Nonfiction > Henry Craik, ed. > English Prose > Vol. I. Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century
Henry Craik, ed.  English Prose.  1916.
Vol. I. Fourteenth to Sixteenth Century
The Castle of the Sparrowhawk
By Sir John Mandeville
AND from thence, men go through little Ermonye. 1 And in that country is an old castle, that stands upon a rock, the which is cleped the Castle of the Sparrowhawk, that is beyond the city of Layays, 2 beside the town of Pharsipee, that belongeth to the lordship of Cruk; that is a rich lord and a good Christian man; where men find a sparrowhawk upon a perch right fair, and right well made; and a fair Lady of Fayrye, that keepeth it. And who that will wake that Sparrowhawk, 3 7 days and 7 nights, and as some men say, 3 days and 3 nights, without company and without sleep, that fair lady shall give him, when he hath done, the first wish, that he will wish, of earthly things: and that hath been proved often times. And o time 4 befel, that a king of Ermonye, that was a worthy knight and a doughty man and a noble prince, woke that hawk some time; and at the end of 7 days and 7 nights, the lady came to him and bade him wish; for he had well deserved it. And he answered that he was great lord the now, and well in peace, and had enough of worldly riches; and therefore he would wish none other thing, but the body of that fair lady, to have it at his will. And she answered him, that he knew not what he asked; and said, that he was a fool, to desire that he might not have: for she said, that he should not ask, but earthly thing: for she was no earthly thing, but a ghostly thing. And the king said, that he would ask none other thing. And the lady answered, “Sith that I may not withdraw you from your lewd courage, I shall give you without wishing, and to all them that shall come of you. Sire King, ye shall have war without peace, and always to the 9 degree, ye shall be in subjection of your enemies; and ye shall be needy of all goods.” And never since, neither the King of Ermonye, nor the country, were never in peace, nor they had never since plenty of goods; and they have been since always under tribute of the Saracens. Also the son of a poor man woke that hawk, and wished that he might cheve 5 well, and to be happy to merchandise. And the lady granted him. And he became the most rich and the most famous merchant, that might be on sea or on earth. And he became so rich, that he knew not the 1000 part of that he had: and he was wiser, in wishing, than was the king. Also a Knight of the Temple woke there; and wished a purse ever more full of gold; and the lady granted him. But she said him, that he had asked the destruction of their Order; for the trust and the affiance of that purse, and for the great pride, that they should have: and so it was. And therefore look he kepe him well, that shall wake: for if he sleep, he is lost, that never man shall see him more. This is not the right way for to go to the parts, that I have named before; but for to see the marvel, that I have spoken of.  1
Note 1. Ermonye = Armenia. [back]
Note 2. Layays = Lagazzo. [back]
Note 3. wake that Sparrowhawk.  Wake is here used in its proper sense. It is now restricted to the funeral sense of watch by. [back]
Note 4. o time = one time. [back]
Note 5. cheve = prosper. [back]

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