The Friar was a
merry fellow, with a sweet tongue
Courteous he was and lowly of service.
There was a man nowhere so
Yet he was "the
best beggar in all his house,"
reasons why "Therefore, instead of weeping and much prayer, Men must
silver to the needy friar."
He went by the name of Hubert.
One day he
produced four money bags and spoke as follows: "If the needy friar doth
receive in alms five hundred silver pennies, prithee tell in how many
ways they may
placed in the four bags.
" The good man
explained that order made no difference (so that the distribution 50,
100, 150, 200 would be the same as 100, 50, 200, 150, or 200, 50, 100,
150), and one, two, or three bags may at any time be empty.