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Guy Earl of Warwick.
In the reign of King Athelstan, Sir Guy of Warwick was the chief hero of the age. He loved Felice the Fair ; but before she would consent to marry him, she said he must make his name known far and wide. Guy consented to this; and arming himself like a knight he arrived at the Court of Thrace, where he heard that the Emperor of Almain's fair daughter Blanch was to be made a prize for him that won her in the field. Many brave knights entered the lists; but none of them were able to stand before the prowess of Guy; and so by his valour he won the day. The Emperor gave him his daughter, a falcon, and a hound. But Guy, for the sake of the fair Felice, resigned Blanch, and accepted the gifts. He, after this, departed for England to see Felice, but she said that before she would wed him he must seek new adventures, and earn a yet nobler name. So Guy once more went on his travels. He killed an enormous dun cow which had been very troublesome to all the people in its neighbourhood. He also destroyed a lion and a dragon, and likewise a furious boar which had slain many Christians. Having accomplished these brave feats, Guy turned his face towards his native land. Felice, hearing of Guy's return and success, came as far as Lincoln to meet him, where they were married with much joy and triumph.
The parents of Grissel were in a very humble rank in life ; but such were her modesty and her beauty that the Marquis of Salus preferred her as his wife to all the princesses in the world. After their marriage he had a mind to prove her patience and obedience. Two children were born to her, a boy and a girl, who, by the orders of the Marquis, were taken from her to be put to death. Still further to try her constancy, he obliged her to leave all her comforts and to go back to live in the humble cottage of her parents. In all this she obeyed without a murmur. Some time after, a beautiful damsel and a handsome youth came to the court of the Marquis ; and it soon transpired that the Marquis intended to wed this comely maiden. Grissel was now sent for by the Marquis to make the necessary preparations for the ceremony, because, as he said, she was best acquainted with the palace. On the wedding-day, Grissel having been asked if she was contented that the Marquis should so dispose of himself, answered that if the match was designed for his good she was more than contented. On this the Marquis could not restrain himself any longer, but told her that the new bride and the gallant youth were their own children. Grissel was then restored to her former dignity, and lived in happiness, being a pattern of patience to all women.
Sir Bevis of Southampton.
In the reign of King Edgar there was a noble Knight who was called, from the place of his birth, Sir Bevis of Southampton. His inheritance having been taken from him, he had left his own country, and had entered the service of an Eastern monarch, whose daughter Josyan became greatly enamoured of him, and who had consented to forsake the religion of her fathers and become a Christian. Her father was very averse to his daughter marrying a Christian, and had provided for her another husband. But Sir Bevis and Josyan determined to escape together. This they soon managed to do; but as they were proceeding on their journey they were met by an ugly giant
called Ascapart, who was thirty feet in height, and bristled like a swine. Ascapart commanded Sir Bevis and Josyan to follow him. But Bevis at once attacked him, and would have slain him had not Josyan begged him to spare his life. “ Lady!
!" said Bevis, “he may betray us.” “By Mahmoud !' said Ascapart, “ if thou wilt save my life, I will be true to thee.” This Sir Bevis did, and ever after Ascapart was true and faithful to him. After passing through many dangers and trials, Sir Bevis arrived in his own country, won back the inheritance which had been taken from him, and was wedded to Josyan.
The King and the Cobbler.
KING Henry the Eighth was sometimes in the habit of going into the City disguised. On one occasion he fell in with an honest Cobbler, who drank with him and sang some of his merriest catches, at which the King laughed heartily, and told him his name was Harry Tudor, that he lived at court, and that he would be happy to see him there. So one morning the Cobbler went to court. Having inquired of a yeoman if he knew one Harry Tudor, “ Yes," said the man, “I will take you to him." The Cobbler followed him, and was much struck with the grandeur of the palace. At length he was brought to the room where the King was with his nobles. The Cobbler, not liking the
company, ran away. He, however, was brought again before the King, who gave orders that he should be conducted to the cellars. He bad not to wait long before he was joined by the King, dressed as he had seen him before. The Cobbler at once knew him, and told him all the trouble he had had, but that now he would have a merry time. So he began singing his catches, in the midst of which several nobles entered and addressed his.coinpanion as the King. When he found out who Harry Tudor was, he begged his pardon. But the King told him that he had been well pleased with him, and that he would from that time allow him forty marks a year.