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Yet twenty tall yeomen will draw at his word;
And the best of our nobles his bonnet will vail,
Who at Rere-cross on Stanmore meets Allen-a-Dale.

Allen-a-Dale to his wooing is come; The mother, she asked of his household and home: “Though the castle of Richmond stand fair on the hill, My hall," quoth bold Allen, "shows gallanter still; 'Tis the blue vault of heaven, with its crescent so pale, And with all its bright spangles!” said Allen-a-Dale.

The father was steel, and the mother was stone;
They lifted the latch, and they bade him begone.
But loud, on the morrow, their wail and their cry!
He had laugh'd on the lass with his bonny black eye;
And she fled to the forest to hear a love tale,
And the youth it was told by was Allen-a-Dale!

Făg'ot, wood cut into short lengths for the fire; tēad, tell the meaning of; craft (kräft), skill; mēre, lake; chāse, the woods; yeā'man, bowman; bón'nět, hat; väil, take off. STUDY HELPS

Read the lines that state the riddle you are asked to guess.
What is there difficult to understand in this riddle?

What contrast between the Baron of Ravensworth and Allen-aDale is stated in the second stanza?

Stanza 3 tells you why Allen-a-Dale is powerful. Why?

Stanzas 2 and 3 suggest the answer to the riddle. What is Allen-a-Dale's "craft," or business by which he wins d?

Why did the mother ask of "his household and home"?
What answer did he make? What did he mean?
How did the father and mother treat his answer?

How did the young lady show her opinion of Allen-a-Dale's wooing?



I There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. “Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,” thought Alice; "only, as it 's asleep, I suppose it does n't mind.”

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it. “No room! No room!” they cried out when they saw Alice coming. "There's plenty of room!” said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large armchair at one end of the table.

“Have some wine,” the March Hare said in an encouraging tone.

Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. “I don't see any wine,” she remarked.

“There is n't any,” said the March Hare.

“Then it was n't very civil of you to offer it,” said Alice angrily.

“It was n't very civil of you to sit down without being invited,” said the March Hare.

“I did n't know it was your table,” said Alice; "it's laid for a great many more than three."

“Your hair wants cutting,” said the Hatter. He had been looking at Alice for some time with great curiosity, and this was his first speech.

"You should learn not to make personal remarks,” Alice said with some severity: “It's very rude.”

The Hatter opened his eyes very wide on hearing this; but all he said was, “Why is a raven like a writing desk?"

“Come, we shall have some fun now!” thought Alice. “I'm glad they 've begun asking riddles.— I believe I can guess that,” she added aloud.

“Do you mean that you think you can find out the answer to it?” said the March Hare.

"Exactly so,” said Alice.

“Then you should say what you mean,” the March Hare went on.

“I do,” Alice hastily replied; "at least-at least I mean what I say—that 's the same thing, you know.”

“Not the same thing a bit!” said the Hatter. “Why, you might just as well say that “I see what I eat' is the same thing as 'I eat what I see!'

“You might just as well say,” added the March Hare, “that 'I like what I get' is the same thing as 'I get what I like!'

“You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, who seemed to be talking in his sleep, “that 'I breathe when I sleep' is the same thing as 'I sleep when I breathe!'"

“It is the same thing with you,” said the Hatter, and here the conversation dropped, and the party sat silent for a minute, while Alice thought over all she could remember about ravens and writing desks, which was n't much.

The Hatter was the first to break the silence. “What day of the month is it?” he said, turning to Alice: he had taken his watch out of his pocket, and was looking at it

uneasily, shaking it every now and then, and holding it to

his ear.

Alice considered a little, and said, “The fourth.”

“Two days wrong!” sighed the Hatter. "I told you butter would n't suit the works!” he added, looking angrily at the March Hare.

“It was the best butter," the March Hare meekly replied.

Yes, but some crumbs must have got in as well,” the Hatter grumbled: "you should n't have put it in with the bread knife."

The March Hare took the watch and looked at it gloomily: than he dipped it into his cup of tea, and looked at it again: but he could think of nothing better to say than his first remark, “It was the best butter, you know.”

Alice had been looking over his shoulder with some curiosity. “What a funny watch!” she remarked. “It tells the day of the month, and does n't tell what o'clock it is!"

“Why should it?" muttered the Hatter. “Does your watch tell you what year it is?”

“Of course not,” Alice replied very readily; “but that 's because it stays the same year for such a long time together.”

“Which is just the case with mine," said the Hatter.

Alice felt dreadfully puzzled. The Hatter's remark seemed to her to have no sort of meaning in it, and yet it was certainly English. “I don't quite understand you," she said, as politely as she could.

“The Dormouse is asleep again,” said the Hatter, and he poured a little hot tea on to its nose.

The Dormouse shook its head impatiently, and said,

without opening its eyes, “Of course, of course: just what I was going to remark myself.”

“Have you guessed the riddle yet?” the Hatter said, turning to Alice again.

“No; I give it up,” Alice replied: “what 's the answer?"
“I have n't the slightest idea,” said the Hatter.
"Nor 1,” said the March Hare.

Alice sighed wearily. “I think you might do something better with the time,” she said, “than wasting it in asking riddles that have no answers."

“If you knew Time as well as I do,” said the Hatter, "you would n't talk about wasting it. It's him.

“I don't know what you mean,” said Alice.

“Of course you don't!” the Hatter said, tossing his head contemptuously. “I dare say you never even spoke to Time!”

"Perhaps not,” Alice cautiously replied; "but I know I have to beat time when I learn music."

“Ah! that accounts for it,” said the Hatter. "He won't stand beating. Now, if you only kept on good terms with him, he'd do almost anything you liked with the clock. For instance, suppose it were nine o'clock in the morning, just time to begin lessons: you 'd only have to whisper a hint to Time, and round goes the clock in a twinkling! Half-past one, time for dinner!”

(“I only wish it was,” the March Hare said to itself in a whisper.)

“That would be grand, certainly,” said Alice thoughtfully; “but then-I should n't be hungry for it, you know.”

“Not at first, perhaps,” said the Hatter, “but you

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