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with a sparkle of fine love that endured long after: he thought no lady in the world so worthy to be beloved as she. Thus they entered into the castle hand in hand : the lady led him first into the hall and after into the chamber, nobly apparelled. The king regarded so the lady, that she was abashed : at last he went to a window to rest him, and so fell in a great study. The lady went about to make cheer to the lords and knights that were there, and commanded to dress the hall for dinner. When she had all devised and commanded, then she came to the king with a merry cheer, who was in a great study, and she said: `Dear sir, why do ye study so for? Your grace not displeased, it appertaineth not to you so to do. Rather ye should make good cheer and be joyful, seeing ye have chased away your enemies, who durst not abide you. Let other men study for the remnant.' Then the king said: ` Ah ! dear lady, know for truth that sith I entered into the castle, there is a study come to my mind, so that I cannot choose but to muse; nor I cannot tell what shall fall thereof: put it out of my heart I cannot.'' ` Ah, sir,' quoth the lady, ` ye ought always to make good cheer to comfort therewith your people. God hath aided you so in your business, and hath given you so great graces, that ye be the most doubted and honoured prince in all Christendom ; and if the king of Scots have done you any despite or damage, ye may well amend it when it shall please you, as ye have done divers times or this. Sir, leave your musing I and come into the hall, if it please you your dinner is all ready.' ` Ah ! fair lady,' quoth the king, `other things lieth at my heart, that ye know not of: but surely the sweet behaving, the perfect wisdom, the good grace, nobleness and excellent beauty, that I see in you, hath so sore surprised my heart, that I cannot but love you, and without your love I am but dead.' Then the lady said: ` Ah, right noble prince, for God's sake mock nor tempt me not. I cannot believe that it is true that ye say, nor that so noble a prince as ye be would think to dishonour me and my lord my husband, who is so valiant a knight and hath done your grace so good service, and as yet lieth in prison for your quarrel. Certainly, sir, ye should in this case have but a small praise, and nothing the better thereby. I had never as yet such a thought in my heart, nor I trust in God never shall have, for no man living. If I had any such intention, your grace ought not all only to blame me, but also to punish my body, yea and by true justice to be dismembered.' r Therewith the lady departed from the king and went into the hall to haste the dinner. Then she returned again to the king and brought some of his knights with her, and said: `Sir, if it please you to come into the hall, your knights abideth for you to wash: ye have been too long fasting.' Then the king went into the hall and washed, and sat down among his lords, and the lady also. The king ate but little; he sat still musing, and as he durst he cast his eyen upon the lady. Of his sadness his knights had marvel, for he was not accustomed so to be. Some thought it was because the Scots were scaped from him.2 All that day the king tarried there and wist not what to do. Sometime he imagined that honour and truth defended him to set his heart in such a case, to dishonour such a lady and so true a knight as her husband was, who had always well and truly served him. On the other part love so constrained him, that the power thereof surmounted honour and truth. Thus the king debated in himself all that day and all that night. In the morning he arose and dislodged all his host and drew after the Scots, to chase them out of his realm. Then he took leave of the lady, saying, ` My dear lady, to God I commend you till I return again, requiring you to advise you otherwise than you have said tome.' `Noble prince,' quoth the lady, `God the Father glorious be your conduct, and put you out of all villain thoughts. Sir, I am and ever shall be ready to do your grace service to your honour and to mine.' Therewith t



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