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Jack and His Stepdame


1 Lines 421–23: That is, everyone else’s pleasure is due to the goodwife and the friar, who are humiliated


Abbreviations: A: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Article Arch.A.F.83 (7) (printed by Edward Alde, ca. 1617); C: Cambridge, Cambridge University Library, Article Sel.5.21 (printed by Wynkyn de Worde, ca. 1510-13); D: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Article S.Seld.d.45 (printed by Edward Alde, ca. 1584-89); F: London, British Library, Article C.57aa.13 (printed by [Elizabeth] Alde, 1626); M: London, British Library, Article C.125.dd.15 (7) (fragment printed by William Middleton ca. 1545); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MS(S): manuscript(s); MS B: Percy Folio Manuscript: London, British Library, MS Additional 27879; MS E: Cambridge, Cambridge University Library, MS Ee.4.35; MS P: Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS Brogynton 10; MS Q: Oxford, Balliol College, MS 354; MS R: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson C.86 (MS Bodley 11951); OE: Old English; OED: Oxford English Dictionary.

1–2 Jesus Christ, slowly dying on the cross in the process of crucifixion, would have suffered intolerable thirst as crucified convicts usually did. His executioners held up to him on a pole a sponge soaked in a bitter or sour liquid to torment him further: the alternative was to drink and be sickened, wrenching his body against the nails holding him if he vomited, or resist drinking despite his thirst. The poem talks of “eysell and gall,” vinegar and bile, to reconcile the conflicting accounts in the four Gospels of what the liquid was. Matthew 27:34 speaks of wine mixed with bile; Mark 15:36, Luke 23:36, and John 19:29 of vinegar.

14 his moder. The mother in question is one of the boy’s stepmothers; compare lines 8–10.

25 Here as elsewhere gan is a past tense marker, followed by an infinitive: “she gan say” means “she said.”

37–42 The father’s proposal is to send his son to replace the herdsman who takes the cattle to the field to graze, stays with them there, and brings them in at night — a light day’s work. The man can then be brought back to use his strength in labor all day.

40 be. Scribe A sometimes, and Scribe B almost always, uses be for by; for Scribe B the exception is at line 250, in the phrase by and by, in rhyming position.
Mary myld. “Mary mild” is of course the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.

41 Here the verb shall implies a verb of motion, as it sometimes does: “the boy shall go.”

51–54 inowgh/drewe. These rhyme words, which do not look as if they rhyme at all and do not rhyme in Modern English (enough/drew), could be exact rhymes in Middle English on long o or ou plus a guttural continuant or could represent a rhyme on enow/drow (a form of the past tense of draw without its earlier guttural). The “ew” spelling form of drew emerged in the fourteenth century, but the “ough” and “ow” spellings and pronunciations of the past tense of draw persisted throughout the fifteenth century(see OED draw v.). See also the rhymes at lines 93–96 (drewe/inowe), and 106–07 (lowgh/inowe).

81–84 Again the rhyme forgete/shete, representing modern forgotten/shoot, looks improbable. But shete was the form of the infinitive of the verb derived from OE and died out in the fifteenth century, superseded by shote; and forgete was one of several possible forms of the past participle of the verb to forget.

101 astere. Apparently for stere (modern “steer”), with a prefix, is not attested in MED or OED but appears to be deliberate since it is repeated at line 125 below, as well as at line 359, which is supplied from MS Q.

116 cheke. This idiosyncratic form of the past participle of choke is not attested in MED or OED.

179-180 For it is tyme, be my faye / Thyn arce is not to borowe. These are difficult lines. In idioms such as “Saint John to borowe” the phrase has a legal connotation, the saint being called upon “as witness,” “sponsor,” or “guarantor.” Perhaps the sense here is, “Your backside has a great deal to say but is not a good choice of speaker on your behalf.” 

184 Owre dame. That is, the woman of the house.

191 be Seynt Jhon. The St John being sworn by is likely the apostle John, who was believed in the Middle Ages to be the same John as the author of the fourth Gospel.

196–97 byche/wycche. Apparently both terms could be applied to males at this time: see MED bicche 2b, OED bitch n.1, 2b; MED wicch(e), (n.) (a); OED witch n.¹. But the evidence is not good beyond this poem for the use of bitch for males.

218 The phrase thin arce becomes thi narce by a process called metanalysis. It is the same process by which an ekename became (and stayed) a nickname.

229 A brier is a thorny bush, likely a blackberry; this one would form part of a hedge of mixed trees and bushes, mostly thorny, fencing in the field. The boy is very cunning in putting his two first gifts to good use, using the bow and arrow to entice the friar into a vulnerable situation, but the friar is too easily distracted from his mission for any plausibility. However, in defense of the poet, plausibility is not required in a story involving three magic gifts.

285 both tame and tale. Tale here seems to have the meaning of tame, including meek or humble. OED lists no such definition, but examples under tall A. Adj.1. +1 (“Quick, prompt, ready, active”) are susceptible to such a reading and OED says the sense in its quotations is doubtful. MED tal adj. (e) has more and better examples but is still tentative about the meaning “?humble, meek.”

300 Like “alas,” “wellaway” is a cry of sorrow that has no modern equivalent.

304 Be Seynt Jame. The St. James in question is most probably one of the apostles, James the son of Zebedee and brother of the apostle John, or James the son of Alphaeus. But in any case, the name is chosen more for the rhyme than any particular significance.

308–09 The goodman either thinks that death by dancing would have been voluntary, thus suicidal, and therefore the friar would have died in a state of sin, or he takes the friar’s “in the devillis name” literally and thinks of the dancing as a form of devil worship or demonic possession. Normally “in the devil’s name” would be a simple exclamation or intensifier.

310 That is, “I shall tell why I kept on dancing until I was ragged and bleeding.”

332 for God is an oath, “before God.”

367 The goodman was in dispeyre. The experience of being subject to the pipe is apparently unpleasant while it lasts (compare lines 241–61), and its sound is pleasant only in retrospect (lines 311–12, 412–14, 419–21).

414 At this point, the endings of the various manuscripts and printed texts begin to differ from each other. Only three manuscripts, MSS R, Q, and P, have the next two stanzas, and only MSS R and Q have the two after that, while MS P ends instead with the following moralization:
Hyt ys every good wyffys wone
For to love hyr husbondes sone
Yn well and eke yn woo.
In olde termys it is fownd
He hat lowythe me lovythe my hound
And my servaunt also.

So schuld every good child
Be to hys moder meke and myld.
Be good yn every degree.
All women that love her husbondes sone,
Yn hevyn blys schall be her wone,
Amen, amen, for charyte.
The other versions end with a redundant court scene where the boy humiliates the friar and stepmother once more. There are many differences among these other texts. MS E, clearly the earliest of them if one accepts Thomas Ohlgren’s argument (mentioned in the introduction to the poem, p. 22 above) that the Richard Calle who owned the manuscript was the Pastons’ steward, is exceptionally difficult to read and make sense of, and the versions in printed texts C and D, fragment M, and then A and F, with the MS B version based on a text like A and F, differ from each other and from MS E too much to make it possible to represent them all here. Interested researchers can track them down in my Garland edition of Ten Fifteenth-Century Comic Poems (1985).

438 empere. Empire? Or perhaps an early attempt at Englishing empyreum, the Latin term for the uppermost heaven, the fiery dwelling place of God?


Copy Text: Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson C.86 (Bodley 11951), fols. 52r–59r

ABBREVIATIONS: C: Cambridge, Cambridge University Library, Article Sel.5.21 (printed by Wynkyn de Worde, ca. 1510-13); D: Oxford, Bodleian Library, Article S.Seld.d.45 (printed by Edward Alde, ca. 1584-89); MED: Middle English Dictionary; MS(S): manuscript(s); MS E: Cambridge, Cambridge University Library, MS Ee.4.35; MS P: Aberystwyth, National Library of Wales, MS Brogynton 10; MS Q: Oxford, Balliol College, MS 354; MS R: Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Rawlinson C.86 (MS Bodley 11951); OED: Oxford English Dictionary.

title The original title in MS R is “The Tale of Jacke and his Stepdame.”

16 The word lost is missing in MS R, though present in the other versions. Emendation for sense.

38 MS R reads: Which kepyth on the feld our shepe nete.

58 This line is at the end of the substitute outer folio and concludes the work of Scribe A.

79 MS R reads: For the mete this thow has geve me.

87–89 In this area of the poem MS R is different from all other versions, and for lines 87–89 has the sequence “At euery keyte that thou mete / Loke thou kepe thi pylt / And shote where at thou wylt.” If “keyte” is “kite,” as MED says it is, then “pylt” cannot be “pilt” meaning “thrust,” as both OED and MED say: shooting at a bird with a bow and arrow does not involve thrusting but drawing. Perhaps, since kites are notorious predators of young poultry, the underlying sequence of this puzzling set of lines means “Be careful to guard your poult (young chicken), and shoot wherever you want at any kite that you meet.” On this hypothesis, the rhyme would have been on “pulte” and “wult.” Reproduced here is line 87 from printed versions C and D. MS Q has “And euery while mete”; MS P has “And euer to the a lyche mete.” Both these readings are close in meaning to the line as C and D have it. Lines 88–89 represent MS Q and to a lesser degree are close to MS P. The version in MS R is the least satisfactory. But the gist of all of the versions is that the magical bow and its arrows will hit the target, no matter how bad the aim of the archer is.

107 MS R reads: And sayde be my be my trowth I haue inowe. Emendation for sense.

117 stareth: MS R reads: She stare so in my face. Emendation for sense.

171 MS R reads: And she euer she a vey went. Emendation for sense.

175 MS R reads: Euer they lough and good game. Emendation for sense.

178 The line begins with “afterwar the,” perhaps through eyeskip down to line 181.

194 MS R reads: Loke thou bete hym an and do hym sorowe.

208 MS R reads: vent. Emendation for sense.

216 MS R missing: anon. The word is supplied from all other versions. Emendation for rhyme.

315 A slash mark separates art/to; the words are crammed together in MS R.

324 MS R reads: An seide boye come heder anon.

352 MS R reads: All redy fader he seide than he.

358–60 These lines are missing in MS R, supplied from MS Q.

371 ageyn the bloke: MS R reads: ageyn bloke. Emendation for sense.

372 MS R reads: And som in the fyre felle; all others end the line with the word fire, as necessary for the rhyme.

402 MS R reads: borne; MSS P, Q, and E have bore or bor, a possible form that provides an exact rhyme.

414 This is the end of the body of the tale shared by all versions. After this, only MSS R, Q, and P have the next two stanzas, and only MSS R and Q have the two after that. See Explanatory Notes for more details.

427 MS R reads: Now haue he ye herd all insame.




























































































God that died for us all
And drank both eysell and gall
Bring theym oute of bale
And graunt theym good liff and long
That woll listyn to my song
And tend to my tale.

Ther was a man in my contré
Which had wyves thre
In processe of tyme.
By the fyrst wyff a child he had
Which was a propre lad
And a hasty hyne.

Hys fader loved hym well;
And his moder never a dele —
I tell you as I think.
All she thought lost, by the rode,
Of all that ever did hym good
Of mete or of drynk.

Nott half inough therof he had
And yett forsoth it was right bad,
Yett she thought it lost.
Therfor evill mott she fare,
For ofte she did hym moch care
As farforth as she durst.

The goodwiff to her husband gan say,
“For to putt this boye away
I rede you in haste.
For in fayth it is a shrewed lad;
I wold som other man hym had
That wold hym better chaste.”

The goodman answered agayn,
And said, “Dame, I shall thee sayn,
He is butt yong of age.
He shall abide with me a yere
Till he be strenger
To wynne better wage.

“We have a man, a strong freke,
Which kepyth on the feld our nete,
And slepith half the day.
He shall com home, be Mary myld;
The boy shall into the feld
And kepe hem if he may.”

The goodwiff was glad verament
And therto sone she assent
And said, “It is best.”
Upon the morowe when it was day
Forth went the litell boye:
To the feld he was preste.

Upon his bak he bare his staff.
Of no man he ne gaff:
He was mery inowgh.
He went forth, the soth to sayn,
Till he com on the playn.
His dynner oute he drewe.

When he sawe it was so bad
Lytill lust therto he had
And putt it up anon.
Iwysse, he was nott for to wyte.
He seyde, “I will ete but a lyghte
Tyl nyght that I come home.”

Uppon an hill he hym set.
An olde man therwith he met,
Cam walkyng be the wey.
He seide, “God spede, good son.”
He seide, “Sir, welcome,
The sothe for to saye.”

The olde man was hungrid sore
And sayde, “Son, hast thou any mete astore
That thou mayst geve me?”
The boye seide, “So God me save,
Thow shalt se suche as I have,
And welcome shalt thou be.”

The lytill boye gaffe hym suche as he had
And bad him ete and be glad
And seide, “Welcome trewly.”
The olde man, for to pleise,
He ete and made him at eise,
And sayde, “Sir, gramarcy.

“For the mete that thow hast geve me
I shall gyffe thee gyftis thre
That shall not be forgete.”
The boye sayde, “As I trowe,
It were best that I hadde a bowe
Byrdys for to shete.”

“Bowe and bolte thou shalt have ryve
That shall laste thee all thi lyve
And ever alyke mete.
Shete whersoever thou wilt,
Thow shalt never fayle of it:
The markys thou shalte kepe.”

The bowe anon in hand he felt
And his boltys under his belt.
Lyghtely than he drewe.
He saide, “Had I now a pipe,
Thouh it were never so lite
Than were I mery inowe.”

“A pipe thou shalte have also:
True mesure it shall goo,
I put thee owte of dowte.
All that ever that pipe dothe here,
They shall not hemself after astere
But lepe and daunce abowte.

“Let se, what shall that other be?
For thou shalt have yeftis thre
As I thee hyght before.”
The boye than lowde lowgh
And sayde, “Be my trowth I have inowe;
I will desire no more.”

The olde man saide to hym, “Aplyght,
Thow shalt have as I thee hyghte.
Therfore sey on, let se.”
The lytill boye seyde full sone,
“I have a steppemoder at home.
She is a shrowe to me.

“When my fadir gewyth me mete
She wold the devill had me cheke,
She stareth so in my face.
When she lokyth on me so
Yef she myght lette a rappe goo
That myght rynge all the place.”

The olde man sayde to him tho,
“Yef she loke on thee so
She shall begynne to blowe.
All that maye her heere,
They shall hem not astere
But laugh upon a rowe.”

“Farewele,” saide the olde man,
“No more, than, I ne can,
But take my leve of thee.
Allmyghty God that best may
Spede yow both nyghte and daye.”
“Gramarcy, syr,” sayde he.

Than aftyrward whan it was nyghte
Home went the boy full ryght.
This was his ordinaunce:
He toke his pipe and began to blow;
Than all his bestis on a row
Abowte him begun to daunce.

The boye went pypyng thorow the towne.
The bestis folowid him be the sowne
Unto his fadirs close.
Whan he was come home
He beshet hem everychone
And into the halle he goos.

His fader at sooper sat.
The boye spyed wele that
And spake to him anoon.
He seyde, “Welcome.
Where be my bestys, good son?
Hast thou broughte hem home?”

“Ye, fadir, in good faye,
I have kepte hem all this daye,
And now they are shet.”
A capons legge he toke him tho
And sayde, “Jak, that is wele do.
Boy, thou shalte fare the bet.”

That grevid his dame herte sore:
Ever she was tenid more and more.
Than she starid in his face.
And she let go a gret blaste
That every man therof was agaste
That was in that place.

Ever they lowgh and had good game.
The wyffe wex red for shame;
She wolde fayne be agon.
Jak seide, “Wele I wote
I trow this game were wele smote
Though it had be a gon stone.”

Ful egerly lokid she on him tho.
Another rappe she let goo;
And ever she awey went.
Jak seid, “Will ye se?
My moder can let a pelet fle
Or ever she astent.”

Ever they lough and had good game.
The wyffe went awaye for shame:
She was in moche sorow.
The goodman seide, “Go thi weye,
For it is tyme, be my faye:
Thyn arce is not to borowe.”

Aftir that, will ye here,
Tho into that howse cam a frere
That lay ther al nyghte.
Owre dame thoughth him a saynte.
Anon to him she made a pleynte
And tolde to hym anon ryght:

“I have a boy that in this howse wons;
He is a shrew for the nons.
He doth me moche care.
I may not loke ons hym upon
But I have a shame, be Seynt Jhon;
I telle the how I fare.

“Mete hym in the fylde tomorow.
Loke thou bete hym and do hym sorowe
And make the boye lame.
Iwis it is a cursed byche.
I trow the boye be some wycche:
He dothe me moche shame.”

The frere seid, “I will wete.”
She prayde him not forgete,
“For that will greve me sore.”
The frere seide, “In good faye,
But I lasshe wele that boye
Truste me never more.”

Upon the morow the boye arose
And into the felde he goos.
His bestis gan he dryve.
The frere went oute at the gate;
He went he had come too late
And ran aftyr full ryve.

Whan he cam into that londe
The lytill boye ther he founde
And his bestis echon.
He seide, “Boye, God gif thee shame.
What haste thou do to thy dame?
Have do and tel me anon.

“But yf thou can escuse thee the bet
Be my trouth thi narce shall be bete.
I will no lenger abyde.”
The boye seide, “What aylith thee?
My dame farith as wele as ye.
Thow haste no cause to chyde.”

The boye sayde, “Will thou wite
How fele byrdis I can shete
And other thyngis all?
I trowe though I be but lyght
Yonder birde shall I smyte
And geve it thee I shall.”

Ther sat a byrde on a brere.
“Shete on that,” quod the frere,
“That lystyth me to se.”
The boye smote it on the hede
That it felle doune ther dede:
It myghte no lenger flee.

The frere into the hegge went
And the birde up he hente
As it was for to don.
The boye leyde aside his bowe
Full hastly, as I trowe,
And tooke his pype sone.

Whan the frere the pipe herde,
As a wodman he ferde
And began to lepe abowte.
Amonge the bowis smale and grete
Aboute lyghtly gan he lepe,
But he cowde nowhere owte.

Bremblis cracched hym in the face
And eke in many another place.
His body began to blede.
He rent his clothis by and by,
His girdill and his chapelery
And all his other weede.

Ever the boye blewe and lewh amonge.
How the frere lepe and wronge!
He leped wonder hye.
Than sayed the boye and sware withall,
“Be my trowth, here is a sporte ryall
For any man to se with yee.”

Ever the frere hyld up his hande
And callid to hym amonge
And prayed hym, “Be stylle,
And here my trowth I plyghte to thee,
Thou shalte never have harme of me:
I will do thee non ylle.”

The boye seide to hym that tyde,
“Crepe owte on that other syde,
And hye thee thou were go.
My dame made a pleynte to thee
And now I can non other se:
Thow must compleyne to her also.”

The frere oute of the hegge wente,
All to-raged and to-rente
And torne on every syde.
Unneth he had any clowte
For to wende hys body abowte
His arsse for to hyde.

Bothe his fyngers and his face
Were crached in many a place
And berayed all with bloode.
Every man that hym gan se,
They were hym fayne for to fle.
They went the frere had bene woode.

Whan he cam to his oste
Of his jorney made he no boste.
He was both tame and tale.
Moche sorow in hert he had,
For every man was adrad
Whan he came into the hall.

The goodwyf sayed, “Where hast thou be?
In shrewde place as semyth me,
Me thynke be thyn araye.”
He seid, “I have be with thy son;
The devill of helle hym overcom,
For certis I ne maye.”

Than cam in the goodman.
“Lo, sir,” seid the goodwyf than,
“Here is a shrewid araye.
Thy son that is to thee so leef and dere
Hath almoste slayne this holy frere,
Alas, and weleaweye.”

The goodman seide, “Benedicité!
What hath my boye don to thee?
Tell me anon blyve.”
The frere seyde, “Be Seynt Jame,
I have dauncid in the devillis name.”
The goodman seyde to hym belyve —

These woordis seyde he tho:
“And thou haddist lorne thi lyf so
Thou haddist be in grete synne.”
The frere seide, “I shall tell why:
Me thoughte the pipe went so merely
That I cowde not blynne.”

“Be my trowth,” than seide he,
“Than is that a mery gle,
Or ellys thou art to blame.
That pipe will I here truly.”
The frere saide, “So will not I,
Be God and be Seynte Jame.”

Afterward whan it was nyghte,
Homeward went the boy ryght
As it was for to done.
As soon as he came into the hall
Anon his fader did hym call
And seide, “Boye, come heder anon.”

“Herke boy, now thou arte here,
What hast thou don to this frere?
Telle me withowte lettynge.”
“Fader,” he seide, “in good faye,
I did ryght not nought to hym this day
But pipe him a sprynge.”

“That pipe,” he seide, “will I here.”
“Nay, for God,” quod the frere,
“That were an evill thynge.”
The goodman sayde, “Ys, be Goddis grace.”
The frere seide, “Alas, alas”;
His handis he gan wrynge.

“For Goddis love,” quod the frere,
“And ye will the pipe here,
Bynde me to the poste.
Iwis I can no better rede:
I wote I shall be dede.
My lyffe wyll sone be loste.”

Ropys anon they had in hond
And to the poste they hym bond
That stode in the hall.
Tho that at souper satte
They had good game and lough therat
And seid, “Now the frere shall not fall.”

Than spake the goodman.
To his son he seyde than,
“Pipe on what thou wylte.”
“All redy, fader,” seide he,
“I shall yow shewe of my gle:
Ye shall have a fytte.”

As soon as the pype wente
They myghte not hemselfe stent
But began to daunce and lepe.
All that ever myght it here,
They myght not themself asstere,
But worled on a hepe.

Tho that at souper satte,
Over the table anon they lepte
And sterid in that stounde.
They that sat on the forme
Had no tyme hem to turne;
They were borne to the grounde.

The goodman was in dispeyre:
Streyte he sterte owte of the cheyre
With an hevy chere.
Som sterte over the stoke
And brake her shynnes ageyn the bloke,
And som felle in the fyre.

The goodwyfe cam in behynde.
She began to lepe and wynde
And sharpely for to shake.
But when she lokid on litill Jak,
Her arsse to hym spake
And lowde began to crake.

The frere was allmoste loste:
He beete his hede ageyne the poste.
He had non other grace.
The rope rubbid off the skynne
I woote the blode ranne doune be hym
In many dyvers place.

The boye went pypyng in the strete
And after hym hoole all the hepe:
They myghte never astentt.
They went owte at the dore so thyke
That eche man fell in others neke,
So myghtely oute they wente.

They that dwellyd therby
Harde the pype sekyrly
In place ther they sat.
Anon they lepte over the hacche;
They had no tome to undo the lacche,
They were so lothe to lette.

And tho that laye in ther bedde,
Anon they hyld up ther hede,
Bothe the lesse and eke the more.
In the strete, as I hard saye,
In feyth they toke the ryght waye
As nakyd as they were bore.

Whan thay wer gaderid all abowte,
Than was ther a grete route
In the medyll of the strete.
Some were lame and myghte not goo,
Yt they hoppid aboute also
And some began to crepe.

The boye sayde, “Fader, wyll ye reste?”
“In feyth,” he seide, “I holde it beste,”
With ryght a good chere.
“Make an ende whan thou wilte.
In feyth this was the meryest fytte
That I hard this sewyn yere.”

Whan the pype went no more
Than they amerveylid sore
Of the governaunce.
“Seynt Mary,” sayde some,
“Where is all this myrth become
That made us for to daunce?”

Every man was of good chere.
Thank the goodwyfe and the frere:
They were all dysmayde.1
He that hath not all his will,
Be it good or be it ylle,
He holdyth hym not apayde.

Now have ye herd all insame
How Jak pleyde with his dame
And pypid before the frere.
Hym lykyd nothyng the boyes lay;
Therfor he toke his leve and went his wey
Somedele with hevy chere.

The goodman norysshyd forth his chylde.
The stepmoder was to hym mylde.
And fare wele all in fere:
That Lorde yow kepe, frendis all,
That dranke both eysill and gall,
Holy God in His empere.

Here endyth the tale of Jak and his stepdame
(see note); (t-note)
vinegar; bile


all boy
precocious lad

not a bit; (see note)

wasted, by the cross; (t-note)



may she suffer
gave him a lot of grief
As much as she dared

mistress of the household; (see note)


master of the household
I shall tell you


man; (see note)
cattle; (t-note)

by; (see note)
(see note)
them if he can

to that; assented

He was ready for the field

He cared for nobody’s opinion
(see note)

came; clearing

stowed it away at once
Certainly; not to blame; (t-note)


very hungry
saved up

encouraged him to

made himself comfortable

given; (t-note)

forgotten; (see note)


arrow; quickly

always equally suitable; (t-note)

miss it
You will hit the targets

If I had
No matter how little


restrain themselves afterwards; (see note)

three gifts




choked; (see note)

Grant; a fart


all together

I can do no more, then


one after another


shut every one of them up
hall (main room)

He (the father)

Yes; in good faith (certainly)

gave him then

eat better [because of your good work]

annoyed his mother’s heart deeply

would gladly have been gone
I well know
this target would have been well hit
Even if it had been [with] a pellet

Very fiercely

each time she turned away; (t-note)

discharge a missile
Before she ever stops

entertainment; (t-note)


Your backside is not a satisfactory witness; (see note)

Then; friar

(see note)

straight away

brat for sure
causes me a lot of trouble
cannot glance at him once
Without being embarrassed; (see note)

Make sure; (t-note)

Certainly; (see note)

I will find out [if he is a witch]




every one

Stop; (t-note)

Unless you can excuse yourself really well
your ass; beaten; (see note)
longer wait
What is wrong with you

Do you want to know
many; shoot

believe; only little


brier; (see note)
Shoot at; said
I’d like to see that


he picked up
As needed to be done

lunatic he behaved

But he could nowhere [get] out

Brambles scratched

right away
belt; scapular

laughed in between
leapt and twisted
amazingly high
swore besides
entertainment fit for a king

at the same time

that time
the far side
hurry yourself to be gone
I can see no alternative

Very ragged and ripped to shreds

He hardly had a rag
To twist around his body


thought; crazy

day’s work
tame and meek; (see note)



I certainly can’t

nasty state of affairs
so beloved

(see note)


right away
(see note)


If you had lost your life that way; (see note)
You would have been
(see note)

(i.e., the father)
I really want to hear
I do not want to


hither; (t-note)


I didn’t do a single thing
dance tune

before; said; (see note)


If you want to hear the pipe

know no better advice


spoke up

some of my music

stop themselves

control themselves
whirled in a throng


moved; moment

(see note)
Immediately he bounded
sad expression
the post
broke their shins against the post; (t-note)





the whole crowd
in such a throng

lower half-door
reluctant to wait

Both low-ranking people and also high

born; (t-note)



in the last seven years; (see note); (t-note)

very much marveled
About the behavior

What became of all this music


He who does not get what he wants

does not feel satisfied

together; (t-note)

The boy’s tune pleased him not at all

With a somewhat sober face

continued to bring up


(see note)

Go To Fiends and Risen Corpses: Introduction