The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book II Chapter 6

The fifth of April, before Easter Day, the lords Count Louis of Nassau, Culembourg, and Brederode, the Drinking Hercules, entered with three hundred other gentlemen of birth into the Court of Brussels, to the Duchess of Parma, the Lady Governor. Going in ordered ranks of four, they went in this way up the great stair of the palace.

Being in the chamber where Madame was they presented to her a request in which they asked her to seek to obtain from King Philip the rescinding of the proclamations touching upon religion and also of the Spanish Inquisition, declaring that within our roused and discontented country there could result from it only troubles, ruins, and universal distress.

And this request was termed The Compromise.

Berlaymont, who later was so treacherous and so cruel to the land of his fathers, was standing beside Her Highness, and said to her, mocking at the poverty of certain of the confederated nobles:

“Madame, fear nothing, they are nothing but beggars.”

Meaning thus that these nobles had ruined themselves in the king’s service or else in trying to match the Spanish lords by their sumptuous display.

To turn to scorn the speech of the Sieur de Berlaymont, the lords declared afterwards that they “held it an honour to be esteemed and called beggars for the king’s service and the good of these lands.”

They began to wear a gold medallion about their neck, having the king’s effigy on one side and on the other two hands locked and passing through a beggar’s wallet, with these words: “Faithful to the king even unto the beggar’s wallet.” They wore also in their hats and bonnets little gold jewels in the shape of beggars’ bowls and beggars’ hats.

Meanwhile, Lamme was taking his paunch throughout the whole town, looking for his wife and not finding her.