out of your Majesty's favour, which way the wealth of these Miscreants must néeds go, any one (without the help of Astrology) may easily con­jecture; because whensoever they are displaced and out of fa­vour, there will be so many Complaints made of their Ex­tortions, as (undoubtedly) all they have will be too little to make recompence for the wrong they have done. Besides if none of all this be, they are such monstrous Gluttons as will be necessitated to eat up all in a short time. You say well, said the King; I heartily believe, if all those Wolves were but stript of this their disguise, and compelled to put off their Furr-Gowns; the Blind then would as clearly see as the Ma [...]ks and Disguises constrain m [...]st men to judg ami [...]s. other clear sighted Beasts you speak of. It is true, noble King, (said the same Lord) pull but off the Mask, there need [...] no more. Well then said the King, that I will not fail to do spée­dily.

CHAP. XXIX.

How the King made Proclamation, that no Beasts should walk dis­guised in other Garments, than what were naturally theirs, and what ensued thereupon.

THe next day early the King caused a Proclamation to be drawn, the tenour whereof ran thus.

Leo Rex,

Whereas several of our Subjects wear Disguises, and since under such Masks and false Habits, many Mischiefs have been committed, and some of those Persons allowed to wear such like Disguises, have proved Traytors to our Royal Crown and Dignity; We therefore will and com­mand all our Subjects in general, whether high or low, of what state or condition so ever, that after ten days next en­suing the Publication hereof, they presume not to wear any Disguise whatsoever, nor at any time, day or night, to walk clothed in other Garments, than what are naturally their own; upon pain of being proceeded against as Traytors to our Royal Crown and Dignity, &c.

After the proclaiming and publishing hereof, Isegrims Li­neage were greatly perpiered, because there was not one of them, if in Office, but he wore a Furr-Gown, which was not his own natural Garment: Therefore they consult to­gether what was fit to be done in such a time of affliction as this. But in all their Consultations they never thought of mending their manners, but how to insinuate into the King's favour, thereby to prevent this terrible storm, that (they saw) would make greatest spoil among them. But because their Father Isegrim, and Champion Reynard were dead, they could conceive no hope of obtaining their end, unless by bribing some of the principal Courtiers. This they resolve upon, and (though otherwise extream covetous) therefore every one liberally offers part of his wealth, which being [Page] given into the custody of two of the oldest among them, those Wicked per­sons in distress think not of taking good courses, but study how by indirect means to ac­quit them­selves of the present dan­ger. Also they being un­faithful them­selves can ve­ry rarely find a faithful friend, as ap­pears by the Panther, act­ion, here re­lated. two journey to Court, and carry (or cause to be carried) with them a great mass of Treasure, which they present to Sly-look the Panther, who was lately made the King's Stew­ard, and Keeper of his Stores; withal protesting to him, that they were utterly ignorant of their Fathers Treason, and therefore desired the Kings Favour and Protection, which if he would procure, as they doubted not but he could, they would (upon receiving his Majesties Royal Patent, for pre­serving them in their Offices and Habits) give him twice so much, as they had now presented him with. The Panther takes the Present, and with a pretended secresie, causes it to be conveyed into his own Lodgings; then he bids them wait a while, and he would move the King in their behalf. They stay without in hopes of speeding well, but Sly-look shews all the Treasure he had taken, to the King, withal telling him, how he came by it, and for what end it was pre­sented him. The King hearing his relation, and seeing so great a mass of Wealth, with a promise of twice so much; feared they would (being so rich) be able to injure him at one time or other; therefore, before he would let the Panther give any answer to the two Wolves, he advised with his Lords and Friends thereabout. When they heard the whole matter, they told the King, if his Majesty pleased, they could easily rid him of his fear; for, say they, let your Steward Sly-look put them off for this time, with a delay, saying your Majesty is not at leisure. When they come again, let him tell them, unless they bring him more Treasure, he will not trouble himself in the business, or the like. If the Steward manage his affairs well, he may easily g [...]t all their Wealth into his hands. To this & King said, I am content to leave the business wholly to my Lord Sly-looks discre [...]on. Therefore my Lord (the King turning himself to & Panther) Slylook I give you as large a commission as you will, provided you do not in my name promise a continuation of their Disguise. The Pan­ther goes to the two Wolves, tel [...]s them, his Majesty is now very busie in Council, therefore he can do nothing till the [Page]

[figure]

next day, then so soon as he un [...]erstood they were come, he would speak to the King. But next time they came, he told them he had presented all that they gave him, to another Lord, and left himself nothing; for he perceived they had few Friends in the Court, therefore he should néed much more Treasure than they gave him yesterday, otherwise all [Page] he could do would signifie nothing; for, said he, if less than four Lords be engaged for you, when your business comes to the Vote, it will be impossible to carry it. With these and like Expressions he drew almost all the Wealth of Isegrims whole Lineage into the Kings Coffers; and at length brought in these two Wolves before the King. When the King saw them, he said, what do you already begin to tread the steps of the Traytor your Father? They answer trem­bling, No, and it please your Majesty. Why then did you bribe my Steward with so great a mass of Wealth? more I fear, then ever you came honestly by. At this, they stood a­mazed, and knew not what to say. Then the King (turning to the Panther) said, My Lord you have their Treasure, see it be not diminished, nor mixed with any of mine, for I purpose, now 'tis here, it shall be kept until I am better in­formed touching this perfidious Generation; for I suspect, I shall ere long have so many complaints exhibited against them, as all this Treasure they have brought, and much more will not repay the damages they have done. In the mean while (turning to the Wolves) he said, See you demean your selves peaceably, and when the date of our Proclamation is out, be sure that none of you be found in this Disguise; for whosoever [...]e be that presumes to wear a Disguise one day after that prefixed time, he shall certainly die as a Traytor. As to your Offices, I do not take them from you presently, but as you demean your selves, so you may enjoy them some­time longer, or but for a very short time; the last of which I rather think.

Having said this, he dismissed the Lords, who were sat in Counsel with him. So the Wolves departed sad enough.

CHAP. XXX.

How the King desirous to see some of Bellins Kindred, caused three of the oldest of them to be sent for, &c.

AFter the Wealth of the Wolves was thus taken, and the Kings jealousie thereabout allayed, he became very pleasant and merry; and in that merry mood, said, My When the cause of jea­lousie is re­moved, cheerfulness necessarily follows. Friends, I should be glad to see some of the Rams Kindred; therefore if any of you know them our pleasure is, that he go to them, and bring two or three of the oldest among them, before us. Then the Lord, who had before told the King there were thousands of them living in secret places, said, If it be your Majesties pleasure to see any of Bellins stock, I can easily satisfie your Majesty therein, for I am fa­miliarly acquainted with many of them, especially with Bellins Grandson, and two more of the Eldest of them, who by reason of their discretion, have retired themselves from the fury of the Bear and Wolf, and live safely in a small piece of ground well fenced. The King hearing this, said, Send for the three you speak of, or go your self and fetch them. So that Lord immediately went to the Mea­dow, where they three dwelt alone; and first saluted them (as he was wont at other times) afterward told his Er­rand, withal in what condition the Wolfs Kindred stood, and how they were like to lose their Offices suddenly. They knowing the realty of their Friend doubted nothing, but went along with him to the Court. When they were thither come, they by the same Lord, were brought into the Kings presence, who looking cheerfully upon them, said, I am glad to see you indeed, for I supposed you had been all destroyed before this time. I do confess, when I gave my consent to the publishing that Edict, I thought I had done that which was right; but since understanding by the Tray­tor Reynards own words, that he was the Murtherer of Kay­ward, and not your Father; I heartily repented of what I [Page] had done. Therefore before you depart from us, we will And a good P [...]nce, ha­ving once c [...]nsented to the wrong of other, through the perfidi [...] actings [...] t [...]eacheroo [...] persons is ne­ver sati [...]fied till he hath compleatly recompenced that wrong as tar as is possible. aholish that law, and every part of it totally, as if it had never béen. Accordingly that Law was repe [...]let and [...]de v [...]id that very day, and Proclamation made, that if any B [...]ust whatsoever committed any out-rage against any of Bellins Lineage, young or old, they thould die for it. Vpon this, these three persons were so well satisfied and assured of their peace and safety, as they came [...]ily to v [...]sit this Lord, and sometimes went in to the King himself, owning his fa­vour and protection as the greatest happiness that could be­fall them. Also the King himself delighted in their com­pany very much; for séeing their simplicity, and good be­haviour, he was not weary of seeing them, but rather thought they were long [...]bsent, if he saw them not once a day.

CHAP. XXXI.

How the Wolves behaved themselves in their Offices after the Date of the Proclamation was expired, and how they were sud­denly ruined.

By this time the ten days expressed in the Kings Precle­mation were fully ended, and the Wolves (much a­gainst their wills) had laid a side their Disguises. Vpon this whensoever any one of the Commons came to any of their Houses to commune with them, or present them any [...]; so soon as he saw the Wolf (not masked) he would run away as hard as he could; and acquaint all he met, that he went to one of the Prelates Sons, and sound none in his house, except a Wolf lo [...]king gastly upon him. The Wolv [...]s [...]er­ceiving they were utterly undone, if their Cilen [...]s should be coustantly thus frighted, knew not what course to take: therefore the subtilest of them, when any of the Commons came, either to see them, or to pay their [...]es, or to pre­sent them with ought, laid themselves down, pretending they were not well; and that they might not be seen as they were, they spread over them a Coverlet of some other skin, [Page] (as if they were laid in a Sweat by the Phisicians order) and so under that would speak advising them to leave what they brought, in such or such a corner of the House. This shift held water a while, but long it could not; for the most inconsi­derate, and the youngest of the Wolves would rather run the hizard than be st [...]ved; therefore they again put on their Gowns, and such as came to them then, were not frighted, as the other (who saw them without those Gowns) had been. But so soon as this was bl [...]zed abroad, some of Bellins friends Wolfish Na­tures when openly seen, are abominable to all. came to the Houses of these foolish Wolves, and well mar­king them, said nothing, but went and immediately infor­med against them; offering to prove their contempt of the King and his Lawe. When this their Relation was heard by the King, he sent for those Wolves, and after proof made of their contempt, he hanged up Seventéen of them; for no more were then taken the other being fled for fear. The Execution of these terrifled all the other so, as if you would have perswaded them (with an assurance of never so great seer [...]si [...]) to have put their Gowns on again but for one mi­nute, they would not have done it; nay, they absolutely hated that G [...]b ever after. By this means the Wolves were in extre [...]m penury; and needs must so be; for in a very short time it was known to all the Commons, that the Liueage of Pitwood, and be himself, had been and were, all very Wolves, and that Furr, Gown which Pitwood himself wore, and all the Gowns of his Lineage, were the true and natural Gar­ments of Bellin, and Bellins Kindred, which Garments they took from them, as often as any one of that Race fell into their hands. The matter being thus clearly known, the King had no need to think of displacing them; because their Office [...] fell from them immediately after it was fully under­stood what they w [...]e. For all the Commons did not only fly from [...]rm, but also hard [...]d together against them; & if in the day-time any one of them stirred abroad, he was in danger of his Life, th [...] all e [...]ing, A Wolf, a Wolf, kill him, kill him. This hard us [...]ge made the Wolves to keep close, [Page]

[figure]

and not be seen abroad at all in the day-time; [...] they of necessity must go forth to purvey for food, and accor­dingly they did, but always in fear of being taken; so as they ever after led a poor and miserable Life, until they e [...] ­ther died, or were forgot.

CHAP XXXII.

How the King rejoycing at the Wolves ruin, distributed their wealth among the Commons, and then openly shewed his love to D [...]lin's Ki [...]dred, and commanded all his Subjects to fellow their-Instructions, &c.

WHen the King saw the effect of his Proclamation, what a ruin it had brought on Isegrims Lineage, he was highly contented in his mind, and said, (to that Lord, who before said, Pull but off the Mask, and there needs no more) now my Friend the Mask is off, and there needs no more. With that, the same Lord bowed himself, and said, Your Majesty is now freed from the [...]are of displating them. But who would have thought, they should so suddenly have been ruined? How could it be otherwise, said the King? cer­tainly the Traytor Reynard well knew, that Isegrim would never have been admitted by the Commons into his Office, had he not worn that Disguise. For Isegrim and his whole Tribe were always hateful to the Commons, and would al­ways have been so, if Reynards policy had not been observed and put in practice by them. Besides, Isegrim (for his own part) carried himself so demurely, and spake so seldom, as even I my self was more th [...]n half perswaded, he had chan­ged his nature, and with his new Gown put on another Na­ture, directly contrary to that of his own. But I now clear­ly see, that a Wolf will be a Wolf, what Coat soever he wears. Therefore I am heartily glad his whole Lineage is at this time reduced to their pristine condition. Neverthe­less, that I may not in time to come be upbraided by any The true Em­blem of a No­ble Prince. of those ungrateful Beasts, with the retaining their Trea­sure, I will speedily order the distribution of the same, a­mong the Commons in general, especially, amongst those who have sustained damage by them.

The next day the King called all his Lords and Friends to Council, where he declared his intentions of distributing [Page] the Treasure of the Wolves among the Commons, and principally among such as had sustained loss, or injury by them. To this they all assented, applauding the Kings No­bleness. Then the King commanded the Lord Sly look, and his Cousin Firrapel the Libbard, to order the distribution thereof with as much equity as was possible.

Now while this was a doing, the King again called his Lords and Friends about him, and said, W [...]rthy Friends, We unadvisedly and through false accusation condemnediour Chaplain Bellin, and his Kindred; therefore, since our error is discovered, and the Murther for which Bellin was condem­ned, is acknowledged by Reynard, that false Traytor, to be perpetrated by himself; it concerns us in some extraordi­nary manner to recompence the great wrongs that Family hath sustained for so long a time, and all that through a misunderstanding of ours, and through too great credulity of what we saw: for though Bellin brought K [...]yward the Hare's head to us, yet the Fox [...]lew the Hare, and put it in his own Male, and then tyed the Male about Bellins Neck; through which notorious crime craftily vailed, by that wret­ched Miscreant Reynard, our judgment was deceived, Bellin was put to Death, his Lineage made a prey to the Bear and the Wolf, and we and all our Family brought even to the brink of ruin.

These words were uttered by the king with so great ear­nestness, as all his Lords and Friends were very much af­fected therewith; therefore they said, It is in your Maje­sties power to honour and respect them, as much as you please; we all will readily obey in whatsoever your Ma­jesty shall command thereabout. The king hearing them thus speak, said, Worthy Friends, since you so readily have offred to follow our Advice, and obey our Commands, we accept the same kindly; and therefore will now offer what we think most expedient in this case.

You all know, we by our Proclamation have already ta­ken them into our Protection; yet you nor we our self can­not [Page] suppose that a sufficient recompence; therefore, since raise the Dead we cannot, to the Living let us shew as much kindness as shall be convenient; for when the Commons perceive that we not only protect, but also respect Bellins Kin­dred, they in imitation of us will do the like. And that our respect, and the good opinion we have of them, may the more certainly be known to all our Subjects in general, we will give command, that they all behave themselves lovingly and f [...]iendly towards them; so doing undonbtedly, we shall unite all our meaner Subjects in love each to other, and we our selves be so much the more happy.

This resolution of the Kings was immediately assented to, and put in execution. And from that day forward the Ram's Kindred walked up and down safely and found friends and friendly Entertainment in all places wheresoever they came. The King himself, and his Nobles observing the great Gravity of this Stock by him supposed to be utterly exstin [...]) made Bellins Grandson his Counsellor; all the other Nobles seeing this, entertained one, or more of the Ram's Kindred, to be always residing in, or near their own Lodg­ings. This familiarity with Bellins Kindred, wrought an alteration in the King and Lords; for they heretofore were As evil Com­munication corrupts good Manners, so on the other hand, good Examples if followed, produce the well-being of Mankind. wont to fare deliciously, and to feed on divers sorts of meats; also upon slight occasions to be chalerick and angry; they now seeing the great temperance and meekness of their new Sociates, began to feed more sparingly, and not of so many sorts at one time; holding this course a while, they found themselves not so prone to choler or anger as before. The King observing this change not in himself only but in all his Friends and Nobles, was willing to propagate it further; therefore he by publick Proclamation commanded all his Subjects high and low to entertain familiarity with the Ram's Kindred, also to take example by them, and follow their Instructions in all things tending to sobriety and love. This Proclamation was exactly obeyed by the Commons in general, who ever after lived in such peace and love, as the [Page] like hath searcely ever been heard of since the beginning of The height of all Happiness in this world, consists in the Righteous­ness of King and People. that Kingdom. The King finding this change in all his Subjects universally, was highly pleased, and rewarded all his Friends nobly.

A POSTSCRIPT.

Friendly Reader,

IN the foregoing History, I have not in any wise deviated from my first intention, which was to frame a Second Part to the delightful History of Reynard the Fox, which might yield thee both pleasure and profit. If any one be offended, let his offence be to himself; my intent was not to give distaste but de­light. Nor have I in the foregoing History let slip any Expressions tending to the vitiating, or debauching of Youth, but have rather couched my words so, as the intelligent may be profited, and the disingenious not injured. Therefore I desire this my Labour may be as well taken as meant; If so, I shall be encoura­ged to divulge a more serious piece, (not or Beasts, but of Men) so soon as time and opportunity will permit, Farewell.

FINIS,

Books lately Printed for Edward Brewster, at the Crane in St. Pauls Church-yard, since the late dreadful fire.

[...], Or, the Sinner condemned of him­self; being a Plea for God, against all the Uogodly, proving them alone guilty of their own destiuction; and that they shall be con­demned in the great Day of Account; not for that they lacked, but only because they neglected the means of their Salvation. And also, shewing how fallacious and frivolous a Pretence it is in any, to say, They would do better if they could; when indeed all men could, and might do better, if they would.

[...], Or, Scriptures Self-evidence: To prove its Existence, Authority in it Self, and sufficiency (in its kind) to ascertain others, That it is Inspit'd of God to be the Only Rule of Faith.

Published as a Plea for Protestants in the Desence of their Profes­sion, and intended only for the use and instruction of the Vulgar sort.

The Doctrine of the Bible.

The History of Reynard the Fox.

The History of Guy Earl of Warwick.

A useful Table of Expences.

Moses revived: a Treatise proving, That it is not lawful (and therefore sinful) for any Man or Woman to eat Blood, viz. the Life­blood of any Creature &c.

Natural and Artificial Conclusions.

Mr. Ball's Catechism with the Exposition.

Mr. Roger's Righteous Mans Evidence for Heaven 1 [...].

Christian advice both to Young and Old, rich and poor, which may serve as a Directory at hand, ready to direct all persons almost in every state and condition; under 17 general useful heads: By Tho. Mocket. M. A.

Basilius Valentinus last Will and Testament; which was found hid under a Table of Marble, behind the High Altar in the Cathedral Church of the Imperial City of Erford, leaving it there to be found by him whom Gods providence should make worthy.

There is now in the Press two very useful Books. The Apostolical History, containing a narration of the Acts of the Apostles. By Sa­muel [...]radock, B. D. fol.

A Prospect of Divine Providence. By Tho. Crane, octva.

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