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Old Fortunatus


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Thomas Dekker (c. 1572—1632) playwright and pamphleteer

Hans Sachs (1494—1576) German poet and dramatist

 

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A comedy by Dekker, published 1600. The beggar Fortunatus, encountering Fortune, is offered the choice between wisdom, strength, health, beauty, long life, and riches, and chooses the last. He receives a purse from which he can at any time draw ten pieces of gold. He goes on his travels, in the course of which he secures the marvellous hat of the Soldan of Turkey, which transports the wearer wherever he wishes to go. But at the height of his success Fortune steps in and puts an end to his life. His son Andelocia, refusing to take warning by his father's fate and equipped with the purse and hat, goes through a series of adventures at the court of Athelstane, is finally deprived of his talismans, and meets a miserable death.

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