How John the Frenchman fell in loue with one of his Mistrisse Maids: and how he was crossed through the craft of Haunce the Duehmari.
AT the same time there was dwelling in the house, a iohly lusty wench, whose name was Florence, whom John the Frenchman
loued dearly well, and for her onely sake he brought many a good bottle of wine into the house, and therewithall so soon as their master and mistresse were gone to bed, they would oftentimes
io make merrie amongst themselues; which Haunce a Iourney-man in the same house perceiueing, sought to crosse them as much as in him lay, thereby to bring his own purpose the better to passe, which was to ioyn the maidens fauours to his own affection.
And because the Frenchman had greatest gains vnder his Master, and being thereof no niggard when he had got it, the maids did most delight in him, and little esteemed the Duchman, though his good will were as great towards her as the other: for they could not be in any corner of the house together, nor could they meet in any place abroad, but the Duchman would still watch
Vpon a time, Florence being at Market, her Loue John went forth of the shop to meet her, and Haunce stayed not long behind, who at length espied them, and heard his fellow Jolui questioning with her in this sort.
What Florence, what haue you in your basket? hea, let me see what you buy.
Marrie, John (quoth she) I haue bought Beefe and Mutton, and other things. Come, come, must you peep in my basket (quoth she) away, for shame away.
30 Be Got, Florence, me will see a little : ha, ha! Florence, you buy the pudding hea? You loue de puddings? Florence hea?
Yea, Sir (quoth she) what if I do loue puddings? what care you? Of my tra, Florence, if I be your husband me will giue you 1)udden, shall warren.
My husband (quoth she?) in faith Sir, no, I mean not to marrie a Frenchman.
What Florence, de Frenchman be de good man: but Florence,
me will giue you a plnte of wine by my treat.
0, I cannot stay now, I thank you, John.
40 What (quoth he) Florence, no stay with your friend? I shall make you stay a little time.
And so with that, taking her by the hand, into the Tauern they go, and Haunce the Duchman following them, and sate close in
42. they go 167; tft.: then go1648
of the Gentle Craft. I I 9
the next roome, and by that means he heard all that they said, and that they appointed the next Sunday to go to lslington together, and there to be merry: and so, the maid hasting away, they departed.
Well (quoth Haunce secretly to him selfe) it shall go hard but lie disappoint you.
Sunday in the afternoon being come, John the Frenchman, according to his appointment, went before to Jslington, leauing Florence to come after, with another Maid which dwelt in the same house, whilest he prepared good chear for their coming: and the to more to make her merrie, he hired a noise of musitians to attend their pleasure.
And as it after happened, his fellow Haunce preuented this sport, who watching in the fields for Florence, at length he spied her coming: to whom he said, Well met fair Florence, your friend John bath changed his mind, for whereas he appointed you to meet him at Jslington, you shall lose your labour so to do, for he is not there.
No? how so (said Florence)?
The reason is this (said Haunce) so farre as I can vnderstand 20 by him, he thinks you are verie fickle and inconstant, and because it was his chance this morning, to see you speak to a young man that passed by, he saith verrily, that you are a maruellous great dissembler: and in this humour he is gone I know not whither.
And is it euen so (said Florence)? Ile tell thee what Haunce, because he bath made thee priuie to his mind, I will shew thee somewhat of mine. Doth he suspect me because I did but speake to one? Nay, if he be so iealous now, what will he be hereafter? And, therefore insomuch that it is so, let him go to
the Deuill, he shall very well find, that I will set as light by him, 30 as he doth by me. Did the knaue get leaue of my Mistris for me to come abroad this day, and doth he now serue me thus? Well, this shall teach me wit, in faith, and so she turns back again.
Nay (quoth Haunce) seeing you are now abroad, let me intreat you to go to Hog.cdon, and I will bestow a messe of cream vpon you.
In the end she was won, and as they walked together, Haunce spake thus vnto her: I know not what cause John the Frenchman bath giuen you, to bear him so good will, as I perceiue you do, but in my mind, he is a far vnmeet match for you. And thus 40 much I know, he is of a very mistrustfull nature, a wauering mind, and deceitfull heart, he did professe great good will to you in outward shew, but I haue heard him speak most shamefully of you behind your back, making his vaunts, that he had you at a beck of his finger, and how that for a pint of Wine he could cause you to follow him vp and down ouer all the Citie, Florence, I am a fool to tell you thus much, it may be you will scarce heleeue it, and, for my part, I will not vrge you thereunto: but
The pleasant History
in troth, look what I tell you, it is for good will, because I haue been sorrie to see you abused.
Ithank you good Haunce (quoth she) I may beleeue it well enough: but from henceforth I know what I haue to do: I confesse indeed, that I haue drunk with him abroad, but it was at his own earnest intreaty, neither could I euer be quiet for the knaue, he doth so follow me vp and down in euery place; but, seeing, I know his dissimulation to be such, if I do not requite him in his kind, trust me no more: and now I am heartily sorrie that I was so
to foolish as to follow him this day at his appointment: but seeing he bath serued me thus, he shall not know of my coming out ot doors, and therefore good Jiaunce, do not tell him that you met me this day in the fields.
Nay in faith, Florence; (quoth he) I will not onely be secret to thee, but will also from henceforth acquaint thee with all my proceedings.
And hauing eaten their creame, Haunte brought her some part of the way homeward: and, taking his leaue of her, he went back to see if he could meet with John the Frenchman, who hauing
20 stayed at Islington for Florence vntill almost night, and she not coming, he and the Musicians together were fame to eat vp the meat, without more company, which caused John the frenchman to swear like a Turk.
And as he was coming homeward ouer the fields chaffing and fretting to himselfe, who should he meet withall but Irlaunce the Duchman: who said to him: What John, who thought to meet you here?
Here thou seest I am now (said John): but when came you from home?
30 Marry but euen now (quoth Haunce).
And who is at home (said John)?
The other answered, there was no body but their mistresse, and the maid Florence, with the rest of the houshold.
Is Florence at home (said John)? The Deuill take her for me, she bath maid a right fool of me indeed.
How so (quoth Ifaunce)? Then the other in a great chafe, said:
Be Got shall be reuenged, Florence mock an me too mush, too mush she make me beleeue she loue me, and me tink so too, and, be Got, she make me a lack Fool.
40 When Haunce heard him say so, he said: Alas good John, she loue thee? If you think so, you are greatly deceiued: for she is the scoffingest quean in London: And I haue heard her behind your back, to mock and flout you, saying: Doth shitten John think that I will marry him? In faith Sir no.
When the Frenchman heard this, he stampt like a mad-man, and bit his thumb, saying: Mordue me shall be reuenged, be Got:
shitten John? call a shitten John, hea? A de put in corroyn, a meshant, shitten John, no better name but shitten John?
of the Gentle Craft.
It is as I tell you (quoth Jlaunce): and moreouer, she said she scorned to come after you to Jslington, saying, she would see you hanged first.
Well be no matter; she no loue me, me no loue she, but me shall go home, me shall, and beat as a stockfish.
Nay, do not so (said Hazince) but let her alone: for it is no credit for you to beat a woman: and besides that, if you should, our Master would turn you out of doores; therefore be quiet a while, and be secret in that I haue told you, then shall you see how
she vseth you. 10
In this humour they departed: at what time, John, full of melancholy, stood frowning by the fire side: and as the Maid went vp and down the house about her businesse, he cast looks on her, as fierce as a Panther; but she, by reason of the Duchmans tale to her, shews her selfe as scornfull as he was currish, and not once cast her eye towards him, and thus they droue out the time of a senight or a fortnight.