Henry Peacham (1638) The Valley of Varietie, Chapter XXII, pp. 172-174.


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CHAP. XXII.

A wittie, but a ridiculous reply, and vindication of a disgrace.

Robert Duke of Normandie, a witty Prince, and of a pleasant disposition, cõming on a time to Constantinople, to visit Constantine: the Emperour to make tryall of his wit, upon set purpose, commanded Stooles to bee set about the Table, when dinner was readie for him and his Companie, not above one foote and an halfe high. It was done as the Emperour commanded. When the Norman Duke came to sit downe, and found all the stooles too low for him and his friends, suspecting that there was a trick put upon him; hee (as hee had a readie wit) purposed to bee even with him: for when they were to sit downe, hee tooke his Cloake, and wrapping it round, made it serve for a Cushion to make his seat higher, and the rest of his Normans imitated him: so then they sate all downe; and having din'd, and the Cloath being taken away, Duke Robert, leaving his cloke (whereon hee sate) behinde him, the other of his Nobility and followers did so likewise. Constantine wondred at it; and when he saw they would bee gone in good earnest, I pray you (quoth the Emperour) why doe you not take your Cloakes along with you? Duke Robert answered, It is not the fashion in our Countrey, when we are invited to a Feast, to carry away the Cushions wee sate on.


FINIS.


This page is by James Eason.