Interlude -

All praised the Legend more or less;
Some liked the moral, some the verse;
Some thought it better, and some worse
Than other legends of the past;
Until, with ill-concealed distress
At all their cavilling, at last
The Theologian gravely said:
" The Spanish proverb, then, is right;
Consult your friends on what you do,
And one will say that it is white,
And others say that it is red. "
And " Amen! " quoth the Spanish Jew.

" Six stories told! We must have seven,
A cluster like the Pleiades,
And lo! it happens, as with these,
That one is missing from our heaven.
Where is the Landlord? Bring him here;
Let the Lost Pleiad reappear. "

Thus the Sicilian cried, and went
Forthwith to seek his missing star,
But did not find him in the bar,
A place that landlords most frequent,
Nor yet beside the kitchen fire,
Nor up the stairs, nor in the hall;
It was in vain to ask or call,
There were no tidings of the Squire
So he came back with downcast head,
Exclaiming: " Well, our bashful host
Hath surely given up the ghost
Another proverb says the dead
Can tell no tales; and that is true
It follows, then, that one of you
Must tell a story in his stead.
You must, " he to the Student said,
" Who know so many of the best,
And tell them better than the rest. "

Straight, by these flattering words be guiled,
The Student, happy as a child
When he is called a little man,
Assumed the double task imposed,
And without more ado unclosed
His smiling lips, and thus began.
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