Bruin The Bear And Reynard – Anonymous: about 1230
Nothing is known of the writer of the first version of the celebrated Reynard the Fox. The problem of the origin of the book is complicated, but it is generally agreed that a series of incidents attributed to an Alsatian writer of the late Twelfth Century was the basis of the book as it stands in the version here used.
This was printed in 1498, though it was probably written about 1230. Reynard was soon afterwards translated into nearly every language of Europe. The book, in one form or another, has been a popular favourite among all classes of readers, and has for centuries been rewritten to suit the tastes of each generation.
The present version, translated by Thomas Roscoe, is reprinted from Roscoe’s German Novelists, London, no date. It is Chapter IV of The Pleasant History of Reynard the Fox. The full title of the chapter is How Bruin the Bear Sped with Reynard the Fox, followed by a brief description.
Bruin The Bear And Reynard The Fox
From Reynard the Fox
The next morning away went Sir Bruin the bear in quest of the fox, armed against all kinds of plots and deceit whatsoever; and as he went along through a dark forest in which Reynard had a bypath which he used when he was out hunting or being hunted, he saw a high mountain, over which he must pass to reach Malepardus.
Bruin The Bear And Reynard – For though Reynard had many houses, Malepardus is his chief and most ancient castle, and there he resorted both for defense and pleasure. When Bruin at length came to the place, he found the gates close shut; at which, after he had knocked, sitting upon his tail, he called aloud, “Sir Reynard, are you at home?
I am Bruin, your kinsman, sent by the king to summon you to court, to answer the many foul accusations laid at your door. His majesty hath taken a great vow if you fail to appear to the summons, your life shall answer for your contempt, and your whole goods and honors become confiscated to the crown. Therefore, fair kinsman, be advised by your friend, and come with me to court, in order to shun the fate that will otherwise overtake you”: so said the bear.
Reynard, who was lying near the gate, as was his custom, basking in the sun, hearing these words, departed into one of his holes, Male pardus being full of many intricate and curious apartments, through which he could pass in case of danger or for objects of prey, where he determined to commune with himself awhile how best he might counterplot, and bring the bear into disgrace, while he added to his own credit, for he detested the bear; and at last coming forth, said, “Is it you, dear uncle Bruin?