When we had thus lost two of our companions, we liked not Thebes, but marched towards the next city called Platea, where we found a man of great fame called Demochares, that purposed to set forth a great game, where should be a triall of all kind of weapons: hee was come of a good house, marvellous rich, liberall, and wel deserved that which he had and had prepared many showes and pleasures for the Common people, insomuch that there is no man can either by wit or eloquence shew in words his worthy preparations: for first he had provided all sorts of armes, hee greatly delighted in hunting and chasing, he ordained great towers and Tables to move hither and thither: hee made many places to chase and encounter in: he had ready a great number of men and wilde beasts, and many condemned persons were brought from the Judgement place, to try and fight with those beasts. But amongst so great preparations of noble price, he bestowed the most part of his patrimony in buying of Beares, which he nourished to his great cost, and esteemed more than all the other beasts, which either by chasing hee caught himself, or which he dearely bought, or which were given him from divers of his friends.
Howbeit for all his sumptuous cost, hee could not be free from the malitious eyes of envy, for some of them were well nigh dead with too long tying up, some meagre with the broyling heat of the sunne, some languished with lying, but all having sundry diseases, were so afflicted that they died one after another, and there was well nigh none left, in such sort that you might see them lying in the streets pittiously dead. And the common people having no other meat to feed on, little regarding any curiosity, would come forth and fill their bellies with the flesh of the beares. Then by and by Babulus and I devised a pretty sport, wee drew one of the greatest of the Beares to our lodging, as though wee would prepare to eat thereof, where wee flayed of his skinne, and kept his ungles whole, but we medled not with the head, but cut it off by the necke, and so let it hang to the skinne. Then we rased off the flesh from the necke, and cast dust thereon, and set it in the sun to dry.
THE TWENTIETH CHAPTER
How Thrasileon was disguised in a Beares skin, and how he was handled.
When the skin was a drying we made merry with the flesh, and then we devised with our selves, that one of us being more valiant than the rest both in body and courage (so that he would consent thereto) should put on the skin, and feigning that he were a Beare, should be led to Demochares house in the night, by which means we thought to be received and let in. Many were desirous to play the Beare, but especially one Thrasileon of a couragious minde would take this enterprise in hand. Then wee put in into the Beares skin, which him finely in every point, wee buckled it fast under his belly, and covered the seam