How Crispianus and his brother Crispine the two Sons of the King of Logria, through the cruelty of the Tyrant Maximinus, were fain in disguised manner to seek for their hues safty, and how they were enter­tained by a shoomaker in Feuersham.

WHen the Romane Maximinus sought in cruell sort to bereaue this Land of all her noble youth or youth of noble blood; the vertuous Queen of Logria (which now is called Kent) —dwelling in the city Durouernum, alias Canterbury, or the Court of Kentishmen, hauing at that time two young sons, sought all the meanes she could possible to keep them out of the Tyrant’s claws; and in this manner she spake vnto them:

My dear and beloued sons, the joy and comfort of my age, you see the dangers of these times, and the stormes of a Tyrants reign, who, hauing now gathered together the most part of the young Nobilitie, to make them slaues in a forraign Land, that are free­born in their own Countery, seeketh for you also thereby to make a cleare riddance of all our born Princes, to the end he might plant strangers in their stead. Therefore (my sweet sons) take the counsell of your mother, and seek in time to preuent ensuing danger which will come vpon vs suddenly as a storme at sea, and as cruelly as a Tyger in the wildernesse; therefore, suiting your selues in honest habits, seek some poore seruice to shield you from mischance, seeing necessity hath priuiledged those places from Tyrannie. And so (my sons) the gracious Heauens may one day raise you to deserued dignitie and honour.

The young Lads seeing that their mother so earnest to haue them gone, fulfilled her commandment, and, casting off their attire, put homlie garments on, and, with many bitter tears took leaue of the Queen their mother, desiring her before they went to bestow her blessing vpon them.

0 my Sons (quoth she) stand you now vpon your ceremonies? Had I leasure to giue you one kisse, it were something; the Lord blesse you, get you gon, away, away, make hast I say, let not swift time ouerslip you, for the Tyrant is hard by: with that she pushed them out of a back doore, and then sets herselfe down to weep.

The two young Princes, which like pretty lambs went straying they knew not whither, at length by good fortune, came to Feuersham, where, before the dayes peep, they heard certain shoomakers singing, being as pleasant as their notes, as they sat at their businesse, and this was their Song,

Would God that it were Holiday,
    hey dery down down dery;
That with my Loue I night go play,
    with woe my heart is weary:
My whole delight, is in her sight,
    would God I had her company,
                 her company,
Hey dery down, down adown.

My Loue is fine, my loue is fair,
    hey dery down, down dery:
No maid with her may well compare,
    in Kent or Canterbury;
From me my Loue shall neuer moue,
    would God I had her company,
                  her company,
Hey dery down, down adown.

To see her laugh, to see her smile,
    hey defy down, down dery:
Doth all my sorrows clean beguile,
    and makes my heart full merry;
No griefe doth grow where she doth go.
    would God I had her company, &c.
Hey dery down, down adown.

When I do meet her on the green,
    hey dery down, down dery:
Methinks she looks like beauties Queen,
    which makes my heart full merry;
Then I her greet with kisses sweet,
    would God I had her company, &c.
Hey dery down, down adown.

My Loue conies not of churlish kind,
    hey dery down, down dery:
But bears a louing and courteous Mind,
    which makes my heart full merry;
She is not coy, she is my joy,
    would God I had her company, &c.
Hey dery down, down adown.

Till Sunday conies farewell my dear,
    hey dery down, down dery;
When we do meet we’ll haue good chear,
    and then we will be merry:
If thou loue me, I will loue thee,
    and still delight in thy company, &c.
Hey dery down, down dery.

The young Princes perceiuing such mirth to remain in so homely a cottage, iudged by their pleasant notes, that their hearts were not cloyed with ouer many cares, and therefore wished it might be their good hap to be harboured in a place of such great content.

But standing a long time in doubt what to do, like two distressed strangers, combating twixt hope and feare; at length taking courage, Crispianus knocking at the doore: What knaue knocks there (quoth the Iourneyman) and by and by down he takes his quarter staffe and opens the doore, being as ready to strike as speake, saying: What lack you? To whom Crispianus made this answer:

Good sir, pardon our boldnesse, and measure not our truth by our rudenesse; we are two poore boyes that want seruice, stript from our friends by the furie of these warres, and therefore are we enforced, succourlesse to craue seruice in any place.

What, haue you no friends or acquaintance in these parts to go to (said the Shoomakers) by whose means you might get preferment?

Alas Sir (said Crispianus) necessitie is despised of euery one, and misery is troden down of many; but seldome or neuer relieued: yet, notwithstanding, if our hope did not yeeld us some comfort of good hap, we should grow desperate through distresse.

That were great pitie (said the Shoomaker) be content, for, as our Dame tels our Master, A patient man is better then a strong man. Stay a while, and I will call our Dame to the doore, and then you shall heare what she will say.

With that he went in, and forth came his Dame, who beholding the said youths, said: Now alas, poore boyes, how comes it to passe that you are out of seruice? What, would you be Shoo­makers, and learn the Gentle Craft?

Yes, forsooth (said they) with all our hearts.

Now by my troth (quoth she) you do look with honest true faces. 1 will intreat my husband for you, for we would gladly haue good hoyes; and if you will be iust and true, and serue God, no doubt you may do well enough. Come in, my lads, come in.

Crispianus and his brother with great reuerence gaue her thanks; and by that time they had stayed a little while, down came good­man, and his wife hard by his heels, saying: husband, these be the youths I told you of; no doubt but in time they will be good men.

Her husband looking wishtly vpon them and conceiuing a good opinion of their fauors at length agreed that they should dwell with him, so that they would be bound for seuen years. The youths being contented, the bargain was soon ended, and so set to their business whereat they were no sooner setled, but that great search was made for them in all places; and albeit the Officers came to the house where they dwelt, by reason of their disguise they knew them not: hauing also taken vpon them borrowed names of Crispianus and Crispine.

Within a few days after, the Queen their mother was by the tyrant taken, and for that she would not confesse where her sonns were, she was laid in Prison in Colchester Castle, whereunto she went with as cheerfull a countenance as Cateratus did, when he was led captiue to Rome: and coming by the place where her sonnes sat at work, with a quick eye she had soon espied them; and looke how a dying coal reuiues in the wind, euen so at this sight she became suddenly red: but, making signes that they should hold io their tongues, she was led along: whom seuen yeers after her Sons did neuer see. But as men stand amazed at the sight of Apparitions in the ayre, as ignorant what successe shall follow; euen so were these two Princes agast to see their own mother thus led away, not knowing what danger should ensue thereof.

Notwithstanding, they thought good to keep their seruice as their hues surest refuge: at what time they both bent their whole minds to please their Master and Dame, refusing nothing that was put to them to do, were it to wash dishes, scoure kettles, or any other thing, whereby they thought their Dame’s fauour might be gotten, which made her the readier to giue them a good report to their Master, and to do them many other seruices, which other­wise they should haue missed; following therin the admonition of an old Iourney-man, who would alwayes say to the Apprentices:

Howsoeuer things do frame,
Please well thy Master, hut chiefly thy Dame.

Now, by that time, these two young Princes had truly serued their Master the space of foure or flue yeers, he was grown some­thing wealthy and they very cunning in their trade; whereby the house had the name to breed the best workmen in the Countrey;  which report in the end prefer’d their Master to be the Emperours Shoomaker: and by this means, his seruants went to Maximinus Court euery day: but Crñpianus and Crispine fearing they should haue been known, kept themselues from thence, as much as they could. Notwithstanding, at the last perswading themselues that Time had worne them out of knowledge, they were willing in the end to go thither, as well to hear tidings of the Queen their mother, as also for to seek their own preferment.