The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book IV Chapter 20

The Beggars were then at Flushing, where Nele caught fever. Forced to leave the ship, she was lodged at the house of one Peeters, of the Reformed faith, at Turven-Key.
Ulenspiegel, deeply grieving, was yet rejoiced, thinking that in this bed where she would doubtless be healed the Spanish bullets could not reach her.
And with Lamme he was always beside her, tending her well and loving her better. And there they used to talk together.
“Friend and true comrade,” said Ulenspiegel one day, “dost thou not know the news?”
“Nay, my son,” said Lamme.
“Seest thou the flyboat that but late came to join our fleet, and knowest thou who it is upon it that twangs the viol every day?”
“Through the late colds,” said Lamme, “I am as one deaf in both ears. Why dost thou laugh, my son?”
But Ulenspiegel, continuing:
“Once,” he said, “I heard her sing a Flemish lied and found her voice was sweet.”
“Alas,” said Lamme, “she, too, sang and played upon the viol.”
“Dost thou know the other news?” went on Ulenspiegel.
“I know naught of it, my son,” said Lamme.
Ulenspiegel made answer:
“We have our orders to drop down the Scheldt with our ships as far as Antwerp, to find there the enemy ships to take or burn. As for the men, no quarter. What thinkest thou of this, big paunch?”
“Alas!” said Lamme, “shall we never hear aught else in this distressful land save burnings, hangings, drownings, and other ways of exterminating poor men? When then will blessed peace come, that we can in quiet roast partridges, fricassee chickens, and make the puddings sing in the pan among the eggs? I like the black ones best; the white are too rich.”
“This sweet time will come,” replied Ulenspiegel, “when in the orchards of Flanders we see on apple, plum, pear trees and cherry trees, a Spaniard hanged on every bough.”
“Ah!” said Lamme, “if only I could find my wife again, my so dear, so sweet, beloved soft darling faithful wife! For know it well, my son, cuckold I was not nor shall ever be; she was too sober and calm in her ways for that; she eschewed the company of other men; if she loved fair and fine array, it was but for woman’s need. I was her cook, her kitchenman, her scullion, I am glad to say it, why am I it not once more? but I was her master as well and her husband.”
“Let us end this talk,” said Ulenspiegel. “Hearest thou the admiral calling: ‘Up anchors!’ and captains after him calling the same? We must needs weigh soon.”
“Why dost thou go so quickly?” said Nele to Ulenspiegel.
“We are going to the ships,” said he.
“Without me?” she said.
“Aye,” said Ulenspiegel.
“Dost thou not think,” said she, “how lying here I shall be distressed for thee?”
“Dearest,” said Ulenspiegel, “my skin is made of iron.”
“Thou art mocking,” said she. “I see nothing on thee but thy doublet, which is cloth, not iron; beneath it is thy body, made of bone and flesh, like my own. If they wound thee, who will heal thee? Art thou to die all alone in the midst of the fighters? I shall go with thee.”
“Alas!” said he, “if the lances, balls, swords, axes, maces, sparing me, fall on thy dear body, what shall I do – I, good for naught without thee in this vile world?”
But Nele said:
“I would fain follow thee; there will be no peril; I will hide in the wooden forts where the arquebusiers are.”
“If thou dost go, I stay, and they will hold thy friend Ulenspiegel traitor and coward; but listen to my lay:
“My hair is steel, as casque set there;An armour forged by Nature’s handMy skin the first is buff well tanned,And steel the second skin I wear.“In vain to catch me in his snareDeath, grinning monster, takes his stand;My skin the first is buff well tanned,And steel the second skin I wear.“My standards ‘Live’ as motto bear,Live ever in a sunshine land:My skin the first is buff well tanned,And steel the second skin I wear.”And he went off singing, not without having kissed the shaking mouth and the lovely eyes of Nele sunk in fever, smiling and weeping all together.
The Beggars are at Antwerp; they take the ships of Alba even in the very harbour. Entering the city, in broad day, they set free certain prisoners, and make others prisoner to bring ransom. By force they make the citizens rise, and some they constrain to follow them, on pain of death, without uttering a word.
Ulenspiegel said to Lamme:
“The admiral’s son is detained at the Écoutête’s: we must deliver him.”
Going into the house of the Écoutête, they see the son they sought in the company of a big monk with a noble belly, who was preaching wrathfully to him, fain to make him return to the bosom of our Mother Holy Church. But the lad would by no means consent thereto. He departed with Ulenspiegel. Meanwhile Lamme, seizing the monk by the cowl, made him walk before him in the streets of Antwerp, saying:
“Thou art worth a hundred florins ransom: pack up and march on. Why dost thou hang back? Hast thou lead in thy sandals? March, bag of lard, victual press, soup belly!”
“I march, Master Beggar, I march; but saving the respect due to your arquebuse, you are as big in the belly as myself, a paunchy, vasty fellow.”
Then Lamme, pushing him on:
“Dost thou dare indeed, foul monk,” said he, “to liken thy cloistral, useless, lazy grease to my Fleming fat honourably sustained and fed by toils, fatigues, and battles? Run, or I shall make thee go like a dog, and that with the spur at the end of my boot-sole.”
But the monk could not run, and he was all out of breath, and Lamme the same. And so they came to the ship.