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him he lied. "Time would show,' said he: 'wait till they camp.' And rising after meat and meditation, and travelling forward, we found them camped between two great trees on a common by the wayside; and they had lighted a great fire, and on it was their caldron; and one of the trees slanting o'er the fire, a kid hung down by a chain from the tree-fork to the fire, and in the fork was wedged an urchin turning still the chain to keep the meat from burning, and a gay spark with a feather in his cap cut up a sheep; and another had spitted a leg of it on a wooden stake; and a woman ended chanticleer's pride with wringing of his neck.
“ And under the other tree four rufflers played at cards and quarreled, and no word sans oath; and of these lewd gamblers one had cockles in his hat and was my reverend pilgrim. And a female, young and comely and dressed like a butterfly, sat and mended a heap of dirty rags. And Cul de Jatte said, 'Yon is theropper;
and I looked incredulous, and looked again, and it was so: and at her feet sat he that had so late lashed her but I ween he had wist where to strike, or woe betide him; and she did now oppress him sore, and made him thread her very needle, the which he did with all humility: so was their comedy turned seamy side without; and Cul de Jatte told me 't was still so with 'voppers' and their men in camp: they would don their bravery though but for an hour, and with their tinsel, empire; and the man durst not the least gainsay the 'vopper,' or she would turn him off at these times, as I my master, and take another tyrant more submissive. And my master chuckled over
“Natheless we soon espied a wife set with her back against the tree, and her hair down, and her face white; and by her side a wench held up to her eye a new-born babe, with words of cheer; and the rough fellow, her husband, did bring her hot wine in a cup, and bade her take courage. And just o'er the place she sat, they had pinned from bough to bough of those neighboring trees two shawls, and blankets two, together, to keep the drizzle off her. And so had another poor little rogue come into the world : and by her own particular folk tended gypsywise ; but of the roasters and boilers, and voppers and gamblers, no more noticed - no, not for a single moment — than sheep which droppeth her lamb in a field, by travellers upon the way. Then said I,“What of thy foul suspicions, master? over-knavery blinds the eye as well as over-simplicity. And he laughed and said, • Triumph, Bon Bec, triumph. The chances were nine in ten against thee.' Then I did pity her, to be in a crowd at such a time; but he rebuked me:- I should pity rather your queens and royal duchesses, which by law are condemned to groan in a crowd of nobles and courtiers, and do writhe with shame as well as sorrow, being come of decent mothers; whereas these gypsy women have no more shame under their skins than a wolf ruth, or a hare valor. And, Bon Bec,' quoth he, 'I espy in thee a lamentable fault. Wastest thy bowels. Wilt have none left for thy poor good master which doeth thy will by night and day.'
6 Then we came forward; and he talked with the men in some strange Hebrew cant whereof no word knew I; and the poor knaves bade us welcome and denied us naught. With them, and all they had, 't was lightly come and lightly go; and when we left them my master said to me, 'This is thy first lesson, but to-night we shall lie at Hansburg. Come with me to the “rotboss" there, and I'll show thee all our folk and their lays; and especially the “ lossners,” the “dutzers,” the “schleppers,” the “gickisses,” the “schwanfelders” (whom in England we call “shivering Jemmies”), the “süntvegers,” the “schwiegers,” the “joners,” the “sessel-degers,” the “ gennscherers” (in France“ marcandiers'
“ rifodés”), the “ veranerins,” the “stabulers,” with a few foreigners like ourselves, such as “ pietres,” “francmitoux,” “polissons," “ malingreux," “ traters," “ rufilers," " whipjalks,” “dommerars,” “glymmerars,” “jarkmen,” “patricos,” “swadders,” “autem morts,” “ walking motts”? – Enow,' cried I, stopping bim: 'art as gleesome as the Evil One a-counting of his imps. I'll jot down in my tablet all these caitiffs and their accursed names; for knowledge is knowledge. But go among them, alive or dead, that will I not with my good will. Moreover,' said I, “what need, since I have a companion in thee who is all the knaves on earth in one ?' and thought to abash him; but his face shone with pride, and hand on breast he did bow low
• If thy wit be scant, good Bon Bec, thy manners are a charm. I have made a good bargain.'
“ So he to the ó rotboss :' and I to a decent ion, and sketched the landlord's daughter by candlelight, and started at morn batzen three the richer, but could not find my master; so loitered slowly on, and presently met him coming west for me, and cursing the quiens. Why so ? Because he could blind the culls but not the quiens. At last I prevailed on him to leave cursing and canting, and tell me his adventure.
“Said he, ' I sat outside the gate of yon monastery, full of sores, which I showed the passers-by. O Bon Bec, beautifuller sores you never saw; and it rained coppers in my hat. Presently the monks came home from some procession, and the convent dogs ran out to meet them, curse the quiens !'What, did they fall on thee and bite thee, poor soul ?' *Worse, worse, dear Bon Bec. Had they bitten me I had earned silver. But the great idiots — being, as I think, puppies, or little better fell on me where I sat, downed me, and fell a-licking my sores among them. As thou, false knave, didst swear the whelps in heaven licked the sores of Lazy bones, a beggar of old. Nay, nay,' said I, I said no such thing. But tell me, since they bit thee not, but sportfully licked thee, what harm ?'—What harm, noodle? why, the, sores came off.' -' How could that be ?'. · How could aught else be, and them just fresh put on? Did I think he was so weak as bite holes in his flesh with ratsbane? Nay, he was an artist, a painter like his servant; and had put on sores made of pig's blood, rye meal, and glue.' — "So when the folks saw my sores go on tongues of puppies, they laughed, and I saw cord or sack before me. So up I jumped, and shouted, “A miracle! a miracle! The very dogs of this holy convent be holy, and have cured me. Good fathers," cried I," whose day is this?” “St. Isidore's," said one. “ St. Isidore !” cried I, in a sort of rapture. “Why, St. Isidore is my patron saint; so that accounts.” And the simple folk swallowed my miracle as those accursed quiens my wounds. But the monks took me inside and shut the gate, and put their heads together : but I have a quick ear, and one did say “Caret miraculo monasterium;” which is Greek patter, I trow leastways it is no beggar's cant. Finally they bade the lay brethren give me a hiding, and take me out a back way and put me on the road; and threatened me did I come back to the town to hand me to the magistrate and have me drowned for a plain impostor. “ Profit now by the Church's grace," said they, “and mend thy ways." So forward, Bon Bec, for my life is not sure nigh hand this town.'
“ As we went he worked his shoulders. Wow, but the brethren laid on! And what means yon piece of monk's cant, I wonder?' So I told him the words meant. The monastery is in want of a miracle, but the application thereof was dark to me. "Dark!' cried he: dark as noon. Why, it means they are going to work the miracle, my miracle, and gather all the grain I sowed. Therefore these blows on their benefactor's shoulders;
therefore is he that wrought their scurvy miracle driven forth with stripes and threats. Oh, cozening knaves !' Said I, · Becomes you to complain of guile. “Alas, Bon Bec,' said he, “I but outwit the simple; but these monks would pluck Lucifer of his wing-feathers.' And went a league bemoaning himself that he was not convent-bred like his servant, - he would put it to more profit ;' and railing on quiens. “And as for those monks, there was one Above - Certes,' said I, there is one Above: what then?' who will call those shavelings to compt, one day,' quoth he. And all deceitful men,' said I.
“ At one that afternoon I got armories to paint; so my master took the yellow jaundice, and went begging through the town, and with his oily tongue and saffron-water face did fill his hat. Now in all the towns are certain licensed beygars, and one of these was an old favorite with the townsfolk; had his station at St. Martin's porch, the greatest church: a blind man; they called him Blind Hans. He saw my master drawing coppers on the other side the street, and knew him by his tricks for an impostor; so sent and warned the constables, and I met my master in the constable's hands, and going to his trial in the town-lall. I followed, and many more; and he was none abashed, neither by the pomp of justice nor memory of his misdeeds, but demanded his accuser like a trumpet. And blind Hans's boy came forward, but was sifted narrowly by my master, and stammered and faltered, and owned he had seen nothing, but only carried blind Hans's tale to the chief constable. This is but hearsay,' said my master.
• Lo ye, now, here standeth Misfortune backbit by Envy. But stand thou forth, blind Envy, and vent thine own lie.' And blind Hans behooved to stand forth, sore against his will. Him did my master so press with questions, and so pinch and torture, asking him again and again how, being blind, he could see all that befell, and some that befell not, across a way ; and why, an he could not see, he came there holding up his perjured hand, and maligning the misfortunate, that at last he groaned aloud and would utter no word more. And an alderman said, “In sooth, Hans, ye are to blame ; hast cast more dirt of suspicion on thyself than on him.' But the burgomaster, a wondrous fat man, and methinks of his fat some had gotten into his head, checked him and said: Nay, Hans we know this many years, and be he Wind or not, he hath passed for blind so long, 't is all one. Back to thy porch, good Hans, and let the strange varlet leave the town incontinent on pain of whipping.'
“ Then my master winked to me: but there rose a civic officer in his gown of state and golden chain, — a Dignity with us lightly prized, and even shunned of some, but in Germany and France much courted save by condemned malefactors, to wit, the hangman; and says he, ' An't please you, first let us see why he weareth his hair so thick and low.' And his man went and lifted Cul de Jatte's hair, and lo the upper gristle of both ears was gone.
"How is this, knave ?' quoth the burgomaster. My master said carelessly, he minded not precisely : his had been a life of misfortunes and losses. When a poor soul has lost the use of his legs, noble sirs, these more trivial woes rest lightly in his memory. When he found this would not serve his turn, he named two famous battles, in each of which he had lost half an ear, a-fighting like a true man against traitors and rebels. But the hangman showed them the two cuts were made at one time, and by measurement. " 'Tis no bungling soldier's-work, my masters,' said he ;ó't is ourn. Then the burgomaster gave judgment: The present charge is not proven against thee; but an thou beest not guilty now, thou hast been at other times, witness thine ears. Wherefore I send thee to prison for one month, and to give a florin towards the new hall of the guilds now a-building, and to be whipt out of the town and pay the hangman's fee for the same. And all the aldermen approved, and my master was haled to prison with one look of anguish. It did strike my bosom.
“ I tried to get speech of him, but the jailer denied me. But lingering near the jail I heard a whistle, and there was Cul de Jatte at a narrow window twenty feet from earth. I went under, and he asked me what made I there? I told him I was loath to go forward and not bid him farewell. He seemed quite amazed ; but soon his suspicious soul got the better. That was not all mine errand, I told him -- not all: the psaltery. “Well, what of that ?' "'T was not mine, but his: I would pay him the price of it. Then throw me a rix-dollar,' said he. I counted out my coins, and they came to a rix-dollar and two batzen. I threw him up his money in three throws, and when he had got it all he said, softly, · Bon Bec.' Master,' said I. Then the poor rogue was greatly moved. “I thought ye had been mocking me,' said he: “0 Bon Bec, Bon Bec, if I had found the world like thee at starting, I had put my wit to better use, and I had not lain here.' Then he whimpered out, ' I gave not quite a rixdollar for the jingler,' and threw me back that he had gone to cheat me of; honest for once, and over late: and so with many sighs bade me Godspeed.