The Seven Sages Stories

too literally translated by Hans R. Runte

from French verse Version K

(2534 rhymed octosyllabic couplets = 5068 verses)

(MS. Paris, BnF f.fr. 1553, fol. 338v-367v [late 13th cent.])

as edited by Mary B. Speer (AB 495-1988)

 

 

Part II

[continued from Part I]

 

Avis

The fifth sage’s, Cathon’s story

(fol. 356r-357r)

 

[Line 3077] “There was once a castellan, / thirty manors he had in his hands. / A wife he took of very high origin / who was of high lineage. / He loved her much and honored [her], / but she hardly appreciated him, / rather she loved a knight / [who was]  quite uncourageous and very cowardly; / and his lord was a vassal [of] such [a nature] / that he did not fear an admiral. / But wom[e]n he does not  desire / except where his heart allies itself, / still he often loves / [3090] nine times worse than his lord. / He made a very beautiful house, / high and round, with a tower. / Chambers in there he does not want to suffer, / nor to build walls inside. /

That rich man had a magpie: / of it it is well right that I speak. / It talked cleverly / and very understandably / exactly like it were a woman; / [3100] great talk about it there was throughout the realm. / In a very beautiful cage / of iron which was newly made / was imprisoned that magpie / which was so wise and learned. / To a chain was close[ly attached] / the doubl[y strong] cage of iron. / Toward the roof one had hung it, / so it was in beautiful view. / It would not have been worth for any reward / [3110] that anything were to do it harm. /

In the house there was a great lot of tasks / (all the sergeants hated it): / there would not be anything badly done / that it was not all told by [the bird], / nor [was there] anything done or said secretly / that it did not tell all to the lord. / The lady was not so forward / that she went out without company, / if she had not two or three men [with her], / [3120] and came back at once. / The magpie guarded her closely, / it took away [the lady’s] pleasure with her friend. / Much did the sergeants hate it / all together, small and tall, / and the lady [too] hated it much, / but she did not dare to do it harm. /

One day the lord was not in, / nor most of his men. / The lady remains and the magpie, / [3130] she has her household to herself. / She sat down and thought about / how she will take revenge on it. / She called a sergeant, / and he came to her quickly. / ‘Can I at all have confidence in you?’ / ‘Yes, my lady, by my faith.’ / ‘Have you seen [the doings] of the magpie? / It does not let me engage in relationship[s]! / I cannot talk to my friend, / [3140] kiss, enjoy nor embrace [him]. / Do you know what you will do? / As soon as [it is] night you will climb / on top of this house, / and so you uncover it on top. / Then climb down to the floor, / make [the roof have]  small piercing[s]. / Water and gravel you will carry, / through the holes you will throw them / so that the magpie is wet / [3150] and [so] that it spends a bad night. / With a hammer you will strike on [the roof]; / a fistful of candles you will hold / which will be very well lit; / through the holes they will be shown / so that it thinks [that] that is a thunderstorm / and a marvelous tempest.’ /

He did her command. / Onto the house he climbed quickly / and took everything with him / [3160] that the lady [had] devised; / he did not finish all night. / Now the magpie had bad entertaiment! / When the watchman bugled day[light], / the sergeant without any detour / from the house climbed down / and now covered [the roof] back up, / and the lady made get back up / quickly, without lingering, her friend who lay with her; / [3170] the lady told him very well / that he make haste to get ready. / So the knight got up / and got dressed hastily, / then left quickly. / He asks for leave and leaves, / but the magpie shouted out at him: / ‘Sire Gerart, son of Tierri, / a bad situation you have built us! / Why do you not wait for my lord / [3180] when you lie with his wife? / Great shame will come to you from it: / I will tell him  when he  comes!’ /

He departed, it remained; / see here now the lord who came! / He got off his horse; / the lady had seized the stirrup. / Around his neck she put her arms / and said that she loved his love-making. / Much she made fun of the man / [3190] whom she did not appreciate one button! / The rich man was astonished / that his magpie did not speak to him. / Straight to the cage he came, / his wife was beside him. / The lord called his magpie: / ‘What are you doing, Mehaut, [my] friend? / How are you? Are you not healthy? / Tell me, by Saint Helen! / You used to talk to me / [3200] and to lead a very great joy[ful life]; / now I see you so quiet and so mute / and so pensive and forlorn.’ / ‘Sire, the explanation is honest: / I am so battered by storm! / All night it did not end, / nor did the water which goes to the mill, / nor the raining, nor the blowing, / nor the lightning, nor the thundering. / And your wife went to bed / [3210] in that bed that you see there / with Gerart, son of Tierri!’ / Said the lady: ‘Sire, mercy! / Thus must you well believe it: / it is more than a month [that] there was no thunder. / Look in that marsh / whether, [how] much or when is has rained!’ / Thus it happened [by] chance / that that evening the moon came back / all night long, [so] brilliant and beautiful / [3220] (background it was, not new), / that where the lord was, / in the housee where he lay, / the moon went back over him, / which made for very great annoyance for him. / To his knights he complained / about the moon which shone so. / So he believed well that his magpie / told him in all [respects] a treacherous [lie]. / The cage he had unlocked, / his hand he had thrust inside; / [3230] in anger that he had honest[ly] / he had broken its head, / then he flung it immediately in the air. / ‘Go you to the Devil in flight, / for many times you have made me get irritated / and get angry with me wife!’ /

Then he sat up in his bed, / very angry and very pensive. / Upwards he had looked, / [3240] he saw the roof ridge disturbed / and the shingle which was not in its place / and the soot of the house, / of which there used to hang a lot [about], / but now there was nothing of it at all. / One of his sergeants he called beside him: / ‘A ladder bring me there, / because by Jesus who did not lie, / I believe [that] my wife has betrayed me!’ / And he brought the ladder / [3250] straight to the roof ridge and raised it up. / The lord climbed up, / because he no longer stopped himself [from going up] there. / A marsh he had seen, / which was flooded by the water, / and the hammer he looked at / and the wax, which was dripping down, / from the candles [and he understood] how the servant / went waving them about on the top. / Now he knew well, without treachery, / [3260] that he had killed his magpie wrongfully. / Immediately he drew the sword / and ‘un-necked’ his wife! / Now he has acted like the wolf: / for one damage he has done two. /

Good king, for [the grace of] God who did not lie, / beware [that] you do not act thus. / Do not kill your child / for the word of the servant.”

           

 

Sapientes

The queen’s/empress’s sixth story

(fol. 357v-359v)

 

[Line 3281] “Once in Rome there was a king / who was very wise and courteous. / I do not know how he got heavier / so that never in three years he went out / into the streets of the city / nor [out of] his honored palace. / One day his barons call on him, / simply they reasoned with him: / ‘Sire, why do you stay so much inside? / [3290] You are very much heavier because of it! / If you were to walk around [more], by Saint Germain, / you would be lively and healthy.’ / ‘[My] lords,’ he said, ‘I shall seek you out / and I shall go see my castles.’ / So he went to get ready / and mounted on a horse. / He had the great gate opened: / still he could not go out of Rome! /

When he saw this he was very angry, / [3300] quickly he returned. / To the other gate he came running, / but it netted him nothing; / he kicks the horse, he/it drew back, / he raises his hand and made the sign of the cross. / So he felt trapped, / well did he know that sin does this to him. / He came straight back to the palace, / unhappy he sat down; / the seven Sages he has made to come / [3310] and before him he has them led. / And all seven came there, / because they no longer stopped [intervening]. / ‘[My] lords, tell me without holding back / why I cannot go out of Rome.’ / They reply: ‘We do not know / how we would say it, / for we look into the moon / through which we tell fortune. / Fifteen days of delay we request, / [3320] because before we will not see anything.’ / ‘[My] lords, the delay I will give you, / but I will do it very half-heartedly.’ / So then they went to the river bank, / where often the thunderstorm moved by, / but they could not choose [a reason] / why he could not go out of Rome. /

Then there was in Lombardy / a much tried thing, / for nobody dared to dream / [3330] in his bed, nor to have sex, / without going to tell it to his priest, / who was for him lord and master. / He made him take a gold coin / and turn back immediately; / to the seven Sages he has it carried / in the most direct way he could go. / The burgher had great grief; / as much money as he had he carried [to Rome]. / So the pilgrim turned toward / [3340] the road to Rome straight away. / He came to a town / where he found a boy / who was playing in the street; / this child was very wise. /

This boy was called Jesse, / who was not engendered, / but conceived from a powder / which was in a box / which was delivered to his mother / [3350] and left [with her] to be looked after; / [it was] forbidden [for her] to open it / nor to see anything inside it. / But woman has a talent for too much haste: / she opened it immediately! / In the nose its scent struck her, / so she became pregnant from that odor. /

This boy of whom I am telling you / was not at all the father of David [?], / but was brave and natural, / [3360] sociable with everybody. / The child saw the pilgrim / who was coming down the road. / Wherever he saw him, he called him, / courteously he addressed him: / ‘Be you welcomed, ‘ he said, ‘[my] friend; / may God of Paradise want this. / I know very well where you are going: / right straight to Rome to the seven evildoers, / for truly they are the devil; / [3370] all their actions I hold to be fable[s]. / So you will carry your gold coin to them / and you will before tell them your dream. / And [he] who would let you [keep] your gold coin / and would explain your dream to you, / would you laugh about it in your house?’ / ‘Yes, certainly,’ said the good man. / ‘You dreamt, in truth, / that your house was set ablaze; / one half of it fell down, / [3380] and the other remained standing. / A very serene fountain / sprung up from the direction of the other part. / The fire, that is a strong disaster: / there is your wife who has died / since you left your region; / this morning she was buried. / The fountain, that is [something of] great wealth, / this I tell you for sure. / Now go back from here and make [preparations for] fleeing; / [3390] richly you can maintain yourself.’ / The good man said: ‘That is true, / sire, what you have told me, / but it does not come to [my] mind / to begin [my] return at this time; / rather I will go to Saint Peter’s to pray, / for I want to speak to the seven Sages.’ / ‘Go,’ said the child, ‘handsome friend, / but little would you have gained there.’ / The pilgrim then turned from there, / [3400] to the young man he said [for all] to hear: / ‘To God I recommed you, handsome friend, / the glorious of Paradise.’ /

Now the pilgrim turned from there / right straight [to] the way to Rome; / so much he wandered without delay / that he began to approach / the place where the seven Sages were, / who were on the river bank. / Often they looked at the moon, / [3410] for they think of finding the reason / why the king cannot go out / of the city at his pleasure. / But it was not worth one gold coin for them! / Never will they be able to stay there long [enough] / so that by them [that reason] can be known / nor the obstacle be recognized. / See here now the pilgrim coming; / the seven Sages he had seen. / As soon as he has seen them, / [3420] immediately he saluted them: / ‘[My] lords, may Jesus bless you, / the glorious, the Son of Mary! / Put me on the straight path, / for the love of God who leads everything. / ‘Friend, tell [us] what you are going in search of; / tell us your intention in it.’ / ‘[My] lords,’ he said, ‘I will tell you it / right now, without any delay. / I am walking [in order] to speak to the seven Sages; / [3430] I do not know where I can find them.’ / Said one [of them]: ‘Here we are, friend! / Of that be certain and sure.’ / One of the Sages spoke first / and now said to the master: / ‘Sire,’ he said, ‘this poor man / do not let stay in Rome.’ / Said the master: ‘Well we grant it. / Friend, tell now your request.’ / Said the good man: ‘Well I will tell it, / [3440] in nothing will I lie to you. /

[My] lords,’ he said, ‘hear [me] now / and listen to my word. / I dreamt a vision / [because] of which my heart is in great trembling / and I am much in great dismay about it; / for that [reason] I came to you without delay. / So tell me, without delaying, / what this can signify.’ / Said the Sage: ‘Tell your vision, / [3450] and afterward we will explain it.’ / ‘I dreamt, in truth, / that my house was burning. / One half of it fell down, / and the other one remained standing. / A very serene fountain / sprung up from the direction of the other part..’ / Said the Sage: ‘I will explain it to you, / in nothing will I lie about it. / The fire is a strong disaster: / [3460] that is your wife who has died / since you left your region; / this morning she was buried. / The fountain, that is [something of] great wealth; / this I tell you well for sure. / Now go back from here and make [preparations for] fleeing; / richly you can maintain yourself.’ / 

Said the good man: ‘By Saint Amant, / as much a child once told me about it, / and still more, wholly without fail! / [3470] About this I do not seek to lie.’ / When the Sages heared this, / strongly they were at a loss about it. / The one to the other said well / that this child knew more than they. / They called the pilgrim / and addressed him nicely: / ‘[In the name of] love, gentle pilgrim, / take your coin which is of fine gold, / with this [sum of] thirty from us, / and lead us there […].’ / Said the good man: ‘By God’s saints, / willingly will I take you there!’ /

So then he leads them to the town; / there they found the young man. / One of the seven Sages embraced him / and now addressed him: / ‘Now tell me,’ he said, ‘[my] friend, / for [the love of] God who pardoned Longis: / what did you say to this man / [3490] who has come with us from Rome?’ / The child said: ‘I told him well; / never did I lie to him about anything.’ / ‘Friend, would you know how to tell, / and [can you] in your heart reflect / why the king cannot go out / of the city at his pleasure?’ / ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘if I wanted to, / I would tell you the truth of it.’ / ‘So tell us it, friend! / And of this be well assured: / that we will give you seven thousand gold coins, / [3500] so you will be rich and powerful.’ / Very willingly will I tell you it / and well will I explain it to you, / but lead me with you to Rome, / for there I will tell you the sum of it.’ / The Sages say: ‘Dear friend, / we will willingly lead you there.’ /

So then they had him get ready / [3510] and put him up on a horse. / His mother goes behind him crying, / for she had fear for her child. / From here to the city of Rome / their reins were not pulled; / much do they guide the child / and they do him great honor. / At one of the Sages’ [place], Engalais, / they put him down in a palace. / Around him they go to assemble; / [3520] much they ask him to recount / why the king cannot go out / of the city at his pleasure. / Said the child quickly: / ‘This I will tell you briefly. /

[My] lords,’ he said, ‘now listen to me / and listen to my word. / Know [that] under the king’s bed, / well I tell you it by my faith, / there is there a tub, / [3530] very large and proud and, [yes], proud. / As long as it will be there / the king will not go out of Rome. / [If] whoever could remove it from there, / the king could go everywhere.’ / When those heard it they were very happy, / but at this they marvel: / at the child who told them this, / [namely] that the tub is under the bed. / Everyone is in a hurry to see it. / [3540] So then they directed their way / right straight to the king, and they told him / what they had found. / When the king heard it, he had very great joy. / Then they went running to the bed, / immediately they had it moved, / from [its] place they had it removed. / Underneath they found the tub / which was very proud and, [indeed], proud. / In the tub there were seven bubbles; / [3550] blacker they were than is coal. / The king saw them, then crossed himself; / from the center of his stomach he sighed. / ‘Ha! God!’ he said, ‘it’s my hell! / A more hideous place there is not under the heaven! / Why would I go seeking [the answer] elsewhere / when it is getting close to me here?’ / The king called the Sages / [3560] and commanded them right away: / ‘[My] lords,’ he said, ‘now remove it! / Into a vile place throw it!’ / And the Sages were then astounded / and replied to him immediately: / ‘By [our] faith, sire, we do not know / by which stratagem we would remove it.’ / ‘Non?’ said the king, ‘how can that be, / for the love of God, the celeestial king? / Who then has told you this? / Did you not find it in you?’ / ‘Sire, they go, ‘a young man / [3570] who is very wise and very handsome. / This one discovered for us / the disaster which is obvious.’ /

When the king heard it, he embraced him / and immediately addressed him: / ‘Friend, would you know how to remove / that tub and move [it]?’ / ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘if I wanted to, / sire, I would very willingly remove it from there.’ / ‘Friend,’ said the king, ‘so remove it / [3580] through a covenant that you will hear, / [namely] that you willingly would have of my wealth / horses and robes and coins.’ / ‘Sire,’ he said, ‘so I will remove it; / according to your commandment will I do it. / But do you know what you would do? / All these people you would remove for me: / may all go away together, / may neither small nor tall ones remain here.’ / ‘Willingly, [my] friend,’ said the king. / [3590] ‘There will remain here neither clerics nor burghers.’ / The kingg had the court emptied for him, / for his request he wanted to grant him. / Then the young man said to him, / who was very nice and handsome: / ‘Sire king,’ he said, ‘listen / and hear my word! / Know [that] throughout all of your land / there is pain worse than war, / and I will tell you very well how [this came about]. / [3600] Now listen to it [with an] open [mind]! / Never again can any man dream / in his bed nor have sex / unless to the Sages he brings a gold coin / and recounts to them his earlier dream. / The Sages have made three thousand paupers / who seek their bread throughout the country. / So I will tell you what you should do, / whereby you will hear great marvels: / have one of the Sages asked [to come], / [3610] then have his head cut off! / Then you will see what this will be / and what one of the bubbles will become.’ /

The king asked for a Sage, / and one brought him soon to him. / Soon he cut his head off, / and one of the bubbles subsided. / The child said: ‘Sire, look! / Concentrate on this thing! / Did you look at this event? / [3620] The devil has carried off his soul!’ / When the king saw this, he sighs much / and in the heart had pain and anger. / Much he was astonished by the marvel; / never again he saw its equal. / He had the other six destroyed / so that not one of them remains there alive; / well he saw that they were enemies. / The child he honored and cherished. / The child covered the tub up, / [3630] into an old well he had thrown it. / Thus died those Sages / who wrongly aggrieved the people. /

Thus you should do, king, / by this faith that I owe you. / Have these seven Sages dishonored / who want to astonish you so.”          

 

 

Vidua

The sixth sage’s, Jessé’s story

(fol. 359v-361r)

 

[Line 3687] “In Lothringia there was a high[ly placed] man / who was quite handsome as well as good. / Toward himself he had taken a wife; / there was not such a beauty [from there] to Frisia. / Both loved one another strongly, / like two children they played [one with the other]. / Much pleased her what he did / and him what she said. /

He held one day a knife; / it was newly presented to him. / In the other hand he held a stick / of which he wanted to make an arrow, / but the lady thrust her hands toward it. / [3700] The knife was so close to her / that a little it hurt her in the thumb / so that it made it bleed a little. / When he saw this, much it weighed on him, / but then he neither drank nor ate, / instead he suffered from it so strongly / that the next day he died from it. / He did not have a lion’s heart / when he died because of this event. /

The body they had prepared / [3710] and carried it to the church, / there was a new cemetery / which was well outside the town. / There they buried this body / the day on which he was carried there. / And the lady sighs and weeps / and said [that] her hour [of death] remains [too distant]. / On the tomb she sat down, / and swears [by] God and Saint Denis / [that] she will never leave from there / [3720] until the day when she will die. / To her came her lineage: / ‘Lady, your are not wise at all. / Richly you would be married / and very highly wedded.’ / She said that she would never leave from there / until the day when she will die, / because for her herhusband died; / she wants to render him the reward for it. / When those see [that] they will not lead her away from there, / [3730] they left her  immediately. / A shelter they make her quickly; / there they leave her, alone. / They bring logs and fire, / and she remains in that place. / Those leave from there and left her / once they [had] prepared their departure. /

At that time that I am telling you / when this duke was buried, / there were in the country three knights, / [3740] good-for-nothings, big and fierce robbers. / That region they had much devastated / and much ravaged and robbed, / but they were taken at a pass / and retained by vassalage. / For their crime[s] they were judged, / to the gallows they were sent; / their hands they tie and they blindfolded them, / and straight to the gallows they lead them. / What [else] would I say about it? They were hanged, / [3750] and the people came back from there. / 

In the town there was a knight / who was not cowardly, not cowardly [at all]. / When a traitor was hanged there / [and] either a bad good-for-nothing or a robber, / it behooved him to guard all; / [nobody] could in other ways escape from there. / Now know well, by Saint Gervais, / [that] this was a very bad job! /

Onto his horse this [knight] mounted, / [3760] straight to the gallows he went. / This was around Saint Andrew’s day, / when the place was very chilly. / A long while he was there; / much did this cold aggrieve him. / Then he looked toward the cemetery, / where the lady was living her grief. / Well he knew that she was his neighbor, / but she was not at all his cousin. / He thought to himself that he will go there / [3770] and warm himself a little. / So he quickly spurs on the horse, / that way he goes without tarrying. / ‘[My] lady,’ he said, ‘open your shelter / and receive me with you! / I am Gerart, the son of Guion, / who guards up there those three good-for-nothings. / Never from me will you hear anything vile, / nor a lecherous word.’ / [3780] Said the lady: ‘So enter here / when you assure me of this.’ / And the knight entered there, / his horse he attached outside. / He was neither bad nor a villain, / toward the fire he had stretched out his hands. / When he had retaken his vigor / and his color has come back, / he said to her: ‘Dear friend, / what are you doing beside this coffin? / Never before woman did this, / [3790] such action she did not undertake, / for one cannot escape death, / neither for promising nor for giving [something]. / You have very rich friends, / knights who are of great value; / these will give you a valiant husband, / a very noble man, and very powerful. / For there is not in the world such pain / nor storm, nor darkness / that one must not forget altogether, / [3800] for death makes everything come to an end.’ / She said that she will not leave from there / before the day when she will die, / that for her her baron died; / so she will render him the reward. / There she wants, this she said, to die / and her life thus finish. /

The knight has tarried too long. / So much pleaded he with the lady, / so long did he stay there / [3810] that one of the good-for-nothings was removed. / The knight thought to himself / that he will go straight to the gallows. / Upon his horse he mounted / and left for the gallows. / In the place he stopped, / looked up to the gallows, / did not see the good-for-nothing: / so he knows well that it was removed. / Now he considers himself well disgraced / [3820] and fears that he be shamed; / he does not know what he could become, / nor the country where he must flee. / He thought to himself that he will go / to the lady and ask for advice / [and get] to know whether she would know how to give him / [a means] by which he could save himself. / Right away he spurs on the horse, / to the shelter he goes back. /

The frank man stopped outside / [3830] and called the lady toward him: / ‘[My] lady,’ he said, ‘I am much shamed, / disinherited and in bad shape, / for one has removed one good-for-nothing; / his relatives carried him away. / Now it behooves me to flee to Frisia! / I will not await justice.’ / ‘Friend,’ the lady said, ‘listen / and hear my word: / if you wanted to love me / [3840] and take me as [your] wife and marry [me], / I would give you good advice / and make such a stratagem / that in [this] country you would hold on to your land, / [that] from nowhere you would have war.’ / ‘[My] lady,’ he said, ‘I promise you / to keep to this covenant.’ / ‘Friend,’ said she, ‘listen to me, / so I will tell you my plan. / See here now my lord / [3850] who was buried this day. / Since then, certainly, he did not move at all, / nor will the sheet around him worsen. / Come forward and take him, / in place of the good-for-nothing hang him!’ / ‘[My] lady,’ he said, ‘I will do it; / I will obey [you] at your pleasure.’ / The body they now dug up / and straight to the gallows carried it; / a ladder they put up to the top. / [3860] Now is the honest god put back [in his place! /    

‘[My] lady,’ he said, ‘if I were to hang him, / an altogether fine coward would I become.’ / ‘[My] friend,’ said she, ‘I will hang him / for your love, without any delay.’ / The lady was of a bad lineage: / around his neck she put the noose, / then she climbed down from there, / to the knight she went. /

‘[My] lady,’ he said, ‘he is up there, / [3870] but, by my head, there is more: / the other one was wounded in the hanging / with a sword in the sides.’ / Said the lady: ‘So wound him, / for you are well relieved by it, / and if you wish, I will strike him / right away, without any delay.’ / The lady seized a sword, / her lord she strikes in the side; / such a violent thrust she gave him / [3880] that the iron passed through him. /

‘[My] lady,’ he said, ‘he is up there, / but, by my head, there is more: / the other one had two broken teeth. / Tomorrow, when the people will come here, / right away they will recognize it / as soon as they will see it/him.’ / ‘[My] friend,’ she said, ‘so break his [teeth]! / Very well are you relieved by it, / and if you wish, I will break them / [3890] right away, without any delay.’ / Then she seized a stone, / toward him she comes, all eager; / now she broke two of his teeth / and afterward climbed down. / And when she had climbed down, / to the knight she came. / Right away she addressed him, / afterward she told him her thinking: ‘[My] friend, strongly I valued your love / [3900] when I hanged my lord. / ‘True?’ he said. ‘Dirty whore! / By the Lord God who made Eve / may he, whoever he may be, be disgraced / for believing in a bad woman! / Soon have you forgotten the one / who for you was yesterday interred! / I would judge with reason / that one burn you to coal for it.’ / The lady had pain [because] of these news: / [3910] now she has fallen between two saddles! /

Like this you act [as well], lord king, / by that faith that I owe you. / That woman [= your wife] torments you strongly: / you believe her more than your [eye] sight. / You will hear in [good] time the explanation / [of] who will be wrong, indeed, and who not.” 

 

 

Virgilius

The queen’s/empress’s seventh story

(fol. 361r-362v)

 

[Line 3931] “Virgil was once in Rome, / in this century there was no wiser man. / Virgil made in Rome a fire / by necromancy, in a very beautiful place, / which by night and by day burned; / not once did it grow / nor became smaller at other time[s]; / the century marvelled much at it. / Still more did he make in that fire: / [3940] a man of bronze he throws on it, / and he held a bow in his hand / which was also of bronze. / Letters he had written on the collar / which said to whom reads them: / ‘Whoever will strike me, I will shoot [him].’ / More there was not, nor is there anything else. / People go there to assemble / and to look at that marvel, / and the clerks read the letters, / [3950] for they know well what they said. /

A bishop came there from Carthage, / who was much of a very great lineage. / The letters he saw and looked at them; / it seemed to him to [amount to] little. / To his people he said that he would strike him there. / ‘Sire, well must you be silent about it / when other people do not dare to do it.’ / In his hand he held a stick, / [3960] so he struck him with it in the neck, / and he right away shot / in the center of the fire and extinguished it / so that they could not ever choose / any glowing ash nor see any coal. /

Virgil made such presents / inside Rome, quite a few of the most beautiful, / for at the gate over there / he cast a[nother] man of bronze. / At the other gate by his hand / [3970] he cast a [third] man of bronze; / a beautiful ball he had / in his hand, which was of bronze. / From here to there, at the strike of nine / on Saturday[s] when it sounds, / to the other street he throws it; / thus they carry on such play. / From here to there [one of them] is occupied by it / between them [every] other Saturday. /

Virgil made a mirror / [3980] which was much of great value. / Much was this mirror prized; / in height it was well a hundred feet. / Much had he very well illuminated it; / on saw in it throughout the city. / The servants who went for wine / carried there no other candle. / Never was the night so troubled / that [people] would have lost anything there / by robbers or by thieves; / [3990] the mirror was their explanation. / To no avail would [somebody] steal land / when he would enjoy nothing. / To the mirror [people] run to know / which way their possessions have turned. / Much was at peace this land, / from nowhere was there [a threat of] war; / to the mirror they run to know / when a war there must be. / Nobody dared to invade it, / [4000] neither kings nor dukes nor counts [dared to] attack. / Much were the Romans proud: / nobody could humble them. /

 But in Hungary there was a king / who was very wise and courteous, / and he was greatly envious / of Rome having such hegemony. / Four sergeants he called; / he had nourished them, much he trusted them. / ‘[My] lords, much is my heart swollen / [4010] [at the thought] that in Rome there is such great dignity. / The Romans are of very great pride / for the love of that mirror.’ / Said one sergeant: ‘If the heart does not fail, / the mirror which is high / we will make tumble down for you / quickly, without delaying. / But charge us with your wealth.’ / ‘Take of it at your desire,’ / goes the king, ‘silver as well as gold, / [4020] for much of it there is in my treasur[y], / if you wish, grain [barrels] filled [to the brim], / and load of them big cartloads full.’ / And those do so diligently / when they hear his order. / Then they took to the road / and went straight to Rome. /

When they approached Rome, / they had tarried a little, / and come under an olive tree, / [4030] high and branched and plentiful. / They unloaded from the carts the barrels / full of possessions and jewels; / a full [load] of it they buried / right away, then they left. / Straight to Rome , without delaying, / they go, they do not want to tarry. / Further on on their iron-hard road, / there they found three intersections; / three very large ditches they made there, / [4040] the three barrels they put in there. / From there they left then / and go straight to Rome. / Afterward the went to lodge / with a burgher and well-off [person]. / They held [their] lodging with great noble [liberality], / for they will want to carry on richly. / Who[ever] wants to, he eats in their lodging; / never will there be a door held [closed]. / As soon as they saw evening come, / [4050] they had big candles lit, / for they say that the body will be low / when the ninth hour comes, / nor will court be liberally held / when there has no plenty been seen. /

The king heard [people] talk about it; / he goes to see them and to look. / He did not go too privately, / rather he led with him a great [number of] people. / When those heard it, they went toward [him], / [4060] wine and claret they brought him. / To the last one who drank the wine / they gave the cup of fine gold. /

The king marvelled at that, / right away he asked them: / ‘[My] lords, tell me where you take / this great wealth that you are spending. / I could not suffer / this expense that I see you carrying out.’ / One of the sergeants had spoken: / [4070] ‘Lord God gives it to us. / We do no other work / except only to dream. / The treasures we have unearthed / and we are spending them liberally.’ / Then said the king right away: ‘[My] lords, hear my opinion: / I have this kingdom to govern; / know [that] I want to share with you.’ / Those reply together: / [4080] ‘Sire, we will do your command.’ / So then the king went away, / there he remained no longer. / And the sergeants go to go to bed / quickly, without delaying. /

In the morning they rose at day[light], / to the king they, straight into his tower. / Said one sergeant: ‘I have dreamed / a bit of  very rich possessions: / a barrel full of silver and of gold; / [4090] there is no more in this treasure.’ / The king brought three sergeants to them / who were courteous and brave. / Straight to the olive tree they came, / there they stopped. / The barrel they dug up, / then they had left from there. / To the king they give [it] all right away, / they are astonishing him strongly. / To the other barrels they went, / [4100] right away they dug them up. / To the king they give [them] all, without sharing; / all this they do in order to astonish him. /

Four days they spent thus, / of nothing did they speak. / To the king they went now / and spoke to him within [everyone’s] earshot. / One sergeant said: ‘This dreaming / can hardly advance us. / Ha! Noble emperor, / [4110] there is underneath this mirror, / this you should know, such great wealth / that there is no man born who would [be able to] put a number to it / and there is nobody who would [be able to] exhaust it.’ / This said the king: ‘This I believe well, / so help me God and Saint Aignien, / but for a thousand marks I would not suffer, / for any wealth I would not want / [that] the mirror were damaged, / [4120] [that for] neither this nor that it were pulled down.’ / ‘We will dig above from afar; / we know much of such a job.’ / The king responded to them angrily: / ‘It behooves me to do your pleasure.’ /

To the mirror those came, / and there they stopped. / They begin to dig from afar, / well do they take pains to astonish him. / So much they dug and so much they scraped / [4130] that they unearthed the mirror. / When they saw that it was lost / and vilely confounded, / they sturdied it a little bit, / then they had returned from there. / Before the king they came, / there they stopped: / ‘Now have the ditch guarded; / do not let any man live there. / Tomorrow you should have a thousand marks of fine gold, / [4140] more than had king Constantine.’ /

Around midnight stumbled / the mirror and collapsed; / thirty houses it brought down / and vilely confounded. / And the Romans were astounded by it, / [4150] they come to the king and speak badly of him. / A full basin of gold they had boiled, / at his body they throw it angrily: / ‘Gold you had, gold you coveted, / and by a plenty of gold you will die!’ /

Like this you, too, are serving [your people], good king, / by that faith that I owe you. / You will die from greed, / so help me God and Saint Denis! / The sayings of the Sages you coveted / [4160] and, know [it] well, you will die from it, / for they will make your son surmount [you] / [and make him] carry [your] crown during your lifetime.’”

 

 

Inclusa

The seventh sage’s, Berous’s story

(fol. 362v-365r]

 

[Line 4225] “There was once a knight / in the kingdom of Monbergier, / prized for [his] weapons and well travelled [he was] / and through wealth richly powerful. / In his bed he lay and dreamed / [4230] that a beautiful lady he loved. / He did not know from where she was, nor from which land, / except that his/her love made war against her/him; / he knew very well, if he saw her, / that very, very well he would recognize her. / And the lady dreamed as well / that she loved the knight. / She did not know from where he was, nor from which land, / except that her/his love made war against him/her; / if she saw him, by chance, / [4240] she would recognize him right away. / He had his departure prepared, / and loaded a good horse, / know this, with gold and with silver, / for he wants to spend liberally. / I hold him [to be] the son of Folly / who for dreaming enters upon a road[trip]! /

Three weeks did that one wander / [but] had not found anything / of all that he sought, / [4250] and [yet] had hope all days. / He came back through Hungary, / a very well endowed land. / Near the sea he finds a castle / which was closed by a new wall. / The tower of it was beautiful and gentle, / high toward the sky, I am not lying, / very well an archer has conceived it [?]; / it was of a very beautiful appearance, / it was thirty feet thick. / [4260] The lord was wealthy / to whom this castle belonged. / The tower was very noble and strong; / ten well locked doors there were / which were nobly closed. / The lord carried the keys, / no man did he trust: / his wife was therein imprisoned / who in beauty resembled a fairy. /

See here now the knight [who had] entered / [4270] the center of that vile place. / He looked a little on his right / and saw the lady at the window. / Then he knew very well, when he sees her, / that this is she whom he was seeking. / And the lady had also seen / and recognized the knight / who came down the wide road; / well she recognized him by [his] face, / that this was he of whom she dreamed. / [4280] Right away she loved him more. / The God of love torments her strongly: / she almost salutes us [?]! / Because of her lord she did not dare to speak; / [instead] she took to singing a love song. /

See here now the knight [who] came, / under a tree he dismounted. / Straight away he came to the lord / and addressed him in the name of love: / ‘Sire, I am a knight, / [4290] and I have great need to earn [my living]. / Of you I have heard much talk. / Retain me, by your grace, / for I have a great war in my country; / a knight I killed there.’ / That one said: ‘Be you welcomed, / with joy you should be received, / for I, too, have a very great war. / My enemies are devastating my land; / so I would like to bring them much grief, / [4300] to disinherit [them] according to my power.’

The lord had him lodged / with a burgher and [had him] made comfortable. / This knight was very courteous: / before three months had passed / he freed the land / which painfully was at war, / and took all its ennemies / and put them in prison. / There is nobody who does not see him willingly, / [4310] and they bless the road / by which he came to the country / when he finished their great war. / So then that one made him senechal / of his land and of his household. /

He went one day enjoying himself, / in front of the tower marvelling. / The lady was at the window / who looked at the goings-on of the city. / She saw the knight, / by [his] face she recognized him. / She took a big piece of wood and threw it to him / [4320] beside the tower and it fell toward him / in such a way that the thick [end] went [pointing] down / and the thin [end] fell [pointing] up. / That one took the piece of wood and lifted it up; / hollow it was inside, so he thought to himself / that this was a sign / that he pursued without hesitation / how he could talk to her / [4330] and climb up in the tower. / Eight days had it thus been, / of nothing had he spoken, / but from then on he thought to himself / how he will speak to the lady. /

One day he came to the lord, / before him he stopped. / Now he put him to reason[ing] / and asked him and inquired: / ‘Sire, give me in the name of love / [4340] a place beside that tower / where I may begin a house; / it would be long and rather low. / Privately I would enjoy myself there / and would put my harness therein.’ / The duke responds to him at leisure: / ‘ Do in everything [at] your pleasure.’ /

Then that one had carpenters come, / for he had enough money. / Beside the tower he made a lean-to; / [4350] a palisade there was and a door. / This knight knew much of trickery: / his room he made on one side. / Then he had asked for a mason / who was born in Monbrison. / So much he promised him and gave him / that the mason assured him / that he would very well hide it, / [that] he would for nothing reveal it. / Now he pierced the tower, / [4360] which had an arm’s length of thick[ness], / until he came right straight inside; / you would never see a better thief. / In eleven days he worked so much / that he reached the window. / He lifted the [door] panel, / then he turns [and] in a straight line / came to his lord / and addressed him in the name of love: / ‘You can go to your friend; / [4370] I have built you the path.’ / About this that one did a great misdeed / [in] that he had killed the mason, / but he did this by [way of a] cover / because he wanted to hide the undertaking. /

Then he started down the pathway / and goes up the tower, / then lifted the panel, / in the tower he enters straight ahead. / There he found the lady, / [4380] he kissed her and embraced [her], / then he said to her that he would go away, / [that] there he would not stay. / The lady gives him a ring / of solid gold, which was very beautiful; / the stone on it is worth, [as far as] I know, / ten silver marks, to tell the truth. /

Then he returned to the town, / there he found the lord. / When he saw him, he addressed him, / [4390] beside him he sat down; much did he honor him. / He looked at the young man, / on his finger he noticed the ring. / Then he believes that it is his / which was very beautiful as well as good, / but he did not want to identify it / in order [not] to put the knight to shame. / He had turned away from there, / straight to his tower he went off. / The knight  perceives it, / [4400] straight to the lean-to he came back. / He started down the pathway / and goes up the passageway. / He lifted the panel, / the ring he threw in there in a straight line; / and the lady took it immediately / and put it into her purse. /

The lord came to the doors, / one after the other he unlocked. / When he has all unlocked, / [4410] he entered inside his tower. / His wife had addressed / who in beauty resembled a fairy: / ‘What are you doing,’ he said, ‘[my] friend? / May the Lord God bless you!’ / ‘Sire, I am here imprisoned / as if you had kidnapped me. / Never before did any man do this, / nor undertake such a thing!’ / ‘Now suffer [it],’ he said, ‘[my] friend; / [4420] do not at all be dismayed by this. / What did you do with my ring / of solid gold, which is so beautiful? / Beautiful friend, show it to me!’ / ‘Sire,’ she said, ‘and I, why? / You know already that it is mine. / Certainly, I will keep it well!’ / ‘[My] lady, I want to see it, / on it I have turned my hope.’ / When she heard it, she showed him. / [4430] When he saw it, he thought to himself / that there are quite a few rings / [which have been] fashioned in one [and the same] manner. / That night he lay with his wife / in her chamber inside his tower. /

The lord got up in the morning / and goes to pray at Saint Martin, / and the soldier as well / goes quickly after him. / The duke now called / [4440] the soldier and addressed him: / ‘[My] friend, come to the forest with me.’ / ‘I cannot, sire,’ he said, ‘by [my] faith, / because not long ago came to me news, / that a young lady brought to me, / a friend of mine and my mistress / who right now has come down here, / that I have [now] in my country peace / that my friends have pursued for me. / So it behooves me at [this] time to go back / 4450] and return to my country. / So now I request from you out of love / and in the name of Jesus the Creator / that at once you eat with me / when you have returned from the forest.’ / And the duke responds good[-humoredly]: / ‘I will do according to your command.’ / Into the forest he went with his retinue. / The other one pursued victuals / until he had a great plenitude of it, / [4460] for he will want to proceed with largesse. / And the lady had descended, / into the lean-to she came. / She put on a [dress made of] a material from Frisia; / the look of it was very beautiful. / And she also put on a cape; / the tassels of it were of gold. / The knight had brought it; / no man had looked at it. / And she also had a belt / [4470] which was beautiful beyond measure; / the parts of it were of silver, / and the pendants of it were noble. / Two rings she had on her right hand, / and three of them she had on the left. / And she had as well a saffron-colored wimple / of silk, which was unusual. /

At this time the duke came, / in front of the lean-to he dismounted. / Now I do not want to recount you more, / [4480] but they had the meal hurried along. / The water they gave without tarrying, / and the duke sat down at the table. / The soldier brings the lady in / who was white like wool. / ‘Sire,’ he said, ‘see here my friend, / with us she will be, may it not weigh on you, / for with you it behooves her to eat. / Further more I will take her for [my] wife / if I live a long lifetime.’ / [4490] And the duke said: ‘All your pleasure / I want to grant and [act] to your liking.’ / Then the lady sat down / and ate with her lord / who very often looked at her. / When he saw her, he was very pensive; / he believes well having been bewitched. /

The duke looked at the lady / who in beauty resembled a fairy. / At that meal he has thought a lot; / [4500] know [this], he ate very little! / And the lady reprimanded him / and urged him much to eat: / ‘Sire, why do you not eat? / For the love of God, tell us it!’ / But the lord said nothing, [except]: / ‘[My] lady, I ate well.’ / The high tower deceived him / which was so strong and thick. / For the entire wealth of Salomon / [4510] he did not believe the treason; / that this was his married wife, / this he did not believe for anything. /

When they had eaten copiously / and it was according to their wish, / the servants remove the tablecloths / and afterward gave out the wine. / The duke goes away, he tarried not at all, / and with him was his retenue. / The lady undressed again / [4520] and removes those clothings very soon. / Quickly she headed for the passage / and goes up the pathway; / and she lifted the panel / and entered her bed in a straight line. / And the lord came to the doors, / one after the other he unlocked them. / When he had them all unlocked, / he entered inside his tower. / With him he had a sergeant; / [4530] he held a full fist[ful] of candles / which were well lit / and gave them great clarity. / He looks, sees his wife, / he took it as a great marvel. / In front of the bed he stopped, / and afterward thought to himself / that there quite a few women / who resemble one another in beauty / entirely like the ring / [4540] that he saw on the finger of the young man. / That knight he lay with his friend; / the next night he will not have her at all! /

 The soldier wandered so much / and went up and down the embankment / until he had hired a boat; / [for] thirty silver marks he leased it. / And one brings it for him to the harbor; / the wind came for him right straight from the north. /

The duke got up in the morning / [4550] to hear mass at Saint Martin. / And the soldier as well / goes after him deliberately, / the duke he called now, / courteously he addressed him: / ‘Sire,’ this said the soldier, / ‘out of love I pray you and request / that you give me my friend / who is so beautiful and elegant. / A long time I have held and loved her; / [4560] now I wish that she be married to me.’ / The duke granted him his request; / he said [that] he will give [her] to him. / That one returns to the lean-to / who was neither foolish nor an apprentice, / and the lady descended back, / into the lean-to she came. / A scarf she had fashioned, / as best as she could she dressed wondrously. / Two knight went for her / [4570] who led her straight to the church. / Noble king, so much did [the soldier] delude [the duke] / by the word[s] that he delivered to him, / that [the duke] married / and by the fist gave her to him! / In this he did a very great folly, / but the treason he did not know at all. /

The lady lead to the church / the sergeants and the knights; / the mass sang an abbot. / [4580] When the service was finished, / they came all out of the church, / the one and the other, the fat one and the slim one. / Now they go to the embankment, / and after them the entire [group of] baron[s]. / The soldier commended / to God the duke and his baron[s]. / And the duke came wandering up / to the lady, and thirst takes him; / into the boat he put her by the arms. / [4590] Well he had because of it to lose his pleasure! / Afterward all returned, / and that one goes away to [his] great delight / who takes away with him his friend; / great joy they have on the boat. / And the duke went to his tower, / but he did not find there his wife; / then he began to lead [a life of] mourning. /

Like this are you, [too,] working, / lord king, / [4600] by that faith that I owe you. / That woman torments you strongly; / you believe her more than your [eye]sight. / Tomorrow you will hear your son speak, / because he can no longer remain [silent].”

 

 

Vaticinium

The prince’s,

the emperor’s son’s, the queen’s/empress’s stepson’s story

(fol. 365v-367r)

 

[Line 4691] “There was once a vassal / a rich man he was, of great valor, / and he had a son, a young man / [who was] courteous and agreeable and handsome. / So long he nourished him that he was twelve years old; / very clever he was and knowledgeable. /

One day he put himself into a boat, / together with him [was] the young man. / All alone, since there were no more [people], / [4700] they go along ‘swimming’ to a secluded spot / which had established itself on a rock / in a place which was very subtl[y hidden]. / Above them begin to shriek / and fly-bomb downward two crows / which from above them descended / [and] on the head of the boat sat down. / ‘[My] God!’ said the father to the young man, / ‘what now are these birds saying?’ / The child responds: ‘I hear well / [4710] what they are saying, by Saint Aignien! / They are saying that I will climb up / and also will be so high[ly placed] a man, / father, that you will be very happy / and [yet] in your heart will hate [it] / if I deigned to suffer / that I let you hold / my sleeves when I will have to wash up / and [let you] carry the towel, / know this, to my good mother.’ / [4720] At that the father was very sad; / of what the son heard / he had a very dismayed heart. / The father swore to Saint Clement / that he prove false that argument. / Then he took his son, seized him, / in the sea tumbled him; / then he goes on ‘swimming’ to his business. / The child was very well-bred. / He knew the names of Our Lord / [4730] which protected him from pain. / At a rock he arrived; / four days he was stopped there / so that he never drank nor ate, / nor did he consider anything else there / except the birds which shrieked at him. / He knew well what they were saying, / [namely] that he would yet be amazed, / that in time he would have good help. /    

A fisherman there was on the sea; / [4740] around there it behooved him to stay. / He saw the imperilled one, / in the heart he had about it great joy. / He put him into his boat, / then he brought him to a castle / which in a great manner was strong, / at thirty leagues from this harbor. / He sold him to the senechal, / by twenty [gold] coins grew his wealth. / The senechal had him [as a] dear [child], / [4750] and his wife still more. / 

In that country was a king / who was very wise and courteous, / but three birds shrieked above him / and carried on there [in] very great grief. / The went [around] following the king / and at the very same time shrieking above him / and [also] when he went to the church / and when he sat down at his meal; / but he did not want damage any one of them, / [4760] nor beat or kill or strike [it]. / All the people marvelled / why those birds shrieked so. /

One day the king thought to himself / that he will ask his barons [to come] / [in order] to know whether anyone would know how to tell him / why those birds have such anger. / All the knights go to the court, / […]. / The senechal said that he would go there, / [4770] and the child requested from him / that he let him go with him / to see and look at the court. / The senechal said to him: ‘[My] friend, / little would you do there, at my pleasure.’ / Said the lady: ‘Let him go, / so he will hear those barons speak.’ / ‘[My] lady,’ he said, ‘at your pleasure.’ / So then he turned away from there, / this child he leads away with him; / [4780] to the court the two go off together. /

The king sits down under the elms; / in the branches are shrieking the birds. / All the barons have come; / the king asked them by name / that he wants to hear without delay / the significance of the birds / which are shrieking so day and night. / The country is very [full of] great noise from it. / When those people had come, / [4790] one and the other, small and great, / the king got up on his feet, / his barons had addressed: / ‘[My] lords,’ he said, ‘I have asked you [to come]. / Do you know why? I will tell you it: / for here are three birds [which] have come / [and] because of which I am lost, / [and] which above me are shrieking day and night; / I do not know why they carry out such noise. / If anyone among you knew how to tell me / [4800] why these birds have such anger, / he would have half of my inheritance / and my daughter of the clear face.’ / Then they all fell silent, / in the square they were all moved, / except the imperilled young man. / The senechal he took by [his] coat / and had now risen. / ‘Sire,’ he said, ‘now hear me: / know [that], if the king were to hold himself / [4810] to the covenant that he told, / I would tell about these birds / why they are shrieking above the elms. / What they request I will well tell you, / never will I lie about it in the least!’ / ‘How would you tell it, [my] friend? / I believe that you are in a tight spot! / If the birds were not to go away / and were not to leave alone [their] shrieking, / you would never be believed about it, / [4820] but would be held [to be] crazy and foolish.’ / The child responds: ‘I will tell it well, / never will I be mistaken about it in the least, / and I will do so much that will go away / and fly away the birds.’ /

When the senechal heard it/him / he was profoundly delighted by it; / he addressed the emperor [sic]: / ‘Sire,’ he said, ‘hear, for God[‘s sake]! / I have brought here a child; / [4830] if you keep [the] covenant with him, / he will tell you about these birds / why they are shrieking above the elms.’ / And the king said: ‘I affirm to him / [that I will] keep the covenant here.’ / Then the young man got up, / by the barons he was much looked at. / He spoke very loudly; / the crowd heard him […]. /

The child said: ‘Listen, king, / [4840] and you, knights and burghers! / Do you see up there these three birds? / That is a she-crow and two he-crows. / Do you see that big he-crow over there? / It has kept for thirty years / that big she-crow peacefully. / The other year a famine arose; / he abandoned her at [this] miserable time / she sought elsewhere her cure. / The land remained desert[-like], / [4850] and she turned because of great poverty / to that he-crow that you see there / [and] which threw her out of the miserable time. / He held her in concubinage, / for he did her a great advantage. / Now the old he-crow came back / and concerning his wife was angry; / but the [other] one does not want at all to give [her] back, / rather he believed in defending her by debate. / To you the come for the judgement / [4860] that you may make for them loyally. / And know this, never doubt it, / [that] when the judgement will have been be made, / the birds will fly away, / nevermore will they shrieke above you.’ /  

‘By [my] faith,’ the king said, ‘I am hearing a marvel! / Never again [will] I hear its equal. / It behooves [us] therefore to make the judgement / to see if we could make them shut up / and chase [them] out of this country, / [4870] for of their shrieking I am shocked.’ /

So now the king judged, / [as did] knights as well as burghers / that the one by right will have the she-crow / who threw her out of [the] miserable time. / ‘Sire,’ say all the barons, / ‘he must have her by reason / when he threw her out of [the] miserable time, / and the other one who left her / throughout the famine time and abandoned her / [4880] must lose her, may you know [it] for sure; / for one must hate much the man / when he wants to abandon his wife / because of famine time or because of poverty. / Well must he fall into dishonor for it.’ / When the crows heard this, / one had pain from it, the other was well because of it. / Aat this point the old crow left from there / and threw out a painful shriek. / The others leave, flying away / [4890] and carrying on with very great joy; / in the country they remained no longer / nor do they scream, nor did they shriek. / The king was happy when he sees this / and carried on with very great joy. / That child he held [to be] very wise, / he had given him the inheritance / and his daughter according to the covenant. / He was [to be] king and have a great domain. /

Then the child was crowned. / [4900] Very well is proven the pronouncement / that the child recounted to the father / when he tumbled him into the sea. / Of the child I will stop [to speak to] you at this point, / I will tell you briefly about the father / who thinks to have drowned his son / in the sea and [to have let him] perish. / The father fell into poverty; / he was exiled by the famine / because one of his neighbors led him so far / [4910] as to throw him off the land. / And he fled immediately / to the realm of which his son was king, / but it was not exact that he knew it; / he believed that he had drowned him. /

It behooves me to speak of the young king / who was pensive and in fear; / he remembered his father / who had fallen into poverty, / whom a neighbor of his exiled / [4920] and chased from his country. / But he knew very well the region / where he and his mother had gone. / One of his sergeants he addressed: / ‘[My] friend,’ he said, ‘listen to this! / Go quickly to the estate, / at Gerart’s, the son of Terri. / Thereto a new man has come, / he is white-haired mixed with black and white[-bearded]. / And you will say to him that the king, / [4930] the young who is so courteous, / wants to dine with him tomorrow / and lodge in his house.’ / He responded right away: / ‘Sire, I will do [according to] your command.’ /

Then he went to prepare himself / and mounted on a horse. / So much he did and spurred [on his horse] / that he found the vavasor, / the father of the young, prized king / [4940] whom he believed to have drowned. / The sergeant saluted him nicely / and afterwards addressed him: / ‘Sire, this the king asks of you, / the young one who is very courteous: / that he wants to dine with you. / He will come here without delay; / it is not at all very far from here.’ / When he hears it, he is much astonished, / because he had little to give him. / [4950] ‘[My] friend,’ he said, ‘by Saint Omer, / about this I am happy and joyous / when the king wants to dine in here. / But because of this I have again an angry heart: / that I have nothing prepared. / I have only five breads and seven chicks, / but he will have of my good wines.’ / And he responded immediately: ‘Sire, he will very good[-hearted]ly take / what you would give him, and at [your] discretion, / [4960] for in him there is much goodness.’ /

See here now the young king [who] has come, / in front of the house he dismounted. / To his encounter went his father, / from the other side came his mother, / but they did not recognize their child; / both of them were deceived by it [all]. / The father believes that he drowned / in the sea and [that he had been] tumbled [overboard], / for he himself pushed him in there / [4970] because he believed [that he was] drowning him. / The kitchen was readied / and the water for the hands was given. / The father jumps up quickly, / because he no more made [himself] stop; / the king’s sleeves he wants to hold, / but the king does not want to suffer it. / The mother brought the towel / that another sergeant does not bring them, / but he does not want to dry [his hands], / [4980] another he made bring it. / When the king looked at [all] this, / he saw a marvel, so he crossed himself. / So then he did not remain silent any more, / when he saw that he was recognized. / The king addressed his father about it: / ‘Sire,’ he said, ‘hear this! / The truth I want to confess to you, / for now I can no longer keep myself from [doing] it. / [4990] Your son I am: you engendered me! / I am the one that you toppled / from the boat in order to drown me in the sea. / Father, much I found you ‘bitter’ / and very evil, that is my opinion, / when for the sole reason that I said to you / that a higher man than you I would be / and to greater esteem would climb, / you made me tumble / into the sea in order to drown me. / And  now is it not proven? / [5000] You made [me suffer] very great cruelty!’ / When the father heard his son, / very deeply was he astounded. / When he saw his son in such great esteem, / then was the father very pensive. / To his son he shouted for mercy, / and the child forgave him / and made him master and lord / of his realm and of his honor. / 

The same you wanted to make, king, / [5010]                        that is my opinion, of the body of mine, / [you] who wanted to harm me / and so unjustly to deliver [me] to death. / You had fear, that is the sum [of it], / that I would rob from you the crown / and would be king during your lifetime.