HOW MASTER CONSTANS WENT TO THE NORTH.
Heard and told by Christopher St. John.
There lived in the South a rich Merchant whose name was Musciat,
and his son’s name was Constans.
The father was broad and ruddy-faced. He had great strength and
great Pride. But Constans was weak in body and his Humility was as
though he had been a beggar.
Now in the town by the sea where Musciat lived there was another
Merchant even richer than Musciat, and this merchant had a daughter called
Jehane. And Musciat said : “I will marry my son Constans to Jehane
⋯then her father’s riches will not shame me.”
Although Jehane was very fair, Musciat found that Constans was
nowise hot on the wedding, and Musciat said : “This comes of feeding and
clothing poor people, and kissing their feet. ⋯ My son, you shall have no
more of my gold to squander on mesel folk⋯ if you take not Jehane as
Constans answered nothing for some time. Then, heavy-hearted, he
spoke. “I have sworn faith to a Princess of the North ⋯ and although
Jehane is fairer than a star-bright evening, I will not wed her.”
“God’s mercy !” said Musciat, mocking him. “And when were you
in the North ?” “I was never there,” said Constans. “But in clear
dream I have seen her ⋯ and she is my fellow ⋯ I am to seek her
⋯ when I am worthy.”
And Musciat answered in a great rage that Constans should seek her
now. And Musciat drove Constans out.
(To be continued in the next Number.)
St. John, Christopher. “How Master Constans Went to the North.” The Green Sheaf, No. 1, 1903, p. [vi]. Green Sheaf Digital Edition, edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra, Yellow Nineties 2.0, Toronto Metropolitan University Centre for Digital Humanities, 2022. https://1890s.ca/GSV1-st-john-constans/