Friday 12 September 2014

And here is Caxton's English version of 1481. Reynard the Fox was one of the first printed books in English


How the Lion, King of all Beasts, sent out his commandments that all Beasts should come to his feast and Court.

IT was about the time of Pentecost or Whitsuntide, that the woods commonly be lusty and gladsome, and the trees clad with leaves and blossoms, and the ground with herbs and flowers sweet smelling, and also the fowls and birds singing melodiously in their harmony, that the Lion, the noble King of all Beasts, would in the holy days of this feast hold an open Court at state; which he did to know over all in his land, and commanded by straight commissions and commandments that every Beast should come thither, in such wise that all the Beasts great and small came to the Court save Reynart the Fox: for he knew himself faulty and guilty in many things ag ainst many Beasts that thither should comen, that he durst not adventure to go thither. When the King of all Beasts had assembled all his Court, there was none of them all but that he had complained sore on Reynart the Fox.

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