Ebooks, Fiction, Non-Fiction 1000s of Free books and stories online to read now ~ Main Page








edited by R. H. Cunningham

Chapter I.

Tom's Birth and Parentage.

In the reign of William the Conqueror, having read in ancient records, there lived in the Isle of Ely, in Cambridgeshire, a man named Thomas Hickathrift, a poor labourer, yet he was an honest, stout man, and able to do as much work in a day as two ordinary men. Having only one son, he called him after his own name, Thomas. The old man put his son to school, but he would not learn anything.

It pleased God to call the old man aside, and his mother being tender of her son, she maintained him by her own labour as well as she could; but all his delight was in the corner; and he ate as much at once as would serve five ordinary men.

At ten years old he was near six feet high, and three in thickness; his hand was much like to a shoulder of mutton, and every other part proportionable; but his great strength was yet unknown.

Chapter II.

How Thomas Hickathrift's Great Strength Came to be Known.

Tom's mother, being a poor widow, went to a rich farmer's house to beg a bundle of straw to shift herself and her son Thomas. The farmer, being an honest charitable man, bid her take what she wanted. She going home to her son Thomas, said, "Pray go to such a place, and fetch me a bundle of straw; I have asked leave." He swore he would not go. "Nay, prithee go," said the good old mother. He again swore he would not go, unless she would borrow him a cart rope. She being willing to please him, went and borrowed one.

Then taking up the cart rope, away he went, and coming to the farmer's house, the master was in the barn, and two other men threshing.

Said Tom, "I am come for a bundle of straw." "Tom," said the farmer, "take as much as thou can'st carry." So he laid down his cart rope, and began to make up his bundle.

"Your rope, Tom," said they, "is too short," and jeered him. But he fitted the farmer well for his joke; for when he had made up his burden, it was supposed to be near a thousand weight. "But," said they, "what a fool thou art; for thou can'st not carry the tithe of it." But, however, he took up his burden, and made no more of it than we do of an hundred pounds weight, to the great astonishment of both master and men.

Now Tom's strength beginning to be known in the town, they would not let him lie basking in the chimney corner, every one hiring him to work, seeing he had so much strength, all telling him it was a shame for him to lie idle as he did from day to day; so that Tom finding them bait at him as they did, went first to one to work and then to another.

One day a man came to him, desiring him to bring a tree home. So Tom went with him and four other men.

Now when they came to the wood they set the cart by the tree, and began to draw it by pulleys; but Tom seeing them not able to stir it, said, "Stand aside, fools," and so set on the one end, and then put it into the cart. "There," said he, "see what a man can do!" "Marry," said they, "that is true indeed."

Having done, and coming through the wood, they met the woodman; and Tom asked him for a stick to make his mother a fire with.

"Aye," says the woodman, "take one."

So Tom took up a bigger than that on the cart, and putting it on his shoulder, walked home with it faster than the six horses in the cart drew the other.

Now this was the second instance of Tom showing his strength; by which time he began to think that he had more natural strength than twenty common men, and from that time Tom began to grow very tractable; he would jump, run, and take delight in young company, and would ride to fairs and meetings, to see sports and diversions.

One day going to a wake where the young men were met, some went to wrestling, and some to cudgels, some to throwing the hammer, and the like.

Tom stood awhile to see the sport, and at last he joined the company in throwing the hammer: at length he took the hammer in his hand, and felt the weight of it, bidding them stand out of the way, for he would try how far he could throw it.

"Ay," says the old smith, "you will throw it a great way, I warrant you."

Tom took the hammer, and giving it a swing, threw it into a river four or five furlongs distant, and bid them go and fetch it out.

After this Tom joined the wrestlers, and though he had no more skill than an ass, yet by main strength he flung all he grasped with; if once he but laid hold they were gone; some he threw over his head, and others he laid gently down.

He did not attempt to look or strike at their heels, but threw them two or three yards from him, and sometimes on their heads, ready to break their necks. So that at last none durst enter the ring to wrestle with him, for they took him to be some devil among them.

Thus was the fame of Tom's great strength spread more and more about the country.

Chapter III.

How Tom became a Brewer's Servant; how he killed a Giant, and came to be called Mr. Hickathrift.

Tom's fame being spread, no one durst give him an angry word; for being foolhardy, he cared not what he did, so that those who knew him would not displease him. At last a brewer of Lynn, who wanted a lusty man to carry beer to the Marsh and to Wisbeach, hearing of Tom, came to hire him; but Tom would not hire himself till his friends persuaded him, and his master promised him a new suit of clothes from top to toe, and also that he should be his man; and the master showed him where he should go, for there was a monstrous giant who kept part of the Marsh, and none dared to go that way; for if the giant found them he would either kill them or make them his servants.

But to come to Tom and his master, Tom did more in one day than all the rest of his men did in three: so that his master seeing him so tractable and careful in his business, made him his head man, and trusted him to carry beer by himself, for he needed none to help him. Thus Tom went each day to Wisbeach, a journey of near twenty miles.

Tom going this journey so often, and finding the other road the giant kept nearer by the half, and Tom having increased his strength by being so well kept, and improving his courage by drinking so much strong ale; one day as he was going to Wisbeach, without saying anything to his master or any of his fellow servants, he resolved to make the nearest road or lose his life; to win the horse or lose the saddle; to kill or be killed, if he met with this giant.

Thus resolved, he goes the nearest way with his cart, flinging open the gates in order to go through; but the giant soon spied him, and seeing him a daring fellow, vowed to stop his journey and make a prize of his beer; but Tom cared not a groat for him, and the giant met him like a roaring lion, as though he would have swallowed him up.

"Sirrah," said he, "who gave you authority to come this way? Do you not know that I make all stand in fear of my sight? and you, like an impudent rogue, must come and fling open my gates at pleasure. Are you so careless of your life that you do not care what you do? I will make you an example to all rogues under the sun. Dost thou not see how many heads hang upon yonder tree that have offended my laws? Thine shall hang higher than any of them all."

"A tod in your teeth," said Tom, "you shall not find me like them."

"No," said the giant; "why, you are but a fool if you come to fight me, and bring no weapon to defend thyself."

Cries Tom, "I have got a weapon here that shall make you know I am your master."

"Aye, say you so, sirrah," said the giant, and then ran to his cave to fetch his club, intending to dash his brains out at a blow.

While the giant was gone for his club, Tom turned his cart upside down, taking the axle tree and wheel for his sword and buckler; and excellent weapons they were on such an emergency.

The giant coming out again began to stare at Tom, to see him take the wheel in one of his hands and the axle tree in the other.

"Oh, oh!" said the giant, "you are like to do great things with those instruments; I have a twig here that will beat thee, thy axle tree, and wheel to the ground."

Now that which the giant called a twig was as thick as a mill post; with this the giant made a blow at Tom with such force as made his wheel crack.

Tom, not in the least daunted, gave him as brave a blow on the side of the head, which made him reel again.

"What," said Tom, "have you got drunk with my small beer already?" The giant recovering, made many hard blows at Tom; but still as they came he kept them off with his wheel, so that he received but very little hurt.

In the meantime Tom plied him so well with blows that sweat and blood ran together down the giant's face, who, being fat and foggy, was almost spent with fighting so long, so begged Tom to let him drink, and then he would fight him again.

"No," said Tom, "my mother did not teach me such wit. Who is fool then?" Whereupon, finding the giant grew weak, Tom redoubled his blows till he brought him to the ground.

The giant, finding himself overcome, roared hideously, and begged Tom to spare his life and he would perform anything he should desire, even yield himself unto him and be his servant.

But Tom, having no more mercy on him than a dog upon a bear, laid on him till he found him breathless, and then cut off his head, after which he went into his cave, and there found great store of gold and silver, which made his heart leap for joy.

When he had rummaged the cave, and refreshed himself a little, he restored the wheel and axle tree to their places, and loaded his beer on his cart, and went to Wisbeach, where he delivered his beer, and returned home the same night as usual.

Upon his return to his master, he told him what he had done, which, though he was rejoiced to hear, he could not altogether believe, till he had seen if it were true.

Next morning Tom's master went with him to the place, to be convinced of the truth, as did most of the inhabitants of Lynn.

When they came to the place they were rejoiced to find the giant quite dead; and when Tom showed them the head and what gold and silver there was in the cave, all of them leaped for joy; for the giant had been a great enemy to that part of the country.

News was soon spread that Tom Hickathrift had killed the giant, and happy was he that could come to see the giant's cave; and bonfires were made all round the country for Tom's success.

Tom, by the general consent of the country, took possession of the giant's cave and riches. He pulled down the cave, and built himself a handsome house on the spot. He gave part of the giant's lands to the poor for their common, and the rest he divided and enclosed for an estate to maintain him and his mother.

Now Tom's fame was spread more and more through the country, and he was no longer called plain Tom, but Mr. Hickathrift, and they feared his anger now almost as much as they did that of the giant before.

Tom now finding himself very rich, resolved his neighbours should be the better for it. He enclosed himself a park and kept deer; and just by his house he built a church, which he dedicated to St. James, because on that saint's day he killed the giant.

Chapter IV.

How Tom kept a pack of Hounds, and of his being attacked by some Highwaymen.

Tom not being used to such a stock of riches, could hardly tell how to dispose of it; but he used means to do it, for he kept a pack of hounds and men to hunt them; and who but Tom; he took much delight in sports and exercises, and he would go far and near to a merry making.

One day as Tom was riding he saw a company at football, and dismounted to see them play for a wager; but he spoiled all their sport, for meeting the football, he gave it such a kick that they never found it more; whereupon they began to quarrel with Tom, but some of them got little good by it; for he got a spar, which belonged to an old house that had been blown down, with which he drove all opposition before him, and made a way wherever he came.

After this, going home late in the evening, he was met by four highwaymen, well mounted, who had robbed all the passengers that travelled on that road.

When they saw Tom, and found that he was alone, they were cock sure of his money, and bid him stand and deliver.

"What must I deliver?" cries Tom. "Your money, sirrah," said they. "Aye," said Tom, "but you shall give me better words for it first, and be better armed too."

"Come, come," said they, "we came not here to prate, but for your money, and money we must have before we go." "Is it so?" said Tom; "then get it and take it."

Whereupon one of them made at him with a rusty sword, which Tom immediately wrenched out of his hand, and attacked the whole four with it, and made them set spurs to their horses; but seeing one had a portmanteau behind him, and supposing it contained money, he more closely pursued them, and soon overtook them and cut their journey short, killing two of them and sadly wounding the other two, who, begging hard for their lives, he let them go, but took away all their money, which was about two hundred pounds, to bear his expenses home.

When Tom came home he told them how he had served the poor football players and the four thieves, which produced much mirth and laughter amongst all the company.

Chapter V.

Tom, meets with a Tinker and of the Battle they Fought.

Some time afterwards, as Tom was walking about his estate to see how his workmen went on, he met upon the skirts of the forest a very sturdy tinker, having a good staff on his shoulder and a great dog to carry his budget of tools. So Tom asked the tinker from whence he came and whither he was going, as that was no highway? Now the tinker being a very sturdy fellow, bid him go look, what was that to him? But fools must always be meddling.

"Hold," said Tom, "before you and I part I will make you know who I am."

"Aye," says the tinker, "it is three years since I had a combat with any man; I have challenged many a one, but none dare face me, so I think they are all cowards in this part of the country; but I hear there is a man lives hereabouts named Thomas Hickathrift, who has killed a giant, him I'd willingly see to have a bout with him."

"Aye," said Tom, "I am the man. What have you to say to me?"

"Truly," said the tinker, "I am very glad we are so happily met, that we may have one touch."

"Surely," said Tom, "you are but in jest."

"Marry," said the tinker, "but I am in earnest."

"A match," said Tom.

"It is done," said the tinker.

"But," said Tom, "will you give me leave to get me a twig?"

"Aye," said the tinker, "I hate him that fights with a man unarmed."

So Tom stepped to a gate and took a rail for a staff. So to it they fell. The tinker at Tom, and Tom at the tinker, like two giants. The tinker had a leather coat on, so that every blow Tom gave him made it roar again, yet the tinker did not give way an inch till Tom gave him such a bang on the side of the head that felled him to the ground.

"Now, tinker, where art thou?" said Tom. But the tinker being a nimble fellow, leaped up again, and gave Tom a bang, the which made him reel, and following his blows, took Tom on the other side, which made him throw down his weapon and yield the mastery to the brave tinker.

After this Tom took the tinker home to his house, where we shall leave them to improve their acquaintance, and get themselves cured of the bruises they gave each other. And for a further account of the merry pranks of Tom and the tinker, the reader is referred to the Second Part, which is far more entertaining than this.


Chapter I.

Tom Hickathrift and the Tinker conquer Ten Thousand Rebels.

In and about the Isle of Ely, many disaffected persons, to the number of ten thousand or upwards, drew themselves together in a body, pretending to contend for their rights and privileges, which they said had been greatly infringed; insomuch that the civil magistrates of the country thought themselves in great danger of their lives.

Whereupon the sheriff by night came to the house of Mr. Thomas Hickathrift, as a secure place of refuge in so eminent a time of danger, where he laid open to Mr. Hickathrift the unreasonableness of the complaint of these rebels, and begged his protection and assistance.

"Sheriff," said Tom, "what service my brother," meaning the tinker, "and I can perform shall not be wanting."

This said, in the morning, by break of day, with trusty clubs, they both went out, desiring the sheriff to be their guide in conducting them to the place where the rebels were.

When they came there, Tom and the tinker marched boldly up to the head of them, and demanded the reason why they disturbed the government? To which they replied, "That their will was their law, and by that only we will be governed."

"Nay," said Tom, "if it be so, these are our weapons, and by them ye shall be chastised." These words were no sooner out of his mouth, but the tinker and he threw themselves both together into the crowd, where with their clubs they beat down all before them. Nay, remarkable it was, the tinker struck a tall man upon the neck with such force that his head flew off and was carried ten yards from him, and struck the chief leader with such violence as levelled him to the ground.

Tom, on the other hand, pressing forward, beat down all before him, making great havoc, till by an unfortunate blow he broke his club; yet he was not in the least dismayed, for he presently seized a lusty, stout, raw-boned miller, and so made use of him for a weapon, till at last they cleared the field, that not one of them durst lift up their hand against them.

Shortly after Tom took some of them and exposed them to public justice; the rest being pardoned at the request of Tom and the tinker.

Chapter II.

Tom Hickathrift and the Tinker are sent for up to Court; and of their kind Entertainment.

The king being truly informed of the faithful services performed by these his loving subjects, Tom Hickathrift and the tinker, he was pleased to send for them and the nobility.

Now after the banquet the king said, "These are my trusty and well-beloved subjects, men of known courage and valour, who conquered ten thousand persons who were met together to disturb the peace of my realm.

"According to the characters given of Thomas Hickathrift and Henry Nonsuch, persons here present, which cannot be matched in the world; all were it possible to have an army of 20,000 such, I durst immediately venture to act the part of great Alexander.

"As a proof of my favour, kneel down and receive the order of knighthood, Mr. Hickathrift; and as for Henry Nonsuch I will settle upon him a reward of forty pounds a year during life."

So said, the king withdrew, and Sir Thomas Hickathrift and Henry Nonsuch, the tinker, returned to their home. But, to the great grief of Sir Thomas Hickathrift, he found his mother dead and buried.

Chapter III.

Tom, after the Death of his Mother, goes a-wooing; and of a Trick he served a Gallant, who had offended him.

Tom's mother being dead, and he left alone in a spacious house, he found himself strange; therefore began to consider with himself that it would not be amiss to seek a wife; so, hearing of a rich and young widow in Cambridge, he goes to her and makes his addresses, and at the first coming she seemed to show him much favour; but between that and his coming again she gave entertainment to an airy, brisk, and young spark that happened to come in while Tom was there a second time.

He looked very wistfully at Tom, and Tom stared as fiercely at him again; so at last the young spark began to abuse Tom with very affronting language, saying he was a lubberly welp and a scoundrel.

"A scoundrel!" said Tom. "Better sayings would become you; and if you do not instantly mend your manners, you will meet with correction."

At which the young man challenged him; so to the yard they went—the young man with his sword, and Tom with neither stick nor staff.

Said the spark, "Have you nothing to defend yourself? Then I shall the sooner despatch you."

So he made a pass at Tom, but that he butt by; and then, wheeling round unto his back, Tom gave him such a nice kick in the breech as sent the spark like a crow up in the air, whence he fell upon the ridge of a thatched house, and came down into a fish-pond, where he had certainly been drowned if it had not been for a poor shepherd, who was walking by that road, and, seeing him floating on the water, dragged him out with his hook, and home he returned like a drowned rat; whilst Tom enjoyed the kind embraces of his lady.

Chapter IV.

How Tom served Two Troopers, whom the Spark had hired to beset him.

Now the young gallant vexed himself to think how Tom had conquered him before his new mistress, so was resolved on speedy revenge, and, knowing he was not able to cope with Tom, he hired two lusty troopers, well mounted, to lie in ambush under a thicket, which Tom was to pass on his way home, and so accordingly they both attempted to set upon him.

"How now, rascals!" said Tom; "what would you be at? Are you indeed so weary of your lives that you so unadvisedly set upon one who is able to crush you like a cucumber?" The two troopers, laughing at him, said they were not to be daunted at his high words. "High words!" said Tom; "nay, now I will come to action," and so ran between them, catching them in his arms, horses and men, as easy as if they had been but two baker's bavins.

In this manner he steered homewards, but, as he passed through a company of haymakers, the troopers cried, "Stop him! stop him! He runs away with two of the king's troopers." But they laughed to see Tom hugging them, frequently upbraiding them for their baseness, saying he'd make mince meat of them for crows and jackdaws.

This was a dreadful lecture to them, and the poor rogues begged he would be merciful to them, and they would discover the whole plot, and who was the person that employed them, which they accordingly did, and gained favour in the sight of Tom, who pardoned them on promise that they would never be concerned in so villainous an action as that was for the future.

Chapter V.

Tom, going to be Married, is set upon by Twenty-one Ruffians; and of the Havock he made.

In regard Tom had been hindered hitherto by the troopers, he delayed his visit to his lady and love till the next day, and, coming to her, he gave her a full account of what had happened.

She was much pleased at this relation, and received him with joy and satisfaction, knowing it was safe for a woman to marry with a man who was able to defend her against any assault whatever; and so brave a man as Tom was found to be.

The day of marriage being appointed, and friends and relations invited, yet secret malice, which is never satisfied but with revenge, had like to have prevented it; for, having near three miles to go to church, the aforementioned gentleman had provided one-and-twenty ruffians to destroy Tom, for to put them to consternation.

Howbeit, it so happened in a private place, all bolted out upon Tom, and with a spear gave him a slight wound, which made his sweetheart shriek out lamentably. Tom endeavoured to pacify her, saying, "Stand you still, and I will soon show you some pleasant sport."

Here he catched hold of a broad-sword from the side of one of the company, and behaved so gallantly with it that at every stroke he took off a joint. He spared their lives, but lopped off their legs and arms, that in less than a quarter of an hour there was not one in the company but had lost a limb. The grass was all stained with a purple gore, and the ground was covered with legs and arms.

His lover and the rest of the company were all this while standing by and admiring his valour, crying out, "O, what a sight of cripples has he made in a short time!"

"Yes," said Tom, "I verily believe that for every drop of blood I have lost I have made the rascals pay me a limb, as a just tribute."

This said, he steps to a farmer's house, and hired a servant, by giving him twenty shillings to carry the several cripples home to their respective habitations in his cart, and then posted to church with his love, when they were heartily merry with their friends after this encounter.

Chapter VI.

Tom provides a Feast for all the poor Widows in the adjacent Towns; and how he served an Old Woman who Stole a Silver Cup.

Now Tom, being married, made a plentiful feast, to which he invited all the poor widows in the parish, for the sake of his mother, who had been lately buried.

This feast was carried on with the greatest solemnity, and, being ended, a silver cup was missing, and being asked about it they all denied it.

At last, all being searched, the cup was found on an old woman named Strumbelow. Then all the rest were in a rage; some were for hanging her, others for chopping the old woman in pieces for ingratitude to such a generous benefactor.

But he entreated them all to be quiet, saying they should not murder a poor old woman, for he would appoint a punishment for her, which was this:—He bored a hole through her nose, and put a string in it, and then ordered her to be stripped; so commanding the rest of the old women to lead her through all the streets and lanes in Cambridge, which comical sight caused a general laughter.

This being done, she had her clothes again, and so was acquitted.

Chapter VII.

Sir Thomas and his Lady are sent for up to Court; and of what happened at that Time.

Now, tidings of Tom's wedding was soon raised at court, insomuch that they had a royal invitation there, in order that the king might have a sight of his newly-married lady. Accordingly, they came, and were received with much joy and triumph.

Whilst they were in the midst of their mirth news was brought the king by the Commons of Kent that a very dreadful giant was landed in one of the islands, and had brought with him a great number of bears, and also young lions, with a dreadful dragon, upon which he always rode, which said monster and ravenous beasts had much frighted all the inhabitants of the said island. And, moreover, they said, if speedy course was not taken to suppress them in due time, they would destroy the country.

The king, hearing of this relation, was a little startled; yet he persuaded them to return home, and make the best defence they could for the present, assuring them that he would not forget them, and so they departed.

Chapter VIII.

Tom is made Governor of East Angles, now called the Isle of Thanet; and of the wonderful Achievements he there performed.

The king, hearing these dreadful tidings, immediately sat in council to consider what was best to be done for the conquering this giant and wild beasts.

At length Tom Hickathrift was pitched upon as being a stout and bold subject, for which reason it was judged necessary to make him Governor of that island, which place of trust he readily accepted; and accordingly he went down with his wife and family to take possession of the same, attended by a hundred and odd knights and gentlemen at least; they taking leave of him, and wishing him all health and prosperity.

Many days he had not been there before it was his fortune to meet this monstrous giant, for thus it was:—Sir Thomas, looking out at his own window, espied this giant mounted on a dreadful dragon, and on his shoulder he bore a club of iron. He had but one eye, which was in the middle of his forehead, and was as large as a barber's basin, and seemed like flaming fire, the hair of his head hanging down like snakes, and his beard like rusty wire.

Lifting up his eye, he saw Sir Thomas, who was viewing him from one of the windows of the castle. The giant then began to knit his brows, and to breathe forth some threatening words to the Governor, who, indeed, was a little surprised at the approach of such a monstrous and ill-favoured brute.

The monstrous giant, finding that Tom did not make much haste to get down to him, alighted from his dragon, and chained him to an oak tree, then marched to the castle, setting his broad shoulders against the corner of the wall as if he intended to overthrow the whole bulk of the building at once. Tom, perceiving it, said, "Is this the game you would be at? Faith, I shall spoil your sport, for I have a tool to pick your teeth with."

He then took the two-handed sword the king gave him, down he went, and, flinging open the gate, he there finds the giant, who, by an unfortunate slip in his thrusting, was fallen along, and there lay, not able to defend himself.

"How now!" said Tom; "do you come here to take up your lodging? This is not at all to be suffered." And with that he ran his long broad sword between the giant's tawny buttocks, and made the brute give a groan almost as loud as thunder.

Then Sir Thomas, pulling out his sword again, and at six or seven blows he severed his head, which, when cut off, seemed like the root of a great oak; then, turning to the dragon, which was all this time chained to a tree, without any more ado, at a few blows cut off that also.

This adventure being over, he sent for a waggon and horses, and loaded them with the heads, and then summoned all the constables of the county for a safeguard, and sent them to the court, with a promise to his Majesty that in a short time he would clear the island of all the bears, lions, etc., etc.

Chapter IX.

The Tinker, hearing of Tom's Fame, he goes to his Partner; and of his being unfortunately slain by a Lion.

Tom's victories rang so loud that they reached the ears of his old acquaintance the tinker, who, being desirous of honour, resolved to go down and visit him in his government; and coming there he was kindly entertained.

After a few days' pleasure, Tom told him he must go in search of some bears and lions in the island.

"Then," said the tinker, "I will go with you."

"With all my heart," said Tom, "for I must own I shall be glad of your company." On this they went forward—Tom with his great sword and the tinker with his pike staff.

After they had travelled four or five hours, it was their fortune to meet all the wild beasts together, being in number fourteen, six of which were bears, the other eight young lions. When these creatures had set their eyes on them they ran furiously, as if they would have devoured them at a mouthful, but Tom and the tinker stood side by side, with their backs against an oak, until the lions and bears came within their reach. Tom, with his sword, clave all their heads asunder, until they were all destroyed, except one young lion, who, seeing the rest of his fellow-creatures dead, he was making his escape; but the tinker, being too venturous, ran hastily after him, and gave the lion a blow. The beast turned upon him, and seized him with such violence by the throat as soon ended his life.

Tom's joy was now mingled with sorrow, for, though he had cleared the island of those ravenous beasts, yet his grief was intolerable for the loss of his friend.

Home he returned to his lady, where, in token of joy for the success he'd had in his dangerous enterprizes, he made a very noble and splendid feast, to which he invited all his friends and acquaintances, and then made the following promises:—

"My friends, while I have strength to stand,
Most manfully I will pursue
All dangers, till I clear the land
Of lions, bears, and tigers too."