Tải bản đầy đủ

The geste of duke jocelyn


TheProjectGutenbergEBookofTheGesteofDukeJocelyn,byJefferyFarnol
ThiseBookisfortheuseofanyoneanywhereatnocostandwith
almostnorestrictionswhatsoever.Youmaycopyit,giveitawayor
re-useitunderthetermsoftheProjectGutenbergLicenseincluded
withthiseBookoronlineatwww.gutenberg.org

Title:TheGesteofDukeJocelyn
Author:JefferyFarnol

ReleaseDate:May,2005[EBook#8165]
ThisfilewasfirstpostedonJune24,2003
LastUpdated:March15,2018
Language:English

***STARTOFTHISPROJECTGUTENBERGEBOOKTHEGESTEOFDUKEJOCELYN***

TextfileproducedbyTedGarvinandtheOnlineDistributed
ProofreadingTeam
HTMLfileproducedbyDavidWidger



THEGESTEOFDUKEJOCELYN


ByJefferyFarnol
IllustrationsincolorbyEricPape
(Illustrationsnotincludedinthisedition)

Copyright,1920,
ByLittle,Brown,AndCompany.
AllrightsreservedPublishedSeptember,1920
NorwoodPress
SetupandelectrotypedbyJ.S.CushingCo.Norwood,Mass.,U.S.A.

CONTENTS
PRELUDE
FYTTEI
FYTTE2
FYTTE3
FYTTE4
FYTTE5
FYTTE6
FYTTE7
FYTTE8
FYTTE9


FYTTE10
FYTTE11
FYTTE12

MyGILLIAN,thouchildthatbuddingwomanart
Forwhomto-dayandyesterdayliefarapart
Alreadythou,mydear,dostlongerdresseswear
Andbobbestinmoststrange,new-fangledwaysthyhair;
Thoulookestontheworldwitheyesgrownserious
Andrul'stthyfatherwithaswayimperious
Particularlyasregardshissocksandties
Insistentthateachwiththeotherharmonise.
Insteadofsimplefairy-talesthatpleasedofyore


Romanticversethouread'standnovelsbythescore
AndveryoftI'veknowntheesighandcallthem“stuff”
Vowingofloveromanticthey'venothalfenough.
Wherefore,likefondanddotingparent,I
Willstrivethiswantromantictosupply.
I'llwritefortheeabookofsighinglover
CrammedwithROMANCEfromcoveruntocover;
Abookthelikeofwhich'twerehardtofind
FilledwithROMANCEofeverysortandkind.
I'llwriteitastheGestourswroteofold,
Inprose,blank-verse,andrhymeitshallbetold.
AndGILLIAN—
Somedayperhaps,mydear,whenyouaregrown
Aportlydamewithchildrenofyourown
You'llgatherallyourtroopaboutyourknee
AndreadtothemthisGesteImadeforthee.

ILLUSTRATIONS
“NoblesofBrocelaunde,saluteyourDuchessYolande”


TheysawafarthetownofCanalise
“Bravesoldier,Idothanktheewell!”shesighed
“Hush,poorMotley!”whisperedthemaid.
Withmightybound,boldRobinleapingcame
Thelongbladeswhirledandflashed


PRELUDE
Long,longagowhencastlesgrimdidfrown,
Whenmassywallandgatedid'fendeachtown;
Whenmightylordsinarmourbrightwereseen,
Andstealthyoutlawslurkedamidthegreen
Andoftwerehangedforpoachingofthedeer,
Or,gasping,dieduponahuntingspear;
Whenbaronsbolddidontheirrightsinsist
Andhangedorburnedallrogueswhodaredresist;
Whenhumblefolkonlifehadnofreehold
Andwereinopenmarketboughtandsold;
Whengrislywitches(leanandbonyhags)
Castspellsmostdireyet,meantime,starvedinrags;
Whenkingsdidlightlya-crusadingfare
Andlefttheirkingdomstothedevil'scare—
Atsuchatimetherelivedanobleknight
Whosweetcouldsinganddoughtilycouldfight,
Whoselancethruststrong,whoselongswordbit
fulldeep
Withdartingpointormightytwo-edgedsweep.
Adukewashe,rich,powerful—andyet
Fatehadonhimaheavyburdenset,
For,whileayouth,ashedidhunttheboar,
Thesavagebeasthisgoodlysteeddidgore,
Andastheyoungdukethusdefencelesslay,
Withcrueltuskhadrefthislooksaway,
Hadmarredhiscomelyfeaturesandsomauledhim
That,'hindhisback,“TheuglyDuke”folkcalled
him—

MydaughterGILLIANinterposeth:
GILL:Anuglyhero?
MYSELF:Thatisso.
GILL:Anuglyhero,father?O,absurd!Whoeverofan“ugly”heroheard?
MYSELF:I'llown,indeed,I'vecomeacrossbutfew—
GILL:Butaduke—andugly!Father,thisfromyou?
MYSELF:Mydukeisugly,very,forgoodreason,Asshallappearindueand
properseason!
GILL:I'msurenoonewillwanttoreadhimthen,For“heroes”allshouldbe
mosthandsomemen.Somakehimhandsome,please,orhewon'tdo.
MYSELF:Byheaven,girl—no,plainheroesaretoofew!


GILL:Thenev'ryonewillleavehimontheshelf!
MYSELF:Why,then,I'llreadthepoorfellowmyself.
GILL:Iwon't!
MYSELF:Thendon't!Though,Imightsay,sinceyou'resetonit,child,My
dukewasnotsouglywhenhesmiled—
GILL:Thenmakehimsmileasoftenasyoucan.
MYSELF:Imightdothat,'tisnonesobadaplan.
GILL:Andthelady—shemustbealadyfair.
MYSELF:Mydear,she'sbeautifulbeyondcompare.
GILL:Why,then—
MYSELF:Mypen!
SohereandnowIdobegin
ThetaleofyoungDukeJocelyn,
Forcritics,schools,
Andcrampingrules,
Heedlessandcaringnotapin.
Thetitleherebehold
Onthisfairpageenrolled,
Inlettersbigandbold,
Asseemethfit—
Towit:—


FYTTEI
Uponaday,butwhenitmattersnot,
Norwhere,butmark!thesunwasplaguyhot
Fallingathwartalonganddustyroad
Inwhichsamedusttwodustyfellowsstrode.
Onewasatall,broad-shouldered,goodlywight
Ingarbofmotleylikeajesterdight,
Fool'scaponheadwithass'searsa-swing,
While,witheachstride,hisbellsdidgailyring;
But,'neathhiscock's-combshowedafacesomarred
Withcheek,withbrowandlipsostrangelyscarred
Asmightscaretendermaidortimidchild
Unless,bychance,theysawhimwhenhesmiled,
Forthenhiseyes,sodeeplyblueandbright,
Didholdinthemsuchjoyous,kindlylight,
Thatsorrowwasfromheavyheartsbeguiled—
Thisjesterseemedlessuglywhenhesmiled.
Here,OmyGill,rightdeftly,inatrice
I'vemadehimsmileandmadehimdoit—twice.
That'twastheDukeofcourseyou'veguessedatonce
Sinceyou,Iknow,wenothingofadunce.
But,whatshouldbringadukeincapandbells?
Readonandmark,whilehethereasontells.
Now,'spiteofdustandheat,hislutehestrummed,
Andsnatchesofamerrysonghehummed,
Thewhileaskancefullmerrilyheeyed
Thedustyknavewhoploddedathisside.
Abonyfellow,this,andlongoflimb,
Hishabitpoor,hisaspectswartandgrim;
Hisbelttobearalongbroad-sworddidserve,
Hiseyewasbold,hisnosedidfiercelycurve
Downwhichhesnortedoftand(whatisworse)
Beneathhisbreathgaveventtomanyacurse.
WhereattheDuke,slylaughing,pluckedlutestring
Andthus,invoicemelodiousdidsing:
“SirPertinax,whycurseyeso?
Sincethusinhumbleguisewego
Wemerrychancesoftmayknow,
SirPertinaxofShene.”
“Andchanceswoeful,lord,also!”
QuothPertinaxofShene.
“Toeveryfoolthatpassethby
Thesefoolishbellsshalltestify
Thatveryfool,forsooth,amI,
GoodPertinaxofShene!”
“And,lord,methinksthey'lltellnolie!”
GrowledPertinaxofShene.
ThenspaketheKnightinsomethingofapet,
“ParDex,lordDuke—plaguetakeit,howIsweat,
ByCock,messire,yeknowIhavesmalllust


Likehindorserftotrampiti'thedust!
PerDe,mylord,aparch-edpeaamI—
I'mallathirst!Athirst?Iamsodry
Myverybonesdorattletoandfro
AndjigaboutwithinmeasIgo!
Whytrampwethus,bereftofstateandrank?
Whygoye,lord,likefoolishmountebank?
Andwhitherdothourmadcapjourneytrend?
Andwherefore?Why?And,prithee,towhatend?”
ThenquoththeDuke,“Seeyonderinthegreen
Dothrunacoolingwater-brookIween,
Come,Pertinax,beneathyonshadytrees,
Andtherewhileswedorestoutstretchedatease
Thy'wherefores'andthy'whys'shallansweredbe,
AndofourdoingsIwillcounselthee.”
Soturnedtheyfromthehotanddustyroad
Where,'midgreenshade,arillsoft-bubblingflowed,
Abrookthatleaptandlaughedinroguishwise,
WhereatSirPertinaxwithscowlingeyes
Didfrownupontheripplingwaterclear,
Andswaresadoathsbecauseitwasnotbeer;
Sighfulhekneltbesidethismurmurousrill,
Bentsteel-cladheadandbravelydrankhisfill.
Thensittingdown,quothhe:“ByOgandGog,
I'lldrinknomore—norhorseamInordog
Togulpdownwater—pest,Ihatethestuff!”
“Ah!”laughedtheDuke,“'tisplainhasthadenough,
Andsincewellfilledwithwaterthoudostlie
ToanswertheethyquestionsfainamI.
Firstthen—thouartinlowlyguisebedight,
Forthatthouartmytrusty,most-lovedknight,
Whoatmysideinmanyabloodyfray,
WiththygoodswordhathsmitgrimDeathaway—”
“Lord,”quoththeKnight,“what'sdoneispastreturn,
'TisofourfuturedoingsIwouldlearn.”
“Aye,”saidtheDuke,“list,Pertinax,andknow
'Tisonapilgrimageoflovewego:
Mayhaphastheardthebeautyandthefame
OffairYolande,thatyoungandpeerlessdame
“Forwhomsomanynobleloverssigh
Andwitheachotherinthelistsdovie?
ThoughmuchI'vedreamedofsweetYolanda'scharms
Mydayshavepassedinwarsandfeatsofarms,
For,Pertinax,thisblemishedfaceIbear,
Shouldfright,methinks,aladyyoungandfair.
AndsoitisthatIhavedeemeditwiser
TohideitwhenImight'neathcasqueandvisor—”
HereatSirPertinaxsmotehandtoknee
And,frowning,shookhishead.“Messire,”saidhe,
“Thouartaman,andyoung,ofnoblerace,
And,beingduke,whatmatterforthyface?
Rank,wealth,estate—thesebethethingsItrow
Canmakethefairestwomantendergrow.
Rideuntoherinthyricharmourdight,
Witharcher,man-at-arms,andmanyaknight
Toswellthytrainwithpompandmajesty,
Thatshe,andall,thymightandrankmaysee;
Soshallallfolkthyworthinessacclaim,
Andhermaid'sheart,methinks,shalldothesame.
Thyblemishedfaceshallmatternotonejot;


Tomountthythroneshe'llthinkahappylot.
Sowooherthus—”
“SowillIwoohernot!”
QuothJocelyn,“ForthanI'dwinherso,
AloneandlovelessallmydaysI'dgo.
Ha,Pertinax,'spiteallthynobleparts,
'Tissoothyelittleknowofwomen'shearts!”
“Women?”quothPertinax,andscratchedhisjaw,
“'TistrueofdogsandhorsesIknowmore,
Anddogsdobite,andsteedsbetimeswillbalk,
Andfairestwomen,sotheysay,willtalk.”
“Andsodostthou,myPertinax,andyet,
'Spiteallthytalk,mymindonthisisset—
Thus,inalllowlinessI'lle'engotoher
And'neaththisfoolishmotleyIwillwooher.
Andif,despitethisface,thishumbleguise,
Ioncemayreadlove'smessageinhereyes,
ThenPertinax—byalltheSaints,'twillbe
Thehopeofallpoorloversafterme,
Thesefoolishbellsadeathlesstaleshallring,
AndofLove'striumphevermoreshallsing.
“So,Pertinax,ne'ercurseyeso
Forthatinlowlyguisewego,
Wemanyamerrychancemayknow,
SirPertinaxofShene.”
“Andchancesevil,lord,also!”
QuothPertinaxofShene.
Nowonasudden,fromthethornybrake,
E'enasSirPertinaxthusdolefulspake,
Leaptlustyloonsandraggedrascalsfour,
Rustytheirmail,yetbrighttheswordstheybore.
UpsprangSirPertinaxwithgleefulshout,
Pluckedforthhisbladeandfiercelylaidabout.
“Ha,rogues!Ha,knaves!Mostscurvydogs!”hecried.
Whilepointandedgerightlustilyheplied
Andsmotetoearththeforemostofthecrew,
Then,laughing,pell-mellleaptonothertwo.
Thefourthrogue'sthrust,DukeJoc'lynblithelyparried
Rightfeatlywiththequarter-staffhecarried.
Then'neaththefellow'sguarddidnimblyslip
Andcaughthiminacunningwrestler'sgrip.
Nowdidtheyreelandstaggertoandfro,
Andonthelingeachotherstrovetothrow;
Armlockedwitharmtheyheaved,theystroveandpanted,
Withmightyshouldersbowedandfeetfirm-planted.
Soonthesward,withgoldensunlightdappled,
Insilencegrimtheytussled,fiercelygrappled.
ThusthenDukeJocelynwrestledjoyously,
Forthistallroguealustymanwashe,
But,'spitehistricksandallhiscunningplay,
HeintheDukehadmethismatchthisday,
As,withasuddenheaveandmightyswing,
DukeJocelynhurledhimbackwardsontheling,
Andtherehebreathlesslayandsoreamazed,
WhileontheDukewithwondermenthegazed:
“AFool?”hecried.“Nay,certesfool,perDe,
Ne'ersawIfool,afoolthelikeo'thee!”


Butnow,e'enastheDukedidbreathlessstand,
UpstrodeSirPertinax,longswordinhand:
“Messire,”hegrowled,“myrogueshaverunaway,
So,sinceyou'vefelledthisfellow,himI'llslay.”
“Notso,”theDuke,short-breathing,madereply,
“Methinksthisrogueistoomuchmantodie.”
“How?”criedtheKnight;“notslayaknave—athief?
Suchclemencyisstrangeandpastbelief!
Meanyetoletthedogallscathlessgo?”
“Nay,”saidtheDuke,squarechinonfist,“notso,
Forsincetherogueisplainlyinthewrong
Therogueshallwinhisfreedomwithasong,
Andsinceforsootharogueingrainishe,
Soshallhesingasongofroguery.
Rise,roguishrogue,gettheethywindandsing,
Pipemethybestlestonatreeyeswing!”
Uptohisfeetthelustyoutlawsprang,
Andthus,inclearmelodiousvoice,hesang:
“I'llsingasongnotoverlong,
Asongofroguery.
ForI'marogue,andthou'rtarogue,
Andso,infaith,ishe.
Andwearerogues,andyearerogues,
Allroguesinverity.
“Asdiewemustandturntodust,
SinceeachisAdam'sson,
Aroguewashe,soroguesarewe,
Andrascalseveryone.
“TheAbbotsleekwithvisagemeek,
Withcandle,bookandbell,
Oursoulsmaycurse,we'renonetheworse,
Sincehe'sarogueaswell.
“Mylordaloftdothhangfulloft
Poorroguesthelikeo'me,
Butallmenknowwheree'erhego
Agreaterrogueishe.
“Thekingabroadwithknightandlord
Dothrideinmajesty,
Butstriphimbareandthenandthere
Ashiveringrogueye'llsee,
“Sirs,ifyewillmylifetospill,
Thenhangmeonatree,
SincerogueamI,arogueI'lldie,
Aroguishdeathforme.
“Buti'thewindtheleavesshallfind
Smallvoicesformydole,
“AndwhenI'mdeadsigho'ermyhead
Prayersformypoorroguesoul;
ForI'marogue,andthou'rtarogue,
Andsoinfaithishe,
Aswearerogues,soyearerogues,
Allroguesinverity.”


Thesingingdone,theDukesatlostinthought,
WhattimeSirPertinaxdidstampandsnort:
“Ha,bytheMass!Now,bytheHolyRood!
Ne'erheardIroguishrantsoboldandlewd!
Heshouldbewhipped,hanged,quartered,flayedalive—”
“Then,”quoththeDuke,“payhimgoldpiecesfive,”
“How—payarogue?”theKnightdidfierceretort.
“Aribald'srant—givegood,goldpiecesfor't?
Aplague!Apest!Theknaveshouldsurelydie—”
ButherehemetDukeJoc'lyn'sfierceblueeye,
Andsilentfellandinhispokediddive,
Andslowlycountedthencegoldpiecesfive,
Thoughstillhemutteredfiercely'neathhisbreath,
Suchbalefulwordsas:“'Sblood!”and“'Sbones!”and“'Sdeath!”
ThenlaughedtheDukeandfromthegreenwoodstrode;
Butscarcewasheuponthedustyroad,
Thancametheroguewho,loutingtohisknee:
“OFool!SirFool!MostnobleFool!”saidhe.
“Eithernofool,orfoolforsooththouart,
Thatdareththustotakeanoutlaw'spart.
Yet,sincethisdaymyrogue'slifeyedidspare,
Sonowbyoak,byash,bythornIswear—
“Andmark,SirFool,andtomysayingheed—
Shouldste'erlackfriendstoaidtheeinthyneed
Comebythisstreamwherestandsamightyoak,
Itsmassyboledeep-cleftbylightningstroke,
Hidinthiscleftahunting-hornye'llsee,
Takethenthishornandsoundthereonnotesthree.
Soshallyefindthegreenwoodshallrepay
Theroguishlifeyesparedaroguethisday.”
Sospakehe;then,uprisingfromhisknees,
Strodeblitheawayandvanished'midthetrees.
WhereatSirPertinaxshookdolefulhead:
“Theregoourgoodgoldpieces,lord!”hesaid.
“Wouldthatyonrogueswunghighuponatree,
Andinmypokeourgoldagainmightbe.
FullmuchImarvel,lord,andfainwouldknow
Whereforeandwhyunhangeddidstlethimgo?”
ThenansweredtheDukesingingonthiswise:
“GoodPertinax,ifonatree
Yonroguewereswinginghigh
Adeaderroguenomancouldsee—
'He'sbutarogue!'saysyoutome,
'Butalivingrogue!'saysI.
“Andsincehenowalivedothgo
Morehonesthemaydie,
Yonrogueanhonestmanmaygrow,
Ifwebutgivehimtime,Itrow,
SaysItoyou,saysI.”
Atthis,SirPertinaxgrowledinhisbeard—

MydaughterGILLIANinterrupteth:
GILL:Abeard?Ofather—beardwillneverdo!


Noproperknightabeardevergrew.'
Noknightcouldreallyromanticbe
Whoworeabeard!So,father,topleaseme,
Nobeard;theyare,Ithink,suchscrubbythings—
MYSELF:Yettheyareworn,sometimes,bypoetsandkings.
GILL:Butyourknight—
MYSELF:Oh,allright,
MyGill,fromyourdisparagementtosavehim,
I,likeabarber,willproceedtoshavehim.
SirPertinax,then,strokedhissmooth-shavedchin,
Andthustocursehesoftlydidbegin,
“ParDex,mylord—”

MydaughterGILLIANinterposeth:
GILL:Yourknight,dearfather,seemstolovetocurse.
MYSELF:Hedoes.Adifficultmatter,child,inverse—
GILL:OfverseIfeelalittletired—
MYSELF:Why,ifyouthinkachangedesired,
Achangewe'llhave,for,truthtotell,
Thisrhymingbothersmeaswell.
Sohereawhilewe'llsinktoprose.
Now,areyouready?Thenheregoes!

“ParDex,mylord!”growledSirPertinax.“Amalisonon't,saysI,savingthy
lordlygrace,yetarogueisarogueand,beingrogue,shoulddierightroguishly
asisthecustomandthelaw.Forif,messire,if—perDeandbyOurSweetLady
of Shene Chapel within the Wood, if, I say, in thy new and sudden-put-on
attitudeo'folly,thouwiltsavealiveallroguessoever,thenbySaintCuthberthis
curse,bysweetSaintBenedicthisblessedbones,by—”
“Hold now, Pertinax,” said the Duke, slipping his lute into leathern bag and
slingingitbehindwideshoulders,“listye,SirKnightofShene,andmarkthis,to
wit:Ifarogueinroguerydiethenrogueisheforsooth;but,markthisagain,ifa
rogue be spared his life he may perchance and peradventure forswear, that is,
eschewor,vulgarlyspeaking,turnfromhisroguishways,anddieashonestasI,
aye,oreven—thou!”
HereSirPertinaxsnortedastheystrodeontogether,yetinalittletheyturned
asidefromthehotanddustyroadandjourneyedonbeneaththetreesthatgrew
thereby.
“Byallthefiends,mylord,andspeakingvulgarlyinturn,thisbellyo'mine
lacketh, these my bowels do yearn consumedly unto messes savoury and cates


succulent—”
WhereattheDuke,smilingmerry-eyed,chantedroguishly:
“Ahauncho'venisonjuicyfromthespitnow?”
“Aha!”groanedtheKnight,“Lord,letushaste—”
“Alardedcapontotheemightseemfitnow?”
“Saints!”sighedtheKnight,“butforonelittletaste.”
“Or,Pertinax,apastyplumpanddeep—”
“Ha—pasty,bytheMass!”theKnightdidcry.
“Orpickledtongueofneat,SirKnight,orsheep—”
“Oh,forahorse!Forwingswherewithtofly—”
“Orbreastofswan—”

“Stay! nay, my lord, ha' mercy!” groaned Sir Pertinax, wiping moist brow.
“Picture no more toothsome dainties to my soul lest for desire I swoon and
languishbytheway.Ipraythee,letushaste,sire,somaywereachfairCanalise
ere sunset—yet stay! Hearken, messire, hear ye aught? Sure, afar the tocsin
soundeth?”
Nowhearkeningthus,theybothbecameaware
Ofdistantbellsthatthrobbedupontheair,
Afaint,insistentsoundthatroseandfell,
Aclamourvaguethatominousdidswell.
Asthustheystood,wellhiddenfromtheroad,
Footstepstheyheardoffeetthatbrisklystrode.
And,throughtheleaves,asmallmantheyespied,
Whocameapace,agreatswordbyhisside.
Largebascinetuponhisheadhebore,
'Neathwhichhisfaceascowlportentouswore;
Whileaftertoiledastoutbutreverendfriar
Who,scantofbreath,profuselydidperspire
And,thusperspiring,pantedsadcomplaints
Thus—ontheheat,hiscomradeandtheSaints.
“OBax,OBax!SaintCuthbertaidmenow!
OBax,seehowtosweatthou'stmademenow!
Thyspeedabate!OsweetSaintDominic!
Whypliestthouthypunyshankssoquick;
Oday!OBax!Ohot,sulphurousday,
Myfleshbetwixtyemeltethfastaway.
Come,sitye,Bax,inshadeofyonsweettree,
And,sittingsoft,I'llsagelycounselthee.”
“Notso,infaith,”thesmallman,scowling,said,
“Whatuseforcounselsincethecausebefled?
Andsinceshe'sfled—Saintssuccourus!”hecried;
As'midtheleavesallsuddenlyhespied
SirPertinaxinhisunlovelytrim,
Hisrustymail,hisaspectswartandgrim—
“Ha!”gaspedthelittleman,“wearebeset!”
Andstartingback,offfellhisbascinet.
Whereathefiercelydidbutscowlthemore,
Andstroveamainhisponderousswordtodraw.
“Hence,dog!”hecried,“lest,withmyswashingblow,
Imaketheefoodforcarrionkiteandcrow.”
ButinswifthandsSirPertinaxfastcaughthim
And,bearinghimonhigh,toJoc'lynbroughthim,
Who,whilethecaptivesmallstrovevainaloft


Reprovedhimthusinaccentssweetandsoft:

“Rightpuissantandpotentialsir,wedobeseechtheecheckthyferocity,quell
nowthysogreatangerandswearnottogiveourfleshforfowlstotear,soshalt
thou come down to earth and stand again upon thine own two legs. And thou,
most reverend friar, invoke now thy bloody-minded comrade that he swear to
harmusnot!”
The stout friar seated himself hard by beneath a tree, mopped moist brow,
fetchedhiswindandsmiled.
“SirFool,”saidhe,“Iamthysecuritythatthouandthybrawnygossipneed
quake and tremble nothing by reason of this Bax, our valiant reeve—he shall
harmyenowhit.”Here,meetingJocelyn'seye,SirPertinaxsetdownthesmall
Reeve,whohavingtakenupandputonhisgreatbascinet,scowled,whereupon
DukeJocelynquestionedhimfullmeek:
“GoodmasterReeve,ofyourcourtesyprayyoutelluswhyyonbellsdoring
sowildalarm.”
ThesmallReeveviewedhimwithdisdainfuleye;
Sniffedhaughtynoseandproudlymadereply:
'Ourbellsweringandclamourmake,because
We'velostourladyfairofTissingors.
OurDuchessBenedictahaththisday
Fromallherworthyguardiansstoleaway.
Thusweforherdoinquisitionmake,
Nor,'tillshe'sfound,mayhopeourresttotake,
Andthuswecausesuchoutcryaswemay,
SincewelosenotourDuchessev'ryday.
Sothenwe'dhaveyespeakus—ayeorno,
Sawyeourerrantladythiswaygo?
And,thatyemayherknowforwhomweseek,
HerjustdescriptionfullyIwillspeak:
Herhairnight-black,hereyestheself-samehue,
Herhabitbrown,unless'twereredorblue,
Andifnotbluewhythenmayhap'tisgreen,
Sinceshebyturnsofallsuchhuesisseen—”
“Stay,sir,”quothJocelyn,“'tisplaintosee
Nomaidbutachameleonisshe,
Forherewehaveherbrownandgreenandblue,
Andifnotbrownthenrosyisherhue,
And,ifnotred,whythen'tisveryplain
Thatbrownsheisorblueorgreenagain.
Nowfain,sir,wouldIaskandquestionwhether
Shee'erisseenthesecoloursalltogether?
“OfainwouldIaladyspy,
Bycountrysideortown,
Whomaybeseenallblueandgreen,
Unlessshe'sredorbrown.”
Butnow,whilefiercethelittlemandidscowl,


TherosyFriar,sly-smiling'neathhiscowl,
Hisvisagemeek,spakethusindulcettone:
“SirFool,ourReeveissomethingmixed,I'llown,
Thoughhebydiverscoloursisbemused,
Learnyethistruth,soshallhestandexcused:
OurDuchessBenedicta,beitknown,
Haththisdayfromherseveralguardiansflown.
Tenworthymenherseveralguardiansbe,
Ofwhomthechiefandworthiestyesee,
Asfirst—myself,afriarofsomereport,
Well-known,methinks,incountry,townandcourt.
Whoasallmencanuntoallmenspeak,
WellreadbesideinLatinandinGreek,
Ahumblesoulalbeitgoodlypreacher,
Oneapttolearnandthereforelearnedteacher,
Onewhocanlaughbetimes,betimescanpray,
Who'llcoliccureoronthebagpipeplay.
Who'llsing—”
“Stay!”criedtheReeve.“Friar,whato'me?”
“Patience,OBax,toosoonI'llcometothee!
Who'llsingyethenblitheasabirdonbough—”
“Friar!”growledtheReeve,“thetimeformeisnow!”
“Sobeit,then,”theFriardidgentlysay,
“I'llspeakoftheeastrulyasImay:
Herethenbeholdourport-reeve,Greg'ryBax,
Who,saveforreason,naughtinreasonlacks,
Who,thoughhesmallandpunyseemstoshew,
InspeechheisGoliath-like,Itrow,
ChiefCouncillorofTissingorsishe,
Andofthecouncilsecondbut—tome.
ForwiththetownsfolkfirstofallcomeI—”
REEVE:Sincethyfatfingerisineverypie—
“Savingyourreverendgrace,”DukeJoc'lynsaid,
“Whatofthismaidthatturnethgreenandred?”
REEVE:Fool,thenlearnthis,erethatourlorddukedied,
Tenguardiansforhischildhedidprovide,
TheFriarandI,withmenoflesserfame,
Co-guardiansareofthisrightpuissantdame.
JOCELYN:Beseechye,sir,nowtellusan'yemay,
WhyhaththyyouthfulDuchessrunaway?

“FairFool,” quoththe Friar,fanninghimselfwithafrondofbracken,“'tisa
hotday,adayreminiscentoftheultimatefateofgracelesssinners,andIamlike
thedayandlanguishforbreath,yet,tothysopertinentquestionIwill,straightly
andinfewwords,pronounceandanswerthee,asfolloweth:OurLadyBenedicta
hath run away firstly, brethren, for that being formed woman after Nature's
goodlyplanshehaththewherewithaltowalk,toleap,toskiporeketorun,as
viz.: item and to wit—legs. Secondly, inquisitorial brethren, she ran for an
excellent good reason—as observe—there was none to let or stay her. And
thirdly,gentleandeagerhearers,shedidflitorfly,leave,vacate,ordepartour
goodlytownofTissingorsforthatshehad—markme—nomindtostay,remain
orabidetherein.Andthisforthefollowingexpress,rareandmostcuriousreason


as—marknow—inaword—”
“Hold—hold, Friar John!” exclaimed the Reeve; “here sit ye here asermonising, venting words a-many what time our vanished Duchess fleeth.
KnewInotthecontraryIshouldsaythoudidstcountenanceherflightandspent
thyselfinwordy-windwherewithtoaidher!”
Now here, chancing to meet Duke Jocelyn's shrewd gaze, Friar John slowly
andponderouslywinkedoneround,brighteye.
Quothhe:
“Harktoourvaliantport-reeveGreg'ryBax
Who,saveforreason,noughtofreasonlacks!”
“Howbeit,”fumedtheReeve,stampinginthedust,“heresityeatthy
full-bodiedease,fanningfliesandanimadverting—”

“Animadverting!” nodded Friar John. “A good word, Reeve, a fair, sweet
word;inverityawordfull-bodiedasI,whereforeitlikethmewell.SositIhere
animadverting whiles thou kicketh up a dust in fashion foolish and un-reevelike.”
“A plague o' words!” cried the Reeve. “A pest o' wind! Enough—enough,
containthyprolixitiesandrodomontadeandletmetothepointexplain—”
“Aha!”quoththeFriar.“Goodsooth,here'sanobleword!Awordroundi'the
mouth,rollinguponthetongue.Ha,Reeve,Igivetheejoyofrodomontade!”
“Thus then,” continued the Reeve, “I will, with use of no verbiage
circumlocutory,explain.”
“Ho-oho!”criedFriarJohn,rubbingplumphandsecstatic.“GoodBax,ne'er
haveIheardtheetosogreatadvantage—verbiagecircumlocutory—andthou—
thousuchsmallmantoboot!Omostexcellent,punyReeve!”
HerethelittlemanturnedhisbackupontheFriarandcontinuedhastilythus:
“Alordthereis,alordofloftypride,
Whoforourladyofthathsuedandsighed—”
FRIARJOHN:Whomsheasofthathscornfullydenied!
THEREEVE:Amightylordwhoseekethhertowife—
FRIARJOHN:Thoughhe,'tissaid,dothleadmostevillife!
THEREEVE:Towhichfairlordourwilfulmaidwe'dwed—
FRIARJOHN:Sincethisfairlordthecouncilholdsindread!


THEREEVE:Butshe,defyingus,thisveryday
Likewickedthiefhathstoleherselfaway.
Thusthispoorlordsuchdeepsofgloomisin
Vowshe'llnotwash,norshaveagainhischin
Tillfoundisshe:Hegroaneth,sheddethtears—
THEFRIAR:Andswearsherguardianstenshalllosetheirears!
THEREEVE:Whereforeareweinmightyperturbation,
Amazed,distraughtandfilledwithconsternation.
Thusdoourbellsringouttheirwildalarms,
Ourcivicbandsdomusterunderarms;
Drumsshallbedrummedthecountrysidearound,
UntilourtruantDuchesswehavefound,
Andwehavewedthismostelusivedame
UntoSirAgramoreofBiename.
THEFRIAR:Andyieldherthustowoesandbittershame!
THEREEVE:Sospeakme,fellows;asyecamethisway
Sawyeaughtofthiswilful,errantmay?
AnsweredJOCELYN:“Neitherto-daynoranyotherday.”

“Whythen,”fumedtheReeve,“herehavewebeenatgreatexpenseo'breath
and time and all to no purpose. Come, Friar, beseech thee, let us haste to
begone.”
SoFriarJohngotslowlytohisfeet
Complainingloudofhurryandofheat,
ButpausedbehindthehastefulReevetolinger,
Andtoplumpnoseheslylylaidplumpfinger.

Now stood Sir Pertinax thoughtful, chin on fist, insomuch that Jocelyn,
thrumminghislute,questionedhim:
“GoodPertinax,hownow
Whatpond'restthou
Withfurrowedbrow?
Thycare,SirKnight,avow!”

SaithPertinax:“Imeditatethewaywondrousofwoman,thefrowardnessof
creaturesfeminine.Formarkme,sir,hereisonehathguardiansten,yetdespite
themsheisfledawayandtheyten!”
“Whytruly,Pertinax,theyareten,soisshefled.”
“Aye,butiftheybetenthatwardherandsheonethatwouldflee,howshall
thisonefleetheseten?”
“Forthattheybeten.”
“Nay,lord,herebetwentyeyestowatchoneyoungmaidandtwentylegsto
pursuethesame,yetdothsheevadethemoneandall,andhere'sthewonderon't


—she'sbutonemaid.”
“Nay,there'sthereasonon't,Pertinax—sheisamaid.”
“Thewhichisgreatmatterforwonder,lord!”
“Spoke like a very Pertinax, my Pertinax, for here's no wonder at all. For
perceive, the lady is young, her wardens ten grave seniors, worthy wights —
solemn, sober and sedate, Pertinax, wise and wearisome, grave yet garrulous,
andthereforetheysufficenot.”
“Aye,pritheeandwhereforenot?”
“Fortheirdiversworthyattributesandbecausetheybe—ten.Nowhadthese
ten been one and this one a very man—the man—here had been no running
awayonpartofthelady,I'llwarrantme?”
“Stay, my lord,” said Pertinax, in deep perplexity, “how judge ye so—and
wherefore—whyandbywhatmannero'reasoning?”
“Ha,Pertinax!”laughedtheDuke,“mylovely,lovelessnumskull!”Sosaying,
hekickedthegoodKnightfulljoyouslyandsotheytrudgedonagain.
Tillpresently,beyondthegreenoftrees,
TheysawafarthetownofCanalise,
Acityfair,couchedonagentleheight,
Withwallsembattledandstrongtowersbedight.
Nowseeingthatthesunwasgettinglow,
Ourtravellersatquickerpacedidgo.
Thusasinhasteneartothegatetheycame,
Beforethemlimpedabentandhag-likedame,
Withlong,sharpnosethatdownwardcurvedasthough
Itbeak-likewishedtopecksharpchinbelow.
Humblyshecreptincloakalltornandrent,
Ando'erastaffhertotteringlimbswerebent.
Socameshetothegate,thencriedinfear,
Andstartedbackfromsudden-levelledspear;
For'neaththegateloungedlustyfellowsthree
Whoseldomspakeyetspatrightfrequently.
“Kindsirs,goodsirs,”theancientdamedidcry,
“Inmercy'snameIprayyeletmeby—”
But,asshespoke,ablack-jowledfellowlaughed,
And,spitting,trippedherwithout-thrustpike-shaft,
Thatdownshefellandwailedmostpiteously,
Whereatthebrawnyfellowslaughedallthree.
“Ha,witch!”theycried,asthusshehelplesslay,
“Shaltknowthefireandroastedbeoneday!”
Nowastheagedcreaturewailedandwept,
ForthtohersideDukeJoc'lynlightlystepped,
Withquarter-staffa-twirlheblithelycame.
Quothhe:“Messires,harmnotthisancientdame,
Bethinkyehowe'enoldandweakasshe,
Yourwivesandmothersallmustonedaybe.


Soherethenliesyourmother,and'tweremeeter
Asyearesonsthatassonsyeentreather.
Come,letherbyand,fool-liketorequiteye,
WithmerryjapeandquipIwilldelightye,
OrwithsweetsongI'llcharmthoseass'sears,
Andmelt,belike,thosebullishheartstotears—”
Nowthechiefwarder,bigandblackofjowl,
UpontheDukemostscurvilydidscowl.
“Hownow,”quothhe,“wewantnofool's-headshere—”
“Sooth,”laughedtheDuke,“you'refoolsenow'tisclear,
Yettherebefoolsandfools,yemustallow,
GayfoolsasIandsurlyfools—asthou.”
“Ha,look'ee,Fool,BlackLewine'enamI,
And,bymyhead,anillmantodefy.
Now,motleyrogue,wiltcallmefool?”heroared,
Androaringfierce,clappedhairyfistonsword.
“Aye,thatwillI,”DukeJoc'lynsoftreplied,
Andblack-avised,swart,knavishroguebeside.”
Butnow,whilethusourducaljesterspoke,
BlackLewinsprangandfetchedhimsuchastroke
ThatJocelynsawflashbeforehiseyes,
Morestarsthate'erhe'dnoticedintheskies.
WhereatSirPertinaxdidgapingstare,
Thengroundhisteethandmightyoathsdidswear,
Andinaninstantbaredhistrustyblade,
ButthentheDukehisfieryonslaughtstayed.
“Ha!”criedtheKnight,“andwiltthousmittenbe
Bysuchbaseknave,suchfilthyrogueashe?”
“Nay,”smiledtheDuke,“standbackandwatch,goodbrother,
ARogueandFoolatbuffetswitheachother.”
Andspeakingthus,heleaptonBlackLewin,
Andsmotehimtwicefullharduponthechin,
Twogoodlyblowsuponthatbig,blackjowl,
WhereatBlackLewinlustilydidhowl
Andfallingback,hispolishedbascinet
Withringingclashthecold,hardflagstonesmet.
Whereathisfellows,shoutingfiercealarms,
Incontinentbetookthemtotheirarms;
Andthusitseemedafighttheremusthavebeen
Butthatahorsemansuddenspurredbetween—
Ablue-eyedyouthwithyellow,curlinghair,
Ofslendershape,offaceandfeaturefair,
Adaintyknightwasheinverytruth,
Ablue-eyed,merry,laughter-lovingyouth.
“Ha,knaves,whatdoyewiththeFool?”lispedhe,
“Wiltstrikeamotley,dogs—aFool?Letbe!
Thoughfaith,'twouldseem,SirFool,thouhastafist
ThatsurlyLewintohisdolehathkissed.
Ifitcanstrumthylutebuthalfaswell,
Thengestoursallmethinksthoushould'stexcel—


Yerogues,passFollyin,nomanshallsay
Thatfromourtownwefollyturnedaway.
Come,follow,Fool,intothemarket-square,
Andgiveusearnestofthyfoolishware.”

Nowitwasmarketday,andwithinthegoodlysquarewerepeoplecomefrom
nearandfar,anotableconcourse,countryfolkandfolkofthetown,farmersand
merchants,rusticmaids,fairladies,knightsandesquiresonhorsebackora-foot,
but who, hearing the jingle of the Duke's tinkling bells, seeing his flaunting
cock's-comb,withoneaccordgatheredtohimfromeveryquarter:
Forwhenthislong-leggedgestourtheyespied,
They,laughing,hemmedhiminoneveryside,
And,“See,aFool!AFool!TheFoolmustsing,”
And“Fool!AFool!”upontheairdidring,
WhereforetheDukebetookhimtohislute,
Andstrummeduntilthechatteringcrowdwasmute.
Thenwhileallfolkdidholdtheirpeacetohear,
Ingoldenvoicehesang,fullrichandclear:
“'Afool!Afool!'yecry,
AfoolforsoothamI.
Buttellme,wiseones,ifyecan,
Whereshallyefindahappyman?
Livedthereonesincetheworldbegan?
Come,answerye
Tome!
“'Whatoftheking?'saysyou.
SaysItoyou—'Goto!
Akingdespitehiscrownandthrone,
Hathdiverstroublesallhisown.
Suchwoes,methinks,asareunknown
Tosuchasye,
Orme!'
“'Ha,then—therich!'yecry,
'Notsointruth,'saysI.
'Therichman'sgoldisloadofcare,
Thatdayandnightheneedsmustbear;
Lesscarehe'dknowifpoorhewere,
Aspoorasye,
Orme!'
“For,sirs,asIdoguess
Thisthingcalled'Happiness'
Manleavethwithhisyouthbehind;
Sokeepyeallayouthfulmind,
Thushappinessyeallshallfind
Ifwithaveye,
Likeme!
“Olistye,greatandsmall,
Proudknight,freemanandthrall,
Truehappiness,sincelifebegan,
Thebirthrightisofeveryman;
Seizethenyourbirthrightifyecan,
Sincemenareye—
Likeme!


“ThusIforsooth,aFool,
Donowyewiseonesschool;
Sinceofmyfolly,fullandfree,
Iwiselythusadmonishye,
Bewise—orekefoolslearntobe
Inverity—
Likeme!”

Now when the song was ended some there were who laughed and some
lookedgrave,sometalkedamainandsomewaggedsolemnheads,whilemanya
goodcoinrangheartilyatDukeJocelyn'sfeet;smiling,hebadeSirPertinaxtake
themup,joyingtoseetheproudKnightstoopingthustopouchthemoneylike
anybeggar.Butnow,whenhewouldfainhavegonehiswayintothetown,the
peoplewouldbynomeanssufferitandclamouredamainonallsides,insistent
formore;wherefore,liftinghisscarredfacetothesunsetsky,DukeJocelynsang
asherefolloweth:
“Whenmanisbornhedothbegin
Withrightgoodwill,todailysin,
Andlittlecareth.
Butwhenhisgravehethinkethnear,
Thengravehegrowethinhisfear
Andsinforsweareth.
“Thislifethatmandothcherishso,
Iswondrousfrailandquicktogo,
Norwillitstay.
Yetwhere'sthemanthatwillnotgive
Allthathehathsohemightlive
Anotherday.
“FainwouldIknowthereasonwhy
Allmensofearfularetodie
Andupwardgo?
SinceDeathallwoesandillsdothend,
SureDeath,methinks,shouldbeafriend,
Nothatedfoe.
“SowhenDeathcome,ascomehemust,
Grievenotthatwethissorrydust
Doleavebehind.
Forwhenthisfleetinglifeberun,
ByDeathweallofus—eachone,
Truelifeshallfind.”
Nowwhilehesangmelodiousandclear
Amidthethrongthatcloserpressedtohear,
DukeJoc'lynofasuddendidespy
The“wherefore”ofhiscomingandthe“why.”
Yolandeherselfhe,singing,didbehold,
Hereyes,redlips,herhairofruddygold;
Andallherwarmandglowingloveliness
Didsuddenthushisrapturedvisionbless;
Whileshe,ingraciousease,herhorsedidsit
Thatpawedroundhoofandchampeduponhisbit,
Archingproudneckasifindeedhewere
Proudofthelovelyburdenhedidbear.
AsJoc'lyngazeduponherthus,sheseemed
Athousandtimesmorefairthanhehaddreamed.


Nowwhilehesang,sheviewedhim,gentle-eyed,
Andquiteforgotthegallantbyherside,
Atall,dark-featured,comelylordwashe,
Withchinfullsquareandeyesofmastery,
Who,whentheDukemadeofhissonganend
Didfromhissaddleo'erYolandabend.
Witheyesonherwarmbeautyhestoopednear
Totouchwhitehandandwhisperinherear;
Whereatshelaughedandfrownedwithcheekflushedred
Then,frowningstill,sheturnedherhorse'shead,
Androdeawaywithdameandsquireandknight,
TilllostshewastoJoc'lyn'sravishedsight.

“Ha,lord!”quothSirPertinax,astheycamewithinaquietthoroughfare,“this
ladyisgrownmorefairsincelastwesawherQueenofBeautyatMellocjoust,
concerningwhomFame,introth,dothbreedajustreportforonce.But,messire,
didstmarkhimbesideher—withtoucho'hand,lord,whispersi'theear—didst
markthiswolf,thisSeneschal,thisthriceaccurstSirGui?”
“Aye,forsooth,”answeredtheDuke,“butthou'rtanhungered,methinks?”
“To touch her hand, lord—aha! To whisper in her ear, lord—oho! A right
puissant lord, Seneschal of Raddemore, Lord of Thorn and Knight of Ells! A
lordofpuissanceandpowerpotential.”
“Andthou,myPertinax,artbutahungryKnight,thattrampethwithahungry
Fool,whereforeletusforthwith—”
“Aye,butmarkme,lord,ifthispuissantlordwithpompandhighestatedoth
woothelady—”
“Sothen,myPertinax,willIwoothisladyalso.”
“How,inthisthyfoolishguise?”
“Aye,forsooth.”
“Why, then, thou art like to be whipped for froward Fool and I for ragged
rogue, and this our adventure brought to ill and woeful end—so here now is
folly,lord,indeed!”
“Aye,forsooth!”smiledtheDuke,
“Wheretothesebellsgiveheed.
Butcome,amendthyspeed,
Methinksthyfasting-need
Thesegloomyvapoursbreed.
Thyinnermandothplead
Goodbeefwithaleormead
Wherein,thouFooldecreed,


Iamrightwellagreed
'Tweregoodlythingtofeed,
NorwillItheeimpede,
SofollowFolly'slead
Andfood-wardswe'llproceed.”


Tài liệu bạn tìm kiếm đã sẵn sàng tải về

Tải bản đầy đủ ngay

×