The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book IV Chapter 10

One day in the month of August, a hot and heavy day, Lamme was plunged in melancholy. His jolly drum was dumb and sleeping, and he had thrust the drumsticks into the mouth of his satchel. Ulenspiegel and Nele, smiling with amorous delight, were warming themselves in the sun: the look-out men stationed in the tops were whistling or singing, searching over the wide ocean if they could not see some prey on the horizon. Très-Long kept questioning them; they still replied: “Niets,” nothing.
And Lamme, pale and broken down, sighed piteously. And Nele said to him:
“Whence cometh it, Lamme, that thou art so woebegone?”
And Ulenspiegel said to him:
“Thou art growing thin, my son.”
“Aye,” said Lamme, “I am woebegone and thin. My heart loses its gaiety and my jolly face its freshness. Aye, laugh at me, ye that have found one another again through a thousand perils. Mock you at poor Lamme, who lives a widower, being married, while she,” said he, pointing to Nele, “must needs tear her man away from the kisses of the rope, his last lover. She did well, God be praised; but let her not laugh at me. Aye, thou must not laugh at poor Lamme, Nele, my dear. My wife laughs enough for ten. Alas, ye females, ye are cruel towards others’ woes. Aye, I have a grieved heart, stricken with the sword of desertion, and nothing will ever comfort it, if not she.”
“Or some fricassee,” said Ulenspiegel.
“Aye,” said Lamme, “where is the meat in this miserable ship? On the king’s vessels, they have meat four times a week, if there be no fast, and fish three times. As for the fish, God destroy me if this tow – I mean their flesh – does anything but kindle my blood for nothing, my poor blood that will go to water before long. They have beer, cheese, soup, and good drink. Aye! they have everything for the comfort of their stomachs: biscuit, rye bread, beer, butter, smoked meat, yea, all, dried fish, cheese, mustard seed, salt, beans, peas, barley, vinegar, oil, tallow, wood, and coal. We, we have just been forbidden to take the cattle of any so-ever, be he citizen, abbot, or gentleman. We eat herrings and drink small beer. Alas! I have nothing left now: neither love of women, nor good wine, nor dobbele-bruinbier, nor good food. Where are our joys here?”
“I will tell thee, Lamme,” answered Ulenspiegel. “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth: at Paris, on Saint Bartholomew’s night, they killed ten thousand free hearts in Paris city alone; the king himself shot at his folk. Awake, Fleming; seize the axe without mercy: there are our joys; smite the Spaniard and Roman enemy wherever thou shalt find him. Let be thy eatables. They have taken the dead or living victims to their rivers, and by full cartloads, and have flung them in the water. Dead or alive, dost thou hear, Lamme? The Seine ran red for nine days, and the ravens settled down in clouds upon the town. At La Charité, at Rouen, Toulouse, Lyons, Bordeaux, Bourges, Meaux, terrible was the massacre. Seest thou the troops of dogs satiate with eating, lying beside the bodies? Their teeth are tired. The flight of the ravens is heavy, so laden are their stomachs with the flesh of the victims. Hearest thou, Lamme, the voice of their spirits crying vengeance and pity? Awake, Fleming! Thou dost speak of thy wife. I do not believe her unfaithful, but bereft of her wits, and she loveth thee still, poor friend of mine: she was not among those court ladies who on the very night of the massacre stripped the bodies with their fine hands to see how great or how small were their carnal members. And they laughed, these ladies great in lewdness. Rejoice, my son, notwithstanding thy fish and thy small beer. If the after taste of the herring is insipid, more insipid still is the smell of this foulness. Those that slew took their meals, and with ill-washen hands carved fat geese to offer the wings, legs, and rump to the charming Paris damozels. They had but lately felt other meat, cold meat.”
“I will complain no more, my son,” said Lamme, rising up: “the herring is ortolan; malvoisie is small beer to free hearts.”
And Ulenspiegel said:
“Long Live the Beggar! Let us not weep, brothers.
In ruins and blood
“Flowers the rose of liberty.
If God is with us, who shall be against?
“When the hyæna triumphs,
Comes the lion’s turn,
With one stroke of his paw he flings him, disbowelled, on the ground.
Eye for eye, tooth for tooth. Long live the Beggar!”
And the Beggars on the ship sang:
“The Duke keeps the same fate for us.
Eye for eye, tooth for tooth,
Wound for wound. Long live the Beggar!”