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That were great pitye, then sayd the quene,
My lorde, whan I came fyrst into this lande
And I asked you never none tyll now;
Then, good my lord, I you beseche,
Ye myght have asked towres, and townes,
None soe pleasant to my pay,' shee sayd;
But good my lord, speke som mery word,
I graunt you grace, then sayd our king;
Ver. 111, 119. sic. MS. bowne, PC.
V. 130. God a mercye, MS. 3 dear. ♦ I thank you.]
They had not setten but a whyle
There came messengers out of the north
And whan the came before the kynge,
How fareth my justice, sayd the kyng,
Syr, they be slayne without leasynge,
Who hath them slayne, sayd the kyng;
"Adam Bell, and Clime of the Clough, And Wyllyam of Cloudeslè.”
Alas for rewth !2 then sayd our kynge:
For I have graunted them grace,
And that forthynketh' me:
The kyng hee opened the letter anone,
And founde how these outlawes had slain
Fyrst the justice, and the sheryfe,
3 rather. 4 vexeth.]
Of all the constables and catchipolles
And broke his parks, and slayne his dere;
So perelous out-lawes, as they were,
When the kynge this letter had red,
The kyng called hys best archars
The kynges bowmen buske them blyve,
There twyse, or thryse they shote about
There was no shote these yemen shot,
Then spake Wyllyam of Cloudeslè;
[1 foresters of the king's demesnes.
3 get them ready instantly.]
Ver. 168. left but one, MS. not one, PC. V. 185. blythe, MS.
* i.e. mark.
I hold hym never no good archar,
'At what a butte now wold
Wyllyam wente into a fyeld,
And with him' his two brethren :
I hold him an archar, said Cloudeslè,
I shall assaye, syr, sayd Cloudeslè,
Cloudesly with a bearyng arowe
Thou art the best archer, then said the king,
your love, sayd Wyllyam,
I wyll do more maystery.
I have a sonne is seven yere olde,
I wyll hym tye to a stake;
And lay an apple upon hys head,
Ver. 202, 203, 212. to, PC. V. 204. i.e. 400 yards. V. 208.
sic MS. none that can, PC. V. 222. i.e. 120 yards.
[1 hazel rods.
an arrow that carries well * trial of skill.]
And I my selfe with a brode aròw
Now haste the, then sayd the kyng,
And thou touche his head or gowne,
That I have promised, said William,
And bound thereto his eldest sonne,
And bad hym stand styll thereat; And turned the childes face him fro, Because he should not start.
An apple upon his head he set,
There he drew out a fayr brode arrowe,
That was both styffe and stronge
He prayed the people, that wer there,
Ver. 243. sic, MS. out met, PC. V. 252. steedye, MS.