The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book III Chapter 15

In November, the month of snow storms, the Silent sent for Ulenspiegel to come before him. The prince was biting at the cord of his mail shirt.

“Hearken and understand,” said he.

Ulenspiegel replied:

“My ears are prison doors; to enter is easy, but it is a hard business to get anything out.”

The Silent said:

“Go through Namur, Flanders, Hainaut, Sud-Brabant, Antwerp, Nord-Brabant, Guelder, Overyssel, Nord-Holland, announcing everywhere that if fortune betrays our holy and Christian cause by land, the struggle against every unjust violence will continue on the sea. May God direct this matter with all grace, whether in good or evil fortune. Once come to Amsterdam, you shall give account to Paul Buys, my trusty friend, of all you have done and performed. Here are three passes, signed by Alba himself, and found upon the bodies at Quesnoy-le-Comte. My secretary has filled them. Perchance you will find on the way some good comrade in whom you may be able to trust. Those are good folk who to the lark’s note answer with the warlike bugle of the cock. Here are fifty florins. You will be valiant and faithful.”

“The ashes beat upon my heart,” replied Ulenspiegel.

And he went away.