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FOOL

80This is a brave night to cool a courtesan.
I’ll speak a prophecy ere I go.
When priests are more in word than matter,
When brewers mar their malt with water,
When nobles are their tailors' tutors,
85No heretics burned but wenches' suitors,
When every case in law is right,
No squire in debt nor no poor knight,
When slanders do not live in tongues,
Nor cutpurses come not to throngs,
90When usurers tell their gold i' th' field,
And bawds and whores do churches build—
Then shall the realm of Albion
Come to great confusion.
Then comes the time, who lives to see ’t,
95That going shall be used with feet.
This prophecy Merlin shall make, for I live before his time.

FOOL

This would be a great night to satisfy a whore’s lust. I’ll recite a prophecy before I go.
One day, when priests don’t practice what they preach,
When brewers dilute their beer with water,
When noblemen teach their tailors how to sew,
When instead of heretics being burned at the stake, lovers are burned by syphilis,
When every law case is tried fairly,
When no gentleman is in debt,
When no one slanders anyone else,
And thieves don’t snatch wallets in crowds,
When moneylenders count their gold in the open air,
And pimps and whores build fine churches—
Then the kingdom of England
Will come to ruin.
And whoever lives to see that day
Will walk with his feet.
Exit
He exits.