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For to crye, thorow all the londe,
Bothe be fee, and be fonde,

Yf they fynde mowne
A man that ys so moche of myght
That for that lady dar take the fyght,

He fchall have hys warefon.

910

Messangerys, y undurftonde,
Cryed thorow all the londe,

In many a ryche cytè,
Yf any man durfte prove hys myght,
In trewe quarell for to fyght,

Wele avaunsed schulde he be.
The erle of Tullous harde thys telle
What anger the lady befelle,

Thereof he thoght grete pytė;
Yf he wyste that fche had ryght,
He wolde aventure hys lyfe to fyght

For that lady free.

920

For hur he morned nyght and day,
And to hymfelfe can he say

He wolde aventure hys lyfe:
Yfy may wytt that sche be trewe,
They that have hur accused schull rewe,

But they stynte of ther stryfe.”

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The erle seyde, Bę feynte John,
Ynto Almayn wyll y goon,

Where y have fomen ryfe;
I prey to god full of myght,
That y have trewe quarell to fyght,

Owt of wo to wynne that wyfe.

930

He rode on huntyng on a day,
A marchand mett he be the way,

And asked hym of whens he was.
Lorde, he seyde, of Almayn.
Anon the erle can hym frayne

Of that ylke cafe:
56 Wherefore ys yowre emperes
Put in fo grete dystreffe?

Telle me for goddys grace; Ys fche gylté, so mote thou the?" “ Nay, be hym that dyed on tree,

That schope man aftur hys face.”

940

Then seyde the erle, wythowte lett
When

ys the day sett
Brente that fche schulde bee?
The marchande seyde, Sekyrlyke,
Evyn thys day thre wyke,

And therfore wo‘ys mee.

950

The erle seyde, Y schall the telle,
Gode horfys y haye to felle,

And stedys two or thre;
Certys, myght y selle them yare,
Thedur wyth the wolde y fare,

That syght for to fee,

The marchand feyd wordys hende,
Into the londe yf ye wyll wende,

Hyt wolde be for yowre prowe;
There may ye

selle them at your wylle. Anon the erle feyde hym tylle,

Syr, herkyn me nowe;
Thys yurney wylt thou wyth me dwelle ?
Twenty pownde y schall thee telle,

To-mede y make a vowe.
The marchand grauntyd anon.
The erle seyde, Be feynt John,

Thy wylle y alowe.

960

The erle tolde hym in that tyde
Where he schulde hym abyde,

And homeward wente hee;
He busked hym that no man wyfte,
For mekyll on hym was hys tryfte:

He seyde, Syr, go wyth mee.

970

Wyth them they toke stedys sevyn,
Ther were no fayrer undyr hevyn,

That any man myght fee :
Into Almayn they can ryde ;
As a coresur of mekyll pryde

He femyd for to bee.

980

The marchand was a trewe gyde,
The erle and he togedur can ryde,

Tyll they came to that place;
A myle befyde the castell
There the emperour can dwelle

A ryche abbey ther was.
Of the abbot leve they gatt
To soyorne, and make ther horfys fatt;

That was a nobyll cas:
The abbot was the ladyes eme,
For hur he was in grete wandreme,

And moche mornyng he mase.

990

So hyt be felle upon a day
To churche the erle toke the way,

A masse for to here ;
He was a fayre man and an hye,
When the abbot hym fye,

He seyde, Syr, come nere ;

Syr, when the malle ys done,
Y pray yow ete wyth me at noone,

Yf youre wylle weré.
The erle grauntyd all wyth game,
Afore mete they wysche all fame,

And to mete they wente in fere.

1000

Aftur mete, as y yow say,
Into an orchard they toke the way,

The abbot and the knyght;
The abbot feyde, and fyghed fare,
Certys, syr, y leve in care

For a lady bryght.
Sche ys accusyd, my herte ys woo,
Therfore fche schall to dethe goo,

All agayne the ryght;
But fche have helpe, verrament,
In fyre sche schall be brente,

Thys day sevenyght.

1010

The erle seyde, So have y blyfse,
Qf hyr methynkyth grete rewthe hyt ys,

Trewe yf that sche bee.
The abbot seyde, Be feynte Poule,
For hur y dar ley my soule,

That nevyr gylté was fche;

1020

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