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

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

He schall have hys wareson.

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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 avaunfed fchulde 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 hymselfe can he say

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

But they stynte of ther stryfe.”

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.

936

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 case:
“ Wherefore ys yowre emperes
Put in fo grete dystresse ?

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.". ::

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Then feyde the erle, wythowte lett
When ys the day sett

Brente that sche schulde bee?
The marchande seyde, Sekyrlyke,
Evyn thys day thre wyke,

And therfore wo'ys mee.

The erle seyde, Y schall the telle,
Gode horsys y haye to selle,

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

That lyght for to fee.

960

The marchand seyd 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.

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

And homeward wente hee;
He busked hym that no man wyste,
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 see :
Into Almayn they can ryde;
As a coresur of mekyll pryde

He femyd for to bee.

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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 horsys 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 feyde, Syr, come nere;

Syr, when the masse 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 seyde, and fyghed fare, -
Certys, fyr, 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.

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The erle seyde, So have y blysse,
Of hyr methynkyth grete rewthe hyt ys,

Trewe yf that fche bee.
The abbot seyde, Be seynte Poule,
For hur y dar ley my foule,

That nevyr gylté was sche;

1020:

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