I have a curiosity to hear my fortune told: therefore, Sam, order the beldame forward.
The beldame has suggested that he must be 'liege-lord of all the elves and fays'.
And at that the beldame laughed very violently and said, "Yea, that is true."
The beldame came in presently, before he had had time to shape his thoughts.
Again she sought the dwelling of the old hag: for the fourth time she demanded the assistance of the beldame.
The beldame looked at him scornfully, and disdained to reply.
"But I am not content to surrender my Madoc," yelled the beldame.
The beldame drew back after uttering this anathema, and again resumed her station near the hearth.
And to the horror of Erminie, he grasped the cloak and tore it off, in spite of the vigorous struggles of the beldame.
The beldame has the impudence too, after she has brought me into this dilemma, to solicit my assistance to stock the farm anew!
"aged woman," 1570s; earlier "grandmother" (mid-15c.), from dame (q.v.) in the sense of "mother" + bel-, Middle English prefix expressing relationship (cf. belfader, belsire "grandfather"), from Old French bel, belle "beautiful, fair, fine" (see belle). This "direct relationship" sense of bel is not found in French, where the prefix is used to form words for in-laws.