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It is the privilege of story-tellers to open their tale in an inn, the free rendezvous of all travellers. It is here that the character and humour of each wayfarer displays it- self, without ceremony or restraint. This is especially suitable when the scene is laid in the days of merry England, during the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth. In those good old days, the guests at an inn were not merely residents; they were the temporary companions of the host or landlord, and he was usually a person of privileged freedom and good humour.

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Margery Green

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Macmillan And Co . Limited

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Categories: , Tags: , Product ID: 25652


In 1575, the eighteenth year of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, in the village of Cumnor, near Oxford, there was an excellent inn of the old style called the Black Bear. It was kept, or rather ruled, by one Giles Gosling, a man of good stature and a round belly. He was about fifty years of age, moderate in his charges, prompt in his pay- ments, with a good cellar, a ready wit and a pretty daughter. He was famed for his power to please his guests of every description. The men of Cumnor were proud of their host; and their host was proud of his house, his daughter and himself. It was in the courtyard of the Black Bear that a rider. dismounted late one evening from his horse, and called for one of the stable servants to look after the weary animal, for he had ridden far.


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