Ourº travellers reached the rustic hostelry and alighted from their |1steeds palfreys1|.
— Ho, varlet, cried he, who by his mien seemed the leader of the party. Saucy knave. To us.
So saying, he knocked loudly with his mailed fist upon the |1open1| lattice.
Mine host came forth at the summons, |1girt girding him1| with |1his1| tabard.
— Give you good den, my masters, said he with an obsequious bow.
— Bestir thyself, sirrah! said he who had knocked. Look to our steeds. And for ourselves give us of your best to eat and drink for ifaith we need it.
— Lackaday, good masters, said the host, my poor house is a bare larder. I knowº what to offer your lordships.
— How now, fellow? cried the second of the party|1, a man of olive countenance1|. So serve you the king's messengers, master Taptun!
An instantaneous change appeared on the landlord's visage.
Cry you mercy, gentlemen, he said, humbly. An you be the
king'sº messengers (God shield His Majesty) you shall have my last not want for aught. The king's friends (God bless his Majesty) shall not go afasting in my house, I warrant me.
— Then, about! cried the traveller, who had not spoken|1, a |aloud lustya| trencherman by his unreade aspect1|. |1What hast Hast aught1| to give us?
Mine host bowed again and sai answered:
— What say
good masters,1| to a
cold pigeon pasty, a boar's head with pistachios and a flagon of old Rhenish.
|1Gadzooks, |acried exclaimeda| the last speaker. That likes me well.1|
— Aha! said cried he of the olive countenance. Excellent well. That is what you A poor house, and a bare larder, quotha. 'Tis a merry rogue