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but the collier called his wife to take him by the hand and set him at the table, where he should have gone when bidden; and sitting himself opposite, thus addressed the king: Sir, thou lookest as if thou hadst manners enough, and yet thou hast none. Thou hast travelled, I guess, in many strange lands, and hast less excuse for not knowing how to act the courtier. Though I am but a simple man, yet in my own house all must do as I bid them." The king thought to himself, this is a kind of schooling I have not been used to; but this is an evil life, and the best policy is to give in. So, without more ado, he sat down beside the goodwife, who, not quite relishing her husband's roughness, kindly pressed him to partake of their cheer. When they had enjoyed themselves on everything of the best— bread, capon, venison, and pigeon pie

they talked until they reached the col-
lier's house. Having found the gate,
the collier cried out to his wife: "Dame,
undo the door quickly, for my guest
and I are almost starved to death with
cold." She lost no time in letting them
in, and with a hearty greeting welcomed
her husband and his guest. "Dame,"
said the collier to his wife, "I think I
have dear bought this day's hire, and I
trow my guest has not fared better;
make a right royal rousing fire, and see
the best that thou canst give us, while
we see the horses put into the stable."
On their return to the house, the collier
beckoned the king to go in first; but he,
out of courtesy, replied, "After you, sir."
"Na, na," said the collier, taking him
by the cuff of the neck, and shoving
him in before him; "if ever thou learned
manners, I'll warrant thou has clean
forgotten them, since thou does not
know to make me lord in mine own-they became quite confidential over
house; so might I thrive, but we shall
fall out." When they came in, the fire
was blazing brightly, and the two sat
them down to enjoy it; but the collier,
thinking it time they had some addi-
tional cheer, called to Gillian, his wife,
to bring the supper; "for," said he,
"such a day of striving against such
wicked weather is best ended with a
merry night." Now the supper is set,
and the collier invites the king to take
his wife's hand and sit down to the table.
The king, out of courtesy, again insisted
on his host taking precedence, when the
collier, saying, "This is the second time
that thou hast forgot thy manners," hit
him a blow under the ear that sent him
reeling across the hall. The king, with
some difficulty, restrained his anger;

their wine. "Sir," said the collier, addressing the king, "the royal foresters dislike me very much on account of the deer. They say that I aye bring down the fattest, and threaten to bring me to Paris before the king to be punished. But in spite their menacing, I manage always to have enough for myself and a guest, as thou seest; so there is no need to stint in thy eating." "Marry," said Charles, "the king himself has, in his time, been glad of such fare." "Gill," said the collier to his wife, "fill up a cup and let us drink to the health of our guest." Having drank their glasses dry, the king thanked the collier with "ane blythe cheir;" after which they sit round a bright blazing fire, where the collier entertains

them with many stories of his poaching adventures, at which the king is much amused, but holds a good countenance. The collier, at length becoming curious to know something of his guest, says, "Friend, I would like, if it please you, to know where you dwell when at home." "I live mostly at court,' ," said the king, "and have been fifteen years in the service of my lady the queen." "And what kind of office dost thou hold under the queen ?" said Ralph. "A groom of her chamber, by Saint James," replied the king; “and though I say it myself, there is no one else farther ben in her majesty's good graces. For my absence to-night I fear I shall have to bear the blame." "And what is your name?" inquired Ralph. "Wymond of the Wardrobe," said the king; "and if you come to the palace I promise you shall have the better sale for your fuel on my account, and something besides for your trouble, worth a load or two." "I do not know," said Ralph, "where the palace is, and I am not fond of going where I am not known." "I shall let you know," said the king, "before I leave. The king and queen spend their Christmas in Paris, and if you come there then, you shall have no reason to regret your trouble. I am known to all the officers about court; you have only to ask if I'm at home. See you remember my name." "By the rood I think I shall need," said the collier; "for if I go to court I know no other; but let us take a parting cup, for it is well on in the night, and nothing is better than a drink before going to bed;" with that they conduct the king to a chamber where

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there is a "burly bed" all closed in with curtains, and "comely cled."

The king was up by daybreak, and, having dressed, got his horse, and was about to depart, when he went to take leave of his host. He started up when he saw him ready to go, and pressed him to stay till the weather became more settled; but he excused himself on account of urgent business, and asked the collier to fetch the goodwife, that he might pay her for his entertainment. "God forbid," said the collier, "and thou of Charles' company, chief king of chivalry, that I should charge thee for one night's shelter!" "Then," said the king, "seeing you will have no pay, come to-morrow to the court with a load of coals; I shall require some myself, and I think I can help you to sell the rest; see that you fail not to come." "In faith," said the collier,

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you may depend on my being there; but tell me truly what your right name is?" "Wymond of the Wardrobe; have no fear that that will find me," said the king, and without more ado he took his leave.

On his way to court he meets all the nobles-Sir Rolland, and Sir Oliver, and three bishops, with all the chivalry of Paris, who had been wandering about all night to see if they might find out what had befallen him. After the greatest demonstrations of joy for his safety, they all return with him in procession, and give thanks to God for his preservation; and such were the rejoicings that for twenty days were held on account of his deliverance, that that Christmas was held in remembrance as the merriest that ever was spent in France.

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said the collier to his wife, "I think I have dear bought this day's hire, and I trow my guest has not fared better; make a right royal rousing fire, and see the best that thou canst give us, while we see the horses put into the stable." On their return to the house, the collier beckoned the king to go in first; but he, out of courtesy, replied, “After you, sir." | "Na, na," said the collier, taking him by the cuff of the neck, and shoving him in before him; "if ever thou learned manners, I'll warrant thou has clean forgotten them, since thou does not know to make me lord in mine own house; so might I thrive, but we shall fall out." When they came in, the fire was blazing brightly, and the two sat them down to enjoy it; but the collier, thinking it time they had some additional cheer, called to Gillian, his wife, to bring the supper; “for," said he, "such a day of striving against such wicked weather is best ended with a merry night." Now the supper is set, and the collier invites the king to take his wife's hand and sit down to the table. | The king, out of courtesy, again insisted on his host taking precedence, when the collier, saying, "This is the second time that thou hast forgot thy manners," hit him a blow under the ear that sent him reeling across the hall. The king, with some difficulty, restrained his anger;

but the collier called his wife to take him by the hand and set him at the table, where he should have gone when bidden; and sitting himself opposite, thus addressed the king: "Sir, thou lookest as if thou hadst manners enough, and yet thou hast none. Thou hast travelled, I guess, in many strange lands, and hast less excuse for not knowing how to act the courtier. Though I am but a simple man, yet in my own house all must do as I bid them." The king thought to himself, this is a kind of schooling I have not been used to; but this is an evil life, and the best policy is to give in. So, without more ado, he sat down beside the goodwife, who, not quite relishing her husband's roughness, kindly pressed him to partake of their cheer. When they had enjoyed themselves on everything of the bestbread, capon, venison, and pigeon pie

they became quite confidential over their wine. "Sir," said the collier, addressing the king, "the royal foresters dislike me very much on account of the deer. They say that I aye bring down the fattest, and threaten to bring me to Paris before the king to be punished. But in spite their menacing, I manage always to have enough for myself and a guest, as thou seest; so there is no need to stint in thy eating."

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them with many stories of his poaching adventures, at which the king is much amused, but holds a good countenance. The collier, at length becoming curious to know something of his guest, says, "Friend, I would like, if it please you, to know where you dwell when at home." "I live mostly at court," said the king, "and have been fifteen years in the service of my lady the queen." "And what kind of office dost thou hold under the queen?" said Ralph. "A groom of her chamber, by Saint James,” replied the king; "and though I say it myself, there is no one else farther ben in her majesty's good graces. For my absence to-night I fear I shall have to bear the blame." "And what is your name?" inquired Ralph. "Wymond of the Wardrobe," said the king; "and if you come to the palace I promise you shall have the better sale for your fuel on my account, and something besides for your trouble, worth a load or two." "I do not know," said Ralph, 66 where the palace is, and I am not fond of going where I am not known." "I shall let you know," said the king, "before I leave. The king and queen spend their Christmas in Paris, and if you come there then, you shall have no reason to regret your trouble. I am known to all the officers about court; you have only to ask if I'm at home. See you remember my name." "By the rood I think I shall need," said the collier; "for if I go to court I know no other; but let us take a parting cup, for it is well on in the night, and nothing is better than a drink before going to bed;" with that they conduct the king to a chamber where

there is a "burly bed" all closed in with curtains, and "comely cled."

The king was up by daybreak, and, having dressed, got his horse, and was about to depart, when he went to take leave of his host. He started up when he saw him ready to go, and pressed him to stay till the weather became more settled; but he excused himself on account of urgent business, and asked the collier to fetch the goodwife, that he might pay her for his entertainment. "God forbid," said the collier, "and thou of Charles' company, chief king of chivalry, that I should charge thee for one night's shelter !" "Then," said the king, "seeing you will have no pay, come to-morrow to the court with a load of coals; I shall require some myself, and I think I can help you to sell the rest; see that you fail not to come." "In faith," said the collier, 'you may depend on my being there; but tell me truly what your right name is?" "Wymond of the Wardrobe; have no fear that that will find me," said the king, and without more ado he took his leave.

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On his way to court he meets all the nobles-Sir Rolland, and Sir Oliver, and three bishops, with all the chivalry of Paris, who had been wandering about all night to see if they might find out what had befallen him. After the greatest demonstrations of joy for his safety, they all return with him in procession, and give thanks to God for his preservation; and such were the rejoicings that for twenty days were held on account of his deliverance, that that Christmas was held in remembrance as the merriest that ever was spent in France.

The collier lost no time in preparing his load of charcoal to be ready next day to go to Paris.

Early on Christmas morning he is up betimes, and fills two creels with fresh charcoal, and has got all ready for his journey, when Gillian, his wife, gave vent to her doubts about the matter.

"Ralph," said she, "I'm thinking that yon man is not so simple as he said. If he had been alone when you gave him such a blow, my faith you should have paid for it; therefore I advise you not to look near the court, for if you do, I'll wager my life, you shall have cause to rue it." "Have no fear for my life, dame; I shall keep my promise, and take my chance, to whatever end it leads;" and with that he starts by the dawn of day, with his horse and creels, and jogs merrily along with his whip in his hand, on his way to

court.

The king appointed his trusty squire, Sir Rolland, to watch for any man laden coming into town, with orders to con

duct him to his presence. Sir Rolland wondered what should induce the king, on the solemn Christmas-day, to appoint him such an errand, when he should be at his devotions; but, as in duty bound, he takes his way, and after watching a good while without seeing any one, at last he spies the collier.

On meeting, the collier kneeled courteously to the knight, who returned his salute, and then said "Friend, leave off thy courtesy, and come with me to Paris; it is the king's orders that thou be brought before him without delay.” "In faith," said the collier, "though I am but a common man and poorly clad,

I shall know which is the best man of us two before I be bullied in that way." "I did not mean to bully thee," said the knight; "but I think thou art not wise to disobey the king's orders."

"I am but following my lawful business, and am fetching a load of fuel to Wymond of the Wardrobe, according to promise. I shall be sore beat before I be driven from my purpose." "So might I thrive," said Sir Rolland; "I am determined thou shalt neither see Wymond nor Will till I have brought thee before the king." The collier stood and looked at the knight, who was splendidly mounted, and armed in complete armour, gorgeously adorned with diamonds and rubies, and all kinds of precious stones that gleamed in the sunlight; and he thought to himself, "If he be as manly as he is well made, it will need no small pith to abide his meeting." Provoked at his coolness, the knight demanded him to cast the creels off his horse, and without more ado to come away to the king. "In faith," said Ralph, "it were great shame did I not keep my promise to fetch these coals to-day; and for all that thou hast said, I will abide by my word." By the rood!" said the knight, thou keepest me here half the day; to the court thou must come; to let thee go were false to the king, from which Christ me save! I know not what he wants thee for, nor did he name you more than any other-I was to bring the first man I met; it may be for your advantage for aught I know." "Thou found me," said the collier, "about no unlawful business; and by the Mother and the Maiden! if thou provoke me

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