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KING JOHN AND THE
But never a doctor there was so wise,
That could with his learning an answer devise.
Then home rode the abbot of comfort so cold, «
And he mett his shepheard a going to fold:
" How now, my lord abbot, you are welcome
home ; What newes do you bring us from good King
John ? "
" Sad newes, sad newes, shepheard, I must give, That I have but three days more to live; «
For if I do not answer him questions three, My head will be smitten from my bodie.
" The first is to tell him there in that stead, With his crowne of golde so fair on his head, Among all his liege men so noble of birth, m To within one penny of what he is worth.
" The seconde, to tell him, without any doubt, How soone he may ride this whole world about; And at the third question I must not shrinke, But tell him there truly what he does thinke." w
" Now cheare up, sire abbot, did you never hear
That a fool he may learne a wise man witt ? Lend me horse, and serving men, and your apparel, And He ride to London to answere your quarrel.