Abstemius's Fables (Sir Roger L'Estrange)
296. (Abstemius 44) A Droll and a Bishop.
There was a Roguy Wag of a Droll that had a Mind once to put a Trick upon a Hard, Close-fisted Bishop: so he went to him upon the First of January to Wish him a Merry New Year on't, and begg'd a Five-Guinea Piece of him for a New-Years-Gift. Why, the Man's Mad (says the Prelate) and I believe he takes me to be so too. Dost think I have so little Wit, as to part with such a God of Money for a God-a-Mercy? Nay, my Lord (says the Fellow) if That be too much, let it be but a Single George, and I'll be Thankful for't; But That would not do Neither. He fell next Bout to a Copper Farthing, and was Deny'd That too. When the Fellow saw that there was no Money to be got, Pray (my Lord, says he) let me beg your Blessing then. With all my Heart (says the Bishop) Down on your Knees, and You shall have it: No, My Lord (says T'other) 'tis My Turn now to Deny; for if You Your self had thought that Blessing worth a Copper Farthing, you'd never have Parted with it.
No Penny, no Pater Noster, does not hold in All Cases, for the Penny and the Pater Noster do not go always together.
Fables of Aesop and Other Eminent Mythologists: Abstemius's Fables by Sir Roger L'Estrange. Available online at Google Books.