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begged all thy days. Mayhap he lied. Peradventure you will even make so bold
as to say he lied,’ scoffed Hugo.

‘Him you call my father? Yes, he lied.’ ‘Come, play not thy merry game of
madman so far, mate; use it for thy amusement, not thy hurt. An I tell him this,
he will scorch thee finely for it.’ ‘Save thyself the trouble. I will tell him.’ ‘I like
thy spirit, I do in truth; but I do not admire thy judgment. Bone-rackings and
bastings be plenty enow in this life, without going out of one’s way to invite
them. But a truce to these matters; I believe your father. I doubt not he can lie; I
doubt not he doth lie, upon occasion, for the best of us do that; but there is no
occasion here. A wise man does not waste so good a commodity as lying for
naught. But come; sith it is thy humor to give over begging, wherewithal shall
we busy ourselves? With robbing kitchens?’ The king said, impatiently: ‘Have
done with this folly-you weary me!’ Hugo replied, with temper: ‘Now harkee,
mate; you will not beg, you will not rob; so be it. But I will tell you what you
will do. You will play decoy whilst I beg. Refuse, an you think you may
venture!’ The king was about to reply contemptuously, when Hugo said,
interrupting: ‘Peace! Here comes one with a kindly face. Now will I fall down in
a fit.

When the stranger runs to me, set you up a wail, and fall upon your knees,
seeming to weep; then cry out as if all the devils of misery were in your belly,
and say, “Oh, sir, it is my poor afflicted brother, and we be friendless; o’ God’s
name cast through your merciful eyes one pitiful look upon a sick, forsaken, and
most miserable wretch; bestow one little penny out of thy riches upon one
smitten of God and ready to perish!”- and mind you, keep you on wailing, and
abate not till we bilk him of his penny, else shall you rue it.’ Then immediately
Hugo began to moan, and groan, and roll his eyes, and reel and totter about; and
when the stranger was close at hand, down he sprawled before him, with a
shriek, and began to writhe and wallow in the dirt, in seeming agony.

‘O dear, O dear!’ cried the benevolent stranger. ‘Oh, poor soul, poor soul, how
he doth suffer! There-let me help thee up.’ ‘O, noble sir, forbear, and God love
you for a princely gentleman-but it giveth me cruel pain to touch me when I am
taken so. My brother there will tell your worship how I am racked with anguish
when these fits be upon me. A penny, dear sir, a penny, to buy a little food; then
leave me to my sorrows.’ ‘A penny! thou shalt have three, thou hapless creature’-
and he fumbled in his pocket with nervous haste and got them out. ‘There, poor
lad, take them, and most welcome. Now come hither, my boy, and help me carry
thy stricken brother to yon house, where-’ ‘I am not his brother,’ said the king,

‘What! not his brother?’ ‘Oh, hear him!’ groaned Hugo, then privately ground
his teeth. ‘He denies his own brother-and he with one foot in the grave!’ ‘Boy,
thou art indeed hard of heart, if this is thy brother. For shame!- and he scarce
able to move hand or foot. If he is not thy brother, who is he, then?’ ‘A beggar
and a thief! He has got your money and has picked your pocket likewise. An
thou wouldst do a healing miracle, lay thy staff over his shoulders and trust
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