Bown of Hamtoun
I.—In Hamtoun there was an earl, who was called Giwn, and he made a rule that he would not have a wife in his youth; and afterwards when he was turning towards old age he took a wife. The wife he fixed upon was a young woman from beyond the sea, and she loved a noble youth who was an emperor in Almaine. And yet in that mean time she became pregnant by the aforesaid Giwn her own husband. And when the time was come, a son was born, who was called Bown, and that son was put out to be fostered by a wealthy knight called Sabaoth. And when the countess saw the earl gliding towards the heaviness of old age, she despised and disregarded him, out of love for the aforesaid young emperor. And she devised a plan how she could fulfil her desired amorous will respecting him. The plan she fixed upon was to send a messenger to the emperor, and to desire him out of love for her to come on the calends of May to a desert forest, that was in the earldom of Giwn, near the castle in which they resided, and a large number of armed horsemen along with him, and to hide himself there. And she said that she also would cause the earl to go in the course of that day, with an easy retinue unarmed, and then he also could cut off the head of the earl, and send it a present to her; and afterwards they also could be together without disturbance. The messenger went to Almaine, and asked for the emperor. He is in a court of his called Calys. Thither-wards the messenger proceeded, and to Calys he came, and fell on his knees before the emperor, and saluted him, and secretly reported his message to him. And well pleased was the emperor with the message, and gave him a stallion, and as much as he wished of gold and silver in addition. And desired him to return to the woman that he loved most, and say to her that he would do every thing that she had asked him on the day appointed.
II.—And the messenger came again to Hamtoun to the countess, and related that the emperor would do her will in every thing that she had asked him. And full of joy was she also, and too slow in her opinion was the day appointed. And on the eve of the calends of May, the countess pretended to be unwell, and she told the earl that she was sick. And then he was greatly grieved for the disease of the countess, and said to her. Is there any thing that can relieve thee? and if there is, do not hide it, whatever it may cost. Yes Lord, quoth she; if I had a little of the fresh flesh of a wild boar, I should recover my health. Dost thou know where a wild boar may be met with? Yes Lord, quoth she; in our forest above the sea there is a wild boar; as the foresters told me. And I also will go there to-morrow. Then she rose up, and put her hands about his neck, and gave him a kiss. And on the morrow the earl dressed himself, and took his shield, and his spear, and his sword, without additional arms, and with three horsemen they went towards the forest. And when they were in the forest seeking the boar, the emperor arose from a hiding place, and said to the earl loudly; come on, decrepit old man; I will cut off thy head, and cause thy son Bown to be hanged, and will take thy wife to myself. And then the earl said; my body I will give against thy body to defend my wife and my son; and if I had abundance of strength, of little regard would thy threat be held by me; and if I should happen to be killed, I shall be killed without sin, and in the Trinity I put my trust.
III.—And then they attacked each other, and the earl was thrown on the ground. Then he said; I am an old man, and thou also art a young man. And then he rose up, and drew his sword like a valiant man, and fought bravely with the emperor. And thereupon four hundred horsemen arose, and attacked him, piercing him with ten wounds, and killed his three companions, and had he been armed according to his will, he would have escaped to Hamtoun. And when he was conquered. he fell on his knees before the emperor, and implored his mercy, and reached his sword to him, and offered him all his wealth, except his wife and his son, that he might not be killed. No, between me and God, quoth he; and the emperor rose up and drew his sword, and cut off the head of earl Giwn; and without delay he sent it a present to the countess. And she also was much pleased with the present, and said to the messenger; take a horse, and hasten to meet the emperor, and tell him to come on joyfully, and to-morrow we will complete our marriage and nuptials. And he also came on joyfully, and as the countess had said, it was done.
IV.—And as soon as Bown heard of his father being killed, he lamented, and cried out loudly, and wept, and went to his mother, and said to her. O proved wretched strumpet, why hast thou caused my father Giwn to be killed? and woe is me that the Lord God has given thee the beauty and form, which he has given; for on account of those was my father killed. And by the man that was born of the Virgin Mary, if he will grant me life, as soon as I can ride, and wear arms, I will make thee to repent in thy heart to have caused my father Giwn to be killed. Thereupon she raised her hand, and struck her son, so that he fell headlong on the floor of the hall. Then his foster father, whose name was Sabaoth, and he was a brave and wealthy knight, arose and took hold of the son, and raised him up between his hands, and would take the youth to his own court. Sabaoth, quoth she also, it will be needful for thee to swear now that thou wilt cause this youth to be killed to-day, otherwise thou shalt be hanged, or flayed alive. And I also Lady will do that willingly. Sabaoth took the youth, and went with him to his own court, and as soon as he arrived home, Sabaoth caused a hog to be killed, and took the clothes of the youth, and dipped them in the blood of the hog, and afterwards he tied them together, and threw them in a great water. And then Sabaoth said to the son. I love thee greatly for the sake of thy father, and accordingly follow thou my advice, and advantage will come to thee from that. I will do so with pleasure, quoth the youth. It will be needful for thee, quoth Sabaoth, to keep my lambs in the meadow below, and to take a poor shepherd’s dress, until these fifteen days have expired. And after that I will send thee to another country to a rich earl, who is a special friend and comrade of mine; and when thou canst bear arms and ride, come thou to me; I and thou will war strongly against the emperor. May the Almighty God the Father repay thee and I also will do that joyfully.
V.—The next morning the youth went with the lambs to the meadow, and there he happened to look a little to the right hand; and when he looked, he heard in the court, which had been his father’s court, such songs, and revelry, and riotous mirth, that he never heard before that the like, and the youth wondered greatly what was the meaning of it, and said. O Lord of Heaven, a wretched case is this, my being yesterday the son of a wealthy earl, and to-day a shepherd of lambs; however I will go to demand my patrimony* the emperor: and he took a strong shepherd’s staff in his hand, and went towards the court. And to the gate he came, and saluted the porter, and besought him to let him in to visit the emperor and his companions. And unworthy did the porter consider the words of the youth, and he said in anger: Flee away, ribald truant stripling; little art thou, and great is thy wretchedness; and thou art the son of a strumpet. Thou sayest truly that I am the son of a strumpet; but thou tellest a lie that I am a truant, or a ribald; and he raised his hand, and with his staff struck him on the top of his head, so that his brains flew about his ears and his shoulders. And the youth went onwards until he was in the entry of the hall in the presence of the emperor and his companions, and undaunted he bravely asked the emperor, who had given him leave to put his hands about the neck of the woman, that was by him, or to kiss her, for he had not given, because she was his mother. And since thou hast taken my mother by force, and killed my father for her sake, I will cause thee to repent of that yet in thy heart. Hold thy tongue, foolish stripling, quoth the emperor. Thereupon the youth became enraged and offended, and from rage the blood burst through his mouth and his nostrils; nevertheless the youth raised the staff; and laid hand on the head of the emperor, and struck him thrice on the head, so that he also fell down, and swooned away. Thereupon the countess uttered a loud cry, and commanded the traitor to be taken. Some of the knights also rose up, and between one and other the son escaped, and fled to his foster father. Sabaoth then asked him what was the cause of his flight. From killing my stepfather, quoth the youth ; he called me a truant stripling, and in Consequence of that, I gave him three strokes on the head, and in my opinion he will not survive. Thou hast done wrong, quoth Sabaoth, and art blameable, and hadst thou remained by my counsel, neither affliction nor trouble would have happened to thee. And forthwith thy mother will come, and she will cause me to be killed, or to be hanged. Thereupon the youth became afraid lest affliction should meet his foster father, and he shed tears and wept.
VI.—And then Sabaoth rose up, and took the youth, and went to hide him in the cellar. Thereupon lo the countess came, one of the most perfect, and best dressed, and fairest women that any one had ever seen, and in her rage she demanded her son of Sabaoth. Why dost thou ask me for the youth? I killed him as thou commandedst yesterday. Thou art telling lies, deceiver. I will cause thee to be flayed, and to be burnt, unless thou givest to me the youth. Thereupon, lest affliction should happen to his foster father, Bown arose from his hiding place, and came before his mother. Here I am with wrath to thee, if thou makest any demand, there is no demand for thee to make of my foster father. She then seized the youth, and called two horsemen to her, and put the youth in their hands, and commanded them to take him to the port, and if they found any one that would buy him, to sell him, and if not, to kill him. They went onwards towards the port, with the youth, and in the port was a dromond, that was a ship of great size, and was full of cruel Saracens. The Saracens bought the youth dearly, namely for four pounds of pure gold. And after buying the youth, they hoisted sail, and sailed away, until they came to Egypt, and there they lowered sail, and cast out anchors. - And the youth wept without resting either day or night, on account of the death of his father, and longing for his country.
VII.—And in that country there was a king, and his name was Ermin; he was an aged hoary man, and had a long beard down his breast, and he had one daughter, and her name was Josian. And from the beginning of the world there was not one that could be compared with her in beauty and form, and liberality and chastity, as will be heard onwards. And to that king the youth was presented, and the king was well pleased with the present. And he asked the youth, through an interpreter, from what country he came, and he swore to Mahumet his god, that he never had seen from afar or near a youth so fair as he was; and he swore that if he would believe in Mahumet, that he could not be separated from him, or alienated, for whatever any one could say. Lord, quoth the youth, I come from England, and my father was an earl, and his name was Giwn, and he was killed innocently; and I also, if God will grant me health until I possess a horse and arms, will avenge my father in two ways. Thereupon the king pitied the youth, and asked him what was his name. Lord, quoth he also, my name is Bown. If thou wouldst believe in Mahumet my god, thou wouldst be a good man, and I have no heir but an only daughter, and her and my kingdom will I give to thee on condition of thy giving up thy Christianity. Lord, quoth the youth, entertain no animosity for that, neither for as much land and territory possessed by the Saracens and Pagans, nor for thy daughter in addition, would I forsake my Christianity, or Jesus Christ; and he will not prevail that trusts or believes in Mahumet. O youth, quoth the king, thy heart is very constant, and it is difficult to turn thee, and since thou wilt not pray to Mahumet, I will that thou serve me as cupbearer always, and when thou hast come to the age of a man, I will dub thee a knight, and will make thee the seneschal over all my dominion, and to be my chief standard bearer. Thereupon some of the knights of the court held a council respecting the youth, because he was so dear to the king, and he loved him so much, and they were offended with the traders that had sent him there. When the youth was fifteen years old, or sixteen, there was not in the world a youth stronger, or fairer, or more shapely than he. And there was not in the court a horseman, however strong, that would dare to combat, or contend with him, for none would escape from him without discomfiture.
VIII.—And at that time there happened to come a wild hoar to the dominion and the country; and that one spared neither great nor small; and if twenty horsemen, complete in horses and arms, happened to meet it, the boar took no more notice of them, than of short-tailed partridges. And Bown often heard that boar mentioned, and one day he took his spear and his sword, with no other arms, and mounted a good stallion, and proceeded onwards towards the place where he heard the boar was. Josian, the king’s daughter, then mounted to the top of the highest tower of the castle, and sat down, and looked at Bown on the way he was going, for she stealthily loved him. And to the wood, where the boar was, he came, and immediately the boar perceived him, and as soon as it saw him, snorting, and opening its jaw was what it did, and without delay it attacked the man. He however, like a brave and valiant fellow, pricked the horse with spurs, and fell upon it with his spear, and hit it, as God willed, in the mouth, and along it the spear went through the heart, and from the thrust of the boar in falling the shaft of the spear was broken in pieces. Then Bown dismounted from his horse, and drew his sword, and cut off the boar’s head, and put it on the piece of the shaft, and after that he mounted his horse, and took the piece of shaff in his hand with the head upon it, and he returned towards the court joyfully. And Josian was looking at his concern, and then she said. O Lord, Bown is a brave and valiant fellow, and if I do not obtain his love, there will be no life for me, and I shall not be able to live. At this, lo ten foresters armed on ten stallions, having sworn mutual oaths between them, and agreed to kill Bown, attacked him. He then awaited them, and sought his sword, but he had forgotten it in the place where he had cut off the boar’s head. And then be fought with them with the piece of shaft, and as God willed forthwith he killed four of them, and in a short time again he killed two, and the other four fled, and he also escaped without a wound. And then she also said. O Mahumet, Bown is brave, and how shall I live with his love, unless he agrees with me. Then Bown came towards the court with the head, and presented the king with it; and the king was well pleased with him, and said to him: Thou art a brave fellow Bown, and may Mahomet welcome thee and defend thee from all harm.
IX.—And then he went to take a turn to the top of the castle, and he leaned on one of the embrasures, and looked. He then saw the king of Damascus, and his name was Bradmund, and a hundred thousand pagans along with him, and threatening king Ermin, and swearing that they would have his daughter. And when Ermin heard that, his heart was almost broken by anger and passion. Then Bradmund said loudly; Ermin, quoth he, give me thy daughter willingly, and if thou wilt refuse me, I will have her against thy will, and I will not leave thee either land, or territory, or town or castle after that. And when I shall have settled with her, I will give her to the vilest in my whole dominion, if I have her against thy will. Ermin descended from the top of the castle, and called his horsemen together, and related to them the words of Bradmund and his c9m-pan ions, and their threat; and he asked their advice. Then his daughter Josian said first, I know a good counsel, to dub Bown a knight, and he will supply thee with strength and help. For the other day I was from the top of the tower looking at him, when he attacked ten foresters, and they were armed, while he was without arms, having left through forgetfulness his sword in the place where he had cut off the boar’s head; he killed six of them, and the four fled. I also will dub him. Bown was called to them, and Ermin said to him. I will dub thee a knight, and after that thou shalt carry my standard in the van of my forces. I will do thy will, Lord, in every case, in the best way that I can. And then Ermin dubbed him a knight, and dressed him in armour, namely a good light secure acketon, and a two-folded breastplate, which thirty of the money of the country would not weigh, and there was not a weapon that could injure one of them through the breastplate. And above that a secure cuirass, with a cloak to cover the breastplate, and greaves on his feet and legs, and above them golden spurs. On his head was placed a bonnet of burkum, and a fillet, and on those a golden glittering helmet. And after that the king gave him a sword, and dressed him with it, and there never was its equal, since it would not become blunt, or bend, however it was struck, and it was not better for any one to be armed, than naked, if he was struck with it, and its name was Morgley. And Josian gave him a horse, and its name was Arundel, and there was neither before nor after its equal, nor so swift.
X.—Bown mounted the horse, and took his shield; and the image of a lion was on the shield, and that was placed on his left shoulder. And then Josian said to him; I pray thee, do not spur the horse but moderately, and duly. O Lady, go thou to the top of the tower, and see whether I spur the horse unduly; when I return, give me a box on the ear. Thou sayest well enough, quoth she. Then Bown took a great horn, and sounded strongly. Thereupon all in the city dressed themselves, and when they were dressed they came together. Then Ermin said to Bown, take my standard, and go in front, and do ye all go along with him, as ye ought with me, if I were going myself to the engagement. They looked at their number, and they were forty thousand in the possession of horses. They left the town, and against them came Bradmund, and a hundred thousand possessing horses along with him ; and Rodefon was carrying his standard in front, and he loved no god but Mahom; and he was more hairy, and rougher in his hair, than the roughest hog in bristles, or the hedgehog. What Bown did was to adjust himself in his saddle, and stretching his feet in his stirrups he pricked Arundel with spurs, and attacked Rodefon, and set upon him with his spear; and struck him in the middle of his shield, so that the shield was broken into pieces; and the spear went through him also, and through all his armour, so that Rodefon fell dead under the feet of his horse, and Bown said to him. It would have been better for thee to have remained at home than to come here; and he returned to his comrades, and said to them. Lords, let us do well, for we have had a good beginning, and there is neither vigour nor strength in the people, that ye see yonder. And Bradmund’s troops also were in great consternation, when they saw their standard bearer killed before them, and the bravest of them wished that he was at home; then they attacked one another, and at the first meeting four hundred of Bradmund’s men were slain. And after that Bown drew his sword Morgley, and with it, like a spear-man mowing the meadow, he cut off the heads of his enemies, and their hands, and their arms, and every other limb that met him; and his companions also boldly and valiantly slew all that met them. And then Bradmund said loudly to his men. Slay for me the troops of Ermin forthwith; and if ye do not slay them, ye shall not have of my goods ever the value of one pin. What Bown then did was to smile, and say. Bradmund, what wouldst thou in this country? was it possibly to obtain Josian? sooner shalt thou be hanged on the gibbet. Dost thou not see that most all thy forces are slain?
XI.—What shall be said more l before mid-day all the forces of Bradmund were slain; and he himself, and a small number along with him, fled stealthily along the valleys, having two of Ermin’s men prisoners, and it was Bradmund’s intention to have them flayed alive; and alas God, that they were not flayed, for they caused ample affliction to Bown afterwards. And when Bown knew that Bradmund. had fled, he pricked Arundel with the spurs, and it ran under him sooner than the sparrow hawk or falcon fly, when they first fly. And forthwith he overtook Bradmund, and he gave him a blow, so that he fell to the ground; and then Bown dismounted, and seized him with the intention of cutting off his head. What Bradmund did was to fall on his knees, and implore protection and mercy; and he offered his homage to him, and to hold under him four hundred cities, and three thousand between castles and lands, and all his dominion belonging to them. I do not wish it, quoth Bown, hut yield to Ermin, and hold thy dominion under him from henceforth. I will do so willingly, and he gave his homage and his faithfulness in the hand of Bown, that he would hold from that time under Ermin. And then Bown dismissed him to his country, and it is a pity that he did not kill him. And Bown released the two knights, and he did wrong. And after that Bown returned, and his companions free along with him, and they came to the presence of Ermin. And then Ermin said : I ought to love thee greatly Bown; and he called his daughter, and commanded her to go to take off Bown’s arms, and afterwards to go to the chamber to eat, and serve him abundantly. And that she also did joyfully; and after eating Josian said to Bown. Fair Lord, quoth she, I will not hide from thee, and I cannot hide it if I wished; many a tear have I wept, and for many nights have I lost my sleep for thee, and take care that thou refusest not my love; and if thou refusest, I shall lose my life and existence, but of vexation I shall die. O fair Lady, entertain no animosity for that, as it is not becoming. There is neither emperor nor king nor earl, who should see and know thee, that would not be glad to have thee for wife. And king Bradmund, a sovereign wealthy man, was seeking thee, hot without success, and I am a native of another country, without the possession of either a castle or town or house, and according to that I should probably prevail, and worse would it become me to compare myself with thee. O fair and noble sir, do not refuse me, for I prefer thee, Sir, with thy one coat, than if I had a king who possessed ten kingdoms. I will refuse thee, between me and God, quoth Bown. What she also did was then to lose her colour, and become black as coal, and fall to the ground in a swoon.
XII.—And when she was raised up, she shed tears, and wept, and in a rage she said. Thou hast truly said, that there is neither an emperor nor king, who would not be glad to have me for wife, but thou hast refused me like a proved villain ; and fitter art thou to be a ditcher delving a trench, and walking on thy feet undubbed as a pedestrian, than being an honourable knight in a princely court; and go to thy country truant villain. O Lady, quoth Bown, thou art lying falsely in calling me a truant villain; I am not sprung from villains ; and thou gayest me a stallion, take it, I will not have thy instruction for it, and I had thought that I had bought it dearly, when I gained to-day another kingdom for thy father. What she also did then was to fall to the ground, and swoon, and her heart was almost split by rage and anger. He also then arose, and left the chamber, and went to the house of a trader in the town, and sought one of the beds, and went to lie on it; and he was enraged for the words of Josian. What she also did, as soon as she got up from her swoon, was to repent for what she had said to Bown, and she called her foster brother, and desired him to go to Bown, and to entreat him to return to converse with her; and if she had said any thing that he disapproved of, she would make atonement to him according to his own judgment and will. The messenger came to Bown, and he delivered the message to him, and entreated him to go to converse with Josian. I will not go, between me and God, quoth he also ; but because thou hast conic with that message, take yonder blue vestment, which is of excellent cloth from beyond sea. The messenger took the vestment, and returned to Josian, and related, to her that he would not come; she then asked who had given him that excellent vestment. Bown, quoth he also. By Mahom my god, it was a lie to call him a villain, and since he will not come to visit me, I will go to visit him. And onwards she went until she came to the house in which Bown was.
XIII.—And as soon as he saw her coming, he pretended that he was sleeping, and he snored loudly. She came forward until she was by the bed, and she sat on the side of the bed, and said to him. Fair Lord awake. I had a little conversation to hold with thee, if thy honour will be pleased to listen to it; O Lady, quoth Bown, I am wearied and bruised, and I pray thee not to speak to me, and let me rest; and badly hast thou thanked me for my labour. What she also then did was to shed tears abundantly, so that her face was all wet with her tears. As soon as he saw her in that affliction, he pitied her in his heart. And then she said to him through her weeping. Lord, quoth she, have mercy on me, and if I said wrong words to thee, I will make atonement according to thy will, and in addition I will forsake Mahom, and believe in Jesus Christ, who suffered death on the cross tree, and I will receive Christianity for love of thee. What he also then did was to sit up, and put his hands about her neck, and give her a kiss. Now there were looking at them kissing one another the two men whom he also had delivered from Bradmund’s prison, and forthwith they sought Ermin, and told him that Bown was causing shame and great insult to him, for he was sleeping with his daughter in broad day, and treating her according to his own will. What Ermin then did was to become enraged, and in his rage he pulled the hair of his head, and asked them if that was true. They then swore great oaths that it was true, and that they also had seen it. What then is your counsel, quoth Ermin; for if I cause him to be killed, or be hanged, I would die sooner than he, because he is my foster son, and I love him so greatly. I know a good counsel, quoth one of them, that thou causest a letter to be written to Bradmund, and desire him in the letter to take the bearer, and put him in the strongest gaol that he possesses, and with a full load of irons upon him, and that he be not freed thence as long as he lived. And he commanded Bown to take the letter to Bradmund, and he took his oath also on his Christianity, that he would not shew that letter to any one, save to Bradmund himself And I also will do so, quoth Ermin.
XIV.—And the letter was made, and Bown was called, and he came forward, and Ermin said to him. Thou must take this letter, quoth he, and go with it as far as Damascus to Bradmund, and ask him to do as much as is in the letter, and thou must swear to thy god, and on thy fealty, that thou wilt not show the letter to any one, except to Bradmund himself. And I also will do so joyfully, quoth Bown. Give me the letter, and my horse, and my sword. No, quoth Ermin; too uneasy is thy horse, and too heavy is thy sword. And accordingly I will provide for thee an easy palfrey, and a light sword, so that thou canst proceed without hindrance. Willingly as thou pleasest Lord, quoth Bown. The letter he took, and mounted the palfrey, and went on his journey; and on that day until the evening, and on the next day, and the third day, Bown was travelling without having either meat or drink. On the fourth day that he was travelling he saw a palmer sitting under the branches of a tree, and taking his dinner, and four great round loaves of wheaten bread before him, and two bottles of wine. And as soon as he came up to the palmer, the palmer saluted him, and entreated him to dismount, and dine with him; and he did so with pleasure, and Bown ate greedily, because his hunger was so great, and the palmer supplied him abundantly with welcome. What Bown did, after satisfying his appetite, with laughing was to ask the palmer whence he came from. I will not conceal it from thee, quoth the palmer, that I come from England, and in Hamtoun was I born, and Sabaot is the name of my father; he was a bravo rich man, when I came from him, and I also came to this country to seek a youth, that was sold to the Saracens from Hamtoun, and his name was Bown. Surely the youth thou mentionest was hanged long ago. What the palmer then did was to cry out and weep; and he said in affliction: O Lord God, what shall I do now? for my foster brother and companion is destroyed. O knight, quoth the palmer, hast thou a letter I if so, show it to me, for thy death may ho in the letter without my knowledge. I will not show it, between me and God, quoth Bown; my Lord would not do so for three hundred cities in his possession.
XV.—They then separated, and embraced, and Bown mounted his horse, and proceeded singing until he came to Damascus; and that city was the richest city on the earth. And the reason of that was, that there was neither tower, nor house, nor castle in the whole city, that was not all roofed with gold and silver. And on top of the highest tower of the castle was the image of an eagle, which was cast of pure gold; and between its two talons was a carbuncle stone, and that lighted the town all night long, however dark it might be, as light as the sun shines, when it is brightest, and the sky is without a cloud. Bown entered the city, and when he came, he heard in a temple singing about a thousand priests of their law. He also entered, and seized Mahom, and broke it in pieces, and with one of the pieces he struck one of the priests, so that he broke his neck. What the others did was to flee to Bradmund, and tell him of the arrival of a knight to them, who had broken Mahom, and killed one of their companions also. Do not say so, quoth Bradmund; he is my lord Bown, and I am afraid of him. Thereupon lo Bown himself came, and as soon as Bradmund saw him, he rose to meet him, and saluted him, and asked him what need there was for his coming there. By my head, quoth Bown, I will make thee to know. Read this letter without delay, otherwise I will cut off thy head with this sword. Bradmund became much frightened, and he had not a limb that did not shake, and he took the letter and read it. And after reading it he was very much pleased, and he took Bown by his right hand, and commanded his horsemen all to stand up, and to take him, and hind him in strong fetters, and he told them that Ermin commanded him to hang Bown on high, because he had been sleeping with his daughter Josian. What the horsemen then did was to seize him immediately, and with iron chains they bound his feet firmly secure, and they placed about his neck a weight that weighed fifteen measures of wheat.
XVI.—And then Bradmund said to him: Were it not that thou hast conquered me with thy spear and thy sword, and that I was subject to thee, I would cause thee to be banged without delay; and yet thou shalt not fare any better. I will cause thee to be placed in my gaol, and there are thirty fathoms of depth in it, and thou shalt do nothing there that thou mayest wish, but have snakes to bite thee, and other poisonous vermin; and thou shalt have every day the quarter of a loaf of gritty bread, as long as thou livest, with nothing more. I must needs be Lord at thy will and pleasure. I will feed thee, quoth Bradmund, for this once well, and after that thou shalt have nothing but what I said before. And then Bradmund cut his meat for him, and when be bad eaten, Bradmund commanded the men to take him to the gaol. And they also did so, and he was thrown headlong to the bottom of the gaol, and had not God protected him, be would have broken his neck before arriving at half the way. In that gaol were abundance of vipers, and other poisonous vermin, and those vermin tormented him, and bit him frequently. What he found under his hands was a strong square crowbar, and with that he defended himself from the vermin, and very soon killed them all. And as long as he was in that gaol, he had not in one day the third part of a sufficiency of bread, and if he also wished for water, it was under his feet that he obtained it; and two horsemen were placed to guard him. And one day Bown said. O Lord God, much affliction and grief do I suffer in this gaol, and by Peter if I could escape from hence, I would take the crown from Ermin, and I would give him a blow in addition, so that he would never say a word afterwards to another. I did not deserve that he should cause me to be tormented thus, for with my sword I gained for him another kingdom; and in weeping Bown uttered those words. And one night when sleeping a poisonous snake came, and viper was its name, which bit him in the middle of the forehead; thereupon he awoke, and caught the vermin, and with his crowbar he battered it, and killed it.
XVII.—Josian came to her father, and asked for Bown; she knew nothing of the deceit and treachery that had been done to him. I will not conceal it from thee, quoth Ermin, he is gone to England to avenge his father, and be will never return here, as he said. Nevertheless if he is a noble courteous knight, he will not forget and the wife who loves most will not forgive him. And that the maiden said frequently, and heavy and grievous were her feelings for losing Bown; and she kept herself chaste for a long time on account of his love, and she kept the horse and the sword also in her possession. Thereupon a brave and wealthy king came, and Inor of Mombrannt was his name, and fifteen kings held under him, and were his subjects; and he asked Ermin for his daughter, and Ermin gave her to him willingly. And Josian herself, as soon as she knew that she was given to Inor, she bemoaned her lot, and she never had been so sad as then. And forthwith she made a girdle of silk, and she chanted a charm over the girdle, which she had learned before; now the force of the charm was, that whatever woman had that girdle about her, no man of the world would lay his hand upon her, to covet her; and with out hindrance, she wore the girdle about her, that she might not be coveted by Inor. And Inor himself and his companions started towards Mobrant, and Josian along with them, and she was weeping without ceasing, and to Mombraunt at last they came. Josian caused her horse to be led along with her, and there was no one that dared to go near the horse, since she had lost Bown, except herself. And in a stable the horse was tied with two iron chains, and no one dared to serve it, but the provender was thrown down to it from the loft above. What Inor did was to think that he would ride the horse by his strength and force; and to the stable he came, and as soon as he came opposite to the horse, the horse raised its hind feet, and struck Inor on his breast bone, so that he fell down to the ground. And as he fell backwards from the horse, he struck his head against the wall, so that it was broken hideously, and had not his men protected him, the horse would have killed him; and to a chamber he was carried, and physicians were brought to him, who attended him until be was recovered.
XVIII.—And when Bown bad been six years altogether in prison, he began to address himself seriously to Jesus Christ, and said. O Lord King of heaven and earth, thou who hast made me, and formed me, in thy image, and bought me dearly on the cross tree to form the heart, I pray thee that thou wilt not leave me any longer in these pains, but have me hanged or flayed, or be delivered from here. Now there were listening to him the two that were guarding him, and they said. Thou shalt be hanged, traitor, to-morrow; and one of them went down along a rope to the bottom, with the intention of bringing Bown to the upper floor. As soon as Bown saw him coming down, he arose and stood up against him; and as soon as the man came to the floor, and opposite Bown, he raised his hand, and with his closed fist he struck Bown on the ear, so that he fell on the ground. O Lord of heaven, quoth Bown, how greatly am I weakened; for when I was first thrown here, and with my sword in my hand, and a hundred pagans on the other side, I would not give a penny for the whole hundred; but with one little blow from this pagan I have fallen to the ground; and if I also do not avenge the blow, I would not give for me a peeled egg. And he raised his crowbar, and struck the pagan with it on his head, so that his brains were about the crowbar, and he also fell dead to the ground. And Bown then got possession of the pagan’s sword, and drew it out: thereupon the other horseman called to his companion, and told him to make haste with Bown up, to destroy him. What Bown then did was to contrive a lie, and be said. I am too heavy, and he is not able to bring me by himself, and hasten thou here to help him. I will do that with pleasure, and he went down along the rope to the bottom. What Bown then did was to cut the rope with the sword as high as he could above his head, and the man fell on the point of the sword, so that it went through his heart, and he also fell dead on the floor; and for three days previously he had no food.
XIX. —And then he prayed; and addressed himself seriously to God to deliver him from thence; and when be had prayed, by the power of the Lord God he broke all the iron chains that were upon him. And he also was never happier than then, and out of joy he jumped upwards fifteen feet to the mark that he jumped, and he had no fear there, and that was a spacious road. Along that road he went until he came to the middle of the city, and he looked about him; and when he looked, it was night, and all were asleep. And in a chamber near him he saw a lamp and tapers burning, and into it he went; and there was not in the world a leaner man than he, for his flesh had become lean in the prison, and there was not of him also except skin and bone; and his hair was so long that it reached to his heels. In the chamber he saw a horse eating its corn, and abundance of arms, and various vestments, which he wanted; and he saw no meat, which he coveted. And forthwith he dressed himself with clothes and arms, with no one to help him save himself. And when he was dressed with a sufficiency of arms according to his will, he took a sword, and mounted the horse like a light horseman, and left the city, and came towards the gate. And the watchman asked him who he was. I am one of Bradmund's men, and Bown has now escaped from the gaol, and I also will compel him to return again. They also opened the gate, and told him to make haste; to Mahom they commended him, and he also left the city: and proceeded onwards that night, and at last he came to a cross road; and then he went direct, and took the same road back, and for a space of the road he saw Damascus, the city from which he had escaped. And he considered whither he should retreat, and then he said: if I knew that I should be thrown into the fire to be burned, I cannot go one step from hence before I sleep. And then he dismounted, and placed his head on the earth, and slept. When he awoke, he mounted his horse, and very great was his fatigue, between his not having had food for three days previously, and that he had not slept at all that night. And then he went onwards until he came to the right road, and singing he went onwards joyfully.
XX.—Return ye to Bradmund. In the early morning of that day Bradmund called his nephew Grandon, and commanded him to go to the gaol, and cause the men that were guarding Bown to come to visit him. And the youth went as far as the gaol, and called on the men, and no one answered; what he then did was to light a lamp, and to let it down by a string to the bottom of the gaol, and there he saw the men killed, and without anything of Bown. He then returned again to his uncle, and reported to him that his men were killed, and Bown escaped. And when Bradmund heard that, he was enraged, and became as black as the coal, and took a crowbar in his hand, and seized upon Mahom his god, and battered it strongly with the crowbar, so that he almost broke it into pieces. And then he said to hire. Unless I get hold of Bown to-day, I will do nothing for thee, and thou shalt never have of my goods the value of one pin. And when he had battered him he said loudly. Dress yourselves, horsemen, after Bown we will go until we overtake him; and I repent that be was not hanged since many a day. They also, the horsemen, dressed themselves, and three thousand-were they in number, and all of them threatening Bown. And when Bradmund had put on his arms, he mounted his stallion, and far in advance of his host he proceeded, and his nephew after him, and there was not in the world a better horse than his and that horse was bought for Grandon for three pounds of pure gold. And after them also there were thee thousand coming by the reins. And Bradmund overtook Bown on the top of a bank, and said to him loudly. Return back, deceiver, my men thou. killedst yesterday, and before my own supper I n-ill cause thee to be hanged. I will not presume to return, quoth Bown, for I am wearied between watching and fasting; and thou also art full of meat and liquor, and therefore a small boast is it for thee to conquer me; and yet I will see whether I can give to thee a blow.
XXI.—What Bradmund then did was to spur his horse, and attack Bown, and draw his sword, and strike him so that his shield was split. Bown himself in a rage drew sword, and struck him on his head through his helmet and armour, so that the skull of his head, and much of the brains in it fell to the bottom of the field, and he also dead to the ground. And then Bown said to him. Between me and God, Bradmund, well was it met with thee, for thou hast been ordained a priest by a bishop, as well as thou hast been, for thou art now like a priest. Thereupon lo Grandon his nephew coming to him on a good horse, and he said to Boon loudly. Before meat or drink enters my head, thou shalt be hanged. O youth, quoth Bown, if thou wilt be advised, thou wilt return back, and wilt carry thy uncle home, for he is a newly ordained priest; and by my faith if thou. comest nearer, I will make thee with my sword a deacon to him. And then Bown considered, that if be had the horse that was under him, he would afterwards be afraid of no one. And then he took Bradmund’s spear, and set upon Grandon with it, and struck him in the shield, so that the shield was broken, and the spear went through him also, and all his armour, and he fell dead on the ground. And then he dismounted from off his horse, and took the good horse, and lightly mounted it, and without any fear he then proceeded onwards and all were pursuing him also. Then he came to the bank of a great water, and half a mile was the -width of the water, and no bridge stood in the water, and it would not allow either ship or barge upon it. What Bown then did was to put the shaft of his spear in the water to see whether it was deep, and immediately the water swept the spear from the hand of Bown, so strong was the water as that. And then Bown became greatly afraid, and began to pray and said. Hear thou Lord God, king of Paradise, that wast born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, and sufferedst death on the cross tree to redeem us, and wast buried, and then thou wentest to spoil hell, and brokest the doors, and forgavest to Mary Magdalene her vanity and her sins, and now thou sittest on the right of the Father, and on the day of judgment wilt come to judge the quick and dead, according to their deeds; I commend to thee, Jesus Christ, my soul and body, for I would rather be drowned in the water, than to be taken by yonder pagans, to be martyred according to their will.
XXII.—And as soon as he had ended his prayer, he pricked his horse with spurs, and enraged it, and forced it into the water; and the horse on the first leap cleared thirty feet in the water. And by the force of his prayer, and the strength of the horse, with trouble and pain they went through. And when they were come through, there was not in the world a happier man than he; what the horse then did was to shake itself, so that Bown fell four feet from it; a second time he mounted the horse, and swore, by the one who redeemed me on the cross tree, I would willingly give the horse and all my arms for half a loaf of bread of fine wheaten flour. And then after Bown had escaped through, the pagans returned back sadly dispirited. Bown himself proceeded onwards until he came near a castle of marble stone, and on a window of the castle he saw a fair young woman leaning. Hark, fair Lady, for the sake of the God in whom thou believest, give me one fill of victuals. O knight, quoth she, it is vain for thee to implore me for meat; for thou art a Christian, and my lord also is a brave bold giant, and I will go immediately to tell him to give thee thy dinner with an iron crowbar. By God, quoth Bown, if I shall not have meat, good woman, I shall die. What she also then did was to go to the giant, and inform him that a knight had come to her, and threatened to take meat by force from her. I will go to visit him; and he took his iron crowbar and dart, and came to Bown, and asked him from whence he had taken the horse by stealth: it is like to the horse which my brother Bradmund had. Thou sayest truly, quoth Bown; I ordained him a priest yesterday on this side of Damascus with my sword; and in my thinking he will never be able to sing mass. What the giant then did was to raise his crowbar up, and try to strike Bown with it, and he did not hit him, but the horse, so that it fell dead on the ground; and Bown boldly rose up, and drew his sword, and in a rage set upon the giant, and if he had hit him, he would have struck him through. What the giant then did was to attack him with the dart, and he hit him in the thigh, so that the dart went through the thigh; and a second time he raised his crowbar, and sought to strike Bown with it, and he did not hit him, but it went by his side to the ground. Then Bown set on him also, and hit him on the top of his shoulder, so that his right arm was cut off, and quickly he struck off the left arm; and afterwards his head and two feet; and the devils took his soul without dispute.
XXIII.—And then Bown entered the castle, and commanded the woman to bring him meat, and she also said that he should have enough : and he had little thanks to her for that. Then the woman brought to him bread of fine flour, as long as he had need of it, and the flesh of cattle, and after that the flesh of cranes and ducks, and after that abundance of the flesh of small birds, and claret wine, of sufficient strength; and he ate greedily like a senseless man, and that was a thing not to be wondered at, for he had been long without food. And when he had enough, and drunk moderately, he recovered all his strength and bravery. And then he said to the woman: Give me a horse; and a horse she also gave to him; and he mounted the horse, and proceeded onwards as far as Jerusalem to the patriarch, and he confessed to him all his sins, and informed him how his father was killed, and how he had been sold to Saracens, and how he had been serving king Ermin, and how he had been accused to the king, and how he also sent him to Bradmund to be imprisoned, and how he also escaped from prison*; and how he was pursued, and how he also slew Bradmund, and how he escaped through the water, and how he killed the giant. What the patriarch then did was to pity him, and give him a thousand amid forty bezants of fine gold; and he took his leave and his blessing, and he thought that he would go to visit Josian before going to Hamtoun. And he went onwards towards Egypt to seek her in the court of her father, and she was not there, but in Mombraunt with Inor. And when he was one day on his journey a horseman met him, and each evidently recognised the other, and they embraced, and held a friendly conversation. And at last Bown asked him for Josian. She is given, quoth he, to a wealthy king, and Inor is his name, in Mombraunt; that is a capital city, and if thou wishest to visit her, thitherwards thou must go. I will, between me and God, quoth Bown. Then he showed him the road, and told him to go through the city called Nuble, and then to Carthage, and thence thou wilt see Mombraunt. And then they separated.
XXIV.—And when Bown was come to Mombraunt, he heard it said that Inor was gone, and all his people along with him, a hunting, and that no one remained in the court and castle except Josian and her foster brother. And excessive pleasure did he get in hearing that, and towards the court he went, and stood near the court, without going in. He then heard Josian weeping loudly, and saying. Alas, Bown of Hamtoun, greatly have I loved thee, and do love thee, and how shall I also live, since I have lost thee? What he also then did was to pity her, and then in the guise of a palmer he entered the court, and asked Josian for his dinner. Thou shalt have it with pleasure, quoth she also, and welcome to thee; and she came herself, and gave him water to wash himself, and she also served, and gave him abundantly meat and liquour. And after eating she conversed with him, and asked whence he came, and from what country he proceeded. I come from England, and there I was born. What she then did was to entertain excessive joy, and ask the palmer, whether he was acquainted with a knight of England, who was named Bown of Hamtoun. I know him well, quoth he also; his father was a kinsman of mine, as was told to me, and it is not yet a year since I saw him killing a brave giant, and a powerful king in addition; and he is in the country in joyous health, and avenging his father prosperously, having taken a fair and noble rich wife, and married her. A wife, quoth Josian. Yes, assuredly, quoth he also. What she then did was to fall to the ground, and swoon away, and it was a wonder that she did not die. And when she was raised from her swoon, she cried out loudly, and said. Wretched was the time when I was born, and I am a person of evil fate, since I have lost Bown and there was not in the world a person whose comfort was more pitiable, or whose lamentation was greater than hers. And then she looked eagerly into the face of the palmer and said. Palmer, quoth she, had I not seen thee in this guise, I would have believed and said that thou wert Bown. I am not, quoth he also; and I have heard him often speaking of the horse ; is that in thy possession l Alas, quoth she ; the horse is there, and there is no one of the court here that dares to go near it, ever since it lost Bown its lord.
XXV.—Thereupon her foster brother came to her, and she also asked him what he thought about the palmer, was he Bown or not; and she asked him to go and see. And he also went, and presently he came to her again, and said to her, that the palmer was Bown. As soon as the horse heard Bown named, he shewed joy and high spirits, and neighed loudly in a transport. And she also came to the palmer, and said to him. Dost thou not hear what high spirits, and energy the horse shows, because he has heard Bown once named. I hear, quoth he also; and I will go to see him, and I shall know whether he will allow me to ride him. And to the horse he went, and presently he mounted him; and the horse, then, having had his lord, was full of life and prancing, and went in a gallop under him along the court until he came to Josian. And she also weeping said then to the palmer. Now, I know in truth that thou art the man that I have loved most, and will love ; and I was fir a long time desirous of seeing him through Jesus Christ. Dismount, and bore is thy horse for thee, and thy sword, which thou shalt have. Lady, quoth he also, give me the sword, and I also will go onwards towards England. Not so will it be, for when thou goest, I also will go with thee. Lady, quoth he also, let me alone; thou art a rich queen, and I also am a poor man; and by Jesus Christ it were more just for me to hate thee than to love thee ; for thy father caused me to be imprisoned in a bad prison for a long time; and another thing also, the other night I confessed to the patriarch, and he also commanded, me that I should take for wife only a virgin, and thou also hast been seven years altogether with Inor thy husband, and if thou wert a virgin during all that time, it is a great wonder. O fair sir, quoth she also; in troth I assert that there has been no cohabitation between me and Inor up to this time; and let us go together to England, and when I shall have been baptized, if thou dost not find me to be a virgin, with my one shirt, send me away. With pleasure, quoth he also. And then he dismounted, and they embraced, and greatly loved one another, and both entertained very great joy, as everybody can know.’
XXVI.—Thereupon they saw Inor with fourteen kings coming from hunting, and a thousand between lions and leopards they obtained that day from hunting; of roebucks and wild boars, there was no one that knew the number. As soon as Josian saw Inor coming, she became very sad, and wept, and called on Boniface, her foster brother, and said to him. See thou yonder Inor coming, and what is thy counsel also! for I am a greatly afraid that we shall not have opportunity to escape. Do not look, quoth Boniface; the best counsel that I can, I will give it : Inor has one brother in a castle that is called Dabilent, and he is a wealthy king, and Baligraunt is his name. And when Inor is come in, let Bown go to him, and let him inform him that his brother is in the castle, and that another king, having a very large host, is fighting with him, and if he does not have aid quickly, he will be overcome, and his castle taken possession of without hindrance; and as soon as he hears that, he will ha heavy in mind, and will forthwith put his army in motion, and he and all his forces with him will proceed toward Dabilent; and there will not remain with us after that but a small number, mid then we can well escape. That is good counsel, quoth Bown; and may Ho that made the firmament protect thee from all harm Thereupon ho Inor and all the other kings come within the court, and forthwith shewed her the game. And after that he looked at Bown, and asked him whence he came, and from what place he came a palmer. Lord, quoth he also. I am come front Nubia, Barbary; from India, from Africa, from Asia; and I have not been in Dabilent, for I could not have a way in, because the king of Lombardy and all his forces are around the castle, and his name is Idrac do Valri. And the man that owns the castle is within, and unless he obtains strength and aid immediately, the house will be shut upon him, and he also will be destroyed. As soon as Inor heard that, the blood gushed through his mouth and his nostrils. Mahom, quoth he; if my brother be a destroyed man, I shall not live after that; and he commanded every one to put on his arms, and they took their road onwards toward Dabilent.
XXVII.— And he left a king behind him to guard Josian; and he was gray haired, and Garsi was his name, and a thousand horsemen were left with him. When Josian saw that Garsi was left to guard her, she became heavy in mind, and bad was her comfort. What Boniface then did was to come to her, and comfort her, and be told her that he would cause her to escape that night, and this is the way in which it can be done. I am acquainted with a herb, and I shall find it in the meadow below; and there is no one who drinks of its juice, who will not be drunk; and I will go to the place, and will mow a horse load of the herbs, and will bring them here; and after that I will bruise them in a mortar, and I will throw their juice abundantly in the wine barrels; and when Garsi is supping just at the beginning of night, I will serve him and his companions with that wine with unscanty abundance. And then thou shalt see him and his companions falling to the ground from drunkenness, and sleeping like pigs; and after that I and Bown will put on our arms, and thou also wilt dress thyself. And after that we will proceed onwards, and before Garsi awakes, we shall be far from here; and as Boniface said, so was it done. And when all had become drunken, and fallen to the ground, they prepared themselves, and dressed themselves. And after that Bown called to Josian, and she also came to him, and said to him. Lord, quoth she, he will carry ten packages full of geld along with us for our journey. No, quoth Bown; if I were in England after I had killed my stepfather, I should have enough of goods and wealth according to my will: thou sayest truly, quoth Boniface, and yet it will be needful for thee to give many a blow before then, and to hire horsemen along with thee to war with thy stepfather, and accordingly it is well for us to carry the gold; and the proverb says. Better is one good aid than two fingers. Willingly, quoth Bown, and do ye so. Then they raised the packages on the horses, and they also mounted, and took their road, and proceeded onwards. The next morning Garsi awoke, the man that ought to have kept Josian, and when he awoke, he wondered why he bad been made drunk. And be also looked at his ring, and in the ring was a bright carbuncle stone, and whoever knew that a conjuration had been made upon him, the stone would show him everything that was asked of it.
XXVIII.—What Garsi then did was to perform a conjuration on the stone, and he saw in it plainly that the palmer had taken Josian by violence. Forthwith he awoke his companions, and commanded them to put on their arms in haste, and informed them that the palmer, to -whom they had given his supper the night before, bad taken Josian by violence; and if Inor knew that, we should be badly put to death: and in haste they also pat on their arms, and after Bown there went a thousand horsemen. Bown and Boniface perceived them coming after them, and then Bown said. By my bead, I will return back, and will give a blow to Garsi, so that his bead will be at the end of the field, so that he will not come after us, and no one will have need ever to fear his threats afterwards, and with Morgley, my sword, as ye shall see, I will cut off the heads of yonder people, so that all the dogs of the country shall have their fill of meat from them. Lord, quoth Boniface, that is a foolish thought; there are yonder a number, the half of which one man could not encounter; and be thou not offended, Lord; I will give thee a counsel that is better. I know of a large cavern before us, which is extensive under ground, and when we have entered the cavern, no one will find us, and we shall have no reason to fear any one. And that counsel they followed, and they entered the cave. Garsi also was seeking them in many a place and found them not, and no one met him, that knew anything of them. He then and his companions returned again sadly enraged, and they three were safe in the cavern, and they had no provisions, the wore the pity. And then Josian said through her weeping to Bown. So great is my hunger, that I cannot live any longer for its intensity. By my confession, quoth Bown, that is a heavy matter, and I am very sorry that the danger is so great as that, and I also will go to see if I can meet with any wild beast, and I will leave Boniface to guard thee until I come back. May God repay thee, Lord! and for my love do not tarry long. I will not, quoth Bown, and he spurred his horse, and went away. Boniface and Josian remained there.
XXIX.—Thereupon lo two poisonous lions enraged attacked them; what Boniface then did was to put on his arms, and mount his horse, and take his spear in his hand, and set upon one of the lions and bit it, and its skin was not broken because it was so bard. The lions also came on every side of him, and one of them killed him, and devoured him, and the other his horse. As soon as she sees that, she began to cry out loudly, and she bad not a limb that did not shake fir fear of the lions. What they also did, as soon as they heard, was to seize her, with the intention of eating her; and their nature will not allow them to kill, or to eat, one that is heir to a king. They tore her dress of fine linen, and from their claws along her white skin the blood ran in streams, and they took her between them, and went with her to the top of a high rock; and heavy were her heart and mind, and she began to complain, and to say. Alas, Bown, a long time art thou delaying; these wild beasts will kill me now, and thou shalt never see me again. Thereupon lo Bown comes to the place, where be bad left Boniface and Josian, having killed a deer; and when he looked, he saw there Boniface’s arm, and in another part he saw his foot; on the other side be saw the thigh of his horse, and his foot, having been peeled to the bones. What be also then did was to call for Josian, and desire her to come to converse with him, and when be neither saw nor heard her, he also fell off his horse to the ground, and swooned away. And if the affliction of Bown was bad, worse if possible was the affliction of the horse according to its sense, neighing and digging the ground with its feet, and whoever could have seen them, would have felt pity in his heart, however strong be might be, to see their affliction. Then Bown rose up, and came in his own condition and bravery, and mounted Arundel his horse, and proceeded onwards; and he looked at the rock, and when he looked, he saw the lions, and Josian between them a prisoner. What Josian did, as soon as she saw Bown, was to cry out, and beseech him to avenge the death of his esquire Boniface. I will do so, quoth Bown, and thou mightest have known for a surety that I will avenge him; the lions must needs go through my bands.
XXX.—As soon as the lions heard him also speaking; they also rose up. What Josian did was to put her hands about the neck of one of them, and restrain him as she best could; but Bown besought her to let him go. I will not let him go, quoth she also, until thou hast killed the other. By God, thou must needs let him go, and the reason is that when I am in my country, and among the gentlemen, if I should say, or should boast, that I had killed two lions, thou wouldst say that thou heldest one of them, while I was killing the other, and that I would not wish for all Christendom. And therefore let him go, and if thou wilt not, by my faith, I will go away, and thou shalt remain there. I will lot him go, Lord, and may Jesus Christ protect thee from their harm! Then Bown dismounted from his horse, lest harm should happen to the horse, and be arranged his shield on his left shoulder, and drew his sword. What one of the lions did at first was to seize him, and to raise its two forefeet, and set upon Bown; and ho hit him on the shield, so that it was broken all to pieces. What Bown himself did was to set upon the lion with his sword, and hit it on its head, and that blow did no harm to the lion, because the skin of its head was so hard. Then the lion opened its mouth with the intention of choking Bown, and then he, Bown, in his rage and ardency set upon the lion, and hit it in the mouth, so that the sword went all along, and through its heart; and without hindrance he drew out the sword, and the lion fell down dead. The ether lion seized him venomously enraged, and tore Bown’s breastplate, so that it was no better that an old bare coat, worn full of hole; and it lifted its two forefeet, and endeavoured to set upon Bown. What Bown did was quickly to set upon it also, and hit it on the forefeet, so that the feet and a good part of the arms went from the body, and it also fell down to the ground; and after that Bown completed the service of the lion well enough.
XXXI.—And after he had killed the two lions, he mounted Arundel, and looked a little before him ; and when he looked, he saw in the guise of a man sonic animal of considerable size, and he had never before seen his like, and a thick iron rod was in his hand, which ten men could not carry one step on account of its weight. On the side was a heavy one-edged spattle; between his eyes were full three feet, and a great ample forehead, and he was blacker than the jet; and he bad a thick nose with distended nostrils, and long bare bony legs; the hair of his head was like the coarse hair of stud horses; his eyes were as large as the two greatest saucers that any one bad ever seen ; his teeth were longer that the tusks of a boar with longest tusks, and he had a mouth of considerable size; and when he spoke he opened his mouth like an old hound, and uttered an indistinct disagreeable sound; he had long strong arms, and hard sharp nails; and his nails were indeed so hard, that there was not a stone wall in Christendom, that he could not uproot altogether in one day. And that ugly misshapen man, as soon as he saw Bown, said loudly. Thou deceiver traitor must needs return again, and give me my lady Josian, whom thou stolest by violence. What Bown did was to wonder greatly at the thickness of the man, and his being so misshapen, and he laughed and said. Thou villain, quoth Bown, by the god in whom thou believest, tell me are all in thy country as big as thyself. They are, by my god Termagaunt, and when I was in my country, they said that I should never arrive at any size, and for shame I left my own country, and came to this country, and submitted to Inor of Mombraunt, and served him faithfully; and thou also stolest his wife by violence; and by Mahom my god, I will break thy head to pieces with my heavy rod. Hold thy tongue pagan, quoth Bown, and too much is all thy boasting; and when we fight, if I do not cut off thy head, thou great fellow, with my sword, I will not praise myself to the value of one glove.
XXXII.—And without hindrance he pricked Arundel with spurs, and set upon the black man, and his name was Copart, and he hit him in the breastbone with his spear, so that the shaft was broken to pieces; and not one limb of Copart was affected after being hit, more than if he had not been hit at all. And then he raised his staff, and aimed at Bown with it, but Bown escaped the grapple so well, that he only hit an oak tree, and that was uprooted and fell to the ground from the blow; and immediately he put his hand on the hilt of the spattle, with the intention of striking Bown. What the horse then did was to raise its bind feet, and set upon the black man in the breast bone, and struck him against his heart, so that he also fell to the ground; and the horse then strongly held him tight between him and the ground, so that Copart could not in any way stand up. Then Bown dismounted from his horse, and drew his sword with the intention of cutting off Copart’s bead; but Josian then spoke, and besought Copart to submit to Bown, and receive Christianity. He -will not do so, quoth Bown; and since he will not do it, by the One in whom I myself believe, quoth Bown, I will cut off his head with my sword immediately. What Copart then did was to speak loudly, so that the woods resounded on every side; and he implored Bown not to kill him, and said that he would be his man, and would receive Christianity with pleasure. I cannot believe thee, quoth Bown. Thou mayst truly, quoth Josian; I will guarantee that he will be a faithful man to thee. With pleasure, quoth Bown, and I also will receive his submission. Then Copart rose up, and without hindrance be made his homage to Bown, and after that Bown mounted his horse, and Josian mounted her horse also, and Copart found his staff, and took it.
XXXIII. —And after that they proceeded onwards until they came to the sea, and in the harbour was a ship, and that -was full of Saracens; and it was their intention to go through the sea to the Christians, and as soon as they saw Copart, they were well pleased, and they said that it bad happened happily for them, as Copart was the best sailor in the world, and he would bring them also safely through the sea. As soon as Copart came near them, he asked them who they were, and -whence they had come. Thou knowest, and art evidently acquainted with us, for we are Saracens. Leave the ship immediately; and then with his staff he attacked them, so that their brains went from their heads, of those who did not leap into the sea to be drowned. And after that he took Bown, and led him to the ship, and Josian after him also; and afterwards he took Arundel between his hands, and placed him in the ship, and he did not forget Josian’s mule, but brought it in. And after that they hoisted sail, and sailed onwards, and when they had traversed half of the sea, king Amonstius overtook them in a long pirate ship, and a great number along with him he threatened Bown strongly, and swore by Mahom that he -would cut off his head; and he asked if it was Copart that he saw. It is I in truth, quoth Copart, I will not conceal it; by Mahom my God, thou shalt repent of this deceit. What Copart then did was to get a great log in the ship, and raise it in his hand, and say to Amonstiuns: Return again rascal, I would not give for you, nor for your faith, a hip; and if thou wilt not return, I will give thee a blow. As soon as Amonstius heard Copart threatening him, he became excessively afraid, and for the best kingdom in the country, he would not wait for the second threatening word of Copart; and then they separated, and Bown sailed onwards until they came to the harbour, that is near Cologne.
XXXIV.—On that day a bishop went on a journey to the harbour, and he was uncle to Bown, and Bown did not know his relationship. Thereupon, lo Bown came to meet the Bishop, and as soon as he came near, he saluted him, and the Bishop asked Bown whence he came. From England, Lord, am I come, and in England was I born, and I am son to Earl Giwn, a man who -was killed wrongfully, and sinfully. The welcome of God to thee, dear hearted nephew, and I am thy uncle. Who is the young damsel that is with thee, quoth the bishop? Lord, quoth Bown, I will not hide it from thee; she loved me greatly, and I loved her, and for that reason I was in prison seven years, and now she will receive baptism and Christianity, and she will forsake Mahom her God. Thanks to God for that! quoth the bishop; and I will baptize her also to-day. Thereupon lo Copart comes, and driving before him the horses, which had on them the packages of gold and silver. As soon as the bishop saw Copart so misshapen as that, he raised his hand up, and from fear he swooned away ten times, and asked Bonn what sort of devil was that. I will not hide it from thee, Lord uncle; he is my servant, and he is one of the bravest men in the world. A servant, quoth the bishop; God forbid that he should ever come to my court with me. He will come, if it please thee, and we would wish that he were baptized to-day. How can he be baptized, dear nephew, for if all the men of the city were to come together, they could not lift him from the baptismal font. And when Copart saw the bishop, he thought that the bishop was a shepherd, because he saw him newly shaved, and his hair cut. And then the bishop conversed with his nephew, and said that he -was a brave knight, when be gained such a servant as that; and he related that news of his death had arrived, and that he had been shamefully killed by the Saracens, to Sebaot his foster father and master, by the son of Sebaot, who had been among the Saracens in quest of him; and for that reason Sebaot had begun to war upon the emperor; and yet he was not able to encounter the emperor, and consequently he was obliged to leave his country and dominion, and go to a strong castle, which he had made in an island in the sea; and that castle would never be taken, as long as provisions continued in it, for it could not be attacked in any way. And from that castle Sebaot and his forces made incursions into the dominion of the emperor; sometimes by day, sometimes by night; and so they laid waste the dominion of the emperor with successful bravery; and if thou wilt do my counsel, thou wilt go to him to help him; and I also will give thee the aid of five hundred horsemen completely equipped. May God repay thee, Lord! and I also will do so joyfully.
XXXV.—And after that conversation they proceeded onwards towards the court, and to the church of the Trinity they went, and Josian was baptized without delay, and Copart was called for, but he could not be put in the baptismal font on account of his size, so a large tub was fetched, and filled with water. Vain for you is your labour, let me go in myself, and come ye, and put your hands upon me. We will do so with pleasure, say the men, and there is no better counsel than that. Then he jumped into the tub with his feet down first, and the water was very cold. And then he quarrelled -with the bishop, and said: What wilt thou, villain bishop? is it to drown me in this water? too long am I a Christian, let me go away. And immediately he stood up, and jumped out of the tub stark naked, and whoever saw him then, he never saw the figure of so ugly a man, or so hideous as that; and he was not like to anything hut a devil, seeking souls to torment them ; and he immediately seized his clothes, and put them on. And after that they went to the hall to their meat. And after eating, Bown prepared himself, and dressed himself, and towards England he took his journey; and the bishop gave him for aid as he had said, five hundred horsemen fully equipped. As soon as Josian saw that, she shed tears, and came to Boon, and said to him; that it was a reproach to him to leave her behind him among princes and knights, for it might happen that they might commit a rape on her, and sleep with her. Be not dismayed, quoth Bown, I will leave Copart with thee to guard thee, and he will protect thee from all pain and harm. With pleasure, Lord, as thou pleasest; and I also will beseech the Lord God that I may be able to take care of myself, until thou comest back again; and then they embraced one another.
XXXVI.—And after that he and his companions mounted their horses, and marched towards England, and then he said to his companions. Before going to Sebaot, we will go to visit the emperor, and I will deceive him, as ye shall see. Willingly as thou pleasest, we will do it. Onwards they proceeded until they came to Hamtoun: as soon as the emperor saw them, and his name was Don, he came to meet them, and he looked at Bown, and asked him whence he came. I am come, Lord, from France, from the castle of Digon. What is thy name? quoth the emperor. Girat, Lord, quoth he also, is my name. Are ye warriors, and will ye take hire for warring? if so I will give you according to your will, that ye should war against time villain; and his name is Sebaot; and he is in an island in the sea yonder in a strong castle, and thence be is harassing extensively. For God’s sake, quoth Girat, is be able to do to thee any harm? By my faith young man, quoth Don, he has assuredly laid waste much of my dominion, sometimes by day, sometimes by night; and so he is always laying waste. Thou oughtest not, Lord, to suffer that, and if thou wilt give me some of thy goods, I will catch Sebaot alive, and hind him, and bring him to thee to thy castle. I will give thee, quoth Don, every thing that thou askest for. I will only ask thee now to fill this ship with meat and liquor, and to give a sufficiency of arms to my companions. And those ye shall have with pleasure. Amid without hindrance the ship was filled, and they obtained arms, as many as they wished, and they sailed onwards until they came near to the castle of Sebaot. And as soon as Sebaot saw thorn, he came to meet them, and he asked Bown whence he came, and where he was born. I will not hide myself from thee Lord master; I am Bown of Hamtoun; and as soon as Sebaot heard that, he took hold of him, and put his hands about his neck, and kissed him frequently; and Sebaot had never been so joyful as then, and it is not easy to declare and relate the joy which they all felt, and to their meat they went, amid ample unstinted service as they wished for they obtained.
XXXVII.—Let us return to Josian, who had been left in Cologne with Copart. And an earl of that country one day looked at Josian, and her beauty was excessively admired by him, and he was inflamed with love of her, so that he knew not what he should do, so much did he love her; and often he came to woo her, and to offer her every benefit that a person could wish for. But she, like a chaste virgin, refused him and his goods decidedly, without wishing fir any thing of him. When he saw that it was of no avail to him to offer goods, nor to woo her, he also swore that he would have her against her will, since he could not have her willingly. Milys, quoth Josian, leave rue alone; and in peace I will never have thee, neither for goods nor for anything else; and I am not afraid of thee, while Copart is in health, a man that will keep and protect me safely, notwithstanding all thy threatening. As soon as he heard that in Copart all her trust was, he came then to Copart, and by scandal and trickery he addressed him as if it were from Bown, and desired him to go to visit him, even to the castle, that was far in the sea. And Copart believed him, and said that lie did not know the way, and he asked him if he would come to direct him I will willingly, quoth Mylis, and they entered a barge, and sailed onwards until they came to the castle. And forthwith Copart went in, and as soon as he entered, Milys by device shut the gate with iron bars, and with iron chains strongly secure, so that no one could come out through the gate, unless it was opened from the outside.
XXXVIII.—Copart himself went onwards, and sought Bown in every place in the castle, and when he found him not, he went to the top of the tower, and thence he saw Milys returning back. What Copart then did was to ask Milys where he was going. I am going, quoth he also, to marry Josian, and to sleep with her. As soon as Copart heard that, he became enraged and offended, and without hindrance, with his hard keen nails, he began to dig into the wall, and at last he went through it. And he leaped into the sea without hindrance, and began to swim; amid when ha was so swimming, he sees a ship near him, and that was full of traders; than he said loudly. Lords, let me come into the ship to you. As soon as they perceived that devil speaking, they really thought that he was a devil, and for fear of him they leaped into the sea. He then entered the ship, and sailed towards the land. On the very same day a messenger came to Bown, and informed him of all the concern, that the earl Milys had married Josian against her will. He Bown put on his arms in haste, and mounted his horse, and took the road towards Cologne, unaccompanied by any one. And when Milys had married Josian against her will, that night he caused her to be brought to a chamber, and when she was come in, he commanded the door of the chamber to be shut on the outside, and that was done; and a large spacious and high bed was raised on four supports that it had, amid into that he forced her to go. He himself was on a seat that was almost even with the side; the man sat down to take off his clothes, and very great was his haste to accomplish his will on Josian. As soon as she saw his haste, she groaned loudly; and yet she recollected the girdle, and she took it, and made it into a slip knot, and she heedlessly and speedily placed it over his head about his neck, and without hindrance she jumped to the other side of the bed to the floor, with the end of the girdle in her hand; and so she held the girdle strongly and successfully in her hands, so that the man was strangled, and the bone of his neck was broken.
XXXIX.—On the next morning his horsemen and youths came about the door of the chamber, and desired Milys to get up, as time day was far advanced. She also said. Vain is your noise; I strangled him last night. Then they broke the door of the chamber, and took Josian, and bound her hands hard, and took her out of the city to burn her, and a great fire was kindled. And as soon as she sees that, she seriously addressed herself to the Lord God, and implored him to be merciful to her soul, since her body was judged. And she wept and cried, and in her affliction said. Alas, Lord Jesus Christ, a wretched matter has happened to me, and a wrong case have I lighted on; giving all my love to Bown, and he also disregarding me, and leaving me to be put to death, without his knowledge, amid we shall never see one another any more. And she asked for a priest, and she obtained a priest; and everyone that saw lien there, however strong his heart was, pitied her. The priest confessed her wholly, and detained her long, because he was so sorry for her being put to death. Thereupon lo Bown arrives, and a shepherd meets him. What Bown then did was to ask the shepherd what was being done with the great fire, that he saw burning. A pitiable thing, quoth the shepherd; to burn a fair maiden, because she had strangled the earl, who had married her against her will. Not in my life, quoth Bown, shall she be burned, amid he pricked Arundel with spurs, and towards the fire he proceeded. Thereupon lo Copart arrives on the other side, and in the middle of the field he meets with the shepherd, and he asks loudly of him for what reason so great a fire was being burnt, as they were burning. As soon as the shepherd sees him, he began to seek flight, and often he said loudly : Benedicite, benedicite. Nevertheless Copart was within a pace of giving him a choke, and he asked the reason why so great a fire as that was being burnt. Lord, for the sake of Him that redeemed us, I implore thy mercy; a maiden is being burnt in yonder fire, that was married yesterday against her will. She shall not be burnt, by my head, as long as I am alive, and he went immediately after Bown, and to the fire they came. And Bown drew Morgley his sword, amid with that he shaved the heads of as many as he met from their bodies. Copart also with his staff slew ten at a time. Then Bown said to Copart. Remember to strike boldly. I will do so with pleasure.
XL.—Amid after they had killed the people, very few escaping, Bown went to Josian, and cut the bands that were on her hands, and desired Copart to ask for a palfrey of the bishop, and the horse was obtained from the bishop without difficulty. And when Copart had returned with the horse, Josian was placed on the horse, and they proceeded onwards until they came to Sebaot’s castle. As soon as Sebaot saw Josian, he embraced her, and welcomed her; and there they remained at Swiurn. Sebaot then caused the castles to he strengthened, and the walls and fortresses to be repaired, and the moats about the castle to be deepened, so that no one could either come in or go omit without his leave. And one day in the morning Bown called for one of the horsemen, and his name was Carfus, and he was one of the bravest and boldest men, and he desired him to go as far as Hamtoun to the emperor, and say to him, that Bown was the name of the knight that had been conversing with him the other night, and had deceived him. And besides that, tell him that he will cause him to be hanged, or to be put to death, and such a death he deserves; since he has now arrived at man’s age, and is able to wear arms, and to ride, and a great number of brave bold horsemen of strength not easily liked are along with him. The messenger went as far as Hamtoun to the emperor, and undauntedly he boldly declared to him the message without concealing anything, and in addition the messenger said: Thou killedst wrongfully and sinfully Giwn, the father of Bown, and thou wilt repent of that quickly. What the emperor then did was to throw a knife newly ground, which was in his hand, at Carfus, but he did not hit him, but a youth, one of his own pages he hit, so that the knife went through him, and he also fell dead to the floor before him. Carfus then mounted his horse, and said to the emperor: A foolish thing hast thou done, in killing thy page instead of me, amid if I were struck at a second time, it might be more successfully, so little canst thou be praised, and I know what hinders thee, too low didst thou kiss thy wife last night. Listen thou to him carefully, the man who sent me to thee; Bown of Hamtoun is his name, and he struck thee when a boy three blows on thy head, so that thou swoonedst; and it is a wonder to him that he did not kill thee; but it will not be long for thee, thou shalt be killed quickly enough.
XLI.—Amid then Carfus returned, and came to Bown, and reported to him how he had performed the message, and how the emperor had killed the page in consequence of that, when he sought to hit him and how he also had said; that too low had he kissed his wife the night before that. And then Bown laughed, and all his companions laughed, and with difficulty it was that they fell not down to the ground from laughing. The emperor himself had much anxiety on account of the news he had heard, and sent ambassadors to Britain to the king, and to Almaine, and besought might and aid, for he had never been so greatly in need of them. And then the ambassadors proceeded onwards, and delivered their message, and entreated the king of Britain to come himself with his forces. He also came joyfully, and a mighty force along with him, between horsemen and infantry; and a great number of men and horses came from Almaine, and they came to Hamtoun. Then Down called his forces together, and commanded them to be silent, and to listen, and then he said. Lords, ye know evidently that Sebaot has been warring against me for a long time; and laying waste my dominion extensively; and now Bown do Hamtoun, and many horsemen along with him, are come to aid him, and him when a young boy I caused to be sold to the Saracens. And along with him there is in the shape of a man some huge animal, which is more like to a devil than to a man, and Copart, I hear, is his name; amid no one can encounter him, on account of his bravery: and what is your counsel on this point? We will go with thee, and will capture Bown and Sebaot and Copart, and bring them here alive, so that thou mayest put them to death according to thy will. And then time emperor felt great joy from that promise. And then they went to put on their arms, and after dressing, they proceeded onwards towards Sebaot’s castle, and they divided their host into two bodies; the king of Britain led the van, and the emperor the rear. Against them also came Sebaot and Bown and their forces from the castle. And Sebaot was put to lead the van, and Bown the second division, and Copart the third; and in proportion to every hundred men of theirs, there were with the emperor a thousand men.
XLII.—And then Sebaot marched with ten thousand with him in the van, and against them came the king of Britain, and Sebaot struck him on his shield, and there was no protection from death to him as before from that blow. And then Sebaot said as loudly as he could. Aha, greedy felon, may God curse thee! since thou hast failed to thy companions on the first blow. After that Sebaot drew his sword, and against his blow nothing prevailed, and so he caused the first division to fail. And when the emperor saw that, he was not inclined to laugh; and when Bown saw him in that state, he hastened to him on Arundel his horse, and along with him a small number of armed horsemen, and they were not (more backward) than Bown. And then Bown spurred Arundel, and extended his shield, and with the first blow that lie gave he killed Inor of Gris, and the abbot of bury, and when he had killed the abbot, he spurred his horse, and Sebaot and his men along with him, and there they were all together, and none of them were frightened where they were. And then Bown perceived time emperor, and rejoiced with ill will, and said to him. By God, traitor, if thou escapest with thy life from thence, may God not allow me to go from hence, and I will have thy head on the field. And then the emperor said to Bourn. Thou glutton, whom dost thou threaten so strongly as that? if thou wilt fight, come on to the field. When Bown heard that, he was never so joyful, and they retired two bow shots from the host. And then Bown extended his shield, and took his spear, and wounded the emperor in the middle of his shield, so that the emperor was much hurt, and his sword was broken, and it fell. As before he rose imp quickly, and gave a leap, and got it under his foot, and attacked Bown with it furiously, amid hit him in his shield, so that it was badly broken; and then Bown drew Morgley his sword, and struck the emperor quickly with it, and when the Germans saw that, they came to aid their lord, and put him on his horse, and they thought that they could worst them.
XLIII.—And thereupon lo Copart came with his crowbar, and his division with him, and they threw them every ten, every twelve. And then Bown said to Copart. My beloved, quoth he, dost thou not see where the emperor is on the pale stallion? it would he a good thing for thee to go to bind him. Lord, quoth Copart, I will do thy will; and then Copart proceeded onwards, and with his crowbar he cleared a road for him, and he spared no one until he came to the emperor, and he seized him and took him to the castle, and bound him strongly, and he hastened back to aid his lord. And when the emperor’s men saw their lord caught, they were grieved, for they could not continue for any length of time, and they submitted to Bown, by holding out their swords to him; and they were captured, and sent to the castle. And Bown came to the castle, and when he was near Don, Don said to him. Lord, quoth he, it will be of no avail for me to implore for mercy, but I would forgive thee my murder, if thou wouldst cut off my head at one blow. As God redeemed me, quoth Bown, I will do so; and without delay Bown caused a leaden cauldron to be brought, and a pit to be dug in the ground, and the cauldron to be put in the pit, and to be filled with hot lead; and he took Don, and threw him into it, and then Bown said: Now sir Don may bathe himself, and if he feels cold, let him warm himself; and then some one ran to the lady to tell her news of her consort Don. And when she heard the messenger saying that news, she threw at hum a newly ground knife, which was in her hand, and hit him in the heart, and killed him; and she also climbed to the top of the highest tower, and she gave a jump from thence, and broke her neck. And when Bown heard that, he wept not at all on account of it, and went not to her burial, and then he took possession of his estates, and maintained them, as a brave mighty man ought, and he rewarded the service of the troops that had come with him. After that the traders of the town came to implore mercy of Bown, and presented to him vessels and treasure.
XLIV.—And when he had conquered his enemies, he took the woman whom he loved most to the garret to marry her, and he sent for the bishop of Cologne to perform the marriage. And he also came with obedient pleasure, and after his arrival the lady was conducted to the church, and their marriage was performed. And home they came, and took their meat, and after meat they washed themselves; and then they asked for wine, and when they had drunk enough, they went to sleep; and the marriage was favourably consummated, for two sons were then gained, who became renowned, when they arrived at age; and the one was called Gi, and the other Miles; and yet it was not without pain for them to gain renown and honour. And therefore one day Bown thought of going to visit the king, and he commanded his knights and his esquires, the bravest of them, to prepare themselves along with him, and then they quickly made themselves ready according to his command. The earl mounted his horse, and onwards they proceeded; they did not rest until they came to London, and along with him four hundred brave renowned horsemen. And when Bown was come to London, he took the best lodging in the town; and after that he went with Sebaot to seek the king, amid they found him in a chamber of marble stone, and they saluted him in this manner. May God, who was born of the Virgin Mary for us sinners, and was for thirty-three years on the earth suffering penance, and fasted forty days to defend his people; whom Judas sold to the Jews for thirty pieces of silver; and was pained amid scourged, and suffered death on the cross tree, and died, and was buried, and on the third day rose up front the dead, and will come in the day of judgment to judge us all, may He salve thee and thy barons! My beloved, quoth the king, who art thou, and where wast thou born? By my faith, quoth Bown, I will tell thee. I am called Bown, and in Hamtoun was I born; and I was son to Giwn earl of Hamtoun, whom thou formerly lovedst. Welcome to thee, quoth the king, and give me a kiss, and I ought to love thee; and then the king granted him his dominion and lands: and Bown returned thanks to him.
XLV.—And then Sebaot arose, and called on Bown, and desired him to pay tribute quickly to the king as his master. Quoth Bown. May God thank thee I will not pay him tribute in my life. Was it not a wretched and wonderful sin, when Don had killed my father with his sword, to give my mother to him, and my estates, and to allow me also to be banished? until all that is made right, I will not pay tribute. Then the king said: Thy mother did that, and may God avenge on her that, for I did not seek of her the value of one penny of her property, and I have given to thee thy estates. Thou sayest truly; May God repay thee! quoth Bown. Then the king said: Bown, quoth he, I have restored to thee thy dominion and thy castles, and rich cities, and thy traders, and thy power, and thy father Giwn loved me becomingly; and badly have I made a requital to his son. Lord, quoth Bown, since thou repentest, I will forgive thee, and may God give thee pardon! Thou hast well said, quoth the king, and then he called to him a servant of the chamber. Take the staff, quoth he, that belonged to Giwn de Hamtoun, a renowned man, and give it to his son Bown, and that staff is of pure gold; and then the king called Bown, and gave the staff to Bown, saying to him : I will make thee the chief in England. Lord, thou hast given a grant and possession to me. May God repay thee! Amid on the morrow, which was Whitsunday, the king arose, and sent to fetch Bown, and to the church they went. And before going to the church the king wore his crown on his head; and Bown adjusted it to his head, and the bishop of Gris sang the mass; and they went to the altar, and on their bended knees they offered in good will, and along with him renowned princes.
XLVI.—And after the mass the knights spread themselves and said: Lord, say they, thus is Whitsunday, we ought to ride our horses, that were at Swiwrn. It is truly said, say some, swearing to God, who may he give destruction upon them! And then two of them rode two wanton horses towards the gate; the one of them had a high pace, and the other an ambler: and high was the day, and thirty darts were thrown from the top of the tower. And then the horsemen were accumulated together, and they caused their horses to be led on the place; and there was Arundel wanton in the hand of Bown ; and Bown stretched himself in a saddle with golden bows, and lie conversed with the king. And while he was in that conversation, the other knights started before Bown stealthily. And then none of them spared his companion, and then the king restrained them, that they might not break one another’s limbs. Lord, quoth Bown, for folly . . . . that may not be. However, while Bown was conversing with the king, the knights had gone before Bourn three courses of a horse, and then Bown in anger pricked Arundel with spurs, praising him. He took the road, until the dust of the road arose, and was carried by the wind a cloud between him and the men. See ye, quoth the king, how much wrong he is doing to the horse? and it was not long before he left the two knights of Gascony nearly three miles behind, and at last he left them all. And he conversed with his horse, and said to him: Horse, quoth he, what has happened to thee? badly by God hast thou gone hitherto, for when the renowned horsemen pursued, and when I slew Tenebres, then thou leftest them, and thou ordainedst me the first. And when the horse heard his lord praising him better that he had found him on trial, he took the road, and proceeded onwards, so that never was a bird that could follow him ; because of the praise that his lord had given him he rested not until he had come to the confines of his patrimony; and there the horse stood, and Bown looked at the land about him, and he became aware that he was conic to his patrimony. Alas God, mighty Father! quoth Bown; this is the land of which my father ought to be the guardian with God’s strength, and here I will cause a town amid castle to be made, and Arundel shall be its name, out of honour to my horse Arundel.
XLVII.—And then he returned, and did not rest until he came to London; and he dismounted on a step of marble stone. And then Sebaot came. Lord, quoth he, thou hast slept much. Master, quoth Bown, I have gained by the riding of my horse more than all my race have gained on the sea. And then the king’s son cast his sight on Bown’s horse, and coveted it, and asked Bown for it. Thou speakest very foolishly, quoth Bown; if thou wert in possession of all England, and wert a crowned king, and thou wert to give me all that honour, notwithstanding I would not give thee my horse. And then the son was greatly offended, and he called to him a counsellor; to whom may God give much evil ! and he said to him: Give me forty knights newly dubbed, and when Bown goes to his meat to the court of thy father; for thy father has invited him; we will go to steal his horse. And then Bourn went to his lodging, and he tied his horse with two chains, and he took his staff, and went to the castle. And as the king perceived him coming, he called to him, and asked hint how it had turned out to him. And he also told him how it was. Thanks to God for that! quoth the king. I overcame the knights, and I rode to my own land, and gained it. And there I will make a castle, and that I will call Arundel, from the name of my horse Arundel. And I also, quoth the king, will confirm that with pleasure.
XLVIII.—And when the king’s soil knew that Bourn was gone to his father’s court, he and the forty knights along with him went to the chamber, where Bown’s horse was. And when they were come to the chamber, the king’s son came near to the horse, and the horse raised its feet, and struck him on his head, so that his brains were about his ears, amid his eyes leaped out of his head. And then the men took hold of him, and found him dead, and then they made a bier, and placed him on it, and crying out they came to the royal court, and said: Lord king, bad is thy fortune, Bown’s horse has killed thy son. And when the king heard that, he become frantic. Lords, quoth he, take Bown; I will have him hanged, for greatly has he offended me. Lord, quoth Bown, not so wilt thou act, if it pleaseth thee ; I will do thee atonement according to thy will. My lord master, quoth Bown to Sebaot, go to see what has been done. And Sebaot did not delay long until he came to the lodging; amid when be came, he saw the son dead. And then Sebaot came to Bown, and told him that news. Sir, quoth Bourn, bad is the news that thou hast. And when Bown heard the noise of the king, and the tumult of them also, he said that he would sooner lose his estates and patrimony than endure their buffets upon him. And then the king said to Bown. Scoundrel, quoth he, leave me peace; and he commanded his knights without delay to seize Bourn. And they took hold of him; and the king said that he should be hanged, amid not sold, or given in ransom. And when they had seized him, Brice of Bristol, Gloms of Gloucester, and Clarice of Leicester, were very sorry, and would that he should escape, amid said to the king, that it was a great reproach and mockery to him, with regard to a man whom they had seen serving before thee, and coming and going with thy will, and therefore it is not right for thee to cause him to be killed; and were it not that the horse is so good, and so renowned, we would destroy it. And when Bown heard that, he replied to them, and told them in how many countries the horse had served him, and that he would not let the horse be destroyed: and then the earls said: By the troth, thou hast said truly. And then the earls besought the king that he would adjure the country to him, and give the land to Sebaot: and that the king granted immediately.
XLIX.—And then Bown led Arundel out, and mounted him, and said to him: I love thee greatly, when I am losing my cities and my castles on thy account; and may ha be blamed that is heedless, for I have gained enough, and I will gain enough, if I shall have health and life. And then he took his sword and his shield, and took leave of the king in the presence of his barons, and all looking at him, old and young. And he returned to the king, and said: I most needs go onwards, for I cannot tarry in this country, but I recommend that thou wilt not forget to take notice of Sebaot, whom I greatly love. And by God Almighty, if he should have occasion to drive thee from the land, which was my father’s, and if I shall have gone to the quarter of the sea, I will come to aid him, and give him possession; but in this do thou not trust to me, until thou deservest it thyself. And then he turned his horse’s head from the king, pricking it with spurs. And then Sebaot said: God help thee I but I shall never be happy in my life, for losing my foster son. Then Bown proceeded onwards until he came to Hamtoun to Josian, and he called to him all his knights, and commanded them to do homage to his master Sebaot. And they said that he was speaking vainly. Truly, quoth he, ye must do so, for the king has granted it to him, and I myself am forbidden the country. Lord, quoth Josian, what has happened to thee l and he also told her. His knights were weeping, and then every one said to the ether: It is evil that we were born, for we are losing the best knight in Christendom. Then Josian called on Bown, and asked him whom they should take with them, and what things. Lord, quoth Sebaot, my son Terry and Scopart will go with thee, and they set out, and came to the sea, amid they landed at Cologne.
L.—And after being there for some time at Swiwrn, he thought of proceeding onwards. And then Copart asked Bown what he would do in respect of him. He also said that he would leave him with Sebaot, and would give him the land of two knights to support him; And he also thanked him at his word, and returned sad and wrathful. However the day passed away, and the night came, when the deceiver took the road, and proceeded onwards until, he came through the sea to Mombraunt; and as the king perceived him, he called to him, and asked him where he had been tarrying so long as he had been. Lord, quoth he also, I will net hide from thee; I have been for a year seeking the palmer, wheat thou ledgedst, and I have seen him. By Mahom, where didst thou find him l quoth the king. In England, lord, where he has great lands, and on account of a horrid deed done by his horse, namely, killing the king’s son, he was banished from the country, and therefore give me a hundred of the bravest Saracens along with me to get him, for I am well informed. And without delay the hundred men were provided for him, and onwards they proceeded until they came to Cologne ; and may a bad end be to them! And there one morning early Bown arose, and Sebaot came to him to take leave to go to his country;, and he gave him heave; and then Bourn and Terry provided themselves with gold and silver; and on the land they had great lamentation and sorrow, in parting with the knights and Sabaot; and the knights proceeded onwards.
LI.—The journey of Bown was going through the sea in affliction; and when they were come to land, they mounted their renowned horses, and rode until they came to a forest; and Josian was riding between Bown and Terry, when her time for childbirth was come, and she was in such straitness that she cried out. Lady, quoth Bown, wilt thou that I remain with thee to keep thee, and to watch thy son, and to do what thou pleasest? and I will take my oath in my life that I will not love thee less than before. Lord, quoth she; I will not, for according to what I hear, it is not right for a man to be in such a place as that. Go thou to play, and leave it between me and Jesus Christ, and the Lady Mary, at the childbearing. They retired from her in pain and sorrow, and she remained by herself; and the good time arrived when two sons were born to her. And she was so weak, that she was unable to cry, when Copart and the Saracens came to her, and they took her, and left the two boys in the place where she had been crawling in the leaves, and they took her with them towards Mombraunt; and may Jesus destroy them! And after a space of time, lo Bown and Terry come to seek Josian, and they heard the boys wailing, and they made haste, and said; we have come too late. And when they came to where they had loft Josian, lo they see the boys in the loaves, hot nothing of Josian. Alas Josian, what side art thou gene to? I love thee more than anything God has made. And then they tore their fur skins, and put the boys in the folds of those; and Bown took the one of them, and Terry the ether, and they mounted the horses, and went to seek Josian from one kingdom to another, and because they found her not, they were angry and sorrowful.
LII.—We will now be silent about Bown, and speak of Sebaot. As ha was in his chamber sleeping, ha saw a dream, which ha did not like; for he saw in a certain dream, a hundred lions seizing Bown, and taking his horse from Bourn; and then ha saw him going to St. Giles to seek mercy. And he awoke, and related to his wife what he had seen; and she also prayed him net to ha distressed, and said that Bown had lest Josian, and that two cons were born to her. And than Sebaet put on him the dress of a pilgrim, and found a great ship, which is called a Dromond, and in that he went through the sea, and did not rest until he arrived at St. Giles. And when he came to the place mentioned, he entered the church, and went to offer, and twenty of his companions along with him from his country. And as they were coming from church Josian met them. And when she saw Sebant she was delighted. Lady, quoth he, where are Bown and Terry? Sir, quoth she also, listen to me, it happened that two sons were born to me in a forest, and while I was in that case, Bown and Terry went to the wood to take a turn; and in the mean time yonder Saracens came, and took me away with them. Are they Saracens, Lady? Yes, quoth she also; seest thou the deceiver whom Bown caused to be baptized? What Sebaot did was to raise his staff, and strike the traitor on his head, so that he fell down dead, and with a loud voice Sebaot besought the pilgrims to strike the Saracens. And then the pilgrims with their staves struck the Saracens, and the traders of the town came, and all the Saracens were slain. And without delay Sebaot took Josian. Quoth she also, without a lie tell me how thou wilt conduct. me through these countries? Quoth Sebeot, let there be no fear upon thee; thou shalt put on a man’s dress, and thou shalt go in the habit of a man. Quoth she also, it is not necessary for me to take care of myself. And then Sebaot took on him the dress of a pilgrim, and upon her also a neat manly dress. And then Josian went to the market, and she tasted a herb, and she never saw a better herb, for with that she could do what she pleased with her face, and her body.
LIII.—And onwards they proceeded without rest to seek Bown and Terry, and to Bradford they came. And there Sebaot was taken ill, and he was sick for seven years in full, and during that time one day Josian began to think of Bonn, and to sing to him; and Sebaot looked on that fixedly. The journey of Bown and Terry, when they came out of the wood, was such that a courteous forester met them, and they enquired of him in this manner: Who art thou, gentle horseman I By my faith, quoth he, I am a forester, and who art thou also I Sir bachelor, thou art like a man who has travelled too much; and so we are indeed. Quoth he also, I had a wife, so fair a one was never born, and I lost her, and for that reason I am sorrowful, and these two boys were born to her. Give me the one, and I will cause him to be baptized and nurtured; and I will not seek from thee one penny for that, until thou comest again, quoth the forester. And Bown thanked him a hundred times, and the forester asked what name was given to him. Gi of Hamtoun, the city on the sea, quoth Bown, and quickly take him to the church. And they bade farewell, and proceeded onwards. And then a fisherman met them, and they gave him the other boy to he fostered, and ten marks with him, and he also caused him to be baptized. And they mounted their horses, and bade farewell, and they did not rest until they came to a town, that was near; and they took their lodging in the house of Garsi, a trader of the city, and they found it comfortable. Amid when they had eaten and drunk enough, and their horses enough, their beds were ready; to sleep they went. And in the morning when the day was clear, Bown looked out, and he saw a chieftain, and about a thousand men along with him armed. And then Bown attacked them first on Arundel his renowned horse, and first he struck him that was carrying the banner, and as long as his spear lasted, he turned them to death, and Terry, like a good knight, killed another; and took his stallion by the reins, and gave it to the lodging keeper as home for the lodging; and bad not Bonn happened to come, the town would have been plundered, and it would have been burnt.
LIV.—When Bown came, and pursued them, with a loud voice, he said to the men of the town; ye will be plundered, if ye are not successful in defending yourselves with bravery, so that ye shall never have the value of one penny of what is in the town. And then Bonn fought, and they all returned to the three men, and those three men acted, and they knew not from whence they came, and where they had been born ; and Bown was offended with those people, and struck off the head of the earl at a blow, and sent it a present to the lady that owned the town. And she also saw the blows which Bonn gave; and he was beloved by her, and she cast her love upon him. And thereupon the contests ended, and Bonn and Ferry went to their lodging, and their meat had been made ready by their lodger. And when they bad eaten and drunk enough, the others went to the court, and she gave great thanks to the knights, who had made her presents. And she would have been better pleased to have had the aforesaid three men: the lady sent her seneschal to command them to go quickly to fetch the knights; and he also went, and he did not succeed in his object. And when she beard that they would not conic, she went herself to them, and when Bown saw her coming, he adapted himself, and she saluted him in this manner: May God, who created us, salve thee my beloved! I sent to thee to beseech thee to come to me, and thou also wert lazy. Lady, I did not think it; but if I can I will start early from hence to seek Josian my wife, whom I lost before the morning of the day before yesterday; and I thank God, she has left two sons for me- Quoth the lady; that is wonderful, and do thou also take me for wife, if thou pleasest. My fair sister, quoth Bown, cease from that, for all that thou hast, I would not do that and be a deceiver. And in consequence of that, a quarrel arose between them, so that both of them were offended, and the queen threatened that she would cause his head to be cut off. Lady, quoth Bown, listen to me; on this condition, I will take thee a wife to me if I do not meet with Josian within seven years of this, and foam months. Willingly, quoth she; thou sayest well; and thereupon the dispute between them was ended, and they went to sleep that night
LV.—And on the next morning the countess arose, and over the bridge to the church they went; and the archbishop of Gris sang the mass, and performed the marriage: and when the mass was ended they went to the court; they took water to wash themselves; and gentle dubbed knights served them. And after meat Bown commended the earls to go on one side to give them franchises; and they also came to give homage to him also; and when they had paid tribute and homage to him, the day was gone, and it was night They went to sleep in the royal palace, and on the next morning when the day dawned, Duke Vaseal came with his men, and the joined the Duke Dostris, and together they came to war upon the Lady of the town; and with them were fifteen thousand of armed men; and they drove their horses like madmen, and they did not rest until they came to the town, destroying the country, without their having any pity at all. And Bown arose early, and heard the noise, and when he knew the meaning, lie commanded his men to put on their arms. And he saw the breastplates and the helmets glittering, and he also wore his sword. And they mounted their horses; and Bown first mounted Arundel, and with him Terry, a renowned knight: and first of all he attacked Soye, and struck him so that his shield was split; and his breastplate failed him, and he also went dead to the ground. And then Terry attacked and by might he struck him, so that he fell dead to the ground. And then Bown gave a cry, and commanded his renowned knights with their keen swords to strike good blows, and each going across the other, and great was the battle between the heavy troops. The people of the town gained the field, and others retreated to the side of a hill, and before the troops rode Bown, and Terry was not the latest; he slew nearly forty. Amid then Bown pursued Duke Vascal, and when he turned the head of his horse to Bonn, Bonn broke his spear in him without delay, so that he went to the ground; and then he drew Morgley his sword, with the intention of cutting off his head; and then he implored mercy, and extended his sword to Bown, amid he also took it. And after that he pursued Duke Dostris, and struck him on his breastplate a tremendous blow, and on his helmet the second blow, so that it was broken in twain, and he also fell down dead. Fair were the troops that Bown conquered, and with that the battle ended; and then they went to the court, and their meat they took. And greatly did Bown love the noble Lady, and seven years they were together; and there was no consummation between them more than before. And one day as they were so, the Lady called to Bown: Dost thou suppose that I have all my wish in this manner I It is possible that I have it, quoth Bown.
LVI.— We will now be silent about Bonn, and relate of Sebaot; namely, that a convalescence came to him from his disease; thanks to God! and he called to Josian: We will go to seek my lord. Thou sayest right, quoth she also. And then they mounted their horses, and took the road, and they came one day at vesper hour to a dignified city, called Amulis, having sought their lord across the whole kingdom; and they took their lodging in the house of a good man of the city. And then Sebaot went to the court, and when he entered, the first man that he saw was Bown, sitting on a bench; and by his side the woman that he loved most at that time, for he knew nothing of Josian, and he went to him, and saluted him in this manner. May the Lord God salve thee, and whom thou invest! And then Bown asked of Sebaot : Where wert thou born? Lord, quoth he, I am a pilgrim from another kingdom: and I have been in the city for some days, and I come to thee to implore aid for God’s sake. And thou also, my beloved, quoth Bown, shalt have enough. And be called to Terry, and said to him : Dost thou see how like he is to Sebaot? and give him meat. I will give thee enough, because thou art so like to my father. May God requite thee! quoth Sebaot. It is said in my country that thou art a son of mine And then Terry thanked God for seeing his father, amid he ran to Bown, and said to him, that the pilgrim was Sebaot. And quickly they seized him, and inquired of him for Josian. And he also said that he knew news of her, and related that she was in the house of a good man in lodging. And then Bown and Terry amid Sebaot went towards her lodging; and she also washed herself from the colour that was upon her, so that she was in her own colour; and when Bown and Terry came to her, they took her, and led her with them to the Duchess. And when the Duchess saw her so fair as she was, and so gentle, she asked Bonn if that one was his wedded wife. Yes, Lady, quoth Bown. Take thou thy wife, quoth she, and give me also Terry. I will do so joyfully. And then each of the women rejoiced together, and then the foster fathers of the sons came, and the Sons along with them, to the Court, and they were welcomed, for it had been reported to them that Bown u-as in the city. The forester came first, having Gi his foster son and the fisherman was not much later than be. And the forester led Gi by his hand, and the fisherman led Miles; and when Bown saw them, he called to them, and welcomed them, when he saw them, and embraced them more than a hundred times, and greatly their foster fathers. And Terry married the Duchess, and Josian was delighted on account of the honour of Terry, and in that day the sons were well and joyful, and after their meat they went to play, and great were the joy and revelling that they had. And after Bown had separated them, they went to play at throw-board, which had been well taught to them. And then Bown called to one of his servitors, and commanded him to bring a sufficiency of bright arms, and he ordained the foster fathers of the boys dubbed knights, amid gave to each of them four stallions, amid enough of gold and silver ; and after that they took leave. And then all the barons and dukes and earls came to give homage to Terry; as it is told to us being written.
LVII.—At length we will speak of Ermin; that Inor was warring upon him ; and Bonn heard that, and called to Terry, and commanded him to send messengers along the country to collect fifteen thousand brave renowned horsemen to go along with him. Sir, quoth Terry, I will go along with thee. Thou shalt- not go, esquire, quoth Bown; if I send after thee, then come; but Sebaot I will with me for he never failed me, when I had need of him. And during the time that Bonn remained in Seville, Terry gained a son of his wedded wife; and Bonn gained a daughter of his wife also; and the name of Terry’s son was Bonn, and Beatrice was the name of Bonn’s daughter. And then Bonn commanded the horsemen to cause their packages to be trussed. They took leave, and caused the boys to mount their horses, amid Josian and her daughter, and along with them fifteen thousand armed horsemen; and they rested not until they arrived at Bradford. And they sent a messenger before them to king Ermin, to report their arrival; and than Ermin had climbed to the top of the tower at the time they were coming; and ha perceived Bown coming with fifteen thousand of armed horseman along with them. And than he called to the earls and his barons, and said to them that he saw deadly troops; and thereupon lo the messenger arrives; and reports to the king that that was Bown and his troops, and besought him net to be frightened. And then the King thanked God that ha saw him in that state; and when ha came near him, he fell down en his knees before Bourn, and said to him : Sir, if I did any wrong, I will atone for it. Sir, quoth Bown, I will forgive thee, but there never will be concord between us, until I shall ha avenged on the men who wrongly accused ma sinfully. Quoth the King; thou shalt have them also. And then Bown took them, and cot them to pieces; and Josian came, and met her father, and embraced him, and asked him if there was concord between him and Bown. There is, my fair daughter, quoth he also. Lord, it has happened well to thee, quoth she ; for he is the best knight of Christendom. Thence they went to the royal court, and Josian was conducted to her chamber, being handsome in countenance; and then they called for supper; the barons and the sons came forward from their chambers. And when the King saw the boys, ha called to them, and they came to him joyfully; and ha also embraced them, and ha asked which was the alder of them. In truth, quoth Miles, Gi is the elder, and thou mayst know it, for his body is larger, and more square. And then they threw from them their mantles, and ran along the court, and Gi excelled Miles in addition to his aspect ; and the King perceived them, amid called to them: Gi, quoth the King, I will make thee a crowned king, and I will give thee all my kingdom. Lord, if it please thee, thou shalt not do so ; give to my father, if it please thee, for he will keep it well, and I also am not a dubbed knight. And great was the joy that was in the Court on that day, and they drank wine, and when they were sleepy, they went to sleep.
LVIII.—Now we will be silent about Ermin, and speak of Inor, a strong king, how ha sent his men to hear about Terry, and Bown, and Sebaot, and Miles and Gi, and Josian the wife of Bown. And after receiving news from them, he then set along the countries to collect an army, and than thirty thousand armed man came to, a meadow below the castle of Bradmund, and great was the noise they made. And then Bown went up to the royal chamber, and put upon him a breastplate, and a glittering helmet, and ha wore Morgley his sword on his side, and he mounted Arundel his horse within golden bows: and along with him were thirty thousand armed; and Bourn knew his horse Arundel, and pricked him with spurs, and attacked a certain admiral, and wounded him with his spear, so that lie threw him dead on the ground; and as long as his spear lasted he threw and struck with it. And Sebaot attacked another, and hilled him. And then Bown gave a cry, and commanded his man to strike them and they did so with a will. Then the battle began, until the breastplates ware broken to pieces, and the shields were split, and the conflict of that day was bad to Inor, for he lost fifteen thousand of armed -men. And than they returned toward Mombrauut, and Bourn and Sabaot pursued them, and it was of no avail; and they returned to Bradmund again, and fair ware the troops that Bown conquered. And then came Ermin to meet Bown, and said to him: O Bown, quoth ha, great is thy renown; and they entered the court, and took off their arms.
LIX.—They say that Inor called his seneschal to him, and asked counsel of him. Thou young man, quoth he, give ma counsel about my men that I have lost. Lord, quoth he, thou shalt have good counsel; sand to Babilou without delay to the Admiral to report to him, and to beseech him to come, and fifteen crowned kings along with him, and with each of them twenty thousand armed men. That is good counsel, quoth Inor; and without delay letters were made, and messengers sent to Babien ; and as the admiral saw the letters, ha did not rest until he came, and the fifteen kings along with him, and twenty thousand with each of them to Mombraunt. And when Inor saw them, ha was well pleased, and went to meet them, and to salute them, and to welcome them; and ha took them with hint to the court, and reported to them what Ermin and Bown had done to him, killing his man, and taking away his treasure by stealth, and Josiau his honourable wife. Then the Admiral said: Canst thou prove that? I can, quoth Inor, body against body. Thou sayest wall, quoth the Admiral. Bown had a spy listening to them, amid when he saw the preparation which those troops had, ha returned to Bradfort, and reported to Bown and Ermin the preparation which they had. And when Bown heard that, it was bitter and grievous to him; and ‘without delay he sent a messenger to Seville to Terry. And when Tarry beard that, he rested not by day or night, and fifteen thousand armed man along with him, and his son Bown with him, until they came to Bradmund. And when Bown saw them, he was well pleased, and mounted Arundel, and want to meet them, and he came to Terry laughing, and asked him if his wife was well. She is well, quoth ha also; may God requite thee! and I have three sons. By my head, quoth Bown, I am content with that, and they embraced, and went onwards until they came to the court. And when ha saw Josian, ha was joyful and well pleased. Miles and Gi came running to them, and Terry was delighted when be saw them, and than Terry said to Bown: Sir, quoth he, cause thy renowned horsemen to mount their horses, for we should not delay going to Mombraunt; for no one that is going to war ought to ha idle. And without delay they pot on their arms, and mounted their spirited horses, and rode all day and all night.
LX.—And when they came to Mombraunt they encamped, and when they arose in the morning, they saw no one that would be compared to them. And then they scarcely had gone out of the walls, when a cry and shout arose upon them, and there came more than forty thousand men front the city of Saracens; and in advance of the ethers falconers, and in front troops of a race called Donnes, and with a loud voice, they attacked the Christians. And when Terry heard that, he picked his horse with spurs, and struck great blows en their heads, and Bown came to him, and slew the Saracens, that are called Hoffons. The battle continued greatly on the felons, and many a breastplate he shattered and broke, and Bonn was anxious for Arundel against the scare-crows. And he struck one on the head, so that he fell down dead out of the saddle, and his comrades did not spare themselves, like brave barons. Great was the battle and proud, and greatly were Bown and Terry subduing them. And Sebaot was not timid, for whomever he struck he died. And thereupon lo Inor came, and fifteen thousand Arabs along with him, and then Bown engaged with them on Arundel his horse, and he drew Morgley his sword, and gave great strokes with it on their shields, so that they fell, or were quickly slain. And he set upon Inor, and he also implored his protection, and asked him to take him, and not to kill him. I will do that, quoth Bown. And in the battle Sebaot and Terry were giving blows unsparingly; and then he wounded the admiral Condin, and with a loud voice he commanded the renowned Christians to give blows rightly. And the Paynims fled, and three miles was the length of their host, and even to Mombraunt they fled.
LXI.—And then Bown returned to the city of Bradmund, amid to their lodgings went the brave horsemen, and took off their arms. And the sons ran to their fathers to take off their arms, and they asked of their father vestments and arms, and besought him to dub them knights : For we are big and strong. My fair sons, too tender is your flesh to bear heavy armour, and when ye are strong, ye shall have armour soon, quoth Bown. And there Bown, and Terry, and Sebant were sitting on a bench. What hat, quoth the king of Monbraunt, wilt thou take in ransom for me, an as not to put me to death I By my head, quoth Bown, thou shalt not be put to death; thou shalt swear fealty; and he named the ransom. And he swore to his gods, to Mahom and Appolin and Termagannt, that he would be obedient to their will. And then the King named a sum of goods; namely a hundred horses, amid a hundred loads of gold and silver upon them, and three hundred beds of gold and silver; and as many coverhids and cushions, and four hundred vessels with their covers upon them, and five thousand table cloths, bordered with gold, and five hundred lions, and five hundred bears, and a thousand of golden bars, and a thousand of good bright breastplates, and helmets belonging to them; and those I will give to thee in ransom for my life and shall I now he free I by my head, quoth Bown, thou shalt remain until I see the goods. And then Inor called his messenger to him, amid commanded him to go as far as Mombraunt, to his secret servant of the chamber Sebaot, and command him to send to him the goods aforesaid, amid to report that be should have his life for so many goods. And then the messenger went onwards until he came to Sebaot, und gave the letter in his hand ; and he looked at time letter and read it, and told the admiral the command that had come to him; and they gave thanks to Mahom, and they collected the treasure, and ten thousand Paynims were sent to convoy the aforesaid various goods, and they were pleased to have him for so little as that of ransom; and in one day they came as far as Bradmund, and Bown met them, and they gave up Inor, and a great loss was that to Bown afterwards, as will be related onwards.
LXII.—Now we will treat of king Ermin, and be silent about Inor. Ermin fell into disease, and be was lying down in a loft; and he thought that he had been governing his kingdom for a long time, and he gave thanks to God, and caused Gi the son of Bown to be brought before him, and he said that he would make bun king in the morning, and Miles a duke ; and so I will determine my dominion. And when Bown heard that, he wept, and caused the King to be borne to the church, and sent for the bishop to confess him; and he had absolution from all his sins, amid reconciliation with God. And then Gi and Bown the son of Terry were ordained, and twenty bachelors with them; then they caused the crown to he brought, and to crown Gi with it. And engaged in that were bishops and abbots; and great was the offering that came to the altar. And in that the angels took the soul to heaven. Henceforth Gi the son of Bown is a crowned king, and Miles a renowned duke, and in that day the King was buried, and after the funeral they mounted their horses, and the one said to the other: Turn towards the field, and come to combat with me, and when our father sees that, it will be approved of by him. And there were seen blows from the young knights, and when Bonn saw the combat, he was delighted, and swore: By my head, quoth he, these will be good bachelors, if they will live, and encounter their like. They broke their spears ; their breastplates were strong; neither of them injured the other. The Lady Mary, quoth he, I pray to defend for me my sons ! And then Bown said with a loud voice: Give over that new. And when the boys heard their being prohibited, they went to the court quickly; and when their father saw them coming, he went to meet them; and when they were going, Sebaot came to Bown to ask leave. Lord, quoth he, I wish for leave to go to my country, for it is seven years since I am with thee. Take thou, quoth Bown, this mantle of gold, and take it to thy wife, and present her from me with this vase, for a better vase than it was never bad.
LXIII.—And then he bade farewell to Bown and the troops, and in the guise of a pilgrim he went, and took his road, until he came to Seville to Terry. And thence he came to the Pope to take his penance for tarrying so long as he bad from his wedded wife. From thence be went as far as St. Giles; and there lie went into the ship, and hoisted sail, and he came to Hamtoun, when they were ringing the mid-day bell. And he came hear to the gate of the court, and there his son Roboawt met with him; and he asked for lodging of them for God’s sake, and for the sake of the hoary Sebaot. Thou shalt not be refused, quoth the Lady; and then they went along with him to the hall without delay, and then Sebaot said to her: Lady, quoth he, I salute thee from Sebaot, and his two sons, and from Terry, thy son, and from Josian. And when she heard that, she was joyful, and she asked him, whether he knew Sebaot. I know him, quoth he; and then she took particular notice of his mouth, and recognised him, and she embraced him. We will speak of Sebaot, that he was at length in Hamtoun, on the sea shore. Now we will return to Bown, the honourable and intrepid warrior, Inor had an enchanter, and his name was Vibinis, and he used to sing various songs to entertain king Inor; and at that time Inor called upon him, and said to him: I have heard enough of thy songs; canst thou bring Bown’s horse to me by stealth I will give thee castles and cities. Quoth he also, by Mahom thou shalt have it, for however smooth the wall may be, and however high I will go over it. And then he proceeded onwards until he came to Bradmund; and there he ascended the walls, and sang like a bird. Thence he came to the stable without delay, and opened the door without getting any key, and he saw Arundel, and by the deceit of his songs he was allowed to come to the horse, and he freed his feet from the bond that was upon them, and without delay he mounted it, and to Mombraunt he came in one journey. And when the king saw, he was joyful, and said that it had happened badly to Bown, and he swore that by Mahom and Apolin his gods. And on the next morning, when the servants of Bown came to the stable, and saw not the horse, great was their fear and complaint, and they came to the presence of Bown, and prayed him for protection and mercy. And when Bonn heard that his horse was stolen, he almost lost his senses hi anger.
LXIV.—We will now be silent about Bown, and speak of Sebaot, who was with his wife in the chamber sleeping; and be saw a dream in his world, namely, seeing Bonn in grief, and that be had broken the marrowbone of his thigh; and he awoke his wife, and related to her what he had seen, and she said : Lord, quoth she, ton long art thou tarrying, he has lost his wife or his horse. Alas, quoth Sebant; evil has happened to me: and without delay he took his pilgrim staff and his palm branch, and he bade farewell to his family, and went to the sea, and he did not rest until he came to Bradmund. And when Bown saw him, he was delighted with the coming, and then Bown complained to Sebaot: Master, quoth Bown, my horse was taken by stealth, and for a truth to thee, it is with king Inor. The more the pity, quoth Sebant; too long has been my tarrying. He took his staff, and from the court he went. He took the road, and he did not rest until he came to the city of Inor; and there one day he rested until vesper time. And then the servants of the horses came with their horses to the water; and when Sebaot saw them coming, he was pleased. And when he saw Arundel, he recognised him, and he came to meet them, and saluted them in this manner. May Mahom salve ye! such a stallion I never saw; turn round his buttock, I have seen his forepart. Quoth the servant, thon shalt see him all. And he turned the buttock of the horse to Sebaot, and then Sebant mounted behind the servant lightly, and he raised his staff, and struck the servant with it, so that he fell dead to the ground; and the others rode to the court, and reported to Inor that Arundel was stolen; and he was greatly grieved, and with aloud voice he commanded more than a hundred to mount their horses, and pursue them ; and then a number of them pursued them.
LXV.—The course of Sebaot was to ride Arundel onwards; and they pursuing them, every hundred, every thousand. And Josian in a high chamber, and through a high window looking out, perceived Sebaot and Arundel coming: then Josian went to Bown, and her son Gi, and said to them: Lord, quoth she, cause all your troops to put en their arms to go to help Sebaot, for Arabs are pursuing him in bitter rage; and he also is leading Arundel, on account of which ye were grieved, and therefore Lords make baste. And they armed themselves, nearly twenty thousand, in haste, and the king took his stallion, and Miles his horse also, and then he met Fabur, and said to him : Is it thou, Fabur, that art pursuing Sebaot I And then he struck him on the helmet as far as his mouth, amid injured his breastplate, so that it was no protection to him; and as long as his spear lasted, he threw every one that met him; and then Sebant mounted Fabur’s stallion, and he spared Arundel, for he knew not of the coming of Bown to the field, and Miles made an onset on the admiral, and killed him. And then Bown, the son of Terry, attacked a giant, and killed him; and so they did each one with their opponents, and like brave knights, they caused all that met them to be subject to them. And the king exhorted them, and they were obedient to his commands; and so the battle continued until vesper time; and of the troops of Inor not a man escaped save a hundred. And the parents of the sons rejoiced to see them with their father, and all the troops of Bown escaped in safety to the castle. Then Bown took counsel, in what manner he could carry on war against Inor, for great is his might, and he said to his son: Bad will be our course in warring against so great a power as is against us, if we have not aid; and therefore let us send a messenger to Terry, Duke of Seville, to entreat him to come to aid us. The messenger went onwards, until he came to Terry, and reported to him that he was a messenger from Bown, and that be saluted him, and entreated him to come to aid him. By my belief, quoth Terry, I will go obediently; and then he sent messengers all day long to command them to come to him, within a short day. And in the course of a day there came to him four dukes, and ten thousand armed men with each of them, and when they were come together, he said to them. Lords, quoth he, we must needs go to a foreign kingdom to aid the renowned Bown, for I do not dare to fail him. And then the Duke mounted a good horse, and they proceeded onwards through various kingdoms, until he came to Bradmund. King Bradmund was in a tower, and he perceived the barons of Seville coming, and he went to the father to report to him, and his father responded to him. Thanks be to God! And when they dismounted, Bown and Josian u-cut to meet them, and told him how Inor had treated him. And he replied, and said to him: That will turn nut badly for them, for a great number are come with me.
LXVI.—Now we will speak of Inor the proved deceiver. When he arose the next morning, he sent messenger to fetch twenty admirals, and fifteen kings; and they also came at his will, and they rode together towards Bradmund, as if mad : the people of the city heard their noise, and the king dressed himself, and the people of the city, and quickly mounted their horses, and to the other side went the most valiant horsemen of the kingdom. And then Inor called on Judas of Machahda, to ask him to give counsel, for if I undertake battle against Bonn, a knight equal to him never was, and I also am the best of all my kindred, and therefore we will encounter one another. Thou sayest rightly, quoth the king of Damascus. And then they mounted their horses, and they went to combat. And Bonn mounted his horse quickly, and Inor called loudly to Bown, and asked him to wait a little, and said to him: Sir, quoth he, there are with thee a great congregation of the barons of the city, and there are with inc also kings and admirals, and great will that be when they have engaged, and therefore let us encounter one another. By God, if we will so, and if I am killed, or am vanquished, fifteen kings will be sworn to thee, and my land and territory free for thee also, and I also in Mombraunt. And Bonn made answer to him, and said that he was agreeable to that, and thereupon they raised their hands, and confirmed the matter, so that it was secure to them ; and the horsemen went quickly to put armour both upon themselves and their horses.
LXVII.—And then they proceeded on one side, and Bonn prayed to God, who says not a lie; and Inor was praying to Mahom and Apolin; and they mounted their horses, and gave frequent great blows on their shields, and strong were their breastplates, that they were not broken, and neither of them fell down. And then Bown drew his sword Morgley, and struck Inor with it on the helmet a great blow, so that the flowers and stones fell down, and the blow fell on the horse, so that the horse fell dead on the ground. And after the horse bad fallen, he also arose, and Bown dismounted lest harm should befall his horse, and when Inor saw Bown dismounting, he drew sword, and gave a great blow to Bonn, so that the flowers and stones fell down from the blow. And Bown became angry, and performed an active and fruitful event, by crushing his neck, and cutting off his head, and the body fell down on the ground, and Belsabub took the soul. And then king Gi returned on his horse to Bown, and Miles came to them; and at that course the troops were frightened amid then Gi spurred his horse to Abraham, and struck him; and the French struck well, and fruitfully. And Miles attacked another of the Saracens, end slew him, namely, the king of Damascus, son of Abraham. And Bown, the son of Terry, slew another, and Sebant threw another; and Terry, Duke of Seville, killed an admiral; and Bown of Hamtoun slew another, and in the space of one hour the battle was ended. And then on the bank of a river the Saracens were collected together, and there were caught thirty admirals, and ten kings, and they were brought with them to Bradmund, and then the chief of them said : If ye wish to obtain the land of Mombraunt, ye must get possession of the arms of the Paynims, for the French knights are renowned in arms; and I will agree with you, and will believe, if ye wish, in God the Creator, and will repudiate Mahom, my god, and Termagaunt; and so said also the fifteen kings.
LXVIII.—And with that word they spurred their horses towards the Court, and first the chief baron in Mombraunt, and after him also king Gi, and along with him fifteen thousand following him, and outside Bown was causing great martyrdom. And when the Paynims saw that, they were grieved, and they lowered the portcullis, when Gi was within, and a thousand renowned horsemen along with him. And when the Paynims saw them coming to the court of Inor, they fled, and spared not either great or small, save those of them that called for a physician, so that he saw neither a mother nor a son; and without long delay ho the elder Bown coming to bin), and his troops along with him. And then king Gi went to meet Bonn, and said to him: Sir, quoth Bown; May God requite thee! and then they sent to fetch Josian to Bradmund, and to fetch bishops and knowing scholars, so that none should remain without coming, and to fetch the king of Damascus also, who wished to declare his belief publicly, and would be baptized without delay. Quoth the king of Damascus: I will be a Christian, and will forsake Termagaunt; and so said all along with him. Then said Bown: Bring hither Termagaunt; and they placed it standing before Bonn. Mahon, quoth Bown, thou hast ever been grand, do to-day great fruits: and then Bown took a brass rod, end struck Termagaunt with it, and a bishop poured holy water upon them, and a red dunghill dog jumped out of it, and fled. See, quoth Bown, what sort of a god ye believed in. Quoth the king of Damascus: Badly did we believe, and so did our fathers before us. Those that believe in lies, may God forgive them I amid us also, said the kings; and said the four admirals: We will mint believe in them during our lives. And they sent to fetch their wives, and their sons, and others to fetch their fathers, and their relatives. And they also came joyfully; never was a scholar, however good a reader he might be, that could name their number; so great was the congregation, and it was very wonderful the number that was baptized, for the baptism continued for four months, and a bishop preached to them. And they wept in repentance, and beat their breast-bones, for the glory of God, and for the sorrow of the devil.
LXIX.—Now listen about Bown. He sent to fetch the Pope, and he also came to him obediently, and along with him two bishops, and many other scholars to Mombraunt. And when the Pope was come, then great and small came to meet him, and high was the day, no other than Whitsunday: they caused a crown to be brought forward, and the Pope blessed it, and placed it on the head of the warrior Bown; and after him also Josian was crowned; and great the pleasure and joy that were there. And when they were so in their joy, In four messengers came before the king, and asked for Sebant. When he heard that he was asked for. I, quoth he, am the one ye are asking for. The messengers say: The king of England has disinherited thy son Roboant. And then he was greatly grieved, and said that that was bad. Sir, quoth Bown, thou wilt act discreetly as before. Lord, quoth Sebant, as thou pleasest. And then Sebant commanded the messengers to go in haste to his wife, and to his son Roboant, to desire them to be in the castle until he came. And the messengers returned without any delay. And great was the joy among the barons, and so a full month continued, and the Pope set nut, and Bown remained in Mombraunt. And then Terry came to ask leave to go to his country. Not yet, quoth the King, thou must needs come with me to England to aid Roboant. Willingly at thy command. And they prepared themselves; and then he led with him a hundred thousand of renowned armed horsemen. And then Bown and Duke Terry, and Miles his son, started, and came as far as Cologne to the bishop, and thence they went into their ships, and sailed until they came to Hamtoun. And when the wife of Sebaot and Roboant saw them coming, they went to meet them, and when Bown saw them, he enquired of them; What bath happened to thee? quoth he to Roboant. By God, Lord King, I will tell thee that the king of England hath taken from me all the dominion that I had. By my head, quoth Bown, we will conquer him. What some of the town did was to go to London, as fast as their horses could go, with their spurs, and reported about Bown and his host, which was so great that no one had ever seen its like. And when the king heard that, he rubbed his forehead, and sent along England to fetch his barons. And when they heard the news, they came obediently, and did not rest until they came to London.
LXX.—And when they were come to the King, he told them of the arrival of Bown, and that he was a crowned king: And I suppose that he is come to make war upon me, and I am afraid of death, and accordingly I have one daughter an heiress, I will give her to his son, if ye advise it. They all said that good was that counsel, and he sent the bishop of London, and four earls, on an embassy to salute Bown, and to offer that to him. And to Hamtoun they came, and they sainted Bown from the king, and reported to him the alliance aforesaid. And as the uncles came near him, he embraced them. Lords, quoth Bown, thank him greatly, I knew not his will, but that he was angry with me. He is not truly, say they also; do not think it. And then Bown came, and the number of twenty thousand brave horsemen along with him to the presence of the king. And then the King desired him to embrace him, and he went, and the King said to Bown: I will give my beloved daughter to thy hononrable son; and Bown thanked him. And then king Edward in haste commanded Bonn to summon Miles his son to his presence : For my beloved daughter I will give to him a wedded wife. And then to church they went to perform their marriage, and the bishop of London sang the mass. And thence they went to the princely palace, and then king Edward called on Miles: Come here, quoth he, I will give thee my daughter, and my kingdom with her. And on that day the soul of the king went from his body, and the soul want to the mercy of God; and they mourned the body until the next day, and they buried it, and Miles remained king. And then the earls and barons gathered together, and after meat they gave him homage. Now Bown of Hamtoun is a crowned king, and his two sons, thanks to God, and they vanquished their enemies, and remained fifteen days. And then Bown recommended his son to Sebant, and he also according to his speech swore that during his life he would not fail him. And then King Bonn proceeded onwards even to Haxtun, and he came to the port, and to their ships. And then Terry took leave to go to his country, and that night Bonn went to the city of Cologne.
LXXI.—And on the next morning Bown took his leave, and traversed various countries until they came to Rome, the good city. And there was an archbishop from his kingdom, he end his son, and quickly the son came to him, and to the sea they went, and they did not rest until they came to Mombraunt. And when they came to the court, the queen was lying ill, and when she saw her lord, she called to him : Lord, quoth she, I am vary ill, and I shall not continue long. And when the king heard that, he was almost out of his mind, and said: Lady, if thou wilt die, I also will die along with thee. Lord, quoth she, who will maintain thy lordly dominions I Lady, quoth he, I have no concern about them; but I thank God, that I have sons, who are able to maintain my dominions: and then he caused the archbishop to be called, and said to him: Do thou the command of my Lady. I will do it Lord obediently And then he confessed, and said his will; and while they were at that, Bown went to look at his horse, and when he came to the stable, he saw his horse dead. And then he returned weeping; and then his son came to him to cheer him, and as before ha almost lost his senses; and her son came to his mother, and said to her: My mother, quoth he, thou art killing my father, for so great is his groaning, that there never was its equal. My fair son, quoth she, call Bong here; and then her son ran to fetch the father. My fair father, quoth he, hasten to my mother. And when Bonn saw her, he took her between his arms, and they recommended their son Gi to God; and thereupon they both terminated, and more than a hundred angels came to bear their souls to heaven to God. They mourned them that night until the morrow, and king Gi was not pleased to bury them among other men; ha caused a shrine of marble stone to be made; and he caused ordained kings and bishops to carry their bodies to the church, which he himself caused to be made, in the name of St. Lawrence, and there Gi was crowned with the crown of Mombraunt. And so endeth the history of Bown.
Peniarth MS 5. Llyfr Gwyn Rydderch
Jesus MS 111. Llyfr Coch Hergest
Selections from the Hengwrt Mss. Preserved in the Peniarth Library. Williams, Robert, ed. & trans. London: Thomas Richards, 1892.
The manuscript (or scripts) used by Williams is not identified in his translation, nor in the Welsh edition in his book. However, I know that the text is in the Red Book of Hergest, in an edition which closely follows the Rhydderch edition.