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So soone as day appeard to peoples vewing,
On their intended journey to proceede;
And over night, whatso theretoo did neede,
Each did prepare, in readines to bee.
The morrow next, so soone as one might see
Light out of heavens windowes forth to looke,
Both their habiliments unto them tooke,
And put themselves (a Gods name) on their way;
Whenas the Ape, beginning well to wey

This hard adventure, thus began t' advise;
"Now read Sir Reynold, as ye be right wise,
What course ye weene is best for us to take,
That for our selves we may a living make.
Whether shall we professe some trade or skill?
Or shall we varie our device at will,

Even as new occasion appeares ?

Or shall we tie our selves for certaine yeares
To anie service, or to anie place?
For it behoves, ere that into the race
We enter, to resolve first hereupon."
"Now surely brother (said the Foxe anon)
Ye have this matter motioned in season:
For everie thing that is begun with reason
Will come by readie meanes unto his end;
But things miscounselled must needs miswend.
Thus therefore I advize upon
the case,
That not to anie certaine trade or place,

Nor anie man, we should our selves applie;

For why should he that is at libertie

Make himselfe bond? sith then we are free borne,
Let us all servile base subjection scorne;

And, as we bee sonnes of the world so wide,
Let us our fathers heritage divide,

And chalenge to our selves our portions dew
Of all the patrimonie, which a few
Now hold in hugger mugger in their hand,
And all the rest doo rob of good and land.
For now a few have all, and all have nought,


Yet all be brethren ylike dearly bought:
There is no right in this partition,
Ne was it so by institution

Ordained first, ne by the law of Nature,
But that she gave like blessing to each creture
As well of worldly livelode as of life,

That there might be no difference nor strife,

Nor ought cald mine or thine: thrice happie then
Was the condition of mortall men.

That was the golden age of Saturne old,

But this might better be the world of gold :
For without golde now nothing wilbe got,
Therefore (if please you) this shalbe our plot;
We will not be of anie occupation,

Let such vile vassalls borne to base vocation
Drudge in the world, and for their living droyle,
Which have no wit to live withouten toyle.
But we will walke about the world at pleasure
Like two free men, and make our ease a treasure.
Free men some beggers call, but they be free;
And they which call them so more beggers bee:
For they doo swinke and sweate to feed the other,
Who live like Lords of that which they doo gather,
And yet doo never thanke them for the same,
But as their due by Nature doo it clame.
Such will we fashion both our selves to bee,
Lords of the world; and so will wander free,
Where so us listeth, uncontrol'd of anie:
Hard is our hap, if we (emongst so manie)
Light not on some that may our state amend;
Sildome but some good commeth ere the end."
Well seemd the Ape to like this ordinaunce:
Yet, well considering of the circumstaunce,
As pausing in great doubt awhile he staid,
And afterwards with grave advizement said;
"I cannot, my lief brother, like but well
The purpose of the complot which ye tell :
For well I wot (compar❜d to all the rest


Of each degree) that Beggers life is best:
And they, that thinke themselves the best of all,
Oft-times to begging are content to fall.
But this I wot withall, that we shall ronne
Into great daunger like to bee undonne.
Wildly to wander thus in the worlds eye,
Withouten Pasport or good warrantie,
For feare least we like rogues should be reputed,
And for eare-marked beasts abroad be bruted;
Therefore I read, that we our counsells call,
How to prevent this mischiefe ere it fall,
And how we may, with most securitie,
Beg amongst those that beggers doo defie."
"Right well, deere Gossip, ye advized have,
(Said then the Foxe,) but I this doubt will save:
For, ere we farther passe, I will devise

A Pasport for us both in fittest wize,

And by the names of Souldiers us protect;
That now is thought a civile begging sect.
Be you the Souldier, for you likest are

For manly semblance, and small skill in warre:
I will but wayte on you, and, as occasion
Falls out, my selfe fit for the same will fashion."
The Pasport ended, both they forward went;
The Ape clad Souldierlike, fit for th' intent,
In a blew jacket with a crosse of redd
And manie slits, as if that he had shedd
Much blood throgh many wounds therein receaved,
Which had the use of his right arme bereaved;
Upon his head an old Scotch cap he wore,
With a plume feather all to peeces tore:
His breeches were made after the new cut,
Al Portugese, loose like an emptie gut;
And his hose broken high above the heeling,
And his shooes beaten out with traveling.
But neither sword nor dagger he did beare;
Seemes that no foes revengement he did feare;
In stead of them a handsome bat he held,


On which he leaned, as one farre in elde.
Shame light on him, that through so false illusion
Doth turne the name of Souldiers to abusion,
And that, which is the noblest mysterie,
Brings to reproach and common infamie!
Long they thus travailed, yet never met
Adventure, which might them a working set:
Yet manie waies they sought, and manie tryed;
Yet for their purposes none fit espyed.

At last they chaunst to meet upon the way

A simple husbandman in garments gray;
Yet, though his vesture were but meane and bace,
A good yeoman he was of honest place,

And more for thrift did care than for gay clothing:
Gay without good, is good hearts greatest loathing.
The Foxe, him spying, bad the Ape him dight
To play his part, for loe! he was in sight,
That (if he er'd not) should them entertaine,
And yeeld them timely profite for their paine.
Eftsoones the Ape himselfe gan up to reare,
And on his shoulders high his bat to beare,
As if good service he were fit to do;
But little thrift for him he did it to:

And stoutly forward he his steps did straine,
That like a handsome swaine it him became :
When as they nigh approached, that good man,
Seeing them wander loosly, first began
T'enquire, of custome, what and whence they were?
To whom the Ape; "I am a Souldiere,

That late in warres have spent my deerest blood,
And in long service lost both limbs and good;
And now, constrain'd that trade to overgive,
I driven am to seeke some meanes to live:
Which might it you in pitie please t' afford,
I would be readie, both in deed and word,
To doo you faithfull service all my dayes.
This yron world (that same he weeping sayes)
Brings downe the stowtest hearts to lowest state:



For miserie doth bravest mindes abate,
And make them seeke for that they wont to scorne,
Of fortune and of hope at once forlorne."
The honest man, that heard him thus complaine,
Was griev'd, as he had felt part of his paine;
And, well dispos'd him some reliefe to showe,
Askt if in husbandrie he ought did knowe,
To plough, to plant, to reap, to rake, to sowe,
To hedge, to ditch, to thrash, to thetch, to mowe;
Or to what labour els he was prepar❜d?

For husbands life is labourous and hard.
Whenas the Ape him hard so much to talke
Of labour, that did from his liking balke,
He would have slipt the coller handsomly,
And to him said; Good Sir, full glad am I,
To take what paines may anie living wight :
But my late maymed limbs lack wonted might
To doo their kindly services, as needeth:
Scarce this right hand the mouth with diet feedeth,
So that it may no painfull worke endure,
Ne to strong labour can it selfe enure.
But if that anie other place you have,
Which askes small paines, but thriftines to save,
Or care to overlooke, or trust to gather,

Ye may me trust as your owne ghostly father."
With that the husbandman gan him avize,
That it for him were fittest exercise

Cattell to keep, or grounds to oversee;
And asked him, if he could willing bee
To keep his sheep, or to attend his swyne,
Or watch his mares, or take his charge of kyne?
"Gladly (said he) what ever such like paine
Ye put on me, I will the same sustaine:
But gladliest I of your fleecie sheepe
(Might it you please) would take on me the keep.
For, ere that unto armes I me betooke,
Unto my fathers sheepe I usde to looke,
That yet the skill thereof I have not loste:


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