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That, by my trouthe, I wol thee nat biwreye.”

“Now,” quod the firste, “thou woost wel we be tweye,
And two of us shul strenger be than oon.
Look whan that he is set, and right anoon
Arys, as though thou woldest with him pleye;
And I shal ryve him thurgh the sydes tweye
Whyl that thou strogelest with him as in game;
And with thy dagger look thou do the same;
And than shal al this gold departed be,
My dere freend, bitwixen me and thee;
Than may we both our lustes al fulfille,
And pleye at dees right at our owene wille.”
And thus acorded been thise shrewes tweye
To sleen the thridde, as ye han herd me seye.

This yongest, which that wente un-to the toun,
Ful ofte in herte he rolleth up and doun
The beautee of thise florins newe and brighte.
“O lord !" quod he, “if so were that I mighte
Have al this tresor to my-self allone,
Ther is no man that liveth under the trone

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رو

word, I won't betray you."

“Now," said the first, “thou knowest that we are two, and two are stronger than one. As soon as he sits down, get up, as if thou wouldst fool with him; then I will thrust my dagger through his sides while thou strugglest with him as if in fun, and do thou the same with thy dagger. Then, my dear friend, all this gold shall be divided between thee and me; then may we satisfy all our desires, and play at dice whenever we choose.” Thus these two villains agreed, as you have heard, to slay the third.

The youngest, the one who went to town, often he ponders the beauty of the bright new florins. “Oh, Lord,” said he, "if only I might have all this treasure to myself alone, no man living under the throne of God would live as merrily

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Of God, that sholde live so mery as I !”
And atte laste the feend, our enemy,
Putte in his thought that he shold poyson beye,
With which he mighte sleen his felawes tweye;
For-why the feend fond him in swich lyvinge,
That he had leve him to sorwe bringe,
For this was outrely his fulle entente
To sleen hem bothe, and never to repente.
And forth he gooth, no lenger wolde he tarie,
Into the toun, un-to a pothecarie,
And preyed him, that he him wolde selle
Some poyson, that he mighte his rattes quelle;
And eek ther was a polcat in his hawe,
That, as he seyde, his capouns hadde y-slawe,
And fayn he wolde wreke him, if he mighte,
On vermin, that destroyed him by nighte.

The pothecarie answerde, “And thou shalt have
A thing that, al-so God my soule save,
In al this world ther nis no creature,
That ete or dronke hath of this confiture
Noght but the mountance of a corn of whete,
That he ne shal his lyf anon forlete;

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as I!” By and by the fiend, our enemy, put it into his thought to buy poison, with which he might slay his two companions; because the fiend found him leading such a life that he had permission to bring him to sorrow, for his settled intention was to slay them both and never to repent. Forth he went — he would wait no longer - to an apothecary in the town, and asked for some poison with which he might kill his rats, and also there was a polecat in his yard that, as he said, had slain his capons, and he wanted vengeance, if possible, on vermin that destroyed his property by night.

The apothecary answered: “Thou shalt have a mixture that, as I hope God may save my soul, in all the world no creature may eat or drink of it even a bit as large as a grain of wheat — without losing his life right away. Yes,

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Ye, sterve he shal, and that in lasse whyle
Than thou wolt goon a paas nat but a myle;
This poyson

is

so strong and violent."
This cursed man hath in his hond y-hent
This

poyson in a box, and sith he ran
In-to the nexte strete, un-to a man,
And borwed of him large botels three;
And in the two his poyson poured he;
The thridde he kepte clene for his drinke.
For al the night he shoop him for to swinke
In caryinge of the gold out of that place.
And whan this ryotour, with sory grace,
Had filled with wyn his grete botels three,
To his felawes agayn repaireth he.

What nedeth it to sermone of it more?
For right as they had cast his deeth bifore,
Right so they han him slayn, and that anon.
And whan that this was doon, thus spak that oon,
“Now lat us sitte and drinke, and make us merie,
And afterward we wol his body berie.”
And with that word it happed him, par cas,
To take the botel ther the poyson was,

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use.

he will die in less time than thou canst travel a mile at a foot-pace, the poison is so strong and violent."

The cursed man took the box of poison, and ran to a man in the next street, and borrowed three large bottles from him; in two he poured his poison, the third he kept clean for his own

He planned to spend the whole night in carrying the gold out of the place. Now when this rioter (the villain !) had filled his three large bottles with wine, he again repaired to his comrades.

What's the use of preaching any more? For just as they planned, they slew him right away. When this was done, one said: “Now let us sit down and drink and make merry, and then we will bury his body." With that word he happened by chance to take up the bottle containing poison,

And drank, and yaf his felawe drinke also,
For which anon they storven bothe two.
But, certes, I suppose that Avicen
Wroot never in no canon, ne in no fen,
Mo wonder signes of empoisoning
Than hadde thise wrecches two, er hir ending.
Thus ended been thise homicydes two,
And eek the false empoysoner also.

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Chaucers Wordes unto Adam, His Owne Scriveyn

Adam scriveyn, if ever it thee bifalle
Boece or Troilus to wryten newe,
Under thy lokkes thou most have the scalle,

But after my making thou wryte trewe. 5

So ofte a daye I mot thy werk renewe,
Hit to correcte and eek to rubbe and scrape;

And al is thorow thy negligence and rape. and drank, and gave it to his companion to drink, as a result of which both died.

But certainly I suppose that Avicenna never wrote in any book or in any chapter more notable symptoms of poisoning than these wretches had before their ending. Thus died these two murderers, and also the false poisoner.

Adam my scribe, if it befall thee to copy again Boethius or Troilus, under thy locks thou oughtest to have the scab, unless thou copy accurately according to my composition. So often I have to go over thy work, to correct and rub and scratch it; and all is through thy negligence and haste.

ENGLISH AND SCOTTISH POPULAR BALLADS

Sir Patrick Spens
The king sits in Dumferling toune,

Drinking the blude-reid wine :
"O whar will I get guid sailor,

To sail this schip of mine?”

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