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doubt not but you may chance to find my doubloons, where you shall light amongst them, upon ten doubloons of ten crowns a piece? At this, the merchant fell a foaming and a fretting, and stampt for very anger, refusing to open the cabinet, and as stiflly striving against it, as if they should have offered to rip up his belly and take out his heart, vowing and averring with sundry hideous oaths, and fearful obsecrations, that all was roguery and villainy, and that there was no such matter as I talked of ; and for those doubloons of ten, he did there confidently avouch before them all, that he had not one, or not above one, (if he had that) in all his house. Such ado there was to get him to open the cabinet, as was wonderful; he denied to do it; the Bargello was as instant as he was stubborn, and said, he should do it: the latter insisted to have the keys; the other resisted, and said, he should not have the keys. When the Bargello saw this, he began to grow now as hot as before he was jealous of his double-dealing; and swore a great oath, that if he would not fetch the keys, and open the cabinet by fair means, and that quickly too, he would take it out of his house and carry it away with him, and give particular notice of all the whole business to the Signor Capitan di Giustitia, (which is there with them of the same quality and authority as a Corregidor in Castile) and there deposit it, that the truth thereof might be known. At last (though sore against his will) he gave him the keys; and when he had opened the cabinet; Sir, (said I) there, in such a box, did he put them in a dapple-grey cat-skin. They opened that box, and pulled out the cat by the ears, and going to tell the money to see if it were right or no, a piece of the billet shewed itself. When I saw that, with somewhat a more cheerful countenance, I reared myself up and said: Let this paper, I pray, be read; for that scroll will declare how much there is in the bag, and whose it is. They read it, the contents expressing Don Juan Ossorio to be their true owner. Well, they fell afterwards to telling of them, and found them to be just three thousand crowns, with those ten of ten a piece, which I told you of.
“ Things being brought to this push, and falling out so pat as they did, my merchant was struck as dead as a herring; he was absolutely now gone, quite overthrown horse and foot, without hope of recovery; he had not a word to say for himself, nor knew not in the world what to allege in his own excuse: it seeming unto him to be Opus Demonii, that the Devil had a hand in it; for he thought it was impossible that any should be able to do it. Besides, he considered with himself, that if I could find hands to put these things there, I might easier have found hands to carry them away.
“ He was quite beside himself, and cried out, that all was lies and nothing but lies; that his goods were wrongfully taken from him; that this money was his, and nobody's else; that the Devil had put those doubloons there, and not he; that they should lay hold on me, for I had a familiar, and a great many the like broken speeches.”
The alleged knavery of the merchant is still further manifested by the discovery of the other billet relating to the two
thousand royals. Guzman triumphantly obtains the treasure, and, says he,
“I carried my monies home with me, as merrily as the heart of man can possibly imagine. I clapped it safe under lock and key; I looked charily unto it, and lapped it up very warm, that it might not catch cold. And albeit all things succeeded thus happily with me, yet Sayavedra, though he felt it, had it in bis hands, and touched it again and again, yet could he not believe it was there. It seemed unto him as a dream, and thought it an impossibility that this business should prove so lucky. He fell a blessing of himself with both his hands, as oft as he thought upon my craft and subtlety.”
Some of the excellent observations of this author, upon different subjects, we shall extract. Of honour, he says:
“ It is the son of nothing; the child that knows neither father nor mother; the earth's offspring, being raised out of the dust thereof; it is a frail vessel, full of cracks, of flaws, and of holes, incapable of containing any thing in it that is of any moment or worth. "Favour hath endeavoured to mend this broken bucket, and to stop the leaks thereof with clouts and with rags; and putting thereunto the rope of private interest, now they draw up water with it, and it seemeth to be very beneficial and profitable unto them. It is one of Peter the tailor's sons, whose father, howsoever he got it, were it well or were it ill, made a shift to leave him something to live upon. Or, like unto that other, who by stealing from others, got wherewithal to give and wherewith to bribe and suborn. These are the men that are honoured nowa-days; they speak high language, and utter arrogant words, and press into all your great assemblies and principal meetings, as if they were the only men, and none but they."
“ Tell me, I pray, who is that that gives honour unto some, and takes it from other some ? Marry, it is more or less wealth. O what a brave canon is this to qualify a man? What an excellent Rector, what a learned Schoolmaster?' How discreetly do they graduate a man, what a good examination do they take before they prefer any! Tell me once more, I pray, What difference is there in their obligation between him that cometh fairly (as thou saidst before) by an office, and him that buys an office, whose money only (without any other merit) bath enthroned him in the Sancta Sanctorum of the world? Whence comes it to pass, that the man that is discreet, noble, virtuous, well descended, of a sound and sober judgement, long practice, and more experience, a true master of his art, should (by being deprived of his due preferment,) remain poor and needy, shut up in a corner, excluded from business, afflicted, and peradventure enforced to derogate from his own worth, and to do that which is not agreeable to his disposition, that he may avoid the incurring of a worse inconvenience."
of truth and lying:
“ But it seemeth unto me (as I have painted it in mine imagination) that truth and lying are like the string, and the rest or peg in some instrument. The string hath a delicate sound, sweet and pleasing to the ear; but the peg doth skriek, squeak, and creak, like à cart wheel, and can hardly be turned and wrested. The string gently yields, willingly stretching and enlarging itself, till you have strained it to your liking; but the peg goes still twirling and turning, being wrung, wrenched, and pinched upon by the string. Just so stands the case,
for all the world, betwixt truth and lying. Truth is the peg, and lying the string. Well may a lie go working and winding itself upon truth, which is the peg, and leave some print or sign therein, making it to sound harsh and untuneable to the ear, but in the end it goes (although with some difficulty) turning and winding a lie so long, till truth remain whole and sound, like the peg; and lying cracked and broken, like the string.”
He thus describes the lot of the poor and of the rich :
The poor man is a kind of money that is not current; the subject of every idle housewife's chat; the off-scum of the people; the dust of the street, first trampled under foot, and then thrown on the dunghill: in conclusion, the poor man is the rich man's ass. He dineth with the last, fareth of the worst, and payeth dearest : his sixpence will not go so far as a rich man's threepence; his opinion is ignorance; his discretion, foolishness; his suffrage, scorn; his stock upon the
common, abused by many, and abhorred of all. If he come in company, he is not heard; if any chance to meet him, they seek to shun him; if he advise (though never so wisely) they grudge and murmur at him; if he work miracles, they say he is a witch; if virtuous, that he goeth about to deceive : his venial sin, is a blasphemy; his thought, is made treason; his cause, be it never so just, is not regarded; and to have his wrongs righted, he must appeal to that other life. All men crush him; no man favoureth him. There is no man that will relieve his wants; no man that will comfort him in his miseries ; nor no man that will bear him company, when he is alone, and oppressed with grief. None help him, all hinder him; none give him, all take from him ; he is debtor to none, and yet must make payment to all. 0, the unfortunate and poor condition of him that is poor, to whom even the very hours are sold which the clock striketh, and pays custom for the sunshine in August !
“ And as your rotten and refuse flesh comes to be meat for dogs, so, as an unprofitable piece of flesh, the discreet poor man comes to be eaten up and devoured by a company of ignorant chuffs. But it is quite otherwise with the rich : how smooth doth the wool go on their side ? what a fresh gale of wind is still in the poop of them? in how calm a sea do they sail ? what fair weather, free from the least cloud of care? and what carelesness in those storms which other men suffer? Their granaries are full of corn; their butts of wine; their jars of oil ; their chests of money. In the summer, he keeps himself from the heats; and in the winter, he clothes himself warm to defend him from
the cold. Of all men, he is well received. His fantastical tricks are gentlemanlike carriage; his foolish speeches are wise sentences; if he be malicious, and hath a pestilent pate to plot mischief, then is he said to be subtle, and to have a shrewd head of his own; if he be prodigal, they stile him liberal; if covetous, a wary fellow; if given to railing, he is a witty gentleman; if fool-hardy, of a brave daring spirit; if impudent and full of ribaldry, he is a merry man and fine companion; if bitter in his taunts, and given to detraction, an admirable courtier; if incorrigible, all metal; if scoffing, pleasant-witted; if babbling and full of prate, they term him sociable; if vicious, affable; if a tyrant, a powerful man; if obstinate, constant; if blasphemous and full of oaths, a very valiant fellow; if dull, grave and fit to make a counsellor. His errors the earth covereth ; all are afraid of him; none dare offend him; every man's ear is tied to his tongue, seeking by their attention to please his palate; and not a word that comes from him, but is entertained by them with as much solemnity, as if an oracle had spoken unto them. He will not be said nay, but will have what he list, making himself both party, judge, and witness. When he will countenance a lie, his power makes it to pass for a truth, and, as if it were so indeed, it is so received. How is he accompanied, how visited, how feasted, how magnified of all men?
“ In a word, poverty is the poor man's portion, and riches that of the rich. And, therefore, where good blood boileth, and the pulse of honour beats strongly, want is held a greater loss than life; death is not so hurtful, nor seemeth half so terrible unto him, as necessity. For money warmeth the blood, and makes it quick and active: whereas he that is without it, is but a dead body that walks up and down like a ghost amongst the living. A man cannot without it do any thing in its opportune and fit time; he cannot execute his desires, nor accomplish any thing whereunto he hath a liking."
And, again, he describes the power and influence of riches:
“ Apollonius Tianeus takes it upon himself, and says,—That he hath seen a stone, called Pantaura, which is the Queen of all other stones, whereon the sun doth work in that forcible manner, that it hath all the virtues in it that are to be found in all other stones whatsoever that are in the world, and that it worketh the same effects: and that as the loadstone draweth the iron unto it, so this Pantaura attracteth all other stones unto itself, preserving that party from all kind of poison that shall bear it about him.
“ To this stone, we may very well, and with a great deal of reason, compare riches. For see what virtue there is in all other things, the same shall we find in riches. It draws all unto itself, and preserveth the possessor thereof from all manner of poison. It doth all in all; it bringeth mighty things to pass; it is a most fierce and cruel beast; it overcomes all, treads down all that stands in its way, and commands all. It makes every thing stoop to its power; it subjecteth the earth, and all that therein is. By riches, the fiercest beasts are made tame; no fish, though never so great, can resist riches ; nor the
least of fishes, that hide themselves in the concaves and hollow holes of the rocks, though overwhelmed with water and drowned in the deep, can escape its force; nor can the fowls of the air, though of the swiftest and nimblest wing, fly from its empire; it exenterates, and pulls out the very bowels from the profoundest parts of the earth, upon which the highest mountains have their foundation, and it maketh dry the most hidden sands, which the sea doth cover in her bottomless abyss. What altitudes hath it not abased ? What difficulties hath it not overcome? What impossibilities hath not it facilitated ? In what dangers hath she wanted safety? In what adversity hath not she found friends ? What thing hath she desired, which she hath not obtained? Or what law hath she made, which hath not been obeyed ? And being, as it is, so venomous a poison, that not only like the basilisk, by being beheld by us, it killeth our bodies, but by a bare desire only (being coveted) destroyeth our souls, damning them for ever to the bottomless pit of Hell; yet she herself is a treacle to the harm we receive from her, and a counter-poison to that venom wherewith she infecteth our souls and consciences, if he that possesseth riches, can (as of an antidote, or some precious preservative) make good use thereof. Riches, in its own nature, and in itself, hath neither honour, nor knowledge, nor power, nor valour, nor any other good, nor any punishment, nor glory, more than that, whereunto, they that do possess it, do direct it. It is like unto the cameleon, which assumeth the colour of that thing on which it settles itself; or of the nature of that water of the lake Feneo, of which the Arcadians report, that he that drinketh thereof over-night grows sick, but he that takes it after the sun is once up, waxeth well. He that shall live in idleness, heaping up treasure by night, that is, secretly scraping a great deal of wealth together, overcharging his conscience therewith, he sure shall be sick; but he that shall use them in the day time, and show them to the light, that his works may shine before men, and that he come with a clear conscience, having the stomach of his soul empty of sin, and his conscience not over-clogged with worldly cares, this man shall be made whole.”
On the other hand, he gives a joyous account of the pleasures of the poor:
“ There is not that pot, which we do not skim; nor that meat, which we do not prove; nor that banquet, wherein we have not a share. Whither did that poor man ever come, that the house that denied him to-day, did not give him to-morrow? He runs through all men's houses, he begs of them all, and he tastes of all: and he is best able to say, which house hath the best meat, and the best dressed.
* For the hearing, -Who hears more than the poor man doth ? For being disinterested in all kind of things, none are jealous that he should hear them ; in the open streets, in private houses, in public churches, in the market-place, and in every place, every man treats freely of his business, without any suspicion of him, though the matter be never so important. Sleeping besides at nights, upon some bulk or stall in the streets, what music have they bestowed upon them,