The Canterbury Tales, by Geoffrey Chaucer

Appendix to Group a.

The Tale of Gamelyn.

Litheth, and lesteneth · and herkeneth aright,

And ye schulle heere a talking · of a doughty knight;

Sire Iohan of Boundys · was his righte name,

He cowde of norture y-nough · and mochil of game.


Thre sones the knight hadde · that with his body he wan;

The eldest was a moche schrewe · and sone he bigan.

His bretheren loved wel here fader · and of him were agast,

The eldest deserved his fadres curs · and had it at the last.

The goode knight his fader · livede so yore,


That deth was comen him to · and handled him ful sore.

The goode knight cared sore · syk ther he lay,

How his children scholde · liven after his day.

He hadde ben wyde-wher · but non housbond he was,

Al the lond that he hadde · it was verrey purchas.


Fayn he wolde it were · dressed among hem alle,

That ech of hem hadde his part · as it mighte falle.

Tho sente he in-to cuntre · after wyse knightes,

To helpe delen his londes · and dressen hem to-rightes.

He sente hem word by lettres · they schulden hye blyve,


If they wolde speke with him · whyl he was on lyve.

N.B. — Hl.=Harleian MS. no. 7334 (taken as the foundation of the text); Harl.=Harleian MS. no. 1758; Cp.=MS. Corp. Chr. Coll. Oxford; Ln.=Lansdowne MS. no. 851; Pt.=Petworth MS.; Rl.=MS. Royal 18 c.ii; Sl.= MS. Sloane, no. 1685. Note that Cp. and Ln. are next in value to Hl., and often agree with it as against the rest.

1. Cp. lesteneth; Sl. Ln. listeneth; Hl. lestneth.   Cp. herkeneth; Rl. Sl. herkenyth; Hl. herkneth.   2. Cp. schulle; Ln. schullen; Hl. schul.   Hl. a talkyng; rest om.   3. Hl. right; rest om.; read righte.   4. Hl. ynough; rest om.   5. Cp. hadde; Rl. Sl. Pt. Ln. had; Hl. om.   14. Cp. Rl. hadde; Hl. had (and in l. 16).   15. Cp. Ln. wolde; Hl. wold.   Hl. amonges; rest among; see l. 36.   16. Hl. might.   17. Cp. Sl. Rl. Pt. Ln. sente; Hl. sent. So in l. 19, where the Mss. wrongly have sent.

Tho the knightes herden · syk that he lay,

Hadde they no reste · nother night ne day,

Til they comen to him · ther he lay stille

On his deth-bedde · to abyde goddes wille.


Than seyde the goode knight · syk ther he lay,

‘Lordes, I you warne · for soth, withoute nay,

I may no lenger liven · heer in this stounde;

For thurgh goddes wille · deth draweth me to grounde.'

Ther nas non of hem alle · that herde him aright,


That they ne hadden reuthe · of that ilke knight,

And seyde, ‘sir, for goddes love · ne dismay you nought;

God may do bote of bale · that is now y-wrought.’

21. Hl. ther; rest that.   27. Hl. Cp. lengere; Ln, longer; rest lenger.   29. Sl. Cp. Ln. herde; Hl. herd.   30. Harl. Pt. ne; rest om.

 Than spak the goode knight · syk ther he lay,

‘Boote of bale god may sende · I wot it is no nay;


But I byseke you, knightes · for the love of me,

Goth and dresseth my lond · among my sones three.

And sires, for the love of god · deleth hem nat amis,

And forgetith nat Gamelyn · my yonge sone that is.

Taketh heed to that on · as wel as to that other;


Selde ye see ony eyr · helpen his brother.’

36. Hl. thre.   37. Hl. And sires; rest om. sires.

 Tho leete they the knight lyen · that was nought in hele,

And wenten in-to counsel · his londes for to dele;

For to delen hem alle · to oon, that was her thought,

And for Gamelyn was yongest · he schulde have nought.


Al the lond that ther was · they dalten it in two,

And leeten Gamelyn the yonge · withoute londe go,

And ech of hem seyde · to other ful lowde,

His bretheren mighte yeve him lond · whan he good cowde.

Whan they hadde deled · the lond at here wille,


They comen ayein to the knight · ther he lay ful stille,

And tolden him anon-right · how they hadden wrought;

And the knight ther he lay · lyked it right nought.

Than seyde the knight · ‘by seynt Martyn,

For al that ye have y-doon · yit is the lond myn;


For goddes love, neyhebours · stondeth alle stille,

And I wil dele my lond · right after my wille.

Iohan, myn eldeste sone · schal have plowes fyve,

That was my fadres heritage · whyl he was on lyve;

And my middeleste sone · fyve plowes of lond,


That I halp for to gete · with my righte hond;

And al myn other purchas · of londes and leedes,

That I biquethe Gamelyn · and alle my goode steedes.

And I biseke yow, goode men · that lawe conne of londe,

For Gamelynes love · that my queste stonde.’


Thus dalte the knight · his lond by his day,

Right on his deth-bedde · syk ther he lay;

And sone aftirward · he lay stoon-stille,

And deyde whan tyme com · as it was Cristes wille.

And anon as he was deed · and under gras y-grave,


Sone the elder brother · gyled the yonge knave;

He took into his hond · his lond and his leede,

And Gamelyn himselfe · to clothen and to feede.

He clothed him and fedde him · yvel and eek wrothe,

And leet his londes for-fare · and his houses bothe,


His parkes and his woodes · and dede nothing wel;

And seththen he it aboughte · on his faire fel.

So longe was Gamelyn · in his brotheres halle,

For the strengest, of good wil · they doutiden him alle;

Ther was non ther-inne · nowther yong ne old,


That wolde wraththe Gamelyn · were he never so bold.

Gamelyn stood on a day · in his brotheres yerde,

And bigan with his hond · to handlen his berde;

He thoughte on his londes · that layen unsawe,

And his faire okes · that down were y-drawe;


His parkes were y-broken · and his deer bireved;

Of alle his goode steedes · noon was him bileved;

His howses were unhiled · and ful yvel dight;

Tho thoughte Gamelyn · it wente nought aright.

Afterward cam his brother · walkinge thare,


And seyde to Gamelyn · ‘is our mete yare?’

Tho wraththed him Gamelyn · and swor by goddes book,

‘Thou schalt go bake thy-self · I wil nought be thy cook!’

‘How? brother Gamelyn · how answerest thou now?

Thou spake never such a word · as thou dost now.’


‘By my faith,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘now me thinketh neede,

Of alle the harmes that I have · I tok never ar heede.

My parkes ben to-broken · and my deer bireved,

Of myn armure and my steedes · nought is me bileved;

Al that my fader me biquath · al goth to schame,


And therfor have thou goddes curs · brother by thy name!’

Than bispak his brother · that rape was of rees,

‘Stond stille, gadeling · and hold right thy pees;

Thou schalt be fayn for to have · thy mete and thy wede;

What spekest thou, Gamelyn · of lond other of leede?’


Thanne seyde Gamelyn · the child that was ying,

‘Cristes curs mot he have · that clepeth me gadeling!

I am no worse gadeling · ne no worse wight,

But born of a lady · and geten of a knight.’

Ne durste he nat to Gamelyn · ner a-foote go,


But clepide to him his men · and seyde to hem tho,

'Goth and beteth this boy · and reveth him his wit,

And lat him lerne another tyme · to answere me bet.’

Thanne seyde the child · yonge Gamelyn,

‘Cristes curs mot thou have · brother art thou myn!


And if I schal algate · be beten anon,

Cristes curs mot thou have · but thou be that oon!’

And anon his brother · in that grete hete

Made his men to fette staves · Gamelyn to bete.

Whan that everich of hem · a staf hadde y-nome,


Gamelyn was war anon · tho he seigh hem come;

Tho Gamelyn seigh hem come · he loked over-al,

And was war of a pestel · stood under a wal;

Gamelyn was light of foot · and thider gan he lepe,

And drof alle his brotheres men · right on an hepe.


He loked as a wilde lyoun · and leyde on good woon;

Tho his brother say that · he bigan to goon;

He fley up in-til a loft · and schette the dore fast;

Thus Gamelyn with the pestel · made hem alle agast.

Some for Gamelynes love · and some for his eye,


Alle they drowe by halves · tho he gan to pleye.

‘What! how now?’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘evel mot ye thee!

Wil ye biginne contek · and so sone flee?’

Gamelyn soughte his brother · whider he was flowe,

And saugh wher he loked · out at a windowe.


‘Brother,’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘com a litel ner,

And I wil teche thee a play · atte bokeler.’

His brother him answerde · and swor by seynt Richer,

‘Whyl the pestel is in thin hond · I wil come no neer:

Brother, I wil make thy pees · I swere by Cristes ore;


Cast away the pestel · and wraththe thee no-more.’

‘I mot neede,’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘wraththe me at oones,

For thou wolde make thy men · to breke myne boones,

Ne hadde I had mayn · and might in myn armes,

To have y-put hem fro me · they wolde have do me harmes.’


‘Gamelyn,’ sayde his brother · ‘be thou nought wroth,

For to seen thee have harm · it were me right loth;

I ne dide it nought, brother · but for a fonding,

For to loken if thou were strong · and art so ying.’

‘Com a-doun than to me · and graunte me my bone


Of thing I wil thee aske · and we schul saughte sone.’

Doun than cam his brother · that fikil was and fel,

And was swithe sore · agast of the pestel.

He seyde, ‘brother Gamelyn · aske me thy boone,

And loke thou me blame · but I graunte sone.’


Thanne seyde Gamelyn · ‘brother, y-wis,

And we schulle ben at oon · thou most me graunte this:

Al that my fader me biquath · whyl he was on lyve,

Thou most do me it have · yif we schul nat stryve.’

‘That schalt thou have, Gamelyn · I swere by Cristes ore!


Al that thy fader thee biquath · though thou woldest have more;

Thy lond, that lyth laye · ful wel it schal be sowe,

And thyn howses reysed up · that ben leyd so lowe.’

Thus seyde the knight · to Gamelyn with mowthe,

And thoughte eek of falsnes · as he wel couthe.


The knight thoughte on tresoun · and Gamelyn on noon,

And wente and kiste his brother · and, whan they were at oon,

Allas! yonge Gamelyn · nothing he ne wiste

With which a false tresoun · his brother him kiste!

44. Hl. schuld; Cp. scholde.   46. Pt. londe; Ln. lande; rest lond.   48. Hl. might; read mighte.   50. Hl. come aȝein; rest omit aȝein, and read comen, camen, commen.   51. Hl. anon right; rest anon, anoon.   56. Hl. Pt. om. right.   59. Hl. fyf; rest fyue; see l. 57.   60. Read righte; Mss. right.   61. Ln. and of ledes.   64. Cp. bequeste.   66. Hl. bed; Cp. bedde; see l. 24.   69. Hl. And anon; rest om. And.   71. Hl. as his (for and his).   73. Hl. fed; rest fedde.   76. Cp. aboughte; Ln. abouhte; rest abought, abowght.   79, 80. Rl. Sl. old, bold; rest olde, bolde.   83. Ln. þouhte; rest om. the final e; see l. 88.   85. Hl. byreeued; rest om. by-.   103. Rl. Sl. Pt. Harl. om. for.   109. Hl. durst; Cp. durste; Ln. dorste.   112. Cp. lere; Hl. Ln. leren; rest lerne.   119. Hl. a staf had; rest hadde (had) a staf.   120. Hl. anon; rest om.   121. Hl. seyh.   123. Hl. of foot; rest om.   124. Hl. Ln. on; rest sone on.   128. Hl. the; rest his.   129, 130. Hl. eyȝe, pleyȝe; rest eye, pleye.   131. Hl. how; rest om.   133. Mss. omit final e in soughte.   137. Hl. Rycher.   138. Hl. Whil.   140, 146, 150, &c. Hl. the.   143. Cp. hadde I had; Hl. had I hadde.   144. Hl. he; rest thei.   148. Harl. Ln. if; Pt. wher; rest or.   150. Hl. Cp. Ln. Of; Harl. Of oo; Rl. Of a; Sl. Of o; Pt. Of oon.   151, 152. Ln. fel, pestel; rest felle, pestelle.   154. Hl. I; rest I it.   157. Hl. whil.   161. Hl. Cp. laye; Rl. leie; Sl. leye; Pt. Ln. ley.   164. Cp. þoughte; rest om. final e.   Hl. eek; rest om.   Hl. Cp. Ln. of; rest on.   165. For knight, Hl. wrongly has king.   Mss. omit e in thoughte.   166. Pt. Harl. wente; rest went.   Hl. kist; rest kissed; see l. 168.

 Litheth, and lesteneth · and holdeth your tonge,


And ye schul heere talking · of Gamelyn the yonge.

Ther was ther bisyden · cryed a wrastling,

And therfor ther was set up · a ram and a ring;

And Gamelyn was in good wil · to wende therto,

For to preven his might · what he cowthe do.


‘Brother,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘by seynt Richer,

Thou most lene me to-night · a litel courser

That is freisch to the spore · on for to ryde;

I most on an erande · a litel her bisyde.’

‘By god!’ seyde his brother · ‘of steedes in my stalle


Go and chese thee the best · and spare non of alle

Of steedes or of coursers · that stonden hem bisyde;

And tel me, goode brother · whider thou wolt ryde.’

169. Rl. lysteneth; Cp. lesteneth; Pt. listeneth; Hl. lestneth.   171. Hl. wrastlyng; Cp. wrasteling; Rl. wrastelynge; Pt. wrastelinge.   172. Hl. sette (wrongly); see l. 184.   173. Hl. good wil; Ln. wil; rest wille.   177. Hl. Pt. spore; rest spores.   178. Hl. byside; so in 183.   179. Hl. seyd; rest have final e.   180. Hl. the the.   181. For coursers, Hl. wrongly has course.

 ‘Her bisyde, brother · is cryed a wrastling,

And therfor schal be set up · a ram and a ring;


Moche worschip it were · brother, to us alle,

Might I the ram and the ring · bring home to this halle.’

A steede ther was sadeled · smertely and skeet;

Gamelyn did a paire spores · fast on his feet.

He sette his foot in the styrop · the steede he bistrood,


And toward the wrasteling · the yonge child rood.

Tho Gamelyn the yonge · was ride out at the gat,

The false knight his brother · lokked it after that,

And bisoughte Iesu Crist · that is heven king,

He mighte breke his nekke · in that wrasteling.


As sone as Gamelyn com · ther the place was,

He lighte doun of his steede · and stood on the gras,

And ther he herd a frankeleyn · wayloway singe,

And bigan bitterly · his hondes for to wringe.

‘Goode man,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘why makestow this fare?


Is ther no man that may · you helpe out of this care?’

‘Allas!’ seyde this frankeleyn · ‘that ever was I bore!

For tweye stalworthe sones · I wene that I have lore;

A champioun is in the place · that hath y-wrought me sorwe,

For he hath slayn my two sones · but-if god hem borwe.


I wold yeve ten pound · by Iesu Crist! and more,

With the nones I fand a man · to handelen him sore.’

‘Goode man,’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘wilt thou wel doon,

Hold myn hors, whyl my man · draweth of my schoon,

And help my man to kepe · my clothes and my steede,


And I wil into place go · to loke if I may speede.’

‘By god!’ sayde the frankeleyn · ‘anon it schal be doon;

I wil my-self be thy man · and drawen of thy schoon,

And wende thou into the place · Iesu Crist thee speede,

And drede not of thy clothes · nor of thy goode steede.’

183. Pt. wrasteling; Ln. warsteling; rest wrastlyng, wrastlynge.   184. Hl. vp; rest om.   189. Hl. set; Ln. sete; rest sette.   Hl. om. 1st the.   191. Hl. ride; rest riden, reden.   Hl. Ln. at the; Cp. Pt. atte; rest at.    All gate (wrongly); and thate (for that) in next line.   192. Cp. Ln. false: rest fals.   194. Pt. wrestelinge; rest wrastlyng, wrastlinge, wrestlinge.   197, 198. Hl. syng, wryng.   206. Cp. handelen; Hl. handil.   211. Hl. anon; rest om.   213. Hl. Cp. Ln. the place; rest om. the.   Hl. the.


 Barfoot and ungert · Gamelyn in cam,

Alle that weren in the place · heede of him they nam,

How he durste auntre him · of him to doon his might

That was so doughty champioun · in wrastling and in fight.

Up sterte the champioun · rapely and anoon,


Toward yonge Gamelyn · he bigan to goon,

And sayde, ‘who is thy fader · and who is thy sire?

For sothe thou art a gret fool · that thou come hire!’

Gamelyn answerde · the champioun tho,

‘Thou knewe wel my fader · whyl he couthe go,


Whyles he was on lyve · by seint Martyn!

Sir Iohan of Boundys was his name · and I Gamelyn.’

‘Felaw,’ seyde the champioun · ‘al-so mot I thryve,

I knew wel thy fader · whyl he was on lyve;

And thyself, Gamelyn · I wil that thou it heere,


Whyl thou were a yong boy · a moche schrewe thou were.'

Than seyde Gamelyn · and swor by Cristes ore,

‘Now I am older woxe · thou schalt me finde a more!’

‘By god!’ sayde the champioun · ‘welcome mote thou be!

Come thou ones in myn hond · schalt thou never thee.’


It was wel withinne the night · and the moone schon,

Whan Gamelyn and the champioun · togider gonne goon.

The champioun caste tornes · to Gamelyn that was prest,

And Gamelyn stood stille · and bad him doon his best.

Thanne seyde Gamelyn · to the champioun,


‘Thou art faste aboute · to bringe me adoun;

Now I have y-proved · many tornes of thyne,

Thow most,’ he seyde, ‘proven · on or two of myne.’

Gamelyn to the champioun · yede smertely anon,

Of all the tornes that he cowthe · he schewed him but oon,


And caste him on the lefte syde · that three ribbes to-brak,

And ther-to his oon arm · that yaf a gret crak.

Thanne seyde Gamelyn · smertely anoon,

‘Schal it be holde for a cast · or elles for noon?’

‘By god!’ seyde the champioun · ‘whether that it be,


He that cometh ones in thin hand · schal he never thee!’

Than seyde the frankeleyn · that had his sones there,

‘Blessed be thou, Gamelyn · that ever thou bore were!’

The frankeleyn seyde to the champioun · of him stood him noon eye,

‘This is yonge Gamelyn · that taughte thee this pleye.’


Agein answerd the champioun · that lyked nothing wel,

‘He is a lither mayster · and his pley is right fel;

Sith I wrastled first · it is y-go ful yore,

But I was nevere in my lyf · handeled so sore.’

Gamelyn stood in the place · allone withoute serk,


And seyde, ‘if ther be eny mo · lat hem come to werk;

The champioun that peyned him · to werke so sore,

It semeth by his continaunce · that he wil no-more.’

Gamelyn in the place · stood as stille as stoon,

For to abyde wrasteling · but ther com noon;


Ther was noon with Gamelyn · wolde wrastle more,

For he handled the champioun · so wonderly sore.

Two gentil-men ther were · that yemede the place,

Comen to Gamelyn · (god yeve him goode grace!)

And sayde to him, ‘do on · thyn hosen and thy schoon,


For sothe at this tyme · this feire is y-doon.'

And than seyde Gamelyn · ‘so mot I wel fare,

I have nought yet halven-del · sold up my ware.’

Tho seyde the champioun · ‘so brouke I my sweere,

He is a fool that ther-of byeth · thou sellest it so deere.’


Tho sayde the frankeleyn · that was in moche care,

‘Felaw,’ he seyde · ‘why lakkest thou his ware?

By seynt Iame in Galys · that many man hath sought,

Yet it is to good cheep · that thou hast y-bought.’

Tho that wardeynes were · of that wrasteling


Come and broughte Gamelyn · the ram and the ring,

And seyden, ‘have, Gamelyn · the ring and the ram,

For the beste wrasteler · that ever here cam.’

Thus wan Gamelyn · the ram and the ring,

And wente with moche Ioye · home in the morning.


His brother seih wher he cam · with the grete rowte,

And bad schitte the gate · and holde him withoute.

The porter of his lord · was ful sore agast,

And sterte anon to the gate · and lokked it fast.

217. Hl. Pt. durst; rest durste, dorste.   218. All but Hl. ins. a bef. champioun.   219. Hl. raply and; rest rapely (omitting and).   222. Rl. Harl. Sl. here.   224, 225. Hl. whil, Whiles.   227. Hl. al; rest om.   232. Hl. fynd; rest fynde, finde.   234. Hl. the.   236. Hl. gon to; Cp. Ln. gonne; rest gon.   242. Hl. tuo.   243. Hl. Ln. smartly; Rl. Pt. smertely; see l. 187.   245. All kast or kest.   All left, lift; read lefte.   Hl. thre.   247. Hl. smertly; see l. 243.   249, 253, 260. Hl. seyd; rest have final e.   250. Hl. Ln. comes; rest cometh; read it as comth.   254. Hl. the.   255. Hl. welle.   256. Hl. a lither; Cp. oure alther; rest alther.   For fel, all have felle or felle.   258. Hl. Cp. Ln. my; rest in my.   Rl. Pt. Ln. handeled; Hl. Sl. Cp. handled.   260. Hl. eny; rest om.   267. ther were that] Pt. that; rest om.   273. H. brouk; Cp. Ln. brouke; Pt. broke.   274. Hl. beyeth; rest byeth, bieth.   279. Pt. wrasteling; Ln. warstelinge; Rl. wrastlinge; rest wrastlyng.   282. Cp. beste; Hl. Ln. best; rest om. ll. 281, 282.   287. Hl. ful; rest om.   288. Rl. Harl. sterte; rest stert.

 Now litheth, and lesteneth · bothe yonge and olde,


And ye schul heere gamen · of Gamelyn the bolde.

Gamelyn come ther-to · for to have comen in,

And thanne was it y-schet · faste with a pin;

Than seyde Gamelyn · ‘porter, undo the yat,

For many good mannes sone · stondeth ther-at.’


Than answerd the porter · and swor by goddes berde,

‘Thow ne schalt, Gamelyn · come into this yerde.’

‘Thow lixt,’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘so browke I my chin!’

He smot the wiket with his foot · and brak awey the pin.

The porter seyh tho · it might no better be,


He sette foot on erthe · and bigan to flee.

‘By my faith,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘that travail is y-lore,

For I am of foot as light as thou · though thou haddest swore.’

Gamelyn overtook the porter · and his teene wrak,

And gerte him in the nekke · that the bon to-brak,


And took him by that oon arm · and threw him in a welle,

Seven fadmen it was deep · as I have herd telle.

Whan Gamelyn the yonge · thus hadde pleyd his play,

Alle that in the yerde were · drewen hem away;

They dredden him ful sore · for werkes that he wroughte,


And for the faire company · that he thider broughte.

Gamelyn yede to the gate · and leet it up wyde;

He leet in alle maner men · that gon in wolde or ryde,

And seyde, ‘ye be welcome · withouten eny greeve,

For we wiln be maistres heer · and aske no man leve.


Yestirday I lefte’ · seyde yonge Gamelyn,

‘In my brother seller · fyve tonne of wyn;

I wil not that this compaignye · parten a-twinne,

And ye wil doon after me · whyl eny sope is thrinne,

And if my brother grucche · or make foul cheere,


Other for spense of mete or drink · that we spenden heere,

I am oure catour · and bere oure aller purs,

He schal have for his grucching · seint Maries curs.

My brother is a niggoun · I swer by Cristes ore,

And we wil spende largely · that he hath spared yore;


And who that maketh grucching · that we here dwelle,

He schal to the porter · into the draw-welle.’

Seven dayes and seven night · Gamelyn held his feste,

With moche mirth and solas · that was ther, and no cheste;

In a little toret · his brother lay y-steke,


And sey hem wasten his good · but durste he not speke.

Erly on a morning · on the eighte day,

The gestes come to Gamelyn · and wolde gon here way.

‘Lordes,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘wil ye so hyë?

Al the wyn is not yet dronke · so brouke I myn yë.’


Gamelyn in his herte · was he ful wo,

Whan his gestes took her leve · from him for to go;

He wolde they had lenger abide · and they seyde ‘nay,’

But bitaughte Gamelyn · god, and good day.

Thus made Gamelyn his feest · and broughte it wel to ende,


And after his gestes · toke leve to wende.

289. Hl. lestneth; Pt. listneþ; rest lesteneth, listenythe, listeneth, lysteneyth.    Pt. Ln. ȝonge; rest yong, ȝong.   293. All yate, gate; and in the next line ther-ate.   295. Hl. berd.   300. and] Hl. Cp. he.   304. Hl. Cp. gert; rest girt.   306. Hl. Cp. fadmen; Pt. fadme; Rl. Sl. fadame; Ln. faþem; Harl. fadome.   312. Hl. maner men; rest om.   Hl. has 2nd in; rest om.   Hl. Rl. Pt. wold; Cp. Ln. wolde.   317. Hl. that; rest om.   318. Hl. while. Hl. thrynne; Cp. thrinne; Sl. Pt. þer-inne; Ln. þere-inne.   323. Hl. nyggoun; Rl. Sl. nygon; Pt. nigon; Cp. Ln. negon.   328. Hl. myrth and; rest om.   Hl. that was; rest om. that (as being understood).   330. Hl. Cp. durst; rest dorst.   334. Hl. y-dronke; rest omit y-.   Pt. Ln. brouke; Rl. browke; Hl. brouk.   335. Hl. he; rest om.   337. Hl. wold.   Hl. lenger abide; rest dwelled lenger.   339. Pt. feest; Hl. fest.   Mss. brought, broght.   340. Hl. gestys; see l. 336.   Hl. took; Ln. had take; Cp. toke; Sl. to (sic); rest toke.

 Litheth, and lesteneth · and holdeth youre tonge,

And ye schul heere gamen · of Gamelyn the yonge;

Herkeneth, lordinges · and lesteneth aright,

Whan alle gestes were goon · how Gamelyn was dight.


Al the whyl that Gamelyn · heeld his mangerye,

His brother thoughte on him be wreke · with his treccherye.

Tho Gamelyns gestes · were riden and y-goon,

Gamelyn stood allone · frendes had he noon;

Tho after ful soone · withinne a litel stounde,


Gamelyn was y-taken · and ful harde y-bounde.

Forth com the false knight · out of the soleer,

To Gamelyn his brother · he yede ful neer,

And sayde to Gamelyn · ‘who made thee so bold

For to stroye my stoor · of myn houshold?’


‘Brother,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘wraththe thee right nought,

For it is many day y-gon · siththen it was bought;

For, brother, thou hast y-had · by seynt Richer,

Of fiftene plowes of lond · this sixtene yer,

And of alle the beestes · thou hast forth bred,


That my fader me biquath · on his deth-bed;

Of al this sixtene yeer · I yeve thee the prow,

For the mete and the drink · that we have spended now.’

Thanne seyde the false knight · (evel mot he thee!)

‘Herkne, brother Gamelyn · what I wol yeve thee;


For of my body, brother · heir geten have I noon,

I wil make thee myn heir · I swere by seint Iohan.’

Par ma foy!‘ sayde Gamelyn · ‘and if it so be,

And thou thenke as thou seyst · god yelde it thee!’

Nothing wiste Gamelyn · of his brotheres gyle;


Therfore he him bigyled · in a litel whyle.

‘Gamelyn,’ seyde he · ‘o thing I thee telle;

Tho thou threwe my porter · in the draw-welle,

I swor in that wraththe · and in that grete moot,

That thou schuldest be bounde · bothe hand and foot;


Therfore I thee biseche · brother Gamelyn,

Lat me nought be forsworen · brother art thou myn;

Lat me binde thee now · bothe hand and feet,

For to holde myn avow · as I thee biheet.’

‘Brother,’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘al-so mot I thee!


Thou schalt not be forsworen · for the love of me.’

Tho made they Gamelyn to sitte · mighte he nat stonde,

Til they hadde him bounde · bothe foot and honde.

The false knight his brother · of Gamelyn was agast,

And sente aftir feteres · to feteren him fast.


His brother made lesinges · on him ther he stood,

And tolde hem that comen in · that Gamelyn was wood.

Gamelyn stood to a post · bounden in the halle,

Tho that comen in ther · lokede on him alle.

Ever stood Gamelyn · even upright;


But mete ne drink had he non · neither day ne night.

Than seyde Gamelyn · ‘brother, by myn hals,

Now I have aspyed · thou art a party fals;

Had I wist that tresoun · that thou haddest y-founde,

I wolde have yeve thee strokes · or I had be bounde!’


Gamelyn stood bounden · stille as eny stoon;

Two dayes and two nightes · mete had he noon.

Thanne seyde Gamelyn · that stood y-bounde stronge,

‘Adam spenser · me thinkth I faste to longe;

Adam spenser · now I byseche thee,


For the mochel love · my fader loved thee,

If thou may come to the keyes · lese me out of bond,

And I wil parte with thee · of my free lond.’

Thanne seyde Adam · that was the spencer,

‘I have served thy brother · this sixtene yeer,


If I leete thee goon · out of his bour,

He wolde say afterward · I were a traytour.’

‘Adam,’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘so brouke I myn hals!

Thou schalt finde my brother · atte laste fals;

Therfor, brother Adam · louse me out of bond,


And I wil parte with thee · of my free lond.’

‘Up swich a forward’ · seyde Adam, ‘y-wis,

I wil do therto · al that in me is.’

‘Adam,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘al-so mot I thee,

I wol holde thee covenant · and thou wil me.’


Anon as Adames lord · to bedde was y-goon,

Adam took the keyes, and leet · Gamelyn out anoon;

He unlokked Gamelyn · bothe handes and feet,

In hope of avauncement · that he him biheet.

Than seyde Gamelyn · ‘thanked be goddes sonde!


Now I am loosed · bothe foot and honde;

Had I now eten · and dronken aright,

Ther is noon in this hous · schulde binde me this night.’

Adam took Gamelyn · as stille as ony stoon,

And ladde him in-to spence · rapely and anon,


And sette him to soper · right in a privee stede,

He bad him do gladly · and Gamelyn so dede.

Anon as Gamelyn hadde · eten wel and fyn,

And therto y-dronke wel · of the rede wyn,

‘Adam,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘what is now thy reed?


Wher I go to my brother · and girde of his heed?’

‘Gamelyn,’ seyde Adam · ‘it schal not be so.

I can teche thee a reed · that is worth the two.

I wot wel for sothe · that this is no nay,

We schul have a mangery · right on Soneday;


Abbotes and priours · many heer schal be,

And other men of holy chirche · as I telle thee;

Thow schalt stonde up by the post · as thou were hond-fast,

And I schal leve hem unloke · awey thou may hem cast.

Whan that they have eten · and wasschen here hondes,


Thou schalt biseke hem alle · to bring thee out of bondes;

And if they wille borwe thee · that were good game,

Then were thou out of prisoun · and I out of blame;

And if everich of hem · say unto us ‘nay,’

I schal do an other · I swere by this day!


Thou schalt have a good staf · and I wil have another,

And Cristes curs have that oon · that faileth that other!’

‘Ye, for gode!’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘I say it for me,

If I fayle on my syde · yvel mot I thee!

If we schul algate · assoile hem of here sinne,


Warne me, brother Adam · whan I schal biginne.’

‘Gamelyn,’ seyde Adam · ‘by seynte Charite,

I wil warne thee biforn · whan that it schal be;

Whan I twinke on thee · loke for to goon,

And cast awey the feteres · and com to me anoon.’


‘Adam,’ seide Gamelyn · ‘blessed be thy bones!

That is a good counseil · yeven for the nones;

If they werne me thanne · to bringe me out of bendes,

I wol sette goode strokes · right on here lendes.’

341. Hl. lestneth; Pt. listen; rest lesteneth, listenyth.   343. Hl. herkneth; rest Herkeneth, Herkenyth, Harkeneth.   346. Mss. thought.   350. Hl. I-take; rest taken.   Cp. Ln. harde; rest hard.   351. Cp. Rl. Ln. false; rest fals.    Hl. selleer; Cp. sellere; Ln. selere; rest solere (rightly; cf. toret in l. 329).   360. Pt. dethes; rest deth; see l. 24.   363. Rl. Sl. Cp. Ln. false; rest fals.   365. Hl. Cp. Ln. geten heir (heer, here); rest heir (heire, here) geten.   367. Hl. sayd; rest have final e.   376. Hl. forsworn; but see l. 380.   381. Hl. might; read mighte; rest vary.   382. Sl. Ln. hadde; Cp. hadden; rest had, hadd.   383. Cp. Ln. false; rest fals.   384. Cp. sente; Sl. sende; rest sent.   386. Hl. Rl. told; Ln. tolden; rest tolde.   388. Hl. ther; rest om. Cp. lokeden; rest loked; read lokede.   394. Hl. the; rest om.   400, 405, 432. All the (for thee).   407. Hl. brouk; Cp. Pt. Ln. brouke.   414. Hl. Sl. hold; rest holde, halde.   After wil Cp. ins. lose, and Harl. helpe.   417. Hl. hand; Cp. handes; rest hondes.   424. Hl. Cp. rapely and; rest om. and.   430. Hl. Wher; Ln. Where; Cp. For; rest Or.   434. Ln. sonondaye; Hl. and rest sonday; read sonnenday or soneday.   437. Pt. Ln. Harl. bound fast; rest hond-fast (rightly).   438. All but Hl. ins. that bef. awey.   439. Hl. waisschen; rest wasschen, wasshen.   443. Hl. vnto; rest to.   450. Hl. I; rest we.   453. Ln. twynke; Hl. Cp. twynk; rest wynke, winke, wynk.   456. Hl. ȝeuyng; Cp. yeuyng; rest yeuen, ȝeuen, or ȝiuen.   457. Hl. thanne; rest om.

 Tho the Sonday was y-come · and folk to the feste,


Faire they were welcomed · both leste and meste;

And ever atte halle-dore · as they comen in,

They caste their eye · on yonge Gamelyn.

The false knight his brother · ful of trechery,

Alle the gestes that ther were · atte mangery,


Of Gamelyn his brother · he tolde hem with mouthe

Al the harm and the schame · that he telle couthe.

Tho they were served · of messes two or three,

Than seyde Gamelyn · ‘how serve ye me?

It is nought wel served · by god that al made!


That I sitte fasting · and other men make glade.’

The false knight his brother · ther that he stood,

Tolde alle his gestes · that Gamelyn was wood;

And Gamelyn stood stille · and answerde nought,

But Adames wordes · he held in his thought.


Tho Gamelyn gan speke · dolfully with-alle

To the grete lordes · that saten in the halle:

‘Lordes,’ he seyde · ‘for Cristes passioun,

Helpeth bringe Gamelyn · out of prisoun.’

Than seyde an abbot · sorwe on his cheeke!


‘He schal have Cristes curs · and seynte Maries eeke,

That thee out of prisoun · beggeth other borwe,

But ever worthe hem wel · that doth thee moche sorwe.’

After that abbot · than spak another,

‘I wold thin heed were of · though thou were my brother!


Alle that thee borwe · foule mot hem falle!’

Thus they seyden alle · that weren in the halle.

Than seyde a priour · yvel mot he thryve!

‘It is moche scathe, boy · that thou art on lyve.’

‘Ow!’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘so brouke I my bon!


Now I have aspyed · that freendes have I non.

Cursed mot he worthe · bothe fleisch and blood,

That ever do priour · or abbot ony good!’

Adam the spencer · took up the cloth,

And loked on Gamelyn · and say that he was wroth;


Adam on the pantrye · litel he thoughte,

But two goode staves · to halle-dore he broughte,

Adam loked on Gamelyn · and he was war anoon,

And caste awey the feteres · and he bigan to goon:

Tho he com to Adam · he took that oo staf,


And bigan to worche · and goode strokes yaf.

Gamelyn cam in-to the halle · and the spencer bothe,

And loked hem aboute · as they had be wrothe;

Gamelyn sprengeth holy-water · with an oken spire,

That some that stoode upright · fellen in the fire.


There was no lewed man · that in the halle stood,

That wolde do Gamelyn · eny thing but good,

But stood bisyden · and leet hem bothe werche,

For they hadde no rewthe · of men of holy cherche;

Abbot or priour · monk or chanoun,


That Gamelyn overtok · anon they yeeden doun.

Ther was non of hem alle · that with his staf mette,

That he ne made him overthrowe · and quitte him his dette.

‘Gamelyn,’ seyde Adam · ‘for seynte Charite,

Pay large liverey · for the love of me,


And I wil kepe the dore · so ever here I masse!

Er they ben assoyled · there shal noon passe.’

‘Dowt thee nought,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘whyl we ben in-feere,

Kep thou wel the dore · and I wol werche heere;

Stere thee, good Adam · and lat ther noon flee,


And we schul telle largely · how many that ther be.’

‘Gamelyn,’ seyde Adam · ‘do hem but good;

They ben men of holy chirche · draw of hem no blood,

Save wel the croune · and do hem non harmes,

But brek bothe her legges · and siththen here armes.’


Thus Gamelyn and Adam · wroughte right fast,

And pleyden with the monkes · and made hem agast.

Thider they come ryding · Iolily with swaynes,

And hom ayen they were y-lad · in cartes and in waynes.

Tho they hadden al y-don · than seyde a gray frere,


‘Allas! sire abbot · what dide we now heere?

Tho that we comen hider · it was a cold reed,

Us hadde ben better at home · with water and with breed.’

Whyl Gamelyn made ordres · of monkes and frere,

Ever stood his brother · and made foul chere;


Gamelyn up with his staf · that he wel knew,

And gerte him in the nekke · that he overthrew;

A litel above the girdel · the rigge-bon to-barst;

And sette him in the feteres · ther he sat arst.

‘Sitte ther, brother’ · sayde Gamelyn,


‘For to colen thy blood · as I dide myn.’

As swithe as they hadde · y-wroken hem on here foon,

They askeden watir · and wisschen anoon,

What some for here love · and some for here awe,

Alle the servants served hem · of the beste lawe.


The scherreve was thennes · but a fyve myle,

And al was y-told him · in a litel whyle,

How Gamelyn and Adam · had doon a sory rees,

Bounden and y-wounded men · ayein the kinges pees;

Tho bigan sone · stryf for to wake,


And the scherref was aboute · Gamelyn for to take.

460. Hl. lest; Cp. leste.   461. This is Zupitza’s emendation; Mss. as they atte halle dore comen in.   463. Cp. Ln. false; rest fals.   464. Hl. wer; rest were.   467. or] Hl. other.   471. Ln. false; rest fals.   478. All but Hl. ins. to bef. bringe.   486. Hl. seyde; Pt. Ln. Harl. seiden.   Hl. were; Cp. Ln. weren.   488. All but Hl. ins. sorwe and bef. scathe.   489. Hl. brouk; rest brouke, browke, broke.   495, 496. Mss. thought, brought; against grammar.   498. Ln. keste; rest cast.   504. Ln. fellen; rest felle, fell.   505. Hl. lewede; Pt. Ln. lewe; rest lewed, lewid.   507. Hl. besyde; Rl. by-siden; Sl. bisiden; Cp. besyden.   512. Pt. Ln. ne; rest om.   Hl. him; rest hem (twice).   Sl. Cp. quitte; Hl. quyt.   516. Hl. schan; rest shal, schal.   520. Hl. Cp. Ln. om. that.   531. Hl. om. we.   532. Hl. Pt. Ln. omit second with.   536. Cp. gerte; rest gert, girt, gerd.   540. Hl. colyn; Cp. coole; Ln. coly; rest colen   543. Rl. Sl. Pt. Harl. insert her (here) before awe; Hl. Cp. Ln. omit.   545. Hl. a; rest om.   550. I supply was; the two Cambridge Mss. have come; which the rest omit; see ll. 240, 785.

 Now lytheth and lesteneth · so god yif you good fyn!

And ye schul heere good game · of yonge Gamelyn.

Four and twenty yonge men · that heelden hem ful bolde,

Come to the schirref · and seyde that they wolde


Gamelyn and Adam · fetten, by her fay;

The scherref yaf hem leve · soth as I you say;

They hyeden faste · wold they nought bilinne,

Til they come to the gate · ther Gamelyn was inne.

They knokked on the gate · the porter was ny,


And loked out at an hol · as man that was sly.

The porter hadde biholde · hem a litel whyle,

He loved wel Gamelyn · and was adrad of gyle,

And leet the wicket stonden · y-steke ful stille,

And asked hem withoute · what was here wille.


For al the grete company · thanne spak but oon,

‘Undo the gate, porter · and lat us in goon.’

Than seyde the porter · ‘so brouke I my chin,

Ye schul sey your erand · er ye comen in.’

‘Sey to Gamelyn and Adam · if here wille be,


We wil speke with hem · wordes two or thre.’

‘Felaw,’ seyde the porter · ‘stond there stille,

And I wil wende to Gamelyn · to witen his wille.’

In wente the porter · to Gamelyn anoon,

And seyde, ‘Sir, I warne you · her ben come your foon;


The scherreves meyne · ben atte gate,

For to take you bothe · schulle ye nat scape.’

‘Porter,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘so moot I wel thee!

I wil allowe thee thy wordes · whan I my tyme see;

Go agayn to the yate · and dwel with hem a whyle,


And thou schalt see right sone · porter, a gyle.

Adam,’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘looke thee to goon;

We have foo-men atte gate · and frendes never oon;

It ben the schirrefes men · that hider ben y-come,

They ben swore to-gidere · that we schul be nome.’


‘Gamelyn,’ seyde Adam · ‘hye thee right blyve,

And if I faile thee this day · evel mot I thryve!

And we schul so welcome · the scherreves men,

That some of hem schul make · here beddes in the fen.’

Atte posterne-gate · Gamelyn out wente,


And a good cart-staf · in his hand he hente;

Adam hente sone · another gret staf

For to helpe Gamelyn · and goode strokes yaf.

Adam felde tweyne · and Gamelyn felde three,

The other setten feet on erthe · and bigonne flee.


‘What?’ seyde Adam · ‘so ever here I masse!

I have a draught of good wyn! · drink er ye passe!’

‘Nay, by god!’ sayde thay · ‘thy drink is not good,

It wolde make mannes brayn · to lyen in his hood.’

Gamelyn stood stille · and loked him aboute,


And seih the scherreve come · with a gret route.

‘Adam,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘what be now thy reedes?

Here cometh the scherreve · and wil have cure heedes.’

Adam sayde, ‘Gamelyn · my reed is now this,

Abyde we no lenger · lest we fare amis:


I rede that we to wode goon · ar that we be founde,

Better is us ther loos · than in town y-bounde.’

Adam took by the hond · yonge Gamelyn;

And everich of hem two · drank a draught of wyn,

And after took her cours · and wenten her way;


Tho fond the scherreve · nest, but non ay.

The scherreve lighte adoun · and went in-to the halle,

And fond the lord y-fetered · faste with-alle.

The scherreve unfetered him · sone, and that anoon,

And sente after a leche · to hele his rigge-boon.

551. Hl. lestneth; Cp. lesteneth.   Hl. goode.   555. Rl. Sl. Pt. Harl. by her (here) fay; Cp. be way; Hl. Ln. away.   563. Hl. y-steke; rest om.   573. Cp. Ln. Harl. wente; rest went.   576. Cp. schulle; Hl. schul.   Hl. na (for nat); rest not, nouht.   588. Hl. den; Pt. fenne; rest fen.   589. Cp. Ln. wente; rest went.   594. Hl. fle; rest to fle (flee).   602. Hl. comth; rest cometh.   603. So Hl.; rest sayde to.   606. Hl. vs; rest om.   608. Hl. tuo; rest om.   609. Hl. coursers; but see l. 617.   611. Hl. adoun; rest doun.   614. Hl. sent; Cp. Sl. sente.


 Lete we now this false knight · lyen in his care,

And talke we of Gamelyn · and loke how he fare.

Gamelyn in-to the woode · stalkede stille,

And Adam the spenser · lykede ful ille;

Adam swor to Gamelyn · by seynt Richer,


‘Now I see it is mery · to be a spencer,

That lever me were · keyes for to bere,

Than walken in this wilde woode · my clothes to tere.’

‘Adam,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘dismaye thee right nought;

Many good mannes child · in care is y-brought.’


And as they stoode talking · bothen in-feere,

Adam herd talking of men · and neyh, him thought, they were.

Tho Gamelyn under the woode · lokede aright,

Sevene score of yonge men · he saugh wel a-dight;

Alle satte atte mete · in compas aboute.


‘Adam,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘now have we no doute,

After bale cometh boote · thurgh grace of god almight;

Me thinketh of mete and drink · that I have a sight.’

Adam lokede tho · under woode-bowgh,

And whan he seyh mete · he was glad y-nough;


For he hopede to god · for to have his deel,

And he was sore alonged · after a good meel.

As he seyde that word · the mayster outlawe

Saugh Gamelyn and Adam · under woode-schawe.

‘Yonge men,’ seyde the maister · ‘by the goode roode,


I am war of gestes · god sende us non but goode;

Yonder ben two yonge men · wonder wel a-dight,

And paraventure ther ben mo · who-so lokede aright.

Ariseth up, ye yonge men · and fetteth hem to me;

It is good that we witen · what men they be.’


Up ther sterten sevene · fro the diner,

And metten with Gamelyn · and Adam spenser.

Whan they were neyh hem · than seyde that oon,

‘Yeldeth up, yonge men · your bowes and your floon.’

Thanne seyde Gamelyn · that yong was of elde,


‘Moche sorwe mot he have · that to you hem yelde!

I curse non other · but right my-selve;

They ye fette to yow fyve · thanne ye be twelve!’

Tho they herde by his word · that might was in his arm,

Ther was non of hem alle · that wolde do him harm,


But sayde unto Gamelyn · mildely and stille,

‘Com afore our maister · and sey to him thy wille.’

‘Yonge men,’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘by your lewte,

What man is your maister · that ye with be?’

Alle they answerde · withoute lesing,


‘Oure maister is y-crouned · of outlawes king.’

‘Adam,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘go-we in Cristes name;

He may neyther mete nor drink · werne us, for schame.

If that he be hende · and come of gentil blood,

He wol yeve us mete and drink · and doon us som good.’


‘By seynt Iame!’ seyde Adam · ‘what harm that I gete,

I wil auntre to the dore · that I hadde mete.’

Gamelyn and Adam · wente forth in-feere,

And they grette the maister · that they founde there.

Than seide the maister · king of outlawes,


‘What seeke ye, yonge men · under woode-schawes?’

Gamelyn answerde · the king with his croune,

‘He moste needes walke in woode · that may not walke in towne.

Sire, we walke not heer · noon harm for to do,

But-if we meete with a deer · to scheete ther-to,


As men that ben hungry · and mow no mete finde,

And ben harde bistad · under woode-linde.’

Of Gamelynes wordes · the maister hadde routhe,

And seyde, ‘ye schal have y-nough · have god my trouthe!’

He bad hem sitte ther adoun · for to take reste;


And bad hem ete and drinke · and that of the beste.

As they sete and eeten · and dronke wel and fyn,

Than seyde that oon to that other · 'this is Gamelyn.'

Tho was the maister outlawe · in-to counseil nome,

And told how it was Gamelyn · that thider was y-come.


Anon as he herde · how it was bifalle,

He made him maister under him · over hem alle.

Within the thridde wyke · him com tyding,

To the maister outlawe · that tho was her king,

That he schulde come hom · his pees was y-mad;


And of that goode tyding · he was tho ful glad.

Tho seyde he to his yonge men · ‘soth for to telle,

Me ben comen tydinges · I may no lenger dwelle.’

Tho was Gamelyn anon · withoute tarying,

Maad maister outlawe · and crouned here king.

615. Cp. Ln. false; rest fals.   618. Cp. likede; Ln. loked; rest liked.   621. Hl. for; rest om.   625. Hl. And; rest om.   627, 642. Hl. loked.   627. Hl. the; rest om.   640. Cp. Pt. Harl. sende; rest send.   Hl. non but; rest om.   643. Hl. ȝe; rest om.   652. Hl. Cp. They; Rl. Thei; Sl. Ln. Though.   654. Hl. alle; rest om.   655. Hl. sayd; rest add e.   Hl. vnto; rest to.   663. Hl. heende; Cp. kynde; rest hende.   664. Hl. an (for 1st and).   665. Hl. seyd; Ln. seid; rest add e.   666. Hl. auntre; rest auenture me.   Hl. Cp. Ln. to the dore; rest om.   673. Hl. for; rest om.   674. Hl. with; rest om.   679. Hl. ther; rest om.   Hl. adoun; rest doun.   681. Hl. sete and; rest om.   682. Hl. seyd; rest add e.   Hl. Pt. Ln. that oon . . . other; rest on to an other.   688, 690. Hl. tho; rest om.   689. Hl. I-made; Cp. Sl. maad; rest made.   694. Cp. Maad; rest Made (badly).   Cp. Ln. here; rest her.


 Tho was Gamelyn crouned · king of outlawes,

And walked a whyle · under woode-schawes.

The false knight his brother · was scherreve and sire,

And leet his brother endite · for hate and for ire.

Tho were his bonde-men · sory and nothing glad,

When Gamelyn her lord · ‘wolves-heed’ was cryed and maad;


And sente out of his men · wher they might him finde,

For to seke Gamelyn · under woode-linde,

To telle him tydinges · how the wind was went,

And al his good reved · and his men schent.

697. Cp. Ln. false; rest fals.   699. Rl. Sl. glad; rest glade, gladde.   700. Sl. Cp. maad; rest made, maade.   703. Hl. how; rest om.   704. So Hl. Cp. Ln.; rest and alle his.


 Whan they had him founde · on knees they hem sette,

And a-doun with here hood · and here lord grette;

‘Sire, wraththe you nought · for the goode roode,

For we have brought you tydinges · but they be nat goode.

Now is thy brother scherreve · and hath the baillye,


And he hath endited thee · and ‘wolves-heed’ doth thee crye.’

 ‘Allas!’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘that ever I was so slak

That I ne hadde broke his nekke · tho I his rigge brak!

Goth, greteth hem wel · myn housbondes and wyf,

I wol ben atte nexte schire · have god my lyf!’


Gamelyn com wel redy · to the nexte schire,

And ther was his brother · bothe lord and sire.

Gamelyn com boldelich · in-to the moot-halle,

And putte a-doun his hood · among the lordes alle;

‘God save you alle, lordinges · that now here be!


But broke-bak scherreve · evel mot thou thee!

Why hast thou do me · that schame and vilonye,

For to late endite me · and ‘wolves-heed’ me crye?’

Tho thoughte the false knight · for to ben awreke,

And leet take Gamelyn · moste he no more speke;


Might ther be no more grace · but Gamelyn atte laste

Was cast in-to prisoun · and fetered ful faste.

712. Hl. om. 2nd I.   713. Hl. hem; rest om. Harl. boþe housbonde; rest myn housbondes.   715. Hl. came; see l. 717.   718. Rl. Sl. Cp. putte; rest put.   719. Hl. alle; rest om.   722. Hl. me; rest do me.   723. Cp. thoughte the false; rest thought the fals.   724. Mss. most, the e being elided.   725, 726. Rl. Sl. Cp. laste, faste; rest last, fast.

 Gamelyn hath a brother · that highte sir Ote,

As good a knight and hende · as mighte gon on foote.

Anon ther yede a messager · to that goode knight,


And tolde him al-togidere · how Gamelyn was dight.

Anon as sire Ote herde · how Gamelyn was a-dight,

He was wonder sory · was he no-thing light,

And leet sadle a steede · and the way he nam,

And to his tweyne bretheren · anon-right he cam.


‘Sire,’ seyde sire Ote · to the scherreve tho,

‘We ben but three bretheren · schul we never be mo;

And thou hast y-prisoned · the beste of us alle;

Swich another brother · yvel mot him bifalle!’

‘Sire Ote,’ seide the false knight · ‘lat be thy curs;


By god, for thy wordes · he schal fare the wurs;

To the kinges prisoun · anon he is y-nome,

And ther he schal abyde · til the Iustice come.’

‘Parde!’ seyde sir Ote · ‘better it schal be;

I bidde him to maynpris · that thou graunte him me


Til the nexte sitting · of deliveraunce,

And thanne lat Gamelyn · stande to his chaunce.’

‘Brother, in swich a forward · I take him to thee;

And by thy fader soule · that thee bigat and me,

But-if he be redy · whan the Iustice sitte,


Thou schalt bere the Iuggement · for al thy grete witte.’

‘I graunte wel,’ seide sir Ote · ‘that it so be.

Let deliver him anon · and tak him to me.’

Tho was Gamelyn delivered · to sire Ote his brother,

And that night dwellede · that on with that other.


On the morn seyde Gamelyn · to sire Ote the hende,

‘Brother,’ he seide, ‘I moot · for sothe, from thee wende,

To loke how my yonge men · leden here lyf,

Whether they liven in Ioye · or elles in stryf.’

‘By god!’ seyde sire Ote · ‘that is a cold reed,


Now I see that al the cark · schal fallen on myn heed;

For when the Iustice sitte · and thou be nought y-founde,

I schal anon be take · and in thy stede y-bounde.'

‘Brother,’ sayde Gamelyn · ‘dismaye thee nought,

For by seint Iame in Gales · that many man hath sought,


If that god almighty · holde my lyf and wit,

I wil be ther redy · whan the Iustice sit.’

Than seide sir Ote to Gamelyn · ‘god schilde thee fro schame;

Com whan thou seest tyme · and bring us out of blame.’

728. Hl. Cp. heende; rest hende.   729. Hl. ther; rest om.   730. Hl. Cp. told; rest tolde.   734. Hl. anon right; Ln. ful sone; rest right sone.   737. Rl. Cp. beste; rest best.   739. Pt. Ln. false; rest fals.   741. Hl. anon; rest om.   744. Hl. Cp. maympris.   Hl. Sl. Ln. graunt; rest graunte.   Hl. him; Cp. Ln. to; rest on.   747. Hl. forthward; rest forward.   749. Hl. if; rest om.   754. Hl. Cp. dwelleden; Ln. dwelden; rest dwellide, dwellid, dwelled.   755. Hl. Cp. heende: Rl. hynde; rest hende.   761, 766. Mss. sitte, except Hl. sitt in l. 766. Here sitte is subj.; but in l. 766 sit = sitteth.   765. Hl. hold; Rl. hold me; rest holde me.   765, 766. Hl. witt, sitt.

 Litheth, and lesteneth · and holdeth you stille,


And ye schul here how Gamelyn · hadde al his wille.

Gamelyn wente ayein · under woode-rys,

And fond there pleying · yonge men of prys.

Tho was yong Gamelyn · glad and blithe y-nough,

Whan he fond his mery men · under woode-bough.


Gamelyn and his men · talkeden in-feere,

And they hadde good game · here maister to heere;

They tolden him of aventures · that they hadde founde,

And Gamelyn hem tolde ayein · how he was fast y-bounde.

Whyl Gamelyn was outlawed · hadde he no cors;


There was no man that for him · ferde the wors,

But abbotes and priours · monk and chanoun;

On hem left he no-thing · whan he mighte hem nom.

Whyl Gamelyn and his men · made merthes ryve,

The false knight his brother · yvel mot he thryve!


For he was fast aboute · bothe day and other,

For to hyre the quest · to hangen his brother.

Gamelyn stood on a day · and, as he biheeld

The woodes and the schawes · in the wilde feeld,

He thoughte on his brother · how he him beheet


That he wolde be redy · whan the Iustice seet;

He thoughte wel that he wolde · withoute delay,

Come afore the Iustice · to kepen his day,

And seide to his yonge men · ‘dighteth you yare,

For whan the Iustice sitte · we moote be thare,


For I am under borwe · til that I come,

And my brother for me · to prisoun schal be nome.’

‘By seint Iame!’ seyde his yonge men · ‘and thou rede therto,

Ordeyne how it schal be · and it schal be do.’

Whyl Gamelyn was coming · ther the Iustice sat,


The false knight his brother · foryat he nat that,

To huyre the men on his quest · to hangen his brother;

Though he hadde nought that oon · he wolde have that other.

Tho cam Gamelyn · fro under woode-rys,

And broughte with him · his yonge men of prys.

769. Hl. lestneth; Cp. lesteneth; Rl. Pt. listeneth.   770. Rl. Sl. Cp. hadde; rest had.   Hl. Pt. al; rest om..   771. Hl. aȝein; rest om..   773. Hl. Cp. Ln. ȝonge; rest ȝong.   774. Hl. mery; rest om..   775. Hl. talked; Rl. Pt. talkeden; Sl. talkiden.   779. Sl. Cp. Ln. hadde; Rl. hade; rest had.   782. Mss. might; the e being elided.   784. Cp. false; rest fals.   789. Hl. thought; see l. 791.   794. Hl. sitt.   800. Cp. Ln. false; rest fals.   804. Hl. his; rest om.


 ‘I see wel,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘the Iustice is set;

Go aforn, Adam · and loke how it spet.’

Adam wente into the halle · and loked al aboute,

He seyh there stonde · lordes grete and stoute,

And sir Ote his brother · fetered wel fast;


Tho went Adam out of halle · as he were agast.

Adam said to Gamelyn · and to his felawes alle,

‘Sir Ote stant y-fetered · in the moot-halle.’

‘Yonge men,’ seide Gamelyn · ‘this ye heeren alle;

Sire Ote stant y-fetered · in the moot-halle.


If god yif us grace · wel for to doo,

He schal it abegge · that broughte him ther-too.’

Thanne sayde Adam · that lokkes hadde hore,

‘Cristes curs mote he have · that him bond so sore!

And thou wilt, Gamelyn · do after my reed,


Ther is noon in the halle · schal bere awey his heed.’

‘Adam,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘we wiln nought don so,

We wil slee the giltif · and lat the other go.

I wil into the halle · and with the Iustice speke;

On hem that ben gultif · I wil ben awreke.


Lat non scape at the dore · take, yonge men, yeme;

For I wil be Iustice this day · domes for to deme.

God spede me this day · at my newe werk!

Adam, com on with me · for thou schalt be my clerk.’

His men answereden him · and bade him doon his best,


‘And if thou to us have neede · thou schalt finde us prest;

We wiln stande with thee · whyl that we may dure,

And but we werke manly · pay us non hure.’

‘Yonge men,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘so mot I wel thee!

As trusty a maister · ye schal finde of me.’


Right there the Iustice · sat in the halle,

In wente Gamelyn · amonges hem alle.

805, 806. Mss. sette, spette (wrongly).   807. Cp. wente; rest went.   808. Hl. gret; rest grete.   811. Hl. felaws; rest felawes, felowes.   816. Ln brouht it; Hl. om. it; rest it broughte; but read broughte him.   818. Rl. Sl, Pt. mote; Ln. mot; Hl. Cp. most.   819. Cp. reed; Hl. red; rest rede.   822. Hl. Pt. lat; rest late   826. for to in MS. Camb. Mm. 2. 5; rest om. for.   828. Hl. on; rest om.   829. Rl. bade; rest bad.

 Gamelyn leet unfetere · his brother out of bende.

Thanne seyde sire Ote · his brother that was hende,

‘Thou haddest almost, Gamelyn · dwelled to longe,


For the quest is oute on me · that I schulde honge.’

‘Brother,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘so god yif me good rest!

This day they schuln ben hanged · that ben on thy quest;

And the Iustice bothe · that is the Iugge-man,

And the scherreve bothe · thurgh him it bigan.'


Thanne seyde Gamelyn · to the Iustise,

Now is thy power y-don · thou most nedes arise;

Thow hast yeven domes · that ben yvel dight,

I wil sitten in thy sete · and dressen hem aright.’

The Iustice sat stille · and roos nought anoon;


And Gamelyn clevede · [a-two] his cheeke-boon;

Gamelyn took him in his arm · and no more spak,

But threw him over the barre · and his arm to-brak.

Durste non to Gamelyn · seye but good,

For ferd of the company · that withoute stood.


Gamelyn sette him doun · in the Iustices seet,

And sire Ote his brother by him · and Adam at his feet.

Whan Gamelyn was y-set · in the Iustices stede,

Herkneth of a bourde · that Gamelyn dede.

He leet fetre the Iustice · and his false brother,


And dede hem come to the barre · that oon with that other.

Tho Gamelyn hadde thus y-doon · hadde he no reste,

Til he had enquered · who was on the queste

For to deme his brother · sir Ote, for to honge;

Er he wiste which they were · him thoughte ful longe.


But as sone as Gamelyn · wiste wher they were,

He dede hem everichone · feteren in-feere,

And bringen hem to the barre · and sette hem in rewe;

‘By my faith!’ seyde the Iustice · ‘the scherreve is a schrewe!’

Than seyde Gamelyn · to the Iustise,


‘Thou hast y-yeve domes · of the wors assise;

And the twelve sisours · that weren of the queste,

They schul ben hanged this day · so have I good reste!’

Thanne seide the scherreve · to yonge Gamelyn,

‘Lord, I crye the mercy · brother art thou myn.’


‘Therfore,’ seyde Gamelyn · ‘have thou Cristes curs,

For, and thou were maister · yit I schulde have wors.’

For to make short tale · and nought to tarie longe,

He ordeyned him a queste · of his men so stronge;

The Iustice and the scherreve · bothe honged hye,


To weyven with the ropes · and with the winde drye;

And the twelve sisours · (sorwe have that rekke!)

Alle they were hanged · faste by the nekke.

Thus ended the false knight · with his treccherye,

That ever hadde y-lad his lyf · in falsnes and folye.


He was hanged by the nekke · and nought by the purs;

That was the meede that he hadde · for his fadres curs.

837. Hl. beende; Cp. Pt. Ln. bende.   838. Hl. Cp. heende; rest hende.   843. Hl. om. the.   Hl. Iugges; rest Iugge, Iuge.   845. Cp. Thanne; rest Than.   850. I supply a-two.   851. Hl. arm; rest armes.   854. Rl. Harl. ferd; Pt. feerd; Hl. Cp. fered; Ln. ferde.   855. Mss. sete.   857. stede] Hl. Rl. Cp. sete (wrongly).   859. Cp. Ln. false; rest fals.   861. Cp. hadde; Rl. hade; Hl. had (2nd time).   861, 862. Hl. rest, quest; see ll. 871, 872.   864. Hl. Cp. Ln. he; Rl. Pt. him; Harl. (1758) hym.   866. Cp. feteren; Hl. fetere.   872. Hl. om. good.   877. Hl. tarie; rest om.   878. Rl. Pt. Harl. quest; rest queste.   879. Cp. beþ; rest bothe, both.   880. Hl. om. the before ropes. Hl. Rl. Cp. wynd; rest wynde, winde.   883. Cp. Ln. false; rest fals.   884. Cp. hadde; Ln. hade; rest had.   885. Hl. Pt. nek; rest necke, nekke.   886. Rl. Cp. hadde; rest had.

 Sire Ote was eldest · and Gamelyn was ying,

They wenten with here frendes · even to the king;

They made pees with the king · of the best assise.


The king loved wel sir Ote · and made him Iustise.

And after, the king made Gamelyn · bothe in est and west,

Chief Iustice · of al his free forest;

Alle his wighte yonge men · the king foryaf here gilt,

And sitthen in good office · the king hem hath y-pilt.


Thus wan Gamelyn · his lond and his leede,

And wrak him of his enemys · and quitte hem here meede;

And sire Ote his brother · made him his heir,

And siththen wedded Gamelyn · a wyf bothe good and feyr;

They liveden to-gidere · whyl that Crist wolde,


And sithen was Gamelyn · graven under molde.

And so schal we alle · may ther no man flee:

God bringe us to the Ioye · that ever schal be!

888. Hl. They; rest om. Hl. freendes.   Hl. euen to; Rl. Harl. and passeden to; Pt. and passed to; Cp. and passed with; Ln. and pesed with.   892. Hl. al; rest om.   896. Cp. Pt. quitte; Hl. quyt.   902. Ln. bringe; rest bryng, bring.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:52