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Southern Branch 
of the 

University of California 

Los Angeles 

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1-DITKI) V.\ J. O. UALLIWEI.L, LSq. P. 3 A. 






A.D. 1594. 



UON. M.K.I. A., U0>. U.K. S.I.., t.S.A., KTC. 





Ci)e ^errp ^onetp. 


THOMAS AMYOT, Esq. F.R.S. Treas. S.A. 
0. PURTON COOPER, E.«q. Q.C, F.R.S., F S.A. 
T. J. PETTIGREW^ E.sq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 
THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. U.K. ,Y.^.\., Secretary 
and Treasurer. 


Two copies only of the poem by Burnfield here 
reprinted, are known to be preserved ; one in Sion 
College Library, and another, formerly in Heber's 
possession, mentioned in"Bibliotheca Heberiana," 
iv. 15. Its merits and great rarity have pointed 
it out as a work deserving to be more known and 
appreciated. Barnfield is, perhaps, chiefly re- 
membered by his elegant pieces printed in the 
"Passionate Pilgrim," attributed by some to Shake- 
speare ; but Mr. Collier has distinctly proved 
them to belong to the less eminent poet. The 
" Affectionate Shepherd" was his first production, 
as he himself confesses in the preface to his 
" Cynthia," 1595, and it has received the well- 
merited commendation of Warton. Besides these 
poems, he is the author of " The Complaint oi' 
Poetric for the death of Liberalitie," 4to. 1598, 
and others publlslicd at the same time, re[)rints of 
which arc in the British Museum ; also " The 


Encomium of Lady Pecunia, or the Praise of 
Money," a curious manuscript in the Ashmolean 
Museum, and likewise printed in the author's 
life-tiinc. It should be mentioned that in the 
original copies of the following tract are a few 
hexameter verses on the Rape of Helen, which 
have been omitted as of an inferior kind to the 
other part of the work, and for still more obvious 
reasons. The " Affectionate Shepherd" itself will 
be found remarkably free from the coarseness 
which disfigures so much of the Elizabethan lite- 
rature, — an additional inducement, if any were 
necessary, for rescuing it from the liability to 
destruction which is of course incident to any 
book of such excessive rarity. Our thanks are 
due to the Rev. H. Christmas, Librarian of Sion 
College, for the courtesy and liberality with which 
he permitted our transcript to be made from a 
volume of tracts possessing the greatest charm for 
the bibliographer ; for besides the present one, it 
contains the first edition of Shakespeare's Lucrece, 
and several other pieces of nearly equal value, in 
the finest possible condition. 



Amor plus meUis, quam fellis, est. 

London : 

Printed by Iohn Danter, for T. G. and E. N., and 

are to bee sold in Saint Dunstones 

Clmrch-yoard in Fleetstroet. 



Fatre lovely ladic, whose angelique eyes 

Are vestall candles of sweet beauties treasure, 

Whose speech is able to inchaunt the wise, 

Converting joy to paine, and paine to pleasure; 

Accept this simple toy of my soules dutie. 

Which I present unto thy matchles beautie. 

And albeit the gift be all too meane, 

Too meane an ofFring for thine ivoric shrine; 

Yet must thy beautie my just blame susteane. 
Since it is mortall, but thyselfe divine. 

Then, noble ladie, take in gentle worth 

This new-borne babe, which here my muse brings forth. 

Your Ilonoiu's most affectionate and 

perpetually devoted Shepheard : 







ScAKCE had the morning starre hid from the light 
Heavens crimson canopie with stars bespangled, 

But I began to rue th' unhappy sight 

Of that faire boy that had my hart intangled; 

Cursing the time, the place, the sense, the sin; 

I came, I saw, I viewd, I slipped in. 

If it be sinne to love a sweet-foc'd boy, 

Whose amber locks trust up in golden tramels 

Dangle adowne his lovely cheekes with joy. 

When pearle and flowers his faire haire enamels; 

If it be sinne to love a lovely lad, 

Oh then sinne I, for whom my soule is sad. 

His ivory-white and alablaster skin 

Is staind throughout with rare vcrmillion red. 


Whose twinckling starrie lights doc never blin 

To shine on kively Venus, Beauties bed; 
But as the HUie and the blushing rose, 
So white and red on him in order growes. 

Upon a time the nymphs bestird them-selves 
To trie who could his beautie soonest win; 

But he accounted them but all as elves. 

Except it Avere the faii'e Queene Guendolen: 

Her he embrac'd, of her was beloved, 

With plaints he proved, and with teares he moved. 

]iut her an old man had beene sutor too. 
That in his age began to doate againe; 

Her would he often pray, and often woo, 

When through old age enfeebled was his braine: 

But she before had lov'd a lustie youth. 

That now was dead, the cause of all her ruth. 

And thus it hapned. Death and Cupid met 
Upon a time at swilling Bacchus house, 

Where daintie cates npon the boord were set, 
And goblets full of wine to drinke carouse: 

Where I/Ove and Death did love the licor so, 

That out they full and to the fray they goe. 

And liaving both their quivers at their backe 
Fild full of arrows; th' one of fatall Steele, 

The other aU of gold; Deaths shaft was black, 

But Loves was yellow: Fortune turnd her wheele, 


And from Deaths quiver fell a fatall shaft, 
That under Cupid by the winde was waft. 

And at the same time by ill hap there fell 

Another arrow out of Cupids quiver, 
The which was carried by the winde at will, 

And under Death the amorous shaft did shiver: 
They being parted, Love tooke up Deaths dart. 
And Death tooke up Loves arrow for his part. 

Thus as they wandred both about the world. 
At last Death met with one of feeble age: 

Wherewith he drew a shaft and at him liurld 
The unknowne arrow with a furious rage, 

Thinking to strike him dead with Deaths blacke durtj 

But he, alas, with Love did wound his hart ! 

This was the doting foole, this was the man 

That lov'd faire Guendolena, Queene of Beautie; 

Shee cannot shake him off, doo what she can, 
For he hath vowd to her his soules last duety: 

Making him trim upon the holydaies, 

And crownes his love with garlands made of bales. 

Now doth he stroke his beard, and now againe 
He wipes the drivel from his filthy chin; 

Now offers he a kisse, but high Disdaine 
Will not permit her hart to pity him: 

Her hart more hard than adamant or Steele, 

Her hart more changeable than Fortunes wheele. 


But leave we him in love up to the eares, 
And tell how Love behav'd himselfe abroad; 

Who seeing one that mourned still in teares, 
A young man groaning under Loves great load, 

Thinking to ease his burden, rid his paines. 

For men have griefe as long as life remaines. 

Alas, the while that unawares he drue 

The fatall sliaft that Death had dropt before, 

By which deceit great harme did then insue, 
Stayning his face with blood and filthy goare : 

His face, that was to Guendolen more deere 

Than love of lords, or any lordly peere. 

This was that faire and beautifull young man, 
Whom Guendolena so lamented for; 

This is that Love whom she doth curse and ban. 
Because she doth that dismall chaunce ablior: 

And if it were not for his mothers sake. 

Even Ganimede liimselfe she would forsake. 

Oh would shee would forsake my Ganimede, 
Whose sugred love is full of sweete delight, 

Upon whose forehead you may plainely reade 
Loves pleasure grav'd in yvorie tables bright: 

In whose faire eye-balls you may clearely see 

Base Love still staiud with foule indiguitie. 

Oh would to God he would but pitty mee. 
That love him more than any mortall wight! 


Then he and I with love woukl soone agree, 
That now cannot abide his sutors sight. 

woukl to God, so I might have my fee. 
My lips were honey, and thy mouth a bee ! 

Then shouldst thou sucke my sweete and my faire 

That now is ripe and full of honey-berries; 
Then would I leade thee to my pleasant bower, 

Fild full of grapes, of mulberries, and cherries: 
Then shouldst thou be my waspe or else my bee, 

1 would thy hive, and thou my honey, bee. 

I would put amber bracelets on thy wrests, 
Crownets of pearle about thy naked armes: 

And when thou sitst at swilling Bacchus feasts 

My lips with charmes should save thee from all 
harmes : 

And when in sleeps thou tookst thy chiefest pleasure, 

Mine eyes should gaze upon thine eyelids treasure. 

And every morne by dawning of the day. 
When Phoebus riseth with a blushing face, 

Silvanus chappel-clarkes shall chaunt a lay, 
And play thee hunts-up in thy resting place; 

My coote thy chamber, my bosome thy bed 

Shall be a2)pointed for thy sleepy head. 

And when it pleaseth thee to walke abroad. 
Abroad into the fields to take fresh ay re, 


The meades with Floras treasure should be strowde, 

The mantled meaddowes, and the fields so fayre. 
And by a silver well with golden sands 
He sit me downe, and wash thine yvory hands. 

And in the sweltring heate of summer time, 
I would make cabinets for thee, my love; 

Sweet-smelling arbours made of eglantine 

Should be thy shrine, and I would be thy dove. 

Cool cabinets of fresh greene laurell boughs 

Should shadow us, oi"e-set with thicke-set eughes. 

Or if thou list to bathe thy naked limbs 

Within the cristall of a pearle-bright brooke. 

Paved with dainty pibbles to the brims. 

Or cleare, wherein thyselfe thyselfe mayst looke; 

Weele goe to Ladon, whose still trickling noyse 

Will lull thee fast asleepe amids thy joy es. 

Or if thoult goe unto the river side, 
To angle for the sweet freshwater fish, 

Ai'm'd with thy implements that will abide, 
Thy rod, hooke, line, to take a dainty dish; 

Thy rods shall be of cane, thy lines of silke, 

Thy hooks of silver, and thy bayts of milke. 

Or if thou lov'st to hear sweet melodie. 

Or pipe a round upon an oaten reede. 
Or make thyselfe glad with some myrthfull glee, 

Or play them musicke whilst thy fiocke doth feede. 


To Pans owne pype lie hclpe my lovely lad, 
Pans golden pype, which he of Syrinx had. 

Or if thou darst to climbe the highest trees 

For apples, cherries, medlars, peares, or plumbs, 

Nuts, walnuts, filbeards, chestnuts, cervices. 
The hoary peach, when snowy winter comes ; 

I have fine orchards full of mellowed frute. 

Which I will give thee to obtaine my sute. 

Not proud Alcynous himselfe can vaunt 
Of goodlier orchards or of braver trees 

Than I have planted; yet thou wilt not graunt 
My simple sute, but like the honey bees 

Thou suckst the flowre till all the sweet be gone. 

And loost mee for my coyne till I have none. 

Leave Guendolen, sweet hart ; though she be faire. 
Yet is she light ; not light in vertue shining. 

But light in her behaviour, to impaire 
Her honour in her chastities declining; 

Trust not her teares, for they can wantonnize, 

When teares in pearle are trickling from her eyes. 

I£ thou wilt come and dwell with me at home, [rushes: 
My sheepcote shall be strowed with new greene 

Weele haunt the trembling prickets as they rome 
About tlie fields, along the hauthorne bushes; 

I have a pie-bald curre to hunt the hare. 

So we will live with daintie forrest fare. 


Nay, more than this, I have a garden plot, 

Wherein tliere wants nor hearbs, nor roots, nor 

Flowers to smell, roots to eate, hearbs for the pot. 
And dainty shelters when the welkin lowers: 

Sweet-smelling beds of lillies, and of roses, 

Which rosemary banks and lavender incloses. 

There growes the gilliflowre, the mynt, the dayzie 
Both red and white, the blue-veynd violet; 

The purple hyacinth, the spyke to please thee. 
The scarlet dyde carnation bleeding yet: 

The sage, the savery, and sweet margerum, 

Tsop, tyme, and eye-bright, good for the blinde and 

The pinke, the primrose, cowslip and daffadilly, 
The hare-bell blue, the crimson cuUumbine, 

Sage, lettis, parsley, and the milke-white lilly. 
The rose and speckled flowre cald sops-in-wine. 

Fine pretie king-cups, and the yellow bootes. 

That growes by rivers and by shallow brookes. 

And manie thousand moe I cannot name 

Of hearbs and flowers that in gardens grow, 

I have for thee, and coneyes that be tame, 

Young rabbets, white as swan, and blacke as crow; 

Some speckled here and there with daintie spots: 

And more I have two mylch and milke-white goates. 


All these and more He give thee for thy love, 
If these and more may tyce thy love away: 

I have a pidgeon-house, in it a dove, 

Which I love more than mortall tongue can say. 

And last of all He give thee a little lambe 

To play withall, new weaned from her dam. 

But if thou wilt not pittie my complaint. 

My teares. nor vowes, nor oathes, made to thy 
What shall I doo but languish, die, or faint, 

Since thou dost scorne ray teares, and my soules 
And teares contemned, vowes and oaths must faile, 
And where teares cannot, nothing can prevaile. 

Compare the love of faire Queene Gueudolin 

With mine, and thou shalt [s]ee how she doth love 

I love thee for thy qualities divine, 

But shee doth love another swaine above thee: 

I love thee for thy gifts, she for hir pleasure; 

I for thy vertue, she for beauties treasure. 

And alwaies, I am sure, it cannot last. 

But sometime Nature will denie those dimples: 
Insteed of beautie, when thy blossom's past. 

Thy face will be deformed full of wrincklesj 
Then she that lov'd thee for thy beauties sake, 
When age drawes on, thy love will soone forsake. 


But that I lov'd tlice for thy gifts divine, 
In the December of tliy beauties waning, 

Will still admire with joy those lovely eine, 

That now behold me with their beauties baning. 

Though Januarie will never come againe, 

Yet Aprill yeres will come in showers of raine. 

When will my May come, that I may embrace thee? 

When will the hower be of my soules joying? 
Why dost thou seeke in mirth still to disgrace mee? 

Whose mirth 's my health, whose griefe's my harts 
Thy bane rny bale, thy blisse my blessednes, 
Thy ill my hell, thy weale my welfare is. 

Thus doo I honour thee that love thee so, 
And love thee so, that so doo honour thee 

Much more than anie mortall man doth know, 
Or can discerne by love or jealozie: 

But if tliat thou disdainst my loving ever, 

Oh happie I, if I had loved never! 

Plus fellis quam mollis amor. 


Next morning, when the golden sunne was risen, 
And new had bid good morrow to the mountaines; 

When night her silver light had lockt in prison. 
Which gave a glimmering on the chri stall fountaines: 

Then ended sleepe, and then my cares began, 

Ev'n with the uprising of the silver swan. 

Oh, glorious sunne! quoth I, viewing the sunne, 
That lightenst everie thing but me alone: 

Why is my summer season almost done, 

My spring-time past, and ages autumne gone? 

My harvest's come, and yet I reapt no corne: 

My love is great, and yet I am forlorne. 

Witnes these watrie eyes my sad lament, 
Receaving cisternes of my ceaseles teares; 

Witnes my bleeding hart my soules intent, 
Witnes the weight distressed Daphnis beares: 

Sweet love, come ease me of thy burthens painc. 

Or els I die, or else my hart is slaine. 

And thou, love-scorning boy, crucll, unkinde. 
Oh, let me once againc intreat some pittie: 


May be thou wilt relent thy marble minde, 

And lend thine eares unto my dolcfull dittie: 
Oh, pittie him, that pittie craves so sweetly. 
Or else thou shalt be never named meekly. 

If thou wilt love me, thou shalt be my boy, 
My sweet delight, the comfort of my minde, 

My love, my dove, my sollace, and my joy; 
But if I can no grace nor mercie finde, 

He goe to Caucasus to ease my smart, 

And let a vulture gnaw upon my hart. 

Yet if thou wilt but show me one kinde looke, 
A small reward for my so great affection, 

He grave thy name in Beauties golden booke, 
And shrowd thee under Hellicon's protection: 

Making the muses chaunt thy lovely prayse. 

For they delight in shepheard's lowly layes. 

And when th'art wearie of thy keeping sheepe 
Upon a lovely dowue, to please thy minde, 

He give thee fine ruffe-footed doves to keepe. 
And pretie pidgeons of another kinde: 

A robbin-redbrest shall thy minstrell bee, 

Chirping thee sweet and pleasant melodie. 

Or if thou wilt goe shoote at little birds, 

With bow and boult, the thrustle-cocke and sparrow, 

Such as our countrey hedges can afford, 
I have a fine bowe, and an yvorie arrow; 


And if thou misse, yet raeate thou shalt [not] lacke, 
He hang a bag and bottle at thy backe. 

Wilt thou set springes in a frostie night 

To catch the long-bill'd woodcocke and the snype, 

By the bright glimmei'ing of the starrie light, 
The partridge, phcesant, or the greedie grype; 

He lend thee lyme-twigs, and fine sparrow calls, 

Wherewith the fowler silly birds inthralls. 

Or in a mystie morning if thou wilt 

Make pitfalls for the larke and pheldifare, 

Thy prop and sweake shall be both overguilt. 
With Cyparissus selfe thou shalt compare 

For gins and wyles, the oozels to beguile, 

Whilst thou under a bush shalt sit and smile. 

Or with hare-pypes set in a niuset hole, 

Wilt thou deceave the deep-earth-delving coney; 

Or wilt thou in a yellow boxen bole. 

Taste with a wooden splent the sweet lytlie honey; 

Clusters of crimson grapes He pull thee dovvne. 

And with vine-leaves make thee a lovely crowne. 

Or wilt thou drinke a cup of new-made wine, 
Froatliing at top, mixt with a dish of crcame 

And strawberries, or bilberries, in their prime, 
Bath'd in a melting sugar-candie streame: 

Bunnell and perry I have for thee alone. 

When vynes are dead, and all tJie gi-ape? are gone. 



r have a pleasant noted nightingale. 

That sings as sweetly as the silver swan, 

Kept in a cage of bone as white as whale, 
Which I with singing of Philemon wan: 

Her shalt thou have, and all I have beside, 

If thou wilt be my boy, or els my bride. 

Then will I lay out all my lardarie 

Of cheese, of cracknells, curds and clowted-creame, 
Before thy malecontent ill-pleasing eye; 

But why doo I of such great follies dreame? 
Alas, he will not see my simple coate. 
For all my speckled lambe, nor milk-white goate ! 

Against my birth-day thou shalt be my guest, 
AVeele have greene-cheeses and fine silly-bubs, 

And thou shalt be the chiefe of all my feast, 
And I will give thee two fine pretie cubs. 

With two yong whelps, to make thee sport withall, 

A golden racket, and a tennis-ball. 

A guilded nutmeg, and a race of ginger, 
A silken girdle, and a drawn-worke band. 

Cuffs for thy wrists, a gold ring for thy finger, 
And sweet rose-water for thy lilly-white hand; 

A purse of silke, bespangd with spots of gold. 

As brave a one as ere thou didst behold. 

A paire of knives, a greene hat and a feather, 
New gloves to put upon thy milk-white hand, 


He give thee, for to keej) thee from the weather, 
With phoenix feathers shall thy face be fand, 
Cooling those cheekes, that being cool'd wexe red, 
Like lillyes in a bed of roses shed. 

Why doo thy corall lips disdaine to kisse, 

And sucke that sweete which manie have desired? 

That baulme my bane, that meanes would mend my 
Oh, let me then with thy sweete lips b'inspired! 

When thy lips touch my lips, my lips will turne 

To corall too, and, being cold yce, will burne. 

Why should thy sweete love-locke hang dangling downe. 
Kissing thy girdle-stud with falling pride? 

Although thy skin be white, thy haire is browne: 
Oh, let not then thy haire thy beautie hide! 

Cut off thy locke, and sell it for gold wier: 

The purest gold is tiyde in hottest tier. 

Faire long-haire-wearing Absolon was kiid. 

Because he wore it in a braverie: 
So that which gracde his beautie, Beautie spild, 

Making him subject to vile slaverie, 
In being hangd: a death for liim too good, 
That sought his owne shame and his father's blood. 

Againe we read of old king Priamus, 

Tlie haplesse syre of valiant Hector slaine, 

That his haire was so long and odious 

In youth, that in liis age it bred his paine: 

c 2 


For if his haire had not been halfe so long, 
His life had been, and he had had no wrong. 

For when his stately citie was destroyd, 

That monument of great antiquitie. 
When his poore hart, with griefe and sorrow cloyd, 

Fled to his wife, last hope in miserie; 
Pyrrhus, more hard than adamantine rockes, 
Held him and halde him by his aged lockes. 

These two examples by the way I show, 

To prove th' indecencie of men's long haire: 

Though I could tell thee of a thousand moe. 
Let these suffice for thee, my lovely faire, 

"Whose eye's my starre, whose smiling is my sunne, 

Whose love did ende before my joyes begunne. 

Fond love is blinde, and so art thou, my deare, 
For thou seest not my love and great desart; 

Blinde love is fond, and so thou dost appeare, 

For fond and blinde, thou greevst my greeving hart: 

Be thou fond-blinde, blinde-fond, or one, or all, 

Thou art my love, and I must be thy thrall ! 

Oh lend thine yvorie forehead for loves booke, 
Thine eyes for candles to behold the same; 

That when dim-sighted ones therein shall looke, 
They may discerne that proud disdainefull dame; 

Yet claspe that booke, and shut that cazement light, 

Lest, th'one obseurde, the other shine too bright. 


Sell thy sweet breath to th' daintie musk-ball makers, 
Yet sell it so as thou mayst soone redeeme it: 

Let others of thy beauty be pertakers, 

Else none but Daphuis will so well esteeme it. 

For what is beauty, except it be well knowne? 

And how can it be knowne, except first showne? 

Learne of the gentlewomen of this age. 
That set their beauties to the ox^en view, 

Making disdaine their lord, true love their page, 
A custome zeale doth hate, desert doth rue: 

Learne to looke red, anon waxe pale and wan, 

Making a mocke of love, a scorne of man. 

A candle light, and cover'd with a vaile, 

Doth no man good, because it gives no light; 

So Beauty of her beauty seemes to faile. 

When being not scene it cannot shine so bright: 

Then show thysclfe and know thyselfe withall. 

Lest climing high thou catch too great a fall. 

Oh foule eclipser of that fayre sun-shine, 

Which is intitled Beauty in the best, 
Making that mortall, which is els divine, [least: 

That Staines the fayre which women steeme not 
Get thee to Hell againe, from whence thou art, 
And leave the center of a woman's hart. 

Ah be not staind, sweet boy, with this vilde spot, 
Lidulgence daughter, mother of Mischauuce; 


A blemisli that doth every beauty blot, 

That makes them loath'd, but never doth advaunce 
Her clyents, fautors, friends, or them that love her, 
And hates them most of all, that most reprove her. 

Remember age, and thou canst not be prowd, 
For age puis downe the pride of every man; 

In youthfull yeares by Nature tis allowde 

To have selfe-will, doo Nurture wliat she can; 

Nature and Nurture once together met. 

The soule and shape in decent order set. 

Pride looks aloft, still staring on the starres, 

Humility looks lowly on the ground; 
Th' one menacetli the gods with civill warres, 

The otlier toyles till he have Vertue found. 
His thoughts are humble, not aspiring hye, 
But Pride looks haughtily with scornefull eye. 

Humillity is clad in modest weedes, 

But Pride is brave and glorious to the show; 

Humillity his friends with kindnes feedes, 

But Pride his friends in neede will never know, 

Supplying not their wants, but them disdaining, 

Whilst they to pitty never neede complayning. 

Humillity in misery is reliev'd, 

But Pride in neede of no man is regarded; 
Pitty and Mercy weepe to see him griev'd. 

That in distresse had them so well rewarded; 


But Pride is scornd, coutemnd, disdaiud, derided, 
"Whilst Humblenes of all things is provided. 

Oh then be humble, gentle, meeke, and milde, 
So shalt thou be of every mouth commended; 

Be not disdaiufuU, cruell, proud, sweet childe, 
So shalt thou be of no man much condemned: 

Care not for them that vertue doo despise; 

Vertue is loathde of fooles, lovde of the wise. 

O faire boy, trust not to thy beauties wings, 
They cannot carry thee above the sunne: 

Beauty and wealth are transitory things, 
For all must eude that ever was begunne. 

But Fame and Vertue never shall decay, 

For Fame is toombles, Vertue lives for aye. 

The snow is white, and yet the pepper 's blacke, 
The one is bought, the other is contemned: 

Pibbles we have, but store of jeat we lacke, 

So white comparde to blacke is much condemned. 

We doo not praise the swanne because shees white, 

But for she doth in musique much delite. 

And yet the silver- noted nightingale, 

Though she be not so white, is more esteemed; 

Sturgion is dun of hew, white is the whale, 
Yet for the daintier dish the first is deemed: 

What thing is whiter than the milke-bred lilly? 

That knowes it not for naught, what man so silly? 


Yea, wliat more noysomer unto the smell 

Than lillies are? What's sweeter then the sage? 

Yet for pure white the lilly beares the bell, 
Till it be faded through decaying age. 

House-doves are white, and oozels blacke-birds bee, 

Yet what a difference in the taste we see? 

Compare the cow and calfe with ewe and lambe, 
Rough hayrie hydes with softest downy fell; 

Hecfar and bull with weather and with ramme, 
And you shall see how far they doo excell; 

"White kine with blacke, blacke coney-skins with gray, 

Kine nesh and strong, skins deare and cheape alway. 

The whitest silver is not alwaies best, 

Lead, tynne, and pewter are of base esteeme; 

The yellow burnisht gold that comes from th' East, 
And West, of late invented, may beseeme 

The worlds ritch treasury, or My das eye; 

The ritch mans god, poore mans felicitie. 

Bugle and jeat with snow and alablaster 

I will compare; white dammasin with blacke; 

Bullas and wheaton plumbs, to a good taster 

The ripe red cherries have the sweetest smacke: 

When they be greene and young, th' are sowre and 

But being rijie, with eagernes th' are baught. 

Compare the wyld cat to the brownish beaver. 
Running for life, with hounds pursued sore. 


When huntsmen of her pretious stones bereave her, 

Whicli with her teeth sh' had bitten oif before; 
Restoratives and costly curious felts 
Are made of them, and rich imbroydred belts. 

To what use serves a peece of crimbling chalke? 

The agget stone is white, yet good for nothing: 
Fie, fie, I am asham'd to heare thee talke. 

Be not so much of thine owne image doating: 
So faire Narcissus lost his love and life; 
Beautie is often with itselfe at strife. 

Right diamonds are of a russet hieu, 

The brightsome carbuncles are red to see too; 

The saphyre stone is of a watchet blue, 

To this thou canst not chuse but soone agree to: 

Pearles are not white but gray, rubies are red: 

In praise of blacke what can be better sed ? 

For if we doo consider of each mortall thing 
That flyes in welkin, or in water swims. 

How everie thing increaseth with the spring, 
And how the blacker still the brighter dims: 

"We cannot chuse, but needs we must confesse, 

Sable excels milk-white in more or lesse. 

As for example, in the christall cleare 

Of a sweete streame, or pleasant running river, 

Where thousand formes of fishes will appeare. 
Whose names to thee I cannot now deliver; 


The blacker still the brighter have disgrac'cl, 
For pleasant profit and delicious taste. 

Salmon and trout are of a ruddie colour, 
Whiting and dare is of a milk-white hiew ; 

Nature by them perhaps is made the fuller, 
Little they nowrish, be they old or new: 

Carp, loach, tench, eeles, though black and bred in mud, 

Delight the tooth with taste, and breed good blud. 

Innumerable be the kindes, if I could name them. 

But I a shepheard and no fisher am: 
Little it skils whether I praise or blame them, 

I onely meddle with my ew and lamb: 
Yet this I say that blacke the better is, 
In birds, beasts, frute, stones, flowres, herbs, mettals, fish. 

And last of all, in blacke there doth appeare 

Such qualities as not in yvorie; 
Black cannot blush for shame, looke pale for feare, 

Scorning to weare another livorie. 
Blacke is the badge of sober modestie. 
The wonted weare of ancient gravetie. 

The leai'ned sisters sute themselves in blacke, 
Learning abandons white and lighter hues; 

Pleasure and pride light colours never lacke, 
But true religion doth such toyes refuse: 

Vertue and gravity are sisters growne, 

Since blacke by both, and both by blacke are knowne. 


White is the colour of each paltry miller, 

White is the ensigne of each common woman; 

White is white vertues for blacke vyces piller, 
White makes proud fooles inferiour unto no man: 

White is the white of body, blacke of minde, 

Vertue we seldome in white habit finde. 

Oh, then be not so proud because th' art fay re, 

Vertue is onely the ritch gift of God: 
Let not selfe-pride thy vertues name impayre, 

Beate not greene youth with sharpe repentance X'od: 
A fiend, a monster, a mishapen divel; 
Vertues foe, vyces friend, the roote of evill. 

Apply thy minde to be a vertuous man; 

Avoyd ill company, the spoyle of youth; 
To follow vertues lore doo what thou can, 

Whereby great profit unto the ensuth: 
Reade bookes, hate ignorance, the foe to art, 
The damme of errour, envy of the hart. 

Serve Jove upon thy knees both day and night, 
Adore his name above all things on earth; 

So shall thy vowes be gracious in his sight, 
So little babes are blessed in their birth: 

Thiuke on no worldly woe, lament thy sin. 

For lesser cease, when greater griefes begin. 

Sweare no vaine oathes, heare much, but little say, 
Speake ill of no man, tend thine owne affaires; 


Bridle thy wrath, thine angrie mood delay, 

So shall thy miude be seldome cloyd with cares: 
Be milde and gentle in thy speech to all, 
Refuse no honest gaine when it doth fall. 

Be not beguild with words, prove not ungi'atefull, 
Releeve thy neighbour in his greatest need, 

Commit no action that to all is hatefuU, 

Their want with welth, the poore with plentiefecd: 

Twit no man in the teeth with what th' hast done; 

Remember flesh is fraile, and hatred shunne. 

Leave wicked things, which men to mischiefe move, 
Least crosse mis-hap may thee in danger bring: 

Crave no preferment of thy heavenly Jove, 
Nor anie honor of thy earthly king: 

Boast not thyselfe before th' Almighties sight, 

Who knowes thy hai't, and anie wicked wight. 

Be not offensive to the peoples eye, 

See that thy praiers harts true zeale affords, 

Scorne not a man that 's falne in miserie, 
Esteeme no tatling tales, no babling words; 

That reason is exiled alwaies thinke, 

When as a drunkard rayles amidst his drinke. 

Use not thy lovely lips to loathsome lyes, 

By craftie meanes increase no worldly wealth; 

Strive not with mightie men (whose fortune flies), 
With temp'rate diet nourisli wholesome health: 


Place well thy words, leave not thy frend for gold; 
First trie, then trust, in vcntring be not bold. 

In Pan repose thy trust; extoll his praise, 
(That never shall decay, but ever lives): 

Honor thy parents (to prolong thy dayes). 

Let not thy left hand know what right hand gives: 

From needie men turne not thy face away, 

Though charitie be now yclad in clay. 

Heare shepheards oft (thereby great wisdome growes), 
"With good advice a sober answere make: 

Be not remoov'd with every winde that blowes, 
(That course doo onely sinfull sinners take): 

Thy talke will shew thy fame or els thy shame; 

(A pratling tongue doth often purchase blame.) 

Obtaine a faithfull frend that will not faile thee, 
Think on thy mother's paine in her child-bearing; 

Make no debate, least quickly thou bewaile thee, 
Visit the sicke with comfortable chearing: 

Pittie the prisner, helpe the fatherlesse, 

Revenge the widdowes wrongs in her distresse. 

Thinke on thy grave, remember still thy end. 
Let not thy winding-sheete be staind with guilt; 

Trust not a fained reconciled frend, 

More than an open foe (that blood hath spilt): 

(Who tutcheth pitch, with pitch shalbe defiled), 

Be not with wanton companie beguiled. 


Take not a flattring woman to thy wife, 
A sliameles creature, full of wanton words, 

(Whose bad, thy good, whose lust will end thy life, 
Cutting thy hart with shai'pe two edged knife): 

Cast not thy minde on her whose lookes aUure, 

But she that shines in truth and vertue pure. 

Praise not thyselfe, let other men commend thee; 

Beare not a flattring tongue to glaver anie; 
Let parents due correction not offend thee; 

Rob not thy neighbor, seeke the love of manie; 
Hate not to heare good counsell given thee. 
Lay not thy money unto usurie. 

Restraine thy steps from too much libertie. 
Fulfill not th' envious mans malitious minde; 

Embrace thy wife, live not in lecherie; 

Content thyselfe with what fates have assignde: 

Be rul'd by reason, warning dangers save; 

True age is reverend worship to thy grave. 

Be patient in extreame adversitie, 

(Mans chiefest credit growes by dooing well). 
Be not high-minded in prosperitie; 

Falshood abhorre, no lying fable tell. 
Give not thyselfe to sloth, (the sinke of shame, 
The moath of time, the enemie to fame). 

This leare I learned of a bel-dame Trot, 

(When I was yong and wylde as now tliou art). 


But her good counsell I regarded not, 

I markt it with my eares, not Avith my hart. 
But now I finde it too-too true (my sonne), 
When my age-withered spring is almost done. 

Behokl my gray head, full of silver haires, 

My wrinckled skin, deepe furrowes in my face, 

Cares bring old age, old age increaseth cares; 
My time is come, and I have run my race: 

Winter hath snow'd upon my hoarie head, 

And with my winter all my joyes are dead. 

And thou love-hating boy, (whom once I loved), 
Farewell, a thousand-thousand times farewell; 

My teares the marble-stones to ruth have moved; 
My sad complaints the babling ecchoes tell: 

And yet thou wouldst take no compassion on mee, 

Scorning that crosse which love hath laid upon mee. 

The hardest Steele with fier doth mend his misse, 
Marble is mollifyde with drops of raine; 

But thou (more hard than Steele or marble is), 

Doost scorne my teares, and my true love disdaine, 

Which for thy sake shall everlasting bee, 

Wrote in the annalls of cternitie. 

By this, the night, (with darknes over-spred), 
Had drawne the curtaines of her cole-blacke bed; 
And Cynthia, muffling her face with a clowd, 
(Lest all tlie world of her should be too proud) 


IlaJ taken conge of the sable niglit, 

(That wanting her cannot be halfe so bright.) 

When I, poore forlorn man and outcast creature, 
(Despairing of my love, despisde of beautie), 

GreAV malecontent, scorning his lovely feature, 
That had disdaind my ever zealous dutie: 

I hy'd me homeward by the mooue-shine light, 

Foreswaring love, and all his fond delight. 





Of all the kindes of common coimtrey life, 
Metliinkes a slieplieards life is most content; 

His state is quiet peace, devoyd of strife; 

His thoughts are pure from all impure intent. 
His pleasures rate sits at an easie rent; 

He beares no mallice in his harmles liart, 

Malicious meaning hath in him no part. 

He is not troubled with th' afflicted minde, 

His cares are onelj over silly sheepe; 
He is not unto jealozie inclinde, 

(Thrice happie man) he knowes not how to weepe; 

Whilst I the treble in deepe sorrowes keepe. 
I cannot keepe the meane; for why (alas) 
Griefes have no meane, though I for meane doe passe. 

No briefes nor semi-briefes are in my songs, 
Because (alas) my griefe is seldome short; 



My prick-song's alwayes full of largues and longs, 
(Because I never can obtaine the port 
Of my desires: hope is a happie fort). 

Prick song (indeed) because it pricks my hart; 

And song, because sometimes I ease my smart. 

The mightie monarch of a royall realme, 
Swaying his scepter with a princely pompe, 

Of his desires cannot so steare the healme, 
But sometime falls into a deadly dumpe; 
When as he heares the shrilly sounding trumpe 

Of forren enemies, or home-bred foes, 

His minde of griefe, his hart is full of woes. 

Or when bad subjects gainst their soveraigne 
(Like hollow harts) unnaturally rebell, 

How careful! is he to suppresse againe 

Their desperate forces, and their powers to quell 
"With loyall harts, till all againe be well. 

When (being subdu'd) his care is rather more, 

To keepe them under, than it was before. 

Thus is he never full of sweete content. 
But either this or that his joy debars: 

Now noblemen gainst noblemen are bent, 
Now gentlemen and others fall at jarrs: 
Thus is his countrey full of civill warrs; 

He still in danger sits, still fearing death, 

For traitors seeke to stop their princes breath. 


The why 1st the other hath no enemie, 
Without it be the wolfe and cruell fates, 

(Which no man spare): when as his disagi-ee, 

He with his sheephooke knaps them on the pates, 
Schooling his tender lambs from wanton gates. 

Beasts are more kinde than men, sheepe seeke not blood, 

But countrey caytives kill their countreyes good. 

The courtier he fawns for his princes favour, 
In hope to get a princely ritch reward; 

His tongue is tipt with honey for to glaver. 

Pride deales the deck, whilst chance doth choose the 

Then comes another and his game hath mard. 

Sitting betwixt him and the morning sun; 

Thus night is come before the day is done. 

Some courtiers, carefull of their princes health, 
Attend his person with all dilligence; 

Whose hand 's their hart, whose welfare is their wealth. 
Whose safe protection is their sure defence, 
For pure affection, not for hope of pence: 

Such is the faithfull hart, such is the minde, 

Of him that is to vertue still inclinde. 

The skilfuU sch oiler, and brave man at amies. 

First plies his booke, last fights for countries peace; 

Th' one feares oblivion, th' other fresh alarmes: 
His paines nere ende, his travailes never cease; 
His with the day, his with the night increase: 



He studies how to get etei'nall fame, 

The souldier fights to win a glorious name. 

The kniglit, the squire, the gentleman, the clowne, 
Are full of crosses and calamities, 

Lest fickle fortune should begin to frowne, 
And turne their mirth to extreame miseries, 
Xothing more certaine than incertainties ! 

Fortune is full of fresh varietie, 

Constant in nothing but iuconstancie. 

The wealthie merchant that doth crosse the seas, 
To Denmarke, Poland, Spaine, and Barbarie, 

For all his ritches, lives not still at ease; 
Sometimes he feares ship-spoyling pyracie. 
Another while deceipt and treacherie 

Of his owne factors in a forren land ; 

Thus doth he still in dread and danger stand. 

Well is he tearmd a merchant-venturer. 

Since he doth venter lands, and goods and all; 

When he doth travell for his traffique far. 
Little he knowes what fortune may befall, 
Or rather, what mis-fortune happen shall: 

Sometimes he splits his ship against a rocke. 

Loosing his men, his goods, his wealth, his stocke. 

And if he so escape with life away, 

He counts himselfe a man most fortunate. 

Because the waves their rigorous rage did stay, 
(When being within their cruell powers of late, 


The seas did seeme to pittie his estate). 
But yet he never can recover health, 
Because his joy was drowned with his wealth. 

The painfull plough-swaine, and the husband-man, 
Rise up each morning by the breake of day, 

Taking what toyle and drudging paines they can, 
And all is for to get a little stay ; 
And yet they cannot put their care away: 

When night is come, their cares begin afresh, 

Thinking upon their morrowes busines. 

Thus everie man is troubled with unrest. 

From rich to poore, from high to low degree: 

Therefore I thinke that man is truly blest. 
That neither cares for wealth nor povertie, 
But laughs at Fortune, and her foolerie, 

That gives rich churles great store of golde and fee. 

And lets poore schollers live in miserie. 

O, fading branches of decaying bayes. 

Who now will water your dry-wither'd armes ? 

Or where is he that sung the lovely layes 

Of simple shepheards in their countrey-farmes? 
Ah! he is dead, the cause of all our harmes: 

And with him dide my joy and sweetc delight j 

The clcare to clowdes, the day is turnd to night. 

Sydney, the syren of this latter age; 

Sydney, the blasing-starre of England's glory; 

» f" '} i.- r 
'± O J ") x) 


Sydney, the wondei' of the wise and sage; 

Sydney, the subject of true vertues story: 
This syren, starre, this wonder, and this subject, 
Is dunibe, dim, gone, and mard by fortune's object. 

And thou, my sweete Amintas, vertuous minde, 
Should I forget thy learning or thy love, 

Well might I be accounted but unkinde. 
Whose pure affection I so oft did prove, 
Might my poore plaints hard stones to pitty move ! 

His losse should be lamented of each creature, 

So great his name, so gentle was his nature. 

But sleepe his soule in sweet Elysium, 
(The happy haven of eternall rest); 

And let me to my former matter come. 

Proving, by reason, shepheard's life is best, 
Because he harbours vertue in his brest; 

And is content, (the chiefest thing of all), 

With any fortune that shall him befall. 

He sits all day lowd-piping on a hill, 

The whilst his flocke about him daunce apace, 

His hart with joy, his eares with musique fill: 
Anon a bleating weather beares the bace, 
A lambe the treble, and to his disgrace 

Another answers like a middle meane, 

Thus every one to beare a part are faine. 

Like a great king he rules a little land, 

Still making statutes and ordayning lawes, 


Which if they breake, he beates them with his wand; 
He doth defend them from the greedy jawes 
Of rav'ning woolves, and lyons bloudy pawes. 

His field, his realme; his subjects are his sheepe; 

Which he doth still in due obedience keepe. 

First he ordaines by act of parlament, 

(Holden by custome in each country towne), 

That if a sheepe (with any bad intent) 

Presume to breake the neighbour hedges downe, 
Or haunt strange pastures that be not his owne, 

He shall be pounded for his lustines, 

UntiU his master finde out some redres. 

Also if any prove a strageller 

From his owne fellowes in a forraine field, 
He shall be taken for a wanderer. 

And forc'd himselfe immediatly to yeeld; 

Or with a wyde-mouth'd mastive curre be kild; 
And if not claimd within a twelve month's space, 
He shall remaine with land-lord of the place. 

Or if one stray to feede far from the rest, 

He shall be pincht by his swift pye-bald curre; 

If any by his fellowes be opprest, 

The wronger, (for he doth all wrong abhorre), 
Shall be well bangd so lung as he can sturre, 

Because he did anoy his harmeles brother. 

That meant not luii'nie to him nor any other. 


And last of all, if any wanton weather, 

"With briers and brambles teare his fleece in twaine, 

lie shall be forc'd t' abide cold frosty weather, 
And powring showres of ratling stormes of raine, 
Till his new fleece begins to grow againe: 

And for his rashnes he is doom'd to goe 

"Without a new coate all the winter throw. 

Thus doth he keepe them still in awfuU feare, 
And yet allowes them liberty inough; 

So deare to him their welfare doth appeare, 
That when their fleeces gin to waxen rough, 
He combs and trims them with a rampicke bough, 

"Washing them in the streames of silver Ladon, 

To cleanse their skinnes from all corruption. 

Another while he wooes his country wench, 
With chaplet crownd and gaudy girlonds dight. 

Whose burning lust her modest eye doth quench; 
Standing amazed at her heavenly sight, 
Beauty doth ravish sense with sweet delight, 

Clearing Arcadia with a smoothed browe, 

When sun-bright smiles melt flakes of driven snowe. 

Thus doth he frollicke it each day by day. 

And when night comes drawes homeward to his coate, 

Singing a jigge or merry roundelay. 

For who sings commonly so merry a noate, 
As he that cannot chop or change a groate? 

And in the winter nights his chiefe desire, 

He turnes a crabbe or cracknell in the fire. 


He leads his wench a country horne-pipe round, 

About a may-pole on a holy-day, 
Kissing his lovely lasse with garlands crownd, 

With whooppiug heigh-ho singing care away. 

Thus doth he passe the merry month of May, 
And all th' yere after, in delight and joy; 
Scorning a king, he cares for no annoy. 

What though with simple cheere he homely fares. 
He lives content; a king can doo no more. 

Nay, not so much, for kings have manie cares. 
But he hath none, except it be that sore 
Which yong and old, which vexeth ritch and poore, 

The pangs of love. O ! who can vanquish Love ? 

That conquers kingdomes, and the gods above. 

Deepe-wounding arrow, hart-consuming fire, 
Ruler of reason, slave to tyrant beautie, 

Monarch of harts, fuell of fond desire, 
Prentice to folly, foe to fained duetie. 
Pledge of true zeale, affections moitie, 

If thou kilst where thou wilt, and whom it list thee, 

Alas! how can a silly soule resist thee? 

By thee great Collin lost his libertie, 

By thee sweet Astrophel forwent his joy; 

By thee Amyntas wept incessantly. 

By thee good Rowland liv'd in great annoy; 
O cruell, peevish, vylde, blind-seeing boy, 

How canst thou hit their harts, and yet not see? 

If thou be blinde, as thou art faind to bee. 


A slieplieai'd loves no ill, but onely thee; 
lie hath no care, but onelj by thy causing: 

"Why doost thou shoot thy cruell shafts at mee? 
Give me some respite, some short time of pausing : 
Still my sweet love with bitter lucke th'art sawcing ; 

Oh, if thou hast a minde to shew thy might, 

Kill mightie kings, and not a wretched wight. 

Yet, O enthraller of infranchizd harts, 

At my poore hart if thou wilt needs be ayming, 

Doo me this favour, show me both thy darts. 

That I may chuse the best for my harts mayming, 
A free consent is priviledgd from blaming. 

Then pierce his hard hart with thy golden arrow, 

That thou my wrong, that he may rue my sorrow. 

But let mee feele the force of thy lead pyle, 
What should I doo with love when I am old? 

I know not how to flatter, fawne, or smyle; 
Then stay thy hand, O cruell bowman, hold! 
For if tliov; strik'st me with thy dart of gold, 

I sweare to thee by Joves immortall curse, 

I have more in my hart than in my purse. 

The more I weepe, the more he bends his brow, 
For in my hart a golden shaft I finde. 

Cruell, unkinde, and wilt thou leave me so ? 
Can no reraorce nor pittie move thy minde? 
Is mercie in the heavens so hard to finde? 

Oh, then it is no mervaile that on earth 

Of kinde remorce there is so crreat a dearth. 


How happie were a harmles sliepheards life, 
If he had never knowen what love did meane; 

But now fond Love in every place is rife, 

Staining the purest soule with spots uncleane, 
Making thicke purses thin, fat bodies leane. 

Love is a fiend, a fire, a heaven, a hell, 

"Where pleasure, paine, and sad repentance dwell! 

There are so manie Danaes now a dayes, 
That love for lucre, paine for gaine is sold; 

No true affection can their fancie please. 
Except it be a Jove, to raine downe gold 
Into their laps, which they wyde open hold: 

If legem pone comes, he is receav'd, 

When Vix hand habeo is of hope bereav'd. 

Thus have I showed, in my countrey vaine. 
The sweet content that sliepheards still injoy; 

The mickle pleasure and the little paine 
That ever doth awayte the shepheards boy: 
His hart is never troubled with annoy; 

He is a king, for he commands his sheepe; 

He knowes no woe, for he doth seldome weepe. 

He is a courtier, for he courts his love; 
He is a scholler, for he sings sweet ditties; 

He is a souldier, for he wounds doth prove; 
He is the fame of townes, the shame of citties: 
He scornes false fortune, but true vertue pitties. 

He is a gentleman, because his nature 

Js kinde and affable to everie creature. 


"Who woukl not then a simple shepheard bee, 
Rather than be a mightie monarch made? 

Since he injoyes such pei'fect libertie 
As never can decay, nor never fade: 
He seldome sits in dolefull cypresse shade, 

But lives in hope, in joy, in peace, in blisse, 

Joying all joy with this content of his. 

But now good fortune lands my little boate 
Upon the shoare of his desired rest: 

Now must I leave awhile my rurall noate, 

To tliinke on him whom my soule loveth best; 
He that can make the most unhappie blest; 

In whose sweete lap De lay me downe to sleepe, 

And never wake till marble stones shall weepe. 



LoE here behold these tributarie teares 

Paid to thy faire but cruell tyrant eyes; 
Loe here the blossome of my youthfull yeares, 

Nipt with the fresh of thy wraths winter, dyes! 
Here on Loves altar I doo offer up 

This burning hart for my soules sacrifice; 
Here I receave this deadly-poysned cu[p] 

Of Circe charm'd, wherein deepe magicke lyes. 
Then teares, if you be happie teares indeed, 

And hart, if thou be lodged in his brest, 
And cup, if thou canst helpe despaire with speed, 

Teares, hart, and cup, conjoine to make me blest! 
Teares move, hart win, cup cause, ruth, love, desire, 
In word, in deed; by moane, by zeale, by fire. 








You modest dames, inricht with chastitie, 

Maske your bright eyes with Vestaes sable vaile, 

Since few are left so faire or chast as shee, 
Matter for me to weepe, you to bewaile! 
For manie seeming so, of Vertue faile, 

Whose lovely cheeks, with rare vermilion tainted, 

Can never blush, because their faire is painted. 

faire-foule tincture, staine of woman kinde, 
Mother of Mischiefe, daughter of Deceate, 

False traitor to the soule, blot to the minde. 
Usurping tyrant of true beauties seate! 
Right cousner of the eye, lewd follies baite, 

The flag of filthines, the sinke of shame. 

The divells dye, dishonour of thy name ! 

Monster of art, bastard of bad desier, 
Il-worshipt idoll, false imagerie! 


Ensigne of vice, to thine owne selfe a Her, 

Silent inchaunter, mindes anatomie, 

Sly bawd to lust, paudor to infamie, 
Slaunder of Truth, truth of dissimulation, 
Staining our clymate more than anie nation ! 

What shall I say to thee, thou scorne of Nature, 
Blacke spot of sinne, vylde lure of lecherie. 

Injurious blame to everie faemale creature. 
Wronger of time, broker of trecherie, 
Trap of greene youth, false womens witcherie. 

Handmaid of pride, highway to wickednesse. 

Yet pathway to repentance nere the lesse? 

Thou dost entice the minde to dooing evill, 
Thou setst dissention twixt the man and wife; 

A saint in show, and yet indeed a devill, 
Thou art the cause of everie common strife; 
Thou art the life of Death, the death of Life! 

Thou doost betray thyselfe to infamie, 

When thou art once discerned by the eye. 

Ah, little knew Matilda of tliy being, 

Those times were pure from all impure complcction; 

Then Love came of Desert, Desert of seeing, 
Then Vertue was the mother of Affection, 
But Beautie now is under no subjection; 

Then women were the same that men did dceme. 

But now they are the same they doo not seeme. 


What fajmale now iutreated of a king 

"With gold and jewels, pearles and precious stones, 
Would willingly refuse so sweete a thing, 

Onely for a little show of Vertue ones? 

Women have kindnes grafted in their bones. 
Gold is a deepe-perswading orator, 
Especially where few the fault abhor. 

But yet slice rather deadly poyson chose, 
Oh cruell bane of most accursed clin-?! 

Than staiue that milk-white mayden virgin rose, 
Which shee hu<\ kept unspotted till that time, 
And not corrupted with this earthly slime. 

Her soule shall live, inclosd eternally 

In that pure shrine of immortality! 

This is my doome, and this shall come to passe, 
For what are pleasures but still vading joyes? 

Fading as flowers, brittle as a glasse, 

Or potters clay, crost with the least annoy es? 
All things in this life are but trifling toyes, 

But Fame and Vertue never shall decay, 

For Fame is toomblesse, Vertue lives for aye! 



P= 6, 1. l.—BUn.] To cease. 

Mon that loveth falsnesse and nule never hlynne. 
Sore may aim drede the lyf that he is ynne. 

Wright's Political Songs, p. 212. 

P. 7, 1. 25. — Her hart more hard than xdamant or Steele.] 
Compare " Midsummer Night's Dream," ii. 2. — 

" You draw me, you hardhearted adamant ; 
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart 
Is true as steel: leave you your power to draw, 
And I shall have no power to follow you." 

P. 8, 1. 15.— Ban.] Curse. 

P. 9, 1. 13. — Crownets.] Coronets. The term occui's iu 

P. 9, 1. 22. — Ilunts-iqj.] ]\Ir. Collier has printed a verj- 
curious song, from which it appears that the hunts-up was 
known as early as 28 Henry VIII. The following extract 
will show the nature of it : — 

" The hunt is up, the hunt is up, &c. 
The Masters of Art and Doctors of Divinity 
Have brought this name out of good unity. 
Three noblemen have this to stay, — 
My lord of Norfolk, Lord of Surrey, 
And my Lord of Shrewsbury, 
The Duke of Suffolk might have made England merry." 

P. 10, 1. lO.—Eughe.^.] Yews. 

P. 10, 1. 15. — Lodon.] A river in Arcadia. 

50 NOTES. 

P. 11, 1. 2. — Si/rinx.] An Arcadian nymph, who, flying 
from Pan, was turned into a reed, ^s'hich was afterwards 
made into a pipe by the pursuer. 

P. 11, 1. 24. — Prickets.] Bucks of the second year. 

P. 12, 1. 10. — Spyke.] Lavender. 

P. 12, 1. 11. — The scarlet dyde carnation bleeding yet,] 
The idea of a bleeding flower gives additional grace to one 
of the most beautiful passages in Shakespeare. — 

" Yet mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell ; 
It fell upon a little western flower. 
Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound." 

P. 12, 1. 13. — Good for the blinde.] According to Gerard, 
p. 537, " eiebright stamped and laid upon the eies, or the 
juice thereof, mixed with white wine, and dropped into the 
eies, or the destilled water, taketh awaie the darknesse and 
dimnesse of the eies, and cleereth the sight." 

P. 12, 1. 18, — )Soj)s in wine.] Pinks. 

P. 12, 1. 19. — Bootes.] The marsh marigold. According 
to Gerard, p. 671, this name for the plant was current only 
" in Cheshire and those parts." 

P. 13, 1. 2.—Tyce.] To entice. 

P. 15, 1. 6. — The christall fov/iitaines.] 

■' Opening on Neptune with fair blessed beams." 

Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2. 

P. IG, 1. 24. — Boult.] A short thick arrow. 

P. 16, 1. 2A.—Thrustle-cocl:e.] The male thrush. 

P. 16, 1. 25.— Afforde.] " Afford'.s," orig. 

P. 17, 1. 6. — Grype.] A griflin. 

P. 17, 1. l3.—Oozels.] Blackbirds. See p. 24. 

P. 18, 1. 3.— .l.s u-hite as ivhale.] 

■'■ This is the flower that smiles on e^■ery onr, 
That show liis teeth as white as xvhales hone. 

Lore's Labour's Lofl.v. ii. 

NOTES. a 1 

P. 20, 1. 12. — J/y lovely f aire. ^ Comjjare the .Midsuimuer 
Night's Dream, i. 1. — 

" O, happy fair ! 

Your eyes are lode stars." 

P. 22, 1. 3. — Fautors.'\ Abetters, supporters. 
P. 25, 1. 1. — When Jmntsynen, &)C.'\ 

" imitatus castora, qui se 

Eunucbum ipse facit; cupiens evadere darano 

Juvenal, xii. 34. 

P. 27, 1. 1. — White is the colour.'] This stanza seems to 
have been imitated in " Greenes Funeralls," 4to. London, 
1594. See the " First Sketches of Henry VI," Introduc- 
tion, p. xxiii. 

P. 30, 1. 4. — Knife.'] So in the original, but probably a 
mistake for stvords. 

P. 30, 1. S.—Glaver.] To flatter. 

P. 35, 1. W.—DecL] Pack of cards. 

P. 40, 1. 12. — Rampicke.] Partially decayed ; a tenn 
generally applied to a tree which begins to decay at the top 
through age. 

P. 40, 1. 2\.—Melt.] " Melts" in the original. 

P. 42, 1. 24. — Cruell, unkinde, and ivilt thou leave me so.] 
Compare Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2, " why unkindly 
didst thou leave me so V 

P. 46, 1. 3. — After.] Afterwards. The poetical legend 
by Drayton, here alluded to, will be found in the collected 
works of that writer. 

P. 48, 1. 4. — Ones.] Once. After this poem is inserted, 
in the original, three pages entitled, " Ilellens Rape, or a 
light Lanthorne for light Ladi(;s. Written in English hex- 











' Art thou Hej wood, witli thy mad merry wit 1 

Yea, forsooth, master, that name is even hit. 
Art thou Heywood, tliat appliest mirth more than thrilt? 

Yes, sir, I talie merry mirth a golden gift. 
Art thou Heyv.ood that hast made many mad plays? 

Yea, many plays, few good works in my days. 
Art thou Heywood that uath made men merry long ? 

Yea, and will, if I be made merry among. 
Art thou Heywood, that wouldst be made merry now? 

Yes, sir, help me to it now, 1 beseech you." 





Wi)t perrp ^ocietp. 


THOMAS AMYOT, Esu. F.R.S. Treas. S.A. 





J. H. DIXON, Esq. 





J. S. MOORE, Esq. 

T. J. PETTIGREW, Esq. F R.S., F.S.A. 



THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A., Secretary 
and Treamrer. 



The materials for a biography of Heywood are 
very slender, and but little space, accordingly, has 
been devoted to his name and acts in our biogra- 
phical dictionaries. He was born at North Minis, 
near St. Alban's, in Plertfordshire, and received 
the first rudiments of his education at Oxford ; 
" but the sprightliness of his disposition," says 
Chsdmers (Bio(/raphical Diciionar;//, vol. 17), "not 
being well adapted to the sedentary life of an 
academician, he went back to his native place, 
where, being in the neighbourhood of the great 
Sir Thomas More, he presently contracted an In- 
timacy with that Maecenas of wit and genius, who 
introduced him to the knowledge and patronage 
of the princess Mary. Hey wood's ready a])tness 
for jest, and repartee, together with the possession 


of great skill both in vocmI and instrumental 
music, rendered him a favourite with Henry VIII, 
who frequently rewarded him very highly." Sir 
Frederic Madden, in the notes to his Frhvj 
Purse Expenses of the Princess Mary (p. 239), 
notices, " that in the Book of Payments of Henry 
VIII, 1538-44, is a quarterly allowance of fifty 
shillings to ' John Haywood, player on the virgi- 
nals '; and, in The Household Book of the Princess 
Elizaheth, in J 533, a gratuity of thirty shillings to 
him." And among the items of the Princess 
Mary's expenditure, we find his name twice men- 
tioned ; thus, in January 1536 37, we have, '• item 
geven to Hey wood's sevvante for bringing of my 
Lady's Grace's Regalles from London to Grene- 
wiche, xxc?." ; and in March 1537-38, a more di- 
rect mention of his connexion with courtly amuse- 
ments : " item ; geven to Hey wood playeng an en- 
terlude w'- his children before my ladle's Grace, 
XLS."* This latter entry is of peculiar interest, as 
it would appear that these children were his scho- 
lars ; and, as Sir Frederic Madden observes, as 
" most of the interludes written by him had ap- 

* In the early days of the English drama, performances 
by children at Court were usual; and, during the reign of 
Ilcnry VIII. the children of St. Paul's School appeared 
there, and acted an interlude, under the direction of their 
master, John Rightwise, before the King, AVolsey, and 

peared in print in 1533, we may conjecture that 
the one played by himself and children was se- 
lected from them." Hey wood was at this time a 
great favorite at Court, particularly with the 
princess Mary, and he continued to be so until 

the French Ambassadors, on the 10th November, 1528, and of 
■which a curious account is given in Collier's Amuds of the 
Stage (vol. i. p. 107). It was a Latin moral, in which 
Luther and his wife were brought upon the stage, and in 
which ridicule was attempted to be thrown upon them and 
the Reformers. The children of this school long retained 
celebrity for their theatrical performances, and are often 
alluded to by writers of the Shaksperian era. They acted 
before Queen Elizabeth, at Eltham, in August 1559, and 
during the Christmas festivities of 1564, (as well as the boys 
of the Grammar School at Westminster), they continued to 
perform in the Singing-school at St. Paul's, until their sup- 
pression, (prior to 1591), owing to the " liberal invectives " 
on passing events put into their mouths. They began to act 
again before 1600, when Lyly's Maid's Metamorphosis was 
performed by them, and afterwards, Marston's Antonio aiid 
Mellida, Dekker's Satiromastix, <fec. The " Children of the 
Revels," who were still more intimately connected with the 
Court, were at this time also playing as an independent and 
rival body, at the Blackfriars theatre, under a warrant dated 
30th January, 1603-4, by which, Edward Kkkham, Alexan- 
der Hawkins, Thomas Kendall, and Robert Payne, were ap- 
pointed " to provide, keepe, and bring up, a convenient 
number of children," for the piu-pose of exhibiting " plays 
and shews" before the queen of James I. They were not 
looked upon with much favor by the grown-up actors, and 
Shakspcare complains of the superior popularity of this 
" eyry of children." They acted in Ben Jonson's Poetaster, 
Epiccene, &c.; and the great ability of one of them (Sala- 



her dying day, aud is said to have been admitted 
to her bed-side, in her hist illness, to amuse her 
♦t'ith his happy talent of telling diverting stories. 
Heywood seems to have had a great respect, or 
even attachment to Mary ; and when she was 
eighteen years of age composed a poem in her 
praise. It is preserved in the Harleian MS., No. 
1703, and is published entire in Park's edition of 
Wal})ole's Royal and Noble Authors (vol. i. p. 
81),* where it is deduced as "an instance of his 
poetic policy ;" but it is surely not too much to 
allow, that gratitude for her favours to him may 
have had some Influence upon his mind and his 
poetic fancy, for, as Sir Frederic Madden justly 
observes, — " These lines could scarcely be mere 
courtly flattery, if written at the period they pro- 
fess to be, since Mary was then under the cloud 
of disgrace, aud had scarcely a friend in the 

thiel Pavey) has been noticed in the poem on his early 
death, T)y that dramatist, in -ffhich he declares — 

" He did play old men so duly, 

That, sooth, the Parcse thought him one, 
He played so truly." 

When children ceased to rival full-gi-own actors, they 
were employed to act and recite in the public shews; and in 
my Ilistor?/ of Lord Majors' Pageants will be found notices 
of their appearance in this way until the reign of James II. 

* A modernized version is giveu in Evanses Old Ballads, 
(vol. iii. p. 120). 

world." Who can say but that the very adula- 
tions of Heywood may have been occasioned by 
his sense of her wrongs, which resulted in a bold 
panegyric when it was most needed, — the offspring 
of honest feelino; ? It beefins thus : — 

" Geve place, ye ladyes all; bee gone, 
Shewe not your selves att all; 
For why? — Behoulde, there cometh one 
Whose face yours all blanke shall." 

The fourth and fifth stanzas are the most 
poetic : — 

" If all the worlde were sought full farre, 
Who coulde finde such a wyght? 
Her beutye twinkleth like a starre, 
Within the frosty e night. 

Her couler comes and goes, 

With such a goodly grace, 
More ruddye than the rose. 

Within her lively face." 

After much praise, but not of a more remark- 
able kind than that commonly used at this period, 
he concludes, — 

" This worthye ladye too bewraye — 
A king's doughter was shee, 
Of whom John Heywoode lyste to saya 
In such worthye degree 

And Maiye was her name, weete yee, 
With these graces indude; 

At eightene yeares so flourisht shee, 
So doth his meane conclude." 
Chalmers says, " on the accession of Edward 
VI, he still continued in favour, though, as Put- 
tenham says, in his Art of English Poesie, 1599, 
it was for the mirth and quickness of conceit, 
more than any good learning that was in him." 
The same author relates an anecdote of his dining 
at the duke of Northumberland's table, which 
serves now principally to shew how little real wit 
went to the making of jests in those days, and 
how excessively dull their merry stories were. 
The duke, it appears, had sold his plate to pay his 
debts, and Heywood, who was sitting at the 
table's end, " being loth to call for his drink so 
oft as he was dry, turned his eye towards the 
cupboard, and said, ' I find great misse of your 
grace''s standing cups.' The duke, thinking he 
had spoken it of some knowledge that his plate 
was lately sold, said, somewhat sharply, 'Why, 
sir, will not those cuppes serve as good a man as 
yourselfe ?' Heywood readily replied, ' Yes, if it 
please your gi"ace ; but I would have one of them 
stand still at my elbow, full of drinke, that I 
might not be driven to trouble your grace's man 
so often to call for it.' This pleasant and speedy 


reverse of the former wordes holi)e all the matter 
again, whereupon the duke became very pleasant, 
and drank a bolle of wine to Hey wood, and bid a 
cuppe should always be standing by him." Some 
more of his witty sayings, Chalmers tells us, are 
preserved " among the Cotton MSS. in the British 
Museum "; and Oldys says, " his pleasant wit 
saved him from the gallows in the reign of Ed- 
ward VI. See Sir John Harrington's Metamor- 
phosis of Ajax. He was so entangled with some 
of the Popish party that he narrowly escaped 
being noosed ; but the Muses were his advo- 
cates."* His own opinion of his facetiousness is 
given, in his words, as a motto to our title-page. 
When Mary came to the throne. Hey wood 
again shared court favour, and was appointed to ad- 
dress her when the procession passed through Lon- 
don to Westminster, the day before her Corona- 
tion, 27th Sept. 1553. He was placed in St. Paul's 
Churchyard, and " sate in a pageant, under a vine, 
and made to her an oration in Latin and English'^ 
{Biowes Annals^ cd. 1617, p. 617.) He alsocom- 

* " What thinke you by Heywood, that scaped hanging 
with his mirth; the King being graciously, and (as I thinke) 
truly perswaded, that a man that wrote so pleasant and 
harmelessc verses, could not have any harmfuU conceit 
against his proceedings; and so, by the honest motion of a 
gentleman of his chamber, saved him from the jerkc of the 
six-stringed whip." — McJ . of Aj".n (ed. ITjOfi^ p. 25). 


posed " A baladc specifieiige the maner, partly 
the matter, in the most excellent raeetyng and 
lyke Mariage betwene our Soveraigne Lord, and 
our Soveraigne Lady, the Kynge's and Queene's 
highness,'''' highly laudatory of Mary's marriage 
with Philip of Spain. It is reprinted entire in 
the Harleian Miscellany (Parkas edition, vol. x. 
p. 255), to which a ncte is appended, where, as 
usual, Heywood's honest motives are doubted, 
although the writer can scarcely help acknowledg- 
ing the equal probability of their existence. He 
says : — " Vargas, a Spanish poet, is said, by Put- 
tenham, to have been rewarded with a pension of 
two hundred crowns, during life, for an epithala- 
mie, or nuptial song, on the marriage of Queen 
Mary with King Philij), at Winchester, July 25, 
1554. Hey wood might have furbished up his 
courtly pen in the anticipation of a similar recom- 
pense for these preposterously flattering verses on 
the same event, though his religious attachments, 
and the patronage he obtained from Mary, while 
princess, through the introduction of Sir Thomas 
More, were, perhaps, of themselves, sufficient sti- 
mulants." The first four stanzas will be an ample 
specimen of this ballad : — 

" The Egles byrde hath spred his wings, 

And from far off hatha taken flyght; 

In whiche meane waye by no levryngs, 

On bough or braunch this bird wold light, 
'Till on the rose, both red and vvhight, 

He lighteth now moste lovinglie, 

And thereto moste behovinglie. 

The month ensuing next to June 

This bird this flowre for perche doth take; 

Rejoysinglie himselfe to prune. 
He rouseth rypelie to awake 
Upon his perche to those his make : 

Concluding strayght, for rype right rest. 

In the lion's bovvre to build his nest. 

A bird, a beast to make* to choose, 
Namelie, the beaste most furious, 

It may seeme strange, and so it doose, 
And to this bird injurious: 
It seemethe a case right curious, 

To make construction in such sens 

As may stand for this bird's defens. 

But mark this lion, so by name. 

Is, properlie, a lambe t'assyne.f 
No lion wilde, a lion tame. 

No rampant lion masculyne, — 

The lambe-like lion, feminyne. 
Whose milde, meek propertie aleurth 
This bird to light, and him asseurth." 

* I\I;ite. t " Qu. — To assign, to shew, or set forth ? " 

The same volume also contains " a brefe Balet, 
touching the traytorous takynge of Scarborow 
custcll,'"* by the same author, the burden of each 
line alluding to Scarborough warning, which, ac- 
cording to Fuller, " was no warning at all, but a 
sudden surprise, when a mischief is felt before it 
be suspected." The first verse runs thus: — 

"Oh, valiant invaders, gallantly gaie, 

Who, with your compeeres, conquering the route, 
Castels, or towr's, all standynge in your waie. 
Ye take, controlling all estates most stoute, 
Yet had it now been good to look aboute; 
Scarborow castel to have let alone, 
And take Scarborow warnynge everichone." 

This ballad is neither poetic nor imaginative, 
and is one of the dullest compositions of its class. 
Other ballads, by Heywood, are noticed by Mr. 
Collier in his History of the Stage, (vol. ii. p. 384), 
as existing in a MS. then belonging toB. H. Bright, 
one of which is printed in the Shakespeare Society's 
Papers, vol. i. 

The close of Heywood's career may be told in 
Chalmers' words : —"After the death of Mary, 
he," says our author, " being a bigoted Roman 

* "By Thomas Stafford, 24 Aprilis, an. 3 et 4, P. et M."— 
MS. note in the black letter copy from which it is re- 

Catholic, perceiving that the Protestant interest 
was likely to prevail under the patronage of her 
successor, Queen Elizabeth ; and, perhaps, appre- 
hensive that some of the severities which had been 
practised on the Protestants in the preceding 
reign, might be retaliated on those of a contrary- 
persuasion in the ensuing one, and especially on 
the peculiar favorites of Queen Mary, he thought 
it best, for the security of his person, and the pre- 
servation of his religion, to quit the kingdom. 
Thus, throwing himself into voluntary exile, he 
settled at Mechlin, in Brabant, where he died in 
1565, leaving several children behind him, to all 
of whom he had given liberal educations. His 
character in private life seems to have been that 
of a sjirightly, humorous, and entertaining com- 
[)anion. As a poet, he was held in no inconsider- 
able esteem by his contemporaries, though none 
of his writings extended to any gi-eat length, but 
seem, like his conversation, to have been the re- 
sult of little sudden sallies of mirth and humour." 
It is not intended to notice here any other 
of Heywood''s works than Ins Interludes, and these, 
as Mr. Collier remarks, " almost form a class by 
themselves ; they are neither miracle-plays, nor 
moral plays, but what may be properly, and 
strictly, called ' Interludes '; a s[)ecies of writing 
of which he has a claim to be considered the in- 


vcntor, although the term ' interlude* was aj)plic(l 
generally to theatrical productions in the reign of 
Edward IV." This author considers that it was 
about A.D. 1530, that Hey wood hegan to com- 
pose them. Considering how very few in number 
they are, there is a great variety in them, and 
much humour, as well as some philoso])hy, in all. 
Warton''s remark, that they are destitute of plot, 
humour, or character, is singularly unjust. The 
plot is, certainly, always of the simplest kind, but 
the humour and character of each part is exceed- 
ingly well sustained, and, certainly, mvich better 
than by any dramatist previous to Shakspeare. 
They were all printed in lo3.3,("The Four P's " is 
undated), and consist of: — " The Play of Love ""; 
" The Play of the Weather "; " A Play between 
John the husband, Tyb the wife, and Sir John 
the Priest "; " A Mery Play between the Par- 
doner, the Friar, the Curate, and Neighbour 
Pratt "; and " The Four P's." 

Of the existence of the first two, as separate 
plays, there, until lately, appeared to be some 
doubt, according to the description given of each 
by our di'amatic and literary antiquaries; thus, 
" The Play of Love "" is catalogued in Lowndes' 
Bibliographical Manual as it is in the Biographia 
Dramaiica and elsewhere, simply thus^ : — " The 
Play of Love. London: by W. Rastell, 1533. 


Quarto.''' But Dr. Dibdin, in his Typographical 
Antiquities, (vol. iii. p. 376), corrects this, and 
tells us,that " it is a small folio., and not a quarto, 
as designated by Herbert"; and, giving the full 
title of " The Play of the Weather," as if from 
the copy in St. John's College, Oxford, it might 
thence be inferred, that the two plays were one and 
the same : — " The Play of Love ; or, a new and 
very mery Enterlude of all manner of weathers"; 
and he describes this rare volume as " The Play 
of Love" in his index, and refers to the account 
of it as given in the Censura Literaria, (vol. iii. p. 
299), by Dr. Bliss. Tliis mistake and confusion 
has been ended by the discovery of a copy of 
" The Play of Love " in the Bodleian Library, 
" printed at London, in Farster Laen, by John 
Waley," and a specimen of a Skeltonical song in 
it communicated to the first volume of the Shak- 
speare Society's Papers. The whole thing is curi- 
ous, as it shews how easily any person, from the 
account of these rare plays given in bibliographical 
and dramatic works, might, from their evidence, 
have reasonably concluded the non-existence of 
this drama. " The Play of the Weather" contains 
the greatest number of characters in any by Hey- 
wood, the " players' names" being : — " Jupiter, a 
god ; Mery Reporte, the vycc ; the gentylnian, 
the marchaunt, the ranger, the water myller, the 

wyndc myllcr, the gcntylwoman, the launder, a 
boy, the least that can play." 

Dr. Bliss's account of this play is as follows : — 
" In ' The Play of the Wether,' the first person 
who makes his appearance on the stage, is Jupi- 
ter ; he, after the manner of a chorus, explains 
to the audience the plan and occasion of the 
drama. This originates in the various misfor- 
tunes and inconveniences which arise from the 
contrary dispositions of Saturn, Phoebus, Eolus, 
and Phoebe, who, being cited before the cloud- 
compelling deity, each makes complaint against 
the other ; and all agree in declaring that, not- 
withstanding their several endeavours to promote 
the benefit of mankind, they are constantly 
thwarted by the actions of their companions in 
power. Saturn first accuses Phoebus, who, by 
the heat of his morning rays, melts the frost, and 
thus renders the labour of the night useless. To 
this charge the god makes no reply, but, joined by 
his late opponent, Saturn, exclaims against Phoebe, 
whose showers they find alike prejudicial to frost 
and heat. She, in return, is silent, and all three 
then fiill upon poor Eolus, who, say they, 

' AV'hen he is dysposecl his Wastes to blow, 
SufTereth neyther sons shyne, rayne, nor snow.' 

"To remedy these evils, they propose investing 

Jupiter with their command, who determines to 
call together such mortals as may have suffered ; 
and, hearing their petitions, act accordingly. 

" Thus far Jupiter himself leads us, when we 
are introduced to Mery Keporte, who, after some 
facetious discourse, is appointed messenger, to 
declare the intention of the deity to every nation. 
He departs. And here, I conceive, ends the first 

" Mery Reporte, having executed his commis- 
sion, returns, and informs us of the numerous 
places he has visited. Then appears the first pe- 
titioner, who proves to be the 'gentylman.'' After 
some conversation with 'the vyce," not of the 
most delicate nature, he entreats for — 

' Wether pleasaunt, 
Drye, and not mystj, the wynde cahne and styll, 
That after our houndes yournynge so meryly; 
Cliasynge the dere ouer dale and hyll, 
In herynge we may folow, and to comfort the cry.' 

" After this personage we have the remaining 
characters, who all differ in their requests, which 
are thus, afterwards, related to Jupiter by Mery 
Reporte : — 

* Jupiter speaks seven lines after " Mery Reporte goeth 
out." The stage direction in the margin says, " At thende 
of this staf the god hath a song played in his trone, or Mery 
Reporte come in." 


' The fyrst sewter before your selfe dyd appere, 
A gentyliiKin dcsyrynge wether clere; 
Clowdy, nor mysty, nor no wynde to blow, 
For luirt in liys buntynge; and then, as ye know,* 
The marchaunt sewde for all that kynde, 
For wether clero, and raesurable wynde, 
As thev maye best here theyr saylys to make spede; 
And streyght after thys, there came to me, in dede, 
An other man, who namyd himself a ranger. 
And sayd, all of hys crafte be farre bi-ought in 

For lacke of ly vyuge, whych chefely ys wyndefall, 
But he playnely sayth there bloweth no wynd at al; 
Wherefore he desyreth, for encrease of theyr fleesys, 
Extreme rage of wynde, trees to tere in pieces; 
Then came a water-miller, and he cryed out 
For water, and sayde the wynde was so stout, 
The rayne could not fall, wherfore he made request 
For plenty of rayne to set the wynde at rest; 
And then, syr, there came a wyude-myller in, 
Who sayde, for the rayne, he could no wynde wyn; 
The water he wysht to be banysht all, 
Besechynge your grace of wynde continuall; 
Then came there an other, that wolde banysh all this, 

* Jupiter hunself was present during the conversation 
with the gentleman and merchant. He then leaves Mery 
Reporte to interrogate the remaining suppliants, who are 
not all on the stage together, one entering as the other with- 

XVI 1 

A goodly dame, an ydyll thynge, i wys, 

"Wynde, rayne, nor froste, nor sonshyne wold she 

But fayre, close wether, her beauty to saue; 
Then came there another, that ly veth by laundry, 
"Who must haue wether bote and clere, here clothys 

to dry; 
Then came there a boy, for froste and snow con- 

Snow, to make snowballys, and froste for his pyt- 

For whyche god wote he seweth full gredely.' 

"Having thus enumerated the desires of the 
mortals, Jupiter sends for, and addresses them. 
He promises to fulfil every request at due seasons, 
by which means all occupations may prosper, 
without one retarding the other. He continues, — 

' Now, on the tother syde, yf we had graunted 
The full of some one sewt, and no mo, 
And from all the rest the wether had forbyd. 
Yet who so hadde obtayned, had wonne his owne wo, 
There is no one craft that can preserue man so, 
But by other craftes of necessyte 
He must haue myche parte of his commodyte. 
'AH to serve at ones, and one destroy another, 

* This " pytfale," by the former part of the play, I con- 
ceive to be a decoy to entrap birds, — 

" And to here the byrdes how they flycker theyr wyiiges 
In the pytfale, I say, yt passcth all thynges." 



Or ellys to serue one, and destroy all the rest, 
Nether wyll we do the t'one, nor the tother; 
But serue as many, or as few as we thynke best, 
And where, or what tyme to serve moste or lest, 
The dyreccyon of that doubtles shall stande 
Perpetually in the power of our hande. 

' Wherfore we wyll the hole worlde to attende 
Eche sorte on suche wether as for them doth fall, 
Now one, now other, as lyketh vs to sende; 
Who that hath yt, ply yt, and suer we shall 
So gyde the wether in course to you all, 
That eche wyth other ye shall hole remayne 
In pleasure and plentyful welth certayne.' 

" At this determination each petitioner is satis- 
fied, and returns thanks for the mildness and cle- 
mency with which he has been treated. And 
here, as I suppose, the play ends. The copy from 
which I have written the above, wants about the 
last page. Seven, out of the eight, have expressed 
their gi'atitude, and the boy is the only one re- 
maining, whose speech, if it accords with those of 
his companions, takes up two lines. AVe may 
then suppose either Jupiter, or Mery Reporte, 
addresses the audience by way of epilogue, and 
that it concludes with — 'Impi'inted by W. Rastell, 
1533. Cum primlegio.''^ There is a copy in the Bod- 
leian Library, "Imprinted at London, in Panic's 
Churche-yearde, at the sygne of the Sunne, by 

Antonie Kytson ;" the title being " The Play of 
the Wether : a new and a very meiy interlude of 
al maner wethers, made by John Heywood," and 
bound up with the curious volume of his works 
containing his Play of Love. The Bodleian copy 
is complete, and the speech of the boy occupies 
more than the two lines, as Dr. Bliss conjectures. 
The play thus ends : — 

" Boije. Godfather god, I wyll do somewhat for' 

you agayne. 
By Christe! ye may happe to have a byrd or twayne, • 
And I promyse yf any snowe come 
When I make my snow ballys, ye shall have some. 

Mery Report. God thanke your lordshypp ! lo how 
this is bi'ought to pas, 
Syn now shall ye have the wether even as it was. 

Jupiter. We nede no whyt our selfes any further 
to host, 
For our dedes declare us apparauntly, 
Not onely here on earth in every cost, 
But also above, in heavenly company. 
Our prudence hath made peace universally, 
Whiche thing, we say, recordeth us as principall, 
God and governour of heaven, yearth, and all. 

Now unto that heaven we woll most retorne, 

Where we be glorified most triumphantly, 

Also we woll all ye that on yearth soiourne 

Since cause geveth cause, to knowe us your lord 

onely ; 


lleioysiiig in us, and in nicanc time we shall 
Ascende into our tronc celestiall." 

By the courtesy of Dr. Bandincl, I have been 
enabled to give an analysis of the other rare play, 
which has hitherto escaped all notice, and with 
which this has been confounded. The Play of 
Love is in small quarto. The characters are, — 
the Lover not beloved — the Woman beloved, not 
loving — the Lover beloved — and one Neither lover 
nor loved, Avho comes in also as the Vice. The 
first-named of these fanciful characters begins the 
drama thus: — 

"Lo, Syr! whoso tliat loketh here for curtesy, 
And seth me seme as one pretending none, 
But as unthought uppon, thus sodenly 
Approcheth the middes among you everichone, 
And of you all seyth nought to any one, — 
May think me rewd, p'ceiving of what sorte 
Ye seme to be, and of what stately port ; 
But I beseche you, in most humble wyse, 
To omitte displeasure, and pardon me : 
My maner is to muse, and devyse. 
So that sometime my selfe may cary me 
My selfe knoweth not where; and I assure ye 
So hath myselfe done now, for our lord wot 
Where I am, or what ye be, I know not. 

* The copy in the Bodleian Library is complete, except 
the title-page : it l)egins at sign a 2, ending at g 4. 

Or whence I cam, or whytlier I shall (be) 

As this in maner is unknowen to me, 

But evyn as fortune guycleth my fote to fall, 

So wander I, yet where so ever I be, 

And whom, or how many, so ever I se, 

As one person to me is every chone, 

So every place to me but as one. 

And for that one persone every place seke I, 

Whiche one ones founde I fynde of all the rest, 

Not one myssying ; and in the contrary 

That one absent, though that these even here prest 

All the creatures lyvyng most and lest, 

Yet lacking her, I shulde, and ever shall, 

Be as alone, syns she to me is all." 

He continues in this strain of praise for his 
mistress, and lamentation of her coldness, for 
some time, endino- with, — 

" I say, and wyll verefy. 

Of all paynes, the most incomparable payne 
Is to be a lover not lovyd agayne." 

The Woman Beloved, not loving, now enters; 
who declares the untenableness of the position he 
takes up, and enters into an argument, with these 
words : — 

" Ye be a lovyr no whyt loved agayne, 
And I am loved of whomc I love nothyng ; 
Then standcth our question bctwcnc these twayne. 

Of loving not lovyd, or lovyd not loving, 
Wiiich is the case most puynfiill in sutFeryng? 
A\nierto I saye, that the most payne doth move 
To those belovyd of whome they cannot love." 

And thereupon ensues some pages of" rather 
dry reasoning, in which each party do their best 
to maintain their position, the lover endeavour- 
ing to ilkistratc that of each by saying: — 

'' I put case that ye 

Stoode in cold water all day to the knee, 

And I halfe the same day to myd leg in the feyer, 

Wolde ye channge places with me for the dryer ?" 

Which is answered in the negative, yet cannot 
they agree ; and after some further dispute, they 
retire for the verdict of an impartial judge. The 
Lover beloved now enters, and rapturously dilates 
on the happiness of his position, when the per- 
fectly careless free-man, " N other lover nor loved,^ 
enters with, — 

" Nowe god you good evyn, raayster Woodcock ! 

Lover loved. Cometh of rudnesse, or lewdenesse, 

that mock ? 
No lover nor loved. Come wherof it shall, ye 
come of such stock 
That god ye good evyn, mayster Woodcock ! 

Lover loved. This losell, by lyke, hath lost his 


No lover nor loved. Nay, my mayster Woodcock, 
not a whyt ! 
I have knowen you for a woodcock or this, 
Or els, lyke a woodcock, I take you a mys, 
But though for a woodcock ye deny the same, 
Yet shall your wit witnesse you mete for that name. 

Lover loved. Howe so? 

No lover nor love^l. Thus : lo! 
I do perceive by your form are proces 
That ye be a lover, wherto ye confes 
Yourself beloved, in as loving wyse 
As by wit and wyll ye can wyshe to devyse ; 
Concluding therein determinately, 
That of all pleasures pleasaunt to the body, 
The hyest pleasure that man may obtayue. 
Is to be a lover beloved agayne. 
In which conclusion before all this flock, 
I shall prove you plain to be a woodcock." 

He then urges his own total absence from all 
care : — 

" My parte lor most pleasaunt may soon be gest 
By my contynuall quyeted rest. 

Lover loved. Beyng no lover who may quyet be ? 
No lover nor loved. Nay, being a lover, what 
man is he 
That is quiet ? 

Lover loved. Mary, I ! 

No lover vor loved. Maiy, ye lye ! " 


A bluff rejoinder, •which urges the lover to go 
out :it the other's challenge, and bring him a 
sufficient proof, leaving the loveless one to amuse 
himself with the fluicied actions of a lover, and 
singing the Skeltonical song in the praise of his 
mistress (printed in the Shakspeare Society Papers, 
vol. i.), he relates a long story of tricking her by 
pretended love, but finds himself more thoroughly 
tricked by his inamorato, who, in his absence, 
which he thinks will be fatal to her peace, con- 
soles herself with another lover, whom he discovers 
by peeping in at her chamber-window, after she 
has reported his unkindness had killed her. He 
taunts her with her perfidy, and consoles himself 
with being no serious lover. The Beloved lover 
now enters, bringing in with him two witnesses, 
the Lover not loved, and the Loved not loving ; and 
they determine now to argue each question, and 
judge of each other among themselves. The two, 
who are last brought on the stage, now detail 
their superior misery, in long and rather tediously 
logical speeches, ending with rendering each other 
uncertain which is the most unfortunate, and 
referring their case for judgment to the other 
two. They then stand aside to listen to the 
argument of the Lover loved, or the loveless " No 
lover nor loved,^^ to prove wdiose happiness is in 
this instance superior, the lover urging his point 
with great spirit: — 

" Love is the feeding that cloth this body good, 
And this hed dyspyseth all these eyes Avynkyng, 
Longer then love doth kepe this harte thynkyng, 
To di'eme on my swete harte ; love is my feader, 
Love is my lorde, and love is my leader ! 
Of all rayne affayres in thought, word, or dede. 
Love is the Christ crosse that must be my spede ! " 

This tlie other denies, and declares that the 
torment of a lover counterbalances all joy. 

" Wherby, as I sayd, I say of love sty 11, 
Of the devyll and love, love is the more yll, 
And at beginning I may say to you, 
If God had sene as much as I say now, 
Love had been Lucyfer, and doubt ye no whyt. 
But experiens now hath taught God such wit. 
That yf aught come at Lucyfer other then good. 
To whyp soules on the brech, love shall be the blood. 
And sewer he is one that can not lyve long. 
For aged folk, ye wot well, can not be strong, 
And another thynge his phisicyon doth ges, 
That he is infect with the black iawndes ! " 

The lover, however, sticks to his point, and the 
loveless man is reduced to refer to a book in the 
purse at his girdle for arguments ; when he ex- 
claims, most irreverently, — 

" Now, I pray God the devyll in hell blynd me ! 
By the mass, I have lefte my booke behyndc nic ! 


I bcseche our Lorde I never go hens, 

If I wolde not rather have spent forty pens. 

But syns it is thus I must goo fetch it, 

I wyll not tarry — A, Syr, the devyll stretch it ! " 

And out he runs, the two uncivilly retorting 
the terms dawcock and woodcock on each other, 
when the Lover loved congratulates himself on 
liavlng reduced him to fly, and Is about to retire 
to visit his lady, when " the Vyse conieth in 
ronnynge sodenly aboute the place among the 
audlens, with a hye coppyr tank on his head, full 
of squybs, fyred, crying, ' Watere, water ; fyre, 
fyre, fyre ; water, water ; fyre ;' tyll the fyre iu 
the squybs be spent." This Vice is the loveless 
man, and this dialogue ensues : — 

" Lover loved. AYater and fyre ! 

No lover nor loved. Nay, water for fyre, I meane! 

Lover loved. Well, thanked be God, it is now 
out cleane ; 
How cam it ther ? 

No lover nor loved. Syr, as I was goyng 
To fet my boke for which was my departyng. 
There chaunced in my way a house thereby, 
To fyre, which is burned pyteously ; 
But mervelously the people do mone 
For a woman, they say a goodly one, 
A sojoner, whome in this house burned is ; 
And shoutyng for the people for helpe in this. 


Made me runne thyther, to have done some good ; 

And at a wyndowe thereof, as I stood, 

I thrust in my heed, and evyn at a flush 

Fyre flasht in my face, and so toke my bush. 
Lover loved. "What house ? 
No lover nor loved Ahouse paynted with red oker, 

The owner whereof they say is a broker. 

Lover loved. Tlien brek hart, alas ! why lyve I 
this day ! 

My dere hart is distroyd, lyfe and welth away ! 
Xo lover nor loved. What man ! syt downe, and 
be of good chere ! 

God's body ! mayster Woodcock is goone clere ! 

O mayster Woodcock, fayr mot be fall ye, 

Of ryght, mayster Woodcock, I must nowe call ye ! 

Maystres stand you here afore and rubbe hym, 

And I wyll stande here behynde and dubbe hym. 

Nay, the chylde is asle^je, ye nede not rock. 

Mayster Woodcocke ! mayster Wood-wood-wood- 
cocke ! 

Where folke be farre within a man must knock. 

Is not this a pang trow ye beyonde the nock ? 

Speke, mayster Woodcock, speke parot, I pray ye ! 

My leman your lady ey well ye see. 

My lady your leman one undertakes 

To be safe from fyre, by slyppyng through a jakes. 
Lover loved. That wordc I harde, but yet I sec 

her not. 
Xo lover nor loved. No more do I, mayster Wood- 
cock, our lorde wot. 

Lover loved. Unto that house where I dyd see her 
I wyll sekc to see her, and yf she be past 
So that to apere there I can not make her, 
Then wyll I burne after and overtake her." 

He then hurries out, much to the amusement 
of the other, who declares he has invented the 
whole story in order to convince him of the 
misery of being in love, by the lamentable con- 
sequences to his own happiness, just shown. He 
soon returns, finding no accident had happened, 
and on being taxed with the doleful effect of his 
loving, he retorts, — 

"My loving! nay, all the cause was your lying!" 
this leads to fresh argument, the lover insisting, — 

" Th' actuall pleasures that I possess 

Are as far above the case that ye profes, 
As is ray payne in your imaginacyon. 
Under the pleasures of contentacyon." 

And he asks him which of the two he would 
rather be, — a tree or a horse ? the loveless one 
answers, — 

When the hors went to labour, by our lady, 
I had lever be a tre then a hors I ! 

Lover loved. But how when he restyth and fylleth 

his gorge ? 
No lover nor loved. Then wold I be a hors, and no 
tree, by Saynt George. 

Lover loved. But what yf ye must nedes styke to 
the one ? 

No lover nor loved. Which were the best, by the 
masse I can name none. 

Lover loved. The fyrst case is yours, and the 
next is for me. 
In case lyke a tree I may lyken ye, 
For as a tree hath lyfe without felyng, 
Wherby it felyth pleasyng nor displeasing, 
And can not be but contented quyetly, — 
Even the lyke case is yours now presently. 
And as the hors feleth payne, and not the tre, 
Lykewyse I have payne, and no payne have ye ; — 
And as a hors above a tre felythe pleasm-e. 
So fele I pleasure above you in rate sure ; 
And as the tre felyth nother, and the hors both, — 
Evyn so pleasure and payne betweneus twaynegoeth. 
Syns these two cases so indifferently fall 
That your selfe can iudge nother for percyall, 
For indifferent ende I thynke this way best 
Of all our reasoning to debarre the rest, 
And in these two cases this one question 
To be the issue that we shall ioyne on." 

This is agreed on ; but now tlic Lover not loved and 
the Loved not loving beg to have their cases first 
adjudged as they were tlie first speakers, and it is 
ultimately settled that the female lover, loved by 
an ugly man, is in as much misery by his 
disgustful importunity as the lover unloved. This 


being settled, the adjntlged parties give their 
verdict on the state of the other two. The lady 
now declares that the pleasures of the loving and 
loveless are equal, all things considered ; the 
Lover not loved agreeing to her verdict in these 
words: — 

'* Who hereth this tale with indifferent mynde, 
And seeth of these twayne, eche one so full bent 
To his owne parte, that nother in harte can fynde 
To chaunge pleasures with other, — must nedes assent 
That she in these wordes hath gyuene ryghtiudjement. 
In affermance wherof I judge and awarde 
Both these pleasures of yours as one in regarde." 

To which all agree, and eulogise the pleasure 
of being contented in each particular state, the 
Lover not loved concluding the play with this moral 
speech : — 

" Syns such contentacyon may hardely acorde 
In such kynde of love as here hath ben ment, 
Let us seke the love of that lovyng Lorde 
Who to suffer passyon for love was content ; 
Wherby his lovers that love for love assent 
Shall have in fyne above contentacyon, 
The felyng pleasure of eternall salvacyon : 
Which lorde of Lordes whose ioyfuU and blessed 

Is now remembred by tyme presentyng, 
This accustomyd tyme of honest rayi'th, 


That Lorde we beseche in most humble meanyng 
That it may please hym by mercyfull hearyng, 
The state of this audiens longe to endure, 
In myrth, helth, and welth, to graunt his pleasure." 

From which it appears that this play was 
written for a Christmas performance. 

" A Mery Play between Johan Johan, the Hus- 

hande; Tyb, his Wyfe\ and Syr Than, the Freest, " 
as Mr. Collier says, " certainly deserves the 
epithet applied to it on the title-page: it is a 
' mery play,' resembling in its structure a one- 
act farce." Johan Johan, the husband, who is 
completely hen-pecked, but who, as usual, in the 
absence of his wife, is most valiant, commences 
the play with these words : 

" God spede you, maysters, everychone, 
AVote ye not whyther my wyfe is gone? 
I pray God, the dyvell take her, 
For all that I do, I cannot make her. 
But she wyll go a gaddynge very rauche, 
Lyke an Antony pyg with an olde wyche, 
Whiche ledeth her aboute hyther and thyther ; 
But, by our Lady I I wote not whyther. 
But, by goggis blod ! wei'e she come home 
Unto this, my liousc, by our Lady of Crome! 


I wolde bete her or that I drynk. 

Bete her, quotha? yea, that she sliall stynke ; 

And at every stroke lay her on the ground, 

And trayne her by the here about the house ronndc, 

I am evyn mad that I bete her not nowe, 

But I shall rewarde her hardly well ynowe ; 

There is never a wyfe betwene heven and hell 

Which was ever beten halfe so well." 

He continues in this vehement strain for a 
considerable length of time, increasing his threats 
as he pursues the subject, declaring, — 

" That is a poynt of an honest man 
For to bete his wyfe well, nowe and than." 

His rage is increased by a jealous fear lest she 
has gone to visit Sir John the Priest, with whom 
he conceives her to be too intimate, but he is 
suddenly cooled by his wife, who overhearing his 
threats, enters and asks : — 

" Why, whom wylt thou beate, I say, thou knave ?" 

His valour immediately evaporates, and anxious 
to conceal the truth he answers : — 

*' Who, I, Tyb ? none, so God me save. 

Ti/b. Yes, I harde the say thou woldest me bete. 
Johan. Mary, wyfe, it was stok fysshe in Tem- 
mes Strete, 

Wliiche wyll be guod ineate agayust Lent. 
Why, Tyb, what haddest thou thought that I had 
, ment ? 

Tyh. Mary, me thought I harde the bawlyng. 
Wylt thou never leve this wawlyng ? 
Howe the dyvell dost thou thy self behave ? 
" Shall we ever have this worke, thou knave ? 

Johan. What, wyfe, how sayst you, was it well 
gest of me 
That thou woldest be come home in safete ? 
Assone as I had kendled a fyre. 
Come warm the, swete Tyb, I the requyre." 

Tyb now tells him she feels very unwell, and the 
husband declares to himself his utter want of 
sympathy, and his jealousy of Sir John; which 
is not a little increased wdien the wife desiring 
him to guess Avhere she has been, at last tells 
him that she has been in company with some 
gossips (of whose characters John, in a few words 
mumbled to himself, makes entire wreck) and the 
priest, and that among them they concocted a 
famous pie, — 

'•' The preest payde for the stuffe and the rnakyng, 
And Margery she payd for the bukyng." 

and she then indulges in praises of them all, and 
ultimately brings forth the pye ; the dialogue 
thus continuino; : — 


"7'(//'. But wotest who gave it? 

Johan. "What the dyvel rek I ? 

Tyh. By my fayth, and I shall say trewe, than 
The dyvell take me, and it were not Syr Jhan. 

Johan. O holde the peas, wyfe, and swere no 
But I beshrewe both your hartes therfore. 

Tyh. Yet, peradventure, thou has suspection 
Of that was never thought nor done. 

Johan. Tusshe, wife, let all suche matters be, 
I love thee well, though thou love not me: 
But this pye dothe nowe catche harme, 
Let us set it upon the harth to warme. 

Tijh. Than let us eate it as faste as we can. 
But bycause Syr Jhan is so honest a man, 
I wolde that he shulde therof eate his parte. 

Johan. That were reason I thee ensure. 

Tijh. Than syns that it is thy pleasure, 
I pray the than go to hym ryght, 
And pray hym come sup with us to nyght. 

Johan. Shall he cum hyther? by cokkis soule I 
was a curst 
Whan that I graunted to that worde furst ; 
But syns I have sayd it, I dare not say nay, 
For than my wyfe and I shulde make a fray, 
But whan he is come, I swere by Goddis mother, 
I wold gyve the dyvell the tone to cary away the 

Tijh. What sayst ? 

Johan. Mary, he is my curate, I say. 

My confessour and my frende alway, 

Therfore go thou and seke hym by and by, 

And tyll thou come agayne, I wyll kepe the pye. 

Tijh. Shall I go for him? nay, I shrewe me than, 
Go thou and seke as fast as thou can, 
And tell hym it. 

Johan. Shall I do so ? 

In fayth, it is not mete foi* me to go. 

Tyb. But thou shalte go tell hym for all that. 

Johan. Than shall I tell hym, wotest thou what? 
That thou desyrest hym to come make some chere. 

Tijh. Nay, that thou desyrest hym to come sup 

John is evidently most unwilling to do this, and 
occasionally breaks out into severe expressions ; 
which when his wife desires him to explain, he 
does, by converting them into inoffensive remarks. 
She then begins to get ready for her expected 
visitor ; takes off the gown she has been walking 
in, and ordering her husband to clean the skirt, 
which has become dirted, exclaims : — 

" Lo! nowe am I redy to go to Syr Jhan, 
And bid hym come as fast as he can. 
Johan. Ye, do so without ony taryeng. 
Tyb. But I say, harke ! thou hast forgot one 
thyng ; 
Set up the table, and that by and by. 
Johan. Nowe go thy wayes. 
Tyb. I go shortly ; 



But se your candelstykkis be not out of the way. 
Come agayn and lay tlie table I say ; 
AVliat me thynkkis ye have sone don. 

JoIkiii, Nowe I pray God that his malediction 
Lyght on my wyfe, and on the baulde preest. 

I'ljh. Nowe go thy ways, and hye the, seest. 

Johan. I pray to Christ, if my wyshe be no synne, 
That the preest may breke his neck whan he comes 

Tijh. Now cum again. 

Johan. What a myschefe wylt thou, fole ! 

Tyh. Mary, I say, brynge hether yender stole. 

Johan. Nowe go to, a lyttell woulde make me 
For to say thus, a vengaunce take the. 

Tyh. Nowe go to hym, and tell hym playn, 
That tyll thou brynge hym, thou wylt not come 

Johan. This pye doth borne here as it doth 

Tyh. Go washe me these two cuppes in my hande. 

Johan. I go with a myschyefe lyght on thy face. 

Tyh. Go and byd hym hye hym a pace. 
And the whyle I shall all thynges amende. 

Johan. This pye burneth here at this ende, 
Understandest thou ? 

Tyh. Go thy ways I say. 

Johan. I wyll go nowe as fast as I may. 

Tyh. How, come ones agayne : I had forgot ; 
Loke, and ther"" be ony ale in the pot. 


Johan. Nowe a veugaunce and a very myschyefe 
Lyght on the pylde preest, and on my wyfe, 
On the pot, the ale, and on the table, 
The caudyll, the pye, and all the rable. 
On the trystels, and ou the stole ; 
It is moche ado to please a curst fole. 

Tyh. Go thy ways nowe, and tary no more 
For I am a hungred very sore. 

Johan. Mary, I go. 

Tyh But come ones agayne yet ; 

Brynge hyther that breade lest I forget it. 

Johan. I wys it were tyme for to torne 
The pye, for y wys it doth borne. 

Tyh. Lorde ! Jiow my husbaude nowe doth patter, 
And of the pye styl doth clatter. 
Go nowe and byd hym come away ; 
I have byd the an hundred tymes to day. 

Johan. I wyll not gyve a strawe, I tell you playne, 
If that pye ware cold agayne. 

Tyh. What ! art thou not gone yet out of this place? 
I had went, thou haddest ben come agayn in the space: 
But by cokkis soule, and I shulde do the ryght, 
I shulde breke thy knaves heed to uyght. 

Johan. Nay, than if my wyfe be set a chydyng, 
It is tyme for me to go at her bydding. 
There is a proverbe, whiche trewe now preveth. 
He must ncdes go that the dyvell dryveth. 

Johan. How maystcr curate, may I come in 
At your chamber dore, without ony syn. 


Sifr Jh((ii the Freest. 

Who is there nowe that wolde have me ? 
What ! Johuii Johan, what newes with the. 

Johan. Mary, Syr, to tell you shortly, 
My wyfc and I pray you hartely, 
And eke desyre you wyth all our myght, 
That ye wolde come and sup with us to nyght. 

Sijr J. Ye must pardon me, in fayth I ne can. 

Johan. Yes, I desyre you, good Syr Jhan, 
Take payne this ones ; and, yet at the lest 
If ye wyll do nought at my request, 
Yet do somewhat for the love of my wyfe. 

Syr J. I wyll not go for makyng of stryfe, 
But I shall tell the what thou shake do. 
Thou shalte tary and sup with me, or thou go. 

Johan. Wyll ye not go than, why so ? 
I pray you tell me, is there any dysdane 
Or any enmyte betwene you twayne ? 

Sijr J. In fayth to tell the, betwene the and me, 
She is as wyse a woman as any may be ; 
I know it well ; I have had the charge 
Of her soule, and serchyd her conscyens at large ; 
I never knew her but honest and wyse. 
Without any yvyll, or any vyce, 
Save one faut, I know in her no moi'e, 
And because I rebuke hex*, now and then, therfore 
She is angre with me, and hath me in hate, 
And yet that that I do, I do it for your welth. 

Johan. Now God yeld it yow, god master curate, 

And as ye do, so send you your lielth, 
Yvvys I am bound to you a plesure. 

The priest defends her character to the utmost, 
but in an equivocal manner, declaring that he 

"never espy 

That ever any did worse with her than I." 

with which John appears satisfied, and then 
asks : — 

"But yf it please you, tell me the matter 
And the debate betwene you and her. 

Syr J. I shall tell the, but thou must kepe 

Johan. As for that, syr, I shall not let. 

Syr J. I shall tell the now the matter playne. 
She is angry with me and hath me in dysdayn 
Because that I do her oft intyce 
To do some penaunce, after myne advyse, 
Because she wyll never leve her wrawlyng, 
But alway with the she is chydyng and brawlyng ; 
And therefore I knowe she hatyth me presens. 

Johan. Nay, in good feyth, savyng your reverens. 

Syr J. I know very well, she hath me in hate. 

Johan. Nay, I dare swere for her, master curate : 
But, was I not a very knave ? 
I thought surely, so God me save, 
That he had lovyd my wyfe, for to deseyve me. 
And now he qnytyth liymself ; and here I se 


lie doth as iniuli, as lie may for his lyfe 

To stynte the debate betweiie me and my wyfe. 

Si/r J. II' ever she dyd, or thought me any yll, 
Now I forgyve her with me fre wyll ; 
Therfore Johan Johan, now get the home 
And tliank thy wyfe, and say I wyll not come. 

Johan. Yet, let me know, now good Syr Jhan, 
Where ye wyll go to supper than. 

Syr J. I care not greatly, and I tell the. 
On saterday last, I and ii or thre 
Of my frendes made an appoyntement, 
And agaynst this nyght we dyd assent 
That in a place we wolde sup together ; 
And one of them sayd, he wolde brynge thether 
Ale and bread ; and for ray parte, I 
Sayd, that I wolde gyve them a pye. 
And there I gave them money for the makynge ; 
And an other sayd, she wolde pay for the bakyng ; 
And so we purpose to make good chere 
For to dryve away care and thought. 

Johan. Than I pray you, syr, tell me here, 
Whyther shulde all this geare be brought ? 

Syr J. By my fayth, and I shulde not lye. 
It shulde be delyvered to thy wyfe, the pye. 

Johan. By God ! it is at my house, standyng 
by the fyre. 

Syr J. Who bespake that pye ? I the requyre. 

Johan. By my feyth, and I shall not lye, 
It was my wyl'e, and her gossyp Margerye, 


And your good niassliyp, callyd Syr Jahn, 
And my neybours yongest doughter An ; 
Your masshyp payde for the stufFe and niakyng, 
And Margery, she payde for the bakyng. 

Syr J. If thou wylt have me nowe, in faithe I 
wyll go. 

Johan. Ye, mary, I beseche your masshyp do so, 
My wyf taryeth for none but us twayne ; 
She thynketh long, or I come agayne. 

Syr J. Well nowe, if she chyde me in thy 
I wyl be content, and take in pacyens. 

Johan. By cokkis soule, and she ones chyde. 
Or frowne, or loure, or loke asyde, 
I shall brynge you a staffe as myche as I may heve, 
Than bete her and spare not, I gyve you good leva, 
To chastyce her for her shreude varyeng." 

By tliis time, they are supposed to have reached 
the house, when the husband is greeted by his 
wife with, — 

" The devyll take the for thy long taryeng." 

and ordered, iu no civil language, to prepare water 
to wash their hands, and place the pie on the 
table ; the priest, on the contrary, being received 
with, — 

" Welcome, niyn owne swete harte. 
We shall make some chere or \vc depurte." 


to the great annoyance of John, who declares, 
" this abateth my chere," and whose credulity is 
sneered at by the priest, thus : — 

Syr J. By God, I Avolde ye had harde the 
The toys, the mokkes, the fables, and the nyfyls, 
That I made thy husbande to beleve and thynke, 
Thou myghtest as well into the erthe synke. 
As thou coudest forbearc laughyng any whyle. 

Tyb. I pray the let me hear part of that wyle. 

Syr J. Mary, I shall tell the as fast as I can. 
But peas, no more ! — yonder cometh thy good man. 

Johan. Cokkis soule, what have we here ? 
As far as I sawe, he drewe very nere 
Unto my wyfe. 

Tyh. What, art come so sone ? 

Gyve us water to wasshe nowe — have done. 
(Than he hrynrjeth the payle enq^ty.) 

Johan. By cokkis soule, it was, even nowe, full 
to the brynk, 
But it was out agayne or I coude thynke ; 
"NVherof I marveled, by God Almyght, 
And than I loked betwene me and the lyght, 
And I spyed a clyfte, bothe large and wyde, 
Lo, wyfe! here it is on the tone syde. 

Tyh. Wliy dost not stop it ? 

Johan. Why, how shall I do it ? 

Ty}i. Take a lytle wax. 

Johan. Howe shal I come to it ? 


Syr J. Mary, here be ii wax candyls, I say, 
Wbiche my gossyp Margery gave rae yesterday. 

Tyb. Tusshe, let hym alone, for by the rode! 
It is pyte to help hym, or do hym good. 

Syr J. What! Johan Johan, canst thou make 
no shyfte ? 
Take this waxe, and stop thervvith the clyfte. 

Johan. This waxe is as harde as wyre. 

Tyb. Thou must chafe it a lytle at the fyre. 

Johan. She that broughte the these waxe can- 
dylles twayne. 
She is a good companyon certayn. 

Tyb. What, was it not my gossyp Margery ? 

Syr J. Yes, she is a blessed woman surely. 

Tyb. Nowe wolde God I were as good as she, 
For she is vertuous, and full of charyte. 

Johan. Nowe, so God helpe me ; and by my 
She is the erranst baud betwene this and Rome. 

Tyb. Wat say St ? 

Johan. Mary, I chafe the wax, 
And I chafe it so harde that my fingers krakks. 
But take up this pye that I here torne, 
And it stand long, ywys it wyll borne. 

2'yb. Ic, but thou must chafe the wax, I say. 

Juhan. Byd hym syt down, I the pray — 
Syt down, good Syr Jhan, I you requyre. 

Tyb. Go, I say, and chafe the wax by tlie lyre, 
Wliyle that we sup, Syr Jhan and I. 

Johan. And how now, wliiit wyll ye do with the 
pye ? 


Slmll I not etc therof a morsell ? 

Ti/h. Go and chafe the wax whyle thou art well, 
And let us have no more pratyng thus. 

Si/r J. Benedicite. 

Johan. Dominus. 

Tijh. Now go chafe the wax with a myschyfe. 

Johan. What, I come to blysse the bord, swete 
wyfe ? 
It is my custome now and than. 
Mych good do it you, Master Syr Jhan, 

Tijh. Go chafe the wax, and here no longer tary. 

Johan. And is not this a very purgatory 
To se folks ete and may not ete a byt ? 
By kokkis soule I am a very wodcok. 
This payle here, now a vengaunce take it, 
Now my wyfe gyveth me a proud mok. 

Tyh. What dost ? 

Johan. Mary, I chafe the wax here, 

And I ymagyn to make you good chere, 
That a vengaunce take you both as ye syt, 
For I know well I shall not ete a byt. 
But yet, in feyth, yf I myght ete one morsell, 
I wolde thynk the matter went very well. 

Syr J. Gossyp Johan Johan, now much good 
do it you ; 
What chere make you there by the fyre ? 

Johan. Master parson, I thank you now ; 
I fare well enow after myne owne desyre. 

Syr J. What dost, Johan Johan, I the requyre? 

Johan. I chafe the wax here by the fyx'e. 


Ttjh. Here is good drynk, and here is a good py. 

Syr J. We fare very well, thankyd be our Lady. 

Tyb, Loke how the kokold chafyth the wax that 
is hard, 
And for his lyfe, daryth not loke hether ward. 

Syr J. What doth my gossyp? 

Johan. I chafe the wax, 

And I chafe it so hard that my fyngers krakks ; 
And eke the smoke puttyth out my eyes two : 
I burne my face, and ray my clothys also, 
And yet I dare not say one word, 
And they syt laughyng yender at the bord. 

Tyb Now, by my trouth, it is a prety jape, 
For a wyfe to make her husband her ape. 
Loke of Johan Johan, which makyth hard shyft 
To chafe the wax to stop therwith the clyft. 

Johan. Ye, that a vengeance take ye both two, 
Both hym and the, and the and hym also ; 
And that ye may choke with the same mete 
At the furst morsell that ye do ete. 

Tyb. Of what thyng now dost thou clatter, 
Johan Johan ? or whereof dost thou patter ? 

JoJuni. I chafe the wax, and make harde shyft 
To stop herewith of the payll the ryftt. 

Syr J. So must he do, Johan Johan, by my 
father kyn, 
That is bound of wedlok in the yoke. 

Johan. Loke how the pyld preest crammyth in ; 
That wold to God he myght therwith choke. 


Ti/b. Now, master Parson, pleasyth your goodnes 
To tell us some tale of myrth or sadnes 
For our pastyme, in way of communycacyon. 

Syr J. I am content to do it for our recreacyon, 
And of iii myracles I shall to you say. 

Johan. What, must I chafe the wax all day, 
And stond here, rostyng by the fyre ?" 

To which the priest answers : — 
" Thou must do somewhat at thy wyves desyre." 

and then relates three absurd stories of miracles 
wrought upon married women, through the inter- 
cession of priests, more remarkable for their satiri- 
cal caricature of monkish legends, than for their 
delicacy. At the conclusion of the last narrative, 
John asks, — 

" But howe say you, Syr Jhan, was it good your pye? 
The dyvell the morsell that therof eate I. 
By the good Lord this is a pyteous warke ! 
But now I se well the olde proverbe is treu, — 
The parysshe preest forgetteth that ever he was 

But, Syr Jhan, doth not remember you. 
How I was your clerke, and holpe you masse to syng, 
And hylde the basyn alway at the offryng ; 
Ye never had halfe so good a clarke as I, 
But notwithstandj'ng all this, now our pye 
Is eaten up, there is not left a byt, 
And you two together there do syt 


Eatynge and drynkynge at your own desyre, 

And am I Johan Johan, wliiche must stande by the 

Chafyng the wax, and dare none other wyse do. 

Syr J. And shall we alway syt here sty 11, we two ! 
That were to mych. 

Tyb. Then ryse we out of this place. 

Syr J. And kys me than in the stede of grace ; 
And farewell leman and my love so dere. 

Johan. Cokkis body, this waxe it waxte colde 
agayn here ; — 
But what shall I anon go to bed. 
And eate nothyng nother meate nor brede ! 
I have not be wont to have suche fare. 

Tyb. Why were ye not served there as ye are, 
Chafyng the w\axe, standyng by the fyre ? 

Johan. Why, wat mete gave ye me, I you 


Syr J. Wast thou not served, I pray the, hartely, 
Both with the brede, the ale, and the pye ? 

Johan. No, syr, I had none of that fare, 

Tyb. Why were ye not served there as ye are, 
Standyng by the fyre chafyng the waxe ? 

Johan. Lo, here be many tryfyls and knakks — 
By cokkis soule! they wene I am other dronke or 

Tyb. And had ye no meate, Johan Johan, no had ? 

Johan. No, Tyb, my wyfe, I had not a whyt, 

Tyb. What, not a morsel ? 

Johan. No, not one byt ; 


For honger, I trow , I shall fall in a swonc. 

Syr J. 0, that were pyto, I swere by my crowne! 

Ti/h. But is it trewe ? 

Jolian. Ye, for a suretc. 

Tyh. Dost thou ly ? 

Johan. No, so mote I the. 

Tyb. Hast thou had uothyug ? 

Johnn. No, not a byt. 

Tyh. Hast thou not drouke ? 

Joluoi. No, not a whyt. 

Tyb. Where wast thou ? 

Johan. By the fyre I dyd stande. 

Tyb. What dydyst ? 

Johan. I chafed this waxe in my hande. 

Where as I knewe of wedded men the payne 
That they have, and yet dare not complayne, 
For the smoke put out my eyes two ; 
I burned my face, and rayde my clothes also, 
Mendyng the payle, whiche is so rotten and olde, 
That it will not skant together holde ; 
And syth it is so, and syns that ye twayn 
Wold gyve me no meate for my sufFysance ; 
By cokkis soule! I wyll take no longer payn, 
Ye shall do all yourself, -with a very vengaunce 
For me, and take thou there thy payle now, 
And yf thou canst mend it, let me se how. 

Tyb. A horson's knave, hast thou brok my payll? 
Thou shalt repent, by cokkis lylly nay 11! 
Rech me my dystaf, or my clyppyng sherys, 
I shall make the blood ronne about his erys. 


Johmt. Nay, stand styll, drab, I say, and come 
no nere, 
For by cokkis blood! yf thou come here, 
Or yf thou onys styr toward this place, 
I shall throw this shovyll full of colys in thy face. 
Tyh. Ye horson dryvyll, get the out of my dore. 
Johan. Nay, get thou out of my house, thou 

prestis hore. 
Syr J. Thou lyest, horson kokold, evyn to thy 

Johmi. And thou lyest, pyld preest, with an 

evyll grace. 
Tyh. And thou lyest. 
Johan. And thou lyest, syr. 

Syr J. And thou lyest agayn. 

Johan. By cokkis soule, horson preest, thou shalt 
be slayn ; 
Thou hast eate our pye and gyve me nought, 
By cokkis blod, it shall be full derely bought. 

Tyh. At hym, Syr Jhan, or els God gyve the 

Johan. And have at your hore and thefe, Saynt 
George to borrow. 

(Here they fyght hy the erys a irhyle, and than the 
preest and the iryfe go out of the place.) 

Johan. A, syrs, I have payd some of them even 
as I lyst. 
They have borne many a bloAv with my fyst, 



I thank God, I have walkyd them well, 
And dryven them hens, but yet can ye tell 
"Whether they be go ? foi", by God ! I fere me, 
That they be gon together he and she 
Unto his chamber, and perhappys she wyll 
Spyte of my hart, tarry there styll. 
And, peradventure, there he and she 
Wyll make me cokold, evyn to anger me ; 
And then had I a pyg in the wors panyer, 
Therfor, by God, I wyll hye me thyder 
To se yf they do me any vylany : 
And thus fare well this noble company." 

This interlude, according to the Colophon, was 
" Imprynted by Wyllyam Eastell, the xii day of 
February, the yere of our Lord mccccc and xxxiii. 
Cum jorivilec/io." It is remarkable, as all his plays 
are, for unsparing satire on the vices of the Roman 
Catholic clergy, and the absurdity of their legends 
and relics ; and as Heywood was a rigid, if not 
a bigoted Catholic, this may be received as a 
proof of their corruption. It is of great rarity, 
and was privately reprinted a few years back; 
the advertisement stating that " no copy of this 
Mery Play appears to exist, except that in the 
Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. Exclusive of its 
antiquity and rarity, it is valuable as affording a 
specimen of the earliest and rudest form of our 
comedy (for the poem is shorter, and the number 


of the dramatis personoe yet fewer than those of 
The Four P^s), and of the liberty Avith which even 
the Roman Catholic authors of that age felt them- 
selves authorized to treat the established church.'*' 
A remark which is also fully carried out by a 
perusal of the next play of our author's, which 
we shall now consider. 

"A Mery Playe betwene the Pardoner, and the 
Frere, the Curate, and neybour Pratte," Mr. 
Collier inclines to consider, one of Heywood's, 
earliest productions. " It was pi'inted by Rastell 
in 1533, but must have been written before 1521, 
when the author was a player on the virginals, in 
the court of Henry VIII ; because Leo X is 
spoken of in it as living*" ; its chief end appears 
to have been the exposure of the tricks and im- 
positions practised by wandering fi-iars and 
pardoners, who bore relics, to cheat the unthinking 
laity of their money. To both these classes 
Heywood is unsparing in his censure^ as he also 
is in his " Four P*'s.'" The present play com- 
mences with this speech by the friar : — 

" Deus hie, the holy trynyte 

Preserve all that nowe here be. 

Dere bretherne, yf ye wyll consyder 

The cause wliy I am come hydcr, 

d 2 


Ye woUle bo. glad to kiiowe my intent, 
For I com not hyther for monye nor for rent ; 
I com not hyther for ineate, nor for meale, 
But I con> hyther, for your soules heale." 

He then enlarges on the ])urity and poverty of 
his order : — 

" We freres have professed wylful poverte, 
No peny in our purse have may we, 
Knyfe nor staff may we none cary, 
Excepte we shulde from the gospell vary;" 

for which reason he says they should evermore be 
hospitably received and liberally treated : — 

" Wherfore my frendes to this text take ye hede, 
Beware how ye despyse the pore freres, 
Wliich ar in this worlde crystes mynysters ; 
But do them with an harty chere receyue, 
Leste they happen your houses for to leue, 
x\nd than God wyll take vengeaunce in his yre. 
Wherfore I now, that am a pore frere, 
Dyd enquere were any people were 
Which were dysposyd the word of God to here ; 
And as I cam hether, one dyd me tell. 
That in this towne ryght good folke dyd dwell ; 
Which to here the word of God wolde be glad, 
And as sone as I, therof knolege had, 
I hyder hyed me as fast as I myght, 
Entendyd by the grace of God almyght. 
And by your pacyens, and supportacyon. 
Here to make a symple colacyon ; 


Wherfore I requyre all ye in this prese 
For to abyde, and gyue dew audyence." 

And so having obtained of the Curate leave to 
use his church for a beo'o-hio; sermon, he kneels 
down for a preparatory prayer; during which 
time the Pardoner, whose object is also that of 
lorocuring money, enters " with all his relyques to 
declare what eche of them ben, and the hole 
power and vertu therof," and thus he begins : — 

The pardo)ier. God and saynte Leonardo sende 
ye all his grace 
As many as ben assembled in this place. 

Good devout people that here do assemble, 
I pray good that ye may all well resemble 
The ymage, after whiche you are wrought ; 
And that ye save, that Chryst in you bought. 

Devout chrysten people, ye shall all wytte 
That I am comen hyther ye to vysytte, 
"Wherfore let us pray thus or I begynne, 
Our sauyoure preserue ye all from synne ! 
And enable ye to receyue this blessed pardon, 
Whiche is the greatest vndor the son, 
Graunted by the pope in his buUes under lede, 
Whiche pardon ye shall fynde whan ye are dcde, 
That ofFereth outher grotes er els pens, 
To these holy relyques, whiche or I go hens 
I shall here shewe, in open audyence, — 
Exortynge ye all to do to them reuerance. 


But first ye shall know well, y' I com fro Rome, 
Lo here my buUes, all and some, 
Our lycge lorde scale here on my patent 
I here with me, my body to warant ; 
That no man be so bolde, be he preest or clarke, 
Me to dysturbe of Chrystes holy warke ; 
Nor haiie no dysdayne, nor yet scorne, 
Of these holy reliques whiche sayntes haue worne. 

Fyrst, here I shewe ye, of a holy Jewes shepe 
A bone, I pray you take good kepe 
To my wordes, and max-ke them well : — 
Yf any of your bestes belyes do swell, 
Dyppe this bone in the water that he dothe take 
Into his body, and the swellynge shall slake. 
And yf any worme haue your beestes stonge, 
Take of this water, and wasshe bis tonge, 
And it wyll be hole anon ; and furthermore 
Of pockes, and scabbes, and every sore, 
He shall be quyte hole that drynketh of the well 
That this bone is dipped in ; it is treuth that I tell ! 
And yf any man that any beste oweth 
Ones in the weke, or that the cocke croweth, 
Fastynge wyll drynke of this well a draughte. 
As that holy Jew hath vs taught, 
His beestes and his store shall multeply. 
And maysters all it helpeth well 
Thoughe a man be foule in ielous rage. 
Let a man with this water make his potage, 
And neuermore shall he his wyfe mystryst, 
Thoughe he in sothe the faut by her wyst, 


Or had she betake with freres two or thre. 

Here is a mytten eke, as ye may se, 
He that his hande wyll put in this myttayn, 
He shall haue encrease of his grayn, 
That he hath sowne, be it wete or otys, 
So that he offer pens, or els grotes. 
And another holy relyke eke here se ye may ; 
The blessed arme of swete Saynt Sondaye ! 
And who so euer is blessyd with this ryght hande, 
Can not spede amysse by se nor by lande ; 
And if he offereth eke with good deuocyon, 
He shall not fayle to come to hyglie promocyon. 

And another holy relyke here may ye see. 
The great too of the Holy Trynyte. 
And who so euer ones doth it in his mouthe take. 

He shall neuer be dysseasyd with the tothe ake ! 

Canker nor pocky s shall there none brede! 

This that I shewe ye is matter indede ! 

And here is of our Lady, a relyke full good, 

Her bongrace which she ware with her French hode* 

Whan she wente oute, al wayes for sonne bornynge; 

Women with chylde, which be in mournynge. 

By vcrtue thereof shal be sone easyd ; 

And of theyr trauayll full sone also releasyd ; 

* The French hood was the close coif, fashionable among 
ladies at this period ; the bongrace was a frontlet attached 
to the hood, and standing up ro nd the forehead ; as may 
be particularly seen in the portraits of Queen Anne Bullen. 
(Sec my History of Costume in Ewfland, p. 243, and Glossary 
p. 441.) 


And if this bongrace they do deuoutly kys, 
And offei- therto, as theyre deuocyon is. 

Here is another relyke, eke a precyous one, 
Of all helowes the blessyd jaw bone, 
Which relyke, without any fayle, 
Agaynst poyson chefely dothe preuayle. 
For whom so euer it toucheth without dout, 
All maner venyra from hym shall issue out ; 
So that it shall hurt no maner wyghte ; 
Lo, of this relyke the great power and myght, 
Which preseruyth from poyson euery man. 
Lo of Saynt Myghell, eke the brayn pan ! 
Which for the hed ake is a preseruatyfe, 
To every man or beste that beryth lyfe. 
And further it shall stande hym in better stede 
For his hede shall neuer ake whan that he is dede. 
Nor he shall fele no maner grefe nor payn, 
Though with a sworde one cleue it than a twayn! 
But be as one that lay in a dede slepe, [crepe. 

Wherfore to these relykes now come crouche and 
But loke that ye ofFerynge to them make 
Or els can ye no maner profyte take; 
But one thynge ye women all, I warant you, 
Yf any wyght be in this place now 
That hath done syn, so horryble that she 
Dare nat for shame therof shryuen be, — 
Or any woman be she younge or olde, 
That hathe made her husbande cockolde, 
Suche folke shall haue no power nor no grace, 
To offer to my relyke? in this place; 


And who so fjncleth her selfe out of suche blame, 
Com hyther to me on crystes holy name. 
And bycause ye 
Shall vnto me 
Gyue credence at the full, 
Myn auctoryte 
Now shall ye se, 
Lo ! here the popes bull ! 

Now shall the frere hegyn his sermon and euyn at 
the same tijme the iHirdoner ber/ynnetlt also to shew and 
speke of his hullys, and auctorijtes com Jrom Borne. 

The frere. Date et dabitur vobis. 
Good deuout people, this place of scrypture — 
Pardo. WorshypfuU maysters, ye shall understand 
Frere. Is to you that have no litterature, 
Pardo. That pope Leo the .x. hath graunted with 

his hand, 
Frere. Is to say in our englysshe tonge, 
Pardo. And by his bulles confyrmed vnder lede, 
Frere. As departe your goodes the poore folke 

Pardo. To all maner people bothe quycke and 

Frere. And god shall than gyue vnto you agayne. 
Pardo. Ten thousande ycres and as many lentes 

of pardon, 
Frere. This in the gospell so is wryten playne. 
Pardo. Whan they are dede theyr soules for to 



Frere. Therfore gyue your almcs in the largest 

Pardn. That Avyll with theyr peny or almes 

Frere. Keep not your goodes, fye ! fye ! on 

couetyse ! 
Fardo. Put to theyr handes to the good spede 
Frere. That synne with god is most abhomynable, 
Pardo. Of the holy chapell of swete saynt 

Frere. And is eke the synne that is most damp- 

Pardo. Whiche late by fyre was destroyed and 

Frere. In scrypture eke, but I say syrs, how, 
Pardo. Ay! by the mas! one can not here, 
Frere. What a bablynge maketh yonder felow, 
Pii rdo. For the bablynge of yonder folysshe frere ! 

Neither of them being inclined to silence, they 
continue talking at the same time, and loudly urge 
their claims upon the purses of the congregation; 
until the friar totally out of patience calls out: — 

" But I say, thou j^ardoner, I byd the holde thy peace. 
Pardo. And I say thou frere, holde thy tonge 

Frere. What standest thou there all the day 

Pardo. Mary what standest thou there all day 



Frere. Mary, felow, I com hyder to precli the 
woi'cle of god, 
Whych of no man may be forbode ; 
But harde wyth scyleuce and good entent ; 
For why, it techeth them euydent 
The very way and path, that shall them lede 
Euen to heuen gatys, as strayght as any threde ! 
And he that lettyth the worde of god of audyence, 
Standeth accurst in the greate sentence ! 
And so art thou, for enterruptynge me. 

Pardo. Nay, thou art acurst, knave, and that 
shalt thou se. 
And all suche that to me make interrupcyon, 
The pope sends them excommunycacyou 
By hys bullys, here redy to be redde. 
By bysshoppes and hys cardynalles confyrmed. 
And eke yf thou dysturbe me any thynge. 
Thou art also a traytour to the kyng ! 
For here hath he graunted me vnder hys brode scale, 
That no man, yf he loue hys hele, 
Sholde me dysturbe, or let in any wyse ! 
And yf thou dost the kynges commaundment dispise, 
I shall make the be set fast by the fete; 
And where thou saydyst that thou arte more mete 
Amonge the people here for to preche, 
Bycause thou dost them the very way teche 
How to com to heuen aboue, 
Therin thou lyest! and that shall I proue; 
And by good reason I shall make the bow, 
And know that I am meter than arte thou. 


For thou, wlian thou hast taught them ones the way, 
Thou carest not whether they com there, ye or nay! 
But wh:in that thou hast done all togyder, 
And taught them the way for to com thyther, 
Yet all that thou canst ymagyn 
Is but to vse vertue, and abstayne fro syn. 
And yf they fall ones, than thou canst no more, 
Thou canst not gyve them a salue for theyr sore; 
But these my letters be clene purgacyon, 
All thoughe neuer so many synnes they haue don; 
But whan thou hast taught the way and all, 
Yet or they com there, they may haue many a fiiU 
In the way, or that they com thyther: 
For why the way to heuen is very slydder. 
But I wyll teclie them after another rate; 
For I shall brynge them to heuen gate, 
And be theyr gydes, and conducte all thynges, 
And lede them thyther by purse strynges; 
So that they shall not fall though that they wolde. 

Frere. Holde thy peace, knaue, thou art very bolde, 
Thou pratest in fayth euen like a pardoner. 

The corruption of the Romish cliurch in Eng- 
land at this period can scarcely be doubted, when 
so sincere a member of it as Heywood could thus 
satirize the peculation of its members: no re- 
former could say a more bitter thing than this, of 
leading men to heaven by the pursestrings. The 
Pardoner is so enraged, that he cries: — 

" Why despysest thou the pope's mynyster; 
Maysters, here I curse hym openly." 


The friar laughs at hiui, and continues to speak 
of his superior sanctity amid the manifold inter- 
ruptions of the other, who enlarges on the 
superior value of his relics; until the friar, anxious 
to get quietly on with his sermon, says, — 

" But I say, thou lewcle felowe thou! 
Haddest none other tyme to shewe thy bulles but 

Canst not tary, and abyde tyll none, 
And rede them than whan prechynge is done. 

Pardo. I wyll rede them now, what sayest thou 
Hast thou any thynge thei'with to do? 
Thynkest that I wyll stande, and tary for thy leasure, 
Am I bounde to do so moche for thy pleasure? 

JF rere. For my pleasure? nay I wolde thou 
knewyst it well, 
It becometh the knave, never a dell, 
To prate thus boldely in my presence, 
And let the word of god of audience. 

Pardo. Let the word of god quoth a? nay let a 
horson dreuyll 
Prate here all day, with a foule euyll! 
And all thy sermon goth on couetyce, 
And byddest men beware of auaryce, 
And yet in thy sermon dost tliou none other thynge, 
But for almes stande all the day beggynge! 

Frere. Leue thy realynge, I wolde the aduyse ! 

Pardo. Nay ! leue tliou tliy bablynge, yf thou 
be wyse. 


Frerc. I wolde thou knewest it, kiiaue, I wyll 

not leue a whyt. 
Pardo. No more wyll I! 1 do the well to wyt. 
Frere. It is not thou shall make me hold my 

Pardo. Then speke on hardly, yf thou thynkyst 

it for thy eas ; 
Frere. For I wyll speke, whyther thou wylt or no. 
Pardo. In faythe, I care not, for I wyll speke 

Frere. Wherfor hardely let vs bothe go to. 
Pardo. Se whiche shall be better harde of vs two. 
Frere. What! sliolde ye gyue ought to pratyng 

pardoners ! 
Pardo. What ! sholde ye spende on these flat- 

erynge lyers ! 
Frere. What ! sholde ye gyue oughte to these 

bold beggars I 
Pardo. As be these bablynge monkes, and these 

frere s, 
Frere. Let them hardely labour for theyr 

Pardo. Which do nought dayly but bable and 

Frere. It moche hurtyth them, good mennys 

Pardo. And tell you fables, dere inoughe a flye ! 
Frere. For that maketh them ydle, and slouth- 

full to warke. 


Pardo. As clothe this babljnge frere, here to day. 
Frere. That for none other thynge they vvyll 

They thus continue for some length of time, in 
vulgar abuse of each other, and earnest appeals for 
money, until the patience of both rapidly wearing 
away, and neither being inclined to surrender, 
the friar exclaims : — 

" I say wylt thou nat yet stynt thy clappe, 
Pull me downe the pardoner, with an euyll happe ! 

Pardo. Maister frere, I holde it best 
To kepe your tonge while ye be in rest. 

Frere. I say one pull the knaue of his stole. 
Pardo. Nay one pull the frere downe lyke a fole. 
Frere. Leue thy railynge, and babbelynge of 
Or by jys, I'sh lug the by the swete eares ! 

Pardo. By God ! I wolde thou durst presume 

to it ! 
Frere. By God ! a lytell thynge might make me 

to do it ! 
Pardo. And I shrew thy herte and thou spare. 
Frere. By God, I wyll nat mysse the moche, 
thou slouche ! 
And yf thou playe me suche another touche, 
I'sh knocke the on the costarde, I wolde thou it 
knewe ! 
Pardo. Mary that wold I se ! quod blynde hew. 


Frcrr. "Well I wyll begyn, and than let me se 
Whether thou darest agayne interrupte me, 
And what thou wolde ones to it say. 

Fordo. Begyn and proue whether I wyll, ye, or 

Fieri'. And to go fort he where as I lefte right 

now — 
Parclo. Because som percase wyll thynke amysse 

of me — 
Frere. Our lorde in the gospell sheweth the way 

how — 
Parch. Ye shall now here, the popys auctoryte, — 
Frere. By gogges soule ! knaue, I sufFre the no 

lenger ! 
Pardo. I say some good body, lende me his 
And I shall hym teche, by God almyght, 
How he shall another tyme lerne for to fyght ! 
I shall make that balde crowne of his to loke rede, 
I shall leue him but one ere on his hede. 

Frere. But I shall leue the neuer an ere or I go! 
Pardo. Ye, horeson frere ! wylt thou so ? 

(Than they fyght.) 
Frere. Lose thy handes away from myn earys. 
Pardo. Than take thou thy handes away from 
my heres. 
Nay abyde thou horeson ! I am not downe yet ; 
I trust fyrst to lye the at my fete. 

Frere. Ye horeson, wylt thou scrat and byte ! 
Pardo. Ye mary wyll I, as longe as thou doste 
.smyte ! 


The curate, alarmed at the disturbance, now 
enters, saying: 

" Holde your handes, a vengeaunce on ye bothe two, 
That euer ye came hyther, to make this a do ; 
To polute my chyrche, a myschyefe on you lyght ! 
I swere to you by God all myght ! 
Ye shall bothe repente, euery vayne of your harte, 
As sore as ye dyd euer thynge or ye departe. 

Frcre. Mayster Parson, I maruayll ye wyll gyue 

To this false knaue, in this audience 
To publysh his ragman rolles with lyes ; 
I desyred hyra y wys more than ones or twyse 
To holde his peas, tyll that I had done ; 
But he wolde here no more than the man in the raone! 
Pardo. Why sholde I sufFre the, more than thou 

Mayster Parson gaue me lycence before the ; 
And I wolde thou knewyst it. I haue relykes here, 
Other mauer stufFe than thou dost here ; 
I wyll edefy more with the syght of it, 
Than wyll all the pratynge of holy wryt ! 
For except that the precher hym selfe ly ve well. 
His predycacyon wyll helpe neuer a dell ; 
And I know well that thy lyuynge is nought! 
An homycyde thou art I know well inoughe. 
For my sclfe knew where thou sloughe 
A wenche with thy dagger in a couche. 
And yet, as thou saist in thy sermon, y' no ma shall 




Parso. No more of this wranglyng in my chyrch, 
I shrewe your hartys bothe for this lurche ; 
Is there any blood shed here betwen these knaues? 
Thanked be God! they had no stauys, 
Nor cgoteles, for than it had been wronge. 
Well ye shall synge another songe. 
Neybour Prat, com hether, I you pray. 

Prat. Why, what is this nyse fraye ? 

Parso. I can not tell you, one knaue dysdaynes 
Wherfore take ye the tone, and I shall take the 

We shall bestow them there as is most conuenyent, 
For suche a couple; I trow, they shall repente 
That euer they met in thys chryche here ! 
Neyboure ye be constable, stande ye nere, 
Take ye that laye knaue, and let me alone 
With this gentylman; by God and by Saynt John, 
I shall borowe vpon prestholde somwhat, 
For I may say to the, neybour Prat, 
It is a good dede to punysh such, to the ensample 
Of suche other, how that they shall mell 
In lyke facyon as these catyfes do. 

Prat. In good fayth, mayster Parson, yf ye do so, 
Ye do but well to teche them to be ware. 

Pardo. Mayster Prat, I pray ye me to spare, 
For I am sory for that that is done; 
Wherfore, I pray ye, forgyue me sone, 
For that I haue offendyd within your lybertye, 
And by my trouthe, syr, ye may trust me ; — 


I wyll ncuer come hetlier more 
Whyle I lyuc, and God before! 

Prat. Nay, I am ones charged with the, 
"Wherfore, by Saynt John, thou shalt not escape me, 
Tyll thou hast scouryd a j^are of stokys. 

Parso. Tut! he weneth all is but mockes, 
Lay hande on hym ; and com ye on, syr frere, 
Ye shall of me hardely haue your hyre, 
Ye had none suche, this vii yere, 
I swere by God, and by our Lady dere! 

Pardo. Nay, mayster Parson, for Goddys passyon, 
Intreate not me after that facyon. 
For if ye do it wyll not be for your honesty. 

Par<o. Honesty or not, but thou shalt se 
What I shall do by and by. 
Make no stroglynge, com forthe soberly, 
For it shall not auayle the, I say. 

Frere. Mary, that shall we trye, euen strayt way ! 
I defy the, churle preeste, and there be no mo than 

I wyll not go with the, I make God a vow ! 
We shall se fyrst which is the stronger, 
God hath sent me bonys, I do the not fere ! 

Parso. Ye, by thy fayth, wylt tliou be there? 
Neybour Prat, brynge forthe that knaue ; 
And thou, syr frere, yf thou wylt algatys rave. 

Frere. Nay, chorle, I the defy ! 
I shall trouble the fyrst. 
Thou shalt go to pryson by and by. 
Let me se now do thy worst. 



Prat iritit the PonJoHer, and Ihc Pam))! vith lite 
Ptirao. Helpe ! Iielpe ! neybour Prat ! neybour 
Prat ! 
In the worship of God, helpe me som what ! 

Prat. Nay, deale as thou caust with that elfe, 
For \vhy, I haue inoughe to do my selfe ! 
Alas! for payne I am almoste dede. 
The reede blood so ronneth downe aboute my hede ! 
Nay, and thou canst, I pray the, helpe me! 

Parso. Nay, by the mas, felowe it wyll not be, 
I haue more tow on my dystaffe than I can well spyn ! 
The cursed frere dothe the vpper hande wyn. 

Frere. "Wyll ye leue than, and let vs in peace 

departe ? 
Ps. d Pr. Ye, by our Lady, euen with all our 

Fre. d Pel. Than adew, to the deuyll, tyll we 

com agayne ! 
Par. d Pr. And a myschefe go with you bothe 
twayne !" 

And with these mutual bad wishes, the play 
ends, and each goes his own wa}'. 

" The Play called the Foure P^s, a newe and a 
very mery interlude of a Palmer, a Pardoner, a 
Potycary, and a Pedlar." It is reprinted in all 
the editions of Dodsleifs Old Plays, and it there- 
fore is not necessary to do more here than give. 


in the words of Mr. Collier, the plot of the 
interlude : " The question at issue between the 
characters is which shall tell the greatest lie ; and 
after each has told some monstrous story, the 
determination of the rest that the Palmer's simple 
assertion, that he never saw a woman out of 
patience in his life, is the most monstrous false- 
hood of all, (which the other three, taken by- 
surprise, involuntary declare) is an unexpected 
and very comic turn to the performance." The 
absurdity of pardoners' relics is asseverely handled 
as in the play last described, and the jaw-bone of 
All-Hallows, and great toe of the Trinity, are 
ao-ain brought forward to ridicule. It has not 
hitherto been noticed that Hey wood's Pardoner 
is a close copy of Chaucer's, and the two first 
relics he descants on — the sheep's jaw and the 
mytten — are derived from Chaucer, and described 
as nearly as possible in the same words, as well as 
the artful assurance, that all persons but grievous 
sinners, may publicly offer to these relics as the 
test of their innocence; as deceptive and effective 
an imposition as was ever imputed to this body.* 
The most spirited and humorous part of this 
Play (if indeed it be not Hey wood's chef-d^oeuvre) 
is the Pardoner's tale of his descent into hell, to 

* See Gluuiccr's r<:(rdo)Lei'''s Tale. 


recover tlie lost soul of a lady i'ricnd, wiiich he 
eons'ulers luinsclf bouiul to do, as be has saved 
others through virtue of his relics; so taking 
them with him : — 
" From heus I Avent to pui-gatory, 

And toke with me tliys gore in my fyste, 

Wherby I may do there what I lyste. 

I knocked and was let in quyckly: 

But Lorde, how lowe the soules made curtesy; 

And I to every soule agayne 

Dyd gyve a beck them to retayne, 

And axed them thys question than, 

If that the soule of suche a woman 

Dyd late amonge them there appere? 

AVherto they sayd, she cam nat here. 

Then ferd I muche it was nat well; 

Alas, thought I, she is in hell; 

For with her lyfe I was so acqueynted, 

That sure I thought she was nat sayuted. 

With thys it chaunced me to snese; 

Christe helpe, quoth a soule that ley for his fees. 

Those wordes, quoth I, thou shalt nat lees; 

Then Avith these pardons of all degrees, 

I payed his tole and set hym to quyght, 

That strayt to heaven he toke his flyght. 

And I from thens to hell that nyght, 

To help this woman yf I myght; 

Nat as who sayth by authorite, 

But by the waye of entreate. 


And fyrst to the devyll that kept tlie gate 
I came, and spake after this rate. 
All hajle, syr devyll, and made lowe curtesy: 
Welcome, quoth he, thus gmillyngly. 
He knew me well, and I at laste 
Remembred him syns longe time paste: 
For as good happe wolde have it chaunce, 
This devyll and I were of olde acqueyntauncc; 
For oft, in the play of corpus Cristi, 
He hath playd the devyll at Coventry.* 
By his acqueyntauncc and my behavoure, 
He shewed to me ryght frendly favoure, 
And to make my returne the shorter, 
I sayd to this devyll, good mayster porter. 
For all olde love, yf it lye in your power, 
Helpe me to speke with my lorde and your. 

* This is a very curious allusion to a favourite character 
in the old mysteries. " Before the suppression of the 
monastaries, this city (i. e. Coventry) was very famous 
for the pageants that were play'd therein upon Corpus 
Christi day (this is one of their ancient faires), which 
occasioning very gi-eat confluence of people thither from 
far and near, was no small benefit thereto ; which pa- 
geants being acted with mighty state and reverence by 
the friers of this house, had theaters for the several scenes 
very large and high, placed upon wheels, and drawn to all 
the eminent parts of the city, for the better advantage of 
spectators, and contained the story of the New Testament, 
composed in old English rithmc, as appeareth by an ancient 
MS, entitled, Lucius Corporis Christi, or Ludus Coventrice, 
in Bibl. Cotton, (sub Effigie Vcsp. D. 9)." Dugdale's War- 
ivickshire, p. IIG. The Shakspoare Society have published 
the entire serius from the manuscript Dugdalc alludes to. 

Be sure, quoth he, no tongue can tell. 

What tyme thou coudest have come so well: 

For as on thys daye Lucyfer fell, 

Whiche is our festyvall in hell, 

Nothynge unreasonable craved thys day, 

That shall in hell have any nay. 

But yet be ware thou come nat in, 

Tyll tyrae thou may thy pasporte wyn. 

Wherfore stand styll, and I will wyt, 

Yf I can get thy save condyt. 

He taryed nat, but shortely gat it 

Under scale, and the devyls hande at it, 

In ample wyse, as ye shall here; 

Thus it began: Lucyfere, 

By the power of god chyefe devyll of hell. 

To all the devyls that there do dwell, 

And every of them we sende gretynge. 

Under streyght charge and commaundynge, 

That they aydynge and assystent be 

To suche a Pardoner, and named me, 

So that he may at lybertie 

Passe save without any jeopardy, 

Tyll that he be from us extyncte. 

And clerely out of belle's precincte. 

And hys pardons to kepe in savegarde; 

We wyll they lye in the porter's warde. 

Gevyn in the fornes of our palys, 

In our highe courte of maters of malys, 

Suche a day and yere of our reyne. 

God save the devyll, quoth I, amain. 


I truste thys wiytynge to be sure: 

Then put thy truste, quod he, in euer* 

Syns thou art sure to take no harme. 

Thys devyll and I walket arme in arme, 

So farre, tyll he had brought me thyther, 

Where all the devylls of hell togyther 

Stode in a ray, in suche apparell 

As for that day there metely fell. 

Theyr homes well gylt, theyr clowes full clene, 

Theyr taylles well kempt, and, as I wene, 

With sotheryf butter theyr bodyes anoynted; 

I never sawe devylls so well apoynted. 

The mayster devyll sat in his jacket, 

And all the soules were playinge at racket. 

None other rackettes they hadde in hande, 

Save every soule a good fyre brand; 

Wherwith they played so pretely. 

That Lucyfer laughed merely; 

And all the resedew of the feends, 

Did laugh thereat ful wel like freends. 

But of my frende I saw no whyt, 

Nor durst not axe for her as yet. 

Anone all this rout was brought in silens, 

And I by an usher brought in presens 

Of Lucyfer: then lowe, as wel I could, 

1 knelyd, whiche he so well alowde. 

That thus he beckte, and by saynt Antony 

He smyled on me well favourcdly, 

* Euer^ cure, edit. 1.569, it is the old word wre, custom, 
t Sothery\ Sweet or fresh, made from the old word oste- 


Bendynge his browes as brodc as barnc durres, 
Shaky nge hys eares as ruged as burres; 
Rolynge bis eyes as rounde as two bushels; 
Fkstyiige the fyre out of his nose thiyls; 
Gnashinge hys teeth so vaynglorously, 
That me thought tyrae to fall to flatery, 
AVherwith I tolde, as I shall tell. 

plesant pyeture! O prince of hell! 
Feutred* in fashyon abominable, 
And syns that is inestimable 

For me to prayse the vvorthyly, 

1 leve of prayse, as unworthy 

To geve the prays, besechynge the 

To heare my sewte, and then to be 

So good to graunt the thy nge I crave; 

And to be shorte, thys wolde I have: 

The soule of one which hyther is flytted, 

Delivered hens, and to me remitted. 

And in thys doynge though al be nat quyt. 

Yet in some parte I shall deserve it, 

As thus. I am a pardoner, 

And over soules as controller. 

Thorough out the erth my power doth stande, 

AVhere many a soule lyeth on my handr. 

That spede in maters as I use them. 

As I receyve them or refuse them. 

* Feutred in fashyon ahominahle. Feutrer, Fr. — faire de 
featre — garuu- Acfeutre. — To ^iuS -with fdt. FciUrc dberbe^ 
ovcrgT(jwii with grass. 


Wherby, what tyme thy pleasure is, 

I shall requyte any part of thys, 

The leste devyll here that can come thyther, 

Shall chose a soule and brynge him hyther. 

Ho, ho, quoth the devyll, we are well pleased; 

What is hys name thou woldest have eased? 

Nay, quoth I, be it good or evyll, 

My comynge is for a she devyll. 

What calste her, quoth he, thou whoorson? 

Forsooth, quoth I, Margery Coorson. 

Now by our honour, sayd Lucyfer, 

No devyll in hell shall withholde her; 

And yf thou woldest have twenty mo, 

Wert not fur justyce, they shulde goo. 

For all we devylls within thys den 

Have more to do with two women, 

Then with all the charge we have besyde: 

Wherfore yf thou our frende wyll be tryed, 

A ply thy pardons to women so, 

That unto us there come no mo. 

To do my beste I promysed by othe; 

Which I have kepte, for as the fuyth goth 

At thys day, to heven I do procure ' 

Ten women to one man, be sure. 

Then of Lucyfer my leve I toke. 

And streyght unto the mayster coke 

I was haddC;, into the kecliyn, 

For Margerie's ofFyce ^vas therin. 

All thyngs handled there discretely, 

For every soule bereth odyce inetely: 


Woiche myght be sene to se her syt 

So bysely turnyuge of the spyt. 

For many a spyt here hath she turned, 

And many a good spyt hath she burned: 

And many a spyt ful both hath rosted, 

Before the meat coulde be half rosted 

And or the meate were halfe rosted in dede, 

I toke her then fro the spyt with spede. 

But when she sawe thys brought to pas, 

To tell the joy wherin she was; 

And of all the devylls, for joy how they 

Did rore at her delyvery. 

And how the cheynes in hell did rynge, 

And how all the soules therin did synge; 

And how we were brought to the gate, 

And how we toke our leve therat, 

Be suer lacke of tyme suiferyth nat 

To reherse the xx parte of that, 

Wherfoi'e thys tale to conclude brevely; 

Thys woman tbanlced me chyefly, 

That she was ryd of thys endles deth, 

And so we departed on Newmarket heth. 

And yf that any man do mynde her, 

Who lyste to seke her, there shalle he fynde her. 

The interlude, now for the first time printed, 
is in Harleian Manuscript, No. 367, described in 
"Wanley's Catalogue as " a book in folio, wherein 
are contained many letters and fragments, with 
various poems, written by the hands of ]\lr. John 


Stowe, and others; now bound up together/' and 
the interlude forms the forty-first article in the 
volume, beginning at folio 110, and going on to 
119, thus catalogued : " John Hey wood's poetical 
Dialogue, concerning Witty (^. e. wise), and Wit- 
less : made, as it seemes, to be recited before 
K. Henry VIH." Mr. Collier, in his Annals of 
the Stage, having termed it " Wit and Folly," I 
have adopted the latter title as the better one. 
The original manuscript is imperfect at the 
beginning, but, as Mr. Collier observes, " very 
little of it can have been lost, beyond the mere 
introduction, to shew how the discussion com- 
menced. The whole is in the handwriting of the 
author, who adopted a peculiar mode of spelling, 
often more uncouth than that of the age in which 
he lived." At the end, by way of attestation of 
authorship, is written "Amen q'd John Hey wod."* 
I have traced and engraved these words in fac- 

Mr. Collier, speaking of this manuscript, says, 
our author " may also, perhaps, deserve credit as 

* The name is, with the ordinary carelessness of the age, 
also spelt, in the old editions, Heywood and Heewode. 


the inventor of this species of dramatic enter- 
tainment, — though dramatic cliicfly in tlic cir- 
cumstances that it was conducted in dialogue, 
and that it was recited in public ; it has no story, 
and is merely a discussion in verse between two 
or more characters on some particular topic or 
opinion. Productions of this kind could never 
be popular, and it is therefore not surprising that 
only one of them, by him, should have descended 
to us, and that in manuscript." But the Play of 
Love may also be considered as of the same class, 
equally argumentative and abstruse. The Dialogue 
of Wit and Folly contains but three characters, 
John, James, and Jerome. John argues the 
superiority of the life of a wise man, and James 
the great extra ease and comfort of the witless 
one, and the speech of the latter, commencing 
p. 9, is remarkable for feeling and spirit, when 
comparing the husbandman's and student's life : — 

" Less is the peril and less is the pain, 
The knocking of knuckles which fingers doth strain, 
Than digging in the heart, or drying of the brain." 

James triumphs over his adversary, by the 
assertion that fools not being answerable for their 
sins have sure chance of heaven, a position which 
is overthrown by Jerome, who enters and con- 
tradicts him, (p. 16 of our edition last line but 


two), proving the untenableness of such an 
argument, and showing the triumph in every way 
of wit over folly. The concluding stanzas of the 
play were written expressly to compliment the 
king, and " in his absence are voyd,"" and they ex- 
travagantly laud his majesty's wit. The entire 
performance is a curious specimen of the courtly 
amusements of the age in which it was composed. 



A mervelus mater, marcyfull lord, 

Yf reason whyth this conclewcyon a cord. 

Better to be a foole, than a wyse man. 


Better or wurs, I seay as I began, 
Better ys for man that may be wyttles 
Then wytty. 


Ye show some wytty wyttines. 


Experyens schall wyttnes ray tale trewe. 

And for temperall welth let us fyrst vewe : 

And that experyens may schowe the trewer. 

Accept we reson to be owr vewer, 

Yn which reson by experyens we knowe 

That folk most wytty, to whom ther doth growe 

By frendds dedd befor, nowght left tliem behynde, 

Nor by lyvyng frendds no lyvyng asynde, 

Except they wyll storve, ther fyndyng must they fynd 

By muche payne of body or more payne of mynde. 



And as for the wyttles, as who saythe the sott, 

The naturall foole calde or th' ydeot : 

From all kynds of labor that dothe payne constrayne, 

As farr as sufFycyency nedythe obtayne, 

Yn sewrty of ly vyug the sot dothe remayne. 


Yn sewrty of lyvyng, but not withowt payne, 

For admyte all sotts in case as be mayny 

That leve withowt labor, yet wher ys any 

But for that one plesewr, he hathe mor payne 

Then the wytty wurker in all dothe sustayne. 

What wretche so ferythe payne havyn eny wytt 

Lyke the wyttles wretche? — none! yf ye mark hyt ; 

Who Cometh by the sott who cometh he by 

That vexythe hym not somewey usewally. 

Some beat hym, some bob hym. 

Some joll hym, some job hym, 

Some tugg hym by the hers, 

Some lugg hym by the eares. 

Some spet at hym, some spurne hym, 

Some tosse hym, some turne hym. 

Some snap hym, some scratche hym. 

Some crampe hym, some cratche hym. 

Some cufF, some clowt hym, 

Some lashe hym, some lowte hym, 

Some whysse hym, some whype hym, 

Wythe scharpe nalys some nype hym, 

Not even mayster Somer, the kyngs gracys foole, 

But tastythe some tyme some nyps of new schools. 

And by syd thys kynde of frettyng p'sewmyng, 


Another kynd of turmeiit in consewmyng 

The wytty to the wyttles oft Invent, 

After Inventyon of yer full entent. 

The foole by flatery to turment ys browght, 

So farr over joyd, and his brayne so wyde wrowght, 

That by joy of a Jewell skant wurth a myght 

The sott oft slepyth no wynk in a whole nyght ; 

And for ensarapyll wyth a Walsyngam ryng, 

Thys dystemperans to the sot ye may bryng, 

And mak hym joy theryn as hyt war a thyng 

Of pryce to pay the rawnsome of a kyng. 

In joying wherof, yf any man got way, 

To get yt from hym as every chyld may, 

Then man and chyld sethe the sot in such case 

That nowght but paynfuU sorow takyth any place. 

By thys small proffes a small wytt may ges 

That wyd wer the wytty to wyshe them wyttles. 


Th' effect of this yowr matter as ye speak yt, 
Standythe much yn two poynts as I tak yt, 
Of whyche tweyne the tone ys, that the sot hath 
By jollyng and jobbyng and other lyk skath, 
Extrearae payne wyth extremyte of yer ; 
Th' other ys after frettyng fewryus fyer, 
That the foole with eche frewtles tryflyng toy 
Is so dystempryd with dystemperat joy. 
That as much payne brynghyth his plesaunt passhyon, 
As dothe the pynchyng of his most paynfuU fashyon : 
These two poynts consyderyd, the sot as ye say, 
Hathe some payne somctymc, but most tymes I say nay. 

n 2 



Then from no payiie to some payne the wyttles are 


Ye, but wytty and wyttles wyttyly wrowght 

By some payne to suche payne that wytty fele most, 

Then wytty and wyttles eche parte his part host; 

Tak, of wytty the degrees, and nomber all. 

And of that nombyr I thyngk ye nombyr small 

But that eche one of them ys of nede asynd 

To labor sore, yn body or ells yn mynde ; 

And few to all that fortewne so dothe favor 

But yn body and mynde bothe they do labor. 

And of body thes labors the most paynefuUest 

Is the labor of mynde, I have harde gest. 

And lest bothe paynes or most of twayne be to towgh 

For yow to matche with, and the lest payne inowgh ; 

To the fyrst most payne of ye wyttles nody, 

Joyne we the wyttyse least payne, payne of body ; 

Who seeth what payne labor bodyly bryngyth, 

Schall easely se therby, how the body wryngyth ; 

Husband mens plowyng, or earyng and sowyng, 

Hedgyng and dychyng, with repyng and mowyng ; 

In caityng such lyftyng, such burdenns bareyng, 

That payne of the body bryngyth thyese to stareyng ; 

And muche of thys done yn tyme of suche het 

That yn colde cave covryd the carcas must swet. 

Some other use crafts in which wurck ys so small. 

That yn somer pleasanttly they lyve all, 

"Who in wynter when husbondmen warme with wark, 


In that they may not sturr, for cold ar evyn stark, 

Some yn wynter fryse, some yn somer fry, 

And the wyttles dothe nether, for comenly 

Other whythe wurshypfull or honorabull. 

He temprately standeth in howse at the tabyll ; 

And of all his labors reckyn the hole rabyll, 

Bygger burden bareth he none then his babyll ; 

So that from thes paynes, or the lyk recytyd, 

The wyttles hath warrant to be aquyghtyd. 

And sewr the sotts pleaseure in this last aquyghtall 

Cownterwayleth his payne, in yowr fyrst recyghtall, 

For vnto the sotts nyppyng and beatyng, 

Joyne the wytty laborers nypps and freatyng, 

And whether ye cownt by yere, monthe, or weke, 

Ye shall fynde thease of the wytty to seek. 

As far as of the wyttles; and of bothe sorts 

This ys the dyfferens; that to me ymports 

Sotts are coylde of othei-, the wytty coylethe hymself. 

What choyse thus aleagyd ? 


Small, ah horson elf! 

Somewhat he towchythe me now yn very deed! 

Howbeyt to thys am not I yet full agreed; 

The wytty who beat them selves by bysynes, 

May oft yn beatyngs favour them selves I ges; 

Such opertewnyte by wytt ys ofte espyd, 

That labor by wytt ys ofte qualyfyed, 

In takyng tyme or place as best may stand. 

Most easclye to dyspatche things cumyng in hand. 

Wytt hathc provytjon alway for relecf. 


To provyd some remedy agaynst myscheef; 

Wytty tak bysynes as vvytty wyll mak yt, 

Anil as wytty beat wyttles, wyttles must take yt. 


Tak yt howe ye lyst, ye can mak yt no les, 

But wytty have suclie payne as my words wyttnes; 

For tliowgh wytt for tyme sometyme may payne 

Yet yn most tymes theyr foreseyd payne ys present, 
Whyche payne in the wytty wyttyly weyde, 
May match payne of the wyttles by ye fyrst leyd; 
And to the second poynt for dystemporatt joyes. 
By havyng or hopyng of fancyes or toyes, 
In wyttles or wytty bothe tak I as one, 
Ffor thowgh the thyngs that wytty have or hope on, 
Are yn some kynd of acownt; thyngs muche gretter 
Then thyngs of the sotts joyings, yet no whyt better, 
Nor les payne bryngth that passhyon, but eudyferent 
To bothe, except wytty have the wooi's turment. 
Thynk yow aright, good wytty havyng clerely 
A thowsand pownd sodaynly gyven hym yerely. 
Who befor that owre myght dyspend no peny, 
Nor tyll that owre never lookyd for eny, 
Myght not joy as much that soden recevyng. 
As joyth the sott reseyte of hys "Walsyngam ryng ? 
And therby be kepte from quyet sleepe a wek, 
As well as the ryng makethe the sotte sleep to seek; 
And in a soden leesyng that gyfte agayne, 
Myght not the wytty be presyd with payne 
As depe as the wyttles, his ring stolne or lost ? 


And thowgh thys ensarapyll chanse seeld when at most, 

Yet soraetyme yt happyth, and dayly we see 

That folk fan* from wyttles passhynyd be, 

By joy full hope of thyngs to them lyk to hape. 

Or havyng of thyngs plesaunt late lyght in the lap. 

As muche to theyr vnrest; for dystemperancy 

As ye showde the wyttles restles formerly. 

And oft tyme, for cawse consydryd and weyd 

As lyght as yowr Walsyngam ryng aforeseyd. 

Wytt in wytty hathe seelyd suche perfecshyon, 

To bryng dysposyshyn full in abieckshyon; 

And the dyfferens of dysposyshyon ys such. 

Some wytts hope to lyttyll, some wytts hope to muche. 

By whyche over much I sey, and sey must ye. 

That wytty and wyttles one in thys case be. 

And thus in both casys, reasonyng cawse showth, 

Cawse to conclewd, that to the Avytty growth 

As muche payne, as to the wyttles; wherby, 

As good be wyttles as wytty, say I ! 


That conclewcj'on ys conclewdyd wysely ! 

Your pryme proposycyon dyd put presysely 

Better to be wyttles then wytty, and now 

As good to be wyttles as wytty sey yow ! 

But that wytt whych putts case in degre coparatyve, 

And conclewdyth case in degre posytyve, 

Sail not in that case clamc degre sewperlatyve I 


Ye pas in this tawnt yowr prerogatyve; 

But that wytt whycli bostythe the full of liis wynnyng, 


As thowghff he knewe th' end of thing at begynnyng, 

That wytt schall schow wyttles ympedyment, 

To be takyn wytty with wytts excelent ; 

I conclewd here not for th' end, but for the myds, 

Whyche, yf ye will her to end, as reason byds, 

Ye schall perceyve ; and also condysend 

To grawnt me thanks then yn that I entende. 

Yowr fall by fears handelyng to be the more fayr. 

To set ye downe feately, stayer after stayer ; 

And so by a fayer fygewre of ynduckshyn, 

To bryng your parte softe and fayer to distruckshyn ; 

For wher ye grawnt fully, for owght your words make, 

That as much payne wytty as wyttles do take, — 

So from thys myds to the end I schall prove, 

That most payne of twayne to the wyttles doth move : 

For as I lode equally paynes of body 

To wytty and wyttles, lyke wyse wyll I 

Over lode the wytty with payne of mynde. 

In mater as playne as can be asynde — 

Whyche payne of mynde in mete mesewre to wey, 

Ys mor paynfull then payne of body I sey, 


Ye sey so; and seyd so, but so seyd not I! 

Nor sey yt not yet, but that seyng deny; 

And tyll sayng prove your sayng more playnely, 

I wyll asay to sey the contrary! 

I thynk paynes of body cowntyd in eche kynde, 

May compare with all kynds of paynes of mynde. 


Yf ye assewrydly thynk as ye se}' now. 


I thynk ye thynk as few men thynk but yow ! 
Howbeyt, that beyng but an ynsydent, 
To pryucypall purpose presently ment; 
Yet that excepshyn took yow wyttyly, 
For had ye grawntyd that, as ye schall schortly, 
Then forthwith sholde owr pryncypall proses, 
Have concludyd in the part that I profes: 
For a meane, whervnto as mesewre may 
Meet vnmesewrabull thyngs, as who say 
Joyne in lyk proporshyn, as may be ment, 
The meane laborer to the meane studyent; 
And ye schall anon fynd the stewdyents payne. 
More paynfull then the laborers labor playne. 


The stewdyents payne ys oft plesantly myxt, 
In felyng what frewt by his study ys fyxt. 


The laborers labor quyghteth that at a whypp, 

In felynge the frewt (of) hys wurkmaushyp; 

As muche delyght carters oft have in carts neat trymd, 

As do studyents yn bokes wythe golde neatc lymd: 

And as much envy who may drive hys carte best, 

As among stewdyents who may seme lernd hyest. 

Wherby inwarde delyght to tolle forthe eche part, 

Semthe me yndyfrent to art, or to cart! 

And furder, meane labor in most comon wyse, 

Ys most parte hansome, and holsome excersyse, 

That purgythe hewmors to mans lyfc and quycknes, 

Whyche study bredythe to mans dcthc or sycknes. 

Also, most kyndfe of labor, most comcnly 


Strene most grosc owtewarde parts of the body; 
Wlier study, sparyiig sholders, fyngers, and tose, 
To the hedd and hart dyrectly study gose. 
Pervert ys your j ugment yf ye iudge not playne, 
That less ys the parell, and les ys the payne, [strayne. 
The knockyng of knockylls whyche fyngers dothe 
Then dyggyng yn the hart, or drying of the brayne? 


For comun ipeane kynds in bothe parts now leyde, 
I see not but'^eason say the as ye have seyde. 


The hibor of body and mynde thus compare. 
In what degrese ye can ; devyse to declare 
Betwene bothe, beyng not knyt yn suche degre 
But that th'one from th'other seperate may be; — 
And that bothe labors yn joynyng ye arecte 
As lyke yn degre as wytt may conjecte, — 
And bothe ones serchyd, serche schall mak warantyse, 
In labor of mynde the wurst payne dothe aryse. 


Methynkethe I cowlde mak yt other wyse apere, 

Save I lack tyme to dylate matter here : 

For tyme of reasonyng wold be long therin, 

And tyme of reasonyng must be short hei'e in : 

"Whyche weyd with that, this standethe but insydently 

To owr present porpose pryncypally : 

I grawnt to agree, as ye have defynd, 

Of labor of body and labor of mynde, 

That labor or payne of mynd ys the greter : 

And thys now grawntyd, what be ye the better ? 



So mucbe the bettyr, and yow so muche the vvurs, 
That ye may now put your tooug in your purs, 
For any woord in defens yowr toong shall tell ! 
After these my next woords, gyve ear and mark well. 
This labor of myndd, whyche we now agre 
Above labor of body we must decre, 
To joyne sole to the wytty ; for possybly 
Cannot the wyttles tak part of that payne. 




How can he have payne by imagjaiacyon 

That lackythe all kynds of consyderatyon ? 

And yn all sencys ys so ynsofycyent 

That nowght can he tliynk, in owght that n)ay be ment 

By any meane to devyce ony self thing, 

Nor devyse in thyng, past present or curayng. 

No more bathe he in mynde, ether payne or care,, 

Then bathe other Cock my hors, or Gyll my mare! 

Thys cawse, with wyttles, payne of mynde dyspensys; 

But the wytty, havyng all vytall sensys, 

Hathe therby an yjiwarde clock, whyche mark who wyll. 

May offcymes go false, but yt never standythe styll. 

The plummets of that clock come never to grownde, 

Imagynacyon ys watche, and gothe so rownd, 

To whyche consyderacyon gyvythe so quyck earc, 

That in the wytty mynd the restles rest ys there. 

A small wytt may ges, no woue wytt can dome 

How many, or how muche ar thcyix' payncs extreme, 


Nor how many contrary kyndes in some one brest. 

Yf ye perceyve thys tale, ye se yt wytnest 

Thre thyngs; of whyche the fyrst ys, that the wyttles 

Otflabor or payne of mynde have reles; 

The second ys, that the wytty have in dure 

All paynes of mynde, and that Avytt dothe that procure; 

Thyrdly I glanset at payne of mynd, allewdyng 

That payne to he most payne. As in for conclewdyng, 

Perceyve ye this? 


Ye! and grawnt yt trew, to! 


Then must ye grawnt wytty to have most payne. 


So I do! 


If wytty have most payne of twayne, ye must say 
Better to be wyttles than wytty. 




I say, yes! 


I say, nay! — and wyll so envey. 

That I wyll hold ye wagg a nother way. 

As I grawnt wytty of twayne most payne endewr, 

So wyll I prove wytty to have most plesewr: 

Whych plesewer shall bothe drowne the wyttyse payne. 

And the plesewer yn whyche the wyttles remayne. 



Thys promyse wyll hardly bryng good payment; 
For yt ys a strange kynde of argewment, 
To prove hym in most plesewre who hathe most payne, 
Or hym yn least payne who least plesewre doth sustayne. 


Let vs reason all plesewrs on bothe sydes, 

And then let that syde have best that best provydes. 


All plesewrs on bothe sydes! that wer a thyng 
To make vs make ende to morow mornyng! 


As now the best parte of my parte cumeth on, 
Ye make marvelus hast, ye wold ftiyne be gone ! 


Right now yowr self cowld wey in right wytty sort, 
That resonyng here now, of reason must be short. 


Yt schal be short ynowgh yf ye tak awey 

AH that parte, that for my part, effeckt dothe ley. 


I wyll nother tak away all, nor tak all; 
But for a meanebetwene bothe, my self strayght schall 
Alege not plesewrs all I sey, but such one 
As over weythe other plesewrs every chone : 
Whych plesewre wher yt in fyne dothe not remayne, 
All plesewrs in all parts ar plesewrs but vayne, 
Of whyche one plesewre the wyttles ar sewre evyr, 
And of that plesewre, wytty ar sewr nevyr I 



What plesewr ys that ? 


Plesewr of salvashyon ! 

I thynk yowr self wyll affyrme affyrmashyon 

That from owre forfathers syn orygynall, 

Baptysm sealyth vs all a quyttans geuerall ; 

Aad faythe of ynfants, whyle they infants abyde, 

In faythe of parents for the churche ys supplyd: 

"Wlierby tyll wytt take root of dysernyng, 

And betweene good and yll geve perfyght warnyng, 

Wherever innosents, innosensy dyspewt, [ympewt. 

For thowghts, wordds, or dedes, God doth none yll 

Where God gyvyth no dysernyng, God takethe none 

In whyche case of acownt, the sot dothe amownt; 
Ffor no more dysei'nythe the sott, at yeres thre score, 
Then th'ynosent borne within yeres thre before. 
This short saynge, yf ye yn mynde revolve, 
Then schall thys long debate forthwith dysolve. 


Syr, I graunt sotts shall be saved as ye tell, 
And safe shall wytty be to; yf they do well. 


Yf they do well ! that yf altry th much, lo, 
Th' efFeckte of my sentens to wyttles ! 


How so? 


That ijf leyd for the wytty purporteth a do\yte, 


But all dowtes in the wj'ttles av scrapt dene owt: 

Sans dowte the wyttles ys sewer of salvashyon; 

"Wherby to conclewde thys coinunycashyon, 

Make wytty sewer of all plesewrs can be leyde^ [seyde, 

Dowtyng lack of none, but thys one plesewer last 

And of all plesewrs wyttless to have none, 

Savyng he standyth in sewrte of this one, — 

Ys not the sewrte of thys one much bettyr, 

Then of the rest, thowgh the nomber be grettyr 


Yes ! 


Lyk as a goose can say nothyng but h?/s, 

So hath he now nothyng to say but i/es ! 

And in affyrmyng my sayng, he saythe thys, 

In whyche he grawnteth hys partt not partly a mys, 

But all a mys ! as who seythe in all placys, 

The sum wherof in bothe partes standeth in thre casys: 

OIF which thre th' argewment of the fyrst was thus — 

In laboryus payne of body to dyscus 

Who soferythe more, the wytty or the sott : 

Yn whyche, by bothe assents, we knyt thys knott, — 

That as muche payne of body in effeckt hathe ye one. 

As th'other, conclewdyng thus ffar therevppon, — 

As good to be wyttles, as wytty ; and then 

We argewde labor or payne of niynde in men : 

Wherin I dryvyng hym to grawnt payne of mynde 

More then payne or labor bodyly defynd ; 

In the second case, 1 payne of myndo prov}ng 

To wytty, and not to wyttles to be movyng ; — 

I (3 A diai.ih;uf. on 

Drave hym to grawnt fiirdor, that by that payne 

Better withowte wytt, then with wytt to remayne. 

Now in this thyrd case, wher ye mad a bragg, 

By plesewrs in the wytty to hold me wagg ; 

And plesewrs of the wyttles to overwhelme, 

I starayng in with hym, stack so to the helme, 

That hys parte fynally to shypwrack ys brawght ! 

The sewrte of all plesewrs in this worlde wrowght 

Matche not the sewrte of plesewre eternall ! 

And the state of sotts have none acownt so carnall 

That God ympewtethe any yll to them I say. 

And the wyttyse acownt awgmenteth evry day, 

And th' awdytors wytt who schall tak th' acownt so cler, 

He forgeth not wone worde in a thowsand yere ! 

What ned mo woords, I thynk the least wytt here, 

Sethe thes thre casys on my syd apere. 

That in the two fyrst casys temporally, 

And in this thyrd and last case spyrytewally, 

Ys sene fully I may conclewde fynally, 

Better to be wyttles then to be wytty. 


So sey I now to, by owr blyssyd lady ! 
I gyve vpp my part, and your part playnly 
Off wytty and wyttles I wyshe now rather, 
That my chyld may have a foole to hys father ! 
The pythe of yowr conclewsyons be all so pewr, 
That better be a foole then a wyse man sewr ! 


Not so ! althowgh yowr fancy do so surmyse ; 
Not better for man to be wytles then wyse ; 


Nor SO good to be wyttles as wytty nother, 
Thus ys yowr wytt dy.sseyvyd in other. 


Why, what dyfFerens betwene wyse and wytty ? 


As muche sometyme as betwene wysdom and folly. 


Man can in no wyse be wyse withowte wytt. 


No ! and man may havegret wytt and wysdom nowght ! 

Wytt ys the wuiker of all perseyvyng, 

And indyferent to good or yll wurkyng ; 

And as muche wytt may be in thyngs of most yll, 

As in the best thyngs wytt can aspyr vntyll; 

In vertue or vyse I meane : wytt hathe receyght 

Off none yll ; where wytt vppon wysdom dothe weyglit, 

Wysdome governeth wytt alwey, vertu to vse, 

And all kynds of vyce alway to refevvse. 

Thus ys wysdom in good part takyn alwe}se, 

And gydythe wytt in all thyngs beyng thyngs of preyse; 

Thus, thowgh ye must (asye nede not)graunt his grownd, 

Whyche ys : better wyttles then wytty to be fownd, 

Yet as muche as wysdom above wytt showthe, 

So muche grawntyd ye hym, more then of nede growthe. 


Tliys ys some yowng schoolcman, a fresh comonar, 
Harde ye the pryncypall that plantyd thys jar ? 


I harde all I 


And dothe not all on my syde I'jiU ? 




No, yt" ye had resonyd as I schall. 


Yf ye, as ye say, have hanl all hee sayd, 
And that ys that saying have so wydely wayd, 
To Avay my parte wurst herein in conclewsyon, 
Then ar ye wyttles, that we towe talkt on. 
But babyll your will, thys wyll I byd vppon ; 
Better be sott Somer then sage Salamon ! 


Geve ye sentens, or ye her what I cane say, 
Loo, how wyll carythe hym and hys wytt away. 


Syr, yf ye hard all, in my parte how say ye. 
What dyd I graunt hym to farr, show I pray ye. 


All that ye grauntyd welinge. 


Xay, I trow. 


Ye shall when we have done, not trow, but know 
For entry wherto, I pray ye answer me 
A questyon or twayne, or mo' yf nede be. 
And fyrst vnto thys answer as ye can. 
Whether wold ye be a resonable man. 
Or an vnresonabyll beast ? 


By and sell I 

I wolde be the symplest man betwene hevyn and hell, 

Rather than the best beast that ever was bred ! 

WIT A.NIi KOl.I.T. 19 


Then yf ye of one of the twayne must be sped, 
Ye wolde be a maltnian, ye a myller, 
Rather then a mylhorse ? 


Be ye my well wyller ? 




Spek no more of thys then, what man ! fye ! 
I wold not be a beast, for all this worlde, I ! 
Wer yt for nowght ells but for this lyfe present. 


The tyme of thys lyfe in dede I meane and ment. 
But tell me why, by your faythe, evyn playnely, 
Ye wyl not change estate with the myll horse ? 


Why, ther be whyse and wherforse I thyngk a thowsand 

In cownte of two kynds of things cumyng in hande, 

Sensybyll plesewre, and sensybyll payne ; 

And fyrst for payne, sustaynyd in thes twayne, 

Begyn with the myll hors whom ye put for prefe, 

Or any lyk beast sustaynyg the lyk grefe, 

An or I wolde tak the payne the poore beests take, 

I wolde eche day be twygd and tyd to a stake ! 

Caryng fro the mill, caryng to the myll, 

Drawyng in the myll, poor jade he jetthe styll ! 

Ambyll he, trot he, go he a foot pase, 

Walop he, gah^p lie, rack he in trase, 

Yf liys pase p'ease not, be yt softe or faster, 


•20 A lilAl.iKH'K n\ 

Tlic sjiiins or \vliy]ij) pclml be lijs pay master ! 

Wcro not a man, trow ye, in plesaunt case, 

With a beast in thys case to change case or plase. 

No man, except some few so ynfortewnate 

That they be owt of tha'cownt of mans estate, 

That wolde agree to leve to change paynes I trow, 

Wythe beasts payne, beyng such as all men know. 

Now to spek of plesewr in tlies twayne asynde, 

The beasts to compare ys to far behynde, 

Plesewr dyscussybyll in tlies thus doth fall, — 

The beast in effect hathe none, — the man hathe all : 

The resonabyll manns imagynashyon 

Joynd with resonabyll consyderatyon, 

Bryngthe man muclie plesewr in consyderynge 

The plesant pi'oporte of eche plesaunt thynge, 

Possesyd to mans behofe at comandyng, 

Beasts have thyngs of nede, but no furder pleasyng. 

Syns man hathe releef for all nesessyte, 

As well as beaste, and above beaste commodyte. 

Of plesewrs plantyd for mans recreatyon. 

In the hyest kynd to mans contentatyon, 

Wherby plesewre in effecte betwene thes twayne 

Showthe thus. — man hathe all, — beast hathe none, — 

and more payne 
Hathe beast then resonabyll man, by thes bothe 
Exchange fro man to beast who wyll, I wolde be lothe. 


Ye have yn my mynd thys right well defynde. 

And for cawse kepe yt well a while yn yowr mynde ; 

Set we asyde man and beasts symylytewde, 


And full (lysposytjon in botlie se we vewde, 
What tliyng tljsposytlie most the varyete 
Betwene man and beast ? 


Reson in man, perde. 


That man who of reason ys as destytute 

As a beast ys, what dyffrens schall we dyspewte ? 


Small in this case, excepte yt be this one ; — 

The sott hathe a resonabyll sowle, beasts have none. 


What helpyth wytt of the sowle in the sott, 
8yns the body ys suche yt vsythe yt not ; 
Wher yrapotensy planteth sucli ympedyments, 
That vse of sensys are voyd to all yntents, 
For vse of reason ; so that for vse of wytt 
They ar as beasts wyttles, vsyng wytt novvght ; 
In man thus wyttles, and the unreasonabyll bcaste, 
I se small dyifrens for thys lyfe at leaste. 


I grawnt tiie wyttles and the beast thus as one. 


Then schall thes beasts, wyttles man, and mylliors, 

draw on, 
Bothe yn one yoke ; for thynk yow the iiomljerc 
Standethe as Somer dotlie, all day yn slomber. 
Nay ! Somer ys a sot I foole ibr a kyng ! 
But sots in many other mens howsyng 
Bear water, bear woodd, and do yn drugeiy ; 


In kychyon, cole howse, and in the nursery : 
And dayly for fiiwtes whych they cannot refrayne, 
Evyn lyke the niyll hors, they be whyppyd amayne. 
Other fooles that labor not, have other conseyts, 
Vppon th' ydyll foole the flak ever mor weytes ; 
They tos hyiu, they turne hym, he is jobd and jolde, 
Whyth frettyng and fewmyng, as ye afore told : 
Except mayster Soraer, of setts not the best, 
But the myll hors may compar with hym for rest ! 
Therfore plesewr conceyvyng or receyvyng. 
The wyttles and mylhors are bothe as one thyng ! 
Yowr last tale and thys tale together conferd, 
By matter of bothe let your answer be hard. 
Whether ye wold be a man resonabyll, 
Or vnresonabyll ; and except ye fabyll 
Thys answer shall show playne and vndowtydly, 
Whether ye wold be wyttles or wytty. 


In good faytlie I tak thys conclewcyon so full 
That I may geve over, and evyn so I wuU, 
For thys lyfe. 


Well then for the lyf to come. 

Few words wher reason ys, may knyt vpp the sum. 
Concernyng plesewr after thys lyf present, 
By whych he and yow dyssolvyd argewment ; 
Bothe parts by bothe partyse wer so endyd, 
That your part full fayntly ye defendyd ; 
Thowgh the more meryt of owr redemptyon 
Stande in crystys passyon, yet in execusyon 


Therof, schall we stand, by God's j ustyce, excepts 
Havyng tyrae and wytt, hys commandments be kepte ; 
And who in whyche doth most dylygently 
Plant ymps of good woorcks, gyvyn by God chefely, 
Most hyly of God shall he have rewarde. 


How prove ye that ? 


By scrypture, — have in regarde 

Cryst in the gospell of John doth thys declar, — 

In the howse of my father, sayth Crist, ther are 

Dyvers and many mantyons, — that ys to say, 

As th' exposytyon of saynt Awstyne dothe way, — 

There are in hevyn dyvers degrees of glory. 

To be receyvyd of men acordyngly ; 

Eche man as he vsythe gods gyfts of grace, 

So schall he have in hevyn hys degre or place. 

But, mark thys chefe grownd, the sum of scrypture 

We must walk with tliese gyfts in the path of faythe ; 
In whyche walk who wurkthe most in God's com- 
He schall have most, and seynt Powle t^howthe lyk 

entent : 
As one Starr dyfferthe from another in shynynge, 
So the resurrectyon of the ded ; whycli lyk thynge 
Aperthe in other placys of scrypture. 


1 grawut tliys, and what then ? 


That what ciiiiimptli strf'v:.!lit in vre. 


Syns he that vsythe gods gyfts best schall have best ; 
And he next, who dothe next, and so for the rest; 
And that the wytty do dayly wurk or may, 
And the wyttles novvght wurkyth by no way, 
So that hys reAvarde may compare in degre, 
If wytty have thys avantage, thynkythe me, 
The wyse wyttyse place wyshe I desyrnfly. 
Rather then place of wyttles. 


So do I, 

Iff wyshe wolde wyu yt I but where the sot ys sewr, 

The wytty standthe in hasardous adventewre. 

To lees all ; and so in fyne fayr and well 

In sted of way to hevyn, to take the Avaye to hell. 

In wurks cominandyd who in faythe walkthe not 

By God's justyce he hathe damnatyon in lott; 

And what other folks fele I can not tell. 

But suche frayle falls fele I in my selfe to dwell, 

And by them to lees hevyn I am so adrad, 

The sotts sewrte of least joy ther, wold god I hadd ! 

An old proverb makythe with thys, whyche I tak good, 

Better one byrd in hand then ten in the wood ! 


What yf of the ten byrds in the wood, eche one 
Wer as good as that one in your hand alone, 
And that ye myght cache them all ten yf ye wolde, 
Wolde ye not leve one byrd, for the ten now tolde ! 




Wolde ye not havyng hel])e, take resonabjdl payne 


For the cliance of ten byrds for one in gayne ? 




Then in Gods name feare not ! let fle thys one, 

Ye .schall, I trust, catche thes ten byrds every chone ! 

Your fleshly frayle falls are suche that ye drede 

As muche as hope, in havyng hevynly mede ; 

By whych dred sewrte of joyes there the most small, 

Wyshe ye rather then byd ventur to have joyes all ; 

And the soner by this ye chose thys I deme, 

The least joy there ys more then man can esteme. 

But now to remove thys block your grett drede 

We have a lever that removethe drede with spede ; 

God sofereth but not wylleth he any man to syne, 

Nor God wylleth no synners dethe, but he be yn 

Suche endless males that hys fynall estate 

In lack of penytens mak hym selfe reprobate, 

In tyme of this lyfe at eche penytent call 

Owr marcyfuU maker remyteth synns all, 

From the perpetewall peyne infernall. 

AVhatever they be, from least to most carnall. 

By whyche goodnes of God we are set in hopes chayer 

Not to brede presumpsyon, but to banyshe despayre ; 

The grace of God alwey to grace, alewrthe man. 

And when man wyll call for grace of grace asewrth man. 

To assyst man gods comandments to fulfyll, 

At all tymes yf man cast owte yll wyllyng wyll. 

Nowe syns the crystyane, that wurkythe most in faythe, 

Schall have most in rewarde, as the scrypture saythe, 

26 A MALOol E ON 

And that Gods grace by grace cald for, wyll asyst 
Mans wyll to wurk well, alwey when man lyst, — 
And at instant of dew ordyrd penytens, 
Man hathe God's mercy of all former oflfens ; 
Wliyche showthe for mercy man ys not mor' gredy 
To ax, then God to grawnt mercy ys redy. 
Thys sene, what show yow to mayntayne the feare 
Whyche ye toward desperatyon were in whyle heare ? 


What show I ? nay, tlie show of that feare ys extynckt, 
Evyn by thys praty tale thus pythyly lynkt ! 
Syns God to the most faythfull wurker gyvyth most, 
And to mak man wurk muche God hasthe as in post, 
And when man hath not wrowght at contrycyon, 
God grawnthe man of damnatyon remycyon. 
Makyng man sewre of frewte of Crystys passyon, 
Except mans wylfull wyll mar all good fascyon ; 
By this I dred G^d, as standeth with love and hope, 
But no desperate dred dothe my harte now grope. 


Ten byrds in the wood, or one in hand alone, 
Whych chose ye now ? 


I wyll not change ten for one I 

S\-ns the byrder wyl helpe me to tak them all, 

As sewr to myne vse as the one byrd cowld fall I 


Well, for conelewsyon, .=yn5 ye sowndly se 
That wytty have plesewr here in more degre, 
Then wyttles, and also wytty wyse se ye, 
In hevyn by scrypture in hvpi- joves be 


Then the vvyttles ; yovv seyng thys clerly, — 
AVhether wold ye now, be wyttles or wytty ? 


Wytty ! and the more wytty am I for yow, 
Of whych hartyly I thank yow ; and now 
Where ray mate, my lords, sayd that ys gone, 
Better be sot Somer then sage Salaman, 
In forsakyng that I woold now rather be 
Sage Saloman then sot Somer I assewr ye ! 


As ye show wytt in change of former mynde, 

Beyng now from wytles to wytty enclynde, 

So aply your wytt in what wytt schall devyse, 

As in good vse of wytt by grace ye may ryso. 

To be bothe wytty and wyttyly wyse. 

In governans of gods gyfts in suehe syse 

As wysdom alwey gydyth, wherby thys schall fall 

Gods gyfts to gods glory bothe ye may vse and schall. 

Thes woords of cowncell in whych I now wadyd 
To hym whom I told them, I onely asyne ; 

I am by all cyrcumstance full perswadyd. 
This sort beyng sortyd in sort thus fyne, 
Nede none exortatyon, or at least not myne ; 

Thys sort have not onely by natewre hys wytt, 

liut also by grace lyk wysdom joyned to yt. 
\_Thes thre stave next folowyng in the 
Kyngs absens, ar voyde.~\ 

And as in them therby gods gyfts shyne most may, 
So stand thcr affayres wherby they so shyne schall, 

Yf tho jrlos of gods shyne not bryght cche way, 


In them who havyng a realme in governall, 
Set forthe theyr governans to gods glory all, 
Chaiytably aydyng subjects in eche kynde, 
The shynyng of gods gyfts wher shall we then fynd ? 

And of this hye sort, the hy hed most exelent, 
Ys owr most loved and drade supreme soferayne, 

The shynyng of whose most excellent talent 
Ymployde to Gods glory, above all the trayne, 
Thus wytt wantyth her recytall to retayne ; 

And that all hys faythfull fele, ye frewte of hys fame. 

Of corse I pray pardon in passyng the same. 

Praying that pryns, whome owr pryns hys grete grace 
To grawnt hym long length of encres in estate, 

At full fyne wherof hys most hy gyfts to have ; 
By his most faythfull vse, reward in suche rate. 
As ys promysed in scrypture, alegyd late ; 

The joyes not all onely inestymabyll, 

But more the degre of joyes incomparabyll, 

Contynewans wherof with frewtfull encrese, 
I hartyly wyshe for encrese of rewarde; 

As scrypture alegyd late dothe wytnes, 
The wytty wyse wurker to be prefarde, 

Above th'ydyll sot, and ye to regard 

Eche man hym self so to aply in thys, 

As ye all may obtayne the hye degre of blys. 

Amen qd. John Heywod. 


Page 2, 1. 28, — Mayster Somer, the kyngya gracys fooIe.'\ 
For a curious notice of this most popular of Henry the 
Eighth's jesters, see the Shakspere's Society's reprint of 
Armiu's Nest of Ninnies, 1608, and the notes appended. 
A curious description of Somer's personal appearance is 
given by Armin. 

" Leane he was, hollow-eyde, as all report, 
And stoop lie diil, too ; yet in all the court 
Few men were more belov'd then was this foole 
Whose merry prate kept with the king much rule. 
When he was sad, the king and he would rime: 
Thus Will exiled sadness many a time. 

His popularity with the king is corroborated by contem- 
porary anecdotes, and he used the power he possessed for 
the best purposes. Armin says : — 

" Hee was a poor man's friend 

And helpt the widow often in the end, 

The king would even grant what he would crave. 

For well he knew Will no exacling knave. 

But whisht the king to doe good deeds great store, 

■\Miich caus'd the court to love him more and more." 

One of his last acts of kindness is recorded by Granger. 
He says, that Somer was at one time a servant in the 
family of Richard Farmer, Esq., of Eston Weston, in 
Northamptonshire, ancestor to the Earl of Pomfret, who 
was found guilty of a prscmunire for sending eightpencc 


and a (.-0112)10 of shirts to a priest in i^uckinghaiu gaol who 
had denied the king's supremacy ; he was deprived of all 
his property and reduced to a state of miserable depend- 
ance ; but Somer in Henry's last illness dropped some ex- 
pressions, which so affected the king's conscience that he 
restored the dismembered estates to Will's old master. 

P. 2, 1. 9,— a Walsyngkam ryng.'\ The shrine of " our 
lady of Walsingham," in Norfolk, was one of the most 
celebrated places to which pilgrimages were performed in 
the middle ages. In Piers Plowmaii's Vision we read that 

" Hermits on a heap w ith hoked staves, 
AVeu<len to Walsingham, and ther wenches after." 

It was usual for pilgrims to bring away with them from 
these shrines leaden signs or some other token of their visit. 
These were generally of little or no intrinsic value, and 
were rudely executed in lead stamped with the figure of 
the saint, and earned in the hat of the male j^ilgrim as a 
" sign," or on the breast of the female as a " brooch." In 
the very curious museum of C. Roach Smith, Esq., F.S.A., 
is preserved one given to the pilgTims who visited the 
shrine of St. Thomas-a-Becket, at Canterbury, which has 
been engraved in the Archceological Album, as well as 
in Mr. Smith's Collectaiiea Antiqua, along with many other 
curious specimens British and foreign. Other examples 
are engraved in the Journal of the British Archceological 
Association, vol. 1. IMr. Smith possesses a very curious 
leaden brooch of our lady of Walsingham; and in Miss 
Wood's Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies of England, 
is one from Elizabeth Newhouse, to her son, Roger Wright, 
on the eve of the Reformation, telling him she had been 
this pilgrimage, adding, " I have no good token to send you 
ut this time but a Walsingham In-ooch." ^Iv. Smith, in a 


later number of his Vollectanea, notices that rings and 
other objects appear to have been manufactured in vast 
numbers, and sold to pilgrims and others who resorted to 
the shrine of the three kings of Cologne. One in brass 
found in London, reads, iaspar. melcior. baltazar ; ano- 
ther, in the possession of Mr. E. J. Carlos, has the two 
names only, iaspar. baltasar : these are believed to be 
cramp rings (see Pettigrew On Sujnrstitions connected with 
the history and fvactice of Medicine and Surgery, p. 87). 
The Walsingham ring was similar to these. 

P. 5, 1. 7, — his hahyll. — For curious particulars and en- 
gravings of the bauble as it was constantly carried by 
domestic fools, in the 16th and 17th centuries, see Douce s 
Illustrations of iShakspere. 

P. 11, 1. 3, — Put your toong in your purse,] an idiomatic 
phrase for a man thoroughly silenced. 

P. 12, 1. 2.5, — / will hold ye urigg another way.'] Sic in 
orig. See also p. 16, 1. 4. Mr. Collier, in the short extract 
he gives from this MS. in his Annals of the Stage, vol. 2, 
p. 395, reads the line thus : — 

" Tliat 1 wvll liolde your wagger another way." 

P. 14, 1. 22,— Yf they do well!] This play upon the 
word if appears to have been suggested by the anecdote 
told by Sir Thomas More in his Life of Richard the Third, 
of Hastings' answer to the accusation against Shore's wife, 
— " Certainly, ray lord, if they have so done, they be 
worthy of heinous punishment. What! (qd. the protector), 
thou servest me I ween with if and with and. I tell thee 
they have done it, and that I will make good upon thy 
body, traitor!" An incident powerfully worked out by 
Shakspere ; who also has made Touchstone fully aware that 
" there is much virtue in if''' 


P. l!), 1. 25, — twi/(/d,\ whipped. 

P. 10, 1. 27, — -jetthe. — Jetteth, used in the .sense of always 
moving. This transposition of the last letters of the word 
is peculiar to Heywood's MS., and has been retained. See 
p. 20, 1. 23, (first word), p. 23, 1. 20, &c. 

P. 20, 1. %—ieve,'\ live. 

P. 20, 1. 15, — -proporte,] property. 

P. 21, 1. 27, — &'omer ys a sot?^ The old signification of 
the term sot was equivalent to fool, and is explained in the 
present dialogue, p. 2, where the sot is described as the 
natural fool, or idiot. But the term is not faii'ly applied to 
Somer, of w^hom Mr. Collin says, in his introduction to the 
Nest of Ninnies, — " he was a jester of a difierent character 
to the others, inasmuch as he was an artificial fool — ^a witty 
person, affecting simplicity for the sake of affording amuse- 
ment." Heywood appears to have not been friendly to 
Somer, as, in p. 22, 1. 8, he says he is " of sotts not the 
best;" and his account of the life led by him at court in 
the next Line is far from enviable. 

P. 23, 1. 4, — ymps^ imp was used in the sense of engraft 
by old writers. 

P. 23, 1. 27, — aj^erthe,] appeareth. 

P. 24, 1. 8, — desyrnfly^ discernfuUy. 

P. 24, 1. 14,— ?ees,] lose. 

P. 25, 1. 2, — the chance.'] These two words are so blundered 
in the original manuscript, that I am not sure of the right 

P. 25, 1. 17, — syne,'\ sin. 

P. 25, 1. 19, — mcdes,'] evils, sins. 

P. 26, 1. 15, — hasthe,] hasteth. See note on p. 19, 1. 27. 

P. 28, 1. 2, — glos of gods shyne,] gloss of gods gifts shine? 
See p. 28, 1. 24. 


^roberfts anU ^i^pular ^aptufls 








€f)t ^tvt^ ^otietp. 


THOMAS AMYOT, Esa. F.R.S. Treas. M.A. 





J. H. DIXON, Esq. 





J. S. MOORE, Esq. 

T. J. FETTIGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 



THOMAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A., F.S.A., Secretary 
and Treasurer. 


This formal fool, your man, speaks nought but proverbs, 
And speak men what they can to him, he'll answer 
With some rhyme-rotten sentence, or old saying, 
Such spokes as ye ancients of y^ parish use : 

The Proverb-Moriger. From the Two Angry Womoi of 
Abingdon, a comedy, by Henry Porter, 1699. 

To those who are aware of the time and trouble 
required for the accumulation of any extensive 
series of traditional sayings, it will cause no sur- 
prise to be informed, that the present Collection 
was commenced as far back as the year 1825. In 
the following year, I sent half-a-dozen (probably 
all that I had then collected) to Mr. William Hone, 
for insertion in the Emry-Day BooJc, then in course 
of publication. In that work they did not appear; 
but were printed in vol. ii. col. 505, of his suc- 
ceeding periodical {The Table-Boole)^ along with 
other matter, subscribed with the initials of my 
name reversed. From this period, the collection 
went on gradually increasing till the year 1843; 
when having collected, chicily orally, u[)wards of 
four hundred, 1 made a selection thcrefroui, which 

1 arraiiffed for insertion in the Local Historian s 
Tahle-Book, a work of no common merit, edited 
by Mr. M. A. Richardson, of Newcastlc-on-Tyne. 
These, with few or no foot-notes, appeared in 
vol. ii. pp. 211 and 254, in the Traditional \iOTi\oi\ 
of the above publication. " As a token of friend- 
ship," Mr. M. A. R. struck off twenty-five copies 
in a distinct form, which, with the exception of 
two or three copies which I still retain, have been 
distributed among my own especial friends, and 
three or four of the members of the Percy Society ; 
one of whom was so kind (I being a total stranger 
to him) as to offer his services, not only to submit 
the same to the consideration of the Council of 
the Society, but, likewise, to honour me with his 
valuable services in adding thereto from foreign, 
and more ancient English manuscript and printed 
collections. I have acted upon his suggestion ; 
and with his able assistance I can have nothing 
to fear. 

Although the Collector has never seen a single 
copy either of Howell's, Ray's, Kelly's, Fuller's, or 
Henderson's Proverbs, he has slight hesitation in 
asserting that, after the most careful collation, 
many — very many — will be found in this collection 
which are not to be found in any other, either 
printed, or in manuscript. To him it has been a 
treasure constantly accumulating: few weeks pass- 

ing over but one or more have been added to the 
mass of provincial literature. Like the Lambtou 
worm, of northern celebrity, — 

" It grew, it grew, and still it grew ;" 

or the Pilgrim''s Progress of poor old John 
Bunyan, — 

" Until, at last, it came to be, 

For length and breadth, the bigness which you see." 

The remarks of ^Ir. Brand, when noticing 
" vulgar rites and popular opinions,'''' are equally 
applicable to proverbs, viz. : " They have indeed 
travelled down to us through a long succession of 
years, and the greater part of them, it is not im- 
probable, will be of perpetual observation: for the 
generality of men look back with superstitious 
veneration on the ages of their forefathers ; and 
matters that are grey with time, seldom fail of 
commanding those filial honours claimed even by 
the appearance of hoary age." 

" If before ye knew only these things, be not 
disgusted because I have inserted them ; if ye 
shall know more, be not angry that I have not 
spoken of them, but rather let him communicate 
his knowledge to mc, while I yet live, that, at 
least, those things may appear in the margin of 
ray book, which do not occur in the text."" — 
Guliel. de Malms. 


Finally : having made use of my best endea- 
vours to make this an offering worthy of the 
acceptance of the members of the Percy Society, 
I may, perhaps, be permitted to conclude in the 
words of another and more ancient writer: "And 
if I have done well, and as is fitting the story, it 
is that which I desired; but if slenderly and 
MEANLY, it is that which I could attain unto." 


Pierse Bridge, near Darlington, 
24th August, 1846. 


A FOG cannot be dispelled with a fjin. 
Plough or plough not, you must pay your rent.* 
Many drops make a shower. 
Ill weeds grow apace. 
Tomorrow is untouched. 
Further East, the shorter West. 
Say no ill of the year till it be past. 
Praise a fair day at night. f 
111 weather is seen soon enough when it comes. 
A Scotch mist will wet an Englishman to the skin. 
Go to bed with the lamb, and rise with the lark. 
Blow the wind never so fast, it will lower at last. 
It's an ill wind that blows nobody good !| 
Though the sun shines, leave not your coat at home. 
If the morning is fine, take your great coat with you ; 
if rainy, make your own choice. 

* A useful hint for the sluggard. 

t The Scotch say: — "Roose the fair clay at o'on." 

% See a two-fokl illustration of tins proverb in Kowland's 

Four Knaves, p. 104, under the head of "Harm waleji, Iiariii 


Chuse a wife on a, Saturday rather than a Sunday. 

A new moon soon seen is long thought of. 

After a storm comes a calm. 

It does not rain but it pours down. 

Drought never bred dearth in England. 

No weather is ill, if the wind be still. 

A green winter makes a fat church-yard.* 

Hail brings frost in the tail. 

A snow-year — a rich year.j 

Winter's thunder is summer's wonder. J 

Frost and fraud both end in foul. 

A West wind and an honest man go to bed together. 

Good husbandry is good divinity. 

Corn and horn go together. § 

* A mild and open winter is always considered as unhealthy. 

t Identical with the German proverb, — Schnee Jahr, reich Jahr. 

X " Thunder and lightning, in winter, in hot countryes, is usual, 
and hath ye same effects ; but in these northern climates it is 
held ominous, portending factions, tumults, and bloody wars, 
and a thing seldome seen, according to the old adigy, ' Winter's 
thunder is ye sommer's wonder.' " — WiUford's Nature's Secrets, 
p. 113. 

"Thunders in y^ morning signifie wynde; ab' noone rayne; in 
ye evening, great tempest. Somme wryte (y'' ground I see not) 
yt Sondaye's thundre should brynge ye death of learned men, 
judges, and others ; Mondaye's thundre, ye death of women ; 
Tuesday's thundre, plentie of graine; Wednesdaye's thundre, 
ye death of harlotts ; Thursday's thundre, plentie of sheepe and 
come ; Fridaie's thundre, ye slaughter of a greate man, and 
other horrible murders ; Saturdaj-e's thundre, a generall plague, 
and gi'ate deathe." — Leonard Digges' " A Prognostication ever- 
lasting of ryght good Effected' &c. 4to. Lond. 1556. Fol. 6. b. 

§ i. e. when bread is cheap, beef is the same. 

Dearth always begins in the horse-manger. 

If frogs make a noise in the time of cold rain, warm 

dry weather will follow. 
There is good land where there is a foul way. 
After rain, comes fair weather. 
An hour in the morning before breakfast, is worth 

two all the rest of the day. 
Never put off till tomorrow, what you can do to-day. 
Many a good cow has a bad calf. 
An hour's cold will suck out seven years' heat. 
Evening oats are good morning fodder. 
Flitting of farms makes mailings dear. 
Never offer your hen for sale on a rainy day. 
Don't let the plough stand to kill a mouse. 
Ill weather and sorrow come unsent for. 
As the wind blows you must set your sail. 
Change of weather is the discourse of fools. 
A field requires three things ; fair weather, sound 

seed, and a good husbandman. 
Set trees poor, and they will grow rich; set them rich, 

and they will grow poor. 
One hour's sleep before midnight, is worth two after. 
In rain and sunshine, cuckolds go to heaven. 
Winter thunder, bodes summer hunger.* 
As seasonable as snow in summer. 
Work to-day, for you know not how much you may be 

hindered to-morrow. 

* The Germans luive the Kuiiie provcrh, — I'rii/irr (hnnier spatcr 


Don't have thy cloak to make when it begins to rain. 

Few days pass without some clouds. 

They are well off that hav'nt a house to go to.* 

The darkest hour is nearest the dawn. 

You're saying the ape's pater-noster.f 

It is a fine moon, God bless her. J 

When the moon's in the full, then wit's in the wane. 

A new moon with sharp horns, threatens windy 

weather. § 
He who carrieth a bay-leaf shall never take harm 

from thunder. II 
One day is better than sometime a whole year.^ 
To dream of little rain and drops of water is good for 

The presence of the master is the profit of the field.** 

* An apposite remark, often quoted by those who sitting 
comfortably by their " ain ingle side," hear the pelting of the 
pitiless storm without. 

t A kind of proverbial taunt to one whose teeth are chatter- 
ing with cold. 

J Brand, on the authority of Bailey, says, " That the common 
people, in some counties in England, are accustomed to repeat 
this at the prime of the moon ;" and supposes it to proceed from 
a touch of gentilism, derived from our pagan forefathers. 

§ See Brand's Pop. Antiq., ed. Sir Hen. Ellis, vol. iii., p. 74. 

II See Brand, ib., vol. iii., p. 166. 

^ Renard the Foxe, p. 89. i. e. " No time — like present time." 

** " PrcBsentia domini provectus est agri." — Pallad. lib. i., tit. 6. 
The eye of the master maketh the ox fat. The eye of the 
master does more work than his hand. See Herrick's Hesperides, 
ed. by H. G. Clarke. Lond. :1844. "Vol. 2, No. 45.5, p. 20.3. 


We never know the worth of water till the well is dry. 
You gazed at the moon and fell in the gutter. 
Small rain will lay a great dust.* 
Seven hours' sleep will make the husbandman forget 

his design. 
Stars are not seen by sunshine. 
Take time while time is, for time will away. 
When the barn is full you may thresh before the door. 
When the sun shines nobody minds him; but when he 

is eclipsed all consider him. 
Alike every day, makes a clout on Sunday. 
He who does not rise early, never does a good day's work. 
The sun is none the worse for shining on a dunghill. 
Frost and falsehood have both a dirty gangway. 
As the wind blows you must set your sail. 
Better have one plough going than two cradles. 
Rise early and you will see ; wake and you will get 

It is hard to wive and thrive both in one year. 
Day and night, sun and moon, air and light, every 

one must have, but none can buy! 
Use not to-day what to-morrow may want. 
Wheat will not have two praises. 
It rains by planets. 
Butter's once a year in the cow's horn.f 

* A kind answer turncth awa}' wrath. — So!. 

f When the cow is dried for calving it is usual to say, " All the 
butter is gone into the cow's horn." Likewise when it is so 
dear that the poorer classes arc unable to purchase it, the same 
old dick is again applicable. 

Oysters arc never good but in a month that has an R 

in its name.* 
lias a Friday look (sulky, downcast). 
Bad wintering will tame both man and beast. 
Now's now, but Yule's in winter. 
Lime makes a rich father and a poor son.f 
Neither heat nor cold abides always in the sky. 
It's a pity fair weather should ever do harm. 
The poor man's labour is the rich man's wealth. 
We can say nothing of the day 'till the sun is set. 
He never lies but when the hollin's green (holly). 
Frost and falsehood never leave a fair hinder end. 
After black clouds clear weather. 
Change of pasture makes fat calves. 
Cloudy mornings turn to clear evenings 
Spends Michaelmas rent in Midsummer's moon.;}: 
He that is mann'd with boys, and hors'd with colts, 
Shall have his meat eaten, and his work undone. 
It ehanceth in an hour that happeneth not in seven 

Make not a balk of good ground. 

* This proverb accords with the observation made by Butler 
in his Dyet's Dry Dinner, 1599, viz. : " It is unseasonable and un- 
wholesome in all months that have not an R in their name, to eat 
an oyster." 

f There is no question but thut the continual use of lime as 
a manure, materially impoverishes any description of soil. 

X Said of the spendthi'ift who, fishing before the net, eats the 
calf in the cowV bcllv. 

One may see daylight through a small hole. 
Of a ragged colt cometh many a good horse. 
One scabbed sheep will mar the whole flock. 
Puff not against the wind. 
God tempers the storm to the shorn lamb. 
Grass never grows when the wind blows. 
Lose not a hog for a halfpennyworth of tar. 


A SOUTHERLY wind and a cloudy sky, 
Proclaim a hunting morning. 

A sun-shiny shower, 
Won't last half-an-hour.* 

In the decay of the moon, 

A cloudy morning bodes a fair afternoon. 

An evening red and morning grey, 
Will set the traveller on his way;t 

* There are three infantile rhymes used as charms for or 
against rain, viz. : — 

Rain, ram, go away, 

Come again another day. 

Rain, rain, gang to Spain, 

And never come here again. 

Rain on the green grass, and rain on the tree, 

And rain on the house-top, but not upon me. 

It is a highly popular remark in the north, that if as much 
blue sky is to be seen during rain as will make a pair oi breeches, 
the day will " scarve out ;" i. e. it will shortly become fair again. 
+ The first part of this occurs in German, almost in the same 
words : — 

" Roth' abend und weisse morgenioth, 
Macht dass der wand'rer freudig geht." 
There is a similar proverb in French. 

But if the evening's grey, and the morning red, 
Put on your hat or you'll wet your head. 

A Saturday's moon, 

Come when it will it comes too soon. 

A rainbow in the morning 

Is the shepherd's warning. 

A rainbow at night ■< 

Is the shepherd's delight.* 

\Yhoso hath but a moutli. 

Shall never in England suffer drought. 

When the wind doth feed the clay, 
England woe and well-a-day;f 
But when the clay doth feed the sand, 
Then it is well for Angle-land. J 

After a famine in the stall, 
Comes a famine in the hall. 

■* It occurs in German with almost the same rhymes: — 
" Kef^enborgen am morgen 
Macht dem Schafer sorgeii ; 
Eegenborgen am abend 
1st dem Schafer labend." 
The French say, 

" L'arc-en-ciel du soir 
Fait beau temps paroir." 

t Which is the case in a wet summer. 
I Which is the case in a dry summer. 


If the cock moult before the hen, 
We shall have weather thick and thin; 
But if the hen moult before the cock, 
"We shall have weather hard as a rock. 

When the wind is South, 

It blows the bait to the fish's mouth. 

If there be a rainbow in the eve, it will rain and 

But if there be a rainbow in the morrow, it 

will neither lend nor borrow. 

When the wind's in the East, 
It's neither good for man nor beast; 
When the wind's in the South, 
It's in the rain's mouth. 

If the sun in red should set. 

The next day surely will be wet ; 

If the sun should set in grey. 

The next will be a rainy day. " 

The South wind brings wet weather, 
The North wind wet and cold together;* 
The West wind always brings us rain. 
The East wind blows it back again. 

* A clergyman, in Berkshire, having asked one of his tenants 
last week (May 1844), whether be had not better pray for rain, 
was answered, "It is of little use praying for rain so long as the 
wind is in the north .'" — Local Paper. 


If it rains on a Sundaij before mess,* 
It will rain all the week, more or less. 

This rule in gardening never forget — 
To sow dry and plant wet. 

An evening red and a morning grey. 
Are sure signs of a fine day. 

Friday night's dreams on Saturday told, 

Are sure to come true — be they never so old.t 

If during the night the temperature fall and the 

thermometer rise. 
We shall have fine weather and clear skies. 

If red the sun begins his race, 
Expect that rain will flow apace. 

When clouds appear like rocks and towers, 
The earth's refreshed with frequent showers. 

* Mess, i. e. mass. Vide Audelai/'s Poems, p. 28, line 10. 

t In Sir Thomas Overbury's Character of a /aire and happy 
Milkmaid, is the following passage : " Her dreames are so chaste 
tliat she dare tell them: only a Fridaie's drearae is all her super- 
stition: that she conceales for feare of anger." It is unlucky 
to be bled, take medicine, or get married on a Friday. A child 
born on a Friday is doomed to misfortune. Qu., Is it unlucky 
to be buried on a Friday ? Ob. — That it is lucki/ to be born on 
a Friday ! and that is just all the luck I ever either iiciird or 
read of attending poor Friday. 


When the sun sets in a bank,* 

A westerly wind we shall not want. 

When Roseberry Topping wears a cap, 
Let Cleveland then beware of a rap.f 

When the wind's in the West, 
The weather's always best. 

When whins are out of bloom, 
Kissing's out of fashion. | 

Easterly winds and rain, 
Bring cockles here fi*om Spain. 

A man had better ne'er been born, 
As have his nails on a Sunday shorn. § 

* A heavy dark cloud. 

t A lofty conical-shaped hill in the North Riding of the 
county of Yorl;. The "rap" alluded to is, in plain language, a 
thunder-storm. This old proverb is noticed by Camden, two 
hundred years ago. He observes that, " When its top begins 
to be darkened with clouds, rain generally follows ;" hence the 
ancient distich: — 

" when R(jseben7 Topping weares a cappe, 
Let Clevelande then beware of a clappe." 

J Whins are never out of bloom. The same may be said of 

§ " To cut nails upou a Friday, or a Sunday, is accounted 
unlucky amongst the common people in many places. The set 
and statary times," says Sir Thomas Browne, " of paring nail, 
and cutting hair, is thought by many a point of consideration. 


Cut them on Monday, cut them for healtli; 
Cut them on Tuesday, cut them for wealth. 
Cut them on Wednesday, cut them for news; 
Cut them on Thursday, for a pair of new shoes. 
Cut them on Friday, cut them for sorrow;* 
Cut them on Saturday, see your sweetheart to- 
Cut them on Sunday, cut them for evil; 
For all the week long will be with you the Deeril. 

When Skiddaw hath a cap, 
Scruffel wots full well of that.t 

He that by the plough would thrive, 
Himself must either hold or drive. 

The morn to the mountain, 
The evening to the fountain. 

which is perhaps but the continuation of an ancient superstition. 
To the Romans it was piacular to pare their nails upon the 
nundina, observed every ninth day, and was also feared by others 
on certain days of the week, according to that of Ausonius, 
Ungues Mercurio, barbam Jove, Cypride crines." — Brand's 
Pop. Ant, ed. by Sir Hen. Ellis, vol. iii, p. 92. 

The Jews, however, (superstitiously, says Mr. Addison, in his 
Present State of the Common People, p. 129,) pare their nails on a 

* The reader will here again observe the " unhickincss" of a 

t Two lofty mountains on the western borders of England 
and Scotland. When SUiddaw " wears" a cloud on its summit 
it is ill weather at Scruffell. The name of this mountain is pro- 
perly written Criftell. 


Blessed (or happy) is tlie bride that tlic sun 

shines on : 
Blessed (or happy) is the corpse that the rain 

rains on.* 

There is no gains without pains ; 

Then plough deep while sluggards sleep. 

A quey out of a quey, 

Will breed a byret full of kye. 

Drink in the morning staring, 
Then all the day be sparing. 

An evening red and morning grey, 
Is a token of a bonny day. 

Early to bed, and early to rise, 

Will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. 

He that will thrive must rise at five ; 
He who has thriven, may sleep 'till seven. 

Plough deep while others sleep, 

And you shall have corn to sell and keep, 

* " If it should happen to rain while the corpse is carried to 
church, it is reckoned to bode well to the deceased, whose bier 
is wet with the dew of heaven." — Pennanfs Manuscripts. 
" While that others do divine, 
Blest is the bride on whom the sun does shine." 

— Herrick's Hesp., p. 152. 
Byre, byar, or byer. A house in which cows are bound 
up. " The mucking of Goordie's b3're." — T'. Jatn. 


As the days grow longer, 
The storms grow sti'onger. 

Some work in the morning may trimly be done, 
That all the day after may hardly be won. — 


Come day, gang day, 
God send Sunday.* 

An old moon in a mist, 
Is worth gold in a kist (chest) ; 
But a new moon's mist. 
Will never lack thirst. f 

A northern air, 
Brings weather fair. 

Monday is Sunday's brother; 

Tuesday is such another. 

Wednesday you must go to churcli and pray; 

Thursday is half-holiday. 

On Friday it is too late to begin to spin; 

The Saturday is half-holiday agen.J 

* The sluggard's daily prayer. 

;[■ Varia : — 

As safe as treasure in a kist, 

Is the day in an old moun's mist. 

J Divers Crab-tree Lectures, p. 126. 12mo. Lond. 1639. 


If cold wind reach you through a liole, 
Say your prayers, and mind your soul.* 

The sluggard's guise, 
Loth to bed, loth to rise.f 

Many haws, many sloes, 
Many cold toes. 

They that wash on Monday, 

Have a whole week to dry; 
They that wash on Tuesday, 

Are not so far agye; (awry) 
They that vvash on Wednesday, 

May get their clothes clean; 
They that wash on Thursday, 

Are not so much to mean; 
They that wash on Friday, 

"Wash for their need; 
But they that wash on Saturdays, 

Are clarty-papsij: indeed. 

* A most valuable precept, worthy of all acceptation. 

■J" Nature requires five, \ 

Custom takes seven, I 

^ . , . f Hours or sleep. 

Laziness takes nine, 1 

And Wickedness eleven, 

See anecdote of Buifon, Table Book, vol. i., col, 796. 

X Filthy sluts. 


When round tlie moon there is a brugli* [halo], 
The weather will be cold and rough. 

Wind East or "West, 
Is a sign of a blast; 
Wind North or South, 
Is a sign of drought.t 

A leap year, 

Is never a good sheep year. 

When the wind is in the North, 
The skilful fisher goes not forth. 

To talk of the weather, it's nothing but folly. 
For when it rains on the hill, the sun shines in 
the valley. 

Where the scythe cuts, and the plough rives. 
No more foiries and bee-bikes.f 

When the smoke goes west, 
Good weather is past; 
When the smoke goes east. 
Good weather comes neist [next]. 

* When the halo appears at a distance from the moon, the 
storm is supposed to be near at hand. When touchinp; the moon, 
the storm is far off. 

t To be pronounced "drouth." 

J This term is still in use for a bee's-ncst in a wild state. It 
is likewise an archaism. " A byke of waspes bredde in liis 
nose." — MS, Cot. Call;/, a. ii.. f. 109 



Wlien the wind's in the north, 

Hail comes forth; 

When the wind's in the west, 

Look for a wet blast; 

When the wind's in the soud [south], 

The weather will be fresh and good ; 

When the wind's in the east, 

Cold and snaw comes neist.* 

This is silver Saturday, 
The morn's the resting day; 
On Monday up and to't again, 
And Tuesday push away. 

The north Avind doth blow. 
And we shall have snow. 

If the cock crows on going to bed. 
He's sure to rise with a watery head.t 

A Saturday's change brings the boat to the door; 
But a Sunday's change brings it upon't mid floor. 

When the mist comes from the hill. 
Then good weather it doth spill; 
When the mist comes from the sea, 
Then good weather it will be. 

* This is the Scots version of the proverb, 
t i. e. it ■will be rain next morning. 


The evening grey and morning red, 
Make the shepherd hang his head. 

When caught by the tempest, wherever it be, 
If it lightens and thunders beware of a tree! 

For age and want save while you may. 
No summer's sun lasts a whole day. 

Look to the cow, and the sow, and the wheat mow, 
And all will go well enow. 

Thirty days hath September, 
April, June, and November; 
February eight-and-twenty all alone. 
And all the rest have thirty-and-one; 
Unless that leap-year doth combine, 
And give to February twenty-nine* 

The cock does crow, 
To let us know. 
If we be wise, 
'Tis time to rise. 

When the clouds are on the hills, 
They will come down by the mills. 

* Tlie above is transcribed from an old book, entitled The 
Young Mans Compuaion, printed about the year 1703. It like- 
wise appears in an old play, called The Return from Parnassus, 
4to. Lond. : 1606; and again in Winter's CumJiridyc Almanac 
for 1635. See Rara Mathcmatica, p. 119. 

c 2 


Time flies awa' 
Like snaw in a thaw. 

Northerly wind and blubl)er, 
Brings home the Greenland lubber* 

When the sun sets bright and clear, 
An easterly wind you need not fear. 

When the wind comes before the rain, 
You may hoist your topsails up again; 
But when the rain comes before the winds, 
You may reef when it begins.f 



I am Sonday moste honorable, 

The heed of all y*^ weke dayes, 
That day all thynges laborable 

Ought for to rest and give preyse 
To our Creatour, y* alwayes 

Wolde have us reste after trauayle; 
Man, seruante, and thy beste, he sayes, 

And y^' other to thyne auayle. 

* A satirical proverb made use of by sailors, 
t Although a purely nautical proverb, I have nevertheless 
thought this worthy of insertion. 
X From an English Primer. Rouen: 1545. Kobt. Valentine. 



Monday men ought mee for to call, 

In whiche good workes ought to begynne. 
Heai-ynge masse, ye 1st dede of all; 

Intendynge for to flee dedlye synne, 
Thys worldly goodes truely to vvynne 

Wyth labor, and true exercyse, 
For who of good woi'kes can not blynne 

To his rewarde, shall wynne paradyse. 


fl Tuesday am also named of Mars, 

Called of goddes army potent, 
I loue neuer for to be scars 

Of workes, but alwayes dylygent, 
Striuynge agaynst lyfe indigent, 

Beyng in y* worlde, or ellse where, 
To serue our Lorde with good intent. 

As of duety, we are boonde here. 


t Wenesday, sothely is my name, 

Amydes y'' weke is my beynge, 
Wherein all vertues dothe frame 

By y'' meanes of good lyuynge ; 
I do remembre ye leuen lykyiige 

That was solde in my season ; 
I do worke with true meanynge, 

Ilym for to scrue, as it is reason. 



tl am ye mcrycst of y^ seuen, 

Called tursday, verely ; 
In my time y*^ kynge of heuen 

Made bis souper merely, 
In forme of brcade gaue hys body 

To his apostles, as it is playne, 
And then washed their fete mekely 

And went to Olyvet mouutayue. 


tNaamed I am deuoute fryday. 

The wiche carethe for no delyte, 
But to mourne, faste, deale, and pray ; 

I do set all my hole apetyte 
To thykne on ye Jewes despyte, 

Howe they dyd Chryste on y*^ rent ; 
And thyukynge howe I may be quyte 

At y*^ dredefuU judgement. 


tSaterday I am comeyng laste, 

Trustynge on y« tyme wel spente, 
Hauyng euer mynde stedfaste 

On that lorde y* harowed hell, 
That my synnes wyll expall, 

At ye instaunce of his mother, 
Whose goodnesse dothe farre excell 

Whome I serue aboue all other. 



A good new year, and a merry Handsel Monday.* 

Janiveer freeze the pot by the fire. 

January never lies dead in a dyke gutter. 

March in January, January in March I fear. 

Winter never rots in the sky. 

On St. Distaff's day — neither work nor play.j 

Praise we the Lord that hath no peer. 
And thank we Him for this new year. 

If new-year's eve night-wind blow South, 

It betokeneth warmth and growth ; 

If West, much milk, and fish in the sea; 

If North, much cold, and storms there will be; 

If East, the trees will bear much fruit, — 

If north-east, flee it man and brute. 

At new-year's tide, 

The days lengthen a cock's stride.l 

* Hansel Monday is the first Monday in the new year. 

"[■ January 7th : called by country people, St. Distaff's Day, 
or Rock Day, because (the Christmas holidays havinf; ended) 
good housewives resumed in part, but not in whole, the distaff 
and their other industrious avocations. 

X This .saying is intended to express the lengthening of the 
days in a small, but perceptible degree. The countryman well 
knows the truth of what he says, from observing whore the 
shadow of the upper lintel of his door falls at twelve o'clock, 


Many hips and haws, 
Many frosts and snaws. 

If the grass grows in Janiveer, 

It grows the worse for't all the year. 

Remember on St. Vincent's day* 

If the sun his beams display, 

Be sure to mark the transient beam 

Which thi'ough the casement sheds a gleam; 

For 'tis a token bright and clear. 

Of prosperous weather all the year. 

If St. Paul's dayt be fair and clear, 
It doth betide a happy year; 

and there making a mark. At new year's day, the sun at the 
meridian being higher, its shadow comes nearer the door by 
four or five inches, which for rhyme's sake is called a " cock"s 
stride ;" and so expresses the sensible increase of the day. — 
Gent. Mag. 1759. 
* January 22. The Germans have a proverb: — 
" Um Vinzenzen Sonnenschein, 
Fiillt die Fasser mit korn uud weiu." 

The French have many proverbs relating to St. Vincent's day. 
\ Jan. 25. The Germans have a proverb: — 
'' Sanct Paulus klar, 
Bringt gutes Jahr; 
So er bringt wind, 
Kegnet's geschwind." 
The French verses on this day resemble closely the English ones 

given above: — 

" De Saint Paul la claire jouinee 
Nous denote une bonne annee; 
S'il fait vent nous aurons la guerre, 
S'il neige ou pleut cherte sur terre; 
S'on voit fort espois les brouillards, 
Mortalite de toutes parts." 


But if by chance it then should rain,* 
It will make clear all kinds of grain; 
And if the clouds make dark the sky, 
Then neatf and fowls this year shall die; 
If blustering winds do blow aloft. 
Then wars shall trouble the realm full oft. 

New moon, new moon, I hail thee! 
By all the virtue in my body, 
Grant this night that I may see, 
He who my true love is to be-l 

A January haddock, 
A February bannock, 
And a March pint of ale.|[ 

A January spring 
Is worth naethinnr. 

* Varia. " But if it chance to snow and rain." The festival 
of the Conversion of St. Paul has always been reckoned ominous 
of the future weather of the year, in various countries remote 
from each other. 

t Cattle. 

J This verse is repeated by country maidens at the first 
appearance of the new moon next after New Year's Day, — though 
some are so ignorant as to say that any other new moon is 
equally as good, — in order that they may see their future 

II Are to be preferred before those of any othtr month. 


Under water dearth, 
Under snow bread. 

As the day lengthens, 
So the cold strengthens.* 

Who in January sows oats, gets gold and groats; 
Who sows in May, gets little that way. 

If January calends be summerly gay, 

'Twill be winterly weather till the calends of May. 

If you but knew how good it were, 

To eat a pullet in Janiveer, 

If you had twenty in your flock, 

You'd leave but one to go with the cock. 

The blackest month in all the year, 
Is the month of Janiveer. 


Of all the months in the year, curse a fair February. 

On Candlemas- day, — good goose lay! 

On Candlemas-day, throw cards and candlesticks away.| 

* This proverb sometimes appears under the form, — 

When the days lengtheu, 

The frost is sure to strengthen. 

■f It is to be noted, that from Candlemas the use of tapers at 
vespers and litanies, which prevailed throughout the winter 
ceased until the ensuing All Hallow Mass, and hence the 
origin of this time-worn English proverb. Candlemas candle- 


A windy Christmas and a calm Candlemas, are signs 

of a good year. 
If Candlemas-day be fine, it portends a hard season to 

come ; 
If Candlemas- day be cloudy and lowering, a mild and 

gentle season. 
Fit as a pan-cake for Shrove Tuesday.* 
Coupled like birds on St. Valentine's day. 
Sow or set beans on Candlemas waddle.| 
St. Matthew [24 Feb.] breaks the ice; if he finds none 

he will make it.lj: 
Februeer doth cut and shear. 

February builds a bridge, and March bi-eaks it down. , 
My Candlemas bond upon you.§ 
As long as the bird sings before Candlemas, it will 

greet after it. 
As big as bull beef at Candlemas. 

carrying remained in England till its abolition by an order in 
council, in the second year of K. Edvv. VI. 

* The pancake was anciently a universal dish on this festival j 
I myself have many times and oft partaken of them. Shrove 
Tuesday in the north of England is generally called Pancake 
Tuesday. A dish of fritters at supper is usual in Franco on 
this day and the following Thursday. See Hone's Year Book, 
146-7-8 and 9. In Lancashire hot pancakes are to this day intro- 
duced at the tea table on Shrove Tuesday. 

t In Somersetshire, " waddle" means the wane of the moon. 

I A German proverb : — 

Mathcis bricht's eis, 

Find't er keins, so macht er tins. 

§ See Every Day Book, vol, i. col. 12. 


February is seldom warm.* 

Never clean your nails on Candlemas-duy. 

The hindf had as lief see his wife on the bier, 
As that Candlemas day be pleasant and clear. 

If Candlemas-day be fair and bright, 
Winter will have another flight. 

If Candlemas-day is fair and clear, 
There'll be two winters in the year, j 

If Candlemas-day be clouds and rain, 
Winter is gone, and will not come again. 

* " Soulegrove sil lew," is an ancient Wiltshire proverb. 

t A married agricultural servant. 

% In the old French Calendrier des bons Laboureurs, we are 


" Selon les anciens le dit, 
Si le soleil elair luit 
A la chandeleur, vous croirez 
Qu'encor un hyuer vous aurez." 

The Germans have a similar saying. A correspondent to 

Hone's Year Book, p. 140, says: "I have seen a farmer of the 

' Old School,' rubbing his hands with glee during the dismal 

battling of the elements without, while the wind entered within 

through the crevices of the doors and casements of the latticed 

windows, while his children, at the loud blasts that roared round 

the roof, ran for protection between the knees of their father, or 

hid their faces in the lap of their mother. When the young ones 

were put to bed, the two old folks would sit on the side of the 

ingle neuk, talking ' o' th' days o' langsine,' when they were 

bairns themselves, and confu-ming each other in tliu belief of the 


When Candlemas clay is come and gone, 
The snow lies on a hot stone. 

February fill-dike, be it black or be it white, 
But if it be white, it's the better to like. 

If Candlemas-day be dry and fair, 

The half of winter's to come and mair [more]. 

If Candleraas-day be wet and foul, 
The half of winter's gone at Yule.* 

February, if ye be fair. 

The sheep will mend, and nothing mair; 

February, if ye be foul,t 

The sheep will die in every pool. 

old prognostication." Bishop Hall, in a sermon on this day, 

remarks, that " it hath been an old (I say not how true) note, 

that hath been wont to be set on this day, that if it be clear and 

sun-shiny, it portends a hard winter to come ; if cloudy and 

louring, a mild and gentle season ensuing." Browne, in his 

Vulgar Errors, says, that " there is a general tradition in most 

parts of Europe that inferreth the coldness of the succeeding 

winter from the shining of the sun on Candlemas day, according 

to the proverbial distich : — 

" Si sol splendescat Maria imrificante, 
Majoi' erit glacies post festuiii quam fuit ante." 

The Germans say, " The badger peeps out of his hole on 
Candlemas-day, and if he finds snow he walks abroad ; if ho 
sees the sun shining, ho draws back again into his hoU'." Tlic 
French have a similar saying of the boar, 

* Christmas. 

t i. e. rainy, not snow}'. 


First comes Candlemas, then the new moon, 
And the next Tuesday after is Fasten's e'en,' 

On Candlemas-day, you must hae 
Half your straw, and half your hay. 

At new-yeai-'s day, a cock's stride, 
At Candlemas, an hour wide.t 

Collop Monday, pancake Tuesday, 
Ash "Wednesday, bloody Thursday; 
Friday's lang, but will be dune, 
And hey for Saturday afternune ! X 

Now§ end the whiteloafe and the pye. 
And let all sports with Christmas dye.lF 

In February, if thou hearst thunder, 
Thou wilt see a summer's wonder. 

• See Chambers's Pop. Rhy. Scott, ed. 1842, p. .38. 

■}■ Said in allusion to the lengthening of the day. 

X This is a Shrove-tide rhyme; and, I believe, peculiar to the 
north of England. The Rev. Mr. Bowles communicates to his 
friend, Mr. Brand, that the boys in the neighbourhood of Salis- 
bury go about before Shrove-tide, singing these lines: — 

Shrove-tide is uigh at hand, 
And I am come a sbroving ; 
Pray, dame, somethini;, 
An apple, or a dumpling; 
Or a piece of truckle-cheese, 
Of your own making; 
Or a piece of pancake. 

§ Candlemas eve. 

^ From Herrick. 


On Candlemas-clay, a good goose will lay; 
But on Valentine's day, any goose will lay. 

The Welchman would rather see his dam on her 

Than see a fair Februeer. 

February fills the dyke, 
Either with black or white.* 


March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb. 

A peck of March dust is worth a king's ransom. 

A dry March never begs its bread. 

March grass never did good. 

The spring is not always green, f 

Sow wheat in dirt and rye in dust. 

One swallow^ does not make a spring, nor a woodcock 

a winter. 
A windy March and a showery April make a beautiful 

A March wisher, is never a good fisher. 
March birds are best. 
Mad as a March hare 4 

* e. i. cither with rain or snow. 

t March 6th, spring quarter commences. Some writers date 
from the 20th. 

X Sec Ilalliwell's Introduction to " A Midsummer Niyht's Dream," 
p. 2 and 3 ; and }us Archaic Bid., vol. ii., art. " March-hare." 

Lent seems short to him tliat borrow.-; money to be 

paid at Easter 
Mivrch comes in with an adder's head, and goes out 

witli a peacock's tail. 
March many weathers. 

A wet spring is a sign ot' dry weather for liarvest. 
As hard as an egg at Easter, 
m warrant you for an egg at Easter. [/. e., be bound 

for you].* 
So many frosts in March, so many in May. 
Bkck hid Monday.t 
As bashful as a Lentel lover. J 

* Paste or Pace, whether applied to the season or .in egg. is 
unquestionably a corruption of Pasche, or Pasque ; which latter 
terms, I judge, are derived from the Jewish festival of the pass- 
over, or pascal supper, answering to the Pagan-S;ixon feast of 
the goddess Eoster, and the Christian celebration of our 
Saviour's resurrection. 

The egg simply signides, or is, a tit emblem of the resurrec- 
tion of Christ, and of ours though him to everlasting life. 

The customary egg-feast, though varying greatly in every 
country both in form and fashion, is retained to the present day 
by Pagan and Jew ; as well as by those of the Mahomodan. 
Eomish, Greek, Scottish, and Anglican churches : iiiul tluniirh. 
perhaps, foolish to an extreme, — according to the form prac- 
tised in Enghmd, it has this good property, it is an innocent 
one ! 

t The Monday in Easter-week. 

J A Lentel lover is one who is afraid to touch his mistress. — 
Cbn/rare, bt r. Caresme, 


lie that hatli not a palm in his hand on Pahn Sunday 

must have his hand cut off.* 
If the sun shines on Easter-day, it shines on Wliit- 

Sunday likewise. f 
Sow thin, shear thin. 

* Though Roman Catholic customs were generally disused 
under FTenry VIII, yet he declared that the bearing of palms on 
I'alm Sunday was to be continued and not cast away. It appears 
they were borne in England till the 2nd of Edward VI. In 
Stowe'9 Chronicle, by Howes, tlie practice is said to have been 
discontinued in 1.548. — Brand. 

Nuorgeorgus, translated by Barnaby Googc, says: — 

" The people all do come, and bowcs of tree.s and palmcs they beare, 
Which things against y« tempest great, ye parson conjures tberc." 

Again : — 

" The shaven priests before them marchc, ye jieople follow fast, 
Still striving who shall gather first yc bowes yt downc are east, 
For falsely they believe y' these have force and virtue gi-eat<r. 
Against yc rage of winter stormcs and thunder's flashing hcatc." 

Again: — 

" Besides they candles up do light, of virtue like in all, 
And willow-branches hallow, y' they palmcs do use to call ; 
This done, they verily believe ye t<;mpest nor yc storm, 
Can neyther hurtc themselves, nor yet yr cattel, nor yrcorne. " 

The willow in England is a tree of quick growth; it is a com- 
mon observation " That the willow will buy a horse, before the 
oak will pay for a saddle," Tiie palm willow, with its velvet- 
looking buds, are occasionally still stuck in souk; village churches 
on Palm Sundaj*. 

)■ Counlrymuns Counsellor, Lond, IG.3'3, p. 220. 


Upon St. David's day, 

Put oats and barley in the clay. 

First comes David,* next comes Chad,f 

And then comes Winnold4 as though he was mad. 

An ague in the spring, 
Is physic for a king.§ 

Tid, mid, and misera, 

Carling, palm, and paste-egg day.|l 

* 1st March. j 2nd March. 

X A corruption of Winwaloe ; Father Porter calls him Winwa- 
loke, and Father Cressy, Winwaloe. This proverb alludes to the 
wind}' weather which prevails at this period of the year; but 
whether Winnold, when in the zenith of his power and fame, 
was remarkable for an irascibility of temper, I really do not 
know. His day is the 3rd of March. 

§ This reminds me of the following charm for the ague, which 
should be repeated by the most ancient female in the family or 
neighbourhood, with her head as far up the chimney as conve- 
niently it can be got, viz. : — 

Tremble and go I 

First day, shiver and bura ; 
Tremble and quake .' 

Second day, shiver and learn. 
Tremble and die .' 

Third day, never return. 

II Easter day. The first line of this "old saw" is evidently 

a corruption of the Psalms, according to the Latin translation, 

beginning Te Deum, Mi Deus, and Miserere met. 

Varia : — 

Tid, mid, et misera, 

Carling, Palm , and good Pace-day. 


Care Sunday, care away, 
Palm- Sunday and Easter-day. 

According to the number of magpies you see at one 
and the same time when going a journey, &c., you 
may calculate your luck as follows: — 

One for sorrow. 

Two for luck {yaria. mirth); 

Three for a wedding. 

Four for death {vaiia. birth); 

Five for silver. 

Six for gold; 

Seven for a secret. 

Not to be told; 

Eight for heaven, 

Nine for , 

And ten for the d /'v onii sell ! 

The following is a common address to the magpie 
in the whole of the north of England: — 

Magpie, magpie, chatter and flee, 

Turn up thy tail, and good luck fall me! 

In March, kill crow, pie,* and cadow,f 
Rook, buzzark, and raven; 
Or else go desire them 
To seek a new haven. 

* Magpie. t Jackdaw. 

I) 2 


March winds and April showers, 
Bring forth May flowers.* 

A bushel of March dust is a thing, 
Worth the ransom of a king.f 

So many mists in March you see, 
So many frosts in May will be. 

When Easter falls in our lady's lap, 
Then let England beware of a rap. J 

Wlien the sloe-tree is white as a sheet, 
Sow your barley whether it be dry or wet. 

* So the Germans say, — 

" Miirzen wind unci Apiilen regcn, 
Verheisseu im Mai gi-ossen segen." 

And the French : — 

" Mars venteux, Avril pluvieux, 
Font le Mai gai et gracieux." 

t A dry March makes the clay lands of England bear abun- 
dant crops of corn ; consequently, if in this month the weather 
is such as to make the highways dusty, the country will be bene- 
fited to the amount of a " king's ransom." In German there is 
a similar saying: "Ein loth Miirzen staub ist einen ducaten 
wcrth," — half-an-ouncc of March dust is worth a ducat. 

X Meaning thereby, that when the festival of Easter falls 
near to Lady-day (the 25th March), England is threatened with 
some calamity. 


March borrowit from April, 
Three days and they were ill: 
The first was frost, 
The second was SNaw, 
And the third as caidd, 
As ever't could hlaw* 

* These days being generally stormy, our forefathers have 
endeavoured to account for this circumstance by pretending that 
March borrowed them from April, that he might extend his 
powers so much longer. Those who arc addicted to superstition 
^vill neither borrow nor lend on any of these days. — Dr. Jamk' 
son's Etymo, Diet, 

" March said to Aperill 

I see three hogs upon a hill ; 

But lend your three first days to me. 

And I'll be bound to gai- them die. 

The first, it sail be wind and vveet; 

The next, it sail be snaw and sleet, 

The third, it sail be sic a freeze 

Shall gar the birds stick to the trees. 

But when the borrowed days were gane, 

The three silly hogs cam hiri)liu hame." 

The Coiiipla'jiU of Scollaud, 8vo. Edinb. 1801 . 

In the B'itish Apollo, vol. iii., no. 18, the meaning is asked of 
the old saying : — 
. " March boiTows from April 

Three days, and tUey are ill ; 

April returns them back again, 

Three days and they arc raiu." 

" Ans. Proverbs relating to the weather cannot bo foiuided on 
any certainty. The meaning of this is that it is more seasonable 
for the end of March and the beginning of April to be fair, but 

often, — 

" March does from Aiiril gain 
Three days, and they're in rain ; 
lietuiij'd by April in's bad kind, 
Three days, and they're in wind." 



The cuckoo comes of mid March, 
And Clicks of mid Aperill; 
And gauns away of Midsummer month, 
"When the corn begins to fill.* 

If they would drink nettles in March, 
And eat mugwort in May, 

Old farmers in Devonshire call the three first days of March 
" blind daj's" ; and they were anciently considered so unlucky that 
no husbandman would sow any seed on any of the three. This 
singidar old proverb in Eays Collection reads thus : " April 
borrows three days from March, and they are ill." So says Brand. 

" The Favilteach, or three first days of February, serve many 
poetical purposes in the Highlands. They are said to have been 
borrowed from January, who was bribed by February with three 
young sheep. These three days, by Highland reckoning, occur 
between the 11th and loth of February; and it is accounted a 
most favourable prognostic for the ensuing year that they be as 
stormy as possible. K they should be fair, then there is no more 
good weather to be expected through the spring." — Mrs. Grant's 
Superstitions of the Highlanders, vol. ii., p. 217. 

* "If you have money in your pockets," say the Germans, 
"when the cuckoo first cries, all will go well during the year; 
and if you were fasting, you would be hungry the whole year." 
— GrimvCs Deutsche Mi/thologie. 

Perhaps the following local rhyme may notbeimacceptable: — 

The cuckoo's a bonny bird. 
He whistles as he flies; 
He brings us good tidings, 
He teUs us no lies. 
He sucks little birds' eggs, 
To make his throat clear; 
And never sings cuckoo, 
Till the spring time of year. 


So many fine maidens, 
Wouldn't go to the clay.* 

On the first of March, 
The crows begin to search.f 

March dust and May sun, 
Makes corn white and maids dun. 

March wind and May sun. 

Makes clothes clear and maidens dun. 

March wind, 

Kindles! the ether, § and blooms the whin.| 

A late spring, 

Is a great bless-ing.^ 

* This is apiece of Scottish superstition; and if I am informed 
truly, there is, in connexion with it, either a fairy or witchcraft 

•f Crows are supposed to commence pairing on this day. 
J Enlivens. 
§ Adder. 
II Varia : — 

March wind, 

Wakens the ether, and blooms the thorn. 

Shakspearc thus notices this vernal proverb, — 

" It is the bright day that brings forth the adder, 
And that craves wary walking.'' 

Julius C<csur, act ii. Rc. 1. 

^ Bettor late ripe and bear, than early blossom and blast. 


Sow peas and beans on Daviil and Chad, 
Be the weather good or bad. 

Sow beans in tlie mud, 

And they'll grow like a wood. 

One a penny buns, two a penny buns, 
One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns, 
Butter them, and sugar them, and put them in 
your inun^s.* 

On or before St. Chad,t 

Every goose lays — both good and bad. 

One swallow does not make a summer. J 
April and May are the keys of the whole year. 
A cold April, the barn will fill. 

* This rhyme is occasionally still repeated in the north of 
England. It is peculiar to Good -Friday. 

I March 2ud. 

X The 15th of April is, in some parts of England, known by 
the name of " swallow-da}'." Willsford, in his Natures Secrets, 
p. 134, says, "Swallows flying low, and touching yc water often 
with yr wings, presage rain." 


The cuckoo has picked up the dirt.* 

April with fools, and May with bustards blest. f 

On the first of April, 

Hunt the gowke another mile.| 

An April shower and May sun. 

Will make cloth white, and fair maids dun. 

April with his hack and his bill, 
Plants a flower on every hill. 

On the third of April, 

Comes in the cuckoo and nightingale. § 

When April blows his horn,|l 
It's good for both hay and corn. 

* Said in allusion to tho dry weather at this period of the 
year. The 14th April is in Susse.x called " first cuckoo day." 

t From Churchill. 

X In Westmorland and Cumberland, an April fool is termed an 
April gowk, one that is the bearer of a fool's errand. Brand says, 
" that gowk is properly a cuckoo, and is used here nietaphorically 
for a fool ; this is correct, for from the Saxon gaec, a cuckoo, is 
derived geek, which means ' one easily imposed on.' " 

§ The 14th April is in Sussex called "first cuckoo day." 

II i. e. when in this month winds prevail, it is good for both 

meadow and tillage lands. The Germans have precisely the 

same proverb: — 

Wciin April bliUt in sein horn, 
So stclit cs gut um bcu uad kuni 


When the cuckoo comes to the bare thorn, 
Sell your cow, and buy your corn ; 
But when she comes to the full bit, 
Sell your corn, and buy your sheep. 

In April, the cuckoo shews his bill; 

In May, he sings both night and day; 

In June, he altereth his tune ; 

In July, away he'll fly; -■ 

In August, go he must.* 

Sow peas and beans in the wane of the moon, 
Who soweth them sooner, he soweth too soon.f 

April showers 
Bring May flowers. 

It was at no very distant period a custom, even with people of 
fashion, to wear a hlue coat on the 23rd of April, in honour of 
St. George. 

" To hang an egg laid on Ascension day in the roof of an 
house, preserveth it from all hurts.'' — Scott's Discovery of Witch- 
craft, p. 152, 

* See a various version in Halliwell's Nursery Rhymes of 
England, 4th ed. p. 165. See Wright's Selection of Latin Stories, 
printed for the Percy Society, pp. 42, 74, 224. 

t That they, with y" planet, may rest and rise, 
And flourish with bearing most plentiful wise. — Tusser. 

"Peas and beans, sown during the increase, do run more to 
hawm and straw ; and during y^ declension, more to cod, accord- 
ing to the common consent of countrymen." — Tusser Bedivivus. 
8vo. Lond. 1744, p. 16. 


An April flood, 

Carries away the frog and his brood. 

An April cling, 

Is good for nothing.* 

When Luna lowres, 
Then April showres.f 

As fine as a May-pole on May-day. :j: 

As welcome as flowers in May. 

A hot May makes a fat church-yard. 

Cast not a clout — 'till May be out.§ 

May rain kills lice.|| 

A May flood — never did good. 

You must look for grass on the toji of the oak tree. 

The merry month of May. 

He'll never climb May-hill; or. 

If he can climb over May-hill he'll do. If 

* A Somersetshire proverb. 

■f Travels of Two-Pence, 1620. 

X This evidently refers to the custom of decking the may-polo, 
on May-day, with ribbons and garlands. 

§ The great prevalence of easterly winds during this month, 
appears to me the chief cause of this well-known injunction. 

II I never either heard or saw an explanation of tliis rather 
coarse proverb. 

^ Dr. Forster, in his Perennial Calendar, has a note on these 
two sayings. Note. — May is considered a tryiuy month for health. 


As sweet as lilies in May, 
As white as u lily in May. 
"As mory as llowres in May."* 

He that would live for aye, 
Must eat sage in May. 

A wet May, 

Will fill a byre full of hay. 

May-day is come and gone, 

Thou art a gosling and I am none.t 

A cold May, and a windy, 

Makes a fat (full) barn and a findy4 

* MS. Cantab. f¥. v. 48. p. 111. 

t A May-gosling (provincially, gesUng), on the first of May, 
is made; with as much eagerness in the county of Westmorland, 
and other parts of the north of England, as an April noddy, 
noodle, fool, or gowk, on the 1st of April. See Genth Mag., for 
April, 1791. And should an attempt be made to make any one 
a May-gosling on the 2nd of May, this rhyming saying is 
retorted upon them. 

This distich was also said, mutatis mutandis, on the 2nd of 

J Several proverbs to the same effect are found in German ; 

one is,— 

ICiihlci Mai 

Giebt gutcn '.^•cin uiul viclts htu. 


He who bathes in May, 
Will soon be laid in clay;* 
He who bathes in June, 
Will sing a merry tune; 
He who bathes in July, 
Will dance like a fly. 

A swarm of bees in May,f 
Is worth a load of hay; 

* The present month (May) being one when very severe colds 
are often caught by others as well as bathers, it may not be 
amiss to submit this portion, particularly, to the serious con- 
sideration of my readers. This old saying is very rife in some 
districts in Yorkshire, Craven especially. 

f In Tusser's Five Hundred Points of Ilusbandnj, are these lines, 
under May : — 

" Take heed to yr bees, yt are ready to swarine. 
The losse yre of now is a crown's worth of harme.'' 

A Warwickshire correspondent in Hone's Even/-day Book, 
vol. i., col. 647, says, that in that county, " The first swarm of 
bees is simply called a ' swarm;' the second from the same hive 
is called a ' cast;' and the third from the same hive a 'spindle.' " 

Willsford, in his Nature's Secrets, p. 134, says, " Bees, in fair 
weather, not wandering far from y'' hives, presages yc approach 
of some stormy weather." 

When you purchase a hive of bees, you should not pay for 
them in money, but in goods ; for instance, if you are a farmer, 
give an equivalent in wheat, oats, or barley, &c., and never 
presume to bring them home till the Good-Friday following. 
Apiarians would do well to follow this wholesome piece of 



A swarm of bees in June, 
Is worth a silver spvne ;* 
A swarm of bees in July, 
Is not worth a fly If 

If you look at your corn in May, 
You'll come weeping away; 
If you look at the same in June, 
You'll come home in another tune. 

When the oak puts on his gosling gray, 
'Tis time to sow barley, night and day.J 

The proverb is also found in German :— 

Ein bienenschwann im Mai 
1st werth ein fudev heu ; 
Aber ein Schwann im Juni 
Der lohnet kaum die miih. 

The day of the week on which the 14th of May fell, used, 
some sixty or seventy years ago (so I have heard my seniors 
say), to be considered an unlucky day ; no one ever beginning 
business of any serious moment upon it for the rest of the year. 

* Varia. — Is only or not worth a crown. 

f This is quoted in Miege's Great French Dictionary, fol. 
Lond. 1687, second part. 

X When the oak puts out its leaf before the ash, a dry summer 
may be expected. When the ash puts out its leaf before the 
oak, a wet and cold one. An observation pretty well founded 
on experience. 

A superstitious notion once prevailed in England, "that 


"When the elder is white, brew and bake a peck; 
When the elder is black, brew and bake a sack. 

Mist in May, and heat in June, 
Makes the harvest right soon.* 

He who sows oats in May, 
Gets little that way.j 

The first of May 

Is Robin Hood's day 4 

whatsoever one did ask of God upon Whitsunday morning, at 
the instant when the sun rose, and played, God would grant it 
him." See Arise Evans's Echo of the Voice of Heaven ; or a 
Narration of his Life, 8vo. Lond. 1652, p. 9. He says, " he went 
up a hill to see y* sun rise betimes on Whitsunday morning," 
and saw it at its rising, " skip, play, dance, and turn about like 
a wheel." 

Camden, in his Ancient and Modern Manners of the Irish, says, 
"They fancy a green bough of a tree, fastened on May-day 
against a house, will produce plenty of milk that summer." 

In the Survey of the South of Ireland, p. 233, wc read, " Tiie 
sun was propitiated hero by sacrifices of fire ; one was on tlie 
1st of May, for a blessing on the seed sown." 

* In Scotland, tlicy say, — 

A wet May and a winnie, 

Brings a fou stackyard and a finnie. 

f I. e. he will be sure to reap a bad and unproductive crop. 
X See Struft's Sports and Pastimes, Hone's edition, p. 'MA. 


Twenty-ninth of May, 
Royal-oak day.* 

May, come she early, or come she late, 
She'll make the cow to quake. 

Beans blow, 

Before May doth grow. 

From the marriages in May, 
All the bairns die and decay | 


A dry summer ne'er made a dear peck.J 

An ICnglish summer — two fine days and a thunder 

There's no summer, but it has a winter. 

* Varia. — Oakcn-applc day. 

t See Plone's Vear-Book, col. 76. " May birds are aye cheep- 
ing." — Fop. Bhy. Scotland, p. 74. An old poet sings; — 

" May never was ye month of love, 
For May is full of flowers ; 
But rather April wet by kind. 
For love is full of showers." 

Even as far back as the days of Ovid, it was considered a bad 
omen to bo married in May. 

J Summer quarter commences 21st June, 


May and June are twin sisters.* 

A good hay year — a bad fog year. 

The sun shines on both sides of the hedge. f 

Welcome as snow in summer, and rain in harvest. 

If St. Vitus's dayX l>e rainy weather, 
It will rain for thirty days together. 

He who marries between the syckle and the scythe, 
Will never thrive. § 

Calm weather in June, 
Sets corn in tune. 

* I believe that June is represented under the type of :i young 
man ; consequently, this proverbial phrase appears rather para- 

t Said of summer, when the sun ascends so high in the 
heavens that the shadow of hedges is scarcely perceptible. In 
England, no absolute darkness takes place between the 23rd 
May and 20th July. 

J June 15th. This proverb is applied by the French and 
Germans to the day of St. Medard, and sometimes to that of 
St. Gervase, both in June. 

§ The inferences to be drawn from this proverb arc not to bo 
contemned by farmers and husbandmen; but should they be so 
wilful as to do so, they may, it is possible, ere the termination of 
the year, or the rent-day npproach, find a little leisure time in 
which to rue. Perhaps this proverb was more strictly true 
when our forefathers devoted a whole month in which to cele- 
brate their nuptials, to the great neglect of all other matters. 


Barnabj bright, 
The longest day 
And shortest night.* 

A good leak in June, 
Sets all in tune. 

When the fei"n is as high as a spoon, 
You may sleep an hour at noon. 

If woolly fleeces spread the heavenly way, 
Iso rain, be sure, disturbs the summer's day. 

St. Swithin is christening the apples. f 

AH shearers are honest in the harvest field.:}: 

A bad shearer never had a good syckle. 

* This Barnabv-day, or thereabout, is the summer solstice, or 
sun-sted, when the sun seems to stand, and begins to go back, 
being the longest day in the yeare, about the 11th (St. Barnabas 
day) or 12th of June ; it is taken for the whole time, when the 
dayes appear not for xiv days together, either to lengthen or 
shorten. — Festa AnghSow.ana, p. 72. 

t A common observation on this (St. Swithin's) day, should 
it chance to be a rainy one. 

X So honest as never to be known to cut a single stem belong- 
ing to their neighbour's " rig." 


A green shear is an ill shake. 

As bright as the sun on a summer's day. 

It is midsummer's noon with you.* 

Welcome as rain at harvest. 

Make your hay while the sun shines. f 

If deer rise up dry and lie down dry on St. (Martin) 

Bullion's day,:f it is a sign there will be a good 

gose harvest. 
In July, shear your rye. 
Whoever eats oysters on St. James's day will never 

want money. § 

* i. e. you are gone " clean mad.'" 

t Duncomb's answer in hay-time, relating to the weather: — 

" Well, Dancomb, how will be the weather ? 
Sir, it looks cloudy altogether. 
Aud coming 'cross car Haughton Green, 
I stopp'd and talk'd with old Frank Beane ; 
While we stood there, sir, old Jan Swain, 
Went by aud said, he know'd 'twould rain. 
The next that came was Master Hunt, 
And he declar'd he knew it wont. 
And then I met with Fanner Blow, 
He plainly told me he didn't know : 
So, sir, when doctors disagree. 
Who's to decide it, you or me ?" 

Duncomb was an original and a rhymer. His occupation was 
that of dealer in Dunstable larks. He resided for many years 
at the village of Haughton-Regis, near Dunstable. 

J St. Bullions day is the 4th Jul}-. This is a Scots proverb. 

§ On this day (25th July, O. S.), in London, oysters come in 
season. The indifference to industry which such notions may 
possibly engender in many minds, can, it is more than prob.iblo, 
be testified by some, who themselves falsify the legend by their 
present abode in prisons or in workhouses. 

E 2 


If it rains on Midsummer eve, all the filberts will be 

If the first of July be rainy weather, 

'Twill rain viair or less for forty days together.* 

A cherry year — a merry year : 
A plum year— a dumb year. 

The first cock of hay 
Frights the cuckoo away. 

In July, some reap rye ; 

In August, if one will not, the other must. 

St. Swithin's day, if thou dost rain, 
For forty days it will remain : 
St. Swithin's day, if thou be fair, 
For forty days 'twill rain na mair.\ 

* This sajing is applied in German to several days in the 
month of Julj'. 

f The fi-ivolous monkish legend of St. Swithin causing the 
rain to fall so copiously from heaven as to prevent the removal 
of his bones from the cemetery-garth to within the precincts of 
the minster church of Winchester, in the year 685, is too com- 
mon-place to deserve notice here. Those who are unacquainted 
with the fable, vrill find it duly and truly recorded in Hone's 
Every-day Booh, vol. L col. 954. 



No tempest, good July, 
Lest corn come off blue by. 

In Poor Robins Almanack for 1697, the prognostic is thus 

recorded : — 

" In this mouth is St. Switliiu's day; 
On which, if that it rain, they say, 
Full xl days after it will, 
Or more or less some rain distill. 

This Swithin was a saint, 1 trow, 
And Winchester's bp. also, 
Who in his time did many a feat, 
As popish legends do repeat. " 

Gay, in his Trivia, writes: — 

"How if, on Swithin's feast the welkin lours, 
And ev'ry peut-house streams with hasty showrs, 
Twice twenty days shyll clouds their fleeces drain, 
And wash the pavements with incessant rain." 

Churchill thus glances at the superstitious notions about rain 
on St. Swithin's day: — 

"July to whom the dog-star in her train, 
St. James gives oysters, and St. Swithin rain." 

In Mr. Howard's work on the Climate of London, cited by 
Dr. Forster, in his Fer. Calendar, is the following remark : — 
"To do justice to popular observation, I may now state, that in 
a majority of our summers, a showery period, which, with some 
latitude as to time and local circumstances, may be admitted to 
constitute daily rain for xl days, does come on about the time 
indicated by this tradition : not that any long space before is 
often so dry as to mark distinctly its commencement." 

Q»er//.— May not the foolish and superstitious idea of .\1 days' 
rain after St. Swithin, have originated in a still more ancient 
tradition of Noah having on that day entered the ark ? " when 
the foundations of the great deep were broken up, and the 
windows of heaven were opened, and it ruined lor ,\1 day.s ami 


Till St. James's day* be come and gone, 
You may have hops, or you may have none. 

Bow-wow, dandy fly, 
Brew no beer in July. 

Many rains, many rowans ; 
Many rowans,t many yawns.| 

Short harvests, make short addlings. 

Good harvests make men prodigal; bad ones, provident. 

nights," so that the highest hills under heaven were covered 
with the waters. 

July 3rd, the dog-days begin. Our foi-efathers supposed that 
the maUgnant influence of the dog-star, when in conjunction 
with the sun, caused the sea to boil, wine to become sour, dogs 
to go mad, and all other creatures to languish ; while in men 
it produced inci-ease of bile, hysterics, phrensies, burning fevers, 
and other malignant disorders ! They likewise had an opinion, 
that during those dajs all physic should be declined, and the 
cure committed to nature: this season is called the Physicians 

* July 25th. 

t Rowans are the fruit of the mountain-ash; and an abundance 
thereof is held to denote a deficient harvest. 

X Light grains of wheat, oats, or barley. 


A good nut year — a good corn year.* 
A long harvest leaves little corn. 
At latter Lammas.^ 

At St. Barthol'mew.t 
Then comes cold dew. 


He, who would reap well, must sow well. 

* Willsford, in his Nature s Secrets, p. 144, informs us that, 
" In autumn (some say), iu the gall, or oak-apple, one cf these 
iii things will be found (if cut in pieces) ; a flie, denoting want ; 
a worm, plenty; but if a spider, mortality." Again, he says, 
ibid., that " the broom, having plenty of blossoms, or the walnut 
tree, is a sign of a fruitful year of corn." That " great store of 
nuts and amends presage a plentiful year of corn, especially 

Lupton, in his third Book of Notable Things (edit, 8vo., IGCO, 
p. 52), No. 7, says: "If you take an oak-apple from an oak tree, 
and open the same, you shall find a little worm therein, which if 
it doth creep, it betokens scarceness of corn. This is the 
countryman's astrology, which they have long observed for 

f Synonymous with the Ad Gracns Calendas of tiie Latins ; 
and the vulgar saying, " When two Sundays come together," 
?. e. never. " It happened in the reign of Quriii Dick," is 
another proverb of the same class. 

X 'August 24. 


If you cat goose on St. Michael's day,* you will never 

want money all tlie year.t 
So many days old the moon is on Michaelmas-day, so 

many floods after 4 

* Or jMicliachnas day, 29th September. 

t See note on oyster- eating on St. James's day, in Proverbs 

for July. In the British Apollo, fol. Lond. 1708, vol. i, no. 74, 

is the following: — 

Q,4, " Piay tell me whence 

The custom' d proverb did commence, 
That who eats goose on Michaels-day, 
Sha'nt money lack, his debts to pay. 

All. This notion, fram'd in days of yore. 
Is grounden on a prudent score ; 
For, doubtless, 'twas at first desipu'd, 
To make the people seasons mind ; 
That so they may apply their cai-n, 
To all those things which needful were. 
And by a good industrious hand. 
Know ivken and how t improve their laud. " 

In the X year of King Edward IV, John de la Hay was bound, 
among other services, to render to Will. Barnaby, lord of Lastres, 
in the county of Hereford, for a parcel of demesne lands, one 
goose, fit for the lord's dinner, on the feast of St. ^Michael the 
Archangel. — Blount s Tenures, Bechcitlis idit., p. 222. 

We have the anthority of Mr. Douce for saj'ing, " that Queen 
Elizabeth received the news of the defeat of the. Spanish Armada 
whilst she was eating a goose on Michaelmas day. 

Goose-eating is celebrated in Germany and France on St. INIar- 
tin's day. In Denmark, this festival is holden on the eve of 
St. Martin, when every family (that can alTord it) has a roasted 
goose for supper. Goose -feast is a proverbial name for Michael- 

X Twelve Monctha. Lend. 1661, p. 44. 


He that hath a goud harvest may be content with 

some thistles. 
A blackberry (brambleberry) summer.* 
No tree bears fruit in autumn, f that does not blossom 

in the spring. 

September:}: blows soft, 
Till the fruit's in the loft. 

The Michaelmas moon, 
Rises nine nights alil<e soon.§ 

* A few fine days, at the close of this, or opening of the 
following month, when the fruit of the bramble ripens. This 
fruit is vulgarly known by the name of " bumblekite," in the 
county of Durham. In that district of Yorkshire bordering upon 
Leeds, they are called " black-blegs." 

t The autumnal quarter commences on the 22nd September. 

X September possesses one property which no other month can 
lay a similar claim to, viz.: "that its xv day is, at least, si.\ 
times out of seven, a beautifully fine one." See Dr. Forster's 
Pe?: Calendar. 

§ The above rhyme describes a simple astronomical phenome- 
non which takes place at this season, and which is usually called 
the harvest inoon. The moon rising now nearly at the same time 
for several nights when in her greatest splendour, and when her 
light is considered as useful, both in drying the cut gi'aiu, and 
lighting the husbandman to his usual labours, the phenomenon 
impresses the mind, raising at the same time, as it ought to do, 
sentiments of admiration and gratitude for the beneficent wis- 
dom which planned an arrangement so useful to the inhabitant* 
of the earth.— C/(«w6e;-s' Pop. Rhj. of S.ol. p. 39 (1842). 


On Saint Matthee,* 
Shut up the bee. 

Blest be the day that Christ was born, 

We've getten't mell of Mr. corn ; 

Weel bound and better shorn. 

Hip, hip, hip, huzza, huzza. f 

Blessed be the day our Saviour was born. 

For Master 's corn's all well shorn ; 

And we shall have a good supper to-night, 

And a drinking of all, and a kirn! a kirn! a hoa!| 

The master's corn is ripe and shorn, 
"We bless the day that he was born ; 
Shouting a kii'n! a kirn! ahoa!§ 

Bless the day that Christ was born, 

We've gettin 'twel and ]\Ir. corn, 

Weel shavern and shorn, &c., &c. || 


An October moon is call the " hunter's moon." 

* September 21st. 

\ The harvest-home " culV in the county of Durham. 

% The Northumbrian harvest-home call. 

§ The harvest call peculiar to Glendale, a district iu North- 

II A harvest call used in the North Riding of the count}' of 


Good October,* a good blast, 

To blow the hogs acorn and mast.f 

A soul-cake, a soul-cake; 
God have mercy onij: your soul, 
For a soul-cake. § 

* " On the days of SS. Barnabas, Simon, and Jude, a tempest 
often arises." — From an ancient Romish Calendar, in the late 
Mr. Brand's library. Formerly (although, not now), the anni- 
versary of the day of SS. Simon and Jude (28th Oct.) was 
deemed as rainy and prognostical as that of Swithin. In Dods- 
ley's old play of the Roaring Girl, a character therein says, " I 
know 'twill rain upon Simon and Jude's day." Again, " Now a' 
continual Simon and Jude's rain beat all your feathei's as flat 
down as pancakes." 

The failure of a crop of ash-keys (the fruit of the ash), in 
some counties in England, is said to betoken death in the royal 

t The fruit of the beech. 

J Varia. — On all Christian souls. 

§ In North Wales, there is a custom of distributing soul cakes 

on All Souls' day (2iid Nov.), at the receiving of which, the 

recipient prays to God to bless the donor's next crop of wheat. 

Pennant's Mcmuscripts, note. These cakes were baked on 

AUhallow-even (31 Oct.); and I hope that this will prove my 

sufficient excuse for introducing the triplet which appears in 

the text, and likewise the following " oulde couplelt," to the 

notice of my readers, under this month: — 

" God save your saul, 

Beeiis and all." 

This was repeated in retribution of tlie rich man's eliarity, re- 
ceived on this day, in tlie counties of Lancaster .ind Hereford. 


Haly on a cabbage-stock, and baly on a bean, 
Haly on a cabbage stock, to-morn's Hallow-e'en.* 

Hey-how for Hallow-e'en, 
"When all the witches are to be seen ; 
Some in black, and some in green, 
Hey-how for Hallow-e'en!! 

Dry your barley land in October, 
Or you'll always be sober 4 


St. Martin's little summer. § 

Fat as a bacon-pig at Martlemas.j| 

At Eipon, in Yorkshire, on this day, the good women used to 
bake a cake for every one in the family; so this is generally 
called cake-night. — Gejit. Mag., vol. Ix, p. 719. I believe the 
custom is partially continued. 

* This proverb is peculiar to the 30th of this mouth. All- 
hallow even is on the 31st. 

■{■ See Burns's beautiful poem Halloween, and its valuable and 
highly interesting notes. 

% i. e. without you attend to this dictum, you will have no 
barley to convert into malt 

§ So called from three or four remarkably fine sunny days 
which periodically occur about the festival of Saint Martin the 
Apostle. 23rd Nov. 

II This old form of the word (ilartinmas) is still common in 
the north. 


This is hrmginfj month * 

On the first of November, if the weather holds 

An end of wheat-sowing do make for this year.j 

Pray to remember, 
The fifth of November, 

The gunpowder treason and plot ; 
When the king and his train. 
Had nearly been slain, 

Therefore it shall not be forgot ! 

November take flail, 
Let ships no more sail. 

An early winter, 
A surly winter. 

* It appears that this month has attained to some degree of 
celebrity for suicidal acts; but whether that horrible precedence 
is its due, I really am unable to decide. Those, therefore, who 
are curious in the matter, and desirous of ascertaining if such 
is really the fact, I must refer for information to county coroners, 
and M.D.s in general. 

■j" Tusser, in his Five Hundred Pointes of Good Ilusbandrie, 4 to. 

Lond. 1580, fol. 75, notices this authoritative precept or adage 

almost in the same words : — 

" Wife, some time this weeke, if the weather hold clear, 
An end of whoat-sowing we make for this yeare; 
Remember }'ou, therefore, tho" I do it not, 
The seed-cake, the piislirs, anil Jiiniienlir-pol" 


Many fiosts and many tliowes, 
Make many rotten yowes (ewes). 


A black Christmas makes a fat church-yard. 

If the ice will bear a goose before Christmas, it will 

not bear a duck afterwards. 
A merry Christmas* and a happy new year. 
The twelve days of Christmas.t 
As white as driven snow on a winter's day. 
As dark as a Yule midnight. 

Everyday's no Yule-day, — cast the cat a castock. :j: 
Yule, Yule! a pack of new cards and a Christmas J'nle. 
A green Yule makes a fat kirk -yard. 
Big as a Christmas pig! 
It's good to cry Yule at another man's cost. 
As many miiicc pies as you taste at Christmas, so many 

happy months will you have.§ 

* An ancient mode of salutation, exchanged by friends when 
they first meet during the current day (Christmas) ; and within 
a limited period afterwards. 

t See note on proverb, " The day of St. Thomas, the blessed 
divine, &c.," under this month. 

X The stump of a cabbage ; and the proverb means much the 
same thing as " Spare no expense, bring another bottle of small 
beer !" 

§ A trite observation general through the whole of Westmor- 
land and Cumberland. 


As bare as the birch at Yule even.* 
A Yule feast maj be quit at Pasche.f 
Christmas comes but once a year. 
Ghosts never appear on Christmas-eve. f 
Busy as an oven at Christmas. 

* In allusioa to the Christmas log. It is spoken of one in 
extreme poverty. 

■f i.e. "a Christmas feast may bo paid again at Easter;" or, 
" One good turn deserves another." 

J So says Shakspeare; and the truth thereof few, now-a-days, 
will call in question. Grose observes, too, that those born on 
Christmas-day cannot see spirits. 

What a happiness this must have been seventy or eighty 
years ago and upwards, to those chosen few who had the good 
luck to be born on this day; when the whole world was so over- 
run with ghosts, boggles, bloody -bones, spirits, demons, ignis- 
fatui, fairies, brownies, bug-bears, black-dogs, spectres, spelly- 
coats,* scare-crows, witches, wizards, barguests, Robin-good- 
fellows, hags, night-bats, scrags, break-necks, fantasms, hob- 
goblins, hobhoulards, boggy-boes, dobbys, hobthrusts, fetches, 
kelpies, warlocks, mock-beggars, mumpokers, jemmy-burties, and 
apparitions, that there was not a village in England that had not 
its peculiar ghost! Nay, every lone tenement or mansion which 
could boast of any antiquity, had its boggle or spectre. The 
church-yards were all haunted. Every green lane had its 
boulder-stone, on which an apparition kept watch by night; 
every common had a circle of fairies belonging to it ; and there 
was scarce a shepherd to be met with who had not seen a 
spirit I 

• These were Scotch boggles: they wore garments of shells, 
which made a horrid rattling wlicn they appeared abroad. 


The day of 8t. Thomas, the blessed divine,* 

Is good for brewing, baking, and killing fat swine. 

St. Thomas's-day is past and gone, 
And Christmas is most come, 

Maidens arise, 

And bake your pies, 
And save poor tailor Bobby some.f 

Winter-time for shoeing, 
Peascod-time for wooing4 

Bouncer, buckler, velvet's dear. 
And Christmas comes but once a year ; 
Though when it comes it brings good cheer ; 
So farewell Christmas once a year.§ 

* Dec. 21. This, loo, is the shortest day, and the commence- 
ment of the winter quarter. It is likewise the first day of the 
festival of all festivals — Christmas ; which anciently continued 
without interruption from this day to the 2nd February, the 
feast of the purification of the blessed Virgin Mary; but Christ- 
mas-day, and the twelve days succeeding, were considered the 
most sacred to mirth and hospitality : hence the provei'bial 
phrase, " The twelve days of Christmas." 

A custom, 1 believe, still exists in some parts of England, of 
ringing a merry peal upon the bells of the parish-steeple on this 
day. It is called " ringing in Christmas." 

f HalliweU's Nursery Rhymes, 4th ed. p. 220. 

X See art. " Peascod," HalliweU's Arch. Diet. p. 610, and 
Literary Gazette for July 1846, p. 626. 

§ See note on this proverbial saying, HalliweU's Nursery 
Rhymes, 4th od. p. 44. 


He's di fule that marries at Yule; 
For when the bairn's to bear, 
The corn's to shear.* 

Make we mirth for Christ's birtli, 
And sing we Yule till Candlemas. 

It's good crying Yule, 
On another man's stool. f 

If Christmas-day on a Monday fall, 
A troublous winter we shall have all. 

Yule, Yule, Yule, Yule ! 
Three puddings in a pule (pool). 
Crack nuts and cry Yule!$ 

* A meet companion for anothei' adage given imder Juno. 

t The best note that I can give will, I trust, be considered 
sufficiently explanatory and well-fitted for the nonce, viz. : — 
" It 13 good to cry Yule at unother man's cost." 

\ This was, I understand, some fifty years ago, a common 
"cry," in the counties of York and Durham, on the night of 
Christmas-day : but what the " three puddings in a pule" arc 
intended to typify, I have never been able to discover, unless 
it be three plum puddings on a ponderous pewter dish, floating, 
as it were, in a "pule" of sweetened rum-sauce? (they convoy 
the idea of its being an abstract). The command to "rrarl; 
nuts" may be inferred from the following extract from a Christ- 
mas carol, given at the end of old George Withcr's Juvenilln, — 

" Harke how the wa^ges alirode tloe call 
Each other fiiortli to r.imbliii/k: 
Anon, you'll see them in llie hall, 
For nuts and aifjilfs sonnihlinff." 


Hogmanay, troUolay; 

Give us of your white bread, 

But none of your grey. 

Hagmena, Hagmena; 
Give us cake and cheese. 
And let us go away.* 

Blessed be St. Stephen, 
There's no fasting on his even !f 

If you bleed your nar/ on St. Stephen's-day,| 
He'll work your icark for ever and ay !§ 

* This, and the preceding, partake more of the quality of 
" crys," or chansons, than jiroverbs ; they were sung or said by 
children on the last day of the year, when collecting their 
" farls," as they named it, of oaten cake and cheese. See Gent. 
Mag., vol. Ix. p. 499. 

t Happily expressive of the good eating and great doings at 
this festive season. 

t December 2Gtb. 

§ Ilospinian quotes a superstitious notion from Naogeorgus, 

which is thus translated by Barnaby Googe : — 

" Then foUoweth St. Stephen's day, whereon doth every man, 
His horses jaunt and course abrode, as swiftly as they can, 
Until they do extremely sweate, and then they let them hlood. 
For this being done upon this day, they say doeth do ym good, 
And keeps ym from all maladies, and sicknesse through ye yeare, 
As if that Steven any time, tooke charge of horses heare." 

Tiisser, in his Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, under 

December, says: — 

" Ther Christmas be passed, lei horsse be let blood, 
For raanie a puqrose it dooth them much good: 
The day of St. .Steeven, old fathers did use, 
If that doe mislike thee, some other day chuse." 


Yule is come, and Yule is gone, 
And we have feasted well ; 

So Jack must to his flail again, 
And Jenny to her wheel. 

An annotator on Tusser subjoins: " About Christmas is a ren/ 
proper time to bleed horses in, for then they are commonly at 
house, then spring comes on, the sun being now coming back 
from the winter solstice, and there are three or four days of 
rest ; and if it be upon St. Stephen's day, it is not the worse, 
seeing there are with it three days of rest, at least two," — 
Tusser Redivivus, 8vo. Lend. 1744. p. 148. In the Receipts and 
Disbursements of the Canons of St. Mary in Huntingdon, undur the 
year 1517, we have the following entry:— 

"Item, for letting our horses blede in Chrystmasse weke, 
iiijd." — Nicholas's Illustrations of the Manners and Expenses of 
Ancient Tim£S in England, 

According to one of Mr. Donee's manuscript notes, he thinks 
the practice of bleeding horses on this day is extremely ancient, 
and that it was brought into this country by ihe Danes. Sec 
Olai Wormii Fasti Danici, lib. ii. cap. 19. 

Aubrey, in the Remains of Gentilisme, MS. Lands., Brit. Mus. 
226, says: " On St. Stephen's day, the farrier came constantly 
and blouded all our cart-horses." 

Bishop Hall, in his Triumphs of Rome, p. 58, says: " On St. 
Stephens day, blessings are implored upon pastures." 

In imitation of heathenism, the Romanists have assigned 

tutelar gods to distinct professions and ranks of pt-ople ; nay 

even to the care of animals, thus : — 

" St. Gartrude riddes the house of raise, and killeth all the rattes ; 
The like doth Bp. Iluldrich, w'' his earth two passing cattis." 

Again : — 

"And Loye, the smith, doth lnokc to horse, and sniilhcs of all <leKii\ ' 

Ilo likewise had the honour of attending to farriers and kine. 



Summer in winter, and a summer's Hood, 
Never boded England good. 

A frosty winter, and a dusty March, 

And a rain about Aperill ; 
And another about the Lammas time, 

When the corn begins to fill; 
Is worth a plough of gold, 
And all her pins theretill. 

Bridges, in his History of Northamptonshire, vol. i. p. 2.58, says: 
" In this church (Wedon Pinkeney) was the memorial of 
St. Ley's kept, whither did many resort for the cure of their 
horses ; where there was a house at the east end thereof, 
plucked down within these few years, which was called St. Ley's 

Sir Thomas Overbuiy, in his Characters, when describing a 
" running footman," among other matters, says, " His horses 
are usually let bloud on St. Steven's day : on St. Patrick's, he 
takes rest, and is drench t for all y"^ yeare after." 

Melton, in his Astrologaster, p. 45, informs us, it was formerly 
an article in the creed of popular superstition that it was not 
lucky to put on a new suit of clothes, pare one's nails, or begin 
anything on Childermas-day. Holy Innocents' day, 27 Dec. 

Boui'ne tells us, chap, xviii., that, " according to the monks, it 
was very unlucky to begin any work upon whatsoever day that 
falls on, whether on the Monday, Tuesday, or any other, nothing 
must be begun on that day through the year." 

This is a black day in the calendar of impatient lovers. 
None are ever married upon Childermas-day. 

In the Orkney Islands, " no couple chooses to be married 
except with a growing moon, and some even wish for a flowing- 
tide." — Sir John Sinclair's Account of Scotland, 



Curiously illustrative of one section of the popular 
belief relating to that day. 

[From MS. Harl. No, 2252, fol. 153, r^. of the 15th century.] 

Yf Crystmas day on the Sonday be, 
A troboliis wynter ye shall see, 

Medlyd with waters stronge; 
Were shalbe good wythoute fabylle, 
The somer it shalbe resonabylle, 

And stormys odyi* whylys amonge. 

Wynus that yere shalbe goode, 

The hervcste shalbe wete wyth floddes, 

Pestylens falle in many a coutre, 

And many younge pcpylle dede shal be, 

Or that sekenes lynne, 

And grete tempestes ther-ynne. 

Prynces that yere with iren shall dye, 
And chaungyngc of many lordes eye, 

Amonge knyghttes grete deljate; 
Many tydynges shal com to men; 
Wyfi'es shalle wepen then, 

Bothe pore and grete estates. 

The faythe then shalbe hurte truly, 
For dyvers poyntes of heresy 

That then shall aperc, 
Throwe temptyngc of the fende; 
For diverse maters unkynde, 

Shalle cawse grete daunger. 

Catelle shal throve one and odyr. 
Save beeve, they shall kyll echo odyr, 

And som bcstcs shall dyen ; 
Little frute and corne goodc, 
No plcntc of ai)ylles to your ibodc; 

Shyppes on the see have payue. 


That ycrc on the Monday, wythowte fyne, 
Althyngcs wcllc thou mayste begynne, 

Ilyt shalbe jjiophytabylle; 
Chyldren that lie 1)orne that day, 
Shalbe myghtye and stronge par fay, 

Of wytte full rcasonnabylle. 


Of import similar to the one preceding. 

[From MS. Harl. No. 2252, fol, 154, r".] 

LoRDYNGES, I warne yow al be-forne, 

Yef that day that Cryste was borne 

Falle uppon a Sonday, 

That wynter shalbe good par fay. 

But gretc wyndes alofte shalbe 

The somer shalbe fayre and drye; 

By kynde skylle, wythowtyn ksse, 

Throwe alle londes shalbe peas, 

And good tyme all thynges to don; 

But he that stelythe, he shalbe fo^vndc sone; 

Whate chylde that day borne be, 

A grete lorde he shalle ge, &c. 

Yf Cry stomas day on Monday be, 

A grete wynter that yere have shall ye, 

And fuUe of wyndes lowde and stylle ; 

But the somer, trewly to telle, 

Shalbe sterne wyndes also, 

And fulle of tempeste al thereto ; 

All catayle multyplye ; 

And grete plentye of beeve shall dye. 

They that be borne that day, I wene. 

They shalbe stronge echo on and keue ; 

And he that stelythe owghte ; 

Thow thowe be soke, thou dyeste not. 

Yf Crystmas day on Tuysday be. 

That yere shall dyen women plente ; 

And that wynter wex grete marvaylys ; 

Shypps shalbe in grete perylles ; 

That yere shall kynges and lordes be slaync, 

And myche hothyr pcpylle agayne heym. 

A chye somer that yere shalbe ; 


AUe that be borne therin may se, 

They shalbe stronge and covethouse. 

Yf thow stele awghte, thou lesyste thi lyfe ; 

Thou shalte dye throwe swerde or knyfc ; 

But and thow fall seke, sertayne 

Thou shalte tiu-ne to lyfe agayne. 

Yf Crystmas day, the sothe to say, 

Fall uppon a Wodnysday, 

That yere shalbe an harde wyuter and strong, 

And manye hydeus wyndes amonge ; 

The somer mery and good shalbe ; 

That yere shalbe wete grete plente ; 

Younge folke shall dye that yere also. 

And shyppus in the see shal have grct woo. 

What chylde that day borne ys, 

He shalbe dowghtye and lyghte i-wysse, 

And wyse, and slye also of dede, 

And fynde many men mete and wede. 

Yf Crystemas day on Thursday be, 

A wyndy wyntyr se shalle yee, 

Of wyndes and weders all wecked, 

And harde tempestes stronge and thycke. 

The somer shalbe good and drye, 

Cornys and bestes shal multyplye : 

That yere ys good londes to tylthe ; 

And kynges and prynces shall dye by skylle. 

What chylde that day borne bee. 

He shalle have happe ryght well to the. 

Of dedes he shalbe good and stabylle, 

Of speche and tonge wyse and rcsonabyllc. 

Who so that day ony thefte abowte. 

He shalbe shente wythowtyn dowtc ; 

And yf sekenes on the that day betydc, 

Hyt shal sone fro the glyde. 

Yf Crystmas day on the Fryday be, 
The fyrste of wynter harde shalbe, 
With froste and snowe and wyth flode. 
But the laste ende thereof ys goodo. 
Agayn, the somer shalbe good also; 
Folkes iu liyr yen shall have grcte woo; 

72 addendj^. 

Wcmen wyth chylde, bestcs, wyth corne, 
Shall multyplyc, and none be lorne. 
The chylde that ys home that day, 
Shall longe lyvc and lechcroAviis be aye. 
Who so stclythe awghte, he shall)e fowndc ; 
And thou be seke, hyt lastythe not longe. 

Yf Crystmas day on the Saterday falle, 
That wynter ys to be dredden alle ; 
Hyt shalbc so full of gi-ete temj^este, 
That hyt shall sle bothc man and beste ; 
Frute and corne shall fayle grete won, 
And olde folkes dycn many on. 
Whate woman that day of chylde travayle, 
They shalbe borne in grete perelle ; 
And chyldren that be borne that day, 
Within halfe a yere they shall dye, par fay. 
The somer than shall wete ryghte ylle ; 
Yf thou awghte stele, hyt shal the spylle ; 
Thou dyest yf sekenes take the. 


The hollow wmds begin to blow, 

The clouds look black, the glass is loiv; 

The soot falls doum, the spaniels sleej), 

And spiders from theii' cohivehs 'peep. 

Last night the sun went pale to bed ; 

The moon in Jialos hid her head. 

The boding shepherd heaves a sigh. 

For, see a rainbow spans the sky. 

The vxdls are damp, the ditches smell. 

Closed is the pink-ey'd j>ir/H_^>er/ie?. 

Hark ! how the chairs and tables crack, 

Old Betty s joints are on the rack : 

Her corns with shooting jjains torment her, 

And to her bed untimely send her. 

Loud qiuick the ducks, the sea-fowl cry, 

The distant hills are looking nigh. 

How restless are the snorting swine ! 

The busy flies distui'b the kine. 

Low o'er the grass the swallow wings, 


The cricket, too, how shari-> he sings I 

Puss on the hearth, with velvet paws, 

Sits wijjiuf/ o'er her tohisker d jaics. 

The smoke from chimnies right ascends, 

Then spreading, hack to earth it bends. 

The wind unsteady veers around. 

Or settling in the south is found. 

Thro' the clear stream the fishes rise, 

And nimbly catch the incautious flies. 

The glow-worms numerous, clear and bright, 

Illumed the deivy hill last night. 

At dusk, the squalid toad was seen, 

Like qvxulruped, stalk o'er the green. 

The whirling-wind the dust obeys, 

And in the rapid eddy plays. 

The frog has changed his yellow vest, 

And in a russet coat is drest. 

The sky is green, the air is still, 

The mellow blackbird's voice is shrill. 

The dog, so alter'd is his taste, 

Quits mutton-bones, on grass to feast. 

Behold the rooks, how o'dd their flight, 

They imitate the gliding kite, 

And seem precipitate to fall. 

As if they felt the piercing ball. 

The tender colts on back do lie. 

Nor heed the traveller passing by. 

In fiery red the sun doth rise, 

Then wades through clouds to mount the skies. 

'Twill surely rain! we see't with sorrow, 
No loorkiwi m the fields tomorrow ! 


LONUt.N : 



2.alij> 33essp ; 







Win |3ercp ^ocietp. 


THOMAS AMYOT Esq F.R S., Treas. S.A. 





J. H. DIXON, Esq. 





TJ. PETl'IGREW, Esq. F.R.S., F.S.A. 



THO.MAS WRIGHT, Esq. M.A , F.S.A., Secretary t Tnaninr 


Our materials for the period of English history 
to which the following ballad relates are so 
remarkably scanty, that no source of information 
possessing the least claim to credit can be willingly 
I)assed over. Were it otherwise, a poem un- 
doubtedly containing many supposititious par- 
ticulars, and which may well be considered a 
very unsafe historical guide, would deserve little 
attention apart from its poetical merits ; but we 
unfortunately possess no other contemporary ac- 
count of the proceedings of Elizabeth of York, 
from Christmas 1484, till the death of llichard III. 
On this account the " Song of Lady Bessy" i)03- 
sesses a considerable degree of interest. 

Only two copies of this poem have been pre- 
served, differing considerably from each other, 
and no doubt varying in a great degree from the 
author's original composition, not in facts, but in 
language. One co])y is contained In a MS. of the 
time of Charles IJ, in the possession of Mr. 


BateniuD, who has obligingly collated our text in 
proof with the original manuscript. The other 
copy is preserved in MS. Harl. 367, and appears 
to have been transcribed about the year 1600. 
We have thought it expedient to give both of 
these versions, for they explain each other, and 
exhibit the changes which transcribers of later 
days made in remote originals. The first was 
edited in 1829, by Mr. Thomas Heywood, with an 
able introduction and judicious notes ; but the 
work was privately printed, and is now very rarely 
to be met with. The copy in the Harl. MS. 
is not so much modernized, and is of much better 
authority than that printed by Mr. Heywood. 

It appears from some passages, where the writer 
changes abruptly from the third to the first person, 
that the poem was composed by Bessy's " true 
esquire," Humphrey Brereton, who was in the 
service of Lord Stanley. Mr. Heywood conjec- 
tures him to have been a native of Cheshire, and 
informs us that " in the pedigree of the Breretons 
of Stochlach and Malpas, a younger branch of the 
house of the same name seated at Brereton, 
Plumphry appears to have been the third son of 
Bartholomew Brereton, and to have lived in the 
reign of Henry the Seventh. He left three 
daughters ; the eldest of whom marrying into the 
neighbouring family of Dod of Edge, her descen- 


dants still exist in the representatives of that 
ancient house. Humphry is described in the Dod 
pedigree as seated at Grafton, a township near 
Malpas." This conjecture is borne out by the 
porter's reason for his gratification at seeing 
Humphry, — 

" For a Cheshire man born am I certain, 
From the Malpas but miles three." 

The antiquity of the poem is satisfactorily 
proved by the multiplicity of those minute traits 
of language and manners, which must have been 
forgotten by a more recent writer. The author's 
mistakes in the general history of the period are 
not of a nature to weaken his credibility ; and as 
Sir H. Nicolas justly observes, with reference to 
his speaking of Lord Stanley as Earl of Derby, 
" though that nobleman did not possess the latter 
title when the events descriljcd took place, it was 
usual for early writers to allude to individuals by 
the designations borne by them at the time they 
wrote." The peculiar features of the age, the 
costume, and the difficulty of correspondence, arc 
too faithfully described to leave any reasonable 
doubt of the early period of the author. It may 
be, however, that the proof of Brercton's author- 
ship requires some further confirmation. 

For all the known particulars respecting Eliza- 
beth of York, we may refer to Sir H. Nicolas's 


able and excellent memoir prefixed to the " Privy 
Purse Expenses of Elizabeth of York," 8vo. 1830, 
and Miss Strickland's " Lives of the Queens of 
England," vol. iv. The latter work contains an 
analysis of the following poem. 

Feb. 22nd, 1847. 






For Jesus sake be merry and glad. 

Be blythe of blood, of bone, and blee. 
And of your words be sober and sad. 

And a little while listen to me : 
I shall tell you how Lady Bessy made her moan, 

And down she kneeled upon her knee 
Before the Earle of Darby her self alone. 

These were her words fair and free : — 
Who was your beginner, who was your ground. 

Good father Stanley, will you tell me ? 
Who married you to the Margaret Richmond, 

A Dutchess of a high degree ? 
And your son the Lord George Strange 

By that good lady you had him by. 
And Harden lands under your hands, 

And Moules dale also under your fee. 
Your brother Sir William Stanley by parliuiiient. 

The Holt Castle who gave liiiii triiely ? 
Who gave him Brome-field, that I now nicnt ? 

Who gave him Chirk-land to liis fee ? 


Who made him High Chamberlain of Cheshire ? 

Of that country farr and near 
They were all wholly at his desire, 

AVhen he did call they did appear ; 
And also tlie Forrest of Delameer, 

To hunt thei'in both day and night 
As often as his pleasure were, 

And to send for baron and knight ; 
Who made the knight and lord of all ? 

Good father Stanley, remember thee ! 
It was my father, that king royall, 

He set you in that room so high. 
Remember Richmond banished full bare, 

And lyeth in Brittain behind the sea, 
You may recover him of his care. 

If your heart and mind to him will gree : 
Let him come home and claim his right, 

And let us cry him King Henry ! 
And if you will mantain him with might. 

In Brittain he needeth not long to tarry. 
Go away, Bessy, the Lord said then, 

I tell thee now for certainty. 
That fair words make oft fooles full faine, 

When they be but found vain glory. 
Oh ! father Stanley, to you I call. 

For the love of God remember thee, 
Since my father King Edward, that king royall, 

At Westminster on his death bed lee ; 
He called to him my unckle Richard, 

So he did Robert of Brackenbury, 


And James Teriill he was the third ; 

He sent them to Ludlow in the west countrey, 
To fetch the Duke of York, and the Duke of Clarence, 

These two lords born of a high degree. 
The Duke of York should have been prince. 

And king after my father free, 
But a balle-full game was then among, 

When they doomed these two lords to dye : 
They had neither justice nor right, but had great wrong, 

Alack ! it was the more pitty ! 
Neither were they hurried in St. Maries, 

In church or churchyard or holy place ; 
Alas ! they had dolefull destinies. 

Hard was their chance, worse was their disgrace ! 
Therefore help, good father Stanley, while you have space, 

For the love of God and mild Mary, 
Or else in time to come you shall, alas ! 

Remember the w^ords of Lady Bessy ! 
Good Lady Bessy, be content. 

For tho' your words be never so sweet. 
If King Richard knew, you must be shent, 

And perchance cast into prison deep ; 
Then had you cause to waill and weep. 

And wring your hands with heavy chear ; 
Therefore, good lady, I you beseek 

To move me no more in this matter. 
Oh ! good father Stanley, listen now and liear ; 

Heare is no more but you and 1 : 
King Edward that was my father dear, 

On whose estate God had mercy, 



In Westminster as he did stand, 

On a certain day in a study, 
A book of reason he had in his hand, 

And so sore his study he did apply, 
That his tender tears fell on the ground, 

All men might see that stood him by : 
There were both earls and lords of land, 

But none of them durst speak but I. 
I came before my father the king. 

And kneeled down upon my knee; 
I desired him lowly of his blessing, 

And full soon he gave it unto me : 
And in his arms he could me thring, 

And set me in a window so high ; 
He spake to me full sore weeping, — 

These were the words he said to me : 
Daughter, as thou wilt have my blessing. 

Do as I shall councell thee, 
And to my words give good listning. 

For one day they may pleasure thee : 
Here is a book of Reason, keep it well. 

As you will have the love of me ; 
Neither to any creature do it tell. 

Nor let no liveing lord it see. 
Except it be to the Lord Stanley, 

The which I love full heartiley : 
All the matter to him show you may. 

For he and his thy help must be ; 
As soon as the truth to him is shown 

Unto your words he will agree ; 


Foi' theii" shall never son of my body be gotten 

That shall be crowned after me, 
But you shall be queen and wear the crown, 

So doth expresse the prophecye ! 
He gave me tax and toland, 

And also diamonds to my degree. 
To gett me a pnnce when it pleaseth Christ, 

The world is not as it will be : 
Therefore, good father Stanley, grant my request 

For the love of God 1 desire thee ; 
All is at your commandment down in the west, 

Both knight and squire and the commentie ; 
You may choose then where you like best, 

I have enough both of gold and fee ; 
I want nothing but the strength of men. 

And good captains two or three. 
Go away, Bessy, the lord said then, 

To this will I never agree, 
For women oft time cannot faine, 

These words they be but vain glory ! 
For and I should treason begin 

Against King Richard his royalty. 
In every street within London 

The Eagle's foot should be pulled down. 
And as yet in his great favour 1 am, 

But then shoud I loose my great renown e ! 
I shoud be called traitor thro' the same 

Full soon in every markett townc ! 
That were great shame to me and my niiiiu-, 

I had rather spend ten thousand pountlc. 


lather Stanley, to you I mak my inoane. 
For the love of God remember thee ; 

It is not three days past and gone. 

Since my unokle Richard sent after me 
A batchelor and a bold baron, 

A Doctor of Divinitye, 
And bad that I should to his chamber gone. 

His love and his leman that I should bee ; 
And the queen that was his wedded feere, 

He would her poyson and putt away ; 
So would he his son and his heir, 

Christ knoweth he is a proper boy I 
Yet I had rather burn in a tunne 

Ou the Tower Hill that is so high, 
Or that I would to his chamber come. 

His love and his leman will I not be ! 

1 had rather be drawn with wild hoi*ses five. 

Through every street of that citty. 
Or that good woman should lose her life, 

GockI father, for the love of mee. 
I :uu his brother's daughter deai* ; 

He is my uncle, it is no nay : 
Or ever I woud be his weddoil feere. 

With sharp swords I will me slaj ; 
At his bidding if I were then, 

And foUowM also his cruel intent, 
I were well worthy to sulfer pain, 

And in a fire for to be brent. 
Therefore, good father Stanley, some pitty take 

On the Eivrle Richmond and me. 


And the rather for ray father's sake, 

Which gave thee the He of Man so free ; 
He crowned thee with a crown of lead, 

He holpe the first to that degree ; 
He set thee the crown upon thy head, 

And made thee the lord of that countrey ; 
That time you promised my father dear, 

To him to be both true and just, 
And now you stand in a disweare, 

Oh ! Jesu Christ, who may men trust ? 

good lady, I say againe 

Your fair words shall never move my mind ; 
King Richard is my lord and sov'raign. 
To him I will never be unkind. 

1 will serve him truely till I die, 

I will him take as I him find ; 
For he hath given to mine and me. 

His bounteous gifts do me so bind. 
Yet good father Stanley, remember thee, 

As I have said so shall it prove. 
If he of his gift be soe free. 

It is for fear and not for love ; 
For if he may to his purpose come, 

You shall not live these years tliree, 
For these words to me he did once move 

In Sandall Castle underneath a tree : 
He said there shall no branch of the eagle fly 

Within England, neither fur nor nigh ; 
Nor none of the Talbots to run him Iiy, 

Nor none of their lineage to the ninth degree; 


But lie would them either hang or head, 

And that he swear full grievously. 
Therefore help, gentle lord, with all speed ; 

For when you woud fain it will not be. 
Your brother dwellith in the Holt Castle, 

A noble knight forsooth is he ; 
All the Welsh-men love him well, 

He may make a great company. 
Sir John Savage is your sister's son, 

He is well beloved within his shire, 
A great company with him will come. 

He will be ready at your desire. 
Gilbert Talbott is a captain pure, 

He will come with main and might ; 
To you he will be fast and sure. 

Against my uncle king and knight. 
Let us raise an host with him to fight, 

Soon to the ground we shall him ding, 
For God will stand ever with the right, 

For he hath no right to be king 1 
Go away, Bessy, the Lord can say ; 

Of these words, Bessy, now lett be ; 

1 know king Richard woud not me betray, 

For all the gold in Christantye. 
I am his subject, sworn to be true : 

If I should seek treason to begin, 
I and all mine full sore should rue, 

For we were as like to lose as winne. 
Beside that, it were a deadly sin 

To refuse my king, and him betray : 


The child is yet unborne that might moan in time, 

And think upon that woefull day. 
Wherefore, good lady, I do you pray, 

Keep all things close at your hart root ; 
So now faiT past it is of the day, 

To move me more it is no boot. 
Then from her head she cast her attire, 

Her colour changed as pale as lead, 
Her faxe that shoan as the gold wire 

She tair it of besides her head. 
And in a swoon down can she swye, 

She spake not of a certain space ! 
The Lord had never so great pitty 

As when he saw her in that case, 
And in his arms he can her embrace ; 

He was full sorry then for her sake. 
The tears fell from her eyes apace. 

But at the last these words she spake. 
She said, to Christ my soul I betake, 

For my body in Tem'ms drow'nd shall be ! 
For I know my sorrow will never slake. 

And my bones upon the sands shall lye ! 
The fishes shall feed upon me their fill ; 

This is a dolefulle destinye ! 
And you may remedy this and you will, 

Therefore the bone of my death I give to tliee ! 
And ever she wept as she were woode. 

The Earle on her had so great pitty, 
That her tender lieart turn el his mood. 

He said, stand up now, Lady Bcssye, 

10 THi; SONG OK 

As you think best I will agree. 

Now I see the matter you do not faine, 
I have thought in this matter as much as yee : 

But it is hard to trust women, 
For many a man is brought into great woe, 

Through telling to women his privity : 
I trust you will not serve me so 

For all the gold in Christantie. 
No, father, he is my mortall foe, 

On him fain wi'ooken woud I bee ! 
He hath put away my brethren two, 

And I know he would do so by me ; 
But my trust is in the Trinity, 

Througli your help we shall bale to him bring, 
And such a day on him to see 

That he and his full sore shall rue ! 
O Lady Bessye, the Lord can say, 

Betwixt us both forcast we must 
How we shall letters to Richmond convey, 

No man to write I dare well trust ; 
For if be list to be unjust 

And us betray to King Richard, 
Then you and I are both lost ; 

Therefore of the scribe I am afraid. 
You shall not need none such to call, 

Good father Stanley, hearken to me 
"What my father, King Edward, that king royal, 

Did ibr my sister, my Lady Wells, and me : 
He sent for a scrivener to lusty London, 
He was the best in that citty ; 


He taught us both to write and read full soon, 

If it please you, full soon you shall see : 
Lauded be God, I had such speed, 

That I can write as well as he, 
And also indite and full well read, 

And that (Lord) soon shall you see. 
Both English and alsoe French, 

And also Spanish, if you had need. 
The earle said, You are a proper wench, 

Almighty Jesus be your speed, 
And give us grace to proceed out. 

That we may letters soon convey 
In secrett wise and out of doubt 

To Richmond, that lyeth beyond the sea. 
We must depart, lady, the earle said then ; 

Wherefore keep this matter secretly, 
And this same night, betwixt nine and ten, 

In your chamber I think to be. 
Look that you make all things ready, 

Your maids shall not our councell hear. 
For I will bring no man with me 

But Humphrey Brercton, my true esquire. 
He took his leave of that lady fair. 

And to her chamber she went full tight, 
And for all things she did prepare, 

Both pen and ink, and paper white. 
The lord unto his study went. 

Forecasting with all his might 
To bring to pass all his intent ; 

He took no rest till it was niglit. 


And when the stars shone fair and bright, 

He him disguised in strange mannere, 
He went unknown of any wyght, 

No more with him but his esquire. 
And when he came her chamber near, 

Full privily there can he stand, 
To cause the lady to appeare 

He made a signe with his right hand ; 
And when the lady there him wist, 

She was as glad as she might be. 
Char-coals in chimneys there were cast, 

Candles on sticks standing full high ; 
She opened the wickett and let him in, 

And said, welcome, lord and knight soe free ! 
A rich chair was set for him. 

And another for that fair lady. 
They ate the spice and drank the wine, 

He had all things at his intent ; 
They rested them as for a time. 

And to their study then they went. 
Then that lady so fair and free, 

With rudd as red as rose in May, 
She kneeled down upon her knee. 

And to the lord thus can she say : 
Good father Stanley, I you pray. 

Now here is no more but you and I ; 
Let me know what you will say. 

For pen and paper I have ready. 
He saith, commend me to my son George Strange, 

In Latham Castle there he doth lye, 


When I parted with him his lieart did change, 

From Latham to Manchester he road me by. 
Upon Salford Bridge I turned my horse againe, 

My son George by the hand I bent ; 
I held so hard foi'sooth certaine, 

That his formast finger out of the joint went : 
I hurt him sore, he did complain, 

These words to him then I did say : 
Son, on my blessing, turne home againe, 

This shall be a token another day. 
Bid him come like a merchant of Farnfield, 

Of Coopland, or of Kendall, wheather that it be, 
And seven with him, and no more else, 

For to bear him company. 
Bid him lay away watch and ward. 

And take no heed to mynstrel's glee ; 
Bid him sit at the lower end of the board, 

When he is amongst his meany, 
His back to the door, his face to the wall, 

That comers and goers shall not him see ; 
Bid him lodge in no common hall. 

But keep him unknowne right secretly. 
Commend me to my brother Sir William so dear. 

In the Holt Castle there dwelleth hee ; 
Since the last time that we together were. 

In the forest of Dclameere both fair and free. 
And seven harts upon one hearde, 

Were brought to the buck sett to him and me ; 
But a forester came to nic with a whoorc bcarde, 

And said, good sir, awhile rest ye, 


I have found you a hart in Darnall Park, 

Such a one I never saw with my eye. 
I did him crave, he said I shoud him have ; 

He was brought to the broad heath truely; 
At him I let my grayhound then slipp, 

And followed after while I might dree. 
He left me lyeing in an ould moss pitt, 

A loud laughter then laughed hee ; 
He said, Rise up, and draw out your cousin; 

The deer is dead, come you and see. 
Bid him come as a marchant of Carnarvon, 

Or else of Bew-morris whether it be ; 
And in his company seven Welshmen, 

And come to London and speak to me ; 
I have a great mind to speak with him, 

I think it long since I him see. 
Commend me to Sir John Savage, that knight, 

Lady, he is my sister's sone, 
Since upon a friday at night 

Before my bedside he kneeled downe : 
He desired me as I was uncle dear, 

Many a time full tenderly, 
That I would lowly King Richard require 

If I might get him any fee. 
I came before my soveraigne Lord, 

And kneeled down upon my knee, 
So soon to me he did accord 

I thanked him full courteously, 
A gatt him an hundred pounds in Kent 

To him and his heirs perpetually, 

lADY BESSY. 1 5 

Alsoe a manor of a duchy rent, 

Two hundred pounds lie may spend thereby, 
And high sheriff of Worcestershire, 

And alsoe the park of Tewksbury. 
He hath it all at his desire, 

Therewith dayley he may make merry. 
Bid him come as a merchant man 

Of "West Chester, that fair city, 
And seven yeomen to wait him on, 

Bid him come to London and speak with me. 
Commend me to good Gilbert Talbott, 

A gentle esquire forsooth is he ; 
Once on a Fryday, full well I woot 

King Richard called him traitour high : 
But Gilbert to his fawchon prest, 

A bold esquire forsooth is he ; 
Their durst no sarjant him arreast. 

He is called so perlous of his body. 
In the Tower Street I meet him then 

Going to Westminster to take sanctuarie ; 
I light beside my horse I was upon, 

The purse from ray belt I gave him truely ; 
I bad him ride down into the North- West, 

Perchance a knight in England I might him see : 
Wherefore pray him at my request 

To come to London to speak with me. 
Then said the royall Lord so just. 

Now you have written, and sealed have I, 
There is no messenger that we may trust, 

To bring these writeings into the West Countrcy, 


Because our matter it is so high, 

Least any man wou'd us descry. 
Humphrey Brereton, then said Bessye, 

Hath been true to my father and me ; 
He shall take the writeings in hand, 

And bring them into the West Countrey : 
I trust him best of all this land 

On this message to go for me. 
Go to thy bed, Father, and sleep full soon, 

And I shall wake for you and me. 
By tomorrow at the riseing of the sune, 

Humphrey Brereton shall be with thee. 
She brings the Lord to his bed so trimly dight 

All that night where he shoud lye, 
And Bessy waked all that night, 

There came no sleep within her eye : 
In the morning when the day can spring, 

Up riseth young Bessye, 
And maketh hast in her dressing ; 

To Humphrey Brereton gone is she : 
But when she came to Humphrey's bower bright, 

With a small voice called she, 
Humphrey answered that lady bright, 

Saith, AYho calleth on me so early ? 
I am King Edward's daughter right, 

The Countesse clear, young Bessy, 
In all hast with mean and might 

Thou must come speak with the Earle of Darby. 
Humphrey cast upon him a gowne. 

And a pair of slippers upon his feet; 


Alas ! said Humphrey, I may not ride, 

My horse is tired as you may see ; 
Since I came from London city. 

Neither night nor day, T tell you plain, 
There came no sleep within my eye ; 

On my business I thought certaine. 
Lay thee down, Humphrey, he said, and sleep, 

I will give space of hours three : 
A fresh horse I thee beehyte, 

Shall bring thee through the West Countrey. 
Humphrey slept not hours two. 

But on his journey well thought hee ; 
A fresh horse was brought him tooe, 

To bring him through the \Yest Countrey. 
Then Humphrey Brereton with mickle might. 

Hard at Latham knocketh hee ; 
Who is it, said the porter, this time of the night. 

That so hastily calleth on mee ? 
The porter then in that state, 

That time of the night riseth hee, 
And forthwith opened me the gate, 

And received both my horse and me. 
Then said Humphrey Brereton, truely 

With the Lord Strange speak would I faine. 
From his father the Earle of Darby. 

Then was I welcome that time certaine ; 
A torch burned that same tide. 

And other lights that he might see ; 
And brought him to the bedd side 

Where as the Lord Strange lie. 



The lord mused in that tide, 

Said, Humphrey Brereton, what mak'st thou here ? 
How fareth my father, that noble lord. 

In all England that hath no peer ? 
Humphrey took him a letter in hand. 

And said, Beliold, my lord, and you may see. 
When the Lord Strange looked the letter upon, 

The tears trickled downe from his eye : 
He said, we must come under a cloud, 

We must never trusted bee ; 
We may sigh and make a great moane. 

This world is not as it will bee. 
Have here, Humphrey, pounds three. 

Better rewai'ded may thou bee ; 
Commend me to my father dear, 

His daily blessing he would give me ; 
He said also in that tide. 

Tell him also thus from me ; 
If I be able to go or ride. 

This appointment keep will I. 
When Huniphre}^ received the gold, I say, 

Straight to Manchester rideth hee. 
The sun was light up of tlie day, 

He was aware of the Warden and Edward Stanley; 
The one brother said to the other. 

As they together their mattins did say: 
Behold, he said, my own dear brother, 

Yonder comes Humphrey Brereton, it is no nay. 
My father's servant at command, 

Some hasty tydeiugs bringeth hee. 


He took them either a letter in hand, 

And bad them behold, read and see : 
They turn'd their backs shortly tho'. 

And read those letters readily. 
Up they leap and laughed too, 

And also they made game and glee, — 
Fair fare our father, that noble lord, 

To stirr and rise now beginneth hee ; 
Buckingham's blood shall be wroken, 

That was beheaded in Salsbury ; 
Fare fall that countesse, the king's daughter, 

That fair lady, young Bessye, 
We trust in Jesus in time hereafter, 

To bring thy love over the sea. 
Have here, Humphrey, of either of us shillings ten, 

Better rewarded may thou bee. 
He took the gold of the two gentlemen. 

To sir John Savage then rideth hee ; 
He took him then a letter in hand. 

And bad him behold, read and see : 
When sir John Savage looked the letter upon, 

All blackned the knight's blee ; 
Woman's wisdom is wondrous to hear, loe. 

My uncle is turned by young Bessye : 
Whether it turn to waile or woe, 

At my uncle's bidding will I bee. 
To Sheffield Castle at tliat same tide, 

In all the hast that might bee, 
Humphrey took his horse and forth could ride 
To Gilbert Talbot fair and free. 

c -^ 


He took him a letter in his hand, 

Behold, said Humphrey, read and see ; 
When he the letter looked upon, 

A loud laughter laughed hee, — 
Fare fi^U that Lord in his renowne there, 

To stirr and rise beginneth hee : 
Fair fall Bessye that countesse clear. 

That such councell cou'd give truely ; 
Commend me to my nephew nigh of blood, 

The young Earle of Shrewsbury, 
Bid him neither dread for death nor good ; 

In the Tower of London if he bee, 
I shall make London gates to tremble and quake, 

But my nephew borrowed shall bee. 
Commend me to the countesse that fair make. 

King Edward's daughter, young Bessy : 
Tell her I trust in Jesu that hath no pear, 

To bring her love over the sea. 
Commend me to that lord to me so dear, 

That lately was made the Earle of Darby ; 
And every hair of my head 

For a man counted might bee, 
With that lord without any dread, 

With him will 1 live and dye. 
Have here, Humphrey, pounds three, 

Better rewarded may thou bee : 
Look to London gates thou ride quickly. 

In all the hast that may bee ; 
Commend me to that countesse young Bessy, 

She was King Edward's daughter dear, 


Such a one she is, I say triiely, 

In all this land she hath no peer. 
He took his leave at that time, 

Strait to London rideth he, 
In all the hast that he could wind, 

His journey greatly he did apply. 
But when he came to Loudon, as I weene, 

It was but a little before tlie evening, 
There was he warr, walking in a garden, 

Both the earle, and Richard the king. 
When the earle did Humphrey see. 

When he came before the king, 
He gave him a privy twink then with his eye, 

Then downe falls Humphrey on his knees kneeling; 
Welcome, Humphrey, says the lord, 

I have missed thee weeks three. 
I have been in the west, my lord. 

There born and bred was I, 
For to sport and play me certaine. 

Among my friends far and nigii. 
Tell me, Humphrey, said the earle then. 

How fareth all that same countrey ? 
Of all the countreys I dare well say, 

They be the flower of chivalry ; 
For they will bycker with their bowes. 

They will fight and never fly. 
Tell me, Hum[)hrey, I thee pray. 

How fareth King Richard his commenty ? 
When King Richard heard him say so. 

In his heart he was right merry ; 

•^'■i rilE SONG UK 

He with his cap tliat was so dear, 

He thanked that lord most courteously: 
And said, father Stanley, thou art to nic near, 

You are the chief of our poor comuienty ; 
Half England shall be thine, 

It shall be equall between thee and rae ; 
I am thine and thou art mine. 

So two fellows will we bee. 
I swear by Mary, that mild maiden, 

I know no more such under the skye ; 
When I am king and wear the crown, then 

I will be chief of the poor commenty : 
Task nor mize I will make none. 

In no countrey farr nor nigh ; 
If their goods I slioud take and pluck them downe, 

For me they woud fight full faintly : 
There is no riches to me so rich. 

As is the love of our poor commenty. 
When they had ended all their speeches, 

They take their leave full heartiley ; 
And to his bower King Richard is gone. 

The earle and Humphrey Brereton 
To Bessy's bower anon were gone ; 

When Bessy Humphrey did see anon. 
She took him in her arms and kissed him times three. 

Welcome, she said, Humphrey Brereton ; 
How hast thou spedd in the West Countrey 

I pray thee tell me quickly and anon. 
Into a parlour they went from thence, 

There were no more but he and shee : 


Humphrey^ said Bessy, tell me e're we go hence 

Some tideings out of the West Countrey ; 
If I shall send for yonder prince 

To come over the sea, for the love of me, 
And if King Richard shoud him convince, 

Alas ! it were great ruthe to see. 
Or murthered among the Stanley's blood to be, 

Indeed that were great pitty ; 
That sight on that prince I woud not see, 

For all the gold in Christantie ! 
Tell me, Humphrey, I thee pray. 

How hast thou spedd in the West Countrey ? 
What answer of them thou had now say. 

And what reward they gave to thee. 
By the third day of May it shall be seen. 

In London all that they will bee ; 
Thou shalt in England be a queen, 

Or else doubtless that they will dye. 
Thus they proceed forth the winter then. 

Their councell they kept close all three. 
The earle he wrought by prophecy certaine. 

In London he would not abide or bee. 
But in the subburbs without the city 

An ould inn chosen hath hee. 
A drew an Eagle foot on the door truely, 

That the western men might know where he did lye. 
Humphrey stood on a high tower then. 

He looked into the West Countrey ; 
Sir William Stanley and seven in green, 

He was aware of the Eagle drawne ; 


He drew hiraselfe so wonderous nigh, 

And bad his men go into the towne, 
And drink the wine and make merry ; 

Into the same inn he went full prest, 
Whereas the earle his brother lay. 

Humphrey full soon into the west 
Looks over a long lee ; 

He was aware of the Lord Strange and seven in green, 
Come rideing into the city. 

When he was aware of the Eagle drawn, 
He drew himself so wonderously nigh, 

He bad his men go into the towne certain, 
And drink the wine and make merry ; 

And he himselfe drew then, 
Where as his father in the inne lay. 

Humphrey looked in the west, I say, 
Sixteen in green then did he see ; 

He was aware of the Warden and Edward Stanley, 
Come rideing both in one company. 

When they were aware of the Eagle drawne, 
The gentlemen they drew it nee ; 

And bad their men go into the towne, 
And drink the wine and make merry. 

And did go themselves into the same inn full prest. 
Where the earle their father lay. 

Yet Humphrey belioldeth into the west. 
And looketh towards the north countrey ; 

He was aware of Sir John Savage and Sir Gilbert 
Came rideing both in one company. [Talbot, 

When they were aware of the Eagle drawn, 


Themselves grew it full nigh, 

And bad their men go into the towne, 
To drink the wine and make merry. 

They did go themselves into the same inn, 
Where as the earle and Bessy lye. 

When all the lords together were. 
Amongst them all Bessy was full buissy ; 

With goodly words Bessy then said there. 
Fair lords, what will you do for me ? 

Will you relieve yonder prince, 
That is exiled beyond the sea ? 

I woud not have King Richard him to convince. 
For all the gold in Christentye. 

The Earle of Darby came forth then. 
These words he said to young Bessye, — 

Ten thousand pounds will I send, 
Bessy, for the love of thee, 

And twenty thousand Eagle feet, 
The queen of England for to make thee ; 

Then Bessy most lowly the earle did greet, 
And thankt his honor most heartiley. 

Sir William Stanley came forth then, 
These words he said to fair Bessy : 

Remember, Bessy, another time. 
Who doth the most, Bessy, for thee ; 

Ten thousand coats, that shall be red certaine, 
In an hours warning ready shall bee ; 

In England thou shalt be our queen, 
Or doubtlesse I will dye. 

Sir John Savage came forth then, 

~(l THE SONG Ol'- 

These words he said to young Bessye, — 

A thousand marks for thy sake certaine, 
Will I send thy love beyond the sea. 

Sir Gilbert Talbott came forth then, 
These were the words he said to Bessy : 

Ten thousand marks for thy sake certaine, 
I will send to beyond the sea. 

The Lord Strange came forth then, 
These were the words he said to Bessy : 

A little money and few men, 
Will bring thy love over the sea ; 

Let us keep our gold at home, said he. 
For to wage our company; 

For if we should send it over the sea. 
We shoud put our gold in jeopartie. 

Edward Stanley came forth then, 
These were the words he said to Bessye : 

Remember, Bessye, another time. 
Who that now doth the best for thee. 

For there is no power that I have. 
Nor no gold for to give thee ; 

I will be under my father's banner, if God me save, 
There either to live or dye. 

Bessye came forth before the lords all, 
And downe she falleth upon her knee ; 

Nineteen thousand pound of gold, I shall 
Send my love behind the sea, 

A love letter, and a gold ring, 
From my heart I'oot rite will I. 

Who shall be the messenger the same to bring, 


Both the gold and the writeing over the sea ? 

Humphrey Brereton, said Bessy, 
I know him trusty and true certaine, 

Therefore the writeing and the gold truely 
By him shall be carried to Little Brittaine. 

Alas, said Humphry, I dare not take in hand, 
To carry the gold over the sea ; 

These galley shipps they be so strange, 
They will me night so wonderously ; 

They will me robb, they will me drowne. 
They will take the gold from me. 

Hold thy peace, Humphrey, said Bessye then, 
Thou shalt it carry without jepordye ; 

Thou shalt not have any caskctt nor any male, 
Kor budgett, nor cloak sack, shall go with thee ; 

Three mules that be stiff and strong withall, 
Sore loaded with gold shall they bee, 

With saddle-side skirted I do tell thee 
"Wherein the gold sowe will I : 

If any man faine whose is the shipp truely 
Tliat saileth forth upon the sea, 

Say it is the Lord Lislay, 
In England and France well beloved is he. 

Then came fortli the Earle of Darby, 

These words he said to young Bessy : 
He said, Bessye, thou art to blame 

To appoint any shipp upon the sea ; 
I have a good shipp of my owne, 

Shall carry Humphrey with the mules three; 
An eagle shall be drawnc upon the mast top, 


That the Italians may it see ; 
There is no freak in all France 

The eagle that dare come nee 
If any one ask whose shipp it is, then 

Say it is the Eai'les of Darby. 
Humphrey took the three mules then, 

Into the west wind wou'd hee, 
Without all doubt at Liverpoole 

He took shipping upon the sea : 
With a swift wind and a liart, 

He so saild upon the sea, 
To Beggrames Abbey in Little Brittain, 

Where as the English Prince lie ; 
The porter was a Cheshire man. 

Well he knew Humphrey when he him see ; 
Humphi-ey knockt at the gate truely, 

Where as the porter stood it by, 
And welcomed me full heartiley, 

And received then my mules three ; 
I shall thee give in this breed 

To thy reward pounds three ; 
I will none of thy gold, the porter said, 

Nor Humphrey none of the fee, 
I will open thee the gates certaine 

To receive thee and the mules three ; 
For a Cheshire man born am I certain, 

From the Malpas but miles three. 
The porter opened the gates that time, 

And received him and the mules three. 
The wine that was in the hall that time 


He gave to Humphrey Brereton truely. 
Alas ! said Humphrey, how shoud I doe, 

I am strayed in a strange countrey. 
The Prince of England I do not know, 

Before I never did him see. 
I shall thee tell, said the porter then, 

The Prince of England know shall ye. 
Low where he siteth at the butts ceitaine. 

With other lords two or three ; 
He weareth a gown of velvet black 

And it is cutted above the knee, 
With a long visage and pale and black — 

Thereby know that prince may ye ; 
A wart he hath, the porter said, 

A little alsoe above the chinn, 
His face is white, his wart is redd, 

No more than the head of a small pinn ; 
You may know the prince certaine, 

As soon as you look upon him truely. — 
He received the wine of the porter, then 

With him he took the mules three. 
When Humphrey came before that prince 

He falleth downe upon his knee, 
He delivereth the letters which Bessy sent, 

And so did he the mules three, 
A rich ring with a stone, 

Thereof the prince glad was hee ; 
He took the ring of Humphrey then, 

And kissed the ring times three. 
Humphrey kneeled still as any stone, 

;^0 THE S0NC5 OF 

As sure as 1 do tell to thee ; 
Ilumplirey of the pvince answer gott none, 

Therefore in heart was he heavy ; 
Humphrey stood up then full of skill, 

And then to the prince said he: 
Why standest thou so still at thy will, 

And no answer dost give to me ? 
I am come from the Stanleys' blood so dear, 

King of England for to make thee, 
A fairer lady then thou shalt have to thy fair, 

There is not one in all christantye ; 
She is a countesse, a king's daughter, Humphrey said, 

The name of her it is Bessye, 
She can write, and she can read, 

Well can she work by prophecy ; 
I may be called a lewd messenger. 

For answer of thee I can gett none, 
I may sail home with heavy cheare, 

What shall I say when I come home ? 
The prince he took the Lord Lee, 

And the Earle of Oxford was him nee. 
The Lord Ferris wou'd not him beguile truely, 

To councell they are gone all three ; 
When they had their councell taken, 

To Humphrey then turned he : 
Answer, Humphrey, I can give none truely 

Within the space of weeks three ; 
The mules into a stable were taken anon, 

The saddle skirts unopened were. 
Therein he found gold great plenty 


For to wage a company. 
He caused the abbot to make him chear : 

la my stead now let him be, 
If I be kiag and wear the crown 

Well acquited Abbott shalt thou be. 
Early in the morning they made them knowne, 

As soon as the light they cou'd see ; 
With him he taketh his lords three, 

And straight to Paris he took his way. 
An herriott of arms they made ready, 

Of men and money they cou'd him pray, 
And shipps to bring him over the sea, 

The Stanleys' blood for me hath sent, 
The King of England for to make me, 

And I thank them for their intent, 
For if ever in England I wear the crowne, 

Well accquited the King of France shall he : 
Then answered the King of France anon, 

Men nor money he getteth none of me, 
Nor no shipps to bring him over the sea ; ' 

Tn England if he wear the crowne. 
Then will he claim them for his own truely : 

With this answer departed the prince anon. 
And so departed the same tide, 

And the English lords three 
To Beggrames Abbey soon coud the ride, 

There as Humphrey Brereton then Ice ; 
Have Humphrey a thousand mark here. 

Better rewarded may thou be ; 
Commend me to Bessy that Countesse clear. 


Before her never did I see : 
I trust in God slie shall be my feer, 

For her I will travell over the sea ; 
Commend me to myfather Stanley, to me so dear, 

My owne mother married hath he, 
Bring him here a love letter full right 

And another to young Bessye, 
Tell her, I trust in Jesus full of might 

That my queen that she shall bee ; ' 

Commend me to Sir William Stanley, 

That noble knight in the west countrey. 
Tell him that about Michaelmas certaine 

In England I do hope to be ; 
Att MiUford haven I will come inn 

With all the power that make may I, 
The first towne I will come inn 

Shall be the towne of Shrewsbury ; 
Pray Sir William Stanley, that noble knight, 

That night that he will look on me : 
Commend me to Sir Gilbert Talbot, that royall knight, 

He much in the north countrey, 
And Sir John Savage, that man of might, — 

Pray them all to look on me. 
For I trust in Jesus Christ so full of might. 

In England for to abide and bee. 
I will none of thy gold, sir prince, saiu Humphrey 

Nor none sure will I have of thy fee, [then, 

Therefore keep thy gold thee within, 

For to wage thy company ; 
If every hair were a man, 


"With thee, sir prince, will I be : 
Tlius Humphrey Brereton his leave hath tane, 

And saileth forth upon the sea, 
Straight to London he rideth then, 

There as the earle and Bessy lay ; 
And bad them behold, read and see. 

The earle took leave of Richard the king, 
And into the west wind wou'd he ; 

He left Bessye in Leicester then 
And bad her lye in pryvitye. 

For if King Richard knew thee here anon. 
In a fire burned thou must be. 

Straight to Latham the earle is gone, 
There as the Lord Strange then lee ; 

He sent the Lord Strange to London, 
To keep King Richard company. 

Sir William Stanley made anone 
Ten thousand coats readily, 

"Which were as redd as any blood, 
Thereon the hart's head was set full high, 

"Which after were tryed both trusty and good 
As any cou'd be in Christantye. 

Sir Gilbert Talbot ten thousand doggs 
In one hour's warning for to be. 

And Sir John Savage fifteen white hoods, 


"Which wou'd fight and never flee ; 

Edward Stanley had three hundi'ed men. 
There were no better in Christantye ; 

Sir Rees ap Thomas, a knight of Wales certain, 
Eight thousand spears brought he. 



Sir "William Stanley sat in the Holt Castle, 
And looked over his head so high ; 

Which way standeth the wind, can any tell ? 
I pray you, my men, look and see. 

The wind it standeth south east. 
So said a knight that stood him by. 

This night yonder prince, truely 
Into England entereth hee. 

He called a gentleman that stood him nigh, 
His name was Rowland of Warburton, 

He bad him go to Shrewsbury that night, 
And bid yonder prince come inn : 

But when Rowland came to Shrewsbury, 
The portculles was let downe ; 

They called him Henry Tydder, in scorn truely, 
And said, in England he shou'd wear no crowne ; 

Rowland bethought him of a wyle then, 
And tied a writeing to a stone. 

And threw the M'riteing over the wall certain, 
And bad the baliflfs to look it upon : 

They opened the gates on every side. 
And met the prince with procession ; 

And wou'd not in Shrewsbury there abide, 
But straight he drest him to Stafford towne. 

King Richard heard then of his comeing. 
He called his lords of great renowne ; 

The Lord Pearcy he came to the king 
And upon his knees he falleth downe, 

I have thirty thousand fighting men 
For to keep the crown with thee. 


The Duke of Northfolk came to the king anone, 
And downe he falleth upon his knee ; 

The Earle of Surrey, that was his heir, 
Were both in one company ; 

We have eitlier twenty thousand men here. 
For to keep the crown with thee. 

The Lord Latimer, and the Lord Lovell, 
And the Earle of Kent lie stood him by. 

The Lord Ross, and the Lord Scrope, I you tell, 
They were all in one company ; 

The Bishopp of Durham, he was not away, 
Sir William Bonner he stood him by. 

The good Sir William of Harrington, as I say, 
Said, he wou'd fight and never fly. 

King Richard made a messenger. 
And sent him into the west countrey, 

And bid the Eai*le of Darby make him bowne. 
And bring twenty thousand men unto me. 

Or else the Lord Strange his head I will him send. 
And doubtless his son shall dye ; 

For hitherto his father I took for my friend, 
And now he hath deceived me. 

Another herald appeared then 
To Sir William Stanley that doughty knight, 

Bid him bring to me ten thousand men, 
Or else to death he shall be dight. 

Then answered that doughty knight, 
And spake to the herald without letting ; 

Say, upon Bosseworth Field I meen to fight, 
Uppon Monday early in the morning ; 



Such a breakfast T him behight, 
As never did knight to any king. 

The messenger home can him gett, 
To tell King Eichard this tydeing. 

Fast together his hands then cou'd he ding, 
And said, the Lord Strange shou'd surely dye ; 

And putt him into the Tower of London, 
For at liberty he shou'd not bee. 

Lett us leave Eichard and his lords full of pride, 
And talk we more of the Stanleys' blood, 

That brought Eichmond over the sea with wind and 
From Litle Brittaiu into England over the flood, [tyde, 

Kow is Earle Eichmond into Stafford come, 
And Sir "William Stanley to Litle Stoone ; 

The prince had rather then all the gold in Christantye, 
To have Sir "William Stanley to look upon ; 

A messenger was. made ready anone. 
That night to go to Litle Stoon ; 

Sir "VN^Uiam Stanley he ridetli to Staiford towne, 
"With a solemn company ready bowne. 

"When the knight to Stafford was comin, 
That Earle Eichmond might him see, 

He took him in his arms then, 
And there he kissed him times three ; 

The welfare of thy body doth comfort me more 
Then all the gold in Christantye. 

Then answered that royall knight there, 
And to the prince these words spake he, — 

Eemember, man, both night and day, 
"Who doth now the most for thee ; 


In England thou slialt wear a crown, I say, 
Or else doubtless I will dye ; 

A fairer lady then thou shalt have for thy feer, 
Was there never in Christanty ; 

She is a countesse, a king's daugliter, 
And there to both wise and witty ; 

I must this night to Stone, my soveraigne, 
For to comfort my company. 

The prince he took him by the hand, 
And said, farewell, Sir William, fair and free. 

Now is word come to Sir William Stanley there. 
Early in the Monday, in the morning, 

That the Earle of Darby, his brother dear, 
Had given battle to Richard the king. 

That wou'd I not, said Sir William anone, 
For all the gold in Christantye, 

That the battle shou'd be done ; 
Straight to Lichfield cou'd he ride. 

In all the hast that might bee. 
And when he came to Lichfield that tyde. 

All they cryed King Henry : 
Straight to Bolesworth can they go 

In all the hast that might be, 
But when he came Bolesworth Field unto, 

There met a royall company ; 
The Earle of Darby thither was come, 

And twenty thousand stood him by ; 
Sir John Savage, his sister's son, 

He was his nephew of his blood so nigh, 
He had fifteen hundred figliting men, 


That wou'd fight and never flye ; 
Sir William Stanley, that royall knight, then 

Ten thousand red coats had he, 
They woud bicker with their bows there, 

They wou'd fight and never flye ; 
The Red Rosse, and the Blew Boar, 

They were both a solemn company ; 
Sir Rees ap Thomas he was thereby, 

With ten thousand spears of mighty tree ; 
The Earle of Richmond w^ent to the Earle of Darby, 

And downe he falleth upon his knee, 
Said, father Stanley, full of might, 

The vaward I pray you give to rae. 
For I am come to claime my right, 

And faine revenged wou'd I bee. 
Stand up, he said, my son, quickly. 

Thou hast thy mother's blessing truely, 
The vaward, son, I will give to thee. 

So that thou wilt be ordered by me : 
Sir William Stanley, my brother dear. 

In the battle he shall be ; 
Sir John Savage, he hath no peer. 

He shall be a wing then to thee ; 
Sir Rees ap Thomas shall break the array. 

For he will fight and never flee; 
I myselfe will hove on the hill, I say. 

The fair battle I will see. 
King Richard he hoveth upon the mountaine ; 

He was aware of the banner of the bould Stanley, 
And saith, Fetch hither the Lord Strange certain. 


For he shall dye this same day ; 
To the death, Lord, thee ready make, 

For I tell thee certainly 
That thou shalt dye for thy uncle's sake, 

Wild William of Stanley. 
If I shall dye, said the Lord Strange then, 

As God forbid it shou'd so bee, 
Alas ! for my lady that is at home, 

It should be long or she see me, 
But we shall meet at doomsday. 

When the great doom shall be. 
He called for a gent in good fay, 

Of Lancashire, both fair and free, 
The name of him it was Lathum ; 

A ring of gould he took from his finger, 
And threw it to the gent then, 

And bad him bring it to Lancashire, 
To his lady that was at home ; 

At her table she may sit right. 
Or she see her lord it may be long, 

I have no foot to fligh nor fight, 
I must be murdered with the king : 

If fortune my uncle Sir William Stanley loose the 
As God forbid it shoud so bee, [field. 

Pray her to take my eldest son and child, 
And exile him over behind the sea ; 

He may come in another time 
By feild or fleet, by tower or towne, 

Wreak so he may his father's death in fyne. 
Upon Richard of England that wcarcth the crown. 


A knight to King Richard then did appeare, 
The good Sir William of Harrington. 

Let that lord have his life, my dear 
Sir king, I pray you grant me this boone, 

We shall have upon this field anon, 
The father, the son, and the uncle all three ; 

Then shall you deem, lord, with your ownmouththen, 
What shall be the death of them all three. 

Then a block was cast upon the ground, 
Thereon the lord's head was laid, 

A slave over his head can stand, 
And thus that time to him thus said : 

In faith there is no other booty tho', 
But need that thou must be dead. 

Harrington in hart was full woe, 
When he saw that the lord must needs be dead. 

He said, our ray breaketh on evry side. 
We put our feyld in jepordie. 

He took up the lord that tyde, 
King Eichard after did him never see. 

Then they blew up their bewgles of brass, 
That made many a wife to cry alas ! 

And many a wive's child fatherlesse ; 
They shott of guns then very fast, 

Over their heads they could them throw ; 
Arrows tlew them between, 

As thick as any hayle or snowe, 
As then that time might plaine be scene ; 

Then Rees ap Thomas with the black raven, 
Shortly he brake their array ; 

Then with thirty thousand fighting men 


The Lord Pearcy went his way ; 

The Duke of North efolke wou'd havefledd with agood 
With twenty thousand of his company, [will, 

They went up to a wind millne uppon a hill, 
That stood soe fayre and wondei'ousse hye ; 

There he met Sir John Savage, a I'oyall knight, 
And with him a worthy company ; 

To the death was he then dight, 
And his Sonne prisoner taken was he ; 

Then the Lord Alroes began for to flee, 
And so did many other moe ; 

When King Richard that sight did see, 
In his heart hee was never soe woe : 

I pray you, my merry men, be not away, 
For upon this field will I like a man dye, 

For I had rather dye this day. 
Then with the Standley prisoner to be. 

A knight to King Richard can say there, 
Good Sir William of Harrington ; 

He said, sir king, it hathe no peer, 
Upon this feyld to death to be done. 

For there may no man these dints abide ; 
Low, your horse is ready at your hand : 

Sett the crown upon my head that tydc. 
Give me my battle axe in my hand ; 

I make a vow to myld Mary that is so bright, 
I will dye the king of merry England. 

Besides his head they hewed the crown down riglit, 
That after he was not able to stand ; 

They dinge him dowiie as they were woode. 
They beat his bassnet to his heade. 


Until the braynes came out with the blootle ; 
They never left him till he was dead. 

Then carryed they him to Leicester, 
And pulled his head under his feet. 

Bessye mett him with a merry cheare, 
And with these words she did him greete ; 

How like you the killing of my brethren dear ? 
"Welcome, gentle uncle, home ! 

Great solace ytt was to see and hear, 
When the battell yt was all done ; 

I tell you, masters, without lett, 
When the Red Rosse soe fair of hew, 

And young Bessye together mett, 
It was great joy I say to you. 

A bishopp them marryed with a ringe 
The two bloods of great renowne. 

Bessy said, now may we singe. 
Wee two bloods are made all one. 

The Earle of Darby hee was there, 
And Sir William Stanley, that noble knight. 

Upon their heads he set the crown so fair, 
That was made of gould so bright. 

And there he came under a cloud. 
That some time in England looked full high ; 

But then the hart he lost his head. 
That after no man cou'd him see. 

But Jesus, that is both bright and shine. 
And born was of mylde Mary, 

Save and keepe our noble kinge, 
And also the poore commentie. Amen. 




God that is moste of mjghte, 

And borne was of a mayden free, 
Save and kepe our coralye queene, 

And also the poore comyualitie; 
For wheras Kynge Richard, I understande, 

Had not reigned yeares three, 
But the beste Duke in all this lande 

He caused to be headit at Salysburye; 
That tyme the Standleyes without dowte 

Were dred over England ferre and nee. 
Next Kynge Richard that was soe stowte 

Of any lorde in England free. 
There was a ladye faire on moulde, 

The name of hir was litill Bessie; 
She was yonge, she was not oulde, 

Bot of the yeares of one and twentye; 
She colde wryte and she coulde reede, 

"Well she coulde wyrke by propesye ; 
She sojorned in the cetye of London 

That tyme with the Earle of Derbye. 
Upon a tyme, as I you tell. 

There was noc moe bot the Earle and she, 


She made complajnte one Richard the Kynge, 

That was hir uncle of blode soe nee. 
Helpe, father Standley, I doe you praye, 

For of Kynge Richard wroken will I bee ; 
He dyd my brethren to the deathe on a daye, 

In their bed where they did lye; 
He drowned them both in a pype of wyne, 

Yt was dole to heare and see ! 
And he woulde putt awaye his Queene, 

For to have lyen by my bodye! 
Helpe that he were putt awaye, 

For the royall bloude destroy will hee ; 
Buckingham that Duke of England 

Was as great with Kynge Richard as nowe are ye; 
The crowne of England ther tooke he, 

Forsoothe, Lorde, this is noe lye. 
And crowned Kynge Richard of England free, 

That after beheadit him in Salisburye. 
Helpe, father Standley, I doe jou praye. 

For on that traytour wroken wolde I bee, 
And helpe Earle Richmonde that prynce gaye. 

That is exiled over the seae; 
For and he were Kynge I shoulde be Queene, 

I doe hym love and never hym see ; 
Thenke on Edward my father that late was Kynge, 

Upon his death-bed where he did lye. 
Of a litill child he putt me to the 

For to governe and to guyde: 
Into your keping he putt me, 

And lafte me a booke of prophesye. 


I have yt in keping in this cetye ; 

He knewe that ye mighte make rae a Queene, 
Father, if thy will it bee ; 

For Richard is noe rightwyse Kynge, 
Ner upon noe woman borne was he : 

The royall blode of all this lande, 
Richard, myne uncle, will destroy, 

As he did the Duke of Buckingham, [yse. 

Which was as great with Kynge Richard as nowe ai-e 

For when he was Duke of Gloseter, 
He slewe good Kynge Henry 

In the Tower of London as he laye there. 
Sir William Standley, this brother dere, 

In the holte where he dothe lye, 
He may make ten thowsand fighting men in fere, 

And give them wages for monthes three ; 
Your Sonne George, the Lord Straunge, 

In Lathum where he doth lye, 
He may make fyve thowsand fighting men 

By the marryage of his faire ladye ; 
Edward Standley, that is thy sonne, 

Three hundreth men may brynge to the; 
Thy Sonne Jamys, that yonge precste, 

Warden of Manchester was made latlye; 
Sir John Savage, thy sisters sonne, 

He is thy sisters sonne of blode soe neighe, 
He may make fiftene hundreth fighting men. 

And all his men white hoodes doe give; 
He giveth the pickes on his banners brighte, 

Upon a feilde never backed was hee ; 


Sir Gilbert Talbot, a man of myghte, 

In Sheaffelde Castyll where he doth lye, 
He may make ten thowsaud men of myghte. 

And give them wages for monthes three, 
And thy selfe ten thowsand eigle feete to fighte. 

That is a goodly e sighte to see! 
For thou and thyne, withouten pyne, 

May brynge Eichmonde over the seae, 
For and he were Kynge I shulde be Queene, 

Father Standley, remember me! 
Then answered the earle agayne, 

These were the wordes he said to Bessye, 
And Kynge Richard knewe this then, 

"We were undone, both thou and I, 
In a fyer thou muste breuue, 

My lyfe and land is loste from me, 
Therfore theis wordes be in vayne. 

Leave and doe awaye, good Bessye! 
Father Standley, is there noe grace, 

Noe Queene of England that I moste be ? 
Then Bessye stoode styding in that place 

With teares trickelling from hir eyne. 
Nowe I knowe I muste never be Queene, — 

All this, man, is longe on the ! 
But thinke upon the dreadfull daye, 

"When the greate dome yt shall be ; 
"When ryghteousnes on the raynbowe shall sytt, 

And all denie he shall bothe the and me, 
And all falshed awaye shall flytt, 

"When all truthe shall by hym bee. 


I care not wheder I hange or drawe, 

So that my sowle saved may bee; 
Made glide answere as thou may, 

For all this, man, is longe on the. 
With that shee tooke hir head gere downe, 

And did it throwe upon the grounde, 
With pearles and meny a pretious stone, 

That were better then fowertye pounde; 
Hir faxe that was as fyne as silcke 

Shortlye downe she dyd yt rent ; 
With hir handes as whyte as mylke 

Hir faire faxe thus hath he spiltel 
Hir handes together can she wrynge, 

And with teares she wypes hir eyne, 
Wel-a-waye Bessye can she synge, 

And parted with the Earle of Derbye. 
Farewell, man, nowe am I gon, 

Yt shall be longe or thou me see! 
The earle stoode still as any stone, 

And all blencked was his blee; 
When he hard Bessye make suche mone, 

The teares fell downe from his eye, — 
Abide, Bessye, we parte not soe sowne, 

I wene here is noe moe but thou and I. 
Feilde hath eyne and wodde hath eares, 

You can not tell who standeth us bye, 
But wende forthe, Bessie, to thy bower. 

And looke thou doe as I bid the: 
Putt awaye thy maydens bryghte, 

That noe person there with us bee. 


For at nyne of the clocke with in this nyglite 

In thy bower will I be with the. 
Then of this matter we will carpe more, 

When there is noe moe but thou and I. 
A charcoole fyer at my desyre 

That noe smoke come in our eye. 
Feces of wyne many a one, 

And dyvers spices be therbye, 
Pen, yncke, and paper, loke thou want none, 

But have all thinges full readye. 
Bessye made hir busynes and forthe is gone, 

And tooke hir leave at the Earle of Darbie, 
And putt awaye hir maydens anon, 

Noe man nor mayden was there nye. 
A charcoale fyer was readye bowne. 

There came noe smoke with in his eye. 
Feces of wyne mony a one, 

Dyvers spices did lye therbye. 
Fen, yncke, and paper, there wanted none, 

Shee had all thinges there full readye, 
And sett hirselfe upon a stone, 

Withouten any companye. 
She tooke a booke in hir hande, 

And there did reede of prophesye, 
Howe she shoulde be Queene in England, 

But mony a guyltles man firste moste dye; 
And as she red faster she wepte. 

And with that came the Earle of Derbye, 
At nyne of the clocke within the nyghte 

To Bessie's bower cometh hee. 


Shee barred the doore above and under, 

That noe man shoulde come them nee; 
She sett hym on a seate soe riche, 

And on an other she sett hir bye: 
She gave hym wyne, she gave hym spice, 

Said, blend in, father, and drynke to me. 
The fyer was hoote, the spyce it boote, 

The wyne it wroughte wunderouslye: 
Then full kynde in harte, God wott. 

Waxed the oulde Earle of Derby e: — 
Aske nowe, Bessye, what thou wilte. 

And nowe thy boune graunted shall be. 
Noe thinge, sayd Bessye, I woulde have, 

Neyther of goulde nor yett of fee, 
But faire Earle Richmonde, soe God me save! 

That hath lyen soe longe beyonde the seae. 
Alas, Bessye, said that nowble lorde. 

And thy boune for sothe graunte wolde I the, 
But there is noe clarke that I doe truste 

This nyghte to wryte for the and me, 
Because our matter is soe highe, 

Leaste any man woulde us bewraye. — 
Bessie said, father, yt shall not neede, 

I am a clarke full good I say. 
She drue a paper upon her knee. 

Pen and yncke she had full readye, 
ITandes white and fingers longe, 

She dressed hir to wryte full spedelyc. 
Father Standley, nowe lett mc soe, 

For enie worde wryte sliall T; — 


Bessye, make a letter to the houlte, 

Whcras my brother Sir William dothe lye, 
Byd hym brynge seaven sad yeomen, 

All in grene clothes lett them be, 
And chaunge his inne in everie towne 

Where before he was wonte to lye, 
And lett his face be towarde the benche, 

Leaste that any man sholde hym spye; 
And by the tliirde day of Maye, 

That he come and speake with me. 
Commend me to my sonne George, 

The Lorde Strange, where he doth lye, 
And byd hym bringe seaven sad yeomen, 

All in grene clothes lett them bee. 
And lett him selfe be in the same sute, 

Chaunging his inne in everie towne. 
And lett his backe be froe the benche, 

Leaste any man shoulde hym knowe; 
And by the thirde day of Maye, 

Byd hym come and speake with me. 
Commend me unto Edward my sonne. 

The warden and he together bee, 
And byd them brynge seaven sad yeoman. 

And all in grene lett them bee, 
Chaunginge their inne in evex'ie towne. 

Before where they were wonte to be; 
Lett their backes be from the benche, 

Leaste any man shoulde them see, 
And by the thirde day of Maye 

Byd them come and speake with me. 


Commend [me] to Sir John Savage, 

And Sir Gilbert Talbott, in the northe cowntrye, 
Byd them brynge eyther of them seaveii sad yeomen, 

And all in grene lett them bee, 
Chaunging their inne in everie towns, 

Before where they were wonte to be; 
And by the thirde day of Maye 

Byd them come and speake with rae. 
Bessye wryteth, the loi*de he sealleth, — 

Father Standley, what will you more ? 
Alas, said that royall lorde, 

All our wyrke yt is forlore, 
For there is noe messenger whom we may truste 

To brynge the tythandes to the northe countrye, 
Leaste any man woulde us betray, 

Because our matter is soe hye. 
Hurafrey Breerton, said litill Bessie, 

He hath bene true to my father and me, 
He shall have the writynges in hande. 

And brynge them into the northe countrye. 
Goe to thy bed, father, and sleepe. 

And I shall wake for the and me; 
To-morrowe by rysing of the soune 

Humfrey Breerton shall be with the. 
She broughte the lorde unto his bed 

All that nyghte where he shoulde lye. 
And Bessie waketh all the nyghte. 

There came noe sleepe within hir eye. 
In the mornyng when the daye can sprynge 

Up ryseth Bessie in that stowre, 

R ?. 


To Humfrey Breerton gon she ys, 

But when she came to Humfreyes bowre, 
With a smale voyce caled shee. 

Humfrey answered that ladye brighte, 
And saith, hidye, whoe are ye, 

That caleth on me yer yt be lighte ? 
I am Kynge Edwardes doughter, 

The Countes cleare, yonge Bessie; 
In all the haste that thou can, 

Thou raoste come speake with the Earle of Derby e. 
Humfrey caste upon him a gowne, 

A paire of slippers upon his feete, 
Forthe of his chamber then he comme. 

And went forthe with that ladye sweete. 
She broughte hym to the bed syde 

Where the lorde lay in bed to sleepe. 
When the earle Humfrey did see. 

Full tenderly e then can he weepe; 
And sayd, my love, my truste, my lyve, and land. 

All this, Humfrey, doth lye in the: 
Thou may make and thou may marine, 

Thou may undoe Bessie and me ! 
Take sixe letters in thyne hande, 

And brynge them into the northe cowntrye. 
They be wi*ytten on the back syde 

Where the letters levered shall be. 
He receaved the letters sixe, 

Into the weste wynde wolde he ; 
Then meteth hym that ladye brighte. 

She said, abide, Humfrey, and speake with me. 


A poore rewarde I shall the gyve, 

Yt shall be but poundes three; 
Yf I be Queene and may lyve, 

Better rewarded shall thou be : 
A litill witt God hath sent me, 

When thou rydest into the weste, 
I pray the take noe companye 

But such as shall be of the beste; 
Sytt not to longe dryncking the wyne, 

Leaste in hai'te thou be to merrye, 
Suche wordes thou may caste out then 

The other morrowe forthoughte may bee. 
Humfrey at Bessye receaved nowbles nyne, 

With a peece of wyne she coulde him assaye, 
He tooke leave of that ladye sheene, 

And streight to the houlte he toke the way. 
When Sir William Standley did him see, 

He said to him with wordes free, 
Humfrey Breerton, what maketh thou here, 

That hither doste ryde soe hastelye ? 
How fareth that lorde my brother dere. 

That latlye was made the Earle of Derbye ? 
Is he dead without letting — 

Or with Kynge Richard what consayte is he ? 
Or he be suspecte withouten lett. 

Or takyn into the towre soe hee ? 
London yates shall tremble and quake. 

But my brother borrowed shall be ! 
Tell me, Humfrey, withouten lett, 

That hither rydeth soe hastelye. 


Breake letter, said Humfrey then, 

Behoulde, sir, and yee may see. 
"When the knyghte the letter loked on, 

He stoode still in a studyinge, 
Ansvvere to Humfrey he gave none, 

But still he gneve on his stafFe end. 
He plucked the letter in peeces three, 

Into the water he could e yt slynge; 
Have here, Humfray, said the knyghte, 

I wyll the gyve an hundreth shillinge; 
Thou shalte not tarye here all nyghte, 

Streighte to Lathum ryde shall yee. 
Alas, said Humfrey, I may not ryde. 

My horsse is tyred, as ye may see: 
I came from London in this tyde. 

There came noe slope within myne eye. 
Lay the downe, Humfrey, he said, and sleepe 

Well the space of howres three, 
A freshe horsse, I the behette, 

Shall brynge the throughe the northe cowntrye. 
Humfrey sleeped but howres two. 

But on his jorney well thoughte he; 
A freshe horsse was broughte him to, 

To brynge throughe the weste cowntrye. 
He toke his leave at the knyghte. 

And streighte to Lathum rydeth he. 
At nyne of the clocke within the nyghte 

At Lathum yates knocketh he : 
The porter ryseth anonrighte, 

And answereth Humfrey with wordes free, — 


In good faithe, yt is to late 

To calle on me this tyme of the nyghte. 
I praye thee, porter, open the gate, 

And lett me in anonrighte; 
With the Lords Strange I muste speake, 

From his father, the Earle of Derbye. 
The porter opened up the gates, 

And in came his horsse and hee. 
The beste wyne that was therin 

To Humfrey Breerton furthe broughte hee, 
With torches brennynge at that tyde. 

And other lighte, that he myghte see. 
And broughte hym downe unto the bed syde, 

Wheras the Lorde Strange laye; 
The lorde he mused in that tyde. 

And said, Humfrey, what haste thou to saye ? 
How fareth my father that nowble lorde, 

In all England he hath noe peare ? 
Humfrey tooke a letter in his hande. 

And said, behoulde and ye maye here. 
When the Lorde Strange loked the letter upon. 

The teares trickeled downe his eye; 
He said, we muste [come] under a clodde. 

For we muste never trusted bee. 
We may sike and make great monne. 

This worlde is not as yt wolde be: 
Commende [nie] to my father dere. 

His daylie blessinge he wolde give me; 
For and I lyvc an other yearc, 

This appoyntnicnt kccpe will I. 


He receaved golde of ray lorde Strange, 

And streiglite to Manchester rydeth hee. 
And when he came to Manchester, 

It was pryme of the day. 
He was ware of the warden and Edward Standley 

Togeder their mattens for to say ; 
The one brother said to the other, 

Behoukle, brother, and you may se, 
Here cometh Humfrey Breerton, 

Some hastye thythandes bringeth hee. 
He tooke eyther a letter in their handes, 

And bad them looke and behoulde, 
And reede they did those letters radlye. 

And up the leape and laughed lowde; 
And said, faire fall our father that ncwble lorde, 

To stirre and ryse begynnethe hee; 
Bockingham blode shall be wroken 

That was headed at Salisburye ! 
Faire fall the Cowntas the Kynges doughter, 

That such cownsell gyve coulde shee, 
We truste in God soe full of mighte 

To brynge hir lorde over the seae. 
Have here, Humfrey, of eyther fortye shillinges, 

Better rewarded may thou bee. 
He tooke the golde at their hande. 

And to Sir John Savage rydeth hee; 
And he tooke hym a letter in his hande, 

And bad hym behoulde, reede, and see. 
When the knyghte the letter loked upon. 

Then all blcncked was his blee, — - 


Wemens wytt is wonder to beare, 

Myne uncle is turned by you, Bessie, 
And wheder yt turne to wayle or woe. 

At myne uncles byddinge I will bee! 
Have here, Humfrey, fortye shillinges, 

Better rewarded may thou be, 
To Scheffelde castyll loolce thou ryde 

In all the haste that may bee. 
Furthe then rydeth that gentyll knyghte, 

Sir Gilbert Talbott then fyndeth hee, 
He toke hym a letter in his hande, 

And bad hym reede, and he mighte see. 
When Sir Gilbert the letter loked on, 

A lowde loughter laughed hee; 
Faire fall that lorde of riche renowne, 

To stirre and ryse nowe begynneth he. 
Faire fall Bessie, that cowntas cleare. 

That such counsell giveth trulye! 
Commend me to my nephewe dere, 

The yonge Eai-le of Schrewesburye; 
Byd hym never dread for noe deathe, 

In London towre yf he bee, 
I shall make London to tremble and quake, 

But my nephewe borrowed shall bee; 
Commend me to that Cowntas cleare, 

Kynge Edwardes doughtcr, yonge Bessie, 
Tell hir I truste in God that hath noe peare 

To brynge hir love over the seae; 
Commend me to that lorde withouten drede, 

That lutlye was made the Earlc of Derbye, 


And everic heare of iiiy heade 

For a man miglite counted bee, 
With that lorde, withouten drede, 

With hym will I lyve and dye! 
Have here, Humfrey, poundes three, 

Better rewarded may thou bee; 
Streighte to London loke thou ryde 

In all the haste that may bee. 
Commend me to the Cowntas, yonge Bessye, 

Kynge Edwardes doughter forsothe is shee; 
In all this lande she hath noe peare. 

Thus he taketh his leave at the knyghte, 
And streighte to London rydeth hee, 

And when he came to London righte, 
Yt was but a litill before evenynge, 

There was he ware, walking in a garden greene, 
Bothe the Earle and Richard our Kynge; 

When the Earle had Humfrey seane, 
He gave hym a pryve twyncke with his eye, 

Then Humfrey came before the Kynge soe free. 
And downe he falleth upon his knee; 

Welcome, Humfrey, said the Earle of Derbye, 
Where haste thou bene, Humfrey, said the Earle, 

For I have myssed the weekes three. 
I have bene in the weste, my lorde. 

Where I was borne and bredde trulye, 
For to sporte me and to playe 

Amongest my frendes fer and nye. 
Tell me, Humfrey, said the Earle, 

Howe fareth all in that cowntrye ? 


Tell me, Humfrey, I the praye, 

Howe fareth Kynge Richardes comynaltye ? 
Off all countryes I dare well saye, 

They bene the cheefe of archerye, 
For they will be trustye with their bowes, 

And they will fighte and never flee. 
When Kynge Richard harde Humfrey soe say, 

In his harte he was full merye; 
With his cappe that was soe deare 

He thanked that lorde full courteslye, 
And said, father Standley, thou art to me nere, 

You are cheefe of your comynaltye; 
Halfe of England shall be thyne, 

And equallye devyded betwene the and me, 
I am thyne and thou arte myne. 

And soe two fellowes wyll we bee; 
I sweare by Marye may den mylde, 

I knowe none suche under the skye; 
Whiles I be Kynge and weare the crowne, 

I will be cheefe of the comynaltye. 
Taske ne myse I will make none, 

In noe cowntrye farre nor nere, 
For yf by their goodes I shoulde plucke them downe, 

For me they woulde fyghte full fayuteslye. 
There is noe riches to me so riche, 

As is the poore comynaltye. 
When they had ended all their speeche, 

They tooke their leave full gladlye, 
And to his bowre the Kynge is gone. 

Then the Earle and Humfrey Breerton 


To Bessies bowre they went anon, 

And founde Bessy e there alone. 
When Bessie did see Humfrey anon, 

She kyssed hym tymes three, 
Saithe, Humfi-ey Brerton, welcome home ! 

Howe haste thou spede in the Weste Cowntrye ? 
Into a parlour they went anon, 

There was noe moe but he and shee: 
Humfrey, tell me or I hence gone 

Somme tythandes out of the Weste Cowntrye; 
Yf I shoulde send for yonder Prynce 

To come over for the love of me. 
And murthered by his foes to be, 

Alas that were full great petye; 
Forsothe that sighte I woulde not see 

For all the goulde in Christentye! 
Tell me, Humfrey, I the praye. 

How thou haste donne in the Weste Cowntrye. 
Unto Bessie anon he toulde, 

Howe he had sped in the Weste Cowntrye, 
"What was the answere he of them had, 

And what rewardes he had trulye. 
By the thirde day of Maye, Bessie, he said. 

In London there will they bee, 
Thou shalte in England be a queene, 

Or ells douteles they will dye. 
Thus they provided for the wynter tyme 

Their counsell for to keepe all three, 
The Earle woulde not in London abyde, 

For whye — he wroughte by prophesye; 


But in the suburbes without tlie cetye 

An ould inne chossen hath hee, 
And drewe an eigle upon the entrye, 

That the westeren men myghte yt see. 
Humfrey stoode in a highe tower, 

And loked into the Weste Countrye, 
Sir William Standley and seaven in grene 

Came ryding streighte into the cetye. 
When he was ware of the eigle di-awen, 

He drewe hym selfe wunderous nye, 
And bad his men goe into the towne, 

And drynke the wyne and make merrye. 
Into the inne whei'e the eigle did bee 

Forsothe shortly e is he gon. 
Humfrey loked into the Weste, 

And sawe the Lorde Straunge and seaven come 
Ryding in grene into the cetye; 

When he was ware of the oulde eigle drawen, 
He drewe himselfe wunderous nye. 

And bad his men goe into the towne. 
And drynke the wyne and make good cheare. 

And whereever they come noe coste to spare: 
Then to the inne where his father laye 

He drewe hymselfe wunderous neare. 
Humphrey loked more into the weste, 

Sixteene in grene did he see, 
The warden and Sir Edward Standley 

Came ryding both in companye ; 
There as the eagle was drawen, 

The gentylmen drewe yt nye, 


And bad their men goe into the towne, 

And drynke the wyne and make merye ; 
And went into the same inne, 

"Where the earle their father lee. 
Yett Humfrey behouldeth into the weste, 

And loked towardes the northe cowntrye ; 
He was ware of Sir John Savage and Sir Gilbert 

Came rydinge bothe in companye ; [Talbotte, 

"When they were ware of the eigle drawen, 

Then they drewe themselves wunderous nye, 
And bad their men goe into the towne, 

And drynke the wyne and make merye, 
And yende themselves into the inne, 

Where the earle and Bessie lee. 
When all the lordes togeder mette, 

Among them all was litill Bessie ; 
With gudlye wurdes shee can them greete, 

And said, lordes wyll ye doe for me ? 
What wyU ye releave yonder prynce, 

That is exiled beyonde the seae ? 
The Earle of Derbye came forthe then, 

Theis were the wordes he said to Bessie : 
Fourtye pound wyll I send, 

Bessie, for the love of the, 
And xx.tie thowsand eigle feete, 

A Queene of England to make the. 
Sir William Standley came forthe then, 

Theis were the wurdes he said to Bessie, 
Rememer, Bessie, another tyme, 

Whoe dothe nowe the beste for the ; 


Ten thowsand coates that bene read 

In an owres warnyng readye shall bee; 
In England thou shalte be queene, 

Or ells dowteles I will dye. 
Sir John Savage came forthe then, 

Theis were the wurdes he said to Bessie; 
Ten thousand markes for thy sake 

I will send thy love beyonde the seae. 
The Lorde Strange came forth then, 

Theis were the wurdes he said to Bessie, 
A lytill money and fewe men 

"Wyll brynge thy love over the seae ; 
Lett us keepe our goulde at home. 

For to wage our companye ; 
Yf we yt sende over the foame, 

We putt our goulde in joperdye. 
Edward Standley came furthe then, 

Theis were the wurdes he said to Bessie; 
Rememer, Bessie, another tyme, 

He that nowe dothe beste for the ; 
For ther is nowe noe power that I have, 

Nor noe goulde for to gyve the, 
But under my fathei''s banner wyll I fyghte 

Eyther for to lyve or dye. 
Bessye came forthe before the lordes all. 

And upon hir knees then fallethe she. 
Ten thowsand pounde I wyll hym sende 

Even to my love beyonde the seae. 
Whoe shall be our messenger then. 

To brynge our goulde over tlie seae ? 


Humfrey Breerton, said litill Bessie, 

I knowe non soe good as hee. 
Alas, said Humfrey, I dare not take in hande 

To carye the goulde over the seaej 
The galley shippes the be soe stronge. 

They wyll me neighe wunderous nee ; 
They wyll me robbe, they will me drowne, 

They wyll take the goulde from me. 
Houlde thy peace, Humfrey, said litill Bessie, 

Thou shalte yt carye out of joperdye. 
Thou shalte have noe basked nor noe mayle, 

Noe bothed ner clothe sacke shall goe with the; 
Three mules that be styfFe and stronge 

Loaded with goulde shall they bee ; 
"With sadells syde skurted, I doe the tell, 

Wherin the goulde sewed shall bee ; 
Yf any man saye whoes ys the shippe, 

That sailethe fur the upon the seae, 
Saye yt is the lord Lyle; 

In England and Fraunce wel beloved is he. 
Then came furthe the Eai'le of Derbye, 

Theis were the wurdes he said to Bessie- 
He said, Bessie, thou arte to blame 

To poynte any shippe upon the seae ; 
I have a gude shippe of myne owne. 

Shall carye Humfrey and my mules three; 
An eigle shall be drawen upon the maste toppe, 

That the Italyants may yt see; 
There is noe freake in all Fraunce, 

That the eiicle darre once coine nee. 


Yf any man aske wlioes is the shippe, 

vSaye yt is the Earles of Derbye. 
Humfrey toke the mules three, 

Into the weste wynde taketh hee, 
At Hyrpon withouten dowte 

There shippinge taketh hee, 
With a softe wynde and a coale, 

Thus he saileth upon the seae, 
To Begeram Abbeye where the Englishe prince be ; 

The porter was an Englisheman, 
Well he knewe Humfrey Breerton, 

And faste to hym can he gon: 
Humfrey knocked at the gate pryvelie, 

And theis wordes he said trulye, 
I praye the, porter, open the gate, 

And receave me and mules three ; 
I shall the gyve withouten lett 

Red goulde unto thy meede. 
I wyll none of thy goulde, the porter said, 

Nor yett, Humfrey, none of thy fee ; 
But I will open the gates wyde. 

And receave the and thy mules three ; 
For a Cheshire man borne am I, 

From the Malpas but myles three. 
The porter opened the gates soone, 

Receaved hym and the mules three; 
The beste wyne radlye then, 

To Humfrey Breerton gyvethe he. 
Alas ! said Humfrey, howe shall I doe ? 

For I am stad in a strange cowntrye; 



The Prynce of England I doe not knowe. 

Before I did bym never see. 
I shall the teache, said the porter then, 

The Pryuce of England to knowe trulye ; 
See where he shooteth at the buttes, 

And with hym are lordes three ; 
He weareth a gowne of velvette blacke, 

And yt is coted above the knee; 
With longe visage and pale, 

Therbye the piynce knowe may yee ; 
A privye warte withouten lett 

He hathe a litill above the chyn. 
His face is white, the warte is red, 

Therbye full well yee may hym ken. 
Nowe from the porter is he gon, 

"With hym he tooke the mules three. 
To Earle Richmonde he went anon, 

Where the other lordes dyd bee. 
And when he came before the prynce, 

Lowlye he kneled upon his knee, 
And delivered hym the letter that Bessie send, 

And soe he did the mules three, 
And a riche rynge with a stone, 

There the pry[n]se glad was he; 
He tooke the rynge at Humfrey then. 

And kyssed yt tymes three. 
Humfrey kneled still as any stone, 

Assuredlye as I tell thee ; 
Humfrey of the prynce worde gate none, 

Therfore in harte he was not merye. 


Humfrey standeth up then anon, 

To the prynce these wurdes saith hee ; 
Whye standest thou soe still in this styde, 

And noe answere thou doest gyve me? 
I am comen from the Standlees boulde, 

Kynge of England to make the, 
And a faire ladye to thy feere, 

There is none suche in Christentye; 
She is a cowntas, a kynges doughter, 

The name of hir it is Bessie, 
A lovlye ladye to loke upon, 

And well shee can wurke by prophesye. 
I may be caled a lowte messenger, 

For answere of the I can gett non, 
I may sayle howme with a heavye clieare ; 

What shall I say when I come howme? 
The prynce tooke the lorde Lilye, 

And the Earle of Oxforde was hym nee. 
The Lorde Ferres woulde hym not begyle — 

To a counsell they goe all three. 
When they had their counsell tane. 

To Humfrey Breerton turncthe hee, — 
Answere, Humfrey, I can gyve none. 

Not for the space of weekes three ; 
When three weekes are comen and gon, 

Then an answere I shall gyve thee. 
The mules into a stable are tane. 

The sadell-skirtes then rypeth hee, 
Tliorin he fyndeth goulde great plentye, 

For to wage a companye. 



He caused the houshoulde to make hym cheare, 

And saitli in my steede lett Lym bee. 
Yerlye on the other mornyng, 

Assonne as yt was the bi'eake of daye, 
With hym he toke the lordes three, 

And streighte to Parys he tooke the way. 
A herotte of armes they readye made, 

To the Kynge of Fraunce then wyndeth [he]. 
Of men and money he doth hym praye, 

And sliippes to brynge hym over the seae ; 
The Standleyes stowte for me have send, 

Kynge of England to make me ; 
And yf ever I weare the crowne. 

Well quite the Kynge of Fraunce shall be. 
Then answered the Kynge of Fraunce, 

And sweareth shortlye by sayncte John, 
Men nor money getteth he none, 

Nor shippes to brynge hym over the foame. 
Thus the prynce his answere hath tane. 

And the English lordes gaye, 
To Begaram Abbey rydeth he, 

There as Humfrey Breerton lay ; 
Have here, Humfrey, a thousand markes. 

Better rewarded shake thou be ; 
Commend me to Bessie, that cowntas cleare, 

And yett I did hir never see : 
I truste in God she shall be my queene, 

For hir I wyll travell the seae ; 
Commende me to my father Standley, 

Myne owne mother maryed hee, 


Brynge hym here a love letter, 

And another to yonge Bessie : 
Tell hir, I truste in the Lorde of myghte 

That my queene she shall bee. 
Commende [me] to Sir William Standley, 

That nowble knyghte in the weste countrye, 
Tell hym aboute Michaelmas 

I truste in God in England to be; 
At Melford haven I wyll come in 

With all the powers I biynge with me, 
The firste towne that I may myn, 

Shal be the towne of Shrewesburye. 
Praye Sir William, that nowble knyghte, 

That nyghte he woulde looke on me : 
Commend [me] to Sir Gilbert Talbott, that is soe 

He lyethe styll in the northe cowntrye: [wighte, 
I wyll non of thy goulde, sir prynce, 

Ner yett I wyll non of thy fee, 
Yf everie heare of my heade were a man, 

With the, sir prynce, shoulde they bee. 
Thus Humfrey Breerton his leave hath tane. 

And furthe he saylethe upon the seae, 
Straighte to London can he ryde, 

Wheras the earle and Bessie lee ; 
He tooke them eyther a letter in hande. 

And bad them looke, reede and see. 
The earle tooke leave of Richard the kynge. 

And into the weste rydethe hee ; 
And leavethe Bessie at Layceter, 

And bad hir lye in privetye; 


For yf Kynge Richard knewe the there, 

In a fyer brend moste thou bee. 
Streighte to Lathum is he gon, 

Where the Lorde Strange dyd lye ; 
And send the Lorde Strange to London, 

To keepe Richard companye. 
Sir William Standley ten thowsand coates 

In an howres warnyng readye to bee, 
They were read as any blode, 

There the hartes head is sett full hye. 
Sir Gilbert Talbott ten thowsand dagges 

In an owres warnyng readye to bee, 
Sir John Savage fifteen hundreth white houddes. 

For they wyll fighte and never flee ; 
Sir Edward Standley three hundreth men, 

There were noe better in Christentye ; 
Sir Ryse ap Thomas, a knyghte of Walles, 

Eighte thousand speare men broughte hee. 
Sir William Standley at the Holte he lyethe. 

And loked over his head soe hee ; 
Where standeth the wynde? then he saithe, 

Is there any man can tell me? 
The wynde yt standeth sowth weste. 

See, said a knyghte that stoode hym bye. 
This nyghte yonder royall prynce. 

Into England entereth hee. 
He caled a gentylman that stoode hym bye, 

His name was Rowland Werburton, 
He bad him goe to Shrewesburye that nyghte, 

And byd them lett that prynce in come : 


By then that Rowland came to Shrewesburye, 

The porte-cales was letten downe ; 
They caled the prynce in full great scorne, 

And said, in England he sholde weare noe crowne. 
Rowland bethoughte hym of a wylle, 

And tyed the wrytinges to a stone, 
He threwe the wryttinges over the walle, 

And bad the bayliifes loke them upon. 
Then they oppened the gates on everie syde, 

And mett the prynce with procession ; 
He woulde not abyde in Shrewesburye that nyghte, 

For Kynge Richard hard of his comynge, 
And caled his lordes of renowns ; 

The Lorde Percye came to hym then, 
And on his knees he kneled hym downe, 

Saithe, my lege, I have xxx.tie thowsand fighting 
The Duke of Northfolke came to the kynge, [men. 

And downe he kneleth upon his knee ; 
The Earle of Surrey came with hym, 

They were bothe in companye ; 
And we have eyther xx.tie thousand fighting men, 

For to keepe the crowne with the. 
The Lorde Scroope and the Earle of Kentt, 

They were all in companye ; 
The Byshoppe of Doram was not awaye, 

Sir William Bowmer stodc liym bye ; 
The gude Sir William Harrington 

Said, he woulde fyghte and never flee. 
Kynge Richard made a messenger, 

And send into the weste cowntrye, 


Byd the Earle of Derbye make hym readye, 

And brynge twentye thowsand men to me, 
Or the Lorde Strange head I shall hym send, 

For dowtles uowe that he shall dye ; 
"Without he come to me full sonne, 

His owne sonn he shall never see; 
Then an other heyrotte can appeare 

To Sir William Standley, that nowble knyghte, 
Byd hym brynge ten thowsand men, 

Or to the deathe he shall be dighte. 
Then answered that doughtye knyghte. 

And spake to the heryotte without letting ; 
Say, on Bosworthe Feilde I wyll hym meete, 

On Mundaye yearlie in the mornynge ; 
Suche a bi-eakfaste I hym hett. 

As never did knyghte to noe kynge ! 
The messenger is howme gon, 

To tell Kynge Richard this tythinge. 
Then Richard togeder his handes can dynge, 

And said, the Lorde Strange shoulde dye ; 
He had putt hym in the Towre, 

For sure I will hym never see. 
Nowe leave we Richard and his lordes, 

That were preste all full with pryde, 
And talke we of the Standleyes blood, 

That broughte the prynce on the other syde. 
Nowe is Richmonde to Stafford comen, 

And Sir William Standley to Litill Stone ; 
The prynce had leaver then any goulde 

Sir William Standley to loke upon. 


A messinger was readye made, 

That nyghte to Stone rjdeth hee; 
Sir "William rydethe to Stafford towne, 

With hym a smalle companye. 
When the knyghte to Stafford come, 

That Richmond myghte hym see ; 
He toke hym in his armes then. 

And kyssed hym tymes three; 
The welfare of thy bodye comforteth me more 

Then all the goulde in Christentye ! 
Then answered ther that royall knyghte, 

To the prynce thus speaketh hee, — 
Rememer, man, bothe daye and nyghte, 

Whoe nowe doeth the moste for the ; 
In England thou shalte weare the crowne. 

Or ells dowteles T wyll dye ; 
A faire ladye thou shalte fynde to thy fere 

As is any in Christentye; 
A kynges doughter, a cowntas cleare. 

Yea she is bothe wysse and wyttie. 
I muste goe to Stone, my sovereigne. 

For to comforte my men this nyghte. 
The prynce toke hym by the hande. 

And said, farewell, gcntyll knyghte ! 
Nowe is worde comen to Sir William Standley, 

Yerlye vpon Siindaye in the mornynge, 
That the Earle of Derbye, his brother dere, 

Had given battell to Richard the kynge. 
That woulde I not, sayd Sir William, 

For all the goulde in Christentye, 


Excepte I were with hym there, 

At that battell myselfe to be. 
Then streighte to Lychfeilde can he ryde 

In all the haste that myghte be, 
And when they come into the towne, 

All they cryed, Kynge Henrye ! 
Then streighte to Bosworth wolde he ryde 

In all the haste that myghte bee, 
And when he came to Bosworthe Feylde, 

There he meett with a royall armye. 
The Earle of Derbye he was there, 

And twentye thowsand stoode hym bye ; 
Sir John Savage, his sisteres sonne. 

He was his nephewe of blode soe nye ; 
He had xv.een hundreth feighting men, 

There was noe better in Christentye, 
Sir William Standley, that nowble knyghte. 

Ten thowsand read coates that day had hee ; 
Sir Ryse up Thomas he was there. 

With ten thowsand speares myghtye of tree; 
Eai'le Richmond came to the Earle of Derbye, 

And downe he kneleth upon his knee; 
He said, father Standley, I the praye 

That the vowarde thou woulde gyve me, 
For I am comen for my righte, 

Full fayne venged woulde I bee ! 
Stand up, he said, my sonne deare. 

Thou haste thy motheres blessing by me, 
The vowarde, sonne, I wyll thee gyve, 

For whye, by me thou wilste ordered be : 


Sir William Standley, my brother dere, 

In that batell he shall bee ; 
Sir John Savage, that hath noe peare, 

He shall be a wynge unto the ; 
Sir Ryse up Thomas shall breake the raye, 

For he wyll feighte and never flee; 
And I myselfe wyll hove on this hill, 

That faire battell for to see. 
Kynge Richard hoved on the mountaynes, 

And was ware of the banner of the boulde Standley ; 
He said, feclie hither the Lorde Strange to me. 

For dowtles he shall dye this day. 
To the deathe, Lorde, make the bowne. 

For by Marye that mylde maye, 
Thou shalte dye for thyne uncles sake, 

His name is William Standley. 
Yf I shoulde dye, said the Lorde Strange, 

As God forbyd yt soe shoulde bee, 
Alas ! for my ladye at howme, 

Yt will be longe or she me see ! 
But we shall meete at domes daye, 

When the greate dome yt shall bee. 
He called a gentylman of Lancashire, 

His name was Lathum trulye ; 
A rynge besyde his fynger he tooke. 

And caste yt to that gentylman, 
And bade hym brynge yt to Lancashire, 

To ray ladye that is at whome ; 
At hir table she may sitt. 

Or she sec hir lorde yt may be longe: 


I have noe feete to schuute nor flytte, 

I muste be murdered with a tyrant stronge : 
Yf yt fortune myne uncle to lose the feilde, 

As God defend yt should so bee, 
Pray hir to take my eldest sonn, 

And exile hym over the seae; 
He may come in another tyme 

By fylde, frygh, tower, or towne, 
"Wreake he may his fathers deathe 

On Eichard of England that weareth the crowne. 
A knyghte to the Kynge did appeare. 

The gude Sir William Harrington: — 
Saithe^ lett hym have his liffe a while, 

Tyll ye have the father, uncle, and sonn; 
"We shall have them sone in feilde, 

The father, the sonn, and the uncle all three ; 
Then may you deme them with your mouthe. 

What kynde of deathe that they shall dye. 
But a blocke on the ground was caste. 

There upon the lordes head was layde, 
A sawe over his head can stand. 

And out of fashion yt was brayde. 
He said, there is noe other boote, 

But that thou, lord, nedeth muste dye; 
Harryngton harte yt was full woe, 

When yt woulde noe better bee. 
He saith, our ray breaketh on everie syde. 

We putt our feilde in joperdye! 
Then the tooke up the lorde on-lyve, 

Kynge Richard did hym never see. 


Then they blewe up bugells of brasse, 

The schottes of gunes were soe feirce 
That made many wyves to crye, alas! 

And mony a childe fatherles. 
Sir Ryse up Thomas with the blacke crowe 

Shortlye made haste to breake the ray ; 
With xxx.tie thowsand feighting men, 

The Lorde Pearcye went his way. 
The Duke of Northfolke woulde have fledde 

With twentye thowsand of his companye; 
He went up unto a wynde mylne, 

And stoode upon a hyll soe hye. 
There he mett Sir John Savage, a royall knyghte, 

With hym a wurthye companye ; 
To the deathe the Duke was dighte, 

And his sonn prisoner taken was he. 
Then the Lorde Dacars began to flee, 

Soe dyd mony other moe ; 
When Kynge Richard that sighte dyd see, 

In his harte he was full woe. 
I praye you, my men, be not awaye, 

For lyke a man here wyll I dye. 
For I had leaver dye this daye. 

Then with the Standlees taken bee! 
A knyghte to Kynge Richard can saye, 

(Yt was gude Sir William of Harryngton) 
He sayth, we are lyke all here 

To the death sone to be don. 
For there may noe man their strockes abyde, 

The Standlees dynntes they bene soe stronge; 


Ye may come in another tyme, 

Therfore nietliyuke you tarye to longe. 
Your horsse is readye at your band, 

Another day yee maye wurshippe wynne, 
And to reigne with royaltye, 

And weare the crowne and be our kynge. 
He said, give me my battell axe in myne hande, 

Sett the crowne of England upon my head soe bee, 
For by Hym that made both sunne and monne, 

Kynge of England this daye will I dye! 
Eesyde his head they hewe the crowne, 

And dange on hym as they were woode; 
They stroke his bacenett to his head, 

Untill his braynes came out with blodde. 
They caryed hym naked into Layceter, 

And bouckled his heire under his chyn; 
Bessie mett hym with a merye cheare, 

These were the wordes she said to hym. 
How likest thou the sleaying of my brethren dere ? 

(She spake theis wordes to hym alon) 
Nowe are we wroken upon the here, 

Welcome, gentyll uncle, howme ! 
Greate solas yt was to see, 

I tell you, maysters, without lett. 
When the Eeade Rowse of mekyll price, 

And yonge Bessie togeder were mett. 
A byshoppe them maryed with a rynge. 

The two bloodes of highe renowne; — 
Bessie said, nowe may we synge, 

We two bloodes are made at one. 


The Earle of Derbye he was there, 

And Sir William Standley, a man of mighte; 
Upon their heades they sett the crowne, 

In presence of mony a wurthye wyghte. 
Then came he under a clowde, 

That some tyme in England was full hee; 
The harte began to keste his heade, 

After noe man myghte yt see; 
Butt God, that is bothe bryghte [and] sheene, 

And borne was of a mayden free, 
Save and keepe our comlye queene, 

And also the pooi*e comenalitye! 


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