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two of his men to bind George, hand and foot in a chair. A folly it was for him to ask what they meant by it: the gentleman sent for a barber; and George had a beard of an indifferent size, and well grown; he made the barber shave him, beard and head, left him as bare of hair, as he was of money. The barber he was well contented for his pains, who left George like an old woman in man's apparel; and his voice became it well, for it was more woman than man. George, quoth the gentleman, I have always used you like a friend; my purse hath been open to you; that you have of mine to translate, you know it is a thing I highly esteem; therefore I have used you in this fashion, that I might have an end of my book, which shall be as much for your profit as my pleasure. So forthwith he commanded his men to unbind him; and putting his hand into his pocket, gave him two brace of angels. Quoth he, Master Peele, drink this, and by that time you have finished my book, your beard will be grown, until which time I know you will be ashamed to walk abroad. George patiently took the gold, said little, and when it was dark night, took his leave of the gentleman, and went directly home: who when his wife saw, I omit the wonder she made, but imagine those that shall behold their husbands in such a case. To bed went George; and ere morning he had plotted sufficiently how to cry quid pro quo with his politic gentleman.
THE JEST OF GEORGE PEELE AT BRISTOW.
GeoRGE was at Bristow, and there staying somewhat longer than his coin would last him, his palfrey that should be his carrier to London, his head was grown so big, that he could not get him out of the stable. It so fortuned at that instant, certain players came to the town, and lay at that inn where George Peele was: to whom George was well known, being in that time an excellent poet, and had acquaintance of most of the best players in England: from the trivial sort he was but so so; of which these were ; only knew George by name, no otherwise. There was not past three of the company come with the carriage, the rest were behind, by reason of a long journey they had, so that night they could not enact; which George hearing, had presently a stratagem in his head to get his horse free out of the stable, and money in his purse to bear his charges up to London. And thus it was. He goes directly to the mayor, tells him he was a scholar and a gentleman, and that he had a certain history of the Knight of the Rhodes; and withal, how Bristow was first founded and by whom, and a brief of all those that before him had succeeded in office in that worshipful city; desiring the mayor, that he with his presence, and the rest of his brethren, would grace his labours. The mayor agreed to it, gave him leave, and withal appointed him a place,
but for himself he could not be there, being in the evening; but bade him make the best benefit he could of the city, and very liberally gave him on *sel; which George thankfully receives, and about his business he goes, got his stage made, his History cried, and hired the players' apparel, to flouris
out his show, promising to pay them liberally; and withal desired them they would favour him so much,
as to gather him his money at the door; for he thought it his best course to employ them, lest they should spy out his knavery, for they have perilous heads. They willingly yield to do him any kindness that lies in them; in brief, carry, their apparel to the hall, place themselves at the door, where George in the mean time with the ten shillings he had of the mayor, delivered his horse, out of purgatory, and carries him to the town's end, and there placeth him to be ready at his coming. By
this time the audience were come, and some forty
shillings gathered, which money George put in his purse, and putting on one of the players' silk robes, after the trumpet had sounded" thrice, out he comes, makes low obeisance, goes forward with his prologue, which was thus: , , , , , , , , hun, , *A trifling toy, a jest of no account, pardy; you boot~ of o: * $, ** ...] it so o Mirror: " : " `o a doz wn". These soundings answered to the prompter's bell, in our days, before the commencement of the play. (, , ,int, bus on
"Which being said, after some fireworks that he had made of purpose, threw out among them, and down stairs goes he, gets to his horse, and so with forty shillings to London; leaves the players to answer it; who when the jest was known, their in. nocence excused them, being as well"gulled as the mayor and the audience. " " " " on 9 o' to . . . . . no is of Ledj or ad of : o or . . . . :1 sout * for 2 to 25 "How George gulled A PUNK, otherwise "'''' " CALLED A CROSHABELL." " " ' " wo on to Coming to London, he fell in company with a cockatrice; which pleased his eye so well, that George fell aboarding of her, and proffered her the wine, which my croshabell willingly accepted. To the tavern they go; where after a little idle talk George fell to the question about the thing you wot of. "My she-hobby was very dainty, which made George far more eager; and my lecherous animal proffered largely to obtain his purpose. To conclude, nothing she would grant unto except ready coin, which was forty shillings, not a farthing less; if so he would, next night she would appoint him where he should meet wher. George saw how the game went, that she was more for lucre than for love, thus cunningly"answered her: Gentlewoman, howsoever you speak, I do not think your heart agrees with your tongue: the money you demand is but to try me, and indeed but a trifle to me: but because it
shall not be said I bought that gem of you I prize so highly, I will give you a token to-morrow, that shall be more worth than your demand, if so you please to accept it. Sir, quoth she, it contenteth me well; and so, if please you, at this time we'll part, and to-morrow in the evening meet you where you shall appoint. The place was determined; and they kissed and parted, she home, George into Saint Thomas Apostle's, to a friend of his, of whom he knew he could take up a petticoat of trust; the first letter of his name begins with G. A petticoat he had of him, at the price of five shillings; which money is owing till this day. The next night being come, they met at the place appointed, which was a tavern: there they were to sup: that ended, George was to go home with her, to end his yeoman's plea in her common case. But Master Peele had another drift in his mazzard: for he did so ply her with wine, that in a small time she spun such a thread, that she reeled homewards, and George he was fain to be her supporter. When to her house she came, with nothing so much painting in the inside, as her face had on the outside, with much ado her maid had her to bed; who was no sooner laid, but she fell fast asleep; which when George perceived, he sent the maid for milk, and a quart of sack to make a posset; where before her return, George made so
bold as to take up his own new petticoat, a fair i gown of hers, two gold rings that lay in the window,
and away he went. The gown and the gold rings