A Frater. Cap. 8.
SOme of these Fraters wil cary black bores at their girdel, wher∣in they haue a briefe of the Quenes maiesties letters patents gi∣uen to such poore spittle house for the relief of ye poore there, whiche brief is a coppie of the letters patents, & vtterly fained, if it be in pa∣per or in parchment without the great seal: also if ye same brief be in print, it is also of authoritie For ye printers wil sae & well vnderstād before it com in presse, that the same is lawful. Also I am credibly in¦formed that the chief Proctors of many of these houses, that seldome trauel abrod thēselues, but haue their factors to gather for thē, which looke very slenderly to the impotent & miserable creatures cōmitted to their charge• & die for wāt of cherishīg wheras they & their wiues are wel crāmed & cloted & wil haue of the best And the founders of euery such house, or the chief of the parish wher they be, would bet∣ter see vnto these proctors, that they might do their duty, thei should be wel spokē of here, and in the world to come aboūdantly therfore rewarded. I had of late an honest man and of good wealth, repayred to my house to common with me about certayne affaires. I inuited the same to dinner, and dinner being done, I demaunded of him some newes of these parties were hee dwelt. Thankes bee to God syr (saith he) all is well & good now. Now (quoth I) this same nowe Page [unnumbered] declareth y• some things of late hath not bene wel. Yes syr (q he) the matter is not great, I had thought I should haue bene well beaten within this seuenth night: how so (quoth I) mary syr sayd hee, I am Constable for fault of a better, and was commaunded by the Iusti∣cer to watch. The watch being set, I toke an honest man one of my neighbours with me and went vp to the end of the town as farre as the spittle house: at which house I heard a great noyse, and drawing neere stode close vnder the wall, and this was at one of the clocks after midnight• where he harde swearinge, pratinge, and wagers laying, and the pot apace walking, and xl. pence gaged vpon a mat∣che of wrastling, pitching of the barre, and casting of the sledge: and out they go in a fustian sume into the back syde, where was a great Axiltry, and there fell to pitching of the bar, being thrée to three: the Moone did shyne bright, the Constable with his neighboure might sée and beholde al that was done. And howe the wyfe of the house was rosting of a Pyg, whyle her gestes were in their match. At the last they could not agrée vpon a caste and fell at wordes, and from wordes to blowes. The Constable wyth his fellowe runnes vntoo them to parte them, and in the parting lyckes a drye blowe or two. Then the noyse increased, the Constable would haue had them too the stockes. The wyfe of the house runnes out with hir good man to intreat the Constable for her grstes, and leaues the Pyg at the fyre alone. In commeth two or thrée of the next neighboures being wa∣ked with this noyse, and into the house they come and fynde none therein but the Pygge well rosted, and carieth the same away with them, spit and all, with such breade and drinke also as stoode vppon the table. When the goodman and the good wyfe of the house had intreated and pacified the Constable, she winge vnto him that they were Proctors and Factors, all of Spyttle houses, and that they ta∣ryed there but to breake their faste, and woulde ryde away immedi∣ately after, for they had farre to goe, and therefore mente to ryde so earely. And comminge into their house agayn, fyndinge the Pygge with bread and drinke al gone, made a great exclamation, for they knew not who had the same.
The Constable returning and hearing the lamentable words of the good wyfe how she had lost both meate and drinke, and sawe it was so indeed, he laughed in his sleue, and commaunded her to dresse no more at vnlawfull houres for any gestes: for he thought if better bestowed vpon those smel feastes his pore neighbours, then vppon suche sturdye Lubbares. The next morninge betymes, the Page [unnumbered] the spitte and pottes were set at the Spittle house doore for the ow∣ner? Thus were these Factours begyled of their breakfast, and one of them had well beaten an other: and by my troth (quoth this Con∣stable) I was glad when I was well ryd of them. Why quoth I, could they cast the barre and sledge well? I will tell you syr (quoth hée) you know there hath bene many games this sommer, I thinck verely, that if some of these Lubbars had bene there, and practysed a∣mongest others. I beleue they would haue caryed aways the best games: for they were so stronge and sturdy that I was not able to stand in their handes. Well (quoth I) at these games you speak of, both legges and armes be tryed: yea (quoth this officer, they be wic∣ked men. I haue seene some of them sithens with cloutes bounde aboute their legges, and ha••••ng with their staffe in their handes. Wherefore some of them (by God) be all naught.