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The Court Jester

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Amelia Wofford tells of "The Court Jester.s of Englaud" in St. Nicholas. The following is related of King Henry VIII's jester: Somrners, like Scogan, liked a practical joke, and one that he played on Cardinal Wolsey is thus quaintly told by Annin : "Of a time appointed the king dined at Windsor, in the cbappel yard at Cardinall Wolsey 's at the same time when he was building that admirable work of his tombe, at whose gate stood a nurnber of poore people, to be served with alms when dinner was done within, and as Will passed by they salnted him, taking him for a worthy personage, wfaich pleased him. In he comes, and finding the king at dinner and the cardiuall by attendhig, to disgrace him that he never loved, Harry, sayes nee, lend me L10. What to doe? saies the king. To pay three or foure of the cardinall's creditors, quoth hee, to whom uiy word is past, and they are now come for the money. That thou shalt, Will, quoth hee. Creditors of mine? saies the cardinall. Ile give your grace my head if any man can justly aske me a penny. No, saies Will. Lend me L10. If I pay it notwhere thou owest it, Ile give thee L30 for it. Doe so, saies the king. That I will, my liege, saies thee cardinall, though I owe none. With that he lends Will L10. Will goes to the gate, diatributes it to the poore and brought the empty bag. There is thy bag againe, saies hee. Thy creditors are satisfled, and my word out of danger. Who received, saies the king, the brewer or the baker? Keyther, Harry, saies Will Sommers. But, cardinall, answer me in one thing, to whom dost thou owe thy soule? To God, quoth hee. To whom thy wealth? To the poore, saies hee. Take thy forfeit, Harry, saies the foole. Open confession, open pennance. His head is thine, for to the poore at the gate I paid his debt, which hee yields is due, or if thy stony heart will not yield it so, save thy head by denying thy word and lend it mee. Thou knowest I am poore and have neyther wealth nor wit, and what thoa lendest to the poore God will pay thee tenfold. The king laught at the jest, and so did the cardinall for a shew, but it grieved him to jest away L10 so. "


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