How Simon Eyer was sent for to my Lord Majors to supper, and shewing the great entertainment he and his wife had there.

ANon after, supper time drew neer, she, making herselfe ready in frXthe best manner she could deuise, passed along with her husband vnto my Lord Maiors house: and being entred into the great Hall, one of the Officers there certified my Lord Major, that the great, rich Shoomaker and his wife were already come.

Whereupon the Lord Maior in courteous manner came into the 30 Hall to Simon, saying, You are most heartily welcome good

Master Eyer, and so is your gentle bed-fellow. Then came forth the Lady Maiores and saluted them both in like manner, saying, Welcome, good Master Eyer and Mistresse Eyer both: and taking her by the hand, set her down among the Gentlewomen there present.

Sir (quoth the Lord Maior) I vnderstand you are a Shoomaker, and that it is you that hath bought all the goods of the great Argozy.

Iam indeed, my Lord of the Gentle Craft (quoth he) and I 40 praise God, all the goods of the great Argozy are mine own, when

my debts are paid.

38. bought up 6~; tic.: brought up 648
811845 L

116 The pleasant History

God giue you much ioy of them (said the Lord Maior) and I trust you and I shall deal for some part thereof.

So the meat being then ready to be brought in, the guests were placed each one according to their calling. My Lord Major holding Simon by the hand, and the Lady Maiores holding his wife, they would needs haue them sit neer to themselues, which they then with blushing cheeks refusing, my Lord said vnto them, holding his cap in his hand.

Master Eyer and Mistresse Eyer, let me intreat you not to be ~o troublesome, for I tell you it shall be thus: and as for those

Gentlemen here present, they are all of mine old acquaintance, and many times we haue been together, therefore I dare be jthe bolderwith them: & albeit you are our neighbours also, yet I promise you, you are strangers to my table, and to strangers common courtesie doth teach vs to shew the greatest fauour, and therefore let me rule you in mine house, and you shall rule me in yours.

When Simon found there was no remedy, they sat them down, but the poore woman was so abashed, that she did eat but little meat at the Table, bearing her selfe at the table with a comely

20 and modest countenance: but what she wanted in outward feeding, her heart yeelded to, with inward delight and content.

Now, so it was, many men that knew not Simon, and seeing him in so simple attire sit next my Lord, whisperingly asked one another what he was. And it was enough for Si~;zons wife, with her eyes and ears, to see and hearken after euerything that was said or done.

Agraue, wealthy Cittizen, sitting at the Table, spake to Simon, and said, Sir, in good will I drink to your good health, but I beseech you pardon me, for I know not how to call your name.

30 With that my Lord Maior answeared him, saying, his name is Master Eyer, and this is the Gentleman that bought all the goods that came in the black Swan of Candy, and, before God, though he sit here in simple sort, for his wealth I do verily beleeue he is more sufficient to bear this place than my selfe. This was a man that was neuer thought vpon, liuing obscure amongst vs, of none account in the eyes of the world, carrying the countenance but of a shoomaker, and none of the best sort neither, and is able to deal for a bargain of flue thousand pounds at a clap.

We do want many such shoomakers (said the Citizen) and so 40 with other discourse droue out supper.

At what time, rising from the table, Simon and his wife, receiuing sundrie salutations of my Lord Maior and his Lady, and of all the rest of the worshipfull guests, departed home to their own house: at what time his wife made such a recitall of the matters; how brauely they were entertained, what great chear was there, also what a great company of Gentlemen and Gentlewomen were there, and how often they drank to her husband and to her, with diuers other circumstances, that I beleeue, if the night had

of the Gentle Craft. 117

been six moneths long, as it is vnder the North pole, they would haue found talke enough till morning.

Of a truth (quoth she) although I sate closely by my Ladies side, I could eat nothing for very ioy, to heare and see that we were so much made of. And neuer glue me credit husband, if I did not hear the Officers whisper as they stood behind me, and all demanded one of another, what you were, and what I was: 0 (quoth one) do you see this man? mark him well, and marke his wife well, that simple woman that sits next my Ladie: what are they?

What are they (quoth another)? Marry this is the rich Shoomaker io that bought all the goods in the great Argozy: I tell you there

was neuer such a Shoomaker seen in London since the City was builded. Now by my faith (quoth the third) I haue heard much of him to-day among the Merchants in the street, going between the two Chains: Credit me husband, of mine honesty this was their communication. Nay, and do you not remember, when the rich Citizen drank to you (which craued pardon because he knew not your name) what my Lord Maior said? Sir (quoth he) his name is Master Eyer, did you mark that? and presently thereupon he added these words: this is the Gentleman that bought, and so 20 forth. The Gentleman vnderstood you, did you heare him speake

that word?

In troth wife (quoth he) my Lord vttered many good words of me, I thank his honour, but I heard not that.

No (quoth she.) I heard it well enough: for by and by he proceeded further, saying, I suppose though he sit here in simple sort, he is more sufficient to beare this charge than my selfe. Yea (thought I) he may thank his wife for that, if it come so to passe.

Nay (said Simon) I thank God for it.

Yea, and next him you may thank me (quoth she). And it did 30 her so much good to talk of it, that I suppose, if she had hued till

this day, she would yet be prating thereof, and if sleep did not driue her from it.

And now seeing that Simon the Shoomaker is become a merchant, we will temper our tongues to giue him that title, which his customers were wont to do, and from henceforth call him master Eyer, who, while he had his affairs in hand, committed the Gouernment of his shop to John the Frenchman, leauing him to be guide to his other seruants, by meanes of which fauour John

thought himselfe at that time to be a man of no small reputation. 40

30. quoth she 1675 &c.: quoth he 1648


i i 8 The pleasant History