Cony-Catching - A Merry Jest how Ned Browne's Wife Was Cross-Bitten in her Own Art.

A Merry Jest how Ned Browne's Wife Was Cross-Bitten in her Own Art.

            But here note (gentlemen) though I have done many sleights, and cross-bitten sundry persons: yet so long goes the pitcher to the water, that at length it comes broken home. Which proverb I have seen verified: for I remember once that I supposing to cross-bite a gentleman who had some ten pound in his sleeve, left my wife to perform the accident, who in the end was cross-bitten herself, and thus it fell out. She compacted with a hooker, whom some call a curber, & having before bargained with the gentleman to tell her tales in her ear all night, he came according to promise, who having supped and going to bed, was advised by my wife to lay his clothes in the window where the hooker's crome might cross-bite them from him: yet secretly intending before in the night time to steal his money forth of his sleeve. They being in bed together slept soundly: yet such was his chance that he suddenly wakened long before her, & being sore troubled with a lask, rose up and made a double use of his chamberpot: that done, he intended to throw it forth at the window, which the better to perform, he first removed his clothes from thence; at which instant the spring of the window rose up of the own accord. This suddenly amazed him so, that he leapt back, leaving the chamber pot still standing in the window, fearing that the devil had been at hand. By & by he espied a fair iron crome come marching in at the window, which instead of the doublet and hose he sought for, suddenly took hold of that homely service in the member vessel, and so plucked goodman jordan with all his contents down pat on the curber's pate. Never was gentle angler so dressed, for his face, his head, and his neck, were all besmeared with the soft sir-reverence, so as he stunk worse than a jakes farmer<38>. The gentleman hearing one cry out, and seeing his mess of altogether so strangely taken away, began to take heart to him, and looking out perceived the curber lie almost brained, almost drowned, & well near poisoned therewith: whereat laughing heartily to himself, he put on his own clothes, and got him secretly away, laying my wife's clothes in the same place, which the gentle angler soon after took; but never could she get them again till this day.

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