Imágenes de páginas

put off.

withal the armour wherein the bishop was taken and this only in writing ; Vide num baec sit vestis filii tui : Know now whether this be thy son's coat,

98. Sir Amyas Pawlet, when he saw too much haste made in any matter, was wont to say; stay a while, that we may make an end the sooner.

99. A master of the request to queen Elizabeth had divers times moved for an audience, and been

At last he came to the queen in a progress, and had on a new pair of boots. The queen, who loved not the smell of new leather, said to him; fye sloven, thy new boots stink. Madam, said he, it is not my new boots that stink; but it is the stale bills that I have kept so long.

100. Queen Isabella of Spain used to say, whosoever hath a good presence, and a good fashion, carries continual letters of recommendation.

101. Alonso of Arragon was wont to say in commendation of age, that age appeared to be best in four things; old wood best to burn; old wine to drink; old friends to trust; and old authors to read.

102. It was said of Augustus, and afterward the like was said of Septimius Severus: both which did infinite mischief in their beginnings, and infinite good towards their ends; that they should either have never been born or never died.


103. Constantine the Great, in a kind of envy, himself being a great builder, as Trajan likewise was, would call Trajan parietaria, wall-flower, because his name was upon so many walls.

104. Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, in a famine, sold all the rich vessels and ornaments of the church, to relieve the poor with bread; and said, there was no reason that the dead temples of God should be sumptuously furnished, and the live ing temples suffer penury.

105. Many men, especially such as affect gravity, have a manner after other mens speech to shake their heads. A great officer of this land would


it was as men shake a bottle, to see if there were any wit in their heads or no?

106. After a great fight, there came to the camp of Consalvo the great captain, a gentleman proudly horsed and armed: Diego de Mendoza, asked the great captain, who's this? Who answered; it is saint Ermin, who never appears but after a storm.

107. There was one that died greatly in debt; when it was reported in some company, where divers of his creditors casually were, that he was dead: one began to say; well, if he be gone, then he hath carried five hundred ducates of mine with him into the other world : and another said, and two hundred of mine : and a third spake of



great sums of his. Whereupon one that was amongst them said; I perceive now, that though a man cannot carry any of his own with him into the next world, yet he may carry away that which is another man's.

108. Francis Carvajal, that was the great captain of the rebels of Peru, had often given the chace to Diego Centeno, a principal commander of the emperor's party: he was afterwards taken by the emperor's lieutenant Gasca, and committed to the custody of Diego Centeno, who used him with all possible courtesy; insomuch as Carvajal asked him; I pray, sir, who are you that use me with this courtesy ; Centeno said ; do not 3

you know Diego Centeno? Carvajal answered ; truly, sir, I have been so used to see your back, as I knew

face. 109. Bresquet, jester to Francis the first of France, did keep a calendar of fools, wherewith he did use to make the king sport; telling him ever the reason, why he put any one into his calendar. When Charles the fifth emperor, upon confidence of the noble nature of Francis passed through France, for the appeasing of the rebellion of Gaunt, Bresquet put him into his calendar. The king asked him the cause. He answered; because

you having suffered at the hands of Charles the greatest bitterness that ever prince did from another, never

not your


the less he would trust his



hands. Why, Bresquet, said the king, what wilt thou say, if thou seest him pass back in as great safety, as if he marched through the midst of Spain? saith Bresquet ; why then I will put him out, and put

in you.

110. When my lord president of the council came first to be lord treasurer, he complained to my

lord chancellor of the troublesomness of the place, for that the exchequer was so empty. The lord chancellor answered ; my lord, be of good cheer, for now you shall see the bottom of your business at the first.

111. When his lordship was newly advanced to the great seal, Gondomar came to visit him. My lord said ; that he was to thank God and the king for that honour; but yet, so he might be rid of the burden, he could very willingly forbear the honour : and that he formerly had a desire, and the same continued with him still, to lead a private life. Gondomar answered, that he would tell him a tale, of an old rat that would needs leave the world : and acquainted the young rats, that he would retire into his hole, and spend his days solitarily; and would enjoy no more comfort; and commanded them upon his high displeasure, not to offer to come in unto him. They forbore two or three days; at last, one that was more hardy than the rest, incited some of his fellows to go in with him, and he would venture to see how his father did: for he might be dead. They went in, and found the old rat sitting in the midst of a rich Parmezan cheese. So he applied the fable after his witty manner,

112 Rabelais tells a tale of one that was very fortunate in compounding differences. His son undertook the said course, but could never compound any. Whereupon he came to his father, and asked him ; what art he had to reconcile differences ? He answered; he had no other but this ; to watch when the two parties were much wearied, and their hearts were too great to seek reconcilement at one another's hand; then to be a means betwixt them, and upon no other terms. After which the son went home, and prospered in the same undertakings.

113. Alonso Cartilio was informed by his steward of the greatness of his expence, being such as he could not hold out therewith. The bishop asked him, wherein it chiefly arose ? His steward told him, in the multitude of his servants. The bishop bad him to make him a note of those that were necessary, and those that might be spared. Which he did. And the bishop taking occasion to read it before most of his servants, said to his ste

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »