II because he was of much use as a guard, but so that he might graze his fill and get his mount into good shape again, and particularly because the nuns had asked for a fellow who was pious, conscientious, and quiet.
So he rode thither, and I walked along behind him, because unfortunately he had but one horse. “’ods bodikins, Simprick!” he said on the way (for he could not remember the name Simplicius). “When we get to Paradise, are we ever going to glut ourselves!” I answered: “The name is auspicious.
God grant that the place lives up to its name.” “You’re right,” he said (for he did not know what the word ‘auspicious’ meant), “you could call it ‘hospicious,’ because it is a fine hospice, and we’ll be drinking the best beer by the keg there, and wanting for nothing! Just behave yourself.
I am going to have a fine new coat made for myself pretty soon now; then you may have my old one.
It will make a good coat for you.” He was right to call it his old one, for I do believe that coat could remember the battle of Pavia,173 so shabby and weather-beaten did it look.
So his giving it to me gave me no great joy.
Paradise we found to be as we desired it to be, and, better still, we found in it not angels but beautiful maidens who plied us with food and drink, so that in a short while I was sleek and plump again, for there was the richest beer there, the best Westphalian ham and knackwurst, delicious and delicate beef which they boiled in brine and generally served cold.
There I learned to spread black bread with a layer of salted butter as 327 Book II thick as your finger, and put a slab of cheese on top so that it slid down the gullet all the better.
And when I came upon a leg of mutton spiked with garlic, and had a good tankard standing next to it, then I refreshed myself, body and soul, and forgot all the suffering which I had endured.
In summa, this Paradise agreed with me as well as if it had been the real one.
I had no cause for concern, except that I knew that this life would not last forever and that I was obliged to go about in rags.
And just as Misfortuna had not come to me singly when she had fallen to riding me before, so it now really seemed as if Fortuna desired to make amends for the past, for when my master sent me to Soest to fetch all the rest of his baggage, on the way I found a package and in it several bolts of scarlet for a coat, together with red satin for the lining.
This I took along and exchanged in Soest at a draper’s for ordinary green woolen cloth for a suit, together with all the trimmings, on the condition that he would have this garment made for me and that a new hat would be furnished me in the bargain.
And since I still lacked a pair of new shoes and a shirt, I also gave the merchant the silver buttons and galloons which belonged to the coat, in return for which he procured for me what I still required, and thus I dandied myself up in brand new clothes.
Thus attired I returned to Paradise to my master, who grumbled mightily because I had not brought the package which I had found to him.
Indeed, he spoke to me of beatings, and it would not have taken much (if he had not been 328 Book II ashamed and if my clothes had fit him) for him to strip me and wear the new clothes himself, even though I imagined to myself that I had acted quite properly.
Meanwhile the old skinflint could not but be ashamed that his page was better dressed than he himself was.
Therefore he rode to Soest, borrowed money from his captain, and with it outfitted himself in the best manner, promising to pay this back from his weekly pay for guard duty, which indeed he zealously did.
Of course, he himself still had twice as much as he had borrowed, but he was much too sly to touch it, for had he done that, he would have lost the soft bed in which he could lie that winter in Paradise, and some other naked fellow would have been sent thither in his stead.
In this way, however, the captain must needs leave him there if he desired to get back the money he had lent him.
From this time on, we led the most slothful life in the world, and playing at bowls was the most work we did.
When I had curried, fed, and watered my dragoon’s nay, I plied the squire’s trade and took walks.
The nunnery was also provided with a guard by the Hessians, our opponents—a musketeer detached from the garrison at Lippstadt.174 He was by trade a furrier and therefore not only a mastersinger175 but also an excellent swordsman, and so that he should not forget his skills, he practiced daily with me for a long while with all weapons, at which I became so adept that I would not have hesitated to give him satisfaction, had he desired it.
My dragoon, however, played with him at 329 Book II
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