How the Emperours faire daughter Vrsula, fell in loue with young Crispine coming with shooes to the Court; and how in the end they were secretly married by a blind Frier.
Now among all the shoomakers men that came to the Court with shooes, young Crispine was had in greatest regard with the fair Princesse, whose mother being lately dead, she was the only ioy of her father, who alwayes sought means to match her with to some worthy Romane, whose renown might ring throughout the whole world.
But fair Vrsula, whose bright eyes had entangled her heart with desire of the Shoomakers fauour, despised all proffers of loue, in regard of him. And yet notwithstanding she would oft check her own opinion, in placing her loue vpon a person of such low degree, thus reasoning with her self.
Most aptly is the god of Loue by cunning Painters drawn blind, that so equally shoots forth his fiery shafts: for had he eyes to see, it were impossible to deal in such sort, as in matching fair
20 Venus with foule Vulcan, yoking the Emperiall hearts of Kings to the loue of beggers, as he did to Cofetua, and as now in my selt I find how mad a thing it would seem to the eyes of the world, that an Emperors daughter should delight in the fauour of a simple Shoornaker.
0Vrsula, take heed what thou dost, stain not thy royalty with such indignity. 0 that Grispines birth were agreeable to his person! for in mine eye, there is no Prince in the world comparable to him: if then while he is clothed with these rags of seruitude, he appear so excellent, what would he be were he in
30 Princely attire! 0 Crispine, either thou art not as thou seemest, or else Nature, in disgrace of Kings, hath made thee a shoomaker.
In these humours would the Princesse be often, especially at Crispines approach, or at his departure; For, as soon as euer he came within her sight with shooes, a sudden blush like a flame of lightning would strike in her face, and at his departure, an earthly pale colour, like to the beams of the bright Sunne obscured by coal-blacke clouds. But after many weary conflicts with fancy, she fully resolued, at his next coming, to enter into communication with him, but imagining his stay from Court ouer long, on the
40 sudden she sent presently for him, finding great fault in the last shooes he brought her. At what time Crispine most humbly on his knee greatly craued pardon for all such faults as she then had found, promising amendment in the next shooes she should haue.
Nay (quoth she) lie shew thee, they are too low something in
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the instep; also the heel is bad, and besides that, they are too strait in the toes.
You shall haue a pair made (said he) shall fit you better, for none shall set a stitch in them but mine own self.
Do, said the Princesse, but let me haue them so soon as thou canst, and therewith Crispine departed.
The Princesse then all solitary, got her self into her Chamber, entred there into consideration, and found within her self great trouble and sorrow, while the tongue, the hearts aduocate, was not suffered to speak. At last she heard Crispines voice, enquiring to of the Ladies in the great Chamber for the Princesse, who answered, That hauing taken little rest the night before, she was now laid down to sleep, and therefore they willed him to come again some other time.
Asleep, replyed the Princesse! I am not asleep, bid him stay:
What hasty huswife was that which sent him hence? Call him againe quickly I would aduise you.
And therefore changing melancholly into mirth, she arose vp from out of her bed, and, as a bright starre shooting in the Element, she swiftly got her forth to meet the shoomaker, whose faire sight 30 was to her as great a comfort as a Sunshine before a showre of raine.
How now (quoth she) hast thou brought me a pair of shooes?
Ihaue (gracious Madam) quoth he.
Then (quoth the Princesse) come thy selfe and draw them on therewith she sitting down, lifted vp her well proportioned legge vpon his gentle knee. Where, by that time her shooes were drawn on, she had prepared a good reward for her shoomaker and, giuing him an handfull of gold, she said: Thou hast so well pleased me in making of these shooes, that I cannot but reward thee in some good sort; therefore Shoomaker, take this, and from hence- 30 forth let no man make my shooes but thy self. But tell me Crispine, art thou not in loue, that thou doest smug up thy selfe so finely, thou wast not wont to go so neatly: I pray thee tell me what pretty wench is it that is mistresse of thy heart?
Truly, faire Madam (quoth he) If I should not loue, I might be accounted barbarous, for by natures course, there is a mutuall loue in all things: the Doue and the Peacock loue intirely, so doth the Turtle and the Popiniay: the like affection the fish Musculus beareth vnto the huge Whale, insomuch that he leadeth him from all danger of stony rocks; and as among birds and fishes, so 40 amongst plants and trees the like concord is to be found; for if
the male of palme trees be planted from the female, neither of both prosper: and being set one neer another, they do flourish accord. ingly, imbracing with ioy the branches one of another. And fot mine one part, I am in loue too: for first of all, I loue my Maker; and next, my good Master and Dame: But as concerning the loue of pretty wenches, verily Madam, I am cleare: and the rather do I abstain from fixing my fancie on women, seeing many
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sorrowes do follow the married sort, for a dramme of delight hath a pound of pain.
That is (answered the Pnincesse) where contention setteth the house on fire, but where true loue remaines, there is no discontent: and what can a man more desire for this worlds comfort, but a vertuous wife, which is reported to be a treasure inestimable. Therefore Crispine, say thy mind, if I prefer thee to a wife, euery way deseruing thy loue, wouldst thou take it well?
rruly Madam (said Crispine) if I should not accept of your io good will, I should shew my selfe more vnmannerly than well nurtured: But seeing it pleaseth you to grace me with your Princely countenance, and to giue me libertie to speak my mind, this is my opinion: If I were to chuse a wife, then would I haue one faire, rich, and wise; first, to delight mine eye: secondly, to supply my want, and thirdly, to gouern my house.
Then (said the pnincesse) her beauty I will referre vnto the iudgement of thine own eyes, and her wisedome vnto the tniall of
Time: hut as concerning her portion, I dare make some report, because it well deserueth to be praised: For at her marriage thou 20 shalt haue a bagge full of rare vertues with her.
Truly Madam (quoth Crispine) such coynes go not currant among Tannars : and I know, if I should go with it to the Market, it would buy me no soale-leather. Notwithstanding when I doe see her, I will tell you more of my mind.
The Pnincesse, taking him aside pniuately, walking with him in a faire Gallenie, said; in looking vpon me, thou mayest iudge of her, for she is as like me as may be.
When Crispine heard her say so, he right prudently answered:
Ihad rather, Madam, she were your own selfe, than like yourselfe, ~o and although my words fauour of presumption, yet, with your
fauour, I dare boldly pronounce it, that I hold my selfe worthy of a Queen, if I could get her good will. And were it no danger to match with your Excellency so it should please you, it should not dislike me.
Then said the Pnincesse: Now shoomaker, I see thou hast some courage in thee: and doubt thou not, but if I were of that mind, but I would be as ready to guide thee from the dangerous rocks of my Fathers wrath, as the fish called Musculus is for the Whale:
But couldst thou not be contented to die for a Ladies loue? 40 No Madam (quoth he) if I could keep her loue and hue.
‘P hen hue faire friend (answered she) enioy my Loue, for I will die rather than hue without thee.
Crispine hearing this, was stricken into an extasie of ioy, in such sort, as he wist not whether he were asleep or dreamed: But by that time he had summoned his wits together, with the plighting of his faith, he opened his estate and high birth vnto her, shewing all the extremities that he and his brother had been put vnto since
t. delight :67; ~Yc.: light 1643 2!. go not :675 &c.: go out :648
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the death of their royall Father, and of the imprisonment of the Queen, their Mother.
The which when faire Vrsu/a with great wonder heard, giuing him an earnest of her loue with a sweet kisse: she said; My deane Loue, and most gentle Prince, euer did I think, that more than a common man was shrowded in these poore habihiments, which made me the bolder to impart my mind vnto thee, and now dread no more my Fathers wrath, for the fire thereof was long agoe quenched.
No, no (quoth Crispine) an Eagles thirst is neuer expelled, but by blood. And albeit your father haue now (parhaps) qualified the heat of his fury by the length of time, yet if he should vnderstand of this my loue to thee, it would cause him to rake out of the ashes hot, burning coals of displeasure again: and then might my life pay a deane price for thy loue. Therefore (my deane Vrsula) I desire thee, euen by the power of that loue thou bearest to me to keepe secret what I haue shewed thee, nothing doubting hut that in time I may find release of these miseries; in the mean space we will be secretly married, by which holy knot we, as well in body as in heart, be vnseperately tied together. 20
To this Vrsu/a consented most gladly, and therevpon told him that she would meet him in her fathers Park, at any houre he would appoint; which she might do the more easily, in respect she had a key to one of the Garden doores which gaue present passage into the Park. The day and houre being concluded vpon, they parted for this time, both of them indued with such content as in all their hues they neuer found the like.
And at this time there was in Canterbury a blind Fnier that in many yeers had neuer seen the Sun; to this man did Crispine
go, thinking him the fittest Chaplain to chop vp such a marriage, 30 who, meeting with him at Christ Church one euening after the
Antheme, broke with him after this manner.
Good speed good father: there is a certain friend of mine that would be secretly married in the morning betimes; for which purpose he thinks you the fittest man to perform it in all the Cloyster: and therefore, if you will be diligent to do it, and secret to conceal it, you shall haue foure angels for your pains.
The Fnier being fired with the desire of his gold, rubbing his elbow and scratching his crown, swore by the blessed Book that
hung by his knee, that he would be both willing and constant to 40 keep it secret. Tush young man, you may trust me, I haue done
many of these feats in my dayes. I know that youth are youth, but they would not haue all the world wonder at their doings: and where shall it be, said the Frier,
(Quoth Crispine) At Saint Gregories Chappell; and because you shall not make your boy acquainted therewith, I my selfe will call you in the morning. Good father be not forgetfull to obserue the
38. fired :67; nc.: fixed 1648
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time, at two of the chock is the houre, and therefore hook you be ready when I shall call you.
Iwarrant you (replied the Fnier:) and because I will not ouersleep my sehfe, I will for this night lie in my clothes, so that as soon as euer you call, I will straight be readie.
Then father, I will trust you (quoth Crispine) and so departed. When he came to his master, he made not many words, but so soon as he had supt on Sunday at night, he went to his chamber, and laid him down vpon his bed, making no creature in the house
to priuy to his intent, not his own brother, his minde still running on his faire Mistresse, and the happie houre that will tie them both in one: neuer was there hunger-starued man that did long more for the sweet approach of wholsome food than did Crispine for two a clock. And so soon as the silent night had drawn all things to rest, Crispine got him vp, and to Canterbury goes he to meet his rose-cheeked Lady in her Fathers Park, who also took hold of Times forhock, and, like clear Cynthia, shaped her course to seek out Sol in the Meridian. But so soon as her searching eye had spied him, she commended his vigilancie, saying he well obserued
20 his houre:
0 my dear (quoth he) rich preys do make true men theeues:
but finding thee here so happily, I will fetch the Frier straight:
He had no sooner called at the Fniers doore, but he presently heard him: and groaping the way down, he opened the doore, and along they went together: but the Fnier, finding his iourney longer than he expected, said, That either Saint Gregories Chappel was remoued, or else he was not so good a foot man as he was wont to be:
That is likely enough (said Crispine:) for how much the older 30 you are since you went this way last, so much the weaker you are
to trauelh, but be you content, now we are at the last come to the place, and therefore, good Fnier, make what speed you may.
Iwarrant you (quoth he) and therewithahl he puts his Spectacles vpon his nose.
The fair Pnincesse perceiuing that, laughed heartily, saying, Little need hath a blind man of a paine of Spectacles.
Truly Mistresse (said he) as little need bath an old roan of a young wife; but you may see what vse is. Though I be blind and cannot see neuer a letter, yet I cannot say Masse without my
~o book and my Spectacles; And then he proceeded to solemnize their marriage, which being finished, the Frier had his gold, and home he was led:
In the mean time the Pnincesse stayed still in the Park for her Bridegroom, where when he came on a bank of sweet pnimroses, he pluckt the rose of amorous delight: and after the Pnincesse came to her fathers Palace, and Crispine to his Masters shop.