Tarltons newes out of Purgatorie.

Onely such a iest as his Iigge, fit for Gen­tlemen to laugh at an houre, &c.

Published by an old Companion of his, Robin Goodfellow.


AT LONDON, Printed for T. G. and T. N. 1590.

The Contents of the whole booke.

  • The tale of Pope Boniface, and why he wore a Mil­lers cap, and a malkin in Purgatorie. fol. 4
  • What kind of men those be that God neuer made. 6
  • What creatures those be, that in sight are Carnati­ons, in smell Roses, in hearing Syrens, in touching Nettles, and in tast wormewood. 9
  • What occupations take more paines about God, then the Pope. 10
  • The tale of Fryer Onyon, why in Purgatorie he was tormented with Waspes. 13
  • The tale of the three Cuckolds, of their Impresses, & Mottoes. 21
  • The tale of the Cooke, and why he sate in Purgato­rie with a Cranes leg in his mouth. 22
  • The tale of the Vickar of Bergamo, and why hee sits with a coale in his mouth in Purgatorie. 29
  • The tale of the Painter of Doncaster, & why in Pur­gatorie he was beaten with a bell rope. 33
  • Why the gentlewoman of Lyons sate with hir haire clipt off in Purgatorie. 38
  • The tale of two Louers of Pisa, and why they were whipt in Purgatorie with Nettles. 42

To the Gentlemen Readers, Health.

GEntlemen, the Horse when hee is first handed to the warres, starteth at the cracke of euery peece; and e­uery coucht Launce is a censure of death to a fresh water Souldier: So fareth it with mee, for neuer before being in print I start at the sight of the Presse, and ha­uing not dared to looke into the open light, I feared with the Owle to fly before it be twylight: yet I haue heard others whose bookes haue past your view, ac­count you so fauorable, curteous and affable, shrou­ding euery scape with silence; that I presumed the rather to experience with them the hope of your fa­uours: which if I finde as they haue done, though I bee blinde Bayard, yet I will in the thickest of the mire plunge vp to the Saddle for your sakes. Virgill afore he wrote his Aeneidos, wrote his Culex; and as­saide in trifles, afore he attempted in Triumphs. Lu­can wrote Quaedam Lirica, before he began with Bel­lumper Emathios plusquam Ciuilia campos. Roome was not builded on a day, and men that venter little, ha­zard little: So gentlemen, I present you with a toy of Tarltons, called his newes out of Purgatory; which I [Page] desire you accept as curteously as I offer willing to to please: Though they be Crepundia yet reade them, and if you find any pleasant Facetia, or Quicquid Salis▪ thinke all sauory, and so pleasde without being satiri­cally peremptory: for Momus will haue a mouth full of inuectiues, and Zoilus should not be Zoilus if hee were not squint eide. Therefore leauing their hu­mours to the wordmongers of mallice that like the Vipers grew odious to their owne kinde, hoping of your curteous censure, I bid you farewell.

Tarltons newes out of Purgatorie.

SOrrowing as most men doe for the death of Richard Tarlton, in that his particu­lar losse was a generall la­ment to all that coueted, ei­ther to satisfie their eies with his Clownish gesture, or their eares with his wit­tyiests. The wonted desire to see plaies left me, in that although I sawe as rare showes, and heard as lofty verse, yet I inioied not those woonted sports that flowed from him as from a fountain, of pleasing and merry conceits. For although he was on­ly superficially seene in learning, hauing no more but a bare insight into the Latine tongue, yet hee had such a prompt witte, that he seemed to haue that Salem ingenij, which Tullie so highly commends in his Orator. Well, howsoeuer either naturall, or artificiall, or both, he was a mad merry companion, desired and loued of all: amongst the rest of whose welwishers myselfe being not the least, after his death I mourned in conceit, and absented my selfe from all plaies, as wanting that merry Roscius of Plaiers, that famozed all Comedies so with his pleasant and extemporall inuenti [...]n: yet at last, as the longest Sommers day hath his night, so this dumpe had an ende: and forsooth vpon whitson monday last I would néedes to the Theatre to sée a play: where when I came, I founde such concourse of vnruely people, that I thought it better solitary to walke in the fieldes, then to intermeddle my selfe amongst such a great presse. Feeding mine humour [Page 2] with this fancie I stept by dame Anne of Cléeres well, & went by the backside of Hogsdon: where finding the Sun to bee hot, and séeing a faire tree that had a coole shade, I sate me downe to take the aire, where after I had rested me a while I fell a sléepe: As thus I lay in a slumber, mée thought I saw one attired in russet with a but tond cap on his head, a great bagge by his side, and a strong bat in his hand, so artificially attyred for a Clowne, as I began to call Tarltons woonted shape to remembrance, as he drew more néere and hee came within the compasse of mine eie, to iudge it was no other but the very ghost of Richard Tarlton, which pale and wan sate him down by me on the grasse. I that knewe him to be deade at this sodaine sight fell into a great feare, insomuch that I swet in my sleepe: which he perceiuing, with his woonted conntenance full of smiles began to comfort me thus. What olde acquain­tance, a man or a mouse? Hast thou not heard me verefie, that a Souldier is a souldier if he haue but a blew hose on his head? Feare not me man, I am but Dick Tarlton that coulde quaint it in the Court, and clowne it on the stage: that had a quart of wine for my friend, and as word for my foe: who hurt none beeing aliue, and will not preiudice a­ny being dead: f [...]r although thou sée me here in the likenes of a spirite, yet thinke mee to bee one of those Familiares Lares that were rather pleasantly disposed then indued with any hurtfull influence, as Hob Thrust, Robin Good­fellowe and such like spirites (as they terme them of the buttry) famozed in euerie olde wiues Chronicle for their mad merry pranckes. Therefore sith my appearance to thée is in resemblance of a spirite, thinke that I am as pleasant a goblin as the rest, and will make thée as merry before I part, as euer Robin Goodfellow made the coun­try wenches at their Creame boules. With this he drew more neere me and I starting backe cried out: In nomine Iesu, auoid Sathan for Ghost thou art none, but a very di­ [...]el (for the soules of them which are departed) if the sacred [Page 3] principles of Theologie bee true) neuer returne into the world againe till the generall resurrection: for either are they pla [...]st in heauen, from whence they come not to in­tangle themselues with other cares, but sit continually before the seate of the Lambe singing Alleluia to the high­est, or else they are in hell: and this is a profound and cer­tain Aphorisme, Ab inferis nulla est redemptio: vpō these conclusiue premisses depart from mee Sathan the resem­blance of whom soeuer thou dost carry. At this pitching his staffe downe on the end, & crossing one leg ouer an o­ther, he answered thus: why you horeson dunce, think you to set Dick Tarlton Non plus with your Aphorismes? No, I haue yet left one chapter of choplodgicke to tewslite you withall, that were you as good as George a Gréene I would not take the foile at your hands: and that is this, I perceiue by your arguments your inward opinion, and by your wise discretiō what pottage you loue: I sée no sooner a rispe at the howse end or a Maipole before the doore, but I cry there is, a paltrie Alehowse: and as soone as I heare the principles of your religion, I can say, oh there is a Caluinist: what doe you make heauen and hell Contraria immediata, so contrarie, that there is no meane betwixt them, but that either a mans soule must in post hast goe presently to God, or else with a whirlewind and a venge­ance goe to the diuell? yes, yes my good brother, there is Quoddam tertium a third place that all our great grand­mothers haue talkt of, that Dant hath so learnedly writ of, and that is Purgatorie. What syr are we wiser then all our forefathers? and they not onely feared that place in life, but found it after their death: or els was there much land and annuall pensions giuen in vaine to morrow­masse priests for dirges, trentals and such like decretals of deuotion, whereby the soules in Purgatorie were the soo­ner aduanced into the quiet estate of heauen. Nay more, how many Popes & holy Bishops of Rome, whose Cānons ācnot erre, haue taught vs what this Purgatorie is? And [Page 4] yet if thou wert so incredulous that thou wouldest nei­ther beleeue our olde beldames, nor the good Bishops: yet take Dicke Tarlton once for thine Author, who is nowe come from Purgatorie, and if any vpstart Protestant de­nie, if thou hast no place of scripture ready to confirme it, say as Pithagoras schollers did (Ipse dixit) and to all bon companions [...]t shall stand for a principle. I coulde not but smile at the madde merry doctrine of my friend Richard, and therefore taking heart at grasse drawing more neere him▪ I praied him to tell me what Purgatorie is, & what they be that are resident there: as one willing to doe mee such a fauour, he sate him downe and began thus.

¶ Tarltons description of Purgatorie.

AFter thy breath hath left thy body, and thy soule is set frée from this vile prison of earth, where it hath been long inclosed, then dooth it wander forward into a fa [...] broade way, where at the tourning of a crosse there are thrée passages, one on the right hand, and that is very narrow and leadeth vnto heauen: The second on the left hand, is broad and faire, ouer a greene vale, and that conducteth vnto hell: now betwixt these is there a lane neither to broade nor to narrow, and that is the [...] way to Purgatory: wherin after you haue wandered a while, you come to a bridge, framed all of Néedle points and ouer that must you passe bare footed, as the first penance for your formost offences. Then sir to haue a little ease after that sharpe absolution, shall you come into a faire medow, and that is all ouergrowne with Aue maries and creedes, this is to put you in remembrance of our Ladies P [...]alter, which if you can say a hundreth & fifty times ouer before you passe the meadow, you escape pas­sing ouer a whole field of hot burning ploughshares, that [Page 5] day and night lie glowing hot for such purposes: after these and a many moe of other miseries, which I am by the law forbidden to vtter, you come to purgatorie gate, where for an entring penny, you haue fortie lashes with a whip as ill as euer were giuen in Bridewell: then are you admitted entrance. At the first you shall come into a very sumptuous hall, richelie hanged with tapistrie, so fine and so curious, that the most cutthroate Broaker in England would take the worst of the hangings for a suf­ficient pawne: In this hall shall you see an infinite num­ber of seates, formed and seated like an Amphitheater: wherein are roially, nay more then roially placed all the Popes, except the first thirty after Christ, and they went presentlie to heauen: and the reason was, because Pur­gatorie was then but a building, and not fully finished. In those seates I say the popes sit triumphantlie with their pontificalibus, and their triple crownes, but yet a­biding paines of purgatorie, aswell as the meanest in all the house, equally proportioned according to the measure of their sinnes: some for false wresting the scriptures, o­thers for ambition, some for couetousnesse, gluttonie, extortion, symonie, wrath, pride, enuie, many for sloth, and idlenesse: and some I can tell you haue come thither for wenching matters, thats counted in Rome but a ve­ [...]iall sinne, and therfore thrée dirges and two tapers of­fered to the picture of old Pasquille, is sufficient to wipe away so small an offence. But amongst all the rest two of them made me to maruell at the strangnesse of the pu­nishment: The first was Boniface the fourth, and he sat in this order.

He was richly attired in his pontificalibus, and som­what more rich then the rest, but vpon his head, in stead of his triple crowne, he wore a dustie millers cap: and whereas other Popes held in their right hand the keyes of heauen, and in the left the sworde of Paule, he held be­twéene both his hands a durtie malkin, such as Bakers [Page 6] sweepe their Ouens withall, and right ouer his head was written this old adage in Latin: ‘Ne sutor vltra crepidam.’

And because thou shalt know the reason why we was thus punished, marke this merry tale.

The tale of Pope Boniface, and why he wore a Millers cap, and a malkin in purgatorie.

THere dwelled somtime in the citie of Rome a Baker, named Astasio, who for his honest behauiour was well accounted of amongst his neighbours, insomuch, that what [...]se so­euer his bread was baked after, his loaues neuer past the ballance. This Astasio had sundry prenti­ses and iourneymen to do his businesse, for he was chéefe Baker to the popes holinesse: amongst whome there was one called Miles, who was a strong lusty lubber, and one that was as ripe conceipted for knauerie, as the Miller that ground their meale for théeuery, & had as many good conditions, as his mistresse had points of chastitie, and she was thought a vertuous matron: for a Cardinall lay in her house, to instruct her with holy sentences, and where such blessed men lie, there can be no lecherie. Well Miles was a mad wagge, and when he had doone his businesse, to exercise his wits would diuerse times resort to some one or other of the cloister of Nuns, amongst these merry wenches, to put in practise the excellencie of his prattle, he so behaued himselfe, that if higher fortune had not fal­len him, the Nuns of Santa Maria had intreated their ab­besse to haue made him their fac totum: but to his grea­ter dignitie, thus it fell out. It chaunced that Pope Pi­us fell sicke, and for that he knew Cardinals were ambi­tious, and would flie with Icarus whatsoeuer befall, to a­uoide all mutinies that might insue after his death about [Page 7] the succession, of the Papacie: he called his Cardinals to­gether, and charged them to elect none Pope, but he that could absolue these thrée questions.

  • 1 What kinde of men those bee, that GOD neuer made.
  • 2 What creatures those be, that in sight are Carna­tions, in smell Roses, in hearing Syrens, in touch Nettles, and in taste Wormewood.
  • 3 And what occupations take more paines about God then the Pope.

Upon these the Cardinalls were agréed and went home to their seueral lodging, leauing Pius wel cōtented with their mutuall consent, & resolued to die, sith he had so well determined of the succession of the papacye to bee briefe, as euery dogge hath his day, so the Pope had his date, for the next morning hee died. And vpon this there was a generall mourning through all Roome, the Cardi­nalls wept, the Abbots howled, the Monks rored, the fry­ers cryed, the Nuns puled, the Curtizans lamented, the bels rang, and the tapers were lighted, that such a blacke Sanctus was not seene along time afore in Rome: wel to be short, his [...]unerals were solemnly kept, and his body caried from Castle Angelo to Saint Peters Church and there intombed. After his death euery one of the Car­dinals aspiring to the papacie, pondred in his braine the meaning of these questiōs but they were not so good schol­lers that they could eyther deuide, define, or distinguish vpon them, especially Cardinall Montecelso that lay at the Bakers house, who along while had these questions hammering in his head, but to smal purpose, for the more he sought the farther off he was, which gréeued him full sore: for the day was come wherein they must giue vp their verdict, and the synod of the Cardinals appointed to méet Cardinal Montecelso ashamd to go, because he was [Page 8] so monstrous a dunce, knowing yt Myles the bakers man was a fellow of a prompt wit, and withal so like the Car­dinall, as no man possible could discerne the one from the other, brought it so to passe, that he perswaded Miles to g [...] and heare the questions, and to sit in his roabes amongst the rest of the Cardinals: promising, if he woon the victory by his witte he would when he were Pope so labour, that he would make him a Cardinal. Miles that was eu [...]r ma­lepert, and more saucy then honest, vndertook the matter and bluntly ouer his bakers mealye Cassock for hast put on the Cardinals habit, and went very solemnly to saint Peters church: where the rest of the holy brotherhood sate, taking his place amongest them as Montecelso had dire­cted him. Whē thus they were all gathered together, the eldest of the fraternity laide open vnto them that now by the death of Pius ye papacy stood sede vacante: yet by ye good direction of his holines in his life time to anoide further controuersie in the Church, he had left a meane to know who should be next successor in the sea, and thereupon he propounded thrée questions, which began at the eldest, & so gradatim went downeward: sundry men gaue sundry verdictes, at last it came to Cardinall Montecelso, wh [...] was yongest, to yéeld his reason, which if it were not pro­bable and plausible, the Synode must deuise some other meanes to knowe the successor: for the questions were so darke that amongst the rest they were as inscrutable Aenigmaes. Well to Miles at last came the matter to bee made manifest, who very demurely in his scarlet roabes and his graue bennet, began thus: My Lords and fellow brethren in this dignitie, nowe is the text fulfilled: The last shall be first and the first shall be last: For I that am youngest in yeres, am like to be eldest in iudgement, and being last in degrée, am like to be first in dignity. There­for [...] you foolish dunces thus to absolue these thrée questi­ons.

What kinde of men be those that God neuer made.

I tell you they be Popes, Cardinals, Abbots, Monks, and Priests: for n [...]ne of all these did God euer make: and thus I proue it. The Creator, both according to the prin­ciples of Philosophie and Theology, is greater th [...]n the Creature, and it is impossible that the maker should bec formed or fashioned by the thing made; as a pot to make a Potter: is it not then as repugnant to reason that God should make a Priest, when the Priest euery day in his masse maketh God? and so is he the creator and God the creature: therefore brethren the Priest is the man that God neuer made, because wee our selues knowe that the Priest i [...] Gods maker. To this they all applauded and said: he had spokē as much as Pius meaut. Now quoth hee to the second question.

What creatures those be, that in sight are Carnations, in smell Roses, in hearing Syrens, in touching nettles, and in tast wormewood.

Thus I answere: they be (my masters quoth he) these kinde of cattle that we couet so much to keepe, and these be women: for he that sees a gallant wench, which wee Italians terme Bona Roba, with a fa [...]e face flourisht ouer with a vermilion blush, shée seemes to his eie as beauti­full as a Caruation: and hir breath that is as swéete and odoriferous as a Rose: he that listens to hir words, shall finde them as pleasant and melodious as the Syren, and as full of flattery as Cyrces: so that hee that will auoide thrée wiles, must with Vlisses tie himselfe to the mast, or els venture on thrée dangerous shelues: in tou­ching they be nettles, for they sti [...]g to the quicke: and in tast whosoeuer tries them, sh [...]l finde them as bitter in [Page 10] the ende as wormewood. When Miles had discourst this, they thought Sphnix himselfe could not haue yeelded a bet­ter reason, and therefore our gentle man Baker went on to the third thus boldly: and nowe masters, quoth hee, to the last.

What occupations take more paines about God then the pope.

Marry quoth Myles, there be thrée, the ploughman, the Miller and the baker: & thus I proue it: The ploughman he takes paines to [...]sse his field, to sow his corne, and in haruest with toile to reape, in winter to threshe it out with the sweate of his brows. Then it is conueyed from him to the Miller and he bestiers him self to set his stones in frame to grind it: next it is transported to the Baker, & he boults it and sifts the bran from the flower, and with great paines makes it into afine Cake & bakes it, last it is brought to the Pope, and he when he is at masse saies but hoc est corpus meum, and it is God: he spends but alitle fewe wast words about it, whereas the other thrée labor long ere they bring it to perfection: therefore these three take more paines about God then the pope. One of the old Cardinals hearing this, wondring at his wit began to repeate ouer ye names of the plouhgswaine the Miller and the baker: Myles hearing him name the Baker, tooke straight Pepper in the nose and starting vpp threw of his Cardinals roabes, standing inhis dustie Cassocke, swore I by cockesbread the Baker, and he that sayes to the con­trary, here stand I Myles the Bakers man to haue the prowdest Cardinall of you al by the ears. The Cardinals all this while thinking it had ben Monterelso and no [...] séeing it was Myles the Bakers man, to sooth vp the mat­ter and cl [...]ake their owne ignorances made him Pope & called him in steade of Myles, Boniface: where he soone forgat being a Priest yt euer he was a Clarke: in so much [Page 11] that on a day passing to Saint peters Church, his maiste. Astasio met him, and amongst the rest did his holynesse great reuerence, but Myles now that was Pope, coulde not loke so low as a poore baker, which his maister espying, as he came by said that the Pope might heare. Non fuit sic à principio: No Knaue quoth he, but ye shalt heare sang anon; Sic erit in secula seculorum Amen. Thus went the Bakers man in solempe porcessiō to Saint Peters church, and there after his instalment hard masse, & so departed home to Castle Angelo. And for that he was aduan [...]st frō from a Bakers trough to the papacie, and after grewe so proud and insolent, that he would not know his old ma­ster: he sits in a Millers dustie Cappe and a Bakers malking: to signifie, the former pride of his life.

Next him sat Hildebrand, & he held a red Hering in his hand, because he made lent: and one Pope sat with a smock sleeue about his necke, and that was he that made the imbering weekes; in honore of his faire and beatifull curtizan Imbra.

A litle beyond sat Alexander, who was forest to make cleane rustie Armor, that like Sisiphus stone had no end: for as fast as he scowred, ye cancker stil fretted that he did: In caucasum saxum volucre: & this was because he was a better soldier then a Scholler. Hard by him was Iulius, that vpon the bridge threw S. Peters keyes into Tiber, & toke him to ye sword of Paul: infinit other sundry offences: but such a multitude were plangd for wenching, that of thē al there was not one scapt frée for ye fault. But Vrbane the second, that was in stalde Pope in the morning and was poysoned before dinner, and yet the question, whether, if hee had lyued that night, his lemon and he had not bidden penaunce in purgatorie for their sinnes. Thus when I saw all these statelye fellowes, as I was redy to go out of the hall, I spied sitting in a corner a bare faced youth, wel featured, of a liuely countenaunce, and a swéete looke, in Poopes attire: but on hir head in stead of [Page 12] a myter shée had a kercher, and in hir hand a distaffe: I thought it had béene Hercules that was found playing the wanton so with Ompha [...]e, or Sardanapalus amongst his Curtisans. But at last I spied it was a Pope, or had been a Pope: But whether man or woman, or what it was I sould not tell, till I spied written ouer his head in great Caracters this stile:

Papa, Pater, Parens Patriae, Prope Portas Petri, Pauli, Paruum Peperit Puerum.

Then I perceiued it was Pope Ioane that honest wo­man, that as shée went a procession through the Lateran was brought to bed in the stréetes. I smilde at hir attire, and left hir to hir punishment. Passing from thence I went into a lower Roome, and there were all kings and princes, and men of name, which for that I might slan­der their royall titles, I omitte with silence. But thus they were all punished according to their offences, no more spared for their wealth then the poore for their po­uerty; vnlesse they died highly in the popes fauour; and perhaps there was some indulgence to mittigate their punishment. I left them, and anon I came into a baser roome all full of Monkes and Friars, what sinnes I saw there figured fo [...]th I am ashamed to rehearse, onely Fri­ [...]r Onyon the holy Confessour of Florence, hee sate there naked, all annointed with h [...]ny and miserably tormen­ted with waspes. The cause of his punishment I learned to be this.

The tale of Friar Onyon, why in purgatorie he was tormented with waspes.

THere dwelled a widow in Florence of good parentage, & large possessions, more beautifull then she was wealthie, and yet she was the richest widow in al Florence, hir name was Lisetta, the onely faulte that was found in hir was, that hir beau­tie was more then hir wit, and that such a selfeloue of hir excellencie had made hir ouerweene hir selfe, that she thought none fit to bee her husband in all Forence. Thus though she were lookde at for hir outward perfec­tion, yet was she laughde at for hir inward follies. Well howsoeuer others censured of her, she thought her peny better siluer then the rest, and would so striue to excell other Gentlewomen in the nicenesse of gesture, that [...]ft­times she marde all: in so much that hir coy quaint­nesse was a byword in the citie. Euery wéeke forsooth, be­cause she would seeme as vertuous as she was faire, she deuoutly went to Friar Onion, to be confessed of hir sins: the Priest, who was a lustie lubber, and a tall swaine, and nurst vp lust with idlenesse; began to looke vpon hir more narrowlie, and to take a particular view of hir per­fections; with that entring with a piercing insight into hir selfeloue; thought, that she might quickly be ouer­reacht in hir owne conceipts: for he thought, that if the wisest women were wonne with faire praises, and large promises, it were more eas [...]e to intrap hir with the dis­course of her excellencie. Therefore he laid his plot thus: the next time Lis [...]tta came to shrift, after she had made her confession, and had receiued absolution for hir sinnes, Friar Onyon looking earnestlie vpon hir, fetcht a far sigh and said: ah Madam! if you knew as much as I know; as you are the fairest, so you would thinke your selfe the happiest of all weomen that are aliue. And why syr I [Page 14] pray you, quoth Lisetta? ah said friar Onyon: it is such a secret as may not be reuealed: for if I should disclose it to you, and you by any meanes make it manifest, there were no way with me but a most miserable death. Lisetta, as all women be desirous of noueltie, was so gréedie to heare what good was toward hir, that she made a thousand pro­testations, and vttered a thousand oathes, neuer to be­wray what her ghostly father should tell her in secret. Then Madam, quoth Friar Onyon, with a graue and a demure countenance, know your beautie is so excellent, and your persection so farre beyond the common course of all other women, that not onely all men that sée you, ad­mire you as a miracle: but the very Angels in heauen are enamored of your proportion. The Angels, quoth she, is that possible? The angels, madam, and not the mea­nest, but the most beautifull of all the rest: for the Angell Gabriel is so far in loue with you, that the other night he appeared vnto me, and charged me to do his earnest com­mendations vnto you, with promise, that if hee might be assured of your secrecie, he would at conuenient times visit you, and interteine you with such loue as befitteth such holy spirits.

This tale so set a fire Lisetta, that she not onely than­ked Friar Onyon for his commendations; but counted her selfe the most fortunate of all women, that she was beloued of so blessed a Saint: & therfore when and where it pleased him, he should be intertained with as honou­rable secrecie, as a poore dame of her calling might afford. Friar Onyon séeing this géere would worke, prosecuted his purpose then subtilly: he presently fell downe on his knées before hir, and desired, that for such happie newes as he had brought, she would graunt him a boone. Lisetta liberall now to performe any demaund, bad him aske. Then he began thus: Madam, quoth he, for that the An­gell Gabriell is a spirit, and his brightnesse such, as no mortall eye can suffer, and therefore must come vnto you [Page 15] in some humane shape, I pray you vouchsafe, that my bo­die may be the receptacle for him, that while he putteth on my carcasse, my soule may enioy the sight and pleasu­res of paradise: so shall you not hinder your selfe, and do me an vnspeakeable benefit. Lisetta seeing Friar Ony­on was a lusty tall fellow, willing in what she might, to pleasure him, graunted his request verie willinglie: wherevpon it was concluded, that she should leaue the doore open, and about midnight the Angel Gabriell should come to visit hir. Upon this resolution home went Li­setta, as merry as a pie, tricking vp hir bedchamber with all brauerie, and rich perfumes for the interteinment of hir paramour. And, Friar Onyon, as busie as a bée, was making his winges and his trinckets ready to play the Angell: well, he delt so, that he agréed with an old pandor that dwelt opposite to the house, and there made himselfe ready, and at the houre appointed went to Lisetta: where he found the doore open, and so entred vp till hee came to her bedchamber; where she sat expecting his comming: assoone as she sawe him with his glorious wings and his white roabes, she rose, and fell at his féet: but he louingly tooke her vp, imbracst hir, kist her, and pointed to the bed, whether the Angell went after he had laid apart his abiliments, and Lisetta followed with as much spéed as might be: Caetera quis nescit. Early before breake of the day, Gabriell tooke his leaue of his Liset­ta, and went to his lodging, leauing hir the proudest woman in the world, that shee was beloued of an An­gell. Friar Onyon hee got him to his cell, and there tooke vppe his broaken sléepe hee had lost till nine of the clocke, that hee went into his Oratorie: where hee had not sytten long, but Lisetta in as great brauerie as might, came to the church, and then offerd vp in grea­ter deuotion a burning taper to the Angell Gabriell; af­terwards hir orisons done she came to fryar Onyon, who after some conference demaunded hir of hir new louer, [Page 16] whom shee highly commended, and he againe gaue hir great thanks, that shee vouchsaft him to be the re [...]epta­cle of so holy a Saint: for all the while his bodie was with hir, his soule did tast the Ioyes of paradice. These two thus agreed, it so fell out that sundry times as oc­casion & oportunity would giue leaue, the Angell Gabri­el visited Lisetta: The Fryar thus frolicke in this concei­ted content was thwarted by fortune on this manner: Lisetta waxing very proud with the remembrance of hir new louer, was so coy and disdainefull, as she thought neuer a dame in Florence fit for hir company: insomuch that many wondred why shee grewe so insolent. [...]ut the more they maruailed, the more shee was malapert, concei­uing such abundance of selfeloue within hir stomacke, that shee was with childe till shee had vttered hir minde to some of hir gossips: on a day sitting with one in whom shee had most affiance, shee beganne to require secrecy, and shee would vnfold vnto hir a thing not onely strange but of great import. Hir gossip as the custome is, began to blame those wiues whose secrets lay at their tongues end, and saide, shée was neuer toucht with any staine of hir tongue: and therefore what soeuer shée told hir, should bee buried vnder foote and goe no further. Upon this Ly­setta began to rehearse vnto hir from point to point, the whole discourse of the Angell Gabriell, howe hee was in loue with hir, and how sundry nights he lay with hir, and many more matters which he told hir of the ioyes of Pa­radise. Hir gossip being a wily wench kept hir counter. āc [...] very demurely, commending the excellencie of hir beau­ty, that did not onely amaze men, but drew euen Angels to be [...]amoured of hir: promising to be as secrete in this matter as hir selfe. Shee thought the time long till they might breake off talke, and therefore assoone as shée could finde opportunity, shée tooke hir leaue, and [...]ted hir home­ward: but to hir house shée coulde not goe, till thée had met with two or three of hir gossips; to whom in a great laugh­ter [Page 17] shée vnfolded what madam Lysetta had told hir, how shee was beloued of the Angell Gabriell, and how sundry nights he lay with hir, and tould her of the ioyes of Pa­radice. This was worke enough for nine daies, for the woonder of Madame Lisettas barne went through all Florence: so that at last it came to the eares of Lisettas friends, who gréeued that such a clamor should be raised of their kinswoman: knowing hir follie, thought to watch néere, but they would take the Angell Gabriell and clip his winges from flying. Well secret they kept it, and made as though they had not hard of it, yet kept they such diligent watch, that they knew the night when the Angell would descend to visit Lisetta: wherevpon they beset the house round, and assoone as Friar Onyon was in, & had put off his wings, & was gone to bed, the rush­ing in of the watch wakened him frō his rest, & that with such a vengeance, that trusting more to his feete then to his fethers, hee left madam Lisetta amazed at the noise: and he himselfe was so sharpely beset and so néere taken, that he was faine to leape out of a hie garret windowe, and so almost breake his neck, into a little narrow lane. Well his best ioint scapte, but he was sore brused: yet feare made him forget his fall, that a way hee ran to a poore mans house where he saw light, and t [...]ere go [...] in, making an excuse how he had fallen among theeues; and so desired lodging.

The man hauing heard talke of the Angell Grabriell, knowing verie well Friar Onyon that knew not him, let him haue lodging verie willinglie, but all this while that he escapt, were Lisettas friends seeking for the saint, that so tenderlie loued their ki [...]swoman: but they could nor finde him, and to heauen he was not flowne, for they ha [...] found his wings: sorry they were that Gabriell had mist them. But they chid harde, and rebuked the follie of Lisettas selfeloue, that was not onely so credulous, but such a blab as to reueale hir owne secrets: it was late, [Page 18] and because they had mist of their purpose they departed, leauing Lisetta a sorrowfull woman, that she was so de­ceiued by the Angell Gabriell. Well night passed, and the morning came, & this poore man friar Onyons hoast tould him, that he knew not [...]ow to shift him: for there was that day a great search for one Friar Onyon that had escapde naked from Lisettas house, and who so kept him in secret should haue his eares naild on the pillorie: at this the Friar started and said: alas friend I am the man: and if by any meanes thou caust conuay me to the Dortor of our Friory, I will giue thee fortie Duc [...]ats: if you will, quoth his hoast follow my counsatle, fear [...] not, I will conuey you thither safe and vnknowne, and thus. This day there is great she w [...]s made before the Duke of Florence, and strange sights to be seene, and di­uerse wilde men disguised in strange attire are brought into the market place: now I will dresse you in some strange order, and with a maske ouer your face, lead you amongst the rest, and when the shew is doone, carrying you as though. I should carrie you home, I will [...]nueigh you into the Dortor backside secret and vnknowne. Al­though this seemed hard to the friar, yet of two euils the least was to be chosen, and he consented to suffer what the hoast would deuise. Wherevpon he that was of a pleasant conceipt vsed him thus: he annointed him ouer with barme mixed with hony, and stuck him full of fea­thers, and tying him by the neck with a chaine, put a vi­sor on his face, and on either side tide a great ban Dogge, in this come equipage marched this poore man with the Friar. He was no sooner come into the open streete, but the people hauing neuer seene such a sight before in Florence, did not onely wonder at the strangenesse of his dressing; but maruailed what this nouelty should meane: wherevpon an infinit number not onely of the common sort, but of the grauest citizens followed, to see what should be the end of this woonder.

[Page 19] With a solemne pace marched his kéeper, till he came to the market place, where tying him to a great piller that stoode there, he then let make in all places of the ci­tie solemne proclamation, that who so would sée the An­gell Gabriell, should presently come to the market place, and behould him there in that amorous dignitie that he did vsually visit the Dames of Florence: at this procla­mation there was a generall concourse of people, especi­ally of the better sort that had hard of Lisettas loues: so that the duke himselfe came thither, and amongst the rest Lisettas kinsmen. When all the market place was full of people, the hoast pulled the visor from the Friars face: at which the people gaue a great shoute, clapping their hands, and crying, the Angell Gabriell, the Angell Gabriell, he that comes from heauen, to make vs wear [...] hornes. I néed not I hope, intreate you to beléeue, yt poore Friar Onyon was heauily perplered, especially when the day grew hot, he naked and anointed with hony, so that all the waspes in the citie, as it were by a miracle, left the Grocers shops, and came to visit the Friar, because his skin was so swéete: but alas to the poore mans paines, that he was almost st [...]ng to death. Diuers of his [...]ouent came thither to see the strange apparition of the Angell, who when they saw he was Friar Onyon: then they couered their shauen crownes with their cooles, and went home with a flea in their eares. Thus all day stood the poore Friar woondered at of all the people of Flo­rence, and tor [...]ented with waspes, and at night fetcht home to the Dortor by some of his brothers: he was clapt in prison, where for sorrow poore Gabriell died: and be­cause he did so dishonor the other Friars, he bydes this torment in purgatorie.

The discourse of the Fryar thus past, I viewed them all that were Churchmen: and after went into a low­er roome, where there was a medley of all manner [...] people of all trades, sciences, and occupations, [Page 20] assigned to such sundry torments, as mans eye would almost surfet with the varietie of obiects, euen the very broome men were there for robbing of the broome closes betwéene Barking and London. And hard by them was there a place empty formed thus: It was made like the shape of Tiborne threesquare, and all painted about with halters, and hard by stood two tall fellowes with carters whips so stearnely looking, as if with euery lashe they would cut a man to the bones: there was written ouer the place a great romaine B. I could not learne for whom this torment was prouided, for ye so many men, so many censures: some said it was for one Boniface which should be Pope, and should proue a great persecutor: others, that Bonner should be brought from his place among the pre­lates, and be whipt there for bréeching of Bartlet Greene naked in his garden: but the most voyces went, that it was for Bul the hangmā, because at his whipping in lon­don the carters shewed him too much fauour. Well for whōsoeuer it is, God blesse me from it, for he is like to be well belaboured with two lustie knaues. Looking still a­bout, I saw thrée men seated as it were in thrones high­er then the rest, with three shields hanging by them, ha­uing impreses and mottoes, I stayed and gazed my fill vpon them: for they had no punishment, but were as pri­soners detayned in purgatorie, but with a preheminence; for which soeuer of the Ghosts passed by gaue thē a knée with a reuerence. I maruailed what they should be, and one tould me it was the thrée degrées of Cuckholds; with that I smilde, and lookde more narrowly vpon them, I spide written ouer the firsts head this short sentence, One and One. Ouer the second, None and one: ouer the third One and none. This was to me a darke Aenigma, that I wished some Sphinx to vnfoulde the secret, at last on [...] stept to me and told me the whole matter thus.

The tale of the three Cuckolds, of their impreses and mottoes.

THese thrée mē, my friend quoth the ghost, when they liued were thrée famous men, and yet Cuckoldes, as by their attier thou maiest perceiue: but different in de­grée, nature and condition. Hee which sits highest, ouer whose head thou séest is written, One and One, had a beautifull dame to his wife, faire and well featured; yet a great deale more full of beauty then of honesty: but howsoeuer qualified, a good wench shée was, and one that was not such a niggard but shée could kéepe a corner for a friend: to be brief, shée would beare a man false at tables, and hir husband that loued I­rish well, thought it no ill tricke at tables to beare a man too many: he saw it and knew very well, that his wife lo­ued another as well as himselfe: yet hee loued hir so, that he woulde not discontent hir, but suffered hir to haue hir longing and to féede hir owne fancie, and like a wittold winkt at it, and therefore worthy to weare the horne. Thus while he liued the dishonour of his life was shame enough for his leudnes, & nowe after his death because he was so kind a mā, they haue plast him there without any punishment, because it was penance enough to haue his conscience prickt with a restles sting of baudry. And here they haue made him a gentleman, and in his Scutchion haue giuen him the Ram rampant, with a mighty paire of hornes hanging ouer his eies: to signifie, if it be rightly emblasde, that he had such a great head, yt looking through his hornes he did sée and not see, shocking on with heauy palmes as belwether to the rest, his Motto is stolne out of Tully: ‘Non solum pro nobis.’ Meaning, that as we are not borne for our selues, but for [Page 22] our Country, so he did not marry a wife for himselfe, but for his neighbours: this was the kinde opinion of this graue wittold.

The second, ouer whose head is written, None & One, was a man of an honest and vertuous disposition, who hauing a faire wife, that though shee coulde not treade right, yet wrincht hir shooe inward; that was as secret as shée was false; and though shée could not liue Caste yet shée liued Caute: he neuer suspected hir; but as he was honestly minded towards hir, and kept himselfe to the wife of his bosome, so measured hir foote after his owne last, and thought none in the world to haue a more chast wife, al­though indéed none had a more lasciuious wanton. This poore man was none in his owne conceit, yet was one in­déede: and therefore is he placst here without any torture: for that it is plague enough for him that hee had a whore to his wife. Hee is likewise made a gentleman and giues Armes the Goate, which by imblasure signifies, that as the Goate carries his hornes behinde, so hauing hornes because they were not apparant on his forehead, thought hee had none, and yet carried a faire paire backward like the Gote, his Motto is: ‘Crede quod habes & Habes.’ Meaning, that a mans content stands as his beléeuing is; so that if a man in his owne conscience thinkes he hath a faire wife, it sufficeth, what soeuer proofe makes mani­fest to others.

The third, ouer whose head is written, One and None, is a man that hath a woman of surpassing beauty to his wife, excellent and rare in properties, and euery way as vertuous in honest perfection, a woman as faire as Hee­len and as chaste as Lucrece: yet forsooth, because his wife is more faire then the common sort, and there­fore more gazde on for that wheresoeuer shée goes, many mens eies wait vpon hir and diuers lasciuious youth at­tempt to frequent hir company; yet shée that is wholy [Page 23] resolued vpon vertue hath the tortue is vnder hir féet and gads not abroad; but kéeping home auoids all occasions of dishonor: yet for al these manifest instances of hir honesty, the eie of hir husband fiered with suspition so inflames his hart with iealousie, as there is none looks on his wife, but he thinks he comes to court hir, & shee glaunces hir ei [...] on none but straight shee loues him: if shee smile, it is to thinke how hir loue & shee shall meet; if shee lower, it is be­cause she hath not seen him to day: thus liuing doth he lead a hellish life in the labirinth of Iealousie, & therefore is he placst heere without punishment in Purgatorie, because there can be no greater torment then to bee plagued with the restlesse sting of Iealousie. He is as the rest are, made a gentleman, his arms the Asse, with a maruellous paire of long & large eares. The emblason this, that as the Asse for the length of his eares thinks them to be hornes, & yet indéed are but a plain paire of eares: so he like an Asse be­cause he hath a faire wife, thinks that per Consequens he must be a Cuckold, when indeed he is none, and so suppo­seth his eares to be hornes: his Motto is, ‘Ne mulieri credas, ne mortus quidem.’ Meaning, that what faire shewe soeuer a woman dooth heare of honestie, yet there is no credite to be giuen vnto hir coynesse: but hee resolues with the crue of the yellow hosde companions, that Mulier, howsoeuer it be spoken or vnderstoode, is a word of vnconstancie: therefore though he hath no hornes, because his wife is too honest, yet like an Asse for his Iealousie, hee shall haue a long paire of eares whiles he liues.

Thus was the order of these Cuckolds discourst vnto me, which assoone as I heard I went on further to spie a­ny worth the noting, much I saw that were friuolous to re earse, as diuers women that were hangd vp by the tongues for scolding, and especially one Botchers wife of Sudbury, who was so famous for that Art (if we [...] [Page 22] may tearme it a science) that after hir death, shee was chronicled amongst the successiue scoldes hir neighbours for an Archgossip in that faculty: for hir husband being a poore painefull man that liued by his daily labour, came home euery night and brought hir duely and duetifully [...]is groate, which could not content h [...]r, but shee would in braue tearmes abuse him, and call him rascall and slau [...]; but aboue all, prickelowse, which hee coulde not ab [...]e: wherefore hauing often forbad hir, and seeing shee would take no warning: on a day tooke heart at grasse, and bela­bourd hir well in a cudgill: but all would not suffice: the more he beat hir, the more she cald him prickelowse. See­ing stripes would not preuaile, he threatned to cut out hir tongue: it is no matter for that knaue quoth shee yet shall the stumpe call thée pricklowse: at this answer [...] the poore Botcher was so mad, that taking a rope & tyi [...]g it abo [...]t hir middle, hauing a well in his yarde, and thereunto he let her downe into the well, and threatned to drowne hir: [...]ush all would not preuaile, but she c [...]ied more vehe­mentlie: wherefore hee duckt her ouer head and eares, and then when her toong could not wag, she heaued hir hands aboue water, and knack with hir two nailes of hir thombes: then séeing nothing would preuaile but death, he drew hir vp & left hir to hir villanie: she aboue [...] rest was tormented. A litle below hir I saw a Cooke that was a mad merry fellow, and he sate demurely with a Cranes leg in his mouth, hauing no other punishment, at this I smilde, and asked the cause, and it was told me thus.

The tale of the Cooke, and why he sate in Purgatory with a Cranes leg in his mouth.

THere dwelled in Venice a Gentleman cal­led Signor Bartolo, who being one of the Consil adorie, and greatlie experienced in the ciuill law, was much frequented of sun­dry sutors, amongst the rest there was a [Page 25] gentleman his neighbour, that by fortune had caught some eight or ten Cranes, a fowle in high estéeme in that Citie: these as a thing of great price hee bestowed on Signor Bartolo, who accepted them with that grateful­nes, that so good and bountiful a gift merited. Proude for­sooth of this present he fedde them vp in one of his yardes, looking with great care to them, because the Venetians hold them so rare. On a day desirous to make his neigh­bours partakers of his dainties, [...]e bad diuers of them to Supper, and commanded his Cooke to prouide good chéere, and amongst the rest, chargde him to kill a Crane, and to sée that it were excellently well rosted. The Cooke, whos [...] name was Stephano, made all thinges in a readines for Supper, and when the time was conuenient, laide the Crane to the fire. Now syr this Stephano was a fellow [...] that was somewhat amorous, and excellent at courting of a Country wench; in somuch that he was the chief gal­lant of all the parish for dancing of a Lincolneshire horne­pipe in the Churchyard on sondaies: being thus well qua­lified, he was generally loued of al the gyrles thereabout, and especially of one in the towne, whom he had so long dallied withall, that the maide fell sicke, and hir diseas [...] was thought to be a Timpany with two héeles: wel how­soeuer shee was spedde, and Stephano had done the déede. This maide hearing what a great feast should be at sig­nor Bartoloes house, hied hir thither, not onely to see th [...] good cheere: but that shée must feede hir eie with the sight of hir Stephano, who now was ruffling and sweating in the kitchin; shée made an excuse and came in for fier, but in an vnlucky time for the poore Cooke: for shée no sooner sawe the Crane but shée longd for a leg, and that so sore, that there was nothing but that or death: whereupon shée calde Stephano to hir, and told him that shée must needes haue a legge of the Crane: for shée so déepely longd for it, that if shée had it not, it were able both to cast hir away and that shée went withall. Although poore Stephano al­ledgde [Page 22] [...] [Page 25] [...] [Page 26] many excuses, as the displeasure of his Maister, and the feare of the losse of his seruice: yet no reason could preuaile with hir, who was without reason: and therfore what for loue hee bare hir, and for dread of discredite that might ensue, if for want of hir longing shée shoulde fall to trauell, hee ventred a ioint, and when the Crane was e­nough cut hir off a legge. His wench thus satisfied went home: And Supper time grew on, for all the guests were come, and presently because it was somewhat late, sate downe: where they were serued very bountifully, at last the dainties the Crane forsooth, was brought vp, and sig­nior Bartolo commaunded the Caruer to truncke hir, which when he had done, shée was set vpon the table: the gentleman of the house fell to distributing to his guests, and at last mist a legge, with that looking about he calde the Caruer, and askt him where the other leg was: Syr quoth hee, your Maistership hath all the Cooke sent vp: thenquoth Bartolo goe to the Cooke, & aske him where the other leg is: the Caruer went down and did his Maisters commande; the Cooke thinking to face out the matter, be­gan to smile: why quoth he, we may sée Cranes are dainty in this Country, when gentlemen cannot tell how many legs they haue? goe tell my Maister I sent him vp as ma­ny legges as shée had. The fellow brought this newes to his Maister, who in a great chafe called for the Cooke, and asked of him howe many legs a Crane had: marry syr quoth he, one: why malapert villeine quoth Bartolo, moc­kest thou me before all these gentlemen? not I syr quoth the Cooke: For I am sure I haue drest many in my life: & hitherto yet I neuer saw a Crane haue but one leg. With this answer Bartolo was throughly inflamed wt choller, but that he would shew himselfe to be patient amongst his neighbours, he suppressed his anger with this mild reply: Either, gentlemen, you may thinke I or my Cooke is drunke, that hold a dispute about a Cranes legge: but for that this night I will not bee impatient, I passe it ouer: [Page 27] but to morrow morning all as you are héere, I humbly re­quest you to take so much paines as to rise betimes, and to be Iudges betwéene me and my man, whether Cranes haue two legs or no: for I haue eleauen Cranes more, and wee will early goe into the yarde where they feede: and this shall be the wager betwéene my man and me, if they haue but one leg, I will giue him twenty Duckats and a sute of Satten: if they haue two, hee shall haue twenty blowes with a cudgill, & I will turne him quite out of ser­uice: with this motion the Cooke seemed very wel conten­ted, that all the guests smilde to sée poore Stephano so ob­stinate: vpon this matter they began to descant and fell into pleasant chat, and so passed away the supper time: at last, although loth to depart, yet euery man departed with great thanks to Signior Bartolo for their good chéere, pro­mising, very early in the morning to be with him. Where we leaue them, and againe to the Cooke, who prouided al his trinckets in a readines, to trudge away with bag and baggage the next morning: for he knewe his matter was nought; thus with a heauy hart he passed away the night, and in the morning fell in a slumber: but hee had not long lien in his dreame, but Bartolo accompanied with his neighbours knockt at his mans chamber doore, and bad him rise, that they might end the quarrell: poore Stepha­no started vp and with a heauy chéere comming out of his chamber, gaue his maister and the rest the Bon Ioure: Come syrrha quoth his maister, heere are the gentlemen my neighbours are come to be equal censors of our contro­uersie: hold, take the key of the yard, & open you the doore, & then let vs sée how many legs a Crane hath: the Cooke tooke the key & very easily opened the dore, and entred in, and all the Cranes, because it was so early, were at strud, as their custome is generally all stoode vpon one leg, and held the other vnder their wing. Stephano séeing the ad­vantage not willing to let so fair a ball fall to the ground, [...] himselfe: now syr (quoth he) I hope your selfe & the [Page 28] rest of the gentlemen will confesse I haue woonne the wager: for you sée heere is neuer a Crane that hath more then one legge. At this séeing how nimble he was to take the aduantage, they all laught: Truth syr quoth his Maister, they stand now on one leg, but straight you shall sée me make them all haue two: with that Signor Barto­lo lifting vp his hande cried, So ho; and with that the Cranes let downe their legges, and euery one stoode vpon two: how now you knaue quoth his Maister, how many legges hath a Crane? hath shee not two? yes marry syr quoth hée, and so would your other Crane haue had, if you had done this: for if your worship when you had séene the Crane in the platter had but one legge, had as lowde as you doe now, cried, So ho, why then shée woulde haue had two legges as well as these: At this iest, Signor Bartolo fell into such a laughing and all his guests with him, that hee laught away choller, and admitted [...] [...]an into his woonted fauour: whereupon Stephano tolde them the whole discourse, what happened betwéene him and his wench, and vppon this merrily they went all to breake­fast. Now Syr, although this fault was forgiuen: yet because hée died not in fauour with the Priest of the Parish, hee was appointed for stealing the Cranes leg to stand in Purgatorie with a legge in his mouth for a certaine season.

After I had heard this discourse of the Cooke, I went on further to sée if I coulde perceiue any other such Iestes as might make mee merry in so melancholicke a place, at last, as I cast mine eie aside, I sawe where a poore Uic­kar sate with a Coale in his mouth, I askde the reason why he was appointed to such punishment, and it was an­swered me thus.

The tale of the Vickar of Bergamo, and why he sits with a coale in his mouth in purgatorie.

THere dwelled sometime in Bergamo a vic­kar that was welbeloued in the towne, for that he was a boone companion, and would not stick to play at trumpe all day with his parishoners for a pot or two of Als, a faire reader he was, and pleased the people well, marry for his learning that was little, and toongs he had no more then were in his mouth: neither would hee trouble himself with the knowledge of many languages, but applied his idle time vpon good fellowship. It chaunced that his score growing very great, and much chalke vpon the post, his hostesse wanting money to pay the Maltman, waxed ha­stie with the vickar for hir debt, hee being then bare of pence, because his quarterage was not come in, tould hir she could not haue it as yet, wherevpon they grew to words, and from wordes [...]lowes, for masse Uickar went away with a broken [...]ead, which driude him into such a choller that he sought al meanes how to reuenge, and he laid his plot thus. Euery sunday morning afore masse all the youth of the [...]arish did accustome to come to the Alehouse to eate hot puddings, which was great pro­fit to the goodwife: now to preuent hir of this commo­ditie, the vickar spake against it, and forbad it openly: yet it was not so déepely inueighed against, but that diuerse Sundaies they would make a steale thither to breake­fast: and one Sundaye amongst the rest, the whole crew being gathered together, notice was giuen to the vickar: wherevpon he hied him thither, and sound them all hard at it by the téeth: when they sawe masse vickar come in, euery man rose vp and ranne away to shift for himselfe, the hostesse she whipt in with hir puddings; so that there was none left in the house but Maister vickar: who spy­ing a doozen of lustie large black puddings hangde in the [Page 30] Chimney, whip them into his wide sléeue, & wēt his way: he was no sooner gone, but the goodwife comming out mist hir puddings, and little suspected the Uickar, but thought some of hir guests had caried them away: wher­vpon she tould it to hir husband, who let the matter passe lightly, and wisht his wife to make hir hastily ready, that they might go to masse: on goes she with hir holiday part­let, and spoonging hir selfe vp, went with hir husband to Church, and came iust to the seruice: wel maister Uickar who was in a great chafe, mumbled vp his mattins, and after seruice was doone very stoutly got him into the pul­pit, and began to fall to his collation, his text was vpon the Gospell for that daye, which hee so coursde and can­ [...]asde ouer that hee fell at last to talke of the breake­fast: oh neighbours quoth hee, as I came this daye to Churchward, I came into a house, nay into an Alehouse, where I found a crew at breakefast before Masse, at a bloudie breakefast, a blacke breakefast, yea neighbours the Deuils breakefast; and with that he threw his arms about him with such violence, that his wide sleeue vn­tied, the puddings fellout, and hit an old wife on the head that she fell ouer againe: the hostesse seeing hir doozen of puddings that she mist, cried out to hir husband: oh man, quoth she, thers the doozen of Puddings that were gone out of the Chimney; hie thee least they bee gone: at this there was such a laughing, and such a rumor, that the poore Uickar was faine to leaue of his collation, and come downe to answer what the Alewife obiected against him: but he was so welbeloued in the parish, that the Alewife was punished, and hir Sonday breakefasts put downe by a common consent of the Churchwardens. The Uickar thus well reuengde of the Alewife, indeuoured how to make amends to his parish, and therefore casting in his head how he might bring it to passe; one day as he tra­uelled towards Pisa he met a stranger, who had certaine [...]eathers in his hand of a byrd called Apis Indica, which [Page 31] were long and large, of the colour of golde, and were so bright as scarse one could looke against them: such before were neuer séene in Italie. Masse Uickar assoone as [...]ee saw these, had a reach in his head, and iumpt with the trauailer to buie one, a prise was pitcht for thirtie Iulios, and Masse Uickar paide it: hauing this, home he came, and bought a case of crimsin Ueluet imbrodred with gold, to put his feather in, kéeping it with great curio­sitie and secrecie, making report that he had one of the ri­chest reliques in the worlde, and promising vpon Can­dlemas day next to shew it: wherevpon it was not onely blazed abroad throughout the towne, but in all the villa­ges and hamlets adioyning, that both olde and yoong pre­pared themselues to sée this holie relique. Two of the crew, who were brothers at the breakefast of Puddings, hearing these newes sought how to be euen with maister Uickar: and therefore brought it so to passe by a wenche of the house where the Uickar lay, that they might sée the holie relique; she brought them to the chamber and the box wherein the case lay in perfume, the fellow look­ing in, and séeing a feather, neither respecting reason, nor religion, tooke it out and put it in his bosome, and fild the case full of charcoales that lay by, and so putting the case into the box, kist the wench and went his waye. Seruice time being come, maister vicar runs vp for his box, claps it vnder his arme, and away he goes to Church: and for that it was Candlemas day a high day, he sayd and soong a very solemne Masse; and that being doone, séeing such a multitude of people, he got him with a great grace into the pulpit, and began his text, which after he had ratled ouer a litle, he told them what sundry reliques were left to the Church for the benefit of the people: oh my maisters and good friends quoth he, parishioners and neighbours: You sée that euery city héer about, nay through the whole world, hath some holy relique or other, as a blessing be­longing to their corporation: but our poor [...] towne of Ber­gamo [Page 32] hath had none: But now God hath considered of your estate, and hath sent you a richer and more holy then all the rest. Some towne, quoth hee, hath a peece of the crosse, or of the nailes, or a peece of the spoong, that recht Christ Uineger; at Roome there is the speare that pierst his syde; at Venice the Chawbone of saint Marke, good for the falling euill; at Vienna the tooth of S. Appolym wholesome for the toothake; at Pysa the hoofe of Saint Loy [...]s horse that healeth such kinde of cattell; for the Swine Saint Anthonies bell; for the pos [...], Saint Dun­stones tonges; for the Squ [...]sey, Saint Martins trough; for the eye sight Saint Winifrids girdle; for the [...] Saint Asaphs Beads, and a thousand more, which are now néedlesse to rehearse: but good people, I haue héere for your comfort one of the feathers; yea one of those ho­ly and glorious feathers, that the Angell Gabriell wore when he saide Aue Maria to the mother of Christ: old [...] wiues, and aged men, yea ritch and poore knéele downe, and with ioy behold so great a myracle; with that they all fell vpon their knées, and he puld foorth his box, and drew foorth the case, which when he hard rattle, he mar­uelled: but when he put his hand in, and found nothing but coales, his heart was cold in his belly, and he swet for woe: yet hauing a knauish and a ready wit, he so­dainly and vpon the present shifted it thus. Good people, quoth he, I haue mist of my box, and haue left the wing of the Angell Gabriell behind me: but I haue here a relique no lesse precious then that, which I thought not to sh [...]w you before Easter day, and these be the coales that Saint Lawrence the holy Martyr was broild with, and with that he drew the Charcoale out of his poake: these pa­rishioners quoth he, euen the very marke that is made with these, is good against all euill spirits, against blast­ing and witchcraft; and therefore séeing it is the will of God I should shew you these first, I will come downe and marke you all with the holy relique of Saint Law­rence; [Page 33] so he s [...]ept downe out of the pulpit, and crost them all to his great prof [...]t, and their content: for which cause in that [...]e mockt thé people, he is appointed to stand [...] purgatorie with a coale in his mouth.

The vickars tale of Bergamo being ended, I went further, and presently I espyed a little doore, whereout is­sued a most fearefull noise tempered with such far fetcht sighes and gréeuous shrikes, that it was a sound mu [...]h to be pitied: the smalenesse of the voice discouered that they were women. Wherevpon I pressed more n [...]re the doore, and looked in at a little chinke, and there I might sée a company of beautifull women of all ages pit [...]fully tormented, as sitting in a place full of smoake and stinck­ing sauors, and bitten continually about the hearts with scorpions: in all there were not aboue thrée of them, and yet they vttered as gréeuous laments as though there had béene a thousand. I demaunded why these were pu­nished aboue the rest; they said, they were such as died maides and kept their virginitie without spots, that ha­ted men; and for that they were so hard harted, they were adiudged to that sharpe punishment. Straight as I cast mine eye vp, I spide in a blind corner where a Painter sat, hauing the picture of a roode hung before him, and e­uery time he looked vpon it, he had thrée bastanados ouer the shoulders with a belroape, as of the rest, so I inquirde the cause of this, and it was discourst to me thus.

The tale of the Painter of Doncaster, and why in purga­torie he was beaten with a Belroape.

I Know you are not ignorant, how in king Ed­ward the sixts dayes all popery and superstition was banished, and thè light of the Gospell puld from vnder the Bushell where it was couered, and to the sight and comfort of all set vpon a hill: so that [Page 34] all his reliques were abolished, and his idols puld downe, and the Church as néere as they could, cleansed from the [...]regs of such an Antichrist: wherevpon the Painters that liude with such [...]rash, as trimming of shrines and roodes, altars and Saints, and the caruers that made such images, were faine with Alexander the Copper­smith to crie out against Paule and his doctrine, hauing so little worke that they almost forgot their occupation. [...]nt when for the sinnes of this land, and wickednesse of the people, the Lord tooke away their good king, and de­priued them of the swéete Manna of the Gospell, and sent them againe Antichrist with all his traditions, Quéene Marie lawfull successor in the kingdome; made procla­mation, that all those roodes which were puld downe, should be set vp againe in euery Church. Amongst the rest, the Church of Doncaster in Yorkeshire, desiring to be one of the formost, to signifie their obedience and deuo­tion, in all hast sent for the Painter to make them a roode, and agréed vpon the price. Wherevpon he went about his worke, but for that his hand had béene out of vse by the space of six yéeres, he had forgot the lineaments of the visage, and the other woonted proportion, that he made it very hard fauourde; yet as euery mans worke séemes well to himselfe, he went forward withall and set it vp on a satterday at night on the Roodloft: on sunday at masse there was old ringing of Bels, and old and yoong came to church to sée the new roode, which was so ill fa­uourde, that all the parish mislikt it, & the children they cried and were afraid of it: vpon this they fell in greate displeasure with the painter, & when monday came, and he was with the chéese of the parish for his money, they denyed flatly to pay him any, because his worke was so ill wrought. He vpon that cald them before the maior of the towne, who was a man that fauored king Cowards religion, as far as he durst, & to him the painter made his complaint, that the parishoners now that hee had made [Page 35] their roode, would not pay him his money: the Maior de­maunded of them why they denide him paiment: they an­swered, for that he had like a bungler made Christ so hard fauored, that it was not only vnfit to stand in any church, but their children were afraid to looke on it: so that euery way it should greatly hinder deuotion. But yet quoth the maior, the poore man hath done his goodwil, you must con­sider his hand hath b [...]n long out of vse, & therfore there is no reason though his cunning hath failde him, but you should pay him his mony: well syr quoth they, at your re­quest we will giue him what our bargaine was: but we must buie a new rood, and cannot tell what to do with the old: marry neighbors quoth the Maior, if he wil not serue you for a god, follow my aduise, clap a paire of [...]ornes on his head, and I warrant you hee will prooue an excellent good deuill: and that sir, quoth the painter, will I doe ouer and beside their bargaine. Thus were the poore parishio­ners of Doncaster mockt, and yet paid their money: but their Uickar so delt with bell, booke, and candle against the poore painter for making the ill fauoured roode, that he s [...]s in purgatorie beaten with a Belroape.

The tale of the Painter being ended, passing a little further, I might see where sat a crew of men that woar [...] Baie garlands on theyr heads, and they were Poets, amongst which was ould Ennius; Virgill, Iuuenall, Pro­pertius, and wanton Ouid, Martiall, Horace, and many moe: which had written lasciuious verse, or other heroi­call poems. But aboue them all I marked ould Ronsard, and he sat there with a scroule in his hand, wherin was written the description of Cassandra his Mistresse, and because his stile is not common, nor haue I heard our English Poets write in that vaine, marke it, and I will rehearse it, for I haue learnd it by heart.

RONSARDS DESCRIPTION OF his Mistresse, which he weares[?] in his hand in Purgatorie.

DOwne I sat,
I sat downe,
where Flora had bestowed hir graces:
Greene it was,
It was greene
Far surpassing other places,
For art and nature did combine
With sights to witch the gasers eyne.
There I sat,
I sat there
viewing of this pride of places:
Straight I saw,
I saw straight
the sweetest faire of all faire faces:
Such a face as did containe,
Heauens shine in euery vaine.
I did looke,
Looke did I,
and there I saw Appollos wyers,
Bright they were,
They were bright,
with them Auroras head he tiers,
But this I woondred how that now
They shadowed in Cassandras brow.
Still I gazde,
I gazde still,
spying Lunas milke white glase:
Comixt fine,
Fine comixt,
[Page 37] with the mornings ruddie blase:
This white and red their seating seekes
Vpon Cassandraes smiling cheekes.
Two stars then,
Then two stars
passing Sunne or Moone in shine
Appearde there,
There appearde
and were forsooth my Mistres [...]ine:
From whence prowde Cupid threw his fiers
To set a flame all mens desiers,
Brests shee had,
Shee had brests
white like the siluer doue;
Lie there did,
There did lie
Cupid ouergrowne with loue,
And in the vale that parts the paine
Pitcht his tent there to remaine.
This was shee,
Shee was this
the fairest faire that ere I see;
I did muse,
Muse did I
how such a creature found could be;
A voice replied from the Aire,
Shee alone and none so faire.

This was Ronsards description of his Mistres, and he is for [...]ll to hold it in his hande, that euery time hee cast [...] his eies on it, he may with [...]ghs féel a secret torment, in that he once loued toomuch being aliue. A little aboue [...]ate the gh [...] of a young gentlewoman that had béene false to [Page 38] hir husband, shée shoulde haue béene grieuously tormen­ted: but that shée bestowed an annuity for thrée yeares pension vpon a morrow masse priest, who so laboured it with dirges, trentals and masses Ad requiem, that shée had no other punishment but this, that hir beautifull haire wherein shee so much delighted, and whose tramels was a traine to intrappe young gentlemen, that nowe was clipt off bare to the scull, and so shée sate ashamde and mourning: the cause as I learnde was this.

Why the gentlewoman of Lions sate with hir haire clipt off in Purgatorie.

IN the Citie of Lions there dwelt a gentle­man of good account amongst his neighbors, called Monsieur Perow; this gentleman ha­uing lands and reuenues sufficient to main­taine his estate, thought fully to heape to himselfe content, and therefore sought out a yong virgin of equall parentage to himselfe, with whom he had a suffi­cient dowry, and hir he loued, and shée likte him, and so they maried, liuing in good estimation amongst their Te­nants. As they were thus linked together in wedlocke, so it séemde in outward appearance that they were so strict­ly tied in affection, as no meanes might alienate. But women, whom nature hath framde to be inconstant, can­not be altred by nurture. The Palme will grow straight though it bee neuer so depressed; and a wanton will bee a wanton, were shee married to Cupid, and so it proude by Maria; for so was the gentlewomans name: who because shée was faire had many Sutors, that attempted to bee riuals with hir husband in hir loue; a­mongst the rest as shée resolued to choose one, there was a yong amorous youth of Lions calde Pier, he sought diuers meanes to créepe into hir fauor, past by hir house, and cast vp looks that pleaded for pitty, and had banded him again [Page 39] glances that foreshewed good will: Thus with inter­change of fauours they liued. Pier séeking oportunity how to reueale his minde to Maria, at last as hee walked one day forth the towne, he saw where shee was walking on­ly with one of hir maides, taking therefore oportunity by the forehead he stept to hir, and beganne to court hir with sundry protestations of his loue, which had béen long and so surely set as no dispaire coulde race out, promising not onely to be a faithfull seruant in constancie: but to bee so carefull of hir honour as of his owne life: & for your gra­uitie, think Mistres quoth he, that faults in affections are fleight follics, that Venus hath shrines to shade hir trew­ants, & Cupids wings are shelters for such as venter far to content their thoughts, vnseene is halfe pardoned, and loue requires not chastity, but that hir Souldiers be cha­ry. Maria hearing the wag thus play the Orator, hauing loue in hir eies and desire in heart, after a fewe faint de­nials, thrusting him away with the little [...]inger, and pul­ling him to hir with the whole hande, shée graunted him that fauour to be cald hir seruant. Grarde thus he grewe in such credite, that there was no man with Maria but Pier, hauing thus a loue beside hir husband, although hee was a faire man and well featured; yet shée found fault with him, because he was a meacocke and a milkesoppe, not daring to drawe his sworde to reuenge hir wrongs: wherefore shee resolued to entertaine some Souldi­er, and so shée did: for one Signor Lamberto a braue Gentleman; but some thing harde facde, sought hir fauour and founde it, and him shée intertained for hir Champion.

Thus had shée a white liuerd Adon to féede hir eie with beauty, and a stoute Hercules to reuenge all hir wrongs with his sworde, and a poore husband to shadowe both with his hornes. Liuing thus contentedly in hir owne conceite, hir husband went into the Country to a Farme of his, and thither with him hee carried his wife, [Page 40] where hee passed away many merry daies in such plea­sure, as Country sports can affoord: at last serious affairs forcing him to it, he rid his way for thrée or foure daies to certaine of his friends there adioining. Maria seeing hir husband gone thought not to let time slippe, nor to lose o­portunity: and therefore the next day after sent for Pier, who hasted as fast as might be, till he came to his Mi­stres, where he had such friendly intertainement as fitted both their humours; shée caused hir maide to make great chéere, and assoone as it was ready, to dinner they went, where they were scarce set but one knocked at the doore, the maide looked out and it was Signor Lamberto, shée ran and told hir Mistres; who fearefull that he should sée Pier or know of him, hid him vnder the bed, and comman­ded hir maide to bid Signor Lamberto come vp: shee like a cunning Curtizan giuing him such fauourable inter­tainement as though hee were the man whom aboue all other shée made account off. Faith swéete (quoth hee) I heard thy husband was from home, and so I tooke my nag and came gallopping hither: set him into the stable quoth the Mistres: No quoth (Signor Lamberto) let him bee there still and bite of the bridle, for my busines is such, as I will onely dine with you, and then bid you farewell: with that he sate him downe to dinner. Poore Pier lying close vnder the bed; thinking euery minute an houre till he were gone: as thus they sate in their cuppes and were wantonly qua [...]ing one to another; came in the maide running, and said, hir Maister came riding: at this Sig­nor Lamberto started vp and was amazed: but the gen­tlewoman was in a feare that had two louers at once in hir house, and yet could haue hidden them both had it not béene for the horse that stoode tied in the Court yarde: well a shift must bee had, & where sooner then out of a womans head. What shall I doe quoth Signor Lamberto? marry I pray you good swéet heart quoth shée, to saue your owne credite and mine, drawe your sworde and goe downe the [Page 41] staires, and as you goe, sweare & say, that you shall finde a time and place more conuenient, when you will bee re­uengde to the vttermost; so he did, & by that time was the gentleman of the house come in, who maruailed to sée a horse tied in the Court, and therefore alighting off came vp the staires, and as he came, met Lamberto with his sworde drawne, and his face full of frownes, swearing, when fitter time and place shoulde serue hee woulde re­uenge and that with extremitie. What is the matter quoth the Master of ye house? he answerd nothing, but put vp his sword, tooke horse & away towards Lions. Assoone as the gentleman came vp, he found his wife amazde, sitting in the hall in the middest of the flowre, as halfe beside hir selfe: what is the matter wife (quoth hée) that thou art so amazed, and that Signor Lamberto went downe with his sworde drawne in such a rage? Ah husband (quoth shée) as I sate héere at my worke, came running into the court yarde a proper young man hauing throwne away his Cloake and his Hatte, and desired mee, as I tendered the state of a man, to saue his life, for Signor Lamberto would kill him: I pittying his case stept in and hidde him in my bedchamber: with that came Sig­nor Lamberto gallopping, dismounted in the court and drawing his sworde, came running vp and woulde haue broken open my chamber dore, but that on my knées I in­treated him to the contrary: at my request hee went his way, frowning as you sée, and so hee is rode to Lions: the poore young man (alas) husband lies hidde vnder the bed in great feare: and this tale shée tolde so lowde that Pier heard euery worde, and therefore had his lesson what hee should answere: smyling at the prompt witte of his Mi­stres that had so sodaine a shift. Bidde him come out wife quoth he: then shée oapt the doore, and Pier he came as one greatly affrighted from vnder the bedde. The gen­tleman séeing him a proper young man and weaponlesse, had pittie on him and saide: hee was glad that his house [Page 42] was a sanctuary for him, and greatly commended his wife that shée had saued him from the fury of Signor Lamberto, whom all Lions accounted a most desperate man: vpon this taking Pier by the hand they sate downe to dinner, and when they had taken their repast, the gen­tleman very curteously conducted Pier home to Lions. Now for because shée was thus inconstant, shée to quali­tie hir pride and insolencie, sate in Purgatory with the punishment afore rehearsed.

This tale béeing ended, I lookde a little further, and I might sée where a young man and a young woman sate together naked from the middle vpward, and a very olde man whipping of them with nettles: they as per­sons that little regarded his punishment, woulde often times kisse, and then the olde man as one inwardly ver­ed, woulde bestirre all his strength to torment them: the reason of this strange shewe was thus discourst vnto mee.

The tale of the two Louers of Pisa, and why they were whipt in Purgatory with nettles.

IN Pisa a famous Cittie of Italie, there liued a gentlemā of good linage and landes, feared as well for his wealth as honoured for his vertue; but indéede well thought on for both: yet the better for his riches. This Gentleman had one onely Daughter called Margaret, who for hir beauty was liked of all and desired of many; but neither might their sutes, nor hir owne eie preuaile about hir fathers resolution, who was determined not to marry hir, but to such a man as should be able in abundance to maintaine the excellencie of hir [Page 43] beautie. Diuers young gentlemen proffered large [...] ­ments, but in vaine: a maide shée must bee still till at last an olde Doctor in the towne that professed Phisicke, be­came a sutor to hir, who was a welcome man to hir fa­ther, in that he was one of the welthiest men in all Pisa. A tall stripling he was and a proper youth, his age about foure score, his heade as white as milke, wherein for of­fence sake there was left neuer a tooth: but it is no mat­ter, what he wanted in person he had in the purse, which the poore gentlewoman little regarded, wishing rather to tie hir selfe to one that might fit hir content, though they liued meanely, then to him with all the wealth in Italie. But shée was young and forest to follow hir fathers dire­ction, who vpon large couenants was content his daugh­ter should marry with the Doctor, and whether shée likt him or no, the match was made vp, and in short time shée was married. The poore wench was bound to the stake, and had not onely an olde impotent man: but one that was so iealous, as none might enter into his house with­out suspition, nor shée doe any thing without blame: the least glance, the smallest countenance, any smile was a manifest instance to him, that shée thought of others bet­ter then himselfe: thus he himselfe liued in a hell and tor­mented his wife in as ill perpleritie. At last it chaunced, that a young Gentleman of the Citie comming by hir house, and seeing hir looke out at hir windowe, noting hir rare and excellent proportion, fell in loue with hir, and that so extreamely, as his passions had no meanes till hir fauour might mittigate his heartsicke discontent. The young man that was ignorant in amorous matters and had neuer béene vsed to Court anie Gentlewomen, thought to reueale his passions to some one friend, that might giue him counsaile for the winning of hir loue, and thinking experience was the surest Maister, on a day seeing the olde Doctour walking in the Churche that was Margarets husbande, little knowing who [Page 44] he was, he thought this the fittest man to whom he might discouer his passions, for that hee was olde and knewe much, and was a Phisition that with his drugges might helpe him forward in his purposes: so that séeing the olde man walke solitary hee ioind vnto him, and after a cur­teous salute, tolde him that he was to impart a matter of great import vnto him; wherein if hee woulde not onely be secrete, but indeuour to pleasure him, his paines should bee euery way to the full considered. You must imagine gentleman, quoth Mutio, for so was the Doctors name, that men of our profession are no blabs, but hold their se­crets in their hearts bottome, and therfore reueale what you please, it shall not onely be concealed; but cured, if ei­ther my Art or counsail may do it. Upon this Lionel, so was the yong gentleman called, tolde and discourst vnto him from point to point howe he was fallen in loue with a gentlewoman that was maried to one of his profession, discouered hir dwelling and the house, and for that hee was vnacquainted with the woman, and a man little ex­perienced in loue matters, he required his fauour to fur­ther him with his aduise. Mutio at this motion was stung to the heart, knowing it was his wife hee was fal­len in loue withall: yet to conceale the matter and to ex­perience his wiues chastity, and that if shée plaid false he might be reuengde on them both; he dissembled the mat­ter and answered, that hee knewe the woman very well, and commended hir highly; but said, shée had a Churle to hir husband: and therefore he thought shée woulde bee the more tractable: trie hir man quoth hee, saint heart neuer woonne faire Ladie: and if shée will not be brought to the bent of your bowe, I will prouide such a potion as shall dispatch all to your owne content, and to giue you fur­ther instructions for oportunitie, know that hir husband is forth euery after noone from thrée till sixe. Thus farre I haue aduised you, because I pitty your passions as my selfe being once a louer: but now I charge thée reucale it [Page 45] to none whomsoeuer, least it doo disp [...]rage my credit to meddle in amorous matters. The yoong Gentleman not onely promised al carefull secrecie, but gaue him har­ty thanks for his good counsell, promising to méete him there the next day, and tell him what newes. Then hee left the old man, who was almost mad for feare his wife any way should play false: he saw by experience, braue men came to besiege the castle, and séeing it was in a wo­mans custodie and had so weake a gouernor as himselfe, he doubted it would in time be deliuered vp, which feare made him almost frantike: yet he driude of the time in great torment, til he might heare from his riual. Lionel­lo he hasts him home and sutes him in his brauery, and goes downe towards the house of Mutio, where he sées hir at the window, whome he courted with a passionate looke with such an humble salute, as she might perceiue how the Gentleman was affectionate. Margareta looking earnestly vpon him, and noting the perfection of his pro­portion, accompted him in hir eye the flower of all Pisa, thinkte hir selfe fortunate, if she might haue him for hir fréend, to supply those defaults that she found in Mutio: sundry times that afternoone he past by hir window, and he cast not vp more louing lookes then he receiued gra­tious fauoures: which did so incourage him, that the next day betwéene thrée and sixe hee went to hir house, and knocking at the doore, desired to speake with the Mistres of the house, who hearing by hir maids description, what he was, commaunded him to come in, where she intertei­ned him with all curtesie.

The youth that neuer before had giuen the attempt to court a Ladie, began his exordium with a blush: and yet went forward so well, that hee discourst [...]nto hir howe hee loued hir, and that if it might please hir so to accept of his seruice, as of a friend euer vowde in all dutie to bee at hir commaunde, the care of hir honour should bee deerer to him then his life, and he would be [Page 32] ready to prise hir discontent with his bloude at all times.

The Gentlewoman was a little coye, but before they past they concluded, that the next day at foure of the clock he should come thither and eate a pounde of cheries, which was resolued on with a succado des labres, and so with a loath to depart they tooke their leaues. Lionello as ioyfull a man as might be, hyed him to the church to méete his ould Doctor, where he found him in his ould walke: what newes syr quoth Mutio? how haue you sped? Euen as I can wish quoth Lionello. For I haue béene with my Mistresse, and haue found hir so tractable, that I hope to make the ould peasaunt hir husband looke broad headed by a paire of browantlers. How déepe this stroake into Mutios heart, let them imagine that can con­iecture what ielousie is; in so much that the ould Doctor askt when should be the time: marry quoth Lionello, to morrow at foure of the clock in the afternoone, and then Maister Doctor quoth hee; will I dub the ould Squire knight of the forked order.

Thus they past on in chat till it grew late, and then Lionello went home to his lodging, and Mutio to his house, couering all his sorrowes with a merry coun­tenance, with full resolution to reuenge them both the next day with extremitie. He past the night as patient­lye as he could, and the next day after dinner away he went, watching when it should bee foure of the clocke, at the houre iust came Lionello, and was intertained with all curtesie: but scarce had they kist, ere the maide cryed out to hir Mistresse that hir Maister was at the doore: for he hasted, knowing that a horne was but a little while on grafting: Margaret at this alarum was amazed, and yet for a shift [...]pt Lionello into a great drie fat full of feathers, and sat hir downe close to hir worke: by that came Mutio in blowing, and as though hee came to looke somewhat in hast, called for [Page 47] the keyes of his Chambers, and looked in euery place, searching so narrowlie in euery corner of the house, that he left not the verie priuie vnsearcht: seeing he could not finde him, hee said nothing, but fayning himselfe not well at ease staide at home, so that poore Lionello was faine to staie in the drie fatte till the ould churle was in bed with his wife; and then the maid let him out at a backdoore, who went home with a flea in his eare to his lodging.

Well the next day he went againe to méete his Doc­tor, whome hee found in his woonted walke; what newes quoth Mutio? how haue you sped? A pox of the [...]uld slaue quoth Lionello, I was no sooner in, and had giuen my mistresse one kisse, but the iealous asse was at the doore, the maide spied him, and cryed hir Maister: so that the poore Gentlewoman for verye shift, was faine to put me in a drie-fatte of feathers that stood in an ould Chamber, and there I was faine to tarrie while he was in bed and a sléepe; and then the maide let me out and I departed.

But it is no matter, twas but a chaunce, and I hope to crie quittance with him ere it be long: as how quoth Mutio? Marry thus, quoth Lionello: she sent me worde by hir Maide this day, that vpon thursday next the oulde Churle suppeth with a patient of his a mile out of Pisa, and then I feare not but to quitte him for all: It is well quoth Mutio: Fortune bee your fréend: I thanke you quoth Lionello, and so after a lit­tle more prattle they departed.

To bee shorte, Thursdaye came, and about sixe of the Clocke foorth goes Mutio, no further then a friends house of his, from whence hee might descrie who went into his house, straight hee sawe Lionel­lo enter in; and after goes hee, insomuch that hee was scarselie sitten downe, before the Maide cryed [Page 48] out againe, my maister comes: the good wife that before had prouided for afterclaps; had found out a priuie place betweene two seelings of a plauncher, and there she thrust Lionello; & hir husband came sweting, what news, quoth she, driues you home againe so soone husband? Marrye swéete wife quoth he, a fearefull dreame that I had this night which came to my remembrance, & that was this: me thought there was a villeine that came secretly into my house with a naked poinard in his hand, and hid him­selfe: but I could not find the place, with that mine nose bled, and I came backe; and by the grace of God I will séeke euery corner in the house for the quiet of my minde. Marry I pray you doo husband, quoth she: with that he lockt in all the doores, and began to search euery chamber, euery hole, euery chest, euery tub, the very well, he stabd euery fetherbed through, and made hauock like a mad man, which made him thinke all was in vaine, and he begā to blame his eies that thought they saw that which they did not: vpon this he rest halfe lunatike, & all night he was very wakefull, that towards the morning he fell into a dead sleepe, and then was Lionello conueighed away.

In the morning when Mutio wakened, hee thought how by no meanes hee should be able to take Lionello tardy; yet he laid in his head a most dangerous plot, and that was this: Wife quoth he, I must the next munday ride to Vycensa to visit an ould patient of mine, till my returne, which will be some tendayes, I will haue that stay at our little graunge house in the countrey: marry very well content husband, quoth she: with that he kist hir, and was very pleasant, as though he had suspected nothing, and away he flings to the Church: where hee móetes Lionello: what sir quoth he what newes, is your mistresse yours in possession? no, a plague of the old slaue quoth he; I thinke he is either a witch or els workes by Magick: for I can no sooner enter in the doores but he is [Page 49] at my batke, and [...]o [...] was againe yesternight: for I was not [...]me in my [...] before the maide cried, my maister [...]; and then was the poore soule saine to conueigh me between two [...]tings of a chamber in a sit place for the pur­pose: where I [...]ght hartely to my self, to sée how he sought euery corner, rans [...]t euery tub, and stabd euery [...]eather­bed; but in vaine, I was safe enough till the morning, and then when he was fast a sléepe, I lipt out. Fortune frown es [...] quoth Mutio: I but I hope quoth Lionello this is the last time; [...] she [...] begin to smile: for on mon­day next [...] to Vicensa, and his wise lies at a graunge house a little o [...]he towne, and there in his absence I will reuenge alfor [...] missor [...]: [...] send it to be so quoth Mutio, [...] so [...] his [...]. These two louers longd for mon­day; & atlast it came, early in the morning Mutio horst him­selfe, and [...], and a man, and no more, and away [...]e [...] to his grang [...] house; where after he had broke his fast he tooke his leaue, & away towards Vicensa. He rod [...] not far ere by a false way he returned into a thicket, & there with a company of countrie peasants lay in an ambuscado to take the [...] Gentleman: in the afternoone comes Li­onello galloying, and assoone as he came within sight of the house, he sent backe his horse by his boy, & went easily a foot, & there at the [...]ry entry was enterteind by Margaret, who led him vp the [...], and conuaid him into hir bedchamber saying be was welcome into so meane a c [...]ttage: but quoth [...], now I hope fortune shal not enuie ye purity of our loues. Alas alas mistresse cried the maid, héer is my maister, & 100. men with him, with bils & staues: we are betraid quoth Lio­nello, & I am but a dead man: feare not quoth she, but follow me, and straight she carried him downe into a low parlor; where [...] an ould rottenchest full of writings, she put him into that, and couered him with ould papers and euy­ [...]ntes, and went to the gate to m [...]te hir husband: why sig­nor Mutio, what meanes this hurly burly quoth she? vile & shamelesse strumyet as thou art, thou shalt know by and by [...]th he. Where is thy loue: all we haue watch him & séene [Page 50] he enter in: now quoth he, shall neither thy tub of feathers, nor thy séeling serue, for perish he shall with fire, or els fall into my hands. Doe thy worst iealous foole quoth shée, I aske thée no fauour: with that in a rage he beset the house round, and then set fire on it. Oh in what a perplexitie was poore Lionello that was shut in a Chest, and the fire about his eares? and how was Margaret passionate that knew hir lo­uer in such danger? yet shée made light of the matter, and as one in a rage called hir maide to hir, & said; Come on wench, seeing thy Master mad with iealousie hath set the house & al my liuing on [...]re, I wil be reuengd vpon him, helpe me here to lift this olde Chest where all his writings & deeds are, let that burne first, and assoone as I see that on fire I wil walke towards my friends: for the olde foole will be beggard and I will refuse him. Mutio that knew al his obligations and sta­tutes lay there puld hir backe, and bad two of his men car­ry the Chest into the field, and see it were safe, himselfe stan­ding by and seeing his house burnd downe sticke and stone. Then quieted in his minde he went home with his wife, & began to flatter hir, thinking assuredly that he had burnd hir Paramour; causing his Chest to be carried in a Cart to his house at Pisa. Margaret impatient went to hir mothers, and complainde to hir and to hir brethren of the iealousie of hir husband: who maintained it to bee true, and desired but a daies respite to prooue it: well hee was bidden to supper the next night at hir mothers, shee thinking to make hir daugh­ter and him friends againe. In the meane time he to his woonted walke in the Church, & there praeter expectationē he found Lionello walking: woondring at this, hee straight enquires what newes? What newes Maister Doctor quoth he, & he fell in a great laughing; in faith yesterday I scapt a [...]owring: For syrrha I went to the grang [...] house, where I was appointed to come, and I was no sooner gotten vp the Chamber, but the magicall [...] hir husband beset the house with bils and staues, and that he might be sure no see­ling nor corner should shrawde me, hee set the house on fire: [Page 51] and so [...] it [...] to the ground, Why quoth Mutio [...] how did you escape? alas quoth I, well fare a womans wit, she conueighed me into an ould chest ful of writings, which she knew hir husband durst not burne, and so was I saued and brought to Pysa, and yesternight by hir maide let home to my lodging. This quoth he, is the pleasantest iest that e­uer I heard: and vpon this I haue a sute to you, I am this night bidden foorth to supper, you shall be my guest, onely I will craue so much fauour, as after supper for a pleasant sporte, to make relation what successe you haue had in your loues: for that I will not sticke quoth he, and so he ca­ried Lionello to his mother in lawes house with him, and discouered to his wiues brethren [...] be was, & how at sup­per he would disclose the whole matter: for quoth he, he knowes not that I am Margarets husband: at this all the brethren [...] him welcome, [...] so did the mother to, & Marga­ret she was kept out of sight. Supper time being come, they fell to their vict [...], & Lionello was carrowst vnto by Mu­tio, who was very pleasant to draw him to a merry humor, that he, might to the full discourse the effect & fortunes of his [...] ended, Mutio requested him to tell to the Gentlemen, what had hapned betweene him & his mistresse. Lionello with a smiling countenance, began to describe his Mistresse, the house, and stréete where she dwelt, how he fel in loue with hir, & how he vsed the counsell of this Doctor, who in all his affaires was his secretarie. Margaret heard all this with great feare, & when he came at the last point, she caused [...] [...]p of wine to be giuēhim by one of hir sisters; wherein was a ring that he had giuen Margaret; as he had tould how he es [...]t burning, and was ready to con [...]e all for a troath, the Gentlewoman drunke to him: who taking the cup and séeing the ring [...]hauing [...] reaching head, spide the fetch, and perceiued that all this while this was his louers husband; to whom he [...] reuealed these es­capes: at this drinking the wine, and swallowing the ring into his mouth, he went forward. Gentlemē quoth he, how [Page 53] like you of my [...] and my [...] ▪ well [...] the [...] ▪ tiemē, I pray you is it true▪ as true quoth he, as if I [...] be so simple as to reueale what I did to Margarets husband; for know you Gentlemen, that I knew this Mutio to be hir husbād whom I noti [...]ed to be my louer, and for that he was generally known through Pisa to be a iealious foole: therfore with these tales I brought him into this paradize, which indéed are follies of mine owne braine: for trust me by the faith of a gentleman, I neuer spake to the woman, was [...] ner in hir company, neither [...] I [...] hir [...] I see her. At this they all fell in a laughing at Mutio, who was [...] that Lionello had in [...] him: but all [...] well, they were made friends, but the [...] went so to his heart, that he short­lie after died, and Lionello enioyed she Ladie, and for that they two were the death of the [...] man, now are they pla­gued in purgatorie, [...] he [...] them [...] Nettles.

Assoone as I had pa [...]d ouer these two of Pisa, I looked a­bout and saw many more, as mad and pleasaunt as the [...]: but my time was come that I must to the [...]ge to be censu­red, what [...] haue my [...] for all the ma [...] wanton [...], [...] I [...] when I was aliue, faith at last because they [...] I was abooue companion, they appoin­ted that I should sit and play Iigs all [...]y on my Taber to the ghosts without cea [...]g, which hath brought me into such [...], that I now play far better then when I was aliue: for proofe thou [...] heare a hornepipe: with that putting his pipe to his [...], the [...] he str [...]cks I started, and with that I wak [...], [...] such concourse of people through the [...], that I [...] play was [...]ne, whervpon rising vp, and [...] at my dreame, and after supper tooke my [...], [...] I could set it downe, but not halfe so pleasantly [...] he s [...]oake it, but howsoeuer, take it in good part, and so farewell.


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