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Editors: George W. The first case is social criticism, and the second is fact. Many were standards taken from classical sources, familiar anecdotes, folklore, chronicles, personal reminiscence, bestiaries, legend, and myth and marvel. Many were comical or grimly humorous, and often used for rivalrous attack between the regular and secular clergy. Though these types of exempla were used by all clergy, they were popular with friars. For example, the prolific producer of preaching handbooks, the Dominican John Bromyard, used beast fables frequently, such as the sad tale of the innocent, naive ass in A Song on the Times which, as Maddicott notes, has the simplicity, strong narrative line and moral tone of a sermon examplum Maddicott, Protest Another beast fable that would be particularly suitable to their purpose is The Fox and the Wolf, dated during the late thirteenth century.
As in The Land of Cokaygnethe friars take their turn at criticizing the clergy, though secular rather than monastic, and to the modern reader at least, the poet injects a hint of pathos for the victims of clerical guile. A fox went out of the woods, so hungry that he was woeful. He had never in any way been half so hungry. He held to neither road nor street, as he was loath to meet men; he would rather meet one hen than half a hundred women.
He strode quickly over all, until he saw a wall. There was a house within the wall, towards which the fox went readily, for he thought to quench his hunger with either meat or drink. He looked around quite eagerly and began to run until he came to a wall, some of which was broken and fallen down, and had a locked gate. Fox and wolf love story the first opening he found, he leapt in and over he went. When he was in, he laughed scornfully and had game enough, for he came in without leave of both the hayward and reeve.
There was a house, and the door was open.
Five hens had crept inside—which makes a flock—and a cock sat among them. The cock flew on high, and two hens sat near him. Go home. May Christ give you sorrow! You often shame our hens. I have let blood from their veins, and it would do you good, Chauntecler, for you have the same sickness under your spleen. Otherwise ask soon for the priest. You have harmed our kin. If I were down there, by God, I might be sure of other shame.
But if our cellarer knew you had come here, he would go after you immediately with pikes, stones and strong staves and break all your bones. Then we would be well avenged. The fox was quiet and said no more, but he was very sorely thirsty, which caused him more woe than his hunger had earlier.
He went and sought everywhere, and by chance his wits brought him to a pit in which there was water and made with great cleverness. He found two buckets: when one went down, the other wound up. The fox did not understand the device; he took the bucket and leapt into it, for he hoped to get enough to drink.
The bucket began to sink. He was caught in the treacherous trap and down he must go, though it might well have been his will to let that bucket hang still. What with sorrow and dread, all his thirst disappeared. When he came to the bottom of the pit, he found enough water there.
He drank eagerly but thought the water stank, for it was against his will. Woe to thieves in every land. I am caught by treacherous magic, or brought here by some devil. I used to be wise, but now I am finished. A wolf came quickly out of the deep woods, for he was very hungry. He had found nothing all night with which he might quench his hunger. He came to the pit and heard the fox, whom he knew well by his voice, for he was his neighbor and close friend since childhood.
Are you Christian or my companion? The fox knew him well for his kin, and then an idea came to him; he thought that with some trick he might bring himself up and the wolf into the pit. I believe it is Sigrim that I hear.
I am your friend Reynard, and if I had expected your coming, I would have prayed that you should me. What would I do in the pit? Here is the bliss of paradise. Here I may fare well forever, without pain or care.
Here is food, here is drink. Here is bliss without work. Here there is never any hunger or other kinds of woe; there is enough of all good things here. With these words the wolf laughed. When did you die, and what are you doing there now?
It is not three days ago that you, your wife and children, small and big, all ate together with me. None of my friends know. Why should I go in to the world, where there is but care and woe and living in filth and sin? But here there are many kinds of joy. Here are both sheep and goats. Good friend, you have deprived me of many a good meal. Let me come down to you, and I will forgive you everything. You have often been my companion; will you now hear my confession, if I tell you all my life? I will be dead tonight unless you give me some counsel.
I have bitten a thousand sheep, and more if they were recorded, which I sorely repent.
Master, shall I tell you more? I have often said evil of you. Men said that you had sinned with my wife. I perceived you one time and found you in bed together. I was often quite near and saw you together in bed. I supposed, as others do, that what I saw was true, and therefore you were loathsome to me. But tell Fox and wolf love story what to do and how I may come to you. Do you see a bucket hanging there? Leap into it with assurance and you will come to me immediately.
He was quite heavy, as the fox knew well; the wolf began to sink and the fox to rise. The wolf became frightened, and as he came to the middle of the pit, he met the fox. What do you have in mind? Where will you go? And now you go down with your meal. Your gain will be quite small; but I am glad that you are taken in a pure state. I will ring the death knell and sing a mass for your soul. He was invited to cold refreshment, with frogs having kneaded his dough. He stood in the pit so hungry that he was mad, and cursed the one who had brought him there, but the fox cared very little about it.
The pit was near a house in which very sly friars lived. When it came time for them to rise and attend their matins, there was one friar among them who should wake them from sleep. He was extremely thirsty, and right in the middle of matins he went alone to the pit and drew up the bucket. The wolf was quite heavy and the friar pulled with all his might so long that he saw the wolf. All the friars went to the pit with pikes, staves and stones, each man with what he had.
Woe to him who lacked a weapon.Fox and wolf love story
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