CHAP. Xliii.


How Flaunce hauing circumuented Jo/rn the Frenchmans Loue, was by him and others finely deeeiued at the Garden.

NOw at that time John the frenchman, and fair Florence were both at variance, as you heard before, by the Duch­mans dealing, by which subtilty he sought means to win fauour for himselfe, which John the Frenchman perceiued, and therefore went about, not only to preuent him, but to take reuenge on him for his deceitfulnesse. And meeting Florence as she went into the Garden for flowers, he began to talk thus vnto her. What, 30 Florence, you go to the Garden?

And how then (quoth she) what haue you to say to that? Me sea nothing, but you be discontent; you no speak a me, you no look a me; nor you no drink with me, nor noting, ah Florence, how chance dat?

Go get thee hence, prating fool (quoth she) I drink with thee? Thou shalt be pie-peckt first.

Pie-peck? What be pie-peckt a hea? Be Got Florence, you make me a lack-nape, you mock a me, and call me shitten Jan, and you be so proud, because Haunce loue you, dat shall be 40 maruell, but and if you call me shitten John any more, par my foy, shall not put vp, shall not take at your hands.

Who told you, that I called you shitten John (quoth Florence) I neuer called you so.


The pleasant History

No Florence! you no call a me shitten John? a so rneshant villain pulard Haunce tell a me so.

Ineuer said so (quoth Florence), but Jfaunce told me that you made your boast that I was at a beck of your finger; and that you could make me follow you vp and down the whole City for a pinte of Wine; no, I would you should well vnderstand, I will not follow a better man than you.

Of my fet Florence, me neuer say so.

No? Yes (quoth she) but you did, I can tell you by a good to token, for that very time that I should haue met you at Jslington, you said it, and made me a fool to come ouer the fields to you, and when all came to all, you sent Haunce to tell me you were gone there hence long agone.

Ah cet toking, Haunce (quoth John) be des ten bon, tis true, for me tarry, dere more den one, two, tree hour, and had prouide shapon, de rabit, de creame, de pudding-pie, and twenty ding more.

Well howsoeuer it was, I am sure I was made an asse betwixt you, and for that cause I will beware how I shew kindnesse again to any: therefore, John I pray you be gone, and seek some other

20 company, for you shall not go with me.

No (said John)? Well den, adieu, Florence, and so they departed.

Now it is to be vnderstood, that Haunce had promised Florence to meet her in the Garden, and to bring with him a bottle of ~Vine, and there in the presence of a maid or two more, to make themselues sure together: and she for that purpose, had carryed with her a good corner of a Venison pasty. But there was an English-Iourney-man in the house called Nicholas, that vnderstood thereof, who, meeting with John the Frenchman, he made him priuie thereunto, saying; Trust me John, if thou wilt be ruled by

30 me, we will not onely disappoint this match, but also with their good chear make ourselues merry. John, who was glad and ready to do the Duchman any iniury, consented to follow lVicholas his counsell in any thing.

Then (quoth Nicholas) it shall be thus: I will go to the Garden, and stay for Jlaunce his coming with the ~Vine, and, in the meane space do thou hide thy selfe vnder one of the hedges of the Garden on the other side, and with thee take a couple of pots, and let the one be empty, and the other filled with water, and when .Haunee is come into the Garden with his bottle of Wine (now he

40 will not let me see it by his good will) notwithstanding, Ile obserue well where he doth set it down, and then I will finde the meanes, while they are busie in toying and talking, to conueigh the bottle of XVine through the hedge to thee, and likewise the Venison: then, emptying the bottle, thou shalt fill it with water, and thrusting it through the hedge again, it shall be set where first it was found, which being done, thou shalt hastily rap at the Garden doore, at what time they shall be told that it is my Master or Mistresse, which they hearing will be in such a maze,

of the Gentle Craft.


that on a sudden they will not know which way to turn them­selues, especially for the conueying away of Haunce: Now when you haue knockt twice or thrice, and that you heare no body come to the doore, get you away, and stay for me at the Rose in Barking, and there we will drink vp their Wine, eat vp the Venison:

and this being done weele laugh them to scorn.

Truly Nicholas (quoth John the Frenchman) this will be braue, and thereupon they prepared themselues to do the feat. Nicholas therefore got him into the Garden, and by and by after comes

Jlaunce with the bottle of Wine, who knocking at the Garden I 0 doore was straight let in: but seeing Nicholas there, he secretly

set his bottle in a corner: but Nick, who had as searching eyes as Argus in his businesse, quickly did as before he had determined, and instead of Wine set the bottle down again, where he first found it full of water,

Then comes John, and lustily knocks at the doore.

There is our Master and Mistresse (quoth Nicholas).

Alas (quoth Florence) what shall we do for J-Jaunce? then rapt he at the doore again, Alas (quoth she) get you ouer the hedge.

Shall I open the doore (quoth Nick?) 0 no, said P7orence, 20 not yet good Nick.

With that he knockt more hastily: Anon, anon (quoth she). Hence Haunce: Go to the doore Nick.

Who is there (quoth he)? And with that opening the doore found iust no body. Truly Florence (said he~ they are gone whosoeuer they were. God be with you, I can stay no longer.

When he was departed, the Maids wished that Jlaunce had been there again. Alas, poore fellow (quoth they) is he gone, and left his bottle behind him?

Marry I am glad that it is no worse (quoth Florence): And 30 now, that the Wine is here, we will drink it for his sake, and 1

haue here a morsell of Venison, that will giue it a good relish:

and therewithall looking for it, she found the cloak, but the meat gone. Now, a vengeance one it (quoth she) one skuruie Cur or other hath got into the Garden and took away the meat!

O God, what ill luck is that (quoth the Maid:) a murren one that Cur that got it: but seeing it is gone, farewell it.

Well (said Florence) here is the ~vine yet, I know it is excellent good: for he told me he would bring a bottle of the best Renish

Wine that could be bought in London: and I am certain he is as 40 good as his word. But beleeue me Joane, he is as kind hearted

and as louing a fellow as euer professed loue to any: I assure you that here is a cup of Wine that the King might drink thereof: but how shall we do for a glasse?

Weele drink it out of the bottle (said Joane).

Not so (quoth Florence) I do loue to see what I drink, and therefore lie borrow a glasse at the next house.

22. she: he 648 &~C.

I 28 The pleasant History

And while she goes for a g]asse (said bane to her selfe) Ile haue a taste of it before she returns again: and then setting her hand vnto the bottle, and the bottle to her mouth she drank a good draught, and finding it to be something thin in the going down, she said to Besse that sat by: Credit me now, but for the name of Wine, I haue drunk as good water.

It is Renish ~Vine (quoth Besse) and that is neuer strong.

It may be made of rain well enough (quoth Joane).

At which words Florence entred with a glas: and powring it out mo into the glasse, she extolled the colour, saying, see what a braue

colour it hath, it is as clear, I do assure you, as rock water: and therewithall drinking it off, she said, it drinks very dead: Of a troth (quoth she) this is but bad Wine, it is euen as dead as a doore naile: and so filling the giasse again, she gaue it vnto Besse.

She tasting thereof, said: Passion of me, this is plain water.

Water (said Joane?) Is it water? Let me taste of it once again: by my Maiden-Head, it is water indeed (quoth she).

Water (said Florence) you haue played the drabs in drinking out the XVine, and filling the bottle again with water.

20 Of my faith (quoth Joane) you say not true in so saying: I would you did vnderstand, we played not the drabs in any such sort, but Hazince rather played the Knaue, that brought vs water instead of ~Vine.

Nay (quoth Florence) I dare swear for him that he would not serue you so for all the wealth my Master is worth. And I am perswaded it was no body but your selues that did it: but, in faith you might haue dealt so with another, and not with me.

Nay then (quoth they) you need not to serue vs so, to cause vs drink water instead of XVine: and we would you should think,

30 although you be Master Sheriffes Maid, we loue our mouths as well as you do yours for your life, and it was but an homely recompence for our good will, I tell you true: neither do we care how little we come to be thus deluded.

Go too, go too (said Florence) you are like to Penelopes puppy, that doth both bite and whine, I know you well enough.

Know vs (quoth bane). ~Vhat do you know by vs? we defie you for anything you can say by vs. Know vs? Nay it were well if thou didst know thy selfe; and hearest thou? though thou hast thy companions to meet thee at thy pleasure, and we haue

40 not: no, know vs? we are known to be as honest as thou art, or else we should be sorry; and so she departed in a chafe.

Now John the Frenchman and Nicholas, hauing eaten the Venison and drunk vp the wine, came back again time enough to hear all this strife, whereat they greatly reioyced. But so soon as Florence did meet with Haunce again, she kept no small stir for mocking her with a bottle of water, about the which they fell at variance, in such sort that they were not friends for a long time after.

of the Gentle Craft. 129

But during the time that Haunce was out of fauour Nicholas sought the Maids frendship by all the means he might, but in vain was his pains spent therein: for, although Florence (out­wardly) seemed much displeased, yet .Haunce had her heart still, and in processe of time obtained great fauour; the matter was grown so foreward, that the performance of their marriage was forthwith appointed, which they intended should be celebrated at the Abbey of Grace on Toiver hill. Notwithstanding, this matter was not kept so close, hut that their secret dealings were known, and Nicholas, purposing to deceiue the Duchman, made John the to Frenchman priuie thereunto, saying; John, it is so, that this night, at midnight Masse, Florence and Haunce do intend secretly to be married, and they haue appointed the Frier to do it so soon as the Tapers are all put out, because they will not be seen of any:

Therefore John, if now you will be my friend, I do not doubt but to marry her my selfe, and so to giue the Duchman the slampam, and bore him through the nose with a cushin.

Ha (quoth John) be Got me shall do as you sea, and therefore Nicholas tell me what you do.

Marry John (quoth he) you know the Duchman loueth to drink 20 well, and by that he loueth weele cause him to lose his Loue; for

we will get him out to the Tauern, and there cause him to be dis­guised, that he shall neither be able to stand nor go.

John the Frenchman hearing this, scratched his head, and rubbing his elbow, said, Ma foy, Nicholas, dis be de fine trick:

how shall we get him forth a doores?

Excellent well (quoth Nicholas) for there is a new Iourney-man come to Town with Sir Hughs bones at his back, and you know that we, being of the Gentle Craft, must go giue him his welcome, and I will tell Haunce thereof, who being now very iocund, by 30 reason that his marriage is so neer, will not deny to come, I know. Therefore you and the stranger Iourney-man shall go before to the Tauern, and then I will go fetch him.

Abeene, content, content (said John).

And so to the Tauern he hasted with the strange man. Anon comes Nicholas and Haunce, and with them two or three Iourney­men more, and all to the new Iourney-man: sitting down, they got Haunce in the midst, called for wine lustily, and such varieties, as the Duchman was soon set packing; for euery one sought to ouercharge him, and, being himselfe of a good kind to take his 40 liquor, spared not to pledge euery man. At what time, in the

midst of his cups, being well whitled, his tongue ran at random (~as wine is the bewrayer of secrets) so it proued by him, for there he opened to his companions all his whole mind, saying My hearts, for all I sit here I must be a married man ere morning.

23. nor go .r675; :648 ap~arcnt1y introdzu-es foreign mat/er which breaks off cit the end of the page, nor go, and while he lies parbraking his tninde, hearing this, scratched his head &c., as in text.

of the Gentle Craft.

The pleasant History

God giue you ioy (quoth they).

But who shall you marry (said Nick). Florence?

Yea Florence (said the Duchman) that is the Lasse that I do loue, and all the world cannot deceiue me of her now, I am the man that must haue her Maidenhead, and this night we must be married at the Abbey of Grace; and if you be good fellows, go with me to Church; will you go with me?

Will we ged with thee? (said John Frenchman) that we will.

0 John (said Haunce) I haue wiped your nose, and Nicks too, zo you must weare the willow Garland.

~Vell, what remedy (quoth they) it is the better for you.

But in faith Haunce, seeing it is so (quoth Nick) weele haue one pottle of Wine more, that we may drink to the health of your fair Bryde.

lie pledge her, if it be a gallon (quoth Haunce).

Be my fet and trot (said John) weele haue a gallon. Hea

Drawer, where be you? I pray you bring me a gallon of de best

Claret, and a gallon of de best Sack, shall make merry i’fet: What

Florence be marry and I no know?

~o But by the time that this wine was drunk, Haunce was laid vp for walking any more that night. When Wick perceiued that, he stole suddenly out of the Tauern, and went to meet Florence at the appointed place: but John quickly missed him, knew straight whereabout he went, got him presently to the Constable of the Postern gate and told him, that Nick had laid a man for dead in Tower street, and that he was gone to saue himselfe vnder the priuiledge of the Abbey of Grace; but (quoth he) if you will go along, I shall bring him out with fair words vnto you, and then I desire you to clap him vp to answer this matter in the morning.

30 But where dwell you (said the Constable)?

Ido dwell with Master Alderman Eyer (quoth John) and there you shall haue me at all times.

The Constable did as John bade him, and commited Nicholas to prison. In the mean space, Florence and an old woman of Tower street said that they did go to a womans labour, and by that means they passed along by the watch, and to the Abbey of Grace they came. They had not long been there, but that John Frenchman meeting them, said, Florence, well met, here is a fit place to finish that I haue long looked for:

40 John (quoth she) thou art like an euill spirit that must be coniured out before a body shall get any quietnesse, vrge not me vpon any such matters, for you be not the man I looke for, and therefore, as taking little pleasure in your presence, as of your proffers, I would he very glad to see your back.

What (said John) haue you no compassion vpon a poore man? you be hard-hearted indeed.

But as he was vttering these speeches, it was his wiues chance to hear his tongue, being newly come from the Barge at Billinsgate,

and at that time going toward Saint Katherines to see if she could meet with some of her Countrey folks that could tell her any tydings of her husband; but as I said, hearing his tongue, and knowing him by his speech, she said: What, John Deneuale? My husband John Deneuak? What make you wed pretty wence hea?

At which words John was stricken into such a dump, that he wist not what to say: notwithstanding, hearing Florence to ask if she was his wife, he answered and said, Yea.

Othou dissembling fellow (quoth she) is it euen so? Didst

thou say thou wast a Batcheller, seeking to marry me, and hast a ía wife aliue? Now fie on thee: 0 good Lord, how was I blest to

escape him: nay, now I see that Haunce may haue a wife in Flaunders too, although he be here: and therefore, by the grace of God, I will not marry a stranger.

O(quoth John) I thought my wife had been dead, but seeing she is aliue, I will not lose her for twenty thousand crowns.

So Florence departed and left John with his wife.

Now, Haunce neuer waking vntill it was next day at noon; when he saw he had ouerslept himself, being very sorry, he went home, not knowing how to excuse his folly to Florence; 20 whom she vtterly forsook, as well in regard of his drunkennesse, as for that being a stranger, he might, like John Frenchman, haue another wife liuing. But Nicholas (that all this while lay in prison) being brought before Alderrnann Eyes rehearsed the truth, and, crauing pardon for his offence, was without more ado deliuered. And Florence being called before him, he made vp the match between her and his man Nicholas, marrying them out of his house with credit, giuing them a good stock to begin the world withall:

also for John Frenchman he did very much, and shewed himselfe a good Master to his man Haunce, and to all the rest of his 30 seruants.